C.L.R.James (J.R. Johnson.)

Jose G. Perez jgperez at SPAMnetzero.net
Mon May 8 07:35:59 MDT 2000

    In my opinion, Sol Dollinger abandons a Marxist framework of analysis
when he begins talking about "nationalism" in the abstract as such,
counterposing it to a "principled ... internationalism" that is presented on
the equally abstract plane of ideas.

    What needs to be done in each and every case is to examine the actual
social and class forces behind a given "nationalism" (or "internationalism"
for that matter)  and to see how THIS nationalism fits into the world
struggle against imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism.

    Otherwise we are left merely talking about ideas in general, as if
ideas, and not actual class forces in motion, were the key to understanding
the movement of history and our part in it.

    Take, for example, "Cuban nationalism" which Sol Dollinger considers
just as reactionary as any other, for example, U.S. imperialist American
nationalism which, among other things, seeks to abolish Cuban nationalism
quite radically by wiping out the Cuban nation and annexing Cuba to the
United States.

    In what way is it helpful in the slightest, in this ACTUAL conflict that
had been going on under our very eyes for the last century or more, to place
an equal signs between these two "nationalisms"?  Isn't it clear as can be
that Cuban nationalism has in fact been counterposed to American
nationalism, that Cuban nationalism, on the ground, in the real world, is a
totally different phenomenon than American nationalism, that, at bottom, it
is the expression of the interests of a different class or group of classes
than those whose interests American nationalism expresses.

    I contend it is not possible to be a consistent proletarian
INTERnationalist without ALSO being a "Cuban nationalist," without viewing
the Cuban nation as it exists and lives and fights today as OUR nation, as
an expression of our class interests.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Sol Dollinger" <soldoll at inreach.com>
To: <Marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 06, 2000 10:08 PM
Subject: Fw: C.L.R.James (J.R. Johnson.)

> Trotsky's support of Johnson's position in 1939  was at a time when we had
> little or no experience with Afro Ameicans.  Later events proved Johnson
> Trotsky wrong.  Jewish Nationalism, Black Nationalism,  Asian nationalism
> Cuban Nationalism is in conflict with our principled stand on
> internationalism.  It is a problem that should be discussed openly among
> Marxists.

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