– or: why I’ve despised the idea of Britain leaving and now I think it’s good.
The UK is leaving the European Union based on a referendum which was decided rather on irrational grounds. It will most probably not bear the fruits that the pro-brexit voters hope for and most of them – and all others too – don’t know what they’re in for. In fact, it is speculation until now and it will be for quite some time. However, speculation is one of the corner stones of our current economy. The whole stock market is based on irrational decisions and expectations, not to say on vague feelings on top of facts.
The same is valid for everyone voting in the British referendum: The ones who feared the exit and the ones who apparently loathed the European Union enough to say YES to the exit and maybe even ponder after. In this case it is the downside of direct democracy – and Aristoteles warned already to be wary of the reign of the mob. However, the „mob“ are all the people who may not have political insight (an issue one has to blame politics for) but live with their fears and everyday issues. What people address all around the globe is the issue that nobody seems to take care of their needs and demands.
It is pretty much comparable to someone who urges a doctor for treatment, without knowing what the treatment is but being able to vaguely express the symptoms. There is a story about asian doctors that get paid as long as their patients are happy, not when they’re sick. Projected upon politicians, it is their duty to prevent people from getting into dire situations at all.
In defence of politicians though it has to be said that Westerners are living on a non-sustainable standard and every inch of degradation of that creates outrage. And Westerners seem to have taken over a demanding mentality and therefore expect a service of politicians. They expect someone who can fix this. As people expect doctors to patch them up. The issue that a lot of illnesses start due to a wrong lifestyle and hence is caused by one self, does not come to mind.
Enough comparing doctors and politicians. We know how the world ticks nowadays and that politicians do not seem to be able to cope with an ongoing lobbyism. Especially European processes are slow and distant from EU citizens while the turnaround on the markets as such is very high — as are the downsides of it. People are exposed more to economic decisions than to political ones. Who can feel the power of a government anymore?
The UK was a nagger to the European members – no doubt about that. The Britains always had a distinctive approach to things which was not just to keep the British pound but demanding more power for the house of commons to block EU legislation at their liking, limiting the
It was good for the EU when the UK was there. And the UK should have stayed. That’s what I believed until today, after the decision was made. But reflecting upon the past when the UK was all-in, one has to ask what they actually achieved in changing the EU as the lobby-ridden, slow moving apparatus. The exit is a tough result for all of the European countries – and probably the world. But it is definitely a chance for Europe because it has to redefine what the European Union actually is.
This is not just a matter anymore for EU politicians but for every European citizen to remember that there is actually something which has been abstract and in Brussels for the past years. As a European people may now start to ask more concretely what the EU actually stands for. The UK may be hit the hardest; by exiting they will definitely teach the world, themselves included, what the union means.
The Brexit may be doomed as a silly act of a direct democracy. The situation the world is in, tightened in the grip of economic greed and debt, demands more than discussions. It demands actions, how silly the reasoning might be. But the sorrows of the people which cannot address a certain threat (neo-liberalism as such) at least release their anger and shape a reality afar from lobby-influenced politics. Simply put: If the UK would have stayed in the EU, the outcome would not have been better either. Sadly it has to be said that no change seems worse that any.
Ironic though that the UK was the birthplace of the neoliberal idea that I see as the underlaying foundation of the European problems which has made them turn their back on liberalism in a certain way.