[Marxism] The concrete and the abstract in the European Union

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Mon May 2 06:13:54 MDT 2005

Lüko Willms wrote: 

«NG> The EU draft constitution is a colonialist document.  According 
NG> to the  draft, all territories claimed by any European 
NG> colonialist power are claimed by the EU as a whole.
NG> This includes the Malvinas, South Atlantic Islands of Argentina 
NG> and the  Antarctic territorial claims of Argentina and Chile

NG> Comrades in the EU may very well help us by working out a vast
NG> movement against colonialism, a movement to take those articles 
NG> out of the EU Constitution.  The relevant articles are:  TITLE
NG> IV, article III 286, Annex II and article 287.

   While I'm with you in rejecting the claims of colonial sovereignty 
of several European countries, not only the British claims on the  
Malvinas, but also the French on New Caledonia (Kanaky), "French  
Polynesia", Danish over Grönland, Netherlands on several islands in  
the Caribbean, I do not think that the best one can do is to demand 
to  take these articles and appendixes out of the European 
constitution  treaty.

   Why? Because that does not put into question that colonial 
control,  but only expresses sort of a "not with me" attitude, "I do 
not want to get my hands dirty". It only says that the rules and 
regulations of the European Union (EU) do not apply to these 
colonies, which remain  the sole responsability of the individual 
colonial power.

   It is as if the Belgian people had campaigned against handing over 
the Congo colony to the state, insisting instead that it should 
remain  the private property of the king.»

I certainly understand Lüko, but I can't agree.  The inclusion of 
each country's colonial posessions in the EU does, of course, simply 
acknowledge a fact: that as against the Third World, bourgeois Europe 
acts as a single unit.  But this is _exactly_ why there should be a 
movement against these articles. It is not a matter of "not getting 
one's hands dirty", but of showing that the EU Constitution is an 
oligarchic, colonialist and "for Europeans only", that is, in the 
end, racist and discriminatory, legal body.  It is a matter of 
demonstrating that whatever "good things" the EU Constitution may 
have, it _is_ a colonialist, thus bourgeois, thus criminal 

I have not read the EU Constitution at all, save for those articles.  
But I am sure that these articles are the ones most adamantly showing 
the class character of the Constitution.  It is a living gift the 
imperialists have made to European revolutionaries, and it is up to 
you, comrades, to take it or to leave it rot.

I agree with Lüko on that: 

«That this colonialist fact is again mentioned in the latest trety  
for the European Union should be taken as occasion to raise the 
demand  the demand to lift colonial domination alltogehter instead of 
"let the British and French take care themselves of Malvinas and 
Kanaky, they  know it better then the German and Italians".»

And this is exactly what I would try to do if my grandparents had not 
come to Argentina from Europe (and the Nazis had spared all of my 
family).  It is not my intention to have Italians (who have their 
very nice colonial past -and present, somehow- in Lybia, Eritrea and 
elsewhere) or Germans (should I remind Lüko of all men of the 
colonialist history of capitalist Germany?) feel relieved.  Not at 
all.  The idea is that this is something that can help you raise the 
head, and point at the class enemy, telling them "the age of 
imperialism is not over, you are demonstrating this, you are the same 
gang of criminals you were a hundred years ago".

In this sense, there is a contradiction here, Lüko:

«The whole  "constitution" treaty... is treaty between the European 
ruling  classes about how they want to manage together their common 
affairs,  and I do neither want to make myself responsible for this 
capitalist affair by working for modifications of this agreement 
between foreign  classes, neither do I want to voice a preference if 
I'm ruled by the  German capitalist class alone or a coalition of 
capitalist classes.»

Contradiction?  Yes, there is a contradiction because so far as I 
know the EU Constitution is so designed and advertised as to make the 
mass of the European peoples believe this is an "European", not a 
"bougeois", Constitution.  They are inviting you to enjoy the 
colonial treat together with your own exploiters.  While on other 
issues a thick sugarcoating can hide these things away, it is 
impossible to sugarcoat territorial domination (this is why geography 
is so critical, BTW).

What follows shows exactly what is sugarcoating the EU bourgeois 
domination.  Lüko,  you are telling us yourself exactly what they are 
offering to you _in exchange for support as an imperialist 
bourgeoisie_:  "to have freedom of movement from the  Algarve to the 
North Cape, from the Shetland Islands to the Bosporus. [Not caring 
for] a different set of coins and bills when I make a trip to Paris 
or Rome, that I could settle in  Paris or Mallorca without too much 
of a burocratic hassle."

Thus, I can't agree on that we should not "fight over this their 
treaty as such", and concentrate on "concrete issues" [the list of 
which, I am sorry to say, Lüko, sounds economicist rather than 
political] because the most concrete issue in the constitution of the 
European Union and the most concrete issue built into the 
Constitutional text is that Western Europe is coalligating as a 
collective super-state of imperialist bourgeoies, the imperialist 
character being the most definitive trait separating such a Union 
from the build-up of the United States or the Trotskyist thesis of 
the "United Socialist States of Europe".

Whatever articles the EU Constitution may have that sound beautiful 
to working class people, these colonialist articles show who is who, 
and what is what.  They are the most concrete articles of the EU 
Constitution, I dare say, even without having even read the remaining 
parts of this legal body.


Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

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"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
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