The Right of Nations to Self Determination -Reply

Fri Aug 4 11:26:07 MDT 1995

>>> Howie Chodos <howie at>  8/4/95, 09:04am >>>
 Narrow nationalism usually ends up serving as a cover for the class
interests of the dominant group within the oppressed nation.

I think Howie's got a good point here.  For me, "self-determination"
raises the question of "who is the 'self' here?"

When every "self-determination" [nationalism] is an effort to re-draw
boundaries so as to favor the rule of just a different set of rulers,
is that progressive?  Did Croatia have a 'right' to withdraw from
Yugo. in the name of self-determination, regardless of the way that
newly created minorities were then treated?  regardless of the
redistribution of money that occurred?  or any socioeconomic changes
that might follow?

I think the issues of ethnic division combined with the lack of
"minority rights" is a splintering force in many places.  Because, if
a minority feels abused within some larger state, all they have to do
is draw a new boundary in order to create a new nation/state in which
they are no longer a minority!

This is fueled by the notion of democracy apparently believed by many
i.e. the tyrrany of the majority.  "We just vote, maj. rules and min.
is SOL" [non-literal US slang, SOL = shit out of luck].  But it's the
same problem also when any kind of government is effectively
ethnicist/racist [aren't there some similarities?] due to corruption
or whatever.  No wonder every ethnicity would like to draw its own
new boundaries!

I hope and suggest that a fair and decent, revolutionary state would
not have such strong splintering forces active within it.  It would
be bad enough just to try to deal with factions that want to split
just so they can get richer than unity with others will allow.


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