You used to be like my brother in Twitter. You know. Until one night, the whole world changed between you and me. The cyberspace we used to meet every day hasn’t changed much since then. But it did. And it’s seismic to me, to you, as to everyone else we used to hook with time to time. And I think we (or at least I) would look silly if we pretend nothing has ever changed.
Since then, I kept on asking myself, what if the way I used to be, the thought I used to keep, is all wrong. Or not all wrong, but just part of the truth? That’s how I started listening to different groups of people with whom I didn’t used to encounter much. That’s how I started to listen to people who are not as intellectual as you and I used to stick to before that seismic change. After all, it may suit me more, as I never am one of that intellectual kind of people.
This article strikes me and recalls that feeling I have talked about. Keeping oneself with the same group of people, however intelligent and knowledgable they are, catching up the same topic and same side of the argumentation for a long period of time, may blind us rather than enlightening us. It’s so unlike Confucius. In that same group, I now see you guys keep saying those who believe Brexit are either racist or nostalgic towards that British Empire that has long disappeared or little British shutting their eyes on what is really going on in Europe and in the world. In that same group, I now see you guys keep your accolades of anyone on the panel of Question Time as long as they were on your side, even though sometimes their viewpoints were plainly incorrect.
I have been witnessing what the article elaborated –the feedback loop. Your thought keeps being reinforced and shielded by similar thoughts, from the side you care not (or dare not) taking a glimpse.
In the 26/4 Question Time Extra Time, I once again heard something very different from what you think, which is very interesting however. One woman who phoned in said she supported Brexit, because EU is a group of elite rich countries which set very high tariffs against products, esp. agricultural produce, of very poor countries like those in Africa. She is right. This is exactly what EU is about. Rather than what you guys always proclaim, EU is not a manifestation of Free Trade. Rather, it is a concept of setting a wall around a continent called Europe with a bunch of very rich countries at its centre. It is a concept of protectionism at the peril of many countries whose GDP not even a fifth of any one of those very rich countries. You and I used to catch up with Greece debt problem a couple of years ago like day by day. We both witnessed how EU can exhort a poor peripheral Eastern European country, and all the people living in it, with wicked slyness, with hoax, with verbal and political intimidation and humiliation, to stick to the EU prerogatives, to all the benefit of those rich central countries; to all the humanitarian plunder of those poor people. We witnessed together how contrary EU can be to what they now profess: egalitarian, freedom, democracy. Now I see you guys never talk about that. It’s like all the above have never ever happened. It seems to me you guys try to wipe out those memories to pursue your cause.
But that woman on the phone didn’t forget all this. While she is a Brexiter, I didn’t see an anti-free trade sabotage from her. I didn’t see a nostalgic little British from her. I didn’t see a racist yelling close the border all day of her. Rather, I see an internationalist perspective of Brexitism. I see a humanitarian perspective of Brexitism. For pointing out the injustice and centre-periphery domination perpetuated and ever proliferated by the so called Europe Project.
Time to time, I think of you. I really want to talk to you. But I many times asked myself, if I really talked to you, what should I say? I don’t want to make it too personal. But it’s really something personal. This is a piece for you. To conclude at this stage what I want to tell you.