The question of what is to be gained by independence or just how real said independence would be is never considered. The question of why being independent is somehow inherently good is also not open to discussion or explanation.
The power of words can never be understated. Expressions, slogans and memes can very much build our way of thinking and to an extent push us into action. Probably one of the most brilliant self-serving ideas in human history to be disseminated across the globe was Woodrow Wilson’s principle of “National Self-Determination”, which has convinced numerous generations into taking action that serves Washington’s interests unbeknownst to them. But this raises the question, could there be a counter to this logic going forward into a Multipolar or Illiberal world?
As WWI was winding down European society was ripe for change and then American President Woodrow Wilson put forth a fourteen point plan as to what should be done in the near future. It was the Great Reset of its time. One smaller bit of this big plan has had very far reaching effects. In the document Wilson said…
“National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. ‘Self determination’ is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action.”
The brilliance of this is that the leader of the American nation actually understood one thing about it, that actually is truly exceptional. During Wilson’s time, anyone who was remotely European looking could essentially become American simply upon arriving by boat, while the great European powers were stuck in their Westphalian ways restricted and divided up when it came to ethnic identity. Meaning that if every possible scorned population of some tiny ethnicity is deserving of its own independence, then all of America’s rivals would be doomed to being broken up, while America could expand as much as it likes for any new immigrants would be instantly American.
The United States did an absolutely fantastic job even before this of using Old Europe against itself. All the talented (and untalented) individuals who were the victims of pogroms and especially religious oppression found a way out by fleeing to America. If you were on the losing side of any European ethno-religious slobberknocker, a new American future awaited you.
To this day the narcissistic idea of “independence” for the sake of independence is an international norm. The question of what is to be gained by independence or just how real said independence would be is never considered. The question of why being independent is somehow inherently good is also not open to discussion or explanation.
All we know in our subconscious mind is that we live in Liberal individualist societies which makes “independence” tickle us deep inside. The idea of being independent is sort of like the Liberal state of Nirvana with nothing higher than it. It means we have achieved the glorious state of “not needing anyone”. This is something like attaining enlightenment via the principles of the Enlightenment. In fact, we are so in love with this self-aggrandizement that even pathetically weak vassal states like the Ukraine are nearly orgiastic over their independence while they exist only as an “anti-Russia” controlled completely by Washington. The irony that American troops march at their independence parades is lost on them.
Again, this obsession with independence even in its most fake form also has a narcissistic component to it. It allows the Catalonians and Scottish feel some sort of baseless pride as they try to break away from their respective masters only to remain fully entrenched in NATO or the EU in Catalonia’s case.
This mechanism of eternally breaking up larger nations/civilizations for the independence of some often unheard-of minority has served to create the Monopolar world we live in today, one in which America has had ever decreasing potential competition. The great empires that spanned over massive territory containing many religions and ethnicities have in contrast been demonized. Not to say this was done on purpose, but “The Empire” in any video game, movie, or fantasy novel is always the totalitarian bad guys. It isn’t that the “tiny helpless country = win” structure that Wilson proposed is the best idea, but the counter to it is actively trounced upon for every generation. The masses see Luke Skywalker achieve his whitehat goals, but forget to ponder what would happen to the masses if a galactic empire did fall apart. Then again you could probably ask the Russians, they lived through it all. Long story short one of the dirtiest political words we have around today is “empire”.
The answer to this proposition probably lies in breaking the narcissistic glee of tiny independent nations, that are neither independent nor particularly nations. Scotland has a lot more value as part of a British Empire than it does as an independent nation with no economic or military force so to speak of, thus no relevance besides that Mel Gibson movie. The Former Soviet Republics were convinced that the Russians were holding them back. Now after two generations, independence has earned them the right to sell watermelons off the MKAD highway in Moscow or to scrub glorious Polish toilets for a pittance. On a global scale the cultures of those former bits of the USSR have had zero resonance unlike the Soviet period where they played a major role and had some relevance on one sixth of the Earth’s land surface.
Being a small fish in a big pond is pointless, being a smaller wolf in a big pack is a much better offer especially since lone wolves tend to not make it through the winter. Perhaps the counter to Wilson’s independence is an offer for the right to greatness. For the right to “come home”. For the right to reap the benefits of an empire while maintaining one’s identity.
In the same way that America offered an exceptional vision to the world that worked in its best interests the Multipolar World, especially Russia needs to do the same. Russia and the Former Soviet Republics are living proof that “independence” does not always work and that numerous parts of the Russian Empire actually asked to join up for protection against extermination.
Russia’s unique structure presents an offer of decreased independence in exchange for guaranteed cultural survival, which is generally what all these tiny break-away nations always say that they want. Autonomy sounds nice but it is often false and leads to one being globalized into nothingness, whereas semi-autonomy under an empire may be the next sweet offer to the world from Moscow.