Barack Obama’s “One Nation” Theory

October 30, 2014

One measure of the ultra-reactionary character of the monopoly capitalist class is its program of slandering the poor and most vulnerable and strengthening the system of discrimination and oppression on the basis of race, nationality and national origin.

Today, Barack Obama repeatedly insists that America is “one nation” and calls on everyone to be “loyal” to the “core American values” which allegedly define this “one nation.”  In this way, Obama wants people to forget both the historical subjugation and enslavement of various nations as well as the continuing discrimination and oppression which is imposed on the minority peoples and immigrants.

In addition, Obama’s “one nation theory” tries to justify the suppression and enslavement of the workers of all nationalities. The “American values” insisted upon by the capitalist politicians and ideologues, of course, turn out to be nothing but the values of the monopoly capitalist class – values enshrining the rights of private property in the means of production.

And while Obama defames those who are not “loyal” to “core American values” the mass media and leading capitalist politicians step up their filthy anti-social propaganda, using code words to defame immigrants, poor families, working class and minority youth etc. with such titles as “lazy,” “welfare cheats,”  “criminals,” “terrorists,” and so forth.

The slogans of “American values” and “one nation” are based on mystical, fascist theories which aim simultaneously at liquidating the class struggle of the workers against the bourgeoisie and at intensifying the yoke of national oppression and racial discrimination.

Obama’s “one nation theory” works by confusing the concepts of “state” or “country” with the concept of “nation.”  While there is one state in the U.S. and – in the sense of all that is encompassed within certain definite borders – we can speak of one country, the reality is that this country is composed of many nations and peoples. In fact, the U.S. capitalist state has forcibly subjugated the Mexican people, the Native Indians, the African people, the people of Puerto Rico, Hawaii and others. Further, as peoples from all the continents have immigrated here, the capitalist state has built and fostered a system of discrimination and oppression of immigrant workers.

So too, Obama’s “one nation theory” denies the legitimate group rights of the peoples, such as the right to self-determination for the oppressed nations or the language rights of various national minorities. In addition, the “one nation theory” denies the individual rights of the minority peoples, creating a hierarchy of citizenship on the basis of national origin.

Carrying the struggle to abolish all forms of discrimination and oppression on the basis of race, nationality, national origin, etc. through to the end means abolishing the capitalist state, which is founded and thrives on the oppression of nationalities, and creating a new, modern political system in which all power resides in and is wielded by the people themselves.

A modern social and political system must guarantee, in practice, equal rights and equal responsibility for every member of society. Such a system must recognize the legitimate group rights of the black people and other oppressed minorities, including the right to self-determination for the oppressed nations, such as Puerto Rico, the Native Indians and others.