Actually, in the article we’re bringing you today, they’re not asking that question, they’re asserting it. Said article is the one published on global politics and culture debate site Open Democracy, and was written by US author and attorney Bruce Rich.
The article analyzes the Basque Autonomous Community and defines its characteristics, achievements, challenges, and weaknesses. It’s a kind of “situation report” that then goes on to analyze its progress and present the conclusions to his analysis of this part of our country:
“social and environmental solutions inspired by broader national and international policies are sometimes, and perhaps often, best realized through local empowerment and local democracy.”
There’s a lot we like about this article, we’re not going to lie: it covers everything from the references and opinions by President John Adams (that we’ve blogged about before) on the Basques to a warm, friendly look at our current reality.
We have no doubt that there are those who would not be wrong to add not so positive elements to that list. But it’s also true that what the author highlights is real, and that all of this is reflected in the success of a society that started out at the end of the 1970s in a way that was well beyond desperate.
Every time we cover these topics, we can’t help imagining those who would have liked to see our country go under, who were rubbing their hands at the beginning of the 1980s at the idea of the failure we were heading towards. Nor can we help imagining the disgust that the current situation causes them. And we have no doubt that they’re fighting against that success will all their might.
So at these times, we recall the elements that Richard Armstrong, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, said were the key to explaining the success of the Guggenheim Bilbao. For us, these same elements also explain the “Basque miracle”: political leadership and self government (with the Economic Agreement).
But just as important as the article is the medium and the author. Back in our school day, we truly learned the principle McLuhan laid out at the end of the 1960s: “the medium is the message”. So then, in this case, the “McLuhanian” principle fits like a glove.
Open Democracy, the British medium that published the article, has a long history of commitment with freedom and democracy, and has set itself the goal: to “educate citizens to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world”.
Bruce Rich, the author, is an American writer and attorney who has investigated and published a great deal on development, the environment, the situation in developing countries, or the disastrous role of the World Bank in environmental impoverishment and the development crisis.
We’ll leave you with the article; the “About Us” page at Open Democracy, where you can learn about their principles, goals, and projects; and the presentation about Bruce Rich’s career and works, which are on his website.
All that’s left is to thank the author for is article and for sharing the realities of our country, in one of the articles we’ve most enjoyed reading in the ten years we’ve been writing this blog (steadily). Without any doubt, this article, and the medium it appears in, have been one of the best Epiphany Day gifts one could hope to receive.
Open Democracy – 6/1/2020 – Great Britain
Sustainability in a small place: the Spanish Basque Country as a 21st Century model
The 21st Century is not working out the way many of us hoped: we witness the failure of nations and politicians to address the climate crisis, as well as social unrest in many countries over the failure of a neoliberal economic model that has neglected social equity and environmental sustainability. The Financial Times has even called for “a more sustainable and inclusive form of capitalism.”
Open Democracy – – Great Britain
openDemocracy is an independent global media platform. Through reporting and analysis of social and political issues, we seek to educate citizens to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world. Our biggest investigative project yet probed the ultra-conservative, far-right and anti-democratic forces that were seeking to influence the outcome of the European Parliamentary elections 2019: read more here.
Bruce Rich is an American writer and lawyer who has published extensively on the environment in developing countries and development in general.