Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spain a "megastate"? The League of the South fantasies

In the following League of the South (LOS) blog post Spain is referenced as a "megastate."


In this blog about Catalan efforts at secession the LOS blog claims:

What's the bottom line of all these stories about secession? Simple: The 20th-century megastate is dead. Good riddance.

Really? Spain is a megastate? I could see perhaps a very large nation called a megastate, like the former Soviet Union or perhaps another large country like the United States or China and India. Of course what exactly is a megastate as opposed to a superstate as a opposed to a plain every day state I don't think is well defined. Perhaps "megastate" just sounds more impressive than saying "superstate" or "state."

Again what the LOS fails to perceive with these European efforts at secession is that Catalonia is planning, if it becomes a nation, to join the European Union. That is to join this supranational organization. The European Union has a common currency, national borders no longer count for much, and it is a common trade zone. The reason these European secession movements are possible is that the European Union is superseding the nation state and taking over its functions in many cases and eliminating national borders as boundaries.

The European Union makes the nation state less important. I haven't thought through much other modern trends such as transnational organizations, in particular regarding trade, the global integrated economy and how they might lessen the forces that drove the creation of the modern state of the 19th and 20th centuries. I suspect they make the nation state less needed as the world is integrated into larger structures than the nation state.

The trend has been the integration of European nations into the European Union and not secession. Sure the European Union has some problems, but they can print the Euro and I am sure they will work out something.  There may be some rough spots, but the historical forces of economics is what has driven this European integration from after World War II from the Benelux union to early pre-EU organizations for trade.

The League of the South does legitimately in discussion point out that secession isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility, after all the Soviet Union broke up as well as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. However, they totally ignore the local and specific historical backgrounds of these break ups in interpreting these events as foreshadowing secession in the United States which is rather odd for an organization which rejects universal values. (Word search "universal" on the LOS blog.)

The large state provides tremendous opportunities in funding research, providing a large labor market with abundant opportunities, large scale industries with their opportunities, great national enterprises such as NASA, research institutes, high energy physics, and all sorts of scientific and technological endeavors, a huge pool of people with all sorts of possibilities for creative interactions.

Small states, when they aren't in a matrix of a larger supranational organization often have many challenges, lesser opportunities, and often depend on larger allies.

It is in the LOS's interests to tout secession as the coming thing to boost the morale of their supporters and gain new adherents. However, others need to critically review their claims to see that they are far less than they seem.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts Last 30 days

Popular Posts All Time