nationalism

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Sat Apr 8 14:25:55 MDT 1995


Alex,

I'm a bit puzzled by your brand of antinationalism. OK, so a lot of
nationalist third world movements have not been emancipatory. But is your
view that we should oppose these movements in exercising their claim to
self-determination. For example, should we have said of the Sandinistas,
you're you better than the contras? What should we say about the
Zapatistas, to hell with you?

--Justin Schwartz

On Sat, 8 Apr 1995, Alex Trotter wrote:

>
> I thought it should be readily apparent that there is a connection
> between Leninist theories of imperialism and contemporary nationalist fronts
> such as IRA, PLO, ANC, etc. even though none of those particular
> organizations was ever directly connected to the Third International.
> Many leftists have been convinced that nationalist fronts represent the
> "progressive forces" whose victory would help to weaken imperialism (and
> presumably capitalism too). This position was heavily influenced by the
> ideology of the Soviet leadership from the days of the Comintern right
> through post-Stalinist revisionism. Now that the USSR is no longer around
> and the regional conflicts bequeathed by British or other Western
> colonialism in Ireland, Palestine, S. Africa etc. are approaching a kind
> of "resolution" (in the sense that the nationalist opponents of
> imperialism have been, or look like they might be, granted a share of the
> franchise), it can be seen how limited and inadequate their version of
> "progress" really is. With their own flags, postage stamps, police, and
> standing armies, these forces of "liberation" will now help to enforce the
> New World Order. Capitalism doesn't need official policies of racism to
> survive; in fact, it functions better without them. Energies that could
> have gone toward destroying capitalism altogether in its totality have for
> decades been channeled instead into campaigns to defeat particular archaic
> features of it. I don't mean to belittle those who struggled and died or
> spent time in jail fighting against apartheid, but now that the ANC is in
> power, it should be clear to everyone that it poses no threat whatsoever
> to the reign of capital. In order for the ANC to govern, it must say to
> its constituents, "OK, we won. The revolution is over now. Everybody get
> back to work." Are there powerful trade unions in S. Africa?
> Wonderful--they can now pacify and control the working class just like
> trade unions everywhere else. Their function will be no different than
> that of the AFL-CIO or the British TUC. The new S. Africa still must go
> along with the demands of global capital, and if the workers in S. Africa
> fail to go along, then the new functionaries of the state apparatus, who
> happen to be the ANC, will discipline them.
>
> As for the PLO, we've already seen its police open fire on Palestinians.
>
> --AT
>
>
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