Brexit offers the possibility for socialists to lead a political transformation

This article is by Maurice Glasman which can be viewed here. Maurice Glasman is a founder of Blue Labour in Engalnd.

The immediate task before us is to leave the EU and to break the constraints on democracy that it represents, argues MAURICE GLASMAN


THE history of the British left is one of crises that promise victory but result in domination by the right.

In my lifetime I have lived through the stagflation of the ’70s, the miners’ strike in the ’80s, Black Tuesday in the ’90s and then the crash of 2008.

All seemed to promise radical change, yet this did not happen. On the contrary.

In response to successive democratic defeats, Labour adopted a strategy of the subordination of national democracy to finance capital and the European Union.

That describes the political economy of New Labour and its fatal inability to distinguish between globalisation and internationalism.

The free movement of labour, capital, goods and services, on which the European Union is based, is a vision of eternal capitalism in which it is illegal, by treaty law, to challenge the domination of finance within the economy.

While the unmediated movement of commodities through space was written in indelible ink with the seal of each member-state parliament, the “social chapter” was written in the lightest of pencil.

The alignment of the progressive left with the EU was its greatest delusion and has led to the progressive weakening of every socialist party that has pursued this goal. We are witnessing its palsy across the continent.

It is still the case that opposition to this is denigrated within the mainstream of progressive thought as populist, nationalist, racist and xenophobic.

The false promise of Jacques Delors corrupted the praxis of two generations of Labour and trade union leaders.

The primacy of democracy as the principal practice through which to resist the commodification of human beings and nature, which is the fundamental process of capitalism, is the real meaning of Brexit for the left.

Brexit is the real deal and offers the possibility for socialists to lead a political transformation that can redefine the meaning and practices of the nation.

It breaks the stranglehold of the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties and the enforcement of rules by the European Court of Justice over the single market and the customs union. It makes our politics possible.

Leaving the EU is a necessary condition of a democratic socialist politics. That is the starting point of this argument.

Brexit is also a cause that can unite all of the different currents of left-wing thought that hold democracy as their core belief.

The organisation and articulation of a constructive alternative to the status quo, a politics that would be illegal under EU law, is a necessary part of this.

The Brexit negotiations are an object lesson on how democracy is subordinated to capital and we should use it to educate, agitate and organise around a renewal of democracy and the primacy of politics.

The left needs to lead the politics of Brexit, not endure it in a defensive crouch in which “but” is the most important word when “respecting” the referendum result.

The inability of the Labour leadership to make the argument for Brexit and democracy, to lead the renewal of democratic sovereignty and articulate clearly the possibilities that leaving the EU open up for the democratisation of the economy and the redistribution of power and assets in our society is extremely unfortunate.

It offers no way out of the interregnum that we are living through. Rather it opens the space for the right to claim democratic sovereignty as its own.

We need to disrupt the dynamics that have taken a grip since the referendum result which have focused on the “deal” and stigmatised “hard” Brexit and “crashing out” in favour of the endless accumulation of details.

We need to leave the EU and concentrate on pursuing a national renewal based upon democracy and the dignity of labour, a defence of freedom and humanity from the iron cage of Napoleonic directives and Thatcherite economics that the EU has become. It is not a “cliff edge.”

Antonio Gramsci defined an interregnum as a time “when the old is dead and the new cannot be born … when there is a fraternisation of opposites and all kinds of morbid symptoms pertain.”

It is as good a description of our time as I have found. It makes sense of the spectacle of a Remain Prime Minister who claims to represent Brexit and a Leave Labour leader who has become the tribune of the hopes of Remain.

The first demand of capitalism as a system is the removal of its fundamental practices from democratic or political “interference.”

The internal imperative to maximum returns on investment in the shortest period of time leads to an enormous pressure of commodification and the monetisation of relationships and institutions.

“Everything solid melts into air and all that is sacred is profaned.” It is an inhumane system that is merciless and relentless in its pursuit of profit.

It can lead to a nasty politics, of which fascism was the demonic form or a democratic politics, of which socialism is the sublime form.

What is impossible is the avoidance of any kind of politics at all and that is what the EU represents. It sets such strong parameters on what can be democratically decided as to be considered a menace to democracy itself.

Capitalism is based on the price system, which in turn is based on fluctuation, and when applied to the substance of society, human beings and their natural environment, it leads to the relentless discombobulation of the stability required to lead and live a life in which monetary concerns are not primary.

Democratic politics requires some shelter from this market storm and if we don’t provide it others will. That is what is at stake in this interregnum.

It can go either way and we have the resources from within our tradition of analysis and political organisation to win the argument and to put together the class and cultural alliances required to secure a democratic victory.

What are the forms of the Brexit crisis and why is it so serious?

I would suggest that it brings together an economic, political and cultural set of contradictions into a systematic crisis of legitimacy for the ruling class.

The economic crisis is the first and relates back to the financial crash of 2008. In a lightning flash of clarity it was apparent that the wealth of the nation had been lost in a frenzy of speculation, cheating and exaggeration and that the golden goose of the City of London had been fouling its nest all along.

The City has been at the hub of global maritime trade for half a millennium and the actual country has increasingly become a costly appendage.

As a set of institutions, including the Corporation of the City of London and all the leading financial corporations, they supported Remain.

Brexit was supported more by farmers, landowners and those with assets that were less fungible.

The strategy of finance capital is to maintain its ability to invest globally without interference from internal politics, the stress being on “frictionless” trade.

It pursues staying in the single market and the customs union while ditching the commitments to environmental and labour regulations.

It is important to remember that 85 per cent of our economic activity is outside the “global” economy and serves local needs.

An economy that serves the many and not the few requires a democratic polity that ensures that the interests of the City do not dominate the state.

Tories such as Jacob Rees-Mogg are doing the work of socialism by supporting the primacy of democratic sovereignty.

His hope is that the politics that emerges will be laissez-faire on economics and conservative on social and cultural issues without recognising the contradiction between those two commitments.

He hopes that his hedge fund will uphold enclosure but the political space of Brexit opens up the restoration of the Commons.

His is a politics that we can defeat after March 29 and is a prefigurement of the politic of the future. The Commons against the hedge funds.

The political crisis is that our ruling class, including the Civil Service and Parliament, setting aside the hysteria that pervades academia on this issue, has proved incapable of acting upon the referendum result and sustaining the politics of leaving the EU.

Their only vision is more of the same. They have concentrated all their effort on the details of policy which end with us staying within the constraints of Lisbon and Maastricht.

This leads to a crisis of legitimacy for our rulers which we should accentuate and exacerbate. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are clear about the changes they wish to make, but are opaque in their failure to admit that such reforms are illegal under EU law.

This is the most grievous symptom of the crisis of legitimacy. Party management has taken precedence over political leadership and the result is the stasis of the interregnum in which Labour is unable to seize the moment.

This leads to the temptation to extend Article 50, delay the moment of reckoning and to let the moment pass.

The legitimacy crisis of the ruling class will then extend to the Labour Party and then the morbid symptoms will really kick in.

The cultural crisis is the most difficult for the left and for the coalition we need to build. That is because the socialist tradition of which I am a part thinks that we are social beings, that we are constituted by unchosen traditions such as language, relationships and religions that are part of an inheritance.

We are not defined as individual choosers or as acquisitive individuals motivated entirely by self-interest, narrowly defined.

In contrast our sociability leads to a culture built around reciprocity, mutuality and collective democratic decision and these were the forms of the early labour movement and is what we often refer to as a culture.

This forms the basis of what EP Thomson called a moral economy. There is a part of the left that rejects this and views the very idea of a person is a socially constructed entity who can only be emancipated by a heroic liberalism of individual self-definition.

This argument can only be resolved politically and is something we can look forward to renewing after we have left the EU.

In the meantime there is enough common interest on the issues of class and democracy to co-operate in pursuing that outcome of Brexit and the restoration of democratic sovereignty.

The cultural crisis of Brexit is the distance between the liberal assumptions of the rulers and enduring ethics of the moral economy held by the ruled. Brexit is a class issue.

The immediate task before us is to leave the EU and to break the constraints on democracy that it represents while articulating a political and economic programme that can fill the spaces it leaves behind.

An industrial policy that favours workers and neglected regions. A reform of banking to restore assets to abandoned places. A democracy, locational and vocational, that can resist the domination of the rich and the educationally qualified.

No deal is the real deal and the left should unite in pursuit of that end. You might call it government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Other articles by Glasman;

For a Socialist Strategy in Europe

Costas Lapavitsas: For a Socialist Strategy in Europe. Published Jan 15, 2018. The video last about 45mins and is well worth viewing. Here he talks about the European Union, Brexit, rise of the alt-right, emigration, populism, sovereignty and the approach the left should be taking. His argument for Brexit is a breadth of fresh air and is optimistic about Labour under Corbyn, if elected, to be a catalyst of change in the whole of Europe. However, only if they implement left policies.

Neoliberalism is not an accident in the EU. It is integral, institutionalised. Fundamental are the four freedoms; Freedom to move freely - Goods, Services, Capital and People. Every country that joins must sign up to this single market. This is where neoliberalism comes from


Anger and protest votes across the West - Why the system will still win

Brexit, Trump’s win, Europe’s populist movements: the West is protesting, from the left and the right, against the neoliberal, globalist orthodoxies of the past 40 years.

by Perry Anderson

Scott Heppell · AFP · Getty

Scott Heppell · AFP · Getty

The term ‘anti-systemic movements’ was commonly used 25 years ago (1) to characterise forces on the left in revolt against capitalism. Today, it has not lost relevance in the West, but its meaning has changed. The movements of revolt that have multiplied over the past decade no longer rebel against capitalism, but neoliberalism — deregulated financial flows, privatised services and escalating social inequality, that specific variant of the reign of capital set in place in Europe and America since the 1980s. The resultant economic and political order has been accepted all but indistinguishably by governments of the centre-right and centre-left, in accordance with the central tenet of la pensée unique, Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that ‘there is no alternative’. Two kinds of movement are now arrayed against this system; the established order stigmatises them, whether from the right or left, as the menace of populism.

It is not by chance that these movements first arose in Europe rather than the US. Sixty years after the Treaty of Rome, the reason is clear. The common market of 1957, an outgrowth of the coal and steel community of the Schuman Plan — designed both to prevent any reversion to a century of Franco-German hostilities and to consolidate post-war economic growth in western Europe — was the product of a period of full employment and rising popular incomes, the entrenchment of representative democracy and development of welfare systems. Its commercial arrangements impinged very little on the sovereignty of the nation states composing it, which were strengthened rather than weakened. Budgets and exchange rates were determined domestically, by parliaments accountable to national electorates, in which politically contrasting policies were vigorously debated. Attempts by the Commission in Brussels to aggrandise itself were famously rebuffed by Paris. Not only France under Charles de Gaulle but, in its own more muted fashion, West Germany under Konrad Adenauer, pursued foreign policies independent of the US and capable of defying it.

The end of the trente glorieuses brought a major change in this construction. From the mid-1970s, the advanced capitalist world entered a long downturn as analysed by the American historian Robert Brenner (2): lower growth rates and slower increases in productivity, decade by decade, less employment and greater inequality, punctuated by sharp recessions. From the 1980s, starting in the UK and US, and gradually spreading to Europe, policy directions were reversed: welfare systems were cut back, public industries and services were privatised, and financial markets deregulated. Neoliberalism had arrived. In Europe, this came over time to take a uniquely rigid institutional form: the number of member states in what became the European Union multiplied more than fourfold, incorporating a vast low-wage zone in the east.

Draconian austerity

From monetary union (1990) to the Stability Pact (1997), then the Single Market Act (2011), the powers of national parliaments were voided in a supranational structure of bureaucratic authority shielded from popular will, just as the ultraliberal economist Friedrich Hayek had prophesied. With this machinery in place, draconian austerity could be imposed on helpless electorates, under the joint direction of the Commission and a reunified Germany, now the most powerful state in the union, where leading thinkers candidly announce its vocation as continental hegemon. Externally, over the same period, the EU and its members ceased to play any significant role in the world at variance with US directives, becoming the advance guard of neo-cold war policies towards Russia set by the US and paid for by Europe.

So it is no surprise that the ever more oligarchic cast of the EU, defying popular will in successive referendums and embedding budgetary diktats in constitutional law, should have generated so many movements of protest against it. What is the landscape of these forces? In the pre-enlargement core of the EU, the western Europe of the cold war era (the topography of eastern Europe is so different that it can be set aside for present purposes), movements of the right dominate opposition to the system in France (Front National), the Netherlands (Party for Freedom, PVV), Austria (Freedom Party of Austria), Sweden (Sweden Democrats), Denmark (Danish People’s Party), Finland (True Finns), Germany (Alternative for Germany, AfD) and Britain (UKIP).

In Spain, Greece and Ireland, movements of the left have predominated: Podemos, Syriza and Sinn Fein. Uniquely, Italy has both a strong anti-systemic movement of the right in the Lega, and a still larger one across the left/right divide in the Five Star Movement (M5S); its extra-parliamentary rhetoric on taxes and immigration puts it to the right, but it is put on the left by its parliamentary record of consistent opposition to the neoliberal measures of Matteo Renzi’s government (particularly on education and deregulation of the labour market), and its central role in defeating Renzi’s bid to weaken Italy’s democratic constitution (3). To this can be added Momentum, which emerged in Britain behind Jeremy Corbyn’s unexpected election as Labour Party leader. All the movements of the right except the AfD predate the crash of 2008; some have histories going back to the 1970s or earlier. Syriza took off, and M5S, Podemos and Momentum were born, as direct results of the global financial crisis.

Matt Mcclain · The Washington Post · Getty

Matt Mcclain · The Washington Post · Getty

The central fact is the greater overall weight of movements of the right over those of the left, both in the number of countries where they have the upper hand and in voting strength. Both are reactions to the structure of the neoliberal system, which finds its starkest, most concentrated expression in today’s EU, with its order founded on the reduction and privatisation of public services; the abrogation of democratic control and representation; and deregulation of the factors of production. All three are present at national level in Europe, as elsewhere, but they are of a higher degree of intensity at EU level, as the torture of Greece, trampling of referendums and scale of human trafficking attest. In the political arena, they are the overriding issues of popular concern, driving protests against the system over austerity, sovereignty and immigration. Anti-systemic movements are differentiated by the weight they attach to each — to which colour in the neoliberal palette they direct most hostility.

Movements of the right predominate over those of the left because from early on they made the immigration issue their own, playing on xenophobic and racist reactions to gain widespread support among the most vulnerable sectors of the population. With the exception of the movements in the Netherlands and Germany, which believe in economic liberalism, this is typically linked (in France, Denmark, Sweden and Finland) not to denunciation but to defence of the welfare state; it is claimed the arrival of immigrants undermines this. But it would be wrong to attribute all their advantage to this card; in important examples — the Front National (FN) in France is the most significant — they have an edge on other fronts too.

Monetary union is the most obvious example. The single currency and central bank, designed at Maastricht, have made the imposition of austerity and denial of popular sovereignty into a single system. Movements of the left may attack these as vehemently as any movement of the right, if not more so. But the solutions they propose are less radical. On the right, the FN and the Lega have clear remedies to the strains of the single currency and immigration: exit the euro and stop the influx. On the left, with isolated exceptions, no such unambiguous demands have ever been made. At best, the substitutes are technical adjustments to the single currency, too complicated to have much popular purchase, and vague, embarrassed allusions to quotas; neither is as readily intelligible to voters as the straightforward propositions of the right.

Challenge of growing migration

Immigration and monetary union create special difficulties for the left for historical reasons. The Treaty of Rome was founded on the promise of free movement of capital, commodities and labour within a common European market. As long as the European Community was confined to the countries of western Europe, the factors of production where mobility mattered most were capital and commodities: migration across borders within the community was generally quite modest. But by the late 1960s, immigrant labour from former African, Asian and Caribbean colonies, and semi-colonial regions of the former Ottoman empire, was already significant in numbers. EU enlargement to eastern Europe then sharply increased intra-union migration. Finally, neo-imperial adventures in former Mediterranean colonies — the military blitz on Libya and proxy fanning of civil war in Syria — have driven large waves of refugees into Europe, along with retaliatory terror by militants from a region where the West remains camped as overlord, with its bases, bombers and special forces.

All of this has kindled xenophobia: anti-systemic movements of the right have fed on it, and movements of the left have fought it, loyal to the cause of a humane internationalism. The same underlying attachments have led most of the left to resist any thought of ending monetary union, as a regression to a nationalism responsible for Europe’s past catastrophes. The ideal of European unity remains for them a cardinal value. But the present Europe of neoliberal integration is more coherent than any of the hesitant alternatives they have so far proposed. Austerity, oligarchy and factor mobility form an interconnected system. Factor mobility cannot be separated from oligarchy: historically, no European electorate was ever consulted about the arrival or scale of foreign labour; this always occurred behind its back. The negation of democracy, which became the structure of the EU, excluded from the start any say in the composition of its population. The rejection of this Europe by movements of the right is politically more consistent than rejection by the left, another reason for the right’s advantage.

Record levels of voter discontent

The arrival of M5S, Syriza, Podemos and the AfD marked a jump in popular discontent in Europe. Polls now post record levels of voter disaffection with the EU. But, right or left, the electoral weight of anti-systemic movements remains limited. In the last European elections, the three most successful results for the right — UKIP, the FN and the Danish People’s Party — were around 25% of the vote. In national elections, the average figure across western Europe for all such right and left forces combined is about 15%. That percentage of the electorate poses little threat to the system; 25% can represent a headache, but the ‘populist danger’ of media alarm remains to date very modest. The only cases where an anti-systemic movement has come to power, or looked as if it could do so, are those where a deliberate mis-apportioning of seats, through an electoral premium designed to favour the establishment, backfired, or risked doing so, as in Greece or Italy.

In reality, there is a wide gap between the degree of popular disillusion with today’s neoliberal EU — by last summer, majorities in France and Spain expressed their aversion to it, and even in Germany, barely half of those polled had a positive opinion of it — and the extent of support for forces declaring against it. Indignation or disgust at what the EU has become is common, but for some time the fundamental determinant of European voting patterns has been, and remains, fear. The socio-economic status quo is widely detested. But it is regularly ratified at the polls with the re-election of parties responsible for it, because of fears that to upset the status, alarming markets, would bring worse misery. The single currency has not accelerated growth in Europe, and has inflicted acute hardship in the countries of the south worst affected. But the prospect of an exit terrifies even those who know by now how much they have suffered from it. Fear trumps anger. Hence the acquiescence of the Greek electorate in Syriza’s capitulation to Brussels, the setbacks of Podemos in Spain, the shuffling of feet by the Parti de Gauche in France. The underlying sense is everywhere the same. The system is bad. To affront it is to risk retribution.

Olaf Herschbach · Eyeem · Getty

Olaf Herschbach · Eyeem · Getty

What, then, explains Brexit? Mass immigration is another fear across the EU, and it was whipped up in the UK by the Leave campaign, in which Nigel Farage was a conspicuous speaker and organiser, alongside prominent Conservatives. But xenophobia on its own is by no means enough to outweigh fear of economic meltdown. In England, as elsewhere, it has been growing as one government after another has lied about the scale of immigration. But if the referendum on the EU had just been a contest between these fears, as the political establishment sought to make it, Remain would have no doubt won by a handsome margin, as it did in the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence.

There were further factors. After Maastricht, the British political class declined the straitjacket of the euro, only to pursue a native neoliberalism more drastic than any on the continent: first, the financialised hubris of New Labour, plunging Britain into a banking crisis before any other European country, then a Conservative-Lib Dem government of an austerity more drastic than any generated without external constraint in Europe. Economically, the results of this combination are unique. No other European country has been so dramatically polarised by region, between a bubble-enclosed, high-income metropolis in London and the southeast, and an impoverished, deindustrialised north and northeast where voters felt they had little to lose in voting for Leave (crucially, a more abstract prospect than ditching the euro), whatever happened to the City and foreign investment. Fear counted for less than despair.

Politically, too, no other European country has so blatantly rigged an electoral system: UKIP was the largest single British party at Strasbourg under proportional representation in 2014, yet a year later, with 13% of the vote, it gained just a single seat at Westminster, while the Scottish National Party, with under 5% of the vote, took 55 seats. Under the interchangeable Labour and Conservative regimes produced by this system, voters at the bottom of the income pyramid deserted the polls. But suddenly granted, for once, a real choice in a national referendum, they returned in force to deliver their verdict on the desolations of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

Finally, and decisively, came the historical difference separating Britain from the continent. For centuries, the country was not only an empire dwarfing any European rival culturally, but unlike France, Germany, Italy or most the rest of the continent did not suffer defeat, invasion or occupation in either world war. So expropriation of local powers by a bureaucracy in Belgium was bound to grate more than elsewhere: why should a state that twice saw off the might of Berlin submit to petty meddling from Brussels or Luxembourg? Issues of identity could more readily trump issues of interest than in the rest of the EU. So the normal formula — fear of economic retribution outweighs fear of alien immigration — failed to function, bent out of shape by a combination of economic despair and national amour-propre.

US leap in the dark

These were also the conditions in which a US Republican presidential candidate of unprecedented background and temperament — abhorrent to mainstream bipartisan opinion, with no attempt to conform to accepted codes of civil or political conduct, and disliked by many of his actual voters — could appeal to enough disregarded white rust-belt workers to win the election. As in Britain, desperation outweighed apprehension in deindustrialised proletarian regions. There too, much more rawly and openly, in a country with a deeper history of native racism, immigrants were denounced and barriers, physical as well as procedural, demanded. Above all, empire was not a distant memory of the past but a vivid attribute of the present and natural claim on the future, yet it had been cast aside by those in power in the name of a globalisation that meant ruin for ordinary people and humiliation for their country. Donald Trump’s slogan was ‘Make America Great Again’ — prosperous in discarding the fetishes of free movement of goods and labour, and victorious in ignoring the trammels and pieties of multilateralism: he was not wrong to proclaim that his triumph was Brexit writ large. It was a much more spectacular revolt, since it was not confined to a single — for most people, symbolic — issue, and was devoid of any establishment respectability or editorial blessing.

Trump’s victory has thrown the European political class, centre-right and centre-left united, into outraged dismay. Breaking established conventions on immigration is bad enough. The EU may have had few scruples in penning refugees into Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey, with its tens of thousands of political prisoners, police torture and suspension of what passes for the rule of law; or in winking at barbed-wire barricades across Greece’s northern frontier to keep them locked up on Aegean islands. But the EU, respecting diplomatic decencies, has never openly gloried in its exclusions. Trump’s lack of inhibition in these matters does not directly affect the union. What does, and is cause for far more serious concern, is his rejection of the ideology of free movement of the factors of production, and, even more so, his apparently cavalier disregard for NATO and his comments about a less belligerent attitude to Russia. Whether either of these is more than a gesture soon to be forgotten, like many of his domestic promises, remains to be seen. But his election has crystallised a significant difference between a number of anti-systemic movements of the right or ambiguous centre, and parties of the established left, pink or green. In France and Italy, movements of the right have consistently opposed neo-cold war policies and military adventures applauded by the parties of the left, including the blitz on Libya and sanctions on Russia.

The British referendum and the US election were anti-systemic convulsions of the right, though flanked by anti-systemic upsurges of the left (the Bernie Sanders movement in the US and the Corbyn phenomenon in the UK), smaller in scale, if still less expected. What the consequences of Trump or Brexit will be remain indeterminate, though no doubt more limited than current predictions. The established order is far from beaten in either country, and, as Greece has shown, is capable of absorbing and neutralising revolts from whatever direction with impressive speed. Among the antibodies it has already generated are yuppie simulacra of populist breakthroughs (Albert Rivera in Spain, Emmanuel Macron in France), inveighing against the deadlocks and corruptions of the present, and promising a cleaner and more dynamic politics of the future, beyond the decaying parties.

For anti-systemic movements of the left in Europe, the lesson of recent years is clear. If they are not to go on being outpaced by movements of the right, they cannot afford to be less radical in attacking the system, and must be more coherent in their opposition to it. That means facing the probability the EU is now so path-dependent as a neoliberal construction that reform of it is no longer seriously conceivable. It would have to be undone before anything better could be built, either by breaking out of the current EU, or by reconstructing Europe on another foundation, committing Maastricht to the flames. Unless there is a further, deeper economic crisis, there is little likelihood of either.

Source:Le Monde diplomatique March 2017

(1) By Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi and others.

(2) Robert Brenner, The Economics of Global Turbulence: the Advanced Capitalist Economies from Long Boom to Long Downturn 1945-2005, Verso, New York, 2006.

(3) Raffaele Laudani, ‘Renzi’s fall and Di Battista’s rise’, Le Monde diplomatique, English edition, January 2017.