Brexit and theTrump Effect- Why the collapse of the EU may be next

Since Brexit those who voted Remain have been trying to understand what happened and profess to be confused. They are equally perplexed by Trump succeeding in the US presidential election.

They have resorted  to explaining it as ignorance, stupidity, masochism, gullibility (taken in by apparent lies of the Brexit campaign), xenophobia and the racism of the people who voted Brexit .

By comparison with these ‘uneducated’ Brexit voters, the Remainers are self-styled intellectuals and experts. Yet despite their intellectual capacity they  are equally confused and intellectually arrogant about the success of Trump. Their confusion and a more intellectual explanation are achieved when the issue is viewed from a behavioural and psychological perspective.

It appears that Remainers/Clinton supporters contain larger numbers of people who believe in an increasing rate of liberalisation of behaviour, along with an increase in enforced political correctness to control thought and deed towards liberalisation. They appear to value emotional reaction, empathy and sympathy over the application of logic, rules, boundaries and laws. This is a belief and behavioural system to which you either subscribe or are vilified. The vilification takes the form  of  being ridiculed either as intellectually inferior or under developed as a human. Sometimes it is  both.

This attitude is prevalent among the politicians and senior members of the political and business establishment irrespective of political colour or country and has been a consensus ‘in the west’ which has pervaded for decades. It has been accompanied by a disengagement with politics by many who have claimed that there is little point in voting as there is marginal difference between the alternatives. This disengagement has suited the politicians as it has left them to get on with their own agenda. This is supported by exposure of the back story to Brexit which revealed a pro EU consensus across party lines that had persisted for 50 years; a pact the purpose of which was to create a European super-state.

What these ‘Intellectuals’ fail to understand is that for vast swathes of the population the rate of change to their daily lives that this consensus brought about was too fast. This is very like the ‘Future Shock’ characterised by Alvin Toffler in 1973, except that the shock is provided not by technology but by changes to people’s daily lives and experiences, that are beyond their ‘ability’ to accept.This experience is most likely among who have seen their values and experiences change the most: the older segment of the population and  it explains the correlation between increasing age and voting Brexit.

In addition to the speed of change we must add the detrimental impacts of this liberalist agenda on parts of the population. To unlock this we can refer to ‘Maslows hierarchy of need’. The Elitist’s sit near the top and are pursuing realisation of a society they intellectual wish to live in.


© User:Factoryjoe /Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 3.0

However the outcomes of the Elitist’s pursuit of their objectives can negatively affect the lives of  others (e.g. those lower down the social scale). For example rapid change in the racial and/or social demographic of the area in which non-elitists live can drive them to the ‘safety’ level of the hierarchy by reduction in employment, feelings of threat or changes in local culture. These effects  are in addition to other factors that may have already had a negative impact such as the financial crash. The more factors at play that can create downward travel in the hierarchy the greater the number of people likely to be affected.

Now we have ingtwo groups occupying different levels of the hierarchy, creating the potential for conflict between them since the interests of both groups are different, and the pursuit of the interests of one frustrates the achievement of the interests of the other.

This difference may be expressed in unrest but is not exposed in the political machine so long as the voting options never present a choice to overthrow the elitist group that have generated the divide. However Brexit (and Trump) offered exactly that opportunity.

Offering  a Brexit vote can be considered a misjudgement by the elitist establishment probably due to a lack of understanding of the contextual dynamic.  This lack of understanding helps to explain why the Elitists attempts to scare the voter by warnings from more and more elitists served only to compound and entrench and grow the Brexit vote.

In the USA the nature of the ‘Future Shock’ has a similar dynamic but this time the mode of expression was a vote in the presidential election for Donald Trump. Trump appeared to offer an ungarnished person who was not a member of the liberal elite. He had the credentials that set him apart, of not being  a politician. The Elites decried his lack of experience that only served to bolster his popularity. Cleverly, Trump increased his position as an outsider by his behaviour and language in the primaries, even becoming an outsided among his own party. The more the establishment lambasted him the more his popularity grew.

And he gave them the ammunition. His ‘controversial’ statements drew condemnation from many but served to demonstrate his ‘otherness’ and convince the disenfranchised that his  views are ‘honest’ and ‘ungarnished’ without ‘device’ or ‘pretense’.

The more the elitist liberals and PC brigade reviled him, the more he gained popularity with the electorate occupying the lower levels of the hierarchy. Not because they are stupid, but because they perceived their opportunity to change the established order that wasn’t benefiting them has arrived.

Trump’s behaviour is reminiscent of Prince Hal in Henry iv prt 1

So when this loose behavior I throw off

And pay the debt I never promisèd,

By how much better than my word I am,

By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes;

And, like bright metal on a sullen ground,

My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault,

Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes

Than that which hath no foil to set it off.

I’ll so offend to make offense a skill,

Redeeming time when men think least I will.


Clinton also allowed herself to be played, being goaded into the equivalent of a street brawl with a street fighter: a fight she could never win. Had she forced him to fight on her ground of policy and politics the outcome may have been different but we will never know.

The Elitists find Trump’s success hard to understand because they suffer cognitive dissonance caused by the difference between their perception of their world and other people’s experience of reality.

This is not to say that the Elitists are wrong in pursuing the world they desire to create. However their failure is due to  a lack of leadership, an inability to inspire and take sufficient numbers of the population on the journey . Instead this capability gap was filled with obfuscation, bureaucracy, distraction and intellectual ridicule of dissent.

Brexit can be characterised as an awakening that  acknowledged the ‘elephant in the room’ and then providing a way to shoot and doing so. This showed others that there is an alternative. Whether the Trump effect would have been possible without Brexit is impossible to tell however the combined result  is pertinent to the EU.

The EU has an opportunity in the coming months to save itself, but it has to act quickly and reform. If it fails, there is a high likelihood that coming national elections will result in the overthrow of the existing regimes and their replacement by  anti-establishment groups and is most likely in France and Germany in the next 12 months. These groups are most likely to be anti-immigration and anti-EU and may result in the break-up of the EU.

Of course the arrogance of the Elitists preconditions their reaction to this article to be one of ridicule, disbelief and dismissal. It couldn’t possibly happen. People wouldn’t vote that way. But then they thought Brexit wouldn’t happen and Trump would never become President. For that reason, it would be reasonable to brace yourself for bigger Future Shocks to come!

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