History does not repeat itself And it is not cyclical either.
There is always, in historical processes, some new element that prevents drawing simplifying and inaccurate symmetries. But it is true that there are times that rhyme with others. This is what happens today: the Second Monarchical Restoration, in the person of King Don Juan Carlos, begins to rhyme with the final stage of the First Restoration, initiated with Don Alfonso XII and which concluded, after a long reign, with the abdication of Don Alfonso XIII. And I do not say this because I believe that we are on the verge of repeating the outcome, but because I understand that there are analogous presuppositions in both moments, capable of triggering today a political crisis whose meaning and scope I am unable to foresee. These budgets are: 1. The marginalization by the political system of a significant part of the citizenry. 2. Rampant corruption. 3. The discredit of politics and politicians.
The most serious error of the First Restoration was the marginalization of the working class
absent from the turn of parties: Cánovas / Sagasta and their respective successors – and the Republicans – which was not corrected by the wasteful effort of the Moderate Party, founded now a century by Melquíades Álvarez-. The current marginalization has nothing to do with that, but it exists and is growing. The first sign of alarm -small but significant- was given by the indignant , so praised by some as none by others. But it is that, beyond the outraged , what begins to be perceptible is the division of society into two groups, which I call the “installed” and the “not installed.” I include within the “installed” those who, because of their work or professional situation,
enjoy a solid position, that is, not only the officials, but tutti quanti are integrated into stable structures – whatever they may be – and have effective instruments of self-defense; and I consider, however, as “not installed”, those who lack a comparable security. Many of these “not installed” are young, but not all, because the most serious of the current situation is that large sectors of the middle class impoverished by the crisis are entering this group. Look, please, the demonstrations that take place -I do not mean the student rabble- and you will see that many are citizens who, a few years ago, nobody would have imagined in such a trance. And there is only one explanation: they are desperate and no longer believe in anything or anyone.
Regarding rampant corruption I can not say that you do not know.
Only to add that, to the social debasement that corruption causes, we must add the one caused by exorbitant remunerations lacking proportionality and logic, a tax system that discriminates against labor income, and inequalities that already reach unsustainable limits.
There is also little to add to the discredit of politics and politicians. The correct trajectory of service displayed by many of them is covered by the instrumentalization of politics by partisan leaders, made up of perennial politicians, who seem to have no goal other than the achievement and preservation of power, putting the service of this objective a boundless sectarianism and a systematic conversion of the adversary into an enemy.
This being the case, the current problem in Spain is more political than economic.
I am not unaware of the magnitude of the external private debt that has to be amortized and the dramatic cuts that this requires, but I also know that there is a non-negligible productive fabric, that there is human and financial capital, that the infrastructures are more than enough, that we have in the world, a cultural environment that favors our expansion, and that all these resources are only waiting for structural reforms that restore confidence and make possible the recovery of consumption, investment and credit.
The problem lies in the inability exhibited until recently by politicians to face reality, as well as in the Cainite confrontation that still exists between the two major parties, which prevents them from adopting together those difficult decisions that, in a well-constituted State, they would provoke the unity of the dominant political forces.
There is a lot of talk about giving politics back to politics. It is necessary, but it will only be possible if politicians confront the capital issues by consensus, because only in this way will they be able to counteract the corporate resistances that will have to overcome, both on the right and on the left. Is this chance possible? I would like to believe that yes, although the way in which PP and PSOE have faced the latest street incidents does not pay for optimism. But let’s hope that the moderates on both sides can impose their respective tenors and wild boar.