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Discussion point: would you miss it?

Donald Tusk: Brexit could destroy western political civilisation

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44 comments to Discussion point: would you miss it?

  • Mr Ed

    “As a historian I fear Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also western political civilisation in its entirety,”

    So why didn’t George III think of that and tell Washington that ‘Yanxit’ could destroy the British Empire and the Old World in its entirety?

    I seem to recall some vague mumblings about Irish secession having the same consequences for the Empire after WW1.

  • Rob Fisher

    Does he clarify what he means, anywhere? You’d think the journalist who wrote that article would make some attempt to explain it.

    I’m seeing a lot of the elite trying to convince us how necessary they are in this debate. Unilateral free trade is all we need but it would put a lot of bureaucrats out of work… https://mises.org/blog/free-trade-brexit-and-wto

  • Alisa

    Isn’t political civilization an oxymoron?

  • Rob Fisher

    Exactly, Alisa. I don’t think I’ve heard the phrase before.

  • Snorri Godhi

    One could argue that Western political culture has already been destroyed, by Rousseau, Marx, Bismarck, W.Wilson, and the Frankfurt School.

  • charliel

    Could we come up with a less, um, suggestive term than “yanxit” ?

  • Mr Ed

    “yanxit”

    for our Southern friends, ‘Dixit’, (‘Said’ in Latin), but I see your point. ‘Yanxit’ as a policy might have saved a certain President some trouble.

  • As they say about Global Warming, ‘I’ll believe its serious when they start acting like its serious.’

    If the EU elites really believed this then they would have given Cameron (may the gods refuse to illuminate him) some real concessions to show the British people.

  • Indeed Taylor. And if the UK votes to stay, they were right to shrug the whole thing off.

  • RRS

    Does he clarify what he means, anywhere? You’d think the journalist who wrote that article would make some attempt to explain it.

    Rob

    No. The objective is to create the perception that someone “important” has said something “important.”

    “Brexit” is a symptom in a larger syndrome, not a causative factor of the fragmentation of the current “political” organization of the “European State” (see, Oakeshott On Human Conduct 1974).

    Readers of history don’t have to be “scholars” to understand that civilizations, like the social organizations that comprise them, are fissiparous.

  • Rob

    Absurd hyperbole. What next? Brexit will make your cock rot and fall off?

    I am amazed they cannot see the problem this stuff causes to their campaign. They think they are being clever and that a daily drip, drip of fear will slowly sink in and make people vote for them. In fact, all it has done is make people disbelieve everything they say, even the true things. They have discredited themselves.

  • Alisa

    Is it possible that Tusk was speaking to his own people back in Poland, rather than to anyone else?

  • Pat

    “Political Civilisation”-what is that? Civilisation for politicians? If it’s only politicians affected then non politicians won’t miss it.

  • llamas

    At this point in the referendum campaign, I think most of this sort of thing isn’t really intended to change anybody’s mind or spur reasoned debate about the pros and cons. It’s more a mixture of output directed at the home audience of the speaker (as Alisa has already suggested, and I think she is right) and virtue-signalling to all the other EU meerkats that the speaker is still on-side with the program. After all, what meaningful input does a some-time prime minister of Poland really have to inform the voters of the UK on their situation? In his current position as second-assistant High Panjandrum to the Council of the Federation of the Parliament of the Central Committee of the Deputies and Members of the Supreme Tribunes of the European Union (or whatever fatuous title his non-elected sinecure carries) the only thing he can say is that the Union is the most wonderful thing since the dawn of mankind, and that, if Britain decides to leave, the fate of the entire universe will be too horrible to contemplate. Anything else will cost him his political allies, his support in the hierarchy of the EU, his sinescure position and the confidence of the voters back home. In the immortal words of Marilyn Rice-Davies – ‘Well, he would, wouldn’t he?’

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    The Roman Empire took the cultural achievements of independent city states (including Rome itself) and imposed political union.

    The result?

    Centuries of stagnation and then decline (long decline) and fall – NOT progress.

    In short Mr Donald Tusk has got things backwards.

    It is political union of a vast area (not lots of states – such as Italy in the Renaissance) that leads to stagnation and then decline.

    If you can not get lower taxes and LESS REGULATION by moving, then the state expands (in size and scope) without effective limit.

  • Mr Ed

    In his current position as second-assistant High Panjandrum to the Council of the Federation of the Parliament of the Central Committee of the Deputies and Members of the Supreme Tribunes of the European Union (or whatever fatuous title his non-elected sinecure carries)

    I believe that is his informal, abbreviated title.

  • Patrick Crozier

    “Yanxit”. Love it.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Reading llamas’ comment, i was reminded of reading that American humor is based on hyperbole, English humor on understatement. (The same holds respectively for German and Nordic humor, though they do not travel as well.)

  • Laird

    Snorri, I hadn’t heard that before, but it has the ring of truth. Thanks for the comment.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    All we Australians hear about is how bad Brexit would be for business. Is it also true that some other countries, like Sweden, might decide to leave Europe?

  • Bod

    I’m sure that Brexit will be bad for *some* business, if you consider that Politics is simply the business of acquiring and wielding power over the public.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray, June 14, 2016 at 1:54 am: “Is it also true that some other countries, like Sweden, might decide to leave Europe?”

    Whether Sweden leaves the EU is less important to its future than whether it leaves its increasing union with the arab world. Of course, the two are very related politically; they will not do the one without the other.

    The political class in Sweden is sold a slave to the ideas that got them into their current mess. Jews whose parents came there from Denmark to escape the Nazi round up in 1943 are now leaving Sweden for similar reasons (see the link in my last comment to this post). I suspect (but do not claim to know) that an election likely to reverse things will be counted as carefully as the recent Austrian one. Significantly more than the UK, this smaller country may be reaching the point where the de facto operation of PC-style democracy, with 146% of postal votes counted, makes its alteration into a very different polity irreversible.

    (That new form will not of course endure for a thousand years; life is change. But if it is not blocked soonish, I think a great many native Swedes will be ‘mugged by reality’ in a distressingly literal sense along the way.)

  • Andrew Duffin

    As John McEnroe famously said “You cannot be serious”.

  • I think a great many native Swedes will be ‘mugged by reality’ in a distressingly literal sense along the way

    There is some upside to seeing Sweden crucified on the tree of its own voters wishes as a warning to others (so yes, I am happy to see Sweden throw itself to the wolves if that will help save other places that are actually savable). When Swedes start following the Jews to the border, many no doubt ending up in London, it will be interesting to see what they think.

  • llamas

    Snorri Godhi wrote:

    ‘Reading llamas’ comment, i was reminded of reading that American humor is based on hyperbole, English humor on understatement. (The same holds respectively for German and Nordic humor, though they do not travel as well.)’

    I think there is some truth to this, which may be why comedy often doesn’t cross the water well, and why comedy in each nation, about the other, tends to work by trying to make mock of things and people which are normal and acceptable in the other nation – if you see what I mean. Kenny Everett was awfully good at this in one direction, I can’t think of a good example in the other direction. English people making fun of Americans for their over-the-top ways is funny because America isn’t really like that, mostly – but it’s harder to make fun of the Brits for their lousy teeth, terrible service and the fact that the entire nation possesses only 9 ice cubes and you have to share – because it’s all too true.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Perry de Havilland

    Bad teeth and bad service are an anachronism really. Still no ice cubes however, that much is still true.

  • Thailover

    “Brexit could destroy western Political civilization”.

    This poor idiot is under the impression that the we the people are to be sacrificed to the needs and whims of the politicrats rather than politics existing solely to serve we the people. Exactly how “western” is Angela Merkel? How “western” is tyranny and enslavement? It seems to me that a lot of Brits are yearning to be in the equivalent of the now fallen soviet union.

    To be completely controlled by foreign rulers that you didn’t vote into office and cannot vote out of office…is to be slaves.

    And let’s be clear, they are rulers, not leaders. Leaders lead by example and by inspiring others. Rulers dictate and publish shitloads of restrictions they like to call ‘regulations’. The truth however is that people don’t need to be ‘regulated’.

    I hate to say this, but if Britain honestly votes to remain in the EU and to remain SLAVES….then you deserve what you get, much the way Johnny Depp deserves what he asked for when he married a nasty whore lying golddigger without a prenuptial agreement while ignoring the warnings of his family, children and friends.

  • Thailover

    “i was reminded of reading that American humor is based on hyperbole, English humor on understatement.”

    Unless you’re Mitchell and Webb, or Monte Python or a slew of others.

  • Snorri Godhi

    In reply to llamas and Perry: Fawlty Towers has already made fun of English service. My favorite is when a lady asks if the room she has been given is airy, and Basil replies: “Well, there is air in it, of course!” But it is true that things have improved after Thatcher allowed people to make money in services.

    Since Laird has expressed interest in this, i take the opportunity to copyright what, to the best of my knowledge, is an original insight of mine: while Jewish humor is based on making fun of themselves (see Groucho not wanting to belong to a club that would accept people like him; or any Woody Allen main character), Italian humor is based on making fun of other people.
    There are exceptions, of course. Tony Curtis, in some of his roles (eg Some Like It Hot, Operation Pettycoat, McCoy) plays the clever guy who makes other people look silly; while Troisi, Benigni, and other Italian comedians of their generation tend to make fun of themselves.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Yes, Thailover, Monty Python is definitely an exception! Don’t know about Mitchell and Webb, haven’t had access to British TV for a long time.

  • RRS

    These comments about “humor” are an interesting exposure to the (apparent) group identifications (as contrasted to individualities) of characteristics.

    Of course, much may be “cultural habit.”

    But, why these tendencies to lump individuals together – judgmentally?

  • llamas

    Regarding teeth – well, in the words of Will Rogers, all I know is just what I read in the newspapers. I’m quite prepared to believe that the vast majority of Brits enjoy fantastic dental health. It’s just that so many of the Brits one sees in the media, whether politicians, ‘celebrities’ or just the MITS, seem to still have the same standard of dentistry that was the norm in 1960. Maybe I’m wrong. But I don’t think so.

    Regarding service in the UK – here’s what was said the last time we discussed this here, in 2013. I stand by every word I said then.

    http://www.samizdata.net/2013/01/samizdata-quote-of-the-day-243/

    If there has been any improvement in customer service – specifically, in hotel and restaurant service – I put it down entirely to the large influx of workers from Eastern Europe and elsewhere, who do not share the strange British hangups about service.

    Regarding ice cubes – please note that I do accept that there has been improvement. I used to state that the UK had only 7 ice cubes between them, and had to share.

    @ RRS – please note that ‘lumping individuals together’ and ‘judgementally’ (the ultimate black-spot of the SJW) do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. Stereotypes (when applied with care) are valuable precisely because they are generally-true, and their use does not necessarily imply any negative judgement – sometimes, quite the opposite.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Mr Ed

    llamas,

    In Barbados, from what I saw, British expats are always on the look-out for ice. Any tip as to a source of cheap ice is a precious gift.

    I hate ice in drinks, it hits my front teeth.

  • Thailover

    Snorri, do yourself a favor and watch some Mitchell and Webb on youtube. They’re worth their weight in gold.

  • Steve Borodin

    I have just completed a peer reviewed study that proves – and the science is now settled – that the UK being in the EU CAUSES DANGEROUS GLOBAL WARMING. We must leave to save the PLANET.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    “Benny Hill” was subtle? Who knew? “Frasier” and “Cheers” were unintellectual? I must have been watching different shows with the very same names!

  • Laird

    “Frazier” did verge on the intellectual occasionally, in the early years. But Benny Hill was about as subtle as the Three Stooges hitting each other with hammers.

  • Snorri Godhi

    If i were a diction nazi, i’d shoot whoever conceived the title “grammar nazi”: the guy is actually a pronunciation nazi for most of the skit, and turns into a grammar nazi only at the end.

    Actually the skit is interesting in the way it mixes American-style and English-style humor. The English/understatement style comes in this exchange:
    “Why do you have to shoot them? why can’t you just sack them?”
    “Hm… i never thought of that.”

    Mr Ed’s pointers led me to the skit i find funniest (as in: never watch it while eating or drinking): Caesar.
    The good Samaritan comes second, though i could probably watch it with my mouth full.
    I am going to explore this further.

  • bobby b

    “This poor idiot is under the impression that the we the people are to be sacrificed to the needs and whims of the politicrats . . . ”

    If I see the sun rise morning after morning after morning, and then assume that it will rise tomorrow, even though I do not understand that the earth revolves, this doesn’t make me an idiot.

    An empiricist, maybe.

  • Alisa

    Not if you think that it will not rise or set without your command

  • jsallison

    Back in day, we were briefed that discussing a battle hand off with our british brethren would be better phrased as a battle hand over for one reason or another. Since one side or the other was getting wanked, I didn’t see the distinction. Us Cavalry tankers were funny that way, I suppose.

  • long-lost cousin

    In his current position as second-assistant High Panjandrum to the Council of the Federation of the Parliament of the Central Committee of the Deputies and Members of the Supreme Tribunes of the European Union

    AKA “Spanky” I assume.

    Is it also true that some other countries, like Sweden, might decide to leave Europe?

    That would be a tectonic shift like so few others seen in this election season.