By Nemequene Tundama

[Nemequene Tundama is an anti-imperialist activist based in London, originally from Muisca Territory (Colombia), is the co-writer of We Are Not Latino which can be downloaded for free here, has organised history and political education classes for Nican Tlaca (Latinos) for the last 7 years.]

No, this is not a parody article where a scandalous title is used to lure people in. Granted, Corbyn and Farage differ in their views of how Britain should be governed. Some may argue that they are complete opposites; antithetical to each other. Yet, if our analysis goes further, they are fighting for the control of an economy which is sustained through imperialist gains.[1] That is, Farage and Corbyn disagree with each other when it comes to governing Britain and its economy, but the global parasitism which lies at its base is not up for discussion.

The title that was chosen for this article would not come as a shock to us if we were all well versed in the history of social and labour gains in Britain. After the second European war (WWII) it is said that the British State had to ‘compromise’ with the working class because of their role in the war and their ‘militancy’.[2] Ultimately, the huge budget for these ‘compromises’, which came in the form of the NHS, state welfare, public housing, free education for all children and so on, was not generated through the internal struggle of the labouring classes and the state, but through the funds that were leeched from colonies and neo-colonies.[3] Therefore, from the very start the social gains that were won in Britain in the last century have been funded by oppressing and exploiting the Global South. A dynamic which has been maintained to this day.

In his recent book, The City, Tony Norfield describes in great detail the way in which Britain’s economy continues to be sustained through an intricate web of imperialist finances, the City of London being at the heart of it. Norfield, however, is not the first to bare light to this. Anti-imperialist writers and revolutionaries such as Omali Yeshitela[4], and many others in the revolutionary dependency theory[5] movement and the Maoist-Third Worldist[6] movement have analysed this global phenomenon.

It is true that Corbyn backed the proposed financial transaction tax on business in the City of London[7], but this is not an anti-imperialist move whatsoever. It simply means that Corbyn wants to tax the imperialist financial and business industry in order to boost public spending in Britain. In other words, he is not concerned with how the profits were generated, but how they will be spent and whose pockets they will end up in. Farage on the other hand, a former stockbroker in the City, is against the taxation of financial transactions[8]. The former is for an imperialist economy that shares its unearned wealth with ordinary British people, the latter is for an imperialist economy that keeps the profit in the pockets of his old friends.

Most of the Left in Britain will moan, groan, and probably even outrightly claim that this is a ‘reactionary’ stance. They will say that by supporting Corbyn, and eventually electing him, we will have the possibility of addressing the issue of imperialism. We are supposed to believe that Corbyn, whose popularity is based on anti-austerity and local social reforms, will come to power and address the fact that the economy he and his cabinet will administrate is based on the unequal relationship between Britain and millions in the Global South. The NHS, housing, education, job opportunities and state welfare are all financed through global capitalist parasitism.[9] If Corbyn is to keep his pre-election promises, he must, by default, preserve this economic structure. His proposed policies are intrinsically based on the continuation of this unequal and unjust relationship.

What is the alternative?

The alternative must be one that puts international and global justice above the local interests of a tiny fraction of the world’s population. No, this is not the same as sacrificing a few for the benefit of the whole, but rather sacrificing the unearned privileges of a few to address the global imbalance of economic, social and political power. Europe, the United States, and the West in general, have survived and thrived from oppressing the world’s majority population. The alternative, then, is to join the struggle of the majority of the world for the global concerns of billions of people.

  1. Join organisations that base themselves on opposing imperialism and global capitalism.
  2. Research and support (materially or otherwise) the many anti-imperialist movements of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
  3. It is not enough to “welcome” refugees and migrants. Familiarise yourself with the root causes of their displacement and support them politically.
  4. Commit national/racial suicide.
  5. Commit class suicide.
  6. The political, economic and social wellbeing of the First World should only be addressed when the political, economic and social wellbeing of the Third World is achieved through revolutionary struggle.

[1] Tony Norfield, 2016. The City. London: Verso Books

[2] Immanuel Ness, Zak Cope, 2016.The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p.581

[3] Amanda Latimer, 2012. Super-exploitation, the Race to the Bottom, and the Missing International in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p.1136

[4] Omali Yeshitela, 2014. An Uneasy Equilibrium. St. Petersburg: Burning Spear Publications

[5] For dependency theory analysis see; Walter Rodney, Ruy Mauro Marini, Samir Amin, etc.

[6] For Maoist-Third Worldism see: anti-imperialism.com and revolutionaryaim.org

[7] London Loves Business, 2016. Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Khan Clash Over Financial Transaction Tax for the City; http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/business-news/politics/jeremy-corbyn-and-sadiq-khan-clash-over-financial-transaction-tax-for-the-city/12347.article

[8] The Morning Star Online, 2016. Former Trader Nigel Farage Backs Rich City Mates:
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-b842-Former-trader-Nigel-Farage-backs-rich-City-mates#.V3jUyJMrJE4

[9] Tony Norfield, 2011. The Economics of British Imperialism; http://economicsofimperialism.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/economics-of-british-imperialism.html

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. :o Interesting

    Reply

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