As Britain’s first — and very likely last — opportunity to vote to leave the EU approaches, the CPGB-ML calls upon all workers to vote for Brexit on 23 June 2016.
In this powerful interview, CPGB-ML chairman Harpal Brar reviews the history of the EU project.
Following the bloodshed of WW2, with the rise of the USSR and the European and Asian people’s republics, and faced with a tidal wave of militant anti-colonial and independence struggles across the globe, the European imperial powers cast around some way to try to save their fading power.
They hit upon the EU as being the best way to combine forces — both in order to oppose the socialist countries and to stifle the socialist strivings of the working classes of western Europe.
Huge numbers of European workers at that time, inspired by Soviet successes, were set on emulating the USSR’s socialist model and bringing about a new order that would transform their economic, political and cultural conditions, bringing peace and security to the masses and enabling them to live in cooperation with the peoples of all nations. Socialist revolutions in Greece, Italy and France (where, as elsewhere, the resistance to Nazi occupation had been led by the communists) were averted by a whisker, and the native capitalists only clung onto their rule with the assistance of British soldiers and massive injections of American cash.
The communist call for workers of all countries to unite was never so strong and appealing as then, following the charnel-house of the Nazi fascist-inspired world war of plunder, conquest and domination. It was clear to workers after WW2 that US, Britain and France — the chief colonial and imperial powers, who had already divided the vast continents of Africa, the Americas and Asia among themselves — had been reluctantly dragged in to fight the fascists when the USSR and Chinese people had already broken the back of the German, Italian and Japanese fascist powers that had ‘united’ most of Europe and much of Asia under their respective bloody imperial tyrannies.
This is the context in which the EU was conceived – a ‘United States of Europe’ to save the skin of European imperialism. The newly-formed EU accepted the US’s leadership in the battle to preserve capitalist exploitation globally, banding together to form the neo-nazi Nato alliance. The aim of this offensive military block was then, as now, to preserve the economic domination of imperialism and to perpetuate the enslavement of the world’s people to monopoly capital.
We should understand that, while leaving the EU will not end capitalism in Britain, or destroy the British imperialist class, it will weaken our ruling class and bring the final goal — of a world in which no man exploits another, and no nation exploits another — one step closer.
The fact that Jeremy Corbyn has deserted his long-held anti-EU beliefs and is campaigning, as Labour party leader, to remain in the EU, shows just what a Labour party under ‘left’ social-democratic leadership is worth.
For the faint-hearted souls who feel Corbyn’s ‘left-wing’ credentials lend authority to the idea that the EU is an institution for workers, we would ask them to answer one question: why then did Winston Churchill, that notorious bigot, champion the idea of the EU? Why did Maggie Thatcher support the campaign to take Britain into the EU in 1975? And why are David Cameron, Jeremy Hunt, George Osbourne and all the major bourgeois parties also intent upon us staying in the EU — despite the waverers in their ranks?
Do the ‘Labour left wing’ brigade of pseudo-left intellectuals feel that these impeccably imperialist representatives, too, have the best interests of the workers at heart? We must look deeper than these superficial indicators, to the real issues.
Meanwhile, the fact that so many ‘little Englanders’ cannot put the interests of their ruling class above their national feeling merely shows the limitations of the strategy of social control through divisive propaganda that the bourgeoisie routinely uses to secure its interests. Xenophobia, in this instance, looks likely to rebound. If that does indeed happen, British capital and nationalists alike will find their wings clipped by Brexit — a consummation most devoutly to be wished, and one which all true progressives will be happy to witness!
No socialist, communist, anti-capitalist or progressive thinker, no opponent of TTIP and TTP ‘globalisation’, defender of state-provided social services or of the NHS; no anti-austerity campaigner, peace-lover, anti-racist, true humanitarian or anti-imperialist can support the EU imperialist project.
The struggle against capitalist imperialism is incompatible with support for the EU. Therefore, a vote for Brexit is essential on 23 June.
We should note that the Remain campaign is busy prettifying the EU just now, ascribing it with noble notions of internationalism, and crediting it with having abolished war through “Europe banding together”.
Gordon Brown’s set-piece speech at Coventry Cathedral was a stomach-churning affair, but if you haven’t seen it, you should do so. He made much of ours being a “generation at peace, thanks to the EU”!
Yet Europe, in fact, is at war. There has not been a day’s peace since 1945. Did no-one tell him?
Has he heard of the conflicts that have taken place inside Europe because of EU capitalism? Of Nato’s bloodbath in Yugoslavia, to dismember and colonise it? Of the EU agreements with fascism in the Ukraine that have led to her de facto division and the misery of her people?
Brown talked at length about the supposed “internationalism” of Britain, and all it has done to “promote peace” in the world. (Seriously: watch it!) In fact, his own government committed genocide in Iraq, together with the US various of its European and Nato allies. Has he forgotten? Is this the leadership of the “little nations” of which he is so proud?
And what of EU’s pivotal role in bringing carnage death and destruction to Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, and the Democratic Republic of Congo? Is there a crime that the EU imperialists will not commit for profit?
He talked about the EU “civilising” the east European states (the workers’ democracies that have been recolonised since 1989-91) and leading them from communism into “democracy”. Contrary to this cosy little fable, however, the truth is that since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the life expectancy of its people has fallen by seven years for men, and five years for women, and the rights of workers across Europe have been rolled back — and not just the security, jobs, homes, pensions and other rights of the east european peoples, but also all of us in western Europe, where social provision is being dismantled, and poverty is the new expectation of future generations. If you can’t see the evidence in Britain, then ask the Greeks.
Brown talked of “a world at peace thanks to the civilising role of Europe under EU control”. Is he having a laugh? One billion people live on $1 a day; three billion people live on less than $2 per day. Sixty-two billionaires — 62 people!! — have between them as much wealth as half the world’s population combined — 3.5 billion people, and through that wealth they are able to control much more.
And as a result of the regime these parasites impose in order to make sure that the wealth generated by the creative labours of the world’s people flow into their greedy hands, some 40 million people die worldwide every year from the malnutrition and disease caused by their poverty and privation. Sixteen million of those who die each year are children under 5.
This is a true, ongoing genocide — but few books, articles and news editorials are written about it. Our children do not have these facts drummed into their heads, despite the fact that they really dominate our lives. Instead, they are taught to participate in the system that keeps them enslaved, learning that no other way (than monopoly capitalism, individualism, the drudgery of wage slavery) is possible, and they are truly ‘free’ under capitalism.
These are the crimes of European capitalism in combination, collaborating with US imperialism. These are the barbaric crimes brought about because of the financial regime enforced by the US/EU capitalists. Put in context of these salient facts, the hypocrisy of Gordon Brown and yearnings of the Labour party’s ‘socialist’ wing to stay in the ‘internationalist’ EU is breathtaking.
The EU is an institution of imperialism and war, and we must take this small opportunity to help accelerate its decay — which is already coming to pass under the force of its internal contradictions.
Watch Comrade Ella Rule’s excellent presentation on the EU here:
Subscribe! Donate! Join us in building a bright future for humanity!
Red Youth Education Program: Each one teach one!
Join the struggle!