Brexit Through the Gift Shop, Lexit thru the Green Lane (‘Nothing to Declare’)…

The Union Flag: a red cross over combined red and white saltires, all with white borders, over a dark blue background.“Bernie Sanders on Brexit: The World Economy is not Working for Everybody” (minor HuffPo headline from the day after the Brexit vote). Get it? Got it. Bernie is a ‘Leaver’, albeit for different reasons than Boris and Nigel; or at least he’s not a clear-cut ‘Remainer’, not even as much as Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who held his nose and shut his samosa-slot, and meekly supported the ‘Remain’ bloc, only after forty years of protesting the EU and only after his own rise to power. Damn by feint (!) praise, perhaps?

Yes, there was also a leftist ‘Lexit’ (‘Left Leave’) vote, with the same goal as Brexit, just another reason and another season for getting there. This is the difference between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and ultimately the reason I couldn’t support Bernie, even though his ideals are closer to mine than Hillary’s.

Bernie never copped to the fact that his policies, if implemented, of which likely not of which likely never, might make the economy more equal, but would surely make the economy less. He imagined, or so insinuated, that we could return to the golden age of 1960 post-war America (and by inference: Western dominance in the world, which favored us economically in every way—and kept wages high). But that was before Japan’s rise, then China’s. That golden age is gone, Digital Revolution notwithstanding…

Bernie imagines that we can all be a Sweden or a Norway or a Switzerland, of which maybe, but offering no proof of such, the differences manifold and manifest. Donald Trump, though, would correspond to the more typical racist closed-door Brexiteer of which he represents the American falange. This is why Berners and Trumpsters sometimes find common cause, just like Brexit and Lexit.

Here’s the Lexit rap: EU is a bosses’ club, basically the European version of every kabalistic WTO and multi-national Trade Pact that’s ever been signed, Illuminati on steroids, the New Mandarins come to re-draw national boundaries, the New World Order come to collect the rent. Ouch.

Fifteen years ago I, too, would have been appalled at the actions of the UK in leaving the EU, though I’ll admit that at the time, I wasn’t really sure what either of the initials really meant, except that the UK didn’t use the Euro, so WTF anyway? Of course that was before the Eastern European riff-raff started pouring into a previously Western European institution that started out decades before as the Common Market and affected most of us simply as the map of where Eurail went…

All that changed with the fall of the Soviet Onion, and its neighboring Warsaw Pack Rats, layers upon layers of smelly intrigue let loose upon the world in one fell snoop, with the Berlin Wall and the thrill of it all, roller-coaster rides in Gorky Park and hot dogs for Hungary, all there for our taking now, and of course vice-versa: they all want in, by book or crook, stealing passwords and identities like ringing a bell, that’s Westminster Cathedral, time to practice the English that we all learned in high school…

But back then I was optimistic, that we would all survive the mounting challenges, mostly sexual as far as I could see, and then the world would be at peace, despite all evidence to the contrary, and that ‘growth’ was the remedy for what ails us, I thoroughly chastened by my mistaken 70’s love affair with ‘no-growth’, thoroughly proved wrong by the Digital Revolution, which promised—and proved—to provide real growth without squandering precious natural resources, just plentiful cheap brainpower…

But that era has likely peaked, if not already in decline. There are only so many Facebooks needed to provide us with or own personal People Magazine. It almost seems sad watching Elon Musk lay out a vision of the future that will likely never happen, and if so, only for a chosen few and at a very great cost to everyone else, this in an era when ISIL runs the Mideast and fools are the powers that be, imaginary space ships self-driving cars and vacuum travel tubes the escapist order of the day…

But from here on it’s a matter of survival, every man for his own self, and the dividing of resources to be done as judiciously as possible, with the emphasis on sustainability. The Golden Age is over.  Hold your loved ones close. Plant that garden. Get religion. Meet your neighbors. Make new friends. The revolution will not be televised; it will be Tweeted. And the New World Order will not be so orderly; it will be messy.

And while I’m no conspiracy buff, I’m fine with abandoning the ‘growth’ mantra. It’s time to focus on e-quality of life, not e-quantity. If Europe is only peaceful now because they’ve all been ‘bought off’ by economic prosperity, then that maybe speaks volumes. Chill, dudes. Sand castles will fall, and tempers will rise. Those who are quietest will speak the loudest, and conciliation will replace confrontation as the mark of masculinity. Less will be more, and the meek will inherit the earth…

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