Wednesday, 22 June 2016

GREAT BREXPECTATIONS


The killing of MP Joe Cox has thrown the BREXIT vote into a final spasm of doubt and confusion. For many people in the Alt-Right, this death, regardless of whether it happened at the hands of a madman or a Manchurian Candidate, has been a major black pill, demonstrating the power of the establishment and its media to still control the narrative and get the result it wants – through the evocation and manipulation of trite sentimentality and maudlin cant.

Despite the tremendous achievement of the BREXIT campaign in taking things this far, it would clearly be a bitter and demoralizing defeat if Britain votes to stay. But until the result is declared sometime on Friday, I think there are plenty of grounds for optimism. So, sit back and suck on the white pill.

OK, the polls seem to suggest that BREMAIN is narrowly in the lead. In addition, some of us are also factoring in miscounts and postal vote fraud in BREMAIN's favour and thus adding on a few more points. But there is also a number of countervailing factors that could easily cancel out that apparent advantage.

One thing that should not be discounted are the near toxic levels of cynicism that exist among the British public, especially with regard to the political and media establishments. Recent years have seen a very steep decline in the mainstream media's power across the West. Recent attempts to coordinate this power and target it at very strategic points – like the weak link between Trump and the GOP or the BREXIT campaign in the wake of Cox's killing – may give the illusion of strength, but the fact that this form of soft power now has to be marshaled and directed like hard power is a reflection of its ebbing force.

This is part of the price the Establishment has to pay for abusing its power over the last few decades. It's always possible to manipulate and distort a system in order to get your way, but if you do this too repeatedly and frequently then you introduce greater fragility into the system, and produce more negative feedback.

The near vote for Scottish independence in 2014, the Trump phenomenon in America, and the unexpected success of the BREXIT campaign are all signs of the usual order breaking down and the Establishment finding it increasingly difficult to get its way. As we saw with the Scottish independence vote, the Establishment can only get the results it wants by upping the ante and increasing the degree of manipulation.

This is also how the BREXIT vote came to be such a big thing – Cameron knew he couldn't win a simple vote on accepting EU treaty changes, so he resorted to manipulation by wrapping up the treaty changes referendum in a straight IN-OUT referendum, which he was sure he would win. The present situation, with Britain on the verge of leaving the EU, can be described as negative feedback resulting from that overly clever piece of political manipulation.

Freudian subtext: "We've lost our Cox."
Manipulation of the system may also include introducing false or skewed opinion polls in order to influence the result of elections or referendums. This clearly seems to be the case in America, where recently published polls have been drastically undercounting support for Trump. It is very possible that something similar is happening in the UK right now. The mere fact that an MP has been murdered and that this allows the controlled media to go into overdrive and create a mood of near hysteria, also creates the leeway to introduce highly suspect polls that can influence the vote, but which can also be conveniently explained away as "erratic" when exposed as wrong.

But even if the polls are honest and are accurately reporting the declared preferences of a representative sample of people, the people responding to the polls may not be entirely honest or reliable themselves. The number of people saying that they will support BREMAIN may not actually vote for BREMAIN on the day. There are several ways that this can happen.

One possibility is a version of the so-called Bradley Effect, named after a Black candidate in American political history. Many more people said they were going to support him than actually voted for him. The reason for such duplicity was because they wanted to "signal" to the pollsters that they were in line with the hegemonic culture, and therefore "not racist," while secretly aligning their votes with their perceived group interests.

As an outsider group with less media power and greater stigmatization, BREXIT voters may have a greater reluctance to honestly declare their affiliation than "Bremainers." Such a tendency has no doubt been strengthened by the killing of Cox and the false associations made by the media between the killer, BREXIT, and British nationalism.

Another important factor that should have a big impact on Referendum Day, is the difference between the BREXIT and BREMAIN demographics. The three most important differences are that BREXIT supporters are older, Whiter, and more passionate.

Older people tend to vote more reliably than younger people – as do Whites over non-Whites. BREMAIN is relying on support from younger people, but young people tend to be easily distracted and feckless. Once they have signalled to their friends, associates, and potential sexual partners that they have the "correct" trendy political views, then they no longer have any need for the actual process and the rather irksome act of voting. We can therefore expect to see large numbers of BREMAIN’s trendy young demographic evaporating into thin air on polling day.

Project Fear.
Another advantage that BREXIT has is that it is also more emotionally potent than BREMAIN. Those who are against the EU tend to actually loathe it, being driven by an intense hatred and existential dread, as well as by a passionate love of Britain. Those who support the EU, by contrast, rely on more lukewarm emotions – mild fear of some economic disruption, vague attraction towards the idea of a European Union (often with misgivings), mild distaste for aspects of their own country, etc.

This emotional deficit is why the BREMAIN camp focused so intensely on "Project Fear," because they felt that only fear had the potential emotional impact to match the more powerful emotions driving the BREXIT side. However, the BREMAIN camp has been largely unsuccessful in stimulating the fear response they intended. Indeed, BREXIT has been able to counter by pointing out the dangers of remaining within a giant, dysfunctional organisation.

For these reasons – and despite the spoiler effect played by a cute little MP getting hit – I predict that BREXIT will win, and that if it doesn’t win it will be a strong indicator of a partly rigged election or compromised count.

My guess is that BREXIT will get around 53% of the vote. But, even after it wins, this will not be the end of the story, as the process of leaving the EU looks like it could be a long, complex, and drawn-out affair. A BREXIT win will be a bright gleam of victory and will inspire resistance to the EU far and wide, but, as Winston Churchill said midway through WWII:

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

 

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