Sunday, July 17, 2016

Brexit, Harvard and Marsilius

History is worth examining. For millennia humanity has created, endured, suffered under, prospered with, survived as a result of political structures. Brexit is a change in such a structure which has evolved over the past few decades.

Why Brexit? I keep thinking of Marsilius of Padua and his rejection of  papal control over governments. By 1320 under John XXII the papacy in Avignon was attempting to control all the Government in what was then Christian countries. Kings could make some local laws but if the folks back in Avignon did not like them, overthrown! The Church was to Edward II and III in the 14th century what the EU was to England in the 21st. Of course then came Luther, albeit it took the printing press, but now we have the Internet.

Some Harvard person writes:

It may be too difficult to determine the exact relationship between Trump and Farage’s harmful scare tactics, but observers in both countries should pay close attention. It is evident now with the Brexit vote that racist rhetoric and discriminatory policies are not just limited to the United States. They are, in an age of globalization and rapid change, quickly taking hold in international politics, and becoming an influential determinant of policy. Aggressive anti-immigrant rhetoric and the scapegoating of minorities and immigrants must be taken seriously. Britain’s vote to exit the European Union, a decision highly influenced by the xenophobic rationale of UKIP, is just another indicator that there is a serious wave of nativism ascendant in both British and American politics. With international focus on Britain’s recent decision, there is great potential for conversation and change to take place. However, there is also the possibility that rising anti-immigrant sentiment and xenophobia will worsen.  With the risk of increased hostility and prejudice on the horizon, the world’s eyes are fixed on American elections as a key indicator of things to come.  

Somewhat like the NY Times, blaming everything on the current contender for the Republican party but totally failing to ask why? And moreover; what are the historical precedents and where did that lead. Somehow there is that statement of those neglecting to understand the past mistakes are doomed to repeat them, or whatever.

We have been through this process before. Marsilius in 1324 wrote his now famous work on the heretical views of the papacy in Avignon, namely baseless and moreover fraudulent claims of political supremacy, and then failing to understand the development of self rule and regulation.

Revolutions result oftentimes from oppressive rule. They also result from just nonsensical rules as well. Remember the Tea Party! No, Harvard, not those folks walking around today, those folks in Boston back in the 18th century, it must be in some High School text somewhere in a old book store.