|The News Line: Editorial
Monday, 3 December 2018
THE WORKING CLASS MUST INTERVENE TO ENSURE THAT PARLIAMENT IS NOT ALLOWED TO SMASH UP BREXIT!
THE British ruling class is in big trouble indeed when it has to turn to Karl Marx and his ‘18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon’ to try to find out just how deep a crisis it is in, and if there is any way out of it.
This is precisely what David Starkey does in the Saturday December 1st issue of The Daily Telegraph, when he writes: ‘History according to Marx happens twice: the first time as tragedy the second as farce.’
In his book, Marx is referring respectively to Napoleon I and to his nephew Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III). The latter was a complete charlatan, the leader of the stock exchange spivs, whose regime ended up with a major defeat by Prussia abroad and the Paris Commune uprising of the working class at home.
In a letter to Marx on 3rd December 1851, Engels wrote from Manchester: ‘It really seems as though old Hegel, in the guise of the World Spirit, was directing history from the grave and, with the greatest conscientiousness, causing everything to be re-enacted twice over, once as grand tragedy and the second time as rotten farce, Caussidière for Danton, L. Blanc for Robespierre, Barthélemy for Saint-Just, Flocon for Carnot, and the moon-calf together with the first available dozen debt-encumbered lieutenants for the little corporal and his band of marshals.’
Starkey in his article uses Marx’s proposition as a guide and writes that ‘the Second Brexit is proving to be a parody – a painful humiliating one – of the first’ when ‘Henry VIII, the majestic lord that broke the bonds of Rome’ severed England’s thousand-year-old ties with the papacy, remade England and Englishness, and started England on a new course that has lasted to the present day…’
He argues that the second Brexit aims to break Britain’s 40-odd year membership ‘of another supranational organisation the EU’. His case is that May and Co are of the same quality as the ministers that Henry had to get rid of to get the job done. Eventually Henry came up with the people to do the job, ‘retiring’ those who agreed that Rome should rule.
Starkey says that now the same ‘Brussels should rule’ people are leading the Brexit struggle, and leading it to a disaster, in a similar way that Napoleon III led France. He appeals for new people to come forward to do the job.
Henry’s break with Rome was the making of England, since it established the national church with Henry at its head, stopped paying taxes to Rome, ended Rome’s inteference in England’s affairs, and allowed the growing bourgeoisie to grab the massive church properties to turn them into hard cash for industry and trade.
However, it was not all peace and light. In the 17th century the showdown between the monarchy and the bourgeoisie took place. Charles I believed in his divine right to rule. He summoned parliament when he wanted to raise cash, he was ‘Romanising’ the Church of England, he married a Catholic, and sent the Earl of Strafford to Ireland to try to raise an Irish Catholic army to put the House of Commons in its place.
When the time came to decide who was master in the house, all were astonished when the Civil War erupted, with parliament deciding that it was fighting for both King and parliament. It was only when Cromwell founded the New Model Army that the war was seriously fought and won.
The revolutionary army, to make sure that the remnants of the ‘peace party’ was vanquished, purged parliament, and went on to shut down the House of Lords, put the King on trial, executed him as a traitor, and declared a republic.
After Cromwell’s death, the counter revolution dug up his body but was not able to restore feudalism. There is a lesson for today when parliament is conspiring to reverse the will of the people and quash the 2016 ‘Leave’ referendum result.
Immediately ahead, the MPs of the House of Commons are going to seek to reverse the referendum result by one means or another. The working class and the trade unions are the only force that have the power to force Brexit through. They must march to the House of Commons and shut it down, if it will not legislate Brexit, and replace it with a central workers’ council to run the country.
This is the way to ensure that the will of the people is obeyed through imposing the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the way to deal a death blow at the EU where the French, Spanish, Italian, German and Greek workers are battling every day against the EU. This is the way forward to bringing down the EU and replacing it with the Socialist United States of Europe.
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