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Fragmenting Countries

Discussion in 'Politics Forum (Local/National/World)' started by searcher, Oct 31, 2017.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Fragmenting Countries, Part 1: Catalonia Is Just The Beginning

    By: John Rubino



    -- Published: Monday, 30 October 2017

    Picture a life where you do most of your shopping through Amazon.com and the local farmers’ market, most of your communicating through Facebook and Instagram, much of your travel via Uber, and much of your saving and transacting with bitcoin, gold and silver.

    Do you really need an immense, distant, and rapacious central government? Maybe not. Perhaps your region or ethnic group would be better off forming its own independent country.

    This question is being asked — and answered — in a growing number of places where distinct cultures and ethnic groups within larger nations now see their government as more burden than benefit. The result: Secession movements are moving from the fringe to mainstream.

    In just the past couple of weeks, Iraqi Kurdistan and Spain’s Catalonia declared their independence. Neither succeeded, but the fact that they felt free to try illustrates how times have changed.

    This is fascinating on a lot of levels, but why discuss it on a gloom-and-doom finance blog? Because secession is about the messiest event a country can experience short of civil war. And few things are more financially disruptive for an already over-leveraged society than potential dissolution.

    Today’s fiat currencies depend for their value on the belief that the governments managing them are coherent and competent. Let a major region break away and plunge a debtor country into political/civil chaos and the markets will abandon its currency in a heartbeat. Note the sense of panic in the following article:


    EU TURMOIL: Finland preparing to go against Spain and RECOGNISE Catalonia’s independence
    (Express) – FINLAND could be the first country to officially recognise Catalonia as a republic state, in a move that would put the Scandinavian country in direct opposition to the European Union (EU).


    The country’s MP for Lapland Mikko Karna has said that he intends to submit a motion to the Finnish parliament recognising the new fledgling country.

    Mr Karna, who is part of the ruling Centre Party, led by Prime Minister Juha Sipila, also sent his congratulations to Catalonia after the regional parliament voted earlier today on breaking away from the rest of Spain.

    Should Finland officially recognise the new state of Catalonia this will be yet another body blow to the the EU which has firmly backed the continuation of a unified Spain under the control of Madrid.

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned today that “cracks” were appearing in the bloc due to the seismic events in Catalonia that were causing ruptures through the bloc.

    Mr Juncker spoke in favour of unity. He said: “I do not want a situation where, tomorrow, the European Union is made up of 95 different states. We need to avoid splits, because we already have enough splits and fractures and we do not need any more.”

    The Scottish Government has also sent a message of support, saying that Catalonia “must have” the ability to determine their own future.

    Scotland, of course, is itself considering secession from the UK, which recently voted to leave the European Union.

    The political class, meanwhile, is trying to figure out where it went wrong. See the New York Times’ recent What Is a Nation in the 21st Century?

    If the combination of long-term financial mismanagement and sudden technological change really has made large, multi-cultural nations dispensable, then some of them are going to fragment. This in turn will contribute to the failure of the fiat currency/fractional reserve banking system that’s ruining global finance. Poetic justice for sure, but of an extremely messy kind.

    http://news.goldseek.com/DollarCollapse/1509368580.php
     
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  2. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    It's got to happen. Countries in some places are beyond oppressive and are deep in the process of making the central governments wholly illegitimate. Crimea told Ukraine to go get fecked and secured their exit by joining Russia. Catalonia is still a "work in progress" and I would imagine we will be hearing from the Basques soon. When will this trend hit the US? Not soon enough.
     
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  3. dacrunch

    dacrunch Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    Catalonia (with a MINORITY vote, only 40% of the population voted (in an "outlawed" election), and less than 2/3 of the assembly agreed to secede) decided to secede from Spain - and then to immediately abandon their sovereignty by begging to belong to the EU... What a bunch of crock. They just have:
    - an old grudge against Spain
    - don't like paying to Spain more than they get in return (they're a rich region, with a lot of industry, due to the port of Barcelona)

    In Barcelona, the leftist demonstrators have been fighting tourism & those who rent to tourists because of "high rents". Well, without the tourists, they won't have the jobs to pay for their "lower rents"...

    So far, 1800 companies have LEFT Catalonia for other regions/countries...

    I've never known of a 'leftist politician' (look at Bernie Sanders) who EVER previously held a job in the 'private sector' - so their ideas of 'economics' are only 'theoretical'.

    There are currently over 160 investigations of fraud by politicians of the independence movement.

    The
     
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  4. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Wait until Scotland leaves the UK because of Brexit. If I was England I would say good riddance.
     
  5. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Iraqi Kurdistan political crisis
    CaspianReport



    Published on Oct 29, 2017
    Support CaspianReport on Patreon:
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    BAKU - Geopolitics in the Middle East can be treacherous. In the absence of a common enemy, allies have turned against one another and old rivalries have resurfaced. This situation is best examined in the Republic of Iraq. While the disintegration of the country has been apparent for years, now, however, the decline of ISIS has revived old disputes among the Iraqi Kurdish factions.

    The recent flashpoint in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk is a manifestation of things to come. As the guns fall silent, diplomatic talks have started on the new geopolitical arrangement in the affected area.

    Soundtrack:
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    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b...

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  7. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    You're absolutely right...an old grudge indeed. Nevertheless this is no basis to deny Catalonia demand for independence from Espana. After all, it is socialist doctrine that the rich should support the poor by use of political means. We do grouse about that kind of stupidity here in the US. Why then should Catalonia NOT leave?

    Further on out in the Med, why should the Basque be dominated France? Why should the proposed State of Jefferson be subjugated and impoverished by the asshats in Sacramento or Salem (don't they burn conservatives on stakes there?).

    It is THE PEOPLE who authorize the existence, form and function of governments. FUCK THE ELITES! And their little lapdogs too!
     
  8. Professur

    Professur Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Tribalism .... the world was never meant to be ruled by one man.
     
  9. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    I misread this as "California"... is just the beginning...
     
  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Today's paper............

    The new playbook for consolidating power

    By FAREED ZAKARIA
    Sunday
    Posted at 6:00 AM


    The news out of Saudi Arabia has been startling. A country famous for its stability to the point of stagnation is watching a 32-year-old crown prince arrest his relatives, freeze their bank accounts and dismiss them from key posts. But on closer examination, it should not be so surprising. Mohammed bin Salman is now applying to Saudi Arabia what has become the new standard operating procedure for strongmen around the world.

    The formula was honed by Vladimir Putin after he came to power in Russia. First, amplify foreign threats so as to rally the country around the regime and give it extraordinary powers. Putin did this with the Chechen war and the danger of terrorism. Then, move against rival centers of influence within the society, which in Russia meant the oligarchs who at that time were more powerful than the state itself. Then talk about the need to end corruption, reform the economy and provide benefits for ordinary people. Putin was able to succeed on the last front largely because of the quadrupling of oil prices over the next decade. Finally, control the media through formal and informal means. Russia has gone from having a thriving free media in 2000 to a level of state control that is effectively similar to the Soviet Union.

    Naturally, not every element of this formula applies elsewhere. Perhaps Crown Prince Mohammed will prove to be a reformer. But the formula for political success that he’s following is similar to what’s been applied in countries as disparate as China, Turkey and the Philippines. Leaders have taken to using the same ingredients — nationalism, foreign threats, anti-corruption and populism — to tighten their grip on power. Where the judiciary and media are seen as obstacles to a ruler’s untrammeled authority, they are systematically weakened.

    In his 2012 book “The Dictator’s Learning Curve,” William Dobson presciently explained that the new breed of strongmen around the world have learned a set of tricks to maintain control that are far more clever and sophisticated than in the past. “Rather than forcibly arrest members of a human rights group, today’s most effective despots deploy tax collectors or health inspectors to shut down dissident groups. Laws are written broadly, then used like a scalpel to target the groups the government deems a threat.” Dobson quoted a Venezuelan activist who described Hugo Chavez’s wily blend of patronage and selective prosecution with an adage: “For my friends, everything, for my enemies, the law.”

    Classic centralized dictatorships were a 20th-century phenomenon — born of the centralizing forces and technologies of the era. “Modern dictators work in the more ambiguous spectrum that exists between democracy and authoritarianism,” wrote Dobson. They maintain the forms of democracy — constitutions, elections, media — but work to gut them of any meaning. They work to keep the majority content, using patronage, populism and external threats to maintain national solidarity and their popularity. Of course, stoking nationalism can spiral out of control, as it has in Russia and might in Saudi Arabia, which is now engaged in a fierce cold war with Iran, complete with a very hot proxy war in Yemen.

    Dobson, however, did end the book expressing optimism that, in many countries, people were resisting and outmaneuvering the dictators. Yet what has happened since he wrote the book is depressing. Instead of the despots being influenced by democrats, it is the democrats who are moving up the learning curve.

    Consider Turkey, a country that in the early 2000s seemed on a firm path toward democracy and liberalism, anchored in a desire to become a full-fledged member of the European Union. Today, its ruler, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has eliminated almost all obstacles to total control. He has defanged the military and the bureaucracy, launched various kinds of tax and regulatory actions against opponents in the media, and declared one potential opposition group, the Gulenists, to be terrorists. The rulers of the Philippines and Malaysia appear to be copying from that same playbook.

    This is not the picture of democracy everywhere, of course, but these tendencies can be spotted in far-flung areas of the world. In countries like India and Japan, which remain vibrant democracies in most respects, there are elements of this new system creeping in — crude nationalism and populism, and increasing measures to intimidate and neuter the free press.

    Donald Trump, for his part, has threatened NBC, CNN (where I work) and other outlets with various forms of government action. He has attacked judges and independent agencies. He has disregarded long-established democratic norms. So perhaps America is moving up this dangerous learning curve as well.

    Fareed Zakaria writes a foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. He is also the host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. Email: comments@fareedzakaria.com.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/opinion/20171112/new-playbook-for-consolidating-power
     

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