The media in the United States have treated the British vote against remaining in the European Union (EU) as if it is populist “Trumpism,” an inarticulate right-wing vote out of ignorance at being left behind by the neoliberal economic growth policy. The fact that Donald Trump happened to be in Scotland to promote his golf course helped frame the U.S. story that depicts the Brexit vote as a “Trump vs. Hillary” psychodrama – populist anger and resentment vs. intelligent policy.
What is left out of this picture is that there is a sound logic to oppose membership in the EU. It is Nigel Farage’s slogan, “Take Back Control.”
The question is, from whom? Not only from “bureaucrats,” but from the pro-bank, anti-labor rules written into the eurozone’s Lisbon and Maastricht treaties.…The Left, whose leaders have conflated neoliberal globalization with internationalism and solidarity, is ceding its territory to the Right as a result of losing the working class.
What used to be a socialist left has been silent about the fact that there are very good reasons for people to say that this is not the kind of Europe they want to be a part of. It is becoming a dead zone. And it cannot be “democratized” without replacing the Lisbon and Maastricht treaties on which it is founded, and removing German opposition to public spending on recovery for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and other countries.
What is remarkable is that in the face of rising resentment by the “losers” from neoliberalism – the 99 Percent – only the nationalist right-wing parties have criticized the EU’s neoliberalism and the T-TIP. The formerly left-wing Socialist parties of France and Spain, German Social Democrats, Greek Socialists and so forth have endorsed the neoliberal, pro-financial program of austerity and rollbacks on labor union power, wages and pensions. So the riddle is, how did originally pro-labor parties become anti-labor?…Counterpunch
The Silence of the Left: Brexit, Euro-Austerity and the T-TIP