“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
The World Socialist Movement holds that the working class the world over is an indivisibly one and that as victims of the capitalist class their interests are common, regardless of race, nationality, or colour.
Modern capitalism is a highly integrated international system. Production is organised across national boundaries, trade and finance operate on a world scale. No single unit of capitalist society can jump outside of this system. Contrary to nativist dreams, there is no way that a nation can simply pursue its own economic destiny within its own frontiers. The capitalist ruling class are compelled to think in terms of international cooperation and planning, hence the various economic summits and conferences. Indeed, many nation-states are now too small to function adequately in terms of the needs and pressures of modern capitalism. The national state is not our state. It functions to defend the ruling class, and cannot operate in any other way.
The fact remains that labour mobility and the movement of people does add to the number of workforce, and to that extent increases competition among the workers, it is as a drop in the ocean compared to the real cause, the introduction of labour-saving new technology and outsourcing of manufacturing. Even if every foreigner from now on were excluded, the misery of the workers would increase.
We are for socialism because it is better. We will have better human relations and we will have a better material life. But socialism will not succeed unless people understand it, agree with it, and vow to make it succeed. We oppose nationalism and fight for internationalism. By nationalism, the bosses mean that workers must respect capitalist borders. These borders are artificial; they exist to divide workers and keep different sets of bosses in power. Workers need no borders. Workers in one part of the world are not different from or better than workers in another. Nationalism creates false loyalties. Workers should be loyal only to other workers, never to a boss.
There is something quite special about the internationalism of the workers’ movement. It does not appeal to the intellect alone; it appeals also to the heart. Socialists become enthusiastic about it because it stands for a noble idea, for the idea of unity and fraternity.
The World Socialist Movement is anti-nationalism, opposed to everything which comes under the heading of chauvinism, jingoism, and militarism – to all national expansion, to all national pride, to every attempt to cause conflict between peoples, to any kind of colonialism and imperialism. Until we create our own class voice working people will remain locked out of political power. We need to declare our class independence and create a real alternative: a socialist one.
Real change is never handed down by politicians. Real change is won by people standing together and building movements. Rallying workers to socialism is not a matter of clever speeches, skilful media manipulation or stealthy entryism. It is instead the demonstration of the correctness of the socialist case. Some deny this point of view and call for national sovereignty. In their struggle against capitalism, socialists encounter various tendencies among the working class, which to a greater or less degree reflect the views and expresses a favourable attitude towards a particular section of the capitalist class. The working class requires to break through the obstacles placed in the path of independent political action. It must, therefore, must propose its irreconcilable opposition to the capitalist class and the capitalist state. A socialist party cannot be an amorphous, all-inclusive party.
Workers have a community of interests with people of all lands, where often arises the need for joint activities and for unification. We have a unity of economic relationships, and this presupposes a unity of organisation. The work of production will then be in the hands of the whole community, a worldwide cooperative commonwealth. Socialism seeks a class-free society. We, in the WSM, refuse to join the nationalists in leading the workers down the road into the camp of capitalism. The only road is the socialist road.
So comrades, come rally
And the last fight let us face
The Internationale unites the human race.