Jordi Garcia-Petit 27-12-2019
Instead of talking about what would suit us, a social agenda in a society crushed by inequalities or climate change in a reality close to the emergency, in this blessed Catalan land there is much talk of the inconsequential or what does not exist.
Our first authority (to our regret) carries an incessant and crazy chatter about self-determination, rather than dealing with the competing “minutiae” that is his responsibility, such as hospital waiting lists or “patriotic” disorders that do not cease in streets, squares and roads in Catalonia.
The entire “procés” has been a series of stories narrated by successive Hamelin storytellers (Mas, Junqueras, Puigdemont, Torra). Self-determination is the tale that holds the most on the billboard and the one that most illusions. It is touching to hear the base believers proclaim their faith in self-determination, displaying it in banners and chants: “Self-determination is a right, not a crime.” As always, that damn, insane misrepresentation.
Of course, it is not a crime its exercise by those populations that, for the conditions to which they are subject, have recognized the right to self-determination. Unilateral separation from a State is only accepted by international law in cases of colonial domination, foreign occupation or objective oppression. In 2019 there are still 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories to decolonize, according to the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, among them does not include, of course, Catalonia.
Nor could there be a community, whose institutions have very wide competences in matters as sensitive in the field of freedoms as culture, civil law, education, emergencies and civil protection, language, territorial organization, health, public safety, prison system, universities, etc; which has a billion-dollar budget, which has an administration of thousands of civil servants, and a comprehensive police force of thousands of officers, which is part of a recognizedly democratic state.
As much as they are to write to chancelleries and international committees, they have not dared — for now — to address the Committee on Decolonization to “ask” to include Catalonia on their list, it must be the last remnant of feeling of ridicule they have left.
In these circumstances and in this context, the claim of a purported oppression and a “foreign occupation” is childish. In a conversation between intellectually honest adults the issue of self-determination would give everything more for a couple of minutes, enough time to find that in autonomous and privileged Catalonia to invoke the right to self-determination is a pure aberration.
Can the promoters of self-determination claim anything real? Yes, what others may also denounce: the discomfort of broad layers of the population. The same unrest that includes the population of other communities in Spain or countries around us because of economic crises, cultural and technological changes, misunderstood and difficult assimilation, because of the uncertainty and insecurity that all this entails. To infer from this malaise — for which the Institutions of the Generalitat are partly responsible for its misrule — that they have the right of self- determination, there’s an abyss.
To every faction of pro-independentists, self-determination serves to cover up some shame of themselves and to live politically by one’s wits. But self-determination is not a Christmas tale of peace and solidarity, but a perverse deception, charged with confrontation and insolidarity.