United Kingdom (PanAm) – Brexit has recently taken over the news and social media, with everyone focusing on their pet issue. Journalists, policy analysts, economists, and common folks stress only a one piece of the puzzle.
But Brexit is a complex problem, with multiple factors interfering simultaneously, and as happens with every vote, citizens decided on which electoral offer most attracted or repelled them.
Brexit critics have pointed out the alleged xenophobia, nationalism, isolationism, and economic ignorance behind the Leave vote.
On the other side, its supporters argue that the European Union (EU) is actually annihilating individual sovereignty and properly understood democracy, squandering taxpayers’ money for the benefit of an elite political bureaucracy.
In other words, Brexit voters say that the EU, as it currently functions, is leading its members down “the road to serfdom.”
Given that Brexit critics have enjoyed widespread coverage on mainstream media, let’s turn to the arguments of the opposing camp.
For instance, Kevin Dowd campaigned in favor of his country leaving the EU. In his articles, he makes the case with the following:
- The EU cannot be considered a successful democratic model.
- The European Constitution is nothing more than an cheap imitation of the English Magna Carta. The centuries of liberty and increased quality of life for the common man are the best proof that the British documents are founded on ideas and habits that benefit the community as a whole. The same cannot be said of the European Constitution.
- By any standard, the EU is governed by a corrupt and non-transparent kleptocracy in Brussels that answers to no one. It squeezes billions of sterling pounds from British taxpayers each year, the majority of which are wasted on unproductive and irrational projects devised for some politician’s campaign.
- Since political and economic elites, central banks, CEOs of multinationals and investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and some Nobel Prize winners are announcing that Brexit would be a “catastrophe”, voters have demonstrated a growing disdain toward the governing elites and the bubble they live in. They are increasingly removed from the interests and sufferings of the common man.
- The EU infringes on the internal affairs of Great Britain and demands increasingly more control over them. It is clear that those who lead the European Community from Brussels are determined to impose a one-size-fits-all fiscal and foreign affairs policy.
- Monetary policy carried forth by the European Central Bank is a mess, and the euro is about to collapse.
- The EU’s economic policy has stimulated low economic growth and high unemployment rates across all Europe. The situation is not expected to improve in the short or medium terms.
- The EU has imposed misguided regulations and interferes with international free trade. The Common Agricultural Policy has condemned millions of people from food-producing countries to poverty in order to protect prosperous Europeans. Ironically, this protectionism is one of the primary causes of the migration wave causing Europe so much trouble.
In sum, Brexit supporters largely felt, rationally or intuitively, that their liberties were at risk due to the EU’s policies.
There are many ways to exploit people and turn them into serfs. Some are overt, like dictatorships. Others are wrapped in democratic clothing, but the result is the same: the descent of most of society into serfdom.
Law and politics play such a foundational role in determining the attainable quality of life that abysmal differences exist between countries. To create an environment where it is possible to lead a decent life, a country needs to: divide power in order to limit it, give citizens tools to control the public expenditure, and allow voters to meet with those who aspire to hold public offices.
In other words, the exact opposite of what the EU stands for. Individual liberty is better protected within small territories rather than large one, where residents choose their authorities and their taxes are spent within their limits, in the Swiss canton style.
On the other hand, history has shown that without individual economic autonomy, all other liberties are wishful thinking. That which controls our livelihoods simultaneously controls all other aspects of our existence.
There are three major ways in which the authorities take advantage of the fruits of other people’ labors, frequently for their own benefit: expropriation without compensation, a monopoly on money by the central banks, and taxes that don’t follow the “Swiss canton” model.
The EU’s governing elites do behave as Dowd puts it. They have transformed themselves into veritable Leviathans, encroaching on liberties and sucking up an ever-increasing portion of European citizens’ work. It is a shocking evolution if we consider what historian Alan J. Taylor points out:
Up until August 1914, an Englishman could live all his life without noticing the state’s existence beyond the post office and the police. He could live wherever and however he wished. There was no national identity card. He could travel and leave his country without a permit and without passports. He could trade his money for any other currency without restrictions whatsoever. He could purchase goods from any other country in the same terms that he did in his own… the English paid taxes for 8 percent of national income.”
Something similar would occur in the rest of the Western world. Nowadays, due to the tax burden, a citizen must work several months for free for the state. When people try to defend themselves from this racketeering, sending their money to other places in order to hide it from greedy politicians, they are regulated by “tax treaties,” elimination of bank secrecy, and elimination of physical money.
The entire world is turning into an enormous prison where there is nowhere to hide from the rapacity of the elites.
Weaker countries must endure the imperialistic impositions of the EU without recourse, so we are pleased that the British have given the EU a good slap on the wrist.
Hopefully, once again, the Anglo-Saxon culture will save humanity from the international tyranny to which it is headed.
This report prepared by Hana Fischer for PanAm Post.