Nationalism is not left-wing, it is retrograde

Un votante deposita su voto en Pontevedra, el 18 de febrero de 2024 durante las elecciones regionales en Galicia - PHOTO/MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP
A voter casts his ballot in Pontevedra on 18 February 2024 during the regional elections in Galicia - PHOTO/MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP

Everything, or almost everything, has already been written about the elections in Galicia. That the Partido Popular revalidates its "Cum Laude" status as the best political instrument to lead Galicia's growth; that "o socialismo galego", Pedro Sanchez's cover in the region, no longer counts; and that the parties of the ephemeral "war against the elites", PODEMOS and SUMAR, do not manage to convince more than friends and relatives. By the way, the political extermination of Yolanda Díaz in her Galician fiefdom of Fene should make her unfit to exercise any governmental function, and her maintenance as vice-president is shameful; and she cannot be cured of this, not even with the papal blessing. 

  1. Not all pro-independence is left-wing 

Not all pro-independence is left-wing 

But there is something that is little talked about, and it is worrying. All the media, public and private, of all political colours, present the Bloque Nacionalista Gallego (BNG), which came second in the polls with 25 seats, as a left-wing party. An ambiguous characterisation, which I consider false.  Wikipedia, that encyclopaedia available to all that abounds in inaccuracies and self-interested conjectures, defines the BNG as "a Spanish political formation whose ideology is based on left-wing Galician nationalism and independence".

I admit that independence can be considered left-wing; the proof is in the anti-colonial struggles of the second half of the 20th century, in Asia, Africa and Latin America against the usurping metropolises that plundered the wealth of other peoples under their domination. It is worth noting. But not all independence movements are: not Breton, not Scottish, not Flemish, not Catalan, not Basque, and certainly not Galician. Because that means going back a few centuries in history. There are leftist independence movements, and there are those that are not.

As for nationalism in this 21st century in particular, it is retrograde, unsupportive, unfair, stale and, consequently, reactionary. And the BNG, in its origin, structure and objectives, like its counterparts in the Basque PNV and the Catalans of Convergencia i Unió of Jordi Pujol and now JUNTS of Carles Puigdemont, are ideologically reactionary and retrograde. Another thing is that in their political endeavours they pretend to be social emblems in order to get feisty young people and dissatisfied old people on track. These economic, public health, decent housing, popular transport demands can, and often are, left-wing (although here I think the qualifier should be dropped, since the right also defends them). But the instrument they use is essentially discriminatory, going as far as linguistic, ethnic and racial supremacism without blushing.  

Part of the BNG's electorate was looking for this nationalist rudder. But what we have to ask ourselves is why tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of the 460,000 obtained by the Bloc gave it their confidence. Is it a part of Galician society that feels abandoned? Did they want to emulate the Catalans and Basques so that Madrid would listen to them? Do they feel marginalised by the central power? A new subject for the Xunta, which will have to imagine realistic and achievable solutions. 

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