Meagre days

3 min
Dies mesquins

“És l’alegria la que em mou a escriure.

Sempre deixa el seu rastre en algun vers.

Per por a la crueltat dels convençuts,

he callat moltes coses, per exemple

una ja vella aversió a les pàtries,

la meva i la dels altres. També quan

era jove vaig sobreviure a les amenaces

dels que, amb mà de ferro,

conduïen el fosc ramat humà

fins a estimbar-lo pels penya-segats.

Només la intimitat és un espai real:

aquest és el refugi on resistir.

No tornis a sortir mai més de casa”

Orfeu, Joan Margarit, from his posthumous book Animal de bosc (Ed. Proa)

In these days of petty politics, there is a growing need for truth and to listen attentively to dissent as the treasure of freedom that it is beyond shouting. These are times to go beyond the grievances and injustices that are used as an excuse to justify one's own mistakes and irresponsibilities and it is a good time to vindicate the usefulness of politics. A usefulness that perhaps can still save us from the anti-political temptation and the authoritarian monsters it contains.

When those in charge of public affairs are incapable of managing it, it is customary to call elections to shake up the board. The really serious problem comes when the inability to overcome the differences between parties and internal factions becomes entrenched and neither pacts nor hegemony are apparently possible. What is the point of going to elections, then? And what does politics become when it is incapable of achieving agreement between different parties and of placing the progress and welfare of the citizens at the centre of its action?

To put it briefly, it is clear that giving a voice to public opinion is in itself a value, but nothing seems to indicate that the bloc structure that has been solidifying in Catalonia will be broken in the short term without substantial changes in the way of acting within and between blocs.

Would it be useful in this context to go to elections? A second election would most likely lead to a strengthening of the PSC at the expense of Ciudadanos, a rise of the far right and a clearer hegemony within the pro-independence bloc, but a setback for the bloc as a whole. These are the trends indicated by the parties' internal polls, and they would be accompanied by an increase in abstention and therefore a greater public disaffection with the nobility and usefulness of politics as a way of living in society.

The lack of agreement both between blocs and within blocs and the lack of clear hegemony is where we are right now and where we can get trapped in, which would be a guarantee of an inexorable decline of the country.

The dissociation between society and political leadership has long since begun and today it is especially bloody in economic and business management. For multiple reasons and shared responsibilities, the lines of communication have broken down and the country's economy has long since opted to save itself without waiting for the complicity of a public strategy.

An important businessman of the country, one of those who has created hundreds of jobs and is rolling up his sleeves in pandemic to save the paralysis of the activity and to complement the salary of furloughed workers, explains that the interlocution to present projects to the European funds is being done directly through the ministries. Not for pleasure, but because of the lack of effective dialogue with the government of the Generalitat, missing because it has been in office for almost 230 days.

A president of an autonomous community explains that the space that Catalonia is leaving free is occupied, as with gases, by the demands of other communities active in the defence of the day-to-day. It is clear that in an independent country with direct interlocution with Brussels things would be better, but this is not what we will have in the medium term and the recession is affecting families today.

The degradation of the institutional weight has not come by itself but by the hand of those who have considered that the autonomic competences were not worth defending with their paws.

The fact that the pro-sovereignty parties are incapable of admitting that their strategies are light years apart, despite the fact that the only way to do politics today would be to set aside differences and focus on getting the country out of the doldrums, favours degradation. That everything can get worse is a dictum stubbornly adhered to in Catalan politics. There are only a few days left for the protagonists to make the decision to cooperate now or fall off the electoral cliff soon.