Exiting the EU By William Bowles

10 June 2016

I haven’t written a single word about this non-event, precisely because it is a non event. It’s an artificially created argument, with the mainstream reasoning used on both sides, being equally fallacious. A gigantic deception played out with all the pomp and circumstance of a Royal Wedding and just about as empty.

Nevertheless, as pointless as I know it to be, as the result is pretty much a fait accomplis, I will be voting to leave the EU. And in any case, just like a recent referendum in Ireland that went the ‘wrong’ way, if ours too, goes the ‘wrong’ way then the State will just do it all over again until it gets the ‘right’ result.

Others have summed up the many reasons why, so I’ll leave it to them to explain. But here’s an apposite quote from one of the only two, yes two articles I’ve read on the subject which make any  sense to me as a socialist:

In effect, the left-wing Remainers will have given the establishment (in particular the Tory party) a firm helping hand in supporting the EU, and though Michael Chessum and Owen Jones will cry out about how the EU needs to be reformed and challenged on its own terms, the dominant forces of parliamentary reaction will simply argue (correctly) that the majority of the political establishment and a large number of progressive campaigns from a number of distinct causes and sectors gave Britain’s post-referendum EU membership a resounding sign of approval. From that vantage point, Cameron and the right-wing media will simply be able to drown out calls for more radical EU reforms and gloat about how the Remain vote secures their position and augments their authority. With the corporate world, mainstream media, military, City of London, arms trade and the majority of the political Right and Centre supporting Remain, a vote for Leave isn’t just a vote against the neoliberal forces of the Troika: It is also a vote against our own ruling classes. — ‘Another Tamriel is Possible: Brexit Proposals vs Solutions’ by Elliot Murphy

Elsewhere, a less polite voice has spelt out the reasons that underpins the above:

While the European Union tries to “kettle” refugees in Turkey, turn them back to Libya before they reach international waters, struggles to reign in Italy and its navy which has committed the unpardonable sin, according to the EU, of upholding the law of the sea by insisting on rescuing people at risk on the sea, even where and when those people are of darker skin and a different religion than the EU finds admissible; while the European Union contorts and distorts its own refugee policy to deny safe haven to those fleeing barrel bombs, militias, armies, automatic weapons, air strikes waged, supplied, supported in part, by the very same countries that make up the EU; the big worry, apparently, for some socialists in the United Kingdom is that a majority of people in Great Britain might actually vote to leave this confederation of capitalists; this union of exploiters; this common market designed to flatten every particular impediment to the accumulation of capital. — ‘Little Ado About Something’ By S. Artesian http://thewolfatthedoor.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/little-ado-about-something.html

The so-called Leftie Remainers all appear to be suffering from some kind weird delusion about their capabilities to transform the EU but then this is a symptom of the disease that Lenin called Social Imperialism that I prefer to call straight-up opportunism.

Pretty much all the stuff I’ve read from Leftie Remainers about why to stay goes on about ‘uniting the progressive forces of the EU’ and forming some kind of transnational something or other. Talk about delusions of grandeur! And aside from Greece (where even when in government, the ‘Left’ made a complete hash of it and finally capitulated to the forces of Capital, and in the process, sold out the people who voted them in!), the rest, especially here in the UK, couldn’t organise a Garden Party, let alone transnational political movement. And all, as Elliot Murphy above points out, without explaining anything at all about how this state of Leftie Nirvana will be achieved.

So I think these two quotes make it perfectly clear why I will commit the fruitless exercise of voting on the 23 June, in the vain hope that enough people will see sense and tell the European ‘Union’ to, FUCK OFF! Well I can dream can’t I?

Opinions to the contrary are welcome, as long as they’re reasonably cogent and of course, intelligent.

18 thoughts on “Exiting the EU By William Bowles

  1. David Llewellyn Foster says:

    Bill, fine post but I do not think abandoning our regional responsibilities will resolve these problems or liberate us from our subordinate, submissive relationship with neoliberal US hegemonic tyranny ~ I commented at some length on Dandelion Salad…


    • barbrovsky says:

      Hmmm… it’s the devil you do or the devil you don’t. I’ve been accused of siding with racists and fascists because of my position on this issue, which should surely tell us a great deal about why we’re having this referendum and the role of the ‘other’ in manipulating the citizens.

      Look, inside or outside of the EU we will still have a subordinate relationship to the US, the entire fucking world does! And this is the problem. Can we tackle that relationship more effectively outside the EU or inside it? Does it really make any difference either way?

      I admit, I’m torn. My initial reaction was to ‘spoil’ my vote with something like, ‘A plague on both your murderous, imperialist houses!’ The EU, acts as an imperialist entity. It works directly with NATO. If the UK were not in the EU it would still work directly with NATO and on both counts, with the US.

      Frankly, I think working people get screwed either way it goes, it’s just a question of who is doing the screwing and how, exactly they do it. And as long as we’re a member of NATO, we will be, as we have been for the past 500 years, at war with or invading some unfortunate country that can’t fight back.

      In the EU we’ve not done a damn thing to stop a single one of the murderous wars we’ve launched in our and/or the EU’s name over the past two decades and I doubt we could do any better outside of it.

      In or out of the EU, the UK is still an imperialist state and unless the left can get its act together and start to mobilise against the state, it makes little difference as far as I can see. And in any case, there is no way the British state and the gigantic financial institutions it represents, will allow us to exit the EU. Isn’t that obvious? Just look at how the BBC has handled it. It might as well call itself a PR outfit for the government and have done with it.

      The worst part of it is how the elite have used the far right (once more) as the cat’s paw. Who on the left wants to have the appearance of voting with Nigel Farage and UKIP for Christ’s sake? Yet Farage is a nobody, his party, if we can call it that, has not a single MP in Parliament, yet he get maximum exposure in the media. Thus the entire ‘debate’, if that’s what we can call it, revolves around immigration. Why? Because it’s a deliberate tactic on the part of the state to make immigration the central issue. And how many times before have we seen that?

      The only way I can see anything potentially useful coming from it would have been an organised campaign of abstention, but again, to what end?

      It’s an entirely artificial ‘problem’ and essentially a vast charade designed to manipulate the public’s perceptions.


      • David Llewellyn Foster says:

        Well said Barbrovsky, it is complicated for sure even without the deceptive hyperbole; moreover it is so dangerously divisive & has the potential of serving as a high-level psyop ~ by inflammatory campaigning for one side securing its antithesis. This entire charade is about alleged “free” trade masquerading as an ideologically driven socio-political debate.

        We don’t hear much about the consequences of ‘Brexit’ in Ireland for example. What will it mean for that porous border?

        Also, the blag about sovereignty is often clouded by duplicitous ‘market’ rhetoric from those who invest heavily in corporate dividends, and care not a jot for the survival of communities, or the resilience of small independent or cooperative businesses.

        Also there is the whole question of agribusiness destroying the potential of agroecology and agroforestry initiatives, a major factor in all of this ~ arguably the core issue for Europe that is closely nested within the hotly contested nexus of fisheries management, ocean science, quota regulation and marine conservation.

        Personally I think either outcome may be irrelevant in numerous respects, unless the result assures us of robust progress towards global acceptance of effective (ecologically determined) international law, as due process through the appropriate separation of powers necessary to enforce war-crimes legislation and more specifically, to secure full ecocidal accountability at all levels of institutional culpability.


      • barbrovsky says:

        Your final para says it all (well the dilemma):

        “Personally I think either outcome may be irrelevant in numerous respects, unless the result assures us of robust progress towards global acceptance of effective (ecologically determined) international law, as due process through the appropriate separation of powers necessary to enforce war-crimes legislation and more specifically, to secure full ecocidal accountability at all levels of institutional culpability.”

        I always find myself coming back to the same point namely, the UK and its major European allies, are all imperialist states and it’s imperialism that is the heart of the dilemma the left faces.

        As long as the left keeps buying into the role of democracy in preserving capitalism and as the way forward towards socialism, we play by their rules, of which this referendum is a perfect example.

        The real issues are never, ever mentioned. Thus the murderous result of NATO/EU actions in the destruction of Syria and Libya (to mention just two) in creating the refugee crisis in the first place, is never mentioned. Instead, it’s the ‘swarm’ at the gates of (less than) fortress Europe.

        And left takes part in the charade, legitimises the ‘rules’ of the debate with talk of this mythical ‘better Europe’ for example.

        So, what we can’t achieve at home, somehow we’ll manage to do across who knows how many countries of Europe?

        It’s like saying, to paraphrase, ‘Stay in it to win it’. In other words it’s just phrases plucked out of the air with no basis in reality except wishful thinking, something the left is very fond of doing eg, ‘We should be doing this and we should be doing that.’


      • David Llewellyn Foster says:

        Thanks, of course you’re right; I do see a glimmer of possibility in the apolitical thinking that has essentially spun out of the new connectivity paradigm ~ the Silicone Valley emergent cluster & feedback model that advocates individuated doing, rather than conventional systemic hierarchies and top-down management.

        The challenge is how to scale this proportionately, to encourage the successful redesign/redefining of interlocking corporate power & investment. I do not think this will happen until or unless there is an implosion of dollar/US treasury bond hegemony.

        If/when that happens, we may see the European money wizards recognizing the necessity of regionally based tiered currencies to accommodate the inevitability of future China-led Eurasian trade and a rapidly mutating African federation.

        It’s been a while now since Paul Hawken published his epochal ‘Natural Capitalism;’ so it seems to me that petrodollar collapse and American chaos must ensue before this emergent logic really takes hold, as its real prerequisite is a planetary shift away from reflexive violence….especially US-style “managed” Balkanization.


  2. David Llewellyn Foster says:

    OK, I’ll go along with that to some extent, altho’ Hawken’s work was a significant step at the time, he followed on with Blessed Unrest, another bench mark of sorts….

    ….but try this for spell-binding outside the box discourse: Donna Haraway at U of Alberta in 2014ce, as powerful as anything I’ve ever heard ~ thanks for your responses


  3. barbrovsky says:

    Yes I know the work of Donna Haraway, she’s an anthropologist and writes the most dense and impenetrable prose I’ve ever tried to read. Another product of our elite ‘education’ system. I read her book ‘Cyborgs and Simians’ (or tried to) some decades ago. But I’m still not sure what she has to do with our current crisis (except in the most general way). Yes, she’s progressive I suppose and it was her take on how our history of our species has been distorted by the fact that it’s men who have until fairly recently done all the ‘research’.


    • David Llewellyn Foster says:

      D H is one of the most complex and unusual academic/activists I am aware of….she has certainly improved as she has matured and aged, in my estimation…this is the best talk I’ve ever heard from her from 2 years ago. Yes she is an intellectual extremophile if you will, but exceptional and brilliant; this talk is amazing for its remarkable agility and insight.

      So many commentators get ensnared by their own tropes, self-selectivity and mental devices, not her. She just seems to get more (spiritually….dare I say?) empowered and lucid. I think this talk is brilliant and shall be revisiting it several times.

      Do you know the work of Rosi Braidotti? Any thoughts on her?


  4. David Llewellyn Foster says:

    Thanks, will take a longer look but I note, you write:

    “The crisis of capitalism comes not from the ‘Left’ (which for the most part is as confused and caught up in the crisis as the state is) but its inability to comprehend and control the forces it has unleashed.”

    Exactly right. I totally agree with you about imperialism being the heart of the issue. How to extricate the forces of governance from reflexive historical (epigenetic) conditioning?

    There is a deep irony in the tendency that old empires like the Ottoman, Russia, Austria, Persia etc linger on or reinvent themselves in new (dis)guises, while the prevalent neo-fascist agenda, namely the US/zionist/Chimerica tango, has emerged from radical revolutionary events; but of course, in the case of the US, post WW2 NATO conjunctions that really date from the Atlantic Charter a generation before the subsequent Israeli-led neoliberal takeover since Reagan.

    I anticipate the greatest improvement that we can reasonably expect, will follow naturally from a necessary, pragmatic shift from extractive, highly concentrated energy intense industries to regenerative production systems ~ best exemplified in the development of agrocecology & forest based bio-remediation world-wide. This in turn will change the way markets operate, and cities provision themselves leading to more and more cooperative, community based energy sharing.

    Once this begins to be embedded, it will lead to a revision of the commodification obsession ~ that fuels the spiral of humanity into the abyss of consumption.


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