On Choosing Peace

I recoil from the foul cess of the Brexit campaign – the bigotry, racism, scape-goat-ism and also, the entitlement to above-the-law criminality, yet I also recoil from the equally foul cess of de-humanised, corporate-supplied, big-is-beautiful trade blocks, such as the EU. Looking out, across lovely fields and woods to the undulating horizon of the Clwydian Hills, I imagine those two armies gathering to topographical advantage. The one encamped on Moel Famai, the other, Moel Arthur – both careless of the soil beneath their armoured feet and the ancient settlements of towns, villages and farms, which lie along the Vale. The victor will flood the land – whoever it is – with their own tides of pillage, havoc – and propaganda.
I look nervously through my fingers from my vantage on the slopes below Foel Fodiar – the opposite side of the Vale. Friends of mine, feel condemned to join the conflict – to abandon their fields, turn ploughshares into weapons and join whoever they think ferments the least stench. Green Party leaders, who should know better, have similarly abandoned green pursuits in an all-out EU campaign. Civil war draws people in – the white rose or the red? At any rate, I’ll not join the muster of Green Party brigades. To me, white rose and red are equally unpleasant.
Of my circle, nearly all are swayed towards the EU – into the mothering arms of Europa – particularly as Mad Uncle Sam puffs his ridiculous, but dangerous chest. To them, Europe represents enlightenment and environmental, religious and social protections. She also represents the settled ways of globalised trade and a stable percentage of perpetually growing GDP.
Those currently-settled ways are pillaging resources, ransacking ecologies and burning so much of them both that climate itself is tumbling from life-regulated benignity into linear physics. Species are escaping from a punctured Earth, like gas from an increasingly-limp balloon.
Both the leaders of Brexit and the leaders of the EU are set on a course to that chaos. There’s little to choose between them. In Brexit, spending will shrink and so UK effects on climate change will diminish to the same degree. However, that shrinkage will provide an excuse for environmental pillage and so, a return to the same old acceleration of climate change. In Europe, minimum wages, human rights and some environmental protections will remain in place. Neither advocated systems will change the truth that developed economies for all their climate targets and environmental protections are emitting 60% more CO.2 today than when nations first pledged to act on climate change in 1990.
Plainly, citizens with a hope for the future must break out and away… Citizens with a hope for convivial, responsive, egalitarian and durable cultures cannot retain that hope either inside the EU, or alongside the current Brexiteers. Neither model will survive even to the point where climate change finally wrecks all human cultures. Money flow of either pounds, or Euros cannot expand much further beyond physical limits without a crash. Human fantasy keeps money flow in its banks (no pun) – chasing a punter’s dreams. But as faith collapses the whole deck of cards will become as meaningless as it actually was. All that remains will be social chaos, soil, water, biomass, biodiversity, climate, weather, human co-operation and human ingenuity.
We come to the word fascism – I think the term is appropriate for the current leanings of many of those of the UK’s Eton/Harrow, or Oxford/Cambridge educated establishment, who back UK exit from the EU. Just as before 1939, it is not truly fascist, but the term remains appropriate. The Third Reich was built less by ideology and more by simple terror – fear, scape-goats and propaganda, combined with a privatised, military industrialisation. In striking contrast to its ideology of demonised usury and idealised indigenous artisans, folk music and nationalist crafts, the Third Reich was run by internationalist bankers and industrialists – not by the state, but by privatisation. The parallel is plain in nearly every respect. Fascism was normalised both by personal prudence (fear) and relentless propaganda – the same propaganda – notably and shockingly by the BBC – is unfolding today.
Similarly-shocking, (on the Remain side) the once reliable Guardian newspaper has become a collection of sordid and spiteful gossip columns – a mouthpiece for corporate-backed, Blairite, pro-trade-block-EU career politicians and post-truth, journalistic acolytes. The Guardian is conducting a war (in war, we can abandon truth) of its own against the one glimmer of hope we have – an honest man at the head of the Labour Party. (In the US the Guardian would attack Bernie Sanders and applaud Hilary Clinton.)
It is not surprising that we should run from the foul cess of both sides, but we should watch and think as we run. We need not choose between those two pitched encampments. They are pitched inside the Westminster Bubble. We ordinary people live elsewhere. We can choose peace. Brexit campaign, or Remain campaign – both use seductive cultural illusions, cemented by manufactured scape-goats. Both back the status quo of suicidal economic growth, cascading ecologies and catastrophic climate change. Both back a corporate-supplied, dependant consumerism. Both back lucrative (for UK) war in the Middle East and the most terrible destruction of ancient and beautiful cultures. Both are in the hands of fabulously-wealthy elites.
There is another world where most of us belong. By a crack in the usual unfolding of time, a leading politician lives there too. A perversity in the course of history has left Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. He is as bemused as all ordinary people are, by the vitriol of both Leave and Remain campaigns. Both campaigns manufacture deliberate lies about him. (It is permitted to lie in war) After all, one from outside the bubble is not supposed to have influence. Caroline Lucas, UK’s only Green MP, spends most of her energy (at least on Twitter) taunting Jeremy Corbyn over his failure to join the Remain campaign. Even though I am a Green Party member, she has lost my respect. Jeremy is a life-long peace campaigner and will not join Caroline’s war.
Though a majority of us in the UK remain in denial of climate change and cascading species loss – both of which belong to us – they are properties of our personal behaviours – nevertheless, I also think that a majority would prefer to remain neutral in this civil war. Caroline should concentrate both on that denial (the better world we could build together) and on maintaining that peace. The role has fallen to Jeremy Corbyn.


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