FRANCESC MORENO 04/03/2021
Salvador Illa Foto: Europa Press
Ramoneda and those who want a divided Catalonia and a PSC subordinated to nationalism
In an article published in El País, Josep Ramoneda has charged against Salvador Illa for using Spanish in the Parliament during the investiture debate. I’m not surprised. Ramoneda has always been part of that socialist environment whose unique mission has been to maintain the subordination of socialists to nationalism. Their great triumph, and one of the causes of the ideological hegemony of nationalism in Catalonia, was the defeat of the so-called New Majority of Ernest Lluch, Martin Toval or Joan Prats, by the nationalist wing of the PSC with the invaluable collaboration of Felipe González.
“THE EVIDENCE THAT THE PSC HAS BEEN GOVERNED BY NATIONALISTS IS THAT A GOOD PART OF THOSE LEADING THE PARTY HAVE ENDED UP IN PRO-INDEPENDENCE PARTIES OR COLLABORATING WITH THEM”
Nobody has told me that, I myself experienced it live (I have been a socialist activist from 1974 to 2015). The evident proof that the PSC has been governed by nationalists is that a good part of those who led the party have ended up in pro-independence parties or collaborating with them. From Ernest Maragall, -nothing to do with his brother Pasqual, who has always had his own ideas and an inclusive vision of Catalonia, regardless of whether or not one may agree with the adventure of the Statute-, to Castells, Mascarell and many others.
“THEY WERE PART OF THE DOMINANT ELITE WHOSE FUNCTION WITHIN THE PSC WAS TO KEEP IT DOCILE AND PERMISSIVE WITH THE PUJOLIST SOCIAL ENGINEERING STRATEGY”
I remember them defending self-determination, in the Congresses of the PSC. This subordination to nationalism, -they had a reverential fear of Pujol-, explains the inability to win regional elections for decades. They preferred not to mobilize the vote of the Barcelona belt to win the elections, after all they have never had problems to hold positions and perks. They were part of the dominant elite whose function within socialism was to keep it docile and permissive with the Pujolista social engineering strategy.
“RAMONEDA’S INTENTION IS TO SHAKE THE SOCIALIST WATERS TO AVOID THE CONSOLIDATION OF ILLA, THE ONE WHO IS NOT FORGIVEN NOT ONLY FOR USING SPANISH, BUT ALSO FOR PARTICIPATING IN SCC DEMONSTRATIONS AND WHO, IN DEFINITIVE, IS NOT A NATIONALIST”
That is why I am not surprised by the angry reaction of Catalan nationalism to Illa using Spanish in the debate, albeit in an almost symbolic way. The intention of Ramoneda is to shake the socialist waters to avoid the consolidation of Illa, who is not forgiven not only for using Spanish, -I insist in a secondary way to Catalan-, but also for participating in SCC demonstrations and, in short, for not being a nationalist.
I do not know the current internal reality of the PSC but it seems to me that they will not have it easy. And not only because of the flight of nationalists in recent years but because Catalan society is beginning to get fed up with its division based on language, a division that is justified only for partisan reasons, not for the defense of Catalan.
“I AM ONE OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT LANGUAGES ARE OF THE PEOPLE AND NOT OF THE TERRITORIES”
Although I am one of those who believe that languages belong to people and not to territories, my mother tongue is Catalan, I have always defended positive discrimination in favor of Catalan because obviously Spanish is not an endangered language. But from there to using it to turn Spanish-speaking citizens into second-class citizens there is an abyss.
“BY EXCLUDING SPANISH IN THE PUBLIC DEBATE, TREATING IT AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE IN EDUCATION, WHAT IS INTENDED IS THE EXCLUSION OF A PART OF THE POPULATION FROM THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY”
By excluding Spanish in the public debate, treating it as a foreign language in teaching, what is intended is the exclusion of a part of the population from the political community. Castilian-speaking children who suffer greater school failure and also those who have Catalan as their mother tongue are discriminated and harmed, producing illiterates in Spanish, as we see every day, to the detriment of their professional possibilities. It is not only a language problem but also of cultural, historical, geographical references, that is to say of identity.
In short, as I have already said, they try to make a homogeneous society, submissive to nationalist ideology, not only with the language, also by promoting immigration that they believe is more manageable, or by favoring the return to other parts of Spain of many Catalans (despite the differences in wealth, the migratory balance with the rest of Spain is already negative and the Generalitat favors immigration from other countries to the detriment of the Latin American one).
“THE ACCUSATION OF NATIONALISM TO TRY TO KEEP THE DISSIDENTS IN A CORNER OF THE POLITICAL RING IS TO ACCUSE US OF CATALANOPHOBES, WHEN NOT DIRECTLY OF FASCISTS”
After what I have just said, the accusation of nationalism to try to keep dissidents in a corner of the political ring is to accuse us of being Catalan-phobic, if not directly fascists (in the eighties the insult was Lerrouxist). They want to present us all as Spanish nationalists, which I am not because I was vaccinated at Franco’s school. And in any case, having been a victim does not legitimize to be an executioner. On the contrary, it should serve to be more respectful of the feelings of others.
«IT DOESN’T SEEM TO ME THAT 25% OF CLASSES IN SPANISH AT SCHOOL OR SOME PHRASES IN SPANISH BY A CANDIDATE OR AN INTERVENTION ON TV3 WOULD IMPLY WANTING TO END WITH THE CATALAN»
It does not seem to me that 25% of classes in Spanish at school or some sentences in Spanish by a candidate or an intervention on TV3 imply wanting to end Catalan. What they fear is that the conflict will disappear because it is totally artificial. The citizens of Catalonia, when asked if they prefer their children to learn one, two or three languages, most of them choose two or three, as it could not be otherwise from parents who are not fundamentalists.
This is a question that has never been asked by either the CIS or the CEO, but they did do a GAD 3 survey for SCC a few years ago. And do not repeat the mantra that Catalan children know the same Spanish as those from other regions. I come back to refer again to the tests of many Catalan politicians. It is one thing to understand and speak, badly, one language and quite another to know it really.
«DO NOT BELIEVE THAT LINGUISTIC IMPOSITION IS GOING TO MAKE YOUNG PEOPLE NECESSARILY MORE PRO-INDEPENDENCE. SURVEYS INDICATE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE, DESPITE IMMERSION AND ADOCTRINATION, ARE LESS THAN THEIR GRANDPARENTS »
It is impossible to have the same level of something that is not studied in school, or is done in a very marginal way, than if it is studied for years. On the other hand, do not believe that the linguistic imposition will necessarily make more pro-independence people. Surveys show that young people, despite immersion and indoctrination, are less so than their grandparents. And, by the way, a good part of the independence movement has been done in the language of the ‘metropolis’.
In fact, the discrimination of Castilian is intended to have a captive market as well as the procès as a whole, and we already know that the lack of competition is what produces decadence.
But let’s go back to Ramoneda. His outrageous attack on Illa responds to the fear that this issue will be pacified in a balanced way and for the benefit of all, and that from then on an agonizing ‘procès’ will end up succumbing. That’s why they go for Illa. They do not want solutions but conflict.
And the fact is that if the PSC takes the step and the center and center right also manages to pacify this issue, Catalonia, all Catalans, we have a future that is not the decline and permanent and exacerbated confrontation. Catalonia cannot recover its splendor if it does not overcome the identity confrontation. Nationalisms, both, are incompatible with a plural society because they divide and weaken it. And the Catalans, just as we live in diversity at the family, social and professional level, must be able to do it at the political level.
Against those who want a homogeneous society, let us defend a plural society. If Franco’s Spanish nationalism did not achieve its goals, neither should Catalan nationalism. And Illa annoys. That is why they want to eliminate him.
To paraphrase Machin’s song, you can love two languages at the same time and not be crazy.
Lawyer and editor. He has been a professor of financial law at the UAB and commercial law at the UB. The founder of cronicaglobal.com and SCC.