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Brexit and Calexit: Excessive Democracy?

Ordered by Britain’s Supreme Court to get the state’s Parliament’s approval for the state to secede from the Union, the Prime Minister, Teresa May, faced the prospect of debate, amendments, and the votes themselves in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. In the latter chamber, May’s Conservative Party did not at the time have a majority. Some in her party “suggested that she should quickly appoint enough new lords to give her the votes she needs. But few say they expect that to be necessary: with little democratic legitimacy, the 805 lords are unlikely to dare to block” the referendum outcome favoring secession.[1]I submit that the democratic criterion is ill-fitting to the House of Lords.


The full essay is at “Brexit and Calexit: Excessive Democracy?


1. Katrin Bennhold, “Ordered to Seek Approval on ‘Brexit,’ Teresa May Does So. Tersely,” The New York Times, January 26, 2017. 

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Power beyond the Constraints of Federalism: The Case of Gambia’s 2016 Presidential Election

Even though Adama Barrow defeated the longtime president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, in the state’s presidential election in December, 2016, Barrow was rushed to the state of Senegal for security reasons when Jammeh refused to relinquish the power of the presidency. Jammeh had led a successful coup in coming to power in 1994. So it is no surprise that days after accepting the election result, he “changed his mind, declared the election results invalid and vowed to use the power of his military to stay in charge.”[1]This attests to the allure of power and how difficult it is to give up. In the E.U. and U.S., the protocols and institutional procedures are so well established that the nature of power is eclipsed from view as one political party assumes power previously held by another party. The reality of power as it lives in human nature is much more raw in the case of Gambia’s transition of presidents in 2016. I submit that federalism at the empire level was too lax to bracket the true nature of power at the state level.


The full essay is at “Gambia’s 2016 Presidential Election.”

Gambia’s new president, Adama Barrow, returning to the state after the previous president agreed to leave office. (Jerome Delay/AP)


[1] Jaime Y. Barry and Dionne Searcey, “His Predecessor Gone, Gambia’s New President Finally Comes Home,” The New York Times, January 26, 2017.

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Behind Brexit: State Sovereignty, Not Markets

Lest it be thought that trade—indeed, economics—was the foremost consideration in the British decision to secede from the E.U., the state’s prime minister tasked with implementing the secession made it clear that the political union had been the prime antagonist from the British standpoint. In American terms, such a position has been labeled as anti-federalist and even “states’ rights.” Economic considerations are not primary; rather, federalism is front and center—in particular, where power should be lodged. This ought not to strike fear into British business practitioners.


The full essay is at “Behind Brexit.”

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Behind Brexit: State Sovereignty, Not Markets

Lest it be thought that trade—indeed, economics—was the foremost consideration in the British decision to secede from the E.U., the state’s prime minister tasked with implementing the secession made it clear that the political union had been the prime antagonist from the British standpoint. In American terms, such a position has been labeled as anti-federalist and even “states’ rights.” Economic considerations are not primary; rather, federalism is front and center—in particular, where power should be lodged. This ought not to strike fear into British business practitioners.


The full essay is at “Behind Brexit.”

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Apparently Gaining World Control is a Lot Harder Than it Looks; History Once Again at the Crossroads

This week marks a seminal point in world history, not just about what will happen, but how what happens will be recorded. History as Written …

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Is the E.U. an Unimportant Tower of Babel?

With 24 official languages, the E.U. spent about 1 billion euros on translation and interpretation in 2016. The defense that diversity and language-learning were promoted is based on the specious reductionism of cultural diversity to language and the f… . . . → Read More: Is the E.U. an Unimportant Tower of Babel?

Analysis of Italy’s 2016 Referendum: Beyond the Euro and the E.U.

The predominate axis of analysis in the wake of the Italian referendum in early December, 2016 centered on the euro, the federal currency of the European Union. For example, an article in The Wall Street Journal begins with the following: “Sunday’s referendum vote in Italy reinforced a widening split between the economics needed to sustain Europe’s common currency and the continent’s rising tide of populism.”[1]At the time, however, the populism in the E.U.’s states had more to do with immigration than the federal currency. Even so, analysts predicted that Italian parties antagonistic to the currency could be expected to benefit. Stephen Gallo at BMO Financial Group went so far as to claim, “Eurozone breakup risks are rising,” given “the political currents at work in the Eurozone.”[2]Although he makes a good observation in noting the lack of a political will in the States “to finish building the missing architecture of the single currency area”—implying that the underpinnings of the euro were inherently unstable—he overlooked the matter of the distribution of wealth, and in particular the element of fairness, which I submit is salient in the Italians’ ‘No’ vote as well as in the rising anti-establishment, or shall we say, anti-elite, populism of the day.
The full essay is at “Italy’s Referendum.”


1. Stephen Fidler, “Italy’s ‘No’ Opens Harrowing Year for EU,” The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2016.

2. Jon Sindreu, “Euro Falls as Italian Reject Renzi’s Changes,” The Wall Street Journal, December 5, 2016.

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Merkel Backs Crackdown on Free Speech On Social Media Sites

One of the things I have noticed in the last few months, as a percentage, people other than Americans and British (especially Niederlanders) have increased rather dramatically. That pleases me, and I hope they are finding what they want. Since, as far as I know, none of them have commented, I just assume that they […]

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The Year of Political Revolution |

The title comes from a talk that Nigel Farage gave at David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2016 Restoration Weekend, to me it’s appropriate. It seems to me that what we have seen this year is the incipient conservative counter-revolution taking shape, first Brexit, then Trump, tomorrow…well who knows. As I said again the other day, the Anglo-Saxons […]

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E.U. Free-Trade After Brexit: Applying Domestic Requirements to International Trade

With the E.U. state of Britain set to secede from the Union, one major question was whether British businesses would continue to get unfettered access to the E.U.’s domestic market. I submit that subjecting free-trade negotiations to stipulations that are oriented to states rather than trading partners is unfair to Britain. Given the extraordinary influence of E.U. state officials at the federal level, this is a case in which the political influence of British business would be constructive rather than subversive of the public domain to private interests.

The complete essay is at “Free Trade After Brexit.”

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The E.U.’s Border-Control and Coast Guard: Held Hostage by Confederalism

In policing its borders as late as 2016, the E.U. suffered the same plight as the U.S. did under its Articles of Confederation—only whereas in the case of the U.S. the States retained all of their governmental sovereignty under the Articles, some governmental sovereignty in the E.U. was already lodged at the federal level. I contend that this perplexing disjunction between extant federal competencies and state rights in the E.U. is not sustainable.


The full essay is at “E.U.’s Border-Control.”

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A complacent elite is to blame for politics being turned upside down: Now what?

This has been kicking around in my files for a month now, seems like the best-laid plans… In any case, as it grew less timely, I wonder if it hasn’t become important. I rather think it has. Seems to me that what he speaks of here is becoming more true in the US, at least, every […]

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‘Mad as hell’?

There is a palpable anger in our politics on both sides of the Atlantic. Here in the UK, one Labour MP was shot recently, and others have been threatened. This verbal violence is happening in the Labour Party, which preaches equality and social justice. It did not happen under Miliband, Brown and Blair, but it […]

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Molon Labe: The European Edition

Molon Labe is perhaps one of the most famous sayings amongst Americans. We use it most in regard to the gun grabbers, and we use it in exactly the sense that Leonidas meant it, because we know that unarmed sheep-dogs are little more than sheep. But the Greeks remember the Spartans too. Here’s one of […]

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Brexit’s energy lesson for California and other environmental extremists

“California’s largest utility and environmental groups announced a deal Tuesday [June 21] to shutter the last nuclear power plant in the state.” This statement from the Associated Press reporting about the announced closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant…

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Brexit won’t hand victory to the SNP. A unionists’ breakdown just might.

From the Spectator’s Coffee House Blog. There’s a lot going on the UK right now, much of it has to do with the Tories looking around trying to find something approaching a leader, while labor is having a fairly civil war on itself. That means that Nicola Sturgeon is making hay while the sun shines, pushing […]

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After Brexit, Shoot All the Bureaucrats

“Every successful analysis begins with a unified theory.” Some Americans credit Donald Trump for the success of Brexit, while others are saying Trump owes Brexit for bumping his campaign …

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Britain must reconnect with its Christian roots to heal post-referendum divisions

Francis Phillips wrote today in The Catholic Herald a most interesting article, and yes, I know her slightly, and like her, from Jess’ site (and a few others). She’s an eminently sensible person and a very nice one. She may be, alone of my British friends, the lone supporter of Brexit, which isn’t as surprising as […]

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Britain’s Elites Can’t Ignore the Masses

Megan McArdle wrote the other day about her experience in a European airport and spending a day in Luton. if you would know the real reason that England specifically voted for Brexit, I think she found it, as well as anyone can sort out the many and varied reasons why the Brits decided to leave. […]

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Guns, Islam, and Orlando, and a note on Brexit

A note if you haven’t heard: Brexit won, everywhere but London, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and fairly decisively. I’m not going to say any more because Jess and I both cared very much about this, and we disagreed, and we agreed not to gloat, whoever won. So, while we all catch our breath, perhaps some […]

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