Coming out of the underground
The massive administration of vaccines against covid is an extraordinary opportunity to get out of the underground in which we have had to live for the last year. The vaccination of the entire population will not be immediate, nor the mental liberation after months of uncertainty, illness, restrictions of freedoms and moral and political impoverishment.
The covid pandemic is not over and we will have to face a fourth wave when the exhaustion is very evident. But today, despite the slowness of the vaccines, we can think that we are on the way out and that this spring will not have been stolen from us like the one a year ago.
The world production of vaccines - not precisely the Spanish production, which we should ask ourselves why it does not exist and even more why we are not surprised that it does not exist - will allow us to begin to set new vital and political goals beyond survival. Something akin to a post-war period is beginning and it will be necessary to put energy, and above all truth, into a country that does not rebel against deceit or self-deception, which is kinder than the crude reality but much more useless.
Angle Editorial has just published Apunts del subsol (Memories of the Underground), by Dostoyevsky, with a magnificent prologue by Jordi Nopca. In its pages, a failed civil servant, a man without identity, "the introverted and humiliated man who wants to offend others", has a dialogue with a society that he intends to subvert without leaving it. It is he who affirms: "Man likes to create and to open paths, this is indisputable, but why does he also like destruction and chaos with passion?" And here we are collectively, between the need to open paths and the temptation to look towards the destructive capacity of chaos.
Spanish politics swelled with complacency with "the exemplarity" of its democratic transition to the point that it engendered monsters such as the GAL, took for granted the historical problems of recognition of Catalonia and the Basque Country and, subsequently, the economy of the pelotazo and privatizations of Aznar made the country believe it was rich when it was drunk on speculation and greed, and up to its eyebrows in debt. Aznar believed he was on equal terms with Bush while the country was living amidst the effluvium of patxuli and the monarchic institution counted on the political and media connivance to act as a commission agent, confusing duty and responsibility towards the country with the ownership of a private estate.
Today, 45 years after Franco's death, the entry into the European Union and NATO, the access of large sections of the population to schools and universities and economic growth have boosted the country, but politically it is at the crossroads between working and agreeing to be a serious and competitive country and being Greece. A Greece without the Greek grace, because in Spain there is always the temptation to act with that heraldic air of ridiculous superiority.
Europe will impose tough economic decisions in the coming months to access the Next Generation reconstruction funds, which will require reforms of the labour market, pensions and energy orientation. What is to come has to do with the management difficulties of the PSOE and Unidas Podemos government, which by placing the Minister of Labour has facilitated a more pragmatic change of leadership, and has left the feathers to Pablo Iglesias to deploy them in the Madrid battle with Ayuso and Vox.
The Madrid elections are not just any elections, and the grandiloquent duel between freedom and communism, or between fascism and freedom, as some would say, is blocking the PSOE's decision-making, which could go in the direction of reducing the tension and returning to politics in Catalonia.
Lack of truth is not only a Spanish issue but also an evil in the knocked-out Catalonia. Displaying their traditional ability to break up into militias that rank the purity of an almost religious Catalanness, independence supporters make government formation anxious and accelerate the distance between society and politics. Junts is willing to raise the price of support for Esquerra and to save the representativeness of its former president. In the meantime, reality is imposing itself even among the most sobering, who, when they reach the Parliamentary bureau, stop demanding absurd immolations to surrender to pragmatism, otherwise known as "intelligent confrontation". The longer it takes to form a government, the more justified the disappointment and alienation of citizens from their representatives will be, and the more disbelieving they are, the more fertile the ground will be for the arrival of all kinds of populism.
In the meantime, let us hope that we are being vaccinated to get out of the underground.