Don’t search for any flickers of internationalism or traditional Left-wing ideals in the hearts of those who voted for “Exit”. A great majority of the anti-EU warriors was simply demanding better benefits for itself (the “British people”), as well as “Britain for the Brits” (whatever that really means in this increasingly multi-racial nation).
Of course, the same can be said about the opposite camp! Those who were voting for remaining in the Union were doing so for strictly practical reasons. Almost no commentator bothered to notice what was truly shocking about the entire referendum process: an absolute lack of progressive ideology, of internationalism and concern for the world as a whole. Both sides (and were there really two sides there) presented a fireworks of shallow selfishness and of pettiness. The profound moral corruption of the West was clearly exposed.
Everybody in Europe now wants more, more and more. Screw austerity! “Give us more benefits!” Provide us with better wages, job security, and shorter working hours! What is shocking is that (oh so innocently!) those demands are only made for the chosen bunch – for the Europeans and North Americans – not for the rest of the globe that is actually paying the bill… And has been paying it for hundreds of damned years, suffering horribly from everything, from slavery, colonialist plunder, genocides triggered by Europe, terrorism against its liberation struggle, to the multi-national corporate looting.
It is high time to re-visit Fanon and Sartre, but in that comfortable, lazy and sclerotic Europe, no one seems to be in the mood for old, solid left-wing internationalist, anti-colonialist ideologies. Yes, the global decolonizing process was never completed, but that is not on the agenda of those referendums-seeking Europeans. All they want is to have a better life, live longer, and to grow richer! They find it thoroughly unfair, that in the UK, France, Spain or Greece, those big corporations and banks are keeping most of the loot. They want their share. They want a much bigger share. They want it now!
That is why they hate capitalism, the “system”. Not because it murders millions of innocent people in all corners of the globe, far away from Europe (such ‘stuff’ doesn’t bother Europeans one tiny bit). Not because it ruins cultures, kills the freedom of the “others”, oh no! They hate it because the “system” is too stingy with its own members!
True, those who are sustaining Europe often have nothing left, not even a few huts, not even the right to keep their own native plants or trees. True, many unemployed Europeans are still driving their cars, flying all over the world in search of perfect vacations, enjoying virtually free education, medical care, parks, cultural institutions, public transportation and countless other benefits. True, most of the refugees are escaping from once rich and independent countries, raped and exploited by the West. But all that is not worth mentioning, there is no need for referendums discussing such ‘irrelevant’ moral issues. And anyway, what would such referendum be exactly about: “To loot or not to loot”? And where are those millions of European citizens who should be signing petitions, demanding it? It is never pronounced, but there is no one, virtually no one in Europe left, who would want to change this present global system, from top to bottom, and to stop the plunder of the “insignificant others”!
The European ‘left’ is as selfish and hypocritical as the ‘right’. In fact, there is no real ‘left’ there, anymore, if the ‘left’ actually means demanding absolutely equal treatment for all the inhabitants of our Planet. Many Europeans like to blame the United States for the present state of the world (mostly abstractly, anyway). Such accusations are thoroughly hypocritical, bordering on being intellectually deranged. For the United States is nothing else other than a grand European ‘project’, or to quote Jean-Paul Sartre, a “super-European monstrosity.”
In the so-called “New World” (what a chauvinist term anyway; as if the ancient world of native people who were crushed, matters nothing), European settlers robbed natives of their land first, and then exterminated almost all of them. To increase ‘productivity’, they brought millions of slaves from across the ocean. When it suited them, they declared independence, but independence still strictly based on the European exceptionalism, racism, on traditions of superiority complexes and on fundamentalist Christian beliefs. No matter how barbarically the United States has been behaving abroad, in both 20th and 21st centuries, it has never really managed to catch up (although it certainly tried hard) with that unbridled European savagery, with those horrific extermination and ransacking campaigns ‘the old continent’ has been undertaking for centuries, in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Sub-Continent and virtually in all corners of the globe.
“European workers are now victims of US imperialism and the capitalist system,” the pseudo-left constantly tells us. Oh, is that so? Actually, how thoroughly ridiculous! What is the ‘capitalist system’ really, if not the legitimate (although philosophically and ethically perverse) brainchild of the West, unnaturally and violently forced down the throats of people on all continents of our Planet? It is a direct product of European culture (not vice-versa), and was later adopted and ‘perfected’ by the United States.
There is no doubt that Europe is the closest ally of the United States. Or, more precisely, there is hardly any difference between the two, as they were both created on the same conceptual lines (the European ones), on the same religion and on a chauvinistic world-view (open spite for everyone who is not white and religiously/culturally Christian, and on the glorification of expansionism). Let us finally face the reality: a great majority of Europeans would never want to change the global world order! Western imperialism feeds them, makes them live much richer lives than anyone else on the Planet, while allowing them to work pathetically little.
Sub-consciously, even those ‘deprived’ (what a joke!) European workers are deeply grateful to both Washington and to its gladiators. Their main demand is ‘only’ that ‘ordinary Europeans should be getting an even better deal’ than the one they are getting now. The commonly voiced grievance is that ‘the deal was much better and more satisfying some 20 years ago than it is now’. A better deal at the expense of ‘the others’, of course! But that is never mentioned. ‘Less shillings for those at Goldman Sachs or HSBC, and a bit more for the “common folks” of Europe, please!” All the rest is fine, really! “Those Americans are actually really nice people. Like us, Europeans… Hey, we went there last year, on vacation…”
“Oh, and remember: we don’t want those bloody niggers and dirty Arabs in our cities and villages. They belong where they are, working for us, plundering their own lands so we can retire early, have access to free top medical care and fly to Southeast Asia to shag their young girls after we retire! You give all this to us, and more, or else: screw you, we will leave the European Union which does not care for its people, anymore!”
Of course, it is almost never articulated like that. But one has to read between the lines. Or do my readers really think that those countries ‘ready to follow the British example’ actually care much about anything else other than their own selfish, petty interests? I have talked to Greeks! I have talked to Spaniards. Most of them really hate ‘foreigners’. Most of them know nothing, absolutely nothing; about what the West is doing all over the world. And frankly, they don’t want to know anything.
And what do the East Europeans want? What about those “poor” and “disappointed” Czechs, Poles and Hungarians? Well, they also want more and more and more, as they always have done. Does anyone really believe that in the 1980s they were dreaming about ‘freedom and democracy’? They were dreaming only about one thing: how to get rid of that Russian romantic idea of internationalism, and how to “return to Europe”, read; how to stop helping the deprived and robbed parts of the world, and instead join the West – the real masters of the world – how to become part of the imperialist and neo-colonialist clique.
Those nations, (let’s be honest) are racist to the core, while almost all now members of the EU, are simply loving and admiring the United States! And they are showing open spite for the victims of Western imperialism. How sorry can one really feel for all of them – for those European ‘victims of the system’? Forgive me, but I feel absolutely no sympathy for them! Perhaps it is because I have spent too much time in Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, sub-Continent, Oceania, in Brazilian Amazonia and Peru; with those people that I consider are the ‘real victims’ of the system, of the globally enforced Western regime. Therefore, I only feel growing outrage over the cynicism that covers like a thick blanket, those discussions about the British referendum (and all other potential European referendums).
I am shocked by the shallowness and hypocrisy. It really appears that the entire continent consists of stubborn ‘global holocaust deniers’, people who sit in front of the chimneys of crematoriums, where their victims are being burned alive, unable to think about anything else except their own comfort and privileges. For as long as such a mentality prevails (and it has been prevailing for endless centuries), to the rest of the world it will matter very little or nothing whether one or two or five countries opt to leave the European Union. Whether it is more centrally run, or decentralized, the continent will continue plundering the Planet together with its mighty North American offspring. It will continue, because the European people want it; they actually indirectly demand it! Like some spoiled, heartless and thoroughly immoral brats, Europeans shout ‘more, more and damn more!’
And they hate, with naked fanaticism, each and every country on Earth, from China to Russia, which is standing on its feet and refusing to accept Western dictates. It is not like that ‘primitive’ racism that one can detect in some parts of the United States; European racism is as profound, fundamentalist, cultural, institutionalized, as it is vitriolic and ancient. ‘Thanks to it’, dozens of cultures and nations have already been annihilated, all over the world. And dozens are being ruined right now as this essay is being written. The referendum in the UK has proved all this, and more.
Back to Fanon and Sartre: it is clear that the world will not change because the Europeans suddenly got enlightened, realizing that they are living off theft. It cannot be expected from them. There is no remorse. There is not even any recognition of guilt! Look at those thousands of European ‘experts’, sitting in all the UN and ‘development’ agencies, or flying all over the world, preaching to the world about how it should be governed, or those Protestant preachers who are helping to overthrow progressive governments. They do it with absolutely straight faces and no shame!
Look at those schools and universities in Europe and the US, giving scholarships to the elites of colonized countries, brainwashing them, and conditioning them for the purpose of committing treason. Western empires (in the past) and now “the Empire” have already destroyed most of the world, and the masses in Europe and even in North America have been greatly benefiting from those countless heinous crimes against humanity. This terrible process still continues.
The world will have to return to the unfinished ‘business’ of the de-colonization struggle if it wants to survive. There can be no morally acceptable discussion in Europe about the future of the world, of Europe, of the UK or any other European country that would not begin like this:
“We ruined the world. We robbed the world. We are still ruining and robbing it. Because of the West’s imperialism, fundamentalism and greed, hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion human lives have been lost. We are not qualified to govern the Planet and we never were. We cannot indefinitely reward ourselves with ridiculously generous benefits and outrageously high standards of living, as they have been financed by many centuries of looting, genocides and holocausts. Our present-day institutions, from NATO to the EU, are helping to sustain such criminal global order. Some of us now want to dismantle them, on strictly ethical grounds, in the name of the humane race. Therefore we are calling for a referendum…”
Unthinkable, of course! And that is why that entire ‘Brexit’ charade is thoroughly irrelevant for our Planet. No change will come ‘from within’. ‘The wretched of the Earth’ cannot count on the compassion, on kindness and the decency of the Western public, or on its solidarity. They will have to expose what is behind the ‘civilized’ mask of European culture – a horrible, gangrenous skull reflecting greed and a pathological lust for power. Then, ‘the wretched of the Earth’ would have to demand, in one united voice, what is truly theirs. Not beg, not ask politely, but demand! And eventually, they’d have to take it! Whether the UK, one of the cradles of Western imperialism and colonialist bigotry, leaves or remains in the EU may have some influence on how the booty is to be divided ‘internally’, but not on much else. Both sides of referendum, ‘Exit’ and ‘Remain’, gave their clear middle finger salute to the rest of the world. And it is really the right time for the world to return the courtesy.
André Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker, and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest book is Exposing Lies of the Empire. He also wrote, with Noam Chomsky, On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.