View Full Version : On Falangism

Tuesday, June 24th, 2003, 10:28 PM
Explain please. What is Natioanlsyndicalism? The Falange etc.

Tuesday, July 1st, 2003, 02:31 PM

A Brief History of the Falange

The Spanish Civil War was the culmination of years of inner-turmoil and unrest in the lives of many people, both Spaniards and other nationalities. The War was a battle over ideologies and beliefs. For 984 days, a battle was waged as people fought for their beliefs, values, and desired lifestyle. During this time 500,000 fell victim to disease, were executed, or were killed while in action. More than 150 whole towns were destroyed and over 250,000 homes were destroyed. Over one-third of Spain’s livestock was lost and food shortages also resulted (Purcell 113). All this devastation causes many to wonder why and how it all came to this.

The Spanish Civil War is very complex, with many differing views, opinions, angles, and even, in some cases, truths. It is important to realize that a look will be taken at just one aspect of the Spanish Civil War. Each stimulus for the war (whether it be an individual, group, or social condition) is connected to each of the others in some way, shape, or form. So it is, also, with the Falange. A degree of detail will be used in describing and explaining the role of the Falange, however, the Falange played a much more complex role during the war than may be portrayed here. It is impossible to do justice to the entire Spanish Civil War in ten pages and especially difficult to be able to explain the connections the Falange had with other participants in the war. The Falange did have things in common with other groups in the war, some of which will be briefly touched upon here (such as the anarchist tendencies and the beliefs common to both the army and the Falange), while other groups may be left out completely.

In October, 1933 the Spanish Falange party was formed by Jose’ Antonio Primo de Rivera (Carsten 198). This Fascist party came to be called Falange Espanola (Carsten 198).

José Antonio Primo de Rivera, portrayed here in the uniform of

the national chief of the fascist party he founded on October 29, 1933 (Preston 26).

Falange comes from the Spanish word for phalanx (Forman 54), meaning "a body of close-ranked troops" (115). It was financed primarily with financial help from aristocrats - mainly those scared of the Left (56). Prima de Rivera claimed he was not creating a party, so to speak, but actually considered it to be an "anti-party." Prima de Rivera felt his movement belonged neither to the right, nor to the left (Carsten 198). The Right was at one end of the spectrum, including groups such as Communists, Socialists, Monarchists, and Republicans. The Right was interested in maintaining the status quo (Forman 54). The Left mainly consists of anarchists groups. The Left was opposed to government intervention or control in practically any form, the Left did not believe in a centralized government (Forman 54).

The Falange believed the state should act as prime motivator when the economy was involved (Graham 67). Primo de Rivera claimed the Falange would "struggle for a totalitarian state that will distribute its fruits fairly to the small and to the big people…" (Carsten 198). Prima de Rivera had a particular dislike for political parties. He preferred, instead, the belief in ruling through an army (Purcell 14). Violence was an option if necessary to fulfill the goals of the party (Carsten 198). Primo de Rivera’s hero was Benito Mussolini (Purcess 14). The Falange did resort to violence and terrorism during the war. Ideas and tactics were stolen from the anarchists and even exceeded the Anarchists, at times, in terms of terrorism (Brenan 302). The Anarchists and the Falange had the same battle cry, "Viva la muerte!" which translates to "Long live Death!" Both groups also enjoyed a black and red flag, representing death and blood (Purcell 40).

Four months later, in February, 1934 the J.O.N.S. merged with the Falange Espanola party to become the Falange Espanola de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista (Carsten 199). The group, after the merging, attracted approximately 75,000 followers (Purcell 14). The Falange made numerous attempts to organize and integrate workers into a more socialist movement. These attempts, however, were largely unsuccessful (Carsten 199). Among the most ardent opponents of the Falange was the Church. It disliked the party’s violence and what it perceived to be "socialism" (Brenan 308). The Falange did receive support from middle and upper classes, as well as powerful businesses who applauded the party’s call for law and order, as well as a dictatorship run through the army (Purcell 14).

The Falange Party struggled on and it was not until 1934 and 1935 that the party is considered to have developed into a "real" fascist party. At the end of 1935, the party numbered a disappointing 8,000 members. The elections of February, 1936 are the only elections it participated in, and garnered pathetically low numbers of votes (Carsten 200). The Falange’s strongest and most numerous supporters were considered to be those under twenty-one years of age, too young to vote and mostly students (200). Membership is speculated to be close to one million in 1936, the first year of the Spanish Civil War (Purcell 14). The huge defeat of the Falange in the 1936 elections was a victory for the Left, which gained a majority in Parliament. Violence between the Left and the Right increased as a result (Carsten 200-1). The Falange insulted people on the Right. They threw rotten eggs, destroyed furniture, and broke windows. To the people on the left, the Falange murdered them, or beat them up (Brenan 310).

Further stimulating the violence, the government forced the Falange to disband on March 16 of the same year. Primo de Rivera and other leaders were arrested (Carsten 200-1). The party was driven underground and began plotting the murder of several of the its political enemies (200-1). Several people were assassinated, including judges who sentenced members to prison, as well as journalists who wrote less-than-positive remarks about the Falange in the paper (Brenan 310). Membership began to increase very rapidly in the organization. No official membership lists were kept, however, so it is not possible to know exactly how many members the Falange boasted (310). While the organization was underground it became even more active. It soon developed its own military committee as well as maintaining contact with its leaders in prison (Payne 316). Primo de Rivera continued to organize and direct the party from his jail cell. He desired for the new leaders to maintain the Party’s independence from the traditional Right and from the army (Carsten 200-1). The new leaders ignored his advice, however, and supported to revolt of the generals (Forman 56-7). The plan took place in July, 1936, and was supposed to be a quick take-over of key positions (Carsten 201). The revolt was unsuccessful and the Falange found itself in a weak position, without any leaders and in a mass state of confusion (Carsten 201).

Ironically, Prima de Rivera was tried, found guilty, and executed on November 20, 1936, for helping to organize the revolt which he had, in actuality, opposed (Carsten 201). Chaos continued to reign within the Falange Party, even as membership continued to grow. Part of the growth in membership is attributed to former left-wingers either experiencing severe pressure, or wishing to escape reprisals of one variety or another (Carsten 202). The Falange also worked hard at gaining the support of those unhappy or disillusioned with the way things were going. They worked to persuade the people to adopt a fascist solution to the problem Spain was experiencing (Payne 316).

General Franco cared little for the Falange (Carsten 201) and did not become in charge of the rebel side until October of 1936 (Forman 57). General Franco disliked the Falange’s revolutionary slogans and ideas (Carsten 201), as did his army who scorned the Falange’s incompetent militia (201). The Falange press began publishing positive reports of Hitler and Germany, as well as Mussolini and Italy. While there was a movement among some members in this direction, and a movement among others to a more anti-semitic attitude, still others prefer to remain with a more traditional ideology (201).

By 1937 the Falange had a great deal of inner-confusion as party leaders split into three sects. One sect claimed to support Fascism to a degree, the second sect of individuals included the traditionalists, who remained loyal followers of Primo de Rivera’s rhetoric, and the third and final faction included a majority of newcomers, hoping to shape the party for their own purposes (Carsten 202). On April 19, 1937, General Franco united the Falange Party with the Carlist Monarchists’ militia, resulting in a political formation that joined the two militias into one, bigger militia (Carsten 203). The Falange’s new name became Falange Espanola Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista, or the FET (Carsten 203). The FET became the official party of the Spanish Nationalist state (Payne 377).

Franco was considered himself to be the head of the newly merged political party (Carsten 203). Ironically, Primo de Rivera had vehemently opposed the Falange having any association with the General. Primo de Rivera felt General Franco was weak and "the biggest chicken" (Payne 332). The merging of the Falange and the Carlist Monarchists marked the end of the Falange’s existence with any degree of independence, another fear of Primo de Rivera’s (Carsten 203). Falange members were considered a minority in the new party, which included amongst its membership monarchists, militant Catholics, traditionalists, right-wingers, and conservatives. Civil servants were given automatic membership (Carsten 203).

General Franco as leader of the party was the central unifying force between the different groups. Each had rivaling perspectives and ideologies; the common denominator between the groups was Franco was the leader of them all (203). The Falange worked closely with the military. The only other group to have previously done so was the Carlists (Payne 329, 331). During the 1930s, the Falange and the army were dedicated to the idea of a nationalistic and unified Spain. Both groups feared the nation falling apart and becoming independent, self-governing regions (Purcell 25).

The Falange gave support to the military, especially during military rebellions. Few people

raised their hand in the fascist salute during the early days of the war (Preston 105).

The success of General Franco and his regime is considered, by some, to be a result of his opponents’ weaknesses (Graham 17). It is important to note, though, that the Carlists and Monarchs (before General Franco officially merged them together with the Falange) were also trying to affect a counter-revolution (Brenan 310).

The symbol of the Falange, after General Franco

officially merged the separate parties. Outward symbols

of political identification became progressively more

significant as the war progressed (Preston 109).

General Franco had been encouraged by several different people to build the government around the Falange party. The Italian and German advisors to Franco reiterated this and recommended Franco keep a more "modern political program" (Payne 375-6). General Franco’s brother-in-law, Serrano Suner, advised Franco to keep away from a dictatorship that was purely military. Suner wanted to prevent Franco from what he considered to be Primo de Rivera’s errors (375).

At the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, the Germans did what they could to assist in building up and helping the Falange out. The Germans were interested in the Falange as a possible Fascist ally. General Franco supported these efforts at first, until he began mistrusting the new Fascist leader, Manuel Hedilla. Hedilla had links with Hitler that made Spanish Conservatives nervous (Forman 57-8). The Falange, after the war, was able to act with a great deal of freedom when it came to deal with their political enemies. They had relatively free reign in acting as police officers, or as executioners (Payne 415), supposedly enjoying these roles (Purcell 42). Despite the thousands of killings often publicized and remembered as the horrors the Falange committed, it is often forgotten that ordinary conservatives and those of the right were extremely violent, too. These groups were primarily responsible for the horrors of repression and aggression, usually far exceeding the Falange in their violence (Payne 416). There were a few officials fairly high up in the Falange who spoke out against the violence. They especially did not care to see their followers being used by the military as if they were police; they also did not like the shooting of ordinary workers (418).

When World War Two broke out, many members to the Falange formed a group called the Blue Division (named after the Falange’s blue shirt) to fight on the Russian front, against communism (Graham 30). The Blue Division was a very unified and strong force, which stayed intact for two years, before finally disbanding due to intense international pressure (30).

The only remaining political party after the Spanish Civil War was the Falange, yet, despite this, Spain was not considered Fascist (Forman 75). There are, however, characteristics remaining in Spain that are reminiscent of a Fascist state. For example, the press and media are heavily censored, and education is very carefully controlled (77). Throughout the Second World War, Fascists in Spain held out hopes of aid from Hitler and Germany (76). Hitler, on the other hand, was busy trying to woo General Franco to his side. General Franco’s tolerance for the fascists within his own country slowly dissipated (Forman 76). Franco took the action of dissolving the Falange militia (which the military was very excited about) in December of 1943 (Payne 436). In 1944 he finally abolished the Falange salute (Forman 76). The privilege of mass media control was also taken away from the Falange and given to the Ministry of Education (76).

The Falange did maintain at least the appearance of having some power, however, during World War Two. The military was especially resentful of this perceived power, as several prominent Falange members appeared to be causing problems within the government (Payne 431). At best, the military viewed political parties and the Falange as a necessary nuisance (376). Particularly coming to mind to demonstrate this was an incident in 1941 during which a violent fight erupted between Carlists and Falangists during an annual religious festival (Payne 431). One Falange member did end up being executed for his part in it all, yet the army was still displeased (431). Relations between the army and the Falange remained precarious as the army complained of too much Falange influence. General Franco needed the Falange to maintain his balance of power and keep his political career in check, yet he still offered assurances to the army of Falange influence remaining in check and not getting too excessive. General Franco had to persuade some of his generals not to eliminate the party altogether (Payne 431).

The history of the Falange party in Spain has been an exciting one, filled with the makings of a great movie: love, hate, passion, fighting, victories, horrible losses, and an intriguingly relentless will to keep going, against all odds to emerge the victor in the end!

Note: For those interested in more precise details of the Falange during the Spanish Civil War, Appendix B of Stanley Payne’s book, Politics and the Military in Modern Spain involves extensive statistics regarding losses the Falange experienced (especially during the years 1937-1939). It also includes total enlistment, and those wounded (458-62).


Works Cited

Brenan, Gerald. The Spanish Labyrinth: An Account of the Social and Political Background of the Civil War. MacMillan Co.: New York, 1953.

Carsten, F. L. The Rise of Fascism. University of California Press: Berkeley, 1967.

Forman, James D. Fascism: The Meaning and Experience of Reactionary Revolution. Franklin Watts, Inc.: New York, 1974.

Graham, Robert. Spain: A Nation Comes of Age. St. Martin’s Press: New York, 1984.

Payne, Robert. The Civil War in Spain: 1936-1939. G.P. Putnam’s Sons: New York, 1962.

Payne, Stanley G. Politics and the Military in Modern Spain. Stanford University Press: Stanford, 1967.

Purcell, Hugh. The Spanish Civil War. Wayland Publishers: London, 1973.

I need to read that myself, lol. But that's it.

Monday, February 9th, 2004, 01:04 PM
It´s a little late but thanx hehe. :D

Wednesday, January 12th, 2005, 02:18 AM
So, anyone who have some info on the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista? I´m interested in the Spanish movement in 33, It was the Falange and the JONS who got together to form the FE de las JONS, but Ramiro Ledesma Ramos was kicked out, why did this happen? What was the cause? There isn't much text on national syndicalism in english so i hope that some Spanish comrades could write something, any other will do to ;)

For the national revolution

Sunday, May 21st, 2006, 07:21 PM
On Falangism:

A Source of Inspiration and Lessons for Today's National Revolutionary

By Vibeke Řstergaard

Before one can talk about the original Falange Espanola one must first take briefly into account the forerunners of that party. An authoritarian Spanish nationalism not wed to monarchism first arose in 1909 with the leader of Juventudes Mauristas led by Antonio Maura who sought to hold back the rising tide of Marxism and Anarchism by curtailing liberal parliamentarianism via electoral reforms and the limited implementation of moderate labor reforms and quasi-Listian inspired welfare and labour reforms. A far more idealistic and Romantic and Liberal form of nationalism came from the so called "generation of '98" style intellectualism of Miguel de Unamuno and Antonio Machado who offered a literary passion/style to nationalism and nothing else.

General Miguel (father of the founder of Falangism Jose Antonio) Primo De Rivera led a coup in '23 which put an end to the massive leftist inspired violence and social upheaval that started in 1917 and had threatened to engulf the nation. His regime lasted 7 years was basically an ideologically void based upon nothing more then autocratic reaction and a never defined institutionalism meant simple to maintain the last century's socio-economic status quo. He was a simple, unpretentious and honest man totally uninterested theory which I liken to an autocratic version of an idealized Eisenhower.

He did create a "constitutional association" which was open to all Spaniards of "Good moral character wishing to uphold the constitution of 1876"called the Union Patriotica which was nothing more then a means for those conservatives that backed the regime to voice support and seek patronage and it was never a mass party in any form.

In fairness, the regime did give legal representation to the largest trade union of the time (the UGT) along with a means for arbitration know as "comites patitarios" and was backed by the church. He thought highly of Mussolini and signed a treaty of support for his regime but had no knowledge of or interest in Fascism. However, Jose Calvo Sotelo, who latter helped to found the Maurassian Accion Espanola, was the finance minister for the regime and it is likely that what reforms were enacted came from his efforts and intellect.

For several years, a withdrawn, paternalistic nature combined with the return to stability gave regime middle and upper class support and the socialists never actively opposed it and were given a fair degree of freedom while the communists and anarchists were repressed only to the extent that they seemed to threaten public order. The depression of '29 combined with the poor health of the autocrat led to socialist agitation and upper class dissatisfaction which resulted in the military withdrawing support in 1930 and the collapse of the regime . The Rivera regime was followed by two short lived juntas and the disastrous return of Alfonso XIII which ended when the depression mounted in '31 and the monarchy fell after doing very poorly in elections it should never have called starting the Republican era.

Ramiro Ledesma Ramos was philosophy graduate student/postal clerk taken with German thinkers like Fitche and Spengler and the revolutionary syndicalism of the anti Marxist and anarchist CNT, the revolutionary nationalism of the NSDAP and Mussolini and the theories of Don Jose Ortega y Gasset. He founded a small Madrid based paper called La Conquista del Estado in '31. The theory organ promoted a maximal leader theory and a state directed (not owned) form syndicalism as means of protecting the working classes but doing so for the purpose of national economic modernization which never seemed to me to be fully developed and overly academic .

An advocate of small farmers in Valladolid inspired mainly by Hitler and the Austrian clerical National Socialists named Onesimo Redondo Ortega promoted a Catholic version of National Syndicalism which was broadly compatible with Ledesma's notions. He published a fiercely anti-jewish and folkish paper called "Libertad" which served as the basis for the creation of his small and locally centered party the Juntas Castellanas de Actuacion Hispanica (JCAH).

Redondo merged his JCAH with Ledesma's La Conquista del Estado near the end of '31 to form the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Syndicalista (JONS) whose members were known as the Jonsistas. The party was very small, poorly run and in perpetual financial crisis as a result of endless feuding between Redondo and Ledesma as well as the fact that both totally lacked any willingness to compromise or forge links with like minded organizations or people or fully develop their ideology. In this sense, they were rather like the American paleo-con and racial scenes of living memory.

The traditional basis of radical counter establishment Spanish nationalism remained with the Carlist party Communion Tradicionalista which was a monarchist group opposed to the Alfonso's Bourbon line and in favour of traditional corporatism and theocracy. They had a very impressive theoretical canon stretching back several generations, plenty of money and an excellent militia know as the "Requetes" or "Boinas rojas" which was conditionally supportive of and given limited material assistance by Fascist Italy. The Bourbon monarchists were led by the Renovacion Espanola which while vaguely supportive of traditional corporatism was essentially reactionary and establishmentarian. The remainder of the right consisted of timid middle class based parties perfectly happy with the restrained left socialism of the republic funded by the church which wished to use the respectable right to restore it's privileges and wealth and hoped that genuine Bolshevism failed to gain more influence within the republic.

Jose Antonio Primo De Rivera was from a minor aristocratic line, a very esthete intellectual and in possession of stunning public speaking skills and leadership ability. He was inspired by Spengler, Keyserling and Ortega from his days at university. He was concerned with the destruction of cultural brought by the rise of the twin materialisms of modern capitalism and social democracy as well as the hardships faced by the Spanish working class and objected to the staid, corrupt and cynical nature of the old right and the nillistic internationalism of the Marxist left. He was always interested in the promotion of passionate ideas and often times said that his intellectual preoccupations left him unsuited to be a "caudillo del Fascio". He was angered by the betrayal of his father by the military and aristocracy which he never trusted and saw as disinterested in nationalism outside of how well it served their financial interests.

He ran for the Constituent Cortes from Madrid in '31 on behalf of the Union Monaquica and while losing did better then expected and started up a legal firm. Even then he was disillusioned with the old regime and inspite of defending his father readily admitted that reform of the old order was impossible and that revolutionary change was needed that was free from simplistic reaction from the right and dogmatic pipe dreams of the left.

Borrowing from Ortega y Gasset's elite theory came Jose Antonio's notion of a "creative minority" which held that a small authoritarian ruling clique driven by self sacrifice, social justice and nationalism could bring about revolutionary change and economic modernization. Jose Antonio also was an advocate of a dialectic view of national renewal called "destino en lo universal" and decline which bore some similarity to those of Ortega y Gasset and Mosca although I am aware of no indication that he had been exposed to the latter's writings.

He fell in with a former Union Patriotica propagandist named Manuel Delgado Barreto who founded a newspaper in '33 called El Fascio for promoting Fascist and National Socialist thought from else where in Europa. Ledesma and Jose Antonio half heartedly contributed to the paper which they both viewed as unoriginal and staid whose ownership they viewed as self serving and establishmentarian. The paper was immediately shutdown by the Republican government, the presses destroyed and most of the print run burned publicly.

The main value of El Fascio is that it put Jose Antonio in touch with the famous aviator Ruiz de Alda whom during an interview with the paper expressed opinions very similar to Jose Antonio and together they founded the Falange Espanola near the end of '33. Jose Antonio provided the ideology, leadership and image while de Alda provided fund raising and organizational skills courtesy of his industrial connections. The new party was violently condemned by the left, harassed by the state and ignored/rejected by the right save the high brow radical and influential Catholic corporatist journals ABC and Accion Espanola. The former was edited was the famous Carlist theoretician Victor Pradera who viewed the party quite positively. Pradera's qualified support for the F.E. combined with the prestige of the De Rivera name and the indorsement of the ultra radical proponent of Fascistic monarchism Juan Antonio Ansaldo brought large numbers of supporters of the old regime and the more radical elements of the monarchist movement into the party with hopes of supporting a Spanish Fascism. The other wing of the party was university students enraptured with the charisma and poetry of Jose Antonio fervently struggling for National Revolution.

He won a seat in the Cortes from reactionary Cadiz on a combined rightist list but he never was an active office holder as he was sickened by the corruption of the time. Instead, the region was dominated by Ramon Carranza, the so called Marques de al Pesadilla (i.e. the Marquis of the Nightmare) who was the last of the old style political bosses (caciques) notorious for his brutal private militia and ruthless corruption.

Ledesma's JONS went bankrupt due to the growth of the F.E. and the resurgence of the establishment right in the election of '33 which left the JONS with just three hundred members. This forced Ledesma to seek a reluctant merger with the F.E. as both favoured radical nationalism and National Syndicalism (although of very different varieties) in early '34. The new party was called the FE de los JONS and took the yoked arrows (a classic symbol of imperial Spain) on a black and yellow background which was used as the banner by JONS from day one. The party was ruled by a triumvirate of Jose Antonio, Ledesma and de Alda. This union never benefitted the Falange as it alienated many Fascists within the party and led to constant maneuvering for organizational influence between Ledesma and Jose Antonio.

Earlier I mentioned the "generation of '98" who Jose Antonio sought to emulate making the FE a literary as well as a political movement inspite of being ignored by the leading intellectuals of of that era. He did attract a literary following of poets like Rafeal Sanchez Mazas, Samuel Ros, Dionisio Ridruejo and others which helped to cement the Romantic tone of the group which provided a major draw for idealistic and violent Fascist university students which was always a major element of the FE. The tenor of the material putout by the FE became heavily laden with ultra-traditionalistic rhetoric of sacrifice, transcendence, violence and ancestral idolization which is best remembered by Jose Antonio's famous metaphor about the "dialects of pistols and fists" which was wrongly viewed by the government and the radical left, and some of the less high brow Falangists, as an incitement to terrorism which encouraged government repression and leftist violence.

National Syndicalism as advocated by Jose Antonio and the original FE differed from Italian corporatist arrangements in which the firms with a given industry were placed within a "corporation" governed by an administrative board comprised equally of workers, capitalists and state selected representatives. By contrast the syndicates advocated by the FE were organized by the state to be "vertically integrated"( i.e. all private firms within a given industry belonging to a single syndicate) organizations run by the worker themselves with governmental macro economic planning intended to end usury and stock market speculation while maintaining private property and protecting small land owners and shopkeepers. The state intended for the syndicates to run themselves via a populist "industrial democracy" whose purpose was to reduce class conflict, raise wages and end the feudal nature that defined Spanish capitalism of the era. Labor disputes were meant to be handled by an arbitration system similar to the "comites patitarios" system practiced by the Primo de Rivera dictatorship.

National syndicalism as promoted by the FE differed from the libertarian/anarchist syndicalism pushed by the CNT. Libertarian socialism of the day advocated localized worker ownership with no "rationalization of production" on an industry wide scale. Libertarian socialism of the era was violently anti-clerical, opposed to any national state formation or traditionalism or any form of capitalist enterprise on any level. Any contact between communities would be one basis of independent worker councils with no over arching institutional frame work directing societal or industrial affairs.

The cycle of political violence of the era started was in large measure an outgrowth of the battles between the Marxist-socialist Federacion Univeritaria Espanola (FUE) and the FE's student syndicate the Sindicato Espanol Universitario (SEU). SEU militants started murdering FE members and supporters culminating in the murder of 20 year old Matias Montero who was an early JONS supporter and founder of the SEU. Jose Antonio's genteel intellectualism combined with the lack of party militia opened the FE up to attacks from the right when the response to the spat of killings was press releases saying that the FE rejected terrorism. The leading radical monarchist journal ABC said the FE seemed more Franciscan then Fascist and took to calling the FE "Funeraria Espanola".

Facing a revolt within the FE and the lose of the SEU Jose Antonio agreed to establish a militia (Falange de la Sangre or Blood Falange) led by a violent Fascist activist from the fringes of the Renovacion Espanola and long time friend of de Alda named Juan Antonio Ansaldo. Ansaldo hunted down and executed infiltrators within the FE and led endless, bloody battles with leftist militias. The Blood Falange was dissatisfied with Jose Antonio's rejection of violence and plotted a coup in which he would be murdered. Instead, Jose Antonio and fellow FE Cortes member the Marques de al Eliseda were arrested during a raid on the party headquarters along with many other but when Jose Antonio was released he rejected freedom and took a short jail sentence with numerous other party members. He latter had Ansaldo thrown out of the party leaving the Blood Falange operating as local units taking revenge for leftist violence with no interaction with the national leadership. Ansaldo went to France in exile where he continued to be involved with a French National Socialist militia/party and countless intrigues in Spain and endless violence.

It was at this time that the FE attracted it's most prestigious member Jose Calvo Sotelo who was finance minister for the De Rivera dictatorship who was forced into exile in '30 but allowed back under an amnesty in '34. He was a major figure within the Fascist wing of radical Maurrassian monarchism and drifted into the National Socialist circles that orbited around Leon Daudat who vocally supported him inspite of his arch Catholicism as did many other secular Fascists and National Socialists outside of Spain and such is still the case today. Jose Antonio hated Sotelo for personality reasons as well as for lacking sufficient support for his father's regime. Sotelo left the FE and used his money and connections to found a rival and quickly growing Fascist group called the Bloque Nacional which was set to become the principle force in Spanish National Revolution prior to his assassination by Marxist militia men in July of '36 which helped started the civil war.

Ledesma attempted to split the party in '35 and was thrown out. He then attempted to take over the small industrial syndicates started by the FE and in a dramatic show down between angry proletarian Jonsistas, Ledesma and himself Jose Antonio won over almost everyone present with a passionate, improvised speech and plenty of physical courage . That event ended Ledesma's career in politics and he went back to being a postal clerk but was arrested and executed by the Republican government towards the end of '36 in any case. Jose Antonio survived a couple of assination attempts during early '36 as well.

The FE was formerly banned in March of '36 and Jose Antonio jailed on bogus charges and spent some time in prison attempting to run the FE via letters and visits from loyalists. The FE grew rapidly during this period but the local branches were basically self sufficient which meant that ideological training was non-existent for new members. Jose Antonio's long time comrade Raimundo Fernandez Cuesta ran the party in Madrid (till his captured by the Republicans in early '37) with several other Jose Antonio loyalists while former JCAH founder and JONS leader Onesimo Redondo was the chief rural FE leader and a Germanophile mechanic named Manuel Hedilla ran the party militia which had absorbed the SEU. Onesimo Redondo also published his own Clerical National Socialist theory organ which made him and J.Perez de Cabo (author of the first Falangist theory book "Arriba Espana!") the other major leadership figures of the time.

Jose Antonio was martyred for his beliefs by the Republican government while in captivity on November 20th of '36. Manuel Hedilla worked with a NSDAP advocate that joined the FE named Victor de la Serna who brought the Hedilla faction of the party limited training and support from Germany which he used to help publish a series of high brow journals written by a circle of pro - German intellectuals that supported him. They were opposed by Jose Antonio loyalists who disapproved of foreign interference in party matters centered in Madrid and another faction in Andalusia. Redondo was quickly run out by a Falangist militia run by Luis Vicen and Jose Giron and the party became more fractionalized with intrigues abounding. In the Spring of '37 a group of Jose Antonio loyalists attempted to take control of the party and expel of Hedilla. The attempt end with gun battle in which one of the would be usurpers, Sancho Davila, was proven to be a sodomite as was rumored when he was captured in bed with a fellow pervert. This affair left Hedilla the single most powerful party leader and he was elected Jefe Nacional by party leaders three days latter.

The FE became closely intertwined with the Carlist Communion Tradicionalista during the civil war as they comprised the civilian militias which were a very important segment of the Nationalist military force. While the Carlists and the FE differed dramatically in terms of style, temperament and religion they held similar hatreds of the establishment, promoted a fierce nationalism and comparable economic thought. Also, the collapse of the Bloque Nacional after the death of Sotelo filled the FE with plenty of new militants inspired by Austrian & French clerical Fascism and National Socialism and the more radical segments of Fascistic monarchism.

In any case, of this infighting was for not as the nationalist segment of Spain was controlled by Franco's army which one day after Hedilla election decreed that the FE was to merge with the Communion Tradicionalista and form a new state authoritarian party which he named the Falange Espanola Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sydicalista (FET-JONS) and Franco became the new Jefe Nacional and declared support for the 27 point manifesto of the original FE and offered Hedilla the chairman of the party's Junta Politica which was an advisory board to Franco consisting of Carlists and Falangist picked by Franco. The FET-JONS also had "technical sections" which were made up of local party leaders assigned by the military to administer civil order within the nationalist controlled zones. Hedilla refused the post and attempted to keep the party independent which resulted in his arrest as well as supporters real and imagined but most were released after a short jail stay .

Hedilla was sentenced to death on trumped up charges of conspiring against the Caudillo but official protests from the German government, numerous Falangists and the pro Falangist General Yague as well as Franco's brother-in-law and eventually successor Serrano Suner got the sentence changed to life imprisonment with four years of solitary confinement and harsh treatment which never broke his spirit. Hedilla was released in '47 and continued to agitate ineffectively against the regime on behalf of genuine Flangism till his death while living under internal exile.

The original Falangist activists, the so called "camisas viejas" (i.e. old shirts), were very dissatisfied with the new arrangement and gained little solace from Franco's pledge to attempt to enact the National Syndical program of the old FE. Franco's bid to raise the FET-JONS in the minds of populace was in large measure based upon starting a cult of Jose Antonio in which his death was observed by the regime yearly, his writings placed into schools and chairs named after him at universities while Franco falsely claimed that Jose Antonio was an unqualified supporter of the regime. Carlists were very unhappy with the FET and the ascendance of Falangists within the new regime's bureaucracy so they abandoned the FET in droves.

The FET-JONS and the entire syndical structure that it supposedly controlled was detached from the regime's Council of Ministers which held the real authority within the regime leaving the party as nothing more then a bureaucracy that dispensed patronage positions to regime loyalists. The exception being General Yague's endless intrigue to gain influence within the regime in which he was supported by old line Falangists and the veteran's associations of Falangists and Carlist militiamen that felt betrayed by the Franco regime who faced periodic purges.

The only significant camisas viejas presence worth mentioning at this time was the famed poet and Jose Antonio loyalist Dionisio Ridruejo placed in charge of the regime's propaganda which was heavily censored by the military and thus largely negated his chances for promoting genuine National Revolution. Instead, most camisas viejas decided to work within the Franco regime hoping to gain influence. Some FE loyalists started an underground group called the Falange Espanola Authentica (FEA) which carried out secret organizing amongst the Falangist militia and governing "technical sections" right up till the end of the regime in '75 while facing heavy state repression. During the Civil War 60% of the camisas viejas who made up most of the party militia died fighting for a regime that was controlled by people that had zero interest or disdain for National Revolution and ironically established a regime very much like the ideologically free paternalistic dictatorship of General Miguel Primo De Rivera so disliked by Romantically inspired Fascists.

During the Second World War over 45000 Spaniards served in the Waffen SS "Blue Division" on the Eastern front under the command of the Falangist General Munoz Grande. The vast bulk of those volunteers that served on the Eastern Front were FE loyalists that fought with great distinction and effectiveness suffering 47% losses while battling infinitely superior Soviet forces. In '43 the division was reduced to 3 battalions by order of Franco and renamed the Blue Legion which was formally disbanded in late '44. However, the soldiers within that unit volunteered to stay and fought valiantly right through the Battle of Berlin receiving new enthusiastic Falangist volunteers right up till the bitter end.

After the war the FET-JONS was quickly marginalized along with any Carlists left within the regime. The party had become irrelevant in practice as well as theory by the late '50s as the regime openly embraced simplistic Catholic reaction and quasi-libertarian economics ending the myth that the syndicates were anything other then a declining means for dispensing largesse to sycophants of the regime.

Not surprisingly, the quasi-libertarianism of the '50s transformed Spain into just another crassly materialistic nation which slowly undermined the autarchic interests upon which the regime depended. As Spain became secularized conspicuous consumption became the popular faith of the land. Predictably, these societal changes encouraged resulted in a massive up swing in cultural Bolshevism which in turn encouraged the rise of far left insurgency during the '60s. When Vatican II gutted nearly two thousand years of tradition and the very essence that faith in favour of contemporary banalities the last bastion of support for the regime outside of the military vanished. The economic crisis of the early '70s combined with the poor health of Franco and a growing campaign of leftist terrorism left the regime tottering. Serrano Suner ran the regime as a care taker from '73 to '75 which transferred power to the liberal Borbon Price Juan Carlos who in turned quickly called elections that transformed Spain into a perfectly typical example of a decadent European social democracy. The destruction of Spanish traditionalism by the Franco regime set the stage of the current and on going devolution of Spain into a third world nation via immigration and the rise of an anti-Spanish ruling establishment in which jews have risen to prominence.

Twenty years after the death of Jose Antonio in '56 his long time comrade Jose Luis de Arrese described the sorry state of the Falangist vision by saying

"Jose Antonio: are satisfied with us?

I don't think so.

And I think not because you struggled against materialism and egoism, while today men have forgotten the grandeur of your words only to run like madmen down the path of materialism and egoism.

Because you wanted a fatherland of poets and dreamers eager for a difficult glory, while men seek only a catering, round bellied fatherland, full of starch, though it possesses neither beauty nor gallantry.

Because you sacrifice, while men look from one side to the other to hide themselves.

Because men confound your slogan of being better with getting along better.

Because you called a cortege of thousands of martyrs that they might serve us as standard and guide, and yet men have not seen in of your followers an example, and they find its memory uncomfortable and they are annoyed when we repeat in there ears, closed to all martyrs, to the extent that some exploit the fallen as a platform on which to climb or a springboard for business and self-indulgence.

Jose Antonio, you not satisfied with us. You who watch from your place, from twentieth of November, with a profound sense of melancholy and scorn.

You can not be satisfied with this mediocre, sensual life."