Re: [OPE] Marx on international relations

Date: Mon May 05 2008 - 04:00:23 EDT

Hi Jerry,

Many thanks or
the references and thoughts. I found some useful material in Marx's and
Engels' papers and speeches on free trade, fraternisation of nations
and so on. The starting point to think about these issues are Kant's
Perpetual Peace and Metaphysics of Ethics, and Adam Smith' works and
Adam Ferguson's essay on civil society.These works give a good
understanding of what Hegel, Marx and Engels have to say about
international relations and international political economy. I have
already produced a long paper on this in Turkish and hoping to prepare
also an English version soon. 

I found this passage from "The Festival of Nations in London"
( very
interesting because it criticises three cocnepts at the same time which
come down to us from Kant, Smith, and Saint-Simon. If one works out the
background of this passage and justification that is followed in later
works of Marx and Engels then it helps a lot to understand in many ways
our world how it is and how and in what ways it may become:

"Finally, fraternisation between nations has today, more than ever a
purely social significance. The fantasies about a European Republic,
perpetual peace under political organisation, have become just as
ridiculous as the phrases about uniting the nations under the aegis of
universal free trade, and while all such chimerical sentimentalities
become completely irrelevant, the proletarians of all nations, without
too much ceremony, are already really beginning to fraternise
under the banner of communist democracy. And the proletarians are the
only ones who are really able to do this; for the bourgeoisie in each
country has its own special interests, and since these interests are
the most important to it, it can never transcend nationality; and the
few theoreticians achieve nothing with all their fine “principles”
because they simply allow these contradictory interests — like
everything else — to continue to exist and can do nothing but talk. But
the proletarians in all countries have one and the same interest, one
and the same enemy, and one and the same struggle. The great mass of
proletarians are, by their very nature, free from national prejudices
and their whole disposition and movement is essentially humanitarian,
anti-nationalist. Only the proletarians can destroy nationality, only
the awakening proletariat can bring about fraternisation between the
different nations."

By the way: on this occasion I found out that the claim that Engels
developed a theory of "non-historic-nations" is nonsense. Engels
nowhere uses such a term. Michael Löwy and so on who made such claims
never refer to Engels. They all take it for grated that Engels used
this term and put forward such a claim. Anyway this seems to be a myth.




-----Original Message-----
From: Gerald Levy <>
Sent: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 11:18
Subject: Re: [OPE] Marx on international relations

Hi Dogan:


You could also read the following - and 
communicate with

its author about its contents:


The same author has written a related paper on 

and - according to a web site - there is a "Work in 

called "Towards a Marxian Theory of World 


In solidarity, Jerry


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