Thursday, March 23

Hodge-Podgery

The monstrous nineteenth century “nationalistic amalgams” continue to unravel across Europe and Asia as countries like Yugoslavia, the Soviet Russia, and Iraq fall apart at the seams. Now, Catalonia has won the right to call itself a “nation” for the first time in a deal intended to keep Spain together somehow or another.

Amid bitter wrangling, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister, reached a deal to satisfy the region’s politicians and placate the fears of those who oppose its bid for more autonomy.

A parliamentary congressional committee voted 22-17 in support of the statute last year. And now, the Spanish Constitution has finally been changed to recognize “Catalonia’s national reality as a nationality” at the start of a document which also grants the region more tax-raising powers.

As you might imagine, joyous celebrations have erupted all over the new/old nation's capital, Barcelona.

Could this be a harbinger of things to come? Could it be the beginning of the end of a host of other artificially and unhistorically cobbled-together hodge-podge states? Is Modernity’s madness finally collapsing under the weight of its own absurdity?

7 comments:

J.B. Aitken said...

Dr Grant,
Jim Jordan wrote an essay a long time ago arguing that the West will move towards decentralization. Do you agree? Do you see present day Spain as an example?

Sincerely,
Jacob

PS: I enjoy your blog!

kala said...

Dr. Grant:
I teach a class of kids ages four to six. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can lead them to Christ so they in turn will lead the world to Christ? I do what I can, but I want to do better and more for them. How can I better practice what I've learned? If Modernity's grasp is loosening, how can we attempt to ensure that the next rise of interests in worldwide worldview points to God? I know that's asking a lot; but I have to say, you've struck a chord that's been playing in my head lately (well...not just lately, all the time).
Thank you :)

Kala

RayB said...

Does not the breakup of these larger nations into smaller autonomous regions create untenable economic units that actually encourage the development of the multi-national mega-states like the EU? Unless these smaller ethnic units adopt truly Christian economic principles in international relations I'm afraid all that they end up doing is leaving a large artificial unit and being forced for economic reasons to join an even larger one.

George said...

Jacob: History is always a bit of a mixed bag. Conglomeration is obviously not all that the nationalistic ideologues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries trumped it up to be. Nevertheless, the empire impulse will be, like the poor, with us always.

Ray: Size guarantees nothing either way. There have been very prosperous little countires and very penurous big ones. But, what may be encouraging to us about the current trend is that artificial and coercive nationalistic empires are no longer seen as inevitable, essential structures.

Kala: Obviously, the most important thing you can do is to keep loving your students well and showing them the work of grace in your own life. In addition, let me recommend that you get some of Susan Hunt's very fine books such as Big Truths for Little Kids. They are very well written, full of great teaching ideas, and provide wonderful examples of how to instill a love of Jesus in the lives of those the Lord has entrusted to your care. God bless you in all you are doing.

Eric F. Langborgh said...

Dear Dr. Grant,

I can't tell if your blog enables trackback's or not. But I thought I'd let you know that I quoted and linked to this post over at my blog, in my post "Decentralizing Modernity’s ‘Nationalistic Amalgams’ in Iraq, Spain, and Elsewhere".

I really appreciate the way you seek to glorify the Lord through your blog and your ministries. Thank you for all you do.

In Christ,
--Eric

GL said...

Dr. Grant,
You would enjoy reading some of Krishan Kumar's stuff on Britian and nationalism. He presented a paper at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture on British nationalism and it was fascinating. I guess most subjects that one doesn't think about are taken-for-granted, so I was easily fascinated. I had not given much thought to the constructed-ness of nationalism and nation-states, so hearing about how English leaders intentionally used particular stratagems to weave the Empire together as "Empire" and/or "United Kingdom of Great Britian" was all fresh and stimulating.

In that vein, apparently there is a discussion now about re-asserting English identity, particularly as the "First Empire" of the UK itself might be dissolving like the Second Empire (overseas) already did. There is a move to throw out the Union Jack and run up the pole the flag of St. George, which is apparently "English" not British. Sounds like a peaceful version of the Balkans.

Richard in Austin said...

Catalonia!

Catalonia!

What make yo' big head so hard?!?!


(sorry, Dr.G., I couldn't resist)