Friday, 29 August 2014

Working out what I will do in the referendum.

Problems with Yes Vs. No itself.
  • The referendum frames social problems as coming from whether power (by which I mean the government) is in London or Holyrood but this is a false understanding and a mystification
  •   An independent Scotland will still be oppressive.Capitalism, the state, patriarchy etc will remain but coming from Holyrood.
  • The Yes side can definitely be naïve. They tend to locate the source of problems in Westminister or Westminister's economic philosophy of Neo-Liberalism.
  • The problem is not that Scotland is not independent. The problem is not that unless Scotland is independent it will not be democratic, the problem is that regardless of whether Scotland is independent or not, it will not be democratic since states and governments THEMSELVES as institutions ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC!  A Yes vote will not usher in a new era of Scottish democracy never before seen anywhere else. RIC supporters are definitely mistaken on that.
  • A Yes vote will not save the environment. It will take the end of States and Capitalism to do so.
    An independent Scotland will come up against the global power of the US government, NATO, the WTO, The IMF and the World Bank.
  • Voting risks lending legitimacy to voting as a means of social risks giving legitimacy to representative democracy, to the State, to politicians.
    Voting risks giving legitimacy to the idea that Scottish independence is the essential and ONLY means of social change.
  • There's bad reasons to vote No and there's bad reasons to vote Yes.
  • It's a debate between factions of the capitalist class- the Yes side is state capitalist. The NO side is more private capitalist.
  • It's scary that dissenting voices skeptical of a Yes vote but who will not vote No  are silenced, ignored, called traitors etc. 
Yes is preferable to No.

"Vote Yes without illusions"
  • It is true a Yes vote is more likely(but not guaranteed or certain ) to protect the NHS, remove Trident,  slow the privatization of the welfare state.
  •  A  No vote is out of the question, it will just keep things as they are with westministers support of Fracking, ATOS, Wars, cuts to the welfare state, privatization of the NHS/ law/ policing/ the welfare state/ flood defences and more.
  • An independent Scotland will not solve the environmental crisis.
  • An independent Scotland will still be beholden to the WTO, The World bank and the IMF as well as the US government.
  • The SWP has a slightly better position on voting yes than other left wing groups who are not anarchist.

Anarchism and Voting.
  • Voting in itself is not anti-anarchist. Voting is not against anarchist principles if you vote Yes while doing direct action, being critical of the narratives of Yes/RIC and No and remaining a revolutionary.
  • If Anarchists are going to vote Yes in referendum then they should be skeptical and cynical about how much it will achieve, they should go into it fully aware of how it will not achieve our ultimate goals and should not pretend otherwise.
  • Voting is anti-anarchist if you reduce left wing politics down to Voting Yes or if you say it is the only way and reject revolution  or if you are voting Yes but do not get involved in direct action.

  • Bad reasons to vote Yes.
    1. Reformism( SNP, Greens, Labour, SSP, RIC)
    2. Leninism/vanguardism/ 'Dictatorship of the proletariat'  (SWP's reason for voting Yes?)
    3. the Nordic model.
    4. Nationalizing the oil like Venezuela.
    5. Belief in politicians, political parties, electoral politics,
    6. An independent Scotland may still vote Tory
    7. An independent Scotland is not necessarily going to be any more left wing.
    8. Bad reasons to vote yes either come from the reformist social democrats of the Yes campaign or from the supposedly radical supposedly more left wing group  Radical Independence Campaign(RIC)
    9. The idea we can now get the government we want or the society we want from a Scottish government.
    10. Utopian belief it will usher in a new kind of democracy or somehow the Scottish government will not be corrupt or inherently oppressive.
    11. Having government closer will not inherently make politics more democratic.
    12. The false belief that Scotland will avoid Neo-liberalism or Capitalism etc.
    13. False belief in a 'workers state' or a truly democratic government. Impossibilities!
    14. False belief Scotland could be socialist ( never mind the false ideas a 'socialist state' makes sense)
    15. Mistaken belief the source of all existing problems is Westminster rule.
    16. False idea that the environmental crisis will be stopped or solved by ending Westminster rule.
    17. Nationalism. Clinging to Scottish identity as some inherent thing. Anti-English sentiment.
    18. We're all in this together against Westminster or against the English.
    19. Opposition to revolution.
    20. The SNP- especially when they want the lowest corporation tax in western Europe and are very clearly capitalist 'Tartan Tories'.
    Bad Yes voters.

  • if someone is going to vote yes it must not be there complete politics. They must take direct action and join the struggles against oppression taking place right now. They must not delay social change till the vote or the never never land after Scottish independence.
  • If we decide that we won't vote we must take political action at the same time. Non voting must not be an excuse for apathy or pessimistic retreat.
  • Reject class struggle.
  •  Yes voters MUST NOT: Promote class collaboration, promote nationalism, reject revolution,

  • Good reasons to vote Yes.

    • How progressive will the Scottish government be when it can no longer blame Westminster?
    • Might get rid of Trident - is already getting people at the grassroots talking and thinking about it.
    • Might prevent or reduce imperialism and war.
    • chance to get rid of the monarchy
    • chance to get rid of the house of lords.
    • Might help protect the NHS
    •  escape ATOS
    • escape the Bedroom Tax
    •  might help protect the welfare state and disabled people
    •  looser border controls?
    • Might escape anti-trade union laws?
    • Might block fracking though the Scottish government recently approved of fracking.

    Concerns I have with Yes voters and Radical Independence Campaign(RIC)
    • I'm concerned by how the Yes vote is co-opted the left and turning supposed revolutionaries into reformists.
    • I'm opposed to left wing politics being reduced down to voting yes.
    • I'm opposed to left wingers who believe a Yes vote is the only means of improving society and is the way it will be improved i.e. who are not in favour of revolution.
    • WTO, IMF, World Bank and US government will stay hold sway.
    • NATO.
    • Economy might not hold.
    • Obsession with oil.
    • SNP are not trustworthy. Very favourable to big business.
    • could distract from revolution and suck energy from (1) struggles outside of the referendum vote (2) struggles for revolution.
    • Could lead to a resurgence of nationalism and love for the state, capitalism etc . people could (1) say well we voted for it so it's ours and become very hostile to criticism (2) when it falls short feel like the Scottish government belongs to them so feel a desire to reform it and drop all revolutionary ambition.
    • If it's a No vote , critics of the Yes side will be blamed.
    • If it's a No vote then given how much energy the Scottish left has put into a Yes  the Scottish left will be decimated at a time when the Scottish left needs to be more militant and more active than ever before.

    If we vote Yes
    we must stress again and again that voting Yes is absolutely no substitute for direct action.

    Voting Yes is no substitute for revolution.

    We must stress that an independent Scotland will still be capitalist, patriarchial etc. That it will still be oppressive. Voting Yes will not mean a more democratic government.

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