Friday, June 24, 2016
“So… Brexit It Is”
“So… Brexit It Is”
Global Elites Sob Quietly in the Corner
by Laissez Faire Today
"This is, of course, great news. In an overly-centralized world, any decentralization of power is a marvelous thing and a sight for sore eyes. We’re especially digging the headlines in our newsfeed this morning: Brexit Vote: A Pie in the Face to the Global Elites; The Brexit Vote is a New Milestone in the Global War on the Elites; America’s arrogant elites should take Brexit as a warning. The Brexit truly is the shot heard ‘round the world.
As you know, our current form of “globalism,” the biggest consolidation of power the world has ever seen, is anything but free. Far from opening up markets and promoting free trade for all, globalism has centralized the world’s decision-making into a few hands. It’s what Robert Wenzel calls “backroom globalism.” Looking back, this unfettered form of centralization of power was the hallmark of the 20th century. It had its time to push people around and make the many a miserable people.
But, breathe easy. We live in, we believe, the end of an era. Now, it’s time to roll that buggy back. This idea that what stands between complete chaos and a functioning society is punk politicians, bungling bureaucrats and criminal cops who create and enforce arbitrary laws and regulations, institutionalize violence, and direct the allocation of resources, is wrong.
The Great Experiment has, once again, failed. As it should. For the future will be bright… and decentralized. “The issue of decentralization,” the Capitalist Exploits blog reads, “is one of the most important discussions of our time. It is being thrust upon individuals, corporates and governments alike as waves of capital shift at increasing speed.”
Funny thing is, though, everybody’s so focused on the house of cards tipping over, they’re far too distracted to notice the vast sea of opportunities opening up. “Shockingly,” CE goes on, “decentralization is an issue which gets less attention than a nipple slip from one of the Kardashians or some such celebrity who, as far as I can tell, is famous for being famous. This is how the world has always worked, proving Pareto’s law with the repetition of a Swiss clock. Incidentally this allows for the few who understand the forces in motion to prepare, and prosper well ahead of the masses.”
Of course, as far as the Brexit goes, it’s still early in the game. Nothing is final. In the end, the Brexit is not the decision of the public, it’s up to Parliament. They have final say. “There has been plenty of outcry against the move to break away from the EU,” Dan Dicks reports on Press For Truth, “so it wouldn't be surprising if representatives decided to go against the will of the people and refuse to go ahead with the decision to exit.
“In order to formally break away from the EU, members are required to notify the EU of their intention to withdraw and the EU is then required to negotiate the withdrawal agreement. The recent Brexit vote does not meet that formal requirement however, and there will need to be that notification made first which is something that could take place in only a few days from now. Once they have made the move to do that, by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, there will be a two-year window for negotiations in an attempt to replace current EU membership terms. There are still many glitches to be worked out and the process could take years.
“For lovers of liberty,” Dicks goes on, “the decision of the British people to opt for decentralization comes as a victory. ‘Large centralized states have become mystical self-justifying goals…’ says political analyst Tom Woods, and nations will go along with that centralization until things go sour; then it will turn into a rush to see who can get out the door first. The more decentralized things are, the better the prospects are for liberty.”
To drive this point home, we’ve invited Jeff Deist to the show to talk about the Brexit, nationhood, and the vast merits of individual self-determination. Read on…"
"Brexit: Individualism > Nationalism > Globalism"
by Jeff Deist
"Decentralization and devolution of state power is always a good thing, regardless of the motivations behind such movements. Hunter S. Thompson, looking back on 60s counterculture in San Francisco, lamented the end of that era and its imagined flower-child innocence: "So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."
Does today’s Brexit vote, win or lose, similarly mark the spot where the once-inevitable march of globalism begins to recede? Have ordinary people around the world reached the point where real questions about self-determination have become too acute to ignore any longer?
Globalism, championed almost exclusively by political and economic elites, has been the dominant force in the West for a hundred years. World War I and the League of Nations established the framework for multinational military excursions, while the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank set the stage for the eventual emergence of the US dollar as a worldwide reserve currency. Progressive government programs in Western countries promised a new model for universalism and peace in the aftermath of the destruction of Europe. Human rights, democracy, and enlightened social views were now to serve as hallmarks of a post-monarchical Europe and rising US.
But globalism was never liberalism, nor was it intended to be by its architects. As its core, globalism has always meant rule by illiberal elites under the guise of mass democracy. It has always been distinctly anti-democratic and anti-freedom, even as it purported to represent liberation from repressive governments and poverty.
Globalism is not, as its supporters claim, simply the inevitable outcome of modern technology applied to communication, trade,and travel. It is not “the world getting smaller.” It is, in fact, an ideology and worldview that must be imposed by statist and cronyist means. It is the civic religion of people named Clinton, Bush, Blair, Cameron, and Lagarde.
Yes, libertarians advocate unfettered global trade. Even marginally free trade has unquestionably created enormous wealth and prosperity for millions around the world. Trade, specialization, and an understanding of comparative advantage have done more to relieve poverty than a million United Nations or International Monetary Funds.
But the EU, GATT, WTO, NAFTA, TPP, and the whole alphabet soup of trade schemes are wholly illiberal impediments masquerading as real commercial freedom. In fact, true free trade occurs only in the absence of government agreements. The only legislation required is a unilateral one-sentence bill: Country X hereby eliminates all import duties, taxes, and tariffs on all Y goods imported from country Z.
And as Godfrey Bloom explains, the European Union is primarily a customs zone, not a free trade zone. A bureaucracy in Brussels is hardly necessary to enact simple pan-European tariff reductions. It is necessary, however, to begin building what globalism truly demands: a de facto European government, complete with dense regulatory and tax rules, quasi-judicial bodies, a nascent military, and further subordination of national, linguistic, and cultural identities.
Which brings us to the Brexit vote, which offers Britons far more than simply an opportunity to remove themselves from a doomed EU political and monetary project. It is an opportunity to forestall the juggernaut, at least for a period, and reflect on the current path. It is a chance to fire a shot heard around the world, to challenge the wisdom of the “globalism is inevitable” narrative. It is the UK’s last chance to ask — in a time when even asking is an act of rebellion — the most important political question of our day or any day: who decides?
Ludwig von Mises understood that self-determination is the fundamental goal of liberty, of real liberalism. It’s true that libertarians ought not to concern themselves with “national sovereignty” in the political sense, because governments are not sovereign kings and should never be treated as worthy of determining the course of our lives. But it is also true that the more attenuated the link between an individual and the body purporting to govern him, the less control — self-determination — that individual has. To quote Mises, from his 1927 classic (in German) Liberalismus: "If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done."
Ultimately, Brexit is not a referendum on trade, immigration, or the technical rules promulgated by the (awful) European Parliament. It is a referendum on nationhood, which is a step away from globalism and closer to individual self-determination.
Libertarians should view the decentralization and devolution of state power as ever and always a good thing, regardless of the motivations behind such movements. Reducing the size and scope of any single (or multinational) state’s dominion is decidedly healthy for liberty."