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Catalonia Votes for Independence, Part 1

View of one of the two ‘legs’ of a gigantic “V” (for ‘Vote’ and ‘Victory’) formed in Barcelona last Sept. 11, Catalonia’s National Day. Demonstrators drew the Catalan flag: four red stripes on a yellow background. [1]

View of one of the two ‘legs’ of a gigantic “V” (for ‘Vote’ and ‘Victory’) formed in Barcelona last Sept. 11, Catalonia’s National Day. Demonstrators drew the Catalan flag: four red stripes on a yellow background.

1,319 words

Catalonia’s independence is one of the five top challenges the EU is currently facing. A nation of 10 million people has held four years of huge mobilizations, leading to “Europe’s biggest rally ever” on Sept. 11th of this year. With the strongest national language among Europe’s “unofficial languages” (or at least, without State national language status), Catalan shows is robust and healthy after centuries of persecution by both French ‘Universalism’ and Spanish centralism.

Catalonia’s push for the November 9th referendum on independence comes after four years of organization. Unlike Scotland, all polls [1] show a comfortable majority of Catalans in favor of becoming Europe’s next independent state. The EU is at stake if Catalans have their way and say ‘Yes’ to independence, as it will probably set a precedent for other nations (e.g., Flanders, Basque Country, and obviously Scotland). The EU is increasingly perceived as caring nothing for the identity of its member nation states or peoples. Indeed it is a fact that the EU seeks to homogenize and dispossess the European peoples through mass immigration (i.e., cheap labor) in favor of a single and “efficient” market.

As for Spain, it can be argued that we are witnessing the last dissolution phase of the remains of the old Spanish Empire. The Spanish Crown lost Portugal in 1640, then the South American colonies. Now, the old nations in the Iberian Peninsula, among which is Catalonia, are following the natural path set by many other nations around the World and attaining self-rule — or as limited a sovereignty as a State can have in the World today.

A Bit of History and an Introduction to the Catalan Case

Some basic facts have to be highlighted in order to understand the present-day situation. If we speak of Catalonia today, we have to bear in mind that we are talking about an Old Nation with its roots thousands of years deep, in the preceding tribes and peoples that have inhabited this land before present-day Catalans: Iberians, Celts, Greeks, Germanic tribes, etc. Nevertheless, we can argue that most of the present national character of the Catalans derives from its Carolingian (and thus Gallic) origin. Indeed, Catalonia was part of the Carolingian Empire, before our first King broke ties with it almost 1,100 years ago. The Catalan dynasty then was born. It is said that the Catalan language and national character reflect that origin.

Much later, an important year to remember is 1640. As noted above, in that year Portugal ceased to be part of the Spanish Crown, precisely because of the cost to the Portuguese people of the war that the Spanish Crown was waged against the Catalan rebels. These events were followed by the 1707-1715 war, which ended with the definitive Occupation of Catalonia, right after the 1659 “Treaty of the Pyrenees.” By means of the Treaty of the Pyrenees the French and Spanish crowns divided Catalonia in two.

Despite that terrible defeat, the Catalan spirit lived. It can be argued that our will for national freedom was one of the reasons behind the 1936-1939 war, after which Franco came to power. Of course there were many other motivations behind that war, but certainly we can argue that the Catalan case was an important component of it.

Ultimately, present day events can only be understood if we take into consideration this long history of struggle for national liberation — to regain lost sovereignty. A Spanish nationalist might say that only the “weakness” of the present-day politicians, and perhaps “progressive” influences can explain their country’s decadence. I cannot debate such a point in this short article, but it cannot be denied that Spain is not only in the midst of both a political and economic crisis, but also under a territorial crisis. And it is an important one. The Spanish State as we know today is likely to change its territorial frame in the coming months and years. Just as it has been continuously doing in the last centuries.

The November 9th Referendum

Unlike Scotland’s referendum (where the British and Scottish governments agreed upon its terms), Catalonia’s has neither been approved nor allowed by the Spanish Government. The Catalan Government will carry on with it even though it has been forbidden by the Spanish High Court, and it will be carried out by a huge network of volunteers, plus International observers.

The fact is that, despite the lack of official approval, a very astute tactic is apparently going to allow us to vote: there will be no census that can be hijacked by the Spanish authorities. Instead, people will subscribe to the census as they vote, showing their Identity Card right before voting. We’ll see if the Spanish Government will send the Police to each and every polling station, showing the World its true nature: that of an occupying force.

Also, it is important to bear in mind that the referendum has the support of 107 out of 135 MPs in the Catalan Parliament, and 96% of the Catalan municipalities.

Democracy? What Kind of Democracy?

From an European New Right or Identitarian point of view, it can be argued that the sole negative aspect of this referendum will be that it is predicated on a universalist conception of democracy. Indeed, foreigners of non-European origin will be allowed to vote. Yes, it could hardly be any other way, and universalist democracy will once again dictate the terms of an election on European soil. In other words, nothing new here at all.

At this point, we must ask ourselves: What type of democracy (if any) do we need?

Catalans (and for that matter Bretons, Irish, and any other European people) need to understand that as much as this referendum is necessary for national survival in the short term, in the long run we need to be conscious that universalist democracy can mean our national dissolution as well. In a world of open borders and multiculturalism, universalist democracy means national death for any European People. Without the Catalan People there can no longer be any Catalonia. Without Norwegians, there is no Norway. If we are all just “human beings,” then it doesn’t make any difference if the Catalans or Chinese call Catalonia home.

In the end, it is vital that we challenge the Leftist claim that says that if you live and work in a given part of the world, you are as much a part of it as anyone else. This Marxist conception makes labor the sole element in peoples’ lives and says that we can ultimately reduce a nation simply to a “group of workers” — and passers-by.

So, yes, despite our proud history, we Catalans are infected by the same intellectual viruses as any other European people.

Conclusions

Despite the fact that this is not a referendum any supporter of the European New Right would wholeheartedly endorse, it should have our support. We should support every Nation’s right to independence and, obviously, to self-determination.

We may be witnessing in Europe a revival of ethnic nationalism. This could mean a chance for a better and stronger Europe, a possible path for European Reconquista.

On the other hand, we might be witnessing the last years of existence of the Spanish Crown (as we know it today). The French and Spanish ruling classes can no longer hold under their dominion the peoples of “their” territories. Besides a terrible economic crisis and rampant corruption, a territorial challenge poses serious problems to them.

(Note: After the polling takes place, I will try to gather the details of the results and submit an analysis. I hope this short article invites some good discussion and serves the purpose of getting readers interested in the 9N Referendum and the Catalan cause. Thank you.)

Note

1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/poll-finds-that-60-of-catalans-want-independence-9208329.html [2]