“Like a giant company which fails to draw any lessons from the loss of a major customer, the EU has learnt nothing from the fact that one of its largest members has voted to leave it. Trapped in the sterility of the status quo, its leaders are like members of the Ancien Régime, oblivious to legitimate complaint” and the urgent need for reform. They laugh at Britain now, but in doing so “they risk their own undoing”. (Jeremy Warner, The Daily Telegraph)
The excerpt (above), part of a longer tirade, illustrates the fact that many Britons have no idea about history or strategy, and have bought the relentless lies told daily in the right-wing Press about the “corruption” and pettiness of the EU, amplified constantly by Russia. The EU has its faults but it is better run than he says and in better economic condition. In any case, it is too late in history for the smallish nation state. The future belongs to the big groupings, all the more so in view of the helter-skelter growth of China.
In short, instead of working in Brussels to correct aspects of the EU, the right-wing backwoodsmen want to scrap the (mostly good) EU rules, privatize everything in sight ( healthcare already practically privatized) and encourage dubious millionaires to park illicit gains in a weakened City of London. In soccer this is called an “own goal”. Most people outside the country think that the U.K gnp will decline and the poor will get poorer. This without climate change and the likely disappearance of the Gulf Stream, which will alter the climate.
On a broader perspective, the preoccupation of statesmen over a long period has been, or should be, to restrain Germany, which, left alone, will now have in the EU an economic empire. Secondly, they want to prevent Russian interference in Europe and the reestablishment of the old Russian empire ( Putin’s ambition). At the same time Europeans wanted to reassure Russia that Western Europe will be a stable, not an expanding entity. All this to discourage the foolishness of wars which have disfigured Western Europe for centuries. The failure in the above regard has meant that the UK has been dragged into two world wars. The EU is not just an economic entity – it is about security and mutual cooperation. People with views like those of Little Englander Jeremy Warner are frighteningly common and, I fear, damaging.
Relevance to Epicureanism? The search for a secure, pleasant, healthy and stress-free life.