The people of Britain recently exercised an increasingly precious right. They got to cast votes to decide whether their future lay in themselves and governance by officials of their own choosing, or instead lay in the gradual surrender of their sovereignty to the European Union and its unelected and distant overlords in Brussels. The last time they had a vote on a European alliance was in 1975, more than four decades ago, when they merely agreed to join what then was called the European Economic Community, a loose confederation for freer trade but with member nations fully retaining their sovereignty. Like so much of what we’ve seen here in America, where our Supreme Court freely amends our Constitution to empower our federal government to impose social and economic outcomes that our voters have never embraced, the EEC gradually transformed itself into the EU, increasing its powers over member nations and their peoples in ways that the people never embraced at the ballot box. By the reckoning of many pundits, the margin of victory in favor of Britain leaving the EU—52 to 48 percent—was substantial. From the Moralnomics standpoint, the “Brexit” vote was altogether too close for comfort.
The legions of the so-called political left—including the bloated bureaucracy, the mainstream press, the entertainment industry, and the politicians favoring socialistic solutions—of course have decried the result. That’s because, to them, the Brexit vote represents a step backward, a movement away from their ultimate goal of bringing us all together under a single world government, with a single world currency, subject to the rule of a single politburo-like organization to control us and our commerce for our own good. This mode of thinking in effect asks us to imagine how much better off we’d be if we didn’t have the messiness of bottom-up democracy, and instead we could seek the answers to our problems by looking to institutions such as the United Nations, with its majority of corrupt dictatorships; and to international courts untethered from any constitution ordained by the people; and to a central global bank controlling all monetary policy. It’s such a shame that the Brits rejected this grand vision, isn’t it?
Ah, but did they really reject it? The suspicion here is that the Brexit vote was powered, first and foremost, by the voters’ alarm over the surge of Muslims pouring into Europe and across the English Channel, rather than a concern over the surrender of their liberty to EU authority.
It remains to be seen what the British people will do with their newly-reclaimed sovereignty over themselves, their money supply, and their immigration policy. The problem there, as here in the States, is that the British, too, are educated to embrace socialistic models of governance, with punishingly high taxes and unaffordable redistribution programs, and that they are educated to hold the implicit view that those less well off occupy the moral high ground as victims of society, when instead so many of them are the victims of their own poor decisions in life, including their refusal to embrace educational opportunities provided to them at enormous cost to the taxpayers.
Lost in the swamp of today’s moral relativism—favored by America’s progressives, liberals, and socialists, and by their counterparts in Europe and Britain—are the notions that we, the people, as individuals, really matter; that we, not the government, make the economy and grow it; that our business owners are far superior to the bureaucrats when it comes to pleasing us; that we benefit most when we’re free to earn rewards for pleasing one another; that we bring out our best when we’re free to earn greater rewards for pleasing others better; and that our society benefits the most when we as citizens take personal responsibility for the decisions we make and for growing our own capacities to be of value to one another.
Like the dream of those who wanted Britain to remain in the EU, the Moralnomics dream is that one day we’ll all be part of a unified world government. But there the similarity ends, for the Moralnomics vision is profoundly different. It’s of a democratic-republican government of limited powers, with a federalist structure of co-sovereign member states, and with power devolved to the most localized levels possible. This empowers us to maximize our control over government to keep it of, by, and for us, the people—rather than of, by, and for a ruling class. And the Moralnomics vision is of us as individuals who have been raised to embrace the core values of universal morality rather than moral relativism. And it is of us as citizens who have been raised to embrace civilization, political freedom, and economic freedom as the means for achieving overall prosperity, with opportunities for everyone to live better and happier lives. This vision isn’t only best for the strongest and ablest, but for all of us, the poor and needy included. That’s because it is prosperity that best enables us to care for the truly poor and needy, and prosperity comes from bottom-up economic freedom, not from forced equality of outcome. Moralnomics looks first to America for beginning humankind’s movement toward this end-vision, because America’s Constitution already has carried us much of the way, despite the progressive-liberals’ efforts to subvert its principles to undermine our liberty.
So if we are to lament the Brexit vote, let’s lament it for the right reason. The shame here isn’t that the Brits exited the EU. The shame is that the EU brought this about by embracing top-down governance that extends far beyond immigration and monetary policy. Like those who favor peace at any price, those who favor unity at any price are fools.