The “Consultation” in Catalonia: A New Episode in the Political Crisis of Spain

Published on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin no. 1052, by Pedro Marlez, Nov 6, 2014.

… The Spanish political crisis is advancing slowly but inexorably. In the last five or six months we have witnessed a series of events that have exacerbated the process of decomposition: the turbulence produced by the European elections, the succession to the throne, the most serious corruption scandals to surface for generations, and the conflict between the central government and Catalonia. The right-wing government of [Prime Minister] Mariano Rajoy has sought relief in macroeceonomic data, but the optimism expressed is groundless: no figures are available to show a solid recovery, with the exception of the fall in unemployment, which is explicable on the basis of a seasonally favourable situation in the services sector. The period to come will be very difficult for the government, even decisive in different areas of conflict … //

… State of Disarray: … //

… Right to Self-Determination:

Whatever the decision of the court, Sunday November 9th should be turned into a day to defend the right to self-determination. The pro-independence left has linked its support for independence to the slogan “para que todo cambie” (so as to change everything). To be coherent, it needs to kick off an autonomous campaign that mobilizes workers and the youth around an anti-capitalist program.

CiU (Convergence and Unity, Mas’ party) has implemented the same measures as the Partido Popular, the right-wing party that controls the central government in Madrid. Mas has not only made “cuts” (reductions in taxation that restrict public spending in the areas of education, health and social services). He has privatized. He has repressed protest movements. He has kept silent on cases of corruption in the ranks of his party. The left will find itself disarmed if it does not grasp the true nature of the political situation and the correct policy to pursue. The problems do not occur because “Espanya ens roba” (Spain robs us), as some sectors of the nationalist movement would have us believe.

A consistent anti-capitalist politics cannot restrict itself to following in the footsteps of Mas. It needs to approach the challenges of the present moment in class terms if it is not to lose from sight the character of the forces that lead the process unfolding. The left needs to organize in working-class neighborhoods, within immigrant communities, in the ranks of the fighting youth, among workers who do not feel they belong to the nationalist tendency and are exposed to the influence of reactionary parties opposed to self-determination. The left needs to put forth a project of its own that breaks with the monarchic state and the European Union and reclaims an anti-capitalist way out of the crisis. It has to establish links to the other peoples that live within the Spanish state, the only way to reach victory.

In the rest of the Spanish state, one observes a certain scepticism and a shameful passiveness. The fact that the Catalan right now finds itself at the head of the process serves as an excuse for the inaction. Making declarations, inside or outside parliament, about the right of Catalans to vote will not do. More focused on selecting candidates for the coming local and regional elections, the left has refrained from taking steps to build a movement that supports the unconditional right of Catalans to self-determination and that stands for the constitution of a Catalan Republic that decides freely what kind of relation it wishes to entertain with the other peoples of the Spanish State, a movement that links national freedom to the struggle against the Monarchy, against the reimbursement of the debt, wielding a program that attends to the basic needs of the working-class and the popular strata that have been struck by the economic crisis. The urgent need is to bring workers together around this program.

The left should shake off its lethargy and build a unitary movement on this basis. An authentic process of self-determination requires the raising by the working-class movement, the youth and the Spanish left of a banner that proclaims class independence and the free union of republics. •

Pedro Marlez is an independent Marxist living in Barcelona. He is a former union representative and activist in the unemployed movement.

(full text).

Related Links:

Other Links:

25 things you probably didn’t know about the Berlin Wall (videos, photos), on Russia Today RT, Nov 7, 2014;

World ominously close to nuclear war – Noam Chomsky to RT, on Russia Today RT, Nov 7, 2014;

Expanding authority, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Khaled Dawoud, Nov 6, 2014: A presidential decree assigning the military to protect public utilities and buildings means more civilians will face military trials. Human rights groups warn the move is tantamount to an unofficial declaration of a state of emergency;

Strategic vision: Ridding Sinai of terror is just the beginning, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Ahmed Eleiba, Nov 6, 2014;

The Lost Children: France Takes Stock of Growing Jihadist Problem – part 1, on Spiegel Online International, by Julia Amalia Heyer, Nov 6, 2014 (Photo Gallery): More than 1,000 young people from France have joined extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, more than from any other European country. The recruits are no longer just coming from the margins of society; Part 2: Almost All Are Middle Class;
(my comment: Parents overestimate strongly themselves when believing they are responsible for the ideology of their adolescent, pubescent children. I maintain, the basis for a strong, autonomous personality begins … when the child is one year old – (see my related comment here).

… and this:

  • Santana: Savor (From Woodstock 1969), 5.29 min, uploaded by Lewis Durham, April 4, 2009 … and many more videos in autoplay;

… und noch dies:

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