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How Soon We Forget

The decision by Britain to leave the European Common Market seems ill-advised. The news of the pending departure sent world stock markets plunging as uncertainly over the Euro rose. The British Prime Minister resigned as a result of the unexpected result from the voting. It seems that fear of exploitation by immigrants overtook common sense. Most people expected the Brexit vote to fail. Sadly, it did not. Most thinking people agree that this was bad for England, the rest of Europe, and the world.

It seems just a short time that we celebrated just how great the British Empire was; how naval superiority and gunpowder had allowed it to conquer the world. Peaceful countries were overtaken by this “world power” and stronger, fighting countries were simply conquered by sheer force and might. How the world does change. It appears now, having enriched themselves, the British feel that the rest of the world deserves nothing. We have to save the others in the world by hording what we have been able to accumulate. Often on the backs others, great fortunes were built.

By closing its borders and adopting the “Let’s Make Britain Great Again,” theme, Britain is showing the kind of backwards thinking that may come to America. We are all too quick to accept the credit when things go well but often quick to blame others when things don’t go as planned. Britain remains a strong economic force but it cannot compete with the USA, China or even Germany. We are simply stronger. No return to isolationism will help restore the grand country that conquered much of the Western World.

We should accept the fact that we live a world in which we are mutually dependent. We used to sing a song “No man is an island, no man stands alone,” which indicates that we all have something important to do that makes everybody better. I believe that is true. The extent to which we have a super share of the world’s resources means that somebody somewhere is doing without. Sooner or later the chickens will come home to roost. This seems to be a lesson that the British have failed to learn.

This world is a smaller place. No longer are we dominated by those that know, and those that do not just kind of get along. Technology has taken care of that. There was a time when misinformation could sway the opinions of many and cause them to make decisions that were not in their best interest. That time has passed and it will not return. Deceit is now amplified through the use of uncontrolled social media. And the tricks that were used to exploit no longer work. What is required is open and honest communication. Those who think they can will or talk their way back to an inglorious past will find themselves resisted as the full force of truth and knowledge combats ignorance.

We cannot rely on a truth that is based on falsehoods. We must find a way to live together. We must recognize that every human being on the planet has worth. We are no greater or smarter than our brother or sister. We cannot embrace an isolationism that somehow elevates our importance when compared to others.

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