My address book is November 11th, The city and the non-city, left me the pleasure of having simplified an overly complex question. And today I want to investigate the most difficult issue, an almost implausible topic: the quality of the electorate. Among the comments to that article, a reader reads: "Surveys on the relationship between pro-Catalan and pro-Spanish political trends and the level of studies give very positive results". Another stressed: "Wanting to be part of" people "must mean respecting their history and culture: how can you be a" Catalan people "and not recognize their historical will of self-government?" And some thirds, quite rightly, reproached me that when he said "The Catalans know well what it means to try non-people", my "I Catalans" did not even include the voters of the PP or the CS.
The enormous challenge of democracy is that the vote of informed, committed and tolerant people is worth the same as those who are ignorant, self-centered and fanatical. Is there any correlation between these two poles and those that voted for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in 2016 in the United States? And among those who voted Avanti Andalusia and Vox to the last Andalusian? It makes no sense to affirm, with absolute manichaeanism, that voters are always informed, committed and tolerant and others never (wherever they may have everything), nor defend, denying the evidence, that these three qualities are shared equally between voters of all parts.
But if to defend is hypocritical or naive, it is also dangerous to fall into the other extreme: to doubt that the votes of all the parties have the same value. In our case, we can start by saying that those who want to be Spanish (who vote in certain training sessions) do not want to be Catalan. Add after that if you do not want to be it is not. And I conclude that, if it is not Catalan, it has no right to decide the future of Catalonia. It is not a city. It is not a reasoning that can be verbalized, but it removes the substratum of the thought of sovereignty. The opposite motive was recorded on the other day by a pro-constitutional demonstrator: " If they do not want to be Spaniards, they leave Catalonia ".
And it is not just rights and nationalism that limits the concept people. In an interview with the Now Sunday Today, the sociologist Eric Fassin accuses the French left to use the concept people referring mainly to the white group and excluding Arab, black or marginal minorities.
If we do not base on the fact that people are not ideologies, neither ethnic groups, nor race, nor social class, but the community we build every day in essential and difficult coexistence; what through a good school and worthy conditions of life we try to be informed, commit ourselves and learn to be tolerant, democracy is not feasible. Like the Sanders of the United States or the Avanti of Andalusia, sovereignty can only advance convincing the voters – and in particular the most ignorant, self-centered and fanatical – that their project is the best for everyone.
Everything that is based on the division between people and non-people will end up winning those who are more violent and have more strength. And I'm afraid we will not be.
Albert Pla is a linguist and writer