01 02 03 The Revolted Colonies (TM) : Going Native 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Going Native


 There will always be an England, presumably, and there will always be its Channel, to use as it pleases.  For the past 70 years it has been a conduit to the European mainland and the shared market.  The other day the British converted it back into a moat. The United Kingdom, once a globe-encircling Empire, is shrinking back into the island country of its origin. In the age of globalization, England wants to go it alone. This past June, for the first time, England grew its own tea in Cornwall.  That must have been the straw.

   Pundits liken Britain's decision to leave the European Union to Trumpism: a populist, nativist movement, focused on taking back the country and maintaining control in white, Christian hands. One look at the platform at a Trump victory rally and you can see it: the Monochrome Coalition. In the UK, the Leavers were lurking in the shadows until the light was shone upon them.

   Tribal ambition is coupled with the guarantee to voters to restore the country to its former glory, although nobody has explained how one thing triggers the other.  In America, the not well-kept secret is that Trump is supported by the many of the wealthiest Americans; not just the disenfranchised working-class which is the target of his pitch. 

     Brexit, and Frexit, the French movement to exit the EU, and Nexit (the Netherlands) are after something else: freedom.   “Victory for freedom!" exclaimed Marine Le Pen, a leader of France's xenophobic National Front.  "As I have been asking for years, now we need to have the same referendum in France and in the countries of the EU.”

     Dissatisfied Europeans from member countries fault EU handling of the economy.  France's Thomas Piketty wrote that we are in a period of slow growth, which never favors the working-class, and there is not much that anyone globally can do about it.  Who else is there to blame? You can't fire all the players, so you fire the manager.

     The nativist streak is most glaring in anti-immigration politics. The native population is outraged to have to share with, let alone support, emigres and refugees.  How short the memory; these same outcasts once were their colonial drudges.

Most surprising, though, is that there is an undercurrent of hostility to corporate welfare, similar to Bernie Sanders' principal concern.  Europeans believe that the EU is captive to nationless hydra-headed corporations, whose influence dictates EU policy.  

     Why does anyone think that breaking up the EU will put an end to corporate domination of politics? England, France and whoever else exits the European Union will be subjected to the same enticement and threats by companies who are better funded than nation-states to wage economic war.

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