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By Jason Michael
AT SOME LEVEL dominance requires the compliance of the dominated. In every conquest and occupation in human history the success of the occupier has relied to a greater or lesser extent on the compliance and acquiescence of the defeated, of the subjugated. Such compliance is not the same as the wilful assistance of the invader or collaboration for personal or political gain, rather it occurs at a deeper level of the national psyche; it is the acceptance of foreign rule for the sake of peace. Compliance is an acceptance of the new order and the preparedness of the subjugated to play by the rules of the subjugator. This state of compliance, once it has become the normative operation of the occupied or colonised, is the mark sine qua non of the defeat of a people. No nation or people can be said to be truly defeated until it has become completely compliant to the wishes of its conqueror. In short, the dominated must always acquiesce to their domination by another.
Scotland, whether we like to think this or not, is the epitome of a compliant nation. Since the Act of Union in 1707, Scotland has been a willing partner in its own subjugation, to its complete and utter domination by the English state. Over the course of the past three centuries our civic and political life has been shaped by our subservience – the subservience of our cultural and political leaders – to the whims of a foreign government. The union settlement, more than anything else in our recent history, has informed our response to the present constitutional crisis. Conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs or the tethered elephant, we have been feeling our way towards independence unaware that our self-imposed compliance to London makes our freedom impossible.
Until we have a party committed to abstentionism and running on a platform of independence, I fear we'll be stuck o… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) July 15, 2019
Stu Campbell of Wings Over Scotland has suggested the creation of a new pro-independence party to run for list seats in the Holyrood parliament, a strategy which – if successful – could give us a pro-independence supermajority in the devolved legislature and an idea I myself have aired in the past but with little success. The idea of such a party is brilliant, but the journeymen of the National Party and their supporters are outraged – ‘It would split the vote!’ they shout. But it wouldn’t. It would simply take from the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats the seats they win with a paltry number of ballots. In this outrage I see nothing but compliance, a sure sign that at least the leadership of the SNP and its prevailing tactical thinking are unfit for purpose.
I am past the point of using this blog for popularity, so I suggest you buckle up. The Scottish National Party is a composite beast; there are many in its ranks who are indeed in this for independence, but they are out-numbered and out-gunned by the journeymen and the purists – those of the old tradition of a Home Rule party for Scotland. Home Rule, as it was in Ireland before us, is compliance writ large. It is the abject acceptance of the political domination of Scotland to England and the English royal and political establishment. Home Rule has never been the route to independence. It is merely the acceptance of another prisoner category. Federalism, in any form, is a trap. It is another, cosier, political settlement which invariably leads to a longer period of subjugation. Scotland’s independence movement has moved beyond Home Rule and the lure of federalism. This is a movement for independence that begins and ends with the independence of Scotland. Frustratingly, the Scottish National Party has, as yet, failed to realise this.
Scotland you're mad! Whenever I talk about Sinn Féin abstentionism you lose your head and shout back how the SNP ne… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) November 14, 2018
We are forced to ask ourselves what a non-compliant independence movement looks like. If independence begins and ends with the independence of Scotland then it must of necessity begin with the symmetric opposite of compliance – defiance. Our decision to defy Britain and its claim to the ownership of Scotland and Scottish lives must be absolute. From its inception it must reject every claim – moral and political – of England over us. Independence presupposes freedom, and we cannot have independence until we decide to be free. Given the immediacy of the threat of Brexit and the consequences this will have for Scotland, our decision to be free has to be made right now. This is what a non-compliant pro-independence political party will do.
A new party has no option but to be Republican and abstentionist. How can we be free people seeking the independence of our country when we are bound to a monarchy and the same unelected monarch as the country that holds us in chains? How can we seek independence and freedom while sitting in a foreign parliament – the parliament that is the physical embodiment of our national incarceration – and swearing an oath of allegiance to the sovereign of that parliament – the Crown? Such absurdities and contradictions will forever demand resolution, and their resolution will always be determined by the most powerful side of the equation – England. Independence in its truest and most powerful sense begins only when we commit ourselves to the cause of a free and independent Scottish Republic and refuse to sit in the parliament of our so-called masters.
Let's give Britain one helluva trick or treat this Hallowe'en. It's the birth of the Scottish Republic!—
Jason Michael (@Jeggit) August 20, 2019
At the heart of this there must be a singular act of defiance in which the political party itself transcends the cause for independence. In itself it becomes the foetus of an independent Scottish Republic; declaring itself from the moment of its creation the Provisional Government of the Scottish Republic. In this it calls to itself all the children of Scotland equally and without distinction of place of birth, language, religion, or any other marker which separates one human being from another. The Provisional Government of the Republic – while it remains a party – is neither right nor left, but singular in its motive and object. Moreover, it assumes to itself by moral right the sovereignty of the Scottish people and all the obligations that that entails, supreme among them the sovereign right to defend the Republic from every act of foreign aggression.
This is the party I want, and my reasoning is simple: Only by our firm rejection of British domination and the absolute defiance of the Scottish people to be ruled from London – our refusal to play by anyone’s rules but our own – will we gain an independence that is truly independent from beginning to end. This is what the SNP is incapable of becoming – at least with regard to its leading factions – precisely because, as a Home Rule party at its core, it is a compliant instrument. This compliance will forever, as we have seen, find itself knotted up in an endless game of chasing the tail – where England changes the goalposts continually. Personally, I am tired of the British political game it is playing. At this point, the miseries to which we are subjected by Westminster have become our own choice because we have elected to play the game of compliance. This changes only when we begin to play the better game of defiance.
The McCluskey Brothers – John Maclean March