Forum topic: Spain and Catalonia: Two countries to impose the same misery

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Forum topic: Spain and Catalonia: Two countries to impose the same misery
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Spain and Catalonia: Two countries to impose the same misery. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

Was this an article or a

Was this an article or a leaflet? I agree with the analysis of course; although it would have been good to get a touch more analysis as to what is going on with the Spanish bourgeoisie. How stable is the Spanish state right now? Who are the factions pushing for Catalonian independence? What are they up to exactly? Is this a giant distraction meant to tampen down the genuine social unrest we have seen in that country or are there real tensions in the Spanish bourgeoisie coming to the surface as a result of the economic crisis. The article quotes the bourgeois media as asking, "Is an independent Catalonia viable?" Well, how about it? Is it? Why do we think this is happening now?

Views of nationalism

Those who follow current Marxist views on 'nationalism' seem to regard the 'international proletariat' as being perfectly entitled to live wherever it likes, irrespective of any local conditions, yet also as a result of them. Materialists recognise that as humans are animals, whether or not highly sophisticated, they are essentially territorial in that they need to live on land of some sort (with the exception, of course, of those who live entirely on water).  Knowledge of how to survive on a particular area is developed and passed along, generation to generation, by those who live in it.  Even if the entire world population, largely consisting of proletarians, only had green skin and only spoke one language, it still would not make sense for totally unrestricted numbers of us to just move into other areas, regardless of circumstances there. Marx wanted workers of the world to unite, but in fact, whilst co-operation for common ends would be an excellent aspiration, workers have considerable affinities with places in which they are born and develop, however good or bad those places might be, so, however much those who exploit us seek to divide us with false notions of 'defence of the realm' etc, we do in fact have countries of 'our own' , or those which ought to be truly our own when freed from exploiters.  There is enough technical knowledge and raw materials to enable workers to turn this planet into a paradise, but each step in that direction can only be made within local circumstances,  however inspiring 'internationalist' perspectives might be for Marxists.

Don't underestimate nationalism

I think that the Catalonia example, as explained in the article/leaflet, shows, that in some areas, there are both real tensions within the bourgeoisie and that these tensions are used to mobilise the working class away from potentially positive expressions of struggle. This is not just happening in Catalonia/Spain. These centrifugal tendencies will continue and deepen as the economic crisis deepens. This generally doesn't weaken the state or its  ideological and material forces of repression. They can be enormously strengthened by them in the face of class struggle. The text highlights the seriousness of this attack on the basis of look after our own backyard and quite rightly so as the common cause of "we're all in this together", the Labour Party's "One Nation" and their fascist and stalinist similarities. The text looks at the role of the nationalism of the political left apparatus and the trade unions, both structures nowadays set up to ideologically attack the class through the "defence of the national interest". We know that the ultimate defence of the national interest and of nationalism is imperialist war.

I thought that the text confronted many of the questions raised on other threads relating to the class struggle and particularly the response, or lack of it, from the working class. It also looks at the very real  weaknesses of the Occupy movement in that, even with its very positive elements, this wasn't a movement of the proletariat but one that workers were mostly involved in as individuals. Even if the workers (and unemployed) did not completely identify with Catalonian independence, it was still a concern to see so many walking side by side with their executioners on the demonstrations.

Workers uniting is not at all in contradiction with having affinities with where you were born or where you live - the question is how best do you defend your conditions here and now and that can only be from a perspective towards confrontation with "One nation", a perspective for class war. The Spanish text was correct to underline that we don't have countries of our own and that the real "owners" of the country are our exploiters.

Not to divert discussion but....

A small video attempting to publicise this topic has been posted on U-tube.

Perhaps any comments on it could be added to the discussion forum below.