1. As another deadline for a deal with the EU sails by, there is still no sense of urgency from the UK government. It’s letting the clock run down towards the no-deal Brexit it wants. But why?
Because Brexit can best be understood as a civil war within capitalism.
2. The point of it was best summarised by Steve Bannon: “the deconstruction of the administrative state.” If you create enough chaos, regulations cannot be enforced, tax evaders go unpunished, and the restraints on the most brutal and exploitative forms of capitalism fall away.
3. Broadly speaking, there are two main types of capitalist enterprise. One seeks an accommodation with the administrative state, and benefits from stability, predictability and regulations that exclude dirtier and rougher competitors. It can live with a thin form of democracy.
4. The other is raw, unrestrained accumulation, which sees democratic constraints as illegitimate. Only “the market” is a legitimate forum for decision-making. As Peter Thiel, echoing Hayek, insisted, market freedom and democracy are incompatible.
5. “The market” is a euphemism for the power of money.
6. Brexit is an opportunity not just to rip up specific rules, which it overtly aims to do, but also to tear down the uneasy truce between capitalism and democracy under which pro-social rules are set and enforced.
7. In other words, it’s the denouement of the Pollution Paradox. Though some people find this concept difficult, it’s actually quite simple. It’s hard to understand what’s been happening over the past 40 years without grasping it. Definition in Tweet 8
8. The more polluting a company is, the more money it must spend on politics to ensure it's not regulated out of existence. Political funding is thus dominated by dirty companies, which then wield the greatest political influence. They crowd out their more accommodating rivals.
9. It’s not just about pollution: the same tension plays out across capitalism. Banks developing exotic financial instruments, property developers who hate the planning laws, tax-avoiding oligarchs – all have an interest in pouring money into politics.
10. The capitalists who profit by working within the quasi-democratic system are terrified by Brexit, as it destroys the market advantage for cleaner enterprises created by the regulatory state. They know that without regulatory constraints, the robber barons will wipe them out.
11. This is why the CBI and other august institutions of capital opposed Brexit, and why Boris Johnson made that remark, that sounded so astonishing coming from the mouth of a Conservative: “fuck business”.
12. The ultimate purpose of a no-deal Brexit is to replace democracy with plutocracy: rule by money’s warlords.
13. Farage and his ilk are just tools, whose role is to distract us from the true aims of brutalist capital, by creating a smokescreen of xenophobia and culture wars. It’s not about culture. It’s not about sovereignty. It’s about the power of a particular capitalist faction.
14. The media sees the smokescreen, not the manouevres. By design, in the case of the billionaire press. By default, in the case of the BBC. Instead of explaining the real conflict at the heart of Brexit, they focus on the manufactured conflicts.
15. They latch onto personalities like Cummings and Farage, and make it all about them. This is why so many political reporters genuinely seemed to believe that, with Cummings gone, the policy would change. But it wasn't about him. It's much bigger and deeper.
16. Perhaps most importantly, this is not just about the UK. Brexit is of great interest to money's warlords worldwide, as it turns the UK into a beachhead among the richest and most powerful nations. Taking Chile or Indonesia is one thing. The UK is a much bigger prize.
17. This is why plutocrats around the world – from US billionaires to Russian oligarchs – have got involved. This is their battleground.
18. A no-deal Brexit will be devastating for millions of people in the UK. But it’s not about us. We are just the grass that gets trampled in capitalism's civil war.

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More from @GeorgeMonbiot

19 Nov
Having come to the party 6 months late, @BBCNews now claims to have "revealed" the PPE scandal. No acknowledgement of those (@GoodLawProject, @openDemocracy, @BylineTimes, some of us at @guardian) who've spent all this time banging our heads against the wall of media indifference
In reality, the PPE scandal reveals a massive failure of journalism, by the BBC and other mainstream outlets. They ignored it until it became unignorable.
And they STILL aren't covering a equally outrageous (and probably more lethal) parallel scandal: the replacement of trained clinicians with call centre workers, and the wastage of £12bn, caused by the government's outsourcing of contact tracing.
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
A few words about what led to today’s column.
I’m writing a book about feeding the world without destroying the planet.
Some of the shocking things I’ve discovered prompted me to think about strategic food reserves. So I thought I’d asked the government about ours.
I was startled to discover that we don’t have any. This made me think about January 1. Then it occurred to me to look into warehouse capacity.
In other words, it came from a deep dive into an issue that's not in the news, as most of my columns do.
I know this might sound strange, but I feel it’s essential that at least some journalists have as little to do with the media as possible. If you’re embedded in the media’s world, it is hard to see past it to the gigantic issues it doesn’t cover.
Read 6 tweets
18 Nov
This statement is bone-chilling.
The government “is not responsible for the supply of food and drink to the population in an emergency”.
What the hell is government for, if not for this?
The Tories have always had a thing about food. It brings out their most punitive instincts. Food is closely linked to their Malthusian mindset. If the poor starve, they have no one to blame but themselves, even if they’re paid starvation wages.
After all, they can just go and forage in a bin. Or grow their own food on all the land they don’t have. Or hunt a deer in one of the places they’re not allowed into. Why *can’t* they fend for themselves?
Read 9 tweets
17 Nov
This week’s column covers yet another massive scandal, with horrendous implications: this time involving warehousing for post-Brexit food supplies. It’s likely to affect us all
With apologies for my ongoing contribution to national average blood pressure
Warehouse capacity in the UK might not sound like the most thrilling topic for a column. But you *really* need to know about it. Please read and share the article. Time is running out, and we urgently need action to avert what could be a total disaster.
Food traders will have to build reserves, now and in December, to cover the likely shortfall in January. This means warehouse capacity. One minor hitch: there isn’t any. “The situation will quickly become critical.”
Read 4 tweets
13 Nov
Cummings will leave No 10 at the end of the year, just like he always said he would.

Media: "Oh my God, Cummings is leaving No 10!!! What does this mean???"

The state of these court stenographers.
Yesterday, I explained that Cummings's job will be done by the end of the year: the Brexit transition period will be over, ideally - from his point of view - with no deal, and his deregulatory dystopia will be locked in place.
All the rest is gossip.
Almost the entire media seems unable to distinguish between political journalism and court gossip.
Read 6 tweets
12 Nov
You can watch my very rare outing on the BBC today, here. You can see why they keep me off: bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episod…
I'm grateful to have been allowed on air by @BBCPolitics, for the second time this year.
But it drives me mad that Farage and the dark money thinktanks are on every day, while it's an event to see anyone to the left of Keir Starmer.
We're considered extremists. They aren't.
Here's my column about how and why I think the BBC falls over. theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
Read 10 tweets

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