13-14 Mai 2018:
I am a Republican Catalan, and I love freedom, culture, and diversity. I’ll always let you be who you are, so let me be who I am. This is a small spiritual exercise of self esteem, freedom of thought, and speech, and a way to transform my frustration in confidence, and hope, despite the mad efforts of Spain to smother our project and vision of a better Europe.
The ones who feel comfortable with the status-quo will always fight those who want to change it, and the fight will be dirty. Spain and Catalonia are at war, in form of lawfare, and they fight with unequal weapons. Spain stands for the status-quo, while Catalonia stands for a growing desire of radical and innovative change, which can no longer be satisfied within the Spanish system. Catalonia has been trying for decades to find solutions within Spain, strictly following Spanish rules, and has been invariably cheated. Last famous time was on 2010 after the current MP of the right-winged party PP impugned the very last surviving straw of an agreement between Catalonia and Spain regarding the Estatut (the constitutional manifest of Catalonia). Spain has been invariably using the argument of force, in the form of a very questionable interpretation of the law, rather than the force of argument.
One thing is internationally accepted: The conflict between Spain and Catalonia is political, and requires a political solution based on dialogue, rather than repression and political imprisonments.
There are a few principles that are so obvious for me that I don’t mention them every time I tweet, or blog. Sometimes I don’t do it for practical reasons, e.g. micro-blogging platforms force us to be short, and striking. Other times I’m deliberately ironical, sarcastic, and want to provoke my audience.
To support my arguments further below, I want to give an explicit summary of some of my ethical values, and world vision. I am a Republican Catalan, and the values of the Catalan independence movement fit my values. I am pretty “radical” in my ideas, in the original sense of the term, which means that I have deeply “rooted” convictions:
- I am a pacifist. We, pacifists also have the right, and the duty to stand for our beliefs, resist, and defend ourselves whenever attacked. Du darfst Dich nicht ducken, du muss Dich wehren, said Hannah Arendt in a famous TV interview.
- People are people everywhere. Goodness, and assholeness are uniformly distributed all over the world. No region or country, and no people in the world are better, or worse than others.
- I believe in democratic and civil rights, and duties. We also have a responsibility for what we vote. Example: If we vote a corrupt system, we, as individuals, are also responsible for the corruption.
- My truth is not the only truth, my truth is not better than yours, and your truth is not better than mine.
- I believe in solidarity. I let you be who you are, and expect that you let me be who I am. If you want to stay/leave, I’ll let you stay/leave, even if I hate it. I expect the same from you. I’m ready for a solidarity agreement after a separation.
- I have a vision around ecological intelligence. This includes the basic principles of the deep ecology movement, that is, human beings are not the masters of the universe, but rather a piece in the infinite mosaic of beings. I’m no better than I cockroach myself, I only have different strengths.
- I stand for freedom, cultural diversity, multiple languages, multiple citizenships, tolerance, self organisation, self determination, and the right of people to live wherever on earth they please. I don’t believe in borders, or centralistic states. I envision a union of social, and ecologically intelligent, self organized regions within a European Republic, and, some time, a World Republic. Here’s an example. If you feel Spanish, also if you live in Catalonia, you have Spain as official country. No one will take that away from you. You can live wherever you want, with 1, 2 or N passports, you can be who you are, you can speak the language you want, and what you want. What is so wrong about Republican Catalans having an additional official country called Catalonia, where they can live in freedom and peace and respect for their cultural diversity? Republican Catalans want to extend rights, and extend freedom for everyone. All people win! Smaller countries within a united European Union are more adaptable, and less arrogant than traditional national states, which are an inheritance of a past driven by war. We have an opportunity to build a more social, ecological, regionally oriented European Republic.
- I curse from time to time, and I stand by it. In the face of the long conflict, and deep frustration over hundreds of years, between Spain and Catalonia, it is only human to use irony, sarcasm, provocation, and sharp words about a repressive, and oppressive status-quo. Calling someone a shithead, because he/she continuously hurts you, doesn’t listen, and doesn’t respect your beliefs, is better than beating the shit out of him/her. Suppressing emotions, and not talking about the root of the conflict, is unwholesome. Conflicts need to be openly talked about in order to be solved. If I happen to write, for example, “Spain is full of shit“, or, say, “Spaniards are full of shit“, I deliberately mean to provoke, criticize, and denunciate a corrupt, unwholesome system: The Spanish system. I often mean the “Spanish system”, which is a much broader term than the “Spanish state”, or the “current political environment”. Now, my ideological enemies will surely turn my words upside down, and point their fingers at me about my being a supremacist, a racist, a xenophobe, and only god, or the devil, knows what other lies and stupidities. For those who are open minded, and want to listen, my principles above will suffice to understand that I respect individuals from all over the world, and I never, ever will mean anything xenophobic, or supremacist. I don’t respect all systems, though, and from time to time I mean to provoke people, because systems are built of people, and people need to take responsibility for what they do, vote, and support. I am helpless about demagogue, or narrow-minded souls who will never listen to anything that contradicts their own views, and enjoy distorting, perverting, and violating the words and meanings of others.
I congratulate Quim Torra i Pla, who was just elected President of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalonia government) by the Catalan Parliament, after Spain violated, impugned, and imprisoned the democratically elected Catalan government of 2015. The legitimate Catalan President, confirmed by the people after the last elections on December 21, 2017, which Spain imposed in Catalonia using a very questionable application of the Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, is Carles Puigdemont, currently exiled and pending of the results of an extradition order.
The first welcome words for Quim Torra i Pla from Spain, and the political enemies of a Republic of Catalonia, were threats, defamation, and bashing. They also unearthed a few provocative tweets he wrote in 2012, and falsely attacked him as xenophobe. These tweets were deleted by the author some time ago, because politicians are not allowed to be candid. Everything can be turned upside down, and be used against them. His old tweets and articles are being continuously distorted, perverted, and taken out of context. I don’t respect people who use this kind of dirty tools against someone.
But today I see it a bit more clearly. Spanish politicians, and enemies of freedom and self-determination enjoy quoting, and throwing dirt to Republican Catalans, not about their deeds, but rather about their sarcastic, provocative, ironic words, even if they were written 30 years ago in another context. Spaniards are no better than any other people in the world regarding usage of irony, sarcasm, and dirty words, but Spain beats Catalonia in the European Contest of Obnoxious, Repressive, Illegal, and Oppressive Deeds. Deeds are much more shameful, much more detestable than words, irony, and sarcasm. I personally prefer to manage my frustration using words, and cursing from time to time, than acting like Spain. I might call you a shithead, and I might be right or wrong, depending on context, but I will not imprison you for your thoughts, or songs, I will let you live in freedom, I will let you vote, and I will let you stay, and I will let you leave, if you want to leave. I will let you be who you are.
The tweets from 2012 contain a lot of truth, and valid criticism against a corrupt Spanish system, which doesn’t accept criticism, or suggestions of radical reform away from corruption and self complacency. They also express the legitimate frustration most Catalans felt back then, and feel today more than ever, after the conservative party PP violated the Estatut agreements between Catalonia and Spain on 2010, and after Spain continued violating civil rights over and over until today, with a growing trend.
I fully support provocative writing to criticize, and denunciate any corrupt system. Let’s take an example:
“Els catalans votem i els espanyols ens vigilen. Fora d’aquí. (…) Deixeu-nos viure en pau”.
“We, Catalans, vote, and Spaniards take us under surveillance. Go away! Let us live in peace”. Knowing a bit of history, having a feeling about language, and being aware of the difficult relationship between Catalonia and Spain, give you the key to correctly interpret this sentence. The real meaning is the following:
“Go away, Spanish supremacism, Spanish nationalism, corruption, and centralism. Go away, Spanish uniformity, oppression, and repression. Let us live in peace“. Quoting Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Romans, Go home. Quoting a small composition I just drafted for guitar and vocals: People stay, wherever you’re from, but if you work for the empire, then rather go home!
The Catalan independence movement is diverse, and inclusive. People, and individuals were always, are always, and will always be welcome in Catalonia, regardless of origins, color, or religion. Most of the citizens of Catalonia have mixed origins. I also have mixed origins! We only want to leave in freedom, solidarity, and peace.
I call you, Spaniards, to wake up, take responsibility, gather your courage, and change this rotten system, because you are also the system, and if you change it, you will be the first to win.