Their Internationalism and Ours

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1771 ... February 24, 2019
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Their Internationalism and Ours

Paul O’Connell

As the Brexit deadline nears with no deal in sight, we bring this contribution from Dr. Paul O’Connell on the vexed question of internationalism and the nation-state. Arguing that the state "has not been transcended, but rather augmented to better serve the interests of capital," he puts forward a vision of socialist internationalism that begins with the assertion and restoration of democracy and working-class power at a national level.

An oft heard refrain in sections of the European left holds that while the EU is flawed, it is important to remain in and reform it, to advance the cause of internationalism. This argument is usually run alongside derisory dismissals of some caricatured notion of ‘socialism in one country’, and uncritical... assertions about the power of globalized capital.

The problem with this argument is that it fundamentally misunderstands the nature of socialist internationalism, and as such misapprehends what a commitment to internationalism demands of us in the era of Brexit and the multiple crises of the EU. This is a shortcoming we cannot afford, and as such we need to be clear about what the internationalism of the working class means in the current conjuncture.

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