Noah Millman had an observation he tossed out on the net recently about how it seemed as if there was a pattern, that those most angry about Brexit seemed to be of a shared demographic:
I think that’s all pretty much right [link and excerpt forthcoming within this this post]. But I notice something. All of those links in the “shock – fury – disgust – despair” paragraph are to Anglo-American writers. What do people on the continent – those whom Britain would leave – think of Britain’s announced intention to depart?
It’s from the Anglo-American liberal commentariat, primarily, that I see the wailing, the gnashing of teeth, and the rending of garments. These people do seem to have suffered a blow to their faith. But what is the nature of the blow?
Well, the one thing I can definitely say about Britain leaving the EU is that it will take Britain out of the rooms in which the decisions about the structure of the EU are decided. It will make Britain an observer to, and an outside influencer of, rather than a participant in, European politics. The European project may go forward, or may go backward, or may go forward in a wholly new direction. But it will go forward without Britain.
Will France and Germany agree on the compromises necessary to make Europe work? It’s not clear – and never has been – but the Brexit forces the question.
here's the link mentioned in the Millman post, with an excerpt or two:
If history is moving inexorably toward humanitarian universalism, then giving it a sharp shove forward every now and then might be necessary and even admirable. And it certainly won't meet any significant resistance. It will merely hasten the inevitable.
But what if progressivism isn't inevitable at all? What if people will always be inclined by nature to love their own — themselves, their families, their neighbors, members of their churches, their fellow citizens, their country — more than they love the placeless abstraction of "humanity"? In that case, the act of ignoring or even denigrating this love will have the effect of provoking its defensive wrath and ultimately making it stronger.
It makes perfect sense to be surprised, saddened, and concerned by the outcome of the Brexit vote. But shock? Fury? Disgust? Despair? That's what a person feels when he discovers that his most dearly held fundamental beliefs have led him astray.
Wake up, progressives! You have nothing to lose but your illusions.
Now maybe one of the troubles with Brexit is that a globalist elite is upset at a decision, and maybe they can present it as old people hating young people but that kind trumped up generational resentment seems so ... American. There may be plenty to the left and the right who hated the UK being part of the EU for a variety of reasons.
That not everyone who has been in the European Union has been happy to be in the EU reminds me of something somebody wrote--the observation was made some fifty years ago that the ideology that ... well ... here's the quote:
MUSIC, THE ARTS, AND IDEAS
Leonard B. Meyer
Copyright (c) 1967. 1994 by The University of Chicago
Although diversity had been growing since the seventeenth century, the fact was seldom squarely faced. The very ideology that nurtured pluralism tended, until recently, to eclipse its presence and obscure its significance. To believe in progress, in a dialectic of history, or a divine plan was to acknowledge, at least tacitly, the existence of a single force or principle to which all the seeming diversity would one day be related. To accept the Newtonian world view, or later the theory of evolution, was almost inevitably to subscribe to monism and to look forward to a time when all phenomena would be reduced to, or subsumed under, one basic, encompassing set of laws. The notable achievements of science were taken as proof that Truth was One. Behind the manifest variety of phenomena and events lay, it was supposed, the latent unity of the universe which would eventually be discovered and embodied in a simple, all-embracing model. Because the oneness of things was what was real, surface diversity and incongruity could be disregarded.
But this picture of the world is, as we have seen, no longer entirely convincing. ...
Meyer proposed that the ideology that nurtured pluralism had, until the 20th century, eclipsed observable diversity itself. Where Meyer went on to emphasize that the assumptions made by the ideology that fostered pluralism were suspect, I think there's another way of putting things--the actual diversity that came to be observable in the world across space and time became too big to fit within the ideals of a universal brotherhood of Man as conceived in Western European terms (insert "patriarchal/imperialist, etc" here if you like). It was supposed that in the end we'd all discover that we bleed the same blood and that means we're the same.
But we're not, even if we are. Our stories are different and in lieu of a shared story that could unite us all as humans we'll default to the stories that define us. You know, people who are into Marvel are into Marvel and people who are into DC are into DC and only some are into both or you could say a majority of humanity is understandably into neither.
We now see that the pluralism within the world, within the span of humanity, is vastly greater than the ideology that nurtured the Western conception of pluralism can possibly contain.
The recent news about Brexit might suggest that if western Europe can't swing a shared story of pan-European identity that the progressive dream of a humanity that sees itself as one seems impossible unless a religion that envisions all of humanity as united on the basis of something or other were invented.
That's been done, like, dozens of times. And attempts at secularist counterpoints have been of limited success. There are not more Star Trek conventions than there are churches.