These events in Catalonia have really been surprising.
The modus operandi of the EU seems to be a long, uniform slog into suicide, where nothing much happens that hasn’t been put into the timeline by a bunch of bureaucrats ten years previously.
The intensity of this situation in Spain though is definitely not something I would have expected.
With that being the case, the question to ask, as always, is: Is it good for Reconquest and Preservation?
The situation referenced is a referendum on independence that the region of Catalonia in Spain had yesterday, which the government had banned and cracked down on with violence.
Spain is facing a political crisis after Catalans voted in favor of independence in a contested referendum that descended into violence when police launched a widespread crackdown on the vote.
The Catalan government said it had earned the right to independence from Spain after results showed 90% of those who voted were in favor of a split.
But amid an unexpectedly harsh response from Spanish police to the vote, which was declared illegal by Spain’s top court, turnout was under 50%.
Some 844 people were injured as riot police raided polling stations Sunday, dragged away voters and fired rubber bullets during clashes — scenes that reverberated across Europe.
“Today, on this day of hope and also suffering, citizens of Catalonia have won the right to have an independent state,” said Carles Puigdemont, the region’s president.
The Catalan government blamed Madrid for a heavy-handed police operation and called on the European Union to respond.
“I want to make clear that all responsibility, all violence acts, repression is exclusively on the government of Rajoy, ” the region’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Raül Romeva said.
“Today Europe has to choose, shame or dignity. Violence or democracy, this is our demand. With this demand, we begin to work for a response to these circumstances. The absence of a response would suppose a lack and loss of credibility to the EU and its institutions.”
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that the vote was illegitimate.
“At this point, I can tell you very clearly: Today a self-determination referendum in Catalonia didn’t happen,” he said in a televised speech.
Catalan nationalists argue the region is a separate nation with its own history, culture and language, and that it should have increased fiscal independence.
Catalonia’s separatist government pushed forward with the vote despite opposition from Madrid and a ruling from the country’s top court declaring it illegal.
Spain’s national government in Madrid has ardently resisted separation.
In the runup to the vote, national authorities seized ballot papers, voter lists and campaign material. Thousands of extra national police were sent to the region and high-ranking Catalan officials involved in organizing the referendum were arrested…
…Catalonia’s campaign to break away has been gaining momentum since 2010, when Spain’s economy plunged during the financial crisis. Catalonia held a symbolic poll in 2014, in which 80% of voters backed complete secession — but only 32% of the electorate turned out.
…Human societies evolve, and laws must evolve with them. And this leads me to why the Catalonian referendum is interesting from the point of view of Cultural Evolution.
The theoretically interesting question is what is the optimal size of a politically independent unit (“polity”) in today’s world. Clearly, optimal size changes with time and social environment.
We know empirically that the optimal size of a European state took a step up following 1500. As a result, the number of independent polities in Europe decreased from many hundreds in 1500 to just over 30 in 1900. The reason was the introduction of gunpowder that greatly elevated war intensity. The new evolutionary regime eliminated almost all of the small states, apart from a few special cases (like the Papacy or Monaco).
In today’s Europe, however, war has ceased to be an evolutionary force. It may change, but since 1945 the success or failure of European polities has been largely determined by their ability to deliver high levels of living standards to their citizens…[Therefore] the question becomes: will Catalonia be better off as an independent state, or an autonomous province with Spain (as it is now)?
My conclusion: nobody really knows whether independence will make the life of most Catalonians better, or worse. Thus, I say: if the majority of Catalonians vote for secession, let them have it.
If they are willing to run an experiment using themselves as subjects, they certainly have the right to do so, and their experience will be useful to other regions (e.g. Scotland) that currently contemplate independence.
And it’s much more than a scientific issue. The only way for our societies to become better in all kinds of ways (wealthier, more just, more efficient) is to allow cultural evolution a free rein. More specifically, we need cultural group selection at the level of polities.
A major problem for the humanity is finding ways to have such cultural group selection to take place without violence. Which is why I find the current moves by Madrid to suppress the Catalonian independence vote by force criminally reckless. It seems that Madrid still wants to go back to the world as it was in the nineteenth century (or more accurately, Europe between 1500 and 1900).
Turchin’s politics are different than mine I’m sure, but I think his analysis demonstrates the gulf between his own views and the progressive narrative which our elites adhere to.
Turchin believes that the world is ever-evolving, and that the future can be good or bad based on our decisions now, and what choices we make and how hard we work at things. It is optimistic but rational and realistic. This is an ‘ascendant’ view of the future, as I call it.
Progressives, on the other hand, have become wedded to a utopian view of the future. They believe that we are on a predestined track toward a wonderful multicultural utopia, and that anything that retards that pre-ordained progression is wrong.
While it doesn’t seem that the Catalan vote is a big left/right thing, I do think that ANY such nationalism is a stick in the eye of Brussels.
Following from that, I think this independence vote is good for several reasons.
- It gets the idea of secession in the public mind. This is huge, as the only way parts of countries like Sweden and Germany and the UK can still survive is if certain portions of them secede.
- It brings to bear the connection between culture/language/heritage and statehood, an idea anathema to our globalist liberal enemies.
- The referendum, and more specifically the violence surrounding it, is a bit of K-Selectionto a massively r-Selected Occidental populace.
I think this referendum has been a definite net positive.
Even though the folks in Catalonia who will be/would be ruling the newly formed country are converged progressives themselves, and even though the new nation would be joining the EU and doing lots of other disappointing things, I still think the situation is a net plus for the preservationist cause.
The question that comes to mind is, of course, which regions of Europe will copy Catalonia’s lead and attempt to secede next? Will parts of the UK, Sweden, and Germany follow suit in an effort to save themselves? And will the insane ideologues in charge of the EU ever allow them to without a fight?
Very interesting questions.