This video is simply amazing. And somehow, no one gets hurt! Bicyclists race through the narrow streets and pathways of a Chilean city, Valparaiso, thronged with crowds watching the action.
Category Archives: Chile
One thing that is interesting once you learn to speak Spanish fairly well is that you can start to pick up the differences in various Spanish dialects. I am told that people who don’t know Spanish well can’t pick up the differences at all. Hearing a divergent Spanish dialect is a very strange experience. You hear Spanish words, but the accent is so off and weird that you think that they can’t possibly be speaking Spanish. A frequent mistake it to think that they are thinking some closely related Romance language like Catalan, French, Portuguese or Italian.
I’ve written about this before, but now that we have more Hispanics and even Mexican nationals reading the blog, maybe we can get some good feedback.
Mexican Spanish is fairly uniform at least around these parts. However, there are some differences.
Oaxacan Spanish: I have heard older Oaxacan Indians speaking a very strange and harsh form of Spanish. I assume it was some Oaxacan Indian Spanish.
Morelos Spanish: Spoken in the state of Morelos near just south of Mexico City. I heard a woman speaking this to her kid. She looked very White, and for some reason I thought she was Iranian. I listened to her for several minutes and I was sure she must have been speaking Farsi. However, she told me she was speaking Morelos Spanish. I looked it up on the Net and it is a distinctive dialect.
Jalisco Spanish: Spoken in the coastal state of Jalisco. This does seem different from the other varieties of Mexican Spanish. I heard a White looking guy speaking it in the store and I asked him what language he was speaking. He was speaking Jalisco Spanish. It had a very European sound to it – like Castillian or Catalan.
Veracruz Spanish: I was in a store and there was a guy on the phone speaking some strange language. There were Spanish words but the accent was insane. After a bit, I said, “No way are you speaking Spanish.” The guy practically fell over himself laughing and he said he was indeed. He looked sort of South Indian, so I thought he was speaking some Indian language like Hindi.
He said he spoke regular Spanish, but he came from the Caribbean coast of Mexico, and he was talking to someone from there, and he was speaking Mexican Caribbean Spanish. This is the most whacked version of Mexican Spanish I have ever heard.
Guatemalan Spanish: A neighbor speaks this. It’s Spanish all right, but it’s not Mexican Spanish at all. Has an odd but recognizable accent. And she speaks incredibly fast and slurs her words together in the worst way.
Salvadoran Spanish: Different from Mexican Spanish, but not dramatically so. It’s immediately identifiable as Spanish.
Puerto Rican Spanish: Caribbean Spanish in general is just nuts. I heard a group of mixed race folks speaking it at a store. I listened for a while, very confused. Then I walked over to them and asked if they were speaking Portuguese, because that was what it sounded like. They said they were speaking Puerto Rican Spanish. The mixed race group had not a trace of racism, and among them were some of the most dignified looking Blacks or mulattoes I have ever seen. A quiet dignity you rarely see in US Blacks.
Colombian Spanish: One of the strangest Spanishes of them all. I knew an upper class Colombian woman from the Zona Rosa in the north of Bogota. She spent about half her time in Spain. She had the sexiest, most breathiest Spanish I have ever heard, almost like a super sexy French accent. It was also very European sounding. It had a very Castillian and almost French flavor to it. I heard her sister talk too, and she talked exactly the same way.
She used to write me emails, and I couldn’t make heads or toes of the Spanish because it was so full of figures of speech, slangs and colloquialisms. Running it through a translator was useless. For all intents and purposes, she wasn’t even writing in Spanish.
I was at a store and a group of Colombians was in line, all young adults. I heard Spanish words, but the accent was so whacked that I thought it had to be something else. I approached them and asked if they were speaking Italian, because that is what it sounded like. They laughed and said they were speaking Colombian Spanish.
Once again, this was a very sensual language. The 30-something beauty talking to me seemed like she was openly flirting with me, but finally I thought that was just how she talked. They were all talking like they were either heading to an orgy or just got back from one, but once again, I think that was the way they talked all the time. These people live in their bodies, fully sensual, and the language pumps right out of their emotional heart. The words seem to sway and move with their bodies. One sexy language!
I recently heard another woman speaking Colombian Spanish, this time from the Caribbean coast. A fruity, delightful language with words that sway in the sun on the golden sands. A sound as juicy as papayas, mangoes and bananas. You want to reach out and grab the words as they fly through the air and take a bite of them.
Peruvian Spanish: I knew some Peruvian women and used to talk to them a lot. The Spanish is not too crazy accentwise, but it has a ton of slangs in it. They didn’t really speak English, so they couldn’t explain what the slangs meant. One thing was that they spoke very, very fast! I kept telling them to slow down, but they could not seem to slow it down no matter how many times you asked. Peruvian has only one speed – very fast.
Chilean Spanish: Sounds very Castillian, but it’s immediately recognizable as Spanish. One problem is the mountain of slang in this dialect. I don’t think there is any Spanish that has as much slang as Chilean. It’s literally chock full of all kinds of weird slangs. They are also the pickiest Spanish speakers I have ever met. Almost like the French, almost correcting your Spanish. Most Spanish speakers are very gracious, but Chileans want you to speak it right!
Argentine Spanish: This is one weird Spanish. You hear it spoken and you hear Spanish words, but the people speaking it look like Europeans and the accent sounds Italian! Or sometimes it sounds like some other European language – Catalan, French or Castillian. This is one insanely whacked out Spanish!
Catalonian Spanish: I heard a group speaking this, and I thought no way is that Spanish. I asked them what they were speaking, and they said Spanish. They said they were from Catalonia. Their Spanish sounded like Catalan! It didn’t sound like Spanish at all. This was one of the bizarrest Spanishes I have ever heard.
Repost from the old site.
In the comments section, James Schipper makes some interesting comments about laissez faire economics and libertarianism in general. His comments are in italics, mine are follow in normal font.
JS: Laissez-faire usually means short-term gain for a small minority and short-term pain for a large majority, medium-term gain for a larger minority and medium-term pain for a smaller majority and only long-term gain for the majority.
RL: I don’t agree with this at all. The case of neoliberalism seems to show us that the gains never do filter down to anyone below the top 20%. This is what the neoliberal advocates keep saying – “Give it time, give it time.” But no matter how much time you give it, it never seems to work. We are now 28 years into a neoliberal revolution in the US, and have things gotten any better for any larger majority?
Of course not. Things just seem to get worse and worse. Neoliberalism only accomplishes massive wealth transfers from the bottom 80% to the top 20%. It’s designed to do that in perpetuity, since class war never ends in capitalism, even in fascism.
JS: The Chicago boys are actually right in that speculative bubbles are only possible if the government engages in massive monetary expansion or allows the banks to do so. This means that the most essential part of government regulation in a modern economy is the regulation of credit and the currency. Too much money and credit = inflation and speculation.
RL: The problem here is that these Chicago Boys characters have been cheering on every single speculative bubble that ever existed, and they created quite a few of them themselves. Their libertarian project in Chile ended in massive failure such that even Pinochet had to step in with major government intervention to save the economy. Huge intervention by the state was the only thing that saved the economy.
In Russia, the Boys succeeded in looting the nation, transferring the money out of the country, engineering a Depression 3.5 times worse than the US Depression and killing 15 million Russians. The Chicago Boys and their acolytes were behind the Asian Flu crashes in the late 1990′s too.
The only way to prevent speculative bubbles is through government regulation of an economy, and the Chicago Boys apparently oppose all such. The business sector, whom the Chicago Boys represent, always supports a loose money policy during the good times in order to facilitate the cheap money necessary for economic expansion and of course speculation.
Furthermore, the US capitalist class, nor any other capitalist class, would never support the Chicago Boys’ apparent prescription here – getting rid of the Fed’s regulation of the money supply. Business loves and needs the Fed, despite all of its rants against socialism. Anyway, the role of a central bank is overestimated. Even in a state without a strong central bank regulating money, you can still get massive speculative inflows. This was the case with the nations harmed by the Asian Flu.
The Fed itself is run by economists who are themselves working hand in hand with Big Business and are generally followers of Chicago School Economics. The only thing the rich care about is inflation, and business everywhere on Earth has cheered on every speculative bubble that ever existed. They can’t get enough of them.
To blame these bubbles on a reactionary government institution called the Fed, implying the Fed is some kind of socialist institution (though its recent actions have indeed been socialist) is beyond perverse.
What’s deadly to business and the rich is inflation. The rich hate inflation because it cuts into their incomes. Most rich people don’t even work at all. They just kick back and live off rents and equities. Nothing cuts into their lazy money more than inflation. Further, inflation engenders demands for wage increases, which is why business hates it so much. It also increases costs for supplies, which they may or may not be able to pass on.
In order to stop inflation from hurting the rich and business, the Fed fights inflation by throwing millions of Americans out of work, since inflation and unemployment are two ends of a scale. As unemployment gets “too low”, workers start getting “uppity” and demanding wage increases. This is deadly to capitalism, so the Fed responds by deliberately increasing unemployment and throwing millions out of work.
If you take a university course in capitalist economics, they will tell you that capitalism operates on the premise of “the benefits of mass unemployment”. The benefits lie in the disciplining of the worker. The notion that mass unemployment has any benefits at all is enough to turn my stomach against capitalism.
Further, I’m not enamored of any Austrian economist.
JS: Too much money and credit = inflation and speculation.
RL: Problem here probably being that the Fed cares little about speculation (although it does worry about it a bit – witness Alan Greenspan’s famous “irrational exuberance” comments a while back) but cares a lot about inflation.
Speculation does not necessarily lead to increases in core inflation, but it surely runs up some prices. Housing market, oil and dot com stock speculation surely created bubbles in those sectors, but in the case of housing and dot com’s, did not effect core inflation.
JS: As to the New Deal, it was a colossal failure.
RL: I can’t comment on this. The general analysis here in the US is that the New Deal saved US capitalism from Revolution, hence it was painful but worth it. This analysis comes from the more enlightened among capitalist sectors themselves.
Of course Western Europe and the Asian Tigers were not built on laissez faire. Even today that Japan, Singapore and Korea have extreme government intervention in the economy in terms of state planning of the economy. That’s often termed corporatism.
It’s not like Gosplan where the social economy is planned down to the # of eggs you will eat in a year. Instead this sort of economic guidance actually works. Government works with firms to help them compete against foreign sectors, goosing some sectors while letting others wilt.
No country with a mostly private education system and a poor public education system has ever produced any kind of an educated population.
Up here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, we have many roads that are private. The country never got around to making them county roads. Without exception, they are horrible. In many cases, there are expensive homes and properties lining these roads. The homes sell for about ~$300,000+ now. Most people living there have some money and they are not poor at all.
Thing is, everyone would have to get together to pitch in to fix the road and maintain it. People, even well to do folks, can never seem to get together to do that, so you have a horrific road. It’s really strange to try to drive down a nightmarish road while looking at very nice, fancy houses with new cars on either side.
A great article from the Huffington Post that redeems my faith in the online publication. Ariana Huffington recently sold out to a slimy corporation, so I figured that the Left content would be destroyed by the corporate censors, but strangely enough, that has not yet happened.
This article discusses Milton Friedman, who was supposedly a Libertarian, but in practice, was actually a fascist because he supported the Chilean Pinochet dictatorship. Friedman famously said that no citizenry would ever vote in his Libertarian society for the corporations and the rich, so it would have to be put in via a dictatorship. This is why he praised the Chilean model. As an anti-democratic, far right individual, we arrive at the disturbing conclusion that Milton Friedman was a fascist.
Friedman was also a great believer in Disaster Capitalism, that is, the use of periodic crises to push through radical far rightwing and austerity measures to devastate state spending, tax revenues and state regulation of business. In addition, it could be used to facilitate huge wealth transfers from the poor and the middle class to the upper middle class, the rich and the corporations. Wrecking the union sector was also part of the game. In addition, the crises would force the state to sell off much of its property and land to the private sector. Friedman on the benefits of a crisis:
Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real changes. When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.
Many governments in Latin America followed Friedman’s advice in the past 30 years. The result was the devastation of the public sector and public spending and the crushing of unions and dissenters. There was huge wealth transfer from the bottom 80% of the population to upper middle class, the rich and corporations. States auctioned everything but the very air itself for pennies on the dollar to rapacious corporations. The death rate was surely in the tens of millions and health care and education were wrecked to serve the rich and the corporations.
Widespread economic destruction followed as it always does. Even Time Magazine agreed that neoliberalism had utterly failed in Latin America. This crap went on for 20-30 years before the Latin Americans said they had enough. The result was the voting in of Left politicians such as Hugo Chavez who opposed the failed neoliberal model .
Now the very same Shock Doctrine is being used to drive the same radical neoliberal changes in the US as failed so utterly in Latin America. The crisis was caused by lack of regulation in the financial and real estate sector. Deregulation is part of the Friedman agenda, so Friedmanism really caused the economic collapse in the first place. The economic collapse compounded with decades of insane supply side economics caused a collapse in tax revenues at all levels of government, which starved government of revenue and resulted in huge budget deficits.
Republicans used these deficits to push through radical changes, including even more tax cuts to further deprive the state of revenues and make the deficits even worse, constitutional amendments to prevent the raising of revenues needed for any kind of budget sanity, the destruction of critical social services, union busting and the privatization of virtually every state function, including the public schools. Mass privatization, especially of the public schools, had long been a Friedman prerogative.
At the state level, this mad slash and burn agenda is led by a gang of corporate fascists called American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.
The website Alecexposed unveils the corporate fascist agenda of ALEC for all to see.
I would like to point out that the Democrats are no angels in this regard. In fact, Barack Obama and his buddy, Rahm Emmanuel, are both radical Friedmanites. Emmanuel has long been a proponent of using crises to push through radical austerity measures to destroy public spending and grant huge tax breaks to the rich and corporations. He famously said in this regard, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Barack Obama is also a radical Friedmanite who believes in Disaster Capitalism. About the recent economic crisis, he said it was a “great opportunity” to begin the destruction of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that Obama has longed for since the day he entered office.
All Libertarians are morons; there are just different types of stupid.
America is probably one of the only countries in the world where Libertarianism has any kind of sway at all, although I understand that for some reason, it is relatively popular in Costa Rica for some reason, possibly because the country is heavily White. Whites are the only race on Earth who will heavily go in for Libertarianism, because Whites are much more selfish and individualistic than any other race. European, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealander Whites are not prone to selfishness of individualism.
Selfish and individualistic politics is popular among White elites in Latin America, but only in places where Whites are a minority.
In Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, where Whites or near-Whites are more or less a majority, selfish and individualistic politics is far less popular, since your average White person there is just an ordinary working class person, not a member of an elite group.
Nevertheless, the Cone nations have been ruled by a particularly vicious White elite for a long time. This elite has spent much of the last 40 years slaughtering the working class Whites of the Cone countries in order to maintain their outrageous and feudal-style wealth. As a consequence, White politics in the Cone is polarized into Hard Left and Hard Right, in a way similar to some Mediterranean countries like Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Small government is popular with White elites, as this philosophy in general is only popular with elites around the world. The German Social Democrats used to have a saying, “Only the rich can afford a poor state.” Of course this is true, and this is why the rich the world over, especially in the 3rd World, tend to favor a minimal state. Hatred of taxation is also typical of elites the world over, particularly in the 3rd World.
In general, ordinary people the world over do not favor small government or hate taxation. In that sense, Americans, particularly White Americans, are very strange. The views of White Americasns are more typical of world elites than the ordinary working class people of the world. It’s as if your ordinary working class White person identifies more with his class enemies, the rich, than with his own class. Working class Whites also see themselves as elites, which is odd, since they are not elites, and in fact they are extremely oppressed by their own elites.
This strange philosophy probably has its roots in the Frontier Ethic, the break from colonialism, and the radical individualism that has long characterized White American culture.
As America becomes increasingly non-White, this view will decline. Asians are not radical individualists, and Asian nations are not characterized by small government and low taxation. Hispanics and Blacks are collectivist peoples who also have no interest in small government and low taxation. Black nations are like Asian nations in that there is no interest in Libertarian-style governance.
These trends show no sign of changing in the future. Even as Asians, Hispanics and Blacks make good money and move up in the world, they retain their collectivist roots.
The future does not look good for Libertarian types in the US in the long term, though they may make some gains in the short term.
The future looks bleak for Libertarianism in the world at large, as most nations have no interest in small government or low taxation.
Seen more properly, the vast majority of the world’s people, and the overwhelming majority of the working class, are collectivist people.
Repost from the old site.
Sorry for the long post, readers, but I have been working on this piece off and on for months now. It’s not something I just banged out. For one thing, this is the only list that I know of on the Net that lists all of the countries of the world and shows how many languages are spoken there in an easy to access format. Not even Wikipedia has that (yet).
Whether or not states have the right to secede is an interesting question. The libertarian Volokh Conspiracy takes that on in this nice set of posts. We will not deal with that here; instead, we will take on the idea that linguistic diversity automatically leads to secession.
There is a notion floating around among fetishists of the state that there can be no linguistic diversity within the nation, as it will lead to inevitable separatism. In this post, I shall disprove that with empirical data. First, we will list the states in the world, along with how many languages are spoken in that state.
States with a significant separatist movement are noted with an asterisk. As you can see if you look down the list, there does not seem to be much of a link between multilingualism and separatism. There does seem to be a trend in that direction in Europe, though.
Afterward, I will discuss the nature of the separatist conflicts in many of these states to try to see if there is any language connection. In most cases, there is little or nothing there.
I fully expect the myth of multilingualism = separatism to persist after the publication of this post, unfortunately.
St Helena 1 British Indian Ocean Territories 1 Pitcairn Island 1 Estonia 1 Maldives 1 North Korea 1 South Korea 1 Cayman Islands 1 Bermuda 1 Belarus 1 Martinique 2 St Lucia 2 St Vincent & the Grenadines 2 Barbados 2 Virgin Islands 2 British Virgin Islands 2 Gibraltar 2 Antigua and Barbuda 2 Saint Kitts and Nevis 2 Montserrat 2 Anguilla 2 Marshall Islands 2 Cuba 2 Turks and Caicos 2 Guam 2 Tokelau 2 Samoa 2 American Samoa 2 Niue 2 Jamaica 2 Cape Verde Islands 2 Icelandic 2 Maltese 2 Maltese 2 Vatican State 2 Haiti 2 Kiribati 2 Tuvalu 2 Bahamas 2 Puerto Rico 2 Kyrgyzstan 3 Rwanda 3 Nauru 3 Turkmenistan 3 Luxembourg 3 Monaco 3 Burundi 3 Seychelles 3 Grenada 3 Bahrain 3 Tonga 3 Qatar 3 Kuwait 3 Dominica 3 Liechtenstein 3 Andorra 3 Reunion 3 Dominican Republic 3 Netherlands Antilles 4 Northern Mariana Islands 4 Palestinian West Bank & Gaza 4 Palau 4 Mayotte 4 Cyprus* 4 Bosnia and Herzegovina* 4 Slovenia and Herzegovina* 4 Swaziland 4 Sao Tome and Principe 4 Guadalupe 4 Saudi Arabia 5 Cook Islands 5 Latvia 5 Lesotho 5 Djibouti 5 Ireland 5 Moldova 5 Armenia 6 Mauritius 6 Lebanon 6 Mauritania 6 Croatia 6 Kazakhstan 7 Kazakhstan 7 Albania 7 Portugal 7 Uzbekistan 7 Sri Lanka* 7 United Arab Emirates 7 Comoros 7 Belize 8 Tunisia 8 Denmark 8 Yemen 8 Morocco* 9 Austria 9 Jordan 9 Macedonia 9 Tajikistan 9 French Polynesia 9 Gambia 9 Belgium 9 Libya 9 Fiji 10 Slovakia 10 Ukraine 10 Egypt 11 Bulgaria 11 Norway 11 Poland 11 Serbia and Montenegro 11 Eritrea 12 Georgia* 12 Finland* 12 Switzerland* 12 Hungary* 12 United Kingdom* 12 Mongolia 13 Spain 13 Somalia* 13 Oman 13 Madagascar 13 Malawi 14 Equatorial Guinea 14 Mali 14 Azerbaijan 14 Japan 15 Syria* 15 Romania* 15 Sweden* 15 Netherlands* 15 Greece 16 Brunei 17 Algeria 18 Micronesia 18 East Timor 19 Zimbabwe 19 Niger 21 Singapore 21 Cambodia 21 Iraq* 21 Guinea-Bissau 21 Taiwan 22 Bhutan 24 Sierra Leone 24 South Africa 24 Germany 28 Namibia 28 Botswana 28 France 29 Liberia 30 Israel 33 Italy 33 Guinea 34 Turkey* 34 Senegal 36 Bangladesh 39 New Caledonia 39 Togo 39 Angola* 41 Gabon 41 Zambia 41 Mozambique 43 Uganda 43 Afghanistan 47 Guatemala 54 Benin 54 Kenya 61 Congo 62 Burkina Faso 68 Central African Republic 69 Solomon Islands 70 Thailand* 74 Iran* 77 Cote D'Ivoire 78 Ghana 79 Laos 82 Ethiopia* 84 Canada* 85 Russia* 101 Vietnam 102 Myanmar* 108 Vanuatu 109 Nepal 126 Tanzania 128 Chad 132 Sudan* 134 Malaysia 140 United States* 162 Philippines* 171 Pakistan* 171 Democratic Republic of Congo 214 Australia 227 China* 235 Cameroon* 279 Mexico 291 India* 415 Nigeria 510 Indonesia* 737 Papua New Guinea* 820
*Starred states have a separatist problem, but most are not about language. Most date back to the very formation of an often-illegitimate state.
Canada definitely has a conflict that is rooted in language, but it is also rooted in differential histories as English and French colonies. The Quebec nightmare is always brought up by state fetishists, ethnic nationalists and other racists and nationalists who hate minorities as the inevitable result of any situation whereby a state has more than one language within its borders.
This post is designed to give the lie to this view.
Cyprus’ problem has to do with two nations, Greeks and Turks, who hate each other. The history for this lies in centuries of conflict between Christianity and Islam, culminating in the genocide of 350,000 Greeks in Turkey from 1916-1923.
Morocco’s conflict has nothing to do with language. Spanish Sahara was a Spanish colony in Africa. After the Spanish left in the early 1950′s, Morocco invaded the country and colonized it, claiming in some irredentist way that the land had always been a part of Morocco. The residents beg to differ and say that they are a separate state.
An idiotic conflict ensued in which Morocco the colonizer has been elevated to one of the most sanctioned nations of all by the UN. Yes, Israel is not the only one; there are other international scofflaws out there. In this conflict, as might be expected, US imperialism has supported Moroccan colonialism.
This Moroccan colonialism has now become settler-colonialism, as colonialism often does. You average Moroccan goes livid if you mention their colony. He hates Israel, but Morocco is nothing but an Arab Muslim Israel. If men had a dollar for every drop of hypocrisy, we would be a world of millionaires.
There are numerous separatist conflicts in Somalia. As Somalians have refused to perform their adult responsibilities and form a state, numerous parts of this exercise in anarchism in praxis (Why are the anarchists not cheering this on?) are walking away from the burning house. Who could blame them?
These splits seem to have little to do with language. One, Somaliland, was a former British colony and has a different culture than the rest of Somalia. Somaliland is now de facto independent, as Somalia, being a glorious exercise in anarchism, of course lacks an army to enforce its borders, or to do anything.
Jubaland has also split, but this has nothing to do with language. Instead, this may be rooted in a 36-year period in which it was a British colony. Soon after this period, they had their own postage stamps as an Italian colony.
There is at least one serious separatist conflict in Ethiopia in the Ogaden region, which is mostly populated by ethnic Somalis. Apparently this region used to be part of Somaliland, and Ethiopia probably has little claim to the region. This conflict has little do with language and more to do with conflicts rooted in colonialism and the illegitimate borders of states.
There is also a conflict in the Oromo region of Ethiopia that is not going very far lately. These people have been fighting colonialism since Ethiopia was a colony and since then have been fighting against independent Ethiopia, something they never went along with. Language has a role here, but the colonization of a people by various imperial states plays a larger one.
There was a war in Southern Sudan that has now ended with the possibility that the area may secede.
There is a genocidal conflict in Darfur that the world is ignoring because it involves Arabs killing Blacks as they have always done in this part of the world, and the world only gets upset when Jews kill Muslims, not when Muslims kill Muslims.
This conflict has to do with the Sudanese Arabs treating the Darfurians with utter contempt – they regard them as slaves, as they have always been to these racist Arabs.
The conflict in Southern Sudan involved a region in rebellion in which many languages were spoken. The South Sudanese are also niggers to the racist Arabs, plus they are Christian and animist infidels to be converted by the sword by Sudanese Arab Muslims. Every time a non-Muslim area has tried to split off from or acted uppity with a Muslim state they were part of, the Muslims have responded with a jihad against and genocide of the infidels.
This conflict has nothing to do with language; instead it is a war of Arab Muslim religious fanatics against Christian and animist infidels.
There is a separatist movement in the South Cameroons in the nation of Cameroon in Africa. This conflict is rooted in colonialism. During the colonial era, South Cameroons was a de facto separate state. Many different languages are spoken here, as is the case in Cameroon itself. They may have a separate culture too, but this is just another case of separatism rooted in colonialism. The movement seems to be unarmed.
There is a separatist conflict in Angola in a region called Cabinda, which was always a separate Portuguese colony from Angola.
As this area holds 60% of Angola’s oil, it’s doubtful that Angola will let it go, although almost all of Angola’s oil wealth is being stolen anyway by US transnationals and a tiny elite while 90% of the country starves, has no medicine and lives unemployed amid shacks along former roads now barely passable.
The Cabindans do claim to have a separate culture, but language does not seem to be playing much role here – instead, oil and colonialism are.
Syria does have a Kurdish separatist movement, as does Iran, Iraq, and Turkey – every state that has a significant number of Kurds. This conflict goes back to the post-World War 1 breakup of the Ottoman Empire. The Kurds, with thousands of years of history as a people, nominally independent for much of that time, were denied a state and sold out.
The new fake state called Turkey carved up part of Kurdistan, another part was donated to the British colony in Iraq and another to the French colony in Syria, as the Allies carved up the remains of the Empire like hungry guests at a feast.
This conflict is more about colonialism and extreme discrimination than language, though the Kurds do speak their own tongue. There is also a Kurdish separatist conflict in Iran, but I don’t know much about the history of the Iranian Kurds.
There is also an Assyrian separatist movement in Iraq and possibly in Syria. The movement is unarmed. The Assyrians have been horribly persecuted by Arab nationalist racists in the region, in part because they are Christians. They have been targeted by Islamo-Nazis in Iraq during this Iraq War with a ferocity that can only be described as genocidal.
The Kurds have long persecuted the Assyrians in Iraqi Kurdistan. There have been regular homicides of Assyrians in the north, up around the Mosul region. This is just related to the general way that Muslims treat Christian minorities in many Muslim states – they persecute them and even kill them. There is also a lot of land theft going on.
While the Kurdish struggle is worthwhile, it is becoming infected with the usual nationalist evil that afflicts all ethnic nationalism. This results in everyone who is not a Kurdish Sunni Muslim being subjected to varying degrees of persecution, disenfranchisement and discrimination. It’s a nasty part of the world.
In Syria, the Assyrians live up near the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Arab nationalist racists have been stealing their land for decades now and relocating the Assyrians to model villages, where they languish in poverty. Assad’s regime is not so secular and progressive as one might suspect.
There is a separatist conflict in Bougainville in New Guinea. I am sure that many different tongues are spoken on that island, as there are 800 different tongues spoken in Papua New Guinea. The conflict is rooted in the fact that Bougainville is rich in copper, but almost all of this wealth is stolen by Papua New Guinea and US multinationals, so the Bougainville people see little of it. Language has little or nothing to do with it.
There are separatist movements in the Ahwaz and Balochistan regions of Iran, along with the aforementioned Kurdish movement. It is true that different languages are spoken in these regions, but that has little to do with the conflict.
Arabic is spoken in Khuzestan, the land of the Iranian Arabs. This land has been part of Persia for around 2,000 years as the former land of Elam. The Arabs complain that they are treated poorly by the Persians, and that they get little revenue to their region even though they are sitting on a vast puddle of oil and natural gas.
Iran should not be expected to part with this land, as it is the source of much of their oil and gas wealth. Many or most Iranians speak Arabic anyway, so there is not much of a language issue. Further, Arab culture is promoted by the Islamist regime even at the expense of Iranian culture, much to the chagrin of Iranian nationalists.
The Ahwaz have been and are being exploited by viciously racist Arab nationalists in Iraq, and also by US imperialism, and most particularly lately, British imperialism, as the British never seem to have given up the colonial habit. This conflict is not about language at all. Most Ahwaz don’t even want to separate anyway; they just want to be treated like humans by the Iranians.
Many of Iran’s 8% Sunni population lives in Balochistan. The region has maybe 2% of Iran’s population and is utterly neglected by Iran. Sunnis are treated with extreme racist contempt by the Shia Supremacists who run Iran. This conflict has to do with the fight between the Shia and Sunni wings of Islam and little or nothing to do with language.
There is a separatist movement in Iran to split off Iranian Azerbaijan and merge it with Azerbaijan proper. This movement probably has little to do with language and more to do with just irredentism. The movement is not going to go very far because most Iranian Azeris do not support it.
Iranian Azeris actually form a ruling class in Iran and occupy most of the positions of power in the government. They also control a lot of the business sector and seem to have a higher income than other Iranians. This movement has been co-opted by pan-Turkish fascists for opportunistic reasons, but it’s not really going anywhere. The CIA is now cynically trying to stir it up with little success. The movement is peaceful.
There is a Baloch insurgency in Pakistan, but language has little to do with it. These fiercely independent people sit on top of a very rich land which is ruthlessly exploited by Punjabis from the north. They get little or no return from this natural gas wealth. Further, this region never really consented to being included in the Pakistani state that was carved willy-nilly out of India in 1947.
It is true that there are regions in the Caucasus that are rebelling against Russia. Given the brutal and bloody history of Russian imperial colonization of this region and the near-continuous rebellious state of the Muslims resident there, one wants to say they are rebelling against Imperial Russia.
Chechnya is the worst case, but Ingushetia is not much better, and things are bad in Dagestan too. There is also fighting in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia. These non-Chechen regions are getting increasingly radicalized as consequence of the Chechen War. There has also been a deliberate strategy on the part of the Chechens to expand the conflict over to the other parts of the Caucasus.
Past rebellions were often pan-Caucasian also. Although very different languages are spoken in these areas, different languages are still spoken all across Russia. Language has little to do with these conflicts, as they have more to do with Russian imperialism and colonization of these lands and the near 200-year violent resistance of these fierce Muslim mountain tribes to being colonized by Slavic infidels.
There is not much separatism in the rest of Russia.
Tuva reserves the right to split away, but this is rooted in their prior history as an independent state within the USSR (Tell me how that works?) for two decades until 1944, when Stalin reconquered it as a result of the conflict with the Nazis. The Tuvans accepted peacefully.
Yes, the Tuvans speak a different tongue, but so do all of the Siberian nations, and most of those are still with Russia. Language has little to do with the Tuvan matter.
There is also separatism in the Bashkir Republic and Adygea in Russia. These have not really gone anywhere. Only 21% of the residents of
Adygea speak Circassian, and they see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. This conflict may have something to do with language. The Adygean conflict is also peripherally related the pan-Caucasian struggle above.
In the Bashkir Republic, the problem is more one of a different religion – Islam, as most Bashkirs are Muslim. It is not known to what degree language has played in the struggle, but it may be a factor. The Bashkirs also see themselves as overrun by Russian-speaking immigrants. It is dubious that the Bashkirs will be able to split off, as the result will be a separate nation surrounded on all sides by Russia.
The Adygean, Tuvan and Bashkir struggles are all peaceful.
The conflict in Georgia is complex. A province called Abkhazia has split off and formed their own de facto state, which has been supported with extreme cynicism by up and coming imperialist Russia, the same clown state that just threatened to go to war to defend the territorial integrity of their genocidal Serbian buddies. South Ossetia has also split off and wants to join Russia.
Both of these reasonable acts prompted horrible and insane wars as Georgia sought to preserve its territorial integrity, though it has scarcely been a state since 1990, and neither territory ever consented to being part of Georgia.
The Ossetians and Abkhazians do speak separate languages, and I am not certain why they want to break away, but I do not think that language has much to do with it. All parties to these conflicts are majority Orthodox Christians.
Myanmar is a hotbed of nations in rebellion against the state. Burma was carved out of British East India in 1947. Part of Burma had actually been part of British India itself, while the rest was a separate colony called Burma. No sooner was the ink dry on the declaration of independence than most of these nations in rebellion announced that they were not part of the deal.
Bloody rebellions have gone on ever since, and language has little or nothing to do with any of them. They are situated instead on the illegitimacy of not only the borders of the Burmese state, but of the state itself.
Thailand does have a separatist movement, but it is Islamic. They had a separate state down there until the early 1800′s when they were apparently conquered by Thais. I believe they do speak a different language down there, but it is not much different from Thai, and I don’t think language has anything to do with this conflict.
There is a conflict in the Philippines that is much like the one in Thailand. Muslims in Mindanao have never accepted Christian rule from Manila and are in open arms against the state. Yes, they speak different languages down in Mindanao, but they also speak Tagalog, the language of the land.
This just a war of Muslims seceding because they refuse to be ruled by infidels. Besides, this region has a long history of independence, de facto and otherwise, from the state. The Moro insurgency has little to nothing to do with language.
There are separatist conflicts in Indonesia. The one in Aceh seems to have petered out. Aceh never agreed to join the fake state of Indonesia that was carved out of the Dutch East Indies when the Dutch left in 1949.
West Papua is a colony of Indonesia. It was invaded by Indonesia with the full support of US imperialism in 1965. The Indonesians then commenced to murder 100,000 Papuans over the next 40 years. There are many languages spoken in West Papua, but that has nothing to do with the conflict. West Papuans are a racially distinct people divided into vast numbers of tribes, each with a separate culture.
They have no connection racially or culturally with the rest of Indonesia and do not wish to be part of the state. They were not a part of the state when it was declared in 1949 and were only incorporated after an Indonesian invasion of their land in 1965. Subsequently, Indonesia has planted lots of settler-colonists in West Papua.
There is also a conflict in the South Moluccas , but it has more to do with religion than anything else, since there is a large number of Christians in this area. The South Moluccans were always reluctant to become a part of the new fake Indonesian state that emerged after independence anyway, and I believe there was some fighting for a while there. The South Moluccan struggle has generally been peaceful ever since.
Indonesia is the Israel of Southeast Asia, a settler-colonial state. The only difference is that the Indonesians are vastly more murderous and cruel than the Israelis.
There are conflicts in Tibet and East Turkestan in China. In the case of Tibet, this is a colony of China that China has no jurisdiction over. The East Turkestan fight is another case of Muslims rebelling against infidel rule. Yes, different languages are spoken here, but this is the case all over China.
Language is involved in the East Turkestan conflict in that Chinese have seriously repressed the Uighur language, but I don’t think it plays much role in Tibet.
There is also a separatist movement in Inner Mongolia in China. I do not think that language has much to do with this, and I believe that China’s claim to Inner Mongolia may be somewhat dubious. This movement is unarmed and not very organized.
There are conflicts all over India, but they don’t have much to do with language.
The Kashmir conflict is not about language but instead is rooted in the nature of the partition of India after the British left in 1947. 90% of Kashmiris wanted to go to Pakistan, but the ruler of Kashmir was a Hindu, and he demanded to stay in India.
The UN quickly ruled that Kashmir had to be granted a vote in its future, but this vote was never allowed by India. As such, India is another world-leading rogue and scofflaw state on a par with Israel and Indonesia. Now the Kashmir mess has been complicated by the larger conflict between India and Pakistan, and until that is all sorted out, there will be no resolution to this mess.
Obviously India has no right whatsoever to rule this area, and the Kashmir cause ought to be taken up by all progressives the same way that the Palestinian one is.
There are many conflicts in the northeast, where most of the people are Asians who are racially, often religiously and certainly culturally distinct from the rest of Indians.
None of these regions agreed to join India when India, the biggest fake state that has ever existed, was carved out of 5,000 separate princely states in 1947. Each of these states had the right to decide its own future to be a part of India or not. As it turned out, India just annexed the vast majority of them and quickly invaded the few that said no.
“Bharat India”, as Indian nationalist fools call it, as a state, is one of the silliest concepts around. India has no jurisdiction over any of those parts of India in separatist rebellion, if you ask me. Language has little to do with these conflicts.
Over 800 languages are spoken in India anyway, each state has its own language, and most regions are not in rebellion over this. Multilingualism with English and Hindi to cement it together has worked just fine in most of India.
Sri Lanka’s conflict does involve language, but more importantly it involves centuries of extreme discrimination by ruling Buddhist Sinhalese against minority Hindu Tamils. Don’t treat your minorities like crap, and maybe they will not take up arms against you.
The Corsicans are in rebellion against France, and language may play a role. There is an independence movement in Brittany in France also, and language seems to play a role here, or at least the desire to revive the language, which seems to be dying.
There is a movement in Scania, a part of Sweden, to split away from Sweden. Language seems to have nothing to do with it.
There is a Hungarian separatist movement, or actually, a national reunification or pan-Hungarian movement, in Romania. It isn’t going anywhere, and it unlikely to succeed. Hungarians in Romania have not been treated well and are a large segment of the population. This fact probably drives the separatism more than language.
There are many other small conflicts in Europe that I chose not to go into due to limitations on time and the fact that I am getting tired of writing this post! Perhaps I can deal with them at a later time. Language definitely plays a role in almost all of these conflicts. None of them are violent though.
To say that there are separatists in French Polynesia is not correct. This is an anti-colonial movement that deserves the support of anti-colonial activists the world over. The entire world, evidenced by the UN itself, has rejected colonialism. Only France, the UK and the US retain colonies. That right there is notable, as all three are clearly imperialist countries. In this modern age, the value of retaining colonies is dubious.
These days, colonizers pour more money into colonies than they get out of them. France probably keeps Polynesia due to colonial pride and also as a place to test nuclear weapons and maintain military bases. As the era of French imperialism on a grand scale has clearly passed, France needs to renounce its fantasies of being a glorious imperial power along with its anachronistic colonies.
Yes, there is a Mapuche separatist movement in Chile, but it is not going anywhere soon, or ever.
It has little to do with language. The Mapudungan language is not even in very good shape, and the leaders of this movement are a bunch of morons. Microsoft recently unveiled a Mapudungan language version of Microsoft Windows. You would think that the Mapuche would be ecstatic. Not so! They were furious. Why? Oh, I forget. Some Identity Politics madness.
This movement has everything to do with the history of Chile. Like Argentina and Uruguay, Chile was one of the Spanish colonies that was settled en masse late. For centuries, a small colonial bastion battled the brave Mapuche warriors, but were held at bay by this skilled and militaristic tribe.
Finally, in the late 1800′s, a fanatical and genocidal war was waged on the Mapuche in one of those wonderful “national reunification” missions so popular in the 1800′s (recall Italy’s wars of national reunification around this same time). By the 1870′s, the Mapuche were defeated and suffered a devastating loss of life.
Yet all those centuries of only a few Spanish colonists and lots of Indians had made their mark, and at least 70% of Chileans are mestizos, though they are mostly White (about 80% White on average). The Mapuche subsequently made a comeback and today number about 9% of the population.
Because they held out so long and so many of them survived, they are one of the most militant Amerindian groups in the Americas. They are an interesting people, light-skinned and attractive, though a left-wing Chilean I knew used to chortle about how hideously ugly they were.
Hawaiian separatism is another movement that has a lot to do with colonialism and imperialism and little to do with language. The Hawaiian language, despite some notable recent successes, is not in very good shape. The Hawaiian independence movement offers nothing to non-Hawaiians (I guess only native Hawaiians get to be citizens!) and is doomed to fail.
Hawaiians are about 22% of the population, and they are the only ones that support the independence movement. No one else supports it. It’s not going anywhere. The movers and shakers on the island (Non-Hawaiians for the most part!) all think it’s ridiculous.
There are separatists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, but I doubt that language has much to do with it. Like the myriad other separatist struggles in the NE of India, these people are ethnically Asians and as such are not the same ethnicity as the Caucasians who make up the vast majority of the population of this wreck of a state.
This is another conflict that is rooted in a newly independent fake state. The Chittagong Hill Tracts were incorporated into Bangladesh after its independence from Pakistan in 1971. As a fake new state, the peoples of Bangladesh had a right to be consulted on whether or not they wished to be a part of it. The CHT peoples immediately said that they wanted no part of this new state.
At partition, the population was 98.5% Asian. They were Buddhists, Hindus and animists. Since then, the fascist Bangladesh state has sent Bengali Muslim settler-colonists to the region. The conflict is shot through with racism and religious bigotry, as Muslim Bengalis have rampaged through the region, killing people randomly and destroying stuff as they see fit. Language does not seem to have much to do with this conflict.
I don’t know much about the separatist struggle of the Moi in Vietnam, but I think it is more a movement for autonomy than anything else. The Moi are Montagnards and have probably suffered discrimination at the hands of the state along with the rest of the Montagnards.
Zanzibar separatism in Tanzania seems to have nothing whatsoever to do with language, but has a lot more to do with geography. Zanzibar is a nice island off the coast of Tanzania which probably wants nothing to do with the mess of a Tanzanian state.
The conflict also has a lot to do with race. Most residents of Zanzibar are either Arabs or descendants of unions between Arabs and Africans. In particular, they deny that they are Black Africans. I bet that is the root of the conflict right there.
There were some Talysh separatists in Azerbaijan a while back, but the movement seems to be over. I am not sure what was driving them, but language doesn’t seem to have been a big part of it. Just another case of new members of a fake new state refusing to go along for the ride.
There were some Gagauz separatists in Moldova a while back, but the movement appears to have died down. Language does seem to have played a role here, as the Gagauz speak a Turkic tongue totally unrelated to the Romance-speaking Moldovans.
Realistically, it’s just another case of a fake new state emerging and some members of the new state saying they don’t want to be a part of it, and the leaders of the fake new state suddenly invoking inviolability of borders in a state with no history!
In summary, as we saw above, once we get into Europe, language does play a greater role in separatist conflict, but most of these European conflicts are not violent. In the rest of the world, language plays little to no role in the vast majority of separatist conflicts.
The paranoid and frankly fascist notion voiced by rightwing nationalists the world over that any linguistic diversity in the world within states must be crushed as it will inevitably lead to separatism at best or armed separatism at worst is not supported by the facts.