Debate on crypto-economics at "Que no faltin!”

In the second edition of “Que no faltin!”, Susana Rodríguez Urgel, founder of The Digital Advisory Board, shared her knowledge of crypto-economics with the audience at La Plaça.

 

The possibilities offered by new technologies have opened the way to crypto-economics, a new techno-economic concept that coordinates different actors in the FinTech sector, with the aim of creating a decentralised economy through blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

As Rodriguez explains, “The digitalisation of the economy and, in particular, what blockchain is, leads to ‘ownership’. We will all be owners of what we can associate with our digital identity“. Collaboration between users gives rise to a new generation of platforms that thrive on the contributions of a decentralised global talent blockchain, which does not have to seek permission from any government entity.

However, as the expert in crypto-economics points out, “all freedoms bring more responsibility“, the decline of the cryptocurrency market is not caused by new technologies “the problem we are experiencing now is not the cryptocurrencies, the technology is not to blame. It is the people who are making use of this technology who are sometimes unethical.”

In this context, governments have seen how they have been left behind in the face of a paradigm shift that may present a challenge to the established power structure, and under their domination. Will the creation of central bank-controlled digital currencies (CBDCs) be the basis on which the centralised financial system will survive? You can watch the full episode here.

“Que no faltin!” Chapter: 3

David Garrofé, businessman and secretary general of the Catalan employers’ association CECOT from 1988 to 2021, will talk to us about the future of the labour market. You will be able to follow the conversation live from La Plaça, from 19:00 on Tuesday 13 December. If you would like to participate as an audience member, you can reserve your place by writing to [email protected].

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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Central banks’ digital currencies and our ‘virtual’ identity in the metaverse will play a pivotal role in the proposal to rebuild the global economic model that was put forward from the Davos economic forum. What consequences will this paradigm shift have for our lives? In a new Fintech Talks, James Sène, chairman and founder of 11Onze, explains the changes to come and gives us food for thought on how to deal with them.

 

Two lions crown the pillars at the foot of the stone-railed staircase leading to the main entrance of Villa Urània. The house is a tower surrounded by a garden in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district, which was bequeathed to Barcelona City Council by will by the astronomer Josep Comas y Solà. A neoclassical style space that has been reinvented combining tradition with modernity, and reconverted into a Japanese coffee shop, the Oyatsu Lab, is the ideal setting for a Fintech Talks that analyses what the restart of the current economic model will be like.

It was well into the evening when the audience began to fill the café. Unlike other events previously organised by 11Onze, this talk is thought of to be more relaxed, in small groups, to allow the conversation to flow between the audience and the speaker. Gemma Vallet, director of 11Onze District, is in charge of asking preliminary questions and moderating the debate.

Faced with the imminent economic recession, the first question is obvious: how did we get to this point? To begin with, Sène points out that 11Onze has been explaining and warning for a couple of years that the sovereign debt crisis of the states will lead us to a global crisis with major socio-economic consequences, “when private banks create money out of nothing, constantly, inflation is inevitable”.

Unlimited growth on a resource-constrained planet

The interaction with the audience does not take long to get started, and the conversation drifts towards neoclassical economic theory, which is necessary to understand the current economic model. The management of scarcity as a fundamental concept of the capitalist system has set a path focused on unlimited growth, which is totally unsustainable precisely because of the limited resources of our planet.

A new, community-based, mutualistic model, based on social networks, where most things are shared, is being imposed as a counterpart to the status quo that existed until a few years ago. We are facing a “transition from the old model, totally dominated by a few, to a new model that reaches more people and is decentralised,” says Sène.

He concludes that this change of model is inevitable, but that, at the same time, the actors who now dominate and direct the economy will do their best to perpetuate a system where people’s access to goods is restricted, thus ensuring the relevance of scarcity in the economic model.

A virtual and virtualised world

These are issues that are difficult to explain and hard to assimilate, but the president of 11Onze does not shrug his shoulders and proposes two ‘tips’ to understand what is happening: how the ecosystem works and the rules of the game. But first, he points out that we have to understand that we do not live in a virtual world, but in a virtualised world, i.e. “what happens in the digital world has a real impact on our lives, we are living in a totally virtualised world”.

The creation of central bank-controlled digital currencies (CBDCs) will be the basis on which the centralised financial system will survive, while the metaverse will play a key role in digitising our identities. Public interpellations point out that we may be too late to avoid a fait accompli, while Sène argues that financial information and education are essential resources for people to defend their freedoms.

The debate is wide open and goes on well past dinner time, the conversation was not only flowing, but transformed into a whole series of ideas that increase the collective intelligence of our community, and above all, encourages the learning that is so necessary for our financial sovereignty. Soon, we will publish this Fintech Talks on 11Onze TV from La Plaça.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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Twinapp is a social network that facilitates interactions between people interested in practising sport through hiking routes across our territory, without neglecting the commitment to environmental conservation. We talked about the project with Teresa Ferrés, a founding partner.

 

Making society aware of environmental problems and getting people involved in conserving the natural environment can be challenging. Teresa Ferrés founded the Twinapp project with this in mind. Why not combine sport with environmental awareness?

The application allows you to contact people keen on nature walks, organising and promoting outings around our territory. It is a tool that generates community through groups of people interested in running or walking in the mountains. As Ferrés explains, “sometimes it’s hard to find someone to go out with to do sport and this way you are in a community that everyone can join”.

Encouraging ‘plogging’

‘Plogging’, a fusion of the terms ‘plocka upp’, Swedish for picking up, and jogging, originated in Sweden. It is a sporting practice that combines the activity of jogging with the collection of rubbish that we find along the way. The application schedules regular outings related to this practice, including “promoting a campaign called ‘Mou-te pel mar’, which in 2019 organised four outings along the Costa Brava,” says Ferrés.

Bearing in mind that 70% of the waste that is dumped on the coast ends up at the bottom of the sea, the success of these outings, which combine sport with waste collection, is a perfect example of how the entrepreneurial and community spirit represented by Twinapp takes advantage of the possibilities for cooperation offered by social networks and new technologies.

 

If you want to discover how to drink the best water, save money and help the planet, go to 11Onze Essentials.

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We present a collection of the 11 best TikTok profiles made in Catalan. These young people have gained popularity on the trending social network by making videos in Catalan.

 

When we hear the word TikTok, the trending app born in China in September 2016 that allows us to make short music videos of up to 1 minute, many think that this platform is only dedicated to dancing, fashion, makeup, and fun. However, it brings us Catalans something more. Its use, in the hands of some young people, young influencers, has become a great tool for spreading and promoting Catalan. Today we want to let you know what we can consider the top eleven TikTokers which promote Catalan. Let’s get started!

  1. ferranxidk: Ferran, who lives between Girona and Barcelona, is a guy who makes funny videos, has more than 70,000 followers and accumulates more than 9 million likes on TikTok.
  2. long_lixue: This other well-known Catalan YouTuber, who lives in Girona and has Chinese nationality, also succeeds at TikTok. Well known for collaborating on iCat, he is also famous for fighting racism with millions of likes to his TikTok profile.
  3. sanyesmag: This young man from La Garrotxa is famous for his magic videos. He has more than 27,000 followers and half a million likes on TikTok. He is a strong promoter of Catalan through this social network.
  4. walter_capdevila: with nearly 200,000 followers and 5 million likes on the net, we could proclaim this Barcelonan the king of absurd humour. His TikTok profile is a guarantee of laughter.
  5. misstagless: here we have Sílvia, with 10,000 followers and more than 150,000 likes on TikTok. This Valencian fights for the use and defence of Valencian, playing with home-made humour and a lot of personality.
  6. filologa_de_guardia: this student of Catalan Philology is called Aida. Her TikTok profile has more than 5,000 followers and almost 50,000 likes. These will be your new Catalan online lessons!
  7. apitxat: here we have Xavier, with almost 50,000 followers and a million likes. He is another activist for the Valencian lands. You’ll have plenty of jokes and humour in Valencian.
  8. Can Putades: these girls are from La Garrotxa and live in Barcelona. They have 40,000 followers and almost 1 million likes. Their videos raise unknown words in Catalan from the Garrotxa region, among other funny videos of jokes from their day to day, without ceasing to have Catalan as the basis of their TikTok profile.
  9. Aroagr8: here we have Aroa and Paula, with 15,000 followers and over 130,000 likes. Famous from confinement, these two girls play with words according to their region, one in Girona and the other in Amposta. Listening to Catalan had never been so curious.
  10.  Bertaarocach: if you prefer a Catalan profile that sticks for its energy and its typical teenager performances that you will want to see time and time again, here is Berta. A profile with more than 100,000 followers and 4 million likes.
  11. julen_music: as we are in the summer, and with the sun we feel like dancing, we say goodbye with Julen’s profile. He makes some superb versions of well-known songs, playing with Txarango’s music, or doing a mix of Plats Bruts with music from the Friends show. He has about 10,000 followers and almost 90,000 likes on TikTok.

The previous TikTok profiles have thousands of followers on the trending social network, and best of all, they have gained popularity by showing themselves to the world in Catalan.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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In the first episode, we talk to James Sène about money as the conversion of our time into capital. Do you have questions? Write them in the comments of this article.

We premiere our financial education video podcast at 19:00 on 8 November, which you can follow live here!

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On 8 November, we premiere ‘Que no faltin!’, the financial education video podcast where the public can talk to experts. We talk about money, ask anything you want!

 

Financial education has been at the heart of 11Onze since its inception. It is the only way for citizens, ordinary people, to take control of their money. If you don’t understand how the economic system you live in works, there is a good chance you’re not going to do too well. How many people have signed loans or mortgages without understanding what they were doing? How many people don’t know the basic mechanisms that would make their lives so much better?

“People are focused on making money. If they spent a little bit of their time thinking about how to manage it, they’d be surprised how much they can save,” explained 11Onze CEO James Sène in the micro-spending podcast. But we have not been financially educated, which as citizens makes us dependent. Dependent on someone telling us what to do with our money.

Since it has been repeatedly proven that delegating our financial decisions to someone else is not a good idea, it is increasingly important to roll up our sleeves and become financially educated. At 11Onze, we try to give as many tools as possible to our community. That’s why we are launching a live and open video podcast: ‘Que no faltin!

Do you want to participate?

Que no faltin!’ will be mono-thematic programmes. In each episode, an expert will present a topic for 15 minutes and will spend 30 minutes answering questions from the audience. Because yes, there can be an audience. If you want to participate, you can write an email to [email protected].

There will be a maximum capacity of eleven people and, to participate, you must be registered in La Plaça. Over the next few episodes, we will be talking to leading personalities about cryptocurrencies, public debt, hyperinflation, the security of money and other key issues in the current economic landscape.

The first episode features 11Onze President James Sène. He will talk about money as the conversion of your time into capital and will be broadcast live at La Plaça de 11Onze on 8 November at 7 pm.

We’ll talk about money, ask anything you want!

 

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We end the chronological journey that has brought us closer to the history of the vindication of the ‘feminine self’, through five women who have marked the course of contemporary history, written from a feminine perspective. Centuries of history have given rise to small and great victories for the normalisation of a point of view based on pure social conventions that have little to do with human nature. Now, feminism in the 21st century continues to raise its voice for one of the oldest historical demands: equality between women and men.

 

Mireia Cano, Sales Lead B2C of 11Onze

 

Looking back, we can see that, despite the fact that history has been written by men, women have played a key role. In all areas and in all struggles. Protagonists in the shadow of human history, where every struggle and every right acquired in favour of the female gender has been debated again and again. A circular history that constantly and independently of the country or the time takes us to the same point: the travelled road has allowed us to advance, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the society and the subjective prism through which we look at it. A step forward, but not enough. The struggle does not stop. Equality is still a long way off for the younger generations.

 

Male superiority and #patriarchy

Moral superiority (and nothing else than moral) between sexes, ethnic groups, cultures or social classes is nothing more than evidence of a desire for control that, far from being natural, is born out of social constructions based on power, often linked to money or directly to physical force. Any reasoning or behaviour born from superiority cannot be considered just and, therefore, should not be considered feminist. The perpetuation of the feminist struggle evokes multiple conclusions. We put one on the table: in order to continue to advance, men have to join in.

History has been written by men, the world has been led by men and even religions are highly masculine. Can we talk about progress if we still count every woman who for the first time gains access to a place of power? If laws are needed to achieve parity in the workplace? If women’s bodies, maternal decisions or the way they dress are decided by men all over the world or if machismo violence continues to murder and rape girls, girls and women at home? If all this is what constitutes the current world we live in, changing it must surely be a gender issue. You cannot redefine the role of women without redefining the role of men. And it all comes down to education, which has to move away from patriarchy, the term that defines a male-dominated social organisation.

 

#NotAllMen, but #AllWomen

Half of the population still lives under the stigma of the weaker sex, under the control of patriarchy and with the certainty that despite not being directly affected by it myself or the women around me, looking at both sides everyone has a story nearby that shows how much work remains to be done. Throughout history, feminism has gone through various stages which, depending on the context of the time, have involved one type of struggle or another, based on conservative, liberal or vindictive ideals. There are many women to whom we can put a face and whose history we can explain. Some of them have achieved great advances for women, while others have simply paved the way with ideas, works or by opening doors that until then had remained closed.

Feminism, understood as the search for equality between men and women, has as many interpretations, currents or meanings as there are people who talk about it. Interpretations vary according to the education received, family tradition or the behaviour that each person has seen at home. It is understandable, therefore, that thoughts such as that feminist women are “exaggerating”, that “there are no inequalities nowadays” or that life has to be lived “as it always was” justifying that traditions, however misogynist they may be, have to be respected instead of changing them to achieve parity. Faced with this reality, it is all the more important to emphasise that feminism must be based on respect, the basis on which to aspire to freedom. Can anyone who lives with their eyes fixed on others be free?

 

From liberation to sexual normalisation #lovewins

Many societies have accepted that sexual orientation does not have to be a reason for hatred, let alone aggression or legal sentences. Sexual freedom is normalised and some stigmas linked to sexuality are left behind, especially among the younger generations and in Western countries. Destigmatization is born in the awareness of one’s own body, freedom of decision, and respect for other ideologies. Also, the construction of rapidly proliferating partnerships such as polyamory or open relationships, which, beyond the yearning of any generation of young people to discover themselves, try new things and live experiences, also shows and gives hope for a future that is predicted to be respectful and open-minded. The least moral judgements, and freedom and respect above all else.

Unfortunately, once again there is no situation or context free of aggression by people who, because of their sex or sexual orientation, feel superior to those who are different. Sexual orientation is still a justification for aggression, and conservative love relationships with gender roles marked by the male presence are not stopped either. Forced relationships, physical, mental and sexual violence against women, the sexualisation of the female body or the social and individual judgement of women to enjoy sexuality that is full and grounded in their freedom are not stopped either. Freedom, however, which society strives to emphasise is limited, always within social canons, standards and subjected to multiple criticisms in the eyes of the world. Perhaps for this reason, because advancement is never enough or generalised, the feminist struggle constantly shares space with the struggle of other minorities or collectives in search of the freedom that by nature should be granted to them.

 

The struggle will be shared, or it will not be #MeToo

The reality of movements such as #MeToo corroborate that when a woman raises her voice to make a complaint, thousands appear by her side who have experienced the same thing and, whether out of ignorance, fear, or a feeling of normality in the face of attitudes that should not be normal, have preferred to remain silent for years. And what kind of normality can it be to live in the 21st century, where a few minutes of a man’s sexual satisfaction prevails over a woman’s life? Many are the battles won, the advances and the scenarios where parity is being achieved. There are many men who have been educated and educate from this prism of respect, regardless of sex or sexual orientation, and there are also more and more young people who grow up without the stigma of the patriarchal base and young women who identify and denounce any situation that goes against their freedom.

Of all the positive things we could list and be proud of, mainly because of all those who have dedicated their lives to the cause and even lost them, there is one thing that stands out above all: the struggle for life. When the moral superiority that sentences a life in exchange for ideals all over the world disappears, feminism will be able to take the final step and start talking about freedom.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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It is not a perception, but a reality: globalisation has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Since the mid-1990s, the richest 10% of the world’s population has accumulated more than three quarters of all wealth generated, while the poorest half got only 2%.

 

After three decades of trade and financial globalisation, inequalities in the world remain extremely pronounced. They are arguably as great today as at the height of Western imperialism. Moreover, the covid pandemic has further accentuated income differences.

Data from the “World Inequality Report 2022” show that since the mid-1990s, the richest 10 % of the world’s population has accumulated no less than 76 % of the wealth generated. In fact, 38% was concentrated in the hands of the top 1% of the world’s population. And the poorest half of the population has had to make do with the crumbs: barely 2% of the wealth generated during these last decades. And this gap has widened during the pandemic.

The big difference from the era of colonisation is that these inequalities are not so much a question of rich versus poor countries as of individual differences within states. In this respect, Europe is the region with the least pronounced differences, while the most unequal income distribution is found in North Africa and the Middle East. In addition, gender differences also remain considerable.

 

A global problem

A previous UN report, the World Social Report 2020, also indicated that income inequality has increased within most developed countries and in some middle-income countries, including China, which has the world’s fastest growing economy.

While the average income gap between countries is narrowing, there are still large differences between the richest and poorest regions: the median income in North America, for example, is 16 times higher than that of people in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

A brake on development

Growing inequality between individuals exacerbates the risks of division and hampers economic and social development. “Income disparities and lack of opportunities are creating a vicious cycle of inequality, frustration and discontent across generations,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres in the foreword to the UN report, provoking mass protests in both developed and developing countries.

One of the consequences of inequality is a slowdown in economic growth. In unequal societies, with wide disparities in areas such as health care and education, people are more likely to remain trapped in poverty for generations.

 

The influence of innovation

We cannot overlook the fact that rapid advances in areas such as biology and genetics, as well as robotics and artificial intelligence, are transforming societies at a dizzying pace.

While technological innovation can accelerate economic growth, offering new possibilities in fields such as healthcare, education, communication and productivity, it is also eliminating entire categories of jobs and driving up wage inequality.

While high-skilled workers are reaping the benefits of the so-called “fourth industrial revolution”, low-skilled and medium-skilled workers, who are engaged in routine manual and cognitive tasks, are seeing their opportunities shrink.

 

The burden of climate change

With the climate crisis, vulnerable populations are bearing the brunt of environmental degradation and extreme weather events. Indeed, climate change is worsening the situation of the world’s poorest countries and could reverse the progress made in reducing inequality between nations.

If action to tackle the climate crisis proceeds as expected, jobs will be lost in polluting sectors such as the coal industry, but the new “green” economy could lead to net employment gains.

 

The tragedy of forced migration

As the UN points out, “migration is a powerful symbol of global inequality“. However, contrary to popular belief, more people from middle-income countries migrate abroad than those from low-income countries. This is probably due to the lack of material possibilities to do so in poorer places.

International migration is generally considered to benefit both migrants and their countries of origin, as they send money home, and host countries also benefit. In some cases, when migrants compete for low-skilled work, wages may be pushed down, increasing inequality. But if they offer skills that are in short supply or take jobs that others are unwilling to do, they have a positive effect on unemployment.

These migrations are leading to more people living in urban areas than in rural areas for the first time in history, a trend that is expected to continue in the coming years. And it should not be forgotten that, although cities drive economic growth, they are more unequal than rural areas.

 

The power of public policy

Reducing inequalities must be at the heart of public policy. This means taking action to ensure that new technologies are used to reduce poverty and create jobs; that vulnerable people are more resilient to the effects of climate change; that cities are more inclusive; and that migration is safe, orderly and regular.

For countries to become more equal, real equality of opportunity needs to be promoted, with measures such as universal access to education; fiscal policies that address social inclusion; and legislation that tackles prejudice and discrimination, while promoting greater participation of disadvantaged groups.

 

If you want your business to make a giant leap, use 11Onze Business. Our business and freelancer account is now available. Find out more!

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Generation Z has been particularly hard hit by the economic consequences of the pandemic, with unemployment reaching as high as 40%. Although the situation has improved compared to 2020, finding a decent job and achieving financial independence remains a near-impossible mission for a generation that aspires to make the digital leap.

 

The job market is a thorn in the side of Generation Z, the generation of young people born between the 20th and 21st centuries. Although there is no consensus on the exact start and end years, it is generally accepted that it includes those born between the mid-1990s and the end of the first decade of this century. They number more than 2 billion people worldwide and in a few years’ time will account for more than a quarter of the total workforce.

Preceded by the millennials and followed by the alphas, this is a generation that has already started to enter the labour market. And in many cases, they have done so at the worst possible time, when the world was suffering the economic consequences of COVID-19. 

 

Victims of the pandemic

The global pandemic hit Generation Z particularly hard, with unemployment in Spain reaching 40% in 2020, compared to 14% for the rest of the generations. That year, in almost all OECD countries, the unemployment rate of this demographic group was double or triple the levels of other older age groups.

Generation Z is over-represented in sectors such as hospitality, tourism and leisure, which have been hard hit by pandemic-curbing measures, so job destruction was particularly hard on them.

Worse, their long periods of unemployment after leaving high school or university mean that they lose years of experience and training, which will reduce their chances of progressing further up the career ladder. One study indicates that these periods of unemployment can translate into a 2 % reduction in earnings over a working life.

 

Increased precariousness

Although the economic situation has improved since the hardest times of the pandemic, finding a decent job and achieving financial independence remains an almost impossible mission for members of Generation Z. In fact, in Catalonia, the rate of job insecurity is higher than in the rest of Europe. In fact, in Catalonia, the unemployment rate among 16-24 year-olds in the second quarter of this year was still above 25%, more than three times higher than that of the rest of the age groups.

There are multiple factors behind this high level of unemployment among the youngest. One of the elements influencing their precariousness is temporary employment. The report “Young people and the labour market”, published in March, points out that young people have “significantly higher levels of temporary employment so that their access to employment is mainly through temporary contracts”. 

 

The first digital generation

Generation Z stands out for its flexibility and autonomy, as well as its mastery of digital tools. Hence their attractiveness for many companies that have yet to make the leap to digitalisation. They are also more risk-averse and financially aware than other generations, having experienced the 2007-2008 crisis as children.

However, this is a generation that is not willing to accept a job at any price, as in many cases they value other aspects above the economic aspect. Unlike their parents, who aspired to a job for life, they are looking more for personal fulfilment. That is why in many cases they resort to self-employment to make their own projects a reality.

Significantly, according to the Randstad Workmonitor 2022 report, more than half of employees (56%) aged 18-24 would leave a job that prevented them from enjoying their lives. Many members of Generation Z would rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job they don’t like, according to the report.

 

11Onze is the community fintech of Catalonia. Open an account by downloading the super app El Canut for Android or iOS and join the revolution!

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And the next day, nothing was ever the same again. The Catalan state disappeared ‘ipso facto’ with the abolition of the Generalitat, the municipal dismemberment and the annulment of the Catalan constitutions following the loss of the War of Succession (1701 -1714). After this, the only administration that remained active in Catalonia was the army of occupation, which, by maintaining some 25,000 permanent soldiers within the Principality, consolidated the Bourbon objective by means of harsh repression that would last until the mid-18th century. But not everyone faired badly…

 

Oriol Garcia Farré, historian and agent 11Onze

 

As a result of the victory, the elite of the Bourbon army was permanently installed in Catalonia: the Royal Castilian Guards and the Royal Walloon Guards, reinforced by other special military occupation contingents. The total number of troops deployed throughout Catalonia was 47% of the total for the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. And if we add those deployed in the rest of the territories of the Catalan Countries – Valencia, Majorca and Aragon – the figure rises to 65%. A full-blown invasion.

The drafting of the Nueva Planta Decree would turn Catalonia into just another province of a new centralised monarchy that would rule over the entire Iberian Peninsula without legal differences. Thus, the dream of a Hispanic monarchy based on the existence of different kingdoms and cultural realities on the peninsula would crumble, but it would not disappear. From then on, there would only be a single Cortes, those of Castile, which would represent the whole of the peninsular territories, but would focus on a new political construction structured around identifying Castile with the new state.

Eighteenth-century Catalonia would be a territory governed solely by the military. The supreme head of the administration of Catalonia would be the Captain General. Territorial administration – the ‘corregimientos’ – would be in the hands of the ‘corregidores’, who would always be military men. Public order – in the first instance – would always be in the hands of the army and the famous “Veciana Squads”. This institution was founded in 1719 by Pere Anton Veciana Rabassa, a deserter from the Austracist cause who in early 1713 decided to place himself at the service of the Bourbon king and create a paramilitary and police organisation that would work at the service of the Captain General -Francisco Pío de Saboya y Moura-, with the mission of continuing to repress internal Bourbon resistance.

Veciana would set up a system of criminal files – known as ‘summary files’ – which would enable the corps to systematise police information. He also created a network of informers throughout the territory and organised the first agents to infiltrate the resistance. In 1735, Veciana had to resign his post for reasons of age, and it was then that the Captain General transferred the responsibilities of the corps to his son, Pere Màrtir Veciana. From then on, the command of the corps would be inherited by the Veciana family for five generations, until 1836.

“Pere Anton Veciana y Rabassa, a deserter from the Austracist cause who at the beginning of 1713 decided to place himself at the service of the Bourbon king and create a paramilitary and police organisation that would work at the service of the Captain General -Francisco Pío de Saboya y Moura-“.

Repression and state terrorism

For eleven years, Catalonia was subjected to harsh military repression, which lasted until 1725, when, through the Treaty of Vienna between the representatives of Philip V of Castile and Charles VI of Austria, the two sides mutually recognised each other’s succession rights and put an end to the dynastic dispute.

And what happened to the supporters who fought in favour of the Archduke of Austria’s choice? During the war, as the Bourbon armies occupied the Principality, a kind of ‘military terrorism’ was applied, which consisted of persecuting the local population, regardless of the degree of connection they had had with the Austracist cause, with the aim of undermining morale. After the fall of Barcelona, the main military commanders who had not been able to flee to Austria – such as Antoni de Villarroel – were indiscriminately persecuted and sent to prisons scattered around the Iberian Peninsula. Most of them ended up dying without ever regaining their freedom, while others were sent to the galleys.

The long post-war period allowed the repression to continue against all the armed elements that were still fighting against the new legal system, such as the notorious ‘carrasclets’. But all those families whose members were in exile in Austria were also persecuted and forbidden from maintaining any correspondence. The losers of the war were to have their property seized and all their rights revoked. They would even be banned from taking part in all public tenders or applying for state aid.

The establishment of permanent contingents in Catalonia would lead to a significant increase in military demand due to the need to supply royal troops. According to the General Manuals of the Quartermaster’s Office of Catalonia – an institution created to manage the post-war period – between 1714 and 1735 a total of 271 ‘asientos’ or contracts directly related to the supply of materials to the army and navy are recorded: gunpowder, weapons, artillery trains, uniforms, food, ironwork for horses.

The ‘asientos’ were also used for the construction or supply of barracks, such as the Ciutadella, and to produce everything necessary for subsequent Bourbon military campaigns, such as those in Italy. And this supply would come about thanks to the existence of a considerable productive, commercial and financial structure that had remained unchanged despite the war, and which would be capable of solvently producing the ‘seats’ that the monarchy would need over the following decades.

“The losers of the war will have their property seized and all their rights annulled. They will even be banned from taking part in all public tenders or applying for state aid”.

Catalan collaborationism

So, the question to ask ourselves is clear: how was it possible to maintain a Catalan productive structure in the context of the war at the beginning of the 18th century? How was it possible to supply the Bourbon army during the invasion of Catalonia and the siege of Barcelona in a territory that was completely unknown to them? Well, with the help of local characters who supplied, lent or helped the Bourbon army of occupation with food, money and logistics throughout that turbulent period. They were a group of merchants who changed sides – just like Pere Anton de Veciana – in search of a more favourable personal situation and taking advantage of the circumstances to improve their social and economic position.

Names such as the Milans of Arenys, the Mates and Lapeira of Mataró or the Massiques of Vilassar and many others would be great family names that would establish their prestige throughout the 18th century for having obtained important privileges as thanks for the services rendered during the occupation of the Principality. Many of these “illustrious” figures would be placed in key institutions for the deployment and execution of the Nueva Planta Decree, because otherwise it would not have been possible.

The new regime would pass “a disinfectant cotton wool over Catalonia”, in order to subsequently build a new network of local loyalties that would consolidate it within the territory. This reason why they were placed at the head of key institutions, such as the General Treasury (Catalonia’s taxation), the General Intendancy (Catalonia’s supply and logistics), the Confiscations of Catalonia (seizure of property) and the Bureau de Change (communal bank), a minority but large sector of the Principality’s population who, for various reasons, sided with the Bourbon proposal. In this way, the monarchy combined the principle of authority, as represented by the laws deployed in the Nueva Planta Decree, with a large institutional bureaucracy and flexibility with certain local social sectors, mainly the master craftsmen and merchants, who had sufficient economic resources to boost the economy.

The self-interested attachment of these sectors of Catalan society to the new Bourbon State gave them access to new sources of income derived directly from the new policies of Bourbon absolutism. Loyalty would give them access to large public contracts, which would lead to widespread corruption at all levels of public administration.

Until the end of the 1740s, Catalonia underwent a painful period of adaptation to its new status as a defeated nation, always suspected of disaffection. From then on, economic policy decisions were no longer taken in Barcelona, but at the Bourbon Court, following criteria based on the dreams of grandeur of the new reigning monarchy, regardless of the needs of its subjects.

 

BASIC BIBLIOGRAPHY

Benet Oliva i Ricós: ‘Els proveïdors catalans de l’exèrcit borbònic durant el setge de Barcelona de 1713/1714’, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, 2014.

David Ferré Gispets: Els efectes del “Contractor State” borbònic a la Catalunya d’inicis del segle XVIII, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, 2019.

Josep Maria Delgado Ribas: ‘Barcelona i el model econòmic de l’absolutisme borbònic: un tret per la culata’, Barcelona Quaderns d’Història, 23 (2016), pàg. 225-242.

Josep Juan Vidal: ‘Les conseqüències de la guerra de Successió: nous imposts a la Corona d’Aragó, una penalització o un futur impuls per al creixement econòmic?’, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, 2013.

 

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