Sunday, June 26, 2016

Who is the stupidest now?

by Tom Kando

Just a few words about Thursday’s Brexit disaster: As the American comedian Andy Borowitz just wrote, the British have lost the right to claim that Americans are dumber than they are:

“Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans” has long been a favorite pastime in Britain... But, according to Alistair Dorrinson, a pub owner in North London, British voters have done irreparable damage to the ‘most enjoyable sport this nation has ever known: namely, treating Americans like idiots’....In the face of this startling display of national idiocy, Dorrinson still mustered some of the resilience for which the British people are known. ‘This is a dark day’ he said. ‘But I hold out hope that, come November, Americans could become dumber than us once more.’ How will America reclaim the title? Obvious: Elect Donald Trump as our 45th president.

It’s obvious that xenophobia was not just the most important factor in the English people’s decision to leave Europe, but that it was the ONLY reason. There is simply no other rational argument for this decision. It benefits NO ONE - not Britain, not Europe, not the rest of the world; the consequences will be bad economically, culturally and in every other conceivable way. And for all parties. Today’s crashing Pound Sterling and worldwide stock markets are just the beginning.

Scotland and Ulster voted in favor of remaining in the European Union, so now they - Scotland at least - can hold another vote to secede. It is a sad thing to see the fragmentation of Britain.

We live in an age of fragmentation and centrifugal forces - there was the violent dismemberment of Yugoslavia, there is chronic turmoil in the Middle East, the Soviet Union fell apart, and the list goes on. There are now over one hundred more countries in the world than when I was young.

The wacko birds in Northern California want to secede and create their own state, the “Republic of Jefferson.” Never to be outdone in the insanity department, Texas is also thinking about secession. Two new European terms have just been coined: Nexit (Netherlands exit from Europe) and Frexit (French exit). Of course, so far, none of this needs to be taken seriously.

But what IS a serious problem all across the Western world - Europe and North America - is the emergence of a terrible new motivation: The perceived threat from the non-Western world: the economics of globalization, which cause western de-industrialization, and the threat of refugees and immigrants.

What the ENTIRE world is experiencing is a resurgence of NATIONALISM - I prefer to call it TRIBALISM.

First of all, just think about the illogic here: If every nation/tribe feels that it must protect its purity and superiority, that doesn’t work, does it? The Hungarians want to keep Hungarian blood and culture pure, and so do the English, and the French, and the Dutch, and the Poles, and the Arabs, and the Russians, and everyone else. This is like Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.

More seriously: When I grew up, we lived in an age of optimism: The world, we felt, was moving toward UNIFICATION. Nationalism and war were the ways of the past.

Today, the trend is the opposite. The people of the West - British, Dutch, French, Hungarian or American - are fearful and angry. The problem is that the diagnosis and the remedy they choose for their perceived plight are wrong. Brexit is a Trump-like response. It has nothing to do with lofty ideas such as freedom and independence. It is a flight into nationalism, tribalism and xenophobia, all the things that have plagued humanity throughout history, things to which many people wish to return.

I blame Prime Minister Cameron for this. For holding the referendum. Where is it written that a majority of voters cannot be wrong? I know, I know, I am committing a sacrilege by questioning “democracy.” Well, all I can say is: Big mistake, England leave comment here

Synopsis: Brexit is a terrible accident. The English people made a big mistake. Their decision was based on xenophobia, and it will benefit no one, not the English, not the Europeans. The entire Western world is experiencing a resurgence of nationalism, tribalism and centrifugal forces. This does not bode well for the future.