Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, October 28th, 2017 - 62 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, democracy under attack, Europe, International, liberalism, political alternatives, Politics, socialism - Tags: Catalonia, democracy, independence, liberalism
I wholeheartedly support the right of the people living in Catalonia to determine their own modes of governance. That shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone who’s been a reader of the standard for any length of time. Neither should it come as any surprise that I view the machinations of the Spanish state with disdain.
The reaction from governments and government leaders is mostly, predictably somewhat less than enthusiastic. Here’s a sampling.
Donald Tusk (European Council President) “For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favours force of argument, not argument of force.”
Trump admin. “Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united..
I’m expecting the editorials of leading liberal newspapers to “toe the line” and, as always, back the legitimacy of existent political and economic power over that of peoples’ wishes. The Washington Post has already amplified the Spanish states claims about fake news and (surprise, surprise) hoisted the Russian bogeyman again.
It’s not clear who was responsible for the fake news. El Pais reported that Russians were to blame, suggesting that news outlets such as Russia Today and Sputnik were circulating the fake stories to deepen divisions in Europe. According to Politico, Russian state-backed news organizations and bots aggressively pushed misinformation about the politically charged vote.
I just found this little cracker of an apologist line a so-called Guardian analysis that predictably peddles the “project fear” line that UK liberal media seems to prefer to the “Mendacious Russians” line – “Such popular upheavals are inherently destabilising, and thus frowned upon by established powers.” Yes. Rathaar. So verily we must choppeth them up and stompeth them down.
Okay. Some positive stuff. “Scottish Government backs the right of the Catalan people to determine their own future” reads the headline in “The National” which also rather helpfully provides a link to the full text of Catalan’s “Declaration of Independence”
Democracy isn’t dispensed from on-high. An independent Catalonia is a small step in the direction of democracy and so ought to find the support of any who are uncomfortable with degrees of authoritarianism. But more than that, the desire people are expressing – to have control over their own affairs and lives – needs to be encouraged. Independence, whether for Catalonia or Scotland or whatever other regions, can only be very temporary way stations on any path to democracy.