Appeared in Winter 1990, Vol. XVI, No. 4

Although at times this essay may seem to dissolve into the swamp of contemporary Spanish politics, themselves distant from the preoccupations engaging most Americans, I ask the reader to accept what follows as an exercise in political philosophy. Our common master, Aristotle, teaches us that political philosophy both emerges from an examination of political reality and subsequently acts as a model by which that same reality can be evaluated. The reality in question in these pages, the subject under discussion, is contemporary Spain. The three principal figures who occupy this stage are Manuel Fraga Iribarne, unquestionably the first figure in the Spanish Center-Right; don Juan Carlos I, King of Spain; and Dr. Jose Guerra Campos, Bishop of Cuenca. The import of this study is to give a series of predicates to the Spain of today which seems to act, as Spain always has throughout its long history, as a mirror in which the West can read its own soul. In turn, these considerations – I trust – will enable students of political philosophy to add to the body of predicates they affirm of their subject matter: man’s life in political society.

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