I’m Scottish, though I haven’t lived there since I was small. I currently live in Ireland, but this is not “my country” in any real sense, because I have some rather fundamental philosophical disputes with the Irish people, individually and collectively. Scotland is an unusual country, historically, in that is was “conquered” and absorbed in to the United Kingdom, but was soon thriving under their new “overlords”. By the middle of the 18th century, the Scottish Enlightenment was under way, and the distinction between “conqueror” and “conquered” had all but disappeared. During that period, writers such as Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith and other laid the foundations of modern philosophy and economics. The revolutions in the USA and France can trace their philosophical foundations to Edinburgh. The effects extended in to the scientific revolutions of the following century, with scientists such as Watt, Maxwell and Kelvin.
I have justifiable reasons to be proud of my country’s history and its positive response to adversity, which seems all the more remarkable in contrast with the history of the country in which I currently reside. History seems to inform and strengthen Scotland, while there is an inordinate obsession with past grievances and meagre accomplishments that seem to hold Ireland back, in my opinion, from moving forward as a country.
All the talk in Scotland today is of possible independence from the UK. I am undecided on this because there are serious economic questions that have not been answered adequately, in my opinion. Would they drop the Pound Sterling, just to join the Euro zone? In other words, my support for Scotland today is contingent: I’m not a “my country, right or wrong” kind of person.
Posted: June 29th 2012
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