On the European Parliament election results

While I did not participate in the European Parliament elections, the results have certainly proven to be interesting to watch. This post will be a reflection of what I have seen of the results and what they mean in a broad sense.

 

The British results

Most of the country appears to have voted for the Brexit Party, Nigel Farage’s right wing pet party, with the BXP dominating most of the twelve regions in decisive fashion. It was incredible, a mixture of awe and terror, to behold this upstart right-libertarian party just devour whole constituencies, in many cases replacing the Conservative and UKIP vote. However it would be wrong to say that the Brexit Party was the only party to be making out like bandits in the election. For the first time in ages, the Liberal Democrats, having positioned themselves as the anti-Brexit party, have surged to second place in the overall results, and they’ve managed to come first in London (which I’m sure is really no surprise because London is liberal as all hell). The Greens have also had some modest success; while they didn’t beat the Labour Party, they managed to surge past the Conservatives in fourth place. In Scotland, the SNP dominates basically all of Scotland except for the Orkney Islands (which went to the Liberal Democrats), with the Brexit Party likely to stick behind them. In Wales, Brexit Party dominates the scene, as I predicted, but with Plaid Cymru in second place, placing the traditionally dominant Labour Party in third place, a new low for the party all things considered. The Conservative Party across the country has had a horrific night, getting wiped out almost everywhere, with only 4 Tory MEPs (including arch-capitalist and arch-Brexiteer Daniel Hannan) remaining. The Labour Party, while it has managed to hold out, coming second place in North West England for instance, the general trend is a picture of defeat, with many on the liberal faction of the party calling for Jeremy Corbyn to resign as Labour leader. The real losers, besides the Tories, might just be Change UK, having utterly failed to capitalize on the Remain vote, often falling below even UKIP (a party that has only managed to be marginalized further and had all of its MEPs wiped out, not to mention the party leader Gerard Batten losing his seat), and are now considering folding into the Liberal Democrats (where, to be honest, all of its MPs belong).

So what does all of this mean for me? What can we take from any of this? Well we can start with the obvious observation that this showing was a victory for parties that were unambigious in their stance on Brexit, whether pro-Remain or pro-Leave. The Conservative Party failed to deliver to Brexit, and have persisted in a quagmire of indecisiveness, insecurity and compromise. As such, they have paid the price for their weakness. The Labour Party too has been murky on the subject: while many in the party are in favour of remaining in the EU, Jeremy Corbyn has often held an indecisive position, and it is not clear whether he actually supports or opposes the EU – really, it’s only clear that he wants there to be a new general election. The Brexit Pary and the Liberal Democrats, by contrast, offer decisive positions – with the Brexit Party fighting to ensure that leave the EU, deal or no deal, and the Liberal Democrats fighting to try and stop Brexit entirely. The Greens too are unambiguously pro-EU, and so are the SNP and Plaid Cymru. There’s another lesson to take from this though. In the run up to the elections, many right-wing political candidates have had milkshakes thrown at them by left-leaning protesters, who have since taken to rallying behind milkshakes as a symbol of anti-fascist praxis. While it is to me hilarious and ridiculous that the right wing have decided that getting sploshed with milkshakes is a form of fascistic political violence, it once again shows how inept the left is, considering their performative antics have failed to prevent the surge of right-wing populism in the UK. The only thing they can gloat about it is the fact that Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad), Markus Meechan (Count Dankula) and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) failed to win any seats, but if you believed they were going to make any serious gains in politics then you are frankly too dumb to be talking about politics. Benjamin was UKIP’s second candidate for the South West, so he had no chance of winning anyway, and Dankula was UKIP’s fourth candidate for Scotland, which means he had even less chance of winning than Benjamin, and Robinson conceded his campaign and would have been steamrolled anyway as an independent (in fact, he lost to Change UK). Progressives who take credit for “stopping hate” while their larping antics failed to defeat the Brexit Party are worthy of my contempt.

This in my mind underscores just how shallow and cynical the British media really is. In the run up to these elections, the media hyped up the UKIP candidacy of Carl Benjamin over his past trolling of Jess Philips and his aggressive conservative stance against all of the parties except UKIP, running multiple stories about his stupid comments, and Carl in turn thought he could use this to his advantage in order to get people to talk about him so that he might get elected, but it never happened because the party wasn’t going to run him as one of their top candidates. They similarly hyped up the pathetic Change UK party, who ended up doing worse than UKIP. They paid a fair bit of attention to Tommy Robinson, whose only life force in British politics comes from that money-grubbing Rebel Media boss Ezra Levant. The British media strikes me as being interminably obsessed with losers, which will probably go along way to explaining why they ultimately sympathize with the Remain faction of politics.

There is also something to take from the thorough routing of the Tories besides their indecisiveness: Nigel Farage now poses an existential threat to the Tories, at their own admittance, and this to me opens the possibility that the Conservatives might seek to rush the leadership contest so that they can usher in a hardline Brexiteer Prime Minister in order to nip him in the bud. The specter of the Brexit Party presaged the resignation of Theresa May just a few days ago, so it seems reasonable to predict that Farage’s European Parliament election victory will lend itself to a more erratic leadership contest as well, because the Tories cannot afford to waste any more time than they already have on the Brexit issue – especially if they don’t want to face the prospect of an early election.

In general, I think people are overlooking just how much of a strong right-wing victory this was for Britain. I don’t just say this because of the Brexit Party, but because the Liberal Democrats are not the champions of the left that the Remainers want them to be. Considering the fact that the Liberal Democrats support neoliberal privatization policies and signed off on Tory austerity and never looked back, whether you’re a Leaver or a Remainer, the right won big.

There are several things that bother me about some of the reactions to the results. Jeremy Corbyn remarked that the results amounted to a proxy second referendum, yet he then extrapolated from this assessment that we should be discussing a second referendum, or a general election, in the hopes of perhaps changing the outcome of our exit. Surely, if this really was a proxy referndum, the Leave side appears to have emerged triumphant through decisive Brexit Party domination. But such delusion is not confined to Jeremy Corbyn. The Remainer faction in general appears to be trying to spin the European Parliament election results in favour of a Remain outcome on the grounds that adding up all the Remain parties would lead to a mandate for the Remain parties and thus remaining in the EU. The major problem with this, besides the fact that that’s not how politics works, is that the Remain faction can’t even agree if Labour is a part of their dream coalition, especially with Corbyn’s seemingly non-comittal stance and the fact that Labour doesn’t seem to want to drop their ambiguous commitment to the referendum result. How then, does any Remain coalition pan out? It is simply nonsensical to think that you can simply merge all the Remain parties who still lost the European parliament elections in order to turn them into the winner, especially when you consider that, if you count Labour and the Conservatives on account of the fact that they want Brexit just that they want one with a deal, you ultimately get a pro-Brexit majority rather than anti-Brexit majority. It strikes me as the Remain side obsessing with the idea of minoritarian governance. In Wales, I would say the most delusional figure in politics is Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, who went air to declare victory for the Remain faction in Wales moments after the Brexit Party won that victory with 2 MEPs and 32% of the vote share. He, more than anything else, is why you will not find me supporting Plaid Cymru despite my desire for Welsh independence.

Also, the people who are clamoring for a new general election appear to be blissfully unaware of what that might mean for the Brexit Party. If we call a new election and we still haven’t left the European Union, this creates the opportunity for them to campaign on that front in order to try and repeat their success in the European Parliament elections. Nigel Farage has confirmed that the Brexit Party will fight the next general election in such circumstances, and if their recent success is any indication they could pose a real threat to other parties. The Conservatives would almost certainly lose out in such an election, they would become irrelevant, but where Labour supporters might think this presents an easy road to power, it may actually leave space for Farage’s party to gobble up the conservative vote just like it did before, presenting a real obstacle to any left-wing party hoping for the top job.

As I write this, it is worth establishing that the only thing not accounted for is the Northern Ireland results, but seeing as they are going to take forever to declare due to their stupid religious custom of not counting votes on Sundays it seems pointless to wait for them. It does appear, however, that the liberal Alliance party may be on track to win, suggesting that the Remain side will have Northern Ireland.

 

The European results

Whereas the UK paints a decisive picture, the European continent presents a much more variagated and complex picture. While the EPP (the “center-right” pro-European bloc) remains dominant in the European Parliament, it will struggle to form a coalition as the traditional parties collapse in various countries. Indeed, last night’s election results have seen a rise for the liberals, greens, and nationalists in various parts of Europe.

In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party (formerly known as Front National) achieved victory over Macron’s En Marche by a narrow majority, scoring 23% of the vote share (as opposed to En Marche’s 22%) and electing 15 MEPs, inspiring Le Pen to declare the results a victory for the French people and demand Macron to dissolve the French Parliament. In Italy, Lega Nord are the clear winners in about the same way the Brexit Party was here in the UK, achieving 34% of the vote share and 29 MEPs. In Belgium, two Flemish nationalist parties lead the scene, with the New Flemish Alliance leading a majority of 13.5% of the vote share and Vlaams Belang following them with 11.5%. In Hungary, Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party leads an utterly decisive majority of 52.3%, which to be fair is to be taken with a grain of salt considering Hungary is barely a democracy. In Poland, the Law and Justice Party have a majority of 45.6%. These represent major victories for the nationalist/populist right in Europe. Bulgaria and the Czech Republic are strange cases in this trend where the dominant parties, GERB and ANO 2011 respectively, are populist parties but are pro-EU, and so while they might be counted as populists they can’t be counted among the more radical, nationalist contingents of the right.

On the other hand, the trend of nationalism we are seeing is not universal. In some countries, the left-leaning bloc have made major victories. In Spain, the social-democratic PSOE won a clear majority of 32.8% of the vote share. In Portugal, the “Socialist” Party (another social-democratic party) won 33.4%. In the Netherlands, the social-democratic Labour Party won a majority of 18.9%, a victory that was accompanied with the collapse of the nationalist PVV vote. In Sweden, the Social Democratic Party won a majority of 23.6%. In Malta, the Labour Party won a decisive 54.3% share. Across Europe, however, it seems that the status quo conservative-liberalism has triumphed once more. In Finland, Ireland, Greece, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Romania, Cyprus, Slovenia and Denmark, conservative-liberal “centrist” parties have retained a majority and ensured that the EPP retains dominance, albeit with a reduced majority. However, their leftward opponents have been growing. In Cyprus, it is my pleasure to note that the communists have come in second place, with the Progressive Party of Working People (who are Marxist-Leninist) took 27.5% of the vote share. In Denmark, the Social Democrats also came in second with 21.5% of the vote share. In Greece, Syriza held on in second place at 23.7%, and the Communist Party is in fourth place and is one of the only communist parties to have any seats in the European Parliament. In Germany, the Social Democrats came in third place, taking 15.8% of the vote share. In Croatia, the Social Democrats came in second place with 18.7%. In Austria, the SPO came in second with 23.4%. In Slovenia, the Social Democrats came in second place with 18.7%. In Belgium, the Social Democrats came in third place with 10.5%. In Romania, the Social Democrats are in second place with 23.4%. In Estonia, the Social Democrats came in second place with 23.3%. In Latvia, the social-democratic Harmony party came in second place with 17.5%. In Lithuania, the Social Democrats came in second place with 15.9%. In Bulgaria, the social-democratic Bulgarian Socialist Party is in second place with 24.4%.

This election is also noteworthy for the emergence of green parties, which have taken substantial shares of the vote in Parliament. In Germany, the Greens came in second place and took 20.5% . In Finland as well, the Green League came in second place, taking 16% of the vote share. In France, Europe Ecology came in third place with 13.5% of the vote share. In Denmark, the Socialist People’s Party, which is aligned with the European Green bloc, came in third place with 13.2% of the vote share. In Luxembourg, the Greens came in third place with 18.9% of the vote share. In Ireland, the Green party is in third place with 15% of the vote share. In Austria, the Greens came in fourth place with 14% of the vote share. In Sweden, the Green Party came in fourth place with 11.4% of the vote share. It is worth noting also that the Scottish Nationalist Party is aligned with the Greens in Europe bloc, which means that their dominance over Scotland during the British vote means that the green bloc can increase its hold in the European Parliament. More broadly, the growth of the Green Party in the rest of the UK, where they have won 11.1% of the vote share and a record 7 MEPs, seems to bolster perceptions of a rising “green wave” throughout Europe. Lithuania is a strange case in that their Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union is a green party but they are also a “centre-right” agrarian party and are not aligned with the European Green bloc. Nonetheless, they are notable for taking third place with 12.6% of the vote share.

However, in places where the nationalists didn’t win, they still managed to get a fairly large share of the vote. In Sweden, the Sweden Democrats came in third place with 15.4%. In Germany, the AfD are in fourth place with 11%. In Latvia the National Alliance, which is a patently alt-right party, came third place with 16.4%. In Finland, the True Finns (who came second in the general election last month) came in fourth place with 13.8%. In Cyprus, the nationalist Democratic Party came in third place with 13.8%, followed by the nationalist social-democratic Movement for Social Democracy. In Austria, the Freedom Party of Austria came in third place with 17.2% of the vote share. In Slovakia, most horrifyingly, the neo-fascist Kotleba party came in third place with about 12% of the vote share. 

So what does all of this mean? It means, quite simply, that while the establishment has secured its dominance it will have to deal with three growing currents. The social democrats present one of the larger challenges to the liberal-conservative establishment, being the second largest bloc throughout most of Europe and victorious in some major countries. The greens will likely be the subject of attempts at coalition, with major parties already courting the German greens and possibily striving to court Green party voters. This development is likely to be taken as a sign that, throughout the continent, the threat of man-made climate change has emerged as one of the primary issues of the elections, and that Europeans likely want to push for reform in the EU on this subject. The nationalists/populists may prove to be a threat with much of the Western and Eastern bloc under their influence, especially now that the Brexit Party has emerged as a big part of the movement having secured much of the British seats. This will be very important for us because it could effect how quickly we leave the European Union and whether or not we get a deal from it, and it might be important for Europe as well because, while we haven’t quite seen the tidal wave of nationalism that  I would have wanted to see two years ago, that spark of right-wing nationalism is clearly still present.

I worry especially for Western Europe because it is there where the left seems to be suffering. The Italian left has an abysmally weak presence in the European Parliament, which is dominated by right-wing populist parties and the liberal Democratic Party. The French left is weak, with all the real estate going to either Macron’s neoliberalism, Le Pen’s nationalism or the Greens. Here in the UK the left is weak as it is, being represented chiefly by the class collaborationist Labour Party and that having suffered considerably in the European Parliament election this weekend. The revivification of the left still seems very much distant.

Some lessons from Brexit

I’ve been meaning to get my thoughts on the Brexit situation for quite a few months now, but I wasn’t totally sure what direction I should take with it as a post. In the end, I decided to sepearate what I’ve been thinking to different sections within this post to get what I’ve been thinking down in a more organized fashion.

Here we go.

 

A No Deal Brexit is inevitable

So for the last three years we have been in a peculiar state as regards Brexit. Rather simply leave the European Union, we have been struggling to craft a deal that would allow us to leave the European Union in a formal but incomplete sense, and far from do strictly what the voters want we have been trying to craft a deal that satisfies parliament. This, combined with the chaotic political developments concerning Conservative leadership as well as the snap election from 2017, has resulted in a quagmire with ostensibly no end in sight. For the last seven months or so it has become clearer than ever that the government is incapable of coming to a compromise that would prove congenial to the goal of ultimately leaving the European Union. The British Parliament was given the opportunity to vote not only on Theresa May’s horrifically bad deal but also many other deals that either get us closer to leaving or hinder the possibility entirely, and as far as I recall parliament voted just about every proposed deal down. At that moment it struck me that, maybe, parliament is incapable of deciding on what it wants to do, it cannot agree to a deal, and if that’s the case then to me it struck me that we are probably going to leave the European Union without a deal.

Of course, while it might be the only way forward for Brexit supporters like myself, it isn’t the only option for the establishment. With most of the other deals being non-congenial to the ultimate goal, the two main options at present are to either just cut our way out of the European Union in a No Deal Brexit or to hold a second referendum in the hopes that voters will change the outcome leading to a possible cancellation of Brexit. There are those who would maintain that we can simply stop Brexit entirely, as the Liberal Democrats in particular seem to think we can and should, but in my view that would not work out. All it would do is make the country a laughing stock in the sense that it gave Brussels a giant middle finger but they can’t even commit to it. More recently, it looks likely that a second referendum might not even happen anyway since the government appears to have rejected that option entirely.

Thus to me it seems clear: if we can’t cancel Brexit, and we aren’t going to hold a second referendum, then a No Deal Brexit to me seems to be inevitable. And, to be honest, it is probably going to be the only decision that makes sense in spite of all of the uncertainties and the possible negative consequences of doing so, and in the end it will be worth it considering a break from the European Union is the only way any socialist, or even simply social-democratic, agenda is going to be implemented without constant obstruction. Left-wingers who insist that we remain in the EU are fundamentally deluded if they think the European Union will allow their ideas to fully manifest. The European Union will not allow countries to pursue large scale nationalization on the grounds that they will interpret it as distorting competition, which is just a fancy way of saying it redirects capital away from private market forces and into the hands of the public sector. And considering the fact that the EU forced the social-democratic Syriza government in Greece to implement austerity measures, despite the will of the Greek people, we can assume that the EU will not take too kindly to whatever Jeremy Corbyn has in mind, let alone any actual socialist program. So, in the long run, in order to get what we want, we’re just going to have to take the No Deal Brexit and fight it out in our own country, for it will be the only way to complete the work of British popular and democratic sovereignty.

 

Bipartisan unity is a hollow fetish

If there’s one thing we never hear enough of when it comes to Brexit, it’s this talking point of unity. Namely, how we should be find a way to unite a divided country, with the unstated implication of this being that broad cross-ideological (or bipartisan) collaboration is the way forward. I fear the dictionary lacks the verbiage that would allow me to describe how stupid I believe this is. Take stock of the history of the Brexit talks, and then consider the fact that the Tories and Labour have within the last few months sought out cross-party dialogue, only for talks to collapse. In fact, just today Theresa May offered a proposal for a second referendum that failed to impress even the advocates for a People’s Vote. If this isn’t the easiest way to prove that any talk of unity is a pile of dog shit I don’t know what is. The unity that we speak about in regards to the Brexit situation is impossible. You cannot get any agreement between the pro-EU liberals and socdems and the hardened Brexiteers poised to take over the Conservative Party, and there is no compromise that can be cooked up between their respective positions that can get anywhere. Theresa May tried to get the best of both worlds before, and it was met with rejection by just about every political party as well as the voting public, and failed to pass every time it was put to vote in parliament.

Also, am I really hearing this right? The liberal media is talking about the need to unite the country? Really? After the Remain side that they by and large supported spent the referendum attacking voters who wanted to Leave, mocking the working class for intending to reject EU membership and even resorting to anti-white racism in some cases? They helped contribute to dividing the country (which, of course they would, just as the other side would, for all sides seek to oppose one another as they should in any serious political struggle), but now they want us to talk about how best to unite the country? Are you sure? If you believe that I have some moderate rebels I can show you. The only reason this talking point of unity is leveraged is power: the establishment wants cross-ideological collaboration because it means the possibility of securing an outcome of the Brexit deal that might be more suitable for a ruling class that, by and large, is still invested in European capital.

More broadly though, what business does the Remain side have uniting with the Leave side? What business to political tribes who have no business collaborating with each other have to do so? There’s nothing more insidious to me than the idea that some can claim to be above the political dichotomies that they exist within. Say if you were a right-winger, meaning you support a capitalist economy based in free markets and their corresponding property relations, as well as maybe a few more conservative social policies and neo-imperialism in the thrid world. What business do you have to be bipartisan with me, a guy who wants a society based in the democratic ownership of the means of production as well as the workplace, not to mention production based on need instead of profit, which means surpassing capitalism and doing away with the contradictions therein? Why should I work with you other than if you’re on the same side as me as regards freedom of speech or something (which is the only subject that might, just might, hold such collaborative potential)? And we can even apply this within either wing of the spectrum, which shows the error of the cries of “left unity”: why should I ally myself with someone who supports racial identitarianism dressed as progress, why should ally myself with someone who supports nationalism disguised as socialism, why should I ally myself who opposes democracy and favours unitary state authority?

The simple truth that those who bleat about cross-ideological unity have to face is that the defining characteristic of politics, the component that contextualizes it the most, is conflict. Politics is not about bringing two sides together. It’s about one side of politics defeating the other. Politics is conflict, it is struggle, you might even say it’s war by another means. And many of the things we value the most about Western Civilization were not discussed or compromised over, but instead they were fought for. Liberals who make this mistake will continue to persist in delusion praying for the siren song of slavery that they call unity. This is not to say that unity of purpose is not a virtue, and indeed the radical left has often paid bitterly for their lack of harmony and unity of purpose. It simply says that we cannot be expected to corrall two tribes of people with fundamentally different interests and goals and expect them to be on the same side.

 

Centrism doesn’t work

One of the most striking developments of British politics this year was the emergence of two new parties: Change UK (also known as The Independent Group) on the one hand, and the Brexit Party on the other. It is the former that we will address first. Change UK is the name given to a party formed by a small group of MPs who defected from the Labour Party, as well as the Conservative Party. The ex-Labour MPs cite increasing anti-semitism in the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s inability to handle Brexit while the ex-Conservative MPs cited that the Conservatives were poised to become the party of Brexiteers to the exclusion of its Remainers. Change UK then can be framed as a “centrist” project, uniting contingents of the two major parties in order to form a voice of moderation and progress. Of course let’s ignore the fact that the two sides that have come together were already the same anyway: both of them neoliberal supporters of the EU who are all just fine with austerity and privatization (the ex-Labour MPs consisting chiefly of pro-EU Blairites), that would be bad for their narrative.

Change UK has been, right from the get go, an unbelievable disaster. They are doing exceptionally poorly in polls, never getting any higher than 4% in voting intention, and to that effect they are second only to UKIP in terms of nationwide unpopularity. They seem reticent to give us a clear idea about what sort of policies they want, with one member Anna Soubry repeatedly dodging questions about policy by insisting that that’s not what their party is about, and they’ve even gone so far as to refuse to stand in by-elections because they consider them a threat to democracy. But more tellingly, for a party that was started in party as a reaction to bigotry within the Labour Party (which, while I don’t believe the party is institutionally anti-semitic like its opponents claim, we may have reason to believe Corbyn himself just might be), within hours of its launch the party was under fire for racist statements made by its members. Angela Smith referred to non-whites as “funny tinged” on national television, while Ali Sadjady had to resign because of comments about “Romanian pickpockets”, and Joseph Russo resigned after racist comments about black women. It’s little wonder that people don’t take them seriously. How can you take them seriously when they appear to be such rank hypocrites whose only purpose is to announce to the world their utter bourgeois class character.

But even if it weren’t for they brazen bigotry, there is no reason to assume their brand of ill-defined, feel-good liberalism was going to work in the current climate. Theresa May, the compromiser-in-chief, is a national failure, with her government being the first government in British history to be held in contempt of parliament. Hillary Clinton, the avatar of Third Way of neoliberalism in the 2016 US presidential election, failed to defeat Donald Trump. Matteo Renzi was forced to resign as Prime Minister of Italy following a constitutional referendum. Emmanuel Macron, who won the French elections in 2017, is now deeply unpopular in France in part because of his handling of the Yellow Vests. The liberal project commonly referred to as “centrism” is ill-equipped to face up to the deteriorating conditions and unravelling contradictions of contemporary capitalism – to be able to fight it would require a wholesale re-evaluation, nay, rejection of neoliberal ideology and a transcendence of the liberal framework, a task that Change UK simply aren’t up to.

Beyond that, however, the real reason for the failure of “centrism” is that the premise that we call centrism is an almost complete myth. The concept of centrism only makes sense within the liberal framework of politics, that of bourgeois democracy, that is to say wherein the lines of division are not based on class interest but instead on how different sectors of the bourgeoisie or petit-bourgeoisie believe capitalism should operate in confluence with an array of transient social issues. This framework is why many people still believe liberalism to be a left-wing ideology, even though it isn’t. The “left” and the “right” in this framework represent two shades of modern liberal hegemony, with the “left” representing moderate neoliberalism, social liberalism and liberal-progressivism and the right representing a conservatism that is itself based on neoliberalism and/or classical liberalism, all of which represent capitalist ideologies and operate within a capitalist framework. Centrism, therefore, can be reduced entirely to another form of liberalism, as is rather apparent when you examine the talking points of “centrists” to find that a large number of them support much of liberalism, but with a stronger . In addition to this centrism cannot be counted as a coherent political tradition on the grounds that it has no theoretical tradition that it springs from. Liberalism can be traced to a well-defined intellectual tradition that dates back to thinkers like John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire and others. Socialism can be traced to a well-defined intellectual tradition that be traced not only to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, but also to utopians like Henri du Saint-Simon and anarchists like Pierre Joseph Proudhon. Social democracy would be the tradition that emerges after the fact, stemming the ideas of thinkers like Ferninand Lassalle. Even conservatism (which I consider to be loose and incoherent) can be traced to some intellectual tradition, chiefly to the High Tories of old or to men like Edmund Burke. Centrism, however, does not have this. It’s just a generic term for liberals who aren’t social liberals or liberal-progressives but don’t commit to conservatism or to parties that called themselves “centre” parties. If you try to search for an theoretical work that has served to develop centrism as a political theory, you will find nothing. It is a rootless ideology of it even exists as such.

 

Nigel Farage is an opportunist

From the very beginnings of the Brexit saga, Nigel Farage has proven himself to be an exclusively self-serving weasel less interested in political struggle and more interested in the spectacle. Right after we voted Leave, Nigel Farage left UKIP whining about he wanted his life back, leaving UKIP leadership in a perpetual state of chaos. After Farage’s resignation, Dianne James was elected the leader of UKIP…for 18 days, then she unexpectedly resigned as leader and later quit the party and became an indepenent. Following this, another leadership contest was held in which the terminally insane Paul Nuttall emerged as the victor. After the snap general election in June 2017, in which UKIP was almost entirely annihiliated, Nuttall stepped down as leader, and then another leadership contest took place 3 months later in which Henry Bolton won. And then Henry Bolton had to resign after only 5 months in office because he kept seeing his then new girlfriend Jo Marney, who repeatedly made racist comments about Meghan Markle, immigrants and the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, despite proclaiming that he stopped seeing her once these comments became public knowledge. After this, he was replaced the current leader Gerard Batten, who is expected to resign his position after the European parliamentary elections taking place this week. To put it quite simply: after Farage left UKIP, the party constantly shifted from one transient leadership to the next. In addition to this, it’s worth noting that some of the failed leaders and leadership candidates in UKIP have gone on to form their own political parties – Henry Bolton formed the Our Nation Party, and Anne-Marie Waters (who lost the 2017 leadership contest) formed the For Britain party.

Of course, while Farage’s reasons for leaving were patently self-centered and naive, believing that he can just get on with his life, confident that the Brexit situation would somehow resolve itself without him, he has maintained since about 2017 that his real concern is that UKIP is becoming a more extremist and radical party than he’d like it to be: citing the attempted candidacy of Anne-Marie Waters, an outspoken critic of Islam, and Tommy Robinson’s appointment by Gerard Batten as his “grooming gangs advisor” as evidence of the shift towards the far-right with a specific focus on the anti-Islam angle. The irony, of course, is twofold. First of all, Farage has a reputation of drumming up similar rhetoric about Islamic immigration during his time in UKIP: he’s said in the past that most of the refugees coming into Britain harbored ISIS militants, and has even gone so far as to say that Enoch Powell was essentially correct about immigration. There was also that notorious “Breaking Point” poster that UKIP released in the run up to the Brexit referendum, which suggested that immigrants were marching the UK in order to overrun the native population (not to mention inadvertendly resembling a Nazi propaganda film with a similar albeit more extreme message). So for Farage to whine about the party suddenly doing more anti-Islamic rhetoric in order to move away from being a single-issue party (you know, doing nothing but whine about Brexit) comes off as hypocritical. Secondly, he didn’t seem to mind when he was taking over the Brexit Party from Catherine Blaiklock, who was forced to resign after saying that black men are genetically pre-disposed to commit crime and has a reputation for anti-Islamic agitation, not to mention that under his watch the party has had to remove a guy for bigoted comments about the Grenfell Tower survivors as well as accusing Ed Miliband and Peter Mandelson of being “rootless”. Not to mention, some of the people Farage has taken on board for his Brexit Party campaign are arguably much worse than many of than the people he whines about for “Islamophobia”. Claire Fox, for example, believes that you should be allowed to watch child pornography, was a Trotskyist (take it from me, Trots are some of the worst people in the radical left and they’re despised not only by me but also anarchists and most Marxist-Leninists) who like other ex-Trots ended up writing for Spiked, and at one point supported the IRA, who didn’t even try to avoid murdering civilians in their struggle against the unionists, specifically defending the bomb attack they carried out at Warrington in 1993. Another member, the arch-Tory Anne Widdecombe, is on record for her support of gay conversion therapy and whining about “the homosexual lobby”, asserting that homosexuality was immoral and campaigning against gay rights at every turn, and defending the government’s policy during the 1990s of shackling pregnant female prisoners while they were receiving pre-natal care on the grounds that they might escape somehow. Farage has no problem with people like that in his party, but for some reason he doesn’t like it when UKIP want to be more than just garden variety free market conservatives complaining that Brexit hasn’t happened yet. Oh, and are we forgetting the times where he travelled to the European continent in order to coordinate with parties like Alternative für Deustchland, who are frequently in trouble for possibly flirting with neo-Nazism. Somehow Farage has a problem with garden variety anti-Islamic conservatives leading UKIP, but he doesn’t have a problem touring with (not to mention hiring) people who are easily more reactionary than them.

When the snap election in 2017 happened, Farage made a bold statement about how he would return to politics if Brexit was in danger of not happening. He would not do so until March 22nd of this year, when the Brexit Party’s campaign for the European Parliament elections was launched. In between that time, however, he’s been busy talking to Americans as their self-appointed ambassdor for UKIP and the populist right. To that effect he’s made numerous appearances on Fox News in order to talk about various pet political issues in the UK, to the point when I see Farage I have sometimes jokingly said “hey it’s that guy British guy on Fox News”. Fox News in turn tends to gush over him, treating him as the leader of the Brexit campaign and at one point even advertised him as the leader of the opposition even though his then-party was and still is a marginal force in government. He also joined Donald Trump at a campaign rally in 2016 in Jackson, Missouri, to vocally support him, and has since been a consistent advocate and defender of Trump. He has consistently spoken at the Conservative Political Action Committee since 2015, and has been guest speaker at Prager “University” to talk about the European Union. Until he announced that the Brexit Party would be campaigning, you would think this guy’s whole job was just circlejerking with American conservatives (with whom he seems to be very much at home ideologically) about how great America is and how the UK is teetering off the edge to statism and socialism. You might just say he’s more interested in given pompous, charismatic speeches than he is in actually he is in helping us to leave the EU, only rejoining that front when shit’s just about to hit the fan rather than stay on and fight for the thing he helped work for. This combined with some of his positions on foreign policy (he thinks the US should invade Iran for example) lead me to think of him as just another garden variety shill, with no real loyalty to the cause he attached himself to. I guess we can expect that much from someone who used to be a banker.

 

Boycott the European Parliament elections

There are many Leave supporters who are quite eager to support the Brexit Party, even among leftists such as George Galloway, on the grounds that their victory in the European Parliament might bring us closer to ending the delays to our departure from the European Union. It certainly looks like they might gain significant electoral traction, particularly in Wales. But I, however, cannot support them. For starters I have already explained why its leader, Nigel Farage is a charlatanous weasel, opportunist and hypocrite. For me to support him would him would be fundamentally dishonorable on that dimension alone. But beyond that, his support for leaving the European Union would be the only thing I have in common with him; the rest of the Brexit Party’s politics is almost entirely aligned against my own. Besides the already mentioned fact of the party’s willingness to incorporate the most groteque reactionaries in British politics, the Brexit Party also seems to be staunchly in the territory of right-wing libertarian fantasy land when it comes to the economic system. Farage has stated openly that he wants to abolish the NHS, which for all its problems is the main reason this country has managed to survive its post-war conditions, with a system based on private insurance. In essence, he wants to regress our country’s healthcare system to something resembling the horrific ponzi scheme known as the American healthcare system. Not even UKIP supports that and they’re supposed be the far-right party in this country! In fact, for a far-right party, UKIP, to their credit, supports some nationalization of industry at least according to their manifesto. If you’re a leftist and you want to throw your weight behind the Brexit Party just on the chance that we might Leave the European Union, you’re selling your principles and values down the river for the sake of opportunism and I cannot and will not do anything but reject you for it. The left must fight for Brexit, yes, but it must do so on its own front, without right-wing capitalists entering into the picture.

Sadly, however, if you want me to tell you who to vote for instead, I don’t think I can help you. I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about what to do in these elections, and I have concluded that I don’t believe the European Parliament elections will be useful for my goals. I have tried to find a credible left-wing Eurosceptic movement who might be closely aligned with my goals that I can vote for in Wales, and I have failed. There aren’t even any old school communist parties, who are traditionally anti-EU as well as anti-NATO, that might force me to swallow my displeasure for their tankie tendencies in pursuit of the greater good. There’s just Labour and Plaid Cymru, and both of them are entrenchedly pro-EU. If I support Labour, I’d end up supporting all the shitty candidates they have here in Wales, if I support Plaid Cymru, I might have someone lobby for Welsh independence but they’re going to just beg for us to stay in the EU, and to support the right-wing Brexit Party would mean helping them lay the groundwork for taking over the national government in order to turn Britian into even more of a shithole country than it is now. The only answer for me is to boycott for the European Parliament elections, and I suggest that other serious leftists do so as well.

I support an independent Wales

I have today received some exciting breaking news concerning local politics. Just this afternoon in Cardiff, there was a major rally for Welsh independence that caught the attention of the media British. It was organized by a group called All Under One Banner Cymru, which seems to be the Welsh branch of a Scottish group called All Under One Banner, which campaigns for Scottish independence, and attendants apparently numbered in the thousands. In addition to this, of the thousands of people who attended the rally, hundreds of them consisted of people from North Wales who drove all the way to Cardiff just to be there.

I have to say, this was a surprising and impressive development. Mind you, I have been hearing murmurs about the subject of Welsh independence for quite some time now, I sometimes hear about it in news stories about local politics. But this rally and the attention its getting tells me that we could be seeing from real momentum for the cause of Welsh independence. And let me be among the first to say that I proudly support the cause of Welsh independence. I believe in the general principle of national independence, sovereignty and liberation as an extension of the broader principle of political liberty, and the fight for freedom is an important existential, evolutionary struggle in the hierarchy of struggles that we observe. What we forget about the class struggle, for instance, is that it is, within bourgeois society, the primary expression of this ancient struggle. And when you consider the fact that the British national government was at one point planning on dumping their toxic waste beneath our cities, I think the case can be made that the national government doesn’t have much regard for our land.

The only forebearance I may feel towards this whole thing is the fact that the momentum for Welsh independence movement will likely be seized by Plaid Cymru, a liberal party of about the same stripe as the SNP. Like their Scottish counterpart, they are sheepish supporters of the European Union and will use our break from the British union as a vehicle by which to attempt to repatriate with Brussels, a move that I doubt would be supported by the European Union. I want Wales to be independent for the UK if that is what we desire, but I also want us to be apart from the decrepit, bourgeois European Union. We won’t quite be sovereign unless that is the case. And besides, I doubt that Wales will be free to go in a more leftward direction transcend Labour’s brand of class-collaborationist social democracy if we remain in the European Union.

Wales has always been more amenable to at least a somewhat leftward direction that much of the country, and although it is debatabely whether any socialist class consciousness has emerged successfully here, socialism has been a part of the country’s history in some imperfect form or another since the late 19th century. There are some British socialists who believe that talk about Welsh independence is counterproductive to the cause or working class politics, and that instead we should instead pursue unionist (as in the British national union, not as in trade unions or syndicates) praxis instead of secessionism. An example of this sentiment can be found in the Proletarian CPGB-ML Party, who by an astonishing coinicidence are also big fans of Nigel Farage. But we don’t live in opportune circumstances where we can just wait for everyone to become radical so we can do the British equivalent of the SFRY. It’s better then that we should just seize the moment and lead by example instead.

Remember when I said we’re probably doomed? Well we might actually be doomed.

Back in February 2016 I gave my first take on the British referendum to leave the European Union. It was a deeply cynical take on both fronts, one that I’d sort of renege on two months later when I went from neutral to full-blown supporter of the Leave campaign. Since I voted Leave, the process of Britain leaving the European Union has been incredibly tumultuous. No sooner than we began the negotiations, we have had the Eurosceptic right see some of its key proponents bow out and leave things to whoever’s there to take over. Not only did the pro-Remain PM David Cameron resign, only to be replaced by the single worst Prime Minister I think of. Nigel Farage of UKIP left his party believing his work was done, leaving his party to practically die as a result of revolving door leadership, infighting and general irrelevance in the face of a seemingly confident Tory government, in order to spend his days on Fox News as that guy they have on whenever they talk about Britain (though he swears he’s coming back, any day now).

But for a while, things were going somewhat smoothly for the first half of 2017. The government seemed to be confident, and the economy wasn’t crashing like the Remainers said it was going to. Then, out of nowhere, Theresa May called a snap election in order to gain an even larger majority than she already had, believing it would secure the ultimate mandate for her government to leave the EU. In reality though, the opposite happened: while the Conservative party ultimately defeated Labour, they failed to gain a majority and were forced to form a coalition with the DUP, and her position as a negotiator and as a leader were greatly weakened afterwards. The once confident new leader overplayed her hand and showed herself to be nothing more than a weak, hubristic fool.

This year it was starting to look like Brexit was taking a turn for the worse. For all of our rhetoric concerning national sovereignty, a Brexit delivered to us from the right seems to be a case of shifting from one set of capitalist masters to another, as our government’s plan for a “more global Britain” means being more dependent on China. On the other hand, we could also be set to become vassals of the EU, technically leaving the European Union but still remaining subservient to their laws as though we never left at all. And now, it kind of looks like we are heading down just that path. It has recently been announced that the UK would be kept under European Union laws until December 31st 2020, despite us leaving the European Union. Theresa May also seems to be taking over the negotiations with Brussels as the main negotiator, which to me does not strike me as a positive move considering her incompetence over the last year, and is attempting to exercise her dominance in that regard by threatening a no deal Brexit if her fellow MPs don’t line up in support of her plan. Furthermore, the prospect of a no deal Brexit is leading to concerns of Britons having to stockpile food as though they were preparing for the end of the world following Dominic Raab’s comments on the subject.

Put simply, I feel like we’re getting the bad ending, the worst of both worlds in some sense. Without a plan for leaving the European Union (which, let’s be honest, David Davis seemed to suggest there wasn’t a plan at all), the Conservative government has put us in a situation where we have been making up the program for Brexit as we go along, leading up to a scenario where we are independent in name only. Despite the rhetoric of national sovereignty, we will remain subservient to the very foreign entity we struggled to break free of. And all the while there is the very real sense that the whole thing is going to fall apart and screw everyone over. It’s like Paul Mason was right all along in some respects. Meanwhile there is talk among liberal/social democratic Remainer circles of a second EU referendum, and talk among right-wing Brexiteer circles of replacing the Prime Minister who they view as a traitor to the country. But of course, the Conservatives are trying to assure us that everything is going to be just fine.

I still oppose the European Union (I think it should be destroyed and replaced by something along the lines of COMECON 2.0), I value national sovereignty, but I believe I’ve made the case that it is because of my value for national sovereignty that I have become deeply cynical about our current path. At this point my mind turns to the prospect of Welsh independence, if only because I think the EU issue won’t matter because the EU probably won’t let in an independent Wales or Scotland or the European Union will probably collapse within the decade. Funny, with America going down a horrible path of its own and England in a sorry state, I kind of feel lucky to be in Wales to an extent, and not necessarily for nationalist reasons (strange as that may sound). But of course, to speak of national liberation without socialism would be an empty exercise, for the simple fact that – and I think the current Brexit otucome is proof of this – the goals of national liberation, or even simple populism, cannot be fulfilled within a capitalist order which drives all things toward the globalization of capital and the value of profit and money over liberty and sovereignty.

All I can do at this point is to sit in my corner of South Wales, going about my life, waiting to see what happens next.

A note on Brexit and Europe

You know, in my post about my personal political development I talked about what I’ve seen of the right wing as a movement and what has led me to become fed up with it and instead move to the left – the actual socialist left; not a bunch of liberals whining about how Bernie Sanders could have won, or a pack of social democrats gassing on about how great Jeremy Corbyn is – but I neglected to comment on how this has related to issues in my own corner of the world; or, more specifically, Britain. So I’d like to write a bit about my current thoughts on the Brexit situation, with perhaps a nod towards British politics in general as well as the wave of European populism that I forgot to talk about in earlier months.

I’ll keep this is as simple as possible: the waters are looking increasingly shaky and uncomfortable at the moment. Given the numerous concessions my government seems to be making, the many times that Parliament has had to get their say on the vote despite this being a matter of the democratic will of the people rather than the political class, and then the European Union consistently trying to basically gerrymander the process so as to get it running all on their terms, I get the feeling that we might not get the hard Brexit that people like me wanted. However, this is not my only gripe. In fact, my primary gripe is increasingly to do with what the country is going to look like after Brexit, assuming we leave the European Union. Last month I heard that our current Prime Minister Theresa May refused to rule out selling off the NHS to private owners in the USA. Think about what that means for a moment: for all of its faults, the national healthcare system is a part of our national apparatus. We created it to serve our people. For it to remain under our control is an extension of our sovereignty as a nation. Simply privatizing it within our own country is one thing, but to sell it off to foreign buyers is completely different. Because if you do that, then guess who owns it? Not us, not our government, but private owners in another country, that will never be accountable to us. If we sell it off, we are giving away part of our national sovereignty to foreign corporate powers. This is almost literally no different from signing it away to the European Union, that giant capitalist trade union from beyond our borders.

Not to mention, it’s looking increasingly likely that we’re going enter into a situation where we’re basically going to be cucks to China. What do I mean by this exactly? Well for starters we are probably going to embrace China’s One Belt initiative, which is effectively just China opening up new markets at the cost of effectively undermining the sovereignty of the countries that initiative is getting involved with through economic dependency, and if that’s not enough, if Chinese media is any good indication of how they view us, if we take too long to do things that China likes they may chastise us, which I’m inclined to believe will not go down very well for us. The whole notion of “a more global Britain” that the Conservative Party likes to go on about it comes across as simply us transferring from one set of capitalist masters to another.

And this brings me to my main point: under the circumstances afforded to us by the capitalistic economic establishment, we’re not going to recapture the idea of national sovereignty and independence in any meaningful sense, because we are either still going to be dependent on the true economic incentives at play in the current system, hence we will always have new masters.

As I mentioned in my rant against Trump, I also see this reality at play within the political system of the United States of America. Consequently, I believe there is also reason to believe that this is how it will play out in Europe as a whole, except in their case it might arguably be worse. If people like Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders, the unfortunate reality is that, whilst they may succeed in destroying the European Union by destabilizing it politically, the people of the nation states themselves may end up living in a more authoritarian countries. Not only have you got Geert Wilders who wants to outright ban Islam, thereby effectively sacrificing freedom of religious association, you also have Hungary: their president is an outright champion of the idea of “illiberal democracy”. He’s also been using this new anti-globalist current to elevate his political career and demonize his political opponents as being the allies of George Soros, conspiring to erode the Hungarian borders. In the absence of the EU, people like these could well make up the new political establishment in parts of Europe, and their answer to the tricky problems of the world is simply to give the state an iron hand while not address the root economic incentives that created the globalist phenomenon to begin with.

In closing, let me illustrate my position by using a quote attributed to Marine Le Pen, the right-wing populist candidate of the French elections, last year:

“They’ve made an ideology out of it. An economic globalism which rejects all limits, all regulation of globalisation, and which consequently weakens the immune defences of the nation state, dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws and management of the economy, thus enabling another globalism to be born and to grow: Islamist fundamentalism.”

This is, whether she likes it or not, a description of capitalism. It is an economic ideology that is based on infinite growth and accumulation of profit, and to that end it must invariably transgress the boundaries of the nation state and its values, rejecting all limits to its growth and its ability to access new markets across the world, undermining the will of the nation states (which, funny enough, is kind of what the IMF does by pushing for its economics in third world countries that don’t necessarily want it, but the right never talks about this with regards to globalism even though it is clearly an example of economic globalism), and as a consequence it cannot remain a national grassroots system. It is at the heart of what the right now identifies as globalism, and funny enough the left has a somewhat longer of opposing the effects of economic globalization than the right does, just the mainstream left has now gotten on the globalist bandwagon and ceded the populist energies that once belonged to the left, allowing right-wing opportunists to hoodwink those energies from it.

Thus, I repeat my point: if you support the restoration of any kind of sovereignty, of popular democratic will, indeed of the nation state over the interests of globalism, then logically your true enemy is not the left, but capitalism. In fact, I say it’s high time the left regain the energies of populism and anti-globalism that the right has stolen from them.

Reflections on Brexit and British politics on the anniversary of the Brexit vote

Yesterday marks a full year’s departure from the UK referendum on membership of the European Union. Because we voted to Leave, some of us (myself included) have decided to mark June 23rd as our very own Independence Day, in recognition of the fact that we are becoming independent of the influence of the European Union.

One year later, I think we are still on the path towards the Brexit, but it seems things have been bungled in recent months. I regaled you all already with the outcome of the snap general election from just two weeks ago, but I will briefly explain again: Theresa May called the election thinking that she would snag a decisive majority in order to secure the “ultimate mandate” for Brexit even though she already had the democratic mandate to begin with, only to lose her majority through hubris, complacency and a terrible manifesto, forcing her to form a minority government with the DUP.

In the time between the Brexit vote and the snap general election, I have felt some changes in me politically, both in terms of my own political alignment and my opinion of British politics and the government. Before the EU referendum, I was constantly unimpressed with British politics to the point that I never voted in any elections or referendums until last year. In addition, when I look back, I realize that though I had a specific ideal that I wanted to uphold, I often times did not have a strong or precise ideological framework through which to pursue that ideal. That’s not a meaningless thing: freedom is an ideal and goal that is claimed by a diverse range of political movements in the modern age, what the difference between all of them is (1) what a free society looks like to them and (2) how they wish to achieve it (like with liberals vs conservatives for instance). Through my youth I’ve gone through self-styled anarchism, liberalism and libertarianism but without being all that well-read in either of them.

Because of my cynicism and lack of political knowledge, I was at one point sort of pro-Remain, even thought I didn’t like the EU at all, and there was no positive argument on my part – I only thought it would stop the Tories from enacting their more deeply authoritarian legislation. When I realized that such an argument made no sense and contravened my values, and I learned about what else the European Union actually did, I became more staunchly anti-EU, and from there an opponent of globalism in general. When I voted to Leave and found that my side had won, I felt meaningful democratic and national pride for probably the first time. We elected to kick the ass of a giant anti-democratic superpower in the making that didn’t give a damn about liberty, and we were in the process of saving the nation. But almost as quickly, the British government wasn’t having it, and with the help of progressive (and supposedly liberal) activists tried to block the democratic will of the people. They didn’t have their way, fortunately, but for the next year I would soon become reminded of everything I despise about British politics and the government.

I voted for the liberty of my nation state and its people, knowing that , only to see my government continue in the direction of authoritarianism that, let’s face it, it was probably already heading in by this point. The government seeking further control of the Internet, the police arbitrarily arresting people for “hate speech”, and in general not caring for the concept of freedom of speech very much to the point of still very much having a decidedly more European than American approach to the matter. Coupled with the fact that I’m pretty convinced that the British government doesn’t like the idea of strictly the democratic will of its people and principles of liberty, I remain thoroughly convinced that I fit more in the United States of America than in my own country.

However, in spite of all that, I’m willing enough to stand by the country on the issue of leaving, unless they compromise too much and the EU ends up taking us for a ride again. In the mean time, I am looking to form a strong ideological framework based on liberty, so that I can at the very least contribute to the battle of ideas that shapes the country, along with the West. I see pro-freedom ideas being on the decline in my country, so until the time when I live the dream and emigrate to America, I think I should try and spread those ideas in my own country. I’ll try and make time to read about politics, economics, history and related subjects (yes, in addition to my other reading plans) to build up my own framework.

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.

On the Netherlands

In just three days the Netherlands will have a general election, which may prove to be a highlight of this year’s European elections and another portent of doom for the European Union’s project of “ever closer union”.

The main candidates for the upcoming election are Geert Wilders, the leader of Party for Freedom, Mark Rutte, the current Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Lodewijk Asscher, leader of the Dutch Labour Party, and Emile Roemer, the leader of the Socialist Party, among quite a few other candidates, though I assume much of the election coverage will focus on Wilders and Rutte. The election is being treated by the media as a bellwether for the growth of populism in Europe, and perhaps not for an entirely invalid reason. Europe’s last shake-up was the Italian referendum, when the people voted against the government of the then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi when it proposed its changes to the constitution. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders is getting a lot of attention due primarily due to his strong stance against Islamization and Islam in general,  as well as his platform of limiting immigration and exiting the European Union. The fact he is running against the current Prime Minister kind of shows that he is going against what is currently the established order in the Netherlands.

The thing is, I find that Wilders himself leaves a sour taste in my mind. While I sympathize with his desire to oppose Islamization in his country, I don’t like his solutions: mainly the fact that he wants to outright ban the Quran and mosques. Honestly I find it quizzical that Wilders is being treated as so analogous to Donald Trump because, say what you will about Trump, at least he never talked about actually banning the dissemination of the Quran or mosques. He talked quite a bit about the threat of *radical* Islam, and wanted to ban immigration from Middle Eastern countries (which is actually permissible according to US law by the way), but not a hell of a lot about Islam as a whole. Wilders, however, seems to view Islam as a doctrine as part and parcel with the threat of Islamic terrorism. To be fair on him, I’ve done a whole month’s series of posts back in August excoriating the teachings of Islam for, among other things, having Quranic verses and Hadiths that justify violence against the non-believers and “hypocrites” (in other words, Muslims who don’t fully or properly practice Islam). But I think that closing mosques and banning the Quran will just drive more Muslims into believing that they are persecuted by the West, which would likely cause them to gravitate towards Islamism, and the measure is simply a form of authoritarianism. For all the acrimony I espouse towards Islam, we already know that the Bible worships a God who talks about genocide on non-believers and at one point commanded murders, so as trite as it seems to my ears one must wonder if the Bible should be banned for being violent religious literature from savage times just as the Quran is if we go down the line of reasoning.

However, I support his desire to exit the European Union, and at the moment it looks like he is the most likely to pursue that exit. I also think he is probably going to take the stronger stance against Turkey. Why is that important? Recently Trukey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is in the business of eroding the liberty and secularism of the Turkish state, had been doing some political campaigning among the Turkish diaspora within the Netherlands and he jailed a Dutch journalist who happened to be a critic of the Erdogan regime. Apparently Erdogan also has a “satellite party” in the Netherlands known as DENK, supposedly representing the Turkish diaspora. So it kind of looks, at least from the outside, as if Turkey is playing a role in influencing what goes on in the Netherlands, which I would describe as very much out of order. And recently, there have riots in the city of Rotterdam carried about by Turkish diaspora members who support Erdogan over the fact that the Netherlands has banned a Turkish foreign minister from visiting, apparently because he was planning to do some political campaigning on behalf of Turkey in the run up to the upcoming election. In response Erdogan, in what I can only assume is an example of a lacking in self-awareness on his part, actually accused the Netherlands of being a fascist country or something to that effect, a sentiment echoed by encephalopaths who actually supported the riots and condemned Turkey for actually blocking a foreign country from influencing its own elections! And Mark Rutte, though recognizing Erdogan’s judgement of the Netherlands as crazy, still wants to maintain relationships with Turkey. Wilders, on the other hand, has sent a video message out to pro-Turkish rioters, and his stance on Turkey is quite clear.

Honestly, this actually makes it harder for me to be totally against Wilders. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like Wilders, but I also detest Erdogan and the Turkish state and thus find the latter party to be worse. And not just for what they’ve been doing in the Netherlands either. Erdogan has gotten a German comedian in legal trouble for satirizing him, used last year’s military coup to, frankly, set Turkey on the road to totalitarianism, and he’s blackmailed the European Union into being friendly with Turkey and opening up negotiations for Turkish entry into the EU on pain of flooding migrants to the European continent. For that, I would likely vouch for anyone in the Netherlands who’s prepared to stand up to Turkey. And, unfortunately, it looks Wilders is the guy to do it.

It’s probably going to be a real shit show out there, and I’m not enthused about any of the candidates. All’s I can hope for is that something worthwhile comes out of all this.

An addendum to “Chaos shall make America, and the West, great”

There’s something I overlooked when I wrote about the rise of the populist right in Europe in the last post I wrote, “Chaos shall make America, and the West, great“. It has just come to my attention that Italy will be holding a constitutional referendum on December 4th, and the media seems to be talking about it as though it will ultimately lead to an Italian exit from the European Union.

The referendum is a vote on whether or not the Italian government should roll back the powers of its Senate, supposedly in order to make the process of passing legislation simpler. The Senate would become less involved in passing legislation, the number of Senators would be significantly reduced (apparently from 315 to 100) and those Senators will be chosen by the government from local councils rather than be directly elected. As I understand it, the current Prime Minister – Matteo Renzi – didn’t want to hold a public referendum on the matter but he had no choice but to leave the decision in the hands of the people.

There’s a chance that this may be very bad for Renzi, and media outlets are comparing this to how David Cameron held the Brexit referendum anticipating that the vote will be to Remain in the EU but instead found that the vote was for Leave and he resigned because of it. It seems that the Italian public doesn’t have a nice opinion of Renzi, particularly the working class. He was elected on the promise that he would reform the Italian political system.

Now, here’s where the comparisons to the US presidential elections, as well as Brexit, come in. Renzi has been criticized by his opposition for coming out in support of Hillary Clinton, who lost the election – spectacularly, I might add -, as well as his trips to see Barack Obama, both establishment Democrat neoliberals. He is also apparently fond of the leaders of Germany and France and a big time Europhile, which doesn’t exactly help things considering that popular opinion of the EU is declining in Italy and so is the Euro currency. It also doesn’t help that the economy in Italy is apparently stagnating and Renzi is also viewed by some as a typical silver-spooned card carrying member of the elite. In addition to this, there has been talk of Renzi resigning if he does not get his desired outcome (A vote”Yes” to his referendum proposal), just like David Cameron did after the Brexit vote. This is why there are fears that the referendum could be used as an opportunity by sections of the Italian public to express their anger with Renzi, and for the populist right (or populists in general) to take advantage of the situation.

It’s worth taking a look at the Five Star Movement, a populist movement started by Beppe Grillo, who happens to be a comedian. That’s right: an entertainer, with no obvious experience in government, starts a political movement to challenge the power of the establishment. No wonder, then, that this guy identifies with Donald Trump – himself not only a real estate tycoon but also an entertainer of sorts, a reality TV star as a matter of fact with his own cameos in other media, and without any political experience at all, and he still defeated Hillary Clinton. Grillo has said that Trump’s victory represents an “an explosion of an era” and “an apocalypse of the media, TV, the big newspapers, the intellectuals, the journalists”, and he identifies this victory as basically a massive V-Day – V referring to “vaffanculo” (which means “fuck off”) – a public event designed to express disapproval with perceived bad policies. They apparently reject traditional politics in favor of direct democracy and collective political mobilization powered by the Internet, which is interesting given how successful Donald Trump has been on the Internet to the point where he was seemingly backed by meme magick. There is also Lega Nord, a right-wing populist, anti-immigration and anti-EU party, who have also expressed support for Donald Trump and view his victory as a defeat for the establishment and political correctness.

Even more interesting, CNBC claims that market analysts are more scared of this upcoming Italian constitutional referendum than Donald Trump’s victory, possibly because of the speculation that this referendum might lead to an Italian exit. I am uncertain as to whether this is actually true, but if it is, then it is very significant. Unlike the UK which joined the EU in 1973 (back when it was still the EEC), Italy is one of the original core members of the EU – alongside France, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany – which means that if Italy leaves then it might significantly damage the EU. Regardless, there is an opportunity for the populist movements in Italy to score a significant political victory. If the Italian public votes “No” to the upcoming referendum, then they will have signaled their rejection of the will of Matteo Renzi, and it may become part of a wider trend of populist and right wing victories across Europe and thus Italy may prove to be the next major step in this broader trend of what is ultimately anti-establishment sentiment.

Thus I will follow the developments of this referendum and the outcome as best I can, because with all the speculation and caution from the media it does look interesting.

In bocca al lupo to all my Italian viewers who my share interest in this shake up the Western establishment.

Chaos shall make America, and the West, great

Apologies in advance for subjecting you to another lengthy post about the electoral victory of Donald Trump, but there are some things I’ve been thinking about not just with Donald Trump getting elected, and the prospect of his presidency as I now see it, but also the prospect of other political developments – which I will get to later on in this post. Essentially, I want to talk about what I think of as some of the wider ramifications of Trump’s victory, and I had no desire to split my points into separate posts.

Before I get to my main point let me first explain that I am not one of those full-blown hardcore supporters of Donald Trump who likes everything he has to say, nor am I a supporter of the Republican Party, nor have I been in favor of a Trump presidency from the beginning. At first I disliked him because, at the time, I actually thought that he might become some kind of unstable dictator. I reluctantly supported Bernie Sanders, despite his very socialist-sounding platform, on the grounds that he seemed to be a politician who wanted to offer meaningful change to the political system (particularly on the point of money in politics). I wanted to see him defeat Hillary Clinton, mostly because already hated her (she was, let’s face it, literally the establishment candidate, and I despised her newfound sense of identity politics the more I learned about it). But before the Democratic primaries ended, it was starting to look like Sanders’ revolution was full of crap, and after New York he lost big time and it was starting to look like he was going to lose. Plus, I got sick of all the talk of Bernie’s revolution after that loss. Then for a while I supported the Libertarian Party and their nominee Gary Johnson. While this was the case, I learned more about the election cycle, and I had learned about the narrative that had been crafted by the establishment, as well as everything about how the left-wing/progressives had come to be the establishment and the elite and I realized that Trump was not the man that they painted him to be (though he may be many things) and I was appalled at the level of half-truth and manipulation that had been presented to me. However, this didn’t push me towards Trump just yet, it just made me give him the benefit of the doubt.

Then the DNC leaks came, and I learned that the DNC deliberately rigged the Democratic primaries in a concerted effort to secure the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton. And after the primaries ended, more leaks followed, showing more collusion and more corruption with the media and various other parties to manufacture the Clinton presidency. Then Gary Johnson started acting like an idiot, rather than the sane third option that I thought he was, and kept going from there, and in the end he failed to make it to the presidential debates. Then more leaks, the Clinton Foundation, the Veritas tapes and the stupidity of the Billy Bush tapes scandal came up. And not to mention, I learned about her no-fly zone plan and the fact that it would actually require going to war with Russia, who controls the airspace, leading to the prospect of a new Cold War with Russia turning hot which, in the worst-case scenario, would actually involve nukes, which would lead to the same nuclear annihilation we all feared in the 1980’s. And not to mention the literally Cold War style propaganda we’ve seen, blaming Russia for everything under the sun. So after rejecting the establishment narrative, seeing the corruption and subversion of American democracy and watching the third party I supported reduced to abject failure, I decided that Trump, despite him being an often thoughtless buffoon, was the only option left. Not that this is all he was, mind you. If he was truly nothing but an idiot, I suspect he wouldn’t have gotten very far. In fact, I at least think he was clever enough to use the legitimate issue of Hillary’s corruption and use it against her. And in the end, I think that at least Trump might actually disappoint on at least some of his promises (like building the wall on the southern border for instance), because even though the Republicans control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, I know for a fact that a lot of Republicans still don’t like Trump or his policies (as a matter of fact, quite of few of them abandoned Trump over the Billy Bush tapes), so he could wind up having to deal with being blocked. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, I believe would have an easier time getting what she wants. After all, we know for a fact that she not only has years and years of political experience behind her and also connections with powerful and wealthy interests. I doubt that she will have much trouble getting most of what she wants. And don’t kid yourself, she wants more war in the Middle East and she wants to get America into a war with Russia.

Anyways, long story over, now that Trump has won the presidency what do I see? The media in abject horror, having to face the fact that the candidate they banked on and backed wholeheartedly has failed – despite the conspiracy orchestrated by the DNC and despite collusion with the media. Those who supported Hillary, both the public and celebrities, gushing with sadness, believing what they have been told (remember, these people actually believe, or have taught everyone to believe, that Trump is literally the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler). Much of the world taken by surprise, when frankly the people should have known better than that. And mass protests on the streets, sometimes with people resorting to vandalism and, in a few cases, even possibly people attacking other people who voted for Donald Trump. The supposed good guys, in service of what they believe to be their greater good, have truly unraveled or shown their true colors now that they realize that their preferred outcome will not come to pass. And while they speak of fighting the rise of hatred, it is in fact their own hatred and irrationality that is on public display. The old order of things is, clearly, undergoing a major shake-up. And this is kind of what I want to see happen.

You know what the irony is? I bet some of Trump’s supporters, at least some of the more Alex Jones-y types out there, are the kind of people who fought that Hillary Clinton represented a kind of “New World Order” and they thought that they were going to stop the formation of a “New World Order”. I say, hogwash! I believe Trump and his supporters have done the opposite. Far from stopping the formation of a new world order, they have pushed back against the old order of America and they look set to establish a new one. And it shall be forged out of chaos.

The chaos I speak of is not necessarily the entire country descending into total anarchy, but rather the same kind of massive overhaul that we Brits experienced with the Brexit. I’m sure my fellow Brits know what I mean. The Remaoners (might as well drop the formality with them) refused to accept it, and British politics had unraveled, but it had also been revitalized. Public participation hasn’t been so important in ages. Before the Brexit came along politics was lifeless, useless and seemingly distant from the common person. In the run up to the vote, the establishment was against Brexit – world leaders tried to discourage Britain from leaving, the political establishment waged a propaganda war (Project Fear) against the British people, and they even went out of their way to use taxpayer money to produce a booklet in order to persuade the average voter to vote Remain. After the vote, the political parties in this country (most of the main ones anyway) have undergone a lot of changes. David Cameron resigned and so the Conservatives had appoint a new leader, and thus we had a new Prime Minister. Labour has unraveled as well, undergoing massive division to the point of gutting itself. Nigel Farage stepped down as UKIP leader, naively assuming that his work was done, leaving a power vacuum within UKIP, but also subjecting it to a greater state of in-fighting. The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, are at the vanguard of the old order of things, taking up the side of 48% – the people who lost and now want to oppose a legitimate democratic mandate. Not sure what the Greens are doing though. They seem to have faded into the background in all this. We underwent a lot of tension, division and we voted to cut ourselves off from an overly centralized economic union with superstate ambitions led by unaccountable bureaucrats who, for a clear majority of people, do nothing for the people and think only of their own advancement. And when we voted to Leave, our political establishment and landscape unraveled, and politics had been revitalized by the referendum, which by the way had record voter turnout.

Donald Trump’s electoral success is having a somewhat similar effect, only so far it doesn’t look like any of the political parties are undergoing any major changes (that and I’m not sure how high voter turnout was in the recent presidential elections). American politics is in an interesting position. On the one hand, this election cycle has been a shitshow and the average voter has never had a more negative opinion of either of the mainstream candidates – both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been despised by large sections of the public, and I’m assume a large number of Americans didn’t bother to vote. On the other hand, now that Trump has won, I think that once people realize that they cannot undo the election result no matter how many American flags they burn, and that the electoral college will most likely not do it for them, I think it will dawn on them that, like with Brexit, participation in democracy becomes more important than being angry at Trump and then releasing your anger on everything around you.

Talking of Brexit, there’s something else to look out for. Last month, while we were all thinking about the US presidential election, Iceland held a general election of their own and the winner was the Independence Party. Iceland is not part of the European Union, but it seems the possibility of becoming an EU member is a contentious issue. Not to mention, Iceland had its own Project Fear. And next month, Romania and Macedonia will hold their own general elections. Romania is an EU member, while Macedonia has yet to become a member. In addition, Austria is having a redo of its presidential election in December, and it seems that the right-wing populist party – the Freedom Party of Austria – has been growing in popularity while the more mainstream political forces have been in decline. And don’t forget 2017. In March, the first country to have a general election will be the Netherlands, and it’s possible that the European migration crisis and recent Islamic terror attacks will play a part in convincing people to vote for Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, which is anti-Islam, anti-multiculturalism and anti-EU. In April, France will have its own election, and it has been anticipated that the French government’s and the EU’s lackluster response to the spate of terror attacks it endured over the summer will prove to be quite a political windfall for a Eurosceptic hard-right party called Front National. And then there’s Germany, which appears to be at the center of Europe’s problems. Not only is Germany bearing the brunt of the issues generated by mass Middle Eastern and North African migration, but its government has been working with social media companies to prosecute individuals who dissent from its agenda. I anticipate that Germans will have a lot of resentment for their current government and the EU, and will probably elect a new government just to oust the current one. It doesn’t help things for Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor, that her party has suffered defeat in recent local elections. In in October, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg will have their own general elections as well, and it looks like there may be resentment for the EU growing in the Czech Republic. Depending on who wins in these elections, there’s a chance that more EU referendums will be held in European countries within the next few years.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the populist right, Eurosceptics and generally anti-establishment forces in Europe found themselves emboldened and inspired by the success of Donald Trump’s campaign. After all, no one expected a radical populist to win the democratic mandate of the American people and thus get elected as President of the United States of America, particularly when the entire establishment was against him. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole thing sparks a chain reaction across Europe which will weaken the European Union and cause it too to unravel, and perhaps eventually collapse.

Going back to America, I think a Trump presidency with a Republican Senate and House is going to have another effect. I expect the pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans to be in conflict with each other, as they do not all agree on Trump’s policies. Read some traditional conservative outlets like The Blaze, Red State or The Federalist and then read outlets like Breitbart and you’ll understand the split between the conservatives who are for and against Trump. If anything, I think it shows that party unity isn’t a guarantee with the Republicans. However, I think there will be a shift towards the right in America, possibly even in other parts of the world as well. The left has suffered a major defeat in this election, and the regressive left and progressives in general have paid a heavy price for glossing over Hillary Clinton’s obvious dishonesty, corruption and warmongering ambitions with the perverted cult of identity politics. People fed up of the regressive left are likely move to the right, and Trump’s victory may validate this in the minds of many. But there is also a movement of classical liberalism on the Internet, particularly on YouTube, consisting of people who are just as content to criticize conservatives and the alt-right as they are to criticize the regressive left. And let’s not kid ourselves: after Trump, the regressive left will lose the power of Western culture that it once had, and after successfully defeating the establishment, Trump will become part of a new establishment. This is what rebels and revolutionaries do, for their basic goal is ultimately to overtake the system and replace it with their own design, the only other option being to ride out into the sunset and let someone else do it. Not to mention, I think there will still be plenty of people who don’t like the fact that conservatives now control the government and still don’t like Trump all that much. They won’t change anything through protests, riots or political violence, so in Trump’s America they will have to actually participate in democracy, which means engaging with the system via political pressure. If you don’t like what the conservatives might do, remember that democracy doesn’t begin and end with elections – or referendums for that matter. The will of the people is not limited to a vote, and a government bound to democratic principles is unlikely to pursue something massively unpopular unless it didn’t actually care or had vested interests driving it to begin with.

My hope is that Americans, as well as all of us in the West, will recapture what Saul Alinsky considered to be the essence of the democratic way: conflict. Not in the sense of civil war or political violence, but rather a conflict of culture and ideas, the same conflict that enriches democratic societies and human ways of live. I’ll quote Alinsky himself, and this is a quote I find very fascinating:

Conflict is the essential core of a free and open society. If one were to project the democratic way of life in the form of a musical score, its major theme would be the harmony of dissonance.” – Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

Chaos is a necessary thing in this world, at least under the right circumstances. Alinsky correctly identifies this harmony in dissonance as the lifeblood The only time you don’t find this harmony in dissonance is in totally authoritarian and totalitarian societies, where this is no freedom and thus no room for a conflict of ideas and values to happen. It is absent only in societies that do not even breathe. And yet I fear we are losing this lifeblood of democracy, and not just to a new rise in anti-democratic sentiment. When think of Western democracy before 2016, I think for the most part of a culture and system that inspires apathy. The public has been lacking confidence or even interest in the institutions of democracy, our leaders seem like they’re just typical gormless politicians who don’t give a damn about the common man, the media is less than objective towards the establishment nowadays (whilst being very adversarial towards certain figures opposing the establishment) and powerful and wealthy interests have a foothold and can influence both politicians and the media. These are not good signs in what should be a healthy democratic culture. Without the shockwaves and the unraveling of the old order of things produced by Brexit, Donald Trump and the rise of populism, this would not change and thus stagnation would become inevitable – at least before the new Cold War goes hot that is, but I bet few people would even notice by then because the West would be too inculcated in pop progressivism and identity politics to even realize what is going on before it’s too late. In the case of Brexit, this is also necessary to stop the centralizing of international power which would invariably come at the expense of democracy – this is what “ever closer union” means, by the way: national identity and national power being slowly conglomerated into a single international entity, one that will require authoritarianism.

In addition to this, I think we as a species are becoming weak. We are becoming complacent, dependent on the establishment and external forces to guarantee everything for us. Our minds our becoming weak and we need a great unraveling of this weakness, we need this system to be shocked and challenged so that, ultimately, we will become greater and more evolved for it. And this is being facilitated, if not outright engendered, by a combination of the chilling culture of political correctness, celebrity culture, consumerism, and in general the soft attitude that seems to come with mainstream culture. Mark me when I say this needs to be corrected, and we cannot do so under the current order of things. Ironically, it can also be shown that the establishment has proved somewhat complacent in its own right. It took its own power over the Western zeitgeist for granted, while refusing to engage openly and honestly with any dissenting influence.

And this is why ultimately, I now not only accept the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections but am ultimately in favor of it in the long run. Not only was Hillary Clinton defeated, but potentially so was the current culture dominated by the kindly authoritarianism brought about by the regressive left and the weakness it engendered in the human spirit. A brief forest fire is often necessary to clear the way for new life to grow and allow the seeds of certain pine trees to be released – therefore, constructive chaos becomes a necessity in the presence of stagnation. Trump and his campaign are proving to be that forest fire. At any rate, I would prefer the proverbial forest fire across the West to the prospect of a nuclear war. The chaos I speak of is necessary in order to wake up the vast majority of people, shake them up and force them to adapt and look at the world as it really is, detached from what they have been fed by the mainstream. And this will put society in much better shape than it is now in the process, having been forced to re-examine itself and undergo a significant paradigm shift. Ultimately, I think this will rejuvenate a culture wh

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