Not agree with them
Nationalism must be forced to respect the limited playing field
The other day, in Barcelona, Catalan Civil Society organized a debate on pardons. Among others, Félix Ovejero, Joaquím Coll, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, Astrid Barrio and Pere-Lluís Huguet participated. Ovejero, Cayetana and Huguet were formidable. Coll, whom I follow and respect, seems to long for the unanimous Catalonia of Catalanism, not to mention the Maragallian tripartite oasis, which did so much to whitewash the nationalist agenda. But the most notable was the intervention of the political scientist Barrio. He is in favor of pardons. Between voluntarism and sophism, without a damn hint that protects what are still more or less benevolent intuitions, he argues that pardons will change political reality for the better, will allow us to overcome the morass, will help to suture wounds and gossip. To disguise the obvious conceptual fragility, he dresses his arguments with a bombastic lexicon. Curdled with high-sounding technicalities. He understands in passing that criminals, since they have many people behind them, given that they have the popular support of thousands, can decide on the opportunity and justice to punish, or condone, the crime they may have committed. Ovejero reminded him that the reasoning is the same as that used by the governor of Alabama, George Wallace, when he won his state elections in 1963, with 93% of the votes and a program that could be summed up in his battle cry: « segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. As Kennedy did not conceive that popular support could take precedence over constitutional rights, or that it would justify the abuse of legality, he gave him an accelerated course in representative democracy and separation of powers … through the therapeutic dispatch of the National Guard. Only in this way was it possible for blacks to access university in Alabama, in the face of the racist criteria of a morally mistaken majority. On the other hand, in Spain, the government insists on telling our Wallace that theirs was little and that there is no possibility of discussing or refuting anyone’s political aspirations based on criteria that have to do with civilizing consensus. As Ovejero explained, “what characterizes political intervention is modifying the preferences of citizens in order to correct what we believe to be fair and correct. If not, we would be in Neardental. Of course you have to argue morally. That is what allows us to speak of justice and injustice ». But of course, in Catalonia, stressed the author of the recent and extraordinary Secessionism and democracy, we have become used to the fact that compliance with the law is interpreted as a provocation. In the end, “with the argument of not giving them arguments, we agree with them.” To defeat nationalism, the contemporary philosopher who has best written and reflected on republicanism and against identity blackmail came to explain, it is his turn not to give it to him. Nationalism must be forced to respect the limited playing field and the previously agreed rules. You must get used to losing. Because their behaviors, beyond being criminal, which they are, drink from the infamous desire to found a political community based on the expulsion of millions of compatriots.