By David Michael Green
June 27, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – Woo-hoo! Doesn’t that feel good?
Well, in fact, for some folks it does. In particular, if you’re an unempowered bloke, lacking much personal sense of agency, and you’ve watched your world get whittled down bit by bit over the last several decades, the sense of doing something, anything – the sheer joy of authoring some real wreckage – is tasty. And all the more so because of its rarity. It’s been so long since you got to poke some joker in the eye, who cares who it is or what comes next, eh? Just do it.
Whatever the motivation, this is a milestone. The direct consequences of the British referendum vote are likely to be substantial, if not profound. But it is the indirect consequences, and the symbolic import, that are most significant. For this is, make no mistake, the first but likely not the last major manifestation of a long-brewing discontent that threatens nothing less than the unraveling of a post-war world order of (mostly) peace and prosperity.
Worse, the looming possible catastrophe has been eminently avoidable. But certain actors had a strong interest in getting what they wanted, and damn the(se) costs. In the end, this is a story of what greed buys. And all too often, what greed buys is death and destruction.
The phenomenon we’re talking about – let’s call it Trumpism, for lack of a better term – is sweeping the Western world. All across Europe and North America and beyond there has been an explosion of flailing political rage and stupidity in recent years. Whether it takes the form of the avowed Nazi-sympathizing Golden Dawn in Greece, the less-avowed Nazi-sympathizing National Front in France, slobbering Sarah Palin enthusiasts in America, or agitated Brexit voters in the UK, it is essentially the same concept everywhere, driven by the same factors.
Given that this is a cup of tea that has been steeping at least since the 1980s, the current boiling point we’re witnessing is in many ways actually less surprising than that it has taken this long to happen.