The Brexit Dichotomy

Below I present a piece of writing sent to me which presents a series of interesting points to consider and importantly frames the Brexit conversation within the much ignored and [regardless of any who might throw the ludicrous line around that “class doesn’t mean anything anymore] ever looming issue of class conflict. I’ll leave it without comment for now, but may consider adding my own remarks at some stage in the future.

The Brexit Dichotomy, by the Stranger –

Brexit represents a civil war within the British Establishment.

The EU Referendum of 2016 was constructed by David Cameron. He wanted to create a battleground on which the hard-right faction of the Conservative Party — who do not believe in the ongoing project of integration into Europe, the dissolution of nationality into globalised capital — could be defeated, and so consolidate the power of his faction, the centre-right faction, in the party, and thus the British Establishment. He gambled, and he lost, turning a brief political skirmish into a protracted civil war.

Brexit is an attempted revolution by the hard-right faction of the British bourgeoisie against the centre-right faction of the British bourgeoisie.

The centre-right faction of the bourgeoisie is socially liberal and globalist. The hard-right faction of the bourgeoisie is socially conservative and nationalistic.

***

Let us first recognise that electoral politics is an abstraction of warfare – specifically, and most usually, CLASS WAR.

Representative democracy is a vent for class frustrations, without which society would erupt into physical confrontation between interest groups who are essentially opposed to each other.

As with the many military conflicts humans have fought on this island in centuries past, it was the common people that were the meat in the armies, dictated to by the warring factions of the ruling class of British society. The feudal lords amassed armies of peasants to act out their opposing self-interests. Whoever has the biggest army wins – and so it goes with electoral politics. In the first-past-the-post system, the aim is not to reach a consensus or compromise but to have a large enough voter base to beat your opponent into submission.

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The pro-Remain movement is a counter-revolution.

The pro-Remain movement is an alliance between the petit-bourgeoisie and the centre-right bourgeoisie, in the interest of the continuation of neoliberal capitalism, which makes the upper-middle class and Establishment succeed economically (at the expense of the working class).

At the beginning of the month of June in the year 2019 of the Common Era, the Labour Party faced betrayal by the petit-bourgeoisie, who have allied themselves with the centre-right faction of the ruling class. They call for a People’s Vote, to recreate the conditions of the loss of the centre-right establishment against the hard-right establishment, with the hope of instead defeating the hard-right and returning the prevailing neoliberal political consensus to a period of stability. However, this is impossible, as the conditions which caused many of the working class to be recruited to fight for the pro-Brexit hard-right bourgeoisie have not changed; namely, the continually decreasing ability for the working class and lower middle class to economically survive under neoliberal capitalism.

If there is another EU referendum it is just as likely Leave will win.

***

Where does the working class stand in this civil war?

Leave vs Remain is a false dichotomy that does nothing for the prospects of the working class. If Britain Remains in the EU the working class remains fucked. If Britain Leaves the EU the working class will be fucked. The working class is fucked because of the breakdown of the post-war social contract, caused by the neoliberal consensus.

The leadership of the Labour Party is shrewd to reject this false Brexit dichotomy. The petit-bourgeois elements within the Labour Party who demand Labour commit to a People’s Vote and explicitly Remain position do so in their own class interests. This class interest seeks to stabilise neoliberal capitalism, which makes it opposed to the interests of the working class.

Another solution must be devised by the Left that rejects the Brexit Dichotomy.

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