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Spain

Long live the Republic!

By Emilio Jurado

This time the rallying cry has nothing to do with the nostalgia signified by the date of April 14, the declaration of Second Republic in 1931, or the recovery of historical memory from the fascist Franco period, or even with the creation of an egalitarian moral order broken by the presence of an exempt figure, the monarch, and his the royal house, who have been reluctant to display the transparency that has been highlighted by their dubious activities.

No. In this case the republican rallying cry has a pragmatic purpose: to call for the Third Republic as both a necessity and opportunity. Institutional, economic, political, legal and moral structures are in such a state of decay that only a general catharsis to shake the foundations of the state could provide a solution to the heightened morbidity found in Spanish society.

A society which – driven by the wonder of contemplation of a disaster that continues to grow, which narrows the possibilities of living a decent life and which is subverted to unconditional support for a conspiracy of idiots and assorted ambitious types with a ticket to play golf in a tax haven of their choice – is seeking a sensible, rational exit from all this nonsense.

Initially, social mobilisation has been channeled using strategies based on fair play: going through the existing legal mechanisms and using courts and arbitrations that would, non-disruptively, allow for reason and truth to prevail in this melee of personal and class interests. The government response has been disqualification, criminalization and repression: misrepresenting reality via plasma screens, changing the law, intimidating citizens in their places of work or while in transit, arbitrarily detaining people, threatening any practice of dissent (such as publishing compromising photographs), or expelling people from spaces institutionally recognised as being reserved for debate. The state’s response to the demands arising from the social base has been to turn on citizens, who are, formally speaking, those with whom the sovereignty of the nation resides.

But this strategy is running out of road. The popular actions to stop evictions that are promoted by the banks, supported by public money, or the human costs of austerity, up to and including cuts to professional staff in the health sector, cannot continue. You cannot have a discussion with those who behave like managers, paid with public money, to convert hospitals into commercial assets that divert profits to tax havens. No, because this path of indefinitely challenging a bid to remake the social order comes into constant collision with a politics pursued by decree; it just leads to a hardening of a situation that is unfair and sterile.

It is obvious that the street oozes distress about this situation. People’s anxiety is the result of direct injuries, the expression of fretful minds and the demand for redress for moral wounds. This is the determining factor; it is producing a sufficient mass of energy that aims to solve this situation dramatically, completely. The public seems to demand a thorough reform of all state structures, their principles and their modes of action. And that requires a real catharsis, a phenomenon so radical with such an impact as to be able to completely shake up our society’s social foundations.

To achieve this we need the Third Republic. Because even if the republican model does not, per se, guarantee an orderly, fair and equitable society, the fact is that, given the historical context of our country and the regenerative potential of new institutions and their relationship with society, the establishment of a new republic carries with it all the arguments for the renewal of Spain. It is therefore a necessity.

For this reason, and for the fulfilment of the mandate, interrupted by force of arms, of the Second Republic to achieve a society that is fairer, more united in human progress, we must take a less narrow, less relativistic political path. We must seek a broader goal in our pragmatic political action: for the Republic.

Viva la República!

Nueva Tribuna

Translation/edit by Revolting Europe

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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