Why Brexit happened and what it means

Yes, I am still pro Remain, and also generally pro immigration, and I am still hoping the Brits take a cue from DeAndre Jordan.  (I also see geopolitics and national security as a significant reason to favor Remain, just ask Putin; furthermore the transition problems are looking worse than many had expected.)  But I am growing distressed by the material I am seeing from the Remain side.  At some point we have to limit our moralizing about the vote and start treating it more like data, if only to figure out how to best overturn or reverse it.

As I interpret what happened, ultimately the vote was about preserving the English nation, and yes I use those last two italicized words deliberately; reread Fintan O’Toole.  Go back and read English history.  For centuries, England has been filled with English people, plus some others from nearby regions.  Go visit Norfolk and also stop in Great Yarmouth, once described by Charles Dickens as “…the finest place in the universe,” and which, for whatever decline it may have experienced, still looks and feels like England.  London does not.

As Zack Beauchamp notes (in a piece which is mostly an example of what I am criticizing): “…the number of foreign-born people living in the UK has gone from 2.3 million in 1993 (when Britain joined the EU) to 8.2 million in 2014.”

In terms of distribution and influence, the impact of those numbers is much larger yet.  London, the cultural center, business center, and political capital of England for many centuries, is now essential a global and indeed foreign city.  I spent almost two weeks in London in 1979, and while I clearly prefer the new version the difference is glaringly obvious to me, as I am sure it is all the more to most English people.  (And that contrast is clearest to the older English of course, and that helps explain one of the most pronounced demographic features of how people voted; it is inappropriate how many Remain supporters are cursing the arguably better informed preferences of the elderly.)

Cities such as Bradford, while still predominantly white, no longer feel as English (and German!) as they once did.  And if you are thinking that voting “Leave” does not at all limit Pakistani immigration, you are truly missing the point; this vote was the one lever the English were given for sending a message to their politicians.

It would be a falsehood and exaggeration to say “Islam is now the major religion of England,” but given low rates of Anglican church attendance, it is not an entirely absurd claim to at least wonder about.  And for better or worse, a lot of people just won’t put up with change that is so rapid and far-reaching.  Believe it or not, they are not persuaded by my “British Muslims must lead the global Islamic Reformation” conviction.

All of this migration has brought a “cultural trauma” arguably more significant than anything for England since the Norman Conquest.  In fact, under a lot of estimates the Norman Conquest was no more than about 10,000 men, relative to an estimated English population of 1.7 million at that time.

Quite simply, the English want England to stay relatively English, and voting Leave was the instrument they were given.  That specific cultural attachment is not for Irish-American me, no, I feel no sentiment, other than perhaps good humor, when someone offers me “a lovely biscuit,” or when a small book shop devotes an entire section to gardening, but yes I do get it at some level.  And some parts of the older England I do truly love and I am talking the Beatles and Monty Python and James Bond here, not just the ancients like Trollope or Edmund Spenser.

Much has been made of the supposed paradox that opposition to immigration is highest where the number of immigrants is lowest.  Yes, some of that is the racism and xenophobia of less cosmopolitan areas, but it would be a big mistake to dismiss it as such or even to mainly frame it as such.  Most of all it is an endowment effect.  Those are the regions which best remember — and indeed still live — some earlier notion of what England was like.  And they wish to hold on to that, albeit with the possibility of continuing evolution along mostly English lines.

One way to understand the English vote is to compare it to other areas, especially with regard to immigration.  If you read Frank Fukuyama, he correctly portrays Japan and Denmark, as, along with England, being the two other truly developed, mature nation states in earlier times, well before the Industrial Revolution.  And what do we see about these countries?  Relative to their other demographics, they are especially opposed to very high levels of immigration.  England, in a sense, was the region “out on a limb,” when it comes to taking in foreigners, and now it has decided to pull back and be more like Denmark and Japan.

The regularity here is that the coherent, longstanding nation states are most protective of their core identities.  Should that come as a huge surprise?  The contrast with Belgium, where I am writing this, is noteworthy.  The actual practical problems with immigration are much greater here in Brussels, but the country is much further from “doing anything about it,” whether prudently or not, and indeed to this day Belgium is not actually a mature nation-state and it may splinter yet.  That England did something is one reflection of the fact that England is a better-run region than Belgium, even if you feel as I do that the vote was a big mistake.

Of course, USA and Canada and a few others are mature nation states based on the very idea of immigration, so they do not face the same dilemma that England does.  By the way, the most English of the colonies — New Zealand — has never been quite as welcoming of foreign immigrants, compared to say Australia.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have much less interest in “the English project” and of course they voted for Remain at high levels; the Welsh are somewhat closer to the English perspective and they had a majority for Leave.  I also would argue that Scotland and Northern Ireland have in fact never been truly coherent nation states, with many of the Irish in chaos for centuries and Scotland piggybacking on a larger Great Britain.  They (correctly) see the EU as a vehicle to attaining greater coherence, and thus it is no surprise that EU membership led to a nearly successful Scottish independence referendum, with perhaps another independence vote to follow.

Adam Ozimek has some good remarks on debating immigration.  Here are some interesting accounts of those who voted Leave.  Note that voting “Leave” may not even end up giving the English/British control over their immigration policies, once a new deal is struck with the EU.

Restoring and maintaining what is English?  “Too little, too late!’ says I, “you should instead find a way of strengthening and redefining English identity under the status quo ex ante,” I might have added, but of course I was not given the deciding vote or indeed any vote at all.

Most of all, I conclude that the desire to preserve the English nation [sic] as English is stronger than I or indeed most others had thought.  There is a positive side to that.  And if all along you thought there was no case for Leave, probably it is you who is the provincial one.


I agree with Tyler that the post-vote moralizing from the remain camp has been abhorrent. That being said, I think Tyler is missing a very important issue.

Simply put, most pundits, academics, elites and English youth are post-nationalists. They view the idea of a ethnic/culture based nation-state as being inherently bad and racist. Because of this view, many in the remain camp cannot fathom how one can support "nationalism", and foolishly attribute it to being either stupid, or evil.

Until today, TC was one of those doing the moralizing from the Remain camp.

TC was one of those doing the moralizing from the Remain camp.

That was just Straussian prep for today's post.

The odd thing is that that none of these pundits and academics have a clue how the post-national world would be organized.

The world today is organized around the principle of nationalism ... All inhabited land ... is divided up under the dominion of territorial states. Perhaps this isn’t ideal, but it is the way the world works. Everybody more or less controls their own territory.

And the world works relatively well under the current order. Interstate wars have been decreasing, in part because borders are (finally) reasonably well established and enduring.

In particular, Americans benefit from their ancestors having carved out a huge chunk of temperate land protected by oceans from the teeming masses of the Old World.

And yet, fashionable opinion in America is increasingly hostile toward the very existence of borders, which provide the essential building blocks of peace and prosperity.

How would the world work without borders? Nobody knows, other than that billionaires would probably do better than ordinary Americans. But that doesn’t cause much reflection upon the part of establishment icons.


Aren't we already living in a post-national world? Has there ever been a time when trade and family links were so dispersed across the world as it is today? And the Internet lets everyone know what's going on everywhere else in the world. A few generations ago, it'd have been harder to find out what the closest village up the river was up to.

As for organization, how about the way the states of the US are organized. Though the relationship between state and center could follow the Articles of Confederation more that the current US Constitution.

"Aren’t we already living in a post-national world?..."

But we aren't there yet. Nationalism is breaking down, for the reasons you describe. However, the full consequences of this have not yet been realized. It's not clear what the endgame is.

"As for organization, how about the way the states of the US are organized. Though the relationship between state and center could follow the Articles of Confederation more that the current US Constitution."

The Articles of the Confederation didn't work, and there are interesting parallels between the failure of this arrangement and problems of the current EU.

And arguably even the US under the Constitution didn't truly "work" until a horrendously bloody civil war made everyone give up on the idea of states as sovereign entities.

There was a "first age of globalization" which ended with the first world war.

Except that age did not "end". It just flowed right into the 20th century

The problem is the inevitable collision between two worldviews.

One is the post-national world where nationality and borders are relics, where free movement of people and trade creates wealth and prosperity.

The other is the extraordinarily entrenched two century old view of the State as father/mother/babysitter with the associated high costs.

The clearest manifestation of the two views melding was international communism. It was an utter failure leaving behind broken and dismantled societies and cultures, and enormous amounts of blood. It provided neither the prosperity and caring parent, nor the free movement of people and trade.

The one world paradigm is hitting a wall of reality just as the international communism did. For all it's vaunted advantage in wealth creation the most obvious result is crippling debt burdens. The reality of the EU and the open free movement is a series of failed states along the southern border which will never recover. Never. They will become part of the growing and spreading mass of failed states further south.

This isn't a hiccup. This is what it looks like. There are probably 10% of the population of western developed countries who thrive in such a system. Another 20-30% who thrive as parasites, mostly in government. What has characterized almost every economic intervention since 2008 has been the maintaining of the ability of government to continue paying itself.

As long as the borrowing can continue, another 20-25% do reasonably well on the nanny state disbursements.

But that is ending, that is what has created these failed states. It will happen in the US, and the elites will yearn for a noisy and relatively harmless Trump compared to the throngs with hopefully only tar and feathers.

The promise of free trade and globalization, I remember those debates and fully supported the idea, was the challenge to entrenched bureaucracies and interests who could manipulate the State to their own interests. Competition from more efficient places would force change. It has to a certain extent, and the consumer has benefitted by the increase in choice.

But the opposite has happened. Let me illustrate. In Canada each province has jurisdiction over much of the day to day commerce. For example, we have certified trades administered by the provinces. One is gas fitting, which involves working on devices that burn natural gas. If I am certified in BC, I have to re-certify in Alberta to work.

There was an initiative a few years ago to create a western trading bloc, removing as many of the barriers to trade and movement as possible. One was to unify the gas fitting regulations and trade certification. Great idea. But the end result was not a simplification, but an opportunity to rewrite the rules into something far more complex and onerous. People who were certified to work on certain equipment no longer were. A more rigid schooling and certification structure was established. The end result was that fewer people could move around even within their own province to do the work that they previously did. And of course with the bureaucratic ineptitude it became a dogs breakfast, leading to a more legalistic enforcement regime, and paradoxically a vigorous black market in services.

So essentially, it doesn't work. It works well for very few. But it makes the lives of almost everyone more expensive, more complex, less secure, and the people who make the stupid rules less accountable.

Good post, Derek.

And yet, fashionable opinion in America is increasingly hostile toward the very existence of borders, which provide the essential building blocks of peace and prosperity.

They want cheaper au pairs.

Agree. 90% of the support for open borders comes from those who just want cheaper servants. The other 10% are the "useful idiots".

Right, everyone who's open to the idea of a better job for someone who hails from another country is either looking for a cheaper servant or a useful idiot. One is only permitted to care about inequality in one's own country.

City states, mercenary armies, no n-bombs.

It's not that difficult. Territorialism does not inexorably lead to the current distribution of nation-states, some of which have defence spending 100x some others (I'm not even including the pretend ones with <0.1% of world GDP).

And no, I don't have a transition path from here to there. I'll be surprised if anyone has a half-sensible transition path for anything of this sort, including just the preservation of the current order.

I wonder if warring city states and mercenary armies would be accepted by the left as the price to pay for getting rid of racial slurs (note: I do not believe racial slurs will be eliminated any time soon)

That is of course the root of the paranoia, "our slurs are keeping you safe."

I don't get it. Isn't the idea that we have to eliminate European culture and nations in order to eliminate racial slurs or something?

Whose culture? I am a Nordic blond. The wogs start in Schleswig-Holstein.

I don't even know what a wog is or what the relevance of your comment might be

Again, Google is your friend.


It even has the roots of "wogs start at." And of course my meaning is that as soon as you get exclusive, someone else can get more exclusive. I hope for God's sake that you have blue eyes ... otherwise you are right out.

There's a case to be made for something along those lines as the future, although as with any transition that huge the path cannot likely be mapped out in advance or executed peacefully.

Certainly fiction writers have toyed with a future along those lines, and there is a tradition of the prospective study of "neofeudalism" [that was just one name but the one I remember] in international relations theory going back decades. Hedley Bull from the English School of IR theory was, also, just the name I remember. He was working circa the 1960s-80s and we read his stuff when I was an undergrad in IR. There were others academics plowing that furrow, with variants of the theory. Think of a complex web of corporate entities, interest groups, family and kin groups, ideological coalitions ['religions'] and rich cities with limited power but better able to mobilize it than territorial states, all conditions true of the premodern world and possibly emerging again. With PSCs, we may be heading toward mercenary armies. It certainly seems like big national armies are worth less every year, whether for lack of effectiveness of unwillingness of home populations to either take or [amazing to me] inflict casualties.

All of which sounds like a world order that could work, could happen, and like any would benefit some more than others.

One thing though- I don't see any justification for assuming "no n-bombs". Who's going to enforce that? The Catholic Church couldn't retard the development and deployment of 'devilish' crossbows let alone gunpowder artillery in the first medieval age.

"Nobody knows, other than that billionaires would probably do better than ordinary Americans."
You mean, as opposite to now?

I have been trying to understand the almost hysterical response in the media on this result. Even if (like me) you were for remain, it was always clear that there was popular support for exit, and this would somehow need to be accommodated. And this event has simply accelerated the development of a compromise solution. So some guesses; 1) I am reading too much Guardian/FT (because I have free access) and those two particular publications are generally left wing and statist supporters by default (ironically in the case of the FT which is a business newspaper). 2) It's journalistic jealously that one of their close colleagues (Boris Johnson) is actually becoming a player instead of remaining a critic, 3) I have genuinely missed that this is a much worse event than I think and their (over)reaction is appropriate 4) most of the journalists now are young narcissists who entered journalism to become famous not as a track to a well paid career (because it doesn't pay well anymore). These kind of people take things personally, instead of being detached observers. Probably though 5) I am thinking I am reading a newspaper of 20 years ago which had editors which had to take a long view on reputation. Nowadays it is about clicks and the short term.

It looks like the EU is trying to make this as unpleasant as possible for the Brits-


Angela Merkel seems to be the peacemaker here.

Ach. Cameron needs to sign the papers. No point in delay. Bilateral agreements with France and Spain can take care of the interests of most British expats.

How can they order the UK to leave as soon as possible? There's no mechanism for the French foreign minister, the EU Commission president, or the German foreign minister to issue executive orders. The UK can just say "no".

The reaction to the British vote seems like the Democrats' reaction when the Republicans attempt to curtail their spending in any way: Government Shutdown! The Republicans are shutting down the Government! When no ill effects immediately ensue, the Democrats try to cause pain - shut down the National Parks, keep the veterans out of the monuments. And Mitch McConnell quakes and Peter King quakes and the Republicans fold. Surprisingly enough, the Republicans end up stronger after each episode.

The UK was put into the EU without a referendum and gradually realized how much of their sovereignty was ceded to Brussels. Now the vote is to reclaim that sovereignty and EU has promised that hell will rain down on them. Was there any reason to go beyond a simple common market, or was this just one big bait and switch?

I mean, "deficits don't matter" only when a Republican is a president, right? Intellectual honesty is so passé.

Google the quoted words.

This is a useful skill, applicable to other problems as well.

Your comment provides an interesting example of several techniques used by the left:

(1) Change the subject
(2) Take one alleged comment by someone supposedly representative of the right (Dick Cheney) and assume all on the right believe it. BTW, I find a lot of claims that he said that deficits don't matter, or that Reagan proved that proposition, but no direct quotes.
(3) Reagan was criticized by some on the right for not balancing the budget, but his focus was really on (a) winning the Cold War and (b) reviving the US economy, both of which he achieved. BTW, compared to Obama and the Democrat Congress, Reagan was a piker. See this chart from FRED -https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYFSGDA188S

You can examine the deficit more closely if you start in 1980 - you can see that Carter's last two budgets were in deficit, too.

"Take one alleged comment by someone supposedly representative of the right (Dick Cheney) and assume all on the right believe it."
Cheney, the Republicans at Congress and Reagan, George I, George II, i.e. all Republican presidents since most Americans have been alive! Reagan/Bush I alone grew the debt fourfold. Bush II alone make it twice bigger. But those Democrats, they are profligate. Let's declare ketchup a fruit, save the S&L's owners and call it a day!

What is your point exactly? That once one runs a deficit, they are not longer allowed to object to any deficit in the future no matter how large?

Berger -- your comments on the deficit are interesting.

But they do not seem to account for the point that many on the right believe that large deficits are a deliberate policy to keep the left from spending on social programs -- starve the beast.

If you look at the federal deficit as a share of GDP, since WW II every republican administration left office with a deficit larger than the one they inherited while every democratic administration left office with a smaller deficit than they inherited.

You can make a reasonable case that free movement of labor and a common regulatory framework are important parts of a common market, but I can't see any coherent argument for why the EU should be forcing prisoner suffrage or preventing the UK from sentencing murderers to life in prison.

I think most of the appeals from the leave campaign to sovereignty are basically demagoguery. I agree with TC that this vote seems primarily a cultural one, overlooking moderately unpleasant economic outcomes. Granted, EU regulation seems pretty bad based on random examples, but I think that's currently true in most countries, including the US.

I'm more interested to see that you think the Republicans have been getting stronger. That blows my mind. The Republicans in general, and especially with the presumptive nomination of Trump, seem like a party on the verge of implosion.

Demagoguery? That's when people are persuaded by someone other than you, right?

''Was there any reason to go beyond a simple common market,''
Through Project Europe , Did the post war Germany achieve total supremacy over Europe that Hitler only dreamt of ??
& would a Brit put up with that ?
Just look at the arrogance & rudeness of Junker !

Regarding your point on the journalists/narcissists .. I think many of them see some kind of work in politics or government as their eventual career destination - which makes them particularly attached to the Superstate.

Aye. They cannot make a living in journalism anymore. The number of Washington reporters who are first degree relatives of the Administrations discretionary appointees has been calculated to be in the dozens. Explains something about press coverage.

But the idea of an ethnically defined state *is* racist. Because it conditions civil rights on ethnic affiliation. How could that not be racist?

Your point being?

No, it conditions residency on affiliation, ethnic or historical. Civil rights derive from residency.

It is not saying that one ethnicity is better or worse than any other, only that this country is the homeland of one particular ethnicity. Of course civil rights in Israel and Japan are not conditional on Jewish or Japanese ethnicity.

The definition of "racist" varies, but I would agree with you that an ethnically defined state is racist. Humanity itself is deeply racist. Most of mankind has strong tribal affiliations including by ethnicity, which is deeply racist.

"Humanity itself is deeply racist."
Maybe Humanity is not limited to you and maybe you should stop behaving like a movie Sioux and talking about your "tribe".

You are the most tribal person commenting here. Everyone of your posts is a slapdash of tribal chest thumbing and status anxiety.

The term racist has been so overly abused that in the [current year] it is common sense to be racist. Having a nation call England, where English people live, and having immigration laws designed to keep the nation (which is the great extended family or clan) is racist. Any nation which does not retain an identity is not racist, but also eventually non existent. Hence the future will still be filled with "racists" because any nation which acts to defend its group identity will exist, and any group which retains no identity will be wiped out.

Sadly in England , a man who says I am a Muslim 1st , then British is applauded but a Native who says I am proud to be English is called a racist ! Is there any surprise the natives are saying ''Enough is enough'' ??

They're selectively post-nationalist. Opposition to free trade is hard to reconcile with a view that citizens of your country are just as valuable as citizens of other countries. I imagine there's some post-hoc justification that somehow those countries to which jobs are outsourced aren't really better off than before (which is nonsense, but all ideologies are full of nonsense).

"They view the idea of a ethnic/culture based nation-state as being inherently bad and racist."

They only view this as inherently bad when the culture is "white." If the colour of the people involved is not "white," then it's right to preserve the ethnicity/culture/identity/etc.

Correct. Compare "white nationalism" or "white pride" to "black nationalism", "black pride" etc

A reasonable analysis. The linked Guardian article aptly demonstrates the perils of voting against something, as opposed to for something: each voter projects their own desires onto the Leave choice. E.g. one of the linked voters explicitely asks to simplify (marriage-based) non-EU immigration.

the guardian does a pretty good job of projecting their own desires (+ fears) onto this event. Yes, the camp proposing change can attract people wanting different things, but on the other hand, people who are broadly happy with the status quo will not vote for something that isn't clear. i.e. there is a strong natural bias to conservatism. If that has been overcome, as here, it probably behoves slightly more analysis than to say "oh they just all wanted something different, fools".

Exactly. The fact that leave could win without any clear descrption of what leave entails is the most daming thing for remain. A roll of the dice is more attractive than the status quo. Boris only has to articulate a plan to make the UK like Switzerland or Norway once it leaves and he'll become the most signifacant British politician since WW2.

The Story goes something like this:
Cove : Congratulations Boris , we have won . What next !
Boris: (in his jovial way) I haven't a cue mate !
At THAT point , Gove thinks to himself : Wit a minute , is this the guy I am supporting to be the next PM ?
The rest is History !

Fintan O'Toole is detested and taken to be basically a lunatic in his hoe country. The Guardian prints his malicious drivel because they also hate anything they do not control.

The elites have been stoking this fire for a long time. They’ve allowed too much immigration without enough integration. Since the 90s, this peasants revolt has been growing, but it has been largely unrepresented at the level of national politics. They’ve been dismissed as rubes and racists for decades, and they've felt disenfranchised while the elites plowed ahead with their projects of globalisation and multiculturalism.

Now the chickens are coming home to roost, and I say this as someone who is not pleased about the prospect (except for the satisfaction of saying ‘I told you so.’) If the elites had been more sympathetic, less condescending, and less willing to flush their cultural heritage down the toilet, then this, and similar developments elsewhere, would probably not be happening.

The notion that America is "based on the very idea of immigration" is largely retconning by the powerful. Emma Lazarus's poem about the "huddled masses" isn't actually in the Constitution, although a lot of Americans now seem to believe it is. In contrast, the actual Preamble is radically different in focus:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

After all the propaganda, the phrase "to ourselves and our posterity" would strike many people these days as downright un-American. It's now who we are!

The USA is a British Colony, the founders were not immigrants they were colonists

'It’s now who we are!'

Quite right. As demonstrated by this bumper sticker - 'We are spending our children's inheritance.'

Oddly though, many of the sort of people with such bumper stickers are not only older (obviously), they actually seem to believe in many more of your tenets than people a generation younger.

"He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose of obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands."

The single most important intellectual development of 18th Century America was Benjamin Franklin's 1754 anti-immigration pamphlet "Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind," which provided both Malthus and Darwin with their most important datum: that the American colonies were doubling in population due to natural increase every 20 to 25 years.

Franklin's essay was hugely important to intellectual life on both sides of the Atlantic through the 19th Century but it has been tossed down the memory hole since then by the triumph of Emma Lazarusism.

Good for him. Maybe he should just have read the Declaration of Independence so he knew what he signed on for tho.

Well, the U.S. certainly failed at keeping those swarthy Swedes out, as Franklin advocated.

Really, you should always post a link to that work, so people can read it for themselves - http://www.archive.org/stream/increasemankind00franrich/increasemankind00franrich_djvu.txt

It gets tedious to have to do that every time you wish to use Franklin without letting people have a chance to enjoy expanding their intellectual horizons on their own.

Besides, the fact that he needed to back down in the face of public disdain certainly fits into your narrative of how the need to care about tender minority opinions is the root of all political evil - 'Franklin was alarmed by the influx of German immigrants to Pennsylvania. The German immigrants were lacking in a liberal political tradition, the English language, and English culture. Franklin wrote "why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our settlements, and by herding together establish their languages and manners to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language or customs, any more than they can acquire our complexion?"

Recognizing the potential offense that these comments might give, Franklin deleted the final paragraph from later editions of the essay, but his derogatory remarks about the German and Dutch were picked up and used against him by his political enemies in Philadelphia, leading to a decline in support among the Pennsylvania Dutch. Partly as a result, he was defeated in the October 1764 election to the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly. Franklin funded education and charitable institutions to settle and assimilate German immigrants and would in time regain their good will.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observations_Concerning_the_Increase_of_Mankind,_Peopling_of_Countries,_etc.#Controversial_paragraphs

Clearly, the U.S. has suffered deeply from allowing Germans in, people who are not only not white, but also incapable of learning to speak English and who would Germanize what became the U.S. If only we had followed Franklin's sage advice, instead of all of today's Americans speaking and writing German, as Franklin predicted, before backing down from his brave prediction.

Germans may well have Germanized the U.S. By the way the consensus that immigrants should assimilate has been lost.

My direct male-line ancestor was a poor, boorish, uneducated, filthy and starving Palatine German indentured to the governor of New York by Queen Anne's government in 1710. On my paternal grandmother's side, her parents still spoke German in 1900, and their parents only spoke German. Like all immigrants, they did not assimilate. Their children, and especially their grandchildren, did. World War I was a contributing reason, anti-Hun hysteria was so high that many German families changed their names and hid their backgrounds. Around here, most of the Muellers became Millers in 1918.

"Clearly, the U.S. has suffered deeply from allowing Germans in"

Yes, the founding stock of the colonists has deeply suffered by being demographically marginalized by the German, Nordic and South European immigrants. The fact that you cannot make a distinction between rational and post facto rationalizing reasoning regarding this question just highlights your cucked intellectual impotence.

“He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose of obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.”

I like to point that out to people.

Franklin shifted from anti-immigrationism in the early 1750s to pro-immigrationism later? Why?

Military conquest.

Up into 1754, English-Americans were bottled up along the Atlantic seaboard. Franklin's key discovery for the theories of Malthus and Darwin -- that the American population was doubling through natural increase alone every 20 to 25 years -- projected a future where wages would drop and land prices would rise in this narrow corridor of land between the sea and the Appalachians.

In the Seven Years War / French and Indian War / World War Zero, however, the British Empire conquered the vast eastern half of the Mississippi watershed, providing an enormous amount of lebensraum. So Franklin shifted to what is now known as Invade the World / Invite the World.

Personally, I'm not into Invade the World. I think America should concentrate more on minding our own business within the very nice borders earlier generations of Americans carved out for us.

But, of course, my concern that the reigning conventional wisdom of Invade the World and Invite the World isn't prudent makes me some kind of wacko extremist.

That same Constitution also gave Congress the power to pass a uniform rule of naturalization. The very first law it passed did restrict naturalization as citizens to whites but provided that foreigners could become citizens with only two years of residence. Clearly, the preferences of the Congress were different than those stated in Franklin's pamphlet from a few decades before.

There were advantages to the polity in supporting immigration in 1785 - a small population, on the edge of a vast and fertile continent, high demand for labor, no welfare state burden. Today, we have a population of 300 million, considerable unemployment and underemployment and concern about future loss of jobs to automation and globalization, and a large and burdensome welfare state.

Its not clear that there is now any reason to allow anything beyond small numbers of carefully selected immigrants. And by small, I mean a well under 50,000 a year in total for the US. Carefully selected means for demonstrated ability, likelihood and ease of assimilation, etc. This is "common sense immigration control".

For Britain, at roughly 20% the population of the US, a proportionately smaller number would be in order.

Considerable unemployment? Nope. Not at all. Stop posting.

my comment was "considerable unemployment and underemployment"

BLS US unemployment (U3) is about 5%. The U6 number, which included underemployed, is about 10%. Gallop polling for May 2016 is 13.7% underemployment.

I'd say that was considerable.



We do have considerable unemployment. It's just not counted in the figures usually offered in the media, but in U6, which includes workers who have given up looking for work. Our workforce participation rate has been stuck at the lowest level in 30 years for many months now. And of course, some groups, such as Black men and teens, have extremely high rates of unemployment.

I can consider 5%. It is considerable. It is also many millions of people with many millions of friends and relatives. It is a big issue.

Without the "welfare state" capitalism would be dead and socialism(true tribalism) would be the name of the game with global tribal warfare.

Your represent the idiots. You don't get it.

Importing people to make use of domestic social programs, including welfare, is resulting in "tribal warfare" in the US. Hence, Trump.

What percentage of Americans are direct descendants of immigrants? Obviously close to 100% if you count colonists (and slaves) as immigrants. But let's not do that. What percentage of Americans are direct descendants of the citizens of the United States in 1789? If you pine for that "golden age" of 1950, you can use that date as your end point too.

Virtually no one is 100% descended from US citizens of 1789. For those living today that is six or seven generations ago, so everyone alive today has 64 or 128 or even 256 great-grandparents who were living in 1789. Many, many of us have SOME ancestry from the US of 1789, but almost no one living today knows who every single one of their ancestors were or where they were from.

Samuel Huntington cited a demographer who concluded that about 50% of the population of the US in 2000 was attributable to natural increase on the base of the American population of 1790. That;s a different question than the one he is posing, of course.

Ironically (since I'm more aligned with Tyler), I am a direct descendant. The first of my surname arrived in 1746, the same year Benjamin Franklin flew his kite.

To clarify, I'm only half-direct. My mother's side (German) arrived in the late 1800s.

The Original D:

And you're 1/2 direct only if every single parent of a parent of a parent back up your father's line traces to a colonial. I'll bet not. Probably your father's mother's father's grandmother, or some such, was not a colonial.

Every human is a direct descendant of immigrants. Also, almost assuredly, of rapists, murderers, slavers, and slaves.

Urstoff, what difference does it make that a large part of our population is descended from immigrants, i.e. people who came from somewhere else. Same can be said of any country on earth, including Britain. Question is, why do we have to keep having high levels of immigration NOW? What other things that we did in the past do we have to continue doing, just because they were done in the past? Slavery? Child labor? Subjugation of women? Indentured servitude?

Posterity does not mean children: it means What Comes After-- the future, in this case the future nation.

A noteworthy observation.

This Google dictionary result left me food for thought in both directions, not to mention suggesting to me how much time has passed without my seeing it go by:


noun: posterity
all future generations of people.
"the victims' names are recorded for posterity"
synonyms: future generations, the future
"the names of those who died are recorded for posterity"

the descendants of a person.
"God offered Abraham a posterity like the stars of heaven"
synonyms: future generations, the future
"the names of those who died are recorded for posterity"

Personally I would have thought both usages perfectly current, though neither any longer in everyday street use. I wonder which the Founders meant, and how many of them assumed they were creating a country without regard to the prospects of their existing fellow citizens' natural increase.

"The notion that America is “based on the very idea of immigration” is largely retconning by the powerful."

Ditto for Canada, to some extent. Like America, we needed to fill up the place and we didn't require Anglo-Saxon ethnicity for admission. In that sense we certainly are a land of immigration in a way Europe is not. But well into the 20th century most immigrants were Europeans [we have Lebanese and Indian and Chinese communities going back farther, of course] and the expectation that all would assimilate to the dominant culture was not disputed. Like America, we were a little mistaken but largely successful on this until after WW2.

Interesting sidebar. When I was in school in the 1970s and 1980s the importance of the American revolution and War of 1812 to Canadian identity was a wholly uncontroversial, even boring part of history class. When the recent Harper government emphasized the bicentennial of the latter war the progressives took the line that this was a racist, reactionary vision of Canada, whose history obviously begins between 1965-8 as a multicultural social democratic paradise.

From this, I conclude that the War of 1812 must be considered the ur-event of real Canadian history, the ideal reference point to brown off the establishment. I might even say it gives us, in a modest way, an equivalent of Lincoln's 'mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone...'.

So you don't think the EU sucks economically?
or at least you don't think it sucks enough that you need to justify that position

A poll showed leavers most concerned about democracy, the economy and then immigration. To continue to blame racism or xenophobia for what was clearly a typically English rebuke to smothering laws from the unelected EUropean Commission is, I think, a cop out from addressing serious issues with the EU, which is lurching from crisis to crisis while overseeing an anemic economy and bleak prospects for the young.

It's been a shock to me in discovering how little people know about the EU. It's most fervent (hateful) supporters on my Facebook are amazingly ignorant of the issues. And to my Canadian friends call the English racist and stupid has been especially rich as they are the same ones who constantly think the US is interfering in Canadian affairs.

A Swiss friend called the British fascists and then in the next sentence said the public should not be allowed to vote on important issues. And she has a PHD.

I've sent this poll around showing that the British are no different from the rest of Europe in rebelling against the EU.

The British element is that they were allowed to vote, along with having an economy that's increasingly moving away from Europe.

The EU stopped being the UK's biggest market years ago and its importance will,continue to decline, even as the UK was forbidden from seeking unilateral trade and investment agreements.

Handled well, this is an opportunity for the UK avoid the malaise that is Europe and engage with the more dynamic world outside.

The UK's exports are going elsewhere.


Do you even read your links? Here is the sentence under the headline - 'While the EU remains the largest single market for British exports, its declining share of global GDP has reduced its significance '

Did you?

The story and accompanying graphs show the EU now receives less than half of the UK's exports and the trend is accelerating.

You mistakenly thought still being the single biggest recipient of exports meant the EU received more than half of the exports perhaps.

'The story and accompanying graphs show the EU now receives less than half of the UK’s exports'

Maybe this guy, from the article, was confused too? - 'Martin Beck, an economist at Oxford Economics, said: "The latest trade data showed a further decline in the EU's importance as a market for UK exports.

"The EU remains by far the UK's single most important export market," said Mr Beck. However, he added that "a consistent drop in the importance of the continental market should embolden David Cameron's hand in renegotiating the UK's membership".'

'You mistakenly thought still being the single biggest recipient of exports meant the EU received more than half of the exports perhaps.'

No, I still think exactly this - 'the EU remains by far the UK's single most important export market.' No reason to change the quote that I see. Do you still wish to keep on showing just how some people are ignorant of the EU?

Yeah. While I think Tyler nicely captures one aspect of the decision to leave, it's not the only one, probably not even the main one.

It's odd for the economist to ignore the economic argument. Or rather, Tyler seems to be operating on an assumption that economic arguments against EU membership are illegitimate.

And ignore the fact that the Leave leader - Boris Johnson - has long been pro-immigration and promised to implement the same immigration policy as high-immigration countries Australia and Canada.

Where immigration was an influence is how it reflected the Loacker of control the British voter now has, especially after seeing Merkel essentially dictate a refugee policy for Europe without consulting anyone.

The British are a fundamentally decent people. It's sad to see the ragged, moth-eaten accusation of racism dragged out yet again to silence real and reasonable concerns.

Canada and Australia achieve sustained high immigration without a popular revolt by sanely choosing *which* immigrants are allowed in. They have points systems that estimate which immigrants impose the lowest costs/deliver the greatest benefits, and admit immigrants in approximate rank order; it should not be surprising that they manage to admit more total immigrants at lower total cost than countries which admit higher-cost/lower-benefit immigrants against popular will. (Oh, and they enforce their laws effectively, of course; otherwise it wouldn't matter how good their laws are.) This is basic economics.

If Boris Johnson or another UK politician successfully transitions the country to a similar system, I predict that the current "revolt" will die down. I make the same prediction for the US. These are not bold predictions: *none* of the countries with coherent immigration points systems (see also New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, ...) are facing anti-establishment revolts, while *all* of the countries which most flagrantly deviate from such a system (see also France's National Front, the Sweden Democrats, the practically-nonexistent-until-last-year Alternative for Germany, ...) are facing such revolts (and they all have immigration as a central issue).

'and then in the next sentence said the public should not be allowed to vote on important issues'

Strangely enough, that is exactly how the American contitution is set up, essentially - the people have no right to vote to change it.

As noted here, from the people currently responsible for the process - 'The authority to amend the Constitution of the United States is derived from Article V of the Constitution. After Congress proposes an amendment, the Archivist of the United States, who heads the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is charged with responsibility for administering the ratification process under the provisions of 1 U.S.C. 106b. The Archivist has delegated many of the ministerial duties associated with this function to the Director of the Federal Register. Neither Article V of the Constitution nor section 106b describe the ratification process in detail. The Archivist and the Director of the Federal Register follow procedures and customs established by the Secretary of State, who performed these duties until 1950, and the Administrator of General Services, who served in this capacity until NARA assumed responsibility as an independent agency in 1985.

The Constitution provides that an amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention. The Congress proposes an amendment in the form of a joint resolution. Since the President does not have a constitutional role in the amendment process, the joint resolution does not go to the White House for signature or approval. The original document is forwarded directly to NARA's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for processing and publication. The OFR adds legislative history notes to the joint resolution and publishes it in slip law format. The OFR also assembles an information package for the States which includes formal "red-line" copies of the joint resolution, copies of the joint resolution in slip law format, and the statutory procedure for ratification under 1 U.S.C. 106b.' https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/

Assuming you are American, of course you knew this before talking about other people's seeming ignorance of their own institutions, right?

You are one the least intelligent most obtuse people I've ever observed.

It would be tolerable if he were at least concise.

I don't see why anyone reads his drivel. I see the name and skip past.

My guess is that his post above is about how Germany is great, and how liberal ideology of some sort is terrific, and how anything that isn't one of those two things is horrible.

I automatically skip his posts as well

So the UK is having the equivalent of the US constitution imposed on them by an unelected foreign body of 28 people and this means the EU is a good thing.

That's your argument?

'That’s your argument?'

Nope - you wrote the following about a citizen of a non-EU nation, famed for its direct democracy - 'A Swiss friend called the British fascists and then in the next sentence said the public should not be allowed to vote on important issues. And she has a PHD.'

And I simply posted in response how American citizens are not allowed to vote on important issues, for example on amending their own Constitution. Providing a link, in case you were unaware that Americans are not allowed to vote on such an important issue. And hopefully you would not claim the U.S. to be fascist because of such a restriction, one that has existed since the founding of the U.S. (one further hopes that because a number of Founders were slave owners, that does not make them fascists either).

To put it differently, it quite possible to call someone (inaccurately in the general case concerning leave voters) as fascists, while still believing that the public should not be allowed to vote on important issues. The Unites States fought a war against true fascists, while still not allowing the public to vote on important issues, for example.

Your point demonstrates that what you see as a seeming contradiction or stupidity just might not demonstrate that the way you intended.

If you had just left it at a Swiss person calling leave voters fascists to show her ignorance, that would have been fine, as she is clearly broadly wrong. However, fascism is not merely defined by believing that the public should not vote on important issues.

What does the ever-changing collection of EU treaties have to do with the US Constitution? They are two very different things, and your comparison of them is dubious.

What is really insufferable, though, is how you imply that everyone you disagree with is ignorant. Your comments would be much, much better if you dropped this superior attitude and simply presented your opinion. As someone residing in the EU you surely have a useful perspective to bring to this debate, but the tone of your comments simply ruins any point you are going to make.

What does a Swiss person's view of the British have to do with the EU?

But for the more detailed answer, read above.

'Your comments would be much, much better if you dropped this superior attitude and simply presented your opinion.'

I used to be paid to try to convince people of things - I gave that up decades ago. For example, as near as I can tell, most people reading these comments seem to think I support remain voters.

Far from it - as a non-EU citizen living in an EU country, I fully and completely support the UK leaving, the sooner the better. I'm probably a more enthusiastic leave supporter than most commenters here, to be honest, but then, I think that the leave vote will benefit the EU much more than it will the place that may become known as Little England. Unlike Prof. Cowen, I do not think the UK is worth shedding any tears over when landing at Heathrow.

'As someone residing in the EU you surely have a useful perspective to bring to this debate, but the tone of your comments simply ruins any point you are going to make.'

The points I try to make are the ones which have nothing to do with my opinions - that is why I include so many links and citations. We are pretty much living in a post-factual world these days, it seems, where tone is more important than information.

Again, I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. People can read what is cited - yes, I do retain something of an academic approach that way, something that is apparently of little value in the present. Such as when someone posts a link saying the EU is not important for UK exports, where the linked text clearly shows how the single largest market for British exports is the EU.

Wow. If anyone objects to the tone of your comments, it is a sign of the failure of readers and the world to value facts and a rigorous academic approach.

Surely it couldn't be that the tone of your comments is actually offensive.

'If anyone objects to the tone of your comments, it is a sign of the failure of readers and the world to value facts and a rigorous academic approach'

I am not a rigorous academic, and this site is not academic either. And what was written was 'I do retain something of an academic approach' - in other words, linking to information is better than arguing that one is being insufficiently respectful to the tender sensibilities of people I am certain I will have no contact with except for exchanging words on a screen. And none of this is anybody's fault - I simply do what I want, without feeling any need to change. Nobody is paying me to write what they want to read (whether this is justification or merely explanation is for others to decide).

People do as they wish - it is not a 'failure of readers and the world to value facts.' That is a strange perspective, to be honest. Trying to explain what myself apparently means I am blaming the world? For what?

'Surely it couldn’t be that the tone of your comments is actually offensive.'

I literally don't care whether my tone is offensive - I am not writing for other people, nor am I trying to convince anyone of anything.

And to make it plain - I am not rigorous in academic terms, and I certainly hope, to give one example, that my comments towards this site's pet racist are as offensive as possible. He is used to it, though the constantly whining about how he is ever so poorly treated for his proudly held beliefs does get tiresome.

If it makes you feel better, at some point this commenting system will undoubtedly be changed to prevent (somewhat) anonymous commenting, meaning that the way I use the Internet will no longer work here.

The world certainly disagrees with you that the UK leaving is good for the EU. Indeed it seems to think there is a serious chance of the EU breaking up entirely. I'm glad you are getting some good feels from your endless gloating over how stupid the UK is but it is quite annoying to the rest of us.

"I literally don’t care whether my tone is offensive – I am not writing for other people, nor am I trying to convince anyone of anything."

Well, that's certainly a good argument for auto-including you in the killfile. Enjoy gratuitously offending my Greasemonkey script.

Well said sir. Tyler's analysis of the immigration issue is good and we can't deny it played a role in areas and parts of society that feel they have suffered. But it wasn't the key factor for most Leavers, as the Ashcroft polls demonstrate. Most of my friends in the free-market think-tanks were for Leave, yet are adamantly pro-immigration.

The main problem was the democratic deficit. The EU tends to lock in a continental social-democratic, managerialist intellectual consensus regardless of opinion in member states, and of evidence that the approach isn't working (e.g. Southern European unemployment rates). That is particularly difficult for Brits to accept, with a very different, Anglo-Saxon tradition of governance and of the relationship between people and the state. We are a Lockean, common-law country. The EU is a Rousseauian, Napoleonic-law project.

The greatest barrier to outsiders understanding attitudes to the EU is that many still see the EU as essentially a free-trade area. It is much more than that now. The EU was reasonably successful to the mid-90s when it was primarily a free-trade area. As it has taken on more attributes of a nation-state, it has become less successful and less popular. EFTA and EEA are free-trade areas. The EU is much more than that. Americans would not tolerate it.

People wanted to go back to the democratic unit within which they feel most commonality, within a free-trade area that is more like the EEC that they understood we were joining in the 70s. They were right. Let's hope that Remainers learn to accept the verdict and stop trying to derail the process, talk down the economy, and raise the fears out of spite. The Establishment's response to the outcome has been as shameful as their Project Fear campaign beforehand.

Quite apart from any other damage, their abuse of macroeconomic projections to forecast armageddon has brought economics into disrepute. I doubt many Brits will trust an economic forecast for a long time to come. Perhaps that is a good thing.

'The EU tends to lock in a continental social-democratic, managerialist intellectual consensus regardless of opinion in member states, and of evidence that the approach isn’t working (e.g. Southern European unemployment rates).'

Here I was thinking that the Southern European unemployment rates was due to the EU locking in Teutonic ideas of avoiding debt.

I want to take out a really big loan. Will you co-sign it for me?

Or are you one of those crazy people who thinks that if I borrow money I should have to pay it back myself?

lol, the EU hates social democratic governments. Why even make this post when you know it is a lie?

It's an interesting hypothesis and well argued but I suspect it is only half the story at best. Had the regions of England not been either stagnant (yes, despite iphones and whatnot) or in heavy decline for 30 years, I doubt there would have been any clamour for a vote and it would not have gone the way it did. A lot of people, including some in my own family, believed themselves to be making a protest. It was an attempt to shake things up. They are now shocked by what they have done.

I was also struck by the reports from Labour supporters that none of their arguments were getting through in poor areas. People were saying that it doesn't really matter what they do, since nothing changes anyway. For those people change of any kind was their lottery ticket — likely to be a waste but better than nothing. They felt impotent and used their one chance to exercise their power.

We metropolitan elites like to satisfy ourselves that our current system, while imperfect, still leaves us all better off in the long run. Except that it doesn't. It leaves the average person better off but sadly the average person is a data point and not a real person. A lot of actual people, people who have been suffering for decades even, don't have much hope while all around them they see wondrous technologies arrive year after year. Not surprising they feel a little rebellious.

'A lot of people, including some in my own family, believed themselves to be making a protest. It was an attempt to shake things up. They are now shocked by what they have done.'

I hear this a lot (mostly from Remainers. It would be nice if people waited to 'work out what they have done' - in a few years, ideally - before being shocked by it?

Nothing is more important than shiny gadgets.

So old Europe (less the UK) faces being overun and conquered by Islam in the next 20-25 years on one hand, or facing a nasty war for survival that even in victory could leave them in ruin for a generation or more.

England and new Europe can not depend up old Europe long-term.

The UK or "England" at least gets a chance of that not occurring to them. Their grand strategy will orient toward the an extended anglosphere-ish alliance with an aim of building up economically (unleash entrepreneurs, roll back the state), strong borders against undesirables and next-gen military capabilities. They will try hard to the best chum of the US again but don't expect them to participate much in big US military ventures for awhile

This also means new Europe will mostly like shift back to alliances of necessity with Russia (Warsaw Pact 2.0-ish). Maybe they can domesticate Russian leadership somewhat. Russia is not the Soviet Union. They are essentially Brazil with Nukes. Their leadership just need a little respect.

A islamized old Europe mean the US/Anglo-sphere and Russia/New Europe will have to make nice.

Of course they are all screwed if the revolt of the masses in US (against both the statist/socialist/open-border dems, the biggov/bigbiz/open-border repubs and our citizens-of-the-world elites) fails.

You experts are forever sprouting grand ideas. Ideas, alas, unshackled from evidence and the swift upbraiding of empiricism. You search the world for ways to make America better. You bring back Chinese tallow trees and kudzu and plant them here; and when they overrun my fields you never pause to ask whether everything that grows belongs here; no, instead you roam even further, certain that eventually you'll import the perfect plant - oblivious to the fact that the place makes the plant, and not the other way 'round.

I can just imagine Native Americans saying this to the WASP colonizers .

Indeed. Isn't that the point?

"If you read Frank Fukuyama, he correctly portrays Japan and Denmark, as, along with England, being the two other truly developed, mature nation states in earlier times, well before the Industrial Revolution. And what do we see about these countries? Relative to their other demographics, they are especially opposed to very high levels of immigration. England, in a sense, was the region “out on a limb,” when it comes to taking in foreigners, and now it has decided to pull back and be more like Denmark and Japan."



Fukuyama defines "getting to Denmark" as, roughly, the goal of statesmanship, but the Danes in this century have been aware that "staying Denmark" requires careful control of immigration policy.

Most Danes are clueless idiots, and most politicians don't care about the opposition to immigration, to the extent that it exists in the electorate. Some parties pay lip service to the people who are critical/skeptical, but there's a huge difference between how politicians *talk* about the issues and how they actually act when voting, and a great majority of the elected politicians are when you approach the topic from that direction definitely in favour of continued muslim colonization; a very large number of muslims keep arriving each year regardless of which political party is in charge. Resistance to muslim immigration *in practice* is considered low-status among our political overlords, and there's no indication that that's about to change; what Danish politicians in power have wet dreams about is landing a big position in the EU or the UN or similar, and those organizations picked sides a long time ago. Most people in the bureaucracy enforce norms making it impossible to even discuss these topics - maybe you get to talk about whether the new muslim employee should have a prayer room or not and/or whether non-muslims should be allowed to eat pork or not - it might offend muslims if they do that, you see - at the place where they work (and if such a discussion does pop up, it's not hard to figure out which viewpoint is the 'correct one'), but you can forget about a discussion about whether it might not be a better idea to throw the medieval barbarians out of the country. Whereas talking about the insane (violent-/rape/etc.) crime rates of the muslims, their horrendous cultural practices etc. may get you in trouble with the law (for example saying that 'muslims are criminal losers' is most likely illegal in Denmark, due to racism/hate speech laws, you'll definitely be bullied by the police if a muslim takes offence, regardless of whether you actually get convicted or not; if a muslim hear you say it and charge. This in a country where roughly one in four muslims at the age of 20-30 get convicted of a crime each year, a crime rate which has not changed in decades, and where for example more than half of all Lebanese-, Iraqi-, and Somali immigrants are provided for by the government), whereas muslims making overt death threats to judges, police, and elected politicians is just considered par for the course. Just yesterday a group of students celebrating their high school diplomas were attacked by a large group of muslims (the fourth such attack on students within the last few days), with two girls going to the hospital because they had acid thrown at their faces - sounds familiar?). This is Denmark 2016. The New Normal.

Another example: Recent numbers from Statistics Denmark made clear that Syrians have the lowest employment rates of any immigrant group in Denmark; the male employment rate was 16,2 % and the female employment rate was 9,8%.


*Those* numbers are new/recent, but poor economic performance of non-Westerners *from muslim countries* (it's not a Western/non-Western thing, and it's annoying when it's made out to be; Chinese and Ukrainian immigrants are doing all-right here) is not a new thing. And numbers like these do not stop a majority of the supposedly 'well-educated' people in particular (people with higher education tend to vote for parties in favour of immigration) from thinking that it's a good idea to import more Syrians. In a poll in September last year made by Gallup, a majority of the (representative) sample thought Denmark should give residence permits to more refugees in light of the increased number of refugees caused by the war in Syria and Iraq (http://www.politiko.dk/nyheder/danskerne-vil-tage-imod-flere-flygtninge-0). The idiocy is infuriating.

Re: If you read Frank Fukuyama, he correctly portrays Japan and Denmark, as, along with England, being the two other truly developed, mature nation states in earlier times, well before the Industrial Revolution.

Portugal was also one of the earliest nation-states to coalesce-- but was badly damaged by the sixty some years it spent under the Spanish kings.

The dynastic system worked poorly with territorial nationalism.

I assume you are aware that Denmark and England were also both monarchies, and both controlled non-national territories (England held Ireland and Wales-- and going back far enough, a big chunk of France; Denmark held Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Faroes.)

For so many years now the elites have preached the gospel of multiculturalism, that all cultures are equal, that immigration is good for the natives , that diversity is strength, that criticizing Islam ( an amazingly intolerant religion) is Islamophobic.

An incredible country that has produced Magna Carta, Shakesperare, Newton, Darwin, Maxwell and the industrial revolution among so many, many others, fucked up in a few decades, over run by Islam and other third worlders. What an abominable tragedy..

An incredible country that has produced Goethe, Schiller, Wagner, Hegel, Leibniz, Humboldt, Kekulé, the European movable type printing and rocketry among so many, many others fucked up in a few years, controlled by Jewish bankers and backstabbed by the Social Democrats. What an abominable tragedy...

"Oh Fatherland, Fatherland,
Show us the sign
Your children have waited to see.
The morning will come
When the world is mine.
Tomorrow belongs to me!"

Not by the Jewish bankers, by the migrants Merkel let in

stephan: The reference John L made was to Weimar Germany,before the Nazis took over in 1933. And I would have added "the research university and modern chemistry including chemical warfare" to the list of German achievements.

However, being German myself, I must congratulate the English to accepting the offer we made them 75 years ago: "Get out of Europe, and let us deal with the Russians!" Only in 1941 we were at war, didnt have the Iberian peninsula nor Ireland, and there was no prospect of Scotland rebelling... Truly, these are exciting times for Germany.

Which must be the Jews' fault, anyway.

Not so many Jews in Germany these days

Weakest argument ever. John L., you are an embarrassment. Address the facts or back to SRS with your otherkin, you loser.

Steph supports the jewish bankers.

When you're reduced to maladroit caricatures, it's because you don't have an argument.

You do realize that all you are doing is making it certain that those vile ideas become popular again. Or are you not smart enough to realize it?

Being on the receiving end of accusations of racism, homophobia, islamophobia and all the bugaboos are becoming badges of honor. Not because they are good ideas, simply because the accusers have lost their minds.

Globalization has real benefits, but is also has real problems. Calling people nasty names who don't like the real problems simply guarantee that you will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

And I will cheer. Anyone who diminishes the reality of real racism to not liking EU bureaucrats deserves to be against the wall.

That might be the scariest thing on the page. Actually being a racist has no downside because being called out is a badge of honor.

I hope to God you all are a little alt-right flock, flapping around the MR lightbulb (to mix metaphors), and not representative.

Because a broader descent from a nation proud of Colin Powell, proud of their election of Barack Obama, to "all is white or all is lost" is dramatic and frightening.

FWIW, I am generally considered white, I believe in the Declaration of Independence, and that we should still be inspired by that ideal. For All Men.

Being called racist by morons like John L. I
isn't an effective insult because John L. is a racist ultra-regressive leftist loser and if you can't underatand that, you are not far behind. And I take that back, you are just as stupid as John L., because you can't distinguish xenophobia and a desire to exclude the emporically worst immigration.

I think it's a bit racist to be "proud" because you elected a black man to public office. Like you held your nose and voted for him just to show what a good leftist you are and not because he was the best candidate. And also to see immigration criticism as equivalent to "all is white or all is lost"

Welcome to the Age of Sailer

Cliff, seriously? On July 4, 1776 the aspirational statement was published:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

Do you really think it is wrong to bright that claim to fruition? Mankind.

I've been warning elites for a long time that a certain amount of prudence and moderation regarding immigration policy would head off worse problems later.

Unfortunately, later is arriving.

Social Democrats..........right. Sorry but no. Backstabbing capitalists and the conservatives that cheered for them.

Maybe it's time to close doors and send foreigners home. After all, Robert Mugabe was right and Mandela messed up by letting those "Europeans" stay put in South Africa.

The British left Rhodesia because of public order deficits, hideous economic policy, and, eventually seizures of farm property, not because they were expelled. There's been less outmigration in South Africa because the ANC machine bosses weren't mad from tertiary syphilis and didn't burn the place down.

Sorry, but that isn't the "global elites". They bash and hate Islam. Why do they finance their "terrorist" groups that mysteriously came after the USSR fall? Why little man?

Your represent zionism,capitalism and globalism. Sorry Step, you are the global elites. Keep on rocking Israel(which has no right to exist).

Thank you so much for this. You get it.

And bravo for being one of the few foreign writers - actually, one of the few writers full stop - who not only correctly distinguishes between the British and English nations, but even more amazingly, comes up with some new insights into that mystery.

Yes. The standard response, especially in the states, has been terrible. Thanks Tyler for a more nuanced view.

Except he doesn't.

"A poll showed leavers most concerned about democracy, the economy and then immigration. To continue to blame racism or xenophobia for what was clearly a typically English rebuke to smothering laws from the unelected EUropean Commission is, I think, a cop out from addressing serious issues with the EU, which is lurching from crisis to crisis while overseeing an anemic economy and bleak prospects for the young" [snip]

See Chip @ 2:13am above.

"Lotta “no surprises” for someone who predicted none of it"

Bullseye, Jake @ 2:00 am.

And yet we keep hearing Leavers talking about how it was high time to keep those mongrels out. Seriously, who do you think you are folling?

There is a vocal minority that is stridently anti-immigration. The error that people keep making is assuming that is the reason 52% of Britons voted to leave.

John L. is an SJW caricature. He posts here when not spending time with purple-haired, gender-fluid, grievance study majors. Your error is assuming that he is interested in being right, rather than making angry comments to ameliorate his white guilt and misogyny that a lifetime of failure with women bought him.

"Most of all, I conclude that the desire to preserve the English nation [sic] as English is stronger than I or indeed most others had thought. There is a positive side to that. And if all along you thought there was no case for Leave, probably it is you who is the provincial one."


Yup, +1. Tyler carved that one nicely..

Tyler the quintessential post-modern American robot dimly apprehending the English people through the fizzing and beeping of his circuitry, hilarious.

How quaint! These jolly little hobbit people do not wish to be displaced and replaced in their own homeland! Awww, even Tylerbot2000 can see what's happening, in his own limited way.

Robots like Cowen and Caplan are used to reading about "kingdoms" and "homelands" in fantasy and science-fiction novels. That is the typical extent of "nationalist" thought they can indulge without frying their motherboards. Country..... what is country..... does not compute..... GDPMAXIMIZE GDPMAXIMIZE

I think now that the referendum has passed, the calculus of Leave or Remain has changed. The decision that needs to be made now is different from the decision that was made last week. The EU will be motivated to punish the UK. They need to make this hard for the UK whether it stays or goes, because they need to deter other countries from considering leaving. Now that the punishment is inevitable either way, doesn't it make more sense to leave, and have (even only slightly) more control over your own affairs than stay under a government that is interested in making an example of you?

My initial thought was the EU would be insane to be petty and make the separation difficult, but if they don't and others follow the UK example, the EU may simply disintegrate. Pettiness is their only option.

No-one knows, of course, but given the levels of Euroscepticism in other EU countries they will have to tread very carefully. The French farmers and German auto workers and Italian olive oil producers will be hit hard, and it will take some spinning to pretend that any such 'punishment' is anything other than an attempt to protect the elites and their crazy entitlements.

I was always going to vote Leave but the statistic that 10,000 EU bureaucrats take home more than the UK Prime Minister (something we only know because it was leaked – the salaries these people pay themselves are not open) was very interesting to me. At some point, when their own children can't get jobs and they are paying for the children of people in Brussels to enjoy private education courtesy of their parents' high salaries and special very low tax rates people will revolt, perhaps literally.

'German auto workers'

Well, not according to the one I talked to on Sunday, who completely dismissed the UK as being of any real importance to Mercedes.

On the other hand, 8 of 10 autos made in the UK are exported - want to guess where most of them go to?

'and it will take some spinning to pretend that any such ‘punishment’'

What punishment? A major reason for so many companies being in the UK (see the auto industry, above - the UK has no real domestic auto industry - Toyota, Honda, Caterpillar are there for the EU market, not the UK one) was access to the EU market. Access that the leave voters has said is of no importance to the UK.

We will see how the punishment falls out, but the UK is about to discover all the privileges and benefits of being a soon to be former EU member. And it is unlikely that a French farmer, German auto worker, or Italian olive oil producer is going to suffer much. This is not a case of a headline along the lines of 'UK out of EU - EU cut-off.'

oh, well if you've spoken to a German auto worker then we're in luck. No more guessing guys! pt2 has the data. But wait, what is this "the UK has no real domestic auto industry". Whatever can this mean? The UK made 1.6 million cars last year, up from 1 million in 2009.

'No more guessing guys!'

Far from it - a manager at Mercedes just had an opinion yesterday. We will find out whether his opinion was correct or not in the following months and years. Anybody else talked to a German auto worker in the last 3 days? If so, please do share their opinion.

'But wait, what is this “the UK has no real domestic auto industry”. Whatever can this mean? The UK made 1.6 million cars last year, up from 1 million in 2009.'

Well, it is true that such famed British manufacturers as Honda, Toyota, GM make a lot of cars in the UK, but let us read how the Telegraph defines the UK's domestic car industry - 'The biggest driver of this growth is resurgent Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). Bought by Tata from Ford five years ago for £1.4bn, that price-tag now looks a steal. Its Indian parent has pumped in £10bn since the acquisition, with plans for a further £3bn of investment this year. The results speak for themselves: over that time JLR’s annual sales doubled to more than 450,000 vehicles and revenues near tripled to £19.4bn with annual pre-tax profits of £2.5bn.

But while JLR may enjoying the most voluminous success, Sussex-based Rolls-Royce is seeing even stronger growth at the very upper end of the market. The BMW-owned marque sold fewer than 1,000 vehicles in the year Rover failed: last year it broke through 4,000 for the first time.

“There are several factors behind the UK auto industry’s renaissance,” says Professor David Bailey, an industry expert at Aston University. “Some were luck, like the exchange rate with sterling depreciating – God knows what would have happened to our car manufacturing if we had been in the euro.

“But foreign owners came in and invested and Britain’s car industry made the move to upmarket cars. We don’t really make cheap cars any more: in the past 15 years the value of cars produced here has increased by 30pc above inflation.”' http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/engineering/11529330/The-fall-and-rise-of-Britains-car-industry.html

Yep, Tata and BMW are clearly domestic British companies. As is Vauxhall, right? Which is technnically owned by Opel, which is technically owned by GM - but Vauxhall is undoubtedly British in a certain fashion. If one wishes to ignore its actual ownership, that is.

Mercedes may not care so much about exports from the UK but BMW, VW, and Opel, all of whom build cars in the UK, do. So yes, the "German autoworkers" should be very concerned about the EU punishing the UK over the brexit vote. Not to mention, by imposing tariffs on UK goods the EU would be in effect raising prices on that French farmer, German auto worker, or Italian olive oil producer.

What punishment? A major reason for so many companies being in the UK (see the auto industry, above – the UK has no real domestic auto industry – Toyota, Honda, Caterpillar are there for the EU market, not the UK one) was access to the EU market. Access that the leave voters has said is of no importance to the UK.

The common external tariff averages 0.8% on merchandise. I've not figured out if your babble about 'access to markets' is driven by innumeracy, mendacity, or pig ignorance.

Maybe it is time for the UK to declare war on Europe, to get back those parts of France that rightfully belong to the crown.

I wonder how much "independent" a country can be theses days... how different their financial system can be when you're forced to comply with FED, SEC, ECB, Patriot Act and so on? how different property laws can be? From a non-Schengen country how much different border control can you get without harming your economy badly? Are they going Trump on banning Muslim visitors or immigrants?

Trade in labor has minimal present-tense welfare benefits. If you've a sophisticated and skill domestic workforce, You won't harm your country much by banning immigration, much less by requiring a visa and passport. See Japan.

UK ALREAD requires visas and passports for most visitors... how much different can that be? Will they make EU agree with access to common market without free movement of people? Why should EU sign such deal?


@Deena: No punishment or trade war is necessary. Following the rules is enough and that means stagnation or even fall of succesful Easyjet and Ryanair's market share as they become foreign carriers.

@tjamesjones: 1.6 million a year seems a lot but it's 60% of Brazil, 45% of Mexico, and 35% of South Korea car production. Almost a million of the UK made cars are exported to Europe.

The important issue is that "active punishment" is not needed, fulfilling agreements is enough.

The only option they have is to try to punish because they have no positive option to offer.

Think that one through a bit.

Lotta "no surprises" for someone who predicted none of it.

I'm with Tetlock, these stories are nice and they make sense in our heads, but they are all told post hoc and that to me speaks volumes.

The man who tried to save the European Union last September was Viktor Orban, head of Hungary, who tried to enforce E.U. regulations. But he was shouted down by internationalist bien pensants who said that Chancellor Merkel's autocratic whim embodied the unwritten but true spirit of European Union Values, which, evidently, are that the European Union exists not for the good of Europeans, but for the good of Afghans, Eritreans, and Syrians.

If leaders of the European Union want to save the E.U., they need to demonstrate that they are on the side of Europeans.

'The man who tried to save the European Union last September was Viktor Orban'

In the same way that a book written abour Jörg Haider (seen in Salzburg around 1994 filling a bookstore's display window) said that only Haider could save Austrians from the real Nazis.

Of course the European countries with high national identity also include France and Italy. France is almost a certainty to leave now, even if its politicians still mainly think that they can keep denying their people a vote.

In the end the mainstream right will promise one because otherwise the "extreme" right will win the presidential election; history will repeat in this case like clockwork.

It's time to drop the "extreme right" slur for politicians like Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen, and Donald Trump. It's more empirical to call them "alt-centrists."

Well, at least for Trump.

One could guess that Farage and Le Pen would be disappointed to no longer be able to count themselves among the far right voters that their parties need to win elections, people Farage and Le Pen are quite comfortable with in both public and private settings.

(Though really, Farage is a lot like Trump in one way - often too embarassing in public to be considered a suitable leader of a party.)

(Though really, Farage is a lot like Trump in one way – often too embarassing in public to be considered a suitable leader of a party.)

He's not embarrassing to people inclined to vote for him. People who are not so inclined are not embarrassed either. They can process Farage's statements in such a way as to feed their unearned amour-propre.

I don't know anything about Farage, but I may end up voting for Trump despite being too embarrassed to say so in a non-anonymous forum. Is there not a similar dynamic with Farage?

Trump is a globalist con man who is a marketer, not a leader. Please vote for the traitor who wants to liberalize America's capital markets even more.

Tells me a lot about you Sailer.

Watch out for the centrist fringe!

Guess Yeats was prophetic:
"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,"

lol, nope to this post.

France will stay for sure now.

Tyler I appreciate your effort but it doesn't make Brexiters any favors. You basically confirm what Bremain voters say about Brexiters. They did not vote because EU was a bad deal, they voted to leave because they want "England" to stay "English"... it's a very dangerous path to follow my friend.

Should Bremainers tone down? Probably, but there's nothing strange or even undemocratic in their reaction, they are shocked and worried, they're venting it quite naturally.

The beauty of mature democracies is its ability to fix errors along the way, if Brexit was a mistake, British people will ask for another vote in the mean time and will be fixed whether it take 5 or 10 years. Too bad Venezuelans don't have the same luck.

"Probably, but there’s nothing strange or even undemocratic in their reaction"

-Uh, yeah there is. It was pure status-signalling; they provided no serious or even remotely intellectually consistent reasons to stay in the E.U. And they condemned Democracy most thoroughly in favor of rule by the credentialed.

Frustrated and shocked voters expressing their feelings and disagreement with fellow citizens who voted for another option is now undemocratic? Making your point using whatever data or "facts" at your disposal is now undemocratic? So Brexiters in Scotland cannot express their eventual differences with their First Minister Sturgeon?

One distinct benefit already showing up from Leave winning! The Left is making a stand for freedom of expression!

A great day indeed.

lol, "the left". what does that mean? You realize the left flank who pushed the "leave" don't you?

England is dead and has been since the empire lost out to the US.

You realize the left flank who pushed the “leave” don’t you?

The Irish nationalist parties, the Scottish National Party, the Green Party, and the Labour Party all endorsed 'Remain'. From all five caucuses, only 10 MPs endorsed Brexit, against over 200 who supported 'remain'.

The nasty skinhead racist English who simultaneously don't exist. "England" whatever that means, ha ha! "English" pffft, whatever that means! What an arcane notion! Don't these disgusting English neo-Nazi nativist bigots understand that they literally do not exist. They're everywhere! But not for long. Soon these far-right intolerant extremists will cease to exist (they already do not) thanks to replacement by other peoples who do and do not exist. They'll be assimilated! And then they'll be English, sorry, "English". A VERY DANGEROUS PATH, "friend".

*you should instead find a way of strengthening and redefining English identity under the status quo ex ante*

It's precisely that which seems to be the inbred defect of european nation states if you compare them to those of the (northern) Americas*. I would argue that, for most Europeans the first time they are genuinely trying to accept a black guy or muslim as a national, is when he plays for their national football team. Long before a redefining of their national identity has taken place. Leaving most european nation definitions in a limbo: A "de jure" status of clear attributes to be fulfilled vs. a "de facto" status, where anyone knows 3 muslims he wants to be deported (with two of them fulfilling every de jure attribute for being a national, like converts) and 10 muslims he wouldn't dare to question being part of his "community".

* Although the French idea of Nation seemed to be pretty coherent once... What went wrong there?

Last week we had TC linking Fintan O'Toole on how England was particularly defined as an outward migrant absorbing society and indeed had little other identity, this week it, Japan and Denmark are together characterised by particular desire for continuity. Better thesis may be that it unexceptional in this regard, and the English desire to preserve nation is normative, and indeed normal.

But it's inconvenient for Irish intellectuals like Finton O'Toole and Colm Tóibín if England acts like a normal country instead of a stateless entrepot.

O'Toole's previous project was banging the drums for cultural self-immolation in Ireland. Abp. Cahal Daly offered that the Ireland of his youth had been a society at prayer. Now it's the society of the Slane girl. Fools like O'Toole fancy this is 'progress'.

I am ashamed to call that gobshite my fellow countryman.

I'm sorry Tyler, you have been completely wrong on Brexit. For a few it is about immigration, for others it is about what was on the ballot paper: the EU. Britain has been a Eurosceptic nation ever since Maastricht and grown as the EU has continued to grow.

"Much has been made of the supposed paradox that opposition to immigration is highest where the number of immigrants is lowest."

That's because it's too late to save communities that have already been colonised. Once you clip those mystic chords of memory, and mush it all together into a nondescript blur of cookie-cutter "ethnic" restaurants and bland international style, it's terribly hard to put a community back together again. And that will be England gone, the shadows the meadows, the lanes, the guildhalls, the carved choirs. There'll be books; it will linger on in galleries; but all that remains for us will be themed restaurants, period TV dramas, and snotty cosmopolitan millenials decanted from antiseptic educational institutions from which every trace of uniqueness and personality has been exactingly excised to create a safe space: a garden, as it were, of pure ideology, where each student may bloom, secure from the pests purveyed contradictory truths. They will all use Apple products, naturally.

"Relative to their other demographics, they are especially opposed to very high levels of immigration. England, in a sense, was the region “out on a limb,” when it comes to taking in foreigners, and now it has decided to pull back and be more like Denmark and Japan."

Ah, Japan. The world's best living rebuke to all this nonsense. The more time I spend in Tokyo, the more I love it. For me, it is the best city in the entire world, and it's got that way by remaining Japanese, rather than trying to become some kind of melting pot. Obviously, it would be very nice to immigrate here, but you know, I understand completely why they would prefer I not. And I respect that! Because I'm not the sort of person who thinks sovereign countries shouldn't have the right to control their borders. I'm better than that.

London used to be full of English people.

Then the Scots and Irish showed up, and it hasn't been the same since, right?

John Cleese said in 2011:

"I don't know what's going on in London, because London is no longer an English city.
'That's how we got the Olympics.
'They said we were the most cosmopolitan city on Earth. But it doesn't feel English.
'I had a Californian friend come over two months ago, walk down the King's Road and say, "Where are all the English people?"
'I mean, I love having different cultures around. But when the parent culture kind of dissipates, you're left thinking, "Well, what's going on?"'


I visited English in 1965, and you can't imagine how boringly white bread and plain vanilla London was without diversity. It had to make do with dull personalities like Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, Peter Sellers, Tom Stoppard, and John Cleese.

Stoppard was born a Czech.

He left Czechoslovakia at age 1. He enrolled at age 6 in and Anglophone boarding school run by a Mr. L.J. Goddard. He's lived in Britain since age 9.

"It had to make do with dull personalities like Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, Peter Sellers, Tom Stoppard, and John Cleese."

We get it...aging boomers like aging boomer stuff.

Because mass entertainment consisting of Rap leavened with Katy Perry and Justin Bieber is so goddamned glorious.

give it a try, you might like it.

Isn't Tom Stoppard's immigration and full assimilation (even more than assimilation, conversion into a font of top-tier English culture production) exactly an argument for improving the assimilating powers of a nation in the face of migration? I understand the preservation perspective that many anti-immigration folks have, but I cannot understand why these folks spend no time trying to improve immigrant assimilation into some of these parent cultures that they like so much.

Isn’t Tom Stoppard’s immigration and full assimilation (even more than assimilation, conversion into a font of top-tier English culture production) exactly an argument for improving the assimilating powers of a nation in the face of migration? I

My grandfather's contemporaries are not in charge. The people who gave you 'multi-culturalism' in education are.

Tom Stoppard voted Remain - http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/16/tom-stoppard-czech-letter-uk-stay-in-eu

Mick Jagger took the long view - http://www.nme.com/news/mick-jagger/92772

@Art Deco, okay, but shouldn't you also be trying to pursue this assimilation angle so that you can turn more immigrants into Tom Stoppards vs "insert semi-famous immigrant hooligan"s? Seems foolish to rely only on cutting off immigration as a strategy of maintaining a strong English culture.

Stoppard, perhaps the greatest English-language literary figure of my lifetime, makes an absolutely fascinating case study of nature and nurture, assimilation and innate talent. I owe a magazine editor a long article on Stoppard's life, but unfortunately haven't come close to finishing it yet.

@Art Deco, okay, but shouldn’t you also be trying to pursue this assimilation angle so that you can turn more immigrants into Tom Stoppards vs “insert semi-famous immigrant hooligan”s? Seems foolish to rely only on cutting off immigration as a strategy of maintaining a strong English culture.

Tyler Cowen's idea of a 'Syrian refugee' was based on his old pal Kathleen Fata, a 4th generation American from a well-ordered, well-rooted, upper-working class family. (It's a reasonable wager her great-grandparents were from the Christian minority in the Levant as well).

For many years, I was a patient of a physician in Rochester who was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa to Polish parents and never spoke English until he enrolled in school. Tom Stoppard is just a shade the other side of my old doctor.

If you base your cultural policies on the idea you hit the sweet spot every time, you'll have policies not in your best interest. And, again, 'pursuing this assimilation angle' presumes you have an educational apparat sporting institutional cultures very different than the one's they do sport.

The Welsh spoiled it even earlier. The Tudors even ran the whole country for a while.

The Poles will take meadows, too?!

I don't *think* this is true. I live in an area of very low immigration (the Cotswolds) and my council area voted Remain (I voted to Leave).
Areas where immigration is high - the midlands and the north of England - tended to vote to Leave.

But if it *is* true it's not illogical - it's people looking at an area where immigration has been high and saying 'We don't want that for our area.'

This is a small country, and most of us know people in the four corners. Entirely possible for people to visit friends in towns which have changed beyond all recognition, where you struggle to get a doctor's appointment, where your kids are in a class where a dozen or more languages are spoken and so on.

I should say, I voted Leave on different grounds, though I also would like England to stay English (in the short term, in the long term immigrants who stay will become English... the Normans managed it!).

My concerns were chiefly that I do not wish to be ruled by a corrupt and opaque oligarchy in whose election and dismissal I can have no part, and I do not want to be tied in to a trading bloc of which the euro is the chief currency. The euro in my view is a cataclysm waiting to happen and while we'll be affected come what may I would rather be further away from it when it happens than entwined in it. Not to mention that they will waste billions on propping it up before it finally implodes. All these young people who cvouldn't be bothered to vote but who are now up in arms about the loss of their future should take a trip to the continent and look at the youth unem ployment there. Meanwhile, 10,000 EU bureaucrats take home more than the UK Prime Minister (something we only know because it was leaked - the salaries these people pay themselves are not open).

"Much has been made of the supposed paradox that opposition to immigration is highest where the number of immigrants is lowest. Yes, some of that is the racism and xenophobia of less cosmopolitan areas, but it would be a big mistake to dismiss it as such or even to mainly frame it as such. Most of all it is an endowment effect. Those are the regions which best remember — and indeed still live — some earlier notion of what England was like. And they wish to hold on to that, albeit with the possibility of continuing evolution along mostly English lines."

In good economics seminar tradition: Don't you have a problem with your identification strategy ?

The regions with lowest immigration tend also be the poorest (otherwise more immigrants had shown up there), the oldest (as the young people tend to leave) and the less educated (as people leave to get higher education somewhere else and don't return). So not clear why these effects are dominated by "memories"

Also, I doubt it is really "remembering" of what England was like, it is more of a sense of nostalgia, of the good old times, of "Things aren't quite what they used to be". Many leave because they can't stand what it meant to "be english" and while some of those that remain may really like it, some will resent that they can't leave and justify their situation by glorifying the past and trying to freeze it in time, conveniently glossing over all the negative...

floplo - an enlightening comment on one of the best post-referendum articles I have read.
I live in Norfolk, and for 8 years before retirement worked in a factory in Great Yarmouth.
This is a town where the only significant employer of graduates is the health service and local government. All the bright youngsters growing up there leave to go to university in London, Leeds, and Manchester. Most never return. The ones who remain lack ambition and a commitment to self-improvement. Our electronics factory depended on Polish and Lithuanian immigrants to train as skilled production operators, test technicians, and IT developers. Not because they were cheaper but because they were keener to show up every day, keener to learn, and keener to raise the quality of their performance.
It is understandable that locals resent this, and are against immigration, even while conceding that the Poles who live next door are 'OK'.

All the bright youngsters growing up there leave to go to university in London, Leeds, and Manchester. Most never return.

Statements like this are almost invariably shown to be rot when you run the numbers.

You're probably thinking of immigrants who go somewhere to work rather than to seek the infidel's welfare gold. The latter can be found in some rather out of the way places. Hence, small towns of 1000 inhabitants can suddenly find themselves housing 500 or 1200 migrants or so.

'if only to figure out how to best overturn or reverse it'

Why? Seemingly, all the English language media is concerned about the future of what may become Little England, and the apparently ongoing moral struggle between leave and remain camps in the English speaking world, but little seems to be reported from the EU itself.

There is no question that an EU without England means a different EU. Anyone want to guess how many people in the EU are happy to see what is broadly considered the most obstructionist member leave, with the City having lost its main role in practicing what is called in German Finanzkapitalism?

This could be called petty, of course, if one wishes to think that the British voting to leave the EU means that EU should be even more accomodating to a soon to be ex-member than an actual member. Which would strike most people as absurd, but apparently this is not the case to a surprising number of MR commenters.

A significant number of people in the EU itself would love to see the UK leave - and they are not, at least at this point, holding any doors open for the UK to come back in. Basically, the most pro-leave camp right now exists in the EU, as finally they won't have to listen to the UK makes endless special demands and desire to be exempted from laws applying to all other members.

Though the EU won't get its article 50 notification in the couple of days, they also apparently won't talk about the details of how soon to be non-member Great Britain is to treated until that notification arrives. 'With Europe’s leaders divided over how to negotiate Brexit and Britain apparently reluctant to initiate formal talks on leaving, an EU source said lawyers had concluded that a member state could not be forced to launch the process.

But a senior EU official stressed that, by the same token, Brussels could refuse overtures for even informal talks before the exit process is officially initiated – a course that prominent Brexit leaders including Boris Johnson want to pursue.

“As long there is no notification, there will not be any negotiations,” the official said. Brussels has given up hope that Britain could be bounced into triggering article 50 – the untested procedure that governs how a member state leaves the bloc – at the summit starting on Tuesday.' https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/26/eu-may-refuse-informal-brexit-talks-until-uk-triggers-article-50

I'm sure the EU doesn't mind losing its second largest economy.

We will see, won't we?

The difference to the EU economy (2015 nominal GDP of €14,625.4 billion) losing access to a market with a total nominal 2015 GDP of €2,568.9 billion will undoubtedly be an insurmountable problem. Unlike a country with a 2015 nominal GDP losing access to a market with a total of 2015 GDP of €14,625.4, which has just suffered a mere flesh wound. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_European_Union#Economies_of_member_states

losing access to a market with a total

The EU absorbs 1,700 bn Euros worth of imports, upon which it collects 15.3 bn Euros in tariffs. British manufacturers can survive a 0.8% tariff. (Or perhaps you fancy the hag-chancellor will organize a comprehensive trade embargo).

Its quite true English want England to stay relatively English. Nice post

How can they achieve that? Close doors, let it open only for the huge population of foreign football players who help make English Premier League so great?

Erase the English people because football you racist

Tyler, the UK joined the EU in 1973, no in 1993. It must have been a typo. All other numbers are right.

Actually although it looks like a typo, it's true. The UK joined the EEC in 1973, which led to the EU which was formed in.... 1993 (maastricht)

EU did not exist in 1973; UK joined EEC in 1973; all EEC members joined EU in 1993.

It's more accurate to say the EEC evolved into the EU in 1993

"opposition to immigration is highest where the number of immigrants is lowest. "

does anyone actually have any data or analysis showing this for the UK? The provided link doesn't. It strikes me that many of the places which voted strongest to leave do have high levels of immigration (e.g. Boston in Lincolnshire). Where they are in time in terms of how recently immigration has had an impact, and how well-integrated immigrants are, I'm sure would be strong determinants, rather than the immigration level per se.

It's kind of like how you hear that everybody who lives near the beach in California thinks immigration is great, the problem is all the American voters who used to live in the nice parts of California but got squeezed out into the Great Basin by all the immigrants.

How does that work? Doe the immigrants literally squeeze them until the ooze somewhere else?
Anyone who packs up and moves from A to B is doing so voluntarily, by their own choice (assuming they are not incarcerated or in the military).

The immigrants live 8 to a 2BR apartment, the middle-class people live 3. The immigrants are also third world.

So every time the rent goes up, the immigrants can squeeze their lifestyles down more and more, and the white people don't want to match them.

At a certain point, they are being forced to choose to leave California as the standards of living fall off a cliff.

/4 Million economic refugees since 2000.

If you are someone who owns his own home (or at least is making mortgage payments on it) then "rent going up" does not matter to you. Moreover high rent neighborhoods are the least likely to include lots of immigrants-- or non-white, non-middle class people in general.

"How does that work?"

Supply and demand.

Economists should look into it. Amazingly, supply and demand turns out to apply to the study of the effects of immigration.

Brexit will probably never happen. The article 50 will never be triggered. The upper administration and the elite of the country are clearly against it. The financial institutions fund political careers. Brexit would be a shot in their own feet for all politicians in the UK.

Little doubt elements of the Conservative Party would like to frustrate this. Problem: 40% of Tory MPs and north of 55% of Tory voters were for Brexit. The unpatriotic cosmopolitans would be begging for mass defections to UKIP, which currently encompasses 12% of the electorate. That would suffice to leave George Osborne or Theresa May occupying the same place in British politics once occupied by David Steel.

It's very likely that when reason sets in they will stay married with EU.

I think the big factor will be Scotland keenness to stay in EU and leaving UK, it's a regrettable prospect for both sides.

It’s very likely that when reason sets in they will stay married with EU.

Reason has set it. That's why they voted to leave.

Indeed. It is entirely reasonable to have a powerful and unaccountable bureaucracy meddling in every aspect of your life. It is entirely reasonable to support the deliberate creation of a southern perimeter of failed states so that France can continue their deficit financed government system.

Just think, the UK will be unable to benefit from the vast and endless brilliance emanating from lÉcole nationale d'administration. What a loss.

Sorry, but but only 40% of Tory votes came for Brexit. Another poor post Art.

I think your use of New Zealand as conservative on immigration is wrong: see:
"The only advanced country I’m aware of that sets out to (and succeeds in) attracting more migrants, per capita, than New Zealand is Israel. . ."

Israel's immigration policies are worth careful study by other democracies.

Because blood is more important than ideals?

Unsurprising that you would advocate careful study of such a perspective.

Israel has built a prosperous and sophisticated country by gathering their own together.

including such goodies as national health care

I see you have an affection for non sequiturs.

There are 8 million people in Israel. Most of the population lives in two urban settlements which are cheek-by-jowl. You have national government and you have local government. Any common provision in medical care is going to be undertaken by the central government, as there are no provinical governments.

"Any common provision in medical care is going to be undertaken by the central government, as there are no provinical governments."

In other words, national health care.

There is a provision in the ACA which allows for the states (US equivalent of provinces) to provide healthcare, but a number of them declined to do so.

Not to mention kicking out those who weren't.

What is with you Germans. You seem intent on doing utterly stupid things that end in your women being raped. What did Hitler think would happen when he invaded Russia? What did Merkel think when she invited in thousands of young male middle easterners?

I think the Germans have a "thing" for that

Is anyone German commenting in this (sub)-thread? I'm American, after all.

Indeed, a great many of the Sri Lankans I know in Australia are citizens of NZ, because Oz would not let them in by the front door.

That said, I also have relatives who migrated to NZ and never considered leaving.

As a UK born migrant to New Zealand I was also very surprised by this assertion. The view of most Kiwis, and most people I've met who've visited both countries (and indeed probably most Aussies), would be the exact opposite.

Perhaps this was true in some bygone era, but Auckland I believe has the largest polynesian population in the world while also being around 20% ethnically Asian, mostly on the back of very high levels of inward migration over the last 50 years... And has never come close to the sorts of anti-immigrant problems of its larger antipodean brother (see race riots: Cronulla, or the diabolical Pauline Hanson)!

I would be very interested to know what the basis for the comment was as perhaps there's some historical episode that's given my country such a reputation internationally that I'm unaware of!?

What may not be apparent from outside the UK is the assymmetry of issues. The Leavers wanted reduced immigration, freedom from expensive EU contributions and a general "take back control" expression of national identity. Fine, but many of us in the Remain camp weren't arguing directly against that... those simply weren't relevant concerns for us.

We've come to see the EU (with varying degrees of reluctance) as a protective buffer against the worst elements of our own government. We have clean beaches, clean rivers, consumer protection, worker welfare, the list goes on. Leave-voters always countered with "we could have done that alone", but our governments have pissed, moaned and chipped away at these legislations for years, so no... we couldn't. That's what I'm terrified of losing.

"those simply weren’t relevant concerns for us."

How does it feel to be irrelevant?

Ha, the Remain voters wanted to be governed by the EU because they preferred continental policy to English policy!

The Scots agree with you completely, by the way.

The Scots have been casting about for a sugar daddy for a while now. They should skip the EU and go straight for becoming a UN protectorate like Kosovo. Welfare on a national level, utopia at last.

Immigration had zilch to do with the EU. It is poor enforcement, pure and simple. Nothing will change until the mindset changes. Businesses want the immigrants, pure and simple.

Brit regulations are stronger than the EU's, who wants deregulation. Your post is backwards and in error.

It's a strange comment when Britain scores at the top of many of these measures. You'd think if the EU was pushing up, and locally our governments were pushing down more than other EU states, Britain would be mediocre. But no.

The whole "The British need the Europeans to protect them from the British" idea is quite strange in general of course.

I think that immigrants and the original population can live together and THRIVE together. Sorry, but that is just the way I feel.

how do you define thrive? Is it only in material terms? Many people don't.

I think he means build the economy and grow together.

Did you forget the links again? Streng dich an, mein Junge.

They're not thriving in the banieus.

Some people are tragically incompatible. Borders have a certain utility.

Under all circumstances?

Worked well for the native americans.

One of the things that make Danmark different is that there's just not the same animosity towards EU and Eastern European workers at all. The numbers are not quite not high, but mostly it's just not an issue people care much about.

But why aren't the numbers high? There's something there that puts downward pressure on immigration.

I havent looked them up, so i cant say how how of a difference there is, but I think the UK economy/language has been more attractive and Danmark, less than other countries but more than the UK, had restrictions the first few years after the EU enlargement.

I am not British, but it seems to me that I know many cosmopolitan Canadians and Americans who would resist political union of the two countries. (And I remember the fierce Canadian opposition to the 1988 free trade agreement, which dominated their election, was opposed by the Liberals and NDP, and perhaps only survived due to the split of the Left. The ads against it were full of sovereignty arguments. The EU goes much farther.)

So I don't think I can be surprised, especially considering the greater shared culture, history, legal traditions of the US and Canada, along with being young nations of immigrants. If we don't support it, why would the British?

this is a well made point. it isn't entirely unreasonable for a country not to want political union with its neighbours.

Tyler, why are you so concerned about what the English do? Mind your own damn business!

Oh wait, I forgot as a public "intellectual," you get to hold forth on all topics whether or not you have any expertise or investment in the matter.

A harsh comment.
As an Irish American ( something I don't remember him posting earlier) , may be there is an emotional stake also?

Cowen is an Irish surname

Really insightful post. A lot of what's going in the world is well captured by this model - as a wide ranging conflict between older nationalistic value systems, and an emergent cosmopolitanism.

Both of which are romantic notions, held passionately by their believers. And as vague emotional constructs, each is very difficult for the other side to comprehend. The position of the other side just seems unbelievable, mystifying.

Reading your post was a strange experience for me - you, an Irish American, reminded me of how I used to feel about Britishness in my youth. And I guess opened my eyes to how a lot of people still feel about it.

(I say Britishness because that idea is still part of the picture - eg to Northern Irish unionists)

The tone of this article reminds me of a headline in the online edition of the Daily Mail: NOW THEY LISTEN!

Indeed, now "they" (and whoever "they" are, Tyler certainly belongs to this set, with his cosmopolitan worldview) at least start to listen. Of course, there are fanatics who will not see, like the cited author from Vox. But Tyler is smart enough at least to listen.

As for the revolt against immigration in the not-yet-so-international parts of the country, two things are at work:

a) first, the people see what is developing in the big cities and want no part of it;
b) second, those who do not prefer all the enrichment bestowed upon cities, will move to the not-yet-so-international parts of the countries to escape the effects, and take their hardened attitudes with them, sometimes up to the point of becoming single-issue voters.

Yeah, I feel you on that one buddy.

Mehr Aufwand, bitte - streng Dich an, OK?

I don't doubt that national pride and ethnicity stirred the emotions, but Brexit has more to do with economics than national identity. Absent the EU, London would not be one of the financial capitals of the world; it's easy to forget that Britain had lost its place in the financial hierarchy until the EU resurrected it. The problem in Britain is the same as the problem globalization has wrought everywhere: the benefits aren't widely shared. Indeed, young Brits supported Remain not because of the opportunities for them in Britain but because of the opportunities for them elsewhere in the EU, opportunities that won't be available to them once Britain leaves the EU (because Brits won't enjoy the open borders that goes with membership in the EU). For many Brits, open borders (freedom of movement from not to Britain) is the primary benefit of membership in the EU. What they would prefer is open borders one-way: to the continent. Because membership means open borders both ways and because Britain cannot control immigration policy of the other members (many of which have for decades had essentially open borders with countries in the middle and far east to offset labor shortages (from a low birth rate)), the number of foreigners in Britain has increased many times over. While two-way open borders within the EU may stir emotions, the unequal distribution of the economic benefits of globalization won't be solved even if Britain could enforce one-way open borders. If Brexit prevails and as predicted London loses its place as a world financial center, the Brits will have traded one problem (the unequal distribution of the economic benefits of globalization) for a far worse problem: economic deterioration and insignificance.

Robert Conquest’s Three Laws of Politics have been given additional credence with the Brexit vote and the commentary about it:

1. Everyone is conservative about what he knows best.
2. Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.
3. The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.

Yes, I am still pro Remain, and also generally pro immigration, and I am still hoping the Brits take a cue from DeAndre Jordan.

In other words, the 'libertarian' is in favor of a regulatory hydorcephalus which has perpetrated an economic catastrophe with the Euro and is organized to defeat deliberation. Why does this not surprise me.

As I interpret what happened, ultimately the vote was about preserving the English nation, and yes I use those last two italicized words deliberately; reread Fintan O’Toole.

And O'Toole's thesis is rot. Wales and the protestant sections of Ulster voted Brexit.

> In fact, under a lot of estimates the Norman Conquest was no more than about 10,000 men, relative to an estimated English population of 1.7 million at that time.

Fascinating. Could I get some book recommendations on the Norman Conquest?

William of Normandy had the sense to respect extant English institutions (though he did dispossess the Anglo-Saxon nobility).

Good question. But what sort of icecream do you like on Monday nights? ;)

Pro tip - don't make it too obvious, because it makes the waste of your time obvious too.

This may be too far down to get noticed, but I still don't see brexit as being about people coming in, so much as people going out.

That is, the EU elite Brits leave, but retain control - a kind of absentee landlord class. The Brits who are really 'in the place' don't
want authority over them diffused to everybody else. Self-determination is a very basic thing and we shouldn't be so quick to overlook it.

Note that voting “Leave” may not even end up giving the English/British control over their immigration policies, once a new deal is struck with the EU.

So you hope. If Britain's smart, you'll be disappointed.

Half of British expats on the continent live in Spain, which allows permanent residency to anyone who has been present in the country for five years or more, without regard to their country of origin. The common external tariff on merchandise averages 0.8%. I take it you fancy that the EU will launch a trade embargo on Britain and that Spain will enact special legislation to harass and expel British residents, i.e. that the whole deal was a protection racket all along.

That would be part of a smart overall agenda if the EU wants to avoid domino effect and total collapse, yes.

You mean one national public after another will leave if given the chance, so they have to be deterred. Perhaps the better metaphor is 'prison'.

If all the EU has to offer is punitive action, then indeed the Brits were smart. The cookie jar is empty, get out while getting is good.

Now all those retired British residents will have to do, possibly within 2 years, is to arrange how to pay for their health insurance. Though apparently, if they have been living in Spain for 10 years, they can become Spanish citizens, and again enjoy the health care system they do right now - http://www.expatica.com/es/visas-and-permits/How-to-get-Spanish-citizenship_107634.html

I've been following the Euro 2016 and wondering why Britain does something that no other country in the world does. Instead of sending a unified team it sends a team from England, Wales, and Norther Ireland. Since the regional teams are not as strong as they would be if they played as a single British team, they always lose. In other words, England would rather compete without the additional firepower of the best players from Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Could a British team have won where an England team actually lost? It is speculative but I think it is likely.

That's an interesting choice.

"regional teams"

They each represent countries, not regions.

"regional teams", lol

Yet another postmodern burgerman without a clue

I don't believe it for a moment.
There is no 'English' as there is no 'European' as there is no 'American'.
It is all about maintaining a comfortable niche with a work effort and expected level of remuneration coming from that effort level. The places you earn and the places you spend are the core from which the rest of your life revolves - most family, most friends, most non-work activities. Immigration (even from other English or European regions) was seen as competition to that comfort zone of work/remuneration. This was seen as unhealthy competition where one had to work too hard to get that middle class (or other expected) lifestyle. The referendum was that outlet for dis-satisfaction with how hard and competitive their local version of the world has become - in the same way as Climate Change is the Standard of activism and dis-satisfaction that seems to embody all consumerism, un-naturalness, and industrial activities in all their forms. And its easier to lump your concerns with the writhing masses trying not too hard to find out what specific issues your fellow crusader has - because once a group uses such a heavy mallet to pound what is a very subtle and nuanced set of issues, all you get is furthering splintering of what was once a conveniently (for the time) common ground. The next step will be the further unravelling and splitting as further grievances are brought up to the light again - class, education, health care, and union protection - all sensitive and delicate mechanisms. It will be interesting to see where the British cultural and financial diaspora ends up.

Well said. Would be more persuasive if you dropped the pretense of "generally pro immigration" as if there is some large faction of people who are arguing no immigration, no immigrants, not now, never. The vast majority of human beings on the planet support immigration as well as support immigration system reform. People who are labeled anti-immigrant are just generally against the total amnesty that you want and are not willing to cynically accept the current immigration system status quo out of fear something worse might come along as a result of reactionary backlash. My guess is that more than 95% of so called "anti-immigrant" voters simply favor immigration through a controlled, transparent immigration system in which local governments have a voice, democratic processes have an influence, and top-down power is not exercised arbitrarily and capriciously. Pretty much the opposite of what Merkel and Obama have each unleashed.

Hey there hubba hubba man ;)

Give someone a bit of encouragement to do better (streng Dich an, OK?), and watch them fail at even the minor task of providing amusement.

Net migration to the United States has been falling for 16 years, but what are facts to "I blame Obama!"

Well, the Supreme Court just last week did affirm a 5th Circuit opinion upholding an injunction against Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) executive memorandum. The 5th Circuit stated "But the Constitution requires “an uniform Rule of Naturalization” Congress has instructed that “the immigration laws of the United States should be enforced vigorously and uniformly”; and the Supreme Court has described immigration policy as “a comprehensive and unified system.” Partial implementation of DAPA would “detract[] from the ‘integrated scheme of regulation’ created by Congress,” and there is a substantial likelihood that a geographically-limited injunction would be ineffective because DAPA beneficiaries would be free to move among states. Furthermore, the Constitution vests the District Court with “the judicial Power of the United States.” That power is not limited to the district wherein the court sits but extends across the country. It is not beyond the power of a court, in appropriate circumstances, to issue a nationwide injunction. “We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance.’” Agency announcements to the contrary are “greet[ed] . . . with a measure of skepticism.” The district court did not err and most assuredly did not abuse its discretion. The order granting the preliminary injunction is AFFIRMED." See pages 69-70 at: http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions%5Cpub%5C15/15-40238-CV0.pdf And Supreme Court decision at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/15pdf/15-674_jhlo.pdf On top of that ICE is brazenly collaborating with human traffickers: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/12/24/ice-director-defends-transport-illegal-immigrant-children-as-appropriate-and.html But if you want to believe the Obama Administration is upholding the law and transparently executing a well-run national immigration system, feel free to do so. I'll be amused.

I am saying this particular game of political football never rose high in my consciousness.

And if it was just football over falling immigration levels, why should it?

Not just football for local school districts: http://www.governing.com/news/headlines/texas-schools-struggle-to-serve-influx-of-immigrants.html The overall numbers may be lower but that does not mean there are not problems that have to be dealt with at the local level.

But this does not preclude another regional court from issuing a conflicting opinion.

What then?


Three very good points. The elderly are better informed than the youth on the EU issue, ethnic preservation, and that immigrants in England are better off compared to other European nations. The Indians and Pakistani's are doing very well economically and, for the most part, consider themselves Brits. Also not many Middle Eastern or N. African immigrants.

A year and a half ago, the Swiss voted Yes for the initiative "against mass immigration". The initiative was quite clear, the modification of 3 articles in the Swiss constitution to enable immigration quotas according to the economic interest of Switzerland https://www.admin.ch/ch/f/pore/vi/vis413t.html

One year ago we laughing at the Greek referendum. The question was posed in a rather complicate way but the yes/no was over accepting the bailout/debt restructure as proposed by the EU. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33311422

The question of the last UK referendum was clear: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" https://www.eureferendum.gov.uk/q-and-a/

Comparing the UK question with the careful phrasing of recent Swiss and Greek referendums....it seems some people don't realize yet the referendum outcome is the diplomatic equivalent of pissing in the dinner table. There were very valid reasons to be upset with the EU Commission, but the problem was the question. It wasn't "should the UK manage in an autonomous way immigration?" or "should the UK manage in an autonomous way ______ (very specific topic)?". If the objective was to assert frustration with the EU, the referendum was not a good tool.

Comparing the UK question with the careful phrasing of recent Swiss and Greek referendums….it seems some people don’t realize yet the referendum outcome is the diplomatic equivalent of pissing in the dinner table.

It was nothing of the kind. The 'problem' with the European Commission is that it exists.

Not only that, the EU even apparently holds the outrageous belief that they are treating the leave vote more seriously than the UK, as the EU is prepared, today, to receive the article 50 notification and have the UK become a former EU member as quickly as possible.

Almost as if certain parts of the EU feel that the British yoke is the one that weighs most heavily, and that finally, at least as soon as the British start respecting their own voters, Brussels can respect the expressed will of the leave voters. Brussels is not standing in the way, after all.

It seems a bit ironic to use a Swiss referendum to criticize the British for exiting the EU. By exiting the EU, Great Britain has opted to be more like the Swiss.

"And if all along you thought there was no case for Leave, probably it is you who is the provincial one."

All well said. And yet the post entirely leaves out the cosmopolitan case for Leave. It is quite possible to have free trade and easy movement of people across borders without the undemocratic, heavy-handed regulatory state in Brussels. Getting there won't be easy, but the UK will be much better off if they end up relating to the EU as Canada does to the US. You may disagree with his arguments, but Matt Ridely is obviously a member of the global elite and certainly not a 'Little Englander':



The global elite wanted a "Brexit" or whatever they call it. Don't be such a idiot.

My conclusion is that "Brexit" just had a ring to it, and searching for deep meaning is futile. Prove me wrong. Then we can discuss the number on Angels dancing in the Chunnel.
If someone really is going to write and post a long mea culpa (but not really mea) and add that they now see the light, I think its reasonable to expect some (semi-) quantitative predictions. I'm waiting.


Majority of white's voted for "remain". \Another horrible post. IMO, they aren't going to leave the EU, not in the near future. Even the Tory's don't want to leave until 10 years have past.

It was the "left" that pushed the envelope and got some subsets of minorities to go along with them.

I think there is a significant tension between increasing the consolidation and federalization of the world's nation states, on the one hand, and liberal thinking on individual liberty and political rights on the other.

In, say, a world federation, what ability do I have to really influence the political direction of a polity of approaching 7 billion people? If the world voted today, how would it go in terms of freedom of speech, ideology, and lifestyle?

The consolidation of nation states and centralization of powers favors a small elite (political and financial). It further limits the ability of individuals to try to shape the world they inhabit, as the levers of power are moved ever further from their reach.

The consolidation of nation states was the only way for capitalism to survive. Consolidation is nothing surprising in history anyway. Just in the past, you had god men who built up great empires.

I laugh at the bourgeois connies on this thread. Capitalism is of itself, centralization. You can't accept that. We were in a very centralized world in 1776. Tech has finally shown it up for what it is.

I think I agree about capitalism. It is worth distinguishing between it, on the one hand, and free markets and competition, on the other. I fear the accumulation and consolidation of capital, and its affect on individual liberty. I think free markets and competition generally lead to better and freer lives. The two views come into tension eventually, for sure, but I think it's worth recognizing that they do not have to come as a single indivisible package.

Maoist China was very decentralized. Members of the Communist Party replaced the Warlords. Simple as that. Sometimes things have to centralize for them to work. Capitalism's big benefit was tech expansion. It didn't start it, but it pushed it faster than without it. Debt expansion since WWII kept it going on for another 2 generations.

Everything ends eventually. Capitalism's time has come. Tech has dried up and debt can't expand as fast. That is a big part of the immigration problem.

People on here forget about the "old left". Shame on them. They had the basic answers all the time.

Sure, I think of centralization as generally dangerous, but it can be good and necessary, and decentralization can be bad.

Completely decentralized anarchy seems both impossible and undesirable. Completely centralized totalitarianism does as well. It's a matter of where on the continuum we want to be, and I agree that the answer should change depending on the material state of the world.

But right now, in the West, I think we are too far in the centralization direction.

The consolidation of nation states was the only way for capitalism to survive.

This is a nonsense statement.

That Adam Ozimek piece which you linked to, Tyler, is a great example of the kind of purity- and motive-checking which is so pernicious and so destructive of worthwhile debate. Never are "xenophobia" or "racism" defined, nor is any evidence offered for claim that "if you got rid of xenophobia and racism ... opposition to immigration ... would diminish significantly, by more than 50%."

One might as well write an article, similarly without evidence, about how, "If you got rid of alienism and oikophobia, advocacy for mass Third World immigration would diminish significantly, by more than 50%."

The rhetoric of pathology in particular is intellectually dangerous and helps to create a climate of witch hunting. "If you do not condemn these vaguely (or not at all) defined sentiments, which I have condemned, then I will not consider you to be a legitimate participant in debate."

It's also Utopian, and perhaps totalitarian. How do we get rid of attributes which a survey of humanity would suggest are an aspect of human nature, given their prevalence across cultures, races, and eras?

"If we got rid of jealousy." "If we got rid of lust."

"And for better or worse, a lot of people just won’t put up with change that is so rapid and far-reaching."

This is often said - it is reasonable to oppose changes that are quick and large - without qualification.

Can we also give some consideration to whether changes are good or bad? Because there are such things, and it does matter. It is not reasonable to oppose rapid, large changes that are good; it is reasonable to oppose slow, small changes that are bad.

Immigration of stupid, hostile underclasses is not the same as immigration of intelligent workers with householder culture of their own. As an Englishman with traditional personal values, I get on very well with Chinese. I don't know many Japanese, but those few I know I get on well with. I am OK with a society in which disagreements arise over whether one should drink black or green tea, or the best design of a garden. In fact I would view such a society as being genuinely and not just rhetorically enriched.

But I look on Pakistanis with horror and revulsion. I do not care about their problems and do not want to expend my energy and that of my nation in solving them; whether their religion needs a reformation is no business of mine and I certainly do not want my grandchildren to have to fight and possibly die in the religious wars this reformation may or may not create. I just want nothing to do with them. I wish them no ill will. I just wish it them somewhere a long way away from here.

I am neither in favour of nor opposed to diversity and cosmopolitanism. I am in favour of a diversity of agreeable people, opposed to a homogeneity of disagreeable people, and I recognise that ultimately different people regard different things as agreeable, that these views are irreconcilable except by war, and that peace is best maintained by sturdy, if attractively decorated, garden fences.

"And for better or worse, a lot of people just won’t put up with change that is so rapid and far-reaching. Believe it or not, they are not persuaded by my 'British Muslims must lead the global Islamic Reformation' conviction."

This has a very strong scent of "White Man's Burden" to it.

'This has a very strong scent of “White Man’s Burden” to it.'

An utterly British concept, by the way, though Americanized in its way - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Man's_Burden

The part of town where I grew up was decimated by HUD policy and the board of education. So perhaps I can somewhat understand how people feel having their entire country being transformed in to something unrecognizable and less pleasant.

In the case of the neighborhoods where I grew up, there was no referendum to be had. People just moved a couple of zip codes away to avoid the unnaturally rapid subsidized ghettoization of the area.

The exit may or may not help things in the UK, but it is an expression of something very real.

The moderator needs to delete this and ban the perp.

To me, the most shocking thing is that the media coverage has been all navel gazing on this ussue... Brexit has happened and is likely to be the most significant geopolitical event of the decade; a top-5 military and top-5 economy power just declared itself in play!

What we *should* be discussing is how the U.S. can turn this event to it's advantage and/or minimize our losses. Should the U.S. immediately offer membership into NAFTA? Should we propose creating an Anglosphere free trade block? Should we switch the 'special relationship' from England to Germany? Howe can we massage President Obama's amateurish "back of the bus" comment about Brexit?

Sorry, but Brexit is nothing. They have not even exited and may not with Scotland/Northern Ireland.

Even if they did exit, it isn't even top 10 in the last decade. It really is a "back page" kinda thing.

It's hard to see a single event as topping it. Yes, broad trends like the PRC's sustained GDP growth top it.

"Sorry, but Brexit is nothing."

Strong statement for comment number 251 this morning ;-) That said, I hope you're right. The U.S. might actually have the most to loose from England's free agency declaration - they are undoubtedly one of our strongest and most reliable allies.

The US has nothing to lose. BO's a vulgar cosmopolitan reciting the catechism.

I hope you are right, too. But...if I were China, I'd host a bunch of academic talks on the deep, historic ties between England and Hong Kong, as well as pointing out that their economic block is actually growing.

And, if I were OPEC and/or Russia, I'd be talking about how much better things would be if oil were around $100. Winter is coming ... to northern Europe.

and may not with Scotland/Northern Ireland.

Dave, how do you fancy Martin McGuinness persuades the protestants living in Antrim, Down, and Armagh to join the Irish Republic?

He doesn't have to. It's Ian Paisley (the reverend's son and heir to his seat in Parliament) who's encouraging Ulstermen to get Free State passports.

Especially shocking when you recall that the Democratic Unionists voted leave.

More shocking still: they voted on the same side as those dissident republicans who bothered voting.

Northern Ireland -It would be nice if they buried the hatchet this millennium

Scotland -Independence was sketchy at $100 Brent. $50 oil makes it even more sketchy.

The common external tariff in the EU is effectively so low this will have a minimal effect on trade flows.

London is a great place to live now for many people - folks are voting with their feet and this is reflected in house prices and population growth. Including many migrating from the rest of England.

England doesn't have a religion.

Recent analysis of data from three British Social Attitude surveys (2012, 2013 & 2014) by the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St Mary's University, Twickenham.

This revealed that while 19.8% of the population of England and Wales self identify as Anglican 60% of them attend church less than once a year (excluding weddings, baptisms, funerals &c.)

8.3% of the population of England and Wales self identify as Catholic 40% of them attend church less than once a year (excluding weddings, baptisms, funerals &c.)

Self identified as other Christian denominations and unspecified Christians account for 15.7%

All non Christian religions account for 7.7%.

48.5% of the population identify as not having a religion.

Basically half the population don't consider themselves to have a religion and many of those that do are only nominally religious.

From the report:

The chart therefore shows what proportion of current affiliates for each denomination were brought up in a) the same denomination with which they now identify; b) a different Christian denomination; c) a non-Christian religion; and d) no religion. Evidently, those in categories b), c), and d) count are converts, of one sort or another, to their current denomination.

As with retention, the relative Catholic and Anglican breakdowns are broadly similar. Like Catholics, over one in ten Anglicans were raised as such. Of those who weren’t, most are converts from a different Christian group. (Incidentally, about 1% of current Anglicans were raised as Catholics.) Also in common with Catholics, there are comparatively few Anglicans from a nonreligious background, and even fewer from a non-Christian religious one. These categories respectively account for just one in fifty, and one in a thousand, current Anglicans.

The Baptist and Methodist communities, meanwhile, are made up of significantly greater proportions of converts. Roughly one in five current Methodists, and one in three current Baptists, were not raised as such. This difference is, however, wholly made up from attracting larger proportions of those brought up within different Christian denominations. Our BSA 2012-14 dataset includes no Baptists or Methodists who were brought up in non-Christian religions. Around one in fifty Baptists, and one in a hundred Methodists, was brought up with no religion - the same proportions as for Anglicans and Catholics respectively.

Fig. 3.7: Ratio of disaffiliates to converts in selected

Christian denominations in England and Wales

Disaffiliates per convert

Catholics 10

Anglicans 12

Methodists 7

Baptists 4

Data: BSA 2012-14. Weighted data. Number of valid cases in each group range from 49 (Baptists) to 1681 (Anglicans).

As was clear from fig. 1.5, a greater proportion of the English and Welsh population were brought up Catholic than now identify as Catholic. The same is true of Anglicans, Methodists, and Baptists (and indeed, of almost all Christian denominations). Figs 3.4 and 3.6, respectively, showed the proportions of those brought up in a given denomination who now identify with that denomination (or not), and the proportions of those who currently identify with a given denomination who were brought up as such (or not). Fig. 3.7 now shows the ratio of disaffiliates (i.e., those brought up as X who no longer identify as X) to converts (i.e., those who now identify as X, who were brought up as something other than X). Thus, for every one Catholic convert in England and Wales, ten cradle Catholics no longer identify as Catholics. For every one convert to Anglicanism, twelve cradle Anglicans now no longer identify as Anglicans.

The Baptist and Methodist ratios are somewhat better: four and seven disaffiliates for every one convert, respectively. We have already seen that a large proportion of cradle Christians end up with no religion (see fig. 3.4), but very few ‘cradle nones’ end up with a Christian affiliation (fig. 3.6). Unsurprisingly, therefore, these two facts go a long way towards explaining the growth of ‘no religion’ as a share of the English and Welsh population over the past several decades (see fig. 1.3).

What relevance is this?

*Now* you think it might be time to read some English history? Dear God.

Security? The EU has had many public failures of late which arguably begat brexit and the current instability faced by much of the continent. Something must be wrong with the system if it does not meet the reality test. If recent events have anything to show, the future looks allot like passing the buck, denial, wait and see, the blame game and fire fighting. In a continent rife with debt and unemployment, the forces at work will only get stronger.

Quoth Master Yoda: "No. There is another."

Mention is made of Japan and Denmark as old cultures, self-assured of who they are and keen to preserve their identity.

As I understand, try emigrating to Israel without any Jewish ancestry.

It seems fair to acknowledge: there are intellectually and morally mature discourses around limits on immigration and globalization which do NOT end in -phobia.

The moderator needs to cull all of the posts by 'House'. They add nothing to the discussion but vulgarity.

They would just come back under another identity. Leaving their comments up there makes it easy to tell exactly how much attention we should pay to their opinions. For anyone who wants a laugh at someone with a hyper-inflated sense of their own intelligence, I recommend searching for House on this page.

Of course, USA and Canada and a few others are mature nation states based on the very idea of immigration, so they do not face the same dilemma that England does
-------------Oh, but they do. Our history of immigration is LIMITED, LEGAL, and EAGER TO ASSIMILATE. Being swamped by millions of illegal aliens who want to maintain their language and culture, and who benefit from affirmative action, is NOT in our tradition or our interest.

If this is about immigration then the Brits are ignoring the elephant in the room: it was the Commonwealth agreements (signed back when QEII was still princess Elizabeth) that opened their country up to immigration from the Third World-- the countries of their former Empire.

The highest % vote against remain was in Lincoln which has the highest proportion of East Europeans in the UK. The correlation is quite clearly with the presence of East Europeans, who have substantially displaced the English working class in industries such as construction and agriculture that cannot be outsourced. The outsourcable such as manufactiring are long gon.

Corbyn’s predecessors Brown and Blair, the PMs of Labour governments, had everything to do with the Brexit vote through the rolling tsunami of East European workers they unleashed.The Conservatives put known property bubble specialist Mark Carney in charge of the bank of England, and not long ago the gov was forced to o ban contractors from recruiting en mass from East Europe ect for British construction jobs thet were not even being advertised in Britain. It was too much, far too quickly, and showed signs of gathering pace with the inexorable enlargement of the EU into the east. Even a decade ago, Ukrainians were not unheard of on British building sites.

This is spot on and definitely the most important factor. I would add:

- Remain supporters failed to formulate, let alone communicate, a clear vision of Britain's future in the EU. Cameron is a pro-business Tory whose logic was all about near-term pragmatism re: the (big and real) short-term blows to UK business. Behind that he was a well-known Euroskeptic, and his drawn-out, transparent failures to win bigger concessions from the rest of the EU on immigration etc. made it very hard to take his pro-Remain arguments seriously.

- The Labour electorate, not just the leadership, was utterly passive, with many I suspect wishing it would go wrong and ruin the Tories. They became every bit the Little Britain they so love to mock. By electing Corbyn they deliberately bowed out and left it all in the Tories' and the media's hands.

It's odd that Tyler has nothing to say about the loss of British sovereignty to unelected, unaccountable Eurocrats. I take this, not trade, to be the core issue, and I know which way I would vote.

There are many reasons why a country should not become a neutered puppet state and few in favor.

The burning question for the EU continentals has to be, in what way has Perfidious Albion backstabbed us this time?

When is everybody going to demand that Latin America and China import the extra billion people that Sub Saharan Africa doesn't need?

Until I hear that the "diversity is our strength" line that is applied to countries that were over 80% European White in 1970 applied to every single country in the world, I am not going to believe that it is really true -- or that if the people who mouth such words thought about it, they'd really believe it, either.

I am going to try to continue to judge people by what they say, not what they do. The actions of the Western elite that are not superrich show nothing but panic; why else would they worry about whether their children pass tests to get into the right nursery schools?

If they are panicking about maintaining their status quo, then obviously the rest of us should be too. People under threat should not accept the burden of mass migration, they should be focused on themselves.


It's fortunate for the world that Tyler's "slowly raise the temperature so the frog doesn't realize it's boiling" school of thought is out of favor and the elites would rather try to smash us with a sledgehammer.

Sounds quite sensible
I had a white friend who accused me of being a racist simply because I voted 'leave'
As I'm black, the son of an immigrant and a descendant of a slave, I wasn't best pleased to say the least
The elites, domestically and internationally, have no clue what the English working class think
Could be they will find us less available to die for their stock market returns and quarterly corporate profits next time they hold a war
"Oh, it's saviour o' his country when the guns begin to shoot"

I am sorry that so few people seem to realize the terrible burden that excessive immigration puts on blacks in the US and the UK.

We will never know how much better things would have turned out for our black populations if the decreasing prejudice people felt, combined with new anti-discrimination laws of the 1960s and 1970s hadn't been interfered with by the arrival of millions of new people willing to work longer and harder for less money. That these new people often lived in the same areas as blacks, forcing up the rents and overcrowding the schools of the very people they hurt the most should be a source of great shame for the white population who silently allowed this to happen. Unfortunately over here, the black politicians were also silent about this, I guess they thought that more nonwhites would be helpful in their white vs. nonwhite battles.

That, of course, ignored the fact that having lots more people to take care of -- in mostly the same spaces -- lead to resources that could have gone to blacks going to the newcomers.

For all TC's promotion of Dani Rodrik and The Globalization Paradox, surprised why he doesn't point to that as an explanation for Brexit? Of course, Rodrik also apparently supports the NAFTA while simulataneously opposing globalization so its all a bit odd.

Nafta is a trade agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico, nations with which the US shares borders-- that's not "globalization". At best we could coin a word, "continentalization" for it.

"Of course, USA and Canada and a few others are mature nation states based on the very idea of immigration"

The history of America since our founding includes immigration of course -- but there is no reason that we have to maintain a continuous high level of immigration.

No reason at all. In fact, there are many reasons in 2016 to cut back on immigration. Americans have a history and an have an identity of their own that does not rely on newcomers to survive and thrive. That is not to say that newcomers make no contributions, but that if they did not come that would be OK too. We are not reliant on them -- and I think those who insist that we are help to generate a lot of resentment and bad feeling because they use their "pro lots of immigration" position to justify importing foreign labor that we do not need.

We have had a continuous high level of immigration since the 1970s and like many other Americans, I believe we are long overdue for a significant reduction in future immigration. The longer we delay, the more we will have to cut back in the future.

Amen for this post.

Y nomine Tyler, et Cowen, et Spiritus MR.

GB did not join the EU in 1993 .." 2.3 million in 1993 (when Britain joined the EU) to 8.2 million in 2014", it joined in 1973

I don't care about race, but I want to live where people think like me. An atheist, humanist state with generally progressive values. I hate having to struggle to relate to so many people not like me, because they are idiots. So maybe forcing people to merge into one non-homogenous blob is bad..?

It’s the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it’s time to be happy.
I have read this put up and if I may just I wish to suggest you few attention-grabbing things or tips.
Perhaps you could write subsequent articles referring to this article.

I desire to read more things about it! http://www.yahoo.net

Comments for this post are closed