Quote notes (#68)

Pat Buchanan asks: Is Europe Cracking Up? His tour of disintegration takes in Ukraine, France, Britain, Belgium and Spain, but …

… the most startling news on the nationalist front last week came in Venice and the Veneto region, where 89 percent of a large turnout in a non-binding referendum voted to secede from Italy and re-establish the Venetian republic that vanished in 1866.

Exulted Luca Zaia of the separatist Northern League, “The will for secession is growing very strong. We are only at the Big Bang of the movement — but revolutions are born of hunger and we are now hungry. Venice can now escape.”

The proposed “Repubblica Veneta” would embrace five million inhabitants of Veneto. Should it succeed in seceding, Lombardy and Trentino would likely follow, bringing about a partition of Italy. Sardinia is also reportedly looking for an exit.

Buchanan’s preferred term ‘nationalism’ is ambiguous in this context, since it can mean either integration or disintegration. After all, it was Italian ‘nationalism’ that built this self-dismantling monster. Increasingly, it’s the fissile aspect — nationality as ethnic splintering and escape from something larger — that’s driving the process. How many micro-nationalities remain as yet undiscovered?

ADDED: A (libertarian-secessionist) voice from Italy.

March 26, 2014admin 27 Comments »
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27 Responses to this entry

  • Alfred Says:

    I recently read about a book (don’t remember how to find the source) about approximately eleven such “micro-nationalities” in the U.S.. I supposedly belong to “Greater Appalachia” and supposedly have a culture descended from that of the lowland scots.

    [Reply]

    Mr. Archenemy Reply:

    Probably 2012’s “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America”?

    There’s an older book on the subject, “The Nine Nations of North America”, from 1982.

    [Reply]

    C. Y. Chen Reply:

    Another relevant one is ‘Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: A Cultural History)’.

    I haven’t read it myself, though.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 3:15 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    By the patchwork theory, small nations are more efficient and innovative by definition.

    Then you got examples such as Slovenia which sucks (else our friend Konkvistador wouldn’t be around.)

    I too find it fun to dismantle European states, but decreasing economies of scale for government administration will probably make the new countries less efficient, not more.
    At least given the prevalent mood in such movements, which is rather tribalist socialist.

    I look forward to laws mandating fluency in Scots ortograpby to apply for a government job, which is all these people really want. As I said in this old post https://bloodyshovel.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/platters-of-loose-sand/

    [Reply]

    Mai La Dreapta Reply:

    Socialism has tremendous diseconomies of scale, so I find it much more plausible (or at least less pathological) for a micro-nation or city-state such as Venice to pursue socialism than an amalgamated beast such as the old USSR. Patchwork, baby. Let some of the patches be commie. At a small enough scale it might even be the right thing.

    [Reply]

    Nicholas Pell Reply:

    Seconded and I might also add that confederation can solve some of these problems of scale. Texas and California could be different nations, but under a customs union, with shared passports, etc. This is what would make it a “patchwork” rather than just a bunch of patches. The British Commonwealth likely had such potential after the Second World War, but with the failure of the Union Now movement, it became the bland “Commonwealth of Nations” that it is today.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    If nobody shoots you when you tread on their patch you’re probably OK without a passport.

    spandrell Reply:

    Well it’s one thing to run a close-knit socialist state to redistribute the earnings from tourism in Venice.

    Not everybody has such a cash cow though.

    Small countries which can’t run a tax haven tend to suck. The Baltic countries are losing population fast.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Nothing works for everyone. Expecting universal solutions is a weird prog legacy many NRx still prone to. (Not accusing you of that, naturally (to use a passive-aggressive NBS locution)).

    5371 Reply:

    They do run tax havens.

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 4:36 am Reply | Quote
  • WG Says:

    I think there are at least fifteen “micro-nations” in North America by now.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 7:21 am Reply | Quote
  • handle Says:

    There’s a difference between mere capital flight that, apart from the current particular redistributive tax rates, has no problem with the current national arrangement, and a genuine cultural schism in order to pursue a distinct social pathway.

    When a poorer area splits from a richer one, forsaking its ability to suck from the other’s teat because the impoverishment is worth independence, then you are more likely dealing with the latter case.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 11:49 am Reply | Quote
  • RiverC Says:

    I’m intrigued by the recent poll stating that the next generation will be “over 50% non-white.” While I think these polls are based on fatuous assumptions (i.e. historical fixing of ‘whiteness’, considering 50/50 hybrids ‘nonwhite’ when they may identify/act as white, etc.) I think they may play an important part in the final deathblows to the ruinous and stupid WN movement.

    1. if a 50/50 hybrid (like Obama) is ‘nonwhite’, if they sire children with a white person, would those children also be non-white? To put it another way, even if by certain ‘measures’ (one drop rule) they would be non-white, are they EFFECTIVELY non-white? In my view, Obama is only half black and yet he is effectively black.

    2. If so many whites are the so-called progressives who have given birth to this problem, what place would they even have in a WN state? Or would they all be ‘discovered’ to be Jews and exiled?

    All in all though, it should make clear to anyone with WN-style aspirations that patchwork will have to be their solution. Once they finish mourning for the country-that-was-never-really-theirs, they can begin, like the rest of us, to think rationally about what they want and don’t want, and that a national apparatus that is so large as to create a nation-sized bloc of bureaucrats to permit any kind of state social welfare (these are Fraternity-types, after all) is going to automatically create a perfect breeding ground for a massive bourgeois-left movement.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 4:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Dan Says:

    “How many micro-nationalities remain as yet undiscovered?”

    I feel divorced from my nation, from my state, from my county, and from some (but not all) of my neighbors. If the President himself were to show up at my house for a beer, he would be barred entry. The same goes for every single politician in whose jurisdiction I fall here in Maryland.

    Is this a small enough micro-nationality for you? I pay the Jizya before every April 15th, and they leave me alone.

    [Reply]

    RiverC Reply:

    here, here. But I think this is a real problem in MD, since the Demiurge Cthonic looms large in our neighborhood. It may not apply to, say, Montana, or Northwest Territories, or Alaska.

    Maryland has the best flag in existence, for that reason alone we need to reclaim her honor. (Plus, she is under the patronage of the Mother of God.)

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Yeah but is this atomization really about politics or simply the invention of the computer and the internet, which have made it more entertaining on a minute-to-minute basis to stay home and stare at the computer than to go out and do anything? This has a compounding effect: As more and more people stay home, the quality of public activities declines, leading to further motivation to stay home. Alienation grows apace.

    I also live in the DC area and it occurs to me that living next to the ocean would be far better because the ocean is a good COMPETITOR to the internet. I mean … what’s more fun, staring at your computer screen or sitting in a boardwalk cafe drinking a Tsingtao, watching the chicks walk by, breathing in the salt air and perhaps taking the occasional glance at the Financial Times? With perhaps a baklava or custard for desert?

    I am seriously considering moving to the beach as a direct response to computer-driven alienation. In fact I’m packing up my house right now with the intention of putting it on the market.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 6:59 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @RiverC

    “mourning-the country-that-was-never-really-theirs”

    Oh I don’t know if that’s true. And I’m not even a WN.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 7:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    The USA was started by Anglo-German colonists and was happiest under their rule.

    Once we imported white hybrids, e.g. Slavs, Irish, Italians, Jews, Greeks, etc., we had problems.

    The fact is that only liberals believe the word “white” has no meaning. See the Race FAQ for more info.

    Further, the only reason America is mixed-race is that opportunity is offered there. If that vanishes, people will quickly repatriate because group identity is important to them as individuals and as groups.

    Nationalist nations thrive, and cosmopolitan nations enter slow decay.

    If Texas seceded today — what a great idea — the main loss would be the power of the United States, which until it went liberal in the 1990s was a capable steward of human politics, or at least as capable as anyone can be in the midst of worldwide civilization collapse.

    Venice strikes me as not just an ethnic withdrawal — those Venetians look a lot whiter than some of the interesting hybrids floating around Italy — but a caste withdrawal. The more successful are tired of paying for the slums filled with people making poor decisions. It’s the same everywhere.

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Brett … There is just no conceivable way any form of WN is gonna fly in the US. There is no blood-and-soil historical backdrop for it. America’s founding principles are too idea-centric, and the economic focus too capitalist. We’re going to be the world’s prime experiment in multi-cultural economic growth combined with techno alienation. It will be good and bad. Spectacular and awful. And unique. People will be drawn here and repelled from here in equal numbers. That’s the fate of the country. One can leave and sign up for a different model. I might do that myself. Haven’t decided. I see pros and cons …

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 26th, 2014 at 11:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    ne. Expecting universal solutions is a weird prog legacy many NRx still prone to. (Not accusing you of that, naturally (to use a passive-aggressive NBS locution)).

    You might have noticed that regime diversity isn’t as common as it used to be? Not that it ever was very common.

    The historical trend is towards big neighbors bullying their small neighbors into adopting their political structures. And thus uniformity. Nobody has bothered to explain how the Hundred Flowers will suddenly Bloom and this anomalously tolerant Patchwork of states will celebrate diversity.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Is the historical trend as you describe it? The number of recognized states is certainly rising, although that — admittedly — is a very poor proxy for regime diversity. I’m far from convinced the picture is clear, or that the relevant historical trend-lines are continuous.

    There are (at least) two very different proposed mechanisms for regime diversification, and they confusingly point in different directions. (a) Ethnic identitarianism could rise, producing division into ever more particular enclaves. (b) Ethnic identitarianism could diminish, freeing people to locate according to ideological preference (roughly, Dynamic Geography). It seems to me the latter is more intrinsically divergent than the former, but the opposite case is certainly arguable. Some mix of ethnic and ideological disintegration would surely maximize variation.

    I agree that there are a LOT of yawning gaps to fill in before we’re looking at convincing arguments.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Ethnic identitarianism is everywhere, but funny how every single ethnostate ends up being a progressive democracy just on the verge of approving gay marriage and accepting Somali refugees.

    It should tell you something that even goddamn Bhutan is holding elections.

    Basically today you have to be a progressive democracy, preferably a republic, else USG will refuse to play with you. And everybody wants to play with USG.

    Which is why in the end nationalism is a red herring. Who gives a shit if Scotland or Veneto go independent. Call me when they close the legislature and throw the Somalis back to the sea.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    As a voice for exit, Scotland is potentially a big deal. As a precedent (in the UK; Europe and the US(?)), but also as a competitive alternative within the UK. If it did go independent the rest of the UK would swing heavily to the ‘right’ (59 Westminster seats gone which the Tories have little chance of winning anyway), while an SNP government can try to fulfil its Scandinavian dreams. Some local dynamic geography for those of us who can’t see beyond the white cliffs of Dover (or the abyss of the North Atlantic).

    Hurlock Reply:

    Apparently Venice is seceding because their tax money are being spent on parasites in southern Italy. And they are quite frank about it. Recognizing that your tax money are being wasted on stupid social policies and for buying poor votes is the first step to “throwing the somalis back to the sea”.

    This aint about nationalism, this is about the cathedralized government doing its favorite thing – wasting tax money. Your average venetian doesn’t give a single fuck about all this nationalism sovereignty and w/e crap. Just don’t waste his tax money.

    (Don’t tax me, bro. Don’t tax me.)

    RiverC Reply:

    Ethnostates still have to deal with the other two prongs of the problem.

    I think our host said that any traditionalism that will succeed must be ‘neo traditionalism’. The same goes for Identitarianism — it must be ‘neo’ as well.

    When they approach the problem as ‘let’s all get us similar/family related folks together and form an enclave’ doesn’t answer questions of Tradition or Governance (since traditions usually vary amongst even relatively small ethnic groups, and most people do not have governing experience or theory.)

    The result of this is that they adopt the traditions and values most commonly thought to ‘work’ or to not cause problems and maybe get the USG’s structure to react against them and ensure their demise. So you get waffly semi-religion and heavy Social Democracy.

    These states, because they inherently are ‘adapting to’ the USG’s Modern Structure as the Law of Gnon, are subject to the stability of that law. While the laws of necessity are utterly stable and only mutable by pure Authority, (there are no truly immutable laws) the laws of the USG and the implicit laws of its Modern Structure only provide carrots and sticks so long as there are carrots and sticks to be provided via the USG’s guarantee (the dollar?)

    Needless to say, building one’s house on the sand of the USG’s system is foolhardy even if the only rocks available are high, cold and windswept.

    Posted on March 27th, 2014 at 7:54 am Reply | Quote
  • Peter A. Taylor Says:

    @RiverC

    I don’t get Identitarianism. It seems to me that relatedness is relative. If I’m surrounded by two-headed space aliens, pretty soon the one-headed space aliens are going to start looking like kin. If I’m surrounded by northern Europeans, pretty soon the distinction between Swedes and Norwegians is going to start looking important. The question I would have for prospective neighbors is, “Can I trust you?” Saying that our ancestors came from the same country doesn’t get me very far towards being able to answer that.

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Chinese migrants in SEA used to organize themselves under surname clan houses. All people with the same surname were assumed to be related, even if they actually weren’t, and had came from different regions.

    It worked, clan houses were extremely strong mutual-aid organizations, where you had common religious rituals, found help in finding a mate for your children or some capital for your business. All based on a lie.

    [Reply]

    Posted on March 28th, 2014 at 1:21 am Reply | Quote

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