Catalunya’s Struggle for Independence: Would an independent capitalist Catalunya constitute a small imperialist state?




Let us deal in this context briefly with the question what would be the class character of an independent Catalunya. Given the fact that this region is an industrial and commercial center and home to many domestic and foreign corporations, it is a realistic possibility that an independent capitalist state Catalunya could become a small imperialist state.


We don’t need to repeat that socialists in Catalunya have to fight strongly against such an outcome. They have to rally the working class against not only the Spanish bourgeoisie but also against the Catalan bourgeoisie. They have to strive for the creation of an independent Workers Republic of Catalunya.


However, we remark en passé that the possibility of a failure of such a perspective and the creation of a capitalist or even imperialist independent Catalunya certainly would not constitute a legitimate reason to withdraw support for the national liberation struggle. Is a strong imperialist state of Spain better? Anyway, socialists can only influence the outcome of the independence struggle if they join the popular masses fighting for their legitimate national rights and not by staying aside.


Nevertheless we want to point out that it is by far not certain that an independent capitalist Catalunya would have an imperialist character. Given the current massive flight of capital from Catalunya (as we stated above about 700 companies have already departed in the past weeks) when the independence process has only be announced but by far not implemented and given the opposition by most of Catalunya’s big bourgeoisie, it is not very likely that an independent capitalist republic would have an imperialist character. This is even more the case if the imperialist European Union continues its unconditional support for the Spanish state and its suppression of the Catalans.


Therefore, one has to take into account the negative economic effects of an ongoing hostile stand of the Spanish state as well as the European Union against an independent capitalist Catalunya. Hence, it is quite possible that such an independent capitalist Catalunya would be rather an advanced semi-colonial country.


Let us remark as an aside that it has always been a daydream of the bourgeois Catalan nationalists that they could achieve independence with the consent of Madrid and Brussels so that they could start a happy life as a new capitalist state “as part of the European family”. Spain’s ruling class can not accept independence because it would weaken its state and economy too much and furthermore it could encourage similar mass movements for national self-determination in the rest of Spain (as we have seen above there are several other discriminated people in the Spanish state). And the European Union does not want to recognize Catalunya’s independence because it needs a strong Spanish state and because it fears that this could encourage similar movements in other European countries.