Forwarded from Nestor (response to Jared)

Mato Ska m_zehr at
Fri May 18 12:26:58 MDT 2001

This is a good place for some theoretical dialogue concerning the colonial
question, the nature of imperialism and the role of national liberation
struggles in this period. All of these questions have been addressed in the
classics, and rather than try to use them to analyse the current situation,
I would urge that people update the theoretical premises of those theories.

There are some on this list that seem convinced that the officer corps of
Third World countries represents a potent force in the fight for national
independence, and seem to suggest a "stagist" theory of revolution. First,
national independence, then socialist. This is a concept that has been
around since before Mao, although he incorporated much of it in his strategy
in China and clearly counterposed the resistance movement in opposition to
the armed couter-revolution. Ho Chi Minh clearly had different positions,
since the Vietnamese struggle was a struggle for national re-unification,
that is a civil war and a democratic revolution at the same time under the
leadership of a proletarian party with a peasant-worker-intelligensia

I hesitate to dispute with the brothers from the South on their analysis
since I am not there and lack credentials to do so, but I do feel it
incumbent upon all of us to present the emerging crisis with clarity in
regards to the responsibilities and strategies of the movements that are
growing. We have seen the Nassers come and go with no substantive changes.
We have seen the Noreigas come and go with little to show for it. If we
hesitate to define the real class forces capable of providing leadership and
instead rely on the officer corps, people are truly sticking their head into
a bear trap, that as Allende was to learn, to his detriment, is more than
able to snap our heads off. Further, I would like to see some meat on the
bones of this analysis, so that people can get beneath the surface of it,
and get a handle on the substance of it. I suspect there is a certain
"putschist" mentality that looks at coups as the same as revolutions, and I
would invite response to this perception.

I am not at all familiar with the situation in the African subcontinent but
am observing the discussion, lining up in much the same way. Clearly
revolutionary struggles that all have particular characters to them based on
the history, class composition, and consciousness of the sectors of the
popular resistance. Here we can raise our eyebrows at the thought of groups
such as FARC, in Colombia, and wonder where they are headed and for what
purpose. I'm sure other examples abound the world scene as well. There are
no perfect models, just movements of real people organized for their own
freedom. I hesitate to point to any one place or name anyone movement as
representative, because we seem to be in a period where differnces among the
struggles appear to dominate, and similarities appear to be limited.

Anyway, hope this comes across clearly, and that it develops some original
thinking on the subject as well as some more thorough examinations of
existing analyses.

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