EU Vs US Imperialism

D OC donaloc at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 24 09:56:03 MST 2003


Jeff Kinkle wrote:

>While it may be true that Europe's resistance to war in Iraq may have its
>basis in imperialist interests, isn't this still essentially a positive
>development? I know Zizek isn't entirely popular on this list but a passage
>from Welcome to the Desert of the Real deals with this issue. Arguing that
>all Europe needs the courage to distance itself clearly from American
>hegemony, he writes,

I agree that the EU's anti-US stance is a positive opening. However, it is,
of course, entirely founded on their own strategic objectives and finds an
echo with that coming from Russian and Chinese states which are too trying
to ensure their beneficial oil arrangements with Iraq continue. I won't get
into arguing over Zizek as he appals me (doesn't that title say it all?) but
your argument certainly touches on a key issue. The need to identify
ourselves collectively as a potential counterweight to US hegemony and how
to execute that within the existing EU structures. I think arguments made by
people like Michael Keaney on this list were a decent contribution to this
debate - and although I don't necessarily agree with his precise position,
it had an effect on my own thinking - something which enabled me to better
understand developments within my own party of late - the party appears set
to adopt a more positive policy towards the EU than the previous one. Such a
policy needs to be predicated on the building of meaningful and viable
alliances across Europe - something necessitated by the communality of
issues facing left organisations throughout Europe and the fact that,
increasingly, EU structures are making policy which is only being
'rubber-stamped' by the old national assemblies. Having said that, I
certainly feel that our support for what the bourgeois EU leaderships
decides must be critical rather than wholehearted. We must remember that the
EU project is based upon institutionalising slightly socialised, market
economics. While this is, by definition, marginally preferable to US style
'cut-throat' capitalism we must not be 'lured' into social-imperialism which
might come from the desperation of 'doomsday' scenarios - such as imminent
ecological destruction. We have to remain cool - nothing will speed
destruction on quicker than wholeheartedly agitating for confrontation
between the big powers of the US/UK and Eurasia.

>'If the emancipatory legacy of Europe is to survive, we should take the
>Sept. 11 fiasco as the last warning that time is running out, that Europe
>should move quickly to assert itself as an autonomous ideological,
>political, and economic force, with its own priorities. It is a unified
>Europe, no Third World resistance to American imperialism, that is the only
>feasible counterpoint to the USA and China as the two global superpowers.
>The Left should unashamedly appropriate the slogan of a unified Europe as a
>counterweight to Americanized globalism' (145).

"If the emancipatory legacy of Europe is to survive"...the man must be
living on a different planet to the Wretched of the Earth. What a demented
freak! Europe's shame should last for centuries! The guy is too busy
thinking in terms of superpowers - he's already bought into the bourgeois
ideology of the state. Once you're there its only a hop, skip and a jump to
concluding that we should dismiss any (allegedly, relatively minor) concerns
about a lack of democracy at the heart of the EU and push for centralising
more powers to people like Chirac, Blair and Schroder as a counterweight to
US 'hegemony'.

>Europe distancing itself from American hegemony isn't positive in itself
>yet it does create the conditions in which the Left can reemerge as a
>driving force in European politics.

If EU integration goes much further, the left will have to seek a redraft of
fundamental legislation to even talk about State Intervention in our
Economies - in many sectors we would already have to seek derogations from
EU law simply to advance old-style social democracy. Liberalisation is
almost constitutionally defended in existing European legislation.

I don't know whether the EU falling out with US hegemony has opened that
door to the resurgence of the left as a driving force in Europe. That
remains to be seen. I hope so, but I personally feel it is very necessary to
point out that we are not anti-American but anti-imperialist. A decent
position on British and domestic European imperialism will ensure that the
nascent movement in the US understand its historical potential. It is from
that movement in the 'belly of the beast' that I believe real change will
occur.

I attach a link of possible relevancy (as policy is determined by the
party's national convention - it is necessarily balanced at present):

http://www.irlnet.com/aprn/current/news/16euco.html

I would like to note that my criticism of SF's involvement in the antiwar
campaigns appears to need a review. The current aprn (which won't go on-line
until this weekend) has a large number of photographs of the Shannon demo. I
can see a good number of party members and banners - admittedly they are all
from Munster or south Connacht but it demonstrates a significant level of
participation of local Republicans. I understand that Michelle Gildernew is
speaking in a Dublin college (UCD?) soon on the subject and it appears that
Ogra Shinn Féin, our youth movement, are going to mobilise in strength
around Feb 15th.

In the meantime, I wonder if any of the Irish list members will be able to
make the Bloody Sunday events next weekend?

Is mise,
D.





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