Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Nationalism and Democracy, An Exit To Nowhere

Elites will never be stripped of their privilege by the method of their ascension. The impoverished will never stop being robbed of their potential by handing it over to new elites. The decision by the majority of voting British citizens to leave the European Union has been seen as a mandate against unaccountable technocratic governors in the EU. Objections to this technocracy are not always pretty though. In place of a centralized system of control in Europe, those who voted to leave the EU wish for the tools of power to be shifted back to Britain.

No matter their intentions, and really no matter which side of the vote British citizens found themselves on, very little has changed for the control people have over their own lives. The nationalists wish to take back control of “their borders”. The economic isolationists want control of “their trade”. The Remain voters wish to sustain “their” unity with Europe. No matter the reason, the commonality here is one mass collective illusion. It is the illusion of democratic control and representation. Despite all evidence to the contrary people think this system exists in order to support them, and that a referendum is the best way to assert control.

Democracy has divested common people of control. It has made the individual’s decision making orders of magnitude from mattering. Your participation in the voting process is inconsequential. It may be one of the most inconsequential activities a normal person can engage in. But even if it wasn’t, even if the direction of your vote counted in the re-shuffling of the deck, it will never be you holding the cards. A resentment of technocracy has merely led to a reversion to an earlier model of false representation of your interests. The same institutions that will now decide the fate of borders and trade had previously negotiated away that control, and your opinion on it could not have mattered less.

Now those who had felt so disenfranchised hope to divest others of control, namely the immigrants they begrudgingly deal with now as neighbors. But the logic that denies the right to an open system of migration and residency for immigrants is also an attack on the freedom of natives. National borders advertised as “theirs”, as a tool of sovereignty for the people who call Britain home, is in fact the opposite. It is the tool of British elites. Those with the most political sway in Britain will now get to decide who citizens can communicate with, who they can employ, who they can live with, which countries they are permitted to travel to. It is also the tool of foreign elites, who will carve up trade agreements based on national boundaries rather than on the true will of the individuals. The right to a referendum on this matter is a right to a whispered suggestion in a sea of other whispered suggestions. Will these suggestions enhance your power? No. They merely change some terms of negotiations between the world’s most powerful economic and political interests.

The right to self-determine begins and ends with you. Any domestic ruler of yours telling you otherwise is selling your birthright back to you as a democratic privilege at 1/64,000,000th the value. If you wish to look for the true spirit of sovereign behavior and self-directed action look to your immigrant peers. Look to those who saw the conditions of their homeland they were told represented them, that defined them, that gave power to them. They left. They willed a better life for themselves regardless of borders. The European Union facilitates this behavior for those citizens of member nations, but it too is merely granting technocratic authorization on a matter they have no concern over. Those who cross borders legally and those who cross illegally have an equal moral right to self determination. The EU has acted inclusive of European travel and trade, but that same loathsome bureaucracy prevents you from networking with anyone unpermitted to cross its borders. While nationalist and federalist economic policies ensure the individual citizen’s disempowerment and impoverishment the same power structure is also trapping refugees into encampments rife with human rights violations. The EU is using its unjust and sweeping power to financially strong arm other nations into obedience with its migration policies. What of the sovereignty of people in these countries? Doctors Without Borders recently refused further funding from the EU in their efforts to ensure the health and safety of refugees, objecting to this form of bribery to aid human rights violations. Here is their grievance, from a press release:

“Last week the European Commission unveiled a new proposal to replicate the EU-Turkey logic across more than 16 countries in Africa and the Middle East. These deals would impose trade and development aid cuts on countries that do not stem migration to Europe or facilitate forcible returns, rewarding those that do. Among these potential partners are Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan – four of the top ten refugee generating countries.”

Put aside your nationalism. Put aside your false hopes for democratic resolutions. These are false idols. These representatives of your identity you think you have chosen were decided for you by people you have never known, for reasons beyond your interests or understanding. It is time to not reject globalism, but to make it own up to the name. The power to communicate, to network and trade, to travel and connect has never been greater. It should be you that benefits and not some fraudulent system of representatives and delegates. Nations, federations, trading zones carved up by multinationals and political opportunists have grown stronger by keeping the world divided. The Leave Campaign merely shifted the balance. It is time to dismantle it. It is time to demand no less than full access to the social, economic, and technological capacities stolen from you and sold back to capitalist and democratic institutions which have no place in a truly global age. It has kept you down. It has kept the people of your nation and of Europe down. It has nearly destroyed regions of the world and created refugees out of people who wanted nothing more than their home and their communities to prosper as you do. Brexit is over. Let’s start talking about a true exit from this nightmare.

Citations to this article:

Markets Not Capitalism
Organization Theory
Conscience of an Anarchist