Reply to Mac on national self-determination

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Wed Aug 9 19:38:42 MDT 2000

I hope you can see the points I'm making here about what you are
doing/saying. I only disagree with you on the issue ever so slightly, so
realise that all the anger is about your delivery, not your politics. Please
take note, and quit trying to sound like a biblical Marxist. You brain is a
good one, but your delivery is driving me nuts. You don't want to end up
like James P Cannon, do you?

Owen, I never called for a Russian victory nor a defeat.
but when you talk like this:

However, what I am deadly opposed to is what may be termed "vulgar
> anti-imperialism", i.e., abandoning a class perspective and measuring
> by degrees of anti-imperialism.

You sound like an arrogant ass-hole. Do you even know that? You should only
bring up the following information:

>  In fact the conspiracy against Chechnya is particularly frightening and
> just what the Russian bourgeoisie is capable of - just think what they
> do when the working class fight back again. You see, the apartment bombs
> nothing to do with Chechen rebels.
>  During the apartment bombings, some understandably nervous residents of
> apartment block found some bags had mysteriously appeared in their cellar.
> they enquired they were told it was sugar. When they discovered their
> was actually wired up to explosives which were ready to blow the apartment
> to the next galaxy, the Russia secret services (the FSB) swooped in,
> the bags, and explained they were just carrying out a test operation.
> these residents did not believe them.

And respect other comrades to draw similar conclusions. I already have. I
support Chechen s-d, but the Nazi movement that is "Chechen" does not
represent self-determinaton in Chechnya any more than the Dalai lama does in
Tibet. Period. And I'm not drawing any analogies between Russia and China
here, but the "freedom movements".

>  In fact, all the Chechen rebels denied responsibility. One does not carry
> a ruthless bombing campaign and fail to make any political capital out of
> Indeed, since the Chechens had defeated the Russians they would surely
> known that blowing up apartments would be the perfect excuse to get the
> flattening them again, as indeed happened. And in fact, not a single
> was arrested.

again, invaluable information, which I've heard elsewhere. It makes the
nature of the Russian ruling class even more clearly sinister. I'm glad you
took the time to post it, but:

Don't drop names like this. it's pretentious and doesn't help.
"Well, I know this guy, so listen to me..."

>  Now, I met the Russian revolutionary socialist working class militant
> Oleg Shein a few weeks ago. He leads a trade union which is leading
> factory occupations. He leads a new communist working class movement
> from 31 different groups, the Movement for a Workers' Party. He is also
> only Marxist elected to the Russian Duma. And he, UNRESERVEDLY, opposed
> brutal suppression of Chechen self-determination, and said explicitly he
> this whilst acknowledging an clerical-fascist state similar to Iran would
> formed. His support was not only out of solidarity with his Chechen
> and sisters, but because he knew the effect this war had had on
> class consciousness. If he had supported the war, he would have completely
> to his bourgeoisie and betrayed the Russian working class. That is the
> of Russia's leading working class revolutionary and one that has more
> than any of us here.
>  Our support for national self-determination has no conditions; it is

Again, I do not agree, when a movement is completely tied to someone else.
Iran and Chechnya are on different sides of the coin, all they have in
common is a religious doctrinairity.

> Should I have opposed national self-determination for Saudi Arabia on the
> it would become a clerical-fascist state and run oil for the West? Should
> have opposed national self-determination for India and the death of
> imperialist control on the grounds that Pakistan would have enslaved its
> as a result and only the good old civilised British would show them how to
> them?

You still view a Russia that is Imperialist. I don't see that at all. that
is where we differ. Supporting Chechen S-D amounts to supporting American
designs in the area. On the other hand, as you mention, supporting the
Russian bourgeoisie is just like supporting the destruction of the Russian
working class. This is not an imperialist war. The only answer is to call
for a defeat on all sides, much like the First World War. But I can not do
anything about it from here. We should also drink from the reality cup and
grasp that fact as well.

Indeed, we could go further and say that I opposed the right of national
> self-determination to all those peoples enslaved by British imperialism on
> grounds that the resulting states would all be capitalist and not
> of the proletariat? No. For that would be silly ultra-leftism.

And if I said that you could yell me down. But I didn't, and you are only
being condescending. This is a horrible habit, and is how you have made so
many cyber enemies.  I was very impressed with how you handled your
conversation with Gary. Too bad it didn't stay the same.

Drop this "as Marxists" crap you type below. It puts peoples back up so fast
that no one will hear you. You are not Lenin and you are not talking to your
party and
followers. You are talking to people who have studied Marx and Lenin. That's
IT. It reads like one of the bad papers of some small sectariam outfit,
particualrly the Sparts. Read their paper and see how similar their
arrogance comes across. You do want people to hear you, right? I get madder
than is either your intent or is truly our difference when I see shit like:

>  As Marxists, we tolerate not the slightest violence against any nation.

and extremely pissed off when you say this kind of crap below. I won't even
take it
from Fidel Castro, and I sure as hell won't from you.

Whenever you want to talk to me about your ideas, say the odd "I think"or
"my opinion is" etc. Until you can do that, and especially when you talk
down your nose, all I'll want to do is bloody it for you, and delete the
message. You spend a lot of time writing this stuff. Make it readable and
full of respect. Then maybe you will get it back.

>  Mac, as you know, I have the greatest of respects for you as a sincere
> young revolutionary, but you must really develop a class perspective.

On that last line: FUCK YOU. now, having said that:

>  Cheers
>      Owen

Cheers back.

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