June 25th, 2016
A very interesting development took place yesterday: United Kingdom voted itself out of EU in a general referendum. The Pound fell to its lowest level since 1985 and there was immediate market turmoil the world over. Things will surely take a turn for what will be perceived to be worse directions in the future. Surely EU will suffer more fissures and the UK itself might break up with Scotland wanting to defect. London will find it increasingly hard to remain the financial center of Europe and the isolationist tendencies in France, Netherlands, and the peripheral countries will definitely be emboldened. All of these are repercussions which most would paint as undesirable, however, I do not. I think this is an excellent example of democracy at its best and a necessary correction which was long time coming. This won't be the last such correction either.
I suppose I myself belong to what would be called the intellectual class but I have no sympathies with their projects. Neither do I have any sympathies for the modern centers of power and commerce and most of the smug and self-congratulatory people who proudly call them their homes. Their wealth and comfort has not come at no cost. Entire areas the sizes of nations in both the US and Europe have been decimated in the process and with them the lives of simple people. Now I am not foolish enough to think that there was ever an alternative to the way things have progressed. Once you drink the cool-aid of neoliberalism, as the world did, the essential repercussions follow. Job losses through Increased automation and easier immigration policies, decimation of local competitiveness through easier trade, increasing centralization of economic activity, and of course increasing inequality. The benefits of neoliberalism are diffused (cheaper products) but its evils are concentrated (job losses in specific communities). What annoys me most, however, is the sheer arrogance of those who have won in this economic climate in expecting those who have lost to accept their lot quietly, to go down without even a fight. The former expect the latter to simply genuflect against their own "superior" and self-serving logic. The hypocrisy is breathtaking which is why I love the swift kick in the nuts which has been delivered to the elites in the UK and Europe.
It will be unfortunate if a similar thing happens in the US but not because the pain of the analogous American class is any less legitimate. It's because Trump who is their standard bearer is a self-serving fool and a bumbling idiot. Still, in the name of fairness and consistency, I'd understand if it does come to pass. If I was in the position of the millions who find themselves out of job and livelihood because their jobs have been given to cheap labor from outside which, by the way, mostly benefits the owners and shareholders of companies, I'd also exercise the one power that I have remaining: the right to vote. I suspect that I would also, in such a circumstance, be driven to options which leave everybody worse off. It's a perfectly rational response by those whose lot could not be any worse anyway. And the blame for this behavior lies squarely at the feet of the smug elites who not only robbed many of their prosperity but also delegitimized their suffering by portraying them unfairly as racist, ignorant, and bigoted merely for pointing out the obvious reasons of their plight.