Catalan Independence: Why The Collective Hates It When People Walk Away

by | Oct 5, 2017 | Headline News | 19 comments

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    I have written many times in the past about the singular conflict at the core of most human crises and disasters, a conflict that sabotages human endeavor and retards critical thought. This conflict not only stems from social interaction, it also exists within the psyche of the average individual. It is an inherent contradiction of the human experience that at times can fuel great accomplishment, but usually leads to great tragedy. I am of course talking about the conflict between our inborn need for self determination versus our inborn desire to hand over responsibility to a community through group effort — sovereignty versus collectivism.

    In my view, the source of the problem is that most people wrongly assume that “collectivism” is somehow the same as community. This is entirely false, and those who make this claim are poorly educated on what collectivism actually means. It is important to make a distinction here; the grouping of people is not necessarily or automatically collectivism unless that group seeks to subjugate the individuality of its participants. Collectivism cannot exist where individual freedom is valued. People can still group together voluntarily for mutual benefit and retain respect for the independence of members (i.e. community, rather than collectivism).

    This distinction matters because there is a contingent of political and financial elites that would like us to believe that there is no middle ground between the pursuits of society and the liberties of individuals. That is to say, we are supposed to assume that all our productive energies and our safety and security belong to society. Either that, or we are extremely selfish and self serving “individualists” that are incapable of “seeing the bigger picture.” The mainstream discussion almost always revolves around these two extremes. We never hear the concept that society exists to serve individual freedom and innovation and that a community of individuals is the strongest possible environment for the security and future of humanity as a whole.

    Thus, the mainstream argument becomes a kabuki theater between the “ignorantly destructive” populists/nationalists/individualists versus the more “reasonable” and supposedly forward thinking socialists/globalists/multiculturalists. The truth is, sovereignty champions can be pro-individual liberty and also pro-community or pro-nation, as long as that community is voluntary.

    Collectivists will have none of this, however, and despite their intellectual and “rational” facade, they will often turn to brutality in order to disrupt any movement to decentralize power.

    The civil unrest in the Spanish region of Catalonia is an interesting example of the tyranny of the collectivist ideology. According to mainstream doctrine, Spain is supposed to be a “decentralized unitary state” made up of “autonomous communities,” all with their own statutes and self governing bodies “loosely” regulated by the Spanish constitution of 1978. Catalonia, along with a couple other regions and cities in Spain, has long fought for true autonomy from the central government in Madrid. This separatist culture was crushed under the heel of Francisco Franco’s dictatorial regime after the Spanish Civil War which started in 1936.

    After Franco’s death in 1975, Spain began its “transition to democracy” (democracy being the tyranny of the majority rather than tyranny by military regime). Once again, Catalonia’s push for independence returned.

    The reasons for a Catalan secession are multitude and are of course noble or nefarious depending on which side you talk to. From my research, it would seem the primary drive for Catalonia is economic. Spain is one of the more indebted member states in the European Union with a national debt near 100% of GDP. The “great recession” starting in 2008 struck Spain particularly hard, with around 21% of the general population officially in poverty and over 40% of all children officially in poverty. Unemployment according to government statistics hovers near 18%.

    Catalonia is the most prosperous region in Spain’s economy, accounting for nearly 20% of total GDP. Catalans also assert that taxation in their region is a primary pillar for the Spanish government, which has not returned the favor with sufficient investment in infrastructure in the region. In essence, there is a “taxation without representation” feel to the conflict, and Americans in particular know very well how that kind of situation can end.

    On the other side of the debate, it is clear that if Catalonia leaves the Spanish system on negative terms, then Spain’s already crumbling economy will be destroyed. The motivation for Spain to keep control of Catalonia is high just on the grounds of economic disaster.

    Beyond the economic issue, another interesting side note on Spain is its intense social justice (cultural Marxism) programs. While Europeans often suggest Spain as being a “conservative” government, in policy and action this is simply not true.  Spain is notorious for being one of the most militantly feminist governments in the EU aside from Sweden, and this is saying something given the socialist nature of the EU. Gender laws and divorce laws in the country offer some of the most draconian double standards against men I have ever witnessed. Perhaps this will give you a kind of litmus test for the sort of culture we are dealing with here, and maybe it accounts for some discontent in certain portions of the Spanish population.

    Catalonia itself is often cited as being “more liberal” in its political orientation in comparison to the rest of Spain. Of course, the term “liberal” can mean many different things in Europe depending on the nation, and American definitions do not necessarily apply. Just as Europeans tend to have no understanding whatsoever of what “conservatism” means in the U.S., Americans have a hard time understanding all the intricacies of the various levels of “liberalism” in Europe.

    That said, what side of the political spectrum Catalonia sits on is irrelevant to greater discussion.

    What I actually enjoy pointing out here is the fact that whether you look at the Franco era of nationalist totalitarianism, or the “semi” socialist and hyper-cultural Marxist era of today, the Spanish government STILL acts the same in its despotism against Catalan separation or independence.  It is not as if the socialists set out to right the wrongs of the Franco regime once it fell. Not at all. Instead, they merely perpetuated the same attitude of centralization while wearing a smiling face. Once again, we see that there is very little difference between fascism and communism/socialism when we get down to core behaviors and policies.

    Collectivists, regardless of what other labels they use to identify themselves, have certain rules that they consistently follow in order to maintain power. One of those rules is that the collective is indivisible. They might pontificate endlessly about their superior democratic ideals, but when some people vote to leave en masse, either in polling booths or with their feet, the mask of benevolence always comes off and the true monster behind collectivism is revealed.

    As we have seen in Catalonia, this monstrous behavior is undeniable. The Spanish government has set out to prevent not just separation, it has sought to prevent the very act of voting on separation using police and military force. In essence, martial law was been declared in Catalonia in order to stop the people from enacting the very democratic ideals the Spanish government claims it enshrines.

    Despite the vicious measures of interference, reports suggest that the vote was still successful, with 90% of the citizenry in support of independence. What happens now is unclear, but I can tell you two things are relatively certain.

    First, a 90% vote in favor will result in a militarized response from the Spanish government. If the vote was less overwhelming, the government might attempt to pit one side of the population against the other, causing internal strife and disrupting secession. This strategy is unrealistic given the mass movement for independence. So, the only other option for the government is full blown martial law.

    Second, such a crackdown will result in a violent counter-response. This happened in the 1970s in Catalonia and I see no reason why it would not happen again. When you have almost an entire population in agreement on separation and you use force to stop them from attaining it, they will become violent. Civil war is inevitable if martial law is declared.

    It is vital that we examine the root ideological catalyst in this scenario.

    The most rational solution would be for the Spanish government to accept the Catalan vote (if they believe in “democracy” as they claim, then they have to accept it, otherwise they appear extraordinarily hypocritical). This could result in a more harmonious economic relationship and less drastic damage to Spain’s fiscal structure. However, this is not going to happen. Instead, Spain is going to use the age old collectivist tactics of intimidation and carnage to oppress the Catalan’s and subsume their economic production (as socialist governments always do).  When civil war erupts, and it will, production in Catalonia will grind to a standstill and Spain STILL loses 20% of its GDP.

    You see, this is a lose/lose scenario for Spain, all because the collectivist doctrine demands a jackbooted reaction to any movement for decentralization. Collectivist systems are parasitic in nature; they see the citizenry as food, as units of production for the state that cannot be allowed to leave, for the “greater good of the greater number.” Collectivists rationalize their behavior as essential to the well being of the society at large, but this is dishonest, for their behavior more often harms society by crushing individual innovation and instigating wars that might not have ever happened in the first place.

    There is at the same time the matter of sovereignty movements across Europe. The only people who benefit from stopping these movements are globalists/collectivists. They may also benefit by sabotaging these movements after the fact, making an example of them and holding them up to the rest of the world as symbols of the “failures of populism.”

    It is important to point out here that Catalonia is not necessarily seeking independence from the EU, only Spain.  Some might argue that this makes the Catalan vote irrelevant.  I disagree.  If Catalonia wants to be separate from Spain but still retain ties to the EU, then I suppose that is their choice, which is really the issue here – choice. Everyone should be allowed to make good and bad decisions and hopefully learn from them both. If Catalan’s choice is meaningless because they will still be part of the EU, then the Spanish government should pull its national guard out and leave them to their own devices.

    Some people might also argue that if secession happened in the U.S., the response would be the same. I would argue that just because it might happen the same way, this does not mean it is right. If leftist Californians, for example, followed through with their latest threats to secede from the U.S. and a massive shift of leftists and cultural Marxists move to the state, frankly I would be ecstatic. Let these people separate and congregate. Let them fail or succeed on the merits of their own ideas and ethics. If they are allowed to organize without interference and they fail, then this is simply more proof that their ideology was unsound and impractical. California’s large percentage of U.S. GDP would simply transfer to other states if in fact the productive people there are not leftists and they migrate away, leaving the separatists to wallow in their naive ideology.

    If Catalonia separates without interference and succeeds economically and socially, then perhaps it is not for Spain to try to subvert or destroy the region, but to emulate their model and learn from them. If people wish to walk away from a community, they should be allowed to do so. This is very simple. Self determination is not dependent on political expediency or mutual benefit. It is an inherent human right.  Communities and borders should be based on principles that the population stands by and every system should remain voluntary. If they do not stand by said principles and they work to thwart voluntarism, then those communities are worthless and should not exist at all.

    When a collective acts to stop people from leaving, all they are doing is exposing the fact that their reasons for existing are inadequate and unconvincing. This goes for Spain, it goes for the EU and it goes for the rest of the world. Globalists and collectivists should take note — decentralization is the true model for the future. In the long run, forcing people into participation in the system is a losing battle.

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      1. Excellent article! Well done!

      2. I imagine the Spaniards will not allow the Cats to leave Spain and will come down on them like a ton of bricks it they actually try it.

        Probably with the aid and approval of the EU nations.

      3. I guess I’m the only one that remembers history, huh? 1936-39, the Spanish Civil War. Ended when Catalonia was defeated. Amazing how history is repeating. Ultimately that national war led to the big one – WW2. Here we go again. This just might spark the entire Euro break-up once more. Then? It’s ‘Katie bar the door’ as to what comes next.

        • My thoughts exactly. This civil war is a templated bellwether event. There’s really nothing new under the sun, as King Solomon said once. The ‘outside interests’ that will intervene in Catalan are the EU Globalists and the spirit of freedom of the locals. Someday soon that struggle will spread, just like it did 80 years ago. Some day soon each and everyone of us will have to choose, the security of a well kept Slave or the uncertain future of Free People.

      4. Good article! Only if the rights of the individual are supported and upheld can a society composed of “individuals” truly be moral and justified. Taking the rights away from or subjugating the “individual” for the greater good of the society, only allows the mob (democracy) to tyrannize the individual and lessens the moral foundation of the society. This is what we have in the U.S.A., and in Europe.

      5. Reminds me of “you didn’t build this!” remark made by Obama. “From each according to his ability, to each according to their need”. Sound familiar?

      6. Brandon, one of your best articles yet. T, you made some excellent points.

      7. California needs to secede.

      8. Word is the Spanish government has troops sitting staged in cruise ships just off the coast of Catalonia, ready for deployment. This isn’t over, and many may die in a potential Spanish Democide.

      9. Catalan offers an opportunity to put a stop to the mass invasion of Europe by radical Islam and Africa’s population explosion. The Catalanese have a strong identity and there is no way they are going to fight for independence just to hand over their country to Islam and Africa. There are parallels to Burma. Now the Burmese have moved to democracy and freedom and have the leader they want, they are kicking the radical Islamists out of their country. Thus their awareness of their identity and the long struggle to assert it means they will not allow it to be prisoner to Islamic terrorism. This is a key part of the awareness awakening we are seeing around the world. Same has happened in Poland and Hungary.

        • FT,

          Good points. In a conflict situation there are always winners and losers, those who gain in various ways and those who lose. Who are the winners in this conflict? It may have nothing to do with the ancient Kingdoms of Aragon and Barcelona vs the rest of Spain but something more insidious that benefits those who are wanting to foment chaos and weaken non-Muslim claims to the Iberian Peninsula. I am not sure about the ‘parallels’ to Burma and the Rohingya. The Rohingya mostly live in Rakyne (Arakan State) and were immigrants from what is now Bangladesh. They really don’t have claims to territory but have grown in numbers and distinct Muslim communities that are being persecuted by the Burmese Buddhists. The leadership in Burma is still strongly controlled by the Burma Army and there are on-going civil wars in many parts of the country. The biggest fighting is in the north where the Kachins live. The Karens, the Wa, the Shan, the Palaung, the Karenni, the Nagas, the Chin, the Rakyne, the Mon, all have legitimate claims against the majority Burmans and have been agitating for independence since the British left in 1948. It would be great if the situation in Spain could spark renewed support for these ‘forgotten’ peoples in Burma.

          Louisiana Eagle

          • I think more and more Europeans are realising the way to stop the invasion/migration is to split from the nation-state agenda. More and more statelets will emerge as people pull out from the toxic top-down open borders agenda.

            With the advances in data technology, it is now easy to offer all the services of the nation state but for far less cost. Estonia is a good example. Take border control: this can be done efficiently and effectively with e-borders and drones/robots. As new states emerge, they will be better able to control and plan their destinies in these smaller formations: cities will also do the same. Look at how smaller states handle crises: they are just more robust and more peaceful. Large technology companies will realise they can benefit from this trend and sell the means to allow small states to thrive.

            Future migrant waves will hit a complex labyrnth of electronic surveillance and e-obstacles that will grind them down and stop their easy flow across borders. Undocumented or leaching migrants will pop up on databases, on smartphones, even in the security systems of restaurants and coffee shops, as threat analysis software flags them up. The coffee shop full of mummies and their babies will not run the risk of letting these dirt bags hang around.

            What future foreign workers are allowed in will be only under agreements with African states and they will be chipped, tagged and over-watched during the duration of their work stay.

            • Interesting!

              • Even more interesting, the Black-ocalypse is already under way. Money is not only walking out of Western Europe to Eastern Europe, it is running. The more Western Europe fills up with Africans and Muslims wanting to live on welfare, the more smart money flees out the back door and heads to Eastern Europe. White, smart, family-focused Eastern Europe is now where the smart money is heading. The Eastern Europeans are even flooding back to Eastern Europe from places like the UK. Eastern Europe is quickly becoming the Real Europe, while Western Europe will be a third world cesspit of civil war, street crime and poverty.

      10. Its all about money. Catalans are not the only Spaniards that live in this region. For Spain, it is not an issue of collectivism, but of Spain keeping and protecting what is theirs. Many report irregularities in voting and unnecessary violence. About ceceeding, I do not recall our Government and Abraham Lincoln quietly agree to allow the South to separate when they declared there right to it, and we know how that ended. There are many regions of Spain with its own tribe, own language, but no body else is instigating violence at the moment. This is another distraction and intentionally created diversion. The question is to what end?

      11. Collectivists… might pontificate endlessly about their superior democratic ideals, but when some people vote to leave en masse, either in polling booths or with their feet, the mask of benevolence always comes off and the true monster behind collectivism is revealed.

        Indeed, as has happened since the 2016 election. Antifa, BAMN, et al.

      12. Good article for a must read.

        I am all for California to succeed from the union given they must pay the Federal investments of infrastructure and the value of Federal land, allow people/businesses to leave, and let them fail on their own merits of socialism/collectivism/Marxist beliefs.

        When they turn into a third world country called Mexifornia and go bankrupt and beg us to let them back in the US, we can say No.

      13. strange, in a way their flag reminds me of the South Vietnamese flag,(with the star removed) before 75.

        Now that its one country its the North flag.

      14. Historically, Catalans acted as a bulwark against Muslim Spain and protected Europe from this satanic faith. Without it, Europe would probably had been invaded and turned Muslim.

        Fast-forward to today, and a similar crisis is there. Only this time oil-rich radical Islamist states have bribed Western poiticians to re-create the Caliphate by flooding in Muslims from the Middle East, where over-population is causing an environmental crisis (as is the case in Africa).

        We now see Eastern Europe has drawn a line and so has Russia. I believe we will see Western European statelets separate and do the same. They could seek protection from both Russia and China (and let them have bases) and this would gradually push back against the hordes. They can also trade with Russia and China via the Silk Trade Route and enjoy a boom and avoid having to take on the welfare costs of supporting a growing Muslim and African population, as is the case in France, UK etc.

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