We're in for a wild ride. Exponentially accelerating technological, cultural, and socioeconomic evolution means that every year will see more developments than the previous one. More change will happen between now and 2050 than during all of humanity's past. Let's explore the 21st century and ride this historic wave of planetary transition with a confident open mind.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Economic Case for Scottish Independence

The 2014 referendum on independence organized by the Scottish National Party may create one of the world's wealthiest and most socially oriented republics.

SNP now holds majority in the newly created Scottish parliament. Their postmodern "quality of life" arguments for sovereignty (rather than those based on primordial blood roots and culture) are already being criticized by imperialist publications as having potential to set a negative precedent worldwide. Whenever self determination comes up, the popular consciousness still brings up images of a particular ethnic group, coalition of clans, an/or an occupied/splintered nation, etc as fighting for its chance in the sun. Kurdistan is one of the better known examples currently.

However, what if a part of the population convincingly argues that being their own nation will not right some prior wrong but just improve their quality of life and consolidate a certain regional and primarily socioeconomic and ideological cultural tendency. The people of Vermont with its (and only) socialist senator Bernie Sanders or New Hampshire with its libertarian "free state" streak are examples of regions that can offer this new type of argument. The example would go like this: "We want to be independent not because we have millennia old history as a unique ethnic group and long history of revolts and serious grievances (such as Kurds in eastern Turkey) but we feel that we do have different values that we evolved and that our way of life can become dramatically more efficient, streamlined, consolidated, and materially better if we ARE independent".


1) Scotland's population of 5,200,000 people with 66 people per sq kilometer out of  78,387 sq km land area versus 345 people per sq km in the rest of the UK.

2) GDP per capita (nominal and PPP) being higher in Scotland than in the rest of UK on average (which is $38,591 and $36,728 respectively outside of Scotland)

3) Scotland has more claim to North Sea oil than the rest of the UK due to closer proximity and expertise in extraction.

4) Long tradition of socialist and social democratic government mindset and expenditures on the local population that makes Scotland closer to its Scandinavian neighbors in some respects than to its austerity pushing English master.

With these conditions, it may not become a new Norway (that only has 12 people per sq mile and PPP GDP per cap of $53,470) but it can definitely give Denmark a run for its money (which has 128 people per sq km and $37,000 PPP GDP per cap).

European Union has nothing to lose or fear by Scottish independence. Indeed, secession, separatism, and sovereignty questions begin to have less meaning when Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are both in the EU. When Basques may form their own country and still be in the Eurozone, independence does not have as much of a ripple effect anymore considering the current tendency of the world towards continental supranational economic unions. If anything, Eurocrats should encourage Scottish independence as it would declaw the old militarist UK a bit and the anachronism that is the British monarchy. 5.75%  of UK's GDP and 8.36% of its former "subjects" would be gone and the Trident submarine base near Glasgow either kicked out or charged rent. UK would become a more pliable (and hopefully less murderous and swaggering abroad!) partner with the EU if it is cut down to size. Its population would also be positively influenced by a republic being shared on one island giving anti-monarchists a boost. The remaining monarchies in Europe are becoming an embarrassment in 2012 not just for the continent but for the wider Western world.

The relatively domesticated population of UK needs a wake up call for reform themselves. Independent Scotland can have positive effects that go beyond its internal domestic politics. UK has long been the ringleader and legitimacy provider for many of the world's hereditary mafia "monarchies". UK's poodle of Qatar sending out mercenaries to Libya and currently to Syria to do UK's dirty destabilization work is but one of many examples. Middle East is currently in a free for all struggle between republican and monarchic blocks with UK playing the most unhealthy role in terms of which forms of government emerge victorious within the region (mentality appears to be that if you cant own it then you break it for the rest of the world).

The people of Scotland in 2014 thus have a unique chance to send a message that will be felt in ways we can't yet conceptualize. No longer will they be asked to fight abroad every few years and if London financial establishment wants to saddle them with some of its absurd debts, then perhaps SNP's Alex Salmond can provide an Icelandic answer to boot.

if only it was this easy more often

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