Streets in Spain emptied by corona
Streets in Spain emptied by corona צילום: REUTERS/Jon Nazca
“Our attitude towards death is ambivalent,” French historian and philosopher Rémi Brague told Le Figaro last April. “Look at Friedrich Nietzsche's famous phrase, ‘God is dead’. It implies that death is more divine than the God it has overcome. In this way, ‘God is dead’ logically turns to ‘death is God’”.

In the midst of a pandemic that has caused the deaths of nearly 30,000 of its people, the Spanish government is pushing ahead with a bill to advance euthanasia. The "right to die", initially considered by the Congress last February, has just managed to overcome two amendments presented by the Popular Party and by Vox.

Vox MP, María Ruiz Solás, accused the Socialists of betting “once again on death rather than on the defense of life. This is what they have always done. They did so with the abortion law and with the elderly in nursing homes in the hardest moments of the pandemic when it was preferred to sedate them with morphine instead of taking them to intensive care to try to save their lives”.

Alejandro Macarron Larumbe, essayist, demographic expert and director of the Fundación Renacimiento Demográfico, in a conversation we had, pointed out the paradox of a country with the lowest birth rate in Europe betting on the end of life, rather than on new lives:

“It's incomprehensible. The obsession in favor of euthanasia would have only one logical, profoundly anti-humanist explanation: that the state saves on pensions and medical care for the elderly. On the other hand, not investing in life, in a Spain and in a Europe that are dying little by little from lack of births, is a betrayal of our nations and our ancestors”.

Without net immigration, the population of Spain would go from 47 to 23 million in two generations. “These figures are similar to 18th century Spain in terms of births” explained me Macarron Larumbe. “And they're even worse than the Civil War birth rates. In 1939, 422,000 children were born in a desolate Spain with twenty million fewer inhabitants. This year there will be 359,000. Collectively, we do not have the moral right to seriously deteriorate the social heritage we receive from our ancestors. But this will have a price: we will pay very dearly for the decline of our societies.”

Brague said it all: “The death that threatens us today in the form of a pandemic is the same death with which Europe, with its demographics in freefall, has been flirting for a long time”.

This European obsession with death, to end connection with life, to "die with dignity", to legislate in every aspect the self-destruction of an individual (one's sex, one's identity, one's religion, one's family and now one's own death) indicates a lethal impulse that underlies the soul of our societies.

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