Costas Lapavitsas: The Left Needs to Develop an Alternative Plan for Europe

On Friday, Costas Lapavitsas spoke with Gregory Wilpert of The Real News about Brexit, touching on the vote and the implications of the result within Britain and elsewhere in the EU, including Greece. 

LAPAVITSAS: Brexit puts the future of the EU on the table. No question at all about it. This is a historic moment. It puts the question of the EU on the table. And we must start with the understanding that the EU has failed. And it has failed for a variety of reasons, democracy being one of them, economic policies being another, and of course the madness of the common currency, which doesn't apply to Britain, thankfully, but it applies elsewhere. The EU has failed.

The left for too long has associated the EU with progressive policies and progressive politics. That must change, because people have got genuine grievances about the EU, and the ones who are benefiting politically from these grievances are the extreme right. So we must rethink left-wing politics along the lines that I've already suggested for Britain for the whole of the continent.
That doesn't mean going back to a state of national competition, nationalism, or anything of the sort. It's a fallacy to counterpose the false cosmopolitanism and false internationalism of the EU to extreme nationalism. The left never subscribed to this idea of internationalism coming from Brussels. The historic left never subscribed to this idea of internationalism coming from Brussels. This is bourgeois internationalism. The left has always had different ideas about internationalism and it must rediscover those urgently.

This means, as I said before, reestablishing democracy, reestablishing a sense of sovereignty and economic policies that go with that. If there is no sovereignty, if there is no command over the neighborhood, the workplace, and the nation, the beneficiary tends to be large international capital. And we've seen that with TTIP very clearly in Europe at the moment.

Watch the whole discussion above