To be a country again, independent and free: this is the promise of Brexit.
Make no mistake, this is an historic moment, but admittedly, a somewhat providential one.
Brexit would not have happened were it not for two colossal ‘blunders’. Firstly, very few predicted that the Conservatives would win an outright majority going into 2015, meaning that Cameron felt safe in offering a EU membership referendum, conditioned on that unlikely outcome, in an attempt to prise away UKIP voters. Secondly, few in the British establishment believed that Leave could win the referendum.
I suspect that history will rewrite the Brexit story as a victory for cunning and guile, rather than for providence.
Be that as it may, Brexit and the growing rise of both left-wing, centrist and right-wing national populism is exposing an ideology that threatens to be the most dangerous and destructive of our times.
The threat of globalism far outstrips that of the statist ideologies of the twentieth century, such as state capitalism, communism and national socialism. Even more than imperialism, theocratic extremism or atheistic statism, globalism may well prove to be freedom’s greatest adversary.
In the twentieth century, for all its bloodshed, what freedom-loving people everywhere had in their favour was that tyranny was restricted to specific states and empires, and that there were many courageous leaders and self-sacrificing men and women that were willing to go to war to defend the rights of others to live in freedom.
In other words, there was always somewhere to run to. In a global state, there will be no place to welcome refugees.
Globalism is opening the door for the ultimate form of totalitarianism, one that will tolerate no other paradigm. By nature, it demands that all be subsumed with in a totalistic whole.
Globalism is ‘contentless’ with regards to conventional political ideological divisions. Whether the globalists, were they to emerge victorious, were to run a global superstate as a free market, corporate capitalist or state-run economy would be of little relevance. It could with perfect equanimity espouse Wahhabism, Epicureanism or the most moderate of moderations. Yet you would still not be free.
To be a Leaver was to grasp, however inarticulately, that there was a fundamental flaw in European model of overly concentrated power. I believe that many Leavers saw in the European Union the germs of something far more oppressive and recoiled from it. Call us cynics! Call us negative! Even call us toxic, if you must! But call us realists too, realists conscious of globalism’s capacity to crush that independence of spirit that keeps us free.
And herein lies the crux of the coming confrontation. The Brexit debate brought odd bedfellows together on both sides of the argument: free market capitalists, social democrats, socialists, libertarians, social liberals and social conservatives. It seemed as though Britain was having a metapolitical moment. At times, we came close to touching on some broader human issues, but then recoiled from their profundity and went back to meaningless debates about spending on the NHS.
Even Brexit may well be distracting us from the greater sea-change taking place right beneath our feet. Around the world, we are seeing children educated to be global citizens; the establishment of global courts; the promotion of global initiatives for fashionable causes; the drafting of global regulations for the micromanagement for the most arcane aspects of production; and, the establishment of global permanent bureaucracies. There is even a small but vibrant movement for a World Parliament. Sovereign nations are increasingly being made – or are making themselves – subject to global authorities.
Many of these initiatives are well-meaning. Some doubtless have their place. What is being lost, however, is the basic understanding that a ‘multitude of sovereigns’ protects us from a totalitarian concentration of power in the hands of a single elite. Borders protect us from totalitarian regimes and ethnic genocide.
Be in doubt, a global elite already exists and is growing in self-awareness. It is spread across the top ranks of international movements, national governments and bureaucracies, corporations, universities and third-sector organisations. It makes sure its acolytes are endowed with fat wallets and cheap prestige. It is a self-serving monstrosity barely kept in check by a dwindling cadre of patriots. These are Steve Bannon’s ‘Davos Men’.
While mindful of the vested interests being challenged, there are definite grounds for optimism. Placing proven patriots in international roles, and starving organisations that are working against national interests of the oxygen of finance, are important first steps.
More importantly however, we need to champion the cause of nationalism. We must persuade the well-meaning and idealistic among our compatriots that nationalism stands against the totalitarian pretensions of totalistic globalism.
We must expose the lie that globalism represents peace, rather than oppression.
We must continue fighting for the sovereignty and independence of our state, and, as we have in times past, stand up for other nations’ right to self-determination.
Despite present protestations, this might not always mean “peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”.
It will mean saying ‘no’ to those foreign networks, corporations and interests that would strip us of our civil liberties and ancient freedoms.
But it will also mean that whatever happens, as a nation we will have chosen to hew our own farrow, chosen to take responsibility for our actions, and chosen to be free.
Author: David McHutchon
Article Licence: CC BY-ND 4.0