Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Scots Have A Right To Say Yes, But They Should Say No - Part 4

Another argument that has been put forward is that Scottish independence weakens the british capitalist state, and by extension Britain's largest partner the US. But, this argument is thoroughly confused and, in most part, itself reactionary.

The argument, in many ways, typifies what is wrong with the left today – and it is only the left which puts forward this argument, the Scottish right, as with the Irish right, has no problem welcoming US imperialism to its shores, if it means an injection of capital. That problem is that the left begins with what is an inherently reactionary perspective; its politics is continually defined by what it is against, not what it is for – anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and so on.

As  others have correctly pointed out Marxists certainly do seek to smash the existing capitalist state. But, they seek to do so only in the context of putting their own semi state in its place. In other words, as part of a revolutionary struggle for workers power. Outside that context, the demand to smash the existing state is simply mindless. It would be to follow that same course, as advocated by the liberal interventionists, as its been applied in Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere, with the result of creating chaos and handing over control of society to its most reactionary elements, at best, and a collapse into perpetual warlordism at worst.

Moreover, what is ironic is that many of those who would argue for independence on this basis are also the same people who argue for independence on the basis that an independent Scottish capitalist state would be able to exercise a greater role! In other words, it is a hope to weaken the British capitalist state, whilst simultaneously proposing a more powerful, interventionist, Scottish capitalist state.

The means by which Marxists seek to weaken the capitalist state is not by linking arms with capitalists of their own nation, in a reactionary attempt to turn the clock backwards, but by linking the arms of Scottish, English, Welsh, Irish and other European workers to build working class self-reliance, so as to remove the serf-like condition of dependency that workers have been placed in as regards that state, as a consequence of Welfarism; to build European wide worker-owned, co-operative property, standing in opposition to capital; to build upon these co-operative productive relations, new co-operative social relations that unite workers across industries and across borders; it is to build new political structures that reflect those new social relations, political structures that grow out of the direct workers democracy of this new co-operative property, out of European wide trades unions and workers parties, along with their reflection in new co-operative structures, at a community level, that give back control to ordinary working people, over all aspects of their lives.

It is by building what Marx and Engels called workers “self-government” here and now, within the context of the existing capitalist regime, that we create the conditions, not just for weakening the capitalist state, but, when the time comes, of smashing it and putting in its place our superior alternative along with our superior co-operative property relations.

The Scottish independence debate is a reactionary diversion from this necessary class struggle. The Scots have a right to vote "Yes" for independence, but they should vote "No". The solution to the problems of Scottish workers lies with unity with their fellow workers, not with Scottish bosses.

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