Random Politics Thread

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-10-07, 18:21

vijayjohn wrote:
Saim wrote:Balearics, likely to be more sympathetic to Catalonia.

Are they really? I'm skeptical. IIRC, there are more recent immigrants there from Catalonia, but still, locals there seem to insist that mallorquí etc. are definitely NOT Catalan. I know a native speaker of mallorquí personally. The first thing I ever said to him directly was like three words in Catalan (that I'd learned from TY Catalan because I didn't know the difference), and he practically skewered me. I think I've seen clips of anti-Catalan protests there, too.

The Basques are definitely not Catalan either. Their sympathy derives from a shared opposition to Spanish centrism. The Balearics are less worried about Catalan cultural hegemony than they are of Spanish political domination.

Since Yasna (like my brother) seems to get a lot of his talking points from the Economist, I wonder if he noticed this bit in their most recent editorial on the conflict. After once again praising "rule of law" and criticising the Generalitat's actions, it nonetheless concludes "But that is not the end of the story. Democracy rests on the consent of the governed."

This is a key point which keeps getting missed. Consent is not something which, once given, can never again be revoked. It has to be actively renewed. Only a minority of Catalan voters were in favour of independence before the referendum but there was a clear majority in favour of letting the referendum take place. Even "no" voters joined the protests on Sunday and the general strike on Tuesday. From the reaction of the Rajoy and the Spanish government, they apparently didn't reckon with this at all, which is why the corresponding article in this issue lambastes it for being staffed with "state lawyers who form an elite bureaucratic corps" who are "out of touch with Catalan realities".

(As you'd expect, their coverage shares the blind spots that Saim highlighted earlier, showing the kind of casual contempt for defence of a smaller language and culture you expect from those who will never be in the same position. Even so, they place the blame for escalating the crisis pretty squarely on Rajoy for making every wrong move in his response and call on him to return to negotiations.)
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-07, 18:24

Of course there are people like that there, but there are Catalanophobes even in Catalonia. I think I remember a poll by CIS that showed that there was less anti-Catalan sentiment there than Valencia, Galicia, or the "monolingual" autonomous communities; if I find it I'll pass it on to you.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-07, 19:40

Are those really the same thing, though? I understand anti-Catalan sentiment in Catalonia to be basically just anti-minority language sentiment. In the Balearic Islands, however, I understand the point to be "we have our own minority languages, and the Catalans think we just speak the same minority language as them, which infuriates us because our language varieties are not even mutually intelligible with theirs and are far more different from barcelonès than Valencian or any of the other mainland varieties of Catalan are."
linguoboy wrote:Since Yasna (like my brother) seems to get a lot of his talking points from the Economist, I wonder if he noticed this bit in their most recent editorial on the conflict. After once again praising "rule of law" and criticising the Generalitat's actions, it nonetheless concludes "But that is not the end of the story. Democracy rests on the consent of the governed."

The Economist's piece on how they hesitated to acknowledge Narendra Modi as a valid candidate for prime minister (during the Indian elections) didn't seem to stop him from - in his own words - "rooting for Modi" at the time, so I don't have much hope left there.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-07, 20:13

vijayjohn wrote:Are those really the same thing, though? I understand anti-Catalan sentiment in Catalonia to be basically just anti-minority language sentiment. In the Balearic Islands, however, I understand the point to be "we have our own minority languages, and the Catalans think we just speak the same minority language as them, which infuriates us because our language varieties are not even mutually intelligible with theirs and are far more different from barcelonès than Valencian or any of the other varieties of Catalan are."


It's called barceloní in Catalan. El Barcelonès is a region of Catalonia.

Most Balearic language secessionist activism is associated with the politicl right (if not far right) and is communicated mostly in Spanish, and they also claim that Valencian and "Eastern Aragonese" are not Catalan. It is simply the way Spanish nationalism is expressed over there. People who care about the normalisation of Catalan in the Balearics call it Catalan; the "Balearic" activists (gonelles)
are against normalisation (they have the same views on language politics as Spanish nationalists). The same is more or less true of Valencia, but Spanish nationalism in general has more sway over there and there's less of a feeling of cultural uniqueness or connection to Catalonia (lots of Balearic youth go to Catalonia to study, you know).
Last edited by Saim on 2017-10-07, 21:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-07, 20:46

Idk, this guy who told me all this stuff was somebody I went to grad school with. He didn't seem the least bit right-wing and definitely considered Valencian to just be Catalan (but of course didn't consider mallorquí to be Catalan). At one point, I suggested that maybe I could try to learn some mallorquí, which he didn't seem to particularly object to, just seemed to make him laugh a bit because where the fuck would I find materials to do that? I have no idea what his thoughts are on normalizing mallorquí within Mallorca because presumably, to him, this is a different issue from whether Catalan should be normalized in the Balearic Islands in general.
Saim wrote:It's called barceloní in Catalan. El barcelonès is a region of Catalonia.

Oh OK, sorry. :oops:
lots of Balearic youth go to Catalonia to study, you know

But Valencians don't?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Saim » 2017-10-07, 20:55

vijayjohn wrote:That's odd. This guy who told me all this stuff was somebody I went to grad school with. He didn't seem the least bit right-wing and definitely considered Valencian to just be Catalan (but of course didn't consider mallorquí to be Catalan). At one point, I suggested that maybe I could try to learn some mallorquí, which he didn't seem to particularly object to, just seemed to make him laugh a bit because where the fuck would I find materials to do that? I'm not sure he cares at all about whether Catalan is normalized within Catalonia although I'm guessing based off of what I've said of him that he probably doesn't want it to be normalized within the Balearic Islands.


Was Majorcan his mother tongue?

(Whether e.g. mallorquí should be normalized within Mallorca is presumably a separate issue from his standpoint, and I have no idea what his thoughts are on that).


What I'm arguing is that it's not and that the vast majority of people who are in favour of the normalisation of Majorcan, Menorcan, Ibizan and Formenteran are not linguistic secessionists. Even the Balearic Statute of Autonomy calls it "Catalan" (whereas the Valencian Statute of Autonomy calls it "Valencian"). I seriously doubt he'd be in favour of Majorcan being the sole language of instruction in schools.

From what I've seen Balearic language secessionists complain about Catalan but they don't propose any change in the relationship between Balearic and Spanish.

Saim wrote:Oh OK, sorry. :oops:


All good, it's one of the few false friends with Spanish (barcelonés).

El Barcelonès és això:

Image

But Valencians don't?


Not nearly as much. If you walk through my alma mater you'll hear a Majorcan, Menorcan or Ibizan accent after a couple of minutes, whereas I think I only met a single Valencian. :P I remember hearing about some people from around Castelló going up to Tarragona or Lleida but obviously in Valencia and Alacant they have their own fairly large universities.

Catalonia and the Balearics have a much stronger relationship than Catalonia and Valencia and in general the Balearics have had stronger policies promoting the Catalan language than Valencia throughout the "democratic" period (e.g. 25% Catalan-language instruction in Valencia, over 90% in the Balearics, and language shift barely exists among ethnic Majorcans/Menorcans/Ibizans/Formenterans). Valencia, on the other hand, has a stronger economic connection with Madrid (many people call it la playa de Madrid in jest, and if you take an express train you'll get to Valencia City faster from Madrid than Barcelona, and if you drive you won't have to pay any road tolls) and language shift in Catalan-speaking families started in Alacant as early as the late 1800s.

Image

The Balearics on the other hand are insular to the extent that people don't even really identify with the archipelago as a whole, preferring to call themselves Majorcans, Minorcans, Ibizans or Formenterans, but if there's another comunidad autónoma in Spain that they're associated with it's definitely Catalonia. In fact I wouldn't be shocked if in Minorca and Ibiza there's more anti-Majorca sentiment than anti-Catalonia sentiment (Mallorca terra porca). :lol:

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-10-07, 23:17

Saim wrote:Was Majorcan his mother tongue?

Yes. This is the same guy who I said skewered me for saying anything in Catalan to him (I remembered a while after writing that that all I said was parles català?).
What I'm arguing is that it's not and that the vast majority of people who are in favour of the normalisation of Majorcan, Menorcan, Ibizan and Formenteran are not linguistic secessionists. Even the Balearic Statute of Autonomy calls it "Catalan" (whereas the Valencian Statute of Autonomy calls it "Valencian"). I seriously doubt he'd be in favour of Majorcan being the sole language of instruction in schools.

From what I've seen Balearic language secessionists complain about Catalan but they don't propose any change in the relationship between Balearic and Spanish.

Okay, fair enough. This also kind of reminds me of a childhood friend of mine I think I've mentioned a few times on UL whose family's from Barcelona but whose grandparents I think live in Madrid. She and her siblings were born and raised near Paris until they moved here. She always spoke Catalan at home, spoke little Spanish if any at all, had plenty of books in Catalan, tried to help me learn Catalan (she even gave me a written exercise once that she drafted all by herself!), had visited relatives in Catalonia plenty of times but visited Madrid I think only once, and had learned French through Catalan since she was initially monolingual in Catalan (and her first schoolteacher considered her retarded due to her lack of French, but of course, she soon became fluent in French, read books and played computer games in French, and even had at least one French (non-Catalan) friend here in Austin). Her parents subscribed to at least one Catalan magazine, and her sister had a sign in Catalan on her door to prevent her from coming in. However, she self-identified as Spanish, claimed she couldn't write in Catalan (despite the aforementioned written exercise with just a few spelling mistakes), also claimed she understood Spanish perfectly, and complained of being bullied in school in France because she was Spanish. Her mom also taught Spanish at my alma mater, as did the Majorcan guy I mentioned, IIRC. Later, she moved and claimed that her Spanish had gotten better than her French, which I found hard to believe.

Also, this is probably the first time I've ever considered a political situation to resemble any part of my actual life at home.
All good, it's one of the few false friends with Spanish (barcelonés).

El Barcelonès és això:

Not nearly as much. If you walk through my alma mater [...]

Gràcies!

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-10-08, 21:14

And now a bit about Cyprus, and yes, I realise that from pretty much everyone else but Cypriots ourselves, this is considered an intractable conflict.

Since July, when the last Geneva1 when the Secretary General of the UN sent everyone home and told them not to waste his time if they don't take this seriously, the governments in north and south began creating tensions out of nothing.

In the south, RoC police is bullying tourists into not visiting the north, considers throwing the north out of the EU harmonisation process (not without controversy, all of Cyprus joined the EU in 2004), and Greece sent their F16 for intimidation shows over our airspace on Cyprus Independence Day.

In the north, Turkey is assimilating political institutions in rapid speed, and the TRNC government began imposing 'import tax' over humanitarian aid sent to "enclaved" Greek Cypriots and Maronites in north (which the "enclaved" doesn't mind because they don't feel they are enclaved, but the GCs in south took the bait because of the nationalist narrative they constructed about them).

Plus, I crunched the numbers, and it has been almost 10 years since the last time an area of the border was demined and crossing points opened.
Seven checkpoints opened between 2003-2008 years, but there's eight of them announced and never opened since then. Every leader starting 2003 opened at least 1 checkpoint during his term, but the incumbents didn't open a single one.

1. In the local languages, "a Geneva" is a high-level summit about the Cyprus issue, even if it's not taking place in Geneva.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-10-11, 4:12

Saim wrote:Estatut 2006, LOMCE, pobresa energètica, bullfighting. Why won't you address any of the attacks Catalan autonomy has been under from the Spanish media and "constitutional" court?

You know this conflict didn't start on Sunday, right?

Because I don't care about most of what is said in the Spanish media. It's mostly just sideshows and theatrics anyway. And fundamentally I don't have much sympathy for Catalan self-determination because I think international law on the matter is quite reasonable and Catalonia simply doesn't qualify. As the Economist wrote, "Catalonia, however, hardly counts as colonised, occupied or oppressed. Many Spaniards worry that its secession could swiftly be followed by that of the Basque country. If the rule of law is to mean anything, the constitution should be upheld."

Where did you get this information from, the gods? The Economist?

"The Catalan government’s own pollster finds that while 70% want a referendum on the territory’s future, only 48% do if Spanish government doesn’t agree—which it emphatically does not."

https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/09/economist-explains-17
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Yasna » 2017-10-11, 17:01

Deeply troubling. Sweden has really gone off the deep end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMUduwZdrDs
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Meera » 2017-10-11, 18:39

Orange Joffrey just said on twitter he wants to take away broadcast licenses to tv networks that criticize him (of course he can't do that, it would likely be against the law) but this is the same guy who calls us liberals snowflakes.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Osias » 2017-10-11, 22:05

Twitter should block him because of what he posts, but of course they won't do that because they need him.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Meera » 2017-10-12, 13:00

Osias wrote:Twitter should block him because of what he posts, but of course they won't do that because they need him.


They should block him. His tweets are gonna start a war.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Osias » 2017-10-12, 14:09

Then people will tweet about the war, then Twitter will become still more relevant and newsworthy. War is peace.
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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Lur » 2017-11-01, 21:37

Yasna wrote:Many Spaniards worry that its secession could swiftly be followed by that of the Basque country."

Honestly, that and other places would be actually a much more interesting issue than Catalonia. The relations between Galiza and Portugal, the stuff with Asturias, the burning forests, the language shift in the north in general, the political abandonement of several areas, the emigration, and the poverty issues in the southern half of the state. Catalonia only just happens to have enough concentration of pissed left voters who channel discontent through all of this.

And if this all happens, it's because the Spanish state is badly constructed. So we're trying to upheld the law to defend the unity of something that doesn't really work like this.

I don't think this stuff needs the sort of justification some people claim, because whatever situation doesn't reach their required lever of oppresion or genocide, which in my mind doesn't matter at all. They even ask for requirements that aren't even upheld by the Spanish state nor many internationally recognized states.

Many places actually victims of colonialism got their independence, reclaimed by criollos crying about indigenous rights... so they could keep exterminating the indigenous themselves. Yay? And those are internationally recognized! Even the colonial borders in Africa are recognized! What the hell? Maybe because things that were like when we came to this world are easier to accept that change to the status quo?

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-11-12, 20:45

Someone please tell me I'm not insane for thinking Aung San Suu Kyi might have a good reason for not openly denouncing the treatment of the Rohingya to the international media.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Aurinĭa » 2017-11-12, 21:39

She has reasons; whether they're good enough or whether she could try to push the limits of what she feels able to do without risking her own position are different matters. Whether she actually cares and would say or do more if she felt safe to do so, is again another matter entirely. Her and her party's support base consists of members of the Burmese majority (the Bamar form about 68% of the population), and that is whom she represents. Not the Rohingya or any other the other ethnic minorities. It's unfortunately very common of people who seem to be "good", people whom we agree with on important matters (e.g. against dictatorships, pro-democracy and equal rights...), to turn out not to be so "good" concerning other matters (...but only for members of the majority group).

That said, the military is still very strong in Myanmar and could easily get rid of her, or even completely undo the hard-won democratic progress. The new constitution gives the military the power to choose the ministers of internal affairs, defence, and border security. It also controls all security forces, including the police. Furthermore, there are some very popular very radical buddhist groups preaching hatred and violence against "the illegal muslim terrorists who want to destroy buddhist Myanmar". One of these extremist groups has been outlawed, but is apparently left alone and continues to operate, if a little bit less public. There's a long history of preaching hatred against the Rohingya; the military dictatorship used them to avert attention from everything else that that was going wrong in Myanmar.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-11-13, 2:25

Aurinĭa wrote:She has reasons; whether they're good enough or whether she could try to push the limits of what she feels able to do without risking her own position are different matters. Whether she actually cares and would say or do more if she felt safe to do so, is again another matter entirely. Her and her party's support base consists of members of the Burmese majority (the Bamar form about 68% of the population), and that is whom she represents. Not the Rohingya or any other the other ethnic minorities. It's unfortunately very common of people who seem to be "good", people whom we agree with on important matters (e.g. against dictatorships, pro-democracy and equal rights...), to turn out not to be so "good" concerning other matters (...but only for members of the majority group).

I'm not entirely sure she isn't already trying to push the limits, but that makes sense.
That said, the military is still very strong in Myanmar and could easily get rid of her, or even completely undo the hard-won democratic progress. The new constitution gives the military the power to choose the ministers of internal affairs, defence, and border security. It also controls all security forces, including the police. Furthermore, there are some very popular very radical buddhist groups preaching hatred and violence against "the illegal muslim terrorists who want to destroy buddhist Myanmar". One of these extremist groups has been outlawed, but is apparently left alone and continues to operate, if a little bit less public. There's a long history of preaching hatred against the Rohingya; the military dictatorship used them to avert attention from everything else that that was going wrong in Myanmar.

That's along the lines of what I was thinking and what I've been finding. Thanks!

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby Aurinĭa » 2017-11-13, 11:33

vijayjohn wrote:I'm not entirely sure she isn't already trying to push the limits, but that makes sense.

Follow-up question: how much of that is to appease the West, because she needs Western support? I'm sounding a bit cynical here, but well, such things have happened before...

Of course, the only one who can say what she thinks, is Aung San Suu Kyi herself. And there are enough reasons to prevent her from loudly saying what she really thinks, whichever direction her thoughts would take.

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Re: Random Politics Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2017-11-13, 13:47

Aurinĭa wrote:Her and her party's support base consists of members of the Burmese majority (the Bamar form about 68% of the population), and that is whom she represents. Not the Rohingya or any other the other ethnic minorities.

This is an entirely different approach to politics than what's common in the USA, which is that once you've been elected, you're expected to represent all your constituents, even those who didn't vote for you and especially persecuted minorities. (Trump's failure to act in this way is one of the reasons why he such a uniquely divisive figure.) If she really thinks this way, it's no wonder we're having trouble understanding her actions.
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