The EU question

Magnus Bernhardsen magnus.bernhardsen at nm.no
Sun Apr 29 05:02:36 MDT 2001


>Julio Huato:
>Question 1 to Magnus, Linus, or whoever wishes to respond:

>If Scandinavian countries refuse to join the European Union, are they
really
>likely to avoid that way the dismantling of their welfare states and their

>supposedly more democratic political arrangements?

Denmark and Sweden are already members, Norway is outside after two
victories in referendums, 1972 and 1994. Of the Nordic countries, Finland
is a member while Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands are not.
Greenland is the only country ever to have left the EU. The Faroe Islands
are a Danish colony, struggling for independence.

The welfare states are of course under attack because the historical
compromise between labour and capital was rescinded by capital. This will
not reverse as a result of exiting EU, and is happening today in Norway as
well.

The dismantling of democracy... well, for most Norwegians (pro et contra
EU) it's obvious that ordinary people will have less to say over the
development and the policies as part of EU.

>Isn't this dismantling already under way under the pressure of
international competition.  I'm sure
>I read something about this in The Economist a couple of years ago. If
this
>trend is not reversed internationally by the workers' movement in the
coming
>years and the EU's economy booms (not an unlikely scenario), will they
stand
>a chance?  After all the existence and maintenance of their "social
>contracts" depends vitally on the state of the economy -- at least in the
>long run.  Wouldn't it make more sense for Scandinavian Marxists to
persuade
>workers to jump into the cold waters of Euro competition, share the fate
of
>most Europeans, and fight the good fight together?  Is this a
>worse-is-better kind of argument?

It's better to join the EU and the "winning team" in inter-imperialist
rivalry? Yes, I think this is the policy of the Norwegian social-democrat
leaders.

For Marxists I think one should fight for the dissolution of the EU, and
fight the imperialist bourgeioisies in all of Europe.

I'll quote Lenin on the "United States of Europe"
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/aug/23.htm
"Of course, temporary agreements are possible between capitalists and
between states. In this sense a United States of Europe is possible as an
agreement between the European capitalists... but to what end? Only for the
purpose of jointly suppressing socialism in Europe, of jointly protecting
colonial booty against Japan and America, who have been badly done out of
their share by the present partition of colonies, and the increase of whose
might during the last fifty years has been immeasurably more rapid than
that of backward and monarchist Europe, now turning senile. Compared with
the United States of Ameriea, Europe as a whole denotes economic
stagnation. On the present economic basis, i.e., under capitalism, a United
States of Europe would signify an organisation of reaction to retard
America's more rapid development. The times when the cause of democracy and
socialism was associated only with Europe alone have gone for ever. "

Magnus Bernhardsen




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