There comes a time during the natural evolution of an amalgamated state that entities of the broader nation state who share a common culture, a common history and a common vision for the future, envision their own sovereignty - the opportunity to follow their own version of their own national identity. If a majority of the people within an entity of the amalgamated country should decide upon independence, then that entity undertakes it own risk to nation building. And such is the story of Scotland, which in less than a week, will ask of its people whether they want to continue as loyal subjects of the British Crown or should they proceed to independence.
Whatever the Scots decide, the future of their lush highlands and lowlands will be determined by Scots and not Londoners. That London, the city government center of the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland; would even permit such a decision be given to the Scots, is testament to the democratic freedoms that have prevailed and endured throughout the Kingdom for many years. And should Scotland stay or go from the Kingdom, one thing is certain - the ideals of freedom and democracy will still continue from Edinburgh to Glasgow.
The Scottish push for independence underscores the signs of the times as an age of aspirations and a time of freedoms - in Scotland's case, a freedom to proceed as an independent Scottish nation.
In contrast, on the Iberian peninsula, the aspirations to independence by the people of Catalonia, have been met with stiff opposition by the government of Spain. Catalans, who speak a different language from the Madrid tongue, have been amassing in hundreds of thousands to seek government endorsement to put their aspiration to independence to a vote. But the Madrid government has denied Catalans, so last Thursday, more than one million Catalans turned out into the streets of Barcelona to attempt to change the government's position. On November 9, Catalans hope to call a non-binding referendum on their independence, but the Spanish government has determined that the vote is illegal and cannot proceed, according to Reuters reports.
But whatever Madrid decides will not deter the aspirations of the Catalans. Former empires are coming to grip with the reality of changing times - people desire greater autonomy and freedom to rule themselves. Ultimately, the majority of the people in each entity and country will decide their national fates.