Joan Esculies, 21 December 2022
At the end of December, interviewed by this newspaper, Gilles Kepel maintained that France lives under the dictatorship of the National School of Administration. “A State aristocracy completely incapable of thinking about the mutations of society,” the political scientist told Eusebio Val. Something similar happens in Catalonia.
One of the derivatives of the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the Statute in 2010 was that the national axis was established as preferred when forming a government. Since then and with the start of the procés, alternation in the Generalitat is not possible. The very awareness of perpetuity has led, progressively in the last decade, to a leading stratum to be more aware of the propaganda fabrication of a political desire —independence— and of competition with the partner, than of accelerated changes that were produced in the meantime within Catalan society.
Catalan is no longer being perceived as a vehicle for social promotion
This group has been more attentive to what they wanted and what their environment requested than to everything that happened outside of it. In the months prior to the illegal referendum of 2017, the independence movement, for example, allocated a considerable amount of money to publicize the virtues of the Yes in neighborhoods mostly resistant to the separatist ideal. To an outside observer it was obvious that it was planted on dry ground. For a leader imbued with the movement, no.
The trickle of cases in recent weeks —and those to come— of families demanding 25% Spanish at school is a palpable symptom of this disconnection. The demand does not arise because this language is in danger in Catalonia, but on the contrary: because the second and third generations of Catalans, daughters of immigrants from the rest of Spain, live their daily use normally and have a different relationship with Catalan than the one their parents had in the past. The same for newcomers, who do so in a different global context.
The Catalan language is no longer being perceived as a vehicle for social promotion outside public administrations and bodies or professions linked to them. In addition, and this is the lament that has swelled Ciudadanos for years, a segment of the population sees access to the Generalitat as impossible and, therefore, considers it something alien. That the party has sunk does not mean that the feeling disappears.
Without a look at the real social composition —and not the dreamed one—, and a joint, anticipated and consistent response to the changes that occur, self-government will not be able to consolidate or increase. The office of Catalan government lives in La La Land (the country of those who have no contact with reality) and this only can mean that the least expected day the entire Catalan theater falls like a house of cards.