[Marxism] Stalinism and the 1913 pamphlet on the national question

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Thu Dec 28 12:07:16 MST 2006

)Joaquin Bustelo 

Charles Brown says in relation to my comments on the 1913 Bolshevik
pamphleton Marxism and the National Question, "CB: Indeed, lets get that
compulsory 'anti-Stalinist' declaration  out of the way so we can have some
serious discussion."

As I hope my description would have made clear, at least to people
conversant with the history, the positions expressed in the 1913 pamphlet on
Marxism and the National Question didn't have anything to do with
"Stalinism," whether you're for it, against it, or indifferent. It was a
summary of the commonly-held views in the left wing of social democracy at
that time, and, in particular, of Lenin's views. 

CB: Lenin also wrote directly on the national liberation question. As I
recall,he emphasized the difference between oppressor and oppressed nations
as critical in this analysis, to respond to a comment you make further along
in your post.

I mentioned self-determination and rightto secede in relation to the current
Latina/o struggles in the U.S. You said there had been a lot of silly talk
about what is and what is not a nation. I said  that there had been a lot of
serious talk as well. I didn't say there hadn't been silly talk just that
there had been serious talk. 

I do think that the "national" analytical framework from the Bolsheviks may
be used creatively in the current context. An important part of the national
question is history. So, for example (a big example) , Mexican "immigrants"
to the U.S. have a lot of history to talk about since Texas, New Mexico,
Arizona, California, etc. used to be part of Mexico's national territory.
And clearly the U.S. took these territories by illegal aggression, illegal
by modern standards. So, in this case, history raises some serious questions
about who is and who is not an "immigrant" in these areas. A national
question historical analysis would be interesting on this score.

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