The working class is an international class and socialism can only be achieved on an international basis. However, the reality of nations and of national movements cannot simply be ignored or by-passed. Whilst marxists are not nationalists, they recognise that not all nationalisms are the same or can be equated with each other. In particular, they have traditionally distinguished between the nationalism of ‘oppressed’ nationalities (whose rights are denied or fundamentally compromised) and that of ‘oppressor’ nations and have supported the national aspirations of the former, up to and including the establishment of new nation-states.
The rise of ‘new’ nationalisms within advanced capitalist countries has posed new challenges to this traditional marxist view. Scottish nationalism has a substantial history, but as a popular movement it is a more recent phenomenon, coinciding with the relative decline of Britain as an imperial power and the destruction of large swathes of Scotland’s industrial base.
Scotland, following the Acts of Union in 1707, formed an integral part of the British state and empire. Due to its active role in the British empire, Scotland does not resemble colonial or ‘oppressed’ nations in the typical sense (but to the extent that the right of the people of Scotland to self-determination is denied an element of national oppression may well emerge). That said, in the context of the 21st century, the demand for Scottish independence is an expression of the desire for a fundamental democratic shift away from the archaic structures of the British imperial state. As such, it has the potential to open the way to a more profound transformation of Scottish society along socialist lines.
Ecosocialist.scot strongly supports the right of the Scottish people to self-determination and specifically the demand for Scottish Independence. Within the broader independence movement we aim to promote, work with, and foster co-operation between initiatives to build a radical and socialist wing of the movement, as well as initiatives to link it with struggles for socialism, democratic rights and civil liberties across the world. Building strong relationships with socialists in Ireland and in Wales fighting for self-determination for their countries – and with those in England who support the democratic right to decide and see the breaking of the British state as positive – is a particular priority. We believe that an organised, autonomous working class is the key element in both the struggle to achieve an independent Scotland and of the overall objective of creating an alternative socialist, feminist and green Scotland as part of an international movement against global capitalism.