National Question, Otto Bauer, etc (was Re: [Marxism] Re: Is the struggle to unify China an expressionof"Great Han chauvinism" today?

Carlos A. Rivera cerejota at
Mon Mar 7 20:11:40 MST 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at>

>Basically, the question of self-determination has lost this dimension in 
>Marxist circles, even in the Trotskyist movement. It has become more of a 
>Wilsonian approach in which the right to self-determination is seen as an 
>absolute. I don't think this is warranted.

>More to the point, there has been little in the way of *concrete* 
>examination of the national question.

What about the long-lost stuff by Otto Bauer, the Bundists etc.

In Puerto Rico and Cuba, they are quite studied, and across the board (ie 
from the social-democrats to the trots to the anarchists).

Yet I have seen little mention of them outside of the more intellectually 
inclined in my left of origin. Whats up with that?

And of course, the whole body of  MZT/Maoism is preocupied precisely with 
the concrete examination of the national question.

(a nod to Carrol Cox on the use of Maoism, who I didn't ignore, but rather 
tend to agree with on this question, even if my use of "maoist/maoism" is an 
off-hand catchall to describe modern anti-revisionism)

You might disagree with the theoretical conclusions or the practice of this 
whole melieu, but ignoring it when some of the most vital revolutionary 
movements (Phillipines, Nepal, Naxahalite) in the world come from this 
tradition, is disingeneous.

The national question has failed to be addressed *concretely* mostly by 
ossified Trotskyist imperialist-country sectarians who want to 
reforge/rebuild/reconstruct/refound/etc the Fourth International as the 
International Vanguard Party of the World Proletariat (or some variation on 
the theme), and who go an accuse even the more anti-nationalist groupings in 
the third world of "nationalism" for working with the left-nationalists on 
some concrete anti-imperialist struggles.

Besides them, even the Mandelist have done some thoughtful stuff on national 
liberation and self-detemrination.

As for me, this right is so sacred, I could say I am a self-determinist as 
much as a communist. Thing is I don't extend this righ to settler colonies 
or to opportinunist nationalism.


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