Scottish independence illusion

Atlas Monitor | 19 Sept 2014

Scottish independence is an illusion that will not bring Scotland meaningful independence but will ultimately have the effect of further entrenching Tory rule in England.

Scotland can only hope to ever gain nominal independence if it seeks to continue its links with the British pound and Bank of England as well as EU membership and NATO.

Furthermore, and perhaps most significantly Scottish independence will purge the Scottish Labour vote from UK elections as Scottish voters overwhelmingly vote Labour at UK general elections. This would be an outcome most welcome to the Tory establishment.

The fact that British Prime Minister David Cameron has supported the Scottish referendum by allowing it to go ahead, in contrast with his reluctance to have a referendum on the issue of Britain’s EU membership, suggests Cameron is more concerned with the UK’s exit from the EU than he is with Scotland’s potential secession.

Nation States around the world merely have nominal independence and are ultimately vassal states of a corporatist global power elite system. Similarly Western democracy is merely procedural rather than substantial as ostensibly free and fair elections conceal the dual constituencies politicians serve which includes the public on one hand and the market on the other.

States are subject to what Thomas Freidman coined ‘The Electronic Herd’; the global community of investors and financiers connected by modern telecommunications technologies who have the ability to move capital in and out of markets, across borders at a whim. Their herd behaviour is analogous to that of cattle where when one bolts the rest follow.

This herd mentality can devastate national economies through the capital flight that occurs when The Electronic Herd don’t like a particular state’s domestic policies.

Applying this theory of The Electronic Herd to Scottish independence suggests that Scottish independence, should the yes vote prevail, will effectively be procedural rather than substantial.

Substantial independence requires a level of autonomy that rarely exists in this day and age with the possible exception of Switzerland where certain cantons operate under a system of ‘direct democracy’. Under this system the public vote on legislation and can effectively veto policies proposed by government.

The Scottish referendum on independence presents an opportunity to engage with the broader issue of independence and democracy and critically analyse the extent to which these principles really exist in this world or if they are merely an illusion.

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