Thursday, March 23, 2006

Basque Cease-Fire

Yesterday, the Basque terrorist organization ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or "Basque Homeland and Liberty") announced a “permanent cease-fire” so that it might better participate in the political process. A very good move by ETA, and a sign that they have won, for the moment, their war with Spain. Whatever the political upshot of this, peace is good for its own sake: according to the Wikipedia article on ETA, this organization killed "817 people in the name of their political struggle, 339 of which were not members of any armed or police service."
Truth in blogging: I don't like ETA, or other such terrorist groups, nor do I have much respect for the Basque cause, although its partisans, like cheated minorities without states everywhere, no doubt have their story to tell.
Probably the Basque gang bosses, and other somewhat more respectable Basque nationalist leaders have been inspired by the path of Catalonia. Their confreres in Barcelona are getting virtually everything they might want without shooting: the Spanish government is in the process of recognizing Catalonia as a "nation," to keep it from leaving Spain, whatever that might finally mean. Certainly, the Basque national leadership now believes it can jawbone Madrid into giving them the same. A victory for Basque nationalism, at least in the short run.
Spanish nationalism, for its part, seems pretty dead; and this is not yet 100 years after the great nationalist upwelling of 1936. Catalonia's a nation ? Fine, The Basques ? OK too -- Downtown Madrid as a nation would no doubt be hunky-dory as well. Anybody and anything can be a "nation," whatever that means, as long as the checks keep coming in, the booze, pot and birth-control supplies remain good, and TV stays readily available. Come to think of it, American nationalism is not that much more healthy. The culprit here, is of course the welfare state. Under socialism, nobody cares about anything except when the next welfare check is coming in. I'm reactionary enough to think all this is a very bad thing.
The ETA clearly thinks it can obtain its dreams through the ballot box. I wonder who the joke is really on ? No doubt there shall be a few salad years: a new flowering of Basque nationhood and pride while Basques “re-discover” their “historic” culture, or however this is dressed up for the politically correct PBS programs and BBC specials that are surely coming.
Soon enough, though, the McWorld of socialism will anesthetize the Basques same as it has everybody else in the West, and the Basques will be ingested into the EU blob, and then into the great transnational project. We can all be happily tranquilized by Survivor, American Idol and the future moral equivalents thereof, so we don't notice the worldwide overclass of lawyers, journalists and NGO bosses who herd us, rule us and tax us like so many sheep. Joke's on you, ETA, this is what you fought for, right ?
No flags, no history, no glory, no culture, no language, no art; just sex, drugs, rock and roll and welfare checks and everwhere the saccharine sameness of the welfare state.


Anonymous said...

I don't know, Chief.

European statism and the soft roads of welfare are an attempt to control and pacify perpetually dysfunctional populations. Look how they react when you try to take something away from them?

I think national characters and moods are ultimately irrelevant anyway, at least for Spain and maybe Italy. Shari'a is not too far down the road for either of them (I'm quite serious about this), and the delicate cultures they've created are doomed to replacement by the grim tableaus of Islamic fundamentalism.

The next generation is going to be very interesting...

Rhod (can't get a blogger identity with this server)

El Jefe Maximo said...


I agree with you, in my more despondent moments, and my friends the Baron and Lady D over at Gates of Vienna certainly agree with you about the Sharia.


We must remember that trends never continue unchecked...every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. I don't think the Europeans will swallow Sharia -- the cynic in me says they would never accept that kind of interference with sex, booze and drugs. The reaction, when it comes, is likely to be quite terrible. The Europeans were the nice people who invented modern dictatorship, socialism, fascism and genocide on an industrial scale.

The Sharia is worse than the socialists, I give you, but I don't find either very appetising.

I wrote my screed about the Basques in the midst of ruminations over socialism and populism and democracy -- my reading lately has been on 19th Century Europe, which probably influences my present thoughts somewhat (Hell, most of the time, actually). IMHO, Populism gets you straight to Socialism or worse things, eventually.

Anonymous said...

Oh, of course. Populism is one of the more neutral names we use for egalitarianism or collectivism, which is almost always radical. I think of, and often mention, Aynn Rand's remark (I am not a Randian), that the concept of The Common Man was the most insidious idea of the 20th century.

Like every insidious idea, it's a palliative to people compelled to justify their own discontent and place the causes for it in places other than themselves. It's easy to irritate these folks en masse.

I was perhaps too glib about Shari'a, because I think a more likely reaction to Islamic migration is violence and mass deportations...although this will depend upon who has the power.

The population numbers and replacement figures are, nevertheless, not in favor of native Europeans, and Islamic Law is an end possibility.


El Jefe Maximo said...


Again, agreed. You're right about the population numbers. Given European history, I don't know who should be more worried about that, the immigrants and their progeny or the putative minority Euros.

I'm not any species of a Randian either, although I have read her stuff...serious ideologues with doctrines are scary people, but I agree with her comment on "the Common Man." Egalitarianism is completely pernicious; in our political culture, one of the poisoned fruits of the French Revolution. (I confess to a weakness for Napoleon, but not that revolution).

I left a comment about yours on Vietnam and Westmoreland over at Daisy Cutter. Funny, someone I used to know had the exact same reaction to him you did.

Aleksu said...

I must tell you that is a bit weird to read that someone from Texas does not agree with the self determination of the Basques or any other nation without state for that case.

After all, why is Texas not part of Mexico today?

Anyway, just to add more information to your post, the Basques came up with a plan like the one you present about Catalonia easily a year before, follow the link to a post about that:

Don't be surprised if you did not get to hear about this in the media.

El Jefe Maximo said...

I perhaps would have less of a problem with Basque Independence had the ETA and others not chosen to pursue it via terrorism/low grade guerrilla warfare.

I am genuinely uncertain whether the Basque peoples want independence and self-determination or whether some sort of autonomy within Spain is sufficient. The Basque nationalist movement in modern times has its roots in the outcome of the Carlist Wars (particularly the Third 1872-76), and the subsequent Spanish repression. I'm not convinced that total independence is a desire of a majority.

You're quite right that as a Texan, it is odd to be against popular sovereignty and or national self determination. (As a Southerner, descendant of Confederates, and unrepentant about it, it is doubly strange), and in general, I am not. But movements for self determination, to be legitimate, must be mass movements, and not the creation of a armed and militant minority.