Generation Brexit

The danger of the "People"

The driving cause that led to the divisive outcome of the referendum can be said to be due to the widening socioeconomic inequality in the United Kingdom. As with the case in most developing countries, the dividends of progress and innovation are never reaped equally and have inevitably widened the gap along the fault-lines of the rural and urban divide, level of education, class, and more. With immigration then presented as an easy victim to designate as the reason for the increasing inequality, it is no surprise that those feeling left behind by the UK’s “progress” have jumped at the opportunity to close off their country and take the power back from international institutions. This precisely reveals the danger of populism, where the appeal to the individual, everyday struggles of the people outweighs the consideration for the health of the country on a macro scale. Effective policy must take into consideration both aspects in order to succeed, yet picking the extreme of a populist solution will have large and long lasting ramifications for the entire country, as seen with Brexit. Most pressingly, despite populism supposedly rising from the concerns of the ordinary citizen, its anti-pluralist and uncompromising nature must also be perceived as a threat to democracy.

No comments yet, be the first to post one!