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Issue #1926      August 3, 2020

Common market aim monopoly, war and fascism

Australia’s rights are menaced

This article originally appeared in The Tribune May, 1962.

The Common Market’s European Investment Bank is now actively promoting mergers of giant monopolies into internationalised super-monopolies.

Room at the top, or at least on the second flight, is being reserved for key British industrial giants.

As these monopolies operate strategic subsidiaries in Australia, of potent influence in the Australian economy, the implications for the Australian people will be grave.

Pre-war cartels helped the German trusts to consolidate Fascist rule and submerge Europe in fire and blood from the Volga to the Ebro.

The cartel associations with the nazis of the Two Hundred Families of France, of the De Wendels of Comite des Forges with the German steel magnates, of Vickers with Krupp, Imperial Chemicals and duPont with I G. Farbenindustrie, of Royal Dutch Shell chiefs with the Nazi party itself – these yielded their mass graves and ruined cities.

Now, instead of the patent-exchanging and .price-fixing cartels, the American and West German sponsors-in-chief of the Common Market propose that the cartel members should unite into single companies to cover particular industries.

To curse the world with grave threats

One of the chief duties of the Common Market’s Investment Bank, the instrument of the European monopolists and their American investment partners, is “to finance projects of interest to several member States.”

Colossal inter-State corporations, usually with the West Germans having the main influence under dollar patronage, are in process of formation, to curse the world with graver threats of Fascism and nuclear war.

This “internationalisation” of monopolies is designed to make the Common Market “irreversible.”

How can an industry in Britain or France be unscrambled from an international corporation, for nationalisation? For a Common Market automobile corporation, engine-building can be in the Rhineland, bodybuilding in France, assembly in Holland; the laboratories and raw materials sector for a chemicals industry in Italy, the final production stages in England.

Of what use the British Labour Party publishing Signposts for the Sixties with proposals for nationalisation when its leader, Hugh Gaitskell, supports entry to a Common Market whose rules strictly forbid nationalisation?

In the Common Market, according to Barbara Castle, Labour MP, British private firms “would increasingly develop on European lines, through mergers and other commercial links.

“In such a situation the task of nationalisation would become, well-nigh impossible because of the difficulty of breaking up units which had become internationalised. It is one of the main aims of the Treaty to encourage this.”

Distressed areas

The European Investment Bank super-monopolists cynically visualise “distressed areas” under the economic integration.

Smaller coal mines and factories will close, “inefficient, “uneconomic” and “redundant” industries will go to the wall; towns will become derelict. Mentioned among prospective ghost areas are Ulster and Scotland.

The Investment Bank is supposed to plan help for future “distressed areas.” Barbara Castle went to Brussels to find out their plans, and wrote on return to London:

“It was freely admitted to me that the Community (Common Market) has no effective policy for dealing with the distressed areas – nor have the individual governments.”

Governments are not free to set up new industries in “distressed areas.” If the British government ordered a firm to build its new factory in distressed Scotland, the community could stop the firm doing so in favour of transfer to Germany.

Even if Trade Minister McEwen could hold Commonwealth Tariff Preference, he would sell no IXL marmalade, Vestey’s “camp pie” or Penfold’s wine in the Jarrows and Durhams of the future.

Super fascist government

Super-fascist government develops logically from super-monopolies.

Market members’ parliaments nominate representatives to a Common Market Assembly, but the power-holding executive body is the Common Market Commission, composed of dictators from the super-monopolies.

The Assembly, ironically enough, cannot replace this Commission in the near-impossible event of its dismissal, which can only be done by a two-thirds Assembly majority.

The ruling Commission was thus described by Economic Lecturer H B Dickinson, University of Bristol:

“It is an irresponsible body of international bureaucrats. To whose opinions and interests is it likely to be favourable? Those of big business and the conservative-minded economists of the West German Wirthschaftwunder.”

The Commission will be far removed from the tramp of marching feet from Aldermaston, the clamour of unemployed riots and other democratic pressures.

London School of Economics Political Science Lecturer, William Pickles, warns that the British government has frivolously dismissed the constitutional implications of the Common Market which mean surrender of national sovereignty and of the supremacy of Parliament – the only constitution Britain has.

“There are under the Rome Treaty,” says Economics Lecturer Dickinson, “a number of subjects over which the national Parliaments will no longer have power to legislate:

There will be no possibility of democratic parties forcing measures in these subjects through the machinery of the Common market because no suitable machinery exists. Democratic parties in the Common Market will suffer endless frustrations.

Entry without an election

“For Britain to join the Common Market will ensure that, whatever party forms a government at Westminster, this country will be governed on sound Conservative principles. Is this why the present government is so concerned to hustle Britain in, without an election, without any consultation of the people?”

Once fascism is consolidated it dispenses with social democracy.

What reforms can the British Labour Party, the French, Belgian, Dutch and Italian Right-wing Socialists and the warmongering German Social Democratic leaders offer to hold the victimised people in check?

Social services must be uniform; the British workers will have to pay from their wages far heavier social insurance contributions in accord with Continental custom and Common Market rules. “The dog,” as one writer put it, “will be fed with its own tail.”

Taxation in West Germany is lower for the rich and higher for the workers than even in Tory Britain; the Market’s Department of Competition is now moving to “harmonise” taxation, both direct and indirect.

Market bars nationalisation

Not only does the Market bar nationalisation and State “commercial” monopolies; it also bars “aids granted by states in any manner whatsoever which distort or threaten competition. Thus the market super-bureaucrats can block a subsidy to a vital national industry.

Under the Common Market the British Labour Party and European Social Democrats cannot seek continued support by offering crumbs of social services, tax concessions and subsidies. The Common Market should be seen by all Australians, who will feel its impact catastrophically in trade and employment, as a new stage in monopolist organisation for war and fascism.

The labour movement is marked down for destruction as a prelude to war, as in Italy in the 1920s and Germany in the 1930s.

Next article – Onslaught on the BLF

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