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How many nations in Europe?

by ManfromMiddletown Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:41:28 AM EST

I've been thinking about the possible impact of Scottish independence for a while now, and I've come to the conclusion that a Europe of the nations would have consinderably more flags than the current set.  Very few member states of the EU are not suspectible to fracture by active European automonous movements. So I started to map out what a Europe where stateless nations were given independence would look like.  The Europe of the 25 ballons to 75+.  Here's what it looks like.

From the diaries - whataboutbob


From the United Kingdom are born Scotland, Orkneys, Shetlands, Isle of Man, Wales, England, Cornwall, and a united Ireland.

From Spain come a rump Spain centered on Madrid, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Basque Country, Navarre, Aragon, Cataluna, Valencia, the Balearics, Andalucia, and the Canaries.

France fairs much better losing only Brittany, Normandy, Alsac-Lorraine, and Corsica.  Leaving what remains of France the largest country on the continent.  

Germany disunites, the federal states going their own ways.  

Belgium splits in three parts, Wallonia, Flanders, and the free city of Brussels.

In Italy, Venice is a state once more, along with Padania, Aostia, Sud Tirol, Fruilla-Venezia, the Latin Republic centered on Rome, the Napolitan Republic centered on Naples, Siciliy, and Sardinia.

Even the Sami get their own state.

While this is all interesting we have to ask, does this make any sense?  Will the states of Europe sit by idly while they are dismembered from within?  Yet, before we dismiss the posibility out of hand, let's consider the impact of Scots indepenence.  If the Scots have their way, what of the Welsh, Basques, and Catalans.

Very real nationalist movements exert political power in Europe.  And others that we take less seriously like Padania might be empowered in an enviromenment where the European state system is disinentegrating.

At the same time, if the European national states disentegrate even more of the functions of the national state will have to rise to the European Union.  While Europe faces few external threats, it will dissappear from the world stage as a player if it has no military power.  By what right should a England sit on the Security council?  And who gets the nuclear weapons?

Only the European Union can step into the vacuum.  So as the structures of the nation state collapse, a United Europe rises from the debri.  The world's leading economy, and a near peer to the United States militarily.  In the end Europe is able to exercise far more power as a whole at far less cost than when the states of Europe duplicated their efforts.

In the long term everyone just might be better off, but in the short term what's the cost in blood and treasure.  Will the UK allow Scotland to leave peacefully, or would they occupy Scotland and end Scots home rule?  When the Basques proposed an indpedence referendum in 2005, polls showed 54% of Spanish favored a military occupation of the province if the local government made an effort to hold a poll.  And the limited yet significant violence by Scots and Welsh nationalists against "white settlers", English who made homes in Scotland and Wales, is disturbing.  

It is reminiscent of the ethnic terror let loose on Irish Protestants during the 1910's and 1920's.  Through intimidation, discrimination, and assimiliation the Protestant population of the Republic of Ireland has declined by more than half since seperate figure for the South and North became available.

In the long run, Europe might be better off with 75 states instead of 25, but in the short term that might carry high costs.  And once tribal warfare of the type that devolution by revolution of the sort we're looking at from a cascade inititiated by Scots independence is let loose, can it be put back into the bottle?  Or will Europe divide into hostile blocs without an external threat to unite the Continent?

Display:
I'm going to sleep now, but I look forward to your comments.  I'm vacilating between European nationalism, some sort of work on the effect of cultural capital (as in the Bordieu definition) and compartive labor policy as disseratation topics.  Ironically, I think that nationalism is the least contraversial.

Jerome, you say people in Europe like my maps, I guess we'll see.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:27:48 AM EST
Thanks for the great diary.  I am very curious to read what everyone's responses will be.  I shared your concerns, but was not as pessimistic about the possibilities of bloodshed as you (I think.)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:42:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In which of these "devolving" pieces of land do we have a large proportion of inhabitants who seriously favour some kind of independence? For example, Skania (that red bit of southern Sweden), I think very few Skanians would seriously support independence. I have never met anyone who was serious about it and I lived the first 19 years of my life there. There is a little song about Skanian independence (or alternatively, Skania joining up with Denmark). It's primary point is that after we throw off the yoke of Swedish rule alcoholic beverages will no longer be the subject of government monopoly or extreme taxes. As far as I can tell, that is the extent of the independence aspirations there, people would like to get drunk more cheaply. Other than that, the flag of the region is often used by racist fucks, and this is the part of the country where the xenophobic Sweden Democrats got the most votes in the last election.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:18:01 AM EST
Some separatisms started out with less popular support, so I wouldn't entirely dismiss it as a disntant possibility. But you are right, MfM is  extrapolating too far with some regions. Methinks Alsace-Lorraine is an even less likely candidate than Skania: no independentists even in joke, not much of independent history, even the wide majority of German-speakers had French national identity before WWII, and after it there was almost total assimilation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:27:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention to Alsace-Lorraine is actually only Alsace-Moselle (i.e. one out of the 3 départements), i.e. the German-culture areas that were part of Germany at various bits.

As far as I know (and I grew up there), there is zero support for any kind of independence over there, and quite an opposite pride in being French, and having fought and suffered to be French (there's nothing that Alsatians hate more than to be told that they are not completely French).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:20:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was funny to watch when cyclist Thoma Voeckler had his days of glory on the 2004 Tour, and struggled to deal with his immense popularity in Germany: all that remained German in him was hearing his grandmother talk German, but all the reporters were prodding him to give some connection.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:27:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the problem with using wikipedia and a NUTS-2 outline map to make this.  Did you know that the EU has been funding Alsatian language radio?

And data from what I believe is EU research shows nearly 900,000 Alsatian speakers.

The Euromosaic study funded by the EU is a good place to start looking at where linguistic minorites exist.  These often form the basis for nationalist movements.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:14:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem is that (1) Alsatian-speakers are almost all older people, (2) almost all are bilingual, but in such a way that those below 70 using French even at home, and (3) ironically, it is suppressed not just by French but standard German, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 07:36:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no idea where you get that information from, but this is almost all false:

  1. a surprising number of young people speak Alsatian - and use it regularly
  2. everybody also speaks French, but a lot of people speak Alsatian spontaneously. Go on the markets even in Strasbourg, and the chat will be in Alsatian. There is no hostility whatsoever to those that speak only French, but the default language is very often Alsatian.
  3. I do'nt see how it is suppressed. It's been shown on TV forever, and there have always been classes at school (where a lot of people learn German - hochdeutsch - anyway as the first foreign language rather than German)


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 10:02:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have no idea where you get that information from

Hm, let's see...

  1. A (print) article referencing a (French) study titled "The decline of the Alsatian dialect" or something,
  2. a (German) documentary I saw,
  3. an article by an Alsatian I read a few months ago on the web,
  4. my own admittedly very limited experience of not having heard a single German(ic) word when I was in Strasbourg for one day.

...but based on what you write, these were apparently mistaken, alarmist, or I misinterpreted them, or what you write about young people is a newer trend also as a consequence of said study.

3. I do'nt see how it is suppressed.

Sorry, maybe not the best word I chose. I didn't mean suppression by force, I meant being eclipsed by the presence and use of the others. What you mention that many people learn Hochdeutsch rather than Alsatian is part of this (and parallels what happened and happens to some German dialects in Germany proper, BTW).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:01:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for my slightly dismissive tone.

I'd need to dig up sources again, but that's been the experience of my growing up there, and occasional visits. I cna ask my parents who live there...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will be happy if you can take time to dig up sources or ask your parents; but for clarity, for me your word was enough, I really meant that my sources or my reading of them might have bias or outdated.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:49:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
worth with the influence of the EU in Europe.

And I'll ask you a simple question.

What, if any, reason is there for Alsace to not call for self rule and independence if they can retaing the economic adavantages of being French by staying in the EU.

This is the problem that the growth of the EU creates. That post 1914 state system is being challenged from below by national minorities and above by European regulations.  Who needs France when you can get the same things from the EU?


And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:32:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

if they can retaing the economic adavantages of being French by staying in the EU.

In France, they are the second richest region, close to Germany but with support of the central French state. Alone, they are the poorer cousin of the Rhine valley as Basel, Baden-Würtenberg et al. are even wealthier...


Who needs France when you can get the same things from the EU?

The question also is: what State will let go more easily. Not France, for sure.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:40:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The question also is: what State will let go more easily. Not France, for sure.

That is an issue of democracy, too.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:12:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Spain it should be relatively easy to dig up polls asking people to rank their feeling of belonging to their region, to Spain and to Europe. I will try to do that later.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:27:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 If we measure the desire of independence according to votes, in the last elections to Catalan Parliament (01/11/06), Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, the only party that favours independence, got 14.03%  of votes in a low turnout of 56.04%.
No llegará la sangre al río...
After leaving the Generalitat, President Maragall wants to work for the European integration, being the Mediterranean his area of expertise.
Some days ago, he said that one can have a small fatherland ("una patria chica pequeña") --the sense of belonging to your hometown or region but that now, our big fatherland is Europe.
by amanda2006 on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:00:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, Catalunya as patria chica and Europa as patria grande. If that is the position of the PSC, where does that leave Spain? As a preserve of the anti-Catalan PP, or of Ciutadans?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:08:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, for the PSC, the idea of Spain is a federal state. And when Maragall was giving examples about patria chica, he said places like Torruella de Montgrí, Barcelona o La Mancha, not necessarily Catalunya. Especially since your patria chica can be La Mancha but you're living and working and voting somewhere else, as nearly have of the Catalunya inhabitants.
by amanda2006 on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:18:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
have meant to be half.
by amanda2006 on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:19:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just because only ERC is explicitly separatist doesn't mean that ICV or CiU wouldn't campaign for independence if it were put to referendum.

Actually, IMHO a good thing about an independence referendum in the Basque Country and Catalonia would be to force PNV and CiU to stop sitting on the fence and being all things to all people regarding separatism.

But the Referenda would have to allow subsets of the respective regions to opt out of independence, too.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:12:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, IMHO a good thing about an independence referendum in the Basque Country and Catalonia would be to force PNV and CiU to stop sitting on the fence and being all things to all people regarding separatism.

This could be a reaction to Puerto Rica's always smoldering independence movement.  Of course, the solution is a dose of reality as one PR native told us:  "We don't want to starve to death."

http://www.topuertorico.org/government.shtml

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:24:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the surviving separatist movements in Europe involve the wealthier regions in their respective countries: the Basques and Catalans, the North of Italy, the Flemish, the Bavarians...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:27:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the difficulty.

And independence referendum would shut the PNV and CiU up, however what happens if they win.  Or turning to the Basque county, it passes with 65% of the vote in Vizacaya and Guizpoca, is rejected by 65% in Alava, and is narrowly defeated with a a 51% no vote?

That will create all sorts of problems.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:00:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why you have to have extensive negotiations on the terms of any referendum. For instance, one could propose that the referendum will pass on its regional result, but that any province can opt out. But to agree on that would take some serious negotiations.

The problem at heart is not one of nationalism, but of democracy, community, and hierarchical and overlapping allegiances.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:08:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... was defeated when it was put to a referendum ... I think in the 50's or early 60's. The Hunter Valley was added to the referendum area, when the New England activists had done nothing to promote the idea in the Hunter, the Labor Party in the Hunter opposed the referendum, and the dairy farmers in the Upper Hunter were told they would lose their place in the NSW diary price support scheme.

Mind you, not to leave Australia, just to enter Australia as a separate state to New South Wales.

So in the end it passed in the areas originally agitating for seperate statehood, with larger majorities the closer to Queensland (and further from Sydney) ... but was overwhelmingly rejected in the Hunter and went down to defeat.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:22:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In 2003, El Mundo or El Pais has a front page story about a poll that showed majorities thought of themselves primarily in terms of regonal identity rather than being Spanish in the Basque Country, Navarra, and Cataluna.

Part of the reason the proposed Basque referendum was so contentious was because polls showed the referendum would pass with a narrow victory.  And that would sort of fuel the assertion by ETA that the Spanish state is undemocratic, no wouldn't it?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:17:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except it wouldn't pass in Alava, making the Basque state undemocratic. And a joint referendum with Navarra would fail in navarra as well.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which means that you can either have an undemocratic Basque or Spanish state, or you can have a divided Basque country.  None of these options are paricularly appealing.

In the long term, I suspect that a divided Basque country, Vicaya and Guipuzcoa Basque, Alava Spanish, and Navarra a state of its own would reduce the prevalance of conflict.  Significant minorities in Viscaya and Guipuzcoa support violence, but with their own state, the hardliners would lose the support of sympathizers.  

This is but one example of the type of messes that nationalism let lose by Scots independence could bring.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:53:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you are from Skåne? I see.

I agree wholeheartedly with your description.

There is also "Spetteklubben", a legendary organisation that (according to said legend) once a year gather on the Skania border with a collection of gardening tools to physically seperate Skania from the rest of Sweden. If successful seperation is achieved Skania is supposed to "drift back to Denmark".

According to some versions most of the participants are from Skania.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:06:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He doesn't even have Provence up there but the fascist or, at the very least, regressive tendancies of the various Provençau movements are well known.

Part and parcel, I suppose, of wanting to go back in time rather than forward, to a day when there weren't any "foreigners".

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:48:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aside from providing military defense to its residents, what are the functions of the nation-state in Europe that cannot or should not be served at more local levels?

This article, "EU Nations Refuse to Give Up Vetoes in Security Matters",  suggests that if there were such a break-up and proliferation of states within the EU, "security matters" would turn into a real mess:

European Union countries have refused to surrender their national vetoes in security matters, though they are thwarting EU ambitions to fight terrorism efficiently.

<...>

The issue of national vetoes on cross-border police cooperation in criminal affairs has festered into a major obstacle to the European Union's security ambitions.

<...> only three member states appeared to be fully in favor, diplomatic sources said.

Those states that diplomats most often named as being against the move included Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Malta, while France, Luxembourg and Spain were cited as most ready to take the leap.

Some countries fear that a change to majority voting would surrender control over or water down national security legislation. Others are concerned that it may conflict with their constitutions.

But could such paralysing disagreement on security matters be resolved by the prior establishment of a common European defense force?

And if security matters (being taken care for all Europeans by a continent-wide defense force -- the same way the currency is being taken care of by a continent-wide solution) were no longer an obstacle for devolving "statehood" to more local and/or ethnic regions, what are other things that such smaller states not be able to take care of (or take care of as effectively)?

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:44:10 AM EST
Aside from providing military defense to its residents, what are the functions of the nation-state in Europe that cannot or should not be served at more local levels?

You are asking the wrong question. It's not what smaller states are capable of, but how (a) the people and (b) the current political elites and (c) if present, violent groups relate to a change. We are not talking about practical matters but about emotions, community feelings and power struggles; about conflicts in all of these fields. (The basic truth about separatisms which is amazingly under-recognised is that different people have different ideas about who constitute which community; people talk about "their people" yet many of whom they mean could count themselves in another people.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:58:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The basic truth about separatisms which is amazingly under-recognised is that different people have different ideas about who constitute which community; people talk about "their people" yet many of whom they mean could count themselves in another people.

With the striking yet relatively few exceptions of Yugoslavia [which makes me wonder why that case was so different] and Chechnya (I have the feeling I have overlooked or forgotten others), this does not seem to have been the case with the break-up of the Soviet Union and former East Bloc countries which recomposed themselves along more numerous and more "natural" borders.

Given such a large amount of quite recent evidence, I would say the burden of proof is on those who would argue that state power and authority could not be devolved to more local regional governments smoothly, expeditiously, and peacefully.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:02:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They didn't "recomposed themselves". In the case of the former Soviet republics they just kept their internal USSR borders, and tehre were no territorial rearrangements in Eastern Europe other than the Yugoslav war (and, except for the internal borders of Bosnia, it was just a matter of breaking Yugoslavia into its constituent republics, with no change of borders).

You are overlooking and forgetting Transdnistria, North and South Osetia, Abkhazia, Nagorny-Karabakh, Crimea (there was a lot of angst over that one when Ukraine became independent), and this just off the top of my head.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:09:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the case of the former Soviet republics they just kept their internal USSR borders, and tehre were no territorial rearrangements in Eastern Europe other than the Yugoslav war

I guess I was assuming that the same could happen in Europe: in many cases, it seems to me that existing regional borders would be sufficient just as they were in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet Union, with exceptions.  Purely an assumption.

You are overlooking and forgetting Transdnistria, North and South Osetia, Abkhazia, Nagorny-Karabakh, Crimea (there was a lot of angst over that one when Ukraine became independent)

Thanks for pointing these out.  I was indeed not aware of these, with the possible exception that I had read that South Ossetia was seeking independence from Georgia (but did not understand that there had been actual violence.)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:46:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are so many levels of internal borders...

In Spain:
Regional borders
Provincial borders
Comarca borders
Municipalities
Districts

Where do you draw the line?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:52:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also note that there was a lot of border rearrangements (and even whole populations being displaced) within the Soviet union. Many of the territorial conflicts in the former soviet union have their roots in these kinds of top-down territorial rearrancements. Stalin has his ugly paws all over Ukraine, Georgia and Chechnya, just for starters. Not to speak of the rearrangement of Eastern Europe's borders after WWII.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:54:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also note that there was a lot of border rearrangements (and even whole populations being displaced) within the Soviet union.

Good point.  Which made the relative non-violence of the break-up (at least, what appeared to be non-violent to me) all the more remarkable, and consequently encouraged my belief that these independence movements can succeed peacefully.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 07:03:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not exactly what I had in mind. For instance, the entire Chechen population was deported to Siberia and then back again into Chechnya.
The Chechens, though, again rose up against Soviet rule during the 1940s, resulting in the deportation of the Chechen population to the Kazakh SSR (later Kazakhstan) and Siberia during World War II. ... The Chechens were allowed to return to their homeland after 1956 during the de-Stalinization which occurred under Nikita Khrushchev.
Oh, and I forgot about Ingushetia.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 07:10:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After Beslan i prefer not to talk about Chechens at all and i'll explain you why. Imagine an ethnic minority in your Europe, say, Basques which was fighting for its independency for a while and one day to improve their chances to get this freedom from those bloody Spanish decides to siege an English school . Why English? Just because both UK and Spain are in the EU. Imagine those innocent English kids some aged 2 or 3 or 5 or in their teens who spent 3 days without any food or water and drank their urine (how old is yours, Migush? I guess he could be considered as adult enough and let experience this). Oh, and in the same time all Russian channels would call those hipothetic Basques rebels or freedom-fighters (as it did the BBC) because ain't they not? Ain't they indeed fighting for their freedom from Spain in such an exotic form?

So when we, Russian people, saw how the Chechens and Ingushs (they are actually the one nation) had tortured the people, mostly children and almost none of them were Russian or Slavonic but the other way around belonged to the very close ethnic group  because they wanna independency from us, Russians... well, for many of us, they overdid Hitler. Literally. Once and forever.

I suppose, however, that their cruelty has been learned(and not genetic) and polished for almost 300 years under Russian protectorate. And the first who suffered  from it was their own elites because they were ...er... how to say, not immune to corruption and could sell their tribal freedom for russian rubles so they got rid of them - as i realise this is the mostly lefties site i think you may find it interesting as an example of the truly egalitarian rather secular society with a zero level of corruption  (before Yeltsin times that is) and complicated tribal rules and rituals.

Is that what most of you are dreaming about? The UK with their  now reviving and flourishing druidry and witchcraft and medieval courtship and paganism and obsession with natural healing has already made that "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" (funnily enough it may probably be the same response of the tiny ones towards the same stimuli of the giantic ones, i.e. the Chechens' response towards Russia is similar to the British towards the USA)

So, back (the first and the last time) to Chechens. They fought every outer governing betraying it - that was with Tsarist Russia (many Chechens welcomed revolution), than it was with Soviets (many Chechens greeted fascistic army in WW2), than it was pro-western Yeltsin and isolationist Putin. They will betray everybody. I personally, would a) get rid of them as soon as possible (give them their independency) and b) not allow any Chechen to enter Russia for at least a hundred years.

Stalin, being a Georgian dictator chose to deal with Chechens by sending all of them to Siberia (if Stalin could, i think, he would have been sending there almost everybody of us apart a few millions, i.e. the biggest number a person born in a very small country could manage comfortably without getting paranoic in the endless Russia). Being the people who grew in the smaller countries you no doubt guess who's to blame for Stalin's actions. Well, Chechens have always  blamed Russians and why not?

PS My responses are well off-topic but so do Migeru's (to answering the Q How many nations etc he starts listing the numerous evils did by Stalin (read: evil Russians, read: those who're bigger, read: those who'll do the same to me because i am so tiny and lovely and they are so huge and nasty)

PPS Those who're interested in Chechens history may try to find a link to the Sakharov centre - the best suitable for a western mind articles are there (only in Russian though)

by lana on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 10:40:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not off-topic in this subthread. Brunoken seems to think that the breakup of the USSR was peaceful and that the few conflict points were sort of flukes.

On Chechnya, I mostly agree with you.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:51:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK with their  now reviving and flourishing druidry and witchcraft and medieval courtship and paganism and obsession with natural healing has already made that "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind"

Huh?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:51:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably best to think of it as surrealist humour.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:50:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was glad to read long replies with high information and low insult content, but then you write things like these:

fter Beslan i prefer not to talk about Chechens at all... So when we, Russian people, saw how the Chechens and Ingushs (they are actually the one nation) had tortured the people... not allow any Chechen to enter Russia for at least a hundred years.

Can you separate out individuals from groups of people at all?

(And if Chechens and Inhushs are the same, do you believe in Panslavism too? Which Slavs are proper Slavs?)

They fought every outer governing betraying it

How can an outer government that wasn't respected in the first place be betrayed? (How did that outer government came there?)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:18:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's see if your hopeful, starry-eyed view can survive this:
The wholesale removal of potentially trouble-making ethnic groups was a technique used consistently by Joseph Stalin during his career: Poles (1934), Koreans (1937), Ukrainians, Jews, Romanians (1939-1941 and 1944-1953) Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians (1940-1941 and 1945-1949), Volga Germans (1941), Balkars, Chechens, Ingushs (1944), Kalmyks (1944), Meskhetian Turks (1944), Crimean Tatars (18 May 1944). Large numbers of kulaks regardless their nationality were resettled to Siberia and Central Asia.

...

In February 1956, Nikita Khrushchev in his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences condemned the deportations as a violation of Leninist principles, asserting that the Ukrainians avoided such a fate "only because there were too many of them and there was no place to which to deport them." His government reversed most of Stalin's deportations, although it was not until as late as 1991 that the Crimean Tatars, Meskhs and Volga Germans were allowed to return en masse to their homelands. The deportations had a profound effect on the non-Russian peoples of the Soviet Union and they are still a major political issue - the memory of the deportations played a major part in the separatist movements in Tatarstan, Chechnya and the Baltic republics.



Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 07:26:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding the Chechens and the Ingushs, as it happens, in your parallel comment, these were the exception that I mentioned originally.  There is no surprise that having been displaced, replaced, etc. has been followed by the current disaster.

I would have to read up on the rest of the internally displaced peoples you list to see in which cases countries that consisting mainly of them emerged with some violence, and how stable the resulting countries are.

It seems to me that all the displacements in the Soviet Union would make the break-up of that country into multiple independent states more likely to be quite violent and prolonged.  Although I acknowledge the cases you and DoDo brought up involving violence, I would still take a look at the entire range of countries that came out of the ex-Soviet Union and how many did so fairly peacefully and quickly.  If Stalin had not displaced so many peoples, it seems to me that perhaps there would have been even less violence than there in fact had in been.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 07:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Stalin has his ugly paws all over Ukraine, Georgia and Chechnya, just for starters.

That's exactly the very popular western point of view which will never be accepted in the modern Russia because it shows the extreme level of hypocrisy and  dishonesty i.e. what we call triple standards of Yer Ole Bitch Europe. The USA you lot so like bitching about has double standards. Quelle horreur! And you - have triple!

What about Russia? Didn't Stalin (being a Georgian-born and grown and  somehow educated) had his ugly paws all over Russia first and foremost? Did  that one of my parents who was born in Gulag or my numerous relatives who died there really asked for the bloody revolution, for being ruled by the international bunch of murderers? How about the Polish twat Felix Dzerzhinsky, the notorious founder of CheKa (KGB) who is personally responsible for the death of the best of the old Russian elite?  How about other two Georgians at the top of communistic power - sexual maniac and murderer Lavrenty Beria and Sergo Ordzhonikidse? They all started as revolutianaries in Tsarist Russia which was oh so cruel that sometimes sent them to Siberia (just the cosy conditions they had lived in were in no way comparable with those nightmarish ones which the millions of RUSSIAN people experienced there later) so guess which nation had the better chances to die in the very beginning of the massacre, 1917-1920 or as you put it for starters??? Georgians during the Stalin's era were the most priviledged nation, in fact they so got used to be  the superior bullies that still may think we have to thankful them for him and his cronies.

Yes, later the rest of the countries which were under the Russian Empire protectorate experienced the same - Gulags, torture, agony and death - first it was their elites, less numerous than the Russian one and  even more later - in 30s when the simple folk irrespectively of their nationality  all over USSR realised at last that somehow they live much worse that it'd been in the previous era with Russian Tsar and nobility then the big chistka (cleansing) started. And again, why it is so difficult to understand that it wasn't the ethnic cleansing but quite international (with a big tormenting bias towards the ex-ruling russian nation) - those who didn't manage to demonstrate enough belief in the beautiful communistic future were sent to the hell of Gulag or just killed?

I DON'T know a single russian family here in St Petersburg who didn't lose at least one relative in a Siberian Gulag (or what was a prelude to it in early-mid 20s, not so centralised) or wasn't killed by the local CheKa. Do you really expect us to apologise for what the Soviets did to Georgians, Ukrainians, Latvians (quite a lot of them joined the Red Army and  CheKa and with such ardour confiscated the nobility's property her in St Pete and killed and tortuted its ex-owners)?

by lana on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All true.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:51:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lana, you will note, if you make the effort, that I never say "Russian" when I mean "Soviet" or vice-versa. I seriously cannot imagine why you're convinced I'm an anti-Russian bigot.

It was brunoken who used the breakup of the Soviet Union as "evidence" that self-determination in the EU should be expected to be a peaceful business. DoDo and I are throwing out bit and pieces of Soviet history in an attempt to disabuse him of that notion. He mentioned the way Russians are second-class citizens in the Baltic republics. What I meant by "Stalin's ugly paws in Ukraine" is not only the Holodomor but also the fact that Stalin gave Ukraine a chunk of Russia in his top-down border rearrangements and from that comes a lot of the current trouble within Ukraine (we've had some detailed discussions of the minority language status of Russian for instance) and between Russia and Ukraine. It's neither the fault of the Russians nor of the Ukrainians ultimately, but as you say of "the Georgian dictator".  

Back in 1991 I was appalled at the glee with which "the West" watched and even encouraged the breakup of the Soviet Union. It could have been done in a less rushed way, maybe? I don't know.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:09:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to admit I am surprised, I always had the impression that you are rather well-informed about every region of the Earth and in particular Europe.

So if you haven't heard of them, I must supplement my and Migeru's information in that most of the mentioned conflicts were armed conflicts at some stage or the other, and none were truly settled. Maybe the conflict over Nagorny-Karabakh was/is the worst in terms of losses of life and connected misery. A different kind of ugliness is Abkhazia. I suspect blackhawk will protest, but what I read was that that region had not much of a separate identity, with 85% of the population having been ethnic Georgian, but back in the Yeltsin era, the local clan of a former apparatchnik took over and chased away the Georgians, relying on cover from Russia.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 07:08:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to admit I am surprised, I always had the impression that you are rather well-informed about every region of the Earth and in particular Europe.

I am flattered, but at the same time embarrassed, by that impression, because my own ignorance is all too obvious to myself -- and grows the more so the longer I spend on EuroTrib.

On the contrary, that's one of the things I am really appreciative of on ET: it's a forum where you can learn a lot through dialectic, where assumptions, presumptions and expectations can be altered, corrected, enriched, etc., if you are open to that.  In particular, I am grateful to people like you and Miguel and so many others who are patient enough to inform and educate on matters which may seem elementary.  It's like getting admitted into a club full of PhD's and post-docs with only a (barely obtaine) undergrad degree.

So if you haven't heard of them, I must supplement my and Migeru's information in that most of the mentioned conflicts were armed conflicts at some stage or the other, and none were truly settled.

I'm not sure if other people who lived in the U.S. during the break-up of the Soviet Union would agree, but my impression from the public presentation in the U.S. of these independence movements was that they occurred with little significant violence.  I don't know if that is my own mistaken impression or if the U.S. mainstream media had an agenda in portraying things that way.  So it does come as a bit of surprise to learn about the extent of the violence of these secessions (though I guess in retrospect the bigger surprise -- mistaken, it turns out -- had been that so many countries could become independent in such a short period of time so peacefully.)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 08:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know if that is my own mistaken impression or if the U.S. mainstream media had an agenda in portraying things that way.

I wouldn't call it an agenda (others may disagree), just believing and reporting according to a (simplistic, optimistic) narrative. My favourite example for this is my comparison of what I read in different papers when the Oslo peace process was still in a roll over a decade ago: Newsweek and Time reported all positive things and outbreaks of friendship, Der Spiegel also wrote about the distrust, the struggles of leaders; and correctly analysed why Barak is incapable of brokering peace before he was even elected party leader.

the extent of the violence of these secessions

Note about the Soviet disintegration: that happened in form of an agreement of the leaders of the Republics (e.g. chiefly driven by politicians with power aspirations), and violence was either already present or broke out only later in time.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 07:30:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this does not seem to have been the case with the break-up of the Soviet Union and former East Bloc countries which recomposed themselves along more numerous and more "natural" borders.

You apparently haven't read about the conflict over Russian minorities in all the other post-Soviet states, the Armenian-Azeri conflict over Karabah, the Georgian mess, the Ukrainian identity and language question (which is NOT 'Russians vs. Ukrainians' but a lot more complex), Moldova's break-off Dnester Republic, and the lack of Moldovan-Romanian reunion. I think the Czech-Slovak split was the only one really without conflict, though the process had big losers: Gypsies in the Czech half (almost all of whom descentd from Slovakia) who became stateless.

But you could think back also longer. There was more mess after WWII, and much more after WWI.

I would say the burden of proof is on those who would argue that state power and authority could not be devolved to more local regional governments smoothly, expeditiously, and peacefully.

Read my original comment again. It's not about "burden of proofs", it's not an academic question, enlightened people debating in a forum and then deciding. It's on-going struggles, driven by what people want (you can poll that), what politicians want (you can see it from their actions and rhetoric), and facts violent groups create (you can see that on TV and poll their effects).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:18:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You apparently haven't read about the conflict over Russian minorities in all the other post-Soviet states, the Armenian-Azeri conflict over Karabah, the Georgian mess, the Ukrainian identity and language question (which is NOT 'Russians vs. Ukrainians' but a lot more complex), Moldova's break-off Dnester Republic, and the lack of Moldovan-Romanian reunion. I think the Czech-Slovak split was the only one really without conflict, though the process had big losers: Gypsies in the Czech half (almost all of whom descentd from Slovakia) who became stateless.

Thanks for pointing these out.  With the exception of the "Georgian mess", I was not aware of violence and/or disenfranchisement in these cases.  My superficial understanding (based mostly on the mass media) was that the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc overall went smoothly and non-violently.  Even though these instances still seem to be relatively few, I see there are certainly enough of them to warrant a lot of caution with respect to encouraging similar independence movements in Europe.  

One question:  How "stable" would you say the situation is Eastern Europe, and especially among the former Soviet Republics, and is that stability increasing, decreasing, or remaining about the same?

It's not about "burden of proofs", it's not an academic question, enlightened people debating in a forum and then deciding. It's on-going struggles, driven by what people want (you can poll that), what politicians want (you can see it from their actions and rhetoric), and facts violent groups create (you can see that on TV and poll their effects).

Of course.  I guess I overinterpreted (misinterpeted) your previous comment to mean that such separatist/independent movements necessarily involved "conflict", which I took to mean violent conflict.  And my understanding -- now corrected -- of the post-Communist creation of independent countries suggested to me that violence was not a sine qua non of such movements to more local political autonomy.  So by "burden of proof", I was asking for evidence that violence does typically accompany such events... and boy did I get it!

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 07:00:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was not aware of violence and/or disenfranchisement in these cases.

As I referred to above, there was violence and/or disenfranchisement in most cases.

  • The status of most members of the high-percentage Russian minorities in Baltic countries as second-class citizens (not rhetorically, but legally!) is a shame of the EU,
  • the conflict over language (or at least nominally about language) almost tore Ukraine in two just recently,
  • Transdnistria fought a war for independcence and has it de-facto even if not recognised by anyone,
  • the conflict over Karabakh involved a lot of spilt blood, conquests of areas for strategic position not inhabited by the own ethnic, economic blockades.
  • Moldavia-Romania is a special case not for separatism conflicts, but strange effects of border reearrangements -- Moldavia was torn from Romania after WWII by Stalin, but once free, they didn't want to re-join, causing a strange ideological conflict with Romanian nationalism.
  • In giving such further aspects, I should also mention the intra-ethnic-Hungarian conflict between those who live in Hungary proper and who live (since WWI) nearby, since the xenophoby against extra-Hungary Hungarians who are 'poor, dumb, dirty, and take jobs' came to the surface in a referendum over giving them double citizenship.
  • The case of the stateless Roma in the Czech Republic was covered in an old thread I have no time to dig up now; short recap: the Nazis exterminated most original Czech Gypsies, those there now were re-settled forcibly to Sudetengerman areas or emigrated during the 'communist' regime, but when the countries split, the new citizenship law was drafted such that most of these Roma would be excluded, without calling them Roma (calling them 'Slovakian' instead).

Even though these instances still seem to be relatively few

By what standard of 'few'? They include all the break-up products, and affects tens of millions of people.

How "stable" would you say the situation is Eastern Europe, and especially among the former Soviet Republics, and is that stability increasing, decreasing, or remaining about the same?

I would be hard-pressed to identify trends. In Southeastern Europe, the Yugoslav disintegration is bound to continue, question is at what speed. In Central-Eastern Europe (where I am), it's the older post-WWI conflicts that simmer on, and might flare up here or there (say in Transsylvania). In Eastern Europe, that is basically the European part of the former Soviet Union, methinks Ukraine's future has the most uncertainties, even if Georgia's conflicts are 'hotter'.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 07:33:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo and bruno-ken: could you use blockquotes rather than italics? I find it harder to read.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:02:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm... my standard is italics for quotes of stuff written on ET, and blockquote for off-site quotes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:14:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]


You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:29:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the detailed response and case-by-case breakdown.

Even though these instances still seem to be relatively few

By what standard of 'few'? They include all the break-up products, and affects tens of millions of people.

I obviously have to do more reading on this, which may force me to retract that "relatively few".  But in a quick listing of post-Soviet countries --

  • Ukraine
  • Moldova
  • Azerbaijan
  • Georgia
  • Armenia
  • Transdnistria
  • Chechnya

  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Estonia
  • Turkmenistan

(I am sure I have missed some)

-- I believe only the top five countries, plus the ambivalent cases of Chechnya and Transdnistria -- involved significant (i.e. large-scale and prolonged) violence that was due to ethnic disagreements and/or border disputes.  I understand that in Lithuania, Gorbachev caused the deaths of 19 Lithuanian civilians when he tried to stop the indendence movement, and in Latvia there was a tense stand-off that ended peacefully.  However, while tragic and scary, I see these as historically relatively small incidents of violence in light of the potential of much broader and protracted violence that the independence of those two countries might have entailed.

Also, as Miguel pointed out in a parallel comment, Stalin had caused mass removals and replacements of populations internally in the Soviet Union; it is conceivable that had populations been left in place, there would have been even less conflict and violence in the eventual emergence of these independent countries.  (Obviously pure speculation.)

Nevertheless, I take your two broader points: (1) each historical situation is unique and (the putative break-up of European countries into smaller ones) should ultimately be evaluated on its own terms and not primarily by analogy to a previous, in some ways similar situation (like the break-up of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe); (2) there was plenty enough violence and disenfranchisement and/or potential for them in the break-up of the Soviet Union and Easter Bloc that even that historical case is not a good example for the argument that many countries can decompose into smaller countries within a short time frame peacefully.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 08:13:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a quick listing of post-Soviet countries

Nitpick: Chechnya and Transdnistria weren't countries (at least officially). The first is part of Russia, the second officially part of Moldova.

only the top five countries ... involved significant (i.e. large-scale and prolonged) violence

Note that my focus was on Europe, and the countries you mentioned are the European ones. Also note that our discussion wasn't only about violence, but disenfranchisement, too, and that's the main problem in the Baltics.

I don't profess to know much about the conflicts and their underlying causes in Central Asian former Soviet Republics, say if and what role they had in the Tadjik civil war (which was worse than any of the secession wars in the European part). I do know that borders don't correspond to ethnic borders at all, and that there are large Russian minorities. I also know that there is one border-related big issue with certainty: the Ferghana Valley, home to the Central Asian tradition of Islamic fundies, was divided by Stalin between Uzbegistan, Tadjikistan and Khyrgyzistan in the most twisted way.

Finally, I try to redirect you back to what I intended as my original point.

Separatism can be driven by three different forces, of which just one is sufficient: (1) majority opinion of the populace in a territory, (2) power aspirations of certain politicians or potentates, (3) facts created by small groups using violence. Separatism can be blocked by the same three different kinds of forces, with the complication that in all three cases, the mover (popular majority, politician, armed group) can be within the supposed-to-separate community or the rest of the large community.

A typical separatist struggle will not only pinch the different kinds of forces against each other (say, an armed group against a majority opinion against separation), but the various forces will try to do some gerrymandering. I mean disputes about what exactly the borders of the splitting-off part should be (compare Ireland and Croatia), deny voting rights to certain groups (beyond Czech stateless Gypsies and RUssians in the Baltics, there is Montenegro, independent only because Montenegrins living in Serbia were denied the vote), or even, ethnic cleanse (as in most cases in the post-WWI and post-WWII separations which you still don't seem to have contemplated for a big picture), be it with police or military power.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 07:14:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Awesome comment.  Especially the last two paragraphs.

Nitpick: Chechnya and Transdnistria weren't countries (at least officially). The first is part of Russia, the second officially part of Moldova.

Yes, I was torn between including them all as "ambivalent cases" or leaving them out and risk being accused of skewing the numbers in favor of my position.  ;-)

Note that my focus was on Europe, and the countries you mentioned are the European ones.

Whether they are European or not was not the issue for me.  Rather, it was whether mass "autonomization" of regions into sovereign states can happen peacefully in a short period of time.  I do not see any a priori reason why non-European examples should be treated differently than European examples.  If there were an alternate example in Africa, Asia or the Americas that came to mind, I might have used it as well.

Also note that our discussion wasn't only about violence, but disenfranchisement, too, and that's the main problem in the Baltics.

True.

I also know that there is one border-related big issue with certainty: the Ferghana Valley, home to the Central Asian tradition of Islamic fundies, was divided by Stalin between Uzbegistan, Tadjikistan and Khyrgyzistan in the most twisted way.

Stalin did twist things up pretty well, didn't he.  Again, it makes me wonder whether the Soviet Union would have come apart less violently had he left the peoples of that country alone.

Separatism can be driven by three different forces, of which just one is sufficient: (1) majority opinion of the populace in a territory, (2) power aspirations of certain politicians or potentates, (3) facts created by small groups using violence. Separatism can be blocked by the same three different kinds of forces, with the complication that in all three cases, the mover (popular majority, politician, armed group) can be within the supposed-to-separate community or the rest of the large community.

This paragraph was really helpful to me for grasping separatism.  Is this your own analysis, or a standard one among in history and/or political science?

A typical separatist struggle will not only pinch the different kinds of forces against each other (say, an armed group against a majority opinion against separation), but the various forces will try to do some gerrymandering. I mean disputes about what exactly the borders of the splitting-off part should be (compare Ireland and Croatia), deny voting rights to certain groups (beyond Czech stateless Gypsies and RUssians in the Baltics, there is Montenegro, independent only because Montenegrins living in Serbia were denied the vote), or even, ethnic cleanse (as in most cases in the post-WWI and post-WWII separations which you still don't seem to have contemplated for a big picture), be it with police or military power.

When I read this, it occurred to me that there must be some subfield of politcal science/history that focuses specifically on separatist and independence movements, though I had never been aware of any before.  A diary -- or series of diaries -- comparing and contrasting various such movements would be fascinating and really useful for these discussions.

As for the post-WWI and post-WWII separations, well I had thought of these, but I hastily assumed that conditions had changed, people had changed, to the point that where looking at more recent events -- i.e. the break-up of the USSR -- would be much more informative.  But now that you and Miguel have significantly dismantled that model of "peaceful" separatism, I'll go back further historically in the spirit of plus ça change....  (Also, a diary comparing and contrasting separatisms that only goes 20 years or so would be quite shallow.)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 09:30:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not see any a priori reason why non-European examples should be treated differently than European examples.

I didn't say they should, I just chose to give European examples because (a) the diary was about Europe, (b) as I said, I know there were serious conflicts in Central Asian countries too, but I know much less about their background.

it makes me wonder whether the Soviet Union would have come apart less violently had he left the peoples of that country alone.

I thought about how to answer that when reading your previous comment, but I just can't. For me, the question is too academic. That is, would the Soviet Union even survived Stalin if he didn't do those things? What's more, would it even have been born? To what extent are Stalin's policies the industrialised versions of earlier policies both by Tsarist Russia and by Central Asian Khanates? Is the Russian Federation itself not a multi-ethnic state whose integrity should be considered?

Is this your own analysis, or a standard one among in history and/or political science?

Only my own :-) But based on knowing many examples near-by, I don't view it as a particularly deep analysis.

I hastily assumed that conditions had changed, people had changed

I submit this is true to some extent, but I would point to another angle: the results of the separations 80, 65 years ago still reverberate, they gave birth to long-lasting hates on people level and troublesome relations on state level, and can seed new conflicts over sparatist issues. (For example, in Romania in the nineties, there was serious fear of Transsylvania going the Yugoslav way.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:31:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I submit this is true to some extent, but I would point to another angle: the results of the separations 80, 65 years ago still reverberate, they gave birth to long-lasting hates on people level and troublesome relations on state level, and can seed new conflicts over sparatist issues.

Cyprus problems today are for example linked to the birth of modern Turkey and the flight of greeks and turks to their respective new homelands.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France fairs much better losing only Brittany, Normandy, Alsac-Lorraine, and Corsica.

I think Provence or at least its Mediterranean shore would be a much better candidate than assimilated Alsace-Lorraine. There are also the Basque lands. On the other hand, once these regions would leave, who knows, maybe Gascogne, Burgundy, Savoy would also go that way.

Belgium splits in three parts, Wallonia, Flanders, and the free city of Brussels.

Plus a fourth: the German areas in the East.

In Italy, Venice is a state once more, along with Padania, Aostia, Sud Tirol, Fruilla-Venezia...

Methinks if those go, Toscana would definitely break off Padania, and Trentino from South Tyrol (= Alto Adige = Südtirol). And later on, Padania and Toscana could again break up into city-states.

Even the Sami get their own state.

Unfortunately I can't see pictures on photobucket across my office internet filter, so I can't be sure you haven't already used these additions:

Netherlands: Friesians, Dutch Bible Belt.

Bavaria: Frankonia (North Bavaria).

Czech Republic: Moravia.

Slovakia: breaks in Western and Eastern halves.

Poland: stays largest country.

Baltics: Russian areas split off, remains of Latvia split in two.

Russia: all autonomous regions split off.

Georgia: autonomous republics split off for real.

Ukraine: splits first into Ukrainian-language-nationalist West, Kyev-centrist Centre and Russian-language Southeast, then into nine regions.

Moldavia: Dnjester Republic now officially, then Carpathian mountain regions.

Romania: splits into Moldavia II, Wallachia, Hungarian-Transsylvania and Romanian-Transsylvania.

Hungary: East splits off.

Croatia: Istria, Dalmatia.

Bosnia: first two, then three ethnic states, then Serbian and Bosnian parts split in two.

Montenegro: two separate mountain regions (one Muslim, another pro-Serb) and South corner (Albanian) split off.

Serbia: Kosovo, then Vojvodina, and both the Monenegrin and Macedonian border regions, then Kosovo and Vojvodina splinter.

Macedonia: Albanian parts.

Greece: Athos mount, maybe North/South split.

Bulgaria: Turkish South, maybe Black Sea coast.

Turkey: Kurdish regions, maybe Centre/West split.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:50:17 AM EST
The only serious contenders in France would be Corsica (and then again, I doubt the majority over ther would support it) and the Basque area (linking with the Spanish region) - with the same proviso.

The others are a joke. Alsace-Moselle has been adressed elsewhere in the thread (by lacordaire and me), Brittany autonomy is pushed by just a few people, and I've never even heard of any kind of movement or position in Normadny, let alone Burgundy or Gascogne. Savoie might be a slightly more serious contender, but not by much.

I just don't see any breakup of France, even in a pan-European remapping scenario.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:26:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about the Rosillon with Catalonia?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:40:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just don't see it.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt the majority over ther would support it

Majorities may change with time. Did so in Yugoslavia.

Brittany autonomy is pushed by just a few people

I think you underestimate (at lest the potential) of Breton nationalism. In this poll, though only 19% of those in Bretagle (and paradoxically, 30% of those in Loire-Atlantique) are favorable to Brittany's independence, that's more than in Corsica (14%), while 49% want obligatory language education, and absolute majorities support more regional autonomy in all but one field.

What's more, 42% of the inhabitants of Brittany (and 24% of even Loire-Atlantiqueans) see themselves as Bretons first, 24% of those in Brittany (32% of those in Loire-Atlantique) identify with local commune, and only 26% with France. (I didn't even know: a wide majority of both départements would like to see them joined.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:55:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Normandy? If there are Norman nationalists, they all live in Quebec.

I speak as a Norman de souche, as if this counts for something.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:54:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France was very hard.

The French state is highly centralized, and the department line rarely coincide with actual ethnic boundaries, which makes using a NUTS-2 map to create the map I've done above much harder.

I would not dismiss the Bretons, nor a limited Alsatian state.  

I don't think that the Basques in France would ever be serious contenders for linkage with a Basque state.  Once upon a time theres was a French Basque terrorist group called Iparretarrak.  ETA use France as a staging area for many years, and they still do things like store explosives in Bayonne, and so on.  ETA was not amused by Iparretarrak  because they wanted to avoid provoking the French.

One of the untold stories of the Basque country is the role that France played in looking away when ETA was planning terrorist attacks from the late 60's to early 90's.  It was only in the 90's that French and Spanish police began to cooperate, and ETA still uses France as a staging area.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that the Basques in France would ever be serious contenders for linkage with a Basque state.

That doesn't preclude separatism. Your map (which I had only briefly a chance to look at at home last evening) seems to show you believe too much in separatists wanting to join 'the home country'. But separatists might find autonomy preferable to becoming an unimportant province within anothjer larger country. Upthread I already pointed bruno-ken towards the example of Romania and Moldavia; I think Kosovo is destined to be another example (i.e. won't join Albania). Maybe Transdnistria is yet another example, I don't think they would want to join the Ukraine (from which Stalin cut the area off when taking Moldova from Romania).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:24:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Italy, Venice is a state once more, along with Padania, Aostia, Sud Tirol, Fruilla-Venezia...

Can't see it, no real feeling for secessionism in current Italian politics.  Everyone-but-everyone is localistic but 99% of the feeling is "campanilismo" = "belltowerism": "our town and its belltower-glorious history-traditions-food-culture-etc is better than the next (nearest, in same province) town and its belltower-etc-etc. The Northern League started as a "fake-separatist" party in the richest northern regions with strong hostility towards southerners - especially local immigrants from southern italy - and a hatred of central government but was basically about northern taxes not going to subsidize depressed areas in the south.  Later went federalist, decided it was content with local governments (city councils, regions) ruling their own little administrative roosts and doing more local-level taxing. Its BIG claim to fame is xenophobic venting - now addressed not against other Italians but against immigrants, africans muslims and roma at the top of the hate-list. It polls around 4.5% nationally these days, in the northern regions its electoral range is from 13-point-something to zero-point-something so not exactly a local majority. Mainly hot air and viciousness.

Dunno about Sud Tirolo?? but only other part of Italy I think does feel it's a different "nation" - with some justification -is Sardinia.. very strong cultural identity. But again, the separatist movement can be fiery (paper bombs) but in serious political terms it's marginal: in the last elections the separatist Sardinian Action Party polled less than 6 percent in Sardinia itself. The "special-status regional autonomy" system has done a lot to decrease centrifugal tensions.

So I don't feel there's any real prospect of a split-up - De Gondi and Melo correct me if I'm wrong, OK?  

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:54:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
italy's still getting her impeccably tousled head around garibaldi methinks...

though if napoli doesn't get a grip, vesuvio might go off...

is burlesquoney gonna make the gig tomorrow?

etc, did you see the perfectly-synched rescue of silvio's dignity?

choreography is a great thing

understated, huh?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:41:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also based on what I saw on my brief visit there, I'd count Sicily, too.

Also, I reiterate what I wrote upthread, a 13% minority can (can, won't necessarily do) turn a majority with time, it happened elsewhere.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:15:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While Europe faces few external threats, it will dissappear from the world stage as a player if it has no military power.
I wonder whether that is really true. As we have discussed, Europe exercises economic and regulatory "soft power".

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:56:15 AM EST
By what right should a England sit on the Security council?  And who gets the nuclear weapons?
There you have the answers to "why Trident?".

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:56:46 AM EST
Or if we ignore that, think of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Possibly England would keep the nukes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, yes, England would keep the nukes and the UNSC seat (though that is subject to a UN General Assembly vote, I think). But the point is that the purpose of the Trident is to keep the seat in the first place.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:05:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well if that were to happen my question would be where would they be based? seeing as the current base is on the west coast of Scotland.

The other factor in this is the constant battle for funding between the three branches of the UK armed forces. Trident also reinforces the Primacy of the Royal Navy amongst the UK armed services.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:48:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One thing you are forgetting is that you cannot simply give the autonomist movements their territorial claims, as there will be pockets within that that will want to be independent in their turn, or to stay in the larger entity. Just yesterday, Fran poined out the example of the Canton of Jura:
The people of the Jura region called for independence. After a long struggle, a constitution was accepted in 1977. In 1978 the split was made official when the Swiss people voted in favour of it, and in 1979 the Jura joined the Swiss Confederation as a full member. However, the southern part of the Jura region, which is also predominantly French-speaking, opted not to join the newly-formed canton, and instead remained part of Bern. This area is now known as Bernese Jura.
A favourite example of mine is the Schleswig Question.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:01:53 AM EST
Wikipedia: Schleswig
Conflict between Denmark and German states over Schleswig and Holstein led to the Schleswig-Holstein Question of the 19th century. Denmark attempted to integrate the Duchy of Schleswig into the Danish kingdom in 1848, leading to an uprising of Germans who supported Schleswig's ties with Holstein. The Kingdom of Prussia intervened and defeated Denmark in the resulting First War of Schleswig, but was forced to return Schleswig and Holstein under pressure from the Austrian and Russian Empires.

Denmark again attempted to integrate Schleswig in 1864, but the German Confederation defeated the Danes in the Second War of Schleswig. Prussia and Austria respectively assumed administration of Schleswig and Holstein under the Gastein Convention of 14 August 1865. However, tensions between the two powers culminated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, in which victorious Prussia annexed Schleswig and Holstein, creating the province of Schleswig-Holstein.

Two referenda held in 1920 resulted in the partition of the region. Northern Schleswig joined Denmark whereas Central Schleswig voted to remain a part of Germany. In Southern Schleswig no referendum was held as the likely outcome was apparent. The name Southern Schleswig is now used for all of German Schleswig.

Nowadays, both parts cooperate as a Euroregion.



Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:03:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wikipedia: Euroregion
In European politics, a Euroregion is a form of transnational co-operation structure between two (or more) territories located in different European countries.

Euroregions usually do not correspond to any legislative or governmental institution, do not have political power and their work is limited to the competences of the local and regional authorities which constitute them. They are usually arranged to promote common interests across the border and cooperate for the common good of the border populations.

Even though the Council of Europe sponsored term "euroregion" means a similar thing, it should not be confused with the European Union sponsored term regions in Europe.



Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:03:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweden-Norways lack of military support for Denmark in those wars, particulary the last, doomed the Nordic nationalistic project, which was then replaced by more local national projects corresponding with the Nordic states we see today.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I recognize that.  This is why Spain becomes a mismash with Valencia and the Balearics seperate from Cataluna, and an independent Navarra.

That's part of what makes this all the more dangerous.

Wars have been fought over far less serious territorial claims than the ones brought up by many of these autonomist groups.  I was just trying to make a point with this, but I'm detecting some hostility here to the point I'm making.

Europe is vulnerable to the type of fracture that I've described, and the last few years have seen Spain and the UK begin to devolve rapidly.

I think I pulled a Jerome on this.  No one likes to have their flaws pointed out, nonetheless they exist.  And Europe has a serious nationalist question to confront.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:45:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see this fracture now in Catalonia. I don't know, maybe it's because the only people I heard talking about fractures here is the PP. Catalan people has been always pactist, since the time of the Counts of Barcelona, with a social life based upon bargaining and negotiation and only resorting to violence in very extreme situations.
Even if it's written in 1980, a recommended reading is  an essay by Salvador Giner, professor of Sociology at Universidad de Barcelona, called "The Social Structure of Catalonia", translated to English by the Anglo Catalan Society

http://www.kent.ac.uk/acsop/publications/acsop.php?r=acsop&d=01Social_Structure_in_Catalonia& ;f=00Title.txt

cheers

by amanda2006 on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No one likes to have their flaws pointed out, nonetheless they exist.

I think some replies here might fit the bill, but others are either quibbles about specific examples of yours (without challenging the general point), or indications that the picture is even more complex than you paint it.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:03:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will the states of Europe sit by idly while they are dismembered from within?

By state, do you mean the institutions, the politicians, or the people?

if the European national states disentegrate even more of the functions of the national state will have to rise to the European Union.

No they don't "have to". I would prefer more would rise to Community level (and I also think that would stem the disintegration process, because it would make having a national state of less consequence); but there is nothing about the size of a national state that precludes it from having certain functions.

So as the structures of the nation state collapse

What you described is NOT the collapse of the structures of the national state. It is larger national states being replaced by smaller ones. As the process could be nonfinite, this can mean that the structures of the national state are inherently instable, but they have been already in the past.

While Europe faces few external threats, it will dissappear from the world stage as a player if it has no military power.

Migeru already flagged this, but worth flagging again: I am not interested in building an empire, and that's what military power is needed for.

By what right should a England sit on the Security council?

The same as Russia: main successor state holding nukes. (Though again, I'd prefer an EU permanent seat, or better yet, the abolishment of permanent seats at the UN SC.)

Will the UK allow Scotland to leave peacefully

Just the other day, someone posted a poll that a majority of both Englanders and Scots would approve. Unless the rabid wing of Tories took over, I don't think the government would decide to do something violent about it. But violence might came in other countries, especially those where drawing borders would be of greater difficulty.

In the long run, Europe might be better off with 75 states instead of 25

In the even longer run, those 75 might turn into 225, and then 675, at no smaller cost in lives.

And once tribal warfare ... is let loose, can it be put back into the bottle?

Yes/no. Yes, because no two historical events run alike, and trends get distorted run out, as could one learn from any past time when people spoke about a political trend sweeping the world. No, because it is already 'out of the bottle', of you look a bit more to the East.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:18:25 AM EST
Just the other day, someone posted a poll that a majority of both Englanders and Scots would approve. Unless the rabid wing of Tories took over, I don't think the government would decide to do something violent about it.

I'm not so sure about that, but hope you'd be correct.  These sorts of polls about what the popular sentiment is don't take into account the underlying economic issues.  Scottish independence is often portrayed as some sentimental yearning.  From what I've read, some of the support from the English populace comes from a "cut them loose" mentality.  One underlying narrative I've read in repeated articles is that Scotland is poor and dragging England's stats down.

This ignores the opinion of what we might call the elites -- those with something to lose.  How would they react and what would they do to protect their interests?

Admittedly, I'm not all that up on current Scottish politics and haven't been there recently, but in my travels there and in talking with various people, there have been 3 very persistent themes over the years.  The first is the poverty in Scotland.  The other is the idea that Scotland has resources, but the profit goes elsewhere -- the most obvious being the North Sea oil mentioned here already.  The third, and this is probably the most pervasive theme I've heard, cutting across regional and political lines, is land ownership.  

It's not something I've heard much about outside of Scotland, so I'm not sure if that means it's common knowledge that doesn't need to be stated, or if it's not well-known, but it seems an overriding concern, especially in the Highlands.  One of the figures that is bandied about is that over two-thirds of the land is owned by about 1200 private owners.  It's difficult to even find out who owns some of the land in Scotland with some ownership issues going back to feudal times.  

Given these conditions, I have difficulty believing that popular opinion matters very much when speculating about official reactions.  If it's been this much of a fight even ascertaining who owns the land, I have difficulty believing that same land would be easily given over to any sort of independent governance or oversight.

Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes

by Izzy (izzy at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First, the map:  you enlightened the administrative regions alsace and Lorraine.
Wrong, but probably as 80% of the french and 95% of the german. The present Lorraine include 4 departments, from which only one (Moselle, around Metz) was annexed to Germany from the franco-prussian war to 1918.
The reason for this division of Lorraine was linguistic, coherently with the vision of the german unity based on a common language: dialect in Alsace and north lorraine were apparented to german (and in case of doubt like Metz, look where the cool and iron mines were).
The others part of Lorraine don't even think of an autonomy.
Then, Moselle ans Alsace do not have special links, other than the remnants of the german administration (church financing, holidays, living dialect on the countryside for having missed the big push of the 3rd republic against "patois").
Alsace has a very strond identity. Moselle not quite so, it had early a lot of immigration, due to the mines and steel industries. I never heard of any Moselle autonomist.

Albeit this strong identity, as Dodo says, Alsace was french very early, and identified to France as a result of the french-german wars. My feeling is, they are quite happy with the situation today.

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.

by lacordaire on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:51:47 AM EST
I was going off the desciption of autonomist movements from wikipedia. France was particularly difficult, because the French state is so centralized, and relatively few areas seem subject to change.  Alsace-Lorraine is hard because there is a lot of diversity there.

Jean Monnet called for a new Lotharingia at one point.

And Europe has carved itself up before.  How many of the nations of the former Austrian Empire had serious independtist tendencies in 1890?  Who really ever expected that the Irish would have a state of their own.

And more so, many of the nationalist movements that do exist today are nominally Marxist.  And with a left reaction rising to the undue influence of the right in Europe, that gives these groups strength.  And some areas like Scotland have resources, mineral or economic that they feel are exploited by the national state without fair compensation.  If the SNP gets an indenpent Scotland will they nationalize the North Sea oil fields?

There isn't a countering right nationalist group.

And in places like the Basque country (PNV-EA) and Cataluna (CiU-ERC) where you have a  left and right nationalist party there's a development towards a party system indenpendent of the national vote.  Over time, that will tend to lead them to desire greater autonomy and independence.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Which of the main independance movements are you seeing as explicitly Marxist?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 01:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sínn Fein, for a start. It's always amused me that the US implicitly supported a group of violent Marxist revolutionaries against it's special friend the UK. If it had been South America the CIA would have had Gerry Adams shot long ago.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 01:47:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh, i always thought the marxist bit was just window-dressing given who the ira's patrons were back then. in the '70's, funding could be gotten, as could arms, via some convenience ideological footwork. thus was fatah also "marxist" (though clearly not enough for habash), eta was "marxist" (and given the fascists in power in their beginnings, this footwork was probably pretty easy) and so forth.

whether it was more than footwork with the ira and sinn fein, i dunno, never followed it all that much, though i guess i vaguely recollect sinn fein doing fairly well in the republic elections playing to the left (though given the two main parties ideological bent, this can't be all that hard i imagine).

your note on irony is well put, and given the right-wing bias of your average Irish-American, as ably represented in the punditocracy in America by Sean Hannity, Bill O'reilly, John Tierney, Peggy Noonan and company, it is doubly ironic. Hell, the ira's biggest backer in America was a GOP congressman from New York - Peter King, though i gather this changed somewhat after 911...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:18:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
given the right-wing bias of your average Irish-American

-- splutter --

Excuse me?  

That's a little like saying that vegetarians have well-known fascist tendencies, just because Hitler was one.  Come on.

There are roughly 40 million Irish Americans, and I think it's safe to say that at least half of them don't fall into the "right-wing" category... including, oh, let's think for a second... .the Kennedy clan?!

Actually, when you think about the rather blue nature of the states & cities where Irish Americans are traditionally concentrated (New York, Boston, Chicago), it would probably be more accurate to say that Irish Americans tend toward the left.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:35:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Redstar knows fully well that the vast majority of Irish Americans are Democrats.  He just thinks Democrats are right-wingers.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:01:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he could have said that.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:13:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno. It's fairly true that just because one refers to one's self as a Democrat does not make one any less right-wing necessarily, and while I'm certain that many Irish-Americans are Democrats, I confess I don't know all that many. I live in a relatively middle-class neighborhood in St Paul, MN, heavily Catholic due to the quality of the much-sought after conservative Catholic school just up the street (you have to attend the parish services to send your kid). And those who Democrat are tend to be in the Randy Kelly mold (Irish-American Democratic Mayor of the city where I live, endorsed Dubya, darling of the DLC). But maybe that's simply anecdotal.

OTOH, if we limit our analysis to the blowhards who actually get a broadcast voice, that voice in decidedly right-wing.

Objectively speaking of course, again imho, the center of gravity of the Democratic party, as far as OECD norms are concerned, is decidely center-right.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if we limit our analysis to the blowhards who actually get a broadcast voice

... then we wouldn't be talking about the "average" Irish-American, would we?

Catholics used to vote Democratic because of social justice stuff, and a lot of them still do.  Regarding Irish Americans' political leanings, my experience has been pretty much the opposite of yours.  But as you said, that's anecdotal.

At any rate, I don't think you can possibly generalize to the political leanings of "Irish Americans," since the population is too large, too diffuse, too diverse and in most places too integrated into "mainstream" American society for their ethnic identity to have any bearing on their political identity.  Unlike, for example, African Americans, there are few election-day issues that affect Irish Americans as a group, and would therefore drive them to vote as a bloc, at least not on a national level.  I would submit that there is no "Irish American" political identity, with the possible exceptions of Boston and a few other cities.

On the center of gravity in the Democratic party, of course, you are entirely right.  Er, correct.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:47:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catholics used to vote Democratic because of social justice stuff, and a lot of them still do.

I'm not up on US social history as much as I should be I guess, but seems to me there was a Tammany Hall Democrat element to why many "ethnics" in the US voted for the Democratic party. Patronage and whatnot. Not a bad plan back in those days of discrimination.

I imagine those who still do, given the weakening (but certainly not disappearance) of patronage machines in US cities, do so for reasons to which you allude.

There is, however, the phenomena of the so-called "Reagan Democrat" to contend with, though. I suspect if one imagines a density map of Reagan Democrats in the US, and overlay it with fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, we might see a pretty good correlation...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 05:25:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my family, the Fighting Irish are second only to the Blessed Virgin in pure sacredness, and the only thing worse than dissing them would be to vote for someone like Reagan or Bush!

Maybe you think Reagan was Irish-Catholic? Despite the name, he certainly was not!

by Matt in NYC on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True enough, but I suspect Bill O'reilly and Sean Hannity are.

And Pat Buchanan too.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:16:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what ethnic group are you from, that you feel so free to be this offensive?
by Matt in NYC on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 08:11:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't worry about that, what my ethic origin is gets much more shit in America than what is being dished out here, and in any event, I don't take at all issue with the Irish, I've yet to meet an Irishman of ill will, poor temper or who wasn't an absolute pleasure to have a pint or three with. I reckon the Irish may be the smartest, most historically versed people in all of Europe, plus they're a Republic too, and that's saying something.

It's the ones who moved to America, and forget their class roots, I have an issue with. And I've cited some of the more famous examples, too. Far more religious than their cousins still in Ireland.  Prickly as well.

But we all know it's ok to say frog all one likes you see, but throw out an aspersion on the Irish-American community and, well, you've uttered some fighting words, eh?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 09:33:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But we all know it's ok to say frog all one likes you see, but throw out an aspersion on the Irish-American community and, well, you've uttered some fighting words, eh?

While our country had some misguided angst toward France because of the war, I don't know of any of French-Americans who get a lot of shit.  I'm from St. Louis, where there are a lot of people with French heritage, most of the place names are French, and there are even old French settlements.  Never heard anyone get shit about it.  

Irish Americans, however were historically segregated and subject to institutional racism in America.  When my great grandfather came here, there were signs on buildings "No Irish Allowed."  It was legal for people to refuse to hire the Irish.  My grandfather went out of his way to hire and help African Americans, long before the Civil Rights movement, precisely because of what his own father went through.  He knew the racism was bullshit.

And to this day, there persists a stereotype of Irish Americans as corrupt, working class, etc.  Certainly nothing to the extent that it was, but here in Chicago, well, the Daleys aren't doing anything to improve the situation.  

So, yeah, you don't mess with the Irish.  Sorry.

You should rent the movie, "In America."


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:03:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure thing, "No Irish allowed..." hmmm...that was in the last decade? Even the last century?

I thought not.

We're talking current affairs, not the history of our grandparents' grandparents.

How 'bout "No blacks allowed"...that's right, that's still going on, less obvious than before, but going on all the same. Didn't stop those Irish-American Catholics from voting overwhelmingly for Ronald Reagan, he who popularized the term welfare queen, what with its racial overtones. That's right, once you get yours, you forget about those who are still in line, don't you?

As for French being thought of poorly, I'm first generation. In fact, I'm a dual citizen, and my wife is only now getting 'round to naturalizing US. We speak French at home, I did growing up, and I do with my kids and wife now. We also speak it occasioanlly out in the real world. And I can tell you, it wasn't too cool to be speaking French while waiting in line at the grocery store three years back. Suddenly, total strangers had an opinion of you, and they were quite willing to let you know what it was.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:17:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suddenly, total strangers had an opinion of you, and they were quite willing to let you know what it was.

Pot meet kettle...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 09:44:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the ones who moved to America, and forget their class roots, I have an issue with.

Again, this is offensive.  It's not Irish, just Irish Americans you have an issue with, eh?  You are talking about 34 million people, not a few talking heads on tv and some people you met.  That's practically the population of Poland.  If you have an issue with that many people, that falls along ethnic lines, that sounds like racism.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:16:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a problem with any subsection of the electorate which skews GOP in the US.

Have nothing to do with ethnicity, and everything to do with ideology.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:10:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We should ask Bill O'reilly if he is a fighting irish fan.

whaddaya think?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:20:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They're catholic, too.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:23:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sínn Fein support is very much working class. In the North the SDLP was the party of the middle class and anyone decent enough not to think blowing people up was an acceptable tactic.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:11:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Understood on the working class support part.

This being said, J.-M. Le Pen's support is also quite working class.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:44:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am 100% Irish-American, and I can't think of a single person in my vast extended family who has even a smidgeon of "right-wing bias." Are you perhaps confused by the abortion issue? I'll grant you that there are some Irish-Catholics who have voted Republican based on that issue, but I know even more who keep their mouths shut in church and actively campaign for pro-choice (and anti-war and anti-death penalty and pro-labor) candidates.
by Matt in NYC on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:04:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you perhaps confused by the abortion issue? I'll grant you that there are some Irish-Catholics who have voted Republican based on that issue...

Like I said, I'm surrounded by such people, the existence of which, in today's America, is essentially a QED to my argument.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, then you should have said that, instead of maligning a whole ethnic group for being "right-wing." I'm as pro-choice as anybody could be, but I know from my own family that it's possible to be anti-choice and still be a decent human being (which, by definition, right-wing people are NOT).
by Matt in NYC on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 08:07:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think here is the error. It is indeed possible to be a decent human being and conservative. Most of America is conservative, but folks are all the same by and large decent.

The unfortunate flipside of this philosophy you seem to espouse is that all it takes is to be a decent human being to be at heart a progressive. This is a common American attitude, as common as it is wrong. And a recent diary Jerome did over on kos, and in particular the virulent reaction of many kossacks to him, on charity, demonstrates the power of this misguided notion in America, and underlines its limitations.

Georg Lukács ought to be required curriculum in America.  

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 09:26:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see.  "It's true in my neighborhood, so it must be true of the whole country."  You dazzle me with your analytical prowess.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 04:03:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, consider that I was responding to someone saying "it's true in my family, so it must be true in the whole country".

What does this say about your "analytical prowess" yardstick and the consitency thereof?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:17:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Um, I never said anything about my family.  Try picking apart my arguments when you're talking to me, not somebody else's.  Focus.  You can do it.

Fine, I apologize for being snarky to you in the comment above.  I should have found a way to point out the myriad flaws in your reasoning without actually making fun of you.

I would like you to consider the possibility that the reaction that your comments are getting from a variety of people should indicate that perhaps your rhetoric is a tad... inflammatory.  And offensive.  Your points, whatever they might be, are lost.  Your arguments would be better served by actually making arguments, rather than sweeping statements that are unsupported by any facts you have provided thus far.

But it's clear to me that your mind is made up, and your bias is clear.  Sad, but very clear.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:34:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I was refering to MattinNYC. Matt was the one invoking the family, and how if his Irish-American extended family was all nice and decent, even the GOP voting abortion-opponent ones, then all must be good and righteous. Same thread, same subthread.

His logic appears unobjectionable to you, mine less so.

Why is that?

 

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:41:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, cut it both of you.

You are obviously as far removed from the topic of this diary as it gets.

Somehow "who said what" is not very relevant to the possibilities of an outbreak of endemic nationalism in Europe. Or so it looks to me.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:53:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in part at least because Matt wasn't casting aspersions on tens of millions of people, so his argument is of less concern to me.  (Remember, you said "right-wing," not conservative, which is much stronger language.)

Your logic has been flawed since your first comment, and you've offended a number of people.

But if if it makes you feel less like a victim of some massive Irish-American plot to destroy you, I'll say this:  Nobody in this thread has cited adequate evidence to prove that the "average" Irish-American is either conservative or liberal.  

Now honestly, I don't have time to chase around shadows any more tonight.  If you have some problem with hyphenated-Americans in general, which is what I see you're now claiming, then write a diary about it and let's stop cluttering up this one with irrelevant arguments about who's the worst racist.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:57:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But it's clear to me that your mind is made up, and your bias is clear.  Sad, but very clear.

Please cut your accusation of racism and bigotry crap. I cast no aspersions on the Irish whatsoever, if I cast them, it is on Americans. Irish-Americans are perfectly assimilated; if anything, what I'm saying is there's no difference from so-called Irish-Americans and plain old Americans. You think that is racism?

Want to call me anti-American, fine, there it is, I cop to the charge. That's not racism, that's just a recognition of what America has become in today's world.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:51:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if anything, what I'm saying is there's no difference from so-called Irish-Americans and plain old Americans.

That's a rather interesting re-interpretation of what you said. To me, bias seemed obvious across multiple comments of yours, and I am neither Irish nor American, so you should at least consider to communicate your ideas differently, as stormy present suggested.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:16:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You do realize that cherry-picking a couple of people based on their last names and then making broad generalizations about an entire ethnic group based on the actions of those few is intellectually pathetic, right?

Bill O'Reilly: is a moron and a bully, and I don't think either of those things have anything to do with his ethnicity.

Hannity: from what I hear, has recently become critical of the Bush Administration.  Perhaps you could argue that this parallels the swing voter mentality and that the Catholics are swing voters (Reagan Democrats.)  In my family the Catholics are Italian.  And they are neo-cons.  Huh.

Pat Buchanan: is a Nazi.  Hey, let's talk about people with German last names.  Hey!  I have a German last name!  Guess my voting record!

...

In America, most people are of mixed ethnicity.  And for the most part, people are not judged on their last name.  And no ethnicity is monolithic, though those most often associated with a political party (Jews, African Americans, ...Irish) are associated with the Democratic Party.  34 million Americans claim Irish heritage.  To try to make a generalization about them is silly.

Interestingly enough, the places where Irish pride is most vocal are places like Chicago, Boston, and New York, which will be "right-wing" oh, about a year after hell freezes over.

Here are some fun facts, care of wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_American

Irish in politics and government
The Catholic Irish moved rapidly into law enforcement, and (through the Catholic Church) built hundreds of schools, colleges, orphanages, hospitals, and asylums. Political opposition to the Catholic Irish climaxed in 1854 in the short-lived Know Nothing Party.

By the 1850s, the Irish Catholics were a major presence in the police departments of large cities. In New York City in 1855, of the city's 1,149 policemen, 305 were natives of Ireland. The creation of a unified police force in Philadelphia opened the door for the Irish in that city. By 1860 in Chicago, 49 of the 107 on the police force were Irish. Chief O'Leary headed the police force in New Orleans and Malachi Fallon was chief of police of San Francisco.[14]

The Irish had a reputation of being very well organized, and, since 1850, have produced a majority of the leaders of the Catholic Church in the U.S., labor unions, the Democratic Party in larger cities, and Catholic high schools, colleges and universities. Politically, the Irish Catholic typically voted 80-95% Democratic in elections down to 1964. John F. Kennedy was their greatest political hero. Al Smith, who lost to Herbert Hoover in the 1928 presidential election, was the first Irish Catholic to run for president. From the 1830s to the 1960s, Irish Catholics voted 80-95% Democratic, with occasional exceptions like the election of 1920.

Today, most Irish Catholic politicians are associated with the Democratic Party, although some have become Republican leaders, such as former GOP national chairman Ed Gillespie, House Homeland Security Chairman Peter T. King and retiring Congressman Henry Hyde. Ronald Reagan boasted of his Irishness. (The son of an Irish Catholic father, he was raised as a Protestant.) Historically, Irish Catholics controlled many city machines and often served as chairmen of the Democratic National Committee, including County Monaghan native Thomas Taggart, Vance McCormick, James Farley, Edward J. Flynn, Robert E. Hannegan, J. Howard McGrath, William H. Boyle, Jr., John Moran Bailey, Larry O'Brien, Christopher J. Dodd, and Terry McAuliffe. The majority of Irish Catholics in Congress are Democrats; currently Susan Collins of Maine is the only Irish Catholic Republican senator. Exit polls show that in recent presidential elections Irish Catholics have split about 50-50 for Democratic and Republican candidates; large majorities voted for Ronald Reagan.[15] The pro-life silent majority in the Democratic party includes many Irish Catholic politicians, such as senator-elect Bob Casey, Jr., who defeated Senator Rick Santorum in a high visibility race in Pennsylvania in 2006. [16]

Many major cities have elected Irish American Catholic mayors. Indeed, Boston, Cincinnati, Houston, Newark, New York City, Omaha, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Saint Louis, Saint Paul, and San Francisco have all elected natives of Ireland as mayor. Chicago, Boston, and Jersey City have had more Irish American mayors than any other ethnic group. The cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Oakland, Omaha, St. Paul, Jersey City, Rochester, Springfield, Rockford, Scranton, and Syracuse currently (as of 2006) have Irish American mayors. All of these mayors are Democrats. Pittsburgh mayor Bob O'Connor died in office in 2006. New York City has had at least three Irish-born mayors and over eight Irish-American mayors. The most recent one was County Mayo native William O'Dwyer, elected in 1949.

The Irish Protestant vote has not been studied nearly as much. Since the 1840s, it has been uncommon for a Protestant politician to be identified as Irish. In Canada, by contrast, Irish Protestants remained a cohesive political force well into the 20th century with many (but not all) belonging to the Orange Order. Throughout the 19th century, sectarian confrontation was commonplace between Protestant Irish and Catholic Irish in Canadian cities.

[edit] Presidents of Irish Descent
The following are the 16 Presidents of the Republic who have definite Irish ancestral origins. The extent of which varies from, for example, George W. Bush having a rather distant Irish ancestry, to the examples of Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, whose Irish origins fall much closer in terms of date. It is of particular sociological and historical note that whereas only "8 out of 28 Presidents from the institution of the office in 1789 until 1921 possessed elements of Irish ancestry, since Kennedy took office in 1961 every President bar one, Gerald Ford, has had Irish blood". Only one, however, namely John F. Kennedy, can be considered both Irish-American and Catholic.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York.Andrew Jackson, 7th President 1829-37
James Knox Polk, 11th President 1845-49
James Buchanan, 15th President 1857-61
Ulysses S Grant, 18th President 1869-77
Chester Alan Arthur, 21st President 1881-85
Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President 1885-89, 1893-97
William McKinley, 25th President 1897-1901
Woodrow Wilson, 28th President 1913-21
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President 1961-63
Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President 1963-69
Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President 1969-74
James Earl Carter, 39th President 1977-81
Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President 1981-89
George H.W. Bush, 41th President 1989-1993
William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President 1993-2001
George W. Bush, 43rd President 2001-present
Also, Jefferson Davis, 1st, President of the Confederate States of America

Me?  Irish, French, German & Cherokee, raised by the most Irish (and Catholic) bits.  My mother was liberal feminist anti-war hippie.  My grandfather worked for JFK's Presidential campaign.  And if either of them were alive and heard your statement about "right wingers", well, they'd give new meaning to the "Fighting Irish."

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 09:45:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I could be cherry-picking. Guess we'll have to look at the stats.

Fortunately, you were kind enough to provide them:

Exit polls show that in recent presidential elections Irish Catholics have split about 50-50 for Democratic and Republican candidates; large majorities voted for Ronald Reagan.

Was someone talking about Irish-
American Catholics and commitment to social justice?

 The pro-life silent majority (wtf?) in the Democratic party includes many Irish Catholic politicians, such as senator-elect Bob Casey, Jr., who defeated Senator Rick Santorum in a high visibility race in Pennsylvania in 2006.

Silent majority in the Dem party? What the hell is this? A mojority of Americans, of all stripes, are pro-choice. A crushing majority of Democrats are. What are you citing here? Am I suppose that this means those minoritarian Irish-American Catholics (the crushing minority who didn't vote for Reagan) who still think they are Democrats are pro-life?

To top it all off, perhaps your source has something on the Irish-American Catholic vote and Dubya's election and re-election.

I thank you kindly for proving my point.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:08:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Yes, that's it.  It's all the Irish-Americans' fault.  If it weren't for those bastards, Reagan would have only won 55 percent of the vote and taken 45 states in 1984.

This is idiocy.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 04:08:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What makes you think the article refers to 1984?

The Reagan Democrat phenomena won Ronald Reagan the election in 1980. It put him over the top and changed America, for the worse, for 25 years and counting.  They also contributed to his crushing electoral victory in 1984. Note that African Americans, who also voted overwhelmingly Democratic in the decades leading up to the 1980 election, continued to do so, while many white so-called "ethnic" American groups, including self-identified Irish-Americans, jumped ship.

Now, why could that be?

In my book, the 1980 election was the defining one in terms of making America the fairly politically regressive and economically social-darwinist state it is today. The 1984 election simply underlined this. And we are still living with the consequences of this, as both Americans and Europeans. Dubya in the White House is simply an extension of the same logic.

You'll note that all I said above was that I bet if you put two population density maps together, one with density of Reagan Democrats, one with Fans of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, you'd get a real good correlation.

Folks took extreme issue with that statement, which I will continue to point out, and poemless confirms, is not at all controversial. For this, I got called something akin to a racist at some point up there in the thread.

All I gotta say is the numbers back me up.

Y'know, all these folks who are of 1/4 Irish extraction, simultaneously self-identifying as Irish-American, Italian-American, Polish-American and Norwegian-American (I've seen it done) tend to accentuate their putative Irishness when convenience, for instance mid-March. Many somehow had a grandparent who was discriminated against for being Irish, despite the fact that anti-Irish bias in America was in full swing 125 years ago, not 50.
But somehow, these folks vote overwhelmingly for a race-baiter like Ronald Reagan and, by extension, think racism against African-Americans no longer exists (blacks in and around South Boston might think differently of course).

The idiocy is this myth of Irish-American victimhood, expressed above, and the corresponding myth that Irish-Americans are a wellspring for the righteous fight for social justice, also expressed above. Irish-Americans are no different from most other white Americans. They are generally conservative, they hew to a number of myths which point America in the direction it is pointed today, they like their non-neogitiable creature-comforts the externalities of which be damned, and they are sure they are good people despite the consequences of their electoral choices.

Excuse me for not drinking the kool-aid.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 10:40:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
anti-Irish bias in America was in full swing 125 years ago, not 50

And you know, until this conversation, I honestly thought that anti-Irish bias really was a thing of the past. But apparently some people are stuck there.

Whatever that nasty kid did to you on the playground, let it go, man.  It's eating your soul.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 10:59:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh get over yourself.

Nothing like being called a racist without justification.

Please, detail what I have said which is racist. I have said the following in their regard:

  1. Irish-Americans, like white Americans in general, are conservative. They don't have any special claim to righteousness, as some have claimed. Note this came up originally when Colman was observing the irony of all those conservative Irish-Americans giving money to Noraid and the nominally Marxist IRA.

  2. That Irish-Americans and other Notre-Dame Fighting Irish fans tended to be Reagan Democrats

  3. It is impossible to be a Reagan Democrat and be progressive; these two points of view are incompatible.

Somehow, you and certain others seem to get defensive. But you can't contest the points on the merits, can you?

Cut the racist name-calling crap, it's beneath you. I assume.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:33:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cut the racist name-calling crap, it's beneath you. I assume.

But apparently not beneath you.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:40:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please, everybody on the thread, take a breath, stand back, and calm down.

I certainly won't go into choosing sides in any way, but I'll note that you are now officially talking past each other, and trollrating the person you're talking to is unlikely to be conducive to constructive dialogue.

Please? A gesture of peace?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:00:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried to undo that troll thing, thinking better of it, but I guess you can't undo a rating?

I take objection to being called a bigot, of course, but you are correct, continuing the shitstorm doesn't serve a purpose.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:11:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'll have to change it to a 4 for penance. I don't know why that happens...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:12:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooh, that hurts.

Ah very well...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:19:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For some reason you can't go from 1->none.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:24:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm...

  1. If you said "The majority of Irish-Americans...", that would not sound like racist over-generalisation.
  2. It doesn't follow. Correlation in patterns doesn't translate to majority matching between two sub-groups (it could even be that one trend is a counter-culture to the other); and I would like to see graphic evidence of your claim to see just how strong that correlation is.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:54:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gah... you seem to read this subthread with a strong filter.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:52:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, I do. I live in America, so I see this in action, and I take strong exception to a few animating myths of the American middle-class which I witness in action around me every day, and which in turn animate American political discourse.

Dubya was not elected and re-elected in a vaccuum.

Some of these myths are on display in the thread above by some of the American commentators.

Myth 1: If you are a decent and good person on an individual level, you are of course a progressive or, at the very least, you wouldn't do anything to undermine my interest. This is the myth Dubya was playing to in the debates with Gore, when he objected to Gore's attacks on him, saying Gore "doesn't know what's in my heart". The same myth leads MattinNYC to say his anti-abortion relatives who vote for a warmongerer are all the same decent people so of course they're not really conservative.

Myth 2: Your forebears experienced racism, so that means you're still a victim. And by extension, because you and yours were able to overcome such racism, those who haven't must be at fault for not having done so. Any African-American will recognize what I'm getting at here. Poemless cited this myth when bringing up the "no Irish need apply" history, and while I doubt very much poemless would fault African-Americans for racism still directed against them, the numbers would indicate, by voting patterns, that in general this sentiment is quite extensive in America today.

Myth 3: You're really from someplace else. You're simultaneously an Irish-American, a Polish-American and a waspy regular-issue American of English origin. By this very fact, this makes you a person of the world and not from a highly insular country which is extra-ordinarily sheltered, and has been for its entire history, from conflict and wars on your soil. As a consequence, you can solve the worlds problems by making them good - like you. Of course, the violence and the hundred of thousands killed in your name are all very far away, almost unreal. This last myth is arguably the most perfidious - it is also extremely widespread, far moreso than most American "liberals," the majority of whose Senators voted for Irak, care to admit. Perfidious because it allows the biggest war machine on the planet to be used to the great detriment of mankind without credible opposition on the part of folks in whose name the killing we be done. Why? Because of course those "decent people" cannot possibly have ill intentions, and America is a land of unleavened good. When you hear the phrase "muscular liberalism," remember this myth and its relationship to the American left.

These three myths, plus the one about the heroic individual, the self-made man who pulled himself up by his own bootstraps (as Lenin derisively refered to the myth) and the vast adherence of most Americans to them, including those on the left, are what I would argue render the left largely ineffectual in the US, or as another poster on this site said not to long ago, "the most incompetent left in the world".

So yeah, I got a filter, and when a certain American myth is invoked by Americans about their putative righteousness, I do tend to get irritated.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 11:15:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's an extremely interesting comment, and one worth discussing more on a separate thread.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:09:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh.

Maybe I'll post it up on kos.

Not.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are far too kind.
by Matt in NYC on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:11:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I second Jérôme, that was a good comment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:03:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
large majorities voted for Ronald Reagan.

I couldn't track down nationwide figures, but from what I found, this is a misrepresentation in the Wiki article. Large majorities were measured only in states with low and/or very diluted Irish-Catholic populations like Texas (65%) and Reagan's home California (64%), while New York's 53% was much closer to the national average (51%).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:42:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Batasuna for another.

Even the SNP clings to version of national liberation.

And for the IRA, the support typically came from the inebriated clients of Irish pubs in the American Northeast.  ETA had some success raising money in Basque areas in Idaho and other areas of the US west, and raised lots of money in South America.


And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:31:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many of the nations of the former Austrian Empire had serious independtist tendencies in 1890?

Depends on what you mean by serious. The nationalist movements existed since the early 19th century, but were suppressed. (Minor factoid: when in 1867, the Habsburg Empire transformed into the dual empire of  Austria-Hungary, big losers were Czech and Croatian nationalists, both of whom sought a triple empire but were out-manoeuvred by Austrian diplomats.) But in any case, they were much more serious than the Alsatian, given that the latter is nonexistent.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 07:52:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think for this to work you'd have to replace national identity with a much broader sense of European identity.

Is it possible that (say) Catalonia would want to give up Spanish rule in return for a looser European affiliation? In practice it would depend on the small print. Given the fiasco over the constitution, the prospect of Brussels being able to craft a workable template for simultaneous national devolution with supranational affiliation isn't good.

So in practice I'd guess there would be a wave of breakaways, including Scotland, possibly Wales, and then maybe Catalonia and one or two others. These would be based on very local sentiment rather than European solidarity. And that's where the process would stop.

Other nationalisms are minority interests and likely to stay that way unless people see there's some significant benefit to splitting off.

The worst case scenario would be nationalisms that were explicitly anti-European - within Europe. If Scotland breaks away, this is likely to happen within England.

You'd then get the interesting situation of Scottish indepence sold as freedom from England, and English independence sold as freedom from Europe.  

An England without Scotland and Wales, outside of Europe, would be a very bad place to live, because without the Scottish counterweight English politics would immediately lurch far towards the right.

Bad. Very very bad.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:06:21 AM EST
I think for this to work you'd have to replace national identity with a much broader sense of European identity.
Yes, and a you would have to address the issue of citizenship. I would be happy with such a regional devolution of power if citizenship was shifted up to the European level. A more federated Europe in short. In particular, I believe voting rights should be entirely determined by ones place of residence, not by place of birth or citizenship of ones parents. In particular important for a Europe with smaller "nations", as more people would be likely to live large chunks of their life outside the "nation" they started in.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:42:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At least for local elections, we already have EU-wide voting rights. In some countries, EU citizens can also vote in national elections.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:58:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the UK, citizens of any commonwealth country or of Ireland can vote in Westminster elections, but not EU citizens.
To vote in parliamentary elections in the UK you must be a British citizen, a citizen of another Commonwealth country or of the Irish Republic, as well as being resident in the UK, aged 18 or over, included in the register of electors for the constituency and not subject to any legal incapacity to vote.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 07:02:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, and this is a move in the right direction. I think this should be expanded. It seems even more important if more devolution was to take place. The assumption that one maintains some kind of association to ones birthplace long after moving away from there is perhaps a bit stretched as moving within Europe is so easy, and increasingly common. Or perhaps this is just me? I have a difficult time feeling that Swedish elections really matter to me personally anymore.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 08:06:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I too would favor abolishing viting rights for those with residence abroad. I note AFAIK it's not universal. It is usually introducted by right-wingers who count on the conservativeness of exiles maintaining their heritage. It happened most recently in Italy, though it proved a fatal miscalculation for Berlusconi & co (costing them Senate majority).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 09:01:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about giving those living abroad their own separate constituency? At least that way they won't be disenfranchised by both their countries of nationality and residence.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 09:13:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that depends on the system of representation. But my general idea is that no one should vote on something they will not suffer the consequences of themselves.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 09:47:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When "something" is "electing representatives" you must have a very narrow definition of "suffer the consequences" if you want to exclude expatriates.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 09:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, obviously, I am thinking of a governing majority.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:00:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're thinking in terms of expatriates tipping the electoral balance in a two-party system.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:13:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That, or large multi-party blocks. "Balance minority" parties also can have great influence.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:37:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Question: what do expats need representation for?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:00:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They need representation somewhere.

And your country of nationality is the only place where you are guaranteed to be able to move to in the future. Some countries tax expatriates, some countries draft them into their armed forces. Especially nowadays, expats don't necessarily intend to stay away forever. And with today's transportation and communications, they're not "gone" like emigrants used to be 100 or even 50 years ago.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:13:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
guaranteed to be able to move to in the future

Do you mean they need representation to preclude elimination of this right? I'm not sure they deserve this right.

Some countries tax expatriates

Oh, I'd prefer the elimination of that in the course of agreements against double taxation.

some countries draft them into their armed forces

Well, and then they draft-dodge. (Tarkan, Turkey's biggest boy-singer star, lived in the USA for that purpose.)

Especially nowadays, expats don't necessarily intend to stay away forever.

Isn't this a country-specific comment? At any rate, if expats come home, then they regain their voting rights. I don't see why they deserve more rights coming from this reason than 'simple' immigrants.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I suppose if you really want to disenfranchise expatriates, that's ok.

Why should they be able to keep their citizenship, then?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:39:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the drive of what someone and I wrote is indeed towards residence-right over birthright, as already practised in local elections.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:05:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't have time to go through all the articles in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that you're arguably violating.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:45:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh!? There are a lot of countries in which citizens with residence abroad weren't granted the right to vote, so I am really curious where you think they violate human rights.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:10:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No kidding about the rightward lurch. Edinburgh here I come.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 07:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, you have the Assembly of European Regions. It used to be noisier in the mid 90s, when there were indeed hints that with the EU gettign steadily more powerful, and minorities beign recognised, the intermediate stage (States) would be sidelined.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:43:21 AM EST
Sounds like a great organization.

From the message of the AER president:

The vision of the AER is a grassroots Europe

  • where the regions are recognised as pillars of democracy and key partners of the European project,

  • where regional governance results in greater autonomy, legitimacy and efficiency and meets the real expectations of the citizens,

  • where the exchange of ideas, know-how and experience between the regions contributes to better mutual understanding and brings the people of Europe closer together.


Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 08:50:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many nations in Europe?

Nation is what nation does. We tend to forget nowadays that if you look at the 19th century and its nationalisms, they were both seperatory and unionising at the same time.

One one hand you had nations that primarily wanted out of larger states, on the other movements to merge existing states in accordance with larger common characteristica. So you have hungerian nationalists wanting out of Austro-Hungary, but on the same time italian nationalists wanting to merge all italian states into one Italy. And do not forget what could have become the really big thing (even bigger then Germany): The pan-slavic movement. One big Slavic nation, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arctic Ocean.

And I think we can see one big nationalism growing right now: the European one.

So how many nations in Europe? Possibly one.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 10:43:01 AM EST
I think the majority of folks in the Northern part of Ireland have already expressed their intent to not be part of the Republic (for better or for worse, not making any value judgments on the morals of such a wish) yet Ireland somehow unifies under this schema.

Perhaps man from middleton is an Irishman of sorts?

Equally, Cyprus also magically unifies. Wondering how this gets done, when Germany devolves as it does.

And if Germany is to devolve, couldn't we have thought of that a century or so ago back when they hadn't unified yet? Could've spared a lot of unnecessary grief...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:00:17 AM EST
If the UK breaks up, what happened to Protestants in the Irish republic is likely to pass again.

Only 53.1% of Northern Ireland is Protestant.

Without the complicity of the UK government, the IRA is the far more effective group of criminals.  The Protestants were driven from the Irish Republic in the 1920's and I have no doubt that the same would happen in Northern Ireland with the UK dissolving.  

And my map only shows areas currently part of the 25 EU states of which Turkish Cyprus is not part.  That's why there's one flag on Cyprus.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:40:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
<shakes head>

Because the situation in Ireland is just the same as it was in the 1920s.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:48:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dunno, I see one Europe, increasingly one Europe, preferably less Anglophone as seems to be developing now, and with regional aspects and flavors.

Too much autonomy and the Internationale ideal becomes all the harder to move toward. It's already hard enough having a Europe with a trojan horse of English manufacture working hard against; regionalizing further complicates things (and bear in mind that autonomists do not tend to be Internationalists or Europeans, in fact, quite the contrary...)

All this being said, I recommend this diary on the basis of a pretty cool-looking map and all those cool looking flags (though you could write a diary on the historicical bona fides of regionalism by researching some of them. I think the Breton flag, for instance, is of quite recent vintage, probably spurred by the relatively recent drive to make French not only lingua franca in that part of France, but also totally supplant the Patois).

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 01:39:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

I think that some people took it that I'm endorsing the division of Europe.  I'm not.

I'm agnostic on the morality of the issue, but I acknowledge that it exists.

Outside of Spain and the UK, I relied heavily on wikipedia.  Hence some of the strangeness.  I suspect that federal and federalizing states are more supsectible to division.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:45:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nominally, all of Cyprus is part of the EU.

More likely than your scenario of Northern Irish protestants being hunted away is an independent Protestant Northern Ireland of reduced territory.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:07:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the majority of folks in the Northern part of Ireland have already expressed their intent to not be part of the Republic

85 years ago. Today, Protestants are a bare majority in the total population -- while Catholics are a clear majority in the underage population, pointing to the future of the balance shifting. (In my understanding, this is the elephant in the kitchen of Northern Ireland politics: Sinn Fein can count on time and no longer needs violence, the Protestants have to bargain a good deal while they are still a majority.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:11:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The situation is changing.

The professor who I was closest to in my undergraduate wrote some articles on green poltics with a professor from Belfast who was also ran as a candidate for the Green Party in Belfast.  Though orginally from Dublin, because of UK law about citizens of Commonwealth states, he can run.

Needless to say a Catholic green from Belfast who rejected nationalism, and argued for a new arrangement of the British Isles.  IONA, Island of the North Atlantic to replace the traditional ids was no popular with Sinn Fein.  

One of the things that I found interesting is that he made a point that Protestant communities in Belfast are at a greater disadvatange in terms of social capital than the the Catholic communities are in many ways.

And he made a point of mentioning something that is rarely discussed, the dissappering Protestants of the Irish Republic.  It's something that needs to be discussed, but isn't because it's embarassing to the Irish.  That a people who experienced so much discrimination of their own would turn around and do the same thing once the balance of power shifted.  That's the lesson, whether it's Palestine, or Dublin.

There's an largely unwritten history of the type of things that I've mentioned in the Republic of Ireland. And there have also been several acts of violence in Scotland and Wales against the home of "white settlers", English famililes who came to those areas.  Thus, I think that with the past and present showing discrimination and violence to be a possbility to deny the possiblity is a form of revisionism.

The future is not written, but the where you've been and where you are is a good indication of where you're going.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 02:48:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the before-last paragraph is meant to debate my point in another comment that Protestants won't be chasen away but there'll be an independent Protestant North Ireland only smaller, then you haven't thought about what the scenario in my comment would entail. Creating a smaller Northern Ireland for Protestants can also go with ethnic cleansing, but along different borders and in mutual fashion, and of course some steady-front battles. The Protestant militants are strong enough to stand their own. What happened to what was kind of a diaspora shouldn't be compared to the core.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:27:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The second to last paragraph isn't a reference to you.

I don't think that the Northern Ireland Protestants could stand on their own.  The need the British government.  If  the consituent nations of the United Kingdom were allowed to devolve to Commonwealth status, Northern Ireland would fall to the IRA.  And you'd have tribal warfare in Europe.

The Commonwealth parth was the legal fiction that lead to the independence of the Republic of Ireland.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:04:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you'd have tribal warfare in Europe.

Huh? As a consequence of your island infighting? No.

As I think has been made clear by the various local expertise, most of the yearnings for independency you found in wikipedia are jokes, extremely weak or non-existent. Exceptions are UK, Spain and Belgium (and possibly Cyprus depending on how you count).

And the EU makes it possibly a worse idea to start independent states as they do not automatically become members.

But your diary was a very good startingpoint for interesting discussions. So congratulations. And thanks.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:18:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh wait, did you mean in Ireland, in Europe? Because then I retract my first paragraph.

I figured you meant "in Europe" as on the european mainland, and that was what I answered.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:21:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No.

I was thinking of only in Northern Ireland.

I'm saying that the situation in Northern Ireland is fragile, and the the Protestant majority is waning.

Another thing about Belfast is that the only thing that the Protestants and Catholics can seem to agree upon is that they both don't care for the Asian minorities there.

Fucking charming isn't it.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:35:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think that the Northern Ireland Protestants could stand on their own.

Could you expand on this? It is one thing the British goverment keeps the Catholic areas in check for them. It is a wholly different matter whether they could control their own areas. You are claiming that the IRA is (or more correctly: will be) much much stronger than them. Frankly I don't see that.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:44:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guns and money.

I think that the IRA has more guns and money than the Unionists.  And I think that in terms of hard core militants the IRA can call a larger force out than the Unionists.  This is why disarmenment is important and the Unionists refuse peace until the IRA turns over all arms.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:11:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you committed just what others here did: assuming things remain the same. Just as the IRA could rapidly arm itself throughout the seventies and eighties, and Iraqi militias in the last three and a half years, militias of a Protestant minority left alone and under pressure can arm themselves in no time. Furthermore, even if the IRA is stronger, that doesn't mean it is that much stronger that it could achieve a total defeat and ethnic cleansing of the opposed side. (In Bosnia, in the first few years, the Serbs were in a superior position like IRA? but failed in total ethnic cleansing. Croatia could achieve its total ethnic cleansing with substantial NATO help for its military.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:19:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The IRA hasn't turned over all its arms?

I can't remember what the DUP are looking for at the moment. Hold on . ... ah yes, the current stumbling block is Sinn Fein properly recognising the police force, the PSNI. That's what it's down to now: arguing over who recognises and sits on the policing board.

I think you're living in a fantasy land.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has the IRA destroyed all it's arms?

Without photographic evidence there's still a lot of suspicion that the IRA arms were never destroyed for this reason.

I don't much care for the condescending tone Colman.  If you have a countering view, back it up with some links, because I think that despite the statements dissident factions within the IRA will never back down.  And the Unionists.

It's not like an armed Unionist killer stormed into the Northern Irish Assembly with a plan to kill Sinn Fein leaders.

Oh wait, that did happen last week.

You're living in a fantast land if you don't understand the the nationalist tensions in Northern Ireland have been swept under the rug.  A growing minority rejects both sides, but so long as an armed man with plans to kill their opposition is able to gather the weapons they need to make a go of it Northern Ireland isn't stable.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:15:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To say that North Ireland isn't stable and to claim that one side is capable (and willing?) of total ethnic cleansing are two different things.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 05:54:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
despite the statements dissident factions within the IRA will never back down

Do those factions control all the weapons?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 06:00:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is yet another point.

DoDo, even supposing the IRA and the Unionists disarm, does that make a difference if organized struggle within those factions ends, but numerous individuals are willing to take independent action, like what happened last week?

Once you gone to where Northern Ireland is now, it's hard to put all the anger and resentment, and the desire to harm back in the bottle.  You have a generation who only know what life is like when politics becomes a matter of arms.  

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 02:40:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo, even supposing the IRA and the Unionists disarm, does that make a difference if organized struggle within those factions ends, but numerous individuals are willing to take independent action, like what happened last week?

It sure does, which doesn't mean I will predict one definite course for events to follow. Such breakaways could (a) grow just as strong as the original groups, (b) stay causers of isolated actions and falter for lack of networking, (c) go way out of sync with the majority of 'their side' and fail even if managing ever more spectacular action. (For the last, see Real IRA or the German Rote Armee Fraktion.)

For the (a) scenario, I'd guess the Protestants are more of a concern, not because of that mad gunman, but the potential from the masses of idiots like the Orangemen.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 05:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you are reading discussions about a potential future as discussions of a certain future.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 05:58:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland isn't part of the Commonwealth.

Part of the decline of Irish protestants is down to the ethnic cleansing - much of it seems to have been voluntary in a "I'm not living in a country run by Papists" sort of way - on both sides of the border in the '20s, intermarriage and the subsequent raising of children as Catholics, emigration along with everyone else and a much lower birth rate through most of the 20th C.

The discrimination issue is difficult: the Republic of Ireland was a nasty unpleasant little place until at least the '60s under the thumb of a Catholic church that ruled both in the education system and in the health system. A Protestant teacher or doctor would certainly have encountered problems outside of Protestant run hospitals and schools. Other than that, I'm not sure how much trouble they would have had. Less than Catholics in the North I think: don't forget that the recent Troubles started off as a Catholic civil rights movement that drew violence from the Protestant majority. British troops first entered the North to protect Catholics. It sort of went downhill from there ...

As far as I can make out, the Republic has now normalised itself to the point where it's only as unpleasant as the average country.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 06:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland isn't part of the Commonwealth.

1922-1937 The Irisj Free State was part of the Commonwealth.

The discrimination issue is difficult, but it did happen.  

And as I'm sure you won't deny, in Scotland where this discussion all started out, the SNP does play on the economic resentment of Scots to English economic influence.

And if the SNP nationalized that oil, Scotland would have enormous wealth.

This is the origin of the slogan, It's Scotland's Oil.

I suspect this is the reason for US interested in the Scottish question.  

And after the oil, there's the issue Izzy brings up of land ownership.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need to break Ireland up into at least three. Cork, Ulster and the rest. In fact it could break up into the ancient kingdoms - makes as much sense as the rest of what you're proposing.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 12:43:26 PM EST
I'm not proposing anything, I'm just acknowledging that it exists.  

There is no active movement to divide the Irish Republic.  There are in all the other countries.  The one part that I might have overplayed is in Germany.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no active movement to divide the Irish Republic.

Are ye sure, boyo?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Colman, your link takes me to a blank page.

My attempt at a map was to reach the outer edges of the improbable, which history has a way of making come to pass, and the impossible. I overplayed in several countries, but there nationalist political parties hold office and political power in the many countries, including Spain, the UK, and Italy.  Those three countries in particular are at the greatest risk of fracture.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:29:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The one part that I might have overplayed is in Germany.

I´d say.... :)
There is absolutely no interest right now in independent German states in Germany.
For two reasons:
1) History. Between 1618 (Beginning of the 30 Year War) and 1871 (Founding of the second German Empire), the German states were pretty much the "battlefield" of Europe. For the simple fact that none of the smaller independent German states could defend itself against any major European power. Every major European war involved battlefields in Germany. Because of the simple fact that none of the smaller German states could stay neutral in a large European war.
Look at Louis XIV or Napoleon for example.
2) Why?
I could perhaps see a "new" West Germany and East Germany given the economic differences today. But cohesion inside the "old" West Germany is so high that I don´t see it breaking up. Too much moving around of people to actually support a break-up.
(Especially if you count all the refugees from the "old" East Germany territories after WW2 (Eastern Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania)).

Just as an example. My father was born in the town of Dueren, Rhineland. My mother was born in (todays Polish) Pomerania, back then part of Germany. And I was born in North-Rhine - Westphalia. I grew up in the state of Rhineland - Palatinate, studied in North-Rhine - Westphalia, got my first job in Hessia and now own a business in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. You really think I would support a break-up of Germany?

(And third. Some of the "new" German states you envision are artificial products. Coming into existence after WW2. For example North-Rhine - Westphalia or Rhineland - Palatinate are states created after WW2. Without any common history or tradition before. Pretty unlikely that the population there would support independence.)

The only German "states" with some "real" historic tradition are Bavaria, Saxony and - maybe - Brandenburg plus Berlin (core Prussia). Forgetting the city states of Hamburg and Bremen. :)
All other states are artificial products of the post-WW2 era.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:10:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is really no interest in Bavarian independence?

It has been pointed out in a number of other comments that "real historical tradition" is not the only reason for a region to constitute itself as an autonomous entity. Economic or structural ties are good enough, too.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:22:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very weak Bavaria party.

But what about the CSU.  If the CSU-CDU union ever broke that would create an very interestinf situation from the Bavarians.  This is a way that nationalism could spawn from the innocous.  Remember the issues with the Stoiber-Merkel infighting?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What you say about Germany now is all true, but when thinking about potential future separatisms, doesn't mean as much as you think.

The history you describe is internalised only by history-conscious educated people. It doesn't preclude a popularist movement. Also, Germany isn't that unique in having a history of having been in smaller units and having been exposed to lots of wars. (BTW nitpick: the Russo-Turkish wars didn't touch German territory, nor the last Ottoman invasions if we exclude Austria.) Yet separatisms usually produce weaker states.

A lot of moving-around of people existed in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, too -- perhabs even more moving around. That is, lots of mixing doesn't necessarily preventing the formation of majorities (or, in an undemocratic context, of a political leadership) willing to push through separation even if it will be painful break of ties for a minority. That's exactly what happened in the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

Of course the many Länder are artifical products, but so are the other ones, only older artifical products (what's 'natural' about the conquests of a feudal lord?). But this misses the point. They can gain an identity, or at least a political elite. (Note that the former Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union don't correspond to ethnic borders at all.)

Thus that today, only Bavaria and Saxony have strong local identity, needen't mean much with regards to the future. My scenario for a potential future breakup of Germany would be Bavaria and Saxony going for it, and once they did, similar trends strenghtening in Brandenburg/Berlin and Saarland, and after them in the others, and maybe at one stage some power-intoxicated Landfürsten like Roland Koch decide that they prefer to reign without a federal authority above them even if there is no strong demand from below for autonomy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:48:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The lack of strong local identity does not mean that it can not develop such identities, but there is no reason in particular why it should either.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:25:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't claim this is to happen, only that there is a possiblility of this happening. On the other hand, I and MfM may differ strongly in how probable that possibility is -- MfM has this belief in an European domino effect starting with Scotland, I don't, I think the probability is rather low.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This would really improve France's chances in the Euro football championship.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 02:03:33 PM EST
Where would it stop?

A map of England in the year 600:

Admittedly, I don't know anyone who identifies themselves as an ethnic Mercian.  But my Englishness does come with a regional qualifier.  I'm not English, but northern English.  The recent votes regarding regional assemblies were defeated not because there is no appetite for self government, but because what was offered had no real power.  How many more hidden cultural fault lines are there across Europe?

by Sassafras on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 03:05:03 PM EST
Suppose for a minute that the devolution provisions of the Spanish constitution were applied to the UK:
Section 143
  1. In the exercise of the right to self-government recognized in section 2 of the Constitution, bordering provinces with common historic, cultural and economic characteristics, insular territories and provinces with a historic regional status may accede to self-government and form Self-governing Communities (Comunidades Autónomas) in conformity with the provisions contained in this Part and in the respective Statutes.
  2. The right to initiate the process towards self-government lies with all the Provincial Councils concerned or with the corresponding inter-island body and with two thirds of the municipalities whose population represents at least the majority of the electorate of each province or island. These requirements must be met within six months from the initial agreement reached to this aim by any of the local Corporations concerned.
  3. If this initiative is not successful, it may be repeated only after five years have elapsed.
(Where it says "province" read "county")

What would be the result?


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:28:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't this part of the problem.  In Spain by 1987 almost all of Spain was organized into Autonomous communities.  While in Britain the failure to build English regions has raised the salience of the West Lothian question.

Some of the Spanish regions have little historical basis as well.  What unique heritage does Murcia have, or what about La Rioja?  Northern England and Souther England have a far more prominent divide.  The Midlands may as well be a different country from the Southeast politically.  In the British Journal of Political Science there was a piece about the "neighborhood effect", how people from Southern England who moved north and vice versa came to reflect the political leanings of their neighbors.

That's huge in terms of the practical impact of these nationalist divides. Labour loses 41 of Scotland's 59 seats of Scotland goes on its own. Losing Wales and Cornwall has a similiar effect.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 04:46:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK already has the London Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly. If given a chance to organise from the bottom up as opposed to getting "granted charters" from Westminster, you might quickly see the rest of England organising itself into regions of 1 to 10 million people.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:23:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of the Spanish regions have little historical basis as well.

That's exactly why the constitiution says "bordering provinces with common historic, cultural and economic characteristics, insular territories and provinces with a historic regional status".

To be fair, the intent of the "Fathers of the Constitution" was that the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia and Andalusia, and maybe the islands, would organise themselves as Autonomous Communities and the rest would remain under the uunitary state, but I suppose the rush not to be the last province to be left out of Autonomy should have been a predictable outcome.

This was called "coffee for everyone" in a disparaging way, but I think by diluting the confrontation of the peripheral regions with a large "Spanish" unit, it actually helps fend off partition as a serious prospect. The Basques have a very advanced level of self-government already, and many of the poorer regions have benefitted immensely from having a strong intermediate level of government with the ability to engage in infrastructure development.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 06:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am learning so much here. Thank you all.

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 07:49:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Care to attempt an answer to my question about devolution in England?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 07:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd love to but I've only been here two years so it's not going to be very interesting or insightful!

However ...
London Could be half a dozen diverse communities ruled by Ken I. Similarly Lake District, Cornwall, Yorkshire (by dale, but probably most of it together), the "Riviera", The Geordie Republic on Tees ...

Realistically the South-East with London would remain one, which would make the rest of the country either very poor or dependent on tourism if they broke away.


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 12:15:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But London already has the London Assembly, which would be grandfathered into the new system. The South East would have to be its own separate thing.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 12:17:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, so many comments here makes me wonder if we will trend back to the more accountable politics when reps actually stayed home and knew their voters, instead of sloping off to the good life in the captals' fleshpots...

all super-connected, of course, but NODAL

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 28th, 2006 at 11:49:24 PM EST
I wonder if you're aware of the recent discussion in Canada about whether Quebec should be considered a "nation". Apparently Europe's not the only place on the verge of a breakup...

Canada's indigenous peoples are feeling a bit snubbed by Parliament's decision to recognize Quebecers as a "nation" within a united Canada and not them too.

http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyID=2006-11-28T221339Z_0 1_N28258953_RTRIDST_0_CANADA-QUEBEC-NATIVES-COL.XML

by asdf on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:07:57 AM EST
A lot of this is posturing.

Harper took many seats from the Liberals in Quebec, and that's how he won.  Harper makes a big deal of speaking French, and wants to steal votes away from the liberals in Quebec.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:40:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, much ado about nothing in Quebec but risk of frActure in Spain? [Pretty much all the Autonomy Statutes are undergoing review, and after Catalonia was pilloried for trying to claim nationhood in the preamble, Valencia, Andalucia, and others have followed suit —get this— with PP support]

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 04:06:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Miguel.

Because there is no North American Union.  If Quebec seperates from Canada, the subsusequent renegotiation of NAFTA from a base of 4 is less likely to happen.  Candians don't have the legal right to work freely in the US without permit, Basque do in Spain because of the EU.

It's the exogenous influence of the EU breaking down the economic incentives of union that makes fracture possible.  That's my point.  The power of the EU and the minority regions grow in tandem, because they undermine the incentives of union with the national state.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:44:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nationalism is all about posturing and symbolism.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 04:08:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For some it's about national liberation.

Look at the Scots and the furore about Scottish oil being exploited by England, and the issue of landownership in Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall.

There's a history of locals burning down the vacation homes of "white settlers", English people, who move to the area.  

If the 1990's taught us anything it's that Europeans are not immune to tribal warfare.  But still people cling to the belief that those sort of things only happen in Africa.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 12:54:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There hasn't been a single case of breakup of an EU member state, and the treaties have no provisions about it. So we don't know what standing an independent Scotland or Euskadi would have in the EU.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:10:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IIRC, Greenland was granted home rule from Denmark in 1979 and in 1985 left the union. So during those years they stayed as members, though Greenland was not (and is still not) totally independant so it may not apply here.

Then we have Algeria, Les territories du Sud, that broke out of France to form their own state. They did not stay in the EEC.

(For our american friends: To clarify, Algeria was not a colony at the time, but a part of France. Like Texas is a part of the US.)

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:30:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for our American friends

* polite cough *

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:36:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cough

I wasn't aware of that little legal detail either...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:43:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I was aware of it, although I'll freely acknowledge that most Americans probably wouldn't be.  But what puzzled me a little was the implication that only Americans would be unaware of it.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:49:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think Migeru meant the same. I too only know it since I read ET.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 04:45:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just for the record, what I tried to do was introduce a obscure fact in a comic way.

The comedy in question would be to assume that everyone in Europe would know this, when due to the obscurity of the fact that would obviously not be the case.

Probably wrong thread to do it though. The apologise worked better.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 05:21:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Somehow it seems ironic that I actually knew this before I came to ET.

I'm not typical of most Americans though.  This sort of thing interests me.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:37:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I apologise.

Of course most americans (irish or other kind) are skilled in the structure of the French colonial empire and would therefore not need that extra information. But I thought someone might need it. And now I am refereing to no one in particular, not the regular poster someone. Who probably (being born in Skåne and all) could tell all the different kinds of legal structures that the French colonial empire entailed. Which does not mean that I think higher of the schools in Skåne then any other place in the world. Or...

I think I will stop digging now.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:50:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
:-D

Thanks, I needed a smile tonight....

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming, in which I'm offended at everything.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:55:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are very welcome.

Tone is hard to convey in plain text.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 02:05:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A good summary of what we learnt in this diary...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 04:48:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 04:51:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You want us to get rid of Texas.

But really that's not fair to the Mexicans.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 03:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can you step over to the Open Thread and explain what's going on in Mexico?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 03:24:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

That is it.

Finally someone (not the poster!) understands.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 05:24:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The situation with the Special member state territories is complex indeed.

The case of Algeria leads me to believe that if, say, Scotland left the UK, it would cease to be part of the EU unless a separate treaty were negotiated.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:41:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However, Gary J points out that there wouldn't necessarily be animosity between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK, while if the Basque Country attained independence with the PP in power, they would use their veto at the European Council to block the necessary treaty to allow the new state to keep EU membership. Then again, a PP government wouldn't allow a peaceful breakup of Spain in the first place.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:47:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So independant Scotland needs to negotiate for entrance.

I think so to. The treaties are after all between states. So far the EU consists territorially only of the member states territories, it does not hold any own territory. So if a new state wants entrance it does not matter (legally) if its territory has been part of the EU previously.

Of course, this makes it really interesting if you have break down of a state without any clear successor state.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 02:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What about the 5 East German Lander and their ascession in 1990 without a special treaty?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 03:27:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is different: they became part of the Federal Republic of Germany, which was already a member state. If there wasn't a treaty explicitly mentioning the German Länder no change to the treaties was needed. A treaty would have been needed to make an exception for them.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 03:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is the same case as Algeria but reversed, a country can add or loose territory without changes in treaties.

Which would mean that if a Basque state became independent it would be out of the EU but if it then entered, say, Sweden, they would be back in the EU as loyal subjects of the Swedish monarch. Nothing prevents them from having extensive home rule though.

Actually that is also a way to enter the union without pesky negotiations and vetoes. Turkey (or Canada, Vietnam or any other state) can just join an existing memberstate.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 05:39:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't say it loud: one of our so moral fiscal paradise (monaco, channel Island, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein,Luxembourg...) may try the idea some days...
and sell the membership in an auction.
What would be the legal possibilities for the other members to impede it, by the way?

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.
by lacordaire on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 11:17:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is actually only Luxembourg that is a member state of those you mention. But lets say that the territory now known as Turkey joins Luxembourg (with extensive home rule for Greater Luxembourgs eastern provinces).

Legal possibilities for the other members to impede it? Lousy.

Political possibilities for the other members to impede it? Huge.

If Luxembourg did this on their own every single decision on EU-level that is not subject to veto would go against Luxembourg and there would very likely be some illegal though very real border patrols making sure the inhabitants of Greater Luxembourgs eastern provinces did not use their newly won privileges as citizens of an EU state. And so on.

It could very possibly spell the beginning of the end of the EU.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:01:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Luxembourg did this on their own every single decision on EU-level that is not subject to veto would go against Luxembourg

Could you give some examples of types of decisions these might be?  (In light of Jerome's latest story, I am very interested in finding out how the EU enforces its policies/decisions on member states.)

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 03:32:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any decision by the EU Council only requiring a (qualified) majority.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 06:02:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was intentionally a bit vague as EUs decision making process is very convoluted. But a lot of power rests with the council of ministers where the states are represented. Decisions there are made according to different rules (and I do not know the criterias for the different rules).

Perhaps what I rather should have written is that Luxembourgs credibility among the EU states would be zero if they in this way blatantly broke the spirit (if not the letter) of the rules. As some decision are subject to veto, negotiations are long and tricky. If you blow your credibility you will not get any tracktion on advancing your questions.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 07:58:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder whether the rest of the council could vote to have their voting rights suspended. There are provisions in the treaties for this, the question is whether the "breach" qualifies as a trigger for those provisions.

European Commission: Consolidated  version of the Tresty on European Union

Article 6
  1.   The Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States.
  2.   The Union shall respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community law.
  3.   The Union shall respect the national identities of its Member States.
  4.   The Union shall provide itself with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies.

Article 7
1.   On a reasoned proposal by one third of the Member States, by the European Parliament or by the Commission, the Council, acting by a majority of four fifths of its members after obtaining the assent of the European Parliament, may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by a Member State of principles mentioned in Article 6(1), and address appropriate recommendations to that State. Before making such a determination, the Council shall hear the Member State in question and, acting in accordance with the same procedure, may call on independent persons to submit within a reasonable time limit a report on the situation in the Member State in question.
The Council shall regularly verify that the grounds on which such a determination was made continue to apply.
  1.   The Council, meeting in the composition of the Heads of State or Government and acting by unanimity on a proposal by one third of the Member States or by the Commission and after obtaining the assent of the European Parliament, may determine the existence of a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of principles mentioned in Article 6(1), after inviting the government of the Member State in question to submit its observations.
  2.   Where a determination under paragraph 2 has been made, the Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide to suspend certain of the rights deriving from the application of this Treaty to the Member State in question, including the voting rights of the representative of the government of that Member State in the Council. In doing so, the Council shall take into account the possible consequences of such a suspension on the rights and obligations of natural and legal persons.
The obligations of the Member State in question under this Treaty shall in any case continue to be binding on that State.
  1.   The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide subsequently to vary or revoke measures taken under paragraph 3 in response to changes in the situation which led to their being imposed.
  2.   For the purposes of this Article, the Council shall act without taking into account the vote of the representative of the government of the Member State in question. Abstentions by members present in person or represented shall not prevent the adoption of decisions referred to in paragraph 2. A qualified majority shall be defined as the same proportion of the weighted votes of the members of the Council concerned as laid down in Article 205(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community.
This paragraph shall also apply in the event of voting rights being suspended pursuant to paragraph 3.
6.   For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2, the European Parliament shall act by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, representing a majority of its Members.


Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 08:46:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is hard to see that there is a breach of paragraph 6, but it might very well be used anyway. Maybe with some reference to the Kurdish situation in eastern Greater Luxembourg...

I did not know that there existed such provisions, quite interesting.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 08:57:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Article 7 was used on Austria when Jörg Haider joined the government.

Poland has been threatened with it after a slew of homophobic remarks from government officials.

The Guardian: Polish leader's anti-gay stance threatens EU voting rights (October 25, 2005)

Poland could lose its EU voting rights if its newly elected president continues to oppose gay rights and seeks to introduce the death penalty, the European Commission warned yesterday.

In a shot across the bows of arch-conservative Lech Kaczynski, the commission declared that all member states must abide by EU rules which protect minorities and block the death penalty.

Failure to comply could trigger a special process under the Treaty of Nice which deprives errant member states of their voting rights in ministerial meetings. "We are going to follow the situation very attentively," the principal commission spokesman, Jonathan Todd, said yesterday.



Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 09:02:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And why should every nation have its own state?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 04:21:45 AM EST
The division of England (and Wales?) from Scotland would be more like the end of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905, rather than the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Even the most conservative English politicians, like Margaret Thatcher, acknowledge that just as Scotland entered into the Union voluntarily it has the right to leave.

No doubt there would be some difficult negotiations about the financial details, just as there were at the time the Union was created, but peace and good relations would be preserved.

However, if one listens to UKIP, the EU has a diabolical plan to break up England by replacing it with the nine regions (which apart from London have a rather shadowy existence as a layer of government most English people have never heard of). Presumably the aim would also involve breaking up the other large EU member states.

This alleged EU plan is something different from the idea of this diary. The administrative units into which member states would be disaggregated would be administrative areas rather than ethnic communities (the difference between say East Midlands and West Midlands is far less than that between England and Scotland).

I believe that most of the French administrative regions, like the English ones, do not entirely follow traditional divisions and could not be considered to represent distinct ethnic and cultural communities. Similarly with the German states.

I think the essential idea is to re-create the Holy Roman Empire, in a wider geographical area. Like the EU the Holy Roman Empire was sui generis. It consisted of a usually weak central power (the elective Emperor, whose power came more from his hereditary domains than the imperial office) and a relatively powerless diet. The member states varied between internationally powerful territories (Prussia in the later centuries of the Empire for example) and small local feudal entities of the utmost insignificance. All existed in some sort of limbo between being independent and subordinate parts of a larger whole. Not quite a federation or a confederation, but more than an international alliance.

by Gary J on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 05:22:14 AM EST
When Spain's Autonomous Communities were created, they did not encessarily follow Franco's regions, though the provinces were preserved.

The changes in the regions affected mostly Castile, not the peripheral regions. Andalusia, Galicia, Basque Country, Navarre, Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Estremadura and the islands were unchanged, but Leon and Old Castile merged, Old Castile lost Santander and La Rioja, Murcia lost Albacete to Castile-La Mancha which lost Madrid.

There is no reason why regions have to be based on ethnic on historical criteria. If today several English counties found they have strong enough economic and structural ties they could decide to form a region of their own not necessarily matching the existing ones.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 05:40:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
After reading this thread, and the discussions on all the seperate automonous movements, these are my impressions:

A Scottish independence will not start a cascade of independence across Europe. Within in the EU, the only  states with chance (or risk) of splitting are UK, Spain and Belgium (and Cyprus if you would count a de jure non-unification as splitting). These cases can be discussed one by one but the rest of EU simply lacks any serious independence movements. And I also do not see any strong link between say UK and Spain that would make independence movements in Spain stronger if Scotland became independent.

So my conclusion is that if Scotland becomes independant it will indeed resemble the 1905 split of the Sweden-Norway union. A new line on maps, new diplomatic channels, but no greater effects outside of the UK.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 08:51:22 AM EST
I do agree that if Scotland became independent, independentis parties elsewhere would be strengthened in the next election cycle. Conversely, centralist parties would freak out. But the Scottish elections are next Spring. Assuming an SNP victory, give it 6 months to a year for a referendum. Then 6 months to a year to negotiate partition. This gets dangerously close to the next Westminster elections.

AFAIK, the only place outside the UK where Scottish independence could change things quickly is the Basque country. Catalonia just got its spanking new Autonomy Statute (25-year revision) and the election once again resulted in a left (as opposed to nationalist) government. The Basque Country seems to be holding off on the Statute and holding its breath on ETA, and has elections coming up soon, plus it does have a bare nationalist majority and a nationalist minority government. Batasuna could get a big electoral boost if it became legal, the peace process didn't break down and Scotand became independent.

In the medium term (2 election cycles) we might see the UK breaking up and the EU question being posed forcefully in England.

But thinking of domino effects beyond that is a little far fetched at this point.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 09:07:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just like Slovenian independence yielded few consequences?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg
by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:00:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're oversimplifying the Yugoslav wars and you know it.

But the breakup of Yugoslavia did not have a domino effect on the rest of Europe.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point. Why Scottish independence, if the breakups in Southeastern Europe and the Soviet Union didn't lead to that?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I suppose you could always try to argue (chronologically) Czechoslovakia -> USSR -> Yugoslavia, but I don't think there is evidence of exogenous causes in any of those breakups.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:22:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can hardly compare Slovenian independence to the European meltdown you predict from Scottish independence. The rest of the disintegration wasn't prompted by the Slovenian secession, and Tudjman and Milo would have gotten to a break even if Slovenia stays put.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 01:08:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't seen anyone juping at defending the Belgian unity.
In fact, I think they are the ripest for a split, more than catalonia or the basque country.They can even solve their most arduous problem by setting Bruxelles as neutral and giving it to the EU ;-).
But so far they stay together as a nation. So I would say, you won't get any new map of the european nation states (balkans excluded) as long as Belgium stays united.
Inertia is too big to be overcome in countries doing well economically and having a democratic rrepresentation of the minorities. Without an exogenous schock, the lazy path is to tweek the autonomous /federalist frame, and let it at that.

La répartie est dans l'escalier. Elle revient de suite.
by lacordaire on Wed Nov 29th, 2006 at 09:42:39 AM EST
This was too cool a diary to pass up...very interesting diary!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:42:55 AM EST
BTW, ManfromMiddletown, congrats: your diary is about to enter the top three of the most busy ET diaries ever.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:51:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see that.

Sometime you have to say something provocative and deal with the shit to have a good discussion.  

I deliberately overplayed the map to provoke discussion, clearly it worked.

And thus far I've been confused for an Irishman, a Scot, and Basque nationalist.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:41:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my viewpoint, you underplayed that map (see my top-level comment with what I'd break further).

I'm not sure what you refer to as "dealing with shit" -- I can't sense that much anger directed at you as you repeatedly protested, and am not sure I'd taken having been confused for an Irishman, a Scot, and Basque nationalist as insulting or funny.

BTW, I think your diary will soon grab the top spot from de Gondi on that list.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:57:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very interesting diary and discussion.  I haven't been able to read all of the discussion in detail, I'm afraid.

In terms of my own national identity, I am Welsh, British and European in that order.  

I have always supported Wales having it's own Assembly with a reasonable amount of autonomy and power to set it's own policy agenda on certain areas.  I do not support us having our own Parliament and separating from the rest of the UK, for many reasons but primarily because we would not be able to sustain ourselves.  I think the majority of people in Wales feel the same way. It is only really Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales) that takes the Nationalist approach and that is largely connected to preservation of the Welsh language.  I don't believe that promotion of the Welsh language equates to supporting Plaid Cymru or a nationalist agenda.

Also the nationalists are not the majority here and that is important to note.  We have seen nasty incidents of radical groups campaigning against "White Settlers" as you put it but that isn't the 'Welsh way' or the public policy context that we operate within.

I've spent the last 9 years working in a public policy arena where we have had the impact of devolution within the wider context of pan-europe developments and globalisation.

I think we can serve the population of Wales far better through use of our devolved powers but I don't equate that to dismembering the UK or Europe.  I'm not familiar with the situation across the continent where perhaps nationalist parties have more influence and support.

I do think it can work both ways though - to fit into a European agenda whilst also preserving national/regional identities and meeting policy needs at this level.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 07:30:28 AM EST
The term "white settlers" is something I pulled from articles I got into when reading on Welsh nationalism.  I think it's a deliberate attempt to conjure up the Mau-Mau and the violence against white settlers in Kenya. A strain of national liberation runs through it, and I think that the strength of economic resentment united with ethnic identity is underplayed in Western Europe.

For all the efforts by Europeans to make the US look in the mirror, I think that Europeans are far less critical of their own failings than Americans.  It's just that American failings are the ones that cause the most harm for other poeple's at this time.  

I know that I create a lot of conflict by asking those on this site to look in the mirror, but I feel that it most be done.  Europe to confront it's failings as well, and I think that as a whole there is far less honesty in the way that European publics deal with their problems than in the US.

The convergence of nationalism and socialism has caused grave problems for Europe in the past.  

Two words on that.

Never again.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 03:01:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In what way is that a response to In Wales's reasonable and informative comment about Welsh devolution and Welsh nationalism?

A comment I'll back up, as a person of Welsh stock, even though I don't live in Wales. ceebs also says the same thing below. Violent Welsh nationalism concerns (and has never concerned more than) a tiny minority.

And your response to that is to remind us of the Nazis and "never again"?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 1st, 2006 at 03:53:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Speaking as a "White settler", the nasty incidents are usually vastly overplayed in the media. The problem generally isn't with people who have moved in and become part of the community, it's with people who move in and buy up a house then are only there for a couple of weeks a year. Now I have had the odd experience with the more extreme end of the local community, but generally the experience has been extremely positive.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:15:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Come home to a real fire - buy a cottage in Wales"
-Not the Nine o'clock News.

Seriously, isn't that the same everywhere? The (justified) anger of locals at not being able to afford a house where their family has lived for generations because some rich bastards from the big cities move in an push the prices up?

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Dec 11th, 2006 at 12:21:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so

Will Scotland use the Euro?

The world will end not with a Bang, but with a "do'oh"

by love and death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 10:10:13 AM EST
Good question.

I think that they would.

Even without indpendence, what happens if the Scottish Parliament feels that they would like Scotland to drop the Pound for the Euro?

London based Prospect magazaine has a few good articles up right now about Scottish independence.  One of the principal sources of contention is whether an independent Scotland would trend towards the "Irish" model, which these authors see as being a neo-liberal paradise, or a SNP dominated Scotland that trends east towards the Scandinavian model.

Either way the Euro would be most likely come with that.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 04:38:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the decision-making over currency boils down to one question: Who decides the taxes?

If you in Scotland continue to pay taxes to London they will payed in pound, therefore everyone needs pounds and that will be the currency.

What will happen if local taxes are to payed in euros and then UK taxes is to be paid in pounds? Well it would create a hellish bureacracy and I think those who introduced it would loose at the polls.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 30th, 2006 at 05:10:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great diary on a vitally important subject, MfM. I think, as has been pointed out, that you exaggerate the importance and danger of nationalist/regionalist movements in many cases. That doesn't mean they don't exist or shouldn't be considered/monitored.

It's certainly a topic for further discussion, imo.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 05:53:34 AM EST
I agree this diary has a higher claim than yours to have the most comments ever.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 05:55:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I just realised that you made a HUGE mistake in your map, MfM...

The flag of an independent Cantabria is not this

but this

I once actually met someone who was a Cantabrian independentist (I asked him what that flag meant and he enligtened me), and it made my head explode.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 06:01:07 AM EST
If your head has settled down since, perhaps you should give us the explanation.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 06:07:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, clearly, the top (current flag of the Autonomous Community of Cantabria) is a symbol of the submission of the Cantabrian peoples to the Castilian yoke, while the bottom one is
an ancient military standard of the Cantabri people of pre-Roman Spain
and represents the indomitable spirit of the Celtic peoples of the north of Spain.

Or sommat like that.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 10th, 2006 at 06:14:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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