Pro-Spanish groups and leaders are clearly uncomfortable in a Catalan political debate centered on the sovereignty process. In spite of all the time that this exceptional stage has lasted, and the repeated proof of interest and the mobilization of energy that the question raises, these organizations have not found a comfortable position. Instead of analyzing what is happening in Catalan society more in depth, they have decided that it is only a mirage --a kind of collective hallucination. They believe that, ultimately, reality has not changed, that all this is just a little fog that has settled temporarily over the country and its people, blurring everything. Therefore, despite the civic and progressive roots of the current Catalan outbreak, their diagnosis doesn't recognize them: it must have been the conservative Catalan faction who, to cover up its own incompetence in the crisis, has taken advantage of the discontent of the citizens and channeled it against the State, in a masterful diversionary tactic.
Pro-Spanish forces have not found any positive arguments, nor any invigorating proposals capable of opposing the independence bid. Not even in relation to its own hypothesis on the causes of all this. There is, however, a clear assumption that all of the scenarios that center the debate on the question of Catalan sovereignty are unfavorable to them. They stand behind Spanish sovereignty and the existing State, and this inevitably makes them subservient to the logic of Madrid-based politics. It should not surprise us, then, that they systematically deny the importance of the debate on independence and present it as a sectorial matter, limited to the historic "problem" of Catalonia's place in Spain.
Most of these groups and leaders do not have any new, relevant ideas on the sovereignty process, nor any consistent argument other than opposing it in the name of the old order, or pointing to a hypothetical constitutional reform in a federalist vein. It's not strange, then, that they refer to the sovereignty debate as if it were an artifice of the Catalan political agenda that is acting as a smokescreen, concealing other issues: those supposedly important ones that truly merit their attention. That's why they look for labels that caricature the constant presence of the topic of independence. One of the most popular of these is that of the "monotopic". The allusion to a "single topic" allows them to highlight the relative absence of other issues, to present its central position in the process as an unjustified abuse, and to blur the close relationship that exists between the frameworks of sovereignty and of power and the effective capacity to tackle other issues.
But the "monotopic" is not a sectorial matter. The independence of Catalonia is not just another issue on a long list. It is not a question like so many others, which at any given moment might be considered priorities. The "monotopic" occupies the center of the Catalan political debate because it represents the primacy of politics and determines the way in which all the other issues can be addressed. It encompasses and synthesizes all the other issues. It determines the tools, capacities, effective power, and the resources that could be brought to bear against all of the other topics. The "monotopic" occupies all the space and pervades all the debates because the collective drive has made it into the core political issue that concentrates all of the tension and all of the hopes. The "monotopic" has become central in Catalonia because it is the only plausible vehicle capable of generating all the social transformations that the people want. Independence has become the keystone of Catalan politics because the majority considers it the only possible platform to empower a society that challenges the old State. Independence is the grand vector of Catalan politics because it is the only one that offers a horizon in line with the opportunities, rights, and liberties of other peoples. And it is what could permit a new social hegemony to be sealed and the founding of a political project springing from a citizen initiative.
The debate over independence pervades and encompasses everything because it foreshadows an immediate objective -- independence-- that is at the same time the starting point of a foundational process. It allows one to envision the construction of a new state as the most suitable path and method to address all the other issues (recession, economic model, democratic regeneration, employment, welfare, access to culture ...) from the vantage point of the logic of the interests and aspirations of the majority.