Brexit: A Different Democracy, A Different Future

by Christopher Black, via New Eastern Outlook

The historic Brexit vote marks a victory of the working people over the capitalist elites who have used the European Union as a means of extending their exploitation of them to the limits, and which now, along with its imperial rival and overlord, the United States, is arming and preparing for a world war with Russia.
It is a victory of democracy against oligarchy.
It is a victory of real socialists against the fake, social democratic, cruise missile, NATO loving “left,” against Bernard Henri-Levy.
It is the turning of a searchlight onto the fascists’ connections with the corporate state and the use of fascist elements to discredit the Leave campaign; for how can we help thinking that the assassination of Labour MP Joe Cox was an attempt to discredit the Leave campaign instead of an attack on the Remain campaign?
It is a victory for the ordinary British worker who is fed up with a democracy that works only for the elite while reducing the rest to cheap labour for the elite.
It is a victory for those who can no longer stand to hear the litany of lies that come from the mouths of Obama, Hollande, Merkel, Cameron, and the others, whose interests are not ours and whose only objective is to exploit us to the maximum.
It is a victory for the sovereignty of the people, internationalism at its best, because people who are economic slaves and political pawns cannot join together in a true international union unless they throw off the chains that bind them to the oars of the neo-liberal galley.
It is the defeat of the tycoons by the people, who to them are invisible, the defeat of disillusionment, the reengagement of the popular will.
It is a victory for the Leave NATO movement, for the stop the war movement, the rejection of an imperialist structure that operates to create imperialist wars and serves as the machine by which the United States and Germany control Europe.
It is a victory for those who reject the corporate tycoons like Trump, or their eager servants like Clinton. It is a defeat for the United States and its leaders plans to rule the world.
It is a victory in France, for those who remember the Paris Commune; a reminder that the working people can take the power and govern themselves, a memory beaten out of most of us for so long now we feel ashamed to be called working class and so call ourselves middle class. For once we were proud, and fought for our voice to be heard, for our power to be recognised.
In Spain it is a victory for Podemos and its allies against the power structures that were never removed after the fascists stepped from power and called in a king.
In Italy it is a victory for the 5 Star Movement over a bankrupt polity.
In Central Europe it is a victory for those who oppose the criminal hostility to Russia, the NATO troop movements through their lands and the dominance of Germany over everyone.
It is the victory of Picasso over Madison Avenue advertising. It is the victory of those who struggle to build a world in which there will be no imperialist blocs, which live like parasites off the misery of Africa, Latin America and Asia.
It is a victory for those who were told they didn’t count, who had forgotten or never heard of the old dreams of building something better because they had been manipulated to accept the very worst.
It is a victory for those who realise we are all part of the union and either we act together to further our common interests or the far right, which has already been activated in many countries, and which in the UK assassinated a member of parliament in order to discredit the Leave campaign, will drag up all those rotten layers of society that capitalism always generates to guard its power at all costs.
The capitalist sponsored “left,” their sweetheart parties, no matter what their name, have been discredited everywhere from Greece, to Spain, from Italy to Canada, from France to Britain and Germany while populist parties and movements on right and left gain strength. Several days ago the Italian Communist Party was re-established in Bologna.
The British financial and industrial class is split into factions, depending on the economic sector they operate in, one faction seeking more profit from leaving and one faction, the greater part, seeking it in the EU market and its cheapening labour pool. None of them care about those who have to work for a living, who they are forcing into poverty with the destruction of all their social, economic and political rights gained after the Second World War.
The EU was not an expression of the popular will of the Europeans peoples. It was imposed on them from the top and has acted as a reactionary force ever since.
The Lisbon Treaty and all the other ancillary treaties that came before it set up a structure of power that overrides the national democratic structures and is used to crush living standards across Europe. We have seen how much they care for peoples “rights” in Greece, in Ireland, in Spain, and now in France where Hollande’s so-called socialist government has revealed itself to be nothing more than a committee of the financial-industrial elite which has been assigned the role of breaking the backs of the working people of France.
The capitalists have no solution to the world economic crisis that they have generated, no solution for the people, that is. For themselves they have two solutions, the continued lowering of living standards to raise the rate of profit along with a renewed colonialism, and war.
To those who claim that a vote for Leave was a vote for racism I can only respond that racism has existed in Britain, as it does across Europe, and the United States, and the rest of the western world, for as long as the ruling classes have wanted it to exist, because racism is a product of an economic system that needs people to see the other as the enemy, which needs to keep us divided and to hate ourselves instead of the system that keeps us all poor.
It is a product of a system that breeds ignorance and intolerance as people look for scapegoats for their troubles instead of understanding the real causes of their situation and the possible solutions. We can expect the system to exploit racism and bigotry and every other division they can think of to try to negate this vote. It is up to the left to step forward and oppose this, to show the people of Britain, and of Europe, once again, that the European peoples are greater and have more in common than the ruling elites that abuse them.
But already there are signs, despite Cameron’s statements that the vote must be respected, that the exit of Britain from the EU will be delayed. Cameron has a political obligation to put the will of the people into effect immediately. He should file the notification required under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without delay, then call an election so a new leader can be chosen to negotiate with the EU on how the exit should take place and what the relationship should be afterwards. But he is now stating that will be left to his successor. The Americans are suggesting to the British to take their time, hoping things may change, or, that they can arrange for things to change.
Germany, which sees the EU as a means of enforcing its hegemony over Europe, and which needed British money and forces to assist, is now quickly reorganising. Germany’s power within the EU will grow. Berlin is already calling for more widespread “job market reforms,” as Hollande is trying to impose in France, and is calling for the expansion of supranational structures of repression to deal with the unrest expected as a result, even the formation of a European FBI.
To deter other countries from holding similar referendums, Berlin is increasing the pressure on London to act on the vote and leading German politicians are fanning the embers of the Scottish independence movement. But it gets even nastier as Berlin has accompanied these actions with veiled threats of war. The German Chancellor stated that, “although it is difficult for us to imagine, one should never forget that the idea of a united Europe has been an idea of peace,” hinting that if the European countries cannot settle into a German dominated EU, then the potential of settling disputes through war always exists.
A shift has occurred in the economic and political power structure in Europe and it has implications for the whole world. Produced by the failure of the European Union’s version of “democracy” and by its neo-liberal economic model, they have only themselves to blame for the British vote. The world finance capital is now readjusting, trying to save its position. We can expect that, whatever they do, it will not be for the benefit of the majority but only for themselves, unless the left wakes up – to the opportunity to demand a different future, a different democracy – and unless the people wake up to the left.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto.  He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes.


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Categories: democracy, EU, latest, UK
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Mark Beer
Mark Beer
Jul 23, 2016 6:36 PM

There are many interesting points contained in this article . Here in England, the result of the referendum seems less like an ideological victory, a blow struck against corporate power and against the dominance of Imperial America by the common people, as the triumph of an almost entirely dishonest campaign fought by self-interested individuals, such as the incompetent and apparently corrupt former mayor of London Boris Johnson who has now been sarcastically awarded the position of Foreign Secretary (the joke being that he is a renowned xenophobe who has heaped personal and racial abuse on many of the people he is now expected to engage with on a diplomatic level) . Another self-interested person, who benefited from publishing and broadcasting bare-faced lies about the ‘advantages’ of leaving the EU, is the most powerful man in British politics – Rupert Murdoch . The false promises his media outlets fed to the… Read more »

Lumpy Gravy
Lumpy Gravy
Jul 23, 2016 6:25 PM

You’re right, Vaska. Sadly, Christopher doesn’t mention it because this sort of thing simply isn’t done, even in today’s critical online media. CounterPunch, NEO, offGuardian and many others would find themselves in hot water if they published writers who openly advocate the only way there is to improve the human condition (overthrow the state, socialise the means of production, set up a planned economy etc.). But Christopher occasionally hints at these things between the lines and so do David Harvey, James Petras, Andre Vltchek, and a few others. Of course, the vast majority of writers confine themselves to reporting, analysing and criticising the utter rot we’re all in today (war, warmongering, capitalism, neo-liberalism, corruption etc.) without ever even hinting at possible solutions. One of them is even an unrepentant Reaganite. So, while much of this stuff is informative and useful there’s always a void that leaves readers frustrated. Regarding “central… Read more »

Christopher Black
Christopher Black
Jul 23, 2016 5:09 PM

They are my personal views and I thank Off-Guardian for thinking they were worth sharing. I come from a working class background and see things from that point of view. The EU has done nothing for the working class Britons except impoverish them over the years. What form a socialist society would take in Britain is up the the British people to decide. And as we see it can vary from what they have accomplished in Cuba to what they have accomplished in China. As for central planning, is that not what is in effect now as the British state centrally plans the dismantling of everything that made life for working people tolerable in Britain since the end of World War II in order to benefit a few? It seems that those who condemn “central planning” on behalf of the working class but support it for the ruling class are… Read more »

Jul 23, 2016 7:32 AM

This is an utter delusion, the people don’t want central planning socialism any more than they want neoliberalism.
They want some form of social democracy, where there are suitable checks and balances within a free system of innovation and trade.
I really don’t know who you are, but if you think for one moment that the only people who voted for Brexit are downtrodden far-left socialists, you need to collect your belongings and leave the journalism profession for good.
This is bare-faced propaganda, utterly incompatible with the principles of this site.
For a site which is only just getting going, the Pigs at Animal Farm are turning into Mr Jones very rapidly, you know……

Jul 23, 2016 10:10 AM
Reply to  rtj1211

The name of the author is at the top of the piece, and a brief bio is at the bottom. That’s “who he is”. 🙂
Other than that, try to be a little more tolerant. We consider our remit to be the presentation of a spectrum of views that may be neglected or censored by the mainstream. You probably won’t agree with all of them. But that’s the point.

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
Jul 23, 2016 4:05 PM
Reply to  rtj1211

Hi rtj1211, Many thanks for pointing out just exactly what it is that we all really want. It seems to me that your tagline is something that I’ve heard before, the bit about “democracy” and “checks and balances” and “a free system” allowing for “innovation and trade.” Indeed, if I’m to believe most of the people among whom I live, a crowd for whom the ‘current system’ seems to be working rather well in terms of its cushy rewards, although everyone seems a tad frazzled for having to do more than they can barely manage in terms of the hours and energy they must dedicate to just earning their wage, that’s what we already have. So I guess it’s a matter of definition and perspective, eh. So I’m wondering, because a lot of people I know seem to use the same catchphrases while meaning slightly different and admittedly nebulous things,… Read more »

Jul 23, 2016 4:54 PM
Reply to  rtj1211

Where exactly does this article argue for “central planning socialism”?!

Jul 23, 2016 11:02 PM
Reply to  Vaska

Where exactly does this article argue for “central planning socialism”?!

It doesn’t, of course. This is simply the boilerplate drivel sent out by the Brussels Sprouts. He will be on about “racism” soon – another cheap-as-chips empty rhetoric accusation made by those whose parade has been rained on.

Jul 23, 2016 11:00 PM
Reply to  rtj1211

Here in Russia we are living with the results of your dear Brussels Sprouts and their hatred. We are in our third year running of economic sanctions. Your EU-funded loonies in Kiev are shelling the civilian population of Ukraine and murdering them every day.
You really need to look in a mirror.