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 Europe: fifty years of delay on capitalists

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Nico
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PostSubject: Europe: fifty years of delay on capitalists   Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:42 am

In 1951, six states created the European Coal and Steel Community. Such a name didn’t let any ambiguity on the purely economic objectives of this association. Fifty-five years later, afterwards many evolutions, this community became the European Union: twenty-five countries, a large free trade space, a currency in way of unification, numerous commercial treaties and European directives which tend to replace the national law of each country. But, as it was shown once again with the attempt of an “European constitutional treaty”, this Europe remains primarily economic, even if the police and military co-operation play an increasing role. Its real content is like the social class which dreamed it and which build it, the capitalist class.

Generally, the organizations which claim to support the working class, waged and unemployed people, were reticent with the European project. They denounced loudly the Europe of money, the Europe of the owners, the liberal Europe. They hoped, vainly, that that will stop one day. Consciously or not, they adopted a nationalist attitude, in defending the welfare-state, the nation-state, against European integration. An attitude of resistance, defence and... resignation. Each advance for Europe became a defeat for the working class.

Behind this attitude, there are two criticisable points of view, and they must be criticized to leave the current dead-end. Firstly, the idea that, in the current situation, this is the capitalist class who leads the game, and working-class could only oppose and resist it. This is clearly the dominant rend among trade-unions and the left wing. The most current answer consists, for some, to “precede” the capitalists while being a “force of proposal” – a common attitude for the European trade-unions. But it’s a static view of class struggle - as if it does exist only in union slogans and not in the daily activity of waged workers.

Secondly, the idea according to which nation-state is the best ally of the working class, and it is necessary to defend it against “supranational” Europe. This forgets that this Welfare state – which was never so idyllic as they say - was itself the historical fruit of a compromise between classes, imposed by the activity of working class. And this forgets too that all what the labour movement had created trade unions, mutual insurance companies, associations... all what made its force and its autonomy, gradually integrated into the state machine. So this confused statisation with socialization, state capitalism with an embryo of socialism. Here is the compromise: in exchange of some abundance – based on the inhuman generalization of the assembly line work – the working class stopped to organise freely for its emancipation.

These two erroneous ideas, of which I would not discuss here why and how they appeared, created the current situation: Europe was build by the capitalist class because it wasn’t build by the working class. It could seems a self-evident truth, but it’s far to be one. As the organizations which claim to defend the working class didn’t do anything to build Europe according to their own criteria's and demands of workers, which is more than a “social Europe” slogan, as they privileged the defence of a national compromise, the capitalists advanced, breaking without too much difficulty resistances they met.

Today, we live in a Europe whose construction is already very advanced. Other country will join us there in the years to come, and no constitutional issue, neither budgetary problem will stop it. Capitalists, as a class, build a lot of organisations on European scale, in order to support their demands. But one must sadly note that there is none for workers. Everybody continues to exist in its small national borders, being satisfied to exchange cordial messages of solidarity with their neighbours or, as well as possible, to create parliamentary groups. Its almost funny to see that even the smallest communist or anarchistic organizations, full of good internationalists intentions, are not able to give each other a European scale whereas their size to even would facilitate the task them.

Admittedly, there is the European Confederation of the trade unions. Its shy conception of unionism is not even the biggest issue. The problem is it’s more a lobby rather than a trade-union organization. The yearly demonstration it organizes in Brussels doesn’t make every member of an affiliated trade union feels him / herself integrated into a vast European trade union. The European trade union can rise only a unionism European – whatever we thinks about union role in contemporary capitalism.

It’s easy to show what the problem is. In 2003, a large strike movement developed in France against the reform of retirement. A few months earlier, Italia had known the same movement, and it started a few weeks later in Austria. These last months, it rises vigorously in England. Everywhere, it was to oppose the same European directives, and they also applied to countries where the workers didn’t found the force to resist.

Is it necessary to show that the movement would have been more extremely, undoubtedly victorious, if it was not stopped by national borders, not divided by country? We have a half century of delay on capitalists. But it’s not too late, because we do not want to go back, to restore a former stage of capitalism, but to go forward, because we want to change our future, to change the world. Europe is not a goal by itself, but today, for the working class which lives there, it’s the real scale for the everyday life, where the decisions are made for us. An offensive attitude, to build a socialist Europe based on the demands of workers and not on those of capitalists, requires that we leave our borders, that we are organized on European scale.

Nicolas Dessaux
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arash
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PostSubject: Re: Europe: fifty years of delay on capitalists   Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:46 am

i translated this text to persian and i have some problems to clarify the translation, please answer them:

1- what do you mean with saying that leftist organizations were "Recitent" about european project? "recitent" means moderate and not very aggressive while your comments suggest that they actually were defenitely agianst it and not moderately. did you mean "pessimistic" or "negative" instead of "recitent"? (because thats how i translated it for now)

2- what do you mean state capitalism with embyro of socialism? embyro is a child that has not born yet. is that what you mean? because to me, it seems like saying that socialism will be born from state capitalism.

3- "its almost funny to see that even the smallest communist or anarchistic organizations, full of good internationalists intentions, are not able to give each other a European scale whereas their size to even would facilitate the task them. " i also dont get the last sentence of this part. please explain what did you mean there.

4- i also dont know how to pronounce your name. i need to know that in order to write it in persian. is it "nicolas deso?"
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Nico
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PostSubject: Re: Europe: fifty years of delay on capitalists   Sat Sep 23, 2006 6:44 pm

Thanx Arash for translation.

1. negative would fit. In french version, I used 'reluctant', which is soft, beacuse it fits the general mood. Some leftists are very anti-europeans, and others are euroseptics. It would have take a more detailed text to explain all of this. Also, there was a slight change of discourse the last years for some leftists, who begin to understand that most people are pro-europe while being against against europeans institutions.

2. Most leftists do think that state capitalism is socialism, or is a way to socialism, and that state property is common property. This differ from worker-communsit point of view, which consider state capitalism as nothing but capitalism and state property as property stolen to the people.

3. Most anarchist or leftits groups are very small, and put emphase on internationationalism. It's very easy to merge a few groupes of few dozens of people into one european-wide organisation, but none did...

4. Nicola Deso would be good.

Is that clearer now or worst even ?
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