While Ed Krayewski has been writing sympathetically in Reason magazine about the Catalonian independence movement – which is now under threat from the Spanish central government – as has John Stossel, the idea that any libertarian could possibly oppose secession in this case seems radically counterintuitive. After all, here is a relatively prosperous region of Spain that is being systematically milked of its wealth by the central authorities in Madrid. Catalonia is subsidizing the rest of the country to the tune of some $11.8 billion annually. And so secession is justified on economic grounds alone, but the case for independence doesn't end there.
Catalonia is a unique national-ethnic-historical entity: it has its own language, a long and distinguished history as a nation, and a record of repression by the Spanish government that dates back to the Spanish civil war and the depredations of the Francoist corporate state. In short, the independence cause is a nearly perfect case of the libertarian principle of the devolution of power, away from a centralized authority and closer to where people actually live.