Due to the presence of different cultures and religions, Spanish culture is mixed and is rich in terms of people, ethnicities, and religious views. The concept of otherness and the political environment in Spain have always been different from the European mode. Therefore, its democratic principles are suppressed by the Spanish Constitution, which does not allow any attempt of separation. In the article written by Navarro, it has been reported that the Constitution reveals the evident difference between what legal views present and what Spanish people actually think of the symbols of sovereignty and integrity. The author gives reports of Spanish athletes who declared that they did not think of the Spanish flag and other symbols of independence as genuine reflections of the peoples outlook. In fact, the reaction reveals the lack of the democratic culture in Spanish nationalist circles that have always displayed hostility to any attempt of separation.
The very idea of integrity under the protection of the Army is apparently explained by the rich historical past. As such, Goytisolo admits that Spanish culture differs significantly from other cultures in the European community due to its dedication to Western traditions. Although its culture of belonging does not present any ambiguity, it still offers a range of features and events of the historical past that ignite discrepancies within the union. The Muslim presence in Spain for more than ten centuries, starting from the Arab-Berber invasion in the 8th century to the expatriation of the Moors in the 17th century, has been perpetuated in the Spanish lifestyle and customs, including art, literature, and language. Hence, the situation is more complicated considering the influence of the Jewish community in the Middle Ages because it acted as the mediator among other monotheistic religions. Although Catholicism and monarchial views have long been established on the territory of the country, the influence of the rest of religions and cultures should not be underestimated in the light of current controversies (Jeronimo 108). While deliberating on the role of Judaism in segregation and diversity in Spain, Perez discuses the role of Judaism, which has been composed of two major branches Nazi and Sephardic. The latter takes its root on the Iberian Peninsula and is strongly associated with the Mediterranean and European regions.
In the evaluation of race, multiculturalism, and immigration processes, as cited in Agawu-Kakraba, Corkill highlights that in popular mythology, immigrants are increasingly portrayed as threatening and unassimilable. Economic hardship has forced them into ethnic enclaves which has reinforced a perception that they are resistant to integration (103). The author also assumes that is a constantly changing marketplace, while most Spanish employers focused on cheap sources of unprotected and temporary labor in the end of the past century. Besides, Corkill reports on the expansion of the informal segment of the Spanish economy where immigrants are marginalized. The division into different layers has led to the emergence of disagreement and disturbances, as well as stronger protests against the integrity of Spain and its inadequate power.
In the 1970s, when the democracy was restored, shifts in Spanish culture and lifestyle were tremendous. They were also represented as La Movida (the Movement). The changes were more drastic in comparison with social practices and values, which dominated in Spain during the Franco regime in the middle of the past century. In fact, Spanish social values and outlook changed significantly to the extent that the class structure, political power, and economic institutions may change. Under the reign of Francisco Franco, the major value involved traditions and conservatism (Richard 40). Both church and legal power reinforced a range of social structures to preserve the role of family relations, gender roles, and censorship in the media. However, the second half of the 20th century witnessed significant changes in terms of social values, highlighting the conflict between the reality and legal codes.
The review of the contemporary Spanish culture can refer to regulations, reconsideration of national identities, assessment of the historic heritage, and the media. In this respect, Kelly focuses on the Spanish identity and the fact of existence of otherness in the Spanish society (15). The relationship between non-state and state nationalities is analyzed by Kelly to reveal the outlook on the phenomenon of diversity and difference in Spain, which has long been unrecognized. Hence, reconstruction of the national identity and examination of Spanish otherness can expand views on the genuine background of Spanish culture, as well as the national difference that is impregnated into the Spanish movie.
It should be admitted that European culture has largely been affected by Spanish customs and traditions, including music, architecture, history, painting, and other spheres of knowledge. However, there should still be other factors influencing the cultural development in Europe and in Spain in particular. In this respect, Kamen mentions Spanish exiles, the group of people that ignited disturbances, violence, and intolerances. These were marginal groups which strived to achieve social and religious independence. Hence, such a historical phenomenon has a potent influence on Spanish culture as a response to communist views and aggressive expansion of the Spanish government. Kamen also provides a bright description of the contribution of the exiles to history and culture. The ambitious work reveals the historic evolution of Spain and creation of a culture that defines gender roles and explains the overall impact of the Spanish community.
The evidence of discrepancies and multicultural orientations are also discussed in the paper by Zambrano. Specifically, the author raises the question of the existence of the difference between intelligence and fascism. The author states that fascism took place under specific economic and social circumstances and there is the phenomenon that defines a concrete determination and path, which should provide a new understanding of reality. Hence, fascism is represented through the split of cultures and religions. According to Zambrano, there has been a distinct division between Spanish intelligence and religious groups, which is a sort of reaction to the governmental attempt to retain sovereignty and integrity (14). Therefore, although the Spanish culture reiterates the importance of respecting the cultural heritage, it also expresses its will to highlight the existence of diversity and identities as an inherent component of the Spanish community.
Apart from the evidence about Spanish diversity that is rooted in the presence of different religions and cultures, there are also apparent consequences, which display the split within the community. Hence, historian Helen Graham defines the international and national context and origins of the war, giving insights into the human history, as well as outcomes of the war and ethical concerns. In fact, the Spanish Civil War was a result of the polarization of politics and life in Spain that had emerged over previous years. At the same time, the nationalists were an important element of the military outcomes. The republicans, in turn, referred to urban workers, the educated middle class, and agricultural laborers. From the political viewpoint, the differences were presented as extremes. These groups belong to the political and economical spectrum that highlights social, liberal, and conservative outcomes, including a communist movement split among followers of the socialist movement. Apart from the divergence in political outlooks, the Spanish Civil War is also the response to the collide and self-determination of the Spanish people. The independence movement in Catalonia introduces the split between a demand for self-determination and Spanish independence. If most Catalans or any other groups support independence, the popular will prevails. Hence, plebiscites are evaluated as the genuine form of democracy. History chronicles provide the route for strengthening power, which is a tool for dictatorship and power. Liberty relies on the concept of democracy, law, and protection of minorities. The government should also be at the head of transparency and equality. In this respect, it can be stressed that the Spanish constitution fails to perform these functions because it only ignites conflicts and does not protect vulnerable populations from discrepancies and inequalities.
The Spanish government has ignored needs and concerns of ethnic groups in the country, contributing to further misunderstandings among those groups. Hence, the Spanish region of Catalonia has strived to declare independence because they feel that they are historically separate with distinct culture and language, while the government has ignored the fact of uniqueness of their culture. As a result, they have opposed to the referendum, aggravating the situation and following constitutional responses. It is logical that these prohibitions have provoked further protests, leading to disagreements and negative responses.
The Spanish government should work on changing the politics and express respect for history and culture of their country, guaranteeing independence, transparency, and equality. However, they should also admit the idea of separation, which can provide more benefits to the Spanish people as the government should protect human rights. Although the Civil War took place over half a century ago, it still imposes some influences on the Spanish people and their attitude to the government, which are not confined to democratic principles. Rather, the authoritative regime continues growing, denying any attempt for further democratic and European-oriented development. All these concerns are essential for advancing the countrys economy and favoring the higher level of cultural and community development. All the controversies and conflicts that happened during the past century have been surpassed, but the government should still work on strengthening cultural and social support of the community. Spaniards should express their respect to other regions, for instance, Catalans who should feel support of their beliefs, concerns, and needs. However, the remnants of the Communist trends will still require further development and re-assessment of democratic values.
In conclusion, the major problem of the given response to the democratic criticism and monarchial views on the community constructions lies in the inability of the government to exercise flexibility and adjust to the external environment. Referring back the assumption made by Navarro proves that the Spanish Constitutions requires substantial changes, while the government strives to introduce a shift in the political and economic landscape in the country. Furthermore, the government should be more consistent in its policies toward the cultural diversity by giving more transparency, space, and freedom to ethnic groups in Spain. Such a strategy could be more effective in sustaining peace and strength of the countrys integrity. Otherwise, it can lead to destruction, disagreement, and conflicts based on racial and ethnical discrimination, suppressing some groups, and leading to rivals, protests, and revolutions. Finally, the government should re-evaluate its authoritarian policies and provide autonomy to Catalans and other ethnic groups due to the evidence of the history of multiple religions and cultures, which should co-exist on one independent territory. The presence of three religions, dominance of Muslims in the Middle East, and history of Judaism do not allow the authorities to neglect these groups. It is also possible to draw the parallel with the United States, which us a multicultural country that has been constantly adjusting to the presence of various ethnic and racial groups and their co-existence could be promoted to ensure transparency and respect of their rights and freedoms.