Brexit: the English and Welsh Enlightenment
by Aidan O'Brien - CounterPunch
July 1, 2016
“No one really knows what happens now: the collective imagination leads to dark places.” - The International New York Times, June 25-26, 2016
By voting for Brexit the English and Welsh have switched on the light. And, as usual, when the light suddenly conquers the dark the cracks become obvious and the cockroaches scatter. It’s a beautiful sight.
The speculators and the hoarders are running for cover. And their liberal apologists are blinded. At the same time their global gunmen feel naked. And what once felt like a palace now looks like a filthy dungeon. However it is a dungeon with a well marked exit.
It is an English and Welsh enlightenment rather than a British one because the British elite in London and their Celtic counterparts in Edinburgh and Belfast voted to remain in the dark.
The critics of Brexit think that switching on the light is an act of madness. It is far better in their eyes to see nothing and to continuously walk into the wars.
Martin Wolf, the main man in the Financial Times, calls Brexit “irrational” and immune to “cold calculations”. And a Die Ziet editor, Jochen Bittner, writing in the New York Times thinks that Brexit is something an “Arab” would do rather than a “rational” European. Ireland’s leading liberal, Fintan O’Toole, in the Irish Times likens the voters for Brexit to a “drunk”. And the King of the liberals, Tony Blair, again in the New York Times, opinions that those who voted for exit are controlled by “dangerous impulses”.
This is class war in words – a stab in the dark at the working class who actually decided the outcome of the referendum.
Despite this liberal attempt to assassinate the working class character; despite the accusation of irrationalism, and indeed the racism, directed at the English and Welsh workers: the vote for Brexit was an act of pure reason.
No matter the perspective (political, economic, military or moral) Brexit makes perfect sense for the working class. Has there ever been in the history of England or Wales a better example of rationalism? Probably not.
According to the mainstream media the determining issue in the referendum was immigration. The mainstream however is Murdoch: a man who has built an empire on lies and insults directed at the working class. And contrary to what the “quality” liberal press think: Murdoch doesn’t speak for the working class. And neither do the right-wingers, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, who were and are presented as being the leaders of Brexit.
The vote for Brexit was based on solid ground rather than on a fog of emotion. There was nothing alcoholic about it, nothing fearful nor fantastical nor dangerous. In fact the vote was raw rationalism. And the fact that it was based on “uneducated” workers is brilliantly hopeful.
The empirical reasons for voting for Brexit were as clear as day. The obvious one is that there is no “European Union” to belong to. Germany rules the roost. The “Union” doesn’t exist. But the “Apartheid” does.
The facts have being piling up for all to see in recent years. Only an educated fool could miss them. The financial crisis of 2008 crystallised everything. The subsequent rape of Greece and the generalised attack on workers throughout the EU (Austerity) made the EU feel more like a Banana Republic than a Super State.
And the 2014 coup in Ukraine made this banana feeling unbearable. The USA was doing to Europe what it did to Honduras in 2009. To paraphrase the US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, the US was “fucking” Europe. And the response of the EU? Silence. Not a word of complaint. So why would anyone want to belong to an organisation that is being “fucked”?
The fact that damns the EU the most however, in the eyes of “cold calculation”, is the EU’s death wish. The EU’s push for World War III in the East is truly mad. And makes a mockery of the “peaceful” portrayal of the EU.
By allowing NATO to goose-step the EU into the Middle East and up to the borders of Russia completely discredits the EU. Even more so if you’re an English or Welsh worker. Because it is they who are expected to kill and die on the frontline. The fact is that the English and Welsh working class are the EU’s best canon fodder. And in a time of permanent war: why should they continue to be so?
The vote for Brexit was not a vote against immigration but was a vote against the wars of the ruling class – those stemming from neoliberalism and imperialism (class and world war). That is why the ruling class are now panicking.
This is the hard factual ground upon which Brexit stands. But you will not see or feel this in the gutter liberal press and the gutter liberal education that dominates the European mind.
Therefore to grasp EU reality despite EU propaganda is a triumph of human reason. To understand the class hatred that is dressed up as the “educated” liberal norm and to rebel against it is rationalism at work. And to see the real race hatred that is presented as sophisticated EU foreign policy and to reject it is rational logic at it’s best.
In short: to identify the disunity beneath the rhetoric of European unity is today straightforward common sense. And this is what the common people have in abundance. The English and the Welsh have just tapped into it. And by doing so they may have just kicked started another enlightenment.
And what about the darkness? The New York Times, the leading liberal daily, is trapped inside it. Read it’s June 27 International editorial:
“Compounding the problem [of Brexit] is Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. Ruthlessly playing a weak hand, he has worked hard to undermine NATO and challenge the post-cold War order by invading Ukraine, funding right-wing groups in France and elsewhere and recklessly brandishing his military power from the Baltics to Syria. European countries have struggled to remain united on issues ranging from NATO’s budget to how best to respond to Mr. Putin.”
Have you ever read anything more sinister and stupid? This no doubt is what the US and EU “elite” see in their dark “places”. Thanks for switching on the light England and Wales.
Aidan O’Brien is a hospital worker in Dublin, Ireland.
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