A Citizen’s Democracy in Authoritarian Times: An American View on the Catalan Drive for Independence
Agents of sedition who are heedlessly destroying Spain’s “consolidated democracy”? Xenophobes simply interested in protecting their own wealth who are, behind the rhetoric, not that different from the tribal authoritarians coming to the fore in Hungary and northern Italy? These are but two of the many narrative tropes the Spanish government and the establishment press in Europe and the US are rolling out to counter the rise of separatist sentiment in Catalonia. The real story is much more complex and edifying. In this book, Thomas S. Harrington, an American with a deep familiarity with Catalan culture and history, argues that, far from being a threat to democracy in Europe, the scrupulously peaceful and people-driven movement for independence in Catalonia is, perhaps, the best hope we have for spurring its much hoped-for renewal.