Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
And it's v. hard to unburn a hand.  And I'm not sure any lessons will be learned. Ten years from now, with the UK economy perhaps 10% smaller than it otherwise would have been, most people will shrug their shoulders when asked about Brexit and say gaining their "freedom" was worth it, and that any loss of output and wealth was all because the EU chose to "punish" the UK.

I used to have an equilibrium theory of politics (a very long time ago). According to this theory if a political system moved very hard right a reaction would occur and it would then swing hard left around some notional centre.

Then I saw too many cases where this simply didn't happen.  People would double down on their mistakes and become ever more embittered and entrenched in their views. Far from swing back left the whole spectrum or Overton window or notional centre would just keep careering right.

And then, even if they did fall right over a cliff and the whole system crashed they would still be heard mumbling into their beers about how they had been betrayed.  Hitler felt that way about his armies even when they had been faced with overwhelming odds. American generals felt that way about the Vietnam war being lost because of the libruls back home.

One of the reasons I find the whole substance and style of the Trump Presidency so alarming is that he is redefining what is normal to such a huge degree. And he hasn't lost much support and Republican governors are still amongst the most popular in the land. He is changing what it means to be an American.

There is simply no bottom to how low this can get, and no automatic corrective to pull it back to some notional mean. The UK in 10 years time could be significantly poorer (relative to the EU), ultra-nationalist, quasi fascist, and xenophobic as hell, and it will all have come to be seen as normal by the majority. A backwater doesn't seem like a backwater to those who know no different.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 1st, 2017 at 09:18:20 PM EST
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