The proposition of so-called independence, while using another country’s currency, controlled by that other country, controlled by a government which, if you take out the Scottish MPs from Westminster, would by a Tory Government as far as anyone could see – and that would actually make Scotland a colony, which at this moment it’s not. What will happen, if there’s a ‘Yes’ vote on September 18, and Alex Salmond succeeds in fixing corporation tax at three per cent lower than what it is, is that there will be a race to the bottom. Do the maths: if Salmond cuts profit tax by three per cent, the right-wing Tory Government in Westminster will cut it by four percent. Salmond will then have to cut it by five, and the Tories will then cut it by six and before you know it, we will be paying the companies to come here rather than taxing them on the profits they make.
The Yes camp have managed to make it seem like criticism of their politics is an attack on the individual’s right to imagine a better self. To do this, the Yes campaign has had to be emptied of almost all actual political content. It has had to become a form of faith.
Ewan Morrison, Why I Joined Yes and Why I Changed to No
Sovereignty has to do with citizenship (dual citizenship?), military (NATO requires a substantial level of military spending in order to admit a new member – Scottish independence: Alex Salmond ‘certain’ on Nato membership, BBC) and economic associations (joining the European Union would obviously mean sacrificing a large share of the newly-acquired sovereignty – Scottish independence: Yes vote ‘means big Scots EU boost‘, BBC), currency (allowing a foreign central bank to dictate your monetary policies? – Independent Scotland would use pound ‘come what may’, says Alex Salmond, Guardian), governance (e.g. a commonwealth nation under the queen? – Salmond says Queen will be proud monarch of iScotland, Evening Times).
Scotland was to be just as subject to an outside authority as before: a sham sovereignty. It would have hardly gained any meaningful independence from anything. Furthermore, the plan for lower corporation tax (The SNP’s corporation-tax folly, New Statesman) and Salmond’s approval of the neo-liberal Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP’s staunch supporter – Alex Salmond) meant that the Scandinavian-like “socialist” dream of many YES supporters would not be fulfilled. The reverse – a neoliberal statelet– was more likely: The only way it could compete with the permanently right-wing England it would leave behind, would be a race to the bottom in wages, public services, corporation tax, income tax and so on (George Galloway, Socialism Would Wither and Die in Independent Scotland, 2012).
The sad reality is that a vote for “yes” was a leap of faith and logic for many socialists, environmentalists, nationalists, reformists, etc., in short, for those who felt confident that their notion of what Scotland should be like would eventually prevail.
Even sadder is that a staggering 70% of YES voters believed that “Scotland would negotiate with the European Union so that it remained a member of the EU from its first day of independence” (YouGov poll on 2-5 September 2014), even though this was very far from certain (Spain ‘would block Scotland from joining EU’).
An “independent” Scotland – even more at the mercy of financial trade markets, as it would be too small to oppose global corporate powers (Comparing Corporate and Sovereign Power; The Colossus of Wall Street, Bloomberg, 2010) – under the fated leadership of Alex Salmond, would have forfeited its sovereign privileges, rivaled with Ireland and England to become ever more pro-business, and erected new borders where there were none, contributing to the divide-and-conquer strategy of transnational business and mafias (Crime, Illicit Markets, and Money Laundering; Jean-François Gayraud, François Thual, «Géostratégie du crime», 2012).
This is also why devo-max was never on offer (Scottish people would have voted for ‘devo max’. That’s why it’s not an option, Guardian, 2012).
The balkanisation of Europe into a zoo of competing, quarrelsome, ineffectual, vassal mini-states pitting workers against one another is not the answer, nor is nationalist narcissism. They are retrograde and self-defeating recipes. We don’t need more flags and anthems: there are 200 already. Separatism is not the only way to benefit from the virtues of decentralization, a more equitable redistribution of resources, self-determination in international strategies and local democratic accountability: because these are aims shared by most human beings, cooperative, consensus-based federalism on a local and global scale remains the most viable option to reconcile unity and diversity for the sake of humankind and our planet (Separatism Everywhere: The New Global Epidemic, Huffington Post, 2014).
We are all highly interdependent and we have a choice: we can either divide (“we are different, we are fairer, we are better: this new border will testify to that”) or share (“we have so much in common, after all: “One for all, all for one”/united we stand, divided we fall). I personally believe that we can and ought to dream bigger, more inclusive and less escapist dreams than setting up new nations (Let’s dream a bigger dream, Yes People). This is not enough of a challenge for 21st century humankind. We need to think big if we want to make it through with dignity and pride, and this obviously applies to Trentino-South Tyrol as well.I am firmly convinced that it is imperative that we unite in order to fight the counterrevolutionary yoke of globalised financial oligarchies and organized crime (Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World by Nicholas Shaxson, Guardian, 2011) by changing the way money is created and made to work (Text of the National Emergency Employment Defense Act of 2011; Government Banking: New Perspectives on Sustainable Development and Social Inclusion from Europe and South America; There should be no rush to privatise government owned banks), because the current model is, frankly speaking, criminally insane, as the nations that are doing the most to reduce global inequality – the BRICS (For a New World Order to live well) – have become the target of Western ire:
if we take a simplistic, but effective, view that democracy is correlated with a large and vibrant middle class, its continued hollowing-out in the rich world would, combined with growth of incomes at the top, imply a movement away from democracy and towards forms of plutocracy. Could then the developing countries, with their rising middle classes, become more democratic and the US, with its shrinking middle class, less?
Christoph Lakner, Branko Milanovic, Global income distribution: From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Great Recession, 27 May 2014