What Values Are the
Austrian Government Threatening?
The media, politicians and others have been quick to
condemn the racist views of Joerg Haider of the Austrian Freedom Party and his
well publicised support for Hitlerite fascism, but should not the unprecedented
interference of the British and other governments in the affairs of a sovereign
state also be condemned?
It might also be asked exactly what values are the new
Austrian government threatening? The countries of the EU including Britain are
well known for their racist and xenophobic immigration policies, such as the
Labour governments Immigration and Asylum Act which have produced what
has become known as "Fortress Europe". At the same time the Labour
government retains the 1981 British Nationality Act and other racist
legislation which perpetuates an openly racist division of the polity. It has
also been Britain and the other big powers of NATO and the EU who have acted in
a Hitlerite manner through their bombing and invasion of countries such as Iraq
and Yugoslavia based on their notion of "a new strategic concept" and
"doctrine of international community". Having established the
principle that they can ignore the sovereignty of any country and meddle in its
internal affairs, Britain and the other big powers are now seeking to interfere
in the internal affairs of Austria.
It is important that the democratic people should beware of
the protestations of Britain and other countries when it comes to their views
on the "right-wing" Haider. At stake are the values which these
European countries and the US seek to promote and to impose around the world.
These values which the Paris Charter of 1990 embodies, and which have recently
been succinctly enumerated again by the US Defence Secretary when he spoke of
"democratic ideals, civil and human rights and open markets",
underpin the promotion of globalisation and that countries should present no
barrier to the activities of the monopolies, the banks and financial
institutions, and the transnational companies. At issue is the particular
conception of "democratic ideals, civil and human rights" which are
attached to drive for "open markets". Will Haider threaten these
What is certain is that what concerns Robin Cook and the
bourgeoisie is connected with what the Foreign Secretary has termed
Britains "enlightened self-interest". He has made it plain that
this "enlightened self-interest" runs through Europe and involves
Britains participation in strengthening the European Union as a
reactionary bloc under the signboard of "stronger in Europe, stronger in
the world". The war against Yugoslavia was fought in the geo-political
context of the contradictions between the big powers, particularly over the US
imperialist need to control Europe, as a stepping stone to global domination
and a uni-polar world. Austria is also in a strategic position, between Germany
and Slovenia and the Balkans, as well as on a west-east axis, bordering on the
eastern European countries which are being taken into the fold of NATO. Nor can
the context of the developing of a growing alliance of "centre-left"
governments around the promotion of a "Third Way" or "middle
way" be ignored. For example, the Austrian Social Democrats supported the
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and took Austria into the single currency. The
"centre-right" coalition in Austria cannot be counted on to continue
on the same course.
The interference of the British government in Austrias
internal affairs whether based on the Freedom Partys opposition to the EU
and its continued enlargement or any other pretext has created another
dangerous situation in the heart of Europe and must be opposed by all
democratic people. The working class must see through the smoke-screen with
which the Labour government diverts attention to its own reactionary stands.