A Reply to Sean Gabb on the EU Referendum
First, let me apologize for being late to this particular party. I was in Morocco for almost a week, with both much going on, and a slow Internet connection.
Let me say where I stand on the referendum. I do intend to vote, and I will vote Leave.
I do not vote in elections, because I am anti-political; I regard all politicians, of all parties, as criminals, and I refuse to vote for any of them. But in this case, where the issue goes beyond politics in the direction of strategy for human civilization, I feel that I can vote without compromising my principles.
From my point of view, there are two strands to freedom. One requires bigger units, the other requires smaller. Economic freedom requires a world wide free market. Political freedom, on the other hand, requires a reduction in size of the political unit. From the empire, back down to the nation, down to the municipality, down to the family – and, ultimately, down to the individual.
Up to about 1991, I used to be a Europhile. The EEC was, for me at least, a good thing. It enabled me to live and work in Holland for three formative years at the end of the 1970s. But the EU is something different. It’s political, not economic.
So, to Sean’s essay. I confess I was very surprised when King Dave saw fit to allow a referendum on the issue. Corner, meet back? And it was news to me that “we” had been campaigning for a referendum. I certainly hadn’t.
As to Johnson and co, my reading is that their apparent support for Brexit is merely an insurance play. They perhaps thought, if “the people” really do want to vote in droves for Brexit, let’s get ahead of the game. Let’s take over the opposition, and then if the government falls, we’ll be the government! If not, we can always do a deal to get back.
And yet… Sean has written and published more than a million words. So, one must expect that he will occasionally hit the heights. And he does just that in the paragraph beginning “We need to form closer bonds with each other…”
I agree with every sentiment in that paragraph. And yet, it brings me sadness. For Sean and many others don’t seem to understand that what “we” human beings all have in common isn’t a particular culture, a region of birth or a colour of skin. What we have in common is humanity; honesty, peacefulness, economic productivity and so on. None of these things are shared by Blair, Brown, Cameron, Johnson or their ilk.
Forget the referendum. In current circumstances, whatever happens, the political class will win. No point crying over spilt semen. Rather, I think, plant better and hardier seeds.
With apology to George Orwell: “Economics good. Politics bad.”