miércoles, 18 de octubre de 2017
Between hope and fear
I tend to have a rather negative outlook on the future of the European Union, with its tendency towards turning into a fascist super state with great leaders taking care of business and workers keeping their mouth shut. Yet hope springs eternal and is contagious, so whenever I see the thousands of elderly and young fill the streets I start believing a better future is possible after all. Beating the system to create the state you want to live in, isn't that a beautiful thought? This is what many youths used to believe until recently. But just as easily, dark clouds roll in and my optimism fades. I realise our tiny revolution is nothing but a beach ball on the waves of greater forces. Whether we will succeed or not is not ours to decide. All we can do is push, and then some. With deafening silence coming out of Brussels, I believe so far only miniscule Slovenia would be willing to recognise an independent Catalan republic, my mind goes easily back again to the type of reasoning I've grown accustomed to over the years. I mean, just think about the state we are in. If you live in the South of Europe, your income has taken a hit and you probably have lost a lot of savings, yet the underlying weaknesses in your country's economy have not been dealt with. Since everybody who claims to understand economics foresees the next crisis coming any day now, we are in for another serious downgrade of our capacity to manage our lives. Scraping by is not managing your life, it's scraping by. Likely more countries will feel the pain this time, with perhaps only Germany and Netherland escaping the chill of neoliberal power abuse. Still, if you asked them, I think a lot of those people out on the street would accept serious depression as a price for freedom.
But then one starts wondering about other events over the last couple years. There was of course the coup d’état in Ukraine and the war on Donbass which challenged Russia to interfere. Thanks to this totally contrived affair, NATO had the perfect excuse to stack the eastern half of Europe with military equipment. In the West, we had bombs and car attacks. Most of them were quickly claimed by ISIS, but ISIS being run by the CIA it makes you wonder who actually was responsible for those mass murders. Surely not the patsies who were shot before they could speak. Perhaps they thought they were in on the game, but they were totally guided for sure. Not that authorship matters much, as the results of each of these assaults have always been the same: more military grade armed police on the street and less liberties for the public. Put together, we can say that the European subcontinent, which doesn't really have a culture of private gun ownership anymore, is now drowned in state operated armaments. And since nobody in their right mind will want to attack Russia, what are they going to do with all that hardware?
A week or two ago I came to the conclusion that the Catalan uprising must in all probability be a psyop, a psychological operation aimed at selling the public a story to cover up less savoury realities. So while the Catalan people can be heroes in their romantic revolutionary tale, higher powers further their agendas with an intervention which could happen to be to our liking, at least in the short run. But with all those authoritarian regimes in power these days (anybody still think Macron was the right pick?) you have to ask yourself if our beloved, democratically chosen leaders are preparing for something which is not to be found in their election programmes.
It is not difficult to imagine how the scenario will play out. After Catalan parliament feels pressured to finally accept a declaration of independence, or Rajoy “my hands are bound by the constitution” decides to intervene anyway, political leaders are arrested, the people go out on the street and the military, thanks to a handful of Antifa inspired counter attacks, cracks down on the protestors. With many people wounded and even a few deaths, all over Spain the town squares fill in support of the Catalan brethren (the Spanish aren't half as stupid as their media try to make them) and Rajoy “don't make me apply the law” will declare a state of siege nationwide. Whether parliament will be suspended doesn't really matter, as the will of the people has no voice in this inner sanctum of the great democratic transition of 1978. What matters is that the Spanish government will be prepared to deal with whatever uproar their solutions for the next economic crisis will evoke. Finally, people will realise that voting for Partido Popular has always been a vote for Franco. Considering that more countries are in for a serious beating, as the BCE's quantative easing programme has done nothing but funnel money to the rich without addressing any structural weaknesses, how will their regimes react? Will martial law be the template for most of Europe?
The European Union not speaking out on the public outrage, which with every move by Rajoy is gaining in fury and size and will soon reach dangerous levels, is becoming a crime in itself. It is clear they don't want to see Catalunya independent, as this is not in their short term interest, but their position as rulers of Europe, those who decide our governments’ policies, should oblige them to keep things cool and send a clear message to Rajoy to stop right there and finally start negotiating, with only a Basque-like solution viable of course. If they let Rajoy finish his contra-revolution which he started back in 2010 with the derogation of Catalunya's statute and which has seen him draw up draconian laws for minor offences, steadily raise the number of police on the street and considerably outsize their equipment, steal the elections when he can't win them straight and of course play friend or foe with the state's budget, which Madrid reparts as it pleases her, not by any measure of fairness, and which has put Catalunya under a lot of strain, lately, not to mention all the messing about with Catalan pride; if all this is considered fair play by that high-minded institution which doesn't hesitate to military attack countries with lesser democratic track records, or so the papers say, then it is quite clear where we Europeans stand with our Commission. It's happening now in Spain, but it might soon come to a country near you.