Sunday, August 16, 2015

Is there a place in the world with more freedom than Catalonia?

One of the unbearable habits of nationalists is to express their cause in terms of freedom. I have no doubt that some nationalist or even secessionist struggles through history did have to do with freedom, for example the struggle for the decolonization of India. But to say that Scotland or Catalonia will have more freedom if they become a new nation-state is an abuse of language. Scotland is part of one of the most democratic countries in the world, and any visitor to Scotland will have difficulties to find any abuse of human rights or basic or not so basic freedoms. As for Catalonia, we are blessed today with the visit of many tourists. I challenge any of them to tell us which kind of freedom is missing in our land. We have two official languages (Catalan is dominant in the school system, something I endorse but controversial), gay marriage is recognized, gay and lesbian communities are strong, there is total freedom of speech, we are part of the European Union, there is total freedom of movement and assembly, very high levels of safety, actually many of our visitors come here to celebrate personal events or whatever precisely because they experience more freedom here than in their countries. People can dress or not dress in any way they wish. The only limits to freedom are of those that are socially vulnerable and do not have enough resources to be free, a problem that we share with the rest of Spain and much of the rest of Europe, and to the extent that it is a shared problem, we can only fix it together. Another limit to our freedom is the abusive control that the secessionists exert over the public media, which is an abuse of their constitutional powers as current holders of the Catalan government. Luckily, they do not control everything, and bloggers like this one can denounce it with no consequences. I cannot think of any land with more freedom than Catalonia.

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