Some polls now show a slim majority of Scotland voters intending to vote on September18th for independence from the United Kingdom after 300 years of political union. Such an action would destroy the post-World War II doctrine of the inviolability of European borders. When this doctrine weakened in the Soviet Union, a super power rapidly disintegrated. If Scotland secedes from the UK, it will serve as a precedent for every economically disadvantaged or historically wronged nationality, tribe or clan in Europe to demand its “right of self-determination” by democratic or violent means.
“One of the principles of the postwar world was the inviolability of Europe’s borders. Border disputes were the origin of centuries of war, and so Europe’s borders were frozen after World War II to avoid any negotiations that could stir centuries old rivalry. That meant that people of one nationality were left on the wrong side of a border,” according to Stratfor Global Intelligence.
Spain is a checkerboard of regions with little ethnically in common. Catalonia and Basque regions have strong separatists’ movements that have often included violence and rebellion. If Scotland can leave the UK, they will both demand their independence.
The Treaty of Trianon that ended World War I took large portions of Hungary that were part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire and gave it to Romania and Czechoslovakia. Those disenfranchised Hungarians will want to rejoin Hungary.
Belgium has three official languages of French, Dutch and German that are spoken in the three ethnically different sections of the country. Why would not one or all of these three regions want to rejoin their historic relatives?
Britain and France redrew the lines for Middle East borders in the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement according to their own needs. They may be gone as colonial powers now, but the map’s borders remains. If Sunnis could have their own transnational state, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) might be their most popular choice.
And most importantly, if the people of Scotland have the right to secede, why should it be forbidden for Russian majorities in eastern Ukraine, western Moldova, and northern Georgia have the right of self-determination rejoin Russia?
Just in time for the Scottish secession vote, the Starz movie channel in partnership with Sony Pictures Television released a new show that focuses on the growing rebellion in Scotland for independence from the English that led up to the 1746 Battle of Culloden. The first episode set multiplatform viewing records, surpassing 5 million views in the first week alone, drawing equal male and female viewership. Fans hosted viewing parties around the country and it was #1 in Nielsen Ratings for Twitter conversation volume among all television series on premiere day.
If the Scots vote themselves into a separate nation it will set a precedent that will explode across Western Europe that a nation can be anything a majority says it is.
Separatist movements may not be limited to disputes over ethnicity. The Italian General Confederation of Labor and the Federation of Metallurgical Employees and Workers announced plans for nationwide strikes and demonstrations to be held in October. Spain’s Interior Ministry has purchased additional millions of dollars of anti-riot equipment to face expected confrontations with labor and anarchists. Frances
France will face a strike by Air France pilots in late September and the conservative group La Manif Pour Tous has scheduled protests against same-sex marriage and adoption s scheduled protest that will undoubtedly turn violent in early October.
The Soviet Union was an empire whose borders stretched from Europe to Asia and from the Arctic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Within its borders lived 120 different ethnic groups that were divided into 15 republics and various autonomous regions.
Vladimir Lenin believed nationalism would disappear under communism and a Soviet people would emerge. But after Union of Soviet Socialist Republics President Mikhail S. Gorbachev convinced the 542-member Supreme Soviet, the year-round legislative body, to vote to eliminate special seats held for the Communist Party on October 25, 1989, the USSR collapsed over the next three months.
If Scotland votes for its independence, the next three months in Europe could be just as amazing as the last three months in the Soviet Union.