I wasn’t going to write about Brexit but my country is tearing itself apart and I can’t look away. We’ve strapped ourselves into a rollercoaster that’s coming off the rails. It probably won’t end well – at least, not for the poor. But then, it never ends well for the poor.
Over the last week or so I’ve been glued to the news, trying to understand what’s going on and where we might be heading. Before the referendum I didn’t pay much attention. I’ve never been particularly interested in listening to politicians lie. I knew which way I was going to vote. Since then I’ve realised the whole Brexit farce was one great confidence trick. It’s not just the Leave supporters who were conned; we all were.
I voted Remain because I’m pro-Europe. However, I’m against centralisation and the Euro (which was probably a stupid idea right from the start). Plus I don’t like people in authority telling me how I should live my life. Bureaucracy brings me out in hives. I get paperwork rage. Anyway, the EU clearly needs reform because it doesn’t work, but you can’t reform an institution you’re not involved in, hence: Remain.
The shock of Leave winning the vote tipped the country over the edge. We’ve seen a spike in violence and racist attacks, an eruption of the collective shadow that could be a foretaste of more to come. The EU backlash began with threats and sulking, and then British politics went into meltdown.
It’s probably not true that more lies have been told over recent months than at any other time, it’s just that the potential consequences are more dire than usual. That didn’t stop certain politicians using the opportunity to further their own agendas. Both David Cameron and Boris Johnson have self-destructed as a result. Cameron put party politics ahead of the future of the UK and his arrogance blew up in his face. When he lost, he ran away, bailed out and left us with a zombie government.
Johnson used UKIP to engineer a political coup to steal the premiership from under Cameron’s nose, and that blew up in his face too. Johnson didn’t even believe the UK should leave Europe, he was just hustling for power. I don’t think he expected the Leave camp to win the referendum. I wouldn’t be surprised if he somehow engineered Gove into backstabbing him in the Conservative leadership race so he could bow out and get some sympathy (now that everyone hates him).
And if that isn’t enough, there’s no real opposition party either. Labour are having another meltdown. Jeremy Corbyn’s enemies have waited until the least appropriate time to try and drive him out of office. The saga rumbles on and things are changing so fast that whatever I say here will be out of date as soon as I hit publish. In fact, as I was writing this I heard that Nigel Farage had resigned his leadership of UKIP.
Now the United Kingdom might break apart and both the main political parties could split. How Britain actually goes about leaving Europe is open to question and there’s even a move by business demanding a vote on it in parliament – all stalling tactics for something nobody seems to want to be responsible for initiating. They’re playing pass the parcel with a ticking bomb and no one wants to be left holding it when it goes off.
British politics has been sucked into a black hole. Nobody is driving the bus.
The whole thing was predicted by Martin Armstrong and his incredible (and slightly disturbing when you think about it) computer model. By analysing millions of data points through history he has created a system that appears to track movements in the markets and big cultural shifts. Whatever you think of his interpretations of the data, it was the computer that predicted Brexit for June 2016.
There’s a deeper cycle at work – one that we have little control over.
And this is where I start getting cynical. It seems that Brexit took the elites by surprise. The underdog fought back and won. The underdog isn’t supposed to do that, hence the kerfuffle. But part of me (the bitter and twisted cynical part) thinks all this confusion and chaos is deliberate.
We’re being played.
The referendum wasn’t based on a real choice. Whether Britain is in Europe or not, it’s still subject to the markets and the neoliberal globalisation agenda:
“Europeans face one fake and one actual choice. The fake choice is between: (1) a globalised, financialised version of capitalism that is run by a transnational technocracy, tolerates minorities and turns parliamentary democracy into an empty shell, and (2) a xenophobic, socially conservative, passionate nativism that invokes national democratic sovereignty only to forsake it soon after. The real, actual choice is between (A) a vicious cycle between (1) & (2) above, and (B) a pan-European democratic project addressing the actual challenges humanity faces (e.g. the deflationary moment in our history, the inexorable devaluation of human labour, TTIP like attacks on sovereignty, climate change, etc.).” – Yanis Varoufakis
Except we’re not being given a real choice.
Perhaps Brexit is another manipulation to force more cuts and tax rises on people already struggling to pay their bills. In other words, business as usual. No matter what happens, the elites will continue their “reverse Robin Hood” project to bleed the rest of us dry until the entire system crumbles at their feet.
If the UK does leave Europe, it won’t make any real difference to the average person’s life. The rich will continue to get richer, and the poor will continue to get angry (and hungry, and dead).
In the end, it’s not just the EU that needs to be reformed. Democracy itself must be overhauled, because what we have now isn’t democratic. Not when the elites enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. It has always been thus, of course. It’s one of the problems of civilisation.
What’s really needed is radical reform of the whole system.
Brexit was in the making for decades. Europe has been disintegrating for years, and with the migrant crisis and the rise of far-right movements, amongst many other problems, the EU could become even more authoritarian as it attempts to hold itself together and force compliance with the union.
Brexit could make that disintegration happen faster and Britain will probably get the blame for triggering the end of Europe, even though the end was written into its structure from the start. Britain leaving Europe won’t protect it from the aftermath either. We’ll still be part of the common market and bound by the same trading rules.
“At the heart of the Brexit is a paradox worth articulating. England wants to withdraw from the bureaucratic, administrative control of Brussels, control seen as compromising its sovereignty, in order to be better able to organise the dismantling of its sovereignty (by way of more radical submission to the logic of global capital) on its own. Does this not have the markings of the death drive? The organism wants to die in its own way, on its own terms. This is the paradox at the heart of American Republican thinking: we want to ‘take back our country’ in order to be better able to submit it and pretty much all of life to the logic of the market.” – Eric Santner (quoted by Zizek here)
Even if Britain leaves Europe, we can’t leave the markets. Independence is a fantasy. We’re interdependent, not just with our European neighbours, but with the rest of the world. As Europe continues to collapse, it’ll drag everything else down with it, including Britain – in or out. Whatever happens we’re still tied to the economic bandwagon that’s driving us all over a cliff.
The elite’s economic pyramid scheme is collapsing worldwide. We need a new way of running things – and fast. This could be an opportunity to build something better, although at this point it looks like we’ll have to wade through a world of shit to get to there. As Mark Blyth has said:
“The Hamptons is not a defensible position.”
Welcome to the revolution.