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Democrat Editorial September-October 2011 (Number 125)

Trashing nation-states,
sovereignty and democracy

This process isn't inevitable

bombong infrastructure of natio-states

We live in an era of the European Union and near complete global domination of transnational capital which has been misnamed globalisation as though this phenomena was inevitable and an irreversible development of the world. Alongside this we have recently witnessed military action over Libya in the latest example of NATO, US and EU vested interests to consolidate a policy to dominate totally nation-states. The declaration by the NATO Secretary General near the end of the bombing in Libya on behalf of the 'rebels' was a "NATO victory". The same strategy was conducted in Yugoslavia in support of the upstart Kosovo Liberation Army against the Serbs. Serbia as a nation-state ended up partitioned with Kosovo a client state of the EU. No doubt Libya will rapidly become subservient to the "West" as discussed and lined up at the special summit in Paris.

Labour's maverick multi-millionaire Lord Mandelson and a former EU Commissioner for trade boasted a couple of years ago from the rooftops that: "The age of pure representative democracy is coming to an end". We can now clearly see this with the subjugation of first Greece and then Ireland and Portugal to the EU Commission, European Central Bank and IMF. This appears to be the tip of the money involved. But, like all icebergs the mass of the object is out of view. All Member States in the eurozone are subjugated to the centre in Brussels and Frankfurt. Without the use of military force these nation-states have lost important powers. Officials now dictate to national governments economic and social policies. This takes away the sovereignty powers of these nation-states and along with it the right to self-determination and national democracy.

Those Member States outside the single currency are also subjugated to a lesser extent so far to the EU by the Growth and Stability Pact and a host of other EU common policies. These policies include CAP for agriculture, CFP for fisheries, Common Foreign and Security Policy and a horde of directives and regulations from privatisation of railways, health and postal services to liberalisation and competition in a "free" and liberalised European Single Market.

One instance of the above is the award of the Thameslink railway stock contract to Siemens of Germany which indicates the subservience of the Government to EU procurement policies. On 7 September the Government stated it was not going to change this suicidal decision instead of standing up for national interests by protecting a crucial industry and the thousands of jobs involved.

Further, the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has first to get approval of the EU Commission for the national budget before presentation to Parliament proves beyond doubt that national independence and democracy have been set aside.

Despite this and many other examples, there are some, including a few in the labour and trade union movement, that say the nation state is out of date and is a 19th century anachronism. This is in contradiction of the fact that nation states are still being formed and others being campaigned and fought for by political and military means. These include the removal of the partition in Ireland, a state for Palestinians, the removal of old imperial borders in Africa and Asia. Above all is the imperative need to re-establish international law to prevent one nation state interfering in the affairs of another nation-state which currently is the cause of most problems in the world.

An old demand for home rule in Ireland Some people admit they cannot get their heads around the national question and lean on the phrase "workers of all countries unite" coined by Karl Marx which is misquoted as "workers of the world unite". It is clear that Marx was not ignoring or against nation states. Stretched to the ultimate conclusion according to those opposed to nation states the latter phrase appears to mean we can do nothing until all workers across the globe are united. The latter is clearly a practical impossibility.

An old demand in Ireland for Home Rule and not EU rule

What is required is for democrats and the labour and trade union movement to join in an international campaign in defence of the nation-state as the fundamental focus of political democracy which is the only mechanism which history has evolved for imposing social control on private capital. This requires the retrieval of the right to self-determination, national independence and democracy. These are required to exercise the sovereign powers of a nation-state to pass laws to put in place controls over private capital. Simply put Britain must leave the EU superstate and have the power itself to make bilateral and international arrangements for trade and commerce across the world.