Recently, the governments of Germany, Austria and Italy have made public their plans for a close future partnership in regards to border security. Its goal is to enhance cooperation of the countries of this partnership in regards to border protection, but as well to plan and promote the defense of European borders as a whole. This partnership was proposed publicly originally on June 13th in Berlin at the meeting of German interior minister and notorious part-time far-right conservative Horst Seehofer of the CDU and the Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the ÖVP. What is especially remarkable about their meeting are the names they’ve coined, which either demonstrate an extreme lack of historical consciousness, or a questionable etymological origin to describe their intentions: “Axis Berlin-Vienna-Rome” or “Axis of the willing”.
Shortly after the first press conference for the meeting between Kurz and Seehofer, Italy, represented by its deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini of the Lega Nord, has confirmed its interest to join this so-called axis. Their immediate goals include, but are not limited to, the abolition of the Dublin Regulation and reforming the current state of European defense systems.
The creation of this “axis” was accompanied by one of the first acts of the new Italian state: the blocking of a refugee ship carrying 627 people from docking in an Italian harbor. Later, Spain had to intervene and take the refugee ship in. Italy explained their actions, saying they “have no interest in letting any more criminals into their country.”
While the audacity of the imperialists in crafting this plan is more or less unsurprising among leftists, self-reflection of any kind is impossible for the imperialists, and is not even present in the fantasies of the moribund imperial “left”. Here as well it is clear to everybody that Europe must follow this path, the path of the “Axis Berlin-Vienna-Rome”, assuming it wants to keep the benefits it has extracted from the periphery for so many decades.
At the plan’s foundation lies the fact that the labor-aristocratic masses of Europe do indeed intend to keep the benefits that they have accumulated through the vast exploitation of the third world. An interesting development, on the other hand, would be if the European bourgeoisie allows inter-imperialist contradictions within the first world to once more become relevant through their irrational behavior and policies—it would mark a new milestone in the disintegration of imperialist unipolarity. However, that is a topic touched upon multiple times already in other articles of ours.
What is relevant to us as leftists in the imperial core is the creation of an “anti-axis”. As consistent internationalists, it must be our duty to combat European imperialism, wherever we are and with whatever means exist at our disposal. Specifically regarding the prospects of this new “axis” in Europe, and the possibility that it may include other “rational” imperialists in the future, or potentially destabilize the European Union with venomous internal blocs, our loyalty must be to those affected by imperialism. Ultimately, this “axis” seeks to undo only those consequences of imperialism that have become deleterious to their existence, principally in the form of the current refugee crisis. Neither the imperialists proposing this new “axis of the willing” nor those outside it, make any claim against the destruction of the third world. It is only when the consequences of those actions arrive on their shores that the discussion begins.
It is not enough to simply oppose this new bloc by aligning with the old. Instead, in fighting to restrain the inter-imperialist contradictions in Europe that threaten us with disintegration and eventual war, we must build our own bloc, rooted in genuine proletarian internationalism. In the final instance, we cannot allow ourselves, as the moribund liberal “left” has, to become tools of one or another imperialist faction. Even while we oppose the growing factions within Europe that crave higher walls and deeper trenches to keep the refugees out, we must struggle against even those imperialists who would paint themselves as humanitarians. If we fail to do this, if this “axis” and the “patriotic” line it represents is defeated and things return to “normal” and we have not advanced our position, then we have succeeded in nothing but the solidification of one faction of imperialist capital over another.