2000s >> 2006 >> no-1218-february-2006

The Nationalist Madness

Once again recent events in Morocco have brought to the fore the madness in the nationalist issue. Hundreds of West Africans who tried to enter Spain through Morocco were brutally maltreated by the Moroccan security services apparently at the instigation of the Spanish authorities. They were beaten, put in prison and many were driven to the heart of the desert and left there to die.

In the wake of the brutal attacks on these West Africans, many human rights groups in Morocco came out in their numbers to protest against the inhuman act. Unfortunately most of these activists attributed the action of the Moroccan authorities to racism. This however is a gross misrepresentation of the issue.

This misguided hatred of fellow human beings who happen not to have been born (or who have not been officially recognised as ‘citizens’) in certain parts of this world is not just found in Africa but everywhere in the world. This inhuman phenomenon makes nonsense of the oneness of the human race as preached by the UN, Christianity, Islam, etc. But this state of affairs could not have been otherwise in a world that is controlled by vampires whose only concern is profits and who place money on a higher pedestal than human beings. 

The unfortunate aspect of this hatred towards the ‘foreigner’ or ‘alien’ is that the champions of nationalism use the working class of their countries against the working class of other countries. The truth however, is that the loyalty felt by many members of the working class to their country is a misplaced loyalty. Their so-called leaders actually hold them in the same measure of contempt as the ‘foreign’ members of the working class. In real terms there is no difference whatsoever between these ‘citizens’ who gleefully inflict the pain and the ‘foreigner’ on whom the pain is inflicted. The two groups are both exploited by the ruling class. In fact these African youth who were trying to enter Spain en route to inner Europe were actually forced to abandon their birthplaces by the actions of the ruling class of this world. No one in this world is unaware of the poverty and misery that is the lot of the African. And the capitalists cause this.

The only real division that exists between human beings is their access to the resources and wealth of the world. In this money-dominated world, the minority ruling class (the capitalists) own and control these resources and wealth – the land, factories, the transport and communication network, etc. The working class has no access to these and has to sell their mental and physical labour power to the former in return for peanuts.

Nationalism is therefore an illusion that has no basis in reality. The working class in Morocco has more in common to the working class in sub-Saharan Africa (and indeed the working class of the whole world) than it has with its masters in Morocco and else where. The point, in a gist, is that nationalism is nothing short of an ideology that seeks to enhance the profit-making interests of the capitalist class.

However, the problem of nationalism cannot be wished away. To do away with it will mean to eliminate the present the system that fosters it. This system ensures that a minority owns and controls the means with which wealth is produced and distributed whilst the vast majority who actually does the production owns nothing. The resources and wealth of the world must be owned and controlled by all humanity. Under such an arrangement, no one will care who goes where or who belongs where. Then nationalism and its present brutalities would have been buried.

But this type of system – call it socialism – can only be possible when people make efforts to understand the workings of not just that system but also this capitalist system.

Editorial from latest issue of the “African Socialist”, now renamed “Socialist Banner,
 journal of World Socialism in Africa” which is now out.
Copies can be obtained (price £1.30, including postage and packaging)
 from 52 Clapham High, London, SW4 7UN. .


Leave a Reply