The Basque Country


I used to live in San Sebastian in the Basque Country during the late 1990’s when the Basque separatist movement ETA were still committing acts of terrorism. Being an outsider and at first unable to tell who was Basque and who was Spanish I didn’t give much thought to whose side I should be on. At that time I was totally apolitical and thought that politics was for other, more serious people. I just liked football, tapas and girls.

As far as I could tell, being a part of Spain was not a particularly onerous state of affairs for most Basque people. The Basque government, like all other regional governments in Spain, had to send its revenue to Madrid where it was divvied up and redistributed around Spain. Poor regions like Extremadura benefited from this pooling while richer regions like Catalonia lost out. However, this sharing out of resources is common to most countries and it is extremely rare that one region doesn’t economically outperform another.

Unlike under Francisco Franco where Basque culture and language were suppressed, by the later 1990’s Basques were allowed to teach their own language, promote their culture and were autonomous in all areas that mattered.

One evening I was watching a documentary about ETA where both sympathizers, non-sympathizers and victims were interviewed. The sympathizers were often young and drew comparisons to the Palestinian struggle in Israel. I thought these comparisons ludicrous. I could see with my own eyes that Basques lived pretty much as they pleased. Only those planting bombs, raising money for ETA through protection rackets, murdering politicians or throwing Molotov Cocktails at the police weren’t free to do as they wished.

One of the interviews was with the widow and daughter of a local, small town politician, who had been shot in the head by two local ETA sympathizers while walking along the street. What upset the wife most was that most people in the small town had a pretty good idea of who the killers were yet they hadn’t been arrested and continued to stroll around the town being greeted by the inhabitants.

What upset me most was the idea that two young men thought it was okay to murder a middle-aged family man, whose job was merely to organise the affairs of a small town, simply because the region had near complete control over its finances rather than complete control. There was no sense of proportion.

Being autonomous rather than completely independent probably inconvenienced these killers less than having a noisy neighbour, or having to walk 20 minutes to the nearest supermarket each day, or having to sit next to a smelly person picking his nose on the bus. These are annoyances and not even political annoyances are legitimate reasons to shoot someone in the head. These two men though a political inconvenience was reason enough to make a widow of a wife and a daughter fatherless.

I was thinking about all this while writing my last post on Richard Spencer. I agree with much of what he says and like his idea that many of us live shallow, nihilistic lives and are easily manipulated by our governments and the industrial-military complex. (I can never decide if the latter is something real and dangerous or more like the Illuminati, a product of vivid imaginations. Probably the former). But one day, like Neo, we may wake up and say, ‘I always knew something was wrong, I secretly felt that there was something missing. So this is what real life feels like. Wow!’ (For all I know life really is just as shallow and meaningless as it sometimes seems!). Whether Spencer is right or wrong, I would love the wind to start blowing in our direction and away from progressive liberalism.

Still, I don’t feel as strongly about all this as does Richard Spencer and for reasons similar to those sketched above. Since I rarely go to Multi-Culti Central which is the city centre of my hometown, Leicester, instead staying in my mainly-white village-cum-town, how much does multiculturalism actually affect or inconvenience me? The few morons that live in my village are almost all white. The Hindus and Sikhs who constitute a growing minority are model citizens who I feel closer to than the morons. It’s true, if things continue as they are then whites will soon be in a minority in Britain and I really don’t want that. Even so, since neither I, my brother nor my sister have children; and since it is the British people with children who should be worried about the future; and since many of them really don’t seem to care that much, then why should I. After all, if you don’t play the game, you don’t make the rules.

I also think there is a danger of glorifying the past. I genuinely believe that the Britain I was born into in 1959 was better than Britain we have today. Then again, I am very prone to nostalgia. And mass immigration and multiculturalism weren’t the only things that changed my world beyond recognition. Even without them we would probably still have had progressive liberalism, egalitarian madness, environmental problems, crime, unemployment, the welfare state, class resentment, car crashes, plane crashes, rail crashes, strikes and a fragmenting society due to too much choice. I say we would probably have had all those things because it is impossible to know how everything would have played out had mass immigration not been part of the mix. Maybe we would all be happier now. Or maybe World War III, which we unknowingly avoided thanks to mass immigration, would have wiped Britain off the map. Who can say?

Another qualm I have is something Otto von Bismarck knew about. When he had internal German problems with his people, Bismarck would announce that the French were gearing up to attack. This was all that was required to stop Germans from bickering among themselves and get ready to repel the invader.

When Germany invaded Britain in World War II the British people pulled together. Many Brits view these as the best years of their lives, probably due to the feeling of comradeship that wasn’t present either before or after the war. Once the war was over the old comradeship was gone.

Perhaps if all immigrants and their children were to go back to their ancestral lands, rather than the whites reclaiming the kind of solid communities Richard Spencer envisages, all that might happen is after a brief honeymoon the bickering would start again. Johnny Speight, the English lefty playwright, once wrote a TV drama called If there weren’t blacks you’d have to invent them and there might be some truth in that. The only question is whether it is the whole truth or just a partial truth.

But it’s worse even than this! And even if things did get better once everyone had gone back to where they belong, humans get so used to things so quickly that the subjective improvement would probably soon be close to zero. All of us would quickly sink back to our habitual levels of happiness – or unhappiness.

This entry was posted in General.

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