Saturday, June 25, 2016

My Brexit Rant

I got into a little Facebook back and forth yesterday and I realized that I am not in step with even the people who I thought were living in the same bubble that I've been inhabiting for years.  Of course, it was about Brexit.

The "coming of the apocalypse"  coverage that we are getting from all of the news channels also woke me up.  Why is it that immigrants are losing their lives while fleeing for their lives; people are being massacred in one place or another; shootings and killings are occurring every day a few miles from me; to say nothing of climate change and all of the misery I haven't mentioned; and the only thing that warrants the "apocalypse" title is when the stock market falls and falls?

The rap is that Brexit is about keeping out "the other."  It's about toxic nationalism.  I think some very sinister types have realized they can seize the moment of unsustainable inequality and are jumping in front of a parade that was already marching.

The rap is that uneducated people voted for Brexit.  We want to be in with the smart people.  If the purpose of an education is to give you a leg up in a winner take all world, what's so smart about that?


  1. One of the byproducts of difficult times is always what it reveals about people, even (and most disturbingly) those who are close to us. The philosophers of antiquity were forever saying that one did not know oneself or others until the moment of testing. Thus, we are coming to know our acquaintances and friends in a new way. And then there is the Bible, Ecclesiastes: 1:18: "For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief."

    1. And when we learn that our friends and family know so little, will we offer our forgiveness and gently
      educate them? Will we offer it to ourself as well?

    2. Indeed,a good question. Let us hope we can offer forgiveness without becoming a sacrificial offering to a misbegotten creed. As to educating them, Jonathan Haidt, a research psychologist, reminds us that political opinions are driven by emotion and only afterward justified by an attempt to create an explanation and rationale. We have always been well-advised to stay away from attempts to persuade another to change his politics or religion.

    3. We are able to go beyond an 'us versus them' mentality. It is difficult but possible to embrace all as a part of the human family. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was able to do this with the Nazis.

  2. An interesting thought might be to parallel Brexit with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1992. A new philosophy emerged as communism no longer prevailed. A Russian Federation emerged as a result. What will the new philosophy be?

  3. My great fear is that all this localism (where even a villagae 5 miles away from George Orwell's Wigan in England is viewed as "an alien and bullying force" See NY Times today p.A7)is just the first step to larger disagreements and eventually another war. We see this in so many places throughout the world. I just hate for this "grand experiment" to dissolve, like just another unworkable utopian idea.