Tribal politics excites the autobiographical impulse, which I’ll pander to for just a moment (without pretending to any particular excitement). My immediate ancestry is a quarter Scottish, and — here’s the thing — those grandparents were Wallaces. Seriously, they were these guys:
… but it’s my remaining three-quarters of mongrelized Brit that is leading this post to its destination. In particular, the 37.5% of English blood coursing through my veins is the part murmuring most enthusiastically for Scotland to vote ‘Yes!’ to departure this week.
Scotland is hugely over-represented in the UK Parliament, shifting the country’s politics substantially to the Left. While Scottish exit wouldn’t necessarily ensure a permanent conservative government — electoral democracy simply doesn’t work like that — it’s hard to argue that the result could be anything other than an ideological rebound of sorts, with the rump UK’s entire political spectrum shunting right. Since such an outcome would almost certainly prolong the viability of liberal democracy, perhaps even worldwide (due to contagion effects), it would be unseemly for any neoreactionary to get adrenalized about it. England would nevertheless undergo a minor restoration, conceivably broadening the political imagination in a modestly positive way.
Every increment of dynamic Anglo capitalism adds resources that will eventually be of great use — especially now, with public ledger crypto-commerce coming online. It is a grave error to become so fixated upon the death of the demotic power structure that positive techno-commercial advances are simply written off, or worse, derided as life-support apparatus for the enemy. Even a minor Anglo-capitalist revitalization would produce some deep value (as early, or creative destruction-phase Thatcherism did, amid its manifold failures).
Far more significantly, Scottish secession would mark a turning of the tide, with great exemplary potential. Beginning its new life as a hotbed of socialist lunacy, an independent Scotland would be forced — very rapidly — to grow up, which of course means moving sharply to the right. The more theatrical the transitional social crisis, the more thoroughly leftism-in-power would be humiliated. As everyone now knows, such lessons in the essentially incompetent nature of leftist social administration never have any more than a limited effect, since humans are congenitally stupid creatures who find profound learning next-to-impossible. Despite this, they are the only remotely effective lessons history offers. However pitiful mankind’s political-economic education may be, it is owed entirely to the disaster spectacle of leftism in power. A fresh lesson — the more brutally calamitous the better — should always be welcomed unambiguously. If wild-eyed socialists were to drive Scotland over a cliff, they would be presenting a precious gift to the world thereby. (Sadly, in the opinion of this blog, the probability of such an eventuality is relatively low — Scottish canniness can be expected to re-assert itself with remarkable speed once the Sassenach dupes are no longer subsidizing its disappearance.)
The secession of Scotland, from the perspective of the rump UK, is already a (relative) purge of leftist entropy. With the return of an independent Scotland to minimally-functional, and thus moderately right-corrected government, this purge becomes absolute. A quantum of leftist insanity will have been extinguished, since its condition of existence was a relation of political dependency. No one resorts to beggary when abandoned, solitary, upon a desert island. Compulsory self-reliance mandates adjustment to the right (whether preceded by collapse or not).
An independent Scotland would work, most probably quite quickly. It then lights a beacon of disintegration, first across the Anglosphere, and subsequently more widely. The time of fragmentation will have come. The present world epoch of democracy will then have arrived at its final stage — promoting the break-up of the states it has built (and with them, eventually, itself). Scotland could light the touch-paper. It would save everybody some time if it did.
ADDED: What’s the point of independence?
ADDED: As Bremmer explained, Scottish independence would “tilt the entire U.K. political spectrum to the right.” That would boost the odds of a conservative majority winning in 2015. […] … “If Scotland votes ‘yes,’ down the road would come the ultimate irony,” Bremmer said. “The U.K. would be more likely to pull out of the E.U., while Scotland clamors to get in.”