At the end of last year, I was struck by the following quote from this article in the FT, which tried to set the table for the coming political year in the West.
Countries such as France, the UK and the US are already multicultural and multifaith societies. Attempting to reverse those social changes is both unrealistic and a recipe for conflict. It is legitimate, however, to insist all citizens subscribe to certain values, to make multicultural societies work.
To me, it was emblematic of the fundamental problem with progressivism in all forms – it is completely focused on maintaining short term comfort above all else, and it has the seeds of its own destruction within its tenets. And here was the FT brazenly putting forth that line of thinking.
This sort of religious adherence to maintaining the Status Quo, regardless of its effectiveness, is often justified by an appeal to one’s aversion to the unknown. The biggest banks and corporations, for example, simply had to be bailed out by taxpayers and central banks in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, because the alternative would have been unknown, and therefore worse. Thus, the system and all its machinations, which had brought about the one of the worst panics in the history of the modern economy, had to be maintained at all costs.
23rd June 2016 has the potential to go down in history as a date in which those costs finally proved to be too much for the average citizen to bear. In voting to leave the European Union, Britons sent a message to the globalist elites – We’ve Had Enough.
The nature of the EU itself made it a foregone conclusion that a portion of its membership would eventually reach the conclusion the Brits did. The EU, in short, is a soft fascist dictatorship. Before I get accused of hyperbole, here is the dictionary definition of fascism:
A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
While there is no singular face of EU dictatorship in the vein of a Hitler or Mussolini, the collection of ‘Eurocrats’ in Brussels, all with their unwavering promotion of ‘The European Dream,’ does suffice. Indeed, even the most ardent proponent of the EU admits, through gritted teeth, the existence of the euphemistic term ‘democratic deficit.’
The endless regulations emanating from Brussels satisfies that condition of fascism relating to government control of the capitalist setup. In terms of suppressing the opposition, the means the EU favors is a combination of outright ignoring certain democratic decisions made by voters, and a perverse level of political correctness which shames people into submission. To date, the EU doesn’t point guns at its subjects per se; rather it points the threat of being labeled racist, xenophobic, or Islamophobic.
Consider the fact that the St. Georges cross is increasingly being redefined as a racist symbol of hate, such that English people who proudly display their national flag are deemed racist by extension. The aim is to suppress pride in English culture and heritage, so as to replace it with the amalgamation of ‘European.’ As such belligerent nationalism is merely replaced by belligerent pan-Europeanism.
Even of one still refuses to agree with my assessment, one cannot deny that the EU at the very least saddles its citizens with yet another layer of bureaucracy which must be waded through. It’s of little surprise that, with stagnating growth and a slow and steady decline in industry over the past four decades, Britons decided to have a rethink as to the virtues of EU diktat, and the ‘open market.’
Then, of course there is immigration. David Frum, writing in the Atlantic, had this to say about the immigration issue as it pertained to the UK.
The force that turned Britain away from the European Union was the greatest mass migration since perhaps the Anglo-Saxon invasion. 630,000 foreign nationals settled in Britain in the single year 2015. Britain’s population has grown from 57 million in 1990 to 65 million in 2015, despite a native birth rate that’s now below replacement. On Britain’s present course, the population would top 70 million within another decade, half of that growth immigration-driven.
British population growth is not generally perceived to benefit British-born people. Migration stresses schools, hospitals, and above all, housing. The median house price in London already amounts to 12 times the median local salary. Rich migrants outbid British buyers for the best properties; poor migrants are willing to crowd more densely into a dwelling than British-born people are accustomed to tolerating.
Is it possible that leaders and elites had it all wrong? If they’re to save the open global economy, maybe they need to protect their populations better against globalization’s most unwelcome consequences—of which mass migration is the very least welcome of them all?
If any one person drove the United Kingdom out of the European Union, it was Angela Merkel, and her impulsive solo decision in the summer of 2015 to throw open Germany—and then all Europe—to 1.1 million Middle Eastern and North African migrants, with uncountable millions more to come.
David Brooks, another mainstream writer, voiced similar concerns during an appearance on PBS Newshour following the vote. In it, he expressed sadness at the result of the referendum, but his real regret seemed to be that the elites merely pushed too hard in their actions. In other words, they had essentially dumped too many immigrants too soon on populations like the British.
This sort of mass migration set about a culture clash which had been bubbling under the surface for years, but is rapidly coming to the fore. The mainstream progressive narrative of the joyous nature of multiculturalism is becoming exposed as less than truthful on almost a daily basis. In the quote I opened this piece with, the FT insisted that because multiculturalism was already here, it must persist, albeit with a base level of values everyone must adhere to.
This sort of thinking goes out the window when you have to start handing out pamphlets to which explicitly detail that things like hitting women and children, fondling or groping women, and urinating in swimming pools, among other things, are frowned upon.
This is further exacerbated by the existence of a generous benefits system. The truth, which is becoming more apparent by the day, is that open borders and generous welfare states cannot coexist. One must pick one or the other. A failure to do so will lead to a situation in which new entrants to the country don’t even have to learn the language in order to be taken care of. And from there, the host culture is on the path to a slow, but sure destruction.
These realities made the EU an unworkable construct, and the Leave vote an inevitable one. Given the Remain coalition was made up of the vast majority of government officials, in the UK across Europe, and worldwide; academia, mainstream media, and multinational business interests, it is clear that the referendum was also in part a referendum on the viability of the elites and their globalist agenda.
In rejecting the bid to stay in the EU, the voters made their thoughts clear. In response, so did the elites, as it were. The night of the referendum, I watched the BBC broadcast of the results trickling in. As the Leave vote looked more and more certain, the mood of the panelists and the hosts continued to sour. The grave mood was befitting the death of an important head of state, or an act of terror, rather than a democratic vote to determine the level of self-determination the country would have going forward.
In the days following the referendum, the media have played up the ‘buyer’s remorse’ angle, using the movements in global financial markets to buttress their arguments. All of a sudden, the fact that the Leave campaigners may have exaggerated some of their claims is evidence of callous treachery, despite the fact that politicians have never been strangers to such discrepancies between rhetoric and action. In most cases, however, the discrepancies favor the dominant narrative, and as such are swept aside.
More cynically, they have attempted to paint a picture of the average Leave voter being an uneducated white racist from a rural part of the country, while prominently featuring anecdotes of anti-immigration abuse both on and offline.
That these sorts of tactics have been generally well received, and even amplified on social media reinforces the fact that the progressive, globalist view of the world is still the most dominant, if not the most loudly proclaimed. On Twitter, sentiments such as the following were put forth as the new reality for the future of Britain in the context of Europe as a whole.
This picture, posted on twitter, was supposed to represent the ‘cost’ of Leave, in that the fine wines, pastries, fruit and waffles of the continent were to be lost, with only the drabness of baked beans left for the British to enjoy.
A shockingly high number of people don’t see the inanity of that attempt to crystallize the Brexit consequences. It isn’t as though the UK is going to start floating off into the Atlantic Ocean, away from the continent. The goods and services the continent does well are still going to be accessible in the UK, and vice versa.
More importantly, those delicacies are only made possible thanks to the differentiation in cultures that exist. In prioritizing this push to a ‘European’ culture, you lose Italian Culture, French Culture, German Culture, Spanish Culture, and so forth. The attributes unique to each culture and group of people which are responsible for the products known and loved the world over are lost in the transition to an amorphous blob of dedifferentiation that is pan-Europeanism.
For those who purport to champion the superiority of diversity, it is strange that they can’t seem to understand that such diversity is only possible if, at some level, peoples are permitted to do things their own way. In this regard, the negative stigma applied to nationalism is unwarranted.
One of the more curious aspects of the vote and the subsequent fallout is the complete lack of foresight shown by those in the media, financial and political class. It was all but assumed that the Remain vote would win the day, and as such the stock markets around the globe moved higher in celebration.
A huge part of the reason for the optimism came from the fact that the most recent polling had shown a clean victory for the Remain side. That actual voting resulted in a firm victory for the Leave side pointed to the fact that there was a significant ‘hidden’ Leave contingent.
The explanation for this is that the Remain position was touted as the view which ‘respectable’ and ‘tolerant’ members of society held. Thus, it is natural that anyone who dared to see some logical points in the Leave argument would want to keep it to themselves so as to not subject themselves to the emotional shaming tactics which are part and parcel of the progressive/globalist toolkit of debate.
In other words, normal, hardworking, respectful people who are not by any means racist or xenophobic were kept silent in public simply because they dared to disagree with the Remain argument. In the privacy of the ballot box, where the threat of ostracism was voided, they were able to make their voices known. This dynamic is the antithesis of a free society.
As such, the result of this referendum is only the beginning, or as per Churchill, the end of the beginning. Fascist dictatorships just hand their power away once it has been attained. Ideologies which depend on bullying those for the crime of disagreeing don’t admit defeat when outclassed in logical debates. It is vitally important that Leave voters make the result stuck by establishing a government that will follow through on the referendum’s aim.
David Cameron has volunteered to step down as Prime Minister; he must be replaced with a PM who was an ardent Leave campaigner and has no qualms about going the full distance. Half measures will only make things worse.
As I mentioned earlier, the subsequent financial tumult is being used as evidence that a mistake was made. S&P, a ratings agency which should have no credibility owing to their shenanigans leading up to the last Financial Crisis, has cut the credit rating of the UK. Any further fall in markets, or slowdown in the economy will be blamed on Brexit. As will any future terrorist attack which takes place anywhere in Europe.
These claims would be unwarranted. For a start, the global markets have been on a knife edge for nearly two years, making minimal gains in that time, on aggregate. The ‘recovery’ of the post Financial Crisis in developed economies has been tepid at best, with policy makers attempting to blow a bubble to replace the last bubble which popped in 2007.
It is only a matter of time before the post Financial Crisis bubble pops, and it is true that Brexit may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. But that is only because of the existence of the other straws.
If Brexit is to be truly successful, it will be because it rids itself of the EU morass completely. That means replacing the rules and regulations which hampered British industry with…nothing at all. It must totally eliminate the extra layer of bureaucracy instead of merely replacing it with another, more British flavor. During the campaign, many Leave proponents pointed to the success of Switzerland as a model for the UK post EU. What was less mentioned was the fact that Swiss success owes largely to their greater degree of liberty and lesser degree of regulation and government control, in comparison to their continental neighbors.
Unless Britain goes down the same path as the Swiss in all aspects, the Brexit vote will not be a blow to globalism. Rather it will be a loud scream from a tied up victim which can easily be rectified by a strategically placed piece of duct tape.
In terms of this larger context, as a person who favors less government, less regulation, and a higher level of liberty for individuals, I am enthusiastic about what happened on the 23rd of June. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm for the globalists, the cat will be out of the bag. Through events such as this and the US election, the public is becoming more and more aware of the fact that their disillusionment is not without merit and the policies of progressivism and globalist thinking are mostly to blame.
The media, big business and political establishment which have got this wrong, and have been getting it wrong will start to lose their influence. The proliferation of the internet has meant that information can no longer be controlled and shape to fit the ‘approved’ narrative. Ideas and narratives must now stand on their own two feet, which can only bode well for the values of liberty and freedom.
The stakes are high. Even before the Brexit vote, there were growing sentiments across Europe that the EU project is disagreeable. Anti-EU sentiment was already much greater in many countries around Europe, which suggests that multiple referendums along the lines of Brexit are on the way. Should more countries leave, the financial, political, and cultural burdens will be that much greater on the remaining countries, which will further increase the discontent. This downward spiral could essentially be the way the EU ends.
It will be the breakdown of the post-WWII order, a paradigm which was 60 plus years in the making. If elements of it have proven to be a failure, it is right that these elements are dismantled and replaced with something better. That will not come without pain, or discomfort. It is not unlike the pain the body most endure when going through chemotherapy. However, if the end result is a cancer free life, the temporary loss of hair, weight and general sickness and discomfort will have been worth it.
That point, perhaps more than any I’ve made, is the most important one to get across, for we live in a world which has a hyperfocus on short term comfort above all else. If the very culture that affords us the many comforts we enjoy is to be maintained, the opposite focus must be attained. Historically, only a major crisis has forced people to change their thinking. Much of the promise in the Brexit vote lies in the fact that the emergence of longer term thinking at the expense of the short term has happened before the point of existential crisis.
It is a sign that there is hope for those who value Western Civilization and want to see it preserved and propagated.