Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Brexit: Are We Without the Peace?

Unraveling, Coming Together, and Reaction

The purpose of the European Union is to make and keep peace within Europe and in Europe's relations with the rest of the world. Yet every state within the EU has its reactionary factions, which would rather leave the EU, regardless of consequences. People are driven in to the anti- side by years of steady immiseration and then the hard drop into poverty caused by austerity policies, and there is the queasy sense of loss of national identity.

If enough of these factions, all alike and all hating each other, come together the global economy will unravel. The networks of trade that make us a rich world, if not all of us rich people, will be dismantled and all nations will be the poorer for it. Refugees will be turned away to be crushed under brutal autocrats. Possibly shooting wars will follow.

In every country I have examined I can find specific issues, yet somehow all these issues have come together all at once. So I seek a unifying model. In the increasing unification of the world, I think I have found one. The world is now a global village, and people are not comfortable with their new neighbors. I seek in history for parallels, and I find them in the periods before the world wars. As the world become more and more connected, first by rail and telegraph and then by radio, we had vast reactions: World War I and World War II. And, indeed, the world became less unified for a while. But the process of unification continued, and now we have television and the internet, and global challenges that can only be addressed by more unification. And we have a reactionary movement. Dare I hope we can keep the peace?

1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

As the world gets larger (NOT smaller) people retreat into their tribal zones where they find comfort in community. The problem is how to shape the tribal zones so people feel they have control over their lives. Once that happens, the pieces can be fitted back together again in some new arrangement. BUT the tribal zones all overlap geopolitically and some of them have no boundaries. The immigration upheavals that the European world (and I include Canada and USA) are a direct result of 500 years of Europeans enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of the globe. The chickens are coming home to roost and I fear the EU will come unglued.
We have had peace of a sort since the end of the "30 years war" 1914 to 1945, but I think it is coming to an end. If it were not for nuclear weapons, at least some would survive a Hobbesian war of all against all. Now I am not so sure.