Sunday, October 8, 2017

What if the Separatists Succeed in Catalonia?

Some libertarians hold the view that separatism is always a good thing.

But as I have pointed out, while separatism is almost always a good thing from a global perspective for outsiders, it is not necessarily so for those inside a new separatist region. It is just the replacement of one government for another and a small government is not always a good thing (SEE: North Korea and Cuba)

The veteran foreign correspondent Eric Margolis writes:
The problem is, many revolutions don’t make political or economic sense, but they do
make one feel good – at least for a while...

I like the idea of an independent Catalonia.  But what is it good for?  Modern Catalonia is not an oppressed nation though its taxes are too high.   Its biggest problem these days is being utterly swamped by armies of littering foreign tourists.  It could stand on its own economically but to what benefit?
As Daniel McAdams has pointed, out the Catalonia movent has all the hallmarks of a color revolution fancied by the CIA and George Soros.

I am not familiar enough with who might emerge as a leader of Catalonia to judge if the separation would be a net positive or negative if there is a separation, but the most of the people protesting for separation probably don't know either.

As Saint Thomas Aquinas observed:
If the tyranny is not extreme, it is better to tolerate a mild tyranny for a time rather than to take action against it that may bring on many dangers that are worse than the tyranny itself.


Via The Financial Times:

The second-largest bank based in the region will move its legal HQ out of Catalonia in the wake of Sunday’s renewed push for independence. Banco de Sabadell’s decision follows that of biotech group, Oryzon which confirmed its relocation from Barcelona to Madrid earlier this week. The board of CaixaBank, Spain’s third-largest lender, will meet on Friday to discuss redomiciling...

[T]he instability unleashed by the weekend’s events will have economic consequences. The prospect of a unilateral declaration of independence conjures up visions of capital controls, parliamentary shutdowns and legal uncertainties that businesses flee from...

The secessionist threat will also shine a light on just what kind of economic policies any independent region would pursue, given the disparate groups that back independence, from anti-capitalist anarchists to centre-right nationalists.
Oh yeah, a real libertarian heaven. I repeat, separatism does not mean better or a move in the direction of liberty.


Via The New York Times:

With the referendum behind them, Catalans have begun to ask: What just happened? And what happens now?

In interviews across Barcelona this week, many expressed confidence that the fuzzy details of statehood could be worked out. But an equal number were apprehensive, even alarmed, at the plunge toward independence the referendum set in motion.

“Explain it to me: If I stay here, would there be advantages or disadvantages?” asked Loli Risco, 59. “They are not explaining anything, they are just saying, ‘This is what I want.’ I want to keep the euro, and I want to keep being European. What will I do? I will sell my apartment and I will leave.”...

Sevi Rodríguez Mora, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, calculates that added barriers to trade between Catalonia and the rest of Spain would cause a 10 percent drop in the region’s gross domestic product...

Alberto Vallespín, 44, who owns a locksmith’s shop in central Barcelona, is from an old Catalan family but worries about the effect on his business, which has suppliers and customers in other parts of Spain.

Separation could mean additional taxes on those transactions, Mr. Vallespín said, especially if the process is rancorous...

“Things won’t be better” if Catalonia wins independence, he said. “And they may be worse.”


  1. Certainly will be interesting to see which direction Catalonia decides to go. Also I've been paying attention to this movement in my own state to divide the rest of the state from NYC and Long Island

  2. Armchair quarterbacks and bet-hedgers abound. Ya' never know until you try.

    Sure, this could be a movement with elite intentions, but maybe those rich controlling types have it figured wrong. Best laid plans yadda yadda...

  3. To argue that Catalonian secession would diminish Catalonians' collective freedom would be to argue, as a corollary, that the Spanish state currently safeguards Catalonians' freedom.

    I'm not sure that's an argument that libertarians should be making.

  4. News of 1776: The British colonies in America will definitely be worse off if they seek independence from the Crown. So say we all!