Monday, November 29

José Antonio González Casanova: critical conscience, man of advice | Spain


Professor José Antonio González Casanova.
Professor José Antonio González Casanova.Weavers

The reformulation of a left-wing culture in Spain is understood through honorable careers such as that of José Antonio González Casanova, who died this Friday at the age of 86. Born in Barcelona in 1935, this son of the Franco victory grew up in a home where there was a small altar in the hall. Along with a bomb dropped by the Italian Army, an eagle-shaped shield could read the tribute to the military uncle shot after he had risen up: “Artillery captain, killed by God and by Spain. Present!”.

The student González Casanova, always brilliant and socialized in a local elite school — the Jesuits of Sarrià, where he met his close friend Alfonso Carlos Comín — soon jumped from domestic national Catholicism to an early fascination for the revolutionary left. The first engine of this transition was an experience of the faith that he, together with his wife, Maria Rosa Virós, made unattainable from civic commitment.

Co-opted by the first team of the magazine of progressive catholicism The deer and after having suffered the impact of misery in the University Labor Service, that law graduate was in the cell that started the Front Obrer Català (FOC), a variant of the Popular Liberation Front. At the time, he began to work as an intern in the office of the exemplary labor lawyer Francesc Casares, but it did not take long for the academic path to be opened to him.

Following the suggestion of the young professor Jordi Solé Tura, Manuel Jiménez de Parga invited him to be an assistant to his chair of Political Law, one of the main nurseries of the Barcelona intellectual opposition. In 1963 he read his thesis The popular committee of the Yugoslav commune, his example of the best possible construction of socialism and whose articulation he considered feasible thanks to the federalism he always thought about.

In 1967 he won the chair of Political Law at the University of Santiago de Compostela. Before his journalistic collaborations in The voice of Galicia, where he began his work as a counselor from the press, Minister Manuel Fraga was exhaustive in a meeting with his director: “Be careful, because I know very well who he is and what he does.”

At the beginning of the seventies, he returned to Barcelona to occupy the chair of State Theory at the Faculty of Economics and in 1974 he published Federalism and autonomy in Catalonia, a monograph dedicated to historicizing a structure of relationships that had determined the development of the State.

Beyond Articles on Multiple Tribunes – Your Compilation The fight for democracy in Spain was kidnapped—, in the prologue of the Transition that book visualized him as one of the academics best prepared to think about the territorial model for democracy. Like so many historical FOC militants, he participated in the process that would lead to the creation of the PSC. And, although he was on the initial lists of the candidacy for the first general elections, his name fell. But he did not stop providing advice and was key in the socialist presentation that prepared his draft Constitution. In one of those sessions, Alfonso Guerra was exhaustive: “The comrade [Gregorio] Peces-Barba fully agrees with your opinions and will take them into account, especially in the autonomous system ”.

Those were the prime years of this respected teacher of jurists. Later he would assume his civic role as a man of advice. “I do not serve to govern, but to advise,” he told Pasqual Maragall. Advise as a critical, kind conscience, with the parties of power, including his own, directing him towards the positions of his Memoirs of an indignant socialist or those that he saw embodied in the fight of his daughter Itziar against urban corruption in Barcelona. On Tuesday he was to participate in a book presentation. Director of The deer He spoke on her behalf, reading a few lines that were a moral summary of his life.


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