or just Popular?
Brexit, Catalonia, now Italy.. What's going on do we think?
It’s nationalism. Be afraid. It was ruinous in the past and will be again. Most nations and cultures are better off, economically, working together not separating and falling out. They are also better off taking about differences and sorting issues out not demanding separation. People learn little from the past, sadly.
The post-wae rules based international order is breaking down. As faith in international institutions collapses, insecurity rises. There's safety in unity, and the most structurally simplistic ideologies (nationalism, identity) offer the easiest foundation for that unity.
Or just economically unstable times? No docferent to the Scottish referendum, things are going so poorly that many people are willing to chance going it alone in the hope of an improvement.
Well I haven't exactly lit a fire with this thread.
It's interesting though to see that those of you who have responded, all seem to view independence as a negative thing?
Cracked, I was much more in favour of independence movements when the only ones I knew anything about were Timor Leste and West Papua, where people suffered (and still suffer, in West Papua) terrible violence and pillaging of their natural resources at the hands of the Javanese, who moved in when European colonisers moved on.
In contrast with those independence movements, the arguments for secession by Basque, Flemish and Catalonian separatists I've met ove the last 15 years sound completely puerile and self-absorbed to me; their cultural and linguistic differences (which are laughably small in the case of Catalonia and Spain), and their resentment at the idea of poorer regions of the country benefitting from their taxes.
You could well be right about that (Catalonia) as far as I know... But it seems that for a lot of people identity and heritage is far more important than economic prosperity.
I suppose I'm asking more - what is this sudden demand for independence a response to?
I don't think it's at all sudden, Cracked. There has been all sorts of tension between different central governments and Catalonia throughout the twentieth century. Part of it was because of Catalonia leaders who were ideologically opposed to more right-wing central governments, and part of it is because Catalonia has long been such a wealthy, glamorous, prestigious place; it has a certain power because of all that, and the central government treats it as more of a threat than it does, for instance, Andalusia. For example, the same statute of Autonomy was apparently rejected for Catalonia and approved for Andalusia about 10 years ago.
I think this happens because people are not all living the exact same lives with equal opportunity to employment, healthcare, education, housing and money and successive governments (here and abroad) refuse to acknowledge this and respond to what people need. Eventually people get fed up of feeling like central govt doesn't listen and they look for change in the hope of getting improvement.
The EU was never this happy, totally united place and in the general panic about Brexit, a lot of people appear to have forgotten that there was actually quite a bit to criticise about it and it was very resistant to change from within. Initially we signed up to a trading agreement and what we got was something much more involved and I think that was always going to be problematic when you have one system for lots of countries who are in entirely different places economically and socially.
Oh, I've just realised that you're referring to what appears to be a sudden rise of independence/secessiionist movements all over Europe, Cracked. I got very focused on Catalonia there.
I get the impression that it's partly a matter of mainstream media decision makers thinking that it's relevant since the Brexit referendum got the result that it did.
I agree with Aderyn about the EU. I was talking with an Estonian friend this week, and she said her parents didn't want to join the EU after the Warsaw Pact broke up, as it was basically the same as the USSR with capitalism as opposed to communism....central control from far away.
For me, it's about drawing a line in the sand. A loose trading agreement, fine; but when Barroso said that the EU has 'the dimension of empire' I started getting even more alarmed about the EU. I have never been a fan anyway.
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