Sunday, November 25, 2012
Catalonia to go Dondero?
With the Spanish economy collapsing separation seems to make more sense by Clifford F. Thies Tomorrow, the people of Catalonia, a semi-autonomous region of Spain, go to vote. The nationalist center-right government of the region called this election in order to obtain a mandate for independence. Independence for Catalonia is opposed by the federalist center-right government of Spain and - surprise - by the international left-wing. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the conservative People's Party, opposes independence and favors a federalist Spain, with Catalonia and the other distinct region of the country enjoying autonomy in local matters. The President of the region of Catalonia, Artur Mas, of the market-liberal Convergence & Union Party (CiU), until recently favored only enhanced autonomy and greater fairness (from Catalon's perspective) in federal taxation. The party's current position on independence is ambiguous. Mas, an economist who downplays the social issues, sees his region as exploited by the federal government. Mas' vision for the region is that of a free and autonomous place, whether in or out of Spain, part of the larger European Community, part of NATO, with a culture and an economy that is open to the world. The international left-wing is, at one level, perplexed by developments in Catalonia. Generally, the left supports nationalist movements, opposing "empire" and favoring "the people." But, what about the case when its the productive class that wants to separate itself from the moocher class? What happens when the left-wing elite cannot tax the productive class to buy the votes of the moocher class in order to gain political power? We, at LR, are sympathetic to both Rajoy and Mas. The better answer to the problem of exploitation isn't divorce but reconciliation based on the principle of federalism, that domestic policy be returned to the regions and that the federal government not be heavily involved in re-distributiion of income but restrict itself to the common defense and to guaranteeing individual rights from local government intrusion. But, when the restoration of the principles of federalism is no longer possible, then separation is preferred to exploitation. Call it going Dondero muy grande.