John Aspinall has a letter in The Morning Star (April 6, 2o10). The essence of the letter is that sport is a tool of the ruling class so that the members of the working class will support one football team and direct their hatred to other football teams as opposed to the real enemy – the ruling class. Sport, therefore, is “the enemy of the revolution.”
For those of you who are not avid readers of The Morning Star, I copy the letter in full below:
Obsession with sport real enemy of the revolution
We know the corporate press bombard us with their propaganda on the front pages, but let us not ignore the divisive tactics they use on their back pages as well.
Sport is the enemy of revolution.
The savage and ignorant mentality of football fans is one example of a psychological poison which divides us, the working class, from each other. It is a divide-and-rule tactic loved by the ruling class.
The ugly mindset of many football supporters is a created tribalism, and tribalism is a close relative of patriotism. The country’s working people are divided into regional tribes by the absurd love of sport. Newcastle/Sunderland, Liverpool/Everton, Manchester United/City and Arsenal/Tottenham are a few big-name examples. Working people are divided, sometimes by violence, between their “loyalty” for these capitalist hierarchies.
This works on a national level too. When an imperialist war is required, the working class are herded along by their tribal/patriotic nose-rings into supporting the murderous campaigns because they believe that we are “superior” to those humans who were born, by no more than accident, on a different land mass. Patriotism is national tribalism.
The masses are given a booster-jab of this tribal poison with fatuous national rubbish like the Olympics and the football World Cup every few years.