State of the EU


Categories: politics

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4 replies

  1. I’m reminded of Glenn Greenwald’s observations.

    In sum, the West’s establishment credibility is dying, and its influence is precipitously eroding — all deservedly so. The frenetic pace of online media makes even the most recent events feel distant, like ancient history. That, in turn, makes it easy to lose sight of how many catastrophic and devastating failures Western elites have produced in a remarkably short period of time.

    Obviously, those who are the target of this anti-establishment rage — political, economic, and media elites — are desperate to exonerate themselves, to demonstrate that they bear no responsibility for the suffering masses that are now refusing to be compliant and silent. The easiest course to achieve that goal is simply to demonize those with little power, wealth, or possibility as stupid and racist: This is only happening because they are primitive and ignorant and hateful, not because they have any legitimate grievances or because I or my friends or my elite institutions have done anything wrong.

    Indeed, media reaction to the Brexit vote — filled with unreflective rage, condescension, and contempt toward those who voted wrong — perfectly illustrates the dynamics that caused all of this in the first place. Media elites, by virtue of their position, adore the status quo. It rewards them, vests them with prestige and position, welcomes them into exclusive circles, allows them to be close to (if not wield) great power while traveling their country and the world, provides them with a platform, and fills them with esteem and purpose. The same is true of academic elites, financial elites, and political elites. Elites love the status quo that has given them, and then protected, their elite position.

    More importantly still — and directly contrary to what establishment liberals love to claim in order to demonize all who reject their authority — economic suffering and xenophobia/racism are not mutually exclusive. The opposite is true: The former fuels the latter, as sustained economic misery makes people more receptive to tribalistic scapegoating. That’s precisely why plutocratic policies that deprive huge portions of the population of basic opportunity and hope are so dangerous. Claiming that supporters of Brexit or Trump or Corbyn or Sanders or anti-establishment European parties on the left and right are motivated only by hatred but not genuine economic suffering and political oppression is a transparent tactic for exonerating status quo institutions and evading responsibility for doing anything about their core corruption.

    There are many factors explaining why establishment journalists now have almost no ability to stem the tide of anti-establishment rage, even when it’s irrational and driven by ignoble impulses. Part of it is that the internet and social media have rendered them irrelevant, unnecessary to disseminate ideas. Part of it is that they have nothing to say to people who are suffering and angry — due to their distance from them — other than to scorn them as hateful losers. Part of it is that journalists — like anyone else — tend to react with bitterness and rage, not self-assessment, as they lose influence and stature.

    But a major factor is that many people recognize that establishment journalists are an integral part of the very institutions and corrupted elite circles that are authors of their plight. Rather than mediating or informing these political conflicts, journalists are agents of the forces that are oppressing people. And when journalists react to their anger and suffering by telling them that it’s invalid and merely the byproduct of their stupidity and primitive resentments, that only reinforces the perception that journalists are their enemy, thus rendering journalistic opinion increasingly irrelevant.

    It’s an important article and one that I think is well worth reading.

    They didn’t really learn what happened in the 1930s.

  2. There’s a more simple thing : UK thrived to enter the EU when they were on the brink of collapse but they never played with an union mind, instead, UK was much more into taking profit from the advantages given while on the other hand, acting as a Trojan horse on the behalf of a foreign superpower in an anti EU pattern.
    One may note that it was UK that pushed its ultraliberalism over all the union putting in jeopardy many well working national systems which were much more balanced and forced to align as once you have a mad-dog like Thatcher, it forces all other systems to follow.
    Actually, it was an error to take UK in the EU and the BrExit vote is no surprise as it goes totally on the way of Brit high individualism.
    Thus, I have the impression that, on the cartoon, it’s much more UK which is about to fall into an abyss : It wasn’t already very far that Scotland pronounced its independence and their parliament is about to launch a new referendum. With the clear will Scots expressed to stay in the EU, it may be pretty difficult to keep Scotland in the UK. Ulster also vowed this and having them merging with Eire wouldn’t be a great surprise too.
    BrExit seem much more likely mean the end of UK.

    Now, it’s clear that there are many thing to improve in EU ways or even many times to put back in place as, for sure, the ultraliberal way that has been taken has seriously hurt middle-classes. It’s clear that some errors made in the past have to be taken in SERIOUS account to avoid to repeat these.

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