define nation, nationalism, national liberation movement

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magnifico
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Jun 7 2007 13:57
gurrier wrote:
The British Army has been on ceasefire for a decade, disarmed and mostly disbanded? Because if it hasn't you've got a pretty good answer to that question.

What the British army does has nothing to do with the wishes or beliefs of its members though does it?

Are you guys really arguing that British anarchists should go around shouting 'murderer!!11!' at soldiers confused

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AndrewF
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Jun 7 2007 14:07

Yea my point is simply someone who can give excuses for why workers join his nations army but describe all those workers fighting that army as 'murdering bastards' is a nationalist pure and simple. An anti-nationalist position would be to apply the same logic to both sides, either both lots being murdering bastards or both sides being driven by the circumstances they find themselves in. IMHO the second is more useful. But excuses for your side and condemnation for the other is I think very clearly a nationalist position. And unlike the various witch hunt attempts this is actually a nationalism that matters - the one place you might have an impact is at home.

I'm not claiming that those involved in both situations are identical, one side of this equation will be largely driven by money, the other by experience of repression (Bloody Sunday recruited 100 times more for the IRA then any number of speeches about the patroit dead). You could have an argument if this makes one individual better or worse than an other but that argument is not the same as the extreme nationalist polarisation as used by John. John very clearly took sides.

Frankly it does the other members of the proletarian camp no credit at all that they try and defend his argument as it just adds to the idea that the only nationalism that matters is their eyes is that of the small nation variety. Logically you guys should be denouncing him with the same vigor you had for Wayne Price, who even at the most uncharitable reading of his texts is not guilt of supporting his own army.

Finally in practical terms it appears to me that a much greater percentage of IRA volunteers became anti war or even ideological informers than is the case with the British army. But that impression could just be to do with the greater publicity the media would give to such people for obvious reasons. So i don't think any particular conclusions can be drawn from that one way or the other.

revolutionrugger
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Jun 7 2007 14:15
lem wrote:
revolutionrugger: do you think that not supporting a progressive social movement is inherently ugly? even if the oppression gets sorted out by the implementation of communism?

I think history doesn't work that way. I have a saying, "all fronts at once!"

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 7 2007 14:16
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Yea my point is simply someone who can give excuses for why workers join his nations army but describe all those workers fighting that army as 'murdering bastards' is a nationalist pure and simple.

didn't he say people who blew up pubs full of workers were murdering bastards? where next for your one-man campaign against tautologies ...?

lem
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Jun 7 2007 14:29

thanks revolutionrugger!

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AndrewF
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Jun 7 2007 14:49
Jack wrote:
...How the fuck is the British army John.'s "own army"? What kind of class analysis is that?

Why are you addressing this question to me rather than John? John was the one making the distinction as to the better character of his side not me. Describing it as his side on that context is quite accurate so take it up with him.

And again I'm not making an argument that every individual in every state or paramilitary organistaion is identical. I'm saying applying a very, very strongly polarised attack on those fighting your army while excusing those fighting in your army is nationalism. I really am puzzled as to what could be so controversal about such a simple observation.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 7 2007 14:56
JoeBlack2 wrote:
John was the one making the distinction as to the better character of his side not me.

or rather stressing a qualitative distinction between professional standing armies and nationalist guerilla insurgents

JoeBlack2 wrote:
I'm saying applying a very, very strongly polarised attack on those fighting your army while excusing those fighting in your army is nationalism.

how was blowing up a pub full of workers "fighting our [sic] army"? i don't think he'd hesitate to call those responsible for ordering the attack on iraq 'murdering bastards' either which is hardly the actions of an english nationalist.

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AndrewF
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Jun 7 2007 15:09

You guys are being dishonest again - he wasn't just talking of pub bombers but describing all imprisoned republicans as murdering bastards on the basis of the 1% who were pub bombers. In the same conflict British soldiers shot down unarmed civilians on many occasions so by the same logic (and all I am demanding is the application of a consistent logic to both sides) all those in British uniform would be murdering bastards based on the actions of that minority.

Again this is such an obvious observation that I can't understand why I need to explain and explain it again

revolutionrugger
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Jun 7 2007 15:53
revol68 wrote:
[
As an insitution i'd call the British Army a murdering bastard and likewise the IRA, individuals within that share varying levels of responsibility for the the organisations actions but I imagine it would be obvious to anyone that the nature of small cell based guerilla organisations that this responsibility is less diluted by chains of command etc, and it is the proxomity to the act which is why the poles between committal and rejection tend to be much more polarised.

So some one who honestly believes their violence will lead to a better life for their friends and family is less moral then someone who's violence is committed because some guy with more ribbons on his shirt told him to do it? My sister fought in Iraq and I think she is absolutely MORE responsible for her actions over there then any insurgent. She had no delusions of liberation, she did it because she chose to obey. There are days when I say fuck her, days when I say fuck the insurgents for shooting at my sister's helicopter, and then when i'm sensible I see this global system of violence against which we all must struggle as regular folk.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 7 2007 15:57
revolutionrugger wrote:
So some one who honestly believes their violence will lead to a better life for their friends and family is less moral then someone who's violence is committed because some guy with more ribbons on his shirt told him to do it?
revol68 wrote:
in some ways you could say this makes the IRA member more moral
Mike Harman
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Jun 7 2007 16:00
JoeBlack2 wrote:
I'm saying applying a very, very strongly polarised attack on those fighting your army while excusing those fighting in your army is nationalism.

There's been no link to the thread yet, but I'm pretty sure John was referring specifically to people who blew up a pub. In what way were they fighting the British army when they did that?

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pingtiao
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Jun 7 2007 16:12

I've really tried to understand the position JoeBlack2 has been taking in this thread, but I am unable to see it as anything other than a dishonest attempt to shrilly yell "Nationalist!" the loudest. the strawman you have constructed is pretty poor, relying as it does on misrepresenting what John. actually said and then ignoring revol's (surprisingly expletive free- well done for that BTW!) well-argued posts about culpability if we accept that he did say what you have alleged.

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AndrewF
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Jun 7 2007 16:45

Well that people who I think are soft on imperialism can't understand my position doesn't surprise me a huge lot although I would have thought that even on tactical grounds you'd have the sense to do what John has done and get off the thread. As to shrill calls of nationalism, well yes that was what I was responding to. Libom is full of shrill accusations of nationalism, I get a bit of a giggle that you have suddenly noticed this when I use the term, presumably they were fine up to now?

Oh and actually revols postings are quite sensible here although I don't agree 100% with them. I think he is wrong to equate his nuanced position with John.s hysterical one. There is rather an enormous gap between suggesting a volunteer army with an internal direct democracy form of decision means that each volunteer bares more responsibility for the actions of others (I agree with him on that) and the 'murdering bastards' V 'economic conscripts' polarisation that Johns uses and that I consider a pretty typical nationalist attitude to 'your' army in conflict.

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Jun 7 2007 17:09

Well you'd be right except
1. Libcom is not actually populated at all by people who see the IRA as a solution.
2. It is populated by poppy wearing, no surrender to the IRA singing, the other side are murdering bastards sloganeering types. You making a stick bending argument but actually your bending the stick the wrong way.

I don't think John.s was making a nationalist argument rather than an exercise in stick bending. But I initially gave him the benefit of the doubt and invited me to show a post from him anywhere on or off the net that referred to the British army as murdering bastards.

I think your confusing a Subversion article with an AF one but I also think that article was a good example of the problems you have when libertarians position themselves to talk to the rest of the far left rather than the working class or even the large radicalised sections of the class. Fringe trots groups like Workers Power might have had such slogans but they didn't reflect the attitudes of the British working class or even the Labour Party. Quite what the point is of basing your publication on addressing the fringe trots I don't know but that is another argument.

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jef costello
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Jun 7 2007 18:13
Quote:
2. It is populated by poppy wearing, no surrender to the IRA singing, the other side are murdering bastards sloganeering types. You making a stick bending argument but actually your bending the stick the wrong way

Do you honestly believe this?
notice that Nationalists (british or english) tend to get banned immediately whereas others tend to be given a bit of time to justify themselves, this a recognition of the left's penchant for national liberation movements.

oisleep's definition of a nation was interesting but it seemed to imply that a nation was always a concrete thing.Whereas in many cases nations are created. For example France has existed as a nation for a relatively short period of time and it required immense work on the part of the king of France (in the middle ages the third most powerful person in what is now modern france) and the rest of the ruling classes.
A nation is usually based on ideas on kinship, race, language, culture or on a geographical base but these ideas can be manufactured.
Nationalism is an ideology that uses these ideas, whether its basis is in them or not. For example Kurdistan has never existed as a nation state yet still has people who consider themselves to be members of the kurdish nation and who wish to have a kurdish state (or at least to be freed from the oppression of the Turkish state) Yet the Nationalism of the Turkish state is in itself a fairly new development and was instituted to try to bond together a new nation.
Ideas of nation are generally as much focused on what is not a part of the nation than what is actually part of the nation. Nationalists can rarely define their nation too precisely because they end up excluding people that they do not wish to and they end up with rather meaningless general phrases. This is a reason why many 'oppressed nations' manage to form such powerul nationalistic sentiments because they have a powerful enemy to unite them.
I remember reading a definition of lesbians as 'a women who have had an experience of homophobia' I'm not saying that it is perfect but it is a starting point for thinking about what we mean by nationalism. What makes someone irish, scottish, english, breton?

A national liberation movement is one that seeks to free a nation from another. So a weak nation such as Lebanon might sek to free itself from it's neighbours. however Lebanon itself remains a deeply divided country, so assuming we can end Israeli and Syrian incursions we are still left with a state that could be argued is not one nation. So we can divide christians and muslims. But then we need to divide Druze and isolate other minor groups too. There is a never-ending process of atomisation.
Or what if Brittany is given independence. Should all non-breton speakers be driven out? Should there be a partition? But then should there be a division between inland and coastal brittany etc etc.

One of the problems that I have noticed is that many people who support national liberation take their countries seriously and as such assume that any criticism/insult/mockery of them is motivated by nationalism. I have no more respect for my country than I do for anyone else's so while my mockery of 'my' country is taken as a sign of me being a good sport my mockery of 'their' country is taken as imperialism.

I had an interesting conversation with some WSM members and they had a different perspective on national liberation in Ireland (well they ahd actual information, I know very little about Irish history), sadly I was a bit pissed so I don't remember it all too well.

The basic question that we have to ask with regard to national liberation is "Does it have anything to do with what we seek to achieve?"
Simple answer: No. we seek a worldwide revolution, nationalism has no place within the internationalist future.

I have heard it argued that national liberation is essential to defend people from oppression and that once the oppression has been defeated then people can focus on defeating their bosses. The problem with this argument is that it pre-supposes that resistance to a nation can only be carried out by a nation. Furthermore it relegates class struggle to a period in the future. But once independent wil these workers then start to work against the bosses they have just fought for? Or will they be kept in line with fear of a return of the imperialists.

Critical support is difficult because there is one very important thing to remember; we can support a tactic, we can support an issue without having to subscribe to it, but we cannot support an ideology that is contrary to our beliefs, at best it makes us naive at worst opportunists and hypocrites.

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Steven.
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Jun 7 2007 18:18
JoeBlack2 wrote:
I think Johns arguments reveal that he is - a couple of the others have also come out with some pretty dodge defences of aspects of English nationalism but his was by far the clearest. I'm amazed he is still daft enough to try and defend his position after all this time.

This is quite amazing, Joe. I wonder, what do your fellow WSmers think of this?

I'll happily defend "my position," which was actually a casual reference to a hypothetical person (although there are real ones) who blew up a pub full of innocent workers being a "murdering bastard." Not quite akin to one of your lengthy position papers, and not too controversial a claim. He's certainly a murderer, and he's not exactly a nice bloke is he?

On the flip side, when you picked up on this casual comment and started hysterically banging on about it, I said not all british soldiers were murdering bastards, the main reason being the vast majority of them have never even killed anyone. Of course, I specifically said "british" as well, so I don't know where "english nationalist" came from, aren't i a british nationalist then?

Similarly, I would call a Kurdish person who murdered schoolteachers a "murdering bastard" but I wouldn't call all Turkish soldiers that, because again most of them have never killed anyone. Am I a Turkish nationalist too then?

Quote:
Yea my point is simply someone who can give excuses for why workers join his nations army but describe all those workers fighting that army as 'murdering bastards' is a nationalist pure and simple.

Joe, this is an irrelevant argument, I was talking about someone who blew up a pub. What I said was very easy to understand, and you at least seem a bit more intelligent than your friend gurrier, so I'm being forced to think you are deliberately and dishonestly misrepresenting my position in order to try to score some cheap point.

JoeBlack2 wrote:
Jack wrote:
...How the fuck is the British army John.'s "own army"? What kind of class analysis is that?

Why are you addressing this question to me rather than John? John was the one making the distinction as to the better character of his side not me. Describing it as his side on that context is quite accurate so take it up with him.

Jack wrote:
I genuinely missed it if he did, but I can't find any reference to John referring to the British army as "our army". If he has, I'd think it was pretty poor way to term things.

I definetly did not say "my army." When JoeBlack called it "mine" I specifically pointed out that the british army has nothing to do with me, and that suggesting it does is symptomatic of his not having a class analysis.

JoeBlack2 wrote:
I don't think John.s was making a nationalist argument rather than an exercise in stick bending. But I initially gave him the benefit of the doubt and invited me to show a post from him anywhere on or off the net that referred to the British army as murdering bastards.

JoeBlack, please quote me somewhere on the net where you have condemned paedophilia. I note by the absence of your condemnation that you tacitly support paedophilia.

Jesus christ, your arguments are actually unbelievable. You're really embarrassing yourself Joe. You could probably come off looking a bit better if you just retract now your ridiculous claim that I'm an English Nationalist. (I just told my gf that by the way, and she laughed and said to tell you she's an Irish Catholic [she's a half-breed really though, but still])

Otherwise if you don't retract it, how about you name all the other English nationalists here? Or people can out themselves if they want. Apparently the criteria are 1. thinking someone who blows up a pub full of workers is a murdering bastard, 2. thinking not all british soldiers are murdering bastards.

Edit - I really shouldn't have to add this, but as Joe is talking such bollocks then I probably should, as a disclaimer. If a British soldier went and deliberately killed a bunch of civilians, then yes of course he too would be a murdering bastard. roll eyes

Smash Rich Bastards
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Jun 7 2007 19:21
John. wrote:
JoeBlack2 wrote:
I think Johns arguments reveal that he is - a couple of the others have also come out with some pretty dodge defences of aspects of English nationalism but his was by far the clearest. I'm amazed he is still daft enough to try and defend his position after all this time.

This is quite amazing, Joe. I wonder, what do your fellow WSmers think of this?

I'll happily defend "my position," which was actually a casual reference to a hypothetical person (although there are real ones) who blew up a pub full of innocent workers being a "murdering bastard." Not quite akin to one of your lengthy position papers, and not too controversial a claim. He's certainly a murderer, and he's not exactly a nice bloke is he?

On the flip side, when you picked up on this casual comment and started hysterically banging on about it, I said not all british soldiers were murdering bastards, the main reason being the vast majority of them have never even killed anyone. Of course, I specifically said "british" as well, so I don't know where "english nationalist" came from, aren't i a british nationalist then?

Similarly, I would call a Kurdish person who murdered schoolteachers a "murdering bastard" but I wouldn't call all Turkish soldiers that, because again most of them have never killed anyone. Am I a Turkish nationalist too then?

Quote:
Yea my point is simply someone who can give excuses for why workers join his nations army but describe all those workers fighting that army as 'murdering bastards' is a nationalist pure and simple.

Joe, this is an irrelevant argument, I was talking about someone who blew up a pub. What I said was very easy to understand, and you at least seem a bit more intelligent than your friend gurrier, so I'm being forced to think you are deliberately and dishonestly misrepresenting my position in order to try to score some cheap point.

JoeBlack2 wrote:
Jack wrote:
...How the fuck is the British army John.'s "own army"? What kind of class analysis is that?

Why are you addressing this question to me rather than John? John was the one making the distinction as to the better character of his side not me. Describing it as his side on that context is quite accurate so take it up with him.

Jack wrote:
I genuinely missed it if he did, but I can't find any reference to John referring to the British army as "our army". If he has, I'd think it was pretty poor way to term things.

I definetly did not say "my army." When JoeBlack called it "mine" I specifically pointed out that the british army has nothing to do with me, and that suggesting it does is symptomatic of his not having a class analysis.

JoeBlack2 wrote:
I don't think John.s was making a nationalist argument rather than an exercise in stick bending. But I initially gave him the benefit of the doubt and invited me to show a post from him anywhere on or off the net that referred to the British army as murdering bastards.

JoeBlack, please quote me somewhere on the net where you have condemned paedophilia. I note by the absence of your condemnation that you tacitly support paedophilia.

Jesus christ, your arguments are actually unbelievable. You're really embarrassing yourself Joe. You could probably come off looking a bit better if you just retract now your ridiculous claim that I'm an English Nationalist. (I just told my gf that by the way, and she laughed and said to tell you she's an Irish Catholic [she's a half-breed really though, but still])

Otherwise if you don't retract it, how about you name all the other English nationalists here? Or people can out themselves if they want. Apparently the criteria are 1. thinking someone who blows up a pub full of workers is a murdering bastard, 2. thinking not all british soldiers are murdering bastards.

Edit - I really shouldn't have to add this, but as Joe is talking such bollocks then I probably should, as a disclaimer. If a British soldier went and deliberately killed a bunch of civilians, then yes of course he too would be a murdering bastard. roll eyes

After smearing various individuals, groups and arguments as "nationalist" it is funny to see you get all bent out of shape when someone gives you the same treatment.

Terry
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Jun 7 2007 20:01

The real John, outside of the above lame excuses, is revealed here:
[url=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5iUoFeqHPM[/url]

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Steven.
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Jun 7 2007 20:19
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
After smearing various individuals, groups and arguments as "nationalist" it is funny to see you get all bent out of shape when someone gives you the same treatment.

What groups have I "smeared" as nationalist? I said that there are people who support national liberation in NEFAC and WSM. This is true (Wayne Price and WEB in NEFAC do for sure, and gurrier has supported the Iraqi resistance here, I could pick out a bunch more but they're the most glaring arguments). I think that national liberation movements are anti-working class. As a side point I also think that national liberation movements are nationalist, as do almost all people. You haven't been able to formulate a definition of them which excludes them from that. But even if you did it would be meaningless, because it wouldn't negate the anti-working class nature of nat lib movements.

And you say that, but do you actually think I'm an English nationalist?

(BTW please ignore this photograph of me, it was my birthday...)

Smash Rich Bastards
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Jun 7 2007 20:26
John. wrote:
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
After smearing various individuals, groups and arguments as "nationalist" it is funny to see you get all bent out of shape when someone gives you the same treatment.

What groups have I "smeared" as nationalist? I said that there are people who support national liberation in NEFAC and WSM. This is true (Wayne Price and WEB in NEFAC do for sure, and gurrier has supported the Iraqi resistance here, I could pick out a bunch more but they're the most glaring arguments). I think that national liberation movements are anti-working class. As a side point I also think that national liberation movements are nationalist, as do almost all people. You haven't been able to formulate a definition of them which excludes them from that. But even if you did it would be meaningless, because it wouldn't negate the anti-working class nature of nat lib movements.

And you say that, but do you actually think I'm an English nationalist?

No, I don't think you are an English nationalist. But if I were using your broad interpretation for what constitutes as a "nationalist" I probably would.

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Steven.
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Jun 7 2007 20:40
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
No, I don't think you are an English nationalist. But if I were using your broad interpretation for what constitutes as a "nationalist" I probably would.

Well you can say that to try to insult me, but it's not actually true, is it?

Anyway... I don't want to fall out with you. It might be constructive to just stop using the word "nationalist" and talk about national liberation struggles, so we're talking about actual arguments rather than words which trigger automatic "no-no" responses like "nationalism".

Flint
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Jun 7 2007 20:43
Jack wrote:
Because it's a stupid observation. I'm perfectly happy to call part of the Iraqi "resistance" a "murdering bastard" if they chop a Trade Unionists head, without simultaneously calling every British soldier in Iraq a "murdering bastard" - I don't see this makes me a nationalist.

Observation: there is probably far more uniformity (in ideology, targets, acceptable tactics) in U.S. army in Iraq than there is in the resistance to the U.S. army in Iraq.

knightrose
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Jun 7 2007 20:53

This is so fucking stupid. The issue to me is whether we are for working class self emancipation or whether we are for cross class alliances. A nation is an entity that assumes there is a greater interest between all those who belong to it than there is between those who belong to the same class. Communists surely see it the other way round.,

Smash Rich Bastards
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Jun 7 2007 21:01
John. wrote:
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
No, I don't think you are an English nationalist. But if I were using your broad interpretation for what constitutes as a "nationalist" I probably would.

Well you can say that to try to insult me, but it's not actually true, is it?

If Libcom was The Young Ones you'd definitely be the Rick character.

Quote:
Anyway... I don't want to fall out with you. It might be constructive to just stop using the word "nationalist" and talk about national liberation struggles, so we're talking about actual arguments rather than words which trigger automatic "no-no" responses like "nationalism".

That would be far more constructive, but considering we are over a half dozen threads deep on this topic (including a few with literally hundreds of posts worth of tit-for-tat nastiness) and there is some fairly bad blood and entrenched positions all around at this point it might be a bit late for any constructive debate...

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thugarchist
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Jun 7 2007 21:06
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
That would be far more constructive, but considering we are over a half dozen threads deep (including a few with literally hundreds of posts worth of tit-for-tat nastiness) and there is some fairly bad blood and entrenched positions all around at this point and an international conspiracy against The Hammer, it might be a bit late for any constructive debate on this topic...

Fixed.

Smash Rich Bastards
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Jun 7 2007 21:10
knightrose wrote:
This is so fucking stupid. The issue to me is whether we are for working class self emancipation or whether we are for cross class alliances. A nation is an entity that assumes there is a greater interest between all those who belong to it than there is between those who belong to the same class. Communists surely see it the other way round.,

Sums up my thoughts on the subject pretty well. Thanks.

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jef costello
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Jun 7 2007 21:23
knightrose wrote:
This is so fucking stupid. The issue to me is whether we are for working class self emancipation or whether we are for cross class alliances. A nation is an entity that assumes there is a greater interest between all those who belong to it than there is between those who belong to the same class. Communists surely see it the other way round.,

exactly

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MJ
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Jun 7 2007 22:00
knightrose wrote:
This is so fucking stupid. The issue to me is whether we are for working class self emancipation or whether we are for cross class alliances. A nation is an entity that assumes there is a greater interest between all those who belong to it than there is between those who belong to the same class. Communists surely see it the other way round.,

agreed 100%

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Steven.
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Jun 7 2007 22:17
MJ wrote:
knightrose wrote:
This is so fucking stupid. The issue to me is whether we are for working class self emancipation or whether we are for cross class alliances. A nation is an entity that assumes there is a greater interest between all those who belong to it than there is between those who belong to the same class. Communists surely see it the other way round.,

agreed 100%

Er, yeah MJ and SRB, that's why national liberation movements are bad, and shouldn't be supported by communists. I'm pretty sure that you have both actually disagreed with that on here, which is why we have actually argued in the first place.

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MJ
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Jun 7 2007 23:04
John. wrote:
MJ wrote:
knightrose wrote:
This is so fucking stupid. The issue to me is whether we are for working class self emancipation or whether we are for cross class alliances. A nation is an entity that assumes there is a greater interest between all those who belong to it than there is between those who belong to the same class. Communists surely see it the other way round.,

agreed 100%

Er, yeah MJ and SRB, that's why national liberation movements are bad, and shouldn't be supported by communists. I'm pretty sure that you have both actually disagreed with that on here, which is why we have actually argued in the first place.

There's a difference between entering cross-class alliances and supporting our fellow workers whether or not they themselves accept strategies that involve cross-class alliances.