Re: [OPE] England and Ireland

From: paul bullock (
Date: Thu Mar 20 2008 - 08:18:44 EDT

Bapuji... these are political questions that must be answered from the standpoint of aiming to overthrow existing state and so class relations...

In your question we could ask what about the Sikhs, or the Basques etc.?.The answer must rest in the relation between workers of the immediately involved countries. Are the workers in the  poorer 'regions'  supported in their demands by those in the wealthier ? 

This question can be complicated when national oppression is experienced by richer areas.  The Basque country is a wealthy area within Spain. If the Spanish workers as a whole supported full autonomy for the Basque country the Basques socialist parties could create a strategy that differs from the present, and raise  more effectively their socialist demands which would have a further impetus throughout Spain.That Spanish governments have systematically tried to crush any party that  won't compromise with market 'solutions', (ie no solutions), to national demands in Euskadi is only possible because the workers movement throughout Spain has been weakened and actually won't defend the right to exist of parties that won't conceed  to a monopoly of power to the Madrid government. That the entire Basque political leadership - and of different parties -  are thrown into prison in Spain for having some connection to neighbours, friends, etc who were at another time linked to previously banned parties, and that this is passively accepted by the majority of  Spanish workers is really shocking. (This is why the PP can be so close to power, and have been in power, when the level and extent of its narrow self interest and  blatant corruption in that party is SO well established, and its leaders so close to Bush, Uribé etc.)

Such national movements are often called reactionary, and certainly the break up of countries can serve the interests of big imperialist powers. The 'break up' thus has to be shown to be a result of the failure of the workers in the rest of the state to actively support the progressive content of the 'local' demands, and form a common programme with them. This is a dynamic and creative process, based on the systematic development of a deepening of the internationalist democratic programme. The fight for unity between nations and support for equal development without exploitation is the touchstone.

Paul B

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list 
  Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 7:00 PM
  Subject: RE: [OPE] England and Ireland

    > How do you explain or extend the same formulation to those instances where there are regional imbalances and as a result > struggle for separate provinces within the same bourgeois constitution?

    Hi Bapuji:

    Good question. The answer is yes, I believe.  For instance, one might
    say that the Mexican working class will never be free so long as
    the people of Oaxaca are subjugated.  Or, so long as there is caste
    oppression in India, the Indian working class will never be free.

    In US history, I think it would have been valid to claim that so long as
    there was slavery the US, wage working class would never be free.
    This did not mean that the end of slavery represented freedom for 
    wage-workers but it constituted a necessary, historical pre-requisite 
    for that eventuality.  

    One might also say that so long as women are oppressed, men will
    never be free. Yes? 


    Hi Dave Z:

    I agree, of course,  that US reaction does not have its roots in the
    occupation of Iraq. That should be clear since US reaction obviously
    pre-dated that occupation.  But, I think it is nonetheless true,
    paraphrasing Lenin, that "Reaction in the US is strengthened by
    the occupation of Iraq".  Yes, it's true, that Iraqis will free
    themselves from their occupiers yet class society in the US will
    persist but that would represent a defeat for US imperialism and a 
    victory for the international working class.

    In solidarity, Jerry

    "The English working class will never accomplish anything until it
    has got rid of Ireland. The English reaction has its roots in the
    subjugation of Ireland"  - [Marx, December 10, 1869]
    "The English working class will never be free until Ireland is
    freed from the English yoke. Reaction in England is 
    strengthened by the enslavement of Ireland (just as reaction 
    in Russia is fostered by her enslavement of a number of nations)".
    - [Lenin - 1915, _The Right of Nations to Self-Determination_,
    Section 8: "The Utopian Karl Marx and the Practical Rosa 
    The same could be said in  relation to Iraq, couldn't it?
    The US working class will never be free until Iraq is freed
    from the US yoke?  What are some other contemporary 


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