Juan-José López Burniol, 30 September 2023
Kiko Huesca / Efe
The territorial debate that will focus Spanish political life during the next uncertain legislature, if the progressive bloc forms a government, will have three axes: plurinationality, confederation and self-determination. Let me explain. I have always defended the plurinationality of Spain; I did so in my book “España desde una esquina. Federalism or self-determination (2008)”. I argued, and I maintain, that Catalonia is a nation because it is a community with a clear awareness of its distinct historical personality and a firm will to project itself into the future through self-government: self-management of its interests and self-control of its resources. And I added, and I add, that there are two ways of incorporating a nation into a plurinational State: federation and confederation.
Let me make this clear with an example. A federal state is like a condominium: each neighbour does what he wants in his own flat, but the owners’ meeting decides on the common elements, so that even if the owner of the penthouse is the one with the largest share, the majority decides. In contrast, a confederation is like a group of adjoining plots whose owners agree among themselves on certain services (security, supplies, etc.), but retain full disposal of their property, even to resolve their membership. In the confederation, there is no higher interest of all, which prevails over the particular interests of its members.
Therefore, the plurinationality of a state can take two forms: 1) In a federal state, which is basically a variety of the unitary state (because the general interest prevails in certain matters). 2) In a confederation, in which there is no general interest since there is no sense of belonging. Hence, it is decisive to opt for a federation or a confederation.
And so, in Spain, the option for a federal state implies the existence of a Spanish nation in the form of a nation of nations, while the option for a confederation would mean that there are no nations other than the confederates, so that Spain, the Spanish nation, would not exist and each confederate state could leave. In other words, this would be the process: plurinationality, confederation, self-determination, and independence. All this facilitated by a prior amnesty which, as he points out, will imply the exoneration of the actors and the censure of the state and its institutions for their respective actions in the autumn of 2017.
In this context, I argue that:
1) Conforming the Spanish State as a confederation would mean denying the Spanish nation.
2) The only possible fit for the historical communities in a Spain as a nation of nations is the federal state.
The confederal option would trigger the complete destruction of the state.
3) The confederal option would also trigger the complete destruction of the State.
4) A future government of Sánchez will decide, dragged by the urgencies of an agonising legislature, to promote a confederal model open to self-determination for the sake of its political subsistence, which is already definitively united with the separatists.
5) This decision will lead, if it comes to fruition, to the fracturing of Spain.
This conclusion will disturb the pure spirits that refuse to see the reality of the facts, defined by the separatists’ maximalist demands (self-determination) and by the now irreversible choice of Sánchez’s Socialist Party for an absolute and unwavering confrontation with the right, which excludes not only any pact, but also simple dialogue.
There are images that define rather than illustrate, and that of a certain Óscar Puente on the rostrum marks the definitive profile of a leader (Sánchez) and the state of his party. Therefore, given the now inevitable drift of Sánchez and his party, there is no choice but to stick our feet in the sand and endure. There is a time for everything and today is the time to resist. Shlomo Ben Ami writes in Prophets without honour that nations do not murder themselves but commit suicide. So, it is with us today: Spain is committing suicide. Many are helping it. Also, with their silence.