It’s Not Your Country

Military marching, patriotic tunes and songs – they are mostly intended to give the impression that it’s ‘your’ country, that you should be proud of it, that your leaders are there to protect you, that the division into rich and poor is pre-ordained (perhaps by some god or other) and there’s nothing you can do about it.

You may well, indeed, take pride in the place you live – its landscape, architecture, people, etc, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But in terms of possession, ownership and control, it’s the rich elite, the few percent in any country, who collectively own the world’s land and resources (including what you think of as your country), and they would naturally prefer people to hold the view that this is an immutable state of affairs, all the more to hold on to their power, backed up by governments and armies. It’s utter tosh. They only keep their power (and send millions of us to die in wars to help them do so) because the majority allow them to, and continue to let themselves be duped by militaristic displays and patriotic twaddle.

No doubt 2014 will see more attempts to persuade us all of the merits of patriotism and sacrifice for our country. The more people who see through it the better. We have more in common with the ordinary people of all other countries than we have with the leaders of ‘our’ own.

Generally, capitalism is not patriotic and doesn’t care where in the world its products are made. No profit, no production is the rule, as employees over decades have found out to their cost. Capitalism will cut costs where possible and, in general, go wherever costs are lowest for the production of goods of a given quality. This means paying wages which are as low as it can get away with and using as few workers as possible. Any business that doesn’t operate on these principles will quickly go under.

The other side of the coin is that, as an employee, if your services are no longer required, then it’s bye-bye. To support British industry, in so far as there is such a thing, is merely to prefer one set of capitalists exploiting you in preference to another. It’s not ‘your’ country, it belongs to the rich elite. To think otherwise is naive in the extreme. Unless you are a capitalist yourself, your interests are diametrically opposed to those of the capitalist system and the only campaigning you should be doing is to get rid of it.

Rod Shaw

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