Brexit: the bloodbath

by Chris Bertram on June 24, 2016

Went to bed feeling optimistic, believing the late polls and the bookies, and turned the radio on at 4.20 to hear Nigel Farage gloating. A coalition of English and Welsh voters, advanced in years, low in education, and xenophobic in attitude, have enabled the worst and most reactionary people in British society, made it extremely likely that Scotland will secede, undermined the peace settlement on the island of Ireland, and destroyed the UK’s access to the single market. They have made it likely that their children and grandchildren will be deprived of the right of free movement within the EU. The pound is tanking and the stock market too. Imports will be more expensive, inflation will rise, house prices will fall but interest rate rises will keep the cost of being housed high. Immigration will probably fall, but not because “we” regained “control of our borders” but because immigrants come for jobs and there will be way fewer of those. Already we have the farce of areas of the country, like Cornwall, that voted for Brexit demanding that central government guarantee that the EU subsidies they get will be replaced. And then the horrible lying politics of the whole campaign, with Leave claiming that money saved on the EU would be diverted to the NHS (a commitment Farage repudiated within hours of the result). Little England with Wales is a poorer, narrower, stingier place. Cameron, the most incompetent Prime Minister in British history and the architect of this disaster is walking away, to be replaced by a hard right Tory administration under the leadership of Gove, May or the Trumpesque clown Johnson. People, we are well and truly fucked.

From the same stable as some of Harry’s recommendations, the song that I had always meant to post in this eventuality:

{ 387 comments }

1

Dipper 06.24.16 at 11:15 am

Well Prof I’m sure you feel better for having got that off your chest.

Now how about addressing some questions where you might have more insight, such as where does this leave the Labour Party given that the vast majority of its traditional support voted against the party’s stated direction? And where does this leave Corbyn, who’s lack-lustre campaigning was possibly the decisive factor?

2

Layman 06.24.16 at 11:15 am

Cameron has committed political malpractice, presenting what may turn out to be an existential question to the public for a vote. He thought it was a clever move to undercut the Tory right but, really, he’s a fool. It’s now more clear than ever that the American and British parties of the right are bereft of reason, of intellect, even of decent political instinct; and that they’ve only been empowered and strengthened by the left’s fearful emulation of their economic and national security formulae.

3

David Steinsaltz 06.24.16 at 11:17 am

I’ve received several pamphlets in the past few weeks, all with the blue-and-white NHS logo prominently on the cover, as though these were official NHS communications. And with the suggestion that they will build one new hospital a week with the money they save from the EU. Too bad they won’t have anyone left to staff the hospitals.
I think this is the final (?) attack of the postwar generation on their children and grandchildren, to make sure that the benefits they enjoyed are kept for themselves alone.

4

Metatone 06.24.16 at 11:24 am

Sums it up.
So many broken promises to come, too.

5

Metatone 06.24.16 at 11:27 am

@Ze K – unfortunately the UK’s manufacturing industry is largely part of global supply chains – and the reconfiguration of those chains is likely to outweigh the move in currency.

@Dipper – have you seen some figures on Labour voting patterns? I’ve only seen rough estimates, but they don’t bear out the current focus on Corbyn.

6

Metatone 06.24.16 at 11:30 am

On currency, Alex Harrowell wrote about it far better than I can at AFOE:

http://fistfulofeuros.net/afoe/brexit-trade-and-the-j-curve/

7

Dipper 06.24.16 at 11:38 am

@ Metatone. I have only the stories of the referendum day, of big turn outs and large Leave votes in traditional working class areas, nothing beyond that.

8

Liberal 06.24.16 at 11:50 am

The EU is a fundamentally broken institution, and qas from the beginning. Not to say that Leave had the right motivations.

9

franck 06.24.16 at 12:00 pm

I’m frankly surprised how it has all turned out. The Scottish voted to remain, and the UK voted to leave, which means Scotland will either vote to leave the UK and stay in the EU (most likely) or stay as a deeply disgruntled member of the UK. If Scotland leaves, rUK will likely be a very Tory, austerian place. And now the Labour Party is going after Corbyn and blaming Scotland, even though Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain. I don’t see that the Labour rebels have a plan at all.

The behavior of left and right wing in England appears to be terrible and focused on blaming others for their own problems. Doesn’t bode well for the future.

10

J-D 06.24.16 at 12:07 pm

‘The behavior of left and right wing in England appears to be terrible and focused on blaming others for their own problems. ‘

Just think what a terrible world we would live in if people mostly focussed on blaming others for their own problems.

11

Layman 06.24.16 at 12:09 pm

“So, maybe some old ones will re-open, including in Scotland, incidentally, which could affect their decision.”

Yes, and maybe they’ll be rescued by extraterrestrials.

12

Rich Puchalsky 06.24.16 at 12:11 pm

“A coalition of English and Welsh voters, advanced in years, low in education, and xenophobic in attitude […]”

And I’m sure that they love their elites too.

13

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 12:13 pm

Remember how Obama and HRC threatened that a Leave vote would put Britain at the back of line in trade talks with the US? http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/22/barack-obama-brexit-uk-back-of-queue-for-trade-talks

Trump has Britain’s back (no linky) : “A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense. The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration.”

That’s a bad thing, right?

14

Lee A. Arnold 06.24.16 at 12:16 pm

Re-opening old factories takes financial capital, sometimes as much or more than building new ones. But investors are getting out of the pound. British have badly hurt themselves.

Maybe it’s a wake up call for the rest of the world.

Scotland would be wiser to vote for independence and join Europe.

EU should work on fiscal integration, shorter work hours and more redistribution. Robots and AI are going to increase labor surplus globally over next 20 years.

15

Suzanne 06.24.16 at 12:29 pm

@14: Until a few weeks ago Trump was vague on what ‘Brexit’ meant. It seems someone has told him. He is quite right to applaud this win. Many of the same forces that propelled ‘Leave’ to victory have placed him where he is today, which he is shrewd enough to realize. Build those walls.

16

dsquared 06.24.16 at 12:31 pm

the vast majority of its traditional support

“Traditional support” in this context means “people who don’t support the Labour Party, don’t vote Labour, often don’t vote at all, but live in areas where the people who do vote are Labour, and so when they’re motivated, seemingly by anti-immigrant prejudice, to vote UKIP it’s somehow the Labour leader’s fault”

17

tomsk 06.24.16 at 12:34 pm

@15 “Scotland would be wiser to vote for independence and join Europe.”

I can understand why they might want to do that, but I think this might be a lot less simple than some people are making out. Certainly it wouldn’t be a formality; a newly-independent Scotland wouldn’t just automatically inherit the rUK’s discarded EU membership. And the basic economic problems of independence wouaven’t gone away since the referendum last year, and now look much worse because of the energy price crash. Presumably they’d have to move to the euro, apart from anything else. It’d probably be doable but would take a lot of organising.

18

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 12:43 pm

@ 16 I expect that Trump is considerably more intelligent and better informed than you’re willing to allow. I’ll refrain from adding more on Trump on this thread other than to say, you’re right.

Uncontrolled borders, wage compression and stagnation, and indifference to the negative impact of globalization on less-educated and less mobile voters is as much an issue in the US as it is in Britain.

The knives appear to be out for Corbyn. It seems that Labour elites have decided to use the Leave vote as an excuse to dump Jeremy. Can’t see how that will win back the support of working-class Leave voters.

19

bexley 06.24.16 at 12:48 pm

I thought Corbyn would be one of those North London lefties you disparage kidneystones.

20

engels 06.24.16 at 12:48 pm

Ignore people and treat them like shit for decades then put them in charge of something really important. They’ll do the right thing – they’d be stupid not to…

Makes fucking a dead pig look clever in comparison.

21

Soullite 06.24.16 at 12:54 pm

The attitude that everyone who disagrees with you is stupid and racist (I’m sorry, ‘uneducated’ and ‘xenophobic’) is a large part of why you couldn’t convince any of them to vote to stay.

You hate the kind of people who voted to stay. Surprise, surprise, they refuse to listen to the arguments of people who obviously hated them.

22

tomsk 06.24.16 at 12:54 pm

@19 “The knives appear to be out for Corbyn. It seems that Labour elites have decided to use the Leave vote as an excuse to dump Jeremy. Can’t see how that will win back the support of working-class Leave voters.”

Is there much reason to think Corbyn is particularly popular with working-class Leave voters?

23

Matt 06.24.16 at 12:56 pm

This analysis, discussed by Kevin Drum, makes the whole thing sadder to me:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/brexit-battle-generations

The people most wanting to leave will be least affected by it, while those who favored staying will bear the brunt. Sometimes I really think there should be a maximum voting age, but really, I just wish young people would vote more.

24

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 1:00 pm

@20 Not a bit. I confess to being generally hostile towards the Blairites, but engels introduced me to Corbyn before Jeremy had a chance of being leader. Corbyn is committed to the less-advantaged from what I can see. I was very pleased to see him elected leader, not least because of his previous support for meaningful EU reform.

@21 Is that your hostility to the masses showing? I thought you were all about the dictatorship of the prols? No?

The hostility of many of the so-called lefties towards the less-educated seems more appropriate to Burke, than a Labour supporter. That may, in part, explain the result.

25

engels 06.24.16 at 1:07 pm

Is that your hostility to the masses showing?

No my disagreement with the judgment of ~50% of us (as Matt points out, mostly people my parents’ or grandparents’ ages, not mine, , and from a different part of the country to me).

If you’re going to fling mud at people, try to get it on target.

26

stevenjohnson 06.24.16 at 1:08 pm

“The pound is tanking and the stock market too. Imports will be more expensive, inflation will rise, house prices will fall but interest rate rises will keep the cost of being housed high.”

The concern for a strong pound and a high stock market accurately reflects CT values I’d say. High interest rates to break inflation is the preferred cure, though, not a negative consequence. I suppose it would be more politically adept to pretend one is shocked, shocked at such a deplorable turn of events. What is the Monty Python punch line? A wink, another wink and a shrug?

However, low interest rates don’t necessarily lead to the construction of new housing, as the US housing market amply demonstrates. The price of housing seems to me to have a great deal to do with how much money there is to bid up real estate and build luxury housing. In a highly unequal economy, low cost housing on expensive land is absurd. Perhaps this sort of thing is meant more as urging a policy to punish the rabble rather than a well thought out assessment of consequences.

27

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 1:10 pm

@23 One of the arguments Leave made is that if regaining sovereignty (whatever that may mean) had an economic cost, the price of ‘freedom’ was well worth paying.

@22 I think there’s some. Labour campaigned officially for Remain. It seems clear that a great number of working-class voters voted to Leave. Corbyn, at least for a time, supported an EU referendum. Most/All of the Blairites opposed the referendum, and later reversed their positions in the wake of 2015 bloodbath.

28

Layman 06.24.16 at 1:23 pm

“It seems clear that a great number of working-class voters voted to Leave.”

How did Labour Party members vote? Isn’t that the measure you’re looking for?

29

bexley 06.24.16 at 1:23 pm

@29 That’s a generous reading of the arguments. Gove was pretty dismissive of economists arguing that Brexit would be bad for the economy – comparing them to scientists in the pay of Nazis.

30

Rich Puchalsky 06.24.16 at 1:26 pm

Matt: “This analysis, discussed by Kevin Drum, makes the whole thing sadder to me”

That short Kevin Drum piece includes the sentence “If a bunch of nostalgic/resentful/racist oldsters vote Britain out of the EU, they’ll be forcing their bitterness on a generation that doesn’t want it. “

a) Remember when people here on CT were denying that the very concept of “generations” had any political meaning? Much less a generational divide.
b) Do you think that perhaps this attitude towards a group of people as nostalgic/resentful/racist was detectable by these people before the vote?
c) I’m sure that some Leave supporters were / are nostalgic, resentful, and / or racist. But perhaps they were nostalgic for era in which it seemed possible to vote for something instead of just against the worst something, and resentful that all that elites could suggest was the lesser evil of staying in the EU despite austerity.
d) If the EU is supposed to be an expression of left internationalism, perhaps internationalists should actually see it as part of their brief when in power to make life better for people rather than worse?

31

Curmudgeon 06.24.16 at 1:26 pm

Given the overwhelming preponderance of leave voters in the over 65 demographic, this vote makes a very good case for a maximum voting age. People who aren’t, demographically, expected to live long enough to have to suffer the consequences of their decisions for very long ought not be allowed to dictate to those who will.

I’ll also just put here that much of the work on quantitatively predicting social unrest points toward rapidly rising food prices as a near-certain trigger for disturbances. If the pound stays low long enough to push up food prices, expect riots in addition to the more genteel fallout.

The other potential flashpoint is what will happen when the millions of Britons and EU citizens who are currently enjoying their right to freedom of movement are forced to return home. The consequences of defacto–let’s not sugar coat this–mass deportations to ensure that everyone is on the ‘right’ side of the EU line will be an economic disaster and could easily turn into a civic crisis in several countries.

32

Layman 06.24.16 at 1:29 pm

“But perhaps they were nostalgic for era in which it seemed possible to vote for something instead of just against the worst something…”

That era was when, exactly?

33

Ronan(rf) 06.24.16 at 1:31 pm

Rich at 32, but you’ve pretty consistently argued that trump supporters are driven by racism, xenophobia and nostalgia afaicr. So why is that rhetoric and analysis worthwhile in that case but not here ?

34

engels 06.24.16 at 1:33 pm

How did Labour Party members vote?

According to Sky, 70% of Labour voters voted Remain.

35

Tom Slee 06.24.16 at 1:34 pm

I left the UK after Grocer Heath took us in, so have watched from an interested distance. I would probably have voted Remain had I still been living in the UK. But some things continually surprise me here. A random list:

Heath took us in over the wishes of Labour, of course, and Michael Foot later put “out’ on his manifesto. This is one of many arguments where “left” and “right” orthodoxy have changed places over the years. The assumption on Brexit threads here that there is no decent left rationale for exit seems oddly ahistorical for CT.

The OP lists “The pound is tanking and the stock market too” among its signs of doom. Chris Bertram arguing that we should avoid the disapproval of global capital?

Trump, of course, is expressing pleasure. But there are many TIPP sceptics who haven’t switched their views just because Trump happens to be on what seems like the same side. One of the many unpleasant aspects of this campaign has been the argument-by-association — as if we haven’t all had taken sides with unpleasant bedfellows at some time.

I see Dipper’s characterization of Johnson as “deep down, a Remainer” (here looks like it might be on the money.

36

Rich Puchalsky 06.24.16 at 1:37 pm

There’s a difference between saying that the GOP is a party organized around racism (which it is) and between mixing that in to a generational label focussed on nostalgia and resentment insofar as that resentment is not based on racism. If “nostalgia” and “resentment” are just code words for racism, then people should just say that. If they aren’t, then people should wonder about just what people are being nostalgic about.

37

MPAVictoria 06.24.16 at 1:40 pm

So worst case scenario the Brexit vote triggers a global recession and increases the popularity of extreme right wing parties across the developed world. Donald Trump, boosted by the weakening economy and piss poor campaign of Secretary Clinton, wins the Presidency in November. By the end of 2017 there is nothing left of our civilization but radioactive clouds of dust traveling back and forth across the Earth.

/Not so bad really. At least I won’t have to pay my mortgage.

38

Brett 06.24.16 at 1:42 pm

This was a non-binding referendum. Will the UK Parliament vote to make it law and reality?

39

JW Mason 06.24.16 at 1:46 pm

It’s at least two years before anything changes. Cameron says he won’t start the Article 50 process, he’ll leave it to his successor. Maybe they won’t either. What are the odds the UK remains in the EU at the end of the day? 10%, 20%? Certainly not zero.

In any case, if free trade between the UK and Europe is so beneficial, presumably that’s what the outcome of the negotiations will be. Why would the rest of the EU deprive themselves of their largest market just out of spite? (And if they would, maybe that says something.) Or maybe you don’t think free trade outside the eu is possible, maybe integration is something that can’t be done halfway. But then maybe Wolfgang Munchau is right that the decision to leave was already made when the UK (under Gordon Brown) definitely decided not to join the euro. If a sort-of-in, sort-of-out position isn’t a viable outomce of the negotiations, maybe the existing one wasn’t either.

What ‘s striking me most about these post mortems is that we are being asked to believe two things. First, that international trade and financial arrangements are extremely delicate, attempts to adjust them are likely to cause them to break down catastrophically. And second, that cross-border finance and trade is something we should have lots more of.

40

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 1:49 pm

@ 27 Sorry if the mud ended up in the wrong place.
@ 30 Both working-class and Labour voters would be relevant.
@ 31 Agreed.
@ 33 Surely, involuntary-assisted-suicide is the more ‘responsible’ and ‘humane ‘ solution. After all, of what utility are the aged? The old are an enormous burden on the NHS, after all. A picture of grandma when she was hale, hearty, and of good use to the state is more than sufficient to compensate for momentary pangs of bereavement and loss.
Think of the savings!

41

MPAVictoria 06.24.16 at 1:50 pm

And thank you JW for providing a little calm into these comments. Much to think about.

42

Ronan(rf) 06.24.16 at 1:57 pm

The reason the eu won’t give the uk good terms in any exit is because the eu faces a possible existential crisis. They don’t want to encourage euro scepticism on the continent, and don’t want to encourage further defections. Why would they make life easy for the uk? From a political perspective?

43

MPAVictoria 06.24.16 at 1:59 pm

“Why would they make life easy for the uk? From a political perspective?”

Because their economies are already shit and hurting the UK will wound them even more?

Of course they might decide to do it anyway.

44

Nick 06.24.16 at 2:01 pm

#41 — the reasons that the negotiations will be more complicated than simple ‘mutual benefit’ is that the EU has to consider their remaining members. If, in fact, there is no detriment at all to leaving the EU, then the EU is finished. I suspect that the internal benefits to pushing the UK out into the cold will far be seen as greater than minimizing the effects of this vote.

45

Omega Centauri 06.24.16 at 2:02 pm

curmudgean @33 I suspect the recrossing of borders will be slow in coming. More likely that EU companies will be reluctant to hire Brits because they are uncertain of the legal status. This might also apply to renewing contracts etc. So a suspect it will be a sustained trickle, as well as fewer opportunities to work in the EU. Of course equity and currency markets usually don’t react slowly or seamlessly.

46

Dipper 06.24.16 at 2:03 pm

Brett @ 40 – Yes the UK government will honour this. However one reason we may not see a UK exit from the EU is the EU itself may change beyond recognition. This may open the floodgates to other nations withdrawing. A north-Europe free-trade and migration areas is one possibility.

see for instance http://uk.businessinsider.com/poll-a-majority-of-swedes-want-to-leave-the-eu-after-brexit-2016-4

47

LFC 06.24.16 at 2:05 pm

Agree w engel’s comment @22.

Not quite sure where Ze K gets the idea that a ‘low currency’ boosts employment generally. Ceteris paribus, a lower currency will/may help exports and make imports more expensive (but all other things aren’t equal right now). Also someone has already mentioned the factor of supply chains. I think the days of import-substitution industrialization are prob pretty much over. (Though overreliance on one export and importing everything else also can be a bad idea; cf. Venezuela, where it was coupled w other things to produce a real disaster/mess.)

48

T 06.24.16 at 2:09 pm

RP@38
Maybe they are nostalgic for the 6 million lost manufacturing jobs since about 2000. And the effects of those lost jobs on their children and their community. Who are the marginal voters that would put the Republican candidate over the top? All racists? The problem isn’t the average Republican voter — we can both agree about that. It’s the marginal voters that will decide the election. Rich, you don’t sound like someone with relatives in Michigan, Ohio or other Rust Belt states. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MANEMP

49

Dipper 06.24.16 at 2:09 pm

One reason the pound has plummeted is because regulation has reduced liquidity in foreign exchange. When the Swiss National Bank broke the Euro peg last year there was a huge unparalleled instantaneous move which later unwound. Some of the move in Cable has unwound already, and it is currently at 1.38.

(Cable is the GBP/USD exchange rate, so called because the rate used to be transmitted on a sub-atlantic cable – hence “the rate on the cable”)

50

Peter K. 06.24.16 at 2:11 pm

@28

“However, low interest rates don’t necessarily lead to the construction of new housing, as the US housing market amply demonstrates.”

A common mistake is to confuse historically low rates with where rates *need* to be to maintain full employment and inflation levels. The Fed has been tightening with rates being *too high* even though they are historically low. Brexit will probably mean they won’t raise rates anytime soon.

The economy has been weak. Politicians have forced fiscal austerity on the economy. There’s a trade deficit. That’s why rates are “low.” But they are not as low as they should be. Central banks hit the ZLB and have to resort to QE.

The experts’ reputations are in tatters and so yahoos spout off nonsense about monetary policy, immigration and trade, etc.

51

Dipper 06.24.16 at 2:12 pm

I’m surprised that no-one in CT has spent much time discussing the role of the EU in the election. They showed no signs at all of giving way on any aspect of the EU, and there was widespread belief that once the election was over the EU would reveal more centralisation and state-like policies and institutions.

Once again, someone has tried an “all or nothing” approach to negotiation and ended up with nothing.

52

Tom Slee 06.24.16 at 2:12 pm

Like MPAVic, I appreciate JWM’s comments.

Have to say I’m waiting for Johnson to do the full Trump. “Leave? I never said it.”

53

Faustusnotes 06.24.16 at 2:16 pm

I said before the vote that the Tories were trying to recast it as labours fault, and oh look the blairite rump have already joined their Tory allies in the hippy punching. I saw earlier people trying to blame the sNP as well. The two bits of the English polity who coherently voted remain being blamed for Cameron’s catastrophic stupidity… What a disaster…

54

Peter K. 06.24.16 at 2:21 pm

Matt @ 25

“This analysis, discussed by Kevin Drum, makes the whole thing sadder to me:”

And Waldman responds:

http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/6602.html

55

Val 06.24.16 at 2:23 pm

When you cut someone low in education, does he not bleed? Do the low in education not have needs, desires, fears, and dignity equal to us upper middle class folks with graduate degrees and 100k/yr salaries?

56

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 2:26 pm

Dipper @ 54: Once again, someone has tried an “all or nothing” approach to negotiation and ended up with nothing.

Presumably, the Brexit vote begins a process of negotiation. The current EU leadership may go, and if it does not, what does that say about the EU?

57

Curmudgeon 06.24.16 at 2:30 pm

@47: I’m not so optimistic about the timeline for repealing freedom of movement. The rural old people who voted for this will want to see a payoff while they’re still around to gloat, which means that they will want all the foreigners out of their villages as soon as possible. Combine this with the facts that the referendum was largely fought on immigration grounds and that freedom of movement has never been particularly popular among UK elites to begin with and it seems likely that the right will be revoked as soon as possible.

58

bexley 06.24.16 at 2:36 pm

Dipper – so what concessions do you think the EU should have made? Be specific.

59

JMG 06.24.16 at 2:41 pm

I see a problem with negotiating with the EU over divorce terms. At present, Britain has nobody in charge of negotiating. With both parties in leadership crisis (Labour) or actual vacuum (Tories), it’s going to take months at best before Britain can even start internal negotiations about external negotiations. In the meantime, the status quo remains except with the currency down by a double-digit margin and life with anticipation of Brexit. The immigrants don’t vanish, but purchasing power does.

60

David 06.24.16 at 2:52 pm

Further to JMB, negotiation requires negotiators. It also requires negotiating positions. It’s not clear what a post-Cameron British government would want, and it’s not clear who they would be negotiating with. if you’ve never experienced it, international negotiation becomes exponentially more complicated as you add states, many of which won’t want the British to go anyway, and few of which will be actively pushing them towards the exit. A perfectly feasible option would be a manufactured vote of confidence, say in October, which the government loses, which results in a general election and a genuine hung parliament where nobody can agree what to do about the referendum vote. So nothing happens.

61

William Timberman 06.24.16 at 3:10 pm

Interesting, in the cold light of Friday’s hangover, to have a look at what Wolfgang Schäuble has felt compelled to say about it, e.g.:

Drin heißt drin – und raus heißt raus (In is in and out is out)

Guy doesn’t bend much, does he? And then there’s Juncker, of course, likening Brexit supporters to deserters in his May 20 interview with Le Monde.

I’m from the U.S., and so lack the subtlety of insight into Europe’s follies that other commenters here have in abundance, but when I read stuff like this, I’m tempted to wonder whether these supposedly wise leaders aren’t really trying to drum up the financing for a commedia dell’arte re-run of World War I.

And then, of course, we over here have got Trump, playing golf in Scotland, of all places, while congratulating the English on their insularity.

I’d be inclined to say that you can’t make this stuff up, but collectively, it seems, we have more than enough of what it takes to make any farce seem plausible.

62

infovore 06.24.16 at 3:12 pm

JW Mason @41:

It’s at least two years before anything changes. Cameron says he won’t start the Article 50 process, he’ll leave it to his successor. Maybe they won’t either. What are the odds the UK remains in the EU at the end of the day? 10%, 20%? Certainly not zero.

Boris Johnson has already made noises to that effect, and the Council and Commission have said that they now expect article 50 to be invoked as soon as possible. I’d expect that a vote in Parliament that nullifies the result of the referendum will also be acceptable to them. But indefinitely delaying Brexit? That I doubt will find favour. Moreover it would be hanging as a sword of Damocles over the British economy.

The result of delaying might be business as usual, except that Great Britain believes it has another negotiating card in its hand to play at an opportune time. Myself, I doubt this will be the case.

63

Dipper 06.24.16 at 3:15 pm

bexley – very good question.

I guess not having free movement and unlimited immigration would have gone down quite well with many people.

Personally my dislike is more to do with the drive for a super-state. The direction is very clear with such initiatives as a European army (from the people who brought you Srebrenica), talk of tax harmonisation etc. The end result is single European state and in that scenario everything ends up in the middle – i.e. Germany. The single market in manufactured goods works well for Germany; the single market in financial services should work well for the UK but doesn’t.

As someone who worked in the City I see the Financial Transaction Tax as a deliberate attempt to cripple the UK financial services. I know we had a veto but it costs you every time you use it.

The two objections to the super state are that firstly Germany hasn’t worked out that with the structural fiscal surplus that their central role gives them they need to make fiscal transfers to elsewhere in the EU. They resist doing this resulting in a permanent downward economic spiral which has driven recession across Europe. Personally I see no future for the UK in that scenario. Secondly at best we have a peripheral role – a good place for Europe to do their cheap manufacturing and services, but not a place where power sits. Our future limited by playing second fiddle to a dysfunctional European core. I think we are better than that and leaving gives us a chance to expand and develop through engaging with the world economy.

64

Larrym 06.24.16 at 3:17 pm

Here’s hoping that the generation that caused this travesty dies off quickly and miserably

65

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 3:31 pm

dipper: The two objections to the super state are that firstly Germany hasn’t worked out that with the structural fiscal surplus that their central role gives them they need to make fiscal transfers to elsewhere in the EU.

They haven’t worked out the need for fiscal transfers, because, inside Germany, it is popularly understood that they have been making fiscal transfers elsewhere — to Greece in the endless series of bailouts, for example. Germans think they have made sacrifices — his own delayed retirement is the example one of my German friends gives me — for European solidarity.

66

David 06.24.16 at 3:37 pm

Dipper
“a European army (from the people who brought you Srebrenica)”
Er, Srebrenica fell because it was attacked by a small group of Bosnian Serb (VRS) troops from the Zvornik Brigade, and because the much larger 28th Division of the Muslim Army defending the town didn’t put up any serious resistance. When the VRS, to their enormous surprise, overran the town, they found the 28th Division had run away, taking the rest of the adult males of the town with them. About half of them were later captured and killed on the road to Tuzla. I’m no particular fan of EU’s attempts at defence and security but this was nothing to do with them – such foreign troops as were involved came from the UN and NATO.

67

infovore 06.24.16 at 3:41 pm

dipper @ 67:

As someone who worked in the City I see the Financial Transaction Tax as a deliberate attempt to cripple the UK financial services. I know we had a veto but it costs you every time you use it.

As someone not part of the financial services, I understood the FTT as an attempt to get High Frequency Trading under control. And from my perspective HFT is basically a legal flavour of front-running, a way for traders to interpose themselves as intermediaries in transactions that would have happened anyway.

68

Dipper 06.24.16 at 3:42 pm

bruce wilder – yes I quite understand that dynamic. It will result in Greece having a set of policies enforced on them in return for the bailout. I’d personally prefer not to be in the position of negotiating our policies with the German government in return for bail-outs.

David – so why did the Dutch Government resign after report then?

69

Chris Bertram 06.24.16 at 3:44 pm

@Tom Slee writes: The OP lists “The pound is tanking and the stock market too” among its signs of doom. Chris Bertram arguing that we should avoid the disapproval of global capital?

The stock market tanking will increase the deficit on many pension plans, employers will call for restructuring and reduction of benefits to reduce the risk to them. Of course if the international proletarian revolution will feed me in old age, then I don’t much care.

70

Dipper 06.24.16 at 3:46 pm

infovore – HFT is being controlled in other ways, but the principal of electronic trading is embedded in regulation (i.e. trading in electronic venues through automated prices rather than through voice communication). The point being to cut traders out of that process. Traders are disappearing from trading floors being replaced by computers, and the ones left generally have jobs minding machines rather than providing voice quotes.

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JW Mason 06.24.16 at 3:48 pm

If, in fact, there is no detriment at all to leaving the EU, then the EU is finished.

If the only reason to be in the EU is fear of punishment for leaving, no wonder people want out. Seems to me people unhappy with this vote need to find a case for membership that doesn’t require catastrophe as the alternative.

Re the pound, exchange rates move around a lot. The pound lost a quarter of its value in 1992, then rose by over 30 percent in 1996-1998. Pretty hard to see effects of either on growth, employment, etc. That goes double for stock markets. And even if there is a good argument that the consequences will be more severe this time — which I have not seen — it’s a bit odd, as someone noted above, to see people on the left treating financial markets as arbiters of good policy. If in fact the foreign exchange markets, finance industry, etc. now effectively have a veto over British policy, that seems like a problem to be solved. It doesn’t seem like an argument for continuing on the path of greater economic economic integration and freer movement of finance.

72

tomsk 06.24.16 at 3:51 pm

Bruce Wilder @69

“…inside Germany, it is popularly understood that they have been making fiscal transfers elsewhere — to Greece in the endless series of bailouts, for example. Germans think they have made sacrifices — his own delayed retirement is the example one of my German friends gives me — for European solidarity.”

Do you see this as a convincing belief? Obviously Germans have made sacrifices to some degree, but do you think they’ve made the kind of sacrifices that are necessary, or are they deluding themselves when in fact much bigger fiscal transfers would be needed to make the Eurozone work?

73

infovore 06.24.16 at 4:01 pm

JW Mason @75:

If, in fact, there is no detriment at all to leaving the EU, then the EU is finished.

If the only reason to be in the EU is fear of punishment for leaving, no wonder people want out. Seems to me people unhappy with this vote need to find a case for membership that doesn’t require catastrophe as the alternative.

One way to rephrase the original statement is if there is benefit to being a member of the EU, then the EU is finished. Losing the benefits of membership when leaving is not by itself a punishment. And if the turmoil of negotiating leaving is itself enough to cause a catastrophe, then that too should not be construed as a punishment.

74

engels 06.24.16 at 4:02 pm

…This is not a class conflict so much as a values divide that cuts across lines of age, income, education and even party. A nice way to show this is to examine the relationship between so-called ‘authoritarianism’ questions such as whether children should obey or the death penalty is appropriate, and support for the EU. The British Election Study’s internet panel survey of 2015-16 asked a sample of over 24,000 individuals about their views on these matters and whether they would vote to leave the EU. The graph below, restricted to White British respondents, shows almost no statistically significant difference in EU vote intention between rich and poor. By contrast, the probability of voting Brexit rises from around 20 per cent for those most opposed to the death penalty to 70 per cent for those most in favour.
Wealthy people who back capital punishment back Brexit. Poor folk who oppose the death penalty support Remain

75

infovore 06.24.16 at 4:02 pm

(ok blockquote fail at my 77)

76

Jim Harrison 06.24.16 at 4:04 pm

Like everybody else, I worried about the eventual baleful effects of the democratic deficit. Oddly, I’m a little surprised that I was right. But I think the lesson that a great many politicians and intellectuals will draw from this affair is just the reverse, i.e., that the real problem was democracy all along. Many people are already blaming Cameron for allowing the vote in the first place. Maybe both sides are right: either you pay more attention to what people want and feel or you squelch them decisively in the name of economic rationality or Christendom or blood and soil. The current situation in America and Europe is at an unstable middle point

77

David 06.24.16 at 4:05 pm

Dipper – the Dutch government didn’t resign over that issue, but there was an understrength Dutch battalion (about 400 men) not far away, under UN command. The VRS were under orders not to attack them, and didn’t. Dutch parliamentarians who had been looking to overthrow the government on some pretext or other made use of the horrific circumstances to argue that the government was in some curious way responsible for the killings. In fact, the Dutch were only responsible insofar as they did not carry out their mandate to disarm the Muslim troops in the town – they could hardly do so, since they were massively outnumbered. There’s a long and detailed Dutch official report that goes into this, but let’s not get sidetracked. Europe has made a mess of a lot of things, but that’s not one of them.

78

bexley 06.24.16 at 4:09 pm

Personally my dislike is more to do with the drive for a super-state. The direction is very clear with such initiatives as a European army (from the people who brought you Srebrenica), talk of tax harmonisation etc. The end result is single European state and in that scenario everything ends up in the middle – i.e. Germany. The single market in manufactured goods works well for Germany; the single market in financial services should work well for the UK but doesn’t.

It’s hard to take this very seriously. We vetoed ideas of a super army back in 2011 and could have done so again.

As someone who worked in the City I see the Financial Transaction Tax as a deliberate attempt to cripple the UK financial services. I know we had a veto but it costs you every time you use it.

First question did Cameron even raise this as part of his negotiations? If not, its hardly surprising nothing changed about it. Second you seem to be saying we chose note to veto due to the “costs” of the veto so instead we were right to leave the EU. The cost of leaving is likely to outweigh whatever the “costs” of using our veto would have been.

79

Suzanne 06.24.16 at 4:10 pm

@33: Here in the States, the old folks have been able to ward off repeated threats to their piece of the social safety net because they vote. Consistently. Younger people do not. This isn’t always or necessarily a personal or generational failing. Voting is a habit and habits take time to develop. All the same, there are consequences to not voting (or voting only because there’s a candidate on the ballot who sends a thrill up your leg). I saw a BBC people-on-the-street interview with some young people prior to the election. Were they in favor of Remain? Oh, sure. Were they actually going to vote? Well, they couldn’t tell just yet. So it goes.

80

christian_h 06.24.16 at 4:18 pm

It should be clarified that “it will take at least two years until anything changes” is not true. As soon as article 50 is invoked – which despite the conspiracy theories around will happen in the Fall – it’s “at most two years”. At that point, free movement of people will be toast (because this is what the Brexiters won on), and therefore free movement of capital also will be. Scotland will vote to separate for certain. Of course we might not have any EU by then, but rather a president LePen, PM Wilders, and an AfD at 25% in the German parliament. How anyone, esp. anyone on the political left, can think this is a good outcome is beyond me. And no, what JW writes doesn’t calm me down because this was never ever about trade barriers. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding that the EU is like NAFTA with more bureaucrats.

81

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 4:21 pm

tomsk: Do you see this as a convincing belief?

I think it is b.s. But, my friend is convinced. b.s. can be convincing.

Politicians are going to tell their supporters that they are good, decent people and it is only the other people who are selfish, foolish and misguided. That’s just manipulation — necessary in form to political mobilization, though the quality of content (and the related functional consequences of governance) may vary with the quality of the politician.

People debate meaning as if it means something. You can’t stop ’em.

82

RNB 06.24.16 at 4:43 pm

83

JW Mason 06.24.16 at 4:44 pm

if the turmoil of negotiating leaving is itself enough to cause a catastrophe, then that too should not be construed as a punishment.

Sure, ok. Still if the best case for staying in is that it would be very costly to leave, then the best thing would be never to have joined.

It’s a fundamental misunderstanding that the EU is like NAFTA with more bureaucrats.

OK. But there is a substantive question about what kinds of activity should be governed by where. And there is a substantive question about what degree of integration is desirable in production and finance. You can argue that more centralized, more uniform governance and more integrated economies are always and everywhere a good thing (“ever closer union.). Or you can argue or that national governments should have some autonomy but less than they do now, or that the existing division of competences in the EU (with UK opt-outs) gets the distribution of competences just right. But you do have to make the argument. You can’t pretend there are no legitimate questions here.

84

RNB 06.24.16 at 4:52 pm

Oh are we talking about trade and financial integration? Is opposition to that what drove this? Was it just about the mobility of goods and money capital across national borders? Wasn’t there concern about the mobility of another factor?
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/06/it-was-immigration-wot-won-it

85

JW Mason 06.24.16 at 4:56 pm

RNB-

Of course. I expect if I were British I would have voted Remain for exactly that reason. But “our opponents are scary racists” only makes it more pressing to come up with a positive argument for integration. It shouldn’t be — as it seems to be here — an excuse not to bother.

86

infovore 06.24.16 at 4:59 pm

JW Mason @87:

if the turmoil of negotiating leaving is itself enough to cause a catastrophe, then that too should not be construed as a punishment.

Sure, ok. Still if the best case for staying in is that it would be very costly to leave, then the best thing would be never to have joined.

Phrased like that the argument still assumes that there was no benefit to joining in the first place. Contrast the argument that the bigger the benefit of joining, the larger the likely costprice of leaving. As I understand it, Britain didn’t join on a whim, even if you consider the decision wrong in retrospect.

87

The Temporary Name 06.24.16 at 5:01 pm

As someone who worked in the City I see the Financial Transaction Tax as a deliberate attempt to cripple the UK financial services. I know we had a veto but it costs you every time you use it.

Could Britain’s future involve wild-west finance? Or more wild?

88

JW Mason 06.24.16 at 5:02 pm

Personally, I’m with Keynes: International movement of people, ideas, culture should be as free as possible. Trade in goods should be carefully managed. And international finance should be reduced to an absolute minimum. What’s unfortunate here is we’re faced with the choice of all or none.

89

JW Mason 06.24.16 at 5:07 pm

the argument still assumes that there was no benefit to joining in the first place

I’m not assuming that. What I’m saying is that no case has been made for those benefits, the arguments are entirely on the costs side. I’m also saying that insofar as there are benefits, it should be possible to negotiate a new arrangement that more or less preserves them.

I suspect that one reason people are pushing the economic catastrophe, all-or-nothing line so hard is that they realize that in the ideas of most Europeans, the benefits of the EU have not in fact been sufficient to justify creating/joining it — at least in anything like its current form — if the option existed to start over.

90

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 5:08 pm

“We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
. . .
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! “

91

Corey Robin 06.24.16 at 5:14 pm

All I could think of this morning, as I was reading the news and people’s anguished posts on Facebook and Twitter and elsewhere, was that famous first line from Kafka: “When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.”

92

F 06.24.16 at 5:17 pm

To everyone thinking that Chris is just slinging slurs, look at the demographic charts at the bottom of the Guardian’s results map page. It’s about a clear a correlation as you’ll ever see in political science. And it’d be clearer still if you removed the Scottish districts. Leave was absolutely the result of uneducated, poor, and old voters.

93

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 5:22 pm

The uneducated poor — why do we let vote?

94

novakant 06.24.16 at 5:26 pm

Thank you Chris, right now I want to go Malcolm Tucker on each and every Leave voter –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYOlBsls-C0&feature=youtu.be&t=4

Imbeciles

95

JW Mason 06.24.16 at 5:28 pm

For Chris and others who think that this vote was a disaster, ‘m curious: do you feel the same way about the decision not to join the euro?

96

Martin Bento 06.24.16 at 5:32 pm

Suppose public opinion on this changes over the next several months. Could they call another vote? After all, there were several redoes on countries getting into the final form of the EU in the first place.

97

stevenjohnson 06.24.16 at 5:33 pm

Peter K @28

“’However, low interest rates don’t necessarily lead to the construction of new housing, as the US housing market amply demonstrates.’

A common mistake is to confuse historically low rates with where rates *need* to be to maintain full employment and inflation levels. The Fed has been tightening with rates being *too high* even though they are historically low. Brexit will probably mean they won’t raise rates anytime soon.

The economy has been weak. Politicians have forced fiscal austerity on the economy. There’s a trade deficit. That’s why rates are “low.” But they are not as low as they should be. Central banks hit the ZLB and have to resort to QE.

The experts’ reputations are in tatters and so yahoos spout off nonsense about monetary policy, immigration and trade, etc.”

The explanation that it’s only nominal interest rates that have been low, but the real interest rates have been ask the question if the higher interest rates exercising Chris Bertram are only nominally high. Which is to say, doesn’t explain at all. It’s not even clear whether European central bankers not raising interest rates is good, bad, indifferent or in the hands of God.

However so far as housing goes, QE doesn’t seem to have had much positive effect on housing. And it certainly hasn’t achieved a normal recovery in the overall economy either.

My remark on housing was “The price of housing seems to me to have a great deal to do with how much money there is to bid up real estate and build luxury housing. In a highly unequal economy, low cost housing on expensive land is absurd. ” It seems pretty certain that I’m supposed to be one of the yahoos nattering about monetary policy, immigration and trade, but really not seeing that. (Nor did Tom Slee, by the way.)

I guess the moral of the story is that the experts, even with their reputations (unjustly?) tattered, are still way ahead of the yahoos. It seems the awful uneducatedness of the yahoos who voted leave consists in not realizing the experts are still the experts and no one else is worth listening to.

98

RNB 06.24.16 at 5:33 pm

99

RNB 06.24.16 at 5:34 pm

Great one on Kafka, Corey Robin.

100

Metatone 06.24.16 at 5:37 pm

@JW Mason – I respect a lot of your work, but it feels like you need to do more research on this one. For better or worse, much of the UK economy has been built around the assumption that we’re a good conduit between the world and the EU.

Some of that is in stuff that I’ll be sorry to see go (manufacturing) and some that I think had gotten too big for the good of the overall economy (financial and legal services.) Still, whatever my views on the individual components, we’re about to undergo a shock therapy where a large number of those businesses focus on opportunities in other places, like Ireland and Netherlands and Poland.

Given the overall fragility of the economy, I trust you can see why I might not be thrilled to see us undergo shock therapy? Why yet another recession looks like it will blight the lives of young people in a highly damaging way?

101

infovore 06.24.16 at 5:42 pm

JW Mason @93:

What I’m saying is that no case has been made for those benefits, the arguments are entirely on the costs side. I’m also saying that insofar as there are benefits, it should be possible to negotiate a new arrangement that more or less preserves them.

As Harry notes in blame Corbyn, the Brexit campaign has lasted about 25 years. That is the background against which any case for the EU had to be made. Even so, I do think Remain could have made a better case, but it is not nearly as obvious that these Remain campaigners could have made a better case.

A large part of the benefits of EU membership have been in easier trade between members. This necessarily included a good deal of harmonization between member countries of laws affecting trade in a wide sense, to ensure products made in one member state can be sold without problems in another member state. (Minimum standards, liability, warranty, accurate labelling, …)

Finally, there is a blueprint for getting “more or less” these benefits of membership of the EU without actual membership of the EU: the European Economic Area. The catch is that membership of the EEA requires exactly the things the Brexit voters voted against: free movement of persons and contributing to the EU development funds.

So you’re arguing that it should be possible to reach for a deal that rejects the conditions that everyone else who negotiated for the same deal had to accept. Doing that would surely blow up all other EEA treaties.

102

Dipper 06.24.16 at 5:56 pm

@ bexley – 82 “did Cameron even raise this as part of his negotiations? If not, its hardly surprising nothing changed about it.”

Well quite. The referendum wasn’t just a cock-up, it was the end of a series of cock-ups. What the UK should have done is work with similar nations on an alternative vision of the EU and pushed hard for it, but because of quasi-religious splits in the Tories that didn’t happen.

However, it takes two to not argue. There is a single European vision being pushed in the EU, one size fits all. The UK opt-outs are clearly not liked by the EU. Better for us to leave.

Finally, this isn’t about turning our backs on Europe. Europe has turned its back on the rest of the world, so its about the UK re-embracing the rest of the world.

103

engels 06.24.16 at 5:56 pm

Re article 50 process and new trade deals etc, this gives some idea of the political situation
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/top-eu-leader-we-want-britain-out-as-soon-as-possible

104

Marc 06.24.16 at 5:56 pm

I’d think that leftists would pause a bit before discounting the votes of old and poor people. Democrats in the US, for example, have historically done best with the least educated voting cohorts – see the 2012 results

https://ropercenter.cornell.edu/polls/us-elections/how-groups-voted/how-groups-voted-2012/

Did not graduate high school: Obama 64-Romney 35
College graduate: Obama 47 – Romney 51
(Interestingly, postgraduate education: 55-42 Obama)

Income level, 50K or less: 60-38
Income level 100K or more: 44-54

105

infovore 06.24.16 at 5:57 pm

JW Mason @99:

For Chris and others who think that this vote was a disaster, ‘m curious: do you feel the same way about the decision not to join the euro?

FWIW, in retrospect it is even more clear that the decision not to join the Euro was the right one. And a good number of experts made that point at the time.

106

Lee A. Arnold 06.24.16 at 5:57 pm

JW Mason #99: “For Chris and others who think that this vote was a disaster, ‘m curious: do you feel the same way about the decision not to join the euro?”

I don’t think the decisions are symmetrical.

Brexit makes it clear that the members of the British political scene are too inept for anyone to risk business investment there.

At this moment, it looks like equities markets are reconsidering the future value of British businesses trading under a possibly permanently lower pound, and the effects of a change in British trade on other global markets.

Investors seeking stable value are going to bid up US Treasuries, the world’s remaining secure investment (besides gold and certain real estate). Thus running up the US dollar. Thus putting greater downward pressure on interest rates, which are already too low to provide adequate yields on private business investment.

Lower US business investment + higher US imports = Greater possibility of a US recession this year. Which would pull the rest of the global economy down with it.

This downturn will come on top of the ongoing depression. Remember, advanced economies are still depressed below the potential GDP line that was projected pre-2008.

Donald Trump, today: “I think it’s a great thing that happened.”

So now, risk of U.S. instability is increased too.

The BoE may start talking about helicopter money to the little folk.

107

Lee A. Arnold 06.24.16 at 6:06 pm

In other words, the only good that may come out of this is faster recognition that fiscal austerity is insanity. But don’t hold your breath!!

108

Ronan(rf) 06.24.16 at 6:19 pm

“OK. But there is a substantive question about what kinds of activity should be governed by where. And there is a substantive question about what degree of integration is desirable in production and finance. You can argue that more centralized, more uniform..”

Right, and this debate takes place, and this vote has little to do with it.

“I suspect that one reason people are pushing the economic catastrophe, all-or-nothing line so hard is that they realize that in the ideas of “”most Europeans, the benefits of the EU have not in fact been sufficient to justify creating/joining it — at least in anything like its current form — if the option existed to start over.”

Or They understand the way politics works. Understand That there’s growing eurosceptism, a growing far right, the growth of hostility to immigrants, and a space for political entrepreneurs to push the envelope.
Anyway, this misunderstands the role the eu plays in most national politics, which is to absolve national governments of blame for poor policies, and let them take the credit for benefits. An inability to accurate gauge the costs/ benefits is baked into the cake.

“most Europeans, the benefits of the EU have not in fact been sufficient to justify creating/joining it — at least in anything like its current form — if the option existed to start over.”

Really? Who are these most Europeans? And how does this claim explain strong support for the eu in newish member states like poland?

109

Dipper 06.24.16 at 6:20 pm

Lee @110 “Brexit makes it clear that the members of the British political scene are too inept for anyone to risk business investment there.”

So business leaders aren’t intending to sell stuff in the UK? If we end up just making all the stuff we consume that is a big plus for the UK.

And have you tried doing business in France or Germany? There’s a reason the major financial centre in the European time zone is in London and not Paris or Frankfurt and that reason isn’t going away any time soon.

110

bexley 06.24.16 at 6:20 pm

However, it takes two to not argue. There is a single European vision being pushed in the EU, one size fits all. The UK opt-outs are clearly not liked by the EU. Better for us to leave.

This is just wrong. While several European countries have traditionally wanted ever closer union (Germany, France etc) others haven’t. The eastern european countries and scandinavia shared our vision in many ways and until recently we co-operated to act as a counterweight to the German/French vision. We’ve effectively been part of a bloc that has led to a two speed Europe (and that was a good thing).

Finally, this isn’t about turning our backs on Europe. Europe has turned its back on the rest of the world, so its about the UK re-embracing the rest of the world.

What do you even mean by this? What does the UK re-embracing the world look like. It sounds like a leftover Leave campaign slogan.

111

Dipper 06.24.16 at 6:26 pm

bexley – I disagree – we haven’t been a counterweight, the EU commission sees us as a drag. Those Scandanavians can come and join us in a free-trade area of co-operative nations.

What I even mean by about re-embracing the rest of the world is more trade agreements with non EU countries and more co-operation with nations round the world. Some more immigration from the rest of the world too now we won’t have the European open door.

112

Dipper 06.24.16 at 6:30 pm

113

b9n10nt 06.24.16 at 6:41 pm

What are the “microfoundations” of xenophobia, racism, and other forms of insidious self-regard? What need is being addressed by these irrational and angry sentiments?

& can we be sure that the cosmos’ own play for status (education, career, luxury) isn’t itself another form of insidious self-regard, itself a rejection of community? Capitalist leaders say “democracy”, & they are deluded to think that the onslaught of political and economic manipulation called “marketing” is somehow inconsequential to their fate. Capitalist leaders say “shared prosperity”, but what needs to be shared is privelege, agency, and purpose.

I’m repulsed by the “leave”s, but the self-satisfied stories that many of the “remain”s tell of their moral and intellectual superiority strikes me as…well, you typically get the enemies you deserve.

The blind and senseless revolts of the lower classes is always cause for pearl clutching among the architects of modern states, but we cosmos generally refuse to look at our own blind and senseless revolt against the common good.

114

bexley 06.24.16 at 6:42 pm

What I even mean by about re-embracing the rest of the world is more trade agreements with non EU countries and more co-operation with nations round the world. Some more immigration from the rest of the world too now we won’t have the European open door.

Bwahaha. Yep a Tory government that has been obsessing about getting migration down is going to ease restrictions for non-EU migrants.

115

Dipper 06.24.16 at 6:45 pm

I’m not sure that some of the non-UK CT readers understand the extent of recent immigration in the UK. These examples are from the south-east of the UK, but where I worked in the city my team of thirty was at least two-thirds non-British. They were highly educated many with PhD’s. We often had no native UK applicants for jobs. A friend has an engineering team that has recently expanded and they are mainly from Portugal, there being no opportunities for graduates there at the moment. Another friend employs minimum wage staff in quantity for factory jobs, and they are predominantly European. I’ve had cause to see a number of doctors ,vets and dentists over the last few years and the vast majority of these are from overseas.

In many ways it is great to have such a diverse range of educated people to interact with. And it is great to be in a vibrant international country. But where are all the native Britains? Why are there so few trained medical staff coming through from the native population?

Its easy to see why so many voted against the EU. The UK that has developed recently has no need of them. There are increasingly few people from average backgrounds and from outside London in any profession or in any cultural activity. We don’t as a nation invest in the development of skills amongst the young, finding it easier to import skills from overseas. Millions of people are simply surplus to requirements for the cultural and economic life that the UK enjoys. They got their opportunity to speak yesterday, and they said “stop – what about us?”

116

L2P 06.24.16 at 6:48 pm

“So you’re arguing that it should be possible to reach for a deal that rejects the conditions that everyone else who negotiated for the same deal had to accept. Doing that would surely blow up all other EEA treaties.”

How is the average person in Germany better off if the EU rejects a deal with Britain in which Britain agrees to everything in the EU except open migration and a common currency? That’s the answer that’s missing here. It sounds like open migration is such a big deal, and the value of the EU otherwise is so marginal, that other countries would gladly follow Britain’s lead if they could keep the EU, minus migration. If that’s true, why SHOULDN’T the EU just (1) let Britain in on those terms and (2) get rid of open migration?

You’re saying the EU is so valuable that it’s worth screwing over your own citizens to preserve it, but not so valuable that countries wouldn’t gladly leave it if they didn’t think they’d be screwed over worse than you’re willing to screw over your own citizens. How does that math work exactly?

117

bexley 06.24.16 at 6:54 pm

Its easy to see why so many voted against the EU. The UK that has developed recently has no need of them. There are increasingly few people from average backgrounds and from outside London in any profession or in any cultural activity. We don’t as a nation invest in the development of skills amongst the young, finding it easier to import skills from overseas. Millions of people are simply surplus to requirements for the cultural and economic life that the UK enjoys. They got their opportunity to speak yesterday, and they said “stop – what about us?”

So how does that fit in with “Some more immigration from the rest of the world too now we won’t have the European open door.”. It doesn’t sound like the Leavers voted for that so why would it happen. Make your mind up.

118

Layman 06.24.16 at 6:57 pm

“But where are all the native Britains? Why are there so few trained medical staff coming through from the native population?”

The unemployment rate is around 5%, and the labor force participation rate is more or less equal to the all-time high, at around 78%. Is that right?

Given that, without the immigrants, you’re not going to have any one working on your team, and you’re not going to have any doctors, etc. Unless you think they’re just sitting around, drinking tea, waiting for the foreigners to be evicted. Given that scenario, what happens next…?

119

Dipper 06.24.16 at 6:57 pm

some Leavers may end up being materially worse off. But what matters is not your absolute standard of living, its your relative standard of living. See

120

Lupita 06.24.16 at 6:58 pm

Maybe now is the time for all North Americans on this board to show our British brothers and sisters our love by inviting them to join NAFTA.

121

Lee A. Arnold 06.24.16 at 7:01 pm

Dipper #115: “So business leaders aren’t intending to sell stuff in the UK? If we end up just making all the stuff we consume that is a big plus for the UK.”

Not sure I understand you. I was guessing about the short term, so maybe that is causing the misunderstanding.

On “selling stuff in the UK”. In the immediate short term, foreign businesses will find it more difficult because the lower pound will weaken British demand for imports. Domestic businesses won’t have that problem, but they may find it more costly to find the funds to start or expand business, if their financial investors have access to a global financial market with returns in stronger currencies.

Of course, this could adjust over a much longer period of time. My comment was about the immediate short term.

On “making all the stuff we consume”, that again is a longer term prospect. It’s not about to happen in two years or five years. It means 1. retooling the British economy, which takes time, and 2. as above, the ability of new British businesses to attract investment funds in a global financial market despite a weak pound and uncertain political leadership.

But I tend to agree that Brexit may not matter, in the global long term future. I think that the rise of robots and AI may put an end to comparative advantage, and reduce the need for trade, because anybody will be able to make anything.

It may put the economists out of business. In reality we are already capable of generating surpluses of goods and services, and we have surplus labor. But the organization and distribution is being constrained by obsolete ideas.

The basic problem underneath all of the discontent is not trade and immigration. It is that the elites really are protecting their ownership of wealth. Just flipping the US TV channels today, it looks to me like this realization is beginning to dawn in the mainstream media, or what remains of it.

122

Dipper 06.24.16 at 7:04 pm

Layman – there are 2.45 million on sickness and incapacity benefits so there is some massaging of the numbers, but there are lots in various clerical and low-level jobs. There are many young people in the UK who would love to be doctors, dentists, or nurses but cannot get on to the courses as places are heavily restricted, so they go off and do lesser jobs.

123

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 7:06 pm

The blind and senseless revolts of the lower classes are always cause for pearl clutching among the architects of modern states, but we cosmos generally refuse to look at our own blind and senseless revolt against the common good.

Wolfgang Schäuble and Jean-Claude Juncker, nevermind David Cameron and George Osborne, as agents and architects of cosmopolitan capitalism . . . hmmm . . . tell me about the common good, again, please.

124

Dipper 06.24.16 at 7:07 pm

Lee – I’m not so sure algorithms and robots will be the big job destroyer you think they will be, but apart from that I’m largely in agreement with your last paragraph.

125

Layman 06.24.16 at 7:22 pm

“There are many young people in the UK who would love to be doctors, dentists, or nurses but cannot get on to the courses as places are heavily restricted, so they go off and do lesser jobs.”

Isn’t that a funding priority problem? How does Brexit fix that? And, how long do you do without foreign doctors until the gaps are filled.

(BTW, the UK appears to have more doctors per capita than the US does!)

126

novakant 06.24.16 at 7:26 pm

Yeah, funny though that the young people dipper is so worried about massively supported Remain.

127

infovore 06.24.16 at 7:30 pm

Dipper @128:

There are many young people in the UK who would love to be doctors, dentists, or nurses but cannot get on to the courses as places are heavily restricted, so they go off and do lesser jobs.

[Emphasis mine]

So who’s doing the restricting, and why? Is this an EU dictate, imposed to benefit immigrants? Or did the UK government do this as part of the austerity budgets? Some other actor and/or reason?

128

novakant 06.24.16 at 7:38 pm

The main reason the UK is now leaving the EU:

http://theslot.jezebel.com/man-who-voted-for-brexit-is-a-bit-shocked-his-vote-coun-1782553004

Ooops, my bad …

129

Lee A. Arnold 06.24.16 at 7:40 pm

Dipper – I think that every study that has looked at it thinks that around 50% of white collar jobs will be gone in 20 to 30 years. WHITE collars are to follow the blues into oblivion.

But the big question I have is, Why WOULDN’T you want all jobs to be destroyed?!

The idea that people should be forced to work for their daily bread is just about the stupidest idea ever. Thankfully this long historical era is drawing to a close.

If you need to live in a status hierarchy based upon individual merit, go get good at cricket. Me, I’d rather try to design a faster-than-light spaceship.

130

infovore 06.24.16 at 7:52 pm

L2P @122:

How is the average person in Germany better off if the EU rejects a deal with Britain in which Britain agrees to everything in the EU except open migration and a common currency? That’s the answer that’s missing here.

To be part of Euro you have to be part of the EU, so Britain cannot join the Euro without negating the entire Brexit referendum. This is well understood by everyone who will be negotiating the terms of Brexit.

The “common market” is defined in terms of free movement of money, goods, and people. A lot can be said against the current globalized economy, but note that money and goods are pretty free to move. In that context it is the fact that people are much less free to move than capital and goods that reinforces global inequality. So within the EU the movement of people requirement does matter, because removing it cuts one leg from a three-legged stool. Would that matter for an average person in Germany? Likely not — they might even be in favour. But would it matter for an average person in Poland? Poland too has a vote on the terms of Brexit.

131

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 7:59 pm

Lee A. Arnold: The basic problem underneath all of the discontent is not trade and immigration. It is that the elites really are protecting their ownership of wealth.

Their ownership of wealth and the power of domination and the claims on income and consumption that go with it.

As the advanced economies move ever further in the direction of “the rise of robots and AI ” and “anybody will be able to make anything” (using quotes to indicate that I have some quibbles about describing trends that way), many of the financial claims we call “wealth” look ever more arbitrary and socially counter-productive. IP claims in Pharma are among the most morally outrageous, because financial drones can extort millions by holding lives hostages over medicines that cost very little to make. But, really, the profits of Disney or Apple don’t look sustainable — how much will an iPhone cost in five years, ten years? how much will bandwidth cost? Why am I spending more than a few pennies to watch a movie?

Politically, the political opportunism of smash and grab is going to look better and better, if elites continue as they have, relying on wealth claims from ever higher mountains of debt. If anyone can make anything, and do it cheaply provided they don’t have to pay for the brand management or the IP, collapse of the global system doesn’t look like such a big threat.

The costs that matter in the long run are not the fictions spun out by the City of London in the wake of the computing and communications revolution, but the rising tariff charged by the natural environment, which really doesn’t want our exports and can not sustain the rate of our imports.

132

Layman 06.24.16 at 8:02 pm

“You’re saying the EU is so valuable that it’s worth screwing over your own citizens to preserve it…”

This assumes facts not in evidence. The UK government has certainly been screwing their own citizens, but the EU has little to do with that; and Brexit is unlikely to stop that screwing. It seems far more likely to amplify the effects. Think that £350 million per week not going to the EU will now go to the NHS, or for education, or for pension increases? Good luck with that, I smell a tax cut for the wealthy coming…

133

engels 06.24.16 at 8:05 pm

some Leavers may end up being materially worse off. But what matters is not your absolute standard of living, its your relative standard of living

Cutting off your nose to spite someone else’s face never sounded so reasonable

134

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 8:06 pm

infovore: A lot can be said against the current globalized economy, but note that money and goods are pretty free to move. In that context it is the fact that people are much less free to move than capital and goods that reinforces global inequality.

A lot can be said, and one thing that ought to be said is that the free movement of capital enforces and exacerbates inequality.

I would not glide over that. Capital is power. The free movement of capital is domination by private wealth, unrestrained by popular government.

135

bexley 06.24.16 at 8:10 pm

@141

Shouldn’t you be taking that argument up with L2P who was the one suggesting free movement of goods and capital but not people which is a bad combo.

136

None 06.24.16 at 8:13 pm

Dipper@121 -“In many ways it is great to have such a diverse range of educated people to interact with. And it is great to be in a vibrant international country. But where are all the native Britains?”

Maybe “the native Britains” are not good enough for the job or not good enough to warrant the pay they expect ? Perhaps they would be doctors & vets if they had worked for years at their Phd’s instead of partying in Marbella or throwing bottles at the French police ?

It’s interesting … this Dipper guy expects Brexit to shield those like him from the rigours of competition by limiting immigration. I suspect he’s going to find out the hard way that it will not.

137

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 8:18 pm

bexley @ 142

L2P was rejecting a common currency, so not the free movement of capital as, say, Greece or Spain has experienced it.

138

bexley 06.24.16 at 8:23 pm

“How is the average person in Germany better off if the EU rejects a deal with Britain in which Britain agrees to everything in the EU except open migration and a common currency? That’s the answer that’s missing here. It sounds like open migration is such a big deal, and the value of the EU otherwise is so marginal, that other countries would gladly follow Britain’s lead if they could keep the EU, minus migration. If that’s true, why SHOULDN’T the EU just (1) let Britain in on those terms and (2) get rid of open migration?”

I’ve added emphasis to the relevant parts of L2Ps post. It seems pretty clear that the suggestion is free trade but without free movement.

139

phenomenal cat 06.24.16 at 8:23 pm

And so it begins. First Brexit, the election of Trump is likely to be the next big “shock.” Who knows what else might happen in the intervening months. The global managers would do well to start cramming for the test (standardized of course) in political theology that is coming–though I have little doubt they won’t.

Puts me in the mind of Hosea chapter 8, verse 7: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the stranger shall swallow it up.”

140

bexley 06.24.16 at 8:30 pm

Rest of my comment which I posted too soon:

And None was arguing against L2Ps idea of free trade but no free movement. His comment refers to how capital can move freely from the UK around the EU even without a common currency.

141

b9n10nt 06.24.16 at 8:30 pm

BW:

A lot can be said, and one thing that ought to be said is that the free movement of capital enforces and exacerbates inequality.

But material (in)equality is only one dimension relating to social prosperity. We overlook the psyche. The people pushing Brexit: pensioners in an age of abundance, born in ’51 for chrissake. Whence the anger and spite? I think it’s telling us something very important about who we are and what we want: a sense of common purpose, a belonging? I don’t know.

But I doubt that the impulse for racial/religious/ideological purity is a desire that can ultimately be ameliorated with a lower GINI coefficient unless that equality is rooted in something more nebulous, but nevertheless real.

142

b9n10nt 06.24.16 at 8:36 pm

phenomenal cat @ 146

The global managers would do well to start cramming for the test (standardized of course) in political theology that is coming–though I have little doubt they won’t.

lesson 1: marketing (of politicians and products) =

a) the means towards realizing the innate desires of the masses

b) the means toward the democratization of policy and pr0duction

c) the means toward the distraction, subordination, and exploitation of the community

143

infovore 06.24.16 at 8:44 pm

144

David Heasman 06.24.16 at 8:47 pm

Curmudgeon refers to the risk of rising food prices , but in my experience food prices will have to rise quite a bit to reach 2011 levels.

145

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 8:51 pm

“I do think that yesterday’s vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization,’

Three guesses who offered this incisive analysis and where?

Hint: US Trans-Pacific Partnership

Global Entrepreneurs’ Summit

146

Rich Puchalsky 06.24.16 at 8:54 pm

It’s easy to say that this is a non-binding referendum, that it may take two years for it to result in anything, and that it may not end up in resulting in anything at all. But think of what’s going to happen if that’s the result. It’ll be proof that democratic votes really do not matter and can not change the system in any important way. What do you think will happen then?

147

bexley 06.24.16 at 8:59 pm

@ 152 I suspect the only way nothing happens is if the population changes its mind decisively. Perhaps because there is a recession.

It’s going to take more than two years anyway. For starters we have two years from when article 50 is invoked but that won’t happen straight away. First there’s going to be the leadership contest. Then, I assume, there’ll be a period where the UK team prepares for negotiations. Given how intertwined we now are with the EU that’s going to take a long time.

148

Dipper 06.24.16 at 9:01 pm

to various on the bit about lack of home grown medical staff. There’s quite a lot of back story on the British Medical Association restricting supply of doctors to keep wages up, and I have no idea why there is a restriction on nursing places but here is a significant rejection rate of apparently suitable students..

None – “Maybe “the native Britains” are not good enough for the job” – I look forward to seeing this argument used elsewhere to explain under-representation of women or people of colour in professions. but anecdotally quite a few very smart and suitable people get rejected from med school and nursing for no apparent reason. “expects Brexit to shield those like him from the rigours of competition by limiting immigration” well performance comes from institutions, so if we don’t invest in the institutions we don’t get the performance. Simple.

Layman – “funding priority problem” – I like that one. I’ll use that one next time my children ask for something.

engels – did you watch the video? Priceless.

149

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 9:04 pm

bexley @ 145, 147

Next time, try something along the lines of, “yes, I see where I went wrong, thanks”

150

bexley 06.24.16 at 9:08 pm

to various on the bit about lack of home grown medical staff. There’s quite a lot of back story on the British Medical Association restricting supply of doctors to keep wages up, and I have no idea why there is a restriction on nursing places but here is a significant rejection rate of apparently suitable students..

Assuming this is even true it sounds like the BMA and the mysterious rejection of suitable student nurses is the issue not the EU.

151

bexley 06.24.16 at 9:12 pm

@ 155 what are you talking about? You started talking about free movement of capital where there is a common currency in a discussion where we are all talking about a situation where there is no common currency (hint the UK does not use the Euro) and then refuse to accept your comment is irrelevant to the discussion.

152

bob mcmanus 06.24.16 at 9:12 pm

It’ll be proof that democratic votes really do not matter and can not change the system in any important way. What do you think will happen then?

Nothing much, as in Greece, France. Didn’t Britain have cameras installed everywhere?

153

Ronan(rf) 06.24.16 at 9:13 pm

I’m a fan of dipper’ s iconoclastic and oppositional positions on the topic of the day, and genuinely hope long may they continue. But his 121 is….confusing me.
“Where have all the engineers and surgeons gone”? Firstly, to be frank, who gives a shit? The hardships suffered by the most educated classes in the richest part of the world really shouldn’t be at the top of our concerns.
But beyond that, if the young, particularly this demographic (potential engineers and surgeons) voted overwhelmingly to stay in the eu, even at the risk of it undermining their dreams of 80 hr shifts in London based investment banks, doesn’t this imply it’s not a particularly important or relevant issue? Perhaps someone could explain this to me like I’m an idiot. Is the UK producing less of specific professions because of competition from Europe? How would that work, as in how would hypothetical competition from Portuguese engineers decide a young persons life chances 10- 20 years previously (when they were doing their a levels, going to college etc)? Or are they just not being hired ? What %age of these demographics are out of work/underworked/in careers where their qualifications aren’t used? How many have emigrated (to Europe, aus, the US)? How many are working in companies that aren’t dipper’s ? Basically is there any evidence to support dipper’ s fears?
I genuinely don’t have a clue how this is a problem, or if it is how is the eu to blame?

154

christian_h 06.24.16 at 9:14 pm

Apparently a quarter to a third of all research funds at British universities is EU money. Think a Johnson/Farage government is going to replace that?

155

Ronan(rf) 06.24.16 at 9:16 pm

I crossposted this with dipper’s most recent post (which admittedly hasn’t clarified much for me)

156

Rich Puchalsky 06.24.16 at 9:17 pm

I guess that I agree that nothing much will happen, I was just trying to rack up more cognitive dissonance for the next round of “OMG your vote is so important”.

157

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 9:21 pm

Rich Puchalsky @ 152

At the moment, the British political class seems to have accepted the verdict of the voters, even though it seems like a close vote to me. Cameron resigned promptly, just as if Parliament had voted, “no confidence”.

It is an interesting contrast to, say, France, where Hollande has been pushing thru a sweeping labor law reform, against popular opinion and without a Parliamentary majority and has threatened to make protest illegal.

158

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 9:22 pm

bob mcmanus: Didn’t Britain have cameras installed everywhere?

Apparently, not in voting booths, but someone will get on that right away. Because, we are against racism.

159

Layman 06.24.16 at 9:24 pm

@ Dipper, if the UK government opts for tax cuts and austerity, which results in the reduction of funding for medical and nursing schools, which results in native Britains being denied medical educations, which results in a shortage of medical staff, which results in an influx of immigrant doctors and nurses to fill the gap, then the role of the EU seems to me to be beneficial – they’re educating doctors and nurses and sending them to care for Britains. As for native Britains who would be doctors and nurses, the source of their problem is the UK government, not the EU.

160

Sandwichman 06.24.16 at 9:30 pm

I don’t want to come across as a “the worse, the better” tragedian but it seems to me that the Leave vote may turn out to be a pyrrhic victory for the right. 52-48 is not a super majority and the large margins the other way in Scotland and London introduce further division in the outcome. The mandate is ambiguous.

This is not simply an outpouring of racism and xenophobia. Nor is it an unambiguous repudiation of the neoliberal, “flexible labour market” policies of the eurocracy (FLEXIT). Things are in flux. Fluxit — by which I mean don’t sit back and take the outcome of the referendum as some kind of fait accompli. Why don’t we make something of it other than what the instigators had in mind?

The conversion of Brexit into flexit is the only correct proletarian slogan. ;-)

161

engels 06.24.16 at 9:33 pm

Dipper, I just want to be sure I understand: you’re saying you voted for Brexit because you thought it would make non-poor British people poor, thus making Britain more equal, and you thought this was a good idea because of a video lecture you saw about Capuchin monkeys?

162

Lee A. Arnold 06.24.16 at 9:39 pm

Bruce Wilder #138: “As the advanced economies move ever further in the direction of ‘the rise of robots and AI’ and ‘anybody will be able to make anything’ (using quotes to indicate that I have some quibbles about describing trends that way), many of the financial claims we call ‘wealth’ look ever more arbitrary and socially counter-productive.”

It doesn’t automatically help Britain in the short term, but I think this is exactly what is going to happen in the long term. This is essentially Schumpeter’s rewrite of Marx in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, and his prediction.

If more people understand that capitalism itself could very well be in the process of putting itself out of business in this way, it may be that they can devise policies which help to accelerate the trend. Labour might try it.

163

Ronan(rf) 06.24.16 at 9:39 pm

Wait, how are “flexible Labour market policies” a dream of the eurocracy in the context of UK Labour law? Afaik the general complaint is the other way, that Europe pushes too many pro worker regulations on the UK? Or am I missing something ? This might be a complaint workers in other Euro countries have, but in the UK? Unless “not an unambiguous repudiation” actually means ” in no way shape or form a repudiation” ?

164

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 9:42 pm

bexley @ 157

You asserted L2P was suggesting the free movement of goods and capital but not people and I pointed out that L2P actually embraced the free movement of goods only, rejecting free migration and a common currency. In the EU context, free movement of capital is facilitated by a common currency, called the Euro. By rejecting the common currency, Britain opted out of the Eurozone’s policy of free movement of capital and retained considerable political power over the movement of capital.

That should explain why I did not follow your ignorant suggestion that I had some difference with L2P, when I did not.

165

Ronan(rf) 06.24.16 at 9:44 pm

Neo liberalism, the managerial class, too few home grown engineers, cctv cameras, “why won’t anyone think of the working class”,Robots, Greece …. Is it bring your hobby horse to work day?

166

js. 06.24.16 at 9:51 pm

Every day at CT is bring your own hobby horse day!

167

Simmered 06.24.16 at 9:56 pm

The only thing the referendum tells us is that Cameron is done. Everything else may as well be a gigantic question mark.

168

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 9:58 pm

@ 168 Globalization, AI, robots and white collar jobs.

Good questions all, but work of some kind is, as Marvin Gaye pointed out, part of what keeps a ‘man up on his feet.’ I’m too lazy to link at this point, but the Chronicle of Higher Education has some good stuff on the impact of MOOCS moving across institutions for credit courses. Given that there are a substantial number of educators in the CT community, I wonder how well-informed they/we are on the impact of AI and globalization in higher ed.

In language education is Asia, some universities are already replacing classroom instructors with much less expensive well qualified and trained instructors based in third-world nations. One of the changes that we’re likely to see, irrespective of Remain/Leave, is more online AI instruction. Even with my own limited skills, I can automate and design any number of tasks for many of my classes, effectively making it fairly easy for my employers to dispense with my services entirely. Needless to say, I design my classes to emphasize the importance of my own paid participation in learner outcomes.

I’m close enough to retiring that the changes you allude to are not likely too affect me too directly. I fully expect, however, that all students will be able to recruit obtain relatively cheap ‘education’ online through some combination of AI and outsourced instruction. Name universities will continue to offer pedigrees, but I expect fewer and fewer secure careers in education over the coming years, as the quality of AI improves and accessibility to ‘globalized’ quality instruction increases.

When their own careers and their abilities to build a secure future for their own children are under direct threat those preaching ‘survival of the fittest’ economics to older less-educated workers may discover a sense of empathy.

The notion that the EU is going to continue to be able to continue to dispense educational grants on levels comparable those of the past two decades seems very questionable.

169

Collin Street 06.24.16 at 10:06 pm

I am convinced — have been for a while — that one of the key drivers for Brexit within the tory party is fear of EU money-laundering regulations.

170

engels 06.24.16 at 10:10 pm

Why are there so few trained medical staff coming through from the native population?

It’s a mystery

171

None 06.24.16 at 10:31 pm

engels@167 – ” you’re saying you voted for Brexit because you thought it would make non-poor British people poor, thus making Britain more equal”

Sounds like it – it’s hard to tell because his arguments are completely incoherent. As far as i can make out, the sentiment driving BRexit (and Trumpism here) is a confused stew of frustration at being left behind, resentment at the success of others, fear of islam & god knows what else. However, global competition, automation etc are a fait accompli. These certainly cannot be escaped by “exiting” or by blaming immigrants. He’ll learn soon enough.

172

bob mcmanus 06.24.16 at 10:38 pm

Well, I didn’t mean that nothing was going to happen, I was specifically responding that if Parliament slides or delays Article 50, those grayhaired grannies in the sticks will march on Westminister with giant puppets and change everything.

France and Greece point to the fact that votes and demos mean virtually nothing anymore. The PTB don’t care what you think.

So, ya know, watch what happens, what actually happens in a material concrete way. So far Cameron has resigned and the pound has taken a dip.

Maybe Cameron and Osborne have gone as far as they safely could, and need some thugs to brutalize the workforce and take the blame. That is the earliest and most obvious reality I expect, recession and liquidation.

And I presume World Financial Centers are drooling over stealing the City’s customers, so the EU could get nasty.

173

None 06.24.16 at 10:39 pm

Having said that, kudos to the brits for hammering the pond life at the EU.

174

b9n10nt 06.24.16 at 10:40 pm

AI and robots:

This conversation may reflect the ways that we have conditioined to accept communal passivity: the robots are coming, they will take away jobs (but never fear, you can learn ceramics!), …

We want communities to be bound by shared efforts to support and develop critical human capabilities: anything else is dystopian. In my experience (and I would confidently assert this is the norm) both drudgery and leisure are both alienating.

How technology integrates with human activities is a choice. In medicine, education, and other fields, AI and robots can be a means to allow more interface with human experts, more apprenticing, more demand for skilled human activity.

Why imagine “replacement” rather than “enhancement”?

175

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 10:47 pm

b9n10nt: Why imagine “replacement” rather than “enhancement”?

’cause its scarier that way . . . and really who doesn’t like to imagine an apocalypse?

176

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 11:13 pm

179@ 180 The assumption, I assume, in this Brave New Vision of a World Order (sorry, but it does fit) is that humans will continue to play the role of ‘experts.’ It isn’t at all clear to me why this should be the case given the roles AI testing and evaluation is likely to play. One of the onerous tasks I’m avoiding at the moment is writing out a number of substantive, page-length critiques of student work.

Reading and correcting essays is currently beyond the capability of AI, as I understand it. That’s likely too change within the next 5-10 years, if not sooner. At least two of my colleagues require all work to be submitted and completed online. This seems to me most unwise given the current climate of cost-saving and outsourcing.

One of the economic impacts of offshore outsourcing (and I’m not an economist) appears to be reducing tax revenues and the ability of consumers to purchase goods. I get that a nation of barristas working part-time should, in theory, be able to purchase enough cheaply-made imported products to satisfy their (ahem) modest aspirations.

But how many products do apps purchase? I will say that I’m surrounded on my morning commutes by middle-aged men utterly engaged in playing children’s games. Playing with dolls and toy cars seems a very poor way to prepare for a day of productive work, but perhaps I’m wrong in this.

The ‘Art of Foam’ seems to be all the satisfying ‘work’ we are offering the next generation, who can then retreat in recreation to digital fantasy land (including ‘edutainment’) and legal narcotics, all subsidized by the state.

177

J-D 06.24.16 at 11:22 pm

Larrym 06.24.16 at 3:17 pm
Here’s hoping that the generation that caused this travesty dies off quickly and miserably

In the words of Kurt Vonnegut: ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind’.

178

Sandwichman 06.24.16 at 11:24 pm

Wait, how are “flexible Labour market policies” a dream of the eurocracy in the context of UK Labour law? Afaik the general complaint is the other way, that Europe pushes too many pro worker regulations on the UK? Or am I missing something ?

Apparently, yes.

The U.K. establishment only wanted exemption from the labour protections. Blair and his third-way LSE economist team were all-in drafting the Lisbon Treaty flexible labour market principles.

“Neo-liberalism and the European Social Model” from “The Dysfunctional Nature of the Economic and Monetary Union,” Philip Arestis, Giuseppe Fontana and Malcolm Sawyer:

“The policy framework governing the euro can be aligned with a more general theoretical framework, which finds its expression in the ‘new consensus macroeconomics’ (NCM). The essential features of that theoretical framework are as follows:

(i) politicians in particular, and the democratic process in general, cannot be trusted with economic policy formulation with a tendency to make decisions, which have stimulating short-term effects (reducing unemployment); but which are detrimental in the longer term (notably a rise in inflation). In contrast, experts in the form of central bankers are not subject to political pressures to court short-term popularity, and can take a longer-term perspective, where it is assumed that there is a conflict between the short term and the long term. Policy makers’ scope for using discretion should be curtailed and the possibility of negative spillovers from irresponsible fiscal policy must be reduced.

(ii) There is only one objective of economic policy and this is price stability. This objective can only be achieved through monetary policy, and through manipulating the rate of interest in particular.

(iii) inflation is a monetary phenomenon and can be controlled through monetary policy. The central bank sets the key policy interest rate to influence monetary conditions, which in turn through their short-run effects on aggregate demand affect the future rate of inflation. Central banks have no discernible effects on the level or growth rate of output in the long run, which is determined exclusively by aggregate supply factors like technology, capital, and labour inputs. However, central banks do determine the rate of inflation in the long run.

(iv) the level of unemployment fluctuates around a supply-side determined equilibrium rate of unemployment, generally labelled the NAIRU (non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment). The level of the NAIRU may be favourably affected by a ‘flexible’ labour market, but is unaffected by the level of aggregate demand or by productive capacity.

(v) fiscal policy is impotent in terms of its impact on real variables (essentially because of beliefs in the Ricardian Equivalence theorem, and ‘crowding out’ arguments), and it should be subordinate to monetary policy in controlling inflation. There is allowance for the operation of ‘automatic stabilisers’ as the actual budget surplus or deficit will fluctuate during the course of the business cycle with tax revenues rising in boom and falling in recession, and this provides some dampening of the cycle. The budget should though be set to average balance over the course of the business cycle.

“The structure of the ECB clearly conforms to all five points. The sole objective of the ECB is price stability, and decisions are made by a governing body composed of bankers and financial experts. There are, and can be, no involvement by any other interest groups or any democratic body. The only EU level policy from controlling inflation is monetary (interest rate) policy, which presumes that monetary policy is a relevant and effective instrument for the control of inflation. Inflation is in effect targeted by the ECB in the form of pursuit of ‘price stability’ interpreted as inflation between 0 and 2 per cent per annum. The third point is fully accepted and adopted by the ECB. This can clearly be confirmed by the monthly statements of the Governor of the ECB at his press conferences after the announcement of the decisions on the level of the rate of interest.

“The implementation of what is in effect a balanced budget requirement at the national level under the Stability and Growth Pact and the absence of fiscal policy at the euro area level has eliminated the use of fiscal policy as an effective instrument for the reduction of unemployment (or indeed of containing inflation pressures).”

179

Cranky Observer 06.24.16 at 11:24 pm

I’m curious what the commentariat here thinks of Krugman’s observation:

= = = http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/06/24/brexit-the-morning-after/

It seems clear that the European project – the whole effort to promote peace and growing political union through economic integration – is in deep, deep trouble. Brexit is probably just the beginning, as populist/separatist/xenophobic movements gain influence across the continent. Add to this the underlying weakness of the European economy, which is a prime candidate for “secular stagnation” – persistent low-grade depression driven by things like demographic decline that deters investment. Lots of people are now very pessimistic about Europe’s future, and I share their worries.

But those worries wouldn’t have gone away even if Remain had won. The big mistakes were the adoption of the euro without careful thought about how a single currency would work without a unified government; the disastrous framing of the euro crisis as a morality play brought on by irresponsible southerners; the establishment of free labor mobility among culturally diverse countries with very different income levels, without careful thought about how that would work. Brexit is mainly a symptom of those problems, and the loss of official credibility that came with them. (That credibility loss is why the euro disaster played a role in Brexit even though Britain itself had the good sense to stay out.)

At the European level, in other words, I would argue that Brexit just brings to a head an abscess that would have burst fairly soon in any case. = = =

180

b9n10nt 06.24.16 at 11:28 pm

given the roles AI testing and evaluation are likely to play

But those roles will be assigned by people, they won’t emerge from the robots themselves (at least, not until ch. 8 ;)

181

JDG1980 06.24.16 at 11:38 pm

F @ 98: “Leave was absolutely the result of uneducated, poor, and old voters.

If that’s the case, then it ought to be an occasion for some serious soul-searching among the wealthy London elites that so many of their fellow citizens feel so alienated and left behind that they were willing to take such a drastic step. After all, Brexit did win a majority.

Naaaah. Much easier just to dismiss them as racist troglodytes and call it a day. That’ll work out just great.

182

kidneystones 06.24.16 at 11:47 pm

185 A certain level of levity is very welcome given the circumstances, so thanks!

That said, I’m not sure how the ‘assignment’ event develops into a process beyond, of course, designing and implementing better and better testing and evaluation all so people can do what precisely?

Make a ‘better latte? Design a more compelling video game? Build a better bong?

I’d like to think that a better world exists, but my own reading of history translates the impending excess of cheap labour into diminished individual rights, lower wages, less mobility, and fewer choices for the vast majority of workers.

The drugs may help, but I expect Freud and Marvin Gaye have it right. A return to bespoke manufacturing, rather than robofacturing may not solve all the problems, but I’ll take that over the prospect of a digital reality.

I’m just searching for texture in a world gone smooth.

Poetic, yes? Not mine.

183

b9n10nt 06.24.16 at 11:53 pm

Cranky Observer @ 184

I would take issue with his rhetoric about labor mobility. I detect a boys-will-be-boys attitude about the tendency of natives to be populist/separatist/xenophobic. You let in all those Turks, what do you think was gonna happen? . I would like nativism to be looked at as pertaining to the nature of modern states, not inherent in a people. I applaud the EU’s social engineering that rebukes the need for “cultural preservation” as it is conceived, by implication, in Krugman’s analysis.

184

Collin Street 06.25.16 at 12:04 am

> That’s likely too change within the next 5-10 years, if not sooner.

lol.

I did a unit on AI when I was at uni; if it’s not fifteen years ago it’d be damned close. Nothing’s changed; we can solve more-complex versions of the same problems because we have more processing power, but the type of problems we can solve hasn’t changed a damned bit. And language parsing? Even at the sentence level — google translate can’t even parse japanese word boundaries reliably — it’s way beyond us.

185

kidneystones 06.25.16 at 12:23 am

@188 Interesting. Your best information is based on Google’s generic translating software, rather than any of the dedicated systems employing individual data-driven user profiles and a single course done 15 years ago.

Well, the computer world hasn’t changed much since then, other than in terms of processing power., has it.

So, that’s that.

186

tony lynch 06.25.16 at 12:31 am

Right from the kick-off this has been a thread to remember!

187

Faustusnotes 06.25.16 at 12:56 am

Dipper put his or her finger on the problem at 121. Why do you think you get no English applicants for jobs requiring a Ph.D. Dipper? Where are all those British engineers ? I was briefly peripherally involved in research about workforce planning for health in the uk and I think I can answer his questions: British govt doesn’t want to spend the money on training nurses and doctors when it can suck Africa dry and get lots of Europeans. The U.K. Has been outsourcing workforce development for years so it can cut costs on education. It takes 10 years to train a doctor and 5 years to train a nurse. The U.K. Has two years now before a significant proportion of its workforce has disappeared.

When I left the uk in 2009 they were already aware of a looming shortfall in trained medical staff. I think subsequently Cameron, like the visionary he is, tried to cut the nurse training bursaries. You now have two years to find a non-immigration based alternative. How’s that going to work?

The city has a similar problem, obviously being not centrally planned it has had no say in the development of British stem graduates. If most of your skilled staff are European and your base of operations suddenly bans recruiting them, what do you do? I’d suggest two years from now it will be good to be a real estate agent in Frankfurt …

188

F. Foundling 06.25.16 at 1:11 am

Perhaps Brexit is a bad thing for Britain, as people have argued here – some points are, I think, obviously correct, others less so, and only time will tell. However, as a non-UK citizen, I am glad about one thing: it is made clear to everyone that leaving the EU is possible in principle, if the voters are sufficiently motivated, for whatever reason, justified or wrongheaded. This seems likely, as much as anything, to make the Eurocracy sober up a bit and pay a little more attention to the demands of the populace in the future. Next time a national politician within the EU appeals to the EU’s version of TINA (‘this [neoliberal] reform must be done because the EU demands it’ – cf. the role of the European Commission for the labour reform in France), there will be a ready answer. This would be a democracy-enhancing effect. For the same reason, I hope the exit goes smoothly, and the Eurocracy’s efforts to punish the UK and make an example of it by deliberate obstruction (as per @Nick 06.24.16 at 2:01 pm, @Ronan(rf) 06.24.16 at 1:57 pm, and this does seem likely in light of the way it behaved towards Greece and in other cases) fail.

As for the general dispair, I find it a bit exaggerated at least for people considering themselves leftists. In the end of the day, the main task of a Left is not things like maximising the free movement of people into and out of the country, or ensuring access to a common market (I’d normally regard these as ‘classical liberal’ concerns), but fighting neoliberalism, austerity and ‘market reforms’ – inside or outside of the EU. If you fail, to which it seems many have resigned themselves, then it really doesn’t matter in the long run whether you fail inside or outside of the EU – you’re f**ed either way, as are we all. *This* is the real apocalyptic scenario (well, apart from climate change and H. R. Clinton’s probable nuclear war with Russia). Likewise, if you succeed, it doesn’t matter where you do it (the Eurocrats would always be an additional obstacle to that, even assuming you defeated the Tories and the Blairites). Whatever the effect of Brexit, it seems highly unlikely to be a truly decisive factor for your success or failure in this.

189

js. 06.25.16 at 1:21 am

Sorry, the free movement of people—inside and outside of a country included—is a main task of the left. At least any left I would recognize as such.

190

engels 06.25.16 at 2:20 am

The real apocalyptic scenario (apart from world war 3) is global-warn-ageddon brought about by failure to co-ordinate the international action needed to deal with climate change. Smashing up an advanced co-operative project like the EU doesn’t really seem like a step in the right direction in that context.

191

F. Foundling 06.25.16 at 2:24 am

@js. 06.25.16 at 1:21 am

Well, I’d say that yours is a newer understanding of a left, then. My old-fashioned view is that the chief role of a left is to use egalitarian policies so as to make sure the citizens of its country have as decent a life and as decent an income as possible – and, ideally, aren’t forced to move in order to get it elsewhere in the first place. As for the citizens of other countries, some solidarity is very nice, but as long as you have democracy, they will be primarily the concern of *their* left, which *they* vote for. One can argue that the free movement of people between countries is a good thing and should be promoted, but it’s hardly a traditional part of what a left does. In addition, it isn’t part of a real fight against the present unequal world system – if anything, it’s required by that system, which relies on the misery and failure of some societies to supply other societies with cheap labour.

192

js. 06.25.16 at 2:36 am

Um, the left has been internationalist to and at its core since the 19th century. I’m not exactly sure what you’re talking about.

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js. 06.25.16 at 2:37 am

194

Colin Danby 06.25.16 at 2:38 am

No, the view js takes is much the more traditional e.g.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Workingmen%27s_Association

It’s Foundling’s view that politics happens only inside national compartments that’s newfangled.

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F. Foundling 06.25.16 at 2:38 am

@engels 06.25.16 at 2:20 am

That’s an interesting point, and probably has some merit, but AFAIK, the negotiations would have always involved many independent countries not part of any federation, with or without the EU, so this problem would have had to be dealt with in any case. Again, it doesn’t strike me as a decisive factor, or as a sufficient reason to maintain a supranational entity at any price.

196

engels 06.25.16 at 2:39 am

For a Polish worker or Italian student in London or British pensioner in France the fallout from Brexit is a lot more immediate and concrete than the loss of an abstract right to freedom of movement.

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Colin Danby 06.25.16 at 2:39 am

I see js was quicker than I!

198

rwschnetler 06.25.16 at 2:43 am

Collin Street @ 188:

You should go back to uni. The advances made in convnets and recurrent neural nets in the last five years are phenomenal. Just google it.

We are using it now in predicting equipment failures in plants.

199

magistra 06.25.16 at 4:06 am

F. Foundling@195. The nation state isn’t much protection for workers against multinational companies – what you get is a race to the bottom between competing countries to get external investment. It’s bad enough within the EU (Ireland’s low corporation tax putting downward pressure on our own), but without the EU at least trying to coordinate common social standards it’s likely to be worse. There was much made by Brexiters of how the UK didn’t need the EU to ensure minimum rights for workers, but one of the core directives they want to scrap is the Working Time directive. Brexit Britain is hoping to succeed by demanding that ever more workers potentially work hours damaging to their health (rather than the current limit of a mere 48 hours/week).

200

F. Foundling 06.25.16 at 4:16 am

@js. 06.25.16 at 2:37 am
@js. 06.25.16 at 2:36 am
@Colin Danby 06.25.16 at 2:38 am

Well, of course, it has long been common for socialists and social-democrats to engage in international collaboration across national borders, when there have been unquestionably *common* interests and goals: supporting each other in the struggle against the capitalists in order to achieve an 8-hour work day, seize the means of production etc. (still, note that each of these would obviously benefit the working class of the respective country which was fighting for it).

What hasn’t been common is focusing on facilitating migration and Gastarbeiters, and in general on such more controversial goals which clearly do correspond to the interests of foreign workers (with whom the organisation in question has no contact) but are seen, rightly or wrongly, by many local workers (on whose support the organisation relies) as endangering their own position. You may argue that migration should be seen as being just as much of a boon for every worker everywhere as an 8 hour work day, but, whatever the facts of the matter, it seems to be very difficult to convince the support base in the receiving country of that fact, which is probably part of the reason why it hasn’t been much of a priority of the left traditionally. Now, if you find a call for facilitating the free movement of labour across European countries in any resolution of the 1st International, I’ll reconsider my position.

201

F. Foundling 06.25.16 at 4:42 am

@magistra 06.25.16 at 4:06 am

On labour law in a post-Brexit Britain – yes, I agree that it’s a real risk. Still, ultimately, the problem should be solvable locally, without EU help. Britons can’t just rely on, say, the Frenchmen to wage the labour struggle for them.

On the nation state – size is a factor, but producing somewhat bigger nation states or federations hardly changes the principle; ultimately, there does need to be ‘inter-national’ coordination on this. More importantly, in the case of the French reform, in the TTIP negotiations as well as many other cases, the Eurocracy has shown that it, to say the least, can’t be counted on to maintain high standards and to prevent a race to the bottom. I can only hope that it can still be forced to come to its senses.

202

Colin Danby 06.25.16 at 5:01 am

@203: I’m not expert on this history, but I think you’ll find there was a much laxer legal regime re migration in Europe in the 19th century, which is to say the question of “free movement of labour” didn’t arise as it does today. Marx, to take an obvious example, fully understood that “The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life.” but drew from that only the conclusion that Irish independence should be supported, not that Irish workers should be fenced out. IOW your position is not “old-fashioned” or “traditional.” People don’t realize how historically recent is the present world reality of strict migration controls.

Final note re 195: citizen is not a synonym for human, and your idea of “left” boils down to screw-you-Jack-I’ve-got-mine, on a global scale.

203

js. 06.25.16 at 5:38 am

A big thanks to Colin Danby for saying what needs to be said.

(I’ll try to come up with a longer comment tomorrow. But in the meantime, F. Foundling may (a) consider walking back “the main task of a Left is not things like maximising the free movement of people into and out of the country” and “As for the citizens of other countries, some solidarity is very nice, but as long as you have democracy, they will be primarily the concern of *their* left, which *they* vote for,” and (b) check out The Civil War in France. It’s quite good.)

204

F. Foundling 06.25.16 at 5:54 am

@Colin Danby 06.25.16 at 5:01 am

>Marx … drew from that only the conclusion that Irish independence should be supported, not that Irish workers should be fenced out. People don’t realize how historically recent is the present world reality of strict migration controls.

Possibly, but I doubt that if such controls had existed, he would have made their removal one of the main objectives of his organisation – for tactical reasons at least. And, again, removing barriers to free trade and movement of goods and labour is the job of classical liberals.

> IOW your position is not “old-fashioned” or “traditional.” … citizen is not a synonym for human, and your idea of “left” boils down to screw-you-Jack-I’ve-got-mine, on a global scale.

OK, I think I did to some extent earn this criticism by overstating my position at 195. Of course solidarity with foreign workers and with other humans in general is a must, but it shouldn’t just happen at the expense of or over the heads of the local ones. Now, ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘traditional’ international solidarity with foreign workers in the style of the 1st International would have been the English left’s supporting the struggle of, say, Romanian workers against Romania-based capitalists to improve the poor conditions in their own country (say, by aiding Romanian trade unions, supporting their demands for decent labour legislation, higher pensions etc.) The new form of international solidarity as expressed by js. and others on CT seems to mean the English left’s fighting to make it as easy as possible for Romanian workers to come to work for English capitalists, which they would want to do in view of the poor conditions in their own country, and probably to compete with English workers, with a resulting ‘lowering of the standard of life’. Perhaps ultimately justifiable from a utilitarian perspective, perhaps not, but, in any case, more or a classical liberal, pro-free market approach than a socialist one. Furthermore, this raises the question what the support base of the English left will be then, since it can hardly be English workers.

205

F. Foundling 06.25.16 at 6:27 am

@js. 06.25.16 at 5:38 am

> But in the meantime, F. Foundling may (a) consider walking back “the main task of a Left is not things like maximising the free movement of people into and out of the country” and “As for the citizens of other countries, some solidarity is very nice, but as long as you have democracy, they will be primarily the concern of *their* left, which *they* vote for,”

The first quote I see no reason to retract at the moment. As for the second one – well, yes, it was unfortunately phrased and ended up sounding cynical and coyly dismissive of solidarity (to some extent confusing real-life, dirty-yet-efficient mid-20th century social democracy – not the 1st International – with an ideal left), but the fact remains that some compartmentalisation is inevitable in practice, and I’m afraid that solidarity does have some limits. People are neither omnipotent nor saints. So, I think the ‘primarily’ bit remains factually correct.

>(b) check out The Civil War in France. It’s quite good.)

Obviously just the title of a work of that size can’t be considered a reference. I can’t quite exclude the possibility that the work contains something that you interpret as a call for the free movement of labour on some page – I assume it could have escapted my attnetion when I last read it. If you’re trying to make the point that there should be solidarity with any Commune that happens to arise in any country, well, I have no objections to that.

206

Randy McDonald 06.25.16 at 8:21 am

The tyranny of the local is not something to look forward to.

207

J-D 06.25.16 at 9:19 am

Colin Danby 06.25.16 at 5:01 am
@203: I’m not expert on this history, but I think you’ll find there was a much laxer legal regime re migration in Europe in the 19th century, which is to say the question of “free movement of labour” didn’t arise as it does today.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/games/teachers-corner/history-passports.asp

Within 100 years of Louis XIV’s reign, almost every country in Europe had set up a system to issue passports. Besides needing passports from their own countries, travellers also had to have visas issued by the countries they wanted to visit, much as we have travel visas today.

The rising popularity of rail travel in the mid-19th century led to an explosion of tourism throughout Europe and caused a complete breakdown in the European passport and visa system. In answer to the crisis, France abolished passports and visas in 1861. Other European countries followed suit, and by 1914, passport requirements had been eliminated practically everywhere in Europe. However, World War I brought renewed concerns for international security, and passports and visas were again required, as a “temporary” measure.

(First time I’ve tried using blockquote tags here, hoping it works.)

208

David 06.25.16 at 9:51 am

I’m old enough to remember the “scab labour” disputes of the 1960s and 1970s, when un-unionised workers were brought in to break strikes by being prepared to work for less, and under worse conditions, than the striking workers themselves. I agree that that it’s an idiosyncratic definition of socialism to argue that socialists should encourage effectively the same thing today, as is already happening on the fringes of Europe, with non-EU labour prepared to work for nothing being brought in on short-term visas to undercut the wages of EU workers. I think the slogan was “workers of the world unite” not “workers of the world all come to the same place so we can underbid each other to increase the profits of the employers”.
Employment protection laws are a bit of a red herring, since they are so easily circumvented. In France, for example, most new entrants into the labour market are offered only short-term fixed contracts with no benefits or holiday pay, and no right to a second contract. Most young people therefore drift through years of effectively casual work. Likewise, small French employers are increasingly demanding that their workers, instead of being employees, register as self-employed tradesmen, paying the social contributions themselves, and able to be dismissed at any time. This, of course, is how the Juncker class dreams of the perfectly frictionless European employment market.

209

ccc 06.25.16 at 10:13 am

1 The EU is a systematically flawed entity.
2 Some motivations for the leave campaign were repugnant.
3 The UK includes the City of London tax evasion financial regime which causes massive harm on a global scale.
Very hard to say if the three bads 123 will generate more or less net harm after Brexit or not.

210

Barry 06.25.16 at 1:25 pm

bruce wilder 06.24.16 at 3:31 pm

“They haven’t worked out the need for fiscal transfers, because, inside Germany, it is popularly understood that they have been making fiscal transfers elsewhere — to Greece in the endless series of bailouts, for example. Germans think they have made sacrifices — his own delayed retirement is the example one of my German friends gives me — for European solidarity.”

From what I understand, the German government bailed out the German banks (no free market there), and then demanded repayment from Greece. The bailouts are likely going right back to Germany.

And anybody who thinks that the German (and French and UK and…) megabanks were ignorant of the state of the Greek economy and government when they made those loans is … innocent of the ways of the world.

211

stevenjohnson 06.25.16 at 2:14 pm

The EU is an advanced cooperative project among capitalists (industrial, commercial and financial) to defend capital against social democratic illusions and get a better deal with the US. Being a thoroughly capitalist cooperative project, it is highly stratified, functioning in many respects as the Fourth Reich. No doubt the modern leftists believe it to be more like the Second Reich than the Third. If the Second Reich was good enough for Lassalle, Bebel and W. Liebknecht, good enough for humanity today, is the reasoning maybe. But, if Brad DeLong’s pro-imperialist, counterrevolutionary mother thinks this is like the opposite, perhaps it is a Good Thing after all?

As for global warming, the whole point of an entity committed to the preservation of capitalism is to ensure the determination of capital investment by the market, not “planner preferences,” as Cosma Shalizi so disingenuously put it. (And he won an internet prize for that, so it must be smart!) There are no reforms that will make the free market in capital safe for the environment, much less humanity. Capitalists do no make rational decisions, they make market decisions about maximizing profit in an anarchy of production where they cannot discount the future.

As for F. Foundling’s vision of a world of socialist nations that magically appears out of nowhere to replace nonexistent imperialism? Didn’t work for Gorbachev. Empires are overthrown, they don’t just disappear. The verdicts of the Second World War will only be reversed by violence. The Gorbachevs, Yeltsins and Putins have undone the Soviet victory. The other victor, the US, remains. The ambiguous victory of China is matched by its ambiguous leadership, which is assiduously undermining the nation in a (thus far) vain effort for the magic of capitalism to make them rich enough to be a secure ruling class. Unfortunately for them, capitalism isn’t cooperating and keeps needing new assistance from expropriation of public property and attacks on the people at large.

As for larger goals, like dealing with the changes in global climate or eliminating war? The nation state, the class defender of capitalist property, will never be the vehicle. Nations as social reality may be like individuality, impossible to abolish. But nothing says they need to have the right to wage war or to poison the biosphere. Whatever form world administration of global affairs in the general interests of humanity takes, the Foundlings and the Lupitas are opposed to it as violating the rights of nations to sovereignty.

212

RNB 06.25.16 at 3:27 pm

h/t Daniel Drezner
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/06/immigration_and_brexit_how_a_rising_tide_of_european_immigrants_fueled_the.html

Reihan Salam’s argument here is that immigration was the central issue but not ‘race’ as commonly understood. Also may connect in an interesting way to Chris Bertram’s earlier criticism of Milanovic as Salam who is a conservative seems to be suggesting that had the EU allowed the UK to treat immigrants in a discriminatory manner (as Cameron had asked) Brexit support would have been fatally undermined.

213

RNB 06.25.16 at 3:32 pm

Tony Blair in today’s NYT:

“Immigrants were described as a bunch of scroungers coming to grab Britons’ jobs and benefits when, in reality, the recent migrants from Eastern Europe contribute far more in taxes than they take in welfare payments. And besides, immigration to Britain from outside the European Union will not be affected by the referendum decision.”

214

RNB 06.25.16 at 4:01 pm

It was not the question of benefits; it was the false statements about losses and harms and imminent dangers (Syrians invading through Slovenia, the mass migration of Turks) that demagogues and tabloids circulated which seem to have made a crucial difference. I think Simon Wren-Lewis underlined the role of the tabloids. We need critical media studies here. Of course in the American context Trump has secured for himself hundreds of millions dollars worth of free advertising by the media playing along with him and not drilling down on his falsities; meanwhile content analyses have shown that Hillary Clinton has received by far the most critical media attention of the major candidates for the Presidency.

215

RNB 06.25.16 at 4:35 pm

Well when Proposition 187 against public benefits for undocumented workers passed in California, Governor Pete Wilson and his supporters had made false claims about how much undocumented workers were costing the State. It took a while for the public to see through the lies, but the result of this demagogic campaign may prove in the long run to be the marginalization of the Republican Party in California. Only two Democrats are running for the Senate seat in this year’s election.
There are plenty of benefits from a country attracting both skilled and unskilled labor: higher quality services, start up energy (probably up to 40% of the start ups in Silicon Valley have immigrants among their founders), investments that otherwise would not be made domestically due to labor shortages (the UK unemployment rate is relatively low), creation of demand that induces investment, trade linkages with the home countries of the immigrants, cheaper goods and services, etc.
It is of course possible that the obvious benefits of immigration are difficult to see for people overrun by nativism and even racism.

216

RNB 06.25.16 at 4:41 pm

@Nigel_Farage tells @susannareid100 it was a ‘mistake’ for Leave to claim there’d be £350M a week for NHS
________

This far exceeds even what Pete Wilson was capable of in terms of hegemony.

217

RNB 06.25.16 at 4:41 pm

Far exceeds in terms of demagogy. Sorry for typo.

218

Lee A. Arnold 06.25.16 at 4:44 pm

#regrexit has yesterday’s Good Morning Britain video of Farage saying that the Leave campaign slogan, that £350 million a week would go to the NHS, was a “mistake”.

219

Stephen 06.25.16 at 4:55 pm

Faustusnotes@191: you would be completely right about the UK supply of immigrant doctors, nurses, IT people and so forth drying up in two years, if it were the policy of anybody on the Leave side to ban all immigration as soon as the UK leaves the EU. As far as I can tell, their policy is to restrict immigration to those with useful skills, which would presumably include doctors, etc. Am I wrong?

220

RNB 06.25.16 at 5:24 pm

Stephen, the point though is that the benefits of integration were not outweighed by the costs of more immigration. Those costs were exaggerated and fears demagogically exploited (could include here about how Farage invoked the Paris attacks) and benefits of under appreciated and the benefits of Brexit laughably exaggerated. Couple that with the surge in searches for EU after the vote and the British appear comic on the world stage at this point as their economy contracts, though they may soon have to cede the stage to us Americans who may yet put Trump in office.

221

RNB 06.25.16 at 5:28 pm

This was in the OP:”And then the horrible lying politics of the whole campaign, with Leave claiming that money saved on the EU would be diverted to the NHS (a commitment Farage repudiated within hours of the result).”

222

Ais 06.25.16 at 5:52 pm

Does anyone know enough about UK law to know whether Scotland and Northern Ireland might be able to save England and Wales from themselves? It seems like the terms of the devolution settlement mean that Westminster does not have the power to take Scotland and NI out of the EU without the consent of Scottish and Northern Irish parliaments and that’s not going to be forthcoming. So if England and Wales want to leave the EU, they have to leave the UK. I doubt that England and Wales would be ready to do that so isn’t it the case that there’s a strong chance that this referendum is not going to get through Parliament? (See p. 19, para 70-71 : http://www.publications.parliament.uk/…/lde…/138/138.pdf)P. 19, para 70-71)

223

engels 06.25.16 at 5:52 pm

their policy is to restrict immigration to those with useful skills

And people with a useful skills from all over the world are going to be queueing up for the chance to be a second-class citizen in a country where they’re not wanted with a nationalist government and a crashing economy…

224

Jim Buck 06.25.16 at 5:53 pm

Lord Ashcroft’s private poll indicates that it was the shiftless (in many senses of that word) that voted for out:

http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2016/06/how-the-united-kingdom-voted-and-why/#more-14746

After Phillip Larkin (and Chris Bertram)
I want to see them starving
The so-called working class
Their wages weekly halving,
with no internet access

225

Ais 06.25.16 at 6:59 pm

Apologies, link above is broken. Here it is again.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldselect/ldeucom/138/138.pdf

226

Dipper 06.25.16 at 7:16 pm

I didn’t think when I voted Brexit that the country would vote that way. So the global cacophony of outrage that created the result did get me thinking that maybe Brexit would be a mistake.

But then I got to imagining permanent membership of the EU, and Brexit is absolutely the right decision.

For the UK, being in the EU is like (I imagine) being in an abusive relationship. We are not listened to, not held in any esteem, seem to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting, and constantly told we cannot walk out because we would be useless on our own. Even now the EU is telling the UK what the timetable for leaving should be even though the rules explicitly say the departing nation initiates the process. I’m sure they will look to punish us for having the temerity to leave just as domestic abusers beat up partners who want to leave. And I’m sure lots of people will say “serves you right”.

If we had stayed there would be a constant drip-drip reduction in our national confidence. We would be receivers of policies, and we would have less and less control over issues that effect us. We would always be second best in Europe to Germany and its allies.

For years, no for decades, whenever the UK asks for a change, France and Germany come back and say “the EU is a club. It has rules. If you don’t like the rules don’t join the club”. Well we’ve taken that advice and left.

Its a risk. But everyone who reads CT has taken risks in their own lives and I would guess all have been better people for taking them.

227

Lee A. Arnold 06.25.16 at 7:26 pm

Reports make it sound like the anti immigrant incidents are already getting uglier.

228

Lee A. Arnold 06.25.16 at 7:34 pm

229

Lee A. Arnold 06.25.16 at 7:44 pm

Finding lots more reports from different social media that street incidents of racism, yelling at immigrants with children, etc., are on the rise.

230

Lee A. Arnold 06.25.16 at 7:46 pm

Maybe USians should boycott the UK while working to defeat their own Trumpster.

231

Lee A. Arnold 06.25.16 at 7:49 pm

Another venerable old publication, Scientific American, blogs that this could do real damage to UK also by deterring scientific researchers from living and working there.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/brexit-could-do-real-damage-to-u-k-science/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_POLE_BLOG

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roger nowosielski 06.25.16 at 7:58 pm

It would seem as though the very point of the OP’s lament had gone unheeded, if not altogether ignored, as Dipper (see comment #1) cleverly retorts:

“Well Prof I’m sure you feel better for having got that off your chest.
“[But] . . . how about addressing some questions where you might have more insight, such as . . . “

I can’t help but detect here however slight an innuendo that Chris Bertram was somehow off the mark, or at least that he ought to have addressed a more serious issue. Am I the only one to have picked up on this? I’d happy to have been shown I’m wrong.

On a somewhat related topic, if I may:

Can anyone tell me what exactly is the difference between the unwashed masses in the US and those in the UK? Would speaking cockney masquerading as King’s English qualify as a significant difference?

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Dipper 06.25.16 at 8:14 pm

okay, roger @ 241, back to the OP

” to be replaced by a hard right Tory administration under the leadership of Gove, May or the Trumpesque clown Johnson”

It is quite likely that Boris and Gove will be a significant part of the new government, however the conservatives have a narrow majority and many MP’s who were Remainers and who are centrist. Moreover the manifesto they fought on has not changed. The Lords has already amended government bills. I believe the convention is that the Lords should not vote down legislation that was in the manifesto but may vote against legislation that wasn’t.

I would guess that the rest of this parliament will be preoccupied with the EU, so I don’t think we are going to see a right-wards swing from the government compared to current policies.

234

Dipper 06.25.16 at 8:20 pm

Roger – “what exactly is the difference between the unwashed masses in the US and those in the UK”

I cannot speak for the US but the working-class Brexit voters in the UK have been subject to a tirade on their general intelligence and opinions which is in many cases completely misplaced and undeserved, and simply abusive. I had the good fortune to work in a few factories in my twenties and and any ideas that a graduate may have about their intellectual superiority compared to the factory floor soon disappears on contact. The vast majority of the people I worked with were astute observers of their own circumstances and very good at analysing problems in front of them. The notions expressed above and elsewhere that somehow they were simple ignorant people easily fooled by lies is completely misplaced and says far more about the speaker’s arrogance than it does about the people under consideration.

235

Dipper 06.25.16 at 8:24 pm

Roger – does this commentary on the unwashed in the US still apply?

236

novakant 06.25.16 at 8:26 pm

237

Daragh 06.25.16 at 8:27 pm

@Dipper

I’ve also worked in ‘working class’ jobs in my lifetime, and would be in general agreement with your observations. The And/But – as Newsnight reported prior to the referendum two of the three biggest stories to ‘break through’ with the public were the ‘we’ll spend that £350 mln on the NHS instead!’ claim, and the ‘Turkey is about to join the EU and flood us with migrants’ claim. Both were transparent, obvious lies that were thoroughly debunked roughly five minutes after they were made, and for weeks afterwards.

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Dipper 06.25.16 at 8:36 pm

Daragh.

I’m not sure how many people believed literally that all that money was going to go to the NHS, but the key point was that leaving the EU is on day 1 cash positive. That is a contrast to Scottish independence which on day 1 is cash negative.

as for Turkey, the migration issue is not necessarily linked to them becoming full members – see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/12023457/Brussels-to-ease-visa-restrictions-on-Turkey-in-exchange-for-taking-back-deported-migrants.html.

And, given the numbers who made the journey from Eastern Europe, why risk it?

239

RNB 06.25.16 at 8:37 pm

240

Daragh 06.25.16 at 8:45 pm

@Dipper – Except, as the Remainers predicted and look to be vindicated in doing so, the economic costs of Brexit are so severe as to wipe out any gains from regaining direct control over that money. And this is even before we get to the fact that areas of the UK dependent on EU structural funds – many of which, ironically enough, went heavily for Brexit – will now demand that those losses be made up. It’s economically lose lose lose.

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roger nowosielski 06.25.16 at 8:47 pm

Of course the idiom of “the unwashed masses” is stereotypical. Can we ignore, however, the resounding similarities between the unprecedented support in the US for the first-class buffoon and the UK vote on Brexit? Aren’t the two phenomena strikingly alike in that they’re both hopelessly reactionary, motivated by, what some commentators have called, incoherent anger?

Which raises another interesting question, I daresay. What exactly are the differences in the educational systems in the UK and in the US, given that both have managed to produce this kind of electorate.

This is the 21st century folks, let’s not forget that!

242

Ronan(rf) 06.25.16 at 8:49 pm

Most, bordering on all, voters are low information, ie they/we don’t pay attention to policy, they/we vote by gut instincts, emotion, tradition, peer groups and basic econ interests. It’s not an attack on the “working class” to note this , it’s an unfortunate, more general flaw of humanity

243

Dipper 06.25.16 at 9:01 pm

@ Daragh

firstly, for me it’s a long game. Its about a future working as an outgoing independent nation working co-operatively across the globe rather than being NW EU offshore administrative region.

Secondly, we haven’t seen the economic costs yet. The FTSE didn’t have a significant move. The pound dropped but that’s what free-floating exchange rates do. We benefited enormously in the early 90’s from a drop in the pound so could benefit again. There were no significant moves in interest rates and liquidity was maintained.

The slightly more insidious development was the drop in our credit rating. That has consequences over a longer term if not reversed.

The issues of inward investment are significant and much well depend on the way the government handles EU negotiations and also tackles talks with other nations. The key here is that we are net importers, so we should be able to drive some reasonable bargains.

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None 06.25.16 at 9:03 pm

Dipper@235 – “We are not listened to, not held in any esteem, seem to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting, and constantly told we cannot walk out because we would be useless on our own.”

Christ, just listen to the self-pity !

245

bruce wilder 06.25.16 at 9:05 pm

Count de Money: The people are revolting.

King: They certainly are. They stink on ice.

246

Dipper 06.25.16 at 9:06 pm

None. – Self pity would be if we stayed. We took the positive step and left!

247

roger nowosielski 06.25.16 at 9:08 pm

#251

Well, what you say reminds me of the “Middlemarch” BBC series, which was quite refreshing in showing how people voted their personal, local interests. But there was logic and coherence to their vote back then. Why don’t we have this here and now? Are you saying we have regressed?

Is this an attack on the “working class”? I hope not, but if the working class in both the US and the UK has deteriorated to the point of abandoning the kind of worldwide solidarity it had been attributed, quite rightly, by Marx and other writers, then perhaps it’s high time for us to change our definitions.

248

Ronan(rf) 06.25.16 at 9:16 pm

“It is not even clear that the Brexit coalition can itself hold together in any meaningful way. It is, after all, a weird conjunction. Brexit is not so much a peasants’ revolt as a deeply strange peasants’ – and – landlords’ revolt.
It is a Downton Abbey fantasy of toffs and servants all mucking in together. But when the toffs, as the slogan goes, “take back control”, the underlings will quickly discover that a fantasy is exactly what it is.”

http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-brexit-fantasy-is-about-to-come-crashing-down-1.2698974

But of course the alternative reading (that this is the people rising up against the technocrats/elites/eurocrats/robots, to defeat neo liberalism and flexible Labour markets) is just as plausible

249

Ronan(rf) 06.25.16 at 9:18 pm

Roger, the above wasn’t in reply to you (I’ve only seen your comment). Was more just general snark !

250

novakant 06.25.16 at 9:29 pm

“We took the positive step and left.”

Well, except you haven’t left and the leaders of Leave are curiously quiet when it comes to actually leaving the EU while the EU leaders are telling them to get on with it. You have empowered a bunch of mendacious, narcissistic fools and created the biggest political clusterfuck in recent memory. They are completely irresponsible and have no idea what to do.

Well done, idiot.

251

Jim Buck 06.25.16 at 9:40 pm

World-wide solidarity and a vulgar marxism was promoted by charismatic trade union activists, on the shop floors of my youth. That has all gone. Workers exist inside the tension between: diversity policies in the workplace, and a print media that is constantly pouring scorn on “PC”. Worst than that though is the emergence of new autodidactic activists who I imagine must resemble, somewhat, their ranter and leveller forebears who found confirmation of their political epiphanies in the King James Bible. The new roundheads do not realise they are nazis when spreading Facebook memes about Rothschilds, illuminati, and other national socialist ideology. As I say, they would be profoundly shocked to think of themselves as nazis. In that respect they resemble gays who do not realise they are gay.

252

Daragh 06.25.16 at 9:52 pm

@Dipper – Just to start, I’d like to say I think your arguments are well reasoned and rational, even if I don’t agree with them. And it would have been nice if the entire campaign could have been conducted in this way! In any case – the internet being the internet just wanted to note the civility, try to stick to it myself, and hope that it remains throughout the future debate.

The problem for me is that in order to obtain the opportunity to “outgoing independent nation working co-operatively across the globe” was one on the backs of voters who want to ‘take their country back’ (the most polite way of putting it). If you make plans for the former, the latter will revolt, and it will be even less pleasant than what we have now.

253

roger nowosielski 06.25.16 at 11:58 pm

@260, JB:

Am trying to understand the gist, Jim.

Are you suggesting the general electorate has been duped by the class of political opportunists?

254

J-D 06.26.16 at 12:18 am

Dipper @235

‘For the UK, being in the EU is like (I imagine) being in an abusive relationship. We are not listened to, not held in any esteem, seem to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting, and constantly told we cannot walk out because we would be useless on our own.’

Some people who have been victims of abusive relationships feel that this kind of comparison trivialises their experience.

That said, do you expect that once the UK has left the EU it will be listened to more and held in more esteem (and by whom)? (Note, incidentally, that people who leave real abusive relationships don’t do so expecting the abuser to listen to them more and hold them in more esteem, possibly illustrating the problems with your comparison.)

255

tony lynch 06.26.16 at 1:12 am

From Glenn Greenwald – useful device for classifying pretty much everyone here.

Media reaction to the Brexit vote falls into two general categories: (1) earnest, candid attempts to understand what motivated voters to make this choice, even if that means indicting one’s own establishment circles, and (2) petulant, self-serving, simple-minded attacks on disobedient pro-leave voters for being primitive, xenophobic bigots (and stupid to boot), all to evade any reckoning with their own responsibility.

256

engels 06.26.16 at 1:20 am

useful device for classifying pretty much everyone here.

No, it’s an idiotic device for imputing a self-evidently stupid and offensive opinons to anyone who disagrees with your intellectual approach.

257

engels 06.26.16 at 1:28 am

It’s not an attack on the “working class” to note this , it’s an unfortunate, more general flaw of humanity

It’s a feature of representative democracy.

258

RNB 06.26.16 at 1:28 am

Yes to engels. What Greenwald forgets is who divides the world up like this in the first place and that takes us to (3) the dominated fractions of the dominant class who are (a) actually so paternalistic to the working classes that they do not think they should ever be held responsible for their own stupidity (that is, doing harm to others and oneself) or (b) are so resentful of being the dominated part of the dominant class that they want to harm the dominant parts of the dominant class even at their own expense or (c) share some of the stupid xenophobia and nativism of the dominated classes or (d) some combination of the above.

259

Rich Puchalsky 06.26.16 at 1:31 am

tony lynch fails to link to the source of the quote. It’s from here. If the comment is applied to “media reaction” rather than, kind of stupidly, to people here, then it makes a lot more sense. I agree with most of the article.

There’s an image from CT in the article, parenthetically.

260

Sebastian H 06.26.16 at 1:33 am

Politicians who help people lash out are evil. So Trump is evil.

Politicians who foster environments where a huge portion of the population is ripe for lashing out are stupid. So as a whole EU politicians have been monumentally stupid since the crash. See extra especially Merckel.

261

Ronan(rf) 06.26.16 at 1:49 am

What about politicians who both “foster environments where a huge portion of the population is ripe for lashing out” and then “help them lash out”, Sebastian.
Stupid and evil ?

262

Sebastian H 06.26.16 at 1:52 am

Sure there is certainly a possibility for stupid and evil. I can’t fix evil. But we should demand that politicians on our side not be stupid. A lot of what passes for successful liberal politics right now strikes me as stupid in the sense of willfully ignoring a lot of things that are causing large populations to be on the edge of lashing out.

263

Faustusnotes 06.26.16 at 1:54 am

Stephen @227, I assume the uk won’t send current workers back and will scramble to give them visas, but that is only a temporary solution for several reasons. The main one is that people will lave the uk naturally and where previously those people would have been replaced by others from the Eu now they won’t be, and will need to come from elsewhere. Capacity in many countries is already constrained so it’s unlikely they will make up the shortfall, and in order to make it up the nhs will need to make working there more attractive at the same time as funding is (further) drying up and workforce declining. This all comes at a a time that junior doctors are striking over working conditions that are primarily related to staffing problems.

This is even worse for small financial services companies. At the moment British companies do t need to sponsor visas since they can get eu staff easily- most jobs in smes come with a disclaimer that you won’t get visa support, because the company can rely on the free movement of labour. Have you ever dealt with visa issues in the uk? I have, personally and through colleagues and students I send there and I can tell you it is a big burden on a sme to have to recruit all its staff this way. But the reality is that capacity is t the outside the eu. To get those staff from outside the eu those business will need to compete on the international migration market with countries like oz and Canada that offer not just good salaries but a decent quality of life.

And that’s without considering the new rules the country has imposed on eg bringing in spouses, and having to prove the job can’t be given to a local. I expect given this that a lot of smes in the finance industry will simply move to the continent, if they possibly can.

264

roger nowosielski 06.26.16 at 1:57 am

@267

I think you’re on the right track here: the elitism of the intellectual (political?) class vs. the horde. But don’t the two feed off one another?

265

kidneystones 06.26.16 at 2:15 am

“David Blanchflower, an economics professor at Dartmouth University and a former policymaker at the Bank of England, says average weekly pay in the U.K., adjusted for inflation, remains 7 percent below its most recent peak, reached in 2008.Stark regional differences are also evident in both countries. London has boomed in recent years along with its thriving financial sector, and home prices in the city have soared. By contrast, steel plants and coal mines have closed in Northern England and Wales.”

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article85948602.html#storylink=cpy

Brexit is a rebellion against the survival of the fittest social Darwinist class in London and other centers of self-interested enlightenment as it is a rejection of the EU.

Income and opportunity inequality matter. Who knew?

266

novakant 06.26.16 at 2:23 am

Before we go all teary eyed about the poor working class “not being heard” maybe spare a second and consider the fact the vast majority of young people voted Remain. They are the future, they are most affected by the consequences and they have been royally f@cked for life by this disastrous decision.

75% of 18-24 yr olds
62% of 25-34
52% of 35-44

267

novakant 06.26.16 at 2:24 am

268

lathrop 06.26.16 at 3:23 am

I do not know much about British constitutional issues. However, I assume that such a referendum is not self-executing or self-enforcing, and I would like to know whether there is any possibility — likelihood is a separate question (and interesting!) — that Parliament could decide not to follow through with the indicated action, considering anticipated consequences (economic, dissolution of UK), narrowness of the vote, second thoughts, etc., of doing so.

I imagine this would look like Capital, Monarchy, et al., working the secret levers, but could this be on the table for the organized interests and parties involved?

269

kidneystones 06.26.16 at 3:32 am

@ 275 For life!!!

“You don’t stand a chance!!”

That’s a great way to prepare young people for the challenges ahead. What percentage, btw, of the 18-24 year-olds, do you think stand a chance right now of ever purchasing their own home?

One of changes I’d like to see is more public/private housing built with the right to buy for lower-income families. That’s easier to to do and to sell to the public without EU red tape.

The British left has pretty much abandoned the lower orders. These folks will either be embraced as equals (don’t hold your breath on that count), or working-class voters are going to go UKIP, a much more likely development given the disdain and contempt for their concerns so clearly on display here and on the larger political stage.

I predict more of the same, only worse.

270

roger nowosielski 06.26.16 at 3:34 am

@277

I happen to think that the British adherence to vehicles such as referendum is rather refreshing — shall I say democratic? — in contrast to a situation which often obtains in the US when publicly-approved referendums are all too often overturned by the powers that be.

271

b9n10nt 06.26.16 at 3:42 am

Novokant,

A generation is fucked for life because of Brexit? That’s gotta be over-the-top rhetoric, right? People are incredibly resilient and capable of finding joy meaning and perseverance in life. Even to a degree when they are, as a people, subject to decades of acute trauma and deprivation. & that, to say the least, hasn’t happened here.

So now that we’re keeping it real, how do we talk about “being fucked” in the “first-world-problems sense?”

Nationalist reactionaries are the ones who are fucked for life, in as much as their hallucinatory fixations (“my country”, “my job”) that engender anger, spite, and angst blind them to sources of emotional and material abundance in their midst.

Neoliberals are the ones who are fucked for life, in as much as their hallucinatory fixations (“economic freedom”, “free markets”) that engender arrogance, envy, and scorn blind them to their own communal responsibilities.

The kids that votes Stay? They’re gonna be alright.

Everyone is already fucked because “history is a nightmare from which [we] are trying to wake up”.

272

roger nowosielski 06.26.16 at 4:10 am

Yes, humanity will survive, as it always had.

273

J-D 06.26.16 at 4:23 am

lathrop @277

The short answer to your question is this: if Parliament decided to disregard the referendum decision, there is no mechanism to compel its compliance; that is, no legal or constitutional mechanism.

The practical question, however, is whether it’s politically feasible for the referendum decision to be disregarded: that seems unlikely to me.

274

magistra 06.26.16 at 6:27 am

A simple question for all those who say the younger generation aren’t fucked: what jobs are they going to do in this brand-new self-confident country of ours? Unless we end up in the EEA, foreign direct investment in the UK has effectively just been trashed: companies will probably invest in Ireland again (or are already doing so). Several of Britain’s key export industries are going to be hammered: the City (via losing passporting rights) and higher education; I’ve also seen views that pharmaceuticals are going to be hit hard as well, because of loss of input into regulation. A lot of green industries have already been destroyed by the Conservative government. Any firm that relies on scientific collaboration and IT (which are effectively global industries anyhow) is going to be unhappy being based in a country that is obviously hostile to immigrants. What this probably means is that a lot of highly-skilled jobs are likely to be lost from the UK and that as a result, there is likely to be a brain drain of university-educated young people (who are much more internationally-minded than before).

The further hollowing out of British industry is probably also going to have an impact on skilled manual work. One story that for some reason didn’t get much prominence is that Rolls Royce (one of the few firms to offer high quality apprenticeships) said beforehand they might not expand in the UK if the country voted Out.

The ideas of Leavers that there would be more jobs were almost entirely zero-sum: that jobs currently held by EU nationals will remain, and be available for the deserving working classes. But if the economy suffers (and all but the most optimistic think that it will at least in the short-term), there will almost certainly be fewer of those jobs. If people eat out or go out less or have fewer haircuts, there will be fewer jobs in catering and the leisure and service industries. Construction work is heavily influenced by overall prosperity, but the Auf Wiedersehen Pet option of going elsewhere when the going is tough will have been cut off. And even sandwich-making jobs at Greencore may be fewer in number if London isn’t booming.

So what are you left with, industries that can’t leave the UK? There are essential public sector jobs that can’t be off-shored, like teaching and the NHS, but if they’re even shorter of money, with the economy suffering, trained doctors and teachers may again want to leave. (That’s the point of an Australian points system, after all: you get the good people, while leaving the less skilled at home). That leaves you with care work, low-end retail work, some agricultural labour (though how much of that will survive revised tariffs, you can’t be sure), tourism for the scenic bits and not a lot else. Just because you’ve turned your back on globalisation, doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect you. And being “self-confident” doesn’t mean a lot if you’re also unemployable. So come on, all you enthusiasts for Brexit, tell me. What sectors of the economy are going to grow and how does that plausibly happen, starting from here?

275

Dipper 06.26.16 at 7:10 am

@ magistra – 284. That’s a big post so I’ll just take one item “being based in a country that is obviously hostile to immigrants”

Britain is not hostile to immigrants. The vast majority of Brits are open to people from different cultures. Even our right-wing nativist party is multi-cultural. That’s why so many have come to the UK rather than go to other European countries where they have had a less favourable reception.

276

Ken_L 06.26.16 at 7:39 am

The silver lining is that the insufferable Daniel Hannan will have to find a proper job.

277

kidneystones 06.26.16 at 7:47 am

Brand Britain: It’s clearly far too soon to make any definitive pronouncements. One of the most attractive features of British life is that Britain is, like France other nations, a unique nation. Moaning about the weather, etc. is an essential feature of British life, so long may it continue. So, btw, is ‘keep calm and carry-on.’

A number of people I know in Asia refuse to travel to France. Tourism has been hammered over the last year and the ‘expressions’ of unhappiness with the current government aren’t doing much to dispel the impression. I was in France during the attack in Brussels. The violence of the unrest in Paris was of more concern to the university students I met then. (Unhappy workers had set fire to one of the college buildings.)

All eyes really are on Britain. I can’t see how it is in anyone’s interest to do anything but put the best foot forward. Brand Britain really is an extremely strong selling point in terms of consumer products, especially bespoke clothes, music, theater, the arts, and culture.Factor in the multi-ethnic cosmopolitan changes that have occurred over the last two decade and a weaker pound and the UK becomes an excellent site for travel, or study – just as Australia is now.

The influx of peoples from Asia has generally been extremely positive and I very much hope that we’ll see the successful contributions immigrants make to Britain promoted at all times.

UKIP is all about law and order and its long past time that the right is forced to take full responsibility for reigning in the yobs. That’s a part of British culture that we can well do without.

Ditto defacement of public property, over-the-top displays of public alcohol abuse and other habits that make Britain a less than desirable place to invest-in and visit. Britain is home to the English language, Shakespeare, Austin, and Thatcher – a woman widely reviled by many here, no doubt, but an international feminist icon nonetheless.

I can easily muster a million reasons why 2016 is a great time to visit, work, and study in Britain. Building Britain is going to take considerable effort, vision, and a willingness to work with others unthinkable as that may be to some.

Get the finger out, find something nice to say about someone from another ‘tribe’, and get on with it. The world is watching and waiting to see what you lot are really made of.

Really.

278

magistra 06.26.16 at 8:04 am

Dipper@285: the Migration Observatory state: “Based on an international comparison of family income policies conducted in 2015, the Migration Policy Group (2015) argued that the UK had the least generous policies on family unification among 38 high-income countries, dropping to the bottom of this ranking after the introduction of the family income threshold and other measures such as language requirements for spouses.”

It’s not simply whether London or some of the other big cities might have people who are personally welcoming to migrants. It’s whether if you move to work to a country you’re going to be secure or the government may decide to pull the rug from under you. Millions of EU nationals who are currently working in the UK no longer know what will happen to their jobs and may not know for several years. Why would you voluntarily move to a country that might abruptly do something similar to you?

Ze K@286: Switzerland is in the EFTA and has to accept free movement of people from EU. It has the highest immigrant inflows per capita of all the OECD countries: see chart, something like 4 times higher relative to population than that of the UK. The last time I was in Switzerland was at an academic conference: the three organisers were all non-Swiss. That’s how the Swiss education system does well: by being open to outsiders.

The UK can have free movement and not the Single Market or not have free movement and not have the Single Market. An Out campaign to join EFTA wouldn’t have won, because it wouldn’t restrict immigration. Brexit leaders were happy to do bait and switch, but now they’re stuck with this fundamental problem.

279

magistra 06.26.16 at 8:49 am

Ze K@290: see Open Europe on Swiss migration:

The EU-Swiss free movement treaty is linked to agreements on technical barriers to trade, public procurement, agriculture, transport, civil aviation, and research by a so-called ‘guillotine clause’. This means they can only take effect together, and if one of the agreements is terminated the other six would cease to apply.

In theory, Switzerland can unilaterally impose the quotas. However, this is likely to provoke retaliation from the EU – which could result in reduced market access to the EU for Swiss firms.

.

If the UK had been asked to vote on whether they wanted to trade reduced market access to the EU in return for more control in immigration, I might not have agreed with the outcome, but I would have respected the process. But the voters weren’t told that by the Outers. They were told they could have their cake and eat it, and unfortunately too many of them believed it.

280

Michael Kelly 06.26.16 at 9:26 am

Ze K, a few moments with Wikipedia (and why not?) would give you some hints:

The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental trade organisation and free trade area consisting of four European states: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.[1] The organisation operates in parallel with the European Union (EU), and all four member states participate in the EU’s single market.[2]

To participate in the EU’s single market, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are party to the Agreement on a European Economic Area (EEA), with compliance regulated by the EFTA Surveillance Authority and the EFTA Court. Switzerland instead has a set of bilateral agreements with the EU.

A citizen of an EFTA country can live and work in all other EFTA countries and in all EU countries, and a citizen of an EU country can live and work in all EFTA countries (but for voting and working in sensitive fields, such as government / police / military, citizenship is often required, and non-citizens may not have the same rights to welfare and unemployment benefits as citizens).

The four EFTA countries belong to the Schengen Area and use its visa policy.

281

Faustusnotes 06.26.16 at 11:07 am

Dipper the uk absolutely is hostile to migrants and the nativist party is not genuinely multicultural at all. This kind of blindness to Britain’s real flaws among leftists makes me so angry, because it’s a product of either willful ignorance or a complete lack of any kind of background in poor communities in the uk or both. It’s absolutely unproductive.

Not only is Britain officially legally hostile to migrants through such hints as the financial barriers to spouse migration and the onerous visa process, it is also officially culturally hostile through such things as that godawful van driving around telling migrants to go home, and the official policy platform of the ruling party to cut net migration to zero. Maybe you don’t get out of the cities much and into ukip heartland but if you do you will see that the “breaking point” poster is hardly novel in their line of propaganda, and if you bother to peruse any news from around the elections you will find multiple ukip candidates being forced out of their nomination because of absolutely awful things they have said in the past. Far age himself said he would be uncomfortable living next to a Bulgarian and another if their candidates referred to non-white voters as “nig Nogs”. The daily mail and sun are full of this worst kinds of this trash and in case you haven’t noticed the country just went through a very nasty referendum in which racist fears were stoked by one side and a pro-eu candidate was murdered for being a traitor. The party she died for is now disgracefully complaining that their leader made a big mistake by saying he is in favor of free movement. The vote count was barely finished before the mail was saying brexit would make it easier for migrants to get through the channel tunnel because of the perfidious French.

Really to say these kinds of things about the uk you really need to be in deep denial about a culture that is steeped in this stuff. I’m not saying it’s the worst or everyone agrees or anything but if the uk left is going to have any future they need to come to terms with this!!

282

engels 06.26.16 at 11:18 am

I would like to know whether there is any possibility — likelihood is a separate question (and interesting!) — that Parliament could decide not to follow through with the indicated action

A good possibility

283

novakant 06.26.16 at 11:41 am

Young people on the EU referendum: ‘It is the end of one world, of the world as we know it’

Having overwhelmingly voted to remain, many feel betrayed by an older generation who turned their backs on Europe but who will not be around to see the damage wreaked

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/26/young-people-vote-anger

284

novakant 06.26.16 at 11:42 am

“For my generation, our future is quite bleak. We’re told you may not have a pension, there are going to be no jobs, no houses for me and my friends to buy, we are going to rent for the rest of our lives. And now I’m not a European.”

285

novakant 06.26.16 at 11:47 am

also, what magistra said

(and comparing Switzerland to the UK is just retarded)

286

Ronan(rf) 06.26.16 at 11:52 am

In fairness, very few young people actually voted, and those who did were more likely to be college educated, so it’s not entirely representative of the young population

287

J-D 06.26.16 at 12:25 pm

engels 06.26.16 at 11:18 am

I would like to know whether there is any possibility — likelihood is a separate question (and interesting!) — that Parliament could decide not to follow through with the indicated action

A good possibility

The article linked to takes the same view I took in an earlier comment: possible but not likely.

288

rwschnetler 06.26.16 at 12:38 pm

Please fasten your seatbelts, it is going to be bumpy ride:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36632956

289

novakant 06.26.16 at 12:53 pm

I hate the Blairites as much as the next guy and think that Corbyn has some valid points regarding EU reform. But as a politician he has failed miserably: you need someone like Brown to inject some passion and get out the vote – Corbyn’s appeared like some racist father in law who has no choice but to make nice with the new non-white family member. Or someone praising the pleasures of a root canal or a rectal endoscopy.

290

engels 06.26.16 at 1:00 pm

possible but not likely

Ah—okay, so it’s in the same category as Corbyn becoming Labour leader or ‘Leave’ winning the referendum then…

291

Faustusnotes 06.26.16 at 3:26 pm

The guardian’s round up of racist incidents after the vote: http://gu.com/p/4myj3?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other.

But no, brexit wasn’t about immigration or racism…

292

Hidari 06.26.16 at 4:21 pm

‘But as a politician he has failed miserably: you need someone like Brown to inject some passion and get out the vote’.

Yeah Corbyn really doesn’t have that frozen rictus grin thing down well at all does he?
Nor has he gone out of his way to insult ordinary members of the public.
Nor has he humiliatingly lost a general election he could easily have won.

Or did you mean ‘get out the vote for the other side’?

293

Rich Puchalsky 06.26.16 at 4:29 pm

I think that it’s quite likely that people are going to vote over and over until they get the result that elites want, then the votes will stop. The main question is which elites get to be more in control of this process.

The neoliberal / international elite would rather that the UK stay in the EU. The conservative / nationalist local elite would have Brexit. The left position appears to be that as usual neoliberalism is the lesser evil.

294

Layman 06.26.16 at 4:42 pm

“The neoliberal / international elite would rather that the UK stay in the EU. The conservative / nationalist local elite would have Brexit.”

If elites are on both sides of the issue, doesn’t that make elites more or less irrelevant to the issue? What’s the third choice, other than ‘don’t vote, that will show them!’?

295

Ronan(rf) 06.26.16 at 5:00 pm

“If elites are on both sides of the issue, doesn’t that make elites more or less irrelevant to the issue? What’s the third choice, other than ‘don’t vote, that will show them!’?”

Yes, and it’s looking like the eu “neo liberal” elite aren’t overly concerned about what the UK decides to do next. The UK “nationalist elite” are in a lot if ways more neo liberal (if neo liberal means commited to cutting taxes, public funding, Labour protections etc) than the European/domestic pro eu/internationalist elite. So I don’t really see how far any of this goes.
Also, the demands for a ‘re run of the ref are coming from things like mass public petitions, so again, how much does a simple tale of elites at war tell us.

296

JeffreyG 06.26.16 at 5:21 pm

relevant
(Mark Blyth)

297

Rich Puchalsky 06.26.16 at 5:48 pm

Ronan(rf): “how much does a simple tale of elites at war tell us.”

It’s not simple, necessarily, but this is a non-binding referendum with a whole lot of different ways to either push it through, ignore it, or throw up additional hoops through which the process has to pass. Elites are in control of this process, more or less. So they choose whether and how the vote translates into actual change.

As for the question of who is more neoliberal if neoliberalism means cutting everything, that’s Bruce Wilder left neoliberalism vs right neoliberalism territory. I prefer to talk about neoliberalism vs conservatism. However you like to phrase it, both “sides” have the same basic economics: neoliberals serve it up with internationalism, conservatives serve it up with xenophobia. The internationalism vs xenophobia part does make a difference and I’m not suggesting that both sides are basically the same.

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novakant 06.26.16 at 5:49 pm

I admire your faith in the masses, Rich – I have none left.

299

novakant 06.26.16 at 5:59 pm

Hidari: I was referring to Brown’s performance while promoting Remain, which was convincing – you got the feeling he actually meant it – as opposed to Corbyn, who was at best more like “yeah, whatever”, which is not really good enough in the face of such a historical decision that will define our world for decades to come.

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Lee A. Arnold 06.26.16 at 6:25 pm

JeffreyG #216, Blyth is brilliant and absolutely correct. The elites are becoming increasingly irrelevant and they aren’t going to be able to hold on, if they don’t wise up fast.

I would add that the basic problem everywhere is that people think that money has to clear across the ENTIRE economic system, i.e. that all credits and debits have to cancel out.

It is next to impossible to find anyone who understands that this is not true. It appears that even Karl Marx believed it.

Yet this is a belief about the entire economic system that almost no one thought to entertain in, say, Wat Tyler’s time. Probably not until the 16th or 17th century. Prior to that, credits and debits had to cancel only for the individual merchants themselves, to see how much gold you could abscond with, or to find new investors you could entice.

And up to the present day, across the whole system, it has never actually worked — i.e. money has never actually cleared across the whole system. But the false belief that it ought to be accountable in this way, gives the logic, or psychologic, to make our immediate, local, everyday trades possible.

And this has caused it to become intimately related to our notions of self worth, working for a living, etc. etc.

So people have become terribly confused about austerity, public debt, and the nature of banking.

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bruce wilder 06.26.16 at 6:35 pm

JeffreyG @ 316 [Mark Blyth Athens interview on YouTube]

Mark Blyth has a real gift for narrating economics. It may be interesting to notice what he’s doing: he’s anchoring everything he says in well-grounded analysis of actual economic mechanisms. The true meaning of policy, for him, is attached to a functional analysis of the economy and its institutional mechanisms.

Even while conceding that some important political figures may believe in austerity with sincere faith, he says European austerity is the by-product of the policy of bank rescue and the unwillingness of anyone to own the policy of bank rescue.

They ask him about Brexit. He doesn’t talk about immigration. He talks about Brexit as an opening to break the Euro.

They ask him about Greece and SYRIZA and he tells his Greek interviewers, Greece needs a business model, needs to do something about the Greek culture’s contempt and distrust for the state. Which is actually kind of useful information.

I don’t know how much anyone listening to Blyth, who talks a rapid pace, could hear and retain.

Cramming as much as he does into his talk, he leaves things out. I would have referenced the looting operation underway: the beauty of neoliberalism is that other people will show up with a business model for Greece and they have. What is the implication of selling the Port or selling electric utilities or selling the beaches? But, of course, he cannot cover every thing in a short, extemporaneous discussion with people ill-prepared to ask the right questions or to work with his rapid-fire answers.

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Daragh 06.26.16 at 6:44 pm

Ken_L @291 – Careful what you wish for. That proper job is likely to be somewhere in Whitehall…

303

bruce wilder 06.26.16 at 6:46 pm

Lee A. Arnold @ 321: the basic problem everywhere is that people think that money has to clear across the ENTIRE economic system, i.e. that all credits and debits have to cancel out.

I am not sure exactly what you mean by “have to cancel out”. It is widely understood that financial intermediaries have to have a capital cushion, that Central Banks have to backstop the financial system with Lender-0f-Last-Resort functions.

Upon initiation, debits and credits balance because they are matched entries in a double-entry accounting system. But, they are initiated with expectations that are certain to be disappointed, so it is understood that adjustments will be made and risks borne. The distribution of those contingent risks are motivating, and the resolution is governance.

Am I missing something, or just getting ahead of you?

304

infovore 06.26.16 at 7:14 pm

Ze K @320:

I prefer globalism vs communitarianism. In these times communitarianism is the only alternative, the only force capable of slowing down the juggernaut of globalization. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

Extremely bumpy, once you recall that the civil war in the former Yugoslavia was fought along communitarian lines.

305

Rich Puchalsky 06.26.16 at 7:16 pm

I agree with almost everything in the Mark Blyth video. It’s kind of amusing how every so often someone here will accuse me of just making up things ad hoc when these ideas are in common currency.

The part that I didn’t agree with was “Greece needs a business plan.” Countries don’t have business plans: cultures don’t have business plans. He brings up Israel as a counterexample and talks about how they created tech centers, but they were able to do that because (among other reasons) they had social solidarity, and they had that because their neighbors hate them and they have a religious/cultural reason for existing.

But I think that the business plan language is just a relic of economic thinking. I tend to think more in terms of social movements, so I say something pretty much equivalent when I write that people need a theory. What’s the basic idea that people are going to come together around? I think that Greek history makes coming together around their state an almost impossible thing, and that’s a big contributor to why Syria’s bid failed.

306

Rich Puchalsky 06.26.16 at 7:20 pm

“to why Syria’s bid failed.”

*SYRIZA*, not Syria.

307

bruce wilder 06.26.16 at 8:05 pm

RP @ 317: I prefer to talk about neoliberalism vs conservatism.

Aren’t there different flavors of conservatism involved?

My right neoliberalism v left neoliberalism has always been based on the emergence of a narrow discourse anchored on the right by right-libertarian conservatives exemplified by Milton Friedman and his Chicago school heirs, not conservatism in its full breadth.

A second point is that “neoliberalism” is a kind of “fake” ideology, deliberately synthesized as a cover story. I am not sure anyone is a neoliberal, who isn’t paid to model neoliberalism in the political media. Milton Friedman et alia created a narrative that apologized for a policy agenda of reactionary, often authoritarian desiderata while denying any authoritarian intent — not just denying it, but adopting a rhetoric of freedom and choice. Charles Peters et alia did much the same, claiming the aegis of progressive intent and values for reactionary policy. Then, what became right and left neoliberalism figured out that they could legitimate each others’ views, policy projects and status, by arguing with each other almost exclusively. Their treatment of their respective flanks was not symmetrical: the left neoliberals had to hippy-punch to keep their street cred, while the right-neoliberals had to patronize, quiet and condescend to goldbugs, isolationists, christian dominionists and other crazies in their right milieu.

In British politics, a more organic right and left have broken the surface, and the neoliberals will work their magic to make those disappear. Corbyn isn’t a leader, because he was not a sufficiently fanatical advocate for the EU, you see. On the left, neoliberals will demand that Labour go all in for Remain, which looks to me to be electoral suicide on its surface, but it is critical for neoliberalism to insist otherwise.

I don’t know that I am sympathetic enough with Tories to understand Tory politics, though I understand that UKIP has been eroding the Labour base in a strategically important way, even as it has set up a fracture among the Tory elite about how to assemble an electoral coalition. Like many conservative parties, the elite leadership tends to be people oriented to social and economic dominance and much of the voting followership, the easily demagogued. Racism and resentment are tools of the trade that logically and historically precede any neoliberal ideology. Neoliberalism simply doesn’t present an effective tool to those who would practice certain forms of demagoguery, even though it works fine for the more cosmopolitan and prosperous Tory constituencies among the professional classes, where racism is a mere condiment.

308

infovore 06.26.16 at 8:08 pm

Ze K @328

Communities define themselves by setting their own boundaries. In the case of the former Yugoslavia many people who should have been included as part of the communities ended up being excluded on ethno-religious lines. You may argue that these people weren’t true Scots-mencommunitarians, but my point of view of is a bit more jaundiced.

309

bruce wilder 06.26.16 at 8:16 pm

J-D @ 215 was talking from admitted ignorance about there being “a much laxer legal regime re migration in Europe in the 19th century”. But, the legacy of Empire was written into the landscape in the former Yugoslavia.

310

Rich Puchalsky 06.26.16 at 8:26 pm

BW: “My right neoliberalism v left neoliberalism has always been based on the emergence of a narrow discourse anchored on the right by right-libertarian conservatives exemplified by Milton Friedman and his Chicago school heirs, not conservatism in its full breadth.”

I think that only makes sense in a U.S. context, or at most in an Anglosphere one. If you think of neoliberalism as a world system most of the world couldn’t care less about this discourse. Then neoliberalism creates its opposite as local conservative elites who want to loot their countries themselves, not as part of a wider looting spree.

311

Lee A. Arnold 06.26.16 at 8:29 pm

Bruce Wilder #324: “It is widely understood… that Central Banks have to backstop the financial system with Lender-of-Last-Resort functions.”

I doubt that it is widely understood. Otherwise most people wouldn’t fear money printing, and they would also understand that government debt, which is the same process on the fiscal side, is not a danger at all. And indeed most people would also understand that these functions can be combined, i.e. that the monetary authority can hold the fiscal debt until maturity, and then throw it into the trash (which is more or less what is quietly being done at the present).

312

bruce wilder 06.26.16 at 9:00 pm

RP: . . . neoliberalism as a world system . . . creates its opposite as local conservative elites who want to loot their countries themselves, not as part of a wider looting spree.

I get that that is the uncomfortable position of a Gaddafi or Assad, who find out too late that the neoliberal world system has been strip-mining the locals. Then the locals revolt. But, of course they revolt against their home-grown kleptocrats.

But Britain is a first world country, host to the neo-liberal co-capitol of the planet earth.

For Greece or Ukraine or Thailand, actual neoliberals are visitors and carpet-baggers, not natives and if the local kleptocrats take shares in the neoliberal world system, they buy a condo in London, no?

The job of “conservatives” in British politics is to channel rage and resentment about the impositions entailed by neoliberalism away from neoliberalism per se. In service to the neoliberal project.

Do you see any British conservatives who actually oppose the neoliberal world system?

London is an industry town and the neoliberal world system is the industry. The cosmo remain and reform types, who have been ever so concerned about Greece and Spain (especially Spain, where the mother-in-law is renting her place – ¡tg for low rents!) will dispose of Corbyn.

313

Stephen 06.26.16 at 9:25 pm

Faustusnotes@299: “that godawful van driving around telling migrants to go home”
Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t that addressed to illegal immigrants? Bit of a difference, if so.

“the official policy platform of the ruling party to cut net migration to zero.” I missed that. Who said it, and when?

“a pro-eu candidate was murdered for being a traitor.” By a Scotsman with very serious mental health problems. Does that make a difference?

314

bruce wilder 06.26.16 at 9:36 pm

Lee A Arnold @ 333

I am not sure you can understand money and monetary systems in the negative. “I don’t fear money printing” regardless of circumstances isn’t sensible. I don’t doubt you know that, but I do not hear you say it or draw appropriate conclusions.

One major risk on the fiscal side is that the gov’t will not be able to collect taxes on economic rents. I admit I seldom see anyone put that truth plainly. Blyth references Greece’s notorious tax collection problem — it is real enough.

The value of a fiat money and the integrity of the payments system must be managed. As Blyth puts it in that video, the Euro, under its serious policy and institutional handicaps, poses a risk of deflation.

I think the Euro system also does not do a good job of providing a foundation of zero-risk debt suitable for private hedging or of managing capital flows.

Other fiat money’s have carried inflation risks.

Both the U.S. and Europe have made the same mistake Japan made, not finding ways to let toxic debt go away. This, too, is an essential feature of a monetary system: bankruptcy and resolution mechanisms. Maybe that is what you meant by your reference to ” have to cancel out” ???

315

Sandwichman 06.26.16 at 9:42 pm

Relax, everybody.

Word has it they have just discovered a vault in California containing ten million uncounted provisional ballots for the EU referendum. If they’re mostly from Scotland and London, that ought to be enough to turn the tide.

316

J-D 06.26.16 at 10:27 pm

engels 06.26.16 at 1:00 pm

possible but not likely

Ah—okay, so it’s in the same category as Corbyn becoming Labour leader or ‘Leave’ winning the referendum then…

Well, they’re not in the same category from my perspective: perhaps you estimated those outcomes (in advance) as unlikely, but I never did, whereas I do estimate a failure to implement the referendum result as unlikely. I was not surprised by Corbyn’s election as Labour leader; I was not surprised by ‘Leave’ winning the referendum; I will be considerably surprised if the referendum result is not implemented.

I acknowledge fully that there is no reason why you should pay any regard to my estimations of likelihood; I was giving a response to a question somebody else asked.

317

Layman 06.26.16 at 10:40 pm

Rich P: “It’s not simple, necessarily, but this is a non-binding referendum with a whole lot of different ways to either push it through, ignore it, or throw up additional hoops through which the process has to pass. Elites are in control of this process, more or less. So they choose whether and how the vote translates into actual change.”

Again, if elites are on both sides of this issue, then ‘elites are in control of this process’ isn’t helpful analysis. Who is the ‘they’ that chooses, the Tory elites who want Brexit, or the Tory elites who wanted the issue but not the actuality, or the Tory elites who never wanted it at all? Those are all different elites, who want different things, and none off them are in control.

318

Ronan(rf) 06.26.16 at 10:48 pm

Jeffreyg, thanks. That interview was great.

319

Lee A. Arnold 06.27.16 at 12:27 am

Bruce Wilder #336 “‘I don’t fear money printing’ regardless of circumstances isn’t sensible.”

We have plenty of theory and evidence that money printing is only dangerous in certain circumstances. But it hardly matters. Most people don’t believe it is ever benign, simply because of the psychological necessity of believing that money is hard, when you go to the store and buy something. This is the real reason that “the value of a fiat money and the integrity of the payments system must be managed”, as you wrote. The system could work in other ways but it would just need a different individual psychology. Which may well happen — I don’t think that our present psychology is an eternal manifestation nor that human nature is unchanging. One big reason I’m not a political conservative.

320

J-D 06.27.16 at 12:55 am

bruce wilder 06.26.16 at 8:16 pm

J-D @ 215 was talking from admitted ignorance about there being “a much laxer legal regime re migration in Europe in the 19th century”. But, the legacy of Empire was written into the landscape in the former Yugoslavia.

I made no admission of ignorance; I quoted another commenter’s admission of ignorance. In response to that, I quoted information which I thought might be relevant available from a source which I identified. I am at a loss to understand how your last sentence is supposed to be connected with any of the foregoing.

321

bruce wilder 06.27.16 at 1:54 am

J-D I made no admission of ignorance

Yes, I see I should have attributed the remarks to Colin Danby. My bad.

Much of Europe and its periphery was in the 19th century and before dominated by multi-ethnic Empires and small, mostly dependent principalities, and not nation-states. Migration within Europe was controlled for the purposes of these Empires, with tragic consequences in the 20th century. From some European places, overpopulation, poverty and the threat of war, revolution and famine drove out-migration to other continents at various times and at various, sometimes staggering rates.

The arcana of the modern passport and 20th century border control, however interesting as trivia, was almost entirely irrelevant to these 19th century and earlier patterns and practices. The details of Canada’s early practice as a dominion of a European Empire on its single border with its single neighbor on a different continent, however, were fascinating.

322

J-D 06.27.16 at 2:08 am

@bruce wilder

The way I understood the information I quoted from Passports Canada was as follows:

there was a period, starting in the time of Louis XIV, when controls on movement within Europe became progressively tighter;

then there was a period, starting after the middle of the nineteenth century, when they became progressively laxer (primarily as a result of the expansion of rail travel);

the relaxation came to an end fairly abruptly with the First World War, which produced a return to tight controls.

This seems to me to confirm Colin Danby’s impression that there was a period — just a little outside living memory — when controls were a lot looser.

As I understand it, the point you are trying to make is that there was a greater impact from the imperial period before that (when controls were tighter) on tragic events in Europe in the twentieth century, so pointing to the period of looser controls, although technically accurate, could be misleading. Is that about right?

323

RNB 06.27.16 at 2:36 am

324

bruce wilder 06.27.16 at 5:52 am

J-D As I understand it, the point you are trying to make is that there was a greater impact from the imperial period before that (when controls were tighter) on tragic events in Europe in the twentieth century, so pointing to the period of looser controls, although technically accurate, could be misleading. Is that about right?

No. Not even close.

So stupid and ignorant of facts that I give up entirely.

325

J-D 06.27.16 at 6:51 am

Ah. Abuse.

326

Stephen 06.27.16 at 6:48 pm

Jim Buck@264: you believe that Ranters and Levellers found confirmation of their political epiphanies in the King James Bible. I know a little about C17 politico-religious beliefs, and find your interpretation entirely original. Could you expound, please?

327

roger nowosielski 06.27.16 at 10:43 pm

Rich Puchalsky 06.26.16 at 7:16 pm #326

Rich,
I find your commentary very astute:

(a) Countries/cultures don’t have business plans
(b)This kind of language is just a relic of economic thinking (i.e., compartmentalized thinking)
(c) I’d like to think more in terms of social movements – we need a (social/geopolitical) theory.

I’d like to offer a twist to the discussion thus far. There has been a lot of talk here about “competing elites,” each with its own agenda, antagonists and protagonists, etc. I don’t find this turn of discussion particularly fruitful, in that most of the differences between political parties/elites/etc is just convenient fiction, and the aim is to distract.

What I do find, however, of immense significance is the growing disparity/separation of elites from the working class, if only because in the post-industrial economies, the very concept of working class is quickly becoming obsolete. In the US, this separation had become more and more pronounced and evident with the Clinton presidency, whereby the democratic party had become more and more identified with and geared to represent the interests of the young professional class – e.g. the Wall Street crowd. Now, that’s a major structural change.

In the UK, I suggest this kind of break was more difficult to administer, mostly because of the traditional role played by the Labor Party in the UK politics. But make no mistake about it — the UK Labor party is becoming more and more irrelevant.

Any thoughts?

328

Anarcissie 06.29.16 at 12:16 am

roger nowosielski 06.27.16 at 10:43 pm @ 350 —
This might be relevant to your concerns: Ultimatum game (Wikipedia). It helps explain the apparent nihilism of Leave and Trump voting. Since similar behaviors are found among non-human primates, I take it the genetic source of the behavior is deep and probably cannot be eradicated by calling people bad names and other strategems on exhibit here.

329

bob mcmanus 06.29.16 at 12:36 am

whereby the democratic party had become more and more identified with and geared to represent the interests of the young professional class

Lawyers, doctors, basically advanced degrees…Thomas Frank’s Listen Liberal is popular right now

if only because in the post-industrial economies, the very concept of working class is quickly becoming obsolete. working class, hell, the concept of work is becoming obsolete

I findMacKenzie Wark’s blog useful for keeping in touch with some bleeding edge thought. Linked article is an extended review of Angela McRobbie’s new book Be Creative. Names linked within include Richard Sennett, Bifo Berardi, Mazzeratto, Chiappelo and Boltanski, Ranciere, Paul Willis, Raymond Williams

“There she finds enthusiastic career girls, performing elaborate body rituals that are coded by a kind of post-feminist masquerade. They perform so-called immaterial labor and emotional labor, or what McRobbie calls “passionate work.” (89) They don’t entirely disavow class or ethnicity or community. They just see a narrow path to a more passionate life that involves some compromises. Normative femininity is a way to cover over traditional working class traits that may be disabling in the workplace. Feminism opened up a path of opportunity but one now reclaimed by a more traditional-seeming code of femininity.

Compared it to Italian workerist thinkers, where a rather masculinist approach to politics remained standard, McRobbie’s cultural studies approach opens up some interesting questions were labor and gender combine. By contrast to the ‘Bologna school’, the Birmingham school moved from the factory floor to everyday life and uncoupled different kinds of struggle. McRobbie: “without a concept of ‘culture,’ the idea of ‘the street’ can only connote a weaker space which is not the shop-floor and hence not primarily an expected location for class politics. In this thinking the idea of the factory floor still takes precedence even when the workforce is in flight from it.” (95) Where the workerists spoke of the social factory; cultural studies might speak of the social kitchen. A change of metaphor here might alter how we think of what became of both labor and culture in the era of the so-called creative industries.

The workerists still treat the classic class antagonism of capital and labor as central, whereas the culturalists treated the political and cultural levels of the social formation as equally substantive.”

330

Rich Puchalsky 06.29.16 at 1:15 am

roger nowosielski: “In the US, this separation had become more and more pronounced and evident with the Clinton presidency, whereby the democratic party had become more and more identified with and geared to represent the interests of the young professional class – e.g. the Wall Street crowd.”

I don’t think characterizing it as “the Wall Street crowd” really works. It’s also the same class as the Occupy Wall Street crowd. In the U.S., as I’ve written on one of these threads elsewhere here, the Democratic Party is a functioning coalition in opposition to the GOP because it’s not just young professionals, it’s essentially all nonwhite people whether professional, unemployed / uneducated / poor, or anything in between. That makes it work in a way that I don’t see Labor-as-young professionals working in Britain.

In terms of larger questions of what happens now that people “on the left” are losing touch with the working class, I think (as I’ve written often here) that the problem more or less goes back to the labor theory of value. Without getting into metaphysical questions of whether labor inherently has value or not, it appears to be true that labor isn’t a limiting factor of production and doesn’t really have any leverage — worldwide and locally, there’s a whole lot more potential labor available then there is necessary work to do. The limiting factor of production is basically ecological. A culture is, among other things, a group of people’s way of living within an ecological limit or of overflowing that limit until something happens.

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roger nowosielski 06.29.16 at 5:53 am

Anarcissie, bob mcmanus, Richard Puchalsky:

See a June 22 clip from Democracy Now! interviewing Thomas Frank re: his latest Listen, Liberal book, as per #352. (The initial segment of the clip provides the requisite context.)

Notice the new kind of vocabulary that’s being employed by political and social theorists both in the US and on the Continent to characterize the nature of “work” by the young urban professionals.

Richard: the “Wall Street crowd” I spoke of earlier doesn’t pre-empty the class of people I had in mind, as the second link in bob mcmanus’s comment makes it abundantly clear.

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roger nowosielski 06.29.16 at 6:30 am

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Jim Buck 06.29.16 at 7:48 am

Jim Buck@264: you believe that Ranters and Levellers found confirmation of their political epiphanies in the King James Bible. I know a little about C17 politico-religious beliefs, and find your interpretation entirely original. Could you expound, please?

You would best read this cheap wonderful book:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/English-Bible-Seventeenth-century-Revolution-17th-century-England/dp/0140159908

The neo-Levellers I meet on Facebook but also in the meat, are concerned now with the apocalyptic levelling of opinion e.g ” So you read a lot of books at Uni? But did you read David Icke? No? There you go! You’ve got a closed mind! Case closed.”

Hobbes of course addressed a similar situation when writing Leviathan.

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Rich Puchalsky 06.29.16 at 11:04 am

I’m just not impressed by what I’ve read of Thomas Frank, and thought What’s the Matter With Kansas just asked the wrong questions and gave the wrong answers (I haven’t read Listen Liberal, but I’m not really planning to.) Here’s a quote from the linked interview:

“But, in fact, the Democratic abandonment of the working class really does begin in the Vietnam era, and a lot of it happened for reasons that are very understandable and even admirable. You know, the Democratic Party wanted to sort of reconstitute itself in the early 1970s and move away from organized labor and remove organized labor from its structural position in the Democratic Party because of all the fights over the Vietnam War. You remember that a lot of organized labor was—had really supported President Johnson in those days, and the Democratic Party wanted to change itself. And, you know, to make a very long and winding story short, they made their decision to shift their allegiance to the professional-managerial class, and it turned out to be really good for them from a financial point of view, because we’re talking about very affluent people here.”

As far as I can tell, this is vaguely consistent with actuality but such a bad interpretation that it’s basically false. What else did Johnson support? Civil rights. The realignment was about racism, not about unions supporting the Vietnam War, and not about Democratic pols thinking “wow professionals are affluent”.

Politicians in the U.S. need votes and money, but mainly they need money to get votes so it’s pretty much a reasonable simplification to say that they need votes. And they don’t really get to pick and choose. When Johnson decided that he had to support civil rights he said that the Democratic Party had lost the South for a generation, and the only thing he was wrong about was saying it was only one generation. If the party picked up professionals in the process they were surely happy about it, but I don’t think it was part of a plan.

So, yes, the Democratic Party is not really connected to the working class in the U.S., but mostly because I don’t think that there really is a working class in the U.S. The Democratic Party is dominated by left neoliberals who rely on lesser evilism, but those are not the values of their base, just as the GOP was until recently dominated by right neoliberals who used racism and xenophobic appeals instrumentally because they need votes, not because they themselves really care about them.

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Anarcissie 06.29.16 at 1:33 pm

@357 –There is a category of people who have to trade their labor or their labor power or their time for money, in order to make a living. What do you want to call them?

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Rich Puchalsky 06.29.16 at 1:46 pm

“What do you want to call them?”

“Suckers”

More seriously, once you accept that labor doesn’t produce value — unless you include the “labor” of plants, animals etc. in a limited sense — then there’s no particular reason why there has to be a working class that thinks of itself as a working class, no reason for “class consciousness”. You can think that it would be good if people had it, but it’s the same sense in which you might think that it would be good if people had Christian consciousness. And they don’t have it.

And even more seriously, working class consciousness is harmful. The first thing that someone does when they think of themselves as a worker is to think “Those damned slackers should get a job.” There is no solidarity with the unemployed or the poor or the reserve army because of class consciousness and because the people not working so clearly don’t really need to work and work would have to be invented for them. Basically every worker is now a scab competing with the out-of-work for the limited pool of actual jobs and real working-class consciousness would have to do away with itself.

Getting far afield here, but I think that what people may finally settle on is the same kind of thing that in the end justifies most of the “natural” world. Existence value.

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roger nowosielski 06.29.16 at 10:16 pm

@357

Rich,

Granted, Frank’s a/c is rather simplistic, and I’m in agreement with most of what you say. But we’ve got to make a distinction here between the Democratic party’s rhetoric — in that it purports to stand for social/racial justice and, what goes along with it, the kind of electorate that’s bound to support it (namely, African-Americans, racial [no longer] minorities, etc.) and its affinity with the young, urban, professional class. (Indeed, even “the Occupiers” were more a part of that class than traditional labor.)

And I don’t necessarily see it as an internal contradiction here that the young urban professional elites would adopt all the slogans which call for racial equality/social justice, indeed, even income equality, as part of their social agenda (if only to make itself feel good) while abstaining from incorporating those very ideas into their own practice. I’d like to think that Frank was speaking more to the affinities of the democratic elites and less to the kind of electorate the party must keep on securing in order to ensure its political viability.

Furthermore, it’s much easier (for the privileged and educated white man, that is) to sympathize with the African-Americans and other “minorities” than with “white trash,” whether from North or South, especially since, as we both agree, the good ole’ working class, along with its trade unions, is a thing of the past.

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roger nowosielski 06.30.16 at 2:53 am

@351

Anarcissie,

You speak of nihilism behind Leave’s and Trump’s voting, and connect it with some sense of honor and desire for justice, as per the game.

Can you connect that sense of justice with what looks like an apparent “white supremacist” mindset on the part of those folks with respect to anything or anyone who is unlike them?

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bruce wilder 06.30.16 at 3:01 am

an apparent “white supremacist” mindset

And, you aren’t even a little suspicious of this of manichean name-calling?

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Anarcissie 06.30.16 at 3:32 am

@361 & @362 —
Surely the fact that human beings are inconsistent and illogical cannot come as a surprise to you. For example (at least in my experience) racists often express a keen sense of justice, which they think is violated when inferior races get the goodies which the superior races deserve. Or, people may feel that there is no justice available in any case, and therefore they must adhere to the tribe for mere survival. Both of these thoughts may simultaneously manifest themselves in the same individual.

I imagine the job of the Left was to lay out a species of justice which applied to everyone and with which everyone could live, and a program to approach it. But the Left has been effectively silenced.

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roger nowosielski 06.30.16 at 3:39 am

Which is why I had put it in scare quotes . . .

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roger nowosielski 06.30.16 at 3:55 am

@363

I made pretty much the same point to you a few years back, and didn’t get much of a response then. Apparently, now it’s the time.

Look at The Murder of Mary Phagan, a tv miniseries:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Murder_of_Mary_Phagan

Last time I looked, it was available on Hulu.

Without getting too much into the detail, it makes”good” on the( impoverished) Southern kind of justice.

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J-D 06.30.16 at 3:56 am

bruce wilder 06.30.16 at 3:01 am

an apparent “white supremacist” mindset

And, you aren’t even a little suspicious of this of manichean name-calling?

It’s not clear to me what the objection would be to referring to white supremacists as white supremacists.

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b9n10nt 06.30.16 at 5:53 am

Part 1:  

Summary of premis:  Group identities are only as real as their adherents’ belief in them and their ability to get shit done (“perform”).   See part 2 for further expounding!

Claims: 

-Capitalism and its high-status individualists* has mostly destroyed the working class as a group identity.  

-In Euro-America, we are seeing a period of ascendency of ethno-racial nativism (an identity inspired by pre-historical concepts of identity) in the absence religious or class identities.  If these nativist groups perform, they will very likely become grossly coercive because racial oppression will be the easiest way to keep the group identity alive (performative) in the face of capitalist individualism.    Yes, it is too soon to call white identity politics “supremacist”, but it’s not too soon to anticipate it.

-The route toward an “existence value” consciousness is in individuals engaging in reflective or devotional practices that train the psyche away from group identities.   You are that you are and what is isn’t personal….that’s freedom.   But anything short of that and the psyche will believe in and perpetuate us/them, spectacle, and high/low status.   

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b9n10nt 06.30.16 at 5:55 am

Part 2:

Premise:  people wish to forge a group identity that softens and harmonizes psychic tendencies.   Group identities allow a predictable, easy route to identifying friend vs. enemy:  we know how to act out our fear and aggression.   Group identities distract from exisistential anxiety:  we know where to place our attention (spectacle).  Group identities distract from status anxiety:  we know our place among others.   Group identities give our inner animal a chew toy to let the higher-order thinking/experiencing happen.

Now for the identity to work, the group has to be convincingly real:  it has to perform some observable act.    This is ready-made for traditional geographically-based groupings:  you can see the group create the social reality before your eyes:  material coordination, exclusion, expansion/contraction.    If it’s going to be abstract -if the group can exlude your neighbor and include a stranger, etc…- (nation, race, class) then it’s members demand that it perform convincingly for its members or it doesn’t work, psychologically.   Then the identity disintegrates from the minds of its adherents and concurrently from the historical effects that can identify it.   Groups aren’t real beyond the beliefs of the group members.

Modern post-traditional societies are defined by their disintegration of traditional group identities and leave, in their wake, contingent identities that appear and disintegrate before the exploits of capitalist accumulation.   Thus far, individualism appears to be the most stable, most “natural” group identity among modern peoples.  

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bob mcmanus 06.30.16 at 6:12 am

Here ya go, Rich. From current light reading, DP Martinez The Worlds of Japanese Culture 1999

For a structuralist or postmodernist anthropologist there is perhaps no conflict in these two main anthropological meanings of the term: the materials produced by a society are also capable of having symbolic value, and thus the anthropologist’s job is to explore the relationships between material culture and symbolic culture. It is the interaction between these apparently separate aspects of society that must constitute the focus of an anthropological study of popular culture.

This is why I can use “Marx” as a search term to find what I want, and why I have trouble talking to people who think racism or sexism (or the state) is “just there”

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Rich Puchalsky 06.30.16 at 11:22 am

b9n10nt’s two comments are good, but:

“Now for the identity to work, the group has to be convincingly real: it has to perform some observable act. “

is not quite complete. Sometimes the only act that the group really performs is opposition to some other group. Then the “observable” part can be self-created after the creation of the group, not before. Since social facts are real, this reality can be quite convincing.

Look at the work that “young internationalists” does in this context. All of a sudden you get people here writing stuff about how old people should die and how they wish they could keep old people from voting on things that don’t affect them (!) and so on. Are these people “young supremacists”? No, but…

348

J-D 06.30.16 at 11:31 am

Rich Puchalsky 06.30.16 at 11:22 am
b9n10nt’s two comments are good, but:

“Now for the identity to work, the group has to be convincingly real: it has to perform some observable act. “

is not quite complete. Sometimes the only act that the group really performs is opposition to some other group. Then the “observable” part can be self-created after the creation of the group, not before. Since social facts are real, this reality can be quite convincing.

Look at the work that “young internationalists” does in this context. All of a sudden you get people here writing stuff about how old people should die and how they wish they could keep old people from voting on things that don’t affect them (!) and so on. Are these people “young supremacists”? No, but…

I think ‘youth supremacists’ would be a reasonable way to refer to people like that. Who knows, maybe the expression will catch on.

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Rich Puchalsky 06.30.16 at 12:49 pm

bob mcm: “This is why I can use “Marx” as a search term to find what I want, and why I have trouble talking to people who think racism or sexism (or the state) is “just there””

I’m not sure what this means. I prefer an ecological viewpoint within which material culture and symbolic culture interact (symbolic culture determines what materials are produced, material culture puts limits on symbolic culture, etc.) but I don’t see what Marx has to do with it. I tend to refer to Marx as “19th century” to indicate that well he can’t be blamed if these ideas don’t appear in his work, but really Kropotkin’s _Mutual Aid_ was published in 1902. I don’t see how the Marxian tradition can be separated from the idea that the working class is a special class unlike Christians or Canadians because the working class creates value.

350

Rich Puchalsky 06.30.16 at 1:57 pm

J-D: “I think ‘youth supremacists’ would be a reasonable way to refer to people like that. Who knows, maybe the expression will catch on.”

No, that isn’t what I meant at all. I meant to point out how quickly something that’s basically a poll result (Leave voters are predominantly old, poor, and uneducated, Remain voters are predominantly young, middle-class, and educated, once you take out Scotland) becomes a group division and then immediately starts generating group-division statements. Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery — that’s not “youth supremacy”, and it’s not really an argument (I think two seconds of thought will disprove it, if there is anything there to prove), it’s people instantly and happily seizing on something that makes sense to them and gives definition as b9n10nt describes. But did people perform some “observable act”? They voted, but that was only observable afterwards as a kind of average.

351

kidneystones 06.30.16 at 2:09 pm

What a difference a good speech and a Brexit make, not to mention the never-ending train wreck that is the HRC email debacle.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2016/white_house_watch

Brexit can be a model for the US to declare independence from globalism, terrorist appeasers, and political correctness. Sounds like a winning message to me.

What are the consequences of staging a coronation for a Wall St. neocon insider who happens to wear a dress, rather than a bona fide socialist change agent?

We’re about to find out.

352

Dipper 06.30.16 at 2:27 pm

I know nothing about HRC or the Presidential election, but I would strongly advise supporters of HRC to study the Brexit campaign.

The principal lesson is not to assume you are more knowledgeable, more intelligent, have better morals, or are nicer than your opponents. Do not tell your opponents that they are being lied to, or that they don’t understand.

Do listen, do engage calmly in debates round the issues they raise, do try and understand their concerns.

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kidneystones 06.30.16 at 2:41 pm

@ 376 My general view is that the candidate of Wall St. usually wins – that’s HRC this year. You offer very sound advice and must therefore must be a pathological liar, xenophobe, or worse to use a phrase recently deployed by President Peace Prize. I’m not sure that the Remain could have ever won.

I fully expect Trump to blow past HRC as we approach November on a similar message of ‘Yes, we can make America Great, again.’ Her message today is:”don’t listen to all that bad stuff people have been saying about me for the last 25 years.’

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bruce wilder 06.30.16 at 2:54 pm

RP @ 374 something that’s basically a poll result . . . becomes a group division and then immediately starts generating group-division statements.

I thought it was interesting that the culture of political news media took this very basic choice, which presumably arises from personal identity and worldview relating to group membership (am I British? am I European?), and which motivated unusually high voter turnout, and turned it into a confusing demographic analysis of statistics that exaggerated contrasts.

I would imagine most people were ambivalent, but not apathetic beforehand. But, ambivalent about what, exactly? About whether they were racist? Young? About vacuum cleaner standards? fisheries? Polish plumbers? Poverty? (am I poor? am I ambivalent about poverty?)

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b9n10nt 06.30.16 at 3:01 pm

Dipper

The principal lesson is not to assume you are more knowledgeable, more intelligent, have better morals, or are nicer than your opponents. Do not tell your opponents that they are being lied to, or that they don’t understand.

Ideally, HRC and Dems in general should go in the other direction. Demonstrate authority, conviction, and a relentless attitude of devil-may-care-what-the-median-voter-thinks. The trick is to have fun campaigning and project a security that says “I don’t care if I win; I’m not a weakling craving victory”. This would include explicitly telling Trump voters (ignore Trump himself) that they lack the character to think things through, consider evidence, etc…and that their politics is merely therapeutic. Goad them. “Kick ass.”

I don’t think most dem. pols could do it, but if they every did…that’s a winning strategy. No triangulation, no appeasement.

356

Layman 06.30.16 at 3:06 pm

@375, 377

Could be meaningful, but Rasmussen pretty consistently produces Republican-leaning poll results. That, plus the possibility of any poll being an outlier is why poll aggregation models like fivethirtyeight (or even realclearpolitics) are better places to look.

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/

357

Rich Puchalsky 06.30.16 at 3:07 pm

BW: “turned it into a confusing demographic analysis of statistics that exaggerated contrasts”

People upthread (unless I have the wrong thread) asked why I didn’t think this was the same kind of thing that I refer to when I say that U.S. politics is organized around racism. History, basically. Not only the centuries-long history of slavery and official racial discrimination, but also comparatively recent yet decades-ago political decisions (Johnson and the Civil Rights Act, Nixon and the Southern Strategy). There’s nothing more inherently real about race than anything else, but there’s been a whole lot of time and culture and moneyed interest that’s gone into reinforcing it as a social reality.

358

Dipper 06.30.16 at 3:07 pm

@b9n10nt – I wasn’t suggesting triangulation or appeasement. I was suggesting straight talking and showing an ability to listen, understand genuine concerns, and answer constructively. I have no idea whether that would work in the USA.

kidneystones “I’m not sure that the Remain could have ever won.”. I think they could have done. One basic problem for Remain was that record mass immigration demonstrates that the government were no longer in control of key aspects of the government of the country. They needed to address that head on instead of saying “your side is worse”.

359

b9n10nt 06.30.16 at 3:18 pm

@ Dipper 383

Well, what do I know, but empathic listening (as in therapy) means not having an agenda, and a political candidate does/should have an agenda. What you suggest, as it applies to politicians, seems for fitted for diplomacy or compromise/coalition forming…back room stuff. For campaigning (esp for Prez), show strength.

AFter all, by my reckoning, we hardly have “genuine concerns” in the political realm. It’s all made up.

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bruce wilder 06.30.16 at 3:28 pm

their politics is merely therapeutic

and your politics would be what?

No actual appeal will reach or motivate more than roughly 20% of the electorate and many appeals will motivate almost as many against as for any proposition or candidate. The only winning strategies are conglomerations first of all, and clever tactics aimed at triggering only one half of an ambivalence or group antagonism are especially valued — suppression and apathy can be wielded as successfully as fear, anger and resentment.

The campaigns are engaged in manipulation and the imperatives of social control narrow their means to those that depress cognition. And, the ultimate ends of politics are the uses of power. No serious candidate could ever convince anyone — even the barely sentient –that the candidate really did not want power.

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b9n10nt 06.30.16 at 4:13 pm

and your politics would be what?

Personally? It very well may be self-gratification all the way down.

No serious candidate could ever convince anyone — even the barely sentient –that the candidate really did not want power.

But there are ways on the campaign trail to call attention to one’s craven ambition and ways to mask it, no?

The campaigns are engaged in manipulation and the imperatives of social control narrow their means to those that depress cognition.

Yes.

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J-D 06.30.16 at 10:01 pm

Rich Puchalsky 06.30.16 at 1:57 pm
J-D: “I think ‘youth supremacists’ would be a reasonable way to refer to people like that. Who knows, maybe the expression will catch on.”

No, that isn’t what I meant at all. I meant to point out how quickly something that’s basically a poll result (Leave voters are predominantly old, poor, and uneducated, Remain voters are predominantly young, middle-class, and educated, once you take out Scotland) becomes a group division and then immediately starts generating group-division statements. Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery — that’s not “youth supremacy”, and it’s not really an argument (I think two seconds of thought will disprove it, if there is anything there to prove), it’s people instantly and happily seizing on something that makes sense to them and gives definition as b9n10nt describes. But did people perform some “observable act”? They voted, but that was only observable afterwards as a kind of average.

If there actually are people who adhere to the opinion that ‘Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery’, then ‘youth supremacists’ would be a good name for them.

If you mean ‘There aren’t actually people who adhere to that opinion’, I’m afraid that meaning has not been clearly communicated to me.

363

RNB 06.30.16 at 10:33 pm

364

roger nowosielski 06.30.16 at 11:56 pm

@372/374

Rich,

In addition to completing an earlier attempt at defining the formation of group identities and identity politics, what exactly is your point in the context of (1) trumpism and (2) the Brexit vote.

Is it more or less that in either case, the group identities got solidified by virtue of voting as these individuals had voted? Or perhaps that neither of these groups had a common identity (in their own mind’s eye, of course) prior to the voting, i.e. that only the voting had made each and every one see the light (“Oh, we’re all in this together…”)?

365

Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 12:20 am

J-D: “If there actually are people who adhere to the opinion that ‘Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery’, then ‘youth supremacists’ would be a good name for them.”

Why?

Let’s say that the pollsters had announced that people with freckles had disproportionately voted Leave. Next day we’d see a lot of denunciations. Those damned frecks, why can’t they buy some skin cream? People with skin spots shouldn’t get to vote on issues that affect the rest of us. Etc. (“Freck” concept a British satire: Pat Mills, _Nemesis the Warlock_). Is this the discovery of hitherto hidden clear-skin supremacy? People suddenly discovering that they had common anti-freck interests?

The difference between the British and American situations is that I suspect that “damned old people” will soon be forgotten as a trope, while a similar thing in the American context has been going on for centuries.

Note that it really is sort of possible for different generations to have different interests. But it’s a lot more rare than people think: people in a society are so closely bound together that it’s difficult to really separate interests by age. What’s much more common is that different generations have different general formative experiences and therefore different ways of looking at events. That’s what I mean by a generational divide.

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Layman 07.01.16 at 12:49 am

“Next day we’d see a lot of denunciations. Those damned frecks, why can’t they buy some skin cream?”

Would we? Because we all know, the EU delivers no long-term benefit to freckled people, only the clear-skinned ones, right? So they’ve got less incentive to stay, thus vote leave, thus accrue the animosity of the others who are more harmed. Christ, what a stoopid analogy.

367

roger nowosielski 07.01.16 at 12:56 am

#388

Excellent analysis, RNB.

To cite one relevant passage:

“In Nancy Fraser’s terms, New Labour offered ‘redistribution’ but no ‘recognition’.
This cultural contradiction wasn’t sustainable and nor was the geographic one.

“Not only was the ‘spatial fix’ a relatively short-term one, seeing as it depended on rising tax receipts from the South East and a centre left government willing to spread money quite lavishly (albeit, discreetly), it also failed to deliver what many Brexit-voters perhaps crave the most: the dignity of being self-sufficient, not necessarily in a neoliberal sense, but certainly in a communal, familial and fraternal sense.”

And now, on parallelism with the US situation:

“This taps into a much broader cultural and political malaise, that also appears to be driving the rise of Donald Trump in the US. Amongst people who have utterly given up on the future, political movements don’t need to promise any desirable and realistic change. If anything, they are more comforting and trustworthy if predicated on the notion that the future is beyond rescue, for that chimes more closely with people’s private experiences.”

I only wish I could regard the American redneck in similar terms — i.e, as craving for the dignity of being self sufficient . . .

Is it really possible that the defeat of the South had left such scars on many of those who had survived, including future generations?

368

J-D 07.01.16 at 1:08 am

Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 12:20 am

J-D: “If there actually are people who adhere to the opinion that ‘Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery’, then ‘youth supremacists’ would be a good name for them.”

Why?

Let’s say that the pollsters had announced that people with freckles had disproportionately voted Leave. Next day we’d see a lot of denunciations. Those damned frecks, why can’t they buy some skin cream? People with skin spots shouldn’t get to vote on issues that affect the rest of us. Etc. (“Freck” concept a British satire: Pat Mills, _Nemesis the Warlock_). Is this the discovery of hitherto hidden clear-skin supremacy? People suddenly discovering that they had common anti-freck interests?

I did not write ‘If young people disproportionately voted Remain, “youth supremacists” would be a good name for them.’ I wrote — well, you can see what I actually wrote, it’s quoted above.

I can’t help getting the impression that the difference between the two statements is not clear to you, although I would love to be proved wrong about that.

369

merian 07.01.16 at 1:23 am

Rich P., @390

Let’s say that the pollsters had announced that people with freckles had disproportionately voted Leave. Next day we’d see a lot of denunciations. Those damned frecks, why can’t they buy some skin cream? People with skin spots shouldn’t get to vote on issues that affect the rest of us. […] Is this the discovery of hitherto hidden clear-skin supremacy? People suddenly discovering that they had common anti-freck interests?

Well, make them gingers, and you see that yes. As soon as you say “they shouldn’t get to vote”, it’s beyond a limit, IMHO. Also, you aren’t seriously claiming that the concept of inter-generational conflicts has been unknown in Britain up to know, are you?

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Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 1:53 am

J-D: “I can’t help getting the impression that the difference between the two statements is not clear to you, although I would love to be proved wrong about that.”

Your reading comprehension problems really aren’t my problem.

You wrote: “If there actually are people who adhere to the opinion that ‘Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery’, then ‘youth supremacists’ would be a good name for them.”

I wrote that if the Leave vote had been primarily freckled, then the people who actually adhere to the opinion that old people shouldn’t vote would now be actually adhering to the opinion that freckled people shouldn’t vote. If the Leave vote had been primarily left-handed people, then Remain voters would say that left-handed people shouldn’t get to vote. Is this right-handed supremacy?

People can object that this is ridiculous. Is it really any more ridiculous than saying that old people shouldn’t get to vote on things that “don’t affect them”? Old people probably get more economic benefits from the EU than younger people do. Younger people will also get more chances to change their minds and vote a different way. And of course old people get to vote on what’s best for a society that they helped to build just as young people get to vote on a society that they expect to have a long adult life in. It’s all ridiculous, but it’s all predictable. You can create any kind of “supremacy” that you want, if this is all it takes to call something a supremacist belief.

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JeffreyG 07.01.16 at 2:03 am

‘old people shouldn’t get to vote…’

I don’t have time to read the whole thread, but – are people really arguing this?

[if so, it sounds to me like an instance of the typical generational-bashing that the elites deploy the muddy the actual lines of social conflict. we got the same over in the US, but with the ire directed at the youth rather than the old. if anything, this inconsistency btw the US and UK should reveal the underlying logic of the position – it is not about who is more ‘world-wise’ or has ‘skin in the game’ (etc), it is about who votes in a way that is inconvenient to financial capital.]

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Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 2:07 am

“I don’t have time to read the whole thread, but – are people really arguing this?”

No,. Just a lot of “those old, uneducated, and poor people really screwed things up” which sometimes veers into that rhetorically.

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Clay Shirky 07.01.16 at 2:26 am

roger #392: Is it really possible that the defeat of the South had left such scars on many of those who had survived, including future generations?

The White South’s last defeat: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/05/the_white_souths_last_defeat/

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roger nowosielski 07.01.16 at 2:58 am

@398

Thanks for posting this tremendous link. Will comment later.

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J-D 07.01.16 at 3:08 am

Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 1:53 am

J-D: “I can’t help getting the impression that the difference between the two statements is not clear to you, although I would love to be proved wrong about that.”

Your reading comprehension problems really aren’t my problem.

You wrote: “If there actually are people who adhere to the opinion that ‘Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery’, then ‘youth supremacists’ would be a good name for them.”

I wrote that if the Leave vote had been primarily freckled, then the people who actually adhere to the opinion that old people shouldn’t vote would now be actually adhering to the opinion that freckled people shouldn’t vote. If the Leave vote had been primarily left-handed people, then Remain voters would say that left-handed people shouldn’t get to vote. Is this right-handed supremacy?

People can object that this is ridiculous. Is it really any more ridiculous than saying that old people shouldn’t get to vote on things that “don’t affect them”? Old people probably get more economic benefits from the EU than younger people do. Younger people will also get more chances to change their minds and vote a different way. And of course old people get to vote on what’s best for a society that they helped to build just as young people get to vote on a society that they expect to have a long adult life in. It’s all ridiculous, but it’s all predictable. You can create any kind of “supremacy” that you want, if this is all it takes to call something a supremacist belief.

‘Your reading comprehension problems really aren’t my problem.’

I didn’t suggest that there was any problem. Your meaning was not (and still is not) clear to me, but if you have no interest in making it clear, obviously I can’t force you (and wouldn’t try if I could) — I wouldn’t describe that as a problem.

If there actually were people who suggested that left-handers shouldn’t be allowed to vote, it would be reasonable to describe those people as ‘right-hander supremacists’. However, there’s no evidence that there actually are any such people.

If there actually are people who adhere to the opinion that old people shouldn’t be allowed to vote, it is reasonable to describe those people as ‘youth supremacists’. I don’t know whether there are any such people, though.

‘People can object that this [trying to deny the vote to freckled people, or to left-handed people] is ridiculous. Is it really any more ridiculous than saying that old people shouldn’t get to vote on things that “don’t affect them”?’

No. All those suggestions are ridiculous. If youth supremacism actually exists, it is ridiculous. If right-hander supremacism actually exists, it is ridiculous. If people-without-freckles supremacism actually exists, it is ridiculous. Just because they are ridiculous is not a good reason for not having names for them. White supremacism actually does exist, and it is ridiculous, and that’s not a reason for not having a name for it.

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b9n10nt 07.01.16 at 3:18 am

Michael Lind’s piece that Clay Shirky links to above reminds me of a passage I just read from Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora . A starships computer, become sentient during a voyage, is protecting the ships mission during a civil war. In the aftermath, it contemplates…

“A hurt mammal never forgets. Epigenetic theory suggests an almost Lamarckian transfer down the generations; some genes are activated by experiences, others are not. Genes, language, history: what it all meant in actual practice was that fear passed down through the years, altering organisms for generation after generation, thus altering the species. Fear, an evolutionary force.

“Of course, how could it be otherwise?

“Is anger always just fear flung outward at the world? Can anger ever be a fuel for right action? Can anger make good?”

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b9n10nt 07.01.16 at 3:28 am

This article on “Empathy For Bullies” relates directly to how to think about group identities that (seek to) perpetuate oppression. Quoted from the link:

…But, what about the bullies themselves? How are we addressing the deeper rooted issues that cause these children to violate the boundaries of their peers? Quite often, behind every bully is an even bigger bully. Bullying behavior is learned and most bullies are being bullied themselves. In addition, it is often likely that bullies are suffering from some type of mental health or learning disability, which can impact their cognition, their ability to accurately interpret social interactions and cues, and their ability to properly identify and effectively communicate their feelings. When the consequences for bullying behavior are reactive rather than proactive, we find ourselves unintentionally perpetuating the bullying cycle. This in turn makes it difficult to be tolerant of, and patient with, children who engage in bullying behavior.

We start to label these children as “bad children.” We write them off and decide their fates for them because we are unaware of how to support them. The first way we can show empathy for bullies is to separate the child from the behavior. There is no such thing as a “bad child.” There is only bad behavior. Another way we can find empathy for bullies is to find out which positive adult role model the child likes most (i.e. school staff, family member, community member, etc.) and use that relationship to foster positive behaviors and interactions with others. Also, try and recognize and acknowledge any positive or desired behaviors, no matter how small or insignificant they may be. Positive reinforcement can go a long way. These are, by no means, a cure all for the bulling epidemic that is happening in our society. However, these are a couple of helpful examples that may enable us to have more compassion and empathy for bullies.

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roger nowosielski 07.01.16 at 3:46 am

“Your reading comprehension is not my problem” makes sense only if you assume the other person to be acting in bad faith. Otherwise, it always ought to be the interlocutor’s problem insofar as his or her meaning is not exactly carries across in the way intended.

Otherwise, why do we bother to communicate?

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Jim Buck 07.01.16 at 7:38 am

Ich bin ein Frankfurter

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Jim Buck 07.01.16 at 8:17 am

The Gove Camp has a new phrase: “Aspiration Society”. They have begun deploying it as a sanitised alternative to Austerity. Gove’s first budget as Chancellor (in Teresa May’s government) is likely to be an Aspiration Budget addressed to a nation in shock at “London’s” financial powerhouse having moved to Frankfurt, leaving the nation with a vastly reduced tax-base. On the other hand: £350 million in tax cuts will allow sovereign individuals to choose whether or not use the money to buy their own NHS treatment.

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Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 10:41 am

J-D: “Just because they are ridiculous is not a good reason for not having names for them.”

There is no reason to have different names for different minor variations of the same thing: that only keeps people from realizing that these variations are all really examples of the same thing. And none of those variations is a type of supremacy. For something to be “supremacy” it has to become long-term belief and actual practice rather than momentary resentment.

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J-D 07.01.16 at 10:47 am

So what do you think would be a good name for people who adhere to opinions like ‘Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery’?

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Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 11:00 am

J-D: “So what do you think would be a good name for people who adhere to opinions like ‘Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery’?”

“People”

Or more seriously, people in our current U.S. / British / “First World” societies. When people start talking about tribalism (in this context), this is related to it. Michael Berube a while back wrote some posts that referenced Stuart Hall in which he coined the phrase “I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick.” People are looking for group definition: they will seize on any momentary excuse to form or reinforce one: if one becomes established they will signal their membership in the group by adopting a whole package of group beliefs that they then suddenly believe in.

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Anarcissie 07.01.16 at 3:04 pm

b9n10nt 07.01.16 at 3:18 am @ 401 (quoting):
“Is anger always just fear flung outward at the world? Can anger ever be a fuel for right action? Can anger make good?”

It is certainly a useful response to serious threats, and thus promotes survival — a sine qua non for many other goods. It is not Lamarckian to note that anger can be transmitted culturally.

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Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 3:13 pm

roger n: “Otherwise, why do we bother to communicate?”

I don’t know about other people, but I bother to communicate with people who I think are going to do the minimal work of figuring out what I probably mean when I’ve written something that should be pretty clear. If they aren’t willing to do that work — and one common tactic is to refuse to do that work, persistently and publicly — then they quickly drop down my list of people to reply to and may join the ranks of people who I just ignore. I’ll explain myself a few times, but that’s boring and it’s not what I write comments here for.

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b9n10nt 07.01.16 at 4:29 pm

Anarcissie @ 409

It is certainly a useful response to serious threats, and thus promotes survival — a sine qua non for many other goods. It is not Lamarckian to note that anger can be transmitted culturally.

If I’m being physically attacked (think near-miss traffic situation), there’s fear-adrenaline-response. Anger comes next. What it wishes to protect and seek the survival of is a constructed (or conditioned) psychological identity, which is distinct from the physiological organism.

I think we would agree that “Lamarckian” is speculative and/or metaphorical.

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J-D 07.01.16 at 7:35 pm

Rich Puchalsky 07.01.16 at 11:00 am
J-D: “So what do you think would be a good name for people who adhere to opinions like ‘Those damned old people shouldn’t get to vote on something that will condemn younger people to a life of misery’?”

“People”

Or more seriously, people in our current U.S. / British / “First World” societies.

Marklar Leader: You see we call everything Marklar.
Kyle: Doesn’t that get confusing?
Marklar Leader: No, not at all. Hey Marklar!
Marklar: Yes Marklar.
Marklar Leader: You see!

Kyle: Wait, wait, I think I can explain this whole thing. Marklar, these Marklars want to change your Marklar. They don’t want this Marklar or any of his Marklars to live here, because it’s bad for their Marklar. They use Marklar to try and force Marklars to believe their Marklar. If you let them stay here, they will build Marklars and Marklars, they will take all your Marklars and replace them with Marklar. These Marklars have no good Marklar to live on Marklar, so they must come here to Marklar. Please, let these Marklars stay where they can dwell and prosper without any Marklars, Marklars or Marklars.
Alien: Young Marklar, your Marklars are wise and true.
Christian woman: What the hell did he say?

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