Photo: Íñigo Méndez de Vigo (Credit: Vilaweb)
By Vilaweb Staff Writers
From April 12th 2018
The Minister of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, in 1976, signed a letter to the Minister of Education of Spain at the time, Carlos Robles Piquer, in which he said that “extreme violence by the far right is the reflection of their legitimate defense against the assault from activist groups with a diametrically opposed view”, as published in the newspaper La Voz de Galicia published on March 21, 1976, which echoed a letter of seventeen students of Law at the Complutense University of Madrid.
The letter, discovered now by the senator of the Basque Party Bildu, Jon Inarritu, responded to statements by the then Spanish minister of education in reference to the climate of tension between groups of students of the university. Robles Piquer had said that ‘moral violence was in the hands of the extreme left’ and that, on the other hand, ‘there are extreme right-wing guerrillas who use physical violence’.
— Jon Inarritu (@JonInarritu) April 11, 2018
To the letter, seventeen students respond: ‘We understand that in the current university situation, attributing the monopoly of moral violence to the extreme left implies an ambiguous and equivocal assessment of the facts and concepts, because “moral” is understood tactically to imply that the extreme left renounced physical violence, which is manifestly false, and these facts well corroborated. Nor is it paradoxical that this moral qualification is attributed to the attitude of “pseudo-university students” who “charge for this.” But the fundamental ambiguity lies in the fact that this qualifier can be considered as a recognition of a certain ethical value of attitude, in the way that is understood, for example, when one speaks of moral victory. ‘
‘All this – the text continues -, confronted with the attribution of the monopoly of physical violence and the ganglike structure of the extreme right, accentuates the confusion, because it is obvious that there are gangs and pickets in the extreme left perfectly structured for physical action, and because it could also be interpreted that in the so-called extreme right they lack a moral imperative, and this is not the case either”.
The letter ends by pointing out: ‘The violence of the improperly named extreme right is the reflection of a legitimate defense against the assault by activist groups with an diametrically opposed view, of a marked communist view. While a peaceful university coexistence is not duly guaranteed, the response to this threat cannot be any other, by those who want to ensure that the autonomy of the university serves to eradicate the intolerable blasphemy and the crude insults to mother Spain and the King”.