The Spaniards are perfectly right to govern these barbarians of the New World and adjacent islands; they are in prudence, ingenuity, virtue, and humanity as inferior to the Spaniards as children are to adults and women are to men, there being as much difference between them as that between wild and cruel and very merciful persons, the prodigiously intemperate and the continent and tempered, and I daresay from apes to men
Juan Gines de Sepulveda
... when the Spaniards persecuted heretics they may have been crude, but they were not being unreasonable or unpractical. They were at least wiser than the people of to-day who pretend that it does not matter what a man believes, as who should say that the flavour and digestibility of a pudding will have nothing to do with its ingredients.
Humor, a good sense of it, is to Americans what manhood is to Spaniards, and we will go to great lengths to prove it. Experiments with laboratory rats have shown that, if one psychologist in the room laughs at something a rat does, all of the other psychologists will laugh equally. Nobody wants to be left holding the joke.
And if I am not mistaken here is the secret of the greatness that was Spain. In Spain it is men that are the poems, the pictures and the buildings. Men are its philosophies. They lived, these Spaniards of the Golden Age; they felt and did; they did not think. Life was what they sought and found, life in its turmoil, its fervour and its variety. Passion was the seed that brought them forth and passion was the flower they bore. But passion alone cannot give rise to a great art. In the arts the Spaniards invented nothing. They did little in any of those they practised, but give a local colour to a virtuosity they borrowed from abroad. Their literature, as I have ventured to remark, was not of the highest rank; they were taught to paint by foreign masters, but, inapt pupils, gave birth to one painter only of the very first class; they owed their architecture to the Moors, the French and the Italians, and the works themselves produced were best when they departed least from their patterns. Their preeminence was great, but it lay in another direction: it was a preeminence of character. In this I think they have been surpassed by none and equalled only by the ancient Romans. It looks as though all the energy, all the originality, of this vigorous race had been disposed to one end and one end only, the creation of man. It is not in art that they excelled, they excelled in what is greater than art-in man. But it is thought that has the last word.
W. Somerset Maugham
And when the relics of humanity left among the Spaniards induced them to forbid their lawyers to set foot in America, what must they have thought of jurisprudence? May it not be said that they thought, by this single expedient, to make reparation for all the outrages they had committed against the unhappy Indians?
We all have to accept accusations that we ignored the refugee crisis for far too long. The first time that I referred to the Mediterranean Sea as Europe's cemetery was in October 2013, when hundreds of people drowned off Lampedusa. Italians, Maltese, Greeks and Spaniards have been pleading for help for years. But nobody cared.
Spaniards are known for their diversity and joyful outlook on life, the romantic language, foot-tapping music and acres of sprawling vineyards. They enjoy life in so many different ways ? the running of the bulls (Pamplona) and bullfighting (mostly in southern Spain). This has also a lot to do with the way they express themselves.
Los Padres have everything and the people have nothing; 'tis the masterpiece of reason and justice. For my part, I know nothing so divine as Los Padres who make war on Kings of Spain and Portugal and in Europe act as their confessors; who here kill Spaniards and at Madrid send them to Heaven.
"The pattern established at the outset has remained to this day, and the Spaniards still do nothing save tear the natives to shreds, murder them and inflict upon them untold misery, suffering and distress, tormenting, harrying and persecuting them mercilessly." According to Las Casas, atrocities continued unabated in the Americas, even half a century after the discovery.
Bartolome de las Casas
Another of the great civilizations, the Aztecs, raised a breed of hairless chihuahuas especially for eating. When the Conquistadors arrived and found dog on the menu, they were of the same opinion as Mademoiselle, that this was evidence of the worst form of barbarism. They, the Spaniards, used dogs as befits civilized and Christian men - to hunt down fugitive Indians and tear them to pieces.
The Latin American Left, the criollos, direct descendents of Spaniards, they don't want to accept that they are the whites of Latin America. They don't want to talk about race. The discussion for them is based on class struggle, rich against poor, but doesn't offer the possibility of a dialogue about racial questions.
The impossibility of keeping Englishmen sober ashore was a constant source of complaint, It was the great weakness of 16th century English infantrymen, whose performance when sober was admired even by the Spaniards. Already it was true, as it was to be for centuries, that many saw and despised the drunken sailor ashore, but few knew and admired him at his work afloat.
It would be a dream to do a film with Pedro Almodovar and that whole crew of Spaniards. There's this Argentinian actor who's one of my favorite actors in the whole wide world. His name is Ricardo Darin, and he's a brilliant actor. He does a lot of Argentinian films, and I know he does a lot of European films, as a Spanish actor.
In Spain in the meantime, Aristotelian scholar Juan Gines de Sepulveda was putting the impolitic moralizing of Las Casas into proper perspective for posterity: "Compare then the blessings enjoyed by Spaniards of prudence, genius, magnanimity, temperance, humanity, and religion with those of the little men [the Indians] in whom you will scarcely find even vestiges of humanity. . . . How can we doubt that these people - so uncivilized, so barbaric, contaminated with so many impieties and obscenities - have been justly conquered?"
Juan Gines de Sepulveda
To put it in a nutshell, the Central and South American high cultures of antiquity were entirely worthy of comparison with what the Old World had achieved by the time of the Han, the Gupta, and the Hellenistic age. The fact is that the Amerindian high cultures were a human modality of their own, and those Spaniards who came among them first would have had the sensation, if they had ever heard of such literature, of treading in a world of imaginative science fiction. But it was real, and the Amerindian achievements deserve all our sympathy and praise.
The Americans of the United States do not let their dogs hunt the Indians as do the Spaniards in Mexico, but at bottom it is the same pitiless feeling which here, as everywhere else, animates the European race. This world here belongs to us, they tell themselves every day: the Indian race is destined for final destruction which one cannot prevent and which it is not desirable to delay. Heaven has not made them to become civilized; it is necessary that they die. Besides I do not want to get mixed up in it. I will not do anything against them: I will limit myself to providing everything that will hasten their ruin. In time I will have their lands and will be innocent of their death. Satisfied with his reasoning, the American goes to church where he hears the minister of the gospel repeat every day that all men are brothers, and that the Eternal Being who has made them all in like image, has given them all the duty to help one another.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Kotov looked like an abandoned statue on the beach in the Plaza de Cataluna. The spring was at is height and the warm un bathed the city. The adviser, with his face slightly raised, was receiving the heat like a lizard slothful from the rays that were injecting him with life. He had even taken off his jacket and the printed kerchief he regularly wore after Ramon sat down at his side. 'What a marvelous country!' he said at last, and smiled. 'I could live here for the rest of my life.' 'Despite the Spaniards?' 'Precisely because of you. Where I come from, the people are like stones. You are all flowers. My country smells like smoked herring and hops; here it smells of olive oil and wine.' 'Your pals say we're primitive and practically dumb.' 'Don't pay too much attention to those lunatics. They confuse ideology with mysticism, and they are no more than walking machines - worse still, they're fanatics. Here they make themselves look tough, but you should see them when Moscow calls for them... Na khuy. They shit themselves. Don't look to them as an example; you don't want to be like them. You can be so much more.' p. 162
But, it didn't matter that my mother suspected and knew that I was a writer. It was expected of me to take care of my share of the responsibility of making our way in the world as a family. In those days, also, it was unheard of, by us certainly, that to get any help, even from members of our own family, let alone from the government, which would have been disgraceful. Thank God that that kind of folly in thinking is obsolete. There is a temptation to feel, 'Well, we all made it; why can't these other poor people make it?' And, of course, nothing is more than stupid than that attitude. I must confess that I find that attitude among many countrymen of my own who do find themselves taking undue pride in their own sense of ability - of being equal to any situation, and of seeing it through and improving it, and so on. And then, putting that against other people who don't have that, and thereby implying that the other people are lazy. Not taking into account the whole different structure and identity and a people who have survived for centuries under very harsh conditions and members of a very great culture, and I am talking about the Indians, to begin with, in the Valley - the San Joaquin Valley, in Fresno, in Tulare, and the mountains, and there are many tribes of them, of different kinds, and I am talking about, also, the Mestizos, the mixtures of Mexican, Spaniards with Indians, making the Mexican. And I am talking about any minority which is considered by anybody as being innately of itself indolent. This kind of narrow thinking is a temptation to all sorts of people, and one has to be sympathetic with the people who are wrong, too, you see. It is not enough just to be sympathetic with the people who are belittled; it is necessary to be sympathetic with the people who belittle them. So, in worrying about the persecuted, one is obliged also to worry about the persecutors. I consider that a basic measure of growth.