... and why a strong minority represents such a threat
Earlier this week, a million Catalan people gathered in the streets of Barcelona in a show of their support and determination for independence from Spain. The video below shows the nature of that event; and it's reflective of what I have already come to know and love of the Catalan people; strong, peaceful, courageous, joyful, family oriented, all of which traits are reflective of their culture and traditions.
If, like me, you have been largely unaware of this situation between Spain and its integral state of Catalunya, it dates back three centuries, to a period of war when Spain defeated the Catalans and incorporated it by force in to its own constitution. Despite this Catalunya has maintained its own identity and has retained its strength and integrity as an economic force.
And it's that strength that so frustrates and angers the Government of Spain, which is so adamantly determined to retain Catalunya as apart of its sovereignty, that is prepared to renounce the vote scheduled for the 1st of October, as illegal. Spain's President, who is attempting to prosecute Catalunya's 700 Mayors for supporting the vote, has called the Referendum "an intolerable act of disobedience", which declaration is in itself enough to demonstrate a leader so desperately inept at creating a unified Spain that he must admonish the Catalan Mayors like children and attempt to send them to the naughty step.
Spain is exploiting Catalunya's economic strength
It is this economic power that makes it so dangerous for Spain to relinquish its control over the region. There are 18 states in Spain and yet Catalunya contributes 19% of Spain's GDP. In return, Spain only delivers half of that back to support Catalunya's infrastructure and growth. And further than that, Spain steadfastly refuses to support Catalunya's desire to retain its cultural identity, implementing punishing policies that oppress this proud people's rights to their traditions, blocks their development and prevents them from implementing local development plans that will allow them to flourish. In fact, I have seen with my own eyes, how the Spanish Government manipulates the media to unfairly represent Catalunya in the eyes of wider Spain, by which it is largely treated with disdain, even though it is quite obviously one of the strongest regions in the country. During the recent atrocity in Barcelona, some of the vitriol that was aimed at the Catalan people was almost beyond comprehension with comments such as there should not be too much concern over what happened since "it was only Catalans that died."
The Spanish Government is exercising the same kind of dictatorial control and oppression that seem so dangerously prevalent in other major Western countries in recent months and years. The US and UK included.
If Spain, by contrast, had accepted the Catalans right to their culture, adopted some of their strengths as a nation and treated it with equality within the context of wider Spain, then there is a chance that Catalunya would not be seeking the vote as it currently is.
Growth and stability of the whole is compromised by lack of integration
The need for oppression comes out of fear and the recognition that you have little positive influence. Oppression is a sign of weakness. It is the typical human response of the majority over a strong minority that we see not just in politics but in every form of human interaction. From the family group upwards. When a minority defies the rules of the majority, even if the reasons for that defiance are positive, that minority will generally be either controlled by the majority to comply with its rules, or ejected and rejected. There are few circumstances under which the minorities differences will be acknowledged and incorporated so that the group can stay together as an evolved whole. Despite all our incredible achievements in this world, in terms of science or economy for example, we seem inexplicably incapable of evolving our human ability to co-exist with equality. And it seems the lowest common denominator prevails. Intelligence and strength is met with disdain and dismissal, ridicule and punitive control and oppression. Ignorance cannot negotiate, it can only seek to contain.
This inherent behaviour not only massively stifles our growth and development and inhibits freedom, it is a fundamental prevention to individual and human development that threatens to undermine our very existence.
Spain is just one example of this catastrophic inability to live with basic humanitarian rights as a core of our social and political rules, but it will soon be tested for its ability to adapt and adopt a more globally acceptable understanding to the rights of people to exist within their own culture and be accepted for who they are. I for one, hope that Catalunya not only receive the right to their vote for independence, but also to win it and to show the World what can be done if we are allowed to flourish within our own culture, accepting that we must co-operate with those who live differently to us.