Brexit: A polite warning. Everyone will be fine.
I was happily away from this stuff for a few days and look what I find 🙂
I comment regularly at Project Syndicate, and the tone of the overwhelming majority of the written reactions at that publication was absolute hysteria.
I can understand that for a politician or banker in the UK this screws up your summer, maybe even your year, more than any event you can remember. For the rest of the world, however? Probably not even top 5.
Just to name a few disruptive events that I can remember, and I’m not that old: Great financial crisis / dot-com / s&l. Fall of Berlin wall / reunification. End of communism throughout eastern europe, end of USSR. Bombings in UK/Ireland. Balkans war. Ukraine war. Mini oil crisis. Fukushima. Chernobyl. Tienanmen square. 9/11 and the resulting hysteria and militarization. The fairly transparent fraud of the Iraq war and the years of blowback that followed.
Nope, sky is not falling. Misguided or not, voters expressed their dissatisfaction at the ballot box. Keep in mind, the same process were done to put the European structures together — in several cases voters rejected various treaties and multiple votes were held, with some small concessions between until voters finally approved.
So this is on the whole a good thing. Firstly, a functioning democracy that makes a decision you don’t like is almost always better than an undemocratic system. Secondly, lots of small governments are less susceptible to monoculture – risk of the Big Mistake for everyone all at once.
The one Brexit-related subject I want to talk about at some point is that the debate, as far as I can tell from here in the US, focused on exaggerated economic fear-mongering on the Remain side, vs exaggerated migrant/immigrant fear-mongering on the Leave side. From my point of view in sunny upstate NY, I didn’t see that much nuanced discussion of the merits of the EU’s interpretation of democracy and sharing of power. Save that for another time.