The core principle of Breaking the Code of History (BCTH) and the five stages of empire is that the first stage, regionalisation, cannot take place without a core nation with expanding demographics at its centre to act as an attractor/agglomerator. The EU, in contrast, has gone through a forced agglomeration with negative demographics in its core nations. This makes the EU inevitably doomed to failure and collapse. Interestingly, the almost unavoidable collapse of the EU was not publically debated, but widely recognised amongst the leavers. When a large system fails to prosper in any given environment, then the stronger subdivisions break away. These smaller units are more adaptable and able to adjust quickly to new changes, which is exactly how the UK will behave going forward.
In contrast, Britain has undergone a new regionalisation process since the Suez Crisis and has healthy demographics consistent with this expansive phase in the cycle. The EU referendum was, in effect, a historically peaceful civil war to decide who and what the British nation will in the future stand for and who should lead it. This difficult and divisive process is vital to clear a path forward to accelerate national growth and is part of the process of moving policies to the right of the political spectrum. This is vital to generate new wealth and security for the nation. However, we are only 50% of the way through the Brexit process and may yet move to the brink of a constitutional crisis as the old guard Conservatives seek to place a remain advocate as the new PM to preside over the leaving process or perhaps even repeal Brexit. This could be compounded if the majority of the House of Commons refused to implement the will of the people following the referendum.
For those MPs that might be tempted to resist the will of the people, perhaps they should consider that the guerrilla campaign of the leavers operated on a shoestring, and went up and won against the whole apparatus of government and the majority of all the political parties. Such an asymmetric success makes the reality of the 4% difference much more significant. Indeed, if the roles had been reversed, and the leavers had been the government, then it would unquestionably have been a landslide result.
So, returning to the comment from one Murrination reader, about whether the emotional collective signature of Brexit was one associated with growth or one associated with contraction? In BTCH, I described the hallmarks of decline as a shrinking sphere of influence, protectionism, emphasis on individual rights, social fragmentation and discord, and pessimism. Objectively, I would have to say that these inclinations of social behaviour describe the sentiments in the EU accurately. After all, the EU has a very limited global footprint compared to the old European empires before. The EU is the most protectionist trading region in the world, with more rules than all the other nations of the world put together. Lastly, the EU shows signs of massive social fragmentation combined with a high level of social discord and pessimism.
Similarly, the project ‘fear’ campaign was consistent with the incumbent side of protecting power. The stayers were soundly beaten by the drivers of hope and aspiration that our nation can be more if again it were to be self-governed. Withdrawal from the EU is not about becoming insular, but about giving Britain a pathway to return to its historic routes of a global maritime trading nation. Considering that, whilst the EU has some 500 million citizens, there are roughly eleven times more people in the rest of the world we could trade with. Furthermore, if the latter number were to be weighted by relative growth, it would be multiplied considerably higher.
The observation that the older people favoured Leave ‘indicating that it was not an optimistic risk taking approach, rather a form of protectionism, a desire to go back to the way things were’ is interesting as it touches on the one area where the BTCH model was not predictive.
In the five stages of empire, regional civil war is normally driven by a large youthful demographic bulge that is disenfranchised and as such, when faced with the perception of no hope, seeks to take part in radical change which in effect fuels a civil war. This is the reactionary behaviour of youth, when faced with a future with no hope. However in the case of the UK referendum, there was no such youthful bulge nor were they disenfranchised, so there was no traditional reaction. Indeed, the opposite happened and the youth vote was effectively inert as the voter turnout from the young was low overall, and the majority supported continuation in the EU.
Perhaps, there is one possible interpretation for this sector of society voting to remain. The youthful age bracket only knew a time when Britain was linked to the EU. This combined with the project ‘fear’’s focus on jobs and the perception that larger is better in the modern world, then naturally implied that leaving the EU would appear to be a threat.
Meanwhile, the older voters remembered a Britain that was independent and they have witnessed firsthand the creeping, suffocating influence of the EU on Britain. In that respect, they perceived that Britain has been traveling down a blind ally that would inevitably include being a part of a failed EU project. In our human lifespan, if there is but one compensation for getting older, it is the hopeful accumulation of wisdom. In the case of the referendum, the complex issues involved were perhaps better judged by those of older age. Most importantly, when faced with such a clear choice of the lifeboat of independence, it was not chosen by the 52% as a path to contraction and protectionism, but rather as a path to self-preservation and to the aspiration that we can be more as a nation and that our hard-fought democratic freedoms would continue for the generations ahead.
Looking forward Briatin is now only 50% of the way through the Brexit journey, and sadly, the nastiness has only really started. In my next Murrination I will be making predictions for what lies ahead for Britain and the EU but before that, I would suggest that readers review the last blogs on the separation process and aftermath.