Lenin, secession and the national question

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky gorojovsky at SPAMinea.com.ar
Thu Dec 30 20:42:17 MST 1999

Our Ethiopian friends wrote:

:Clearly Lenin knew
:little outside of Europe, for by this definition, most African
countries do
:not constitute 'nations', not even little Eritrea, which shares
9 separate
:language groups - Tigrigna, Kunama, Saho, Afar, Hedarb, Arabic,
Tigre, Bilen
:and Rashaida.

Not at all. He knew little outside of Europe (something he never
denied, and even stated publicly during the Congress of Baku),
but the definition has nothing to do with the construction of a
nation for each nationality (Lenin was very keen of the Swiss
example to show, against the ideas of the chauvinist Russifiers,
that four nationalities could be united democratically into a
single nation). It implies, on the contrary, that outside Europe
there have not been national revolutions. No African country
constitutes a nation, in the same manner no Latin American
country constitutes a nation. Imperialism has either deformed,
thwarted or drowned in blood the processes by which our peoples
would have been able to constitute nations out of our local
realities. This is the deep truth beneath the quote from Bolivar
I am so fond of: "Allow us to live our own Middle Ages by

The confusion between nationalities and nations still plagues our
thinking, which may prove fatal for our action.

By the way, reading on Tawodros II on the Britannica Online, I
learnt that he was of plebeian origin. Is this true?

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at inea.com.ar

More information about the Marxism mailing list