Santi Vila 19 May 2021
ALBERT GEA / Reuters
Prisoners of the discourse
We learned in college that, in economics, as in so many other areas of life, what is assumed to be real ends up being real, with its consequences. Investors’ panic in the face of a stock market crash plunges the price of shares, just as the fear of depositors of the lack of liquidity of the banks ends up putting their treasury at risk. Also in politics we know, at least since Plutarco advised the young Menémaco how to become a good politician, that things are not as they are, but as they seem to be, an assertion as cynical as it is accurate, at least in the short term. Perhaps precisely because of the realization that this prejudice is rooted in the depths of our behavior, we can explain the proliferation of politicians who, far from being jurists, executives or philosophers, are neither more nor less than … journalists. On a local scale, Isabel Díaz Ayuso and Carles Puigdemont will have been the most emblematic of the moment. The president of the Community of Madrid forged her career as a community manager for Esperanza Aguirre and her dog. Puigdemont, as editor of the newspaper El Punt, in Girona.
The problem with entrusting the governance of public affairs to a journalist is that, by discipline, this type of profile is generally convinced that, politically, imposing the hegemony of your story is more at the origin of success than your own management. That without underestimating the university cliché that says that you never will allow the truth to compromise a good story. Thus, it is not surprising the grotesque electoral campaign that we have witnessed these last weeks in Madrid, where everyone simulated being in a war to the death between communism and freedom, or the even more embarrassing vaudeville (for unreal) of the negotiations to form a government in Catalonia.
The time has come to impose plot coherence and focus on governing well
It all started in 2017, when the Government of the Generalitat got used to the bad praxis of thinking one thing but affirming the opposite. No one in their right mind believed that a mandate to declare independence could be given off from the October 1 consultation, but that is how the faithful were allowed to understand in the lies of social networks. Nor did anyone at any time give any credibility to the plenary session of 27-O, as certain as that on Twitter and in the militant media the rhetoric imposed the motto of the “first day of the republic” The problem is that, as the series produced by Mediapro about those days, broadcast by TV3 on Sunday nights, has masterfully recorded, that historical moment was compatible with the fact that the following Monday everyone went quietly to work, the doctors at their healthcare centers, teachers to their school and pro-independence politicians to their official constitutional car. And here peace and afterwards glory.
The most serious thing is that far from becoming aware of the unsustainability of overstressing the contradiction between the real and the imaginary, in the last negotiation the two major pro-independence parties have maintained the pulse to capitalize on a maximalist commitment, which in private for months now everyone gives as written off. That if the republic comes, that if the collapse of the Bourbons is imminent, that if we are 52%, they are just some of the inexhaustible gimmicky games of third-rate magician, that although they have less travel than the wick of an aficionado firecracker they continue kicking off in the independence agora. I am afraid that the negotiation of the new government in Catalonia has also been the prisoner of this bad habit, at the risk of going out against those of Junts.
Because what is not correct is that the almost 200 directors and paid advisers of the post-CDC party admitted privately that it was unthinkable to resign their jobs, that the negotiations would undoubtedly end well and that they nevertheless publicly expressed their reservations about the patriotism of ERC, on the advisability of focusing and renouncing the confrontation with the State. They have played so much with the threat that the wolf is coming, that in the end the sheep have grown older and were already taking them as a joke. It should not be surprising, then, that those of ERC have had enough of having to endure how they were told privately that there was nothing to worry about and that in the face of the Junts parish they tried to maintain a resistance discourse.
ERC and Junts went to the elections with two unequivocally pro-independence programs but with a marked difference: the realism of the former and the commitment to the confrontation of the latter. As it is not possible to be both conciliatory and disruptive, now that forming a government seems resolved, the time has come to impose coherence in the argument and, as citizens insist, focus on governing well, if possible by recovering the habit to call things by their name. Either that or be happy with just reliving the first outing of Don Quixote, who, believing he was leading against giants, smacked himself against the mills, the sounds of which still echo through the fields of Castile.