[ExI] the Spanish today

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Sep 14 06:46:52 UTC 2008

Yesterday, I said the following about present-day Spaniards,
considered as a class:

> Speaking of the alteration of national character, I'm listening
> to Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia", where while narrating his
> adventures and dismay in the Spanish Civil War (1936), he
> describes in great detail the ineptitude of the Spanish in so
> many things, from war making (both sides) to the stark poverty
> of the countryside. He mentions, for example, that while the
> Spanish secret police had all the enthusiasm of the Gestapo,
> they simply didn't have any of its competence.
> As I listened, it became clear to me that if you teleported 
> Cortez, Pizarro, DeSoto and all their followers into the Spain
> of 1936 and enlisted their wholehearted support in the Loyalist
> cause, Franco would have been beaten. More realistically, if
> they'd joined the more religious side, i.e., the Nationalists,
> then the war wouldn't have lasted a month longer.
> What happened to the indomitable will of the Conquistadors and
> to the fact that between 1500 and 1650 the Spanish infantry
> *never* lost a single battle? There was simply no stopping them,
> as the inhabitants of the Americas learned. Where there is a will,
> there most often indeed is a way, and will they had aplenty.
> I think that what happened was that during the 17th and 18th
> century the spirit of conquest and the tremendous vitality and
> will of the Spanish gradually died on the vine. Too many reverses
> at the hands of the superior technology of the Dutch, English,
> and French finally cracked their armor.

I forgot to mention a most interesting additional fact. All throughout
the nineties, and probably still true today, Spain had more cryonicists
than any country in Europe (excluding the UK). And the per-capita
rate is more astounding still!

It seems to me likely that something remains of the Spanish adventurer,
who, when there are rewards without measure to be had, distant worlds
to explore and conquer, has his imagination, energy, and tenacity
fired up exactly as of old.

My Hispanic friend and co-worker Angelo was far away in Europe
one night at the call of duty, and our phone conversation somehow
wandered on to the Tasman Straights, which I pointed out had
been named after a Dutch explorer.

"And why weren't my people there first?", asked Angelo, quite
conscious that every place from Florida to Tierra Del Fuego to
the Phillipines had been explored and colonized by Spain.

"Because, Angelo", said I, "there wasn't any gold there!", to
which he gave a hearty laugh.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list