One doesn’t need to be fully libertarian to nevertheless be largely in agreement with David T. Wright:
The true face of the State. Emma Goldman, the American anarcho-communist who lived around the turn of the last century, once remarked famously, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” Recent events in Spain show that she was exactly right.
Many of the people of Catalonia, a province in Spain, do not want to be a part of that country. They want to be independent. So the provincial government decided to hold a referendum, to let the people vote on whether Catalonia should be independent or not.
That’s Democracy, right? The People vote, and their voice is heard?
Well, no. The central government of Spain declared that the vote could not be held. It was “unconstitutional” because they had not given permission for it. Think about that for a minute. A “democracy” that doesn’t allow people to vote!
The Spanish king explained why in almost perfect Orwellian terms:
“All this means is that they [the Catalan regime] have attempted to appropriate the historical institutions of Catalonia and these authorities in a clear and definitive way and they have put themselves outside the rule of law and democracy.”They have tried to break the unity of Spain and national sovereignty which is the right of all the Spanish people to decide democratically.”
So, Catalans can’t vote democratically to be independent unless the rest of Spain allows them. That’s Democracy.
When the Catalan regime went ahead and held the referendum on October 1, the Spanish authorities did what the State always does when faced with a threat to its power: it used force to try to shut it down. They bused in Guardia Civil thugs from other parts of Spain. The Guardia are Spain’s version of France’s Gendarmes and Italy’s Carabinieri: militarized cops.
Here is the real face behind the mask of the benevolent modern “democracy.”
More than 900 people were injured by the brutal riot cops, who fired rubber bullets at peaceful would-be voters, stomped them, and beat them with yard-long billy clubs.
The enthusiastic brutality of the Spanish police against law-abiding civilians contrasts starkly with the lackadaisical treatment by the French Gendarmes of the thousands of Third World invaders still infesting Calais. It’s almost as if both forces were concerned with something other than keeping peace and order.