If you, like millions of others, live in the UK or the USA; you could be forgiven for asking the question, "What just happened? "
Two years ago I wrote a book, not very well written but interesting ideas, if I say so myself! Basically, it challenged everything we thought we knew about politics, justice, society and even teamwork. It didn't have a lot of readers (none actually but who's counting)
Since then, I have tried to answer some basic questions on what I believe. The reason is that recently I have found myself wondering which side political spectrum I belong, left or right. For example, I believe in order and stability in society, but I don't believe in totalitarianism any more than any liberal. I believe in free speech, but I don't believe in hate speech or incitement to crime or violence. I believe in democracy, but not the way some countries define it and that includes the political the systems of UK and the USA. I believe democracy should be the majority of the people, not first past the post systems where redrawing the boundaries of the voting districts can change the result; or results can effectively be bought. I have concluded that my politics are left of the right of center!
Another question I find myself contemplating more and more involves teamwork. What is the most effective form of teamwork for a society trying to progress? Is it nationalism or tribalistic mentality akin to football supporters? Is it democratic discussion and majority voting?
My answer to this latter question is, frankly, anti-democratic, as far as I am concerned. I actually believe that the most effective and efficient form of decision making for any society wishing to make progress is actually a wise, selfless, experienced individual weighing up the options and implementing them accordingly, just one person, not a team. Then again, I also believe that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no such person, at least not one for all occasions. Throughout history we have had glimpses of such people. People like Churchill for example, whose name and reputation have been embellished over time. For example it is not often mentioned he was arrogant and a sexist. What's more, once the war was over, he had outlived his true usefulness as a leader.
Today we have Brexit. Let's be honest, whatever happens, whatever is decided, the sun will rise again in the East as it has always done, and it will set in the West. It is not an extinction event. People will still be around, and will still be living in Britain. Life will change, in my opinion very much for the worst, but still Brexit is not a subject to go to war over. Nothing is, because that is the only situation where everybody except for some criminals and black marketeers, will lose.
But we are doing something to ourselves that is very, very dangerous. It is worse than playing with fire, it is more like playing with nitroglycerine. We are playing with something inherently unstable. We are activating the strongest of tribalistic nerve centers in all of us, so that today, more and more the ends begin to justify the means. We no longer care about civility in politics, we no longer care about responsible use of authority and power. We only care about the result and the way we are trying to go about the implementation of Brexit we are guaranteeing that eventually we will all lose.