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Democrat June 2000 (Number 44)

The National Question

Contribution to discussion by Colin Bullen

The leading article by Jim Wheland is a timely warning of the fate which awaits the ordinary people, not only of this country, but of the world, if unbridled capitalism is allowed to continue its progress towards achieving full 'globalisation', and illustrates that the fight against the European Union, significant though it is, is only a part of a greater war against world-wide corporatism. As those who feel no allegiance to anything but their own self interest pursue ever greater profits, regardless of the needs of their workers, we shall see a society in which an elite, composed of financiers, bureaucrats and the sort of corrupt politicians who run so much of Europe, supported by a ignorant layer of celebrities from entertainment and sport, will enjoy the benefits of unalloyed greed while everyone else will be reduced to mere cogs in a totally ruthless, competitive world. No value will be placed on anything except so called efficiency, and the means to make money at other's expense, and workers will be held to ransom by multi national companies forcing down wages by transferring operations to wherever they can maximise profits.

Now that the Labour Party has succumbed to the pseudo Conservative Tony Blair, supported by corporatists in the Trade Union movement such as John Monks who, by pandering to the wishes of that ultimate capitalist club, the European Union, would surrender our democracy to Brussels, there is a crying need for the revival of a true mass movement which rejects the soulless philosophy espoused by the right wing and seeks to restore comradely concern for all to the forefront of its policies.

Jim Wheland is right that we must not allow a ideological objection to nationalist sentiments to destroy our rights and freedoms. Of course we reject the narrow racism of the right but a positive and progressive nation state can protect its citizens, and this need not lead to antagonism with other countries. If every working person made the effort to hold their union leadership and their political representatives to account we could take back the power to determine the shape of our lives and defeat those who would turn this world into some gigantic version of a laissez faire Victorian factory. All it takes is the combined will, for these selfish elites number a few hundred thousand, while we number in the thousand of millions.