Don’t Listen to the Scaremongers

Political elites around the world are scared of independence movements. Whether it is the allegedly sacrosanct territorial integrity of Ukraine or Iraq, the possible secession of Catalonia from Spain, of Sardinia from Italy, or the vote on Scottish independence: in all cases, visions of calamity are painted in vivid colors if the overarching nation states were to split into two or more parts.

These fears are understandable from the point of view of the ruling elites: the agents representing the force monopolist State always want to have as big a territory under their control as possible. It means more power for them and a larger tax base to exploit. However, the bigger the territory under the control of a single force monopolist, the less the individual counts, the more the State’s policies will tend toward a mixture of warfare and welfare, both of which as a rule prove disastrous for the average citizen.

Ask yourself why the most prosperous places on earth are all tiny political entities. There is a reason for that. No-one expects Liechtenstein to bomb ISIS in Iraq, or whoever the US enemy du jour is. Liechtenstein doesn’t even have a military. It doesn’t need one, because it is not busy making enemies left and right. Contrary to the larger European nations, it is also not up to its proverbial eyebrows in red tape and taxes. Incidentally, no Islamist extremists have yet thought of attacking Liechtenstein; most probably they don’t even know where it is, and if they did, they wouldn’t regard it as attack-worthy. After all, it has never meddled in the affairs of their homelands.

The UK on the other hand can be expected to waste both blood and treasure on every single war cooked up in Washington, no matter how cockamamie a scheme it is. Just remember the effort to free Iraq of Saddam’s mythical “WMD” and the associated fairy tale chemical rockets, which Mr. Blair asserted “could reach London in 45 minutes”. As long as Scotland is part of the UK, everyone in Scotland is involved in these schemes as well (at a minimum as a payer), whether they want to or not.

What about the alleged inability of Scotland to go it alone on economic grounds, or on grounds of being “too small”, or any of the other reasons that have been dragged up in recent weeks? These objections were already answered in this pages in great detail (see the list below this article), but let us just say that given that there exist much smaller independent countries possessing far fewer natural resources than Scotland and all of them are rich, simple common sense should tell one that such arguments cannot possibly hold water.

The one thing every eligible voter in Scotland needs to be aware of before making the decision is this: those who tell you that you aren’t up to it, that Scotland and its people won’t cut it, all have motives, interests and priorities of their own. Rest assured that the world will keep turning after Scotland gains independence.

We should also mention that what holds for Scotland is also true, if to a lesser extent, for the remainder of the UK – that fact that it will be somewhat smaller, is likely to be to the long term advantage of the average citizen.


camr-onUK prime minister Cameron: He just doesn’t want to be the guy who “lost Scotland”

(Photo credit:


A Bastion of Socialism?

Some people have argued that the fact that Scottish voters have essentially switched their allegiance from one left-wing party, the SLP (the Scottish Labor Party, which is a local chapter of the UK-wide Labor Party) to another, namely the SNP (the Scottish National Party, which has a very social democratic-sounding platform), an independent Scotland will become a bastion of socialism.

It seems actually likely that the remainder of the UK will become a tad more conservative overall. However, we believe these fears about the Scottish desire for socialism are overblown. A major reason why many Scots have voted for the SNP seems to be their disdain of the Tories in Westminster and not necessarily their great love of socialism (obviously, we cannot possibly speak for all Scots here. It appears to us that this is a major motive for many though).

Moreover, here is another example of a fairly recent amicable parting of ways in a European country, namely the split of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. As John Fund writes, this particular split had many parallels to the potential secession of Scotland from the UK. As it turns out, the results of this particular experience have been quite happy and represent a heartening and favorable indication for a future independent Scotland. An excerpt from Fund’s article:


“The two halves of the country had struggled for three years after the fall of Communism to stay together, but the Slovaks thought the state was too centered on the Czech capital of Prague, and the Czechs resented subsidies and over-representation of Slovaks in key bodies. The same complaints are echoed in Britain, where members of Scotland’s parliament may vote in the Westminster parliament on matters involving all of the U.K., but non-Scottish members of the U.K. parliament are unable to vote on the domestic legislation of the Scottish parliament. In addition, Scotland has more seats in the U.K. parliament than its population would normally be allocated.

There were strains and disputes in the Czech-Slovak divorce, especially over jointly owned gold reserves, but after a few years all was sorted out. Back then, Czechs viewed the Slovaks as more statist and slower to seize economic opportunities than they were. But today, both countries have shown remarkable improvement in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom; and last year, Slovakia’s economy grew by 2.1 percent — three and a half times faster than it’s grown in the Czech Republic.

“We are doing very well,” Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia’s deputy prime minister, told the BBC last year. “The Czech republic is doing well, and our friendship is better than ever,” he said.

Slovakia’s population of 5.4 million is almost precisely that of Scotland, and its success shows how small countries can do well on their own.

There was also one other tangible benefit of separation to Slovakia, though it’s one many don’t want to discuss. “After we became independent, people couldn’t blame every problem on Prague anymore or look to it for subsidies,” a former top minister in Slovakia’s government told me. “We had to drop some outmoded socialist thinking and scapegoating and stand on our own two feet.”

Even with its oil revenue, the same phenomenon could occur in Scotland, where the ruling Scottish National party has often pursued foolish economic policies. With independence, a new government might be more realistic. A recent white paper produced by the Scottish government proposes cuts in corporate tax rates to attract business as well as a more skill-based immigration system as new policies to set in place after independence.”


(emphasis added)

We can confirm that there was indeed a remarkable transformation in Slovakia after it gained independence. It is doing quite well with a population almost the same size of Scotland’s, even without any off-shore oil.

It is in any case unrealistic to expect that an SNP government or any other future Scottish government will be able to fund a kind of welfare nirvana from its oil-related tax revenues. It seems rather more likely to us that the points addressed in the white paper which Fund mentions above will come to the fore. Any government of an independent Scotland will have to think about ways to make the country attractive to entrepreneurs and investors. In fact, even its oil-related revenues will largely depend on whether it manages to institute policies that make it attractive to foreign investment. This should automatically lead to more economic freedom for everyone.


CountiesUrquhart Castle, Loch Ness.

(Photo via / Author unknown)

Addendum – Famous Quotes About and by Scots

“We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization.”

  • Voltaire


“There are few more impressive sights in the world than a Scotsman on the make.”

  • James M. Barrie


For so long as one hundred men remain alive,

we shall never under any conditions submit to the

domination of the English. It is not for glory or riches

or honours that we fight, but only for liberty, which

no good man will consent to lose but with his life.

  • The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320


“The Baird Undersock is medicated, absorbent and soft, keeping feet warm in winter, cold in summer. Nine pence a pair, post free.”

  •  John Logie Baird, electrical engineer and early television pioneer, advertising an early invention


“Tell your king that William Wallace will not be ruled. Lower your flags and march straight back to England, stopping at every home to beg forgiveness for a hundred years of theft, rape, and murder.”

  • William Wallace’s reply to a final plea of King Edward I to surrender shortly before the battle at Stirling Bridge in 1297, which Wallace’s numerically much inferior force won (using the old Spartan trick demonstrated at the Battle at Thermopylae: get a numerically superior enemy to fight you on terrain where numbers don’t count).


wallacesco-368349William Wallace, who was involved in the early stages of the first war of independence.


For we have three great avantages;

The first is, we have the richt,

And for the richt ilk man should ficht,

The tother is, they are comin here…

To seek us in our awn land…

The third is that we for our livis

And for our childer and our wifis

And for the fredome of our land

Are strenyeit in battle for to stand

  • William Barbour, in his epic poem “The Bruce”


“The dawn of legibility in his handwriting has revealed his utter inability to spell.”

  • Attributed to Ian Hay, Scottish novelist and dramatist 1876-1952


“Blythe to meet,

Wae to part,

Blythe to meet aince mair”

  • This is known as the Bon-Accord toast – “Happy to meet, sorrowful to part, happy to meet once again.” “Bon-Accord” was the password used by the citizens of Aberdeen in 1308 when they rose up, killed the English garrison and captured the town for Robert the Bruce. Bon-Accord is now the motto of the City of Aberdeen.


map_of_scotlandIn case anyone is wondering where exactly Aberdeen is, here’s a map. Note also the location of Hadrian’s Wall, which the Romans erected to keep the Picts and Celts out of their hair.


“I understand that perfectly. We feel very much the same in Scotland.”

  • Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, speaking to a Boer in South Africa who told her that he could not forgive the British for having conquered his country. The Queen Mother, daughter of Lord Strathmore and Kinghorne, was born in 1900 and spent much of her childhood in Glamis Castle, Scotland.


“I would hate to die with a heart attack and have a good liver, kidneys and brains. When I die, I want everything to be knackered.”

  • Folksinger Hamish Imlach (1940-1996)


“I have always agreed with the old saying that the only difference between the sacrilegious and the sanctimonious is that the sacrilegious have a sense of humor”

  • Michael McMahon MSP, during the debate on the format of prayers at the start of each day’s session of the Scottish Parliament.


“I went to the butchers to buy a leg of lamb. ‘Is it Scotch?’ I asked. ‘Why?’ the butcher asked. ‘Are you going to talk to it or eat it?’ ‘In that case, have you got any wild duck?’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I’ve got one I could aggravate for you.’”

“My wife went to a beauty parlor and got a mud pack. For two days she looked nice, then the mud fell off. She’s a classy girl though, at least all her tattoos are spelled right.”

“This friend of mine had a terrible upbringing. When his mother lifted him up to feed him, his father rented the pram out. Then when they came into money later, his mother hired a woman to push the pram – and he’s been pushed for money since! I asked him once what his ambition was and he replied it was to have an ambition. In the end tragedy struck – as he lay on his death bed he confessed to three murders. Then he got better”

  • all three by Scottish comedian Chic Murray (1919-1985)


“It’s wee surprises like that which keep our marriage alive”

  • Rab C. Nesbitt, after his wife has clubbed him over the head for coming home drunk. This is a Scottish TV comedy – Rab C. Nesbitt is an unapologetic alcoholic, described by his wife as “not anunemployed person, but the original  unemployed person”


“I dinna ken muckle about the law,” answered Mrs Howden; “but I ken, when we had a king, and a chancellor, and parliament-men o’ our ain, we could aye peeble them wi’ stanes when they werena gude bairns – Bit naebody’s nails can reach the length o’ Lunnon.”

  • From “The Heart of Midlothian” by Sir Walter Scott, in 1818.


“Hard by, in the fields called the Leith Links, the citizens of Edinburgh divert themselves at a game called golf, in which they use a curious kind of bat, tipt with horn, and small elastic balls of leather, stuffed with feathers, rather less than tennis balls, but of a much harder consistence. This they strike with such force and dexterity from one hole to another, that they will fly to an incredible distance. Of this diversion the Scots are so fond, that when the weather will permit, you may see a multitude of all ranks, from the senator of justice to the lowest tradesman, mingled together in their shirts, and following the balls with the utmost eagerness.”

  • Tobias Smollet, writing in 1771.


“His worst is better than any other person’s best”.

  • William Hazlitt (1778-1830) the essayist praising the work of Sir Walter Scott


“We are often unable to tell people what they need to know because they want to know something else.”

  • Poet and novelist George MacDonald from Huntly (1824-1905)


“Whaur’s yer Wully Shakespeare noo?”

  • Shouted by an anonymous, over-enthusiastic Scot in the audience at the first performance of the play “Douglas” by John Home, in Edinburgh, December 1756.


“For me, independence is a simple choice between accepting the current state of play or aiming for something better.”

  • by Exclamation Mark of the PoP Campaign, a duo of music-makers in Glasgow


Note: the source of most of these quotes is the Rampant Scotland page, where you will find more quotes, as well as a lot of other information about Scotland.


103446-dunnottar-castle-near-stonehaven-in-aberdeenshire-in-warmer-timesDunnottar Castle … yes, we have a thing for Scottish castles. So sue us.

(Photo via / Author unknown)


Addendum 2: Even in Bavaria They Are Getting Their Hopes Up

NBC reports that yet another European – as of yet fringe – independence movement is looking with hope toward the Scottish referendum and the knock-on effect it might have. This one is based in Bavaria:


“It’s been more than 100 years since the Kingdom of Bavaria was a sovereign state – but the so-called “Bavaria Party” has long campaigned for independence to come once more to the region’s rolling hills. The fringe Bavaria Party has just over 5,000 members – in the southern state of 12.4 million people – and regularly campaigns with slogans such as “Bavaria can also succeed on its own,” but so far has failed to gain widespread support for its ideas. The party hopes all of that will change if Scotland gains independence – envisioning a domino effect – and is putting their voice out in front to support the referendum to their west.

“We hope that the vote will send a clear signal for Europe and that in the long run, Bavaria will become an independent member of the European Union,” party chairman Florian Weber told NBC News. The Scottish vote also has fueled hopes for independence in Italy’s Sardinia and Spain’s Catalonia.”

(emphasis added)

It is certainly no wonder that the centralizers/globalists and statists of all stripes are campaigning so heavily against Scottish independence. The inspiration a Yes vote could be to others is undeniable (there was incidentally also a giant pro-independence rally in Barcelona over the weekend).

And lastly, here is the official US government position (against Scottish independence, natch), plus one final reason to vote “Yes” on Thursday for those who are still undecided and need a bit more prodding:


palinsscotlandtweetTaking a brief break from watching for invaders from Vladivostok, Sarah Palin opines on Scottish independence.

(Twitter screenshot)


List of Previous Articles on Scottish Independence and Secession Movements:

All you need to know about the philosophical and economic background re. Scotland’s possible secession, by Dr. Jim Walker of Asianomics:

Scottish Independence, Part 1 (It’s Not all About Pounds and Oil)

Scottish Independence, Part 2 (The Currency: Sterling or Not?

Scottish Independence, Part 3 (Fiscal Policy, The Real Difference and The Case Against)


PT on Scotland and Secession in General:

Scotland’s Independence Movement Gains Lead in Polls

Are Nation States Beginning to Splinter?

Secession – An Alternative View

Could the Spanish State Fall Apart ?


Scottish-freedomGuess what his vote will be …

(Photo via / Author unknown)




Emigrate While You Can... Learn More




Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.


Bitcoin address: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA


6 Responses to “Final Remarks Ahead of Scotland’s Referendum”

  • Treepower:

    There’s a lot wrong with this. The fact that The Czechs and Slovaks haven’t since gone to war is hardly proof that they wouldn’t have been better off united. The Slovak economy degenerated badly after the split as the nationalists formed a unitary kleptocracy under Vladimir Meciar, who reminds me too much of Alex Salmond for comfort. The more conservative Czechs, under the Thatcherite Vaclav Klaus, outgrew the Slovaks and the benefits of growth were shared more equally among the Czechs. Accountability was far better in Prague. There is still a considerable difference in GDP per capita, which you selectively glossed over with a meaningless datapoint of annual growth (tut tut). Any restraint that the Czechs imposed on the cronyism in Slovakia would probably have been beneficial to the ordinary man in Bratislava. The Slovaks may be happier to be independent, but as an economic case study it doesn’t hold water.

    I can name any number of small independent states (Albania, FYR Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Nicaragua, Ecuador, most of West Africa etc. etc.) which are not peaceful and prosperous – being small and independent is not a guarantee of good policy choices. I live in Scotland’s central belt. What I see from Scotland’s political class and electorate on a daily basis convinces me that once independence is won we will be on the fast track to economic oblivion. I don’t believe that Scotland “can’t cut it”, I believe it won’t cut it. I would love to see the UK government cut down to size – recalls of politicians, direct democracy, cleaning the Augean Stables. What I’m going to get instead is a monoculture of chippy socialists with a penchant for subsidy and intervention that goes way beyond Westminster’s, a Scottish government whose own centralising tendencies border on the Soviet and a depression to boot.

    Thanks, but NO THANKS.

  • VB:

    Although I do agree with everything written in this blog on the subject (that Scotland will be better off independent than not), I do not believe that Scotland will be allowed to become independent. So far we have seen only the “nice” attempts to stop it – promises and “advice” by politicians, threats by banks, etc. Expect things to escalate, if necessary – vote manipulation, blackmail, even military threats.

    Too much is at stake. Most of UK’s oil fields, significant part of the UK debt, the largest nuclear submarine base in Europe, world-wide political implications, etc. Not gonna happen. Just my cynical opinion. We’ll see in a couple of days.

  • 123dobryden:

    hi, your parallel with czech and slovak republic is a bit misleading…at that time, political parties in both states had different visions of how to govern but population in both states never really support separation in majority and if they got the chance to say in referendum, Czech-Slovakia would still exist..

    during next 20 years majority of productive assets of both countries ended up in hands of several behind the political parties organized gangs that now focus on EU funds and state budget, over the years their methods are becoming more and more sofisticated and so subtle that majority of population still lives in wonderland, still votes, still thinks that these people are there for them

    experience after over 20 years: slovak or czech state grew like a cancer, generaly with the same tempo and both countries are now two same shitholes, only they speak different languages

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • No results available

Support Acting Man

Austrian Theory and Investment


The Review Insider


Dog Blow

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

Realtime Charts


Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from]



USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from]


Mish Talk

    Buy Silver Now!
    Buy Gold Now!