Ethnic nationalism is the idea that humanity is divided into separate ethnic groups which should each have their own nation state, complete with borders, a military and a centralised government. In 2016 Ethnic Nationalist ideas seemed to be on the rise around the world as political parties advocating stronger immigration controls made significant victories and the UK referendum on leaving the EU was narrowly won by the Leave campaign. In countries as different from each other as the Philippines, the United States of America, Turkey, Hungary and many others, Ethnic Nationalist ‘strong men’ took power or consolidated the power they already had, supported by large sections of the population.
The supporters of these ethnic nationalist political movements often accuse people who do not agree with them of being in favour of what they call ‘Globalism’ – by which they mean the fact that in recent decades the economies of different countries have become more connected with one another and that certain types of business people have grown very rich and powerful as a result. Ethnic nationalists like to claim that this economic reality, which has made hundreds of millions of people around the world poorer while it makes a few international capitalists richer, is somehow caused by the popularity of cosmopolitanism: the idea that people of different ethnic groups can and should live together in the same places peacefully, sharing equal rights.
In this way, they seek to convince people who have suffered from the economic effects of the growing power of international capitalists that the solution to their problems is to reject cosmopolitanism and take away rights from migrants and people of ethnic minorities in their countries. They present a vision of countries united by common genetics or culture as if this will achieve greater prosperity for everyone. The reality is quite different – a world in which the ‘strong men’ at the top of each society get richer, along with their associates, while the majority remain as poor and lacking in rights as ever before.
In the opinion of the authors of this website, the true solution to the problems caused by the increasing domination of international capitalists over the entire world is the opposite: that all the poor, oppressed and working people of the world should unite together, despite their cultural differences, and fight for economic, social and environmental improvements that we will all benefit from. The logic is simple: international capitalists are able to use the fact that wages and the prices of various goods are different in each country to their benefit by moving their investments across borders to wherever they will make the biggest profits. This creates a ‘race to the bottom’ in which different countries compete to offer lower wages and less taxes to global corporations, by cutting public spending on socially and environmentally necessities and taking away workers’ rights, creating more poverty everywhere. By working towards eliminating the economic inequality between nations that this system depends on, we can undermine the power of international capitalists and begin to eliminate poverty and environmental destruction.
This does not mean that all people in the world need to abandon their own culture in favour of some kind of soulless ‘global culture’ as some people claim. Rather, the soulless ‘global culture’ that is imposed on us by international capitalists in the form of commercial entertainment media, brand-name fashion and advertising is a major obstacle to achieving the kind of genuine unity between people of different nationalities and ethnic groups necessary for building a better world for everyone, as it makes people individualistic, stupid and unable to focus on what really matters in life: healthy relationships with others, and with the natural world.
The increasing poverty around the world, the isolation of individuals from each other due to soulless global consumer culture and the growing hatred between different types of people which is encouraged by ethnic nationalism, creates threats to everyone’s security as alienated, desperate and hateful people increasingly turn to violence in the form of terrorism, mass shootings and war between nation-states or nationalist movements. Creating a peaceful and safe world for all cannot be achieved by ethnic nationalist ideas, which further divide people from one another. Peace can only be achieved by meeting the economic and psychological needs of all people – something capitalism is incapable of doing.
The ideas and basic perspective that we have outlined so far are neither new nor original. From the middle of the 1800’s throughout much of the 1900’s these ideas were widespread and commonly accepted by millions of people around the world, and were the basis of social movements which achieved much of the advances in human rights, global unity and economic equality which are now under such threat. People believing in such ideas called themselves many different names: Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, socialists, social liberals and many others besides. The common thread between them all was the idea of ‘solidarity’ – standing up for one another and acting as one solid block of all the less powerful in society – the majority – against the rich and powerful minority, recognising that we all have a common interest against those who oppress us. That is why we need to Make Solidarity Great AGAIN – as it was before, far greater than any one nation could ever be.
We hope that the material on this website will contribute to clearing up misunderstandings about the nature of international capitalism and the solutions to its problems which have been caused by the misguided ideas of ethnic nationalists. We want to help people who have suffered as a result of the ruthless drive to profits of a small proportion of the world’s population to realise that only by cultivating a spirit of solidarity with all other victims of this system around the world, regardless of their cultural or ethnic differences, can we begin to find true solutions. Lies and misrepresentations of different ethnic groups must be challenged, not to impose some falsely universal standard of ‘political correctness’ but simply in the name of truth. The same goes for ideas which are often ridiculed or dismissed by both ethnic nationalist and those in favour of international capitalism: ideas of cosmopolitanism, working class unity and democratic collective ownership of resources.
For the unity of all peoples against international capitalism and ethnic nationalism
Make Solidarity Great Again