Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Final Thoughts on the Brexit Vote Tomorrow

The vote is now impossible to predict. For example, it is going to be extremely wet tomorrow and that will put off a lot of wobblers on both sides, Similarly, many perfectly decent but unsophisticated middle middle class people see a world of disorder and will conservatively vote for what they think will maintain order (Remain): such a desire for order amidst disorder led to the interwar errors.

On the other side, many working class people and entrepreneurial small business people may see this in cultural terms as the last stand of their culture not against immigrants but against the administrative middle classes and so be the more motivated to vote.

We could go on ... I doubt whether the rather depressing and slightly unpleasant appropriation of a dead person for political purposes will make much difference, irritating as many voters as it mobilises. The economic arguments have long since reached the limit of their power.

It is now down to instinct and sentiment and brute self-interest albeit with the so-called 'educated' middle class desperately trying to use a selection of pseudo-rational arguments to explain their choice to themselves.

If we were to characterise the underlying structure of the conflict, it would be that, although highly complex with many different strands, it is essentially the conflict between a conservative desire for an order to be supplied by an ostensibly liberal-minded administrative class in uncertain times (Remain) and a more radical instinct for change because the existing structures are no longer viable even if those who want change have different prescriptions about what to do next (Leave).

The Remainers constantly call for a 'plan' about 'what to do next' utterly missing the point that the various administrative classes of late liberal capitalist democracy have themselves failed to bring order under conditions of globalisation. Their plan is just 'more of the same' only more intensively applied.

This leaves the population with only two alternatives which the two sides now represent. The first choice is for an intensification of effort by the administrative classes to regulate disorder out of existence along a middling path (the 'plan') despite the constantly growing cracks in the paradigm.

The second choice is to step back and construct geographical and policy fire breaks against the gathering storm to protect the population and bring the administrative classes under control, either through markets or democracy or both. Either choice is broadly coherent but coherence is not necessarily the same as rational since national socialism had its coherence.

The question is whether the administrative classes have the authority and competence to manage vast numbers of humanity each with their own special interests and world views and whether the 'fire break' method can actually work against the sheer weight of forces emerging as a result of an over-rapid globalisation.

I take a Leave position because my analysis is that the administrative classes are faced with such an impossible task that they can only turn to increased surveillance, taxation (to support themselves) and even repression.

The 'fire break' approach gives nation states' and indeed communities at a lower level in the political food chain reserve powers to make decisions in their own interest, analogous to the personal autonomy necessary to make effective private and family decisions. It is really the last chance saloon, not only for stability but for the successful adaptation of populations to a more managed globalisation over a longer period of time.

The point, if one is concerned with stability, is that the system is paradoxically being destabilised by its own attempt to create a stable system. A new and more flexible and adaptable approach to the system is required. The stresses and strains within the current system are 'tectonic'. If they are not released gently, like economic crises, they will release themselves in a bigger explosion later.

What many Remainers are (I believe) not understanding is that the British Leave proposal is actually rather conservative. It detaches Britain from the system sufficiently to ensure adjustment but actually retains nearly all the existing links - unless the European Union itself seeks a confrontation (which is unlikely). It also permits re-engagement later on European reform by Europeans for Europeans.

Re-immersion in the European Union appears to solve the problem in one country but it has no effect (other than to delay the day of reckoning) on the total system, not even to improve its position. The total system continues its administrative-led trajectory towards increased disorder, made worse by the patching up being done to try to ensure the British do not leave.

So, a vote either way is problematic but a vote for Remain ironically increases the very disorder that its proponents most fear. The act of voting Remain merely pushes a 'crisis of order' forward by a few years (perhaps even months). The fundamentals say that the immersion of the nation must eventually be much deeper in an integrated European Union than many Remain voters actually want.

Perhaps Remainers will come to want an enhanced administrative authority over them as crises mount and economic prosperity fails to materialise but, if they do, then democracy will be little more than handing over power to the political wing of the administrative and managerial classes.

And when the immersion has finally taken place in full, they, as citizens, will either be part of the administrative and managerial class or subject to its desperate attempts to manage mounting entropy. Being a subject of the European administrative class is really not much better than being a subject of the pre-modern Crown.