Does it make any sense for socialists to pitch their tent in the camp of Scottish independence? This pamphlet tries to shed light on this question by examining the history of Scotland since 1707. Download as pdf (see "attachment") or order online here.
What were the driving forces behind the Treaty of Union of 1707? Was Scotland a victim of the British Empire or an equal partner in the imperial enterprise?
What were the conflicting forces which shaped the Scottish workers’ movement of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? Why was the Scottish labour movement so inconsistent in its attitude towards Home Rule throughout the twentieth century?
Although anything even approaching a full answer to just one of these questions would run to a book or more, “The Past, We Inherit — The Future, We Build” provides an outline of the basic issues raised by such questions. Those questions are not a matter of academic historical debate. How socialists respond to them necessarily influences how they respond to any number of contemporary Scottish political issues.
Most obviously, but far from exclusively: does it make any sense for socialists to pitch their tent in the camp of Scottish independence?
A serious approach to the political controversies of both the past and the present requires a commitment to political clarity — “to face reality squarely, not to seek the line of least resistance, to call things by their right names”, as Trotsky put it some three quarters of a century ago. To help promote political clarity, to encourage other socialists to start calling things by their
right names, is why the Alliance for Workers Liberty has published this pamphlet.
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