On the national question in semicolonial countries

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Tue Mar 4 17:14:13 MST 2003


>>Nestor is correct in that one of imperialism's goals is to break up
nations as such...<<

Assuming this is true, does it stop us supporting self-determination
struggles? I think Marx and Lenin would have said it depended on whether
the separatists had become tools of imperialism. This happened with Katanga
in the Congo. Otherwise, I think the right of self-determination still
applies. Because if we don't support the democratic rights of oppressed
nationalities, we are telling them their only friends are the imperialists.
And then they WILL become proxies for imperialism.

Ramos Horta's position on the Iraq war would probably be worse if he wasn't
answerable to a solidarity movement as well as John Howard.

When the crisis hit Indonesia, I was also concerned that the oil and
mineral multinationals might sponsor a secession struggle in Kalimantan, or
co-opt the struggle in West Papua.

But it hasn't happened. There was one minor publicity-hound in Riau
province who announced an independence movement and declared he would ally
himself with Caltex, but nothing came of it.

As for Australian imperialism, make no mistake: Australian policy is to
maintain the "territorial integrity" of Indonesia. They changed their mind
in the specific case of East Timor, but have maintained it with regard to
West Papua. The last thing they want is the break up of the Indonesian
national state.

This is because so much shipping goes through that area; the prospect of
umpteen little states jostling there, some of whom might seriously arm
themselves and attack others, scares them silly.

The Japanese would share this fear I suspect; the USA would be less focused
on it.

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