Self Determination- Support It!

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Aug 22 10:45:26 MDT 2000

>Do you mean the concept of self-determination makes only sense in colonial
>Whats about the case of Sweden and Norway, Lenin wrote about?

Approaching the question in a strict historical sense, yes--Lenin was
focused on the right to secede of oppressed nationalities. That was the
burning issue until the end of WWII when colonialism came to an end in much
of the world, with a few exceptions here and there.

Today there are still some classic instances of the kind that Lenin focused
on: Kurds, Palestinians, Puerto Ricans, and Okinawa. But for the most part
we are dealing with neo-colonialism. In this case secession is not the
issue, but national sovereignty which revolves around the right of a nation
to use its own resources for the benefit of the people without outside
interference by imperialist banks, corporations, spies and soldiers. That
is the reason that the Cuban revolution invoked the example of Jose Marti,
who led the fight for independence from Spain. Despite formal independence,
the country was not free. This is also the reason that Chavez's embrace of
Simon Bolivar is so important. As Trotsky pointed out, the fight for
independence by oppressed nations in the imperialist epoch has a
anticapitalist dynamic.

Louis Proyect

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