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.
F Man said
“Nazi = National Socialist.”
“Nazi” is a shorthand term for “National Socialist”, so of course “Nazi = National Socialist.” Nobody would dispute it, but what in the hell does this statement have to do with Catalonia?
Oh I know, it’s just calling Catalan nationalists “Nazis”. Apparently it’s especially the Catalan nationalist left that’s getting called “Nazi” because duh “socialism” and “nationalism” together always means racial hygiene or something, just like Tito’s Yugoslavia! Nazism was not a mixture of socialism and nationalism, despite the name, it’s a specific ideology mixing ethnic nationalism, racial pseudo science and fascism. Zhirinovsky isn’t a liberal democrat either.
But even worse than the Nazi Catalans, apparently, are the Spanish people who move to Catalonia and then argue for independence (how dare they, those brainwashed race traitors), that just shows what Nazis they all are … or something like that. It all makes about as much sense as arguing that since everyone in Spain now hates the Catalans that is exactly why Spain should hold on to them, in order to punish them for ever wanting independence, always a recipe for a happy marriage that!
All I can say is that F Man’s article reads like a rant, it reads to me like a carbon copy of British unionist myths about how “Scottish subsidy junkies think they are more egalitarian than the English and who really just hate English people”. I find the aggression in F Mans article alarming, it’s historically known for dominant groups within imperial states to turn genocidal on separatist minorities, this is what happened to Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, in a more round about way it’s what Hitler (an Austrian, former dominant group in the Habsburg Empire) did to Slavs.
What an interesting forum! The arguments about independence can be broadly divided into philosophical-romantic-cultural-ethnic and political-economic.
On the first argument, given the appealing and strong emotional involvement of each affected individual, there is little to say. In principle, I don’t think that he who is attached to his roots, language etc. is a Nazi. However, today, I doubt that a constellation of small nation states would enable to achieve the goals that the philosophic-romantic independists dream of.
The argument on politics and economics is more actual and, maybe, measurable. Given that democracy ends inevitably into an oligarchy, the independist politicos should demonstrate how an independent smaller state may facilitate the average citizen’s power to access the politicians, as well as to affect the mechanisms of power. In the US only money and powerful (i.e. moneyed) connections gets you access to a politician.
On economics, other than statements about greater return of taxes to Catalonians (debatables in their generalities, as shown in this forum), I don’t think that the independists have made a clear case of any economic advantages for the mythical average (Catalonian) man. Furthermore, an independent state implies 150 new ambassadors and embassies at costs and salaries unthinkable by the average worker. Plus members of the local and EU parliament – the latter unelected and making as much or more than the US president, etc. etc.
On balance, without a tenable demonstration why the average working man may benefit from the split, it is reasonable to be skeptical.
The above has nothing to do with the idiotic (to be kind), reaction of the central Spanish governmemt. And of the King of Spain, who, by his declaration on the issue has proven indeed to be the “Infant of Spain,” notwithstanding his actual edging into middle age.
“Furthermore, an independent state implies 150 new ambassadors and embassies at costs and salaries unthinkable by the average worker. Plus members of the local and EU parliament – the latter unelected and making as much or more than the US president, etc. etc.”
And this is la madre del cordero about independentist impetu in Catalonia, the people has been fooled into the belief that more money will be available for to be spent in improving health, education, wages, pensions, and so on, when what the independentists leaders really are thinking of is, some of them, those who have passed years at the wheel of Catalonian institutions, continuing expoliating the Catalonian people and evade their on going prosecution at the highest tribunals of Spain for billionaire corruption cases, and some others, those who have never grabed power, to catch an armcahir on politics to avoid pegar un palo al agua for the rest of their lifes, after some in their formation have discovered the wonders of travelling in business class to the European Parliament or using an official car through Barcelona and having told the rest.
Just take a look at this scoundrel from ERC ( Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya ), whose name makes honor to his condition:
I have tried to be objective, as recommended by the Saker, but only to read the first article (F. Man), I understood that the opinion that was expressed there was totally biased, with a particularly Spanish point of view, mentioning the still scarce (according to the author) proportion of inhabitants in the region who speak Catalan, a language that was completely banned during the long Franco dictatorship. This language was kept alive thanks to the clandestine education received by children in the family, while the use of the Spanish language was favored by Franco. After the death of the dictator this situation was reversed and many of the people who were not Catalan by birth or were of Spanish descent adopted Catalan as their main language. I agree that in Spain and in the regional governments there is a great corruption, starting with Rajoy, the royal family and most of the political parties. There are many other aspects with which I dissent but I understand that it is not worth discussing other topics when I realize the author’s obvious partiality, who bids farewell with a verbal barrage against the Catalan nationalists.
It may be a good idea to read the 2nd article and the further 2 articles the Saker posted to give you some objectivity. Mod
@ Carlos Silva
All this is fine as far as linguistic drama is concerned. First, I take a bit of pedantic issue with your description of “banning” a language when what you really mean is “refusing official status to a language for administrative purposes”.
You cannot “ban” a language in the sense of forbidding it from being used, be it in spoken o written form. You cannot do it, if only because there would be no way to enforce such an absurd prohibition. And yet I’ve seen it mentioned more than once that people were forbidden from *speaking* this or that language.
The stripping of official status to a regional language within a larger centralized state has been practiced from time immemorial, and became increasingly frequent in Europe after the Middle Ages.
Languages can survive and have survived for hundreds of years without enjoying official status for administrative purposes, and even without writing. They are simply transmitted from generation to generation.
I am NOT endorsing the practice of refusing official status to a language if it has a substantial amount of speakers, as in the case of Catalan. The use of Catalan should have been allowed for official purposes (along with Castilian) since it is the language of Catalonia.
But there were times when it wasn’t accepted in writing for official purposes. In fact this happened almost continuously from the times of Charles III.
Not a good thing. The reason was to save burocratic time and hassle. But still not a good thing.
But if you really want to see a majestically organized policy of language extermination in action, you should turn your attention toward France. You will soon discover that the planning for eliminating all competing languages within their territory started as early as the 16th century and was pursued with increasing zeal, reaching paroxysm during and after the French Revolution, and almost full completion by mid 20th century.
That’s France, the paragon of liberté, égalité and so on.
It is estimated by language historians that as late as the time of the French Revolution, late 18th century, the percentage of people in France who spoke something that today would be called French was only about one third of the population. Since then, about 8 languages different from French have been pretty much exterminated *by design* in addition to most of the “patois”.
Here is a map of the targets earmarked for elimination, with astonishing success:
Catalonian on the French side is faring a bit better than most others thanks in part to the support from the Spanish Catalan government. I find it amusing when I hear people like Lluis Llach (whom I otherwise like) sometimes refer to France in fawning freedom terms and *simultaneously* complain about the cruel and obscurantist suppression of official status to Catalan in 18th century Spain.
Can a guy like that really not be aware of France’s history of relentless language persecution?
Interdiction de la langue catalane en Roussillon par Louis XIV
In the above interdiction edict, you can find jewels like an assertion that the use of Catalan is “repugnant” and contrary to the “honour” of the French Nation:
“Mais comme outre que cet usage répugne & est en quelque sorte contraire à Notre Autorité, à l’honneur de la Nation Françoise & même à l’inclinaison des Habitats desdits Païs… »
I haven’t read the decree of Charles III of Spain when he banned the use of Catalan for written official administrative purposes some time later, but I doubt he would have found it necessary to add any such graphic comments.
I will leave you with some quotes and some links for your edification. Before getting there, I’d like to mention that I like very much one particular detail about the Portuguese constitution, Article 51, which forbids the formation of all political parties that have no full national scope. In other words, regional parties are explicitly forbidden. If the Spaniards had thought of this, they would probably have avoided much of the current mess.
Now here go some quotes and links about France’s linguistic policy (there is lot more that can be found if you are interested). I challenge you to find anything remotely similar in the history of Spain’s linguistic policy. I agree that my challenge is not fair. It is not fair because France had a lot more languages to deal with, and so they went overboard in their fumigation campaigns. Spain had a lot fewer languages to deal with, which is probably why it never bothered to come up with such drastic programs. Portugal has only Portuguese to deal with, so that can be handled with your eyes closed. It’s nice. You can boast about magnanimous leniency in the matter of linguistic suppression.
My point in all this rant is that you need to adopt a more serene and humble perspective before accusing your neighbors of linguicidal criminality.
quotes and links:
Combien de dépenses n’avons-nous pas faites pour la traduction des lois des deux premières assemblées nationales dans les divers idiomes de France! Comme si c’était à nous à maintenir ces jargons barbares et ces idiomes grossiers qui ne peuvent plus servir que les fanatiques et les contre-révolutionnaires!
il est plus important qu’on ne pense en politique d’extirper cette diversité d’idiomes grossiers, qui prolongent l’enfance de la raison et la vieillesse des préjugés. Leur anéantissement sera plus prochain encore, si, comme je l’espère, vingt millions de catholiques se décident à ne plus parler à Dieu sans savoir ce qu’ils lui disent, mais à célébrer l’office divin en langue vulgaire.
Rapport sur la nécessité et les moyens d’anéantir les patois et d’universaliser l’usage de la langue française…
Peut-être n’est-il pas inutile d’en faire l’énumération : le bas-breton, le normand, le picard, le rouchi ou wallon, le flamand, le champenois, le messin, le lorrain, le franc-comtois, le bourguignon, le bressan, le lyonnais, le dauphinois, l’auvergnat, le poitevin, le limousin, le picard, le provençal, le languedocien, le velayen, le catalan, le béarnais, le basque, le rouergat et le gascon ; ce dernier seul est parlé sur une surface de 60 lieues en tout sens.
Au nombre des patois, on doit placer encore l’italien de la Corse, des Alpes-Maritimes, et l’allemand des Haut et Bas-Rhin, parce que ces deux idiomes y sont très-dégénérés.
Enfin les nègres de nos colonies, dont vous avez fait des hommes, ont une espèce d’idiome pauvre comme celui des Hottentots, comme la langue franque, qui, dans tous les verbes, ne connaît guère que l’infinitif.
I studied at the University of Barcelona (I am not Spanish nor Catalan) and I totally agree with what F.MAN is saying.
For the record, I think the main politicians and parties involved in this depressing referendum-secession circus, on BOTH sides, are all a bunch of incompetent despicable louts at the service of Big Thieves, and this has been the case for decades. If it were up to me, I’d send them all to spend the rest of their miserable lives in some remote group of ancient huts in the smallest of the outer Hebrides, weaving Spanish and Catalonian flags out of harris tweed for the rest of their lives. They are unbearable. As for the hysterical independentists that like to scream and horse around all day wearing their circus flags, I am not sure yet. Maybe I’d send them to intense detoxification therapy for at least a year.
For F.MAN Catalonia is a 40 years old kid, born from the generosity of the “fathers of democracy” who, as angels from heaven would have brought unto Spain a new age of concord, honey and milk. opening the glorious doors of the EEC and NATO.
For F.MAN all previous history is irrelevant, has nothing to do with the present state of affairs.
Yet he states that Spain, as a Nation-State, is 500 years old. That is false. F.MAN, who accuses those he calls nationalists, socialists – nazis, of propagating myths, has no qualms in propagating nationalist mythology, in his case spanish nationalist mythology. Which, although not being a creation of Franco’s regime (it’s roots residing in early 19th century liberalism and it’s constitutionalism) was nevertheless the main tenet of it’s ideology.
The fact is, the first to call himself king of Spain was the first Bourbon, Felipe V, who with the “Decretos de Nueva Planta” abolished the laws and institutions of the crown of Aragón and introduced absolutism to Iberia, between 1707 and 1716.
All previous kings had to swear to abide by the laws and charters of the different realms to be recognized and enthroned in each of them. They were therefore king’s by the will of the people, unlike Felipe V who claimed to be king by the will of god.
But Navarra and the Basques kept their institutions and laws, therefore we cannot speak of Nation-State, yet. Castilian was imposed as judicial and administrative language but compulsory basic education is 150 years away, so the people will continue to speak (and think in) the language they are born into.
It will take the dissolution resulting from the Napoleonic hurricane, the loss of most of the overseas territories and of the former naval and military power, the inheritance by the liberal constitutionalists of the centralized absolute monarchy to make something resembling a Nation-State begin to emerge. It will take compulsory basic education, instituted in the 2d half of the 19th century, and a few generations, to make castiian universal. And still, as anyone old enough may attest, it takes much more than education to make a language used.
But it takes something more to make a nationalist spaniard, or a portuguese ditto. The cathalist, in the first case, was the yankee conquest of the remaining spanish possessions overseas. In the second case it was the british ultimatum over central southern africa, today’s Zambia and Zimbabwe. Both events were traumatic, exposed the ineptitude of the ruling classes and , in the context of extremely polarized societies, required the mythification of a glorious past, the creation of a new ideal. Something similar happened nearly 100 years before when Sweden lost Finland, they invented a glorious past, invincible vikings with horned helmets…
The spanish Nation-State is a creation of the early 20th century, in reaction to the centrifuge forces that are a constant in the history of the Iberian Peninsula, that should be rightly called Spain but can’t due to the appropriation of the word by the heirs of the Castilian kIngdom. There is a geographical Spain, composed of many Spain’s, (witch the Habsburg kings perfectly understood, and reflected on their titles) with different characteristics, origins, languages, institutions and, once, laws. They are not incompatible, on the contrary, they are very much complementary. But the contradictions must be solved, and diversity must be accepted, and in my view, encouraged, and this can’t be done from maximalist positions, wilful erasure of the past and substitution of history by mythology. as spanish nationalism has done since it’s inception.
Basque, catalan, galician or andalusian nationalisms as much as I know are not much older than spanish nationalism, they are merely more grounded on historic reality.
History did not start in 1978, and it’s dynamic. The balance of power is very different today, and it will be reflected in different arrangements.
In one thing I agree with F.MAN – Rajoy has demonstrated amazing ineptitude. With the events of sunday he single-handedly decreed the independence of Catalonia.
@ estouxim on October 05, 2017 · at 2:05 am UTC
Legislative irregularities, local privileges and legal overlaps within the territories of larger kingdoms that resulted from gradual aggregations of smaller feudal structures were common everywhere in Europe. These things do not deny the existence of distinct political entities, such as Spain or France, long before legislation became more centralized. If you don’t like the word “nation”, you invent a different one. By your reasoning, the kingdom of France did not really exist as a separate political entity until the end of the Ancien Régime, around 1790, since what you describe is also what happened there. So for example Louis XIV was not really king of any thing called France, since this entity lacked uniformity of legislation, culture and custom, being as it was as colorful patchwork of local laws and privileges changing and overlapping from place to place, like the glittery surface of a pool. So the Sun King was actually ruling over slippery shadows, king of the many-frances, a diversity lady of multiple talents, but certainly not the kingdom of France, since France did not exist, and it did not exist because it could not possibly be called a nation within your strict requirements. Similarly, whenever any of the 5 Habsburg monarchs of the kingdom of Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries was crowned and then swore to honor the Laws and Fueros of, say, Navarra or Aragon, or any other territories within his kingdom, he was thereby denying the existence of the kingdom of Spain itself as a separate political entity from, say, the kingdom of France. Yes, sir.
I once read a piece by a pessimist but lucid essayist whose name I can’t remember, where he said that the teaching of history is the most potentially venomous and criminal of occupations, and therefore needs to be strictly monitored, as the discipline opens itself up to infinite doses of monstrous distortions and outright fictions that can be molded according to the appetites of the teacher. He was probably right. But who will monitor the monitors? Ah! The only certainty I possess at this point is that the “history” stuffed into the tender minds of youth to create future loyal nationalists, be it in post-modern Catalonia or post-maidan Ukraine, or in the Bund Deutsche Mädel, could easily function as a permanent source of universal mirth, a therapeutic source of comic relief in this valley of tears, if it did not have the dangerous potential to result in tragedies, as it often does.
Louis XIV was king of France, king of Navarre and co-prince of Andorra. Was Navarre France at the time of Louis XIV? Is Andorra France, even when Macron, as President of France, is co-prince of Andorra at exactly the same title as Louis Xiv once was? What about Alsace and Lorraine, Elsass and Lothringen, were they France in Louis XIV time?
How did the concept of France as a “distinct political entity” evolve over time, and, more importantly, how was it perceived by it’s contemporaries?
One thing you can be certain of, it was a very different concept than what we have today. In any previous era.
Nationalism does not exist before the end of the 19’th century. The Nation-State makes no sense before the french revolution and the rise of liberalism.
F.MAN position results from a myth, that Spain came into being with the Catholic Kings, and that since then a new national, the spaniard, arose. That is false, and that is what I attempted to demonstrate.
Carlos II, the last Habsburg, claimed to be:
Don Carlos por la gracia de Dios Rey de Castilla, de Leon, de Aragon, de ambas Sicilias, de Jerusalèn, de Portugal, de Navarra, de Granada, de Toledo, de Valencia, de Galicia, de Mallorca, de Sevilla, de Cerdeña, de Cordoba, de Corcega, de Murcia, de Jaèn, de los Algarves, de Algecira, de Gibraltar, de las Islas de Canaria, de las Islas Orientales, y Occidentales, Islas, y Tierra firme del Mar Occeano, Archiduque de Austria, Duque de Borgoña, de Brabante, de Milán, Conde de Hapsburg, de Flandes, Tirol, y Barcelona, Señor de Vizcaya, y de Molina, &c
What he did not claim was to be King of Spain. For the very simple reason that no such “distinct political entity” existed at the time.
The Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona existed at the time as “distinct political entities” as did an institution called Generalitat.
There is some truth to your forgotten essayist. History, as it’s well known, is written by the winners, but one has the choice of believing everything one is told, or to use one’s judgement to try to determine the truth, if such thing exists. One of the ways to do it is to read what was written at the time. I never cease to be surprised, as myth after myth crumble.
There’s no black and white.
Do tou know what the press (Confidencial,El Periodico, El Pais) tell the week before of the referendum…???:
who is backing the revolt of the catalans…… yes,yes, mr. V.V.Putin, as part of his main plan to destabilize Europe…..of course…..
Now, just read: we can see the Flags of the Ukronazi (black and red) supporting the independentist, a new Maidan, etc, etc…
Did you ever hear of Durruti and the Anarchist..??? (yes spanish civil war) do you know whats the CNT….??? yes the Anarchist (with the CGT) Trade Union in Spain with a lot of implementation in Barcelona and Catalunya. Dou you know which is the Flag of this Anarchist organization…???
Yes, Black and Red.
This is the Flag you see in the demonstrations in all Catalonia and Spain.
In this amazing demonstrations we have seen the Flags of the anarchist (The red and the black), the Senyera of the Catalan , oficial Flag of the Country (four Red bars on top of the Yellow), the Estelada in Blue (The Catalan Flag with a blue triangle plus a blue star: flag of the catalan socialist) The Estelada (The same but with the triangle and the star in yelow) The flag of the conservative independentist of catalunya) The Spanish Flag (that many Catalans anti independist) The Red of the comunist with all of the variants: troskist, Comunist ¨old style¨etc, etc…) The Ikurriña (Euzkal Erria AKA BAsque Country Flag), etc, etc….. and many, many people without flags, ALL TOGHETER against the represion of the police and guardia civil sent to repress the October 1st referendum.
Yes, ALL TOGHETER.
That’s the real feeling in what’s happening……
There’s no black and white.
Mr. F.Man what you mean by this is the Rape of Democracy..??? It’s just the opposite.
I’ve seen many people with the Spanish flag going to vote NO the 1st october with the people around congratulating them and giving a big applause, like in the demonstrations 2 days ago.
The repression was savage and blind, against everybody, to the ones who wanted to vote YES but also to the ones who wanted to vote NO for the independence.
I have seen very old people going to vote, like my mother : she still does not know where his fater was killed and buried during the Civil war: we are the second country in the world with more dissapear people who are buried in mass graves on the road sides of all spain.
The constitution proclam the Amnesty for all the criminals of the Franco times… their sons: Soraya S. de Santamaria, J.M.Aznar,Varela…. YES they are all in the PP who are in the goverment of Spain.
Do you know..??: of them more than 300 process in the Court for Corruption.
The autonomy of Catalunya…??? example: we aprove in our Parlament a law to protect the people who can not aford the payment of gas, electricity,basic things….. Spanish Constitutional Revoke it as Unconstitutional……
Constitution: aproved in 1978, designed by Franco to impose a King (Borbon) and to have everything under control….
Nowadays 60% of the population has not voted this constitution.
Only aged people up to 50 years has it voted.
But we can not change it.
But they changed article 132 (PP and PSOE) in one night, without referendum, in order that we put the payment of the debts due to the rescue of the BANKS first than the social invest of the richness of the country: in Sanity, Schools, etc… Now the debt is 105% of the PIB, almost 4.000.000 people unemployed. 1.000.000 does not recive ANY kind of help on the state.
The crisis is real.
Lots of people can not eat, literally: In the school of my daugther we have a ¨beca¨to help children whos familys can not afford the payment of eat in the school (not only), so at least we asure one hot meal five days per week to the children: that’s a real date, I’m the president of the Association of fathers and mothers of the school.
It’s not only about the independence.
Ah… the same level of demonstration giving support to the Catalan people… in ALL SPAIN…
There’s no black and white.
People who can vote in Catalunya (Cens): 5.343.358
Real participation or ID registered at the poll stations:3.023.424.
% of the Cens: 56,75 %
(you must present your ID, through and APP it’s send the info and then it valid or not your vote, so you can not go to 2 diferent places to vote. International advisers confirm it, but I can tell you what I’ve seen with my eyes. As mr. Assange say that’s been the first Internet War: this days 122 IP adresses where attacked by Guardia Civil electronic equipment, the vote was very slow because the system was falling and reacted again and again, people waiting with patience with the clear will of vote, sometimes 2 or 3 hours in the cue. When the poll close at 8pm thousands of people who wanted to vote that can not anymore in cues in front of many places.)
So, validated votes: 2.262.424
NUle or BLANK: 65.715
so: 770.000 votes were confiscated by police and Guardia Civil and we will never know what they voted for.
The attacks at the poll stations, I don`t have yet the exactly number but more than 300 places where it was imposible to vote due to the repression: there’s plenty of videos through social media where you can find images of that repression:
There is a complain that from this 844 blessed people ¨only¨2 are very bad in the hospital.
Does that mean that all the other blessed (broken arms,legs and heads.. ah… this girl that the police service man broke one by one the fingers of the left hand after trough her to the steps…) are nothing… nothing happens…??? Do we need that people die to say… welll maybe something happens…??
The real participation was 56,75% of the census.
Dear F.Man: you compare ¨they, the independentist¨to the NAZI (Nacional Socialist).
You don’t know then nothing about us (I’m not an ¨independist nacionalist¨) The Nazi were here helping Franco (like Mussolini does) bombing us ).
My mother was a child, her brother dies in one of the bombing of Barcelona, she very bad wounded,she was then ¨wellcomed¨ in concentration camps in the south of France ..
I can one day if you like explain you the all history with details..)
We were (all the spanish people) the first in Europe to opose the Nazis , we fought a terrible war of 3 years and after we continue to fight in the battlefields of Europe until 1945. Left alone finally by all the ¨democracys¨of the world in the hands of Franco more than 40 years.
Myself I must escape from Barcelona to be hide in a cave in the Island of Formentera before I can return to the city in the year 1978.
The 3rd of March 1974 Franco was still killing people: Salvador Puig Antic.
It’s not very polaid, to tell it like this, that you call us Nazis.
I want also to let you know that we are not a Region of Spain.
We are a Country with more than 1000 years of history, with our culture, language…
After the war in 1714 when the French army attaked Catalunya, they put a Borbon in the court in MAdrid and the Language, admistration, university, etc,etc of Catalunya were supresed.
The territory north of the Pirinees was anexed: From Montpellier to Toulousse, so the country cut in two.
I don’t want to extend here also on this but please, take a look on the history books.
Ah, you say that our politics are based in the idea that we are better than the spanish…:
I’m sorry but… WHAT…???
My surname is Castaño, my father family comes from Extremadura, my Grandfather was the only republican that was not sentence to death in the little Village of Valencia de Alcantara.
In the village close where I live, in S.M. de Montbui the population mainly is from Andalucia (the origin) it was expected that they will not to go voting, also the Major is from PSC (the Catalan PSOE who gave support to PP be in power..and still…who are oposed to the referendum.
At 8 am, in front of the poll station where 500 people (population of 1 thousand something…)
to protect it against the attacks and with the will to vote.
And they do.
Complains that the Civil War it’s always here..???
but, please, there’s no one family without a victim.. and it happens just some years ago…
AND they are, the winners, here.
In the government of Spain.
No, there’s no black and white, and I really wish than before express an opinion any, anybody, be objectivly informed.
Last new is that the UN charter of Human Rights is sending a comission to investigate the happenings here.
But mr.Junker says that this is an internal affair of spain, the EU will not intervene, but ¨if¨we are part of Europe, is this not an affer of Europe…???
Justice is another thing.
We are a peaceful people and we have showed.
We put our bodys, hands up, infront of the tear gas,bullets,attacks with ¨porras¨,all togheter: proindependist, antiindependist,catalans and no catalans.
This is about justice and democracy.
For all the peoples of the world.
By the way,
Catalunya has voted NO to NATO, but in Spain winn the YEs, so….
I am surprised at how virulent is still the mythology of the Spanish Civil War in some people’s minds. They can’t figure out history outside the eternal fight of the pure idealistic anarcho-communists against the ‘fascists’ of Franco (who wanted to restore feudalism!), and against the ‘reactionary’ Catholic Church. Spain was the country which persecuted Jews, Muslims, Illuminists, burnt heretics and books, fought against the pure idealists of the ‘International Brigades’ (with a sizeable American contingent) so lovingly described by Erns Hemingway and his lover and later wife Martha Gellhorn.
Catalonia was a hotbed of anarchism and did not shy in playing her part in the massacres of the Catholic clergy (Orwell called it a “pitiful lie” that the leftists only attacked churches if they were used as bases by the Nationalists. “Actually churches were pillaged everywhere and as a matter of course,” he wrote).
One view from the cuckoo’s…
Only available in Spanish, I’m sorry.
anybody who can read spanish will see in this article:
it’s writted by a Dutch bussinesman , expresident of the Patronal of Dutch Business in Barcelona.
He’s telling he will live the country (catalunya) because it’s so terrible than, for instance in the books of the school ¨they talk of ¨the State¨ not of Spain¨ and that Spanish is forbiden in school until you have 6 years, and from that moment you only have 2 hours of Spanish…
(I guess he means Castellano as Spanish DOES NOT EXIST AS A LANGUAGE in the Peninsula Iberica, apart of Portugal and Portugues there are this majority languages: Castellano, Català, Euzkera (Basque) and Galego, apart of some almost dissapeared minority languages like Bable from Asturias, that’s it. The so call Spanish does not exist, it is Castellano)
Well, looks that this Businesman it’s been so busy that never been in the school of his kids…
Expansion is a well know Bussines magazine with it’s clear neoliberal and far right ideology….. of course except that you want to read a totally biased info and personal coments it does not diserve to loose more time on it..
I have real both articles and in my opinion both are highly biased and are not reliable abut Catalonia’s reality. Probably my opinion is also biaised, so I will do no cheats and I will introduce myself: I live in the Kingdom of Spain, I am Basque (so a member of a national-linguistiic minority), and I contributed to Saker community as well.
Firstly, FMAN article:
1-This article shows what in Spanish is said: “to take the part as a whole”. This is a common trick to “legitimize” biaised opinions. For example he whispers about “Catalan supremacism, that despises non-Catalan origin people”. Of course this exists, of course exists some classist prejudices form upper-classes to low-classess, and more if that low-classes are from a foreign origin. Of course some nationalism have made supremacist stances. But supremacism is not in the core of this movement; they ahve leaders of non-Catalan origin.
Also supremacism has been made from some Spanish (or Catalan pro-Spanish) joournalists writers or “Opinion leaders” to Catalans, but this does not mean that all pro-Spanish members are supremacists.
In this logic, we can also state that every naitonalism is Nazi-based because in that country there is a gang of football hooligans which are Nazi, or because a racist thinker existed once upn a time.
Or to say that “they are sayiing that Critobal Colon and Cervantes are Catalans”; This has been said only by a bunch of freaks, not by mainstream separatistCatalans. To take this opinion a representative, is like taking every stupid thing a Spaniard says like “the opinion of Spain”:
The other one is, in the “fourth” article, to state the cuase of the “hate towards Catalans” as Catalans’ theriselves fault! Of course, if they hate us, theey are racist, but if we hate them, is because “they started, so its justified”. The hate and despisal between Spaniards and Catalans has been quite low (normally restricted to football) and its truth that with this conflict has grown IN BOTH SIDES. But is not only a side to blame, as if “ultra-nationalists” only were in that side.
2-FMAN states that Spanish language has been the languuage of the majority of the population from 17th and 18th century. This is not truth. Catalonia had is laws until beginniings of 18th century, and until that period Catalan was official language, the language of institutions. More, after losing the “privtive laws”, Catalan bourgeousie went along speaking Catalan at least until the 19th century, and they not completley lost it never (so less did the popular and rural classes). Unlike in the Baque Country, high-classes in Catalonia did not abandon their language. (NOTE: I am talking about langage, here, not aboout politis. I do not want to say that Catalan bourgeoisie was nationalist in the 19th or 20th century; but only language).
Spanish become majority language in Catalonia ant the 20th century, because different factos (a modern “nation-building” State in Spain; with the attibutes of a modern state; immigration and so on).
3-Spain is the facto a Federal State. Thus is dubious. Spanish autonomies have a great amount of competences and budged, but they are “delegate-competences”. Cannot decide on their policies.For example, some autonomies (not Catalonia, by the way) were agianst neo-liberal measures, but simply they COULD NOT oppose it actively, nor pursue different policies, although they have the budget of different competences in their hands. This autonomie are more “management-autonomies” than active autonomies.
4-“Their parties are nationalist and socialist, so Nazi”. This is ridiculous. The main party in Cataonia naitonalism, the “European democratic Party of Catalonia” od PDECAT (ridiculous name!) is not sociliast, but highly liberal. The second party, the “Catalonian Republican Left”-ERC, never claimed itsel as socialist. Only the third eparatist party, the “Coalition of Popular Unity”-CUP claims itself to be “anticapitalist socialist, feminist and ecologist”; but this party only makes the 7% per cent of Catalan vote.
But the main error is not this, but the equation of “nationalism + socialism makes one a Nazi”. If this had been true, the world would been full of Nazi parties, starting form Venezuelan PSUV (Socialist and “Patriotic”), the Palestinian Fatah, the South Afican ANC, the Irish Sinn Fein, the Fercnh leftist parties (Highly nationalit!!) and son on and so on. Not serious.
5-“Washing minds”. Of course that evey place that a political power exists, this political power will try to “spread its ideology” and its narrative b different means: force, coercion, administrative “habits”, culture, conssencus, and education. And in Catalonia this is no exception. But is it fdifferent of more acute in Catalonia than in Spain? I have not read until now, NOT A SINGLE SERIOUS STUDY about brainwashing in Catalonia that concludes that Catalonia is an special heavy case of brainwashing. I think that this repetition on the “catalan brainwashing” until become it a totem is more drove from the “wish of an easy explanation” than a seriorus argument; because it supposes thatn ONLY IN Catalonia brainwashing or “biaised education” happens.
I studied in a Spanish tetbook that said that Civil War was a “terrible 2war between brothers manipulated by two equelly evil sides” (it was a coup d’Etat against a democracy), that “Consittution came to an agrreement between all Spanisrd”, as if it was a perfect thing and perfect system, tha Spain as nation “existed since the Catholic KIng-pair”, that is since the XV century (ridiculous!) and so on, so on.
By the way, until 2011-2012, when separatism had its sudden growth (because political facts, as the limiting of the new Autonomy Statute voted by Catalan people), separatism about Catalans was low, about a 16%. The 30-35 years after the first Statute was aproved (1979), wider autonomy or federalism were the preferable options of Catalans, and separatism was not marginal, but minoritary. It was after 2012 when became a mainstream stream in Catalan society. So between 1980-2012 separatism have not any growth among catalans, only after 2012. If “brainwashing education” is the main cause for separatism, why they wasted 30 years on it without results? Why result came after 20 years?
(By the way, a Spanish minister said that his task was to “Spanishize Catalan kids” Is this a blueprint for brainwashing or not?)
6-Jobs. Of course that if in a country or region there are two official languagesm Catalan and Spanish, the administration has to be able to attend the citizens in both languages. Me, in Basque country, have found a lot of times policemen, or administrative workers that said me “no Basque please”. So were are my rights as Basque-speaker?
We can argue a lot about what ideal criteria is, but there is a fact: Catalan and Spanish are both official languages of Catalan adminstration, so administration have to be able to attend in both.
7-Parliamentary parties: Is Spain, until 2015 has been a bi-partisan system, with only two inmportante parties (Social-democrats and Conservatives), then the “small parties” have they power increased, because they are the only possible allies. Now Spain is a four-party system (Consservatives, Soc-Democrats, New Left and Liberals), so the “power” of this “small ethnic parties” have decreased. Its “parliamentary game”.
8-“They are like Ukrainians to Russians”. Thiis is a populist argument, to “appeal the heart” (The hearts of Saker community, which is pro-Russian). I am a militant for Novorossian cause, and I am fed up with so populist stances that want to use the cause of Russian and Novorossian people to bind them to causes that have nothing in common (not only Spanish people do, also Catalan and Basque separatist do, but here FMAN has done). In Catalonia they have not deprived no one of his voting right, they did not outlawed Spanish parties, they did not bombed cities.
FMAN’s article has some good arguments, like that about the debt. Unfortubnately, the highly biaised tone; “ONLY THEY hate the other, ONLY THEY are to blame, ONLY THEY are ultra-nationalists and brainwashers” spoils the day.
Now the Peter Koenig article:
1) Peter Koenig (onwards, PK) repeates about “the neoliberal Spanish government”. This is truth, but, Catalan government is equally neoliberal. The program of “Together for Independence” coalition (formed mainly by neoliberal European Democraty Party of Catalonia-PDECAT; and by Catalonian Republican Left-ERC) ahs cheered all enoliberal messures of the Spanish PM Rajoy. The Catalan government has been very aggressive in its neoliberal policy.
I see the same pattern of FMAN here: “ONLY THEY are neoliberal”.
2) “The 42% has voted, and 90% turned to be yes. If not for police 80% would have voted”. This is, at the best, highly dubious, and in the worst, not truth. This referendum has been approved only with the suppost of “Together for Independence” coalition and the radial Left “coalition for Poplular Unity”, which have 72 Catalan MPs out of 135, and 47% of the vote. Other parties declned to participate, in some cases because they did not want a referendum and saw it as illegal (as the case of Spanish nationalist parties), and in other cases because they saw that the referendum “had not enough guarantees” (as the case of Federalsit Left parties). We can argue abut they posture, if it si reasoned or hypocrite, but the truth is that they have the supposrt of a lot of people of Catalonia, and did not want to participate and declined to do (even to cast a NO vote) in this referendum BEFORE the police repression.
3) There references to Franco. It is truth tha Spanish policial and judicature apparatus has not benes lustrated of Francoist supporters, because Spain had not a “break-over” with Francoist, but rather a “transition”. But this repression is common to ALL EUROPEAN CAPITALIST COUNTRIES, son as France with its strikers, it is not a Spanish “speciality”.
Not all supporters of pro-Spanish unity are Francoists. This is a simplification, as FMAN does, but in the opposite side.
Represion was horrible, but we cannot think that ONLY Spain reprimes, all capitalist States do. And we cannot think that a bourgeois State that reprimes is automatically fascist (PK mentions “the fascist Rajoy Government”), becaus erepression is CONSUBSTANTIAL to bourgeois States and to NWO, does not need to be “fascist” to reprime.
4) Internal affair: Not EU countries said that, Russia and Serbia also did.
5) There are some hiistorical unaccuracies as well. Basque fiscal agreement with Spain, is back to XIX century, is a reminiscence of anceint Basque laws, abolished in XIX century. This Basque fiscal autonomy has nothing to do with ETA.
There was not any negotiations with ETA, but ETA failed due to lose and lack of popular support.
Franco did not come to power in 1938, but he did a coup d’Etat agianst the Spanish democratic Republic in 1936 and the Civil War that resulted was up to 1939. Then you can choos 1936 (in some zones of Spain) or 1939 (when Franco managed to control whole Spain), but not 1938.
Catalonian autonomy was not “lapsed” in 2006. In 2006 they voted a new Autonomy Statute, which was first “limited” by Spanish parliament (in 2008) and then by Spanish Constitutional Court (in 2012). This was which triggered Catalan independece setniment.
6) To state that the 80% of Catalans are for independence is not truth. Last election, in 2015, only 47% of the voters voted for pro-independence parties (“Together for Independence” coalition and “Coalition for Popular Unity”), a 37% to pro-Spanish parties (Liberals, COnservtives and Social-democrats) and 10% for federalist “pro-referendum but not necessarily pro-independence” Left party. Probably after the repression in the First of October some Catalans will feel the last bridges with Spain broken, and pro-independence cast can be bigger, but not up to the 80% of population. That is truth is that 80% of Catalans are for REFERENDUM, for BEING ASKED ABOUT, but not necessarily for independence. Ant to state that the %50 os the Spaniards are “withn their Catalan borthers in this fight” is just a chimera.
My two cents opinion is that Catalonia, as nation, as people has full right to vote and decide its fate. But I am not optimistic about it: as Orthodox Marxist I see that two National Fronts are formed, and that social agenda (even by the Leftist parties) have been backlashed in this national debatte.
By the geopolitical position, Catalonia independence will change very little: Catalan independence parties are just as pro-EU and pro-NATO (even the semi-trotskyite “Coalition for Popular Unity” which attacks Syria and Russia sustematically) as Spanish parties and Spanish government is.
And here is still another, quite well-reasoned critical analysis of the Catalan situation:
If anyone is interested, here is another view point on this topic:
by Boris Kagarlitsky
A few interesting excerpts from the above article:
The situations of Catalonia and Scotland are, in fact, similar in two respects. To begin with, in both places we are dealing with the revolt of the rich against the poor. More developed regions with a high standard of living do not want to give up their resources to support less prosperous and backward provinces. ”We don’t want to feed Andalusia anymore”, they say in Barcelona. “We don’t want to feed Belfast anymore”, they say in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The local bureaucracy dreams of having an exclusive control over the financial flows. The reluctance to share with the neighbors is being justified by cultural and racial claims. “We are the real Europeans, not provincial islanders, like the English”, they say in Glasgow. “We are the real Europeans, descendants of Goths, not dirty descendants of the Arabs, like the Spaniards”, they say in Barcelona. The Catalan-language press is full of racist delirium about dirty and lazy Spaniards trying to live at the expense of the hard-working Catalonia. We read all this in a relatively “decent” mainstream publications. The fact that significant, if not the major part of Catalonia products is produced by the migrants from Andalusia working in the factories and maintaining the infrastructure of Barcelona is not taken into account. The displacement of the Spanish language from the spheres of culture and education has begun 10 years ago, and proceeds according to the painfully familiar scenario. Bureaucratic positions in the autonomy are occupied exclusively by representatives of the “titular nation”, regardless of the level of competence. Barcelona, a cosmopolitan cultural center of the Spanish world is turning into a dull province.
The unexpected aspirations of Scotland and Catalonia for independence have one more, less public, though no less significant underlying reason. For many years, both regions have been implementing European Union programs aimed at creation of a new system of institutions, separated from the regional state and directly tied to the Brussels bureaucracy. This is the essence of the program entitled “Europe of the Regions”. Every Scottish county has a program financed by the EU, while England or Northern Ireland do not get help on a comparable scale. Brussels was consistently and consciously created the “Scottish factor” as a counterbalance to Britain, which traditionally opposed the Eurocrats.
The transformation of national discrimination from real experience into a political myth is the most important factor conducive to the rise of nationalism. Those who are discriminated against are fighting for the abolition of discrimination, whereas the nationalists turn the grievances of the past into symbolic capital to justify their ambitions.
Catalonian rebellion, like Scottish separatism is the uprising of the rich against the poor, the protest of a liberal society against the remnants of a redistributive social state. The middle class in the central regions of Barcelona, rattling pans, is not the same as the population of poor workers’ neighborhoods, where they do not know the Catalan language and do not associate any of their prospects with independence. It is significant that the “general strike” declared by the nationalist parties did not affect industry at all. The working class did not support the revolt of the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia. Moreover, they realize that the main target of this revolt is not the Spanish monarchy, as some naive leftists believe, but rather the principles of social solidarity, and the remnants of the social state.
But who needs to take into account Spanish-speaking workers? They are the “invaders”! If we look for comparisons, what is happening is similar to the time of the collapse of the USSR, and Catalonia is dominated by the same monstrous illusions that were sown by nationalists at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, what is happening now has a deeper basis in the sphere of political economy. This is not an accident that the triumph of neo-liberalism was accompanied everywhere by the crisis of national states and federations, the emergence and flourishing of all sorts of separatism, including exotic ones. In this sense, there is no difference between the ruling circles of Madrid and Barcelona. They represent the same class interests, only each represents them at a different level.