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The nationalist smokescreen

To advance toward socialism, the working class must develop its consciousness of being a class with common interests radically opposed to those of the capitalist class. It must also understand that nationalism serve the interests of the capitalists, not the interests of the workers. To hang on to the shirt-tails of nationalists and drag workers along behind the Left Nationalist have once again come up with classic reformist ideas that oppose real political education, education and the propagation of socialist ideas. It is a strategy that capitulates totally before the task of education is carried out. A newly empowered Scottish capitalist class would certainly have no interest in raising workers’ wages, nor improving working conditions. On the contrary, they would call on their workers to tighten their belts even more in the name of the new nation. The Scottish workers would have, for all intents and purposes, won the right to self-determination but at the cost of strengthening the Scottish employers and putting off the socialist revolution far into the future. Our enemy is the same as that of the British working class as a whole: the capitalists. Independence, instead of uniting the working class against the bosses, divides them from the rest of the working class. It delays the socialist revolution by advocating unity with the Scottish employing class.

Scottish independence pushed by the Left is shown up for what it really is, a mirage and an illusion intended to attract Scottish workers to tie them to the interests of the native ruling class. Looked at concretely, one by one, the so-called advantages that workers would gain from separation go up in smoke. And the disadvantages are great: holding back the achievement of the working class’s basic aim, the capture of political power from the current ruling class. The working class would be sacrificing its struggle for socialism, which is the only way to do away with exploitation, in return for a few crumbs obtained by a change of constitution. The present debate over the constitutional status will result in no substantial solutions to the pressing problems of the daily life of the working people. The chief promoters of nationalism have no intention of changing the relationship of class forces. They will act to protect the interests of Big Business on which they ultimately rest, and they must move against the struggles of the exploited class. Separatists will not offer a challenge to the power of the corporations. A sovereign Scottish government will be unable to develop policies genuinely independent of the capitalist class. The working class are fated to be shoved aside. There are no grounds to believe that the working class, by adopting independence, would advance its interests in any way, in terms either of its class consciousness or of its ultimate objective of building socialism. The Left Nationalists are totally incapable and unwilling to provide such a revolutionary socialist alternative, for pursuing its policy of peaceful collaboration with the SNP, it has in fact given up the perspective of struggle for the socialist transformation. Their tactics are foredoomed to failure.

What progressive ends would be achieved by the secession of the Scots from the Union? The answer is obviously none. The Scottish people have everything to gain and nothing to lose by rejecting the line of nationalism. We must refuse to become the cannon fodder for nationalists. The ravings of the Left Nationalists contribute little but division and confusion among workers. They ally with the bosses yet don the garb of socialism in order to appear radical. For sure, many Scots are fed up with present-day conditions. But a good portion, though, are geared towards the forward march of labour. They see there is no other choice, that the best possible future for them is to ally themselves with other members of the working class in order to carry on a common struggle with them. Only the working class is capable of overthrowing the capitalist system and only a solid working-class base can accomplish the social revolution.

Whatever twists and turns lie down the road in the fight for socialism, one thing is certain: the success of that struggle depends on achieving the greatest possible unity of the working class, it is utterly ridiculous to argue that the working class ought to divide itself into two different countries in order to accomplish this unity. It is completely absurd to justify this with the false argument, disproven many times, that the battle for socialism would be easier if it were led by a more nationally “pure” and homogeneous working class. Working class unity is a must right now if effective resistance is to be mounted to the crisis measures imposed by the capitalists. Unity is necessary to stand up against all the attacks on our democratic rights. Unity is the key in putting an end to the discrimination suffered by the oppressed nations. The working class faces a powerful and aggressive enemy which is solidly united despite the real contradictions within its ranks. The people’s forces are not going to win by dividing themselves. Those gentlemen who dress up as socialists in order to push nationalism in the working class are the objective allies of the capitalist class. The left nationalists find themselves in the camp of those promoting division of the working class.

Workers in Scotland have a difficult task ahead of them. It is to unite to resist the attacks of the employers with greater and greater strength and eventually to oust them from political power. The problems of workers will not be solved in the framework of any form of the nation-state. The fate of Scottish workers is irrevocably bound up with the fate of the rest of the British, European and World workers. Socialism is the order of the day. Workers all across the world can be united against their common enemy, against the bosses’ class and their state We can end their rotten system and build a new system for workers – socialism. A divided international working class, split and shackled by nationalism can never build its strength to challenge the ruling class world-wide, and crush the entire capitalist system of exploitation, racism and war, once and for all. Independence, for Scottish workers simply spells increased exploitation. Separation will weaken the struggle of the entire British working class for socialism by dividing its ranks. Supporting Scottish independence in the name of socialism is a monumental hoax. It flows from the same kind of logic that leads others to preach nationalisation as the cure for all our ills.


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