Re: [OPE] Anti-imperialism and nationalism

From: Gerald Levy <>
Date: Fri Dec 18 2009 - 08:29:47 EST

> A historical-materialist analysis must necessarily distinguish between (a)
> the territorial state,
> (b) the population that lives within that territory and (c) the
> representation of a *part* of the
> population on the ideological plane as an imagined community, i.e. the
> nation.
> In my view too many socialists have failed to make this distinction,
> collapsing all three concepts
> into one: 'the nation', e.g. 'USA', 'Americans', 'India', 'Indians' and so
> on, thereby accepting
> nationalist mythology.

Hi Dave Z:

This is one-sided, I think. A nation is not an "imagined community". It is
a real, but
stratified, community. A materialist analysis can not begin with a rejection
material realities: it must seek to explain in part the _complex_ relation
between material
realities and ideology. If nations were simply myths they would have
vanished long
ago (?).

In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Fri Dec 18 08:32:35 2009

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