Resolutions and inanities
These days many will make New Year's resolutions. Some will try to go on a diet or join the gym, with the idea of going three times a week, which will end up being only once, if they are lucky. Others will try to make ends meet or perhaps save money, but inflation will eat up some of their good intentions. Many will think about focusing more on the important things and will turn to work or family, in the most difficult balance of the three-ring circus of life. Perhaps, for a few days, most of the well-intentioned will have more balanced lives before the force of inertia takes over. Those who manage to keep their aspirations above the force of routine and mediocrity will be our heroes. Congratulations and admiration to all those who manage to do things differently to those around them, who turn inertia into dust. It will be at the individual level where we can mark the playing field on which we are willing to play the game or, in other words, choose the circus ring where we are willing to hang the trapeze that is ours, whether we are journalists, electricians, teachers or financiers. Citizens, in short.
The common playing field looks complicated for those who believe that politics is a tool for deep transformation and progress. In fact, both Catalan and Spanish politics are already internally conditioned by the municipal and autonomic elections and it is already known that the capacity for consensus and agreement is inversely proportional to the distance from the next elections. Therefore, no major agreements or long-term strategies that are truly transformative are in sight, despite the fact that the trains are passing us by in the form of European funds and no global competitor is waiting for us.
It would be great to refute the bad omens with a majority parliamentary agreement on energy transformation, or on the promotion of the language and knowledge of English in the classroom, or with a forceful initiative to fight youth unemployment, on the strengthening of the healthcare system or on universities and research. While we wait, it is better that Catalan companies that are still export-oriented in Europe do not wait for the public sector to act; that everyone looks at what they have in their own hands to contribute to making a bigger, richer, more educated, more cohesive country with greater democratic quality.
The future is in everyone's hands and it is part of our responsibility at ARA to produce rigorous, quality, independent journalism; and to welcome and encourage respectful debate. It would be great to be a rich, diverse and civilised agora. As our founding manifesto states, we will continue to do "journalism in favour of what makes us great, against what diminishes us, with maximum self-demand and the search for excellence", "inspired by the critical sense, but not installed in criticism", and we will continue to be an optimistic newspaper in a country that we want "in harmony, social cohesion, dynamic and fully integrated in Europe".
The quality of the debate also depends on the forms. It is about analysing and disagreeing on all issues with arguments and without despising or insulting the adversary. Great writers in these pages have taught us that irony is the sharpest weapon of intelligence.
We will work for a diverse country that values people for their abilities and their contribution to what is common to us, wherever they come from. Between dream worlds and reality there is a distance made of disappointments and the intensity of emotions does not add rationality to arguments. We live in a mestizo, diverse country, with a language in regression that needs us to fight for it and that will not advance if it is not linked to a hope for an inclusive future and social and economic progress. The option is permanent defeat, if we do not bet on a winning and integrating country and not on the defensive, entrenched in purity. In short, the other Catalans of yesterday are the ones who will save the language today and the new Catalans of today are the future.
As for the debate of ideas, we will continue to be open to the world and to analyse risks and opportunities. We will be vigilant that the threat of populism that is spreading in other latitudes does not seep into our midst and that the parliamentary ultra-right does not impose its framework for discussion. We will also continue to denounce the abuse of power and the perversion of justice in a state captured by elites deeply rooted in the darkness of Francoism.
Politically, the elephant in the room, the great pending issue to be able to look to the future, is the return of exiles. There will be no possibility of a stable solution in Spain with respect to sovereignty without a guarantee on the return of the exiles. On the other hand, with political prisoners in the street, the capacity to take stock and evaluate the successes and mistakes has been released. To see clearly the internal betrayals, the disloyalties that to this day still weigh down the relations between the pro-sovereignty parties and weaken their parliamentary majority. In the balance section we can also include how the potential for peaceful and constructive mobilisation of the street was squandered. Above all to prevent bad blood and frustration from sweeping away a decade in which some people may have been passive but others have been active. No one is unaware that sovereigntism has been on the international agenda when it has generated empathy and has been loaded with democratic and peaceful reasons. All assets are put at risk when the attitude is residual and defensive, and not inclusive and ambitious.
Ah! And another purpose that would make the world better: not to confuse the bubble and simplicity of Twitter with reality, which is always more complex. And, above all, not to contribute to turning it into a pit of anger.