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In Defence of

Trotskyism No. 18
1 waged, 50p unwaged/low waged, 1.50

EU Referendum: Three Marxist Perspectives


Vote Yes: For the Socialist United States of Europe!
Abstain: The referendum and class independence
Vote No: No support to the EU neo-liberal cartel!

Contents
Vote Yes: For the Socialist United States of
Europe! By Gerry Downing...p. 3
The EU referendum and class independence
By Ian Donovan ... p.15
VOTE NO! NO SUPPORT TO THE EU
NEO-LIBERAL CARTEL!
By Graham Durham ... p. 20
End austerity. vote to leave the EU
By Michael Calderbank ..p. 25

Europe and the politics of fraud,


By John Fuller Carr..... p. 25
For Abstention in Britains EU-Referendum!
By RCIT (abridged) ........p. 27
Vote Yes and fight for a socialist united
states of Europe
By Workers Power (abridged).p. 29
The British Road to Socialism (1951)
By Gerry Downing....... p.32

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Joe Stalin (enhanced by airbrush and complete with adoring halo!) personally oversaw the 1951 British Road to Socialism:
There is nothing socialist let alone genuinely communist about this ultra-patriotic
bourgeois reactionary nonsense. The narrow and ignorant nationalist outlook of the
bureaucrat found its expression in the programme of socialism in a single country,
the corollary of peaceful co-existence with
imperialism and the reformist theory of
stages in the revolution, originating in the
Second International. It amounts to the
indefinite postponement of the struggle for
socialism, the idealistic and impossible
peaceful parliamentary road to socialism,
openly embraced in 1951
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Vote Yes: For the Socialist United States


of Europe!
By Gerry Downing 21-1-2016

rotsky explained the economic and political


basis for Lenin and the Bolsheviks internationalism in opposition to the Stalinist revisionist
theory of socialism in a single country in 1929:
The essence of our epoch lies in this, that the productive forces have definitely outgrown the framework of
the national state and have assumed primarily in America and Europe partly continental, partly world proportions. The imperialist war grew out of the contradiction
between the productive forces and national boundaries. And the Versailles peace which terminated the war has aggravated this contradiction still further. In other words: thanks to the
development of the productive forces capitalism has long ago been unable to exist in a single
country. Meanwhile, socialism can and will base itself on far more developed productive
forces, otherwise socialism would represent not progress but regression with respect to capitalism. In 1914 I wrote: If the problem of socialism were compatible with the framework of
a national state, it would thereby become compatible with national defence. The formula
Soviet United States of Europe is precisely the political expression of the idea that socialism
is impossible in one country. Socialism cannot of course attain its full development even in
the limits of a single continent. The Socialist United States of Europe represents the historical slogan which is a stage on the road to the world socialist federation. [1]

We should call for a Yes vote in the coming in-out referendum on membership of
the EU. As socialists and Trotskyists we must ask and answer the question, is it in the
interests of the working class and oppressed in Britain and internationally for the UK
to remain in the EU or to leave it? That is our sole criterion. We are for a Yes vote
primarily because we recognise that socialism in a single country is impossible. Indeed
as Trotsky points out above capitalism has long ago become impossible to sustain and
develop in a single country and socialism must be built on a far higher level of wealth
and productivity. An exit from the EU would inevitably strengthen the nationalism
and patriotism not only in the British ruling class but also in a big section of the British working class.
Trotsky, If the problem of socialism were compatible with the framework of a national state, it would thereby become compatible with national defence.

Economic Nationalism and Stalinism

Economic nationalism, calling for import controls and the exclusion of immigrants
and foreign workers, would be enormously strengthened by an exit. This would
3

strengthen the right wing of the Tory party, the United Kingdom Independence
party (Ukip) and fascist groups. It would also strengthen the aristocracy of labour, those skilled and privileged sections of workers with relatively good jobs,
on whom the trade union bureaucracy essentially rests. As the spokesperson for
the trade union bureaucracy and primary ideologue of and defender of this layer
of workers the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) and their mouthpiece, The
Morning Star (MS) are the foremost ideological advocates of exit from Europe in
the labour movement.
We clearly saw this danger in the strike wave in 2009 over British jobs for British workers. As we wrote then:
Socialist Fight (SF) unequivocally opposes the current wildcat strikes because they
were called on the reactionary basis of British jobs for British workers (BJ4BW), it
was on this xenophobic basis they were spread, with the assistance of the right wing
media and on this basis they were tacitly endorsed by the entire Unite and GMB leaderships. We place the blame for this situation squarely on the backs of the reactionary
Labour movement leaders; Gordon Brown and the Labour party leaders for endorsing the reactionary slogan, borrowed from the BNP, the Unite, GMB and other TU
leaderships for tacitly endorsing and pursuing negotiations on that basis. A major
weight of responsibility also rests on the shoulders of those left groups and organisations, the Communists Party of Britain (CPB), the Socialist Party of England and
Wales and others who have acted as left apologists for these bureaucratic misleaders
of the working class. When similar demands were made on the French TU leadership
they immediately rejected them as reactionary chauvinism and insisted on the demands like we will not pay for the bankers/capitalisms crises.
These are reactionary strikes for reactionary ends which can only win by driving
foreign workers out of the country and setting in train the destruction of the entire
working class and its organisations and all their historical gains. Fight them now,
fight the reactionary leadership of the class who are responsible for this appalling
situation or it will get worse. Do not try to find the silver lining; it is not there. They
do mean what they say. If they occupied the plant and forged international solidarity
that would be an entirely different strike, with entirely different leaders. To pretend
otherwise is to defend the existing leaders and to prepare more defeats. This is differentiating the left in Britain; it goes to the core of class politics. Fight the reaction
without reservations and you will find new revolutionists who will come forward to
champion the interests of the class as an international whole. [2]

In the last referendum in 1975 the MS could boast that they were the only newspaper to support the No campaign then, gathering under their banner Michael
Foot, Tony Benn, Barbara Castle, Enoch Powell, Ian Paisley, the Communist
Party of Great Britain, the Scottish National party, Plaid Cymru, the Ulster Unionist party and the Democratic Unionist party. A truly revolutionary popular
front who shared platforms without regard to class, creed or politics but which
nevertheless failed in its endeavours!
4

As the CPB/MS are Stalinists, the


ideological foundation of which is
socialism in a single country, they
invariable follow the very patriotic
line of defending capitalism in a single country too. In fact this is the
logical theoretical basis of all who
seek the parliamentary road to socialism.

Split in the Ruling Class

Black Wednesday 16 September 1992: the run


on the pound showed the UK could not compete economically with Germany

The split in the ruling class over Europe is a historic one which is based
on economic factors which have existed since after WWI but have developed
strongly in recent decades.
The British economy, particularly since the Thatcher epoch, relies very heavily
on the City of London; its manufacturing base has shrunk dramatically since the
1970s, diminished by her assault on the working class and its historic vanguard, the
miners. Economics Help tells us:
Manufacturing as a share of real GDP has fallen from 30% in 1970 to 12% in
2010. [3]
The UK had the second largest stock of inward foreign direct investment and the
second-largest stock of outward foreign direct investment. The UK is one of the
worlds most globalised economies the service sector dominates the UK economy,
contributing around 78% of GDP; the financial services industry is particularly important and London is the worlds largest financial centre (tied with New York). [4]

Britain exited from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), which was
preparing for monetary union, in Black Wednesday 16 September 1992 because
the run on the pound showed it could not compete economically with Germany.
Germany is a far different type of economy to Britain:
In 2014, Germany recorded the highest trade surplus in the world worth $285 billion,
making it the biggest capital exporter globally. Germany is the third largest exporter in
the world with $1.511 trillion exported in 2014. The service sector contributes around
70% of the total GDP, industry 29.1%, and agriculture 0.9%. Exports account for 41%
of national output. [5]

Britain operates as a junior partner to American imperialism, it basically takes its


orders from Washington on all important matters of economy and war. Obama
wants Britain to remain in Europe as a counterweight to Germany. If Britain
leaves Europe then Germany will be tempted to defy the USA more frequently
and to forge alliances which they see as in their interests against the USA. On exiting Europe its manufacturing base will shrink even further, it will become even
5

more reliant on the City of London and more of a tool of the USA and will follow
it even more obediently into every war and conflict without the counter-balancing
weight of the EU.
A big section of the British ruling class do not welcome this prospect. It is significant that Britain along with Germany, France and Italy defied the USA and
joined the China-dominated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The fact that
the USA and David Cameron oppose exit from the EU is not an argument for
exit, they are opposed to a downward spiral towards WWIII subjectively whilst
supporting the system that is driving it. We do not oppose them in order to bring
that prospect closer politically.

Who leads the No Campaign?


As the forces on each side line up in the coming in-out referendum there are
many differences with the 1975 referendum but also many similarities. The British
ruling class itself is seriously split on the question between a section of the finance
capital elite and manufactures and so is the labour movement but the MS still
leads the No vote on the left and is willing to collaborate with everyone to its
right to prove its patriotism yet again.
The No camp MPs includes those on the right of the Tory party (maybe up to
100 MPs if Cameron gets little by way of concessions from the EU, it is rumoured), Labour MPs Kate Hoey, Graham Stringer, Kelvin Hopkins and Roger
Godsiff and Ukips sole MP Douglas Carswell. The campaign is bankrolled by a
string of millionaire party donors, including Labour money-man John Mills, former Tory co-treasurer Peter Cruddas and spread-betting tycoon Stuart Wheeler,
who has pumped a fortune into Ukip, according to The Mirror. MSinfluenced
TU leaders and many Stalinists influenced by its socialism-in-a-single-country ideology like Arthur Scargill are for exit as are both the Socialist Party (CWI) and the
Socialist Workers party (although the latter is far less patriotic). Jeremy Corbyn, a
long time MS columnist, has voted against the EU in the past but is now for remaining in.
In October 2011 then RMT president Alex Gordon made the following social
patriotic statement to a conference of the Peoples Movement (Ireland) in Dublin :
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is demanding measures to protect particularly
unskilled workers where social dumping is threatening jobs. It is an iron law of economics that an abundant supply of labour pushes down its cost. It is insulting peoples
intelligence to pretend otherwise, it said in a statement. Across Europe, it is clear that
we are witnessing large movement of capital eastwards as labour heads west. And this
is happening in accordance to the principles of the single European market, which
allow the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour, regardless of the social consequences. Single market rules, therefore, truncate all forms of democracy,
including rights to fair wages, working conditions, welfare and social protection and
collective bargaining. These EU policies can only mean a continuation of mass migration and, ultimately, feed the poison of racism and fascism, the last refuge of the cor6

porate beast in crisis. To


reverse this increasingly perverse situation, all nation
states must have democratic
control over their own immigration policy and have
the right to apply national
legislation in defence of
migrant and indigenous
workers. [6]

That amounts to a direct


appeal to the ruling class to
protect the privileges of the Owen Jones, we should be love-bombing oppolabour aristocracy against the nents i.e. conciliating reaction instead of fighting it.
immigrants in the good old
tradition of class collaboration pioneered by Joe Stalin in The British Road to
Socialism, threading the same road of the German Social Democracy voting for
the war credits to the Kaiser on 4 August 1914. If an employer sacked its
workers and employed these c**** on lower wages what would you do Gerry? as one leading RMTer once asked me.
Back in the 19th century the immigrants in Britain were Irish and later, Jews.
Karl Marx, in a stance diametrically opposed to that of Joe Stalin and some in
the RMT, set out the principles Marxists have adopted toward immigrants
ever since:
Every industrial and commercial centre in England now possesses a working
class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians.
The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers
his standard of life. In relation to the Irish worker he regards himself as a member
of the ruling nation and consequently he becomes a tool of the English aristocrats
and capitalists against Ireland, thus strengthening their domination over himself.
He cherishes religious, social, and national prejudices against the Irish worker. His
attitude towards him is much the same as that of the poor whites to the Negroes in the former slave states of the U.S.A. The Irishman pays him back with
interest in his own money. He sees in the English worker both the accomplice and
the stupid tool of the English rulers in Ireland. (our emphasis). [7]

What the Morning Star and Owen Jones have argued

On 21 August the MS expressed embarrassment that the loudest voices


against the neoliberal bloc are those of Ukip cranks. But it does not have to
be that way. Farage said: I dont care if a socialist heads up the campaign.
But the author, Carl Pacman, thinks things could be different:
For too long the right have had Euro scepticism covered. However that is starting to change. Ever since TTIP and the treatment of Greece, more people on the
7

left are speaking out


over the issue. But why
exactly should leftwingers be campaigning
and advocating for a
British exit? For me
there are three main
reasons. The first is that
the EU is run on secretive decision-making.
The Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partner- Carl Packman, author of Loan Sharks and Nigel Farage: I
ship (TTIP) has revealed dont care if a socialist heads up the campaign.
how backdoor privatisation deals can be made through totally above-board bilateral trade agreements between the EU and the US. [8]

The TTIP is a thoroughly reactionary agreement negotiated by the EU. However Comrade Carl neglects to tell us in what way the British government, or indeed the Labour opposition up to the election of Jeremy Corbyn, has opposed
the TTIP. And if Corbyn proves the champion to fight against it would he not
be more likely to succeed within Europe? We have just seen an absolutely huge
German demonstration in Berlin of 250,000 against it on 10 October. That is
surely the united force we need to tackle this global attack. Because along with
TTIP is TiSA and TPP, this is a global offensive by global imperialism, its great
finance houses and its transnationals. A global response is called for. But Pacman demurs:
The second reason is the existence of the EU means neoliberalism is here to stay. I
recently spoke with some Greek trade union representatives who told me the best
they can hope for is a social EU that tones down the neoliberal agenda. This lack of
hope is tragic. In any case, it is also fantasy. The troika has effectively won its battle
with Syriza in Greece since Alexis Tsipras has backed down. The upshot for the
country is more austerity with privatisation measures. The likelihood that the EU is
about to go softer on neoliberal austerity measures is highly unlikely.[9]

The likelihood that we will get a British government to opposes neo-liberalism


before 2020 is small. And even if we do it will not be able to do it in Britain
alone. This version of two steps back in order to go one step forward will not
work. It will be two steps back followed by two more steps back. And reason
No. 3:
Finally, the EU is inherently uninterested in creating European harmony. Contrary
to the supposed original principles of a union of European nations, the EU today
has pitted richer countries against poorer countries. Countries in the EU are either
creditors, such as Germany and France, or debtors, like Ireland and Greece. Loans
made to Greece, underwritten by European creditors to the previous Pasok govern8

ment, were unsustainable. The conditions for these loans imposed austerity
measures made things even worse and the economy shrank by 25 per cent from
2007-2014.[10]

Again telling us what a terrible thing has happened to Greece without posing
anything other than a nationalist solution is worse than useless. Even more so
for Greece than for Britain, if in a very different way. An independent Greece in
the midst of a raging global financial crisis that could survive without the immediate assistance of the working class of Europe and the world coming to its assistance is a fools illusion.
Others to have presented basically the same MS arguments are Owen Jones
and George Monbiot. Jones begins his 13-7-15 Guardian article, The left must put
Britains EU withdrawal on the agenda, thus:
Everything good about the EU is in retreat; everything bad is on the rampage, writes
George Monbiot, explaining his about-turn. All my life Ive been pro-Europe, says
Caitlin Moran, but seeing how Germany is treating Greece, I am finding it increasingly distasteful. Nick Cohen believes the EU is being portrayed with some truth, as a
cruel, fanatical and stupid institution. How can the left support what is being done?
asks Suzanne Moore. The European Union. Not in my name. There are senior Labour figures in Westminster and Holyrood privately moving to an out position too.
If anything, this new wave of left Euro scepticism represents a reawakening. Much
of the left campaigned against entering the European Economic Community when
Margaret Thatcher and the like campaigned for membership. It was German and
French banks who benefited from the bailouts, not the Greek economy. It would
threaten the ability of leftwing governments to implement policies, people like my
parents thought, and would forbid the sort of industrial activism needed to protect
domestic industries. But then Thatcherism happened, and an increasingly battered
and demoralised left began to believe that the only hope of progressive legislation
was via Brussels. The misery of the left was, in the 1980s, matched by the triumphalism of the free marketeers, who had transformed Britain beyond many of their wildest ambitions, and began to balk at the restraints put on their dreams by the European project. [11]

Having rejected the left wing politics of his parents, who were Ted Grant and
Militant supporters, Jones in now busily advising Jeremy Corbyn to tack to the
right, to adopt politics in defence of British capitalism and basically abandon any
arguments for socialism or real leftism. He wrote the following disgraceful tract
in an article on 16 September:
That means adopting an inclusive, cheerful, positive approach: love-bombing opponents, even. Nearly 4 million people voted for Ukip at the last election. If they are
dismissed as racists rather than working-class people who often have unanswered
fears over jobs, housing, public services and the future of their children and grandchildren, they will be lost forever. [12]

The puerile advice to them is that we should be love-bombing opponents in9

stead of fighting reaction and demonstrating to them how wrong they are. This is
what produced Milibands racist immigration mug (logo, controls on immigration,
Im voting Labour 7 May) that went a long way to persuade those voters that their
racist views were legitimate. Enough of the love-bombing nonsense, fight the capitalist class and show these backward workers the bosses are the real enemy and not
the immigrants.
His arguments in Europe are from the same perspective. A sort of a right wing
version of the old Militant programme of Enabling Acts passed through parliaments
with the working class as a stage army to assist the real revolutionaries and workers
in uniform and defence of British interests in foreign wars etc. so as to mollify reaction. The blueprint for The Morning Star and Owen Jones arguments is the bourgeois
nationalist nonsense that is Joe Stalins 1951 British Road to Socialism and its global
counterparts for almost every country approved by Joe in that period. His arguments on Greece and TTIP are the rehashed The Morning Star arguments.

What is the positive case for a Yes Vote?

In 1929 Trotsky explained:

The basic task of unification (of Europe GD) must be economic in character, not only
in the commercial but also productive sense. It is necessary to have a regime that would
eliminate the artificial barriers between European coal and European iron. It is necessary
to enable the system of electrification to expand in consonance with natural and economic conditions, and not in accordance with the frontiers of Versailles. It is necessary to
unite Europes railways into a single system, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. All this,
in its turn, is inconceivable without the destruction of the ancient Chinese system of custom borders within Europe. This would, in its turn, mean a single, All-European customs
union against America. [13]

But surely we must not attempt in any way to confuse the Socialist United States of
Europe with the present imperialist cabal that is the European Union? The United
States was established in the War of Independence and maintained in the Civil War
in revolutionary struggles. Frances internal customs borders were demolished along
with the ancien regime by revolution. However both Germany and Italy were unified
from the top down basically by reactionary political movements. Trotsky explains:
It has happened more than once in history that when the revolution is not strong
enough to solve in time a task that is mature historically, its solution is undertaken by
reaction. Thus Bismarck unified Germany in his own manner after the failure of the 1848
revolution. Thus Stolypin tried to solve the agrarian question after the defeat of the 1905
revolution. Thus the Versailles victors solved the national question in their own way,
which all the previous bourgeois revolutions in Europe proved impotent to solve. The
Germany of the Hohenzollerns tried to organize Europe in its own way, i.e. by uniting it
under its helmet.
The leadership of the Comintern, and particularly the leadership of the French Communist Party are exposing the hypocrisy of official pacifism The slogan of the United
10

States of Europe is not a cunning invention of diplomacy. It springs from the immutable
economic needs of Europe which emerge all the more painfully and acutely the greater is
the pressure of the USA In the person of the Opposition the vanguard of the European proletariat tells its present rulers: In order to unify Europe it is first of all necessary to
wrest power out of your hands. We will do it. We will unite Europe. We will unite it
against the hostile capitalist world. We will turn it into a mighty drill-ground of militant
socialism. We will make it the cornerstone of the World Socialist Federation. [14]

The leadership of the Tory party, the Labour party (with the small opposition
above), the Liberal Democrats (almost no opposition here), the Scottish National
party, Plaid Cymru (Welsh nationalists), the DUP, UUP, SDLP and Sinn Fein (the
four north of Ireland parties) are in the Yes camp. The nationalist parties all hope to
attract US investments by low corporate tax and large tax breaks and that vitally
depends on staying in Europe, hence the big change there since 1975. Of the far left
Workers Power, the Alliance
for Workers Liberty and the
CPGB (Weekly Worker) are
for Yes. The SSP in Scotland
and Left Unity in England and
Wales also support a Yes vote.
Socialist Resistance are undecided although Alan Thornett
is for Yes and has strongly
argued for it.
The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency
(RCIT, British section) are for
abstention, on the basis that
this referendum is the equivalent of an inter-imperialist war
on which Marxists must be
A stereotypical vision of the newfrom-the-old Europe?
dual defeatist. [15] Obama has
urged Cameron to fight to remain in Europe and Cameron visible strengthened his
stance as a consequence, the leadership of France and Germany want the UK to
remain in. Opinion polls put the Yes camp in the lead by approximately 39-44%, an
insignificant margin.
Of course we acknowledge that the EU is a bosses club that its structures are
undemocratic even in the very limited terms of bourgeois democracy, that it does
not have the advantages of a federal capitalist state in terms of bourgeois democracy, that monetary union is not fiscal union so all the weaker states in the EU are at
the mercy of German imperialism in particular which exploits the size and strength
of its economy to oppress all other nations. But revolution against the British State
would be in a far better position to defend and extend itself with the assistance of
11

the European and global working


class if they are joined together in
the EU.
How will it advance this historic
task if we first of all succumb to
national socialism, reject alliances
with the other working classes of
Europe and seek national solutions to the problems facing the
Nick Long, People Before Profit party, canvassing
working class in Britain alone,
in the general election in Lewisham East.
which are profoundly global in
origins and whose solution is to be
found only in the international arena? You may argue that that it is profoundly contrary to your intention to advance British chauvinism in voting No but that is what
will result as sure as night follows day.

Conclusion

As one comrade commented on Owen Jones Guardian article, British progressives and
the European Union: should we stay or should we go? on 16 July:
A question for Owen Jones: why is it that the radical left in Greece (apart from the Stalinist KKE) is desperate to remain part of the EU despite suffering at the hands of the
European bankers and rightwing politicians. The answer is that the European left are united in wanting to see a peoples Europe not a bankers Europe. The British left walking
away from this fight will only strengthen those who represent the City of London and
reactionary, bigoted, backward forces in British society and culture. Nick Long, London.
[16]

Spot on there, Comrade Nick. Of course the collaboration between the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the CPB/MS and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) under late general secretary Bob Crow and now
under Mick Cash in No2EU, yes to Democracy and in the Trade Union and Socialist
Coalition (TUSC) was partly on the basis of their mutual opposition to Europe and
softness on immigration controls apart from the SWP who oppose immigration controls but manages to collaborate with the other two without any problem in TUSC.
The SWP say Our role in the referendum is to try to carve out a space for an internationalist No campaign [17] The SP have a position of opposition to racist immigration controls, the traditional hypocritical position of the old CPGB. As Peter Manson explained in Weekly Worker:
In fact the policy of the official Communist Party of Great Britain (and, after it, the
CPB) has been one of non-racist immigration controls for over half a century. Here I am
grateful to Dr Evan Smith and his website, Hatful of History, for having collated the statements of the CPGB on this question since the early 1960s. [20] For example, Evans
12

quotes the Communist Party weekly, Comment, which in 1963 stated that the previous
years Commonwealth Immigrants Act must be opposed, because it was not an act to
control immigration in general, but constituted colour discrimination in immigration.
[18]

The SP have not softened their position on immigration control here in their British Perspectives 2013:
We staunchly oppose racism. We defend the right to asylum, and argue for the end of
repressive measures like detention centres. At the same time, given the outlook of the
majority of the working class, we cannot put forward a bald slogan of open borders or
no immigration controls, which would be a barrier to convincing workers of a socialist
programme, both on immigration and other issues. Such a demand would alienate the
vast majority of the working class, including many more long-standing immigrants, who
would see it as a threat to jobs, wages and living conditions. Nor can we make the mistake of dismissing workers who express concerns about immigration as racists. While
racism and nationalism are clearly elements in anti-immigrant feeling, there are many
consciously anti-racist workers who are concerned about the scale of immigration. [19]

It really does not take a very bright spark to work out where Owen Jones gets his
views from. And what is the source of the labour movement support for EU exit. It
is all there in that 1951 British Road to Socialism inspired by Joe Stalin himself. All
the more reason to oppose it and vote Yes.
On a final theoretical point. The imperialist nation state is not counterposed to
the interests of multinational corporations as many are claiming or at least implying
in relation to TTIP. This argument is a reflection of Karl Kautskys theory of imperialism that said that these monopoly corporation would grow so large as to eliminate competition. In fact every large corporation has a home in one of the imperialist powers and that government acts on its behalf in diplomacy and in war when
necessary. This argument appeared before WWII and every multinational found its
home and its champion as soon as the war began. TTIP is the means used by the
imperialist powers of the US and Europe to exploit the working classes of the
world and the semi-colonial nations.
Roger McKenzie Assistant General Secretary of Unison said at the Labour CND
Conference on 30-1-16 that he opposed TTIP because the nation state was marginalised by global corporations. Michael Calderbank says in this pamphlet that TTIP:
allows multinational corporations to bring legal actions in offshore courts against
the governments of nation states for loss of potential profits. Alex Gordon said
when President of the RMT a few years ago that: all nation states must have democratic control over their own immigration policy and have the right to apply national legislation in defence of migrant and indigenous workers and Graham
Durham says in this pamphlet: For what else are the TTIP measures but an encodement of the process by which corporations assert their dominance over national governments and trade blocs.
13

No, the imperialist governments are the executive committees of finance capital and
the transnational corporations representing Wall Street, the City of London, Paris,
Hamburg and Tokyo. The great corporations and their governments (executive committees) can only be defeated when we understand and fight them from the perspective of the world revolution like Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks did in 1917.

Notes

[1] Leon Trotsky, Disarmament and the United States of Europe, 4 October 1929, https://www.marxists.org/archive/
trotsky/1929/10/disarm.htm
[2] Socialist Fight No. 2 Summer 2009, p 10, No support for these chauvinist, xenophobic strikes, https://
suacs.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/socialist-fight-no-2.pdf
[3] Economics Help, Relative decline in UK manufacturing, http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/7617/economics/
economic-growth-during-great-moderation/
[4] Wikipedia, Economy of the United Kingdom, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_Kingdom
[5] Wikipedia, Economy of Germany, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Germany
[6] Trade Unionists against the EU, Social Europe is a con,
http://www.no2eu.com/?page_id=263
[7] Karl Marx London, 1870, Letter of Marx to Sigfrid
Meyer and August Vogt In New York, https://
www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1870/
letters/70_04_09.htm
[8] The Morning Star, Socialists should lead the bid to leave the
EU, the case for why Britain must exit the neoliberal empire of
the EU. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-5c07Socialists-should-lead-the-bid-to-leave-theEU#.VhvMCyupfSo
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Owen Jones, The left must put Britains EU withdrawal
on the agenda, http://www.theguardian.com/
commentisfree/2015/jul/14/left-reject-eu-greeceThe SPEW still bad on immigration controls:
eurosceptic
[12] Owen Jones, The Guardian 16 September, If Jeremy At the same time, given the outlook of the
Corbyns Labour is going to work, it has to communicate, http:// majority of the working class, we cannot put
www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/16/ forward a bald slogan of open borders or no
jeremy-corbyn-labour-twitter-media
immigration controls, which would be a barri[13] Trotsky, Disarmament, Opus cit.
er to convincing workers of a socialist pro[14] Ibid.
gramme, both on immigration and other is[15] The RCIT maintains that authentic Marxists must sues.
refuse to support either of these two, equally reactionary,
imperialist camps. The most important task now is to fight
for the political independence of the working class and the oppressed vis--vis either of these imperialist camps. There
is no lesser evil for the working class. http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/part-1/
[16] Owen Jones, The Guardian, 16 July, British progressives and the European Union: should we stay or should we go? http://
www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/16/british-progressives-and-the-european-union-should-we-stay-or-shouldwe-go
[17] Joseph Choonara, EU referendum: Should we stay or should we go? August 2015, http://socialistreview.org.uk/404/eureferendum-should-we-stay-or-should-we-go
hatfulofhistory.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/the-british-left-and-immigration-controls.
[18] Peter Manson, Playing a fools game, Weekly Worker, Issue 1014, 12.06.2014, http://weeklyworker.co.uk/
worker/1014/playing-a-fools-game/
[19] British Perspectives 2013: a Socialist Party congress document, 28 March 2013, http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/
campaign/Anti-racism/Immigration/16413

14

The EU referendum and class


independence

By Ian Donovan January 2016

ocialists should not advocate support for either the Yes or No


camp in the coming EU referendum.
Both sides of the debate represent different strands of imperialism. Neither
strand represents a democratic gain,
even in a deformed sense, for the
working class or other sections of the
oppressed. Neither socialism, nor even
Such minimal but important protections as
significant social reform, is on offer
from either of the contending camps. the EU Social Charter of yesteryear, and no
doubt other similar concessions that have at
And indeed both the No and the
times cut against the grain of the British
Yes side of the debate, in bourgeois
Tories particular brand of neo-liberalism
terms, are quite capable of inflicting
would be for the chop and a Yes victory
major, crippling defeats on the working would be the signal for that to be done.
class. Both are variants of neoliberalism in terms of not just ultimate aims, but immediate, straightforward policy. The dispute over the European Union is a dispute between two different
sections of the ruling class, about which is the best way to promote the interests
of British imperialism and to shore up its declining position in the world.
Socialists do not necessarily refuse to take sides in intra-bourgeois political disputes. If the issues involved substantially impinge on questions that are essential
to working class interests, and if the victory of one side over the other would
make a qualitative difference to some essential working class interest, then it
would be correct to take a side.
The problem is that the victory of either side in the coming referendum promises to damage working class interests substantially. If the Yes side in Camerons referendum is victorious, the population would have voted not only for the
current undemocratic, neo-liberal EU, but also whatever Cameron is able to
achieve in diluting and doing away with some of the EUs social democratic protections for some basic workers rights. It will also be a signal the implementation of whatever concessions Cameron is able to extract in terms of diluting
the EUs laws guaranteeing the free movement of labour across the EU, attacks
on benefits for migrants and others, etc. It could even signal further derogations
from human rights laws which also sometimes provide a level of protection for
some from the most blatant UK government abuses.
15

Such minimal but important protections as the EU Social Charter of yesteryear, and no doubt other similar concessions that have at times cut against the
grain of the British Tories particular brand of neo-liberalism would be for the
chop and a Yes victory would be the signal for that to be done. As indeed
would also be true for whatever attacks on workers rights including those of
migrant workers that Cameron is able to garner.

EU: Neoliberal agency vs. Thatcherite nationalist right

As such varied phenomena as the Greek austerity in defence of the Euro, and
the advent of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
show, the EU is not only not a barrier to neo-liberalism, but also a locus of its
deepening. TTIP is the joint US-EU proposal for a transatlantic free trade zone
that contains a further ratcheting up of neo-liberalism and further attacks on
the rights of national governments to institute or defend gains such as free
public healthcare, as with Britains NHS. Thus one important view of the rightwing of the British trade union bureaucracy in recent times, that the EU was
some kind of shield against privatisation and attacks on workers rights, has
gone up in smoke.
A No vote would not improve things. On the contrary it would be certain
to also lead to intensified neo-liberalism in a different, basically English nationalist form. The driving force of the No campaign from the Tory right and
UKIP is hostility to workers rights (including the right to free movement of
workers), residual social democratic interference in the free market, and
human rights laws. If the left were to join in the current No campaign, with a
reactionary Tory government in power pressured further right by its own antiEU wing and their sometime UKIP allies, it would be cutting its own throat. It
would also further entrench the nationalist division between English and Scottish workers epitomised by the wipe-out of Labour by the SNP in last years
General Election, as Scotland would likely vote to separate rather than be
dragged into a Little Britain dominated by the anti-Scottish English right.
The victory of the anti-European right would mean further attacks on migrant rights, the destruction of limitations on exploitation such as the working
time directive, compulsory holidays, the rights of agency workers, not to mention a possible exit from the Council of Europe and thus from the European
Convention on Human Rights. And no doubt, as the British ruling class are
lackeys of the US ruling class to a considerable extent, such projects as TTIP
would not be halted one iota.
So there are plenty of reasons why it would be wrong for the left to actively
support either side. We should be for an active boycott by the workers movement of Camerons referendum, which is not, contrary to the fraudulent and
deeply reactionary campaigns of UKIP and the Tory right, anything to do with
national self-determination. This is about reactionary nationalism opting out of
16

particular imperialist configuration in favour of another, not any assertion of


national rights.

Counterposed left positions

On the left, we see two strands of


argument that justify taking sides in
this intra-bourgeois dispute. A case,
argued in Marxist terms, for a Yes
vote is put forward by comrade Gerry Downing in his article EU referendum: Vote Yes; Fight for the Socialist
United States of Europe. Comrade
As such varied phenomena as the Greek
Gerrys article is very strong in attack- austerity in defence of the Euro, and the
ing the Stalinist and other leftadvent of the Transatlantic Trade and Innationalist delusions of those who
vestment Partnership (TTIP) show, the EU
believe in the British Road to Social- is not only not a barrier to neo-liberalism,
ism the idea that socialism can exist but also a locus of its deepening.
in a single country. That is correct.
What is not correct is what is heavily implied in drawing such a direct connection between saying yes to the EU and fighting for a Socialist United States of
Europe the idea that the EU is in some way a step towards that Socialist unification.
If it were such a step forward, such a position would make sense. But the concrete evolution of the EU shows that it is unable to unify the productive forces
and economies of its component parts. One element of the EU that the British
Eurosceptics are able to point to as a failure and an irrationality is the Euro.
The Euro is the highest expression so far of the pseudo-unification of Europe in
economic terms.
But as is starkly visible from the Greek crisis, as well as similar phenomena
involving other countries on the Eurozone periphery, the Euro has not only not
unified the economies of the European states, it has become an instrument for
crucifying the poorer economies involved and massively transferring their resources to the richest imperialist countries in the EU, particularly Germany.
This is the result of a currency that is not associated with a single state power,
taxation and fiscal system, that depends instead on manipulation of relations
between separate, widely divergent capitalist economies and states to stay afloat.
Such is the irrationality of the Euro as a measure that, in hindsight, as an elementary matter of self-defence of the working class, it was indeed correct for
socialists to have called for a no vote to the Euro.

Migrant rights are workers rights

The European Union does contain as part of its economic ethos one thing that
is of net benefit to the working class on a continental level the right of free
17

movement of labour within the EU. This is not a product of altruism or a progressive, internationalist intention on behalf of the rulers of the EU far from
it. Their aim is to wider the sphere of the exploitation of labour, and to undercut so-called labour monopolies particularly in the richer imperialist countries.
This often means attacks on established gains of unionised workers in these
countries.
There is a balance to be struck here, and it is not always easy to see where the
line is to be drawn. It is said that there is only one thing worse than being exploited under capitalism, and that is not being exploited under capitalism. That
is, being thrown on the scrap heap as a worker. This applies just as much to a
worker from Poland or Romania as it does to a worker from Britain. The right
to migrate in search of work is just as much a right that must be defended for
all workers as the right to strike and
picket for better pay, or to defend existing gains of the working class. All such
rights must be defended tooth and nail.
The effects of migration are contradictory and in local situations do indeed
lead to established sections of the working class being undercut by migrants
who are not in a position to demand the
kind of terms and conditions more es- Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway
tablished sections of the class have pre- have both reversed their positions in reviously been able to demand.
cent times in opposite directions.
That is the negative side. The positive
side, however, is the creation of a more internationalised working class, with
the potential to enhance its power and breadth in the future. Not least through
overcoming local chauvinisms that often are steeped in class collaboration with
sections of local employers, at least implicitly against foreign workers. That is
always the effect of labour mobility under capitalism, through assembling
workers from diverse origins and uniting them under the cosh of exploitation,
it creates its own collective gravedigger for the future.
This is again another good reason why it would be fundamentally wrong to
support either side in the bourgeois referendum debate over the EU. Capitalism creates its gravedigger in the proletariat, but we do not thereby support
capitalism. We are opposed to the exploitation of migrant workers, and their
use to undercut previous working class gains. And we cannot endorse the capitalist institutions that are responsible for promoting this, which obviously includes very centrally the EU. We oppose all attacks on gains of the working
class inherited from the past.
But we also oppose reactionary, chauvinistic opposition to these capitalist
phenomena. We oppose any opposition to them that seeks to exclude workers
18

from poorer EU countries from migrating to seek a better life. These are also
the rights of part of the working class under capitalism. We are not defenders
of any national section of the working class against other national sections. We
seek to represent the interest of all workers, to unite the working class. Any
opposition to capital that seeks to exclude foreign workers is in fact helping
capital to poison all sections of the working class against each other, with the
kind of chauvinism that in the past produced its logical consequences with
workers killing each other in two World Wars.
The more consistent left-wing opponents of the EU in times past, such as
No2EU in Britain, no matter how many working class demands they raised that
were supportable, always had as their fundamental weakness a hostility to migrant workers, even if expressed in a cryptic and embarrassed manner. This is
the dangerous political logic to this kind of opposition to the EU, it is damaging
as is the logic of those who seek to promote internationalism by support for
the EU.

Class independence and Marxism: fight both camps!

Both of these false positions represent at least an implicit break with class independence, and see a bloc with different bourgeois factions as the way forward.
Neither of these bourgeois factions is being pushed by independent working
class forces into taking positions that in some way contradict the interests of
capital. Both are pursuing anti-working class aims, albeit different ones, with
considerable determination and clarity. For the purposes of class independence,
socialists must counterpose themselves to both camps.
Such is the complexity and problematic nature of this question that the most
advanced elements of British social democracy have tended to flip-flop from
one position to another on the basis of empirical events.
For instance Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway have both reversed their
positions in recent times in opposite directions: Galloway, who was in the past
an outspoken critic of No2EU for its exitism, under the impact of the EUs
humiliation of SYRIZA in Greece, shifted to supporting British exit. Corbyn,
on the other hand, appears to have shifted from an anti-EU position at the beginning of his campaign for the Labour leadership to a pro-EU position now,
partly under pressure from the PLP mainstream (i.e. the remnants of New Labour) and partly through worry about the nationalist consequences of a British
exit.
Such flip flopping really is pretty subjective, shallow and empirical and represents an inability to formulate a coherent class alternative to both bourgeois
camps. It is not surprising that even the best elements of left Labourism have
been so empirical; what left Labourism lacks above all is a coherent socialist
worldview. Only Marxism can provide that.
19

VOTE NO!
NO SUPPORT TO THE EU NEO-LIBERAL CARTEL!
NO SUPPORT TO CONTINENTAL CHAUVINISM IN
ANY CONTINENT!
NO SUPPORT TO NATIONAL CHAUVINISM IN ANY
COUNTRY!
WORKERS OF ALL COUNTRIES UNITE!
By Graham Durham January 2016

The United States of America is the


most powerful nation on Earth. Period.
Its not even close (Barack Obama, 12
January 2016)

s US President Obama prepares to leave


the scene, the first black man allowed to
act as the key spokesperson of those oppressing the world working -class and militarily imposing neo-liberal political and economic chaos across the planet, there can be little doubt
he is right about the dominant military and
economic clout of the US.
It is a dominance which daily wreaks havoc on all parts of the globe: from the
war refugees washing up drowned in the seas of Europe, to the daily oppression
of Palestinians and all others who refuse to accept US-backed Israeli dominance,
to the exploited poor of America and the so-called first world hounded into insecurity and denied welfare and health, to the opponents of clerical regimes from
Saudi to Iran who face torture and execution and, of course, to the poorest
bonded labourers and street beggars of the world without trade unions or rights
and to the robbed and exploited peasants and farmers.
The list could run on but it is important to begin a debate about Europe with
this recognition that US imperialism, in its relentless drive for corporate profit
requiring increased exploitation of workers and resources, which is responsible
for the human misery of the oppressed around the planet.. However whilst proxy
wars for US dominance are being fought in Syria, Libya and elsewhere including
on the European mainland in the attempt to crush the Donetsk republics, the
world situation has changed dramatically over 75 years when US dominance was
confirmed. Most strikingly the ability of capital itself to act internationally without restriction has developed to a new and unprecedented level.
The debate on the EU referendum should therefore take account of the increased international nature of capital as predicted by Marx and Lenin and recognised by nearly all modern bourgeois and Marxist analysts. As the Guardian
20

economics editor, Larry Elliott, put it (21 January 2016):


Economies are far more integrated than they were half a century ago, when capital
controls, trade barriers and extensive public ownership shielded national economies.
Today changes in political philosophy and technology mean that there are far fewer
impediments to the free movement of goods - and virtually none at all to the free
movement of money

For what else are the TTIP measures but an encodement of the process by which
corporations assert their dominance over national governments and trade blocs.
Capitalism is international and dominates all the world, even where, as in China
and Vietnam for example, so-called Communist Parties are in government presiding over the free market (we can exclude only Cuba which continues to defend the
social gains of the 1959 revolution from this total US dominance).
In this sense, and allowing for the rivalries and tensions between competing and
growing economies such as China, the shrinking economic power that is the EU
cannot be even a capitalist rival for the US and increasingly China. To try to tie the
interest of workers internationally to the EU is an absurdity. Ask the redundant
steel workers of Teesside or Port Talbot how they were defended by the EU or the
British government against the cheaper labour extracted in China which cut the
profits of steel corporations and led to ruthless closures and redundancies. In the
21st century only an international planning of all world resources through workers
governments across the planet can achieve solutions to the problems facing the
oppressed in all nations.
Only with this internationalist perspective of the world struggle of the workingclass can we address the pro-EU Yes voters in the labour movement. These broadly fall into two camps - the pro-Europe social democrats such as Hilary Benn and
the orthodox Trotskyist Yes voters such as comrade Gerry Downing in this pamphlet. In Downings case this orthodoxy on Europe mainly consists of examining
the writings of Trotsky. Before the Stalinists murdered him in 1940 the then triumphant Nazis were engaged in world war; Downing is desperately trying to restate
Trotskys formulations in the stubborn face of the facts that capitalism has become
a worldwide system able to operate across continental borders with ease. We return
to these errors later.
First to deal with Hilary Benn and co, who may have captured Jeremy Corbyn in
recent weeks, and many trade union leaders, with the idea that the EU is a glorious
defender of workers; interests. The Stay in Europe campaign for example (backed
by Billy Hayes and Caroline Lucas amongst others) argues that although there are
faults in the EU, British citizens stand to lose amongst others: the right to study in
Europe, workplace rights, human rights and environmental agreements.
Putting aside for now the fact that the European Convention on Human Rights
has nothing to do with the EU, these arguments are an uncomfortable mix of pure
European workers privileges at the expense of the rest of the world and abandon21

ment of the working-class as a force in


history. The privileged free movement
of labour and study rights of European
workers are, of course, an argument for
ongoing European chauvinism aimed at
bolstering the standing (of the mainly
white) European workers at the expense of the workers (mainly of former
colonies) of the rest of the world. This
chauvinism is exhibited daily in the indifference of leading sections of the
trade union and labour movement to the
human misery of refugees in the heart of
Europe and dying on its borders. For us,
who claim to be Marxists and socialists,
these are our brothers and sisters and we demand free movement for them in
their hour of need as they flee the terrifying consequences of the Blair/Bush wars
and ongoing terror bombing.
For these right and left social democrats in the Yes campaigns, who often seek
to ditch the discredited social democrat label with its connotations of 1914-1918
imperialist slaughter and dub themselves reality based socialists, the workingclass is a past and dying force which once had the capacity to achieve social gains
such as trade union rights but are now neither capable nor to be trusted and must
leave the defence of workers rights achieved to date to the clever manoeuvres of
the trade union bureaucrats in Brussels and the Labour MEPs.
This defensive combination of European privilege protection and working-class
passivity embraces not just those such as Hilary Benn and Alan Johnson, open
supporters of US/UK bombing of Syria, but also many who, whilst opposing this
bombing as such, have either never had or have lost hope in independent working-class action.
Other streams active in the labour movement are those, such as The Morning
Star, who demand a No2EU vote as protection for British workers against the
alleged evils of EU trade agreements. This is a reactionary national chauvinism
which tries to pose not a European superiority but a British one in which British
workers and their needs are given prominence against workers of Europe and the
world. This current is strong in the British trade union movement and leaders of
UNITE and the GMB can be found defending the arming of imperialist NATO
through recommissioned Trident nuclear submarines on the grounds that these
are British workers jobs. The same narrow national chauvinism is found in the
demand for subsidies to defend the British steel industry, hopeless demands that
ignore the core truth that as long as workers wages can be driven down in other
22

parts of the world then capitalism will take production there.


So we are left with parts of the Marxist left who claim to share the same internationalist principles and campaign for a Yes to the EU vote. Here we will examine
the defence of this position by comrade Gerry Downing in this pamphlet. Downing
argues for a Yes vote as:

1. Concessions to nationalistic demands such as import controls will


strengthen the right

This is correct as far as it goes - but an internationalist opposition to the EU based


on the interests of workers worldwide would not support the EU market cartels or
any import controls aimed at the rest of the world. The EU is in fact a continuance
of European colonialism by another name aimed at increasing the profits of European capitalists and sharing some crumbs with the European working-class. The
attempt by the Danish government to seize refugee assets and the demands by
Cameron and other EU leaders to close borders are deeply reactionary, antiworking-class and designed, as ever, to split workers on the basis of false national or
continental common interests and ally the working-class with their bosses.

2. A Euro exit will strengthen the hold of US imperialism

The crushing by the EU and the European Central Bank allied to the IMF and
World Bank of the attempts by Syriza to resist, at least in a token way, austerity
shows clearly that the EU is a reactionary force allied to the US against the interests
of European workers. The weakening of the capitalist EU cartel could strengthen
the ability of the US to impose its will unless there is a mobilisation of the workers
worldwide against US imperialism. Our task is to build international working-class
solidarity against European and US imperialism. That is the true legacy of Bolshevism and Trotskyism.

3. The No camp is full of social patriots


Actually both camps are full of social patriots. Whether it is Hilary Benn arguing for
British interests and a Yes vote or the Morning Star and Communist Party of Britain
arguing for British interests and a NO vote both start from a narrow nationalist
chauvinism.
It is true that UKIP and other far right forces support an exit but only in the interests of an imaginary British capitalist class. Equally true is the support of world
imperialism for a Yes vote to strengthen neo-liberalism.

4. European workers are in struggle, we cannot abandon them

Interestingly Downing focuses on the strikes by German workers and ignores the
struggles in Egypt, China, Syria etc. by workers internationally. Here he falls into
European continental chauvinism which makes no sense in a neo-liberal world.
Other Marxists who fall into this trap quote the rise of Podemos in Spain and other parties of the left calling for European solidarity. Of course solidarity with all
23

worker struggles worldwide from the fighters against


EU/CIA imposed austerity in Ukraine and the struggles of workers in India and in Kurdistan require
solidarity from all works.
The saddest manifestation of the illusions peddled
in the EU by some socialist currents was the appearance of some Ukrainian socialists in the pro-capitalist
Maidan protests carrying banners proclaiming For
Socialism, For The EU. This was both a farce as the
Ukrainian nationalist movement, supported by fascists, was aimed at the full restoration of capitalist
power in Ukraine and a tragedy as those areas refusOther streams active in the
ing to surrender to imperialism where merciless attacked by Ukrainian troops and their US/UK advis- labour movement are those,
such as the Morning Star, who
ers.

5. Socialism in a single country is not possible


Again a correct position falsely applied. Neoliberalism is a world phenomenon; it cannot be
fought in Europe or Britain alone. We must rebuild
the international forces to achieve this through international workers organisations.

6. We need a Socialist United States of Europe

demand a No2EU vote as protection for British workers


against the alleged evils of EU
trade agreements. This is a reactionary national chauvinism
which tries to pose not a European superiority but a British
one in which British workers
and their needs are given prominence against workers of Europe
and the world.

Capitalism has developed into a world system and is


significantly less constrained by national governments and market cartels than in
1940. Posing the interests of European workers unity against the workers of the
rest of the world is no longer a sustainable position in a globalised world. We have
nothing in common with the bosses of Europe and everything in common with the
workers of the world.

7. The (hoped for) British revolution will be better defended if the


working-class are joined together in the EU

In this referendum in Britain, socialists who support an independent working-class


should understand that their international duty Is not to abstain or side with the
interests of US and British imperialism but to campaign for the destruction of the
capitalist protection racket that is the EU. In campaigning for a NO vote, we reject
all national and continental chauvinism. Building struggles against neo-liberalism
worldwide is the only means forward for our class

Workers of ALL Countries Unite


24

If you want an end to austerity, heres why you


should vote to leave the EU

There is a socialist case for Brexit (From The Independent 3 December 2015)
By Michael Calderbank, Co-Editor of Red Pepper magazine

want to see the election of a Labour government:


I want to see an end to austerity, key services like
our railways back into public ownership, and the
NHS protected from privatisation. But Britains
membership of the European Union threatens the
ability of a democratically elected government to do
any of this.
The EU we are being asked to remain a member of
is no longer the advocate of a Social Europe.
Where the Europe of Jacques Delors appeared to
offer some defence against the Thatcherite onslaught
witnessed here in Britain, todays EU is a key agent
and driver of that neoliberalism. Those real social
gains which remain in EU law from this period are
under threat. It is no coincidence that the big battalions of capital in Britain the CBI, the Financial
Times, the City of London all stand squarely in
favour of staying In.
Take the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - a trade deal between the USA and
EU negotiated in secret, and with frightening implications for the future of democracy. It aims to
introduce a new Investment Court System, which
allows multinational corporations to bring legal actions in offshore courts against the governments of
TTIPs for loss of potential profits incurred where
services are run in the public sector rather than being
privatised or outsourced. This is a thinly-veiled version of the Investor-State Dispute Settlements
(ISDS) already contained within other bi-lateral treaties signed by the EU. This led to energy company

Vattenfall suing the German government for billions


of dollars over its decision to phase out nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in
Japan. If applied here, such a system could well mean
that, for example, our National Health Service is
ruled unlawful by foreign courts able to dictate to a
British government that healthcare must be run for
private profit.
UKIPs fear-mongering on immigration might
make some Labour supporters cling to the pro-EU
side in response. But sadly politicians on both sides
of the referendum question will be appealing to popular prejudices. Already, the cross party Britain in
Europe Group have stressed that the European
Arrest Warrant is necessary to kick out foreign
rapists and murders from UK shores, again reinforcing xenophobia.
Plus whilst socialists oppose racist immigration
controls, the European Union at the same time as
protecting free movement of labour within EU states
has been pursuing a Fortress Europe policy
when it comes to policing external borders, leaving
refugees to drown in the sea.
It is totally false to portray all advocates of withdrawal from the EU as little Englanders. In reality,
we will need to develop closer solidarity ties amongst
social movements across Europes borders in order
to fight off the imposition of austerity. British withdrawal from the EU would deliver a significant blow
for accountability and popular sovereignty, not only
in Britain but for all the peoples of Europe.

Europe and the politics of fraud,


John Fuller Carr March 1, 2014

f the British establishment is divided, the groups,


factions and sects of the left Labour and nonLabour alike have proved utterly incapable of
providing anything like a serious alternative. In fact,
the reformist and national socialist left adheres
either to the most gullible or the most chauvinist
positions on the EU.
Instinctively the national socialists recognise that
European integration makes a mockery of their
utopian British road to socialism. Take the No2EU
election bloc uniting the Socialist Party in Eng-

Labour Party Marxists

land and Wales and the Morning Stars Communist


Party of Britain. It is virtually indistinguishable from
the Tory right, Ukip and the British National Party.
No2EU wants to save the pound sterling, restore
British sovereignty and re-establish immigration
controls to bar European incomers.
Naturally, when it comes to the likes of Peter
Taaffe, Robert Griffiths, Bob Crow and Brian Denny, this is all done in the name of socialism but it
is the socialism of fools. The best that these advocates of workers rights could achieve is a British

25

version of Stalinism i.e.,


establishment of a workers
state slavery and that imstate and the abolition of
posed onto a capitalistically
capitalism? Unlikely. Or is it
advanced country fully intean empty plea for the restograted into the world econoration of Keynesian econommy. What costs the lives of
ics and the politics of welfarmillions in the 1930s could
ism? Either way, the comonly but be repeated as a still
rade says that our membergreater tragedy.
ship of the EU impedes his
Civilisation would not be
agenda, so calling for a
advanced, but barbarically
withdrawal from an internathrown back. And, unfortutional left perspective would
nately, where the CPB and
be perfectly consistent.
SPEW have led, Socialist
When it comes to the LRCs
Resistance, Respect, the Alli- Michael Calderbank: It is totally
old position, the comrade
ance for Green Socialism, false to portray all advocates of with- dishonestly rejects any proScottish Socialist Party, Soli- drawal from the EU as little
gramme of fighting for a
darity, etc., have followed to Englanders.
workers Europe as akin to
the point of a horribly selfbanking on adequately redefeating common sense.
forming the existing institutions of the EU. An
Of course, for Marxists, proletarian socialism obvious non sequitur. Nevertheless, on the basis of
as the first stage or phase of communism is inter- this crude falsification, comrade Calderbank feels
national or it is nothing. There can be no socialism he can tell us what we all know. The EU is not very
in one country, because capital, as a social relation- democratic and he thinks it extremely hard to
ship, exists not within the nation-state, but interna- see how this can be changed.
tionally, at the level of the global economy. BureauThe lack of imagination is as sad as it is palpable.
cratic or national socialism just brings back all the Why those of us who want to take as our strategic
old crap, albeit in different, highly contradictory point of departure not Britain, but the EU are
forms. That is why as long ago as 1845 Marx and supposed to believe in the reformability of the
Engels emphatically rejected all localist schemes whole array of existing EU institutions remains to
and insisted, on the contrary, that: Empirically, be established.
communism is only possible as the act of the domiApply his methodological approach to the British
nant peoples all at once and simultaneously.
state. Over the last 30 years or so it has surely
Now, in the name of kicking the debate off, we eroded and undermined the post-World War II
have Michael Calderbank of Brent CLP. Writing in consensus. Indeed, it is fair to say, successive BritLabour Briefing, he rightly takes to task those who ish governments Tory, Labour and Con-Dem
have illusions in the progressive nature of the EU have been at the forefront of the neoliberal offenwhen it comes to labour legislation, social rights, sive both at home and in the EU. Should we thereetc. All are being eroded and undermined, he fore conclude with a call for the dissolution of
feigningly laments. Of course, what comrade Cald- Britain, as Welsh and Scottish nationalists do, or
erbank wants the LRC to do is to vote no in Cam- even a working class withdrawal from it?
erons referendum and bank everything on a British
Pitiably, comrade Calderbank unintentionally
withdrawal.
shows a naive faith in the institutions of the UK
Inevitably, comrade Calderbank gives his en- state: the monarchy, the House of Commons, the
dorsement of the no campaign a socialistic colora- House of Lords, the judiciary, the presidential
tion. Instead of populist scapegoating of mi- prime minister, MI5, the Church of England, the
grants, he makes a seemingly bold call for taking standing army, etc. Can they all be adequately
back power and taking control of our services reformed so as to pave the way for a workers Britand economies, on a local and national scale. ain? The implication in comrade Calderbanks poDoes his formula amount to a post-referendum lemic is, yes, they can.

26

Boycott Camerons Trap: Neither Brussels, nor Downing Street! For Abstention in Britains EU-Referendum!

For international Unity and Struggle of the Workers and Oppressed! Fight
against both British as well as European Imperialism! Forward to the United Socialist States of Europe. Statement of the Revolutionary Communist
International Tendency (RCIT) and the RCIT Britain, 2 August 2015
1. Socialists have to explain that it is in the interest
of the working class and the oppressed of Britain to
oppose any form of imperialist state. They should
refuse to be dragged into giving their support as
gullible voters to either of these alternative forms of
imperialism. Consequently, the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and its supporters in Britain call upon workers and oppressed
to vote neither YES or NO to UK membership in
the EU. Instead, they should write on the ballot:
Neither Brussels, nor Downing Street! For international Unity of the Workers and Oppressed, i.e.,
effectively casting a vote of abstention.
3. The huge majority of Britains ruling class
wants to stay in the European Union as this is consistent with their political and economic interests.
In contrast to its role in the 19th and early 20th
centuries, British imperialism is far too weak to
have any global influence as an isolated state. Its
only real options are acting as a junior partner to US
imperialism or to a European Union led by Germany and France. While the British bourgeoisie have
and will to continue to maintain special relations
with Washington (especially militarily), its economic
interests are closely aligned with the EU. 51.2% of
UKs Outward Foreign Direct Investments are
concentrated in the EU (2010), compared with only
17.5% for the US. (49% of the UKs Inward FDI
originates in the EU while the source of 30% of
these investments is the US.) Similarly, the EU is by
far Britains biggest trading partner: In 2013, 44.5%
of UK exports went to other EU countries, while
the EU contributed 52.2% of total imports to the
UK. (The US accounts for only 17.6% of UK exports and 9% of its imports.)
4. Characteristically, the pro-Zionist and socialimperialist centrist, Alliance for Workers Liberty
(AWL) also supports a pro-EU vote, claiming that
this would be a vote for more democracy and
against racism. This is a rather bizarre position of
for this so-called Trotskyist group, given the fact
that the EU doesnt even have an elected government and in light of the EUs standing aside while
thousands of migrants drown in the Mediterranean

Sea every year. (We note with regret, too, that


Workers Power recently dropped its former revolutionary position of abstention in such referendums
and humiliated itself by calling for a YES vote in a
referendum on Britains membership in the EU.) In
short, the pro-EU camp is dominated by the big
imperialist bourgeoisie, trailing in its wake the social
-imperialist labour bureaucracy.
5. The main social basis of the NO-camp i.e.,
those who advocate Britains exiting the EU, is the
backward sector of the bourgeoisie (represented in
the Business for Britain campaign) and the middle class, who are in danger of going to the dogs in
an increasingly unstable social and economic order
in which the big fish are devouring the little fish.
This is the same camp which hopes to garner support from among the labour aristocracy and the
backward sectors of the white working class by
whipping up a racist campaign of hatred against
migrants and ethnic minorities. This camps main
political forces are Nigel Farages UKIP and the
right-wing of the Tories which also receive support
from the fascist BNP as well as the English Democrats. As a secondary force, the anti-EU camp is
also supported by the Little England remnants of
British Stalinism (the Communist Party of Britain,
etc.) as well as the main centrist groups (the Cliffite
SWP/IST and Peter Taffees SPEW/CWI). This is
hardly surprising given the fact that the SPEW
played a leading role in the reactionary British Jobs
for British Workers strike at the Lindsey Oil Refinery in 2009. In short, the anti-EU camp is dominated by the most reactionary, backward sectors of the
(middle and petit) bourgeoisie and the countrys
middle layers, while left-reformists and centrists
serve as their left-wing fig leaf.
6. The RCIT maintains that authentic Marxists
must refuse to support either of these two, equally
reactionary, imperialist camps. The most important
task now is to fight for the political independence
of the working class and the oppressed vis--vis
either of these imperialist camps. There is no lesser
evil for the working class: On one side are those
British imperialists who advocate membership in

27

the war-mongering EU which


country with the goal of exprouniversally imposes austerity,
priating the local bourgeoisie
the plunder of Greece being the
and nationalizing the core inmost recent and prominent
dustries and banks and placing
example, and wages colonial
them under workers control.
wars in North Africa and Iraq,
The aim is to foment revolution
in addition to waging its policy
throughout the entire continent
of aggressive expansion in East(and beyond) in order to found
ern Europe at the door of Rusthe United Socialist States of
sia. On the other side are those
Europe. This is the only viable
British imperialists who advoalternative to both British and
cate the countrys exit from the
EU imperialism. The continent
EU in order to effectively becan only prosper and provide
come the little poodle of the
wealth for all if it is united on
worlds greatest imperialist powthe basis of a planned economy
er, the US, and who call for a
and the democratic rule of the
chauvinistic hunting down of
working class and the oppressed
Michael Prbsting, RCIT leader: who will organize themselves in
migrants and ethnic minorities.
7. A particularly important The RCIT and its supporters in mass action councils and popular
issue for the current situation in Britain call upon workers and
militia.
Britain and an internationalist oppressed to vote neither YES or 10. In Europes semi-colonial
campaign against Cameron's NO to UK membership in the
countries, i.e., those countries
referendum trap is the struggle EU. Instead, they should write on which are dominated and superfor the rights of migrants and the ballot: Neither Brussels, nor exploited by imperialist monoporefugees. As the RCIT has stated Downing Street! For international lies and great powers, the RCIT
numerous times in the past, we Unity of the Workers and Opcombines such an internationalist
oppose immigration control and pressed, i.e., effectively casting a perspective of class struggle with
stand for open borders, equal vote of abstention.
the tactic of calling for an exit
wages for native and migrant
from the European Union. We
workers, and equal rights for all. Recent develop- do so because we support every small step which
ments confirm the need for socialists to equally op- weakens the grip of the imperialists on such counpose both British and European imperialism. The tries. However such a tactic is only applicable to semi
Eurosceptic right-wing racists oppose the EU pre- -colonial countries like Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, and
cisely because the latter is ostensibly responsible for the countries of Eastern European. It is not relevant
"too many migrants" in Britain. The EU itself how- for imperialist states like Britain, France, Germany,
ever is no better. British and French police terrorize the Benelux countries, Austria, Sweden, Finland, etc.
refugees at the Chunnel crossings. The EU is cur11. The RCIT bases its revolutionary, internationalrently building a wall like that of US imperialism ist tactic on the programmatic tradition of the Marxalong its border with Mexico or Israel in the West ist classics. Lenin famously stated that a United
Bank along the Hungarian border with Serbia. And States of Europe, under capitalism, is either impossithe EU is trying its best to stop refugees crossing the ble or reactionary. Likewise he stated that in the
Mediterranean Sea and, in these efforts, recently imperialist countries the national movement is a
adopted a plan for military attacks against refugee thing of an irrevocable past, and it would be an abboats along the North African coast. The struggle surd reactionary utopia to try to revive it. Later,
for the rights of migrants and refugees must reject all Trotsky developed the slogan of a European-wide
variations of imperialist fortresses be they British struggle for workers power and the United Socialist
or European! Such a perspective is incompatible States of Europe, a slogan which was adopted by the
with voting for either of the two imperialist alterna- Communist International in 1923 (only to be
tives that will be offered in the referendum.
dropped by the Stalinist bureaucracy in 1928). This
9. At the same time the RCIT advocates the per- Marxist tradition is the only possible alternative in
spective of the European Revolution, i.e., the armed conflicts between two imperialist bourgeois camps.
insurrection of the workers and oppressed in each
28

The UK EU Referendum Vote Yes and fight


for a socialist united states of Europe

Workers Power Political Committee, 21 June 2015


1. For revolutionary socialists the task of the day is
to create a campaign of effective opposition to the
racist and chauvinist No campaigners but equally to
the pro-capitalist/neoliberal Yes campaigners, especially at a time when Greece is being martyred by the
capitalists and politicians of the EU. Within the
ranks of the workers movement we need to expose
and oppose both the campaigners for a procapitalist Labour Yes and the reformist and centrist
No2EU No bloc.
2. The European Union is an imperialist bloc,
completely at the service of finance capital. Originating in the first Cold War as an economic foundation
for the US-led western alliance its overlap with
Nato makes it an instrument for the domination and
exploitation of semi-colonial countries in the Middle
East, Africa and Asia, driven in the 21st Century
primarily by the US ruling seeking to shore up its
diminishing global hegemony.
3. European governments whilst not overtly
espousing the more doctrinaire prescriptions of
Anglo-Saxon neoliberalism have nevertheless
adopted policies through the European Central
Bank (ECB) and the IMF that impose austerity within most countries of the Union. They are running
down the welfare state as an overhead no longer
affordable by a capitalism mired in low profits rates
and a prolonged tendency to stagnation. In such
conditions it is an absolute utopia to imagine that
the EU can be peacefully transformed into a Social
Europe by a process of reform or democratisation.
4. But it is equally utopian and actually reactionary
to imagine that it is in the interest of any working
class in Europe (or the rest of the world) if the states
which compose the EU were to revert to separate
national economies. The idea spread by some who
call themselves revolutionary socialists that breaking
up imperialist states or federations weakens imperialism and thereby strengthens the working class is
sheer idiocy; reactionary nationalism is the natural,
immediate and poisonous corollary of any move to
national independence where this is not a mechanism to throw off the chains of national oppression.
5. The productive forces of capitalism have long
outgrown the state borders of Europe and to transform, socialise and plan them in a way that takes
humanity forward requires a continental (and eventually world) scale. This has been the position of

revolutionary Marxists for over 100 years. The perspective that such independence aids the creation
of socialism in single countries is even more reactionary now that it was when Stalin proclaimed this
doctrine.
6. Cramping the productive forces back into national states, reimposing border controls and customs barriers, severing ties of economic and cultural
exchange, increasing interstate rivalries, dividing yet
further the working classes of these states in the
name of a bogus national independence can only
foster economic collapse and imperialist war.
7. Nevertheless, the crisis which has wracked the
EU since 2008 shows that the capitalist classes of
the continent are unable to perform the historically
progressive task of unifying the continent. The dominant powers of the continent especially the reunified Germany have proved unable to transcend
their national capitalist egoism. As the fate of
Greece and to a lesser degree Portugal, Spain, Italy
and Ireland shows, the imperialist centre has, via the
Euro, subjected the periphery to trade domination
and debt bondage. If not overcome, this domination
will inevitably lead to revolt and fracturing of the
Union. Even if David Cameron returns with concessions from the EU, this should not change our view;
it only reinforces the point that the competition and
manoeuvring of national capitalisms will continue to
obstruct the historically progressive task that faces
us.
8. The task of unifying Europe a task communists realised was necessary a century ago, before
the carnage of the two world wars exterminated
millions of European workers, peasants, oppressed
nations and races, falls to the working class. The
means by which it can achieve this is the Europewide revolution.
9. The actuality of this revolution, i.e. its potential
to be realised by European workers and its objective
necessity to avoid the material and human destruction of crisis and war was already clear in all the
great general crises of the twentieth century. These
dangers and this potential solution both exist today.
11. Revolutionaries cannot support for one minute
the European Union as it is with its institutions like
the European Commission, the European Central
Bank with its Euro, and the rules that underpin
them the bludgeoning of southern European

29

states into austerity. Nor


international party of the
can we support its military
working class a Fifth
and diplomatic aid for the
International.
US-led adventure in
16. Therefore our slogan is
Ukraine, its wars in the
not exit from the EU
Middle East, its racist Forback to an independent
tress Europe policy on
(capitalist) United Kingdom
immigration.
but forward to a united
12. But at the same time
socialist Europe a federawe say the answer to all
tion of workers states,
these is not exit from the
established by a continentEU or for that states that
wide social revolution.
are in the common curren19. To fully realise this
cy zone to voluntarily abanprogramme requires a Eudon the Euro. Instead we
rope-wide struggle led by
must champion the fight
the working class and its
against all these policies
allies all the socially and
and institutions as the comnationally oppressed groups
mon cause of all the workand layers of present day
ers and oppressed people Jeremy Drinkall, Workers Power leader.
society. It requires both
Trotsky considered that if German imperi- national and a European
of Europe.
13. Revolutionary Marxists alism were to succeed in imposing some
revolution. The first stage is
will as Lenin said, Other sort of union on continental Europe then
for workers across Europe
conditions being equal the proletariat will in this case have to
to come to the aid of their
always stand for the larger fight not for the return to autonomous
Greek brothers and sisters
state. Likewise Trotsky national states, but for the conversion of
and demand the total cancelconsidered that if German the imperialist state trust into a Republican lation of the Greek debt and
imperialism were to succeed European Federation.
the abandonment of all atin imposing some sort of
tempts to impose further
union on continental Europe then the proletariat austerity in Greece or any other country.
will in this case have to fight not for the return to
20. Important as internationalist and anti-racist
autonomous national states, but for the conversion propaganda by the left is as an antidote to the chauof the imperialist state trust into a Republican Euro- vinist poison it will be totally inadequate on its own.
pean Federation.
Ruling class ideas are always hegemonic wherever the
14. The main case where things might not be equal masses do not have the direct experience of action to
would be in the case of national oppression; at the defend their own vital interests in short, where the
moment this is not the case. Marxists no more favour class struggle is not growing and mobilising working
the break up of large states or semi-state confedera- people, youth, the more progressive middle classes
tions than they would support the breaking up of against their enemies. In the next eighteen months
giant companies or banks into smaller capitalist units. the crucial battles against the Tory attacks on social
With states, as with the economic units of capital, our housing, welfare, health and education, anti-trade
road is through socialisation to a planned economy union and anti-immigration laws will be fought.
under democratic workers control and management.
21. If they can be fought on a basis of real class
15. The obstacles standing in the way of such a solidarity and the organisations of the labour moveperspective are not objective ones but lie in the divi- ment rebuilt, including the foundations of a new
sions of the European working class, its bureaucratic working class, socialist party, then at least the vanand bourgeois trade union and parliamentary leader- guard of the working class can purge the poison of
ships. Nevertheless, a Europe-wide movement of nationalism from within its ranks. A vital part of this
resistance to austerity, the destruction of the welfare process will be building solidarity action with workers
state and trade union rights, the opposition to the in Europe in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and
imperialist war drive all necessitate political coordi- everywhere that our class confronts the dictatorship
nation and as soon as possible the founding a new of capital.
30

pendence, the Labour leaders and the Tories openly betray Britains national interests and the unity of all true patriots! (FFS).
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel Samuel Johnson once said, although Boswell issued hasty assurances that he was only referring to false patriotism. Presumable
Joe Stalin and Harry Pollitt discovered the genuine variety, the we are all in this together kind espoused by Tories like Winston Churchill and David Cameron. And to champion the national sovereignty of an imperialist power like Great Britain is beyond
revisionism, to use a hackneyed Stalinist word.
The fact that Stalin, and not Khrushchev, initiated this absolute drivel has given rise to
big problems about Khrushchevite revisionism. Vijay Singh, Editor of Revolutionary Democracy, an Indian Stalinist publication favoured by many internationally including the
New Communist Party in Britain, asserts:
From back page

However, in the absence of the relevant documentation the nature and significance of Stalins
contribution (in The British Road to Socialism GD) was always opaque. There were clear grounds
for supposing that the interpretation of Khrushchev and the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU
of the peaceful and parliamentary path to socialism did not correspond to the known views
of Lenin and Stalin on these questions The methods whereby the organised working class
would counter and defeat the resistance of the capitalists were not spelt out but it may be reasonably supposed that the methods adopted by the Bolsheviks in the Russian revolution and
the Communist and Workers Parties in the revolutionary process in the Peoples Democracies
of Eastern and South-East Europe and the national liberation war in Greece were not unknown
to the CPGB. [2]

This is a very weak argument; the clear grounds that are not clear at all. Everything in the
extract given here endorses the peaceful and parliamentary road to socialism by loyal
British patriots for even the most naive of political thinkers. It directly equates the antiimperialist nationalism of the oppressed in the semi-colonial world with the chauvinist
nationalism of imperialist Britain, an oppressor nation.
This amounts to endorsing the imperialist prejudices of the labour aristocracy via the
trade union bureaucracy who, together with the Labour party leaders, form the twin pillars of capitalism in the working class in Britain. This also endorses British imperialisms
exploitation of the planet, as the French Communist Party endorsed French Imperialisms
war in Vietnam on Uncle Joes instructions. Decisive action to win a Parliamentary majority and form a Peoples Government is clearly a parliamentary road to socialism. And
of course the methods of the Bolsheviks had nothing to do with the ultra-bureaucratic
revolutionary process in the Peoples Democracies.
Contrary to Comrade Singh it may be reasonably supposed that this has nothing to
do with the known views (and methods) of Lenin and everything to do with the know
views (and methods) of Stalin since 1924 when he imposed the gross revision of Marxism,
socialism in a single country, on the former Bolshevist party and extinguished its revolutionary soul.

Notes

[1] Communist Party of Great Britain, The British Road to Socialism, Programme adopted by the Executive Committee of
the Communist Party, January, 1951, accessed 13-10-2015, https://www.marxists.org/history/international/
comintern/sections/britain/brs/1951/51.htm
[2] Vijay Singh, The British Road to Socialism of 1951: A Programme of Peoples Democracy, accessed 13-10-15, http://
www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv13n2/brs1951.htm

31

Comment by Gerry Downing

he CPGB adopted the openly reformist programme The


British Road to Socialism in 1951 under the personal guidance
of Joe Stalin himself. It said basically the same thing in 1951
about the USA as The Morning Star/CPB is saying about Europe
and the EU now:
For the first time in its history, our country has lost its independence and freedom of action in its foreign, economic and military
policy to a foreign powerthe United States of America. The Labour Government and its advisers dare take no major step without
American permission, and the leaders of the Tory and Labour Parties
compete with one another in servility to the Americans. The leaders
of the Labour and Tory Parties have become spokesmen of a foreign
Everything in the extract given
power. Concerned only to defend capitalism and profit, the Labour
leaders and the Tories openly betray Britains national interests. Such here endorses the peaceful
and parliamentary road to
differences as they allow themselves with America are those of the
bankrupt junior partner striving to retain what it can in face of Amer- socialism by loyal British patriots for even the most naive of
ican pressure.
political thinkers. It directly
The restoration of British national independence, which has been
given away by the leaders of the Tory, Liberal and Labour Parties, is equates the anti-imperialist
nationalism of the oppressed
the indispensable condition for Britains recovery and political, ecoin the semi-colonial world with
nomic and social advance. The Communist Party declares that the
leaders of the Tory, Liberal and Labour Parties and their spokesmen the chauvinist nationalism of
in the press and on the B.B.C. are betraying the interests of Britain to imperialist Britain, an oppresdollar imperialism. Our call is for the unity of all true patriots to de- sor nation.
fend British national interests and independence.
We stand for a Britain, free, strong and independent. We want our country to be subordinate and subservient to no foreign power, but to stand in friendly association and equal alliance with all powers that
recognise and respect Britains national interests. The Communist Party would break with the policy of
sell-out to America. It would restore to the British Parliament its exclusive sovereign right to control
the countrys financial, economic and military policy, close the country to foreign capitalist penetration
and restore the command of the British Armed Forces to British commanders.
To restore control of its own affairs to Britain, so that Britains, power could be used on the basis of an
independent foreign policy, would be a great contribution towards the preservation of world peace. The
Communist Party therefore rejects all theories which declare national sovereignty to be out of date and
thus seek to justify enslavement to American imperialism or aggression against other nations. Real international co-operation can be based only on the sovereign freedom and equal rights of all nations,
great and small. Because of this, the cause of Britains national independence is bound up with ensuring
that all nations in the present Empire also enjoy full national rights and independence. [1]

There is nothing socialist let alone genuinely communist about this ultra-patriotic bourgeois reactionary nonsense. The narrow and ignorant nationalist outlook of the bureaucrat found its expression in the programme of socialism in a single country, the corollary of peaceful co-existence
with imperialism and the reformist theory of stages in the revolution, originating in the Second
International. It amounts to the indefinite postponement of the struggle for revolution, the idealistic and impossible peaceful parliamentary road to socialism, openly embraced in 1951.
The class collaboration that assumes a community of interests between British capitalists and
British workers drips from almost every sentence; our country has lost its indeGo to p.31
32