Brexit: Individualism v Collectivism

The case for a bit collectivism

Jonathon Davies, Going Postal

“For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lordand shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?” – Jeremiah 5:26-29

I know many of us on the blog are right wing to say the least, so we tend to frown on any notion of collectivism. We champion the rights of the individual, we want a small state that only taxes us for what is necessary and then generally leaves us alone. We cherish individual free speech, thought and association. We dislike any talk of collectivism as it reminds us of socialism and its many, many failures, which are all justified by the mantra of benefiting the many. Labour’s latest mantra is along these lines, “for the many, not the few.” Eerily similar is Hitler’s 1920 Munich manifesto, which went on to form the 25 points of National Socialism. Point 24 says, “GEMEINNUTZ GEHT VOR EIGENNUTZ,” which means, “The common good before the self-good.” And yes, the original was in all caps.

But is collectivism all bad? Think of the analogy of a sports team. The players need to perform well individually, yes, but they also need to perform collectively. If one player decides they are more important than the team, it can undermine unity and cause divisions in the dressing room. This often then carries over in to performances. We’ve all seen examples in the past where players have done this, in football, rugby and cricket. A player could go out and try and do eye catching things to gain attention, possibly lobby for a pay rise, or a move to a more desirable club or team. This is often detrimental to the team, as they are not following the agreed strategy and supporting team mates, perhaps leaving holes in defence, or not passing to someone in a better position to score. Sometimes what is needed is a bit of self-sacrifice, some work ethic and to think of the bigger picture. Maybe it’s not all about you.

This brings me on to the vote to leave the European Union. I have noted that the ardent die hard Remainers, dubbed Remoaners, most often use the language of self. “I will be unable to live and work in 27 countries, even though I never did previously in the past 40-50 years” “My holiday will be slightly more expensive,” “This will impact on me because I won’t be able to have a cheap cleaner,” “All the cheese I usually buy will disappear from the shops for some inexplicable reason,” etc, etc.

And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” – Peter 2:3

Yet the language of the leave voters shows a marked contrast, more the language of the collective. “We will be better off as a nation,” “We will regain our sovereignty,” “Wages will rise for more people,” “Housing will become cheaper for everyone with lower immigration,” “We can trade with the rest of the world,” “Our politicians will be more accountable,” and so on.

In the short term, leaving the EU may at first have a few negative consequences for me. The exchange rate may make my holidays a little bit more pricey. Some foods from EU countries may be a bit more expensive compared to home grown produce and non-EU foodstuffs from the rest of the world. Some people I do business with may hold off on some big investments until the future becomes clearer. Some places in Wales may have a few less blue plaques than they would have done.

So be it. I am thinking in terms of the collective, of the entire nation, by which I mean the people. Long term the benefits will outweigh the costs. Exports will be cheaper. We can source good and services from outside the EU. We can decide our own fate. We can start to make politicians more accountable and get them to do some work, rather than leave everything to Brussels. We can start to get a handle on who we are allowing to cross our borders. the list goes on. The point is that I may experience a bit of short term pain, but I see the bigger picture.

Those who are opposing the UK leaving the EU are not. They come up with some fancy graphs that show he latest prediction of doom, but still don’t realise that the vast majority of leave voters don’t believe them, and don’t care. They are willing to make a sacrifice for the nation. The Remoaners are not. they are stuck in the mindset of hyper-individualism, only concerned with what directly affects them. They think that people who do not agree with them are too stupid to see this point if view. This is why all their propaganda does not work. Their mindset is fundamentally different. Their rhetoric has no power.

“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” – Proverbs 26:12

This is why they cannot grasp why they lost, or why they are still losing. Every chance the UK public get to vote on mass against leaving the EU, it never happens. Leave won the 2016 referendum. Parties with leaving the EU in their manifesto won over 80% of the vote in the 2017 general election. In the 2018 local elections, we were promised that a tidal wave of Pro-Remain voters would sweep away the government and show that the country had changed it’s mind. Much like the “blue wave” in the USA, it didn’t materialise.

The Pro-Remain position is essentially self-centred. They cannot understand that for many people, sovereignty, patriotism, self-determination, making your own laws and controlling immigration matter far more than personal wealth. Unlike many in Parliament, we are capable of putting country before party. Can they change? Who knows. Maybe they don’t want to. Maybe they are afraid that if they did, they may come to sympathise with the leave cause. Until they do they will never grasp why they lost, and they will never stop losing.

“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.” – James 3:14

© Jonathon Davies 2018

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