Why would a successful country that’s enjoyed a thousand years of independence give up its right of self-government to the unelected non-entities that we see sitting before us this morning?
So asked Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), to a collection of his dumbfounded fellow MEPs.
Whether or not you agree with Farage, his dialogue and attitude is important. Modern countries have accepted that the growth of government is a given, the natural order of things. This complacency is dangerous. In fact, it’s madness:
Even though everything to date has been wrong, we are going to do more of the same—now I thought that was a definition of madness! I can’t believe that is a rational response to any situation in which you find yourself.
Farage’s questions and his deprecating—and especially British—humor serve as a weapon that targets the inflated egos of his fellow politicians: “We’ve got presidents all over this room, goodness me, even I’m a president! I’m not sure what the collective noun for ‘presidents’ is, perhaps an ‘incompetence.’”
To think that an unelected international body could have the knowhow to govern every individual is madness. There is a simple knowledge problem wherein the information required to govern even small groupings of individuals is localized, and thus out-of-reach of a central authority.
Last week on Spectator.org, James Snell argued that Nigel Farage and other UKIP leaders are “not worthy personalities for elected office.” I would argue that Farage is exactly what we need in political offices everywhere.
We need someone who will ask the question: “Is the EU model right for Europe?” And equivalently: “Is big government the solution?” Is our current system in the U.S. valid? Instead, our representatives in Congress are resigned to a slip into statism, most recently with government-mandated health care and endless NSA snooping.
Farage called the EU’s dealings with Greece’s financial crisis “diplomacy at gunpoint,” and accused the EU of planning “to destroy and humiliate nation states who do not live up to a Germanic view of how economies ought to be run.”
He argues that selling Britain’s sovereignty in order to be the left pinky finger of pan-Europe with little-to-no say about the club rules on issues like immigration and the environment, is madness, just madness.
Matt Purple explains UKIP’s position in terms of the U.S. Tea Party: they are not anti-democratic, or anti-politics, but rather anti-government as the solution to all problems.
Farage is against bailouts and the one-size-fits-all interest rate of the Euro. He is pro-referendum, pro-free speech, pro-transparency, anti-cronyism, famously anti-EU, and in favor of an alternative vote system for more proportional representation.
Farage reiterates that his party is not anti-European. He believes in a Europe of trade and cooperation. However, he is against a power-seeking, commission-run Europe dominated by the “so-called community method,” something akin to the consensus model—a bureaucratic briar patch. His voice is the voice of sanity.
Gorged on government, using regulations to regulate our regulations, and programs to complement failed programs, we need to re-evaluate the validity of the political machine itself rather than resign ourselves to tinker with the products.