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A Terrible Beauty is Born in Catalonia

by Frank Schnittger Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 10:46:09 AM EST

When the 1916 rising against British rule in Ireland took place, many of the defeated insurgents were booed on the streets of Dublin as they were being led to imprisonment: Such was the popular anger at the damage their ill-planned adventure had caused to many lives and the city's infrastructure.

And then the British started to execute some of the leaders, and the tide of public opinion turned.

It is doubtful whether Catalonian independence had the support of a majority of Catalonians prior to the referendum on the First of October 2017. But the sight of peaceful citizens seeking to vote being baton charged, beaten and shot with rubber bullets by riot police will change all of that.

Despite deploying 15,000 police mostly from outside Catalonia and injuring over 800 people, the Spanish state managed to close only about 300 out of 2,300 polling stations and could not prevent 2.3 Million people from casting their vote - a 42% turnout - despite confiscating many ballot boxes. Many Irish referenda have been passed with less.

90% voted for independence, a resounding response to the violence.

In one ill-considered act the Spanish state has ensured its own disintegration. Catalonia will now declare independence.  If the Rajoy government seizes control and organises new elections, they will be won by separatists. In the words of W.B. Yeats all is "changed, changed utterly: a terrible beauty is born."


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Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.  
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part  
To murmur name upon name,  
As a mother names her child  
When sleep at last has come  
On limbs that had run wild.  
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;  
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith  
For all that is done and said.  
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;  
And what if excess of love  
Bewildered them till they died?  
I write it out in a verse--
MacDonagh and MacBride  
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:  
A terrible beauty is born.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 11:21:08 AM EST
In a cleft that's christened Alt
Under broken stone I halt
At the bottom of a pit
That broad noon has never lit,
And shout a secret to the stone.
All that I have said and done,
Now that I am old and ill,
Turns into a question till
I lie awake night after night
And never get the answers right.
Did that play of mine send out
Certain men the English shot?
Did words of mine put too great strain
On that woman's reeling brain?
Could my spoken words have checked
That whereby a house lay wrecked?
And all seems evil until I
Sleepless would lie down and die.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 04:15:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did Yeats foresee the ALT-right?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 11:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeats foresaw much of the current mess.  I wonder what became of his crystal ball.
by rifek on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 01:01:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme...
by Bjinse on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 08:03:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

And if Rajoy cancels the local government in Catalonia wholesale (legally or illegally), his government will fall and the next facing the same predicament. Only way out I can see for Rajoy is to call new elections in Spain and double down on the Strong against seperatists message.

I saw somewhere that over 700,000 ballots were cast and confiscated, and if those were from different voters than the counted votes (hard to know during the circumstances), and the proportions are the same there, then there already is a majority of voters supporting independence.

by fjallstrom on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 11:33:55 AM EST
According to the Catalan government a bit over 300 polling stations were closed out of about 2,300 polling stations. This corresponds to 770,000 registered voters, not to votes cast. The Catalan government also allowed people to vote at any polling station. So the 770,000 could potentially have voted at a different polling station. We don't know this. The Catalan government is using this figure to reduce the denominator for participation rate from 5.5m to maybe 4.7m voters. Participation would still be below 50%.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 12:15:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not possible to "cancel" the local government of Catalonia. The Spanish government can commandeer the regional government to enforcce the constitution, in a limited fashion. People are suggesting that Rajoy might use this power to call a snap Catalan regional election - which is normally a decision the Catalan regional premier takes.

Government sources tell the Spanish press if the PSOE does not support Rajoy, he might call a snap Spanish election.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 12:19:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 12:20:23 PM EST
Next comes Veneto. They vote on autonomy on Oct 22.

Note that Cortina d'Ampezzo voted back in 2007 to leave the Veneto and join Trentino-Alto Adige. Nothing has happened since. Bunch of hypocrites.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 01:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Veneto and Lombardy referenda this coming Sunday are commensurate in form and outcome to the wave of devolution that took place in Spain 40 to 35 years ago. Qualitatively a world away from Catalan independence.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 18th, 2017 at 09:33:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is worth noting that at the following general election in 1918, Sinn Fein won a landslide victory, winning 70% of the seats (up from 0% at the preceding election) and displacing the more moderate Irish Parliamentary Party which lost nearly all its seats. Violence has a way of radicalising people and polarising an already fraught political situation.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 2nd, 2017 at 04:34:35 PM EST
Can't wait to see how the Basques react.
by rifek on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 01:03:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Basques are generally contented since ETA put down its weapons and they can enjoy in peace their favourable fiscal arrangement with Spain.

However, they cannot e seen to countenance the PP government's approach to the Catalan question. So: Catalan independence crisis delays passage of Spanish 2018 budget (El País, 27 September 2017)

Basque nationalists are withholding necessary support until after October 1 referendum date
...and beyond, I might add.

Note that the Basque Nationalist Party supported the passage of the 2017 budget last June in exchange for money from the central government for expanding the Basque regional police.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 01:55:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We'll see if they remain so sanguine now that Madrid has shown how ready it is to shove aside the locals and send in Guardia Civil.
by rifek on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 06:55:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, Migeru, but not so simple:

The money was not for expanding the basque police, which is paid by basque government: the PP removed the appeal against the repositioning rate of retired basque police units.

The money, quite a lot of it, was for the Cupo and other investments in basque country.

https://politica.elpais.com/politica/2017/05/03/actualidad/1493804981_605385.html

by kukute on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 at 12:18:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PS: The  PNV doesn't negotiate for a mess of pottage
by kukute on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 at 12:21:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems that the Irish experience provides a uniquely appropriate perspective on the troubles between Spain and Catalonia. To a significant degree the parts of the one puzzle map into the parts of the other.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 05:44:22 AM EST
Neither are unique, more is the pity.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 02:58:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems 19th Century Nationalism rolls on into another century.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Oct 3rd, 2017 at 07:10:25 PM EST
When ethnic/linguistic identity are combined with political domination of that group by another ethnic/linguistic identity, 'nationalism' is a common response. This is especially so when there is a long history of separate rule. It is not as though Catalans ever voted, applied to join or otherwise chose to be joined to the state of Spain. Spain was assembled by dynastic unions and conquest.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 at 02:41:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When was this not the case?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 at 03:06:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The founding of the USA?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 at 09:36:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the Europeans for the most part. Race based slavery and unequal treaties with Native American 'Nations' were examples of domination, however, so, yes, dominance relationships are perhaps the most ubiquitous characteristic of human social organizations.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 at 09:43:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was that not an American nationalist response to foreign imperial masters?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 at 09:44:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely. But my point was that this was an example where the founding entities voluntarily joined the resulting polity. And, while New Amsterdam was a Dutch colony it was, by the late 18th century, predominantly English and English speaking. And, in usual usage, they were colonies, not imperial possessions. Imperialism was, when I was in college, reserved for the system that arose in the second half of the 19th century and was largely characterized by European rule over different 'races', as then characterized, by a tiny minority of Europeans.

The founding of the USA was by almost exclusively by descendants and recent arrivals from England and descendants of Dutch colonists who had assimilated into an English speaking population. And that was how they largely saw themselves - as Englishmen who had been badly treated by their country of origin. Rightly or wrongly.

The unacknowledged part of all of this was the ongoing genocide of the Native American population and the uses to which and the treatment of the Africans brought here in chains.    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 4th, 2017 at 10:33:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose then, plantation charters awarded to those English and Dutch "colonists" has no meaning to you. Ergo, share holders and monarchs seeking specified returns on their investment (GBP STERLING) from those plantation-holders --founding fathers-- is irrelevant in your origin story, 1606 to present.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Oct 9th, 2017 at 07:31:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Oct 9th, 2017 at 07:40:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Oct 9th, 2017 at 11:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The charters granted a legitimacy which was valuable. The grantees benefited from that. The grantors - less so. From a business point of view almost all of these companies on the N. American continent were a disaster, though some, like the Hudson Bay Company, did survive into modern times, being dissolved in 2012. It was a profitable company but I do not know if it ever met the expectations of returns on which the grants were made.

Monarchs wanted to project power and influence within the constrained means of late feudal society. Colonists had their own reasons and supplied the people required. Limited Liability Companies were the most appropriate tool they had available so it was what got used. But they rarely made business sense by present day standards. Not to say the failed companies never benefited the Monarchs and/or at least some of the businessmen. An early version of "Government should be run like a business." The British East India Company was a whole different matter.
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 10th, 2017 at 01:34:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
RT
Despite Tony Blair's failure to secure peace in the Middle East and his launching of a bloody, illegal war in Iraq, the former PM reportedly thinks he'd be a good mediator between Catalonia and Madrid as tensions over independence grow.

According to the Daily Express, Blair has put himself forward to mediate talks between the Catalan administration led by Carles Puigdemont and the conservative leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Madrid.

While Blair considers himself an expert negotiator following his involvement in the Good Friday talks in Northern Ireland, and as Middle East peace envoy for the United Nations, his critics fiercely disagree.

Blair held the UN post for eight years, but failed to secure any real progress in peace talks between Israel and Palestine. Observers of his UN role said he turned up no more than once a month, and would stay for just two or three days.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 04:47:15 PM EST
Thinking he may be migrating to exclusive web log, I searched. Come to find out
  1. yes epinymous bloat "MAKING GLOBALISATION WORK FOR THE MANY"
  2. yes crafty enterprise


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 5th, 2017 at 08:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"No one ever expected nuclear war between Spain and the breakaway Catalan region."
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 6th, 2017 at 10:45:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Mon Oct 9th, 2017 at 01:57:19 AM EST
Catalan separatists giving PR masterclass: Catalonia's independence advocates are winning `the battle of image and emotions
While this conflict has been characterised by the entrenched positions of the two sides, with neither willing to cede, there is a feeling that the independence movement has already won a crucial battle: that of international public relations.

The images of Spanish riot police attacking voters on the day of the referendum undoubtedly contributed to that notion. Juan Carlos Girauta, of the Ciudadanos party, which staunchly opposes Catalonia's right to self-determination, recently complained to the Spanish parliament that the independence movement had managed to "create in the international imagination the idea that present-day Spain has something in common with the Spain of the Franco era".

Rajoy's preference for a rigid and legalistic approach to the independence drive, rather than political engagement, has compounded that idea; but so too has the slick PR machinery of the separatist cause.

Within minutes of Cuixart and Sánchez being jailed on Monday, an online poster had gone viral, depicting the two men, dressed in white next to the slogan "Llibertat Jordis!" ("Free the Jordis!"). They had each also prepared a video message for their supporters, in the event of their detention. A three-minute video was also soon circulating, in English, in which a young woman presented Catalonia as a utopian region under siege from an oppressive state.

Such initiatives draw scorn and ridicule from opponents of independence, and Madrid has successfully kept the governments of powerful EU countries such as France and Germany on its side in this dispute. But Josep Borrell, a Catalan Socialist and former Spanish government minister, recently admitted "the independence movement has won the battle of emotions, of image, of mobilisation"



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 08:49:54 AM EST
,,,the Ciudadanos party, which staunchly opposes Catalonia's right to self-determination, recently complained to the Spanish parliament that the independence movement had managed to "create in the international imagination the idea that present-day Spain has something in common with the Spain of the Franco era".

Catalans can thank Rajoy for that. Without concern for the rights of minorities 'democracy' becomes a tyrrany of the majority.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 22nd, 2017 at 04:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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