Self-defined progressive nationalist movements like those in Scotland and Catalonia face a fundamental contradiction. One the one hand, their entire purpose is to separate from the political association that connects them to another people—opposition to multiculturalism in its most essential form. On the other hand, these movements are anxious to deny that their opposition has anything to do with culture, ethnicity, or most of all, race.
Thus, the Scottish independence campaign is an oddly bloodless affair, boiling down to an argument about what administrative unit can provide the most expansive welfare state. And yet, underneath it all, the questions of nation and tribe persist.
The left wing Guardian, fearful of any nationalist sentiment no matter how PC, intones — "Nationalism is not the answer to social injustice. For that fundamental reason, we urge Scots to vote no to independence next week." [The Guardian view on the Scottish referendum: Britain deserves another chance, September 12, 2014]
Sometimes, you just can't win.