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.