Jim Blaut on Lenin and the National Question

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Mon Nov 20 17:38:07 MST 2000

>  >"This Nation and socialism are one and the same thing"
>  >Ho Chi Minh
>NY Times, November 20, 2000
>Vietnam's New Struggle: How Global to Become?
>HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, Nov. 19 — Bill Clinton took extra trouble 30
>years ago to avoid showing up here for America's first conflict with Vietnam.

Nixon in China, Albright in North Korea, & now Bill Clinton in
Vietnam....  Luckily, Fidel settled for the Pope, the Canadians, the
Spaniards, etc. & refused to go the distance.

>Without Third World nationalism, there would not have been Third
>World socialism.
>Henry C.K. Liu

Quite right, with a couple of modifications:

Third World nationalism was a necessary but not sufficient condition
for Third World socialism.  And at this point in history, we hear
more of nationalist rhetoric without any substance; in fact, more
often than not, the idea of need for national competitiveness, etc.
gets used to _destroy gains made in the past_, sometimes in such a
way that the social reality of the nation melts down.

>From: "Ulhas Joglekar" <ulhasj at bom4.vsnl.net.in>
>To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
>Subject: Re: Report on dams boosts Narmada project
>Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 22:08:55 +0530
>X-Priority: 3
>Sender: owner-marxism at lists.panix.com
>Reply-To: marxism at lists.panix.com
>Louis wrote:
>  > The Indian bourgeoisie, like the Chinese CP, is
>  > determined to "modernize" at all costs. When modernization is in conflict
>  > with the interests of small peasants, we know who will win out--unless of
>  > course the voice of the people is too powerful to override.
>I agree. The Indian state is fully committed to modernisation and the mass
>of Indian poor is too disorganised to defend themselves.
>There is a further problem that Indian CPs have been too closely identified
>with the fSU and Chinese CP. The disintegration of SU and evolution of
>China has put Indian Left on the defensive.
>There is a larger question here.There would appear to be a conflict between
>the defense of national sovereignty and the welfare of the poor. The former
>requires further concentration and centralisation of capital and
>technological upgradation. (And I am not now talking about big dams.) This
>inevitably leads to marginalisation and pauperisation (absolute as well
>relative) of mass of population.
>In a world context in which there is only one superpower, all states have to
>reorganise and restructure in order to be globally competitive. This can
>only happen by increasing the mass and the rate of surplus value relative to
>the total capital employed.

The contradiction pointed out by Ulhas is very real, and we need
serious discussion about it.


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