No to Nationalistic Nonsense

“The revolutionary proletariat will have neither to keep its ancient nationalities nor to constitute new ones, because by becoming free it will abolish classes: the world will be its fatherland.” – Paul Lafargue

Socialist history show that the ideals behind it has never fully left the consciousness of working people. We continue to suffer exploitation, in the workplace and throughout a society ruled by capitalism’s money-power. Socialism can no longer be the reformist social democracy that has betrayed its promise by seeking to perfect instead of going beyond capitalism. The only future for humanity is the socialist road.

It is capitalism that creates the tensions and conflicts within society and their actions are not onl condoned, but assisted by politicians. That is why working-class people must understand capitalist political and economic structures and the way these structures in society are use against them. The more we understand this, the easier it is for us to understand who are to blame for the tensions and conflicts and the easier it is for us to work for, and create a socialist society to overcome these tensions and conflicts. Over the years we have seen a tremendous development of modern technology. Today the working class can produce all these new techniques, but we have to ask ourselves, shouldn’t this be enriching our lives?

 Instead of that, there is a widening gap between the rich and the poor. How can this modern technology be used when workers are more and more thrown onto the scrap heap? The main lesson of so-called globalisation is that working class people must pursue their own independent globalisation. No section of workers, no matter in what country they live, should be left to fight alone. International unity is the only positive way of organising opposition to the oppression imposed on us by the politicians and multi-national corporations. Workers can never overcome the tremendous contradictions of the profit system by giving up their rights and allowing themselves to be more and more exploited.

The World Socialist Movement is the only organisation based on the common interests of the international working class. It is aimed at forging a united movement of workers of every country.

The socialist working-class movement has been recognised as an internationalist one, despite the failures of repeated attempts to forge organisational unity. The spirit of internationalism remains alive wherever workers raise the banner of socialism. It remains alive because the internationalist nature of the socialist movement has its roots in the common oppression experienced by all labouring classes and in the international character of the capitalist system itself. The interests of the working-class of one country are the same as the interests of the workers of the other countries. Because of the division of labour established by capitalism, the basis is laid for a new international organisation of labour and planned production on a world scale. Thus, the struggle of the working class on all countries forms the basis for the movement towards socialism. We are the producers of wealth, and we must control that wealth.

 Internationalism is a vital part of the socialist movement because it is a powerful antidote for some of capitalism’s most vicious and virulent ideologies, such as divisive racism, nationalism, patriotism and chauvinism of all kinds. A clear view of the communality of interests of the working class throughout the world provides a powerful bulwark against the bellicose propaganda which issues daily from ruling-class sources, even though the calls for “international cooperation” are being used by ruling-class representatives to mask their pursuit of material interests via globalisation. The problems workers confront in the UK or the US are, in essence, the same as those confronting workers in every other part of the world. War, attacks on democratic rights, exploitation, unemployment, poverty and environmental destruction are not merely American problems. They are world problems that require global solutions. Humanity needs revolution, socialist revolution.

 This is a revolution that defeats and dismantles the whole repressive apparatus of the current order, where people struggle together for the common good, where everyone contributes whatever they can to society and gets back what they need to live a life worthy of human being, where there are no more divisions among people in which some rule over and oppress others, robbing them not only of the means to a decent life but also of knowledge and the means for really understanding, and acting to change, the world.

Socialist society cannot be constructed on a national basis. It would be a politically fatal error to believe that workers in different countries can resist the attacks of capitalism, let alone secure the victory of socialism. World socialist revolution is the means by which the great problems of our age can and must be solved.

“The workers have no country” and therefore “Workers of the world unite” – Karl Marx

The nation state is alien to the interests of the working class and that in order to advance their interests workers must ‘settle matters’ with the bourgeoisie of each state, that workers must challenge the power of their ‘own’ capitalist class directly. This opened the possibility of internationalism – assertion of ‘the common interests of the whole proletariat, independently of all nationality’. Internationalism implied uncompromising opposition to the local state and its dealings with the rulers of other capitalisms – other members of the ‘band of warring brothers’ that constituted the ruling class at a world level. It also implied practical activity by workers to organise in mutual solidarity across national borders and in solidarity.

This was not a merely a matter of abstract identification with the oppressed. Marx maintained that workers must free themselves of patriotism and national superiority in their own interests, for without discarding these aspects of capitalist ideology they would never themselves be free. Socialists are internationalists.

Today, millions of migrants live and work around the world, and in the coming months and years many more will certainly join them. It is time to accept that the ebb and flow of human movement cannot be stopped. Destination countries – whether in Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia, or Oceania – should not turn their back on the desperate and vulnerable.

The words of Eugene Debs still resonate.

“If Socialism, international, revolutionary Socialism, does not stand staunchly, unflinchingly, and uncompromisingly for the working class and for the exploited and oppressed masses of all lands, then it stands for none and its claim is a false pretense and its profession a delusion and a snare. Let those desert us who will because we refuse to shut the international door in the faces of their own brethren; we will be none the weaker but all the stronger for their going, for they evidently have no clear conception of the international solidarity, are wholly lacking in the revolutionary spirit, and have no proper place in the Socialist movement while they entertain such aristocratic notions of their own assumed superiority.”

It is important that we accept the fact that efforts to block migration are bound to fail, with disastrous consequences for human lives – whether they are lost on sinking boats in the Mediterranean or threatened by xenophobic violence elsewhere. Those migrating today are doing so for the same reasons that once spurred millions of Europeans to depart their countries. They are fleeing poverty, war, or oppression, or are searching for a better life in a new land. All too often, migrants are used as scapegoats but to be sure, immigrants must accept to adapt to the cultures and customs of the countries in which they settle.

Many of today’s migrants have legal claims to asylum under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the subsequent 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. When potential refugees are blocked by walls, placed in detention camps or refused entry because of restrictive legal interpretations, the protection of international law is lost.

The developed world wrongly feels that it is being asked to care for a disproportionate number of people seeking a better life. In reality, the vast majority of refugees seek sanctuary in neighbouring developing countries.

Borders are imaginary lines but they have very real consequences and implications. These lines divide nations and block the movement of people in the name of security and sovereignty. While global accumulation of capital and resources is promoted, people who are forced to migrate are portrayed as “free-loaders.”  The World Socialist Movement doesn’t believe in borders and works towards abolishing them. We challenge nationalism and we intend to bring together communities worldwide.

Socialist solidarity and awareness transcend borders and bring us closer to our goal, which is the end of capitalism. It’s time for us to make frontiers disappear and focus on people.

The working class is a class of migrants and has been throughout capitalist history. Let’s not fall for “nationalist” nonsense. When capitalists call on us to “defend the nation” they are really calling on workers to sacrifice themselves in defence of their property.

Whatever other differences we have, we are united as a class by the fact that we are all the exploited victims of capitalism. This makes the working class the global and internationalist class. It is the only force capable of putting an end to poverty and scarcity and the infernal cycle of economic crises and war. Today, it’s not so much that we have a world to win – we have a world to save from a system which offers only social and environmental devastation.

The World Socialist Movement, basing its principles on the fact that workers the world over have a common interest, is opposed to all racialism and to all nationalism. We are opposed to all legislation to prevent the free movement of workers, whether in search of jobs or fleeing from oppression. A socialist party must oppose nationalism in all its forms and refuse to compromise with it in any way. The World Socialist Movement always make clear that the workers have no country and that socialism can only exist on a world scale.

Nationalism is a ruling class outlook that preaches to the people of a nation or national group that regardless of class they have more in common with one another than they do with the people of other countries. Nationalism helps bind the working class to their rulers.

We say that working people’s destiny must not be tied to the bosses nor to any aspiring capitalist class of an oppressed nation. We say that the world’s working class must determine its own destiny. The working class must rid itself of the ideas of its class enemy. The World Socialist Movement does not fan the flames of patriotism or xenophobia that further divisions between the worker. Rather we promote working class internationalism and unity. The World Socialist Movement repudiates nationalism as an ideology that divides mankind into separate nations.

 Generally speaking, however, our fellow-workers, in actual fact, still remain completely separated in national territories, and have little or no contact whatever with one another. Within national borders the minds of men and women are so worked upon by the school, the media, and all the other resources of the State, that they are imbued with the propaganda of with national chauvinism. There are people, who even call themselves revolutionaries who consider that the which is called a nation is something quite natural, sacred, and worthy of preservation. What has happened? We have got “left nationalism.” We have the spectacle of openly capitalist governments being applauded by people who call themselves ”socialist.” Strange “socialists”, indeed.

 We got division among workers, growing farther away from the international needs of the working class. We have, instead, nationalistic symbols taking over. We don’t care where a man or woman was born, as long as he and she fights alongside us for socialism.

World socialism will co-ordinate in a harmonious fashion the sum total of human activities yet also protect the peculiarities and customs of each section of the population and it is an aim worth struggling for. But the World Socialist Movement also maintains that means and ends are indissolubly linked. A world socialist community can only be achieved by a majority of conscious socialists capturing political power in order to reorganise society on a basis of common ownership and democratic control. Members of the World Socialist Movement suggests that by the time the workers in a particular country are turning to socialism and preparing to take power, they will be doing the same in every other advanced industrial country.

 World socialism will be the outcome of a world socialist revolution. The problems that spring up from ethnic, cultural or national differences, and we know experience proves it – that the class struggle will break through these barriers and borders. Small steps, some might say. But the small steps will turn to big steps and then into giant strides.