Joan Esculies, 30 September 2022
Carles Puigdemont in the hemicycle of the Parlament, followed by Jordi Turull / LV
Five years later, 1-O still conditions Catalan politics. After turning Carles Puigdemont into an electoral totem, a segment of Junts refuses to make a critical review of what happened and another fears the consequences at the polls of moving away from the president. ERC strategists undertook their analysis at the end of 2017 and set a new course by traveling to past screens. They do not recognize it that way but they risk and assume, with fear, that a part of the electorate does not understand why the disconnection that was presented as feasible then today has no date.
There has been no public rectification, nor acceptance of the failure of that October by both parties (nor, of course, by the CUP). Doing so would be as much as recognizing, as the historian Josep M. Fradera crudely expressed in Politics & Prose in May 2021, that today a segment of Catalan leaders involved in the operation is politically finished.
The first of October has become a burden that does not allow the country to progress
1-O was an unprecedented organizational milestone. The culmination of five years of the 9/11 mobilizations driven by the desire to overcome the previous challenge, the result of combining new technologies with the associative network of a part of Catalan society, which resists the phenomenon of bowling alone.
For the independence movement, the actions of the security forces represented a point of no return with the State. However, neither the charges, nor the trials, nor the sentences, nor the exiles have united Catalan society in a common front –in the style of the one achieved in Ireland after the Easter uprising of 1916–.
Despite this, a part of the pro-independence leaders still believes that they will be able to repeat the conditions of the experiment and change its end. Without assuming that their voters no longer look at them like they did in the summer of 2017, that the country has gone through an exhausting pandemic, that it is entering an economic crisis of unknown dimensions and that the independence movement is a great organizer of macro hapennings, but that it does not have guerrilla heart.
Josep Asensio publishes a short essay with a very suggestive thesis –although he lacks a more powerful critical apparatus–. According to The Ghost of Lerroux , the constant concern for not awakening the internal division of Catalonia has historically misled Catalanism from standing up to the State. To revive and maintain that scarecrow would be, then, the ultimate purpose of lerrouxism.
Today 1-O is the ghost of independence. Over time it will become a myth like that of the runs before the old police (los grises) that we have heard so many times in family after-dinners. But now the different readings and attempts to appropriate what it was have turned it into a burden that does not allow the country to progress. His penultimate victim is Catalan Government itself, the next will be Junts.