Vote For Scottish Independence but….
All freedom-loving people should welcome the prospect of Scottish independence and vote ‘yes’ in the forthcoming referendum. Scotland, like Ireland, has suffered gravely from imperialism. Scotland’s resources, industry and legislature should rightly be wrested from British imperialist interests and placed under the control of the Scottish working-class and reparations be made by England for hundreds of years of imperialist rule. However, no-one should be under any illusions that a popular vote will achieve this or that an independent Scottish legislature, even if they were willing, could achieve this.
Lessons of what a nations ‘independence’ may, and more importantly, may not mean can be learned from the constant betrayal of the Irish working-class by the national bourgeoisie. If an independent Scotland remains a neo-colony or at best becomes another Gombeen nation such as that administered by Leinster House in the Irish 26 counties, then there will be no real economic freedom for the Scottish proletariat. By applying, in the Scottish context, the Cowgate’s most famous son, James Connolly’s quote on the limitations of Irish national liberation without the economic liberation of it’s working class, one can grasp the limitations of a ‘independent’ capitalist Scotland:
“If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the Saltire over Edinburgh Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs.”
Needless to say, bitter experience has shown us that there is no parliamentary path to a Scottish or Irish Socialist Republic, and real economic freedom can never be won via the chambers of bourgeois legislatures, whether it be Leinster House, Stormont or Holyrood.
These ideas were echoed by another of Scotland’s most eminent Republican Socialists, John Maclean;
“I hold that the British empire is the greatest menace to the human race… The best interest of humanity can therefore be served by the break-up of the British empire. The Irish, the Indians and others are playing their part. Why ought no the Scottish?” (‘The Irish Tragedy: Up Scottish Revolutionists’ by John Maclean)
“The greatest “crime” I have committed in the eyes of the British Government and the Scottish capitalist class has been the teaching of Marxian economics to Scottish workers.” (Independence in Working Class Education)