The unsustainable nonchalance of the elites
Who had predicted or foreseen such a result of this British referendum? Of course, much ink was penned over the last few weeks warning of the consequences and advising caution with regards to reactions from citizens fed up with the technocrats imbued with power and the politicians hooked on it. You see, the status quo was always going to end up running away with it. Even after fierce vociferations and protests, the voters were always going to toe the line, thus avoiding the leap into the unknown. Weren’t the polls predicting a relatively comfortable victory for Remain?
However, the majority of British citizens have decided well and truly to flirt with danger, very likely followed in this by other member-peoples of the Union. It couldn’t be more understandable, right? European integration has never actually been driven by positive reasons or energy. It was put in place – and has progressed – only under the threat of the continent getting back in bed with its demons in the absence of extra integration, and with a forced march. Since Robert Schuman, since 1950, Europe was bound to be an integrating machine rather than a conscience that asks the right questions. Now, this is no longer enough, and the arguments propounded by the technocrats, politicians, 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 when they do not conform to the whims of the “mainstream”. This is because – and contrary to their accusations – it is the proponents of the European lineage and of preserving Great Britain’s alliance to it who led a campaign of fear, shrouding the idea of leaving the Union in apocalyptic terror. Now, this no longer works because – despite, 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 all wrong by insisting on establishing a State, in flagrant disregard of the UK’s wishes.
We the intellectuals, we the global nomads, have forgotten that we represent only a minority who have a transnational identity. By travelling and communicating internationally via electronic messaging, by moving away, living and working in different continents, we have ended up forgetting that local anchorage is fundamental and perennial for the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens. Basically all of us were therefore humanly incapable of predicting – and even imagining – this significant and historical event that is Brexit, because our ways of thinking and perceiving the world have literally suppressed all populist and even simply popular dimensions. We, the elites, have thus neglected the nation that is boomeranging back to kick us in the teeth with this vote for Brexit.