The damage that could be inflicted on a left government and its programme from outside should not be underestimated. Attacks on Britain’s currency and the government’s ability to borrow in financial markets, a huge political propaganda offensive, denunciations or diktats from the EU Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Court of Justice, restrictions on imports from Britain, are all possible as international capitalism seeks to block Britain’s road to socialism
Yet these dangers should not be overestimated, either.
The policies in the LWP are intended to reduce vulnerability to outside pressure and sabotage. This can be done, for instance, by taking strategic sectors and enterprises in the British economy into public ownership. Taxing the wealthy and monopoly profits would reduce the need for government borrowing. Britain should keep out of the euro-zone as public opinion is prepared for possible confrontation with EU neoliberal policies. Britain’s industrial base must be rebuilt and economic and political relations strengthened with non-imperialist and developing countries.
Recent shifts in the world balance of forces have strengthened the potential for a left government in Britain to develop mutually beneficial international relations beyond US and EU control, not least in Asia and Latin America.
Movements of the left have gained ground in Latin America, inspired by Cuba and driven in part by the Bolivarian socialist revolution unfolding in Venezuela. Those governments have collaborated in continental initiatives to eliminate economic, financial and political dependence on the US. Latin American-wide initiatives in trade and development, currency, broadcasting and diplomacy provide a progressive, alternative model of regional cooperation between sovereign states to that of the EU.
The re-emergence of capitalism’s general crisis has generated mass opposition to its most important aspects in many countries. Anti-globalisation, anti-war and environmentalist movements have sprung up to challenge capitalism’s severe deficiencies as an economic and social system. Workers and their trade unions are fighting back against deregulation, privatisation, cuts in public and welfare services, mass redundancies and the use of non-union labour to undermine trade union rights and terms and conditions of employment.
As ever, communists and socialists come to the fore in such battles, providing strategic leadership. So there is every prospect that a left government in Britain and its supporters will have allies in the international arena.
Communist, left-wing, progressive, anti-imperialist and non-aligned governments abroad may be in a position to extend diplomatic, political and economic assistance. The trade union, left-wing, peace and environmental movements in other countries would be called upon to exert pressure or take action in solidarity with their allies in Britain.
Certainly, there is every prospect that the international links of Britain’s working-class, progressive and communist movements will continue to develop. Broadening and deepening such relations would already have been a very high priority for all sections of the popular democratic anti-monopoly alliance.
Above all, it is unlikely that substantial political advances in Britain would have been made in isolation. Working class and revolutionary movements in other advanced capitalist countries and in Latin America, Africa and Asia may also be putting their own ruling class under increasing pressure.
In any event, communists do not accept that there is a law of history that makes it impossible to achieve socialist revolution in one country before others, or that one of the wealthiest, most developed societies in the world is incapable of proceeding to construct its own model of socialism. The uneven economic and political development of capitalism makes it possible to break weak links in the imperialist chain. The fundamental contradictions of capitalism ensure that the necessity for socialist revolution suggests itself everywhere, sooner or later.