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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 598: For My Country

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/spain/140911/7-mile-human-chain-forces-spain-talk-about-catalan-indepen

BARCELONA — Hundreds of thousands of Catalans formed a massive human “V” across Barcelona on Thursday as part of a campaign to persuade the Spanish government to allow their region to stage a referendum on independence.
The demonstration coincided with the region’s annual Diada, or national day, which commemorates the defeat of the northeastern territory at the hands of Spanish forces in the siege of Barcelona on Sept. 11, 1714.
“If you look at history, you’ll see that we used to be free, but then the Spaniards came. We want the freedom we had before,” said pensioner Joaquin Valle Bigas. He was resting in the shade by Barcelona’s Gracies square, surrounded by campaigners waving Catalan flags. The spot was near the corner of the seven-mile-long V, which represented the words “victory” and “vote.” - GlobalPost

What is the point of having different nationalities or states separated by imaginary boundaries and established ideals? Name one good reason that isn't jaded by some patriotic or cultural belief.

There is this idea that different peoples should have their own place where they can be with other people who are similar to them, people who share their ideals. This is already something that is changing with globalisation, but an aspect of it that is not changing is patriotism, or national pride. What makes one group of people better or worse than another based simply on geographic location? Name one good reason.

Let's look at the most well known country in the world as an example: America. America is a good example of one country with a big variety of cultures, opinions and beliefs. There is pro-war, pro-peace, democrats, republicans, conservatives, liberals, hippies, hermits, plain old John and Mary Smith's, pro-life, pro-choice and so on. Interestingly enough, it doesn't really matter what the general public think about most topics - the people in positions of power are the ones who apparently have the final say. So while the people are going about their protests and marches and heated debates, the big boys with the big money are busy buying the votes that actually count.

How many societies actually function according to the will or even the best interests of the people? The list is probably rather short. Here in South Africa there is a kind of public resignation to corruption in the government. People pretty much just accept the corruption as a fact of life and satisfy themselves with moaning about the wasted opportunities to improve the lives of the citizens. I have not met one person outside of the small circle of desteni who actually has the balls to say that the way our society functions is unacceptable AND that it is the responsibility of each member of the society to contribute to changing it into whatever we want. When you talk to a stranger or acquaintance about government corruption the default response is "Ag man, what can you do - it's just the way the world is."

Obviously it is clear that our global society and the societies in each nation need to change so that they function in the best interests of all (instead of the interests of the few elite). The concept of separate nations and cultures serves only to distract and divide us - if we were to unite in promotion of some simple yet universally acceptable principles then we could truly affect change in this world.

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