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Examples of workers who resisted calls for the liberation of their 'motherland'

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wojtek
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Oct 11 2011 01:25
Examples of workers who resisted calls for the liberation of their 'motherland'

Can anyone provide any concrete examples and information on workers who, on the receiving end of imperialism/foreign occupation, resisted their own rulers please?

Thanks in advance.

PS. I don't want this to be yet another debate on national liberation.

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flaneur
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Oct 10 2011 17:30

The Dublin lockout of 1913?

baboon
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Oct 10 2011 20:52

The opening post is a bit ambiguous talking about workers resisting calls for "liberation" for the motherland but not wanting to talk about national liberation. But to state the obvious, in the context of imperialism/foreign occupation, workers fighting for their own interests and not those of the "motherland", are the unsurpassed examples of the Soviet insurrection of 1917 and the Paris Commune.

wojtek
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Oct 10 2011 23:07
Quote:
baboon wrote:
The opening post is a bit ambiguous talking about workers resisting calls for "liberation" for the motherland but not wanting to talk about national liberation.

I don't understand, how is it problematic?

baboon
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Oct 11 2011 15:23

It's not problematic, just a bit ambigous - I certainly don't want any sort of discussion with any cheerleaders for nationalism and the most murderous "liberation" regimes.
What do you think of the two examples?

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devoration1
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Oct 11 2011 17:41

So you're talking about the revolutionary milieu (anarchists, syndicalists, non-Leninist communists) within colonial/semi or post colonial countries (or countries being occupied during an imperialist war)?

I don't know of any specific leaders, thinkers or groups off the top of my head, but it's likely that revolutionaries and militants got the same treatment as the Trotskyists and independant unionists did in places like Cuba, Vietnam, etc. even those the latter were not that different from the Stalinist NLF's and CP's running the anti-imperialism/national liberation wars and movements.

wojtek
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Oct 12 2011 20:06
Quote:
baboon wrote:
It's not problematic, just a bit ambiguous
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devoration1
So you're talking about the revolutionary milieu (anarchists, syndicalists, non-Leninist communists) within colonial/semi or post colonial countries (or countries being occupied during an imperialist war)?

Yeah, I was arguing on another forum that the Left/ Far-Left shouldn't be supporting Hamas (I was in a minority of two), which then brought up the question who we should support instead and I just wondered if there were any historic examples of internationalist workers facing occupation/ imperialism?

Quote:
baboon wrote:
What do you think of the two examples?

I'm not well read on either of them, would both the Soviet insurrection and the Paris Commune have happened towards the end of WW1 then?
x

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Arbeiten
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Oct 11 2011 23:58

who to support instead. fucking pathetic. i hate the left sometimes. duuuh well there is nobody else to 'support' so lets support Hamas*. Surely the left should have learnt from this strange amalgam of my enemy's enemy is my friend meets the least worst logic.

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devoration1
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Oct 12 2011 01:16
Quote:
Yeah, I was arguing on another forum that the Left/ Far-Left shouldn't be supporting Hamas (I was in a minority of two), which then brought up the question who we should support instead and I just wondered if there were any historic examples of internationalist workers facing occupation/ imperialism?

Well the Italian communist left in exile in France/Belgium opposed both the allies and axis powers at the same time, distributed revolutionary defeatist lit to troops on both sides, risked arrest, execution or street justice from CP and Resistance functionaries at the factories passing out communist lit to local workers, etc.

KRAS put out an internationalist-revolutionary defeatist leaflet during the Russian-Georgian war a couple years ago.

The simple answer is support no imperialist power, no armed faction of the bourgeoisie, and give support only to those internationalists sticking to revolutionary positions (i.e. promoting the class war rather than one or the other armed force or nation state involved in the conflict) and more importantly to the working-class of the areas involved. Otherwise you get shit like WWII where the CP dominated Resistance in Italy, France, etc fought with one of the imperialist blocs against the other, then after the war attempted and successfully entered the bourgeois governments (or people like the Trots who gave their support, beat the war drum and supported sending workers to fight an imperialist war but didn't even get to participate in the bourgeois governments post-war).

working class
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Oct 12 2011 01:38
wojtek wrote:
Can anyone provide any concrete examples and information on workers who, on the receiving end of imperialism/foreign occupation, resisted their own rulers please?

Thanks in advance.

PS. To Alexander or anyone else thinking of making this into yet another debate on national liberation, buzz off!

To start with World War I:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Jaur%C3%A8s

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_V._Debs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Army_Mutinies_(1917)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Revolution

In general: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_World_War_I

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georgestapleton
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Oct 12 2011 02:00

Yeah I think devoration1's example of the Bordigists (but I would add more importantly the Trotskyists) in occupied France is a good example. David Broder who posts here on the odd occasion knows a lot about this but you can read about some it here That pamphlet is from a very Bordigist perspective and unfortunately the headings on the sections aren't formatted on here but it is still very interesting.

Mark.
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Oct 12 2011 09:25
wojtek wrote:
Can anyone provide any concrete examples and information on workers who, on the receiving end of imperialism/foreign occupation, resisted their own rulers please?

Stinas in Greece

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Malva
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Oct 12 2011 10:13

I don't have any references but I am sure that I read that a large proportion of Welsh miners were massively anti-war and anti-Churchill during WWII. Apparently they booed whenever Churchill came on the news reels. There should be way more research on anti-war workers during WWII in the UK (or maybe I just don't know about it).

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Alf
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Oct 12 2011 15:20

Are we talking about workers' struggles or the activity of communist groups specifically?

proletarian.
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Oct 13 2011 19:11

This might be a dubious one, but what about the 1919 'Limerick Soviet'?

Just to add to this suggestion:

"It was the first - and only - time that organised Labour challenged Sinn Féin and the IRA for leadership of the increasingly powerful movement for Irish independence from Britain. It held within its momentous events the prospect that the coming revolution in Ireland would be not merely political, but economic and social as well."

www.limericksoviet.com

ajjohnstone
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Oct 19 2011 05:18

Rosa Luxemburg and anti-Polish nationalism

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Oct 26 2011 13:35

I know its a deviation, but most of the poor or working class white settler populations in European colonies sought solidarity from imperialism and sided with their local bourgeoisie against national liberation movements - Ulster Protestant workers, French pieds noir, US workers who joined in to defeat the indigenous rebellion known usually as the Plains War, Scottish Protestants in the '15 and '45 risings, Zionist workers in Palestine, Indian workers in East Africa. The 'poor white' phenomenon hass never been properly analysed or addressed by the Left, as far as I know.

I would be interested to hear from those who are ultra-firm in their rejection of any National Liberation movement which is not self-evidently class conscious and worker-led on how they view the examples I have given and others which could just as easily have been used.

wojtek
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Oct 27 2011 23:55
Quote:
Pengwern wrote:
I know its a deviation, but...

grr... nah, I reckon this thread's pretty much exhausted it's remit.

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Pengwern wrote:
The 'poor white' phenomenon hass never been properly analysed or addressed by the Left, as far as I know.

I'm not sure, but I think Max Weber's 'The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism' (1905) and the late Joe Bageant's work are good places to start. I think one also ought to explore why religion is so inextricably linked to nationalism.

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RedEd
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Oct 27 2011 19:49

Cuban anarchists did what the OP is interested in in a big way (if I understand what the poster is talking about, which I'm not sure I do). This book goes over the independent working class anti-imperialist and anti-bourgeois politics of the cuban anarchist movement in some detail: http://libcom.org/library/cuba-anarchism-history-of-movement-fernandez. There are some other examples of mass anarchist movements against both imperialism and the aspiring national bourgeoisie. The anarchist liberated territory in Manchuria is a good example.

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fnbrill
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Oct 29 2011 03:14

The IWW in Australia against WW1. Virtually ended the Australian war effort.

bastarx
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Oct 29 2011 05:15
fnbrill wrote:
The IWW in Australia against WW1. Virtually ended the Australian war effort.

Hardly, 60000 Australian soldiers died in WW1 including some right up to 11/11. What the IWW did do was play a big part in the successful campaigns to defeat the conscription referendums in 1916 & 1917. Australia was AFAIK the only major combatant without conscription.

vanilla.ice.baby
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Oct 29 2011 18:07

I'm sure Australia must have plenty of examples of working class people doing everything they can to oppress the Indiginous population and any attempts at radical self orgaanisation from that quarter.

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Nov 2 2011 13:56

I find it tells so much that the examples given in this thread are uniformly about foreign occupation during wartime in Europe or about European-descended groups.

When it comes to actual European imperialism on the other 4 continents, most posters base their views (see the thread on the Right to Self-Determination), purely on European examples, thereby ignoring national domination, racial domination, cultural oppression and uneven development. Because these are almost never factors found in white-on-white domination, the fact that Marx recognised their potency and link to international capitalism seems to count for nothing.

This just shows why there is still this yawning gap in understanding between white Marxists & Anarchists on the one hand and black Marxists and non-European revolutionaries on the other.

If the cap fits, where it - the eurocentric cap!

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Pengwern
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Nov 2 2011 13:57

'wear', not 'where', of course!

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Nov 3 2011 03:10
Pengwern wrote:
I find it tells so much that the examples given in this thread are uniformly about foreign occupation during wartime in Europe or about European-descended groups.

When it comes to actual European imperialism on the other 4 continents, most posters base their views (see the thread on the Right to Self-Determination), purely on European examples, thereby ignoring national domination, racial domination, cultural oppression and uneven development. Because these are almost never factors found in white-on-white domination, the fact that Marx recognised their potency and link to international capitalism seems to count for nothing.

This just shows why there is still this yawning gap in understanding between white Marxists & Anarchists on the one hand and black Marxists and non-European revolutionaries on the other.

If the cap fits, where it - the eurocentric cap!

Yes, naturally, if there is one way I would characterize the Nazi occupations in Europe, a lack of racial domination is definitely it. roll eyes

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Nov 3 2011 03:18
Pengwern wrote:
I find it tells so much that the examples given in this thread are uniformly about foreign occupation during wartime in Europe or about European-descended groups.

This is factually inacurate. The two examples I gave were about the mixed race Cuban/of-Cuban-descent-in-Florida labour movement (who were mainly of West African origin afaik) and the Manchurian example who were ethnically, if it matters to you, mainly of Korean, Mongolian and Mandarin "ethnic origin", as far as I can tell.

Though I said "ethnic origin", when applied to both cattegories this seems like a hopeless tool of analysis for the movement as a whole. Yes there is an ethnic dynamic, but it is so far from being determinate in the examples I gave it is close to being irrelivent. Which is no coincidence because the examples I gave were those of high class struggle and that necesitates the elimination of bullshit racial distinction which privileged groups use in periods of low struggle in collaberation with capital.

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Nov 3 2011 16:43
baboon wrote:
The opening post is a bit ambiguous talking about workers resisting calls for "liberation" for the motherland but not wanting to talk about national liberation. But to state the obvious, in the context of imperialism/foreign occupation, workers fighting for their own interests and not those of the "motherland", are the unsurpassed examples of the Soviet insurrection of 1917 and the Paris Commune.

I don't think the Communards totally disconnected themselves from defending France against Germany.

In spite of its public declarations, the Government of National Defence did not believe it was possible to defend Paris. Besides the regular army, a 200,000-strong peoples militia, the National Guard, declared itself ready to defend Paris, but the armed workers within Paris were seen instead as a far greater threat to the interests of the French capitalists than to the foreign army at its gates. The government decided it would be best to capitulate to Bismarck as soon as possible. However, given the patriotic fervour of the Parisians and of the National Guard, it was impossible for the government to state this openly. Trochu had to gain time. He counted on the social and economic effects of the siege to dampen the resistance of the Parisian workers. In the meantime, the government opened secret negotiations were with Bismarck.

There was no bourgeois plan to defend the nation for the workers to get behind or reject; they were making their own history.

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Nov 3 2011 16:50
RedEd wrote:
Pengwern wrote:
I find it tells so much that the examples given in this thread are uniformly about foreign occupation during wartime in Europe or about European-descended groups.

This is factually inacurate. The two examples I gave were about the mixed race Cuban/of-Cuban-descent-in-Florida labour movement (who were mainly of West African origin afaik) and the Manchurian example who were ethnically, if it matters to you, mainly of Korean, Mongolian and Mandarin "ethnic origin", as far as I can tell.

Though I said "ethnic origin", when applied to both cattegories this seems like a hopeless tool of analysis for the movement as a whole. Yes there is an ethnic dynamic, but it is so far from being determinate in the examples I gave it is close to being irrelivent. Which is no coincidence because the examples I gave were those of high class struggle and that necesitates the elimination of bullshit racial distinction which privileged groups use in periods of low struggle in collaberation with capital.

Yes, RedEd - Strictly speaking you are right and I was exaggerating my case. Having said that, we don't half have to wait a long time between episodes of "high class struggle' and in the meantime race and ethnicity is a potent problem throughout the planet - in so many cases, it is the key demographic reality which any revolutionary has to work their way through, so wishing it away is meaningless.

Your examples aside, how many other exceptions are there to what I said?

baboon
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Nov 3 2011 18:55

On the Paris Commune: I think that it was the ruling class that tried to paint this proletarian expression in the colours of "popular" resistance against the .Prussian enemy.

As far as I can see it was the deplorable conditions imnposed on them by Bonaparte's military adventure that was instrumental in sparking off the uprising of the working class in Paris in September 1870. And what came out of this (for me, anyway) is not the lesson that the working class will join with its bourgeoisie to fight its national rivals but that the bourgeoisie will join up with its national rivals in the face of the common enemy; independent working class action. Certainly the proletariat of Paris defended itself against its attackers but these attackers ceased to be Prussian and for two more months were its own bourgeoisie. They had to crush the Commune, this "vile scum", who had dared, for the first time in history, to overthrow the official power of the ruling class in one of its own capitals.

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Nov 3 2011 19:43
baboon wrote:
On the Paris Commune: I think that it was the ruling class that tried to paint this proletarian expression in the colours of "popular" resistance against the .Prussian enemy.

As far as I can see it was the deplorable conditions imnposed on them by Bonaparte's military adventure that was instrumental in sparking off the uprising of the working class in Paris in September 1870. And what came out of this (for me, anyway) is not the lesson that the working class will join with its bourgeoisie to fight its national rivals but that the bourgeoisie will join up with its national rivals in the face of the common enemy; independent working class action. Certainly the proletariat of Paris defended itself against its attackers but these attackers ceased to be Prussian and for two more months were its own bourgeoisie. They had to crush the Commune, this "vile scum", who had dared, for the first time in history, to overthrow the official power of the ruling class in one of its own capitals.

You are dead right and I didn't think I was arguing anything different, except that there was something akin to patriotism about the Commune, but that patriotism was not about the forms of state which had preceded it. Neither was it about restoring the bourgeoisie or any form of oppressive relations. I can't put my finger on it and it changed during the course of the Commune, which was a huge learning and developing process for everyone. If I could time travel, that's where I would want to go!

But like I said, there was no bourgeois lead for the workers to follow or reject so it doesn't answer the question at the top of this thread.