After Puigdemont ‘clarified’ his announcement, Spain has just announced they are taking the nuclear option on Catalonia. Here’s what it means…
Article 155 of the 1978 Constitution allows the central government to force any of its 17 regions to adhere to the law when disobedience “gravely threatens the general interest of Spain.” Its two short sentences appear to give the central government a broad remit to bring a rebellious region to heel, but because it’s never been written into law, there’s no roadmap for action, or clear path to avoid delays and battles with opposition parties in the Senate.
“Debates could turn into a real psychodrama,” constitutional scholar Jorge de Esteban Alonso wrote in a law blog in September. A delay of at least two weeks in actually applying the crackdown under Article 155 is very likely, he said.
For some non-MSM commentary on the Catalonia secession movement, here’s Michael Krieger:
The Catalan push for a right for vote on independence should be seen as part of a much larger push toward greater self-determination that humans will demand in increasingly large numbers in the years ahead. The time is ripe for us as a species to insist on a transition toward a more voluntary, sane, peaceful and decentralized process of political organization. This is an idea whose time has come, and I thank the Catalan people from the bottom of my heart for brining it to the fore, and also for conducting themselves in such a noble, courageous and thoughtful manner. You are leading the way for the rest of us.
The key reason Madrid is wrong on this issue relates to its insistence that Spain must sustain itself in its current form forever. Since Spain is a manmade political creation, this is the modern equivalent of claiming a “divine right of kings,” but rather than bestowing this archaic conception on individual rulers, it’s bestowed upon a nation-state. This is not just an absurd position, it’s patently anti-human. As I discussed in the post, It’s Time to Question the Modern Nation-State Model of Governance:
As things stand today, humans essentially have two choices when it comes to political life. We either accept the nation-state we’re born into and play the game to the best of our advantage, or we try to become citizens of another country with values that more align with our own. The only way to really shatter existing political power structures and form new ones is through violent revolution or war, which is an insane way of reorganizing matters of human governance. One of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s key arguments in casting the Catalan referendum as illegal is that Spain is an indivisible nation under the 1978 constitution. Let’s think about what this means in practice.
Anyone who’s spent any time in Spain understands how culturally and linguistically distinct many of the regions are when compared to Madrid. These are differences that go back centuries and can’t be brushed off by a constitution created a few decades ago. The idea that these various regions must be part of a centralized Spain even if the people within the regions want political autonomy is ethically preposterous, as well as authoritarian and evil in every sense of the word. If done properly, human governance should always be a voluntary arrangement. If an overwhelming majority of culturally distinct people within any nation-state decide the super state is no longer working for them, they should have every right to leave. Anything else is bondage.
If humans are going to evolve into better forms of political organization rooted in voluntary associations, we must first reject the clear authoritarian nature of our current political environments. All of us are randomly born into nation-states which we never chose in the first place and told to accept them as eternal structures. The people of Catalonia have realized the absurdity of this and are taking a brave stand on the issue. Anyone who genuinely believes in human rights must stand with the people of Catalonia and support their right to a referendum should they choose to have one.
With political philosophy out of the way, I want to move on to a discussion of strategy and why I think those leading the push for Catalan independence have played their hand brilliantly thus far.
First, leadership’s emphasis on a peaceful movement in the face of thuggish violence and aggression by the Spanish state is of the utmost importance. For an independence movement to succeed and create a better, more free society afterwards, things must be done in a conscious way. As I’ve said many times before, ends never justify the means. The means are everything. Moreover, by exposing the opposition as goons, you foster increased solidarity amongst your neighbors who may have been on the fence when it comes to independence. You also create passionate allies across the world. The Catalan people have succeeded remarkably on all these fronts.
Here is the “clarification” Catalonia’s President sent to Rajoy:
Final line could be interpreted as puigdemont saying there was no declaration – ultima frase “que NO voto” pic.twitter.com/DBW8lvccVh
— Maria Tadeo (@mariatad) October 19, 2017
Spain’s stock market Ibex has seen better days: