Postmodern Conservative

What the British Voted Against

NRO’s David Pryce-Jones says the EU developed into a new political beast under the sun, “an oligarchy with soft totalitarian tendencies.” 

A French author we highly favor here at Postmodern Conservative, Pierre Manent, a couple of years ago put it this way:

What characterizes the European situation is that what we say as citizens has no importance whatsoever, since political actions will be decided in an indeterminate place.   …if the process continues, we will soon leave behind the representative regime to return to a command without word.  The command will no longer be that of the State, which at least occupied an elevated place, but that of the rule, the rule of indeterminate origin.  One does not know where the rule comes from, only that one must obey it.

So on balance, it is good news that the British voted to leave.  This is a form of destruction that promises beneficial results, particularly long-term, regardless of whether the Scots try to get back in the EU by leaving Britain. 

And again, what alternative did those British concerned with the decline of democratic say really have?  How were they not backed into a corner on this by their elites?

Spectator contributor and Australian political scientist James Allan, who has documented the decline of majoritarian democratic say in the five old Anglo-sphere democracies, i.e., in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, a decline which often occurs at the hands of national judges and regular (non-EU) treaty-making, describes in his Democracy in Decline book the “say” the Brits were given previously on their membership in the EU:

In the recent past when the draft EU Constitution was being considered in a referendum, but when majorities said “no” in France, Holland, and Ireland the United Kingdom decided not even to consult its voters.  And when that draft constitution was repackaged and rebranded as the “Lisbon Treaty,” even though it retained some 99 per cent of the content from before, the French and Dutch opted not to ask their voters a second time, and the UK, again, not to ask at all.

So a lot of Brits felt this was their very last chance to get control over this.  It was a close vote, thanks to elite power, particularly in the media, but at the end of the day, the horrible strains of a song like the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave, were drowned out by the liberating likes of Joe Clay’s “Goodbye, Goodbye”: 

The battle to impose true democratic control over an “economistic,” PC, judge-addled, left-liberal, and corrupt elite is only beginning in Britain, for the reasons scholars like Allan indicate, but this is a good start.   

Update:  a post of mine from a couple years ago, “Two French Pomocons on EU Debility,” seems particularly relevant today.  


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