domingo, 3 de noviembre de 2013

Brandenburg Gate

The present-day situation in both Catalonia and Spain can be described as exceptional without exaggerating. Separatism, which had remained a minority political option within Catalan politics, is now struggling to become a majority option thanks to the overt, solid support provided by the highest-ranking institutions in the Autonomous Region. Catalonia's split is put forward as a realistic prospect in the short or medium run. As one would expect, this has given rise to a very lively debate within Catalan society and politics and, to a lesser extent, in the rest of Spain.
The debate that has been started usually oscillates between marked voluntarism and some analysis, which in many instances lack the thoroughness that we deem necessary in as big a process as the division of a State.
That is the reason why several professionals and scholars from different ideological backgrounds gathered to form a group called "Brandenburg Gate" with a view to contributing to such debate with rigor  and objectivity. We are concerned that the political, legal, sociological, historical or even linguistic aspects of the process kicked off by those advocating independence may be tackled with levity or ignorance. What is at stake in Catalonia, Spain and Europe right now is important enough to be taken as what it is: a problem that demands rigorous approaches and objective analysis.
Alongside the debate on secession, an interesting challenge to the current structure of Spain is arising. Under different names, it calls for a re-thinking of the design established by the Spanish Constitution in 1978, which has laid the basis for Spain over the past thirty years. As members of “Brandenburg Gate” we are interested in such discussion, which we also think that should be addressed with rigor and responsibility. We doubt about the advisability of including the reform of the State's structure as a further element in the debate over secession. But we still wish to state our willingness to contribute to the aforementioned debate on the grounds of objectivity, respect for each member's view and thoroughness.
Our group chose the name "Brandenburg Gate" to clearly show our desire to be a point where different sensitivities and approaches can meet. For decades the Brandenburg Gate has stood as a symbol of the separation between Eastern and Western Europe and of the problematic communication between two ways of conceiving politics and society. Nowadays it is a hallmark of a city that shows the world its specifically Central European character in that it bridges the gap between the East and the West. It is also a received opinion that it is a city where people from very different national and ethnic origins live together, making up a dynamic, diverse and intellectually challenging society.
Moreover, the history of Berlin provides an array of meaningful elements for our goal. Over the first decades in the twentieth century, Berlin gathered a number of remarkable scholars, who turned the city into the core of scientific progress in the world. Without interruption Berlin became the symbol of a totalitarian regime, which was based on irrationality and was capable of the most dreadful deeds ever committed by humanity. It was a city torn by war and subsequently divided, which could transform walls into doors, confrontation into cooperation and division into unity.
By choosing this name we wish to show that we are willing to share analysis based on rigor, that we are not afraid of confronting those who prefer agitation over reflection and that we seek to find common ground instead of confrontation. Building  gates with the stones from walls, that is our purpose and we believe that the image of the Brandenburg Gate conveys this idea.  Walls separate and divide, whereas doors open, allowing ideas from both sides to go through.. And that is, above all, our objective, the free movement of critical, objective, rigorous and diverse thinking.

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