nota publicada en: https://prensaobrera.com/politicas/52531-

In the previous edition of Prensa Obrera, we denounced that the electoral union of the two main organisations that claim be Trotskyist in France has as base a program that tries to overcome the world crisis by means of a tax to the movement of the short term financial capital and other dispositions which prevent the tax evasion or the black economy. In the framework of a “democratic Europe”, it is to say of an imperialistic Europe governed by representative institutions, the program of the agreement of Lutte Ouvriere (Workers Struggle) and the Ligue Communiste Revolutionaire (Revolutionary Communist League) is circumscribed to a mere ‘tax reform’. As was to be expected, this political content immediately was greeted by the MAS of Argentine and received with shameful affection by the rest of the native trotskizant spectrum.

“Tax coup”

The authorship of the proposal corresponds to an “Association for the Tobin tax of aid to the citizen”. It was constituted on June 3 last as a consequence of an initiative launched by the monthly Le Monde Diplomatique in December of 1997. The LCR shows it “as a contribution to the development of the democratic resistance to the neoliberal dictates”, this began by judging it “a profound critique of the process of liberal globalisation of the economy …” (Rouge, 18/6). That is to say that, in opinion of a Trotskyist newspaper, a monthly of French capitalism has removed the class mask of the so-called ‘globalisation’. It is lamentable, then, that it does not propose its publication as appendix of the Marx’s Capital or the Lenin’s Imperialism. Now, it will be necessary wait to know the opinion of the League on the latest book of the speculator George Soros, in which he proposes a limitation on short term capitals by means of instruments not only tax but also legal (exchange control). The owner of all shoppings-centers of Buenos Aires and a good part of the Patagonia do not have objections about claiming measures even more energetic than those posed in Le Monde Diplomatique and the whole of the French Trotskyism.

The LCR does not scrimp words in their support to the program of the Association. It says that, in accordance with the estimates of this, 100,000 million dollars could be collected “even if the tax rate is extremely low (0,05%)”. That is to say, that the price to reforming the “liberal globalisation” would be extremely cheap. Even, the League says, “the proposal presents the double advantage of which it cannot be denigrated as ‘ultimatistic’ on the part of the governments and to initiate a dynamic”. The French Trotskyist recommends the seduction or the neutralisation of ‘the governments’ because the matter is not to fight against them but with them. The “dynamic” that the tax would start consist in that “such device would put sand in the mechanisms of speculation”. What vulgarity! Instead of a policy to end the domination of the capital, we have that it is necessary to put ‘sand’, not to the capital but to ‘speculation’, including the ‘speculation’ of the independent worker when buys dollars to prevent itself against a devaluation!

The trotskyist League also clarifies that the tax would be collected “essentially in the North”. What does this means, that the speculation is beneficial for ‘the South’? It insinuates that the weight of the tax would be greater for the markets of the developed countries, so that the Third World would not have why to worry itself; the French intellectuality, as one can see, ‘does not confuse’ the speculator of the north with the one of the south. Its infeudation to capitalism is so treacherous that it not even realizes that, in such case, also most of the tax collection would end in the treasure chest of the imperialist States. And to what end could these States use that money if it is not for subsidize theirs capitalists against the capitalists of the rival states, as it happens from always, but every time with greater intensity, between the United States, Europe and Japan? Or it will be for increasing the wages?

Productive, it is another thing

The League not only distinguishes ‘speculative’ capital and ‘productive’ one but also establishes between them a hierarchy in which the ‘speculative’ capital is the ‘worst’. It ignores that the great ‘productive’ octopuses have a cash flow that overcome their investment needs, thus the capital destined to the speculation comes from the benefits obtained by those ‘productive’ capitals. Something more: the disaster occasioned by the speculation in the Asian crisis has benefited, fundamentally, not the speculators but to ‘productive’ capitalists; the first have had to delay the collection of debts, the second (Ford, General Motors, Mercedes Benz, General Electric), however, are buying the bankrupt Asian companies. All this demonstrates, beyond the rabidly capitalist character of the proposal, its complete inconsistency. This is inevitable when it is wanted to mix a learned of heard Trotskyism with the wish to save capitalism. In order to rank the ‘productive’ capital above the ‘speculative’ one, the League, naturally, must avoid any mention to the ‘labor flexibility’.

In the same wave to turn the ‘speculation’ into the billy emissary goat of the social crisis, and not capitalism, the League embarks against the European Central bank, to which in passing, impute its ‘supranational’ attributes. The Rouge newspaper (29/10), says that although “political establishment has pronounced for a cut of the interest rate”, it lacks “the means to make it come into effect, because the Maastricht Agreement has converted the national central banks and the European bank into independent of the powers designated by the universal suffrage”. This separation between ‘political establishment’, that is to say the imperialist governments, in one hand, and the imperialist banks, in the other side, explain why the League considers advantageous to have the governments of its side by means of the proposal of the Tobin tax (‘not ultimatist’). A month later this had been written, the central banks decided to accept the ‘political establishment’ and to produce a simultaneous reduction of the interest rates.

The defence of the developed national States is, of course, completely reactionary, because this States have exhausted their national possibilities and they have become imperialist. But the opposition between the European States and governments, in one side, and the European supranational institutions, in the other side, as the European Central bank, the Court of Justice, the Executive Commission, the Council of Ministers and the transference of legislative attributions to this last one; this contrast reveals a total lack of understanding of the nature of the European Community. The latter is not a new State, because it does not have the monopoly of the force and because it only can act with the consent of the States that compose it (unanimity or qualified majorities). Its true function consists in reinforcing the power of action of the national States against their workers and the foreign competition, for which it needs simultaneously overcome his own national contradictions, which for the moment are more alive than ever. The tendency to reduce to zero the representative institutions, giving independence to judiciary, to the bureaucracy, to the central bank, to the military units, to the executive power; all this, is previous to any European unit, it is characteristic of the national States, and the pretence of the European unity does not weak it but to reinforce it even more. To try, therefore, to oppose the national autonomy against the European centralisation, or the representative institutions against the supranational one, is equal to demanding that capitalism retrace the path, that is to say, that it is matter of dead end road.

Defence of the national banks

It is not accidental that the League has allies in the highest circles of the imperialistic capital and the ‘speculators’. Long ago that the theoretician of Soros, Jeffrey Sachs, is opposed to a European central bank (Cronista, 2/4). Although he recognises that the European union “increases the scale and the competitiveness of key financial sectors as the insurance, the pension funds and the stock markets”, he denounces that “the ECB will not be a effective moneylender of last resort”, that is to say that it will not be able to rescue the banks or the companies in bankruptcy. “This it is not a hypothetical problem”, says Sachs. “The European banking sector is already more weakened than it seems (…) the competitive pressures on the banks of the continent as result of the monetary union almost surely (…) will push more the weaker banks to bankruptcy”. That is that the hybridity of functions between the national central banks and the European Bank threatens to promote the bankruptcy of… the weaker speculators. For that reason, according to Sachs, “the European Central bank is the weak point of the (monetary) union”.

Consequent with all the exposed positions, in a meeting that it had with the French PC, “the delegation of the LCR proposed that the left forces that reject to sacrifice everything in the altar of the financial markets unite their efforts (…) The LCR … aims to break radically with the strait jacket of Maastricht … to which all the governments are submit, beginning with Jospin” (16/6). One week later, in the expectation of an electoral agreement with the PC, the LCR continued demanding “‘breaks’ with the way in which the government of Lionel Jospin accompanies (…) the social and political model …” (Rouge, 2/7).

It is to say that, for those who claim to be the French Trotskyist, the question is ‘to accompany (…) the model in another way’ (‘my way’, would say Sinatra). To break with the government? No. To break with the bourgeoisie? Either. Then, you know with what? To break with the way of use (‘mode d’emploi’, as it is reading in medicines of the ‘Hexágone’).

And the capitalism restoration?

Above all this, there is another more excellent thing still, if this were still possible. Neither in the program of the electoral union Lutte Ouvriere-LCR, nor in the daily propaganda, do the French Trostskysts clarify how their proposal for a “democratic Europe” must be understood in relation to the politics of extending the European Community towards the east, even to Ukraine, Russia and the Baltic countries. An extended “democratic Europe” would not be another thing that the definitive consummation of the capitalist restoration in all those States, which today are in a brutal crisis. Here also the problem is ‘speculation’? In such a case, one would be claiming directly the restoration of capitalism. The refusal to poses the Socialist United States of Europe, as much on the part of the League as on the part of Lutte Ouvriere, means a endorsement to the capitalist restoration, which is really the central and decisive question that has to be seen in relation to the European Union from the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The strategic objective is this one, indeed, the restoration of capitalism, and is this precisely what that is not posed at all by those who call themselves Trotskyists, and worse, yes, they propose a “democratic Europe” which cannot be but imperialist and counter-revolutionary.  

Jorge Altamira