Thursday, November 20, 2008

Europe Goes Pan-Nationalist: United But Distinct Ethnicities

As usual, Europe leads the way for a mostly numb and stupid humanity:


Modern political borders are rarely clean when it comes to dividing ethnic groups. Brittany, the west of France, is not ethnically French. People there are Celtic, related to the Welsh and the Irish. Just a couple of generations ago, Paris was so threatened by Bretons that if you were a parent in Brittany and you gave your child a Breton first name, civil servants refused to put it on the birth certificate. That would be laughable today.

When I first visited Barcelona, locals were not allowed to speak Catalan, wave the Catalan flag or dance their beloved sardana. Now, in public schools, children speak Catalan first. And every Sunday in front of the cathedral, locals gather in a circle to dance the sardana, celebrating their Catalunyan heritage.

The little languages across Europe are actually thriving. More people are speaking Irish now than a generation ago. In 1999, Scotland convened a parliament in Edinburgh for the first time since 1707. Six years later that parliament passed a law to encourage the use of Scottish Gaelic, and now even the BBC does radio broadcasts in the ancient Scottish tongue, as well as in English.

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I've got a friend who is the Indiana Jones of archaeology in Austria's Tirol region. When he wants money to renovate a castle, he doesn't go to Vienna -- he goes to Brussels. If he tells the EU, "I'm doing something for Austria," he'd go home empty-handed. So he says he's doing something for the Tirol (an ethnic region that incorporates parts of Italy and Austria). He gets money from Brussels because the EU is promoting ethnic regions over modern political entities.

The smaller ethnic groups support each other as well. In Barcelona, a local told me, "Catalunya is Spain's Quebec. We don't like people calling our corner of Iberia a 'region' of Spain ... because that's what Franco called it. We are not a region; we are a nation without a state."

CNN


The nation-state is a political creation emerging from the liberal idea of freeing people from aristocratic rule, and lumping them together by political convenience.

If Europe can maintain a European identity while doing this, it will mean that populations will have greater incentive to preserve culture, which will be good for the environment and stability of those nations.

If you have culture -- shared values, language, heritage and outlook -- you can always assess an action you're considering by comparing it to your cultural values. If it doesn't measure up, you reject it.

This enables you to keep your region of the world pure from the corrupting influence of commerce. Someone wants to build a giant stupid looking entertainment complex? "Um, no, in Catalan, we value contemplative quiet. So sorry!"

And the environment? Your population keeps itself in check because it's keeping commerce in check. Unchecked commerce demands more consumers and more workers; commerce, regulated, has to make do with what's there and forego the huge profits, the cheap imported labor, and other environmentally-destructive factors.

Pan-Nationalism is not just a good idea, it's the future. The past belongs to dividing people by politics; the future belongs to the organic state.

1 Comments:

At 12:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree the best way to protect a culture and environment is to promote and preserve a local culture.

That is what certain groups in the UK are doing as in many other European countries.

(Pan) Nationalism is the only way for a better future

 

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