jueves, 5 de octubre de 2017


Ricardo Calleja Rovira
Dear friends,

I live in Barcelona, as you all know. And some of you have contacted me concerned about the situation, and curious about the meaning of all this.

I think there are three major points that should be clarified:

1. Independentists are not a majority of catalans (last official survey showed 41% in favor, 49% against it), and there is no reason why their position should be considered "more Catalan", or their actions as performed by "the Catalan people", etc... Catalonia -like any other large human group- is heterogeneous. It is nonetheless fun seeing Anglosaxon media adopting a roussonian view of the nation and its volontè générale, identifying Catalonia with some Catalans. And mainstream escandalized of post-truth at home, echoing overreactions sometimes based on fake-news.

2. Catalans have voted more than a dozen times in recent history, and this Sunday vote was against their democratically approved laws. In 1978 70% of them went to vote, and 90% did in favor of the current Constitution. In 2006 the regional constitution was also approved on a referendum. That estatute requires 2/3 majority in the Catalan Parliament to be reformed. The law calling for a referendum and establishing a provisional constitution in case of independence was approved by a narrow majority, in a process disrespectful of the minority rights (it was done in a single evening). All this was declared illegal unanimously by the consulting body of the Catalan Parliament (appointed directly by the nationalist majority among their friends, not by Madrid government), not to mention by the Constitutional Court.

3. You might think that Spanish legal system should be more flexible, Spanish government more imaginative or empathetic, that police action was inadequate on Sunday, etc. That is open to discussion, and I share those three points to some extent. But I don't see how those limitations and insatisfactions -that every constitutional regime has, also an eventual Catalan Republic would have- can justify public authorities to act against the law, without even having a social majority backing them, with my taxpayer money.

Behind all this I see the inevitable fragmentation caused by moral emotivism in our societies, and the legitimacy crisis of liberal institutions. Some of you might be willing to celebrate that crisis. And thus feel happy about this situation, since it might turn into a major break of the liberal system in Europe.

But I am sure all of you understand the need for some kind of rule of law, limited government, and a political discourse focused on the common good and not on exploiting irresponsibly social fractures to gain power (demagogy).

The active social forces behind this movement have a very radical political, social and economic discourse. There is nothing like a good-old-Europe-of-fatherlands-f*ck-eurocracy coming out of this, believe me.

It is in your hands which news and comments you share, contributing to an enlightened and nuanced debate, and a positive social climate. There is an interesting website www.voic which might be of interest to you.

This is not about Catalonia or Spain. And not exclusively about the liberal order in the narrow sense. It is definitely very interesting. But also worrying. Stay tuned.

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