Catalonia Votes For Independence, Press Lies As Usual
"Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession." ~ Ron Paul
On Sunday, pro-independence voters in Catalonia captured almost two-thirds of the regional parliament. While the establishment press attempts to hide the secession victory by mentioning that the largest pro-independence party lost parliamentary seats, this, too, was a major victory for independence forces.
There is a reason the global elites and politicians are terrified of secession. All "sanctioned" history lessons and political messages attempt to cover up the fact that most national and tax-jurisdictional boundaries are constantly changing, around the world. The elites want you to believe that all governments are permanent and hence, you, the citizen, have no alternatives. But take a look back at any map of Europe 25 years ago, 50 years ago and then each previous century and you'll see the actual situation is far different.
Actually, during its long history Catalonia has been incorporated into or controlled by Greece, Carthage, Rome, the Visigoths, Moorish or Muslims, the Franks, the nation of Aragon, the Habsburgs and finally, Spain.
Read this typical Associated Press announcement on the vote: The headline reads "Independence Drive for Spain's Catalonia Falters" and the first paragraph states: "The push for an independence referendum for Spain's Catalonia region has been thrown into doubt after the referendum's main supporter was punished at the polls and forced into the difficult position of having to seek alliances with other parties."
This is because Catalan President Artur Mas and his Convergence and Union Alliance Party, or CiU, lost seats to more radical secessionist parties, as they should have. Actually, Mas and the CiU are Johnny-come-lately independence supporters and previously actively supported EU and bank-mandated austerity measures which only hurt the economy, cut benefits and impoverish Catalonians through higher taxes.
The four independence parties still have to develop plans for a future referendum on secession that will likely be supported by a majority of the citizens of Catalonia. Although separatist movements are spreading across Europe, here at The Daily Bell first we question why restored nations should assume a burdensome share of illegitimate sovereign debt when they exit existing unions and nation-states.
Most of the debt was created by distant banking elites buying "encouraging" parliaments to increase national debt loads that can never be paid off. With economies collapsing due to the debt load from foreign-imposed debt never approved by the citizens, why should new nations shoulder this illegitimate and destructive sovereign load?
Second, of course, all tax-feeding central governments like Spain warn of a constitutional crisis and vow to block secession and independence efforts. But an excellent counter to this draconian argument and Lincoln-like threat is to say the following: "Either you allow us to leave voluntarily and we will take a percentage of your sovereign debt or use force and we will leave debt-free and bring down your government. The choice is yours!"
It looks like the productive, hard-working people of Catalonia are growing weary of funding the Spanish central government. I suggest that they will eventually gain their independence. The leaders of Spain would do well to consider their options of allowing a peaceful and friendly transition to independence lest they face the alternative, which could take down Spain and many other central governments across Europe.
Posted by zaratrustra on 12/01/12 11:02 AM
I have been following "the daillybell" for long time but this is going to be my first "contribution". All this time, I have enjoy very much your "out of the box" perspective, mostly because you match with the truth. And this opinion post moved me to give another perspective about this topic.
I have been living nearly 20 years in Spain where I worked in security, defence and intelligence nearly 10 years. On the other side, I was in the entertainment business for other 5 years. During these years I met a lot of people, powerful and with connections.
- They faked the history (you only need some fast research)
- They adoctrinate the people (one little point: the big pronationalist families don't apply for themselves what they sell in their social speeches. Their children speak spanish and they go to spanish shools).
- The pronationalist Polititians and bankers have been very corrupt.
- The mason groups have a very important role.
- From outside Spain there is an interest in this situation.
Last time i was in Spain I remember a chat with a yugoslavia taxidriver, who came to Spain during the war. He explained me that he was scared because he saw Spain running the same race Yugoslavia did.
And by the way; the situation in Spain is worse than the view that the media shows.
Posted by laceja on 11/28/12 10:03 PM
The one thing that independence for Catalan would do is remove on more bush the local politicians now can hide behind. It would put them right out in the open and likely they would get voted out.
Posted by Siegfried on 11/28/12 03:55 PM
The current catalan ruling party, CiU, in my opinion, sees Catalonia as its own property. The current rush for independence serves two purposes:
One - It shifts the blame for current impopular austerity measures to Spanish government by pointing the fact that Catalonia pays to the Spanish government more than it gets (arount 8%, while other federal countries such as Germany the highest contribution is around 4%). Independence, is argued, will restore public finances once the plunder stops.
Two - if successful, as some feedbackers have pointed out, it will allow the current political class to have a complete power grab within the Catalan territory, instead of sharing it with the Spanish government. We are not speaking of course of real power, which is in the hands of the money masters and the EU, but the power to use political influence for its own private profit.
The drive for independence as proposed by the current political class will not bring any forseeable increase in freedom. For instance, Artur Mas, the current president, said that if independence eventually comes, "state structures" will have to be built. That means more institutions, maybe a professional army, and surely a pile of brand new public office seats ready to be appointed to friends and relatives as usual. He even dared to say that such new "state structures" would provide 10000 new jobs! Of course he didn't say "we will tax you even more to pay for those jobs, but you know they just *have* to be made, for the glory of the state".
The Spanish political class, and the Catalan is no exception, has flourished from the Franco dictatorship through a system that has empowered the political parties above everything else. Most of them have very weak internal democratic processes, and careers within each party are built according to the service politicians pay to their parties, not to the people. This service tipically consists on granting public works to companies owned by friends and relatives which in turn give a percentage of the expenses to the office holder, the party, or both. So the most successful politicians are the ones who provide heavier profits to the party. Profits which of course are confiscated from the population via the tax extortion.
Under this system, when getting pressure from Brussels to cut spending, the last thing they will cut will be their revenue sources.
And of course, the left wing parties publicly cry outragiously to stop cutting social services while they avoid explaining where they plan to get the funds to pay for those social services (since there's no money left) or what things they would cut instead (hint: public companies owned by friends and relatives are never mentioned). Same for labor unions.
All this does not come as a surprise, since any serious debate on "what kind of independence do we want?" would quickly expose the whole political class as bunch of second rate swindlers and pimps, both righ and left. Freedom, monetary or otherwise, is not open to discussion. They discuss whether Catalonia would remain part of the EU or if it would have to earn its membership as other would be members did in the past.
Under those conditions independence, as Jubal has said, will be just re-dependence, and a bitter one for sure. Inflamed and empty nationalism will be the only argument to distract the attention from the real cause of the pain we are going through.
Posted by DickFitz on 11/28/12 03:46 PM
Catalonian independence might be a disaster but it would fuel other independence movements throughout the world. It would be much easier to overthrow a corrupt government in an independent Catalonia than overthrow the national government in Madrid.
The drive towards decentralization will not be a bed of roses (here in the US an independent Utah would be a repressive theocracy, while other states would become communist hellholes, but other states would become MUCH freer than now) but anything that encourages separatist movements is good in my book.
Posted by Jubal on 11/28/12 10:02 AM
In the closing quote before, "making people more enslaved by the political class" is perhaps a better translation.
Also, as we're talking about being the subject of one big, intrusive State or becoming the subject of another big, intrusive State, we should say "re-dependence" instead of "independence", for the sake of exactitude.
Finally, I'd like to add that I am oppressed by the Spanish State, so I'd be glad to see a land of freedom in Catalonia where I could escape from the oppression of my overlords, intstead of having to ponder emigration to South America or Asia. A nationallistic movement like the one breeding in Catalonia for decades now, is not a freedom-friendly development, but an anti-freedom force which will legitimate a rejuvenated, more intrusive State.
Posted by Jubal on 11/28/12 09:32 AM
Previous feedbacker Daniel is right. That you open your editorial with a Ron Paul quote is telling. Just like othe well known libertarian ideologues, on this matter you talk from an American ivory tower viewpoint, without having a clue of what is happening in Spain.
First, America was born by secession from an ascending empire near the peak of its power. And secession talk in America now is secession talk in an empire at the peak of its power. On the contrary, Spain imperial days are gone since quite a while ago. Although the remnants of old Spanish nationalism still can be perceived, you'll be hard pressed to find any country on planet Earth where the national symbols are less revered than in Spain. The political trend in Spain during the last 35 years, the fashionable thing, has been moving to extreme decentralization, away from Franco-style centralism of the past. The context is radically different. If you want a Spanish libertarian revolution, go to the 16th century Spain and see the Revolt of the Comuneros against the Habsburg king who integrated Spain in his pan-European empire and abolished the libertarian laws and customs of the country:
Click to view link
As Daniel correctly points out, secession is a means, not an end by itself. So, what are the forces behind Catalonian secession? Collectivist nationalism and nation building. The time when the distinctive features of Catalonian people were being "productive" and "hard-working" is gone. Now, it's the time of being a good Catalonian patriot. Recently, I listened to a Catalonian business owner in the news, fined for not complying with the linguistic dictates of the Catalonian government, beginning his claim against the nationalistic tyranny with "I am a good Catalonian, but... " This is telling. The worst sin they may blame on you in Catalonia is that of being anti-Catalonian or not Catalonian enough. Dou you think that The Remnant (in Albert Jay Nock's sense) are the ones voting to pro-secession, collectivistic politicians?
Concerning Catalonian secession, those readers that don't have first hand knowledge should ignore the opinions of ivory tower libertarian ideologues who also lack that first hand knowledge and aggravate that with the blunder of being fascinated with the means, disregarding the principle and the ends.
I'm closing with the words of a Catalonian libertarian, Austrian economist and anarcho-capitalist, Jorge Valín, in a recent article of his about the "fake messiah" Artur Mas (my translation): "Substitution of a [territorially] small State for a big one, but equally or even more controlling and intrusive, is not improving the independence of peoples and individuals. It is making people more slaved to the political class."
Click to view link
Posted by Martin on 11/28/12 08:10 AM
I agree with Ron that secession and regional independence whether from the left or right as desired by the regional population is far superior to forced nationalism in relatively large nation states. Smaller countries generally equal more citizen control and prosperity when compared to larger entities and I support an independent left leaning Vermont as well as a more free-market New Hampshire. Let the people decide rather than bureaucrats and power in some distant Capitol city.
Posted by Daniel on 11/28/12 07:08 AM
Sorry, your advice is WRONG because you don't even consider the minimum basic relevant facts.
1. Historically, Catalonia is a region of 4 provinces of many provinces under the Crown of Aragon, which united with the Crown of Castille with the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella. It has always been traditional.ly catholic and united to Spain since the 1400s at least. That is a long time. The Count of Barcelona reigned in parts of Catalonia under his Aragon king. The Count of Barcelona is the King of Spain.
2. Radical socialists since the late 1900s have been agitating for independence, and now that socialism has corrupted Spain, a majority of Catalonians which to do an injustice: to take something that is not theirs. Just because they were born there, it is not theirs, as much if you were born in Washington DC, it is not yours for the taking, even if you rouse up enough people to agree with you. It is pure theft.
Only in the case of massive injustice (mass murders and expropriation) can any region seek independence, or in the case of mutual agreement (like the Czech and Slovak republics).
By the way, Catalonian independence will start a new round of discrimination and injustice to local non-independence population, something like a Yugoslavia break-up.
Unjust small-time politicians have whipped up independence so they can rule the roost. Did you mention that the CiU party also lost because of corruption?
Welcome to the new leaders of independent Catalonia... that is why these politicians want independence, for THEIR freedom to loot.
They have brainwashed local children to division and disharmony, an xenephobic anger to their own Iberian fellow countrymen in which NOTHING divides them but only a variant of an Iberian language, and a socialist revolutionary mentality that has corrupted the national debate.
3. The bankers have ruined Spain, yes, but you forgot to mention that many of them are in Barcelona! And Catalonia, independent or not, already has massive socialist taxes and programs.
That is why many are saying that the independence agitation is just a distraction to maintain a heavy socialist state and taxes without having to do cutbacks and living with the state's means.
What do you think Catalonia will do with independence and the few billion$ they now don't have to send to Madrid? They will spend it to enlarge the Catalonian socialist state.
Do you advocate freedom or socialism?? Because an independent Catalonia will use its revenues to grow the state to Swedish style of socialism.
Separatism and independence are the means, not the end. If separatism leads to LESS freedoms, then it is bad.
Remember the movie Patriot: "Why should I trade 1 dictator 3000 miles away for 3000 dictators 1 mile away?" We know how that ended up in the USA, and it will be the same thing for Catalonia.
You want freedom? In Spain under Franco, there was no income tax, no VAT tax and great growth rates, and no slavery to bankers. I do not advocate to return to the past, but the FUTURE for Catalonia is NOT independence, as it will turn into another bankers controlled republic.
Even the World Socialist website (troskyites which I usually do not agree), say that Catalonia will turn into banker-controlled state when independent.
Please consider this, Separatism in Catalonia leads to the freedom of La Caixa and other banks to continue playing their games, it solves NOTHING.
You don't need an independent Catalonia to default on illegitimate banker debt... Spain can and should do that itself without having to splinter its natural organic Iberian country to create artificial banker-states.