“Let’s not be English, French or German anymore. Let’s be European. No not European, let’s be men. Let’s be Humanity. All we have to do is get rid of one last piece of egocentricity – patriotism.” – Victor Hugo
As socialists, we are internationalists, opposing the idea that the rulers and ruled within a nation have any interests in common. We are all one species. Our world is the only one we’ve got and we must share it with everybody. The World Socialist Movement (WSM) does not stand for world government because we are opposed to all governments everywhere.
The WSM aim is a world where we all peacefully cohabit our home planet. There never has been, and never can be, socialism in just one country. No longer will there be governments and their state machine, nor national frontiers. Instead of government over people there would be various levels of democratic administration, from the local up to regional and world levels, with responsibility being delegated if necessary to groups or individuals. A united humanity, sharing a world of common interests, would also share world administration. It is sometimes said that world administration would mean power of central control over local democracy.
We envisage an integrated system that would be adaptable and could be used for decision-making and action on any scale between the local and the world. In socialism, for the first time, local communities will be free to make decisions about the development of their areas. These would be decisions about local services such as health, education and transport; public facilities such as parks, libraries, leisure centres and sports grounds; local housing, the sites of industrial estates, management of farming, care of the local environment, cultural events, and so on.
The principle of local democracy would be that decisions affecting just local populations would be made by them and not for them by any larger or outside body. Local communities, nevertheless, cannot be completely independent or self-reliant as far as meeting their material needs goes, they are interdependent. People in small communities aren’t able to produce all they need, or anything like it. The final stage of the production of a range of goods for everyday use could be done locally — food, clothes, shoes, furniture – as well as repairs but most of the raw materials cannot be produced locally. It is a question of them being interlinked in a single network of production which in the end embraces the whole world.
There is in reality only one world. Capitalism brought into being with its mercantilism and globalisation. It is high time we reclaimed it.
We have no country but have a world to win. The members of the World Socialist Party aren’t dreaming up a “perfect” or an “ideal” world. What we struggle to establish is a better world.
The World Socialist Movement didn’t acquire its name for nothing. Unique amongst all political groups, left and right, we have no national axe to grind. We side with no particular state, no government. We have no time for border controls. All over the world there are independent nations and yet we still have the very opposite of what the left-wing liberals think political independence will bring. Many of these independent nations have had leftist governments, which all claimed they could solve capitalism’s problems. The nationalists of the left-wing simply neglect that we live in a global economy over which they could have no control. Capitalism’s problems are global so their solution can only be global. This means world socialism and not any narrow, nationalist proposals.
Many in the Left advance nationalism and the nation-state as a bulwark against imperialism. This is a dangerous fallacy. The role of nationalism has always been a source of conflict on the Left. For those on the Left the WSM’s consistent anti-nationalist position seems to support imperialism. But, imperialism functions quite independently of socialist attitudes toward nationalism and, furthermore, socialists are not required for the launching of struggles for national autonomy as the various independence movements have shown. Also contrary to some Leftist expectations, nationalism could not be utilised to further socialist aims, nor was it a successful strategy to weaken and hasten the demise of capitalism. Does national aspirations hasten the end of capitalism by weakening the capitalist class? Contrary to expectations, nationalism could not be utilised to further socialist aims, nor was it a successful strategy to hasten the demise of capitalism. Rather, nationalism destroyed socialism by using it for nationalist ends. It is not the function of socialism to support nationalism. Nationalism divides workers. We advocate class war and declare that the capitalist can never have interests in harmony with the worker. We hold up socialism as the only hope of the workers.
The peoples of the world have nothing to gain from the return of nationalism. No “national” solution is worth considering. The stakes of today clearly are international, nobody can make it “on his own”, we are all interdependent. Nationalist divisions hide class relationships. As long as working people let themselves be taken in by national adventure their situation will only worsen. Working people must envisage their power as the base for new, democratic, cross-border and equal solutions. We must seek a true solidarity-based federation, not just of the UK or within Europe but of all mankind. This is our viable and desirable project. Working for this means campaigning against nationalism and against the different ruling cliques which try get a bigger slice of the cake, and building through the struggle an international social movement.
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. No-one will care who goes where or who belongs where.
We will recognise ourselves, not as Scottish, British, French, or any of the other labels our rulers impose on us, but as members of the human race, citizens of the world, Earth-people. Then nationalism will have been well and truly buried.