Do you support Aboriginal nationalism?

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jason
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Feb 24 2007 04:39
Do you support Aboriginal nationalism?

Reference and support for Aboriginal nationalism are cornerstones of the Australian Left. What with all speeches, etc, beginning with a recognition to the traditional owners. I recently seen some anarchist literature supporting native title. Does any self-proclaimed anarchist want to elaborate on why they support it?

I have a problem with the concept on a number of levels, but to summarise coz I'm tired: I think nationalism at any level is reactionary. The same logic applies to small primitive nations as it does to advanced capitalist and imperialist ones.

Spassmaschine
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Feb 25 2007 01:45

The whole thing is pretty much a joke. Firstly, native title has little chance of bringing any real 'autonomy' to Aborigines. For a start, I can't really see current landowners willing to give up 'their' property and its associated profit, simply so the descendants of its original inhabitants can be 'autonomous' on it. In cases where title has actually been given, I'd say it just ends in life getting pretty good for the new ruling class of 'elders', and staying shit for most other aborigines living on that land. I'm pretty sure this has been the case in a number of places where mining has continued on titled land - the elders have got rich off the royalties from the mining companies, the rest of the Aborigines continue to live under shit conditions. I'll see if I can track down some examples of this.

Secondly, the 'first nation' idea behind native title is, as jason said, nationalist and so inherently racist. Two of the main focuses of the australian left over the last few years have been the refugee/immigration issue and the native title issue, and yet the two are contradictory - one argues that everyone should be able to live anywhere, the other says "we were here first and so have a special entitlement to that land". So the analysis of the australian left is not coherent - big surprise.

I can see that aborigines may be pissed off at having had their land expropriated by, among others, the british ruling class, and then subjected to two hundred years of violence and racist policies. But the same thing has happened to people in every single country, in every part of the world over the last few hundred years. Obviously, the conditions in which many aborigines live are some of the worst in Australia. But i don't think the creation of a ruling class of your own 'race' is much of a solution to that. This is one of the major flaws with the 'reconciliation movement', it views it all as a matter of white guilt, ie our ancestors all came here 2 centuries ago so they could shoot black people and steal their land. When in reality most of the first white settlers were forcible transported here for stealing loaves of bread and so on, so that they could provide labour for the british ruling class. So rather than simply trying to change the race of landlords of small fragments of australia, because we are sorry that some whites killed and stole from some aborigines, we should realise that ruling classes have stolen every single piece of land on Earth, and so be trying to abolish land ownership in general.

Hope that all makes sense,
Michael.

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Feb 25 2007 03:21
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But i don't think the creation of a ruling class of your own 'race' is much of a solution to that.

Somes it up nicely. Nice post Soapie, I heartily agree. So I get a little dissapointed when I hear anarchists defending indigenous issues in a manner that implies "indigenous" is a homogeneous political classification. Like there's not indigenous politicians, small bussiness people and dodgy-arsed corrupt elders?

But to be fair when I reread the said literature their reference was to "a settlement concerning the land issue", which, not having the source to hand I jumped the gun and represented as:

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I recently seen some anarchist literature supporting native title.

So they may not be supporting Native Title per se, but I think the essentials of the argument remain.

In my experience the average person is scepitical of Native Title and the vague concept of reconciliation, and that includes the black fellas I know that aren't part of the leadership that benefits from it all.

We gotta get back to the basics, like universal housing, health and education, coz like its, err... universal.

poo
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Mar 12 2007 05:54

kinda of a dumb title in this thread
if you asked "Do you support aboriginal independence" or "Do you support aboriginal people getting their stolen land back" then you might have a more interesting discussion

I do support aboriginal (and maori since I am in Aotearoa) independence and regaining of stolen land. That doesnt make me a nationalist and it doesnt mean I blindly support all maori or aboriginal political organisations.

Spassmaschine
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Mar 12 2007 08:39
poo wrote:
I do support aboriginal (and maori since I am in Aotearoa) independence and regaining of stolen land.

But what exactly is the difference? Whether you call it independence or "regaining of stolen land", it still boils down to another national liberation struggle, where one group claims they have a greater claim to land than another group, on the grounds of race. By calling for aboriginal or maori autonomy, we treat such groups as homogenous, all sharing in the same interests. This serves only to divide up the working class. Poor aborigines are simply sections of the working class who are especially worse off as a result of 200 years of racist policies. Aboriginal landowners, aboriginal business people and aboriginal politicians are simply landowners, business people and politicians. By viewing poor aborigines as somehow separate from the rest of the working class in australia, we ignore the fact that we are all being fucked over by the same thing: capital. So rather than push the line of 'racial autonomy' and end up with pointless liberal campaigns such as getting Howard to say "sorry" and fighting endless, fruitless court battles, we should fight for improved material conditions for aborigines in the name of working class solidarity.

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Mar 12 2007 23:13

It's not a dumb title, its liberal bait. Now you have to expalin how concepts suh as "independence" and "stolen land" can be distinguished from concepts such as nationhood.

poo
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Mar 16 2007 06:26
jason wrote:
Now you have to expalin how concepts suh as "independence" and "stolen land" can be distinguished from concepts such as nationhood.

yawn.

stolen land. was collectively owned by a group. has now been privatised and turned into private capital. previous collective owners are now trying to get it back. I am against injustice. I support them.

independence. the right of a self defined group to make decisions for themselves.

its not hard, and it doesnt make me a liberal

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Mar 16 2007 08:27

The classic slogan of the workers movement is "workers of the world, unite!". Not "workers of the world, fight for this bit of land your ancestors lived on". The aborigines and other indigenous groups were obviously expropriated of "their" land centuries ago and it was done in a horrific manner.

But so were the serfs in the Western nations as part of the process of proletarianisation. Does that mean workers in the UK should campaign for their ancient manorial rights? The main difference, as far as I can see, is that the aborigines were expropriated by a different racial group. But then again, on the other hand, perhaps there's some mileage in starting an Anglo-Saxon national movement to claim back the land stolen by the Normans in 1066 ... sounds absurd, but the logic is the same.

The only "independence" offered by capitalism is the wonderful autonomy granted by the market (i.e. none at all) no matter what flag happens to fly over the places of exploitation.

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Mar 17 2007 02:26
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stolen land. was collectively owned by a group.

Maori chiefs and slaves? Aboriginal gerontocracies and oppressive gender relations? I'm not sure I'd agree on your definition of "collectively owned". Looks more like little nations to me.

Same goes with "independence". Are you trying to say that the whole group makes decisions for itself and not a political elite?

And like Demogorgan says the whole logic is dodgy. Are you saying someone has more right to fish in a certain river coz their grandmother was, say, part of the Kamiliroi nation?

Most people, whatever their skin tone, don't give a shit about Native Title because they know its just a scam for tribal leaders and does nothing for everyone else. But the organised left touts it as some big justice issue and then can't understand why the brutish masses don't clamber aboard the leftist program, sighing at the apathy.

jeremytrewindixon
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Mar 22 2007 03:40

A hot issue and it would be very helpful to the Australian Anarchist movement to see it pursued. The comments made by "poo" pretty much sum up where the discussion stands according to most Anarchists in Australia. Which is: You support Aboriginal sovereignty, the restoration of Aboriginal law etc or you are a racist with all that that implies. Which is handy because of course you don't need to debate with racists so there is no need to investigate how the sovereignty position conflicts with other Anarchist standpoints or reality. (The pre-split ASF produced a pamphlet on the subject, Whitewash, which came in for principled criticism in the English-language Bulletin from a member of the UK DAM. But I don't believe we ever felt the need to reply)

One reason for this is that Aborigines continue to be hideously oppressed and marginalized, despite legal equality. The dominant culture hasn't even made folk heros of the early aboriginal resistance fighters, US style. (Here in Melbourne the Anarchist Media Institute is working on this modest step)

And land rights and sovereignty have been the organizing choice of the most militant Aborigines. Most leftists, including Anarchists, don't feel able to "tell them what to do" which really means they don't feel able to discuss or dissent in any way from the sovereignty perspective. In theory that is of course. But you can see why Anarchists don't want to fly in the face of the preferred issue of an oppressed minority. Anarchists are in general more extreme in this respect than the left, or the rest of the left. (There are parallels with the typical attitude to the working-class here, if I was to get analytical I would suggest tha tthe movement is still searching for a source of legitimacy.)

An old joke of mine (south eastern Aborigines are also known as Koories)

Q Why did the Koori cross the road?
A Who are we to ask?

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Mar 22 2007 23:27

Fair summary, but what's your personal take on the issues Jeremy?

jeremytrewindixon
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Mar 26 2007 01:42

Jason......

Firstly, I don't claim to to have it all worked out. But I do have a few reactions.

My feeling is that Aborigines are fully entitled to play nationalist arguments back against the state to screw money or other advantages against the system. During the "Pay the Rent Campaign" for example I wished it well insofar as consisted of saying "do they owe us a living? -of course they fucking do" with regard to Australian capitalism. It was a handle by which a very poor secttion of the community could demand money, and demand it with respect. (Where I jacked up was being asked to contribute to the "Pay the Rent" out of my own modest income, especially as I heard that such money as a few gullible lefties did pay mostly went on pizzas.)

I think it fair enough that nationalists should have to wear the consequences thier nation being based on genocide and so forth, and a treaty and the rest of it would be good reformist measures. Germaine Greer's cheerful suggestion of an Aboriginal upper house (she pointed out that the British House of Lords had long been composed of people who liked to get drunk and hunt so she didn't see why it wouldn't work in Australia) is apart from being funny quite a good reformist suggestion. (Aunty Germs of course has a background in the Sydney Libertarians.)

But as Anarchists I don't think we are much touched by all of this. We don't respect national borders and we don't recognize land rent. We will not tolerate significant differences in wealth and there will be no despised ethnic groups. An Anarchist revolution would begin again from the beginning, all people together inherit all the earth. But once that principle is recognized there is a lot of detail to be filled in, and some of that detail does regard the fact that particular groups of people have particular interests in particular areas of the earth. Once the spook and red herring of nationalism is dispensed with we can recognize the particular geographical attachments of different peoples as part, in Bakunin's phrase "of the great treasure house of mankind". So I think an Anarchist society would respect Aboriginal cultural attachments to the land not only as part of its general respect of human autonomy but also as part of protecting humanity's cultural reosurces.

From an Anarchist point of view I don't think the question of Aboriginal land rights is fundamentally different from other cases where different groups may have competing interests in land use. Nor is the tension between reformist and revolutionary measures fundamentally different in this case from other areas where this tension appears. But that doesn't help a whole lot as Anarchist theory is noticeably vague in the first case and unsatisfactroy in the second.

An old article of mine which might be of interest:
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/8908/Nationalism.html
(My prediction as to One Nation's future was obviously wrong, because the Libs basically took over its policy, but there is other stuff still I think of interest)

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Mar 26 2007 03:29
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My feeling is that Aborigines are fully entitled to play nationalist arguments back against the state to screw money or other advantages against the system. During the "Pay the Rent Campaign" for example I wished it well insofar as consisted of saying "do they owe us a living? -of course they fucking do" with regard to Australian capitalism. It was a handle by which a very poor secttion of the community could demand money, and demand it with respect.

This is the thing though, I think it is alright on a personal level to scam some dough, but as a broad movement its reactionary. My great grandma was Stolen Generation, half my cousins claim benefits. Personally, I'm gonna look into the possibility of getting my higher Education debt written off, even though I think the whole thing is a joke. The thing to remember is that the average black fella benefits very little, if at all from Native Title and other benefit schemes, whilst the leadership makes a killing. And in the meantime a psuedo-nationalist ideology is created that pits 'black issues' as something separate, like we all don't want better employment, health and education services.

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Germaine Greer's cheerful suggestion of an Aboriginal upper house (she pointed out that the British House of Lords had long been composed of people who liked to get drunk and hunt so she didn't see why it wouldn't work in Australia) is apart from being funny quite a good reformist suggestion.

How could an Aboriginal Upper-House help anyone? IMO, It would just create another strata of leaders divorced from the rest of the population and left to act in its own interest.

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From an Anarchist point of view I don't think the question of Aboriginal land rights is fundamentally different from other cases where different groups may have competing interests in land use.

But why would aboriginals form an independent interest group (asuumedly based on descent) rather than act as individuals associated with different interest groups of their choice? Take a given tract of land administered by a hypothetical community: there would be groups with productive interests (timber, beekeeping, cattle, etc.) and recreational (hiking/camping, hunting, fishing, dirt biking, etc.). Are you saying someone's aboriginal upbringing predisposes them to certain interests? Are aboriginals that homogeneous? Is access to sacred sights, for example, an "aboriginal" issue, or an issue for a specific demographic that still practices certain religious beliefs?

jeremytrewindixon
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Mar 27 2007 03:42

An Aboriginal upper house would certainly make Aborigines less likely to be harassed and beaten by cops. And as a suggestion it was pretty funny, and pissed off all the right people. None of which can be bad.....though of course what you say on the subject is correct and I am not suggesting that Anarchists adopt it as an Anarchist policy.

Jason, I don't suppose Aborigines would comprise an "independent interest group" in any homogenous way. (They don't do so even now,) But neither do I think that aboriginality will simply disappear in a free society; if I am wrong and it did I think that would be a loss to that "treasure house of mankind".

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Is access to sacred sights, for example, an "aboriginal" issue, or an issue for a specific demographic that still practices certain religious beliefs?

If by an "aboriginal" issue you mean an issue involving all people who can track down an aboriginal ancestor I suppose I lean to the latter option. But there are legitimate emotional attachments and elements of identity which can't be boxed as "religious beliefs". I 'm being vague here I think because the issue is still vague, it hasn't been properly joined. This discussion is a start.

Giving recognition to the early aboriginal resistance fighters would be a good external activity, as I mentioned AMI already does it a bit, and it would lead to reactions that helped clarify matters further.

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Mar 29 2007 03:47
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An Aboriginal upper house would certainly make Aborigines less likely to be harassed and beaten by cops.

Certainly? Maybe a bit optimistic. Why would aboriginal politicians care about police brutality? They wouldn't suffer from it. Unless there's something about aboriginality that inspires a solidarity that transcends class and social status...

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But there are legitimate emotional attachments and elements of identity which can't be boxed as "religious beliefs".

Not always religious. They can be nationalist too. wink

But the main point I was making is that even in more 'traditional' communities, different demographics want different things. Elders may want to peddle their religion and so retain a modicum of power and influence. The younger generation may be more concerned with attaining modern commodoties and better material conditions. So there is nothing that can be defined as an "aboriginal" issue, and thus an "aboriginal" identity is problematic in itself.

Aboriginality is not a concept inherent in indigenous society, which was always drawn sharply and murderously along tribal boundaries, but a category given by the bourgiosie. It is a bourgoise concept that is nationalist, or atleast psuedo-nationalist, because like nationalism it suggests that an aboriginal politician, bussinessperson, or worker all have interests in common by virtue of a common ethnicity. And because it is a bourgoise concept, discussion of it is necessarily framed within a broader bourgoise context - like land ownership, aboriginal representation, etc - that amounts to nothing more than election issues of the Left and zero material benefit on the ground.

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Giving recognition to the early aboriginal resistance fighters would be a good external activity

I don't understand why.

jeremytrewindixon
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Mar 30 2007 02:19
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Certainly? Maybe a bit optimistic. Why would aboriginal politicians care about police brutality? They wouldn't suffer from it. Unless there's something about aboriginality that inspires a solidarity that transcends class and social status...

Not so very optimistic, I think. My comment refers more to what is inside the head of the police than what is inside the head of the politicians (though even in that case I think you're being a bit one-dimensional). Police have a concept of, in Grahame Green's phrase, the "torturable classes". The way one avoids being beaten up in a police station is to convince the police that you don't belong to the torturable classes. Or as the Fitzroy Legal Service Activists Handbook equivalently advises, to "pull the mantle of middle-classness" around yourself (or words to that effect). In Australia from the police point of view all Aborigines belong by defintion to the torturable classes. Anything which changed that perception would have an effect on the street.

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Not always religious. They can be nationalist too.

Its a bit like sex and sexism, reform and reformism. Sex is good, sexism is bad; reforms can be good, reformism is bad. Four legs.....ah, bad joke narrowly avoided there.....A feeling for your people, your "nation" in the old sense, and any related geography; this is not necessarily "nationalism". Nationalism is the toxic version of it associated with the nation-state etc; and I'm not claiming that stateless nationalism can't exist or can't be toxic. But I think the feeling itself is likely to persist.

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But the main point I was making is that even in more 'traditional' communities, different demographics want different things. Elders may want to peddle their religion and so retain a modicum of power and influence. The younger generation may be more concerned with attaining modern commodoties and better material conditions. So there is nothing that can be defined as an "aboriginal" issue, and thus an "aboriginal" identity is problematic in itself

.
No argument there Jason, and indeed the younger generation may be interested in questions of dignity and tradition, even 'spirituality", and the elders be interested in more material things. All questions of identity are problematic. Class identity is notoriously problematic. That doesn't mean that it doesn't exist or isn't important.

I was interested BTW that when an aboriginal speaker came to my daughter's primary school, which is a bit afflicted with liberal correct-linism, he stressed the violent territoriality of pre-invasion Aborigines. My daughter found it refreshing.

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Giving recognition to the early aboriginal resistance fighters would be a good external activity

I don't understand why.

Because whatever one's critique of aboriginal nationalism and so forth the european invasion brought mass-murder, slavery and rape to the Aborigines of the time; and those who fought back deserve to be honoured. Doing so still arouses strong negative reactions from some; including from some Aborigines. Remembering the resistance recasts the history with Aborigines as positive actors, which is not the way it is usually told.

omar
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Apr 1 2007 02:18

Do I support "nationalism" as an ideology? No.
Do I support national liberation movements? Yes.

I don't agree that all manfestations of resistance to capitalism, the state and colonisation from indigenous populations in Australia is of a nationalist charcachter. In fact I see very little evidence to support this view.

In regards to the views given here in regards to native title of land. - While I support native title for indigenous populations seeking to reclaim their ancestral land, I don't support coopted indigenous elites having control over this land (and neither to the majority of indigenous people from these communitties either.) The fight or ancestral title is a fight for communities to control their own resources and to be able to live without being exploited by capitalist elites. Their are many examples of indigenous communities using native title to win back their land from the capitalist system and use it to develop their communities. Ngati Whatua is the tangata whenua of Auckland and they in the 1980s won native title of their ancestral land at Bastion Point, which had been stolen by successive governments. The land is now once again a centre for the social, cultural and economic development of this tribe. t didn't bring down capitalism but it decreased the ability of colonial elites to turn an indigenous population into part of a disposable proletariat.

omar
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Apr 2 2007 01:33
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and of course this new land under the indigenous tribe is ran in a libertarian communist manner, with no one in wage slavery or paying rent? Nah , there is no proletariat in indigenously controlled land and certainly no way that indigenous leaders represent a pole of capital. Never heard of indian casinos?

Obviously how tribes use land they get back varies greatly. My own experience is that land controlled by indigenous peoples varies greatly. The picture you paint is deceptive and bears no resmeblence to many indigenous communitties.

It would be equally absurd for me to say that all indigenous land is run in a libertarian communist maner as for you to say that no indigenous land is run in a libertarian communist manner.

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on one hand you say you support national liberation and then go onto say you don't think the struggle for indigenous rights is nationalist, seems odd.

I never said I think the struggle for indigenous rights is not nationalist, in fact I never said the struggle for indigenous rights is anything. In fact I never even used the concept of "indigenous rights".

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are you perchance a platformist.

Influenced by platformism.

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Apr 2 2007 03:40
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In Australia from the police point of view all Aborigines belong by defintion to the torturable classes. Anything which changed that perception would have an effect on the street.

How would more representation necessarily change that perception?

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A feeling for your people, your "nation" in the old sense, and any related geography; this is not necessarily "nationalism". Nationalism is the toxic version of it associated with the nation-state etc; and I'm not claiming that stateless nationalism can't exist or can't be toxic. But I think the feeling itself is likely to persist.

Granted, I feel most comfortable and familiar in the country where I grew up. However, this by no means translates into feelings for "my people", it just dictates little things like where I spend my leisure time.

A feeling for your people or "nation" in the old sense sure sounds like nationalism to me...

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he stressed the violent territoriality of pre-invasion Aborigines.

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the european invasion brought mass-murder, slavery and rape to the Aborigines

But you'd have to admit that Aborigines had plenty of mass-murder, (gender) slavery and rape before european invasion wouldn't you? Ever read the Red Chief ? If you celebrate "aboriginal" resistance to european invasion you have to celebrate Kamiliroi resistance to Terry-Hi-Hi invasion, etc, etc, ad infitum.... And why not white resistance to aboriginal invasion?, since as you put Aboriginal society on a pedestal you have to accept land conquest as valid. Or does it have to be done with spears and clubs to be considered fair play?

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 2 2007 05:15

No time to dally, Jason, but I'm a bit puzzled as to why you reckon I put aboriginal society on a pedestal.

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Apr 2 2007 05:57

I thought it was implicit in the term Aboriginal "resistance" fighters in respect to European invasion. Do you call one side in a Terry-Hi-Hi and Kamiliroi battle "resistance"?

But fair enough, maybe I was jumping the gun a bit. I'll withdraw the term pedestal, but I still say that if you think the defense of Aboriginal society was admirable, than you have to accept land conquest as a valid form of acquisition as it was a very real part of Aboriginal society. So the whole thing breaks down a bit in my opinion.

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Apr 2 2007 11:03
Omar wrote:
Do I support "nationalism" as an ideology? No.

Does that mean you've stopped calling yourself a Palestinian nationalist and waving the flag wherever you go, Omar?

jeremytrewindixon
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Apr 3 2007 07:34

I know nothing of Terry-Hi-Hi and Kamilroi but I know that the Melbourne Warindjeri won a bloody micro-war with the people of the Mornington Peninsular shortly before european arrival, and indeed that the Warindjeri were extensively used as black police attacking other aborigines in Victoria. Sometimes I try to jar up comrades by referring to this history but they tend to flatly disbelieve it.

The Aborigines, as Mark Twain said of the Jews, are "damn them, no better than the rest of us".

This means they, Aborigines Jews whoever, are not entitled to resist genocide, and we should not honour such resistance? I don't see it.

That doesn't mean there are no sticky bits, but we should be careful not to lose the big picture.

omar
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Apr 5 2007 01:17

Asher-Your comments are symptomatic of the general anarchist confusion between "nationalism" as ideology and support for national liberation struggles. I would have thought that you could see past the differences between the two,and find it rather odd that you have brought it up in this thread, especially as I think we have already discussed the matter a number of times.

I have never supported any form of nationalism, Palestinian or otherwise, and I have never said I support nationalism. However, I do support the Palestinian national liberation struggle, which must make me a "nationalist", because I support an independent Palestinian nation. Indeed this is how I used the term whenever I use it, i don't say im a nationalist, i say i support an independent Palestinian nation so that must make me a nationalist-remember a Palestinian nation could just as easily be organised along lib. communist lines as it could along statist-capitalist lines. This does not mean I am the type of "nationalist" that supports 'nationalism". There is nothing essentially statist about supporting national liberation struggles. The struggle by Mohawk Indians is a national liberation struggle which would make these indigenous people "nationalist" in the sense that they want a Mohawk "nation", independent from the colonial state.

As for the flag, it's just a symbol of this liberation movement and this anti-colonial resistance, just like the Tino Rangatiratanga flag is to the TR movement. Or maybe I just like it cause it scares Zionists. Did Palestinian flags used to scare you when you were a Zionist Asher?

Spassmaschine
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Apr 5 2007 07:31
omar wrote:
I have never supported any form of nationalism, Palestinian or otherwise, and I have never said I support nationalism.

omar wrote:
I support an independent Palestinian nation.

What exactly is the difference? National liberation movements imply that capitalists and workers of the same nationality share the same interests. But if a nation is 'liberated' from foreign domination, its working class will still be exploited by its ruling class. The fact that the ethnicity or nationality of the ruling class has changed won't make much difference to that.

omar wrote:
There is nothing essentially statist about supporting national liberation struggles.

omar wrote:
a Palestinian nation could just as easily be organised along lib. communist lines

How is this so? You are supporting the creation of a nation based on racial lines. How is this anti-statist? Please provide examples of national liberation struggles organised along libertarian communist lines ie. not co-opted by a particular political elite.

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Apr 6 2007 01:16
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and I have never said I support nationalism.

Thats not true at all Omar, I have heard you call yourself a Palestinian Nationalist (albeit with the addition that thats the only nationalism you support, as if that made it better somehow) on a number of occasions.

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Or maybe I just like it cause it scares Zionists. Did Palestinian flags used to scare you when you were a Zionist Asher?

Nope, they didn't - I actually had one of those stupid little badges with a Israeli and Palestinian flag on it, and peace written below it in Arabic, Hebrew and English, that I used to wear almost every day.

But then I realised that nationalism and liberation were fundamentally opposed to each other - that the swapping of one boss/bureaucrat for another was pointless, even if they were of the same ethnicity/race/culture/whatever as me. My socialist cultural zionist politics went out the window, and I moved towards libertarian socialism (as I called it then) then anarchism.

Other than that, I'll just second what captain soap said above.

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Apr 6 2007 01:16

Woops, double post

omar
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Apr 6 2007 08:51

Asher- My comment "I'm a Palestinian nationalist" has always been made in the context of my support for the Palestinian national liberation movement- and not my support for any ideology of nationalism.
Which i said above

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I do support the Palestinian national liberation struggle, which must make me a "nationalist", because I support an independent Palestinian nation.

My definition of nationalist is one who supports a national liberaton struggle as opposed to one who supports an ideology of "nationalism".

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(albeit with the addition that thats the only nationalism you support, as if that made it better somehow)

I don't recall ever having commented on whether I support other forms of nationalism. In fact I don't think I have ever commented to you on whether I support other forms of "nationalism", cause I don't support any forms of nationalism. However I do support other national liberation struggles-Chechen, Papuan, Iraqi, Basque, Kurdish etc.

Captian Soap asked the difference between national liberation movements and nationalism as ideology.
Heres a definition of nationalism from wiki: "Nationalism, in its broadest sense, is devotion to one nation's interests over those of all other nations."
on the other hand a national liberation movement is a movement against imperialism or colonisation. So when I say I'm a nationalist it means i support a national liberation struggle.

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National liberation movements imply that capitalists and workers of the same nationality share the same interests.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Have you ever even met a member of a national liberation movement? I'll give you a quick example, (but please let me know if you need me to do more of your homework) there is a Basque Trade Union federation which seeks to create an independent and socialist Basque nation, it's slogan is something like Basque will be socialist; Basque will be free. It fights against the french and spanish states and also against the employing class, basque-spanish or french. In fact I have had the priviledge of meeting one of their youth delegates and these guys are hardcore.

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But if a nation is 'liberated' from foreign domination, its working class will still be exploited by its ruling class. The fact that the ethnicity or nationality of the ruling class has changed won't make much difference to that.

This assumes that the national liberation movement will be of a capitalist chararchter and not of a socialist charachter. Of course changing the ruling class's ethnicity won't make a difference for workers, however I don't know of any national liberation movement that seeks to do this-can you name me one? Sure there may be capitalist elements pursuing their own interests within a movement but that doesn't mean the whole mmovement wants this.

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You are supporting the creation of a nation based on racial lines.

Last time I checked, Palestinian, was not an ethnicity or a race. Asher are you sure you want to be seconding these arguments?

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Please provide examples of national liberation struggles organised along libertarian communist lines

There is this group called the Zapatista National Liberation Army, have you heard of it?

Tojiah's picture
Tojiah
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Joined: 2-10-06
Apr 6 2007 10:56

Hello Omar. Could you, perchance, tell me which Palestinian national-liberation organizations you support? I'd be most obliged.

Spassmaschine
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Joined: 29-01-07
Apr 6 2007 14:24
omar wrote:
Of course changing the ruling class's ethnicity won't make a difference for workers, however I don't know of any national liberation movement that seeks to do this-can you name me one?

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However I do support other national liberation struggles-Chechen, Papuan, Iraqi, Basque, Kurdish etc.

The Kurdistan Worker's Party in Turkey are Stalinists; they wish to establish an independent Kurdistan with themselves in government. The Kurdish peshmerga in Iraq have largely joined the Iraq National Army, and one of their former leaders even became the President of Iraq. I think it's a fairly safe bet that most of the Sunni and Shia insurgent groups in Iraq have equally reactionary goals. The Free Papua Movement are led by coastal chieftains, some of whom have interests in the logging industry that they wish to protect. The Chechen separatist movement is dominated by Wahabists; indeed they successfully established an Islamic Republic under sharia law in the late 90s until the Russians moved back in.

Quote:
there is a Basque Trade Union federation which seeks to create an independent and socialist Basque nation, it's slogan is something like Basque will be socialist; Basque will be free. It fights against the french and spanish states and also against the employing class, basque-spanish or french. In fact I have had the priviledge of meeting one of their youth delegates and these guys are hardcore.

Are you talking about ETA? They also are a Marxist-Leninist group. If they're the ones you mean, I would agree with you that they are indeed "hardcore". eek
If you mean another group, could you give their actual name? It would avoid a lot of confusion. I think part of the problem here is that you keep making blanket assertions that you support the national liberation movement in such and such country, which implies that you support all the different interests falling under that umbrella. Maybe you should instead say what elements you support in each movement, if you do indeed support particular elements rather than the whole "movement".

Look, to be honest, I know fuck all really about any of these movements. I doubt that you do, either. But one does not need to search deeply to discover that each of these movements is dominated by the elite leaderships of political parties. This should set alarm bells ringing. If any of these movements succeeded in kicking out the imperialists, do you think the leaderships will just politely step aside and let libertarian communism blossom from nowhere?

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Anarchia
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Joined: 18-03-06
Apr 6 2007 23:47
Quote:
Of course changing the ruling class's ethnicity won't make a difference for workers, however I don't know of any national liberation movement that seeks to do this-can you name me one?

Lets try Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad for starters...remind me, who is it you support again?