— Other Liabilities

Anatomy of a U turn

-What are you doing?

-As you can see I am smoking.

-Oh. I thought the cigarette was smoking you.

Whereas he thought of himself as an untroubled father, comfortably seated in his armchair after a hard day at the office, his daughter saw him as an unbearable monster: a cigarette grabbing a man to have itself smoked in a big cloud of tar and nicotine; the father as appendage, an instrument, an extension of the cigarette, the father become cigarette to the cigarette. Nothing more is needed to unleash a crisis: I foreswear smoking forevermore. To bind me to this promise, I reduce my entire pack to unsmokable stumps: I tear apart this idol that has enslaved me into such minute fragments that it will never again be able to take hold of me, even if the craving, as we say, seizes me again.

Bruno Latour – Of the Modern Cult of Factish Gods

In the last year we’ve witnessed the rise of the radical right in ‘developed countries’, which deteriorated their pro-freedom image. This politic movement aims to prioritize interests of the nation over other countries and political organizations. First Brexit, which dragging the UK out of the EU, then rise of Trump in the United States are real life examples of this case.

In Britain, the liberals are basing their arguments of their defeat to the marketing campaign based on lies carried out by the leave side. As a proof to this case, premises such as of directing funds to the NHS system instead of the EU budget were sidelined were abandoned right after the election.

Biggest cost of the EU to its member states is unquestionably its market and trade regulations. Despite the size of their costs, these issues were never used as propaganda tool individually by the leave side. Instead, they were united and politicized under the term independence.

The ultimate goal of a political campaign is to make people talk about the political ideas. As we speak of the economic data and EU regulations, people tend to read what other people say about these issues, instead of dealing with the burden of reading the authentic documents.

In order to make your ideas be adhered and be argued, you have to find a topic which is general interest to the public. If you manage on top of that to base your argument on an issue can be observed in the flow of daily life without the cost of losing vote, you have managed to get rid of the cost of pouring knowledge to the system to keep the argument heated. A tiny spark would suffice.

I think this is the main reason why the leave side focused on immigrants in their campaign. Despite the fact the there is no data available to measure immigrants costs/benefits to the UK economy, leave side needed an opposite for their cause just like every other political movement and immigrants’ ineligibility to vote made them the perfect prey.

U turn in politics

Trump flirting with Russia and China as prospective allies or the UK’s focus on Chinese and Indian markets to cure its budget deficit, demonstrate that right movements have chosen the path of a ‘U turn’ instead of reform.

In spite of the fact that Donald Trump and people behind the Brexit movement is perceived as charlatans, there is more to the case. Hence, Yannis Varoufakis’ remark ‘Referendum was lost the very moment it was called for.’

Simply because, contemplation of the idea of loneliness in the mind represents a self fulfilling prophecy of the break up. There is only two possibilities for a nation to take the lonely path: Either the population is blinded from the light and can’t appreciate the high standard of living or the standard of living is worsening.

Background of the decision

Which one would you choose, 45% chance to win 6.000 or 90% chance to 3.000?

0.1% chance to win 6.000 or 0.2% chance to 3.000?

I bet you’ve taken the second option for the first case, and first option for the second case, in line with Kahneman and Tversky’s prospect theory

This is the point where the inevitability mentioned by Varoufakis and the temptation for protection merges. What caused the inevitability of the upcoming defeat was, the way the referendum was simplified to a choice between a slow decay and hope to survive.

Economic growth is failing to keep up with the exponential growth of world population. Well, what choice do you have to keep your share besides keeping other people away from it, if the size of the pie remains the same? Therefore, hope for the better days dominate the rational fact that trade barriers will harm each party in the long term.

European Steel and Coal community founded aftermath of the second world war aimed to prevent future catastrophes, arising from conflicts over national interest, by creating a supranational union over them; which in a way resembling the father who decided to destroy his pack of cigarettes. However, as the rift starts to hit the surface of the union, we once again realise destroying the tools might not always prevail against the desire itself. Especially against desire of not to be worse off.

Brexit destroyed the ‘fetish’ which defined the EU as a union where interests of equality and humanity always prevail over economic interests. Yet in the meantime a new ‘fetish’ has been brought to life by Theresa May; it’s named ‘if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere.’

The new ‘fetish’ demands walls to be built and to prioritise the nation’s interest over any kind of foreign body. Needles to say, this values are contradictory to the problems which require a global cooperation.

Let’s see how long will it take to realise the necessity to destroy the new fetish.

This article originally appeared on diken.com.tr on 23/10/2016