Patriotism or Nationalism

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Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by Modgardener on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:07 pm

There has recently been debate within the Morning Star (Britain's Daily paper of the left) concerning patriotism and nationalism. Some of the debate can be found in the links below.

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/126473

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/126667

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/126949

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/127288
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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by Celtiberian on Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:34 pm

Interesting exchange.

John Swinburne's sole contribution was a barrage of the usual, vacuous clichés—invariably recited by cosmopolitan socialists who mistakenly take The Communist Manifesto's hyperbolic line about workers possessing no fatherland as being the only consistently Marxist approach to the national question—we leftists have become accustomed to. My own position is, of course, aligned with that held by Robert Wilkinson, but I'm afraid his contributions to the debate, while laudable, lacked the philosophical depth necessary to sufficiently rebut Swinburne's cosmopolitanism (puerile as it is).

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"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by TheocWulf on Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:22 pm

I'm shocked with the responses honestly Very Happy
But fair play for bringing it up on such a site.p
We should be both and socialists.


Last edited by TheocWulf on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Cosmopolitan liberalism is a new ideological smoke screen for class oppression.-Kai Murros
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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by DSN on Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:42 am

I have wondered whether or not the concept of "anti-nationalist internationalism" is taken so seriously by the left simply because of a few words in the Communist Manifesto, or if it is down to another piece of work Marx or Engels wrote about the subject in greater detail.

"The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word."

What part of this espouses the irrational fear of nations to the point of slapping the centrist or fascist label on someone for not having "no borders" tattooed across their forehead? One cheesy, overused line I'm sick of seeing all over Facebook is "you can't see borders from space" (oh, really?). What is even more ridiculous which comes from this extremist anti-borderism is the criminalisation of culture amongst the left. Apparently I'm a fascist because I prefer the English language and a Sunday roast over a culture someone else was born into.

Also, I quite like what was said here in the third link:

Johnson in fact argued that there was a good and a bad patriotism. So did Lenin, who in 1914 had to deal with the fact that millions of working-class men and women had volunteered for "their" country in response to "patriotic" appeals.

Lenin wrote then that "is a sense of national pride alien to us, great Russian class-conscious proletarians? Certainly not! We love our language and our country, and we are doing our very utmost to raise her toiling masses to the level of a democratic and socialist consciousness."

Georgi Dimitrov in 1935 reminded the Communist International that "we communists are the irreconcilable opponents, in principle, of bourgeois nationalism in all its forms."

If there is no such thing as progressive patriotism as John Swinburne claims, then what are we to make of those many heroes and heroines of the Soviet Union who went into battle against the fascist invaders with the slogan For the Motherland painted on their tanks and fighter planes?

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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by Socialist Warrior on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:55 pm

I regard myself as an internationalist nationalist, for as the prefix inter means between, characterizing internationalism as being without borders etc. is contradictory. It is true that the workers "have no nation" only because they have been alienated from it by the capitalist mode of production and the bourgeois nationalists (chauvinists and imperialists) who subordinate the common interest to the interest of the ruling exploitative class.

The nation has been formed historically and socially, and it is because the capitalist system splits the nation into hostile classes and places individual interests above social interests, that unity cannot be achieved. The cultural tradition of the nation that can be an important asset for socialism.

The development of the working class and the will to carry out the Socialist cause is reliant not upon the merging of nations but upon each nation advancing and expanding cooperation with other nations. These relationships between nations can only be beneficial if each nation respects the others sovereignty.
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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by DSN on Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:31 am

I remember seeing a quote posted some time ago which explained the concept of the "inter" in internationalism meaning a connection between, and not against nations. I can't remember who the words were taken from, but someone else will probably remember.

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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by Celtiberian on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:48 pm

DSN wrote:I remember seeing a quote posted some time ago which explained the concept of the "inter" in internationalism meaning a connection between, and not against nations. I can't remember who the words were taken from, but someone else will probably remember.

"...[I]nternationalism does not mean for us anti-nationalism. Nor has it anything whatever to do with the vague doctrine of world-organization, for which no accurately descriptive name exists, symbolized by the picturesque ceremony of a flag burning. This much exploited ceremonial was a crude attempt to symbolize a conception of a nationless world.

We repudiate the claim made by some that loyalty to this nation is inconsistent with true internationalism. Those who say that Socialism involves the view that the working class has no nation to call its own, that all nations are alike, that there is nothing to choose between a militarist autocracy and a democratic republic, do not preach Socialist Internationalism, but pernicious reactionary nonsense.

"Internationalism presupposes nationalism. It is the inter-relation of nations. The maintenance of national integrity and independence is an essential condition of internationalism. This principle has never in the past been seriously questioned in our movement. It has been the guiding principle of our policies in the Socialist International
."
John Spargo quoted in Victor L. Berger: Hearings Before the Special Committee, Vol. II (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1919), p. 627 (bold emphasis added).

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"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by DSN on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:16 pm

That's the one. Smile

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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by Jaycm610 on Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:09 pm

I see socialist warrior is a proponent of the juche idea. This catches my attention as I have been reading up on juche recently.

Socialist Warrior wrote:I regard myself as an internationalist nationalist, for as the prefix inter means between, characterizing internationalism as being without borders etc. is contradictory. It is true that the workers "have no nation" only because they have been alienated from it by the capitalist mode of production and the bourgeois nationalists (chauvinists and imperialists) who subordinate the common interest to the interest of the ruling exploitative class.

I think this well sums up the juche position on nationalism. Please note that juche is different from everything the DPRK does.

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Re: Patriotism or Nationalism

Post by Coureur des Bois on Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:06 am

The debate over which one is better between Nationalism and Patriotism, and the distinction between the two,  is a confusing one because both concepts have different connotations depending on the country you're in (political, cultural and linguistic contexts). "Patriotes", here in Québec, can be either a reference to the old republican rebels or mean a supporter of a liberal civic republic and nationalist mean a supporter of the existing cultural group while if you go in the RoC (Rest of Canada), nationalism is associated to liberal civic nationalism (common liberal values, multiculturalism) and patriotism to the maintain of the status quo (monarchism). In the US, patriotism is associated to conservatism and nationalism to the far-right. In France, the distinction is much less because of their historical definition of the French nation by the 18th revolution's concept of Nation-State (which introduced a flag for the French nation to replace the old royal house banner which was a symbol of the royal house).

If we're going to have a debate on which is best, we'll have to get common definitions to be on the same line in a discussion.
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