Brexit, nationalism, and globalism

| February 11, 2020

Dickson Igwe, Senior political contributor

Donald Trump and Brexit are symbols of a new cold war within western society. This is an existential conflict between the forces of globalization, and the forces of nationalist nativism. Time alone will tell who wins.

The western world appears to be in conflict and turmoil with itself. The USA has become isolationist and inward looking, with a President who appears to the liberal left to have gone rogue, and who rules by tweet, but a President who holds the absolute fealty of a base that is white, nativist, mono-cultural, middle class, and insular.

Trump, winning a Second term looks very likely, owing to the fanatical loyalty of that base. Donald Trump today owns the Republican Brand. In effect Trump is the USA’s first elected king.

On the other side of the North Atlantic, Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has been placed into Number 10 Downing Street by very much the same ‘’street sentiments ’’ and ‘’nativist instincts.’’ Brexit points to a UK, mainly white, and nativist, and overwhelmingly English, that wants to cut the links with a European Union that is an economic hegemony, and a huge market of over 500 million, at the UK’s door step.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photo courtesy

The European Union is a globalist enclave ruled by centrists, and liberal types,  who view convergence as inevitable, and divergence as dangerous and irresponsible: ‘’Davos man.’’ On the other side of the spectrum, the Brexiter is a populist with nationalist sentiments who views divergence, and the hard separation of peoples and countries, as a good thing.

The first reason for Brexit may have been the dislike of untrammeled migration into the UK by European and African migrants. However, at core, Brexit is a war against what is perceived as a loss of sovereignty through the adoption by the European Union of powers that were formerly held by individual European states. Today, those states are part of a 27 bloc confederacy, a true Union, as valid as the UK’s own Union, but not yet as cohesive as the USA: a union of American States.

These powers of the EU have not been taken by force. There has been a voluntary pooling of power, from member states into the EU, for the ‘common good.’ The powers held by Brussels are very much a shared agreement by sovereign states to pool their resources and powers in the interests of security, trade and industry.

The idea is that in a dangerous world ruled by super powers and integrating regions, the best way to survive, in a sea of ‘’ killer sharks,’’ is by rivaling these powers- mainly the USA and China- by coming together.

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Category: African Caribbean, Culture & Society

About the Author (Author Profile)

Dickson Igwe is an education official in the Virgin Islands. He is also a national sea safety instructor. He writes a national column across media and has authored a story book on the Caribbean: ‘The Adventures of a West Indian Villager’. Dickson is focused on economics articles, and he believes economics holds the answer to the full economic and social development of the Caribbean. He is of both West African and Caribbean heritage. Dickson is married with one son.

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