Monday, June 27, 2016
Vasu Reddy from Chicago
On 23 June 23, 2016, the British voted to disengage with the European Union. The voting was not really close (in the traditional sense) and when all the votes were counted the British wanted to isolate (separate) from the collective strength of the European Union. EU was founded on 1 November, 1993 and before the British voted to disengage from the EU, it had 28 member nations and covered over 500 million people. EU was diverse as the world is and the population and governments worked together as a major political and economic block. The intention of a single market and uniform laws made the EU a great union for all member nations, and also as a common platform and global forum for negotiations.
The historic evidence on the British is that for many centuries they have adopted the “Divide and Rule” as their motto and philosophy to occupy/abuse most of the world. Up until the II WW, the British never propagated for anything united as it did not serve their purpose. The EU might have been a reversal of the British psychology on occupation and division, but last week’s vote to walk away from the EU where they were the largest partner and member is nothing but their normal and historical behavior.
Whatever might have been the psychology of the 51% of the British voters last week when they voted to exit the EU, it is in line with the age old British motto of “Divide and Rule”. My comments here on the “Divide and Rule” might sound harsh, but ass someone born in India the British motto to divide and rule is a fact. The population and circumstances of the current vote to exit the EU might be in today’s time, but the philosophy remains the age old attitude.
The decision to leave the association that has great influence on trade, politics and military might have many connotations. While the individual national interest might be driving the division, the loss of collective strength is easily forgotten. The British certainly are feeling the pressure of continued and increasing immigration from the Middle East, which has been overwhelming all the EU nations, and there is certainly no end in sight to the human displacement, which is the focus of the British and EU disassociation. What is strange is that the British population today is not just the white people on the island, but a huge migrant population mixed with the locals. Any displeasure or issues with the Muslims is not foreign to the UK. It is hard to imagine that only because of the migration the British wanted to disassociate with the UK.
In fact there is little cause or reason for UK businesses to be overwhelmed by the EU relationships, as much of the world has made London as the financial capital of the world, and since the EU provided a great opportunity with its singular scope of opportunities. All of a sudden there will be major operational challenges and disadvantages for businesses working from London with focus on EU.
The last twenty years the world has embraced globalization and economic reorientation, and very well linked thru the internet and telecommunications. The enormous advances in information technology, and migration of people from country to country forming a global work force, all of which are now put on a pause because of BREXIT. A world that has been working hard to move away from protectionism and closed borders, once again looking at isolationism simply because of a single nation’s self-interest.
The rumblings of protectionism and securing borders have been topics of discussion in the past couple of years. In various parts of the world these are rightful concerns with mass exodus and terror becoming daily concerns for civilian population. It is a fact that open society and a connected world have fostered terror and cybercrime. As we become more mobile and more connected, the same channels have created paths for terror and abuse.
Adding to the uncertainty is the current presidential political cycle in the USA, where part of the campaign is focusing on nationalistic fervor and closing the borders. While the US is several months away from a general election, the rhetoric that speaks to closed borders and restricted religious entry into the USA, all are feeding to fears of the nation.
While BREXIT is not a typical case for the US population, the psychologies of the voters and issues that are relevant to the democracies have similarities. It is difficult to predict if any democracy will choose isolation. The USA is a much larger nation with a greater diversity. So, only time will tell and by the end of 2016 we will have a vision for the world with or without ideological isolation. It certainly is a concern for the people and clearly on the political agenda. It’s fascinating to watch the world grapple with the choice between free markets or isolationism. It is surreal to see the public fearful of their security and survival. While globalization is advocated, the threat to survival also is a formidable issue to deal with. There is no end to reasoning one way or the other, but the world is all of a sudden looking at what next. While we ponder and vote (indiscriminately) it is also time for collective thinking and collective solutions. After all we are one world.