In English Voices From Spain

A Sick Society

Originally published in Spanish: “Una socieadad enferma”. Joaquim Coll. Crónica Global.

Let me be clear: a large part of Catalan society is politically sick. It includes many educated people, well paid, and even successful professionals. It is the secessionist passion aptly described by the psychiatrist Adolph Tobeña in his book. People who, instead of demanding since days ago the resignation of separatist leaders, particularly Oriol Junqueras’, head of finances in the Catalan government and prophet of all beatitudes, because of his reiterated lies about the painless consequences of the Catalan process, is outraged at the reasoned decision of the judge Carmen Lamela to sent both Jordis to prison. They are Catalans that refuse to accept that the events of 20th and 21st of September outside the Regional Economy Ministry are very serious in democracy, since the normal development of a judicial action was impeded, and several alleged crimes were committed, including the crime of secession. This sick part of Catalan society has no other reflect than to attribute a political intent to the judge, as if she were acting to the Mariano Rajoy’s government dictate, instead of taking the time to carefully read the court order. Nor it appreciates the fact that the judge, in a way equally reasoned, rejected the use of pretrial detention as precautionary measures, as demanded by the prosecution, for the major Josep Lluís Trapero and intendant Teresa Laplana hours before.  

Then, to complete the general picture, there are also Catalans that, not being pro-independence and expressing critics to the Catalan process, demand the justice to refrain from acting according to legal standards and act instead at the current political convenience. They are unknowingly assuming a perverse logic that would be the end of the rule of law. Montesquieu’s death. There is no doubt that the imprisonment of Sànchez and Cuixart was a foreseen and pursued scenario by separatists —as evidenced in the “posthumous” recordings left ready by both leaders— in their effort to fuel the spiral of conflict.

In this sense, pretrial detention is a court decision deeply anti-political, inconvenient in such delicate situation, but also the proof that in Spain there is an effective separation of powers. It is obvious that the Spanish government, that conceded so many postponements to Carles Puigdemont to avoid the famous Article 155, in no way desired a scenario like this. Neither the Socialist Party, not to mention the Catalan Socialist Party, that, when the news broke out, went in panic and spoke of “disproportion”. Any court decision can be criticised; besides, in this case, the precautionary measures adopted by judge Lamela can be appealed by the Jordis’ lawyers, but only with a legal approach, not political. Otherwise, we would opening an exception territory, according to which, since secessionism is posing a problem unquestionably political, the prosecution of their insurrectional activities should be avoided. “A democracy that fears to enforce its Criminal Code would not able to survive”, said the president of the Republic of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, when in 1996 Umberto Bossi proclaimed the Republic of Padania.

The economic consequences for the medium and long term of the secessionist process are going to be extremely severe for Catalans. Today, we can not even imagine it. We have to face a decline scenario in every sphere, that we will only overcome by taking individual and collective responsibilities for everything has happened in the last years. For the moment, the urgency is to restore the rule of law in Catalonia. Simultaneously, we must to “un-process” the Catalan society, which means to break up the regressive dynamics inoculated by nationalism and get rid of the anti-democratic toxins of the process. It is a complex task, because the emotional and psychological damage that will surface when all this ends is going to be dreadful. But sooner or later we will have to face it to prevent the complete identitary lock-up as a reaction to the Catalan decadence. This is not the first time that an educated modern society blithely falls, pushed by the irresponsibility, frivolity and opportunism of its elites, into the ravine of unreason, to the extent of causing a great damage to itself. The only consolation is that we might get vaccinated against pro-independence for good.  

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