more on nationalism

Kenny Mostern kennym at uclink2.berkeley.edu
Sat Apr 8 23:50:04 MDT 1995


Part of the reason I'm a marxist who often doesn't get along with other
marxists is because I think that if you're not working in movements, and
supporting movements you're not in, you're irrelvant.  Call it populism
if you like.  This does not mean that Laclau and Mouffe's nonmarxist
argument, that any movement is as good (and as like to bring about social
change) as any other is true.  Its not.  It does, however, stem from a
certain impulse perhaps not entirely unlike L & M and their supporters:
the sense that there can be no marxism without negotiating the lack of
large-scale identification with marxist categories.  If people fighting
oppression do so, consistently, under the banner of nationalism rather
than proletarianism, its not good enough for us to say--that's bad.  We
have to say--we'll support you, and we'll see what happens next.  And
yes, often we know exactly what will happen next:  the police state of
the bourgeoisie.  Which is not, of course, worse than what happened
before, and is potentially better.

Serious marxist movements, if they occur in my lifetime in the U.S.,
anyway, will occur as the outcome of other movements (most like
anti-racist/pro-autonomy movements), not instead of them.

Kenny Mostern
UC-Berkeley Ethnic Studies Graduate Group

Against:  racism, sexism, homophobia, capitalism, militarism
For:  the truth--and the funk!



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