There is no case for nationalism in Europe, a continent where unspeakable atrocities caused in Spain by nationalism should be sufficient to close any discussion on it. The Holocaust and the Second World War have evident and well-documented roots in national exceptionalism, and we all know now what happened when nationalism that went ahead beyond control. The inhumanity, the absurdity, and the immensity of evil should be the unforgivable lesson that nationalism, national exceptionalism, in any corner of the world, should be always avoided. Unfortunately, it seems that Great Britain is not only ignoring these lessons, and the ultimate sacrifice that their own brave men and women made in the past against nationalistic parties that were invading Europe. Now the UK insists to show the world that British exceptionalism is even more alive than ever before. Here comes Brexit, the push to leave the European Union in a post-imperialist dream to join… the Independent Empire of Britishness.
With Brexit, all sorts of right-wingers have now a platform to present the most absurd ideas. We can take just one example: Boris Johnson, the former London Mayor, recently stated that the European Union is pursuing similar goals to Hitler! Because when one looks at the EU’s relentless pursuit of human rights, freedom of movement, democratic citizenship, rights of workers and so many others in the same vein one can only think of the Nazi ideology, right? Of course not! This kind of demagoguery and absurd discourse deserves a special treatment, most probably specialised. But the point remains that these characters have not only a platform but a surprisingly large number of followers! Something is wrong and went wrong for a long time, most probably since kids learned in schools that entire parts of the world map painted in pink represent the Great Empire that we own, ‘oh, aren’t WE the best?’…
At this point, it is the best to see the UK leave. The EU is a dazed and rickety structure, with too many pockets of corruption, not limited to the usual suspects (Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.) To this point, the EU – with its quasi-incapable and aloof-OLAF – was unable to bring these groups and cliques to order, and those too-corrupt countries back to reality. Is also impotent in dealing with an increasingly aggressive and irrational Russia, at a time when a united front is vital. It is acting less than a family or a political union that is following the model of US – or a federation – but more of a hybrid looking for identity. In the current political and economic context, this cannot work. Brexit can be the best thing that can happen to the European Union: a wakeup call! This is what happens if you don’t get your act together. The impact on the UK will be so devastating that EU countries will learn and important lesson. Local nationalists in various EU countries, who currently beat the drums with equally absurd and idiotic arguments like those played now by the Brexit campaign, will lose fast followers. UK universities, agriculture, research, innovation, finance, tourism etc. will lose so much and so fast that any European voter will think twice when the sirens of nationalistic demagoguery will rise again.
Of course, there are no sound economic or national security arguments for the UK to leave the European Union! Nonetheless, when was nationalism associated with reason? The effect will be devastating and this may be the best thing for the UK and for the EU, as this is the best antidote on both for segregation, exceptionalism and nationalism. The UK will suffer – and this is their own citizens’ choice – but the EU family will finally look at the real chance to forge new and realistic solutions for a united future.
It is the time for Brexit!