There are many judgments and questions of all kinds, but in essence they come down to whether Brexit is a revolution of liberty or a display of international counter-revolution, another show of the advancing new world darkness. One Russian pundit put it very directly: before, it was you, the Russian intelligentsia, which thought that running wild is peculiar to Russia alone, and now you know that this is a worldwide trend. Even in Britain, a country of enlightened seafarers, the dark guardian forces took the lead. And the world’s progressive “nomads,” those people of the Internet, fell under the strikes of narrow “settled” people. It’s clear that progress is on the side of the nomads, who recognize no borders. If we look at actual history, it was the opposite, but this has nothing to do with our overview. Or another model: the industrials and post-industrials have collided. Despite the ambiguity of the terms, it’s clear who exactly they imply.
But it’s not only the Russian media that is sad. Really, British, as well as many European and American outlets express doubts in the motives of those who voted for the exit, and the cheerfulness of the consequences of this vote.
Therefore, it would be interesting to sort through what the main constructs of discussing the consequences of Brexit are.
The first question is who are the “Brexits,” let’s use this term to call people who prefer a completely independent Britain, and who are their detractors. Everything is approximately like this: those preferring to stay in the EU are young, educated and wealthy. Those who wanted to exit are not very young, less educated and not very wealthy. The typical outlet for those against is the Guardian, and for those who are for- the Express, the Sun and Daily Mail.
Admittedly, the picture is not that simple. Telegraph readers and half of Conservatives are also for the exit. Those who want to remain are Labour, headed by Corbyn, a controversial figure. But not all those wanting to stay are Labour.
Generally, this should not be oversimplified: the division of British society fits neither into classical Marxian theories, nor into fashionable ideas about the struggle of freedom-loving creative managers with stupid proletarians and morally decayed welfare recipients.
I think that the results of the vote are nothing but interesting and educational. They should still be understood and evaluated because history does not fit into simple schemes. It seems, that we are dealing with a multidimensional process. There are many reasons for divergence. And many of these reasons turned out to be unusually and emotionally meaningful. In my opinion, the issue of identity is not the last. The English, and not only those over 45, turned out to be very sensitive to the understanding of their Ego and their group identity.
But the opinion being expressed is that the supporters of the exit were old and working, while their opponents were young dependents. And it is no less justified than many others.
Another funny question: What really happened? Revolution or counter-revolution? For example, if we compare this with the turbulent 17th century. Would Cromwell, for example, leave the EU of the time as soon as possible? Would Jacob II be the opposite, a supporter of remaining in the EU, that is, friendship with continental Europe? Would William of Orange find a compromise and make England friends with the alternative, Protestant European Union of the time? It’s a difficult question.
If we believe a good part of the media, supporters of remaining are more creative and progressive. But in essence, they were for the continuation of what already exists, existence in the EU. Meanwhile, their opponents made a 180-degree turn.
But sometimes, radical and quick changes have the character of a negative revolution, or counter-revolution.
In other words, the question is of who showed more courage and decisiveness - those who wanted to remain, or those who wanted to exit.
A no less important point of the discussion is who won as a result of Brexit, socialism or capitalism. To be more exact, which decision has more socialist, equalizing motives, and which one has more capitalist, individualist attitude?
The fact that Labour was in favor of remaining in the EU says a lot. The fact that many in the middle class were against also says a good bit. But among their motives, much suggests a fear of direct competition. Overall, if we look at the sides’ arguments, it is not very simple to understand which one among them is more capitalist. All other things being equal, I would lean toward the idea that EU opponents support unlimited freedom of entrepreneurship to a greater degree.
At any rate, they reject the EU’s super-regulatory role, it clearly does not suit them. At the same time, they support explicit English nationhood, for which they are ready to give up many rights.
Basically, it will be interesting.