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The Revolt of the Spanish Petty Bourgeoisie

2020-05-14 | Spain

According to the official narrative of the Spanish Radio and Television, after the daily creepy nationalist show at eight o'clock -national hymn, applause, "Resistiré", military funeral march songs- a group of neighbors from Núñez de Balboa street went to congratulate a very "original" DJ who, apparently, was ending the season and bidding farewell to his audience. Immediately the police appeared to break up the march and their presence led to a preview of the "nine o'clock pots and pans protest", turning the gathered neighbors into a spontaneous demonstration supported from the balconies to the cry of "Communists out!", "Freedom!" and "Government resignation!".

Other media offered almost immediately slightly different accounts in which one could see the underlying tension, the desire to exercise a certain "civil disobedience" and that there were "more journalists than demonstrators". In fact, they were expecting it. The police have long feared street outbreaks from the right wing closest to Vox and warned the government that this summer and fall could be marked by petty bourgeois protest on the one hand and a rising tide of strikes on the other.

The National Police and the Guardia Civil have informed the Interior Ministry that, after the summer months, a scenario of mobilizations against the Executive, labor demands and a new offensive of Catalan independentism is expected. The worst projections even point to a situation of great social cost and a deep erosion of the institutions with more worrying destabilizing effects.

The Barbour Rebellion

Meme widely distributed in petty bourgeois networks these days.

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Something very significant, they are uninterested in Spexit. They are still " neoliberal", chauvinist and globalist at the same time. Their global perspective is even poorer and more defeatist than that of the media because politics is that which is decided in the morning news, with its strict thematic division in which national news belongs to a world of its own, "different and distant" from the international news. The "outsiders" are not part of the "problem", which always ends up being the government. Like catalan independentists, they agree with the dumbest nordist clichés because they reflect the image of a "fallen country" in need of redemption, a "big change". They may vote for Casado (PP) or Abascal (Vox), but their real reference is still Aznar.

The petty bourgeoisie and the coming political crisis

Catalan independentist tractor demonstration in Barcelona.

In Italy, France or Spain the seams of the political apparatus are already popping. What we are seeing is that the petty bourgeoisie will resume its revolt with renewed strength... and growing frustration. Aspirations such as Scottish independence are materially impossible with oil prices this low, Corsican nationalism will be the first casualty of the collapse of the tourism sector. The agrarian base that the electoral system makes so important for the Italian, French or Spanish right-wing great state nationalists, which now boosts prices while keeping miserable salaries and shameful situations on the verge of slavery, is going to "have a very hard time". And all of them are going to put in the foreground, as a "necessity of the economy" increasing exploitation, lowering wages and reducing state health and social coverage in order to "make the state cheaper".

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When the president of the Community of Madrid compares the two hundred daily deaths produced by the covid in Spain today with traffic accidents to argue this, she is not only committing a fallacy of scale. She is operating within a tacit consensus of the entire ruling class with the government at the helm: saving investments takes precedence over saving lives, the aim of containment measures is not to stop the disease to save as many people as possible but to avoid a healthcare system collapse and return to "normal" production as soon as possible. It is the same thing Merkel said yesterday: "we agreed that we would not be able to stop the coronavirus, but we would be able to slow down its spread". The difference between Ayuso and Merkel is that she says it with impudence and a fallacious argument. And she is doing this because these kinds of arguments are so standardized in her environment, the Madrid petty bourgeoisie, that she is not even aware that there are people capable of thinking otherwise or who are afraid to see themselves or their own as possible "necessary sacrifices" to make business profitable again as soon as possible.

The Noisy Class


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