After the Second World War the founders of the European Common Market had great ideals. They wanted to avoid conflict between nations which had resulted in two devastating world wars in the last century. But from the beginning they were doomed to failure because they tried to create a centralized super state which issued orders from the top down. They enshrined the free movement of capital within the borders of a larger Europe and beyond.
This has grown more pernicious with the power of international corporations which is often greater than that of individual nation states. Moreover the largely unaccountable IMF and World Bank can intervene with national economies as they have done so disastrously in Africa.
The European Union which emerged from the European Common Market further wants to make an exclusive economic zone within the borders of certain states in Europe which is intended to compete with the United States of America and other economic blocs. It allows the free movement of capital but at the same time it has not allowed entirely the free movement of peoples within the borders of the E.U.
Why are the Roma or Gypsies, for example, constantly moved on by the police? Why is not permissible to make available the provisions of welfare in the UK to other EU nationals? It also has created borders around Europe to stop economic migrants knocking at its doors.
The result has been a loss of sovereignty of individual member states. Unelected and unaccountable commissioners in Brussels decide to a large degree on the economic and judicial direction of nations.
Some E.U. laws are clearly progressive, such as equal pay between the sexes and the rights of workers. But since the E.U. is wedded to a Western form of neo-liberal ‘democracy’ it is far more difficult for an individual nation state to make a more participatory and direct form of democracy and to create a greater degree of social equality and justice. In essence it is a capitalist, centralized, hierarchical and largely unaccountable super state. It wishes to have its own central bank but clearly member states can lean on others for their economic and political policies, such as Germany on Greece.
In my view, we should increase our individual autonomy and sovereignty and create from the bottom up loose federations of nation states as long as they continue to exist. It is better to be part of a loose alliance within the Commonwealth, which embraces non-European peoples, than part of a rigid European super state. It is better still to form federations throughout the world which are committed to the greater control of citizens on decisions affecting their everyday life and to a more participatory and direct form of democracy.
It is therefore my contention that we should pull out of the EU and its straight jacket and become friends with like-minded peoples in a loose federation throughout the world.