Courtesy Reuters

Whither Spain?

IN THE eyes of Spain's "Republicans of the Left," who have been at the helm since the monarchy was driven out on April 14, 1931, and who follow the leadership of Premier Manuel Azaña, Spain is still in the revolutionary mid-channel. What has been accomplished thus far, they say, is largely preparatory for the main business lying ahead. Whither is the New Spain bound?

Or is it to be a New Spain? Will this group of republicans of extreme left tendencies, locking arms with extremer socialists and led by an intellectual like Señor Azaña, succeed in jolting Spain out of its lethargy, its excessive patiencia, its sense of fatalism, all the heritage of five centuries of Moorish domination and of five other centuries of domination by rulers who were only too glad to see the people held captive by paralyzing habits of thought? Will they succeed in substituting therefor standards of efficient effort and attainment? Will they show themselves capable of bridging a fatal gap between word as expressed in their laws and fact as the laws are actually applied? These are fundamental preliminary questions, for unless the habits of thought of the Spanish people are changed, their collective social and political structure cannot change much either.

On the more immediate practical side stands another question. Will this group of left republican and socialist elements hold their own sufficiently long to carry their cause forward against the forces of reaction on the one hand and the forces of anarchy and communism on the other? One would wish to say that there was a third alternative -- the acquisition of power by a genuinely republican force of the moderate right; but at this moment any such force is hardly discernible on the horizon. The greatest danger is offered by the first group, composed of monarchists, ex-monarchists, reactionaries and the purely and unscrupulously ambitious. It is necessary to report that this group is making headway. Although the anarchists and the communists are

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