On Monday night British MPs voted to continue the policy towards migrants and refugees that EU member states have held for decades, which is to push asylum seekers from the imperialist heartlands of western Europe to the borders of the EU or beyond. Earlier in March this year it led to a frantic agreement with Turkey to take rejected asylum seekers in return for an accelerated EU accession process.

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Hungary’s migrant fence

While European Union states erect border fences, suspend free movement, and demolish refugee camps, and while the EU tolerates and encourages the far-right parties across Europe, ‘Remainiacs’ (as those who reject the leave vote have been dubbed) insist the vote to leave was flawed due to the anti-immigrant, xenophobic media circus that surrounded it.

While EU countries have accepted minimal numbers of refugees (in the low tens of thousands) in the face of a ‘migrant’ crisis they feign surpise at (‘migrant’ is much easier to spin than ‘refugee’), it leaves the vast majority of the 4.8m people fleeing the conflict in Syria on the doorstep of this ‘progressive’ regime.
Most notably Hungary, with the far-right Jobbik party currently the 3rd largest in the country, has erected large fences across borders with Croatia and Serbia, with a fence across the Romanian border planned, while Greece has been shipping refugees back to Turkey in accordance with the EU-Turkey deal.
The historic war against, and partitioning of, the Middle East and Africa by core EU states (the creation of the ‘migrant crisis’) has no impetus to end while Europe is a united front. The European Union is a machine with one objective: preserve European imperialist interests at all costs.
“From the standpoint of the economic conditions of imperialism—i.e., the export of capital and the division of the world by the “advanced” and “civilised” colonial powers—a United States of Europe, under capitalism, is either impossible or reactionary.” – V. I. Lenin
True to Lenin’s prediction we have seen the reactionary nature of the European Union, formed “for the purpose of jointly suppressing socialism in Europe, of jointly protecting colonial booty”.
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Mining in the Congo, the imperialist dream

While, deliberately, the politico-media campaign around the EU referendum in Britain has been confusing and misguided, it cannot change the material nature of the formation and running of the EU, an imperialist effort to subjugate labour both within Europe and without, and to export capital, both within Europe and without. The European union functions by exploiting cheaper labour from European states and by exploiting cheaper labour internationally. Not only that, the exploitation of labourers within and outside of the EU, but it must maintain the imperialist foreign policy of its member states, for how else can it guarantee the supply of cheap goods and raw materials it requires to fuction?

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Children in Bangladesh working for 20p a day

As Marxists we understand the relationship between base and superstructure. “The changes in the economic foundation lead, sooner or later, to the transformation of the whole, immense, superstructure.” Our superstructure is obsolete. It is the capitalist superstructure, replete with racism, sexism, and ultimately the oppression of the working class. All oppression is based on this economic exploitation. The same exploitation that begets child soldiers in Africa, millions of Syrian refugees, and sweatshop labourers across the world. The cause of all these is the same: imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism.

We have, in imperialist countries, seen feminist movements grow and ebb, anti-racist movements grow and ebb, anti-war movements grow and fall flat on their faces (for what is imperialism without war?). What we need is a movement that incorporates all of these, and more. An ideology that rejects the exploitation of human by human, and the source of all this misery. The only countries that have fulfilled this progressive demand have been socialist countries.
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Stop the War march (didn’t stop the war)

While those who campaigned on the streets for remain did so for the best of intentions, economic security, human rights, internationalism, and so on, so did a majority of those who voted leave. Those who have seen whole communities gutted, with no educational prospects or job opportunities to replace the destruction of industry that formed the heart of many towns and cities. It is no coincidence that areas with the highest percentage of leave voters were also the areas with the lowest percentage of university graduates and the lowest house prices.

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Many liberal commentators hostile to the working class have assumed that the votes in favour of leaving the EU in working class parts of northern and central England that traditionally vote for the Labour Party were due to racism. In fact, those votes represented more a protest against the neglect of these areas over the last four decades or so by both Conservative and Labour governments.” – Gerry Grainger, Workers’ Party of Ireland

Internationalism is a serious cause, one at the heart of proletarian politics. Workers across the world have more in common with each other than with their own bourgeoisie. It is a fatal misconception, however, that bourgeois internationalism, i.e. that of the European Union, is the same as proletarian internationalism. Proletarian internationalism recognises that the free movement of capital necessitates the free movement of labour, and as such Red Youth promotes an open borders policy. Proletarian internationalism recognises that in a communist world we will have no need of borders, as opportunity will be equally available everywhere.

Bourgeois internationalism, however, prioritizes the importance of capital, which means the standard of living must be suppressed in countries with labour it wishes to exploit, and borders must be porous, yet not truly open, in order to maintain this imbalance. The internationalism of the European Union is imperialist internationalism, designed to benefit the ruling class.
If we wish to promote scientific socialism, to focus on the root of these ills, then let us not be swept off course by the merry-go-round of bourgeois tricks, which will use every agent, saboteur, and media outlet to promote their agenda and confuse their enemy: us. Our enemy is the bourgeoisie and those that support them, deliberately or inadvertantly. We must reach the working class and serve them as their educators and organisers. To condemn them is to condemn ourselves, and the rest of humanity.