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Posted by on Jun 26, 2016 in 2016 Elections, England, International, Politics, United Kingdom | 39 comments

Why I’m Not Joining In The Brexit Criticism



In Star Trek canon, The Borg are an alien race that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise. The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones in a hive mind called “the Collective” or “the Hive”. The Borg use a process called assimilation to force other species into the Collective by injecting microscopic machines called nanoprobes. The Borg are driven by a need for ‘perfection’, and assimilate other races to further that goal. They cruise the galaxy in cube shaped ships and they announce to a ship, a civilization, a planet: WE ARE THE BORG. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED.

The Borg will literally slice a civilization from the planet and assimilate. Turning everyone into the charming entities you see in the photo above. The ultimate union. The ultimate in sameness.

We are not The Borg. Nationality is not a joke. It is a set of shared beliefs, ways, and wiles. If I take a child born in Tibet as a baby to parents of the native race, bring that child to America, and raise that child fully as Nationality = American, that child will be American. Tibet will be foreign to them.

You can hate Brexit but we can’t dismiss nationality and it’s power. I have this exact same view as a commenter named “G B” at recently wrote:

I know that this won’t play well with the globalists. People who cheer on and call for the end of borders and nations always seem to talk up diversity, yet at the same time they want to rid the world of what gave rise to diversity of cultures in the first place. Race is just one version of diversity, the beliefs and practices of many come from geography, location, nationality.

I’m no race purist, nor am I anti-immigration (though for some reason wanting a secured border and proper, easy-to-follow but required processes for immigration seems to somehow label me so). However, the no-nations, no-borders, and what to me seems eventually a no-race world that it appears globalists want would only make us weaker, and destroy what’s good in diversity.

There are way too many Anti-Brexit voices who view any move towards nationalism as xenophobic, racist, backwards, dumb, etc. And yes you have racism and xenophobia there but it’s not all. Ask yourself this question: Why? And the Simple Sam answer of “The racists and xenophobes scared everyone especially the old folk” misses the mark. Humans are tribal. Humans are ritualistic. Humans are creatures of habit. When a nation’s established ways and wiles are being chipped away (be it economically, culturally, etc), that’s when real leadership has to occur. And the message can’t just be “we live globalized world so get used to it”. Because all that does is generate a “they aren’t looking for what we are” view. Real leadership has to lead with NATION FIRST and filter outside cultural and economic forces (emphasis on FILTER). Some things will come in, some not, and some slowly, and some quickly.

Nationality is not a quaint notion. And it isn’t the realm of backwards, dumb folk. It is as old as humanity and has built much of what we treasure today. Great and small.

For the record, I believe leadership on both sides are “playing games”. And they are playing with nationalism. People voted with their heart and emotion yet this can be overruled in Parliament. Which will lead to more strife. Lovely (and not the good “lovely”).

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  • You and the person you quote make some good points, Tyrone,

    All I would say is that “nationalism,” “our country first,” “take our country back,” “Make xyz great again” and similar concepts and idealism can — under the “right” leadership and conditions — turn into the “phobias” and disastrous outcomes we have seen all too often in the last couple of centuries.

    While I’d be the last one to speak for the British, I can speak for myself as an American that I sincerely worry that the present Republican presidential nominee may not have the right lenses to “filter out” some of the negatives that often accompany excess nationalism.

    Just my dos centavos.

    • Trump… American Reality TV and Gossip Rag Culture made flesh to dwell among us. His calls for Trump Nationalism is more opportunist than anything. He’s not a believer but yet he still has legs because nationalism runs deep when tapped. Honestly I feel that a sizable number of world leaders don’t know handle their population in this regard. They even blow the citizenry off with “it’s happening, deal with it” or hype up “rah rah we are the greatest ever and screw everyone else”.

      Look at the mess that has been left after the EU Remain vs. Brexit scuffle. Political leaders posturing to prove things. Getting back at folks while wielding Article 50 like a weapon. That’s just crappy. Do not play with nationalism or your citizens.

      • It seems we somewhat agree, at least on Trump? πŸ™‚

        BTW, has Article 50 been “triggered” yet?

        • Not yet apparently. But it’s being thrown around like a super hot potato.

          I’m a 3rd party guy Dorian. Been that way since I could vote. I have no “dog” in this “fight”. So I don’t have this visceral hatred of Trump though I understand why many folks do. I view him as “AMERICA: Loud and Crazy yet not surprising Division”. Even if he loses, and it looks like pure demographics may be his undoing, his run will have ripple effects. But that’s another post. πŸ™‚

          • So I don’t have this visceral hatred of Trump though I understand why many folks do.

            Being one of those folks who indeed are viscerally repulsed by the demagogue, I appreciate your understanding. πŸ™‚

            I do look forward to your future posts and thanks (again) for all the excellent work you do for TMV.

          • JSpencer

            “I have no β€œdog” in this β€œfight”.”

            So… no concerns about the supreme ct. then?

          • No concerns because IF Trump is elected, he’s of the TRUMP PARTY. And he’s going to equally irritate Democrats and Republicans with his picks. Probably enough to cause them to want to impeach him.

          • Thanks, Tyrone.

            A couple of developments that could change the playing field:

            1. As of a couple of hours ago 3.6 million signatures had been gathered to hold a second referendum

            2. Calls for a second Scottish independence referendum have grown since he Brexit referendum. A large majority of Scots (62 percent) voted against Brexit

  • Bob Munck

    The Borg are an alien race that appear as recurring antagonists in the Star Trek franchise.

    So we knew from the get-go that you aren’t a Brit, or you would have said “The Borg is an alien race …”

    what to me seems eventually a no-race world

    That doesn’t worry me a bit, because there’s no such thing as race. It’s purely a social construct. We can mix people together geographically without losing such social constructs; the larger cities of Canada, Singapore, and even New York City have always seemed to me to be wonderful examples of that. Sure, eventually we’ll all be beige, but there will always be city people and country people, artists and laymen, fans and mundanes, techies and normal people, etc. Remember, Star Trek was showing you artificial populations of future people — ship’s crews. Who knows how diverse the population of Earth will be in that era?

    It seems to me that the American “melting pot” tendency is a good example of the (Borg) assimilation you discuss above. Like most things, it’s desirable only in moderation.

    injecting microscopic machines called nanoprobes

    In a couple of weeks I’m going to have a defibrillator (technically an “implantable cardioverter-defibrillator”) embedded in my chest. It will have considerably more computing power than the building-sized mainframe I ran at Brown. Am I becoming a proto-Borg? How about my desire for a USB port in the back of my skull?

    • JSpencer

      Here’s wishing you well Bob. In the vein of having all kinds of fun, I get to have an MRI tomorrow after screwing up my back again. Wouldn’t be surprised if surgery is imminent, which is OK if that does the trick. I’m just glad we live in 2016 and not 1916.

      • dduck

        Speedy recovery to you guys and all the others around here.

        • JSpencer

          Thanks dd.

        • Bob Munck

          Thank you. I was in hospital all last week, ending up with a couple of stents and a worrisome prognosis. Hence the implanted defib in my future.

          • Kevin Purcell

            Beast wishes Joe and Bob. I have been doing the same things for my back lungs and heart. It can be quite frustrating as well as uncomfortable. Keep me posted on your progress Bob as I have a-fib that is worsening.

            Joe, if inclined, let me know about your MRI results. I am cleared for spinal fusion but have avoided it the last four years by having cervical and lumbar radiofrequency ablation. The ablation heats ups the medial branch and stops it from transmitting pain signals to the brain.

            The relief is within days if you are a candidate and only takes about 90 minutes and you walk out of there. I have it done once a year in the cervical and lumbar spines (three levels each).

            I should write an article on my experience.

            Here is a link:


          • Kevin Purcell

            It is also a critical differential diagnostic tool for you and your docs. Why? because if 100% of your pain is relieved you know you have facet joint issues and you may be able to avoid surgery.

            However, if less pain is relived that signals that you have more than mechanical pain (joint pain). You likely have disc desiccation or herniation and resultant nerve root compression. In my case I get about 80% relief from the nerve ablation that services the facet. The other 20% is from herniated discs (neck and low back) that compress spinal nerves. So, two separate issues. It ‘s helpful to k now the difference.

            Cervical spine surgeries are usually quite successful. Lumbar not as much.

            Feel free to ask any Qs or write to me directly kevprcll at I can also supply my cell number is needed.

          • JSpencer

            Thanks Kevin. I had a microdiscectomy 11 years ago and it worked wonders – I even went home the same day. Symptoms now are very similar, so I’m guessing it’s nerve compression near L5. I probably should have been acting more my age these past several years, but it is what it is. The MRI should tell the tale. Meanwhile, I’ll check out your link. πŸ™‚

        • I add my best wishes to those of dduck to both of you and any other authors/readers who are facing medical problems or procedures.

          • JSpencer

            Thanks Dorian.

    • SteveK

      “How about my desire for a USB port in the back of my skull?”
      I’ve wanted one of them ever since seeing the first cell phone… Don’t think USB ports existed back then but I wanted one.

      Good luck with your implant surgery Bob. This getting older business isn’t for sissies… But still there’s a lot to be said in its favor. πŸ™‚

  • Markus1

    Put me down as someone who thinks that there are serious downsides to nationalism. A few hundred years ago the were no nation states; you might be a subject of some prince or even a citizen of a free city. Princes went to war with each other, but we,didn’t have the wholesale slaughter of national wars till Napoleon attacked Russia. The past century in Europe saw horrors that our minds can not fully understand. Verdun, Auschwitz, and Stalingrad are among the products of nationalism in my mind. Not long ago, Warsaw, Beirut, and Baghdad were multicultural vibrant cities with artists, thinkers, and innovators; I don’t think the world is better off by turning these cities to monochrome.

  • There may be a good number of exit voters that truly voted for independence and sovernty, but make no mistake…the vote was about immigration… immigrants stuffing the hospitals, making it difficult for Brits to seek care.

    One of the major campaign promises was too take the net positive that the UK was giving the EU and build a hospital every month with it…or week… something like that. Of course, they backed off that pledge the day after…as well as a number of other pledges, particularly immigration. There are going to be a lot of upset racists in the UK.

    • Bob Munck

      immigrants stuffing the hospitals, making it difficult for Brits to seek care.

      The real reason it’s difficult is that the NHS is funded at starvation levels, about 38% of what we spend on health care. BREXIT won’t fix that, I’ll bet.

      • the promise was to put all of that positive money no longer leaving with the EU into the NHS. Of course they never talked about the general loss to GDP and how THAT would effect NHS funding.

        Life will be tougher in the UK…that is fore sure, but they will get through it.

  • jdledell

    I’m going to be a little provocative here. There are some legitimate economic concerns about excessive immigration but loss of culture is not a legitimate concern. People hold onto their current culture not because it is the very best but because they are comfortable. That is giving into the tribal ethic which I am very familiar with. I have lived in numerous cities around the world – Buenos Aries, Brussels, London, Tel Aviv, Milan, Mumbai, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

    Most of the ex pats I met during these assignments sampled the resident culture by sampling local food and tourist sites. Other than that they spent 98% of their time with fellow American Ex pats. They never dug into the local culture and people to have anything more than a superficial understanding of what made the people and country tick.

    On the other hand our kids jumped into learning the local language and within 3 months knew enough to enroll in local schools. My company supplied us with a tutor who traveled with us so that our children would not be educationally disadvantaged. I would intensively study the local language as soon as I knew where my next assignment would be. The kids made local friends and as a result we became friends with those families – that is how one begins to really understand a culture – being immersed in it.

    One thing that was VERY noticable is that Americans and Brits are almost stubbornly adverse to learning another language. As a result they never got immersed in the local culture because of the language barrier. Yet we expect others in the world to be multi-lingual, especially knowing English.

    The cultures around the world all have something to offer us. I think most Americans are arrogant and lazy. We simply think we are the best at everything and that others are second rate. The meme of the Ugly American is so very true – live in another country and you see it everyday.

    The upshot of what I am trying to say if we really want to understand the world and adopt the best of each culture (similar to best practices in the business world) then we better start pushing our citizens to become multi-lingual. In my numerous assignments around the world i would run into fellow Americans trying to establish local markets for their company’s products. Most of them would fail miserably because they did not adapt their products or marketing to the local culture. You would not believe the number of marketing brochures in English floating around in foreign cities.

    The fears present in Brexit and Trump illustrates the lack of desire to interact with other cultures for fear some of it might rub off on us and, G-d forbid, we might not be lilly white. Is our culture really so perfect and sacred that it cannot withstand an encounter with the “other”. It reminds me of my Jewish culture. The massive fear of interaction with the Goyim – for fear we will lose our one “true” way.

    My family considers ourselves to be world citizens. My children are scattered around the globe. My son lives in Japan, having married a woman from Mongolia, She grew up in a Ger, 40 miles from the next living soul – that is a really different culture – but shed the superficial trappings and she is just like us. Another son lives in Amsterdam having married a French woman and my daughter lives in Bangalore have married an Indian Man. Everyone one of them including grandchildren speak at a minimum three different languages and most of them 4 or 5.

    Forgive my rant but do we really want a future where we all dissolve into the smallest common denominator to protect our “sacred” culture from those that are 1% OR 30% different?

    • JSpencer

      Thanks jdledell for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I’ve never been a world traveler, but your post resonates with me. If we are ever going to break away from the insular and tribal reflexes that divide and limit us, we will need to think deeper and further.

    • KP


    • What if people do not want another culture to rub off on them? What if they want to see it from afar and just stay with what they know? Are we just going to push them to the side as backwater idiots? The two Brexit voters I know are information technology professionals and thoughtful individuals. Both are born and raised Briton but one is a black guy who’s grandparents came to the UK from Ghana. He told me that he sees an eroding of what made the UK so attractive to his family. He has told me how the rich history of the UK is being treated like something to be ashamed of by pro-immigration Britons.

      As I mentioned, I’m no raving xenophobic racist. I’m a black dude in the USA. But I feel that political leaders do a piss poor job of really addressing those feelings of loss. Real or perceived.

      Most people will not be citizens of the world jdledell. Those are wonderful experiences. But they are in the minority. Most folks dwell in their small section of the world interacting with what they know. And the Internet isn’t this great border-breaker since most folks don’t utilize the Internet to experience cultures. It’s about sports, cats, echo-chamber, preaching to the choir (even if it’s a Apple Pie Bakers choir). Dismissing those folks in their small section of the world interacting with what they know does not bode well for a country.

      • JSpencer

        And what’s wrong with cats? . . . . . πŸ˜‰

        • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTΓ‰S, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

          The prob w cats JS is they immigrate without papers across all borders. You know how those cats are.

          • JSpencer

            They sure do. No respect for our human conventions! πŸ˜‰

          • I still have my boyhood fear of cats. And I don’t know why. πŸ™

      • ” But I feel that political leaders do a piss poor job of really addressing those feelings of loss. Real or perceived. ”

        That is part of what happened, for sure.

    • I have been around the block enough to have met people from many different cultures that do not learn the local language, it isn’t an American phenomena alone. We need to keep in mind that English is the language of business and science…effectively the language of innovation and the future. Therefore anyone wanting to function in the global world must learn English. That means that all non-English speaking countries teach their kids at least English. In Europe, due to the close proximity of everything, most kids learn 3 or even 4 languages…the dutch speaking sometimes 5 or 6. This isn’t about nativism or nationalism…it is strictly economic reality.

      I dont know how many Brits, Irish, Aussies… ect that speak multiple languages, but from my experience, very few do. I work with a lot of Irish and they stick to English and their old language of Gaelic, which no one else speaks. I know a lot of kids in my old high school that could speak fluent Spanish or French when they graduated and have totally forgot the languages… my wife spoke Russian 25 years ago and now she can barely understand it.

      I do completely agree with you that people need to immerse themselves in foreign cultures when the are privileged enough to live in overseas…many Americans do not. I know I didn’t in my first year in Germany….well, at least language wise. Ahh, that was a fun time.

  • jdledell

    In reading my comment this morning, I realize that I come across as one of the terrible “elitists”. In many respects I must admit “I are one”. How did this happen? As most of you know, I got polio when I was 2 years old. with most of the next 14 years spent in hospitals. Talk about the smallest common denominator of culture – I was in it. My world consisted of the 3 or 4 nurses who were responsible for my end of the ward, the food cart lady who brought meals, 2 doctors who were responsible for my care and my Mom and Dad for 2 hours a week. That was my culture.

    One good thing was my bed was next to a large window overlooking Phelan Park where I could see people swimming, picnicking, playing baseball etc. At that point I made a vow that if I ever got out of this place, I was going to experience EVERYTHING the world had to offer. I was not born with a silver spoon, my father was a Greyhound bus driver and my mom was what was called in those days a “homemaker”.

    People can choose to be comfortable in their own culture. That culture can be as small as a family unit. My daughter-in-laws’ brother lives in such a small culture – on the Mongolian Plains raising horses. In an average month he may meet only one or two people aside from his family. They have no TV, no phones, no radio no internet etc. He’s happy. On the other hand his sister, road horseback 30 miles each way to the nearest city every day to go to school. Then moving to Ulan Bator to get her college education and then to Tokyo to get her graduate degrees at Keio University.

    What people choose to do with the Gift of Life is obviously up to the individual. People can choose to live in as small or as large a world as they want. Whether the world comes to you in the form of immigration or you seek out the rest of the world by emigration or travel are options. One can support local charities which help people in your own culture or like I could, seek out even more disadvantaged people in different cultures. Thanks to Dorian who introduced me to the Heart Program at an Austin hospital, I’ve become involved with Mongolian children in need of critical health care somewhere in the world.

    I guess I am elitist in that I am pushing people to take advantage of what the world has to offer rather than sit in their comfortable cocoon of local culture. G-d did not make this wonderful wide open and different world so we could ignore it, or worse, try to push it away.

    • Being elite is a good thing.
      Wanting other people to be elite is also a good thing.

      and we all fight bouts of elitism every now and then.. I know I have written my fair share elitist opinions on TMV. I dont know if what you wrote qualifies anyway.

    • Thanks to Dorian who introduced me to the Heart Program at an Austin hospital, I’ve become involved with Mongolian children in need of critical health care somewhere in the world.

      I remember your interest in and your donation to HeartGift Austin at the time, JDL, and am glad to hear that you are involved with the Mongolian children.

      The HeartGift Austin organization has sponsored several children from Mongolia for heart surgery here. If you don’t mind me asking, are you involved with them?

      Anyway, thank you for your continuing charity and philanthropy.

      • jdledell

        Dorian, Indirectly I am. What I’ve done is organize the network in Mongolia that seeks out children who need specialized medical care. Once identified, I rely on a network of wealthy friends around the world to sponsor and arrange the actual medical care. This approach has resulted in children getting care in Kyoto University Hospital, Mass General, Hong Kong Baptist Hospital etc etc. Most of the care has been provided by a Korean Hospital in Ulan Bator, Songdo Hospital.

        We haven’t been involved with your Heart Gift in Austin but we did find Tuguldur who went to Children’s Hospital in Dallas via HeartGift. Right now my operation is running kind of like a “Rube Goldberg” approach and I will soon be turning it into a professional Foundation.

        Dorian – where you come into this equation is introducing me to Heart Gift. 99% of Americans have never heard of Mongolia or could find it on a map. It got me to thinking if these people in wild and crazy Texas could care about a little child 10,000 miles from Texas enough to open their hearts and wallets, why was I sitting on my butt. I have a direct and personal connection to Mongolia because of my daughter-in-law and in all my visits there found the people to be so interesting, open, welcoming and wonderful. Thus started my personal involvement – the need is so great.

        • Just came across a photo of liitle Tuguldur whom you helped find HeartGift.

          Heartgift Tuguldur

          Also, as a reminder of what got you started in such noble charity work, a photo of little Saranzaya, below.

          Saranzaya visits the cardiologist

          Once more, thank you so much for what you do.

          • Meant to include this:

            Thanks for the update, JDL.

            And so glad that the story of beautiful Saranzaya got you so involved.

            I just attended a HeartGift meeting this past weekend and will be updating their story shortly. Headquartered in Austin, they continue to do such great work with chapters in Houston, San Antonio, Louisiana and, as you mention, Dallas.

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