cincinnatus_c: (Default)
[personal profile] cincinnatus_c
Currently at Havelock: 27.2. Some kinda weather we've been having. Gotten below freezing on two days this month at Bancroft, but also above 30C on four days so far, which it did on five days in all of 2015. Total of 14.7 mm of rain at Peterborough airport in May; my spinach and radishes got totally baked. Lettuce, kale, and chard has picked itself up with some rain in the last week and is doing all right. The difference in the mosquitoes between this year and each of the last three years--each of which seemed worse than I ever remembered before--is really astounding.

I happened to finish reading Ian Angus's Identity and Justice on the day of the Brexit referendum. Like The Undiscovered Country it has much to do with the situation of Canada in the context of neoliberal globalization, but I&J is a more abstract and prescriptive book than UC, and Angus's anarchist inclinations are much more evident. So, it casts an interesting light on the background of the referendum. Read together I think you can see a very crude distinction to be made between a socialist left that supports limits on national sovereignty over mobility of people but not mobility of money, a nationalist right that supports limits on national sovereignty over mobility of money but not mobility of people, a neoliberal right that supports limits on national sovereignty over mobility of both people and money, and a conservative left (which may be a largely empty category in public political discourse, but probably not so much in pub political discourse) that supports limits on national sovereignty over mobility of neither people nor money. And then off to the side there are various anarchist and other anti-statist views (including anti-Lenininst Marxisms, radical conservatisms, right-libertarianisms, ... ) holding that the limits on national sovereignty that are on the table are coming from the wrong direction, i.e. from "above", from super-national organizations, rather than from "below"--from communities, families, individuals ... to use Angus's language, inhabitants (which Angus spins from the left but is more commonly spun from the right by e.g. the Ontario Landowners Association (THIS IS OUR LAND: GOVERNMENT BACK OFF!) in these parts and "freemen on the land" out west). If you're sympathetic with any of these kinds of views (well, except the radical right ones, I guess) then in the abstract it's hard to know what to wish for as far as things like the EU are concerned ... even if in the concrete it's pretty clear which bed has the nicer fellows in it, and why. Anyway, it's interesting to think about why it is that if you identify with the left generally in Canada you're against NAFTA but likely would've voted "remain" if you were British. Not that these positions are inconsistent (because there are some obvious major differences, starting with the fact that NAFTA is dominated by one imperial power), but it's complicated.

Date: 2016-06-27 04:59 pm (UTC)
the_axel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_axel
I don't think it is that complicated.
NAFTA is a trade agreement designed to make it easier for rich people to get what they want.

The EU, as ECSC started out as a trade agreement - with a major goal to make it harder for the member to go to war with one another - and has gradually expanded its remit to cover more and more political issues that restrict rich people from getting what they want. Which is why it changed names from European Economic Community to European Union, why the European Court of Justice exists, why Schengen happened, why Europeans can access health care in any member state, why the EU invests vast amounts of money in the poorer regions of Europe.

And ultimately why the left and right have swapped viewpoints on the thing over the last 40 years.

Date: 2016-06-27 05:38 pm (UTC)
the_axel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_axel
That's because back in the olden days (let's say the '80s) Europeans didn't really use their stock exchanges like the English speaking world. Shares would just sit around being owned rather than bought and sold with lots of yelling and screaming and generating wealth for the rich.

As a result of increased international trade, that changed, and because London had more experience at investment banking than the rest of Europe put together, European finance has become centred in London. Similar to the passport system that allows traders in one Canadian province to work on other provinces markets, there's a European passport system that allows traders in once EU country to work on other countries markets.
If the UK leaves the EU then the UK leaves that passport system so all the jobs in London that are really working in Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, etc. go away, so the international banks need to relocate bank inside the EU.

Scotland having the advantage because it's English speaking and if they follow the same citizenship plan they had in their referendum, anybody living in Scotland on Independence Day gets to be Scottish so all the English workers just need to move their shortly beforehand.

It's true. The thing about the EU is that the reasons for opposing it have changed dramatically since 1975, which isn't surprising because the UK has changed dramatically since then too. For instance, back then the UK had mining, refining and manufacturing industries...
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