Catalonian Referendum

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Dave T 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #85758

    Dave T
    Member

    An interesting report which highlights some voices of sanity against nationalism which is the poison of the working class.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/30/red-belt-catalonia-labour-movement-referendum

     

     

    #129558

    robbo203
    Member
    Dave T wrote:
    An interesting report which highlights some voices of sanity against nationalism which is the poison of the working class.https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/30/red-belt-catalonia-labour-movement-referendum  

     Living in Spain – Andalucia – Ive been following developments in Catalonia and my partner, Ana, has many contacts in the region who have been sending her video updates of what is going on.  The power of the social media in practice!  It seems that the actions of the Guardia Civil today of raiding polling stations and confiscating ballot boxes was fully anticpated by the Catalan authorities who devised all manner of ruses to get around the restrictions.  At the time of writng today – about midday – some 1000 or the 2300 polling stations have been sealed off by the Guardia Civil – but voters are still able to vote at other stations not closed down since their voter registration details can be checked against a universal register cleverly made accessible over the internet in advance Dave T is right to condemn the poison of nationalism – although we should not forget the spanish nationalism of those who want Catalonia to remain in Spain.  However the issue is a bit more complicated than just one of nationalism For many voters it seems the issue has become one of democracy and freedom of expression. Rajoy I believe has blundered badly in declaring the whole exercise illegal and has incurred the wrath of even those who would have voted against independence.  It is a miscalculation that could cost him and his government dearly come the next election

    #129559

    Sympo
    Member

    The government is acting very shady if you ask me. Couldn't they just say "we won't allow Catalonia to become independent" and still let people vote? What are they worried about? That the pro-independent side will get the most votes?

    #129560

    DJP
    Member

    I think they must have seen some of those old anarchist stickers: "If voting changed anything they'd make it illegal".. Well perhaps it does and they just did..

    #129561

    robbo203
    Member
    Sympo wrote:
    The government is acting very shady if you ask me. Couldn't they just say "we won't allow Catalonia to become independent" and still let people vote? What are they worried about? That the pro-independent side will get the most votes?

     My sentiments exactly, Sympo. This is a gross miscalculation on Rajoy's part and it doesnt look good. The Catalan nationalists are threatening to bring their case to the EU and the UN.   If I were the capitalist prime minster of Spain I would have  let them have their vote – like Cameron and the Scottish referendum .  Although the last time a vote was held in 2014 and the independence movement got a majority of the vote, the turnout out was small and probably most Catalans would have noted no in a real referendum but that referendum was deemed to be not binding .  That is the line Rajoy should have taken from the point of view of his own interests but this time round he did not   This time round the  government has come down strongly against the referendum  on the grounds that it is illegal and unconstitutional and so they are actively seeking to disrupt it which is stupid really.  It is only serving to drive more people into the pro independence camp on the pretext that a country – Spain – that is so brazenly undermining democracy in this way is probably not worth remaining in. In other words it has become more than just an issue of nationalism; the question of democracy is involved too. There is also of course the thorny issue of taxation with the independence movement arguing that Catalonia pays a disportionately large share of tax revenues into the central state's coffers and this particular claim will only be given heightened prominence as a result of the government's action

    #129562

    Marcos
    Member

    Spain has a very interesting history, and it has produced many excellent writers who have written about the many political and economic struggles who have taken place for several decades. Spain has one of the most beautiful collections of literature, novels, and artistic writers. They have had a long struggle against the influence and the control  of the Catholic ChurchThis struggle is more than a pro-nationalist struggle of the "Catalanes", for many years Spain has had several ethnic struggles,  and fighting of  kingdom within a kingdom ( Monarchy vs Monarchy )  like the case of Castilla and Aragon, and Castilla ( Castellanos )  was the one who financed the expedition for gold and silver  toward  the Americas.  The Vascos, Gallegos and Gitanos have also been fighting for a long time against the Spanish nationalism, and suppression of their democratic rights.In another country like the USA peoples are discriminated because they are blacks, Latinos, Indians,( Natives )  or from the so-called third world, or from Eastern Europe,  but in Spain there is discrimination against their own internal l ethnics groups, therefore, it is not only a  pro-nationalist struggle, it is also a struggle to obtain certain bourgeoise democratic rights. Many Argentinean are European descendants and they are also discriminated in SpainSpanish nationalism has also tried to denigrate the influence of the Moros ( black ) in Spain, curiously the Muslim tried to separate religion and sciences and they were the founders of the first university in Spain. Many university professors have said that the worst thing that Spain did was to destroy all the scientific documents and books left by the Moros.Spain is also a real historical expression of the real Muslim or Arabic  world, it is not the idea presented in our times, that they are a bunch of savages, criminals,  and fanatics, they brought much science advances to Spain and Europe,  from Medicine, Pharmacology,  natural sciences, music, arts,  and the Spanish nationalism have tried for many years to cover and denigrate  that historical reality which is also part of the history of Spain. The Muslim brought more advances to Spain than the Christians or the Catholics.

    #129563

    anonymous
    Member

    Surely the important point is being missed. One of major arguments of some leftist against the SPGB position is that the State will not allow us to use the ballot box for revolution.

    #129564

    robbo203
    Member
    Vin wrote:
    Surely the important point is being missed. One of major arguments of some leftist against the SPGB position is that the State will not allow us to use the ballot box for revolution.

     Not quite sure how that argument would apply in this case, Vin , because firstly we are talking about a hypoethical situation in which the entire socio -political environment will have been significantly modifed and democratised  as a result of the growth of the socialist movement beforehand.  Secondly. we are only talking here of a small section of the Spainish working class based in Catalonia facing the might of the Spanish state.  It would be quite a differnet ball game if the Spanish state sought to take on the Spanish working class as a whole (which unfortunately at the moment is divided by nationalistic ideas)

    #129565

    anonymous
    Member
    robbo203 wrote:
    Vin wrote:
    Surely the important point is being missed. One of major arguments of some leftist against the SPGB position is that the State will not allow us to use the ballot box for revolution.

     Not quite sure how that argument would apply in this case, Vin , because firstly we are talking about a hypoethical situation in which the entire socio -political environment will have been significantly modifed and democratised  as a result of the growth of the socialist movement beforehand.  Secondly. we are only talking here of a small section of the Spainish working class based in Catalonia facing the might of the Spanish state.  It would be quite a differnet ball game if the Spanish state sought to take on the Spanish working class as a whole (which unfortunately at the moment is divided by nationalistic ideas)

    It's not me we need to convince. Most people will look at concrete situations and what is actually happening. It makes it more difficult for us to argue for the ballot when the capitalists are today using it's rottweillers to prevent ballots

    #129566

    gnome
    Member
    Vin wrote:
    Surely the important point is being missed. One of major arguments of some leftist against the SPGB position is that the State will not allow us to use the ballot box for revolution.

    On the eve of a socialist revolution circumstances will be somewhat different compared with the current situation in Catalonia.  Most workers would already be convinced of the need for socialism and would have organised themselves in trade unions and other bodies ready to keep production and administration going after the election victory. Socialist ideas would also have penetrated into the armed forces.Once there is an organised, determined majority the success of the socialist revolution is assured, one way or the other. It is then a question of the best tactic to pursue to try to ensure that this takes place as rapidly and as smoothly as possible. In our view, the best way to proceed is to begin by obtaining a democratic mandate via the ballot box for the changeover to socialism. The tactical advantage of doing this is that, when obtained, it deprives the supporters of capitalism of any legitimacy for the continuation of their rule. This could be important should some of the pro-capitalists think of staging a coup: any wavering elements, especially in the armed forces, would tend to side with those who have the undisputed democratic legitimacy, i.e. in this instance those who want socialism.See also this month's Socialist Standard:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/2010s/2017/no-1358-october-2017/what-would-real-socialist-revolution-look

    #129567

    ALB
    Member
    BBC wrote:
    Catalan officials later said 90% of those who voted backed independence in Sunday's vote. The turnout was 42.3%.

    That's only 38% of the electorate. The Spanish state hasn't sent "rottweillers" only a few yapping dogs, i.e., their response hasn't been that repressive, certainly not as repressive as a state can be. But why not? Because even if only 38%  of the population is against them they dare not. Think how much they would have think again if over 50% were against them and, again, if those 50+% were determined Socialists (not wishy-washy independanists).

    #129568

    ALB
    Member

    I see the Trots are already on the independantist bandwagon:https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/catalonian-referendum-was-popular-uprising/http://groupemarxiste.info/?p=3945And the Catalan government doesn't even pretend to have any leftist or radical project, just to have an independent Catalan state so the capitalist class will be able to pay less in taxation !

    #129569

    anonymous
    Member
    ALB wrote:
    And the Catalan government doesn't even pretend to have any leftist or radical project, just to have an independent Catalan state so the capitalist class will be able to pay less in taxation !

    I haven't read the trot stuff but surley the reason for the ballot is not as important as the State preventing it from taking place?Didn't we support the Polish workers struggle for 'democracy'  ? Or has the party's position changed? 1.3  This Conference re-affirms the stand taken in the September 1939 Socialist Standard and repeated in the September 1989 Socialist Standard, that the Socialist Party of Great Britain wholeheartedly supports the efforts of workers everywhere to secure democratic rights against the powers of suppression. Whilst we avoid any association with parties or political groups seeking to administer capitalism we emphasise that freedom of movement and expression, the freedom to organise in trade unions, to organise politically and to participate in elections are of great importance to all workers and are vital to the success of the socialist movement. (1990)

    #129570

    ALB
    Member

    There are two separate issues (1) whether or Catalonia should break away from Spain and become a separate, capitalist state, and (2) whether there should be a referendum on the question.  The reaction of the Spanish government has shifted the debate from (1) to (2), which has enabled the Catalan regional government to win sympathy and support on that basis rather than for the less popular breakaway from Spain.While Socialists have no sympathy or support whatsoever for setting up yet another capitalist State and are implacably opposed to Catalan as to all other nationalisms, our position on the referendum can be, as Vin points out, more nuanced — even if the question on the ballot paper was irrelevant the vote should not have been prevented. I imagine that if there was a socialist party in Spain it would have taken the same attitude as we took to the Euroreferendum here — that it was an irrelevant side-show and that those who wanted socialism should write "socialismo mundial" across their ballot papers. Abstention would have been another option, but generally we favour taking part in elections where they are called, even if only to cast a write-in vote, just to show we regard them as a potential weapon a socialist working class can use to win political control and end capitalism.Actually, although it is being denounced for brutality, it was not in a position to employ its full (paper) power. The New York Times reported the Spanish Minister of Justice as saying:

    Quote:
    Most polling stations stayed open on Sunday, he said, “because the security forces decided that it wasn’t worth using force because of the consequences that it could have.”

    On the other hand, it will have had some support in other parts of Spain from Spanish nationalists.

    #129571

    anonymous
    Member

    It seems party members are showing no sympathy for  Catalonian workers who are being prevented from entering the ballot booth  by the Capitalist State bullies: Even though the SPGB supports them or should be supporting them. 

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