There are no short cuts to freedom


A republican analysis of the Scottish independence referendum by the Republican Network for Unity.


The referendum on Scottish independence was met with great anticipation, hope and fear by a mass of Scottish people. The people of Scotland came out in their millions to cast their ballots in order to decide if Scotland would become an independent nation or if it would remain in the blood stained hands of the British ruling class for years to come.

Unfortunately the British establishment coupled with some of the most reactionary elements on the planet, including the Orange Order and the BNP stoked up widespread feelings of fear amongst the Scottish people, putting them in a box that labelled them unable to govern their own destinies.

This fear project unfortunately got the better of many potential yes voters and instead of voting for the independence of their country, they voted to maintain a Union which has unashamedly plundered the working class for 300 years.

While calling for a Yes vote, RNU stated from the outset that a referendum would not deliver freedom, or the change the Scottish working class deserve. Of course, a break-up of the Union is necessary to deliver this freedom, but the referendum provided many pitfalls, one of which was a no vote, that has the potential to demoralise and de-politicise the people who mobilised to vote in favour of independence.

The referendum has demonstrated the limitations of constitutionalism, but at the same time has created a political vacuum that a revolutionary movement could capitalise on. A revolutionary vanguard has the potential to gain the support of a significant number of Scottish people in a drive forward to spark revolutionary change in Scotland, the kind of change that will see a struggle for national liberation and socialism become intertwined.

Capitalism and Imperialism are the forces which enslaved Scotland, neither of which can be overcome through a referendum.

As predicted, big business, bankers and billionaires unleashed a systematic campaign of threats to jobs, pensions and other benefit institutions in an effort to stop a vote for independence.

Throughout the course of struggles for self-determination the destiny of the people has always been limited to the aspirations of the Capitalist class, and we have seen this again in Scotland.

RNU state openly that true freedom in Scotland can only exist when the National territory, resources, means of production and decision making bodies are taken into the control of the Scottish working class and put to work for the common good.

Such a situation can only come about following a pro-longed process of popular agitation, raised political awareness and possible revolutionary encounters. This in turn requires an organisation in the now, rallying the people on a daily basis to organise and react to the political wrongs they find all around them.

RNU firmly believe that the task of winning independence from British imperialism is directly linked with the struggle to abolish the rule of the present ruling class in Scotland - The Scottish Capitalists. And this fight will take place in the streets, communities, workplaces, schools, colleges and universities, it wont confine itself to a vote at the ballot box.

A party of the working class needs to build for situations that can abolish the austerity cuts, give confidence to the Scottish people and challenge the bullying Capitalists. The Scottish working class need to unite with struggles all over the world, including the struggle for national liberation in Ireland.

The only catalyst for true freedom in Scotland is long term revolutionary struggle, based on class politics and emerged in the day-to-day struggles of the working class. It is this struggle, and this struggle alone which will deliver a socialist republic.

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© 2014 Irish Republican News