Thursday, February 1, 2007

We are to be re-brainwashed!

From the SPGB blog, Socialism Or Your Money Back

Those in charge of the political affairs of British capitalism are worried. The nationalist propaganda that their predecessors pumped out for years -- justifying the British Empire on the grounds that the colonised peoples were inferior -- has come back to haunt them. A large section of the native working class still believe this crap, long after it has ceased to be any use to the ruling class. Now that there is a large minority of workers from or descended from people from the old Empire, our rulers want them, in the interests of national unity, to be regarded as fellow Britishers. So now they are going to "educate" workers that it is nasty and wrong to go on thinking that black people are inferior and cannot be British.

Of course people who have dark skin are not, and never were, inferior. All human beings are members of the same biological species -- homo sapiens -- and we all have the same capacity to learn. There is, if you like, only one race -- the human race. We are all citizens of the world, Earthlings.

But this is not what the politicians are proposing should be taught in the schools. They want to teach working-class kids "what is means to be British" as Jack Straw put it in a speech at Oxford University. According to Times (26 January), in true Jingo fashion he "called for a strong 'British story' to reflect the heroic nature of the country's history and foster a greater sense of citizenship".

So, although racism is now out, equally divisive nationalism is still in and is in fact to be stepped up. Schoolkids are to be taught, as before, that they are primarily members of a supposed "British nation" all of whose members allegedly have a common interest different from the subjects of other so-called "nation-States". The only difference will be that they will be taught that this British nation now includes dark-skinned people from the former Empire and that such people too can now proudly look down on "foreigners".

Socialists will try to do what we can to counter this nationalist state-propaganda by pointing out that nationalism is an ideology which ruling classes use to try to obtain the acquiescence and support of those they rule over and that wage and salary workers from all countries have more in common with each other than with their rulers. Ultimately, they have a common interest in establishing a socialist world commonwealth where there'll be no frontiers or nation-States just people speaking different languages and enjoying different tastes in dress, music, culture and the like but which everybody will be entitled to share in.
Adam Buick

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