The EU question

jenyan1 jenyan1 at
Mon Apr 30 23:56:35 MDT 2001

On Tue, 1 May 2001, Greg Schofield wrote:

> The EU is above everything else a result of geo-political pressures that
> have been with Europe for a long time.

Which part of the world does not face geo-political pressure? To take an
example, Latin America certainly does, and has done so for "a long time,"
yet no we see no EU type structures emerging south of the Rio Grande. It
is easy to come up with a vague tautology in terms of a catchall phrase
like geo-politics which covers everything and explains nothing an the
advantages for some of this approach over a class analysis are rather
> In fact, if proletarian socialism had spread through Europe before-hand
> an EU type resolution would be expected.

Again, where is the class in this? EU is definitely a bourgeois state,
and as such is geared soley towards the needs of capital and West European
imperialism. I doubt very much that this is the kind of "resolution" which
European revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg laboured to see spread
through Europe.

> There is the EU then as a general historical trend and its particular
> manifestation. Concretely there is much to change, challenge and oppose,
> there are reforms which need to be put up and a vision for Europe which
> needs to be proletarianized.

Proletarianized (ugly word, but yours not mine) through reform? What is
this the Fourth Way?

> There are also consequences which the ruling class want to ignore, the
> emergence of regionalisation and mini-nations within countries that form
> the EU, the need to dissolve NATO

which is to be replaced by what? The European rapid reaction force? Is the
Western Left is so lame, the best it can do is call for the European
bourgeoisie to break with NATO and the Americans? Pathetic.

> the need to further democratise the EU

Talk to Third Wayer Jack Straw about Democracy. He's busy bullying,
threatening and jailing the Roma refugees whom the oh so civilised
Europeans (not to mention their fascist allies) bombed out of the Balkans.
> and from this flows other things a (a  pan-european bill of rights,
the right of savages everywhere to be invaded and bombed by the ERRF
and Blair-Schroeder rather than NATO and Blair-Bush.
> judicial reform, constitutional reform, language revitalisation,
> cultural resurgence, joint social programs, etc.,).
Where's the class in all this? Besides which, Jack Straw and Tony Blair
already have judicial and constitutional reform cornered, and it's
unlikely they need your advice. Why, Straw even got rid of a handful of
hereditary peers in the upper chamber and replaced them with Labour Party
appointees (does this count as proletarianizing?).

Sony, Disney and Bertelsmann are too busy commodifying culture to be
bothered with this guff about language revitalisation (see Lou's post
about the Smithsonian institute). And what is cultural resurgence anyway,
if not a shabby slogan with chauvinist undertones?

> joint social programs, etc.,

Social Democratic and Labourite pipedreams etc,. The great postwar
expansion ended thirty years ago and no amount of wishful thinking will
recreate the conditions which allowed capital to indulge the working class
of the imperialist countries the way it did in 1945-1970. Slumps, crises
and wars will increasingly be the order of the day, and the EU is the
European bourgeoisie's vehicle of choice in the management and containment
of these crises. Labourite and Social Democratic reformism were another.
> All of this goes by the boards if blind oppositionalism is embraced. In
> this I join your criticism wholeheartedly.
> Greg Schofield
> Perth Australia

Actually the shoe is on the other foot. Blind oppositionalism, as you term
it, is characteristic of the ruling classes in their dealings with the
recalcitrant masses. Which is why Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger made
irrational violence a pillar of state policy (Kissinger's irrational
madman theory). So while you and the social democratic left might have
renounced class warfare for constitutional, judicial modernisation and
social reformism, beware, the personifications of capital are in no doubts
as to the efficacy of the tried and traditional methods.

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