On "El Campesino"
3. More on "El Campesino"
Well... I believe I am still somewhat paying back my walk of
but I also seem to be getting out of it. Then again, sleeping remains
On "El Campesino"
Here is an item I
do not know how to
classify, and that I also cannot tell you very much about, so instead I
shall also talk a bit about myself, and about why this man, Valentin
González, aka "El Campesino",
who lived from 1904-1983, interests me - although by now almost
everyone who is not
Spanish never heard of him, as indeed will also be true, thirty years
after his death, of most Spaniards.
Even so... see the Wikipedia about him, which is fairly brief, and
amounts to this:
He was a communist miner, who quickly rose to a leading military
position in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930ies; he emigrated in 1939,
after the defeat of the army, to the Soviet Union; there he started out
as a high officer, got married, and got a daughter; he then quickly
fell into disfavour for being honest; got locked up in a Soviet
concentration-camp - from which he escaped, twice, the second time
successfully. He also never admitted anything to the NKVD.
This is indeed a bit better than is on Wikipedia, and that is because I
know of him through rereading Conquest's "The Great Terror", doing a
search, and finding his impressive 1952 autobiography, that you'll now
find on my site:
Incidentally: "" is Spanish for
One of the several reasons I am interested in this man, who in many
rather unlike me, is that, as I have said on several places on my site,
the only diploma I am proud of are not my university-diplomas but is my
Norwegian 1977 diploma that qualifies me as a livestock farmer, who was
therewith declared capable of running Norwegian livestock farms, as
"jordbruksavloysar", that is, as a replacement for farmers who had
fallen ill, wanted a holiday, etc.
This was quite serious in intention, and it might have been a lot
better for me if I had done that in Norway - instead of briefly after
receiving the diploma, going back to Holland, where I started to study
philosophy, and rapidly got removed the first of four times from the
University of Amsterdam.
But a bit about myself.
I am different from anyone I ever met, and the main reasons, as far as
I can tell, are these four:
It's very difficult to
establish the relative importance of these factors, although the second
is the least important as to what makes me rather different from anyone
else I know.
- My education is quite
from most people, and was mostly poor, money-wise, by genuinely
communist parents, who both had been in the Dutch Resistance, that also
made my father and his father political prisoners ("political terrorists" according to the
Dutch judges, of 1941, who convicted them) in German
concentration-camps, that my grandfather did not survive.
- I definitely gave up
that marxist faith in
1970, when I was 20, which was very "unhandy" of me, so it
because the next year was the first of 25 years of something rather
Stalinist communism in the universities of Holland, during which in the
University of Amsterdam the communist (later: postmodern)
students mostly ruled, from 1971-1991. 
- It so happens that I am very
intelligent and very theoretical: I read more than anyone I
know; I have
no TV since 1970; and I always had very many theoretical interests,
more than anyone I know.
- I fell ill at 28, as did
the woman I
lived with, with a real disease that no bureaucrat ever took serious,
and I was always much discriminated for my opinions, that are indeed
often not quite the ordinary ones. 
The first difference and the third are probably the most important -
but I really do not know their relative strength, and I also am by now
too old and too ill to care, except to insist that both differences are
large, whatever ordinary men
may say against me - and nearly everyone is ordinary, I found during
the last 63 years, and almost no one can help much about that, either.
Let me simple say that both my background education and my talents are
extra-ordinary - and add that I really don't care if you don't like
that, because combined with the other two points I got 35 years
of constant illness plus constant discrimination for
it, and I may have been more scolded for being different from
the rest than almost any other Dutchman, and that also includes several
from the university of Amsterdam, that happened to no one else in
Holland since 1945, and was basically for asking questions.
But back to my theme of today.
3. More on "El Campesino"
I know of "El Campesino" since 1992, when I - belatedly - finally first
read the first printing of Robert Conquest's
Terror", incidentally a book I warmly recommend to you, in
any version, both because of what it describes and also what it may predict.
As it happened, I mostly or totally forgot about him until rereading
that book recently, when I also found that not only was he a fairly
famous Republican general in the second half of 1930-ies, in the Spanish Civil War,
but he also had been locked up in Soviet concentration-camp, and
had been the 1 in a 1000 or so that did not sign forced falsed
confessions and had twice escaped from these concentration-camps, the second time succesfully.
Now these things make somebody very special - and I could now
use internet, which I could not do when I first read about him.
I am glad I did and today found and read:
which is very good:
Simple, direct, honest and indeed also mostly about the horrrors
of Stalin's Soviet Union, which came to anyone who did not fully conform.
In any case: With a background like I have, this man stands out as one
of the very few real men, who was not a conformist, who was not
rich, who was a great general, who did not betray his ideals, even
though most around him did, and who escaped from a Soviet
concentration-camp, and who wrote and published the truth about them.
For those who have Spanish (mine is alas not good enough), there is
also this, of which I list the first of five parts, from a 1982 45
minutes Spanish documentary:
Please note that, on my
equipment, this starts with an ugly high tone, but it really
starts at 1 minute, and from then on is OK. I looked at all of it, in
fact getting little of the spoken Spanish, but the man clearly was
quite alive and bright then, although he was so poor that he and his
wife could not afford dentures.
Well... he was a really great man, of whom there are very, very few.
O yes! The main reason is that in 1971 - in "answer" to many
demonstrations by students in France, England, Germany and Holland -
minister Veringa handed the Dutch universities effectively over to
From 1971 till 1995, when a new law undid it, the Dutch universities
were ruled on a 1 man = 1 vote basis, where everyone
who worked in the university - from toilet cleaners, secretaries, and
doormen, to professors, lecturers, and of course each and all of the
students - got 1 vote, to vote each year what were effectively
Soviets: The University Council and the Faculty Councils. And these had
the power, in the universities, and in the faculties, more or less like
It is this fact
that made the Dutch universities radically different
from each and any other university, outside the then
still existing "socialist" states (but these again differed, since the
surrounding societies were "socialist". and also were not run on this
utterly insane and extremely corrupt system).
It is still not really discussed: The pretense is that it did
not exist (and indeed it does exist no more since 1995 - when it had
existed for its 25th year, continuously).
Where the background is in fact the mostly communist, later
post-modernistic opinions that were the rage in the University of
Amsterdam, where a classical liberal with strong philosophy of science
ideas like me, was almost non-existent, and if anyone did exist - there
were perhaps one or two more, or so - they were neither ill and
especially not outspoken, as I was.
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: