For A Republican Catalonia, For Some Small States, & Against Others


One has to consider history, in full, when one considers history: some European countries, such as present day France were already united more than 17 centuries ago (when the self-declared “Gallic Empire” was independent of Rome, while still in the Roman empire, sort of!).

The question of self-determination has been boiling hot, ever since Athens tried to impose her empire (which was a good thing), but did it wrong (which was a terrible thing).

US President Woodrow Wilson used self-determination to dismember the empires of old Europe and the French Republic did it, because it was viewed as an absolute good (French king Henri III had previously been elected king of Poland in the Sixteenth Century.

The French were perfectly aware that Poland was one of the oldest nations in Europe; arguably the same holds for Catalonia. And I have a map to prove it, showing how things were, 23 centuries ago: Catalonia is perfectly discernible:

Subdivisions of the Iberian peninsula, 23 centuries ago. If Carthage recognized Catalonia, how come the macaques at the head of Spain presently don’t? Because Carthage was, arguably, more of a democracy? (Carthage was ruled by “suffetes”, who were judges…)

Dismantling the horrendous rule of Germany over Eastern Europe was perfectly justified. However, there were Germans all over Eastern Europe, so German nationalists also had a good point! Yet, the German Second Reich, extending Prussian rule, was a racist fascist monstrosity (confirmed by Metternich who succeeded to make even Napoleon look good and enlightened!). It was not that justified in the case of Austria-Hungary (whose crimes were not as great, and it was a multiethnic place).

Vladimir Lenin promoted self-determination with the aim of destroying imperial “capitalism”. The United Nations wrote it into article 1 of its founding treaty. The right of peoples to self-determination has been a principle in international law since the Versailles Treaty and was confirmed as the basis for negotiations on a whole host of international negotiations as varied as Algeria, Kashmir in 1948, Vietnam in 1973 and the state borders of Eastern Europe in 1990.

However, the principle was often poorly applied, and became a way for some oligarchies to transmit power to other oligarchies/plutocracies, establishing the global plutocracy we now enjoy. The paradigm there is when “decolonizing” powers gave power to bad actors: much of Africa is an example, including Algeria (where de facto French dictator De Gaulle gave power to the FNL, which is not just still in place, but the present “president” was already a major actor in the… 1950s…). But there are even more devious examples…

The enslaved peoples of the former German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires, such as Czechoslovakia, Finland, fought for self-determination. The French Republic and crafty US president Wilson (a US white supremacist) forced the principle into the founding documents of the League of Nations (infuriating some Brits, such as Lord Keynes). The Bolsheviks, having recognised the right of self-determination in theory, realised that struggles for national sovereignty had the power to tear apart the imperialist powers which were invading Russia (1920).  The Comintern ordered communist parties around the world to support “national revolutionary movements” even where they were from the “left”.

Now than Lenin is long forgotten, the self-described “left”, is philosophically unprepared for struggles for democracy and social justice where nation and ethnicity, not class, is the driver. The EU is even worse. It is trapped by its own founding treaty which didn’t include the right to self-determination of peoples – preferring instead to give that right only to nations already recognised as states. So Slovenia, Croatia and the like had to go to war, and become internationally recognized, before the EU recognized the validity of their existence.

One hundred years ago politicians had a strong theoretical understanding of nationhood. . This is less true today, because most politicians today, like the king of Spain, or his PM, Rajoy, are, first of all tools and part of the global plutocratic orders, which view We The Peoples as tax cows, when not cannon fodder. The first cry these global supremacists hear, is the cry of banks.

Lombardy and Veneto voted for autonomy this weekend (at up to 95%, even better than Catalonia, but for “autonomy” alone!) The European parliament’s president Antonio Tajani berated them. He fears “the proliferation of small nations”.

That Italian politician said Europe must “of course fear” the proliferation of small nations, “that’s why nobody in Europe intends to recognise Catalonia.”

“Even (British Prime Minister) Theresa May, in the full throes of Brexit, said the United Kingdom would never recognise Catalonia… Spain is by its history a unified state, with many autonomous regions, with diverse populations who also speak different languages but who are part of a unified state… It is not by degrading nationhood that we reinforce Europe.”

Lombardy sends 54 billion Euros more in taxes to Rome than it gets back in public spending from the Italian state. Veneto’s net contribution is 15.5 billion. These are huge numbers.

Fearing small states” is not an argument in international law. Soviet foreign minister Molotov used that exact argument with Hitler (!) about “fearing” Finland. Even the Nazis found it laughable. As it is small tiny states such as corrupt Malta and Luxembourg, in collaboration with international plutocracy and other mafias, are financially terrorizing the rest of Europe, with the complicity of the present “leaders”. And if one talks too much about it, and death threats are not enough, one gets bombed to death, as a famous journalist found in Malta last week (she had time to think about it: a first bomb made her car airborne, rocket like; another, later, blew up her seat).

Scotland was famously independent for around 17 centuries, having greatly, and successfully, resisted the Romans themselves. Similarly Northern Italy, colonized by Gauls 24 centuries ago, was dominant and independent from Rome for 16 centuries (in 390 CE, the bishop of Milan, Saint Ambrose, was not taking orders from Rome; actually he subjected emperor Theodosius!). Northern Italy was under orders from Rome for less than 5 centuries out of the last 3,000 years.

Catalonia was initially part of France, having been wrestled from Muslim rule. Then Aragon, another French creation, and Catalonia got associated. Together they pushed French rule out of Sicily and Southern Italy (where Anjou and Normandy had thrown the Muslims out). However, newly created Spain turned to Inquisition and fascism under Isabella of Castille, pushed by her husband king Ferdinand, of Aragon. Philipp II faced a rebellion in the Netherlands, as part of a two centuries long war with France. He was an extremely vicious, genocidal bigot, quite different from his father. He lost the Netherlands in 1581, although he kept Belgium which was recovered by France in the following century when she finally won the war.

Worse was to come: the grandson of the notorious anti=Protestant bigot, Louis XIV of France, was made into king of Spain (bringing the massively lethal and impoverishing “War of the Succession of Spain”, which ravaged Europe). The Catalonia army fought back, was defeated, and Catalonia lost her autonomy. Said autonomy was re-established, by the Republic, but was lost again when general Franco won, thanks to Hitler, Mussolini and a galaxy of US plutocrats.

Catalonia is not a province of “Spain”, whatever “Spain” means. Just as Canada recognized Quebec is, Catalonia is a nation within Europe, and should be at the very least, an autonomous region. Long part of its own Roman province, Catalonia was already independent under Carthage itself. If Carthage could let Catalonia be free, why can’t the present descendant of France’s Louis XIV ruling Spain? Catalonia should be what it wants to be, a republic. Let the rest of Spain enjoy the power of one.

Why are cities, regions, states and peoples beginning to re-pose the question of national self-determination now? Because they need to get things done. London is polluted, it cost 12 Euros a day to drive in the center. Tariq Khan, mayor of London, Labor and of Pakistani descent, just added to this a 12 Euros “T Tax”. “T” for Toxicity. Well, it’s good that he is free to do that. If he were not, Londoners would have good reason to be angry. Also Mr. Khan was elected locally, not one of these torturers Madrid intents to send to Catalonia to rule it, as threatened by Rajoy and its regal accomplice in crime..

For Spain and Italy it is clear: the mixture of austerity, corruption and political sclerosis at the centre has limited the reality of regional democracy.

What about the rest of the world? The anti-French crowd will roll out New Caledonia (which is due to an independence referendum in 2018). Well, I am against independence of any French rules territory (however I am for maximal autonomy). Same holds for any US ruled territory. I still think the two republics are better than any alternative, including independence. All the old French colonies would have been better off with maximal independence and autonomy (although the situation was inadmissible in Algeria, it has become even more inadmissible since…)

New Caledonia is an Australian target, and Kanaks should remember that Australia is less than 5% Aborigines, whereas New Caledonia is more than 50% so.

There are a few subtle, but all-important points here underneath, magmas for apparently peaceful volcanoes. Those points are highly NON PC. Military questions matter. They are even primordial: a French military effort, a successful war against the Jihadists who ruled the Iberian peninsula then, created Catalonia. European Catalonia was created by the sword, in the Eight Century. And that ignorance of military might is a problem in Europe, as small states are not part of European defense, which depends mostly upon the French Republic (as it has been since Consul Clovis, elected king, differently from the present king of Spain). That’s a huge problem.

The French Republic failed militarily around May 15, 1940, greatly because Belgium and the Netherlands (long parts of France, aka Bourgogne) had been treacherous neutrals, which unbalanced the French militarily (something Hitler counted on, deliberately  and for the record). Without the direct or tacit, active or passive, help of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland,  the French Republic would have defeated Hitler with less damage than what happened.

So we can’t just have “neutral” Scotland and Catalonia hanging around, depending upon the defense system of the French Republic (and that of an undependable Britain).

Another huge problem is the question of “civilization”, for want of a better word. Barcelona is not less civilized than Madrid, quite the opposite (whereas, as Peter the Great would, and did, agree, London is still a bit more civilized than Moscow… ) “Less civilized” regions have interest to associate themselves with more civilized regions, it’s better for everybody, including in keeping in check the hubris of the more civilized (however NON PC the notion of “less civilized” is, it is, and that’s it). But Catalonia is not less civilized than Spain with its long litany of horrendously bloody dictators and inquisitors, all the way down to those who put the present regime in place. The “austerity” program was itself a subjugation to the very spirit, if not actual descendants, of those who put the Nazis and fascists in place.

Catalonian Republic, yes (within Spain, why not?). Much more Europe is necessary, though…

Patrice Ayme’

 

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7 Responses to “For A Republican Catalonia, For Some Small States, & Against Others”

  1. De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

    Hard hitting and deep as usual, thanks. Something to chew on, especially at the end. By the way, a friend told me of your moon creation theory. I looked and was really impressed. Go on with physics. What do you think of the neutron star collision? New Scientist said it had to do with Dark Energy. I don’t get it.

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  2. Kevin Berger Says:

    Comme je boude, histoire de respecter mon âge mental, je vous crois sur parole concernant vôtre essai; par contre, je reste persuadé qu’il n’y a rien à tirer de ce vaudeville indépendantiste, si ce n’est qu’il se base sur de l’égoïsme et pas grand chose d’autre, qu’il peut avoir des conséquences *graves*, à tous points de vue, malgré l’aspect ridicule des évènements en eux-mêmes, et qu’au fond il n’est qu’un symptôme de plus de ce délitement général de nôtre belle modernité actuelle. (Au mieux, un inter regnum, mais vers quoi???

    En l’espace de moins d’un an, dans ma petite ville embourgeoisée à mort, j’ai eu le plaisir d’assister deux fois au convoi de grosses voitures (louées) d’un mariage de français-comme-vous-et-moi, klaxonnant vers la mairie, heureux de foutre le bordel, drapeaux marocains et tunisiens je crois bien en évidence (je ne vous cacherai pas que la plus récente occasion m’a bien énervé, et seule ma lâcheté abjecte m’a retenu d’arracher un des drapeaux). Dans mon petit cerveau qui ne retient que les banalités, en l’espace de moins de 10-12 ans, et suivant les “agrégateurs de niouzes” de la fachosphère qui font remonter les brèves de la presse locale (qui sinon ne passent pas le mur du çon des infos nationales), je dois bien avoir une bonne grosse poignée d’arrachage de drapeau Français (frontons de mairie, notamment), remplacé par des drapeaux Algériens notamment, lors de rituelles mini-émeutes, lors de festivités post-victoire d’équipe de foot Nord-Africaines,.

    Tout ça pour dire que, si la France n’a pas institutionnellement nourri de particularisme culturel, comme l’Espagne a pu le faire/laisser faire avec la Catalogne, il y a ici les graines (déjà bien germées?) qui pourraient faire éclore de bien jolies fleurs, avec le même terreau, et le même nectar.

    Au passage, les indépendantistes Catalans ne rêvent absolument pas de la France, en fait, une frange rêve même de la “Grande Catalogne”, prélevée en partie vous devinez où.

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    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Much to say about the diverse subjects you broach. Indeed my logic is often TRANSVERSE (that has a mathematical sense in differential topology, but here I extend it to… logic itself!) to common, PC wisdom.
      That means, in practice, that I am both more, and less sensitive on various subjects.
      I am both an imperialist, a partisan of WELL managed UNITED NATIONS, USA, EU, China (!), and a regionalist, or even Cantonist, in the Swiss style.

      I have no sympathy for Catalonia out of the EU, quite the opposite: I prefer Catalonia subjected to Spain, within the EU. The EU is doing its best for that to happen. That’s an error and depicts well the real EU we have now, one of the potentates (read: global plutocrats). As the saga of Monsanto’s glyphosate/Roundup shows clearly.

      There was no problem, there still should have no problems giving Catalonia the status of a Republic within Spain: Felipe VI can always rule over Navarre and the Vascones (Latin for Gascons, Basques). As far as the poorly integrated Muslim descent types, well, there again, the deep mistakes were not just done by the colonialists, and the Colons, but also their would-be opponents, who understood nothing, and were, and are, closet racists themselves. De Gaulle, a bigot, thought he could separate France from Algeria, having never looked at a map, historical or not. A racist and strategic mistake. As half (North) African myself, in the sense my father was born there, and I was brought up there, I always thought that was mean, cruel, racist, violent, and, worst of all, naive.

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  3. Patrice Ayme Says:

    The Guardian, supposedly from the “left” (albeit financed by Bill Gates!) claims that Catalonia voting is illegal.

    “Illegal” referendum, really? The European Union is making it clear that it is an Union of potentates, not peoples. That’s why Brexit rules, but popular voices in Catalonia are, ignored.

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