You might have noticed that apart from our own statements, we also published a lot of texts with different anarchist positions on the “Catalonia issue”. Here is another piece that contributes to the debate about Catalonia.
Originally published by Solidaridad Obrera, written by Joni D. Translated by Enough is Enough.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Read all our reports about Catalonia; here.
Catalonia: Waiting for the Big Bang
Little by little, and especially from September 20, when the current Catalan Republican independence movement crossed the line of no-return, individuals and libertarian organizations have been positioning themselves on the issue. Yes, I am aware that some have already done so previously and do not pretend to distort reality, the objective of this “little by little and especially from” is exclusively to imply that this is such a delicate conflict for the “members” of the libertarian movement that it turned out to be complicated to take a position on it.
I have followed some of these positions, although reading them vertically, without paying too much attention (not because of lack of interest but because of lack of time) with the exception of texts signed by Tomás Ibáñez, a fellow whose texts I like to read.
From his text of October 3, which I will not evaluate here, I would like to comment on a concept that struck me: “the anarchist arguments”, the fact that it is dificult “to understand (…) that participation in this struggle is justified by anarchist arguments”. Are there such anarchist arguments? Can they be used as a backbone of movement?
Anarchism is a movement for change, as Tomás himself has explained to us. A movement that moves constantly. And in the Spanish state, it is made up of dozens of organizations and thousands of individuals who have not agreed on a time to draw collective lines of action for years. What should be the anarchist arguments which we use to analyze the current situation of the Catalan conflict? I am afraid that these arguments are as heterogeneous and heterodox as the libertarian movement itself and, therefore, trying to unify them is impossible and, if they do, they would lead to a new witch hunt that we have become so accustomed to since 1978 (coincidentally thisdate is linked with the Holy Constitution!).
Many months ago I was publicly in favor of the republic (this is not true, but my provocative character can articulate, as Tomás has explained perfectly, many positions against the monarchy, a fact that in this context implies being for the republic, a unique outcome realistic and comprehensible) and the option to blow up the Spanish State. I came to the conclusion that I could make my position public, or rather, I came to that position, after asking myself two questions. (Actually, there were more, many more, but they can be reflected into two open questions and the desire to answer them openly and without fear).
One, the first, question was of a collective nature, and the second one (which had to be used to confirm, or not, the answer to the previous one) of a purely personal nature. And both questions I formulated in the key of considering myself being part of something collective such as the libertarian movement. Could these then be the arguments of which Tomás spoke? I doubt it, but instead its very clear to me that these yes therefor are one of the many arguments of “anarchists”, or rather, arguments of the libertarian movement. And maybe there’s the difference …
The first question, the collective one, was whether the libertarian movement, as a collective and by extension the majority of its members (I have difficulty in referring to the whole when we speak of such a diverse movement, with so many nuances), had something to lose. It was an open question that also contained the opposite question: Can the libertarian movement be strengthened or do it have something to gain?
I must admit that of the double formulation, the negative and the positive, for me the first weighted much more , the fact of having nothing to lose, because after so many years of distance from the social mass, people, little real impact in society, I am willing to accept any possibility of change just so that anarchism can keep moving and get out of the ghetto.
The individual question was obviously the same. What do I have to lose as an anarchist?
All the answers took me to the same destination. As always with many contradictions (because as libertarians, in this capitalist and territorially compartmentalized world, it is impossible to achieve purity) but without fissures.
In the collective: The Catalan libertarian movement (if it can be so adjectivized without unleashing the ire of holy anarchy) has nothing to lose. It will not be worse if the Catalan Republic is declared. It is a reality that we now have the bigger weight of the Spanish State, and therefore, a Catalan Republic will offen more possibilities to realize certain alternatives. Should we continue to wait a possible global revolution, all over the planet at the same moment, to continue to maintain the anti-nationalist anarchist purity? Or is the problem is that we only have the right to an Iberian revolution because our ancestors decided this a hundred years ago?
Let me say it (and crucify me for it, if you think it is appropriate – or call me Catalan supremacist, as some have already done), but the Catalan people have shown over the last few years to be able to force their politicians to accept social progress that are among the most advanced in Europe, and, unfortunately, Spanish politicians are not willing to grant any kind of progress in that direction. No, I will not be the one to decide if the Spanish people are qualified to force their politicians to accept their wills, but instead I dare to venture that it is the Spanish democracy that is not qualified for such advances.
This is just a small excerpt from the many questions that have crossed my head, in short, to conclude that the libertarian movement has nothing to lose if change finally occurs and we stop living in the Spanish state and happen to live in a Catalan State.
And in the personal sphere, those who know me already know that hope can …
- End the monarchy (that is, to stop being a vassal of a type to which I owe homage to his ancestors).
- End our Catalan schizophrenia (we were never nationalists and we did not mind having doubts, “Where are you from?”, “From Barcelona”, “Ah, Spanish”, “Yes, well, no …”) so long as the members of the independence movement stop being “independentista” to join the ranks of the movement that they want most – natives, communists, social democrats … Whatever it is but no longer “independentista” as a definition of “politics”).
- And of course, the most important of all, the mother of all reasons, the Big Bang, the explosion in pieces of the navel of the world, the reason the Universe turns, the Spanish empire…
Anyway, I do not know if all these are anarchist arguments, I would not dare to confirm that they are arguments of an anarchist (as some say, we do not yet have membership identity cards), but while the libertarian movement argues and takes a position, while some look at it from a distance and others participate, I can assure that many, here and there, will not stop looking at the street… Waiting for the Big Bang.
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