Forwarded from Nestor

Alan Bradley abradley1 at
Sat Dec 1 19:17:26 MST 2001

> From: "Gorojovsky"
> What is clear to me is that progressive movements _in the Third World_
> tend to build nations in a classical sense, by absorbing and superating
> ethnical divisions, while imperialists always attempt to thwart these
> developments.
> Too hasty and certainly rugged, but the core of the argument is there.

Unfortunately, this isn't true.  The role of Third World states in the eyes
of the imperialists is to guarantee the flow of profits to the imperialists.
Often, this means "absorbing" uncooperative local populations, like the
Moros in the Philippines, the West Papuans, the Acehenese, and so on.

On occasion, of course, this ceases to be possible, and the imperialists may
tolerate, or even actively support, the emergence of a new state based upon
a particularly troublesome population, like the East Timorese, but this is
*not* the general case.

Another situation occurs where a Third World state fails to play its role as
obedient protector of profits.  In this case, a forced partition can occur,
as in the case of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, but even there the imperialists
seem to be keeping their options open for dealing with a post-Saddam Hussein

That's the role of the imperialists.  What of the "progressive movements"?

Well, of course, they actually do engage in "nation building", but that
necessarily requires application of principles of self-determination.  For
example, the Indonesian left supported the struggle of the East Timorese,
the Philippines left supports the struggle of the Moros, the Papua New
Guinean left supported the struggle of the Bougainvilleans, and they were
correct to do so.  The alternative is the Nicaraguan situation, where the
imperialists used national minorities to begin the destruction of the
revolution, or, more probably, sectarian irrelevance, since any "progressive
movement" that can't form a detailed understanding of the concrete
circumstances in the state(s) in which they are operating, but instead
relies on big picture schematicism isn't going to get very far.

In other words, each struggle has its own concrete circumstances, and can't
really be dealt with by abstractions.  Attempting to do so inevitably
results in clowning.

Alan Bradley
abradley1 at

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