Lenin & nationalism

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Fri Apr 7 13:24:51 MDT 1995

Alex did not mention that he was quoting from a 1935 article by Paul
Mattick "Luxemburg vs. Lenin" which was reprinted in PM's   Anti-Bolshevik
Communism (London: Merlin Press, 1978), p. 27. There is much to talk about
in this article; the comparison of the two revolutionaries' crisis theories
is also quite interesting.

>"The 'liberated' nations form a fascist ring around Russia. 'Liberated'
>Turkey shoots down the communists with arms supllied to her by Russia.
>China, supported in its national struggle for freedom by Russia and the
>Third International, throttles its labor movement in a manner reminiscent
>of the Paris Commune. Thousands and thousands of workers' corpses are
>testimony of the correctness of Rosa Luxemburg's view that the phrase
>about the right of self-determination of nations is nothing but 'petty
>bourgeois humbug.' The extent to which the 'struggle for national
>liberation is a struggle for democracy' (lenin) is surely revealed by the
>nationalistic adventures of the Third International in Germany,
>adventures which contributed their share to the preconditions for the
>victory of fascism. Ten years of competition with Hitler for the title to
>real nationalism turned the workers themselves into fascists. And
>Litvinov celebrated in the League of Nations the victory of the Leninist
>idea of the self-determination of peoples on the occasion of the Saar
>plebiscite. Truly, in view of this development, one must indeed wonder at
>people like Max Schactman who still today are capable of saying: 'Despite
>the sharp criticism levelled by Rosa at the Bolsheviks for their national
>policy after the revolution, the latter was nevertheless confirmed by
>results.'" [in _The Modern Monthly_; quote by Schactman from _The New
>International_, March 1935]
>And we can, no doubt, look forward to the day when IRA, PLO, and ANC
>governments will shoot down the workers. So put that in your pipe and
>smoke it, comrades.

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