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Garvan Walshe @garvanwalshe
, 6 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1/ This is a nice conceit, but I must step in. Berlin was actually much closer to understanding Brexit than the LSE chap @GuitarMoog cites knows. Towards the end of Two Concepts of Liberty, which only Berlin obsessives like me get to, Berlin describes another use of freedom...
2/ He calls this the search for status. And it comes up in the context of the colonial independence movements that were common at the time he gave his Two Concepts lecture (1958)
3/ He focuses on what independence fighters say to authorities who argue that we, the colonial rulers, are simply better at administering the colonies, will provide you with a better life, more freedom both positive and negative than your inexperienced independence movement
3/ And his answer is to that for them freedom means “to count for something” to find meaning as a member of a certain group. Crudely, these new guerillas may become oppressors, but at least they’ll be our oppressors.
4/ There was something of this at play during the 2016 campaign. Remain talked about facts, stats, and the better administration of the European system (a system the U.K. was part of rather than ruled by of course) - nevertheless the appeal was to efficiency not the heart
5/ And it isn’t a lesson the anti Brexit forces have been able to learn since. They need to convey a sense of why being in the EU makes one “count for something” and persuade the British to embrace it, if they are to be successful in the long term. ENDS
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