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Brexit and demophobia

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Last night, the UK Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal towards an agreed exit from the European Union that would keep North Ireland part of the EU. And here we go again. This is yet another step in the endless drama initiated by the Brexit referendum which, contrary to all expectations, has resulted in a nationalist shout against the nation-state dissolution project in favor of a supranational entity based in Brussels, free of any democratic control.

Needless to say, the plan, from the beginning — when the French socialist Jean Monet laid the foundations of what would come to be known as the EU — has always been the destruction of nation-states, as Christopher Booker and Richard North showed in the well-documented “The Great Deception.”

The June 2016 referendum by itself was an act of pure political opportunism. When confronted with the possibility of political defeat in the elections of 2015, the boy scout of European-ism David Cameron decided for a commitment with the Eurosceptics who threatened to disband in favor of the UKIP. It worked, and the Tories gained five more years at Number 10. To general astonishment, Cameron decided to keep his promise. Unexpectedly, 51.9% of voters were in favor of leaving the EU.

Since that fateful referendum, British and European political elites alike have been looking for a way to sabotage its outcome, which should not come as a surprise. The EU itself was built and expanded thanks to an arsenal of dirty tricks and lies. What did the European establishment do when earlier referendums in France and the Netherlands systematically rejected a proposal for a single constitution for the bloc? It maneuvered to pass the rejected legislation through the Lisbon Treaty, which dispensed popular consultation. When Ireland proved to be an obstacle, the European establishment threatened them, overpowered them and eventually made the country’s population ratify the treaty in a controversial second referendum. If the EU could be defined in a single word, that word would be demophobia, fear of the people.

The collapse of democracy through the construction of an unchecked bureaucratic managerial state is not an exclusively European phenomenon. On the contrary, this seems to be a trend that has been occurring in all Western countries. the modus operandi, for instance, is almost always the same.

Take California as an example. The state that gave America Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, Hollywood and Disneyland, has now become the Panzer tank of new left socialism. The history of the Golden State in the last 50 years can be summed up in ordinary people’s constant effort to prevent California from turning into Harvey Milk’s and Jim Jones’ San Francisco. The battle, anyone can see, has been lost.

However, before the state that embodied the American dream had turned into a macabre experience of politically correct totalitarianism, the local population struggled tooth and nail to preserve their state and, of course, without the support of the neoconservative establishment. First, in 1994, voters passed a ballot proposition that would deny illegal immigrants access to welfare. Four years later, Californians went again to the ballot box to force the English language to be taught as the main language at public schools. Then, in 2008, they voted to ban gay marriage.

Two of them were overthrown by judges committed to cultural leftism and the one who enforced English at schools was repealed in 2016 by a ballot supported by the leftist coalition that now rules the Golden State.

The Republican Party that once had a stronghold in Orange County and almost won every presidential election in the state, from Eisenhower to George H. Bush, was decimated in 2018. Democrats now represent all districts in Orange County, and the new governor, Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, would shudder at Karl Marx’s radicalism.

The Republican bloodbath was preceded by years of multiculturalism at schools, uncontrolled immigration, high taxes and mismanagement by the conservative establishment, much more concerned with promoting democracy abroad than at home. Once a Republican bulwark, the middle class has been shrinking in the Golden State. In 1980, 60% of California families were in the middle class. In 2010, just less than half were, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.

In spite of being an economic powerhouse, California is sliding toward socialism with steadily increasing tax rates, public spending, and regulation. As it turns out, the “hippie economy,” to use Joseph Sobran’s words, “is based in freeloading.” This is too expensive for middle-class men or women to pay for. Destroying private wealth and multiplying public poverty, the new Golden State is in the process of becoming a two-class state: on one side, the very rich can afford to pay high taxes and on the other, the poor don’t mind living on government funding. Thus, the homeless army that occupies downtown San Francisco, which catches unsuspecting tourists, should surprise none.

To understand what is happening to Brexit, Americans should look at California. Just as the will of the British people has been sabotaged by the elites through Parliament, the will of the Californians was subverted by the courts until the tipping point was reached. Or, as the numbers seem to point out, until the elite could create a new people to replace the old, disobedient one.

Following the current trend of demographic change and californization of other states, we are only two election cycles away from Democrats making Texas a competitive state and turning purple Florida to blue. If that happens, the GOP’s path to the White House will be blocked for generations. Thanks to the Republican establishment, America might eventually follow Reagan’s 49-state victory with a not so unlikely Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez presidency.

If anything is clear, it is that elite power is always engaged in undertaking social engineering to preserve the status quo. No matter how things change, the elite will always be there. The faster things change, the more assured and overwhelming the power of the ruling class will be. From Salem’s puritanism to Oakland and San Francisco’s progressiveness, the only thing that matters to them is to burn off any dissenting thinking.

Populists preach a resumption of the power by the people, mainly through plebiscites and referendums. However, as the example of California proves, and Brexit is currently exhibiting, voting matters little when structures of power have been seized by a group flexible enough to survive all political earthquakes and sufficiently relentless to ensure obedience through persuasion, fear or deception, whichever is the most advantageous at one particular moment.

As Donald J. Trump’s presidency unfolds, it becomes clearer that elite power remains intact. If those who hold power failed to predict that a populist would defeat their candidates in the Republican primaries (and much less could they have predicted Hilary Clinton’s electoral humiliation), they are being very efficient at sabotaging the administration. Whether it is through the deep state’s Russian hoax or judicial sabotage, they will make sure nothing changes. Or rather, to use the words of a character from the Lampedusa’s Il Gattopardo, they will ensure that “everything needs to change, so everything can stay the same.”

With Brexit in flames, we must seek to understand the world according to the rules created by the power-holders. The first step to freedom is to become aware of how oppression works.  Only in this way can conservatives bury the myth that to replace those in power is a long-term solution. The GOP, the sole recipient of the conservative vote for the last three decades, has compromised with the left on virtually every issue. Abortion, gay marriage, welfare state, multiculturalism, feminism, you name it. And, on the other hand, the neoconservative Republicans were the founding members of the warfare state club that led to the Iraq disaster and champions of uncontrolled immigration. If conservatives want to prevent the United States from becoming a new California, the whip needs to be taken away for good, regardless of who the master is.

Homepage photo credit: Brexit protestors near the Houses of Parliament, London. WikiCommons.

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Silvio Simonetti Silvio Simonetti is a Brazilian lawyer, graduated in international affairs from the Bush School at Texas A & M University. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute. Silvio loves history and the Catholic Church.

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