For a united Europe!

Submitted by Matthew on 14 December, 2011 - 10:29

The Morning Star, the paper associated with the Communist Party of Britain, carried a naively self-revealing editorial on 9 December: “There’s a huge feeling of guilt and confusion when a leader writer in the Morning Star feels even a momentary twinge of fellow feeling with chief speculators’ stooge David Cameron...”

Hadn’t Cameron done at least something good? He “refused to allow Britain to be sucked further into what amounted to a further consolidation of a European superstate...”

The Star escaped its embarrassing alliance by reflecting that “Cameron remains wedded to Britain’s place in Europe” — as if Cameron would be progressive if only he went the full way with the old-fashioned Tory right, and insisted that Britain keep aloof from Europe — and anyway Cameron had vetoed only “to protect the privileged position of the City of London’s speculators”.

But the instinctive fellow-feeling with Cameron was so strong it could not be denied.

For decades now the Morning Star and others have campaigned against “Europe” and “Brussels” as if they were the cause of all capitalist evils, and national capitalist leaders their helpless victims. As if democracy can exist only in walled-off nation-states, and democratic control over the necessarily international mechanisms of today’s economic life is both impossible and unnecessary.

Capitalism operating with high barriers between countries in Europe is not better than a united capitalist Europe. It is worse. The bringing down of barriers is good, although under capitalism, of course, it comes together with many things we oppose.

Agitation and argument like the Star’s leave the working class and the labour movement wide open to the demagogy of the Tory right. David Cameron’s veto at the European summit on 9 December set off a surge of that demagogy.

Right-wing Tory MPs described the veto as “incredibly, incredibly exciting”, and called for a referendum on British withdrawal from the European Union.

The Mail’s front-page headlines for the three days after 9 December were: “The day he [Cameron] put Britain first”; “Tory fury at Clegg’s ‘pygmy’ insult to Britain”; “Yes, Cameron got it right”.

The Express: “Britain close to EU exit”; “End of EU is unstoppable”.

The Sun was more nuanced in the small print, but headlined: “Up Eurs: bulldog PM sticks up for Britain”.

If today’s crisis leads to a break-up or loosening of the European Union, and a rebuilding of barriers between countries as different capitalist centres scramble to win out in sharpened competition, then that will be regression, not advance.

It will lead to fiercer cuts and privatisation, helped through by the claim that they are necessary to help “the nation” compete.

It is the Tory right which rightfully owns the anti-EU cause, and the “No2EU” left which has erred onto Tory ground, not vice versa.

The leaders of the rail union RMT, left-wing on other issues, have backed the “People’s Pledge” campaign, which demands a referendum to get out Britain out of the EU, highlights on its website a Daily Express front page boosting the Pledge — “New hope to get out of EU” — and calls on people to vote only for parliamentary candidates who support a referendum.

The Pledge campaign itself, founded by former Tory students’ chair Marc-Henri Glendenning and “pro-car” campaigner Stuart Coster, is fronted by Labour Party leftist Mark Seddon.

The Socialist Party ran a joint campaign with the RMT leadership in the 2009 Euro-elections under the slogan “No2EU”.

If the Morning Star can find itself shocked into “guilt and confusion” by the Cameron veto, then those groups should too.

Supporting a united Europe does not mean supporting Merkel and Sarkozy, or Nick Clegg, any more than welcoming modern communications means endorsing Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.

It is an essential reference point for the united labour movement action, across the continent, which we need to resist the new waves of cuts and point the way to an alternative.


Submitted by guenter on Sat, 17/12/2011 - 02:10

an interesting comment above. worth 2 think it over.
lets see if there will be an reply of AWL or just "pissing off" as they often do.

Submitted by Clive on Sat, 17/12/2011 - 18:14

Another article on the same page -… - might be part of an answer (ie a more detailed analysis of what's happening).

Europe is, obviously, itself a protectionist enterprise in a certain sense. The immediate issue under discussion is whether a specific British protectionism is an alternative. It isn't. Instead, workers' organisations should be developing joint action across Europe.

It seems to me it is a staggering statement of where the trade unions, for instance, currently are that there is next to nothing either being discussed (internationally) or already in place to this effect. It is so obvious that the trade union movement (as well as workers' parties, etc) need a Europe-wide response. But the only people seriously saying so are small groups. Anything which makes that discussion even *more* remote - like British withdrawal from the EU, say, or arguing for it - is so fantastically wrong that the word 'wrong' hardly does it justice.

Submitted by guenter on Sun, 25/12/2011 - 19:37

An article for the "prawda", 1923: trotsky argued, that it is impossible, to unite europe on capitalist ground. he prognosted the failure of such a try.

Submitted by Clive on Mon, 26/12/2011 - 12:29

Whether or not it is possible to unite Europe 'on a capitalist basis' (and whatever the outcome of the current crisis I think the EU has gone rather further in that direction than Trotsky, writing between two wars which tore Europe apart, probably imagined) is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

Which is: faced with a Europe-wide crisis, the working class needs a Europe-wide answer and Europe-wide organisation. In any country, to argue for 'withdrawing' from Europe is at best to miss the point, at worst to make the problems *worse* - to strengthen nationalism and chauvinism, when it's the opposite we need. (That, not some prediction or otherwise about whether capitalism can solve its own crisis) is what's 'fantastically wrong'.

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 26/12/2011 - 21:19

O f course the working class needs european wide and worldwide answers 2 the crisis.
i never argued 4 withdrawing single countries from europe.
all i said was, that trotsky prognosted, that a "capitalist united europe" cant be succesful and will fall apart. and this is what we are goin´to witness, while AWL thought, a capitalist united europe is possible &a step forward.

Submitted by Clive on Sat, 31/12/2011 - 16:07

Guenter, it would be hard to find someone more guilty than you of 'twisting' other people's positions, since your contributions here largely consist of denouncing the AWL for supporting imperialism and what have you.

I did not 'twist' your positions. Someone posted a comment, you said it was interesting to see if the AWL responded to it, rather than piss off (suggesting you were at least in some sympathy with the comment). I responded, saying that the call for British withdrawal from the EU is 'fantastically wrong'. You then said, in effect, no *that's* not what's 'fantastically wrong', what's fantastically wrong is something else, namely the idea that Europe can be united on a capitalist basis.

I then responded to this, repeating the argument that British withdrawal would be bad, and what's at issue rather than whether Europe can be properly united on a capitalist basis.

You then accuse me of 'twisting your positions'. I simply responded to your posts. Perhaps you have other views on Europe expressed elsewhere which you think make clear your overall view on Europe. It may amaze you to know that I haven't read these positions of yours, and have no idea what your overall position is. In this thread you seemed sympathetic to the call for British (and presumably other) withdrawals from the EC; you contradicted my argument that such withdrawal would be 'fantastically wrong'. This suggests you think it would be, if not right, certainly not wrong.

If you agree - despite the implications of what you write - that British withdrawal and the call for it are wrong, good.

Submitted by guenter on Sat, 31/12/2011 - 19:49

your contributions here largely consist of denouncing the AWL (clive)

looks like, that u hardly read 5% of all my comments here.

and what i called fantastically wrong, obviously was the position that capitalism can succesfully unite europe. for this, i again quoted trotsky, who thought that this idea was very wrong, and u write such a long answer without touching what trotsky really said..........

as i know ur highly demagoguel "qualities" already, i would request u to save me from another twisted answer. thank you.

Submitted by guenter on Sun, 01/01/2012 - 14:51

Tbh, the very idea that capitalism can feasibly “unify” Europe on anything other than an imperialistic basis strikes me as somewhat surreal in the aftermath of two world wars and the more recent conflicts in the Balkans.
(Mr. "demandtheimpossible"- uff, u had no easier nickname?)

I agree with you here, but i dont think that clive or the AWL will, they supported the war against yugoslawia anyway and the NATO-agression against libya.
but about trotsky: i found some very intersting sentences of him about the subject in german, but was unable 2 translate them correctly into english. on the english speaking part of the marxist internet archive i didnt find the same text which i have in german. and what u request from me 2 elaborate about trotsky is also 2 difficult 4 me in a language not my mothertongue. otherwise any discussion here was easier for me.

Submitted by Clive on Sun, 01/01/2012 - 16:03

Guenter, I know you think the unification of Europe on a capitalist basis is what's 'fantastically wrong', which is why I said so in my previous comment. If you expect me to read more than 5% (which, unfortunately, I have) of your diatribes, do me the courtesy of reading at least the one of mine you are responding to.

My point, though it's hardly worth trying to explain it, was that this suggested you *didn't* think, as I had said, that the campaign to withdraw from Europe is 'fantastically wrong'. Apparently you agree about that after all. I am supposed to know this, obviously, by studying your great works in depth.

It is a very peculiar type of debate you like: you complain people don't respond to you, then, when they do, ask them not to do so again because they're 'twisting' your words.

I would ask you to elaborate exactly which words I've twisted, but life is too short so never mind.

Have a good 2012.

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 02/01/2012 - 02:53

i obviously posted that i never advocated the withdrawl of any country -also mr. "demandtheimpossible" hinted to that- while ur first posting claimed that i did so. that was twisting my words around.
and again u did, in claiming that i "complain if people dont respond, but when they do, ask them not to do so again".
no, i only complain when people piss off cause of having no more arguments, and when i request YOU to save me from ur kindergarten-nonsense, u claim that i would do so with anybody ("people"). obviously i didnt say so to "demandtheimpossible" and many others. u are 1 person, not the "people".
now dont mind if i wont answer again. some1 who labels a socialist critic as "diatribe" isnt worth anybody´s reply.If this is the stuff of AWL... iam afraid there wont be a succesful 2012 waiting for you/them.

Submitted by Clive on Mon, 02/01/2012 - 10:31

Indeed, Guenter, when people agree with you, or don't disagree, you're happy to talk. But if people disagree with you, you get upset and accuse them of bad faith.

True, you said "I never argued for withdrawing single countries from Europe." This was *in response* to my comment - as you can see - above it. (My comment is at 12.29 on Dec 26; yours is at 21.19).

I accepted, when you clarified, that this is your view. So I didn't 'twist' anything. At worst, I misunderstood you.

Apparently it is reasonable for you to accuse people of, never mind political failings, 'demagogy', being 'sick' (you've told me before I need therapy), 'kindergarten nonsense' and what have you, but nobody is allowed to disagree with yo, even, actually, as I have in this thread, quite calmly.

I understood you to be arguing against the view that British (etc) withdrawal from Europe is 'fantastically wrong' (because you said something else was fantastically wrong instead). That is all. I don't think Trotsky's predictions about Europe are relevant to this discussion.

All I have done is disagree with you. I've been quite sarcastic. But I'm not going to apologise for that.

Submitted by guenter on Mon, 02/01/2012 - 14:42

So you can see what is the usually childish style of some authors here- some1 who couldnt get over it yet, that he once didnt look so good in a discussion with me, is still out for revenge and does continue his already refuted endless slander.

A "trotskyte" who says, that trotsky´s predictions about europe are irrelevant 4 this discussion.

so dont wonder, that the person who spends so much time on attacking me, didnt know any answer yet for your very valid last posting.
thats the way it usually goes.
betting, that again clive will talk 2 me and not to you? he always does as i predict. he isnt even so smart, just 1 time not to do so, just to proove me wrong. and it was said that he is an author!

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