No matter how the vote turns out on Thursday in Scotland, either for independence or continued union with Britain, the disintegration of the Old Continent appears almost inevitable.
Already the British government has conceded that, even if the Scots vote for union, Edinburgh will receive greater powers to rule itself.
Cheering for the breakup of the U.K. are Catalans and Basques, Bretons and Corsicans, Tyroleans, Venetians, Flemish, all dreaming of nations of their own carved out of Spain, France, Italy and Belgium.
Europe’s secessionists have waxed ever stronger since the last decade of the 20th century when the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia splintered into 22 nations and Czechoslovakia broke in two.
Abkhazians and Ossetians then broke from Georgia as Transnistria fought free of Moldova. Chechnya went to war twice to escape from Russia. Secessionists now battle Russia in Ingushetsia and Dagestan.
The decomposition of the nations of Old Europe is the triumph of tribalism over transnationalism. The heart has reasons that the mind knows not, said Pascal. And the wild heart is winning.
Read the whole interesting article but I particularly like this passage...
Niall Ferguson is not the kind of fellow who would have been out there at midnight dumping the King’s tea into Boston harbor in 1773.
And he would surely have admonished those stupid farmers on the Concord Bridge that if they didn’t put those muskets down, they could wind up ruining the colonies’ trade with the Mother Country.
“What currency will we use?” Ferguson would have demanded of Jefferson in Independence Hall in 1776.
Yet it is not only in Scotland where peoples are deciding that what separates them is more important than what unites them.
Read the story here...