Patterico's Pontifications


Those Racist Pro-Slavery Neoconfederates in Venice

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:06 pm

People in a smaller unit of government are talking about breaking away from the larger unit, because the larger unit is running itself into the ground economically.


No. Venice, Italy:

Venetians have voted overwhelmingly for their own sovereign state in a ‘referendum’ on independence from Italy.

Inspired by Scotland’s separatist ambitions, 89 per cent of the residents of the lagoon city and its surrounding area, opted to break away from Italy in an unofficial ballot.

The proposed ‘Repubblica Veneta’ would include the five million inhabitants of the Veneto region and could later expand to include parts of Lombardy, Trentino and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

If Venetians are discussing the possibility of secession, this can mean only one thing: The citizens of Venice, Italy are actually racist, pro-slavery Neoconfederates.

Because, as we all know, anyone who ever discusses the possibility of a smaller political unit breaking away from, or “seceding,” from a larger unit? That person is obviously doing so only because they pine for the days when black men and women were in chains.

If I can be serious for a moment, even if we discount the vote in Crimea, the vote in Venice is not unique. Scotland and Catalonia (in Spain) are also planning similar referenda later this year.

And there are many parallels between Venice and Texas, besides the rather obvious one that each is an economic powerhouse in a country whose economy is sputtering. Let’s start with that obvious point, though, and put some meat on the bone.

The CNBC story linked above says:

Italy receives around 71 billion euros ($96 billion) each year in tax from Venice, according to AFP – some 21 billion euros less than it gets back in investment and services.

Historically, Texas has also sent more money to the federal government than it has received. Although that is lately not the case, it appears to be because of a huge influx of poor people (read: illegal immigrants) — a situation that might well change if Texas were to become independent.

The Daily Mail story above says:

The floating city has only been part of Italy for 150 years. The 1000 year–old democratic Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, was quashed by Napoleon and was subsumed into Italy in 1866.

Similarly, Texas became a state in 1845, and had a period (albeit brief) of independence before that. Like Venice, large parts of the state’s boundaries are natural, created by bodies of water — rivers and the Gulf of Mexico.

Texas has other advantages that go beyond Venice’s. For example, Texas has its own power grid, although it does not quite cover the entire state (missing El Paso and parts of the Panhandle and East Texas).

I don’t see secession, at least currently, as a likely prospect for Texas — or for that matter, for any state. Polls tend to show most Texans opposed to the idea — although a poll in 2009 showed 48% of Texas Republicans in favor of the idea. But I think it’s time to trot out a quote from F.A. Hayek that is nice to remind people about when folks talk about what is politically possible:

We need intellectual leaders hwo are willing to work for an ideal, however small may be the prospects of its early realization. They must be men who are willing to stick to principles and to fight for their full realization, however remote.

Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this had rapidly become impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide.

Before I argued for the secession of a state in which I no longer live, I would rather use this stirring language to try to fix America. It would be ideal to remove the government interference with the economy that has set us on the path to ruin.

But if that’s not possible, then why not try to save the parts that can be saved? Just talking about it guides public opinion — on the fact that the idea is not the exclusive province of cranks, and on the economic realities that make this sort of talk necessary.

They will call you racist, pro-slavery, and Neoconfederate. Just tell them you’re on the same page as the people of Venice.

54 Responses to “Those Racist Pro-Slavery Neoconfederates in Venice”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (c29bec)

  2. The U.S. Constitution makes the people sovereign. Brute force in 1861 took that away from many.

    I’ll not be shocked to see such again.

    Now, unlike the fair denizens of what was to become the CSA, Texans have the better of the moral argument against those who would deny them their God-given right to set their own destiny.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  3. I hope politicians across the country stand up for fiscal sanity and protecting our Constitutional rights. I hope Texas politicians are foremost among them. Ultimately, though, I’m afraid we will continue to see divided government until 2016 and beyond. If that happens, I think secession will be a real option.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  4. America is embarrassing it would be nice to be part of a country you can be proud of

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  5. I have always thought that San Francisco should secede from California, if not the USA. I would be willing to give SF, Contra Costa, Alameda and Mendicino counties their own state and two whole Senators if it meant they’d stop effing up the state I live in, which would be reddish purple with them gone.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  6. Oops. Mendocino Marin. Probably should add San Mateo to the list.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  7. Economic reasons are a major, probably the major, driver for this, but this is part of a broader reawakening of ethnic nationalism in Europe.

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  8. Ethnic Venetians UNITE

    JD (5c1832)

  9. Ethnic Venetians UNITE

    The northern Italians are more economically productive than the southern Italians and see themselves as having a lot in common with the Swiss (many of whom are Italians), Austrians, etc.

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  10. Sometimes I wonder if Venice Beach will secede from California.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  11. Similarly, Germany is more economically productive than Greece, and this is a form of tension, one of many fault lines affecting the cohesion of the EU and similar organizations.

    You can put all these places together–what you can’t do is make them the same. Which is fine that they’re different, but when whole regions end up providing for other regions of different nationalities, this can be a political problem. And if one generation puts the costs of its ideology on the backs of another, that second generation may not feel bound by the prior’s decisions.

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  12. You should hang out with Michelle and commiserate, feets. She’s not a proud one, either..

    elissa (27f83f)

  13. nonono i shouldn’t

    there’s no way that would end well

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  14. ==You can put all these places together–what you can’t do is make them the same. —

    Sure you can. You just open up a whole bunch of McDonalds and Starbucks and Colonel Sanders and Pizza Huts. Voila!

    elissa (27f83f)

  15. happyfeet- Oh Canada

    mg (31009b)

  16. I think that America should secede from Mexico.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  17. mister happyfeet, don’t forget to make a taco run to feed all of your baby boomers in your basement. remember, old folks get hungry, too.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  18. if I seceded to canada I’d have to learn all new recipes

    except I’d still do Mr. red’s pork tacos cause they were a big hit around here

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  19. mister happyfeet,

    Speaking of secession, have you polled the boomers living in your basement to see if they’d like to secede from your basement ?

    Maybe they want to go live in Canada, or Tennessee, or in Studio City.
    Maybe they just want to go live in a bungalow on Maple Drive.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  20. they’re welcome to go anywhere they like if they forge themselves new identities, leave me all the relevant papers as well as handwriting samples, and sign a waiver not to sue me

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  21. nonono i shouldn’t
    there’s no way that would end well

    I would pay to see that.

    JD (534747)

  22. So Venice wants to consider a vote to secede ?
    Voting is like totally overrated or something. It’s really just an exercise for establishment types.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  23. mister happyfeet, why would the boomers need to promise not to sue you ?
    Have you done something to elicit them to sue you ?

    Did you do something like bring them tacos from Del Taco, yet told them they were tacos from Taco Bell ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  24. We need a secessionist theme song.

    nk (dbc370)

  25. I don’t feed the boomers tacos unless I have a coupon cause then they start to think they’re entitled to tacos

    it’s just their mentality

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  26. Tacos? Coupon? It’s Taco Tuesday at TacoTime—you are giving me ideas.

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  27. That would be a first, Christoph.

    Did somebody say Mendecino?

    Colonel Haiku (de3b11)

  28. we don’t have those ones down here

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  29. The answer to secession is simple. Let the people secede. But just the people. They don’t get to take the land with them. As a matter of fact, don’t let them go, make them go. Then give the land to people who want to be part of it. What do you guys think? People are making new people all the time but God made the land just once and he is not making any more.

    nk (dbc370)

  30. I love teh Augie sound!

    Colonel Haiku (de3b11)

  31. The answer to secession is simple. Let the people secede. But just the people. They don’t get to take the land with them. As a matter of fact, don’t let them go, make them go. Then give the land to people who want to be part of it.

    Sounds like a recipe for war and worse.

    Also, valuing land over people misses the point entirely.

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  32. Besides, it’s often their land—what are you, the world’s ultra-statist?

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  33. The League of the North, has long been a major force in Italian politics, includin Berlusconi’s last government,

    narciso (3fec35)

  34. Our host made this about economics. It would be a stupid economic move for Italy to let a piece of its real estate get away. The people not so much. Like I said, the people are replaceable, the land is not.

    Now, if there were a reason other than money for the contemplated treason …?

    nk (dbc370)

  35. I’m sure driving out millions of people forcibly would go over well with their neighbors, particularly those who are more or less ethnic kin.

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  36. Reminds me of Flanders and Wallonia, the Flemish-speaking (a dialect of Dutch) and French-speaking parts of Belgium, respectively. The Flemish are essentially subsidizing the French, and they don’t appreciate it. On top of that, the French speakers have a superiority complex. The Flemish refuse to speak French, but the French don’t even bother learning Flemish . A few years ago it was discovered that the year’s Miss Belgium was fluent in five languages, but didn’t have the first inkling of Flemish, the majority language of her own country. Also a few years ago a Belgian news station played an April Fools prank by announcing that Flanders had seceded from Wallonia. It caused panic, not least because, as I said, Flanders is essentially subsidizing Wallonia.

    Jim S. (a95060)

  37. Very interesting, Jim—I learned a lot from your comment. Thanks for that.

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  38. If President low tide lowers the level of the sea in Venice will he receive another Golden Globe Award? I mean Nobel Peace Prize.

    mg (31009b)

  39. I’m sure driving out millions of people forcibly would go over well with their neighbors, particularly those who are more or less ethnic kin.

    If NATO will not defend Italy from foreign interference in its internal affairs, Italy should seek help from … I dunno, Russia? Putin would love a naval base in Venice.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. How many secessions can you point to that occurred without war or ethnic cleansing, BTW?

    nk (dbc370)

  41. How many secessions can you point to that occurred without war or ethnic cleansing, BTW?

    I’m not sure—but they certainly have happened. I expect this to be more of a trend in the future as violence, particularly through war, is on the decline.

    Christoph Dollis (6e026c)

  42. nk #29 … whatever you do, don’t tell them Hawai’ians or the Icelandic folk that “God made the land just once and he is not making any more.” …

    Pele, for one, would probably disagree with you … and Surtr, the Icelandic jötunn (while not a God) isn’t exactly powerless …

    Alastor (040906)

  43. Kevin, I think you’d have to add Santa Clara county to the list, too. Drawing a state border between San Mateo/Alameda and Santa Clara would be … awkward and difficult; the economies are too tightly integrated.

    aphrael (5cffd4)

  44. #2, Ed from SF, wrote: The U.S. Constitution makes the people sovereign.

    No, it doesn’t. Ed got it backwards. The people are sovereign alright, but not because the Constitution made them so. The people of 13 states already free and sovereign acting through their elected and appointed representatives agreed to unite under a federal government specifically limited to the powers listed in the proposed new Constitution.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Constitutions don’t make people sovereign, sovereign people write Constitutions.

    ropelight (480be9)

  45. Greetings:

    One of the ancillary benefits of my 13 years of Catholic education (with no repeats) in the Bronx of the ’50s and ’60s was my introduction to the war between those of Oyrish heritage and those Eye-talian people. One day, my father sensed my need for some serious parenting, so he took me aside (meaning out of my mother’s earshot) to impart the observations of his many years in New York City’s construction industry. “With them Eye-ties,” he began, “what isn’t an opera is a vendetta.”

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  46. Well oil beef hooked.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. It is misleading to speak of “Venice” voting to break away from Italy, and then spending paragraphs talking about the once importance of Venice. It was not Venice that voted, it was the Veneto, an area of which Venice is a tiny part. The political movement behind the move to break away is not centered in Venice, but in the large and wealthy cites in the Veneto—Padua, Verona, Belluno. In spite of the PR ploy to make Venice technically a “city” again, by swallowing up Mestre, Marghera, and other neighboring towns, the 60,000 residents of Venice itself , few of which profit by the mobs of tourists that, for the most part, mostly cripple the town for them, Venice is no longer really a city, nor has much financial or political relevance in the industrious and affluent region. Nor does it have too much hope of regaining the once European dominant stature it once – centuries ago – had.
    Hats, flags, and t-shirts sporting the movement’s colors have been brandished, parades have been staged, and speeches by the euros-worth have been postured, all in the name of independence from the ineptitude and greed of Rome. The breakaway movement is fired by a desire for Venetans to keep its money for themselves, but it is also fired by a quiet racism – “those ‘people’ in the south are not like us.” At the same time, they feel, or many in the movement do, that they were roped into this Italy thing, and they didn’t like it, and still don’t. They want out. No longer Italian, but Venetans, with a history of their own. The roads do not have to go to Rome.

    R. Fusillo (00d46a)

  48. ropelight – You are strictly correct. God makes people sovereign.

    However, few make the point that the USC codifies this truth.

    To avoid the whole religion argument, we will be better off sticking to arguments over the plain meaning of the USC, as amended.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  49. Ed, I’m not quibbling over religion, my concern is related to cause and effect, the sequence is significant: a free and sovereign people agreed to the limited form of federal government specified in the Constitution.

    The USC did not make the people sovereign, nor does it make that claim, the people were already sovereign and they remain so, both before and after the USC was ratified.

    PS: If you believe the point is unimportant, see the role of Patrick Henry in the anti-federalist movement along with the concerns expressed by James Mason and Thomas Jefferson.

    ropelight (9a5314)

  50. Even confederations are composed of states which are sovereign within their borders with plenary police power, and demand undivided loyalty to their flag. You’re just redefining your “nationality”, to a different, and smaller, entity. Might as well get down to “my family is my country” (and that’s actually a real thing in a lot of places, where I originally come from included). Personally, I’d rather be called American than Illinoisan. (Or Texan, for that matter, as much as I romanticize that place. ;)) And I think that’s true for a lot more people than the other kind.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. nk,

    My biggest problem with the left’s willingness to focus on what’s wrong with America, instead of what’s right about America, is that it makes us all less proud to be Americans. It’s not enough to have shared guilt at our national history. We need to have pride in what we and Americans before us accomplished and believed in.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  52. I believe in American exceptionalism, DRJ. The people build the country and the country in return elevated the people.

    nk (dbc370)

  53. And I don’t feel guilty because the pioneers deprived someone’s daughter of her “ancestral right” to be sold for three horse as the fourth wife of a Comanche, or to scrape buffalo robes, or to cook dogs when the hunting was bad. (Just as one illustration.)

    nk (dbc370)

  54. The last time Texas tried to secede they did it for explicitly white supremacist reasons. Next time they’ll be a bit sharper about it.

    AnaC (0af2e8)

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