Catalans are being brutalized while the democratic world is – as usual – silent.

Catalans are being brutalized while the democratic world is – as usual – silent.

By Joshua Tartakovsky, October 1 2017 The democratic world is watching in silence as the people of Catalunya are being brutalized by the Spanish Civil Guard. This is not good for anyone. Whether people oppose or support a referendum, you cannot send a police to beat up old men, women and children. Francism is rearing its ugly head, both in popular displays in the street, and in the violence of the Guardia Civil. Will Theresa May speak up? The UK imposed an arms embargo on the helpless Republicans in 1936. Will Italy speak up? It was Italians pilots who bombed Barcelona. How about Angela Merkel? Will Russia send arms to the Catalans after Stalin allowed the young independence movement to die? Barcelona does not have oil, so Putin is not interested. For updates and videos one can follow La Vanguardia and The...
The Iberian mentality in the EU

The Iberian mentality in the EU

(Image Copyright: Stockfresh). By Joshua Tartakovsky, June 6, 2017 Having spent time in Barcelona and observing and seeking to understand the local mentality, some realizations dawned on me regarding the nuances of Iberian culture and the unique mindset. Due to Spain’s current profound economic crisis, the differences in mindset between Barcelona and Madrid on the one hand, and Berlin and Frankfurt on the other hand, can perhaps also explain why the current crisis is not likely to be resolved in a mutually beneficial for all sides manner. To begin with, and to express it simply, while inevitably falling into some generalizations which are only proven by the exceptions, the Spanish mentality is to seek compromise, not seek confrontation, to be generous without seeking to gain a material price for everything given, to seek accomadation, most certainly not to humiliate the other. When in disagreement, Spainards prefer not to engage in an outright rejection, but explain in a slight way that there may be another option. Life is seen as a mystery to resolve, and finding new solutions that will be mutually beneficial are prized. From the Spanish perspective, if you do someone a favor, at least you will get some kind of favor in return. That’s because Spainards deeply believe in community and family. From the perspective of the Germans, no matter how many favors you may do, a No will be a No, and that’s it. It’s the rigidity of the principle versus the matters of the heart. Therefore, Spainards are nice to Germans and the English, thinking that the others will treat them fairly, but the others...
For Brexit to be a Success, UK and US Must Work Together to End German Hegemony

For Brexit to be a Success, UK and US Must Work Together to End German Hegemony

  (Photo by Calgacus) By Joshua Tartakovsky Calgacus 13 January 2016 Britain chose Brexit. Now Britain must find a way to leave while protecting its interests and finding an honorable compromise with its central trading partner. The problem is that forging a fair agreement with the EU, dominated by Germany, is impossible. In an election year where both French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel are facing increasingly potent eurosceptical challengers, and as Merkel’s refugee-friendly policy is revealing itself as lunacy in the streets of Berlin, it takes a high level of naiveté to assume that EU elite in Brussels would want to give Britain a fair deal. Anything less than ‘punishing’ Britain for daring to break free would embolden Front National, Alternative for Germany, and Wilders’ Party for Freedom in the Netherlands where elections will be held in March. Hollande and Merkel can hardly have the tranquility and good judgment needed for even a meagre compromise as they feel the ground shaking beneath their feet. Britain buys 7% of German exports. But Germany will not permit the EU to unravel for the sake of staying in good terms with Britain. If the EU breaks up, German industries would no longer dominate the EU, and Spanish, Italian or French products, now cheaper without the euro, could present a viable competition as they will be more attractive for buyers abroad. Similarly, Germany has already shown its inflexibility by the hardline it took towards Greece’s desperate pleas for a compromise on its debt. The Greek economy is on its death bed but Germany did not flinch. Germany’s financial interest is to...