50 Years Ago: The Curse of National Prestige

What the Socialist has to realise clearly is that the interests of his fellow workers in other lands are nearer to his than are those of his master in his own country. The bonds which bind worker with worker, irrespective of nationality, are those of class solidarity. The meeting of Japanese and Russian on the platform of the International Socialist Congress at Amsterdam in August last was but symbolical of this solidarity. From the Capitalist-class of every country the worker is divided by a gulf of class antagonism which can be bridged only by the absorption of the Capitalist-class in the working-class, the result of the coming Social Revolution.


When the Capitalist-class fully realises that they can no longer depend upon the working-class, when they find that the worker has at last come to understand his class position, and that he has no reason for fighting in his master’s interests against those with whom he has no personal quarrel, he, the Capitalist, will see that it is impossible to appeal to national prestige, to patriotism, to the spirit of “our imperial race” and all the rest of the phrases used of old. and then it will be impossible to make war in so light a spirit, or to raise questions likely to create a tension between the ruling classes of different nations.


It is for the worker to see that his position demands that be should fight only for his class emancipation, and that nothing, internal reform or national strife, should draw him away from his determination to fight for the realisation of the Socialist regime.


Workers of all countries unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains. You have a world to win.
From the August 1905 issue of the Socialist Standard.