Old racists have destroyed Britain. That’s the narrative saturating the Internet, TV, and radio ever since Brexit. Fair-weather fans of democracy decry the UK’s recent vote to leave the European Union as an “economic disaster” which has sown the “seeds of fascism”.
If Britain has become hostile to migrants, then it has certainly fallen a long way in a short time. Just last year, in 2015, the Legatum Prosperity Index ranked the UK in the top 20 in the category of “People who believe their country is a good place for immigrants”, above nearly every other EU country and the United States. That same index also ranked the UK in the top 20 in the category of “Where people feel their country is tolerant of ethnic minorities.” So what changed?
The answer, of course, is nothing. Britain is every bit as tolerant as it ever was. “Racist” has replaced “communist” in the new McCarthyism of social justice. As a label which can be neither defined nor disproven, it has become a political cudgel, swung against anyone who doesn’t make virtue signaling a full time job. That liberals would wield the weapon so effortlessly is the final proof of their distaste of democracy.
Instead of a goal unto itself, democracy has become a tool in an ideological war. When the voters get it “wrong”, the new solution is to berate them. Once the uneducated masses see the error of their ways, the reasonable people can always call for a new vote or outright refuse to comply with unfavorable outcomes.
The End of Democracy?
In what is perhaps the greatest linguistic coup since the advent of “cheese product”, the word “democracy” has become synonymous with the state. If a thing is important, then surely the state must guarantee it for all. How many times have you heard, “we, as a society, believe all people have the right to ____”?
Healthcare, food, water, and even Internet access have become human rights, i.e. the responsibility of governments. If these must be guaranteed by the state, then it only follows that the state has an obligation to seek out as many dependents as possible. If there exists anywhere on Earth a single man, woman, or child without high-speed Internet access then haven’t “we” failed as a global community?
This is the philosophy of globalization. We’re told that we stand in the way of progress when we oppose the ever expanding scope of political bureaucracy. There is always a new right to something and a new government agency to fulfill that right. Given enough time, the European Union would have agencies and bureaus to fight every ill humanity has ever dreamt. Surely only ignorant hill folk would oppose such a utopian vision.
Liberal philosophy was once suspicious of government. Thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Locke, and Thomas Jefferson warned against the temptations of centralized power. Smith understood the prosperity derived from trade in comparative advantage. Locke explained the virtue of a diversity of worldviews in preventing unrest. And Jefferson knew political majorities would always seek to impose themselves upon others.
These are multi-cultural, free market luminaries who distrusted their governments. Today these liberals would be branded as backwards, racist, unsympathetic corporatists for their belief in human capabilities.
Elite opinion tells us that without the European Union the UK will exclude migrants and inhibit trade. Yet Enlightenment philosophers understood that diversity and prosperity were the results of less government intrusion, not more. Brexit is a wrench in the gears of centralization. Perhaps Britain will replace the EU controls on “free” trade and migration with their own centralized solutions.
But liberals should advocate that those controls be replaced by the most tolerant and peaceful solution.
Adam Allpow, Esq. is the founder of the Voluntary Institute. He holds his Bachelor of Arts in History from Illinois State University and his Juris Doctorate from the American University in Washington, D.C.
Adam works full time as a Director of the Voluntary Institute which includes his role as the host of Peace Propaganda.
The Voluntary Institute would like to welcome Tom Woods to its Board of Directors.