Secession movements are in the news! Last night the Drudge Report’s top corner featured a beautiful collection of headlines in the top left corner relating the Scottish referendum to other movements in Europe.
The point is not that all governmental jurisdictions should be split up into smaller ones, necessarily. The point is that we are faced with elites who are hell-bent (literally?) on merging nation-states into larger jurisdictions. Every time we push for splitting off from or dividing a jurisdiction we are pushing against the current superstition and strategy of our elites. When Californians suggest splitting their state (for example), they are making a North American Union that includes Canada and Mexico that much harder to achieve.
I was amazed to see this almost admitted in the New York Times of all places!
Neil Irwin writes in the blog, the Upshot, “Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites.”
When you get past the details of the Scottish independence referendum Thursday, there is a broader story underway, one that is also playing out in other advanced nations.
It is a crisis of the elites. Scotland’s push for independence is driven by a conviction — one not ungrounded in reality — that the British ruling class has blundered through the last couple of decades. The same discontent applies to varying degrees in the United States and, especially, the eurozone. It is, in many ways, a defining feature of our time.
The rise of Catalan would-be secessionists in Spain, the rise of parties of the far right in European countries as diverse as Greece and Sweden, and the Tea Party in the United States are all rooted in a sense that, having been granted vast control over the levers of power, the political elite across the advanced world have made a mess of things.
Yes, they have made a mess! Irwin focuses on the economic malfeasance that has occurred. I think he is right to do so. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and in the Eurozone there has been a financial crisis followed by a bailout and then a ghost economy. In the case of the United States and the United Kingdom the stories are quite similar. In both cases two opposing responses have formed—one believing in cutting debt and spending and the other wanting to increase the scope of the welfare state. (Sadly, in the UK, this latter view is embraced by the Scottish secessionists. But this means, with Scotland gone, England will have a more conservative majority.)
Whatever the ideologies behind the various movements, they threaten the power of the people who are embracing debt and spending as our economic salvation.
These people deserve to lose power.