Nationalism against the Working Class

The rise of the British National Party (BNP), the fact that it could muster a million votes in recent euro elections, that it has returned two Euro MPs, that its leader Nick Griffin has appeared on BBC’s Question Time whilst at the same time racially aggravated incidents are rising coincides with the naked crisis of global capitalism, most obviously felt here in the UK and elsewhere in terms of massive unemployment, but also in terms of threats on every aspect of workers’ conditions.

This limited support for the BNP is symptomatic of a wider problem; the disorientation of the working class in the face of a capitalist crisis which has rendered obsolete forms of working class resistance which do not challenge the capitalist framework itself; i.e. revolutionary struggle.

As has been explained many times, capitalism had managed to mitigate the effects of this long running crisis which as in all capitalist crisis is rooted in the tendency for profit rates to decline as capitalists in competition with each other vastly increase the productivity of the labour force by introducing technological innovations, with the end result that the ratio of capital invested in non-profitable components, such as machinery, plant, raw materials increasingly outweighs that invested in the only profitable (i.e. exploitable) commodity which is labour power. However, despite all the restructuring, despite the profoundly confusing presentation of Stalinism as the realisation of communism, the fact of capitalism’s crisis is either accept actual profit loss (i.e. bankruptcy) or attack the working class, and the result of the latter policy which is logically the only one capitalism can select, is now leading to a resurgence in working class resistance.

And as many of capitalism’s professional apologists concede, the rise of the BNP, however misguided, however impotent, does represent a rejection of the status quo which offers nothing but worse to the majority. The fact is capitalist globalisation, the restructuring of the productive forces without regard to national boundaries has greatly undermined the capacity of old forms of working -class resistance based on trade and national organisation to defend conditions in the face of multi-national corporations which can simply transfer production to wherever conditions are right for profiteering. Under the current labour government, according to Tory Ken Clarke, one third of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the UK. The working class which looked to the Labour party and the unions to look after its interests has began to realise that such a strategy is no longer applicable to the modern world of crisis and globalised capitalism. However such limited consciousness of the harsh reality of unfolding capitalist crisis does not immediately mean that the working class to any great extent has become conscious of its historical antagonism to the entire capitalist edifice and most importantly, remains deprived of its essential political guide, its revolutionary party. As such the working class remains vulnerable to all manner of political derailment, and this includes the limited but significant minority who swallow the ridiculous fantasies of racists and fascists, but also many others who in opposition to such overtly reactionary gangs remain tied to the “respectable” parties and trade unions who claim to oppose them, encouraged by all manner of Trotskyist and Stalinist outfits to support anti-fascist campaigns which translate into support for capitalist politics and offer no means to resolve the alienation, anger and resentment of the victims of capitalism into which the BNP has been able to tap.

However, the BNP offers no solution to those whose problems are all too real and cannot be resolved within the framework of capitalist society. The fact is that working class conditions must worsen under capitalism, the bitter result of the capitalists drive to maintain profitability is inevitably the greater exploitation of those in work and the exclusion of more and more from work. Profitability is an absolute requirement of capitalist production, exploitation of cheap labour cannot be eliminated as long as capitalism remains. There is validity in the argument that immigration under capitalism has an eroding effect on wages, that economic liberalisation allowing the free movement of capital on the world stage means endless downward pressure on the share received by the working class, but capitalism can only increment exploitation or allow the decline in profit rates to materialise, and that means bankruptcy. The BNP is peddling an illusion, some sort of cosy national arrangement for White Christians, a fair capitalism. The fact is all courses of action under capitalism are negative for the working class; open or close borders, as long as capitalism remains there is no perspective but for incremental exploitation of the labour force.

It is this truth which defines our political tendency. To put it bluntly, the bastards are all the same. All of capitalism’s political expressions of the left and right are expressions of outrageous extremism; they are the vehicles of ideologies which only offer a human holocaust beyond any previously experienced, in fact the holocaust is already here, in the shape of vast new hordes of poor and hungry. That is the harvest of capitalism’s inescapable crisis mechanism. The BNP are only a variant of the nationalism with which every capitalist state seeks to indoctrinate the exploited. Between the mythology of “God Save the Queen” to being "committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948"there is no great difference. The BNP are disgusting but so are all the other expressions of capitalist ideology, whatever fleeces the wolves may choose to wear. “Workers of the World, Unite” is the defining slogan of the proletarian perspective and all of capitalism’s ideologies are equally reactionary, equally opposed to it.

On all sides, the poisonous racism which seeks to undermine class unity and inculcate nationalist ideology, as well as the anti-fascist unity which seeks to tie the working class to the equally poisonous ideology of capitalist democracy, the revolutionary perspective is blocked. The working class has nothing to gain from either perspective. Marxism does not recognise capitalist democracy as anything but an illusion propagated to hide the nature of every capitalist regime -class dictatorships against the working class. Revolutionary Marxism regards capitalism’s entire political spectrum as equally monstrous, all capable of the utmost barbarism. Capitalism has nothing to offer but barbarism. There is only one political alternative and it is precisely that of Internationalist Communism. All other political expressions pave the road to imperialist hell, are equally inhuman, equally “politically incorrect”, equally reactionary. The only option of benefit to the working class majority is the construction of the revolutionary party for the abolition of capitalism. Any contradiction to this perspective, from the BNP or any other source has the same outcome - barbarism.

Ant (CWO)

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