Nationalism Flanders flag protest Tijl Vercaemer/Flickr

La paradoja de la política identitaria

BARCELONA – Las recientes elecciones generales del Reino Unido han proporcionado un ejemplo claro de que la cuestión de la identidad nacional está transformando el panorama político de Europa. El Partido Nacional Escocés, que encarna una versión izquierdista de la política identitaria, barrió al Partido Laborista en Escocia, lo que permitió a los conservadores obtener una mayoría absoluta en el Parlamento. El Gobierno del Primer Ministro David Cameron, que se ha centrado en la identidad británica en lugar de en el destino común del Reino Unido con Europa, celebrará sin lugar a dudas un referéndum sobre su permanencia en la Unión, con consecuencias imprevisibles.

Durante decenios el debate político en Europa se centró en gran medida en las instituciones y las políticas económicas. Los conservadores abogaban por una economía impulsada por el sector privado, mercados sin trabas, impuestos bajos, reducción del gasto estatal y bienes públicos limitados. Los liberales y los socialdemócratas apoyaban una economía de propiedad privada, mercados, integración europea y aumento del comercio, atemperados por unos impuestos y unas transferencias substancialmente redistributivos, una sólida red de protección social y alguna propiedad pública en sectores como, por ejemplo, los de las infraestructuras y las finanzas.

En ese sistema bipolar, las partes diferían respecto de los matices de la política económica, pero en general concordoban en cuanto a los valores democráticos, el proyecto europeo y la necesidad de adaptarse a la mundialización y gestionarla, en lugar de rechazarla de plano, pero, con el éxito en aumento del recurso a la identidad y el renovado nacionalismo étnico o religioso, esa situación está cambiando. ¿Estarán regresando los fantasmas de comienzos y mediados del siglo XX?

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