Brexit, a discussion with friend
While I feel it's important to say what's on your mind (and we both do!).
There is a grey area when it comes to racism, xenophobia etc. It's come to
light in the UK in the last few days for instance.
Absolutely! I didn't really explain a while back why I was (and am) always pro EU when you were questioning it and voted against Lisbon Treaty. The reason is my experience in Germany in 1983-86. I was talking then with a Russian professor of physics at University of Tel Aviv, Yuri M. a former Russian dissident from Leningrad, he was on a scholarship in Germany at that time in the same institute. He had a huge impact on my philosophy and made me rethink many of my beliefs.
I was saying at that time to him that I don't see anything wrong with a moderate dose of nationalism, in the Eastern European context, that would counterbalance that dreadful Soviet monostate and counteract the communist ideology. It was just exactly the same reaction as the Brits rejecting the EU centralism right now.
His view was the opposite - he cautioned me against embracing any form of nationalism even a moderate one and even for a noble purpose such as fighting some centralized bureaucracy for the benefit of the people.
He said to me (around 1984) that if the Soviet Union ever collapsed, many of the individual post soviet republics, would very likely degenerate into nationalistic intolerant fiefdoms run by ruthless dictators, and people will end up worse off. A few years later I realized that he was 100% right!
Nationalism is not an antidote against centralized bureaucracy or against any other totalitarian political, religious, pseudo-scientific or other belief system, because nationalism is also a form of collectivism just like bureaucracy and statism. Just like Christianity, Islam, scientific atheism, socialism, communism, fascism etc.
By promoting nationalism, British people have replaced one form of collectivism with another, a more toxic one, in my opinion!
What Britain and other countries need more is not replacing one collectivism with another but replacing collectivism with individualism and self-empowerement.
Fighting collectivism can be effectively done by:
1) embracing individualism and popularizing it by personal examples (see Ayn Rand)
2) renouncing people (*) who believe in and strongly identify with the collectivistic belief systems
*) Only renouncing the believers, not beliefs, works! Very important and counter-intuitive! Renouncing beliefs alone, debating beliefs, debunking or disproving beliefs is not only ineffective but often makes the beliefs stronger in the minds of people by giving them our attention and publicity. I had an insight about it in my dream earlier this year. Renunciation of believers can be mentally reinforced (in one's mind) by a ritual: stand at front of a group of people, raise both hands up at an angle and at front of you and then lower them down rapidly as if you were pushing something down and away, while saying in your mind or aloud "I renounce you!". (Don't do it at work or you may get fired.)
I am pro European!
I voted [in Ireland] against the version of the Lisbon treaty at that time _purely_ because in the form it was presented, they had proposed a tiered membership that I totally disagreed with.
IIRC it was somewhat rehashed and presented again, I don't think I was in Ireland second time around.
My main beef was that Poland (and the Baltics etc. IIRC) would be given membership at a lower level than say Ireland or France. I believed it was all or nothing, not some half baked version that benefited the hacks that were already in, with their snouts already well entrenched in the trough.
I was very saddened by what happened in the UK last week. I have been more saddened to see that the Brexit has given further license to those jingoist thugs who for instance have been seen hurling verbal abuse at Poles over the weekend (not sure if you heard about that). I have a great deal of time for the Poles (present company excepted ;-) and everyone else for that matter. We are all one living, breathing, experiencing and discovering giant unified consciousness - separation is artificial. (can't remember the exact quote, it was from a brilliant comedian - Bill Hicks - who died very young from pancreatic cancer).
One particularly derisive argument that I heard for the 'Leave' campaign was that surrendering British sovereignty to the EU was an affront to the memory of those who died in the wars fighting for Britain. The opposite is true. The whole raison d'être for European integration was to prevent any such atrocities like those wars from happening again.
It seems now that Scotland may have a legal argument to veto the Brexit. We'll see how it all pans out.
Have you thought about buying Sterling?
P.S. Re believers and beliefs - De gustibus non est disputandum.
Re: buying sterling
No, I think it is very likely to fall further (with ups and downs). Since the banks have very little reason to remain in the UK, it will put a huge pressure on the British establishment [causing them] to protect their personal assets (=mostly property!) by inflating the money supply to stimulate demand (for property) and to maintain the prices. Without a strong banking system that used to inflate the monetary mass in a non-inflationary way (by offsetting it with the equivalent debt), the next British government (Labour!) will have very little choice in that matter. They will be printing money! The real decline of the sterling is ahead of us. What you have seen to date is the beginning.
Britain will most likely become one of the poorest countries in Europe since they have no industry that would take up the slack after the bexit (banking exit). In my crude estimate, banking used to provide about 50% of the British GDP (official figures are lower, about 30% but I am adding the indirect contributions). I would not be surprised if 90% of that would leave, that will leave Britain with 40% drop of the GDP. This would have to be reflected by a commensurate or higher drop in the sterling exchange rate - if they refrain from inflationary policy otherwise it will drop much further than that, which is IMHO much more likely. I read George Soros' warning - he gave similar estimates. Then, this would create some favorable condition to rebuild the manufacturing back (as long as they will not generate hyper-inflationary hickups like in Brazil or Argentina which would negate the positive effect of the drop in sterling) - but that will probably take about 30 years, 1 generation. Incidentally this is a very good news for Ireland because it will make reunification with the Republic attractive to N.Irish Prots, and secondly it will make some of the banks move to Dublin, lifting the property market and creating some jobs.