Brexit? Europe is social, or it is not.

Yanis Varoufakis asked me for DiEM25, what the Brexit means für the Euopean Left.

Brexit? Europe is social, or it is not.

Brexit? Now is the time for real democracy! The EU-bureaucrats and their neoliberal austerity politics lay the ground for EU-skepticism and an explosion of nationalism. Yes, Brexit does give hope to many people in Britain, especially to the poor and unemployed. It raises the hope for an end of everyday misery, badly paid jobs, deteriorating cities and rampant anxiety about the future. Many have had enough of the lies and angst ridden scenarios of the political class. “Out” also means out of this life, and towards the hoped for better one. A deceptive illusion – nationalism does not make life any better rather the poor poorer and makes refugees and immigrants scapegoats for everyday misery. That is the real political catastrophe for Europe, and a social disaster for Britain.

But there is also a chance within the crisis because Brexit now also irrevocably questions the status quo of the EU. It is a disruption that opens up to a historical chance to give back a voice to people all over Europe. We need a debate about a re-constituting process regarding the future of Europe; the European future should not be in the hands of national egos. We need a joint European wide reconciliation of all people in the EU. The question of democracy should not and cannot be handed over to the right. Yes, we should decide about our future together: Do we want to live in an EU of elites and injustice, or do we chose a new European union of social guarantees and extensive civil rights and liberties? Europe is social, or it is not. There is no alternative.


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