The people of Great Britain have decided to leave Europe, a choice that is not unexpected but in the same dramatic way painful. Even if they had won narrowly the remaining things would not have changed much. It makes a certain impression to see in the photos published on the websites and in the newspapers, groups of Britons who rejoice to have left Europe and various politicians from other European States also rejoice in the separation and hope that their own country will also leave the Union. What’s up? Why do separateness, the return to national and regional divisions seem senselessly to have the upper hand? What is the idea of the future, the program, the cultural breath of a disrupted Europe, weakened on the international scene, without a higher and more forward-looking vision? I believe that the main cause lies in the spreading of a selfish and demagogic populism that finds consensus in that social phenomenon that affects everyone a bit and that Bauman defines “modern liquid individualism”. A large part of the population has lost or is losing ideal reference points, cultural orientations, an overview of society and the economy. It no longer relies on organized representation structures, nor on the “council” of intellectuals, scholars, educated people or more enlightened political or socio-economic leaders. The presumed immediate interest, cultural and ethical relativism, leads to not considering the more general consequences and the future context, and not to often recognize one’s own limits of knowledge and rational and competent elaboration of events and consequences.
We will see what will happen with Brexit in the coming months and years and we will also see what reaction Europe will be able to bring, still united. It is not so much the economic scenarios that are worrying but what Europe divided will not be able to do from a political and cultural point of view, declining from its role as “teacher” of coexistence and dialogue, necessary to bring together different cultures and different interests in peace and security. In fact, the most precious patrimony in Europe is having been able, after centuries of clashes and wars, to find that way of peaceful life in common between different cultures, languages and traditions. For over 70 years, democratic Europe has been at peace and has guaranteed well-being and prosperity for hundreds of millions of people. The cooperation between the European states first and the creation of the European Union and the single currency then, has generated further hope for peace and well-being for the future, despite the economic difficulties that we have been experiencing for many years.
Someone thinks that being each nation on its own can better solve various problems, for example that of immigration and that of the economy. A serious and deadlocking error of assessment, on the globalized scenario. The small European states will have no role and the problems will have to be solved in a narrow territory and with limited resources.
We all hope for a better and even different Europe, but this must be built not demolished. The same can be said of democracy, we know that what we have is imperfect but not for this we hope for a totalitarian regime, instead we try and work continuously to improve it. So we have to do with our largest homeland, Europe.