The Scottish referendum: meh

The past week or so I’ve heard discussion about the possibility of Scotland having a second referendum on its independence from the United Kingdom, and today I have just learned that Scotland intends to carry out this referendum some time between 2018 and 2019. And you know what I think? Go ahead.

Yes, go ahead. If Scotland wants to pursue self-determination as its own country independent from the UK, even if it causes a major shake-up, then so be it.

Don’t think I don’t know what this is all about. It’s patently obvious, at least to me, that this is the SNP trying to get Scotland into the European Union separate from the rest of the UK because almost all of the Scots voted to Remain. That they chose to stay a member of the UK in 2014, thus staying as British citizens and therefore voting in the EU referendum as British citizens, appears to be irrelevant in this at least for Scots who want to secede from the UK.

And to be honest this is actually what bothers me, not the premise of Scottish independence in and of itself. Essentially Scotland’s plan is to secede from an existing national power and become its own nation-state, only to try and integrate into a larger supra-national political/economic union. One that is run by elite bureaucrats whose power cannot be affected by a democratic vote. That just seems like a damned farce to me. What’s the point? And from what I understand, the Scots won’t be automatically granted EU membership if they secede. They will have to apply to become an EU member state. And that’s assuming they’ll be accepted by the European Union at all.

Now this is just a hunch on my part, but I have a suspicion that the European Union isn’t interested in Scotland as a standalone nation. To me, a United Kingdom is too valuable for the European Union for them to take in only separate parts. Why do you think the EU leaders pursued the punitive measures that it did in response to the Brexit vote? Because they were about to lose a member state that they considered to be an important benefactor, whose separation from the union may well have inspired a succession of populist triumph across the rest of Europe and undermine the stability of the project as a whole. Beyond that, I suspect that a United Kingdom is simply of greater economic value to the European Union than Scotland, which has been hit with a major oil crisis in recent years.

I currently see two potential outcomes of a Scottish secession: if they succeed in leaving the UK and in entering the European Union, then it will be a farce; Scotland will have gained independence only to hand some of its power to the European Union – and make no mistake, the EU is very much on the path towards becoming its own supranational empire, with its own army, and its own central bank. If they succeed in  leaving the UK and fail to become an EU member state, then it will still be a farce, for Scotland will have pursued its independence only to fail – essentially they’ll have done all that for nothing, and that’s important because I don’t believe for a minute that, in this instance, Scotland is interested solely in its own independence.

But then there’s the elephant in the room that is the SNP itself. If Scotland becomes indepenedent, then barring a Scottish general election afterwards I presume that the new nation-state of Scotland would be governed by the SNP. That’s a little worrying because I suspect that the SNP has an authoritarian bent, an example being their advocacy of the named persons scheme which requires that children have a state-appointed guardians intefering with their lives on a regular basis, and another being Alex Salmond’s desire to “ban all Donald Trumps”, and then there’s the super ID database they proposed a while back. So needless to say, I worry that an independent Scotland won’t actually be freer at all, and may become more authoritarian instead.

Other than that, I don’t feel compelled in any way to oppose the Scottish referendum ultimately, or its outcome. Either way they vote, then bully for them. If they’re doing this because of Brexit, then I am willing to accept an independent Scotland and/or potentially a divided United Kingdom as the price to pay for us leaving the EU (not least because that was my vote).

Oh, and if the British government or whoever does decide to rename the UK if Scotland successfully secedes, then whatever you do don’t call it England! I have a funny feeling that it might just piss off Wales.

The echoes of the past that today’s intelligentsia probably don’t want you to think about

My brother had to sit through another contextual studies lecture at university, this time he was introduced part 1 of a four part documentary series by Adam Curtis entitled “Century of Self”, which is all about how the thinks the idea of a consuming self was manufactured by society, and last night he invited me to watch it because he wanted to see what I thought of it. And let me just say something up front: I personally detest Alan Curtis. I think of him as someone who trades in sophistry and generates a living from it (does that Nixon documentary he aired on Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe ring a bell?). Weirdly enough it’s not so much that the documentary I’m talking about is based on complete lies – there is factual content to be found within the documentary – but Curtis’ argument is also misleading in that he presents half-truths alongside otherwise factual information. But the documentary also provides a fascinating window into a historical parallel to the political travails of the current era.

This film (which is subtitled “Happiness Machines”) centers around the exploits of a man named Edward Bernays, an advertiser, propagandist and innovator in the realm of public relations during the 20th century, and how according to Curtis he was responsible for the creation of modern consumer culture. Right away I have a problem with the essential premise. According to the film, Bernays seemed to view humans as passive consumers who are ruled by drives that they cannot control (he even seemed to view the masses as stupid), and that by satiating their desires they can be controlled, deriving his theory from Freud’s theory of the unconscious. But strangely enough the film often makes it seem like Bernays is responsible for implanting desires into peoples’ heads that they didn’t have before, and that this is where today’s consumer culture comes from. But it seems to me that all Bernays did was exploit desires that were already there and do what we already know advertisers do today – take a desire that already exists, and appeal to that desire and convince people to follow that desire via persuasion.

I had a similar discussion in a dissertation-themed contextual studies lecture once when one of the speakers talked to us about advertising and subliminal messaging – he argued that we are driven to want something that we otherwise wouldn’t through carefully crafted imagery, while I pointed out that many of the drives being exploited via advertising – lust, envy, hunger etc – are already present in the human condition. All the advertisers do is find a way to titillate them in order to achieve the outcome of consumption. It’s not exactly brainwashing in the strictest sense. The film makes it seem like corporations and politicians create desires, but desires are not created by others. They already exist, just that they can be awoken through the power of suggestion. And man’s desires and needs are part of a hierarchy – we don’t just pursue only what we need, and then have to be conditioned into wanting more. Once we have the lower parts of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs fulfilled, we can pursue other desires, like the desire for self-improvement for instance. Hell, I’d argue that even the basic needs spring from one desire in particular – the desire for self-preservation. After all, if we didn’t want to stay alive, we would we bother killing animals for food, building shelters or fires for warmth, drinking water or even sleeping, and if we didn’t want to continue a line of succession for the species, why would we procreate?

The film seems to present Bernays as responsible for getting people to trade stocks, pushing what would become the first department store, convincing women to smoke and getting an entire generation of Americans to believe in the magic of the free market. And this guy claims he’s not a leftist. For starters, the idea of a market where people trade in stocks or bonds has been around for centuries, dating back to at least the 17th century via the East India company, and the New York Stock Exchange we know it has been around since 1817. Also the first department store was established in 1858 and the idea that begun to spread before the 1920’s, free market capitalism has a long history, the ideological formations of which dating back to the likes of Adam Smith, and women have been smoking for centuries (though there may have been a social taboo surrounding it). And you can find most of that out with only a couple seconds or a minute on Google. It’s not great that you can find flaws in Curtis’ case so easily.

Apparently, at some point during the 20th century, confidence in the idea of democracy was weakening. It was increasingly believed that Man was incapable of making informed, rational decisions, was dominated by unseen and dangerous unconscious forces, and because of that Man was by nature an “unrational” being and needed to be controlled. Bizzarely enough the Russian Revolution, which happened in 1917, was seen as evidence by the media class of the day, who were according to Curtis influenced by the pessimistic view of human nature held by Sigmund Freud, that Western democracy needed to be challenged because of the mob mentality that erupted in Russia was proof that humans could not make rational decisions, seemingly invalidating a key principle of democracy, despite the fact that Tsarist Russia was both an autocracy and an empire – the opposite of the kind of republican democracy envisioned in the United States of America. Of course, not that the Soviet Russia that succeeded it was any better (in fact, arguably it was somehow worse). Bernays’ daughter Anne recounts who her father felt that democracy could not be trusted because he couldn’t trust “all those publics” to make the right judgement and not vote for the wrong person or have the wrong desires, which sounds like what the Remoaners were saying after they lost the Brexit vote. Are you beginning to feel like you’re in familiar territory yet?

A contemporary of Bernays, a political thinker by the name of Walter Lippmann, advocated for the concept of an elite group of people to manage democracy on behalf of the people and control their opinions through communication and media. Apparently he too was influenced by Freud and was interesting in psychological persuasion techniques, like those of Bernays, to convince the people that what Lippmann’s elites said was true, one of the methods of which was to form a “barrier between the public and the event” thereby allowing for the manipulation of information for public consumption. Well fuck me if that doesn’t sound like the mainstream media we have now. Oh and by the way, Lippmann also happened to be an advocate for socialism, and he was a member of various socialist groups including the Socialist Party of America. And isn’t that just magical? A socialist intellectual arguing for an elite, aristocratic class to stand above the people? Why is that relevant you might ask? Because it sounds a lot like the thought process behind the conception of the idea of the European Union before World War II and the actual foundation of what would become the European Union afterwards. Before World War II there was The United States of Europe, a paper released by Arthur Salter which documented his vision of supranational governing entity to govern the nations of Europe. After the war, Monnet, another leftist (not a died-in-the-wool socialist, but a consistent supporter of the French Socialist party), paved the way for federalism by working to pool economic resources into what would become the European Union, which over the years would grow from a supranational economic power, to a full-blown supranational political one with its own anthem, treasury, borders and the ability to override the will of its member states, managed by an elite technocratic class who cannot be elected or ousted democratically and obsessively and single-mindedly march toward the fruition of their “European project”. It’s like a billion-piece jigsaw puzzle suddenly falling into place, to quote Dave Lister in Red Dwarf, as if I needed another reason to despise the American, British and European left.

Bernays apparently felt like they had to guided from above (like in conventional religion, much?), believing in an “enlightened despotism”. Which, honestly, sounds a fucking lot like Bob “MovieBob” Chipman’s Twitter feed, a Guardian column about Internet “hate speech” or every filum of technocratic, anti-democratic dribble spewed from the leaders of the European Union. Assuming this is true, then we have a modern media and so-called liberal class that is full of people who follow the doctrine of Edward Bernays to this day. For today’s progressives and “liberals”, you can’t trust humans to think for themselves and you can’t trust them to be active citizens in a democracy, democracy doesn’t mean anything if they don’t vote the right way, so you have to convince them through propaganda to vote the right way or else the end of civilization as we know it is inevitable. That, my friends, is the philosophy that our political class follows today.

Apparently there was talk of the idea that, because Man is unrational and driven by unconscious desires and needed to be controlled because of it, a leader could ascend to power by taking the deepest fears and deepest desires of a subject or a citizen and appeal to those desires and use them to your own purposes. When I saw that with my brother I thought “this sounds like naked demagoguery” – demagoguery being when someone neither uses conventional reason nor speaks truth to power, instead cynically manipulating deep-seated longings and even prejudices in order to ascend to power – and this is what every Guardianista, every Clintonite and every modern leftist think that the likes of Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and the European far-right are doing, to the point that I honestly ask myself, how come the former are not ardent supporters of the latter?  If they truly believed that Donald Trump existed solely to give . Oh that’s right, because Hillary was the one actually doing this. Using sentimental slogans (Stronger Together anyone?; by the way, the Remain camp called and they want their originality back) and appealing to the vapid political and social climate of the day (for fuck’s sake she even had selfies taken of her as part of her campaign) rather than honestly addressing the issues outside of towing the Democratic party line. And that’s not getting into her corporate backing or the numerous wrongdoings that are now out in the open for all to see.

Or maybe it’s not because of Hillary. Maybe it’s because the media is the one decided what the terms are for being a demagogue. Someone speaking truth to power on anything, to those people, whilst going against the established order of things is a demagogue to those people. Either that, or it’s their job to make you believe that this is the case – which, let’s be honest, it is!

By the way, if you want to see what an actual demagogue looks like in my country, consult Owen Jones’ speech at an NUS rally circa November 19th 2016.

Getting back to the point, we also have Sigmund Freud coming out with his own take on civilization, which he felt was not an expression of human progress but instead nothing more than a necessary cage for human passions that would otherwise become dangerous. Apparently Freud felt that humans constantly needed to be controlled, and freedom of self-expression was impossible because it would bring about destruction. The implication is, thus, that humans are incapable of controlling themselves and constantly need to be guided by someone else. The problem I have with this is that this is not the proper remit of a government. It is true that humans can’t contain the savagery of a lawless state of affairs on their own, try as they might, and there is the need to outsource the need for security and stability to a larger body of power (hence, government). But a law enforcement can usually only contain savagery and criminality after the fact, they cannot and should control the passions of a citizenry. The onus is on individuals to at least attempt to control their own passions. Otherwise, if you want to live in a Demolition Man or Minority Report style world then go ahead – enjoy governments that act on the thoughts, feelings and desires of others rather than on actions and real issues and actively attempt to control or outright police them at the expense of your own freedom – but I would rather not. And the idea that civilization doesn’t bring content? Sounds like something I actually used to believe not too long ago, but now recognize as bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, modern civilization has its problems and can be a limiting force on the human spirit, but the idea that civilization doesn’t bring content or progress can be refuted by literally any technological and economic advancement that has ever been made in any civilization in the realms of not just entertainment, but also medicine, security and raising the standards of living. Anyone who actually believes that people aren’t happier living in a civilized society than otherwise should spend sometime in the pure state of nature, divorced from civilization and its benefits, and then see if that makes you much happier (I’m looking squarely at the anarcho-primitivists).

Let me tell you, I find the central premise of Lippmann and Freud’s assessment of human nature and democracy and their proposed solutions to both to be ultimately insensible. Don’t get me wrong I am apprised of the fact that there is indeed the innate capacity for savagery within the human species, and the fact that human history with resplendent with accounts of violence, war and mayhem, whether it’s in the name of either God (or the gods), a higher set of ideals or simply perceived self-interest. But I am also apprised of the underrated capacity for what others might call humanity. We are, at least in part, social animals. One of the key aspects of our survival as a species is the ability and willingness to cooperate with each other to achieve a desired goal, in fact I am willing enough to concede that certain fundamental aspects of our civilization is probably doomed without it. But more importantly I’d like you to just ponder for a moment: if we are all irrational, all eternally guided by unconscious forces and we are in no position to control ourselves, then who is? Who is enlightened compared to the rest of us beasts? Who then is fit to control us besides the strong, and the next strongest after him? What is the guarantee that the philosopher kings that Lippmann and his modern inheritors (like the EU and MovieBob) advocate for aren’t going to be exactly as irrational and beastlike as the rest of us? If we are not without sin by dint of our very humanity, why are they without sin, and how is that decided? This is why I don’t like the benevolent dictatorship concept. Not simply because at the end of the day it’s still a dictatorship, but because I don’t trust the dictator be benevolent, especially given that human history is also resplendent with the fallibility or outright corruption and even despotism of its leaders and elites. And ultimately, these people, whilst holding us as utterly savage and as falling short of their ideal of a rational human, hold that the solution is to controlled by an elite class who they expect us to believe will not be more savage than us.

Case in point, we get to how the Nazis seemed to take the ideas of Bernays and the growing despair about democracy and ran with it, blaming democracy and capitalism for economic decline and unemployment and that by sacrificing individual liberty and giving up the will of the people to a totally centralized state under National Socialism. You see, the 1930’s was a time that began fresh off the heels of the Great Depression, and this caused people to lose faith in both democracy and capitalism. At the same time eugenics was a part of popular ideology and was seen as desirable, while fascism was a growing ideology that was gaining some support, including in UK (with the British Union of Fascists), Japan (with the rise of extreme militant nationalism) Spain (the rise of fascist groups such as Falange) and Italy (with the rise of Mussolini). Nazi Germany thus can be understood as an unfortunate product of its time – a time were desperation and a crisis of confidence in democracy led people to genuine political extremism (unlike the modern populist wave that is still being spun as political extremism). And guess who admired Bernays’ work and used it to build the foundations of his own propaganda campaign? None other than Joseph Goebbels. He kept Bernays’ books in his personal library and studied them attentively, despite the fact that Bernays himself was a Jew and Goebbels a Nazi (not that the Nazis didn’t believe that Jews could collaborate with the Nazi regime, of course). From there, the Nazis aggressively propagandized the German people to accept the rule of a political elite with complete control over German society that would eventually destroy anyone it deemed undesirable.

For a party that embraced the idea that democracy threatened to reek destruction upon society, we all know the barbarism they inflicted on Germany and the nations it conquered in pursuit of its ideological goals. Just think about it: the Nazi Party wanted to save the German people from the “irrational” power of selfish individualism and the destruction it was perceived as causing by inflicting an irrational totalitarian regime upon the German people and liquidating people on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexuality and political opinion? This, though it is an extreme example, is a demonstration of why I find the Lippman and Bernays way of thinking to be internally inconsistent. For an influential political intellectual and a talented propagandist, they were both fools.

And you know what I find unbelievable? If Curtis was correct then we must come to the conclusion that the Second World War traumatized the entire world, with the Western world particularly troubled by the horrors inflicted by Nazi Germany, and yet the Western World has somehow managed to convince itself that the path to saving itself from repeating those horrors is by applying the same philosophy of propaganda, and the worldview that accompanied it, that the Nazis via Joseph Goebbels built on and utilized in order to convince the German populace that democracy needed to be discarded, the state needed absolute control of public life and that Jews, non-Aryan Europeans, gays, political opponents and other “untermensch” needed to be exterminated. That is nothing short of the grandest folly that the Western world has ever imbibed in, grander even than the phenomenon of political correctness and cultural Marxism we are seeing today, itself still carried forward by the doctrine of propaganda. Among the clear lessons of World War II is not that there is a dangerous force within humanity that must be controlled at all costs, but that some of worst horrors in human history were incited by the propaganda that men like Bernays and Lippmann thought were instrumental in subduing the irrational powers that caused them!

Yet here we are, living in an age where the mainstream media in the Western world can lie to your face in order to try and control what you think, and now outright browbeating the people with the causes of activist journalists, and Western leaders view the solution to the world’s ills as being more centralized control over the lives and minds of their citizens. And at the vanguard of this is the modern “liberal” left, who have been supporting a propagandist media, corporatist politicians, authoritarianism, and social engineering and they been in the business of propaganda through the media and through universities in order to disseminate their ideology.

The connection between all of us is the zeitgeist of Bernays’ and Lippmann’s time – the zeitgeist where Freud’s view of human nature has been taken as the basis of a worldview that holds that human beings must be controlled by a higher societal force in the form of an elite class that will propagandize them by manipulating their emotions and desires, because they thought humans could not be trusted to make rational decisions –  a view that, if Curtis is right, was discredited by the rise of scientific political polling. The rise of fascism in the 1930’s sprung out of this zeitgeist, and the modern antipathy towards democracy among the progressives echoes it. For all the sophistry that’s sometimes scattered throughout the film, there is a valuable window of insight into a historical parallel, if not a historical root, to some of the modern travails of our political climate.

Fuck Edward Bernays, fuck Walter Lippmann and fuck the modern inheritors of their way of thinking.

Now I would like to address the people who took the side of the mainstream media, social media, popular groupthink and the ideological agendas that they supported: you are all fools. You have been misguided by an elite class that, despite demonstrable failure in its worldview in the past, continues to follow the doctrine of Bernays, Lippman and Goebells whilst actually believing that this will prevent fascism from claiming the world within our lifetime. The only chance you have of escaping the cycle of history is to reject the mainstream media, cut yourself off from the zeitgeist of social media and the corporate culture that lingers over it, free your mind from the boundaries of herd mentality and think for yourself. And the only chance mankind as a whole has of becoming free from this is if those of us who succeed in doing this learn to spread this authentic free thinking to others as best they can without force.

Edward Bernays (left), Walter Lippmann (middle) and Joseph Goebbells (right)

Edward Bernays (left), Walter Lippmann (middle) and Joseph Goebbells (right)


If you actually want to see the documentary here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DotBVZ26asI

We all need to calm down

What I am going to ask of everyone who reads this is something that will probably be impossible for the vast majority of people on Earth, particularly as we draw close to the end of the US election cycle, but I think it needs to be said. Calm down. Just calm down.

I know it’s hard. There are good reasons to be on edge – democracy itself may well be on the line, the values of a free society that we in the West cherish are under attack from a new rise in collectivism masqueraded as righteousness, governments are likely to face popular resistance for certain plans that they have, we could be facing an increase in war in this world and there’s the possibility that it may involve nuclear weapons, and in general it feels like the world we live in will never be the same again. But we must not lose sight of our sanity, and more importantly, our personal values. I am talking of course about we who travel the Left Hand Path, in whatever form we choose to do so.

Make no mistake, big things are coming no matter who wins in November 8th. Not immediately, but give it time and we may yet see whether or not they actually manifest. We should not fear the collapse of the old order of the world, for there is no immortality afforded to it. That old order will die, and it will be replaced by a new one. The only thing left to our imagination is what shape that new order will take, and whether or not it’ll end in the desolation of civilization itself as some of the more fearful individuals may believe. I think there will be many foolish individuals who cling to what the media or their social cliques tell them without any critical thinking and they will believe that by following the crowd and practicing the virtue of the peacock then they will prove themselves to be good and saintly people who will have preserved the old order. But they will fail, and be shocked to see that it does not last forever. I think those of us who favor rebellion and despise conformity should embrace the thought of our current societal paradigm getting a good kick in the ass, at least if it’s in a direction that will result in the renewal or expansion of liberty or won’t end in bloody purges.

No matter what happens though, we must keep ourselves in order. We must not give in to the forces of collectivism, fear and stupidity, we must try to be consistent in acting and thinking as rational actors, at least to some extent, and we must make sure our commitments to our principles is strong. We should be on guard and canvas the world around us, and think about what we see very carefully and clearly. This is what we whose minds we expect to be free from tyranny should consider doing. We cannot otherize those whose oppose our values completely, or we give in to the forces that we should be fighting against. To do so is to reject the universalism of the value of individuality, and before long we will wind up rejecting the humanity of everyone and our own values in the process. Is that truly what we wish to do? Go mad with the rest?

In the meantime, at least consider this proposition: if you decide to follow the aftermath of the US election, make sure to have some popcorn or some snacks with you. You’ll see why in Wednesday.

For now, I think this clip from the Simpsons should lighten the mood in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek fashion.

Democracy in the UK may well be a sham

What the fuck?

Seriously? What the fucking fuck!? What the fucking hell is this bullshit I have heard this morning!? It’s hard for me to be charitable in describing the profound anger that coursed through me on hearing this news.

Apparently, the British High Court has decided that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot invoke Article 50 and officially leave the European Union without a vote from MPs in Parliament. We already had a democratic vote, a democratic referendum, and Leave won. This was our vote, and it’s being taken away from us right from under our feet!

What part of “we won, you lost” doesn’t the establishment understand? What part of democracy don’t they understand? What is even the point of having a democracy if the people can vote for an outcome and then that outcome can be effectively blocked by some elites who had no say in the matter?

The imbeciles that swarm our government want you to believe that it’s not clear what a Brexit means, even when it should be obvious what a Brexit means: leaving the European Union. That means no longer being part of its trading bloc, which no longer being subject to its regulations or to its centralization of power or to the rule of super-rich bureaucrats who cannot be accounted for in any democratic process. What part of that was lost on people? Oh that’s right! They didn’t care about democracy at all! People only cared about economic benefits and immigration. And their precious cult of diversity in the case of the Remainers. When I voted Leave I did so without a care in the world for any of that because all that mattered to me was liberty, freedom and sovereignty. To me, therefore, there is no confusion. And I don’t care if you feel misled or misinformed during your vote. You made your bed, now you can either lie in that bad or get fucked!

What’s worse is that the politicians also kept pushing the lie that people have changed their minds, when in reality only a small segment of the population changed their minds. There is not a doubt in my mind that when Parliament gets to vote on this, the outcome will be Remain because of the anti-Brexit sentiment that pervades much of the government based on what I have seen of them both before and after the Brexit vote.

If the government betrays the people by refusing to accept their collective democratic will, then they will have undermined democracy whilst keeping their own country beholden to an anti-democratic economic bloc headed by delusional elites who don’t give a fuck about the man on the street and can’t be voted out of their jobs. They will have rejected liberty, and chosen tyranny. And if that happens, I will have a burning hatred of this country, or at least just this country’s government, for a long time. And then, one day after I graduate from university and am fully financially prepared, I will be happy to set foot on the United States of America.

Shut up, my generation – the world doesn’t revolve only around us

I didn’t intend to go about writing another post-Brexit post (at least for now), but I have been thinking about the attitudes of the younger generation vs the political will of the older generation.

Now, before I begin to rant proper, let me show you some facts. First, here is a breakdown of the voter turnout based on age demographics, courtesy of Lord Ashcroft Polls.

As you can see, the majority of young people voted to Remain in the European Union. But as we get to the older portions of the demography of the UK, you find more people willing to leave until you get to the middle-aged and senior populations, the vast majority of whom voted to Leave.

Now, let’s take a look at the population “pyramid”, courtesy of Index Mundi.

It can be inferred that the 18-24-year-olds in this country (the youngest demographic eligible to vote) collectively make up a rather small portion of the overall demography of the United Kingdom. By contrast, the older generation (in this case the parents of the younger generation, who are likely to be in their 40’s or their 50’s) make up a larger portion of the demographic.

What’s more, according to a Sky Data survey, only 36% of 18-24’s actually turned up to vote. 58% of 25-34’s turned out to vote, while a comparatively whopping 72% of 35-44’s turned out to vote, and 75% of 45-54’s turned out to vote. 81% of 55-64’s turned out to vote, and 83% over-65’s turned out to vote. This makes people aged 65 and over the largest voting demographic in this referendum.

Given that most of the adults and old people voted to leave, I think that means something important. The people of my generation who so blindly support the EU and its apparent “benefits” simply don’t know what was like for their parents, and their grandparents for that matter, to live and work in the UK at a time when the EU was growing more and more powerful and having a real impact on their lives. The United Kingdom has been a member of the European Union since 1973. By then, my grandparents were in their 40’s and my parents were children. My grandparents will have lived to see Britain join the EU and to see it become what it is. They would likely have had on-the-ground experience of what this meant for their daily working lives and the communities in which they lived. My parents became adults in the mid or late 1980’s, and they too will have lived to see the EU have a notable effect on the EU, and they may have heard of how the EU has affected other countries that were a part of it. They would have looked at the problems of the EU, and decided that they didn’t want their country to be a part of it, and nor did they want their children to be a part of it. My mother told me that she didn’t want to see her granddaughter wearing a hijab. Now, I know what you might be thinking: she seems bigoted towards Muslims. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I think it has more to do with the prospect of an increased number of Muslim migrants that might enter the country if we remained in the EU, and that’s not an entirely illegitimate or even bigoted concern. We have witnessed Europe take in a massive influx of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, and in Germany’s case without proper processing, and we have come to find that a number of them have not integrated very well with the communities they became a part of. This means that the regressive attitudes towards women in particular that have been held within members of communities where such attitudes are considered normal are also imported into Europe unchecked, which has led to incidents of sexual harassment and even violence in European countries such as Germany and Sweden. The fact that some German politicians openly embrace the supplanting of its native population with the imported migrant population does not help matter. In my view, the adults and senior citizens who voted Leave did not like the European Union that much and were very concerned about the future that the next generation would inherit – a future they don’t realize they are heading towards.

So when I see young people complain that “their future” was “stolen” from them, I think “tough shit”. How self-centered do you have to be to think that the future being voted on belongs to your demographic alone? I’m not even sure how many of my generation have even had to work, yet they dare to presume that they know their parents worked hard to get to the point where they were born to begin with and could live the way they do now. To claim that their future has been stolen from them by people who actually give a damn about their future is fucking ludicrous. Especially when a lot of these young people probably went to Glastonbury 2016, which started the day before the referendum. And by the way, there were no polling stations at the Glastonbury festival. I mean sure, they could probably have sent postal votes before attending Glastonbury, but I’m not sure how many of them even bothered considering, again, so few of the festival’s likely audience bothered to vote in the first place. Can I just say that it figures that Glastonbury attendees, not to mention the festival organizers themselves, seem to be in favor of Remain? I always wondered why that fits so well with the modern day hippie ethos embraced by the festival and its attendants.

What is even worse is the way my generation decided to condemn their grandparents as bigots solely because they voted to leave the EU, and then claim that they should be barred from voting because they’re too old to know what’s going on. Which is, of course, both shameful and idiotic. There are people alive today who have fought in the Second World War, and they are now in their 80’s or their 90’s. They fought to protect their country from a power that threatened to consume Europe, and ultimately the world, and granted its subjects a horrible existence under an actual fascist dictatorship, and they were no doubt very concerned about the way their country was going in. Not to mention, they probably know more about fascism than most of the Remain camp think they. And yet the young Remainers are so ungrateful for what they’ve done to help secure their future and their country, so blind to it and so convinced that they are woefully out of touch with the world in which they live that they actually believe they should be barred from voting because they deem them to be bigots. They can’t prove that they are racist, sexist, homophobic, or fascist. They can’t prove any of that. They only believe this to be the case because they are old, and by rule this means you’re out of touch with the modern world. Or, in other words, they disagree with you. The sheer irony of their belief that the pro-Brexit voters, particularly the old, aren’t clever enough for politics is quite palpable. What do they know? They don’t know what the EU is like, and are incapable of registering the reasons why people like me, and people way older than me, don’t like it. They don’t know any better, but they’re arrogant enough to presume that they are the smart ones just because they’re in college or university – or because they are young. And I suspect they may well have been propagandized by their peers, through the culture they have absorbed, or through various other forces.

They honestly believe that the world centers around them, and the world must answer to their mostly malformed opinions and their blatant narcissism. They will reject the will of the majority because they don’t like it. They slander their elders, they bitch and cry about how their future has been “stolen” from them and they will fight tooth and nail to condemn and slander their elders and fight an outcome which cannot be fought, they will be hostile to anyone who disagrees with them, and they will reject democracy itself. And why? Because they’ve decided “we prefer it this way”. Well I reject their will. Their attitude is disgraceful; not just immature, but also perverted and immoral. And it is in no way good enough to convince to abandon the principles, convictions and values that I hold dear. The values of independence and sovereignty are what I treasure, and I am prepared to die with them even if they aren’t.

All you entitled young Remainers should realize that you have been weighed in the balance, and have been found wanting. Do you want to see the Carrousel? Because this is how you get the Carrousel!

The day we won

This morning I received some wonderful news: we, the British people, have voted to reject the will of the European Union. Brexit has been a spectacular success. And it surprised me that this might be the case. At first, it was starting to look like we might remain in the EU after all. Nigel Farage was ready to concede defeat. But when I woke up this morning, my brother told me that Brexit had been a success. 51.9% of people voted to leave the EU, while 48.1% voted to Remain. I’m happy to say that I was one of the people who voted to Leave. Even more surprisingly, while Scotland and Northern Ireland were predominantly in favor of Remaining, the vast majority of Wales (where I live) was in favor of leaving (though the capital city, Cardiff, was pro-Remain). This vote has been an exciting one, and it was interesting to find out that my brother and I, by pure coincidence, happened to be voting the same way as my mother, my father and my grandmother. As an admittedly as first-time voter, I feel like I have stood up and been counted in a decision that will effect the British and European political landscape and possibly even the global order, and that I have grown to appreciate participating in democracy since last year. I kind of expected us to be very different people. Not long after I found out we have left the EU, our Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would resign in October, which frankly came as even better news – not only have we voted to leave the European Union, but David Cameron’s career as PM is also finished.

I’m going to be honest, I think that David Cameron took the result better than I expected him to. He has congratulated the Leave campaign for its passion and its spirit, and even though he is resigning over this vote, he respectfully admitted defeat like a man of virtue. That is something I never thought I would say about David Cameron. He handled it better than Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats, that’s for damn sure. Farron accused Jeremy Corbyn of being spineless in the Remain campaign, and is now still thinking the Liberal Democrats ought to make the case for a pro-EU Britain. What a joke. He handled it better than The Guardian, which quickly burst into depression after having defended the establishment so enthusiastically while slandering ordinary people. He handled it better than Scotland, who aren’t going to take Brexit lying down – not to mention, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has condemned Brexit as “democratically unacceptable”, which is obviously just some nonsensical way of saying that she doesn’t like the way the British majority voted. And he handled it better than fucking Jerry Barnett of Sex and Censorship who remarked that Brexit was “good timing for his new book on fascism”. What a piece of scum. He insinuated that the Leave camp was nothing more than a collective outcry of hatred, xenophobia, and fascism. I personally, have met few to no Brexiters who exhibited such traits, and can find no evidence of fascism in the Leave campaign. I would have thought Jerry Barnett would have been above this. This is a man who, three days before the referendum, wrote a post condemning the identity politics that has taken over the left wing, and he himself noted that it was the horrible evil through which anyone who disagreed with a narrative was dismissed as a bigot. How is tarring Brexit voters as fascists any different, you brazen hypocrite! It’s also worth noting that Barnett claims that the EU is on the side that against censorship, when in fact this is a proven lie. In fact, if you think a giant bastion of authoritarian corporate power that we the people can never control or hold to account is our ally on the matter of censorship and freedom of speech, you are very uninformed.

Speaking of handling Brexit, it is very telling that a number of people on the Remain camp are saying that they will leave the UK because Britain left the EU. They are considering leaving the country over a result they didn’t like, after condemning Leave-voters as “quitters”! This is textbook brazen hypocrisy. What’s more, some have decided to sign a petition calling for a second EU referendum. Are you people kidding me? This is pathetic. But, ultimately, it is perfectly consistent with their support of the European Union – an antidemocratic institution that has, in the past, either ignored the will of the demos in its member states or tried to alter it. What’s even worse that they took to slandering the generations that raised them and secured their future for them simply because the majority of them decided that staying in the European Union. The young pro-Remain people are shocked, SHOCKED, that the will of the British people doesn’t necessarily revolve around them. They can’t bear to think that anyone else knows better than them, so they decide to slander their elders, perhaps even their own family members, as xenophobes, as bigots, racists, and out of touch. All because they, quite frankly, have their heads full of bullshit. They believe the EU represents inclusion, friendship, tolerance, diversity, togetherness and all that progressive stuff, but that is not the EU that I and everyone else who voted Leave understands it to be – put simply, they chosen to reduce the issue to love vs hate, and not as a matter of principle but as a matter of blind group-think. And to that end they will slander their elders and the working class, they will sign a petition, they will moan about how shameful it is to be British and to be concerned about national identity, and as I write this post they are planning on protesting the will of the demos just as the leftists did last year in order to try and get the Conservative Party out of government. As I said earlier, we have stood up and have been counted. Those who voted Leave are celebrating what it is to be British and the principle they fought for, while many of those who voted Remain are now openly rejecting the will of the demos and acting like fucking children. And the thing is, it strikes me as rich that they accuse us Leavers of being bigots and fascists and of poisoning British politics, when they are among the most hateful people in the country. They talk of Leave encouraging “divide and rule”, why they have divided the people and stirred the pot for ages!

The irony of all this is that it seems that re-electing the Conservative Party may, in the long run, have been a good idea after all. Think about it: David Cameron promised the British people an EU membership referendum last year, and now we had it and we’re going to leave the EU. If they didn’t win the general election, I don’t think we would have had that referendum at all. Believe me, out of all the other parties you may have voted for last year, only the Tories and UKIP wanted a referendum. If we voted for Labour, the Lib Dems or the Greens, we might not be at this historic point. And all you people who may have voted Remain in order to oppose the Tories? You people should be happy because, yes, while we will still have a Tory government, the PM you wanted to get rid of is now resigning his leadership of the Conservative Party! Is that not a plus side for you guys?

But out of all this, I feel like I have grown a lot from this. And even though I might feel a little more attached to America, I can honestly say I feel proud to be British, and happy to be a citizen of this country, or at least for now. And if America loses its way with no going back, I’d rather not live anywhere but here in Britain unless I had a damned good reason not to. I have gone from doubting democracy on my blog to embracing it wholeheartedly as an important cornerstone of the Western tradition of liberty, and I think I have some newfound respect for the old working class in my country. But there is more to be done. The Tories need a new leader, and there’s word that Labour might get rid of Jeremy Corbyn. All the while, both the British and the European political landscape is set to change and there is no going back. Scotland, as I said, won’t take this lying down and there’s talk of another Scottish referendum. All the while, EU referendums are being talked about for European countries like France, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and even Germany, and I have a feeling that the tensions between the European establishment and the people will continue. Not to mention, I believe the American political establishment still has their eyes on post-Brexit Britain and are looking for a stake in it. But this shift we are seeing in the political landscape of the UK, Europe and possibly all of the Western world will is palpable, the chaos that awaits it and the establishment shall be interesting to follow. All the while, I promise to be as mindful as possible and do whatever part I can. And if Brussels rejects the will of the British demos, I will make my voice heard.

But for now, I am happy take up Nigel Farage’s suggestion that June 23rd be celebrated as Britain’s Independence Day, and I would celebrate it just as I would celebrate July 4th as America’s independence day and the birth of the American ideal. Stay awesome Britannia!

Let the Union Jack fly on.

You call this fascism?

I know it’s already the day of the EU referendum, and I meant to write this post earlier, but there’s a topic I really want to address because there are still people who believe that being anti-EU means being hateful, racist and xenophobic, and being in the EU by proxy means being in favor of friendship and tolerance. Naturally, you get people who decide that Nigel Farage is a fascist mainly for being both anti-EU (which is still conflated as being anti-European for some stupid reason) and talking about immigration in a way that isn’t “I love immigration!”. And recently, Farage is especially maligned for a recent “Breaking Point” poster he put out in support of the Leave campaign. Apparently it’s toxic and hateful, at least according to its critics, and I swear the Independent has even compared it to Nazi propaganda.

Clearly, the image is in reference to the massive influx of Muslim migrants coming into Europe, and the message is that the EU has handled the European migrant crisis with an exceptional level of incompetence. Honestly, to me the poster seems to be a low blow. Depicting hordes of Muslims coming into the country in such a dire way is ultimately sensationalist, and I’m not surprised that people were outraged by it. But it’s actually telling that when Farage launches a lousy poster for the Leave campaign, the media has a field day and everyone virtue signals about tolerance. Meanwhile, the Remain camp engages in flat out naked fear-mongering and rarely anyone in the media criticizes them for it. Where’s the outrage from the media about David Cameron’s warning that pensions would be cut if we leave the EU, which comes off nothing but a veiled threat. I would’ve thought criticism of David Cameron, of all people, was never in short supply – in fact, I recall not long ago when he was the among most loathed politicians in this country. But in the EU referendum, a lot of people are happy to take his side.

Seriously, as much of a low blow this poster is, it’s nowhere near as bad as the fear-mongering from the Remain camp.

And really, the invoking of Godwin’s law for this poster is not that big a surprise. I have seen people spread around accusations that the Leave camp is fascist, and this poster would only further stoke the imaginations of idiots. But really, take a look at the Leave rallies, but I see no evidence of anything pertaining to fascism being espoused by the Leave camp. I see a fair share of talk about regaining control of the UK’s borders and curbing immigration, but what aspect of this is inherently fascist or xenophobic? Since when was it racist to criticize immigration? Since when was it xenophobic to discuss the effect that mass migration is likely to have on your community? Especially in the wake of the migrant crisis, when we are discovering the unintended consequences of a massive influx of people who have entered Europe and have clearly not mingled well with the culture they have become a part of. Seriously, Vote Leave and UKIP are probably only as fascist in the same sense that Donald Trump rallies generally are – which is pretty much not at all. Seriously, has anyone who has ever been to a Leave rally ever seen anything even remotely fascist? I doubt it. It all just stems from the usual bullshit regarding immigration.

And let’s actually talk about the nature of fascism. Generally, I see it, fascism refers to a political philosophy or ideology that is defined by the following characteristics:

  • Rejection of individualism
  • Rejection of civil liberty and liberal ideas
  • Rejection of democracy or anything that could limit the power of the state
  • Rigid social hierarchy, often based on the belief in a natural hierarchy
  • Extreme and aggressive nationalism
  • Aggressive emphasis on military power
  • Intense authoritarianism
  • Full-on totalitarianism (social and economic)
  • Complete intolerance of dissent
  • Centralized state control
  • Political organization based on the will of a dictator
  • Often legitimized via national/cultural identity, racial identity, or religious authority (such as in clerical fascism)
  • Emphasizing the percieved superiority of a national, racial, or religious identity (usually the first two; the latter third is more true of clerical fascism)
  • Emphasis on the greater good or the interests of the nation

It’s also worth noting that Benito Mussolini, the infamous fascist dictator of Italy during the 1930’s and 40’s, emphasized that fascism is an ideology under which there are neither individuals nor even groups outside the state, comfortable life is disdained, and the corporate state is endorsed – that is to say that state and corporation are one – in opposite to liberal economic ideas such as the free market.

That is what fascism is. That is what the anti-Leave people sometimes accuse the Leave supporters of endorsing, at least rhetorically. It’s also an accusation that you can find lobbied at the right wing generally by people on the left. Needless to say, Leave is not a fascist campaign. At worst, Leave only has some actors within who are nationalistic, but I don’t think they are universally supported. And I have no reason to believe that Farage embodies the fascist ideology in any meaningful way whatsoever. Not to mention, the only thing I’ve heard about him supposedly being racist is some banal criticism of last year’s UKIP manifesto lacking diversity and his apparently unwillingness to condemn party members who have made racist statements (which, as bad as that is, still lends itself to guilt by association nonsense). The only political party I remember in this country that was anything close to fascism is the BNP, which in general is more of a far-right nationalist than a full-tilted fascist party to my knowledge, and I haven’t heard about them since the last general election.

So in other words, the people who accuse Vote Leave and UKIP of fascism really need to do their homework on the subject of fascism before accusing their political opponents. Or they can choose not to, cover their eyes and ears and resume being idiots and see how that goes.