Quote note (#263)
… what we’ve seen from a wide range of writers and analysts in the days since the Brexit vote is not necessarily worry. It is shock. Fury. Disgust. Despair. A faith has been shaken, illusions shattered, pieties punctured. This is what happens when a life-orienting system of belief gets smashed on the rocks of history.
The name of that shattered system of belief? Progressivism.
(Only half-way through the year yet.)
From the same (excellent) piece:
The European Union may well be the purest and most ambitious experiment in progressivism ever attempted — a transnational economic and political entity founded entirely on the moral premises of humanitarian universalism, which is to say on the negation of particularistic attachments. (Kojève was one of the chief planners of the European Common Market, the predecessor to the EU.) […] Yes, neoliberal economic policies (as well as fiscal austerity) undoubtedly played a big role in provoking anti-EU sentiment in Great Britain. But I suspect Angela Merkel is the real catalyst behind the outcome of the UK referendum. Not only did the German chancellor insist on admitting well over a million refugees and migrants from the Greater Middle East into the heart of Europe. Supporters of the policy have also made it clear on numerous occasions that they consider racism and xenophobia to be the only possible grounds for opposing her stand. […] From the standpoint of progressivism, this makes perfect sense. …