The philosophy of a Eurosceptic nation: Martí and a new Britain.

Just a small introduction from the Editor-Elect, Dylan Carter:

I’m very much looking forward to writing for the Caerulean over the course of this next year. This is a bit of an experimental article, but I am looking to change this newsletter into a forum for opinion pieces, so I am looking forward to hearing from you guys as well!

As I lay awake one night in a stiflingly hot and dimly-lit room, I found myself drawn to some of the great philosophers of Latin America. These books, their secrets hidden in a foreign tongue, appeared philosophically as alien to me as Latin America appeared to the Spanish colonists who discovered her. I was, however, shocked to find upon closer inspection a striking resemblance to the current condition of our nation. José Martí, revered in Cuba as a great figure of socialist heroism, lived in a situation of political uncertainty. Cuba, vassal of the Spanish empire, was experiencing the first signs of revolutionary spirit. Martí, in his celebrated “Nuestra América” (Our America), feared for the nature of an independent Cuba and the Latin world beyond. Would they let themselves fall victim to the utilitarian imperialism of the United States? Would they content themselves with an ill-fitting European political philosophy? Or adapt to their unique situations?

Martí was one of the great positivists of his time. He saw the need to focus on the realities of the Cuban condition- rejecting foreign political systems which do not account for the concrete reality of the Cuban system. A particular quote inspired my contrast with our current philosophical dilemma:

Injértese en nuestras Repúblicas el mundo; pero el tronco ha de ser de nuestras Repúblicas

(One must carve the world into our Republics; but the core (ideology) must be from our Republics)”

Martí promoted the purest form of patriotism -the need for a popular self-determination- the belief that political philosophy and policy must be founded upon the needs and will of the people. As Martí deliberates:

Cuando aparece en Cojímar un problema, no van a buscar la solución a Danzig

(“When a problem appears in Cojímar, don’t go looking for the answer in Danzig.”)

Far from the socialists of our era, who hold the greatest of contempt for nation and autonomy, Martí’s ideology stemmed from an ambivalent humanism. He sought to elevate the traditions, values, and culture of its citizens, while protecting them from the tyranny of the imperialistic European elite. The European Union has assumed the role of the tyrannical Spanish crown. Quotas, taxation, bureaucracy and unaccountability dominate. Just as Martí led the charge for a nation free from the burden of the super-state, Britain has shrugged off the chains of political autocracy.

The irony of my contrast between 19th century socialist literature and the state of British political philosophy is not lost on me. Martí, ever the positivist, would likely spin in his grave as I dredge up ancient texts from the other side of the world. Nevertheless, the EU referendum served as the embodiment of an ancient and long-forgotten philosophy: A rejection of a foreign intellectual elite and an affirmation of the need for a British political thought to solve British problems. After all, who understands the British condition better than the British themselves?

However, just as Martí struggled to define a Cuban political philosophy, Britain must now attempt to do the same. We find ourselves in a lamentable state of philosophical limbo. We have rejected a burdening universal European political philosophy- A philosophy, which ignored the societal differences between nations, in favour of political homogeny- but what political philosophy will replace this aggressive globalism? How do we define “British values”? “Neo-Liberal” thought dominates our political landscape; wriggling its way into every aspect of public life as a parasite attacks its host. They would make us believe that the referendum result should be ignored; our traditions discarded and institutions cast aside in the pursuit of a ‘Frankenstein’ future. If we as conservatives, wish to create a society in our image, we must clearly define our outlook.

We must become Martí in our age. The left has built themselves upon the tired philosophy of soviet-era intellectuals and European federalists. The only salvation of the right will be in a renewed intellectual fervour. Through deliberate and targeted marginalisation, we have been cast out of academia, but all is not lost. As the referendum has proven, Britain seeks an alternative. Though the odds were stacked against us, the Eurosceptic philosophy prevailed- for the very reason that it encapsulated the positivist realism of the British spirit. We must not let the left define “British Values”, for the left’s contempt for self-determination and patriotic spirit would dilute the beauty of the British ideal. It is our duty to lead the positivist charge. The left libels, shouts, cries and guffaws because it has surpassed intellectualism. Conservative youth must lead the attack based on the realities of the nature of British people. We are an independent people, who deserve no less than an independent government.

El lenguaje ha de ser matemático, geométrico, escultórico. La idea ha de encajar exactamente en la frase, tan exactamente que no pueda quitarse nada de la frase sin quitar eso mismo de la idea.”

(“The language has to be mathematic, geometric, sculptural. The idea has fit exactly in the sentence, so exactly that nothing else can be removed from the sentence without removing the very idea.”)

The opinions in this article are not representative of the UCL Conservatives. Any opinions expressed belong explicitly to the author.

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