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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scottish Independence and the Rise of "Micro-Nationalism"

Scotland votes tomorrow on independence.  If the yes vote wins, it will peacefully break up the most successful nations in the last 300 years.  Why might Scots do this?

It isn't for economic reasons.  The Scots gain more from the union than they put into it.  This seems purely an act of nationalist pride. 

But Peter Hitchens here might be right: if you have Shell Oil, David Cameron, and the Queen all urging you to vote no, you might be inclined to vote yes just out of spite: Threatening the Scots

Americans also can understand this.  You remember that in the story of Rip Van Winkle, the hero falls asleep when the colonies were under the king's rule, and wakes up when the United States is independent.  Nothing appears as prosperous as it once was.   But the people were at least free.

It's possible the referendum loses and the independence movement loses steam over time.  This is what happened in Quebec.  In 1995 the sovereignty movement there only lost by one percent.  But that was the high water mark of the movement.

The implications of the vote might be far reaching.  What about all the other smaller nationalist entities in Europe and the world?  Catalan, the Walloons and Flemings, the Kurds--the list is practically endless. It is hard to believe the results will be better security and more prosperity.  As George Friedman suggests here, the cat is out of the bag:  Implications of the vote

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