Friday, June 24, 2016

Rodrik, his trilemma and the morning after

Since Paul Krugman has almost "copied" the title of my first post today, I can't help but write a second one (will he copy this one?). Contrary to what Dani Rodrik himself seems to argue in a post some days ago, the victory of Brexit in the UK's referendum is not a victory of democratic politics, but a victory of the nation-state. I don't know about Nigel Farage (does he?) but Boris Johnson and Michael Gove do not want to abandon an integrated global economy. If they claim to be the great defenders of the sovereign nation-state and want Britain to be successful in a world with free trade, the piece of Rodrik's trilemma that has to be abandoned is democracy. And it is. First, this referendum has been a mockery of democracy, as it is very well explained in the blog "Stumbling and Mumbling". Second, it is not clear what specific project has won this referendum. Now it seems that Boris Johnson is not in a hurry to start negotiations to leave the EU. Oh, you didn't know? Yes, negotiations are needed and leaving the EU is not automatic. What will happen in between these negotiations or at the end? Will Boris Johnson reach a new agreement to half-stay in the EU and call another referendum? I thought that "neverendum" was only an option for losing secessionists, but I'm not so sure now. A vote for soft fascism cannot be a victory of democracy, as argued by the blog "Notes from a Broken Society:"
Yesterday’s vote to leave the EU is a leap into the unknown. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the winning side hasn’t a clue what happens next.  No exit strategy, no negotiating brief.  Only a vague perception that “we have taken our country back”, and a lot of noise and fury about immigration;  a vote distinguished by its virulent anti-intellectualism and an apparent belief that actually to know about a subject somehow disqualifies one from having a legitimate opinion on it.

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