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No Pasaran!

“No Pasaran! The cry went out, the Fascists are about! “No Pasaran! And so the war began.”

That is the start of an early draft of what I hoped would be a rousting piece of rhyming poetry I wanted to write just these last couple of days. You can see by the syllabic construction of that phrase: “No pasaran” that it has a natural “beat” a rhythmic sequence like a marching foot-fall or the beat of a drum. Perhaps, if it were loud enough, the beat of a human heart. It is a natural for building on … almost like a Sousa march.

No Pasaran!

Credit for that (no pasaran) goes to the fiery Spanish Communist party leader Dolores Ibárruri (1895-1989), whose popular nickname was “La Pasionaria” (“The Passion Flower”).

On July 18, 1936, mutinous Spanish Army troops led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco invaded the Spanish mainland from Morocco, with the goal of overthrowing Spain’s elected Republican government. This was the beginning of the bloody Spanish Civil War.

The next day, July 19, 1936, Ibárruri made a brief but eloquent speech on Radio-Madrid.
She urged her fellow citizens to put aside their other political differences and join together to fight against Franco’s Fascist forces.

“Young men, prepare for combat!,” she said. “Women, fight alongside your men in order to defend the lives and freedom of your sons. All workers, all anti-fascists must now look upon each other as brothers in arms.”

It was to be built on the words spoken by that Spanish lady; “La Passionaria” … “No Pasaran!” (They shall not pass!) in the time of the Spanish civil war. But while I had the words almost down pat in my head, the rhythm kinda sorted and the rolling theme just about right. I could not put it down on paper. I started, but I bulked at the actual printing out what I had now questioned in my mind the veracity of the honesty of the poem.

Because of course, Franco did break through their barricades. He did “pass” their fighters and their walls with the help of the other fascista in Germany and Italy. Franco’s only hope, the fascist cowards only hope of success is to “gang-up on their opposition … they did break through the barricades and take control of the country … and they mocked and sneered at the cry of resistance of “No Pasaran!” The right wing still mock and sneer at what they disparagingly call “leftie rantings” … but they do not, cannot know the real meaning behind those words; “No Pasaran” … they do not have the depth of understanding the cultural collective of the working people of not just one country, but the entire world..the entire span of human recorded history. “No pasaran” strikes a deeper cord in the worker’s heart than just a cry of resistance with is a barricade against the attempted conquest of all vulnerable peoples, a cry of resistance to reject the tyrannical fascist/corporate mindset from the very heart of a people. It is a rejection of the selfish, oafish, cruel nature of exploitation that would set citizen against citizen, brother against sister, one ethnic group against another and use religion, that over-arching drug-of-least-resistance to enact violence and hatred against all.

No Pasaran!

No Pasaran!…They will not pass! They will never be part of our lives! They will never be accepted into our hearts!

But there now is a weakness in the wall … a blind-spot that the right-wing has found and is exploiting to entrap the more gullible and naive of the working class to trust them to lead the nation. The entrepreneurial middle class has taken a leaf out of Greek mythology and used a “Trojan Horse” to break through the innermost defence to plant their disease of divide and rule within the heart of the nation. It has used the stupid to attract the stupid, much like one uses a cut piece of bait from the one fish to attract and catch another of the same species. The right-wing has used those now familiar fools so clumsy in their knowledge of politics and social needs, but so rat-cunning in their use of phrasing of tongue so that it appeals to the most gullible … the almost incoherent imbecility as appealing to the most uneducated knowledgeable group as also to the most educated knowledgeable “don’t-want-to-see” group, one may be more savvy than the other, but in the end both as dangerous and as gullible as each other.

I penned an article calling for; “A Revolution against the Middle-Classes” in which I claimed that history has shown that once the Entrepreneurial/Speculative (mark that; The Entrepreneurial/Speculative ) middle-classes gained control of political governance, it spelt the beginning of the end for not only the economy of a nation, but of the nation itself! I do not demur from that claim..unfortunately, a few folk seemed to take such a accusation on a whole class as a personal attack upon themselves. Why? I can only presume some sort of personal interest in the claim, perhaps as a kind of “gate-keeper” of that philosophy. But whatever it was, it has cost me in blogging cred with some people. I expect no better with this article, and it tells me just how far the middle-class virus has penetrated into our everyday lives when a large section of the voting public will trust, without question, a lying, tax avoiding wealthy dilettante to rule the nation.

There was an interview with Richard Flannigan on ABC tele a while back. It traced his career as a struggling and now successful writer. I admire Richard Flannigan immensely. I like his honest approach to his art and also his social conscience that he infuses into his writing. He spoke in answer to a query on a career in writing; “if the writing out of his stories diminishes the writer inside?” He answered in the affirmative, quoting F.Scott Fitzgerald in his piece called “The Crack-up”, who reiterated his thoughts, but there is another angle to that “emptying of the spirit” … there is another “breaking of the heart” of anyone who creates art from their heart.

There is a moment in the creation of art, where the artist, of whatever skill or ethnic group, of whatever genre, must ask themselves ; “For whom am I creating this?” they must ask themselves that or they might as well keep the image or process to themselves and go their way (for the “true artist”, the “honest artist” creates their art for their fellow peoples; “everything comes from without, not within”), leaving the vacuum to be filled by some other nature. Of course, the problem for the creative artist is that driving urge to create that forces one to go to the workshop and produce that piece just to stop it rolling around inside the head like a ball-bearing in a tin-can … to, as Henry Lawson once said; “I had to write it down or burst!”

For myself, an amateur at best, a scribbler at worst, many times I have asked that question of myself … which brings me back to the start of this piece where I stated (and I have to say that there have been many times lately) where I have not wanted to put down created characters and incidents..not wanted to share those experiences with my fellow citizens. And when I have pushed myself to do that, I have felt a great disappointment in “exposing” the characters that I do love (even when at times fictional) and the situations that I do treasure. I have felt I have let them down or used them in a most venal way. I feel “dirtied” by the experience. Quite disappointing.

But, of course, there are many others who must feel the same way. I would call them friends and I would willingly, gladly share experiences with them … for they too, would, I suspect like myself, hold true to their hearts that universal cry of revolution that has rung down the ages, despite many attempts to be smothered by a suffocating “mummyism” of middle-class servility.

“So raise the Scarlet Standard high
within its shade we live and die
though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
we’ll keep the red flag flying here.”

No Pasaran!


  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Fantastic Comrade!

    A rousing article. We need more and more like it for our build up to the next Federal election in the second half of 2018, which I expect The Progressive ALLiance to win by coming together now to redeem the hearts and minds of the disaffected youth and older citizens who are sick of the last four decades of neoliberalism under the duopoly.

    The three elements to that objective are:
    1) The Greens, left Labor and assorted Progressives throughout the political spectrum start working together now so citizens can see they are serious about wanting to bring about positive change for the common good and in the national interest;
    2) in so doing, with every plan, preparation, pursuit, they incrementally replace regressive neoliberalist ideology and measures with democratic socialist principles, objectives and implementations; and
    3) The Australian People beat the fascist LNP Government and vote in the new The Progressive ALLiance Government, which will in turn work to reform the political system, bureaucratic processes and procedures, and the legal representation of all citizens.

  2. Joseph Carli

    Brilliant idea…yes..I love the rousting chorus of camaraderie in the left progressive…and though I would place myself a tad further left than most progressives, I support wholeheartedly your ideal..Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where that came from!

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    great minds, think alike … but I’m working on my idea to be more than a mere ideal.

  4. Freethinker

    I can feel the movement, people start interacting more and more, you can see it on the coffee shops, in the pups in the internet.
    I guess that Scott Peck nailed it when he said, quote:

    “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

  5. Joseph Carli

    Agree, Freethinker…there comes a time in the awakening of minds of a people where there is no longer an appetite for the dog-eat-dog world of endless consumption…no longer the hunger for the kind of social cannibalism played by the corporations of worker against worker…industry against industry…one part of the nation against another…

  6. stephengb2014

    Sorry but I did not understand the thrust of the article, perhaps I am a bogan because I did not understand? Or perhaps the writing is a tad bohemian?

  7. Joseph Carli

    stephengb…the writing is aimed to be the song at the end..perhaps not as good as the song at the end…feel the the emotions.

  8. Kyran

    No Pasaran, indeed. Solidarnosc.
    The CFMEU are ‘going for a walk’ on Tuesday.
    Australian Workers are under attack! Its time to stand up and fight back!”

    I don’t work in construction, forestry or mining, and I’m fast running out of energy. I don’t know if it is a ‘sanctioned’ strike.
    Could be worth a try though. No Pasaran.
    Thank you Mr Carli. Take care

  9. roma guerin

    Thank you so much Joseph, and Jennifer. I hope your voices are heard widely. I wish I was young again. That lass from the Australian Sex Party sounds like she would appreciate your views. I would love to hear from Natasha Stott-Despoja again too.

  10. jimhaz

    I’ve no idea how to rally the middle classes, but our parliament needs to be shown how to conduct useful discussion.

    Lately I’ve been thinking I’d love to see televised debates on REAL political and future issues held in Parliament house (or a pretend version) by NON-POLITICIANS of intellectual quality as a replacement for Question Time to show the bastards up for their incessant competitive politicking at our expense. Such discussions could be heated.

    What they do now just strengthens their partisanship and existing biases. They sorely need to be humbled and made into laughing stock for the lack of logic that stems from partisanship and their now true role of being paid traitorous lobbyists for business or religion.

    I’d also introduce parliament each day with Charlie Chaplin’s Great Speech.

  11. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    You could be on to something, jimhaz.

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