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Economic nationalism, war and the fight for international socialism

February 24, 2017

What is an economic nationalistic agenda?

By Nick Beams : wsws – excerpt

Fundamental questions of perspective and orientation for the international working class are raised by the promotion of economic nationalism, which is assuming an ever more prominent role in the political life of one country after another under conditions of deepening economic crisis, mass unemployment and worsening social conditions.

In the campaign over Brexit—the referendum on June 23 to decide whether Britain is to remain within the European Union—both the “Leave” and “Remain” camps, reflecting different sections of the British bourgeoisie, are couching their arguments in terms of what is “best” for Britain. In the United States, the presidential election campaigns of both the leading Republican contender Donald Trump and the self-styled “socialist” Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders are making appeals on the basis of an economic nationalist agenda.

Seeking to exploit the legitimate anger and hostility of workers to the destruction of jobs and living conditions as factories are closed and jobs outsourced to cheaper labour areas, Trump promises to “make America great again” and denounces “unfair” trade deals, while Sanders lashes out against trade agreements with China and Mexico as “stealing American jobs.”

Despite their differences, the two sides share a common platform. They seek to remove the question of the “export of jobs” from its foundation—the capitalist system itself and its drive for profit… (more)

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