Wed Jun 22nd, 2016 at 03:49:02 PM EST
Last year I vowed to vote in favour of Brexit. I just could not stomach the EU anymore, and still can't.
Now find myself getting cold feet. There was the death of Jo Cox. And other issues. This article from Jacobin magazine offers a powerful left-wing case for Remain:
Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger
A victory for Leave would represent a massive shift rightward in British politics. It's difficult to see how Brexit could have any progressive effects at all. And, given the prevailing balance of political forces and the Left's utter marginalization in the Leave campaign, it is -- as Butler notes -- simply "fatuous to imagine a constellation of minoritarian left-wing groups will be able to fundamentally change the political orientation of an exit."
If Britain withdraws on the terrain the Leave camp has laid out for it, it is unlikely to benefit progressive, left-wing forces across the continent. Instead, it would boost the arc of reaction developing across Europe -- from the presidential campaign of the National Front's Marine Le Pen in France to the rise of the AfD in Germany to the electoral successes of the Austrian Freedom Party. The prospect of the imminent collapse of the EU in such a climate is too terrifying to contemplate.
After all, what do I really want? I've never actually wanted the UK to not be a member of the EU. Rather I wanted the EU to allow Keynesian economics in the eurozone again, to be willing to write down Greek debt, and to eventually pool funding for counter-cyclical social programs. This would be keyed off a genuinely democratic structure where the Council is abolished, and the Commission becomes proper parliamentary government, with commissioners drawn from the ranks of MEPs and required to assemble majority coalition in Parliament. Any MEP could initiate legislation.
Could this happen? There are various domino scenarios:
- The UK leaves, followed by others. The Czech Republic and Netherlands have popular pro-exit parties, and they go. With the Dutch proving that euro withdrawal is possible, Austria and Greece follow suit. Desperate to stem the bleeding, the EU agrees to the kinds of reforms I outlined above.
- Far-right parties take office in the countries above and eliminate virtually all immigration. Greece remains under Syriza control, but even after leaving the euro is brutally punished by a vengeful rump EU, supported by the former members. Policies both inside and outside the EU drift rapidly to the right. Poland and Hungary become out-and-out dictatorships.
Plus what are the effect in UK domestic politics:
A) Prime Minister Johnson puts through a series of right-wing policies, all unpopular except for cuts to immigration. Labour wins the next election when it promises not to restore immigration.
B) Er, just the first sentence above.
Meanwhile, a Remain vote would leave us with the status quo. Greece is crushed for the next half-century. The eurozone struggles with sluggish growth and bad economic policies for decades. The far-right eventually wins power in several countries, although none leave the EU. Welfare and immigration keep the UK Conservatives in power for at least another decade.
Or maybe speculation is pointless. I could dream up many scenarios, but no one knows what will actually happen. Perhaps I should just vote for the option closest to what I want. That might be Remain, but...
I have no way to punish the ECB and the Commission for their actions. And I can't let them get away with what they did in Greece.
So I'm genuinely undecided. And the vote is tomorrow. I'm asking for advice.