The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has been presented as a big setback, if not a catastrophe, for the world. Typically, the mainstream media and public intellectuals have predicted a grim picture of the future of not only the UK but also of Europe and the world at large. Evils like xenophobia, Islamophobia, and of course racism would be unleashed in the wake of Brexit, we have been told. When liberals get paranoid, they express such fears. Therefore, it would be instructive to examine the paranoia of elite opinion makers.
But first let us look at the apocalyptic scenarios that have been presented about the impact of Brexit. The UK gains from the EU, we have been informed. Its immigrants, most of them young and diligent, are assets rather than liabilities for the British economy. But business will now find it difficult to function. For the EU single market, which allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people, will no longer be available to British enterprises. By erecting a wall around it and by cutting itself off from Europe, the UK will hurt itself.
The adverse fallout has already begun. Morgan Stanley is reportedly moving about 2,000 staff based in London to either Dublin or Frankfurt. Other banks are also relocating staff.
Equally unlovely, liberals claim, are the political consequences. Brexit is kind of reversal of the flow of history, as it shatters liberals’ dream—the dream of living in or at least moving towards a ‘world without borders,’ a truly global village, an international order, etc. Such sentimentalism and its resultant baloney are a folly of historicism. The philosopher Karl Popper described historicism as “an approach to the social sciences which assumes that historical prediction is their primary aim, and which assumes that this aim is attainable by discovering the ‘rhythms’ or the ‘patterns,’ the ‘laws,’ or the ‘trends’ that underlie the evolution of history.”
Historicist notions underlie the thoughts that sometimes regard history as a person that has a ‘correct’ course, the alteration of which is sinful. As David French wrote in National Review (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/437147/brexit-and-end-international-progressive-inevitability), “I’m old enough to remember when history had a side. History, you see, had chosen to progress toward an international order that de-emphasized international sovereignty, elevated a bureaucratic and technocratic elite, and sought to solve international conflict through a combination of moral and economic pressure. Nations caused wars, so nationalism (and even patriotism) had to be set aside. Democracy unleashed bigotry, so ‘the people’ mattered mainly when they agreed with the elite.”
By ignoring elitist dogmas and fads like multiculturalism, and voting to exit the EU, the Brits have undoubtedly committed an unpardonable crime. Unfortunately for the divinely ordained lords and barons of public discourse, the people of Great Britain have refused to suffer for the idiocies of the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who want to flood Europe with Muslim refugees. It is a well-known fact that many among the refugees are Islamic State infiltrators. Even those who are not bring with themselves the ideals, values, and attitudes that are at variance with European ideals, values, and attitudes. Assimilation has been ruled out, as evident from the growing jihadist following among Muslims in Europe and the UK.
Instead of addressing the real issue of Islamist menace in Europe, fashionable intellectuals are worrying themselves over the bugbears of xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, etc. Whenever anything negative about Islam—massacre in London or Paris, slaughter of journalists of Charlie Hebdo, or some other outrage—surfaces in Europe, the mainstream media immediately starts talking about the impact of the event on Muslims, the possible gains for far-Right parties, etc. Often Rightwing parties are bracketed with Neo-Nazis, or even the Nazis of the Third Reich vintage. Hitler, after all, was a nationalist, and he went on waging the bloodiest war in the history of mankind and ended up killing six million Jews.
Such is the power and influence of the mendacity of liberals that even normally Rightwing leaders like David Cameron and Merkel, the latter even more so, become compliant to the dogmas, diktats, and distortions of multiculturalism. Unsurprisingly, the self-serving intellectual elite develop a symbiotic relationship with the political class, birthing a super-bureaucracy in the process. The Telegraph, London, reported (April 28): “A highly critical auditors’ report reveals that the European External Action Service, the EU’s answer to the foreign office, is repeatedly breaking internal rules on the amount of floor space that a worker can occupy. In the most egregious case uncovered by the European Court of Auditors, the 25 staff at the EU’s representation to the United Nations in Geneva had an allocated office space of 104 square metres per person. By comparison, the average family home in Britain—defined as parents with at least one child, is 96.8 square metres.”
Romantic vision, combined with right connections, can be lucrative. But at the expense of people—the real people, the John Does and the Jane Roes, the salt of the earth. Little Englanders got exasperated by their leaders’ fascination for esoteric fads. This is what has happened in the UK.
Donald Trump is delighted by the Brexit result, as also are the Rightwing leaders across Europe. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom party who has fought against Islamist predations, wants Nexti. In a statement, he said: “The United Kingdom is leading the way to the future and liberation. The time is now for a new start, trusting in its own strength and sovereignty. Also in the Netherlands.”
In France, Marion Le Pen, niece of the head of the National Front Marine Le Pen, echoed similar sentiments. She tweeted: “It is now time to import democracy in our country. The French should have the right to choose!”
In the ultimate analysis, Brexit is the revolt of people against intellectual and political elites rather than against globalization. Let the contagion spread across the world.