Several mediocre foreign writers make a reasonably good living here by providing cosmopolitan validation for the fears and superstitions of the Catalanista rabble. Artur Mas, heir to Jordi Pujol’s Catalanista crown, goes one better in this morning’s Retaguardia and cites Francis Fukuyama, a foreigner everyone’s heard of, to support the decline-and-fall picture he paints of Catalonia in the period since he lost the regional elections:
For years, Catalonia was a space that generated great doses of trust. Speaking with Catalan and foreign employers, all agree that a year and a half of tripartite government has meant a considerable fall for this country in Fukuyama’s classification.
Quoting Fukuyama may be a dangerous pursuit, but Mas–or whoever writes his pieces–either hasn’t read the book or is out to mislead. The problem with the word confianza is that it serves as a translation both for “trust” and for “confidence”, and I think this is where Mr Mas’ confusion arises. There is a case to be made for business confidence in Catalonia having fallen since the regional or the national elections, but the nature of society has not changed, and that’s what interests Fukuyama (“Trust … is the product of preexisting communities of shared moral norms or values” etc).
Paraphrasing: in Catalonia–as in central Italy, which, unlike Catalonia, Fukuyama does actually discuss–family bonds still prevail over non-kin bonds, and associations in the space between the family and the state are still few and weak. Private sector firms are still relatively small and family controlled, and the state still supports larger enterprises to ensure their viability.
The tragedy of the transition from Pujol to Maragall is not of a descent in levels of trust but that, constrained by the economic atavism of the left and the desire of Esquerra Republicana to gorge on conservative CiU voters, nothing has been done to remove the institutional obstacles–many put in place by CiU–to a more open, trusting society. En la confiança està el perill, as the proverb still has it.
Lo peor de la situación es que Catalunya no dé confianza económica. En su libro Trust, Francis Fukuyama sostiene la tesis de que, hoy, los países progresan no por los factores clásicos de producción (tierra, trabajo, capitalâ€¦), sino por la confianza que se genera en el ámbito político y social. Clasifica, así, los países por el nivel de confianza y pone en lo más alto los países anglosajones o escandinavos, y los latinos abajo.
Durante años, Catalunya era un espacio que generaba grandes dosis de confianza. Hablando con empresarios, catalanes y extranjeros, todo el mundo está de acuerdo que un año y medio de Gobierno tripartito ha supuesto que el país descienda considerablemente en la clasificación de Fukuyama.
- Artur Mas: only the filthy Spanish are stopping every Catalan owning a farm right now
In a number of posts (see below) I’ve suggested that rather than use cheap, crap human translators customers should consider free,
- Link sink for 30/05/2009
Mid-20th century Ibero-American hits, state-controlled media, the personal and the public.
- Bologna baloney: Barcelona student protestors are either mad or stupid
Barcelona students are occupying universities and fighting with police in a titanic life and death struggle against the prostitution of universities
- Madrid Olympic bid scuppered by constitutional chaos?
Is Spain a federal state? Is Arenys de Munt the new Andorra? Can I pay taxes to anyone I want?
- How Artur Mas’ party embezzled (at least) 5 million without committing any known offence
A short and sweet summary from Salvador Sostres. Justice would probably take at least another decade, but even then UDI vs