Wednesday, August 17

The “Ruralwashing”, the new trend of political parties and administrations

In business, there is a concept known as Greenwashing. This term is made up of two words “Green” which means “green” and the participle “washing”, which means “washed”. The Greenwashing refers to when companies try to sell us their corporate image or their products under the label of respectful with the environment when in reality they are not, indeed, when in reality their behavior is the opposite. It is therefore about doing a kind of false green marketing with the aim of increasing your profits, confusing the customer. The basis for such unethical behavior is the verification by the companies that there is a customer committed and sensitized to protecting the environment, willing to buy the product from the companies that claim to respect it.

If we make an analogy with the rural world, we discover that, after many years of struggle by associations and social groups, citizens and society have become aware that there is a serious problem of social cohesion in our country. At last we have that citizenry sensitized to the problems of the rural world. That citizenry that has discovered that, as in the business world, it has a lot of power, since it is also a “political consumer”, and with its vote can tip the balance in an electoral panorama as tight as the one we have had and will have in the next years.

Along with this, the electoral weight of Emptied Spain has also been key so that the debate on the rural world has crept onto the national political agenda. This is causing the political parties and the administrations they control to have recently made an effort to offer their “products to attract the customer” (the electorate). These political products are easily identifiable, and are reflected in congresses on depopulation, forums of political experts, photos of posturing in towns, some nice speech, or even the creation of a ministry that names the consequence of all this imbalance, “the demographic challenge “. Without going any further, last week we could see two clear examples, both in the meeting of regional presidents who have finally discovered the problem of Emptied Spain and in the tender photo of Isabel Díaz Ayuso lamb in arms affirming that Colmenar Viejo is a paradigm of Emptied Spain. Faced with so many political products, it is worth asking the question: Is it a real interest in improving the rural world? Or is it an electoralist image washing supported by a false interest in the rural world, which we could classify as ruralwashing?

Let’s get to the facts. From the rural world we observe day by day that these political parties and administrations that now “care so much about the rural world” are the same ones that look the other way and scavenge the necessary infrastructures and investments that are demanded from the territories (internet access , improvements in communication infrastructures …), are the same ones that seek to distance essential health services from the smallest towns. They are the same people who forget the rural and most depopulated areas when it comes to distributing the wealth that the public administration generates. They are the same ones that ignore the social movements that have been fighting for their territories for years. Ultimately, they are the same ones who have been creating the policies for decades that have contributed to enhancing this territorial imbalance in which towns and small cities in rural settings are always the most affected.

Given this is the situation of political behavior with Empty Spain, we can see how much political product has been created and much electoral marketing translated into very little or no real change. It is evident, the ruralwashing political is a reality. Moreover, it is a behavior that we have seen increase in recent months since the electoral power of Emptied Spain has been added to the awareness of the European Union towards the problems of its rural world. And when Europe is sensitized, it means that there is going to be money, a lot of money involved. This has caused all the structures of the Spanish state to boil, from the Government to the City Councils, through Autonomous Communities and Provincial Councils. All these administrations (governed by political parties) have rushed to the fore, arguing that they are the best suited to manage the economic resources destined for the development of the rural world and the fight against depopulation. Suddenly the schizophrenic behavior of the administrations is accentuated even more, since the same administration that scares infrastructures and public services for the rural world, stands as the guarantor of managing “European money” that must be invested in the towns.

Each administration appears with dozens (some with hundreds) of wonderful projects for the towns which, of course, have not consulted or involved the inhabitants of the rural world. Nothing happens, the important thing is to take over the management of European funds. Citizen participation and the real development of the rural world, now for another occasion. Why consult? The important thing is money. We are really facing a literal update of “everything for the people, nothing for the people”, a classic of enlightened despotism in which power is offered a false sovereignty and power to the people while denying everything. Analyzing the phenomenon as a whole, it is sad to see how political parties and administrations are more involved in the marketing of their ruralwashing to get the political power (and now the economic one), that the rural world provides them that in working for a true model of real and participative development for the peoples.