European Parliamentary Election 2019: Thermometer of the crisisSunday, 09 June 2019 21:23
Between May 23rd and 26th took place the elections of the European Parliament in the member countries, including the United Kingdom, that has not yet resolved its exit from the Union. The trends expressed in these elections may be considered as a sounding board of the deep debacle in which the EU is plunged. In a world arena that is signed by a capitalist crisis that has been going on for the last ten years and cannot be closed, the foundations that allowed the building up of the EU and the Welfare States that are part of it are falling apart one by one.
Europe, prey of the trade war
A first element to be pointed out when it comes to analyzing these elections is the trade war between the United States and China, that is ravaging the different European countries, which economies are being strongly affected by the changing economic rules that Trump intends to impose in the world market. One of its most blatant consequences is the growing unemployment in many countries. The hotspots of the situation, that in one or another way were reflected in the electoral results, are competitivity of national goods in the international market, how protectionist measures affect domestic economy and how economic stimulus affect imperialist corporations in other countries, the matter of industrial development and productivity. The backbone of this debate is the need to establish a new deal between capital-labor within each of those States -including the subject of immigrant work force- that allows the opening of a long-term accumulation period. But the imperialist bourgeoisie as a whole has not been able to give a response to these needs because of its indefectible tendency towards decay. And among the imperialist powers it is in Europe where the fractions struggle and the uncertainty in face of the lack of an imperialist way out for the situation are more clear. For sure, this quest will only bring penuries to the working class, for its survival relies on beating the proletariat, with blood shedding if required.
Inter bourgeois struggles inside European imperialisms
In the British Isles the fact of having participated of the European elections is already a sample of a total failure of the Brexit process, opened with the referendum of 2016. The quagmire in the Parliament to reach a consensual exit of the EU is still producing consequences at Westminster. The parties that have been pillars of the imperialist regime since the “new world order” of the second half of the 20th century are now melting. The discussion on how Great Britain exits the EU has divided the Tories as well as the Labour and today their leaders are being questioned by their own parties, as by the whole British society. In June Theresa May should leave the government to open up a fierce power struggle within the conservative party. The crisis of imperialist leadership seen at the never ending conflict opened by Brexit within the dominant class has its roots in a deep economic crisis, from which there is no way out by use of the old recipes. The electoral victory of the Brexit Party, leaded by Nigel Farage, has been a clear punishment to May and the Tories, as well as to the LP and Jeremy Corbin’s ambiguity. As we have said in previous occasions, the only thing that is allowing the pathetic parliamentary coteries in Great Britain to go along is the lack of a mass process and a workers’ leadership that shows the way to a revolutionary break up.
Germany and France have also produced cracks to their governing parties. Although Angela Merkel’s party, CDU, resulted first in its country, it has suffered a huge fall in votes. The social democracy, which is part of the governing coalition, had the casualty of the resignation of its main figure after the electoral shame. On their side, the recent political formation AFD (Alternative for Germany) is on its feet, although its votes decreased in around 2%. The big score was made by the Greens, that got the second place and are seen as the expression of the youth.
In France, Macron suffered a defeat in hands of the ultra right-winger Marine Le Pen, even though her party got less votes than in 2014. Once again, the Greens have won field. For sure, these results show the social unrest caused by the austerity measures and the dismantlement of the Welfare State, which was manifested by the movement of the “yellow vests”. However, for the time being what prevails is the diluted intervention of the working class and the lack of organization of the vanguard around an anti-imperialist and class independence program.
Also in Portugal, where the winner was the SP, the ecologists were the surprise by getting a deputy. The highlight of the journey was participation, its was the lowest in Portugal’s elections history. Let’s remember that Portugal has been one of the countries ahead in the implementation of austerity plans in the EU and, although the conjunctural figures show optimism, the structural crisis is still going on.
Meanwhile, in Spain, the PSOE won again, but the ultra right from VOX got 3 parliamentarians and the Catalan pro-independence won 6. The “coup” from Pedro Sánchez to Rajoy has not been able to resolve the national contradictions expressed by the nationalist movements and the growth of the extreme right. What is a fact is that PODEMOS’s promise has been completely dismantled in its role as mediation of the “radical” movements before imperialist institutions.
Syriza’s erosion in Greece has also been remarkable. They also voted local authorities, where the winners turned out to be the conservatives of New Democracy. Alexis Tsiparas has taken the decision to bring forward the date of legislative elections to June, in face of the political crisis that his administrations is going through. This is another sample of how fast these mediations have perished before capitalist State and shows that the only progressive way out is under the leadership of the revolutionary working class.
In Italy is where the extreme right sector has consolidated the most, with the overwhelming triumph of Matteo Salvini, of the League; although its partner in the coalition, the 5 Stars Movement, lost the second place with the Democratic Party. This result is an alarm signal for those that defend the last throues of the EU, since the League is part of the anti-Europe axis. In its first government measures it defied Europe’s fiscal goals and has been carrying out an anti immigration policy that has startled the Democratic forces of the whole continent.
Also in Poland the winner was the ultra conservative force, with 46% of the votes. While in Belgium, with a record high participation of 90%, the extreme right won, and the ecologists got good results in Brussels and Wallonia. The victory of Labor in Holland becomes a counter tendency, where besides the extreme right of Geert Wilders was left behind, at the end of the ranking.
To bourgeois decomposition, a revolutionary way out
Once again in these lines we have noted the dispersal of imperialist forces due to the lack of a long term project able to provide a stable exit to the crisis. In the stark fractions struggles the victim is the working class, that is called to follow them with the promise of going back to a past of national greatness that in the facts will never come. The capitalist Europe has bumped into its own limits. The old contradictions of capital with its national borders is expressed in the phenomena of the 21st century and leads to processes that speed up the bourgeois decay. Vindictive movements of minorities, ecologists, etc. lack of a clear program and end up being dragged behind bourgeois mediations. Only an international revolutionary party, that advances the transitional program to Socialism, that transcends the artificial frontiers imposed by imperialist bourgeoisies can offer a way out. It is an immediate and urgent task of revolutionaries to regroup the workers’ vanguard in the unions and youth organizations behind a workers’ program that implies a fight against union bureaucracy, that supports imperialist States and recover them to deploy class struggle with the historical methods of the working class. This is in the path to confronting the bourgeoisie in production, imposing workers’ control as the preparation for the future work-system of the transitional workers’ State. We must prepare the forces for the expropriation of capitalists and organize workers’ militia against the capitalist order. This requires the broadest unity of the working class, with no distinction of nationalities, gender, ethnicity, etc. The fight for the United Socialists States of Europe is a fight banner of the IV International, which we must strive to reconstruct from this very moment.