Die gar nicht mal so steile EU-These des “Brexit-Wirtes”

“Demokratie sei wichtig, sagt der passionierte Nichtwähler Tim Martin in der Central Bar. Gerade deshalb sei er dafür, dass sein Land die EU verlässt. Seine Gedankenkette geht wie folgt: Die EU werde heute von der Eurozone dominiert, die Währungsunion wiederum werde auf Dauer nur funktionieren, wenn sie über eine vollwertige Zentralregierung verfüge. Aber dafür gebe es in den Mitgliedstaaten keine demokratische Mehrheit, die Bürger wollten den europäischen ‘Superstaat’ nicht. Daraus folgt für Martin, dass Brüssel notgedrungen immer stärker auf undemokratische Weise Entscheidungsgewalt an sich ziehen werde, vor allem fiskalischer Art, weil ja nur durch eine solche Zentralisierung der Euro zu retten sei. Sein Fazit: Die EU zersetze unausweichlich die Demokratie in Europa, und das habe auch wirtschaftliche Konsequenzen.”

Besser hätte ich es – wenn ich klassisch-konservativ argumentieren würde – auch nicht zusammenfassen können. Für die FAZ sind diese klaren Worte eine “steile These”.

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/folgen-des-eu-austritts-der-brexit-wirt-15046051.html

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Yanis Varoufakis: The six Brexit traps that will defeat Theresa May

“In truth, Brussels is a democracy-free zone. From the EU’s inception in 1950, Brussels became the seat of a bureaucracy administering a heavy industry cartel, vested with unprecedented law-making capacities. Even though the EU has evolved a great deal since, and acquired many of the trappings of a confederacy, it remains in the nature of the beast to treat the will of electorates as a nuisance that must be, somehow, negated. The whole point of the EU’s inter-governmental organisation was to ensure that only by a rare historical accident would democratic mandates converge and, when they did, never restrain the exercise of power in Brussels.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/03/the-six-brexit-traps-that-will-defeat-theresa-may

Exit left: the socialist case for Britain leaving the EU

“[T]he idea of a borderless Europe seems to have blinded people to the shortcomings of the EU. […] After-all, the EU exists within the capitalist mode of production – an economic model which, because of its emphasis on competition and private property, tends toward disunity and division, as well as the concentration of wealth and power. […]

Stripped of its ideological mask, open borders are designed principally to, on the one hand, help big business to circumvent existing workers’ rights through the use of underpaid migrant labour, on the other, to provide the super-rich with easy access to foreign markets. […]

On the related issue of how the EU treats workers, last week Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “EU gave us rights to paid annual holiday, paid maternity/paternity leave, equal pay & anti-discrimination laws.”

This is, at best, misleading.

The Equal Pay Act in the UK has its roots in a 1968 industrial dispute between women sewing machinists and the management of Ford Dagenham, where women workers took three weeks of strike action because of pay inequalities; and the Holidays with Pay Act was introduced in 1938 as a result of massive pressure from trade unions.

Similarly, in France, the government only signed the Matignon Accords in 1936, which mandated 12 days (2 weeks) of paid leave for workers each year, following a General Strike.

Whilst it is true that once the UK joined the European Economic Community (forerunner of the EU) in 1973 these principles were reaffirmed through articles in the Treaty of Rome, to suggest that the EU is responsible for establishing these codes is utterly irresponsible.

Attributing workers’ rights to the EU only serves to further reconcile workers to their own sense of powerlessness. […]

To argue that the EU works to the benefit of the working class when Greek, Spanish, and Italian workers have seen their living standards smashed mercilessly since the onset of the 2008 recession; and Irish workers have been subjected to draconian water charges as well as massive cuts to public services, is absurd. Far from protecting workers from these austerity measures, the EU, alongside the unelected European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, has played a leading role in ensuring that they are implemented.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/11/exit-left-the-socialist-case-for-britain-leaving-the-eu/

Paul Mason: There’s a case for Lexit — but not this year!

“For left wing internationalists in the UK the problem is not migration; nor is it even ‘sovereignty’ — which is always pooled in a multilateral world. It is that the EU is programmed by Treaty to destroy the core values of Europe.

The Commission’s demand that the Greek people should vote Yes to austerity in the referendum of July 2015 was the ultimate betrayal of Europe’s founding values.

It revealed that, on top of an irreformable structure there is a new problem: that Germany’s elite — and some of its people — are content to use the Euro system for their own differential advantage (link | chart), even if that means crushing the democratically elected government of another country. As a result, after July 2015 Europe became a system based on force, not rules.

[…]

Against the power of global corporations, hedge funds, and investment banks we need:

  • parliaments with the sole power to legislate;
  • a press with the power and will to scrutinise;
  • a rigorously apolitical civil service;
  • and a legal system tilted in favour of the citizen.

For the pro-Brexit left, the problem is Europe’s institutions fail on all counts.”

https://medium.com/mosquito-ridge/theres-a-case-for-lexit-but-not-this-year-c0f6da935689

Jacobin: Neither Washington nor Brussels

“The European Union is not a bastion of liberal values. Nor is it a safe harbor in the geopolitical storm. The economic agenda promoted by the European Commission and the European Central Bank since the Great Recession began — and now formally locked into European treaties — has done as much as anything to promote far-right advance in recent years.

If Greece now has an openly neo-Nazi party that can poll circa 10 percent of the vote, we can thank the troika for that; if Golden Dawn has thus far been unable to push beyond that level, we can thank the Greek left-wing and antifascist movements. In France and the Netherlands, Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders are soaring in the polls (and would still be soaring whether or not Brexit had happened).”

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/02/brexit-uk-jeremy-corbyn-theresa-may-labour-ukip/

The Left and the EU: Why cling to this reactionary institution?

“Indeed, in its unwavering support for neoliberalism the EU represents nothing less than an attempt to perpetuate an economic model which advantages European businesses, whilst eroding the living standards of most Europeans. Particularly in the countries of the eurozone, democracy has been eviscerated by the adamant insistence of the EU on more cuts to government spending. […]

The EU is not internationalist in any sense that a genuine member of the left would support. It exists to advance the interests of the business class as against workers, and in its zeal to enrich corporations at the expense of ordinary people it has succeeded in creating such disaffection with the political establishment that fascism, the very phenomenon the EU was in theory designed to prevent, has once more become a formidable force in countries languishing in the grip of high unemployment and low wages. […]

There is a moral case for leaving, based on the fact that Brexit would probably result in the dissolution of the EU and ease the suffering of nations currently held captive by neoliberal economics. […]

A myth has gained ground amongst large sections of the left that the rights which British workers have come to take for granted, such as maternity leave and paid holidays, were gifted to Britain by the EU, and that Brexit would free the Conservatives to intensify their assault on the working class, uninhibited by a social Europe which at present exercises a restraining influence over neoliberal governments. Even supposing that the remain camp is right in assuming that the Conservatives will hold onto power until the next general election in four years time, a questionable assumption in light of the fact the Conservatives are deeply split over the referendum, it is simply false to claim that we owe whatever rights we enjoy to the EU, As others have documented, most of the rights that are invoked by the mainstream left as a reason to vote remain were already in place when we joined the EEC in 1973, and they owe not to a beneficient bureaucracy of Eurocrats but to Britain’s working classes, who won these rights over the course of many years and after a series of hard-fought struggles with the capitalist class. Likewise, the retention of these rights will depend not on the good-will of a remote bureaucracy, which is actively undermining those same rights elsewhere, but on the determination of workers to band together in defence of their standard of living.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/22/the-left-and-the-eu-why-cling-to-this-reactionary-institution/

Nigel Farage: “You should all be fired!” [Nov. 2011]

From the start, this blog was about making a case for Grexit. Widening the scope though, and taking into account recent developments in Europe, from this moment onward it is also about a left-wing exit (“Lexit”) of as many Eurozone member states as possible—consigning this ill-conceived monetary union to the dustbin of history, as UKIP leader Nigel Farage has put it so eloquently.

As strange a bedfellow libertarian/right-populist single-issue party UKIP may be for progressive forces in Europe, they at least have achieved a remarkable victory last Thursday. The outcome of the EU referendum is a shot across the bows of this clunky old tanker—aka “neoliberal superstructure”—called the European Union. (Or maybe it was a torpedo to its side—only time will tell.)

In the days and weeks to come, we will post a lot more about the current state of affairs regarding Lexits. Until then, a walk down memory lane with Nigel Farage lends this endeavour a light-hearted bipartisan tinge: this particular Member of the European Parliament is so right on so many issues that we simply refuse to fall for the platitudes—bordering on character assassination attempts—put forth by mainstream media. We’d rather listen to the man instead:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdob6QRLRJU