You Brexit, You buy it.
You Brexit, you buy it.
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”
No more fitting words may be written to attest to the noble spirit of British hearts than those of the playwright. At this time, as the world tries to comprehend the aftermath of Brexit, King Henry V may serve as a solemn reminder of the beauty and fallacy of noble sentiment, or perhaps even the comedic tragedy so often embraced by such literatures.
The times we live in we call ‘modern’, the world we live in we call ‘the free.’ A sated argument of either title might warmly fit into the present ideologies raised by troubled days, and exacerbated by troubled years. Whether or not you agree or disagree with the referendum obliging the UK to leave the EU, at the very least such an outcome can be applauded as pointedly democratic, a tribute to freedom in modern times. The peoples disenfranchised voice echoed in parliament and the lingering failures to address global economic issues have cast a second stone in reply. But of those peoples who feel disenfranchised, who is not among them in our world today?
The depth of the bourgeois rationale and the breadth of the plebeian impact of this unenviable Brexit outcome may soon overcast the immediate shock felt by world markets. A speculator might see the absence of the UK as a gap in the walls of the European Union, but, in deference to the Shakespeare metaphor, walls perform one function two ways. While King Henry spiritedly charged into the walls of Harfleur, so to are the Brits charging out of a wanting EU, whose internal walls have grown to become a prison guarded by elitist sovereignty, driven by an overindulgence in egoistic nationalism, and upended by precarious demagoguery. The risk of additional exiteers is inevitable when policy makers commend an eternal stalemate during a difficult era for the sake of their individual interests rather than embrace deeper forms of unity, albeit costly unity.
That is not to say the unification of Europe is in error. For even as Earth shrinks while humanity grows, and our eyes and ears touch upon the taste of continents long forgotten and ignored, the wisdom of our forebears speaks of more perfect unions, preambles and constitutions touting coalition, confederation, republic, equality, or another form of tribal amalgamation. Although the sophisticated acumen of history points us toward the need for peaceful relations and stronger ties, perhaps then the failures of the EU are a representation of the disparity between the modernist plebeian filled with magnanimous noble sentiment, and the awe inspiring historical documents which nations uphold, politicians revere, and lawyers protect, sometimes to a detrimentally detailed degree.
Granting that history guides us, let us instead take example from the now. To be a part of something greater than ourselves, to be devout toward outstanding virtues, to find equality in humanity, to build on common ground rising up to the occasion, and to stand together to be better for our differences. Although the UK Brexits the EU today, the future might yet see it Brenter a new commonwealth tomorrow. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends,” as the playwright portends. The global reality demands global actionability, a global voice, and conceivably more national alliances, universal constitutions, and change in the definition of sovereignty.