Why Brexit Matters

Why Brexit Matters, by Michael Dougherty.

Britain is reclaiming its agency as a self-governing nation. Its example will reverberate throughout Europe. …

If the European Union were merely the European Market, Brexit would be foolish … But the European Union is not just a market but a political project, really a kind of institutionalized utopian project.

The EU is the return of the medieval political culture of rule by elites:

European Council president Donald Tusk said, “I fear Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also Western political civilization in its entirety.” It’s easy to point and laugh at such an extravagant statement, but Tusk was verbalizing the incredible challenge Brexit presents to a certain kind of European mind, a mind conditioned to the idea that democracy inheres not in popular sovereignty — democratic peoples governing themselves — but in the elite administration of human rights, insulated from democratic passions and prejudices.

It is this worldview that has shaped the construction of the European Union. The EU is governed by an unelected Commission and an unelected Court, both joined to an elected Parliament with no real legislative power. Can you impeach a European commissioner? Can you vote for one? Or vote to remove one? No, non, nein!

Untethered from real democratic input, the EU at once suffocates European life with regulation and unmoors it with lawless caprice. …

Stamping out democracy:

The next Conference on the Future of Europe … is already preparing to recommend removing the last true badges of sovereign and democratic control from national parliaments: their freedom to tax and appropriate money as they see fit.

Doing this is likely necessary to save the Euro. But the price is the loss of self-government on the continent where self-government was born into this world. Having bought off almost every party save for nationalists and populists, the European Union is, ironically, guaranteeing the very thing it was created to stop: the ascendance of nationalist parties to domination of Europe.

And they call themselves “progressives”. Same old monster from the past resurrecting itself, against the flow of history.

The flow of history is towards freedom, individuality, and spreading political power over a broader base. Progress is towards the consent of the governed, not away from it.

hat-tip Stephen Neil