Catalunya’s Struggle for Independence: Is the big Catalan bourgeoisie the driving force behind separatism?




Another argument by the pseudo-Marxist opponents of Catalunya’s independence is the claim that the big Catalan bourgeoisie is behind the mass campaign for separation. This is however not true, as the Josep Maria Antentas, a progressive professor of sociology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, points out in an informative article published by the US-American Jacobin magazine:


The high bourgeoisie has opposed the independence process from the beginning and consistently attempted from behind the scenes to derail it.[1]


This has been also been demonstrated by the mass and rapid departure of about 700 corporations that transferred their headquarters out of Catalunya in the past weeks. The big capitalists’ opposition to independence also becomes clear when we see the huge pressure they placed on Catalunya’s Prime Minister Carles Puigdemont resulting in his vacillation on declaring independence. This reactionary opposition of big capital against independence also became evident during the general strike on 3 October when the bosses exerted huge pressure on the workers not to join the protests.


No, the social basis of the mass movement for independence is the lower middle class, the youth and the majority of the working class. The involvement of the proletariat is particularly remarkable given the strong pressure of the reformist, pro-Spanish chauvinist trade union bureaucracy of both federations, the CCOO and UGT, against the independence movement. This however did not prevent the pro-independence trade union activists from organizing themselves as the left-wing Alternative Interunion Committee of Catalonia which unites numerous branches of different trade unions in the region.


[1] Josep María Antentas: Catalonia’s Decision, Jacobin, 2 October 2017,