Self-determination – What About Catalonia?

As I’m writing this text, the people of Catalonia are trying to hold elections on self-determination: Do we form our own independent state, or do we remain a part of Spain?

At the same time, the Spanish police is trying to stop the elections by force and outright violence. At the time of writing, reports indicate that more than 400 people have been wounded in clashes with violent police forces.

So, it’s very natural that people debate these questions on Facebook and other forums, both concerning self-determination generally and Catalonia specifically. What’s the story? Can any people claim their own independent state?

The fact is that self-determination is one of the most important principles of international law. Any people on Earth has the right to choose their own parliament and government, and they have the right to disassociate from a government which behaves like tyrants.

This is how the American dream was created. It was created by Europeans living under the tyranny of the kings of England, France, and other European countries. Man were dreaming of establishing their own state where all would be equal in front of the law, and where the state should serve the people, and not the people serve the state. “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

With corruption spreading in the EU and many countries in Europe, we can observe that the people of Catalonia have the same dream: freedom from corrupt politicians in Madrid.

But can any group claim their own independent state?

In order to establish an independent state, there are at least three demands which must be met:

Firstly, there must be something which unites this people and separates them from other peoples. In most cases, this is the language. Most peoples with their own language also aspire to establish an independent state.

Secondly, you need a financial foundation, infrastructure, and manpower to run a state. You need a parliament, a government, courts of law, a military defense, a police force, power stations, fresh water supplies, roads, embassies, hospitals, and a whole range of things that are necessary in a modern state. All these things are expensive, and you need lots of employees. Which means that in real life, it’s impossible to establish a state with less than 100,000 people, and to be on the safe side, you probably need well above one million.

Thirdly, you need territorial integrity. You need a geographical area which is separate from the rest of the world. You need to be able to defend sustainable borders. In areas where the population is like a chess board, it will be impossible to establish independent states for all nations. In such cases, you’re forced to some type of compromise.

When it comes to Catalonia, all these three demands have been met, so there is no reason to deny the Catalonians their own state. Well, the only reason is that the Madrid elite will lose their tax income, so that’s the reason why they send the police against Catalonians who want freedom. This is a battle that Madrid is destined to lose. The more force they use, the more determined the Catalonians will be.