The proclamation of the Republic by the Catalan Parliament on October 27th was short-lived. The Spanish state was ready to crush it decisively, while the Catalan government had no plans and no strategy to defend it. That, however, is not the end of the movement.
The Catalan general strike against repression, article 155 intervention and for the release of the political prisoners managed to paralyse the country. Despite all difficulties, the strike had a large following in education, the public sector and the media, but was almost non-existent in industry and transport. However, the day was marked by mass road and transport blockades organised by the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs) and mass demonstrations in all cities and towns.
As Brexit negotiations grind to a halt, big business is entering panic mode. A no deal, “train-crash” Brexit - the one scenario that capitalism wants to avoid at all costs - looms large. And caught on the tracks is Ireland, the only country that shares a land border with the UK.
The Spanish state intends to appear as the victor in the unfinished battle against the Catalan independence movement, but the most significant development in these 2 months has been the emergence of the largest movement of civil disobedience in the Spanish state in 40 years.
The revelations of harassment in Westminster reflect the rottenness of the establishment and the crisis facing this Tory government.
“I have never seen a class so deeply demoralised, so incurably debased by selfishness, so corroded within, so incapable of progress, as the English bourgeoisie,” commented Frederick Engels more than 150 years ago. Such an appraisal could have been written today. The establishment is in crisis and so is the Tory government. They are being paralysed by one revelation and scandal after another. There appears to be no let up. Meanwhile, the stalemate over the Brexit negotiations is forcing them to peer over a very-unnerving precipice.
Anyone struggling to make ends meet, trying to survive from one payday to the next, will be amazed to discover the we are now at the “peak of the second Gilded Age”. These words are those of Josef Stadler, the Global Head of the Ultra High Net Worth division at UBS, commenting on a report on the way that the wealth of the rich has risen over the last period.