an analysis of the ultra independence movement

Barcelona, October 18, 2020 (06:55 CET)

Together for Catalonia he has become one of the most important actors in Catalan politics. The party-movement of the former president Carles Puigdemont it won the 2017 elections counter-forecast and once again threatens ERC in those scheduled for February 2021. This space has consolidated itself as the niche of the most radical independence movement, unintentionally connected with traditions of European and American national-populism.

“Puigdemont has many elements in common with Donald Trump”, affirms the professor of the Faculty of Economics and Communication of the UVIC, Josep Burgaya. This historic political analyst explains the Digital Economy that the populism of JxCat is part of a “phenomenon that is general” in Europe and that takes various forms: “People resentful, tired of the crisis, against the system and traditional politics.”

Trump, Salvini, Orbán, Berlusconi … ¿Y Puigdemont?

For the expert, Puigdemont resembles the US president by “not adhering to any pre-established norm or political culture and that makes the followers end up idolizing him“:” It can also be compared with what Viktor Orbán does or even with Silvio Berlusconi. A part of society buys that personalism. ”

“JxCat is part of those social, political and economic phenomena that come from before the crisis, that question liberal democracy and the rule of law, and that in some places, such as France, take an extreme right line and in other places they materializes with Brexit. Represents sectors that find it difficult to accept the dialectics of democratic societies“, adds the teacher of the UVIC.

The former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, in an electoral campaign act / Julio Díaz (JxCat)

How, then, do you explain why voters rank JxCat at 4.03 (0 extreme left and 10 extreme right), according to the latest CEO barometer? For the professor of the Faculty of Political Sciences of the UAB, Joan Bottle, is part of the “schizophrenia” experienced by a party whose discourse is not xenophobic or sexist, but its “nationalist and illiberal” conception of politics pushes it to the opposite side where it tries to locate itself.

A middle-class populism with “little capacity for frustration”

The dean defends that the national-populism of the former president “is in his way of acting, not in verbally expressed ideas “:” How are candidatures made? It is the finger of Puigdemont. The importance of public events consciously designed to be broadcast. It has been generating an anti-institutional, anti-liberal climate, against pluralism, against discussion. ”

Burgaya joins the criticism: “JxCat supposes a radicalization and a simplification of the speech. This type of audience wants a simple message, as if everything were a mere matter of will where the emotional component predominates and where reason has little to say. Ask myself if in Europe it is possible to break the constituted states? No, I want it and I want it now. ”

The UVIC teacher, who defends that not all the independence movement represents the same as JxCat, believes Puigdemont connects very well with the middle classes that were once very little politicized and that have become radicalized for fear of the economic and social situation: “People with little political training and little capacity to accept frustration. ”

“It connects very well with the global extreme right”

The opinion is also shared by the co-founder of the 7-50 Strategy consultancy, Josep Mª Arpal: “His insistence on parallel institutions [el opaco Consell de la República] and the exacerbation of the elements of popular direct democracy fits very well with the discourse of the new global extreme right. The only differentiating element is that he has positioned himself (and has positioned his political space) to the left, even more than ERC “.

Could Junts per Catalunya’s strategy make an ultra space flourish? Arpal believes so: “Fluctuating in a far-right narrative-symbolic space but at the same time presenting a left-wing political offer can only provoke an unsatisfied demand that could favor the emergence of an anti-system and anti-European pro-independence far-right party.”

puigdemont demonstration brussels

The former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, at an independence demonstration in Brussels in 2017 / Julio Díaz (JxCat)

The contradiction about the ideology of JxCat is also assumed from cadres of the post-convergent formation. “It is a paradox because JxCat signs many people from the left for mainstreaming and to compete with ERC but a part of its bases are very identity. Puigdemont’s hyper-leadership, repression and independence cover it up “, explains a former organic position at Pdecat, now in the ranks of Waterloo.

“This is good because these people vote for a party that makes democratic policies comparable to any European government,” defend the aforementioned sources. “Now, if JxCat fails a part of its base could go on to vote for Silvia Orriols [concejal ultraderechista de Ripoll primero del Front Nacional de Catalunya y ahora fundadora de Aliança Catalana], and that would be terrible. ”

Puigdemont, the “sublimation” of Pujol

Despite the willingness to deny any link with the political tradition of the extinct Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC), Burgaya points out the evident link with the way of doing politics of Jordi Pujol: “Puigdemontismo is the highest phase of Pujolismo, it is its sublimation from the point of view of establishing a cultural and personalist hegemony.”

“The notable leap is that the CDC and pujolismo were of order, of class, a bourgeois party that no one doubted. From this mutation to surf the wave indepe and to be forgiven for the cuts, it becomes a party of disorder that sows rebellion: if the companies leave, then they leave. ”

The former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, in a campaign event of the defunct Convergència Democràtica / Julio Díaz (CDC)

The former president of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, in a campaign event of the defunct CDC / Julio Díaz (JxCat)

“They do the same policy but they don’t want to say it: a radical and heroic politics. They remain the same, linked to conservative and right-wing sectors. In Catalonia we have more concerted schools than in the rest of Spain, more private healthcare than in the rest. This has not changed, it is the CDC legacy that JxCat has maintained, “Bottle concluded.

Puigdemont is the evolution of that political movement that Jordi Pujol created, although strongly influenced by the national-populism that permeates Europe. In short, JxCat would represent a ‘Catalan route’ of trumpismo The salvinism dressed in progressive dyes that does not hesitate to shake hands, if necessary, with the extreme right New Flamenco Alliance, a Belgian party that shares a European group with Vox.

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