Home | About | Donate

Brexit—A Stern Rebuke to Arrogant Elites


Brexit—A Stern Rebuke to Arrogant Elites

Stephen Kinzer

Astonishment, jubilation, and awe seized the hearts of European leaders after they took decisive steps toward uniting their continent in December 1991. By agreeing to accelerate Europe’s progress toward “ever closer union,” they produced far more than simply another treaty. The accord they signed in the Dutch town of Maastricht committed their countries to the most sweeping voluntary surrender of sovereignty in the history of the nation-state.


" If the EU becomes a project based on improving human lives rather than
raising corporate profits, European unity may still have a future."

I'm not sure what universe Mr. Kinzer lives in. Those armies of petty bureaucrats suckling from the elites are at this moment hell bent preventing that very future.


I don't possess a deep enough knowledge of the backstory that led to Britain's exit from the EU but I can't help but feel that a nation getting its sovereignty back, even at the expense of economic turmoil is somehow a good thing. Will a social movement form to ensure that the British government listens to its own people rather than continuing austerity measures? How does Britain plan to deal with the refugee and immigration crisis?


Progressives lacked the courage to make an alternative argument to the 'liberal' inclusive argument of Integration Uber Alles. This was especially needed to counteract the foreseeable nationalistic narrative of hate, that become the default chorus of the Brexit argument. The average self regarded 'liberal' Londoner that is so shocked at this outcome does not realise the whole project of an ever Unifying Europe was cooked up to employ the unelected wrecking ball of bureaucracy to clear the way for corporate profiteering. It was and is a neoliberal trade deal, rather tackily dressed up as a regional peace plan and human rights initiative.


I have two friends in London. Both voted to Brexit. Their view is that EU membership reduced the standard of living for the working class and funneled money to the same elitist class (their version of the 1%). There is a drastic shortage of housing, wages have been depressed, health care service drastically curtailed, but the rich have profited by it and simply buy whatever education, housing, and health care they need. Furthermore, they feel that none of the political parties represent them and that the EU has been little more than another trade deal rammed down their throat to benefit banks, corporations and the elites.

Sound familiar?


Here is Michael Hudson's point of view. I think this is another piece of the puzzle.




Absolutely rebuke ! Except working class voted to stay


Exactly. As others have pointed out, the fact that this author writes this article without using the words troika, IMF, ECB or World Bank is like writing a recipe without mentioning any ingredients.


The EU may end up with one additional member if Scotland and Northern Ireland become independent of the UK and join the EU.


The Buggles revive to sing: "Internet killed the Eurozone Plot"


That's Buggles.


The left-right mix goes way back in the "anti-globalization" movement. Right-wing national sovereignty, border security, and competition from immigrants have always been part of the mix, along with left-wing labor solidarity, indigenous sovereignty, and ecological concerns.


Oh hey and welcome back.


I think your description fits the outcome post-Thatcher & Reagan when the anti-regulatory wave began to sweep through both the U.S. and much of Europe.

But it's probably inaccurate to confuse the IDEAL behind this unification with the way it ended up exploited by devotees of the New World Order and/or The Shock Doctrine.


The fear tactics of the establishment has already begun. America is hearing the dire forecasts and the regrets of Brexit supporters. Neocons will not go gently into the night.


I think that the Brexit is one of stupidest thing any nation has done in the last few decades. True, the EU of today lacks vision, it may even have transformed itself into a pro-business club ramming their neoliberal ideas down the throats of member countries. But all this has started/is starting with the elected governments of EU nations. It was Margaret Thatcher and her buddy Ronald Reagan who started this business, remember? It was she who has turned Britain upside down. It was she who privatized anything under the sun and deregulated everything.
To now blame the bureaucrats in Brussels for their perceived or real misery is, to put it mildly, very much misguided.
To believe that by leaving the EU the UK will regain their sovereignty, is also quite dumb. They have never had lost any of it. I fear, and I hope, that on their next trip to Spain or the supermarket around the corner, the British people will come to regret this decision.
But there is hope, because today I read that already, more than a million citizens of are petitioning for a second referendum to achieve a different outcome...


Sorry, but leaving these pro-oligarch EU plutocrats is an excellent first step for PROGRESSIVES, even if much of the vote was driven by bigotry. Whether its the EU, Nafta, or TPP, sticking it to these corporatist oligarchs needed to be done. Now the challenge is to steer this in a progressive direction, not a quazi-Trump direction.

You can also be a Nationalist with out being anti-immigrant, expansionist, or bigoted.


Unity is fine until it becomes uniformity.


Is it a coincidence that Johnson, Gove and company are now all back-peddling, softening their approach to Europe, even proclaiming themselves to be Europeans and all while stressing that withdrawal from Europe is gonna be a long term process (in contrast to the many Eurocrats who now want a quick divorce and be done with it).The Brexit campaign was all about trying to have your cake and eat it.

The Economist puts its finger on some of the dilemmas a new post-Brexit government will have to contend with:
"Accordingly, the Leave side promised supporters both a thriving economy and control over immigration. But Britons cannot have that outcome just by voting for it. If they want access to the EU’s single market and to enjoy the wealth it brings, they will have to accept free movement of people. If Britain rejects free movement, it will have to pay the price of being excluded from the single market. The country must pick between curbing migration and maximising wealth."

All things considered, the only groups to win from this EU Referendum are the very same groups that have won for as long as anyone can remember: those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Those who see the NHS not as the foundation rock of our public health, but as a cash cow, ripe for milking. Those who see housing not as the basis for family and community life, but as a market in which to speculate and accumulate. Those who see education not as a ladder leading people up to a better place in the world, but as a means of turning young people into debtors with hefty student loans which shackle them for life. Those who see immigration as a way of lowering working conditions and wages to the lowest common denominator. Those who see trade deals as another way of doing the same.

While the rest of us might disagree on the solutions, we are all craving remarkably similar things at the heart of it: community, safety, prosperity, good neighbourliness and civility, respect, integrity in our institutions, individual freedom. And none of us are going to get these things.

The "white working class" protest voters are going to be once more disappointed and "betrayed" yet again.


Yes you are correct I made a mistake. I guess that is why Corbyn team is falling apart. The blame falls on the top.

What I should have added that 1 % vote difference is deciding 99% .