Civil society is a naturally cautious and conservative set of relations and institutions, and when it is governed – if we can even describe such as governance – by the unambitious and women and men who are essentially followers of whimsical public demand it loses any forward momentum that theretofore existed. It gives way to socio-political inertia and begins to atrophy. There exists no better example of this than Brexit Britain.
Immense effort has been put into the unionist project of framing Scottish nationalism as the product of small-minded and petty Anglophobia. Both the Westminster establishment and the Scottish unionists have attempted, thankfully without much success, to paint the independence movement as a collection of under-educated and impoverished malcontents driven by a common hatred of the English. This could not be further from the truth.
How primitive of us to think that Gàidhlig is part of our heritage, our history, and our culture. We should know by now that only the master really knows our country. Perhaps we should write an apology: Tha sinn duilich gu dearbh, ach tha e àm a ghabh sinn ar dùthcha air ais.
We are enemies of the state. We are a greater threat to the existence of the state than any Islamist terror network that ever has or ever will exist. Great Britain has been faced with no comparable threat since the Nazi occupation of Europe. We are the advance guard of a movement of about two million Scottish voters. We are the politicised and engaged activists of Scotland’s independence movement, a largely left-wing separatist movement that is continuing to grow in strength and appeal.
Everyone has something to hide. Mark Zuckerberg can say that privacy is no longer the norm, but in his own private life he contradicts this by the extraordinary measures he and his wife take to keep themselves hidden even from their own neighbours. The things that we hide need not be criminal or immoral or shameful, it is simply the case that we are programmed to have secret and private lives as well as the life we lead in public. The argument that the innocent have nothing to hide begins to crumble when we suggest rigging people's homes with cameras.
Not so long ago the image of a super-wealthy international villain with designs on global domination was the stuff of fiction, the standard fare of the James Bond novels and movie franchise. A few years ago, with talk of the Carlyle and Bilderberg groups, it had graduated into the sphere of the crackpot conspiracy theorists. But now in the aftermath of Brexit the spectre of the plutocratic puppet master of geopolitics has at last arrived.
Governments come and go, but all the while there remains a permanent sub-structure to the state – the bureaucratic state – that remains essentially unaltered no matter which particular political party is in government or which particular personality is head of state or head of government.
This was a state of emergency, and, as the dominant classes intend neoliberalism to be a long-term politico-economic project, there had to be a permanent policing solution to facilitate it.
Pierre Bourdieu's identification of intellectuals as the "increasingly dominated fraction of the dominant class" is useful, but this analysis of intra-class power struggle goes far beyond the boundaries of the academy.
The British state has no domestic resource more important than Scottish oil. To imagine that the apparatus of state security is not interested in maintaining its hold over North Sea oil – and therefore over Scotland – is an absolute fantasy.