In this world of double-talk and double-think, most workers in every country unquestioningly accept the different terms chosen by their own particular governments to describe the self-same factions and events. It would be in the interests of such workers to scrutinize carefully all the terms spewed out by their respective bosses.
For instance, according to the commercial and strategic interests held by different capitalist groups, the latter, through governments, will refer to the same body of duped workers either as “patriots and freedom lighters’’ or as “terrorists and subversionaries”.
Moreover, depending upon where the conflicting interests of two opposing groups of bosses lie, they will describe the same invading armies as “liberators” or “imperialists” respectively.
In war, opposing governments (i.e. big business’ spokesmen) refer to the warring troops either as “our gallant lads” or “their screaming hordes”. And, of course, a retreat can be a “headlong rout” or a “strategic withdrawal” depending upon whose propaganda you choose to listen to.
But the biggest sell of all in the bosses’ repertoire of appeals to nationalism lies in the use of the term “our country” when, in fact, they mean the private ends of the bosses of “our country”.
The workers of all countries would be well-advised to make it a rule to prefix the words “business interests of”, whenever they hear or read pronouncements about “our country” or “the nation”.
Thus, when being urged to be loyal to one’s country, remember what this actually means; i.e. “Be loyal to the business interests of one’s country.
“Make Britain great” means “make Britain’s tycoons’ profits great”.
“Fight for your country” means “fight for the business interests of your country”.
In times of war, inflation or depression, “Sacrifice your personal interests for the good of the country” should read, “Sacrifice your own interests for those of business”.
“Work harder for less returns (and even accept redundancy) to make a prosperous England” really translates “Help the English businessmen to grow fat at your expense”; and remember that at the time of “Britain’s” enormous prosperity as “the workshop of the world” during the Industrial Revolution, prosperity for the workers meant long hours of arduous toil for pittances. Even the “prosperous” children worked at the benches thirteen hours a day.
R. B. Gill