Friday, 24 June 2016

"A Great Day For Freedom"

The Brexit referendum results. Summarized in two words: "Fuck You".
Liberty is an abstract concept which in practice means fighting against some form of authoritarian cabal, whether it be the Church in medieval Europe, the Nazis in 1940s Germany or Communism in the USSR during the cold war. In my own time and place it means fighting against what might be described as "Progressive Despotism", of which the European Union had become a potent symbol. This is not to imply that today's threat to liberty is the same in either scope or severity as earlier threats, it is merely to chart them along the same axis as the most serious threats of the time. There is, it seems to me, no greater threat to liberty in my time than what I am choosing to call "Progressive Despotism" because it seeks to make effective opposition not just improbable, but even unspeakable.

This Progressive Despotism may be described in two broad aspects, each of which has imparted deep resentment among people of various political persuasion who were in turn victimized by it to some degree. The first is the restless thirst for the quasi-religious outpourings of political correctness; the lust for stigmatizing those who dared to criticize this, or disagree with that, with the most base accusations against their person, character and reason: "sexism", "racism", "denialism", "discrimination" of all kinds, whilst self-congratulatingly turning a deaf ear to their often politely worded complaints. The E.U. was all that in spades. The second aspect is the crytocratic tendency toward forming arbitrary and absurd laws and regulations against which common sense and reason simply could not prevail, and which were corrupt in their very purpose from the start. Perhaps the European Union's two primary achievements were the gigantic farming of subsidies (farms as in windfarms as well as farms as in the Common Agricultural Policy) and the restriction of trade between Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. The fact that the E.U. made law without effective democratic oversight only made matters worse, and that this point could so often be overlooked by those who so often claimed to be in favour of "democracy" was a disgraceful absurdity.

Britain's exit from the E.U. is not enough; the fact that so many people voted Remain is clear evidence that the cultural phenomenon I have described as "Progressive Despotism" is not limited to some small, minority cabal. There will follow efforts to reform the British State, some of which may be misguided, but hopefully the ones that succeed will tend toward limiting and decentralizing political power and restoring the rights of the individual in an attempt to regenerate the condition of freedom. Leaving the E.U. is just one step along that path.

I am today very proud to be English.


  1. Are you still in Kaohsiung, Nate? I'll be popping down later tonight for a few pints. Email me for Line ID if you wanna come out.


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