Not by Bread Alone
Publisher: Counter Punch
Date Written: 22/12/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21909
Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War focused on people's daily needs--who doesn't love hot, buttered toast? People in Spain were starving--they needed food. People--were homeless and needed homes; people were jobless and needed something to do; people were rejected from their communities needed to be included. Anarchists focused on these practical, attainable and above all human needs. And, these are the basic rights that should undergird all human social organizations.
Franco's fascism promised people a filament of their destiny. Destiny. What is it? It is dreams beyond which they could even rationally or consciously comprehend them. The fulfillment of destiny offers the idea of a larger meaning and purpose to life. Why are we here? Is it just to eat buttered toast? Why do we struggle? Why are things always so bad? Surely the goal of all this loss and suffering isn't just to survive Franco promised people a future in which not only were their daily meat needs met but their full potential as human beings would be realized. It promised a community where people not only had their basic necessities but had a fulfillment and their purpose for living. It didn't even have to deliver. If you promise people buttered toast and don't give it to them, they will say you lied. If you promise people their dreams, they can always be deferred.
Fascism is dynamic and, like capitalism, fascism says that people only get what they deserve. Both fascism and capitalism label certain people as deserving of this kind of destiny. For Franco, it was people who are identified as Spanish. But not all fascism is based on ardent nationalism. Hitler, for example, had an idea of being deserving that was tied to a biological understanding of human being. Capitalism identifies only those who have achieved wealth or those who will work on endingly and sacrifice others in the pursuit of wealth as the deserving of this destiny. But essentially, destiny is the thing that most people want. They want it more than bread. And this search for destiny, by those who deserve it, has a dynamism. It is empowering. It says, if you try; if you belong; if you devote yourself to this, then you can get more than your daily bread.