Some reflections on the ethnic concept of Nation
For most of portuguese (in special its social
and political elites) and for some Lusitanians (the ones who are not
aware of their real identity), the problem is or asserts that the crux
of “Portugal-Lusitania” question, the Lusitanian Cause,
is artificial and inexistent, they say that Portugal and Lusitania are
the same country and that the portuguese and the Lusitanian are the
same people, or at least the present portuguese are descendants of the
ancient Lusitanian. But that is not true. On the opposite side, are
the majority of Lusitanian people (the ones who are consciencious of
their true ethnic-cultural identity) the question exist and is urgent
to find a solution because the Lusitanians as the native and ancient
people of this country form a different nation of the portuguese one,
who are a more latter mixed people which speaks a creole and neolatin
de language and adopted a foreign culture, therefore the resolution
of that question is the official recognition of the Lusitanian nation
by the portuguese government and that Lusitania must become independent
or become an autonomous state within the Portuguese Republic. The Lusitanian
nation has legitimate aspiration to form a home rule with real powers
in the political, cultural and social spheres, in the way to defend
their own national Lusitanian identity.
Let´s run through that. Do Lusitanians form a nation? In social,,
cultural, racial and historic terms the sense of the word nation admit
that, but in political and legal terms not, in that case is Portugal
and the portuguese that constitutes a nation, that is, an independent
state with its own seat at the United Nations.
But in sociological terms, we would say that a nation exists as soon
as human beings consider that they form one community or nation. They
feel that they share common historical, cultural, ethnic, linguistic
historic, religious or geographic traits and on this basis see themselves
as a nation or a different community. It is undeniable that a large
number of Lusitanians (with the portuguese citizenship) consider themselves
to be a nation and are one from that moment on!
While many Lusitanian maintains that Lusitania as a nation conscious
of its own ethnic-cultural identity must be a country with its independent
political statute such as Portugal or other equivalent nations has,
the more conservative and reactionary portuguese on the contrary, think
that the meaning of nation is more restrictive and only apply to the
legal status of the independent state members of the United Nations,
and because of that they joke about an independent Lusitania. In fact,
the vast majority of nations in the world, in sociological sense, have
a political status that is much narrower or limited in territorial and
cultural scope than that enjoyed by many provinces or tribal communities
in the world. In that models we includes regions or nations as Scotland,
Wales, Flanders, Dalmatia, Sicily, Sarawak, or Goa, or even same tribal
American and australian communities that have a territory or cultural
rights much more vast than some independent small countries.
When we talk of a nation in sociological sense, it is often difficult
precisely to delineate its contours because the national sentiment stems
from a process of self-identification which is ultimately rather subjective.
Moreover, it would be intolerable if that self-identification were to
degenerate into an attempt at annexation or appropriation of others.
Now, while some Lusitanian people do not recognize themselves as Lusitanian,
but only as portuguese, there are the majority of Lusitanian people
that feel themselves as Lusitanian and do not want to have the portuguese
citizenship even, to be part of Portugal or belong to the portuguese
nation. That means which Lusitanian/portuguese and Lusitania/Portugal
are different identities and entities which maus be separated. The Lusitanian
are not Portuguese and the Portuguese are not Lusitanian, although they
share some common things and the same Portuguese citizenship, because
Lusitania today is a land occupied by the Portuguese internal colonialism.
The Lusitanian nation and people has the right to home rule and own
their own nation. It is impossible to belong to two or more nations
at the same time, because that means the loss of most of the traditional
values of the most fragile culture, in that case the Lusitanian one.
In Portugal today, there are other peoples that are not portuguese nor
Lusitanian (although they have the portuguese citizenzhip too), that
includes the Mirandese nation of the Valley of Miranda, the people of
Barrancos, the peoples of Azores and Madeira, and the Conii people which
still live today in the interior of the southern Algarve province, all
these peoples form their own nation inside Portugal with theirs native
identities, but nor all of them as official recognition by the Portuguese
government as a nation.
To refuse or deny this fact is to ignore the reality of the world where
we live today, where plural identities constitute a strength more than
ever before, where these identities must be defended and increased,
never assimilate or destroyed. For the majority of human beings, nationalist
attachment must not superimpose to the ethnic-cultural identity. Its
intermingled means the loss of many traditional values belonging to
small nations. Different cultures can coexist inside the same country
as soon as they have the same recognition or official status.
Compounding this particular question to fight false ideas and official
prejudices, everything means which is that each nation must form a country
(or autonomous region) with its own culture. There are over six thousand
human groups, tribes, communities or peoples that define themselves
as a nations in the world, whereas there are fewer (or about) than two
hundred independent states in the United Nations. To concede the independence
to all these six thousand nations is almost impossible and with no logic.
This would make the planet explode. But what we cannot deny is the right
of that all six thousand nations to have official recognition and a
self-government independent of the central power. The vast majority
of countries are made up of several nations recognized inside theirs
countries. That is the case of Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia,
India, Canada, the United States or South Africa for instance.
The no official recognition of the Lusitanian nation or people in Portugal
is in contradiction with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.
Which define in legal terms the right of all portuguese citizens to
live, to choose and to define themselves without any imposition or restriction
in their country. If any group of portuguese citizens, members of any
community as the Lusitanian or another one which want to belong or be
active part of their native home or nation can in theory do that, so
why they do not get official recognition from the portuguese state or
by the portuguese government and elites? Is a serious error to do that
kind of politics against a nation or people.
We cannot ignore nor trivializing the identity of a whole nation. That
official politics of the portuguese government is wrong and anti-constitutional
and in reality, lies on the fears of its social elites to lose some
political or economic privileges. And when in reality that portuguese
elites are anti-patriotic since ever and sold the future of this country
to the foreigner powers.
Of course, the existence of Lusitanian culture is alive, but its future
is not asseverated yet. They need an official recognition of their nation
by the portuguese government. The portuguese state, central government
and civil servants do not have the right to repress the Lusitanian culture
nor to deny the liberty for the Lusitanian people and nation.
Incidentally, we could prefer the expression “society” or
“community” to that of “nation”. If the objective
is really to be inclusive as possible, the word “society”
is more appropriate. While, the etymology of the word “nation”
refers to a broad consensus within a country, and thus retains a connotation
linked to origins, evento race. The nation can be civic also, but that
is not guaranteed. The number of Lusitanians who feel themselves as
Lusitanian and not as portuguese is growing day by day. That is the
best way to get one day the official recognition in Portugal. But the
question remains: what legal consequences are to be attached to a constitutional
recognition of this unique and distinct Lusitanian nation? Can we obtain
the full independence after so many sacrificies? In short, with or without
official recognition or constitutional change, Lusitanian people can
live proudly and very well with their national identity. Above all,
we can do so without Portugal and portuguese. The whole Lusitanian nation
has the right to be free and to choose how to live. Its terribly false
and cruel to refuse a nation how to be the owner of its own fate. It
is better to be free and poor than rich and portuguese.