Wednesday, January 19

Crispa, that something remains or the philosophy of catastrophism

When observing these days how the national political and media rights are judging the situation that Spain is going through, I come to the conclusion that catastrophism is a constant in reactionary thinking. On second thought it has its logic. When the rights – with their precise interests – do not rule, they experience it as a catastrophe. And the first phase for that impression to appear as something credible is to use any reason to tighten the political and social environment. It is often used, colloquially, the “slander that something remains”, but now as toxic as that adage is the “tension that something remains”. It is not, of course, something new. Whenever Spain has attempted to advance in the direction of progress, break privileges or recognize new rights and freedoms, in a word, question elements of the established power, the atmosphere has become tense until it seemed that we were on the verge of death. catastrophe. It is a story that comes from afar.

This happened, for example, when the so-called “Liberal Triennium” that inaugurated the uprising of General Riego, in his effort to reestablish the Constitution of 1812. The felon king and his cohort of aristocrats, cassocks and spiteful military men did not cease to conspire, manipulate and tense, even with violent actions, until provoking the intervention of the Holy Alliance of the crowned heads in order to restore the absolute power of the monarch and see the heroic general caged and executed in the Plaza de Cascorro in Madrid. Then later, when the Elizabethan regime became unbearable and La Gloriosa got rid of Isabel II and her shebang, the process was even more evident. The logical conclusion of that Revolution was the republic, after General Prim’s well-intentioned and unsuccessful attempts to find a dynasty more in keeping with the times than the one that had just passed away.

To the 1st federal, bourgeois, moderate Republic, which even kept the red-and-yellow flag of the times of Carlos III, they made life impossible for them, among all of them, until they ended it. The “Carlist”, with its third civil war in defense of its ancient fueros; the Alfonsine milites hostile to the republic, with their perpetual conspiracies inside and outside the homeland; the majority of the Church on the warpath, as it used to be when it saw its privileges in danger; the Cuban insurrection and, to make matters worse, the disorderly impatience of a Hispanic cantonalism that ended up playing the game of reaction. A provoked “catastrophic” situation that justified the dissolution of the Cortes by General Pavía and the proclamation of Alfonso XII, in Sagunto, by General Martínez Campos.

The Bourbon Restoration was not a “paragon of virtues” period, despite what some may say today. But just before he died, without pain or glory, at the hands of General Primo de Rivera and Alfonso XIII himself, the “extremely serious situation the country was experiencing” was already proclaimed by Tyrians and Trojans. It is true that it was not more serious than in previous years, although it is true that the position of the monarch was very delicate in the face of his responsibilities in the African disasters. The dictatorship did not come, in any case, to remedy anything, since every dictatorship is, in itself, the absolute catastrophe in the Greek sense of the term to destroy or abate, in this case freedom, the most valuable thing that we have as it has been stated. Cervantes in Don Quixote.

When that traditional dictatorship, of brass band and tambourine, became unfeasible and, again, the Second Republic appeared, it was not allowed to breathe for even two years. After the euphoria of April 1931, in August 1932, royalist soldiers led by General Sanjurjo, tried to put an end to it and did not give up their efforts until they succeeded. That mistakes were made in the Republic is unquestionable. The economy and international relations, the main walls of the government of a country, were not properly cared for, and the “leftist” drives were not cut off in time. However, to pretend that the “revolution” of October 1934 -in Asturias and Catalonia- justifies or explains the coup of 1936 is a hoax without basis or foundation. That obvious and serious mistake was militarily repressed and thousands of its participants were eliminated or imprisoned. The Republic continued alive and the 1936 elections were held freely, almost two years later. In the months prior to the military uprising, there were no more violent acts in Spain than there were in the transition to democracy in 1977/78. There was no justification in any way to liquidate by arms a democratic system that was beginning to modernize Spain. The result of that coup action was the greatest catastrophe in the history of Spain, with a three-year civil war and a 40-year dictatorship.

With the democracy of 1978 it seemed that this curse was a thing of the past. However, at the end of the second term of President Suárez, processes of tension began to be provoked and the false atmosphere was created that we were going to “catastrophe”, that a “turn of the wheel” and similar quibbles were essential. And in February 1981 an attempt was made to liquidate a recently conquered democracy. Then, every time the left has governed – except perhaps the first González governments – the situation has been turned upside down based on exaggerations, manipulations or outright lies. The arguments are almost always the same. A power that has been achieved “illegitimately”, a government that collaborates with “terrorists” or that is about to “break Spain” and that, in any case, leads us to bankruptcy and catastrophe. The media and related networks -the majority- do their work and the objective is also the same: to convince that when the right comes to power everything will be straightened out and will return to its natural being. The essential difference with the past, why are we going to fool ourselves, is that now Spain is a country of the European Union where certain “traumatic solutions” are not allowed. In any case, it is not comforting to know that in other countries – for example in France – the “catastrophists” proclaim that they are on the brink of “civil war”.

Well, if we were guided by the statements of a certain right-wing opposition, or by the media that serve as spokespersons, Spain would once again be on the brink of catastrophe. Is our dear country as bad as some say? Let’s see, we have three major issues that beset us: the pandemic, economic recovery and social improvements.

On the key issue of the pandemic, apart from errors on an unknown journey, we are the best placed country on the transcendental issue of vaccination and, as time passes, the death / population ratio improves substantially. For this reason, the assertion of the opposition leader that Spain leads the number of deaths per inhabitant is false. Last June we were in eleventh place, and countries like Italy, Belgium or Poland were worse off than us. Today we are surpassed by France, Sweden or Great Britain, and if the situation does not change, Germany will eventually surpass us. Our weak point has been the nursing homes for the elderly, a real shame and that depend on the autonomous communities, with Madrid being the worst stops.

Regarding the economic situation, it is obvious that Spain is growing at an unknown rate in the past – around 4.5% -, perhaps less than expected by the Government (a question that remains to be seen), but the truth is that We have been creating jobs for nine months in a row. The rate of unemployed has dropped to 14% and the employed number is around 20 million. A job that is often precarious -almost half of the salaried workers- and poorly paid due, essentially, to the disastrous labor reform of the PP, which must be modified in substantial aspects. It is true that there are threatening problems that are not being tackled with sufficient determination. The exorbitant increases in the cost of energy, with dire repercussions on agriculture, transport, inflation and, therefore, on family accounts, would require stronger measures. Otherwise, its social and political effects can be very negative. Because if something is not done seriously, the price of energy can lead to more than a nice recovery and resilience plan. And the impression is that the governments are frankly inert before the big energy multinationals. If this continues, perhaps it will be necessary to think about nationalizing, partially or totally, some of them, since they cannot be allowed to spoil everything. It is possible that prices would not drop assuming that these companies were in public hands, but, in any case, the super benefits they are obtaining would benefit the community as a whole.

In many aspects, the Government takes measures that are correct, but, on the one hand, the long-suffering staff do not perceive the desired effect, perhaps due to poor management and, on the other, the story ends up being imposed by the policy of “catastrophism.” It is evident, for example, that the minimum vital income was a relevant social measure in the fight against poverty, and yet, whether by design, bureaucracy, etc., it does not reach the people it should protect with fluidity. Thus, there are still queues of hunger, child poverty or other calamities unbecoming of a European country in the 21st century. On the subject of pensions, as in the case of the minimum wage, the improvement has been notable and it has been established that the former will grow as a function of the price index. However, as inflation rises during these months to 5.6% and pensions to 2.5% in 2022, the story that the catastrophists are imposing is that pensions will lose purchasing power. Conclusion of all false points. It is agreed that pensions will increase 0.9% with annual review if the average CPI, as of 11-30-2021, exceeds that figure. If we are at 2.5% of the advanced CPI, the regularization would reach 1.6% with effect 1-1-2021. On the other hand, if the increase in pensions for 2022 is 2.5%, the result is that the increase at 1-1-2022 compared to 12-31-2020 is 5%. So there would be no such loss of purchasing power.

If we change the third party and we go to the election of the CGPJ, the issue is fireworks. The opposition thesis that judges have to choose judges because the Constitution and the European Union say so is doubly false. First, the EU does not have powers in this matter and the only thing it demands is compliance with the rule of law, that is, with the Constitution. And what this last one says is that the mandate of the members lasts 5 years and not 8, and that the 12 members of yore have to be chosen not “by” the judges but “among” the judges, which is how it is done in the actuality.

Finally, the famous European funds that are continually being brought up as a remedy for our ills have not yet been launched and their beneficial effects are not yet being felt. It gives me the impression that it is not just about publishing decrees or other regulations, but about managing projects with speedy diligence and not falling prisoners of a bureaucracy designed for another world. We are all aware that the future of the country is at stake in this business. You can fail in many things, but not in this one.