Scottish independence is how the fight against global capitalism and economic injustice is being manifested in Scotland. With the eyes of the world still on us, we should take note that we are part of a truly global resistance movement.
Scottish independence isn’t just about independence, and it never was. Imagine for a second being a Scot living in a Scotland that’s part of a United Kingdom which’s Westminster government was and had always been committed to the good of real people, and dedicated to the grand project of making the world a better place. Scottish independence would be near dead in the water, only the most die-hard of ‘narrow nationalists’ would want freedom. In fact in such a country the struggle for ‘freedom’ would be meaningless. Scotland’s hunger for independence is rooted in the real world; a history of violence, servitude, social, economic, and environmental injustice, and Westminster’s negligence.
Scotland’s independence movement rose shoulder to shoulder with the protest against inequality, poverty, austerity, and capitalism. All of these things have, since 1707, been the tools of oppression used against Scots and Scotland to keep us on our knees. Forty years of Thatcherite rule, in its various Conservative and New Labour guises, through a period of rapid social and communications change, have woken us up to the truly disgusting situation in which we have found ourselves. So armed with foodbanks, starving wains, and an abhorrence for nuclear weapons we rose up and demanded the only thing that would liberate us, independence.
None of this happened in a vacuum. Scots aren’t the only folk feeling the pain of neoliberal capitalism, austerity, and a globalised, super-wealthy élite. Where we have been using the language of independence, in London it has become the Corbynite revolution, and over the pond it’s the massive movements ignited by Black Lives Matter and wee Bernie Sanders. The whole world is in uproar at the minute, and the independence movements here in Scotland and in Catalonia are to a large degree symptoms of this international backlash against the economics of greed. All these movements, our own included, it’s true, are fighting their own fight, but we’re all struggling against the same thing – a world political and economic class that maintains its power and furthers its agenda by the oppression, repression, and dehumanisation of the vast majority of the human race.
This is exactly why the independence movement in Scotland, like SYRIZA in Greece and Podemos in Spain, has become the only real hub of socialism in the country. Why do we think Ruth Davidson and her pals are so keen to call us ‘Nationalists’ and brand us ‘Nats?’ What they’re so desperate to do is rob us of our authentic socialist identity. By demanding a fairer deal for Scotland we’re terrifying them, just as Bernie Sanders and DeRay Mckesson have sent the wind up the US establishment. Social justice is like kryptonite to supermen capitalists. A fair dead for Scotland will only come about with our independence, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are part of a worldwide struggle.
Noam Chomsky on Bernie Sanders