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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #16 
Actually, it is not just you alone whom I have made such comments about. Let us not beat around the bush. Of course I consider his style a contrast to yours, but I also consider his style a contrast to any who have act in a different way, whether they post here now or not. And more than as just a matter of contrast, in itself I consider his style to be harmless and not necessarily a cause of disputes and animosity. Indeed, I don't see why he shouldn't make left-liberals points as much any one else makes conservative ones. This was my main point, and is separate from any quarrel we have had. And this, I feel, is a pertinent point. I used those terms mostly because they are those that I had used to defend him in the previous thread and they simply sprang to mind. If we are going to scolded for such things, then this really takes sensitivity to another level.

Anyway, I think you are right that only time will tell what will happen.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #17 
With all due respect, Peter and KYM have been around here for considerably longer and are known to Theodore outside of this forum. It isn't KYM's left-liberalism that is annoying, so much as his a) tendency to be extremely rude, particularly to those he disagrees with and b) his manufacturing of outrageous claims against other forum members (including me outside of this forum).

The crux of the matter is tone here, and what is appropriate to the subject matter. KYM has a habit of pushing his pet causes no matter what the thread subject. Peter, on the other hand, does not.

I do agree that, unfortunately in these situations, we have to cede to the will of the electorate but that does not mean we have to be happy about it. Besides the fear of the consequences of Catalonia's separation from Spain, I think the timing of pushing this issue is terrible.

Even if separatism is not incompatible with monarchism, the fact is that in Catalonia and Scotland, separatism is far more likely to empower the enemies of the British and Spanish monarchies. The fact that Scottish nationalists and Irish Republicans are rather close (and the SNP's courting of that particular vote a cynical and dangerous ploy) adds to that.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #18 
Thinking a repeat of comments you had recently made directly about me might just be a reference to me 'takes sensitivity to another level'? The level, I would suggest, is not very high. But once more, let's leave it there. As for KYM, though he has occasionally exasperated me I have known him a lot longer than you have and always been his defender. I am glad that both you and David recognise what seems to me to be his essential good-heartedness.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #19 
I did not even reference unnamed posters in contrast to him. I just repeated pertinent adjectives - they well sum up the point I was making about him and made long before our recent dispute. They are a combination I have used about other posters. That is the level of sensitivity I mean. It was just the briefest of remarks for heck's sake. There is only magnanimity in suggesting we move if you restrain yourself from commenting further on the dispute.

I am glad, at least, we all are agreed on KYMonarchist's character.
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter

PS OK, someone evidently would suggest it. While I see the point made in DutchMonarchist's final paragraph, and would certainly agree with using force against armed insurrection, I would not agree with force being either used or threatened against an attempt at lawful and peaceful separation, backed by the majority of the region's populace. That didn't work in former Yugoslavia and wouldn't in Spain.



The key here is 'lawful' separation, then. It seems to me separation would not be lawful under any circumstances simply because the Spanish constitution bans it. You may agree or disagree with the provision, but it's there. Declaring yourself independent because more than half of the people in a region want it, as Catalonia's leaders now suggest, seems unlawful to me for another reason as well. An issue like this is of constitutional nature and cannot be resolved by a simple majority. 

Yugoslavia is such a different case because Croatia was trying to liberate itself from a dictatorship which had only existed for some decades, while as you said Catalonia has every chance to express its own culture in present-day Spain, a country to which it has belonged for hunderds of years. 

By violence I mainly mean arresting the leader of Catalonia if they would declare their country independent. I don't mean shooting at protestors or something like that. In any case I don't think violence would 'work out' in the long run - it would probably increase support for independence further. But sometimes you have to make a stand against what is wrong, and I do believe it could send a signal to other regions in Europe that may consider separation. If it just becomes possible to declare yourself independent when you want to, what is to become of Europe? Especially in this age where the issue of economic growth dominates politics, rich regions could just decide they have had enough of paying for other areas and leave the country.

It should be clear that separatism is wrong. There may be some examples in world history of countries that became better places after the separated from other countries, but the opposite have occured more often than not. 
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #21 
I didn't realise you meant the internal law of Spain. Catalonia would be breaking that law, but I suppose part of the issue is whether they should be bound by it.

The size of states is a very interesting topic. I must admit I'm quite decentralist. To me Catalonia has a very good size for a state, or almost entirely autonomous subdivision, the same goes Scotland. I do have peculiar ideas on economics, though. I would love to see a Europe, indeed world, of smaller monarchies and principalities. Though it has to stop somewhere. You cannot have every village or household declaring independence, so a general decentralism needs some limiting principle. There are certainly those who have argued eloquently for smaller states (and indeed economic and social institutions as well), E.F. Schumacher, Leopold Kohr, Ivan Illich, and Kirkpatrick Sale, for example. I do vaguely recall Kohr arguing that rarely do more prosperous and powerful regions wish to break away from poorer ones. They usually gain from the poorer ones, whereas it is the poorer ones who tend to wish to break away. Not sure if he is correct, though. He seems wrong in this instance.

Anyway, so far as separatism endangers a monarchy, without likely offering a replacement for the separate region, I cannot support it.

I do think we need to think about more constructive ideas to save the Union, whether in Catalonia or Scotland. The No campaigns have seemed to me very lacking in constructive ideas and have tended to rely on fear alone without offering much to truly bind the regions back to the centre. Moreover, I think this is a problem for monarchism too. How do we persuade a popular audience it is the best form of government in general, and engender great enthusiasm for monarchy, rather than relying on negative points about the disruption change to a republic may bring, or simply suggesting a republic might make things worse. In other words, how we make people unionists and monarchists from conviction.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #22 
I see no point in making such fussy and quaint arguments which could just as well confuse most people and be a recipe for defeat. Letting Scotland or Catalonia separate would empower our enemies. That's why I have no time for constant fussy and quaint arguments like these.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #23 
Which arguments? Presumably, our enemies are ultimately just republicans. What is the best way to win over such people, or at least those who neither committed monarchists nor committed republicans?
Peter

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Reply with quote  #24 
By lawful separation, I meant with the agreement, reluctant though it would no doubt be, of the rest of Spain. The constitutional barriers to embodying this in law would be formidable, but not impossible to negotiate. I don't at all want to see it happen, and don't think it likely to, but would still prefer it to bloodshed. The most likely outcome is neither of these, but some sort of compromise laced with economic sweeteners. Or just keeping a lid on things and waiting for some kind of economic upturn to quell the grumbling.

I wouldn't describe Wessexman's arguments in quite that way, though I don't share his vision and would not want to see the European nations dividing and multiplying like so many amoebae. I also don't think it's possible to get most people enthused about unionism and monarchism, or desirable to try. Most people are uninterested in questions of politics and government and just want to be left alone to live their lives in peace, which is perfectly understandable. As long as the status quo isn't interfering with them overmuch they will support it, distrusting change, and that is the feeling defenders of monarchism and unionism have available to exploit. Which they do, producing the impression of negativism Wessexman refers to. I don't see a way round that and don't think it's so much a bad thing as a reasonable and practical thing.
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #25 
I always enjoy discussing such issues with you guys, so for me there needs to be no further 'point' to these conversations. But I think our positions are reasonably clear now, so I guess I'll leave it at that. Peter, I absolutely hope you're right and would fully support Catalonia getting 'sweeteners' and more regional autonomy to keep them inside Spain. And such measures would be fair, anyway. But I'm slightly more negative in my expectations than you are: can Mas and his colleagues really turn back now, after have so repeatedly promised to declare Catalonia independent within a given timeframe of 18 months? They might as well push forward, and what do you do then? 
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #26 
I should say that the stuff about small states was just a tangential discussion (which I don't  think there is anything wrong with having, within reason) that I found interesting. It is not important to the main issues in this discussion for us monarchists, and I wasn't suggesting it was. 

Peter, I agree with what you say about the sorts of arguments that are likely to be successful for the foreseeable future. However, I can't help but think that the egalitarian and populist assumptions of the modern West, which seem only to be held more deeply and more extensively as time goes on, need to be countered, in the end, by arguments that are not just negative, but can actually lead people to believe that monarchism is a better form of government in general and can engender proper loyalty to monarchs. Or, at the very least, these egalitarian and populist assumptions need to be challenged and partially undermined.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #27 
To be fair, I do confess I have had similar thoughts - northern Italy and Germany became a patchwork of small-ish states even though they owed nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire, and the fact is the north of Italy along with the Low Countries originated a sort of proto-capitalism.

But the idea of UDI or even going ahead with this will simply be dangerous. First, I believe that independence is only reasonable if there is a legitimate historical basis and/or if the overwhelming majority of the people consent. In Scotland and Catalonia, there is significant opposition to any independence. I am not being paranoid or alarmist in saying that the consequences of Scotland or Catalonia separating could be very ugly indeed. Particularly Scotland, given how closely Scotland and Northern Ireland are tied.

Some countries gain recognition after making their UDI, others have not and still do not. And sometimes recognition is only granted after a war...
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #28 
The King of Spain has spoken out, warning that divisions will impoverish - a subtle or not so subtle reference to Catalan separatsm:
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/spanish-king-eyeing-catalan-independence-bid-warns-divisions-210933630.html#rSqsfTv

AugieDoggie

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Reply with quote  #29 
It's about time His Majesty himself spoke out against the disgusting republican separatism that threatens to tear Spain apart! No doubt, an independent Catalan republic would be just another puppet state of the decrepit, increasingly unstable EU...and given the anarchic character of the Spaniards in general, not to mention the two times Spain as a whole became a republic, it would not be too unreasonable to predict civil war in the region. (And not to mention the chain reaction Catalan "independence" would cause; things could only get worse in Europe from there.)
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #30 
That's the same fear many have for Scotland and with good reason. The environment in Scotland is toxic and divisive. The SNP is courting anyone anti-British which means they have taken a lot of the Irish Catholic vote in the West of Scotland that used to vote Labour and not a few of whom are Republican sympathisers.

What this means is that the SNP are playing a dangerous game. They either have skilfully exploited a market or are being used by people who see breaking up the Union as the easiest way to achieve their goals. I have no doubt it is the same in Catalonia. The problem is that because Scotland and Northern Ireland are so closely linked, the separation of Scotland from the Union will cause a backlash and a renewal of violence. This is why, from what I've heard, the political elites in the Republic of Ireland dreaded a "yes" vote.
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