define nation, nationalism, national liberation movement

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daniel
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Jun 7 2007 23:22

Yee fucking gods above, why don't you lot table this discussion (e.g. anything to do with nationalism or national liberation) indefinitely? Nothing, so far as I've seen, will come of it that is anything near positive. I suggest discussions about these topics be between people with basic theoretical agreement.

btw, saying somebody is trying to smear you is pretty serious and pretty paranoid. unless they've got a secret agenda or a personal vendetta, what reason would they have? it's this kind of suspicion and mutual uncomradeliness between revolutionaries that the State takes advantage of. Black Panthers, anybody? black bloc The previous allegations flying around of an international campaign of slander against NEFAC and Wayne Price were troubling and I'd be sorry to see similar things happening again on this thread. wall

-cheers

p.s. - whats wrong w/ wearing a poppy, it's just to remember them what died in war. it's a good way for me to honor the 4 great-granddads of mine what died in WWI, and i don't get why anybody would have a problem with that. bloody lefty anarcho politicos sometimes, eh.

Terry
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Jun 8 2007 01:39

Discussion on these boards, especially on this issue, is often needlessly and pointless abrasive……and often ends up as a ping pong between the most aggressive posters, in fact if you want to get a thread going, if you want to get a response, then be OTT. This isn’t a particular individuals fault or a particular ’side’ to the debate. …it takes two to tango.

Case in point on three or four of the ‘national liberation’ threads I posted at length in a reasonable fashion outlining where I’m coming from on it and in such a way I thought as to point out the considerable common ground that exists between myself and some of the other posters - smash rich bastards was one, K-dog another, and possibly MJ as well. I didn’t get a response. Had I wrote something not inclined to move the debate towards mutual understanding and commonality, but rather said ‘anti-working class nationalist shite talking out of your arse’ or simply took a position further removed from theirs (see Devrim for instance) my posts would have launched innumerable irate replies. The focus here is towards either aggression or towards debate between, or more often around, the most extreme positions (ie either the ‘critical support’ position or that of the left-communists).

For that matter Joe Black might reasonably point to the lack of a reply to the essays which he posts links to re: 1916 et al.

On the ‘issue’ this thread is supposedly about….this is a nonsense…if John is an English nationalist by virtue of the opinions he has outlined re: the IRA and the British Army then so is a large slice of the population of the Irish Republic, or at least certainly was when the Troubles were more live, as it is a view shared by many here.

His is not a view I agree with, for a number of reasons…mostly cause I think condemning a group like the IRA particularly for their violence tends towards pacifism.

Oh and it wouldn’t be English nationalist anyways by virtue of his condemnation of the Provos/love for ’our boys’ out in Iraq……as after all there is the Royal Irish Regiment, and Scottish, Welsh and Nepalese regiments…. It would be British.

Oh and I’m not just ‘backing him up’ …. I don’t know the chap and as he is an anarcho-syndicalist I would reckon I have more politically in common with the WSM, and certainly with NEFAC, simply the ‘English nationalist’ claim is a straightforward nonsense.

On a number of statements above re: nationalism and its apparent claim of a common national interest, actually left nationalism in Ireland has often claimed a class and internationalist perspective…which is why nationalism as a political project in the Irish context has to be defined around the territorial claim on the Six counties.

Quote:
Daniel wrote….
“whats wrong w/ wearing a poppy, it's just to remember them what died in war. it's a good way for me to honor the 4 great-granddads of mine what died in WWI, and i don't get why anybody would have a problem with that. bloody lefty anarcho politicos sometimes, eh.”

(1) Because the money from the purchase of the poppy goes to the Royal British Legion, an organisation that glorifies militarism.

(2) Because Remembrance Day revolves around a ceremony glorifying militarism.

(3) Errr frankly unless they were shot for desertion what is there to be honoured?

Before Joe Black says it…would the same standard be applied to the Easter Lilly?
(see: http://gaskinbalrog.blogspot.com/2006/04/honour-irelands-dead.html )

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MJ
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Jun 8 2007 03:21

Actually Terry when you pointed out in the last thread that you'd made ignored contributions to the previous 4, I decided to take the time to go over them and isolate your posts and read them all together and respond in full (I do think we agree on much of this). Sorry I haven't had a chance to do so yet, been a busy week! But I will.

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oisleep
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Jun 8 2007 09:33
jef costello wrote:
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.

i thought i made it very clear from my posts that my view of the nation is one of an artificial construction, not sure how you got the impression i thought otherwise from stuff like this.....

Quote:
so in all, it brings in psychological, cultural, terrotorial, political and historical elements, all of which can either be seen as actually existing and real, or created by political elites for their own agenda
Quote:
nationalism creates nations,
Quote:
It is nationalism which engenders nations, and not the other way round." Admittedly, nationalism uses the preexisting, historically inherited proliferation of cultures or cultural wealth, though it uses them very selectively and it most often transforms them radically. Dead languages can be revived, traditions invented, quite fictitious pristine purities restored
Quote:
i'd also add that although most marxists believe, correctly, that nations are constructed from above by elites...
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If we want Wales, we will have to make Wales
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Welsh make and remake Wales day by day and year after year. If they want to
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Steven.
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Jun 8 2007 09:50
MJ wrote:
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.

Yes, and? What's this got to do with anything?

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oisleep
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Jun 8 2007 09:54
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.,

this is so obvious it barely needs saying

however what often leaves me dumbfounded when it comes to anarchist approach to nationalism is the complete lack of engagement on why nations can be created so easily by elites. just like with religion an almost top down, dogmatic, 'it's wrong!' approach is taken without taking the time and care to examine why nationalism & religion can chime so strongly with millions and millions of people, regardless of the theoretically correct objective analysis you have to ask why nationalism & religion attracts millions and the wider left/anarchist a few thousand

yes nations are created, but they have to be created with things that chime with the sentiments of those who will constitute it, it serves no purpose to just analyse the nation as a cross class politica/cultural collectivty and then say that's wrong and leave it at that as if everyone will just suddenly take notice and not let it absorb them

i agree that nations are created, but you cant doubt the powerful elements that they are created from which drives an extraordinary amount of people to willingly give their lives for that cause, classing people who do so as stupid for not seeing the 'right way' doesn't even begin to attempt to scratch the surface of the issue, as does a blanket dismissal of the cultural basis on which most nations are constructed. exactly the same criticisms apply to the approach to religion by a lot of anarchists

(not a pop at you knightrose btw, just wanted to extend a bit on your point)

knightrose
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Jun 8 2007 11:28

no offence taken. I was just angry about the way the debate was going and wanted to bring it back to somewhere on planet earth.

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Felix Frost
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Jun 8 2007 15:01
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
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...

I think it would be a very good idea if everyone just dropped the mutual accusations of "nationalism" and instead started discussing the actual issues. I don't think this will make people make up and become friends, but at least it might lead to some more clarity about what we actually disagree about.

Now, personally, I think it's clear that Wayne and the other pro national liberation folks on this forum don't reach the political conclusions they do because they are nationalists. They do it because of their anti-imperialist ideology, which I think is what we ought to be discussing, instead of the semantic definition of the word nationalism.

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MJ
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Jun 8 2007 15:08
Felix Frost wrote:
Now, personally, I think it's clear that Wayne and the other pro national liberation folks on this forum don't reach the political conclusions they do because they are nationalists. They do it because of their anti-imperialist ideology, which I think is what we ought to be discussing, instead of the semantic definition of the word nationalism.

Sounds good to me.

Michael
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Jun 8 2007 15:26

Hello all,

Can't say I've read all the posts here, since they seem increasingly repetitive the longer this "debate" goes on. Still, since MJ asked for definitions, I'll offer some that I came up with several years back, in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks. A caution: this piece is dated, not simply because it's five years old, but also because my positions have changed substantially since I wrote this (I'm much less sympathetic to nationalism than I was at the time, for instance). BTW, I must apologize for the lengthy post; I had intended to simply include a link to this piece, but the various sites that hosted it in English all seem to be defunct, although those who prefer czech can look here: http://www.part.cz/part/buxus/generate_page.php3?page_id=8256.

Solidarity,
Mike

***************

Nationalism: Definitions and Clarifications
by Michael Staudenmaier
This appeared in Onward, Volume 2, Issue 4 (Spring 2002)

The world context that has developed since the events of Sept. 11 has heightened the urgency of anarchist attempts to understand nationalism. If we are to retain the momentum of an anarchist movement that was advancing in important ways, we must understand the new situation we operate within.

There are two main criticisms of current anarchist views on nationalism, and both are important in this new world of anthrax letters and Afghan refugees. The first, encountered mainly in conversation with older comrades, is that our worldview is stuck in the past, in a time when Marxist-influenced national liberation movements were ascendant, or at least held some lingering viability in places like El Salvador or Peru. That time is over, with most such movements reabsorbed by capital (as in El Salvador) or physically eliminated (as in Peru). The important question, then, is: what does nationalism mean in a world where revolutionary movements are more likely to look like Al-Qaeda or the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan?

The second criticism laments a lack of precision in defining terms. While we offer occasional catch-phrases or brief descriptions, we rarely give a precise definition of any of the major terms used: nation, state, class, nationalism, national identity, race and so forth. This vagueness has several negative effects: it makes our line of argument difficult to discern and analyze; it allows critics to be similarly unclear in their responses; and it hinders the overall aim of advancing the quality of discussion of nationalism, leaving the participants mired in much the same fog as before.

With these two criticisms in mind, and with the post-Sept. 11 context as a framework, below are a series of definitions, which may clarify some of the positions I and other anarchists have previously staked out. These definitions represent an attempt to describe a framework for future anarchist discussion, not to defend a particular "line," either pro- or anti-nationalist, within that framework.

NATION
In the days after Sept. 11, Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz was widely quoted in the media calling for "ending nations" that support terrorism. Despite Wolfowitz's leading position among the hawks in the Bush administration, it is almost certain that, as he maintained, he was misquoted. Wolfowitz claimed almost immediately that he had called for "ending nations' support for terrorism," the apostrophe indicating an end to the support, not the nations. The United States has a long history of genocide, possibly extended this past winter as several million Afghans risked starvation because of U.S. intervention, but no one in the U.S. government in the last half-century has publicly articulated genocide as strategy. The administration's stated objective is the destruction of the Taliban, and no one would call the Taliban a nation.

The Taliban is an organization, and it administered a state, but these factors make it too narrow a construct to be considered a nation. As Kofi Annan put it in 1998, "in a country of 20 million people, 50,000 armed men are holding the whole population hostage" (Rashid, p. 78). But do these 20 million Afghans constitute a nation? How about the 8 million Pashtuns who make up the largest single language group?

Afghanistan, like many other contemporary nation-states, was cobbled together by European imperial powers with little regard for demographics or geography. In all such cases, the origin of nationhood is historical, not mystical, god-given or "natural." Panama, for instance, exists partly because the U.S. manufactured its secession from Colombia to advance the canal's construction. Similarly, Afghanistan originated in nineteenth century battles between Russia and Great Britain, and through the arbitrary departmental divisions of British India. It contains large numbers of five very different populations (Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Hazaras and Turkmen), four of which exist in similar or larger numbers in other nation-states.

But to conclude from this that Afghanistan is not a nation would be premature, since the top-down action of imperial powers is only part of the story. It provides the conditions for a common lived experience that can facilitate bottom-up activity as well, as in Panama, where a century of popular struggle against U.S. control of the canal forged a nation incontestably distinct from Colombia. To deny the importance of such self-actualization is inconsistent with any anarchist worldview that recognizes and valorizes class- or community-based self-activity.

The various Afghan populations are in turn made up of various smaller communities - villages, clans, religious and occupational groupings, and so on - that overlap and diverge in various ways. To the extent that they share a perception of a common history and lived experience such communities become bound together. This connection cannot be quantified or given percentages, and the process happens on a continuum rather than in a black and white framework.

In Afghanistan, 300 years of disputes over territory and resources ought not be seen as a passive population acted upon from without (by the British, Russians, Persians, Pakistanis, etc.). Our understanding of nations must change in a way that reflects the complex reality of history. Centuries of anti-colonial struggles had undeniably produced an Afghan nation by the time of the Soviet invasion in 1979, moving the community of communities well down the continuum toward common history and lived experience, linguistic and tribal barriers notwithstanding. The development of the Loya Jirga (a conference of tribal elders from across Afghanistan) is the best evidence of this.

But nations are not static. The civil war that erupted after the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989 shattered the perception of commonality that held the Afghan nation together. The rise of the Taliban has furthered the idea of a Pashtun nation, while the former Soviet Republics have given inspiration to the national aspirations of Tajiks, Uzbeks and Turkmen. As Ahmed Rashid points out, even these identities may be fracturing back into the communities that make them up. "Rather than a national identity or kinship-tribal-based identities, territorial regional identities have become paramount. Afghans no longer call themselves just Afghans or even Pashtuns and Tajiks, but Kandaharis, Panjshiris, Heratis, Kabulis or Jowzjanis. Fragmentation is both vertical and horizontal and cuts across ethnicity to encompass a single valley or town. The Pashtun tribal structure has been destroyed by the loss of common tribal property and grazing grounds, and by war and flight. The non-Pashtun identify their survival with individual warrior leaders and the valley of their birth" (Rashid, p. 208). This process of national disintegration was made easier by the diversity of languages and religious traditions, but in principle it is possible anywhere.

From this context we can define a nation as a community of communities, manifested in perceptions of shared identity and experience, possibly including culture, language, ancestry, land and various intangibles, with said perceptions being the result of the interaction of popular self-activity and external historical forces.

Thus, there was once (and may someday develop again) an Afghan nation, but currently the territory of Afghanistan is home to a number of smaller, unstable nations, most of which exist in geographic space inside and outside the official borders.

NATIONALISM
Many commentators have noted the unusual content of the social and political program advanced by Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Its immediate demands are mostly reformist: removal of U.S. troops from the Arabian peninsula, ending sanctions against Iraq, an independent Palestinian state (this last demand has multiple versions, the more extreme of which call for the complete expulsion of all Jews from Palestine). It does not overtly call for domestic revolution in any Muslim country, although it is open to this possibility as one acceptable way to obtain the aforementioned objectives.

This stands in stark contrast with most traditional models of terrorist action, which, as some anarchists have noted, revolved around revolutionary organizations and their attempts to create newly independent nation-states in the third world. This model told us nothing about state terrorism and lacked an analysis of pro-state paramilitary terrorism, organized patriarchal violence, white supremacist terrorism and so on.

But whatever value it once had dissipated with the national liberation movements it described. In their place we find Al- Qaeda, a multicultural, internationalist veterans' organization, with members from dozens of countries. Bin Laden utilizes a number of motivating factors to mobilize his followers, from anti-imperialism to Islamic fundamentalism, but national identity is not among them. In this context, it makes no sense to describe Al-Qaeda as a nationalist organization, regardless of bin Laden's personal interest in the liberation of his homeland (the Arabian peninsula) from the clutches of the U.S. military.

By contrast, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan articulates a nationalist program, though they avoid describing it as such. Beginning with its name, RAWA represents an effort to restore the Afghan nation; they are not Pashtun women or Uzbek women, nor are they women of Central Asia. More important, however, is the content of its politics. Since its founding in 1977, the organization has developed a forward looking program demanding social gains for women, children and other disenfranchized sectors of the population, all in the framework of a democratic, secular society. It has consistently opposed foreign imperial interests, local warlordism, reactionary elements of Afghan tradition and emergent Islamic fundamentalism. RAWA prioritizes direct action, attempting to implement in practice the social gains it struggles for - schools and health clinics for women and children being the most prominent examples.

This is a program most anarchists would cautiously support, and there is no obvious nationalist component. This nationalism is seen more in the motivating factors used by RAWA to mobilize broad sectors of the Afghan population. As the name indicates, RAWA seeks to mobilize across language and tribal barriers, and this appears to be reflected in the composition of the membership. The oppositional aspects of its program (against U.S. bombing, the Northern Alliance, etc.) are tied to an appeal for the independence and cohesion of Afghanistan. The organization's statement condemning the U.S. air strikes of October 2001 makes this explicit: "We believe that once there is no foreign interference, especiallyof a fundamentalist type, all ethnic groups of all religions, with no regard to the devilish designs of the fundamentalists, will prove their solidarity for achieving the most sacred national interests for the sake of a proud and free Afghanistan." (RAWA website)

RAWA opposes the Northern Alliance partly because of the latter's reactionary social program, and partly because the exclusively Tajik and Uzbek make-up of the leadership threatens the future existence of Afghanistan as such. Its tactical support for the return of King Mohammed Zahir Shah (within the strictures of a democratic constitution) indicates RAWA's desire to reconstruct Afghanistan on a national model, with Zahir seen as the only figure capable of forging any immediate unity among the many populations within its borders. The nationalist character of RAWA's program becomes more clear when discussing its strategy.

The contrast between Al-Qaeda and RAWA, both of which have been thrust into the spotlight since Sept. 11 after years in obscurity, leads us to a more precise definition of nationalism: nationalism describes any ideology based on utilizing national identity in the service of one or more of several political struggles, including social revolution, state-building, improvement of social services, genocide and so on. Further, we can see that what distinguishes various types of nationalism is this choice of struggle, rather than the historical status (oppressed or otherwise) of the national identity thus utilized.

In this context, it is clear that anarchists oppose Al-Qaeda because of its reactionary program and terrorist methods, not because it is nationalist; if anything, the rejection of nation-states as an organizational paradigm is perhaps the only thing it has in common with anarchists. At the same time, many anarchists have lent tentative support to RAWA, partly because of its reliance on tactics of direct action, partly because we support the basic outlines of the particular struggle it connects to a nationalist method. The limits of this support have less to do with simple anti-nationalism than with RAWA's reformist approach to statism, exemplified in their backing of a constitutional monarchy.

NATIONAL IDENTITY
By contrasting responses to Sept. 11 in the United States and Puerto Rico we can begin to define national identity. The reaction in the U.S. is well known: patriotism and "national unity" skyrocketed, with the flag as the essential visual aid. Anti-immigrant sentiment led to racist attacks, the arrest without charges of hundreds of foreign nationals and the tightening of border controls. It has become painfully clear that the "nation" people are rallying to is white, multicultural protestations and interfaith prayer services notwithstanding. This is nationalism in the service of white supremacy and the continued military might of the world's only superpower. As my brother Peter argued in an assessment of Sept. 11 written for some European comrades, people behaved "as if national identity could offer solace in the face of tragedy."

Less widely appreciated is the response to Sept. 11 in Puerto Rico. New York has almost as many Puerto Ricans as San Juan, and the preliminary figures, according to the island's leading daily paper, El Nuevo Dia, were that 800 or more had been killed in the World Trade Center. Given the response in the United States, two different outcomes might have seemed likely after such a massive tragedy: an upsurge in Puerto Rican nationalism, or perhaps more likely, a spike in pro-Statehood (anti-independentista, pro-U.S.) sentiment. Strangely, neither has occurred.

The first can be dispensed with easily enough: no one in Puerto Rico or the United States thought the attack on the World Trade Center was aimed at Puerto Ricans. Thus, the aggrieved patriotism witnessed in the U.S. was unlikely to be paralleled in Puerto Rico. Statehooders, however, could have been expected to gain. Because the Statehood position is that Puerto Ricans are really "Americans" (that is, U.S. nationals) first and foremost, the attack on the World Trade Center could be expected to cement that combination identity. Just as Puerto Ricans died "for their country" (the U.S.) in every war of the twentieth century, so they have now died in what is increasingly regarded as the first war of the twenty-first. Why didn't this position resonate more with Puerto Ricans facing the same tragedy that produced such war-mongering jingoism in the U.S.?

The struggle around the island of Vieques provides a partial explanation. For several years, popular efforts have grown to evict the U.S. Navy from the small outlying island whose land and population have been decimated by decades of bombing practice. By the November 2000 elections, widespread opposition to the bombing of Vieques helped oust the Statehood governor, and the support for direct action against the Navy - especially land occupations on the bombing range - had become overwhelming across the main island. The movement encompassed every sector of society in a classic popular front. One of the results was a broad-based anti-militarism unlike anything seen in the U.S. in recent memory.

This skepticism of the U.S. military seems to have muted any fervor for an armed response to Sept. 11. Simultaneously, the popular front has diminished the ability of the Statehooders (already weakened by their two-faced approach to Vieques, pledging support to the popular front while negotiating extensions of the bombing with the Navy) to mobilize whatever pro-U.S. sentiment might otherwise have emerged in the aftermath. It seems Puerto Ricans have rejected the all-too-common logic of national pride as a response to tragedy.

The key here is the self-identification of the people of Puerto Rico, who have never been comfortable with their absorption into the U.S., a minority of hardcore Statehooders notwithstanding. Nationalism of whatever sort can only mobilize people who actively share the subjectivity of national identity. This mobilization, on behalf of white supremacist nationalism, was simple in the United States, but futile in Puerto Rico.

Using this example we can formulate a definition of national identity as the subjective experience of the perception of shared identity that makes up the nation, manifested as attachment to and love of one's nation, and the prioritization of that community of communities over all others. This subjective definition should take precedence over any merely descriptive definition, in which one's national identity can be identified by outsiders in some objective fashion.

FROM DEFINITION TO ACTION
Hopefully these definitions will clarify the framework within which anarchist discussions of nationalism take place. At the very least, they may advance a basic anarchist understanding of the new world emerging since Sept. 11, 2001. Other definitions are surely needed for the conversation to get much further: state, race, class and others all require more precision. The trick is to transform clarity into practice, to utilize our developing analysis in the day to day work of anarchist organizing. As a smart young man (who eventually became an indigent refugee) once argued, "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it."

Bibliography
A. Rashid, Taliban, Yale University Press, 2001.
M. Staudenmiaer, "What Good Are Nations?" Arsenal #3, Spring 2001
J. Bekken, "Nationalism or Freedom?" Anarcho-Syndicalist Review #39, Summer 2001.
RAWA website, http://rawa.fancymarketing.net/us-strikes.htm
P. Staudenmaier, "The Hijacking of History" Direkte Demokrati no. 13, Nov. 2001 (Norway)

georgestapleton's picture
georgestapleton
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Jun 8 2007 17:00
Terry wrote:
On the ‘issue’ this thread is supposedly about….this is a nonsense…if John is an English nationalist by virtue of the opinions he has outlined re: the IRA and the British Army then so is a large slice of the population of the Irish Republic, or at least certainly was when the Troubles were more live, as it is a view shared by many here.

But most people in Britain, Ireland in the world are nationalists. The believe in an ideology that justifies the existence of nation states. John.'s not being accussed of supporting the BNP by Joe he's being accussed of being a nationalist like most english people. Most english people support their state, just as most irish people support the irish state. You can be a nationalist without supporting the BNP. Wearing a poppy is nationalist, singing no surrender to the IRA is nationalist, dictating to people in other countries what languages they should speak is nationalist, referring to britain and ireland as the british isles is nationalist, John,'s argument about the IRA was nationalist. A lot of soft english nationalist sentiment is repeated and unchallenged on libcom.

That said I think its pretty obvious that John. is not a nationalist.

Also I think people should read andrew's pamphlet on irish republicanism, 'The Rising of the Moon' linked to here http://libcom.org/forums/ireland/pdf-rising-moon in a post that has not been replied to. wall

Terry
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Jun 8 2007 17:10

George you seem to have not understood what I was saying, my point was many people in the Republic would describe members of the IRA planting a no warning bomb in a random or almost random pub as "murdering bastards", but not say that of your average squaddie. They are not english nationalists and that is not an english nationalist argument. It is certainly not an irish nationalist argument.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 8 2007 17:19
georgestapleton wrote:
referring to britain and ireland as the british isles is nationalist,

presumably therefore referring to scotland, wales, england and cornwall as 'britain' is also nationalist. perhaps we need a catchy system of latitude/longtitude nomenclature, what do you guys in 53.37/-6.26 sector reckon? (edit: that's literally a very anglocentric method. haha)

Smash Rich Bastards
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Jun 8 2007 17:45
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.

I'm sorry, what position on national liberation are you attributing to me and MJ? (please feel free to include direct quotes)

jack white
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Jun 8 2007 17:55
Joseph K. wrote:
georgestapleton wrote:
referring to britain and ireland as the british isles is nationalist,

presumably therefore referring to scotland, wales, england and cornwall as 'britain' is also nationalist. perhaps we need a catchy system of latitude/longtitude nomenclature, what do you guys in 53.37/-6.26 sector reckon? (edit: that's literally a very anglocentric method. haha)

Why would referring to Britain be nationalist? Its a totally accepted term that eveyone understands as meaning the island comprising England, Scotland, Wales etc.

Same with referring to Ireland as being an island which comprises the 26 and 6 county states.

The term British Isles generally isn't accepted by Irish people and is seen as a political rather than neutral geographic term.

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 8 2007 18:13
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The term British Isles generally isn't accepted by Irish people and is seen as a political rather than neutral geographic term.

i've no idea if that's the case or not, if so i see the distinction, though obviously scots, welsh, english and cornish nationalists may beg to differ

Mike Harman
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Jun 8 2007 18:20
Joseph K. wrote:
Quote:
The term British Isles generally isn't accepted by Irish people and is seen as a political rather than neutral geographic term.

i've no idea if that's the case or not, if so i see the distinction, though obviously scots, welsh, english and cornish nationalists may beg to differ

There's also the Hebrides, Isle of Man etc. - i.e. it doesn't only mean including Ireland with mainland Britain, even if a lot of people will mean it in those terms.

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MJ
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Jun 8 2007 18:35
Smash Rich Bastards wrote:
I'm sorry, what position on national liberation are you attributing to me and MJ? (please feel free to include direct quotes)

SOUTH SHORE!!!

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Steven.
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Jun 8 2007 21:06
georgestapleton wrote:
John,'s argument about the IRA was nationalist. A lot of soft english nationalist sentiment is repeated and unchallenged on libcom.

You can fuck off, someone who blows up a pub full of workers is a murdering bastard. Saying that is not "nationalist", it's fucking sane, and if you don't think the same then I think you're an idiot.

You can list a load of other things which are minorly nationalist - I haven't met any of them. Joe referring to the British army as "my" army and "my" side is "nationalist" if I'm going to try to be as petty as your being. But even being that petty you still don't have anything on me. You're clutching at straws.

Terry
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Jun 9 2007 10:51
Quote:
George wrote:"referring to britain and ireland as the british isles is nationalist"

No it isn't. It is just a geographical term for the islands off the north-west of Europe. I understand how it is interpreted often in Ireland, but it doesn't express some kinda British (or English!?!) claim over the island of Ireland. Most people in the motherland, apart from hibernophiles, have no interest in or knowledge of Ireland...still less some kinda old Articles 2 & 3 claim over the place.

It is all about context.....

I've met Scots who were keen on the term because it put them in the same unit as Ireland, rather than just in the same unit as London.

Likewise 'new british history' i think it is called is a school that challenges old anglo-centric historical perspectives (eg War of the three kingdoms rather than English civil war).

In fact in regard to the Northern conflict the lack of indentity with or attachment to Ulster on the part of the denizens of the neighbouring island is singular. Compare with Spain and the Partido Popular being able to bring out loads of people in Madrid in protest against the government's apparent selling out to ETA. Indeed the only people in Britain who identify with Ulster and see it as part of their country and want to back up their fellow Britons there are your Celts in Scotland.

And we both know where the term 'British' comes from......

Terry
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Jun 9 2007 10:54
Quote:
MJ wrote: "Actually Terry when you pointed out in the last thread that you'd made ignored contributions to the previous 4, I decided to take the time to go over them and isolate your posts and read them all together and respond in full (I do think we agree on much of this). Sorry I haven't had a chance to do so yet, been a busy week! But I will."

Cool. I should point I wasn't only crying about my posts, but pointing out the confrontational ambience. Look forward to reading what you have to say.

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Steven.
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Jun 13 2007 13:26

Right Joe you've had a week to try to back up your ridiculous claims now, you don't seem to have done so. So how about you either back it up or retract it?

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AndrewF
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Jun 13 2007 14:54

John. are you trying to be funny or something?

You've been calling people nationalists on here for two years now. You are in no position to sulk and demand retractions when you get a taste of your own medicine in return. If you continue your behavior in this regard then I may well continue to choose to continue to copy it.

knightrose
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Jun 13 2007 21:34
Quote:
You've been calling people nationalists on here for two years now. You are in no position to sulk and demand retractions when you get a taste of your own medicine in return. If you continue your behavior in this regard then I may well continue to choose to continue to copy it.

So you were taking the piss????

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Steven.
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Jun 14 2007 15:17
JoeBlack2 wrote:
John. are you trying to be funny or something?

You've been calling people nationalists on here for two years now. You are in no position to sulk and demand retractions when you get a taste of your own medicine in return. If you continue your behavior in this regard then I may well continue to choose to continue to copy it.

I was giving you the opportunity to retract laughable lies which make you look like a twat. And by extension the WSM, as your role as its most prominent member/"theoretician."

JoeBlack2 wrote:
As I've told you before you would be much better served addressing your own English nationalism .. Its particularly rich to have an English nationalist like yourself ...
.. I do consider you to be an English nationalist and I have told you why at length a couple of times.
... a couple of the others have also come out with some pretty dodge defences of aspects of English nationalism but his [John.'s] was by far the clearest. I'm amazed he is still daft enough to try and defend his position after all this time.

You called me an English nationalist for saying that someone who blows up a pub full of workers is a murdering bastard. This is obviously completely wrong.

I have said that some people in WSM and NEFAC support national liberation*. As by my definition, the dictionary's definition, and just about everyone else in the world's definition, national liberation movements are nationalist. You can disagree with the definition of "nationalist" (but you haven't provided a different one), but still the facts are the same.

* WEB in NEFAC clearly does, as does Wayne Price, the WSM do in their position papers saying you'd support the ending of partition, and thus a united Ireland, and individual members have on other things, like gurrier on Iraq, etc.

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daniel
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Jun 15 2007 02:20

blimey eek

Deezer
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Jul 24 2007 23:14

Written in the context of the wee north but there is something of a definition of the nation, nationalism and national liberation in here. From the Organise! Aims and Principles:

Quote:
Nationalism

We are opposed to the ideology of nationalism and national liberation movements which claim that there is some common interest between native bosses and the working class in face of foreign domination.
We are opposed to all forms of nationalism, be that the British nationalism of Loyalism and Unionism, Irish nationalism or the Ulster nationalist current evident within Loyalism. All have as central to their ideology the nationalist myth that people in an arbitrarily drawn up nation (be it based on an island, region, language, ‘culture’, or religion, or any combination of these or other elements), have common interests which can be represented by the nation state. The nation state is in effect the government over the majority, the working class, by the wealthy few. The working class and those who hold power, the bosses and their lackeys, have no common interests.
We do support working class struggles against racism, genocide, ethnocide and political and economic colonialism. We oppose the creation of any new ruling class. We reject all forms of nationalism, as they only serve to redefine divisions in the international working class. The working class has no country and national boundaries must be eliminated.

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Steven.
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Jul 25 2007 09:10

Still no answer Joe?

If you still claim that anyone who says that someone who blows up a pub full of workers is a murdering bastard, and that not every British soldier is a murdering bastard (for the simple reason that most of them have never killed anyone) is an English nationalist, this is a view the whole libcom group holds, so please extend your claim to all of us. Then we'll put it on our reviews page. Also, are you a member of both NEFAC and the WSM now?

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AndrewF
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Jul 25 2007 12:29

John your a sad case and no mistake, you like to throw shit at people but sulk for months when you get a little bit of the same treatment.

For the record my objection was to you describing all republican prisoners as 'murdering bastards' based on the actions of less than 1% (the pub bombers) but refusing to extend the same logic to all British solders based on the actions of those who carried out Bloody Sunday or the many other deliberate killings of working class non-combatants in Ireland and elsewhere. This as I have already pointed out is not the same thing as the rather more reasonable (but politically useless) version you try and claim above.

I still maintain that this position of yours can only be one based on the logic of British nationalism - for the sake of illustration I turned that into calling you a nationalist (not actually the same thing). You recognised this in retreating from your original position and then rewriting it as above. That you are still sulking and now making bizarre threats on that basis demonstrates my point about the emptyness of a politics based on jumping up and down and shouting nationalist at the drop of a hat.

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Steven.
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Jul 25 2007 12:56
JoeBlack2 wrote:
For the record my objection was to you describing all republican prisoners as 'murdering bastards' based on the actions of less than 1% (the pub bombers)

No I didn't, that's a complete lie - I said specifically pub bombers! I've even quoted myself on my original comments to demonstrate a few times.

If I had said it about all republican prisoners it would of course be nonsense. But I didn't.

Quote:
This as I have already pointed out is not the same thing as the rather more reasonable (but politically useless) version you try and claim above.

Politically useless? It was a throwaway comment in a random discussion, not a position paper.

Quote:
I still maintain that this position of yours can only be one based on the logic of British nationalism - for the sake of illustration I turned that into calling you a nationalist (not actually the same thing).

First you said big nation nationalist, then you started saying English nationalist, which is particularly bizarre because I said the British army (not "my army" as you repeatedly said).

Quote:
You recognised this in retreating from your original position and then rewriting it as above.

Am I going to have to dig out my original quote again to show up this bollocks?

Quote:
That you are still sulking and now making bizarre threats

What threats have I made? What are you going on about?