National Liberation Movements

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Maphisto86's picture
Joined: 28-07-10
Sep 2 2021 19:16
National Liberation Movements

I just had a question. Upon looking at the history of national liberation movements against colonial powers in the twentieth century, I see almost all of them have been Marxist in orientation. Have there been any anarchist national liberation movements or anarchist sections within wider such movements?

Joined: 25-06-21
Sep 4 2021 05:46

Yes, Platformists. Their advocacy of national liberation is one on the features they share with Marxist-Leninism.

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
Joined: 7-05-06
Sep 4 2021 11:21
BG wrote:
To the question of anarchist national liberation movements, this goes all the way back to Bakunin, who was an ardent campaigner of national liberation for Slavic peoples from the occupying empires of Eastern Europe.

But that was in his pre-anarchist days so not a valid example. There is a basic contradiction between anti-statists supporting movements desiring to form a state. Though that has doesn't stopped this glaring contradiction - and its critique by more consistent anarchism - from recurring through anarchist history.

Joined: 30-09-03
Sep 4 2021 13:18


Entdinglichung's picture
Joined: 2-07-08
Sep 6 2021 08:37

think that there were some small groups in Euskadi, Bretagne and Catalonia during the 1970ies who considered themselves anarchists but campaigned for national independence

Joined: 6-01-07
Sep 6 2021 10:08

And lets not forget that while they might not be traditional 'national liberation' style movements (as in opposition to western style imperialism) the anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movement has periodically and recently been split on support for regionalist and separatist campaigns in Catalonia, Ukraine and Syrian Kurdistan to mention just a few examples.

Joined: 20-04-08
Sep 6 2021 21:48

Related events

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Joined: 14-01-04
Sep 7 2021 08:39

I think of those five examples, ajjohnstone, only the Manchuria one could be seen as "national liberation".

Reddebrek's picture
Joined: 4-01-12
Sep 8 2021 18:26

In the 1870s-80s Egypt had a community of Italian political exiles including Anarchists, this community rubbed shoulders with Egyptian reformers and nationalists, during the English-Egyptian war and Urabi revolt the Italians formed a small group of fighters to assist the Egyptians,

sherbu-kteer's picture
Joined: 19-08-17
Sep 10 2021 03:32

Probably more accurate to say they attempted to assist the Egyptians. Malatesta was among them but they didn't get very far:

When ‘Urābī Pascha captained the rebellion that broke out in Egypt in June of 1882 against the Europeans, and on July 11th the English bombed Alexandria, Malatesta formulated the project of going to join the insurrectionaries. In August he had made it out of Europe, together with Cesare Ceccarelli, Gaetano Marocco and Apostolo Paulides.

The military cordons drawn about the city and the continual small skirmishes—a story told many years later by Icilio Parrini, then living in Alexandria—kept them from reaching their goal. They planned to disembark in Abu Qir, and to reach Ramley overland, near the Nile. The most dangerous and risky decision was their attempt to cross Maryût lake, which was dry due to the Mahsnondich canal closure. As with the preceding attempts, this last obstacle didn’t stop them; however, the soft lake bed obliged them to retreat.[35]

In a final attempt by boat, they thought they had landed safely, but instead they found themselves surrounded by English soldiers, detained, and [devueltos] to Alexandria. From there Malatesta decided to return to Italy. I don’t know where or for how long he stayed meanwhile (maybe in Alexandria itself); but the fact is that in spring of 1883, some time after March, he clandestinely disembarked in Liorna and took himself to Florence.

Malatesta also fought, or attempted to fight, in a Serb revolt against the Ottomans.

I've tried to do more research on this sort of thing but have encountered a lot of language barriers. By my reading, the anarchists who participated in these revolts did so less out of an expectation that the revolts were a good goal in of themselves but with the idea that they could influence its direction, ie turning a national revolt into some kind of general social revolution.