In a recent survey conducted by Sigma dos for EL MUNDO, one of the biggest newspapers in Spain, it was shown beyond any doubt that the support in the monarchy is an all time low (click here). For the first time, the vote for the favor of the old system dropped under the 50% bar (though in only one decimal). The current king Don Juan Carlos I, is, according to the Spanish people, in bad shape (both physically and metaphorically). With an approval rate that went down from 52.5% to a mere 35%, his weakness is displayed on his expressionless face. Many are the reasons that can be noted for such an event, one can blame, for instance, his choice of destinations for vacation trips (a scandal was revealed with the publication of a photo of him hunting elephants in Africa in plain crisis), or his refusal to abdicate to his beloved son prince Felipe. Apparently, abdication might just be the last rescue line this European monarchy has before raising the call for the cancellation of this system. Although, while 56.6% are positive that the handsome Prince of Asturias will improve the prestige of his household, 32.6% still believe that even this formal act will not help the dire situation.
So what is the Monarchy, if not exactly that, a piece of news in the newspaper? Actually, there are two main, very repetitive, themes that decorate the headlines on a daily basis: the corrupt renegade of the royal house, the husband of the Infanta Cristina, el señor Iñaki Urdangarin and the daily fashion of the beautiful (and reconstructed) Princess of Asturias, Doña Letizia. The first, for stealing from public funds hundreds of thousands of euros and the other for wearing the same outfit/dress/haircut from 8 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago.
However, it is not surprising that some western countries are still clinging to their royalty. Dreaming was always been a great virtue of men, and what better than dreaming of tales of fairies actually coming to life. I mean, is it really such an impossible dream? Gad Elmaleh will tell you that no. He will proudly say that even a French Jewish, son of immigrants from northern Africa, can father the son of a real princess.
What, then, can we learn about our society, about ourselves while witnessing such a traditional system operating for the sake of tradition? In this great dance between reality and fantasy there is no room for the minor individualization of the effects and consequences of such an arrangement. The universality of dreamy aura that surrounds their majestic being is much more important than the vagueness of their normality. There is a loud cry in the taciturnity of a symbol. It is the cry for thoughtless admiration, for pointless criticism and the obesity of our ignorance. Hannah Arendt voiced the banality of evil not to acquit the Individual but to denounce the disguise in the Universal.
However, one should refrain from being so hasty as to write a eulogy to the moral valor and majestic emblem of a culture but become aware of the interaction that is more real and alive than we want to admit. Thus, one should probably remember next time she meets a king that while “storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it”, as Arendt puts it, it is the definition of it that will wake us from the latent inhibit state of thoughtlessness. Thus, as for the question, is it the end of the Spanish Monarchic sovereignty? I will dare say probably not.