Spread Referendum Rebellion *further* in a positive direction says Socialist Workers Party.
Farage Celebrates ‘Blow’ to Neoliberalism, Capitalism and Political Elite.
Socialists should seek to direct the rebellion of 23 June further in a positive direction and squash any reactionary elements. Those on the left who see only a further spiral downwards are turning their back on an opportunity to connect with and broaden working class revolt.
Says Charlie Kimber of the Socialist Workers Party and Editor of Socialist Worker. (Why did Britain vote Leave? International Socialism October)
I shall not bother with the ‘learned’ examination of statistics Nor with vapid claims that a small fraction of the European left backed Brexit (strangely Kimber does not mention the ultra-nationalist ‘Trotskyists’ of the Parti ouvrier indépendant démocratique (POID), with whom the British ‘Lexit’ campaign formed close ties during the campaign see here). Nor with the rhetoric about a revolt against the ‘elites’.
Instead let’s go to the core of the Kimber ‘argument’: the revolutionary prospects a Leave vote has created.
That is the idea that this was a “working class revolt” that needs to be ‘broadened’.
The reasons for that rebellion are contradictory, and the fallout from the vote is uncertain. But that does not change the essential character of what has taken place. We should welcome this development. Liberals fear turmoil, revolutionaries should not. We are not going to get to the British revolution without some complicated and many-sided developments that require the left to grasp the moment—and if they don’t then the right can grab that feeling of anger instead. The year of the referendum also saw meetings in many places to remember 100 years since the Easter Rising in Dublin. Many in the audience would have nodded sagely at Lenin’s understanding of what happened..,
It would be interesting to learn more about how the British Revolution is helped by the victory of Farage and the hard-right Tories. The right has already “grabbed” this moment.
Is Kimber suggesting that this ‘anger’ is something you can go about snaffling for your side if you’re cunning enough?
In the meantime….
Of course the Leave vote was not the Easter Rising. But Lenin’s method is important.
Indeed, the Referendum has so many points in common with the Easter Rising that Marxists will have spotted them immediately.
Apart from welcoming chaos the SWP declares,
The Socialist Workers Party called for a Leave vote. We did so for three main reasons. Firstly, the EU is an openly pro-capitalist institution… Secondly, the EU, through its Fortress Europe structures, acts to repel migrants and refugees from outside Europe…… Thirdly, the EU is part of the imperialist world order that, along with NATO, delivers important support for the United States and provides reliable partners in its murderous actions. That is why since the late 1940s the US has promoted European integration to secure a stable junior partner for managing global capitalism.
So the SWP voted to leave capitalism by supporting capitalist plans to quit the EU, to back further restrictions on freedom of movement to get rid of racism, and to undermine and get rid of the imperialist world order. No doubt as soon as possible.
The SWP believes the Leave vote will benefit the working class across the world and the struggle against racism. It is a further blow to the coercive neoliberal power of the EU and its racist laws. The dismantling of the pro-capitalist EU must begin with revolts at a national level.
The SWP “believes” that the Leave vote helped the working class across the world, and anti-racism, on the same secure basis that they believe that Lenin would have “nodded sagely” at their ‘line’.
As for the “blow” to EU neoliberalism – that’s a lot of huff and puff.
Kimber instructs us, “However we voted on 23 June, we have to unite against racism, austerity, the Tories and the anti-Corbyn Labour MPs. “
That is, to unite with those who backed the “rebellion”, ” backed up by a wider programme raising issues that can engage with workers angry at the political elite and austerity.”
Interesting ‘Marxist’ concept that, the “political elite”. (1)
“We must be participants in the outcomes, and that means intervention, innovative thinking, and organising. After the Leave vote the battle is on. Socialists should gladly embrace and shape it.”
After the Referendum the leader of the Fire Brigades Union Matt Wrack said,
The Brexit vote was a defeat for the working class in Britain as well as internationally. It was a defeat for internationalism and collectivism. Brexit was a victory for populist demagogy, xenophobes and racists. Brexit has already had detrimental economic effects and worse is likely to come.
Brexit has resulted in a more right-wing government. It means an already difficult period ahead will be even harder for the trade union movement and the working-class communities we represent.
The Tendance says: we will not unite with those who actively encouraged the defeat of the working class, internationalism and collectivism.
Whatever Lenin said about the Easter Rising.
(1) This is the SWP trying to get on down with Podemos and attempting to find a way to say, La Casta.