The country cannot continue trapped in the logic of the
sterile confrontation and rhetoric that exhausts us
Thursday, 05/28/2020 – 16:35
Image: Anthony Garner
The covid-19 pandemic will not have ended with the lawsuit between Catalonia and the State, far from it, but it will end the sovereign ‘procés’, as we have known it in recent years. It will not be because the underlying reasons that explain the process of disconnection of the central and most dynamic sectors of the country would have disappeared or because the State has formulated an integrating and inclusive political proposal for the majority of Catalan society, in terms of national recognition and political and financial power; nor will it be because the body of the country that aspires to independence, which moves around 40% of the public opinion according to the latest surveys, would have abandoned its aspirations. Nor will it be because the unjust imprisonments of the social and political leaders of the ‘procés’, which have provoked and provoke a clamor of indignation, would have been forgotten and the political prisoners would be free.
No. The persistence of Catalan society in its desire to govern itself continues, the economic grievance with Catalonia remains, the contempt for cultural and linguistic diversity has not been resolved and the Jacobin conception of the State is very solid, as we have seen with the “single command” during the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, those who dream that with the “new normality” of the postcovid, the themes and questions that have radically transformed the social and political map will merge and we will return to another more predictable and peaceful time. But it is also true that those pro-independence sectors that maintain intransigent, purist and extreme positions, that aspire to maintain the entrenched conflict, that need continuous confrontation with the State to maintain their revenue, and that still speculate with the magical idea that out of the collapse of Spain will emerge a free Catalonia, they are wrong again.
post-Covid, in which we are slowly entering, changes the nature of the urgent
problems that the country must face, which are none other than the recovery of
the thousands of lost jobs and the protection of the most fragile, and sharpens
the need to radically confront the social, economic, environmental, cultural
and technological transformations that have long demanded reforms in the
country’s main policies. Becoming an open, competitive, digital and green
economy that guarantees good jobs through decent wages and strengthens the
welfare state through fair taxation in the face of the need to ensure people’s
health, prioritize assistance and care for the most vulnerable and guarantee
quality education from early childhood and lifelong learning for all, should be
the aspirations that concentrate the bulk of the country’s energies if we want
to bequeath a better country to the generations of the youth and children of
today. I am convinced that the most dynamic, demanding, active and
entrepreneurial country is moving in this direction and that an agenda of
transformative reforms such as the one we now need calls, yes or yes, for decisions
which will affect us directly. The country cannot continue to be trapped in the
logic of sterile confrontation and rhetoric that exhausts us and makes
collective progress impossible.
Now, it is not a matter of returning to the policies that, with successes and mistakes like all human work, allowed the national, economic and social progress of the country during the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Nostalgia for the past never is the engine that enables societies to advance.
The time we have to live through is more difficult, uncertain and volatile than ever; populists of all kinds offer us easy and pure solutions, almost always unrealizable, to the complex and contradictory questions that we must face. Catalanism, which has been the red thread, in the words of the for so long-missed Joaquim Ferrer, which has articulated Catalan society politically from the end of the 19th century until today, if it aspires to continue being the first political and cultural engine of the country, must strive to build new ideas for this new time. More Europe, more cooperation, more governance, more co-sovereignty, more sharing power and decisions, that is what, in my opinion, is all about. We already know the walls in front of us; now it is about overcoming them with all the collective lucidity and all the democratic and justice sense that we are able to mobilize, here and everywhere.