Scottish Referendum, 18 Sept 2014

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Flava O Flav's picture
Flava O Flav
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Sep 9 2014 17:09

It wasn't supposed to leave anyone flummoxed, and I don't see internationalism as being represented in this case by those who oppose independence or those who, effectively oppose independence by advocating abstention.

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Gepetto
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Sep 9 2014 17:10
Flava O Flav wrote:
But what does the working class gain from keeping the union?

Nothing, this is not a class issue.

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plasmatelly
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Sep 9 2014 18:43

Both sides are at pain to say whoever wins its business as usual. Now there's a reassuring thought.

Scallywag
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Sep 9 2014 19:30
Entdinglichung wrote:
Scallywag wrote:

BTW I don't really know much about the WSWS, what people on LIBCOM think of them and what type of leftist politics they align to and I myself don't necessarily support them.

WSWS:

- https://libcom.org/forums/theory/iso-chicago-teachers-strike-03112013#co...

- http://libcom.org/forums/general/wsws-chid-molestation-apologists-130220...

Thanks for that!!

I take it the article I linked to is a load of bull then?

I know this deviates from the discussion here, but what groups or websites do we trust here and which ones should I be especially wary of?

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Sep 9 2014 20:59

On a subjective level there is some good in breaking up into more organic sociogeographical entities, since federalism is a primary principle of anarchism. While making Scotland contributes nothing to internationalism, Scottishness on a non-legal level gives a sense of solidarity with the land and the people who inhabit it. Identification with the domestic bourgeoisie is ideology filtering that consciousness of the people who actually embody Scotland.
But I wouldn't go fighting for a nation because it'll still tell you to work.

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Sep 9 2014 21:33
cresspot wrote:
On a subjective level there is some good in breaking up into more organic sociogeographical entities, since federalism is a primary principle of anarchism. While making Scotland contributes nothing to internationalism, Scottishness on a non-legal level gives a sense of solidarity with the land and the people who inhabit it. Identification with the domestic bourgeoisie is ideology filtering that consciousness of the people who actually embody Scotland.
But I wouldn't go fighting for a nation because it'll still tell you to work.

Am I to understand organic sociogeographical entities as being ghettos for the poor, etc. or that the are Scottish so completely different and homogeneous that separating them from the northern English is a benefit? As for the idea of Scotland giving a sense of solidarity to the people who inhabit it smacks of nationalism before class - and there's plenty of class divide in Scotland, just like England. The only better together is on class lines.

Scallywag
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Sep 9 2014 21:50
plasmatelly wrote:
As for the idea of Scotland giving a sense of solidarity to the people who inhabit it smacks of nationalism before class - and there's plenty of class divide in Scotland, just like England. The only better together is on class lines.

Yeah I think Scottish nationalism does give a sense of solidarity to the working class in Scotland in opposition to centralised British power and cultural uniformity, but that in itself is a huge problem is it not!?

Ultimately everything gets blamed on being oppressed by Westminster rather than oppressed by class and it then reinforces and mystifies Scottish nationalism.

S. Artesian
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Sep 10 2014 02:46

Gepetto nails it.This notion that we vote on a referendum which is designed to line the pockets of a smaller carnival barker because the the bigger carnival barker has...bigger pockets isn't a class argument based on a class program-- it's a version of "geopolitics"-- like saying Russia sure is sticking it to the EU/US in the Ukraine.

No as a matter of fact, Russia is not.

We've been hearing for years about the "greater enemy" theory- we hear about it every time some wannabee Peron or Nasser or Mugabe gets video time. And so let's look at all of that: how much did Argentina under Peron, Egypt under Nasser, Zimbabwe under Mugabe destabilize world capitalism. Not too much. Actually not at all.

This referendum is about as meaningless an exercise as one can imagine.

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Steven.
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Sep 10 2014 09:05
Gepetto wrote:
Flava O Flav wrote:
But what does the working class gain from keeping the union?

Nothing, this is not a class issue.

What do you mean you don't support the US/UK invasion of Iraq? What does the working class gain from keeping Saddam?!

Gabriel Levy
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Sep 10 2014 11:24

here's a view from Castlemilk.

http://peopleandnature.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/scotland-the-opportunity...

Spikymike
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Sep 10 2014 12:36

No mention of the Scottish 'establishment' here then. To try and swing the vote their way the SNP has managed to turn this referendum into one positing their slightly better comitment to a watered down 'social democracy' against the long abandoned 'social democracy' of the Labour Party and in the process reinforcing working class illusions in both the failed politics of social democracy and capitalist democracy itself. I also hope that the enthusiasm of the youth referred to in this linked piece will move on to some genuine independent working class organisation in opposition to all the political parties and international capitalism itself, because that will be needed even more whatever the outcom of the referendum.

Try this for contrast on the left, social democracy and the scottish referendum:
http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/is-a-yes-vote-for-an-independ...

jolasmo
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Sep 10 2014 16:51
Flava O Flav wrote:
It wasn't supposed to leave anyone flummoxed, and I don't see internationalism as being represented in this case by those who oppose independence or those who, effectively oppose independence by advocating abstention.

I don't really see how advocating abstention is actually opposing independence. Its a yes/no referendum. Assuming that pro-abstention campaigning reduces turnout from both pro- and anti- independence camps, the result will be no different to if there was 100℅ turnout on both sides.

~J.

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Gepetto
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Sep 10 2014 17:33
Steven. wrote:
Gepetto wrote:
Flava O Flav wrote:
But what does the working class gain from keeping the union?

Nothing, this is not a class issue.

What do you mean you don't support the US/UK invasion of Iraq? What does the working class gain from keeping Saddam?!

Invasion? That was just a disarmament operation! I wonder if you'd still cry about "imperialism" if these kebabs you defend established caliphate where you live! I bet you will cry for USMC when that happens! Also get a job hippie! grin

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Sep 10 2014 18:01

Kebabs?!

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Sep 10 2014 19:31
plasmatelly wrote:
Kebabs?!

Well I don't exactly know how English-speaking xenophobes call Muslims, or rather every people of duskier skin color than them (for them it's practically the same). In Poland they use the term "ciapaty" (plural: "ciapaci"), derived from "chapati"- it was brought by Polish emigrants (oh irony!) who had encountered many Hindus and Pakistanis in Britain. The moar you know.

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Sep 10 2014 20:20

Yeah.. maybe not my strongest hand.

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Sep 10 2014 23:31
plasmatelly wrote:
Yeah.. maybe not my strongest hand.

What do you mean?

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Sep 13 2014 01:25

And, just now, the essentially segregationist plan to split California into six smaller states failed to get the requisite signatures for 2016's ballot. Another victory for imperialism, egads!

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Six-Californias-Ballot-Initiative-t...

Where were all those state socialist papers that have been talking on about Scottish independence when the venture capitalist putting this plan together needed their critical support?!

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Sep 16 2014 12:50
Terry wrote:
It wouldn't be very difficult to make a case that most Irish people - at least Catholics north of the border and working class people south of it - would have been better off had the 26 counties remained part of the United Kingdom until more recent decades (maybe up until 1980).

What next? Poland would have been better off if they'd have stayed in the Third Reich? FFS this is historical revisionism gone mad. In 1930-1945 the British Empire went to war with the German (Third) Empire. The difference today is that 21st century Germans accept that the Third Reich was an evil, genocidal abomination that needed destroying, while most Brits (libcom posters included it would seem) are still in total denial that the same applies to the British Empire of that time. Lets talk about the Irish famine of 1844-48, the Bengal famine of 1943 and so on and so on.

The assessment by the vast majority of Irish working class people that getting the fuck out of the British Empire was a major win is not based on nationalist illusions but the actual materialist history. The refusal of British working class people, lefties included, to accept this is testament to the continuing divides of racist and imperialist attitudes that continue to warp British attitudes to their own history and those of us you colonised.

Obviously the material conditions facing the inhabitants of Scotland today, both relating to the recent past and the near future, are entirely different to those of Ireland, Bengal, Rhodesia, etc, etc at the time of their decolonisation struggles, but don't kid yourselves that these weren't entirely rational measures for self-preservation in the face of a brutally repressive, casually genocidal, evil empire. It wasn't the border that separated the British working class from the Irish working class, but vicious racism and imperial loyalism.

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Sep 16 2014 13:06

Provocations like Terry's casual imperialism aside, I find this thread fairly lame from the point of view of historical materialist analysis. i.e. there doesn't seem to actually be any. Instead we have a lot of apriorism on the basis of eternal principles, which seems to be more in the tradition of bourgeois political discourse, rather than materialist analysis.

Questions that might be usefully addressed are:

* Why is this happening now? Not the contingent or proximate causes of the 2012 SNP victory in the Scottish elections, followed by the (miscalculated) gamble by Cameron that forcing a "independence or nothing" referendum would put paid to "devo-max" (ugly name!) and put the Nats back in their box; but the reason why the demand has found more resonance today amongst w/c Scots than previously in the 70s or 90s?

* What has happened to the traditional sectarian decomposition of the class along loyalist/unionist lines? Is the "Rangers effect" dead?

* Is this really a "national" question, or is it an effect of the increasing centralisation of 21st C Western financialised capitalism around monopolar world cities? Is this really about Scotland vs UK or Edinburgh vs London?

* Is the Edinburgh/London dispute simply disintermediation on the part of the former in relation to the true EU centre of Frankfurt? Does the same apply to Barcelona/Madrid? Why does the fraction of the London capitalist class that supports UKIP (Brexit) find no analogous fraction in Edinburgh or Dublin?

And so on. Any and all of this questions (and others like it) would have been interesting to discuss from a historical materialist perspective. imho ovs...

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Sep 16 2014 13:45
Quote:
* Why is this happening now? Not the contingent or proximate causes of the 2012 SNP victory in the Scottish elections, followed by the (miscalculated) gamble by Cameron that forcing a "independence or nothing" referendum would put paid to "devo-max" (ugly name!) and put the Nats back in their box; but the reason why the demand has found more resonance today amongst w/c Scots than previously in the 70s or 90s?

If I remember correctly they had a referendum in the late 70s, and voted 'Yes' (can't remember if it was for indepence or 'devo-max'). They need to get a certain percentage of the total electorate (rather than those who turned out) for it to and so it failed.

Devrim

Terry
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Sep 16 2014 15:36

‘People may have to die in this country and may have to die through starvation.’ (Irish Free State government minister 1924).

I just have a problem with the idea that the establishment of independent states is axiomatically a good thing. A jaundiced view of the establishment of the Irish Free State is by no means a marginal view (people in Ireland are a lot less nationalist than you seem to think!).

It is as I said quite easy to make the case that working class Irish people would have been better off with the 26 counties remaining in the U.K. – just compare state social provision in the 40s, 50s, 60s. I find people who disagree with this really elementary observation do so out of emotional identification with the nation, see comparison with Third Reich and Poland.

The only significant social reform associated with Irish independence was some land re-distribution (though the major portion of the Land Acts happened under the U.K.) – which was of no concern to, or even detrimental to, working class people.

This says nothing to whether or not most Irish people in the C19th would have been better off without the Act of Union of 1801 altogether – its removal in the 1920s was hardly going to reverse its C19th impact. That is all leaving to one side the small matter of jettisoning one’s countrymen and co-religionists into the Orange statelet.

I agree there are more interesting things to discuss with regard to the Scottish referendum than its putative disruptive impact on capitalism (which makes no sense) or most Scots being potentially better off with independence (which I’m actually inclined to agree with) – namely independence’s putatively radicalising impact and the wider growth of regional nationalisms.

Terry
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Sep 16 2014 16:30

Actually I think I am unfair to Irish nationalism in the above post, wherein I draw a connection between having a jaundiced view of the establishment of the Irish Free State and having a skeptical view of Irish nationalism, in fairness the extreme tendency within Irish nationalism always regarded the coming of the Irish Free State not as a "major win" but as a major betrayal of the promise of the national revolution - hence the left and right dissidents of the 1930s and 1940s who wanted to re-start the revolution and hence the opposition of republicans to the 26 county state - e.g. if you look at the republican press of the 1960s it is clear they regarded themselves as being about opposition to both states on the island (regarding them both as creatures of imperialism).

Take it down from the mast!

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Sep 16 2014 16:36

The referendum's total balls but it's still a moderately interesting bit of political theatre, and I for one will be glued to the telly on Thursday, having a reet good laugh at whichever side loses while tutting and rolling my eyes at the side that wins.

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Sep 16 2014 17:18
Terry wrote:
Actually I think I am unfair to Irish nationalism in the above post, wherein I draw a connection between having a jaundiced view of the establishment of the Irish Free State and having a skeptical view of Irish nationalism, in fairness the extreme tendency within Irish nationalism always regarded the coming of the Irish Free State not as a "major win" but as a major betrayal of the promise of the national revolution - hence the left and right dissidents of the 1930s and 1940s who wanted to re-start the revolution and hence the opposition of republicans to the 26 county state - e.g. if you look at the republican press of the 1960s it is clear they regarded themselves as being about opposition to both states on the island (regarding them both as creatures of imperialism).

Take it down from the mast!

In fairness, I have often said, half in jest that the unionists were right about something - home rule was Rome rule, and a lot of what went wrong was linked to the power of the church and that the forces for social revolution were comparitavely weak, compared to the forces of nationalism, but Independence even in that limited form, did at least prevent any more young Irish men (from south of the border) becoming part of the British war machine.

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Sep 16 2014 22:07

As Alex Salmond repeatedly quotes and name drops (ruling) class struggle economics theorist Adam Smith, Class War Party has announced a Yes celebratory party London on the 19th. Yes to what? A new State, new borders and new political leaders? Will all this generate future pointless A to B marches with 20 somethings in ski masks looking like they need a cuddle, denouncing the very government whose victory they will be celebrating on the 19th? Surely not?

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Sep 16 2014 22:35
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Class War Party has announced a Yes celebratory party London on the 19th.

Seriously? Is this for real? For fuck sake.

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Sep 17 2014 06:35

According to Ian Bone, which I guess he is to be taken as the personification of Class War. And we ban the SPGB...

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Rob Ray
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Sep 17 2014 09:24

Caiman del Barrio
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Sep 17 2014 10:08
plasmatelly wrote:
According to Ian Bone, which I guess he is to be taken as the personification of Class War. And we ban the SPGB...

Quite. I'm not entirely sure why this is even newsworthy. The fact that Class War and Bone are considered part of the church of anarchism shows just how much of London 'anarchy' is an emotional identification with a subculture based around a useless word.