[C]onsistently and comprehensively they have been deceived. — Christopher Booker, The Great Deception: The True Story of Britain and the European Union
We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do.
— The Animals
The two major Western political events of 2016 occurred in different countries, two of the most famous nations in the world, and their only connection seems to be that voting was involved in both and that the two sovereign states are historically connected. But the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States and the so-called “Brexit” referendum in the United Kingdom also bear comparison for the similarity in their range of effects.
Firstly, the two results stunned the two nations’ respective politico-media complexes and ignited social media — which is sadly relevant today — like a brushfire. Americans might say that Trump’s victory flipped the script, the British that the 52-48 percentage voting tally to leave the European Union (EU) upset the apple-cart. Whatever your metaphor of choice, Hillary Clinton was already dreaming of wallpaper for the White House, and then-British Prime Minister David Cameron was smugly confident that his plan to traumatize the people he was supposed to represent into voting to remain in the EU had worked to spin-doctor perfection. In the end, and despite wholly misleading polling, Clinton was consigned to a lifetime of bitterness, and Cameron resigned.
Secondly, the existence of parallel “deep states” began to surface in the public consciousness. The British had always had a notion of “the Establishment,” presumed to be Tories who went to public school followed by one of the Oxbridge colleges. These elites were quite probably Freemasons, and they quietly ran things from behind the scenes — éminences grises in Eton collars. The States vaguely referred to “DC” or “Capitol Hill” as the secret heart of permanent governance, now referred to in some quarters as the “uniparty.” As the hippies said in the 1960s, “Whoever you vote for, the government always gets in.” Two-party democracy is an entertaining Punch and Judy show, but it’s the unseen Punch and Judy man who controls the action.
Thirdly, and to confirm that Vladimir Putin lives rent-free in globalist heads, the Trump and Brexit votes both featured “Russian collusion.” In the UK a journalist has just had to pay a businessman and political donor £1.2 million for defamation after claiming collusion with Russia over the Brexit vote. The “Russian collusion” accusations levelled at Trump will be familiar to Americans, although they never made much sense to me. Putin has been called many things, but not stupid. We would assume that any interference by him in a US presidential election would be intended to destabilize the US. Why, then, would he not have put his weight and influence behind Hillary Clinton, a woman who clearly despises America to the extent Trump — for all his faults — loves it?
The problem for America’s political class was that Trump wasn’t from that same class, wasn’t one of them, and so was never going to be allowed to govern. It’s Britain’s “old boy network” with different neckties in a younger country. The problem for Britain’s equivalent is that many politicians are relying on the EU as their taxpayer-funded pension plan, and thus Brexit was never going to be permitted.
At first glance, a European power bloc is not a bad idea in principle. Europe provided much of what we class as civilization, and there is a fine but common cultural thread running between its separate countries. A continental union of 447 million people is a bulwark against the cultural and financial influence, respectively, of America and China. But the EU was never a celebration of European history, culture, and common purpose, but rather an anti-democratic experiment, the negative print of the America Alexis De Tocqueville found and described (in Democracy in America) in the early nineteenth century. America is founded on “We, the people”; the EU on “We, the experts.” The EU has more presidents and leaders, all unelected, than Kentucky has colonels.
The voter turnout for the Brexit referendum was spectacularly high for the UK at 72.2%. This is higher than General Election figures and far higher than recent local elections. Almost three-quarters of eligible Britons voted, and this level of democratic involvement is rare. As noted, the margin of victory for the “Brexiteers” was slim.
The result was so close that a 2% swing would have taken it either way — the same thing as is happening in the States, with every recent presidential election being fiercely contested after the result as well as before. This seems to be a regularity with modern Western elections: They are so close that the countries involved could be called schizocracies. Schizein, in ancient Greek, means to split or cleave into two, and appears famously in the word “schizophrenia.” The divisiveness both political sides accuse the other of is working well, whoever it is controlling and encouraging it. Pit ten people against 90, and the fight will likely not last long. Make it 50-50, and you have a prolonged battle.
This divisiveness is interesting. A lot of politicians, particularly in the US and mostly Democrats, talk about division, a position they have spent much time engineering and must now blame on the opposing party. Race was the most effective ingredient, but is now being supplemented by gender. Even when those two clash, as they must, the state will still blame others.
The idea of engineered divisiveness is not new — think of “divide and conquer,” which goes back to Julius Caesar — but is well described by Pierre Poilievre, the Canadian opposition leader. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of judgement by character alone has been retired and replaced with judgement by category — racial, sexual, gender-based, whatever’s next — and its approval rating on both social and mainstream media. And judgment is harsh.
The animosity of the “Remainers” in the UK towards those who voted to leave led to commenters referring to “BDS,” or Brexit Derangement Syndrome, the British version of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Some on the Left stated that it was the fault of older voters, and that when they died off it would be possible to reverse the referendum result. These are the same type of people who write “be kind” on their social media profiles. As it transpired, they didn’t have to wait that long, as it was democracy that ended up dying — not in darkness, as the Washington Post groans that it will, but in the full glare of the modern political spotlight.
Brexit has not happened, neither de facto nor de jure, and this means two things. Firstly, democracy is great as a rallying buzzword but does not exist, at least in the UK. The Brexit referendum was not on the same model as a General Election, where Britain has an analogue to America’s electoral college known as the “first past the post system.” It was a vote by the people as a whole, not divided into different counties and wards. A referendum is arguably the purest form of democracy. If the government can overturn it, don’t bother voting again, because the state, deep or otherwise, has won. Democracy: Demos, the people; kratos, power. Not anymore. One of the modern political West’s defining traits is that the more its talking heads use the word “democracy,” the less of it there is. The Biden administration constantly talk about threats to democracy, and yet it is they who are holding a knife to its expiring throat.
One vital stratagem in the stifling of power resting with people is used expertly by the globalist elite class: complication. To begin with, the EU is not a monolithic construct, but includes within it the financial Eurozone, the European Economic Area, and the Schengen Zone. All of the groups of countries involved in these sub-sets differ. Then there is the legislation itself.
Reading any legislative instrument is a chore, and to a certain extent that is as it should be. Technocratic language and its mechanical jargon is not exactly like reading short stories, but neither should it be something jotted on the back of a cigarette packet. The EU, however, takes that to the limit.
This legislation is not designed to be understood by ordinary people, just as the peasants in Medieval times couldn’t read Latin while the priests could. I have ploughed through some of this stuff, but you only live once and I was reminded of the philosophy scholar who remarked that he once wandered into the work of Hegel and, 20 years later, wandered out again.
This is a simplification, but a federal union of countries should be the procedural alignment of pre-existing legal systems, simple trade agreements, and finally a common currency. The EU brought into existence tens of thousands of regulatory laws, 6,000 of which have just been “discovered” by the British government, and just 400 of which are likely to be scrapped. The requirements for retail products alone comprises a staggering inventory.
Britain is still beholden to many binding agreements which were supposed to be unlocked after the 2016 vote. PESCO, or Permanent Structured Co-operation, effectively leads to a European army. The Trade and Co-operation Agreement sounds a good thing, but effectively means that Britain can’t subsidize its own industry, no matter how innovative it might be. But the European Convention of Human Rights is the most famous instrument shackling Britain to the EU, and is the key to why the 2016 vote went the way it did.
A great trope of the Remain voters is that those who voted to leave didn’t know what they were voting for. But they did. Many of them voted to leave because they wanted to cut immigration, which has greatly accelerated since the referendum and is now impacting local indigenous communities. And this was not, as the Left reflexively assert, because those voters are racists and xenophobes, but because ordinary people understand infrastructure and societal change better than the political class because they have to use it and live near it. This is starting to manifest now as people who bought houses in quiet, rural areas see local hotels and converted sites filled with illegal immigrants from countries with very different moral codes. An appointment with your UK doctor is now very difficult to get, while immigrants are regularly provided with full healthcare. And your daughters’ walk to school may become increasingly perilous.
Most illegal immigrants in the UK want to live in England, the most densely populated country in the nations that make up Great Britain, and specifically the major cities, mostly those areas which already have established Muslim populations. Growing migration also brings with it the associated effects of wage suppression and remittance, or the sending of money back to the immigrants’ home countries. The whole program — and it is quite deliberate — is entropic as far as the indigenous population is concerned, and this is now being seen at a local level, among genuine communities, not those victim groups fabricated by the media. The Periclean dictum which holds that although you may not be interested in politics, politics is interested in you, is back.
A major fault line running through the political Right is the belief that the problems of mass migration, inflation, rising crime, infrastructural dysfunction, and all the other contemporary great plagues are the result of the political class’ incompetence. This seems unfeasible. Plato wrote that the problem with politics is that you end up getting ruled by your inferiors, but it seems unlikely that the modern British dystopia being constructed is the result of maladroitness, but rather of malfeasance. Competence is not morally restrained and answers to no ethical court of appeal. The serial killer who slays a dozen individuals is incompetent in carrying out the twelfth murder, the one that got him caught. For the first 11, he was competent.
Those who voted to leave the EU now find themselves in a lose-lose situation. Not only has their democratic will been annulled, but their opponents now blame them for the UK’s current ills. This is exactly congruent with the US, in which everything the ruling class destroys is traced back to Donald Trump, in the same way as children’s puzzles offer several pathways to trace to the goal, only one of which is correct.
Brexit has not happened de facto, and if the globalists have their way — and it is hard to see who can stop this — it will not happen de jure, either. Another referendum would be an echo of the Irish referendum on joining the EU in 2008. The Irish voted against joining, and were effectively told to run the election again until they got the right result. The deep states, wherever they are, are now too strong, and control too many of the switches and levers of a democracy which is purely nominal.
Londoner Dr. Johnson famously said in 1775 that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. He did not mean that patriots were scoundrels, but that politicians who hid behind it in the hope of popular appeal were. If the good doctor were alive now, he would have replaced patriotism with democracy.
* * *
Counter-Currents has extended special privileges to those who donate $120 or more per year.
- First, donor comments will appear immediately instead of waiting in a moderation queue. (People who abuse this privilege will lose it.)
- Second, donors will have immediate access to all Counter-Currents posts. Non-donors will find that one post a day, five posts a week will be behind a “Paywall” and will be available to the general public after 30 days.
- Third, Paywall members have the ability to edit their comments.
- Fourth, Paywall members can “commission” a yearly article from Counter-Currents. Just send a question that you’d like to have discussed to [email protected]. (Obviously, the topics must be suitable to Counter-Currents and its broader project, as well as the interests and expertise of our writers.)
To get full access to all content behind the paywall, sign up here:
Paywall Gift Subscriptions
- your payment
- the recipient’s name
- the recipient’s email address
- your name
- your email address
To register, just fill out this form and we will walk you through the payment and registration process. There are a number of different payment options.
Enjoyed this article?
Be the first to leave a tip in the jar!
Heigh-ho the Merry-oh, Deporting We Will Go
The Fear of Writing
The Union Jackal, November 2023
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 561: An All-Star Thanksgiving Weekend Special
Used to Be a Bad Guy: Carlito’s Way at 30
We Told You So, Again
Closing Down the Stations of the Cross
Why Is Support for Israel Collapsing?