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Lothrop Stoddard, A. M., PH.D. (Harv)
Racial Realities In Europe Contents



Chapter V



THE MEDITERRANEAN SOUTH

 

ONE of the most wide-spread errors which exist to-day is the belief in a Latin race. The traditional idea is that southwestern Europe is Latin; that France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal are sister nations inhabited by peoples of kindred blood. This idea has, to be sure, strongly influenced the course of European politics on many occasions; and yet it is a delusion. The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as a Latin race, but that, on the contrary, the so-called Latin peoples differ widely from one another in racial make-up. In a previous chapter we observed the racially composite character of France. In the present chapter we shall examine the racial make-ups of Italy, Spain, and Portugal and shall note the practical consequences.
Viewing these countries from the racial angle, the first thing that strikes our notice is the fact that in all three countries a large proportion of the population belongs to the Mediterranean race-the slender) dark-complexioned stock which thousands of year.s ago occupied the'.lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea and has ever since re¬mained the most numerous element in those regions. However) we should note two things: in the first place, we must not confuse the terms "Mediterranean" and "Latin"; in the second place, we must realize that the original Mediterranean stock has been greatly modified


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during its long history, so that it has come to vary widely at different times and in different places.
Loose usage of the words " Mediterranean" and "Latin" has caused endless confusion, and the distinction between the meaning of the two terms must be clearly
understood before the actual state of affairs in southwestern Europe can be appreciated. The term "Mediterranean" has a purely racial meaning and, refers as already stated, to the slender, dark-complexioned stock which, in very ancient times, settled the lands about the Mediterranean Sea and also pushed northward across France to the British Isles, where it still survives, especially in Wales and Ireland. The word "Latin;" on the other hand, is not a racial but a historical and cultural term harking back to Roman days. Central Italy was the Roman homeland, and with the growth of Roman power the Latin language and Latin culture spread over southwestern Europe. Not merely all Italy, but also France, Spain, and Portugal were thoroughly Latinized, and to-day the peoples of those countries speak tongues and possess cultures alike derived from the old Latin source.
Unquestionably these similar languages and cultures are ties making for sympathetic understanding among the southwest European peoples. And yet their significance most not be overestimated. History proves conclusively that such ties do not bind beyond a certain degree unless reinforced by the subtler yet closer tie of kindred blood. That is the reason why observers who disregard the racial factor-are so continually fooled. Judged merely by speech and culture, the peoples of Southwestern Europe seem well fitted for close and harmonious association. Accord-

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i ngly, political prophets have often preached the doctrine of Latin fraternity and have advocated Pan-Latinism -- in other words, a league Latin peoples.
And yet despite all such eloquent preaching Pan-Latinism just doesn't take place. Thereason, of course, is that the doctrine is based on a delusion -- the delusion of confusing likeness in speech and manners with kinship in blood. The peoples of Southwestern Europe differ from one another in racial make-up far more widely than is usually imagined, and these racial differences largely counteract the ties of culture and speech.
Whoever gets to know the Latin peoples well discovers one thing as curious as it is significant. This is the fact that the more these peoples are thrown together the less they like one another. So long as their contacts are merely superficial, so long as they exchange courtesies or read one another's books, feeling of friendly similarity tends to arise. But let them come into intimate contact, and the chances are that they will quickly and instinctively discover marked temperamental differences which will be more apt to drive them apart than to draw them together. This is particularly the case with Frenchmen and their southern neighbors. But it is also true in lesser degree as between Italians and Spaniards, and even as between Spaniards and Portuguese. In every case a study of the facts will bring to light differences in racial make-up which account for the temperamental differences that exist between the so-called Latin peoples.
Of course, the presence of a large Mediterranean element in the populations of Italy, Spain, and Portugal creates between those peoples a blood relationship which

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is almost wholly absent as between them and the French, who are mainly Alpine or Nordic in race, with very little Mediterranean blood. In this basic sense, therefore, Italy, Spain, and Portugal can be considered as formmg a block of kindred peoples which may be classed together as the Mediterranean south of Europe. However, as already remarked, these three peop1es are racially much less alike than they superficIally appear, and a just estimate lof their respective situations can be gained only by viewing them separately, as we will now undertake to do.
Italy is by far the most important .nation in southern Europe. The mediaeval might of Spain has lonh passed, while the short-lived glory of Portugal is but a dim memory. Italy however recently emerged from centuries of eclipse, has forged her political unity, mcreased her material prosperity, and to-day displays a spontaneous vigor which augurs well for her future.
The long peninsula of Italy juts out from the.mass of Continental Europe far to the southward, bestriding the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and through its Island appendage of Sicily almost touching North Africa. Italy is long and narrow in shape, its fancied resemblance to a jack-boot being a geographical commonplace. Including its island dependencies; Sicily and Sardinia, Italy's area is about 118,000 square miles. On this area lives a population of nearly 40,000,000 rapidly increasmg in numbers.
Italy is a well-defined geographical unit. Sundered from the European land mass by the massive rampart of the Alps, and washed elsewhere by the sea, Italy's boundaries are clearly traced by nature. This natural isolation

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has been enough to insure the impress of a common language and culture upon all the inhabitants of the peninsula. It has not, however, been enough to keep out numerous foreign influences. The mountain chain of the Alps is broken by passes through, which invading host have often poured. Also, the seas which bound Italy are narrow and easily crossed from the opposite shores. In fact Italy has for ages been racially modified by two contrasted streams of incoming population, one entering the country through the Alpine passes of the north, the other descending upon its southern coasts from lands to the eastward or from North Africa. This is the basic reason for. those pronounced racial distinctions which characterize the Italian people to-day.
Another factor making for racial diversity is Italy's internal geography. The peninsula itself is mainly mountainous, thus breaking up the land surface into many small districts separated from one another. Only in the north is there a really large stretch of plain country -- the broad valley of the Po. These two geographical factors together give the key to Italy's racial history.
To-day, as in the past, Italy is divided into two sharply contrasted regions, inhabited by populations of a very dIfferent character. To the north lies the rich Po valley a natural magnet for invaders from beyond the Alps. To the southward stretches the narrow and mountainous peninsula, becoming ever more rugged and broken, relatively unattractive and inaccessible to landward penetration from the north, yet open to landings from the sea.
We are now able to understand Italy's racial history, which has followed closely the lines traced by nature.


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The earliest inhabitants of any lasting significance were the Mediterraneans, the slender, dark-complexioned people who entered the peninsula many thousands of years ago, coming apparently both from the eastward through the Balkans and from the southward by way of Northern Africa. Settling the entire peninsula, together with its island appendages, Sicily and Sardinia, they made Italy for a while a solidly Mediterranean land.
Presently, however, their title to sole ownership was challenged. Through the Alpine passes to the north began to flow that succession of invasions which has so profoundly modified Italy's destiny. At first these invaders were men of the round-headed, thick-set Alpine race, who gradually conquered the Po valley, expelling or absorbing the Mediterraneans and turning Northern Italy into the predominantly Alpine land which it has ever since remained. Later on, tall, blond Nordics crossed the Alps, conquering the mixed Alpine and Mediterranean populations of Northern/Italy, and establishing themselves as ruling aristocracies. In time these mixed tribes under Nordic leadership pushed southward, modifyrng the racial make-up of Central Italy, but rarely penetrating to the extreme south, which remained almost solidly Mediterranean in blood.
Rome is the leading example of the peoples which arose as the outcome of these prehistoric migrations. The Roman people in its early days was clearly of diverse racial origin. Like most of the great peoples of antiquity, it was composed of a ruling aristocracy differing sharply in race from the mass of the population. The Roman patricians, the ruling class, were apparently Nor-

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dics with a perceptible dash of Alpine blood. This is clear from the busts which have come down to us, most of which show plainly Nordic -- sometimes startlingly Anglo-Saxon -- features, combined with a broadish head betraying an Alpine strain.
The predominantly Nordic racial make-up of the Roman ruling class is made equally clear by a study of the Roman temperament, which was plainly Nordic in its political and military ability, love of order and stern devotion to duty; yet also showed an Alpine cross by its rigidity, limited vision, and lack of creative imagination. The Roman plebians seem to have been mainly Mediterraneans, steadied by a fairly strong Alpine infusion and with a few Nordic traces.
It is interesting to observe how sharp was the consciousness of racial differences between the two orders of society in early Rome. The patricians -- as Nordic aristocracies have always done -- long kept the purity of their blood by stern prohibition of intermarriage with the plebeians, thus maintaining their hold upon the state and impressmg their spirit so deeply upon Roman institutions and customs that their ideals persisted long after the patrician class had lost its Nordic character
This nature of the old Roman spirit needs to be emphasIzed because it has been so widely misunderstood. The prevailing idea is that the early Romans were small, dark people -- in other words, Mediterraneans. This is a serious error, because it misinterprets the very source of Latin civilizasation. As a matter of fact, a glance at Roman ideals and mstitutions shows that these were patently Nordic wIth Alprne modifications. The truth is that down

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to the fall of the republic -- when Rome ceased to be racially Roman -- the spirit of Roman society was emphatically un-Mediterranean. To think of the stern, practical, unimaginative Roman patrician as a typical Mediterranean is nothing short of ludicrous. It would have been clean against the Mediterranean race soul, which, wherever found in anything like racial purity, whether in ancient Greece or in modern Ireland, is always basically the same.
To find the Mediterranean spirit in ancient Italy we must look, not to Rome, but to those states of southern Italy and Sicily which were Rome's early rivals. Here, indeed, we discover the Mediterranean soul at its best -- its artistic gifts, its hot emotions, its quick imagination, its love of form, color, and life; here also we find that extreme individualism and political instability which have ever been Mediterranean weaknesses and which brought southern Italy under Roman rule.
The Roman period needs to be examined not only because it set an indelible stamp upon Italian ideals and culture but also because it produced important racial
changes in the Italian population. Modern Italy can, in fact, be understood only in connection with the Roman past.
The legacy of Rome was both good and evil. Rome made Italy for centuries the centre of the world and bequeathed a wealth of glorious memories which must ever stir Italian hearts. To-day, as in other days, Italians are steeped in the Roman tradition, and Italian leaders from Rienzi to Mussolini turn naturally to ancient Rome for inspiration. The Fascisti, with their legions, their classic

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salute, and their symbol of the fasces -- the ax bound with rods -- are indulging in no vain theatricalities; these things are the instinctive expressions of a people with whom old Rome is still a burning memory.
Such is the bright side of Rome's legacy to modern Italy. Yet there is a darker side. Rome, though mistress of the world, dealt the Italian homeland wounds which fester through the ages. The evil aspects of Roman society, the drain of foreign conquests and civil strife, the curse of slavery -- these and other baneful factors impoverished and degenerated the population not only of Rome itself but of all Italy, so that when the Roman Empire finally fell it left behind an exhausted, enfeebled stock, unable either to carry on the traditions of Roman civilization or to defend itself against its enemies. For centuries Italy became a mere geographical expression, the helpless prey of foreign invaders.
Particularly deep and lasting was the racial damage suffered by the south. Northern and Central Italy gradually recovered energy and ability, owing both to the virtality surviving in the native stock and to the incoming of superior new blood. But the population of southern Italy and Sicily was so thoroughly drained and degenerated during Roman times that it has ever since been inferior in quality. Here, as in some other parts of the Mediterranean, basin, the Mediterranean stock to-day ranks below its level in ancient times. The early Mediterranean inhabitants of Southern Italy and Sicily were vigorous, gifted peoples, who produced gracious, colorful civilizations.
These civilizatIons, however, faded out in a cycle of

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strife ending in Roman rule. The south fell on evil days. The countryside passed into the hands of Roman land speculators who parcelled it out into great estates --latifundia -- worked by gangs of slaves mostly drawn from inferior Asiatic and African stocks. The dwindling remnants of the native population crowded into the cities, became pauperized proletarians, and intermarried with freed slaves and nondescript immigrants, also largely drawn from the Levant and North Africa. It is from this population of later Roman times that the modern South Italians and Sicilians mainly descend. In them the presence of Asiatic and North African strains is to-day plainly visible, these strains having been not only implanted in Roman times but further reinforced during the Middle Ages, especially in the period when Southern Italy and Sicily fell under Saracen rule.
Far happier was the course of events in Northern and Central Italy. To begin with, these regions were not racially impoverished during the Roman period to anything like the same extent as' the south, while comparatively little admixture of inferior Levantine and North African elements took place. Furthermore, the fall of Rome was accompanied by a series of barbarian invasions, which, however destructive at the time, brought in much good new blood. These invaders were mostly Nordics, and the Nordic stream from beyond the Alps continued to flow for centuries, leavening the populations of Northern and Central Italy with Nordic energy and creative ability.
The growing vigor of the Northern Italian stock presently displayed itself by the rise of strong city states like Venice and Florence, and by a splendid outburst of ar-

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tistic and literary ability crowned by geniuses like Dante, Michelangelo, and Raphael. It is true that the constant civil wars and foreign invasions which afflicted Italy down to recent times killed out much of the best stock, so that the population of Northern and Central Italy to-day is not the equal of the population five centuries ago. Still, the present population of these regions is unquestionably a good stock, physically sound and revealing its latent qualities by its ability to produce strong, gifted personalities.
The rise of modern Italy to political unity and material prosperity during the past century was made possible largely by a series of remarkable leaders like Mazzini, Garibaldi, and Cavour; while the present Fascist movement has brought to the front a number of distinctly able men, culminating in the extraordinary dynamic figure of Mussolini.
In all these Italian movements, from the Middle Ages to the present day, one basic fact is strikingly clear -- the startling difference between north and south. Almost everything worth while comes from Northern and Central Italy. The south contributes practically nothing of value. Of the few men of ability which the south has given to modern Italy, the majority were descended from Northern ancestry.
Anyone who has travelled in Italy realizes the sudden change which takes place south of Rome. Rome is,. indeed, the dividing line between two sharply contrasted regions. Northward are progress and prosperity; southward lie backwardness and poverty. This is precisely what the racial situation would lead us to expect. The

 

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two halves of Italy are inhabited by very different breeds or men. The northern half contains the best of the old Mediterranean stock, plus a strong Alpine element and a considerable leavening of Nordic blood. The southern half is peopled by a racially impoverished Mediterranean stock, long since drained of its best strains and in places mongrelized by inferior Levantine and African elements.
By recognizing the peculiarities in Italy's racial make-up, by realizing the wide differences which exist not merely between specific racial elements in the population but also between the characters of similar racial stocks in different regions, we can get a far clearer idea of the course of Italian national life than would otherwise be possible, while much that at first sight seems strange becomes understandable.
When Italy at last became a united nation half a century ago, she was faced by a multitude of problems requiring delicate handling and special treatment. In the economic field Italy has been, distinctly successful. Although primarily an agricultural country, Italy has, nevertheless, built up a prosperous industrial system -- of course, in the north -- despite the handicaps imposed by lack of coal and other raw materials. Socially, Italy has also progressed, the general level of well-being, education, and other social factors being markedly higher in the north and distinctly better even in the backward south.
Italy's most serious difficulties have been in the field of politics. To forge a real national state out of such diverse and long-sundered elements was a herculean task. Particularly difficult was the creation of political institutions congenial to the Italian character. Certainly the course

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of Italian political life has hitherto left much to be desired.
Italy started out with a set of political institutions modelled on the parliamentary, democratic ideals of England and France. But this borrowed system did not prove a brilliant success. Once the patriotic fervor of the first days had died away, Italian political life was controlled by a caste of professional politicians who gradually evolved a system known as trasformismo -- a sublimated "pork barrel" which ate the heart out of Italian political life. Behind resounding party platforms and fine phrases the professional politicians framed deals and made elections keeping one eye on the people and the other on the treasury. When public opinion got too much aroused there would be an election and a change of government; but this really meant little more than a shuffie of political offices among different gangs of the same professional crowd. The situation was further complicated by the fact that there were, not two well-defined political parties as in America, but a number of political groups, so that ministries were usually formed from blocs, bound together more by the desire to get office than to do anything constructive once they were in power. The upshot was that Italian politcal life was wasteful, inefficient, and, above all, purposeless. As for the general public, contInually.duped as it was by this political shell game, it became increasingly bored and disgusted with the whole business -- which was just what the professional politicians wanted, as lack of public interest left them a freer hand to play their political games.
In the years just preceding the Great War, to be sure.


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signs of vigorous popular discontent began to appear. This was best shown by the rise of several new political groups which stood frankly outside the old political. system, and possessed genuine programmes of action instead of mere party phrases. The most forceful of these new groups were the Syndicalists, who wanted a social revolution, and the Nationalists, who demanded a strong, imperialistic foreign policy which should make Italy a greater power in the world. Bitterly hostile to each other though they were, Syndicalists and Nationalists alike condemned trasformismo and preached the need of political realities. However, they were but minorities controlling few electoral seats, and so had little direct effect on Italian parliamentary life.
Then came the war. After grave setbacks, Italy emerged victorious, only to have her aspirations disappointed at the peace settlement. Exhausted, disillusioned, and exasperated, Italy fell a prey to internal disorders which threatened civil war or revolution. The old political caste, which had badly mismanaged the war, proved quite unable to face the crisis at home. Things went from bad to worse. A succession of weak governments did nothing but temporize and play petty politics. Italy seemed on the verge of chaos.
Then came -- Fascismo! A small but determined minority headed by able leaders, chief among them Mussolini, banded themselves together, fought and defeated the Bolshevik elements who were planning a social revolution, then turned upon the government -- which had been supinely looking on -- overthrew it and established a frank dictatorship. For nearly two years Mussolini and his

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Fascist Blackshirts have been the undisputed masters of Italy.
With the material results of Fascist rule the world is passably acquainted. The order, efficiency, and prosperity which it has brought to Italy are well known. What is not so well known, however, is the spirit of Fascismo and the exact character of its ideals. Fully to appreciate Fascismo's significance one must go to Italy and meet personally the Fascist leaders. To do so is a rare and stimulating experience. In present-day Italy one immediately gets a sense of freshness and vitality. People are thinking frankly and acting boldly. Theory and precedent are disregarded in favor of natural impulse and common sense.
To think of Fascismo as a mere reaction against Bolshevik plots and governmental weakness is to miss utterly its real spirit and its larger meaning. Fascismo goes much deeper than that. It is nothing less than a vivid and vital outpouring of the Italian spirit, seeking to forge new institutions and new ideals in harmony with the mind and soul of the Italian people. That is what gives it both its present strength and its lasting significance. Specific acts of the Fascist government may be wise or unwise; the whole Fascist regime may be but a pioneering venture,
destined soon to evolve into something quite different; nevertheless, all this does not touch the basic fact that Fascismo has set a stamp upon Italian life and thought which will endure.
The kernel of Fascist philosophy is realism. Probably the Fascist spokesmen will object to my use of the word "philosophy"; because so sternly realistic are the Fasci-

 

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sti that they deny having any such thing. Having theories as they do, they strive to keep their minds from crystallizing around general ideas. Instead, they seek to face specific situations as these arise, to judge them from the observed facts of the case and to deal with them in the light of common sense. Precedent, consistency, logic -- these things are, in Fascist eyes, mere nonsense. In fact the Fascisti claim that it is just because of undue reverence for such things that not merely Italy but the world in general is where it is to-day. Accordmg to the Fascisti, the world has long been going on a wrong tack. For the past century or more, say the Fascisti, we have become increasingly obsessed by theoretical abstractions condensed into phrases or single words which we have set up like idols and to which we have superstitiously bowed down.
Consider some of our present-day Idols. Their names are Democracy, Liberty, Equality, Rights, Parhamentary Government, and more besides. Look at them closely. What do they really mean? In themselves, they mean nothing Theoretical abstractions that they are, they have no concrete significance. Yet there they sit sit, like gods in a heathen temple, paralyzing the creative thought and energy of mankind! Before them we meekly lay our problems.
Is this not so? Look you! A situation confronts us. What do we do? Do we study the special facts of the case and then act according to those facts in the light of our common sense? We may do this in our prIvate hves, but we rarely do so in public matters. Instead, we seek the will of our idols! In other words, we try to find a

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solution which shall be "democratic" or which may not offend such "sacred principles" as liberty and equality.
"What arrant nonsense!" cries Facismo. "And what dangerous nonsense, too! Such idolatrous blindness gets us nowhere; or, rather, lands us in a bog of troubles.
Therefore, "down with our idols! Down with Democracy! Down with Equality! Out with the word `Rights' -- save, perchance, when coupled with the word 'Duties'! Sweep these false gods into the dust-bin along with the other fallen idols of the past! Thus, and thus only, may we clear our vision, free our common sense and regain the path of true progress."
Such is the uncompromising realism of Fascismo. The Fascisti have, indeed, the courage of their convictions. No" established institutions" for them. Relentlessly they ask: "Does it work? Is it efficient? Is it suited to our people?" And if the answer is no -- out it goes.
The same is true of ideas. Mussolini's special publication is called Gerarchia. Significant name! "Gerarchia" is the Italian word for "hierarchy," and in its pages we find a theory of society which flouts the doctrines of democracy and equality in no uncertain fashion. Instead of preaching men's equality, Gerarchia stresses their inequality. Men being thus unequal, democracy, in the ordinary sense of the word, is an absurdity. Mussolini's ideal social structure takes the form, not of a level plain, but of a towering pyramid. He glimpses a society in which individuals will be ranked according to their natural capacities and limitations.
For even their most cherished ideals the Fascisti insist upon a realistic basis. For example, the Fascisti are noth-

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ing if not patriotic; the power and glory of Italy are ever in their minds. And yet their patriotism is neither mystic nor sentimental; on the contrary, it is rooted in realism. I well recall a discussion I had on this point with one of the Fascist leaders. The talk turned on the nature of Italian 'nationalism.
"I will explain to you," 'said the Fascist leader, "how our nationalism differs from the nationalism of most other peoples. Elsewhere you will find nationalism largely based upon abstract rights and historical precedents. We Fascisti disregard all this as beside the point. For us there are no abstract :rights -- not even the right of a nation to bare existence. A nation,.like an individual, must deserve its existence -- and must continue to deserve it. For example, we Fascisti do not claim that our Italy acquires any special rights because, on this geographical area, there was a Rome, a Cinquecento, a Risorgimento; because its soil nourished a Dante or a Julius Cresar. No, our belief in Italy's present and future greatness rests upon what we living Italians are, do, and will do."
Bold words, these -- and very refreshing to one who, like myself, had recently been in Central Europe'and the Balkans, where I had listened to long, labored nationalist arguments often based upon a conquest by King So-and-So or a victory of General What's-His-Name, gained perhaps many generations before.
This bold spirit and confident optimism of the Fascisti undoubtedly spring in great part from the fact that Fascismo is emphatically a young man's movement. Not for nothing does Fascismo's inspiring marching song begin with the words, "Giovanezza! Giovanezza!" - "Youth!

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Youth!" Fascismo has swept old-line politicians and bureaucrats wholesale into the discard. Mussolini himself is only forty, while few of the Fascisti leaders are more than forty-five ..
As already remarked, Fascismo is clearly a spontaneous Italian product. Its methods and ideals are precisely what a study of Italy's history and racial make-up might lead us to expect. Mediterraneans everywhere instinctively crave strong, dynamic personalities to lead them while Alpine stocks seem to do best under the guidance of able ruling minorities. Mussolini and his lieutenants therefore appear well fitted to accomplish much for Italy, and to lead theIr people along paths suited to the national character.
Perhaps we may even be about to witness the creation of new political institutions better suited to a mixed people of MedIterranean-Alpine origin like the Italians than were the parliamentary, democratic forms borrowed from England when Italian political unity was attained half a century ago. The fact is that democratic parliamentary institutions been a real success only among peoples largely Nordic in blood. The idea that they can be applied indiscimately to peoples of all races is precisely an example of that abstract theorizing against which Fascismo is to-day voicing so healthy a protest.
From Italy let us now turn to consider Spain and Portugal. These two nations together occupy the Iberian Penmsula, the great land block which forms the southwestern corner of Europe, washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean, Sea and almost touching Mrica at the Straits of Gibraltar.


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The Iberian Peninsula differs widely from Italy in form, climate, and internal structure. In the first place, it is much larger. This greater size, together with its square shape and higher average elevation, produces natural conditions very unlike those prevailing in Italy. The Iberian Peninsula consists mostly of an immense plateau bordered by mountain ranges which rise sharply from the sea. Only in a few places are there considerable coastal plains. Cut off from the moist sea winds by its mountain ranges, the interior plateau tends to be dry and barren so that population has always been concentrated along the fertile seaboard: This is one reasons why the Iberian Peninsula has rarely attained political unity. Grouped along the coasts, its inhabitants have lived with their backs to one another, looking outward over the sea rather than inward toward their neighbors. In fact, on the western coast, where isolation is most pronounced, a separate nation, Portugal, arose with a distinct language and culture of its own. The rest of the peninsula kept more together and in time formed the Spanish nation; but even in Spain we find marked distinction between different regions which have never been obliterated.
If the Iberian Peninsula had been more open to foreign penetration it might have been the seat of several distinct nations instead of merely two. This, however, has been prevented by its isolation. Lying off the main line of European land migrations, and separated from the rest of the European Continent by the almost unbroken mountain wall of the Pyrenees, the Iberian Peninsula has tended to live a life apart. For this reason it has undergone relatively few invasions and few racial changes, and its popu-

 

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lation is to-day more homogeneous in blood than any other part of the European Continent except Scandinavia -- likewise a region of geographical isolation.
The Iberian Peninsula is racially a distinctly Mediterranean land. In both Spain and Portugal the population is mainly of Mediterranean blood. Nevertheless, the two peoples differ from each other to a considerable extent both in racial make-up and in the innate quality of their Mediterranean stock. For this reason, as well as from considerations of language and historic pasts, separate consideration is desirable.
Of the two nations, Spain is very much the larger and more important. Occupying nearly seven-eighths of the entire Iberian Peninsula, Spain has an area of more than 190,000 square miles and a population of a trifle more than 21,000,000 souls. The Spanish people is and always has been mainly of Mediterranean stock. At various times, to be sure, Alpine and Nordic invaders have entered Spain by way of the Pyrenees, but these elements have never greatly changed the racial make-up of the general population. What Alpine blood there is in Spain is confined to the mountainous regions of the northwest. Here the local population differs from the rest of Spain both in physical type and in temperament, being more stolid, tenacious, and laborious than elsewhere.
Nordic blood is not concentrated in any one locality, but is mainly scattered through the upper and middle social classes, though Nordic traits are found more frequently in the north than in the south. Pure blond types are, however, nowhere common. In Southern Spain there are many evidences of North African blood, with occa-


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sional negroid traces. These North African and negroid traits are mainly due to the long Moorish occupation of Southern Spain.
Formerly Spain possessed a much larger proportion of Nordic blood. This Nordic element was most numerous after the fall of the Roman Empire, when Spain was overrun by a number of Teutonic tribes such as the Suevi, Vandals, and Visigoths, who established themselves as ruling aristocracies and for a time turned Spain into a superficially Nordic land. Though greatly.diminished by the Moorish invasions, Nordic blood remained relatively abundant among the upper classes, especially m the north, down to comparatively recent times.
The Nordic spirit played a part durmg Spain's period of greatness, which lasted for nearly two centuries after Columbus's discovery of America. During that period Spain was far and away the greatest power on earth, being at once the owner of most of the New World and the master of a large part of Europe.
Yet those two centuries of power and glory proved to be Spain's undoing. The flower of the nation was drained away to subdue a savage contment or to ~Ie 9n European battle-fields. The bold conquistadores in AmerIca, the dauntless Spanish infantry in Europe alike represented the pick of both the Nordic and Mediterranean elements. Generation after generation these men went forth by hundreds of thousands --to return no more. As a melancholy Castilian proverb of those days well put it, "Spain makes men -- and wastes them!" .
And while Spain's bravest and boldest were dying abroad, the most intelligent who remained at home were

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being weeded out by a number of unfavorable social factors. The monastic ideal became so wide-spread that vast numbers of men and women, representing on the average the superior elements of the population, entered celibate orders, died childless, and thus deprived the race of their valuable inheritances. Furthermore, the intolerant spirit of the times ruthlessly killed out all who ventured to differ from orthodox ideas. During this period the number of persons imprisoned, burned alive, or driven into exile by the Spanish Inquisition was fully 300,000.
The combined result of all these drains upon Spain's energy and intelligence was the dramatic collapse of Spanish power in the middle of the seventeenth century. From her proud rank of the world's leading nation, Spain sank almost to the position of a third-rate power -- a position in which she has ever since remained. This sudden collapse from grandeur to obscurity long puzzled historians. To-day, with our knowledge of racial matters, the reason is perfectly plain. Like a prodigal spendthrift, Spain drew recklessly upon her racial reserves for tasks beyond her strength. When the last reserves had been spent, Spain fell into-hopeless weakness-because she had mortgagd her racial future.
Modern Spain is, indeed, a striking example of racial impover:ishment. Racial impoverishment should be clearly distinguished from other biological ills like degeneracy and mongrelization. The Spanish people of to-day is not degenerate, while there is little admixture of inferior alien strains except in certain portions of the South. What is wrong with modern Spain is that its population has been so drained of creative energy and intelligence that

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it produces little except mediocrity. Very rarely does Spain produce strong, gifted leaders. Herein Spain differs from Italy, which has retained the power to breed such commanding personalities.
Lack of able leaders is especially serious in a racially Mediterranean country like Spain, because Mediterranean peoples always need strong, dynamic personality. Lies to awaken their enthusiasm and bring out the best that is in them. No people to-day displays more typicaIIy Mediterranean characteristics than does the Spanish. In fact, the population of present-day Spain is racially far more Mediterranean than it was some centuries ago, owing to the virtual disappearance of its once numerous Nordic element. The Spanish people is probably the purest Mediterranean stock now in existence, as is well shown by the Spanish temperament, which is just about what we might expect from a study of Spain's racial make-up --bearing in mind, of course, the fact that Spain has been drained of much of the intelligence and artistic gifts which are normaIIy found in unimpoverished Mediterranean. stocks.
Mediterranean temperament comes out most clearly in Spain's political life. The key-note of the Spanish national spirit is an almost boundless individualism. Ideas and principles, as such, are at a discount; they must be personalized. That is why Spanish political parties crystallize about some magnetic leader who knows how to win the personal loyalty and devotion of his followers. Furthermore, Spain has not yet evolved a governmental system suited to the character of its people. Even more than in Italy, the centralized bureaucracy borrowed from France

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and the parliamentary institutions borrowed from England have alike failed to work successfully.
Spanish parliamentarism in particular was from the first a sickly growth. Despite high-sounding constitutional forms and phrases, all real power soon came to be lodged with a caste of professional politicians who invented a system even more corrupt and oppressive than Italian transformismo. This Spanish political system is known as caciquism. Caciquism is a magnified and nationwide Tammany Hall. The system is worked by a knot of big bosses -- caudillos -- at the capital, Madrid, and is enforced by a swarm of local bosses known as caciques, who make the elections as Madrid commands and take their pay in local offices, power, and plunder. When the country cries too loud, a safety-valve is found in an electoral change of government; but the relief is a sham, for the Spanish political parties play the game of rotation in office to perfection and hand over the treasury to one another at the precise psychological moment. The chief result of a Spanish election, therefore, is the coming to power of an alternate gang of caudillos and caciques zealously imbued with the Jacksonian maxim, "To the victors belong the spoils." Their personal loyalty to their chief may be strong, but their devotion to the public welfare is usually conspicuous by its absence. All this is well known to the Spanish people, which accordingly takes little interest in politics, and views the kaleidoscopic shifts of ins and outs with a cynical and sullen indifference.
This deplorable state of affairs has led to the recent breakdown of Spanish parliamentarism, when the government was overthrown by a revolt headed by General


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Primo de Rivera, who established a dictatorship. On the surface, this looks like another Fascist movement, and General Rivera has been hailed as the Spanish Mussolini.
Closer inspection, however, reveals wide differences between the Spanish and Italian movements. Fascismo was a spontaneous, popular growth, backed by a large part of the youth and brains of Italy and headed by a remarkable personality associated with a considerable group of able leaders. It displayed from the first not only boldness and determination but also creative energy and original ideas. The Spanish movement, on the other hand, was primarily the work of discontented army officers. It was a military rather than a popular revolt, and it bears a close resemblance to other military revolts which have occurred in Spanish history. Although the Directory, as the new'government is called, has been in power many months, it has done nothing comparable to what Fascismo has achieved, and it has not succeeded in gaining a like measure of public confidence and support. As for General Rivera himself, he is obviously no Mussolini.
What will happen in Spain is, of course, highly uncertain. Perhaps if Italy succeeds in working out a constructive solution of her problems, Spain may profitably adopt this solution, adapted to her somewhat similar circumstances. But so far as present indications go, Spain does not seem to be originating a constructive programme, as Fascist Italy appears to be doing.
From Spain let,us pass to Portugal. This small country, with an area of 34,000 square miles and a population of 5,600,000, has neither a prosperous present nor a hope-

 

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ful future. Like Spain, Portugal enjoyed a time of greatness, but the time was short and was purchased at the expense of an even more pronounced decline. The reasons were similar. Portugal, like Spain, was suddenly thrust into a position for which she was not fitted, consumed her strength and vitality in tasks too heavy for her to bear, then sank exhausted into lasting impotence.
Both countries rose to greatness at the same time. At the very moment when Columbus was discovering America for Spain, the Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, was starting on his memorable voyage around Africa to India. This gave Portugal a great colonial empire in the East, while other Portuguese explorers soon gave their country an American colonial empire in Brazil. From her colonies Portugal rapidly drew such wealth that she became a great power, her capital, Lisbon, being one of the most splendid cities in Europe.
This wealth and power was, however, literally squeezed out of Portuguese blood. To conquer and hold Portugal's vast colonial empires required great fleets and armies which took the very cream of the Portuguese stock. At the beginning of their heroic period the Portuguese were an almost purely Mediterranean stock, energetic, intelligent, and with marked literary and artistic qmilities. The great days of Portugal produced not only bold sailors and brave soldiers but also poets and artists whose names will live long in history.
And then, in a trifle over a hundred years -- it was all over! Portugal collapsed, as Spain was to collapse a little later. The only difference wvas that in Portugal's case the collapse was far more complete. The drain on the Portu-

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guese stock had been frightful and the resulting racial impoverishment was therefore even more lamentable. The peasantry had largely abandoned the countryside. Drawn to the cities and to the colonies by the lure of gold and adventure, or conscripted wholesale into the fleets and armies, they had sailed overseas, to settle as fate might decree, but rarely to return.
Furthermore upon this racially impoverished people there fell a fresh misfortune -- the incoming of inferior alien blood. The half-deserted countryside passed into the hands of great landowners who imported gangs of negro slaves drawn from Portugal's African colonies. This was particularly true of Southern Portugal where a semi-tropical climate and a fertile soil made negro slavery highly profitable. In time the population of Southern Portugal became distinctly tinged with negro blood, which produced a depressing and degrading effect upon the national character.
The history of modern Portugal has not been a happy one. Misgovernment and turbulence have been the outstanding features of its political life. Attempts to apply democratic parliamentary institutions have been melancholy failures. Fourteen years ago monarchy was overthrown and a republic was set up, but this appeared to increase rather than diminish political instability. The Portuguese Republic has been one long story of disorders, cabinet crises and revolutions suggesting Central America and no signs of improvement are in sight. From present-day Portugal the world has apparently little either to expect or to hope.

 


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