Mac Murtra 3/2/2021
It is difficult to determine when a country is in decline, as humans tend to pay more attention to bad news than good news, and we often think that a country is declining, even if that is not the case. Thus, the US was said to be in decline in the 1980s, when Japan was supposed to assume world leadership, with the rise of China and with the Trump presidency. But the reality is that the United States is the cradle of such transformative companies as Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, Apple and Airbnb, and it monopolizes, year after year, the Nobel prizes. Confusions in this area are frequent: even the Greeks, in their most splendid years, with Pericles, Socrates and Phidias, remembered the supposed Homeric past with the doubt as to whether they were worthy heirs of their ancestors.
But fake decadent ones shouldn’t confuse us. There are societies that stop advancing and turn around until they faint. For example, the British family of this writer woke up one day in the 1970s to find that they were no longer an empire, Yoko Ono had killed off the Beatles, they made horrible products, they ate kidney cakes, and their governments were unable to change the world. existing dynamics. They were in decline. Today, in Catalonia, given what has happened in recent times, can it be said that we Catalans are a society in decline, or are we simply low on sugar? It is a local phenomenon: the rest of Spain and Europe are not so divided or paralyzed Unfortunately, it can be seen that in Catalonia today a political act is, too often, a proclamation, a petition, a complaint or an aspiration, but not a creation, an implementation or a transformation. The demands are verbal; the acts, tactical, and there is a disconnect between what you want to do, you know how to do and it can be done. We are a society clearly divided between pro-independence and non-pro-independence, we were able to verify this in the Anti-Comintern Pact against Illa and in Illa’s refusal to govern with them. Administratively, there is a spirit of inevitability and it is believed that everything depends on galactic forces based in Madrid. Too many leaders resort to old failed formulas, stigmatize the law, are ocotitos (a person who encourages discord), trivialize freedom of expression, infantilize the role of the police, and abuse pleonasms. There is an excess of condescension with the most exaggerated demands. It promotes, with honorable exceptions, those who do not take risks, so what would-be politician in his right mind would take one? There is a very serious problem of institutional legitimacy; If we relentlessly criticize our institutions without having a consensual replacement, how can we govern? There are days when looking at the streets of Barcelona one remembers Shakespeare’s quote “Hell is empty and all the demons are here.”
This is a recent phenomenon: more than 20 years ago there was great consensus and the capacity for improvement, thus a good health system was created, cities were transformed and there was a long period of prosperity.
It is also a local phenomenon: the rest of Spain and Europe are not so divided, paralyzed or submerged in endless debates of anguished existentialism.
Catalans, we don’t lack sugar. No, unfortunately it can be said that we are entering the slippery slope of decadence. It’s not all bad news, of course. In Catalonia there is a thriving entrepreneurial sector, large companies, exemplary foundations, professionals who shine, responsible mayors, half the world wants to visit us during the holidays, the middle class endures and nobody is happy with the state of things. With this, we do not get depressed: declines, unlike misfortunes, are never inevitable. Let’s reject impotence, put aside the ineffective, ignore the frauds, respect the one who does things, support the police, promote order and, for the most sacred thing, let’s be serious.