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The Catalans have sailed into uncharted waters


To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first set our hearts and brains right so as to cultivate our personal life.
       - English translation of Confucius' words 修身斉家治国平天下

On Sunday the Catalans went ahead with the "mock" vote on independence in defiance of the rulings by the Spanish Constitutional Court that a referendum, either formal or informal, is unconstitutional, while the Madrid government was looking the other way. According to provisional reports, 2.25 million people of the 5.4 million voting-age population have cast their ballots at 6,700-plus polling stations. By Japanese standard for "real" elections which cost taxpayers a tremendous amount of money each time, the estimated turnout for the Sunday vote which was readied mostly by volunteers is unusually high.

It goes without saying most of those who went to polling stations voted for secession while people who don't favor the idea just chose to stay home. Actually an interim report puts the rate of Si votes at 84.5%. But as I've said before, the real significance of the symbolic vote lies with something else than these numbers.

Catalan citizens are queuing to cast their ballots.

Josep-Lluis Carod-Rovira, former Vice President of
the government of Catalonia

In a YouTube video I found several days earlier, Josep-Lluis Carod-Rovira, former Vice President of the Catalan government, exquisitely described the situation facing the people of Catalonia. He said to the interviewer, "Catalonia is like Scotland, but Spain is not like Great Britain."

Apparently Carod-Rovira just intended to make it understandable to outsiders who have little insight into history of the nation-statehood. But you can't deny this is something like saying, "Okinawa is like Guam, but Japan is like Puerto Rico." That is very true, but it won't bring you any closer to an actionable idea to look at the problem from this angle.

As a matter of fact, no pro-independence Catalan thinks about transforming the Kingdom of Spain into a United Kingdom.

To begin with, Spain and the U.K., or any other two countries, aren't really comparable. I even doubt David Cameron allowed the Scots to hold a referendum because he is an ardent believer in the principle of democracy. Perhaps he just wanted to degas the Scots after consulting with one of those reliable bookies.

This apple-and-orange comparison aside, we are still curious to know where the Catalans are heading.

Some pro-secession Catalans say eventually they will be seeking an independent membership in the European Union and the United Nations, while some others say their ultimate goal is to build "a nation without a state." It seems there is no common goal shared among pro-independence people of Catalonia as yet. But this is quite natural because you never know the consequence of your action when you commit yourself to an unprecedented kind of initiative.

In response to my previous post, more than half-a-dozen people gave me their comments, either online or offline.

Ms. Lara, Chen Tien-shi, associate professor of anthropology at Waseda University was one of them. Although Lara reserved her opinion for the time being, she showed a keen interest in the novel idea about a nation without a state.

Aside from her teaching job, Lara has been dedicated to helping "stateless persons" out of every kind of persecution inflicted on them. Deep inside, however, she doesn't seem to be comfortable with the way brainless people at UNHCR have defined a stateless person as if he is a pest. So I think the notion of a nation without a state, i.e. a stateless nation, must be quite a challenge to her.

Last night I ran into Lara when I stepped out of the apartment building where I live. She was standing by the garbage dumping site designated for the shared use among residents in this block. In the dark Lara spotted me with her cat's eyes well before I did her with my cataract-suffering eyes. As usual we had a pleasant stand-talking for almost 30 minutes. I refrained from reminding Lara of her homework in part because I know she is too busy, as a teacher, a mother and a human-rights activist, to address a challenging issue such as this one.

Another reason we didn't touch on Catalonia is because we know we can't discuss such an intricate matter in 30 minutes. We must have had to resort to borrowed words if we had attempted to do so. A really new idea will never shape itself from old ones as the Catalans seem to be demonstrating to us.

More importantly, we are a rare species of people around here in that we always value living each moment of our everyday life with a creative attitude than exchanging worn-out words. These are why we just updated each other on how life is treating us these days in a way that was heartening to both of us.

Mr. Hiroaki Koide, associate professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, also gave me an interesting feedback. The conscientious nuclear scientist concluded his mail by saying he hopes the people of Okinawa will take a similar step in the not-too-distant future to liberate themselves from American colonists and their Japanese minions perhaps in one go. He doesn't specialize in anthropology. So I think this is the best thing we can expect from Mr. Koide.

Aside from these offline responses, two American gentlemen expressed their thoughts online. As usual I learned a lot from their ways of viewing the situation facing us today. Admittedly, though, I got the impression that they are more or less at a loss over what exactly to make of the cracks showing everywhere in the post-WWII regime embodied in the United Nations and the European Union.

It seems to me that in the West, nobody can foretell what the geopolitical landscape will look like after the imminent collapse of the American Empire, perhaps with the exceptions of these mentally-retarded doomsayers and our poor friend Ching Chong Chang.

But actually everybody should be able to envisage his future on his own, right or wrong. It's really amazing to know Obama, Merkel, or any other leader in the West, doesn't have the foggiest idea about what their follies will result in.

By contrast, Vladimir Putin seems to have a brain which isn't that empty. Recently when asked if he thinks we are witnessing Cold War II in the wake of the turmoils in Crimea, Ukraine and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Russian President said:

"Nyet. In those days, Russia and America differed ideologically, but today we differ philosophically."

I think he's absolutely right.

In the last 238 years in America, and in the last 69 years in the rest of the world, people have taken it for granted that they are endowed with something "inalienable" which they are taught to call "natural rights."

It has never crossed their minds that Thomas Jefferson borrowed the "self-evident" and superstitious idea from John Locke simply because he thought it was a killer phrase that justified the killings of 25,000 Americans and 24,000 Britons in the American Revolutionary War.

Perhaps it was a valid idea for the propaganda to beautify their brutality, but not anymore. Now it justifies absolutely nothing.

Toward the end of WWII, it belatedly dawned on them that natural rights are not really natural. If the phrase should be interpreted to mean the rights to "Life, Liberty, and Property" as Locke put it, it is more applicable to animals than to human beings. In fact, it's purely an artificial thing invented by not-so-intelligent guys such as Locke and Jefferson.

But instead of going through a thorough soul-searching, people decided to reword the same old idea as human-rights.

The enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. further aggravated the situation. Now the pathological obsession with human-rights has turned into a diversity cult which has absolutely nothing to do with Putin's philosophy. Even these anti-Semitic idiots who call themselves truth-seekers invariably base their delusive conspiracy theories on a childish premise that it constitutes an unforgivable crime to deprive someone of his "inalienable" right.

But the fact of the matter remains that throughout the prolonged American Century, practically all Americans and most West Europeans enjoyed their natural rights sitting on the heaps of millions of Japanese, Vietnamese, Afghan and Iraqi corpses. Now they are standing on their empty heads. Never again will they become able to walk on their feet.

In recent years I've learned and relearned, through my first-hand experience with the gang of robbers at the tax-collecting department of Yokohama City Hall, that my constitutional rights are nothing but a castle in the air.

But nevertheless, I am very proud of being one of these level-headed and modest East Asians like Chen Tien-shi and Hiroaki Koide, who have never dreamed of taking away anything from anyone, or giving it back to him.

I think we owe this trait to Chinese thinker Confucius who said 修身斉家治国平天下 two-and-a-half millenniums ago.

The Catalans are the people who live in one of the wealthiest regions of a European country which supposedly upholds a traditional value system based on democracy and Christianity.

For me it's a pleasant surprise to know these highly-inspired people are pursuing something really unprecedented with their unclouded insight and foresight into the history and the future of mankind. ·

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The Catalans have taken their first step into an uncharted territory
Authored by: Diogenes on Wednesday, November 12 2014 @ 03:58 AM JST
What the media is giving us is a technique to hide what the real motivation is behind this massive rejection of being tied to the Spanish state. What that is, I can't say. I will have to consult Catalunyan/Catalonian newspapers and hopefully find the answer. There's much more to this, much more.

The country of Spain, like many of the rest of the Western European countries, is a geographical area won by conquest. In 1492, Isabella and Ferdinand consolidated their grip on this region through expulsion and unification of language. Like China, each region before the Spanish conquest, had their own dialect, the Catalan language being one of them. Isabella had an advisor, whose name slips me now, who advised her to unify the language if she wished to maintain a unified nation. Mao followed suit. If I remember correctly, China before Mao had something like 5,000 dialects, yet in one generation, he made Mandarin the national language. The fact that in Catalonia, the first language is Catalan is quite a feat. In the U.S., without any threat of violence, the U.S. now has a second unofficial language: Spanish. In Los Angeles, you can see many more "unofficial" languages when visiting cash machines. It is longer a requirement for citizenship to be fluent in English. While this may appear to be a non-issue, Mao and Isabella knew that language was one method to maintain national unification and identity--if everyone speaks the same language, then their old identities will die with them. This open secret should enrage the masses of Americans, but they've been neutered with football, cheeze doodles, and beer.

Since communism never died but re-entered the scene via stealth and calling its new internationalism "The New World Order," the Catalan people are going to be in a battle for their very lives, if contemporary history is any example. While Hitler created his "national socialism," Trotsky condemned this in a famous rant, saying that national socialism was wrong and only international socialism/communism was what the proletariats wanted, which is nonsense of course, along with the very term "proletariat."

This story is far from over.
The Catalans have taken their first step into an uncharted territory
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Wednesday, November 12 2014 @ 08:30 AM JST

I can't agree more if you wanted to say Catalans' quest has absolutely nothing to do with ideologies, be it national socialism or international socialism. Oppression or poverty doesn't really make people revolt. Self-esteem on the part of each individual does.

As to ban on languages, I have a little different opinion. It's a piece of cake for the ruling class to systematically exterminate the traditional language of an ethnic minority. But it doesn't make sense to kill the language because as long as an innovative idea survives the oppression on the part of the oppressed, it will always find a way to be expressed, and if it's already dead, nothing requires a language, new or old.

As I wrote in my previous post, the preservation of "endangered languages" by UNESCO just for preservation's sake is yet another gimmick to contain people in status quo. .

The Catalans have taken their first step into an uncharted territory
Authored by: samwidge on Wednesday, November 12 2014 @ 04:44 AM JST

You said, "... thought it was a killer phrase that justified the killings of 25,000 Americans and 24,000 Britons in the American Revolutionary War."

You seem to forget that the American Revolutionary War was a war. It is irrational to presume that any war is connected to justification. Justification is a concept all nations use to build consensus of those working people who do not have time or inclination to study in the run-up, duration and aftermath of a war.

I ask you rhetorically, Was America justified in its attacks on Japan after Pearl Harbor? Was Japan justified in its attack on Pearl Harbor? Was America justified in its embargo of Japan? Was Japan justified in the events that lead up to the embargo?

Justification is important but it has no meaning in this context. Love, truth, beauty are without value in this context. Attitude is what matters, attitude with or without justification is all that matters. You and I are manipulated by propaganda alone. Some propaganda is generated by leaders. In other cases we generate our own propaganda.

Human life is the result of the attitudes of those people who are in charge and the attitudes of those who accept domination of those who are in charge. Few nations have survived with no war. Most have survived with some war. Some survived for a while with perpetual war.

That's the way things are. You may convince some people of the need/existence for some particular kind of justice at some moment in time but you will not get justice everywhere at all times. You will not get Universal Justice.

You demean Americans. You demean Gordon Chang. You demean Benjamin Fulford. You focus on people other than yourself who are "idiots," "imbeciles" and "crooks." You do know who you don't like but you don't know who you do like. You disdain with what seems like outright, pointless hate.

Perhaps this is good. It makes us think. It does not bring justice. It does not bring universal agreement. If you wish to benefit humanity, this may be working. If you want to convince us of anything in particular, try a different approach.

As for me, I don't know who I don't like but I do know who I do and it's you. Now get moving and achieve something of value.
The Catalans have taken their first step into an uncharted territory
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Wednesday, November 12 2014 @ 06:46 AM JST

I'm afraid you have subtly switched the point of argument. I'm not interested in discussing the same old question about the justification of a war. Neither am I interested to bring about "universal justice."

Believe it or not I uploaded this post simply because I wanted to talk with intelligent people like you over John Locke's and Thomas Jefferson's idea about natural rights - nothing else, whatsoever. I didn't intend to demean Locke, Jefferson, Chang, Fulford, or any other individual for that matter.

Actually I'm at a loss over the reason why you sound uncharacteristically indignant at my purely philosophical argument against the idea of natural rights

Please calm down and tell us the reason why a serf in America's Far-Eastern fiefdom should not question the principle on which your country has conquered the rest of the world.

You say I should "try a different approach" but unfortunately I don't know any other approach than a philosophical one when addressing a philosophical issue. Please refrain from mixing things up.

The Catalans have taken their first step into an uncharted territory
Authored by: Y.Yamamoto on Wednesday, November 12 2014 @ 03:25 PM JST

In his 2003 book titled "Journalistic Fraud" author Bob Kohn quoted another author Ann Coulter as saying, "Progress cannot be made on serious issues because one side is making arguments and the other side is throwing eggs."

Once again I beg you to educate this stupid blogger on why you American people think the idea that God endows everyone with inalienable rights is so sacred that it's beyond dispute. I ask this question because my earthly book which is about to be closed says I don't owe anything to God or anyone else but my closest friends.