Monday, October 12, 2020

Progress to the Past?


A poll for pro-independence campaign group Progress Scotland found 53% support leaving the union compared with 47% against. Almost a third of Scots who voted against independence in 2014 have changed their mind and are either unsure or would vote Yes, according to a new poll.

The nationalism of the SNP has the outward appearance of a progressive movement to some sincere people but who have almost no political understanding. Deceived by the slogans and soundbites, working people will discover that they have been most cruelly misled, have been wasting their time advocating an idea which they will then have to oppose. Our fellow-workers must not fall into this trap; they must not be deceived by the progressive facade of nationalism. They must unite to expose it instead of  wasting their time and energy fostering nationalism (in whatever form), as an answer to their misery and hardships. Nationalism merely provides a camouflage for policies of reformism. Nationalism divides workers so that the workers of one nationality are struggling against the workers of another nationality for a few illusory crumbs the rulers throw out exactly for that purpose. Nationalism pits workers against each other , while their mutual exploiters and oppressors enjoy the Caribbean sun and fun on the ski-runs.

 Any nationalism implies that some people are better than others. It teaches superiority and inferiority. Left nationalists insist that their nationalism has nothing in common with the nationalism of the right and that instead their nationalism is progressive. Nationalism binds the working people to their own exploiters and ruling class. The Socialist Party says that working people’s destiny must not be tied to any capitalist grouping. The working class must  rid itself its class enemy. Class unity must be established between the oppressed and exploited regardless of nationality and race.

 The aspiration for national independence awakens chauvinistic nationalisms, intolerances, xenophobias; the awakening of old national quarrels, of hatred against the “hereditary enemy;” and racism. Foreign scapegoats of the past are again being selected as responsible for all the evils that befalls a nation.

The Socialist Party repudiates nationalism, the ideology that would divide mankind into separate distinct nations, have those nations constituted into sovereign States, whose claim is that the freedom and fulfillment of mankind are to be worked out in terms of ones national identity.  Nationalism is pervasive in the world today, especially in countries that have nothing to offer their people but romantic patriotic platitudes.

Nationalism turns worker against worker but just where does this twisted logic stop?

Should someone from Dundee be allowed to apply for a job in Dunstable if someone living in Dunstable is prepared to do it? If people from start to migrate Northwards for the cheaper housing, should they be driven back to south of Hadrians Wall telling them to go and fight for cheaper housing in the South? When British factories compete with each other to win contracts does this not usually involve bringing down wages and reducing conditions? It is the system of capitalist production that produces unemployment, homelessness, destitution and crumbling facilities and infrastructure in local communities, not workers, be they native or foreign born, indigenous or newcomers.

Nationalists always claims certain characteristics as exclusive to certain peoples.  With what logic may nations make such claims? Nationalism claims that the culture belonging to one nation is distinct from that belonging to any other. This may have been so in the past when even the nation was an abstract concept for the village dweller or towns folk, but the social evolution of mankind is making it less so. Increased means of communication and ease of travel have resulted in no essential difference between any one of the countries of the world. Even language is tending to become universal with English as the lingua franca that Latin once was. More people understand each other today than ever before. Codes of behaviour and ethics have grown to be international. It is only by the most artificial kind of propaganda that nationalism is kept alive.Nationalism is an unmitigated curse. It leads inevitably to chauvinism and to national aggression. It leads to a patriotism and the worship for the particular patch of dirt where a particular individual was born. It leads to racism and bigotry, to national jealousy and petty rivalries. Nationalism cloaks the intrigues and machinations of governments and capitalists.

Working people have everything to gain and nothing to lose by rejecting nationalism. 

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