Brexit and the Democratic Deficit (2019), by Sean Gabb — SEAN GABB

Brexit and the Democratic Deficit Sean Gabb (Published in The Commentator on the 20th October 2019) One of the more fatuous, though effective, claims of the Leaver side in the Brexit Referendum was that we should “Take back control.” The assumption behind this was that Britain before 1973 was somehow more of a democracy than…

via Brexit and the Democratic Deficit (2019), by Sean Gabb — SEAN GABB

One comment

  1. I agree that the democratic argument for Brexit was always fatuous, but I have a very different understanding to yours as to what the nature of the European Union is. I think you have fallen into the same broad mistake that, if I may say so, is common among people of your generation who went through the 1973 EEC entry and 1975 referendum.

    As I have mentioned elsewhere, I think the ‘people-friendly’ faction of the elite (as Neil Lock might call them), whom I would say included Margaret Thatcher, made a critical and fundamental error from the 1960s in assuming that the Continentals and Schumanistes had the same conceptual understanding of trade as pertains in the Anglophone world. For Anglophones and other rational people, ‘trade is trade’. Thatcher brought in the Single European Act in the belief that there could be a Continental reformation along English liberal lines (I use the term liberal in the Gladstonian sense here). The Single Market was, ironically, a British innovation. The idea was that Europe would expand as an integrated free trade market with globalist sympathies, and one secondary benefit of this might even have been the collapse of the Comintern bloc (which fell anyway, for other reasons).

    But the Schumanistes don’t believe trade is trade. The EU project is an emotional-political-ideological project. It is therefore an irrational project. Hence, the Europeans adopted the European view, that trade is politics, and instead of being a force for liberation and prosperity, the Single Market became a Continent-wide regulatory carcerem.

    This explains why Hard Brexit (or Clean Brexit, or Real Brexit, or just Brexit, or whatever you want to call it) is necessary, and also why the anti-people faction of the elite (the elitist elite) also made a fundamental error, because they harboured the same misconceptions as the pro-people elitists like Thatcher. They should have realised that the important thing was the preservation and sustaining of the Irrational Project, not the details of politico-trade arrangements, thus the way forward for Remain was Flexcit or some other type of Brino, and they should have implemented that. Blocking Brexit was an unintelligent evolutionarily ‘dumb’ approach.

    Sometimes ‘dumb’ is the right way forward. For Brexiters, Hard Brexit is ‘dumb’, and also the right way forward. But Remainers needed to be smart, and they haven’t been.

Leave a Reply