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Transatlantic StudiesLatin America, Iberia, and Africa$
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Cecilia Enjuto-Rangel, Sebastiaan Faber, Pedro García-Caro, and Robert Patrick Newcomb

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620252

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620252.001.0001

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It’s Complicated—Ortega y Gasset’s Relationship with Argentina

It’s Complicated—Ortega y Gasset’s Relationship with Argentina

(p.418) Chapter Thirty-Four It’s Complicated—Ortega y Gasset’s Relationship with Argentina
Transatlantic Studies

Robert Wells

Liverpool University Press

At the start of the 20th Century – between the desastre del '98 and the Civil War in Spain, and during a population explosion in Argentina due to a massive influx of immigrants from abroad – elites and conservative elements in both countries felt a political, spiritual, and existential crisis to be at hand in the form of the ascent of the modern masses. Indeed, these masses were seen to personify the threat of anarchic, communistic, and democratic disorder at home and abroad. Within the Hispanic world, the self-styled authority with regards to the "barbaric" masses was the Spanish philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset – a thinker who, outside of Spain, was most influential in Argentina. This chapter explores Ortega's relationship with his “second homeland,” ultimately positing that the elitist, authoritarian, and xenophobic theses he puts forth in La rebelión de las masas and his various essays on Argentina served as the philosophical justification for the transatlantic co-conspiracy against the masses that would come to emerge.

Keywords:   Ortega y Gasset, masses, nacionalismo argentino, Yrigoyen, la falange, conservatism, counterrevolution

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