The brownshirts are coming! The brownshirts are coming!


The latest theme to appear in Chicken Little’s Brexit quodlibet: it’s strengthened the hand of nativists and fascists like UKIP.

Well, of course it has; and the Left has only itself to blame. Instead of getting out ahead of the brownshirts on what was clearly a very popular and deeply-felt topic, and articulating a rational case for Brexit, the British Left – such as it is – mostly played the Mere Liberal card, put themselves on the wrong side of history, and allowed the battle to take place on UKIP’s chosen ground.

Take poor Jeremy Corbyn (please!). Though he’s a Euroskeptic himself, he went along with his embedded Blairites and took an obviously half-hearted, not to say insincere, Remainder stance. Result? The aforementioned Blairites are conducting a coup against him and blaming him for the debacle. Whether they will succeed or not remains to be seen, though personally I think it’s quite likely that they will in fact resume control of that deliquescent galvanized corpse, the Labour Party; and much good may it do them.

There will always be Fascists, and they will always have to be fought. There’s always a UKIP or something like it. That would have still been the case, Brexit or no Brexit. But it’s a bad strategy for fighting them to cast your lot with a remote anonymous supranational machine, whose terrible wheels within wheels spin slowly, like Ezekiel’s vision,

‘Way up yonder in the middle o‘ the air.’

There is such a thing as horse sense. Brexiters in general may seldom have been able to articulate good clear reasons for their choice, but we ought to recognize that instinct may be sound even where consciousness is muddled.

Then of course there are the Youths and the highly educated, Remainders to a man, who invert the terms of that equation. – Or no, perhaps that’s unfair. Perhaps they see themselves as more likely to be able to navigate Tom Friedman’s world than the Exiters (rightly) could expect to do. In many cases – though certainly not all – that might even be true.

The Youths, of course, have never known a world without the EU, so in a sense they were casting conservative votes.

And as for the highly educated – well, as we all know, with rare exceptions, the more educated you are, the more indoctrinated you are.

Update: I read that the Scottish Labor party is looking for a way to stay in the EU and the UK. Talk about the worst of both worlds!

8 thoughts on “The brownshirts are coming! The brownshirts are coming!

  1. Even if the Brownshirts do come to power, it’s not as if Liberals have much to fear from them–their supine backs allow them to adapt themselves to any situation. Besides there are even some who find interesting ideological and sociological parallels between the two tendencies whose members seemingly loathe each other:

    Since the end of the war there has been a strong temptation to dismiss Nazism as an anti-western aberration, the exact antithesis of the values of the Enlightenment and liberal democracy…Liberal 19th-century Europe–the heartland of racism, imperialism and colonial war–was the cultural and ideological laboratory in which Nazism developed.

  2. the opinion of the people is a strange beast. all empires rest on the steel of the military & the clay of public opinion.

    I was trying to find where i read this but Corbyn’s woes may be related to the impending release of the Chilcott inquiry report. Labour wants a committed Blairite at the helm.

  3. I’m not surprised by the youths vote because the youths be youths. They’re under the illusion that they have the freedom of choice and movement within the continent. Never mind the fact that it’s nearly impossible for an Anglophone to get a job in France or Germany unless they can speak, read, and write in the native tongues. Even if they’re not seeking a desk job with the requirement of reading and writing in the native tongue of that country, they still need to speak the language to be able to work as say, a waitress. So I have no idea what they’re lamenting other than the purchasing power of the Pound, which is a legitimate issue to be concerned with.

    I rejoiced momentarily when the head mother fucker of the Blarites got sacked but of course, that was short lived and now Corbyn might get ousted too, for which he has no one to blame but himself. And as for the Scots wanting to leave the UK and join the EU, what can be said about another form of nationalism. It’s not leftist cultural nationalism because the EU is anything but Left. It’s another cultural nationalism that I have become so disdainful of thanks to living in Québec for the past 5 years.

    • Ecosse becoming independent is the right move. Of course staying with the EU means they’ll end up near the back of the bus along with Ireland. I suppose self-assertion is par for the course when a constituent country feels its identity assaulted by the nation-state to which it belongs. And make no mistake, bigotry against the Scots is real, if largely benign–notes issues by Scottish banks are routinely refused in England, as if they were a foreign currency. Also, my experience living there–though I lived in not-so-Scottish Edinburgh–was that the nationalism takes about a healthy a form as nationalism gets. Contra the arrogance of the Basques, e.g.

      • Lest there be some mistake, I’m all in favor of Scottish independence. Soon to be followed by Welsh independence, Cornish independence, and the secession of Yorkshire, if I had my way.

  4. At this point, I’m in favor of anything — anything — that gums up the works, freaks out the smug elites, and obstructs the march of the hegemons. Brexit, Occupy, Black Lives Matter, the restless natives among the white working class, the Greek left, BDS, and so forth — whatever works. Alex Cockburn once wrote something to the effect that the autobus of history doesn’t have a destination sign. Whatever it takes.

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