“On Monday we burned Millay; on Wednesday, to Whitman; on Friday, at Faulkner, we burn them to ashes and then we burn the ashes. That is our motto.” Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel published in 1953, seems to be taking shape 70 years later in the Spain that PP and Vox draw with a blow of censorship: neither Lope de Vega, nor Virginia Woolf, nor Buzz Lightyear, nor a Republican teacher, nor the LGTBI flag: the crusade of the extreme right and the usual right against culture has started where they have begun to distribute power after the regional and municipal elections on May 28. And it is a first sample of what is around 23J at 451 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature at which paper burns, 232ºC).

Bradbury’s dystopia shows the struggle between the desire for knowledge and a society of ignorance. And the reality of PP and Vox has to do with that, but also with the persecution of the different and, specifically, the LGTBI collective and its visibility in cultural productions.

Thus, the party of Santiago Abascal, where he governs with the PP, has vetoed a work by Virginia Woolf on homosexuality in Valdemorillo (Madrid); has censored the latest Buzz Lightyear film in the Cantabrian municipality of Santa Cruz de Bezana for the kiss of two women – coinciding with a campaign by the ultra-Catholic collective CitizenGo, an international brand of HazteOír against the production company for being “a hostage to LGBT activists committed to in corrupting” children “through homosexual indoctrination”–; in Briviesca (governed by the PP with the support of Vox and Ciudadanos) a play paying homage to a teacher from La Bureba (Burgos) who was shot in July 1936 has been canceled; and has continued its crusade against the LGTBI flag, which the vice president of Castilla y León, Juan García-Gallardo, referred to as “a rainbow rag”.

But there is more. Abascal’s party in the Madrid municipality of Getafe, where he is in opposition, has asked the City Council to withdraw “sexual insinuations” from ‘La villana de Getafe’, a play by Lope de Vega that was staged in the city .

The world that Bradbury imagined, and that begins to come true in the Spain of 2023 where the PP and Vox rule, has a black thread that connects it with Franco’s Spain, which for four decades exercised iron control over freedoms, thought and culture and that embodies that episode of Millán Astray before Miguel de Unamuno at the University of Salamanca in October 1936 in which the coup military exclaimed against reason: “Death to the intellectuals! (or, according to other versions, ‘Death to intelligence!’) and ”Long live death!“.

Santiago Abascal already said that the government of Pedro Sánchez was the worst in eight decades, thus pardoning all the non-democratic governments of the dictator. A Vox leader who has not stopped standing up for the Francoist legacy by being against the exhumations of Cuelgamuros, the democratic memory law and by incorporating old Falange militants into its ranks, as its leader in the European Parliament , Jorge Buxade.

“They say again that there are things that cannot be said”

The actress Marisa Paredes has made a strong speech against censorship during the act of launching Sumar’s campaign in A Coruña this Thursday: “But what is this, how can they be so afraid of freedom, of culture?” has asked.

For Paredes, the vetoes have to do with “a repression and a feeling of impunity” that “makes them think that they own the country, the soul of the people” and that they can “do the greatest atrocities with complete peace of mind.” “They do not have a moral sense of life, they do not know what morality is”, the interpreter has reproached in reference to what happened with the cancellation of a play about a Republican teacher shot and another by Virginia Woolf that addresses homosexuality , among other cases.

“Censorship of culture is something that we already thought forgotten because it took us a long time to achieve that there was no censorship in this country. And now they censor again. They remove plays again. They say again that there are certain things that cannot be said ”, lamented the actress in line with the manifesto recently published by the world of culture in the face of the censorship applied by PP and Vox.

In response, the singer Rayden will not close his musical career in Alcalá de Henares, the city where he was born in 1985. The artist has canceled the concert due to the change of political color of the City Council where, after 28M, the PP and the PP govern in coalition Vox – despite the fact that the PSOE was the force with the most votes. Rayden has said that he cancels the performance for “moral obligation” after the “arrival of the extreme right to the council.”

“Communism or freedom”, proclaimed Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the 2021 electoral campaign. But what the Madrid president did not say is that this right-wing freedom would bring with it a persecution of culture more typical of black and white times or other latitudes.

For example, the European Commission has charged Hungary with a law that prohibited or limited access to content that promotes the so-called “divergence of self-identity corresponding to sex at birth, sex change or homosexuality” for people under 18 years of age; and a disclaimer –disclaimer– in children’s books with LGTBIQ content.

And in relation to Poland, the European Commission has charged against the so-called “LGBT ideology-free zones” adopted by various Polish regions and municipalities. Something that has a lot to do with what has happened in the municipality of Náquera (Valencia) recently, which after the last municipal elections on May 28 has become the first in the Valencian Community governed by Vox thanks to the pact with the PP : The document, published on the Facebook page of the ultra formation, includes points such as the veto of LGTBIQ+ flags in public buildings and the decision to “replace the concentrations of ‘No to sexist violence’ with ‘No to violence’ or ‘We condemn all violence’”.

But the black thread is not only with the dictatorship, with Hungary and with Poland. It is also with the ultras of the US Republican Party. White and straight. This is how it seems that one has to be to fit into the model of society proposed by the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who is establishing himself as an institutional champion of American neoconservatism. From his state vantage point, he has dedicated himself to passing a series of laws that directly violate the rights of minorities or, as he likes to call it, against the thought woke. To a similar extent to pin parental Defended by Vox, DeSantis has taken his crusade to the classroom, where he is blocking children’s and adolescents’ access to books that address sexual orientation, gender identity or critical racial theory.

In the past there have been judges who have benched tweeters for joking about Carrero Blanco; There have been those who have taken some puppeteers to court for showing a sign that said “Alkaeta”; There have even been judges who have sentenced musicians such as Valtònyc, César Strawberry (later acquitted by the Supreme Court) and Pablo Hasel.

But the censorship that the PP and Vox are applying wherever they govern is already threatening freedoms that seemed irreversible. “You can win, but not convince,” said Unamuno before Millán Astray’s outburst. And next 23J it will be seen who wins at the polls, and if the censorship that is already being applied in some municipalities is also beginning to be exercised from the Council of Ministers.


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