Open letter to the deluded pro-Brexit “left”


19/09/2019 by socialistfight

Despite my difference with both Jim Denham and Andrew Coats on many other things, this is an excellent article and the correct orientation to the Brexiteers, along the line that Socialist Fight have argued from the beginning of to this brouhaha in 2016:

Trotsky explained the economic and political basis for Lenin and the Bolshevik’s internationalism in opposition to the Stalinist revisionist theory of socialism in a single country in 1929:

“The essence of our epoch lies in this, that the productive forces have definitely outgrown the framework of the national state and have assumed primarily in America and Europe partly continental, partly world proportions. The imperialist war grew out of the contradiction between the productive forces and national boundaries. And the Versailles peace which terminated the war has aggravated this contradiction still further. In other words: thanks to the development of the productive forces capitalism has long ago been unable to exist in a single country. Meanwhile, socialism can and will base itself on far more developed productive forces, otherwise socialism would represent not progress but regression with respect to capitalism. In 1914 I wrote: “If the problem of socialism were compatible with the framework of a national state, it would thereby become compatible with national defence.” The formula Soviet United States of Europe is precisely the political expression of the idea that socialism is impossible in one country. Socialism cannot of course attain its full development even in the limits of a single continent. The Socialist United States of Europe represents the historical slogan which is a stage on the road to the world socialist federation.” [1]

We should call for a Yes vote in the coming in-out referendum on membership of the EU. As socialists and Trotskyists we must ask and answer the question, is it in the interests of the working class and oppressed in Britain and internationally for the UK to remain in the EU or to leave it? That is our sole criterion. We are for a Yes vote primarily because we recognise that socialism in a single country is impossible. Indeed as Trotsky points out above capitalism has long ago become impossible to sustain and develop in a single country and socialism must be built on a far higher level of wealth and productivity. An exit from the EU would inevitably strengthen nationalism and patriotism not only in the British ruling class but also in a big section of the British working class.

Trotsky, “If the problem of socialism were compatible with the framework of a national state, it would thereby become compatible with national defence.”

Economic Nationalism and Stalinism

Economic nationalism, calling for import controls and the exclusion of immigrants and ‘foreign’ workers, would be enormously strengthened by an exit. This would strengthen the right wing of the Tory party, the United Kingdom Independence party (Ukip) and fascist groups. It would also strengthen the aristocracy of labour, those skilled and privileged sections of workers with relatively good jobs, on whom the trade union bureaucracy essentially rests. As the spokesperson for the trade union bureaucracy and primary ideologue of and defender of this layer of workers the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) and their mouthpiece, The Morning Star (MS) are the foremost ideological advocates of exit from Europe in the labour movement


Shiraz Socialist

p46 - Potential measuresAbove: the leaked Tory plans

Open letter to the deluded pro-Brexit “left”

Yes, I mean you lot at the Morning Star/CPB, SWP, Counterfire and Socialist Party:

I take it for granted that as self-proclaimed leftists, you are knee-jerk anti-racists and internationalists opposed to anything that tends to divide, rather than unite, our class.

And yet you called for a Leave vote in the referendum, and continue to back Brexit! In the case of the Morning Star/CPB, you oppose continued membership of the single market and customs union – in other words you want a “hard” Brexit!

To its shame, the Morning Star continues with this folly, publishing Daily Mail-style editorials that more or less explicitly back David Davis against the “intransigent” Michel Barnier and the “EU bosses in Brussels, Bonn and Frankfurt.”

Some of us tried to warn you about the Pandora’s box of xenophobia and racism that you were opening…

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One thought on “Open letter to the deluded pro-Brexit “left”

  1. Lenin had this to say against the slogan for a United States of Europe, which goes completely against all Trotsky’s views on the matter and on modern Trotskyist arguments against “socialism in one country”:
    Lenin quote: On the present economic basis, i.e., under capitalism, a United States of Europe would signify an organisation of reaction to retard America’s more rapid development. The times when the cause of democracy and socialism was associated only with Europe alone have gone for ever.
    A United States of the World (not of Europe alone) is the state form of the unification and freedom of nations which we associate with socialism — about the total disappearance of the state, including the democratic. As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, first, because it merges with socialism; second, because it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the victory of socialism in a single country is impossible, and it may also create misconceptions as to the relations of such a country to the others.
    Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world—the capitalist world — attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries, stirring uprisings in those countries against the capitalists, and in case of need using even armed force against the exploiting classes and their states. The political form of a society wherein the proletariat is victorious in overthrowing the bourgeoisie will be a democratic republic, which will more and more concentrate the forces of the proletariat of a given nation or nations, in the struggle against states that have not yet gone over to socialism. The abolition of classes is impossible without a dictatorship of the oppressed class, of the proletariat. A free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle of the socialist republics against the backward states. (End Lenin quote, August 1915, Collected Works, Volume 21, pages 339-343.)
    Brexit has been the deluded British ruling class’s attempt to appease America by ripping itself away from the EU trade war bloc and stir up foul national chauvinism and racism to split workers. The flip-side, Remain, is counting on the EU boss’s club for capitalist continuation. Workers have no “side” in inter-imperialist conflict. The crass stances of both sides will be blown to smithereens in the hurricane of financial collapse that will soon hit the Western world. It is a total betrayal of Marxism-Leninism on a par with the Second International’s betrayal of workers in WW1 to “defence of the fatherland” for “lefts” to support either trade-war side eg Brexit backed by half of Labour, the SWP, the CPGB-ML, Scargill’s Little Englander SLP, etc and Remain backed by the other half of Labour, Socialist Fight and other Trots.
    Boris may have had his wrist slapped by the Supreme Court and Trump may be facing impeachment but, fun as that is, the Western monopoly-capitalist world still staggers on in its warmongering slump-crisis – now with fascist blitzkrieg threats to Iran. Bourgeois democracy isn’t sick because its façade of “legality” is being increasingly trampled over by the Mussolini-like Trump and his UK Mini-Me; it’s sick because global “over-production” crisis is undermining ruling-class domination of the planet. The US Empire’s savage destruction of the Middle East and Afghanistan is encountering more resistance (called “terrorism” by the vicious colonial master-races) and the pressures for a turn towards a renewal of more widespread Bolshevik revolutionary politics must increase in the world proletariat.
    Defeat for imperialism. Build Leninism.


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