Sunday, September 17, 2017

Paying attention to the US debate from Europe

In Spain, Catalan nationalists are teeming up with a part of the radical left to take advantage of a weak an unpopular government to organize an illegal and revolutionary self-determination referendum. To hold a self-determination referendum is a legitimate proposal, but those who endorse it should do so with a minimum of rigour and some arguments that weigh the difficulties and contradictions of the proposal in XXI Century Europe. Of course, the weak and unpopular government of Mr. Rajoy in Madrid is not only a problem for the Catalans, but also for all the Spaniards. A secession campaign accompanied by the typical nationalist ingredients of hate, intolerance and demagoguery, will do nothing to improve democracy or democratic quality. The campaign is being suported by Julian Assange and congressman Dana Rohrabacher from the US, an ally of Trump and Putin. Watching yesterday an interview with Steve Bannon (former alt-right and ultra-nationalist advisor of Donald Trump) in Bloomberg TV, I see that the convergence of interests between nationalists and a part of the radical left does not only happen here. Some aspects of their tactics and their style of doing things is also similar in Europe and the US. Now in Europe we are more relaxed about national-populism after the defeat of Marine Le Pen against Macron, but we should not be relaxed about the dangers ahead. In that interview, Bannon predicted (as if wishing it) that the future will be a battle between left-wing populism and right-wing populism, and that the Americans will become united behind economic nationalism. Paul Krugman recently predicted that with the fall of Bannon in the White House, Trump would abandon economic nationalism and just spouse a traditional conservative agenda. Bannon predicts the opposite.

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