Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Brexit, a convergence of human beliefs (2)

30 October 2017

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Frankly, I am surprised that this blog came so late. I must have assumed that Brexit was just politics. The common sense in Continental Europe blocked seeing the reverse psychology and projection behind Brexit. A recent El País article opened my eyes: UK historian John Elliott claiming that “Catalans have been exposed to a falsified version of history for years”. The irony with Brexit didn’t escape me.

The UK’s division on Brexit is better understood when using my concept of the 7 Belief systems, being: Love, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science and the Truth. The Truth is where Brexit meets John Elliott’s forthcoming book. After some reflection, all other beliefs are also applicable. Hence, the title of this blog. Part one of this new series was about slavery.

Love must have been the first human belief (my 2017 blog). Nationalism and patriotism are typical examples of Love as a Belief system (my 2015 blog). Within 1 day after the June 23 Brexit vote, a key Vote Leave pledge for redistributing £ 350 million per week of EU funding to the National Health Service, appeared to be a false belief (eg, Money) rather than a “mistake“.

During my years at Price Waterhouse, I learned that people in London feel superior over other Brits. All Brits feel superior over people living in continental Europe. Superiority is a philosophical belief (eg, my 2016 blog). In a recent Prospect article, Dutch journalist Joris Luyendijk gave his view on English superiority, after having lived in the UK for 6 years (my recent blog).

Initially, I had some doubts on whether Brexit could and/or would have any ties with Religion. I was wrong. Christian Science Monitor, May 2016: “Though rarely invoked in British politics, religious belief does present correlation with Britons’ positions on whether to stay in the European Union.” Other post-Brexit analyses confirm this correlation: LSE (July 2016), BRIN (May 2017).

Brexit was hardly a political debate, despite the 52/48 outcome on 23 June 2016; see my 2017 blog. Slowly, party politics is entering the Brexit debate, including the arrogance of Left versus the ignorance of Right (my 2017 blog). Independence was – and is – the main driver of the debates in Catalonia, Scotland, and the UK. Independence relates to Autonomy, a philosophical belief system (my 2017 blog). 

The Brexit and Climate Change debates share a similarity: the mistrust in experts (my 2017 blog), and Science becoming a Belief system (my 2015 blog, 2016 blog2016 blog). Essentially, opinions are stronger than facts. For an explanation, please see my 2016 blog.

The ferocity of the independence debate lies in the Truth as a Belief system. In the (paraphrased) words of historian John Elliott: Brits, Catalans, and Scots have been exposed to a falsified version of history for years. Lying politicians are, however, seldom punished. Politics is the art of believing rather than lying (my 2016 blog). Hence, the new term “alternative facts” (my 2017 blog). This is where Politics meets the Truth as a Belief system.

Policy of Truth (1990) by Depeche Mode – artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

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