Theresa May Ulrich Baumgarten/Getty Images

英国脱欧和克努特王

伦敦—克努特王的传说讲述了盎格鲁-萨克逊先王如何向臣民展现皇家权力的极限。克努特将王座设在海边,命令上涨的海潮退去。海水和往常一样上涨并浸透了克努特,这时他对朝臣们说:“现在,让所有人知道国王的权力是多么空虚。”

以“英国退欧就意味着英国退欧”为口号的首相梅似乎认为克努特给人们的教训是关于民主而不是天文的:他应该举行公投。尽管梅反对英国从欧盟退出,但现在她有了新的口号:“我们将让英国脱欧成为一场成功,因为英国人民投票选择了它。”

这毫无意义。如果英国成为除俄罗斯之外仅有的自绝于欧盟单一市场的欧洲国家,其就不可能获得经济成功,不管人民怎么投票。如果克努特坐在王座上不懂,民主无法阻止重力推动的潮汐吞没克努特,而公投也无法让受全球化推动的经济潮流退却。

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