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01 October 2017

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Lemur

From the perspective of the post-liberal right, a little chaos is a small price to pay for scuppering the globalist world order. I see no reason (outside of bourgeois considerations) to hold sacred the existence of states who merely demarcate zones of competition between disparate groups, or who serve the need of international capital for 'political stability.'

The 20th century was dominated by three political models, which arose in response to mass society - Fascism, Communism, and managerial liberalism. A combination of institutional instability and the alliance of the latter two took out the first one. The second collapsed under the weight of a centrally managed economy. The latter thought it had 'won' because it was the last man standing. But this model is accumulating irreparable system failures of its own, because its fundamental premises are flawed too (endless growth, individuals are the primary unit of society, freedom is 'doing whatever you like', the distribution of goods and services is the sum of a stable society).

Whenever there is disorder in the universe, chaos clears a space for the natural order to reassert itself given the contingencies of the time. Western thought has understood this since Heraclitus ('flux'). The winds of change are blowing, and contra the the Scorpions song, its not toward the universal brotherhood of man. We are in the beginning of a transition, a liminal phase. The West is transmogrifying into a new forms, which cannot be explained in the terms of the old models.


Jack

Sir

The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy showed bad judgment in my opinion in preventing the referendum from taking place. The UK allowed the Scots to have their vote and campaigned on why the Scots would be better off in the UK. The Scots rejected independence. Similarly Canada permitted Quebec to vote and campaigned on the benefits. The Quebecois voted against separation.

In the non-binding referendum done some years back nearly half the Catalans rejected an independent state. If the Spanish had allowed an open referendum and campaigned against secession the outcome would very likely have been that separation would have been rejected. In an open referendum those opposed to secession would have been empowered to campaign and vote against separation.

In this case the Spanish government chose to disrupt the referendum by using police force. The separatists chose to come out in the streets to exercise their right of self-determination. The videos of police violence are a public relations disaster for the Spanish government and will only steel the resolve of the separatists. Since the Spanish national police were attacking polling stations and taking away ballot boxes by force, this created a pretext for the Catalonian authorities to tell their supporters they could print their ballots at home and deposit at any polling station. Additionally since the Spanish police have disabled all vote counting software systems the Catalonians can count and come up with any result they choose.

This situation can only escalate now. The lesson of the referenda in Scotland and Quebec was not learned.

The EU project of a common currency and monetary policy is fundamentally flawed unless they move towards a fiscal union as Macron is suggesting. Centrifugal forces are gathering strength not only in Europe but also here in the US.

David Lentini

I see much of the sentiments of the Catlonian independence movement as a major vote of no confidence in the central Spanish government, which is a complete whore to the global bankers and the EU's autocrats. The tyrannical attitudes of Junkers & Co. are driving the action along these fault lines with the resulting seismic activity. The central governments have no one to blame but themselves.

Of course, the EU might like to see this sort of unrest as an excuse to declare martial law and establish themselves as the outright controllers of Europe.

Sam Peralta

Col. Lang

The early returns are showing a massive landslide victory for the Catalan separatists. I have not seen any data yet on the turnout or the ratio of registered voters that actually cast ballots.

"Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the region has won the right to statehood following Sunday's contentious referendum which was marred by violence.

He said the door had been opened to a unilateral declaration of independence."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41463719

How will the Spanish government now respond if the Catalan parliament declares independence? Will they send in tanks? The media would have a field day with that. What will the EU apparatchiks do?

Col. Lang, you are right. If the Catalans succeed in becoming independent, then it will only embolden all the other separatist movements in Europe. The next few days will be interesting to see how this escalates.

turcopolier

All

As you probably have figured out by now, my rhetorical positions in posts do not always match my actual positions. It will, in fact be interesting to watch if Europe and North America devolve into their natural fragments. I hope I am here to watch. BTW "The Vietnam War" is available on Comcast "on demand." pl

kxd

Except the pro-independence leaders and supporters are also Pro-EU and have declared that their newly formed free state will seek to join the EU and hope to be accepted with no qualm(delusional) or some even argue that when they declare independence they won't actually be leaving the EU.

So where that does leave your argument?

(disclaimer: I don't care one way or another about Spain nor Catalonia, I have no skin in that game, though I generally lean towards favoring secessionist movements in principle.)

sege

IMO that ship has long sailed for Quebec at least. My father came here as an FOB immigrant in the 80s and enthusiastically voted "Oui" in '95 along with his fellow transplants that had accompanied him on scholarship way back then, all of whom along with him had by then picked up native wives. The newer breed of immigrant is more in tune with "Multicultural Paradise" vision of canada. And the younger quebecois generation couldnt care less, even as the language itself continues to degenerate, especially in montreal.

iowa steve

Not unexpectedly there are some pundits who attribute Catalonia's independence vote to the nefarious hand of Putin the Omnipotent.

Walrus

Col. Lang, with respect. How would you contrast the Catalan position with the Southern states? - "to force upon the central power its own separation"?

I am saving the Ken Burns Vietnam for later.

Bandolero

Lemur

What I find most shocking with these Catalans is that they set out to deny the Spanish King his god given right to rule over his tributary subjects in Catalonia.

I wonder why this outrageous Catalan insubordination gets so little attention from the media. Can't they figure out where would it lead to if people were allowed to deny their kings the right to rule?

voislav

This is a natural progression of the dismantling of the nation state supremacy over the past 30 years. The break-ups of Soviet Union and Yugoslavia established the precedent that the constituent parts of a state can break off without a supporting referendum or agreement with the central government. This culminated with the International Court of Justice ruling on Kosovo independence that established that any group can declare independence. There is no internationally recognized legal requirement for such declaration and the group does not have to have any legitimacy through election or referendum. Enforcement of the territorial integrity of a country depends solely on its monopoly of force, there is no legal recourse.

The issue Europe is facing now is that the economy is being driven off the cliff by the German mercantilism, giving rise to populist nationalism. So now Europe, having supported the principle of self-determination elsewhere (where convenient), will have to suppress it by force at home while maintaining a veneer of democracy.

Britain and Canada managed to skirt the issue by relying on media and financial inducements to obtain a favourable vote. Spain will be a real test as the referendum will be inevitably followed by some sort of declaration of independence, leaving central government with no choice but to escalate the into violent repression.

One way or the other, this will open a lot of rifts in Europe. Many people will see this as illegal crackdown on democratic rights, while others will see it as legitimate suppression of separatism. Countries with ethnic issues will likely side with Spain, but others will likely side with Catalan self-determination rights. So far most EU governments are not reacting, but the pressure to do so will increase quickly.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/01/catalan-referendum-eu-leaders-remain-muted-over-police-crackdown

Walrus

The Catalan and similar movements are going to become a feature of this century as a direct result of globalism. This was made plain at least twenty years ago.

The cause is the weakening of the nation state as an organising principle because of the weakening of national identity. People now have a multitude of choices about their identity thanks to global information flows. For example you can now identify as LGBT, Jedi Night, MS13, libertarian, etc. etc. The old 'brands" - English, Spanish, Italian, Australian, etc. are now breaking down into a multitude of subsets with which people can identiify.

However its not just "identifying"; its organising around that identity that is the problem. By way of example, it appears to me (and I may be wrong) that the entire BLM movement is purveying a black American identity that is based on a "them and us" model that views conflict as inevitable. In Australia we have a serious criminal gang problem with members identifying as Hells Angels, Comancheros - imported American identities. Twenty years ago that would have been quaint.


The downside of fragmentation is that the world is modelled on the westphalian state concept, and all our treaties with each other are predicated on the state enforcing them on their citizens. As nation states lose that ability, the outcome is war.

mike

I'm with Jack. Both Spain and Iraq should take lessons from the Scot and Quebec models. Catalonia has never been truly Spanish, always repressed and treated with contempt by Madrid. IIRC even Cervantes denigrated Catalonians 400 years ago, calling them thieves in his Don Quixote novel.

What of Majorca and the other Balearics, was the referendum held there as well as in Barcelona? Are they not all mostly of ethnic Catalan descent, or have they been Iberianized? Or they may well prefer stability and the plentiful tourist euros and greenbacks instead of the possible volatility of a referendum.

BrotherJoe

Well said sir, well said.

turcopolier

walrus

I am unfamiliar with the Spanish constitution but in the case of the US in 1861 the Southern states had a constitutional right to secede. pl

Clueless Joe

Mike:
Only the province of Catalonia voted on it. Baleares and Valencia don't want to join them, but of course you have plenty of foolish irredentists who want to take them back, and even French Roussillon to boot.
That's even more reasons for EU countries to not recognize that process, because if they're allowed to succeed, no current border will ever be safe in Europe; you'll always find some goons ready to declare independance for their village, or for it to join the country next door, or to want to annex the neighbouring town beyond the border, under any flimsy pretext.

Jack:
"As nation states lose that ability, the outcome is war."
Well, the outcome is more than war.
The obvious final outcome is the war of all these newly self-styled communities against all the other communities.
Then, after immense bloodshed and suffering, when people will be fed up and depressed after years of war, some major groups, ethnies, religions or leftover nations will stand and regroup the bludgeoned and nearly destroyed smaller groups and populations, who will gladly go under their umbrella if they can ensure peace at long last.

I defer to Col. Lang about the constitutional right of the Southern States. Here, Catalonian independantist leaders clearly violated not only the Spanish Constitution, went against Spanish Supreme Court rulings, they even went against their own Catalonian courts who were opposed to the referendum and bypassed the Catalonian parliament, because they knew many parties would opposed the referendum as well. To be blunt, that idiot Rajoy is acting out now and relies on violence because Catalonian people couldn't be bothered to protest against authoritarian leaders who don't give a damn about legality, both Spanish and Catalonian ones, and Catalonian police couldn't be bothered to jail them.

And there's no way this is a backlash against "capitalist globalism" or whatever, the current bunch of independantist leaders are just as corrupt as the Spanish ones, and the way they did their wannabe referendum is proof enough they're ready to rule their future country like Orban, or even Lukashenko.

Babak Makkinejad

What you are saying is that the Spanish state has no rights to remain a coherent unitary state but, rather, must allow itself to be disintegrated by the political whims of this or that group. In such manner, every extant state could look forward to quick death at the ballot box.

Babak Makkinejad

Why should Athens government be permitted to make all Hellens serfs of Germany. It is time, my brothers and sisters, for Dorians to reject this Ionian treachery and regain their independence which had been so fearly bought 200 years ago and so cheaply sold, for beads and trade cloth, 20 months ago. Elefteria e Thanados

Babak Makkinejad

Fascism, Communism, and Managerial Liberalism are different facets of the same mechanistic Bourgeois rationalism that discarded with religion. Its replacement will be a religious civilization but not anytime soon. Most non-Western people are adopting it in totality, as much as they can, without its vestigial religious component. A recipie for failure.

ISL

Dear Colonel,

I will make a prediction that in 100 years, if there is a peaceful earth with a climate that supports advanced civilizations, the world will be redefined into city states (or single planet-wide nation aka star trek, but I think there were several global wars in between in that future history).

Until fairly recently, empires with free movement within were the rule of the day. The EU has attempted to resurrect empire, but in the world of good communication, the inevitable inequalities are tearing the project apart (ignorance is bliss). The city and its surrounding agricultural lands is a natural economic unit, and if you blob two city states into one economic unit (e.g., a nation state), absent eternal subsidization (as in Rome versus Milan), one city and its environs settles into terminal decline relative to the other. The end result is that after a few hundred years, every country is dominated by one city with the rest on economic life support (i.e., subsidization).

Current EU policy is optimal for Germany and thus by definition sub-optimal for all other countries. The end result is the current state of affairs with the EU one Italian vote from collapse. This would have happened eventually - for example, Italy has not had a good year of economic growth since it joined the euro (but many good years before). However, the US generated arc of instability and resultant refugee waves brought the chickens home to roost in the now, not in a few decades.

Catalan is a symptom, and EU opposition is not a cure, its a band aid (as is the EU treatment of Greece), but the EU repeatedly over-rules democracy (vote again until you get the right vote), which as long as it also provided rising incomes (on debt) was accepted.

Many years ago I read a book that described the rise and decline of cities in different countries but cant recall or google find the title (not Jane Jacobs' treatise).

Detroit is an excellent example - US economic policy matches that of the financial centers. Only if Michigan was to separate, could Detroit reverse its fortunes - possibly but unlikely given the quality of US political leadership - or more to the point, how bought they are in our very expensive electoral system.

r whitman

Borders always change. In my lifetime I have seen the borders of the USA change 3 times.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

Since, as has been pointed out, Catalonia would remain in the EU, it seems on the surface to make little difference whether Catalonia remains part of Spain anymore than if Bavaria remains part of Germany or Lombardy part of Italy.
The real problem for Madrid's poobahs is how can they keep paying extortion money to German, French and American banks if they lose a major urban center like Catalonia. I'm sure they assume (and probably correctly) that Basque country would follow quickly in departure.
Aside from that, the extreme and rapidly accelerating centralizing tendencies of the neoliberal world order (the Brussels brain trust throwing national sovereignty out the window when issues of finance and immigration come up for instance) have created a reaction that might look likely to undo the EU project, but in a way, create a crisis which could be exploited by those seeking further centralization.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

That's actually totally true. Some northern states at one point had themselves threatened to secede. The south just lost the military chess match.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

Europe is in such a state of uncertainty and tumult, I have to wonder how long people in the periphery of some of these states will consider such stability as a net benefit. The slow strangulation of Greece is an example to all.

A. Pols

Walrus said it for me, about the secession of the South.
I find it "interesting" that so many Americans pile on in favor of breaking up every other nation state but our own, but some of us Americans harbor treason in our hearts by thinking we could use a dose of the same emetic..

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