Not only because in recent years the European institutions, with the notorious Troika action imposing austerity policies on national level, have shown quite another attitude to brutally intervene in the “internal affairs” of individual member countries, as we have seen in the social nightmare of the Greek crisis.
And not only because a political initiative of the European Union — be it together with other, more neutral negotiators — could play a positive mediation role at this moment, favoring a reopening of dialogue between the various actors involved and seeking a negotiated solution to the crisis.
There is more.
Recent developments of the “Catalan crisis,” despite the historical specificities of this affair, are symptom of a deeper disease in Europe: The crisis of democracy in an established state forms as we have known it so far.
Pictures of last Sunday, with tens of thousands of people — women and men, young and old — actively committed to disobey the imposition of force, to guarantee the right to express, the “right to decide,” to vote on their own future, are talking exactly about this: a strong demand for democracy and self-determination, that goes far beyond the classic issue of “national independence.”
Faced with the uprooting violence of economic globalization processes, with the disastrous proportions of ecological crisis, and with the exponential growth of social inequalities, over the last two decades the classic nation-states’ politics have shown their inadequacy to address the major challenges of our time.
Ten years of economic crisis exacerbated all this. Plus, if the national space — and the exercise of representative democracy within national borders — was not capable by itself of counteracting the flows of financial capitalism, it seems to us unlikely or unrealistic that a smaller-scale replication of the nation, i.e a multiplication of “Kleinen Vaterländer”, will do it.
We think that in the “Catalan crisis” it would be wrong to be forced to choose between the authoritarian defense of the centralized Spanish state and the unilateral proclamation of the independence of a “State of Catalonia.”
But at the same time we think that the population of those territories must be in a position to freely decide their destiny in a democratic way and in respect of the majority of its people.