‘This is 1914 all over again’

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THE architects of the Common Market, the forerunner of the European Union, freely admitted that they were seeking to carry out peacefully what Adolf Hitler had sought to do through war, unite Europe.

They argued that it was either this or see the emergence of a new European war in the future which would rapidly become a new world war.

The contradictions between the European capitalists had to be abolished by a union, before they sharpened to the point of a new war.

Yesterday the Italian Economy Minister, Tremonti, denounced the French government for its decision to merge the French gas and electricity utilities Gaz de France, which is state owned, and Suez, creating a £72 billion giant, the biggest power company in Europe.

The French Prime Minister de Villepin was completely unrepentant. He said of the merger. ‘This will boost the global industrial vocation of our country.’ The French bourgeoisie is looking to its nation state to secure its strategic interests in a period of a gigantic capitalist crisis, one aspect of which is the energy crisis.

The Italian government was furious, calling the French decision a move to lock out the Italian giant Enel from the French market.

Its economy minister said: ‘This is 1914 all over again.’ He added that ‘Nobody wanted war, but war happened. Somebody launches an ultimatum another responds and the effect is a waterfall.’

What he is saying is that the laws of the capitalist crisis are beginning to dominate regardless of the opinions of individuals, enlightened or otherwise. These are determining that the great European monopolies are taking shelter behind their nation states, and strengthening themselves for the battle to come, which includes ensuring their access to the oil and gas producing areas of the Middle East, the Caspian Sea and of course Russia.

The drive to concentrate capital, through protectionism, and the drive to war to redivide the world has begun. Tremonti urged: ‘We still have time to stop this race by the European States to build protective barriers. If not we risk an August 1914 effect.’ August 1914 was the month that the First World War began.

That is where he is wrong. Only a socialist revolution can stop new wars. The drive towards a European Union dominated by Franco-German capital has been halted, due to the contradictions within the European bourgeoisie itself and the opposition of the working class to being privatised and pauperised by the European bankers.

The champions of free trade are flinching. The British bourgeoisie will not allow the Russian state owned giant Gazprom to take over Centrica and British Gas, for reasons of the security of the British capitalist class.

Spain has just blocked a £30 billion bid by Germany’s E.on company for the Spanish company Endesa. Italy is vowing to put a cap of two per cent on foreign ownership of Italian industries, while across the Atlantic the US bourgeoisie will not have its ports owned by a Gulf Arab state and a section of its oil industry by a Chinese company.

The European bourgeois madhouse, whose contradictions produced two world wars in 50 years, has begun to threaten humanity with a third.

August 1914 is what springs to the mind of the European bourgeoisie. That war was ended by the October 1917 Russian revolution. September 1939 saw the start of the Second World War when Hitler invaded Poland. That was ended when the Red Army marched into Berlin.

The drive towards protectionism and war in Europe must be stopped by the working class of Europe overthrowing capitalism with a series of socialist revolutions that will expropriate the European bourgeoisie and bring in a Socialist United States of Europe.