Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Freedom Illusion

Both unionism and nationalism ultimately represent class interests other than our own. A Scottish government will do what the markets demand and be as staunch defenders of capital as the UK government. We all may be Scots, but a few Scots will continue exploiting the majority of other Scots, thieving the labour power of the working people of Scotland. While devolution has brought some benefits, such as free prescriptions and university places, and perhaps full independence may offer a few more concessions, whether independence will make the lives of working class Scots better or worse is a question of the degrees of capitalism. People may vote for separation if they feel it will make them better off but surely we know that this would be one more capitalist class illusion.The Scottish working class is promised a share of North Sea Oil should they vote yes in 2014, but like all modern ruling class politicians, the SNP would fail to make good on any pledge to increase working class living standards. Achieving independence, (even a left-wing republic), is certainly a more “realistic” possibility than expecting socialism to be established but it won’t affect capitalism. Little will change.

An independent Scotland will not be a socialist Scotland, nor would it be on the path to such a thing no matter how much some leftists might argue otherwise. Those who pretend otherwise are simply sloganising and phrase-mongering in support of a "good" nationalism. Talk of Scots being free and ruling themselves is appealing rhetoric which masks the continuation of the class system: the working class will not become empowered but wealth and power will remain concentrated in the hands of a few. The decision-making power of the Scottish state itself will always be subject to the vagaries of the world market of the multinationals or the business strategies the City of London (remaining within the £) or the policies of the EU ("Independence in Europe" a la Greece, Ireland and Spain !!!).

A smaller nation state won’t lead to a smaller and more democracy and it won’t replace representative democracy with participatory democracy. To suggest otherwise is simply na├»ve.  "Russia could not produce the World Revolution," conceded Maclean, despite his nationalist fervour. "Neither can we in Gorbals, in Scotland, in Great Britain...” He also disparaged the campaign for reforms that appear popular among “progressives" nowadays “Taxation of land or capital, including the Capital Levy, is of no use to the workers.”

Our opposition to independence is based on a class opposition. An independent Scotland would not solve the problems facing the working class. Our task is not  the break-up of existing states but to build the unity of the workers across all borders to abolish nation states. The socialist real idea is to not create your own little national state but for the working people of the world to unite and throw off the shackles that chain them.

 "Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be"
- Robert Burns


Sean said...

wow, its like you can see the future!

lots of telling us what an independent Scotland WON'T be like.

maybe next week you could tell us what it WILL be like, so we can make an informed choice in the referendum.

I won't hold my breath.

ajohnstone said...

The blog has described repeatedly what an independent Scotland would be like - the same old capitalist rat-race and very little change.

ajohnstone said...

For a reality check on what an "independent" Scotland would be like best NOT refer to the Yes Scotland chief executive, Blair Jenkins, who thinks an independent Scotland would have escaped the financial recession!

Salmond full heartedly supported RBS disastrous take-over of AMRO, so much for his insight and banks oversight.

So just how far-sighted can Jenkins be about what an independent Scotland be like!!

HenryClarson said...

This article proclaims the unpalatable truth that placing a cross in a box on a ballot paper isn't a quick fix for the relentless and cynical exploitation of the wealth creators by the parasitic financial overlords.
If only it was as simple as just picking the right leaders and leaving them to get on with it.
Until a sufficient number of people unplug themselves from the influence of corporate propaganda and educate themselves about how the hyper-wealthy continue to game the system, there can be no constitutional remedy for the so-called financial crisis.
Money doesn't disappear; it simply gets hoovered up to the top of the hierarchy. Gate-keeping politicians, both unionist and separatist, pretend that the solution is to further impoverish the poorest.
Constitutional change is a complete red herring which only directs energy and attention away from the source of the real problem.