The internationalist hour…

We live in a globalised world. This is not just true of economics politics but culturally too; the internet, online gaming, all mean that your next door neighbour is as much somebody across the globe as the person you pop round to see for a cup of tea and a gossip. As a socialist and internationalist I welcome this. Of course, I condemn the undemocratic and socially unjust way that capitalism is going about things and want to see that changed. Indeed, I doubt capitalism, coming as it does with so many inherent contradictions can complete the process properly and indeed the hairline fractures are already there to see in the national tensions stoked by the nationalist right.

Whether it be calling for less immigration or calling for the EU to break-up, these people claim to be acting in ‘Britain’s best interests’. However, at every turn they undermine those interests and put their own short-sighted ideology before Britain’s economic well-being, before your and mine job, before our wages and living conditions. You want less immigration? Fine. Go ahead. Just don’t complain when you have lost your job because the economy has started contracting.

Internationalism and the ‘national interest’ are not opposite things, they are in fact, the same thing. This is probably true now more than at any other time in history. Of course, the left has always strove towards the internationalist ideal but not even the founding fathers of socialism could have envisaged how integrated our world is becoming and how rapidly we are proceeding towards a truly global village. Now, ‘workers of the world unite’ can move beyond being merely a nice slogan and be a practical unity that can be forged to bring so many people together. It is in the interests of the British worker that their counterparts in say India have proper employment rights because if they do one cannot be used as a way to undercut the other. International labour rights which are enforceable under international law should be a major issue for the left.

Corporations span the globe, wrapping their tentacles around many a country, but polity’s are struggling to keep pace. The European Union is hampered by its component parts clinging to outdated national shibboleths and indeed may fall purely due to the stubborn national pride of the few. The EU is a good example of the problems of globalisation and how we need to be creative with our solutions, yes the EU is totally undemocratic, but again part of the reason for that is nationalism, the national governments wont allow the European Parliament sovereign, law-making powers because it’s a privilege they want to keep for themselves and thus the people of Europe are denied a democratically elected and empowered Parliament.

Nationalism, protectionism, all these are great temptations for the left but they are a backward looking response to a process that the left’s critique of is only half-right. If it were to be fully right it would embrace globalisation in the internationalist spirit and seek to shape it to our ends while recognising the flaws in capitalist globalisation. Going back isn’t an option; down that road only ruin lays. It’s time for the left to return back to its roots and carry the internationalist flame forward, in doing so it will become the force for progress it once was, but debatably isn’t right now.


About darrellgoodliffe


5 responses to “The internationalist hour…”

  1. garryk99 says :

    I do not agree with you about EU.

    People are not denied a democratic EU because of nationalism. Wanting your own Parliament to be sovereign part of a fundamental democracy.

    The way the Troika (including the EU) have stitch up Italy and Greece with unelected Leaders is shocking. They have one plan – they want a United States of Europe. This has been the clear plan for over 50 years:

    They were not sure that Italian and Greek voters would vote for austerity (the preferred way for Global Capitalists to ensure they get their money as children starve.) Therefore, they used financial blackmail to ensure a Leader was in place via any means to circumvent this risk to their money and freedoms to do what they like globally.

    Look at the plan for a banking union, then a fiscal union then ultimately a political union. It will realise this long held plan.

    I would not trust the EU to run a bath. The whole structure is so fundamentally flawed, undemocratic and subservient to Global Capitalism, it is beyond fixing.

    I remember Aesop’s fable about the hungry wolf and the dog – it’s better to have half a meal in freedom rather than a full meal in chains.


    • darrellgoodliffe says :


      I want a sovereign Parliament…of Europe, the existence of loads of little sovereign Parliaments is a bar to that….

      I want an United States of Europe so cant disagree with that….

      As I said to Sue below with the rest….


      • garryk99 says :

        Thanks for your reply and clarification.

        I guess my main beef is that the method used to get to a United States of Europe is underhand and undemocratic.

        I think that if this was offered openly to the people of Europe, it would be whole heartedly rejected in a referendum. In the UK I don’t thing Euro Federalists would get even 25% of the vote.

        The way this inconvenience is avoided is to use the heavy handed threats and putting up puppet Leaders.

        This is why everything, including the German kitchen sink, is being thrown at the saving the Euro regardless of the effect on Europe’s citizens of a flawed monetary union. If the Euro goes, so does the Euro fantasy of a Federal Europe.


  2. syzygysue says :

    Who could disagree with internationalism and workers united globally? However, the term globalisation has not commonly been used to mean that, but has instead really meant the World Bank, IMF and WTO .. all of which are predicated on neoliberalism, Hayek, Friedman and the free movement of international finance. Similarly, the EU lacks democratic structures because it is dominated by fanatical neoliberal ideologues. In effect, all of these superstructures are designed to prevent socialism and even a return to an embedded liberalism.

    I can agree completely with your vision but it would demand a total rejection of the ethos of the present undemocratic structures which are directed towards plutonomy or neofeudalism.


    • darrellgoodliffe says :


      I would say those are the structures we have to work within. Its a bit like Parliament, do we reject that despite its obvious problems? No we dont….

      Do we refuse to work in political parties that implement capitalist policies ie, Labour? No we dont….

      So why should we reject the EU?


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