No. 20 - Brexit, Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

A British friend of mine had a poignant response to the Brexit vote: “I feel sorry for the millennials, “he said. So do I. Faced with the horrors of World War II, our fledgling post war global community came up with a plan to avoid future world wars. A key ingredient was the integration of nations as can be seen through the formation of the United Nations, and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights is another good example of the steps taken to integrate law along with politics.

 

Nationalists only look at their social contract through a very narrow prism, but our world, fortunately, has become much more intertwined than that. The number of stars of the European Union have been growing, and Britain is the first to leave. Since World War II we have made two steps forward, and now it’s one step back.

Hitler was an uber nationalist. His campaign slogan was “Make Germany Great Again!” Not unlike Trump, who now has a slogan “Make America Great Again!” I don’t make this comparison to draw a strong link between Hitler and Trump, but it’s a fitting example of how when people are left to destitution, they are susceptible to the siren calls of nationalism.

Post-World War I Germans were destitute. It was foolish for the rest of the world to leave them in this plight. The top 1% of America now has more wealth than the bottom 90%. Someday humans will come to accept what they already know in their hearts, and through good research -- bad things come out of poverty and destitution: criminal behavior, violent social movements, religious zealots, and excessive focus on security as the haves attempt to insulate themselves from the have-nots by spending trillions of dollars to exclude them.

This insulation is not only immoral, it not cost-effective. The reality of the world today is that it costs more to leave people in destitution, than it would cost to create a world of well-being for all as a new form of security.

Military buildup, border controls, and preoccupation with security measures are the by-product of nationalism. Jealousy will now flourish between Briton and Europe. Unite for Rights offers the next step forward after Brexit. By looking back to the end of World War II we can see our direction ahead. Franklin Roosevelt said that what was needed were four freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.

 

 Roosevelt was careful to say that these four freedoms were needed “everywhere in the world.” We didn’t do this; Freedom from Want was never realized “everywhere in the world.” Now we are paying the price of terrorism and the resurgence of nationalism. Brexit is not the last word. Here's an article that gives a good explanation of what has happened:

The millennials are prepared to live together as an integrated global community, and want to do so. Those in my generation who want to help them can do so by uniting to support regional systems, and the Unite website provides a framework to do so.

It is unavoidable that at times there will be a step back from our emergence to peace and prosperity within a global community. What’s important is to make sure that there are always two steps forward so progress continues to be made, and the moral arc of the universe continues to bend towards justice.

Please sign the Unite pledge, and help humanity to keep moving in the right direction.

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