The lessons I learned from the Brexit vote.
A disenchanted folk is prone to succumbing to populist urges
Whether it is Nigel Farage, Donald Trump or Virginia Raggi. People will vote for anti establishment candidates when they feel they are being ignored. In the west, large segments of the populace feel they are being ignored. Therefore it is no wonder that they will turn to populism when they feel there is no one listening to them.
The elite need to listen
The problem with the elite offering mere choices to the masses is that the majority of people feel they have no control or say in how their life is lived. When they feel they are being ignored, those rulers will be deposed. Ignore someone and hand them a gun and they will aim to get attention.
Democracy has its downsides
Churchill stated it most poignantly when he noted that democracy is the worst system there is but the best we have. Majority rule is truly awful when the majority controls the system by a margin. Look at the Brexit vote if you want more proof.
Nationalism trumps rationalism
People are not rational beings. They never were and they will never be. I think it is safe to state that a large part of the populace is uninformed and has no intention of taking the effort to sway their biases. I have always felt that irrespective the nationality, humans are tribal at heart. Those 1.3 million voters seem to have acted out their tribal passions.
Revolution is necessary
There is a time for evolution but there is a time for revolution. When justice fails a sizable portion of the people, then it is time for a revolt. The Russian revolution did not need to happen. Yet with people starving and the elite not responding quickly enough — it did happen. The American civil rights movement was necessary as was Mandela’s long walk to freedom. The Brexit is probably not going to actually happen but the shot across the bow of the establishment was necessary.
Libertarians are nothing but covert anarchists
This group espousing an ideology of small government and no rules is nothing but a bunch of con artists. Their ideology is destructive and when implemented it will harm more people than it will help. By dismantling government, people are left with a false sense of freedom. It creates a power vacuum that will be filled by tyrants. Those fools in the American libertarian movement speak for an ever larger group of conned well intentioned people. I feel that Farage, Johnson, and Gove sold many a minted series of wooden nickles. If Trump is elected, it will be worse.
Plato’s republic sounds grand
In this day and age, rule by a philosopher king sounds enchanting. I do not want a technocrat, nor do I want a military man. I want a deep thinking philosopher with the wisdom and education to make decisions on my behalf. I don’t trust people with a financial interest in government to make decisions as their goal seems to be the promulgation of their own power. The person who takes power should never feel joy or comfort in it. Rather they should be called to it as a doctor is called to treat the sick.
Pessimism allows for pleasant surprises
Being an optimist means that you will disappointed when you are wrong, which is quite often. Being a pessimist means that you can experience joy when you are wrong. I follow the Zappa adagim that stupidity is the most plentiful element in the universe. Therefore, I expect people will only make the most stupid and self centered decisions — as I would if given the opportunity. I am thus a pessimist. But I am usually right, which is a fantastic feeling.
p.s. there may be more to come.