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Being pro-independence

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AnarchoAl
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Apr 21 2005 13:33
Being pro-independence

the Makhnovistas:

Quote:
When speaking of Ukrainian independence, we do not mean national independence [...] but the social independence of workers and peasants. We declare that Ukrainian, and all other, working people have the right to self-determination not as an 'independent nation' but as 'independent workers'
Quote:
"The cultural-educational section of the Makhnovist army constantly receives questions from school teachers asking about the language in which instruction should be given in the schools, now that Denikin's troops have been expelled.

"The revolutionary insurgents, holding to the principles of true socialism, cannot in any field or by any measure do violence to the natural desires and needs of the Ukrainian people. This is why the question of the language to be taught in the schools cannot be solved by our army, but can only be decided by the people themselves, by parents, teachers and students

"It goes without saying that all the orders of Denikin's so-called 'Special Bureau' as well as General Mai-Maevsky's order No. 22, which forbids the use of the mother tongue in the schools, are null and void, having been forcibly imposed on the schools.

"In the interest of the greatest intellectual development of the people, the language of instruction should be that toward which the local population naturally tends, and this is why the population, the students, the teachers and the parents, and not authorities or the army, should freely and independently resolve this question."

the Makhno FAQ:

Quote:
This does not mean that anarchists are indifferent to cultural and national domination and oppression. Far from it! As we discussed in sections D.6 and D.7, anarchists are against foreign domination and cultural imperialism, believing that every community or national group has the right to be itself and develop as it sees fit. This means that anarchists seek to transform national liberation struggles into human liberation struggles, turning any struggle against foreign oppression and domination into a struggle against all forms of oppression and domination.

This means that the Makhnovists, like anarchists in general, seek to encourage local culture and language while opposed nationalism. As Frank Sysyn argues, it "would be a mistake . . . to label the Makhnivtsi as 'anti-Ukrainian.' Although they opposed the political goals of most 'svidomi ukraintsi' (nationally conscious Ukrainians), they accepted the existence of a Ukrainian nation and used the terms 'Ukraine' and 'Ukrainian.'" [Nestor Makhno and the Ukrainian Revolution, p. 288] It should be noted that opponents of Ukrainian independence generally called it the "south of Russia" or "Little Russia."

...

In summary, the Makhnovists were opposed to nationalism but supported culture diversity and self-determination within a free federation of toilers communes and councils. They did not limit their aims to national liberation, but rather sought the self-liberation of the working classes from every oppression -- foreign or domestic, economic or political, cultural or social.

All from http://www.nestormakhno.info/english/makfaq/h_6_11.htm

I'm basically in agreement with the Makhnovistas on all points. I hope this clarifies my position on nationalism.

The term "nationalism" is used, in Scotland, in a broad enough way that it really just means support for independence, and I would consider it to be broad enough that it would include anti-imperialist anarchist positions such as the Makhnovistas'. You may disagree with that definition, but that's a semantic debate and doesn't matter. Words are our tools not our masters.

I (obviously) can't speak for Nick, so I'd be interested to see his opinion on this.

(edits to fix formatting issues)

AnarchoAl
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Apr 21 2005 14:14

I agree. I do not think that "national" liberation is possible without the emancipation of the working class, ultimately everywhere across the world.

I "support" bourgois independence in the same way as I "support" the NHS. It's an improvement but not a goal.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Apr 21 2005 14:38

I think the crucial thing is not whether independence wouldb e an improvement, but in how much of an improvement the pro-indepence movement can make.

Where they say "This means that anarchists seek to transform national liberation struggles into human liberation struggles,"

I'd say that the reason for any anarchists being involved in supporting independence is in order to effect this transformation.

But there's the old question about whether nationalist movements can be pushed towards greater working class empancipation. Many state-socialists think that this can happen, but I'd say the experience of anarchists' involvement in such movement shows that unity swifty evaporates when the new state is being set up as it crushes internal opposition -- especially if it's estabishment has been cause by a revolution containing libertarian elements. Scottish independence is unliklely to happen in such an environment, of course...

Would an independent scotland be any less repressive?

AnarchoAl
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Apr 21 2005 14:52

It's not as simple as England oppressing Scotland, and of course the English state fucks over its own working class. It fucked over its own working class in the 19th century too, but it still held India in a colonial relationship.

The union of the parliaments came about after the Scottish ruling class bankrupted itself in a shot at long-range colonialism. Their hand was forced by trade embargos backed by the English state to destroy Scotland's economy. So the start was classic intra-European imperialism.

The Scottish ruling class went on to benefit from British imperialism, and in return the British ruling class (including the now-integrated Scots r/c) got cheap labour, troops, colonists, easy access to markets, and so on. Later they got natural resources, including oil.

Most of the Scottish working class have not been any worse abused than the workers of England. There is, however, a popular independence movement with support in the working class, and a pride across the country in a cultural identity. True, a lot of this has been romanticised, but no more so than in other places.

Our theories and practise have to take account of this; in Scotland, we should integrate national liberation theories and practises into our anarchism, like the Makhnovistas. Not nationalism in the ordinary sense, more applying our belief in decentralisation to the question of how to deal with cultural differences. This approach is entirely in line with class struggle anarchist practise and theory, and allows us to address people's aspirations towards "national" independence from an anarchist perspective.

As to whether an independent liberal democratic capitalist Scotland would be an improvement, I think that's a matter for personal opinion, and do not regard it as being a part of my "anarchist" politics. On a personal level, I think it would lead to some improvements, especially for the fishermen (who've had their jobs horse traded away in Brussels) and for anyone who speaks Scots, ie most of the working class. The only intersection with my anarchist views is that I have a general desire for less centralisation.

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cantdocartwheels
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Apr 21 2005 15:06
AnarchoAl wrote:
It's not as simple as England oppressing Scotland, and of course the English state fucks over its own working class. It fucked over its own working class in the 19th century too, but it still held India in a colonial relationship.

The union of the parliaments came about after the Scottish ruling class bankrupted itself in a shot at long-range colonialism. Their hand was forced by trade embargos backed by the English state to destroy Scotland's economy. So the start was classic intra-European imperialism.

The Scottish ruling class went on to benefit from British imperialism, and in return the British ruling class (including the now-integrated Scots r/c) got cheap labour, troops, colonists, easy access to markets, and so on. Later they got natural resources, including oil.

Most of the Scottish working class have not been any worse abused than the workers of England. There is, however, a popular independence movement with support in the working class, and a pride across the country in a cultural identity. True, a lot of this has been romanticised, but no more so than in other places.

Our theories and practise have to take account of this; in Scotland, we should integrate national liberation theories and practises into our anarchism, like the Makhnovistas. Not nationalism in the ordinary sense, more applying our belief in decentralisation to the question of how to deal with cultural differences. This approach is entirely in line with class struggle anarchist practise and theory, and allows us to address people's aspirations towards "national" independence from an anarchist perspective.

As to whether an independent liberal democratic capitalist Scotland would be an improvement, I think that's a matter for personal opinion, and do not regard it as being a part of my "anarchist" politics. On a personal level, I think it would lead to some improvements, especially for the fishermen (who've had their jobs horse traded away in Brussels) and for anyone who speaks Scots, ie most of the working class. The only intersection with my anarchist views is that I have a general desire for less centralisation.

This seems to be solely based in idealist arguements, what actual material gains do you see for scottish working people?

Are you claiming that in 2005 the UK subjugates scotland and runs it in an imperialist fashion? Have you gone quite insane?

And as for the brussels comment, do you think that the scottish ruling class aren't just as willing to accept the EU constiturion if it benefits them? If anything they will be quicker to accept it than the english ruling class because the english ruling class has to play a balancing act between the US and Europe whereas Scotland doesn't really have to play that game.

meanoldman
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Apr 21 2005 17:09
Quote:
This approach is entirely in line with class struggle anarchist practise and theory, and allows us to address people's aspirations towards "national" independence from an anarchist perspective.

How does a struggle for a state on a basis that denies class fit into an anarchist perspective?

Quote:
I'm basically in agreement with the Makhnovistas on all points.

The very pieces you quote say that the Makhnovistas opposed nationalism, which appears to be the very opposite of what you are doing.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Apr 21 2005 17:46

Behaving like the Makkies wold mean anarchists in Scotland allowing local groups to decide whether they taught in Scots or not. I can't see what other implications there would be. Were the Mak/Nabat in any way involved in the Ukranian independence movement?

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Steven.
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Apr 21 2005 17:57

I've seen a lot of attempts from you and Nick Durie justifying your nationalism, and tbh there appears to be no internal logic to them. You both seem to be desperately trying to fit your nationalism into an anarchist framework, but it just doesn't work at all: it's full of contradictions.

I can understand why you might want to present yourselves as nationalists, if you think it will appeal to elements of the working class who you might be able to win to anarchism, but sorry it's just balls!

There were some good discussions with Wayne about this a while ago, where the nationalist argument was soundly (albeit rudely) lost...

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gav
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Apr 21 2005 18:06

word john.

oh and stop calling them 'makhnovistas', they were called the makhnovists.

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Steven.
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Apr 21 2005 18:17
gav wrote:
word john.

oh and stop calling them 'makhnovistas', they were called the makhnovists.

lol, true!

Here's the discussion I believe where the "nationalist anarchists" had their kilted asses whooped wink

http://enrager.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=20917

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888
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Apr 21 2005 22:59

An anarchist revolution would mean independence for (e.g.) Glasgow just as much as it would for Scotland... more accurately it would mean independence for every collective that people chose to form themselves into. There wouldn't be nations any more, rather collectives would collaborate in the way that best suited them - which would mean completely ignoring obsolete national borders.

The Makhnovites weren't involved in Ukrainian nationalism at all except in the non-way outlined above. After the fall of the USSR Makhno was used as a propaganda tool by the new Ukrainian government, falsely transformed into a national hero.

AnarchoAl
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Apr 22 2005 01:01

And once again, arguments I never made are being brilliantly demolished by the enrager crew (

If we accept the definition of "nationalist" being attacked here, I am not a nationalist. I am opposed to cross-class alliances and racism, and I do not think that bourgoise independence for Scotland should be a goal of the anarchist movement.

I honestly do believe that an independent Scotland would see some material gains for the Scottish working class, especially shat-on groups like the fishermen. The fishing agreement has nothing to do with the EU constitution and grounding ships across Scotland while Spanish and Portugese supertrawlers are allowed free reign is entirely down to horse-trading in Brussels by a London-based government which has no interest in some remote fishermen. An Edinburgh-based government is obviously also quite remote from the fishermen, but less so, and is certainly close enough to be pressured effectively by them- the evidence of the past few years shows this.

However, these gains would be limited. Bourgoise independence will not emancipate the working class and is not part of an anarchist program. As I pointed out, neither is the NHS but it's still a material gain.

So rather than saying I'm a nationalist, how about

- I'm a proletarian first and foremost

- The self-emancipation of the working class is my primary goal

- I believe that emancipation includes the right to freely express your culture (as long as you oppress none in doing so naturally)

- There are areas where the Scottish working class has been treated as, and reacted as, a colonised population

- Some of these areas persist as points of tension within capitallist Scotland

- An example is the Scots language, whose treatment by the British state is one colonial relationship. Language is still used as a weapon to reduce the confidence of the Scottish working class.

- Evidence of the tactical usefulness of this comes from personal experience of (overwhelmingly working-class) people who lack confidence in the way they speak and the words they use. This is not a unique problem to the Scottish working class. Action to give people back confidence in their language helps to give them confidence in their intellectual worth.

- This is likely to be true of other areas of culture.

- There are other areas where the Scottish ruling class has been a colonial master.

- Similar colonial relationships exist elsewhere. Scotland is not specially oppressed in a way that the north of England (for example) is not.

- I regard material gains for the working class within the existing system as being positive, though not an ultimate goal

- I think that an independent bourgoise Scotland would produce limited material gains for working people in Scotland.

Is that a "nationalist" position, by your personal definitions of "nationalist"?

Which of those points do people actually disagree with me on?

As far as I can see it's mainly the last point, which TBH I don't really care about so much. Whether or not an independent Scotland would produce material gains for the working class in Scotland or not has very little to do with our goal here, which is working class self-emancipation.

The most obvious evidence in favour of my last point is the material gains brought about by the devolved parliament, mainly due to proportional representation and a more left-leaning voting population than in Westminster elections

* Feudalism abolished

* Tuition fees abolished

* Completely free care for the elderly

* End of poindings and warrant sales

Obviously that's not freedom, but it is material gain.

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ginger
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Apr 22 2005 14:00
John. wrote:
I've seen a lot of attempts from you and Nick Durie justifying your nationalism, and tbh there appears to be no internal logic to them. You both seem to be desperately trying to fit your nationalism into an anarchist framework, but it just doesn't work at all: it's full of contradictions.

For me, my anarchism led me to a position of being pro scottish independence. Like AnarchoAl and Nick, I don't see it as in any way an end point.

I think the breakdown of the British state would have material advantages to the international working class as well as locally - I don't think that with Scotland out of the union it would have been feasible for UK minus Scotland to have been so involved in the war and occupation in Iraq.

Scotland is also used to house nuclear weapons (Faslane) and as a dumping ground for nuclear waste.

Quote:
Increasingly, as the strategic importance of Scotland’s position declines, its relatively low population density, its distance from Westminster (and, as importantly, the voters of Middle England) and its large MoD estate has made Scotland one of the most important military play-grounds in the Northern hemisphere. (http://www.scotland-uxb.org/fort1/modland.html)

I think that being in a large nation state with the overt government thousands of miles away has a knock on the confidence and feelings of being able to change it of the working class. This is from my own observations in Denver, Colorado where there is mass frustration and disenchantment with the state, as compared to when I lived in Elephant and Castle (South London) where there was frustration and anger, plus a sense that the politicians and state apparatus was within reach. I was involved with a (successful) campaign against the privatisation of council housing, and a militant pensioners action group, and within both of them was a feeling that those that were fucking us over were just across the river... Of course this did not result in actual revolutionary activity, as opposed to words, but there are complex factors influencing if/when we actually overthrow government, and this is just one small element.

My position is that I oppose racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia and cultural oppression as part of my fight for the emancipation of the working class.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Apr 22 2005 15:00

"I think that being in a large nation state with the overt government thousands of miles away has a knock on the confidence and feelings of being able to change it of the working class. This is from my own observations in Denver, Colorado where there is mass frustration and disenchantment with the state, as compared to when I lived in Elephant and Castle (South London) where there was frustration and anger, plus a sense that the politicians and state apparatus was within reach"

maybe this is more about the militant London tradition and the crapness of US politics?

Glasgow is only a few *hundred* miles from London, as is Liverpool. Both cities have massive militant working class traditions.

I think the reason that many scottish anarchists are pro-independence is similar to the reasons that so many UK anarchists are into punk or are vegan -- it's part of the political scene that anarchism is part of.

meanoldman
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Apr 22 2005 21:46

I hate scenes.

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Volin
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Apr 23 2005 00:13

wahey, there's that many Scottish anarchists, the place is pure hoachen Mr. T

I come from a decidely nationalist background, cant deny it. My family for generations has supported working-class unity and political independence for Scotland. *The latter idea, and you can trace it, has always been found in, and a major part of, Scottish socialism.* It's from this that my beliefs developed to anarchism...for what is freedom? It is not being "ruled" by another set of capitalists from Edinburgh. The bank owners and businessmen of this land are not any better than those of somewhere else, and it is not them that we speak of when we mean "Scots". For, we mean the working people, with their unique identity, culture, language and so on. Equal to every other working people in the world, and yet different.

The Independence movement in my view is completely misguided. It was born out of a genuine radical idea that we should govern ourselves and that being ruled by "another" outside of our own country is tyranny. It's just that "country", "people" and "identity" has been confused (like everywhere else, and for good reason) with the nation-state. Somehow the Nats consider our own "wee pretendy parliament" to be Scots governing themselves. Rubbish!

The famous Scottish Socialist (and syndicalist) John Maclean said, "

Scotland must again have independednce, but not to be ruled over by traitor cheifs and politicians. The communism of the clans must be re-established on a modern basis." He then goes on to say, ironically from our perspective, that "Bolshevism is, to put it roughly, but the modern expression of the communism of the mir". The mir ofcourse being something we can identify with.

Do I support the "independence" parties? The SNP are but tartan capitalists, that exploit the scottish people's distrust of "Britain" for almost equally unjust ends. The only political party I could give, veeeery limited, support to is the SSP. Anyone with a faint understanding of the ABCs of anarchism would see the truth of what these social democrats speak of when they say "socialism". But if they achieved an "independent (!), socialist (!) Scotland" I cant help feeling it'd be a small step forward. It would involve greater devolution of power, albeit not to the people themselves, and many social reforms, albeit nowhere near socialism. Our ideas and organisations could not help but to grow. -What are other scottish anarchists views towards the SSP?

Quote:
I think the reason that many scottish anarchists are pro-independence is similar to the reasons that so many UK anarchists are into punk or are vegan -- it's part of the political scene that anarchism is part of.

Umm, yes but why? Many anarchists are vegan because they likewise see the suffering and oppression of non-human animals and, along with human emancipation, wish to fight it in equal measure. "Punk" is meant to be subversive trend in culture and society. Independence is the breaking up of imperialist states and is meant to be the devolving of power to a dispossessed people. Anarchists cannot help but be sympathetic to national independence, though we should see past it.

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cantdocartwheels
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Apr 23 2005 01:50
AnarchoAl wrote:

* Feudalism abolished

* Tuition fees abolished

* Completely free care for the elderly

* End of poindings and warrant sales

Obviously that's not freedom, but it is material gain.

How do you think you are going to hold the scottish government to account over these issues? Do you think once the scottish parliament is fully constituted with a labour majority, or even an SSP majority, that these policies would be upheld?

I mean take tuition fees, in 2001 labour said they wouldn't bring them in, four years later they did, surely this would be the same with the scottish executive? Likewise with the elderly, what actual assurance do you have?

I appreciate that scottish social democracy is stronger than in england, maybe because it can be said to still exist. The SSP is a major party, however it still only polls a smallish vote doesn't it? Certainly not enough to win a majority. Even if they did somehow manage to win, how could the SSP MP's be hold to account? Isn't this the basic problem of parliamentary democracy, the working class does not and cannot control parliaments.

Its also important to note that STUC is linked to the TUC, and while the STUC claims to be completely independent, this is perhaps not exactly the whole the truth because they work very closely together and STUC leadership has strong links to TUC leadership. What effect this will have on scottish trade unionism remains to be seen.

The scottish executive seems quite happy to follow the european constitution to the letter and contnue with the general program of privatisation that it entails. I doubt many real material gains will be made by the scottish working class.

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Steven.
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Apr 23 2005 12:16
cantdocartwheels wrote:
AnarchoAl wrote:

* Feudalism abolished

* Tuition fees abolished

* Completely free care for the elderly

* End of poindings and warrant sales

Obviously that's not freedom, but it is material gain.

How do you think you are going to hold the scottish government to account over these issues? Do you think once the scottish parliament is fully constituted with a labour majority, or even an SSP majority, that these policies would be upheld?

True. You guys seem to have forgotten a basic anarchist concept, that left-wing social democracy simply doesn't work! It's utopian shite. I'm sure you are all aware of capital flight...

http://www.infoshop.org/faq/secD2.html#secd21

nosos
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Apr 23 2005 16:34

It can be an agent of positive (if incremental) change though. Just shouting 'capital flight!' in response to an argument in favour of it doesn't really do justice to the complexity (not just in terms of 'social democracy' but capitalism, revolution and all that shite) of what you're talking about but then again I've not actually read this thread so I should probably shutup.

AnarchoAl
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Apr 23 2005 17:49

Of course social democracy doesn't 'work'. Of course governments cannot be held to account except by a militant working-class movement. That doesn't stop me from thinking the NHS is an improvement over no NHS, nor does it stop me from thinking a bourgoise independent Scotland would be an improvement over a non-independent Scotland.

Neither the NHS nor an independent Scotland is any substitute for a free communist society, I think that's obvious to all of us.

That doesn't change the fact that the devolved parliament has brought about material gains for the Scottish working class, as proved by my short list of positive things the parliament has done. It's still a parliament and it's still an implement of class rule, but it's a mild improvement over what we had before, which was the Scottish Office.

Anyway I don't put energy into campaigning for a bourgoise independent Scotland or anything, I'll just vote yes if there's ever a referendum on it.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Apr 23 2005 18:02
AnarchoAl wrote:
Anyway I don't put energy into campaigning for a bourgoise independent Scotland or anything, I'll just vote yes if there's ever a referendum on it.

'Vote yes with no illusions, eh' tongue

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Apr 23 2005 20:11

Incidentally, I'd like to hear pilcho's opinions on this one.

Nick Durie
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Apr 24 2005 20:19
Quote:
word john.

oh and stop calling them 'makhnovistas', they were called the makhnovists.

'makhnovschina' actually.

Nick Durie
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Apr 24 2005 20:29
Quote:
lol, true!

Here's the discussion I believe where the "nationalist anarchists" had their kilted asses whooped Wink

http://enrager.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=20917

This post has about the same merit as me telling you to shut yer puss ye wee eel-munchin prick.

I don't think it's acceptable to write in the style of a sun/sport headline like that:-

'where the "nationalist anarchists" had their kilted asses whooped'

Adding the word wink doesn't make it any less offensive.

Also the idea that there is an argument to be won and lost here is not a productive way of thinking about a subject. We can agree to disagree and talk about something without throwing our heckers up, or we can threap doun each others throats until we both stop listening and come away from the argument with our predjudices further engrained.

Nick Durie
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Apr 24 2005 20:47
Quote:
How do you think you are going to hold the scottish government to account over these issues? Do you think once the scottish parliament is fully constituted with a labour majority, or even an SSP majority, that these policies would be upheld?

How do you hold any government to account over an issue. The point of Alistair posting those gains was that they have happened already.

Also the parliament is already properly constituted to do with such matters.

His point was that small differences had been made to peoples' lives because the country was no longer ran exclusively by the Scottish office and that Scots had more of a say over who governs them. The implication was that a independent Scottish state would probably allow for more such gains than can be made within the UK (e.g. Scottish soldiers no longer being the infantry backbone of the British army, and being sent to die in Britain's imperial conflicts).

I mean I think Alistair made the point quite well that Scottish independence is not some endgame or some political target to be reached, just something that would be welcomed as an improvement on the current situation. The counter obviously is that 'it would increase nationalism which would be detrimental to working class unity'. This is a non-starter because it presupposes that nationalism (the big N, or to be more specific, chauvinistic variety)is something that doesn't already exist and is in danger of being inflamed.

Wayne also made the point that in the 50s many more Scots voted Tory and many more Tories were returned than Labour or other left-wing options. The idea being that this somehow proved that Scotland was not (on the whole) more left-wing than elsewhere within the UK. I think historically however it would be found that the opposite is true. Also certainly at the moment most Scots (including the more reactionary portions such as the middle class) are significantly to the left of the UK political centreground.

Also there's the fact that most Scots want it (as seen in countless polls), and would welcome a referedum on the subject.

But as I say independence is just one thing which could be viewed as a gain for the working class, it's not really an issue around which to organize necessarily, just something to think about.

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Apr 27 2005 06:23
Nick Durie wrote:
Quote:
How do you think you are going to hold the scottish government to account over these issues? Do you think once the scottish parliament is fully constituted with a labour majority, or even an SSP majority, that these policies would be upheld?

How do you hold any government to account over an issue. The point of Alistair posting those gains was that they have happened already.

.

well yeah feudalism was abolished several hundred years ago... although i don't see the scottish governement reposessing lands from decadent remnants of the aristocracy any time soon

So, anyway, i'll rephrase my question. Given that the Scottish Executive will almost certainly push through the signing of the European Constitution, how do you think the defence of public services has any link to independence?

And don't pass me off some crap about top up fees, even the tories claim they want to scrap top up fees so it hardly marks you out as being to the left of anything.

Any true socialist would neither be opposing or supporting independence, it should be utterly irrelevant. The composition of the bourgeoisie will not change, neither will the composition of the working class. Sitting around waiting for the 'tartan messiah' achieves fuck all.

Nick Durie
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Apr 27 2005 11:02
Quote:
well yeah feudalism was abolished several hundred years ago... although i don't see the scottish governement reposessing lands from decadent remnants of the aristocracy any time soon

It was a reference to the executive abolishing feudal heritable rights, the ability to levy taxes etc. Some of these estate owners absolutely take the piss. There has also been wide ranging land reforms which have not taken place elsewhere in the UK. Consequently if i'm out walking or whatever the landowner no longer has a 'right' to use 'reasonable force' such as sending his factor with his shotgun (which used to happen pretty well constantly) to evict me.

Also communities now get first dabs to buy their estate/island blah blah.

Those _are_ real gains and you're being a bit dismissive.

Quote:
So, anyway, i'll rephrase my question. Given that the Scottish Executive will almost certainly push through the signing of the European Constitution, how do you think the defence of public services has any link to independence?

And don't pass me off some crap about top up fees, even the tories claim they want to scrap top up fees so it hardly marks you out as being to the left of anything.

The current Scottish Executive blatantly would not be the government were Scotland to secede from the union. The question seems to take it is granted that it would be. The Scottish Executive is fervently unionist.

I guess it would depend on the situation. All three nationalist parties are pro-public services, altho the SNP is most likely to take orders from the EU (but as the SNP membership is so diverse I don't see the SNP surviving beyond secession in its current form anyway).

Quote:
Any true socialist would neither be opposing or supporting independence, it should be utterly irrelevant. The composition of the bourgeoisie will not change, neither will the composition of the working class. Sitting around waiting for the 'tartan messiah' achieves fuck all.

A straw man. Nobody here is "waiting for the 'tartan messiah'". I personally will welcome independence when it comes, and may even involve myself in agitating for it, but it's neither a panacea nor an end.

As far as being utterly irrelevant that is radically overly simplistic. It would be a political developement which would change the set up in the British Isles. It can be welcomed, or not.

Nobody would have said that the act of union was utterly irrelevant to class struggle three hundred years ago. Just as nobody would have said that the Break up of the British Empire was irrelevant. On one level yes the powers that be are still ruling class fucks but it does change things. Different polities with different conceptions of what should be, what is emerge. I mean for fuck sake would you rather live under a Norway-type government, or a US-type government? But of course fascism and social democracy are really just the same thing aren't they? Because ultimately the bourgeoisie are in power? Come off it.

Or take a country like Palestine (an extreme example but it serves the purposes of illuminating the ridiculous of your statement). Palestine has a local ruling class, who are oppressive to the working class in Palestine (just as they are everywhere else in the world), but as we know Palestine has been under occupation pretty well constantly for hundreds of years, and by the Israeli state since '48.

Would it not be a step forward for the Palestinian working class for an emergent Palestinian ruling class and the Israeli ruling class to come to some sort of peace and two separate states to emerge? Of course you can turn around and say that's just reformist, bourgeois wank, and the affairs of the ruling class should not concern us but then I'd say you talk with corpses in your mouth.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Apr 27 2005 11:08
Nick Durie wrote:
Would it not be a step forward for the Palestinian working class for an emergent Palestinian ruling class and the Israeli ruling class to come to some sort of peace and two separate states to emerge?

This is really a bad example. The whole idea of a Palestinian state is for a local state to police the refugee camps so that Isreal doesn't have to. WHy would it be better for Palestinians to be beaten by PA police than by Israeli troops? The conditions that they hate would still exist. The Palesinian bantustan would still be effectively dependent on Isreal for its existence, militarily and ecnomically.

In this case, and in allcases, as far as I can see, the most useful thing to do is to build up an independent, libertarian class based movement that has the *minhimum* faith in nationalism.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Apr 27 2005 14:27

Erm, to keep derailling towards the example -- ending military occupation is clearly an important step forward in any situation. However, there's no reason why this needs to happen through the establishment of a new state. It could just as easily happen through full Palestinian citizenship of Isreal, of course. Not that this would actually be tolerated by the nationalists on either side, of course.

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Choccy
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Apr 27 2005 14:33
Nick Durie wrote:
I don't think it's acceptable to write in the style of a sun/sport headline like that:-

'where the "nationalist anarchists" had their kilted asses whooped'

Adding the word wink doesn't make it any less offensive.

Were you actually offended by that? If someone referred to "guiness drinkin toothless leprechaun simpletons" I don't think I'd find it too offensive, with or without the wink. More likely I'd take it for the self aware joke that it is and have a giggle like. Then again irish national cultural identity means fuck all to me.

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Choccy
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Apr 27 2005 15:56

feck off and make up your mind whether you're a prod or a taig you dolly-mixture bastard! wink