73

The streets of Barcelona

Philip Roddis
One of my most enduring friendships is with Pete, who in 1976 took off to Barcelona and never came back. A passionate Catalan separatist, whose knowledge of the city and Catalan history puts many a native to shame, here’s his view from the barricades.

*

One or two people may be curious about what is happening in Catalonia these days and why.

It’s a long story.

Leaving historical grievances from the Compromise of Caspe in 1412 to the continuist transition of the late 1970s behind, we might say that today’s circumstances stem from the trashing of the Statute of Autonomy in 2006 and the extreme right-wing PP’s drive for votes. The idea behind the reform, agreed with the then President of Spain, was supposedly to revise and reform Catalan self-government.

That is also quite a long story; suffice it to say that a Catalan proposal was approved first by the Catalan Parliament and then admitted as a formal proposal by the Spanish Parliament. The PP filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court which threw out 14 articles and imposed mandatory interpretations on others.

That led to a massive demonstration in Barcelona of more than a million people under the slogan in Catalan Som una nació. Nosaltres decidim (in English, “We are a nation. We decide”).

Then it was negotiated again, reapproved, except for the right-wing PP and the disgusted Catalan nationalist parties and finally approved in a referendum in Catalonia in which participation was under 50%, an unprecedentedly low figure for this type of vote.

People here were pissed off.

Meanwhile, the leader of the PP was travelling Spain collecting votes against the use of Catalan for teaching in Catalan schools. Backed by a mass-media campaign “Do you know they force Spanish children to speak Catalan in school in Catalonia” “Spanish is under attack in Catalonia” he drummed up the latent anti-Catalan sentiment common across Spain, which had already been inflamed by the Statute of Autonomy negotiations.

This is a little story in itself.

First off, using Catalan as a vehicular language in school was largely promoted by neighbours’ and other popular associations of people who had moved to Catalonia from across Spain. (And therein lies another tale for another day: “the deliberate dilution of Catalonia”.) They rightly argued that any attempt to segregate by language would cause rifts and split society. The Catalan government also had plans for “normalising” the widespread use of Catalan, which had been prohibited since 1939. Catalan became the language of education, administration and even, up to a point, the legal system.

Secondly, Catalan kids get significantly higher marks in Castilian Spanish than Spanish kids do. Nowhere else do they question the fact that people who learn more than one language as kids find it easier to learn others. (And there’s another story that would fill a few pages, because outside Catalonia people really dislike our speaking another language. And I should know, because as a guiri, or foreigner, they openly speak of this dislike and ask poor me how I’m bearing up with “those bloody Catalans”.)

Thirdly, Spanish is hardly under attack. If you walk around town, you’ll hardly hear Catalan spoken at all. Add the many TV channels, YouTube, the rest of the Internet, the influx of South Americans, the Erasmus students and you might be able to work out which language is under attack.

The PP won the elections and directly set about attacking Catalonia.

“We’ve got to Hispanify those Catalan kids”, said the Minister of Education. Budgets were withheld, investments frozen, European infrastructure plans blocked. The deep state started working overtime spying and lying, poisoning public opinion.

This deflected attention from the massive corruption scandals involving public works, banking, real estate that the PP was mired in.

It also gave the independence movement a massive boost.

The annual 11th September marches have since congregated over 2 million people in totally peaceful, fiesta-like demonstrations. People of all ages attend them. In wheelchairs, with prams, with granny walkers, with papooses…And there’s never as much as an empty beer can on the street afterwards.

As the movement grew, so did the demands. The then conservative Catalan government was faced with a choice, support it or lose votes. They sort of supported it. A non-binding referendum was held in which participation was more or less confined to people with separatist ideas: 80% yes, 10% no.

The movement continued to grow on the streets and in Parliament. Eventually, pushed by the grass roots movements a referendum was organised for October 1st, 2017.

Before that, the police raided the Catalan Treasury to search for documentation on misuse of public funds. There was a mass demonstration to prevent them. Two grassroot leaders tried to stop the crowd from preventing the police from doing their work; https://twitter.com/i/status/1184838979603927041.

The PP government, true to type, swore to stop the vote and failed. The wily separatist movements had the ballot boxes in place on time all over the country in a feat of organisation that left the State’s forces flatfooted. There were even comic scenes as when the President swapped cars under a bridge and the police helicopters followed the wrong one to the wrong place.

So, having imported thousands of riot police from across the country (who embarked to chants of “Go and scrag ‘em” from their neighbours) the State decided to confiscate the ballot boxes.

Again, the vote was attended by people of all kinds and ages; school children who had camped out in the schools to prevent occupation, grannies (there’s no revolution without our grannies!!), old codgers like us, workers, students and even a few who came to vote no and carried Spanish flags, to the applause of the crowd.

Soon, we had scenes of police smashing up schools, jumping two-footed on prostrate ladies, coshing grannies over the head and generally doing what they do best. This upset a lot of people who, while not being separatists, switched to defend the right to have our say. Some of these are on the streets as I write.

Despite all this, very few ballot boxes were confiscated.

(Why did the state take this route? Wouldn’t it have been easier to allow the vote and disqualify it or simply ignore it? Talk about it? Search for an alternative. No. They never have, and they never will.)

Catalonia has a history of pacts, agreements, deals, treaties and generally looking for a way of working together. Up to a point; and don’t forget we’re talking 40 years of this last phase alone.

Castile has a history of conquest, of centralised dominion from its perch atop the meseta. Madrid was artificially created to that end. To dominate, control and exploit.

The PP has consistently centralised all rail and road communications to ensure that everything has to go through Madrid, even the European Mediterranean Corridor running from Morocco to Finland. It has tried to standardise and Hispanify Catalonia. That’s its nature.

Andalusia is Madrid’s theme park, Levant its beach and Catalonia and Euskadi its industrial and creative money spinners. And nothing else.)

After the vote and under pressure form the widespread grassroot movements, the government made a big mistake. It declared independence and then “suspended” it in the hope of negotiation and naively, some kind of mediation from Europe.

The state shutdown the autonomous government, imposed direct rule and gloated about “decapitating the Catalan independence movement”. Elections were set for December and the separatist parties again won a majority.

And so, after the police violence, judicial violence. 9 politicians and grassroots leaders were jailed for 2 years before going to trial and then sentenced to up to 9. The Speaker has been sentenced to 9 years for permitting the debate and vote.

The retired Catalan public prosecutor, not a sympathetic figure and certainly not in favour of independence or the vote said

First the sentence is for sedition, which is not an offence similar to rebellion, because it is against public order and not the Constitution. But then, the Court gives a political dimension to sedition to avoid ruling on a simple question of civil disobedience.”

And:

Sedition is an offence against public order and not the Constitution. A public order offence can never deserve a harsher sentence than murder or rape. If the convicted people serve all their sentence, they will be in jail for longer than rapists and murderers, which they do not deserve. Even people who are not in favour of independence can see this.”

And so we took to the streets. What else can we do?

As Jordi Cuixart, one of the grassroot leaders said in court,

Do you think you can stop this by sending us to jail? You, who are conniving in the prosecution with self-declared right-wing extremists against people who organised a popular vote? People who are in favour of a democratic solution to this conflict? It’s my responsibility to say here and now that we’ll do it again.”

I’ve just dashed this off with no editing.

It’s been a long week for us. On Monday, M took care of her Mom and I finished a load of work. Then we were cutting of the traffic in Diagonal/Passeig de Gràcia. Then we tried to get to the airport but the pollies had shut down the railway and metro.

So we cut off the traffic at the end of the Diagonal and when all the students who had thronged there left to walk 13 km to the airport , we went and had a bite before heading to Plaça Sant Jaume for the 7 o’clock demo, which, as there was not a pollie in sight, was perfectly peaceful.

After a curry, we headed to the central pollie shop on Via Laietana to chant “Forces of Occupation out!” and there was no violence at all. Until the pollies knocked down their own barriers and chased the -till then- peaceful crowd.

M got carried away in the crush into a nearby building and I, having lost sight of her and casting around, was quickly surrounded by 4 pollies, 3 of which laid into me with verve and gusto.

This had nothing to do with me. Even when I was walking away they came at me from behind, hitting to hurt for no reason. After about an hour the people in the building were allowed to leave one by one, hands in the air.

That was the first outbreak of violence and since then, they have all followed the same pattern. People standing or often sitting have been repeatedly beaten and charged. If the pollies aren’t there, there’s no violence. When they show up and start shooting, clubbing and running people down, it breaks out.

(Above: President in functions visits Catalonia, sees injured police, not injured Catalans, is shouted out of hospital by doctors and nurses and leaves with windows down and machine guns at the ready. Spain is a fascist state.)

On Friday there was a general strike and the columns of people who had walked 100 Km in three days along the main roads of all Catalonia reached the city. Officially, we numbered 575000, but, compared to the 11th September official figures of 1.5 million, there were far, far many more. And not a beer can on the ground.

Since then, we’ve been out every night; sometimes quite by chance at a safe distance. Clothes stinking of burning plastic. We’re off out later…

Meanwhile …

… there have been big demonstrations in the Basque Country …

… and in Madrid! where the pollies had no end of a good time. I wonder why?

You can say one thing for the pollies though; they don’t discriminate. They hit anybody of any age, standing, sitting or semi-conscious. The press, usually young, are also taking a pasting and being arrested.

UPDATE Oct 21: Four people have lost an eye to rubber bullets, of which thousands have been fired. 28 in jail, nearly a thousand arrested and nearly 600 wounded, not counting those like me who did not go to hospital to get a report.

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Guy
Guy
Oct 28, 2019 7:45 PM

This is absurd barbarism .Here I thought that Spain was a civilized country.Absolutely shameful .

passerby
passerby
Oct 27, 2019 9:06 PM

This week Spanish dictator Franco (1892-1975) was exhumed, transported by helicopter, and reburied. The Spanish PM stated this was “a great victory for democracy”. If moving a coffin 56 km (35 miles) is a great victory for democracy then what is a small victory?

The burial site of the dictator was decided 45 years ago. I daresay that if the corpse needed moving, an agreement with other political parties could be found, and some quiet diplomacy with the Franco family might have borne fruit. Instead the Spanish socialist PM unilaterally blew up an agreement made 45 years ago. Under these circumstances, what is an agreement with the Spanish Labour party worth?

mark
mark
Oct 28, 2019 12:43 AM
Reply to  passerby

Let the dead rest in peace. How would you feel if your late relatives were dug up on the say so of some slag politician who wanted to do a bit of virtue signalling? I’d find out where his relatives were buried and desecrate the graves. If that’s the way things are going to be, find the grave of some politician you disagree with, like Thatcher, Heath, or whoever, dig up the body and throw the remains around. If we have to live in a world devoid of a shred of human decency, so be it. Let’s just go the whole hog and start desecrating graves as a bit of fun entertainment.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker
Oct 27, 2019 3:42 PM

I’m all for democracy and independence, however, I recall that the Catalan referendum polled less than 50% in favour, I think it was 45%. Sorry, but that’s not enough.

Willem
Willem
Oct 27, 2019 5:30 PM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

The number you show only applies (more or less), when you would consider all non-voters to have voted ‘no’.

The actual result was this

The referendum question, which voters answered with “Yes” or “No”, was “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?”. The “Yes” side won, with 2,044,038 (92.01%) voting for independence and 177,547 (7.99%) voting against, on a turnout of 43.03%.

mark
mark
Oct 27, 2019 7:18 PM
Reply to  Willem

Ah, but 92% wasn’t enough.
Like 52% wasn’t enough in the UK.
Anyhow, Vlad The Bad rigged it all, apparently.

BigB
BigB
Oct 27, 2019 1:01 PM

This piece immediately put in mind of the famous King Lear descent into the nakedness of madness scenes – essentially alone on the heath (with his Fool), his world falling apart, civil war in the background, death and tragedy breaking all around – in his final realisation that he has been the architect all along of the psychic storm that rages without as within. But still seeking to disburden himself from the bulk of the blame (“a man more sinned against than sinned”) before the final madness descends. Cursing the weather and challenging it to do its damnedest:

“Laws of Nature: why will you not obey me?”

Ok: I might have been a bit liberal with my reinterpretation of Shakespeare. But as with Lear: so with Catalonia.

The established measure of quantifying ecological footprints is the ‘global hectare’ (gha). Which is the approximated amount of land – in hectares per capita – it would take to sustain the totally unsustainable lifestyles we live. In emotional terms: it gives a measure of our descent into the nakedness of madness – from which we seek to blame someone or something else for our own greed and unremitting cruelty to each other and the earth. As this breaks down: we are left with the final realisation that we had no one to blame but ourselves: just before the final madness and internecine civil war engulfs all in the perfect psychic storm we created for ourselves. Just like poor old Lear ranting and railing at the inviolable Laws of Nature he chose to violate. To his own cost.

According to the calculations made by Relea and Prat, the ecological footprint
per capita of Catalonia in 1996 was 3.26 ha. A few years later, according to the estimates described in this publication, the value has increased to 3.92 ha. In absolute terms (i.e. without dividing the necessary area by the number of inhabitants), the value of the ecological footprint of Catalonia has risen from
6.19 to 7.77 times the area of our country in this period.

Using a different methodology – other than that of Wackernagel and Rees – the ecological footprint
per capita of Catalonia would be around 5.15 gha, an area 11 times greater.

One must bear in mind, however, that if the importance of the legacy of accumulated consumption in the urban zones of Catalonia were taken into account, this value would be even higher, reaching 39 ha per capita (i.e. in absolute terms, 83.1 times the area of Catalonia).

https://geographyfieldwork.com/BarcelonaEcologicalFootprint.pdf

So; if the Catalonians were to embrace the 1:1 direct bio-sustainability that the Catalan eco-communities seek to redress: their struggle might be considered with some authenticity. If I extrapolate from other studies: the biocapacity of the earth is considered to be 1.63 gha. Using the low range to the high range the Catalan’s are demanding a range of 2.4 to 24 earths just to maintain their current living standards. No doubt they would actually prefer more? Fuck the unacknowledged immense cruelty and narcissistically self-conceited Catalan’s in their ‘struggle’ …the results of which ensure extinction for all.

If I reframe the Catalan ‘struggle’ in terms of bio-sustainability: the issue is that the demands entail the exponential extermination of almost everything living. But let me not isolate the Catalonians: all of the world’s high-consumers, high-emitters, high-poisoners and overreaching death-eaters – that’s us, all of us – are demanding more than the Earth System can supply. It is is important to note that the biocapacity is not sustainable – we need to live WITHIN the biocapacity …or we will not survive.

For which rapid and full degrowth is the only survivable option. Looking inside our own vanity and conceit: casting ourselves as a repressed class that needs a greater share of the oppressing state’s exponential extermination pogrom on all life – is not so much a ‘noble lie’ as a deathly deception.

In class political terms: we are the global bourgeoisie or petty-bourgeoisie. Anything other than the demand that we ALL return to below the biocapacity is an exponential extirmination and unbelievable cruelty demand. No one gives a flying fuck about biodiversity – or the exponential poisoning we already subject the world to every moment of every day – just to sustain our vicious narcissistic self-conceits. But as we strip mine the fertility of the only asset we really have – the productivity of the land – our lives are condemning nearly every one alive today to death. Not Bill Gates: you and I.

I will not digress: but it is important to note that the Cartesian subject and the state are co-constituted from the same ‘progressive’ exponential growth belief set. That this exponential expansionism is subject to unequal distribution is given. But we legitimated that too. Until now. In other words: we are seeking to protect our assets – born of immense suffering and unbelievable cruelty …but exported elsewhere. Whilst we live off the majority of humanities assets – giving them cholera, famine, and death in return. Seems like a fairtrade exchange?

The state/subject; ruler/ruled; material/ideal-dialectics we socially agree are all predicated on exported death and fantasy. When two co-constituted groups – of citizens and states – meet to face off to claim the rights to redistribute the spoils of a death fantasy …it becomes hard to pick a winner. Other than that our descent into the nakedness of a co-constituted obscene cruelty and madness is all but complete.

The only survivable option can be the apocalyptic ‘Great Humiliation Event’: where everyone – EVERYONE – in the global bourgeois or petty-bourgeoisie …that’s us, all of us – self-admits that everything we believe is faith based on lies – deadly lies …and re-calibrate our entire value system to sustainability and life …for all. Which would be unique for human history. But the level of self-deceit is so deep so as not to be perceived as self-deceit …character masked by ‘I-conceit’ layered inside ‘I-conceit’. Exponential expansion is perceived to be ‘real’ …and woe betide anyone who challenges it.

Thus: our descent into the finality of nakedness and madness is assured. We are all looking to someone or something to ‘blame’ …other than taking our medicine of the Great Humility – and taking the turn to radical self-responsibility that is the only survivability option left available. Degrowth or death?

If we continue to frame our ‘struggle’ as a noble lie: are we not as raving and loony as King Lear? And is the finality of the descent into nakedness and madness happening all around? Or are we just too blinded by madness to see?

passerby
passerby
Oct 27, 2019 10:26 AM

“at the beginning of May in Barcelona, Trotskyists and anarchists had exchanged gunfire with the forces of order of the Generalitat and the republican government. He knew that they had proclaimed the revolution and that they had been defeated after six days of fighting that left more than two hundred corpses in the streets of the city, all anti-fascist.” From “Los pacientes del doctor García”, by Almudena Grandes.

This is an extract from a Spanish historic novel about the Spanish civil war. Yes, they called themselves antifa back then, too.

To me, the events in Catalonia and Brexit are one and the same: people want power to return to the local level. They want their identity back, too. You might call it localisation, the opposite of globalisation.

Right now, we have three issues which are divisive: global vs. local, climate change vs. prosperity, migration vs. identity. Civil conversation about these issues is no longer possible. If you are on holiday in Canada and someone asks you about Brexit, you can talk freely. At a family reunion or at work, no so much. The existence of this web site is testimony you can’t even voice your opinion in the readers’ section of the newspaper.

In a point in the past century the right considered itself racially superior. It all ended in tears, the political movement thoroughly discredited. Today, it is the left that considers itself morally superior. Can’t see anything good coming out of this one either. Do yourself a favor and consider current society irrevocably lost; no-one is willing to die to preserve it.

espartaco
espartaco
Oct 27, 2019 4:58 AM

The author of this article, full of inaccuracies, disinformation and fake news, shows a PROFOUND misunderstanding of the secessionist problem in Spain and the situation in Catalonia. Although it will be too long, tedious and, given the ‘fanatic’ nature os most of the readership, not very profitable to correct and respond to all the drivel and garbage tossed in this text, it is important to clarify, if only for the record, certain points.
1- Franco DID NOT ban the Catalan language, something that, even if wanted, would have been IMPOSSIBLE. He just REVERTED to old policies for the use of a single OFICIAL language for the whole of Spain, like it was done in most of the other ‘civilised’ countries with significant linguistic minorities (France, Britain, USA, etc…).
2- One of the MOST important factors in Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War, was the division created by the Catalan and Basque secessionists, that were notoriously unreliable and undermined all the efforts of the Republic to organised an effective defence against the Fascists. After the war, Franco KEPT autonomous laws and regulations in certain nationalist areas.
3- The PP or ‘Popular’ Party of Spain, is a conservative ‘tory’, ‘liberal’ party, NOT an ‘extreme right-wing party’, like the author pretends and, essentially, DOES NOT have any major difference in policy (any policy), with the other major party, the ‘Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). In Spain the policies towards the regions have a HIGH degree of consensus among the, CORRUPT, political class of all the country. So much so, that many Spaniards believe that there is only ONE party, called PPSOE = PP + PSOE.
4- Catalan and Basque nationalists, that have electoral strength, above all, in rural areas, are overrepresented in the Central Parliament and other institutions and, regularly, join coalition governments, both, of LEFT and RIGHT, to obtain more funding, tax advantages and other privileges for their regions.
5- The Catalan political class, is amongst the most corrupt of a corrupt political class. Its members are a closely nit group, with networks of nepotism, tax evasion and almost absolute rule in Catalonia. One of the most important presidents of the region and ‘black hand’ of the secessionist movement, Mr Pujol (right-wing racist party), also called ‘Don Pujolone’, for his stranglehold on the region and beyond, is under investigation for a network of immense corruption and has a big part of his extensive family, also in jail or under investigation or released from jail by his friends in Catalonia, as the administration of jails is a devolved matter in that region.
5- The secessionists organised an ILLEGAL referendum of independence, with the ‘connivance’ and almost collaboration of the Central, right-wing, government and apathy of the rest of the political class. A referendum that did not have proper census, democratic guarantees or due process, eliminating from participation in it most of the population. On that fraudulent basis, they PROCLAIMED a Catalan Republic, that is, they suspended the LAW of the land and the constitutional order of Spain, in a blatant act of REBELION against Spanish democracy and its Constitution, risking another Civil War.
6- Recently, spurred by the protests of the working class in the rest of Spain and massive demonstrations in Barcelona, the central authorities were forced to intervene and detain some of those responsible for these acts. Although they allowed the flight of others in a shameful act of collusion. Some have been given, what appears to be long sentences but, due to the Catalan administration of jails, nobody thinks that they will comply with those sentences and it is expected that many will be shortly released. It is all a farce…!!!

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker
Oct 27, 2019 3:44 PM
Reply to  espartaco

Great points, but the revolutionary Trotskyists here will downvote you regardless.

espartaco
espartaco
Oct 27, 2019 4:54 PM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

That’s right. Many people have made up their minds, mainly because they think that any demonstration that waves a few fake ‘red’ flags or confronts the police for whatever reason is, automatically, a ‘good’ thing, an act of ‘just’ rebellion or even a ‘revolutionary’ cause worth supporting. The truth is that, the Catalan and other secessionist processes around the world, are profoundly conservative and ‘counter-revolutionary’. They are rebellions of ‘feudal’ strata of society.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Oct 28, 2019 8:28 AM
Reply to  espartaco

Apparently the color revolution in HK is good.

Do you agree

espartaco
espartaco
Oct 26, 2019 11:47 PM

This is the typical piece of crap, written by the typical PEDANT that, living like a ‘vegetable’ in a new country for a few years, thinks that has managed to integrate himself and be part of the ‘picture’. No doubt, this poor ignorant man, has been taken for a ride by his ‘Cata-Nazi’ friends, as they are called in Spain.
Catalonian secessionists (secessionists that think that they have a better DNA than the rest of us and that those who speak Spanish are ‘beasts and have a defective DNA’, as today’s President of Catalonia once said), have been mobilised, with generous funding and support, by one the most RACIST AND CORRUPT oligarchies of Spain, Europe and the World. An oligarchy that, under threat of investigation by the judicial authorities, responded with a political process of ‘independence’ in a bid to save their immense fortunes, juicy positions and absolute power.
Catalonia is not a country and never has been one, it is only a region of Spain and, in the past, was a region of the Kingdom of Aragon, not of a fake and imaginary Nation. Catalonia is A PRIVILEGED region of Spain, protected from national and foreign competition, by especial policies and investments (for instance, Spain always paid more for Catalan products that could have been obtained in the international market at lower prices and with a better quality). The recent spat of secessionism in Catalonia is only a reflection of the feudal methods that the Spanish corrupt oligarchy uses to dominate Spain, dividing the population into antagonistic and artificial ‘nationalities’, promoting languages that where not those of the majority of the population (Spanish is the main language of Catalans as is of Basques), with the clear aim of promoting inequality and discrimination against the majority. All these old policies, were used to prevent a possible electoral communist takeover after the death of Franco and, today, they have acquired a life of its own.

milosevic
milosevic
Oct 27, 2019 2:56 AM
Reply to  espartaco

The recent spat of secessionism in Catalonia is only a reflection of the feudal methods that the Spanish corrupt oligarchy uses to dominate Spain

well, if they want to escape from a corrupt feudal oligarchy, then they must obviously be nazis.

conversely, are you sure you aren’t actually a falangist?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falangism#Nationalism_and_racialism

espartaco
espartaco
Oct 27, 2019 3:26 AM
Reply to  milosevic

They are an integral part of that Feudal System… they are the feudal Lords… some of the worst.

Iskren Govornik
Iskren Govornik
Oct 27, 2019 3:50 PM
Reply to  milosevic

Hey Slobodan,

if they want to escape from a corrupt feudal oligarchy, then they must obviously be nazis

Well, that’s what you acuse the Croatians (and Slovenians and the rest) of being, for their “crime” of wanting to leave Serb-dominated, corrupt, articifially-created post-WW1 Yugoslavia!
Catalonia = Croatia
Spain = Yugoslavia
Bloody hypocrites.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Oct 28, 2019 8:02 AM
Reply to  espartaco

“This is the typical piece of crap, written by the typical PEDANT that, living like a ‘vegetable’ in a new country for a few years, thinks that has managed to integrate himself and be part of the ‘picture’. No doubt, this poor ignorant man, has been taken for a ride by his ‘Cata-Nazi’ friends, as they are called in Spain.”

Pete has lived in Catalonia forty-three years. How long have y been there?

espartaco
espartaco
Oct 29, 2019 7:16 AM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

There is an old Spanish proverb that says: ‘You might have entered in Madrid, but Madrid has not entered in you’… meaning that it is not good enough to ‘be there’ to understand, apprehend, master or discern the nature of a situation or place. In Britain, for example, there are many people that have been ‘living’ in the country without even speaking the language or experiencing other things than the rigours of their close communities. Similarly, many British ‘colonials’ (or ‘tourists’ today), were well known for their lack of comprehension of the countries and cultures in which they lived or, even, managed. The ‘presentiality’ argument is not a guarantee of anything, as we have tried to show in our previous comments, if only because nobody can be everywhere at once and, so, it can be turned on anyone by asking in this case… ‘In which part of Catalonia has the author lived?’… In which city or village?… In which neighbourhood?… For instance, in a divided community like Ulster, living in West or East Belfast will give a completely different perspective on the ‘same’ problem. In any case, the text shows a poor grasp of the background and history of Spain in general and of Catalonia in particular.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Oct 29, 2019 7:33 AM
Reply to  espartaco

There is an old Yorkshire saying that “he who begins a BTL comment with ‘this is the typical piece of crap written by the typical PEDANT that, living like a ‘vegetable’ in a new country for a few years,” is not a person seriously interested in civilised debate.

This latest comment,espartaco, is a little less juvenile, a little less ad hominem. You also make a fair point on the Six Counies (Ulster is nine, btw). But it ends with a statement that Pete’s “text shows a poor grasp of the background and history of Spain in general and of Catalonia in particular.”

I’d dispute that but it is beside the point. What Pete wrote was an eyewitness account from the streets of Barcelona. In my view and that of many others he does a pretty good job of it.

espartaco
espartaco
Oct 29, 2019 8:43 AM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

Given the disrespectful tone of the article and its many LIES and FAKE NEWS about the situation, about Spain in general and about the MAJORITY of Catalans (that ARE NOT secessionists), we will be forgiven to start some of our comments with the forceful language required to shake, those who believe this infantile misrepresentation of the Catalan problem, from their ‘slumbers’. Our earlier comments have pointed out only some of the gross inaccuracies contained in the article and in an interpretation that is extremely biased and naïve. It might be that there is a case for independence in many regions of the world, including Catalonia, but certainly it cannot be based on distortions and misinformation. The author is in urgent need of a more critical and calmed thinking.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
Oct 29, 2019 8:49 AM
Reply to  espartaco

Au contraire, Espartaco. Such puerile ad hominems, far from shaking anyone from their ‘slumber’, have a positively soporific effect.

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Oct 26, 2019 9:17 PM

Great write up by Pete.

You are not alone all Europeans are long interlinked. They have had the same masters for millennia. Differences of local language or geographic dispersal doesn’t mean that the yokes were thrown off.

That is why revolutionary moments arise at the same times across the nations. When the poor have so little to lose.

Normally the peasants are murdered on mass and a little ground is given to the survivors. That is then reclaimed after a generation or two so that the ancient exploitation continues, until the next uprising …

You are not alone, the coming one will be the greatest one of all so far.

No pasaran!

mark
mark
Oct 26, 2019 8:51 PM

Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.
Now that the Catalan people have seen all avenues for peaceful change blocked off by Madrid’s Fascist Thugs, they are entitled to take whatever action is necessary to secure their rights and dignity.
The Spanish state lost all legitimacy when it sent in its Boot Boys to smash up polling stations and club down old age pensioners waiting quietly in line to cast their vote.
The corrupt, politicised Francoist judiciary should be treated with the contempt it deserves.
When democratically elected politicians are subjected to illegitimate kangaroo courts and imprisoned for years, the time has come to draw the obvious conclusions and repay these people in their own coin.
The Fascist Police Force and all institutions of the Madrid Regime should be treated as an alien occupying force that remains in Catalonia entirely at its own risk.
Any and all violence that may occur is entirely the responsibility of the Madrid Regime.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker
Oct 28, 2019 8:03 AM
Reply to  mark

Astonishingly hyprocritical that you support Catalonia to escape from the Spanish “thugs”, yet do not afford the same rights for Croatia to escape from the Yugoslav (Serb) thugs.

mark
mark
Oct 28, 2019 6:25 PM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

Croatia was never more than a shitty little Nazi satellite.
It has a lot in common with the present coup regime in Ukraine.
Now it is just another NATO/ CIA playground and terrorist support base.
Any “Serb thugs” probably come in a poor second to Ustashi thugs.

Federal Yugoslavia was quite a civilised place (Tito was a Croat.)
It had a mixed economy, with private companies employing up to 25 people permitted, reasonable standard of living, people allowed to travel and work abroad freely, widely respected throughout the world.

It was deliberately broken up into a patchwork quilt of satellite statelets without any vestige of sovereignty directly controlled by Washington and Brussels in their own interests.
The same fate that has been planned for Syria, Iraq, Libya, and even China and Russia.
The destruction of Yugoslavia provided a template for aggression against so many other countries.
The misery that was created there has been duplicated elsewhere.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker
Oct 29, 2019 2:06 AM
Reply to  mark

A bunch of countries that were forcefully put together after WW1, dominated by one nationality, one religion, one self-appointed “royal family” and where all the money earned by the others would disappear into a black hole. It was never going to stay together.
Oh, and they had their own concentration camps too where countless thousands of non-Serbs died too.
Keep on drinking the Serb koolaid though, and wearing those Trotskyist rose tinted specs.

mark
mark
Oct 29, 2019 6:36 AM
Reply to  Frank Speaker

Trotsky wouldn’t have lasted long in Yugoslavia.
There is a lot of atrocity kool aid that has been drunk about the BBC’s concentration camps and 100,000 genocided Kosovans.
I’m just surprised they couldn’t come up with a bit of sarin or novichok as well.
Or at least a few bodies turned into soap.

RobG
RobG
Oct 26, 2019 6:32 PM

Acte 50 here today in France, the 50th consecutive week of gilets jaunes protests (and a lot of people were on the streets all across France); and a lot of solidarity with what’s going on in Spain, with lots of Catalan flags on display. Also solidarity with what’s going on in Chile, Ecuador, etc. The psychopaths who rule us must be crapping themselves.

Even more so because 100 gilets jaunes came over to the UK to join the protest on Monday outside Westminster Magistrates Court, where Julian Assange was in the dock.

lundiel
lundiel
Oct 26, 2019 2:39 PM

Every picture tells a story. How different are the people in this picture to the one above.

Frances
Frances
Oct 26, 2019 12:33 PM

I often wonder what language/s the Iberian tribes spoke before the Romans invaded.

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 26, 2019 4:33 PM
Reply to  Frances

Wikipedia is your friend:

The Iberian language, like all the other Paleo-Hispanic languages except Basque, became extinct by the 1st to 2nd centuries AD, after being gradually replaced by Latin due to the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula.

Iberian is unclassified: while the scripts used to write it have been deciphered to various extents, the language itself remains largely unknown. Links with other languages have been suggested, especially the Basque language, based largely on the observed similarities between the numerical systems of the two. … According to the Catalan Theory[3], the Iberian language originated in northern Catalonia, where the earliest Iberian inscriptions are documented (600 BC).

[So, a 2,000 year old ethnic feud between the Basque Lingo-group and the Italic Lingo-group; even longer than the feud between the Britonic Lingo-group of the Highlands and Islands vs the Germanic Lingo-group of the English Flatlands. Incidentally, the Franco Latin “Chanson de Roland” is a Romanticisation of a fight between Italics and Basque Lingo-groups, propagandized as a fight between Carolus Magnus and Muslims.]

Jen
Jen
Oct 26, 2019 8:24 PM
Reply to  vexarb

Celtic-speaking peoples also lived in northern to central Iberia from about 500s BC onwards and in some parts of the peninsula various communities of mixed Celt-Iberian ancestry and culture existed.

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 27, 2019 5:08 AM
Reply to  Jen

Jen, again from our webby friend, ” Italo-Celtic is a grouping of the Italic and Celtic branches of the Indo-European language family”.

So what we are seeing is the unconscious racial memory of an Ancient Iberian language ethnic group still trying to resist an overwhelming inroad by the Ancient Italic language ethnic group. The ghosts of ancient Language Families still stalk the earth; with the irony that Catalans now speak an Italic language (Spanish or Catalan), the way most Celts in the UK now speak a Germanic language (Anglish). They can all take heart from the Jews in Israel, who have revived a modern variant of their ancient Semitic Language.

falcemartello
falcemartello
Oct 26, 2019 8:30 AM

Historical context:
The scenes that are emerging this day and age r extremely similar to the scenes that occurred circa 1900 all around Europe. Working class and peasants alike were demanding a fair and more equitable distribution of wealth. La nuova bourgeoisia the new bourgeoisie( which most historians would call the Gilded age) had expanded to the point where it created the largest wealth gap in the new Industrial age.Here we are today where the richest 26 entities posses more wealth than have the worlds population(UN Stats). Perfect example Chile is in the top 30 nations in the world with the largest wealth gap between i ricchi e il resto del popolo.
With regards to Catalonia it has always been and still is the largest economic force in the Spanish /Iberean economy. Remember that during the Spanish civil war Catalonia was the last standing area against Franco’s fascisitc take over ,la capitale the capitol was moved from Madrid to Barcelona on the final year of that bloody war. The similarities to Suria /Syria are remarkable.
THe revenue shift from tax intake have slowly been moving towards Madrid and the general populace have slowly noted this.
As we enter the greatest depression of the post modern age the general populace be it in Catalonia or any where else in the world are going to literally loose it.
Post Scriptum :If the kabal do not get their war things are only going to get hotter as we enter the longest solar minimum that will last for 30 years . Food and and employment will further decrease and Christmas is just around the corner.
Docius in Fundem: Don’t fall for their social engineering .Pace e Bene Peace be with you all

AnneR
AnneR
Oct 27, 2019 3:43 PM
Reply to  falcemartello

I seem to recall that early on in this recent effort by Catalans (many of those who are definitely among the bourgeoisie are those most desirous of separation) that one of the reasons given by the Catalan Separatist leaders for wanting to exit Spain as a political entity was that (too much) to their taxes were being “given” to the poor in Andalucia – Heaven Forfend. I mean, the bourgeoisie have far greater need of their money. How could they afford their goodies otherwise?

I have no stake in this game (I doubt that the Catalan Separatist leaders are largely kindred in their political worldview with the Barcelona Anarchists during the Civil War), but I also seem to recall hearing on the Beeb (not, of course, a disseminator of truth on anything) that when the referendum for separation/independence was held not only did the majority of Catalans not vote but also that many living in Catalunya who did so vote for separation were not of Catalan descent nor those in more rural areas.

So was/is this more a bourgeois, self-serving independence movement or a genuine from the bottom rungs of Catalan society push to benefit all members of the region?

falcemartello
falcemartello
Oct 27, 2019 11:19 PM
Reply to  AnneR

@AnneR
Simple rule of thumb > If the legacy media and msm take issue with something then question it? It is all based on their Goebbelsque methodology to steer events.
Simple old rule divide and conquer.
My point is that we in the west have real bread and butter issues IE: he paradigm shift that is being imposed on we the sheeple. AI ,singularity ,the death of the fiat monetary system, the wealth extraction to the 1 percent and the constant social engineering that is beiong rammed our throats.
POST SCRIPTUM: More and more sheeple are wising up .Is it enough to bring about a posiitve outcome?
Only Allah knows.
The lack of intellectual honesty and the blatant gas lighting that is occurring speaks volumes to the systemic degradation that is occurring hear in the dying western sphere of the world.

AnneR
AnneR
Oct 28, 2019 11:48 AM
Reply to  falcemartello

Falcemartello – I am most certainly aware that the MSM, whether corporate owned or government funded (by taxes), has been in the business of ensuring that the hoi polloi are distracted, misinformed, disinformed and ultimately uninformed, that the “news” they disseminate is “Newspeak.” Full of lies, obfuscations, distractions, deflections, rerouting and omissions.

It is essential, however, to listen (or read or watch if those are the preferred media) to the propaganda they spew in order to know what is indeed being fed the vox populi, that the status quo be maintained.

Then one turns to the “alternative” media in hopes, at least, of getting the other side(s) perspectives, views and thereby getting some idea of what really is the truth of any matter.

As I wrote, I’ve no skin in the Catalunya game. I only hope that the working class and poorer Catalans don’t get screwed by the bourgeoisie, Spanish or Catalan.

Antonym
Antonym
Oct 26, 2019 7:18 AM

A EU could works wonders if they allowed Catalunya straight in, same for Scotland, but they won’t.
Spain/ Madrid is scared to fall to “pieces” even being in the EU? It is surrounded by water, who is going to invade?
This is one of the reasons why the EU is useless, as it enforces top down power and remote micro management. And right now they encourage illegal immigration from Africa and Asia, probably their biggest mistake.

Willem
Willem
Oct 26, 2019 7:43 AM
Reply to  Antonym

Off-topic

What is wrong with Media-Lens?

I used to think they were pretty good. And now they are saying in their latest media alert that

‘The leftist website, OffGuardian, which hosts extreme climate denial (see here, here and here), commented this month:
‘Remember – when the MSM don’t want you to support a protest movement they just don’t tell you about it. Think #giletsjaune.

‘#ExtinctionRebellion is theatre – we’re invited to take sides, polarise, but never question what actually lies behind the movement’ 

Ironically, this favoured left take is also popular with hard-right corporate media. A recent comment piece in the Telegraph was titled:

‘Extinction Rebellion exposes Left-wing activism as a global elite sham’

My question, why does Media Lens want to brandish all sceptics who oppose the Thunberg phenomenon into the camp of the ‘hard right wing’. Why can’t they look into the (IMO) valid critisicm that what Thunberg et al propose a new green deal that is a sham and that will never safe the planet (although it will safe capitalism). And why does Media Lens, also in their latest alert not mention that of all polluting industries, it is the military that has a large footprint (so stop war), and that poverty raises pollution (so end poverty).

Fighting climate change in the way that Media Lens fights climate change seems similar to fighting an epiphenonom where instead of tackling the enigine who creates all the misery, they tackle the smoke that comes out of the engine, and which does not stop the engine from doing what it is doing at all. Why does Media Lens do this?

Sorry for the off-topic comment, but since Off-G was mentioned by ML I thought I could mention it here and (unfortunately) ML does not have an open source commenting system where you can ask questions such as above (unless you go to Twitter, which I don’t use)

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Oct 26, 2019 10:05 AM
Reply to  Willem

Media Lens swallows the narrative of catastrophic fear – flagged to carbon dioxide – and reinforced with directed guilt and hate at the oil sector, while manipulating an indoctrination of environmental ‘religion’ of human self-hatred that sacrifices to the sustainability of the very system of scarcity and control that actually poisons, degrades and kills – rather than the computer modelling nightmare scenarios that are injected into the media feed without regard for truth for over 3 decades.

Manipulation by guilt and fear targets energy production, usage and control under a de-industrialised hi tech world order. The Internment of Things offers ‘smart cities of population concentration for the incentivised dispossession of people from their homes, their land, their cultural identity, their mind.

No one in their Right Mind would support such an agenda and so the means to induce wrong minded fear, guilt and division are developed and deployed. Hatred of life must save itself in illusion, because truth is love. Love of self-illusion is bolstered by defence against guilt and penalty – flagged or projected away from self.

To fill a world with toxic debt is to run out of sustainability and thus the need to sacrifice the living to the lie of survival under the terms and conditions set as systemic replacement of human being.

Apocalypse is the revealing or unveiling of truth through the revealing or exposure of illusion as illusion. Seeking to save our illusion makes war on truth – but only in the mind of illusion acted out from as true. The mind is a lens and a medium of communication that can become blocked by filtered distortions of its own fear-driven ‘meanings’.

Don’t take on the guilt or toxic debts of others as if to gain in worth or favour. Nor become a proxy of others in trying to dump your own un-faced issues on false flagged targets.
Truth is with you and in a sense beneath the layers of ‘meanings’ given worth instead.
Aligning in truth is not a process of sacrificial self-denial of self and others to fear.
But a compression to ONLY what truly belongs to you. This brings the dissonance up to the light. Evaded responsibility exports blame. But a true reconnection restores a quality of peace that is recognisably your life – back online – so to speak.

Antonym
Antonym
Oct 26, 2019 11:06 AM
Reply to  Brian Steere

The mind is a lens and a medium of communication

Even the mind is limited, as we will all find out when AI takes over. Thanks GoD there are realms beyond the intellect. Till we reach there we have to apply our own minds critically on various mental nightmare scenarios. It is going to be different.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Oct 26, 2019 4:47 PM
Reply to  Antonym

Well the human mind is already a kind of mechanical intelligence, running instead of life – as the modern idea of the Matrix or Plato’s Cave.
Orwell’s slavery is a price willingly paid to escape room 101 – just that most people learn where not to question, ask or go to – from tacit social communications.

It is the presumption of separation of self and Life – as a separate life – that must always seek outside itself to sustain the sense of control of a self-possession.
As if without such imposition of judgement of censor and control – hell would break loose – or break in.
But in any inspired activity we can realise that such control only gets in the way and generates blocks or false trails – such as to NEVER ‘reach there’ in your terms of fulfilment. War on ‘whatever’ is the way to persist and feed and sustain ‘whatever’ while operating the mask of social concern, moral righteousness and virtue-signalling. In this way cynicism is generated that then also devalues the true endeavour.

To truly relax or rest such a mind is not to become mad or extinct but to wake within the knowing of the Heart. There is no way to teach this but there are conditions that can facilitate a willingness to learn it. Self-honesty cannot be thrust upon a mind made to hide it.

When engaged wholly in what we do – as a free willingness – we automatically align in purpose. There is no system that can replace or make life but life – which operates ‘all at once’ rather than as multiple linear cause-effect pathways structured to embody and reinforce a sense of control over or upon outcomes and the narrative account of outcomes.

A.I will or does enable incredibly fast calculations and thus instructions for response within a system of dynamic stresses. However – just as within a form filling exercise to be quantified, it must limit any system to its quantitive values.

While seeing ‘money’ as an example of this, the real issue is where the qualitative or Felt Life of a truly shared meaning or significance – that is intimate or direct communication, is lost or sacrificed to a defence and control mechanism running in our name under the promise of solving our problems – and using a reactive or manipulative emotionalism from symbolic substitution for the real relationship.

Thus a world of debt-inducing derivatives of derivatives that run false currency of idea and exchange as the means to persist in the unsustainable.

G-d (or any equivalent pointing word or phrase) CANNOT be made an object of definition or control, and so Infinity is discarded for a tiny % of that which can be utilised to support the illusion of control – which puts time and space BETWEEN the true need and its true fulfilment – whenever the true need is filtered through the mind of shame, lack and illegitimacy. The mind can be very wrong – especially about You.

Until the heart’s decision awakens in act – the mind will interject and override. Action embodies the decision or acceptance of who we are. We are reinforcing our ‘self-definition’ by our every word and act that sets qualities of thought into physical reality.

The escape from a nightmare is in realising we are not IN it. This cannot be communicated directly without invalidating the power of the will in choosing its own experience – and so there is a process of noticing and differentiating the choices or thoughts of the heart from the thoughts that conflict and deny the heart – by substitution of a reactive triggered defence. Despite our apparent confidences we have all learned to co-fuse love and fear – and re-interject fear as control over any lapse or leak of creative joy in being.
So withholding reactive judgements allows noticing choices we missed or discarded before – and willingness to align in active choice grows a different quality of consciousness as we learn to live FROM who we truly are rather than towards what we think we want or need to be – as an expression of evasion or denial of who we fear or hate to be. All of that is self-judgement.

Noticing self-judgement opens the freedom to re-evaluate. Judgement itself is rule-bound and tyrannous – as an applied or imposed coercion – but discernment is of a compassionate embrace of all elements within your experience. Nothing is rejected – but nor is anything selected that does not contribute to the wholeness or integrative expression of who you now accept yourself to be – which always automatically extends to others and to Source.

Because when we think to make gods in our own image we substitute for the Thought of G-d – felt and known directly without a word and before the mind.

Anything used to derive a self is in that way a ‘god’ – but that doesn’t make it true.
The attempt to make illusions true is war on reality on the reality of others and on our own true acceptance and gratitude for being. But reality never retaliates – though we may interpret and react as if it does by building defence against communication for Notional Security. The brain-mind is a filtering device for a limiting reality experience. Can we open to Communication without inducing psychosis?

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Oct 26, 2019 6:18 PM
Reply to  Brian Steere

By the way – to the topic of the article: A true identity is extended and received not polarised against. If we want equality we have to live it or else we seek to bring down another as the way to bring ourself up. Grievances and fears are often undercurrent to then flag onto all sorts of associations – real or imagined. These ‘threats’ then generate defensive or offensive reaction instead of a willingness to attend more honestly. Fear of loss is always undercurrent to an uncertain or untrue sense of possession. No one wants to lose – and in that they all unite under the idea of lack and division instead of seeking win-win solutions in the art of the possible.

The Catalonian (or any distinct cultural domain) deserves acknowledgement and respect of its right to be. That does not automatically extend a right to political or territorial independence – insofar as that concept has meaning within a world of interrelated dependencies.

The terrorism of ‘example’ implicit in such extreme sentencing is a revealing of a lack of integrity in those who enforce such actions. Who ‘calls the shots’?

Self-determination is part of self-responsibility – which is our relational being. No man or culture is an island unto itself. But a capacity to exercise responsibility is the basic qualification of the natural right to take it on.

If globalism aligned with awakened self-responsibility, honouring communication as a means of arriving at outcomes, I would be on board. I feel for encouraging and holding ‘biodiversity’ of human endeavour – NOT social engineering to a ‘one world fits all’. But globalism runs as financial and corporate coercion under a corruption of law and order, of economy and narrative control. As global domination by the few over the many.

At times everyone might want to make the world in their own image – but only those with the belief they actually can and therefor must – are driven to bringing it about. The carrot and the stick.

Antonym
Antonym
Oct 27, 2019 1:12 AM
Reply to  Brian Steere

Brian, you are a pearl amongst …
future pearls.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Oct 26, 2019 8:28 PM
Reply to  Antonym

Oh, AI is going to “take over”, is it? Good luck with that in the age of the Long Descent.

Brian Steere
Brian Steere
Oct 27, 2019 10:15 AM

Indeed. But there is that human foible of giving power to wishful belief that this or that will save us from our selves, or answer those problems that define us in a denied sense of ourselves.

Why do we so readily give power away and in consequence suffer the ages of Long Descent as a Separation or Fall by definition?

Is it not because once given power, ideas and beliefs operate as powerful in our unwitting self programmed sense of self of beliefs made real by reaction? IE: They run as internalised structures that are invisible – and set the frame by which we then interpret, perceive and respond or react?

In this way I see the world we are making – which we may call a cultural development or logical unfolding of inherited idea – as an explication of already active internalised structures of belief – running as if automatically like background programs of processes on a computer.
And because the wish the world be different than it is – is being used to compensate or substitute for a wish we are not who we are, all attention is in the ‘front end’ or surface user interface to get and have and keep or control a ‘substitute’ reality – or a distorted, filtered and denied sense of our self, our world and each other.

If conflict, maps out denied free awareness to a ‘trapped’ attention of polarised and mutually reinforcing ‘identities’, to operate a ‘dynamic’ of limitation, depletion, scarcity, conflict and power struggle that effectively parasites its host to a paralysis of powerlessness – then the recognition of this fundamental error serves the release of it fundamental programming error to allow a natural reintegrative ‘ascent’ – as filters, distortions and blocks to awareness become conscious to be released from active consciousness.

The raising to consciousness of patterns of obfuscations of cause and effect is generally met with the attempt to make a new ‘answer’ or ‘identity’ in some process of ‘dealing with the problem’ – that reinstates hiding the problem in a false flagged identity. In a sense, this is the job-description of the mind.

To release or re-program our own mind is to act from a truly current sense of ‘worth and with’ instead of learned habit of thought and response. In this way we also see that we may not believe we are worth consistent effort of active willingness. And succumb to the beliefs that internalised way back when our sense of self and world was formed. While this may seem easier – it is on the back of an immense learning set over and against our true or original nature. This is to say an immense cost and burden is running as denied awareness – feared awareness.

An addict does not see their own addiction as entirely false while it protects from feared truth. But truth restores connection to a ‘mind disconnect’ or breakdown of communication. This is a moment where the wheels are in communication with the road and where acting from that communication – extends its qualities. And grows the pathways of recognition and trust in our own life – as part of the movement of being.

George Mc
George Mc
Oct 26, 2019 10:26 AM
Reply to  Willem

You’ve touched on a central – indeed possibly THE central – mechanism of propagandist guidance in the West i.e. it isn’t “The Right” that signals what the capitalistically compliant governments are going to do. It’s the designated opposition. To give a simplified hypothetical example: the government wants to slash wages by a quarter. It announces a proposed slash of a half. Riots ensue and “The Left” steps in to campaign for smaller cuts. The government – after a a big show of reluctance – makes a big display of grudgingly giving in to demands and decrease the cuts to a quarter. And “The Left” trumpets its “success” and the people go away thinking, “Yeah – WE showed them!”

In this case, “The Right” deny climate change and “The Left” deliver doomsday scenarios while proposing a solution that is ever so acceptable to the corporate elite. Those two positions are the only ones permissible. So if you reject the “progressive” one then you are automatically aligned to “The Right”.

falcemartello
falcemartello
Oct 26, 2019 10:53 AM
Reply to  George Mc

@ George Mc
Oldest trick in the book. IE: during ancient Rome post the Carthegean demise. there were senators who were calling out the then elite for the graft and the way they were enslaving the average roman citizen. Pompei uprising ,Viterbo uprising and Perusian uprising were all brutally destroyed. 2 senators who managed the popular uprising thought they were safe and were brutally knifed to death in the forum as they were going to the senate to propose a new statute to protect the peasant tenement farmers who with every generation after the creation of the republica romana were becoming poorer with every new generation.
POST SCRIPTUM: Same as it ever was
DOCIUS IN FUNDEM: U still think we defeated fascism in ww2?

Dungroanin
Dungroanin
Oct 28, 2019 10:09 AM
Reply to  George Mc

George, there is only top and bottom.

The very few and the very many.

It is a 3 dimensional pyramid of human control.

All at the top aim to control all below through this classic power nexus. With willing stooges lining up to fill the bottom of their pyramid and play theit assigned roles.

When the 3D is flattened into a 2D triangle and that is squashed down to a 1D line, the left-right lie comes into being.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Oct 26, 2019 11:17 AM
Reply to  Willem

Relax, Media Lens are just 2 guys who are doing a great job – nothing healthier than having different points of view across the alternative media.

God forbid we should move toward the kind of Groupthink that defines the MSM.

I followed some of the Off-G / Media Lens spat on Twitter – was mildly surprised by it, but regard it as no more than grist to the mill when big subjects are tackled.

Needless to say different points about climate change BTL at Off-G as well.

bevin
bevin
Oct 26, 2019 3:17 PM
Reply to  Harry Stotle

The voice of sanity.

Rhisiart Gwilym
Rhisiart Gwilym
Oct 26, 2019 8:33 PM
Reply to  bevin

Exactly so, bevin. Thanks for the common sense, Harry.

RobG
RobG
Oct 26, 2019 6:38 PM
Reply to  Willem

As a realist, I would answer you by saying that there’s very few people who can’t be bought.

The ones who stand out in history are those who really can’t be bought.

lundiel
lundiel
Oct 26, 2019 6:43 PM
Reply to  Willem

Medialens describe themselves as: “We reject the idea that journalists are generally guilty of self-censorship and conscious lying; we believe that the all-too-human tendency to self-deception accounts for their conviction that they are honest purveyors of uncompromised truth.” They strongly disassociate themselves with conspiracy theories and consequently see OffGuardian as pro Russian, conspiracy theorist, climate change sceptics. Luke Harding’s laughing his ass off.

bevin
bevin
Oct 26, 2019 9:14 PM
Reply to  lundiel

“They strongly disassociate themselves with conspiracy theories and consequently see OffGuardian as pro Russian, conspiracy theorist, climate change sceptics. ..”
How do you reach this conclusion?
It is extraordinary that Media Lens, one of the most reliable sources of rigorous criticism of the propaganda which infects society, that comes in not just for criticism-which is always welcome- but for unsubstantiated smears.
The moral of the story being that ruling class propaganda is what triumphs when it is mimicked by its critics. Media Lens is on your side. Or at least the side that you affect to be on.

lundiel
lundiel
Oct 26, 2019 9:33 PM
Reply to  bevin

Get over yourself. My “conclusion” is their own statement/rules of play that “In seeking to understand the basis and operation of this systematic distortion, we flatly reject all conspiracy theories and point instead to the inevitably corrupting effects of free market forces operating on and through media”.
If you flatly deny conspiracy as playing a part in propaganda, you might as well join the LibDems.

George Mc
George Mc
Oct 26, 2019 11:33 PM
Reply to  lundiel

“we flatly reject all conspiracy theories” is a colossally stupid statement. Are we supposed to assume that “systematic distortion” and the “corrupting effects of free market forces” both operate as subconscious or transcendent force manipulating people without their awareness? Michael Parenti was good at noting how this conspiracy phobia seems to lead to a notion that people operate as zombies shuffling around and therefore innocents prey to malign spiritual entities. Yes there are market forces, structural tendencies etc. But these matters and conspiracies are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, it’s hard to see how “the market” and politics can operate WITHOUT conspiracies. I am so sick of this knee jerk aversion to the word “conspiracy”. And every time I see it, I automatically feel less interest in the ones who react this way. And no – I don’t think that THEY are part of a conspiracy. They’ve just been duped by this manipulative self-castration.

milosevic
milosevic
Oct 27, 2019 3:30 AM
Reply to  George Mc

“we flatly reject all conspiracy theories” is a colossally stupid statement.

After the propaganda campaign for the Iraq War, now openly admitted to be a pack of lies, wherein the “facts” were manufactured to justify the previously-decided policy, it’s more than colossally stupid, it’s active chomskyite disinfo.

Michael Parenti was good at noting how this conspiracy phobia seems to lead to a notion that people operate as zombies shuffling around and therefore innocents prey to malign spiritual entities.

here’s the reference, which everybody who is not yet a Coincidence Theorist should read:

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Document:The_JFK_Assassination_-_Conspiracy_Phobia_on_the_Left

I am so sick of this knee jerk aversion to the word “conspiracy”. And every time I see it, I automatically feel less interest in the ones who react this way.

Indeed. “knee-jerk” hardly covers it, the way they’ve been trained to compulsively reject any suggestion that the ruling class and their various hired flunkeys, stooges, and thugs might consciously collude in furtherance of their mutual interest. It just always magically works out that way, by sheer coincidence.

For some time now, I’ve regarded people who adopt this attitude, while still posing as “leftists”, as politically non-serious. Non-political people may simply be uninformed, and are potentially educable, if shown evidence such as the JFK headshot, or the video of WTC-7 collapsing into its own basement.

Conversely, “left-wing” anti-conspiracists, when confronted with such things, will strenuously claim to see nothing unusual in them, and direct the usual bourgeois slurs and insults at those who do. Such people are merely self-serving hypocrites, motivated largely by conformity, cowardice, or careerism. They deserve no further attention or respect from anybody who is actually trying to understand what is really happening in the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj43Lo8E1zQ

George Mc
George Mc
Oct 27, 2019 8:27 AM
Reply to  milosevic

I agree with all that apart from the reference to “everybody who is not yet a Coincidence Theorist”. Everyone IS a conspiracy theorist already e.g. Whoever is behind 9/11, it had to have involved a conspiracy. And the whole thing about Russian cyber interference also has to involve a conspiracy, whether it’s true (in which case the Russians are behind it) or false (in which case it’s a home grown American scam). “Conspiracy theory” is so universally applied, that there’s no point in referring to the term – apart, of course, from using it as a smear.

milosevic
milosevic
Oct 27, 2019 9:21 AM
Reply to  George Mc

Of course, theories about conspiracies are only “conspiracy theories” to the extent that they deviate from the Official Story.

Hence, the standard usage as a smear against the minority of people still capable of thinking for themselves, when doing so might produce conclusions other than those desired by the ruling class establishment.

To mention only the most obvious current example, the theory that Trump is secretly controlled by the Russian government, which would obviously be a conspiracy of a high order, is not a “conspiracy theory”. On the contrary, it is DENIAL of this evidence-free Official Story that qualifies in establishment discourse as a “conspiracy theory”, which is perhaps an implicit acknowledgement of the amount of collusion that must have been necessary to propagate this ridiculous faery tale.

Guy
Guy
Oct 28, 2019 8:25 PM
Reply to  George Mc

Wasn’t the term “conspiracy theory”invented by the CIA ? or was that a conspiracy theory ?

bevin
bevin
Oct 26, 2019 11:58 PM
Reply to  lundiel

If I were to join the Lib Dems I would be very likely to run into you. Or at least others who think like you in rejecting socialist ideas.
Is not the operation of market forces in the media, conspiracy enough for you? The way in which journalists are schooled into playing the roles assigned them by the ruling class, controlling the capitalist system. Is that not enough?
In place of this perfectly serviceable explanation of the intellectual products of capitalist society you seem to wish to proffer more exotic explanations: ‘conspiracies’ based not on self interest and class allegiances but on…. what?

milosevic
milosevic
Oct 27, 2019 3:39 AM
Reply to  bevin

you seem to wish to proffer more exotic explanations: ‘conspiracies’ based not on self interest and class allegiances but on…. what?

Surely you can’t really be this obtuse. Of course the “conspiracies” are based on self-interest and class allegiances; what else would they be based on? Or do you wish to argue that the ruling class and the state never hold private discussions about how to further their self-interest? Everything is completely out in the open, and all Official Stories are honest and truthful? The CIA and similar agencies don’t exist, or if they do, they never do anything illegal?

bevin
bevin
Oct 27, 2019 2:09 PM
Reply to  milosevic

You misunderstand my post. No doubt the fault was mine. But I am making exactly the same point: the conspiracy is that of an exploiting class against its victims. Does it mask its planning from them? Of course, but the existence of the ‘conspiracy’ is not a secret but the essence of class rule.
One of the problems of this controversy is that people mean different things by “conspiracy” and “conspiracy theory”. My quarrel is with “theories” in which conspirators are brought together by , for example, their common catholicism, or Judaism or gender or race.

lundiel
lundiel
Oct 27, 2019 7:41 AM
Reply to  bevin

I refer you to George Mc who has stated in the clearest terms possible, why you are wrong.

George Mc
George Mc
Oct 27, 2019 8:40 AM
Reply to  bevin

“If I were to join the Lib Dems I would be very likely to run into you. Or at least others who think like you in rejecting socialist ideas.”

Part of the conspiracy phobia scam is to drive a wedge between conspiracy theory and the Left i.e. to associate conspiracy theory with the Right. And you are right there with that “rejecting socialist ideas” slur.

“Is not the operation of market forces in the media, conspiracy enough for you?”

“what is enough” is a very curious comment. Are we watching a movie? Have we had “enough” sex and violence or whatever? It’s not a question of “what is enough” but of figuring out what actually happened. To decide in advance that there was no conspiracy is to preordain the outcome.

“The way in which journalists are schooled into playing the roles assigned them by the ruling class, controlling the capitalist system. Is that not enough?”

Well you’ve just admitted it. Schooled into roles by a controlling class. How more conspiratorial can you get?

“In place of this perfectly serviceable explanation of the intellectual products of capitalist society you seem to wish to proffer more exotic explanations: ‘conspiracies’ based not on self interest and class allegiances but on…. what?”

Umm…Precisely conspiracies based on self interest and class allegiances.

milosevic
milosevic
Oct 27, 2019 9:43 AM
Reply to  George Mc

the conspiracy phobia scam

here’s the foundational document of the “Conspiracy Theory” conspiracy, right from the (CIA) horse’s mouth:

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Countering_Criticism_of_the_Warren_Report

see also here:

Lance deHaven-Smith — Conspiracy Theory in America

RobG
RobG
Oct 26, 2019 9:42 PM
Reply to  bevin

Bevin, whilst I agree with what you say here (about Media Lens) it is perhaps naive to infer that they are not corruptible?! Just about every organisation that once stood on the side of right has now been totally corrupted. Be it Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, GreenPeace, and on and on and on.

I know, let’s give the Nobel Peace Prize to Media Lens…

bevin
bevin
Oct 26, 2019 11:57 PM
Reply to  RobG

Of course Media Lens, its principals, and, for that matter, most of us are susceptible to corruption. I do not suggest otherwise.

The entire matter of ‘climate change’ is one that requires deep and honest evaluation: I have many, many differences with the XR people but the basic idea that we live in a new era in which humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources needs to be taken under democratic and rational control is unexceptionable. I am aware that in this crisis the barbarians are well organised and control the commanding heights of the system-the Devil has always known a good tune when he hears it- but to deny the reality of climate change is a mistake.

Capitalism destroys and at its highest point it destroys the world itself. That is what its historical mission is, to eat and excrete everything. And everyone.

Those involved in XR need to be told this, they need to understand the nature of class society and the history of capitalism. It is all very obvious. The question is how to approach the urgent and enormous problems caused by capitalist degradation of the biosphere and how to focus popular energy on dismantling capitalism.

milosevic
milosevic
Oct 27, 2019 4:01 AM
Reply to  bevin

the basic idea that we live in a new era in which humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources needs to be taken under democratic and rational control is unexceptionable.

The question is how to approach the urgent and enormous problems caused by capitalist degradation of the biosphere and how to focus popular energy on dismantling capitalism.

news flash: XR doesn’t in any way propose that the planet’s resources need to be taken under democratic control, or that capitalism is the source of the problem, and needs to be dismantled. If they did, they would be socialists.

Their actual demand is that the Responsible Authorities, meaning the capitalist state and large corporations, use their authority to magically solve the problem. By pure coincidence, as always, the solutions implemented will have the totally unforeseen side-effect of producing greater power and enormous profits for the same capitalist state and corporations, whether or not they meaningfully address the serious environmental problems which were the original concern.

https://winteroak.org.uk/2019/04/23/rebellion-extinction-a-capitalist-scam-to-hijack-our-resistance/

Willem
Willem
Oct 27, 2019 10:39 AM
Reply to  milosevic

That winteroak publication is quite revealing that there is no such thing as an Organisation that is willing to safe the planet. It is also quite revealing that medialens hasn’t seen this publication and wrongly interprets Cory Morningstar and Off-G.

I hadn’t thought of the comment, mentioned above that leftism is all about steering away the right from far right decisions, in which way the left ends being right of center. To me, this is the situation that media lens finds itself in. Whether that is intentional or not is difficult to say. Suppose it is not, then it is still an incredibly stupid situation to find yourself (as the credible left) into.

Well, we all make mistakes… I do not know how to say this in English, but one can always change his mind for the better (beter ten halve gekeerd dan ten hele gedwaald)

bevin
bevin
Oct 27, 2019 2:13 PM
Reply to  milosevic

“news flash: XR doesn’t in any way propose that the planet’s resources need to be taken under democratic control, or that capitalism is the source of the problem, and needs to be dismantled. If they did, they would be socialists.”
Again, this is the point that I was making. It is the central problem with XR and its fans and suggests a strategy (as many others have noted) to use the climate crisis in order to institute fascism.

Igor
Igor
Oct 26, 2019 11:03 PM
Reply to  Antonym

“And right now they encourage illegal immigration from Africa and Asia, probably their biggest mistake.”

“Mistake” or “planned strategy”?