Catalonia Coup D'etat: Major Test of Tyranny, Expect Tyranny to Win

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy invoked article 155 and will seize control of the Catalan government. Major news media hypocrites that supported violent insurrections in Ukraine, Egypt and other places, will not back a peaceful move towards self-determination in Catalonia.

Coup D'etat

Speaking after an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday, Mariano Rajoy stopped short of dissolving the region's parliament but put forward plans for elections.

The Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, called the measures a "de facto coup d'etat". "It is an authoritarian coup inside a member state of the European Union," she said, adding that Mr. Rajoy intended to "put an end to a democratically elected government".

Spanish law dictates that elections must be held within six months of Article 155 being triggered, but Mr. Rajoy said it was imperative that the vote be held much sooner.

Spain Moves to Seize Control of Catalan Government

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy asked lawmakers to grant him unprecedented power to remove the leaders of Catalonia and temporarily control the region from Madrid, a forceful move aimed at bringing the separatist movement to heel.

The prime minister will seek to convene regional elections within six months to bring in new leadership and put an end to Catalan leaders’ repeated defiance of the central government.During a press conference, Mr. Rajoy demurred when asked how the central government would ensure that Mr. Puigdemont and his 13 cabinet members would obey the order.

“This is a real coup d’etat,” Arnau Casadevall, a 27-year-old school receptionist, said at the demonstration, which Barcelona police estimated was attended by 450,000 protesters. “I have no intention to stop fighting until Catalonia is free.”

One of the targets of Mr. Rajoy’s proposed measures is Catalonia’s police force, a prized symbol of regional power. The 17,000-strong regional police force, known as the Mossos D’Esquadra, resisted Madrid’s orders to halt the referendum on independence earlier this month. A judge seized the passport of the Mossos chief earlier this week amid a sedition probe. The regional force has said the investigation is based on false accusations.

WSJ Repeats Lie

The Wall Street Journal repeated this frequently stated lie "A majority of Catalonia’s 7.5 million inhabitants don’t support independence, recent polls show."

Of course, the Journal did not show any poll. The allegedly "recent" poll that does show a majority against independence was taken in July.

The most recent poll is the vote itself.

90% of those voting opted for independence. And 770,000 votes were stolen by Rajoy. If one assigns a high percentage of those votes to "yes" an outright majority voted for independence even if a huge majority of those not voting wanted to remain.

That's the math. Instead, the WSJ feeds the world BS on "recent polls".

Pro-Independence Demonstrations Erupt

Deutsche Welle notes pro-independence eruptions.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has asked the Spanish Senate for the power to sack the Catalan government. Following the announcement, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona on Saturday evening to protest at Rajoy's move.

They also called for the release of two activists, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who are in jail awaiting possible sedition charges.

The left-wing Podemos slammed Rajoy's announcement and vowed to push the prime minister and his Popular Party out of power."We are in shock about the suspension of democracy in Catalonia," said Pablo Echenique, of Podemos.

Libertarian Position

I pinged my friend Pater Tenebrarunm at the Acting Man blog with a simple question for which I already knew the answer: What's the Libertarian position? Here's is Pater's reply:

As libertarians we should always support secession, for a number of reasons:

  1. The smaller the territories governments rule over, the less power they have.

  2. The more territories and governments people can choose from, the less tyrannical government policies will be, as people will find it easier to vote with their feet.

  3. Competition among governments is a good thing for citizens. One reason why the EU has become such an evil organization since it expanded its remit from being a trade union to become a political entity trying to centralize power.

  4. The idea of secession will eventually lead to the total abolition of government. After all, if a territory can secede, why not a city? Why not a block within a city? And lastly, why should not individuals also be able to secede? Incidentally, this was an argument Rothbard made in support of secession. He basically said: "We are told anarchy is bad but governments and nation states exist in a state of anarchy vs. each other. Why is that not bad? And if that is not bad, how come getting rid of government altogether is considered bad?"

  5. I have empirical support for this idea as well. Where is economic freedom the greatest, and which countries are therefore the by far most prosperous? Well, how about Hong Kong, Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, all of which are tiny political territories. Some of them are almost twice as rich (in output per capita) than the so-called "developed world". What unites them are "laissez-faire" governments, low taxes, almost no licensing requirements, low tariffs or no tariffs at all, and so on. Oh, and none of them "throw their weight around on the world stage" or threaten any of their neighbors militarily.

Mish Position: No One Can Own You

Many of my readers back Spain, citing the rule of law.

But rule of law once allowed slavery, despite a US Declaration of Independence that stated "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

A rule of law also once held that black counted as 3/5ths of a person for determining representation in Congress although blacks could not vote.

Other readers noted the radical socialist positions of some of Catalonia's leaders. So what?

People either have a right to self-determination or not.

In this case, the government of Spain has acted in a manner that tells the people of Catalonia, "Whether you like it or not, we own you. You cannot leave. If you try, we will jail you."

In essence, Spain is enforcing slavery on 90% of the population that decided to leave. If California or Texas voted to leave the United States I would say, go for it.

Test of Tyranny

Reader Mark pinged me with this accurate assessment moments ago.

"The Catalans will be forced to vote and vote and vote again at the point of a gun until they get the right answer. This is what mainstream media calls democracy."

Some call this move of force by Rajoy a test of democracy. What a joke. It's a test of tyranny by the government of Spain over the right of people in Catalonia to decide their own fate.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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So let's go one by one with the libertarian position:
"As libertarians we should always support secession, for a number of reasons:
"The smaller the territories governments rule over, the less power they have."
Power over who? Their inhabitants? Other countries?
Historically I can come up with hundreds of examples that clearly prove that smaller territorial governments can be as vicious to its subjects as bigger ones (or more). For example, most feudal states (nation cities) were brutal to their subjects. So that statement is false.
"The more territories and governments people can choose from, the less tyrannical government policies will be, as people will find it easier to vote with their feet."
Apparently you don't know about borders. They happen regardless of the size of the nation (now and in the past). No people can't vote with their feet. What do you think the wall that surround the old city-states were there for? Try sneaking in and stay say in Singapore without valid visas.
"Competition among governments is a good thing for citizens:" Not it isn't. Citizens don't get to chose what country they get to live in unless they are very wealthy. Even your self in more than one occasion have indicated more that the UK should leave the EU otherwise it would be run off by Muslim refugees. Aren't those refugees voting with their feet? Please explain...
"The idea of secession will eventually lead to the total abolition of government." No it will not. Just look at places where there is not a viable government. Mogadishu anyone? Groups of people will band together and will rule over the weak ones by force. Look around you and see what happens in a failed state to its citizens.


@Mish: So you say "In this case, the government of Spain has acted in a manner that tells the people of Catalonia, "Whether you like it or not, we own you. You cannot leave. ". The Catalonias can leave if they want to (vote with their feet as you put it" They just can't take Cataluña with them. Fair enough?


If they cannot get the USA election right, what makes the arrogant WSJ writers think they understand Catalonia? For opinion assurance, WSJ editorial flacks rely on polling “experts,” a Zero-Credibility group collectively 99% certain Hillary would win the 2016 USA Presidential election. Perhaps WSJ has a publishing industry business motive, trying to win “fake news” subscribers away from rivals NYT, WaPo, CNN, etc. Relying on old polling data is also much cheaper from a business standpoint than actually having permanent staff based in Catalonia and getting the real story on the ground.

Western Europe and USA only support “democracy” when they get their desired result. Don’t forgot how quickly Palestinian democracy was jettisoned when Hamas won their election. Brussels bureaucrats running EU Empire are no doubt itching to give NATO bombers a new assignment post-Serbia and Libya. Perhaps a reminder military intervention aimed at EU Empire’s uppity Eastern European provinces who still reside in a delusional dreamtime, an amnesia forgetting that national sovereignty (e.g. over immigration) is a thing of the past and now against the law. Rajoy models himself after Franco, who also courted the monarchy and called in foreign forces (e.g. German Luftwaffe). Emergency rule for Catalonia could quickly and easily morph into a nationwide Franco-style dictatorship or president-for-life regime that effectively eliminates and criminalizes all opposition political parties and sentiment countrywide for as long as the state of emergency is in effect (e.g. Rajoy’s lifespan). Reversion to the historic mean for Spain?


Dangerous talk. The EU is NOT Europe. His words imply Catalonia will be made to kneel. No self determination. Will this go down in history as as 21st century fascism?e

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock


@Mish: So you say "In this case, the government of Spain has acted in a manner that tells the people of Catalonia, "Whether you like it or not, we own you. You cannot leave. ". The Catalonias can leave if they want to (vote with their feet as you put it" They just can't take Cataluña with them. Fair enough?

No, It's not fair to tell people they only have the right of self-determination if you leave. Dear slave: Please move.


So "Rajoy stopped short of dissolving the region's parliament but put forward plans for elections". Just how tyrannical can you get!! Catalonian wailing about oppression in post-Franco Spain has always rung a very false note: that explains why many look on now and do nought but shrug.


"The beatings will continue until moral improves" may have worked in Japan, but it will not curb the anti-establishment movements for the simple reason they are economics based, and it is establishment policies that are killing economies.


The better quote comes from Gerald Celente "when people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it".


MIsh. Please get your history correct and at least READ the historical document before you go on rant.

The US Constitution does NOT say BLACKS are worth 3/5 of white for when determining a state's total population for legislative representation and taxing purpose. It doesn't even mention skin color a AT ALL. There were PLENTY of FREE BLACKS whose counted 100% for legislative representation and taxing purpose and plenty of FREE BLACKS who OWNED SLAVES.

Also, plenty of Indians who also owned slaves and they only counted if they paid taxes
Additionally, the US Declaration of Independence is NOT LAW. The US Constitution is LAW.


And I hate that by pressing enter you post you comments!!!!


@Mish: You can't have it both ways. First you say the libertarian way to "punish" bad governments is to vote with their feet and leave. And then you say that telling the Catalanes independistas to vote with their feet is not fair. What gives? Those two are mutually exclusive. If voting with their feet isn't fair then libertarian thinking and solutions are useless or voting with their feet is a perfectly fair solution. You can't have both. Also you make the example of slaves. So let's try a mind exercise. Let's assume that Alabamians decide to vote to bring back slavery via a referendum. Let's assume now that the federal government does not intervene because of your twisted ideas of what "democracy" is. Let's now assume that 1/2 the people vote in favor and %90 of those voters vote for slavery. So what trumps what? The constitution trumps the referendum results or the referendum (the will of the people) trumps the constitution? Under your optics, the people voted in favor so slavery should be approved. Before you say anything let me remind you that the Spanish constitution does not allowed for secession of any part of Spain. A constitution BTW that was approved by %65 of the Catalanes (only Andalucia got more votes in favor). BTW the Catalanes were instrumentals in the creation of that constitution. Also, I indicated before that the outcome of this ordeal will be the imprisonment of the secessionist because they BROKE the law! BTW way did you see this:


I think the salient point is whether or not government is accepted by the governed.

"Voting with one's feet" is a very steep price to pay if it means abandoning family, a lifetime of accumulated property, and one's livelihood. If circumstances are that dire then one might choose instead to die defending oneself. If Spain continues taking a hard line, we may find out how many Catalans who voted for independence are willing to stand and fight.

Anyone who thinks Spain has the law on their side should remember that in addition to the victor writing history, the victor also writes the laws.


Respectfully disagree with Mish. The Spanish government are imbeciles and responsible to a large extent for the current mess, but they are not tyrants. Even granting that the refusal to accept the statutes that Catalonia had negotiated with the previous socialist government (being a "nation vs a "nationality") amount to a breach of the 1977-78 agreements between the autonomy and Madrid, the referendum was done in a manner that did not respect CATALAN statutes, which have been established over 40 years of uninterrupted democratic elections. A nation that wants to secede has every right to ignore the law of the oppressor, I agree 100%, but they don't have a right to ignore their own law. When it became obvious that the EU and no one else will support them (for their own selfish reasons) and they would be exposed as the happy-go-lucky liars that they are, fleeing forward became the only option in order to keep Catalans who are rightfully mad at Madrid in the fold. Even today, Puigdemont has the power to call for an election in the autonomy (since article 155 is in the works and he is still president). But he refuses to do so even under serious pressure from his own coalition. He is betting the everyone's house of making things worse and see how it turns out. Catalonian bonds, by themselves, have been considered junk since the last financial crisis. They do contribute more in taxes than they receive, but they took a large bailout from Madrid who in turn took it from the EU. Madrid is Catalonia's largest creditor. No one told independence supporters how that would be worked out. There is a lot of truth and a lot of lies that are being treated equally in this mess. If Catalonians, want independence, no one outside Catalonia can say whether they are right or wrong. It is their destiny and their call. But they should be wary about leaving their destiny in the hands of their current leadership. Look no further that the corruption scandal of Jordi Pujol, who treated for years the Generalitat as his own family fiefdom in order to get an idea of the type of people they are, even if many Catalans are true believers.