In reality the working class has no stake in the Brexit imbroglio, no camp to choose among the many factions or the umpteen ‘solutions’. All the arguments in the Brexit debate are ultimately to do with the best conditions in which to manage the capitalist economic crisis, the best way to compete with other capitalist swindlers on the world market, with the ultimate aim of extracting the maximum surplus value from the working class and deciding amongst the bourgeoisie who gets the biggest cut.
The inexorable decline of workers’ living standards - now there are 14 million in poverty in Britain according to the latest UN report - began long before Brexit and will continue whatever ‘solution’ is found to the EU conundrum.
And behind Brexit is the question of Britain’s imperialist role in the world and which military conflicts the proletariat will have to pay for.
Workers have no interest or benefit in any of these ‘national interests’. Even if, in the fantasy of the no-deal Brexiteers, immigration were to stop, the erosion of workers’ livelihoods would continue. Even if Britain remained in the EU, workers would still be the target of austerity measures like those imposed on the Greek proletariat.
Indeed, the ongoing media circus about the Brexit mess is used as a means of obscuring the central questions for the working class and pretending that the latter has no interests and perspective of its own.
The different factions in the Labour Party play a full part in creating and maintaining this smokescreen concerning the real interests of the working class, and are barely distinguishable from the Tory factions. Jeremy Corbyn and the ‘hard left’ only provide a subsidiary diversion, with the promise of ‘nationalisations’, the pretence of ‘redistributing wealth’ - which means in reality making poverty more equitable - or on the world arena supporting an alternative set of imperialist gangsters. The Trotskyists and other leftists have still more radical variations on these illusions.
All these political games of the bourgeois parties help to reinforce the present disorientation of the working class.
However, sooner or later, the further worsening of the economic crisis will oblige the working class to revive the struggle to defend its living conditions, to recognise itself as an autonomous class once more and expose more clearly the fact that the present social system has no alternative to the decline of its system other than a growing barbarism.
This renewed class struggle will reveal itself as a political struggle. But the working class has nothing to gain from the bourgeois state or the parliamentary game which, as Brexit shows, excludes the political interests and participation of the proletariat. In the future the working class will therefore have to re-create its own mass organisations of political power and a revolutionary political party. Como 25.5.19