It is difficult with Brexit to separate the musings of pundits, with
the cold, economic implications of this move. But the decision, its
implications and the forces that shaped it are troubling, for the
(1) The appear to not be grounded in economic reality, not withstanding flaws in the EU.
(2) They are motivated by racism and anti-immigration sentiment
(3) They reflect an almost freakish alignment of right/nationalist forces with the Left- though not all on the Left in Great Britain agreed with the move, notably Jerry Corbin.
(4) They illustrate how difficult it is for the "masses" to grasp and tackle complex economic relationships and intertwining.
Item (3) is particularly troublesome. While the actions of the
reactionary Right are predictable- routed in nationalism, the
inspiration of hate and the need to consolidate power- even at the cost
of economic prosperity- the Left is harder to explain. Notwithstanding
that the EU is supported by conservative economic elements- those that
seek stability above all- the contribution to the Left to this debate is
an admixture of justified critique, non-realism and destructive
negative politics. Also, in the case of the Left- self defeating. The EU
has not done a bad job regarding worker's rights, environmental
protection across the continent and economic and political stability.
Great Britain has decided to throw this away- turning away from economic
reality and bathing in reactionary politics. They showed
them...undermining their collective selves in the process.
There are obvious parallels in the US elections. Not Sanders versus Clinton-
as Sander's while oblivious in the area of foreign policy did not fan
nationalism, though he and/or his followers tiptoed into the regions of
political hate and unreality. But in the Trump versus Clinton- where
Trump's faux populism, buttressed by hate, cronyism and lies- aligns it
self with the Left's anger at a corrupt system that refuses to do what
it wants. Wittingly the two forces join hands to decimate economic
wealth and foment crisis. Not the wealth of billionaires, but average
Of course, the Left may still seek to unite in opposition to Trump and what he represents- or join forces with White Supremacists- forever alienating minorities- who they wonder why they can't fully support them in elections. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.
None of the above equates to support for irresponsible
trade treaties such as TPP, TAFTA, NAFTA, etc. Whatever their
intentions, good or bad, these treaties seem inherently flawed and
undemocratic. They deserve intelligent opposition and open discussion.