Make Great Britain “great” again? How Brexit reawakened England’s dormant imperialism

But the reactionary side of these islands was always there, sipping tea, grumbling about foreigners, hankering after the good old days—a resentful hinterland that has never quite accepted our lost pre-eminence. That’s why Brexiteers no longer care that they are cheering on a fantasy, by Jingo, so long as it’s a fantasy wrapped in the Union flag.

Source: Make Great Britain “great” again? How Brexit reawakened England’s dormant imperialism — Quartz

More on Empire 2.0.

 

Empire 2.0 is dangerous nostalgia for something that never existed

The empire, even at its height, never came close to absorbing the majority of our exports or providing the bulk of our imports, and neither will the Commonwealth, no matter how good a trade deal we win. Empire 2.0 is a fanciful vision of the future based on a distorted misremembering of the past. It’s a delusion and, like all delusions, has the potential to lure us into a false sense of security and lead us to make bad decisions.

Source: Empire 2.0 is dangerous nostalgia for something that never existed | David Olusoga | Opinion | The Guardian

Leavers claim they are looking forward, but I don’t believe them either. Unfortunately, they are looking backwards through rose-tinted spectacles.

This Article Won’t Change Your Mind

The facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs.

“I think we need to get to an information environment where sharing is slowed down,” Manjoo says. “A really good example of this is Snapchat. Everything disappears after a day—you can’t have some lingering thing that gets bigger and bigger.”

Facebook is apparently interested in copying some of Snapchat’s features—including the disappearing messages. “I think that would reduce virality, and then you could imagine that would perhaps cut down on sharing false information,” Manjoo says. But, he caveats: “Things must be particularly bad if you’re looking at Snapchat for reasons of hope.”

Source: This Article Won’t Change Your Mind – The Atlantic

Continuing one of the themes from my last post, this article makes rather depressing reading: facts and evidence won’t make people change their minds. A change may slowly creep up on them and suddenly become an epiphany, but it may be too late for the rest of us.

How do you defeat President Donald Trump? 

Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

A terrific answer from Eugenia Stonecroft. Some of the 20 lessons also apply to opposition to the way Brexit is being handled, like:

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

Remember the Brexshitter screams about judges when the Supreme Court ruled that our unelected Prime Minister could not sideline Parliament, after all the bollocks about taking back control.

4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

BoJo, Gove and Farage certainly vomited a lot of gung-ho crap.

8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

£350 million… No more need be said.

9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you.

Too hard for some people: “I don’t care about statistics” was the retort I received from one Leaver I tried to enlighten

Source: How do you defeat President Donald Trump? – Quora

 

Populism Versus the Media

In this respect, British journalists have much to learn from their US counterparts. Since the Brexit vote, the British press has not, for the most part, stepped up to try to save our democracy from being swamped by majoritarian sentiment. On the contrary, most of our printed tabloids and even one of our more traditional newspapers – which used to regard itself as a paper of record – have reinforced populist prejudices, much as Fox News has done in the US.

Source: Populism Versus the Media by Chris Patten – Project Syndicate

Not too hard to understand which newspapers Chris is writing about.

Mike Pence’s promises to the EU are meaningless

The Trump administration has drawn unflattering comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984. If Trump is Big Brother then Pence is his little brother; a sunken-eyed giggling crony egging on the school bully.

http://www.euractiv.com/section/all/news/the-brief-mike-pences-promises-to-the-eu-are-meaningless/

An entertaining insult, but still fucking depressing.

Elitist

non-sequitur-2017-02-17

Wiley Miller nicely sums up what seems to be a common defense against those who criticise Trump and Brexit.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is the worst blogger

Most importantly, Adams and Trump both offer the working class cheap, stupid, and forgettable entertainment that placates dissatisfaction for a moment before a swift return to late-capitalist dread. We deserve better.

Source: Dilbert creator Scott Adams is the worst blogger | The Outline

Ouch! I can’t say that I agree with every word of this. I have stopped reading Adams’ blog, but I still read Dilbert.

The Virtues of Free Speech

Michael A. Sherlock (Author)

Free speech must include the right to offend. Granted, there are limitations upon free speech which do serve valuable and necessary functions – such as the prohibition against incitement to violence, or the prohibition concerning the deliberate causing of a panic that would likely result in imminent injury, etc – yet such limitations are not a valid basis for arguments that seek to increase restrictions on free speech. Put simply, the existence of common-sense limitations on free speech in no way testify to the alleged benefits of restricting speech that offends or hurts people’s feelings. Feelings should never be placed above fundamental human rights, particularly when the human right in question is the primary mechanism by which societies and cultures progress. George Bernard Shaw penned upon the lips of one of his fictional characters, “All great truths begin as blasphemies”. The validity of this noble and enlightened sentiment has been…

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Reality is Subjective

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Prickly City

Mine too!