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Faraway Hills Are Ideologically Greener

British unionist and nationalist supporters holding anti-independence signs giving Nazi salutes in Glasgow, Scotland
British unionist and nationalist supporters holding anti-independence signs giving Nazi salutes in Glasgow, Scotland

Of all the moronic articles published over the last six days in relation to Scotland’s recent, unsuccessful independence referendum this American example must surely rank somewhere in the top twenty. If proof were needed that most journalists don’t have a clue about the far-away subjects they pontificate on this is it. Todd Brewster writing for Salon under the jaw-dropping headline “Rejecting diversity, and racial and religious equality: The scary message behind secession movements” (I know, I know…):

“For here we are in 2014 and while ethnic and religious identity remains a powerful force for social cohesion across the world, it is showing itself by calls for, of all things, new homogeneous states. Even with the defeat of Scottish independence this past week, there is no denying that after 300 years of union, nearly half of all Scots expressed a desire to go it alone, part of a world-wide trend towards new, ethnically- and religiously-defined nations…”

Yes that’s right, the two year campaign in Scotland that saw the coming together of dozens of parties and organisations from across the political and social spectrum under the “Yes” banner was about creating a “ethnically- and religiously-defined” nation. Okay, you might have missed all that what with several hundred anti-independence “No” supporters staging a mini-riot in Glasgow over the weekend to celebrate their defeat of the “Yes” side, complete with Nazi-salutes, flag-burning, anti-Irish, anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant and anti-gay chants but it was actually the SNP, Scottish Greens, SSP, Women for Independence and others who were the real threat to modernity.

“In seeking to re-organize along ethnic and religious terms, the world is in effect rejecting pluralism, diversity and racial equality. Scot divides from Brit; Catalan from Spaniard…”

The implication of this argument seems to be that those who identify as Scottish or Catalan do so by rejecting pluralism, diversity and racial equality whereas those who identify as being British or Spanish are embracing such virtues. Because the British or Spanish nationalities are inherently superior? Because the constructed nations of Britain and Spain are greater than those historic nations who wish to become, to borrow a word used elsewhere in the piece, “rebels”?

Like I said, you really should take anything written by a journalist or columnist on a global subject with a large pinch of salt because in most cases they are simply regurgitating what they have read somewhere else. In this case the Right- and Left-leaning nationalist media of London who have propagandised on behalf of the British government and the “No” campaign throughout the independence debate. But then, of course, Todd Brewster probably doesn’t view those folk as “nationalists” ’cause like they are British an’ stuff, with their cool accents, royal births and costume dramas… Just don’t mention “No black in the Union Jack!” will you?

9 comments on “Faraway Hills Are Ideologically Greener

  1. There has been a propensity for certain political and ideological movements and influence-groups post-WW2 to define European nationalist, ethnic and linguistic advocacy movements as ‘intolerant’ and therefore somehow responsible for Nazism, Imperialism, Slavery, Plague, Taxation, the Devil and the Holocaust. The result has been unparalleled attempts at ‘remedial’ European federalism and the attempt to replace much indigenous culture with a terminally-disillusioned ‘nu-culture’ (‘culture-lite’), based upon global capitalism and appealing to consumerism to replace an apparently ‘evil’ old social order. There have been pervasive and unhelpful suggestions (for instance by supposedly liberal organisations such as the famed Anti-Defamation League) that ‘intolerance’ is endemic to everyday Europeans, especially those with a sense of national and ethnic identity. However, it was not an inherent ‘intolerance’ of Germans which caused the rise of Nazism – it was the removal of national dignity from ordinary people (engendered by the Versailles settlements) which allowed a minority extremist movement to exploit a situation of economic and diplomatic penury… Likewise, Bosnian or Serbo-Croat nationalism was not responsible for WW1 – on the contrary, enforced federalism (under Communism) of these states resulted eventually in extremism and the tragic ethnic conflict of the 1990’s. The argument for prideful tolerant nationalism gets stronger by the day… Remove dignity and national identity at your peril – Alba gu bràth!

  2. ar an sliabh

    It is just so typical. Just because there is this huge trend in America to want to be “the world,” and to abolish all nationalism, patriotism, and national identity (some public places removing national flags to not offend), the echo of these tenets anywhere are immediately bashed as “intolerant, racist, exclusionary, and reactionary.” Once they run out of the money they have piled from their inception to the late sixties, by being the model of “tolerant” nationalism, patriotism and multi-cultural national identity (granted with many faults), maybe they will see that this is part of what is required for a country, its culture, and its way of of life to continue to exist. This was a huge part for me to decide to leave after living there all that time. They simply lost their blasted minds. On one hand endless egotistic, self-consuming greed, on the other the complete loss or rejection of all common sense and of simple survival instinct. All that combined with self-hyped “global wisdom, superior education (although ignorant of virtually every truly important concept),” and the idea that reality can be changed by virtue of either merely wishing it to be altered, by falsely representing it, or by passing a law. Certainly not the country it was when I got there.

  3. It’s the British state that’s becoming ever more isolated, anti-european and xenophobic. The Scots don’t want to find themselves trapped inside such a state, they want to be able to represent their own rather different values directly to the outside world. Still it makes you realise just how dangerous the USA is with more than half the world’s military and apparently populated by [insert derogatory noun of your choice]s like this.

    • The American Left loves Britain (for which read England). It blinds them to everything else. The great myth of American support for Irish Republicanism that the British politicians and media insisted on was was always just that: a myth. Throughout the conflict in the north-east of Ireland the majority of the US media and intelligentsia stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the British and unfortunately some US observers see Scottish nationalism in the same light.

  4. The “genius” behind the lack of logic of those who work for operations such as Salon is that they can manipulate any situation to fit their preconceived notions.

    Scottish independence movement = Rejection of diversity, etc.

    Palestinian independence movement = Self-determination, etc.

    You should read their words for anyone in the US who seriously puts forth the idea of regional secession. It ain’t pretty.

    • Yes, I’ve seen some of the articles on Salon, Slate, etc. The fairer pieces I’ve read have actually been on the newer media like Vice, covering the mostly harmless Cascadia movement and others. I don’t get some of the folk at Slate, Salon, Mother Jones, etc. They are liberal but in a very narrowly defined way. Ireland, Scotland, Catalonia, the Basque Country seems to send them into all sorts of ideological convulsions. Paul Theroux is typical of that.

      • There has been a LOT of money pumped into independence movements by political organisations that ultimately have a pathological aversion to European nationalism. This is perhaps why such movements have been demonised and marginalised in recent years, and generally tarred with the same brush as the right-wing religious and ethnic ultranationalists who have been generating such global negativity.

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