Considering Scotland: A Back-to-the-Body Perspective

Pipe_BandWithin a few days–that is, on September 18, 2014–the people of Scotland will be voting on whether to continue to be part of the United Kingdom or to break apart and organize their own country. I will make a few considerations of the issue from the Back-to-the-Body Perspective.

Breaking Apart

SeparationI can think of several reasons why one body would want to separate from another. Birth is one type of separation, as a body grows to the point of being able to sustain its own life. As we grow through the stages of life, we experience various kinds of separation. For example, when a teenager leaves home to go to college, that is a kind of separation, a landmark in that person’s life. Marriage involves a separation from the parents and a union with the spouse in order to create a family.

In the case of the United Kingdom, one speaks sometimes of a “divorce” between Scotland and England. The euphoria in Scotland is contagious, as people can almost touch their long-cherished dream of being independent.

quebec_libreIf Scotland breaks away, what’s next? Will Northern Italy break away? Catalonia? Quebec? One might think that the Zeitgeist of this age is pushing the world toward dismemberment rather than toward greater unities. One might think that the push that we saw in Europe just a few years ago to have more and more nations join the European Union may be replaced by a movement away from the European Union

But I think that would be the wrong kind of analysis of what is going on. I believe the Zeitgeist of this age is still pushing nations to form greater unions—be it in economics, or finance, or national defense, or diplomatic connections. The apparent push to break apart is being motivated not by a desire to separate, but rather by a desire to find better terms for union.

Equal and Sovereign Powers

equalsAnd here is where the Back-to-the-Body Perspective can be helpful and can provide some guidance as to the way forward. As we have been arguing in other articles in this blog, the body is divided in three major areas, which are expressed by the metonymies “stomach,” “brain,” and “heart.” These areas are independent and sovereign in their own domain, but there has been a bias toward the brain. In other words, humankind has been valuing the brain more so than the stomach and the heart. For further information about these metonymies, please click here.

Thus there has been discontent among the people who play the role of stomach (the workers, the productive forces) and among the people that play the role of heart (teachers, religious leaders, the press, artists) as opposed to the people who play the role of brain (government at various levels, authority figures, executives, bosses). Revolutionaries appear at various stages of history and present themselves as “the people,” the “voice of the people,” and so forth.

If the revolutionaries prevail, they find that “those who kill the brain, become the brain,” as we say in the Back-to-the-Body Perspective. Thus, if Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who presents himself as the voice of the people from Scotland, manages to prevail on September 18, 2014 and manages to force a separation of Scotland from the United Kingdom, Mr. Salmond may find that, having done away with the power of the Queen of England, he himself may have to become the King of Scotland.

Union, but under Better Terms

sun_and_moonIn order to be truly lined up with the Zeitgeist of this age, then, revolutionary leaders should fight for better terms of union rather than for separation. At the same time, the leadership everywhere in the world had better listen to the rising tides of people’s power and establish better conditions for the people, before they find themselves with a revolution at their door steps.

I conclude with a quote:

O rain from the heavens! O enthusiasm! You will bring us again the springtime of peoples. The state cannot command you to come. But may it not disturb you, and then you will come with your all-powerful ecstasies, you will envelop us in golden clouds and bear us upward above mortality… (Excerpt From: Friedrich Hölderlin. Hyperion. iBooks.)

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
September 10, 2014

Photo Credits:
Photo: Pipe Band
Author: Dave Conner
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Separation
Author: Daniel Lobo
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Quebec Libre
Author: Denis Bocquet
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Equals
Author: Marcin Wichary
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Union of Sun and Moon
Author: Wonderlane
Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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