Breakin Up is Hard to Do

Breakin up is hard to do. As an American southerner, I am well-convinced of just how hard it is. Sometimes lovelorn countrymen find the prospect of your absence so distressing that they kill you by the hundreds of thousands, burn your cities to the ground, and place you under the tender stewardship of African administrators. That’s when you realize this relationship was meant to last.

Like divorces, independence movements inspire the most unusual expressions of affection from spurned parties. These expressions of commitment to a happy and synergistic union usually take the form of bustling mortuaries. As a result, the most serene path to secession is to become more trouble than you’re worth.

Before continuing with that thought, it’s worth extending accolades to a notable exception from the model of affectionate military reunification. The failed Scottish independence referendum strikes me as a remarkably civilized example of ascertaining the appetite for union without resorting to blood as its proxy. Though, as in all such movements, I see no reason why the Scots alone should have made the call. Just as well would have been a referendum by the English and Welsh to ask whether Scots were worth the trouble of keeping. This being precisely my philosophy on the current California independence movement. Why grant them sole discretion? Ask the other 49 states if they want the continued hassle of Californians. Let’s see who gets to separation first.

The leaders of Catalonia might want to keep that idea in mind over the next 30 years or so during their stay in a Spanish prison. Because they plainly haven’t become a sufficient hassle—or blown up enough hotels—to convince Madrid they aren’t worth the trouble of keeping. And that might either require some Jewish explosives experts or several million Chinese.

I mention Chinese because there actually is an example of a wealthy, revenue-generating, enclave who made themselves into such a thorn that their erstwhile countrymen simply said GTFO without a shot being fired. That’s independence done prudently.

The instance to which I’m referring is the brief national cohabitation between Malaysia and Singapore. Certainly a union between the two would seem geographically feasible; though, as I have asserted many times, nations are in reality drawn by their populations, not cartographers. In this case, an unapologetically ethnocentric Malaysian government found itself dealing with a Chinese-majority city-state that was somewhat less committed to the principles of a Malaysia for Malays. It’s almost as if no one anywhere can agree on Our Values. Or maybe that’s because those values depend entirely upon who the speaker’s our is.

So following predictable race riots in 1964, a year later Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Rahman summarily expelled what he viewed as his country’s Chinese wart. It was as if Lincoln formed an army under Grant to kick Lee and the confederates out of the Union. Upon achieving that salutary task, Rahman calmly went about enforcing his constitutional mandate to secure the fruits of his country for its own people. What kind of white supremacist was this guy?

The constitutional provision in question is Article 153, which is summarized in Fikipedia as follows:

Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia grants the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) responsibility for “safeguard[ing] the special position of the ‘Malays’(see note) and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities” and goes on to specify ways to do this, such as establishing quotas for entry into the civil service, public scholarships and public education.

Article 153 is one of the most controversial articles in the Malaysian constitution. Critics consider it to create an unnecessary and racialist distinction between Malaysians of different ethnic backgrounds, because it has led to the implementation of affirmative action policies which benefit only the Bumiputra, who comprise a majority of the population. Technically, discussing the repeal of Article 153 is illegal[1]—even in Parliament, although it was drafted as a temporary provision to the Constitution. Despite this prohibition on discussion, the article is heatedly debated both privately and publicly among Malaysians, against the implementation of the article although ostensibly maintaining support for it. Nevertheless, the article is viewed as a sensitive matter by many, with politicians who are in favour or oppose it often being labelled as racist.

It’s gratifying to see sober Western notions of science still colonizing the globe. Whoever your opponent and whatever his position: raysis.

Though as for Malaysia, I personally find its 153 to be fairly reasonable. It acknowledges the legitimate interests of other communities, which is certainly far more than our governments do for their own founding stocks. Though it also makes a more important point to enshrine the special (and yes, privileged) relationship between state and nation. Ideally a people wouldn’t have to be so gauche as to explain to guests the ownership of the house. But those who do not do so frequently find themselves without one. So the Malays made it official: this place is ours.

Now, of course, Malaysian minorities take great umbrage at being de jure second class citizens. This slight having the effect of making conscientious Malays openly yearn for some small refuge where Chinese and Indians could be free of their oppression. These tiny mythical sanctuaries are sometimes referred to in whispers as “China” and “India.” Though as of yet, neither appears to exert the gravitational force to actually draw away many disgruntled complainers.

I mention Singapore in context of Catalonia for a couple reasons.

First, consider the historical paradigms for majority-minority relationships in relation to secession and independence. For Singapore, the This is for us, you aren’t us, take your city and get out model is a far more reasonable and humane response than something like the modern South African framework of This is for us, you work for us, now shut up or (and) we’ll kill you. It even seems on at least moral equivalence with the Western majority model of This is for you, we work for you, now demean, bomb, stab, shoot, run-over, and replace us while we prosecute right-wing Internet commenters.

Second, unless they can move Catalonia onto a rainy island in the North Atlantic, peaceful requests for independence have an extremely poor track record of success. Normally, you are either going to have to win a war or make the other side want separation more than you do. And since I see neither of those items as present possibilities, train passengers from Madrid to Barcelona will probably remain unburdened from digging for their passports. Separatist leader Puigdemont is going to need a hell of a lot more sedge hats.

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22 thoughts on “Breakin Up is Hard to Do

  1. Pingback: Breakin Up is Hard to Do | Reaction Times

  2. Pingback: K Blog: Breakin’ Up Is Hard To Do | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  3. There is always the Northern Ireland solution:
    One Shot Paddy
    And if the Catalans find themselves short of the tools to do so, I suspect the Basques might be willing to aid the logistics. And might even be willing to find common cause in the process.

    Of course, to do it properly, the entertainment needs to unfold in Madrid, not Barcelona nor Bilbao.

  4. Nice article. Malays and Chinese never got along anyway. Malays are a laid-back people that like quiet village life in their little kampongs. Chinese on the other hand are world-beaters out to make a lot of money by hook or by crook. Another element to be taken into account is that in 1964 Malaya (under the British) had just pretty much won a civil war against the Chinese Communist minority that began in 1945-1948. It was a hard slog, but the Malays sided with the Brits against the commies taking the position that after the Chinese Reds were defeated they would be given their independence. It worked out that way nicely for them. I did a Master’s thesis on aspects of that war known as the Malayan Emergency.

  5. I would say the State with the best chance of seceding is Hawaii. Last in, first out. The only State that was a legitimate independent nation, prior to inclusion in the USA. (I don’t credit short lived transitions like the Great Bear Republic as having much meaning in this context).

    It retains a unique language and culture, and, of course is an island State in the middle of nowhere.

    Another factor favoring Hawaiian independence is that it would be a movement waged in the name of natives, of brown people. The Democratic Party would fall over themselves to agree to it, based on their ideology. Essentially they would be forced to vote for decolonisation, by their belief system.

    Aloha Hawaii!

  6. Praetorian: Thanks.

    Mark: That’s probably correct on the entertainment venue. A state not obligated to modern niceties could exact vengeance on the whole recalcitrant population, but today’s Spain could not. Thus there is the chance, but not certainty, of making themselves more trouble than they’re worth via that means.

    Kenneth: That would be an interesting topic. If you’d ever like to write up a piece using your expertise to draw parallels to our present situation, let me know.

    Jackson: I agree on Hawaii having the best chance…if they want it. The political left is utterly slavish to “indigenous peoples” (as if we appeared from Neptune). And the right is slavish to avoiding the left calling them raysis. Thus a committed Hawaiian independence movement would almost certainly be given the choice of Scottish style referendum if they made enough noise about it. Of course their standard of living would plummet to a level natively supportable by a population of Polynesians. Though that decline would be mitigated somewhat by a still robust tourist trade, military base spending, and the lingering productive population of hated haoles.

    • I believe there was one already underway. I suppose the real issue is that Polynesians are minorities in their own islands. Asians are the majority, and unless secession voting is restricted to the natives, I see little interest by the Asians or Anglos in Hawaii to go their own way. As I recall the plan was for the native Hawaiians to have something like independent reservations on the islands.

  7. You have glossed over the OTHER successful secession..That of Norway from Sweden in 1904.
    Although from the Swede side of things, it was apparently a case of:

    “We didn’t like those PITA goobers over there all that much to begin with, so we were happy to see them go.”

    I don’t know how much to credit this, since it might simply be Swedish butt-hurt talking, but the point is that the Bucketheads managed to split off from the Squareheads and they all lived together fairly peaceably in Vanilla Socialist Scandinavia,(until some nimrod decided that importing people from the “Scary Plumbing Fixtures” lands was a Good Idea…the dumb bastards!).

  8. Pingback: One Of These Is Not Like The Other – Daily Pundit

  9. The Maylay difficulty is that the Chinese are very much smarter, like, say, Ashkenazis are to goyim, the difference being that there are exponentially more Chinese than there are Ashkenazi. The choice that remains to them is to be colonized or not colonized.

    • I always wish this large intelligence differential would manifest itself in an Ashkenazi society that Ashkenazis themselves would find more to their preference. It would seem intuitive that this extraordinarilly intelligent tribe would construct a more coveted living space than the dullards in whose homes they eternally demand to reside.

      Further, one imagines it would be the intelligent Askenazis who were obligated to financially support the states of the goyim, rather than the reverse. After all, Africans aren’t asked to carry the living standard of Denmark. So it’s odd that we must bear Israel.

      Odd unless you realize Dracula would probably be a very bright creature as well. And one just as determined to live amidst those unlike him.

      • Jews were never successful in governing themselves–too quarrelsome. When they were between occupation by Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans, they kept two warring kingdoms. Jews can create more wealth for themselves by living among more numerous others than they can living together and quarreling among themselves, and they may even prefer quarreling with others. At any rate, South Asians cannot compete economically with East Asians on the same field. Why the Vietnamese communist threw them out. The great majority of boat people were ethnic Chinese.

  10. It occurs to me that we have something similar to the Singapore model here in the States: Jackson MS, Birmingham AL, Fulton County GA, Gary IN, Newark NJ, Detroit MI, East St. Louis MO, Selma AL, etc. Let’s formally, and in a legally binding sense, reward these fine African-American City-States with complete sovereignty, and allow them to fully flourish without the specter of white racism to hold back their progress.

  11. “Dracula would be…just as determined to live amongst those unlike him.”

    Now that is a fabulous rejoinder!

    This day was very annoying since every liberal is parading around as if Monofort’s indictment is a huge victory. It will soon fade just like Trump’s scandalous phone call to the fallen soldier’s wife, and Melania’s felonious high heels on the hurricane tour, but in the meantime….

    Lines like that and the thought that someday you might have a large audience are a real bright spot : )

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