Seeing like a factory: Technocratic nationalism in Catalonia, 1930–1939
This paper explores the role of Catalan industrial engineers in the making of a stateless nation (within Spain) in the interwar period. After the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939), a home rule for Catalonia was established. In this context, the members of the Barcelona Association of Industrial Engineers developed a techno–nationalist program with the double goal of both making technology Catalan and making Catalonia technological. As an alleged ‘third class’ between the working and ruling classes, industrial engineers sought to use their expertise in scientifically managing the workshop to organize the whole nation. They participated in professional initiatives and official institutions from which they spread the ‘factory ideals’ beyond the factory, such as efficiency, rationalization and statistical monitoring. This paper focuses on the nationalist and technocratic engagement of two leading (and politically diverging) industrial engineers: socialist Estanislau Ruiz-Ponsetí and liberal Josep M. Tallada.