Sunday, May 4, 2014

Catalan Nationalism and Democracy


Recently, the Spanish government, some public and private television, and other Spanish media, have been recurrently accusing Catalan nationalism of being Nazi and comparing our pro-independence representatives to Hitler and Goebbels.

Leaving aside the fact that Catalan nationalism was born and grew in the second half of the nineteenth century, and was linked to political and economic liberalism, in the thirties Catalan nationalism also defended democracy. Proof of this could be the defense of the Second Spanish Republic against the military rebels who had the support of fascist Italy and nazi Germany. In addition, some exiles in favor of the republic and democracy fought alongside the allies against Hitler and Mussolini, and other exiles of the same side ended up in concentration camps such as Mauthausen.

Antoni Rovira i Virgili
In the late twenties, Antoni Rovira i Virgili wrote En Defensa de la Democràcia (In Defence of Democracy, translated by John Style). This book begins talking about the crisis of democracy, of its faults (it says that democracy is an instrument, not of perfection, but of improvement), of its objectivity, its stability and so on. The author reflects on equality among men, on universal suffrage, on parliament and liberalism (the diversity of ideas and beliefs), and much more.

In February 1940, while in exile, he published an article in Revista de Catalunya titled Les Nacionalitats dins l’Europa nova (Nations in the new Europe), in which among other things he exposed, “If Germany won, it would coercively organize Europe in a completely opposed direction to the principle of nations. The combination of the racist principle and the theory of vital space would turn other people into servants or slaves of the great German of the world.” And a little further on it goes on, “There is an intimate, profound, and indestructible loop, between totalitarianism and imperialism. Whoever is enemy of man's freedom is also enemy of freedom of nations. He who does not respect the independence of the individual can neither love nor respect the independence of communities.”

The whole world must know the truth, that first they called us terrorists and now they are calling us nazis and comparing our political representatives to Goebbels and Hitler!



Francesc Bonastre i Santolària.

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