The Power Struggle in Catalonia, or the Staging of a Tragicomedy
Publisher: Insurgent Notes
Date Written: 10/02/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22474
One, a consolidated power, is the Spanish state. The other, an emerging power, drives the project to create a state of its own, a project promoted by nationalists and pro-independence currents. These include a fraction of the divided system (PdeCat, erc and cup) and some social organizations (the Catalan National Assembly, Omnium Cultural and some trade unions) -- with the support of an important part of society.
With regard to Catalonia, we see a lack of interest and incompetence in managing the complex heterogeneity of this region, except by resort to the legal-political path, motivated in part by the dependence of the judiciary on politicians, as in the usa. Although the state could, in principle, have authorized a referendum, as was done with the Statute of 2006--approved by the Cortes Generales (Parliament) and backed up by the referendum convened that same year or, could at least have tolerated something along the lines of the "Consultation" of November 2014 (a non-binding referendum).
However, in this case, the approach, despite its inconsistencies, was much more elaborate and would have required a desire for dialogue difficult to imagine, as well as a reform of the Constitution. On this issue, we should also say, from the legal point of view, except for a small group of states (Lichtenstein, Ethiopia, etc.), constitutions generally (usa, Italy, France, Germany, Norway, et. al.) consider the territorial state as an indivisible unit.
On the other hand, the authoritarianism of this democracy, forged in the management of the contradictions and limits of capitalism itself, is congruent with the evolution that the forms of government have resulted from the economic and political restructuring of the '70s and '80s. This is the authoritarianism of democracies that we have found in the same way in different states: antiterrorist laws; authorization for "indefinite detention" and approval of the "Patriot Act" in 2001, in the United States; the Socialist government declared the state of emergency in 2010, in Spain, to end the strike of the air-traffic controllers; the proclamation in Belgium of the state of exception between 2015 and 2017; the state of emergency in France from 2015 till 2017. In the opinion of Giorgio Agamben, the state of exception (emergency, war), in addition to being included in all democratic constitutions, implies that at any given moment, basic constitutional guarantees can be suspended and this "tends to present itself as the paradigm of dominant government in contemporary times."