Brexit and the European Union: What’s Actually at Stake
The EU is a trash fire. To see what the EU is about, you have only to see what they did to Greece, and what they are doing to the rest of the south.
Insane austerity policies have wrecked economies for no good reason other than a failed ideology and a deep-seated desire to give more money to the already-rich.
The EU may have been created to prevent a future European war, but the austerity policies it is pushing are fueling the rise of Catalonian independence, and of both the far left and the far (a.k.a. fascist) right. Now, I’m ok with the far left, in the European context, because so far all it has meant is Corbyn: A 1960s-style liberal, updated with social concerns.
The rise of the far right is rather more worrisome, however, since these lads tend to be nativists–not more than one step from neo-fascists and often less than that.
Austerity creates economic despair, and economic despair creates the breeding grounds for movements like fascism.
When I was about ten or so, I said to my father, who had grown up in the Great Depression, that I saw very little racism in Vancouver.
“Just wait till times are bad, “he said,” you’ll see plenty of racism then.”
Again, the EU is a trash fire. It started off liberal, in the best sense, and there is still plenty of good it does, but it is currently creating the conditions for a great deal of political violence and even war.
So, does that mean that Brits should vote leave?
Not necessarily. Depends on your pain tolerance.
While the EU is a trash fire, Britain isn’t in the Euro, which is the worst part about the EU. If Corbyn was Prime Minister, I’d say leave. Leave now!
But he isn’t. What the Conservatives will do under Cameron or Boris Johnson (or whomever, there are no “good” options for the next leader if Cameron steps down), is truly horrible. Even worse than what they are already doing.
As for the doomsayers: No, the world will not end if Britain leaves the EU. The fact that economists and pundits are screaming in unison that it will means nothing. Economists are trained seals who say what they are supposed to say. Most of them have been wrong about everything of significance related to the economy for their entire professional lives; why should we believe them now?
It’s all a trash fire. Of course, the people who benefit from the status quo want the status quo to continue and continue to trend the way it has been (which hasn’t been good for most ordinary Britons).
That doesn’t mean you should vote to leave. It doesn’t mean you should vote stay. It means they aren’t credible. What they say should not be listened to as anything but people squealing for the world to stay favorable to them.
If you leave the EU now, things will be worse than staying, not because of economic apocalypse but because the EU does have a fair number of good regulations and laws by which Conservatives will no longer be bound.
If you stay, and someone like Corbyn gets into power, he will be handicapped by the EU in the opposite direction.
International institutions in the age of neoliberalism exist mainly to further neo-liberal policies. This is true of the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, and yes, it is true of the EU.
It’s all a trash fire, because, post-Bretton Woods, it was all changed or designed to be a trash fire (this is especially true of the Euro, which at least Britain dodged). Its purpose is to impoverish developed world workers and transfer money to the rich. I judge its purpose based on its results.
Vote as you will, but understand what is actually at stake.
If you enjoyed this article, and want me to write more, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.