Scotland and the myth of independence within the EU
By Takis Fotopoulos
On Friday morning, when the results of the Scottish referendum were announced, there was a general climate of euphoria, if not celebration, in all centers of the Transnational Elite (TE), i.e. the G7 countries. From the City of London and Wall Street to Washington and Brussels. What they were celebrating was that, following an unprecedented and successful general attack by the TE, they could declare 'mission accomplished': the victims of neoliberal globalization were utterly defeated! In this attack, not only did the British elite play a leading role, as expected, but also the Scottish economic elite, (of which 90% of the entrepreneurs declared themselves against independence),[i] the US elite,[ii] and even Zionist theoreticians of Global Governance.[iii] Needless to add that the elites controlling the transnational media - with the BBC (aptly called by Scottish nationalists "British Brainwashing Corporation") exceling in biased reporting[iv] - played a key role in this process.
Under these conditions, only the full mobilization of a social movement fully conscious of its aims and the strategies to achieve them would have been able to succeed. The social subject in this movement would have been the same as in the independence movement: the victims of neoliberal globalization and the consequent de-industrialization of Scotland, i.e. the unemployed,[v] involuntary part-timers, or casual employees on barely survival salaries. In other words, all those who have abstained from the electoral game all these years, as they found themselves with no political representation in Westminster, following the effective institutionalization of neoliberal policies imposed by the transnational corporations controlling the economic policies of Thatcherites first, and then the Blairites, Brown & co. The victims of flexible labor conditions, as well as of the aggressive (and expensive) policies of the TE (of which the UK was a prominent member) against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and now even Russia, were convinced that no party in Westminster could really express their will, Instead, these parties inadvertently pushed them outside the 'normal' political establishment to demand real self-determination. On this demand they could join at least part of the middle classes, which had begun already to be squeezed by the neoliberal policies and were also supporting the demand for self-determination. However, the radical policies which an independence movement would have to adopt in government to effect real change resulted in most members of the middle classes (who naturally risked to losing more in the case of a failure than the 'sans culottes') to support the establishment, as one could reasonably expect.
Yet, a full mobilization of the victims of globalization, who surely constitute the majority of the Scottish population, could have overcome this obstacle. But in fact such a full mobilization of the victims of globalization never took place in the end and, instead, there was a full mobilization of those who benefit from globalization and the TE's aggressive policies. How can we explain this paradox, which in effect is a superficial one?
At the outset, it should be made clear that regional independence is not always beneficial to the people. It is in principle a positive step towards self-determination, only if independence involves not just political self-reliance, as is self-evident, but also, and, most importantly in the globalization era, economic self-reliance, which is a prerequisite for national and economic sovereignty. If, therefore, an independence movement--sometimes motivated or encouraged by the TE itself-- simply ends up with the breaking up a powerful nation state, allowing for easier integration into the NWO of neoliberal globalization and the consequent subordination to the TE of the easily controlled statelets which result from this, then, this form of independence is not just negative, but destructive (e.g see Yugoslavia, as well as Iraq, Libya, and probably Syria[vi] soon). Of course, the case of Scotland does not belong to this category, given Britain's prominent political/military role within the TE, which is why the American elite rushed to support its British partner against the looming independence of Scotland. Yet, this was a typical example of double standards, as it was the US elite itself which led the NATO slaughter of Serbs, so that Kosovo could later declare its independence. In that case regional independence was obviously a 'good thing' for these elites. Was it perhaps because it was exactly this independence, which completed the dismantling of the most (relatively) self-reliant and powerful state in the Balkans, Yugoslavia[vii] and opened the road for the full integration of the new statelets ctreated by the dissolution of Yugoslavia into the NWO, through their joining the EU and possibly later NATO?
However, the TE was particularly alarmed at the anti-war tendencies of the Scots, who were against the wars of the TE in which, of course, Britain had taken a lead, as well as against both NATO and nuclear proliferation. Salmond himself, the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party, was a former anti-NATO activist, and did not hesitate to state that Putin has restored 'a substantial part of Russian pride',[viii] receiving the wrath of the TE and the British elite in particular, while last week he added salt to the wound by stating that the bombing of Syria cannot be allowed, without a resolution of the UN Security Council.
But, despite the clearly more progressive trends of Scots in general compared with Englishmen, not only on foreign affairs but also on welfare state issues, and particularly free education and health-care (in England, the former is a thing of the past as far as higher education is concerned and the latter is under continuous attack from both major parties) the crucial question that arises is the following: Is the political independence and the economic self reliance of a country that is fully integrated into the NWO feasible? Particularly so when the Scottish Nationalist Party, unlike other nationalist movements in Europe (e.g. in France) does not dispute either the Euro or the EU, and is not even raising the demand for the country to have its own national currency?
It is clear that the Scottish nationalist elite, unlike the lower classes who supported the "Yes" vote, did not want to come into conflict with the EU and the TE in general. That's why Salmond himself promised tax havens to transnational corporations in order to attract more of them in Scotland![ix] So it was not surprising when he was asked how he would ensure a peaceful and comprehensive welfare state, as he promised, within the NWO of neoliberal globalization, despite the fact that others before him had tried and dismally failed to do so, (e.g. Mitterand and Hollande in France) he had to resort to nonsensical and disorienting arguments like those of SYRIZA in Greece, that he would be a better negotiator! This, despite the fact, of which Salmond was surely aware, that even the Norwegians, who also have rich energy resources, saw a massive retreat from social democracy in their country! It is well known that, despite the fact that social services are still supported in Norway, social democrats participated enthusiastically not only in the brutal NATO bombing of Libya, but also, in a continuous process of intensifying and worsening working conditions. In other words, as Norwegian social democrats did not wish to break with the NWO of neoliberal globalization, they had to follow the policies imposed on them through the country's participation in the transnational institutions of globalization (WTO, IMF etc.) and, indirectly, through the harmonization of Norway's policies with those of the EU, (although it is not a member). As a result, Norwegian social democrats are "sliding gradually toward more and more mainstream and soft neoliberal positions".[x]
On the other hand, in England, not only the working class but also part of the middle class, which is also squeezed now within globalization, as everywhere else, have realized that, without economic self-reliance, any political independence and self determination are impossible in the era of neoliberal globalization. This is why the UK may well be driven outside the EU, following the referendum that Cameron promised to hold in 2017. But exit from the EU is only a necessary condition (although not a sufficient one as well) for any political and economic independence. In fact, the reason why Nigel Farage's (UKIP) social policies do not significantly differ from those of Cameron is exactly because he, like Salmond, represents much more the nationalist part of the bourgeoisie rather than the popular victims of globalization.
In other words, true independence and self-reliance, that is national and economic sovereignty, is impossible within the NWO in general and the EU in particular. Therefore, had the 'Yes' vote won in Scotland, this would not have been a victory against the NWO, unless it was only a first step in the process of Scotland ceasing to be a protectorate not only of the British elite, but also of the EU and the TE in general. The same applies of course to the other independence movements in Europe like those of the Catalans in Spain and so on. In this sense, a Eurasian Union of sovereign nations, as it was originally designed, could have been a real alternative pole to the NWO in which independent states, in the above sense, would find their natural place.
Takis Fotopoulos is a political philosopher, editor of Society & Nature/Democracy and Nature/The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy. He has also been a columnist for the Athens Daily Eleftherotypia since 1990. Between 1969 and 1989 he was Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of North London.
* A first version of this article was first published in TF's weekly column in Sunday's Eleftherotypia (a Greek daily published in Athens) on 21/9/2014. The translation into English was edited by Jonathan Rutherford.
[iv] 'Clear split: Scottish support "YES" campaign, UK media "NO" movement', RT, 16/9/2014 http://rt.com/op-edge/188176-scotland-referendum-media-bbc-uk/
[v] Christine Jeavans, "Scottish independence referendum in maps", BBC News, 19/9/2014 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29255449
[viii] Alan Roden & Will Stewart, "Now Kremlin expresses delight at Salmond's praise for Putin as Ukrainian families speak of their 'disgust and betrayal'", Daily Mail, 30/4/2014 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2616722/Now-Kremlin-expresses-delight-Salmonds-praise-Putin-Ukrainian-families-speak-disgust-betrayal.html#email