In English Voices From Spain

The Melancholic Withdrawal

Originally published in Spanish: “La retirada melancólica”. Ricardo Dudda. The Objective.

It is hard to be optimistic about the Catalan pro-independence movement issue. The Catalan process can last forever because it is a rhetoric, euphemistic, phenomenon; a series of stagings. But its effects on the Catalan society are both real and perceived. While societies are very unpredictable and never nothing is irreversible, the endeavour to bring together the two Catalonias will be huge; the endeavour of pro-independence movement to redirect the enthusiasm to less rupturist channels will be so too.

It is possible that, the same as the pro-independence movement increased radically from 2012 to now, it can also go backwards. But the victimhood, the resentment and rancour, the grievance culture, the exploitation of —always selective— memory, the politics as an expressive, epic, “fun” act, beyond transaction and negotiation. We live a time where each generation needs an epic foundational moment, our custom-fitted Transition. As a now deceased Twitter user wrote, each new generation thinks that collectivism (replaceable with any other political ideal) failed because it was not leaded by them.

The Catalan process lives historical sessions almost every week; the independentists, and maybe not only them, accustomed to this, will demand something else than welfare or recognition. They might demand entertainment, excitement, passion. For years, millions of Catalan citizens have invested plenty of emotional capital in the process. The «processism» has delivered euphemisms, hyperboles and historical moments, but it is possible that its impressive ability for renewal comes to its end. There will by hardly a moment of collective responsibility among the elites, and I doubt that the moment of accountability arrives. The Catalan process will try to survive. Civic society will be disappointed. And, when this happen, maybe a slow, melancholic withdrawal will be the best.

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