Go Scotland!

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:

wallace00

… 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).

Scotland00

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.”

September 8, 2014admin 37 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy

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37 Responses to this entry

  • Gie It Laldy! – waka waka waka Says:

    […] at Outside In, Nick Land offers a neoreactionary’s perspective on the coming ‘exit’ referendum in […]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 2:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hurlock Says:

    “those grandparents were Wallaces”

    Wait.
    Wallaces as in clan Wallace?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Aye laddie. (There’s a tartan that goes with it, but I don’t have it memorized.)

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Well damn.
    I think we now have a genetic explanation of your libertarian tendencies.
    I believe this is the tartan:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clan_Wallace#mediaviewer/File:Wallace_tartan_%28Vestiarium_Scoticum%29.png

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    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 2:53 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    We’re all agreed that Scottish independence is per se desirable, right? It doesn’t really matter whether England goes to the right or to the left, and whether Scotland throws itself willingly into the howling maw of Cthulhu. The key tenet of Patchwork is small polities which are free to innovate as they see fit, so every secession movement is a step in the right direction. As far as I’m concerned, any secession movement seeking independence for any reason whatsoever is to be supported.

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    Cledun Reply:

    “As far as I’m concerned, any secession movement seeking independence for any reason whatsoever is to be supported.”

    Paradoxically, I view the success of groups like ISIS with whoops and cheers for the same reason. ISIS and expansionist Islam in general are universalist movements, like the Cathedral. With two major universalist organisms, and only one universe, they are destined to meet, and when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force, the resulting explosion will be very Dark indeed.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    IM WITH VLAD

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    I declare the twilight enlightenment

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 2:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • survivingbabel Says:

    I’m not sure I’m ready for a world in which Diana Gabaldon has this much power over global politics, but it sure is fun to watch. As though preventing UK stations from picking up Outlander was going to stop Scots from watching *the* show about Scotland. I sincerely hope that next week’s episode features extended redcoat abuse and rape scenes, just in time for the vote.

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    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 3:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hanfeizi Says:

    A left-wing Scotland, powered by North Sea oil, could probably last a lot longer than you might think; I’m guessing we’re looking more at another Norway than another Venezuela.

    Being part Scottish (though mostly Norwegian in ancestry), and possessing the most Scottish last name that there is (your clan aside), not to mention having a sibling who has worked for the Scottish National Party as an assistant in the Scottish Parliament, and the employee of a Scottish financier, I must say there’s more than a little bit of me that sympathizes with Scottish nationalism. There’s an equal part of me, however, that admires the British Empire and is loathe to see it’s last limbs torn off. So I’ll be equally happy and unhappy at whichever outcome we see.

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Yes that’s a key point. By my calcs, it appears the tax revenue from oil and gas in the North Sea will be about $8 billion/year (splitting the difference between high and low estimates bandied about) which works out to about $1600/head. If we assume $40,000 per capita GDP and 30% government spending/GDP, that’s $12,000/head/year that wants to get spent by the government. So oil and gas could provide around 15% of the budget. Not sure how that compares to the subsidies they get from London. But yeah … in principle the oil and gas tax take could be enough to smooth over issues — while not being SO massive as to be a resource curse (a la Venezuela or Nigeria). So a Norway scenario would seem reasonably possible.

    I’m just back-of-the-enveloping it here though …

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    Oh one more point: It’s interesting that Alex Salmand is a former oil economist. I also used to analyze North Sea oil companies. It was rather a nightmare. VERY difficult and risky business those guys are in. The oil pools are getting smaller so the big guys are less interested in drilling there. But the real issue has been the retarded nature of the tax regime itself, which has proven prohibitive to investment (i.e. too-high rates and not enough flexibility should prices fall). If Scotland controlled the tax regime itself, perhaps it would be more responsive to the legitimate needs of drillers.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 3:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Little Hans Says:

    I was in the Borders on Saturday. You could see who was on each side. The visible ‘Yes’ campaigners on the streets were middle-aged, hippy-type ladies with horribly childish propaganda. Conversely, most of the big estates and farms in the countryside had their ‘No Thanks’ banners up.

    The Scots are like the Walloons in Belgium – it’s easy to all be socialists when you’re the part of the country that exists by subsidy farming. If we’re lucky enough to shake them loose I’ll enjoy seeing how quickly that consensus disintegrates.

    The vocal Aye vote is the most stupid and idealistic part of the middle-middle class – exactly the same people who will have to foot the bill if they get the level of socialism they want (lots). My prediction: they’ll go from wanting to be Norway to wanting to be Luxembourg pretty quickly.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 3:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nathan Turner Overdrive Says:

    “The more theatrical the transitional social crisis, the more thoroughly leftism-in-power would be humiliated.”
    “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”
    I suspect that we will be hearing about “English spies and wreckers” (i.e. Scots with complaints about the new order) before too long – unsatisfactory revolutions need scapegoats…

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 4:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • nydwracu Says:

    Relevant: http://kontextmaschine.tumblr.com/post/96662374893/so-one-way-i-could-see-monarchy-returning-to

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    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    Well, you certainly seem to see this as potentially a bigger deal than I had imagined. Surely, whatever the result of the vote, the tentacled embrace of the Cathedral won’t actually relinquish it’s grip on Scotland, it will just shift the exact position of it’s grasp. Still even forcing it to shift it’s grasp has the potential to be exemplary, and a shift to the ‘canny’ Right once the socialist fires have burnt out would be a very appealing outcome.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 6:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    Go Scots!

    Hell Go Texas!!

    Left or right is insignificant next to the power of the Farce, and London is entirely too close to Washington.
    Scotland’s chances are better long term getting away from London and hence DC.

    Brussels ends when the ECB Fiat party ends, when the EU ends. When DC ends, the EU ends.
    It is better as noted elsewhere to strike when doubt and wavering first sets in, not when they expect to have to retreat or retrograde.

    [Reply]

    Kgaard Reply:

    I really should leave this one alone … but it’s worth pointing out that part of the reason for the all the tension inside the Eurozone is not QE but the LACK of sufficient QE. There was much less secession talk pre-2008, as I recall. What’s happening now is that German tight-money obsession is squeezing the PIIGS economies and prompting growth in right-wing movements there. If the Eurozone breaks up, it will be because the tight-money bias of the north could not be paired with the weak-money needs of the south. I’d be happy to see a breakup, of course.

    I just bring this up because I don’t think “ending of the fiat party” is going to happen and certainly won’t be the cause of political instability. It’s more the mismatch between monetary policy needs (and frustration over immigration) that would be the drivers of splits. The ECB has belatedly been getting more dovish on monetary policy (a little) and this may help keep things together. But we’ll see. The thing to watch is German 10-year CPI breakevens. This is the expectation of German CPI in 10 years. It’s now 1.26%. One actually wants to see that figure rise, as it would signify easier money (good for the Italians et al). Right now the forward German CPI breakeven is at its lowest point in years. This, as much as anything, is why Italy is still in a depression.

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    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 6:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • Magus Janus Says:

    Gordon Brown has pushed me into the pro-secession side.

    “But delve deeper, and the United Kingdom does indeed have a basis for partnership in the values that underpin our unique National Health Service and welfare state. It is the idea that by pooling and sharing resources across four nations we guarantee Scots, English, Welsh and Northern Irish rights to health care, education, welfare and minimum standards in the workplace, irrespective of their nationality.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 7:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    *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.*

    Hell, yes. It’s hard to see how Scottish independence wouldn’t be mildly positive.

    Two ways it could go wrong:

    1) The Scots don’t secede. Instead, they get more devolution, more subsidized irresponsibility and farcical simulacrum of nationhood.

    2) They secede, but are so tightly wrapped up in special deals with the Brits, the Pound Sterling, etc., that the whole thing is completely opaque and just a newer, better rule by bureacrat.

    1 is most likely.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Yes, #1 is the Quebec ‘solution’ — a slow-motion disaster.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 7:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Antisthenes Says:

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait-

    Doesn’t Scottish secession mean a less easy victory for Labour in the next election, and therefore a delay in Collapse?

    Why should we be for this? Didn’t we agree that democracy is doom itself?

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    ITS A CELTIC THING YOU WOULDNT UNDERSTAND

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Explicitly addressed, no?

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 8th, 2014 at 9:25 pm Reply | Quote
  • Phil.T.Tipp Says:

    This for me is the crux of the Yes argument – very well put

    “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.”

    Independence offers us Scots the chance of a brand new political landscape – the Labour left unionist socialists are a busted flush, the middle-right unionist Tories have never had a mandate north of the border, the small parties squabble for seats at the coalition table and all sing from the same tired old songsheet.

    With independence, there lies political ground – yet fallow, but crying out for a new, possibly right-leaning, definitely libertarian, economically centred grown-up politics of the very kind Scots invented, with less state involvement, and which honours and rewards hard work, education and self-betterment. At least a century of gradual watering-down of these ideals has left Scotland’s self-image in a parlous state – time for change!

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 9th, 2014 at 12:51 am Reply | Quote
  • Michael Says:

    so while the grownups are getting drunk on Scotch i’Ill sneak a swig of MARIE LE PEN IS TROUNCING HOLLANDE IN THE POLLS.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The continentals can be relied upon to get it wrong.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 9th, 2014 at 1:14 am Reply | Quote
  • Matthew Walther Says:

    How can you call yourself a “reactionary,” neo or otherwise, and welcome the end of the Union? Reaction is the prescriptive defense of concrete historical institutions, whereas prattling on about “dynamic Anglo capitalism” sounds like Whiggery to me.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    Is the New York Times a “concrete historical institution”?

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Or the EU?

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    “Reaction is the prescriptive defense of concrete historical institutions”

    So…reaction is romanticism?

    [Reply]

    Chris B Reply:

    If those institutions have become left wing machines of degeneracy then, defending them is absurd.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Sometimes radical surgery is necessary to save the patient, assuming the patient is not already dead.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 9th, 2014 at 11:23 am Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round – 2014/09/10 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] neoreactionary position on Scotland. Related: What is the point of Scottish […]

    Posted on September 10th, 2014 at 5:01 am Reply | Quote
  • georgesdelatour Says:

    Since you’ve raised the issues of discrimination, nationalism and Scottish secession bumper-to-bumper, I’d like to make an observation.

    On pretty much every Guardian post about Scotland, “Yes” advocates will insist that Scottish Nationalism has nothing to do with nationalism. It shows how bizarrely Cathedral pieties distort reason. For me, the argument that “we” are Scots and “they” are not is relatively unproblematic, and to be expected. People are like that. But it’s unthinkable for the Cathedral.

    Everyone is supposed to know that nationalism means Nazi (because trying to create an imperium running from Brest to the Urals – as a prelude to total planetary dominion – is obviously petty, small-minded and nationalistic, don’t you know). So Scottish nationalism can’t be nationalistic (because that would be discriminatory against non-Scots, or something).

    The attempt to express Scottish difference from England within the terms of Cathedral global non-differentiation has to break down eventually. But the downward spiral leads to much mental torture. Sooner or later someone asserts that there’s a Murdoch mind control virus forcing English brains to be right wing, but which mysteriously stops working at northern latitudes. So Scottish independence is simply an attempt to build a protecting force field against it. The problem is, Murdoch supports Scottish independence. He seems to agree with you; that it will be a reality check, forcing a Thatcherite acceptance of TINA on Scotland.

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 10th, 2014 at 10:26 am Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    I think you should get PJ O’Rouke’s take on it, he’s enthused. For all the wrong reasons.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/13/up-to-a-point-a-free-scotland-would-be-a-hilarious-disaster.html

    “Ah, there’s nothing like a primitive, quarrel-torn, disastrous Third World country. And Scotland has everything it needs to be what old-school foreign correspondents fondly call a “shit-hole.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on September 14th, 2014 at 10:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • Och Aye! – waka waka waka Says:

    […] the big vote in Scotland. I’m all for independence. Nick Land has argued, and I think rightly, that because Scotland pulls farther to the Left than the UK as a whole, its […]

    Posted on September 18th, 2014 at 1:48 am Reply | Quote

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