Fellow traveler Kate Shea Baird sums it all up quite well. I feel it’s important for those of us on the left who support Catalan independence to remember that we want independence in order to deliver a better country. Not just any country. An independent Catalonia, sí o sí, is not the aim and never should be. I don’t consider Catalans to be living under a repressive regime (unless you mean the Mossos) and so I don’t buy the liberation trope. And while I wouldn’t like to see Artur Mas behind bars for organizing the consulta, I’d crack the cava open if he and the rest of his party were sent down for corruption.
The pro-independence left (mainly the CUP and elements of Iniciativa and a handful of people at ERC) must maintain its focus through all the twists and turns in this process. We must, above all, fight for our values as the keystone of our support for independence: we want a better country. We want a country that helps the poorest, defends labor, looks after its citizens’ health, educates its young people, invests in the arts and culture, promotes sustainable living and tourism, and rejects CiU’s corruption and the neo-liberal model. And because we’re on the left, we must want all these things for Spain as well.
That’s the Catalan republic that I defend.
6 thoughts on “From the left towards Catalan independence”
You don’t mention democracy, to which I think Mas is at least vaguely committed – obviously after the long transition during which he will lead the movimiento nacional.
You’re right. I’d have thought that was implied but then assume makes an ass of u and me, no?
It’s a serious question. A German Turkish friend is currently engaged in extracting her family from Istanbul and into Germany because democracy there has delivered the liberal middle class into the hands of a flagwaving idolatrous mob, whose leaders are no less corrupt than the generals who preceded them. It’s the old problem with Rawls: liberal democracy is wonderful, as long as most of society consists of (honest) liberal democrats. In the UK one starts to have doubts, and Spain feels pretty Asia Minor-ish.
I think that I was clearly defending ideas that not only fit perfectly well with democracy, but also enrich it.
When I start calling for the Mullahs to take over, or pledging to man the guillotines, send me a reminder to look back at this and see where it all started.
I don’t think in general secession is a good tactic to further a specific political agenda. An independent Catalonia will have Leftist governments as well as Right-wing governments, just like now. The difference is the Catalan people, and by extension the governments they elect, will have more power to do whatever they want to do, as opposed to the current situation in which they’re restrained by a series of central institutions in which Catalans don’t have much say. So, while I agree that Spain is not an oppresive country, that doesn’t mean independence isn’t about freedom. It certainly is. For me, this is the whole point of it.
I see your point. I guess there’s a difference between “freedom to […]” and freedom from […]” and it was this second case I was getting at.