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Democrat July-August 2013 Editorial (Number 136)

The EU and benign globalisation

Editorial by John Boyd

The real role of globalisation is to be a cover for crypto-imperialism. The EU is formed of six former broken empires in a temporary alliance. They are trying to resurrect those empires as part of revitalising capitalism.

As part of this process the EU is developing a European Army which currently includes rapid reaction forces to carry out the EU's foreign policy on behalf of the former empires.

The impression given of globalisation is of a global village, in which there is one large pool of money floating around for which we all have to politely compete and where nation-states are irrelevant. This is where in reality "workers of the world unite" has been replaced by "workers of the world compete". A classic example of this can be found in textiles where exploitation is rampant along with poor working conditions, child labour and unsafe buildings.

The next stage of arranging capitalism and globalisation is now with us and takes the form of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). These FTAs are to extend the principles of "free movement of capital, services, goods and labour" across the globe. On the table are the EU-India FTA, US-EU FTA and FTAs are being drafted for former European colonies.

The left has largely failed to unravel free movement of labour from racism, asylum and immigration. All this has been mixed up with misunderstanding of real internationalism, solidarity and globalisation. Internationalism depends on respect for nation-states which require national independence and democracy.

In complete contrast the current objective of the EU and capitalism is for corporations and banks to have no further use for national independence, national democracy or nation states.

The answer to this dichotomy comes back to the principle importance of nation-states as the only way so far evolved to have in place controls over transnational corporations and banks.

As part of the alternative to the EU and capitalism and as a matter of dire urgency, different policies need to be developed and adopted in place of those in circulation today.

The labour and trade union movement must demand an increase in wages, a reduction in hours and a lowering of the retirement age to replace austerity policies. This would reduce unemployment and challenge the transnationals which are creaming off all the money and wealth they can get away with. Austerity policies are not temporary: they are intended to be permanent and are applied across the EU and now in other countries across the world.

The left has to develop a viable and acceptable alternative policy to EU membership and reject advice given by transnational corporations and the US that Britain stay in the EU. There is a need to show there is life outside the EU and to develop a viable alternative with an economy based on manufacturing, the creation of wealth and trade across the world including EU Member States. Otherwise what is the working class going to do?

Nation-states must take control of their national borders and control the movement of capital, goods, services and labour. This requires a better understanding of the national question, nationalism and internationalism. This must be the focus of political action. In other words to overcome what has for too long been a serious blind spot and have a revolution against the EU and capitalism or suffer barbarity and even back to gun controlled feudalism.

The people are impoverished and the economy stalls or falters while privateers join in harvesting financial resources and capital.

Finally the left must shout loud and clear that to achieve the right to self determination, including socialism if the peoples of Britain so desire, a nation-state must have the pre-requisite of national democracy and independence.

To achieve all the above requires a large measure of unity which currently does not exist on the left in Britain. The left should and must be in the leadership of an anti-monopoly alliance against the EU in which the labour and trade union movement plays the key role.