The Ruritanian Trappings of Statehood

The Economist’s leader on Catalonian independence, Umbrage in Catalonia, (published before Catalonia’s poll on Sunday) makes fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in this forthcoming referendum on Scottish Independence.  There are both parallels and points to ponder.

Two richly memorable phrases stick in mind.

The first, from the pen of the Economist’s leader writer, I borrowed for the title of this post.  He or she writes of Catalonia,

“It lacks only tax-raising powers and the Ruritanian trappings of statehood, which nationalist politicians appear to be hungry for.”

In this globalised economy, who benefits most from independence?

The second phrase comes from a 1945 essay by George Orwell entitled Notes on Nationalism:

“Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception.”

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