Q10 Will Brexit remain a mess?
2018 New Year’s Eve Forecast (What’s this?)
In systems theory we often describe how there are so many balancing loops constraining behavior that systems tend to revert to the mean and away from chaos. That usually only leaves shock events as capable of creating chaos, and then the balancing loops activate and drive the system back to a stable-equilibrium, even if it is a different equilibrium than existed before.
However, I’ve always wondered if there can exist a situation where the balancing loops are confining the solution-space, and within that space no solution exists. In other words, the “drive to the average” of the system is now putting the only possible solution outside of the reach of the system, and absent that solution, mass chaos will erupt.
If so this would be an entirely new archetype of behavior I haven’t seen before but one that’s worth mapping out and seeing what’s going on. This would be how I describe Brexit. It’s the classic situation where one would think “cooler heads will prevail” and absolutely in no way would the long-runway of Brexit planning result in a mass chaos worst-result outcome. Like Y2K – it seems really apocalyptic but as the deadline closes, people take more notice, and they adjust to ensure chaos doesn’t break out.
But given the loss of recent votes, the general distrust of May’s government, and the complexities of what’s going on, I’m not sure a feasible solution lies within the existing constraints. The obvious solution, rerunning the Brexit referendum lies outside the “space around the average” as described above. It’s just not something law-based governments are prone to do – rerun nationwide referendums until they get the result they like. That would certainly avoid Brexit – but that’s not really on the table in a plausible way. That means the solution to solve Brexit, which would be some sort of negotiation with EU and approval by the public – is the remaining option – but I’m no longer sure given these tightening constraints that a solution remains within that available space.
I realize this may be esoteric – I can imagine this laying out in front of me as a visual depiction but am trying to translate it into words.
I’m also really fascinated by the archetype or system behavior it represents and whether anyone has a name for it. In surface space analysis I guess it would be similar to getting trapped on a local peak, but that peak doesn’t rise high enough to provide a sufficient solution and so the system is trapped into a pattern that will result in mass chaos not only despite the guiding institutions, but because of its guiding institutions.
This is one of those forecasts I wish I had been wrong, but wasn’t. The last year can be described as a giant effort to seek a solution within an ever-confining space within which no solution can be found. May never came close to passing any of her Treaties and ended up losing her government. Corbyn provided an opposition as plagued by flaws as the majority, and after Johnson’s election the majority dropped to a razor-thin margin you could call it Gillette. And dissensions within the major parties led to more fractures, more disunity, and less room to find suitable compromises that would satisfy a majority in Parliament.
Even with the December election results, that finally tipped a numerical balance of power back to Johnson and the Conservatives and Brexit, there’s no guarantee he’ll have any more luck getting the votes for the final Treaties that May did. The balancing loops are still in play, although there has been some shift.
Prime Minister Johnson was able to pass a firm deadline for departure in mid-December set at January 31st 2020. But that’s a vote on a date to leave by, not concurrence on a complex treaty. Which means there’s still a real possibility of a chaotic Brexit still if Parliament cannot come to agreement on the Treaty but don’t change the deadline.
Running Total: 8.5 out of 12