The day after the Brexit vote, I happened to see a commentator on Fox News who brought up an interesting point. She said that for many people in Britain, the vote wasn’t about immigration, nationalism, economic theory, or any other highbrow issue. Nope. It was about toasters and tea kettles.
Unfortunately, when pundits discuss this sort of thing, they usuually say something like, “Why should someone in far away Brussels tell someone in Liverpool what kind of appliances they can use in their home, yadda yadda yadda…” I call this unfortunate because it confuses two issues. One is nationalism versus globalism, or more accurately what I’ll call localism versus “far awayism.” The other is freedom versus tyranny.
We hear the localism versus “far awayism” rhetoric not only in the conflict between national sovereignty and globalists, but within individual countries as well. “Why should someone in Washington, D.C. tell someone in Butte, Montana what they should teach their kids?” for example. This is supposedly one of the main differences between the Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. The GOP generally favors letting individual states decide most issues, while the Democrats favor more centralized federal government rule from Washington.
But that’s really just an inessential issue in my view. My question is, why should anyone tell anyone what kind of appliances they can use or what they have to teach their kids? Whether the ruler is in a far away city or country, or whether the ruler is down the street at city hall shouldn’t make a difference. The essential issue is what kind of government do we have? Is it one based on liberty or on tyranny?
If the government that has jurisdiction over me is right down the street, but they have the power to tell me what to eat, what to buy, what to drive, and so on, then I’m not happy. If, on the other hand, I’m a citizen of a society whose seat of power is half a world away, but is based on objective law, the Non-Initiation Principle, liberty, laissez-faire capitalism, etc., then I’m ok with that.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I’m actually a globalist for liberty. Yep, that’s me; a one-world government guy! The kind of society I’m advocating is objectively right, not just for some people and some cultures, but for everyone everywhere. All over the country, all over the planet, and all over the universe for crying out loud. So really, I guess I’d be a universalist for liberty, wouldn’t I?
So please, in these days and weeks after the Brexit vote, let’s stop talking about nationalism versus globalism as if that’s the real issue. The real issue is freedom versus tyranny.
That’s my rant for this week, and this should be the end of this impromptu series on the Brexit. Until next time…keep pipping up!
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