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How Globalization Divides Us: Perspectives on Brexit from a Dual Citizen


How Globalization Divides Us: Perspectives on Brexit from a Dual Citizen

Kristen Steele

When I woke up on June 24th and checked the news, I cried. Along with millions of people around the world. I’m a diehard believer in independence, freedom, democracy, and strong local economies. For some, the Brexit result represented those things. If that had been the reality, I would’ve supported it too. But like every other choice offered in the global economy these days, Brexit was a false one. Getting out of Europe does nothing to address the real problems in UK society—or the world.


Excellent article.

"The world is now interconnected in a way it never has been before via communications and transportation. If we can make those parts more accessible and less carbon intensive, then they’re good. It’s the economic linkages that are toxic. And those require a different tack. Reactionary voting, intolerance and isolationism won’t fix them."

Most specifically, in my opinion, it is the hyper-financialized nature of the economic linkages which is at the root of the worst of the worst. The global economy has been turned into a casino where the house (the corporate structure) always wins. It's time to leave Las Vegas and the likes of Sheldon Adelson.


This article reminds me of an applicable concept from the 80s:THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY, ie view your actions and the actions of others with a global perspective and do what you can at a local level to advance improvements on a global stage.

The Green Party, an international party, unlike the domestic GOP and Dimcritter Parties, is the best vehicle for turning the global casino economy, where the house always wins, into a global economy dictated by local needs where the 1%'s influence is no greater than 1%. Based on recent US elections where 98% of those who vote supported the two corporate parties, the 1%'s influence is 98%, so we have a long ways to go.


Thank you - an excellent read, with the footnotes also providing many additional resources. Sadly, it is not only a racist/economic division, ironically as deep as those divisions are, they can be bridged. More significant is the media fascination with propaganda, fueling ignorance on all sides and laughing all the way to the bank. Truth is lost in our debates - and while there is often more than one path toward a goal - it is most difficult when the paths are described without regard to truth. Obviously "class poverty", when wages do not keep pace with inflation - frustration when services decline while prices rise - and corporate elite continue to dominate media/elections/and most critically redefine truth is leading to increased tensions. Still even in these situations local (family) decisions have great impact on individuals. Sometimes health/accident/death or other circumstances are beyond control - but I personally have also learned hard life lessons from personal mistakes. Truth, courage, local solidarity while developing a vision which seeks to share a growing peace. prosperity. a coooperation between other nations, cultures, and peoples will take a new commitment to sharing truth while honestly discussing (debating) the options going forward


Hi raydelcamino. Americans would probably vote in a majority of Green Party candidates if given a chance. This article compares and contrasts today's political environment to that of 1852, when the Whig Party fell apart when they couldn't agree on a platform.


Today both the Dems and the Repubs are in danger of going the way of the Whigs. What gives them some stability is that third parties have a harder time getting on the ballot and getting mainstream media coverage.


I don't think this is quite the author's point although she makes it obliquely - rampant wealth inequality can only lead to trouble. So much else is mere superficial detail.


In my experience of post brexit so far, it is only brexiters like myself that did want independance, democracy and the opportunity to create resilient localised economies that are actually doing anything to mend the disparities caused by corporate liberalism. On the other hand pro-eu progressive left liberals are still too busy trying to resurrect the status quo of eu neoliberalism despite their critical stance on it.

I think you are very wrong to suggest that the eu is only a symptom and not a cause of the social and economic problems in Europe and to me simply reflects the same eu apologism that created the divisions in the first place. For example, the European Roundtable of Industrialists may as well have been the eu commission considering that corporate lobbyists occupy the square mile around the eu commission's headquarters in Brussels. To say the eu was not run by corporate interests is utter deluded nonsense.

Populism and the communitarian ethics that underlies the brexit vote is in direct opposition to the liberalism of eu apologists and this is the true nature of the divide in our society. The divide consists of those that want stable local and national sustainable economies in which human and ecological resource flows are managed and controlled democractically in order to produce community resilience and those that want unmanaged and uncontrolled open borders to human and ecological resource flows in order to promote corporate interests. The former are communitarians or populists and the latter are economic and social liberals. Communitarianism works for all through cooperation and responsibility. Liberalism works for the privilaged few through competition and rights.

You sound like a liberal that wants communitarianism hence your pro-eu stance but the eu was constructed to be a 'highly competitive social market economy' (TEU art3), not a highly cooperative social market economy. If all the people who truly opposed corporate liberalism had voted brexit rather than for the status quo of the corporate eu then there would not be a divide. It is people like you, Mason and Monbiot and other progressive liberals that created the divide and it was others like you that created the racist backlash with your virile and bigoted slandering of brexiters throughout the eu referendum campaign. But typically liberals do not take responsibility for their decisions in the same way eu nationals expressing their liberal rights do not take responsibility for coming to a country knowing that public services were under strain due to austerity measures and our high budget deficit, the same austerity measures that were implemented as a means of reducing our budget deficit, a reduction that was ordered by the eu commission via the eu council. The only alternative was tax hikes which was democratically rejected at the 2015 election. However totally typical of progressive liberals, they blame the democratically elected government for all the ills of society, not the ordinary people who make the many socially irresponsible decisions on a day to day basis including selfish driven eu nationals. And you talk about scapegoating.

So please take some responsibility for your bad decision to remain in a corrupt corporatised eu, take some responsibility for your ignorance of the true workings of the eu and also put some responsibility on to eu nationals who chose willingly to come to this country despite knowing the economic hardships and the strain on public and housing services that their choice would create. If you can start doing this and stop putting all your emphasis on your self-interested and selfish notions of liberal rights then maybe you'll start working with us rather than against us in creating the interdependent progressive communitarianism that we so badly need.


Kristen I am amazed at your doublethink in regards to Brexit. How the devil do you think that you can save the country from the bankers and traders if you allow them to pass trade deals (containing dispute resolution boards that are populated by lawyers working for said corporations), that remove democratically instituted protections for individual countries? You need to read some Michael Hudson, the professor of Economics at University of Missouri Kansas City.


Lots of interesting insights.

Since this applies inside the U.S. as much as in U.K., it bears repeating:

"It’s a clever tactic: cut funding to essential services, give extra cash to corporations, and then blame immigrants for the mess. It makes perfect sense in a post-truth world. Apparently, it’s also a great way to win political power."


Such punitive language full of shaming and blaming... all to provide your modernized paean to Ebenezer Scrooge and businessmen of that ilk.



Interesting....would you similarly condemn British citizens who choose to live abroad? Retirees in particular put strain on the health care systems of the countries in which they reside. Would you consider them equally irresponsible?


"The only alternative was tax hikes which was democratically rejected at the 2015 election"

What proportion of the electorate voted? What proportion of those who voted, voted for the party that desired to increase taxation. Did either of the major parties have tax increases as part of their policy?

Brexit has done nothing but entrench the power of the loony-tune right wing ideology that gave us in the first instance Margaret Thatcher and her Victorian notions about laissez faire capitalism, the sort of economic thinking that produced the Great Depression among other preceding depressions..


Tried and tested in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, among other former social democracies. In the UK it started under the Tories in 1961, cutting back on the nationalised highly efficient railway system, starting with ripping up the branch lines that fed the main trunk routes. Sir Ernest Marples was the Minister for Transport at the time and his wife was Director on the Board of Marples-Ridgway, the company that built the first motorway in the UK as the railways were being cut back. Ho hum; not another conspiracy theory?


I advocate cooperatively managing human and ecological resource flows between democratic territories.


Yep liberals don't like it when the tables are turned and their own ills are highlighted for what they are that being sanctimonious moral posturing.


Quite possibility, any strains if british nationals abroad didnt have health insurance is because of skill drain going to the uk. However there is no public outcry regarding uk nationals abroad that Im aware of but if you have evidence to the contrary then please share. Are you suggesting people in this country should shut up and put up.


I can only read English, so I am not able to read non-English sources. But perhaps they should complain about all the unemployed Brits living in their countries.

What I am suggesting that it is hypocritical to complain about people going to your country while thinking it is okay to go to other countries yourself. Keeping "them" out means keeping "you" in.


Well, all I can say is you've been well and truly duped.


This is an example of the hypocrisy of many Britons over this matter, unbelievably a Brit living in Spain who wants to vote leave because of EU immigration into the UK!! You couldn't make this stuff up. Also, they are claiming benefits in Spain.



Well I can only guess you are an anti-democratic liberal so you would say that wouldn't you.

Brexit and reclaiming British democracy and the right to choose policy through free elections and in particular economic policy is a glorious victory as far as I am concerned. But obviously an anti-democratic neoliberal such as yourself will just see chaos and disaster.