Political failures are usually a consequence of intelligence errors. This is the thesis put forward by historian Marc Bloch in one of his most lucid books –Strange defeat- and it is unavoidable in these moments of civil unrest we turn our attention to it. Strange defeat is what has suffered a world that we know to be relatively prosperous and reasonable, and that since 1978 has brought to our country liberties and civil rights, European customs and values, democratic stability and development of autonomous communities. It’s not a perfect world, of course, but it is arguably better than any other political system that Spain has seen in the last two centuries. That world –which is ours- is in severe danger.
We are living the strange defeat of a country that doesn’t know how –or even doesn’t want to- confront reality face-to-face. Improvisation and escapism are bad counselors of the realm when political intelligence has simply been replaced by a flat and bureaucratic management of social conflicts. In fact, the strange defeat would be anything but strange, but the result of leaders and elites that have not behaved as such. We wanted to rationalize the action of the government instead of assuming that what we had seen in the surface had always been real. After the dramatic scenes yesterday nothing will ever be the same. Whatever it happens, a trauma is already entrenched in the spirit of this country.