When to support nationalism

Philip Ferguson plf13 at SPAMit.canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Feb 1 07:59:27 MST 2001

Louis writes:
>Now one can make all the "correct" points about Narodniks, etc., but I
>strongly believe that the Quebecois movement of the 1970s was one of the
>most profoundly anticapitalist movements of North America since the 1930s.

This may be true.  But it doesn't negate scepticism about Quebec
nationalism *in general*.

Nestor made the point last week that Catalan nationalism was not necessariy
progressive - indeed, I think his position was that it was far frrom so -
but that during the 1930s the Catalan workers and peasants' struggles
exploded and created a revoolutionary movement in Catalonia.

I wonder whether what happened in Quebec in the early 1970s was that the
absence of other revolutionary traditions meant that a very radical youth
and, to a lesser extent, workers revolt, influenced by May 68 in France,
took (briefly) a nationaist character.  But that has long since subsided,
and Quebec nationalism has returned to its more 'normal' condition.

I certainly cannot see how the radical upsurge in Quebec in the early 70s
proves that Quebec is an oppressed nation, anymore than Seattle proves that
Washington State is oppressed or May 68 proves that France is oppressed.

In the case of oppressed nations such as the Irish, Kurds and Palestinians,
and others, we are dealing with the systematic denial of a whole range of
rights by imperialist powers and with ongoing national liberation

I cannot see how it can be claimed that white people in imperialist Canada
and imperialist Britain (Quebecois and Scots) have been systematically
denied all the fundamental rights of citizenship.


"Don't Dream It - Extreme It" (Lana Coc Kroft)

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