Repost from the old site.
I received an interesting email from one Gonzalo Polo (website here), a Spanish nationalist. I am publishing the parts of it that can be published here. I normally don’t post the names of emailers as it is a violation of Netiquette, but he issued a veiled threat to me, so he gets named. If you don’t want me to reveal contents of your mails, don’t threaten me.
I always supported the Basque and even Catalan separatist causes. In the Basque movement, I supported the armed wing called the ETA. This mail points out some less than flattering things about the ETA, so I am running it, and it also tells us some interesting stories about the history of the Iberian Peninsula.
I am posting it to provide another perspective to the National Question in Spain.
I still think that Spain should allow a referendum on independence, and that is really what this whole fight is all about. I understand that Spain will never hold this referendum, which makes me wonder when they crow that only a minority of Basques support separatism. So hold the referendum already. Truth is, I do not think that Spaniards are civilized enough to split up their nation.
Few nations are.
Only the former USSR and Czechoslovakia have broken up peacefully, with Quebec and and the UK showing a willingness at least. Spaniards have always been terribly intolerant as a people, a tradition like the peculiar one of church-burning that is proving hard to break.
At least the intolerance part is traced by Carroll Quigley back to the Arab occupation, said influence of which makes the area from Latin America across the Mediterranean to Pakistan the Peru-Pakistan Axis, as he calls it.
That much of Spain’s industry is in the Basque Region makes separatism supposedly lethal for Spain, but I doubt it. Spain is a mature and wealthy country and I think they could handle separatism just fine, but Spaniards are just too backwards to do it. I include the famously liberty-lovers the French in this backwardsness, and all of Asia, including those supposedly more highly evolved humans in Northeast Asia.
China is utterly insane when it comes to Tibet (as we saw in the past few days) and Taiwan, and in this way they are firmly in a backwards Asian tradition. Burma, Indonesia and India won’t tolerate separatism either, and the result has been horrible massacres and even genocides.
I suggest that a willingness to break up one’s country is the ultimate act of a civilized people, and it is a litmus test for seeing how civilized you are. By that test, most of the world fails except for some Europeans, but that makes sense. Europeans are the only people who will even try to play by the rules of war either.
The Catalans seem to be debating separatism in their media, and there are some interesting debates going on. One of them is revolving around the nature of the ethnic nationalism that Catalan nationalism is. There are good progressive arguments saying that all ethnic nationalism leads to some variety of fascism, since, like the anti-Semitism I discussed previously, the impulse has nowhere to go but to the Right.
Put another way, internationalism is language of the Left (yet note armed separatists are often Leftists) and nationalism is the language of the Right. It was only the stew of 70 years of internationalism that so wore down the nationalist sentiments of the USSR and enabled them to cleave off 15 republics with very little bloodshed.
There were bloody and fascist-like nation-building episodes in many of these new countries, but that’s just the normal nation-building experience, and if we had to deny the legitimacy of every nation that had ever done this, we would have few countries left on the globe.
It’s probable that that same evil Commie internationalism allowed the Czechoslovaks to separate so amicably. You can’t say that 43 years of Goulash Communism didn’t do any good at all.
Nationalism created the Axis in World War 2 and probably led to World War 1 too. All these fetishists of the state that demand states have their precious “monopoly on violence” and that all armed non-state actors surrender all arms immediately or be destroyed as “terrorists” might want to think that one over sometime. Note that the worst enemies of the Axis ultranationalists were the armed partisans, often Communists.
If you lurk around Internet fascist, Nazi or nationalist forums long enough (and I like to do this for a lark) you will notice that these types hate no one worse than Communists. As nationalists are often not members of the towering heights of capital, one wonders what all the fuss is about.
Fascists, and the nationalists who dress up like them once in a while, Halloween-like, hate Commies over the nationalism question. Commies are dubious, at best, about nationalism. The blood drenched soil of ethnic and Lazarus-like nationalism is the essence of fascism. That’s what the whole bloody Commie-fascist fight is all about in a nutshell.
There’s also the fact that fascism is a last-ditch effort of capital to preserve its privileges in the environment of a serious threat by the Left. The seriousness of the Left Threat provokes a deadly anti-Communist reaction in the fascist. Commies are no longer some ludicrous phantasm – they are marching in the streets – and we need to kill as many of them as possible and put the rest in jail.
It’s curious why more don’t support ethnic separatism. Ask an American, if you can get lucky and find one who even understands the concept, and 90% chances are they support the state and oppose the armed separatists everywhere on Earth. Most folks you meet on the Net are the same way.
But go to a separatist region and you will find large numbers who support separatism. It seems we are not empathizing well enough with the national aspirations of our brother humans.
That ethnic nationalism brings out the caveman in anyone is shown how the separatist Catalans are total nationalist pigs when it comes to granting the Occitan speakers their legitimate human rights.
The ETA political wing was banned (although their men were elected in the last elections to the Basque Parliament under another name, and therefore they act as deputies in the Basque Parliament and mayors in some villages) because they used the public money they earned to send it to the ETA, and also because they gathered information about politicians and submitted it to ETA.
They have decided to boycott Spanish elections so they do not present candidates.
The current President of the Basque Parliament (the moderate Basque PNV) and all political parties of Euskadi (including leftist radical but non-violent Basque parties) define the ETA as a terrorist group (the EU and the US also).
In the last general elections of Spain the political wing of ETA asked Basques not to vote. Even considering that in the villages where ETA supporters have more influence, that this means that if you vote you become a target, people who decided not to vote grew 10 per cent since last elections.
ETA murdered a retired socialist politician who walked in the streets along with his wife and daughter a day before the elections. He was a poor man who worked in a highway booth and handed tickets to the drivers. ETA political wing’s major of the village of Arrasate-Mondragon refused to condemn the assassination.
For this reason all the rest of the parties who governed the town in coalition with this party (including radical left parties) determined not to back her position. This means that there will be soon be another mayor in this town formed by a coalition of the rest of the parties.
For your information I would like to highlight that the PNV (the moderate Basque party) is so scared about the ETA that in the last Basque elections, they could not find candidates for some towns. The Spanish socialist and conservative parties found candidates and, for instance, Mrs. Regina Otaola (Otaola is a Basque name and she is 100% Basque) is the current mayor of Lizarra.
All socialist and moderate candidates in the Basque Country have bodyguards. The man who was murdered two days ago had no right to have a bodyguard because he retired from politics so he was an easy target.
I also would like to inform you that the population of the Basque country is diminishing, the reason being that about 1/3 to 1/4 of 100% Basques have determined to run away from their homeland – the reason being that they want their children to live in a non-violent atmosphere so they have moved to other regions of Spain, for instance my brother-in-law Mr. Aguirre Ormaetxea (100% Basque).
For your information, the language spoken in Galicia is not a dialect of Portuguese, although both languages have a common origin. In the 8th century the Arabs invaded the entire Iberian Peninsula except the mountains of the north. Only the mountains of the North of Spain from Galicia to Catalonia were not invaded.
The original Spaniards (a blend of races and peoples united under the Roman Empire and highly sophisticated at that time, as opposed to people from Northern Europe) started to recover territory from North to South.
Little kingdoms such as Portugal, Castilla, Navarra, Leon and Aragon started to fight Arabs. Galicians joined the kingdom of Leon and Portuguese created the kingdom of Portugal.
Catalonia at that time was invaded by the Emperor of the Sacred Roman Empire, a German emperor of the tribe of the Francs who controlled France and Germany under the blessing of the Pope. The Catholic Church maintained the fiction that the Roman Empire was still alive.
Catalans expelled the Francs from the Hispanic Mark (the name of Catalonia at that time that included a province that nowadays belongs to France) and joined the kingdom of Aragon (a big kingdom that nowadays covers the regions of Aragon, Catalonia, Majorca and Valencia). The French Catalans do not have a Catalan department; Catalans have no rights as a minority in France.
The valley of Aran is part of the province of Lerida (Catalonia), although it is located in the Northern part of the Pyrenees Mountains. People from Aran speak an Occitan (Langue d’Oc) dialect similar to the one was spoken in all Provence before the Germanic tribes imposed French (the former Langue d’Oil that was spoken in Norther France).
Occitan is not spoken nowadays in France. The nationalist Catalan parties do not allow the Aranese language to be taught at school, and they force children to learn Catalan instead of their native language.
The Catalan and Spanish languages are spoken in all the Mediterranean coast from the Border of France to the region of Murcia (including the Balearic Islands). Catalan was never spoken in the current region of Aragon except in the border with Catalonia where children are able to learn the Catalan language thanks to the Aragon Government.
In the Regions of Majorca and Valencia, Catalan is freely spoken as well as Castilian. The people of these regions vote PP or PSOE – Spanish conservative or socialist parties. In the last general elections, the winning party was the Socialist Party, and nationalist CIU party obtained only 11 seats. Furthermore, the president of the Catalonian Parliament is also a socialist.
Catalan radical nationalists pretend to create a new country that would include the regions of Catalonia, Valencia and Majorca together with French Catalonia. French Catalans, Valencians and people from Majorca want to remain in Spain and dislike Catalan imperialism.
I would also like to point out that Guernica is a painting the Republican Legitimate Spanish Government asked Picasso (Picasso was born in Andalusia, namely in Malaga) to paint in order to show the world the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Once the painting was finished, it was shown for the first time in the Universal Expo of New York, namely in the Spanish pavilion.
The US government refused to return the painting to Spain once the war was over, and it remained in the Metropolitan until Franco died. I would like to point you out that around one million people died in the Spanish Civil War. Guernica was bombed by the Germans, but many other Spanish towns were also bombed and destroyed by the Russians.
I would like to highlight that neither the US nor the European democracies helped the Republican Government of Spain because they were scared about Hitler so they preferred not to see what it was happening except for Germany (who backed Franco) and Russia (who backed Republicans.)
Once the Civil War was over, many republicans ran away from Spain and stayed for years in concentration camps in France (my grandfather among others).
Many democrats felt that the US and the European democracies were acting in bad faith, so many people (like Hemingway) came to Spain to fight as volunteers with the Republic.
P.S. In a recent poll published by The Economist, you can read that only between 1/4 and 1/3 of Spanish Basques back independence. In the last elections to Spanish parliament Basque PNV party obtained only 300,000 votes in the Basque Country.