Nicholas Taleb on the EU

nicholas Taleb


The European Union is a horrible, stupid project. The idea that unification would create an economy that could compete with China and be more like the United States is pure garbage. What ruined China, throughout history, is the top-down state. What made Europe great was the diversity: political and economic. Having the same currency, the euro, was a terrible idea. It encouraged everyone to borrow to the hilt.

from the October 2012 issue of Foreign Policy magazine

One of his latest tweets reads:

These imbeciles pathologizing people who did not vote the way the IYI (Intellectual-Yet-Idiots) elite wants them to.

The Brexit referendum result has been a shock to all those people, who I think on the whole are well intentioned, who cannot believe that the people should be confronted with black and white choices about future directions for their society and country.

I cite Oban’s comments, more fully exposed in a comment to a previous post of mine, as an exemplar of this point of view.

[Oban speaking] I am of the view that this was just the kind of complex, layered, and divisive issue that is not appropriate for a referendum, and many people on both sides of the issue will regret the choice for reasons that were not evident in the making of their referendal choices.
And I ask: what issue is not “complex, layered and divisive”?
To those of us who were for Brexit, we have to remember what our attitudes might have been towards Quebec’s separation following a referendum. I think mine would have been consistent between the two referenda:
1) they voted for separation;
2) they are making a huge mistake
3) tough negotiations must follow.
The UK’s position in relation to the EU is not analogous across all points with Quebec’s and Canada. Nevertheless I am asserting that my attitude toward the results of the two referenda would have been the same. I grant that this is easier to say when both referenda turned out the way I preferred.
In the meantime, the EU seems to be in a rush to get Britain out. The Guardian reports
Martin Schulz, the president of the EU parliament, led the call for formal exit talks to be launched as early as Tuesday. “We expect the British government to deliver now,” he told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag. “The summit on Tuesday is the appropriate moment to do so.”
 I think we are missing something important in all the frenzy about what Brexit does to the the United Kingdom. We have been ignoring what challenges Brexit thrusts upon the EU. In any case England must get its political house in order before it can negotiate, and it has time on its side. Pawn to King Four. This game has many rounds to go before a legal settlement is approved by the British Parliament. There is no rush for what they are about to do.