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The Real Meaning of Brexit: Cry of Pain by the World's Working People

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  • Tikkun Editor’s Introductory Note:  The vote by a majority in the UK to exit from the European Union  (Britain exiting, now called Brexit) is actually a cry of pain by the working people of Britain, and a reflection of the growing pain that will shape the social and political lives of our world in the coming decades till that pain is fully addressed.

Michael Lerner, Tikkun magazine

Submitted by Evergreen Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/default/library/b71da4aa7fcc049ed6f3f525bb4acda6.landscapeLarge.jpgJune 26, 2016 |  Unfortunately, the media and the ruling elites refuse to take responsibility for the global mess they’ve been making. Instead they seek to put the  blame on a sudden surge of ultra nationalism and hatred of immigrants. But this is a distorted picture that seeks to blame working people’s fears on their own reactionary ideologies, and misses the way the ruling elites of the society, the !% of richest people and their millions of allies in the upper levels of banks and corporations, media, academia, law, government and politics, who have developed a neo-liberal economic strategy that has resulted in massive loss of jobs and a triumph of the values of materialism and selfishness in daily life, are actually now trying to blame everyone else for the global mess they have made. Don’t get taken in by the media and the politicians and their superficial explanations–read the two articles below please! The first is from a European activist and visionary, the second from an American economist. Together they give us the information to challenge the media and our political misleaders. We at Tikkun do not fully endorse every part of these two different analyses, particularly not Jeffrey Sachs’ proposal about how to solve the Syrian refugee problem, but we do believe that each of these articles, when read together, contain important elements of a fuller analysis of the psycho-spiritual and rational foundations of the growing upset at the way the world is structured, and the to-date irrational forms that upset has taken. --Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor, Tikkun magazine & Chair, the (interfaith and secular-humanist-and-atheist-welcoming) NSP: Network of Spiritual Progressives

Part 1: Post-Brexit: Imagine a New European Community

Part 2: The Meaning of Brexit


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Part 1: Post-Brexit: Imagine a New European Community 

Martin Winiecki, Tikkun magazine

June 26th 2016 | The news of Brexit triggered shock waves around the globe, with many people wondering how could the Brits make such a foolish choice. But actually there is good reason why many people in Europe hold the EU in low esteem.

The European Union has alienated countless millions of workers and ordinary people all over the continent; for many “EU” has become the very synonym of a hostile “establishment.” While it began as a progressive project for freedom and solidarity among the peoples of Europe, committed to never again repeat the terrible wars of the 20th century and authentically humane initiatives, the EU has developed into an anti-democratic, neoliberal technocracy with ever decreasing legitimacy and benefit for the people. Preaching noble values of human rights, social democracy and peace, the rulers of the EU have led a scrupulous austerity regime, gradually expanding precarious work conditions for millions. The wide gap between its social rhetoric on the one hand and the implementation of free market policies on the other, gave many people the feeling of being constantly betrayed by an anonymous superstructure, which they cannot participate in or reach out to.

Martin Winiecki: born in Dresden, Germany in 1990, is a writer, speaker, and coordinator of the Institute for Global Peace Work at Tamera, Portugal.

Full story … 



Part 2: The Meaning of Brexit

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Project Syndicate / Tikkun

June 25, 2016 | The Brexit vote was a triple protest: against surging immigration, City of London bankers, and European Union institutions, in that order. It will have major consequences. Donald Trump’s campaign for the US presidency will receive a huge boost, as will other anti-immigrant populist politicians. Moreover, leaving the EU will wound the British economy, and could well push Scotland to leave the United Kingdom – to say nothing of Brexit’s ramifications for the future of European integration.

Brexit is thus a watershed event that signals the need for a new kind of globalization, one that could be far superior to the status quo that was rejected at the British polls.

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Health Policy and Management, and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is also Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. His books include The End of Poverty, Common Wealth, and, most recently, The Age of Sustainable Development.

Full story …