[Marxism] Brexit and imperial privilege

MM marxmail00 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 27 16:01:57 MDT 2016


> On Jun 27, 2016, at 5:30 PM, marinercarpentry at gmail.com wrote:
> 
> I’m not sure I understand what point you’re making...


This referendum originated in Cameron’s appeasement of the right wing of his own party; there was no “left” that was remotely capable of redefining the terms on which it would take place or be understood — only some naive wishful thinking. For that reason, the referendum's impact was always going to be shaped overwhelmingly by the racist, anti-immigrant sentiments of the people who had “won” it as a concession: they knew they could spin this as a victory for nativism and "traditional values” (as they are now doing).

Recognising all of that, many of us urged support for remain, not out of any love for the EU, but because *this referendum* — i.e., the one happening in the real world, in June 2016, because of Cameron’s appeasement, as opposed to some fantasy referendum flowing from an imagined internationalist, anti-racist uprising — *was not the right referendum for any progressive outcome*.

Furthermore, since a leave vote was very obviously going to unleash the racist right, many of us argued that *left* support for leave would fatally undermine their credibility in the eyes of the millions of immigrants in Britain whom they would be complicit in making immediately, concretely vulnerable to abuse and physical danger — millions of people who are otherwise their natural allies.

I don’t care *remotely* what left supporters of leave want to say in response to talking heads on the telly who are bad mouthing the British working class. Their talking points have never been any part of the argument that I and others were making. Raising it in discussion with left critics of their position is a defensive red herring — a way of avoiding confontation with the awful truth about their naivete and poor judgment, their recklessness, and their complicity in the violence now unfolding. 

I hope that’s a bit clearer, because I'm completely sick of explaining it while people are being attacked on the streets.




More information about the Marxism mailing list