Gary Johnson: You Can Look at Brexit as a 'Catastrophe' or an 'Opportunity'

Three out of four presidential candidates have made a statement on Brexit.



Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union could be viewed "as some kind of catastrophic event, or as an opportunity," according to a statement released to the Washington Post.

"The sky is not falling, and when the dust settles, Britain's decision may very well prove to be a pivotal event in the reshaping of global relationships and trade that will, in the final analysis, benefit all of us," Johnson said in the statement. "We in the U.S. can either wring our hands, or view this moment of disruption as an opportunity to strengthen our own important ties to a Britain less encumbered by the E.U," which, he argued, had been "pulling Britain down a path to unsustainable entitlements and away from the opportunities the free market offers" and that it was "not surprising" voters rejected that direction.

The European Union began as a common market and was such when the U.K first joined in the 1970s and backed their membership by a referendum.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a similar-ish statement Friday morning supportive of the Brexit decision while in Scotland visiting a golf course his son had renovated. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has not made a public statement on Brexit yet, but is already using Trump's response in ads.

Presumptive Green party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein, like Johnson and Trump, also came out mostly supportive of Brexit, though did not focus on the role of the E.U. bureaucracy in influencing the decision, saying it was a "victory for those who believe in the right of self-determination and who reject the pro-corporate, austerity policies of the political elites in EU." She added that "the rejection was also motivated by attacks on immigrants and refugees, which must be opposed," and that that was a "defeat." Many pro-Remain Labour members of Parliament insisted the "Leave" vote, insofar as it came out their strongholds, was a referendum against the Conservative government's spending priorities (or "austerity" as the left calls the spending) and not the broader E.U.

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  1. Where as Gary Johnson’s CNN town hall was just a catastrophe.

    1. Seriously. The above statement was crisp, clear, and sensible, and difficult to disagree with. When he actually talks extemporaneously… he starts looking at his shoes and splitting hairs.

      1. The above statement was crisp, clear, and sensible

        In stark contrast to his suit, and let’s not mention the shoes?

      2. I can only ever seem to get half-chubbed for Gary.

        1. Just keep playing with the idea and something good is bound to come out of it.

    2. What? Johnson was fine. Can you imagine the BS we would have heard if it was Clinton or Trump.

      If you are libertarian purist then don’t vote.

  2. Sometime Reason contributor and (arguably) Orwell’s spiritual successor Brendan O’Neil has a great article in The Spectator on the subject of anti-democratic sentiment:
    The Howl Against Democracy

    If there was any mask left, it is off now. My Facederp feed and conversations I hear (in Canada! IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS) vary between vindictive fantasies of Iraq-like sanctions against the UK and terror at the thought of camps for murder of Brown People being opened come Monday. Most notably, none want to accept the loss. The basic rule of what we consider democracy today, that all parties will respect the results of an election, is being tossed out the window.
    Shit, I’m no monarchist, but if the idiotic plan of Parliament refusing to honor the will of the electorate goes through, I hope Queen Elizabeth rides off to Nottingham or York and raises the Royal Standard.

    1. When they win with 51%, they have a concensus. Move on!
      When they lose with 49%, something went wrong. No way I’m outnumbered. Who’d you brainwash?

      1. Unfair: any election the Left looses.

      2. Pretty much.

        For example, Quebec nationalists who lost TWO referendums on independence insist they will keep going until the *right* vote happens. They got 49% of the vote in 1995 but that came thanks to the disgraceful behavior of rejecting 80 000 votes by the Parti Quebecois.

        1. I highly doubt there will ever be a third referendum. The independence option has been going down ever since the last one. It’s mostly a dream of old boomers that never bothered to learn speaking English, which is not the language of the conqueror anymore, but has simply become the language of international trade.

          I’m not pro independence, as the situation for Quebec in Canada is way different than the UK in EU. I mean, for one, we are actually able to participate in the political process and have a say in how things are run, we’re not just getting unwarranted FYTW regulations from civil servants in Ottawa.

          But see there is another referendum, and the YES – Leave, wins at 51,9%. If the people from the NO – Stay camp would try to invalidate that result, I would probably switch side and wouldn’t hesitate to join the most ?physical? faction of the yes side. I’m far more worried about the dangers of invalidating the will of the people than from some political and economical instability for a few years.

    2. Well, Nottingham *is* the traditional spot.

    3. They don’t beleive in the right of self-determination. They believe in slavery. You would think they would be glad to get rid of all those “racist white people” from their EUtopia. Oh wait, they need to be able to rob them.

      1. It’s racist to stop brown people, who fucked up their countries, from moving to whiter countries and fucking them up, too.

    4. You’re a leftist and you lost an election; the reason is =

      a) democracy is broken
      b) your opponents are driven by hate and fear
      c) [x] minority groups failed to vote in their self-interests, which you understand far better than they do
      d) evil corporations outspent noble unions
      e) all of the above

      1. I’m using this later.

        1. I came up with it yesterday. i keep wondering if i missed anything.

          1. Make it an image and you’ll have a popular meme.

      2. Is this a good time to discuss my plan to euthanize all the progressives?

    5. Does Nottingham currently have a Sheriff? If not, I have an application ready for submission.

      1. There is only one Sheriff of Nottingham

          1. I’m not gay but yeah.

            1. So….you don’t want to sound like a fag or nothin’, but you would like Alan Rickman to plow you from being?

              1. I’m not gay, but I’d let Natalie Portman kiss me.

                You feel free to judge me. I’ll still have been kissed by Natalie Portman. Raawr.

                1. Well if that ever happens pics would be appreciated.

                  1. Video – even . . . *gag*, PORTRAIT mode.

          2. more room temperature at the moment, but the sentiment is noted.

            1. Your room .. temperature, one wonders?

          3. Alan Rickman may be hot, but Allen L. Rickman is libertarian.

        1. There is only one Sheriff of Nottingham

          Alan Rickman is the man, no argument. However, an actor I esteem equally is Michael Wincott, who plays Guy of Gisborne.

          1. +1 spoon.

        2. Far lesser known than the immaculate Rickman performance, but I was also a fan of Keith Allen’s portrayal in the BBC series some years ago.

    6. I think there is a fair likelihood that they are going to negotiate a certain deal with the EU, then put that deal back up for another referendum. That is actually in keeping with the referendum. If the public was the one to desire a general outcome, they should choose the specific outcome.

      Otherwise, you have a group of people who may or may not have wanted to leave to negotiate and pass how it is done.

    7. For a good laugh, check the petition for another referendum that’s constantly being pimped by the UK media. Apparently if you don’t get the desired result from a plebiscite, just pleb, pleb again until you do. How do these reptiles live with themselves?

      The left has never, ever respected democracy for democracy’s sake anymore than honest right-wingers have; see the deafening silence after the overturn of CA’s Prop 8 or the endless whining about the 2000 election.

  3. Gary Johnson: You Can Look at Brexit as a ‘Catastrophe’ or an ‘Opportunity’

    I choose to look at it as a catastunity. I tried looking at it like an oppostrophe, but it sounded too much like punctuation to give me any sort of clarity.

    1. A good opportunity to vaca in the UK given the current exchange rate

  4. Odd, Jill’s answer may hurt her. All my left acquaintances are talking end of days about Britain leaving.

    1. I get the feeling she’s more of an old school radical leftest which I’m not sure the sjws will identify with at least on policy. They may go with her for social signaling reasons anyways.

      1. That’s true. November is long way off, and signals mean everything.

    2. There are two kinds (at least) of left, which are fundamentally incompatible.

      Working class left, of old-school revolutionary type. They mostly want Socialism because it promises their lives will be less miserable.
      Upper class left, which is what most of us deal with. They treat the first kind at best as children who need to be guided, and at worst are horrified by them.

      Orwell described both kinds in Road to Wigan Pier and some of the stuff in second half sounds like it was written today. His sympathies were with the first kind, and he loathed the second.
      BTW, first kind? People who voted OUT and who are main reason UKIP had the third highest vote tally in general election last year.

      1. Hm. I should go get that book.

        1. I found a page with a representative chunk of Part II. The design (black font on teal background) is…questionable, but it will give you an idea if you want to read the whole thing.

          Trigger Warning: Orwell was a Socialist. To the point of saying

          And all the while everyone who uses his brain knows that Socialism, as a world-system and wholeheartedly applied, is a way out. It would at least ensure our getting enough to eat even if it deprived us of everything else. Indeed, from one point of view, Socialism is such elementary common sense that I am sometimes amazed that it has not established itself already

          1. It would at least ensure our getting enough to eat even if it deprived us of everything else.

            as Venezuela demonstrates.

          2. Orwell’s devotion to Socialism is pretty well-known. His sympathies always lay with the blue-collar proles, though, not the upper-middle-class progressives whom he saw as no better than the capitalists and fascists he opposed.

            1. Roddenberry was at least a minor socialist, yet in Trek we get the Borg, the perfectly communist society, and COMPLETELY TERRIFYING*.

              Interestingly, writings by socialists tend to take great strides towards showing socialism exactly as horrible as it is. IRL 1984 is North Korea. IRL Borg are a horde of SJWs attacking their enemies.

              * Also, completely unable to advance without taking from others; imagine that.

      2. Yeah, and I think the new left is more if a 3rd kind which lives in realm of identity politics above all. Orwell was fortunate enough to not have to experience that derpfest

        1. “One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.”

          George Orwell, Road to Wigan Pier

          It’s actually sometimes heartening to dip into history and see people from 80 or 800 years ago still dealing with same shit we do, usually in the same way.

          1. damn, I made my post before scrolling down.

            1. another good one…

              The ordinary man may not flinch from a dictatorship of the proletariat, if you offer it tactfully; offer him a dictatorship of the prigs, and he gets ready to fight.

      3. Good book. I love his observations on people.

        In addition to this there is the horrible ? the really disquieting ? prevalence of cranks wherever Socialists are gathered together. One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words “Socialism” and “Communism” draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, “Nature Cure” quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.

        1. Thank god libertarianism doesn’t suffer from a similar problem.

          1. ^100% correct.

      4. There are two kinds (at least) of left, which are fundamentally incompatible.

        I think that’s more true for British leftists, though there are certainly rough parallels in the US.

        Anytime you start trying to talk about “class” in any consistent way between the US and UK, there’s bound to be some dissonance. It doesn’t quite work. there’s slight differences in both the ideology and the nature of the ‘class’ markers.

        e.g. in the US, you’d have the “working class left” that originates in the Unionization conflicts of the late 19th early 20th century. IWW Wobblies, AFL/CIO; but they were never quite as ideologically socialist as their European counterparts. I don’t know the history super-well, but my impression is that the Great Depression/WWII/Red Scare sort of purged the ‘full blown reds’ completely out of the working class. they still had the unions and belief in strong-govt and entitlements, but they were motivated by very different basic conception than that of the original organizers.

        the other strain of leftist is the 1960s “radical” – which is closer to your cocktail-hour commie in the UK. They were far more middle-class and more interested in cosmopolitan bohemianism. they ended up infesting academia.

        i think now there’s more of a split between “moderate middle-class lefties” and “progressives”, both of whom descend from the latter half of that family tree, and differ mainly in ‘whether they have kids and a house’

        1. e.g. in the US, you’d have the “working class left” that originates in the Unionization conflicts of the late 19th early 20th century. IWW Wobblies, AFL/CIO; but they were never quite as ideologically socialist as their European counterparts. I don’t know the history super-well, but my impression is that the Great Depression/WWII/Red Scare sort of purged the ‘full blown reds’ completely out of the working class.

          This is somewhat true in UK and Europe (to a lesser extent). Labour’s Greates Generation (Attlee, Bevin, Dalton) was Socialist. They were also fiercely anti-Communist and (not over the top) patriotic. As Orwell points out, these people (workers in particular) aren’t Socialist because of ideological purity, but for what improvements it can offer to their lives (material, educational, cultural).
          Compare them to current leader of Labour Party, who doesn’t stand up when God Save The Queen is played.

          1. We need a new Red Scare very badly.

            1. The Southern Hemisphere kind with helicopters and a big soccer stadium.

        2. IWW Wobblies, AFL/CIO; but they were never quite as ideologically socialist as their European counterparts

          Probably not the AFL/CIO, but the Wobblies sure were. Their founder high-tailed it to the Soviet Union after the first World War, and their membership was extraordinarily radical, as it pulled largely in its early years from migrant immigrant labor. One of the main reasons that there was such a violent backlash against them in the 20s was because their membership used the same tactics of social subversion and overwhelming of public resources that came to be practiced by their ideological descendants in the late 60s and 70s. Communities saw that the Wobblies were far more invested in their own self-aggrandization than in preserving social stability, while the AFL/CIO unions maintained the high-trust solidarity of the factory towns.

      5. I respect the first.

        Loathe the second.


        1. The second loathes both sections equally: they hate the stupid plebs for not being ideologically driven and riven with bourgeois culture and hate THEMSELVES for not having been born poor street urchins.

    3. All my left acquaintances are talking end of days about Britain leaving.

      I find this so absurd. Have any of them actually paid any attention to what’s been going on in Europe in the last 15 years?

      If you google “European Union failure”, you can find predictions going back nearly 2 decades. Every 5 years or so there’s been some major ‘crisis of governance’ where everyone involved realizes that the monetary union sans fiscal controls or any proper democratic authority means they’re constantly going to be “making shit up on the fly”…. which would simply be aggravated by the fact that they were steadily adding new members.

      Progressives seem to think that badly-run bureaucracies are just a fact of life and there’s no reason they can’t exist in perpetuity – the idea that anyone might say, “fuck this”, and abandon them is incomprehensible. “They shouldn’t be allowed to do that!!” As JB says above = they seem to pay lip service to the idea of “consent of the governed” from time to time, but in practice, they care only about perpetuation and expansion of the State for its own sake. The very thought that people can “opt out” disturbs them to their core.

      1. I was under the impression there were controls in place.

        1. Rules that don’t have mechanisms for enforcement and correction aren’t “Controls”

          the original agreement (Maastricht Treaty) said member states should keep to less than 3% deficits and debt levels lower than 60% of GDP. A few years later (1998-2005) they realized that these gentle suggestions weren’t going to be enough and they voted on the “Stability and Growth Pact“, which tried to give the above rules at least the appearance of ‘teeth’.

          Fast forward to ~2011 and you’ll see that the system they adopted failed to do anything about the “PIIGS” (portugal, ireland, italy, greece, spain), all of whom were basically bankrupt.

          You can say, “Don’t do this” = but when they do, what happens? “DONT DO THIS AGAIN?” and what happens when they do it again?

          At some point you’re either bailing them out, or you’re kicking them out. and you don’t really have any power to ensure whatever they promise to do actually gets done.

          The EU was a time-bomb and everyone knew it.

  5. it’s curious how personally many on the American left are taking this. And revealing, too.

    1. They take every electoral setback personally. When the Republicans won the 2010 midterms, I was reading a piece on Yahoo’s NBA blog. The execrable Bethlehem Shoals had to shoehorn his disappointment with the result into his basketball piece, and, IIRC, used a phrase like “electoral temper tantrum”.

      1. I was reading the Bethlehem Shoals as a team name, & wondered why a place that far inland would have such a nautical name for their basketball team.

        1. Muscle Shoals is where?

  6. anti-democratic sentiment

    “Democracy is good, as long as my side gets exactly what I want. If we lose, it’s because the ignorant redneck mob has usurped democracy.”

    1. I’ve heard, so far, “too stupid” ” voted against their interests”, and “racism??”

      1. We if they voted against their interest and all goes to hell then they can always vote to Brreenter. For being so paternalistic the left has awful parenting skills. When your “children” make a bad decision you don’t act like a child, you allow them to learn from them.

        1. That’s because the left doesn’t allow their children to learn, especially from their mistakes.

      2. There’s also “old people should not be able to affect future of young people”

        Which is also an argument against Social Security, Medicare, deficit spending and membership in international treaties, organizations and alliances. I don’t think they thought it through.

        1. This is the sentiment all over tumblr*, accompanied by charts showing the people who voted to leave are going to spend the least amount of time with the consequences. And then further asking American young people to go out and vote so this doesn’t happen to them, assuming that younger people all vote for the correct candidate, I’m sure.

          No logical conclusions here, like does this mean that votes should be weighted based on your age? I’m sure people there would hate me because 1. I live in another country and have for years but I still vote and 2. not voting for the lesser of two evils, but for GarJo. So I’m wasting my vote against whomever is the greater of two evils in a decision that won’t affect me at all!

          *shhhh, but yes, I am on tumblr but for nerdy fanart reasons, but then people do a lot of “I don’t usually reblog this stuff, but it is IMPORTANT” and I get all the fresh outrage anyway.

        2. Sorta on topic, PZ, but it’s like the CPP expansion by the Liberals.

          My buddy is a pension fund manager for a government agency and he makes no illusions as to who will pay for it: Middle-class and small business. While few will see a penny of it. It’s a move that large corporations can afford to pay. Also, how about Canadians start acting responsibly and save their damn money?

          It’s actually a disgusting move by Morneau who claims that this measure is good for small business and the middle-class. Naturally, it’s total bull shit.

          As such, I keep telling my other friends who own businesses they should never vote Liberal for the rest of the natural existence. It makes no sense to vote for them.

          1. I’m blessed to live in the riding represented by Hedy Fry (not Hedley!) with over 50% of the vote coming up for 25 years. I never need to agonize over my federal vote, because it does nothing!

        3. “There’s also “old people should not be able to affect future of young people””

          Strangers being able to affect your future by voting the majority is what happens in non-libertarian societies. Boo hoo.

        4. A friend of mine said that, recently. I did bring up social security.

        5. Old people built the world that young people live in. Screw you, young twerps.

  7. it’s curious how personally many on the American left are taking this. And revealing, too.

    “Hands off muh secular religion!”

  8. “Austerity.” I love how that word is used. Taking less away from everyone so that individuals have more is “austere.”

    Well, not all individuals- government drones and “benefits” recipients might have less.

    Decent trade-off.

    1. I thought austerity was not giving as generously as the recipient had asked for.

      1. Keeping the leeches just fed enough is a tricky balance to maintain, but is accepted by the EU megacorps as a cost of doing business.

    2. I’ll give lefties this: they’re vastly better at putting lipstick on pigs and then calling them beauty queens than anyone else.

      Mainly due to centuries of practice.

      1. Dunno about centuries since they’ve been at it since, what, the 1890s?

        But point noted and agreed.

        1. Lefty in the collectivist sense. In the 19th-century sense even Rothbard was a lefty.

        2. Longer. Bastiat was battling Socialists in 1840s.

          1. I read The Law last week. Free online, 40 pages, every libertarian should read. Basically using his definition the US is Socialist today. Awesome book.

          2. Yeh, I was being myopic and keeping it to American progressivism but it’s still not centuries as socialism as an ideology started as you state around the 1840s. But it wasn’t in the sense we came familiar with in the 20th century. It was more of a ‘commune’ outlook. And then it morphed into it demanding the state pump it up.

            1. Read your Bastiat 🙂 What struck me was how contemporary his critique sounded. He didn’t give a toss about communal socialism of Owen-types but that shit failed by his time, and the Socialsts in question were all about using the power of the state to change the society.

              1. Read him and Galiani and de Molinari. /wink. It does have a very real contemporary feel to it.

                Owen (and St-Simon) types! Heh.

            2. Recognizable socialists like Saint-Simon was around long before that time, and those characters didn’t spring forth fully formed from the brow of Zeus. The collectivist/liberal conflict is at least as old as Plato & Aristotle.

              Like modern collectivists, Plato was also deeply talented at putting lipstick on pigs.

              1. Good point. I remember reading Plato and saying to myself the guy was nuts!

                1. Nuts? Eh, more like running the thought experiment and seeing where it leads, coupled with a fair few trolling pieces. No fucking way was this meant as anything other than a joke:

                  But the hero who has distinguished himself, what shall be done to him? In the first place, he shall receive honour in the army from his youthful comrades; every one of them in succession shall crown him. What do you say?

                  I approve.
                  And what do you say to his receiving the right hand of fellowship?
                  To that too, I agree.
                  But you will hardly agree to my next proposal.
                  What is your proposal?
                  That he should kiss and be kissed by them.
                  Most certainly, and I should be disposed to go further, and say: Let no one whom he has a mind to kiss refuse to be kissed by him while the expedition lasts. So that if there be a lover in the army, whether his love be youth or maiden, he may be more eager to win the prize of valour.

                  1. more like running the thought experiment and seeing where it leads

                    Think that’s it. Athenians also had the bad habit of trying to execute Socratic philosophers, so it’s difficult to know to what degree Plato & Aristotle differed in their private conversations & debates based on their surviving lecture notes. Their public lectures had to have watered down the private beliefs of each to some degree to avoid state scrutiny.

                2. Have you ever read Poppers take on Plato? Open Society and Its Enemies I.

                  1. A friend keeps recommending it and I keep forgetting to pick it up.

                    I am a convert to anti-oligarchic/aristocratic school of thought, at the very least. Donald Kagan’s lectures on Ancient Greece and reading his History of Peloponnesian War presented what I consider a cogent argument in favor of Athenian Democracy as a reasonable, functional system of government that made decisions at least as sensible as those of Spartan or Corinthian oligarchies. So I’m no fan of Plato’s or Aristotle’s ideas. I just think they (Plato in particular) are more subtle than simple “proto-fascist” label sums up.

                    1. Yeah, I highly recommend both I and II. Great philosophical history.

  9. I’m not sure why this has become a leftist cause celebre. It’s not like the EU is actually leftist (and very much not socialist- they have perfected the alignment of government with favored large corporations), it’s just more centralized and less accountable/responsive. UK could easily become more socialist as an independent entity.

    1. it’s a collective at an exponential level. It’s one thing for an individual nation to be socialist, but this is Continental TopMen passing rules and regs that often outweighed national laws.

      1. Yes, but it’s not socialism, it’s big government corporatism. It’s great to be Philips there- it sucks to be a start-up electronics company.

        1. Socialism, cronyism; conjoined twins. Power and control over others, self-enrichment for the anointed.

        2. You seem to make a distinction between those two concepts while anyone familiar with the realities of socialism would see no reason to do that.

          1. Socialism: means of production (equity) are publicly owned
            Corporatism: public funding does not result in public ownership of equity. All the cost, none of the benfit.

            1. Other distinction:

              Socialism: entrepreneurship is explicitly banned
              Corporatism: we limit entrepreneurship by imposing heavy regulatory compliance costs.

            2. There’s different kinds of socialism, the word having gained long acceptance to apply to them all.

  10. Greg Gutfeld had a few things to say about Brexit (via twitter):

    1. media freaking out about Great Britain’s vote as Venezuela is in free fall. it seems the ire should be reversed.

    2. seems to me predicted outcomes from Brexit comes nowhere close to Venezuela’s hell that’s going on in front of our jaded eyes.

    3. how is a country voting to exit some bureaucracy worse than a country imploding into a scavenging Lord of the Flies in supermarkets

    4. Yes, temporarily your chorizo will be more expensive, but there’s a country where people now fight over toilet paper.

    5. the media are hypocrites. Playing Brexit as apocalyptic. As Venezuela is edging closer to Soylent Green.

    6. screw all these celebrity assholes expressing fear for a future dark age, while the dark ages rage right now because people have NO VOTE.

    7. Did any of these fruit fly minds – the James Cordons, the lindsey lohans – ever give a damn about Venezuela?

    8. A popular vote in England is mild compared to the top-down, reinforced suffering of a desperate people in Venezuela, you idiots.

    9. Note: in the previous tweet i said “idiots” in place of many other terms that i decided to omit. Carry on.

    1. Nice

    2. Venezuela & EU, sure, but how about Mexico? Have you heard about the unrest there now?

  11. Here’s a fascinating chart about how the European Union is perceived by various European countries.

    After the UK voted to leave the EU, it isn’t surprising to see that 48 percent of the people in the UK saw the EU as unfavorable vs. 44% who saw it favorably.

    I read an article about Le Pen pushing for a referendum on France’s membership in the EU, and I thought that was a ridiculous publicity stunt. It seems to me that if any major country has benefited from being in the EU economically, it’s France. It was the French, for instance, who insisted on monetary union–that was Mitterrand’s price for endorsing German reunification. If you want to be reunified, then you need to tie yourselves to the EU (i.e., France) so that we can spend freely on the backs of the Bundesbank’s monetary conservatism. Sure enough, France has been able to spend prolifically on the strength of German monetary conservatism.

    So, it surprised me greatly to see that France’s unfavorable rating for the EU stands at 61%, with only 38% of the French seeing the EU favorably.

  12. Once again:

    UK: 48% unfavorable towards EU + vs. 44% favorable = UK Leaves the EU

    France: 61% unfavorable towards EU + 38% favorable?

    Normally, I wouldn’t expect Le Pen to win anything in a legislature with proportional representation, but if she makes French referendum on the EU a part of her campaign this year (which is exactly what she’s doing), that 61% is a freaking landslide.

    It probably doesn’t need to be said that if both France and the UK are out of the EU, there’s not much of an EU left. That would mostly just leave Italy and Spain looking to Germany for handouts.

    1. Yeah, let the PIGS eat German chocolate cake.

      1. Well, as I’ve pointed out probably to annoying levels, but to group Italy as a pig dubious. They give more to the EU than take and have a mutual and beneficial trade balance with Germany as they owe each other money.

        Italians don’t need German cake. They make their own.

        1. Actually their mothers whom they live with probably make the cake.

          1. They’re called ‘mamones!’

            That is a problem in Italy indeed. It’s coming here though!

        2. How about Italy’s debt to GDP?

          Italy: 132.7%

          Germany: 74.7%, and it was a fraction of that before they started bailing out other EU countries.


          To what extent was that Italian spending made possible by Germany’s monetary and fiscal conservatism and the strength of Germany’s economy?

          Monetary union with Germany made spending possible that wouldn’t have been possible at reasonable interest rates otherwise.

          1. I understand that.

            But my point is there’s cash in Italy. It’s not Spain or Greece. Germany has gained through trade with Italy because it produces goods and services of quality Germans want.

            Their problems lie elsewhere.

            Whatever. I’m of the opinion the entire continent is static including Germany. We’re splitting hairs with the stats. The bottom line, as libertarians, every single one of those damn countries fail the liberty test with their laws.

            1. In my experience (spent a bunch of summers in Italy for archaeology projects), Italy’s economic status is very much hampered by the fact that the northern half is modern with a service-based economy and the south is economically backwards and survives almost entirely on foreign tourism. Oh, and the fact that the Mafia and different illicit crime organizations run everything from Naples to Sicily.

  13. Good for the UK for leaving. I just hope they take this opportunity to establish freedom of speech, press, assembly, etc. Otherwise they will all end up in the same hand basket anyway.

    1. I do wonder sometimes why we bothered saving them from facism. Seems sometimes like we wasted a lot of good American men for naught.

      1. Bridge of Spies – good movie that touches on these issues. For example, what’s the difference between the US and Europe? “We have a rulebook – the Constitution.” But there was a somewhat ambiguous attitude about the cold war. Same for the CNN special on spies – they didn’t really get into the overall principles at stake, just East-West skullduggery.

        1. I don’t think I’ve seen that. I’ll check out.

  14. The other thing I keep reading about is how Trump is a nutjob for blaming Obama for Brexit, but just because Trump says something and it’s anti-Obama–doesn’t mean it isn’t true!

    Obama went to the UK in April, and he made a speech threatening to send the UK to back of line for a trade deal if they voted to exit the EU.

    “Barack Obama: Brexit would put UK ‘back of the queue’ for trade talks”

    “Barack Obama has warned that the UK would be at the “back of the queue” in any trade deal with the US if the country chose to leave the EU, as he made an emotional plea to Britons to vote for staying in.

    The US president used a keenly awaited press conference with David Cameron, held at the Foreign Office, to explain why he had the “temerity to weigh in” over the high-stakes British question in an intervention that delighted remain campaigners.

    Obama argued that he had a right to respond to the claims of Brexit campaigners that Britain would easily be able to negotiate a fresh trade deal with the US. “They are voicing an opinion about what the United States is going to do, I figured you might want to hear from the president of the United States what I think the United States is going to do.

    “And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon”.

    —-Guardian, April 22, 2016

    1. It was an unbelievably stupid thing to say if Obama wanted people to stay in the EU. Now, that wasn’t the only reason that Breixt won, but it certainly threw kerosene on the fire for those who wanted to leave because they were sick of being dictated to and threatened by elitist leadership.

      In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Obama is the constant strand through both the reason for Brexit and the reason for Trump. If it hadn’t been for the condescending elitism against average people that Obama represents so perfectly, the UK might still be in the EU and Trump might not be the Republican nominee.

      1. I think that there is probably a lot of truth to that. Obama represents that elitist snobbery that most people are simply fed up with. I’m pretty sure Brexit would have happened without that statement but what an incredibly stupid and childish thing for him to say. He has backtracked since the vote probably at the behest of Wall Street

        1. Obama cannot imagine a world in which his speeches don’t sway people in his direction but have the opposite effect–and yet that’s the world he live in.

          If the Democrats are smart, they’ll keep Obama under strict supervision at the convention. They should beg him not to say anything bad about Trump. Listening to Obama say bad things about Trump might even be enough to make me wish I could pinch my nose and vote for Trump just to spite Obama.

          It’s weird that Obama is like that, too, because I can’t really think of any time that he’s ever swayed the American people to his point of view. ObamaCare was inflicted on the American people against their will. When has ‘because Obama is for it’ ever been enough to change anyone’s mind?

          1. I wonder if this will be written about in the history books. The fact that someone who had nothing but praise for his speaking style, consistently convinced the people that heard him to do the exact opposite of what he said. It’s an interesting topic worthy of research. Especially cest convincing speeches are such a life blood issue in many aspects of our culture.

      2. Obama has never let rational thought get in the way of the sound of his voice, particularly when that voice is sounding tough. Remember the red line with Syria? This is the same song, different verse. He acts as if the combination of the presidential seal and his alleged oratorical gifts will the listener to cower into submission.

        1. I was trying to think of a way to respond to Ken’s original assertion which I think is absolutely correct, then I read this – “Obama has never let rational thought get in the way of the sound of his voice,…” and I just hung it up.

          Thread winner.

    2. “Queue.”

      As though he wasn’t enough of a sneering, self-satisfied dickhead already.

      1. Seriously, can anyone recall a president more prone to condecension as a rhetorical device in our recent history? That guy is such a fucking intellectual lightweight and STILL looks down his nose at the general public.

        Who cares though? Brexit somehow “proved” that plebs are virulent racist xenophobes anyways.

    3. an intervention that delighted remain campaigners.

      Actually no.

      A lot of people on both sides said, “Mind your damn business”. Editorials were written saying as much.

      The polls days after his speech showed a bump up in the “leave” votes.

      1. I read that statement as meaning that the remain campaigners standing there actually watching the speech may have cheered, but the point is well taken.

        I suspect Cameron is too smart to come to the United States and threaten us if we don’t vote the way we’re told.

        Only Obama and his inner circle imagine that kind of thing is compelling and persuasive.

        I was watching Bonanza the other day. The Cartwrights ride up to this guy’s house, so he turns to his wife and says, “Be quiet and get inside”. Then she did something I’ve never seen any woman do in all my life. She just shut her mouth and went inside.

        Obama lives in that fantasy world, where people do what they’re told because he tells them to do it. It’s so fucking elitist, and it’s an elitism based on nothing.

        1. “Take my wife…please!”

        2. The rhetorical M.O. of the progressive is to constantly assume the moral high ground.

          (*as opposed to making any argument where you’re actually comparing options and suggesting that yours is the more-moral = you simply SAY it is, and act as though its inherent morality extends from your very being as a Superior Person)

          It is consistent with his use of the phrase “That’s not who we are“.

        3. e.g. Obama often conflates opposition to his policies with being “unamerican” ….and not reflective of our Collective Ideal.

          Its especially grating when he uses the phrase to justify his own executive-actions.

          When you’re trying to defend very very unpopular decisions you’ve made via bypassing the democratic process entirely, it adds insult to injury to suggest that you did so in the name of our “collective moral feeling”… which somehow the public were unable to express any other way than through the office of the Presidency. Apparently he is able to channel our unspoken desires while remaining deaf to our spoken ones.

          1. Exactly correct. Relying solely on thr phrase “It’s not who we are” is the epitome of self-obsessed, elitist douchbaggery.

    4. I can’t find the chart, but “Leave” to a distinct upturn right after Obama’s speech.

  15. One person on Facebook is saying all the people he knew who voted “leave” did so only because they didn’t want the margin of victory for “remain” to be too large.

    Another is saying he and his family (German) were yelled at by nativists telling them to GTFO of the country today.

    1. Tumblr has a post going around with a bunch of random pictures and captions saying that the person being shown was told to leave the country by nativists. I’m thinking the remain campaign had a back up plan.

      1. Hoaxes and lies?

      2. The plan apparently being “Operation shitthatdidnthappen.txt”

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  17. I’m ambivalent about the Brexit, because I think neither side was really voting for a freer society, but rather two groups who both agree society should become less free, but who disagree about exactly how it should and who the government should be focusing on making most miserable.

    1. That’s probably accurate. I think it’s better to facilitate your bad decisions through a government who is accountable rather than through an unaccountable disconnected bureacracy.

  18. EXPOZAY!

    Rural/Metro’s fire departments sell homeowners an annual subscription for fire protection, often ranging from $100 to $500, depending on the property. If a nonsubscriber suffers a fire, Rural/Metro will still answer the call, unlike some other private departments. But then it sends a bill well above the subscription price.

    Even before private equity took over, the company sued to collect fire bills. Under private equity, this practice flourished.

    The Times examined court filings in the areas where Rural/Metro operates fire departments and identified dozens of lawsuits filed since 2011, when private equity took over. In these lawsuits, which are unheard-of at tax-funded public fire departments, the company pursued unpaid bills ranging from a few hundred dollars to $59,000.

    Oh, noes. Teh evul kkkorporate profiteers are everywhere!

    I know it’s crazy, but think of that “subscription” as an insurance policy; if your house burns down, and you have no insurance, what happens?

    1. Because no one ever gets in trouble for not paying taxes!

  19. The truth is, we don’t know what will happen. But the fact that the left has already presented their thoughts as to why this happened (and I personally don’t agree) gives me pause and has me leaning it’s a good thing.

    All told, it makes little sense for a country to cede some or all of it sovereignty to Brussels where a bunch of unelected rejects form policy for an entire union. What might be good for Sweden will not necessarily be good for Portugal or in this case the UK.

    The whole point of the ECC was to form a common market to strengthen the economies of Europe against American hegemony. From the onset, the French never wanted the British involved and it lingered until 1973 and so it was always an uneasy alliance to begin with. But then they wanted more. In the 1990s they called it ‘ever closer union’ with the eventual plan of a Euro (which was quite an accomplishment). The problem is that you have 28 countries with thousands of years of cultural and economic identities built in and to hand over power to Brussels was always going to be a major challenge.

    Anyway. 62% of Scotland chose to remain so the question that also can be asked is how are they taking it and is it fair to them?

    We’ll see.

  20. . In the 1990s they called it ‘ever closer union’ with the eventual plan of a Euro (which was quite an accomplishment).

    “Those barbaric Americans blundered into continent-sized state and has been working for them, despite their many obvious inferiorities. Our Top Man will design a continent-sized state that will put them to shame. After all, they have all the correct answers. And are educated sophisticates.”

    Anyway. 62% of Scotland chose to remain so the question that also can be asked is how are they taking it and is it fair to them?

    Given that 38% wanted to Leave, question is, how many of 62% love EU more than UK? Given that 55% wanted to remain in UK rather than strike out on its own, I’d say a good chunk.

    1. I P Brooksed the response, it was to Rufus above.

    2. The Scots sound confused.

      Americans did it organically – and with a civil war.

      But now they’re on their way to the Top Men disease. Which concerns me. America is the last great classical liberal nation.

      1. Actually, Scottish membership of EU is now solved if EU decides to follow its regulation

        With UK out, the dodge of “we don’t need to apply because we are already part of it” SNP created for the referendum is out.

        Any new applicant to EU must, among other things, commit to replacing their currency with Euro.

        Nae troo Scotsman will.

        1. Big if. They’ll do what they want. Which is pretty much the whole problem to begin with.

          1. Now whether London allows it is a different story. They won’t.

            1. I’m an Anglophile. I want Scotland to leave.

              Yes, English fucked Scotland hard for centuries. Mostly by drawing all the best people Scotland had to London, then sending them out to run the Empire, which they by and large did competently and with panache. Maybe if Scotland separates it will have another Scottish Enlightenment?

              1. The Scots are so far down the proggy rabbit hole it will take them generations before they can have anything resembling enlightenment.

        2. The Scots first need Goldman Sachs to hide their debt before they can reapply for EU membership.

      2. America is the last great classical liberal nation.

        IDK. As a country, we probably have the most people who would identify as classical liberals. But our system of government stopped being (if it ever was) classical liberal at least as far back as the 1930s with the Supreme Court’s ratification of expanded Congressional and Presidential powers.

        Arguably, the anti-Enlightenment mentality in the U.S. could be traced all the way back to the Alien and Sedition Acts.

  21. So kind of mentioned above…but i saw Stein, Corbyn and Sanders praised the decision.

    Do we have a war brewing against the different leftists? Let’s list some types

    1. the technocratic, top men know what is best for you, i only care what you say as long as you agree –> rich/elitist country club snob liberals, tech liberals who they love captilalism for themselves. money for me not for thee

    2. the bernie sanders fan young liberals –> who want to bring down the estabilishment, and give themselves freebies, hipsters.

    3. socialists –> who want the government to nationalize the means of production (some carry over from 2). more idealistic and dont really think thru their proposals to the logical conclusion.

    4. commie–> your hippies who don’t like profits, but dont like war, like to smoke, and are anti government.

    5. social justice warriors and identity politics grievance mongerers- nuff said

    6. more classical liberals–> liberals who are generally for free speech, respect all others even if don’t agree but support large safety nets, taxes for public transportation, min wage laws, perhaps against guns, largely support free markets. May not agree with them on things, but at least you can talk with them and they aren’t condescending.

    To me

    1 and 5 are the worst kind.

    1. Number 6 describes the editorial slant of The Economist pretty well. I used to follow them. However, under their newest managing editor, Zanny Minton Beddoes, the magazine has really lurched leftward (they were always to the left of libertarians; they’re British, after all). Since the Pulse shooting, it’s poured out so many anti-gun articles that couldn’t read it anymore. Many of the articles also read like they were written at the behest of social justice warriors.

  22. Good grief. What a spectacularly awful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner!

    Nascar on the road course at Sonoma. Ordinarily, I cannot be bothered to watch those guys, but watching them wrestle those monstrous overweight shitboxes around a road course is pretty entertaining.

  23. For some top grade deep, visit the NYT article’s comments. What I learned from the NYT comment picks is that it’s troubling that this vote was mostly due to racists and xenophobia, and that several smaller self-governing nations are inferior and far scarier than giant supra nation states.

    And these are the same people who rail against huge corporations. Big companies = bad. Even bigger governments = paradise.

    1. Ponder, if you will, self-styled progressives bemoaning a rebuke against economic and governmental imperialism.

  24. Boo hoo hoo

    But dig below the surface, and you will find the demons crawling. You can see them in the looks that residents give you when they pass; sneering snobs glaring down their noses with entitlement; small-minded townies, bullying you with eyes that you recognize from the primary school lunchroom; the old people, 80 and above, wearing blank stares. You can hear it in their bothered tutting at the bus stop (especially if they ever hear a visitor mispronouncing the name of the town), the shots that constantly ring out from across the countryside as they set about murdering as many of the local pheasants as they can.


    As a result of this vote, Britain will withdraw rapidly. We will have fewer people coming here, enriching our culture and our lives. There will be fewer opportunities. We will have less of a chance to explore the world for ourselves.

    Brexit is the result of a deep nihilism among the British public. This nihilism has not just emerged recently; I’ve lived alongside it my whole life. This is the nihilism of Alresfordism, a security-driven retraction toward death.

    “Nihilists. Why did it have to be nihilists?”

    1. That is world class derp. Must be Ivy league educated. Becoming that stupid takes money.

      1. Research interests
        Frankfurt School critical theory (especially Adorno), German Idealism, Ethical Naturalism, Wittgenstein, the early Marx.

        Put this man in a museum!

        1. That’s like the perfect derp recipe.

        2. More evidence that Marx’s adherents tend to be major statists.

    2. As a result of this vote, Britain will withdraw rapidly. We will have fewer people coming here, enriching our culture and our lives. There will be fewer opportunities. We will have less of a chance to explore the world for ourselves.

      Yes, before the EU was constructed, Great Britain was famous for its insularity and lack of world presence.

      1. They are so desperate for a completely unaccountable continental superstate to impose happiness on their lives through diktat.

        And that’s all their complaints really are: realization that people will fight back against centralization and the technocratic elite. It gives them chills.

        1. I’m trying to explain to them, their preferred system of government stopped being functional when some dipshit invented firearms.

          1. An acquaintance was railing about gun grabbers and their fake stats to me friday. He listed out their arguments and maintained that the goals they profess are unobtainable. After letting him go on for ten minutes I just said “Those aren’t their goals.”

    3. The reason progressives like the author will continue to lose elections is that they spit on anyone who disagrees with them rather that attempting to convince them.

      They merely posture among themselves and think that the uniformity of approval they receive from their peers is a product of their sound and compelling reasoning, rather than simply social-reinforcement.

      they are utterly confounded that anyone hears their argument and thinks them vacuous, naive, starry-eyed juveniles. Anyone who disagrees with them is simply a troglodyte unworthy of consideration and needs to be shoved aside for their own good.

      This is how they sow the seeds of their own eventual loss. Progressives work well as opposition, rallying the young to vote out the status quo = but they’re utter shit at running anything, and are completely incapable of making any connection between their lofty ideals and any functional policy.

      1. Anyone who disagrees with them is simply a troglodyte unworthy of consideration and needs to be shoved aside for their own good.

        This. I’m very tempted to call them out on their use of “eliminationist rhetoric.”

    4. “We will have less of a chance to explore the world for ourselves.”

      Bullshit. You’ll have to get visas and keep your passport up to date.
      Agreed, boo-f’ing-hoo; small price to pay for being out from under the grey-beards of Brussels.

    5. We will have fewer people coming here, enriching our culture and our lives.


    6. Oh, pheasants. I thought at 1st it said they were murdering as many local peasants as they could.

  25. Must be Ivy league educated.

    Good guess; Tom Whyman is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Essex.

    Listen- it’s hard out there.

    As with any hell, the thing that really makes it so is that you can never leave. For one thing, poor public transportation makes leaving impossible in a practical, everyday sense ? at least if you can’t drive. For another, the town thwarts any ambitions that stretch beyond its borders. From what I can tell, a young person from Alresford, forced to move back in with his parents after college, will typically find himself unable to get work that is not based in Alresford. As a result, it is full of people around my age, 27, stuck in dead-end jobs.

    We’re talking about insurmountable obstacles, here. Now that England is pulling out of the EU, this poor young genius is doomed.

    DOOOOOOOOMED, I tell you!

    1. Hmm, National Rail website says you can be at Piccadilly Circus in less than 2hrs from Alresford. Life is tough for them Essex Boys!

      1. LOL burn!

        What an insufferable twit.

        1. Oh crap, that’s a different town of the same name. There’s no service in his town.

        2. But there is service one town over and it looks just as close to London as the one in Essex.

    2. Jesus, the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

      Even if all the doom and gloom predictions come true, young people can leave the UK, can’t they?

      Also, I’m so sick and tired of Remainers faux concerns over the yutes’ future; where were they when the Western World adopted reams of social legislation that taxes future generations for the benefit of older people?

    3. Wow. It is horrible that town “forces” people to move back home with their parents, thwarts all ambition, and prevents them from leaving. Maybe Obama should send a combat division there to liberate them. That’s worked everywhere else.

    4. When my grandfather was 18 he hiked from Manifest, La 100 miles to Baton Rouge, got a job and paid for his own education at LSU. This was in a time when there were few roads and the trip from Manifest to Jonesville, 10 miles, was an all day trip.

      Insurmountable obstacles my ass.

      1. To Western World progressives, discomfort is a violation of human rights.

        1. The local rag is ‘flooding the bay area with news about the homeless’ through a paper read by me and 4 or 5 other old farts.
          There is a free e-version, but it’s not very user-friendly, and it only carries some of the articles, but it does have one on the homeless and here’s one of the comments:

          “…Ever been homeless? Very tough to do sober, trust me. And it is not good for mental health.
          Housing and mental health are a right.”

          See? We just write an amendment to the Constitution making mental health a “right” and, presto: Proggies disappointed again!

    5. Man, the people that left England for America in the 1600’s would have eaten this twat alive.

    6. The only excuse for not knowing how to drive is being to young to reach the pedals.

  26. So, it has come to this.

  27. I’ve been assured that the UK will lose access to the common market (because bilateral or even multilateral treaties can’t exist) and that Brexit voters are old white racist hillbillies.

    1. That’s just dumb. Once all the shrill dissipates everyone will come to their senses.

      1. I don’t think the shrill will dissipate for a long time, especially if other EU members leave.

  28. Maine 1st lady waiting tables.

    1. Hopefully, D-Money, Smoothie, and Shifty aren’t in the back washing dishes or she might end up pregnant.

      1. You know she’s the party girl at the restaurant.

  29. Even if all the doom and gloom predictions come true, young people can leave the UK, can’t they?

    Another NYT article to which I’m too lazy to link is about young Brits preparing to obtain a new/second passport from an EU nation (like Ireland), in order to retain what they consider to be indispensible benefits of EU residence.

    You know… adaptive behavior; something beyond the capabilities of your typical philosophy lecturer.

  30. Clinton has nothing to say because she truly doesn’t understand people or economics.
    Stein is similar but not a total crook.
    Trump prefers golf to thinking.
    Johnson nailed it.

  31. I notice there wasn’t any “libertarian case for the EU” in the run-up to this referendum. Is that a sign of Reason’s line or they couldn’t find anyone to write a good pro-EU article?

    There were some while Feeney was here but they were really anti-Farage/UKIP rather than pro-EU.

    Dalibor Rohac’s pro-EU articles were quite revealing: Blaming anti-EU sentiment on EU’s own incompetence and basically saying the EU needs to have libertarian TOP MEN running things. Because unelected TOP MEN really have all the incentives to deregulate everything and reduce the size of government. He also stated that the EU needs to have more power to keep member states from adopting bad economic policies. How exactly that would work, how they would ensure that these TOP MEN will insist on more libertarianish policies and how to prevent a nasty anti-EU/”austerity” backlash in the affected countries is unclear.


    Sorry for posting the full link, but you have to admit, it’s a profile in courage if nothing else!

  33. “Britain will suffer if it’s not in the EU! Look at how Switzerland has suffered! Oh, wait….”

  34. oppor-tastrophe

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