NAFTA, EU and "rejecting the agenda"

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at
Sun Jun 23 06:43:38 MDT 1996

Jorn wrote:

>I think there is only one thing wrong with your reply to Zeynep:
>We *do not* set the agenda at present.
>In Denmark we had the same debate - actually we have had it a couple
>of times - about the European Union. The mechanism are almost the same
>as with NAFTA - just a little more developed - so I though it
>relevant here.
>Basically we argued the things you wrote. Unlike most of the rest of
>the left who argued the - sometimes very - nationalist stuff. Danish
>flag on their pamphlets and so on. "Denmark will do better if we stay
>out side." "The whole world is so big, so why get into this little
>union. Better do business with the rest."
>But that didn't mean that we did not take side. We opposed the EU
>because it was the bosses' union, because it was one more step towards
>a new imperialist power - but at the same time argued against all the
>nationalist crap: If we want to fight the bosses' union we have to do
>it *with* workers' from the rest of the world (incl. Europe) not
>against them.


>My point is: There are different ways to "reject the agenda".

Voting against the EU is not rejecting the agenda. It's choosing the same
food from a different restaurant.

I too voted against the EU, and supported anti-EU agitation, rather than a
boycott as Robert M suggests. Regardless of this, Robert's insistence on
the need for a counter-slogan of a United Socialist States of Europe is
fundamental, it would be a real step towards setting a socialist agenda.

The reason for my stand on the vote was that the EU would strengthen our
enemies more than the alternative would. But neither a yes-vote nor a
no-vote would take us an inch nearer setting a socialist agenda.

What it might do, as it did in Denmark, is to raise the fighting spirit of
the working class and show that the bourgeoisie doesn't always
automatically get its own way. This makes it easier to fight for a position
in which we can start setting the agenda.



PS Denmark has two great achievements to its credit for a small country --
winning the last European football championships (thanks to Man United
goalkeeper Schmeichel!) and voting no to the EU (so the vote had to be done
again to get a yes)).

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