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New Left Review I/175, May-June 1989


Patrick Camiller

Beyond 1992: The Left and Europe

The wave of publicity in preparation for the broad internal market of 1992 has struck a powerful chord throughout Western Europe, including in a traditionally introverted country such as Britain where opinion polls suggest that large sections of the population are considerably more enthusiastic than their government about a new continental identity. Even more striking has been the popular response to the new leadership in the Soviet Union—a response going far beyond sectors mobilized in the new peace movement of the eighties, and one so strong that the nato establishment has been forced to abandon, or has great difficulty in carrying through, elements of its plan to establish techno-military superiority in Europe. This is not just a question of the reformist impetus behind perestroika and glasnost, nor only of the disarmament initiatives launched by the Soviet government, important as both of these have been. The recognition by the Gorbachev leadership of the interdependence of world politics and economics, together with repeated references to the common European home, represent a potent challenge to the Cold War Atlanticism that served as the ideological cement of the post-war capitalist order and contributed to the national and organizational divisions of the European Left.

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