Anarchism, and National Liberation

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Blacknred Ned
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Sep 8 2006 09:09

Felix, that quote is unhelpful, it refers not to the Russian working class as such but to communal patterns of Russian land ownership. In any event if you want a book to have an impact of course in the preface you try to make it relevant to its audience. Flatter them; make them feel important; are you denying that Marx saw the English and German working classes as the main chance for revolution?

Deezer
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Sep 8 2006 09:54
Blacknred Ned wrote:
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
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The fact that what saw itself as the leadership of much of Europes labour movement jumped on the nationalist and jingoist bandwagon in that period sorta proves Devrim's point I think

Or, especially given that the workers by-and-large went off to fight in the capitalist war, that there is something about the proletariat that would not be to the liking of workerists & the "historical mission of the proletariat" brigade. Maybe the very people that Marx would have seen as the most advanced elements of the working class are actually the least likely to be revolutionary people you could imagine - in fact what they do is vote for social democrats or become communist shop stewards; join conservative trade unions or become idiotic patriots.

Way to use selective quoting and make it look as if I haven't considered the success of appeals made to workers using nationalism and jingoism to mobilise them to the benefit of capitalism - keeping that paragraph complete might not suit yer knee-jerk anti-workerism though. roll eyes

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Sep 8 2006 09:54
Devrim wrote:
He supports the Kurdish national struggle. In Turkey that means supporting the PKK (unless the platformists are hiding another Kurdish national movement up their sleeves that we don't know about here.) The PKK have run campaigns of shooting school teachers.

I've answered this over on Anarkismo where you made a watered down version of the same claim. In summary

1. This 'you opposed the invasion of Iraq so you support Saddam Hussein' is the logic of Bush and Blair. You want to extend it even further to add "so you support the gassing of the kurds". This is not only absurd it is an unacceptable method of discussion because it prevents rational argument.

2. In order to make this argument you are presenting the PKK as the sole legtimate voice of Kurds - this is just weirdness and a rather obvious contradiction to your 'internationalism'.

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Sep 8 2006 09:56
MalFunction wrote:
regading Kurds and their struggle, one can sympathise with the general notion that Kurdish peoples should be free to live their lives as they see fit, without being forceably incoporated into other states, without necessarily agreeing with any particular political expression of their struggle.

Exactly

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Sep 8 2006 10:12
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
Its funny to see Devrim glowingly quote the British AF's position on national liberation, and then completely ignore the fact that NEFAC has a similar position. Really, its right there in our 'Aims & Principles' which is easily accessible on our website, and probably about a dozen other places on the web. Ah well, never let a group's ACTUAL POSITION get in the way of a good strawman argument I guess.

I was aware that was the case. But that being so - why hasn't wayne been expelled?

georgestapleton wrote:
I suspect that John. is saying that nations=nationalism. Which is and isn't true.

Sorry george, I remember your comments on Irish national culture and the Irish nation. I think you're a nationalist as well.

From the WSMers' support of Wayne Price here, I take it you agree with his article? That being so I think the common accusation against you lot of nationalism would be accurate.

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Sep 8 2006 10:20
John. wrote:
From the WSMers' support of Wayne Price here, I take it you agree with his article? That being so I think the common accusation against you lot of nationalism would be accurate.

Same old smear without bothering to detail an argument - this time with the old 'have you stopped beating you wife yet' gambit thrown in for good measure.

Actually while I consider his article a useful contribution to the debate I wouldn't agree with it 100% - amusingly I think far from anarchism being the problem it is rather trapped in the language of old school marxism. Trying to develop an anarchist approach to national liberation struggles while using that terminology tends towards being self defeating. In re-writing our position papers on imperialism a few years back we junked most of the terminology.

BTW the attempts to sow splits or demand expulsions fropm NEFAC going on here are really not on. Particularly when they come from people who have not themselves bothered to commit to building a group.

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Steven.
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Sep 8 2006 10:26
JoeBlack2 wrote:
John. wrote:
From the WSMers' support of Wayne Price here, I take it you agree with his article? That being so I think the common accusation against you lot of nationalism would be accurate.

Same old smear without bothering to detail an argument

It was a question. Seeing as WSM people have only defended it, and not criticised it at all it does appear you agree with it. Which bits do you disagree with then?

Quote:
BTW the attempts to sow splits or demand expulsions fropm NEFAC going on here are really not on. Particularly when they come from people who have not themselves bothered to commit to building a group.

I'm in a group (libcom). More than anything I wonder how a group can have a prominent member consistently breaking an aim and principle of his group? If one of our members wrote articles telling people to support nat lib struggles we'd kick them out.

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pingtiao
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Sep 8 2006 10:42

Perhaps it would be useful here to clarify exactly what is meant by supporting national liberation and not supporting nationalism.

Wayne says

Quote:
“And anarchists should support the right of nations to self-determination, which is NOT the same as supporting nationalism. National self-determination is the ability of the people of a nation to decide for themselves whether they want to be independent of another nation…But if national self-determination means the right to make a choice, then nationalism as such is a particular choice, the choice of a national state. It is possible to support the right of a people to make a choice without agreeing with the immediate choice they make.”

I have trouble seeing this as anything other than nationalism. We are talkig about a cross-class group here- the 'nation'. How can the position being advanced by wayne fail to accord the capitalists of that group decision-making power? Unless this is an explicit appeal to build Kurdish w/c power, it seems to me that by default it asserts and supports the 'right' of Kurdish/Palestinian capitalists to structure their society in their interests.

What form can non-nationalist 'support' for national liberation take that doesn't do this?

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Joseph Kay
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Sep 8 2006 11:05

i think that's the problem with wayne's piece. the minute you accept 'the nation' as a legitimate unit of struggle with 'rights' to self-determination etc you ignore class and thus leave the bourgeoisie to do the 'self-determining'.

the nation was invented as a concept as a claim to state power, so while there are 'nations' without states, they have no existence beyond a cross-class claim to to a bourgeois state of 'their own'. something that is inherently nationalist and very un-anarchist.

His argument that we should side with 'the oppressed' - which he says is an entire 'nation' - is an argument to side with the bourgeoisie as well as the workers. Otherwise he'd simply say we should side with workers of the various 'nations' who are being ordered to kill and be killed by one another for the very concept he refifies.

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Sep 8 2006 11:15
pingtiao wrote:
I have trouble seeing this as anything other than nationalism. We are talkig about a cross-class group here- the 'nation'. How can the position being advanced by wayne fail to accord the capitalists of that group decision-making power? Unless this is an explicit appeal to build Kurdish w/c power, it seems to me that by default it asserts and supports the 'right' of Kurdish/Palestinian capitalists to structure their society in their interests.

Your making an significant 'this means this and there is no alternative assumptions' here. Also I'd presume that Wyane would say he'd see an appeal to 'build Kurdish w/c power' as central - (maybe ask on anarkismo I don't think he has an account here).

While its certainly not an alternative model for anarchists the success of the CP in China was very connected to their involvement in the national liberation struggle and very definetly did not end with giving the capitalists of 'that group' decision making power. It did of course end in the construction of a class society but the reasons for that are not found in nationalism.

And China is not the only example where a nationalist struggle that involved capitalists did not end up with them on top. Leninist parties had quite a bit of success in the 20th C with turning national liberation struggles into struggles for whatever your preferred name for their form of command economy is. Even if you prefer state capitalist (as I do) it is still the case that the old capitalist class lost power.

In terms of the quote above I think the line "It is possible to support the right of a people to make a choice without agreeing with the immediate choice they make" is key. To be a nationalist he'd have to agree with the choice. I think that is very obvious.

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Sep 8 2006 11:21
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Even if you prefer state capitalist (as I do) it is still the case that the old capitalist class lost power.

Anarchists have never denied that national liberation struggles can lead to a change of government. But it's not worth fighting, killing and dying for. Changes of government are largely irrelevant.

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Sep 8 2006 11:28
Joseph K. wrote:
i think that's the problem with wayne's piece. the minute you accept 'the nation' as a legitimate unit of struggle with 'rights' to self-determination etc you ignore class and thus leave the bourgeoisie to do the 'self-determining'..

Is this true?

As above it is not hard to find national liberation struggle in which the question of which class would be liberated was quite central. Even in Ireland Connolly turned all sorts of theoretical cart wheels to try and exclude the capitalist class from the 'Irish nation' with this in mind. Even today nationalist outfits who also talk about class are not unusual.

Joseph K. wrote:
the nation was invented as a concept as a claim to state power, so while there are 'nations' without states, they have no existence beyond a cross-class claim to to a bourgeois state of 'their own'.

This is standard Europen marxism but it actually does not apply to quite large chunks of the world including the Americas and much of Africa where youi both find 'nations' with no interest in a nation state of thier own and 'nation states' that contain many distinct nations. EG Mexico contains some 97 indigenous 'nations' none of whom as far as I'm aware are struggling for a nation state.

Joseph K. wrote:
His argument that we should side with 'the oppressed' - which he says is an entire 'nation' - is an argument to side with the bourgeoisie as well as the workers.

It is indeed. There was a stupid argument on Urban75 some years back where a couple of SWPers managed to trap a couple of anarchists into arguing that during the holocaust they wouldn't have aided a rich Jew. An extreme example but even in relation to Lebanon your hardly going to say its OK for the Israeli's to bomb the house of a rich man providing they don't hit that of the worker down the street.

The class argument can be (and frequently is) raised within a national liberation struggle. Trying to raise it from the outside in the manner implied would really not work - and arguments that work is what I'm interested in. The rigid construction of principles here seems to prevent any tactical consderation of what is possible.

Deezer
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Sep 8 2006 11:37

Wayne says
Quote:

Quote:
And anarchists should support the right of nations to self-determination, which is NOT the same as supporting nationalism. National self-determination is the ability of the people of a nation to decide for themselves whether they want to be independent of another nation…But if national self-determination means the right to make a choice, then nationalism as such is a particular choice, the choice of a national state. It is possible to support the right of a people to make a choice without agreeing with the immediate choice they make.

Sorry Joe, what part of this aren't you reading or can't you read? Pingtigiao (sp) was right to recoil from this part of Wayne's article in particular but to take things a bit further. Nations are constructs they do not occur naturally as some sort of form of 'social solidarity', their 'right' to self determination should not be supported. They are not and should not be 'sovereign', they do not have an existance independent of the forces that try to utilise the concept of nation in order to stake a claim to legitimacy vis-a-vis state power.

The 'self-determination' of a nation is a nonsense, in terms of global capital and in terms of the erroneous belief promoted here that 'a people' have some sort of imput into the 'choice' of a nation state. In fact this is a wrongheaded and circular argument Joe - the obvious outcome of a struggle for national 'self determination' is nationalism, the creation or wresting control of a nation state. You also, bizarely, seem to be suggesting that 'communist' china was not a nation state.

The support for national liberation struggles does not represent the opening up of a choice for the working class it represents the closing off of such choices, and the option of social revolution, in favour of bourgeois appeals to nationalism.

Asking anarchists to support national liberation struggles and then claiming that this is not contradictory to supporting nationalism doesn't stand up to any sort of analysis.

What part of this is hard to grasp?

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Sep 8 2006 11:46
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
What part of this is hard to grasp?

I don't think "It is possible to support the right of a people to make a choice without agreeing with the immediate choice they make." could be any clearer.

What part of this is hard to grasp?

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Sep 8 2006 11:47
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
You also, bizarely, seem to be suggesting that 'communist' china was not a nation state.

That would indeed be bizarre - where did I make this odd claim?

Deezer
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Sep 8 2006 11:55
Quote:
Quote:
Boulcolonialboy wrote:

What part of this is hard to grasp?

I don't think "It is possible to support the right of a people to make a choice without agreeing with the immediate choice they make." could be any clearer.

What part of this is hard to grasp?

Ah so back to selective quoting - my point was that 'national liberation' struggles close down the choices available, particularly the possibility of chosing a libertarian communist alternative. But again you can't, or won't, grasp that.

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Sep 8 2006 12:02

I've already expressed my problem with the marxist jargon of the original article.

My point - and it still stands - is that while you can claim Wayne is mistaken you can't claim he is a nationalist. This thread is rubbish because its all about trying to claim he is a nationalist (or even favours shooting teachers!!!) rather than any discussion as to his argument and the mistakes it might contain. It's a pretty good example of what is wrong with political 'debate' on libcom on this issue.

BTW if your going to complain about selective quotation (and I actually quoted Wayne, not you) you might like to retract you weird China thing you attributed to me first.

Deezer
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Sep 8 2006 12:04
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
You also, bizarely, seem to be suggesting that 'communist' china was not a nation state.

That would indeed be bizarre - where did I make this odd claim?

Note that based on this:

Quote:
And China is not the only example where a nationalist struggle that involved capitalists did not end up with them on top. Leninist parties had quite a bit of success in the 20th C with turning national liberation struggles into struggles for whatever your preferred name for their form of command economy is. Even if you prefer state capitalist (as I do) it is still the case that the old capitalist class lost power.

I said you "seem" not to regard China as a nation state. Insofar as you claim there was a nationalist struggle that was 'turned' into something different. Perhaps the same capitalists were no longer on top but that is a different discussion, as John. said no one has disputed that a change in who holds power can result from such struggles.

edited to add, how is the quote from boulcolonialboy a quote from Wayne as opposed to me??????

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Deezer
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Sep 8 2006 12:08
JoeBlack2 wrote:
I've already expressed my problem with the marxist jargon of the original article.

My point - and it still stands - is that while you can claim Wayne is mistaken you can't claim he is a nationalist. This thread is rubbish because its all about trying to claim he is a nationalist (or even favours shooting teachers!!!) rather than any discussion as to his argument and the mistakes it might contain. It's a pretty good example of what is wrong with political 'debate' on libcom on this issue.

BTW if your going to complain about selective quotation (and I actually quoted Wayne, not you) you might like to retract you weird China thing you attributed to me first.

Did I claim Wayne was a nationalist? He does however support
'national liberation' struggles - I've detailed my problems with that without accusing anyone of 'shooting teachers'. That other people may approach the debate a bit differently does not make it any more or less 'worthy' a debate. Conflating what a range of posters say into one generalised attack on libcom is a much worse debating mechanism imo.

I've dealt with the last sentence of this in an edit to my previous post.

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Sep 8 2006 13:06
JoeBlack2 wrote:
This is standard Europen marxism but it actually does not apply to quite large chunks of the world including the Americas and much of Africa where youi both find 'nations' with no interest in a nation state of thier own and 'nation states' that contain many distinct nations.

i'd just like to pick up on this, since i recently travelled around peru for 2 months, so i'm not just spouting detached eurocentrism (and there are so many marxisms i'm not sure which one i'm typical of). what is now thought of as the indiginous quechua comminity in peru (i didn't hear the term nation used except for peru as a whole) was the product of the Inca imperial state which united by conquest various different ethnic/language groups (700 hundred languages) and imposed a common language to cement a common identity in the service of the state. The only group i know if that talks of a quechua nation is the now largely defeated Sendero Luminoso (shining path) maoist terror group, who officially wanted to reconstruct the ancient Inca state.

The defeated left-nationalist presidential candidate ollanta humala (a chavez-alike ex-military man of indiginous descent) talked of the nation but used it in the contemporary european cross-class alliance sense, and although he won majorities in the quechua-speaking areas the andeans i spoke to were suspicious of him and the central state in general but narrowly preffered him to the other guy (voting is mandatory iirc). So basically wherever i encountered 'the nation' in peru it was by groups seeking state power. I obviously don't know how far this experience can be generalised, but i'm not just spouting eurocentrism.

I don't know about mexico, but in Lebanon, a modern-ish capitalist state with a bourgeoisie, proletariat and a recent history of violent class struggle (the 2004 general strike), there's little doubt about whether supporting 'the nation' means putting class analysis on hold. Your 'helping a rich jew' argument misses the point, and in fact confirms mine. Unless you would also refuse to help a rich israeli on the end of Katyusha fire, any immediate declasse assistance for a rich lebanese is a basic humanism, not 'support for the oppressed nation'.

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Sep 8 2006 13:07

On BlacknRedNed's assertions about Marx and Russia. I think Felix was right to refer to his attitude to the Russian commune, even if this was not strictly a question of relating to the Russian working class at that time. BlacknRed tries to reduce the whole matter to Marx trying to flater his audience, but it's worth pointing out the enormous efforts Marx went to give a serious answer to the problems posed to revolutionaries in Russia. For one thing , he went to the bother of learning Russian, and spent a huge amount of energy in his later years researching the problem of 'primitive communism' (hence perhaps the daft claims of the primmos mentioned on another thread that was heading in their direction in later life). Marx also began to argue against the Russian 'marxists' that Russia would have to go through a capitalist stage before it could be part of a socialist revolution (this was the embryo of the later Menshevik position). Marx's approach was not to look at each country in isolation, but to consider capital from a world historical standpoint.

In 1881, in the second draft of his letter to Vera Zasulitch, Marx argues that “the capitalist system is past its prime in the West, approaching the time when it will be no more than a regressive social regime” (cited in Shanin, Late Marx and the Russian Road, RKP, p103). Capitalism still had a wide field of expansion before it in the less developed regions, but rather than arguing that each country would have to go through its own 'bourgeois revolution', he was beginning to grapple with the problem that capitalism is already showing signs of decay at the very centres of the system. Rather than demanding that the people in the 'peripheries' should simply submit to the torments of capitalist development, he considered the possibility that if revolution came in the west, the rest of the world could be spared these torments and pass directly from the old communal forms to communism.

Things turned out differently, but two points remain:
- Marx's fundamental attitude to the 'backward' regions or populations was not based on indifference or disdain (even if you can find some quotes which seem to indicate the contrary)
- the method of looking at capital as a global whole was proved fundamentally correct. Capitalism did develop in Russia and a small but very concentrated working class did emerge as a revolutionary force. This made it all the more possible for the Russian revolution to be the spark for the world wide revolution.

Furthermore, the real marxists - those who fought against the growing bourgeois influence on the Second International, like Luxemburg, Pannekoek, Trotsky and Lenin - were very far from treating the Russian working class with disdain. All of them were able to see the importance of the mass strikes of 1905 which showed that the Russian working class would play a key role in any future international revolutionary upheaval. This was in total contrast to the reformists who saw the mass strikes as an expression of Russian backwardness, not to be emulated in the west.

On 'national liberation' and 'marxist jargon'. Some have argued on this thread that the problem with NEFAC's pro-national liberation argument is that it is using a 'marxist' jargon. It's true that leftists/nationalists often use some (though not all) of Lenin's arguments on national self-determination to justify their support for nationalism. They don't often refer to the marxism of Rosa Luxemburg, who even before the first world war, when the imperialist nature of all national struggles became much clearer, was arguing againt any idea of the 'right of peoples' to national self determination. As some posters have pointed out, this very idea is based on a bourgeois vision both of rights and of peoples. There is no such thing as the 'people' as an entity capable of 'determining itself'. It is true that Marx and marxists have supported national independence at a certain stage, but this was not because they believed in some abstract 'rights of nations'. It was because they believed that forming new nations still had a useful role in human progress. But this in turn was because they believed that capitalism still had some useful role for humanity. Nations and nation states were, or are, by definition capitalist entities and can never be anything else. And today they are a fundamental barrier to human advance.

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Sep 8 2006 13:14
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Quote:
And China is not the only example where a nationalist struggle that involved capitalists did not end up with them on top. Leninist parties had quite a bit of success in the 20th C with turning national liberation struggles into struggles for whatever your preferred name for their form of command economy is. Even if you prefer state capitalist (as I do) it is still the case that the old capitalist class lost power.

Boulcolonialboy wrote:
I said you "seem" not to regard China as a nation state. Insofar as you claim there was a nationalist struggle that was 'turned' into something different.

OK I see the bit you quote, but there is nothing in there to suggest China was not a nation state. I was pointing out that in China the (old) capitalist class lost power in the course of a national liberation struggle. Not that China ceased to be a nation state! The relevance is that this shows that the simplistic 'the capitalists always win' analysis that had been offered doesn't hold.

Boulcolonialboy wrote:
edited to add, how is the quote from boulcolonialboy a quote from Wayne as opposed to me??????

This is the text I quoted
" "It is possible to support the right of a people to make a choice without agreeing with the immediate choice they make.""

Not only is this from Waynes article but I don't think you'd evan agree with it?

You may be making a more nuanced argument (which is welcome) but your coming in 4 pages into a much sillier argument which I'm primarly interested in addressing as I hate when comrades are slandered is this sort of manner.

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Sep 8 2006 13:15
revol68 wrote:
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Boulcolonialboy wrote:
What part of this is hard to grasp?

I don't think "It is possible to support the right of a people to make a choice without agreeing with the immediate choice they make." could be any clearer.

What part of this is hard to grasp?

Yes, Joe but there's a big pink elephant in the middle of this statement.

a) What people, how is this people defined?
b) By what mechanism or process is this choice made?
c) What happens to minorities who oppose such a "choice"?

Joe?

And again is saying that nat lib struggles can "acheive" changes in government an argument for anarchists supporting them? Military coups, and elections can get changes in government too.

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Sep 8 2006 13:18
Jack wrote:
In what way did they not end up on top?

Do you know anything about the Chinese revolution and its aftermath? Basically any capitalist or large landowner who didn't get to Taiwan ended up either dead or in a gulag within a few years. They certainly didn't end up on top!

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Sep 8 2006 13:20
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Jack wrote:
In what way did they not end up on top?

Do you know anything about the Chinese revolution and its aftermath? Basically any capitalist or large landowner who didn't get to Taiwan ended up either dead or in a gulag within a few years. They certainly didn't end up on top!

I think the state capitalist bureaucrats certainly did end up on top.

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Sep 8 2006 13:24

Joe, sort out that thing with putting yer own original posts in quotes.

For fear of this getting silly can I point out that the quote from me, that you convieniently detatched from my argument, is right at the start of the post in question in a box with bold writing in front, it looks like this:

Boulcolonialboy wrote:

Quote:
What part of this is hard to grasp?

Now, Wayne did not say that, I did and you quoted it but ditched the argument attached to it. Surpised you can't seem to see it since you quoted it though, scroll up, it is right there at the top of yer post.

Or maybe you'd like to report a new bug to the feedback forum?

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Sep 8 2006 13:28

Joe, your whole china example merely demonstrates the utility of the discourse of the nation for seizing state power. and if you'd retract the accusation that i'm a eurocentric marxist that'd be grand, ta.

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Sep 8 2006 13:28
John. wrote:
It was a question. Seeing as WSM people have only defended it, and not criticised it at all it does appear you agree with it. Which bits do you disagree with then?

Frankly in the context of LibCom where I see the actual weakness as being that most if not all posters hold to a de facto big nation nationalism I wouldn't see this as useful use of my time. In the situation where some of you are trying to engineer a split / expulsions from NEFAC I'd also consider it lacking in solidarity to choose that time to raise whatever problems I have beyond what I've stated here.

John. wrote:
I'm in a group (libcom).

When did LibCom become a group - the others keep telling us its only a web site. Maybe you should be expelled for breaking the line? :?

John. wrote:
More than anything I wonder how a group can have a prominent member consistently breaking an aim and principle of his group?

I would say the judgement above is one for NEFAC and not for you. I'm not sure any such contradiction exists as I think Wayne sails close to the edge but not over it. But thats for NEFAC

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Sep 8 2006 13:33
Joseph K. wrote:
Joe, your whole china example merely demonstrates the utility of the discourse of the nation for seizing state power. and if you'd retract the accusation that i'm a eurocentric marxist that'd be grand, ta.

You not me used the word eurocentric and BTW I think its a silly insult. I do think your definition of a nation was flawed because it ignores some rather obvious counter examples outside Europe.

And again China demonstrates that there is no iron rule of history that dictates which class comes out on top after a national liberation struggle.

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Sep 8 2006 13:40
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Joseph K. wrote:
Joe, your whole china example merely demonstrates the utility of the discourse of the nation for seizing state power. and if you'd retract the accusation that i'm a eurocentric marxist that'd be grand, ta.

You not me used the word eurocentric and BTW I think its a silly insult. I do think your definition of a nation was flawed because it ignores some rather obvious counter examples outside Europe.

ok this is a tangent but you said "This is standard Europen marxism but it actually does not apply to quite large chunks of the world including the Americas and much of Africa" - i don't think eurocentrism misrepresents that statement, and i spent a fair bit of time writing a reponse which showed what first-hand experience of non-european 'nations' i had taken into account, so i still think your claim is mistaken. Plus you've ignored my response to the 'help a jew' straw man which you used to sum up your argument, which i specifially linked to the meaning of a nation in the context of contemporary lebanon.

JoeBlack2 wrote:
And again China demonstrates that there is no iron rule of history that dictates which class comes out on top after a national liberation struggle.

er, the ruling class? (edit: damn revol beat me too it)