by Cody Quirk
It will be this Thursday coming up in the proud (and perhaps soon-to-be country) of Scotland, that a simple plebiscite two sentences long and containing a mere ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ box for these two choices -that might have the incredible and deeply immense possibility of rocking Europe, America, and even the whole world to the point of upsetting long-standing hierarchies and status-quos that have been in place and governed regions, institutions, alliances, and even general free enterprise for so long that they have chronically transpired into corrupt, decayed inhibitors and suppressors of individual liberty and even national freedom.
The Scottish referendum on independence, in accurate portrayal, is a noble, democratic effort by it’s people and their elected legislators to achieve a legitimate, sovereign status among the world of long-standing nations and be able to govern it’s own affairs, make it’s own laws, and enter into treaties and agreements of it’s choosing. Moreover, it is more so an attempt by a proud, vigilant, and industrious people that were bribed and deceived into a multinational union, then conquered and subjected when attempting to break from this forced union years afterward until such punishment made them conform and afterward go along with the mother nation of this union in her many adventures, conquests, and attempts to expand and strengthen it into a global empire, regardless of the internal and colonial atrocities that this particular empire and her military committed at times in it’s global quest -to finally achieve the right and privilege to be free and sovereign in leaving this union on her own, and be regarded among the long-standing and free nations out there as an equal.
Yet despite the circumstances of the past, and in regardless of the past actions of other nations that attempted to leave this union and her empire, only to either fail to do so, or have done so through the cost of sweat, blood, and war– these people, these Scottish folk, do it in a peaceful, courteous manner in turning the other cheek to the wrongs and grievances committed against them in the past, and in exercising their own declaration of independence first through dialogue and peaceful negotiation with the powers and institutions of this union and that government primarily dominated by that of the union’s mother nation, England, and at last through the ballot box -is something to envy and marvel at, especially among such former colonies of the British Empire like that of the United States and Ireland, which long ago, had to fight in order to finally get the British Empire to grant them their independence (sometimes repeatedly), through the blood of their countrymen, and in seeing their homes and cities destroyed by the once mighty armies of Britain’s empire.
This author knows much about this, since not only is he well researched in history, but his own ancestors endured much, and fought against this empire too; future generation after another does not always diminish in memory, and history. Granted, this author may also not adhere to, or agree with the political ideology that makes up the beliefs and opinions of the Scottish people, or of their main political parties within their parliament, But, as many supportive Americans like me agree on- that national sovereignty and identity always come first before political ideology, that such nations and peoples should and must have the right to govern and run their own affairs how they and their people see fit. In this author’s opinion (and breaking with many of the philosophical views of renowned scholars and intellectuals); the human race itself is perpetually too sophisticated, diverse, and complex to ever be homogeneous and uniform in international society, culture, belief, and likewise in government. Yet in the past and present, many groups, nations, empires, and radical ideologies tied in, or not, with imperialism- tried, and still try to fight against this fact of common sense; especially in regards to the distorted, vain, and fear-inducing campaign undertaken by many businesses and institutions of the British union in regard to this healthy and justifiable vote for independence of the Scottish nation and it’s people, whom are not so easy to hoodwink as they used to be, and are even quite prone to call out those that do attempt to do, or continue to do so to them.
Yet sadly, such vain institutions even have government, business, and media allies among other nations, including here, which droll out the same distortions and vain attempts to protect those institutions and status-quos that feed and give them power and privilege, since they champion profit and luxury over national identity and memory of what the same forces had done to the American nation and/or even their ancestors many generations ago, yet now are the willing lap dogs in attempted manipulation of a people yearning to regain a lost standing they once had centuries ago in the civilized world. But then again, such businessmen, commentators, celebrities, and others instead care more about petty possession, artificial benefits, and in keeping arcane, futile traditions then they do for liberation and freedom.
However, even before this referendum- this empire, as with others of the ancient and even recent past, has been crumbling and withering away from time, political, and social decay, especially with Scotland and other regions and nations still attempting to remove such shackles of imperialism and foreign (English) interference within their own affairs. Likewise with Europe in general too, are they starting to fail against the changing times, attitudes, and situations relating to economics and ideology, as those utopian dreams and visions imagined by past and aging world and national leaders from before are proving to be what few saw them to be from the beginning; delusions and false assumptions of a more optimistic, complacent, and unified world that never existed, nor could it.
The country of Alba deserves, and should, be a nation again, with a better future, newer opportunities, and newly democratic notions of a sense of self-determination and distinct governance that it once had long ago, which granted must still follow the same practical footsteps that the Republic of Ireland took after securing it’s own independence in 1921 in maintaining the British monarch as their nation’s Head of State; being part of the understandable, acceptable compromise that Scottish patriots had to make in order to be able to vote in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that their ancestors repeatedly fought so hard for.
Yes besides Scotland, more and more people and areas of the globe are waking up and have had enough of the old orders and powers that have governed or influenced them from before. In this time of history, as it was after the end of both world wars, a new era is coming about on the international stage, and while this arriving change and the new balance that will come with it is paradoxical in outlook and possible conclusion- it is of the good and constructive side of this outcome, however, that the idea of Scotland being elevated to that of a legitimate nation and a sovereign state, should be welcomed to come to pass. After all, the part that the Scottish people, culture, and industry have had on the international community, especially in my country- should be a undisputed reminder that not only can an independent Scotland do well on it’s own, but will even prosper and flourish as well; that is something indeed that the supporters of Britain and their regional, international allies are well aware of and are doing their best right now to play down or even cover it up among the Scottish voters, especially in the false, spurious promise that is “devolution”.
This referendum goes beyond the SNP, the Labour, and the Tory parties, it is beyond the politics of Left and Right, and even beyond politics and religion itself; it is about Scotland, and about freedom, which is more then a word or even the theme of a movie; it is an idea that has caused necessary upheaval and brought about an end to oligarchic rule and notion; it has sparked individuals and diminished nations to get off their knees and onto their feet, to break the shackles that held them down and turn away from the newspeak that once pacified and inhibited them to think for themselves. Freedom inspires and instills individual, as well as national identity.
Scottish men and women (especially young adults), it is time to act on freedom this Thursday; it is time to to vote Aye, and be a free nation, once again.