The EU question

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Tue May 1 21:28:25 MDT 2001


[ from Nestor ]

I sent this to Greg Sch. in Perth, by mistake. It was intended to the
list.  Greg forwarded it back to me, so that thank you Greg that you
allowed me to resend.

>En relación a Re: The EU question,
el 1 May 01, a las 9:10, Greg Schofield dijo:

  At 01:25  30/04/01 -0400, you wrote:
 
    Greg Schofield wrote:
  
> The EU is above everything else a result of geo-political pressures
> that have been with Europe for a long time. In fact, if proletarian
> socialism had spread through Europe before-hand an EU type
> resolution would be expected.

This is simple formalism. A bottlenose and a shark share their general
streamlined shapes, but they are quite different animals. Unified
socialist Europe and unified imperialist Europe are more or less in
the same situation.

While proletarian socialism in Europe would have elliminated national
differences and established a socialist federation of free peoples,
bourgeois supranationalism establishes a lock on popular freedom in
order to relieve the different national fractions of the European
bourgeoisie of any pressure from below, thus "unifying" them without
dissolving the essential conflict inherent to the existence of
_national_ imperialist states and bourgeoisies (a fact that most
probably will not be superseded without socialism), to generate a
space for inter-bourgeois bargaining that allows the stronger
bourgeoisies to impose their rule on the weaker ones without
proletarians (and subaltern classes in general) having any possibility
to seriously challenge their decissions.  This is the antidemocratic
core of the EU.

In this sense it is not "geopolitical pressures", but
inter-imperialist struggle, which made it necessary for the EU to
exist. Of course, the existence of the Soviet Union operated as a
greenhouse stove, but it was inessential.

Without some form of union, the bourgeoisies in Europe would have
never been able to compete with their American counterparts. The only
"geopolitics" at stake here is the geopolitics of world domination:
without the unification, the EU would have been in a much worse
situation, for example, to profit from the destruction of the Soviet
Union, vis a vis the United States. This, of course, was a vital issue
for the European bourgeoisies and, if you wish, you may call it
"geopolitical" pressures. But these pressures were BORN FROM WITHIN.

However, the sense in which I state this is exactly the opposite
(sharks versus bottlenoses) than Greg's

> I would have thought that if [...] proletarian socialism had swept
> across Europe the[e]n some of the aspects of the EU would have
> followed fairly swiftly. I don't consider this to be a very
> controversial statement.

The problem lies in the question "_what_ aspects, exactly?" The fact
that inter- EU trade has grown and that the EU is a recognition of
this obvious element of truth does not make the EU any less
reactionary: it is a bloc of imperialist bourgeoisies. I would say
that this is the most important point: any movement that strengthens
our own ruling classes is a movement against us, in a shorter or
longer term it will prove a bad idea to support these
movements. European workers have nothing to gain, in the long run,
from support given to "European" bourgeois against Japanese or
American bourgeois. Of course, in the meantime they will enjoy the
benefits that are provided by a stronger bourgeoisie on the global
scenario (that is, a larger share in the plunder of the peripheries,
and so on), but, AND THIS IS ALREADY BECOMING EVIDENT, any of these
gains will be short lived (one, two, three generations at most).

Probably these issues are not as easily perceived in Perth as they are
in Buenos Aires. But I am afraid Greg is not taking into account the
concrete class contents of these inter-imperialist unions. In a sense,
a unified _imperialist_ Europe (which of course sets a divide along
the East-West border, thus generating _two_ Europes) is better for
workers there: for example, it avoids the menace of recurrent
carnage. But (a) it simply displaces the location of carnage
elsewhere, and (b) will put European workers under a much more
dictatorial rule from their own bourgeoisies, through a super-state
without any of the democratic features that had been obtained in
centuries of struggle (Bolshevik revolution included: in the end,
nobody benefited more from the heroisim of Russia, in the strict
material level, than the Western European proletariat)

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar





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