Anarchism, and National Liberation

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AndrewF
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Sep 8 2006 15:44
John. wrote:
JoeBlack2 wrote:
The point stands that in relation to China there is no way the national liberation struggle ended up with the old capitalist class on top of the pile.

No one has said the contrary though, and no one would. The statement is irrelevant for anarchists however - as I've mentioned loads of things can change the makeup of ruling classes. Don't we want to get rid of the ruling class?

If you are right then we have spent several pages arguing on the basis of a misunderstanding. I used China to counter this argument from pingtao

"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?"

In other words the CCP was an example of a form of support for national liberation that did not support the 'right' of (Chinese) capitalists to restructure their society in their interests.

If no one was putting forward an iron law that is fine with me - we are then agreed that there are possible outcomes to national liberation struggles where the old capitalist class does not come out on top.

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Sep 8 2006 15:56
JoeBlack2 wrote:
If no one was putting forward an iron law that is fine with me - we are then agreed that there are possible outcomes to national liberation struggles where the old capitalist class does not come out on top.

Pingtiao's - and the other internationalists' - point was not about that particular ruling class, but *any* ruling class. This being the general anarchist problem with national liberation you'd think it would be obvious that's what he meant? but fiar enough it's easy to get the wrong end of the stick. As I see it you still haven't addressed his point.

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Sep 8 2006 16:03
John. wrote:
Pingtiao's - and the other internationalists' - point was not about that particular ruling class, but *any* ruling class. This being the general anarchist problem with national liberation you'd think it would be obvious that's what he meant?

Well no because while I can see a logical argument that a current section of the capitalist class have the resources to manipulate a national liberation movement so that in the future they come out on top I don't see how it would work in the second way in any sensible fashion.

In other words if we are talking of a future capitalist class that arises after (and in the course of) the struggle where are the resources for this manipulation coming from. Even worse doesn't this give us an analyis of what went wrong with the Chinese revoltion that amounts to
"There was this gang of people who had a conspiracy so that they could be the new rulers of China and they tricked everyone into fighting for them".

Frankly if you need to make that sort of argument to save Pintaos original point you'd be a whole lot better conceeding on this.

Blacknred Ned
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Sep 8 2006 16:05

I don't see the point behind this argument over the fate of the 'old capitalist class'; a bullet from the gun of a soldier (worker!) in any faction will kill you just as dead as one from a capitalist crony.

Here's another way to look at this problem. Let's for a moment forget our feelings about national liberation struggles & consider what the feelings of nationalists might be about us. This is a very similar argument to the one that should be deployed in the face of any one arguing for collaboration with any stripe of authoritarian socialist or communist. It might seem academic now, but misjudgement in this matter could very well leave you having a last smoke early one morning with a few zealous trots waiting to shoot you.

There were anarchists in China in the inter-war years, what happened to them? Anarchists in Cuba prior to 1959; anarchists in Russia & Spain hardly need to be mentioned; anarchists who fought alongside nationalists across Europe under Nazi occupation & so the list goes on. The lesson should be clear, be very careful who you are prepared to fight with if you value your life.

(Out of interest does anyone know what happened to Nicaragua's anarchists & anarcho-syndicalists under the Sandinistas?)
I would add that in more peaceful times many of us have no doubt had the marvellous experience of watching trots march away from the sounds of the sirens whilst other people wait to take the heat.

Nationalism has always been the most pernicious of con-tricks because the national interest is such a handy myth for murderers of both right & "left". In my judgement, apparent short term gain notwithstanding, I should offer no support to anyone who would doubtless, given the chance, put me in prison or to death rather than see my dreams of freedom realised. My enemy's enemy is definitely not always my friend.

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Sep 8 2006 16:26
Coffeemachine wrote:
We can all all be the right kind of anarchist in cyberspace.

Your comments (and BnRNed's) remind me of an argument I had with a Black Flag member about an almost entirely uncritical interview in the 90s' in BF magazine with a spokesperson for a Turkish stalinist group. This was at a time when Turkish anarchists in London were being hassled by members of this group. The BF person's defence came down basicly to 'well how many papers do you sell? How many members do you have?' (Not that I was in any group.) A pretty pathetic excuse for an opportunist populism, an accomodation with those who are dominating a certain arena. So the fact that certain groups and ideas are more immediately popular is a reason for the most ridiculous and disarming compromises with them? That's just competing for attention with leftists/nationalists on their own terms.

When these contradictions stop being 'abstract' and are played out in real life they have real consequences - as the Turkish anarchists, participants of the May Days of 1937 and others could tell you.

"An alliance concluded between two different parties turns to the advantage of the more reactionary of the two; this alliance necessarily enfeebles the the more progressive party by diminishing and distorting its programme." - Bakunin.

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Sep 8 2006 17:05

here's another angle.

in what way would your reaction to coming under 'foreign' military occupation differ from there being a domestic military coup?

i wouldn't feel the need to invoke any concept of 'the nation' in order to resist a particularly militarised ruling class, regardless of whether they were of the same 'nation' as me.

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Sep 8 2006 17:23

This discussion seems to be going in circles.

To me, the question is very simple: Do we take sides in a war between nations (for the "oppressed nation" against the "imperalist power"), or do we take a principled anti-militarist position against both waring sides.

Wayne Price has made it clear where he stands on this question, and it seems that the WSM members in this forum agrees with him.

Wayne Price wrote:
However, since there was no other military force available in southern Lebanon, yes, I would be "on the side" of Hezballah, because it was doing the fighting on the Lebanese side. Between the imperialist and/or colonialist forces and the forces of the oppressed nation, even with its terrible politics, I would "support" those of the oppressed nation. I do NOT stand neutral between the oppressor and the oppressed and I do not understand anarchists who are.

So the point is not that Price personally thinks it's a good idea to kill teachers or shell civilian Israelis, but that he "supports" these reactionary forces "even with its terrible politics".

It is possible that Price is in the minority in NEFAC on this question, but the question is then why don't the other people in NEFAC speak up against him. In fact, I think it is a major embarrasment for the platformist milieu that such a position is only met with mild criticisms when posted on anarkismo.net

Blacknred Ned
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Sep 8 2006 17:23

Ret, why did you include me in your reminiscence? I don't see how I've been arguing either like CM or the old BF guy.

coffeemachine
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Sep 8 2006 17:34

Er, me too.

My argument is it's easy being an anarchist on paper ticking the right boxes, saying the right things, creating a meaningful expression of those ideas in real life situations with real people is something else entirely different.

A dogmatist only feels secure in his politics with other dogmatists.

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Sep 8 2006 18:01

BnRNed - I referred to you in agreement - you spoke of the foolishness of making alliances with 'our future executioners' and I referred to Black Flag's opportunist cosying up to stalinists.

Coffeemachine; as I understood it, you were putting forward the view that once one descends from the heavens of abstraction into the mucky world of politics one has to make certain compromises, including justifiable alliances with nationalists (correct me if I'm wrong). As if because being "the right kind of anarchist in cyberspace" is easier than offline, that justified a more compromising attitude towards nationalism. To which I countered with the example of BF and the Turkish anarchists as an instance where politics "had weight, had any bearing, had any impact on the real world", which according to you then means " what you are saying makes absolute sense".

Quote:
A dogmatist only feels secure in his politics with other dogmatists.

If your definition of a dogmatist is not to compromise with nationalism then I'm happy to fall within that definition.

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Sep 8 2006 18:05

Hi

Felix Frost wrote:
This discussion seems to be going in circles.

We should put any effort in to seeing each other’s points of view, synthesising, and moving forward.

Felix Frost wrote:
In fact, I think it is a major embarrasment for the platformist milieu that such a position is only met with mild criticisms when posted on anarkismo.net

Good point. There is a lot of, what one might call, face involved in discussions where a nationalist force, at least ostensibly, shares one of the agendas. There’s plenty of mutual mild disgust flying around.

JoeBlack2 wrote:
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 bet some “socialist” landowners got powerful positions in the Communist Party and state-paid labour to work their estates.

revol68 wrote:
I have no desire to end the oppression of the palestinian nation, the nation afterall just serves to mask material divisions, the nation includes the leadership of Hamas and Fatah, it displaces class, gender, race and other forms of oppression and subjugates them to the "national interest". What I wish to see is an end to the Israeli occupation, because as it stands it actually strengthens the grip of nationalism.

As you say. Which I imagine is also Kofe Anan’s position. The funny thing is, that even though you’re both a couple of liberals, your keenest detractors are genuinely more reactionary, despite some holding unequivocally communist positions on the matter.

Even the Israeli military says it wants to end the occupation, if it wasn’t for those pesky nationalists, they say, they’d pull out. As a position “calling for an end to the occupation” is largely a matter of degree, it doesn’t really mean anything unless one stands for or against the specific actions carried out in order to achieve it.

I’m still not convinced that Israeli withdrawal to a given border will undermine the nationalistic fervour whipped up by various components of the Palestinian bourgeoisie. If we want to wipe out nationalism we’d be better off bribing the Palestinian working class away from their existing loyalties with hard cash.

Love

LR

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Sep 8 2006 18:27
Ret Marut wrote:
BnRNed - I referred to you in agreement - you spoke of the foolishness of making alliances with 'our future executioners' and I referred to Black Flag's opportunist cosying up to stalinists.

Coffeemachine; as I understood it, you were putting forward the view that once one descends from the heavens of abstraction into the mucky world of politics one has to make certain compromises, including justifiable alliances with nationalists (correct me if I'm wrong). As if because being "the right kind of anarchist in cyberspace" is easier than offline, that justified a more compromising attitude towards nationalism. To which I countered with the example of BF and the Turkish anarchists as an instance where politics "had weight, had any bearing, had any impact on the real world", which according to you then means " what you are saying makes absolute sense".

Quote:
A dogmatist only feels secure in his politics with other dogmatists.

If your definition of a dogmatist is not to compromise with nationalism then I'm happy to fall within that definition.

it was more of a case of if you divest an situation of its social context then anarchist politics remains easy. If you attempt to appreciate national liberation struggles as fought by real people in real time (with a real history and real consquences) then your anarchism roots itself in a human interaction not a theoritical certainty.

Wasn't calling you a dogmatist just the level of this thread. Talking of which if a struggle for national liberation gives rise to a more militant, more cohesive more confident working class would you support it? And would you aid that struggle to atain a more militant, cohesive confident working class?

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Sep 8 2006 18:29
Lazy Riser wrote:
it doesn’t really mean anything unless one stands for or against the specific actions carried out in order to achieve it ... If we want to wipe out nationalism we’d be better off bribing the Palestinian working class away from their existing loyalties with hard cash.

well thats practical, luckily the libertarian communist movement is swimming in hard cash roll eyes

you can put that down as a bite

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Sep 8 2006 18:38

Hi

Well that's a good point. The libertarian communist movement is unable to impact upon nationalism there regardless of specific methods. If wiping out nationalism is the goal then a compensation solution sounds good to me, and given the smallish number of Palestinians involved it might be cheaper in the long run. I mean the Palestinians should be compensated anyway, I'm wondering how many US Dollars per year it would take to convince your average Hamas member to give up the struggle.

Love

LR

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Sep 8 2006 19:54

Quotes are, of course, from Joeblack2:

Quote:
OK I'm quoting all of the above because it seems to me that you are applying a particular (quite restrictive) definition to national liberation struggles that is different to the way I am using it. Nothing wrong with that as such but it does make a discussion between us difficult because we are using different definitions.

Oh so its restrictive to define a national liberation struggle as a struggle for national liberation as opposed to what, including every kid who throws a brick at the military, every strike in an occupied region as being in the 'national liberation' camp?

Quote:
So ito be clear, by national liberation struggle I mean and only mean the struggle to remove an imperialist power from a region.

But this is not all that these struggles are Joe is it, to pretend otherwise is little short of delusional.

Quote:
I make no assumptions as to who conducts this struggle, what their ideology is nor indeed what the end result will be. I find it essential to leave these definitions open in order to be able to discuss how you approach each struggle at each time.

No-one demands assumptions but a struggle that sinks everything into getting rid of the imperialist power ends up putting in place a new elite - any more libertarian, socialist or working class interests are subsumed in these struggles.

Quote:
I also think that what has happened is a lot more complex then "Elements proporting to strive for the liberation of the working class have time and again been co-opted and sold out by national liberationist leftist appeals, and at other times national liberationists have utilised the language of socialism" Both versions above presume a conspiracy and foregone conclusion. From actually looking at the debates within such struggles it often seems that you have a significant working class section that is well aware of the difference of interests it has with the national bourgeoise but sees an alliance with them as a way of getting arms (they have the money) and of defeating imperialism. Quite often this section imagine / hope for the possibility of expanding the national liberation struggle into one for socialism.

Why is a preplanned conspiracy needed for this? It is borne out over and over historically. Working class interests have been subsumed in pursuit of 'national liberation' and working class interests have invariably suffered. Its sort of what tends to happen when you subordinate your interests to other 'cross-class' (in reality bourgeois, for want of a better term) interests. That an outcome is imagined does not make it more likely - we also need to be extremely careful with the word socialism here, or you could argue that the CCP did bring socialism - is that what the leninists have successfully turned national liberation struggles into in the past? Do you think there is a possibility of doing the same with anarchism? If you do I would caution that thats a very dangerous notion indeed.

Quote:
The problem with the CC analysis is that it often presents the working class elements as dumb sheep who are simply fooled by the ruling class and are so blinded by nationalism that they fail to see their different class interests. If that is the way things are seen then indeed all intervention is pointless and all outcomes are fore ordained. So you stand outside and shout in the hope the sheep awaken.

No, involvement in national liberation struggles are pointless, worse they are counter-productive and reactionary . I don't regard working class people as sheep and hence do not think they should serve as sheep to national liberation movements.

Don't you think there may be something in the fact that of those arguing against support for national liberation struggles there are people who are closer to the reality of the impact of such movements on the working class in their areas of operation while those arguing for support of them seem to be arguing from a safer distance? I sometimes think that there is a link here between the 'do something' activistism that just makes the activists feel better and those on the ground trying to grapple with what, for them, is a more immediate reality.

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Sep 8 2006 22:05
Felix Frost wrote:
It is possible that Price is in the minority in NEFAC on this question, but the question is then why don't the other people in NEFAC speak up against him. In fact, I think it is a major embarrasment for the platformist milieu that such a position is only met with mild criticisms when posted on anarkismo.net

Yes, Wayne's "softness" on this issue represents a minority position in NEFAC. In fact, there are probably a few areas that I think many of us would find ourselves in disagreement with Wayne on. However, like Joe said, he may come close to the edge (of support for nationalism and national liberation ideology), but I personally don't think he crosses the line. Than again, my knee-jerk ultraleftism may not be as sharp as some people's on here...

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Sep 9 2006 00:07
coffeemachine wrote:
If you attempt to appreciate national liberation struggles as fought by real people in real time (with a real history and real consquences) then your anarchism roots itself in a human interaction not a theoritical certainty.

I have never fought a national liberation struggle - have you? But it does not mean I can be patronised or stereotyped as some remote intellectual (and even remote intellectuals are right sometimes). I have several friends who have been involved in nat. lib. struggles in the Middle East and who, through their active experience - their "real history and real consequences" as you put it - came to conclusions similar to mine. So these views can't just be dismissed as typical of 'unrealistic' detached intellectuals, if that is what you're implying...

coffeemachine wrote:
if a struggle for national liberation gives rise to a more militant, more cohesive more confident working class would you support it? And would you aid that struggle to atain a more militant, cohesive confident working class?

In countries like Bangladesh, many strikes and demos have been called and controlled by parties, not to truly advance the interests of workers, but as political tools to damage their political rivals. I am as much against that manipulation before or after national 'liberation'. (Thankfully those kinds of manipulations are failing more and more in Bangladesh.) I'm not really interested in 'supporting' struggles like some 3rd worldists, anarchists or not, choose to, picking the underdog side as if they're cheerleading a smaller team in the World Cup. A more combative working class that subordinated it's own interests to that of national liberation will soon feel the whip of the new boss they have helped into power. South Africa is one of the most modern examples. Conditions for the poor in the townships are now worse than under apartheid. The new black bourgeoisie that has massively enriched itself has happily imposed extreme austerity measures on the working class. Go and read Ashwin Desai, 'We are the Poors' or other authors of various colours who document the deterioration of conditions and the often inspiring struggles going on amongst the poor against the new black ruling class. There was a high level of class struggle during the apartheid era, but it never sufficiently devloped a critique of nationalism or became a struggle for the abolition of class relations. So it was channeled into national liberation and is now reaping the consequences - but the class struggle is not dead, it has a growing resistance to its new masters, as Desai and others describe.

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Sep 9 2006 01:36

Ret if i patronised or stereotyped you in any way then that was my mistake. Again i don't think we are arguing different things just looking at the issue in different ways. I've got a lot of time for what you say, perhaps i'm just unfairly directing all the criticisms i have with this thread at you.

I have no doubts that a working class who subordinate its own interests to that of national liberation will soon feel the whip of the new boss they have helped into power, i have no doubts about that at all. But then that same working class will reconstitute itself, re-emerge as a class on a different terrain with different tools under different conditions with different perspectives. This is the nature of class struggle a fluid, versatile and resilient expression of desire and execution, a process rather than a goal, it never fully gets subsumed by national liberation tendencies, just as it never fully loses sight of its own potential. I think we have to give working class people a bit more credit to their own self-awareness concerning the reasons to coalesce around national liberation struggles.

And i don't think either of us are convinced working class people are dupes or victims or simple tools of clashing ideologies, but surely our starting point should be asking why so many seek to define themselves through national liberation struggles rather than simply dismissing the whole thing as reactionary or counterproductive (not you ret, not you).

Perhaps i have greater faith in my class to find its own level of expression despite the attempted manipulations of the leftists, the ultras, the national liberationists and the anarchists who all seem to be fighting for the soul of a class they can never truly own.

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Sep 9 2006 06:51
joeblack wrote:
Point 1 is actually disconnected from point 3. In other words the Chinese capitalists did not benefit by thier liquidation and the creation of a new state capitalist class.

the boss doesn't benefit from being replaced, doesnt make us free.

coffeemachine wrote:
maybe if we could broaden the parameters a little and ask the question "would you support national liberation struggles if those struggles increased the confidence of the working class of those territories?"

joining the SA gave the working class confidence. I think perhaps the type of confidence might be important. Non-hierarchical self-organisation will increase working class confidence in a more useful manner. So unless the imperialists are preventing all organisation then there's no reason to struggle against them and if they are then struggle againstn the conditions.

Quote:
Whatever about the exact mechanism the point is that the national liberation struggle did not end up with the old capitalist class on the top of the pile.

Well I've read 1984, so I'm not impressed by this example. You're lucky I've not read much else.

Quote:

If no one was putting forward an iron law that is fine with me - we are then agreed that there are possible outcomes to national liberation struggles where the old capitalist class does not come out on top.

no one questioned that. Most people who are sensible would not.

CM wrote:
My argument is it's easy being an anarchist on paper ticking the right boxes, saying the right things, creating a meaningful expression of those ideas in real life situations with real people is something else entirely different.

You had another argument earlier and you seem to have dropped that. We are talking specifically about whether anarchists should participate in national liberation struggles.

Lazy Riser wrote:
If we want to wipe out nationalism we’d be better off bribing the Palestinian working class away from their existing loyalties with hard cash.

Lazy, this is not an option for us, any chance of another suggestion? A realistic one.

CM wrote:
Talking of which if a struggle for national liberation gives rise to a more militant, more cohesive more confident working class would you support it? And would you aid that struggle to atain a more militant, cohesive confident working class?

But does it ever do it?
Well the working class don't seem to be doing particularly well in: Northern Ireland, Basque Regions, Chechnia...
Can you give an example of a working class that was made more 'cohesive and confident' please.

CM wrote:
The problem with the CC analysis is that it often presents the working class elements as dumb sheep who are simply fooled by the ruling class and are so blinded by nationalism that they fail to see their different class interests.

This is rather circular, just because the working class can support something it doesn't mean that we cannot condemn the thing. The working class often support sexism, racism, homophobia and to top it off capitalism. So being against national liberation is far less patronising to the working class than being against capitalism. I'm not sure anyone would argue that, although Lazy Riser might give it a try. Thinking someone has made the wrong choice is not the same as thinking that they are a dupe.

CM wrote:
I have no doubts that a working class who subordinate its own interests to that of national liberation will soon feel the whip of the new boss they have helped into power, i have no doubts about that at all. But then that same working class will reconstitute itself, re-emerge as a class on a different terrain with different tools under different conditions with different perspectives.

So they will fight and die to install a new boss, and then they will have to start all over again? Seems like a waste.

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Sep 9 2006 09:48

OK I'm flouncing out of this thread for now as its doing my head in. I'll be posting on the Anarkismo one where the level of dogmatism and deliberate/stupid misinterpretation is a good few degrees lower.

That said I seem to have an unhealthy addiciton to stupid back and forths so once I've got over the comedown from yesterdays binge I may get dragged back. I really should find something better to do with my time. Gah!

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Sep 9 2006 10:03

Hi

Quote:
Lazy, this is not an option for us, any chance of another suggestion? A realistic one.

Go back and read my prior post Jef. We can move the discussion onto realism if you want, perhaps we could donate some money to the UN’s marketing department so that the Islamists show Kofe a bit more due deference.

Seeing as you're obviously such a expert realist, you should set out your plan for implementing 1967 borders, assuming you’re moderate enough to agree that it would improve the situation.

Love

LR

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Sep 9 2006 11:35
coffeemachine wrote:
Talking of which if a struggle for national liberation gives rise to a more militant, more cohesive more confident working class would you support it? And would you aid that struggle to atain a more militant, cohesive confident working class?

Would you? You seem to be trying to avoid answering this.

coffeemachine
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Sep 9 2006 14:15
John. wrote:
Would you? You seem to be trying to avoid answering this.

no i don't think i would. But then i'm not a class fetishist.

And you John?

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Sep 9 2006 14:20
coffeemachine wrote:
John. wrote:
Would you? You seem to be trying to avoid answering this.

no i don't think i would.

So why do you keep asking it? You're just talking nonsense - of which this is a good example:

Quote:
Perhaps i have greater faith in my class to find its own level of expression despite the attempted manipulations of the leftists, the ultras, the national liberationists and the anarchists who all seem to be fighting for the soul of a class they can never truly own.

Quote:
And you John?

I've already stated my views on national liberation.

coffeemachine
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Sep 9 2006 14:25

i missed it mate, do you want to give me a quick summary on what your thoughts on national liberation struggles are if they increased the confidence of the working class?

I'm asking to open up the field of debate, which i think i said twice alreday.

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Sep 9 2006 14:29
coffeemachine wrote:
i missed it mate, do you want to give me a quick summary on what your thoughts on national liberation struggles are if they increased the confidence of the working class?

I answered you on p6. Ret did so more eloquently here:

Quote:
A more combative working class that subordinated its own interests to that of national liberation will soon feel the whip of the new boss they have helped into power.

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Sep 9 2006 14:30

CM in what way does the question even make sense - how can national struggles increase the confidence of the international class, except by pitting one 'nation' against the other?

if you'd like to explain the question perhaps the debate could open up a little

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Sep 9 2006 14:36
Lazy Riser wrote:
Go back and read my prior post Jef. We can move the discussion onto realism if you want, perhaps we could donate some money to the UN’s marketing department so that the Islamists show Kofe a bit more due deference.

I've gone back five pages, not found it, given up.

Quote:
Seeing as you're obviously such a expert realist, you should set out your plan for implementing 1967 borders, assuming you’re moderate enough to agree that it would improve the situation.

Why on earth would I want to implement 1967 borders? I've never even suggested anything close to that. I don't actually have a solution for the situation, so I'm afraid I don't have a position to defend.

coffeemachine
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Sep 9 2006 14:43

joesph the way the original premise is posed 'national liberation struggles are bad for the working class therefore should not be supported', if we take that as our start point and posit what if national liberation struggles actually increased the confidence and militancy of those working class people engage in national liberation struggles what would our position be?

What that does then is open up a different field of debate which asks and takes as its starting point - who then decides what is best for the working class of these particluar regions at any given time in history? The icc (and judging from this thread some class struggle anarchists) would shout in unison WE DO!

I am not convinced.

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Sep 9 2006 14:48
coffeemachine wrote:
joesph the way the original premise is posed 'national liberation struggles are bad for the working class therefore should not be supported', if we take that as our start point and posit what if national liberation struggles actually increased the confidence and militancy of those working class people engage in national liberation struggles what would our position be?

Surely as arguments have been made for why national liberation struggles are bad for the working class it would be more sensible to either refute those arguments or at least offer a parallel rather than 'posit' the opposite without evidence and then ask questions about hypothetical positions.