This Brexit vote is really interesting. On the one side, you have generations of painstaking work by idealistic and well-educated Europeans, on the other side you have a bunch of xenophobic racists in the most backward corners of one region of a member state, led by opportunistic and irresponsible politicians.
And yet, and yet, this wise and idealistic project to end all wars in Europe fails to win the adhesion of the population. And we start to realize that a whole lot of people do not see the point of the whole affair.
Blame the politicians, blame the press, blame the system, yet it is still the case that those European founders forgot one big part of the puzzle, which is that we are all democratic states, that we implicitly believe in the wisdom of a collective of even the most unwise and unpleasant.
So it is back to the drawing board, thinking more about the foundations of a well-functioning federal state and the need for symbols, solidarity, goals, rules, structures, ceremonials and traditions.
And in all this, one suggestion, and I know we do this already to some extent, but let us speak more about the constant move of ideas, people, habits and populations in Europe for the many millenia since its first human settlement.
So we finally get rid of some people’s idea that their imagined “purity” is threatened by the “invasion” of “impure” foreigners… We are all mongrels and bastards, and we are all both conquering invaders and humiliated losers. Let’s keep this mix moving and not stop it with artificial barriers!