On the naked display of sovereignty

Unintentionally, I’m sure, but in support of one of my grander claims, Catalonia held—or attempted to hold—a referendum on independence. Spain’s central government, citing the “the [constitutional] indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation,”[1] deployed violence to repress this vote.[2]

Which is to say, in Spain at least, but I’m pretty sure most countries as well, that a question of secession—not even the act, but the question itself—rationalizes hundreds (at least) of injuries at the hands of police.[3]

Wow! Must be a pretty earth-shattering question.

At which point, my head explodes and I’m just beside myself. I’m like, “What?!??!!! Really?!??!!! Are you fucking kidding me?!??!!! You’ve gotta be kidding me, right?!??!!!

Um, no.

So, gee. How could I make it any more plain than this? Elites see self-determination as an existential threat. Loyalty must therefore be to them. And the only questions about that loyalty that may be asked will be settled in the wars we fight with the soldiers of competing elites.

Because wars have so often been fought essentially on those grounds and so often continue to be fought on essentially those grounds, we need to be intensely skeptical of any elite claim that a war must be fought. And real stories, assuredly, carry many more nuances than the claims elites make in justifying any war.

As for Spain, well, you just blew it. Your claim to sovereignty over Catalonia is now, even if it was not before, illegitimate, on display with the barbaric acts of violence against the ultimate civilized (and unfortunately ultimately desecrated) act of the ballot. It is now you who are the barbarians at the gate, clamoring to destroy civilization.

  1. [1]Mariano Rajoy, quoted in British Broadcasting Corporation, “Catalan referendum: ‘Hundreds hurt’ as police try to stop voters,” October 1, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-4146103
  2. [2]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Catalan referendum: ‘Hundreds hurt’ as police try to stop voters,” October 1, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-4146103; Peter Geoghegan, “Catalonia votes amid violent clashes,” Deutschewelle, October 1, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/catalonia-votes-amid-violent-clashes/a-40770357; Jon Sindreu, Pietro Lombardi, and Marina Force, “Hundreds Hurt as Catalans, Spanish Police Clash Amid Independence Referendum,” Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/voters-turn-out-in-catalonia-for-independence-referendum-1506838287
  3. [3]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Catalan referendum: ‘Hundreds hurt’ as police try to stop voters,” October 1, 2017, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-4146103; Peter Geoghegan, “Catalonia votes amid violent clashes,” Deutschewelle, October 1, 2017, http://www.dw.com/en/catalonia-votes-amid-violent-clashes/a-40770357; Jon Sindreu, Pietro Lombardi, and Marina Force, “Hundreds Hurt as Catalans, Spanish Police Clash Amid Independence Referendum,” Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/voters-turn-out-in-catalonia-for-independence-referendum-1506838287

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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