SOCIAL NATIONALISM REVISITED
– Citizens First –
I emigrated to the USA as a refugee in 1956 and became a member of the Russian-American community in New Jersey. My maternal grandmother, Antonina Alexandrovna Katina-Babenko, died shortly after our arrival, and at age thirteen I became a semi-orphan, estranged from my fathers family, and without a legal guardian. Nevertheless life was good. A Don Cossack, Afanasy Petrovic Nikitin, took me in and raised me as his grandson. The Russian-American community, virulently anti-communist and nationalistic, but with a strong sense of social responsibility, formed a protective ‘square’ around me, … and I lacked nothing! It was during this time that my social-nationalistic views received their foundation, but it took 55 years for them to fully mature.
Modern socialism originated from an 18th-century intellectual and working class political movement that criticized the effects of industrialization and private property on society. The revival of republicanism in the American Revolution of 1776 and the egalitarian values introduced by the French Revolution of 1789 gave rise to socialism as a distinct political movement. In the early 19th century, “socialism” referred to any concern for the social problems of capitalism irrespective of the solutions to those problems.
Socialism is a social and economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system. “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them. They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets or planning, how management is to be organized within productive institutions, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.
By the late 19th century, “socialism” had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for an alternative post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership. During this time, German philosopher Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels published works criticizing the Utopian aspects of contemporary socialist trends and applied a materialist understanding of socialism as a phase of development which will come about through social revolution instigated by escalating and conflicting class relationships within capitalism. Alongside this there appeared other tendencies such as anarchism, revolutionary syndicalism, social-democracy, Marxism–Leninism and democratic socialism as well as the confluence of socialism with anti-imperialist and anti-racist struggles around the world.
Social nationalism describes the various integral nationalist movements, which place a strong and revolutionary focus on the social-welfare of the working-classes. Such movements arose initially out of the generation radicalized by the First World War, and positioned themselves as the radical center or third position in opposition to both international communism and capitalism, with a deep suspicion of international finance, as manifested politically in liberal and free-masonic plutocracy. Some of these movements came to power in Europe; most notably the Fascists in Italy, the National Socialists in Germany, the Arrow Cross in Hungary, the Ustaše in Croatia, the Legionaries in Romania and the Falange in Spain.
A significant part of the movement, found its theoretical origins in national syndicalism as a reconquest of socialism after the Second International had fallen under the complete control of the internationalist Marxists. The movement places a strong focus on hierarchy and order. In many cases, ideas originating from Georges Sorel, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oswald Spengler, Hubert Lagardelle, Sergio Panunzio, Antoun Saadeh, and others are utilized, but not applied in a dogmatic fashion. Many movements associated with this world-view, held that European civilization is in a process of decline and can only be regenerated through social-nationalism. Unfortunately nothing has changed, and European civilization today is again in a decline!
Social Nationalism vs National Socialism4
National Socialism and Social Nationalism operate on two separate intellectual planes: the former connects between race and nation and the later discounts any such connection.
National Socialism claims that keeping the blood and the race pure is a nation’s noblest task. It proclaimed the Germanic race as the new ‘icorpus mysticum’ on which the salvation of the Aryan race, and consequently that of the world, depended. By contrast, Social Nationalism excludes the notion of race as a criteria of nationality. Racial fusion as one of the driving forces of human history. Higher civilization is the product not of racial purity, but of the on-going inter-racial mixture. Whereas in national socialism the nation, in both its existence and history, is seen in a purely racial sense, in social nationalism, it is based on human as well as geographical factors.
In National Socialism, the national idea lost any pretense of scientific objectivity. This is because there is no correlation between race and national frontiers. More importantly, when seen from a purely social perspective, the nation is not a single race in the scientific sense, but a multiracial society fused together in multitudes. This fusion is a process by which two or more races combine to produce a new whole which is significantly different from each of its parent races, but includes elements from all of them, produced through the stimulation of contact and subsequent internal development.
A nation is a large group of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history. Nation can refer to “a people, race, or tribe; those having the same descent, language, and history.” Dictionaries generally define ‘nation’ as “a community of people composed of one or more nationalities with its own territory and government”. The concept of ‘nation’ is related to “ethnic community”. An ethnic community shares a common myth of origins and descent, a common history, elements of distinctive culture, a common territorial association, and sense of group solidarity.
Citizenship is about belonging to a nation. In that sense it is a state of mind. There exist an unwritten covenant between a citizen and his nation. This covenant is a two way street of mutual obligations. There cannot be any secondary allegiances, so dual citizenship is out by definition. Who is, and who is not a citizen must be clearly defined, as must be clearly defined on how one becomes a citizen — and place of birth cannot be a criteria, after all a cow born in a hose stable is not a horse, nor kittens born in an oven, buns! Citizenship should be based on parents, on the above noted ‘state of mind’, and a conscious oath taken upon coming of age! Citizenship implies unconditional loyalty!
Globalization and its Failure
The term globalization has been increasingly used since the mid-1980s. In 2000, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified four basic aspects of globalization: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people, and the dissemination of knowledge. Further, environmental challenges such as climate change, cross-boundary water and air pollution, and over-fishing of the ocean are linked with globalization. Globalizing processes affect and are affected by business and work organization, economics, socio-cultural resources, and the natural environment.6
Contrary to expectation, rapid globalization has resulted in the sharp economic decline of the west, and has disproportionately hurt the unskilled and middle class, while benefiting the wealthy. Wasteful military spending, and la lack of investment in ‘human’ capital, have contributed to this decline. Europe and the US have become “weak, slow and divided,” devolved into combatting (or supporting) special interests, without the ability to unite citizens on visionary policies. In this way, the advanced economies continue to lose wealth and influence. 7
The Need for Social Nationalism Now
Things are getting worse, not better. Unemployment and homelessness are rampant. Millions of people are being displaced, in Africa, the Middle East, and other parts of the world. Illegal immigration is rampant. There are wars everywhere. The social failures of current societies, of American imperialism, of European immobility, of Muslim militant-ism, are self-evident. There is no peace, and non in sight. There is no justice, and non in sight. The gap between the rich and poor is growing by leaps and bounds. A few live in excess luxury, while the great majority struggles to survive to months end! This is not just, this is not moral, this is not correct … this must change! The time is ripe for change … for Social Nationalism.
Social class is a controversial issue, having many competing definitions. Americans, for example, generally accept a simple three-class model that includes the “rich”, the “middle class”, and the “poor”.8 On the other hand, sociologists Dennis Gilbert, William Thompson, Joseph Hickey, and James Henslin propose a class system with six distinct social classes. An upper or capitalist class consisting of the rich and powerful, an upper middle class consisting of highly educated and affluent professionals, a middle class consisting of college-educated individuals employed in white-collar industries, a lower middle class composed of semi-professionals, a working class constituted by clerical and blue collar workers, and a lower class divided between the working poor and an unemployed underclass.
The precise measurements of what determines social class in society vary over time. Karl Marx, for example, determined “class” entirely by one’s relationship to the means of production, being the “proletarians”: those who work but do not own the means of production, the “bourgeoisie”, those who invest and live off of the surplus generated by the former, and the aristocracy that has land as a means of production. 9
In a Social Nationalists society “class” is also determined by one’s relationship to the means of production, but it differs from the Marxist vision in that all classes are “Working Classes”. This concept puts the highly educated at the top, the white collar workers at the middle, and the blue collar workers at the bottom. By definition, there are no capitalist, nor working poor, nor unemployed! Everyone is a “Worker”!
Social nationalism is about work, about health, about shelter, about environment … and above all, about duties! All citizens have a mutual duty to each other. The ‘citizens’, comes first … and all others come second! All available jobs, all public housing, in fact everything, must be oriented first of all to meet the needs of the citizens. Non-citizens, and guest-workers, are welcome and may have rights, but not at the expense, nor to the detriment, of citizens!
Our collective wellbeing depends on work. The absence of work translates directly into ill-being, social disadvantage, … and frustration. Unemployment diminishes the nation … makes it poor!
Work is a ‘right’, but it also is a ‘duty’. When a citizen becomes unemployed for any reason, it is the governments responsibility to find, or assign, him/her a job, be it in private sector or in government service … and it is the citizens duty to accept that assignment. Only citizen students, citizens of retirement age, citizens with serious health problems, and single parents citizens with minor children, may refuse such an assignment.
Earned Income vs Passive Income
Certain forms of passive income, to include but not limited to income from:
rental activity in which a citizen does not materially participate,
earnings from a business that does not require direct involvement form the owner or merchant,
portfolio income, dividend and interest income from owning securities, such as stocks and bonds,
should be discouraged. Citizens should be expected to materially participate in any business activity in which they have a vested interest, and not be parasites living at the expense and work of others! At the same time, royalties from publishing a book, from writing music, from licensing a patent, or other forms of intellectual property, such as computer software products, etc., should be actively encouraged!
Public Sector vs the Private Sector
Certain industries and services are of essence to the public well being and therefore should be operated, controlled and/or regulated by the Government.
Public Health. Good health is a citizen right. The government should insure that there is a public health industry, providing free essential and preventive public health services, medicines, tests, and facilities, to all citizens. The government should also insure that these free services are not abused nor wasted. The existence of free public health service does not preclude a private health industry, providing non free services to those who desire and can afford such services.
Shelter. Every citizen has a right to a roof over his head. The government should encourage private ownership of homes and apartments, while at the same time guaranteeing essential, minimalistic, public housing for those citizens, who for a variety of reasons, cannot afford to own, or rent, their own home.
Environment. A clean and healthy environment, with all its fauna and flora, is a public matter. Not only the government, but every citizen must do his/her part to protect and enrich the environment for future generations to come. Pollution is a crime … a crime against humanity!
Water. Potable water is essential to life and a citizen right. The non industrial use water supply should be under the full and direct control of the government. The government should insure that potable water is free, it sources and distribution are protected, and that this essential public resource is not abused nor wasted.
Education. There should be a free public school system, from preschool to university, tailored to raising honest and productive citizens, in direct competition with a private educational system aspiring to the same goals. The public education system should provide a living and housing allowance for adult students based on certain achievement and time restrains. Students failing to achieve the objectives within the set time restraints, should abandon their education endeavor and become productive members of the public and/or private sector work force.
Public Transportation. Public ground transportation should be in direct competition with private ground transportation. Public transportation networks should be affordable, comfortable, safe, and widely available.
Energy and Communication. There should be a public energy and communications sector in direct competition with the private sectors. The government should insure that energy is clean and affordable, and communication is private and secure.
Banks and Insurance. The right to coin money and control the monetary supply is a sovereign matter reserved to the government. Therefore there should be a State Bank in direct competition with private banking and the private insurance and investment sector, and private banking, investment and insurance should be under direct government scrutiny at all times.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” But what kinds of taxes do you pay today? Here are the 7 types of taxes, and the ways you pay them:
Income Taxes: These taxes are paid out by anyone who earns an income by any means. Income taxes are subject to deductions and tax credits; they are usually not paid by people under a certain income or who have special situations such as a disability.
Property Taxes: These are paid by anyone who owns property such as land, a home or commercial real estate. These taxes are often collected by the state and county to help fund their budgets. While income taxes are subject to deductions or credits, these taxes are often fairly rigid. Licensing fees on cars, recreational vehicles and watercraft are property taxes as well.
Consumptive Taxes: These are taxes on sales goods or items that are subjected to being used by either an individual or business. While everyone understands that a small amount of money is added on to the purchase of goods in the stores, many people overlook other taxes. A fishing or hunting license is a tax. Toll road fees are a tax, even if they call it a user fee. So are travel fees.
Corporate Taxes: All business structures pay taxes on the income made in that particular business.
Payroll Taxes: These taxes are taken out by the businesses before income is distributed to the individual in exchange for the work that was done, and businesses need to match a certain amount of these payroll taxes. This is an additional cost of having an employee.
Capital Gains taxes are paid on investments that have appreciated and have been sold. Examples are stocks, bonds, and real estate.
Inheritance or Estate Taxes: Of the 7 types of taxes, this is the only type where a tax can happen because of a death.
While few people relish paying taxes, everyone enjoys having good schools, roads and services. In the end, taxes improve our overall quality of life. And therein lies the key:
Government as a Service
A government should have only one purpose: To serve its citizens! In other words, the government should be a service provider, composed of Cost Centers and Profit Centers. Cost Centers are those government agencies, departments, ministries, companies, etc., that provide free services to the citizens. Profit Centers are government industries natural resources, agencies, departments, ministries, etc., that provide citizens, and private enterprise, with paid for services. Ideally, government Profit Centers should generate all the income needed to cover the operating costs of Cost Centers. Since this however may not always be possible, the government may, from time to time, impose levies on the income, property, and wealth of people or companies, to cover the excess cost of government services.
For a Social Nationalist State, the actual form of government is irrelevant. Social nationalism can coexist with any existing form of government10:
Democracy. “Democracy” literally means “rule by the people.”
Republic. A literal democracy is impossible and consequently all “democracies” are really republics. In a republic, the people elect representatives to make and enforce laws.
Monarchy. A monarchy is rule by a king or queen. Most monarchies today resemble republics, with an elected parliament, and a king as a moral and unifying authority above politics.
Oligarchy. Oligarchs are typically wealthy, educated people. Many monarchies and republics are in fact ruled by oligarchs. Like dictators, very few oligarchs admit being such.
Dictatorship. A dictatorship consists of rule by one person or a group of people. Very few dictators admit they are dictators; they almost always claim to be leaders of democracies.
Democratic Republic. Usually, a “democratic republic” is not democratic and is not a republic. A government that officially calls itself a “democratic republic” is usually a dictatorship. Communist dictatorships have been especially prone to use this term.
The author personally prefers Monarchy, with autonomous self-governing regions, states or provinces, but that is a personal preference and irrelevant to this intellectual exercise. However, a social-nationalist government should be true to two basic principles:
Referendum. Legislative and repeal referendums should be the highest law of the land, and their results should automatically amend the constitution, if any.
Annuality. Annuality was an ancient Roman practice that limited the length of the service period of an elected or appointed public official, and barred him/her from being reelected or re-appointed to the same office for 10 year.
The citizens right to vote is not only a right, but also a duty. A citizen has the duty to express his opinion openly and in confidence. For this reason alone, there should be no such thing as a secret ballot … at any level! A citizen who does not have the courage to stand openly by his vote is not a worthy citizen!
Corruption by an elected or appointed government official is high treason, and should be punishable as such.
Foreign aid is a contradiction of the social nationalist principle: To serve its Citizens. Thus foreign aid should be only humanitarian, as in the case of natural disasters. Man-made disasters should only concern a social nationalist state when they may have a spill over effect on the well being of its citizens!
The military doctrine of a social nationalist state should be defensive. The ideal model is the Swiss model, where there is a small professional army, most arms and military technology is locally researched and manufactured, and all citizens are part of a national militia, armed and ready to defend their country at a moments notice. Furthermore, as Robert A. Heinlein once said: “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life”.
Religion and Ethnicity
The laws of a social nationalist state must reflect the identification and values of the vast majority of its citizens. This means a state may have a specific religious, racial, cultural and ethnic orientation. Israel for example is a ‘Jewish State’ where the Jewish majority come first. Switzerland is a confederation where Swiss citizens come first, and therefore the referendum is the supreme law. This is respect! This is democracy! This is the ‘will of the people’!
When someone does not wish to live by the values of the vast majority of the People, he/she should vote with their feet. Leave!
The Italian constitution recognizes the dignity of the person, both as an individual and in social groups, expresses a notions of solidarity and equality without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions. For this purpose, the right to work is recognized, with labor considered the foundation of the Republic and a means to achieve individual and social development.11 A wonderful theory, so why are 43% of the youth unemployed,12 while Italian politicians are paid three times the European average?13 Time for change, time for revolution, time to march on Rome, time for Social Nationalism!
The United States of America
The founding fathers were the maximum intellects of their time. Having experienced mistreatment at the hands of the British government, the writers of the US Constitution were careful to limit the powers of government and protect the rights of the individuals. According to their vision, the primary purpose of the federal government was to:
Defend the shores
Establish a system of currency,
Deliver the mail, and
Protect individual rights
So why did the USA morph into an Empire with “military personnel in over 130 countries, supported by an integrated network of 900 military bases and installations abroad” (–Congressman Ron Paul)!? Why has a “… government of the people, by the people, for the people …”(–Abraham Lincoln) been transformed into a “government of banks and large corporations, for the banks and large corporations”?The country is in an economic mess, and who gets bailed out? The banks and large corporations!
The Tenth Amendment states that: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”(– US Constitution). Time for the States to take back what is theirs and protect their citizens: State citizens, not US citizens! When a government fails to live up to the expectations of its citizens, it is time for change, time for revolution, time for Social Nationalism!
Unemployment benefits are generally half of earned income, or less. They are paid to people while they seek work. But when there is no work, these benefits become a subsidy, with the unemployed ‘twirling their thumbs’. Is it not better to pay people a minimum wage for mandatory and useful temporary work in the private or public secto
Public Transport: There was a time when buses and trains had conductors. How public transport buses, how many public railroad coaches are there on the road today? If we put one steward on each bus and railroad car, how many jobs will create? The steward would check and sell tickets, help passengers, keep order, and keep the vehicle clean. Maybe not much of a job or career, but better than sitting at home and doing nothing!
Caregivers and domestics: How many elderly citizens and citizens with handicaps could use a caregiver and domestic help? Why should these jobs be done by foreigners? Under strict government control, how many jobs does this translate into?
Environment: How many dirty streets, dirty parks, dirty woods, old and dilapidated buildings, polluted areas, etc., are there? How many environmental jobs can we create? Use your imagination!
There is no shortage of work, but there is a shortage of WILL, a deficit of ORGANIZATION, and a lack of CIVIL RESPONSIBILITY. We need Social Nationalism!
Rome, Italy, 2014-08-30