The cries of the pactists

As the Process [as those who favour independence refer to the current events in Catalonia] reaches a "head-on collision", those who favour the Third Way, disguised under an apparent moderation, are becoming more vociferous. Backed by all the classic arguments —"virtue is the middle path”--, they decry the widespread intolerance, while lamenting the fact they are being attacked on all sides due to their minority position. They can be found in Catalonia, among Spanish delegates and courtiers, afraid of losing privileges. In Madrid, in that clone of the PP that becomes "the left" when it daren’t distance itself from an intolerant nationalism. And in an EU which is currently fighting on too many fronts. Can Catalonia and Spain come to an understanding in this conflict? And, if they are unable to do so, isn’t calling for dialogue simply a convenient way not to get involved?

If Catalans have put aside the penchant for compromise that is in their very DNA, it is because the only dialogue that the Spanish state allows requires them to accept the most humiliating form of submission

Let's start with Catalonia. Hasn’t its penchant for compromise always been scorned? Whether it was down to being "two-faced", or believing in "a bird in the hand" ... It was this penchant for compromise that had to accept a Statute which had been cut to ribbons. But since June 2010, when a punitive court overturned the will of two parliaments and two million votes, Catalonia’s only option has been to compromise, agreeing to its nonexistence as a nation: relinquishing its ability to decide what it wants to be. When “pactists” ask you to abide by the law, they are forgetting the fact that they want you to respect a legal framework that shows absolutely no respect for you. When they ask for dialogue, they forget that they are asking for talks with a Spain that does not recognise them as an interlocutor but rather an appendage; that they are as likely to make a pact with them as one would make a pact with one’s hand. Listen up, pactists: if Catalans have put aside the penchant for compromise that is in their very DNA, if they’ve "all gone mad" and "have been brainwashed", it is because the only dialogue that the Spanish state allows requires them to accept the most humiliating form of submission.

On to Spain, now. Does the PP have the option to hold a dialogue? Is it open, for instance, to reaching a Basque-style financial agreement with Catalonia? Is it able to suggest that there is more than one nation within the Spanish state? Any Spanish prime minister who dares to say as much wouldn’t last long, much less Rajoy. If he continues to preside over a government —with a party which is riddled with corruption and a society which is more unequal than ever— it’s because the majority of voters see in him the most reliable means to make Spain Spanish, and to dilute what is left of plurinationality. It is not Rajoy that prevents dialogue, it is an atavistic fear of diversity which plays a key role in general elections every time Catalonia takes a step forward. There can be no compromise or dialogue because the two projects that are colliding —for historical reasons which are much more powerful than their leaders— are incompatible. Turning the Spanish state into a nation is viscerally at odds with making the Catalan nation into a state.

I also like to compromise, I also want dialogue. A pact would undoubtedly be the best solution. But nobody can make a pact with someone who won’t let them be who they truly are. The only viable form of compromise is the one that proposes waiting indefinitely for Spain to change enough so that someone who respects us can be in charge. Those who see this as viable at this time, have either lost their minds or their dignity.

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