Beginning in 1979, this counterfactual speculation takes place following a Yes result in the 1979 Scottish Independence Referendum leading to the creation of the New Scottish Government.
A timeline logs the implementation of their Acts of Parliament, which aim to create an infrastructure within which citizens gain personal energy independence.
Eventually this leads to the beginnings of an alternative economic paradigm, where exchange and economy are created based on the creation, distribution and sharing of energy.
The past few years have seen chilling predictions for the human race from many leading thinkers. Rapidly growing populations interested in achieving the perceived affluence and status of people in the industrialized world are vying for diminishing global resources. Researchers and commentators are also realizing the close relationship between economics and the environment; human health and planetary health; politics and economics.
One of the things that tie all these elements together is energy. Principally our relationship to it and dependencies upon it. Our capitalist economic structures are wholly reliant on it to convert raw materials into all our goods and services. Political systems have evolved to monopolize energy sources and without adequate supplies and access to it, civilization as we know it, complete with its overproduction and consumption, would become untenable.
The greatest challenge we face is to imagine and implement alternatives to the traditional and ancient systems of trade and political organization. Underlying all of this is the creation of energy from cleaner sources and where our familiar political hierarchies become distributed sharing structures.
A country was needed which was ready for political change in the wake of economic and energy crises, in a world with impending environmental collapse. A nation with existing health and social security safety nets, where progressive politics could follow the socialist model set by the Scandinavian and Northern European nations. A counterfactual scenario was created, of a post referendum Scotland in 1979, where a Yes result leads to independence. This was the basis for the project “A New Scottish Enlightenment”.
Three key elements outline the start of the New Independent Scotland. These Acts of Parliament were implemented to enable the citizens on individual, community and finally global levels:
Public Energy Act 1985
Community Energy Act 1992
Third Millennium Prize, 2000
Those earlier predictions of doom are reflected in Slovenian Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s view that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism. This project seeks to establish possible economic alternatives where there is more than a hint of credibility if we allow our minds to open.
A recent blog post from We Make Money Not Art can be found here.