An open letter on Brexit & Entropy

Our universe is guided by the laws of high entropy – that rule by which things tend to go from a state of order to a state of chaos. A glass can be knocked off a table and smash into a million pieces, but you’ll never hear of a pile of shards being nudged, only for them to leap up onto the table and form themselves into a glass. That’s high entropy.

Consider if you will, that life is simply a rebellion against high entropy. We’re highly ordered systems in a universe that prefers chaos. Eventually high entropy ends us – that’s death, but we create hopefully even more highly ordered versions of ourselves in our children. We form a highly ordered society, leave civilisation and knowledge behind us when we’re gone.

Eventually, if we let it, high entropy lays waste even to civilisation. Think of Babylon and Ancient Egypt, the Romans, the library at Alexandria, World War Two and the Ionians. Right now our own civilisation is frayed at the edges, with many issues such as wars, extremism, environmental abuse, wealth inequality and economic depression to contend with.

A demagogue is on the rise in the US. With such destructive technology so readily available any half-crazed extremist can wreak tragic chaos. Our governments enforce poverty on us while rewarding those who already have too much.

It’s no surprise then that a champion of unity was brutally murdered in my country this week in the name of division. It’s no surprise that a populist was using Nazi imagery daubed with the words, “breaking point.” I urge you to think about that for a minute: breaking point. The hard right have been putting strain on normal people for years, cutting back and underfunding vital services such as the NHS, hiking prices on necessities such as housing while allowing employers to pay workers proportionally less and less, with less security under initiatives such as zero hours contracts. The media – officially identified as the most right wing in Europe – has been plying us with fearful interpretations for at least 40 years.

They put us under duress for so long and now they claim we’re at breaking point. That’s their vision of this moment. The moment that you break, the moment they’ve been working towards for so long. We break from our multicultural unity, we break from Europe, we break from civilisation and each other. A populist smiling in front of a poster that alienates the most vulnerable people in the world. He clicks his fingers and on cue we break. Divide and conquer.

The followers of the hard right are only scared of high entropy. “We can’t progress, we can’t get better!” they cry. If you do, you’re a fool and an idealist. Instead they want us to run back and hide in our caves. They drag us back. And in fear of high entropy they become its slaves.

Don’t be a slave this coming week. Follow life and unity and rebel against high entropy. The EU is a corrupt club, but it’s also an astoundingly civilised place – the most civilised place this earth has seen. We need to build on that, not tear it down in fear. We need unity not division to prosper. Consider that when going to the ballot box, because once you’ve smashed a glass in anger it won’t leap up and fix itself.


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