I was in a bank vault today taking pictures of piles of money (don’t ask) and having a conversation about the nature of belief in money. Belief in money is a particularly wierd phenonmenon. It’s not like believing in gravity or evolution which take place irrespective of you. It’s not even like believing in God who either exists independently of our belief or exists because of our belief. Money exists independently of our belief but only works because of it. If we all stopped believing in the financial system, we’d have a run on the bank and the system would collapse. This is fundamental to how money works – the promise to pay the bearer will be broken if everyone cashes in their chips.
And yet we take it all for granted – all those numbers on all of those computers – and you believe in them.
Now, think about belief in the context of Scotland. Do you believe in an independent Scotland? Does Scotland exist independently of your belief? Well actually, not. The land is just a lump of rock. It’s the built environment, the history, the culture that creates Scottishness. That Scotland has not existed for three hundred years – does that mean it can never exist again?
Would it take a budgetary argument to win you over – is it really all about the money?