"Mi gozo en un pozo" reads a well-known Spanish refrain to perfectly depict when one's joy falls and sinks in a well. This is my impression of Spain, its people and a character after devoting five full-time years to analyze the country's major faults.
Some may judge from my tone that my approach is radical. I would say that I think it is not. My tone may be upfront, straightforward, blunt and brutally honest. Radical were the writers who in late nineteenth century and early twentieth century Spain bitterly denounced, full of agony and frustration, the inability of a people to move beyond its character.
Spain today is a country that says time and again but shall never do. Its leadership, beginning with our Bastard King and following with the two major parties, embraces a discourse of change, fight against corruption, adoption of new values, regenerationism, but then never leads by example. In fact nobody that I know of has led by example since the present crisis began in 2008.
Former King Juan Carlos I said he would never quit. Well he did at a time in which his Monarchy's reputation was at a historical low. He also inherited the post from Fascist Dictator Francisco Franco Bahamonde, who let's summarize illegitimately gained power in the aftermath of Spain's bloody three year Civil War, act one of World War II. This is why, trying to be corageous and provocative, I consider that Spain's current King Felipe VI -not my King by the way- is bastard.
Felipe VI talked to Spaniards last night in the traditional Christmas Royal Address. His main point was the importance of fighting corruption. Well Monarchy in Spain has been touched by corruption scandals and almost everyone -except Felipe VI it seems- is involved. Felipe VI has not been democratically elected by Spaniards. A referendum to ask Spaniards if they approve and support him has not even been called. Felipe VI is a de facto King who talks about corruption when he is the corrupt leader number one because he has inherited a post which he does not deserve. He may have the credentials, thousands more also have them in Spain. He has the blood. Blood continues to be important in twentieth century Spain.
This is not the country where I want to live. Pedro Sánchez the new leader of the Socialist Party is a handsome character but that's all. How in the world would anyone imagine that he will be able to regenerate the Socialist Party? The Socialists are so in the dirt at all levels that nobody will be able to regenerate the party. Esperanza Aguirre the former President of the Community of Madrid now postulates herself to succeed current Premier Mariano Rajoy as leader of the Popular Party. The Populars are so in the dirt at all levels that nobody will be able to regenerate the party. Esperanza Aguirre is an old animal from the same establishment who has sunk Spain in a perpetual trap.
Yes our problem was already identified by the generation of extraordinary Writers from late nineteenth century and early twentieth century including Lucas Mallada, Ángel Ganivet, Joaquín Costa and Philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. The country has become wealthier but the character of its people has not changed a bit. Oligarchs and Caciques continue to rule the local, municipal, regional and of course national jurisdictions. The mediocre refuse to abandon the political establishments. Fear reigns at all levels in a country unable to reconcile itself with its past where every region insists they are differential -including and of course starting with Catalonia and the Basque Country.
New Leadership? Podemos and its charismatic leader Pablo Iglesias are of course the great unknown and deserve an opportunity. But the diagnostic is clear and nobody is talking about it, except of course for the regenerationist writers who lived one hundred years ago. Everyone has started the blame game. We know very well who is to be blamed for everyone's misery, a very Castilian approach. We know the rights that we deserve -populism is starting to enter the newcomer Podemos- and perhaps we know how the World should be. I have not identified any roadmaps to date which indicate how to get there, to a better country, to a better World, except for Jacques Fresco's Venus Movement so well depicted in the Zeitgeist documentaries.