Nationalism (was Arguing against Imperialism and Militarism) - reply to Tom O'Lincoln (final)

dms dmschanoes at
Fri Jul 18 08:09:53 MDT 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jurriaan Bendien" <bendien at>
. If, as Lenin DOES argue, we defend the right to NATIONAL
> self-determination, distinguishing between the position of oppressed
> and oppressor nations in this (even if Lenin recommends that a socialist
> commonwealth in the future would be better for all concerned), how can we
> PRACTICE do so without making de facto real political concessions to the
> NATIONALISM of the oppressed, with the aim of mobilisation against.

Or, there's another possibility-- Lenin was wrong.  There is no notion of
self-determination that is not tied to preserving the dominant relations of
the world market.

Perhaps we recognize the appearance of a "national" rebellion or resistance
as a manifestation of the conflict between the means and relations of
production, a manifestation driven at core by the demands and conflicts of
capital upon wage-labor echoing throughout the local economy.  Perhaps we
recognize the national aspect as a "moment" in the struggle that must be
superceded, from the inside, by a program for proletarian revolution.

For example Venezuela.  Why defend Venezuela along the lines of the right of
nations to self-determination, when the real essence, and real struggle is a
class struggle?  Certainly the bourgeoisie recognize the struggle for what
it is. Why shrink from the terms of your own battles?  They sure don't.


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