I've been astonished at the invective poured out by the losers in the British referendum on whether or not to remain in the European Union. They've been vitriolic in their passionate denunciations of the result. The Telegraph provides a cross-section of their responses.
Sure enough, the caterwauling from the self-declared good people of the Left has started in earnest, and like a bad case of tinnitus it will not stop for weeks.
. . .
The words “F––– TORY SCUM” were graffitied on the Women of World War Two memorial on Whitehall. Laurie Penny, a darling of the Left, tweeted that she didn’t have a problem with the vandalism as the real vandals were in Downing Street.
On and on they went, storming through Westminster because of the result of a democratically held election, campaigning for ... what exactly? An electoral system more akin to the types found in, say, Zimbabwe, or North Korea? It was more like watching a room full of toddlers chucking their toys out of a pram than a protest – except the aggressive tone made it far less amusing.
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On Facebook and Twitter people can simply not believe that others might hold different opinions – this is because they don’t really leave Twitter, and when they do, it’s only to hang out with other people on Twitter who have the same views as them.
That is fine. Most of us only want to spend time with like-minded people – arguing eventually gets tiring and can become exceedingly boring. Sitting around in a pub patting yourself on the back for being excellent and right is much more fun.
But if in doing so you clean forget that there are other views out there, then you’re not living in the real world. You’re living in a narcissistic echo-chamber. You are in for a shock, and now you have it. What they all need to remember is that it doesn’t really matter why people vote the way that they do – just that they live in a country where they have the right to do so, as they please, without fear of any recriminations.
There's more at the link.
The losing side is now demanding a rerun of the referendum, and London voters (who largely supported remaining in the EU) are even calling for the British capital to declare its independence and apply to rejoin the EU in its own right! The same calls are being heard in Scotland and Ireland, which also saw majority votes for the Remain campaign.
The core of the problem is, of course, the clash between those who see ever-greater worldwide union - political, social and economic - as the answer to humanity's problems, versus those who see local, regional and national self-determination as more realistic. The difference was clear to see in this editorial in the Los Angeles Times.
On both sides of the Atlantic, governments and politics are not working.
We find ourselves in a moment of global fear. The democratic identities of Britain and the United States are under threat — not from immigrants or even changing values, but from nationalists and xenophobes exploiting citizens' darkest worries with populist projects, including Donald Trump’s campaign for the U.S. presidency and Brexit. To many voters, the world is a scary place. Terrorists seem to lurk everywhere. Uncertainty surrounds us. Change is rapid and some aren't keeping up. Unsurprisingly, politicians of many stripes are capitalizing on our fears to rally voters against trade, immigration and international cooperation.
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The quintessential anti-EU voter, an aging unemployed white working-class citizen in northern England, might feel a certain solidarity with a similar Trump voter in rural America. Both have reason to feel victimized by a global economy that has left them behind. Both have concluded that the culprits are out-of-control immigration and an unresponsive government far away, in Washington or Brussels. And both have decided the answer is disengagement, solving problems alone at home rather than preventing them through cooperation abroad.
This is the glaring contradiction in the muscular nationalism of right-wing populism, blended with isolationism, that seeks to withdraw from international unions: It cannot shape a better world by shutting the world out. The same people who cheer when Trump laments the decline of American leadership want to ignore key global issues and put “America First.” The people who voted for Brexit, attempting to create a border between Britain and challenges such as the refugee crisis, seem to think Britain can solve such problems without consulting Germany or France or, worst of all to them, Brussels.
The world doesn’t work that way, and it hasn’t for decades. Ever-increasing globalization has created an unprecedented surge in prosperity, but it has also ushered in jarring changes. The rough edges of those changes can only be overcome with more aggressive cooperation and engagement, not less. Whether it’s the risks of terrorism, the tragic flow of refugees, or economic shocks, Britain cannot solve problems alone and neither can the United States.
Again, more at the link.
I'd like to highlight two sentences from the above editorial. First, there's this: 'right-wing populism ... cannot shape a better world by shutting the world out'. The trouble is, neither can left-wing populism 'shape a better world' by letting the world in. We already know from bitter experience that the 'globalist' or 'one-world' solution simply doesn't work. It merely exacerbates many problems, and makes at least some of them global rather than restricting them to the places where they originate. Immigration and the so-called 'refugee crisis' (which, as we've already seen, isn't so much a refugee crisis as economic migration) are classic examples of this. That reality was well expressed by Henry Porter in Vanity Fair:
It’s the immigration, stupid! That’s the reason that Britain has voted to leave the E.U. But Trump’s antennae are attuned to what’s going in the minds of “his” people, even if they may be Brits. According to one polling organization, immigration was listed as a priority to only 14 percent of those polled who wanted to remain in Europe. Among those who wanted to leave, 52 percent said it was their priority. Those images of Syrian refugees streaming north throughout last year and the attacks in Paris probably made all the difference between Cameron winning and losing the vote, even taking into consideration the lackluster, negative campaign he ran.
More at the link.
George Soros, arch-liberal and uber-progressive, presented a six-point plan last year titled 'Rebuilding the Asylum System'. However, it was nothing more or less than a call for a global, 'one-world' approach at the expense of the nation-state. Indeed, he said explicitly that "Each member state has selfishly focused on its own interests, often acting against the interests of others." This ignores the reality that it's the job of those member states' governments to act in their national interests. To expect them to do anything else is to ignore reality. After all, if the global 'solution' to such problems isn't a solution at all, why not try the allegedly-more-insular, inward-looking, nation-state-based approach? It can't possibly be worse, and it may well offer better options.
The second sentence I'd like to highlight from the Los Angeles Times editorial quoted above is this: 'Ever-increasing globalization has created an unprecedented surge in prosperity'. Err . . . not so fast. The privileged few in the 'establishment' have, indeed, seen an unprecedented increase in their wealth; but the so-called 'middle class' has, in the main, been left worse off by the economic growth of recent decades. A great deal of wealth has migrated to the Third World, where cheap labor has fueled a manufacturing boom at the expense of First World economies. That may be very satisfactory to those who see the economy as a global issue, 'spreading the wealth' around the globe; but it's a lousy outcome to those who want to see jobs retained and expanded in their own countries.
Globalism has generally sucked for US workers. Far too many of our jobs have gone overseas. Sure, that's produced oodles of cheap Chinese-made goods in our supermarkets, but our former workers (tens of millions of whom now rely on government support to survive - at taxpayer expense - and who no longer look for work at all, because there's none available) are left in the lurch. The same goes for many students who face crippling debt from study loans, coupled with a lack of jobs to pay them the salaries they need to clear that debt and support themselves. The so-called 'unprecedented surge in prosperity' is a chimera for people like that. That's why they're overwhelmingly supporting non-mainstream candidates like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders - and why people like them voted for Brexit.
The Brexit vote was, at least implicitly, a rejection of the 'one-world' solution. I can only applaud it as a first step on the road back to national and international sanity. I've traveled the world more extensively than most. I can assure you, a solution to a problem in a small town in Texas will not be the same as the solution needed in Massachusetts, or Montana, or California; and it certainly won't be the same solution as one that will work in Zaire, or Cambodia, or Outer Mongolia. Local and regional conditions, requirements and resources dictate what can be made to work there. The 'one world' approach simply can't do so. It doesn't work, and it never has, and its disciples and propagandists refuse to face that reality at their peril.