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.