Joti Brar and Garland Nixon ep5: EU farmers, the state and revolution

What underlies the European farmers movement? How does it relate to questions of the state and state power?

In this episode, Garland Nixon talks to Joti Brar about the roots of the farmers’ revolt in western Europe and what it tells us about the capitalist state.

We know that VI Lenin, as a student of Marx, understood that the one thing the capitalist system produces more than anything else is its own gravediggers – a large class of propertyless working people with nothing to lose and everything to gain from the end of the capitalist system.

In an effort to delay this, the European imperialists instituted a system of protection for the small farmers of their countries – the peasantry, in class terms – via subsidies. Without subsiding agricultural production in the west, large numbers of small farmers would have been driven out of business owing to their inability to compete with big agribusiness on the world market.

Such a ‘natural progression of market forces’ would have undoubtedly resulted in civil unrest; hence the European bourgeoisie’s subsidy regime. With the undermining of these subsidies, the introduction of new taxes and a huge hike in energy prices, alongside increasing exposure to the global market, farmers in Europe are protesting.

Read more in our article: Europe: the peasants’ revolt.

Joti outlines the development of the state as an institution for maintaining social peace and the status quo, and the discussion continues by looking at the various ways in which workers’ belief in the western ‘democratic’ imperialist states has been fatally undermined over recent decades.

With a rising crisis of legitimacy and a deepening economic crisis, it’s no wonder the rulers of the west are turning to repressive measures to keep control.