petej + internationalism   54

Labour owes it to its supporters to become the party of remain | Zoe Williams | Opinion | The Guardian
A positive vision for the future needs solid answers to urgent questions: climate change, austerity, the erosion of workplace rights, the rise of fascism. All of these feed into one another to create a sense of precariousness and threat, and all solutions involve cooperation across borders. The new remain movement must articulate a future in which opportunities and freedoms expand rather than retract, citizens’ rights ratchet upwards in a race to the top, revivified unions support one another internationally, a green new deal echoes across multiple governments, racism is answered robustly and migration celebrated, and the dreams of the EU’s founders – peace, reconciliation, solidarity, equality – are rediscovered.
UK  EU  Brexit  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Bennism  McCluskeyLen  Lexit  Remain  cooperation  internationalism  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=WilliamsZoe 
december 2018 by petej
Monthly Review | Marx on Immigration
Marx did not elaborate on his reasons for writing that Irish immigration reduced English workers’ wages. He implied that the cause was an oversupply of manual laborers, but his other statements indicate that he considered English xenophobia and the resulting antagonism among workers an even greater problem. The important point, however, is that he was not blaming lower wages on the immigrants themselves; for him the culprits were the colonial system that drove Irish workers to England, and the exploitation of these workers once they arrived.

The same considerations apply in the United States today. The main difference is the addition of legal status as a factor in setting wage levels—the laws that now make work “illegal” for millions of immigrant workers. Immigrant rights advocates may feel it is expedient to cite academic economists like Peri who downplay or deny the downward pressure exerted on wages by the exploitation of undocumented workers. It is not. As Columbia University economist Moshe Adler has noted, this approach does nothing to convince the many U.S. citizens who work in occupations with large numbers of undocumented immigrants and therefore “know firsthand that [exploitation of immigrant workers] puts direct downward pressure on their own wages.”16 Far from helping the movement, citing Peri only adds to these workers’ distrust and resentment toward middle-class immigrant rights advocates.17 More importantly, this approach distracts attention from efforts to address the real issues: the root causes of immigration in U.S. foreign policy, the super-exploitation of immigrant workers, and the common interests of immigrant and native-born workers.

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In his 1870 letter, Marx described what he then considered the overriding priority for labor organizing in England: “to make the English workers realize that for them the national emancipation of Ireland is not a question of abstract justice or humanitarian sentiment but the first condition of their own social emancipation.” His closing words of advice to Meyer and Vogt were similar: “You have wide field in America for work along the same lines. A coalition of the German workers with the Irish workers (and of course also with the English and American workers who are prepared to accede to it) is the greatest achievement you could bring about now.” This internationalist and class-based perspective has lost none of its good sense in the century and a half since it was written.
Marx  immigration  Ireland  England  USA  Mexico  CentralAmerica  migration  pay  wages  competition  supply  demand  language  skills  racism  discrimination  legal  deportation  workingClass  xenophobia  employers  sanctions  tradeUnions  internationalism  rights 
november 2018 by petej
There is no left-wing case for Brexit: 21st century socialism requires transnational organization | British Politics and Policy at LSE
The left needs to turn resolutely to Europe. It needs to pluralise (and not reduce) the sites of political conflict. It needs to build a pan-European movement through transnational party lists, shared political manifestos, and common protest initiatives. It needs to mobilise migrant workers rather than alienate them even further. It needs to campaign, in a coordinated way, not for a liberal superstate with a common army but for a European socialist federation which renounces neo-imperial ambitions once and for all. It needs to advocate neither the abandonment nor the reform of the European Union but a review of the Lisbon treaty that dismantles neoliberalism and bureaucracy. It needs to campaign for non-territorial citizenship, European-wide public ownership, extensive popular control of the economy, a new digital common, direct democracy, a federal parliament with revocable public offices and a non-technocratic, accountable, administrative apparatus based on strong principles of subsidiarity.

This is neither “leave” nor “reform”: it is “transform”. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to how the project can become appealing to European citizens, given the current predicament. Matters of tactic and strategy will be different in different member states. This is why Remain and Leave mean very little without concrete ideas of how one can go from where we are to where we aspire to be. But these ideas need organizational structures and an international mass movement to be developed. Rushing to abandon the primitive forms of transnational coordination that the current European Union offers seems premature in the absence of realistic, alternative paths forward. Retreating to civic republican projects disconnected from the wider fight for transnational democracy will only strengthen capital, and the far right.

Socialism in the 20th century took a civic nationalist form. Socialism in the 21st century can only be transnational. This is a very demanding task. But it has one advantage. Unlike socialism and social democracy in one country, it has not already failed in the past.
UK  EU  Brexit  TheLeft  socialism  internationalism  transnationalism  nationalism  socialDemocracy  SchroederGerhard  BlairTony  politics  LabourParty 
november 2018 by petej
Can Labour win back its heartlands? Not by turning blue | Jeremy Gilbert | Opinion | The Guardian
Cosmopolitan culture is not a bad idea. It implies a liberal, tolerant, non-exclusive attitude. Historically, this is a mindset typical of merchants, financiers, artists and intellectuals. But cosmopolitanism has also been embraced by radical workers, infused with the internationalist spirit of communism, and by the urban poor in places where multiculturalism has been a fact of daily life for generations.

I think cosmopolitanism was a key reason why the New Labour coalition held together for as long as it did. There were always Labour voters in cities, in the more militant unions, in university towns and in the public sector, who would have preferred a more radical programme. But we knew from the bitter experience of the 1980s that there were not enough of us to win an election, at least in a country whose media was so skewed to the right. And after 18 years of Tory rule, we were relieved to have a government that at least encouraged an open, tolerant, sexually liberal and multi-ethnic culture to thrive.

At the same time, as much as we resented the Iraq war and the private finance initiative, many of us were being offered a lifestyle that even our parents couldn’t have dreamed of. So we were acquiescent, even if never quite reconciled, to the New Labour agenda.

The leave-voting heartlands would certainly not vote for Blair’s brand of Europhile neoliberalism
But there were others, in the north and the Midlands, in small towns and post-industrial regions, who had a very different experience. They too belonged to social groups who had traditionally voted Labour. But the third way did not offer them the consolations that it offered those of us in the cities and professional classes. Instead it offered them an experience of permanent decline. Accepting globalisation as a fact of life, New Labour made no effort to bring back industrial jobs. When migrants came from eastern Europe, looking for work, many citizens of the post-industrial towns experienced this as a threat to their already precarious livelihoods, rather than as an opportunity for cultural enrichment.
UK  LabourParty  ge2017  generalElection  politics  socialDemocracy  Blairism  BlairTony  ClintonBill  cosmopolitanism  multiculturalism  internationalism  deindustrialisation  post-industrialism  migration  inequality  fear  conservatism  BlueLabour  CorbynJeremy  dctagged  dc:creator=GilbertJeremy 
may 2017 by petej
VersoBooks.com: Frédéric Lordon: What’s left for the left?
"The march of capitalism is a process of perpetual destabilisation that leaves behind it a trail of corpses."

"So we must always remind ourselves that to be leftwing means not accepting capital’s existence without question and not simply mopping up the mess through taxation. The position of the left in relation to capital is, therefore, a political power relationship that upholds the sovereignty of the non-capitalist masses against that of profit.

This definition of left is a fairly broad one, since it does not make any prior assumptions as to how to deal with capitalism itself and invites a debate on its overthrow. Affirming an anti-capitalist sovereignty can therefore mean acknowledging the obvious presence of capital, with a view to defusing its attempts to assert total control. And it can just as easily mean dreaming of ending that control — for example, by generalising and legalising the récommune principle, or by defaulting on public debt, which by instantly bringing about the collapse of the banks would give us the opportunity to buy them up for a song, and remodel them as we see fit, first by nationalisation/seizure, then by transformation into a cooperative system of banking"
capitalism  globalisation  anti-capitalism  France  TheLeft  localism  internationalism  politics 
october 2014 by petej
The bad old days will end: Continent Cut Off.
"Of all the ideas to come out of the 19th century, you would be hard pressed to find one that has resulted in quite so as much human misery as has nationalism."
EU  Europe  veto  treaty  fiscalCompact  UK  CameronDavid  nationalism  internationalism 
december 2011 by petej

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