Sometimes politicians are so mind-bogglingly elitist, they attempt such breathtakingly courageous feats of hubris that one wonders if they’re engaging in new forms of ironic performance art. As if glimpsing a shooting star at dusk, we are, for a fleeting, glittering, gleaming moment, presented with the bizarre possibility that these blowhards are actually ingenious saboteurs, attempting to subvert all misguided belief in their rotting collectivist institutions. We gawk as they stand like Titans at the summit of Asinine Mountain and gaze down upon us trembling civilian mortals.
On January 2, this Great Feat was achieved by Slovakia’s Prime Minister, Robert Fico. During the “Stepping Down” speech he delivered after occupying the EU “Rotating Head” status for six months, His Awesomeness Fico warned his fellow superheroes to stay away from votes by the masses.
Referenda, he said, are bad mojo:
I am asking EU leaders to stop with adventures like the British and Italian referendums (…) on domestic issues which pose a threat to the EU.
Of course, given how this elitist “tax-inflate-bailout-and-regulate” monolith has fared when people in the UK were given the opportunity to vote in a referendum on staying or leaving the EU, perhaps Mr. Fico (who looks uncannily like the lead singer of British band Madness) has a point. Another referendum in Italy saw voters reject a “constitutional reform” plan pushed by pro-EU Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, a vote that saw the rise of the Italian nationalist “Five Star” party, the resignation of Renzi (now known as “Resignin’ Renzi”), and the likelihood that if an “Exit the EU” referendum were presented to Italian voters, the result would be the same as that for “Brexit.”
But, if European nations entered the EU via referenda (there is some debate in lexicographic circles as to whether that should be “referenda,” “referendums,” “referendadadadums,” or some variant of “they’re-still-not-as-good-as-individual-liberty”...but we will continue), why aren’t these kinds of votes okay later, when folks might want to leave?
After all, as Reuters notes, his Slovakian people voted in a 2003 referendum to join the EU. If they can be trusted to join, why not to leave?
This, of course, could spell the beginning of the end for the EU politicians and their endless army of bureaucratic worker ants. Their tax-funded positions and jet-set lifestyles could be dust if people seized opportunities to say “no thanks” to what the EU offers. So, despite appearing incredibly elitist and foul, Mr. Fico is really just looking out for his best interest. Sure, that has no connection in any way to the best interests of the people who will be born into the EU system as tax slaves, but, then again, these upcoming generations never had a chance to vote or agree to any of this in the first place.
That’s the funny thing about referenda, statutes, or any other kind of generational government enslavement. It comes in many forms. The great 19th Century American abolitionist and political philosopher Lysander Spooner correctly noted that, even if one were to accept the fallacious notion that a state existed because of some mystical “contract,” no one can sign a contract for you, be that now, or in previous generations. Your grandfather could not sign a contract that would be binding on you, be it to offer you a benefit or for enslavement. Referenda merely allow those who comprise the majority who voted to decide for everyone how even more of their lives will be conducted, be they people alive at the time, or future generations.
The least Mr. Fico could do is acknowledge that it might be a good idea to let the people stuck in the EU system engage in a vote to change course.
But anything even resembling self-determination (which, morally speaking, is not about nations, but about individuals and maximum freedom) is precisely what the EU rulers and pushers have always disliked. Since its inception, the EU has been a machine for political centralization, mandates, taxation, monetary mismanagement, redistribution of wealth, and elitism. It is bankrupt, many of its member states are bankrupt, and many of the people trapped in them want out.
It would be nice to see the leaders of this failed experiment acknowledge reality. But, Mr. Fico and others will undoubtedly stand steadfast in their fantasy land, beneath their ten-starred banner, until the rumbles of mass dissent finally bring their castle of cronyism tumbling to the ground.
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