Puerto Rico Status Referendum

Media are reporting the results of the Puerto Rico status referendum as if the statehood option had won. Now, it may indeed be the case that the resident commissioner will present legislation of accession to the Union in the House of Representatives, but only an oddly structured ballot devised by the pro-statehood party allowed the … Continue reading Puerto Rico Status Referendum

The Economist on Catalan Independence

A pro-secession protest in Catalonia on September 11th brought out 8% of the region's entire population, The Economist reports. Opinion polls have support for independence at about half of the electorate, possibly more. The moderate nationalists in power in Catalonia have even radicalized their platform. In the past, Convergence and Unity was a moderate nationalist, … Continue reading The Economist on Catalan Independence

Yemen’s Vanishing Jews and the Totalizing Effects of the Modern State on Human Identity

Nationalism generally predicates itself on cultural attributes, but it often destroys the rich diversity of culture that was the legacy of premodern societies. The descendants of Arabic-speaking Jews who leave for Israel or the United States will speak Hebrew or English, and the identity will eventually disappear, amalgamated into broad, generic identities politically supported by the states that now depend on nationalist sentiment to help field armies and keep the taxes paid.

Newt Gingrich pushes prejudice at Ground Zero

In the WaPo, Richard Cohen has a fantastic takedown of Republican demagoguery over the "Ground Zero mosque" issue. Incidentally, the Tea Party's Republican candidate for governor in NY, Carl Paladino, has said he would use eminent domain to block the mosque. For most of the right, cultural nationalism trumps liberty every time.