Brexit versus globalisation

November 5, 2016 0 By Michel Santi

Brexit was much more than a British electoral consultation to leave the Union. The issues were actually much more serious – and critical for some – than the relatively anecdotal aspect of a country that had never really integrated into Europe. Despite what had been stigmatised by the partisans of the Remain camp, Brexit was not a referendum for or against immigration either. No, this vote was a repudiation of the neoliberal technocracy in Brussels that has gradually transformed Europe into a citadel of mercantilism. In fact, the British citizens expressed themselves democratically to put these financio-economic elites back on track, who are perfectly happy to accommodate cataclysmic youth unemployment, but who get shocked and offended when their privileges are questioned. The debate – the proper one – is thus not so much about whether the British Isles will detach itself from the continent as it is about whether the country’s citizens – and beyond them, the Europeans – will finally decide to take back their rights in the face of multinational corporate abuses, the banking hegemony and the secret negotiations that have taken place outside of any kind of democratic framework. The result of this scrutiny therefore greatly surpasses the British and even European framework since it will be about – through this vote of defiance – unequivocally rejecting this globalisation that is becoming noxious since it only benefits the most privileged.

About scorning this institutionalised and entrenched transfer of wealth by Europe as constituted since Maastricht. About re-establishing the democratic balance that has been shamefully hijacked by brazen elites after consecutive votes of defiance by France and the Netherlands in 2005 and Ireland in 2008. And it will be about dispossessing the mega-banks of their supernatural powers. So there you have it, the genuine issues of this referendum that are shaking – as we well know – the global intelligentsia to the point of liquidation under the threat of this Brexit which has signalled the veritable swansong of its domination. Who could have predicted or foreseen such a result of this British referendum? Of course, much ink had been penned over the last few weeks to alert us of the consequences and to warn us of the reactions of citizens, tired of technocrats drunk with power and politicians who are hooked on it. You see: the status quo was always going to end up winning. In fact, after fierce vociferations and protests, the voters were always going to end up toeing the line, thus avoiding the leap into the unknown. Hadn’t the polls been predicting a relatively comfortable victory for Remain?

However, the majority of British citizens have well and truly decided to flirt with danger, very likely followed in this by other peoples of the Union. What could be more understandable though? In fact, European integration has never been motivated by positive reasons or energy. It was set up – and has progressed – only under the threat of the continent rekindling its ties with its old demons in the absence of extra, frogmarched integration. Since Robert Schuman, since 1950, Europe had been limited to being an integrating-machine, rather than a conscience that asks the right questions. Now, this no longer suffices, and the arguments brandished by the technocrats, politicians, the intelligentsia, city slickers, degree holders and the bourgeoisie are coming back to haunt them. Now, it is no longer possible to threaten voters with disaster if they don’t conform to “mainstream” directives since – and contrary to their accusations – it is indeed the holders of the European lineage and Great Britain’s Remain camp who have led a campaign of fear, and who have told apocalyptic tales of exit from the Union. Now, this no longer works since – in spite and probably because of 50 years of technocracy – Europe remains a continent, and not at all an identity. Europe and its leaders have therefore got it terribly wrong by insisting on setting up a State in spite of the will of the nation.

We the intellectuals, we the global nomads, have forgotten that we represent only a minority that is equipped with a transnational identity. By travelling, communicating internationally by electronic messaging, by moving around, working and travelling on different continents, we have ended up forgetting that local anchorage is fundamental and remains perennial for the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens. Nearly all of us were therefore structurally incapable of predicting – and even imagining – this significant and historic event that Brexit represents, because our ways of thinking and perceiving the world have literally erased all populist dimension, and simply even popular. We, the elites, have therefore neglected the nation that is boomeranging back to kick us in the teeth with this British vote.

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