Carlism, Right and Left

Siege of the Behobia Gate, Battle of Irún, May 18, 1837

Originally published by Círculo Hispalense- Sevilla, Septiember 2, 2022

In the collective imagination, Carlism is cataloged within the predominate ideological system  as «extreme right». Obviously, anyone with a minimum of intelligence and good intentions is aware that this categorization is stupidity.

However, it is possible that the erroneous assignment to the right-wing may have to do with its circumstantial study. When Carlism emerged after the coup d’état of the usurpation, it proclaimed itself the defender of religion and the legitimate Hispanic monarchy. Today’s readings of it from ideological prisms favor Carlism being confused with right-wing or even extreme right-wing movements, perhaps because of its historical birth linked to these demands.

The reality is very different, given that Carlism belongs by its very nature to a more ancient worldview. Biased and fragmentary conceptions are the fruits of revolutionary triumph. If we expose the traditionalist doctrine to people who are not familiar with the denomination, it is normal that, depending on what issue we deal with, we are placed from the extreme right to the extreme left. If we talk about authority, our defense of natural authority may lead us to qualify as conservatives, but our attack on the State as leftists. If we are dealing with the social question, we will say with Severino Aznar commenting on the precedence of Mella in the manner of Rerum Novarum that the defense against social injustices is born from the same tradition. An amusing anecdote referred to Mella in this regard: the cangués titan used to say that the system supported by Carlism, in order to be understood, he chose to call it «societalism» given that progressivism already used the term «socialism».

All this pushes us to perceive the impossibility of reducing Carlism to limited ideological frameworks. Nothing can be and not be at the same time, nothing can progress and remain still at the same time. Two corollaries arise from this: i) Carlism has remained fixed in its doctrine since its origin ii) conservatism or the right-wing appear motionless, but hide slow progressivism. This is the origin of criticism of Carlism, this is the «progress» of the right, this is the impossibility of understanding Carlism, a system that represents a world from which the revolutionaries, some faster than others, are moving away as that the revolution is consolidating.

Written by Miguel Quesada, Círculo Hispalense

Translated by Alfz M. Scullin, Círculo Carlista Camino Real de Tejas