Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dolores Ibarruri - La Pasionaria

" The Spanish people would rather die on its feet than live on its knees. And do not forget, and let no one forget, that if today it is our turn to resist fascist aggression, the struggle will not end in Spain. Today it's us; but if the Spanish people is allowed to be crushed, you will be next, all of Europe will have to face aggression and war." When the fiery La Pasionaria made this speech in France in 1938 it was a plaintive cry to a sleeping world. Born in desperate poverty in Gallarta, Spain, on the 9th of December, 1895, Dolores Ibarruri matured to become one of the finest orators of her time. Mother of six children, only two of which survived the grinding poverty and lack of adequate food and health care rampant in oligarchical Spain, Dolores took to heart the teachings of Marx. Were she to need more reason to embrace radicalism, her huspand was arrested during a strike in 1920. My poor words will not do her justice, I will let her speak for herself.
"The crude reality, the bare truth, hit me as it did every woman, with its unforgiving hands. A few short, fleeting days of illusion and afterwards, in my own experience, I learned the harsh truth of the popular saying 'Mother, what does it mean to be married? Daughter, it means to sew, to give birth and to cry'. To cry, to cry over our misfortunes, to cry over our powerlessness. To cry over our innocent children, to whom all we had to offer was our caresses soaked with tears. To cry over our pain-filled lives, without prospects, with no way out. Bitter tears, with a permanent curse in the heart and a blasphemy on the lips. "
Vincent Sheean, the brilliant journalist and author of Not Peace But A Sword said of her - "Sometimes she gave it to them so straight and hard that you could hear the gasp of the whole audience. Her purpose was, of course, to make such failures and mistakes rarer in the future. She criticized the government not at all, but her own and the other revolutionary parties came in for some terrific lashings. And then, having frightened the audience into breathlessness by her picture of disaster, she set out to prove that victory was possible, and on what conditions. To an ordinary American journalist in the front row of the hall it seemed that she was asking these people to stop being Communists altogether, at least until the war was won. The genius of Dolores - her unquestionable genius as a speaker, the most remarkable I ever heard - worked upon them its customary miracle, and she had the whole audience cheering with enthusiasm when she finished." - La Pasionaria "Passion's Flower".


Anonymous WhattheH said...

Dolores Ibarruri - La Pasionaria
I like that. It's interesting how people need to compartmentalize others in order to demonize their beliefs. I'm not a Marxist, I'm fiscally conservative but socially progressive - we need to take care of those who are unable to care for themselves. What does that make me? If I can relate to Ibarruri in her struggle to obtain justice for all, then I'm labelled a Marxist?
This situation is happening today, many many years after her words were spoken, and nothing has changed. What does that indicate about our society, our way of life, our civilisation.
As mentioned before, I always learn something when I come to visit. Keep on blogging. Thanks.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Sgt Marks-a-lot said...

Dear Mr. Durrati,

I like your blog, very nice drawings, you are gifted. Your profile indicates that you suffer from the naked school dream with a potentially happy ending. If you don't mind I will share my version of this dream (nightmare rather). It may qualify for an award of some sort (har, har).

I am walking across my land-grant college towards a quiet place to study. The end of the semester is not too far off. Suddenly, a horrible realization strikes. Pawing through notebooks I find my class schedule and realize that somehow, I have completely forgotten about a 3 credit hour class in this time slot, and haven't attended a single lecture all semester.

I run to the hall and enter the large steeply pitched auditorium which is packed with students. I select a free seat in the middle of a section about 3 rows from the front. People stand to let me through and I take my place.

The instructor is standing off to one side of the lectern and two TAs are moving up the aisles passing out stacks of papers. A trim blonde woman is sitting next to me, avoiding eye contact. I ask her about the papers. She regards me coldly and indicates it is the 3rd exam for the course. She explains that in a few weeks we will sit the final exam.

When I receive the exam I begin to sweat. I quickly scan the questions. They all require short essay responses and the questions are utterly incomprehensible to me. The persons and events described, the principles that must be addressed, all completely unknown to me.

About this time laughter begins. I look up and realize that a tight knot of people has formed around me, and all are facing me and laughing. Only then do I become aware that I am completely, buck naked.

Usually about this time I climb a tree and begin picking nits from my arm hairs.

Let me know where you want to post about this Great Patriotic War business & etc. Imagine lots of folks may not find this very interesting. What little I know is from reading about it.


2:05 PM  
Blogger durrati said...


I count myself fortunate that in my deams being naked is never a source of embarrassment, though I sometimes soil the lenins. I did have a dream in my youth that I was eaten by a snake in a tree. I might want to get to a couch about that one. I once had a friend, native Hawaiian, with whom I shared this nightmare over like our third or fourth bong. (Ken was a talented guitar player whom I envied for his abilities). When I had finished recounting the bastard grins at me and said - "In mine I could fly".

Might I suggest we save our musings about the war on the steppes under "Girl Skipping Rope".
It can rest safely there awaiting the perusal of any who might have an interest in such things. Sometime over the next few days I will write something there, nothing much, just something to get the ball rolling.

My inner frenchman compels me again to thank you for your interest. Please leave any thoughts not related to the war on the active board, so as not to deprive the other readers of the pleasure of persuing them. I will not embarrassing you again with my admiration for your writing - but you may always be assured that it is there.


3:18 PM  
Blogger durrati said...


I am not a Marxist either, the stooges were more to my low brow tastes.

But seiously, had I lived the life Dolores had I am sure that I would adopt any idealogy that offered hope. As conditions worsen in this country, as they most surely will, perhaps we will produce a firebrand like her.

3:24 PM  
Blogger WeCanFixThisMess said...

Hey there durrati-

I saw your post on the General saying I had mail. What did you mean?

8:55 AM  
Blogger WeCanFixThisMess said...

I told you I was having trouble with my blog. Well, I believed the "comment meter" when it said "0 Comments". I just now read your stuff.

Thanks for commenting. All is good. Was mostly just being playful that day.

Oh, Skin of Our Teeth is a play by Wilder (Our Town) from the late 1930s- about a family that starts off in the in Ice Age and moves through all the ages of time. It as black comedy that lampoons lazy modern people while showing how things never change. In the original production, Tallulah Bankhead played the surly maid who refused to appreciate that she was lower class. It's a classic and sounds a lot like the same template that the book you were talking about follows.

Anyway, thanks for your comments and take care.

9:06 AM  
Blogger durrati said...


I commented at your blog

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, durrati, you pulled me in from JG. Flattery will get you everywhere.

You say you posted this with me in mind. While I dislike being thusly manipulated, I am egotistical enough to ask why.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This posting system is fucked up. The above post was me, MzNicky, in case this one comes through as Anonymous as well.

9:57 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

Nick, I have visited your site and read your thoughts at JG and since it was O/T for my site I thought you might enjoy reading about another female rabblerouser. You i consider her sister in spirit Give 'em hell....

5:09 AM  
Blogger Libby said...

Thank you for the beautiful inspiration this morning . . .the woman gives Shakespeare a run for his money.

12:18 AM  
Blogger durrati said...

Her quote was as powerful as anything I've ever read about the plight of being a woman trying to raise children in poverty. That's what made me think of MzNick's site, which devotes a lot time to such matters.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous MzNicky said...

durrati: this may be a double-post. Dang, I can't get the hang of this blogger-spot sign-in deal!

Anyway -- thanks for the props. Your site is truly beautiful. Nice to see you around JG, as well as my beloved TGW. We can always use a keen mind and loving heart over there.

7:44 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

Thanks Nick, give 'em hell. D.

9:10 PM  

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