I am weirdly and unhealthily fascinated by Brexit, and I can't really put down, why. But now I ran across an article by umair haque: How Britain Became the Dumbest Society in the World
, which puts it quite nicely into words, I think.
That should be a lesson to the world. A tragic, maybe funny, maybe fitting one. See the sad, strange, stupid tale of the world’s dumbest country? It used to be one of the world’s best places to live. And it destroyed itself in just 20 years, so completely that it will never be remotely the same again.
Learn that story well. Don’t ever, ever repeat it.
I guess, it is a worthwhile endeavor to try to understand what is going on with Brexit, which illustrates how intertwined we are and how badly we need to focus more on cooperation than competition
He also mentions one of his earlier articles from 2019: What Americans (Still) Don’t Understand About Fascism
that I find even more insightful.
One of my greatest fears is that fascist tendencies in our society could gain a stronger hold and dominance. In "Hitler als Vorläufer
" Carl Amery lays out how fascist ideology never went away and how it provides toxic answers to larger problems we are facing. umair haque put this concisely in these words:
Fascism rations stagnation. It’s so vital I’ll say it again. We have never, ever once seen fascism arising during good times in all of human history because fascism is a way to take from some and give to others — a bad, inhuman, and foolish way to solve a problem: the problem of stagnation, when the harvest begins to fail. But it is a way to solve a problem nonetheless, and until we understand that, we have understood precisely nothing about it at all. Now, the some that take are of course always more powerful, and those that are forced to give are usually, therefore, perfectly logically, the least powerful and most vulnerable of all. The fascist’s hate in this way serves a purpose: it is a social mechanism of rationing in order to solve the problem of stagnation.
We are facing the limits of earth and are burning through it's precious ressources faster than would be sustainable. At the same time we are facing severe challenges and catastrophes due to climate change with rising sea levels, catastrophic weather events and ecological collapses. Thus, the outlook pretty much is that of stagnation, we can not allow us to fall for tribalism and competition in answer to this. The challenges are global and it will require global cooperation to save our civilization.
I don't share umair haques overly positive appraisal of the EU in his article on Brexit, but the criticism is more with the individual states and less with the EU itself. The overarching goal of an ever closer integration is very much a step in the right direction. Brexit shows how easily it is breached and how prelevant the idea of tribalism is. I believe, a broader, tight integration on a larger scale allows for greater flexibility on a smaller scale with the freedom for stronger identity of small local communities. With an overarching understanding to cooperate, we can organize in smaller more autonomous entities. That's why I think that it would be possible to have, for example, Scotland or Catalonia as member states within the EU.
However, the EU is actually insufficient in my opinion, we really need global cooperation and as such, I think, we need to strengthen our cooperation on the level of the UN. I believe, we actually made quite some progress in the 20th century after the second world war, but we are in a constant struggle to not go back on these gains and are on the brink of losing everything.