Racism/nationalism

Tom Meisenhelder tsmeisen at wiley.csusb.edu
Sun Apr 9 14:07:31 MDT 1995



I think the thing for radicals in the developed societies --especially
those of us in the US belly of the beast--to do is 1) support nationalist
struggles in the "third world" to the extent that they are progressive
even in the liberal sense of reforms that would improve the life-chances
of ordinary people while noting and critiquing the dangers of elitism
wherever they exist.  A critical solidarity like that many of us hold
toward say the Sandinistas or Cuba.  And, 2) --much more importantly-- do
whatever we can to prevent US imperialism from crushing these movements
or from turning them to the right.  The least we can do here is to
protest American foreign policy (a la Chomsky and the anti-apartheid
movement), the most we ought  to do is work for socialism at home.  Tom>  >
Alex,
 >
> There's nothing particularly novel about the idea that serious freedom
> fighters may become serious tyrants.
>
> The question, from my point of view, is:  is national and anti-colonial
> struggle, at certain determinate moments of history, a necessary
> prerequisite to internationalist socialism?  And, further, what is the
> responsibility of the internationalist socialist from the imperialist
> country or part of the world toward the (however inadequate, but
> nonetheless factual) nationalist movement.
>
> And, by the way, the lovely old left distinction between "advocating
> nationalism" and "advocating the right to self-determination" is one
> which has covered innumerable sins.  If someone has the right to
> self-determination, you don't turn around and tell her, when she seeks
> it, oh, but I don't support you.
>
> Kenny Mostern
> UC-Berkeley Ethnic Studies Graduate Group
>
> Against:  racism, sexism, homophobia, capitalism, militarism
> For:  the truth--and the funk!
>
>
>
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>



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