Brexit, Lexit, Remain

Texte selectate sau scrise de echipa redacţională: Vasile Ernu, Costi Rogozanu, Florin Poenaru.

Azi se desfășoară referendumul la finalul căruia vom afla dacă Marea Britanie va rămâne sau nu în UE. Jacobin a publicat o serie de poziții dinspre stânga privind acest subiect. Iată descrierea temei, textele putând fi consultate aici

Tomorrow, the United Kingdom will hold a referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Union. While the reformist left, centered around Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and the Green Party, are largely for staying in, those identifying as radicals or revolutionaries widely consider the EU to be an antidemocratic, unreformable institution.

The European Union has acted as an uncompromising vehicle of neoliberalism — both economically, in its forced imposition of austerity on Greece and several other member states, and institutionally, in its hollowing out of democratic governance.

Meanwhile, the free movement of EU citizens across its internal borders has been accompanied by the increasing militarization of its outer frontier. Those trying to reach the continent die in the thousands in the Mediterranean, or are forcibly removed to an increasingly authoritarian Turkey, in which they are denied any possibility of refugee status.

But what may seem a simple choice for the Left is complicated by the current political conjuncture. This referendum was demanded by the Right and has been dominated by the Right, highlighting the degree to which the material experience and public perception of the EU varies greatly between member states.

In Britain, neoliberal austerity is an entirely home-grown product. As a result, the EU is popularly imagined not as the imposer of reactionary economics, but as an imposition on the sovereignty of a British state which could otherwise “control its borders,” keep out immigrants, and free the petit bourgeoisie of the minimal rights guaranteed to workers under European law.

The immediate beneficiaries of a Leave vote would be the Tory right, the far-right United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), and even more unsavory and openly racist forces; migrants feel under threat, and rightly so.

In a horrific testament to the volatility of today’s atmosphere, Labour MP Jo Cox was recently gunned down in broad daylight. She was known as a politician who defended migrants and refugees, as well as campaigning for Palestinian causes and aid for Syria. The man arrested for her murder, Thomas Mair, was influenced by fascist ideology: in court, he gave his name as “death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”

The Left is stuck between remaining within an institution antithetical to our aims, and gambling that we can turn the period of crisis which would undoubtedly follow a Leave vote to our advantage.

If this gamble is seen as too great, what does it say about the self-confidence, organizational capacity, and political horizons of the British left? If it is taken, what is the process whereby a blow for the British and European ruling class is translated into an opportunity for progressive, rather than reactionary, politics?


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