Saturday, 28 October 2017

Homage to Catalonia

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, they say. There was little sign of precipitation in Barcelona yesterday as the sun shone down brightly on the brave Catalan freedom fighters, or merciless wreckers of the constitution as many would have it. Once again we see the diametric opposition of the happy optimists and the miserable pessimists. In Spain it is the left who are broadly supportive of Catalan independence, whereas everywhere else it is the left who are the killjoys.

For this is what it is, this desire to stamp out the joyous human yearning for liberation. Entrepreneurs, go-getters, call them what you will. Pioneers, brave new worlders, people who long for change, for something new, for something over which they feel they have control. In other words, Brexit in a nutshell. Right on cue, the EU has declared that it does not recognise Catalonia’s claim. Of course it doesn't. 

The first instinct of big government is the urge to oppress, to subjugate to stamp on the sunny, upturned faces for freedom and bring them to heel. No wonder socialist states seem to have such an admiration for islam, they have so much in common; joyless inhibitors of spontaneity and mirth. So while Leanne Woods has called upon the Welsh assembly to recognise a free Catalonia, and many in the SNP say the same, the official, po-faced UK position is to side with the bloc. If we had an independent  English parliament you can bet your life it would come out for the little guy.

Nationalism has been portrayed as Nazism; it’s not. It is only natural to want to belong, but that doesn’t mean the bigger the herd the better. The bigger the herd the more likely it is that parts of it will want to wander off to find their own pastures. Even the United States is what it says - a union of states, but with each one proudly retaining its own identity. And the US has a long tradition of distrusting federal agency over self-determinism, backing the loner against the might of government, cheering on the maverick.

The direction of travel for society may have been heading for the dead-end of ever larger central control for some time but maybe that tide is turning. The next evolution of human organisation might not be the one world government beloved of the scaredy cats but a new devolution into manageable, human sized, identity-based units. I know, let’s call them nations; there’s a novel concept.

Angela isn't happy

Of course, if you are dull and serf-like you may prefer to amble along with the herd and live your life limited by others. Nothing wrong with that; the majority might even be better off that way, but how dull a prospect is that? Fortune favours the brave and as Shakespeare said, there is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. In 1587 Sir Francis Drake set sail for the bay of Cádiz to singe the beard of the king of Spain. Today, the king of Spain may be well be Angela Merkel, but her beard is long overdue for a singe.

1 comment:

  1. There is a dark side to the freedom lovers. For decades they have been crimping the liberty of the others ; the ones quite happy to be Spanish as well as Catalan. The electoral law, written with good intentions gave disproportionate power to minority parties who have used it to allow the two big parties to form government in exchange for privileges. Catalunia and the Basque region have already a degree of autonomy not enjoyed by other regions.