The Marching Morons take the UK

Brexit was pretty much inevitable because the voting pool in the recent UK referendum was overloaded with regressive, ignorant, selfish, a...

Brexit was pretty much inevitable because the voting pool in the recent UK referendum was overloaded with regressive, ignorant, selfish, and irrationally fearful people.

Humanity is moving closer and closer to an overall unity around the globe. More and more, the other is not the person of another culture, gender, race, or nation of birth. Our values are changing, becoming more sophisticated, and less easily fooled by meaningless superficialities like the colour of one's skin and other accidents of history. Discrimination still exists, to be sure, and it leads to many avoidable tragedies; but it's no where near as bad as it used to be. Barring some unforeseen disaster, it is pretty much inevitable that this trend will continue, to literally everyone's benefit in the long run. Our progress in these matters has been led by well-informed, rational, evidence-based decision-making, and pretty much every effort to resist this progress has been rooted in ignorance, selfishness, and fear.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent UK Brexit referendum. Consider, for instance, this article in the Telegraph, which shows some key demographic trends in the vote. Key points:

Old people voted to leave. The older a population gets, the more fearful of change it becomes. Older brits are also more likely to remember fondly the days of British privilege (which were terrible for everyone else, and stunningly regressive by modern standards) that made them feel safe and powerful. As the rate of technological and societal change increases (can you say "Future Shock"?), older people are more likely to get left behind. As an older person myself, I can tell you this is a very real phenomenon. The older generations also include many of the power-brokers of industry and politics, like the Drumpfly* flatulent Nigel Farage, who have a deeply selfish motivation to maintain the status quo, no matter what the long-term damage may be to everyone else.

Uneducated people voted to leave. Lack of knowledge and critical thinking skills leads to poor decisions and increased gullibility. To place the fate of an entire nation in the hands of the uneducated is criminal.

Blue collar workers voted to leave. This is a logical consequence of the other two. Blue collar workers are getting older faster, and tend to have less education, than others.

The regressive right (e.g., Ukip) voted to leave. This too follows naturally, as the political right attracts those who are fearful of change - "conservatives" - and therefore attract anyone who wants to return to The Old Ways, whether they have good reason or not. Conservatism would be fine in a perfect world, because we would want to conserve that perfect world as long as possible. But it's not a perfect world - not by a long shot. Conservatism has no place in the world we have today.

Immigrants voted to stay. This is surely not surprising. They voted for the thing that gave them a chance at a new and better life. Many of them are expecting to bring relatives over, something that Brexit would hinder significantly. The notion of establishing "cultural outposts" in other nations is alive and well. Not necessarily the most moral thing to do, but it is certainly predictable. Immigration is an important mechanism at the global level, to drive change; to simply try to stop it is regressive by definition, and ultimately doomed to failure.

Scotland voted to stay. Scotland + Britain = Great Britain. So Scotland is what makes Britain great. Or so goes the joke told by Scots. Scotland wants EU influence to offset the second class status imposed on them by England. Again, a bit selfish; but in this case, it's at least grounded in a desire for true progress rather than societal stagnation.

Of course these were not universal trends but statistical ones - not all seniors, for instance, voted to leave. I am not proposing a crisp dichotomy; education will not fix all our ills, and fear has its uses. But they very clearly are important trend indicators of a society's well-being.

Considering how well documented this is, it's surprising that so few people have asked the obvious follow-up question: If there are some characteristics of people that are hallmarks of poor decision-making, which in turn correlate strongly with unhealthy societies, then why are we still affording those individuals the opportunity to influence decisions so as to hinder progress and cause even more harm?

Yes, that's right: I'm questioning the validity of democracy. Even setting aside that "democracy" has so many meanings these days, it is a means, not an end; it's a tool that's only as good as the society that it helps craft. The Scandinavian countries, Canada, Australia, and Germany are all using democracy to create successful societies. Other countries - Italy, Greece, the US, and now apparently the UK - not so much; in these latter cases, democracy seems to be literally destroying itself. If democracy is the means by which a society becomes unsuccessful and unhealthy, then what good is it? What good is a principle if it destroys those who hold it dear? So let's not get all dogmatic about democracy, shall we?

And I'm not just talking about the UK here. Or just the EU. Brexit will impact the whole planet, and very probably not in a good way. Besides the utter chaos that's going on inside the UK, there's all kinds of international craziness going on: the UK currency is plummeting in value, total global stock market losses appear to be on the order of $2 trillion, UK citizens who have retired elsewhere in the EU may suddenly find themselves treated like foreign moochers, trade agreements are in limbo,… Drumpf is even using Brexit to further his own demented agenda in the US. All this means that people all over the world will suffer as a result of Brexit.

We are a single, global society. Like it or not, globalization is here and its everywhere. Anyone who thinks that Brexit is a purely "internal" matter to the EU is utterly delusional, and everyone who voted for Brexit is complicit in every single ill that will result, regardless of where in the world it happens. We can't change the past, and we can't force the UK to do anything. But we can sure tell them how badly they've bollocksed this, and impress upon them the harm they will cause worldwide if they can't find a way to change this decision.

* Drumpfly, adj. being as Drumpf, who changed his name to Donald Trump; exhibiting general fuckwadery and shitheadedness; having sold one's moral compass to buy one's trophy wife new breasts; being as a ludicrous tangerine ballbag.



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The Trouble with Normal...: The Marching Morons take the UK
The Marching Morons take the UK
The Trouble with Normal...
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