Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Friday, December 14, 2018

OMG I Know What Brexit Is

...it's the real end of World War 2. We started it with those reparations. Then we lost all our money and America stepped up. Then we gave up the empire. Now the UK is giving up itself. From a world historical point of view, it's awesome. It's the collapse of a world power under the weight of its racism.

Discuss.

6 comments:

jliat said...

Tim Hi - I'm certainly not going to apologise for the racism involved with Brexit, but there are also some other issues.

It's worth remembering the 1975 referendum in which those wanting to leave included many of Labour's (the governing party) front bench, Michael Foot, Tony Benn, Peter Shore, Eric Varley, and Barbara Castle... and also supporting leave was The Democratic Unionist Party, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, and parties outside Parliament including the National Front and the Communist Party of Great Britain. Now the question is what has changed in the EU since 1975. Has it become more democratic, has it become less run by non elected commissioners, has the EU become less dominated by large corporations such that it has changed the minds of those on the left of British politics? Corbyn is a Bennite...

We were promised an elected European Parliament with executive powers, this never happened. So an argument can be made for not so much a loss of sovereignty as a loss of democracy. And this point has been made by academics, who not all share the remain camp.

The UK is now much different. Companies governed by financiers have seen the decline and extinction of many industries*, typically in the North of England. With some gesture politics, a community centre where once was a factory, mill, or mine. I'd ask anyone who is interested to do as we did, visit the rural areas outside the South East, and the towns of the once industrial North. Street view might give some indication, but when you find in once working class areas typically 3rd generation of unemployed the true depth of the situation becomes perhaps more clear. Add to that towns (both rural an ex-industrial) now have serious drug problems which even 30 years ago they did not... So maybe racism, but also the act of an electorate so disenfranchised from the South East they voted knowing it would likely make them worse off, but wanting to punish the establishment.

A two bedroom terraced Victorian House in Hull, £35,000, 2 Bed in Balham (not central) London, £800,000. Again there are cheaper parts of the UK. (Peterlee Co Durham £15,000 3 bed house....) London now dominates far more than ever it once did.

So racism, yes, but also a general feeling outside of the rich south east of wanting to punish the establishment. So the question remains, why did the 'left' back in 1975 vote leave and now seems to want to remain in a Community which is about Europe dominated by Multinational companies, and un elected commissioners?

I'm not excusing racism, it is certainly a factor but making a point that i've been made aware of another motivation, in conversations outside of the establishment, a wish for an almost suicidal punishment of those in authority by a great many people. This I think is often ignored by some outside and unaware of those areas...

On both sides of the Brexit debate the truth was the first casualty, and one feels that one is now living in a divided country. Maybe those whose job is the maintenance of truths it is time for some serious work?

*The Longbridge car factory in Birmingham once employed 25,000 was sold to BMW in 1994, for £10.00 who kept the “Mini” trademark selling the plant to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation for £10, for the MG mark. This was typical of selling off industries, asset stripping and destroying many communities.

wetsand said...

what an exciting idea! Badiou talks about the 20th C as a truncated century roughly contiguous with the communist experiment, and defined by the conflict between communism and capitalism. If this is true, was WW2 an aberration? (Russia and Allies fighting together against Axis powers). If Brexit is the end of WW2, do you see this as the end of an historical aberration, and a return to something prior? Or the continuation of a dormant global political mood?

Without taking it off the shelf at this hour, the part of Harman's OOO book that I was the most skeptical of (understood the least) was his example of the US Civil War. In terms of OOO, how do you see Brexit as the end of 'the discrete object called WW2?' What are its boundaries?

Unknown said...

As long as it is not the start of WW3.

Nikki said...

Not sure about the Racism part being great, but the slow death of the empire isn't a bad thing...

Let's hope humanity gives up on empire building all together and starts to realise that it's a really bad idea.

Dominika Kieruzel said...

I like the point of brexit being the end of ww2(end of caution, guilt, fear? Could be part of the mix?) its a mistery to me, and its becoming more and more ambigious with time. I was really surprised recently, reading isles by norman davies, who seemed to see back then joining the eu as subdugation of uk's democracy. I have a feeling that it has to do with democracy / control. There is a question of does being a world power mean to people here? Is brexit a hobbit dream of going back to the share?

Francis Gooding said...

ha spot on, I wrote an essay this time last year on how brexit was finally a chance for britain to lose WW2, in order to retrospectively avoid the consequences of winning it, those consequences mostly being the loss of the empire. unsurprisingly no one would publish it