I used to think the SNP was different from other nationalist parties. But the advance of knowledge dispels many cherished illusions. I have come to the conclusion that the people who run the SNP want power not for Scotland but over Scotland.
All nationalism predicates exclusion and involves borders and barriers and a grasping us-versus-them selfishness.
Nationalism requires a charismatic leader, a party organisation, a top-down command structure, a symbol, a flag and a propaganda gospel. It also requires someone to blame for the supposed misfortunes or difficulties facing the nation, both in the present but also over the centuries long past.
In the case of the SNP, the leader, Alex Salmond, is venerated by the party footsoldiers who must obey party policy. The gospel is the hallowed white paper which ignores all the risks and dangers of separation and talks up a fairy-tale future which experts view with incredulity.
The politics of grievance supply the blame game which includes monstering the SNP’s opponents and recalling the slaughter of Auld Scotland’s ancient battles. Forget the Battle of Britain or the Battle of the Atlantic but remember Bannockburn and Stirling Bridge. Don’t mention the war because it was a war and a victory against nationalism.
The trouble is all these mechanisms contrive to diminish individual thought and therefore individual liberty. ‘’Here’s tae us, wha’s like us’’ is not conducive to individual freedom upon which human creativity and innovation depend. That is why nationalism is wrong: it subsumes the individual to the party and ultimately to the state.