[Marxism] ¿ Marxology ? First occurence of "A nation oppressing another, can't ..."
amithrgupta at gmail.com
Tue Nov 3 14:07:13 MST 2015
If these quotes are valid, they sound somewhat ethnocentric. I mean, it's
great that Germany cannot liberate itself if it is oppressing Italy or
whatever, but what if it could? Would that end the inquiry? I would think
communists of all stripes would reject national oppression ipso facto, not
have it be derivative of whether or not it bloodies the soul of the
On Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 2:04 PM, Lüko Willms <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
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> Marx and Engels have used this phrase many times, and Lenin quoted them
> and many others.
> "A people which oppresses another, forges its own chains"
> "A nation wich oppresses another, can't emancipate itself"
> or more similar formulations.
> The two friends and comrades made revolutionary politics along that line
> in the 1848 revolution, relating to the occupation by German states of
> parts of Italy or Poland, "we have to stop oppressing the Poles (or the
> Italians) if we want to be free ourselves". See especialy Engel's June 18,
> 1848 article on the uprising in Prague (
> https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/06/18.htm )
> > A nation which throughout its history allowed itself to be used as
> > a tool of oppression against all other nations must first of all
> > prove that it has been really revolutionized. It must prove this not
> > merely by a few indecisive revolutions, as a result of which the old
> > irresolution, impotence and discord are allowed to continue in a
> > modified form; revolutions which allow a Radetzky to remain in
> > Milan, a Colomb and Steinacker in Poznan, a Windischgratz in Prague,
> > a Hueser in Mainz, as if nothing had changed.
> > A revolutionized Germany ought to have renounced her entire past,
> > especially as far as the neighboring nations are concerned. Together
> > with her own freedom, she should have proclaimed the freedom of the
> > nations hitherto suppressed by her.
> > And what has revolutionized Germany done? She has fully endorsed
> > the old oppression of Italy, Poland, and now of Bohemia too, by
> > German troops. Kaunitz and Metternich have been completely vindicated.
> But there was somebody earlier, called Dionisio Inca Yupanqui, from Cuzco
> in Peru, speaking before the Cortes de Cadiz as a delegate representing the
> Spanish lands in America, and he coined this simple phrase:
> "Un pueblo que oprime otro, no puede ser libre" - "a people oppressing
> another can't be free itself".
> > http://adhilac.com.ar/?p=932
> December 16, 1811. Spain had been conquered by French troops under
> Napoleon, the king was demoted and a relative or Napoleon Bonaparte was
> enthroned as king of Spain, and the Spaniards rallied together in Juntas
> and converged in a Cortes (we might call it a congress) in the city of
> Cadiz, located on an island off the coast in the south west corner of
> Spain, the only place which the Napoleon troups had not conquered. And they
> drew up the most liberal constitution of Europe in that time, of a
> constitutional monarchy. On that December 16 in the year 1811, this indio
> from Peru spoke to the assemby and pronounced that phrase, summarizing in
> it the situation of Spain, subjugated by foreign troops, and that she had
> to give freedom to her American territories if she wanted to be free
> The question is now, could Marx and from him Engels, have adopted this
> succint formula coined by the Inca Yupanqui from his speech in Cadiz? The
> late Argentian activist and writer Jorge Abelardo Ramos says so in his
> "Historia de la nación americalatina". Ramos claims more, namely that Marx
> has adopted the political program from the Inca Yupanqui, but it is enough
> to reread the above quote from 1848 to know better.
> And there is some reason: for the series of articles for the New York
> Tribune on the revolutionary developments in Spain of the year 1854, Karl
> Marx studied the whole Spanish history of the first half of the 19th
> century, and dedicated one full article to the constitution elaborated by
> the Cortes of Cadiz in 1811/1812. So, he has probably also read the short
> speech by Yupanqui and it might well habe that Marx had adopted that
> formulation by Inca Yupanqui.
> The question is, has anybody encountered this succint formular in
> something written by Marx or Engels before 1854? I haven't yet by searching
> Lüko Willms
> Frankfurt/Main, Germany
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