Joan Comorera: “Spain is not a nation”

Catalan MonitorNews Roundup

Joan Safont
Foto: Marc Hernàndez i Garcia
Barcelona. Dissabte, 2 de setembre de 2017


He was expelled from the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia); he thought himself to be in danger of being assassinated in exile by agents of his ex-party; accused by his ex-comrades, even by a daughter who disowned him; he survided in hiding in a country occupied by the Franco dicatatorship and never wavered in his political vocation and his commitment to Marxism and catalanism. All this is present in the articles Joan Comorerera wrote for the clandestine review Treball, which he edited and distributed himself, whith the help of his wife, Rosa Santacana i some other friends. Two years later, he was discovered by Franco’s political police, arrested, judged and sent to prison in Burgos, where he died four years later, still ostracized by his own.

It was the end of a long career, which began a hundred years ago, in the crisis of 1917 – with the unsustainable Restoration, the first War and the Russian Revolution – joining the PSOE party. His political activities often led to his exile, until the proclamation of the Republic when Comorera became a member of the executive committee of the Unió Socialista de Catalunya (Catalan Socialist Union), a party in partnership with ERC, which he ended up leading after the death of Rafael Campalans.

He was elected to represent the USC as a member of Parliament. In January 1934, he was appointed minister of Economy and Agriculture in the first government presided by Lluís Companys and was key to the conception and passing of the Crop Growing Contracts Bill. He partook actively in the events of 6 October 1934, and was put on trial and imprisoned for it. When the Front Popular won the elections, he was set free and was reappointed to his ministry.

When the Civil War broke out, he founded the Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya, which he represented in the Catalan Government (Generalitat), as leader of the new Catalan communist party. Once the war lost, he fled to France and then Moscow and Mexico and finally France again, where he began to have conflicts with the PSUC, accused of “Titoism”, of being a nationalist bourgeois, and finally expelled from the leadership of the party that he had also intended to be organically independent from the Spanish PCE.

The article we have chosen, written while in hiding in Barcelona in 1952 for the Treball review he edited, is one of several articles on the national issue. Just as here he points out the “Spain is not a nation”, in the following article he says that, in agreement with texts by Lenin and Stalin, “Catalonia is a nation” suppressed by the “parasite cast that have monopolized and still monopolize the Spanish State, since Franco’s military victory.”

“Spain is not a Nation”

Joan Comorera
Treball, 15 January 1952

Spain is a multinational state monopolized by a fascist party which imposes the colonialization of weak nations.

The “national unity” of the so called Catholic Monarchs is a legend.

It was two feudal monarchs who married, not two peoples. In those days, peoples were joined, separated, split, according to the whims of royal marriages and wills. Feudal lords were everything, the peoples were nothing.

Columbus organized his expedition and discovered the New World on behalf of Isabel, queen of Castile, funded with moneys from Catalonia-Aragon. It was a gallant gesture by Ferran, king of Catalonia-Aragon.  Isabel was not, nor did she feel herself to be, queen of Spain. So much so, that she refused rights of trade, navigation and emigration to all Catalans. Tradition has it that “Tanto monta, monta tanto, Isabel como Fernando” (It makes no difference, it is the same, Isabel and Fernando) was the rule in those days, It is a lie! True history teaches that queen Isabel was ignorant, a hysterical mystic, and that the brains of the reign was Ferran, Maquiavel’s “Prince”. What does it matter!

We are Catalan by nature. We are Spanish by coercion. Because a Nation is superior to a State

In vulgar domestic Spanish history, the Ferran of Castillian history is “the Catalan”, the faded subject, a prince “consort”, not an equal, who becomes a puppet in the “grand guignol” when Iabel died. Have we not witnessed it today? The fascist regime has celebrated the centeniary of Isabel, the “forger of national unity”, the saint… to the beat of the drums. Has anyone mentioned Ferran? Our treacherous press doesn’t dare make a mention. They are their master’s voice!

“Tanto monta…” Yes, but you are the horse and I am the rider! , però tu cavall i jo cavaller!

Spain is a Word that, aside from the State, means nothing, it is nothing. Unlike Castile and Catalonia, Euskadi and Galicia, Valencia and Balearic Islands, Aragon and Andalusia…  the regions and ethnic regions that constitute, under duress, the Spanish State, Spain.

This is why we are, above all, Catalans. Catalans by nature. We are Spanish by force. And because a Nation is superior to a State, the State, which is the instrument of the dominating class, must disappear in the process of a civilization without classes, just as the Nation achieves its maturity.

Thus, when the State attacks the Nation, it is the Nation we must defend and we must annihilate the oppressor State.

Catalans, then, are absolutely incompatible with Franco’s fascist regime and with any future State that does not recognize the free, inherent and indefeasible right to self-determination.