Brexit, Globalization and the Bankruptcy of the Globalist “Left”

By Takis Fotopoulos

1.The historical background of Brexit

The June referendum on whether Britain will remain a member of the EU or not is in fact the second referendum on the issue. The British people was asked again to vote on the same issue some 40 years ago, in 1975, when they had to decide on whether to stay in the “Common Market” (the precursor of the present EU) or not. At that time, the Left was not yet integrated into the New World Order (NWO) of neoliberal globalization expressing the interests of multinational corporations, which were just emerging en masse.

This was reflected in the fact that not only the antisystemic Left but also the Left of the Labor party under the leadership of Tony Benn was fighting for a British exit. Today, Benn’s son is one of the strongest opponents of Brexit and supporter of all the wars by the Transnational Elite (TE) i.e. the network of economic and political elites based mainly in the G7 countries, which effectively rules the world today. In fact, the entire Labor party and the Trade Unions controlled by it are now against Brexit, apart from a handful of its members in Parliament. So, what has changed since 1975? Has the EU moved to the Left, or is it the other way round, i.e. the Left is today theoretically and politically bankrupt and has been fully integrated into the NWO of neoliberal globalization?

The process of creating a single European market, which began in the 1950s with the Rome treaty, accelerated in the late 1980s and the early 1990s with the 1992 Maastricht treaty (which replaced the Rome treaty) and the Single Market Act that was put into effect in 1993. At the same time, and not accidentally, these Treaties implied a very significant acceleration of the integration process that was made imperative for the elites because of the growing internationalization of the market economy–-as expressed by the rapid expansion of multinationals––and the intensifying competition with the other two parts of the Triad (North America and Far East).

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The supporters of the acceleration process maintained that, in the ultra-competitive internationalized market economy of the twenty-first century, only a market of continental dimensions could provide the security and the economies of scale needed for the survival of European capital, i.e. of the Europe-based multinationals. And indeed, during the last two decades of the 20th century, the economic gap between the European countries and the rest of the Triad has widened considerably. A characteristic indication of the widening gap was the fact that the European Union’s world export share decreased by about 7 percent between 1980 and 1994, whereas at the same time the US’s share fell by only 2 percent and the Japanese share increased by a massive 31 percent. The main cause of Europe’s failure was the fact that its competitiveness had, for long, been lagging behind the competitiveness of the other regions. Thus, European competitiveness has fallen by 3.7 percent since 1980, while US competitiveness has risen by 2.2 percent and Japanese competitiveness (which for many years has been on top of the competitiveness league) increased by 0.5 percent.[1]

The form that the integration had taken reflected, in various ways, the neoliberal trend, which had already become dominant by then, as necessitated by the exigencies of globalization for open and ‘liberalized’ markets. On the other hand, a politically and theoretically bankrupt “Left”, which developed in parallel with the rise of globalization, ceased questioning globalization itself and its institutions like the EU, the IMF, WTO and so on. This development was of course in consistence with the systematic effort of the reformist Left to undermine the antisystemic movement against globalization, which emerged since Seattle, and its replacement with a reformist, in effect globalist, movement under the meaningless title “Another World is possible”. [2]

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For the globalist “Left” that emerged, neoliberalism was just an ideology or a dogma, if not a ‘doctrine’ imposed by unscrupulous capitalists and ‘bad’ free-market economists and politicians associated with them! ! [3]  This is the kind of reformist Left which takes for granted globalization and its institutions such as the EU, the WTO, the IMF and so on (e.g. the “Left” of the Syriza –-presently presiding over the catastrophe of the Greek people––and Podemos kind).

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