Let us welcome foreign influence which is cosmopolitan; but not Norwegian, for that is provincial, and we have plenty of the same kind ourselves.
August Strindberg - The Growth of a Soul (1913)
Alternatively we might adapt Strindberg's words and say.
Let us welcome foreign influence which is cosmopolitan; but not from the EU, for that is provincial, and we have plenty of the same kind ourselves.
To my mind this is one Brexit argument which could have been made during the recent EU referendum debate but wasn’t. Instead the Leave camp was successfully painted as lacking cosmopolitan sophistication and derided as narrow-minded and inward-looking. In a word – provincial.
Yet the Remain camp always seemed provincial to me and still does. The EU is not chic, worldly or cosmopolitan but tired, elitist, and corrupt. A haven for spiteful political poseurs and third-rate bureaucrats. A holiday destination for those who prefer familiar surroundings and faded glories. Irredeemably provincial in a world which is moving on.
Is it worse than that? Is the entire world becoming provincial?