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Corbyn and outism

Yesterday afternoon I tapped the following question into a Remain Facebook group I'm a member of: '' There's something I don't understand, so could someone explain. Corbyn is a socialist but wants to leave the eu because it is too neoliberal and capitalist. Yet the very reason why assholes like Farage wanted to leave is because the eu hindered free market capitalism; Leavers would now see the most perverse form of capitalism imposed upon us. So which was it - they can't both be right.'' It was a genuine question - I honestly didn't know the answer. I've always thought the EU held the worst excesses of capitalism at bay, which is why so many right-wing tossers wanted us to leave it. But if that is so, why would an avid leftie like Corbyn want us to leave? Wouldn't that just invite the capitalists?

The answers I got on Facebook went some way to clearing things up. The EU was neither capitalist or socialist, but moderated between both extremes: it does have neoliberal tendencies, but also ensured it did not get out of hand by regulating business. As one response I got put it:

The original idea was to prevent France and Germany continuing to fight as they had done for centuries, as it just damages everyone else. The best way to do that was by economically linking them, initially through coal, driven by the notion that people like to have money, that free market economics and friction-less cross border trade unites countries. That's the liberal economic, capitalist, basis of the EU. That's the socialist objection to the EU - that is is based upon trade and markets. However, the EU also has a social mission, and a distributive function, and, more recently, a cultural mission based on shared values. This is what economic liberals don't like. So, both can be right, both can be wrong. The EU is a strange beast that works if you don't peer at it too intently.

Reading that made it suddenly clear: the EU can be said to be about capitalism and it's restraint - it just depends on how you look at it. What I hadn't twigged was that, for people like Corbyn, the European Union didn't go far enough in holding capitalism back; the way it allowed neoliberalism to proceed, albeit under strict continent-wide rules, effectively made it a pro-capitalist organisation. The sad thing is that, by siding so strongly with the Outists, and by not opposing Brexit like an opposition leader should, Corbyn is leaving the door wide open for the most perverse form of neoliberalism to be foisted upon the UK. Free of EU regulation, the strong will be now be set free to dominate the weak, and things like the welfare state will be gradually worn away.

I suppose it goes back to the debates I touched upon a while ago over whether the EU was for or against TTIP and so on. It comes down to how you look at it: it needed to foster a certain amount of free-market enterprise, or else the european project would just stagnate. Some trade is necessary. The thing is, to people like Corbyn, that made it too capitalist; but to p'tahks like Farage, it was too restrictive. Thus they both opposed the same organisation from opposite directions, and I fear the former has ended up inadvertently serving the latter.

Moreover, even though my views are fairly socialist in that I believe in a strong state, supported by taxation from the wealthy, caring for everyone within it, I'm also an internationalist. I believe in the peoples of the world coming together and working as one, whereas I think Corbyn is more of a nationalist. I have also heard that Corbyn objected to the EU because some of it's regulations would have prevented him from implementing his left-wing policies. Thus he and I differ in our views, and I'm increasingly unhappy about his pro-Brexit stance. More and more people in the UK now see Brexit as the inane folly it is, and it's about time Labour, as the official opposition, stood up for their views. Yet the biggest thing I don't get is how Corbyn can't see Brexit for what it is: an opportunity for far-right nutjobs to impose the most sickening form of capitalism on this country. Yes, the EU may have had neoliberal elements, it may have had it's faults, but faced with the alternative now facing us, it was surely worth sticking with. Europe helped to regulate, moderate, and hold the extremes back; extremes which I now fear will be free to exploit and manipulate the people of this country however they like.


[Edited 11/01/2018 at 09:57:31 - added a bit]
[Edited 11/01/2018 at 20:15:27 - added a bit]

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