Nationalism is the pathology of modern developmental history as inevitable as neurosis in the individual.  – Tom Nairn – ‘The Break-Up of Britain.’ 

Brexit and Trump have not suddenly happened.

The Pilgrim Fool - Celcil Collins

The Pilgrim Fool – Cecil Collins

My generation has been outpaced by the frenzied speed of technological advances for some decades now. Large sections of society lack meaningful vocations and work, small shops and community centers are disappearing, since such places are no longer considered financially viable. Public services in Britain have been sold out. Liberal arts and crafts are reduced to soft and unprofitable educational choices. People have become exploitable commodities and are being gradually deprived of culture. I am reminded of Cecil Collin (1908-1989) and his ‘Vision of the Fool.’ For him, Saints, artists and poets are one with the joy and sorrow of the Fool, in whom the poetic imagination of life lives and coordinates heart-intelligence in human society. A cosmic folly that is present in the person of us, which cannot be exploited because it is above state, class or politics. It’s what I sense in many people I meet, a longing for what has been demeaned as useless – the poetic imagination of the innocent fool.

Western citizens should of course be grateful. We have progress, gadgets, toys – life has never been better. Yet the cornucopia of consumer choices does not replace human relationships, community facilities, lack of housing, lost jobs, lost pensions, does not prevent the gnawing disillusionment that is spreading like a virus, while beneath the impotent silence fester anger and self-destructiveness. When starved of meaning, what tends to make people feel alive, short of war, is upturning the apple cart and watching the unfolding drama.

Britain’s populist Brexit vote was valuable fuel for Donald Trump. He even called himself Mr Brexit – down with cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism – up with nationalism and walls to keep out the alien hordes. Brushing over complex issues with simpleminded slogans resulted in over 50 million Americans to vote on promises to make America great again by a man whose opportunist character will be severely tested by reality. Hopefully the task will mellow his character, and not result in toxic consequences for years to come.

For Britain, and other EU countries, there is yet an opportunity to re-evaluate the cards that have emerged on the public table. The Brexit referendum event gave food for thought, enough to serve the intelligent questioning of what truly lies at the heart of the growing disagreements and dissatisfaction among so-called affluent societies.

I guess I’m not the only one to suffer from Br -exasperation.

Not scapegoating, but a careful analysis is called for – and a constructive participation, with Europe, towards addressing the challenges of our time is what I wish for. The biases in the trail of globalism must be acknowledged and engaged with. The EU, despite massive failings, still offers the bests chance for stability. Turning the clock back is futile. In my view, to support and effectively influence the EU project is the intelligent way forward for Britain.

But is seems the British Parliament hasn’t got the guts to open the real discussion that was never held, and hasn’t got the guts to acknowledge how its senseless policies have allowed injustices and inequalities to heap up. It is utterly hypocritical to blame the results of bad politics on migrants.

Stakes are high. Sanctioning the pathology of nationalistic frenzy could destroy what has been achieved. See the history of Human Rights.

Well, that’s my small voice in the internet wilderness. A post I wrote in 2012 may be relevant:

… here is everywhere …


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28 responses to “… BREXASPERATION …

  1. Troubling times indeed Ashen. Some serious introspection and retrospective must be undergone – the questions asked and some real soul searching to happen. The cards have fallen strangely-how will we respond? Each of us has a response-ibility – it begins with each of us to make a clarion call for peace-within us each as an essential beginning-

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulation on putting pen to paper so immediately! I am still cogitating on my deepest intuitions on this. I cannot but wonder whether this anger, impotence, frustration has not been harnessed by a supervening ‘order’ whereby humanity will be forced and frogmarched to look in the mirror of its own degradation. The one area where Trump’s own frustration joined in lock-step with that of his supporters was in an utter disregard for politically correct inhibition.

    He is outrageous, because the cheese-pairing, hypocritical, snowflake generation has lost sight of honesty under the cloak of pretense. He, himself, the groping, lying, blustering King of the Deal is now King of the World we have all helped create!

    We have concurred in hypocrisy, distorted the use of words, quailed at unfounded accusations to the point that we adopt ‘acceptable’ opinions that can never admit to qualifications. This recognition is what he took hold of, going so far in the opposite direction that we reel in horror.

    I intuit ( though I am far from sure about it) that he might, just might blow honesty in with the bluster. He will be unlikely to be honest ( though even that is possible) but may force us to regain some of our own. Something radical is happening but not at the level of political debate, but deeper than that- spiritually. This fire will leave ashes from which a phoenix might….?


    • People find the utter disregard for politically correct inhibition refreshing. My lodger said it makes him laugh. He’s got a point. It’s the kind of idiot relief you get from TV comics, and it has a high entertainment value.
      That said, I always found the film clips of Hitler comical and often wondered how anyone could take him serious.

      And as ever, your words chime … ‘Something radical is happening but not at the level of political debate, but deeper than that- spiritually. This fire will leave ashes from which a phoenix might….?’


      • We have all become so ‘buttoned up’ so complicit for fear of the thought police. If we explode into laughter we pop the buttons on the overcoat of conformity. Like you I always found it impossible that a whole nation could take Hitler seriously. But they did. The hope now is that Trump’s absurdity would render that impossible but I wouldn’t bet on it!

        My landlady in Bavaria was taking Hitler seriously in 1964!

        Liked by 1 person

        • The thought police. I was brought up to be polite, which becomes a kind of disability when a democratic vote cuts a country into opposing factions roughly 50/50, where a few votes grant power to one group alone.
          This happened in the UK and in the USA. I admit I don’t understand the complex structures in place to count votes. They may need revising.

          Re: Germany. It’s a myth that the whole nation of Germany accepted Hitler. The intimidating climate was such that those who objected endangered their families. People are often willing to sacrifice themselves, but not their family.


          • Of course; I stand corrected in the exceptions. Yet a demagogue cannot long prevail in the face of ridicule. Which is why Charlie Hebdo happened! Irreverence does not need to be overt to be recognised. Fanaticism has no humour. For as long as we preserve irreverence we do spiritual work! Worship is another matter, that finds its worthy origins and just cause!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Opposing demagogues publicly injures their pride. Their nasty habit to retaliate can be catastrophic, as was seen in Paris last year.
              I once made a snide remark to a bullying teacher. He retaliated by knocking me over two desks. Luckily I had only a few bruises. My parents were too chicken to complain. Irreverence remained 🙂


  3. I definitely applaud your words, as they are so true. The question now, is will we start healing to work together for a better outcome and world or will we become far more contentious? Personally, I’m still stunned by the outcome of our election, and I’m scared. I need a time for solitude and peace before expressing my churning feelings. An excellent piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jenny

    What frightens me….it all seems so unreal, like in a suspense , without any substance, any ground, doesn’t reach the mind, the heart , the emotions , like a cloud with unknown content hovering above all, slippery, bush was real, Reagan was real, Nixon was real…I liked none of them, but they were still real to me , I could feel, sense hear them, but mr. T. And mr. Putin are evasive elusive , unreliable, unpredictable . ..no form , everchaging image of a personality, almost like ghosts…. I cannot help to be deeply worried….Iam sorry to appear so hopeless, i do wish the best possible to come out in time to come

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Our voices are all small, but if you reach one person you’ve made a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m afraid that what I’m going to say is going to sound very naive and simplistic, partly because it’s a gut feeling that hasn’t yet quite filtered through the linguistic code of my brain: I believe that these are dark times when we must be very careful about where we focus our energy and intention. Building. Creating more light. Producing loving circumstances. Healing. I don’t want to come across as New Age. I am simply referring to laws of High Physics. Sorry, I don’t know how to phrase this very well… :–(

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant post sweetie, somewhat sums up what I’ve been felling over the whole awful debacle that is Brexit and then Trump. It feels to me, like the tightening of a box around us, narrowing views and narrowing minds and the awful ‘them and us’ mentality. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. An apt image, Sophie. I feel daily challenged not to be drawn into the flood of media reactions and remember an inner state of spaciousness. Imaginative minds are advantaged in that respect. Still it’s a struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Inese Poga Art plus Life

    I would say: life has never been worse, not better. Technical development cannot replace human degradation and loss of brain, hence all brain functions are delegated to devices.
    People are surprised about outcomes and they feel it’s not what they were voting for, and they are also made to believe something really depends on them. Globalization is a bad monster chewing up any normal human feelings and basic values. The consolidation of the entire capital and power in hands of very little percentage of people is the most dangerous route we can take. There is no return, no way back.
    Greed is so obviously dominating anything else that many things which we value and want to retain seem as if coming from the previous centuries.
    It’s a big cheating game: the power does what it considers necessary and go, try to catch them.
    It’s extremely bad this is the only life we have in the way and form we have it. I don’t know what can change minds from obsession with possessions to being passionate about mental richness and talents.
    I really liked your post.
    I’m writing about life matters in my secondary blog: https://inesepogalifeschool.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Inese, a beautiful name. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and reminding me of your other blog. The title, ‘School of Life,’ expresses a useful approach to life, one of learning from the book of nature how to develop human qualities. Never a straight path, more like a labyrinth, confusing, convoluted. Once caught in the mirage we’re ever hopeful of finding the promised center, or, after many disappointing turns, at least a way out.
    History records a seesaw of extremes. It seems nature itself, and its invisible aspect, the psyche, are in charge when it comes to correct imbalances. So maybe what’s happening now is a wake-up call, the need for adjustments to a malaise in the collective psyche, reflected in the state of the planet. Individuals have seemingly no power to soften the necessary changes. Still, I like to think witnessing is important, has a purpose.


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  13. Pingback: … my love for England – and my brexasperation … | Course of Mirrors

  14. Hard to believe we’re still listening to the arguments about this. I take heart from your illustration. Thanks for that. I love archetypes, and this one is beautifully done. I’m going to look for more Cecil Collins now. I hope you’re having a lovely run-up to the festive season. 🙂

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