There are people who voted to leave the European Union who are glad they did so but nervous about what’s to come; there are others who seem to be getting in their excuses early lest Brexit be bumpier than they thought pre-June 23rd; there are other Leavers, like Michael Gove, who are so convinced that Brexit is going to be a rip-roaring success that they exude a sort of zen like calm about it all.
The middle bunch has a particularly extreme wing; those who use terms like “enemy of the people” a lot. Ironically enough, using phrases familiar from the 20th century’s unfortunate experiments with Marxism gets you closer to the truth than you might think.
Marxists, and by that I mean real, proper socialists – people who want to nationalise absolutely everything – will always make excuses for Stalin, and Hoxha, and the Stasi, and Ceausescu, and 1956, and anything else from 1917 to 1990 you want to throw in there. All that terrible stuff happened not because Marxism is a bad idea but because it’s never been applied properly. Or like in Cuba, it’s because the capitalists conspired to ruin it all. It isn’t Marxism’s fault we had show trials – it just never got the fair shot it deserved for all sorts of reasons, and so what we witnessed was some sort of degenerated form of socialism.
I can see an emerging strain of Brexit thought that could evolve along the same lines should there be problems with the way leaving the EU goes over the next few years. It will go something like this: Brexit was not a flawed idea; it was just that it was handled poorly (watch out for this trap coming your way one day, Theresa May) combined with all the Remoaning brining the whole thing down. If only we’d all gathered together to make it all work instead of all those bankers and economists doom mongering all the time! Furthermore, it wasn’t our fault the farmers all got screwed – there is an obvious alternative Brexit that exists in the abstract in which those rural communities got everything they ever wanted as a direct result of leaving the European Union.
If Brexit does work out for the best, I suppose this theory of mine regarding Marxism and Brexiteering will never be tested. If things go awry, however, I was here first. There is a religiosity to this strain of Brexit thought that reminds one of the unreformed Marxist; the fact that most of them are free market fundamentalists just makes this all the more humorous.