[Marxism] Kurds and Albanians have the right to self-determination

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Mar 21 07:50:35 MST 2006

>The Kurds and the Albanians are clearly nationalities within the framework 
>of Lenin's ideas on nationalities and in the Leninist spirit they have the 
>right to self-determination
>By Bob Gould
>There has been an outbreak of prejudiced rubbish about the Kurds on the 
>Marxmail list and the US SWP list, often written by people who should know 
>better. There's also a distinct anti-Albanian slant to the often slightly 
>bizarre discussion of the death of Slobodan Milosevic on Marxmail, and 
>Leftist Trainspotters.

So I take it you objected to the newspaper report that the Kurdish movement 
is run by corrupt tyrants.

>Several very learned Marxists have tried to refute the general thrust of 
>the pamphlet written by Stalin on the national question, ignoring the fact 
>that the guiding hand in Stalin's pamphlet was clearly Lenin.

Why not. I thought Lenin was wrong on the so called democratic 
dictatorship. Lenin was a human being, just like me and you. Plus, his 
attitude on the national question would evolve. Stalin's article reflected 
early Bolshevik concerns revolving around Polish independence, the polemics 
with Rosa Luxemburg, etc. This required the concept of a "nation" to be 
nailed down. After 1913 or so, there is less and less of this. Indeed, 
Lenin endorsed the right of self-determination for African-Americans in 
1921 when they obviously failed to pass Stalin's test.

>Both the Kurds, 30-35 million of them, and the Albanians, six million of 
>them, occupy contiguous areas in which there are relatively small minorities.
>Imperialist conspiracies over the years have denied the Kurds a formal 
>state, which is an atrocity.

Plus, the Kurdish leaderships were also involved in their own conspiracies 
against Kurds in other countries. The Iraqi Kurds worked with the Turks to 
suppress the Turkish Kurds, when they weren't fighting among each other. I 
strongly suspect that genuine Kurdish emancipation will only be possible 
within the framework of a rebirth of socialism in Iraq, Iran and Turkey. 
That will certainly require further revolts by the Kurds against their own 
miserable tribal/feudal bosses.

>In all their abuse of Mike Karadjis, the assorted opponents of 
>self-determination for small nationalities make no serious attempt to 
>challenge his description of the history and circumstances of the modern 


>Even after the white counter-revolution had succeeded in Finland in 
>1920-21, the Bolsheviks still defended the right of Finland to 

I guess you haven't read Trotsky's polemics with Max Shachtman.



More information about the Marxism mailing list