Revolutionary socialists stand in solidarity with the people of Catalonia, who struggle against the austerity regime in Madrid. For years the Spanish government has enforced neoliberal politics on the country. Catalan separatists have therefore called for a independent republic to be build. The Kingdom of Spain not only rejects this idea, it is also using police brutality to prevent Catalonia from becoming a independent state. Spain is led by a right-wing conservative government, however not only the conservative party is supportive of undemocratic methods. Social democrats from the Spanish Socialist Workers Party have joined the Spanish nationalist camp and support the conservatives in removing the autonomy of Catalonia!
The PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers Party) is one of the biggest class traitors in Europe. Together with the British Labour Party, the PSOE betrayed the ideas of socialism in the late 1970’s when it renounced Marx. Its members supported the 1978 Spanish constitution, which turned the former fascist state into a monarchy. This monarchy was build by the supporters of dictator Franco, who needed to keep elements of the old conservative caste intact. PSOE support for the Kingdom of Spain was vital in restoring ”democracy” as they called it. Luckily for the ruling class the social democrats supported their side and did not called for the restoration of the Republic of Spain (1931-1939)!
Spain lacks a true workers party on a socialist program. The United Left coalition around the Spanish Communist Party (PCE) is weak and never got more then 10% of the total vote. This is because the communist party has not put socialism forward as a alternative. Their propaganda is too moderate, calling for a republic build on social justice instead of a Spanish Socialist Workers Republic. Also the PSOE was able to portray itself as a ”democratic socialist” party and the PCE as a ”totalitarian-communist” party. This social democratic propaganda is strengthen by the fact that the PCE remains loyal to Stalinist thinking. The Spanish Communist Party stands in full solidarity with the single party dictatorship in Cuba and is on friendly therms with state-capitalist regimes in Vietnam, China and Laos. The fact that the PCE is friends with dictatorial parties makes the PSOE’s propaganda more believable!
A leftist populist party called Podemos grew as a result of the deep mistrust of Spanish workers towards their rotten political system. Podemos is seen as something new and it was able to win a lot of votes. However the limits of this leftist populist party lay in its ideology. Is Podemos an anti-capitalist force for socialism? Or just a party that wants to stay inside the current political and economic systems? As of 2017 the once small party has grown into a force of 450.000. It has over 4 x more members then the United Left coalition. One of its role models is the former Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) in Greece. Podemos has looked towards Greece as a model for the future. This is very dangerous as the Greek leftist populists of SYRIZA not only abandoned the struggle against capitalism, they capitulated before the European Union and are now enforcing austerity and cuts to social services. SYRIZA has ceased to be a force for working class people. The same can be said about the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. Also a role model for many inside Podemos. Venezuela is not to be called a positive model as it never moved beyond capitalism!
There are two leftist separatist forces in Catalnia, the Republican Left of Catalonia (moderates) and the Popular Unity Candidacy (revolutionaries). The United and Alternative Left is the Catalan section of the United Left coalition around the PCE. Members of the Catalan United Left section have not yet called for a independent Catalonia, they do however not support the brutal nationalist politics of the conservative government. Social democrats of the Socialist Party of Catalonia think otherwise. They side with their mother-party (PSOE) in calling for the elimination of the current Catalan government. Catalan conservatives who support the Kingdom of Spain are rather weak. The biggest opponents of a independent Catalonia comes from the Party of the Citizenry!
Liberals of Catalonia are not supportive of Catalan independence, so they side with the conservative government in Madrid. The Party of the Citizenry is not only pro-Spain it also is fully supportive of neoliberalism and therefore the European Union. Their support for Brussels and its common capitalist economy is reflected in their motto: “Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and Europe is our future”. Catalonia is however not governed by revolutionary separatists. The bulk of Catalan civic-nationalism comes from moderate separatists. They are led by Carles Puigdemont, the former director of the Catalan News Agency. Puigdemont claims to stand for a independent republic, but has not yet dared to declare independence. Fear of capital flight and economic sabotage might hinder his dream of building a Catalonia free from Madrid. As a supporter of capitalism, Puigdemont knows that the Catalan ruling class does not like independence. They want their link with Spain for business reasons!
Revolutionary socialists support a independent Catalonia, but only if this republic becomes socialist. A capitalist Catalonia is not alternative to a Catalonia inside the Kingdom of Spain. Also we must not forget that a Republic of Catalonia will not automatically become a member of the EU. Spain will use its veto to prevent this. Therefore there is no future under capitalism. Puigdemont is not a socialist and not the right man. Revolutionary socialists call for mass strikes and mobilization of workers. The struggle for national liberation in Catalonia must be linked to the socialist transformation of society. A socialist Catalonia can become a role model for a socialist Spain. As both working classes will learn that it is they who are the masters of their own labour and fruits!
The European Union supports the dictatorial methods of the conservative government in Madrid. We are not surprised, despite all their talks about human rights and freedom, the EU only cares about its capitalist class. The business elite is not happy that the growing separatist mood is turning more and more revolutionary and anti-capitalist. European leaders stand with Madrid which has surprised many inside Catalonia. They had hoped for EU support against police brutality and the undemocratic attacks on their autonomy. Workers need to understand the true nature of the EU. This European Union is not build for common people, not build for ethnic minorities seeking independence from big capitalist states like Spain. The EU is build for the ruling class, to make it stronger and more competitive!
United Left in Spain has remained at the side lines in the Catalan conflict. It does not support the actions of the government, yet it also does not side with the people of Catalonia who call for independence. Alberto Garzón called for negotiations, but how can the Catalan workers negotiate with a government that is destroying their democratic rights? The Spanish government uses the 1978 constitution as a shield and says that no region is allowed to leave the Kingdom of Spain. The current Royal Constitution bans separatism, a fail-save build in by Franco’s fascists. Madrid has the means to arrest any member of the Catalan government (including Carles Puigdemont) and send them to jail for at least 30 years. Liberals, conservatives and social democrats now use article 155 to disband the government of Puigdemont. He is to be replaced by an unelected puppet from Madrid as president of Catalonia!
Two pro-independence politicians have already been arrested by the Spanish police in Catalonia. Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart were jailed for organizing the Catalan working class. The two had spoken out against police brutality and the undemocratic attacks of Madrid against their homeland. For their political views the Spanish state arrested Sánchez and Cuixart. If Carles Puigdemont capitulates before the Kingdom of Spain, he will give its reactionary government a free pass to arrest more supporters of independence. Puigdemont must declare a Catalan republic and be ready to defend it. He already has a police force of 18.000 officers. These can be used to disarm the Spanish National Police. Should Spain send its army then war is unavoidable. Great Britain also tried to destroy the republican revolutionaries in America in the 18th century and failed. If the working class unites for a independent and socialist republic it has the means to win. Spanish workers are not the enemy here. The enemy are those chauvinist nationalists of the People’s Party (conservatives), the Spanish ”Socialist Workers” Party (social democrats) and the Party of the Citizenry (liberals)!
Revolutionary Socialist Media calls for mass action. Strikes and civil disobedient. Madrid should fear the might of the Catalan working class. If they want a war, they can have it. If they destroy democracy, Catalan workers will defend their democracy. Violence is not what we like, but should our rights be taken away then violence is justified. If Spanish police officers are told to keep Catalonia in line, then they are the enemy. Pacifism sounds great, but it will not help you if the enemy is using full force to enslave you. Working class people must push for independence and a socialist system. For this to work we need a political party on a revolutionary program. A party that calls for a socialist Catalonia, free from the dictatorial Spanish government and its neoliberal supporters inside the European Union. A Socialist Republic of Catalonia is possible and can be build. The working class has the power and the will. It only needs to organize and unite!!
Update: On 27 October 2017, the parliament of Catalonia declared itself independent from the Kingdom of Spain. Madrid will now enforce article 155 to remove the Catalan government and install pro-Spanish puppets in Catalonia. This must be prevented, working class people need to defend their republic, with force if needed!!