La República Catalana

News Comment/COMENTARI AL DIA

Pla, a Down to Earth Liberal/PLA, LIBERAL COM UNA CASA DE PAGÈS

Pla, a Down to Earth Liberal

by Josep C. Verges

Young Alfons Quinta, still with a mop of hair, unlike his father Josep, with the family of Jaume Vicens Vives and Josep Pla. Below: PP master class: Aznar, Fraga and Rajoy.

 

Alfons Quinta argues in Diari de Girona that Josep Pla had no ideology, he was just a good observer and a pragmatist: “I ate with Pla hundreds of times and travelled with him to France and Portugal, but I don’t remember ever hearing him talk about John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Ludwig von Mises or Edmund Burke. France and its disastrous revolution made sure of that.” True Pla did not read English and even less German. His culture was French and Italian, Latin really. But Pla was a down to earth liberal.

 

My father the publisher Josep Verges Matas recalled in his book in homage to Josep Pla: “My unforgettable friend Jaume Vicens Vives told me and Josep Pla: We must fight for liberalism, for Catalan freedom without limits and for the return to democratic forms of coexistence. These words that sound so simple and so natural, can anyone imagine what they meant in 1940? What it was to be an anglophile and not germanophile? Fascism and the Gestapo? Time has moved on and erased everything.” I am editing the letters of Pla and my father, which I can only do in my spare time because nobody wants to pay, despite having so many bureaucrats with no work to do. How enlightening to recall Pla’s liberal ideology in the forties in the midst of Hitler’s war when fascist censorship persecuted him with a vengeance. Pla wrote very early on about Quinta’s father, in March 1942: “Quinta says he will see you tomorrow and tell you many things. Quinta already knows everything.” Also very soon Plan complained about ideological persecution: “You will understand that it is deeply distasteful when an instruction from Madrid arrives in Barcelona and the first action is to destroy one of my articles.” That is why he wrote to Aznar’s grandfather (what a small world of the PP!), whom he knew as co-editors of La Vanguardia: “I wrote asking Aznar for a quick censorship and complete approval of the book (Journey to Catalonia). Censorship in Barcelona is essentially provincial and I fear them but not Madrid.” It was not exactly as a pragmatic observer that Franco’s censorship concentrated against Pla: “The attack is in depth and comprehensive and they really want to cause damage. Remember that the important thing is not to save me, but to save Destino.” When my father insisted on continuing to pay him despite being banned: “I feel compelled to liberate you of the obligation of paying me indefinitely for the articles because I do not consider this logical and feasible and besides I like freedom.” Fascist censorship ensured that Pla only appeared to be a good observer and  a pragmatist without an ideology. As Pla complained: “These idiocies disgust me. Censorship have acted like real swines against me. There is huge pressure in Madrid for the directorate (censorship) to sanction me by banning me from writing.” Two months before the fall of Franco’s ally, Hitler, in 1945: “Destino must be made by all of us who saw clearly the outcome of  the war.” That is the liberals. More than twenty years later Pla wrote to my father when Franco’s Goebbels, Fraga, founder of the PP (again how small is the world!) persecuted Destino: “What a narrow door we have gone through! We must now try to reach our objective calmly and systematically. I keep thinking of your courage, which given the moral quality of those who govern today, is phenomenal. I just want to tell you that at every moment I am on your side and willing to share in anything that may arise. I have lived more or less the entire lyrical history of the century and believe me when I tell you that what happened is not precisely suitable for minors. We must try to see if we can achieve with a certain dignity to live in a society that bothers as little as possible. Whatever, but just a few in fits and starts successfully produced a paper that has survived for so many years. We have gone through difficult times, but we are still alive.” My father, disillusioned, sold Destino, which did not survive because Pujol made it a communist magazine convinced that they would take over power like in Portugal and he wanted to be in a good position. As always the confidence man was wrong. Quinta ends his article precisely on the confidence man: “We can not teach any lessons to anyone here from Catalonia because our house is very dirty. Pla found Pujol’s fake and uncultured ideology repugnant. This is shown by Pla labelling Pujol a confidence man. A confidence man is a nefarious perversion that, alas, Catalonia has produced.”

(“Pla, liberal com una casa de pagès, by Josep C. Vergés, Diari de Girona, 2012)

 

Pla, liberal com una casa de pagès

per Josep C. Vergés

Classe mestra pepera: Aznar, Fraga i Rajoy. Primera foto: El jove Alfons Quintà, encara amb un bosc de cabell a diferència del seu pare Josep, amb la família de Jaume Vicens Vives i Josep Pla.

 

Alfons Quintà argumenta a Diari de Girona que Josep Pla no tenia ideologia, simplement era un bon observador i un pragmàtic: “Vaig menjar amb Pla algun centenar de vegades i vaig viatjar amb ell a França i Portugal, però mai el vaig sentir parlar -que recordi- de John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Ludwig von Mises o Edmund Burke. Ho tapava França i la seva nefasta revolució.” És cert que Pla no llegia anglès i menys alemany. La seva cultura era francesa i italiana, llatina realment. Però Pla era un liberal com una casa de pagès.

 

L’editor Josep Vergés Matas, el meu pare, recorda al seu llibre homenatge a Josep Pla: “El meu inoblidable amic Jaume Vicens Vives ens deia a Josep Pla i a mi: hem de lluitar pel liberalisme, per la catalanitat sense límits i el retorn a formes democràtiques de convivència. Aquestes paraules tan simples i tan naturals, pot algú imaginar-se el que significaven l’any 1940? El que era ésser anglòfil i no germanòfil? El feixisme i la Gestapo? El temps ha passat i ho ha esborrat tot.” Estic editant les cartes de Pla amb el meu pare, que nomé puc fer a temps perduts perquè ningú vol pagar, tot i tenir tants funcionaris que no funcionen. Resulta il.lustratiu recordar la ideologia liberal de Pla als anys quaranta en plena guerra d’Hitler quan la censura feixista el persegueix amb venjança. Pla parla molt aviat del pare de Quintà, el març de 1942: “En Quintà diu que et veurà demà i t’explicarà moltes coses. En Quintà ja ho sap tot.” Ben aviat tambè Pla es queixa de persecució ideològica: “Comprendràs que és profundament desagradable que quan es rep a Barcelona una consigna de Madrid, la primera providència sigui tirar-me a terra un article.” Per aixó escriu a l’avi d’Aznar (que petit és el món del PP!), que coneix de codirigir La Vanguardia: “He escrit a l’Aznar demanant una censura ràpida i una aprovació completa del llibre (Viatje a Catalunya). La censura de Barcelona, forçosament provinciana, em faria por i la de Madrid no.” No és precisament per observador i pragmàtic que la censura de Franco es concentra contra Pla: “L’atac és a fons i general i volen fer mal de debó. Pensa que l’important no és salvar-me a mi, sinó salvar Destino.” Quan el meu pare insisteix a seguir pagant-li tot i estar vetat: “Em considero obligat a desfer-te de l’obligació de pagar-me indefinidament els articles perquè no ho considero lògic i factible i ademés a mi m’agrada la llibertat.” La censura feixista es va encarregar de fer semblar que Pla només era un bon observador i un pragmàtic sense ideologia. Com lamenta Pla: “Aquestes collonades em fan fàstic. La censura ha fet contra mi verdaderes canallades. S’està fent una pressió a Madrid en el sentit que la Direcció (la censura) em sancioni privant-me d’escriure.” Dos mesos abans de caure l’aliat de Franco, Hitler, el 1945: “Destino l’hem de fer els que hem vist clara la guerra.” És a dir els liberals. Més de vint anys després Pla escriu al meu pare quan el Goebbels de Franco, Fraga, fundador del PP (de nou que petit és el món!) persegueix Destino: “Quina porta més estreta hem passat! Ara hem de mirar d’arribar a cap, amb calma, sense precipitacions. No faig més que pensar en la teva valentia, que donada la qualitat moral dels qui avui governen, és fenomenal. Només vull dir-te que en aquests i en tots els moments jo estic al teu costat i disposat a compartir tot el que es pugui presentar. He pogut conèixer més o menys tota la lira històrica de la centúria i espero que em creuràs si et dic que el que ha ocorregut no és precisament apte per a menors. Hem de mirar de veure si podem aconseguir amb una certa dignitat de viure en una societat que emprenyi el menys possible. Sigui com sigui, unes quantes persones a empentes i rodolons hem fet un paper que porta molts anys d’existència. Hem passat per moments difícils, però encara vivim.” El meu pare, desil.usionat, es ven Destino que no sobreviu, perquè Pujol en fa una revista comunista convençut que manaran com a Portugal i vol fer mèrits. Com sempre el milhomes s’equivoca. Quintà acaba el seu article precisament recordant el milhomes: “Des d’aquí ara no podem donar lliçons a ningú perquè tenim la casa molt bruta. A Pla li repugnava l’ideologisme postís i sense base cultural de Pujol. Ho acredita el fet que Pla trobés a Pujol el motiu de milhomes. Sentir-se milhomes és una perversió nefasta que, ai las!, Catalunya ha criat.”

(“Pla, liberal com una casa de pagès, per Josep C. Vergés, Diari de Girona, 2012)

 

26 March 2012 - Posted by | Culture/Cultura, Politics/Política | ,

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