Thursday, 4 April 2019

Brexit and Julian May

In the 1980s and 1990s, the late Julian May wrote a series of eight books: the four Pliocene Exile books, the standalone vinculum 'Intervention', and the three novels of the Galactic Milieu trilogy.

In them, she describe a world where alien races have come to Earth whilst we were on the brink of nuclear war and offered us the stars. Since then, mankind has moved out from Earth to planets around the Galaxy: the large nations have many worlds, the smaller a few, and the smallest share some. Vast liners travel the ether between worlds, and mankind is flourishing.

Yet there are discontents. Humans - often powerful and influential ones - who rail against the aliens with whom we share control. We once controlled the world, but we are now a small piece of a gigantic Galactic cog. We should be in charge.

So these discontents start a rebellion that destroys worlds and kills billions. It is a pointless rebellion: one where they shake their fists at the very beings who have treated us well.

And it ends with Humanity chastened and still part of the Milieu. Little has changed, for the course was inevitable, and changing it would destroy everything.

And that is now what might happen to Brexit. We in the UK have a history that is littered with glory, and it is easy to sit back and want those glories to return. Britannia ruled the waves, and we ruled the world. But that world has changed: first came America, and then other countries overtook us. We are a small country: proud and brilliant, but small - in a world where size matters.

In such a world, is the EU an inevitability?

So we have a choice: to join up with other small countries (and smaller ones) to form a bloc that has more power together, or to be small and alone. It seems that the former might be inevitable. If so, perhaps the wettest of wet dreams of hardcore Europhiles are correct and, like Humanity after the rebellion, we will eventually become leaders of the group.

If so, then Brexit may be, like the rebellion in the books, a felix culpa - a blessed fall.

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