Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit: Local and national interests versus "One World"


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.

. . .

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.

. . .

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.

Peter

11 comments:

Brad Richards said...

People apparently cannot accept that other people genuinely hold a different opinion. The referendum must be a mistake, because it gave a result they didn't want. This is particularly a disease of the left, because their intentions are so pure.

It is likely not a coincidence that most of the young voted to stay in the EU, while most of the older adults voted to leave. I am reminded of the saying by Churchill (paraphrased): "if you're not liberal when you're young, you have no heart; if you're not conservative when you're old, you have no brain."

kamas716 said...

I'm seeing A LOT of complaining about how the old retired people screwed over the young people. One guy was even complaining that the old either shouldn't vote, or their vote shouldn't count as much, because they won't have to shoulder the consequences in the decades to come.

I don't think these kids are putting much thought into their invective diatribes. Unless there is some sort of Final Solution coming down the pike (like an NBC headline implied) these older folk are going to be shouldering just as much hardship. And NO ONE votes by thinking what the consequences are going to be in 40, 50, 60 years because there are _way_ too many variables involved. 10 years, and on some things maybe 20, are about as far off as you can predict. Even then nearly all predictions are significantly off due to unforeseen events.

Uncle Lar said...

Amazing is it not how nasty liberals get when denied what they see as their natural right to pick our pockets and dictate how we must live our lives.

Will said...

Uncle Lar:

BINGO!!!

selsey.steve said...

I become rather angry when the young of this country, the once United Kingdom, state that I and my wife should not be permitted to help determine the fate of this country.
I am 68 tear old, a Police Officer retired with the rank of Chief Inspector now working behind a counter in a hardware store. My wife is a specialist paediatric nursing Sister, two years younger than I. She is immensely proud of the fact that her Paediatric Surgical Unit was said to be the best in England by the NHS quality control team. She's also the third youngest in the Team.
How dare the semi-literate, ill-spoken, foul-mouthed youth of today state that my vote and my wife's vote should count for naught?
Why are they not joining the Police? Why are they not garnering the experience to enable themselves to save young lives and to come home and weep when all efforts have failed?
My wife and I have been there, we've done that. We know what is right and what is wrong. We know full well that being in the EU was wrong and we voted accordingly. We are prepared to face the risks entailed.
My late father took a similar risk when he decided to forfeit the welfare state in the UK in 1958 and take his family to central Africa, first to Southern Rhodesia, then Nyasaland and eventually Northern Rhodesia. I remain eternally grateful that he took that risk. I had an up-bringing which can never be repeated again.
My wife was born in Kalene Hill, near Mwinilunga in Northern Rhodesia (what is now Zambia) where her father was the District Commissioner.
Risks were and still are part of our respective lives. We evaluate the risks and then proceed on what we consider to be the most appropriate course.
We both voted for Brexit. After we'd voted I discovered that my two adopted daughters (aged 28 and 25) also voted out!

Anonymous said...

This doesn't surprise me in the least. In fact I will be surprised only if this doesn't become even worse, even to the point of violence and civil disorder. And you can believe the global aristocrats and their toadies will be the guiding hand behind it all. They will not suffer a challenge to their plans and will take all steps necessary to derail Britain's (or any other EU "members") return to sovereignty.

Very soon it will be clear that the populace of the EU are serfs not citizens.

I truly hope I am wrong, time will tell.

JackCrow

BigFire said...

Over at Tim Worstall's blog, http://www.timworstall.com/2016/06/25/sven-giegolds-plans-for-europe/ it's shown that perhaps UK got out just in time as the unelected EU Commission is about to enace 'harmonization' and 'equalization' of even more taxes and regulation.

Anonymous said...

The brits took a critical step in restoring their nation. Much work remains but now they've got a chance to do so without bloodshed and destruction. The brits, like their us cousins, are going to have to face up to the sad but undeniable truth that large sections of people in their current country simply cannot live amongst each other. Their attitudes, allegiances and life ways are simply incompatible. Getting shed of Scotland sooner rather than later would be a great first step. They'll be nothing but a hinderence in the work that needs to be done in the future. The British people have stopped their slide into the abyss but they're still hanging on by their fingernails. Climbing out is gonna be a hard painful slog and even though I detest the monarchy and come descended from rebel Scots I wish the British nation nothing but the best of luck in reclaiming their nation.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

It's delicious that, as the Eurocrats wrestle with divorce, they will do so in the only common language they all understand: English.

JK Brown said...

The EU in simple but blatant terms, as is the increasing control by DC in the US is:

"Many advocates of interventionism are bewildered when one tells them that in recommending interventionism they themselves are fostering anti-democratic and dictatorial tendencies and the establishment of totalitarian socialism. They protest that they are sincere believers and opposed to tyranny and socialism. What they aim at is only the improvement of the conditions of the poor. They say that they are driven by considerations of social justice, and favour a fairer distribution of income precisely because they are intent upon preserving capitalism and its political corollary or superstructure, viz., democratic government.

What these people fail to realize is that the various measures they suggest are not capable of bringing about the beneficial results aimed at. On the contrary they produce a state of affairs which from the point of view of their advocates is worse than the previous state which they were designed to alter. If the government, faced with this failure of its first intervention, is not prepared to undo its interference with the market and to return to a free economy, it must add to its first measure more and more regulations and restrictions. Proceeding step by step on this way it finally reaches a point in which all economic freedom of individuals has disappeared. Then socialism of the German pattern, the Zwangswirtschaft of the Nazis, emerges."

--von Mises, Ludwig (1947). Planned Chaos (LvMI) (Kindle Locations 132-141). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.

Brexit is similar to the election of Thatcher, a peaceful pullback after the populace see the failure of socialism. Otherwise, where there is no way to change the thugs at the top, you get Venezuela.

Sadly, in Britain, nor in the US, are the people ready to do away with socialism as the philosophy of failure it is, but they do demand the right to pull back from the cliff when the "socialist methods of production" fail to produce wealth to raise the masses to the standard of living the distinguished holders of important offices enjoy.

The Old Man said...

We are what we are. But I do think "fly-over" country will have more weight politically in 2016 than the "chattering heads" of the MSM.
This, of course, may be changed by voter registration/fraud. YMMV. God help Western Civilization...