Everyone against the Catalan separatist movement (let’s not call them “unionists” – it’s not about uniting what’s separate but about keeping what’s united from separating) is in debt to Catalan premier Quim Torra. He is the ideal adversary because he expresses his ideology in such obscene terms that even those who share his views are outraged.
What’s more, he crudely reveals what’s underneath the sophisticated and good-humored language that cloaks the separatist cause.
It’s the same clarity and idiocy that the founder of Basque nationalism, Sabino Arana, expressed in his time. Arana is still venerated today but even his followers would never dare to quote him. Occasionally they’ll make excuses for him saying these were just “ideas of the time,” as if all his contemporaries had felt the same way or as if we today should all share the same mental excrement as our contemporary Torra.
It’s worth noting the reasons that disguise – without improving – the separatist cause. And that these reasons are and always have been deeply reactionary, whether they are treacherously perverting democratic institutions in Catalonia or trying to turn the umpteenth Carlist uprising into a freedom-fighting guerrilla, like the Basque terrorist group ETA.
Now some are proclaiming the defeat of the ETA military group – which is real – while trying to hide the fact that the political side of ETA is alive and well. Indeed it is getting the royal treatment from democratic institutions and taking advantage of the blood-stained wins they’ve earned in civil society, political language and propaganda.
No, this was not the only possible ending, nor the best imaginable one. Before joining the smug choir, read Rogelio Alonso’s devastating La derrota del vencedor (The victor’s defeat) and pay careful attention to the new Basque statute being drawn up by nationalists (and its subsequent effects in Navarre): that’s where we’ll get the chance to find out the price we still have to pay for a “victory” which has already cost us so dearly. On reflection, it may be less costly to fight a little more so that we can achieve a better victory…