Re: [OPE] Anti-imperialism and nationalism

From: <>
Date: Thu Dec 10 2009 - 08:03:45 EST

I have written many articles on this issue concentrating on the imperialism
of the oppressor nation where I happen to live ie British imperialism.
There is little point in repeating all the arguments. All I can add is that
even Lenin's imperialism covers all the points Paula makes re for example
the division/occupation of small capitalist nations etc. Can I suggest you
look at the first two chapters of Ireland the key to the British
revolution, where the Marxist/Leninist position on national liberation and
imperialism is spelt out in some detail. The key is surely to understand
the character of imperialism and why the world will/has to be redivided up
again as the power of the US wanes etc. Can I also ask you to look at my
article written at the end of 2006 Britain: parasitic and decaying
capitalism for most of the arguments dealing with these questions. This is
now available on our new website at

See also my critique of Panitch and Gindin which briefly addresses the
question of Lenin's position on national liberation movements and the role
of the national bourgeoisie to answer one point raised by Dave Z.

There are many other articles addressing these arguments on the website. We
hope to have the first two chapters of the book on Ireland up shortly - and
eventually all of the book.

David Yaffe

At 10:45 10/12/2009 +0100, you wrote:
>Paula wrote:
>>There are still oppressed and oppressor nations, but we need to be
>>careful with these categories.
>I think the concept 'oppressor nation' is only relevant to active
>settler-colonial nations, e.g. present-day Israel. Or could you give a
>counter-example for when this term is actually accurate otherwise?
>>To my mind, the right to self-determination is a fundamental democratic
>>right. But the third-worldist left usually turns a blind eye to the
>>oppression perpetrated by the 'Third World' nations themselves, and aim
>>their anti-imperialist rhetoric only at the 'West'.
>I agree with this. I would add that the notion of 'right to
>self-determination' is dubious in itself because it takes too much of
>nationalist ideology as its premise. A more appropriate formulation for
>socialists ought to be 'equal national rights', i.e. the moral and
>juridical right of a people to speak and write in its own language or take
>part in its traditions if its members so wish.
>I don't think the *exclusive national control* of a sovereign territorial
>state apparatus is a necessary right for socialists to defend at all
>costs. (Indeed, I think the only legitimate argument for political
>boundaries would be linguistic ones for obvious administrative and classic
>democratic purposes.)
>//Dave Z
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Received on Thu Dec 10 08:07:43 2009

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