THE 55 per cent vote, by the working class and the rural population of France against the European Constitution, is a body blow to the plans of the bosses, bankers and bourgeois politicians of Europe to establish a European capitalist state, powerful enough to smash the European workers and challenge the US and Japan for the world’s markets.
The blow delivered has been so devastating that it has even reduced Blair and Straw, and their spin-masters to a ‘period of reflection’, while they try and cobble together a policy to deal with this crisis.
This crisis is, in fact, an expression of the historical crisis of the European capitalist states, which were out of date and rotten-ripe for socialism and socialist reorganisation decades ago.
The French working class has exposed this crisis by its revolutionary action in putting its own class interests, and those of the rural poor, before the interests of the capitalists and bankers of Europe.
It has decisively rejected their EU state, and its plans to attack jobs, wages, the ‘welfare state’, state owned industries and basic rights.
The French example will be contagious.
It will be followed by the Dutch in their referendum tomorrow and may well lead to other states rejecting the constitution, and in states like Germany, where the decision was taken by the parliament, to workers demanding a referendum.
The bourgeoisie of Europe has simply been caught out trying to do by political means and blackmail, what Hitler had sought to do by force of arms – organise a European capitalist state.
The EU leaders thought that it could be achieved by imposition.
The tactic was, where the demands of the European Commission were rejected in referenda – as they were in Ireland and Denmark – simply to have the referendum again, after lecturing the population as to the terrible things that would happen to their countries if they dared vote ‘no’ again.
This cannot be done to France and the French workers.
The Marxist movement has had a clear position on the prospects for a bourgeois European state for many years. In 1915 Leon Trotsky wrote the following:
‘A more or less complete economic unification of Europe accomplished from above through an agreement between capitalist governments is a utopia.
‘Along this road matters cannot proceed beyond partial compromises and half measures.
‘But this alone, an economic unification of Europe, such as would entail colossal advantages both to the producer and the consumer and to the development of culture in general is becoming a revolutionary task of the European proletariat in its struggle against imperialist protectionism and its instrument – militarism’ – (The Peace Programme by Leon Trotsky).
What has now been made clear, is what was crystal clear then, that a capitalist united states of Europe will have to be forced onto the working class by force of arms, that is by ruling class violence.
Already, the French bosses are demanding that the gloves come off and that radical measures are taken at once to put the French economy into order.
Their German counterparts are screaming a similar message.
Immediately, we can expect a split among the EU governments as they blame each other for the catastrophe that has befallen them.
This will be secondary to the remorseless sharpening of the class struggle that is taking place throughout Europe.The French workers have once again led the way, as they have done so many times before, and there is no doubt that the British, German, Dutch and other workers will follow their example in rejecting a bankers’ and bosses’ Europe based on their super- exploitation.
In fact, the unification of Europe – a Socialist United States of Europe which will see the bosses and the bankers expropriated and living standards raised, not destroyed, by the organisation of a planned socialist economy – is the revolutionary task for the workers of Europe.
Forward with socialist revolutions throughout Europe!