October 13, 2017

PATRIOTISM and INTERNATIONALISM

by S. TITARENKO
1. What is Patriotism ?

LOVE of country, of one's native land, we call patriotism. It is one of the deepest emotions found in the masses. Many songs are sung in praise of love for one's country; much has been written about it by poets and scientists, too. But not everybody understands or speaks of the concept of patriotism in the same way.

When a representative of the working people speaks about it, he identifies the sense of patriotic duty with the struggle for the happiness of the labouring people. The ideologists of the exploiting classes, however, as a rule try to use the love of the masses for their country in their own selfish class interests. The bourgeoisie usually substitute nationalism for patriotism, corrupting the minds of the common people by instilling in them chauvinistic, reactionary ideas.

Nationalism or chauvinism have nothing in common with the patriotism of the working masses. The 
bourgeoisie and their ideologists have always harboured nationalistic prejudices, but the minute their pocket is threatened they betray the national interest without the slightest hesitation.

The history of the rule of the bourgeoisie abounds in instances of national betrayal. Karl Marx's statement that ever since the bourgeoisie had become the ruling class its patriotism had degenerated into pure deception was not a casual remark.

It is known for instance that in 1871, during the Franco­ Prussian War, when the French army had 
been routed and the country was in the grip of a profound political crisis that led to the rise of the Paris Commune, the bourgeoisie entered into a shameful compact with the Prussian victors.

The hangman Louis Adolphe Thiers, placeman of the French bourgeoisie, took a monstrous and bloody vengeance on the Paris proletariat for wanting to create a new, free France.

The Russian bourgeoisie, too, took the path of open betrayal of the national interests; that was in the 1917-1920 period after Russia's proletariat, in alliance with the poorest peasantry, had taken power into their own hands. The capitalists and land­ lords, who had been overthrown by the Socialist Revolution, entered into an alliance with the imperialists of Germany, France, Britain, America and Japan and were ready to sell Russia piecemeal and wholesale; they were ready to commit the most vicious crimes against the peoples of their country. And had not the working class, led by the Bolshevik Party, then saved Russia it would have lost both economic and political independence and would have become a colony of foreign imperialist robbers.

Equally striking cases of infamous betrayal of their own countries by the bourgeoisie took place in 
1938-40, when the fascist aggressors, aided and abetted by the notorious "Munich peacemakers", 
unleashed the Second World War. The French people will never forget the tragic summer of 1940 when a handful of contemptible cowards and traitors-Daladier, Reynaud, Petain and their kind-handed France over to the hitlerite cut-throats.

"Better Hitler than the victory of the People's Front," was the cynical cry of France's miserable rulers of that day.

Norway, Rumania, Bulgaria, and other countries directly or indirectly under Hitler's heel, were just as shamelessly betrayed by their reactionary ruling classes.

When hitlerite Germany had been defeated by the valorous Soviet Army, the ruling cliques of France, Italy and other countries of Western Europe made their peoples the vassals of the U.S.A. monopolists. Is there anybody now who does not know that the big bosses of Wall Street are lording it over the European capitalist countries as they do at home?

The United States imperialists have enslaved those countries economically and politically with the 
aid of the notorious "Marshall Plan". Crawling on their bellies before the money­ bags from across the ocean, shedding the last vestige of _national pride, the ruling circles of the European capitalist countries refuse to recognise the right of peoples to national sovereignty even in words. The ideologists of the bourgeoisie, including the right-wing socialist lackeys of imperialism, have worked out "theories" on the need for Western Europe's slavish submission to the monopolists of the U.S.A.
Fearing and hating their peoples, the ruling classes of Europe's capitalist countries have trampled upon everything that smacks of patriotism. The words of the great Lenin that "where class profits are concerned the bourgeoisie will sell the country and will enter into shady deals against their people with any foreigner" (Collected Works, Russian 3rd ed., VoL XXIII,p. 158) are in our days confirmed with exceptional force.

The whole world knows how despicably Chiang Kai-shek has behaved towards the Chinese people. Driven out of his country by the people, this traitor continues to appeal to the American imperialists to intervene against the Chinese People's Republic.

Against the shameful treason of the reactionary_ national bourgeoisie there stands out prominently 
the genuine patriotism of the common people, the working masses, by whose labour all the good things of life are created. Every worker and every working peasant may say with legitimate pride that his country is indebted to him, too, for its life and development, since a particle of his labour has gone into everything created by human hands. -

To love one's country and to work for her good and prosperity does not mean to be an enemy of other 
peoples. On the con­trary, a real patriot loves his people and respects other peoples. It is, of course, natural for a patriot to have national pride. He cannot help being proud of his nation's historic deeds. He is conscious of the fact that his country, too, has made a contribution to the development of world culture and civilisation. Patriotic pride, however, is the very antithesis of nationalistic arrogance.

Love for one's country cannot in any way hinder the solidarity of the working people of all nations, or the recognition of the equality, freedom and independence of other peoples.
The interests of national pride, but not as it is conceived by slaves, Lenin teaches us, are identical with the socialist interests of the proletariat of all nations.

True patriotism denotes such a love for one's country as cannot tolerate social and national enthralment of one people by another.

The real patriots are the devoted champions of the cause of the working class and of all other working people; of peace and socialism. Their love of country cannot be divorced from their practical endeavour to bring about a better future for their people.

In his remarkable article On the National Pride of the Great Russiµns, written in 1914, Lenin said: 
"Is the sense of national pride alien to us, Great Russian, class-conscious proletarians? Of course not! We love our language and our country, and our major effort is devoted to raising her toiling masses (i.e., nine-tenths of her population) to the level of the conscious life of democrats and Socialists. . . . We are filled with a sense of national pride because the Great Russian nation has also created a revolutionary class, has also proved that it is capable of show­ ing mankind great examples of struggle for freedom and for Socialism...." (VI.Lenin, Collected Works, Russian 4th ed., Vol. XXI, p. 85.)

Nowadays the concept of patriotism merges with the concept of democracy and socialism. Only he 
who fearlessly and boldly acts against the traitorous, anti-popular policy of the imperialist bouro-eoisie is entitled to regard himself as a true son of his country. In our times only the Communist and Workers' Part es, adhering to the platform of Marxism-Leninism, cherish and give expression to patriotic ideas. .

During the years of fascist rule in Europe, the commumsts showed themselves to be true sons of their countries, for they fought fearlessly and with utter de".otioJ?- for the freedom nd independence of the peoples. To gam this freedom, communists did not hesitate to give their lives. Thousands upon thousands of them died in the hard struggle against the fascist hangmen.

The working class of France, and progressive men·and women from among the other sections of the 
French people, showed during the fascist occupation of their country many an _exam le of utter devotion to the struggle for the freedom of therr native land. The nightmare of Gestapo prisons, mass executions, un­ precedented humiliation-the communists and workers went through all these things to free the people from the shame of fascist slavery. It is not surprising, therefore, that the people have acquired profound confidence in, and respect for, the communists, regarding them as true and reliable champions of the cause of the working people.

Only the working class, together with the millions of working peasants and progressive intelligentsia, really care about the fate of their countries and wage a determined struggle against the imperialist warmongers.

A patriot is one who exposes the aggressive plans of the Anglo-American imperialists and their accomplices, and who openly and dauntlessly raises his voice in defence of peace, democracy and 
socialism.


2. What is Internationalism?

Since the day the working class appeared in the social arena as an independent political force, its ideological weapon in the struggle against the bourgeoisie has been proletarian internation­ alism, that is, the idea of solidarity, of unity of all workers regardless of nationality or race.

"Proletarians of all countries, unite!" was the concise and effective way Marx and Engels expressed the essence of internationalism in their famous Manifesto of the Communist Party. Proletarian internationalism is the antithesis of bourgeois nationalism, which represents the ideology and policy of the ex­ploiting classes. Lenin pointed out that proletarian internation­alism and bourgeois nationalism are irreconcilable slogans, cor­responding to the two class camps of the capitalist world. They express two opposing ideologies and two different policies.

Underlying internationalism is the idea of class solidarity of the exploited and the toilers, the struggle for liberty and inde­pendence of all peoples, big and small. Nationalism is the ideological weapon of the bourgeoisie, a means for kindling animosity and distrust between peoples.

With the aid of nationalism, the bourgeoisie tries to divide and weaken the forces of the working people in order to strengthen its economic and political dominion. Nationalism has its origin in the false and reactionary premise that peoples are divided into superior and inferior races, into "perfect" and "im­perfect", and that the "superior" races must rule over the others.

An especially detestable, man-hating form of bourgeois nationalism is racialism, which divides peoples into "born" rulers and slaves. Everybody knows that racialism was the official ideology of the German and Italian fascists and the Japanese militarists. The fascist bandits openly proclaimed the right of a "superior" race to enslave or exterminate other peoples.

Racialism served the hitlerites as a justification of their wild plans to gain world dominion. It is characteristic, however, that while by their words they declared the German people to be a"superior" race, by their deeds they regarded them merely as cannon fodder with which to achieve the German monopolists' predatory aims.

The ideology of racialism has now been inscribed on the ban­ ner of the new bidders for world supremacy-the Anglo­ American imperialists. The venal pack of politicians and scien­ tists in the service of the Wall Street and City bosses extol the imaginary superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race over all other peoples.

Under the banner of nationalism, the imperialists concoct plots against the freedom and independence of peoples, organise predatory wars, kindle national strife among the working people and rob and oppress the colonial peoples. Nationalism is the tainted weapon used by the bourgeoisie in its application of the old slaveowners' principle of "divide and rule".

"The capitalists and the landlords," wrote Lenin, "want to divide the workers of different nations at any cost, but they them­selves, the world's mighty, get on splendidly together as stock­holders in 'lucrative', millioned 'deals'...." (V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Russian 4th ed., Vol. XIX, p. 72.)

In contrast to bourgeois nationalism, proletarian internation­alism springs from the recognition that the working people of all lands have common vital interests. Underlying internation­alism is the premise that abolition of capitalist exploitation and all related forms of political and national oppression is the urgent task of the working people of all nationalities.

The internationalists divide people not according to what nation they originate from or belong to, but according to their social status, drawing a sharp dividing line between propertied and propertyless, between exploiters and exploited. The inter­nationalists are opposed to each and every form of national oppression of one people by another. Marxism teaches that a people oppressing other peoples cannot itself be free. Prole­tarian internationalism demands full freedom and equality for nations, as a basic condition for mutual trust and class solidarity among the working people of all countries.

"The workers," wrote Lenin, "oppose to the old world of national oppression, national strife or national isolation a new world of the unity of the working people of all nations, a world in which there is room neither for a single privilege nor for the slightest oppression of man by man." (Collected Works, Russian 4th ed., Vol. xix; p. 72.) In fighting for the freedom and equality of nations, the inter­nationalists never renounce the fundamental class interests of the proletariat, the interests of the international socialist movement. Any one who even for a moment loses sight of the tasks of international solidarity of the working people in the struggle against capitalism is not an internationalist.

An internationalist may never forget the class struggle, cannot and must not forget that the interests of the proletariat and those of the bourgeoisie are irreconcilable. Any heedlessness of the class tasks of the proletariat inevitably leads to betrayal of pro­letarian internationalism, to desertion to the camp of bourgeois nationalism. An internationalist is one who always and under all circumstances subordinates the national interests to the interests of the struggle for the victory of the working class over the bourgeoisie, for socialism.

Internationalism places above everything else the interests of international proletarian solidarity, the interests of the prole­tariat's struggle for emancipation. But this by no means signifies that internationalism consigns the national interests to oblivion.

Being an implacable enemy of bourgeois nationalism, prole­tarian internationalism consistently defends the right of peoples to independence and freedom. Internationalists hold that free development of nations is the principal condition for eliminating strife among nations and for establishing enduring friendship among peoples.

In this connection it is necessary to call attention to the truly internationalist stand taken by those strata and groups of work­ ing people in France who resolutely protest against the war conducted by the French imperialists in Viet Nam and demand that the people of Viet Nam be granted full freedom and independence.

From all that has been said it follows that proletarian internationalism not only does not deny patriotism but, on the contrary, is indissolubly connected with it. Only he can be an internationalist and a genuine patriot who loves his people and respects other peoples, who knows how to combine love for his country with burning hatred for the oppressors of peoples.

An internationalist cannot be indifferent to the fate of his country or to the fate of other peoples. When towards the end of June 1950 President Truman of the U.S.A. launched the inter­vention against the Korean  people, a meeting of 18,000· New York Workers ,and progressive members of the intelligentsia shouted "Hands off Korea!" They acted as patriots and inter­nationalists.

A disdainful attitude towards national interests is utterly alien to proletarian internationalism. Internationalism has nothing in common with so-called cosmopolitanism. The latter denies love of country, fostering indifference toward one's native land and to the national forms of culture, and propagating "world citizenship".

Cosmopolitanism, like nationalism, is a reactionary ideology of the imperialist bourgeoisie. Propaganda of cosmopolitanism is now employed by Anglo-American imperialism as an ideological 
weapon spearheaded against the peoples fighting for national independence and freedom. Cosmopolitanism is a method used by American as well as British imperialism to camouflage their 
aggressive, annexationist plans to gain world supremacy.

At one time the German fascists, dreaming of enslaving the peoples of the world, openly pursued a 
policy of racialism. As a result of the military defeat of fascist Germany this man­ hating ideology was dealt a serious blow.

The present bidders for world supremacy-the Anglo-American imperialists-are following the same policy, although they con­ ceal their mercenary, imperialist aims by employing the deceitful phrases of "world citizenship", and "world government". To maintain their dominating position in colonial and dependent countries the American and British imperialists, and their junior partners in other capitalist countries as well, are forced not only to resort to open suppression of the oppressed peoples but also to propagate the ideas of cosmopolitanism, which are designed to undermine and corrupt the national consciousness of the peoples. Cosmopolitanism also serves the objects of the struggle of the imperialists against the international labour ·movement. More than anything else, the bourgeoisie fears international solidarity, the unity of the working people, the awakening class conscious­ ness of the proletariat. Lenin pointed out that capital places the preservation of the alliance of the capitalists of all countries against the working people above the interests of country, the people and everything else.

The leaders of the right-wing socialists, who are the watch­ dogs of capitalist law and order, have also come out as zealous champions of cosmopolitanism. Currying favour with the American capitalist monopolies and shamelessly betraying the national interests of their countries, the right-wing socialist leaders scorn the patriotic feelings of the people and belittle the principle of national sovereignty.

The right-wing "socialists" call upon the peoples to renounce national sovereignty, accusing all those who resist the predatory plans of American imperialism of "economic nationalism".The propagandists of cosmopolitanism not infrequently wear the mask of internationalists. In 1949 the Arbeiterzeitung, organ of the Austrian Social-Democrats, wrote as follows in answer to the question:

"What is a Cosmopolitan?"


"Literally it means a man who belongs to the universe, to the entire world; that is, a world citizen whose thoughts and feelings are turned towards all the peoples of the earth; in other words, one who aspires to internationalism."

That is a brazen lie, for internationalists have never been people without kith or kin. Proletarian internationalism is irre­concilably opposed to bourgeois cosmopolitanism, which denies the right of the peoples to independence and preaches the policy of assimilation of nations, their forced "merger" at the hands of the big imperialist powers.

Cosmopolitanism is merely the reverse side of bourgeois nationalism. Both cosmopolitans and nationalists are enemies of the peoples. It is not by accident that imperialist intelligence services recruit their agents from among adherents of cosmo­politanism and nationalism. A vivid illustration of this is the nationalistic Tito clique, which has completely gone over to the Anglo-American intelligence service and which has turned the state administration of Yugoslavia into a tool of that service.

Both nationalists and cosmopolitans help the imperialist bour­geoisie to disrupt the unity of the working class and suppress the national liberation movement. Nationalism and cosmopo­litanism are weapons used by the warmongers, ideologies of the enemies of peace, the enemies of the Soviet Union and the People's Democracies. To fight resolutely and relentlessly against bourgeois nationalism and cosmopolitanism is an urgent task of all Communist and Workers' Parties, of all genuine interna­tionalists.

Now more than ever the Communist and Workers' Parties are faced with the task of conducting a struggle against the danger of a new war and national enslavement of peoples by the Anglo­ American imperialists, against bourgeois nationalism and its counterpart--cosmopolitanism. It is of prime importance to educate the working class and all other working people in the ideas pf socialist internationalism.