A socialist guide to the World Cup

The World Cup is fast approaching with the amount of transnational corporations saying they support “your” National team reaching saturation point. Mars bars love England! The world cup can be a difficult time for socialists. For example if someone covers themselves and their house in union jack’s outside of the world cup period you might suspect that person is excessively patriotic/Nazi. However in the world cup period it is getting so common that I expect to be beat up for not singing God Save the Queen before I take a piss. In this situation there are a number of options open to a socialist, they include:

 The Billy Bragg option:

Support England, wave the flag and state that football brings everyone together from different ethnicities/sexualities/religions to unite around a common goal (apart from Foreigners)

The Lenin option:

Take the games on a one by one basis. When America plays England this will be a situation of Inter-Imperialist rivalry therefore following Lenin’s idea of Revolutionary defeatism the English should hope that England loses and Americans should hope America loses.

The Trotsky option:

If Portugal plays Brazil support Brazil because they suffered under the colonialism of Portugal, in this way you are supporting anti Imperialism. However you should also try to turn the National Liberation struggle of the victory of Brazil against Portugal into a struggle for socialism.  You should say something along the lines of “I’m glad Brazil won, but wouldn’t they play better if it wasn’t a competition and the players were elected in workers councils”.

The Christopher Hitchen’s option:

Support England as they invented both democracy and football. If any team beats England say that the team is full of backwards medieval cheats and that we should bomb them into playing the game in a more civilised manner. This is the option most favoured by football commentators.

Feel Free to add your own.


6 responses to “A socialist guide to the World Cup

  1. How about the ‘Support the Winning Team’ option — favoured by Man United fans who only support them because they’ve dominated English football for nearly two decades? 😉

    The closest position to mine is probably the Billy Bragg one, although I support it with no illusions — i.e. unlike Bragg I recognise that most England fans are in fact knobs. However, it can also bring people together — we always get a fair few refugees from the likes of Iraq and Iran wearing England tops at this time of year.

    A meeting on this would be really good.

  2. How about enjoy the game for what it is? A game. And the occasion for what it is? The first World Cup on African soil and the first major world media event in South Africa since Nelson Mandela and Francois Peinaar set out to unite SA’s sporting divisions of race at the ’95 RFU WC.

  3. I’ve actually opted for the “Cult of personality” chairman Mao option, that is support Portugal for Ronaldo. After the England v USA game this statement in the Daily Mirror is even more true.
    “Capello took the opportunity to introduce Emile Heskey to British Airways Staff before boarding the plane, just so he could see some effective strikers at close quarters”
    Check out this article regarding the World Cup being held in South Africa: http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=21486

  4. Victory to North Korea!

    Critical support to the deformed worker’s state!

  5. putting too much store in the results of what is essentially inter-capitalist rivalry in which the working populations have no opportunity to influence is alienation. In 1974 during the Portuguese Revolution the attendences at football matches slumped, as did the sales of sporting papers. If you are making history – taking control of your life and collectively influencing how the world is – then what a bunch of blokes (who may, or may not, be from somewhere not too far from where you live) do against another bunch of blokes (who may, or may not, be from somewhere further away) in a game of footy really is not important. The stewards striking to defend their pay – that is the revolutionary approach to defence and strikers!

  6. Gary Duncan, Left Unity

    My option – ignore the whole bloody lot and focus on more important matters.

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