The pro-independence group All Under One Banner have marched through the streets of Oban. Organisers claimed 7,000 people took part.
The growing strength and influence of nationalism has compelled the World Socialist Movement to address the issue. Nationalist struggles are placed above the class struggle and eliminate the role of the working class and the socialist revolution. Nationalist struggles, by no means, stands for the liberation of workers. Pro-nationalists are driven by their desire to find a special explanation for the oppression of minorities. The class struggle is not enough; there must be a “national struggle” as well. The ruling class struggles for its own selfish ends, using nationalism to mobilise all the people under the leadership of the local capitalist class. In other words, it wants a bigger slice of the profits from exploitation of Scottish workers. Sections of the local capitalists, wanting a larger slice of the cake, offer nationalism and separatism as the peoples’ salvation.
Left nationalists view an independent Scotland as the first step on the path to socialism. They believe that Scottish (also Welsh, Cornish and Irish) nationalism is a progressive force, and can therefore be used. They either do not understand, or opportunistically, refuse to accept the fundamental role of nationalism. They see this nationalism as the lesser of evils. That’s why it resorts to all sorts of demagogy to the effect that it will “liberate” the workers. Scots do not see secession as their way to liberation but as some palliative remedy for the economic social problems in Scotland. Socialists must on no account help spread this new diversion but must resolutely expose and attack it. The ruling class, using nationalism and nationalists, has side-tracked the class aspirations of the working people.
The Socialist Party constantly hammer home that the SNP and their like are nothing but tools of the ruling class. We must popularise socialism in order that the workers shall not be side-tracked. At present, Scottish Nationalism and the SNP have the appearance of a progressive movement to some sincere people who have almost no political understanding. Deceived by this, people will work in and around the nationalist movement only to discover, in some years’ time, that they have been mistaken and most cruelly misled, have been wasting their time and worse – have been advocating a diversionary movement. Workers must not fall into this trap; they must not be deceived by any so-called potentially progressive facade of nationalism. Instead of tragically wasting their time fostering nationalism (in whatever form), the Socialist Party campaigns to prepare a powerful and unified socialist movement. We know socialism is the solution. We must prove it to our fellow-workers.
The Socialist Party repudiates the romance of nationalism, an idea that divides mankind into separate distinct sovereign nation-states whose claim is that the freedom and fulfillment of mankind are to be worked out in terms of its national identity.