2018 NI UN PAS ENRERE: NOT ONE STEP BACK
There is a movement here in Catalunya to change things, the movement for independence in the next year will continue to move forward and the challenge will always be the same for many of us: are we going to make it a move forward for all, a move forward for equality, for the dismantling of the logic of Money over People, the concentration or redistribution of resources and power? Are we going to put solar panels finally on our sun baked roofs, stop selling plastic water bottles, and break down the borders that keep our neighbors to the south drowning in our seas? Are we going to make it a move forward for the men sleeping in our plazas and make a home for all?
Clearly those in power, those in the upper position of the modern economic sectors on a global scale will continue on their path this year and beyond. They will continued to forward their own economic prosperity while ignoring the social and environmental costs of doing so. They will continue to attempt to exploit the resources and people of the world to their advantage and then protect themselves through whatever means they have at their disposal including the expansion of structures of inequality, closing and securing borders and passing off the costs to the public sector. That is their business, right?
The good news is that this ignorance and self serving system of social order is unsustainable, it creates social and environmental crisis. That is potentially good because as the systems break down, there is the clear opportunity for change, things will not continue the same because they are at their limits. The question is what will we do in the face of crisis, do we come together in our collective interests and dedicate ourselves to the Common Good or scramble to save our individual interests at all cost, increasing the insecurity that comes back to haunt us later?
Those with nothing or little will continue to go forward to survive and improve their conditions as they must. Social change in the modern world is marked by moments in which those with less also act on their own self interests for survival or improvement in living conditions and ignore borders, legal restrictions and take over spaces and resources. They do so from impulse and produce social conditions that can not be ignored as they constantly risk their lives to move ahead. Most of the worlds people are struggling to survive, so they will also continue to do so and use their creative and determined force to create paths forward for themselves and their families and communities in some cases. The natural environment should also be included in this type of movement, it has no political agenda, it just reacts to conditions and moves or changes.
In contrast to pessimistic rationalizations that nothing changes, the good news is that things will continue to change and the domination of exploitative neoliberal capitalism will guarantee its own collapse, it is a suicidal system that is at its breaking point. This is clearly outlined by many economic and environmental organizations and social critics, the signs are everywhere. So, we can predict a few things based on what we have seen over the past thirty years:
- Inequality will continue to exponentially expand in varied and diverse forms which unfortunately will increase the potentials for reactive violence and right wing extremism as well as crime, trafficking, mass bombings and shooting. In addition their will be continual migration from exploited and devastated economies to cities and regions of the world which extract and exploit wealth to their advantage. On the bright side, inequality reaches points where people also react by taking over spaces and forming collective projects for the common good as can be seen in the explosion of cooperatives, occupied spaces and self organized collectives.
- The destruction of the natural environment will lead to extreme crisis for both humans and other species. Increasing flooding, heat waves, fires, melting polar caps and water shortages will effect those in poorer regions, disproportionately people of color and those with the least political and financial power to buffer themselves from the negative impacts. The increasing environmental problems have the potential to bring different social sectors together, as our shared dependence is clearly the bottom line. We can see this in movements to unite social justice and environmental justice, they one and the same.
Going forward for the Homo Sapiens now in global terms means a creative and collective spirit must take hold in which we forefront our values for our survival and collective well being. Catalunya will struggle with the question of whether independence is a collective struggle or a neoliberal advancement for the wealthy business and political class that dominates the region. The good news is that change is coming and will continue, business as usual is less and less of an option and only makes matters worse, so ‘adelante’ as they say here, may the spirit of the Republic be for one and all.