Cameron's Referendum

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wojtek
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Feb 24 2016 21:19

Burgers, at least argue in good faith.

Steven, some workplaces are staffed almost entirely with foreign, mostly EU nationals. Granted, it's far from the whole picture as you and others have said, but surely it's legitimate to enquire/be fearful about their potential status - and thus that of their 'native' co-workers?

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Reddebrek
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Feb 24 2016 21:08
Burgers wrote:
No doubt no1 will be sending Cameron a thank you letter for giving us anarchist direct democracy.

However there is a more serious issue, a vote for the EU is a for Fortress Europe, war on migration (but as long as chilli doesn't have to use a visa who cares about them) , EU war on terrorism, EU Austerity (anyone remember Greece and still ongoing), the war in Ukraine and the list is endless.

I hope your not from Britain and are just really ignorant about things over here. Because if you are and you think the British political establishment has had all this anti immigration, pro austerity/pro war policies forced onto it by a Continental clique of bureaucrats in Brussels, then well you've got more series problems then a referendum.

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Feb 24 2016 21:20

Noah Fence wrote:

Quote:
Burgers wrote:

Quote:
A vote for either camp is a vote for capitalism, that really is all there is to it.
I am absolutelty amazed that anyone here has a different view to this, yet we have 2 down votes. I mean, WTF?

Revise that to seven a piece.

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Auld-bod
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Feb 24 2016 21:52

Steven #31
‘Oh dear, looks like as per usual as soon as some real-life situation comes along some anarchists ditch their principles and try to be "pragmatic".’

I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to here.
I see voting in any given circumstance as a tactical decision not a ‘principle’ (as in first rank of importance). Nor do I think pragmatism is something anyone can avoid - or one will settle for a life behind bars or on the run. The word ‘pragmatism’ is usually used pejoratively and yet dealing with matters with regards to their practical requirements or consequences – like treating the facts of history with reference to their practical lessons seems to me a basic requirement of a revolutionary.

For the record, yesterday I was asked by e-mail to comment on the coming referendum and replied I thought it of no interest as basically nothing would change as we’d have the same economics and bosses no matter the outcome.

Maclane Horton
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Feb 24 2016 21:36

There seems to be an idea that anarchism is going to come floating down out of the sky. You don't have to do anything. Just wait for it to happen thanks to Hegelian dialectics or some other romantic notion.

I don't buy it.

We have to start from where we are and use whatever means are available to chip away at the capitalist edifice.

A good first step is to get rid of the EU.

A good second step is to weaken the multinationals by using public opinion to impose oversight and controls on them.

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to work we go - chip by chip.

Burgers
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Feb 25 2016 00:13
Reddebrek wrote:
Burgers wrote:
No doubt no1 will be sending Cameron a thank you letter for giving us anarchist direct democracy.

However there is a more serious issue, a vote for the EU is a for Fortress Europe, war on migration (but as long as chilli doesn't have to use a visa who cares about them) , EU war on terrorism, EU Austerity (anyone remember Greece and still ongoing), the war in Ukraine and the list is endless.

I hope your not from Britain and are just really ignorant about things over here. Because if you are and you think the British political establishment has had all this anti immigration, pro austerity/pro war policies forced onto it by a Continental clique of bureaucrats in Brussels, then well you've got more series problems then a referendum.

That would suggest I'm vote no, but I'm not. I was pointing out that voting for either makes little difference, but voting for the EU is to vote for the continuation of EU polices which all of the above are, yet some anarchists here seem to think that is fine to vote with Cameron and Corbyn for European Union. Likewise voting no is just as bad for many of the same reasons.

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Bambuľka kvantová
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Feb 24 2016 22:58

I am an immigrant to the UK from Slovakia (EU member since 2004), so unfortunately I can't just say, like some of you said, : whatever... the bosses will be the same, the system will be the same.. Similarly to what Wojtek said, I am a bit worried about the consequences of all this circus, things like my and my family status in this country, my rights... I agree with Aud-bold, my libertarian principles are important, but it's a privileged position if you can live your life only by your principles, without a dose of pragmatism. I am not in such a position and will never be.

But beyond my immigrant status, there is a political international perspective I see the things. The forces demanding Brexit are similar to anti-EU forces in the new EU countries such as Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland and Hungary: the so-called Visegrad Group. This group now acts in a real coalition against the EU 'super state'. These national-conservative governments see themselves as the saviours of Europe from the 'oriental hordes' and hate the 'soft liberalism' from Brussels. One future scenario could see them if not break away from EU then set up a proper hard core frontier mentality regime attacking the whole of society in that region (what has already begun). I suspect a successful Brexit would only encourage these forces, as well as other similar movements across the EU.
The year 2015 made me realize the trend is getting worse and only a European class struggle wave could stop it or at least slow it down. In the meantime, as long as such a movement isn't around, I am not convinced we can rely only on our political principles, without making pragmatic choices. Going to referendum (I am not allowed by law, but if...) doesn't stop me from contributing a little to this bigger struggle. It's not either/ or...

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Steven.
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Feb 24 2016 22:58
Maclane Horton wrote:
There seems to be an idea that anarchism is going to come floating down out of the sky. You don't have to do anything. Just wait for it to happen thanks to Hegelian dialectics or some other romantic notion.

I don't buy it.

this is a strawman

Quote:
We have to start from where we are and use whatever means are available to chip away at the capitalist edifice.

A good first step is to get rid of the EU.

And this is just silly. On what evidence are you basing this?

Capitalism was just fine before the EU, and it will be just fine if the UK leaves. The only thing which can get rid of capitalism is the working class deciding collectively to take control of society, appropriate the means of production and decide to run things for ourselves.

Quote:
A good second step is to weaken the multinationals by using public opinion to impose oversight and controls on them.

now this is getting onto a different discussion. But not only does this not really mean anything (how do we "use" public opinion?), but it entirely conflicts your previous point. Whatever your thoughts on the EU, it is an international body which does "impose oversight and control" on multinational (and smaller) companies.

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Steven.
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Feb 24 2016 23:08
wojtek wrote:
Steven, some workplaces are staffed almost entirely with foreign, mostly EU nationals. Granted, it's far from the whole picture as you and others have said, but surely it's legitimate to enquire/be fearful about their potential status - and thus that of their 'native' co-workers?

hi, yes of course. There is not a lot of information out about what might actually happen to EU migrants currently in the UK.

Firstly on this I guess I think there is basically no way that people are going to vote to leave.

But secondly, even if we did, like I said I think we would still end up remaining in the EEA. But even if we don't, there are still the situation where there are over 2 million British people living other EU countries. So I can't see that the government wouldn't just make a deal that the rules would only apply to potential new arrivals.

Bambulka kvantová I completely sympathise with you, but don't think we need to worry for the above reasons. On this point:

Bambulka kvantová wrote:
The forces demanding Brexit are similar to anti-EU forces in the new EU countries such as Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland and Hungary: the so-called Visegrad Group. This group now acts in a real coalition against the EU 'super state'. These national-conservative governments see themselves as the saviours of Europe from the 'oriental hordes' and hate the 'soft liberalism' from Brussels.

Sorry, but that's not the case here. Of course there is that right wing element, but plenty of left-wingers are against the EU for left-wing reasons. Like George Galloway, or even Jeremy Corbyn who is anti-EU, but is having to pretend not to be to make the Labour Party look less disunited

fidel gastro
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Feb 24 2016 23:48
Noah Fence wrote:
red and black riot wrote:
leaving with a Tory government will mean we will lose what little rights we have. Our local rulers would be able to bring back the death penalty and cut off our water if we didn't pay our water bills for example. We will also lose the human rights act, which will be replaced with a British 'bill of rights'. Which means no rights. Certainly we would lose the Health and Safety legislation we have and some workers rights.Though there is many problems with the EU , it is better to stick with it rather than leave with a Tory government. I'm voting to stay.

Did you vote in the general election? Just asking.

Are you comfortable enough not to be affected by what the Tories are doing? Just asking.

radicalgraffiti
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Feb 24 2016 23:27
Steven. wrote:
wojtek wrote:
Steven, some workplaces are staffed almost entirely with foreign, mostly EU nationals. Granted, it's far from the whole picture as you and others have said, but surely it's legitimate to enquire/be fearful about their potential status - and thus that of their 'native' co-workers?

hi, yes of course. There is not a lot of information out about what might actually happen to EU migrants currently in the UK.

Firstly on this I guess I think there is basically no way that people are going to vote to leave.

i think your severally underestimating how much people have been influenced by the anti eu propaganda up to now.

Steven. wrote:
But secondly, even if we did, like I said I think we would still end up remaining in the EEA. But even if we don't, there are still the situation where there are over 2 million British people living other EU countries. So I can't see that the government wouldn't just make a deal that the rules would only apply to potential new arrivals.

joining the EEA or any deal have to be agreed with the EU countries that are still left, and they may well not want to make things easy for a country that leaves

Steven. wrote:
Bambulka kvantová I completely sympathise with you, but don't think we need to worry for the above reasons. On this point:

Bambulka kvantová wrote:
The forces demanding Brexit are similar to anti-EU forces in the new EU countries such as Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland and Hungary: the so-called Visegrad Group. This group now acts in a real coalition against the EU 'super state'. These national-conservative governments see themselves as the saviours of Europe from the 'oriental hordes' and hate the 'soft liberalism' from Brussels.

Sorry, but that's not the case here. Of course there is that right wing element, but plenty of left-wingers are against the EU for left-wing reasons. Like George Galloway, or even Jeremy Corbyn who is anti-EU, but is having to pretend not to be to make the Labour Party look less disunited

the leave campaign is overwhelmingly xenophobic right wing racists, and i suspect that the leftists supporting leave are motivated by nationalism and racism or are trying to appeal to racists, because they believe the majority of the working class are anti eu racists.

Burgers
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Feb 24 2016 23:49
Auld-bod wrote:
And if you’re a ‘Left Communist’ as you claim, why do you give a flying f**k what some anarchists think?

Actually I would say that the fact you want to vote and therefore side with one side of the bosses system over the other would make you not very anarchist at all.

Burgers
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Feb 25 2016 00:04
red and black riot wrote:
Noah Fence wrote:
red and black riot wrote:
leaving with a Tory government will mean we will lose what little rights we have. Our local rulers would be able to bring back the death penalty and cut off our water if we didn't pay our water bills for example. We will also lose the human rights act, which will be replaced with a British 'bill of rights'. Which means no rights. Certainly we would lose the Health and Safety legislation we have and some workers rights.Though there is many problems with the EU , it is better to stick with it rather than leave with a Tory government. I'm voting to stay.

Did you vote in the general election? Just asking.

Are you comfortable enough not to be affected by what the Tories are doing? Just asking.

I take that means you will be voting Labour/Green/Lib Democrats then, just asking.

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Noah Fence
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Feb 25 2016 00:09
Quote:
Are you comfortable enough not to be effected by what the tories are doing? Just asking.

I strongly suspect you are being disengenuous here but I'll try to answer. So, yes, I'm fairly comfortably off right now but that ain't gonna last. However, my daughter is very badly off. She lived on benefits due to mental illness for 4 years under the Tories. Dependant on her hours now, some weeks she is worse off than when she was on benefits. Personally I've been unemployed under both Labour and Conservative government's. I don't recall any difference between the two. So what is your point? Why (seemingly) so touchy in response to a straightforward question? I just wanted to know what your general position was on voting for one particular representation of capitalism over another.
Capital does what capital does, government administrates on it's behalf, sometimes placing slight restraints upon it but capital dictates the story and will get it's way. Governments respond to capitals requirements, not the other way round.
Things ain't gonna be so different with either an in or out decision. The same is true of a Labour vs Tory election. If there are real differences we don't really know what they'll be. Beyond guesswork the only other guide we have is the promises of the politicians. Anyone who trusts what they say is clearly a fucking idiot.

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Khawaga
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Feb 25 2016 01:19
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joining the EEA or any deal have to be agreed with the EU countries that are still left, and they may well not want to make things easy for a country that leaves

Not really; it's just a formality. IIRC two weeks after Norway voted no in the EU membership referendum we became members of the EEA. No problem what so ever. And the EU needs the UK more than it does Norway.

radicalgraffiti
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Feb 25 2016 01:51

norway never joined the eu though

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Chilli Sauce
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Feb 25 2016 02:25
Burgers wrote:

a vote for the EU is a for Fortress Europe, war on migration (but as long as chilli doesn't have to use a visa who cares about them)

Yes, cause that's clearly what I meant...

Any other definitely true, totally accurate insights you'd like to share with us?

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Feb 25 2016 02:43
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i suspect that the leftists supporting leave are motivated by nationalism and racism or are trying to appeal to racists, because they believe the majority of the working class are anti eu racists.

For the anti-EU lefties I know, it's about the fact that the EU is basically premised on the movement of cheap labour (albeit with better baseline working protections than are customary in the UK) and the full-scale liberalization of the economies of member-countries.

Take, for example, my Commie in-laws: In line with the CP position, they are anti-EU on the (correct) grounds that it's basically neo-liberalism incarnate. Now whether leaving the EU will bring social democracy back to the UK or make revolution any more likely...

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Feb 25 2016 02:46
Quote:
norway never joined the eu though

as, I wrote

Quote:
two weeks after Norway voted no in the EU

But I guess your point is that the EU would be *harder* on an ex-member? I really don't think it matters; the EU want the UK to be part of the common market at all cost. I mean, the UK compared to any other EU member state has more exceptions to EU law, rules and regulations. For example, EEA members are not considered to be EU citizens in the UK (e.g. for studying, meaning international tuition) whereas almost all other EU states consider EEA members as EU citizens. The UK leaving the EU but retaining membership in the EEA would not change much.

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Feb 25 2016 02:54
Steven. wrote:
Oh dear, looks like as per usual as soon as some real-life situation comes along some anarchists ditch their principles and try to be "pragmatic".

People saying they would vote to stay might as well be saying they are voting for TTIP (i.e. the enforced privatisation of everything) which the EU will be bringing in.

The question asked by Noah was entirely valid. If you say we shouldn't support either type of government (e.g. Conservative or Labour), and you say we shouldn't support either type of government in a war (e.g. Iraqi or American) then how can you say we should take sides between Brussels and Westminster? It's entirely illogical.

You would think that the fact that the campaign to stay in is being led by David Cameron might lead some people to question it at least…

Steven, I get your point here, but I feel like we're gonna have to fight neo-liberalism and privatization within the EU or outside the EU, with a Tory government or a Labour government.

Should anarchists be campaigning for a vote either way? Of course not. Should we make clear our belief that EU and the British state are both racist, repressive, capitalist institutions? Should we always prioritize on-the-ground and practical solidarity? Yes, yes and yes.

But, to me, it seems to me that if the UK pulls out of the EU that my life will become harder as a direct result - both in terms of working conditions and the fact that I have a job that allows me to quite easily work in other countries. For me, I think it's worth putting a cross on a sheet of paper to maintain that (also note here that, as an immigrant, I can't).

I don't care if other anarchists vote in the referendum and I totally get the arguments for abstention, but from a personal perspective I see why anarchists might choose not to sit this one out.

ajjohnstone
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Feb 25 2016 04:01

One of my party comrades has said in support of the EU that it protects mobility of labour. He recognises capitalism as a "prison" but he is happy enough to vote for the bigger prison cell the EU offers rather than accept the smaller one of the leave campaign.

Fair enough, but i feel, as the Fortress Europe phrase depicts, the prison walls are not to keep us in but to keep outsiders out.

I think we have to recognise class interests, not personal, sectional or nationalist interests, no matter if it is because our jobs depends upon keeping out competitors for work or European products from GB Ltd , or excluding people and trade from outside EU Plc, with visa and tariff barriers.

Our class loyalties extend beyond the frontier fences patrolled by Frontex and encompasses solidarity with the world-wide working class, and not simply the UK or EU workers. This referendum (as been said by a few on the thread) may have specific implications for some certain individuals but holds little relevancy for most of us.

Call me naive or an idealist if you wish.....but i'm for world socialism and the global class struggle...That should be the message we have to send and we should't be distracted by squabbles within the capitalist class that doesn't benefit us as a class regardless of the referendum outcome.

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Feb 25 2016 07:20
wojtek wrote:
Steven, some workplaces are staffed almost entirely with foreign, mostly EU nationals. Granted, it's far from the whole picture as you and others have said, but surely it's legitimate to enquire/be fearful about their potential status - and thus that of their 'native' co-workers?

I think this is a legit point to raise. If the referendum said 'deport all 2m+ EU nationals? ' then the 'a vote either way is a vote for capitalism' line would ring pretty hollow.

However while I think that concern is legit I don't think it's likely. There's also 2m+ UK emigrants in the EU, and the government is unlikely to risk tit-for-tat expulsions. Most likely Brexit would mean staying in the EEA and other European treaties and/or lead to new reciprocal agreements with EU states.

So while it's being framed as a referendum on migration it's not at all clear it will have much effect (the UK was never in Schengen, for example, which anyhow can be suspended within the EU, as we're now seeing).

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Feb 25 2016 07:27

(As an aside, the left communist line doesn't usually argue all forms of capitalism are equally preferable, but that we have no choice which form we get. E.g.

Gilles Dauvé wrote:
We are not denying that democracy assures a gentler exploitation than dictatorship: anyone would rather be exploited like a Swede than like a Brazilian. But do we have a CHOICE?

That argument is a lot weaker in the face of a referendum, though like I said above its entirely possible for a referendum to have far fewer consequences - to allow far less choice - than you might expect).

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Feb 25 2016 07:58
Quote:
Steven #31

Quote:
‘Oh dear, looks like as per usual as soon as some real-life situation comes along some anarchists ditch their principles and try to be "pragmatic".’

When do principles become dogmatism?

Burgers
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Feb 25 2016 08:02
James MacBryde wrote:
Quote:
Steven #31

Quote:
‘Oh dear, looks like as per usual as soon as some real-life situation comes along some anarchists ditch their principles and try to be "pragmatic".’

When do principles become dogmatism?

At the first opportunity going on this thread.

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Feb 25 2016 08:46

We may not vote but alot of workers do.

On the basis of, the enemy is in your own country – it is your own bourgeoisie, perhaps the question we should ask is:

What result do our own bourgeoisie want in this vote?

My impression is that they would prefer a 'Yes' to Europe win. So, maybe we should hope for the opposite.

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Feb 25 2016 08:32

Burgers #43
‘Actually I would say that the fact you want to vote and therefore side with one side of the bosses system over the other would make you not very anarchist at all.’

Tis a pity when you appear to base your views of the referendum on high political principle, that it does not extend itself to correctly representing my views. Nowhere have I written ‘I want to vote’. I stated: ‘If I do vote I’ll vote to stay in…’ (post #8)

With regards to your opinion of my ‘anarchism’, I can only reciprocate your contempt.

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Feb 25 2016 08:58
Quote:
If I do vote I’ll vote to stay in, as the Scot nationalists are secretly hoping there is an ‘out’ vote and then their band waggon can roll again. So it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.

We can only advise you not to vote; we are not showing you our contempt.

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Feb 25 2016 10:35

James #59

I was directing my remarks to Burgers. I generally have respect for people who may not agree with my opinions.

I feel voting in this instance is fairly irrelevant as both sides represent interests I am against. As I detest nationalism I exhibited my prejudice (also pious anarchists make my skin creep).

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Feb 25 2016 10:41
Auld-bod wrote:
James #59

I was directing my remarks to Burgers. I generally have respect for people who may not agree with my opinions.

I feel voting in this instance is fairly irrelevant as both sides represent interests I am against. As I detest nationalism I exhibited my prejudice (also pious anarchists make my skin creep).

Shit, I hope you don't think that I'm a pious anarchist???

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