Correspondence

Our Nation, Your Money

Ever since 1914, when the unity of European socialism was virtually shattered by the decision of some share-the-wealthers to support their own nations over the claims of the international class struggle, a furtive little thought has been gnawing at the progressivist mind like a mouse chewing on a rafter. That thought is the suspicion that nationalism and socialism, so far from being natural enemies, are in fact symbiotic creatures. Despite the pretense of the bourgeois chieftains of the left that the workers of the world despise their own countries, governments, and cultures, people who actually work for a living seem to have. an embarrassing affection for political leaders and movements that assert national, racial, and cultural solidarity, while at the same time renouncing liberal capitalism as a machine of national exploitation and destruction.

The obvious example, of course, is Adolf Hitler, who succeeded in making the phrase "national socialism" a synonym for tyranny and genocide, but Joseph Stalin is no less in the same camp. From the 1920's Stalin began to mutter anti-German, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and ultranationalist sentiments that eventually served him well in the 1940's, when he had to deal with a real foreign threat. Mao Tse-tung, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, the Sandinistas, Tito, Nkrumah, Sukarno, and similar gentlemen all beat the same drum of consolidating their own races or nations around hatred...

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