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+2 votes
what are your thoughts on:

-jingoists being more openly jingoist

-the weakening of the eu

-whatever?

edit: brexit- brittish exit from the european union. there was a referendum held recently within the uk on leaving the eu and leave won.
by (390 points)
edited by
It's normal to not be aware of what happens so far away. But never dismiss the capacity of those 27 small EU countries creating a huge mess for everybody!

Here are some pages in english. You can find all sorts of opinions on brexit but in general the establishment, upper classes and also many young people were for staying in the EU, while the areas with bigger economic problems were favorable to leaving.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/25/meet-10-britons-who-voted-to-leave-the-eu

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/14/left-reject-eu-greece-eurosceptic

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/28/succumb-brexit-disaster-save-future-referendum-fallout
Brexit is the symptomatic cause of the crisis of institution and its inability to understand its own body politic. Technically we voted leave but specifically England and Wales had and because England has that many more people than the other nation states combined, NI and Scotland were left in the dust. The EU was the only institution maintaining the global stand off, each main state with its own nuclear deterrent, each with its own interest tied to the middle east, each with their own view on how to annexe Russia, if at all. The EU was the shack we hid under when we found ourselves on the nuclear testing site. Now we are left exposed and once we had left, we realised that we were hidden underneath a shack. The wool had been pulled and the fear for our situation has intensified.

The vote was won on Jingoism with little regard for fact, absolutely. The United Kingdom is now perceived as two nation states clashing with the other two. The EU is the locus of political thought, whether you're for or against it determines where you stand politically as its roots are deeply embedded with our cultural history. Shit's going to go down, I can hear it in the sirens of police vans and the nervous vomitrons at three in the morning.

As an anarchist I believe in liberation to bring about localism where society can exist within the confines of the walls in front of you not this imagined, abstract geography.

The EU has freedom of movement along its nation states which was a step in the right direction. Its continual expansion is something I hoped for because liberation is a slow and painful process as I understand as a chain of events. There isn't going to be a rebellion anytime soon because our country has made us complacent. Jingosim being the placating heroin to our intellect. What's wrong here is that the instituions are eating themselves which is happening because of the surge of support of the facist right wing in the form of neo-nazism, zionism, jingoism, imperialsim and the anti-intellectual. Factions of political parties on the inside will disagree on how to fight its own political extremism because deep down, there is some empathy, disgustingly enough, for their causes as dictated by a neo-liberalist policy which is that of the majority which is therefore the white, european man.

The aryan male always prevailed within european politics, despite WW2 being firm in our cultural memory. Hitler was the best spin doctor, evil inc on the front of Time magazine and the crispest marketing campaign that anyone did saw. Aesthetics that breached the boundaries of letters and flags and found it way in art, our clothes, our frickin' kitchen ware when it should've been left in the instituions, to be used only to distinguish which side they're on. I saw mugs that said Leave and In, I shit you not! Its a system rigged against its own guilt creating the same outcomes as it did in 1939 but now its effects are crossing seas. Trump, the white, blonde man with all the spin doctors and emperor clothes you could shake a stick at is taking a punt. And sadly our people have been fed such little information on the subject matter and our educational institutions so old we are only just catching up with the zeitgeist, really, we are. In Britain there's a great deal of snobbery to the idea of the contemporary. We underestimated the power of new technology and its media, which led to the truth dissolving in a brew of lies. 'Fact' now becoming a shorthand for hide and seek.  

I personally think we're fucked and something bigger than we can never know is happening in Westminster and I'd hate to think what they're plotting in Moscow right now. All I want to do is hide underneath a rock, smoke weed, listen to the Minutemen and read my book about the IRA. Fuck this shit.
i wanted to delay sharing my opinion in order to not pose a leading question. so here goes.

i would have hoped that jingoists stayed under their bridge after the vote. there were plenty of other reasons to vote leave. also i suspect that treaties will be established that keep migration rights close to what they are.

i think that any event that weakens the power of a state (or in this case organization of states) is beneficial. i don't really see it as a reform, more like a strategy of moving to a more favorable battlefield. the eu was well on it's way to becoming a full blown state, and it's leaders have advocated establishing things such as an army to cement that status. i like the prospects for resistance a lot better in a politically fragmented world because the state is weaker.

that being said i acknowledge that most "national liberation" movements are unliberatory. and i don't really advocate secession in most other contexts because of the effort involved. but in this one, they made it so damn easy.
seraph9888, to some extent, I agree. Secession from a larger state of affairs to a smaller nation does seem logical in the fight to absolve power but we must keep in mind the UK is a union whose power lies with one nation, England. Without the EU the other nation states autonomy have been weakened as they relied on their support. Our revolution has been moved from the paddling pool to the Petri dish with the largest of the nation states attempting to swallow up the smaller amoebas. The EU wasn't on its way to becoming a state, people have saying this since its begun and our democratic elect had always voted with that fear in mind and so did all of our European kin. And we always had sovereignty, for Christ sake Britain invented the term. Brexit is a huge blow to peace, liberty and opportunism. The stage for The Revolution has become smaller and might now be irrelevant according to an empowered Westminster. It's a blow to the individual who had wished to mobilise and self organise without the limits of migration, education and protection for protest. Where folk get section 60'd on the spot for protesting against a cause that works within our nations interests, it may now happen much more often for the anarchic contrarians who hold the counter point of view. Ten percent of the worlds cctv cameras are set up here, we went to war with Iraq despite what had been said in the Chilcot imquiry, this is not a state to trust with more power. We have a political class who are just as irresponsible.

As to the migration question, there's talk of moving to the Australian points based system. But it is still very uncertain what may happen. It all depends on who we vote for. The next general election will be a big one.
"i think that any event that weakens the power of a state (or in this case organization of states) is beneficial. "

i don't necessarily agree, especially when the weakening of one state merely serves to strengthen another. which is usually the case, from everything i have read, observed and experienced in my lifetime. sometimes, the conflicting "states" reside within the same geopolitical borders.

but what do i know. i am just a dumb individual that has chosen to do my best to avoid all states and their power, as best i can. if i lived in somalia or syria (etc), i might think/feel differently.

2 Answers

+1 vote
Hi seraph9888,

I live in the EU and I'm positive about brexit because the alternative of things staying as they are, with expanding bureaucracy and authoritarism, would be even worse. I'm not sure what will the immediate results be; surely not a direct path to a more healthy anachist society. But at least it will rock the boat.

The idea that brexit voters are racist/xenophobic may have some truth in it as it is easier to blame your South or East european neighbour for the worsening of working condions and salaries in the country, than seeing that it is a deliberate strategy from those in power. However, there is also a lot of propaganda from the powerful media that serve the elites.

The EU, with Germany ahead, is crushing the economy of the weaker EU countries to produce cheap labour that then migrates north, for eg to the UK, competing with workers in those richer countries. This results in a progressive worsening of the working conditions everywhere, reversing hard fought conquests of unions, and moving us all closer to the ideal neoliberal society in which 99% of the population are slaves of the 1% elite.

The EU is a corrupt organization that serves this ideal and, so, everything that can make it weaker in this respect is positive in my view.
by (520 points)
edited by
do you really think that britain splitting off from the EU is really going to have a good effect on people who are on the bottom end of the socio-economic ladder? I'm a little skeptical about that, but would like to hear your thoughts.

"The EU, with Germany ahead, is crushing the economy of the weaker EU countries to produce cheap labour that then migrates north, for eg to the UK, competing with workers in those richer countries."

i mean, what differences will this make (brexit) economically for the people of Europe (or around the world)?
Ricksantorum666, I don't know, nobody does. Both alternatives are bad and, in fact, nobody knows whether brexit will effectively materialize. But giving up to all the bullying and threatens of the EC, IMF, ECB, etc. would have been even worse. They've done the same to Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, at least. The EU is  a very sick institution. For me the difference is that we live now and, so, we should try to influence or at least understand what is happening around us.

Edited to add an eg, of the eurozone, that shows how sick the EU is: Germany is today a black hole, absorbing all the resources and growing stronger every day. They need the weaker countries to be in the eurozone and these countries to be weak, so that (i) the euro in low enough to enhance their exports; (2) all the money in the finance system flyes to their banks. Indeed, at this moment they have negative interest rates, i.e., the more they borrow the lower their debt!! So, from time to time, they launch incendiary news of problems in Portugal or Spain to be able to impose ever stricter austerity to the people in those countries. Leaving this "club" is the only reasonable thing to do.

I do like the freedom of the schengen space, being able to easily go from one euro country to another. But we need to do someting about this unfair state of things.
hi whatever, thanks for giving more specifics to those of us not in europe (or keeping up with--or trusting where we get--news from across the ocean).

for what it's worth, there is a tension for anarchists (at least for the ones i know) between reforms, which are about making life more bearable/livable in today's world and anarchy, which is a vision of a really different world. usually it's a lot clearer what should be reformed than it is what will bring a fully different world. and there is a real question also about reforms making a different world more distant (instead of a linear progression of things getting better and better until we wake up one morning and we're in anarchy land).

some of us err more on the visionary, far-away, don't-know-how-to-get-there-from-here anarchy, and some err on the let's-make-things-better-how-we-can-here-and-now.
(and of course those perspectives don't have to be in opposition, they just usually are.)
"usually it's a lot clearer what should be reformed than it is what will bring a fully different world"

not if you analyze things :-(....like for example, it's pretty obvious that the medical system in the US is pretty fucked up, but the question of making it better and/or instituting a more socialist system (if we are to assume socialist medicare is a goal to be had) is a technical nightmare...
i said what, not how. just sayin'.
Dot, thanks a lot for explaining, it's nice to learn those things. I think I'm more on the side of thinking how we can make small changes that make our world progressively less authoritarian. I have the feeling that many people would simply be unable to cope with a sudden transition.

whatever, i agree that many people would have a very difficult time with a sudden transition.

some questions that point raises:

is there a singular "our world" (not speaking of the planet we all inhabit, but the social structures and dynamics of mass society)? should there be? 

is there a way to enact progressive reforms that does not appeal to, enforce and strengthen the very authoritarian systems that would have to be gone for widespread anarchic existence?

the tension that dot refers to above is very real, and in fact may be one of the predominant issues for those who approach radical change with the presumption of continued mass society.

i personally do not see mass society as reconcilable with widespread anarchy; i think it (mass society) actually requires types of control and authority that could never allow the kind of liberated existence i desire. but i find myself in the extreme minority with that perspective.

@funky: I pretty much whole heartedly agree with your positions, that a mass society completely interferes with any anarchist dreams/desires. The whole question of force both boils down to a human tendency towards fear and more importantly, that it's absolutely necessary in order for mass society to function, and as you know the institutions that control our society just continue to feed themselves ad infinitum unless they are destroyed.

However, there is a possible middle road between making little reforms and complete nihilism: there's the possiblility of nihilists/anarchists having effects on the political realm without paying homage to it or becoming consumed by it. For example, I was part of a regional "occupy" group when that whole thing was going on (this was about a year before i became an anarchist) and during a meeting some of the more radical members talked about influencing politics without endorsing political candidates, and this idea was appealing to me since the idea of endorsing politicians made me sick to my stomach.

Over the past couple of months I tried to start a political project with 2 likeminded people where the aim would be to advocate defunding of the local police department (for those who want history, do a google search of police violence in martinsburg wv, not only are they just assholes on a regular basis but they killed a schizophrenic black guy basically for not showing his id). My focus was to show how police in general aren't useful to the health of communities, and the accomplice who was most interested wanted to make some arguments based off statistics comparing things that other municipalities did, and i thought this would be a way to simultaneously attack the justice system itself.

And as i did the research, i came to the conclusion it would be difficult to make statistical arguments on the matter (what exactly constitutes "crime" anyway? opponents would pretty much want you to argue from every angle on your part whilst they give no thought to the matter of their own) and that making arguments based off statistics is silly and makes no useful conclusions given that the assumptions of what's good/bad need to be questioned to begin with, and the funny thing is they just agreed with me. We talked a little about making pamphlets that just attack the system as a whole but since this was just a desire of mine the project has now been abandoned.

Ain't trying to change the world in little ways just great? Well, fuck "the world", trying to have discussions about changing politics or charity-for-the-weak always just ends up fucking up its own purpose.

I was thinking about posting a question related to this, any influence-politics projects that have ended up being fulfilling to ya'll?

funky@ wrote: "is there a singular "our world" (not speaking of the planet we all inhabit, but the social structures and dynamics of mass society)? should there be?"

i think this is a great point to bring up, except that i would definitely include planet Earth. one of the most appealing pretty moral pictures 'improvers of mankind' utilize is that of lonely planet Earth-on-black with platitudes like 'all one people' emblazoned upon it. after all, the belief in a unified 'Nature' is espoused nearly everywhere within our mass anti-society; through science, through religion, through ideology, and thus, of course, politics.

in my own estimation this article of faith is perhaps the most insidious for it's a basis for the very fragmentation these very 'improvers' wish to combat.

About the progressive / fast transition. I agree that by trying to make incremental changes we may not see many differences. However: (1) you may be unable to do more than that; (2) it's a form of resistance; (3) most people don't want a sudden transition and, so, you could only implement it by force which means that what you'd achieve would be yet another authoritarian system. Differently, progressive change will give people time to feel confortable with freedom. And, meanwhile, we can try to find/build a nice anarchist bubble (community, partner, whatever) to live. In fact, doing so is already a contribution to change.
i believe this calls for another thread, actually.

so here:

http://anarchy101.org/13595/what-right-and-wrong-with-the-idea-gradual-transition-anarchy

"(2) it's a form of resistance;"

that depends on how one defines resistance, and how these progressive/incremental changes are achieved. if they are achieved by appealing to those in power, then i would say that is highly questionable. reforms are typically (though maybe not always) the tactics of the "loyal opposition".

"progressive change will give people time to feel confortable with freedom. "

wow. that speaks volumes about your perspective, and how you define freedom. 

but i do agree with the idea of building one's own life as much outside the systems of power and control as possible. the bubble of which you speak. i just would caution against having any illusions of what that kind of autonomous change means, in some big picture. "leading by example" is for those interested in leading or leaders. not me.

@whatever: I also have an issue with your statement that "progressive change will give people time to feel confortable with freedom. ", because freedom is quite a cheesy and vague notion in the way that people typically talk about it.

It seems pretty obvious at this point that despite that in the USA people seem to love "freedom", they don't really have much of it except for the freedom of ownership, and that's the case only because it's the wealthiest country in the world. I don't think I'm the person to try and come up with another definition of the word, but the whole progressive-change thing that's an inherent part of the left has been going on for a while, and life hasn't actually improved for people except for the whole "living standard" thing, which also deserves to be called into question. People in the wealthy western countries overall just seem to be anxious, irritated, confused, ect.

Have you read any dystopian books such as "brave new world" or seen the movie "the giver"? I feel like a collective society revolution can only lead to lives that are increasingly more bland and lifeless, because the desire to nuetralize discomfort and conflict ultimately must lead to such. However, I also see a huge problem with anarchists/nihilists who proclaim "bloody revolution or none at all!". I ultimately feel that revolutions must be slow but they also must depart from the cozy-bourgie and leftist mentality if they are not to lead to more confinement, duldrum, imprisonment ect.

@dot: i shall read that thread but I will not depart from the discussion at this location because it would be inconveinient.

i also want to point out that "reform vs revolution",  (or "reform vs nihilism") is a false dichotomy, in my mind. i want neither. i want all institutions of authority and hierarchy GONE. i have no idea how that might come about; but i do know that neither reform nor revolution (much less nihilism) has ever come even close, and i see no possible way they could.

again, i see that as (at least largely) a result of the complete and uncritical acceptance of "mass society" (and everything that implies and imposes) by... pretty much everyone.
well funky, this is why anarchism for me isn't such an important thing as it once was, the destruction of society's institutions can only be accomplished by natural disasters ect., the total destruction of humanity. I don't prefer to walk around as a total misanthrope either, because that can only lead to total loneliness.

I'm still curious if nihilists have had any experiences in tiny destructions of social institutions that are heart-lifting/inspiring, lol

rs666: " the destruction of society's institutions can only be accomplished by natural disasters ect., the total destruction of humanity"

really? and you know this... how?

i do not equate the end of mass society, or the destruction of its constituent authoritarian institutions, with the "total destruction of humanity". though, that is one approach. :-)

i have very strong misanthropic tendencies, and i hate being around most people. yet, people that know me would consider me quite "social" when interacting with those i choose to interact with. it's not a dichotomy, for me. misanthropy might equate to loneliness for you, but not necessarily for me.

its not really a dichotomy, its that if im going to say "i hate people", then well, that doesn't mean "i hate certain people". To say "I hate certain people" isn't misanthropy at all
misanthropy: a hatred or distrust of humankind.

taken literally, that is both a mass generalization, and to me, largely essentialist (some definitions i have seen refer to a "human nature"). it does not in any way address individuals. which is the only way i care to relate to my world.

that's why i say i have misanthropic tendencies, i don't claim to be a misanthrope. but we digress from the topic of the question.
well, for ME, there are people who i don't hate but i see tendencies in their personalities that resembles that still contributes my general hatred for mankind, myself not excluded, i just choose not to focus on my hatred for mankind too often because it's counterproductive
+3 votes

I live in the UK, and I have mixed feelings about Brexit, most immediately dismay, because I'd prefer a world with no borders, not more than we have now; but also a feeling of anticipation, because finally something has happened that has the potential to shake up the status quo in Europe. After what the EU did to the Greeks it does feel good that the super-state project is now on the back foot.

I'll warn you now, this'll be a long post, and I'm going to go off on a couple tangents, but it's all relevant from where I'm sitting.

I'm not a leftist, but the outrage over how the current globalised order has immiserated, and is immiserating billions of people, which has propelled Europe's new leftist movements to prominence (Syriza, Podemos, Corbyn etc) is something that I feel too, and so I do sympathise with these movements. The problem for them is, as we witnessed with Greece, that the nation state is no longer sovereign, especially in Europe. So even the election of a radical leftist government (something which would ordinarily not be allowed to happen, but which couldn't be stopped because so many people were so angry at the establishment) was defeated by supranational, supra-state captialism. Britain leaving the EU is about the biggest 'fuck you' that my corner of the world could have given to all of that. 

However it won't fix anything that people want it to fix, no one will get more sovereignty, power or freedom out of this. It's not going to fix liberal democratic capitalism, which is in a long term crisis - in western (and now some eastern) economies, jobs are being automated and outsourced overseas, so demand is slack and people are pissed because we still have this ridiculous notion ingrained in our culture and socio-economic structures - that to live you must work, and there is less and less work. Capitalism's answer so far has just been to outsource, expand certain sectors like the service, tech and finance sectors, but it can't go on forever - unemployment and casualised work is incredibly high across much of Europe and no one has any idea of how to deal with it. Either automation or climate change will bring things to a head, when enough people are simply not able to make a living from work,and it may be in our lifetimes. 

On the other hand, for a great many people Brexit isn't about saying 'fuck you' to supranational authoritarian capitalism. It's about simple xenophobia, 'sending them (people who aren't white or don't speak with a British accent) back', having an excuse to be openly racist and unashamed. I'm not into morality, so maybe 'unashamed' isn't the best word, but racism is something I can't abide. Too many of the people I care about aren't white, and racism is based on essentialism, the denial of empathy and exclusion of those who are different,outsiders. It disgusts me, and thanks to this referendum non-whites and immigrants are now facing an emboldened tide of racist abuse and attacks. Even the police have said the referendum is responsible for Britain's 'worst rise in recorded hate crime'*. I'm worried that regardless of whether Trump wins or loses the US presidential election, when it's over we'll see something similar in the US, when either the racists are emboldened by his victory or enraged by his defeat (which he'll obviously claim was rigged...which it is, but not against him specifically).

If I'm honest, the most infuriating part of the Brexit story is how unoriginal it is. It's just the wealthy elites playing power games with each other and screwing over everyone else in the process, much like WW1, just with a lot less dead bodies. 

This whole thing began because (now former) Prime Minister David Cameron was afraid he wasn't going to win the last election, so he put the referendum in his manifesto to appeal to the Conservative party's support base, and keep them from defecting to UKIP. All the polls suggested that no party would win outright, so he anticipated having to go into coalition with the Liberal Democrats again, who would make him repudiate that particular manifesto pledge. Only that didn't happen, the Conservatives won outright, and from then on it became a personal power struggle between a couple of private school boys who'd been in the same exclusive dining club at Oxford University (look up the Bullingdon Club, it's a perfect example of the British upper classes' excess and exclusivity), and were then both leaders in the Conservative party. The referendum campaign was full of lies, false promises (shocker!) and toxic anti-migrant/'Make Britain Great Again!' rhetoric. Now there's a recession coming, and everyone who's not wealthy is basically fucked, but at least something's broken the inertia and stirred up some confusion in the institutions :)

I have many more thoughts on this shitshow, but that's where I'll leave it at for now, don't want to pop a vein.

*https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/11/police-blame-worst-rise-in-recorded-hate-on-eu-referendum

by (6.2k points)
My own thoughts on Brexit are very, very close to those of Yosemite.  Only I don't have mixed emotions about it since the "anticipation" is by far the dominant feeling for me.

At root this is the same as the Black Lives Matter movement: dignity. The Leave camp in the Brexit debate could have called itself Limey Lives Matter.

Nature shows us that in our dimension of existence there are limits to the size of a whole (organism, society) beyond which the survival of its parts requires division into two or more distinct individual wholes. This limitation is due to imperfect, delayed communication between parts. The more parts there are who have to work together, the greater the problem of communication between them all and the greater the difficulty of concerted action. Think about how stressful it is to get all of your family out of the house and into the car versus how easy it is to get yourself alone out of the house and into the car.  Survival demands flexibility. In our dimensions large, hierarchical systems hurt the ability of the individuals to live more than they help.

Leaving the EU is great for Britons. But as said by others, it won't be enough. Even the UK is way too big. It is too inefficient with internal communication/understanding and mutual appreciation between parts to survive as an individual.  If only the spirit of "Leave" can continue and snow-ball, leading to the break-up of the UK into autonomous regions, and those in turn break-up into autonomous communities, and those in turn break up into autonomous individual humans who agree, individually, to respect, protect and empower each other as individuals...

Then, and only then, will the Leave voter get what he really cries out for.

You may saaaaayyy I'm a dreamer....
...