On Thursday, September 18, the people of Scotland will vote on whether to become independent or to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Advocates of independence in Catalonia, Alaska and other regions will watch the vote and its aftermath as they decide on their own strategies to promote independence.
In his book “Liberalism” – first published as “Liberalismus” in 1927, and translated into English by Ralph Raico in 1962, Ludwig von Mises sets forth the principle of self-determination:
The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars.
The entire chapter on Self-Determination can be read @ http://mises.org/liberal/ch3sec2.asp
For some years, the prospect of reclaiming control of North Sea oil deposits has been a cause among Scottish nationalists. The issue of North Sea oil was a factor in the push for regional autonomy in the 1970s and is a factor in the forthcoming vote on independence for Scotland. With revenues from North Sea oil, an independent Scotland would be wealthier than the region is now as a part of the United Kingdom.
At Forbes, Brett Arends notes that in the 1970s the English establishment scoffed at such arguments, claiming North Sea oil reserves were less than the Scots believed, and they disputed claims that Scotland should have control over the oil.
Mr Arends has found a report based on a secret study done in 1974 by economics professor Gavin McCrone which points out that the reserves are substantial, and an independent Scotland would “become one of the most prosperous countries in the world, comparable to Switzerland or Norway”
report can be read @ http://www.oilofscotland.org/mccronereport.pdf
Mr Arends quotes the report as noting “The full significance of North Sea oil… remains in large measure disguised from the Scottish public,” and has done a public service publicizing this report in the lead-up to the vote September 18 on independence for Scotland.
Read Mr Arend’s post @ http://www.forbes.com/sites/brettarends/2014/09/12/scottish-independence-englands-shameful-secret/
Peter Suderman @ Reason.com has posted videos of each of the last four Presidents when they announced that American planes would bomb Iraq. President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, President George W Bush and current President Barack Obama have each ordered bombings of Iraq. Watch @ http://reason.com/blog/2014/09/11/watch-each-of-the-last-four-presidents-a
Late at night on August 23, 1939, the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union and the German Reich signed a “non-aggression treaty” that has come to be known as the Hitler Stalin Pact. The pact committed the two nations to a policy of friendship and mutual aid, provided for increased trade, and included secret protocols which laid the groundwork for the Second World War.
In 1989 the Swiss anarchist magazine, Banal, published the secret protocals in German. The addendum to the agreement provided for the division of Poland after the two countries would invade it from opposite directions. The invasion of Poland led to the war, as Britain and France, allied with Poland, declared war on Germany.
As a result of the German/Russian agreement, Communist Parties throughout the world defended Germany’s aggressive moves against France and Britain; the Comintern became an accessory to the Anti-Komintern alliance of Germany & Italy.
Critics of international Communism at the time recorded a song about the new party line: (h/t to Jack Ross for posting this on youtube) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl1r7E3e-ks
Under the terms of the pact, the Soviet Union acted to annex Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. At the end of the war, Germany and Japan, as belligerents, were forced to give up territory, including some land that each country held even before the start of the war. But the USSR continued to control Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania until 1991.
Russia no longer is under control of the Communist Party, but Russian libertarians now point to the Putin regime as holding the characteristics of a fascist state: http://libertarian-party.ru/blog/an-appeal-to-western-libertarians-about-the-war-in-Ukraine
It is sad to see how much the legacy of authoritarianism and imperialism continues to dominate the Russian body politic.
Last week, Hillary-The-Hawk emerged, once again, with comments to The Atlantic attacking Obama for being weak and not having an organized foreign policy. She was calling Obama weak despite his heavy hand in droning, bombing and intervening during his Presidency. While Obama is often wrong, he is hardly a pacifist commander. It’s a small wonder that since 2008, Hillary-The-Hawk has been generally described as, in the words of the New York Times journalist Mark Landler, “more hawkish than Mr. Obama.”
In The Atlantic interview, she chided Obama for not more deeply involving the U.S. with the rebels in Syria, who themselves are riven into factions and deprived of strong leaders and, with few exceptions, trained fighters. As Mrs. Clinton well knows, from her time as Secretary of State, the White House was being cautious because of growing Congressional opposition to intervention in Syria…
Full commentary by Ralph Nader @ Common Dreams http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/08/16/hillary-hawk-flies-again
The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is an awful tragedy that continues to send shockwaves through the community of Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation.
If I had been told to get out of the street as a teenager, there would have been a distinct possibility that I might have smarted off. But, I wouldn’t have expected to be shot.
The outrage in Ferguson is understandable—though there is never an excuse for rioting or looting. There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response.
Sen. Rand Paul puts the Ferguson, Missouri tragedy in the context of increasing militarization of police and police practice of unfairly targeting non-white young people. Full column Time Magazine @ http://time.com/3111474/rand-paul-ferguson-police/
Ron Gold is seeking election as Attorney-General of California, challenging the incumbent Kamala Harris. On his campaign site, Ron Gold, a Republican, has called for legalizing marijuana and taxing it to fund schools, rehabilitation and prisons:
Ron believes that the legalization of marijuana will reduce the cost of law enforcement for victimless crimes and can fund the capture of more dangerous predators. Those who victimize Californians in the most horrible ways will have to pay and the legalization of marijuana can help pay to put them behind bars. The tax revenues from the sale of legal marijuana will provide revenue for California. Correctional facilities, rehabilitation centers, mental health care, and even our schools can receive more funding.
In primary nearly 100,000 California voters supported Jonathan Jaech, Libertarian, who advocated legalization of marijuana and an end to the War on Drugs. Ron Gold might offer a choice for those voters and other California voters who support freedom and limiting government power.