Introduction to Split! The West at War with Itself


Dear Friends,

Welcome to my blog.

Many have asked me why I called the channel, and my website, Split! Even more have enquired as to the sub-heading “The West at War with Itself”? Short answer is: It’s the name of my unpublished book.

The longer answer is: as a Brit, I witnessed a huge divide open up on the issue of EU membership. As the Split! on this issue opened wider and deeper, it became, as I say in the book: “the moment that the toasted soldier was pushed so deep into the soft-boiled egg that the rest of the divisions erupted like the gooey yolk.” Brexit, as it came to be known, after the success of the Leave campaign, is a UK phenomenon, but the fundamentals of it seemed to be playing all over the Western World, hence the title.

Here is a short snippet of the introduction. It is Brexit specific, but, especially in light of the events of the last 18 months, I think it will feel relevant to all:

Do you believe that capitalism has failed and that massive, centrally governed political unions, have the best hope in bringing about a socialist Utopia? Or do you think that the EU will prevent the socialism that we so desperately need? Do you believe capitalism would be best served by being a member of a unified trading bloc or that the EU itself has a Marxist intent? Do you believe that charity begins at home or that wealthy nations are obliged to fund projects, serve the needs and provide opportunities for those less fortunate living in the far recesses of Europe? Or the world? Do you think that experts run things expertly or that they are out of control, unaccountable megalomaniacs? Do you see populism as a petulant outburst or as common sense guidance restoring balance to the Globalist ambition? Are you a proud globalist who thinks that Brexit is a defeatist capitulation or a triumphant de-shackling that finally allows global trade? Do you think we should focus on what divides us, or unites us?

Do you believe in free speech without any bounds? Do you believe that hate speech is free speech? Do you believe that the EU threatens free speech through its ultra litigious, highly regulated template? Do you believe that Europe has become a more welcoming, morally superior place because of EU intervention? What is your opinion on the court of human rights and the obsession with political correctness? Do you see political correctness as a scourge on basic liberty or as an essential instrument of civility?

Do you see a world dominated by straight, white males? Does it make you feel sick to your stomach? Or is the EU the hotbed of progressive values that will crack the kernel of patriarchal dominance and white supremacy? Or do you simply not care about gender or skin colour?

Do you see the EU as saturated in theory yet unmoved by practice? Do you feel European first and foremost? Do you believe that nationality and culture should be defended as the glue that binds a society or that they are the very currency of hatred and division? Do you believe that you know what is best for you and your family, or are you too busy and would prefer experts and intellectuals to show the way? Do you believe in guilt by association? Do you believe in collectivism or individuality? Do you see the West as a haven for humanity that must be protected, or as a nucleus of misery that has metastasised around the world? Is the EU the bacteria or the antibiotic?

We all fall into different categories and each new category Splits! us further. The dawning of a new technical age has engendered a lopsided elevation of our “identities”, encouraging us to hold onto beliefs built on narrative and forsake basic evidence, because these beliefs constitute the very identities we hold so dear, and an identity is supreme.

Sam Roffey