The blame for the result of the European Union referendum in the United Kingdom falls mainly on the indifference and the ignorance of the voters, but it was maybe a failure to popularize new political and economic models arising from our globalizing world that might have led to a dismissive exercise of many UK citizens’ right to vote.
There is a rift between the people and the world. Globalization reaches unimaginable extents since we are becoming – within our limits – a limitless world. Most of us fail to understand where the connexions are, how massively significant whatever happens on the other side of the European Union, is for a Shetlander’s day-to-day life. This BBC article a while ago gave a very interesting insight on the scale of Euroscepticism in the Western Isles. When a local was questioned about his reasons to vote Brexit, the Shetlander made a remark on how alien it was to him – “things happening in Brussels and a whole lot of people from Germany and France”.
We have become a world of connections, an articulated whole, and I get the impression that human civilization and culture are evolving faster than we can mentally afford to. Following the apparently infinite chains of action that we ourselves once designed for our society to function seems more like an exhaustive search for hidden clues than an exercise of our right for information. How could a feeling of disconnection be helped when to the eye of the average citizen, we are still as unplugged as we would be if it was not for the invisible and mobile ripple-effected puzzle that our economic and political spheres have turned into? Of course, I would believe the EU is an idle, hippie, flamboyant posse of diplomats who do nothing but celebrate their own existence if I could just see the ends of the thread but was unable to comprehend the actual links in between. As modern and logical as the union may be, it is – with the exception of a few official buildings – materially inexistent, which will surely entail collateral damage. Unpoliticisation is amongst them and is a popular choice for those who, unable to successfully trace the steps from the Espace Léopold to their own addresses, will cast an uninformed vote.
It is undeniable, there is a gulf between people’s ability to comprehend abstract political and economic networks and the increasing abstraction of those networks. Indisputably, this could lead to a growth of the level of indifference towards – if we have not already seen this taking place in the EU Referendum – issues of this nature. Nonetheless, truth be told, we are not to blame for the understanding of such topics being reserved to an academic elite. The incapability of politicians, economists and theorists to popularize the subject in order to make it accessible to the general public – economy á la Marx – has as well been crucial for the sketching of the contemporary zoon polotikón.