So it appears Scotland may actually go independent this month.

Irrespective of how this particular vote unfolds, hyperlocalization is one of the most promising trends in our global political evolution. As much I disagree with most of the Yes crowd’s policies, which include some of the most retrograde statist notions, independence for Scotland means government will be more accountable to Scots — and Scots will be accountable for the government their voter preferences produce.

Democracy is a process, not an event, and building better institutions is very, very hard. As Milton Friedman said, it’s not about electing the right people, it’s about getting the wrong people to do the right thing. Accountability evolves naturally when voters have more stake and more say in the outcome.

Sweden is often held up democratic socialism’s poster boy, and certainly does it better than Greece or Spain or Venezuela. Perhaps not coincidentally, Sweden’s fairly successful brand of socialism involves a fairly radical level of local accountability.

Yesterday, the USSR. Today, Scotland, Kurdistan, and Quebec. Tomorrow… the Independent Republic of Greater Texas?

UDPATE: John Fund agrees. (Well, probably not about Texas.)

There were strains and disputes in the Czech-Slovak divorce, especially over jointly owned gold reserves, but after a few years all was sorted out. Back then, Czechs viewed the Slovaks as more statist and slower to seize economic opportunities than they were. But today, both countries have shown remarkable improvement in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom; and last year, Slovakia’s economy grew by 2.1 percent — three and a half times faster than it’s grown in the Czech Republic.

“We are doing very well,” Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia’s deputy prime minister, told the BBC last year. “The Czech republic is doing well, and our friendship is better than ever,” he said.

Slovakia’s population of 5.4 million is almost precisely that of Scotland, and its success shows how small countries can do well on their own.

There was also one other tangible benefit of separation to Slovakia, though it’s one many don’t want to discuss. “After we became independent, people couldn’t blame every problem on Prague anymore or look to it for subsidies,” a former top minister in Slovakia’s government told me. “We had to drop some outmoded socialist thinking and scapegoating and stand on our own two feet.”

Exactly.