This is the blog of Robert Edwards, the editor of European Socialist Action, the paper of European Action. This blog will feature articles published in European Socialist Action for the purpose of eliciting comment ... so give us your comments. All material is copyright protected. Enquiries to: Robert Edwards, PO Box 415, Ramsgate, Kent CT11 9WW. Website: europeanaction.com (click on front pages for link) This is europeanaction.blogspot.com
I asked people who support the concept of European unity the following questions. Here is Robert Edwards, a former member of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement.
Who are you?
Robert Edwards. I am the co-ordinator of European Action and the editor of its paper, European Socialist Action.
What do you believe in?
I believe in social justice and the liberation of all peoples from the grip of international (globalist) finance. I believe in cultural integrity and the right of people to preserve those cultures free from interference from outside. I oppose all ideas based on racial supremacy. I also oppose the persecution of peoples based on religion. All have a right to worship anywhere and anyway they chose, whether in church, synagogue or mosque. There is no such thing as a ‘British’ religion. Right-wing reactionaries who exploit ‘Islamophobia’ do so because they are bereft of any constructive ideas. Besides, it is largely dishonest because their true motive is essentially racial but they are too gutless to admit this.
This liberation of all peoples, I believe, can only come about through the entire world being organised along the lines of continental systems, with their own governments and with their own self-sufficient and independent economies, free from the current international trading system. Mosley’s concept of Europe a Nation should be adopted as a blue-print and the model for other areas of the world. Only systems large enough can be truly independent and self-sufficient. Smaller nations, as currently constituted, will always remain dependent on a larger power. Better to be part of a greater union in equal partnership. Union is strength.
I believe in European Socialism, a system based on syndicalism or workers’ ownership. I also believe the people should own the means of production, distribution and exchange. I oppose free market economics and the idea of international competition. The living standards of our own people must always come first and that is why we should have our own European trading area for a thriving home market. Bring an end to the import of cheap goods from low-wage Eastern economies which undercuts the European worker and keeps our wages low as a consequence. European manufacturing for European consumption only. Organise and lead within our own area! It can be done. All that is needed is the will.
I believe in the complete union of Europe as a single system with its own government, its own military defence force and a single currency and economy. The regions of Europe should retain regional customs and local laws best suited to them. However, I reject this watered-down nonsense of ‘confederation’ which is not union at all but a set of loose alliances for the purpose of limited co-operation. Some bourgeois petty nationalists are trying to push this confederation idea while retaining their nationalistic narrow world view, hanging on to out-dated illusionary ideas of sovereignty. Ten pygmies do not make a giant and ten separate nation-states would always remain essentially divided. Nationalism should be consigned to the dustbin of history as an anachronism with nothing to offer the people. The age of the nation-state is over ... now comes the age of great continental systems.
What are you proud of and what do you regret?
I am proud of having been a member of Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement and of being, at one time, UM’s West London Area Organiser. I regret nothing. To regret is pointless. To learn from one’s mistakes is far more important.
The international bankers have a history of taking irrational risks out of which they make huge profits for themselves. When reality eventually hits them, however, they make us taxpayers pay for their losses. The bankers keep the profits but expect us to pay for their mistakes, which we do without question.
In all this, governments must always prop up the banking system because, as they view it, there is no system but global capitalism. They will always do the bidding of international banking over which they have little or no control.
This Coalition government is nothing but a joke ... a government that can not be taken seriously in anything it does. We are told the Coalition is tackling our public borrowing deficit by the only way they know how ... austerity cuts, which mean reducing our deficit by hitting the poor and disadvantaged in society. The public sector is to be ravaged with all hopes placed on a revived private sector. Hundreds of thousands of jobs must go in the public sector to miraculously emerge in a revived private sector.
It is all based on a false optimism with a banking system still reluctant to lend to business through a lack of confidence in debt repayment.
The fact is, capitalism is in crisis with no easy way out ... if any at all. The world remains teetering on the brink of economic disaster and the prognostication still remains gloomy.
But borrowing in the UK continues with increased spending on health and defence. Indeed, it is an increase on twelve months ago ... which seems to throw doubt on the government’s ability to reduce the public deficit.
Both the CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce have now lowered their forecasts for economic growth believing higher inflation will impede economic recovery. A VAT increase to 20 per cent from 17.5 per cent on January 4 will not help, either.
Forecasts and calculations hold for one day and can be torn up the next. The problem concerns more than the cyclic ups and downs of a free market system over which government has no real control. Anything can happen now.
We have always said it is the system itself which is the problem and needs to be replaced. Patching it up here and there will never offer a long term solution. At each crisis we lurch further and further towards complete and irretrievable breakdown.
Banking relies on confidence in order to function but irresponsible banking with its ‘get rich quick’ gambling binges and the ensuing disasters have finally revealed a racket operating in what is nothing more than a giant global casino. How can anyone have confidence in such a state of affairs?
The result can only be an increasing loss of faith in the markets as the gambling continues and more banks suffer meltdowns and collapse with companies facing liquidity and investors losing their savings.
On Wall Street and in the City of London, they will continue to take big risks because they know governments will bale them out when things go belly up. It is said they will play until they crash because it is at the heart of the very nature of banking.
This is the one central issue upon which any solution to our national problems must be addressed. It is this issue and nothing else.
Not one single party, whether mainstream or of the fringe, has addressed this great problem upon which the future livelihoods of millions of people must eventually rest.
UKIP blames the European Union, the British National Party blames the Muslims, the Tories and Liberal Democrats blame previous Labour governments, the Scottish Nationalists blame England, Sinn Fein blames the Ulster Unionists, the DUP blames the Pope, the Green Party blames global warming ... and so on — but not one of them can see what is, in fact, the elephant in the sitting room, the real glaringly obvious menace to the future of our country and to the rest of Europe, the banking racket as practiced within global capitalism.
We need to get out of this system of dominance by financial forces that makes a mockery of government and democracy ... and the only way out is that proposed by Sir Oswald Mosley and Union Movement — the concept of Europe a Nation.
It is the creation of large-scale economic units big enough to be self-sufficient and independent which will then be free of the vagaries of international competition and the financial institutions that make profits out of supplying the finances for this competitive trading where one country gains a temporary advantage at the expense of another. No one wins but Finance.
Within Europe a Nation, banking will serve the people and only the people. Banking would function only within the area of Europe and it would be under the direction and leadership of an elected European government.
Banking should then become responsible and answerable to the European people. No more roulette capitalism.
Once you have achieved this, you can then organise the economy on the lines of an upward progression because keeping wages down in order to compete would no longer apply. We all know that success in international competition is based on keeping wages down in order to keep costs down in order to undercut your competition. We will no longer engage in this.
Mosley proposed that heads of European governments should unite and agree on a strategy to free us from the International Monetary Fund and our national debts to a conglomeration of what are private banks controlling our money supplies.
They should agree to do this together at an agreed hour and there would be nothing the international bankers could do about it. As separate, isolated countries there is nothing we can do ... but a united Europe would be a force with which to be reckoned.
Robert, I presume you are aware of the German website Europäische Aktion. Is that why you have changed to European Socialist Action?
At least it will keep the Tories away.
[The Editor replies: That is very astute of you, Bill, and worthy of a full explanation in response.
It is desirable that we incorporate the term ‘Socialist’ into our title for a very clear reason and that is to emphasise the core political philosophy that was the post-war movement ‘beyond fascism’ and, indeed, beyond the morass of nationalisms perceived as being the defence of immutable, separately constituted entities.
We do not adopt ‘Socialism’ for expediency nor for any opportunistic purposes but, rather, to re-state our position based on long-standing conviction and resolve. European Socialismwas the post-war creed, superseding the pre-war creed of Fascism. As such, those who foolishly attempt to revive any form of Fascism are our enemies because they ignore the greatest contribution to the post-war thinking on international affairs ... the idea of the union of peoples transcending the old nation-states for the purposes of creating true economic independence from global capitalism.
Our new title is being endorsed already which reveals a healthy sense of reality among our supporters. Our European Socialismstands opposed to capitalist exploitation with our first regard for the working man and woman, the essential backbone of a productive economy. The wealth of a nation is in the products of labour and nothing else.
Our European Socialismstands full square against the international trading system and the exploitation within low wage economies used to undercut other nations, thereby attacking the living conditions of all workers throughout the world.
Our European Socialismpromotes the idea of Workers’ Control or Syndicalism as industrial policy. Equal partnership in industry and commerce within the framework of full democratic practices. None shall prosper while others go without. When we say “we are all in it together” we mean it. It follows that the people should own the means of production, distribution and exchange.
Our European Socialism rejects all ‘right-wing’ notions based on racial and religious intolerance dressed as ‘patriotism’. We know that the ‘patriotism’ of these right-wing reactionaries actually prevents many from seeing the bigger picture of international exploitation and oppression, that all the oppressed peoples throughout the world share one important thing in common ... a basic humanitarian regard for others. In that sense, we extend our true patriotism in the spirit of mutual assistance and not in the spirit of nationalistic antagonism.
Returning to your point regarding the ‘German website’, their adoption of the phrase European Action (Europäische Aktion) is not something complementary as first perceived. When you further study the platform of this group, based in Switzerland, you find something completely at odds with everything we stand for.
First of all it is focused entirely on the German-speaking countries of central Europe with echoes of a Grossdeutschland (a Greater Germany) promoting an out-dated revanchism, the policy of seeking to recover lost territories. This can only antagonise European neighbours and is entirely against the spirit of our European position on these matters.
A Europe based on German hegemony is a discredited thing of the past which led to a world war and the deaths of millions. As such, Europäische Aktion is nothing more than a form of German neo-Nazism, attempting to reawaken ghosts from Germany’s not so distant past ... which we further reject without question.
Another aspect to this group is its rampant position promoting Holocaust denial. It is our position that the ‘debate’ concerning whether or not gas chambers existed at Auschwitz is entirely sterile and can only serve one purpose: the supply of the oxygen of publicity to Zionist propaganda which has always sought to use the issue as ‘evidence’ of a universal anti-Semitism and, thus, a permanent threat to the existence of Israel and of the Jewish people. It also provides an alibi for the monstrous and criminal treatment of the Palestinian people who had nothing to do with the events in central Europe during the Second World War.
We would further insist that the Holocaust has nothing to do with the British people and therefore we should neither question it nor commemorate it as a special day. The only people to whom it has any relevance, apart from the Jewish people, are those Germans who took part in those ‘special operations’ and they grow fewer by the day. The rest of the world is ‘not guilty’.
Our policy on the issue is therefore simple: ignore it. It is not an issue for Europeans today nor should it ever be.
There is also the issue of Muslims in Europe. Again, we differ from this German-speaking group in that we reject the disreputable idea there is a ‘clash of civilisations’ and that Muslims are here to slit our throats while we sleep soundly at night or that Christianity is itself threatened by a Muslim presence. ‘Islamisation’, they call it.
The values of Islam are identical to those of Christianity. That is the first consideration. The second is that there is a Qur’anic injunction for Muslims to respect the laws of a host country. All the rest is ill-informed hysteria and barely veiled racism.
This German-speaking group talks of a ‘confederation’ of European states. Not unity, mind you, but what is in reality a loose agreement or alliances in a vague common interest. Perhaps we should move away from the phrase ‘Europe a Nation’ and state quite categorically that we mean nothing less than the United States of Europe as a single power and entity in the world. We do not mean the sum total of little nationalisms, which is a ‘confederation’, but the end of nationalism and the beginning of a true European awareness, calling ourselves Europeans and thinking as Europeans and not as separate nationalisms barely tolerating each other because we continue to harbour and nurse old territorial jealousies and prejudices. The revanchist obsessions of these German-speaking ‘confederalists’ being a prime example.
Europe will not be made by latching onto the past and remembering old wars and old battles that have for so long divided us and on more than one occasion almost brought about Europe’s destruction. I am not talking about the Muslim conquest of Spain which was highly beneficial to all of Europe in the long run nor the repelling of a Muslim army by Charles Martel. No, I am talking about the worst threat of all ... the internecine rivalries down the ages between Europeans themselves. You could say Europeans have been their own worst enemies.
The threat of an external enemy is an old trick that imperialists and nationalists have employed for their own ends many times in the past. The American imperialists used the alleged military threat from the Soviet Union in the Cold War as an alibi to invade small countries, ostensibly to ‘defeat communism’, but whatever political system these people chose should have been their own business. You now have it today in the form of the ‘war against terrorism’, the external threat being something called Al-Qa'eda, with many people now realising this is a CIA-invented ‘Islamist’ bogeyman, the bogus image of which is further promoted by a manipulated Western media. Iraq and Afghanistan have since fallen victim to this fake scenario engineered and operated by American-led Western imperialism.
Our real enemy is within. It is ourselves as separate and divided parts of Europe, huddled together in our separate enclaves we call ‘our country’, afraid to stand up to the predatory financial forces that determine whether a country goes up or goes down on the economic scale. Whether it prospers temporarily or whether it is torn apart by imposed ‘austerity measures’.
Our enemy is nationalism, the misbegotten belief that we can defend something called ‘sovereignty’ because they actually believe small, dependent countries can run their own affairs and we only need place the word ‘Great’ before Britain in order that we become important again.
Look how we cling to our past ... the corrupt honours list with all the allusions to the British Empire. Perhaps someone should just show enough moral courage and stand up and shout, “There is no British Empire!” and end all this archaic nonsense. Get into the 21st Century.]