Brexit Logs, Part 3: On Old People, -isms, Experts & the Right to Choose
Part 3 in a series exploring the post-Brexit fallout. I am Paolo, and I've Broken Europe.
And then, je suis Poirot, I grow curious. Why all this clash? Where was this European sensitivity earlier? Looks like that in order to truly move a European heart you must give him trouble with his holiday, oh gosh... now we need passport!
Nothing to do with propaganda this bout of European Love? Mainstream, that is where propaganda is usually nested, claims that all the propaganda is stretched out along the Brexit side, along with populism, nationalism, fascism, selfishness and naivete.
To contrast my inability to name my faults I collected a good list of grievances whirling in the air. I tried to keep only the argumentative, but had none. I understand that we all are democratic and decently informed people who would never abide a less-than-democratic idea. So I kept the most popular of the democratic complaints about Brexit:
1) They, mostly old fucking people, country people, uneducated mads, they don't realize which world they are winning for young british citizens. All the worst individuals were reunited under populism and fascism.
2) Complicated matters shouldn’t fall to people’s choice.
3) We are against the financial powers which created an economic disaster and ethical embarrassment out of Europe, but by no means is the solution leaving Europe. We still dream of the Europe of solidarity and no borders.
About old people: they are shameful, conservative, racist, and too much bacon makes them fascists, I know. And I would add that the evil coincidence of European championship and the vote on European companionship found old people unusually tipsy and unsympathetic to their partners.
Still, for how bad it is, I would leave old people to their vote. I don't know why. I hope not to be too conservative myself, but I’m also not growing any younger. However, by denying rights tends to give the wrong message and often works the wrong way. Who knows why?
In my defense, I can say that in my before-Brexit article I strongly invited everyone to vote. And above all young people, being that young participation is growing far more reluctant than that of the old fucking mads, even in the UK, even in this referendum. Maybe they don't care much about democracy or they don't get the link between democracy and the vote.
About education: Europeans are very concerned with education, and I agree on the link between democracy and education, with some exceptions—for instance, where highly-educated colonialists were normally less concerned with democracy than less-educated colonized peoples. The Guardian's figures, masterly conceived so as not to be clear, still show that the education divide was quite smudged. But if education, along with my talcum dance, split a country in two halves, it makes me curious as to what kind of education Her Majesty provides in this European Age and about how much the EU was needling education in last decades conscious of belonging to a cultural family? Erasmus students, of course, and the twinning of towns like Mazzamurta in Sardinia with Ylbrionkicvc in Poland proved great. Still some 100 pages of survey provided by one of the hundreds of EU institutions helps to grip few facts. European education is slightly worse now than 10 or 15 years ago and: In the majority of countries, investment in education has remained largely unchanged during the last decade up until 2008 just before the economic downturn.
Coming from Italy I didn't really need this data. It’s true that all countries have a large autonomy regarding culture, so I ask myself again what does Europe mean? Is it not the place of western culture? Plato, Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Voltaire? Can you issue rules without effusing any culture?
The same report shares that one quite proud educational system, that of UK, suffered the most in the last 10 years with a drop in participation.
About Populism: I assume it means the repeating of slogans that people agree with in order to grasp more power. That is simply synonymous, quite snobbish, with propaganda or advertisement. The power of fact checking is underrated. The Johnson's exaggerations about the UK’s direct contribution to the EU were nailed too late—why? Almost as if the two sides weren’t even listening each other. True that Johnson's party was more populist than his opponents, who are traditionally accustomed to other kinds of political expression, as in the jargon used to make people reckon that expert are at work, old trick of church and lawyers, and of course the oldest kind, simply concealing things that people could perceive in the wrong way.
But how was the first argument used by The Guardian's experts not an appeal to populist sentiment, i.e. the reduced mobility of football players in European teams? How is it not populist to judge an idea by singling out the worst behaviors of its supporters, in spite of the voice of half a country, comprised of great scholars and honest beekeepers.
About Fascism: it is dangerous, and it’s important to spot it. Hobsbawm tried to describe it in about 10 pages of his The Short Twentieth Century, but nowadays people use the term quite easily. A fascist is not a person who shouts to a crowd, like Malcom X. A fascist is not someone voted in by some intolerant people. So far fascists were people catering to financial power before being paid with the very national power. Mussolini, Hitler, Pinochet, Franco repeated the same pattern harassing the people's freedom and money to make big industry flourish. The resemblance to that which came out of communism is impressive, with a State instead of some financial families, but this explains the prettiness in swapping from one to another system of swingers like Putin or the Chinese Party.
Where is fascism in Europe? From the police behavior at Geneva around the G8 meeting regarding the use of torture, up to the street disorders in France in these months, underscored by news, Berlusconi accusing the Italian judges of being communist, these are typical fascisms sign, in the heart of Europe. I am still not sure what to think about 550 policemen around the occupied house of Rigaer 94, in these days
By the way, voting is a very populist thing to do, as opposed to fascist. Until people vote no kind of Stalin or Hitler can feel cozy on his throne. Of course Hitler was regularly elected. The Germans got it wrong, voted for the guy who soon abolished their vote and sent them to the war, or directly to hell without further query with Krupp's & friends paying for the trains.
About Experts: the idea that complicated matters shouldn’t fall to popular choice is quite a brave servility aiming at two points. The first implies that people claiming power for the expert (even more) are themselves experts, or at least their confidants, their bodyguard, if we must judge from some few protective slogans. Then it builds a wall between little people from Earth and big Expert from Expearth. This wall conceals the fact that real experts are not at all in agreement. Bankers and Chief Editors are with one another, but not economists, not historians. I would be very careful in calling an expert an expert.
Are experts the bankers who didn't see a world crisis coming, the wardens who couldn't avoid dozen of bankruptcies with accounts of millions of people, the bureaucrats who try even now to tackle failures of other big banks by inflating money from public taxes. Not just Mediterranean folk: Deutsche Bank, named by the US Danger #1, is closing approximately 120 filialen just in Berlin.
But some real experts, of course, must be at work. I possibly overvalue evidence like that of economist Richard Keen, head of the School of Economics, who was one of very few predicting the world crisis, and strongly argued in support of Brexit, despite this putting him on Farage’s boisterous side.
A stronger piece of evidence is provided by the largest movement of money in the last 10 years, plain, readable without financial skills. Half of the world was owned by around 500 people ten years ago, by around 80 two years ago. Without distinction of nation, the first 100 capitals multiplied their power by at least 4 in the course of crisis. This data by Oxfam were still not enriched by Panama Papers. So yes, some experts know what tomorrow will bring, but they are neither the ones we’ve paid thus far to invest our money or to explain our situation, nor those paid to give Europe a sense.
About people recognizing the responsibilities of financial power, but still dreaming of the Europe of solidarity and no borders. This is quite unadvisable, like trying to flee the labyrinth following the map of the Minotaur. Solidarity? With other Europeans? A Syrian can die on my threshold, but I would dive in the ice for pleasing a Norwegian. Ok Norway is just half European, so I would offer an ice cream ... What about the good old solidarity between humans? Or it is about a well-organized solidarity with the people that Europe (without asking Europeans) bombed?
All brothers, No borders? Is that Europe’s direction? Apart from the report of Transnational Institute, since 2009 in England and France, even in Berlin now, of course always for terroristic reason, like when we searched Iraq for chemical weapons, following the advice of US experts. At the end the chemical weapons was oil, particularly when burning in Volkswagen cars. But also Johnson&Johnson, 1st place in the National Corporate Reputation Survey in US, proved hiding for 40 years the killing effect of baby powder. No mainstream fuss for that, maybe is not terrorism or narcotraffic, but what if it drove me crazy at Berghain, thus provoking Brexit?
Big solidarity is going to Scotland and North Ireland, now trying to leave a Crown that in Scotland was recently confirmed. They are not reacting very sportingly, are they? I never voted Berlusconi, but a tricked majority in my country did for a long while. Still, I didn't ask Denmark for an adoptive citizenship. Oh come on, yes I did! I fled my country a long time ago and actually call myself Berliner now. So let Scotland join the EU, or the AA if they want, boasting the right to leave when you don't feel at your ease, as the UK did—except for 40% of Scottish and Irish people who want not.
Was this an implied question of Brexit referendum, where it opens up the right to refuse a higher choice?
By Paolo Tacchini