Catalan independence resurgence

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Spikymike
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Sep 12 2012 15:00
Catalan independence resurgence

It is reported that 1.5m people attended an independence rally in Barcelona on Tuesday in a Spanish region with a past history of anarchist activity but also some confused ideas about what 'autonomy' and 'federalism' might mean in relation to class politics.

There have been signs of some independent self-organised class responses to the current spanish states austerity drive, influenced in part by anarchist and other anti-authoritarian politics and with a significant internationalist flavour, but also mixed up with other more traditional trade union and reformist responses.

This has looked promising from a distance but as this class-wide movement hits the buffers of state resistance and the dead-end of reformism are we seeing a turn to nationalist reaction exploited by factionalism within the Spanish ruling class faced with the deepening economic crisis or is this an unrepresentative blip in the current political turmoil?

PS: It does seem that old ruling class divisions between north and south whether in Spain, Italy or more widely as between northern and southern Europe (eg Germany/Greece) etc are comming even more to the fore in the current crisis in Europe as a means of promoting factional interests within the ruling class and dividing the working class.

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revol68
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Sep 12 2012 18:10

Basque nationalism winds me up (it's popular in Belfast leftist circles) but Catalan nationalism is the most obvious bourgeois bollocks not to mention smug as fuck.

It's enough to make you support Real Madrid in the El Classico.

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EastTexasRed
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Sep 19 2012 21:28

Or maybe Espanyol in the new post-independence Catalan league?

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RedEd
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Sep 21 2012 00:11
revol68 wrote:
It's enough to make you support Real Madrid in the El Classico.

This may point to the most decisive factor in the failure of Catalan nationalism. If they became independent they might not get to play Real anymore. And where's the fun in that? Are Barca fans really ready to throw the basis of their beloved victim complex out the window?

edit: in seriousness, is anyone aware of any commentary on this by Spanish anarchists/commies available in English? Or just decent reports from the mainstream?

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ocelot
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Sep 21 2012 09:57

Catalan nationalism is certainly not a "blip". It's a long-standing chronic problem. One that also penetrates the entire left, not excluding the anarchists. The mainstream Catalan nationalist message is a profoundly reactionary capitalist one. As Catalonia is (along with the Basque region) the richest area of Spain, the most industrialised and the one that makes most money, the message is why is our money going to pay for those lazy degenerates in the South. In fact it's not that different from what the German right are currently saying. Most of the anarchist Catalan nationalists (which appears to be most of them), at least the ones I could get any sense out of, say that "of course" they don't support the nationalism of the bosses, instead they see Catalonian independance as part of the general aims of overthrowing capital, etc. But they still go to the big independence demostrations - e.g. here is the alasbarricadas report from the anarchist blocks on the Sep 11 nationalist demos in Girona and Barcelona. Of course it's in Catala - which helps to isolate anarchist Catalan nationalists from having to deal with any questions from the wider anarchist movement. I actually think this linguistic isolationism helps insulate a state of affairs which would be otherwise completely unsustainable in its contradictions.

The current situation is particularly nuts in the sense that the Catalan state is bust and asking for a 5bn bailout from the Spanish state... while at the same time telling it to go fuck itself. So the message basically is, fuck you Spain, we want rid of you... and we demand that you pay for it. (Of course, from a Catalan point of view, any money that Madrid has is simply the loot extracted from honest Catalan toil in the first place).

Caveat: These are only my poorly-informed opinions, never having lived in Catalonia myself for any length of time, mainly garnered from my visits to my family there and conversations with them.