Two views on Brexit

We present here two widely divergent perspectives on the meaning and the prospects opened up by Brexit, both originally published by Defend Democracy. The starkness of the contrast – between the view of a former World Bank officer and that of a self-identified  revolutionary socialist — is, we think, itself of considerable interest.
The first analysis comes from Neil Faulkner, “a revolutionary socialist, a Brick Lane Debates activist, and the author of A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals.”   The second is by Peter Koenig, co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Brexit and the Crisis on the British Left

by Neil Faulkner

Taking a position on the EU Referendum was not easy. The in/out choice was essentially an argument inside the political and corporate elite about what was best for British capitalism. We do not wish to be ruled by either the City of London or the European Central Bank. Both are run by bankers. Both are hard-wired for financialisation, privatisation, and austerity. Both are mechanisms for hoovering wealth upwards to the 1%.
One could have made a strong argument for abstention. It would have run like this. This is a dispute between two rival factions among our rulers about how best to organise exploitation and the accumulation of capital. It is an argument about how best to make profits. Either way, we get ripped off and they get richer. Working people are deluded if they think that either side represents them, or that either choice, in or out, benefits them.
In theory, this argument is sound. But, as Goethe said, theory is grey and the tree of life is green. What is true in an abstract sense – that there is nothing to choose between the City of London and European Central Bank – is not true when you translate it into the concrete terms of a live political debate. I will come back to this. Before doing so, I want to say something about Lexit.
While one could have made a strong argument for abstention – albeit an abstract one – the same cannot be said for the argument for voting Leave. It did not matter that the EU is a bankers’ club, that the EU is undemocratic, and that the EU is imposing austerity and privatisation. All true, and all irrelevant. Because exactly the same can be said for the alternative: the City of London.
A somewhat more sophisticated version went like this. The EU is the mega-project of Europe’s political and corporate elite, including its semi-detached British syndicate. Brexit will throw this project into crisis. The crisis of their system will be our opportunity. We welcome the crisis of European capitalism caused by the breakup of the EU.
Similar arguments have been presented in the past. The German Communist Party, under orders from Moscow, welcomed the crisis of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930s, refused to form an alliance against fascism with the German Social-Democratic Party (dubbed ‘social fascists’), and claimed that a Hitler dictatorship would be a stepping-stone to socialist revolution. We know the outcome.
Let me spell out the basic underlying mistake here: it is to assume that any crisis – and any outbreak of mass discontent – must somehow benefit the Left. In fact, as Lenin explained, the ruling class can survive any crisis if the workers let it, and, as Trotsky explained, there are two parties in a crisis, the party of revolutionary hope (the socialists) and the party of counter-revolutionary despair (the fascists).
I cannot condemn comrades on the Left who got this wrong during the Referendum campaign. They include many friends whose commitment, idealism, and decency are beyond question. But they must now stare reality in the face. So too must any abstainers who sought refuge in abstraction.
If the monster of nationalism and racism incubating inside the Brexit camp was less than wholly apparent during the campaign, it is undeniable now. Yet I have seen revolutionaries whose opinions I used to respect claiming that the EU Referendum result represents ‘a class vote’ and that, because working-class communities voted heavily against the Remain camp, we are witness to a popular revolt against austerity and inequality.
This is breathtaking stupidity. It is to make a nonsense of any distinction between ‘class in itself’ and ‘class for itself’: a vital distinction for Marx, who knew the great difference there was between the mere fact of class position – a matter of sociological description – and conscious mass struggle by working people acting for themselves to change the world. Indeed, in some sense, the whole of socialist activity is accounted for by this distinction.
For socialists to think that millions of working people voting for Johnson, Gove, and Farage – who conducted the most racist election campaign in recent British history – can somehow be interpreted as ‘a class vote’, or, as the Lexit website claims, that the result constitutes ‘a left-wing victory’ leaves me struggling for the words.
In a crisis, the Centre cannot hold, and popular discontent can be captured and channelled by the Right or by the Left. The Left has no hope if it cannot even tell the difference. So let me spell it out.
The Brexit campaign was an anti-EU, anti-Westminster, anti-Establishment campaign – just as Hitler’s campaign was anti-Weimar in 1932. The Brexit campaign drew upon great pools of bitterness among those at the bottom of society, the victims of globalisation, neoliberalism, and austerity – just as Hitler was supported by the unemployed, the unorganised workers, the broken small businesses, the ‘little people’ who felt forgotten, ignored, and abused. And the Brexit campaign fanned a great upsurge of anti-immigrant racism – just as Hitler blamed the Jews.
So the Brexit victory means a sharp lurch to the right. UKIP is surfing a wave. The Tory Right will take the leadership. New Labour has its slow-motion coup to get rid of Corbyn back on the rails (and those who doubt the right-wing trajectory of British politics should note that the line here is that Corbyn is disconnected from the Labour base because he is soft on immigration). Across Europe, the Far Right is toasting Brexit and demanding their own in/out referenda. The EU may well break up (pulled apart, please note, not by ‘the party of revolutionary hope’, but by ‘the party of counter-revolutionary despair’).
We are living in dangerous times. Despite the juggernaut of corporate power, the grotesque greed of the rich, and the mounting social crisis afflicting working people and the poor, resistance is minimal and the Left – blighted by autonomism, sectarianism, and, in some quarters, a blank refusal to face reality – effectively irrelevant.
Yet the Left must act. The global crisis is deep, intractable, and set to get worse. The historical stakes have never been higher. The Left has to build a fighting alternative based on mass struggle from below. A good start might be the simple recognition that the Brexit vote represents a right-wing tidal wave – a triumph of Trumpism – and that if we don’t get our act together soon, the danger is that the Far Right, here and across Europe, will harden into all-out Fascism.

BREXIT – A New Dimension – New Hope for Europe

by Peter Koeneig

BREXIT is the best thing that has happened not only for the Brits – but for all of Europe – and potentially for the world in the last 30-some years – which were beset by Washington Consensus demagoguery, by ever more flagrant globalization towards a New World Order, under which the elite knows no scruples in decimating countries and continents – enslaving entire people – to get what they want, striving for Full Spectrum Dominance. The current inflexible and un-solidary EU is a direct result of this drive.
The BREXIT vote may break the stranglehold of Washington on Europe. The BREXIT vote may be the first step in a new dynamic of a EUREXIT from Washington’s dominance, from NATO, from the wars and conflicts sustaining the US corporate profit bulldozer, from the threat of a corporate enslavement by the looming TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), from sanctions against Russia – from the sheer prohibition of building up what makes most sense for the future of Europe – a relationship with Russia and the east, including China.
The BREXIT vote may – just may – be that pebble that puts in motion a landslide for freedom seekers from the fangs of Washington. This ‘MAY’ depends on the perseverance of the people, of recognizing and assimilating what long-term benefits will be associated by cracking the western corporate-finance fist.
Immediately after the unexpected result, the western presstitute media went into overdrive spreading fear about what this ‘revolting and unwise’ decision may mean not just for Britain, but for the rest of Europe. What will ‘The Markets’ do? What will become of the world financial center, London – and how will it affect the rest of Europe, the British Pound, the euro, the stock market throughout the world? According to the brainwashing mainstream media (MSM), Brexit will for sure affect jobs in and outside the UK – an assertion without substance.
These are warning signals for the Greek and especially the Spaniards in view of their crucial elections on 26 June. Will they dare voting anti-establishment? And instead be voting for the Unidos-Podemos alliance, in view of ending the deadlock on austerity that brought hunger, unemployment, poverty and despair? – Would they dare becoming the second stumbling block after the UK for the corrupt US-vassal, the European Union?
The presstitute barrage against Brexit is meant to warn others not to stand up against the plague of Brussels, lest you may be punished with more debt and austerity. Indeed, the first reaction of Mr. Tsipras, Greece’s PM, was to blame European leaders (sic), who were responsible for destructive belt-tightening programs. He pleaded for reforming the EU. Unfortunately, this top-heavy technocracy and servant of Washington’s is not reformable. The EU as it stands today cannot be reformed. Let’s remind ourselves, the EU was not the idea of Europeans, but the creation of the US, when after WWII the reigning elite in Washington wanted a rebuilt Europe (reconstructed with their money – the Marshall Plan), a loose and submissive trading union of European nations, with eventually a common currency modelled after the dollar – fiat money – but never ever a political federation that could become a competitor to the ‘exceptional people’s’ empire.
The British vote expressed discontent and frustration across party lines with the Brussels’ ever increasing control over countries’ internal affairs, thereby abolishing national sovereignty – and, yes, also their incapacity to handle refugees – millions made homeless and miserable through wars and conflicts instigated by the US and supported by the very EU, directly and through NATO. Brexit represents the culmination of the British malaise vis-à-vis the EU ever since the UK became a member in 1973. The ‘exceptional’ island nation, still longing for her empire’s glories of the past, understandably has a hard time being told what to do by a bunch of unelected and unscrupulous bureaucrats in Brussels.
The BREXIT vote is, however, not a guarantee for exit. According to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it may take up to two years to negotiate exit terms. In his own words, David Cameron will ‘steer the ship’ for the next three months, until a new Prime Minister is put in place through elections he announced for October 2016. A lot can happen in these three months and even more in the coming twenty-four months. This period can even be extended through mutual UK-EU agreement. Mr. Cameron should call for immediate elections, step down now, and leave preparation for engaging in the exit procedure to his successor.
There are other potential hindrances or delays for exit. The result of the vote is not binding and needs to be ratified by the British Parliament. Though unlikely at this point, the Parliament could decide for the good of the British people to stay in the EU. As reported by BBC, there is a movement for a repeat of the Brexit referendum that has already collected 2.3 million signatures. A new vote could be sufficiently manipulated to reverse the result. The EU itself is divided in how they want the exit to take place. While Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission, tends to hasten Cameron to start the process ‘tomorrow’, Madame Merkel says there is no hurry.
Brexit-Brits, please do not relent, be not persuaded that you chose wrongly to leave the monster EU; be steadfast! Europeans – wake up! This is the chance of a lifetime to break up with the Washington led-dominance, with NATO, the eternal wars on terror, the destruction and balkanization of the Middle East and ‘regime change’ throughout the world. Become compassionate again with your fellow citizens! – Retake your sovereignty, with your own independent currencies, free from the FED- Wall Street dollar-euro dictate.
The populaces’ silence to the Washington empire’s murderous advances gave it apparent leeway to become ever bolder. In the case of Brexit (or no Brexit), the criminal gang on top of the pyramid, didn’t shy from sacrificing a young British Labor Party MP, Jo Cox, who was campaigning for ‘Remain’. Her murder, by an apparent lunatic, who ‘they say’ yelled ‘Brexit’ before he shot and stabbed her to death, seemed to have turned around public opinion in the last couple of days before the vote – or so the mainstream-bought pollsters would have liked their voters to believe. Indeed, pollsters’ reversal of last minute ‘survey’ results in favor of the ‘Remain’, were expected to influence the electorate. This was the plan. But it failed.
David Cameron’s BREXIT acceptance and announcement of his resignation in the wake of the vote, was giving the Brexit majority a euphoric sense of ‘Yes we can’. Although coming back on the people’s decision appears unlikely now, it is not impossible. Just look at Greece. A year ago, the Greek voted overwhelmingly against the austerity packages imposed by the infamous troika (EC, ECB and IMF). Had the referendum result been accepted by the ruling left-wing (sic) Syriza party, it would have meant exit from the Eurozone. Yet, Mr. Tsipras, his cabinet and a (bought) majority of Parliament opted for ignoring the wish of the people, continuing instead accepting living under the destructive yoke of Brussels and Washington, thereby plunging Greece’s population into indescribable poverty and misery with no end in sight.
Here lays just one of the absurdities in comparing Brexit with Grexit. In the case of a Grexit, the ‘markets’ would have hardly blinked. Grexit was not really on the radar screen of big investors.  To the contrary, Greece was steadily, but falsely, threatened with expulsion from the Eurozone, if they would not behave according to the ECB (Goldman Sachs) imposed European economic policy.  For the European elite seeing the UK leaving the rotten-to-the-core European Union, is like betraying their values of treachery and corruption.
The Brexit vote divided the country, but not along party lines which shows that the party doctrine is rapidly becoming a myth of the past. People voted from their heart. Judging from interviews with real people in the streets, they voted for fear of losing jobs in a steady increase of globalization; for fear of being flooded by refugees, but also out of anger against the Brussels strong-arming their lives, the impunity and secrecy by which the non-transparent EC negotiates uncanny deals, for example, was mentioned the TTIP, under which the rules for our lives would be imposed by a US-led corporate empire, whose jurisdiction would be above that of our nations.
Brexit will bring a new dimension, a new perspective to all peoples of Europe, of which according to different surveys, a clear majority are against the EU.
Brexit may, therefore, be the first step in a series of similar referenda, ranging from France, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy – and more. That alone would be the death-knell of the EU and the destructive Euro. But it would also bring new dynamism, new hope, as newly sovereign countries would be free to make their own monetary policies, according to local needs of their economies. They could seek their own trading partners without being afraid of sanctions. They could reinstate their stolen social safety nets, health services, education, pensions; they could work towards full employment, according to local production for local markets, with local money and local banks, fully detached from the globalized FED-Wall Street financial sledgehammer.
The writing is on the wall is bold and clear – the future for Europe, socially and economically, lays with the East, Russia, Central Asia and China as natural partners. The West, dominated by a US-led corporatocracy is decaying fast. Unfortunately, much of Europe is still part of the war and greed driven western system. It is inherent in the hundreds of years of Europe’s slave-driving colonial past. Yet, a closer association with the East could bring new values to Europe; values of honesty, respect for each other and solidarity.
Fear-mongering by the western media will be a given. But why would you fear? What could be worse than the artificially induced 2007/8 ‘crisis’ – which is made to linger on, seemingly forever – and which so-far has killed tens of thousands of mostly southern Europeans, reduced life expectancy, and according to the British Lancet, astronomically increased suicide and cancer rates from despair, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, malnutrition – from sheer help- and hopelessness?
Can you imagine, what it means for the Greek to stand in humiliating lines for EU ‘donated’ food packages, after the same EU has put these people mercilessly and miserably into the gutters?
Good riddance of such an EU, an unreformable criminal monster. It should disappear as fast as possible, to give people again space to breathe, to live out their dreams. And if one of their dreams is to unite as a group of likeminded sovereign nations into a political and economic federation – not driven from outside, but solely from within – then why not, a new form of a European Union of solidarity and common values may be attempted.
BREXIT may become a positive agent of change, an induction of awareness, a great sigh of relief and hope – Yes, We Can ‘EUREXIT’. Imagine, a de-globalized world, the backbone of the New World Order broken – peace would break out and, We, the Peoples of the world would move towards harmony and understanding of each other, with dialogues instead of conflicts — I’m dreaming, of course. Sometimes, though, dreams are the engines towards reaching the impossible.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.


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Nov 30, 2016 5:32 AM

“Yet, a closer association with the East could bring new values to Europe; values of honesty, respect for each other and solidarity.” Shifting state alliances and allegiances are not what brings about changes in one’s values. Of, If you like, One’s values aren’t as important as one’s principles. Life is ‘more’ complex, I think. One can easily be enticed or compelled or subjected to a combination of enticements and terrors, but not even the most extreme of either form of persuasion can persuade someone, in the end. It can accompany a change in one’s values or principles (which, once formed, are more enduring than values and, I would argue, influence one’s values more than they are influenced by them), in that a person may simply make deep interior changes (principles) due to how that person processes new information, but no one can force those changes on another. That’s my belief as a Christian who believes in God and who doesn’t believe God would design us so that, as individuals, we could be redesigned against our will by another or others.
What about people who are tricked? That’s… tricky.

The Arbourist
The Arbourist
Jul 2, 2016 4:22 PM

Reblogged this on Dead Wild Roses and commented:
Some valuable perspective on the Brexit.

Jul 2, 2016 2:51 PM

For me, it’s an anti-intellectual’s luxury to tote up the number of xenophobes, racists, reactionary nationalists and nativist who, along with me, favored “Leave,” and see if the unpure-of-heart portion of the “Leave” was larger or smaller than the pure-of-heart portion. I accept as s given that many diverse motives, some quite respectable, some quite unrespectable, were at work. So what? That’s true of virtually all electoral politics and it always has been and always shall be. Had the “Remain” camp won, does anyone imagine for a moment that there’d have been the slightest question or concern for whether all the “Remain” voters were motived by the purest and noblest sentiments? Of course not!
FFS! Our charge was to decide which of two practical courses, “Remain” or “Leave” presented the best prospects for the future–as each individual voter saw it. My neighbours’ calculations and motives are their concerns, not mine.
This vote doesn’t end struggle once and for all; it doesn’t definitively solve anything–and it was never supposed to do do so. It simply reorients In a small but perhaps significant way the context of the struggle that continues In any case.
I regard both your disputants’ cases as very poorly thought out and poorly expressed. In at least one instance, this from Faulkner, ” …While one could have made a strong argument for abstention – albeit an abstract one – the same cannot be said for the argument for voting Leave,” is flatly self-contradictory. If a “strong argument for ” abstention ” can be made, then it applies as much to one camp as to the other.
Faulkner also taxes Leftists with the alleged fault of supposing that any crisis is a gift of opportunities for the Left to exploit. The fact is that whether that’s true or false or whether any Leftists really believe it’s true or not is completely beside the point: we had a responsibility to act on this matter in one way or the other.

Jul 2, 2016 2:38 PM

Peter Koenig, your insightful dream is inspiring and uplifting. Yes, we should dream at a time like this, because dreams fuel a motor for advance, but that dream must be routed in reality and steered by reality – clearly the case in your well-argued article.
Blairite lackey/stooge Faulkner, a clever try at a superficial level, but your thin and superficial veil fails miserably to cover up reality.

Jul 2, 2016 9:14 AM

I regard outcomes arising from a genuine willingness of communication as alignments of integrity – (as compared with outcomes resulting from coercion and deceit) – even if disguised in the form of rational communication.
So although the campaigners offered little sense of vision as to what the positive opportunities might be as a result of Brexit, many did have a sense of having been lied to and deceived – and when the scare campaign was offered for the remain – it was not successful even though given a strong media and government backing. This feels good to me for opening a conversation that would not happen if we merely assent to continued management by faceless unaccountable technocrats representing corporate and US led globalist agenda.
So by no means do I see Brexit as an answer – for of course it all depends – as always – on where we are coming from and what we use it for. But genuine communication always brings a shift of perspective in which opportunities open that were otherwise not.
What I mean by communication is both within us and between us. And much of what we accept as currency of communication is as false as the debt and war based economy that false thinking embodies and attempts to ‘justify’.
The legalized corporate system has usurped true governance. Its framing operates the ‘technocracy’ of psuedo-scientism in which relationships of willingness are replaced with mechanism of dictated correctness operating in the name of humanism while undermining or denying the human spirit for private and fear-driven agenda.
Such a corporate society is farmed or indeed pharmed – for medical and scientific corruption operates state control in ways that hide in plain sight under a false consensus targeted to human guilt, fear and powerlessness.
While the term corruption is associated with hate and blame – I feel to look beneath personality politics to illuminate the corruption of true communication with falsehood or deceits – much of which is a result of denied self – or ‘unconscious’ but active self definition relative to our world. True responsibility is lost to guilt and blame conditioning – and true justice to vengeance. So much so that few reading will have a clue as to what I mean because blame is the currency of thought that we are conditioned to identify in.
Without a core sense of worth – there is nothing but managed worthlessness seeking to validate or atone, overcome or redefine itself. Neither the state nor the corporation can give a true sense of worth – for this is something that extends from the willingness to receive and share it. Divide and rule operates against communicating true presence – and is the ‘mind-control’ of a masked or split off sense of self that passes off a presentation that masks what is felt unacceptable or unworthy or fearful.
That we are being lied to needs also to include that we lie to ourselves – especially when we do not want to be overwhelmed or exposed to experience in which we feel loss of control – or loss of self – an upsurge of invalidity and unworthiness that may be felt as denied worth and so associate with hate and rage.
Self-honesty is something we may think we have until we actually watch ourselves in the thought, feeling and act – and blame absolutely works to prevent such exposure – until we learn that we need a true foundation as a point of grounded sanity and ignore the fearmongering of guilt agenda by separating from that which separates us from a true willingness for Life – on Life’s terms rather than persisting in attempting to coerce Life; each other and our world, to conform to our narrative identities.
If Life on Earth is our desire – then our thought and word and act needs align within this desire – not as guilt-based correctness but as a freely accepted self-honesty.
I speak to the foundation because without it – nothing else can really take, or work, or grow. Everything is a matter of where we are truly ‘coming from’ – for that is the measure of what we experience. The fact that we have such difficulty relating or communicating, is a reflection of our relationship with our self. This may sound insane – but note that when you are out of accord and in conflict within yourself – NONE of your relationships will reflect harmony – excepting those dedicated to evading and denying such honesty. In other words psychological defensive strategies of mutually assured distraction.
I see no future for a conscious humanity without a willingness for and valuing of inner honesty, for otherwise manipulation and deceit are given belonging in us and attract the same in our lives. our relationships and endeavours and our world. Wake up within what seems real and uncover a native curiosity.
Our future unfolds out from our presence. But what we take as our present is often defined in terms of a past sense of denial and sacrificed to a future like the past. ‘Mindfulness’ serves an inner balancing and navigation within a wholeness of being – but conditioned reaction only thinks it knows, for a true noticing or what is here and our sense of self definition within it – opens perspective that conditioned sleepwalking cannot access. Few look here because problems demand attention and disallow life-time in free awareness. But the call of Life is always your Now.
If what is here is a pause from succumbing to a managed mind that believes itself free because it is protected from having to question and feel for itself – then here is a call to embrace questioning and feeling for yourself – because this opens a true relationship – a true Union – even with people you have not met, be they of any background. But I said feeling rather than thinking because the illusion of thinking for yourself is the signature of divide and rule substitution.
Split off thinking operates at expense of wholeness. It is not true or worthy currency and generates a split off world in which power seeks order in forms of unity that overrides and deny free willingness. But the Law is made for Humanity. Humanity is not made to be sacrificed to ‘law’ in name and form that has no true willingness in our hearts. Such is tyranny of coercion upon the Gift of Life – or self-blinding ignorance and arrogance as a lesson plan.

Jul 2, 2016 8:08 PM
Reply to  binra

You ought to keep a copy of the comments you’ve been posting as they could be the basis of a sustained, coherent monograph — enlivened with concrete, real-life examples of the the concepts and the dynamics you’re articulating here.

Jul 3, 2016 11:21 PM
Reply to  Vaska

Thankyou Vaska. I keep copies of my comments and blog some at:
While it is possible to work the initial comments to be more accessible, perhaps… I feel a greater value in stirring recognitions of synchronicity than targeting an intellectual assimilation. So I accept that what I write can often seem dense or abstract or of course meaningless!
The nature of ripening crisis may initiate the willingness of a ‘need to know’ that runs deeper and is more practical than the desire to extend or reinforce a current understanding (that the crisis embodies).
My sense of our ‘times’ is that our models of reality – and hence identity – are breaking down or disintegrating – with everything coming up that was previously denied or hidden – and triggering all kinds of control issues – including the attempt to frame everything in personal terms. I look to illuminate the core beliefs and definitions out of which we live because I recognize that is where freedom to be the true of who I am is. How I think and feel, interpret, perceive and do, will be an automatic self interest according to how I define myself. Human beings tend to presume freedom as the judge and doer and lose perspective on the framing or defining idea that they are acting out from. Manipulators see this and feed narratives to generate outcomes that serve their own agenda. However, this feeds into ideas of superiority of power over inferiors or of lesser worth and the poverty of their gift sets the limit to their own capacity to receive, and so they are compelled to ‘get’ or take, coerce or deceive to find substitute fulfilments to sharing joy in life. I don’t talk about ‘The Elites’ in particular here, but the mentality of employing manipulation in place of
communication. So much so that communication is automatically interpreted as manipulative intent. Loss of integrity results in insane and ugly perceptions and reactions. Not least because a substitution of justification over and against others presents itself in ‘forms’ of integrity.
I find the perspectives I attempt to ‘clothe’ in words, to be enlivening, and the personal, tribal, ideological, identity assertions to be obfuscating and diversionary. So I share from what moves me to whoever resonates in shared moment of appreciation in considering in this way – but not as seeking agreement or consent so much as living a willingness that grows in me by acting from it – and thus opening space of free awareness in which to notice more of how I accept false thinking and set myself up to suffer the consequence. Of course I feel this a practical responsibility amidst ‘a world of lies’ – and the meta-message between the lines.

question everything
question everything
Jul 1, 2016 10:54 PM

Koenig aces it here compared to Faulkner
Faulkner is typical of the dogmatic Trotskyist mindest – EVERYTHING is seen thru the lens of dogma; there is no perspective, no possibilities foreseen, no present context…
I used to belong to a hard left party like this (Socialist party uk). EXACTLY the same, and their geopolitical awareness is spoonfed from the Guardian et al – which makes them blinkered, blind and useless in terms of the wider picture.
They all remind me of scientologists or the like. Why can’t they think outside the box? I am still hard left but I cannot be a part of a herd mentality that treats Marx as the Son of God and Trotsky as his first apostle. Where the truth has been revealed in the sacred texts and that being the only truth that can set you free, and you NEVER question the texts or the leadership.
Marx and Trotsky are incredibly relevant as touchstones and filters – especially now – but critical thought and creativity didn’t end in their time. We would be wrong to decree that we cannot use present developments in our time and relevant geopolitical contexts to shape our views, but the mindset I am describing does not see it that way, sadly.
The mentality I have described above is a closed one. From my personal experience it’s like their brains have lost any higher function beyond this narrow groupthink lens determined by fixed canon, it’s sad really because there are some very talented people there but they seem lost for now and they are needed.
I voted for uncertainty with the possibility of change – and a chance to put a big wrench in the works for the Empire and the 1%. For a chance to break free from their banks, transnational controls, TTIP et al and hopefully NATO. To destabilize the people who pursue these agendas; if you want to make a socialist omelette you need to take some risks and break some eggs.
Voting for more of the same because you are busy arguing about who is more of or a better-informed leftist, or engaging in a closed esoteric (to most) debate which lets you point the finger that says ‘I am right because I follow the revealed Word and know it better than most of you’ is just stupid and self-defeating – you just alienate people and are left to wallow in your self-generated superiority whilst everyone else continues to get shat on by the status quo with NO hope of improvement. It doesn’t help anyone or anything in any way.
I accept the possibility of right-wing intensification in the short term, and the racism etc is disgusting, but opting for no more of the status quo is the only thing that holds possibilities for change. More of the same whilst signing petitions, leafletting and engaging in ideological navel-gazing does not.
I would rather have uncertainty with the possibility of change – and a fairly strong one I think – rather than the status quo with NO possibility of change.
That is what we have with an unreformable (no democratic mechanisms for reform whatsoever…plus technocrat turkeys are unlikely to vote for christmas).
Also Brexit deprives the right wing of the ability of hiding behind the EU or blaming the EU now – for domestic or foreign policy – and judging by the reaction in their pet MSM this is something that terrifies them, as we have seen in the last week.
FYI – I am one of the disabled who is being abused by the neolibs in the red, yellow and blue camps who are in reality actually part of the same party/political grouping.
I lost everything 6 years ago when I got sick – career, money, savings, house etc. My area has been hammered in the last 30+ years by thatcher/blairism/the EU. I agree with immigration – we need it.
My reasons had nothing in common with the ones that leave campaigned on because I despised them, hence why I refused to campaign for either side despite being a Labour member.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jul 2, 2016 5:22 PM

So Faulkner is a Trotskyite? That actually explains a lot. Though I am socialist myself (of no particular school) I have learned in time to hold the Trotyskyites suspect. In my experience, no matter radical, hard-core or ‘politically correct’ they come on, they almost always end up flacking for the system, even if in a roundabout way, using their own, esoteric reasoning.
That also probably explains why he feels compelled to get in yet another gratuitous dig at the long-gone Comintern. This would dovetail nicely with the current propaganda that Brexiteers are all just so many stooges of the Kremlin (‘Putin is weaponizing Brexit!’).
Anyway, thanks for the heads-up.

Jul 1, 2016 9:59 PM

And here is spoof ‘TV Reporter” ‘Jonathan Pie’ managing to articulate what many of us are actually feeling
Faulkner can really pack his traps and go home. Neither he nor his Leninist screed has the slightest relevance.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jul 2, 2016 5:27 PM
Reply to  reinertorheit

Thanks for the video! I’m saving it.

Jul 1, 2016 9:54 PM

For me the choice leave/remain would have been easy i.e. Leave, because
1) the EU is treating the citizens of Greece and refugees from the ME as non-human beings,
2) wants to bring TTIP to EU citizens, and austerity for all except for the corporations
3) is hardly democratic if at all,
4) is preparing us for a (cold) war with Russia
5) continues its economicus sanctions against Russia because Crimeans massively voted to join Russia in 2014 after Crimeans did no longer trust the installed government in Kiev from Nuland et al (“Yats is the guy”).
6) Cannot protect its citizens against terror attacks (because of aggresive wars in the Mid East that are conducted by, amongst others, the EU)
7) Cannot be held accountable for the policies which it imposes to EU citizens (e.g. Spying on its citizens) and abroad (e.g. Bombing Syrian and Iraqi civilians to death)
8) Is not listening to EU citizens who for example did not want the EU constitution in 2005 (as was the case in my country, the Netherlands), or do not want to associate with Ukraine (ibid in 2016), aka a democratic deficit.
6-8 are actually key concepts in Chomsky’s definition of what a failed state is (see here: https://chomsky.info/20060405/), and would be enough for me to vote ‘leave’. But 1-5 are at least as important, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a few other important reasons why I would not like to remain in the EU and prefer the old situation of Europe with 28 extra States and no EU.
The only thing that the Remain Side can put against these reasons appears to be the fear argument. Things will only get worse if you leave the EU as a country is what they say. Well, in Dutch we say that fear is a bad counselor (don’t know the equivalent English expression), and I think that currently anything is better than the status quo which (I just read the other day) makes of every 113th living human being on earth a refugee and turns the climate into a humid oven (because that is so profitable for fossil fuel companies).
These are all truths to me.
But perhaps truth is not enough in the society we live in. Perhaps one wants facts instead of truth. What’s the difference? As explained by Oswald Spengler, almost 100 years ago in his book: the Decline of the West:
“In the world of facts, truths are simply means, effective insofar they dominate spirits and therefore determine action. Their position is determined not by whether they are correct or even merely logical, but whether they tell. […] If in the world of truths it is proof that decides all, in that of facts it is succes. […] Successes in the fact world, are todays products of the Press. What the Press wills is true. Three weeks of press work and the “truth” is acknowledged by everybody. […] The reader neither knows, nor is allowed to know, the purposes for which he is used, nor even the role that he has to play. A more apalling caricature of freedom of thought cannot be imagined. […] One wips their souls with articles and pictures until they clamour for weapons and force their leaders into a conflict to which they willed to be forced.
This is the end of Democracy.”
So hurray for Brexit.

question everything
question everything
Jul 1, 2016 11:04 PM
Reply to  Willem

well said – I have the same reasons also

Jul 1, 2016 8:53 PM

I read Faulkner’s schtick up to the moment he invoked Godwin’s Law. Once he dragged Hitler in (alongside Lenin, Trump, and The Jews) there seemed little point in reading him further. Like most of the commentary I’ve read on Brexit. he sets up a series of Aunt Sallies for the pleasure of knocking them down again. Not a single one of them has the slightest relevance or pertenance to the issue of Britain’s membership of the European Union.
Deeply depressing.

Jul 1, 2016 7:50 PM

Faulkner writes: “What is true in an abstract sense – that there is nothing to choose between the City of London and European Central Bank – is not true when you translate it into the concrete terms of a live political debate..”
Nor in geographical terms either: The City of London lies within England. It is within the power of the English people to do with it as they please. They can take over its banks, tax its revenues, nationalise (again) the Bank of England. They could not do the same with the European Central Bank. Nobody can so long as it is protected by its alter-ego the EU Commission and governance.
Faulkner calls himself a “revolutionary socialist” but he seems to have no grasp on the basic realities of power, geography or culture. The working class no more voted for Gove, Farage and Johnson than, in 1944 they voted for Churchill, Eden and Macmillan, they did what they wanted to do and now they can do what they want to do next, if the momentum continues.
There is nothing revolutionary about automatically assuming the worst motives are guiding the working class, that is what reactionaries and reformists do, full as the latter are of petty bourgeois mistrust of the people.

Jul 1, 2016 9:17 PM
Reply to  bevin

Completely correct. The working class know one thing very clearly – they have been shafted by Cameron, his Eton friends, his big business cronies, and by the EU and its faceless robotic morons. Just this week Federica Mogherini has announced she is bringing in an EU Army. It is hinted that it is intended to fight Russia. When was this agreed? Who is going to pay for it? Who is going to fight in its ranks? But Faulkner is living in yesteryear, still fighting Hitler like Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army. What a waste of space the Left have turned out to be!! Doing NOTHING for working people whatsoever, and jabbering about Weimar in 1932.
No wonder voters have walked away from Faulkner and fools like him.

Jul 2, 2016 4:40 AM
Reply to  reinertorheit

If u step back and listen and analyse what he is saying it is off historical perspective and rightly so he looks at the similarities of how things were then and how they r shaping up today. One thing is for sure since western civilized world has shifted from a so called democracy to an overt corporatocracy which I am sure that most of u critising Faulkners article will acknowledge his argument are valid. The rise of nationalistic right wing figures with in all the western countries is there for all of us to c. IE: Ukraine comes to mind. Salafist ideology . and docius in fundum last but not least the arparthied state of Isreal

Jul 1, 2016 7:30 PM

Faulkner is telling lies, and Koenig repeats lies. I don’t find anything recognisable from either of these reports. We are not racists yet we resist immigration. We don’t seek the breakup of the EU just relief from their hegemony.
Why do these issues have to be so polemic?
We want control of our destinies in the uk, the world does what it does. When we are self-contained and confident we can begin to push for change elsewhere. Until then we are fighting battles on two fronts. We need to reform our political system to remove the equivicators.
I agreed with the EUs original aims. I don’t agree with American interference or the neoliberal agenda. Take back control.

Jul 1, 2016 7:53 PM
Reply to  headrush69

I’m sorry I should be more clear. Faulkner regards us as useful idiots for ukip, Koenig is living a dream. I am more hopeful that we can find a way that avoids extremes. Extremes lead to backlash and that is exactly what is wrong with politics of recent times. Advances get repealed by both sides. We need a government who works as one for the betterment of society, not adversarial point scoring. Is there really no hope for that?