Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Catalonia:The Seen and the Unseen

A Target Liberty reader emails:
So it turns out that one of the families in my son's preschool is Catalonian. The father is in economics professor at Princeton. I asked him about the recent events and he said the issue was personal – his parents' voting place in Barcelona was broken into by riot police just after they voted (Close your eyes and imagine how you'd feel if black helmeted police broke into your voting location to confiscate your ballot).

He gave me some background on the situation – essentially this is a federalism dispute between Catalonia  (a nation that precedes Spanish state) and the Madrid central government. The political support for independence only gained ground after Madrid (specifically the super nationalist Partido Popular) rejected Catalonia's proposed revised constitution in 2005. This was unfinished business from the constitutional convention of the late 1970s, which skirted the issue that Spain is really a collection of nations and probably should be a federation or confederation.

Discussed in more detail here...


RW response:

I don't
question any of the facts listed above with regard to the history of the dispute nor the current actions of Spanish police.

I have one question, though, which is rarely discussed: What will conditions be like if Catalonia remains a part of Spain and what will conditions be like if it separates?

All indications are that the separatist leaders are radical leftists.

So when the question is asked: "Close your eyes and imagine how you'd feel if black helmeted police broke into your voting location to confiscate your ballot?"

My response is: Close your eyes and imagine how you'd feel if radical leftists get in control of Catalonia and act like the radical leftists in North Korea or Cuba?

That is, the unseen may be much worse than the seen black helmets.

We are talking realpolitik here and not outlining a libertarian society. It appears that conditions for Catalonians would be much better if they remained the way they are now rather than if they separate and come under a radical leftist regime.

Cessession is merely a tool that can move a region closer or away from liberty.

I would support the cession of Catalonia if it was made clear to me that a separate Catalonia would mean more freedom for people of the region. No one has made that case. Indeed, all indications are that serious nutjobs would be in charge. The Guardian reports:
There is also an important ideological aspect to the battle for Catalonia. 
[Secessionist leader and Catalan's President Carles ]Puigdemont’s ruling coalition has a strong leftist bent, influenced by the hardline, anti-capitalist CUP party. 
The CUP party is seriously insane.

Blind passion is driving the economics professor at Princeton referenced above (Imagine my surprise). But the authoritarianism of Spain, as horrific as it is, does not strike me as coming anywhere near what the lefty radical feminists of CUP  would do to the region if they were to gain control.

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