Llàtzer Moix, 13 February 2022
Enric Fontcuberta / EFE
What history will say
Columnists with unimpeachable pro-independence CVs have recently insinuated that the current political situation is the prelude to Catalan decadence. They attribute this decline, in addition to the mistreatment by the state, to the inability of ERC and Junts to agree on a common strategy. The latter, according to one of the impeccable ones, will be a chimera as long as Junqueras and Puigdemont, who lead ERC and Junts, do not overcome their grudge against each other. And – I would add – as long as they do not put an end to the grotesque conflicts that the confrontational vein of Puigdemont and his followers fosters, which are sterile for their cause, and tiresome and depressing for those who believe that independence is neither a priority nor viable today.
This insinuation is good news. But it is still not enough to curb the victimhood inertia. We have just witnessed the Juvillà case, another attempt to disobey the law, led by the president of the Parliament, whose annual salary is around 140,000 euros. Her defiance, with brake and reverse gear, has ended in nothing. Or rather, another proof of their impotence and of the gap that separates the major pro-independence parties. Or that the path of defying the State does not lead far. Or that the capacity of certain pro-sovereignty people to unilaterally discredit the institutions of all Catalans is enormous and alarming.
It cannot be argued that this division, with its regressive effects, caught us by surprise. For years now, we have been witnessing the absurdity – or the foolishness – of parties that pathetically preach unity while they foster disunity. This has been the case in the ‘procès’ and post-‘proces’. The list of examples could fill this journal. Let us cite just a few of the most heated debates: was Puigdemont right to flee in the boot of a car while Junqueras and company stayed behind and went to jail, who is the legitimate president, should we go to the dialogue table, should the ‘Consell de la República’ -and not the Govern- set the pro-independence strategy? This string of questions without a consensual answer reflects a solid enmity. This being the case, certain awakened pro-independence supporters with a sense of dignity are already fearful of how these years will be treated in the history books. And not because they doubt the legitimacy of their yearning, but because they have amassed evidence that the path chosen to materialise it leads to the cliff. The editions sponsored – it is a hypothesis – by the delirious Institut Nova Història will speak of heroic deeds. The rest will present the current period for what it is: an anachronistic adventure, led by politicians who ignore the margins and limits of political negotiation and have polarised and impoverished Catalonia. In addition to turning it into a dead letter: according to Diplocat, Catalonia’s presence in the networks fell by 40% in 2021. We have gone from “the world is watching us” to “we bore the sheep”.
The fear of Catalonia’s decadence is looming among the pro-independence movement.
On the coming Onze de Setembre, the tenth anniversary of the demonstration that kick-started the pro-Catalonia process, pro-independence will have little to celebrate. In that decade it has deployed an impotent strategy. Those in power here, so sensitive to detecting other people’s political errors, do not know how to see and correct their own, even though they are glaring.
If independence aspires to a better future, it must start by putting aside its useless tactics. And this may require a change of leadership at the top of its ranks. Some of the leaders of the ‘procés’ have already retired and have said so openly. Others, not so explicit, have a discreet profile. Others are still prolonging the agony of the ‘procès’, with no feasible purpose, for fear of being branded as ‘botiflers’, traitors, without realising that their services to the homeland are already comparable to those of the said ‘traitors’. Not to mention that there is a limit to patience¬.
Cicero’s retort to Catiline in the Roman Senate is well known: “How long will you abuse our patience, Catiline? Less well known is the sentence of his contemporary Publilius Siro: “Offended patience can turn to fury”. For example, in the already perceptible fury of radical independentism, which feels let down. Or in the weariness of non-independence supporters. Or in the inclement analysis that may be made in the decadent future (feared by the