|March 19th, 2014||#3|
Join Date: Jul 2007
I see a new era of "regional nationalism" coming to Europe this century, with groups like the Catalans and the Basques getting their own nations; even Bavaria (sans the upper third which is Franconia, totally unrelated to Bavaria and a shame to have been included in it) and Austria joining together to form a greater Bavaria (meanwhile Franconia will be its own state in Germany).
Even outside Europe I see nations like Kurdistan forming up out of Turkey, Iraq, and a small piece of Syria; also Armenia will greatly expand; Turkey will decline to the area around Ankara as Constantinople falls back into Greek hands, to be reborn as Byzantium (a nation independent of Greece but largely populated by Greeks as most of the Turks are driven out).
I understand and do not understand.
|March 19th, 2014||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Also Scotland and Wales. N. Ireland goes to Ireland, but with special provisions for the Brits (like French Quebec).
I understand and do not understand.
|March 24th, 2014||#5|
Venice’s Secession from Italy, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and Nation-States
With an 89 percent majority, the voters of Venice have elected to leave Italy. In practice, what this really means is that the Venetians plan to no longer send tax revenues to Rome. Apparently, the Venetians, who inhabit the historical capital of one of humanity’s richest and most successful republics, wish to no longer subsidize the famously-corrupt bureaucrats in Rome. Southern Italy has long been regarded by the richer, cleaner, and more efficient North as a drain on their resources. According to the Daily Mail, at least, there is talk of extending the secession movement to other areas of the North as well.
One pro-secessionist sounds like a Hoppean:
Campaigner Paolo Bernardini, professor of European history at the University of Insubria in Como, northern Italy, said it was ‘high time’ for Venice to become an autonomous state once again.
‘Although history never repeats itself, we are now experiencing a strong return of little nations, small and prosperous countries, able to interact among each other in the global world.’
‘The Venetian people realized that we are a nation (worthy of) self-rule and openly oppressed, and the entire world is moving towards fragmentation – a positive fragmentation – where local traditions mingle with global exchanges.’
Naturally, the large nation-states of Europe hate and fear developments like this. But for anyone who can remember history, there’s little “tradition” here that the nation-states can lay claim to. Italy is a made-up country, much like Germany, hammered together in the 19th century by powerful authoritarian politicians like Otto von Bismarck who of course hated classical liberalism and capitalism with every fiber of his being.
It will be interesting to see what Rome does. Will they send an army to take their tax money? Perhaps they’ll just wage some sort of campaign of hate against the Venetians, appealing to Italian patriotism. Given that Obama recently declared all secession movements illegitimate (except those supported by the US Government, of course) it’s unknown how much support Venice can expect from the international community.
In a 2004 interview, Hans-Hermann Hoppe spoke on the advantages of small independent (and wealthier) countries:
To the contrary, the greatest hope for liberty comes from the small countries: from Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, even Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bermuda, etc.; and as a liberal one should hope for a world of tens of thousands of such small independent entities. Why not a free independent city of Istanbul and Izmir, which maintain friendly relations with the central Turkish government, but which no longer make tax payments to the latter nor receive any payments from it, and which no longer recognize central government law but have their own Istanbul law or Izmir law.
The apologists of the central state (and of superstates such as the EU) claim that such a proliferation of independent political units would lead to economic disintegration and impoverishment. However, not only does empirical evidence speak sharply against this claim: the above-mentioned small countries are all wealthier than their surroundings. Moreover, theoretical reflection also shows that this claim is just another statist myth.
Small governments have many close competitors. If they tax and regulate their own subjects visibly more than their competitors, they are bound to suffer from the emigration of labor and capital. Moreover, the smaller the country, the greater will be the pressure to opt for free trade rather than protectionism. Every government interference with foreign trade leads to relative impoverishment, at home as well as abroad. But the smaller a territory and its internal markets, the more dramatic this effect will be. If the U.S. engaged in protectionism, U.S. average living standards would fall, but no one would starve. If a single city, say Monaco, did the same, there would be almost immediate starvation. Consider a single household as the conceivably smallest secessionist unit. By engaging in unrestricted free trade, even the smallest territory can be fully integrated in the world market and partake of every advantage of the division of labor. Indeed, its owners may become the wealthiest people on earth. On the other hand, if the same household owners decided to forego all inter-territorial trade, abject poverty or death would result. Accordingly, the smaller the territory and its internal market, the more likely it is that it will opt for free trade.
Moreover, as I can only indicate but not explain here, secession also promotes monetary integration and would lead to the replacement of the present monetary system of fluctuating national paper currencies with a commodity money standard entirely outside of government control. In sum, the world would be one of small liberal governments economically integrated through free trade and an international commodity money such as gold. It would be a world of unheard of prosperity, economic growth, and cultural advancement.
|March 25th, 2014||#6|
Is Europe Cracking Up?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
March 25, 2014
A week ago, in the St. George’s Hall in the Kremlin, Russia’s elite cheered and wept as Vladimir Putin announced the re-annexation of Crimea. Seven in 10 Russians approve of Putin’s rule.
In Crimea, the Russian majority has not ceased celebrating. The re-conquest nears completion. In Eastern Ukraine, Russians have now begun to agitate for annexation by Moscow.
Ukrainian nationalism, manifest in the anti-Russia coup in Kiev, has produced its inevitable reaction among Russians.
While praising the Ukrainians who came out to Maidan to protest peacefully, Putin said that those behind the decisive events “resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup.” The Kremlin erupted in cheers.
But not only in Ukraine is ethnic nationalism surging.
“National Front Vote Stuns Hollande” was the headline on the Financial Times’ story about France’s municipal elections Sunday.
Though the FN of Marine Le Pen, daughter of party founder Jean Marie Le Pen, did not field candidate in many cities, it won the mayoral race outright in Henin-Beaumont and ran first or second in a dozen medium-sized cities, qualifying for run-off elections on March 30.
“The National Front has arrived as a major independent force — a political force both at the national and local levels,” declared Le Pen.
No one is arguing the point. Indeed, a measure of panic has set in for the socialist party of Francois Hollande, which is calling on all parties to unite against FN candidates.
In early polling for the May elections for the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the National Front is running close behind the UMP of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, and ahead of Hollande’s socialists.
Begun as an anti-immigrant, anti-EU Party, the FN has broadened its base to issues like crime and unemployment.
But the most startling news on the nationalist front last week came in Venice and the Veneto region, where 89 percent of a large turnout in a non-binding referendum voted to secede from Italy and re-establish the Venetian republic that vanished in 1866.
Exulted Luca Zaia of the separatist Northern League, “The will for secession is growing very strong. We are only at the Big Bang of the movement — but revolutions are born of hunger and we are now hungry. Venice can now escape.”
The proposed “Repubblica Veneta” would embrace five million inhabitants of Veneto. Should it succeed in seceding, Lombardy and Trentino would likely follow, bringing about a partition of Italy.
Sardinia is also reportedly looking for an exit.
In readying their referendum, Venetians journeyed to Scotland to observe preparations by the Scottish National Party for the vote this fall to sever the 1707 Act of Union with England.
Also observing in Scotland were representatives of Catalonia who will hold a similar referendum this fall on secession from Spain. Basque Country secessionists were present in Scotland as well.
In a report published this weekend, “Europe on Trial,” a poll of 20,000 British commissioned by Lord Ashcroft of the Conservative Party found that Russia (before the Kiev-Crimea crisis) was viewed more favorably than either the EU or European Parliament.
By 49-31, British think the costs of membership in the EU outweigh the benefits and they are now evenly divided, 41-41, on whether to get out of the union altogether.
Prime Minister David Cameron has set a vote on EU membership for 2017. Now it appears the Labour Party, seeing the unpopularity of the EU, may also be open to changing the EU treaty and a referendum on saying goodbye to Europe, should they take power in 2015.
Why is the EU under rising centrifugal pressure? Why do so many nations of Europe seem on the verge of breaking up?
There is no single or simple explanation.
Venice and Northern Italy feel exploited. Why, they ask, should we subsidize a less industrious and lazier south that consumes tax revenues we raise here. Many northern Italians believe they have more in common with Swiss than Romans, Neapolitans or Sicilians.
Flanders feels the same about the Walloons in Belgium.
Scots and Catalans believe they are a people with a culture, history and identity separate from the nations to which they belong.
Across Europe, there is a fear that the ethnic character of their countries and continent are being altered forever against the will of the people.
Western Europeans are recoiling at the Bulgarians, Rumanians and gypsies arriving from Eastern Europe. Asylum seekers, economic refugees and migrants in the scores of thousands arrive annually on the Italian island of Lampedusa and in the Spanish Canaries.
Early this month, the New York Times reported a surge of 80,000 African migrants headed for the tiny Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan coast.
The goal these desperate people seek: the mother countries of the Old Continent and the wealthy welfare states of Northern Europe.
What the children of Europe are rebelling against is what their fathers, paralyzed by political correctness, refused to prevent.
It was predictable, it was predicted, and it has come to pass.