FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Tag Archives: european union

Catalonia and Sovereignty

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movements for regional separation are mostly an attempt of regions to align with the larger economic zone instead of outdated nations whose protection is no longer needed.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.

Brexit Reflections

I was taken by surprise last night to learn that the brexit referendum passed.
It makes little sense to me that the UK would quit the EU when they can get what they want while still enjoying membership benefits.

If immigration is what concerns them most, land-locked countries like Hungary with much less influence have been successful in enforcing their own rules while remaining in the EU.  How much easier would it be for the island UK, a major world economy with huge clout to do the same and get away with it.  Whether it’s keeping out/deporting Pakistanis and Poles or avoiding bailing out broke Greeks, the national government can do what it needs to and the rest of Europe can react as it will.  That’s pretty much what Viktor Orban has done in Hungary.
The “bureaucrats in Brussels” so often derided as international tyrants can’t make Britain do anything it doesn’t want to, except threaten them with what they just did to themselves.

That’s what I don’t get.  If the underlying problem is British national leaders failing to act, then quitting the EU will just make things worse and not solve any of their problems.
If this goes through, England will lose Scotland and maybe have new conflict in Northern Ireland. The English will have to renegotiate trade deals across the planet with far less leverage than they had before. I don’t see how anyone, rich or poor gains from this.
This is a huge mistake especially when much smarter strategies were available.
Hopefully they have a revote or it gets hung up in parliament.

I sympathize very much with the people in the UK voting ‘leave’ since they are reacting to so many problems that are tiresomely familiar in the US. I know how it feels to compete for jobs against foreigners who depress wages and who are allowed to hire preferentially while people of my ethnicity are not. The injustice of being sold out by the elites of your own people is infuriating. But I suspect the British public is falling for a scam by scapegoating a council of paper-pushers in Brussels instead of bending their own leaders to their will. They have much in common with the movement growing around Trump and Sanders style populism in the USA, but I don’t see a pragmatic guy like Trump making stupid self-destructive trade moves that defy common sense just to spite “the globalists.”
That said, I hope this serves as a warning to the EU, especially Germany that it has to change its policies if it wants other nations to cooperate. The Germans are the dominant economic power in Europe but they have overplayed their hand nevertheless. I am hoping this will lead to the downfall of Merkel’s equalist enlightenment school of politics and to the emergence of a “Europe first” mentality.
If Germany and Brussels bureaucrats do not change their ways, they may lose the EU and once these kinds of things fall apart, they cannot easily be put back together.
If this situation spirals out of control, with other nations following Britain’s lead, we need only fast forward a few decades to see the re-emergence of wars between European powers.

%d bloggers like this: