Culture, International, Politics

Patriots Beware: Grifters Have Sabotaged Nationalism Before

The pro-independence supporters were marching in the streets of Barcelona and in every major city in Catalonia. If there was ever a moment for the pro-independence government to act, this was it…

Current Catalan political elites developed their careers in this environment, emerging from sectors linked to political activism, tourism, and administration. Puigdemont himself began his career as a journalist before becoming the mayor of Girona and eventually the president of Catalonia. In many ways his success was accidental. He became the president of Catalonia because his predecessor was mistrusted and disliked by the pro-independence left, while Puigdemont was unknown enough to generate consensus. Oriol Junqueras was a college history professor before becoming a politician. Carme Forcadell, former President of the Parliament of Catalonia, led the prominent pro-independence activist organization Catalan National Assembly…

They had no backup, having not bothered to cultivate more independent sources of power outside the regional institutions. While Catalonia has its own police force, most of its members are pro-Spanish. Its major companies rely on Spain for the international ties they benefit from. The judiciary, likewise, remained intertwined with the Spanish legal system and had no particular loyalty towards the independence cause. Catalan elites had simply never foreseen a scenario in which the loyalty of the security forces, corporate sector, and state administration could be crucial for achieving their goals…

In the end, it seems that Spain took the Catalan authorities more seriously than they ever took themselves. Read more…

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