As you are hopefully aware, Scotland is considering declaring independence from the United Kingdom, with a referendum on the matter occurring this Fall. I find it quite fitting that this is happening now. Nationalist sentiments always arise in periods of turmoil and prolonged uncertainty (a description which I think accurately conveys the past 10 years in European history). 2014 will also see the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the historical event which essentially secured Scottish independence from England in the 14th Century. Needless to say, it was one of the most important events in Scottish history.
As much fun as it is to talk history though, I have noticed something unpleasant. It seems that every asshat brahmin now has an opinion on the matter, regardless of whether they can find Scotland on the map or not (I won’t even mention how obnoxious it is that every discussion of the matter seems fated to lapse into a string of quotes from the movie “Braveheart”).
I even know a few liberals who apparently can’t help but view the whole matter as some sort of oppressor/oppressed dynamic, and who have argued for Scottish independence on the grounds that the Scots are being oppressed by the English. I find this position laughable, given that Scotland and England were unofficially united in 1603 when a Scottish monarch ascended to the throne of England, not to mention that official unification happened a little over a century later in part because Scotland was after the fruits of English economic success to help assuage its own woes. In my book this makes it very hard to view the English as being the big, bad oppressors some people love to make them out to be.
I suppose the lesson here is that when all you have is one paradigm with which to view the world, you have to twist everything you see to fit that interpretation, though I won’t rule out the possibility that hatred for Anglo-Saxons just runs deep among the mygs.
The matter of Scottish independence is a subject that is of some interest to me, and so I thought I would be the first (that I know of) to give a Reactionary perspective on the matter. Long story short, I don’t think it’ll go over. Scotland gains a significant degree of economic and political clout because of its status in the UK, which has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The Pound Sterling is a strong currency, and the UK is a top-tier country in terms of global influence. It even has (arguably) one of the most valuable passports in the world.
Independence from the United Kingdom means that Scotland loses all of this accumulated economic and geopolitical influence. Scotland would lose significant global status, and there’s no guarantee it would be able to win much more than some of it back. The possibility also exists that Scotland would have to renegotiate membership in organization like NATO and the United Nations. The odds that they would be shut out completely are negligible, but they would almost certainly be faced with a lower-level spot in the pecking order upon re-entry.
An independent Scotland wouldn’t necessarily have to give up the pound, but continued use of that currency would be contingent on a currency union with the UK, which would of course be dependent on the outcome of negotiations between the two entities. Rumor has it that certain high-level members of the UK government would be against such a thing were Scottish independence to become a reality, though the degree to which this is bluster designed to make Scotland back down is unclear. In any event, there is no guarantee that Scotland would be able to enjoy the continued use of the pound as its currency.
Of course, none of these things are hurdles that cannot be overcome. An independent Scotland could possibly win more influence and advantage for itself than it has currently. Negotiations with the EU, NATO, and the UK could all turn out in its favor. If it has to ditch the pound, that might even facilitate greater economic growth and turn out to be a blessing in disguise. The possibilities are fairly open. We must also bear in mind that the proportion of Scots who favor independence has steadily been growing. If trends continue, the majority of Scots will vote in favor of independence by the time of the referendum.
Despite all this though, I still don’t think Scotland will declare independence. At the end of the day, abstract arguments are irrelevant here. The vote count is the only thing that matters, and the numbers in favor of Scottish independence have stopped growing. They hit a ceiling about a month ago and they haven’t budged since. Barring some sort of drastic upheaval or catastrophe in the UK sometime in the next several months, I don’t believe the numbers in favor of Scottish independence will grow any further.
King Edward the First (aka Edward Longshanks) was depicted in the film “Braveheart” as man who hated the Scots and pushed faggots out of windows. While I disagree with him on both counts (I personally like the Scots, and my position on faggots is not particularly in favor of their defenestration), I do share his attitude toward Scottish independence.
As one who was born in London, I can’t help but be emotionally invested in the fate of the UK. Britain is in my bones, and Britain, as part of the UK, has much to lose. It could kiss goodbye to its chance to upgrade its credit rating, its permanent seat on the UN Security Council might be in jeopardy, and it would almost certainly lose some measure of global influence (not to mention the loss of Scottish tax revenue).
And yet, despite my misgivings, a part of me really does want Scotland to officially declare independence from the UK. It would be a magnificent and shining symbol of nationalism in a time which desperately needs some. It would be a ray of light in this twilight of Western Civilization, a beacon of pride and thumos that might inspire others to save what they can of the West while there is still time.
The UK is pretty much doomed. It may not be at the most risk for becoming a multicultural hellhole based on some measures, but I also don’t think it will take extreme enough measures in the time it has left to completely save itself. It will decline and decay, and if Scotland can jettison itself in time and save what it can of the soul of Britain, then I would consider that victory enough.
WHIT’S FUR YE’LL NO GO BY YE?