Britain’s Brexit vote marks a watershed for Ruminations. It delivered a robust confirmation of the conservetarian tenets posted and debated in these pages for the last ten years. And given the state of the EU and what is happening there, we can expect more to come. As I monitored last night’s election returns on the landmark referendum before turning in, a number of thoughts crossed my mind after posting the following update to ‘Ruminations – 21jun16’.
Today’s Brexit vote underscores in spades the RR teaching that mankind neither understands nor knows the transfer function of human societies in any of its undertakings. For the layman, a transfer function is fundamental to understanding how a system works, i.e. with what outputs it responds to inputs. Yesterday the markets were setting new highs in expectation that the Brits would reject Brexit – the Dow was up over 230 points, crude was significantly up as gold was down. This evening at this writing the Dow futures are down 600 points, crude is down 5.66%, gold is up 4.66%. And our double dufus divisions of central planners understand none of this as they continue to prescribe ever more one-size-fits-all national policies for America led by our fearless community organizer who has learned not one discernible thing about governance in his two terms in the White House.
Today we are witness to decades of socialism’s advance in the west, and capitalism’s advance in the east. We have seen the demise of one great religion in Europe and the resurgence of another one in its underbelly. The west has fought one form of collectivist repression to a standstill, and then refused to recognize the rise of a more virulent form that daily demonstrates its intent to continue the conquest of the world promised by its prophets a millennium ago.
With the launch of the much debated Brexit we see that people worldwide do cherish their own cultures and do want secure lands where they can speak their own language, practice and pass on their traditions, educate their children, and live according to their shared values and beliefs. And in so doing they want to live in homelands where they themselves can direct and pace the inevitable changes that all cultures undergo. These people do not want to live their lives according to multitudes of malformed mandates that require permissions sought from distant rulers and planners.
Today there are enough people in Britain to recognize the reality of the European state and their growing limits within that communion – a day before, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission assured the British that their ongoing appeals for more self-determination would go unanswered in Brussels. The EU’s central government had already determined that Britain had sufficient freedoms, thank you.
So now nationalist movements in France, Spain, Netherlands, and Sweden that demand more local control are drawing a second wind from the Brexit vote and are planning referenda for, you guessed it, their own Frexits, Sexits, Nexits, Swexits. It appears that globalism has been refuted, at least for the present, and that the Westphalian world order of sovereign nation-states will be extended, at least for now.
But while many of us celebrate this break-up, and see in it a resurgent spirit of self-determination and desire for more limited and local government, yet all is not well. The British vote was 51.9% Leave and 48.1% Remain. That means that the nation is still fairly divided with almost half of its citizens (subjects?) disappointed in the outcome, half of its citizens still yearn for an even closer union with an increasingly amalgamated continental Europe, half the people are tolerant with the dictates of Brussels. In sum, this referendum defined and exposed yet another country of two minds. Now we see the more socialist Europe begin to stir and begin to experience its own ideological Great Divide. And we also note the evidence that such a division is not unique to some backward and benighted segment of the United States as many of our progressives continue to assure us.
But the referendum also exposed a years-long tenet maintained in these pages – polls and markets can be dreadfully wrong. Only yesterday as the Brits went to cast their votes, the polls were telling relieved markets that Remain would be victorious. During the day markets hit new highs in anticipation. A prominent British pollster unabashedly released its poll with such a prediction just as voting ended last night. And then exactly the opposite happened.
This again illustrates how difficult it is to centrally plan large economies and forge one-size-fits-all public policies for large societies. How can any of this kind of governance work when one cannot predict with any reliability the impacts your finely tuned mandates will have? Today Roger Altman (Deputy SecTreas under Clinton) highlights in ‘The End of Economic Forecasting’ what many of us have reported over the years. The more governments attempt to corral money the more that money will roil the financial markets as it seeks to maximize available return. And the result as summarized by Altman is that “the dominance of finance has made economic volatility the new normal” – i.e. essentially unpredictable, especially by academics, pundits, and bureaucrats who have not gotten their own hands dirty chasing the filthy lucre.
However, none of that makes no never mind to the millions of lemmings who believe that the more distant their ruling elites, the more assured they are of being provided with a contented and socially just life. These millions still yearn for a state that gives them everything for which they are willing to trade their freedoms. In the end they might wind up with three meals and a stacked packed rack. Nothing in today’s movements for preservation of culture and self-determination will change these willing wards of the state.
It is for that reason that I see a future where the people who want to retain liberty, security, and property in their own hands will seek to separate themselves from the collective dictates of the ever-dependent. No one knows exactly what means different peoples will use in their attempts to secure such a future other than that their means and methods will vary depending on culture and resources. But you can bet the ranch that at least half of us will not go quietly into that dismal world so well revealed in the now much denied protocols and prescriptions that the United Nations laid down in its agenda for the 21st century. Therefore, with some modesty I can again declare that the Rebane Doctrine lives.
[25jun16 update] The lamestream laments Brexit. Over the last couple of days the liberal media has gone into dirge mode on Britain’s decision to leave the EU. The propaganda faucets have been turned on full blast. Were they a religious bunch, their message could be summarized by ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ You see, the considered wisdom on those outlets is that Brexit was just the stupid response of Britain’s double dummies who really don’t understand things like transnationalism and global commerce.
In none of these reports was there a mention of Brussels’ growth and overreach, and the impact those policies have on EU’s member states. In Britain their vaunted NHS is coming apart at the seams which is most apparent to people outside of the big cities where new healthcare rationing policies have the greatest impact – complaints are rampant that people can’t get timely appointments for their medical needs, the waiting times are becoming unconscionable for an all-caring nanny state. Migrants pouring into metropolitan areas need more services, even if these too have to be more severely rationed.
Meanwhile, the Pope is getting full press coverage as he prays at Armenian genocide memorials telling the Lord that “I dream of a Europe where being a migrant is not a crime.” The message from the lamestream is loud and consistent, ‘Globalism über alles.’
So now the EU leadership and the Brussels bureaucrats have their undies in a knot about how to treat the exiting British. Should they proceed at a dignified pace making things easy for both sides by knitting up the better parts of the former relationship with regard to commerce, mobility, and defense? Or should they instead make the break “swift and punishing”?
Easing Britain out with minimal pain may well induce other nations edging for the door to accelerate their own plans to regain their sovereignty. But illuminating and bringing to bear the full brunt of the EU leviathan will confirm that Europe’s member states are fast becoming fiefdoms of their liege lords in Brussels, if they are not already existential fiefs enjoying their last of pre-enlightenment bliss. What to do, what to do?
Here in America – including in these pages – the message from our liberals is that any and all notions of self-determination that may include new forms of jurisdictions and governance arise only from minds muddled and mired in ignorance.
[Just had to filch this wonderful cartoon from Bro Bob Crabb's blog - another picture worth a thousand words.]