Note by the Saker: today I am posting to completely different views on the events in Catalonia. I do that because I hope that our community has the maturity needed to be exposed to two oppsed views without automatically having to declare one The One And Only Correct Opinion and defame the other with insults, personal attacks and logical fallacies. I personally am not taking sides in this conflict for two reasons 1) I don’t know enough about what happened in the years leading up to this referendum and 2) I love Spain and the Spanish people so I have my own biases 3) I generally dislike separatists (as opposed to autonomists), especially those who demand the right to secede but deny the same right to others inside the seceding entity. However, I put F.MAN’s article first because in alphabetical order F.MAN comes before Koenig.
Finally, I categorically demand that only fact-based logical arguments be posted in the comments section, and that only the topic at hand be discussed, not F.MAN or Peter Koenig. Absolutely no personal attacks on anybody. The moderators have been warned that this post might trigger some strong emotions, and I have asked them to be very strict. I will also keen an eye on what is going on here. If things to crazy, I will shut down the comments section. So, please, let’s have a polite and issue-focused discussion, okay? I ask this as the host of this blog.
PS: for more opposed point of views, please take a look at these two:
The future of the EU at stake in Catalonia by Pepe Escobar
The Catalan Referendum is a classic bait-and-switch operation by Barcelona by Andrew Korybko
THE RAPE OF DEMOCRACY.
On Sunday October 1st. I am watching on TV and in the online newspapers the events that are being developed in Catalonia. This referendum about independence of Catalonia from Spain. I have one thing to say: this is the RAPE of DEMOCRACY in its purest expression.
But do not misunderstand me, the victims of this RAPE are not the “Catalan People” but the Spaniard Citizens and Spain.
Catalonia has been always a Region with a distinct character than the rest of Spain. But that doesn’t mean that they are completely different, that they are foreign to Spain, or that they exclusively speak Catalan. Historically Spanish language have been the language of the majority (or at least in parity) since the late 17th or 18th century. It was and is the main language of the big cities, if you do not believe me, just visit Barcelona (which account for 60 % of Catalans) walk through the city and tell me which languages do you hear on the street, probably more Spanish than Catalan.
When the Democracy was re-installed after Franco’s Dictatorship the Fathers of the Spanish Constitution and the political forces in general adopted (as a generosity measure, and taking into account that some regional languages and identities had been “repressed” and censored) to allow Catalonia and other regions to self-Govern, to become autonomous (hence the name “Autonomies”) and take competences from the central government such as Healthcare, Police and Education, between others. Spain is a “de facto” Federal State, much more that Germany or the USA, just that the name doesn’t say it, doesn’t mean it is not, because it is.
Since those early years specially in Catalonia the local (Nationalist-Independentist) Government have initiated a policy of differentiation mainly based in the Idea that Catalans are better than the Spaniards, that everything bad happening to them it is because of the Spaniards. That the Spaniards are foreign settlers and occupants, in other words: the enemy. They have been following also a very hard policy of limitation of use and expression in Spanish language. The majority of the population have always spoke in Spanish (with as much as 65-70 % in the Past) Catalonia have had a huge influx of internal Spanish immigration from other regions. You have to look at the surnames of people to see that. Today the percentages of use of Spanish on everyday aspects and at home, have been reduced but are, after 30 or more years still over 50 %.
They (the Independentist) have been pursuing the enrichment of their Nationalist and Socialist Ideas. Looks like most of the journalist, politicians, and analyst of the entire World have miss this fact: that they are NATIONAL SOCIALIST (aka NAZI) in their Ideology, forgetting which were the results of the last National Socialist Experiment in the last century.
At the same time, they are following some (30 years long by now) plan of washing the minds of the youth through the regional schools, which they absolutely control. Almost forbidding the children of Spanish speaking population to receive an education in their mother tongue (No matter Spanish is also official, and a right for all Spanish citizens to learn, or that the Spanish speaking population have always been a majority. If you want for your kids to study in Spanish you have to send them to a private school, if not they hardly receive 2 or 3 hours a week of very basic Spanish classes. In fact, they just do into others what they said it is too bad when happening to them.
They have been also breeding a new generation of Independentist in the same Schools. They have thrown away from those schools and universities almost all of the teachers and professors that doesn’t accept their thesis and ideologies. They did it also in the regional Police, and have been doing it in Healthcare and any other Public Service branch they control (they do this elevating over all criteria of selection that you speak Catalan, if you are to work in any public service position, from judges to janitors. With the result that you do not have the best, most qualified person for a position, but undoubtedly one who speak Catalan and it is a sympathizer or affine to their Ideology)
Not only that, they have invested heavy in “changing History” creating myths for a nation that never existed, erasing 500 years of common history to some ridiculous extremes (sometimes I think these independentist Catalans are to Spaniards like Ukrainians to Russians, because of their negation of reality and facts, inventing or distorting them as much as necessary according to their nationalistic agendas. They have become quite adept at this to the point of saying that Cervantes and Cristobal Colon were Catalans. That once existed a Kingdom of Catalonia, or that the Civil War was a war between Spain and Catalonia, all of this the most abject Falsehood)
They always got with this because the Spanish government have been in dire need of their support, no matter which color or tendency, right or left always need the support of the nationalist-independentist (Catalan and/or Basque) MPs to have more stability. This as a result, again of the generosity, of the founding fathers of the constitution also, that reduced the minimum percent required in a Spain’s election to 3% in order to get a seat in the House of representatives (5% is the usual in Europe). It wouldn’t have been possible for the Basque for example to get any of their MPs in Madrid, and nationalist-independentist Catalan Parties would have had the half or less, of what they usually get (thus becoming irrelevant in the Parliament) for 30 plus years these Nationalist-Independentist MPs have been the Little Bully in the Parliament, always benefiting, blackmailing, becoming the necessary partners with much more might that should correspond. All this done in favor of favoring a mutual productive and stable coexistence (looks like after 40 years it was only productive or stable for them) in peace and democracy.
The results of this generosity are today on the newsbreaks. They have got what they want:
First: they have the new breed of independentist (with Spanish names and surnames, whose families live there for less than a generation) Spanish in everything but ideology and language, totally brainwashed, to the point of changing their names and surnames to be more pure Catalans, because they are better, stronger, more beautiful, etc. See the pattern here? the Chosen People. Change People with Race and brings some very nasty dark memories of the mid-20th Century (If you do not believe me look at their ideology) In one word, they are to be the privileged.
Second: they present themselves always as the victim. The always say: “we have got the high moral ground, because, we are oppressed and repressed, Spain steal our money, we have no real free speech and off course no real democracy… Catalonia is not Spain… blah, blah, blah.” But the reality is that they are the ones who want to be elevated, over the rest of citizens. They are the ones that doesn’t respect the Laws, the constitution that 75 % of Catalans approved in the 70s. They have been doing that for years now, ignoring supreme court sentences (from regional, national or EU courts, no matter what. If they don’t like the judgement of the Court, they simply ignore it) breaking the Principle of the constitution that say all Spanish citizen are equals under the Law. Off course they believe they are better and are all above the law (I must say much of this is because of the permissiveness of the Government in Madrid, that it is like a father with a troubled, rebellious and spoiled child named Catalonia. That child can’t be corrected, educated or disciplined, because it is politically incorrect to say enough is enough or give him a slap. The boy is now 40 years old, and it is mistreating his father knowing nothing is going to happen, in fact he wants now to kill his father and walk away with the money)
Third: They accuse their victims of their crimes. And following the most probed and trusted Nazi Propaganda Technics, they repeat the Lie once and again till the Lie becomes a Truth. The Problems they have because with their corruption, inefficiency, mismanagement, inability and sometimes the simplest stupidity, are always the fault of others (read Spaniards here) which gives them “carte blanche” to keep going on with it. The rights they are asking for themselves they are negating to others. Once and again, it is good to make a referendum to secede from Spain, but how dare the Val d’Aran make a referendum to secede from Catalonia, or the city of Barcelona… Democracy it is only when the results of the vote favors me. If not, it is not democracy and let’s try again, till we get what we want.
The Lie, becomes Truth in the minds of those neutered sheep that never thought for themselves, that just follow MSM, that don`t read or know about Spain’s History or that simply are not allowed a look at the facts. If you don’t know the facts, you can’t form a right opinion, you cannot take the right decision. They got the world to believe their Lie. To Swallow it in full.
Fourth: they got that normal Spaniards have started to hate them after 40 years of blackmail, to think let them go and good luck. Not to mention the fracture in Catalonia (where about the half of the population, at least, is against independence) They want a divorce, and Spaniards are starting to think lets speak about it, find an agreement and good bye. But they are Forgetting that without Spain (no matter what their corrupt and inept politicians say, politicians that started to believe their own Lies long ago) they are a non-viable state. Because if you go, we have to share the debt of the State (Catalonia Debt accounts for, at least, 25% of Spain´s External Debt. Catalonia, it is now less than 17% of Spain’s GDP (becoming smaller every year) with about 15% of the population, very far from that 25% of GDP in the 20th Century. Off course they keep saying they are feeding the lazy Spaniards but the fact is: it is exactly the opposite) and off course there is not going to be more money for your delusions coming from Madrid, no more money for pensions, Healthcare, Investments and subsidies, the moment you are another country (this they keep hidden carefully, when not blatantly lying) In some ways much of the Spaniards are fed up with this 40 years of blackmailing. In these times 1000s of Business have left Catalonia, every year, for other regions of Spain. All multinationals that have a seat there, were to leave the “New Country” for Madrid the moment they become independent because Catalonia would be out of the EU, which of course they do not say. And they are just a tiny market of 7 million against 37 in the rest of Spain plus ca. 450 Millions in the rest of the EU. They live in an alternate World, where all bad comes from Spain, and all good it’s just a step away if not for the Perfidious Spain. Like good spoiled Childs, it is only I, me, mine, myself… the rest of the World doesn’t matter.
I read a comment in a newspaper today… It says “Sex and Democracy are quite fun”.
But for that Fun to be, you need the consent of the other part. If you do it without consent, with force and violence and against the will of the other part, it is RAPE.
On Sunday October 1st 2017, Spain’s Democracy is being Raped. Just in front of a cheering World by a selfish, immature, consented, troublesome spoiled 40 years old Kid named Catalonia.
F.MAN aka Francisco M. Aviles Nuevo, Spanish, currently residing and working in Germany since 2011 Architect, Master’s degree in Applied Physics, Master’s degree in Electric Engineering. Caricaturist for “theSaker.is” and “lesakerfrancophone.fr” under the Penname F.MAN (if you are interested in the Sketches please make me know it). This is an original work, an article of opinion. Sorry but I can’t keep going with the Lies that Catalan Nationalist are throwing up to the world. Much less seeing the World swallow it in FULL!
by Peter Koenig
Yesterday’s historic vote – the Referendum decided by the Government of Cataluña, called illegal by the neoliberal Rajoy Government of Madrid – turned into an event of abject police violence against masses of unarmed voters. The Referendum may have been illicit according to the Spanish Constitution, but voting in a referendum as an expression of opinion is a human right, regardless of whether the central government of Madrid would or would not accept the result of the vote.
In the early Monday morning hours, the Catalan Government issued statements saying that about 2.3 million Catalans, 42.3% out 5.3 million eligible voters, casted with 90% a ‘yes’ ballot for Independence. Without the violent interference of the national police and civil guard, the Catalan Government estimated that at least 80% of eligible voters would have cast their ballot.
Clearly, the Spanish Government’s demonstration of ruthless and brute force was and is a reminder that in Europa fascism is alive and well, that Generalissimo Franco in Spain is not dead. Brussels, miserable, spineless puppets to the transatlantic empire and the European oligarchy, remained shamefully silent – arguing it was a Spanish internal affair, as if Spain, a full member of the EU wasn’t a European Union’s ‘internal affair’.
At the end of the day of the Referendum, 1 October, President Rajoy had the audacity to declare literally that there was no referendum taking place in Cataluña. He congratulated and thanked the Spanish police to protect law and order in Barcelona and elsewhere in Cataluña and to uphold the Spanish Constitution. Yet, the media showed and reported all-day long violent police battles against peaceful voters. The forceful, riot-clad Spanish police smashed windows and broke into schools where voting boots were located, attempting to prevent voter from voting; they also removed and destroyed ballot boxes.
At the end of the day nearly 1,000 people – 844 officially – were injured by national police force, extreme violence, by utterly harmful and potentially deadly rubber bullets and batons smashing indiscriminately into nonviolent unarmed voters, including elderly people, women and children. There were hundreds of thousands of people, families who came with kids to this historic event, some camping since Friday in the schools to make sure that their right to vote was protected.
Since the Catalan police decided a hands-off policy, not to interfere with the referendum, but rather to protect the voters from possible violence, the fascist Rajoy Government sent in police and the civil guard from other parts of Spain to prevent the vote to take place. Their brutal and excessive violence against unarmed voters was shocking. They clearly had firm instructions for their brutality from their masters in Madrid – the very masters that congratulated them for carrying out their duties. It was a horrible sight to see.
President Rajoy lauding the violent police that left hundreds of inured, many seriously wounded, is yet another testimony that fascism in Europe is growing. Franco’s blood must be running in Rajoy’s veins. Brussels, the headquarters of the European Police state – of the growing European military regime – already today engulfing the bulk of the 28 EU member states, concurred with this violence by remaining disgracefully silent.
Let’s look a bit closer at some of the reasons behind this horrendous crackdown on people who were merely intent of expressing their opinion – a full human right, according to the UN Charter.
Cataluña with a population of about 7.5 million (out of Spain’s 46 million) and a surface of about 7% of Spain’s 506,000 km2 contributes about 20% to Spain’s economic output, produces 25% of Spain’s exports, receives 23.5% of Spain’s foreign tourist, and 57% of foreign of Spain’s investments. There is a lot to lose by Cataluña’s secession.
Cataluña today receives about 1,800 euros per capita in tax devolution from Madrid, but contributes at least double that amount to the Spanish Treasury. This imbalance has long been a sore thumb in the relations between Barcelona and Madrid. But Rajoy’s PP (Partido Popular) Government has always staunchly refused any dialogue for more autonomy and more financial justice.
Spain’s northern Basque Region fought for decades (1959-2011) for independence. The Spain-ETA armed political conflict, also known as the Basque National Liberation Movement, caused hundreds of violent deaths. When they finally reached disarmament and a peace agreement in 2011 with the central government in Madrid, they settled for a considerably fairer fiscal agreement with Madrid.
Looking at history, Cataluña became part of Spain in the 15th Century under King Felipe VI and Queen Isabella. In the 20th Century, under the Spanish Republic, Cataluña with her own culture and language, received full autonomy in 1932. I was abolished by Franco, when he came to power in 1938. After Franco’s death in 1975, Cataluña regained temporary autonomy which lapsed in 2006, when a Spanish High Court challenged the Statute of Autonomy and ruled some articles of the Statute ‘unconstitutional’. That was the time when the most recent Catalan Independence Movement began. Since then several mock referenda took place, including the latest in 2014, when 80% of those who voted (about 30% of eligible voters) opted for independence.
The 1st October 2017 Referendum was the first serious attempt at secession since 2006. Though non-conform with the Spanish Constitution, the forceful and violent suppression of the people’s freedom of expression – was a grave human right’s abuse. It will most likely backfire – badly.
This fierce oppression by Madrid, the unwillingness for dialogue, has definitely turned most Catalans against Madrid and for independence. A few weeks ago the polls in Cataluña indicated a close call with a slight edge for those who wanted to remain with Spain. After threats from Madrid for weeks and the violent police crackdown of yesterday’s election, at least 80% of eligible Catalan voters now seek independence. A similar trend could be found within Spain. A couple of months ago, 10% to 20% of Spaniards were neutral or favored independence for Cataluña. After yesterday’s police fiasco, close to half of Spaniards in solidarity with their Catalan brothers support Cataluña’s independence.
The fight is by no means over after Madrid’s violent attempted oppression of the vote. We can just hope that civil war can be avoided.
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.
First question: who will benefit for independence of Catalonia?
Second one: why are George Soros, Israel and NATO backing independence of Catalonia?
Third question: has Spain been to “independent” from NWO perspective?
Who supports the ‘independence’?
ii) Israel (the Catalonian police are trained by Israel forces, hmmm)
This suggests the ordinary protestors are being used to further other aims. This report suggests that Catalonian politicos are already preparing to enter NATO, which means buying lots of NATO (= US) military hardware and providing hosting all-expenses paid for US occupying forces. The Catalonians will then have to fund a load of NATO bureaucracy (2% pof their GDP which is higher than the Spanish average, ie they will pay more). This all feels like the Greek scenario where the ordinary people are sold out for the personal benefit of connected politicos.
On the other hand, the Catalonians may be blessed with the only non-corrupt politicos in the western world.
On your last statement, I strongly disagree.
Catalonia has been ruled by a right-wing party party called “Convergencia Democrática de Catalunya) , that is one of the most corrupts organizations of the spanish history. All the heads are on trials because receive comissions ( the infamous 3% ) of the public contracts.
1)Who will benefit?… The catalan politicians in the first place.
2)No idea why Soros, Israel NATO would benefit from the independnce, are you sure about that one? Only explanation could be to distract the public attention from their Real Aim The Kurds!
3)Spain (their government) as far as I could see and know has always behaved “well” that means it has been the perfect US/NATO lackey. Their MSM like “el Pais” just about the same, disgusting.
Israel benefits from the destruction of the EU because the EU is a strong opponent of its apartheid policies. They are in the process of making a blacklist of companies that benefit from cheap labor in the occupied territories. Israel does not like being told what to do or being forced to follow laws. The migrant crisis was the first attempt but that is no longer so effective following increasing stability in Syria. Now they are trying to weaken EU states by enabling self-dismemberment. In the end, they want a weak collection of self-antagonised states dependent on Israel for energy. The ultimate target for the dismemberment process is Russia of course.
Soros and the bankers would certainly benefit from Catalonian independence. Bankers just love small, weak countries, which they can manipulate. Also, this referendum and demonstrations before it went just a little bit too smoothly, being just a little bit too well organized, where opponents of independence were nowhere to be seen. It was as if somebody was directing the entire operation, with just a little bit too much professionalism. I wonder who. Also, as most people know, secession cannot work if it does not have foreign backing.
I read that the Open Society gave some 27,000$ a long time ago to this movement but that looks like peanuts, perhaps it was for some LGBT autonomist faction in Catalonia. I don’t believe NATO backs the independance of Catalonia (unless you provide your sources). Netanyahu had no comment on the referendum. I know that they are often behind many things but not everything either…
I would like to point out that this is the second referendum that was held in Catalonia. During the first referendum, 30 % of voters turned out, while 70 % remained home. There was no violence then. During yesterdays referendum, 42.3 % of voters turned out, which means that a majority again did not turn out. Yes, Catalan leaders will say that this was due to police repression, but personally I am not so sure about that. The point is that if the silent majority does not wish independence, then a minority, no matter how large it’s numbers are, cannot bully the majority into independence. Secondly, the chief question which needs to be asked is if an independent Catalonia can function as a sovereign state. Do any of the Catalan leaders really know what the annual expenditures of such a state will be and from where the money will come ? I have a feeling they do not know. Thirdly, as we all know, secession cannot work if it does not have foreign backing. Did anybody from the outside encourage this referendum for independence ? I find it difficult to believe that somebody did not intervene. And finally, this situation will now give the EU a huge headache. The EU supported the “independence” of Kosovo from Serbia, after the same was invaded by NATO in 1999, while at the same time refusing to accept the reunification of Crimea with Russia. It also refuses to accept the independence of Donbas from Ukraine, even though Donbas, like Crimea, was historically always Russia, just like Kosovo (correct name of Kosovo and Metohija) was historically always Serbian. How will the EU accept the independence of Catalonia without looking utterly ridiculous ? By applying a policy of double standards ?
Double standards indeed! Let’s not forget about Abkhazia and its brave people.
No – the standards are unique, they say: right is what is good for the stronger! Simple & easy!!
First – The VOTING majority earns the right to set policy. Those that do not think it is important enough to go out and vote give up their say in the issue. That is core to democracy, voting and elections. The “Silent Majority’s” opinion is pure supposition since they did not vote and their position is not officially recorded.
Second – If the majority of the voters vote to become sovereign, it will be up to the government they elect to fulfill that. There are smaller sovereign nations with less going for them than Catalonia would be.
Third – Supposition again. We do not all know the same thing or have the same opinion. Some nations/companies will support Catalonia, others will not. It will be up to them to negotiate their own trade and security deals. In a logic based world, those deals should be judged on their individual merits.
Last – As far as the EU goes, if they are not Catalan citizens what right do they have in this matter?
Legitimacy of a Sovereign Catalonia:
I would point out that the British gave the U.S. Declaration of Independence no legitimacy. America fought for it’s right to break free and become an independent nation, and has been telling other nations ever since that they have no right to do the same.
If Catalans choose to be free and sovereign who is anyone to deny them this? Intellectualize it all you want but you are blocking human rights of people who desire to control their own destiny. It is no one else’s right to “save them from themselves” and condescendingly portray them as spoiled children not capable of having their own country.
The unfortunate impression is that a minority in Catalonia – well organized and with considerable numbers – applied pressure for this referendum to be held. Once the referendum was determined, this minority had complete control over the actual voting, without any supervision what so ever. They even counted the votes. There is no question that this minority applied bully boy tactics on the silent majority, which did not dare not speak out, nor did the silent majority have any say in the actual voting procedure. It would have been both fair and correct for advocates of independence and for opponents of independence to have agreed on joint supervision of the actual voting and for opponents to have been given equal media coverage, which did not happen. In this referendum, just like in the previous one, the voting majority did not come out and vote. At this stage I am firmly of the opinion that majority of Catalonians want to stay in Spain. .
After the most recent elections in Germany I’m seriously contemplating of going to future elections. George Carlin said some true words when he pointed out that by abstaining from the elections he didn’t vote for those in power.
All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Something like that a famous person said…
Geoege Carlin was a comedian and a pothead. Him not voting was more likely because he was high at the time and less to do with a principled stand.
If one does not care enough to at least get out to vote on their future, it is hard to take their positions seriously later when they did not put forth the effort to state it when it mattered most.
Pothead or not doesn’t change the fact that he was a great comedian.
I’ve got a quote as well: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal” – Emma Goldman
Did “peace president” Obama bring the troops home and bring peace to the world? According to many this had been one of the reasons why people voted for him in the first place. Donald Trump promised to normalize relations with Russia. Some analysts say that this was a reason for many to vote for him. IMHO he was honest, but different financial, industrial and political forces were stronger. Did voting change anything?
The correct quote referred to elections. Electing a person into a position of power does not warrant any outcome. Hence elections can indeed be dismissed as fruitless attempts to change the current policy. This is totally different with a popular vote because voting literally means to define the policy directly.
Good points Anon,
But the answer to your question is, im fact, yes – voting did change things. It derailed (or at least delayed) the true beast America would have become had Hilary been elected. What would be happening in,Syria right now had she been elected? Maybe it delayed the Zionist army long enough where Syria has a chance to regain their cointry.
With regard to Obama. People voted but where still stupid and never oppozed him on his shadow wars because he was black and they were afraid to be called racists. They became something worse – cowards.
I think: if you go out and vote oposite of what is expected by organizers, you give them the fact that there was more than 50% voters. And they will easilly change your “no” to “yes” – I don’t know how, but I’m the witnes for decades that they know the way.
So – by using your right not to vote – you still can say your oppinion – better than with voting “no”.
You have some point on that.
But I’ve heard a lot of similar blah blah some 25 years ago as Czecho-Slovakia did split into 2 states (and the arguments began on the topic how to spell the name, the Czechs holding majority of federal posts did not want to acknowledge that both nations are on equal terms and insisted in writing Czechoslovakia). Slovakia was the smaller part of the federation with half of the population and size, less industrialized, although with heavy machinery and military industry which was less competitive on the world market because of not upgraded since the communist era.
You can google tons of information (incl. a lot of nonsense).
But we made it! Slovakia is member of EU and Eurozone (Czechs kept their currency, not because of being clever, but because of not matching the criteria set, and never fulfilled by France). Because of Czech Havel being the president of Czecho-Slovakia (afterwards serving his term as president of Czech Republic again) we lost the military industry and markets but nowadays Slovakia is the world no. 1 producer of automobiles per capita).
So Catalunia – go for it!
And of course I am outraged by the Spanish police brutality, that like was even not necessary in the czecho-slovakian staged coup called Velvet revolution in 1989.
You must be happy producing so much cars? Do they help average Slovakian to spend summer vacations in Croatia?
People from Sebia (imagine – Serbia!!) say that “Slovakians are sweet, but poor!((” How comes that worker with 800 or 1200 E per month can be “poor” – who steals your lives?
Catalonia is an Autonomous community of Spain
Population: 7.523 million (2016) Instituto Nacional de Estadística
Area: 12,397 mi²
Compared with Serbia Catalonia has about the same population, but in one third of the territory. So an overpopulated Catalonia, cannot survive by itself without significant support by other Nation.
Serbia Country in the Balkans, Population: 7.057 million (2016) World Bank
Area: 34,116 mi²
I am Catalan living in Barcelona and I agree with much of the vision of F.MAN, it is very sad to see this process unreal, irresponsible and full of lies. We are many who in Catalonia want to be part of Spain because Catalonia is Spain.
So maybe I missed it (reading quickly) but I think F.MAN skipped the Civil War, and the following Franco regime, and how the majority of Catalans perceive those events. I also think that equating them to Ukrainians is a straw man argument, because Barcelona is the economic center of Spain, which is the only reason Madrid is willing to beat up almost 1000 people to keep it. Russia wouldn’t take, and doesn’t want Ukraine. You couldn’t pay them enough to take it. Finally, he should probably look up the definition of “democracy” before claiming it’s being abused. Pure democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner, which is exactly what is happening in Catalonia. Right or wrong, it sure looks like democracy to me.
The civil war was not of Catalonia against Spain was between a part of the army of Spain and the republican part of all the Spanish territory. There were Catalans on both sides.
The Catalan government called an illegal referendum even with Catalan laws, they only wanted to provoke and remain as martyrs, it is a government as corrupt and liberal as the one in Madrid, they only care about their greed without limit.
FYI…… it’s been going on for a very long time. Sorry, but the material below is from Wikipedia.
“Lluís Companys i Jover (Catalan pronunciation: [ʎuˈis kumˈpaɲs]; 21 June 1882 – 15 October 1940) was the President of Catalonia (Spain), from 1934 and during the Spanish Civil War.
He was a lawyer and leader of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) political party. Exiled after the war, he was captured and handed over by the Nazi secret police, the Gestapo, to the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco, who had him executed by firing squad in 1940. Companys is the only incumbent democratically elected president in European history to have been executed, and seventy-five years later the council of war which sentenced him is still in force.”
Emphasis on last few words …. “…is still in force”.
Madrid is the economic center of Spain. It surpassed Barcelona about a decade ago.
only Madrid is producing now about 20% GDP . Catalonia as a Region is now ca. 18%
and Madrid is only 3,5 Millions.
About the Civil War… of course I know what happened but the argument is now 75 years old… including 35 years in democracy. only nationalist bring the Civil War into Discussion, but is a bit nonsense today.
of the ca. 1000 wounded… only two are in Hospital, the other were sent home in less that two hours.
(the saying is that much of them were just fake) about the wolves and the sheep. I agree. the problem is that these Independentists are the wolves.
Supreme court ordered the Catalan Police to close the polling stations, they said “off course they will follow the law” but didn’t move a finger, provoking the intervention of GC and National Police, and all was staged to make them looks like Aggressors. 1000 light wounded (2 still in Hospital) in 2, supposedly, millions voters are quite a professional and measured intervention.
this is just another Color Revolution in Progress. cui bono? it is not clear yet, but think the usual suspects…
about the Ukrainian argument… Catalan Nationalism is also sinking its roots in a profound hate to all Spanish. The Nationalist try to negate Spanish identity in order to be real Catalan which is a contradiction because about 50% of the population have a strong feeling of being Catalan and Spanish at the same time… the other 50 % in various degrees of the mix spanish or catalan ranging from 100 to 0 %
The problem is not only Democracy, it is the rule of Law. Which they simply are ignoring. without the rule of law there is no democracy, just the rule of the MOB, as we see happening.
apropo, the votes of the nationalist are consistently in between 2 and 2,25 millions (actually there is a little decrease in the last years) of a population of 7,5 millions. Look at the composition of the parliament, it is splitted 50/50, and Catalonia have one of the lowest participation % in any elections in all Spain. because the people are tired of the same BS.
with all my respects. I know about what I am writting.
Sorry, F Man. It is true la Comunidad de Madrid has surpassed only slightly more numerous Catalunya, but this only because Madrid has attracted company headquarters through making them taxdeals which no other region can because they lack the support of the central government. The grievances of Barcelona (more than Catalunya) have especially to do with this unconstitutional proces of recentralisation, started with JM Aznar, which makes a total mockery of the idea of autonomy. As much as the laws say Catalunya has more autonomy than the German Länder, the reality is totally opposite. Catalans are rich individually, compared to the average Spaniard that is, but the country is a mess because the central government decides where the money flows and they have consistently refused to invest in Barcelona. And that is, apart from old pains, why the people want out. Regarding the silent majority, since when do the silent majority decide political issues? Who doesn’t vote, doesn’t count. For years the Catalans have been protesting and all this time Madrid’s politicians have been laughing in their faces. And now the party is over. Who ever is behind this proces and however Catalans will suffer the consequences, there is no going back. Spain, You did it to yourself.
will all due respect, you have no idea.
Comunidad de Madrid 6,5 mill. ca. 21% Spain’s GDP
Cataluña 7,5 mill. ca. 18% Spain’s GDP
which unconstitutional process of re-centralization?
they have got always more and more competences, never in 35 years of democracy less.
unless of course you believe blindly all their rhetoric and arguments. Still don’t believe me?
it is easy to check and compare… wikipedia, google. Search for competences and attributions of regional governments, in Spain and Germany… you wouldn’t need more than 5 minutes to make the comparison.
The problem is they want more money to dilapidate, and since the crisis there is no extra money for anybody. Again you can google it: public debt of Spain by regions,
The Companies and business left not because Madrid Call them, but because it is imposible to keep doing business in Catalonia (regulations, taxes, etc)
about the “having more than the German Landers…” you know? I live and Work IN Germany, and I assure you, they (Catalans) have by far much more and giving much less than any lander you might imagine, even Bayern.
they just want more, all if possible… like I said at the end of my article it is only (the spoiled kid analogy) I, me, mine, myself… the rest of Spain doesn’t matter (Because of the Differential Fact, that makes them better, off course)
Regarding “differential facts”, there was an interesting (and amusing post) in the Saker Cafe about the Catalan playwright Albert Boadella:
In spirit, it lends support to F.MAN’s take on the conflict.
I read the linked post transcript.
Sounds quite funny.
And the same thing that groups that found themselves thrown together in cobbled-together countries that don’t develop a strong central government and sense of national identity have been doing since at least the early nineteenth century. Think Ukraine. Think Serbia-Croatia-Montenegro-Madedonia-Bulgaria-Romania-moldavia-Dalmatia- and every Slavic micro-ethnicity as opposed to Pan-Slavism. Think Sicily-Suedtirol etc. vs. Italy. Look at the historical push by the West to sink Arab nationalism. You get the picture. Micro-states don’t really have much of a chance. Federation seems to be a better answer.
I have read a book whose name I can’t recall that describes how extremely different the many regions of France were well into the late 19th C.—to the extent that outlanders could be in real danger in some regions of France (there are a few cases of strangers literally being torn limb from limb for appearing in teh wrong village at the wrong time). Not just different cheeses: different languages, different cultures, different politics, different religions, etc. But France molded itself into one country with a strong *national* identity and strong central government. Partly through the education system and the bureaucracy/administration. National schools of this and that. National union is part of the point of laicite. Nowadays people would be extremely surprised to hear that some region of France wanted to secede. It seems possible, despite was F.Man says, that the Spanish Civil War was/is the source of obstacles to the development of and overriding Spanish identity. The Spanish civil mess could be swept under the rug, but there it festered as Franco took over, which for many surely was not a valid government. Unlike the French, who (largely) succeeded in resurrecting their good rep for culture, cheese, and wine, after WW2, when the country assumed a respectable mantle that hid the actual antisemitism, collaboration, etc. of the war and thus added some luster to its national identity and cohesion.
Just my speculations on why it might be better for a country to stick together despite daily irritations and occasional obnoxiousness and even disloyalty—like in marriage . . . But might be harder in Spain than in France.
For years the Catalans have been protesting
It is not complicate to put a dozen of “demonstrators”, give them transparents, sandwiches, and a few “dolores” – and than record it for today’s TV-News, and than repeat it from day to day. You only have to pay attention that it has not to look “too organized”.
of the ca. 1000 wounded… only two are in Hospital, the other were sent home in less that two hours.
(the saying is that much of them were just fake)
I wouldn’t dismiss the police violence that easily. Spanish police has used agent provocateurs in the past (Spanish police using agent provocateurs at protests; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMzYUZkayRw). The involvement / knowledge of Spanish authorities in the case of terrorist attacks leaves also many questions. In the past years the Spanish government has started to crack down on free speech / dissenters (read: https://apnews.com/b241523e2c394dc39e6c5812e9b357fb/spain-journalist-fined-twitter-photos-police-arrest or https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/04/27/inenglish/1493287498_564542.html). A while ago I had read about the difficulties of unions in Spain (I can’t find the article anymore …). There’s lots of room for improvement. If nothing happens Catalan / Spanish people will be screwed by the oligarchs. It’s the same in other European countries:
– France with its state of emergency, whilst dismantling social safety nets and establishing very business friendly laws.
– Poland with the restriction of freedom of the press and plans to get control over judges.
– Germany with “newly” established laws that permit the military to assist police or laws that permit more government spying. (By the way: Since a few months Bavaria amended a law permitting to lock away people who may pose a threat to national security. Hopefully higher German law nullifies this state law, but nevertheless the tendency is worrisome.)
The future seems to have some pretty nasty surprises in store – for all of us.
From a geopolitical point of view independence could slow down the death grip of NATO. Membership probably will have to be re-negotiated.
(written by the same author who had written this comment: Anonymous on October 02, 2017 · at 6:56 pm UTC)
It is true that in Catalonia there is a high conscious abstention, due to the lack of honest leaders, I myself have not voted for years, neither in the elections in Catalonia nor in Spain, corruption in Spain is widespread.
In a legal referendum if it would vote to prevent the independence of Catalonia, Catalonia is Spain and should not be separated.
I would like to point about the article of Herr Koenig:
1- with all due Respect, Hr. Koenig is falling into the Rhetoric and Arguments of the Independentists. There is at least another version, that he doesn’t seems to consider.
The general data about population and surface are right, but all the oder ones (GDP, Imports, Tourism, etc) are somewhat questionable. Again with all due respect to Hr. Koenig, they are far from reality Catalonia is no more the Power-Horse of Spain (Madrid is, and the business, industry and production is more distributed now; anybody can google it, but this info is mainly in Spanish)
Also in the last 20 years Catalonian Government have been steadily and nonstop making things bad for Business, Entrepreneurs, and Investment with an absolute craziness in Regulations and Norms, Taxes, and political Instability. The Money and Business doesn’t want an Independent Catalonia because they will lose BIG. In the last 10 years for example about a 1000 enterprises or business are leaving Catalonia for other parts of Spain per year, moving mainly to Madrid.
2- This was a fake election, with no warranties of any kind, Illegal in all its aspects (there are photos on the internet social media of people voting as much as 4 times) The problem is the Echo it is getting in the International Media (one of the main objectives of the Independentist). Everything was staged to make Madrid looks like an aggressor (everybody seems to see this but our inept President Rajoy) I explained about the wounded in another comment. That is no democracy, that is the Rule of the Mob (same thing happened in Ukraine, Maidan was all very democratic as we all know) I am starting to think this ist just another Color revolution in Progress.
3- the Turnover in any Election in Catalonia are always quite low, normally around 60-65% of the population. Which benefits the nationalist, because when the turnover is bigger they always lose MP’s in the Parliament, you can check it in Wikipedia, 80% participation would have been an absolute record in the History of Democracy in Spain. The votes that the Nationalist get in any election it is always around 2 millions (plus-minus 10%) they are always the same people, they are just more motivated, more mobilized, and they make more noise. Since the 80’s the things keep going more or less the same. they just got more aggressive and desperate (my point on the Spoiled Child) they are getting impatient. I say again 2,2 millions from a total population of 7,5 millions.
4-I am absolutely surprised to read that half the Spaniards are now sympathizers with the Independence of Catalonia. I read quite a lot of newspapers in Spanish with regularity, some social media and of course I haven’t lost contact with friends and Familie. What I see it is exactly the opposite. People are feed up with them. There is of course a political war in the parliament in Madrid where old enemies are trying to get as much benefit as possible from the catastrophic management from President Rajoy (which is an absolute nullity because of his cowardy and inaction) and he will pay in the next elections heavily. Traditional Leftist Parties are criticizing Rajoy, but no greeting or cheering the independentists (its just the Sharks smelling blood in the water, thinking I suppose on the next elections probably in six or eight months)
There are bigger problems in Spain, one of them that the Autonomies have become an insatiable Monster and the Citizens are wanting a change, that will, if taken, end with the form of the state as it is now. That would mean that those little parcels of power the politicians have carved themselves would be destroyed and they would be job-and-powerless. Politicians are the problem, also in Catalonia.
5- We are speaking here of Sedition, a Coup de Etat in slow motion, that no civilized country in the world would admit in its soil. There will probably be some kind of Rebellion (Not a Civil War) but probably some unrest, riots… some kind of Maidan. That would be a good thing because all this pressure will be consumed by itself. In the end everything solved with more money for the Catalonian Government (as usual in the last 30 years) the problem is the extra money they get is being taken from somewhere else, and that means you feed one son with the food of other son. privileging one over the other (as usual with Catalonia and Pays Basque and the rest of Spain’s Regions) as I mentioned before to change the Form of the State is necessary sooner better than later, or there would be a revolution.
It was me, sorry I forgot to put my name
“2,2 millions from a total population of 7,5 millions”
Sorry but this is like comparing apples to oranges.
You can compare 2,2 millions only to the part of those 7,5 millions who are eligible to vote.
Ja, you are right …
lets say 5 millions can Vote ( official numbers, more or less)
that left just 2,2 against 2,8 millions … dont you think? that is not a Clear Majority to anybody. or…?
I respect your take, F MAN. However, even if the behavior and fate of the Catalan people would be considered illegal, provocative or selfish, Spain lost big time because of their unacceptable reaction.
The Spanish government could have allowed the vote without endorsing its result a priori. In fact, if the “no” would have dominated, there would not have been any need to do anything. If the majority would have voted “yes” for independence, Spain would have had any right to ask for respecting democracy in full. That means that Spain’s populace as a whole would have had to endorse the outcome of the negotiated terms of the Catalan independence by a popular vote.
In my opinion, Spain should have sent 2000 observers to the voting places. Spain should have strongly invited anyone to cast the vote, such that the naysayers also turn out in big numbers. This would have allowed a peaceful outcome. And a completely satisfying one also, in particular if – as you say – the silent majority is against independence.
However, the Spanish violent take on the right to self-governance, enshrined as a human right and therefore above national laws, looks like Spain wants to kick Catalonia out. I see much potential in the learning process the Catalans will undergo once they are independent. Only then they will start to truly appreciate what they lost. If Catalonia is a spoiled brat, it fully deserves to be shown the door as soon as possible.
Well said! Let them vote whatever. Like in Switzerland. The brutality of police is the undemocratic move! More harmful to Spain than that vote of just a few Catalans…
The Spanish authorities should have followed Britain’s lead regarding the vote on Brexit. Let the people vote, pretend to take notice, allow lots of counter-arguments, pro-arguments, and on and on for years until another vote is necessary; then, unless they get the answer right, start all over again. Everybody will get bored with the process in the fullness of time and things will carry on as normal. It’s not democratic, but it’s not violent either.
You cannot cry after Franco 80 yrs later?!
Franco died in 1975. His regime lasted a bit longer. By my calendar that isn’t 80 years ago. But even if it was.We have people constantly bringing up past wrongs from a lot longer than 80 years. So why do you find that so unusual.
I’m not taking sides either. I’ve been reading both sides of this affair for two days now. Finally a Spaniard adding some information in another site that made sense: politicians on both sides – equally corrupt – are playing this for political points, not for any real evolution of the situation.
It’s impossible to choose sides, because there is no absolutely right or wrong side to choose. Once again, we’re being played by identity politics, divide and rule. What needs to happen is continued dialog and negotiation – but then the politicians lose their tenure.
First the Kurds, then the Catalonians. Why are people making foolish moves that break the law and that cannot possibly work? Why are leaders stirring up the passions of their people over false hopes. Is false hope the new false flag?
The violence used by the Spanish police during the Catalan referendum is going to become the new normal. Not only in Spain, but also elsewhere in Europe.
OK with Peter Koenig . He knows very well the situation : It seems that Franco is back and Europe like in 1936, unfortunatly !
Again the Franco Argument…
In the spirit of avoiding “defaming the other with insults, personal attacks and logical fallacies”
“THE RAPE OF DEMOCRACY” – A very biased and opinion based article. Author calls them “brainwashed”, “troubled, rebellious and spoiled”, “spoiled Childs”, and Liars. Author even pull the “Nazi” card.
He does not really address their right to hold a referendum vote and finds a way to transform people’s freedom and right to vote for their future into an afront to democracy. His disdain for the Catalonian people is thick and I find him extremely offensive and condescending.
Peter Koenig Article:
I could sum up this article by Peter’s one sentence quoted below:
“Let’s look a bit closer at some of the reasons behind this horrendous crackdown on people who were merely intent of expressing their opinion – a full human right, according to the UN Charter.”
I found his article much more fact based and not laden with personal bias. I respect his approach to providing information and some insight into what is behind the results of the referendum vote. A vote which a yes for secession just weeks ago was estimated at a very low margin but rose dramatically due to Madrid’s boot to the throat approach.
So I am left with the question:
Who has a right to Freedom, Democracy and the right to Self-Determination in the end? If West supports a Kurdish state then why not a Palestinian state? If Britain can leave the EU then why can’t Catalonia secede from Spain? If Crimea wants to break off from Ukraine crazies and return to the Russian fold, why is that not ok? Why does the West support Saudia Arabia which is a throwback monarchy and not Syria which is a democracy?
The Hypocrisy of “Democratic” nations of the West has come to the point of shear ridiculousness.
I don’t know, maybe I’m looking in the wrong direction, but at the time when the Brits came out with the Brexit idea, for me was a bed smell in the air. I had the feeling that after that act being played – as it is – we shall witness a lot of internal problems in the EU. Great Britain is not the best friend of Spain – when we look back to history – and even in the recent history regarding Gibraltar. Spain has to be weakened not be allowed to take back Gibraltar. Further, splitting Spain by antagonizing the Catalans against Madrid, provokes a certain reaction among the tourists. The same thing happened with the attack in the same place, Barcelona, this year. Coincidence ? maybe, but what if the Empire has something else in his mind ? Just take a look at the potential ethnic tensions around Europe and then keep in mind the struggle against the Empire. Here is a list of the ethnic groups : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_groups_in_Europe
You can imagine what could happen if the people are not aware. And I didn’t say yet anything about the migrants issue, sponsored by Soros and Co. As far as the people are still sleeping and dreaming their sweet dreams, being allowed to travel and visit a concert, watch a football match etc.,and still not realize the perpetual war fought against them by brainwashing, these things will continue. The wet dream of the Empire to create fear and hatred among the people in Europe will come closer and closer.
Ioan I think you nailed it. I live in Canada and people here dont realize that we are still part of the British Empire. Even though, it is easy to check. Someone can easily consult official website of the government of Canada. We have a queen, folks! They have no idea. They think it is just for show.
Orwell said it best. There is no one as hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely think that they are free.
The Saker said to keep on topic but I feel it is all the same plan to keep everyone enslaved. Fear is their weapon. Except that once someone wakes up, he can start to change his heart in such a way that he is beyond the reach of these parasites. That is why they are increasing the terrorism and color revolutions, their time is short. Some of us are waking up.
No, Thiamin, you are not ‘still part of the British Empire’—you have had legislative independence since the Statute of Westminster 1931. E.g. no-one was forcing Canada to go to war in 1939, that was an autonomous decision of the Parliament of Canada elected by Canadian subjects. Note that the Irish Free State elected to be neutral, and they interned British service personnel that strayed into their territory just the same as they interned Axis. If you want to declare yourself a republic, forget our shared history and traditions and ‘other’ us Brits, that’s your decision. Personally, I think CANZUK an idea worth pursuing, but if you want to treat us like foreigners (or even enemies) that is entirely up to you—we’ve no say in the matter.
ioan, at various times, Britain has been allied with Spain, been enemies and been neutral (you might look up Don Miguel-Ricardo de Alava, the only man known to have been present at both Trafalgar and Waterloo; he was with the Franco-Spanish fleet fighting Nelson, then found himself an aide-de-camp to Wellington during the Peninsular campaign—fighting his former ally—and again found himself on Wellington’s staff at Waterloo). Few Britons have any issue with Spain—as long as they’re not messing with Gib or cheering on Argentina in a fit of pique. Many of us sympathise with the Spanish, on this issue at least (¡Cataluña es España y siempre lo sera!).
Yes, I know that, many English (Brits) love Spain as tourists, being the closest southern country with a warm climate most of the year, in the same way as Germans, Dutch and Scandinavians. That’s why I remarked the importance of tourism, which could be hit, if there is a nasty thing going out of control.
The Empire at which I’m referring to, has also this in mind : the tourism produces a great volume of revenues for Spain and for Catalans (even if recently some voices have been heard against the influx of tourism in Barcelona – documentary shown on RT) and those in the basement are not interested of the well being of their people or any people for that matter, if they chose so, in their depleted mind. Letting peoples to make friends and have live contacts makes the nervous. Why ? one slogan comes to mind : “proletars of the world, unite” – which reminds them to something.
I wasn’t claiming that Brits have any great love for Spain, only that most of us have no issue unless offered hostility first (e.g. over Gib). British Unionists like myself should particularly feel commonality with Madrid over having to deal with loud power-seeking separatist minorities. (And our FCO has stated support for Madrid, as reported on September 28.)
I mentioned Argentina, and we need have no issue with them either, having in the past enjoyed cordial relations despite ownership of the Falklands—1982 was unfortunate but the junta responsible fell and we’d have happily enjoyed a renewed cordiality but Argentina prefers otherwise.
There is a fascinating (although long) speech by Lord Palmerston here, the key excerpt being:
[I]t is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow. When we find other countries marching in the same course, and pursuing the same objects as ourselves, we consider them as our friends, and we think for the moment that we are on the most cordial footing; when we find other countries that take a different view, and thwart us in the object we pursue, it is our duty to make allowance for the different manner in which they may follow out the same objects. It is our duty not to pass too harsh a judgment upon others, because they do not exactly see things in the same light as we see; and it is our duty not lightly to engage this country in the frightful responsibilities of war, because from time to time we may find this or that Power disinclined to concur with us in matters where their opinion and ours may fairly differ.
We have moved away from that 19th Century common sense and seem now to have ‘eternal enemies’, ignoring drastically changed geopolitics.
I do not know to what ‘Empire’ you refer. If you mean America, a better term is required—when Europe colonised the 3rd World, once rule was established, the colonial powers built infrastructure, invested, promoted trade, etc.; in contrast, America doesn’t have colonies, it has bitches.
Lets name thing by their right names.
Nazi = National Socialist.
Just have a look about what they think or say, read their political Programs. Well maybe not all are nationalist and socialist, Old CiU was pure breed Right, but Esquerra, la CUP, Junts per SI, en Comun Podem… are all extreme Left or socialist parties, and off course nationalist.
If a kid behave rebellious, and doesn’t accept a no for an answer, and get always what he wants otherwise will cause a lot of Troubles. Well, then it is a “troubled, rebellious and spoiled Child”
if you are unable to accept the point of view of others nor reasonably discuss them, and only your truth is the truth, no matter what, to the point of falsify the historic facts and history, erase them from history books and repeat like a Papagay “I am right, you are not” once and again… well you are brainwashed.
and these are not insults, it was a metaphor. Trying to express what is their normal behavior (of course not all Catalans are like this, which are normally quite nice people. Just those spoiled childs aka Independentist)
go live in Catalonia, then we speak again.
And about the referendum, of course they have the right to it, but lets talk about it first, all together
and define the conditions, the frame for it, how and when, what is happening after it, and what are the consequences for any result. Lets be responsible, because it is affecting me as much as it is affecting them. Their rights, ok… what about my rights, the rights of the rest of the spaniards… or are they the only ones with rights here?
Interesting additional comments.
As an American, it sounds like Catalans are much like Californians. Of which I do know much about having lived there for 7 years and left because I could no longer stomach living in such a socialist welfare state. California drove most manufacturing out of the state due to the high cost of doing business there.
I moved to Texas which is a much more competitive place to do business. I make more money in Texas AND I get to keep more of it as well due to lower taxes/cost of living.
Interestingly enough, both States have secession movements. If both want to secede, I say let them vote on it. If given a choice to live in either one after they seceded I would, without a doubt, choose Texas because they could actually do it successfully. California would crumble without the federal government propping up their entitlemens at the expense of the citizens of other states.
So I would say 2 things:
I believe in the human right to choose one’s own destiny.
Be careful what one wishes for.
At the risk that this is getting OT. As far as I know California seems to be the state that produces most of the food of the US. Silicon Valley / Palo Alto seem to have pretty big tech companies, too. With laws in place that protect industry (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-california-lawsuits/monsanto-beats-cities-lawsuits-over-san-francisco-bay-pollution-idUSKCN10Y1N4) from taking responsibility for environmental pollution everything seems to be quite business friendly. I’m wondering where all of your mentioned government entitlements go to. The inhabitants of Skid row and tent cities of California don’t seem to be the recipients.
You are exactly right the entitlements don’t go to the poor. Completely consistent with most socialist governments. The entitlements go to the State whom, in their great wisdom (corruption), distribute them as they see fit.
A gallon of gas, like a gallon of milk is $1 a gallon more there than in Texas. Housing costs 2 to 3 times as much. Insurance is more expensive, regulatory compliance more expensive, everything is more expensive there. And they have to sell into the same matket we do with costs that much higher.
But hey, it’s great there! I hope all my competitors move there, that much easier to compete against them : )
F man repeats: Lets name thing by their right names.
Nazi = National Socialist.
Ip-so facto, Catalonian nationalists are Nazis. I know a fair number of Catalonians and reject that assertion completely. In my opinion F man has lost this debate with this scurrilous accusation.
off course, that is a very reasoned and logic argument.
I am sorry I missed it.
Actually I was not attempting a reasoned and logical argument. That would require many paragraphs. Your statement that the Catalonian independence movement is Nazi seems to me pure hate and emotion. You have given us your emotion. I have given my opinion and that is you are not just wrong but have lost the argument making such scurrilous accusations. If you can’t do better than that then I give the case to the Catalonians.
The logical fallacy in your argument is known as the fallacy (or myth) of reification. Just because you name something does not mean you have settled its nature and character, or won any argument. For instance, you have a dog you call “Skippy” and I have a dog that I call “Skippy”. That does not mean they are the same dog, or even the same type of dog. So it is with the name “National Socialist”. Nazis in Germany had a particular way of acting, a particular set of beliefs and occupied a specific historical context. You are obliged to show that a political party in Catalonia with the name “National Socialist” shares the way of acting, the particular set of beliefs and occupies a similar context before you can accuse them of being Nazi. So far, your writings have failed in this regard.
I’m too unfamiliar with all kinds of details considering Catalonia and Spain. However, I appreciate it to have quite different opinions served here.
These kind of tensions can arise when a certain region is the economic motor of the nation. Besides historical rumble, the regionals will start to sputter when they get the idea that the rest of the nation is just profiting from them.
In such a case the people outside the region will have to bear the consequences of a sedecion as well. Therefore the particular point of being ‘non-constitutional’ (while a referendum can only be held in the whole of Spain) might make some sense.
In general, the Spanish government and Rojas in particular, didin’t handle this very well imho. The strong language and violence might juts have tipped the table, where the outcome was questionable at first.
Suppose they would have ignored it as much as possible? And afterwards shrug their shoulders, call it ‘non-binding’, but propose to form delegations to discuss further issues about the region? The impact would be far less then now.
@Matsi: I was not aware of your second point (well, all 3 points are intertwined), do you have a source? Because when Soros is involved, I already smell people starting to suffer (and some people profiting).
This referendum has not had any guarantee, has been voted without the census, a person could vote several times and those who do not want independence we have not voted because we do not support this referendum
I hope this article will be ready to replay in 2 – 3 days, as I must run now to Barcelona. My old mother is there, in total panic from what happens yesterday: she knows the war, the live under Franco, till now…and she’s in panic…
I live in the country, in a little village, and I’ve seen in action Guardia Civil…
I love Spain and I love Catalunya.
I want to explain you some things that probably don’t know.
F.Man has a biased way to explain the situation, he is not correct.
Mr. Konig is more precise and shows more knowledge of the reallity.
I will love to share what I know and what is really happening here.
It’s very easy to talk or writte from the distance.. I always follow the people who are in the front line to find the true, as R.Capa said: your photo is not good if you are not close enough.
Forgive now, I must run to be with my people: tomorrow there’s a general strike, the country will stop. Probably la Generalitat they will proclam the DUI Declaracion Unilateral de Independencia. And the central State activate the article 155.. which means…. a disaster..
I’ll like to explain you all this later.
“I always follow the people who are in the front line to find the true, as R.Capa said: your photo is not good if you are not close enough.”
Distracting comment about Robert Capa removed by Moderator J as it is irrelevant to the main topic that the commentor wishes to make. Please try to stay on topic folks. Thanks
Concerning the main topic – “Catalonia – two opposed views” – I am neutral so far.
I can understand Catalan people to some extend. But I also fear that such secession within Europe may lead to drastic outcomes all over the continent and beyond.
Your post really hit me.
Please let us know that you see and hear from there.
Please, when you have the time tell us of what your mother says and your thoughts on the situation in Catalunya, many of us will be very interested to hear of this.
Your mother has nothing to fear from the Guardia Civil or the Police, that are there to defend the Rights of the Spanish citizens, all of them.
If I am not correct would you please point me where and why.
after reading Hr Koenig Article I got the impresion he is quite distant from the facts on the ground, and much of his data are old (about the economy at least) or directly taken from sources that are (let’s say Catalonian Friendly) he faces the question from an academic point of view, as is normal taking into account his professional credentials.
Much of what he writes about the brutality of the police etcetera, falls directly into the Nationalist Bias, and what the MSM is showing on newspapers and TV.
Do we believe all they said is true, are there no other means of information? off course, but it is mainly in spanish and hardly accesible for non spanish speakers. Iin that aspect the Independentist have won because the World is swallowing their version without a moment of consideration. After all they are the poor victims, as they have been repeating for 30 years now (repeat the Lie enough times and … hoopla!)
the article 155 in the Spanish Constitution would be no catastrophe, as would simple temporarily suspend the Autonomous government and competences for a period of time, until order and security is restored. Applicable in extreme situations, like the one we are living. The fact is much of the people think it should have been applied in 2014. Then the politicians that provoked all this will en surely in jail. there will be some unrest on the part of the “spoiled childs” when they don’t get their
impossible Shangri-la. after some time, business as usual.
About my Bias into the situation… well I lived in Spain 40 years, I know how the politics of Spain works surely much better than Hr. Koenig, about the facts, history. I grow with this history because I am just a little bit older than the Spanish Democracy, I lived it, watch it on TV, read it on the papers, studied it.
But of course you can have a better understanding of the reality and be more precise from afar, and reading some MSM in English.
I keep saying one and again, it is the rule of the law, or the rule of the jungle.
The law they broke innumerable times, once more is no problem for them, but at some point there will be a reaction from the government to make the law rule, or the Chaos follows.
ask yourselves who is provoking all this and for what. who is forcing the situation to the breaking point. it is just another Maidan in progress. Unbelievably a color revolution to kill Spain
And, actually, they also spy on each other to get around domestic law and then share the data.
Spanish law on the matter does not recognize the right to self-determination. It does not respect a basic human right. It is therefore illegitimate, null and void.
The fact of the matter is the Guardia Civil acted like fascist thugs and violence came from their side only. They should thank the catalans for allowing them to get away unscathed after the barbaric treatment they unleashed upon peaceful people who just wanted to vote on their future. It should be a very easy concept to understand.
You calling to jail people that constitute your political opposition is very telling of where you stand on the political spectrum. Spanish authoritarians doing that would just be them begging for a violent unrest, so the answer of the catalans would be legitimate in this scenario. People voted for their government with a mandate to hold a vote on this question and the will of the people must be respected.
Rajoy hiding behind legalism to justify his position of using the catalan crisis to divide his own spanish political opponents of the Socialists (liberals) and Podemos, while refusing negociation with the catalan government to sovle this crisis in a more civilised way, all let to this instant. If anything, he should step down from his position.
To conclude, the absence of all the usual “right to protect” imperial crowd to defend the people of Catalonia, because Rajoy and the king of Spain are members of the club, should be a clear hint of where the globalists really stand on this issue.
please look at the UN definition of Self Determination. when and where can be applied.
It doesn’t apply here. t
otherwise, where it start and ends…? I would be like to have the right of Self Determination against the German “Finanz Amt”. They take all my money away, give me nothing back. and they force me to send all my papers in German!
It is quite arguable that the right to self-determination of peoples as contained in the U.N. Charter and as further developed in subsequent law, could apply to Catalonia. Precedents include Kosovo, former states of Yugoslavia and the separation of Montenegro from union with Serbia. Recent law seems to say that self-determination in the context of an existing state should be achieved within the context of the legal arrangements of that state. However, the principle of self-determination would enable a people to separate from a State only exceptionally, when the rights of the members of the people are violated in a grave and massive way. Unfortunately, in the circumstances of Catalonia, the actions of the Constitutional Court in vacating many of Catalonia’s rights to exercise autonomy, the steps taken to block the right of free expression in a non-binding referendum, and the threats to take over administration of Catalonia by the Central Government, seem to create many of the conditions for a grave and massive violation of the rights of members of the people of Catalonia. For a landmark case on this issue, I refer to the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the question of the rights of Quebec to secede (Reference re.Secession of Quebec).
I was watching a lecture of Lyndon Larouche and he was describing a plan by the British Empire to organize a global system of finance that would destroy ALL nation states. So we have only to look at the fact that the secret services of america, canada, new zealand, australia and britain are working together in this organization called Five eyes. In wikipedia they say : These countries are bound by the multilateral UKUSA Agreement for joint cooperation in signals intelligence, military intelligence, and human intelligence.
So they spy on people and other countries etc… Then we have all those free trade agreements and pretty soon, it does not matter if you have a constitution or independence. The deep state seems to be integrated with the corporate world as a sophisticated way to take money from the taxes to the globalists. I.E. the British Crown.
William Engdhal, just had an article about one of these spies sent to destroy nations. His name is Srda Popovic. He has some very nice interviews on youtube. He is a very talented deep state agent. I just dont have the stomach to listen to these traitors. It is all there to be studied by those that are interested in what goes on in these color revolutions and independence movements.
Wow. What a mess this is. I will offer my opinions without taking sides simply because I do not know enough about Catalonia and Spain’s history together beyond what little I’ve read in the last hour.
Brussels will never allow Catalonia to leave Spain, referendum or no referendum, ‘legal’ or not. Simple reason is to recognize the Catalonian referendum is to de facto recognize the Krim and Sevastopol referendum and the Donetz/Lughansk referendums and this, in the stratospheric heights of genius level thought extant in Brussels, can simply not be. To recognize a popular referendum in one part of Europe, be the areas actually under the control of Brussels or not, and not recognize it in another area of Europe, be the areas actually under the control of Brussels or not, would open Brussels to outright accusations of hypocrisy and perish the thought that such an accusation against those sainted pontificators in Brussels would have any truth to it. (OK, stop laughing.)
Now this old man is going to sit back with a glass or three of Массандрах Мускатель Черный and watch the comments develop.
Never The Last One http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK Love And Honor, Courage And Treachery. A Small War Fought In A Dark Corner Of A Vast Land.
An Incident On Simonka https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
First I must confess that I also lack enough infos to fully understand the situation in Spain and this referendum in a bigger (geopolitical) context. And i also want to stress that I usually highly value your posts. In the current one I disagree partially.
You have written:
„Brussels will never allow Catalonia to leave Spain, referendum or no referendum, ‘legal’ or not. Simple reason is to recognize the Catalonian referendum is to de facto recognize the Krim and Sevastopol referendum and the Donetz/Lughansk referendums …”
Brussel, its masters and its MSM brain washers do differentiate – in other words – they have double standards, as we know. They have enforced the Kosovo „secession”, they try to prepare the ground for Kurdish secession in Iraq, and as we know, they rejected the secession in Crimea naming it annexation.
„They“ will try to force what they favor. However, at the moment, as i said, i cannot say what „they“ want. Maybe they also don’t know yet. But i fully agree that it is quite a mess, and it may lead to an ever bigger mess …
My dear friend Little Dragon
My post was intended to drip with subtle sarcasm at the obvious hypocrisy and blatant double standards extant in Brussels. I am fully aware of what they want and will do, and I think at this moment Brussels is waiting for the command from On High from Five Points as to what their exact position and pontifications will be but I stand with what I posted, no way Brussels will condone Catalunya leaving Spain, just as Brussels will never recognize our decision to go home to Mother and DNR/LNR willing to leave Ukraine and associate with Mother.
Brussels/Five Points will can not agree to any disassociation of Catalunya from Spain, to do so would open a Pandora’s Box of troubles for all of Europe. Freistatt Bayern, anyone? The former German and Prussian lands that are now Poland returning to The Fatherland? Austro-Hungarian Empire Version 2? Poland reclaiming her old lands of half of Malorus? French Empire reclaiming her former lands? And we don’t even want to mention Italy…..
VVP warned Brussels not to do the Kosovo deal and they didn’t listen. VVP has also warned them not to do the Kurd deal. Neither Irak, nor Iran, nor Turkey, nor Russia will have a ‘kurdistan’. Ain’t gonna happen regardless of how much Five Points want it.
Auslander, to add to your comment
An article in RT about the double standards & hypocrisy. The articles main focus is Kosovo though it has VVP’s quote about Crimea.
The EU has now got itself stuck between a rock and a hard palce – and well deserved.
When many years ago, Putin stated that the dissolution of Soviet Union was the biggest mistake of the century, the events what followed since have proved what he meant, today sounds like a prophecy. He just followed the logical consequences in time and he was and is right. The stubborn leaders of the West and Eastern Europe had better things to do, walking on the path of blindness. They created havoc all over Eastern and South-Eastern Europe without a blink, now the same flame is knocking at their doors and the fragile EU is there to burn it’s fingers. How far will this lead ? As if history is repeating itself, on the same path as after WW 1 : Paris, Versailles, and the hands of Empire who made that possible. The boomerang affect is almost incredible, but possible…
This little twitter thread by @nsanzo sums the entire absurd game pretty well. Maybe the most hilarious part is that both sides blame Putin and “the Russians”
Rajoy to double down on their wonderful strategy of claiming nothing happened, demand Puigdemont to quit what he’s doing, claiming he failed.
On the other hand, Puigdemont claims victory (handed by Rajoy by not calling his bluff) when 38% of the census voted for independence.
So, we are stuck here.
So predictable: everyone demands resignations (Puigdemont/Rajoy depending side), elections (General/Regional). They all want EU support.
2 governments who defend the EU, embraced the same ‘austerity’ and want to keep privatizing whatever hasn’t been privatized yet.
And who are more than willing to use force whenever they see fit. As we saw yesterday. Or in Catalonia in the general strike, for example.
Bonus for Russians/pro-Russians. What Puigdemont had to say about Russia/Putin. “Some things don’t change”
F.MAN writes from the perspective of street-level experience.
Peter Koenig fundamentally approaches it as an issue grounded in abstractions like “democracy.”
If I had to go and live there, F.MAN’s account would orient me to the “time, place and people” there. And to the visceral, animal dynamic in play (us vs. them). I would know what was most important to me on an interpersonal level about the situation I was walking into, and what the lines of cleavage were.
Mr. Koenig’s account seems, in contrast, to write around this aspect which, if this is a re-play of previous history elsewhere, is probably the dynamic that is driving developments.
Lots of numbers and abstract ideas, but distracting attention away from the impact on life at the personal level of daily life involved. IOW, hardly distinguishable, fundamentally, from a politician’s speech.
Ruling class has many times used “race” and “nationalism” as perfect tool to split working class. Think about US Southern State ( “i live in poverty but at least i’m white, i’m proud and i own this country”). Or Europe in hot nights of August 1914. What happened to faith idea of working class universal solidarity?
Now you can see how easily masses are controlled by ruling class. They have other instruments too if those two are little bit too old and boring.
In my humble opinion you know nothing about the American South. The worst riots during the ‘integration’ times were in Boston, not in The Old South.
In my area we were too poor to have ‘separate but equal’ school systems so we all went to school together, school dances together, Church together, we did business together and worked together. Did we intermarry? No. Were we friends? Yes, all of us, as everywhere divided by class, not ‘colour’.
If you did not live there during those times you have not a clue, just as if you don’t live or go to Donets/Lughansk today you have not a clue as for the situation in that AO.
Never The Last One http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK Love And Honor, Courage And Treachery, Russian Culture. A Small War Fought In A Dark Corner Of A Vast Land.
An Incident On Simonka https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
Re “:In my area we were too poor to have ‘separate but equal’ school systems so we all went to school together, school dances together, Church together, we did business together and worked together”
Where did you grow up, and what era are you talking about?
Certainly de facto segregation was pernicious and victimized the African Americans who had made the Great Migration to the North. But worse than “regular” segregation in the Deep South?
A lot depends on the time frame and specific area.
Difficcult to know who has the right here after reading the above contributions, RT, ZH, etc. What I think is that it was clumsy, stupid how the central government reacted to the referendum. It was like playing right in the hands of the separatists. Not very smart thing to do but it seems that Rajoys (the Spanish PM) is not the smartest kid around either so this was maybe expected (that reaction) from the organizers who can now play the victims.
No use to compare Catalunya with Ukraine “Russia wouldn’t take, and doesn’t want Ukraine” I agree with “Andrews statment.
humorous video clip posted on the cafe featuring a Catalan man explaining Catalan specialness to other Spaniards
Read and/or listen to, what Steve Pieczenik thinks about the referendum, he is in favour of Catalan becoming independent, and stated he used to live there.
A heads up: Steve was in the negotiating team of the US at the Camp David talks back then.
The government is an official representative of the people and not the absolute ruler. It is true that human rights are above any government on this planet. Many have points of view on both sides of the question.F.Man points out the Ukrainian problem in relation to Catalonia. In Ukraine they are the same people as the Russians. The part that differs from the rest of Ukraine are the Galicians which are a mixed bag of cultures from Poland, Romania, Hungary and Austria. Today we have a similar situation in Spain with Catalonia. By all rights Spanish and only at the constant indoctrination of the local government to continue this path.
On the other hand the Madrid directive at ordering the police to brutalize the public was a grave mistake as they only threw fire onto this inferno. Yes where was Brussels in its condemnation of this brutality. Governments have always been the enemy of the people and thru time they become corrupt to the core. All governments take the four pillars, which consist of GREED, CORRUPTION, POWER AND CONTROL. Just look at the USA on how they bully the world all in the name of their interest. Nothing stays the same as all empires collapse and disappear. Don’t forget that Spain is no longer a country, just like the rest of Europe. The EU was created on the basis of the USA and to form a confederation of countries which is ruled by Brussels. Which in turn is headed by non elected people who dictate to the rest of Europe.
Maybe Brussels is silent because they will have the final say as to what happens to Spain.
European Commission – Statement
Statement on the events in Catalonia
Brussels, 2 October 2017
Under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday’s vote in Catalonia was not legal.
For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Spain that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Spain.
We also reiterate the legal position held by this Commission as well as by its predecessors. If a referendum were to be organised in line with the Spanish Constitution it would mean that the territory leaving would find itself outside of the European Union.
Beyond the purely legal aspects of this matter, the Commission believes that these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation.
We call on all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue. Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Spanish Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein.
and now just imagine this statement, some 10 years ago, by these same hypocrites:
“Under the Serbian Constitution, yesterday’s vote in Kosovo was not legal. (There wasn’t even voting in Kosovo, by the way).
For the European Commission, as President Juncker has reiterated repeatedly, this is an internal matter for Serbia that has to be dealt with in line with the constitutional order of Serbia.
We also reiterate the legal position held by this Commission as well as by its predecessors. If a referendum were to be organised in line with the Serbian Constitution it would mean that the territory leaving would find itself outside of the European Union in a near future, once Serbia is a part of EU (probably never).
Beyond the purely legal aspects of this matter, the Commission believes that these are times for unity and stability, not divisiveness and fragmentation.
We call on all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue. Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of Prime Minister of Serbia to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Serbian Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein.”
As a Canadian who is not of French ancestery nor lives in Quebec, I find the behaviour of the Madrid government incomprehensible. Let the people have their non-binding, unconstitutional referendum.
Most of the voters would not have voted for secession if the Madrid government had shown some tolerance, and patience in putting forth logical arguments for why it would be better to be a autonomous part of Spain than an independent state. All they had to do was show their own people some respect.
Even had the Catalans voted for independence after that, and declared it, they would have had difficulty being recognized given that it is uncontitutional to divide Spain, and the Madrid government had been reasonable.
Now, that the Madrid government has done its best fascist impression in violently interfering in 2-5 million peoples’ desire to express themselves in a peaceful democratic referendum, it would be justifiable for the Catalans to seceed, and for others to recognize their independence, however misguided I think this would be. It is clear the the Madrid government has zero respect for its own people in Catalonia. Hence, it is justifiable for those people to go their own way.
Brussels needs to help negotiate an amicable divorce, or at least provide some useful marriage councelling. A mediator is required.
my question is…
what is going to happen to … lets say another 2,5 millions that didn’t vote,
that the feel they are as much Spanish as catalan, if not simply spanish…
Wow! that would be the wet dream of the independentists.
what about their rights?
where is the legality, and moral ground of a divorce when… just the half of my wife want to leave.
I can’t cut her in half (she is looking at me now with a funny face as I write)
maybe she need help, and that we speak later, calmly not in the middle of a fight.
Brussels it is just the Vulture, the Hyena waiting, rubbing his hands.
Considering the well documented fact that the Franco regime, for all 36 years of its horrible existence,actively tried to ban the teaching of the Catalan and Basque languages, this comment about the “danger” of the catalan supposed “wet dream” of ethnic cleansing of non catalans is quite ridiculous in how shameless it is, to use a more polite term.
I never heard any catalan political formation calling for ethnic cleansing of their opposition, so I’ll have to consider this as mere spanish projection of their sins upon the catalan independantists.
I’ll have to submit myself to a search of the recent “El Pais” propaganda pieces to know if they even went so low in their anti-independance propaganda…
I have been seeing a lot of people (trolls?) here, just presenting the “oficial” independentist point of view. And again bringing into collation the Francoist regime, Franco, etc… hey! please, stop bringing that irrelevant past, it is dead and buried since 40 years. Spain is a democracy since then, there is no one from that generation (civil war) alive. no Francoist in the government, just normal traditional parties like anywhere in Europa. (when things get complicated to explain, there is always that Franco Card to Play. and please next question…)
I want rational and explained arguments, more related to the Present. to the facts of today.
If we keep calling the past… there was something before, and before, and before… and then we would all be romans or phoenicians or else.
The PP was created by people who were part of the Franco regime and they still idolise this dark period, but whatever, “it is the past and is therefore irrelevant”, right ? Besides, these young and fit francoist signing francoist hymns, calling for violence against catalans, they’re not relevant either, I guess ? Besides, the catalans are not trying to “outlaw” the spanish language.
Spain is a monarchy, with a clearly broken system of separation of powers, not a democracy.
Argument related to the “facts of today” would be, to remain simple, that catalans have a right to be consulted on their future (over 70% wanted to atleast vote yes or no) and Rajoy have only his own incompetence and political opportunism to blame for how things turned out in the end. Maybe if the PP did not have such fond memories of the Franco regime ways it would have turned different… oh, but excuse me, present time politicians holding power, doing things that are easy to compare with past events, is irrelevant because “40 years of democracy” and we can never learn lessons from even the recent past, right ? It’s not like whitewashing the political heritage and culture of the PP, giving them a free pass on this mess, is part of the problem or anything…
As my last comment in this thread, I’ll just say that calling your opposition “nazis” and “trolls” all day does nothing to encourage a debate of ideas in good spirit. On this note, have a good day.
It seems the ideologues on both sides are running the ball while the majority of both Spaniards and Catalans are to be found huddled in the middle.
Madrid’s response has been the definition of an ‘own goal’. If they had simply said they’ll view any vote as null and void, and then quietly let it happen, in all probability would have been roughly 50/50. What it would look like now, who knows, but undoubtedly the Yes side is much stronger, both inside the region and out. Had it been a quiet 50/50 or even 60/40, no one would have realistically called for independence. Now all bets are off.
The pro-independence crowd, in many ways, has been hawking snake oil. Blaming all problems on Madrid, fostering hostility toward the ‘other’ and most importantly, not outlining how independence would actually help Catalonia. The money paid vs direct taxes received argument is rather weak, as There are many intangible benefits to bring part of a large state. There is the issue of financing and accumulation of sovereign debt, of which Catalonia benefits from and is not burdened by. There is the point that Catalonia benefited from the union with the rest of Spain to achieve is present industrial success, in terms of federal financing, an open market for selling goods, and to shore up the labor force with Spaniards from outside the region. To say “Well, since we pay in more than is directly paid back, we’ve been screwed” is as ridiculous as California saying they’ve been ‘screwed’ by being part and parcel of the US for the same reason. One can’t ride the train of much larger country, reaping the benefits of such a union the whole time, then say one day, “Well look at how richer we are then everyone else, so let’s get off.” As F. man put it, this is the behavior of a spoiled child. There is also the great elephant in the room: how would an independent Catalonia actually fair as an independent nation, with no ready accesses to Spain or the EU? I haven’t seen this issue seriously addressed by the pro- independence crowd.
This isn’t to say that Catalonia shouldn’t enjoy the same fiscal autonomy as the Basque country, it should. Or even that they don’t have a right to secede, they do. Refusing both ideas out of hand was a serious error by Madrid.
But on the point of secession several caveats need to be made to be truly fair. What threshold is necessary for secession? A simple majority? 60%? 70%? A easy answer is hard to come by. My personal opinion is that it should be on the order of 70% or higher. And then there’s the questions of sub-regions, what if the result is 80% in Barcelona but 50% in the countryside? Regions wishing to secede from Catalonia should by extension have the same right.
As has been pointed out, there are many in Catalonia that simply don’t want to secede. The population is quite split, one hears Spanish on the streets just as much as Catalan. The fact is any talk of secession or autonomy has to balance this cultural and linguistic division. Unfortunately, the leaders on both sides are very short on balance and equity.
Totalmente de acuerdo con F.MAN.
seguro que eres español y sabes de que hablo.
Yo no soy español pero huele muy mal que Soros financie al independentismo catalán y a Podemos.
I am not Spanish, but I am probably a Quixotic romantic in whose imagination Spain is forever the realm of Santiago. ¡Santiago y cierra, España!
Earlier today I had the thought that “the centralized Eurocrat dream may ultimately be strengthened by the breakup of EU states. Elites in Brussels may now be acting in collusion with Madrid against Catalonia but in the long run a more non democratic and centralized EU may result.”
Andrew Korybko is right in his “The Catalan Referendum is a classic bait-and-switch operation by Barcelona” (perhaps The Saker can post the article here): Catalonia will swap one US vassal master for another. A more non democratic and centralized EU will result. It’s like electing Obama after Bush: everyone I knew went back to sleep while US warmongers stayed on the same trajectory and killed another million in the MENA. Catalonia, in or out of the EU, the Brussels drive to a less democratic and more centralized EU will stay on trajectory.
To add to your point, as a matter of fact, Bilderberg group’s policy is to dissolve the European nation states in exchange for metropolitan regions. The latter will be much easier to control and screw as they hardly consist of more than a few million peoples each. This policy is in direct violation of constitutionally agreed cooperation agreements between cities, counties and countries.
In as much as I know, Bilderberg group tries hard to establish unelected and unaccounted shadow governments disguised as “think tanks” for metropolitan developments. As the group counts mostly influential political and economical leaders among its members, I bet that the European commission (secretly) supports the group policy of splintering the European nations into pieces.
Whether Catalonia, or any other new state, would adhere to the EU after secession or not is a matter of political expediency. I am not aware that the EU defined any policy for such case. It would be reasonable to assume that the new state continues to be part of the EU and enjoy its benefits pro rate if it commits itself pro rata to the duties of the former state. During the negotiation of the final terms of adherence to or leave of the EU, it would be reasonable to exclude the new state’s voting rights in the EU bodies.
Simply put, there is no magic required to smooth out such transitions of governance. The only ingredients required are political will and intelligence.
Perhaps this post from Raul Ilargi at The Automatic Earth could give a bit more useful perspective. Note how useless the attempt by Spain to close the Catalan voting stations was, according to the map supplied by Julian Assange:
Just for this we are, all, indebted to Catalonia:
To me, the Catalonia situation is like Ukraine in some ways and unlike it in others. I agree that the Catalans are, based on what I have read, not the defenders of the Republic that some of us may nostalgically associate them to, based on the stories we have read or been told about the fight against Franco. These Catalonian Independistas seem to be right wing and selfish, to paint with a broad brush. According to this article, some of them are even Nazis. I believe that could be true. So, in some ways, Catalan independence may be as unworthy of support as the Maidan was.
At the same time, at least Catalonians who want independence are not trying to impose their rule on the rest of Spain. That seems to be a huge difference between Catalans, even possible Nazi ones, and Ukronazis.
I fell out with a (formerly?) lefty friend over the Maidan, a friend of many decades, because he blindly supported the Maidan coup. He said that all he cared about was that he saw police beating protestors in Ukraine. This caused him to automatically side with the protestors. He did not seem to question the sources of his information. He did not seem to care about what the protestors had been doing. He didn’t seem to care about the rights of the many citizens of Ukraine who didn’t and don’t want a government that turns its back on Russia.
I wonder what he has to say about Venezuela these days?
If it seems extreme that our friendship broke down about this Maidan disagreement, please think “Odessa”. This is not kidstuff. We are talking about the eruption of evil in our society and (in my view) about those who defend this eruption.
My main point is that lefties need to be a lot more astute and aware when attempting to assess ‘people’s uprisings’ these days. There seem to be at least as many establishmentarian/authoritarian/right wing types, many of them probably agents in one way or another, in sheeps’ clothing these days as there are sheeps in sheeps’ clothing. We must be wise. We must try to understand context. We must recognize that the folks in the ‘Deep State’ are increasingly sophisticated in their methods and that they have wide-reaching webs of control. Take NGOs – more and more we understand that many NGOs are heavily controlled by forces in or allied to the ‘Deep State”.
We are in thickets upon thickets and cannot make the kind of witless (or worse) assessment that my ‘friend’ did.
My basic assessment of the Catalan situation is that it probably has a lot to do with the EU wanting to keep the South of Europe from making common cause against the North, as it absolutely must do. I think that the strings in Catalonia are being pulled by European globalists. Yes, I know, this seems counterintuitive. Globalists want to pool everything together, breaking down national sovereignty. They want to go from big to Bigger. But to break down local sovereignty generally, they may find it convenient to support local sovereignty in some situations.
In essence, it seems to me, the globalists don’t want forces to coalesce that could tend to move the world towards a democratic globalism, as opposed to the authoritarian globalism that we are being moved towards now. The European South is an important place where such forces could coalesce. Catalonia’s move towards independence could help block that, even if it’s just as a factor within Spanish politics. Generally I think independence movements are a good idea because we need to move towards a globalism that doesn’t annihilate local sovereignty. I’m not sure this independence movement in Catalonia at this time is a good thing.
“Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.” — H.L. Mencken
In this confusing, chaotic and multi-tiered polity called Europe, as well as in many of its constituent members, running the circus has become increasingly complex and difficult. This referendum in Catalonia is about many things, and many morals can be proposed for the story. I am not convinced by F.Man’s special pleading (especially when he equated Catalonia’s National Socialists with Nazis in the strength of the association of the name). I like Peter Koenig’s focused analysis, though it is rather limited in its scope and leaves me feeling unsatisfied, like saying it speaks of something soundly reasoned but hopelessy inadequate for the topic.
I wish to step back a small amount and look at this from an aerial perspective. Does this not indicate another failing of democracy within the framework of the E.U.? I say this because we are told that the E.U. is intended to unite Europe and reduce friction and the endless round of bloodshed that characterised European history since, well, as far as the eye can see and the tales of the past can spin out their narratives. If the E.U. truly unites Europeans, the issue of regional autonomy would be moot. Each region would be uniquely autonomous and yet fundamentally part of a greater whole. Being “Catalan” would be okay, not at conflict with being “Spanish” and “European” and Catalans would have a warm brotherly feeling for Latvians and Bulgarians (for example) even though they are also different in many ways. Telling differences between Catalan’s and other members of what is now Spain could (should) be reconciled within the framework of the union through negotiation and conciliation. Isn’t this what happens within federal political structures, such as Canada and, dare I say it, China?
I guess politicians feel something when they think they can become big fish in a small pond. I have to ask why this thing called “independence” means much when it disrupts as much as it constructs. For instance, much of Catalan wealth comes from regional trade within Spain. What happens if those trading relationships are disrupted?
Surely it would be better to have a mechanism whereby relationships within Europe can be tweaked and reconciled whenever the terms worked out in the past seem unsatisfactory in the present, without so much ill will and without significant disruption for the average person.
I am not a fan of more centalisation. Rather, I favour a form of decentralisation where political decision making devolves to the lowest level where it can most sensitively reflect local will while remaining broadly effective, provided such arrangements are reviewed regularly and reorganised as time passes and circumstances change. Surely the Catalan referendum is a wakeup call that it is time to review and reorganise, with the E.U. helping to mediate and conciliate?
Tbh, the details for or against in the Catalonia debate, to me, seems to be a red herring to drown yourselves into. Interesting to note however, the general timing of these “independence referendums”. Prior to this was the Kurds referendum. It is more than coincidence.
Nascent separatist/secessionist potentials in the local populace are being agitated under concerted efforts, not only Catalonia, but various other geo locations, just waiting to ripen (months or years from now). For keen readers on world geopolitics, this trending should be observable.
So, how does Catalonia fit into the bigger picture?
What makes no sense, if assuming the perpetrators already control Spain, what purpose would they achieve by screwing their Spanish poodle? … And if assuming the Catalans are revolting under this control, it makes no sense either, because the perpetrators already control the media. Nothing can happen without the mainstream media support, in-sync with efforts through other channels.
Since the referendum happened, it’s safe to assume that the local media “supported” the Catalans’ push for the referendum (else, it wouldn’t have seen the light). Thus, you arrive at an impasse, where a dog owner is caught screwing his own poodle.
Are we looking at a few elites breaking rank or some other motives?
Thank you Francisco for giving your point of view. It is the best summary that you will find in this age of mainstream disinformation and fake news. Anybody in doubt should go to Barcelona and see for themselves.
While not the slightest “in love” with a reactionary imbecile like Spain’s Rajoy, his Catalan counterparts resemble another despicable fellow: Sweden’s Carl Bildt. Sometimes, when watching not just the Catalans, but the Scots, the Basques, and the Ukro garbage as well, I do get the eerie feeling that Carl Bildt is their ideological guru, literally. In the early 1990’s, Bildt wrote a book the title of which admirably serves as a template for their Weltanschau: “Hallänning, svensk, europé” (Halland being Bildt’s region of birth in southern Sweden). Just substitute the birth region (Halland), the country (Sweden), while keeping the European qualifier, and you have your “independistas” in all these other places too. If they are as committed to corporate crime and Russophobia as is Carl Bildt, then his guru status becomes a proven assumption.
thanks for posting both articles,…….there may be parallels-similar mechanisms being put in place..but…..Junckers has stated the referendum must be done within Spanish law to bd recognised then if Catalonia is separate it must then apply to join the EU …
…..outside agencies sponsoring such referendums(claims of Israel being behind kurdish one) , usa refusing to recognise kurd referendum so would they support Catalan one or allow EU to accept it or put pressure on EU to refuse it and pleas by Sheikholislam of Iran for countries in that region to stand together to resist the breakup of areas to prevent ethic separatism sounds pretty good to me so I fedl it should apply to this situation…..is “ethnic exceptionalism” for want of a better phrase being considered to be behind or part of the Catalans raison d’etre? And we know belief in some kind of “exceptionalism” can be rather a dangerous path from various perspectives.
I am on the fence on this issue, and would rather defer to the Spanish and/or Catalans to resolve this. From my studies I had the opportunity to meet many Catalans and a few Valencians (the province just south of Cataluña).
Here ar the remarks I most remember from my interactions with them (each on a separate occasion):
-Catalan guy 1: “Valencia is actually Cataluña, and the Valenciano language is actually Catalan”.
-Valencian guy 1: “Catalans want to be independent from Spain, but they don’t want Valencia to be independent from Cataluña”.
-Catalan guy 2: “When Franco died (NOT overthrown) the king had the choice of continuing a dictatorial government by the military, but chose to hand over the power to a constitutional democracy. For that reason, the throne is a respected institution in Spain”.
-Valencian guy 2 (after being congratulated by me for a major victory of the Spanish national football team): “I don’t support Spain, I support Valencia” (go Bats!)
-Catala girl (explaining to me the blue “CAT” sign in license plates, instead of the “ES” menaing “Spain”): “These are illegal and people pay fines for putting them on their cars, but there are associations that pay for the fines”.
What’s the point? With respect to other countries, Spain is not very cohesive from a national perspective, to the extent that many of its citizens have a particularly inflated local identity as opposed to a national one. And I am not just talking football rivalries like between PSG and Marseille. Whether this is due to brainwashing or history is beyond the point. The point is that this cohesion (if once existed) is now psychologically broken.
On the other hand…
First, for all these people, there are just as many, if not more, who despite being Catalan opt for a united Spain, with its strengths and flaws.
Secondly, what local secessionist movements will succeed, if left to their devices, is create two states in the place of Belgium, two more in the place of Italy, 3 in the place of Spain, 2 in the place of the UK, 2-3 in the place of France, etc, etc.
Qui bono? The same ones that benefited from splitting Yugoslavia in several statelets. Germany and the US are the first that come to mind, both of which needing weak and dependent states that will follow an open door policy to German and American capital and foreign policy. The German term is “mitteleuropa”. The American is “allies”.
If Catalans have had enough of Teutonic austerity and American military adventurism, do they think they will be better equipped to resist either one by themselves? They’d better think again!
Some ancient wisdom about the techniques for the survival of States.
Any kingdom that persecutes its enemies intelligently, can preserve itself. Any kingdom that admits its enemies inside its own Court, is headed for disaster.
–Mo Ti, Chinese Philosopher
The State defends its power in many fronts: Inside, against subversives. Outside, against false friends. In the Heavens, against the designs of the Gods. Only the latter are invincible.
–Xenocrates, Greek philosopher
The law of a State is not inspired in morals, because morals attempt to make life free and happy, whereas the State is simply trying to defend itself. The only moral of a State is its own survival.
–Saint-Juste, French revolutionary.
The enemies of the Sovereign must be eliminated with poison, with daggers, and even with delicacies. In any case, Providence has already decided for us.
–Luis de Molina, 16th century Spanish Jesuit
When the rats gnaw away at the foundation of the house, we must do two things: attempt to exterminate the rats, and at the same time build another house. However, once we have got rid of the infestation, the house must be razed.
–Dino Buzzati, Italian writer.
If they speak to you about peace while they hide a small sword behind their back, kill them as swiftly as possible.
Enforce the law and don’t fret about its injustices, because without the law, the injustices would be even worse.
–Cicero, Roman thinker.
The instruments of torture must be used only as a last resort. But leaving them within sight of the prisoner is appropriate
–Jean Bodin, French jurist.
Keeping Spain together requires more skill than the Spanish politicians now in power have.
The Saker captured the entirety of my position with his statement: “…those who demand the right to secede but deny the same right to others inside the seceding entity.”
I do not know the position that an independent Catalan would take regarding subsequent referendums; I only know that in order for individuals to gain control over their own life and property, the right of secession must be supported. After this, the next one must be supported. And so on.
Imagine the benefit to the world – both those living within and without the United States – if US secession was supported down to the county level. The election last year made clear the benefits of this outcome.
This world must be decentralized in many of its forms and institutions; I do not know how this will be achieved if the right of secession is not supported – always.
Actually this had happened some years ago!
the Val d’Aran is a Valley with a peculiar dialect of Catalan, just at the side of Andorra, in the Spanish side of the Pyrenees…
In one of the numerous attempts to make a referendum to secede from Spain, the local politicians said they would immediately make a referendum to secede from Catalonia and keep being Spaniards. Because the local Dialect it is being repressed and Catalonia doesn’t invest enough on them, to the point of being totally forgotten (ironically some of the same arguments the Catalan use against Spain) and as they think their rights are better protected and preserved being in Spain.
The Catalan government said they wouldn’t never ever allow Val d’Aran to Secede from Catalonia, even with the use of police and armed coercion if necessary.
It made the cover page of national Press and was motive of irony against the Catalonia MPs in the National Parlament for quite long time.
so… do as I say, not as I make!
Thank you for this. I will incorporate this into something further that I am writing regarding the idea of secession in general, and this movement specifically.
What a mess, what a typical mess – the human race displaying its persistent tendency to take a difficult situation and make it worse – instead of investing in the hard work and sacrifice (and compromise) that it would take to actually address very real (as well as some imaginary) problems.
I noted that the BBC news this morning took a decidedly dismissive tone toward the vote. They don’t like the idea of “popular expression”, the bitter taste of BREXIT is still spoiling the air in London.
Madrid: “Oh, you have a wounded knee Catalonia? Here, maybe a few whacks with this baton will cure what ails you.”
Here is another separatist conflict – Cameroon: https://qz.com/845783/cameroon-protests-are-growing-over-the-anglophone-francophone-split/
Probably one could cite numerous current and past examples of a similar, at least superficially, nature.
Spain took a lot of EU funding to build a high speed rail network, much of it not particularly well planned from an economic perspective. Now the investors wish to be paid back and the central government is on the hook for the bill. I believe there are many such problems and government corruption is a persistent, festering issue. Rather than pull together with the rest of the country to address corruption (some portion of) Catalonia wishes to take their marbles and leave to stew in their own juice instead of ‘someone elses’ (as if that had no part in creating it)…
Where should my sympathies lie? With whom ever is willing to work together with others of our race to make a better future for our children. I am sure there are people in both camps who fit this description. Very sorry to see valuable energy turned to unproductive/destructive ends where only evil benefits.
I would look back into the distant past for an explanation of the turmoil around Catalonia:
If I go by the research of Ralph Ellis, the wife of JC likely settled just over the border in southern France. A whole community grew-up centered around her and the refugees from the Jewish Rebellion after 70 AD.
Then, a thousand years later, the current Pope authorized the Albigensian Crusade against ‘fellow Christians’ in that area who would not bow-down to the Pope – “a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc in the south of France” (Wikipedia). This genocide liquidated the Cathars, and likely pushed the survivors ‘across the border’ into the Catalonia region of Spain.
What is also interesting is that the Knights Templar ‘stood down’ around the Albigensian Crusade. They did not defy the Pope openly, but simply did not go out Cathar-hunting. They may have been sympathetic with the Cathars, and indeed some degree of intermarriage is documented.
That region of southern France was a Knights Templar stronghold. It would be likely that the area just across the border in the Catalonia region was also Templar-influenced, if not dominated. (As was Portugal.) After their outlawing in France, some Knights Templar may have also become ‘escapees’ into the Catalonia region. (And in Portugal.)
So, Catalonia might ultimately end-up as a ‘refuge’ for Marian Jews (Nazarenes, according to Ralph Ellis), Cathars, and Knights Templars. Wow, what a mixture! I could easily see them as fiercely independent, secretive, having a chip on their shoulders for King and Papacy, and being masters of trade & the money industry.
This is the ‘deep’ background of that region…
Please could you put some links supporting your comment. Thanks. Mod
My comment was based on a ‘synthesis’ of dozens of books written about these areas. Standouts were: (Each has strengths and weaknesses. Weigh them and see what ‘fits’ for you.)
“Mary Magdalene: Princess of Orange” by Ralph Ellis (2014)
You may need to read additional books by Ellis to get the full history – all the way back to Egypt. Amazing ‘hidden’ history.
“Talisman” (2004) reissued as “The Master Game” (2011) by Graham Hancock & Robert Bauval.
Good tracing of the links between Cathars, Gnostics, Bogomils, Templars, etc.
“The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ” (1998) by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince
More tracing of the links between Cathars, Templars, Freemasonic offshoots, etc.
(That should get you started. *grin*)
People must be made aware that the ‘literature’ suggested (and that only to get started with) is part of the vast Judeo-Islamic anti-Christian propaganda. It is nothing else but a more pretentious “Da Vinci Code”. All the ‘revelations’ it purport to bring to the fore are absolute rubbish. The intellectual damage that it already provoked is all to visible.
“Because if you go, we have to share the debt of the State (Catalonia Debt accounts for, at least, 25% of Spain´s External Debt. Catalonia, it is now less than 17% of Spain’s GDP (becoming smaller every year) with about 15% of the population, very far from that 25% of GDP in the 20th Century. ”
“Cataluña with a population of about 7.5 million (out of Spain’s 46 million) and a surface of about 7% of Spain’s 506,000 km2 contributes about 20% to Spain’s economic output, produces 25% of Spain’s exports, receives 23.5% of Spain’s foreign tourist, and 57% of foreign of Spain’s investments. There is a lot to lose by Cataluña’s secession.
Cataluña today receives about 1,800 euros per capita in tax devolution from Madrid, but contributes at least double that amount to the Spanish Treasury.”
These don’t seem to be agreeing, but I am not sure.
It might be helpful to get an apples-to-apples comparison of Catalonia’s financial/economic status within Spain. Just as a baseline.
I can see both points of view in this issue, as presented. Definitely Koenig’s pov seems to go beyond the confines of contemporary Spain and brings in current political issues simmering in the EU. Whereas F.Man seems to focus more on how the current situation is related to past agreements and past noxious political movements (e.g., Nazis).
My only small contribution to this discussion—since I know little about Spain and Catalonia—would be to note that I have read that the bitter divisions of the Civil War are still very much alive in Spain, barely suppressed, close to the surface but uncomprehended by non-Spaniards. If true, could this be a relevant factor in the current confrontation?
Quite apart from any constitutional issues, I was alarmed to read that polling places and ballot boxes etc. had been forcefully destroyed and people forcefully prevented from voting. If nothing else, this is terrible PR for the central govt. and would seem to cast a deep shadow over any other arguments they make for keeping the country together.
it all depends on the source.
if you get you sources from “independentists friendly” universities or studies (normally paid for by the Catalan Goverment) Spain is robbing the Catalans as if all spaniards were Bandoleros (word for bandit) leaving just enough for them not to starve… sorry for my sarcasm.
there are some more “neutral” Analysis and sources from other universities, and annalists that have a much more realistic approach and are not paid for govermental organizations from any side. the results varies but this infamous robbery is not that sure then.
and of course you have to taking into account that if is one of the most rich regions in Spain it should be also more solidary with the poorest regions (where they sell much of their products)
the facts of Hr Koenig are Old or very questionable… Catalonia doesn’t receive 57% of foreign Investment, not now, not ever in their wildest dreams. Just this year Madrid receives 47% of total foreign investments, Catalonia just 18% in third place after Pais Vasco with 21% (I just left the decimals out, but these are official numbers as of today) the numbers of Mr Koenig are more close to the Catalonia of 10 years ago. The economic indicators have been steadily falling in all aspects
in Catalonia for at least 8 or 10 years if not more. Mainly because their politicians have been dilapidating the money into unproductive things (this is happening in all regions, but in Catalonia it is extreme even for Spanish standards)
About the economy and taxes I remit myself to the numbers of the Spanish treasure. Which surely are not that influenced by political considerations as in Barcelona. But it is logic to think that richer regions contribute more than poorer regions. there is a Prinzip of solidarity inter Regions. the Pays Basque is exempt, this is a privilege the Catalans also want, but when that happens the state will become insolvent to help and develop the poorer regions, or to function as a State. Which in the end will also be a bad thing.
The fact is much Spaniards want that Privilege to be cancelled, because supposedly all Spaniards are equal (but not really) the fact is they want over all not to be equals… but different.
F.MAN lost me (and I stopped reading his article) when he pulled the Nazi card… Godwin’s law anyone?
I have lived in Barcelona for many years, I loved the city and its people, but I must admit I never had much sympathy with the separatists. Actually, I found them quite annoying. However there’s one thing of which I am absolutely 100% sure, the separatists are definitely Not Nazis! They are more like leftists in a lot of ways, except for their pride in their Catalan identity.
Who used Nazi methods during the vote, the Catalans or the Spanish police/guardia civil?
To be honest, after what happend during the referendum, I find myself sympathizing much more with the separatists than ever before.
again Lets name things for what they are.
please forget WWII, think more in terms of Pre WWII.
what is a national socialist?
what did national socialist want?
which methods they use to get what they want?
how do they got into power?
do not confund Nazism with autoritarism.
All nazis might be authoritarians but not all authoritarians are nazis.
Spanish government haven’t done anything UK, France, Germany or the USA have done before.
but much of the world id falling into the Victimization (poor people it is just democracy in action) of the guys who do not respect the law.
I just hear all the time about their rights, but … what it is happening with the rights of the spaniards, of those other who, yes, respected the law, and decided not to vote in an illegal election.
rights are equal for all or, that’s no democracy but the farce it actually is.
they are doing exactly what I said they do, present themselves always as the victim, and tell the Lie so many times as necessary.
“Pre WWII” nazism gave birth to a fascist regime that led Spain into a dark age that lasted for 36 years. Catalans, Basques and all manner of political opponents were victims of this regime. Cry me a river with “the rights of the spaniards” (castillans) to decide what other people can and cannot do with their lands and their future.
About the “modernity” of castillan laws, try to seek justice against the old officials of the Franco regime and see what happens… oh right, its illegal in Spain. So democratic…
Also, it is pretty easy to “present themselves as the victims” when the Madrid government is sending armed goons to bash their skulls in for trying to vote on their future, don’t you think ?
Spanish Franco-ist Regime was not born because of Nazism, the roots of the problem are quite complicated to be so simplistic.
About victims, yes they were, but not the only ones, all Spaniards were also victims, in the same way as all Russians were also victims of communism.
The ones opening graves, and trying to revive a past long dead are leftist, in search of a Revanche 75 years later. Change laws to… judge people dead long ago, what for? Illegal? not that I Know, just nonsense. Can we please center ourselves into more mundane and actual problems please… their answer is no, to make people forget about real problems, let#s shake the bones of the dead!
if you look into other media (not only the Independentist Friendly) you will see them harassing and assaulting the Police too. quite violently… I suppose that doesn’t come good in TV.
Spanish Franco-ist Regime was not born because of Nazism, the …
It seems for insiders and outsiders the Spanish Civil War is complicated. I would like to add some knowledge and some views of an outsider.
Probably nobody will challenge the notion that Italy and Germany had been ruled by fascist regimes. Parts of Spanish groups participating in the Civil War got supplies from the USSR. In my opinion both fascist regimes (Italy and Germany) assisted the forces of Franco in order to avoid spreading of leftist ideas (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/franco-heads-spain). Whilst wikipedia isn’t the best source for getting accurate historical information it provides some details (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_involvement_in_the_Spanish_Civil_War). The assistance of the USSR had been in supplies, whilst fascist Italy and fascist Germany actively helped the Spanish nationalists by air raids on Spanish targets.
Maybe the Franco regime wasn’t born because of Nazism, but Nazi Germany definitely assisted as midwife in the birth of fascist Spain.
Before getting into details I would like to say that one way or the other, the losers will be the ordinary citizens – Catalans and Spaniards.
Regarding the article of Mr. Francisco M. Aviles Nuevo I would like to point out the misunderstanding of the term National Socialism: there wasn’t much Socialism during the Nazi rule. Which “sane” industrialist would support Socialism?!? Business always had been about profits. Many businesses prospered under Nazi rule – thanks to only one fake union, to forced labor and to all the looted goods.
Concerning the relationship between Catalans and Spaniards I’ve read about several aspects and I’m aware that some Catalans refer to other Spanish people as lazy, whilst some Spanish people refer to Catalans as greedy (they even compare them to Poles). I’ve seen videos of Spanish adherer oft the Falange disturbing events of Catalans (in Madrid) and destroying exhibits. I’ve also seen a video of some nationalist Catalan teenager mocking a judge who had to rule over his actions. That teenager had sent letters to supermarkets, threatening severe action if they didn’t favor Catalan products. After being arrested the teenager tried to whitewash his actions with the reference to the name he had referred to in his letter: it had been a reference to Harry Potter. In his opinion everyone with knowledge of the Harry Potter novels should’ve know that it had been a “prank”. Well, … I remember some German “prankster” who had called himself Dagobert. Dagobert got a prison sentence for his “jokes”.
Writing about the German “prankster” brings me to my next point. The whole situation resembles partially German unification in reverse. When the Berlin Wall came down Western German politicians couldn’t get over with the reunification fast enough. Whilst Western Germany had been prosperous, the Eastern part looked pretty much run down. Ordinary people of both sides got screwed during the process. The burden of financing the reunification had been on ordinary people of the West (later of the East as well). It had been the savings of Westerners that had to be shared with their Eastern brothers and sisters. East German companies were closed down, driven into bankruptcy (partially in order to get rid of potential future competitors). Closing East German companies caused many people (more than would’ve moved without closure) of those regions to settle in the West and to compete for jobs with Westerners – thus keeping wages low. The winners of the reunification had been bankers and industrialists.
With regard to the article of Mr. Koenig I would like to point out another Federal Republic: Germany. As far as I know only three federal states (Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Baden-Württemberg) have been net payers into the federal budged. Bavaria joined as net payer in the 1990’s. For almost 40 years Bavaria panhandled. As soon as they joined the net payers you could hear voices getting louder demanding for a reform of the system. Bavarians didn’t like to share their earnings. When it comes to Berlin, I would really like to kick them out of our country. They’ve been writing deficits for decades. Probably inhabitants of Berlin can be glad that I’m no politician. To sum it up: each and every country has internal problems. Those problems could’ve be solved already by wise decisions. Either there isn’t anyone wise enough or it’s the prevailing (and intensifying) greed of people (and the resulting inequality) that’s causing for a lot of problems.
In my opinion Catalans and Spaniards are the pawns in the perverted games of oligarchs.
re “there wasn’t much Socialism during the Nazi rule. ”
Just to point out that before the German Nazi party was the Nazionalsozialistische (that is, Nazi) Party it was the NSDAP, the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, created by Hitler to succeed the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers Party), an obscure party founded in Munich, of which Hitler became member number 7. The platform of the NSDAP makes for fascinating reading. Indeed it does combine national and socialist-worker-oriented demands. I won’t quote at length, or at all, because I guess that would be OT. The full text is available probably online but also in Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, pp. 63-64.
But to go back to the thread (although I think the comment on socialism under Nazi rule was an aside), I think there was quite a lot of socialism during the Nazi rule (if one looks at actual social infrastructure), but the social benefits were conditioned on belonging to a racially defined nation and on strict conformance to a demanding and narrow narrative of the purpose of society and life.
I had a look into the Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. Indeed, the demands seem to be socialist. Already at this early stage the party platform of the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei also asks for exclusion of Jews. Demands written on a piece of paper and the realization of political wishes are two entirely different topics. The initiators of project T4 created posters that showed some doctor and a mentally disabled person, explaining that the cost of supporting a mentally disabled person (from birth to death) would cost the German taxpayer 60000 Reichsmark. This doesn’t sound socialist at all. That’s a pure capitalist calculation of cost-benefit.
Just have a look at the comment section of ZH. Whenever an article regarding the topic of food stamps or student loan debt is published you’ll find lots of commenters complaining that food stamps are socialism/communism. The reaction to forgiving student loan debt is similar. Is the US a socialist/communist country, because there are some government handouts? The breadcrumbs the Nazis tossed to Germans don’t qualify to refer to that system as Socialist.
As mentioned in my first comment: no “sane” banker or industrialist would support socialism. If the NSDAP had been “socialist” there wouldn’t have been the need to prohibit the Social Democrats. If you’re looking from left to right the party ideologies start with communism, followed by socialism, followed by social democrats. Prohibiting Social Democrats indicates that they’ve been too far to the left of National Socialists. (By the way: National Socialists is an “abbrevation” of National Socialist German Workers Party. If a lecturer were to use the long version in a speech, the audience would’ve fallen asleep long before the lecturer could’ve completed the party name.)
This conversation has gone off-topic. Please take to the MFC. Any further comments will go to trash. Mod
Since I woke up a few minutes ago some thought crossed my mind that caused me to get up and write it down immediately. I would like to expand my comment with that thought:
Did anyone notice that nobody talks about the party Podemos and their cause anymore?
As a Spaniard I fully understand and, to a great extent, support the writing of my fellow countryman Francisco. I was raised in Navarra, where we have our own political conflict, within and beyond the limits of our beautifully diverse region.
Now, the Catalan separatism we’re talking about is the result of the explosive (they cannot bear each other, but they coalesce against the “common ennemy”) combination of the worst nationalist corrupt neoliberal globalists (PDeCat), the worst nationalist regressive so-called left (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and CUP) and the usual liberal-libertarian degenerates in the middle (they are way too fancy to belong to a political party or movement. I refer to A. Soral here).
However, this akward coalition is winning the PR battle due to the sheer incompetence of the Spanish government. At this point, after the violence (what a gift to the separatist propaganda machine) making the argument of keeping the Constitutional Order seems laughable as the world start calling (disgusting) names the Spanish Police / Guardia Civil and the Spanish government (which are a bunch of corrupt incompetent people, it has to be said). I am really sad at this situation, even more so when it seems that all this circus could’ve been avoided long time ago if Madrid and Barcelona had engaged in political dialogue. Because after all, we’re not talking exclusively about an political/ideological conflict here, but also an underlying economic struggle between the “elites” in Madrid and their counterparts in Barcelona. Sadly, the events on October 1st only deepen the social divide artificially created by a handful of people and now dialogue will be much more difficult to undertake. I hope the damage is not beyond repair.
As for the “cui bono” question, I would point at the globalist clique sitting in Brussels. They’re the only ones that would really benefit from the final demise of nation-states such as Spain. They’ve been favouring regionalism more or less overtly (the EC departments mostly deal directly with NUTS 2 level entities -aka Regions- and not with States) for decades. The smaller the peoples and political entities within the EU, the more power the globalist Leviathan will have. They’re trying hard to keep a low profile in this issue and they officially support the Spanish government, but actually they hope they become the “mediators” in the “conflict” and get to decide the outcome of this non-sense. As for the Catalan “elites”, what do they gain from independence (what a joke!) if they are to remain (at some point) under the boot of Brussels? Well, and the ultra-nationalist fake left? Exactly, keep “ultranationalist” and forget about “left”. That’s all they care about, their little “pure Catalan” (whatever this is) world.
To conclude, my personal feeling is that Spain will never be the same after this events, even if we remain united. Too many mistakes, too many bigots. We shall not abandon the silent majority in Catalonia who didn’t vote in the illegal, and frankly, shameful referendum. That’s what must be done in the next days. Let’s hope for the better, but I don’t see any “good” way out of this crisis. And it hurts, a lot.
Thanks very much for your observations on this. The supra-nationalist EU angle is worrisome indeed.
I am Portuguese and I know Barcelona (if not Catalonia itself) very well, I worked there for some time in the first decade of the 2000’s and have plenty of friends there right now. I do not have an absolute opinion on the matter of secession, personally I think that Catalonia ultimately will fare better in a union with Spain and channeling its efforts to reform the current institutions there; although, I recognize that Catalonia has EVERYTHING that a nation needs to have to be independent.
Having said this, I would take a big exception to some of the assertions that F-MAN made. For example, when I worked in Barcelona, the vast majority of Catalans I knew were, if not pro-secessionists, at least sympathetic to the possibility of independence. Also, Catalan is by far the language you hear most in the streets; obviously, in many instances of day to day life, many people will resort to using Spanish FIRST, because Barcelona has a lot of non-Catalan speakers (and not only people from other regions of Spain, but from all over the world), and especially in business areas or exchanges. But step outside those more visible conversations, and Catalan is the language you hear most. Frustratingly so, actually, because it was really hard for me to understand (I speak fluent Spanish, but Catalan is something else). At the office I used to work at, everyone spoke Catalan, and only spoke Catalan with us, out of politeness. Even a Galician who worked there ended up learning Catalan, it was just easier to get by.
Step out of Barcelona, and its even more pronounced, to the point that some of the Muslim immigrants that were being recently interviewed in the little village where the terrorists from this summer’s attack were, were speaking Catalan!
I also note that when he says “Catalonia has been always a Region with a distinct character than the rest of Spain. But that doesn’t mean that they are completely different, that they are foreign to Spain, or that they exclusively speak Catalan” this can be somewhat offensive to a Portuguese. Portugal too was brought under the Spanish crown in 1580, and ended up rebelling against it in 1640. In Portugal, too, the elites spoke Spanish more often than not, to the point that Camões, Portugal’s epic poet (16th century) wrote quite a lot of poetry directly in Castelhano. It so happens that when Portugal revolted in 1640, Catalonia did the same thing, and it may have been because they did revolt that Portugal managed to stay independent, as the Spanish crown had to fight on two fronts and was incapable of winning both wars (ours lasted around 25 years and ravaged the country). Catalonians have been revolting for hundreds of years.
If things had gone the other way, would F.MAN be here telling us that “Portugal has been always a Region with a distinct character than the rest of Spain. But that doesn’t mean that they are completely different, that they are foreign to Spain, or that they exclusively speak Portuguese”? I would note that, OF COURSE they don’t speak only Catalan, since speaking Catalan (and certainly teaching it) has been outlawed on many, many occasions, and only as recently as the 50’s and 60’s. This is one of the main reasons why the issue of the rewriting of the new Autonomous Statutes by the Spanish Constitutional Court was so intrusive and so offensive to Catalonians (it was part of one of the many blunders that the central state has been committing over the past few years which have led to a continuous increase of secessionist mood in Spain). Many of the people who saw this, have uncles, grandfathers, great-grandmothers who were unable to speak Catalan officially, at school and in some periods even in the street in public.
It is true that a lot of Spaniards dislike Catalans, though, this he gets right, and even call them “Pollacks” (not essentially a racist joke, rather due to the fact that to a Castillan Catalan sounds as incomprehensible as, say, Polish), but… I do not know if that is a bad thing. Yesterday, to Spain’s great shame, I saw a rather large protest in Madrid, a unionist demonstration, gathering while singing Cara al Sol, the Franco hymn and hymn of the Falange. This is obviously BOUND to offend a lot of Catalonians, because, whatever F.MAN says, much of the rebellion of Catalonia in the 30’s was Catalan nationalism mixed with radical left-wing ideology, and the two are still quite mixed to this day.
I would end by saying this: legitimacy does not derive from legality. Rather, legality derives from legitimacy. A Constitution’s legitimacy derives from some founding event, and and from the people or community it represents.. The Spanish Constitution derives its legitimacy from the compromises that were achieved after Franco’s death, and that included things that not everyone agreed to (for example, a monarchic form of State), but which everyone accepted because they came together with things everybody wanted (greater democratization, greater autonomy for the various regions etc…). In Catalonia, it is now a widespread belief that the refusal of the Autunomous Statutes in 2010 (which were debated and voted on and referended by Catalans, essentially in demanding roughly the same rights that had been already obtained by the Basque Region) has questioned this initial compromise around the 1978 Constitution of Spain, as they feel that the ideas of autonomy have been betrayed. When you reach this kind of point, there are no other peaceful recourses than elections, and allowing people to choose.
I doubt that the government will invoke article 155 and suspend Catalan autonomy, because it would most certainly force elections in Catalonia and soon; Rajoy’s heavy-handed reaction is almost sure to have vastly boosted the secessionist parties chances of winning.
Interpreting laws should always require a moral evaluation of those same laws, and take into account context. legal positivism has been proven again and again to be a really terrible idea of law (ie. the American judges who would send back escaped slaves to the South, German Nazi period, the Apartheid judges, etc…). Spain’s government would do well to bear this in mind.
Thanks for the very interesting sidelights on Portuguese history and the light it casts on the current situ in Catalonia.
I can’t help thinking that there is strength in unity. The original idea of the fasces.
To a certain extent the view of the situation wiht Spanish unity will be connected to how benevolent one sees the EU to be. If the EU is a threatening power, perhaps it is better to continue on as part of a larger, more powerful entity as a defensive measure.
If the EU is seen as a benign parent, then it would be better to get rid of the “bad” parent, Spain, in favor of a “nicer” parent, the EU.
Or perhaps Spain is seen as a proxy for the “bad” EU parent. In which case, there is no way out, or forward, for a smaller entity such as an independent Catalonia.
I don’t think those ideas can be separated: the Spain-EU relationship vs. the potential Catalonia-Eu relationship. That would then also go for NATO.
I read some years ago (ca. the year 2000) an article about this theme (sorry it was in paper, and I forgot who wrote it)
The thesis was that, would Portugal and Spain have been keep together, things would have been much better for both, and that not much of the Portuguese language or identity would have been lost. Because Portugal and Galicien would have been then quite a block in that Hypothetical Nation-State. They all would have surely fared better.
After the separation, in the 15th century, some “Spanish Golden Century” Writers and poets wrote with nostalgia that “there was a time, that Castilian, Aragonese, Navarre and Portuguese where all the same People, all to be called the same Hyspanioles” but I do not remember the reference of the Autor now… sorry.
I am familiar with that thesis, as are many Portuguese historians, since it is a much discussed issue. Some say that the key moment was the destruction of the Invincible Armada which was essentially (in its oceanic going ships) a Portuguese flotilla, which changed Felipe II idea of establishing the capital of the Spanish Empire in Lisbon – moving its center of gravity and “atmosphere” to being a world navy power, rather than the more continental preoccupied power it became. We can always speculate and it may be that you are right.
Or it may be that Catalonia would have been netter as part of France or as an independent Republic since the 1640’s, we don’t know. Certainly Catalan language and culture were not destroyed for being part of Spain, so I doubt that Portuguese culture and language would have been destroyed.
But the issue is now and the past decades and the story of modern Spain. As I said in another comment, personally I see it as an advantage for Spain to maintain its unity, and for Catalonia to remain in Spain. But this says nothing, means nothing, if we do not discuss what kind of Spain. For Portugal, a homogeneous culturally and linguistically country, the question does not arise. If a given area of the country is deeply conservative or deeply left-wing, it does not have the option of contemplating secession.
Not so with Catalonia, and for the advantages to outnumber the disadvantages in staying inside Spain, we need to understand what kind of Spain. My opinion is that Rajoy’s Spain, the Spain that longs for Franco and an all-powerful Catholic church, the Spain that came out last saturday and sunday in Madrid to sing Cara al sol… that Spain may not be worth staying in.
Jose you are the man. Very good comment with info which helped make the fog a little more lucid for me. Are you still in Spain?
I live in Portugal, in Lisbon, but I visit Spain a lot.
I really appreciate this very thoughtful comment. Thanks for giving us this perspective.
You mentioned the twelve-year war in 1640, which I gather had an “interesting” outcome for Catalonia. Evidently it began as a peasant uprising in Barcelona, there was a conflict with the monarchy, and in 1641 a Catalan Republic was declared under the protection of France. At the end of the Franco-Spanish war, however, Catalonia was reclaimed by the Monarchy in 1659 and lost all of its territories north of the Pyrenees to France.
Returning to the present, Catalonia seeks to become independent, but would remain part of the EU. I wonder if trading Madrid for Brussels would seem good ten years from now?
Unfortunately, it seems that the EU is washing its hands off the whole matter – despite there being good reasons for them not too, namely, violation of civil and human rights. Having said this… I am of two minds concerning the EU. It is a completely stupid and bureaucratic and fairly undemocratic organization. On the other hand, it does genuinely do some things right, even though it is frequently beholden to corporatist interests.
Personally, I am of the opinion that Catalonia is probably better off inside Spain, but that Spain would probably be better off without Rajoy and the PP; also, it is completely obvious that the conservative interests have been fighting tooth and nail against a de-Fraquización which should have been undertaken a long time ago.
National self-determination is not going away, and it is not a tick-box of ethnicity as some seem to believe. You cannot get these large majorities in Crimea and Catalonia without various ethnic groups coming together in common cause.
Soros and the CIA avoid voting like the plague, they use minorities to overturn governments (Ukraine) or mercenaries (Libya). New nationalism is about regions wanting better and more democratic control over their lives, expressing their cultural identity and realigning their economic development; this holds for Kurds despite who is supporting them and how they are being used.
The old nation states are too often managed by financial interests; Australia’s Prime Minister is a former member of board of Goldman Sacks, and everyone knows what happened in France.
There are many ways of handling new nationalism, but not by ignoring it — it is an emerging phase in world history, an answer to globalism and an extension of democratic controls over economic and culture (a response to financialization of treasuries and Americanization of culture and social life).
For those that look at language and background it is well to remember that France, Germany and Italy, amongst many others, became nations with diverse cultures and languages and that cultural and linguistics uniformity was imposed throughout the 19th and 20th Century. why would any one assume this to be a permanent state of affairs.
Hate to be “that guy” that ends up turning it into all about us (meaning U.S.) but….
Is it to any of the readers here suprise that there was a mass shooting Sunday night in Las Vegas Nevada which now dominates all American MSM? Effectively killing any discussion of Catalinia referndum and Spanish government handling of it.
First time commenter here. I usually like the content available on this site and my answer to the question here is that self-determination for a people is a universal and basic human right and if it is not being respected, we are dealing with dictatorships, genuine or in disguise.
So yeah, Peter Koening is in the right and this “F.Man” character is in the wrong here, in my humble opinion. F.Man’s agressive rethoric reminds me of the most hardcore Québec bashers in Canada. Trying to reverse reality by using the word “nazi” in the most immature of ways, is not an argument. Catalonia is a victim of the authoritarian spanish government’s refusal to negociate fairly for a “legal” vote to take place. The PP, founded by ex-officials of the Franco regime at the time, has only itself to blame for how poorly it handled the situation.
It is up to the people of Catalonia to vote and Rajoy’s fascist thugs attacking elderly and peaceful voters puts all of Spain to shame. This country, inherited from an actual nazi regime, Franco’s regime, got a contsitution tailored to preserve Franco’s heritage. Of course the castillans are never gonna vote to allow the “inferior” catalans or basques to leave their crumbling Spain.
Calling catalan independantist “spoiled children” is indeed extremely offensive and uncalled for. Spain should be glad it did not happen earlier, with the catalan (and basque) culture being outlawed under Franco’s cruel regime. Catalonia is NOT Spain, unless you have biased glasses on the question. Comparing Catalonia’s peaceful determination seen this week-end with the NATO (and spanish) backed nazi hordes of Ukraine is simply insulting to human intelligence.
Rajoy is a proud, if incompetent NATO vassal and he won’t have my sympathy for his grave mistakes. By “mistakes”, I mean the fascist use of force against “his” own people that the world has just witnessed. The plan was clearly to bait a violent response from the brave catalan voters, wich never really came. 9 lightly wounded police thugs vs nearly a thousand wounded catalans is probably not the type of result Rajoy was hoping for. By the way, the use of rubber bullet is prohibited in Catalonia, so the spanish using them to bait for that violent reponse was even more blatantly illegal and illegitimate.
Of course I oppose the idea of an independant Catalonian state joining NATO and the EU, but leaving Spain is already a step in the right direction since in the future, it may push the catalan people towards wanting an even better form of independance, free from the anglo-zionist empire. One step at a time is the key if we don’t want the whole system to blow up in our faces, like it’s the case with the USA and how it must be “eased” into its collapse to avoid the beast going down into a panic (a major war).
And for those saying we need “big strong european states” to get out of NATO, I see all these big, strong euro states right now and I don’t see them doing anything to disturb the imperial status quo anyway…
If an independent Catalonian state arises, it would definitely join NATO and the EU. I think the idea that it wouldn’t is only setting you up for a letdown.
The struggle for life without exploitation and war is one that must be carried out in solidarity with all people. Catalonians have the right to express themselves without police oppression, but they must not forget that there are higher goals than politics.
The part near the end that says “Of course I oppose the idea of an independant Catalonian state joining NATO and the EU” is where I say that while I know they will most likely join NATO and the EU, I do hope that a first victory for independance will perhaps carry on toward wanting even more, better independance, reffering to these same masters under the term “anglo-zionist empire”.
Yes, there are higher goals in life that politics, but I think that forgetting about people’s right to self-determination is just setting up another EU kind of supranational farce further down the path. As I sad in my closing statement, none of these big euro states ever did anything to get out of NATO. Why ? I think that’s in part because they’re too easy to “divide” in the sense that you can get the different cultures composing them to keep bickering with one another in internal chaos, instead of having sovereign nations dealing with each other as equals. But really, it should be taken as a case by case thing, with each situation having its own specifics and historics.
There should only be one American position. Anything else is by definition “anti-America”. Unfortunately, we can count on Trump and the American Deep State taking the position of King George III.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Yes, I know, some pretty unpopular views in most of the world these days. The idea that a government requires the consent of the governed. The idea that people have the right to institute a government that they believe will best effect their Safety and Happiness. Freedom is pretty unpopular these days, at least amongst the very governments that are always prattling on about freedom and democracy.
Spot on sir.
Just as Obama told the Brits they should stay in the EU, Trump stated that Spain should stay whole and Catalonia should not have its own voice for its own future.
Remeber Scotland? They were given a choice and they chose to stay because the secessionists could show no logical path to an independent Scotland that would be successful.
There is a path for many if they choose it but it’s not all rainbows and ponies. Many would not choose that path but I do think they should be given a choice.
The truth is that small, localized governments tend to respond to their people better as they are right there to be held accountable. The trade off is lack of the “safety net” in times of need.
from my Spanish friend ( raised in Spain …Lugo…Galicia) It is titled Soros funds Catalan Independence
Like Saker, I don’t really know enough about this independence issue to give an informed opinion on it. But the way the Spanish regime repressed the people strikes me as a deliberately intended to fuel division. The zpc/nwo oligarchy extensively games these strategies using their ubiquitous think tanks, so they would realise beforehand that their heavy handed repressive tactics would reinforce and spread desire for Catalan independence.
So what I’m wondering is why. Who will gain from destabilizing Spain and tanking their already troubled economy? Is it for geopolitical reasons, or is it more like a corporate rivalry within the oligarchy? The articles Saker provided, and several others I read didn’t really go into this aspect of who really does benefit here behind the scenes. In my opinion. I have not checked comments, so maybe these questions have been answered here already.
Catalonia prefigures the break up of Italy. North, Central, and Sicily…the Crimea of the Med.
Spain’s dismemberment is a “made for South America” production. It is a training manual for the upcoming dismemberment of South America….think: Brazil and Argentina.
I’m always amazed that anyone can hold a referendum without spelling out exactly what the cost will be. Before anyone has a vote on “independence” (more on that below) what will the cost be? Catalonia and Quebec independence movements have a lot in common. Both try to outlaw the “other” language and neither will spell out where the money will come from. In Quebec’s case they actually thought they would continue to get transfer payments from the rest of Canada after separation! It sounds like Catalans were not told how much it would cost just “it will be better”. But if you had an honest accounting and had to negotiate the details first then the reality would set in and few would be in favour of it and they don’t want that.
Now about that independence thing. All these movements (Catalonia, Quebec, Scotland) are willing to trade one master (Spain, Canada, England) for another. Instead of being ruled by Madrid you will be ruled by Berlin/Brussels. You will be told how much austerity, how many refugees you will take, etc etc.
Is that really independence? No, of course not. That is because in their myopic focus on political independence they forget that true independence is financial. So instead of focusing on political independence setup a regional blockchain currency (Catalan-Coin) that is valid only within your provincial borders. All payments to the provincial government could be done with it, all businesses that want to take it could and all exchanges to other currencies would be done through the government exchange.
A province wide barter system that is used to promote more local business.
I’m sorry TRM, but your comment is (Removed,do not insult,MOD). The Québec independance movement explained the economics of independance in both 1980 and 1995, the second one being so close the anglo-canadians and federalists needed to resort to fraud to win, before coming up with liberal Stéphane Dion’s law that basically denied Québec the right to independance by claiming that “50% + 1” majority democracy no longer applied to us.
Second, neither Québec or Catalonia tried to “outlaw” any language. That’s projection. Contrary to english provinces outlawing french education “in the good old days”, the Québec “loi 101” never outlawed the teaching in english. It merely stated that French was the national language of Québec and therefore, state communications needed to be in french only, while business advertising needed to be clearly visible in french (but could still be available in any other language of their liking). The important, core part, was the need of an option in french available for the public. Even that was later gutted by the canadian courts, using a constitution that was never signed by representatives of any Québec government to this day (the canadian “constitution” was imposed on Québec during the “night of the long knives”, with all provincial PM’s signing it in the absence of the Québec PM).
After what we’re endured, with lord Duhram calling french canadians “the white n***ers of America” after the Patriot revolts against monarchy of 1837-1838 (that also saw short-lived englishmen militias fighting to abolish monarchy), an event that saw whole french villages being burned and looted by the british forces in retaliation, is that really too much to ask ? To be able to receive services in our own mother’s language on the land where we are born ?
Let’s not even talk about how Franco’s regime outlawed minority languages too, shall we ?
As for your argument stating “In Quebec’s case they actually thought they would continue to get transfer payments from the rest of Canada after separation” I never heard of it and I’ve lived in Québec all my life. I do remember the federalists threatening us, saying that all the businesses would just suddenly move out of Québec all at once the day after independance and we would become a wasteland or something like that. Textbook scare tactics. They also said the “separatists” would put all the english and immigrants into concentration camps the day after independance. Real classy scare politics there, I remember.
Calling us nazis all the way to the present day, when it is in fact the canadian government that is supporting actual, murderous nazis in Ukraine, is almost too ironic…
Same thing can be observed in Catalonia today, with the Madrid castillan “free press” falling into total hysteria. But I’ll admit it, for as much as I despise the federal canadian government, they at least allowed us to have a vote, even if they rigged it. Rajoy of Madrid, on the other hand, chose the old Franco regime’s way of beating its opposition into submission… to a spectacular failure this time around.
Finally, because this comment is growing way too long, I agree that switching “a master for another master” is a huge mistake. NATO should never be trusted, but dismantling decades long cold war propaganda is hard and a lenghty process to explain away. One step at a time I always say. First get out of Canada, then, if the one who got out of Canada still got us stuck in NATO, get out of NATO later. Canada, much like Spain and the UK, is an artificial creation with rigid constitutions (made to protect the status quo), where you simply cannot get the different, sometimes antagonist cultures inside them, to work together toward such complicated foreign policy goals as emancipation from the anglo-zionist imperial structures.
you said… “Let’s not even talk about how Franco’s regime outlawed minority languages too, shall we ?”
“let’s not speak about how they have been doing exactly that “outlaw a minority? language” for… about 30 years now”
again, the Francoist argument… I am becomming Tired of repeating, what have this to do with Today’s facts. If that was bad (it was!) they are doing exactly the same thing (shouldn’t that be bad also?)
Gabriel: Where to begin. First I have never likened you to fascists or Nazis.
There have been many wrongs throughout history. If you go back then anyone can justify anything. Sorry but no. I want to move forward. As to the Quebec referendum there was serious analysis of the pro-independence financial statements and it was so unrealistic as to fail basic GAAP. As to the cheating on the 1995 referendum it was on the pro-independence side almost exclusively. Please read the Wikipedia entry on “Rejected Ballots” where “In May 2005, former PQ Cabinet minister Richard Le Hir said that the PQ coordinated the ballot rejections”. Yes a PQ (pro-indy) cabinet minister admitted it.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that unilateral secession contemplated in the referendum was illegal. Quebec, even with a “Yes” vote, would have to negotiate with Canada. So why not do that first as I suggest? Because the terms would be so onerous that few in would vote for it and the pro-independence leaders knew that.
But why quibble over minor details that neither of us will ever agree on? Let’s look at REAL independence. The financial independence. Why not start a Quebec-Coin blockchain? Limited to the provincial boundaries and convertible only via official provincial government exchanges?
Think about it. You have your own currency that because it is only valid in Quebec will be recycled in Quebec raising your prosperity and no foreign, or even Canadian, can try to do a run on your currency unless your provincial government goes along with it (they would be voted out in a heartbeat).
When one thinks about it Catalonia is a training manual not just for South America but also Quebec, California, Texas
Without getting into the argument itself, after reading the first “F Man”s article one gets the impression the writer uses the word “Spain”, “Spanish” and “Spanish language” deliberately to hide the simple fact that Spain, like Italy and Germany, is a relatively recent creation. Historically, there were several contemporaneous kingdoms all based in distinct populations that emerged from the fall of the Roman Empire. The Basques have always been a different people and culture that not even the Romans were capable of subduing. The Northwest (present Galicia and Northern Portugal) was settled by the Sweves about 400 AD where a distinct language developed and a sense of nationhood leading to the creation of the Kingdom of Portucale in 1028, later sanctioned by the Pope, while Galicia itself was detached from Leon and was also a separate kingdom as well for a period. In fact, throughout the past 1,000 years there were the kingdoms of Navarre, Aragon, Leon, Asturias, Castile, Catalonia, Galicia and Portugal. But there was not a kingdom of Spain as such although the whole peninsula was known by the Latin name Hispania, hence Spain, because being a misnomer like America or American for the US, it was never a single country, not even during the period of the Iberian Union (1580-1640) when King Phillip II added Portugal (and earlier England) to his long title where all the lands under his dominium were listed separately, because each country was run according to its laws and customs, although under a single crown, not much different from the monarchies of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc. today.
As to the language, the peoples of the different regions of the Peninsula know very well there is no Spanish language. That’s for foreigners. It’s real name for Galicians, Basques, Catalonians (and some Asturians, Leonese, Valencians and Aragonese) is Castilian and the reason why a “Spaniard” hides that fact is obvious. It’s a bit like the English deciding that “English” (the language) is not pluralistic enough (might offend Scots, Welsh and Irish) and henceforth should be called “British”!
relative recent creation… let’s say Spain, as a Nation State, is 500 years old (the frontiers slightly changed in this time) the first one of all the great State Nations of Europe. much before than the UK, France, Germany, or anyone else…
it is just a question of perspective, if we open our Time lapse enough… lets say couple of million years, or just 10,000 years… then, yes it is relatively recent.
Being more serious, when compared with their Neighbours, and taking into consideration the last 1,000 years (better should be 500 years, at the star of the Modern History Period in ca. 1500) well then your sentence has no meaning, because Spain was then there, the Nation State, maybe with another name, or variation, but the same Nation in essence.
Speaking now about the Germanic Invasions of the Roman Empire, or late medieval Periods… it is quite nonsense, sorry.
About the language name, it is Castilian and Spanish (I am not hiding anything, but you are free to look for conspiratory and far-fetched theories) the question is not about the name, but about what we can or not speak, about Democracy and the rule of Law or not.
I would not enter into the Ethymology of Spain, Hyspania, Hyspahan etc. it is also nonsense. like speaking about UK, England, Wessex or the Danelaw. It has nothing to do with the Problem Today.
Was this another maidan or just modern version of quasi-nationalism run by local politicians not reasoning well enough that NATO-EU-Catalonia “indepedence” is reality show for fools living in illusions? This is farce. Thanks to stupid pompeous politicians in Madrid these people in Catalonia have earned their status of martyrdom.
“Israel and Germany may be key to initially financing a Catalan state independent from Spain, a judicial advocate for a sovereign Catalonia has recently suggested.”
“Without initial membership in the European Union, an independent Catalan state could not appeal to the Central Bank of Europe to finance its debts, said Vidal, a member of a pro-Catalan independence expert group.
“But there is a solution for this,” Vidal said in the interview adding that “another state with solvency, basically speaking of Israel and Germany, will serve as our temporary bank.””
“everything bad happening to them it is because of the Spaniards”
This type of caricature of an opposition argument is usually necessary when the truth is “many bad things happened to them, and it was because of the Spaniards.”
Does anyone recall this little ditty Ernest Hemingway reproduced in For Whom the Bell Tolls?
My nose is broad,
My face is black,
But still I am a man.
Thank God I am a negro
And not a Catalan.
it could be that bad things happened to them in the past, the 17th, after the civil war, etc(not that they were saints by themselves, look into their historical record in the Civil War, etc. both sides were atrocious, not only the Francoist. There is much romanticism and myth here)
But, what have this to do after 35 years of Democracy. Are we in some kind of Hartfiedls Vs McCoys in a multigenerational Family war or what? They got all they want and more. the thing is, it is them who behave now like the Francoist then, they are the ones repressing another Language, looking always to be privileged over the rest of the spaniards, with their “fet diferencial” (differential facts).
Rule of law, or Rule of the Jungle…?
the referendum is illegal even if you consider ONLY the Laws of Catalonia.
“rights and Freedom, yes! with Responsability and being accountable for one’s acts”
“all equal under the same Law”
the 17th, I mean in the Seccesion War in the 17th Century
While the allure of a big, strong, and united nation is indeed great and desirable, any nation will suffer once it tries to retain its me first population at all cost. Nigerias “catalani” population “biafrans” even voted with their shameless biafra attire in the catalonia referendum. I ask how?
They are a tribe of exceptionalist who worship money and style themselves as jews, even requesting verification from isreal. My stand is to let them go. A nation can only attain it’s full potential when it’s people work in unity. If Russia can restore itself to most of its former Soviet glory with potential now of becoming greater. It’s shows that the Soviet satellite states probably were the unnecessary baggage that needed to be shed for a focused march to glory
Sadly, exceptionalist tribes are a human reality but they are malignant tissues that should be given the cancer treatment. While I do not buy surgical violent treatment, a well thought out non carcinogenic chemical – diet based solution is needed. Show the exceptionals a comprehensive divorce agreement making it clear the stand once you have they go and let them go. Body counts don’t make great nation. The population loss can be recovered in less than 20 years. And their territory will always be used for infiltration anyway.
Too bad this plays into the globalist agenda, but no nation can solve this problem by appeasement, what I have learnt from vvp is to always think through issues and develop a clear articulated the position on them. Refusing to face these issues is cowardice. exceptionalist don’t respect anything outside strength, strength cannot come without shedding unwanted weight.
Hi, I’m Spanish. I agree with “F.MAN” views. First of all, let me say that I have no issues with Catalonia becoming independent if a CLEAR MAJORITY so decides.
But the reality is that a minority have highjacked the process and pretend to be a majority which they are not. They lost the last referendum and all the polls showed that they are a minority.
They have been doing a desinformation campaign portraying themselves as victims when they are actually the victimizers. Spaniards and Spanish language are been discriminated against in Catalonia. If you have a shop there, you can’t have a sign only in Spanish, has to be either in Catalan or bilingual, Hello, is this Spain? Most of the street signs are ONLY in Catalan.
The BS that they giving more money to the state than what they received is old news, no longer. During the economic crisis of 2008 many Catalan banks went belly up, who bailed em up? The Spanish state.
The Catalan government has serious corruption issues and as the investigations got more serious, voila, the independence issue came to the rescue.
First,I don’t support Catalonia breaking away from Spain. But if that happens the fault will lay with the Spanish government. They are doing what Ukraine is trying to do.The Donbass would not be in revolt against Ukraine if Ukraine hadn’t tried to terrorize them. Spain appears to be making that same foolish error. Second,what you said doesn’t make sense.Spain is a geographic term. The language you claim is “Spanish” is instead Castilian.The are several languages native to Spain.They are all just as old as Castilian.Over the last couple of centuries Castilian has grown in Spain. And it absorbed some of the smaller closely related dialects. But those with more of a history and large numbers of speakers have keep their place (Catalan,Galician,Basque). The polls I’ve seen say the majority of “ethnic” Catalans do support independence. The large immigrant population in Catalonia doesn’t,but the Catalans do.If what you say is true. And most people “don’t” want independence.Then there would be no reason to fear a referendum would there be. The obvious fact that Madrid “does” fear a free vote,says they “do” think they would lose that vote. As for the part about the signs in “Catalonia”.You seem shocked that the “native majority” of “Catalans” would want signs in “their” language. That doesn’t sound strange to me at all. No more than for the majority Russian speaking population in Donbass to want Russian to be accepted in Donbass.The fact that Catalonia allows bi-lingual signs seems to me very fair of them.I won’t common on the economic issues. I don’t think that economic issues are important when discussing nationalism.National identity just by its emotional characteristics transcend economics. If Spain has any hope of keeping Catalonia they need to be negotiating in good faith with the Catalans before the time to talk is over.Again as Donbass shows,that time wouldn’t last long.
You misunderstand my points. The point is reverse discrimination which is the opposite of what they claim. This is not about how “whole” Spanish or Castilian is, that’s not what we are talking about. No problem with bilingual or Catalan only if so desired by a particular person, but to banned Spanish only signs is clearly discriminatory and still, Spanish is the national language, the only national language, to ban sings in Spanish is discriminatory.
Don’t know what polls you’ve seen, but they’ve been in the minority and going down. Its a very vocal minority, but a minority anyway. They’ve even encouraged immigration and promise of citizenship to immigrants willing to support independence, those are desperate measures.
The fact that the referendum was suppressed does not invalidate my points. They had their own reasons to do it, they are different issues.
Economic issues are important in this particular discussion of nationalism because that was the main issue that they claimed from day 1, that they give more money to the state than what they receive.
Spain has been negotiating in good faith with the Catalans, they already got the maximum that they can get in a federal system.
I easily see why they would ban “Spanish only” signs,it is Catalonia where the regional language is Catalan.I thought you meant they weren’t allowing Spanish signs. But you are claiming that requiring bi-lingual signs is discrimination. But,no,it isn’t. Even with the threats,violence,and the stoppage of people from voting.As well as stealing 700,000 ballots Almost 45% of peoples ballots were counted. Of that number over 90% voted yes. We can assume that the stolen ballots would have been similar. And since people were prevented from voting the odds are many of them would have voted yes as well. I have seen the mass rallies of people wanting independence. And also the “smaller” rallies of those opposed. The bottom line is, if the Spanish government thought the “No” vote would have won. They wouldn’t have objected to a referendum. They feared they would have lost. And I think they probably are more knowledgeable on that than we are.We’ll see what the future holds. But if Madrid doesn’t start some serious “fence-mending”,and quickly. They can wave bye-bye to Catalonia.Just as what happened in Donbass. Where the government violence turned many people that just wanted reforms to wanting independence. I suspect what Madrid did will have the same effect on some Catalans that wanted to stay with Spain.
No, you didn’t read carefully what I said. I actually said that its ok to have bilingual signs, that is actually very good and a sign of respect to others. What I complain about is against banning signs in private property (shops) that are only in Spanish; that’s clearly discriminatory when the official language is Spanish. No problem in my view if a shop wants to have Catalan only signs. For public signs, they should be bilingual as a way of showing respect to those that don’t speak Catalan (lets not forget that there is a large proportion of the residents that are not Catalans and there are also a lot of tourists), but no, the public signs are only in Catalan, that’s discriminatory.
What is a “ethnic catalan”? Is their vote is more important than the votes of the so called non-ethnic catalans? I am asking this because most catalans could not answer this question has it has been a debate for many years that has radically changed as nationalits realized that if they wanted to enlarge their voting base, they would have to welcome non-ethnic or even enhance inmigration from non-spanish speaking countries, as the biggest % of muslim inmigrants can be found in what you would call found in what once were traditional catalan villages.
This is a revolution indeed as they have broken not only every Spanish law, but also the Laws of the Catalan parliament, as they didn´t have the majority of the votes to pass the law of the referendum. Yesterday, they staged a brilliant performance using their own citizens the be victims of the Spanish police. The local police has been far more brutal in recent events and demostrations (check youtube), but this is all forgotten as they placed women, children and elderly people first, after provoking the police. And yes, bad things happened. Everyone is to blame, even daddie taking their five year old to stand in front a very angry police.
The news is that I strongly believe that the “moderate” politicians who were supposed to lead the process are now out of the game and radicals will move forward and lead… where? who knows, after all this is radical and revolutionary project and we all know the consequences.
Could the police have acted more rationally yesterday? Yes
Would the catalan goverment have acted any different today? No
Is this an open door for other european regions to do the same? Yes
Are we being manipulated from otuside Spain? Well, remember 1936, But don´t forget that after 1936, 1939 came along.
“they placed women, children and elderly people first, after provoking the police”
Provoking the police? By trying to hold a vote. Sure,just like those Russian speakers “provoked” the Ukrainian fascists by doing the same thing. Talk about “blaming the victim”. The Spanish government argument is the same one used against the Crimean’s.Just “how dare they” hold a referendum to decide “their own fate”. Instead of just accepting their fate decided by others. As to your “ethnic Catalan” argument. Just like in every country/region in Europe. I think the Catalans know the difference.But once again,the bottom line is,if Madrid “thought” they could win a free vote they wouldn’t have “been provoked” by people voting. Their fear was they thought they would lose.
Uncle Bob: “Just as what happened in Donbass. Where the government violence turned many people that just wanted reforms to wanting independence.”
The call for independence referendum preceded the violence. The chronology of events need to be re-visited, to determine cause-and effect.
In Ukraine: First came the colour revolution, power grab by Ukro-Nazis in Kiev, then threats and attacks against the Russian speaking populations. Only AFTER that did the Donbass / Crimea call for autonomy and independence.
In Spain: There was no coup in Madrid. Catalonia already has autonomy and is allowed to use their language. The pro- independence politicians made a call for an independence referendum. Why now? Were there legal actions taking place behind the scenes? In any case, this is when the repressive police action from the Madrid government starts.
One can condemn the reactions of the Rajoy to the referendum, and one can argue, that going forward it will make dialogue more difficult, but one cannot argue that Madrid’s actions are the reason the referendum was called.
Well, I would say that certain kind of violence preceded the Spanish National Police violence.
There was a campaign by the CUP, supposed anticapitalists ( who invite to give lectures to people who shares the same arguments NATO and the US spread on Syria ), and part of the triparty organizing this coup d´etat, on signalling those citizens, parties, schools and any human being, and I would say even puppet, who opposed or had no intention to go voting the “referendum” in Catalonia. So, one would suspect, in case of an unilateral declaration of independence, what will be the future of the non-independentist Catalonians, just they will be turned into second category citizens, the same which happened in the Ukraine. These people, the indepemdentists, are managed by the architects of the Colour Revolutions for you go to know what lucrative promises.
The campaign is called Assegnalem-los ( señalémoslos ), here an image worth many words:
There are also taped phone calls made by Omniúm Cultural menacing and calling people traitors and so on if they are not willing to go voting.
So, yes, this has all the look of going to be a “democratic republic”, yes, of the same kind of nazi Ukraine…..
Hi Saker: One of the main arguments of F-MAN against independentist is that they are nationalist and socialist, id est NAZIS. This sofism would surely impress Aristoteles. There are thousands of nationalist and socialist parties in the world that really want the best for their nations and social justice. They are not Nazis for that. Nazism was a dictatorship of the financial capital, very similar to what the empire is today. Then f-man argued that they are brainwashed, liars etc. Saker, why are you allowing him to insult everybody who is in favor of the republic of Cataluña while you strict forbid insults in the reply section? Double standard?
Hi Daniel. Look, they may not be Nazis in the historical sense, but the behaviour of the sizeable minority in Catalonia that opresses those who are neither nationalists nor communists/anarchists behave like the historical nazis, fascists, communists: like an selfish supremacist authoritarian clique. You may like it or not, but this is the factual and perceived reality of the majority of Catalans and the absolute majority of Spaniards who couldn’t believe their eyes as this situation develped over the last 35 years. Now, I suggest you land in 2017 and look at the big picture and the motivations of most stakeholders, especially the petty, despicable corrupts in Madrid and in Barcelona. ¡Con Dios!
My sense is that the stand-off over Catalonia is a classical case of a divide and conquer strategy being employed.
Before Israel and the Dajjalic/Anti-Christ hegemon officially assumes undisputed global superpower status, it requires the demolition of the current power blocs in the East as well as the West. And what more effective a means to weaken and destroy the incumbent power blocs by catalyzing an implosion via getting internal parties to war with each other.
We see this diabolical approach playing out in the US (left vs right, nationalists vs progressives, white vs black…), in the Middle East (Sunni vs Shia; Secularist vs Religious; Kurds vs the Rest…), in the EU (Brexit vs anti-Brexit, Madrid vs Barcelona…), etc, etc. In essence people have been set up and parties engineered for conflict with the Zionists controlling the levers of both conflicting entities.
We, as humanity, need to step back, understand the reality of our enemy, what are their macro/strategic objectives and apply the necessary thought processing/take the necessary actions to avoid falling prey to their deceptive schemes.
I simply don’t see how we can have a right of secession. If we did then every town, village and hamlet might declare itself independent and that’s simply not practical.
Seems to me that most, but not all, states evolve as an economic and political organism. Cutting bits out leaves the cut out bit too small to be independent in the manner that its inhabitants might want and the larger part is left behind weakened by the loss.
Passport to Pimlico: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passport_to_Pimlico was a funny movie but illustrated the issues in a small scale.
This might sound terrible, but it does rather seem as though secession needs to be enforced by force of arms. Only in that way can it be shown that the resolve of the independence seekers is adequate, or the resolve of the rump is not.
Voting is too easy, too easy to manipulate and has such a tiny cost that it is easy to vote in either direction on a whim. We fight for what we believe, we vote for that which we like.
The right to rule oneself is a right per se without regard to practicability. Prior to the emergence of nation states trade was pretty kafaesk. Every few kilometers you had to pay another customs tax when crossing from one “hamlet” to the next. For the mere impracticality, I don’t think we will witness secessions of too small a scale, unless they are fully motivated by a foreign capo.
The situation in Catalan looks remarkably similar to the trouble we in Canada had with the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec in the 60’s through 90’s. So one could get ideas by studying that history. Quebec held 2 referenda and both failed to get a majority separation vote. The only violence was perpetrated by the FLQ (Front de libération du Québec) in October 1970 and was quickly crushed by the federal government.
The reasonable among us on both sides of the issue saw that if Quebec were to separate it would have been a losing proposition for both sides. In 1969 Canada adapted both French and English as official languages with amendments in 1988. All federal and provincial government services are available in either French or English and there are laws that force most consumer labels etc. be printed in both languages. Even though French speakers only makes up about 20% of the population. In Quebec, all businesses are required by the province to post signage in French. The signage in the rest of the provinces is optional. The federal government also gives provinces the ability to set and collect federal taxes. These policies worked and the separatist federal party withered and talk of separation has almost died out. A small price to pay for unity that everyone benefits from and I still can’t speak a word of French. Even though the taxes in Quebec are the highest in the country, they are now the most indebted per capita non-sovereign jurisdiction on the planet.
Well , in the Practice, that is happening since long in Catalonia. ant the other “special” Regions
Just the thing to force the rest of the country to have also Catalan as co-official. But all regional languages are Cooficial (not exclusive, as it is being forced in practice by Catalonia) in their respective regions.
English is not an official language in Quebec. French is the only official language.
However, Quebec is constitutionally obliged to provide English services in the courts and the National Assembly of Quebec. But that is the extent of the obligation regarding English.
Charter of the French Language
The problem is that both the authors are right !
Both Madrid and Barcelona have been insufferable for decades.
It is a win win-situation for the empire-of-divide-and-conquer, and the old oxfordian master maker deans must de proud, down there in hell, where they surely are.
balcanize, baby, balcanize !
We can argue all we want about about who is right and who is wrong but in the end it will come down to Thrasymachus’ principal of justice.
“And the different forms of government make laws democratical, aristocratical, tyrannical, with a view to their several interests; and these laws, which are made by them for their own interests, are the justice which they deliver to their subjects, and him who transgresses them they punish as a breaker of the law, and unjust. And that is what I mean when I say that in all states there is the same principle of justice, which is the interest of the government; and as the government must be supposed to have power, the only reasonable conclusion is, that everywhere there is one principle of justice, which is the interest of the stronger.” Thrasymachus – Plato’s Republic Book I
I am not saying that I agree with the concept of might makes right but I accept Thrasymachus’ principal of justice as the reality of the world in which we live. Mankind is always moving towards periods of greater consolidation or periods of chaos. Right now we seem to be headed toward chaos. The Catalonia referendum is just part of that trend. The cycle will repeat until the earth is no more.
Ya, I’m gonna need FMan to explain why, if Catalan sucks so much, the national police even care enough to waste rubber. His facts is not squaring with what my eyeballs are seeing.
If Catalan is:
1. a drag on the economy of Spain
2. a bunch of selfish jerks
3. 50% wanting to stay.
then why does Madrid give a hoot whether they have a vote?
Italy, Germany and Yugoslavia jigsaw puzzles of principalities and provincial states that united to the benefit of all. Spain set the example in 15th Century by the genius of two monarchs. It seems Catalonia has become the victim of its own success. This is hubris.
Most probably precipitated by EU austerity and dictatorial governance. Catalonia’s claim to fame and success is from being the best IN Spain. Barcelona needs a dose of humility with some grace towards the Iberian peninsula it elevates.
I will compile here my comments on various comments made by Uncle Bob from the US, José Freitas from Portugal, and Gabriel from Quebec.
The point of my reply is that the comparisons they make don’t make much sense.
The most obvious is the comparison that Uncle Bob keeps bringing up between Catalonia and the Donbass.
Uncle Bob often makes very valuable comments, but the notion of comparing Catalonia with the Donbass (and by extension Madrid with Kiev) seems to me so completely preposterous that I can’t imagine how anyone can even bring it up. The Donbass revolted because there was a textbook American-engineered coup in Kiev that installed a completely illegal government of neo-nazi assholes and russophobes, who quickly made it clear that ethnic Russians and their language were a target. Kiev has been shelling and murdering people there for 3 years. What on earth are you talking about, Uncle Bob? Please…
The Spanish government sent some riot police to try to enforce the high court ruling that this referendum was illegal and the voting centers should not open, as the local Catalan police were unwilling to enforce this order. Okay, it was a truly incompetent decision to send the riot police because it should have been easy to foresee that it would lead precisely to the kind of scenes we’ve seen (which, by the way, are common in most western democracies when the police are sent out to control crowds or put down demonstrations, even if they are peaceful).
The Madrid government could (and should) have just let them vote and just ignore the vote since the referendum had been declared illegal long beforehand. The only thing they gained by this was a lot of images circulating worldwide presenting a picture of brutalization. The effect on the number of people who voted was negligible, except to increase chaos, as people went from one place to another in order to vote and could vote several times if they wished to.
From the Madrid side, it was incompetence at a huge and clownish level. One wonders what kind of “advisors” the Spanish PM has, and who they are serving. Maybe the whole lot of them are incompetent. Maybe their UE masters advised them to do this. I don’t know.
Anyway, to go back to my point, what does this have to do with the horror show that Kiev has been putting on in the Donbass since 2014? What indeed?
If you are going to do a comparison, you can compare the big international “outrage” this one day of police roughness created, you could compare it with the deafening silence that has resulted from 3 YEARS of shelling and killing by the Ukrainian army in the Donbass.
And there is another element that could be compared between those two cases: that would be the language policies pursued by the Kiev government and by the Catalonian government, with regards to Russian and Spanish languages, both of which are the native and/or most commonly spoken language for at least half the population of Ukraine and Catalonia respectively. Those language policies consist of aggressive suppression, both in education and in official matters, of those languages.
The comparison with Quebec made by Gabriel is also largely inappropriate, though he makes good points with regard to the history of Quebec. The fact is that since 1759, when the British defeated the French in Quebec City, all those territories came under their control, which resulted in a situation where the local French-speaking population (a vast majority among settlers, as French people had been settling there since the mid 17th century) were now ruled by the Anglo minority, which held all the reins of political and economic power. The French Canadians were slow to wake up, but they finally did in the 1960s and 70s, and things changed a lot.
In contrast, Catalonia has been the richest and most industrialized region of Spain since at least the second half of the 19th century. The local ethnic Catalan elites were always the ones who held most of the economic power there, unlike Quebec. Workers migrated there from all other parts of Spain. Ethnic “pure laine” Catalonians of all social classes have been by and large better off than the immigrants that kept coming to Catalonia from other parts of Spain until the late 20th century (today they mostly come from other countries).
Also, the percentage of native Spanish speakers in Catalonia is about 7 times larger than the percentage of native English speakers in Quebec. In spite of that, the language policy in Catalonia is much more aggressively anti-Spanish, especially in education, than in Quebec. In Quebec, you can send your child to public school in English if one of the parents was educated in that language. In Catalonia you cannot do that.
According to the most recent linguistic census elaborated by the Government of Catalonia corresponding to 2008, 45.92% of citizens over 15 years old declared Spanish as their [only] habitual language of use, versus 35.64% for Catalan, with 11.95% of complete bilinguals; a larger number claims Catalan as “their own language” (37.25% Catalan compared to 46.53% Spanish and 8.81% bilinguals).
Quebec language statistics
Overview as of the 2016 census
Official language: French
Majority group: Francophone (77.1%)
Minority groups: Allophone (neither French nor English) (13.15%)
native speakers of two languages or more (2.3%)
The fact that Spanish speakers seem to be still a majority in Catalonia, does not prevent the Catalan government from pursuing a very aggressive policy of excluding Spanish from public education and official use.
Each case is different, and comparisons should be done with extreme care.
There is a region in northern Italy, referred to as Padania, which has expressed some independent aspirations. In terms of the dynamics of wealth distribution and industrialization, it is in many respects comparable to the Catalan case.
And the comparison with Portugal made by José Freitas is also ill-conceived for this purpose. Very different case. Portugal was temporarily joined with the Spanish crown for a mere 59 years, and that was a long time ago, after the Portuguese king, Sebastian, died without heirs. The “Iberian Union” lasted from 1581 to 1640. That’s it.
You cannot possibly compare that with Catalonia, which has been continuously part of Spain from the very beginning, since the political entity called Spain came into existence with the marriage of the so called “Catholic Monarchs” in 1469. And I insist that the language situation today is what it is as copied above, unless the government of Catalonia is inflating its own data with regard to Spanish speakers (which would be quite astonishing).
I disagree about the comparison between Catalonia and Portugal. Catalonia only joined Castilla and Aragón in the late 15th century, with the Catholic Kings marriage, before they proceeded to conquer granada. Portugal was joined to the Spanish Crown in 1580, roughly one hundred years later. Both countries rebelled about the same year, 1640, demonstrating in both cases that they were not keen on being attached to Castilia that had become Spain, for a number of reasons, economical, linguistical, etc… but the truth is, seen from 500 years later, it doesn’t much matter, this 100 year difference under Spanish Crowns.
And the truth also is that is very much a continuation of the 1930’s politics. Catalonia was already strongly pursuing autonomy if not independence under the Republic, and attained a very high degree of independence before Franco, and much of this was linked to the fact that it was one of the most left-leaning areas of Spain (for being one of the more early industrialized ones). Franco ferociously repressed communists, unions, anarchists, progressives and so on, and many, probably most of them were also connected to Catalonian independence thought and nationalism. There was also at a certain period, an explicit repression of may forms of Catalan culture and language.
After Franco died, a new Constitution was voted and accepted by all, with what they liked, and what they didn’t like. And it only worked as long as everybody could pretend it worked. Conservatives could pretend that autonomy would the end of it, and that it was no menace to the unity of the country, and independentists could pretend that the Constitution did not get in the way of the fact that one day, who knows, perhaps, in many years, it would lead to negotiations for ever-greater autonomy and so on, possibly independence.
After Spain’s Constitutional Court refused – in 2010 – many of the articles of the new Autonomous Statutes that were voted by Catalonians in 2006 (and I will admit that the continuous insistence on wording of “nationhood”, “different people”, “historical differences” was probably too much and a provocation, but also many of the statutes refused were the same as the basque Country has – it enjoys greater fiscal authority on its money than does Catalonia, for example – or had to do with language, a very sensitive issue in a counrty where most people have a grandmother or family member who remembers not being able to speak Catalan freely)… the pretence was over.
After that, no one now can pretend at playing that the Constitution will play its way. Which is why I think a certain bridge has been traversed and then burned. I don’t think that Catalonia will get independence, their leaders are too incompetent and divided to be able to, plus a good half of them don’t really want to secede. But I also think that the rest of Spain will understand that something about the Constitution cannot be salvaged, and that it no longer satisfies anyone. we will see what happens, but once you reach this limit, you need a POLITICAL solution, which implies negotiations. At some point, Spain WILL HAVE to sit down and negotiate this, which is what they have been refusing so far. True, the independentists have exagerated and overplayed their hand in many instances. But for now onwards, my feeling is that the percentage of people in Catalonia who want independence will slowly increase every year.
I disagree about the comparison between Catalonia and Portugal. Catalonia only joined Castilla and Aragón in the late 15th century
Catalonia was already part of Aragon, which then joined Castile in 1469 (marriage) giving “birth” to Spain.
Portugal was joined to the Spanish Crown in 1580
Felipe was crowned king of Portugal in 1581, that is 112 years after the birth of Spain.
Both countries rebelled about the same year, 1640,demonstrating in both cases that they were not keen on being attached to Castilia
disatisfaction in attachment is quite different from disatisfaction about being conquered by force, which is the impression many seem to have. You can at times be dissatisfied with a part of your body, or a member of your family, but that does not mean this entity conquered you.
but the truth is, seen from 500 years later, it doesn’t much matter, this 100 year difference under Spanish Crowns
How do you mean? Do you really think “it doesn’t much matter” that Catalonia has been part of Spain since inception, 1469, while Portugal was only temporarily joined for just 59 years? I think it matters a lot. The difference is huge and is fully responsible for the strong sentiment shared by all Spaniards (except a few Catalan nationalists who choose to believe their own propaganda) that Catalonia, while distinct, *is* indeed and has always been very much part of Spain, while no Spaniard, none whatsoever, feels that Portugal is part of Spain, and in fact most Spaniards don’t even know that Portugal and Spain were jonce oined for 59 years.
That is a big difference in my mind, and is very relevant.
“The campaign is called Assegnalem-los ( señalémoslos ), here an image worth many words”:
For those who might not understand, the phrase “Assegnalem-los” means “let’s point them out”, as in pointing someone out with your index finger, as in pointing to the accused, the guilty one, the pariah. Guilty of what? Of not goign along with the gang.
This is the real core of those thoroughly robotized mobs screaming independence or wearing the “uniform”, the dress-flag around their bodies. This is exactly the Maidan spirit in action. You can’t try talking to them, they are completely unreachable, gone in their own private tunnel. Their brains have been bleached.
Now imagine being one of the many (the majority actually) who don’t go along with this idiocy, and are therefore “pointed out” or branded as traitors in the minds of those goons. Imagine life in that kind of society, if you can.
The URL to the image gives me a “404 Not Found”. Do you have one that works?
Anonymous on October 03, 2017 · at 8:38 pm UTC
The URL to the image gives me a “404 Not Found”. Do you have one that works?
Here you go:
In my experience, if someones aim is not to show his colors because of fear to be pointed out, he is the perfect tool for manipulators and jerks. He will submit continuously to every bully in town. It seems to me that this attitude is very common (fashion relies on it, for instance), which explains a lot of the trouble. Well, if someone is not willing to stand his ground, he shall not complain about the result, even more so if he belongs to the silent majority.
Comment on view #1:1st,2nd etc.
but in their deeds you can see the same manuscript as in: Croatia, muslim Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Ukarine: in every of this young liberated nations you will hear that they are:
*-supreme to the rest of the nation,
*-being exploited from the lazy and inferior majority
*-have got special historical rights
*-do not alow to others what they alow themselves
All this story is a pure nazzizm at all.
Who said that Lathine World becomes every year more and more emancipated from the West, Exspecially from the USA? And that Spain seems to become a leader of Lathin Commonwelath, thus influencing a billion of Spain-alnguage speakers, or about hundreed millions in USA.
In order to prevent a birth of this Commonwelath, US start cutting the body of Spain.
So it seems: that a bunch of thieves may occupy any land, promote there a secession (in spite of a silent majority), and get into a possession of a new free state?
Once they did it in Greece, why shouldn’t they manage at home?
Its more than a little “ironic” ,that all the pro-Spanish government arguments here. Are the very same type of arguments the Ukrainians use against Donbass and Crimea demanding freedom from Ukraine. And that most of us here reject from them. And yet accept in this case. The hypocrisy is too thick to cut with a knife.
We reject those arguments because they are made by a completely illegitimate regime installed by a coup organized and funded by a colonial power, a regime which immediately announced its intention to strip the main language of those regions of any official status, and a regime that has been *murdering* and *shelling* its own people for 3 years.
An illegally installed government has no right to invoke any constitutional arguments, when it, itself, first usuped power by violating the very constitution they invoke, thus rendering it void.
The arguments for Donbas and Crimea to break away are self evident. They ran for their lives.
The arguments by the Catalan government to place themselves outside the law and break away unilateraly from the rest of Spain are not self evident at all. There was no compelling reason for them to do this.
Catalonia enjoys the highest degree of autonomy of any region in Europe, and in fact this is the reason they arrived at this situation where the elites thought they could just use their local authority to override the authority of the central State. They did it because they thought they could just pull it off. We will see.
Futher, please observe that the Madrid goverment does not go around murdering Catalonians. All it did was supposedly “wounding” some 800+ people, all of whom but 2 recovered within 24 hours, as only 2 remain hospitalized.
Also, please observe that Madrid government did not come to power through a violent coup or any kind of coup, nor did it manifest any intentions to outlaw the use of Catalan in Catalonia or elsewhere. Catalonia is in fact the only region of Europe that doesn’t allow the main language of the state to which it belongs to be used in public education.
It is your constant and icomprehensible insistence to compare the Spanish government with the Kiev government that implies, perhaps not hypocrisy. Whatever it is, your “arguments” consist exclusively in making up comparisons that can’t withstand the slightest examination.
If there is any comparison to be made between those cases, it is between the fanatical independentists of Catalonia and the fanatical banderites of Ukraine. But even that is not quite fair. The nazi banderites are really on a class of their own when it comes to despicable behavior.
Did I explain why to your full satisfaction?
Personal attacks have been removed. Keep it factual not personal. Mod
“Catalonia enjoys the highest degree of autonomy of any region in Europe”
This is not entirely true, the Basque country has some more autonomy than Catalonia, especially in fiscal terms, and that is in fact one of the drivers of the grievances against the central government, which watered down many of the articles of the new Statute of Autonomy in 2010, a statute that had been voted for by both Spanish Parliament and Catalonian Parliament. The right wing parties took the Statute to the Constitutional Court which struck down many of the articles, also in a moment when that Court was note entirely “legitimate” with judges still in function that should have been substituted, seats vacant, and so on.
“Catalonia enjoys the highest degree of autonomy of any region in Europe”
This is not entirely true, the Basque country has some more autonomy than Catalonia, especially in fiscal terms,
Ok, so let’s say they have the second highest degree of autonomy in Europe, after the Basque country. Is that really so bad? Do they have to first in everything in order not to throw tantrums?
The main problem with this whole debate as that it fails to take into consideration the cowardice of Mariano Rajoy, possibly one of the weakest prime ministers Spain has ever had. Possessing about as much charisma as a secondhand coffin salesman. Up until now, he has always managed to be somewhere else in a crisis. Now, we can see the reason why.
The right wing Partido Popular or Popular Party, isn’t actually as popular as Rajoy would have the rest of the world believe. After failing to win a parliamentary majority in the 2015 election, partly because of being mired in corruption scandals for years, Spain was left in limbo for almost another year, with the PP failing to find another party willing join it a coalition. This was partly a result of the new left wing party, Podemos, which managed to steal votes from an increasingly Blairite PSOE. Had the two parties managed to reach an agreement to form a coalition, Spain almost certainly wouldn’f have found itself in the present mess.
In the 2016 election the PP managed to win 33% of the vote, whereas the combined vote of Podemos and the PSOE took almost 44%. Rajoy only managed to form a government after gaining support from the right-leaning Ciudadanos Party by promising to investigate corruption in his own party, a promise he has signally failed to fulfill.
That’s just some background to show how little Rajoy actually cares for democracy. Had Rajoy had the strength and confidence to allow an official referendum then the result of that referendum might have been rather different than he supposed. The party that called the referendum PDeCAT (The Catalan European Democratic Party) though separatist, is a centre-right party formed out of a party that actually used to support the PP in government.
There is a strong possibility that an official referendum, in which all parties were allowed to campaign, would have produced support for staying within a united Spain, as nearly all parties, except parties formed specifically to gain Catalan independence, would have been campaigning for the autonomous region to remain.
Rajoy’s lack of belief in his fellow citizens, and the licence he gave to the home security services to attack voters with violence, have made this situation far worse than it ever needed to have been. Not only has he helped lean waverers towards independence, he has created disgust among a huge number Spaniards in the rest of Spain, many of whom still retain strong memories of the Franco regime, when the militarised Guardia Civil would drag people from their homes in the middle of the night, never to be seen again. Graves of the victims are still being unearthed.
But, as with former Yugoslavia, Spain’s problems may not stop at Catalonia. The independently-minded Basques have voiced strong opposition to violent police action in Catalonia, and still harbour visions of an independent nation of their own. Many people in Galicia also resent Madrid. Valencia is another region where all is not roses, and there have even been calls for Andalucian independence in the not so distant past.
I live on the bit of Spain’s Andalucian coast that is about the farthest point away from Catalonia you can get. Things are not looking very pretty at all, even from here.
Democracy is not a value or a virtue (quite the opposite), same for so-called human rights. Someone, yesterday, spoke of “Reign of quantity”.
For me is pointless to argue about how much democracy there is or there is not, Spain has the right to defend itself from foreign powers that would like to split her (because of course, no one get “independent” alone).
By the way – how Nato-vassal means independent?
Please excuse me for my English.