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Falange Española de las J.O.N.S. (better known as Falange or Phalange; full name Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista) is the name assigned to several political movements and parties dating from the 1930s, most particularly the original fascist movement in Spain. The word Falange means phalanx formation in Spanish.
In Spain, the Falange was a political organization founded by José Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1933, during the Second Spanish Republic. Primo de Rivera was a Madrid lawyer, son of General Miguel Primo de Rivera, who governed Spain as Prime Minister with dictatorial power under King Alfonso XIII in the 1920s. General Primo de Rivera believed in state planning and government intervention in the economy. His son and the Falangists he led expressed regret for the demise of the elder Primo de Rivera's regime, and proposed to revive his policies and a program of national-syndicalist social organization.
Falangism was originally similar to Italian fascism in certain respects. It shared its contempt for Bolshevism and other forms of socialism and a distaste for democracy. Like the Italian Fascist Blackshirts, the Falange had its own party militia, the Blueshirts. However, the Falange's National Syndicalism was a political theory very different from the fascist idea of corporatism, inspired by Integralism and the Action Française (for a French parallel, see Cercle Proudhon). It was first formulated in Spain by Ramiro Ledesma Ramos in a manifesto published in his periodical La Conquista del Estado on 14 March 1931. National Syndicalism attempted to bridge the gap between nationalism and the anarcho-syndicalism of the dominant trade union, the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), by revising Syndicalism altogether. While the Falange embraced the Catholic emphasis of Integralism it also borrowed elements from fascism.
Unlike other members of the Spanish right, the Falange was republican, avant-gardist and modernist (see Early History below), in a manner similar to the original spirit of Italian Fascism. Its uniform and aesthetic was similar to contemporary European fascist and national socialist movements. After the party was coopted by Francisco Franco and consolidated with the Carlists, it ceased to have a National Syndicalist character (which, like fascism, sought a revolutionary transformation of society whereas Franco was conservative), although it retained many of the external trappings of fascism.
During the Spanish Civil War the doctrine of the Falange was used by General Franco, who virtually took possession of its ideology, while José Antonio Primo de Rivera was arrested and executed by the Spanish Republican Government. During the war, and after its founder's death, the Falange was combined by decree (Unification Decree) with the Carlist party, under the sole command of Generalísimo Franco, forming the core of the sole official political organization in Spain, the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista, or "Spanish Traditionalist Phalanx of the Assemblies of National-Syndicalist Offensive" (FET y de las JONS). This organization, also known as the National Movement (Movimiento Nacional) after 1945, continued until Franco's death in 1975. Since 1975, Falangists have diversified into several different political movements which have continued into the 21st Century.
- Laqueur, Walter Fascism: Past, Present, Future p. 13 1996 Oxford University Press
- De Menses, Filipe Ribeiro Franco and the Spanish Civil War, p. 87, Routledge
- Gilmour, David, The Transformation of Spain: From Franco to the Constitutional Monarchy, p. 7 1985 Quartet Books
- Payne, Stanley Fascism in Spain, 1923-1977, p. 476 1999 Univ of Wisconsin Press
- Payne, Stanley Fascism in Spain, 1923-1977, p. 347, 476 1999 University of Wisconsin Press