My initial, off the cuff, response to the drive for Catalonian independence is, wtf? The richest, wealthiest, best educated, most progressive region in Spain wants to break free from its neighbors?
And, yet, I must admit that as a long-time Californian, I have often thought: OK. You don’t like our state Constitution’s equal rights clause? You don’t like our green bent? You don’t like our over-the-top Democratic — leaning socialist — politics? Well, then, perhaps you also don’t like the huge subsidies we — along with New York, Oregon, Washington, and Massachusetts — send to Washington, DC, and, by way of Washington, to all of you loser red states. So there! Catalofornia that!
We owe to the capitalist social formation the drive towards integration. More homogeneous laws, regulations, and institutional arrangements give rise to lower transactional costs. But we also owe to the capitalist social formation the drive to achieve efficiencies at the expense of others. The answer, for California as for Catalonia, is not isolation and independence — though I totally understand that drive — but greater outlays earmarked for raising the standard of living, learning and caring of our fellow countrymen and women.