Understanding Catalan Sovereignty (IT InTransit #9)
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Understanding Catalan Sovereignty (IT InTransit #9)

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Understanding Catalan sovereignty movement.

Understanding Catalan sovereignty movement.

Source: IT In Transit (EuroCatalan Newsletter)

Date: November 2012.

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Understanding Catalan Sovereignty (IT InTransit #9) Understanding Catalan Sovereignty (IT InTransit #9) Document Transcript

  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012EDITORIALCosmopolitan Nationalism24-10-2012 C atalonia is living one of the most exciting moments in its recent history. Everyone is aware of this, both in Catalonia and abroad. The Parliament of Catalonia鈥檚 agreement to hold a referendum on self-determination in the upcoming legislature and the rising support for pro-sovereignty will surely be two aspects that will be debated throughout the upcoming electoral campaign. Nonetheless, Catalonia is not the only territory in the world that is moving in this direction. Throughout Europe the meaning of nationalism and identities is becoming a hot topic of debate. On one hand, this is because the nationalist parties of Catalonia, Scotland and Flanders are calling for democratic processes to be set in motion that will allow them to decide on whether or not they can secede from the States they still belong to. On the other hand, it is because the economic crisis has contributed to the rise of political forces that, using a nationalist brand of populism, resort to demagoguery, xenophobia, and similar negative recourses that plague right-wing extremism. One of the main challenges Europe is facing today is the management of democracyand the preservation of human rights. With the rise of these political forces that brandish a populist form of nationalism, the concept ofnationalism itself has taken on a more negative sheen, and many people around Europe now automatically associate nationalism withright-wing extremism. Nonetheless, another kind of nationalism does exist, one that is open, democratic, and participatory, one thatwe call cosmopolitan nationalism. In Catalonia this kind of nationalism has been the foundation of political Catalanism since its birthat the end of the 19th century. In contrast to populism, it represents a people鈥檚 capacity to decide their political future in democracyaccording to the critera of social justice, political progressivism, interculturalism, and modernity. In today鈥檚 context, this cosmopolitannationalism is the change that Europe needs to become a more just place, with less inequality, and one that respects cultural pluralism.Photo by Margaret LuppinoTranslated from Catalan by Margaret Luppino
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012OPINIONPatriotism, nationalism, constitutionJordi PujolCentre d鈥橢studis Jordi Pujol14-03-2006 R ecently there has been a great deal of debate about the term 鈥渘ation鈥: whether or not Catalonia is a nation, whether or not the new Statute should recognise this country鈥檚 nation status, etc. There has been a great deal of discussion about nation and nationality and national and national entity and historic nation, about national symbols, etc. This is not an easy debate for Catalans. Not merely for the 铿乪rce opposition to it from the rest of Spain but because 鈥 like it or not 鈥 the call for Catalonia鈥檚 recognition as a nation is a nationalist philosophy and policy. Here and elsewhere in Europe there is much debate, confusion and insincerity surrounding the concept of nationalism. This has also give rise to many complexes. Who is not nationalist? What country does not defend its identity? None. This is how it should be. The negative side of this is that some countries do not stop here, that is, they do not defend only a language, a way of being, a culture, a historical heritage, legitimate economic interests and common values. Nor do they attempt to make their own country all-embracing, integrated and cohabitational. Cohabitational within the country itself, among its own citizens, and outwardly cohabitational, with other nations. There are many countries that although say otherwise practise a bad form of nationalism in economic terms (see what has happened to the IPOs and the so-called 鈥渘ational business champions鈥), or in linguistic terms (note French, Spanish and Italian reaction, etc., whenever they do not have a simultaneous translation service in their language at their disposal at conferences). It is likewise remarkable how the resurgence of state nationalism is endangering the process of European uni铿乧ation. It is precisely these forms of nationalism that are exclusive, uncooperative and often disrespectful to other cultures, languages and identities that usually discredit and condemn the defensive stance that some peoples have to adopt to protect their collective individuality and their political, cultural, social and economic rights. We Catalans should not pay any attention to this sel铿乻h and unethical criticism because it is hypocritical. It is a smokescreen. Because the issue is, what is nationalism in our case, that is, in the case of a nation that lacks not only full political and institutional recognition but that is subjected to intense political, institutional and cultural pressure? How can this be de铿乶ed in positive terms, while avoiding possible perversions? It can be de铿乶ed as the legitimate act of political and intellectual assertion, or even the defence and revendication of a country鈥檚 collective personality that has the characteristics of a nation. It can also be de铿乶ed as the politicisation (legitimate and necessary) of a collective identity that needs to be defended and recognised politically. None of this can be quali铿乪d as unsupportive, exclusive or aggressive. We should not have a complex about it. Quite the opposite. We are now entering a phase in which the sense of identity has returned to forefront. The sense of identity, not statism. And as we said: What is the defence of the sense of identity if not nationalism? The best form of nationalism is that which respects others, with an inwardly all-embracing spirit, outwardly cooperative and respectful of people鈥檚 priorities. Which is how we understand it in Catalonia. We must defend this without complexes here in Catalonia, in Madrid, in Brussels, wherever. In terms of democracy, we have an untarnished history, both from what we could call Spanish reformism point of view as well as from a European and Europeist point of view. We have also a good record in setting up a welfare state, welcoming immigration, fostering coexistence and promoting a civil society. We have achieved all of this peacefully. The country that Catalan nationalism sought to build, and in large part has done so, must be taken into account. Catalonia has even contributed to the political and economic progress of Spain as a whole and its integration into Europe.
  • What鈥檚 so wrong in this? On what do Spanish and European political and intellectual critics base their judgement, while they themselvesoften practise, hypocritically, a form of nationalism that is exclusive, anti-European, and even bigoted? How should we de铿乶e a movementthat defends Catalonia鈥檚 national reality and autonomy if not through nationalism?Incidentally, as negotiations on the Statute proceed, it seems that constitutional patriotism, one issue much discussed over recent years,has been left aside. A term that seeks to diminish everything that is related to identity, conscience and feeling, all affective nexuses andcommon convictions, everything that is not strictly speaking legal, everything concerning the profound sense of belonging, based oncontractual cohabitation. According to this concept what existed before the Constitution has no or little importance.Evidently previous rights are not taken into account, although the fundamental question of identity is not decisive either. This is onlyrelatively important if identity is 铿乺mly consolidated and fully recognised, but if not 鈥 and this is not exactly so in Catalonia鈥檚 case 鈥 itposes a grave danger to the nation that is not dominant.In any case, contrasting patriotism and nationalism is meaningless, unless one rids patriotism of meaning by adding constitutional to it. Itis said that patriotism threatens no one, that it merely implies affection for one鈥檚 country. But if it is attacked, if its language, culture andcapacity to develop are jeopardised, what are its patriots supposed to do? I imagine they would rally to its defence. If one鈥檚 Homelandis threatened 鈥 since patriotism naturally presupposes there is a Homeland 鈥 it can be assumed that those who feel patriotic must defendit. It all boils down to words. The real issue here is the avoidance of one word 鈥 Nation - that has more political and legal weight thanHomeland. And it is one that must not be renounced, nor is it necessary since, as I have said so often, we are referring to an integrated,inclusive, cooperative and cohabitational form of nationalism, both inwardly and outwardly. As has always been ours.However, curiously enough, as the moment of truth arrives regarding the Statue looms, the question of constitutional patriotism has beensidelined, and in the worst possible way. The 鈥減atriotic essence鈥 has once again emerged, and not merely from one or two simpletonsand demagogues, but from leading academic and political 铿乬ures. And not solely people from the traditional right, but also from theso-called progressive sectors. Reducing everything to a cold contract, ex novo, without roots, elements of psychological cohesion, orcultural bonds, this must be suf铿乧ient for us, not for them.Spanish politicians staunchly defended the concept of constitutional patriotism during the years of the transition to democracy, and itcontinues to be used to this day. But debating whether or not Catalonia is a nation and whether or not it should be afforded this status hasseen the re-emergence of the more traditional arguments of Spanish nationalism from the right and the left.We should recall that it was the Germans that 铿乺st invented the concept of constitutional patriotism, immediately after the Second WorldWar. And one can understand why.Germany had been the country of modern philosophy, the country with the 铿乶est music, the leading country in the 铿乪ld of science.However, all of a sudden, inexplicably and painfully it also became the country of the holocaust. Weimar 鈥揋oethe鈥檚 city 鈥 is locatednear Buchenwald. Following the defeat of Hitler, Germany had to start over. It had to rebuild itself from foundations unconnected withthe past, with a new contract that was strictly legal and rational. This was the 1949 Constitution, which gave rise to the concept ofconstitutional patriotism.Clearly the Germans were not able to erase their thousand-year history, from Charlemagne to Martin Luther, from their literature to theirmusic, from the Aufkl盲rung (the German enlightenment of the 18th century) to their universities. The German nation was shaped out ofall of this, and it still is. However the Germans were discrete. Because the Holocaust had been a appalling moral disaster. Everythingprior to 1945 was half-concealed, including the notion of Nation. Now everything that is good in German history gradually is resurfacing.We Catalans do not have this problem. Historically, like all peoples, we have been good and bad according to circumstances. But eventshave often compelled us to defend our identity, and at the same time to open up and accept people from outside owing to our demography.Circumstances have forced us to develop within frameworks far larger than those that strictly speaking correspond to us. We have beencompelled intellectually to combine our inner strength with outreach. This is what makes us what we are: a Catalan nation within theSpanish framework. We are a small country with political limitations, but we are dynamic. We have always defended our identity whileremaining open to the world. We are a nation that has always been committed to coexistence and peace.We can defend this nation without fear, without complexes, and without euphemisms.Jordi Pujol served as president of the Catalan Generalitat and party leader of the nationalist coalition Converg猫ncia i Uni贸 (CiU) from1980 to 2003. He was consecutively re-elected in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1995 and 1999. At the 铿乺st, 铿乫th and sixth legislatures CiU won theparliamentary elections with a relative majority, and at the second, third and fourth, by an absolute majority.Photo courtesy of the Centre d鈥橢studis Jordi Pujol View slide
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012OPINIONFour misunderstandings about Catalan nationalismSergi Pardos-Prado(First time published)19-09-2012 N ationalism is probably the most confusing ideological 鈥渋sm鈥 that has shaped contemporary political thought since the 18th Century. Liberalism, socialism, utilitarianism, individualism, and communism among others bene铿乼 from a high epistemological consensus. The word nationalism, however, is used in very different ways by academics, policy-makers and journalists. What is even worse, nationalism has a strong negative connotation attached to it. This makes it dif铿乧ult for an average nationalist voter to de铿乶e herself as such in Europe, and not to be considered as a potentially subversive political agent. Catalan political nationalism has suffered from the use of a wrong semantics that clashes with the standard understanding of what nationalism means in Europe. In my view, there are four main misunderstandings about Catalan nationalism abroad. Unless they are acknowledged, the symbolic legitimacy of Catalan democratic national ambitions in Europe will be permanently undermined. First: nationalism does not mean extreme right-wing. Catalonia bene铿乼s and at the same time suffers from a complex bi-dimensional structure of the political space that is relatively unique in advanced democracies. Two main axes have de铿乶ed ideological positioning of political actors after the restoration of democracy in Spain, namely a classical left-right socioeconomic and a nationalist axis of political competition. Since these two axes are to a large extent independent, there are nationalist voters and parties with parliamentary representation both on the left and the right of the political spectrum. The bene铿乼s of this bi-dimensional political structure are high levels of pluralism and a relatively high congruence between political sensitivities and political representation in (a quite fragmented) Parliament. The downside, however, is that this scenario is quite unique and therefore badly understood in Europe. Most ideological worldviews in Western democracies have been summarised for decades in a single left-right continuum. Even in regions like Flanders, nationalist sentiments tend to correlate with right-wing economic ideologies. Only recent theories of comparative political behaviour identify the emergence of a second cultural axis of competition. However, according to their own terminology, this new axis is bounded by leftist cosmopolitan and rightist authoritarian and nationalist values. Second: nationalism is not anti-liberal. In some Western European imaginaries, the emergence of national states is a direct consequence of Enlightenment. Disaggregating political boundaries meant replacing the medieval hierarchy with a new political order led by an emerging middle class and based upon reason and individual rights. Authors like Miller or Kymlicka, however, have already shown that cultural nationalism can also be based on liberal arguments. The specialised literature also agrees that both civic and cultural de铿乶itions of nation can be liberal or illiberal depending on their discourse and strategy. The conclusions of the specialised literature, however, have hardly in铿倁enced mainstream public opinion. Even in European intellectual and political circles, any secessionist attempt is usually regarded as a regressive reaction against the triumph of individual freedom, reason, and democracy. Paradoxically, Catalan nationalist discourses usually claim to be based on a historical tradition of individualism, economic liberalism and democratic agreement (pactisme). Moreover, these discourses are articulated as a reaction against the idea of a centralised Spain with strong historical links with illiberal regimes like absolutist monarchies and military dictatorships. must be taken into account. Catalonia has even contributed to the political and economic progress of Spain as a whole and its integration into Europe. Third: nationalism does not mean violence. As pointed out by Gans in his book The Limits of Nationalism, the articulation of both a political and cultural unity when forming national states was generally pursued through methods that were neither liberal nor democratic. Since the construction of European national states pursued enlightened aims through dubious and usually violent methods, any contemporaneous attempt of nation-building is identi铿乪d with the same historical strategy. In the European imaginary and historiography, the emergence of national states is linked to past wars and conquests, or to the contemporary and violent liberation of repressed regions (i.e. the Balkans). In fact, the almost only scenario in which the independence of a given region is seen as legitimate is when it is violently oppressed by a supra political unit. The presence of violent repression thus legitimates secession, constituting a View slide
  • perverse strategy that neglects paci铿乧 centre-periphery con铿俰cts and incentivises extremist strategies by nationalist actors in order toradicalise their political context. Be they legitimate or not, the emergence of new states and self-proclaimed nationalist movements isthus associated with potential violence against the status quo.Fourth: nationalism does not mean secessionism. According to Gellner鈥檚 famous de铿乶ition, nationalism is a 鈥減olitical principle whichholds that the political and the national unit should be congruent鈥. This de铿乶ition applies very well to European national states thatconstructed a political boundary around a supposedly cultural homogeneous population, in order to reach functional governance and toredistribute resources. Paradoxically, mainstream Catalan nationalist discourses have seldom been secessionist until now. Even if theidea of an independent Catalonia seems to be gaining momentum now, its theoretical implementation seems to be ideally based in acontext of shared sovereignty within the European Union. In fact, Catalan nationalist political actors have almost never openly proposedthe uni铿乧ation of political and cultural boundaries as Spain, France or Germany once did. Catalan discourse and policy practice until now铿乼 better to what would be called a regionalist or federalist strategy, where the aim is to decentralise rather than break the political unit.Thus, according to certain specialised and vague de铿乶itions and terminology, most Catalan nationalists should not even be considerednationalists.Sergi Pardos-Prado is a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.Photo courtesy of the author
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012OPINIONWhat is Catalanism and what does it advocate?Agust铆 ColominesCatalan News Agency31-01-2011 C atalanism is the name of a movement of national vindication that advocates for the political-cultural recognition of Catalonia within Spain. After the failure of the violent uprisings of Catalans during the 17th century (the War of Catalan Secession of 1640) and the 18th century (the War of Spanish Succession of 1714), starting in the 19th century the movement to preserve Catalans鈥 national rights became more peaceful and civic. From the start of this renewal, Catalanism expressed itself through different ideological currents (Catholic, liberal, working class, etc), aided by the popular use of the Catalan language, the defense of a distinct culture and the popular anti- centralist movements. Thus, the loyalty of the working classes to their distinct Catalan identity 鈥 expressed, above all else, in the language they spoke - is what has supported Catalanism, a word that synthesizes the pluralism of Catalan Nationalism. Long before the creation of the 铿乺st strictly Catalanist political party in 1901, which tended to be conservative, the national awakening of Catalonia was ignited by the popular republican and federal movements, cultural and historical nationalism and the emotional separatism that had taken root among members of the rural population, who had been the great protagonists of the previous secessionist revolts. It would be impossible to explain Catalanism without 铿乺st taking into account that Catalonia is a differentiated society within Spain. And it is differentiated from a national but also an economic point of view. The needs of Catalan industrialization, which followed the English model of economic development based on the textile industry, were also factors that favored the growth of Catalanism. The colonial crisis of 1898, which marked the end of Spanish Colonialism, encouraged the Catalan bourgeoisie (which up until then had been closely tied to the Spanish State and profoundly Castillianized) to turn and give support to some of the very 铿乺st groups of national vindication. This agreement between old federalists, cultural nationalists and the conservative-bourgeois groups gave Catalanism a boost, and its new focus became the vindication of a greater status of political autonomy in the Spanish context. The history of Catalanism in the 20th century can be summed up in this struggle to achieve self-government, a struggle that has had to overcome the wars and the dictatorships sparked by Spanish militarism. Catalanism, therefore, is an anti-centralization movement that has only achieved institutional recognition of its self-government on three occasions: 1914-1923 (with the monarchy of Alfons XIII), 1931-1939 (during the Second Republic), and the present, which began with the reestablishment of democracy of 1978, the restoration of the monarchy and the approval of the Statute of Autonomy. After twenty-six years of the 1979 Statute being in effect, the Parliament of Catalonia approved a new Statute following a long and tense negotiation in the Spanish Parliament in which changes were made to the fundamental articles on the identity and the powers for regulating the Catalan economy and 铿乶ances. Since then the tension between Catalonia and the Spanish authorities has been increasing and the strength of Catalanism is becoming more and more evident, a Catalanism that is now calling for full sovereignty within the context of Europe. Agust铆 Colomines is a tenured professor of Contemporary History at the University of Barcelona. A specialist in historiography and history of nationalism, he has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom) and is also a member of the CEHI (Centre of International Historical Studies) at the University of Barcelona, and of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) at the London School of Economics. He was a former dean of the Department of Arts and Humanities at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), and head of UNESCO of铿乧e in Catalonia. He writes a bi-weekly column in the newspaper Avui and also works with Catalunya R脿dio, ComR脿dio, Onda Rambla and the current affairs magazine El Temps. Since December 2007 he has been the director of the Fundaci贸 Catalanista i Dem貌crata (CatDem) (Catalanist and Democrat Foundation - CatDem). Photo courtesy of the author and the CNA.
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012OPINIONThe century of nations, 1Joan F. MiraEl Temps10-01-2012 O ne hundred years ago, at the beginning of the second decade of the 20th century, when national movements of all kinds (radical or moderate, positive or negative, chauvinistic or simply responsible, defensive or aggressive, which rapidly exploded during World War I and were poorly resolved afterwards) were at their height, no one could foresee what our world would look like, not even our own Europe, after another hundred years had gone by. No matter how much methodical perspicacity we use, it鈥檚 impossible for us to know what the shape of the world will be when another century has gone by: we don鈥檛 know, for example, where the borders will be of what we now call nations, or what those borders will mean. History has not run its course, not in the least, and depending on the direction it takes (wherever human societies, peoples and their leaders choose to direct it) there will be several large states, or a great number of small ones, or both of these scenarios at the same time; and it is also impossible to predict what the meaning and the power of these 鈥 united or disunited 鈥 states will be. I do believe, however, that almost all of them, or whatever remains of them, will continue to call themselves nations. And they will continue to be lived as a homeland for their citizens. Whatever may be the true meaning of these words, as it won鈥檛 always be the same. A century and a half ago, or perhaps only a century ago, the intellectuals and politicians in Europe who were elaborating theories on nationalisms and nations would not in their wildest dreams have imagined that that condition of nation that they promoted or simply observed in the context of 鈥渃ivilized鈥 people would spread to become a universal condition and even be seen as necessary for all of humanity: that Africans, by way of example, could organize themselves into forty or 铿乫ty nations (whatever that should mean), was unthinkable. The subject has been around for a while, therefore, and the theories and the lack of foresight as well. It is not clear if nationality is the product of the intense and exalted national education Rousseau advocated, or if it is implicit in the 鈥渘atural man鈥 of Herder 鈥 a happy man, without a state鈥; or if one vision and the other are variants of the same optimistic fantasy with different degrees of enlightenment, rationalism and romanticism). What is quite clear, however, is that neither Rousseau nor Herder could have foreseen that a few years after their writings there would be the immense upheaval of the Napoleonic Wars with all of their precisely national consequences; and that the century following the Enlightenment and the Revolution would be, throughout the vast majority of the European territory, that of the division into vast imperial spaces consecrated in the Congress of Vienna, and not into multiple free republics as the ideological liberalism should have produced. Curiously enough, for the English or French liberals of the 铿乺st half of the 19th century, the empires, or the great expansive (and colonialist) states, seemed to be an almost natural condition, or at least they were seen as irreversible in the short term: the freedom 鈥搕hat of 鈥渢he peoples,鈥 for example, like that of the subaltern classes鈥 was a magni铿乧ent universal principle: as long as no one tried to put it into practice. It is important to remember that the person who pressured to put into practice a principle as 鈥渓iberal鈥 as that of the 鈥減rinciple of nationalities鈥 was not a statesman from Europe but instead one from North America; and only after the internal empires of Europe (at least those that were recognized as such) had already burst their seams as a result of the Great War and of so many accumulated tensions. In one century, then 鈥揻rom the Congress of Vienna to the treaties of Versailles鈥, a lot of things had changed, and the dominant perspective was no longer that of the Austrian Chancellor Metternich, but that of the North American president Wilson. There was a growing principle that peoples had innate rights as such peoples. Not the royal princes, as had been the case one hundred years earlier, but the peoples. And to begin with they had political rights. Now then, once the principle had been accepted, the practical and theoretical problem was to know what a people was, what made it a nation or part of a nation, what de铿乶ed it as such, how far it reached and how it was delimited. Certain things that, when they are clear, seem like they had always been extremely clear. And when they are not clear they seem inextricable.
  • Joan F. Mira (Val猫ncia, 1939) is a writer, anthropologist, sociologist and university lecturer. Notable among his essays are the worksthat are concerned with the situation of the Catalan language and the people of Valencia, for example Cr铆tica de la naci贸 pura (Criticismof the Pure Nation, 1985). This text is an approximation to the concept of the nation from the anthropological perspective and it receivedthe Joan Fuster and the Serra d鈥橭r Critics鈥 prizes for the essay. Two other noteworthy essays are Sobre la naci贸 dels valencians (Onthe Nation of the Valencians, 1997), and the historical synthesis Els Borja: fam铆lia i mite (The Borjas: Family and Myth, 2000). He hasalso written novels and collections of short stories: Viatge al 铿乶al del fred (Journey to the End of the Cold, 1984), Els treballs perduts(Lost Labours, 1989), Borja Papa (Borja Pope, 1996), a novel that received the Joan Crexells Prize, the Valencian Writers Critics Prizeand the National Prize for Catalan Literature, and Quatre q眉estions d鈥檃mor (Four Questions of Love, 1998), which was awarded theInter-university Institute of Valencian Philology Prize. In 2002 he won the Sant Jordi prize with his novel Purgatori (Purgatory), whichalso received the Critics鈥 Prize.Another outstanding area in his work is that of translation, for which he has received several awards. Especially noteworthy are hisCatalan versions of Dante Alighieri鈥檚 La Divina Comedia (2001), the Four Gospels (2004), and Claude Simon鈥檚 Le tramway. He wasawarded the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George Cross) in 1991 for his civic contribution and he is a member of the Associaci贸 d鈥橢scriptorsen Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers).Translated from the Catalan by Margaret Luppino.
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012OPINIONThe century of nations, 2Joan F. MiraEl Temps17-01-2012 T here was no lack of 鈥渘ational ideologies,鈥 even before that moment of extremely brief and tired optimism of 1920 and a few additional years. They were theories, however, that had generally appeared beforehand that explained or justi铿乪d a national problem their authors had come up against or confronted: this meant, for example, the British justi铿乧ation of civilizing imperial power, strengthening the unity of Germany, promoting the cultural and linguistic homogenization of France, exalting the Italian Risorgimento, explaining the position of the Viennese socialists or Czech democrats in Austrian politics, or the situation of integrated or persecuted Jews. It鈥檚 inevitable: those who theorize from within a situation that they are involved in will rarely do so without wanting to apply this theory, in the 铿乺st place, to the case they are most concerned with. At times, however, complicity is the 铿乺st obstacle to a minim level of distanced objectivity when making observations of the events to be explained. As an explanation the theory is then weakened, and seems more of a symptom than an instrument or the result of an analysis. Something perfectly documented, for example, is the long series of repressive, punitive and humiliating practices with which all the governments of France since the time of the Revolution (and from before, when they could) had tried to 鈥渁n茅antir les patois鈥 [annihilate the patois, the regional languages of France], in the famous words of the Abb茅 Gr茅goire. But this 鈥搕he imposition, the often brutal coercion鈥攇oes against the idea of harmonious, spontaneous and voluntary unity; and this is why Ernest Renan went on to write, in perfect innocence: 鈥淔rance can be proud that it never sought to obtain linguistic unity through coercive measures.鈥 Impressive. Quite simply, faced with the simplicity of a faith or with an ideology, often the complexity of facts matters very little. Even when the ideology is presented like a science, as Otto Bauer, the great social democrat theoretician on the Central-European national issue, did with impeccable candidness: 鈥淯p till now science has left the nation almost exclusively to poets, journalists and speakers at public meetings, in parliament and at the bierkeller [beer halls]. In a time of national struggles, we have scarcely even seen the 铿乺st approaches to a satisfactory theory of the essence of the nation. Yet such a theory is certainly needed. National ideology and national romanticism affect us all.鈥 Clairvoyant and prophetic words that retain all their value if we read them a century later. And this is the nature of the world. A world made up of nations, 鈥渦nited鈥 or separated. Planet Earth is a 鈥淯nited Nations Organization,鈥 and it is hard to see how it could be anything else in the foreseeable future. Said in a different manner, or continuing in the same way, we could make a second re铿俥ction: at the beginning of the 21st century, concepts, issues and con铿俰cts such as globalization, migrations, power of multinationals, new reactionisms, the mix of cultures, etc., that often make up the framework of our daily news, have not produced any new form or model of collective life that could substitute the 鈥渘ational model鈥 inherited from past centuries. The nation is still, and will continue to be for a while, the substantial framework of human societies. Thus, to claim that concepts like identity, patriotism, nationalism, etc. (despite the abuses and aberrations that may have occurred in recent history, which is what happens to any 鈥渟ociological鈥 concept) are regressive, outdated and negative, is to deny the reality of recent history, of the present and almost certainly of the foreseeable future. It is thus important to strengthen 鈥揳s both an ideology and a project鈥 a model of patriotism-nationalism that is radically democratic and that guarantees internal heterogeneities and the ethical component of the citizenry. A civil and moral patriotism, as well as one that encourages responsibility for ones own country and people, territory and culture, heritage, common well-being and freedom. Because homeland and nation, patriotism and nationalism, are terms and concepts with a liberating and democratic tradition, and as such they must be maintained, cleaned up and applied to political, civil and cultural action. Nothing is gained 鈥搃n fact, quite the contrary鈥 by leaving the exploitation of these concepts in the hands of reactionary, extremist, intolerant or chauvinistic ideologues, and by renouncing their usefulness as factors that are positive and promote cohesion and civil solidarity. It is not an opinion, it is a program.
  • Joan F. Mira (Val猫ncia, 1939) is a writer, anthropologist, sociologist and university lecturer. Notable among his essays are the worksthat are concerned with the situation of the Catalan language and the people of Valencia, for example Cr铆tica de la naci贸 pura (Criticismof the Pure Nation, 1985). This text is an approximation to the concept of the nation from the anthropological perspective and it receivedthe Joan Fuster and the Serra d鈥橭r Critics鈥 prizes for the essay. Two other noteworthy essays are Sobre la naci贸 dels valencians (Onthe Nation of the Valencians, 1997), and the historical synthesis Els Borja: fam铆lia i mite (The Borjas: Family and Myth, 2000). He hasalso written novels and collections of short stories: Viatge al 铿乶al del fred (Journey to the End of the Cold, 1984), Els treballs perduts(Lost Labours, 1989), Borja Papa (Borja Pope, 1996), a novel that received the Joan Crexells Prize, the Valencian Writers Critics Prizeand the National Prize for Catalan Literature, and Quatre q眉estions d鈥檃mor (Four Questions of Love, 1998), which was awarded theInter-university Institute of Valencian Philology Prize. In 2002 he won the Sant Jordi prize with his novel Purgatori (Purgatory), whichalso received the Critics鈥 Prize.Another outstanding area in his work is that of translation, for which he has received several awards. Especially noteworthy are hisCatalan versions of Dante Alighieri鈥檚 La Divina Comedia (2001), the Four Gospels (2004), and Claude Simon鈥檚 Le tramway. He wasawarded the Creu de Sant Jordi (Saint George Cross) in 1991 for his civic contribution and he is a member of the Associaci贸 d鈥橢scriptorsen Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers).Translated from the Catalan by Margaret Luppino.Illustration by Cristina Losantos (http://www.cristinalosantos.com/)
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012IN DEPTHThe Catalan bioclusterMeeting the social challenges of the 21st centuryMontserrat VendrellCatalan International ViewSpring 2012 T he enormous scienti铿乧 breakthroughs achieved in the second half of the 20th century in the 铿乪lds of genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry led to the spectacular development of biotechnology and, along with it, the growth of a global sector that is capable of providing innovative solutions to the great challenges facing humanity in the areas of health, food, environmental sustainability and energy production. Biotechnology is, according to the OECD de铿乶ition, the application of science and technology to living organisms or parts thereof to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods or services. The use of yeast and fermentation processes to produce traditional foods (yogurt, bread, beer, etc.) is, in fact, biotechnology, as are vaccines (which began to be developed at the end of the 19th century), which are created from pathogens that provoke the illness the patient is to be immunized against. The radical change that has come about since the turn of the century is the exponential growth in our capacity to intervene ona cellular level, to synthesize biologically-based products, and to identify factors linked to the genesis of a disease thanks to the ampleknowledge we have acquired as to the genetic bases of living organisms.As we have delved deeper into the operational mechanisms of DNA and RNA, the chemical building blocks of life, which make up thegenome of living beings, so technology has also moved forward in 铿乪lds such as bioinformatics and genome sequencing. The 铿乺st 鈥榙raft鈥檕f the human genome (identifying 3,000 million nucleotides) obtained in 2000 was the completion of a process that began in 1990.What initially took 10 years and cost nearly $3,000 million, with current technology can be done in one day for just over $1,000. Theimpact of this change in speed and cost on research and on the ability to create new biotechnology products has been spectacular. Todaywe can identify the genes that characterize a speci铿乧 disease or predispose patients to it and, using these biomarkers, we can designnew diagnostic tools that allow us to identify and segment at risk groups for preventative treatment (improving health and loweringcare costs) or we can produce new medicines that attack only the diseased cells, limiting negative collateral effects on the rest of theorganism.The impact biotechnology has on medicine and healthcare management is clearly demonstrated in these two examples; however itspotential goes much further. Biotechnology products are essential to producing the food we eat, starting with selection and improvementtechniques for plant and animal species, and continuing with techniques and products to combat plagues or environmental stress(drought, contamination) and, 铿乶ally, the production of enzymes and other biotechnology components used in industries that produceor conserve food. Furthermore, thanks to biotechnology, in recent years we have seen a convergence of food production and medicine,through functional foods or nutraceutics.These, in short, are products to which components have been added or removed in order to provide health bene铿乼s. These foods are thefoundation of a preventative, personalized medicine that is key to meeting the needs of a quickly growing population (the UN calculatesthat there will be 8,300 million people in the world by 2025), which is simultaneously living longer and ageing (average life expectancyin the OECD is 79, but two thirds of the group鈥檚 members already exceed this average). This process increases the percentage of chronicdiseases and, as a result, puts enormous pressure on healthcare systems, regarding both management complexity and costs. Reducingthe prevalence of certain diseases through foods adapted to this end has thus become a necessity, and an opportunity for new companiesand entrepreneurs that can develop these new products that the market requires.
  • Biomedicine and biotechnology applied to agriculture and livestock production are, respectively, what the sector calls red biotechnologyand green biotechnology. However biotechnology also has important applications in the industrial arena (white biotechnology), above allin energy production using biofuel but also in reducing energy use and the contaminant load of industrial activity, through the applicationof bioprocesses to substitute traditional techniques in sectors like papermaking, textiles, chemicals, etc. and in bioremediation, whichuses microorganisms, fungi or enzymes to recover contaminated natural spaces.The signi铿乧ance of these applications lies both in their social impact and in their economic potential. In the energy arena, for example,the OECD expects that the demand for energy will have increased 50% by 2025. According to experts, wind energy (electricity) andbiomass (biofuels) are the only clean power sources capable of making a signi铿乧ant contribution to meeting these energy demands, withproduction the US Energy Agency estimates could reach 175,000 million and 110,000 million kilowatt-hours, respectively, by 2025.The World Economic Forum calculates that the value chain that goes from biomass to biore铿乶eries could generate more than $224,000million by 2020. This 铿乬ure is signi铿乧ant, although still relatively small if compared to the $880,000 million per year in sales currentlyseen in the global biopharmaceutical market.Internal challengesNevertheless, the sector鈥檚 development is facing various challenges on a global level. First of all, naturally, is the economic crisis weare experiencing that is taking a toll on both public and private investment, which is key to maintaining competitiveness in the researcharena and in a knowledge-based market. In this area, countries that have clearly de铿乶ed their priorities and are sticking to them, or evenincreasing economic support for research, have a clear advantage. In Europe, the strongest economies (Finland, Sweden, Denmark,Germany, Austria, France) are above the EU average for R&D investment, which for 2010 was 2% of GDP. However it is worth notingthat in countries like Denmark and Germany private companies have contributed more than 60% of R&D investment.Spain invested 1.38% of its GDP in R&D in 2009 and 2010, and it was the public administration, with 47% of the total (43% from privateindustry) that carried most of the burden of investment for research. Catalonia, with 1.62% of its GDP going to research, is above thenational average in this sense.Public investment is fundamental for basic and clinical research, but to bring products to market private investment is also essentialand, often, the key is creating the appropriate regulatory and 铿乻cal frameworks to drive this investment. Developing a new drug, forexample, requires between 10 and 15 years of research and can require several hundred million euros in investment. In order to tacklesuch a long, complex and costly process, in a context of accelerated scienti铿乧 progress, various companies and organisations of varyingsizes must intervene. Public research centres and small biotech 铿乺ms mainly focus on the stages of discovery and initial clinical studies.The participation of venture capital in these projects allows for companies to grow and take on the next phases (clinical trials withprogressively larger groups of patients) and to take products to market, either producing a new drug or licensing it to a larger company.In any case, at the top of the chain we once again see that the government is both the body that establishes the regulatory framework andthe main client for these products, through the public health system.In short, it is a large, complex ecosystem, which in recent years has organised itself around the concept of a biocluster and in manyregions has created organisations to dynamize and drive them, such as Biocat in Catalonia. The work of organisations like ours is tofacilitate dialogue and interaction between the various public and private stakeholders that make up the system; to promote technologytransfer and companies鈥 access to resources that are essential to their activity and growth (funding, technology, premises, etc.); toattract and develop talent in both the scienti铿乧 arena and in the management of key areas of the biotechnology business; to connect theadministration and policy makers with the strategic needs of the sector in order to bring about the most appropriate regulatory, 铿乻cal andpolitical framework; and to project local assets on an international level in order to facilitate cross-border collaborations, which are keyto achieving positive results in a sector that is, by de铿乶ition, global.Biotechnology in CataloniaAccording to the 2011 Biocat Report, the BioRegion of Catalonia has 80 research centres, 20 science and technology parks, 15 hospitalsand 12 universities, which account for 435 research groups devoted to biosciences. This research environment employs 7,981 people,90% of which are devoted to research tasks (scientists and technicians). Catalonia has three large-scale research facilities: the MareNostrum supercomputer (Barcelona Supercomputing Center, BSC), the Alba-Cells synchrotron, and the National Genome AnalysisCenter, plus more than one hundred technology platforms.Additionally, there are 480 companies, including biotechnology (91), pharmaceutical (71), innovative medical technology (106) andsector-services 铿乺ms. These companies employ some 22,000 people, more than half of which carry out research tasks. The sector as awhole (public bodies with third-party services and companies) has an estimated turnover of 鈧15,600 million per year, 29% of the economicvolume the sectorial association Asebio calculates for the sector as a whole in Spain. Catalonia is home to 21% of all biotechnologycompanies in Spain, ahead of Madrid (19%), Andalusia (12%), Valencia (11%) and the Basque Country (10%) and is one of the mostdynamic bioregions in Europe, with collaboration projects with clusters in France (Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Montpellier, Bordeaux),Germany (Munich, Berlin), Great Britain (Oxford, Cambridge, London), Italy (Turin), the Netherlands, Switzerland, Hungary, Polandand Sweden, in Europe, and organisations like the Massachusetts Life Science Center, the MassBio association and the Johns HopkinsTechnology Transfer Center, in the United States.
  • In short, it is a large, complex ecosystem, which in recent years has organised itself around the concept of a biocluster and in manyregions has created organisations to dynamize and drive them, such as Biocat in Catalonia. The work of organisations like ours is tofacilitate dialogue and interaction between the various public and private stakeholders that make up the system; to promote technologytransfer and companies鈥 access to resources that are essential to their activity and growth (funding, technology, premises, etc.); toattract and develop talent in both the scienti铿乧 arena and in the management of key areas of the biotechnology business; to connect theadministration and policy makers with the strategic needs of the sector in order to bring about the most appropriate regulatory, 铿乻cal andpolitical framework; and to project local assets on an international level in order to facilitate cross-border collaborations, which are keyto achieving positive results in a sector that is, by de铿乶ition, global.Biotechnology in CataloniaAccording to the 2011 Biocat Report, the BioRegion of Catalonia has 80 research centres, 20 science and technology parks, 15 hospitalsand 12 universities, which account for 435 research groups devoted to biosciences. This research environment employs 7,981 people,90% of which are devoted to research tasks (scientists and technicians). Catalonia has three large-scale research facilities: the MareNostrum supercomputer (Barcelona Supercomputing Center, BSC), the Alba-Cells synchrotron, and the National Genome AnalysisCenter, plus more than one hundred technology platforms.Additionally, there are 480 companies, including biotechnology (91), pharmaceutical (71), innovative medical technology (106) andsector-services 铿乺ms. These companies employ some 22,000 people, more than half of which carry out research tasks. The sector as awhole (public bodies with third-party services and companies) has an estimated turnover of 鈧15,600 million per year, 29% of the economicvolume the sectorial association Asebio calculates for the sector as a whole in Spain. Catalonia is home to 21% of all biotechnologycompanies in Spain, ahead of Madrid (19%), Andalusia (12%), Valencia (11%) and the Basque Country (10%) and is one of the mostdynamic bioregions in Europe, with collaboration projects with clusters in France (Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Montpellier, Bordeaux),Germany (Munich, Berlin), Great Britain (Oxford, Cambridge, London), Italy (Turin), the Netherlands, Switzerland, Hungary, Polandand Sweden, in Europe, and organisations like the Massachusetts Life Science Center, the MassBio association and the Johns HopkinsTechnology Transfer Center, in the United States.Montserrat Vendrell (Barcelona, 1964) holds a PhD in molecular biology by the University of Barcelona (1991), a master degree inScience Communication by the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, 1997) and an Executive Degree in General Management (IESEBusiness School, 2007). After a period of research experience in international research centres such as the Roche Institute of MolecularBiology (Hoffmann LaRoche, New Jersey, US) were she pursued a postdoctoral stay (1992-1995), or CSIC (Spanish Research Council,1987-1991; 1995-97), she joined Barcelona Science Park in 1997 where she held the positions of Scienti铿乧 Director (1997-2005) andDeputy Director general (2005-2007). Since April 2007, she is CEO of Biocat, the cluster organisation that promotes biotechnology andbiomedicine in Catalonia..Photo from the Generalitat de Catalunya website
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012OUR CULTURE, OUR HISTORYThe birth of Catalonia. The Feudal and Counts鈥 society.Generalitat de CatalunyaCulturcat T he Carolingian monarchs re-conquered the region from the Muslims, organised it into counties and built defensive castles near the frontier. This process is known as the 鈥楳arca Hispanica鈥. At the head of these counties there was a count, who was appointed by the Carolingian royal family. The post was temporal and revocable and served as a political-administrative, judicial and mainly military role. However, in the tenth century, the Catalan counts started to seek independence from the Carolingian empire. The Carolingian monarchs divided the region into counties, which corresponded with the well established human and physical realities of the area which, in turn, had their origin in old historical divisions. By the count鈥檚 delegation, a nobleman received administrative, military and judicial power over the area surrounding the castle, and, as a reward for these duties, he also received a part of the region鈥檚 public land which was known as a 铿乪f. This system of re-population gave way to the apparition of a social structure and economical links between various social groups. Furthermore, and during the 铿乺st two thirds of the ninth century, these counties suffered the consequences of the internal battles of the Franc Kingdom which acted to the detriment of their good government and defences. In the context of the assimilation policy of the Franc dominion on the north and south of the Pyrenees, and from the end of the eighth century, the Catalan bishops were under the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Narbonne, since Tarragona was in a Muslim occupied area. The limits of the dioceses, which generally coincided with those of the counties, increased with the newly conquered regions. The smallest territorial demarcation in each diocese was a parish. Later, some monasteries were added to the parish network: Sant Benet de Bages, Cuix脿, Sant Pere de Roda, Tav猫rnoles, Sant Cugat or Gerri, which were all under the rule of Saint Benet, and all maintained 铿乺m ties with their respective dioceses. So much is it so that, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in the Geronan demarcation, many of the bishops of the different dioceses had previously been abbots. These counties which were governed by a count, who was designated by the King, started to become independent from the ninth century onwards, that is, during the time of the Carolingian empire. The revocable nature of the count started to loose validity, becoming a hereditary title which gave way to the apparition of autochthonous county dynasties, which were the basis for the future independence of the region. This change is mainly due to the internal crisis of the Carolingian monarchy, which was incapable of controlling the counts who ruled the Marca Hispanica under the Pyrenean fringe, being the name given to the Franc territory in the Iberian Peninsula. However, on the other hand, the exercising of power meant that the counts became rich and confused the public land they were administering with private land and, as a consequence, the inheritance of their children. This phenomenon did not only happen in the Catalan county, because it was a general phenomenon in all the other counties of the Carolingian empire. In 877, a law normalised what was in fact already a frequent use: the authorization of the hereditary succession of the counties. This event encouraged the apparition of grand county families. At the end of the ninth century, the future Catalonia was divided into ten counties which today still answer to the actual districts: Ribagor莽a, Pallars, Urgell, Cerdanya, Rossell贸, Emp煤ries, Besal煤, Osona, Gerona and Barcelona. During his reign, the count Guifr茅 el Pel贸s (who died in 897) managed to gather under his command the following counties: Osona, Urgell, Gerona, Barcelona and the Bergued脿 district, giving rise to what would be the central nuclei of Catalonia and the origin of a count and royal dynasty which would pass from father to son until the year 1410.
  • Another decisive moment in Catalan independence from the Carolingian empire occurred in 988, when the count of Barcelona, BorrellII, refused to be the vassal of the Franc King, by calling himself Iberian duke and marquis by the grace of God. This act of rebellionwas in part a response to the lack of assistance from the Franc monarchy during the raid on the city of Barcelona in 985 by the troopscommanded by the Arab chief Al-Mansur. With Borrell II鈥檚 incompliance to be a vassal, the ever increasing, more theoretical thanpractical ties which had united the counties of the Marca Hispanica to the Franc Kingdom, were undone.The uni铿乧ation process of the various counties and the consequent apparition of a national awareness which surpassed the politicalplurality of the various counties, was born due to various factors: 铿乺stly, due to the intensi铿乧ation of the relationship between the differentcounties of the Old Catalonia; secondly, due to the strong family ties between the different county families; in third place, due to theexistence of a central nuclei of power and, in fourth place, because we cannot preclude the importance of the progressive formation of acommon language spoken all over the region, that is, Catalan, which was a daughter of Latin, like Spanish, Galician, French or Italian.The unifying process consolidated in a de铿乶itive way during the rule of the count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer I (1035-1076). At thattime, the counts of Besal煤, Cerdanya, Emp煤ries and Urgell, realised the supremacy of the count of Barcelona. Furthermore, we must alsomention that the Catalan bishops belonged to the same ecclesiastical province, that of Narbonne, which also acted as a unifying element.Therefore, in the following century, during the reign of count Ramon Berenguer III (1096-1131), the terms 鈥楥atalan鈥 and 鈥楥atalonia鈥 hadalready been consolidated to refer to the region and the people who inhabited it.At 铿乺st, and until the middle of the tenth century, the re-population system followed by the Francs, which consisted in the handingover of land to the colonizers who went to live on the frontier lands, generated the existence of a free farming class. This condition offreedom did not last very long, because at the end of this period the lack of free farming land meant that the society became progressivelyfeudalised. From the eleventh century onwards, a big sector of the population, due to ecclesiastical reasons 鈥 cession of part of theirproperty to the Church in order to save their souls 鈥 or judicial reasons 鈥 con铿乻cation of land due to debt 鈥 meant that most of the farmerswere under the control of a few masters, to whom they had to serve and pledge 铿乨elity. Part of this sector of settlers remained tied to theland, without the right to abandon it. These were the so called 鈥榬emen莽a鈥 farmers who, in order to free themselves from the land, foundthemselves forced to pay great sums of money.Although the hegemony of the rural world was absolute, at the end of the tenth century there was a timid resurgence of the urban world,which coincided with the progress in agricultural production. The reappearance of concessions of markets, by the hand of the publicauthorities and the appearance of suburbs on the outskirts of some Catalan cities, were proof of this rebirth. This was the 铿乺st nucleiwhich led to the appearance of a very dynamic social sector, the mercantile bourgeoisie, which gave rise to an enormous peninsular andMediterranean commerce. This new sector, that is, the bourgeoisie, later occupied a relevant political role.During the eleventh century, the basic characteristics of a national reality were con铿乬ured. Summarising, the common origin, the territory,an economic life, a social structure, a cultural community which expressed itself in its own tongue, that is, Catalan, and a legislationwhich regulated the behaviour of the community, without forgetting the common awareness of belonging to this community.Another important fact which marked the later history of Catalonia was the matrimonial tie of the count of Barcelona, Ramon BerenguerIV, in 1137, to Peronella, the heiress of the Kingdom of Aragon. This union was the beginning of what would be the Kingdom of Aragon:various independent kingdoms under the same sovereign.In contemporary times, the sovereigns of Catalonia, that is, the counts of Barcelona of the eleventh and twelfth centuries commencedan ambitious policy of feudal dominion over a wide region of the south of what is actually France. The purchase in 1067 of the countiesof Carcossone and Ras茅s and the acquisition of various rights over Narbonne, Toulouse and Besiers by count Ramon Berenguer I, wasthe 铿乺st step. Ramon Berenguer III, a century later, in 1112, thanks to his marriage to Dol莽a of Provence, acquired the rights to Gavald脿,Millau, Carlad猫s and Provence.Catalonia, like other feudal states such as Asturias, Leon, Castilla, Galicia, Navarra and Aragon, became con铿乬ured in its political,institutional and socio-economical aspects, with relation to the long reconquest which began with the arrival of the Arabs at the beginningof the eighth century and concluded when this group had been completely expelled at the end of the 铿乫teenth century.Image from the Culturcat website
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012FURTHER READINGThe origins of political Catalanism (nineteenth century)Generalitat de CatalunyaCulturcat T hroughout the nineteenth century, the 铿乶al objective of Catalanism was not the formation of its own state. Whatever their origin was, its formulations were addressed at reaching political autonomy, that is, self government, within the Spanish State. Thus, the independence movement was a minority trend until well into the twentieth century. The origins of Catalanism must be sought in the eighteenth century, in the time immediately after the defeat of 1714. The national awareness of the Catalans was maintained alive throughout that century, in spite of the policy of Castillianisation of the Bourbon monarchy. It was not a political movement, nor was it built around an organization or entity. It was more of a resistance movement to the centralization and homogenization imposed by the State. It was a resistance which was present in all the classes of Catalan society, which encompassed the popular resistance to renounce their language, in front of the growing pressure of Spanish, to the re-vindictive attempts of documents such as 鈥榁ia fora els adormits鈥 [Way out sleepy ones] (1734) or the 鈥楻ecord de l鈥橝lian莽a鈥 [Memory of the Alliance] (1736), and the re-vindications of the Church in defence of the use of Catalan or the re-vindictive task of the region鈥檚 enlightened through institutions such as the 鈥楻eial Acad猫mia de les Bones Lletres de Barcelona鈥 [Royal Academy of Good Letters of Barcelona]. During this period we can speak of a Catalanism of a cultural nature, of an awareness of being Catalan, of a certain linguistic patriotism, of a pride for the national past. It was not political Catalanism. It was a group of sentiments which started to become accentuated as the economic renovation, which led to the industrial revolution developed in Catalonia. It was a transformation which increasingly distanced the region from the rest of the areas of the State, underlining the differences between them. This sentiment was maintained throughout the eighteenth century, which was considered the century of Catalan decadence, and it broke out at speci铿乧 times: the clearest were the two invasions of the Catalan region, the 铿乺st during the Grand War (1793-1795) and the second during the so-called French War (1808-1814). On both occasions, the Catalans took hold of the reigns for the region鈥檚 defence, faced with the incapacity, when not passiveness, of the State representatives. In both cases autonomous boards and organisms were created that controlled the 铿乬ht against the invader, banishing the government institutions. Many of the insurrectional movements which the region went through throughout the nineteenth century were gathered together within their political programmes, that is, they were aspects related to the recuperation of self government. This was the case, for example, of the royalist uprising of 1822, which contemplated the recuperation of the jurisdictions amongst its political objectives. After 1833, with the end of the Old Regime and the beginning of the process of construction of a liberal state, all this sentiment started to condense around various movements of Catalan expression. The most important, due to their popular force and their duration in time, were Carlism and federal republicanism. Carlism not only represented a dynastic problem, but also the awareness of the Catalan rural, catholic and conservative world. Since 1834, its programme had included the recovery of jurisdictions and it presented itself as a type of monarchic federalism. This was a re-vindication which took them, during the 鈥楪uerra dels Matiners鈥 [War of the early risers] (1846-1849) to 铿乬ht alongside the republicans against the liberal government.
  • However, in spite of everything, it was not until the Third Carlist War (1872-1876) that the role of jurisdictions had a higher relevancein their political programme. In fact, in Olot in 1874, General Savalls proclaimed the restitution of the Catalan jurisdictions in the nameof his suitor, Charles VII.In spite of their defeat in 1876, the Carlist movement continued to be present in Catalan political life amongst the minorities in theopposition to the shift system of the Restoration. Throughout the last quarter of the century their programme maintained the recuperationof the jurisdictions as one of the objectives to be accomplished. In 1899 the Carlist Party even approved a 鈥楶rojecte d鈥橢statut d鈥橝utonomiade Catalunya鈥 [Project of Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia].Next to this Catalanism of rural and catholic ascendancy, there was its social antithesis: federal republicanism. This had a more urbanbase, and integrated a part of the small bourgeoisie, the craftsmen and the incipient urban proletarians, who were disenchanted by theprogressive sectors.This wide social base turned federal republicanism into the most important political force in Catalonia until the Restoration. Its programmeoffered a double solution to the so called Catalan question: a democratic system for a federally structured state, where each region hadan autonomous government.The strength of this movement, which was commanded by men such as Abd贸 Terrades, Narc铆s Monturiol, Josep Anselm Clav茅, SunyerCapdevila, Narc铆s Roca Farreras or Joan Tutau, became apparent in the different insurrectional attempts that were seen in the regionduring the 1830鈥檚 and 1840鈥檚. These were movements that, in most cases, were directed by the federals.For a brief period of time, the revolution of 1868 offered the federals the opportunity to apply their political thesis. The critical situationof the period, and their minority when considering the monarchic forces, which were enrooted in the rest of the State, frustrated therepublican experience and caused a grave crisis in the federal movement.Therefore, at the time of the Restoration (1874), federalism had lost quite a lot of its political strength. This descent can be explained bythe disenchantment following the failure of the First Republic and by the loss of a part of their bases, that is, the working class, in favourof non-political anarchism which was introduced into Catalonia from 1869 onwards through the International.In spite of all this, federalism, like Carlism maintained its presence in Catalan political life, and continued to defend its vision ofCatalanism. In fact, in 1883 the 鈥楥ongr茅s de Catalunya Federalista鈥 [Congress of Federal Catalonia] approved a project of Constitutionof the Catalan State, which was redacted by Vall猫s Ribot.The 铿乺st years of the Restoration, thus, assumed a re-equilibrium of the forces that registered Catalanism. The retreats of Carlists andfederals were substituted by the encouragement of 铿乬ures like Valent铆 Almirall, and by the nationalist sectors of the Catalan bourgeoisie.During this 铿乺st period, Almirall distanced himself from the federal thesis to build a movement which brought together all the families ofCatalanism. This was a project he promoted from the 鈥楧iari Catal脿鈥 (1879), which was the 铿乺st periodical publication explicitly Catalanand which he founded.From the sheets of this newspaper, Almirall convoked the 鈥楶rimer Congr茅s Catalanista鈥 (1880), which was held in Barcelona with theattendance of representatives from all the tendencies of Catalanism. Amongst the decisions reached, the assistants agreed to keep an eyeon the maintenance of Catalan law and the creation of an entity which consolidated all Catalanism.This entity was the 鈥楥entre Catal脿鈥 (1882), which was in charge of convoking the 鈥楽egon Congr茅s Catalanista鈥 (1883). In this secondcongress, the attendants debated the need to adapt to the Spanish political formations and to create their own powers to defend theinterests of the region in the Courts.Two years later, in 1885, Almirall encouraged the writing of the 鈥楳emorial de Greuges鈥 [Memorial of Grievances] which he handed toAlphonse XII. This document has been considered the precursor of regionalism and the base of the ideological synthesis of Prat de laRiba. In 1886, Almirall published 鈥楲o catalanisme鈥 [The Catalanism], where he exposed in a systematic way, his political doctrine.In spite of his consolidation wish, the project of Valent铆 Almirall did not support the various visions which existed of Catalanism asa political power. The Catalan Centre started to suffer the tensions existing between the conservative sectors, the Carlists and thesupporters of Almirall. These tensions broke out in 1887 with the exit of various local centres, like that of Sabadell and Masnou, and theexcision of the more conservative sector which founded the 鈥楲liga de Catalunya鈥.In the League of Catalonia there came together people like Verdaguer Call铆s, Prat de la Riba, Dom猫nech Montaner, Puig Cadafalch,Duran Ventosa, Guimer脿 and Camb贸, who during the 铿乺st decades of the twentieth century directed the different tendencies of politicalCatalanism.The desire to count upon a unitary movement was again posed in 1891, this time by the League of Catalonia. The result was the 鈥楿ni贸Catalanista鈥, which was a unitary platform where there were parties, entities, newspapers and various personalities.
  • The following year, in a reunion held in Manresa, the members of the Catalan supporters Union redacted the 鈥楤ases de Manresa鈥 [Basesof Manresa] (1892). This document speci铿乪d the political programme of conservative Catalanism and, for a long time, was consideredthe starting point of political Catalanism.
  • Understanding Catalan Sovereignty seven communities, one language eurocatalan newsletter ISSUE #9 Fall 2012FURTHER READINGJoan FusterGeneralitat de CatalunyaCulturcat J oan Fuster Ortells (Sueca, 1922-1992) was an untiring and polyvalent writer: a poet, columnist, essayist and translator, who, in his works, combined a lucid commitment to the situation existing in his country with his radical, humanist iconoclasm. His pleasant, ironic and sharp style turned him into an indispensable intellectual referent of Catalan culture and literature. Joan Fuster was one of the most important intellectuals of the Spanish post-War period. He achieved a Bachelor鈥檚 degree in Law in 1947, but soon discovered that his true vocation was writing. During the rest of his life he would 铿乬ht to gain some degree of professional status in the poverty stricken post-War ambience. Throughout his works Fuster demonstrated an involvement with the existing National and International situations, as well as intellectual exigency and autonomy. He commenced his literary career as a poet, but soon gained a reputation for being one of the most intelligent and sarcastic essayists and columnists of the second half of the twentieth century, winning a place as one of the foremost representatives of conceptual literature. From 1946 until 1956 he co-directed the magazine 鈥榁erbo鈥, and it was during those years that he would come into contact with pre-war Valencian national spirit, which he would later abandon in favour of Catalanism. During the same period, he would also collaborate with some magazines that were produced in exile. In 1952 he began writing a personal diary, and collaborated with the newspaper 鈥楲evante鈥, two events which are viewed as representing the starting point of his later development as an essayist. Shortly following that period he would publish his 铿乺st essays, which would represent a point of in铿俥xion in his career: 鈥楨l descr猫dit de la realitat鈥 [Reality鈥檚 discredit] (1955) and 鈥楲es originalitats鈥 [The originalities] (1956) being but two essays within which he set out his opinions relating to the art of writing and the aims of his poetical conception. An untiring writer, he addressed everyday themes as well as the more polemical aspects of the times, publishing his thoughts in many newspapers and periodical journals: the aforementioned 鈥楲evante鈥, 鈥楽erra d鈥橭r鈥, 鈥楨l Correo Catal谩n鈥, 鈥楧estino鈥, 鈥楾ele/eXpr茅s鈥, 鈥楲a Vanguardia鈥 and 鈥楨l Pa铆s鈥, being some of those who published his work. Fuster later grouped all these essays and articles, together with an explanation of his personal notes, in his books. Articles and essays were two forms close to the reader of the time, written always with a desire to please, like in the best Catalan pre-War columnist tradition. Fuster consigned the reader to the essayist tradition represented mainly by Michel de Montaigne, whose discourse was fragmentary, provisional and speculative. Fuster was known to have said that unity must be pursued in individuality, and did not wish to offer a rule with which to measure things. However, the measure of his vision, in accordance with a 鈥榬easonable鈥 reason, would be well within the limits of the intellect of which the author was aware, and a humanism that accepted the entire person, without dualisms, deriving from purely physiological characteristics. Fuster also pursued social and literary history studies. His work, as a historian, which commenced with books like 鈥楲a poesia catalana, Renaixen莽a鈥 [Catalan poetry, the 鈥楻enaixen莽a鈥橾 (1954) or 鈥楶oetes, moriscos i capellans鈥 [Poets, Moorish and Priests] (1962), would reach its peak with the publication of 鈥楴osaltres els valencians鈥 [We the Valencians] (1962), a historical essay that aimed to recuperate the historical past of the Valencian people in order to better understand their present while at the same time to face a 鈥榙ecision about their future鈥: 鈥榳ho are the Valencians鈥, he asked himself, but moreover he enquired about what they wanted to be. The book turned Fuster into a civic, as well as social reference for future generations. That same year he would publish 鈥楺眉esti贸 de noms鈥 [A question of names], in which he entered into a terminological debate about the Catalan language and the territories where it was spoken, choosing to refer to these as 鈥楶a茂sos Catalans鈥 [Catalan Counties], a name which he personally endorsed. He also published 鈥楨l Pa铆s Valenciano鈥 [The Valencian County], a tourist guide which gave rise to controversy amongst the more reactionary and traditional circles of opinion, who came to consider Fuster an enemy of the National Valencian Spirit.
  • The 1960鈥檚 was a decisive moment in his essayist career: 鈥楧iccionari per a ociosos鈥 [Dictionary for idle people] (1964), 鈥楥ausar-sed鈥檈sperar鈥 [Cause to wait] (1965), 鈥楲鈥檋ome, mesura de totes les coses鈥 [Man is the measure of all things] (1967), 鈥楥onsells, proverbis iinsol猫ncies鈥 [Advice, proverbs and insolences] (1968) and 鈥楨xamen de consci猫ncia鈥 [Exam of conscience] (1968). In these publications,Fuster combined essay and aphorism, which was another of the literary modalities in which he excelled, offsetting an anti-dogmatic andconversational tone with laconic sentences, playing with language鈥檚 ambivalence and bringing to the forefront the fragile mechanisms ofthe mind. He saw published his 铿乺st volume of 鈥極bres Completes鈥 [Complete works] in 1968, which consolidated his status as a Modernclassic. He continued the erudite task initiated in this book with 鈥楬eretgies, revoltes i sermons鈥 [Heresies, rebellions and sermons] (1968)and 鈥楲iteratura catalana contempor脿nia鈥 [Contemporary Catalan Literature] (1972).During the years of the Democratic transition, Fuster intensi铿乪d his social involvement and became a referent to many parties opposed toFranco鈥檚 regime. Without losing any of his corrosive humour and irony, he virulently denounced the pacts reached during the Democratictransition and how the left wing political parties backed down, at a time when an anti Catalan movement was gaining power. Fusterwould survive two bomb attacks, one in 1978 and the worst on the 11th of September 1981. This would awaken an even strongercombatant streak in him and would intensify his publishing endeavours: 鈥楥ontra Unamuno y los dem谩s鈥 [Against Unamuno and therest] (1975), 鈥楿n pa铆s sense pol铆tica鈥 [A country without politics] (1976), 鈥楨l blau de la senyera鈥 [The blue on the Catalan 铿俛g)] (1977),鈥楧estinat (sobretot) a valencians鈥 [Addressed (mainly) at Valencians] (1979), 鈥楢ra o mai鈥 [Now or never] (1981), or 鈥楶a铆s Valenci脿, perqu猫?鈥 [The reason for a Valencian County] (1982) are just some of the titles that deserve a mention.Fuster would insist on the necessity to defend political and national liberties, turning his house into a meeting place where he wouldhold gatherings that would become legendary. He would continue to write books of erudition: 鈥楲a Decad猫ncia al Pa铆s Valenci脿鈥 [Thedecadence in the Valencian County] (1976) and 鈥楥ontra el Noucentisme鈥 [Against the 鈥楴oucentisme鈥橾 (1977), however, little by little, hewould become more and more disappointed, 铿乶ally con铿乶ing himself to a voluntary vow of silence that he would only break in 1991 and1992 to give a series of interviews, in which he was seen to have been an awkward man, yet one who remained extremely lucid abouthis career and his detractors. In 1984 he would become a professor at the University of Valencia, where he gave classes until his death.