Escraches: The Independent Republic of My House

(image via Público)

This is the third translated piece on the phenomenon of escraches. You can read the first one by Guillermo Zapata here and the second one by Isaac Rosa here.

This one is by Jorge Moruno and was published on his blog La revuelta de las neuronas on 13th April. It addresses the reaction on the part of ruling politicians.

The independent republic of my house

My house is the terrain of my family – Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, Deputy Prime Minister

The arguments brandished by regime managers against the democratic empowerment of escraches are proving more ridiculous with each passing day. If a few days ago ETA was dissolving and diluting into Spanish society, today we hear from the jaws of that great authority on the subject, Dolores de Cospedal [President of Castile-La Mancha autonomous government and Secretary General of the Partido Popular] that escraches are “pure Nazism”. It must be that the recent declarations of Felipe Gonzalez, denouncing the fact that the children of Pons [Esteban González Pons, high-ranking Partido Popular politician] should have to listen to people ringing the bell of their home whilst anyone else’s children can be expelled from theirs by the police force paid for by everyone, have re-inforced her self-esteem. When a political regime reveals itself as kleptocratic, where the rule of thieves holds sway, the regime seeks to drain politics of debate and the street, whilst clinging to legal norms for dear life. Only a totalitarian treats legal forms as alien to the social and political relations from which they emerge, and sanctifies their value, as though they were the object of transcendental divinity and not a human product. Reactionary minds such as those that designed the laws of blood and honour in Nazi Germany believed that preventing Jewish contamination had to be supported by a legal framework. The sovereign confronts the multitude by trying to convince it that what is legal is always synonymous with what is legitimate, even when the justification for this legality is based on a popular sovereignty that can be clearly seen as mutilated. Narrow-mindedness interprets democracy as a rigid and static system, as a petrified legal construct empty of politics, which always finds its own justification within itself. There is no place for constituent discontinuity within the constituted political regime.

But those who hate democracy and thus politics, those who do not wish to lose the monopoly of speech with which they name reality, look on aghast at how their ability to convince rusts away, and hence they appeal to any argument; it matters little to them that they insult the intelligence of the population with such brutish analogies. When the escrachados [targets of escraches] refer to their private lives, their intimacy and living space and seek to discredit citizen escraches, they make a show of their profound immorality by the mere fact of putting it in those terms. To appeal to the inviolability of their own space, when at the same time they wish to deny its existence to a great many people if they can get away with it, shows their contempt for people. For us all to enjoy the independent republic of our own home, the property held by the banks must cease to cause servitude and to deprive others of their lives. Property does not include a social dimension in addition; on the contrary, it is generated socially and is then usurped by the monopoly of a few. Hence there is an urgent need to commit to a lifelong sustainable social rent so that people can be truly independent.

They stand for a homeland [patria] of fools and of the oligarchic financial caste. Those who disobey stand for a Europe and a Spain of everyone and for everyone, where equality at birth assures the right to existence. Robespierre said that any social law must be subject, above all, to the right that each person has to exist. Precarity, unemployment, evictions, financial dictatorship and the loss of rights deny our existence and our equal status. It is time that politics, forever young, challenges and then consigns to history the kingdom of the dinosaurs.


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