Tribalism marches on
Wrote The Wall Street Journal Monday:
"Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban barely mentions his political rivals as he campaigns for a fourth term. Instead, he is targeting the European Union and its biggest members. 'Our fiercest opponents are not in Hungarian opposition parties,' Mr. Orban said in a speech last week, 'They are abroad ... Berlin, Brussels.'
"In neighboring Poland," the Journal goes on, "government rhetoric is even harsher. Politicians have one-upped each other in attacking France and Germany, arguing they are forcing multicultural liberal democracy on more traditional Poles."
Not only in the east of Europe but also in the west, nationalism is surging. Wrote The New York Times Friday:
"The accelerating battle over Catalonia's status hit warp speed this week. Catalan lawmakers voted to go ahead with an Oct. 1 referendum on separating from Spain. Spain's constitutional court declared the vote suspended. And Catalan politicians said they would proceed anyway."
Yesterday, thousands of Catalans paraded through Barcelona under a banner proclaiming "Goodbye, Spain!" It was the Catalan National Day, which commemorates the 1714 capture of Barcelona by Philip V, the first Bourbon monarch of Spain.
Spain's wealthiest region, Catalonia believes it is being milked by Madrid for the benefit of regions that contribute far less.
The question being raised by Catalonia is one America has faced before. Do peoples in a democratic republic have a right to declare their independence, secede, and establish a new nation, as the 13 colonies did in 1776 and the Confederate States of America sought to do in 1861?
Though America was born of secession, the U.S. establishment since the Cold War has been far more transnationalist and globalist than a great champion of new nations. Perhaps that is because the New World Order proclaimed by Bush I in 1991 envisioned the U.S. as the benevolent global hegemon.
Another ethnonational secession may be declared even before the Catalans go to the polls Oct. 1.