Today is the anniversary of Britain's vote to leave the EU.
I think it's no exaggeration to say that this was the public event that brought me the most joy, in my entire life. I can remember the Berlin Wall falling, but I didn't really understand what was happening. I can't actually remember the fall of the Soviet Union.
I'm too tired to write a post commemorating it properly. But it was a watershed moment for me, for two reasons:
1) For the first time in my life, my implicit belief in historical inevitability was shaken. For all my reading of Chesterton, who constantly poured scorn on this idea, I really did believe in historical inevitability. I would have denied such a belief, but I still believed it. I thought that, perhaps, things had changed since Chesterton's day. The juggernaut of ever-greater European integration seemed unstoppable.
2) The reaction of many of my Facebook friends shocked me. They didn't just disagree; they sneered. The British people were idiots. They didn't know what they were doing. They'd regret it immediately. It was unbelievable, apocalyptic. It provoked the same reaction in my workplace. It seemed to me like a reaction conditioned by years of globalist propaganda.
Because I had some EU nerds amongst my Facebook friends, who could write at great length about fisheries and the Treaty of Rome and so forth, I was nervous about getting into a debate about this. At one point, I was so irritated at the sneer-fest that I did post something. However, I blocked quite a lot of people from seeing it, and I kept it very much on a philosophical level. I was surprised and heartened at how many people "liked" it-- quite often, people I never would have expected to sympathise with me on this subject.
I was certainly pushed to the right by the general reaction to Brexit. One reader warned me I had drifted to the "hard right". I guess I have.
Nobody who has followed this blog for any length of time will need me to explain why I was so happy. It had nothing to do with economics and everything to do with national identity, national sovereignty. I am too tired to go into it now, but I have to admit that, in terms of public events, the day of the Brexit result was probably the happiest of my entire life.