Independence for Catalonia: Yes, but…

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Many of these regionalist movements in Europe seem similar to tendencies we have in the US, i.e. either more affluent regions that don’t want to pay taxes to the central government which they view as “too leftist” but have no interest in critiquing state-capitalism per se, or PC liberals and leftists who think the central government is “too conservative” but who totally support the UN and other international governmental institutions.

A similar situation exists with the Euronationalist movements. From what I have seen of the European “far right” nationalist parties, most of those parties seem to be reactionary bourgeoisie parties that merely want to turn back the clock to the era of before the global economy, large scale immigration, neoliberalism and related features became dominant, e.g, somewhere around the early to mid 1960s if that. They’re essentially no different the American right-wing  tendencies who think things were fine during the Reagan era of the 1980s (so-called “movement conservatives”), during the “Vital Center” period of the postwar era (the neocons), during the 1950s (the religious right), or before the 1965 immigration reforms (the white nationalists). The idea that these Euronationalist parties are all fascists and Nazis is nuts, but even crazier is the view that these are genuinely revolutionary parties.

The powers that be will try to coopt ANY kinds of resistance movements. This is precisely what is happening with both the Kurds and Catalans at present. So it’s necessary to continue to push all such movements in an ever more radical direction.

Any credible separatist movements of these kinds need to reject not only their own nation-state, but also international institutions as well as local elites within their own region. They also need to develop credible economic alternatives for achieving self-sufficiency once political autonomy has been achieved. Otherwise, they’re not really independent.

“The state is not the fatherland, it is the abstraction…of the fatherland. The common people of all countries deeply love their fatherland, but that is a natural real love. The patriotism of the people is not just an idea, it is a fact; but political patriotism, love of the state, is not the faithful expression of that fact…” -Mikhail Bakunin

“Every people ‘has the right to be itself …. no one is entitled to impose its costume, its customs, its languages and its laws.”-Mikhail Bakunin

“National liberation must be achieved “as much in the economic as in the political interests of the masses”: if the anti- colonial struggle is carried out with “ambitious intent to set up a powerful State” or if “it is carried out without the people” and “must therefore depend for success on a privileged class,” it will become a “retrogressive, disastrous, counter-revolutionary movement.”-Mikhail Bakunin

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