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After Brexit, European Left Calls for 'Massive Political Opposition'


#33

You should watch his TouTube speeches. He’s come over to our side. His Secret History of the American Empire and New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man lay the scheme all out. He didn’t have the big picture while he was in the game, but his books explain the game very well, and the exact same game with the American people as the victim was what Wall Street pulled off in the 2007-2008 crash, the subsequent purchase of the "toxic assets”, and then QE laying the cost of it all on the National Debt.

Then read Michael Hudson’s The Bubble and Beyond to get a deeper understanding. Wall Street is our enemy.


#34

The Left that alligned with the Right

SWP: We say OUT! Although diminished from its pre-Delta days, the Socialist Worker’s Party (Socialist Worker) is still the largest of the Left groupings. As such, it very much sets the pace in regards to the ‘questions of the day’. Its pamphlet, The EU, a left case for exit, gives a good account of the nature of the European Union. The dedication to neo-liberal economic policies, such as the infliction of austerity misery on the Greek people and widespread privatisation in the interest of the ‘fat cats’, is made clear. Equally, the creation of a murderous Fortress Europe policy to keep out migrants is spelt out, as is the fact that the EU is no source of progressive social reform. To weaken ‘British Imperialism’ vote no.

RS21/ Counterfire: We say OUT! These meaningless SWP splinters follow the example of their older brother.

SPEW: We say OUT! The ‘Socialist’ Party of England and Wales (formerly the Militant Tendency) (paper: The Socialist) says ‘We call for a vote to leave the capitalist EU, and to build a socialist Europe’ for much the same reasons as its arch rivals. They may not have noticed but their much-vaunted construction project has not even got to the planning stage. The choice on the ballot paper is not between a ‘socialist’ (whatever nonsense that might mean to them) Europe and a capitalist Europe but between a capitalist UK as a member of the capitalist EU and a capitalist stand-alone UK. SPEW takes no part in the Lexit group, the anti-EU campaign group formed on 13 April.

CPB: We say OUT! The third (maybe second) largest Left party has an influence beyond its size due to its activism within the unions. Its pamphlet Britain and the EU: What next? sets out the pro-business agenda of the EU, its anti-democratic nature (pots and kettles?), the decline and fall of Delors’ Social Europe, pro-US origins as a political version of NATO, war-mongering interference in Ukraine and Yugoslavia. The Communist Party of Britain is the prime mover in Lexit. CPB General Secretary Robert Griffith is the group’s chairman. To be fair, although the CPB are nay sayers, a fair crack of the whip is given to the INNERS in the CPB associated Morning Star.

CPBML: We say OUT (very loudly)! In a large and glossy handout, this group of ‘anti-revisionists’ say “Out of the EU!” The Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), producer of Workers, is notorious for its nationalist stance. Much talk is there of ‘our country.’ Our country? No, Their country! Nation is a capitalist concept. They own, they control: We are their slaves who must break our mental programming. The workers of the world have no country. Even by Left standards, this group is a disgrace.

CL: We say OUT! The Communist League, an intrusion into the UK of the American Militant Trotskyists, succinctly state ‘the challenge facing workers is to see our independent class interests… not to look to the capitalist rulers for protection – be they inside or outside the EU’. Quite right but this doesn’t stop them voting OUT.

NCP: We say OUT! The (not so) New Communist Party (New Worker) leaflet The truth about the EU features a cartoon of a trio of what look like B-17s bombing a town of peaceful demonstrators. While no one can ignore the neoliberal agenda of the EU, such alarmism is rather over the top. NATO is not at all the same thing.

SL/B: We say OUT! The Spartacist League/Britain, the Sparts, once known for their chanting, with publication Workers Hammer, decry the European Union as the ‘Enemy of Workers and Immigrants’ (aren’t migrants workers too?). But in or out austerity and racist anti-migrant policies will continue.

WRP: We say OUT! The orthodox Trotskyist Workers’ Revolutionary Party (daily paper: News Line, its masthead strangely Sun-like) says Vote Leave to ‘bring down the broken Cameron government… bring in a workers government’. A likely outcome – we don’t think. And, plural or singular, workers don’t need governing.

CPGB-ML: We say OUT! Noisy and unapologetically Stalinist, the Communist Party of Great Britain Marxist-Leninist (paper: Proletarian), consider Brexit will ‘weaken British, European and even US imperialism’ (i.e., providing opportunities for Chinese, Russian and Arab imperialism) ‘taking our struggle for socialism one small step forward’ (or making not a blind bit of difference).

RCPB(ML): We say OUT! The Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (Line of March) holds that ‘working people themselves must set the agenda’. Quite right too. Yet the agenda of the referendum has already been set by the ruling class. By voting in their referendum, we are playing their game.

SLP: We say OUT! Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party ‘lambasts’ the ‘free movement of both labour and capital’ and boosts import controls on goods and people. The less said about this (especially the latter) the better.

ISLP: We say OUT! The Independent Socialist Labour Party – an anti-Scargill Scargillite – also go for the OUT vote.

RESPECT: I say OUT! The fan club of George Galloway call the EU an ‘undemocratic plutocracy, a bankers’ Europe’. And is not the UK an undemocratic plutocracy, a bankers’ paradise? And did not the gorgeous one rethink his views after being booed when sharing a platform with Farage? He did not.


#36

Good one on the last part. The EU is just an extension of America’s Banking & Military Empire. The " agony of defeat " is b.s. to all but the money-grubbing elites. Like hedgers they try to win either way. Didn’t happen thjs time.


#38

I could have continued with the splintered left, Matt

RCG: The Revolutionary Communist Group, very active backsliders from Trotskyism, is yet to declare. The publishers of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! seem to have little interest - presumably because the effects on its beloved Irish, Palestinian, etc, etc, nationalism and Cuban state capitalism are negligible.

IMT: The International Marxist Tendency issuing Socialist Appeal, still boring within the Labour Party, are hedging their bets. ‘The task of Marxists… is not to come out in favour for either reactionary camp’. So neither an IN or an OUT. That’s a good start.

Workers Power: After nicely contrasting the ‘racist and chauvinist OUT campaigners’ to the ‘pro-capitalist/ neoliberal IN campaigners’, the fighters for a Fifth International (as if four weren’t bad enough) say IN! Workers Power (publishing the pleasantly pink Red Flag) is now entryist in the Labour Party. Which is an IN. Strange huh?

SR: Socialist Resistance ‘Ecosocialist Feminist Revolutionary’ are INNERS. Leader Alan Thornett simplistically aligns Europe and manufacturing (good) and US and finance capital (bad). Although the drawbacks of the European Union are noted, they call for the opposite vote to the chief leavers, UKIP and the “Tory Right” (aren’t they all that?).

AWL: The Alliance for Worker’s Liberty (Solidarity) stands for an IN vote, saying, in particular, it reduces ‘nationalist antagonisms’. The AWL has always used hostility and contradictoriness to create a clear red line between it and the other Left groups. Its reasoning on this issue seems a little half-hearted.

SEP: Socialist Equality Party are for an active boycott. ‘No to the European Union – No to British nationalism!’ Fair enough. ‘For the unity of the British and European working class!” And of the world, one might add. ‘For the United Socialist States of Europe!’ This slogan, thought up by Trotsky himself, has been used by INNERS and OUTERS and, here, by abstainers.

CPGB: The Communist Party of Great Britain (journal: Weekly Worker) also recommends a boycott of the referendum. Its essentially tactical reasons include opposition to British nationalism, opposition to the EU as a capitalist body, as well as a theoretical opposition to referenda as undemocratic.


#40

I did not mean mass change was a stupid idea in that it meant nothing. Almost the opposite. I was referring to your idea that it was a stupid fantasy. Just because we have rarely seen it in the past does not mean it cannot happen. You actually seem to be arguing that what has happened already is mass change. Obviously it depends on what you call ‘mass’ - 100, 10,000, 100,000,000 etc? I think at least one of us - possibly two - has misunderstood the other.


#41

The word ‘class’ is often carefully omitted from the actual language used for obvious reasons. Imagine if Obama called himself part of the ruling class. Does that mean he never thinks of himself as such?

Everywhere we see an he underlying conceptualisation of how society works plus the idea it is to be understood as a set of imbalanced property-based divisions in which ‘ordinary working folks’ (check the many such euphemisms) are going to somehow be helped in their material struggles. This is at its root resting more or less on the same divisive analysis that Marx used - not to mention the perceptions of others before him. He was maybe just the first to write it up so comprehensively.

People now see themselves as inherently divided by birth, with personal wealth, ownership of property, social status and occupation being some of the main vectors of division. Result? Even some of the supposedly most radical thinkers cannot get their head out of these ideas and this vision of supposed reality. Anyway, I don’t know who first coined the term ‘class’ but lets not pretend Marx was an original thinker.


#42

The EU is not a bad thing. I am a passionate european. And let me clarify some historical points.

The EU was first conceived as a way to prevent a continent-wide wold war costing 100’s millions of lives. It did this by creating a single market and symbiotic economic relationships between all the member states. That objective is just as honourable and correct now as it was in the aftermath of WW2, and what’s more it worked. Nations found out that they stand to make much more money and achieve greater stability working in the EU framework rather than armies buzzing at borders.

As for some questions about was Brexit racist driven, no it wasn’t. at least not at first. The objection to migrations was mean spirited, insecure, and extremely stupid. Take for example a person in North Carolina can go and seek employment in California, and none of you would think anything of it. But a Bulgarian or Hungarian coming to seek employment in England proved too much for the British. They were hungrier than the British, better at their jobs, more driven, and they thrived. They also contributed a hell of a lot to the British economy by generating more employment and paying taxes.

The influx of Syrians, Afghans, and Africans came much later, and was evenly distributed across the continent. But everyone got lumped in this “immigrant” and “economic migrant” and of course “Muslim” tag and singled out as the reason why everyone has problems. Have we not seen this before?

Is there corruption in the EU? I’m sure there is. Wherever there are people there is corruption. And we should fix it, weed out the corrupt elements, but not wreck the whole house down.


#43

So does that mean the banksters and Cameron, who wanted Britain desperately to stay in the EU, aren’t conservates doing their best to shore up their austere policies?


#45

I am sure you can give me a citation to this conception. At the time and not some concoction after the fact? What year do you believe this conception took place, where and by whom? I’ll be very interested in seeing your response because it doesn’t match the information I have.


#46

So Greece had to stay and pay debt that wasnt fully theirs, yet Britain who ran debt up gets to leave. There is something fishy about this. Greece is the word…


#48

The Arab spring, Bernie Sanders and uprisings across the world certainly appear to be on the rise. The exit seems like it could be a good thing if the left can push it further to the left and not let it fall into even tighter control by right wing parties. I’m no fan of the E.U. so this sounds right on the surface and if it can be controlled it could be a move toward more Democracy for all.
The World Bank and IMF have released statements saying austerity and inequality are not sustainable and are causing instability across the world…true. But of course they didn’t see it that way with Greece as we all saw. Hypocritical yes, but still correct. The world is reacting to the years of neoliberal (Hillary’s ideology) control and they are mad as hell, as are we.
We cannot keep putting people with those views in office, they’re killing people world wide. The wars the U.S. has started have destabilized countries and pushing immigrants out into neighboring countries by the millions. We have to stop our country and it’s constant hunger for more war and domination.
The revolution is world wide, we have our jobs cut out for us here. We have to fight long into the future if we expect to win this battle with the ruling class. And we must.
Climate change is our biggest challenge and to address that we have to move these neoliberals and neocons out of the way, stop the unnecessary wars and go after it like there’s no tomorrow. If we don’t, there won’t be many more tomorrows.
NeverHillary


#50

Well said. The stability the EU has given Europe is in stark contrast to the disunity and wars most people certainly know about but among the few applauding this apparently haven’t understood in terms of the underlying causes and motivations.

I am very disappointed with this Brexit vote. It is a symptom of an increasingly destabilizing world losing ground to the agitations of rightwing xenophobia and fascist inclinations of a kind that spread through popular sentiments across Europe with Franco’s Nationalists in Spain, Hitler’s Nazis in Germany and Austria, Mussolini’s Black Shirts in Italy, as well as the industrialists that saw “strength” and virtue in these sentiments and provided the financing, greased and fueled the engines of war, Torkild Reiber, CEO of Texaco from his offices in NYC, prominent among them. Trump’s rise in the US has some of the same nativist sentiments and nationalist greatness rhetoric which would render systems of international cooperation and stability less effective and useful. Former Israeli PM Ehud Barack calls Netanyahu’s regime “fascistic,” apparently thinking an attitude of close-minded religious nationalism and hair-trigger military preparedness is sufficient to secure “peace.”

If there is one thing the world doesn’t need now, is more instability and division. The Scots will likely hold a referendum and leave Great Britain to realign themselves with the EU. That would be welcome. I hope it happens sooner rather than laters.


#52

The EU is much more than just its financial institutions - it is also a union that enforces numerous labor and human rights, social program standards, environmental and food quality standards, cooperation in engineering and science standards and public infrastructure. Why do you think that the average European has less than half the carbon footprint of a USAn?

If the US were on the other side of the Atlantic, it would not even begin to qualify for EU membership due to its near-nonexistent social and health programs, weak environmental regulations its clinging to archaic measurement and engineering standards.

The fact that you can get on a high speed train (that is practically sci-fi compared to what US engineers are capable of) in London and with a couple connections, get off in Budapest - without even having to carry a passport - say’s it all.


#53

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#54

The Clash wrote some pretty good radical anarcho-punk songs - But that one was the positively idiotic.


#55

I see, so you think that the vision of the Tea party and Trumpists is exactly as valid as the vision of the Green Party or the Socialist Party USA - and that they should be natural allies?

I think that you need some more training in thinking.


#56

Exactly. The motivations of those organizing for a any kind political-economic change is much more important than the change itself - becasue it is highly likely that those organizers that pushed the change will control what kind of institutions replace those thrown out. If the readers here think that there are not things possible that far worse than the status quo or even the repugnant TTIP or TPP (which can be easily defeated without having to elect a fascist Trump or LePen - even under a Hillary presidency), then they are seriously lacking in imagination.


#59

Yes, I agree. Your point might be illustrated in the potentially great danger in the idea of those who have wanted a Constitutional Convention to “fix things,” a notion I entertained briefly until realizing such a convention would much more likely result in a re-writing of the Constitution completely the opposite of the progressive values we would love to see happen. The inequality we are experiencing is not simply in income and wealth but in the political power great wealth and influence has been able to garner. It would very likely be that power that would dominate a Convention such as that and the “fixes” enacted would be codifying that agenda, not one of social justice.

There are certainly much worse things to be concerned about than Hillary Clinton as President, or the status quo providing a modicum of stability in an increasingly dangerous world. I just finished the following essay by Jerry Brown in the New York Review of Books.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2016/07/14/a-stark-nuclear-warning/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NYR%20Nuclear%20warning%20DAFs%20photography&utm_content=NYR%20Nuclear%20warning%20DAFs%20photography+CID_cdcb323379751927b97848003ede3e76&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=A%20Stark%20Nuclear%20Warning

The incredible danger to the world by the Republican Party is starkly indicated in the actions of Senator Cruz in the removal of a single word in the Defense Authorization of 2017:

In note 11:

IIya Arkhipov and Marek Strzelecki, “Putin Warns NATO Missile Shield is Threat to Peace in Europe,” Bloomberg, May 13, 2016. Existing US law allows for the deployment of a missile defense system to prevent a “limited ballistic missile attack” (see www.congress.gov/106/plaws/publ38/PLAW-106publ38.pdf). The word “limited” was meant to prevent the deployment of a large missile defense system aimed at Russia or China. The proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 contains a particularly dangerous provision introduced by Senator Ted Cruz that strikes the word “limited” from existing law and thereby lays the groundwork for an expanded missile defense system directed at Russia and China (see www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2639). Such action would have a hugely destabilizing impact upon an already precarious world order.

The inability by many here to see the necessity of a stable political culture and the dangers instability and intemperate revolution can have on our very existence is troubling. I will support stability and temperate and thoughtful change before blowing up everything in one fell swoop and hoping what comes out of it is for the better. I can only hope those who advocate the opposite fail miserably, whether Trump supporters, neo-fascists, or Clinton haters who would blow up the Democrats for a hopeless utopian vision of order coming from the rubble.


#60

I believe that Marx would have held nothing but contempt for the Trumpists and Tea party. Trumists are are classic lumpenproletariat with no class consciousness who cluelessly think their bosses are on their side. Tea partiers are largely suburban “small businessmen” i.e. the petit-bourgeois who despise worker organizing and resent having to comply with any kind of regulations which protect workers and the environment. They are absolutely not our allies, and if they occasionally have objectives that narrowly coincide with ours, it is only due to the "broken clock"effect.


#61

Your 43 word reply will need to be elaborated on. Whatever it is you are trying to say might seem clear, relevant, and immensely important to you, but isn’t being conveyed in an intelligible manner to me. Try again. I have no idea what you are trying to say.