Catalan Review

Liberalisme i Independentisme, O L'Esperit Treballador Català

Catalan Review (2010), 24, (1), 387–400.

Abstract

An emergent discourse in contemporary Catalonia has linked economic liberalism and the project to constitute an independent state. By examining the journalistic texts of economist Xavier Sala i Martín and executive Xavier Roig, I show how this discourse reacts against two main and closely related phenomena: first, the fact that the restoration of the Generalitat after Francoism has entailed the statalization of Catalan civil society; and, second, the vanishing of the «entrepreneurial Catalan» as a central figure of the collective imaginary. My paper argues that the statalization of civil society and the devalorization of work are not conjunctural phenomena specific to Catalonia but structural tendencies of finance capitalism. To illustrate this point, I analyze Jordi Galceran's play El mètode Grönholm, in which the main character, Ferran Augé, is the perfect expression of the contradiction between the «entrepreneurial Catalan» and multinational capitalism. I further argue that liberalism cannot contest these structural tendencies; on the contrary, these are the consequence of the fusion of the state and the market that is essential to neoliberal capitalism. In this respect, the separatism of this liberal discourse emerges as the desire that Catalonia can fully participate in the interstate competition for global capital.

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Illas, Edgar