*IMNSHO = "in my not so humble opinion"
Where do I begin at: Catalonia?, the irreversible PASOKization of the centenary labor party PSOE?, the upcoming reelection of the boss of the mega-corrupt and reform-fascist PP?, Greece?, Yugoslavia?, Haiti maybe?
Maybe I will begin better with the infamous lapsus linguae of the Secretary General of the People's Party (PP), María Dolores de Cospedal:
|We have worked very hard to loot this country|
This lapsus linguae or betrayal of the subconscious happened to Ms. Cospedal not once but twice in two separate speeches in two different years. She is the second highest ranking officer in the PP, just after President Mariano Rajoy, she has been President of her region, Castilla-La Mancha, and she is most likely to be appointed minister, maybe even vice-president in the new government to be formed in the next few weeks.
As top commander of the PP, she is of course involved in all kind of corruption scandals, of which it seems only the tip of the iceberg is known and under trial, including the destruction of key evidence.
Their discourse is almost far-right: strongly in favor of the privileges of the Catholic Church, against human rights (for example they passed the "muzzle-law" by which police can arbitrarily impose huge fines, without any judiciary supervision, on anyone protesting or filming police repression, journalists included), high taxes for the poor and extremely low for the rich, austericide (massive cuts and privatization of social services), histrionic pseudo-patriotism in order to rally the dumb around police, the army, the king and the monuments to Franco and his minions) and lackeyish serfdom towards the banksters, local or international, including their extremely irregular dictatorship on the European Union, the so-called Troika.
Their real intentions are not always obvious, typical politicians are illusionists after all, but sometimes they do commit revealing errors like this one, stating what they are really about: to keep Spain as a Banana Kingdom they can plunder at whim, as their ilk has done always, since at least Roman times, when the colonial entity named Spain (Hispania) was first established.
They have a problem though: the younger generations are having nothing of it, they have been deceived so much with the "European dream" that they truly believe they are entitled to be like Germany or Denmark, and not as Greece or Haiti, are they are scheduled to be by the powers that be. And, unlike some Eastern Europeans, they have absolutely no ill feelings towards "communism", even the Soviet-style one, which they acknowledge at least provided jobs, homes and progress, and a quite loved sister country such as Cuba. More moderate versions of radical social-democracy like those experimented with in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia or Ecuador are seen with even more sympathy. Language and personal connections do help with that, naturally.
However the bourgeois-owned media and, critically, the older generations are much less adventurous: often they have their lives solved (and theirs may well be the only income supporting several unemployed or underemployed younger relatives) and, as most older people, don't think that taking risks is a good idea. Because of high unemployment and low natality in the last many decades, the demographic pyramid is almost reversed and the old are way too many voters. This delays change but cannot impede it in the mid-run, also it prevents the reactionary forces from forming shock squads, as the retirees are not really for that kind of action (and when they are, they rather take the other direction: that of protests and solidarity with the younger generations). Their only force is in an ever shrinking voter power, not just shrinking because of the unavoidable deaths but also because even they are every day more aware of being deceived.
They have another problem: separatism, particularly strong in Catalonia and the Basque Country, with Catalonia set decidedly in the course of unilateral separation. This the Spanish nationalists are trying to use as rally point for the rest of the peoples of the state and also, as they have always done, as distraction from the other much more serious problems, which are the forced application of the Troika's designs, of austericide, in all the state and not just in Catalonia.
The latest development, with the "opposition" PSOE (literally Spanish Socialist Worker Party, often shortened to "Spanish Party" to make justice to their real policies) shooting itself in the head in order to allow the right to govern for the banksters, is that these will "abstain" in the relevant vote. In practical terms it means that the party has been kidnapped by a, mostly Andalusian, authoritarian provisional administration, whose aim is to delay sine die any form of internal democracy (the militants are very upset) while allowing the PP and Brussels to do what they will. They will try to posture maybe but they most likely will do almost everything that the Troika and the local oligarchs demand.
If you hear "Susana Díaz" these days in relation to the political situation in Spain you can translate it as "Venizelos", same thing.
So Spain is like Greece in its sad fate by design of the Big Capital, like Yugoslavia in its complex and hardly solvable inter-ethnic conflicts, that can go extreme at any moment now, and like South Korea in population and GDP. It is much bigger than Greece and much more "strategically relevant" than Yugoslavia, holding two key US/NATO bases that control the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea and the British enclave of Gibraltar.
It is very large in size (one of the largest European countries, after Russia and France) but its army, not popular at all, after ruling the country in successive coups for most of the last two centuries, is quite small however: 50,000 army troops (half of them officers) and other 50,000 military police, plus some navy (one aircraft carrier, 11 frigates, 18 patrol ships) and air force (138 combat airplanes). It used to be much larger in times of Franco and up to the mid-90s, with up to 300,000 forced recruitment soldiers, but we made sure they would not be able to count on us anymore by a long and very successful campaign of civil disobedience.
So how is post-military Spain going to be able to impose itself and the Troika against millions of people (more than five million, most of them young, have voted to Podemos and their allies; the pro-independence demonstrations in Catalonia have gathered sometimes almost two million people). Are 25,000 soldiers enough? It depends on how brutal they are willing to go, I guess, but the more brutal they are the less legitimacy they will have left, both inside and abroad.
So, while it is conceivable that they can occupy Catalonia (just as Serbia did with Kosova for more than a decade -- but with a much larger army, total control of the media and widespread use of state terrorism, all of which are not available for the Spanish case), they are only bringing themselves to a cul-de-sac which they cannot control. Much more likely is that Catalonia effectively establishes its effective independence, maybe with some difficulty at first, and remains unrecognized like Somaliland for some time (too important to be ignored forever).
But we will see now, because Rajoy has declared that his first goal will be to impose "the law" in Catalonia and that means "war" (not necessarily outright open war, not yet surely, but a situation of unsolvable conflict which can only evolve perilously).
This is of course the main pretext for the PSOE to shoot themselves dead in support of their alleged "rival": intransigent nationalism. The real reason however is to keep the "cordon sanitaire" around Podemos and allies so the international bankster mafia and the Troika remain in charge and continue applying their austericidal policies in all the state of Spain, as well as elsewhere in Europe.
Spain has never gone through a successful revolution but I have the strong feeling that now is going to experience one: with 50% of youth unemployment (and the other half in precarious jobs or emigrating) and no light at all at the end of the tunnel (actually the global crisis is going to explode again any day), and no constructive reforms whatsoever being done, there is just no other option, no other way ahead. Only inertia keeps it from exploding in ways even more radical than Greece but the Catalan conflict is a keystone, not in restoring the power of the corrupt and decadent "regime of 1978" but in accelerating the process of change in ways that, as in all revolutionary processes, are too unpredictable.
And it is a process that is going to affect heavily the rest of Europe. Maybe right now, north of the Pyrenees, the tendency is towards demagogic authoritarian and racist nationalism of the worst kind (Le Pen and the likes) but that is no solution at all, only mindless scapegoating. It may remain relatively strong for some time, it may even make a breakthrough in some particularly backward states like Poland or Austria, but there is absolutely no future in that, they offer no solution but more of the same (but worse: more violent and stupid even). If Europe is going to survive this crisis it needs a totally different attitude: one that is daring to experiment and that is willing to make sure that those that are responsible and cooperative are not the victims of the heartless psychopaths that make up the ranks of the oligarchy.
In Spain the parties of the regime have cut all links with common sense and are heading ruthlessly towards the increase of the conflict at all levels (both against Catalonia and against Spain itself, against its own core population). And they lack the legitimacy nor the real forces for doing that, so it's going to be a major implosion sooner than later.
Let us brace ourselves because it's going to be really harsh.