Catalan Independence and the Crisis of Democracy

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About the Author
 Peter Gelderloos has lived in Catalunya since 2007. He is the author of Anarchy Works, The Failure of Nonviolence, and Worshiping Power: an anarchist vision of early state formation. 

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Save humanity, the planet and its innocent creatures.

Increase public distrust in the mainstream media.

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has noble aims. Rubbish!

Get the healing truth from citizens' media.

Like The Greanville Post and similar free voices.

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PETER GENDERLOOS—Popular uprisings in Barcelona and elsewhere in Catalunya have overcome the police on several occasions over the last few years, and the Catalan riot police are better trained than the Spanish ones. If the leaders of the independence movement had not enforced nonviolence, the crowds would have sent the Policia Nacional and the Guardia Civil packing on the 1st of October.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found

In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all. Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report 

Make sure many more people see this. It's literally a matter of life an death. Imperial lies kill! Share widely.

One thought on “Catalan Independence and the Crisis of Democracy

  1. Many thanks to author and TGP for posting this mostly excellent article. I was grateful to have been given such a detailed historical background to the present groupings and power dynamics. I share the author’s conviction that real democracy (based on individual freedom and responsibility and a communitarian economy) has to grow from the grassroots. All political parties are compromised because all seek to corner decision-making power. Switzerland – and especially the Canton of Zurich – offers the best example of distributed power, since each canton has its own constitution, with direct democratic rights of initiative and referendum, and citizens are able to feel that the principle of popular sovereignty (down to each individual – though not to all foreign residents, unfortunately) operates. Citizens can overturn legislation. Nonetheless, important economic, political and social decisions are still made by elites, and Switzerland remains an innately conservative country.
    There is too much in the article I would wish to comment on (a proper response would be another article!), but I did want to take the author to task for stating that the Catalan independence referendum was illegal – because it contravened the constitution. The author actually offers plenty of evidence for not taking the constitution seriously, but I wanted to add another – one which I believe gets to the bottom of what is meant by democracy.
    A constitution only has democratic legitimacy if it has been co-written by the people (practically speaking, by representatives of the people chosen by lot) and has been approved by the people in a free and fair referendum. A legitimate constitution must include the provision for it to be amended – or entirely rewritten – if a majority of the people want that (this is what happened in Zurich).
    It is very clear from what the author writes that the Spanish constitution is not a democratically legitimate constitution – and therefore it, and any laws deriving from it, have no moral authority (and, I would suggest, no legal authority, because the Spanish state itself does not obey its own constitution, which states in its Preamble that it exists because “the Spanish Nation (wishes) to establish justice, liberty and security, and promote the welfare of all who make part of it. (It professes to) guarantee democratic life within the Constitution and the laws according to a just economic and social order. (…) … protect all the peoples of Spain in the exercise of their human rights, their cultures and their traditions, languages and institutions. (… and) Establish an advanced democratic society”.
    It then states (Section 1, paragraph 2): “National sovereignty belongs to the Spanish people, from whom all State powers emanate” – a correct expression of popular sovereignty. Unfortunately, it immediately contradicts itself by stating, in paragraph 3: “The political form of the Spanish State is the Parliamentary Monarchy” – a democratically impossible configuration (as in the UK, which doesn’t even have a written constitution) – unless this form has been chosen by the people themselves.

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