Anarchism, and National Liberation

182 posts / 0 new
Last post
coffeemachine
Offline
Joined: 31-03-06
Sep 9 2006 14:50
John. wrote:
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.

well you didn't really did you. You talked about the working class being international not whether you would support the increase in class confidence felt as a consquence of working class people being active in national liberation struggles. As you so eloquently put it 'a simple yes or no would suffice'.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Sep 9 2006 14:52

you're either trying to start a fight or your're not very bright ... none of the anarchists here at least are trying to claim the authority to decide what is best for the working class, but of course we're allowed opinions on the matter. except for leninist parties, no-one even tries to "decide what is best for the working class of these particluar regions at any given time in history", so its a non-field to open up.

participation in fascism surely raised the confidence of those working class people participating in it, so does gang membership, football hooliganism etc - but that confidence isn't a class confidence so it doesn't make any sense to ask :?

a question that would at least make sense would be something like 'what if participation in a national liberation struggle increased the class confidence of the international proletariat'? or something - but then we're not talking about national liberation any more but a localised moment of class struggle

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 9 2006 14:53

Exactly Joseph.

coffeemachine wrote:
As you so eloquently put it 'a simple yes or no would suffice'.

Your question makes no sense, like most of the gibberish you spout in a rather sad attempt to start fights with the "class struggle anarchists" you so dislike. Stop derailing the thread.

coffeemachine
Offline
Joined: 31-03-06
Sep 9 2006 15:01
Joseph K. wrote:

a question that would at least make sense would be something like 'what if participation in a national liberation struggle increased the class confidence of the international proletariat'? or something - but then we're not talking about national liberation any more but a localised moment of class struggle

which would be an equally useful question. But devrim is aking anarchists to decide their position (from a wholly erroneous starting premise has to be said. And to be honest that question could only be posed and answered as pure theory.

coffeemachine
Offline
Joined: 31-03-06
Sep 9 2006 15:02

...

coffeemachine
Offline
Joined: 31-03-06
Sep 9 2006 15:14
jef costello wrote:
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.

again those arguments as simply intellectual supposition. How do we know? We know because we've got a better understand of the working class? We know because our class analysis is so highly developed?

the simple fact is as is a bunch of university graduates with pretty secure employment in a pretty secure social cultural and political environment we have no fucking clue as to why working class people choose to coalesce around national liberation struggles over and above class struggles as a real defintion of their identity.

Devrim is asking anarchists to make a choice in their 'position' not what they think the working class are playing at. But the overwhelming and frankly odious responses seems to be these working class people are doing it wrong they don't have a clue and our superior political awareness allows us the privilege of telling them so.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 9 2006 15:19
coffeemachine wrote:
But the overwhelming and frankly odious responses seems to be these working class people are doing it wrong they don't have a clue and our superior political awareness allows us the privilege of telling them so.

Which is the basis of your opinion which you spout all over the net, which is that no one can ever criticise the actions of any working class (as categorised by you) person. Which is why you criticised those who thought the French rioters who burned the disabled man to death and murdered a pensioner. What I'd really like to see is you actually have the courage of your convictions and carry this through (rather than make empty posturing on the internet to start arguments because you have nothing better to do), and support all murders, muggings, rapes and child abuse carried out by working class people. After all, who are you to criticise them? roll eyes roll eyes

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 9 2006 15:25
Quote:
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?

if active involvement in racist or fascist movements increased the confidence and militancy of the working class people who engaged in them, what would your position be to them?

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Sep 9 2006 15:34

Hi

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

LR wrote:
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.

Jef wrote:
I don't actually have a solution for the situation, so I'm afraid I don't have a position to defend.

Then stop defending your position that this-or-that is unrealistic.

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?

coffeemachine wrote:
i don't think i would. But then i'm not a class fetishist.

Neither would I. And I’m a class fetishist.

Coffeemachine, other than developing a critique of a milieu you already consider to be more-or-less irrelevant, what is the substance of your point?

Love

LR

coffeemachine
Offline
Joined: 31-03-06
Sep 9 2006 15:50
Lazy Riser wrote:
Coffeemachine, other than developing a critique of a milieu you already consider to be more-or-less irrelevant, what is the substance of your point?

Love

LR

i guess lazy the point is any situation that involves real people in genuine conflict can't be reduced to choosing a correct political position.

Quote:

Neither would I. And I’m a class fetishist.

i bet you are, and a damn fine one at that

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 9 2006 15:53
Quote:
i guess lazy the point is any situation that involves real people in genuine conflict can't be reduced to choosing a correct political position.

if you can't have a position when it matters, what's the point in having one at all

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Sep 9 2006 16:03

Hi

Quote:
any situation that involves real people in genuine conflict can't be reduced to choosing a correct political position.

I agree with the spirit of this. Forgive me for pedantically adding that whilst it can be "reduced", to do so is just finding a new way to consume the situation as a political commodity.

Love

LR

coffeemachine
Offline
Joined: 31-03-06
Sep 9 2006 15:59
Quote:
if you can't have a position when it matters, what's the point in having one at all

indeed oi i'm sure me and you both know facsists absolutely committed to their political position

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 9 2006 16:04
oisleep wrote:
Quote:
i guess lazy the point is any situation that involves real people in genuine conflict can't be reduced to choosing a correct political position.

if you can't have a position when it matters, what's the point in having one at all

Well I'm assuming from this:

Quote:
the simple fact is as is a bunch of university graduates with pretty secure employment in a pretty secure social cultural and political environment we have no fucking clue as to why working class people choose to coalesce around national liberation struggles over and above class struggles as a real defintion of their identity.

that people who aren't graduates and don't live in rich white countries are presumably too backwards and simple to not be nationalists.

CM - you again seem to be avoiding my question on who are you to criticise working class rapists?

Lazy Riser's picture
Lazy Riser
Offline
Joined: 6-05-05
Sep 9 2006 16:11

Hi

Quote:
the simple fact is as is a bunch of university graduates with pretty secure employment in a pretty secure social cultural and political environment we have no fucking clue as to why working class people choose to coalesce around national liberation struggles over and above class struggles as a real defintion of their identity.

Ha ha. It's not a problem for those of us who are genuine sons and daughters or toil though. Grand.

Love

LR

coffeemachine
Offline
Joined: 31-03-06
Sep 9 2006 16:17

you're the exception the proves the rule mate.

Ps i expect lazy jnrs to get more than an nvq in carpentry.

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
Offline
Joined: 7-05-06
Sep 9 2006 20:04
John wrote:
Well I'm assuming from this:

coffeemachine wrote:

the simple fact is as is a bunch of university graduates with pretty secure employment in a pretty secure social cultural and political environment we have no fucking clue as to why working class people choose to coalesce around national liberation struggles over and above class struggles as a real defintion of their identity.

that people who aren't graduates and don't live in rich white countries are presumably too backwards and simple to not be nationalists.

The irony is - it is exactly the university graduates, (and often their allies of forward looking businessmen) who are almost always at the heart of leading national liberation struggles and who form the upper layers of the new state bureaucracy. That's a very consistent historical fact. This is usually because this strata is frustrated by the 'underdeveloped' conditions of their society and want to 'liberate' their nation both from imperialism and the restraints of outmoded (feudal/religious etc) social forms - and/or the incompetence of a weak native bourgeoisie who cannot accomplish the necessary modernisations of the state form. Nepal, China, Cuba, the African states, on all continents the disenfranchised middle class intelligentsia fulfill a definite political, social and economic role.

Blacknred Ned
Offline
Joined: 19-06-06
Sep 9 2006 20:11

Broadly I think I agree RM, although certainly in the case of many British colonies the "graduates" had often come through military service or some other kind of "education" than university.

The missing piece in the argument is that the idea of the nation state is inculcated in these members of the new intelligentsia; they are alienated from the traditional societies in which they grew up and convinced of the validity of the nation-state model. In that the founding myth is that the nation-state consists of a nation, all nation-states are artificial; it is the point at which potential nationalists accept this fundamentally colonialist/imperial vehicle that is interesting.

Red Marriott's picture
Red Marriott
Offline
Joined: 7-05-06
Sep 9 2006 21:25

Good point, BnrN. I suppose there's not one particular point of acceptance, but a process of conditioning thru the ideology of their class and its aspirations, what role it grooms itself for. All of which is formed in and by the colonial period; the colonists' influence on society creates stratas of 'native' functionaries in the colonial bureaucracy and economy who are wholly separated from 'traditional society' (or thrust into a new relationship with it) and who either aspire for acceptance by/integration with the colonisers or desire to replace them as rulers.

jack white
Offline
Joined: 7-04-05
Sep 10 2006 01:10
revol68 wrote:
Also do you see any distinction between the national liberation of the IRA and the national liberation of the UVF?

Would you see them as being the same? I'd say both forces were nationalist, but are they both aiming for national liberation? What exactly were / are the UVF hoping to liberate themselves from - the Union?

jef costello's picture
jef costello
Offline
Joined: 9-02-06
Sep 10 2006 07:16
jack white wrote:
Would you see them as being the same? I'd say both forces were nationalist, but are they both aiming for national liberation? What exactly were / are the UVF hoping to liberate themselves from - the Union?

I think Revol's point is that the UVF would consider themselves to be preventing being opposed by the Irish Republic.
Both use similar rhetoric of being endagered and victimised and provide someone to blame. It's hardly surprising they attract dissatisfied people to them. This goes in general for nationl liberation struggles.

I think I asked for an example of a national liberation struggle being good for the working class earlier.
Anyone got one?

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 10 2006 07:56
jack white wrote:
revol68 wrote:
Also do you see any distinction between the national liberation of the IRA and the national liberation of the UVF?

Would you see them as being the same? I'd say both forces were nationalist, but are they both aiming for national liberation? What exactly were / are the UVF hoping to liberate themselves from - the Union?

whether it's the nationalism of stateless nations or the nationalism of state engendered nations, it's the same old stuff, cross class appeal, creating fear through outsider myths, secular religious fetishism connecting the dead with the not yet born at the expense of the living

jack white
Offline
Joined: 7-04-05
Sep 10 2006 12:37
oisleep wrote:
whether it's the nationalism of stateless nations or the nationalism of state engendered nations, it's the same old stuff, cross class appeal, creating fear through outsider myths, secular religious fetishism connecting the dead with the not yet born at the expense of the living

Well it was a genuine question. Is there a difference between nationalism and national liberation? The first term is obviously much broader.

A national liberation movement would be attempting to seek freedom from something. That doesn't necessarily apply to all nationalists though. I think that treating the two as being identicial is a bit simplistic to be honest.

Anyway I haven't thought this out too much...

oisleep's picture
oisleep
Offline
Joined: 20-04-05
Sep 10 2006 19:18
jack white wrote:
oisleep wrote:
whether it's the nationalism of stateless nations or the nationalism of state engendered nations, it's the same old stuff, cross class appeal, creating fear through outsider myths, secular religious fetishism connecting the dead with the not yet born at the expense of the living

Well it was a genuine question. Is there a difference between nationalism and national liberation? The first term is obviously much broader.

A national liberation movement would be attempting to seek freedom from something. That doesn't necessarily apply to all nationalists though. I think that treating the two as being identicial is a bit simplistic to be honest.

Anyway I haven't thought this out too much...

see them as the same thing personally, the appeal, form, content, objectives (cross class solidarity) are pretty much the same, only difference is that one has the assembled power of the state behind it to do so, so obviously can have a bigger impact and effect

nationalists whether they have their own state or not will always be creating and perpetuating some threat from outside to keep them going and the class divided, i'd say it's simplistic to think that the nationalism of stateless nations is any better than that that comes from state based nationalism (after all the aim is to get create a state, and be the leading figures in it, or do you think that they'll suddently becomes the workers pal once in power)

Alf's picture
Alf
Offline
Joined: 6-07-05
Sep 10 2006 21:27

I agree with oiasleep's replies to jack white. The only distinction between national liberation and nationalism is that the first is the organised 'movement', the second the ideology that justifies it. Historically, nationalism arose as a key element in the ideology of the rising bourgeoisie (although its main 'theoreticians' were often from the petty bourgeois intelligentsia). It was linked to the emergence of the nation state as the basic unit for capital accumulation.

I also agree that we cannot make any fundamental distinction between the nationalism of those with a state and those without, or between the 'nationalism of the oppressor' and the 'nationalism of the oppressed'. The so-called 'nationalism of the oppressed' is if anything a more pernicious enemy, because it spreads the most dangerous illusions. People who genuinely believe they are fighting for a better world are much more likely to be taken in by the IRA than the UVF, for example.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 10 2006 22:46

Joseph K made a very good point none of the nationalists have addressed. The nationality of the oppressive army is irrelevant surely - the bad thing is that there's an oppressive army about surely? If there was a domestic military coup + dictatorship, the result for the working class would be the same, no? Presumably you couldn't call for a national struggle there, so what's the difference?

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 10 2006 23:00

Yeah, it's a bit like the nationalisation/privatisation thing; it's not really the name of the owner, it's the concrete results for workers - it's these concrete results that should be the terrain of struggle, not bourgeois technicalities.

jack white
Offline
Joined: 7-04-05
Sep 10 2006 23:59
revol68 wrote:
exactly, i think some of the people feeling drawn to supporting national liberation are mistaking every kid who throws a molotov or stone at an "occupying army" as engaging in national liberation struggle, and whilst there might be a undercurrent or residue of nationalism to it, it would be a mistake to reduce to that. The Battle of the Bogside is a good example, what got the whole area out on the street wasn't the fact it was "british police" but the fact it was a brutal police force that they weren't going to put up with anymore. One of the great deceptions of "national liberation" is that it seeks to claim all resistance into a carefully constructed nationalist narrative.

hmmm, interesting post this.

Does national liberation always have to be nationalist though? (There must be a better way to phrase that!)

Palestanians living in the occupied terrorities are oppressed because they are Palestinians - because of their national identity. Any struggle that focuses on relieving this specific oppression could be seen as being part of a national liberation struggle. It wouldn't necessarlaly be part of a struggle to establish a seperate state, or to place a nationalist group at the top of that state though.

Quote:
One of the great deceptions of "national liberation" is that it seeks to claim all resistance into a carefully constructed nationalist narrative.

Is this also what Alf was doing earlier on when he claimed that the Battle of the Bogside was nationalist?

edited to add: Maybe it wasn't Alf - can't find that post now.

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Sep 11 2006 13:29
jack white wrote:
Palestanians living in the occupied terrorities are oppressed because they are Palestinians - because of their national identity.

No they're not, it's cos of their geographical location. A Ugandan immigrant there would still have the IDF over his head. OK a British citizen might be able to get out, but so could a rich Palestinian.

If there was a military coup in Palestine + a native dictatorship, would the population be oppressed "because they are Palestinians"?

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Offline
Joined: 14-03-06
Sep 11 2006 13:35
John. wrote:
No they're not, it's cos of their geographical location. A Ugandan immigrant there would still have the IDF over his head.

exactly - i don't see why libertarians would want to drag the 'nation' into it.

If anything, goining by what ISM people have told me, the IDF tend to see Palestinians as generic Arabs anyway who aren't a 'nation' and thus don't deserve a state because there are 'Arab states' already. So even to the extent the occupation is racist, it is not oppressing people on the lines of a 'nation' the Israelis deny exists.