Nationalism is one of the most serious, contagious and fatal social diseases. It is always born from the conflict of interests between ruling classes, either as a result of ethnic oppression that a local ruling class uses as a vehicle to “liberate” its herd. Then, nationalism will camouflage every social injustice, every social gap behind its “ideals”, creating the basis for the mutual slaughter between slaves in the name of their present or future masters. This is the inescapable consequence of nationalism and there are billions of graves, massacres and desolutions, endless human misery in history will confirm it
This is what is happening now in Catalunya. Since we have capitalism, local ruling class and local political elit of a rich (comparing to the others) province of a “civilized western state” want their own herd. On the other side, the national ruling class and the state elite of a former empire, Spain, a state that still upholds the myths of its imperial glory, sees the danger and reacts instantly: violence, repression, prohibitions.
We, as anarchists, could say “this does not concern us”. However, if the rulling classes and their states want war and if the oppressed societies fall in the trap of nationalism once more, would it be enough if we just issue a general condemnation of nationalism and a call for unity between the oppressed?
It would not be enough for those who want to change the world and not just chatter about its change. State independence does not consist self determination for the Catalan workers, as the anarchosyndycalist comrades from CNT say. The brutal assault they have been subjected to, is an indisputable violation of any idea of self-determination. It is a setback to the tried and troubled path of ethnic repression; it is another wound for workers, the poor, another reason for resistance. Because we should not forget that ethnic oppression can become the tool for a local ruling class to play its dice, but it is not the bourgeois who ends up in the hospitals or, sooner or later, the cemeteries. It is the social basis that, once again wil suffer from this oppression in its entirety.
That’s what happened in Catalonia. Democracies are once again proving to be nothing more than empty words. Once the loss of power and profits becomes a realistic possibility, then it is time for glomps and weapons. As usual, as will always happen for as long as states will exist. How ridiculous is the argument of constitutional legitimacy invoked by the Spanish State to suppress those who do not want to be under the authority of its constitution? How ridiculous are the referendums and the democratic processes who supposedly express the will of the people?
It is important to keep in mind that besides the Catalans, there are also the Basques who seek their independence. They have chosen the path of armed conflict against the Spanish state for decades. The Basques and the Catalans have chosen diametrically different paths for the same purpose, however they face the same violence, the same cruelty.
As anarchists, we struggle for the full and unconditional self determination of the people. In other words, the ability of the huge social majority to share the commonly created wealth and determine all the political decisions that concern all of us. The path for this does not pass through the creation of new states, but this realisation can never be a tool to allow a state to crush the popular will under its boots. What happened in Catalunya was a brutal attack in order to subjugate and humiliate a social majority.
We dont know if this situation will continue. We dont know if the Catalan ruling class intends to switch to negotiations for extra privileges from the Spanish state. We dont know if the Catalan people, infuriated by recent repression, will try to impose its will. We are concerned by the efforts from the Spanish state to invest on the nationalist sentiment, using nationalist propaganda and calling massive pro-union gatherings. We do not forget that this Spanish state is a direct descendant of the Francoist regime. We do not forget that, like in Greece, the democracy never got rid of the backbone of its junta-affiliated staff.
In any case, the responsibility for the violence, past and future, belongs solely to the Spanish state. We trust the Spanish revolutionary movement to manage the crisis, to distinguish the progressive aspects of the Catalan movement, if any, and to exploit them. We do not shake the finger of any ideological purity either to the Catalans, the Basques, the Kurds, or to peoples who are subjected to violence and are struggling against it, even if their declared goals hide deadly dangers.
We stand aside the oppressed peoples of Catalunya, of the Basque Country, of Spain. We stand against state violence and oppression and thats what we came to demonstrate.