The crisis of the COVID pandemic has buried for a good season, in democratic and advanced countries, the idea that the Government was not the solution to our problems but our problem. The colossal effort to avoid company closures and job destruction and obtaining vaccines in record time and their massive distribution have been an indisputable success of the government’s role in the economy and society. Without the support of governments, with an expansive and massive fiscal policy and close collaboration with the private sector on vaccines, the consequences of the pandemic would have been even more dire in social and health terms. Yes, governments are an essential and indispensable part to face our problems. Let’s stop demonizing governments and administrations with that of ‘It is raining? Porco Government ‘ and let’s get the batteries to modernize our public sector at once and make it more effective, efficient, useful and close. The European Funds are a good opportunity, which will also demand that the eternally postponed reforms on access and maintenance to the civil service are brought up to date. From this point of view, the retirement of the boomers is also another opportunity that we must have the audacity to know how to take advantage of.
But also the COVID crisis has shown, once again, that society exists, that there are not only men and women and families, as stated Thatcher. And it is that without the bond that unites us as members of the same community based on shared civic values and cultures and without the intermediate structures that exist between individuals and administrations, which make up organized civil society, the countries would not have been able to face the pandemic and its consequences. The vast majority of citizens had highly responsible behavior During the hardest stages of confinement, solidarity and mutual aid mechanisms worked, initiatives of all kinds arose to provide us with respirators and masks, and the applause at eight o’clock in the afternoon made us feel like members of the same community, which faced collectively their destiny. In Catalonia, the Third Social Sector was fundamental in the care of the most fragile and vulnerable groups during those daunting weeks of spring 2020.
Now is also the time for organized civil society. Not only do we need better governments and a robust public sector, we also need we need to release energies to facilitate the growth and strengthening of organized civil society. The challenge is enormous in a country like Catalonia in which, despite a centuries-old tradition, in recent times it has seemed that the role of civil society and private and social initiative have been called into question. We have a lot of work to do. For example, in the need to overcome the questioning of public-private collaboration models in the provision of certain public services, in search of the creation of more public value, recovering the idea of Joan Subirats that what is public is not only what the administrations do. Or in the promotion of legislation that allows a decisive policy of support for patronage, similar to that of the countries in our more advanced environment. Or with less interventionism and regulation in certain areas, which rather than protect, protect and expand the rights and freedoms of citizens, dwarf them.
And it is that social capital, which is an essential ingredient to generate reciprocal trust between citizens that makes democracy well-oiled and works properly, has to do fundamentally with the existence of a dense and intense social fabric. Foundations, associations, mutuals, mutuals, cooperatives, athenaeums, ‘esplais’, ‘caus’, volunteering & mldr; In all areas they are more necessary than ever.
We have faced notable challenges since before the pandemic. The deterioration of democracy by way of political polarization, the increase in social inequalities and failures in social mobility, climate emergency that threatens us, technological disruptions of all kinds, the greater diversity and complexity of our societies & mldr; It also calls for more organized civil society, which generates more social trust, more civic awareness and more mechanisms for mutual aid in the direction of the best Catalan tradition.