Antoni Puigverd, 12 December 2021
Images: 6,000 are the languages currently spoken in the world, according to the most optimistic estimates. 1,000 that will still be spoken in 2100. 100 are the languages that will continue to count in the XXII century; the others will be discussed in increasingly reduced areas. Other sources
When at the beginning of the “procés” I wrote that the mutation of Catalan nationalism into independence movement was a testimony of agony, nobody paid me the slightest attention. For those who opposed the procés, it was not important. They knew that if things got complicated, the state would impose itself without hesitation. To the independentists, my interpretation interested them less. In its beginnings, remember? Under the sinister aftermath of 2008, the procés embodied hope. They wanted a new country. But the desolate country that now reluctantly returns to autonomy was already showing symptoms of a greater evil. Many Catalans now discover that independence was a hoax (let’s specify: the forward flight of leaders who were unaware of the country). They also discover, astonished, that the Catalan language is experiencing the most critical situation in its history. The long two million immigrants are integrated (that is to say) in Spanish. And young people ignore Catalan in social networks that base their value on likes and audiences. The agony is now visible.
While the language suffers, civil disintegration takes a serious leap
Globalization has caused a sovereignist retreat around the world (even in powerful countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom or France): no culture accepts its erosion with joy. In the Catalan case, dissolution is anticipated. The circumstance would demand the highest alarm: intelligence and consensus. But those who have failed politically persist in prescribing therapies of the same style, which can be deadly for the tongue. For their part, those who have always wanted Catalan assimilation are happy. The Spanish press points out the symptoms of tension (intolerance of Canet’s parents), cynically ignoring the causes of the discomfort.
Petrifying the identity frontier (Spaniards versus Catalans) in the interior of Catalonia is the unforgivable mistake of the procés. It has favored the strategy of important Spanish media and political powers that have been working for years to achieve ethnic disintegration in Catalonia. In the context of the agony of the Catalan language, such disintegration will take a leap of the utmost gravity. The barbarous game of discerning between unionists and independentists or between constitutionalists and separatists will pay off dramatically, for sure; and perhaps in a tragic way.