ANTARSYA UK calls for a Left Leave from the European UnionPosted: June 15, 2016
ANTARSYA UK calls for a Left Leave from the European Union
On the 23rd of June UK and Commonwealth citizens are called to vote about remaining or leaving the European Union (EU). This is a question which does not appertain only to the occasional or specific circumstances which the working class and the youth in the UK have to confront, but mainly to the very nature of the EU as an institution of international integration for the European capital. EU is established to increase the profit rate and support the interests of the big corporations, through both the Single Market and aspects of political integration. Historically, it has played a key role in the deterioration of living standards of the working class, youth and unemployed all over Europe for the last 40 years. Recently and having as an excuse the – never-ending for some countries – economic crisis of 2008, it reveals its aggressive nature by coordinating consecutive Memoranda which do not only attack people’s lives and rights, but they completely restructure the economic and political organization of whole countries, according to the demands of the European capital.
- The structural reforms and the attack on the working and democratic rights, as it is taking place at the moment in the EU periphery, have already been implemented within the EU core, under the directives of the EU and its institutions. These reforms do not just constitute the epicentre of EU policies but of its Treaties; they are basic components of the EU structure. Even changes, which could seem positive for the workers, have been established in such a way that they have ended up giving huge benefits to the bosses and ruling class. For instance, the regulation of the 48 working hour week was accompanied by a significant reduction in pay and the establishment of `flexible’ types of work, such as part-time and zero-hour contracts. Additionally, the EU financial regulations, the destruction of the productive structures by the deregulation of manufacturing and agricultural sectors, the reforms in education towards the total corporatisation of the University, all share common roots: the fundamental EU directives, rules and structures.
- The EU constantly attacks the working and democratic rights. Indeed, conditions have deteriorated under the Lisbon Treaty which abolishes workers’ rights and promotes the complete “flexible” labour in the name of increased competitiveness, which alongside fiscal stabilisation, has formed the basic pillars of the EU in the 2000s. The very strict limits for public deficit and debt and the fiscal discipline mean eternal austerity for the workers and youth across EU Member States. It is worth noticing that EU directives are subject to exemption: national governments have negotiated the exemption from the 48 working hour week directive, which in any case is not satisfactory, leaving the workers unprotected from the negative consequences of the Single Market.
- We are still experiencing the effects of the global economic crisis but after having bailed out the financial institutions, which triggered the crisis, we still pay for them to recover their failing profit rate. This is not the case only for the countries with Memoranda. This crisis and its outcomes are still paid by the workers, the youth, the poor and the unemployed. This is the “collective” response to the crisis by all the EU governments. In this attack, the British government has been a pioneer. Today, more than ever, it becomes clear that the EU has always represented these same interests and any apparent “benefits” occur only as a result of transnational “alignment”.
- The EU has a clear anti-immigrant profile. The policies of the Dublin I, II and III Treaties worsen the conditions for refugees who are entering Europe following the imperialist wars by EU and NATO member states that have destroyed their countries. At this very moment, the EU is killing refugees who attempt to enter its territory from the Mediterranean Sea. Immigration, though, is not just about the war refugees. It follows the effect of the free movement of capital, commodities and services. Labour, working people and their families do not share the same rights as markets and capital. The EU promotes a selective immigration that leads to deeper exploitation of workers fleeing the EU periphery, Asia and Africa towards the EU core. The Single Market has destroyed the productive structures of the peripheral economies, thus providing the opportunity to big multinational companies to expand to these countries or obliging people to migrate to the core. The EU constitutes the means for the bosses to gain access to a pool of cheap labour, which is used for cutting wages and worsening workers’ living standards. The political struggle for the free movement of workers and youth without restriction is a necessary and integral part of the fight against capitalism.
- The EU, as a capitalist integration, acts in favour of capital while operating imperialist invasions. The EU has been regressing into prolonged austerity and authoritarian repression while it institutionalized racism and discrimination, lacking democratic functions. It condemns various social groups to poverty, destroying public wealth and services. Labour, environment, democracy are doomed to complete destruction. There is no chance of policies benefiting the working class within the EU, no chance of policies which stop the war and respect the environment. The structure per se of the EU does not allow such kind of deviations. On the contrary, EU and its accompanied institutions feel quite comfortable with the emergence of fascistic movements across Europe and the prohibition of communistic parties in former Eastern bloc countries, while they provide with great pleasure their full support to the neo-Nazi government in Ukraine. At the same time, this tendency to completely undemocratic structures can be found at the EU institutions, i.e. the European Commission and European Central Bank, that do not have any legitimacy as they are neither elected nor controlled by the citizens. Instead, they are controlled by bureaucrats and influenced by corporate lobbyists. They cannot be voted out and are immune to any kind of opposition or counteraction, such as street demonstrations, boycotts, blockades etc. This is another reason which makes the task of “changing the EU from within” impossible.
By and large, EU nature and policies do not depend on the number of neoliberal governments; EU rules are above any decision of a Member State. By contrast, it is an issue of the EU as an institution, as an integration of capital based on pillars, rules and structures against the workers, which cannot be reformed. They can only be overthrown! There is no alternative within the EU, just the one-way road of institutional respect of its rules which lead to everlasting austerity, complete degradation of workers’ lives and the maximisation of the rate of profit for capital.
Subsequently, we need to oppose the EU as whole by highlighting its nature as the absolute expression and most effective instrument of the capitalistic domination in the European territory! But from which perspective? Certainly, not this of the re-emergence of the British Commonwealth. We do not speak in the name of independent national States, of the UK, of France or of any other Member State of the EU, which will serve the interests of capital. Opposing the EU as a whole in an internationalist way can open new paths for the workers and youth of Europe. The anti-EU and the anti-capitalist struggle are interconnected. Opposing the EU can take people further in the fight against capitalism for a better life and that the struggle against capital and its interests needs to involve the opposition and dissolution of European capitalist integration. It is not just an issue of the UK, Greece or Portugal. It is a European wide issue, foregrounding the necessity for a working internationalist response against the EU, far from any intra-capitalist competition and a right-wing, ethnocentric and conservative deal with the EU.
For all these reasons ANTARSYA UK has decided to fully back and participate in the LEXIT campaign, as part of the internationalist duty to foster the unity of the people fighting against the EuroCapital, calling the people to vote for a Left Leave from the EU, in order to strike this capitalist integration. LEXIT constitutes a necessary weapon and a crucial factor of destabilisation for the defeat of the government policies of austerity in the UK and throughout Europe. The working people and the youth must “brand” the Left Leave the EU campaign with their struggle against the EU policies of austerity, racism and wholesale destruction of public services and continue on better terms the battle against any government which tries to administer the profitability of capital against the lives of the workers and youth, until the dissolution of the EU and any mechanism or integration of capitalism.
Fighting against the EU goes beyond the referendum and the LEXIT Campaign needs to be permanent, and part of the everyday fight against austerity, unemployment, the dissolution of public services, privatisations, racism and fascism. Against the integrated capitalist interests, we fight for the protection of all working people regardless of where they were born or live. We integrate our fight against the EU in every country, connecting it with the struggle against the neoliberal attacks.
The EU is not the Europe of people but a union in favour of capital. It is not reformed, only overthrown. Let’s do it!