27-S: A consensus to remove the crust

The crust has, for many years, been our version of 'the caste'. Not everyone who refers to it is thinking about exactly the same thing, nor of themselves. But this has been one of the most used expressions to refer to a minority in a good social position, elitist-- the core--, permanently positioned in the most influential spheres and able to direct political life to the service of their interests.

The Catalan people, hit hard by the crisis and scandals of corruption and embezzlement, have demanded explanations. What kind of arguments can justify such inequality? Who was responsible for so much chaos? Why is it that the majority suffers the consequences of bad decisions and bad practices of a few? The discourse of the perpetual ruling class has not provided an acceptable answer. Their speech is old and worn, with the addition of a couple of verses from the Troika and references to green shoots. As a result, the popular outrage has not been appeased. Simultaneously, the thrust of the pro-sovereignty process has made obvious the complete unwillingness on the part of the state to talk, as well as its systematic abuse of its control of public resources against the interests of the Catalan government and, indirectly, against the most disadvantaged sectors and those affected most by the reduction in services and social policies. The stale talk, at this point, has been limited to reiterating a devotion to the rule of law and to increasing warnings and threats. And the outrage, on this subject too, has not abated.

The crust, then, has lost any legitimacy that might justify its preeminence and what little leadership it might still have. But it´s still there and still has influence. But its candle is short and going out. The main factor that has delayed its decline is that, in the face of its waning supremacy, the new emerging leadership has not yet jelled nor found its own institutional structures. But, significantly, due to the depth and breadth of the social roots that are driving this change, the process of changing leadership is irreversible. The crust is losing its hold. The elections of 27 September will be a great opportunity to remove it.

 Major social transformations may require long and slow incubations. Inconspicuous. With some sporadic signs suggesting progress or setbacks, but also with periods of calm, when it seems that nothing is happening. When under the skin of reality a social heartbeat is almost imperceptible. It is at moments like this when the most conservative and immobile sectors are quick to proclaim that any jolt is just a tremor. There will be no earthquake. Everything is under control. Then, even the most daring actors for change might waver. The excitement of the euphoric moments of change that we have seen may, paradoxically, and at the most inopportune time, provoke doubt and a kind of hangover, as we have seen in recent months. This is precisely the intention of the nationally and socially reactionary forces and their allies: to discourage, demobilize, discredit, erode leadership, divide, confuse. To make people believe that things can only be as they are. That there are no alternatives.

 We come from a time of very compact hegemonies, confined to segments of society close to power. These hegemonies are characterized by the fact that effective domination brings with it the imposition of a social consensus that serves as an alibi. But the current Catalan process has very explicit class connotations. The displacement of the declining hegemony is being caused by a popular majority opposing their continuation and that of the areas in which they operate. In this case, then, it is not about reaching a dominant position that favors a new exclusive group, but rather about preventing any minority -connected to the Spanish state or not-- from being able to impose its own will over that of the majority.

 This changing of the guard does not require, at all, that consensus be the instrument by which the social dominance of a privileged few is re-cast as a social pact. On the contrary. The goal of obtaining as wide an electoral majority as possible, with a heterogeneous, diverse, and transversal social base, should be to spur the popular civic movement and its supporting organizations to forge the consensus necessary to block a recreation of the old system of dominance and assure a changing of the guard. This is why we talk about a democratic revolution. And for this, an unquestionable democratic mandate coming out of 27-S will be decisive for re-founding the country and building a state of our own.