Monday, August 05, 2019

To be a nation f-ing what?

Scottish voters would vote for independence from the United Kingdom, according to a new poll. 46% voters said they would vote for independence and 43% against.

The appeal of Scottish nationalism to some working people in Scotland is, of course, a result of the failure of reformism. In no sense does it offer a way forward for Scottish workers. It is simply another cul-de-sac. The Socialist Party attitude to a sovereign Scotland, is that no fundamental problem facing working people can be solved, or even seriously alleviated, by tinkering with the constitutional status of the state structure.

A nation-state as a goal in itself, such as the establishment of an independent Scotland, has no place in socialism. The Socialist Party demands are common with our fellow-workers of all countries. Scottish nationalism is not resistance to oppression; rather it is the reaction of a section of Scottish business that seek to be the beneficiaries of a Scotland separated from British capitalism. Nevertheless, Scottish economy is fully integrated into the British economy and it is why most businesses oppose independence so as the lure for votes, radical policies are proposed by the nationalists as panaceas to the problems of the Scottish working class. 

Nationalists fish in troubled waters, and will betray and abandon these workers later on. Regardless, though, of the status of Scotland, the ruling class in the transnational corporations are interested in maintaining their power and whatever structural form is unimportant to them. This does not mean that they enthusiastically embrace independence but that it would not be an insurmountable obstacle problem for them to adapt to as they have the world over. Scotland would be no exception. A sovereign Scotland is something that the capitalist class can live with. It is necessarily incompatable with the interests of the capitalist class. Scottish secession will not pose a serious challenge to capital.

We refuse to spread the illusion among Scottish workers that separatism would be of any real permanent gain. The issue of independence threatens to poison relations between English and Scottish workers. Our opposition to independence is based on a class opposition. An independent Scotland would not solve a single problem facing the working class. The problems of the Scottish workers does not stem from a constitutional connection to England as the nationalists argue, but arise from the existence capitalism which weighs just as heavily on the workers and their families south of the border. The economic exploitation of working people is a product of capitalist society and can only be removed by the socialist transformation of society. This, in turn, requires the unity of all workers, irrespective of nationality they perceive themselves to be. For that very reason, it is why the Socialist Party presses for class unity and opposes any attempt to divide the workers' movement along national lines. Class unity is about solidarity, which recognises no borders.
Nor does the Socialist Party defend the unity of the United Kingdom status quo in any way. To do so is to line up with the equally repugnant British nationalist ideology.

Our postion is that we abstain but that does not mean we evade answering the arguments. Far from it. Our members in Scotland will be saying to our fellow-workers that the only solution is socialism. There does not exist a "Scottish Road to Socialism." A "Scottish Workers Republic" belongs to the never-never land of the left-wingers.

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