Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The ideal of Catalonia (Santiago Espot Executive Chairman of Catalunya Acció)

Monday, 19 October 2009

The ideal of Catalonia

Politics become something amorphous, routine and far from people’s feelings without it. Naturally, those who do not even want to talk about that are always saying “we must resolve the real problems of the people” or “the most important is being good managers”. They do not know nor want to go beyond this and are incapable of conceiving any encouraging idea to go past the clichés that they have minted to justify their intellectual and dialectical poverty. Talking in these terms means to possess the concept that the people behave like pigs, only thinking of eating, sleeping, and sitting down and getting fatter. Are Catalans like this? Are we only worried of paying the mortgage, going away for the weekend and eating good shellfish?

Surely that an important part of those who are in charge of the rudder of the country would like to see us reduced to such poor condition. It would the guarantee to perpetuate in power such alarming mediocrity that, among a lot of people, the idea of having to pass a test is necessary for everybody who wants to have any post with responsibility. We cannot tolerate any longer that “being the son of …”, “brother of …”, “partner of …” or “best friend of …” is the warrant to take possession of a chair. This fact is especially alarming in Catalonia, because we have always been a Nation that have valued the effort and talent of the protagonist, no matter who he or she is. We only need to see the statues at the façade of the Town Hall in Barcelona, James I and Joan Fiveller, put up asymmetrically, equalling Kings and subjects at the time of reckoning successes. This is the way to demonstrate carelessness regarding the person’s origins when the matter is to honour the defenders of the national freedom. Favouritism disgusts us because we put it to the Antipodes of our collective and most appreciated values. If we talk about politician leaders, we especially value perseverance, humanism and resolution to confront injustice. I doubt that what I have just said has anything to see with the fact that even today, we perceive President Macià –in the picture- as model of Catalan politician to imitate. Nevertheless, even for the most interested in reducing politics to a emotionless game, people, always, as said by John F. Kennedy “demand their leaders to act with courage and integrity”.

However, it must be said that these things are not easily applied to day-to-day reality. To begin with, the ideal cannot be bought at the first corner shop we find nor may be provided by any electoral campaign strategist or any expert in political marketing. It is not a simple slogan, a webpage, Facebook or a multicultural festival. A real ideal is forged within the minds of who want it materialized. Furthermore, it takes roots with time and life experiences through challenges derived from its defence; and it is impossible to build among chairs, government commissions or general secretaries. Who politically is born among all this might be able to manage more or less successfully a budget but, do not fool ourselves, will never shake anybody’s soul and will be unable to interpret and shape collective feelings, which are what move the spirit of a nation. Perhaps would be a “technician”, at worst would be a bureaucrat.

Talking about Catalonia, we would see that all that means doing collaborationist politics with Spain is seen lacking of idealism. The main characters justify themselves saying is the only possible, although the truth is that when we see how they work, we cannot stop thinking about the phrase “when foxes cannot reach the grapes, say that they are not ripe”. Then, it is not strange that their defenders are always seen by us like people who want to take profit of something without facing the enemy. Their option is the easiest and the least compromised and then, has the courage to make us believe that have achieved a big victory for Catalonia. But the reality is that we all well know that the only fact that can shake the collective soul of our people is the ideal of freedom, that is nothing else than her independence. This is the ideal of Catalonia.

Santiago Espot
Executive Chairman of Catalunya Acció.

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