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Containing the crisis of capitalism

Containing the crisis of capitalism
Britain’s most reliable and important bilateral relationship has been with America. The US administration cannot think of an EU without the UK. Obviously, close aides of US president, Barack Obama, and think-tanks of the USA ruling establishment have initiated a serious exercise to get the political establishment of UK to persuade the Britons to rescind Brexit. This task has assumed importance as Obama wants to burnish his legacy before his Presidency ends in January 2017.

As the first step in this direction, Obama administration has tried to impress upon the British government to ensure that the well-being of ordinary people is taken care of. The Britons preferring Brexit implied that the EU has not taken proper care of the needs and aspirations of the ordinary people of UK. It is worth mentioning that just before the Brexit vote, Obama had cautioned Britain that to leave EU would put trade between US and Britain at the “back of the queue”.

True enough, the US lobby is striving hard to persuade the UK politicians and those who matter in the process of governance and decision making that the process of reversal should somehow start before Obama relinquishes office. It will be an added gain if it coincides with the election of the next President, as it is likely to boost Hillary Clinton’s prospect. The final decision may wait for future but what is expected at this stage is that some process of reconciliation should set in motion.         

Now the same Obama appears to have changed his stance. The primary reason is that after the exit of UK from EU, America will have to depend on Germany for taking care of its interest. The USA cannot rely on Germany to the extent it was relying on the UK. With globalisation, the EU has become the focal point of the world economy. Naturally, it is imperative for the survival of the capitalist economy so USA must bring back UK to the EU fold. Significantly, even after the Brexit vote, the ties that eternally bind – a shared language, the common law, a deep belief in open markets and free enterprise – will still be there. But it is not sure that as a fair power no longer anchored to Europe, to what extent UK will be able to help the USA. America has always seen a united Europe as a bulwark and its natural partner. Ironically for the USA this bulwark has now been weakened. The relevance of UK to the USA could be gauged from the simple fact that two months ago, Obama directly involved himself in the campaign, personally urging a “Remain” vote. He warned Britain, the largest foreign investor in the US and a major market for American goods, of the possible consequences.

For the US, an exercise in damage control is underway. For Obama, it is soothing and important that the Britain still remains a member of NATO. The West’s security structures, the trans-Atlantic alliance, would not be damaged at a time when China has been flexing its muscles. Obama has argued technology and globalisation can increase opportunities for all but conceded that recent events show that people are frightened by global competition and feel left behind.

In April, Obama had taken the unusual step of travelling to London to help the “Remain” camp of the referendum for his friend and ally, Prime Minister David Cameron. Obama camp’s latest move is conjured by the perception that Britons have been feeling remorse and want to rescind their mandate. The prevailing confusion in Britain has in fact motivated some EU leaders persuading the UK to activate Article 50. But this move might not help them as the Constitution does not permit this.

The experts have also started reviewing the law that was passed last year to set up the EU referendum. It did mot outline anything about the result being binding or having any legal force. Efforts are also on to keep away the issue of endangering Sovereignty from the outcome of reversal process. It was the Parliament that voted to enter the European Economic Community in 1972, and only three years later was a referendum held to settle the split in Wilson’s Labour party over the value of membership. What is most important and crucial is staying in EU may be the only way to stop Scotland from splitting.

However, the forces which are adamant to foil any US attempt to make the people give a second thought to it are also planning to come out with a brochure and relevant documents to press their points and arguments. They see the US move as a design to perpetuate their hegemony. These leaders are confident that Britain was already gaining and given some time it would consolidate its economic and political ground.  They argue for thrusting globalisation on the global fraternity, especially the developing world, the capitalist countries used the EU as the launching pad. The idea was the EU was the best forum for the big business to capture the global market and dictate the world economy. The capitalist and imperialist forces came to realise that the combined EU will serve their interest. The Brexit nevertheless made it abundantly clear that they were mistaken.

The extra energy put in by US President Barrack Obama to persuade the Britons not to vote for Brexit underlined the importance of the referendum and its impact on the global economy. True enough Britain’s vote to exit from the EU signals the end of the globalisation era and shows that countries increasingly do not want to participate in global formations. Globalisation is a “civilised” version of colonisation. The age of globalisation began the day the Berlin Wall came down. And what an irony it started gasping for breath with the Britons deciding to part company with the European Union.

In the case of India, the astronomical amount of NPA and providing billions of loans to big business houses and leaders of corporate sector was a step in the direction for banks turning bankrupt. 

Already nearly three public sectors banks are in red and threatened with the possibility of turning bankrupt.  It is worth taking note of the word of caution from the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales. He said that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union is a sign the capitalist system and the European Union are in a state of crisis. “The decision of the British people is an expression of the crisis of the capitalist system and the crisis of the integration of the European Union”. He warned, “Not to let the United States divide or dominate the continent” or succumb to the politics of war of NATO.   

(The views expressed are strictly personal.)

Arun Srivastava

Arun Srivastava

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