Out of the frying pan into the fire?

by Karl Müller

km. No one wishes the people of Catalonia to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. After numerous “Colour Revolutions” and a glance into history, mankind has learned: Again and again, justified concerns have been exploited and abused for the purposes of power politics. Two topical background analyses show that also the cause of the Catalans who wish to realise their right to self-determination is not free from these strivings. Other forces that are not so close to the people play a role.
One of these analyses can be found in the “Strategic Newsletter” of 1 November 2017. The author of this analysis ranges the events in Spain among the attempts to dissolve nation states in Europe:
“The increasing calls for a breakup of nation states in Europe as they can be currently heard in Catalonia also have another less obvious aspect […]. For the hard-core believers in Europe”, the author of the analysis is referring to Leopold Kohr, “the large historical nation states of Europe need to be broken up into smaller units of some 5–8 million inhabitants to make sure that the European population accepts an Empire-like supra-national EU super-state.” This was valid for regions like Catalonia, Flanders, Scotland, Lombardy and many others. Further we read: “Corresponding plans have existed since decades, having been promoted more or less, according to the circumstances. As early as 1957 Leopold Kohr […] has come up with a plan to dissolve nation states all over Europe […] into a patchwork of 50 small states based on ethnic and language differences which would all be subordinate to a single European federal super-state.” This would “facilitate its extension to global organisations or their absorption into even larger federations” […] In 2005, this plan […] reappeared in a book titled “The Size of Nations” by Alberto Alesina and Enrico Spolaore. They argue that “the economic integration is fostering the political desintegration” of nation states.
Two of the most important obstacles complicating the leaving of a ‘nation’ like Catalonia, Corsica, Padania, Scotland or Bavaria from their corresponding nation state, the necessity of a separate currency and a separate market, had disappeared with the creation of the Euro. Thus the legitimation of national borders and the existence of nation states would vanish into thin air with the creation of the Euro.”
The author of the other analysis, also published on 1 November 2017, is Thierry Meyssan. In his critical review of various efforts for secession in the Middle East, in Africa and in Europe he also discusses Catalonia.
According to Meyssan, Carles Puigdemont “has never attempted to hide his Anglo-Saxon supporters. He is a journalist, and created a monthly magazine in order to keep his sponsors up to date with the evolution of his combat. Obviously enough, it is not in Catalan, but in English – Catalonia Today […]. He also animates associations which promote Catalan independency, not in Spain but overseas they are financed by George Soros.”
All this should not be understood as arguments against more Catalan self-determination, against more autonomy or even an independent state Catalonia. But the path towards it has to be a legal path, with negotiations and without violence. Those who wish the best for the Catalans and the European nation states should keep this in mind in the necessary dialog on an equal footing.    •