Nestor on Spain & Catalonia

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Fri Jan 26 19:45:10 MST 2001

I thought Nestor's post on Spain was excellent.

I don't know much about what I guess some poeple would call the 'national
question' in Spain.  But visiting there in the 1980s, I must say I did
start to wonder about Catalan nationalism, as that province seemed much
more developed and prosperous than much of the south of Spain.

When I was in Sinn Fein, I always supported Basque nationalism, and there
were close relations between SF and Herri Batasuna (political wing of ETA).
I always *assumed* the Basques were an oppressed nation, without ever
thinking too much about it.  However, in the early 90s, some friends of
mine went to the Basque country and returned rather critical of the idea
that the Basques were being held down by the Spanish state - in fact, the
Basque country, they said, was one of the most industrialised and developed
parts of Spain and basque nationaism seemed to be more abut not wanting to
share this with the rest of the country, especially the southern Spanish
who were regarded as Moorish - ie a bit like the reactionary rgionalist
attitudes one finds in Northern Italy in relation to the south of the
country, or in Slovenia and Croatia towards the less developed and poorer
parts of former Yugoslavia.

I think we should be very wary of throwing our arms around every national
(or would-be national) group which claims to be 'oppressed'.  Soometimes
these are claims are based on not wanting to share resources with people
even worse off within the existing national state.  It's not hard to
concoct a history for yourself as a 'victim' of some larger territorial
unit, especially in these days of postmodernism where everyone's 'story' is
as valid as everyone else's.

As Marxists, however, we should be a bit more critical (and suspicious).  I
certainly remain both ciritical and suspicious in relations to claims that
Scotland is some kind of oppressed nation.  'Braveheart' was OK as an
action movie, but I wouldn't base my politics on it.

Philip Ferguson

"Don't Dream It - Extreme It" (Lana Coc Kroft)

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