re-British Conservative Party Splits on Currency Union

Michael Luftmensch MLuftmensch at
Fri Oct 11 13:27:15 MDT 1996

re-British Conservative Party Splits on  Currency Union

Chris Burford <cburford at> wrties:

>It seems to me that perhaps these moves towards currency union
>are a little *analogous* to the moves from protectionism to
>free trade in the nineteenth century.


Late 19th century "Great" Britain could impose free trade from
a position of power: imperial rule the likes of which the world
hadn't seen before. Free trade policies allowed the British ruling
class to generate a network of dependence.

A century later, Britain's position in the world market is
significantly different. The pound, which was relatively stable
>from 1600-1900, is no longer the dominant currency on
world financial markets.

While the quotations from Engels to the effect that

a. in competing among themselves, capitalists develop
different and conflicting interests


b. there is such a thing as the autonomy of politics

are generally germane to any analysis of capitalist politics,
is Britain's position in relation to the world market in the
19th century analogous to its position in relation to the EC?

Michael Luftmensch

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