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(en) alas barricadas: The traps of identity by Miquel Amorós (ca) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 25 Apr 2018 08:27:16 +0300

When international capitalism enters a dangerous critical phase, where the life of the majority of the planetary population depends completely on dire provisions taken by irresponsible people in order to overcome recession and ruin, in Europe, and more specifically in Catalonia, the conscience of the crisis seems to hide behind conflicts of very inferior rank, like for example, the one that maintains the Spanish State against the secessionist will of certain Catalan power groups, supported mainly by addicted businessmen and by the provincial middle class. The case presents strange similarities with the staging, in France, of the "Muslim" issue, a true staging set up to hide the social issue behind an ethnic, cultural and religious issue.

Under the prism of sovereignty, the working condition of a large part of the Catalan population dissolves into an illusory national identity artificially inflated in the media, and the social struggle is absorbed in the apparent struggle between a central, authoritarian and repressive government, and a "people" Catalan, peaceful and democratic where they exist, which aims to self-determine. It seems that the sovereignty discourse, monopolizing the political debate, has given the finishing touch to the class struggle. No one mentions the workers, but as a secondary subject represented by unions clearly favorable to the "right to decide." In reality, the proletariat has been subsumed and degraded in the wild concept of "poble". The moment can not be more confusing. The propagandist activity and the appropriation of the media space by the legally opposing sides, abruptly expel from the public stage the social question in favor of the identity question, or worse, of Spanishism. The nuances do not count; Everyone is obliged to choose their field: either with Spanish fascism, or with bourgeois Catalan democracy. Or with the constitutionalist lie or with the phantom of independence. A kind of moral blackmail condemns us to choose between one ideological prison or another; to pronounce ourselves for a certain type of oppression, in short, to adopt any chimerical identity. The protest against the total expropriation of the decision of the individuals on the part of an economic and political ruling class, in Barcelona and counties,

The fascination for a State that harbors the Catalan "nation" is so much, and so wisely cultivated by experts and communication professionals, that for its supporters it is offensive to doubt its effectiveness in solving all kinds of problems, from the one of evictions to unemployment and precariousness; from the destruction of the territory to that of undocumented immigrants; from gender equality to cuts in pensions and social services, etc. And if, unfortunately, the obstacle is visibly impossible to jump, Madrid can always be held responsible. The petty bourgeoisie and the new middle classes born of the tertiarization of the economy, seriously affected by the crisis, constitute a good part of the social base of sovereignty, the most credulous and most subjugated by the heroicity of its imprisoned or exiled leaders. We will hardly find proletarians in their ranks. For this reason, "democratic" and citizen nationalism emerges in the current context in opposition to emancipatory ideologies such as self-managed socialism, confederalism, libertarian communism and revolutionary syndicalism. Or better said, as an alternative narrative to subversive theories capable of truthfully exposing the current situation to the oppressed classes. The fight against the effects of the crisis stops being articulated around the working condition and happens to do it around the nationality. If the concrete community of workers has been weakened by the onslaughts of trade unionism of concertation, unemployment and consumerism, an abstract community is formed instead, virtually related, interclass and essentialist: the Catalan people. The nationalist montage speaks in the name of this abstraction.

The catastrophes of globalized capitalism and the corrupt government of the state right have created a particular ideological climate in Catalonia, perfectly exploited by the network of sovereignty interests, which has managed to neutralize any other opposition and bring all the water to its mill. Faced with a corrupted and despotic "democracy," the nationalist leadership likes to show itself as the agent of a true democracy, obedient to the mandate of the "people." The past, which could easily disprove such authenticity, has been erased in the patriotic imagination. The sovereignist has no memory. Suddenly, all the institutions, at this point quite discredited, are legitimized at the expense of the infamous central government: the Government, the Parliament, the Bureau, consellers, undersecretaries, Mossos, diputats, regidors, patronals, parties ... The repression, centered in the top leadership, has contributed a lot. All the sovereign political class acquires a virginity at a price of balance, and with it, the brutal autonomic police and the Government of the cuts, the BCN World and the Palau case. The State, through which the ruling class is constituted in a democratic society, remains incontestably consecrated. But "democracy", which today is nothing more than the political form of capitalism, and which in its final critical phase adopts increasingly obvious authoritarian and spectacular forms, both in Catalonia and in Spain, usually acts as a deactivating mechanism of a latent anti-capitalist conflictivity, diverted by union bureaucracies to vacant land. The Catalan originality is that the aforementioned democracy stands as the main argument of the oligarchic plots of nationalism with which this ensures a huge bag of loyal voters. The false questions have no other mission than to disguise the real ones for the benefit of domination, flying the red and yellow or the stellar.

Undoubtedly, by recomposing the Catalan political and social scene in a nationalist key, the sovereign forces have dislodged the official "left", the old one and the new one, the social democrat and the citizenry, both unable to separate themselves from the identity fashion and distance themselves from their common places, their symbols and their myths. He has no choice but to choose between two masters and get behind the "unionism" or nationalism. Something similar could be said about Catalan anarchism. During the civil war, official anarchism converted into a slogan a phrase falsely attributed to Durruti: "We renounce everything except victory." This was to justify a shameful abjuration and a useless tactic made on the basis of capitulations. As it came off, Anarchism would fare better the more it rejects its postulates, methods and objectives. Well, the "country" libertarians have taken good note. By pure activism or by really sympathizing with nationalism, they have no qualms about forgetting history by mobilizing behind nationalist slogans; in depositing their ballot paper in the ballot box sanctifying the elections; in vindicating a "democracy" to the Catalan and its more conventional institutions, and in contributing its grain of sand to the construction of a republican State, from which one can expect a love of civil liberties similar to that of the monarchical version of which it is intended to segregate. To capital, do not touch it; in the Catalan movement nobody is anti-capitalist, unless it is a mouthpiece; He's going Democrat. We are inclined to think, after having crossed paths with some especially Pharisees, that the anarchism of postmodernism and identity militancy has become the refuge of an extremist sector of the middle class, very minority, but visible. In short, the spearhead of a new easement. Well, but fortunately, that is not all anarchism or even by far, although it would gain quite an impact on the social struggle rather than parapeting behind the principles.

The main task of revolutionary criticism would be to dispel the confusion by means of a deep and clear analysis of the capitalist regime as it manifests itself in Catalan society, in no different from the European one. In the light of true social antagonisms, nationalist topics vanish. Only from these can a community of struggle capable of acting against Capital and the State be constituted. The awareness of contradictions is still to come, and with so much nationalism, it will take more than the bill, but given that the proletarianization of society will worsen as a result of the destructive implosion of capitalism, the middle class will lose protagonism and citizens' budgets and nationalists will crumble, as if lifted on a mud pedestal.

For the presentation of the book "I do not wish a State to anyone", in Espai Contrabandos, Barcelona, April 19, 2018 (Speakers: Corsino Vela, Santiago López Petit, Tomás Ibáñez and Miquel Amorós).

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