Jo Guldi at Boston Review:
This account of Brexit, drawing on the framework of class-consciousness, turns on the rise of a reactionary electorate outside of London. The idea, in short, is that the United Kingdom has witnessed the lumpenproletariat exact uncertain revenge upon the nation’s ruling elite. This narrative more or less parallels Marx’s account of the December 1851 coup in France in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. Marx blamed the rise of the dictatorship on the greed and disappointment of the petite bourgeoisie, who revolted against the Second Republic and the interest of the workers. This betrayal, Marx argued, precipitated an era of rule by political moron, encapsulated in the premiership of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (figured as a template for Boris Johnson by some and for Jeremy Corbyn by others), whom Marx memorably dubbed a “grotesque mediocrity.” Leaders such as these, several commentators have implied, are a parody of the great leadership demanded by the moment.
A closely related understanding of Brexit can be found in the accounts of political scientists who theorize a connection between class resentment and the cause of participatory democracy. Mark Blyth, for example, has argued that Brexit typifies a global moment of participatory rebellion against the structures of expert rule, and Richard Tuck avers that the Left must embrace Brexit if the EU elite is to be replaced by a participatory process.