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Re: <nettime> England leaves Europe
Brian Holmes on Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:34:19 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> England leaves Europe

On 06/23/2016 11:42 PM, Alex Foti wrote:

  Either We Do Europe Now or We're Dead - meaning the chauvinists
and the xenophobes will bring us back to the European nation-state
that defends itself against migrants and any threat to its supposed
cultural identity, unless we fight for a European Republic, by
coagulating a transnational party for equality, ecology, gender,
cyber, labor rights built on citizen participation and debate, that
builds on the successes of Podemos and En Comù in Spain and
Catalunya, and other instances of radical democracy across Europe, to
dislodge the financial oligarchy and the European Commission which
have brought us to disaster.

Yesterday's vote is a stunning development and it foreshadows the possible end of an era shaped, in many positive respects, by 1968 and the immense and diverse forces of liberation that flowered in its wake. As we contempolate what losing all that would look like, it is a sad moment. All that I am, the heart and soul of my political and cultural generation, was formed in the era of open borders.
Here's the rub, though: Martin Wolff of the Financial Times said exactly the same thing: "It is, for me, among the saddest of hours." Think about what that really means. Hackers, nettimers, No Border activists, brokers, bankers and cosmopolitan urbanites throughout the world recognize ourselves in the incredibly fluid network of prosperous European cities, with their openness and experimental culture (which the bankers call "innovation"). But what about the others? What about the people who voted leave?

The future platform of a Left powerful enough to reverse current trends has two main problems. The first is that its composition is deeply intermingled with the very forces of finance and the governing elites that have effectively bought us to disaster. The second is that it abhors the countryside and the small towns where large numbers of increasingly disconnected people live (and don't work). The wave of liberation has also been one of relative upward mobility and cosmopolitianization. By channeling that liberation toward the financially driven economy - with its institutions, circuits, devices, aspirations, status imperatives, etc - the neoliberal order, led in so many ways by the City of London, has alienated us from territorial realities. The future is now being decided by those left in the lurch.

We on the Left have our identity too - the multirace, multigender solidarity of experimentalists. Can we use it to create an ecological developmentalism for divided and desperately inegalitarian societies? We need to look outside the network of urban centralities and see how entire territories could be recreated in a new image. That image cannot simply be the old wild dream of the post-68 era, which was forged in universities and urban cores. Remain was lost by the City. Leaving the narrow pathways of financially directed development is what we must do.

It's about time, Brian

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