By Pater Tenebrarum at Acting Man blog
Globalists everywhere must be horrified. It seems the Scots might after all go for becoming an independent nation. It should be remembered here that Scotland only joined the Union in the early 1700ds – and did so voluntarily, sort of. Actually, many Scottish nobles had been bankrupted in the “Darien Scheme” – an attempt to establish a trading colony named Caledonia in Panama, which went horribly wrong – which weakened their resistance to signing the Act of Union.
Robert the Bruce addresses his troops before the Battle of Bannockburn. He was King of Scotland from 1306-1329, and a famous military leader during the first of the so-called “wars of independence”
Numerous attempts to incorporate Scotland into a larger political entity by military force had failed since Roman times. The Romans probably realized that the North wasn’t worth it when the Picts on one occasion almost completely destroyed the 9th Legion. Even though the Romans later won the battle of Mons Graupius, they never succeeded in actually subduing the area. The Romans then decided to erect Hadrian’s Wall, so as to simply keep the Picts and other tribes out, many of which had acquired a fearsome reputation.
A later rather famous conqueror of England, William of Normandy, proved very successful in his conquests and soon had England under control, ending the line of the Wessex kings. While he actually defeated Malcolm III of Scotland in battle in 1072, he didn’t get Scotland – instead, it is considered likely by historians that he only got Malcolm’s son Douglas as a hostage to ensure the former’s adherence to the peace treaty.
Anyway, until the Act of Union in 1707, Scotland has always been an independent country. Even after the union, it retained its own legal system (which is based, curiously enough, on Roman law). From the beginning of the 19th century onward, political devolution was increasingly demanded, and granted bit by bit, until Scotland finally got a parliament of its own again in 1998 (incidentally also in the wake of a referendum).
In short, Scotland is actually uniquely well positioned for independence, as it has all the institutions in place that are widely held to be required for statehood. Obviously, it would be even better for it to become a capitalist anarchy, but one must take whatever one can get. In Dr. Walker’s article on Scottish Independence, many of the philosophical and economic questions surrounding the issue were already discussed in great detail (See “Scottish Independence” Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).
Hitherto, the pro-unionists could safely dismiss the referendum on independence as a kind of late in the year April Fool’s joke, since the “No” vote has almost constantly been in the lead according to various polls. A lot of scaremongering propaganda has emanated from these quarters, painting pictures of doom if Scotland were to become independent, but the Scots tend to be a stubborn lot. Apparently, just 11 days before the referendum, they have changed their mind:
The “yes” vote takes the lead – click to enlarge.
We’ll Say it Again: Small is Beautiful
One point we wish to stress once again is that it is actually as a rule much better for the citizenry to live in a smaller rather than a bigger country. This is not only shown by the data – the world’s most prosperous places are mostly small, even tiny nations – it should be obvious why this is the case. One only needs to consider the argument often employed by the EU’s centralizers who dream of instituting a European super-state: allegedly, it is of advantage if a political entity can “throw its weight around on the world stage”.
The individual citizen may well swell with pride upon hearing that the political area in which he lives is considered “powerful”, but should realize upon reflection that all this power projection tends to be rather costly, and that he is paying for it. The people who actually enjoy “throwing their weight around” are invariably only members of the political elite, many of whom must be suspected of being outright psychopaths. We are not exaggerating, as there exist studies that show that psychopathic traits are “many of the same that make effective leaders”. If you actually want leaders that is, who apparently need to be “mad enough to lead”. We rather hold with Hayek that in government, the worst tend to rise to the top, so we’d be perfectly fine without any “leaders”.
The larger the political entity, the less influence the average citizen actually has on its policies. Politicians who are closer to their constituency by virtue of the constituency being small, are far less likely to institute policies that end up doing more harm than good. We have previously mentioned the excellent custom of the Isle of Man, where those making new laws must read every single one of them out loud every year on Tynwald Day, come rain or sunshine, in open air – both in Manx and in English.
This is an excellent way to cut down on unnecessary legislation. The current allegedly “unproductive” US Congress would likely take far longer to read out all the laws it has made in a single year than it has taken to enact them (in fact, even an “unproductive” Congress produces such a mountain of legal red tape that it is impossible for its members to read the bills before voting on them). Clearly, Isle-of-Man style law-making is to be preferred.
What Scotland decides on the day of the referendum is not only important for Scotland. A longstanding trend toward increasing European concentration of power and centralization would be partially reversed, and an important example would be set for others to emulate. We imagine that many in Catalonia, Sardinia, the Veneto and other regions with strong independence movements are casting a hopeful eye in Scotland’s direction.
If Europe consisted of far more numerous, smaller polities, political competition would heat up, as it would be quite easy for citizens to vote with their feet. There is no reason to fear that trade barriers would be re-erected, since it would be to everybody’s disadvantage to institute such policies. Common currency areas could exist as well, but there would also be more room for experimentation in the monetary field.
If Scotland actually becomes independent, it would merely represent a small first step, but all new trends have to begin somewhere.
From our perspective, the latest poll results in Scotland are excellent news and a very hopeful sign.