Constitution and agreement: these two principles have guided Sociedad Civil Catalana (SCC) since its foundation. They are our currency and our entrails. They are the frame of reference to understand any text or action that comes from us.
Recent statements of mine about the best way to defend the Constitution and concord in Catalonia have caused a media storm. From there I have been directed to all kinds of anathemas and misrepresentations. I would like to dispel all confusion by explaining what I meant and why.
1. It is not enough to just say no to independence, electorally entrenched around 47%. If we want different results, we must explore complementary approaches. Obviously, at SCC we will always demand that the constitutional order and national sovereignty be guaranteed with democratic firmness. But, in addition, it is essential to argue, persuade and convince. We must ensure that the majority of Catalans understand that there are better options than the rupture and return to feeling affective and effectively linked to the common Spanish project.
2. It is urgent to promote a new civic culture in Catalonia. At SCC we work very hard to achieve it. But this new hegemony should never imply the return to the values of pujolism nor should it return to the situation of 2012. It is about defending an alternative and open civic culture, deeply pluralistic, that recognizes and returns to value the internal diversity of Catalonia .
3. To win a debate, beyond the applause of the convinced, it is important to understand the motivations and aspirations of the adversary (who is also our fellow citizen). It is convenient to capture its elements of rationality or at least its background aspiration. In a liberal democracy, nobody has a monopoly on the truth – although public deliberation must be carried out in the legal framework. This dialogic attitude allows communication to be unlocked and to win the debate by elevation, directing and integrating the position of the other in the horizon that one defends. It is a worthwhile effort because it serves to win, not to yield.
4. Such a way of arguing is applicable to many aspects. Let’s give an example. A nationalist should not be asked to give up defending his cultural identity, but to encourage him to do so precisely because he is part of the Spanish common heritage. At the same time, we must demand that you recognize and value the internal plurality of Catalan culture. Constitutionalist pedagogy begins by dismantling false nationalist contradictions: what seemed incompatible is perfectly articulable.
5. One possible way to turn the situation around is to change the focus of the debate in Catalonia. It would be an important success to move from the logic of the rupture to the logic of the reform. Why instead of spending so much time discussing how we break our country, we don’t think about how to improve it among all? The moment is ripe for this turn, because the independence disappointment is palpable. Such an approach overcomes the dialectical shock and draws a shared horizon. Recovering that shared look around Spain is already a triumph of constitutionalism. It is clear that the goal of any reform is the common good, not the contentment of a few.
6. If separatism has been effective in expanding the base, it has been because it has managed to tame the future for its cause. What the independence leaders have offered is hope in a time of collective depression. That is why it is important that Spain recover the discourse of optimism and present itself as an open civic task. Such is the objective of the SCC Forum 2050 initiative, to imagine the Spain of our grandchildren. Because a nation is also a memory and a common dream.
7. It should be stressed that the logic of the reform does not only affect the State: the first area that must be reformed is the Generalitat. And here SCC wants to exercise active leadership. Catalonia shows serious deficits of pluralism and democratic quality: institutional doping of the social fabric, symbolic colonization of public space, lack of neutrality of the Administration, monolingualism and bias in the school. We will always demand compliance with the laws, because that is the premise of democratic coexistence. In the next few days, an SCC lawsuit against various conselleries will be known.
8. A fundamental mission of SCC is to give voice to the invisible Catalans, who are the majority. Too many citizens have been feeling second-class Catalan for decades. SCC will always put its rights and claims on the table. He will do it in Barcelona, in Madrid and in any instance, remembering that there is no confusion between Catalonia and the nationalist elites. At the end of the summer we will present the Pel Procés d’Afectats Platform, led by the journalist and writer Anna Grau.
9. SCC is guided by the 1978 Constitution. There is no solution or shortcuts to get out of the Catalan labyrinth outside the Constitution. Nor is there anything that can bend his spirit, which has always been a spirit of concord.
10. SCC does not say or do anything else now than what it has always said and done. We maintain the lyrics and music, with their claims and persuasion notes. Only in this way can we create and maintain a melody that most Catalans share. SCC has returned with more desire than ever to be at the service of Catalonia and the whole of Spain. They can try to misrepresent our words but they will never drown our commitment.