“Off-grid systems” as a solution to national crises?
Is it true, independent movements as Catalonia, Brexit or Scotland hold the same rhetoric, although, not the same reasons……. All of them look as extreme nationalism and use more or less the same vocabulary: “the power to take decisions by ourselves”, “recovery of our sovereignty”, “ the will of our citizens”, “ the failure of the current system”.
The latest is the only real argumentation to take into account: crisis of the national system. Brexit made it clear, and a steady attack on accountability and transparency mechanisms led to this frustrating process. In the end, it was not about leaving the European Union or not but implementing new freedom rules on financial aspects within aggressive stress on racism and xenophobia. The “threat” for an even closer Union woke up all alarms and proceed to use resources unethical and with no transparency. The fact that historically there was opposition against belonging to the Union:
“We have our won dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined We are interested and associated but not absorbed. If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea:” Winston Churchill, 1953
Brexit is just a sign that British society has never accepted the European Union with unanimity. It had succeeded because of a strong support from many leaders and particularly from the passive role of influencing from the Monarchy, now becoming weaker concerning this “new normal”. However, when a Nation continues ignoring racism and xenophobia it fails on correct transparency mechanisms and finally, a process based on hate finds its way and becomes stronger.
Is it only now when we see the contradictions, people voted to Leave, not to unfair conditions, people voted for a deal not to a rush without guarantees, people voted to end national crisis believing that EU is the only driver. People voted and now The Prime Minister is not a Leave candidate anymore but a representative of all British people and must make sure that all guarantees are taken for Leave and Remain voters equally.
Scotland it’s a very different scenario that adds to their traditional discrepancies with British politics but to the own separation with the European Union. As happened with Catalonia a majority of people vote for independence as a reaction to failures of the central system. That is a different point of view from traditional extreme nationalism even if it seems to look the same.
Modern independent movements come as reaction to crises, meanwhile extreme nationalism is more related to an old vision of business and politics based on threaten and stagnated situations of war and almost none international relations Not about situations that change through time. They are not reactions but deep ideological perspectives based on isolationist ideas of prosperity and progress. Much more alike dictatorships, and vindication of national sovereignties and cultural identity.
It is important to highlight that nationalist systems have been a source of wealth in the past. However, and, under current global rules, is quite difficult to manage a State within a sense of nationalism without being automatically linked to the rest of the world. Not just in political terms but also on citizenship habits. Is it true that these groups are quite assertive on sending a message of protection and defense of national identity, although daily habits, commerce, trading, news, social media, etc focus on a global world not compartments of different Nations.
Making of extreme nationalism a repressive ideology that is not updated to current challenges and only can prosper through aggression, hate, and confrontation. We are seeing it in the US and UK, for gaining track they must feed hate if not there is not much argumentation in financial or economic terms. Catalonia is a good example that despite all their legitimate claim –independence as a reaction against the Monarchy and corruption from Central Government- it has not a good strategy in terms of financial strength. It represented a complete failure and the withdrawal of capital from the region is a threat that does not go encompassed with the rest of the process*.
Independence does not suppose financial crisis, however, being part of a globally connected world means develop mechanisms to be globally inserted, no matter which ideology is adopted. Stagnated compartments of extreme sovereignty as “off-grid systems” do not fit with an already established strategy based on interconnection. Interdependence along different countries and cultures is a must for tackling multiple crises.
In the case of the United States and their strong accent on an isolationist focus beyond a libertarian ideology seems to be the clear model to lose respect and global leadership. When you reject change and cancel will to contribute to reforms it comes about stagnation. Denial of climate change, gang shootings, growing racism, and violence are the main aspects that describe the current chaotic US.
The first impact of their extreme nationalist focus generated goes directly against their own society –and economy-. Meanwhile, the rest of the world starts building their own “defence walls” aware that the 1st country in the world is no longer a partner but a conflictive country with multiple national crises to resolve.
We have seen astonished the withdrawal from Paris Agreement, although after some time realized that we do not needed and change is already here and stronger than ever with or without the US.
We have seen with equal feelings their vote against Palestinian flag in UN headquarters, but after some time we realized that only Israel and the US are against recognition of Palestine as a State, even the Vatican has settled their position in favor. Making of the US alone and disempowered from the changes that the rest of the planet decided to make.
So, we can conclude that not all attempt to isolationism or/and independence are the same, in fact, movements as Catalonia, Scotland and now North England are part of reactions, of true protests for not allowing them to be part of the European Union. A claim for being integrated is what they are leading them to independence. In Catalonia is different, to a historically strong feeling towards independence it adds tangible elements for holding an even more resistant attitude: high levels of national corruption, mismanagement, and the Monarchy.
US on its determination to “withdrawal” from a global planet, -also institutionally-, are sinking themselves in the darkness of denying an evident and harmful change of the planet, feeding hate, taking to stage old and vicious racist circles that boost violence and furthering nationalism based on isolationism. The US are turning back the clock to the past with the consequent loss of credit, respect and admiration that has originally surrounded the American way of living based on freedom and tolerance.
I strongly believe that “off-grid systems”, even democratic are not the answer to face crises but are, certainly, reactions to crises, weak leadership, incapacity to find solutions, denial of a planet within a global shape and the fantasy that isolationism is the way to survive to the darkness represented by uncertainty.
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