I have been aware of separatist movements in Europe for some years and I saw them as a weathervane indicating the general direction of politics and culture. Brexit made me hold back on this thesis for awhile, but the tepid progress towards actually leaving the EU and now the resurgent talk of Catalonian independence confirms my initial intuitions.
Nations are made up of regions that in a perfect peaceful world would each be independent, their governments fully representing the wills of the locals. As the aftermath of the Versailles treaty demonstrated, regions must combine into a tolerable nation for the sake of common security.
Once combined, the central government cannot easily allow regions to secede or it loses its legitimacy and a precedent is set for its complete disassembly. Thus I understand the position of Lincoln in 1861 or of the Spanish government now.
However, the overall trend is nation-states are becoming far less relevant in the 21st century as most of the world is organized into interlinked economic zones. The nations are still there with their armies, territories, legal systems and leaders but the reality is power is no longer neatly circumscribed by the borders of discrete sovereign entities drawn on maps in different colors.
For the purposes of international commerce separate political units are a nuisance. We can imagine what it would be like going through customs every few miles or paying a fee to change currency to be able to buy anything. There is little incentive for globalist rulers anymore to pay much attention to borders, except as it inconveniences the stupid local serfs who are still tied to the land.
To understand Catalonian “independence” we must understand they are not trying to gain sovereignty but only to change patrons. With no threat of invasion, they are a relatively rich region with no need for a national government that funnels away their taxes into poorer regions. They have every interest to signal they’d rather have direct allegiance to Brussels rather than Madrid. They are like a toddler running to Daddy for protection, only to have him back up Mommy’s verdict.
The European movements for regional separation are mostly an attempt of regions to align with the larger economic zone instead of outdated nations whose protection is no longer needed. None of these movements are succeeding though. The regionalists are blocked by an intractable problem of modernity. No region is really regional anymore. For some time people from all over Spain and the world have congregated in Catalonia until the core going back centuries can no longer unite as a political whole. Furthermore, a Spaniard in Barcelona probably has more in common with a resident of any worldwide city than an inhabitant of the Catalonian countryside.
As the experiment of regionalism falls flat as a political movement, people will begin to realize the key to modernity is a sort of techno-tribalism that unites by IQ, class, neurotype, and relatedness rather than some dumb flag people pretend to care about with tremendous heart-slapping sentimentality. One of the most common sentiments I see online: “I have more in common with this alt-right guy far away from me than these assholes who live right next to me with their loud music.” This is the future.
31 replies on “Catalonia and Sovereignty”
Techno-tribalism won’t make people feel safe when they take a walk downtown or to a friend’s house two neighborhoods over, though. Only geographical regionalism can do that.
Interesting thesis. It seems, on the face of it, that everyone involved has made mistakes. The separatists, the Spanish government and the EU.
For instance, one could have expected the EU to act as the High with Madrid as the Middle and the Cats as the Low. However, the EU have not – yet – taken up this role. But it is still early days. Perhaps, if things get “bad” then the EU can position itself as a “neutral” arbiter.
Your thesis on “techno-tribalism” is interesting and important. For it to succeed, there needs to be “protection” “economic benefit” – jobs and meaning.
Also, you might like this:
Again, nice link. The writer astutely notes that even relatively old European splinter states like Ireland have naturally drifted into the orbit of the economic zone.
The EU has to nominally side with its member governments against internal upstarts. Besides, they don’t have to do anything. Because the economic zone makes the nations into superfluous tax-collecting middlemen, the national entitities will continue to slide towards irrelevance.
We could just look at what Jews have already to see a model of a successful international tribe that help each other secure wealth and opportunities wherever they go. Technology creates the opportunity for groups based on more than ethnicity alone to follow suit. I imagine IQ and personality type will prove just as important as race or class.
“I have more in common with this alt-right guy far away from me than these assholes who live right next to me with their loud music.”
And these people will try to find each other, live next to each other, build a community, and kick out the assholes. So regional tribalism will return. If technology will mean you can work and live anywhere, why would you stand to live around people antagonistic to you?
They will maybe have neighborhoods or just live near each other, but without having to lay claim to any particular geography. This is what will set apart the new tribalism from regionalism.
Tribalism without regionalism always fails, for the reason mentioned by previous commenter: the capacity for physical and mutual defence. Even the Jews made their own neighborhoods, so they had their own distinct “regions” even when scattered in exile. Regions can be small, but you have to have them. The Amish also have their “regions”, held together by the distance a horse and buggy can drive on a Sunday.
Now, here is why Spain can’t allow Catalan independance at any cost. Catalonia, headquartered in Barcelona, has long been the Muslim springboard to Europe. Barcelona has been historically a wide open port city, through which Muslim spies, diplomats, and intelligence gatherers operated. Even during the Inquisition. If Catalonia breaks off, suddenly Spain will have a HUGE internal border to patrol and monitor, and before long the reconquista will just be a temporary footnote in history.
Barcelona was founded by the Phoenicians, who were Middle Eastern and North African. They are still Phoenician today. And they keep letting their immivader kinfolk in through Spain’s back door. Unless Spain wants to fall back under Middle Eastern rulership, they have to keep Barcelona (and Catalonia) under control.
I have noticed that nationalism presupposes permanent associations with a large piece of land that includes city and countryside often tied to a culture that has grown its food there for hundreds of years. Regionalism in my mind is just this same impulse written smaller. That’s why I would call a tribe’s holdings territory instead whether that be a neighborhood in a city or a cluster of rural homesteads. These territories would be held or given up as strategically maximizes de facto sovereignty, not out of sentimentality. It would be kind of like go where recklessly taking territory in a linear fashion leads to complete disaster.
You must lay claim to your region, or six different kinds of Ruffians move in and then you have to go through the endless effort of continually assessing their probable attitudes based on alien behavioral indicators and it’s exhausting and debilitating and you end up wasting your life online trying to be part of a techno-tribe of ghosts and text-marks that vanish from your screen when you click “sleep”.
I am not saying we should all just stay on the internet. I would never count that as a replacement for real interaction. There will be territories that may or may not be temporary, but calling claim to entire permanent regions is probably dead. There will always be 20-30% outsiders in the best cases. One of the guys at social matter pointed out even Utah is only 60% Mormon in his own critique of modern American secessionism.
Utah is only 60% Mormon because they are not sovereign. If they had realistic control of their borders I’m sure it would be different. I believe we are going to see this in the future at some point, with states enacting their own “immigration” control and telling the Federal Government (and even corporations operating within their own territory) to fuck off, much the same way Poland and Hungary are saying to the EU
You may be describing an endgame scenario, but how do we get there? I see the neo-tribes as a natural reaction to economic zones becoming more important than nations at this time in history.
“I am not saying we should all just stay on the internet” — I know; I was pretty much just representing my own situation — being too poor to live in a SWPL neighborhood (or even an Italian one) and therefore living among incomprehensible aliens and seeking some kind of connection with people like me through blogs but aware of the futility of this ersatz social life. You hang out at Lion’s place — it gets me down, how the same people have been commenting there for about a decade as though they’re all friends when none of them have ever physically met each other and none ever will because anyone who suggests, “Hey, let’s meet!” would immediately be seen as a probable psychopath or creepy homo. And I find it interesting how my visual image of these people really just consists of their pseudonyms on the screen, as though they have bodies made out of two-dimensional text. You know what I mean?
Haha, being “white” is too damn expensive. Earlier white movements suffered because that identity was too closely associated with a membership club you join by chaining yourself to a mortgage in a “nice neighborhood” to get frivorced by a precious white wife. Now, it’s more about guys working together and having a future as Euros, like it should be.
I get the impression that commenters at Lion’s blog have met each other in real life and even slyly hint at it sometimes in the public channel. I bet Lion sees that Yakov guy all the time, for example. Many of them live in NYC area so it would be easy for them to meet up.
I completely agree with you that this medium needs to work on how to transition into meatspace, a process that people are still trying to figure out because it’s not analogous to any ancestral human social practice that we already understand by instinct. As you say, it is very strange how we float about here as ghostly clusters of thoughts.
I am in the Cincinnati area and would not be averse to meeting anyone who I’ve corresponded with and seems ok, whether a resident here or just passing through.
The only way Catalan independance could work, is if the Basque region also becomes independent, so the Basque nation can defend itself. I believe they’ll do a marvellous job when they’re allowed to.
weird, I guess it doesn’t support html or whatever….
proles generally have flabbier arms than SWPLs. Proles just smoke weed and look at their phones all day long; SWPLs go to the gym.
wait, so Dickie is now a prole one the dole, er, trustafarian?
nonetheless, his crew is made up of sick fucks…
Proles have beer guts. SWPLs are skinnyfat.
Ok, we know you have a fetish for Spencer, that’s ok. Now we know why you always call him “Dickie.”
I thought the internet decided I had a Jagoff Don-0-van fetish…
Park Slope SWPLs are in fairly good shape. Proles outweigh them by 50 pounds and are an average of 4 inches shorter, so can probably bench-press more.
Stonerw/boner — “prole” is not hate-speech. It’s actually fairly affectionate, and is used on Lion’s site to refer to Guidos, Hassidim, and Whitish Puerto Ricans. I think that it’s most immediately derived from 1984, where the protagonist likes the people in question because they seem still “human” to him.
I wonder if that dude Joe Rogan would be considered a Guido. Really, haven’t heard that term in 15 years and it was someone referring to Mario in Super Mario Brothers.
Lion uses the term a lot; he grew up in Staten Island. One of his frequent commenters, MaryK, always fights with him in defense of the great Italian American community. Again, the word’s used in a mainly affectionate way.
Once upon a time, “negro” was acceptable academical discourse…
Don’t worry about the proles, Stoner. They are used to much worse banter from each other.
I have noticed that proles have thicker wrists and necks than middles, but not thicker ankles.
Short necks are also prole and there is a relationship between the clothing different castes wear and their body shapes.
For example, turtlenecks (not worn by proles) seem to be saying “Look, I can cover my neck and still have neck remaining.” I’ve noticed when I wear a turtleneck I hear more “excuse me” and “thank you” from people.
Dannato, you should write a post about the fashion and physiology of different social castes and neurotypes. Have you read about Edenic phrenology theory?
Has anyone else been unable to post comments at Jim’s blog in the last 18 or so hours?
24 hours now without new comments there. This is unsettling …
Can you comment?
Apparently no one can. The site seems to be frozen.