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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [International]
2017-10-21 16:34 by Karl Denninger
in International , 165 references
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All revolutions and secession events are prosecuted by small but real minorities.  In the US Revolution about three percent of the people actually took arms and fought the British.  We won.

Keep that in mind, because Spain is dealing with a secession movement right now, not so much a revolution.  There the numbers are somewhat different -- but not that much.  In the Civil War about 2.5 million out of 18.5 million, or roughly 13% of the population fought on the Union side; on the Confederate side it was in the same general range (accurate records are more-difficult for the Confederacy.)  Most of the Union solders were volunteers.

Of course the secession of the Confederacy failed.

Reality is that you often have plenty of people who are very pissed off one way or another but few who will take arms on either side.  For this reason it's not so simple as to say "you need half."  You don't, in fact, need anywhere near half the population in order to win, but those who choose it must be willing to die for what they believe in.  The exact number is hard to pin down, which makes all such movements, to some degree, a game of poker -- and you never really know if the other side is bluffing.

Spain has figured out (a bit late, I think) that with about 40% of the population of Catalonia voting (after the Spanish government attempted to brutalize or arrest anyone attempting to vote, with some success) and the vast majority of those voting choosing secession there is a real risk that the "success" threshold is within grasp. 

Please do remember that this latest vote is not the first, and attempts to negotiate with Spain's federal side have brought no resolution suitable to both Catalonia and Spain at-large.  What must alarm them greatly is that the percentage margins on these actions at worst is stable and may be growing.

The Spanish government, of course, believes that there simply aren't enough people willing to write the big check -- that is, to vote with things other than ballots, and rather non-peacefully at that.

We're going to find out quite soon, I suspect, whether they're right.

There are eerie echoes of 1776 in here folks.... entreaties, ballots, stomped heads, and then.....

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2017-10-02 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in International , 312 references
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Let me make just one observation on the Catalonia vote held yesterday for independence, which Spain ruled illegal and attempted to prevent from happening at all.

Of those who voted anyway -- which was a fairly decent percentage of the population (it appears close to 25% cast ballots despite being "illegal") close to 90% voted for secession.

I wish to remind you that historically speaking it requires approximately 7-8% of the population to be willing to take arms in revolution to succeed.

That margin was vastly exceeded.

The next round of voting, if it has a similar margin to the the just-concluded round, and not by paper ballots, is likely to be both quite messy and successful.

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