Brexit and its Implications
“But in the days that are now passing over us, even fools are arrested to ask the meaning of them; few of the generations of men have seen more impressive days. Days of endless calamity, disruption, dislocation, confusion worse confounded: if they are not days of endless hope too, then they are days of utter despair. For it is not a small hope that will suffice, the ruin being clearly, either in action or in prospect, universal. There must be a new world, if there is to be any world at all!” – THOMAS CARLYLE, 1850
On March 29, 2019, the United Kingdom is scheduled to withdraw from the European Union.
The “Leave” position prevailed on June 23, 2016 by a comfortable margin of 4% (51.9% to 48.1%, at a turnout of 72%). The “Leave” vote was primarily represented by white working-class communities facing political and economic marginalization from neoliberal policies of social mobility. On the other hand, the liberal professional classes and immigrant communities overwhelmingly voted “Remain”.
The centrist British political establishment, state-controlled media, prominent mainstream academics, and most of the financial sector campaigned thoroughly in favour of the “Remain” position. The “Remain” faction, with backing from such heavyweight international actors as the IMF, George Soros, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and various multinationals, was confident of victory, but underestimated the level to which popular sentiment had been mobilized against the EU by a combination of stagnating employment prospects and the mass immigration from the Middle East to EU countries in 2015 – initially precipitated by NATO destruction of sovereign states and support for jihadist terror gangs, and used as a convenient absolvere by subsequent waves of economically motivated migrants.
Meanwhile, the most visible advocates of the “Leave” position were in many ways far removed from their core demographic, being chiefly from a faction of the ruling class who can broadly be described as the protectionist wing of capitalism; elements of big business who saw their interests better served outside the EU from the position of making trade deals, and corporate media organs closely aligned to them. As might be expected from this, the arguments for the “Leave” position were framed in reactionary terms as a project of bourgeois petty-nationalism and nostalgia for the British Empire. The socialist arguments against EU membership on the grounds of the bloc’s anti-worker character and constitutional commitment to capitalism rarely if ever appeared in mainstream discourse.
Fast forward three years and we have the spectacle of a parliamentary system that has delegitimized itself beyond the point of no return, exposed to all who are not wilfully blind as an instrument aimed at thwarting popular will and protecting the right of speculators to play games with people’s lives and destinies. At the time of writing it appears the machinations of Westminster will ensure that if Brexit takes place at all, it will do so in terms that in no way curtail the free movement of capital and labour. Indeed, such is the Establishment’s addiction to free movement, it has shown itself willing to exchange membership of the EU for literal vassalage – being tied indefinitely into a customs union from which no future Westminster administration will have the agency to withdraw of its own volition – to ensure the financial “freedoms” of Maastricht and Lisbon.
Reactionaries in both camps have sought to commandeer the popular discourse and channel dissent in directions that can be accommodated and used to their benefit. Bourgeois “Left” elements who have been incorporated into globalization are promoting a “Euro-liberal” narrative; essentially following the lead of the Fourth International after the Second World War, and the 1960s New Left, they have abandoned the idea that international capitalism can be overthrown and believe their best bet is to support a system they see as anaesthetizing its worst effects.
Simultaneously, reactionary “Right” elements such as UKIP demonstrate a position based on historical ignorance, decrying the EU as a “new USSR” but lauding the World Trade Organization which is simply another instrument of the Atlanticist foreign policy community, being the successor to the 1947 General Agreement for Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Moreover, the British state itself has been a plutocratic and globalist entity since its inception in 1707 and has always spread liberal economics throughout its sphere of influence. Successive Westminster administrations have had the most influence in convincing the rest of the EU to adopt neoliberal economic policies, as well as calling for Turkey to become a member of the bloc.
Brexit, in whatever form it takes, will not in itself change current demographic trends – at current levels of immigration the Muslim population of Britain is predicted to treble by 2050, and to increase by half again even if immigration is reduced to zero – but it will eliminate one of the main obstacles to radical redistribution of wealth and power faced by any future National Revolutionary leadership, namely the EU competition laws that forbid nationalization of banking, energy and public services. In addition, the meta-narrative that presently constitutes the political basis of NATO’s eastward expansion and strategy of encirclement against Russia will be severely compromised by Britain’s departure from the EU, possibly to the point of being internationally untenable.
Whatever happens after March 29, it seems certain that ruling class factions will continue to discredit themselves with internecine fighting, and their attempts to assuage mass popular discontent will instead only serve to exacerbate it. It also appears likely Brexit will be followed by a second referendum on Scottish independence, which if successful is likely to leave Wales and Ulster in a precarious constitutional position. Suddenly, the idea of English independence from Westminster (recent polls place public support for a devolved English assembly at 41%, despite the idea not being supported by any major political party and receiving no promotion from the mass media), with the potential for direct democracy that gives people the chance to take charge of their own lives, rather than being subject to the whims of an oligarchic parliamentary system, no longer seems a mere pipe dream!
It is our ultimate hope that a sovereign England, free from the triple hydra of Atlanticist control, Zionist subversion, and Salafist colonization, will one day take its rightful place in a “Europe of a Hundred Flags!”
Freedom! Justice! Revolution!
Piers Mellor, New Resistance England