Discussions about Catalan independence often are presented as a matter of right and wrong. In fact, however, most motives in favour or against are rather sentimental, i.e., a matter of taste. Let’s look at the most heard arguments in favour of Catalan independence.
A long and interesting discussion which in the end, as all good discussions do, touched all aspects of life, the universe and everything (42), made me reconsider a few things. It’s a process similar to having a drink with your fellow colleagues, band members or family: little iritations are not so important as they seemed, life is not so much about what’s going on in your head and after all the most important things in life are basic and obvious.
The whole debate about Catalan nationalism and Catalan independence, which keeps on being a basic ingredient for politicians to avoid talking about real issues: economy, housing, security, general well-being, is just another “brick in the wall“, a political wank.
The beauty is that I live in a city where two languages (probably in the future three) live side by side. Since I came to live here, I have marvelled at the spontaneous capacity of people here to switch from one language to the other, not only during a conversation but even in mid-sentence. I think that is something to be celebrated, a rare example of “mestizaje” (“linguistic mix”) that shows flexibility and social coherence. One thing that always struck me of Spain as a whole, be it Andalucia, Madrid, the Basque countries or Catalunia, is that at the core of its culture (or cultures, if you wish) is “pasárselo bien”, a desire to have a good time for all, having a drink or a meal (food being an important part of its culture) together and making sure everyone is feeling comfortable.
The fact that some people want to turn this into a problem (Catalanists or anti-Catalanists, both), a source of anger, antigonism and obnoxious stupidity, should not be taken as a proof that having different languages and cultures in one country is a problem (because it isn’t a problem) but rather as a proof that wherever you go, there are always people (luckily, only a few) that have the need to fuck things up and create imaginary problems.
Differences between people or groups of people are real, but instead of a clash, it should be a celebration. I am beginning to sound like a hippie, and I admit to still enjoying a slight afterglow after a night of drinks, so I stop now.
I went to the Metropolitan Magazine debate about Catalan nationalism yesterday. There were four speakers, two in favour of Catalan nationalism and two against. Each had 10 minutes to present their ideas. Afterwards there was a discussion. The whole debate was in English. That´s probably why most of the audience (about 50 persons) were “guirris”, i.e., people from outside Spain.
The four speakers were: Charles Ablett (half Welsh, half Catalan, Catalan speaking, against Catalan nationalism), Erik Jeffery (British, Catalan speaking, in favour), Nito Foncuberta (of the political party Ciutadans, against Catalan nationalism) and a guy I think he was named “Bosc”, but it was hard to hear because the chairman who presented him talked with his hand in front of his mouth (representing the political party ERC, a Catalan nationalist party).
Unfortunately, numerous times last night, Godwin´s law was put into practice: “As a discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”. I´ll summarise what the speakers had to say below, as objectively as I can.
Continue reading “Debate about Catalan Nationalism”