Self Determination- Support It!

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Sat Aug 26 13:11:03 MDT 2000

Lou states-
<Our criterion is whether a particular struggle for self-determination
advances the class struggle. Period.>

That does not mean that national struggles against imperialist
adventures can only be supported when the victimized are countries
struggling for (or already have) planned economies.     Third World
countries under military and economic attack by the US are worthy of
unconditional support, no matter what the class relations are within
their borders.

Lou again-
<Basically, Tony is worried about 'Balkanization'. This phenomenon in
itself is of no great interest to Marxists.>

This is just purely false.      Balkaniation is a method traditionally
used by imperialism to maintain its capitalist control over Third World
resources.       This is a method that has wrecked havoc in the Middle
East and Africa, as elsewhere.

Balkanization under ethnic lines can never be done in a pure way, where
each little statelet is ethnically pure.     The marxist movement
traditionally has counterposed its internationalism as a solution to the
efforts of the imperialist countries to Balkanize the Third World.

<But you've given implicit support for the right of Russia to retain
Chechnya, haven't you? As I've pointed out to you, Clinton and Blair
have not only given political support to the war against the
secessionists but have sent over their cops to help track down Chechen

Yes, Lou, Putin and Clinton are allies, and  Clinton is the enemy of
Chechnya.      But the reverse is also true.      Clinton and Putin are
at odds with each other, and Clinton is the friend of the Chechen

Furtermore, this equation is much more complicated than even this.
There are multituds of national struggles going on in the fSU.      Who
is allied with who is a very complex affair.

My position is simply, that marxists in the US and Britain, as well as
Germany and France should  confine themselves to supporting a regional
self-determination that precludes intervention and involvement from the
imperialist countries.     Is that to be seen as giving support to
Putin?       Rather, it is a position of not judging national squabbles
from outside the region of where they are occurring.

The reason that it is necessary to do this, is because imperialism
switches its alliances constantly,  often betraying former friends and
allies.     It is not the marxist task in the imperial countries, to be
casting our votes in these affairs for the general public manipulated by
the bourgeous media.

Our task is to call for self determination in those regions that the US
and European countries intervene in, and to try to sabotage our
government's ability to use military force or economic coercion to
determine events to its benefit.

<Furthermore, this isn't a very useful methodology when it comes to
intra-imperialist rivalry, as opposed to the 'new world order' of today.
During WWII Irish, Indian, Arab and East Asian liberation movements were
often accused of being pro-Nazi or pro-Japan because their needs clashed
with the allies. And so what if the IRA received arms from the Nazis?
Would that make their cause less worthy?>

You draw on issues during an inter-imperialist World War to try to
derive wisdom on the national stuggles occurring today in a world of one
imperialist super power.      But I think that this illustrates the way
some want to see the ethnic struggles going on today.   They want to
elevate Russia, Yugoslavia, and Indonesia into being imperilism itself,
in action.      That's why the emphasis is constantly placed on the
'aggressions' of the central governments of these Third World countries.
'Aggression' being almost a code word for imperialism.

And this is what leads to why those countries do not receive the support
they deserve from US and European marxists, while in their battles
against the imperialist bloc to maintain national self-determination.
It is always easier to see one's own capitalist class as bad news, but
to prefer it over the unknown terror of decisions being made by
capitalist classes from elsewhere, if they were to gain the power.
Or, so many Leftists historically have felt.

While we are talking Chechnya, it might be much better if we were to be
promoting the demonstrations to protest Clinton's visit to Colombia this

Self-Determination For The Colombian People!      US Out of South

Tony Abdo

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