Thursday, 12 January 2012

Defend Scottish Democratic Rights

The Liberal-Tory Government are trying to limit the right of Scots to determine their own future. Like previous British Governments, they are very good at advocating bourgeois democratic freedoms for people in far flung parts of the globe - so long, of course that they were not part of the British Empire, whose subjects were kept in abject slavery - including as recently sending British troops to fight and die for them, but very poor when it comes to allowing those rights to its own citizens. The Scottish people like every other nation has a right to self-determination, including separation from the rest of the UK if they so choose. That is no less a right than many in the Tory Party, or in UKIP or the BNP advocate in relation to Britain leaving the EU. The Scottish people have the right to choose the time, place and manner by which they decide if and when to leave the UK. Cameron and all other British Governments and Parties should keep their nose out of that.

The Scottish people have their own Parliament, and they have a right, to determine the timing and nature of the referendum on leaving the UK, through that Parliament. All British socialists and consistent democrats should insist upon that basic democratic right of the Scottish people, and should insist that the British Government, does not interfere with it in any way. When, Norway and Sweden separated, as Lenin says, the Norwegian Parliament simply passed a resolution saying that it was no longer a part of Sweden. All that should be discussed, after a decision to leave, are the terms of relations between the two sovereign states, and the settlement of outstanding affairs.

But, of course, a Marxist does not desire that Scotland should separate from the rest of Britain, any more than a Marxist desires that the UK separate from the EU, and for the reasons that Lenin sets out. The reality is that, more now than when Lenin was writing, small states are reactionary, and increasingly unviable, just as is the case with small Capitals against large Capitals. In the same way that Marxists are opposed to the break up of Monopolies and Trusts, and see in the latter a progressive development, so too we are against the break up of larger states into smaller states.

Larger Capitals, Monopolies and Trusts, represent a more mature stage of Capital, a step closer to its ultimate demise and replacement with Socialism. They also facilitate within them the collective organisation of the workers, their Co-operative production, the greater planning of output. In other words they begin to presage socialistic production. We do not want workers brought together in such ways to be broken apart, only for the Capitalists once again to be able more easily to divide them against each other. The same is true of the bringing together of workers within larger state structures.

Marxists defend the democratic rights of the Scots in determining their own future. Marxists, however, should argue that the Scottish workers should determine their future within a single British State, within a single European State alongside their British and European comrades, rather than by lining up alongside their own bosses.


Jacob Richter said...

For the record, I'm for Scottish Marxists advocating separation from their Little England neighbours, on the condition that the Scottish economy is fully integrated into the EU and that there is greater political integration within the EU.

There's the side benefit of infusing Continentalism into any prospective Scottish worker-class movement (SPD, PO and SFIO, etc.), and ditching away the bastard legacy of Labourism.

Boffy said...

Scotland could not be more integrated into the EU than it currently is. There is no plan to join the Euro, there is no plan as far as I can see to reverse Britain's opt outs on the Social Charter, Schengen etc.

Moreover, the Scottish workers will be in a better position to become more integrated with European workers, to push forward consistent democracy etc. if they do so alongside their British comrades.

As Lenin says, in relation to Norway, none of those things are reasons to deny the Scottish workers the right to self-determination, and if they choose to secede then it will be marxists job to support their decision, and to wage a struggle for these other goals. But, for now we should be for maintaining the unity that exists, rather than looking to some potential unity which does not.

Jacob Richter said...

Indeed, the lack of any immediate Scottish plan to join the euro is concerning: