Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

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Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:48 am


Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

The following are a few insightful excerpts on Lenin's positions regarding the right to national self-determination:

Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations


We have affirmed that it would be a betrayal of socialism to refuse to implement the self-determination of nations under socialism. We are told in reply that “the right of self-determination is not applicable to a socialist society”. The difference is a radical one. Where does it stem from?

“We know,” runs our opponents’ reasoning, “that socialism will abolish every kind of national oppression since it abolishes the class interests that lead to it....” What has this argument about the economic prerequisites for the abolition of national oppression, which are very well known and undisputed, to do with a discussion of one of the forms of political oppression, namely, the forcible retention of one nation within the state frontiers of another? This is nothing but an attempt to evade political questions! And subsequent arguments further convince us that our judgement is right: “We have no reason to believe that in a socialist society, the nation will exist as an economic and political unit. It will in all probability assume the character of a cultural and linguistic unit only, because the territorial division of a socialist cultural zone, if practiced at all, can be made only according to the needs of production and, furthermore, the question of such a division will naturally not be decided by individual nations alone and in possession of full sovereignty [as is required by “the right to self-determination”], but will be determined jointly by all the citizens concerned....”

Our Polish comrades like this last argument, on joint determination instead of self-determination, so much that they repeat it three times in their theses! Frequency of repetition, however, does not turn this Octobrist and reactionary argument into a Social-Democratic argument. All reactionaries and bourgeois grant to nations forcibly retained within the frontiers of a given state the right to “determine jointly” their fate in a common parliament. Wilhelm II also gives the Belgians the right to “determine jointly” the fate of the German Empire in a common German parliament.

Our opponents try to evade precisely the point at issue. the only one that is up for discussion—the right to secede. This would be funny if it were not so tragic!

Our very first thesis said that the liberation of oppressed nations implies a dual transformation in the political sphere: (1) the full equality of nations. This is not disputed and applies only to what takes place within the state; (2) freedom of political separation. This refers to the demarcation of state frontiers. This only is disputed. But it is precisely this that our opponents remain silent about. They do not want to think either about state frontiers or even about the stabs as such. This is a sort of “imperialist Economism” like the old Economism of 1894–1902, which argued in this way: capitalism is victorious, therefore political questions are a waste of time. Imperialism is victorious, therefore political questions are a waste of time! Such an apolitical theory is extremely harmful to Marxism.

In his Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx wrote: “Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. There corresponds to this also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” Up to now this truth has been indisputable for socialists and it includes the recognition of the fact that the slate will exist until victorious socialism develops into full communism. Engels’s dictum about the withering away of the state is well known. We deliberately stressed, in the first thesis, that democracy is a form of state that will also wither away when tile state withers away. And until our opponents replace Marxism by some sort of “non-state” viewpoint their arguments will constitute one big mistake.

Instead of speaking about the state (which means, about the demarcation of its frontiers!), they speak of a “socialist cultural zone”, i.e., they deliberately choose an expression that is indefinite in the sense that all state questions are obliterated! Thus we get a ridiculous tautology: if there is no state there can, of course, be no question of frontiers. In that case tile whole democratic-political programme is unnecessary. Nor will there be any republic, when the state “withers away”.

The German chauvinist Lensch, in the articles we mentioned in Thesis 5, quoted an interesting passage from Engels’s article “The Po and the Rhine”. Amongst other things, Engels says in this article that in the course of historical development, which swallowed up a number of small and non-viable nations, the “frontiers of great and viable European nations” were being increasingly determined by the “language and sympathies” of the population. Engels calls these frontiers “natural”. Such was the case in the period of progressive capitalism in Europe, roughly from 1848 to 1871. Today, these democratically determined frontiers are more and more often being broken down by reactionary, imperialist capitalism. There is every sign that imperialism will leave its successor, socialism, a heritage of less democratic frontiers, a number: of annexations in Europe and ill other parts of the world. Is it to be supposed that victorious socialism, restoring and implementing full democracy all along the line, will refrain from democratically demarcating state frontiers and ignore the “sympathies” of the population? Those questions need only be stated to make it quite clear that our Polish colleagues are sliding down from Marxism towards imperialist Economism.

The old Economists, who made a caricature of Marxism, told the workers that “only the economic” was of importance to Marxists. The new Economists seem to think either that the democratic state of victorious socialism will exist without frontiers (like a “complex of sensations” without matter) or that frontiers will be delineated “only” in accordance with the needs of production. In actual fact its frontiers will be delineated democratically, i.e., in accordance with the will and “sympathies” of the population. Capitalism rides roughshod over these sympathies, adding more obstacles to the rapprochement of nations. Socialism, by organising production without class oppression, by ensuring the well-being of all members of the state, gives full play to the “sympathies” of the population, thereby promoting and greatly accelerating the drawing together and fusion of the nations.

To give the reader a rest from the heavy and clumsy Economism let us quote the reasoning of a socialist writer who is outside our dispute. That writer is Otto Bauer, who also has his own “pet little point”—“cultural and national autonomy”—but who argues quite correctly on a large number of most important questions. For example, in Chapter 29 of his book The National Question and Social-Democracy, be was doubly right in noting the use of national ideology to cover up imperialist policies. In Chapter 30, “Socialism and the Principle of Nationality”, he says:

“The socialist community will never be able to include whole nations within its make-up by the use of force. Imagine the masses of the people, enjoying the blessings of national culture, baking a full and active part in legislation and government, and, finally, supplied with arms—would it be possible to subordinate such a nation to the rule of an alien social organism by force? All state power rests on the force of arms. The present-day people’s army, thanks to an ingenious mechanism, still constitutes a tool in the hands of a definite person, family or class exactly like the knightly and mercenary armies of the past. The army of the democratic community of a socialist society is nothing but the people armed, since it consists of highly cultured persons, working without compulsion in socialised workshops and taking full part in all spheres of political life. In such conditions any possibility of alien rule disappears.”

This is true. It is impossible to abolish national (or any other political) oppression under capitalism, since this requires the abolition of classes, i.e., the introduction of socialism. But while being based on economics, socialism cannot be reduced to economics alone. A foundation—socialist production—is essential for the abolition of national oppression, but this foundation must also carry a democratically organised state, a democratic army, etc. By transforming capitalism into socialism the proletariat creates the possibility of abolishing national oppression; the possibility becomes reality “only”—“only”!—with the establishment of full democracy in all spheres, including the delineation of state frontiers in accordance with the “sympathies” of the population, including complete freedom to secede. And this, in turn, will serve as a basis for developing the practical elimination of even the slightest national friction and the least national mistrust, for an accelerated drawing together and fusion of nations that will be completed when the state withers away. This is the Marxist theory, the theory from which our Polish colleagues have mistakenly departed.

The Discussion On Self-Determination Summed Up


Imperialism, Socialism, and the Liberation of Oppressed Nations

Imperialism is the highest stage of development of capitalism. Capital in the advanced countries has outgrown the boundaries of national states. It has established monopoly in place of competition, thus creating all the objective prerequisites for the achievement of socialism. Hence, in Western Europe and in the United States of America, the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat for the overthrow of the capitalist governments, for the expropriation of the bourgeoisie, is on the order of the day. Imperialism is forcing the masses into this struggle by sharpening class antagonisms to an immense degree, by worsening the conditions of the masses both economically—trusts and high cost of living, and politically—growth of militarism, frequent wars, increase of reaction, strengthening and extension of national oppression and colonial plunder. Victorious socialism must achieve complete democracy and, consequently, not only bring about the complete equality of nations, but also give effect to the right of oppressed nations to self-determination, i.e., the right to free political secession. Socialist Parties which fail to prove by all their activities now, as well as during the revolution and after its victory, that they will free the enslaved nations and establish relations with them on the basis of a free union and a free union is a lying phrase without right to secession—such parties would be committing treachery to socialism.

Of course, democracy is also a form of state which must disappear when the state disappears, but this will take place only in the process of transition from completely victorious and consolidated socialism to complete communism.

The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination

Marxism and Proudhonism on the National Question

In contrast to the petty-bourgeois democrats, Marx regarded all democratic demands without exception not as an absolute, but as a historical expression of the struggle of the masses of the people, led by the bourgeoisie, against feudalism. There is not a single democratic demand which could not serve, and has not served, under certain conditions, as an instrument of the bourgeoisie for deceiving the workers. To single out one of the demands of political democracy, namely, the self determination of nations, and to oppose it to all the rest, is fundamentally wrong in theory. In practice, the proletariat will be able to retain its independence only if it subordinates its struggle for all the democratic demands, not excluding the demand for a republic, to its revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie.

On the other hand, in contrast to the Proudhonists, who “repudiated” the national problem “in the name of the social revolution,” Marx, having in mind mainly the interests of the proletarian class struggle in the advanced countries, put into the forefront the fundamental principle of internationalism and socialism, viz., that no nation can be free if it oppresses other nations.[8] It was precisely from the standpoint of the interests of the revolutionary movement of the German workers that Marx in 1898 demanded that victorious democracy in Germany should proclaim and grant freedom to the nations that the Germans were oppressing.[9] It was precisely from the standpoint of the revolutionary struggle of the English workers that Marx in 1869 demanded the separation of Ireland from England, and added: “...although after the separation there may come federation.”[10] Only by putting forward this demand did Marx really educate the English workers in the spirit of internationalism. Only in this way was he able to oppose the revolutionary solution of a given historical problem to the opportunists and bourgeois reformism, which even now, half a century later, has failed to achieve the Irish “reform.” Only in this way was Marx able—unlike the apologists of capital who shout about the right of small nations to secession being utopian and impossible, and about the progressive nature not only of economic but also of political concentration—to urge the progressive nature of this concentration in a non-imperialist manner, to urge the bringing together of the nations, not by force, but on the basis of a free union of the proletarians of all countries. Only in this way was Marx able, also in the sphere of the solution of national problems, to oppose the revolutionary action of the masses to verbal and often hypocritical recognition of the equality and the self-determination of nations. The imperialist war of 1914-16 and the Augean stables of hypocrisy of the opportunists and Kautskyists it exposed have strikingly confirmed the correctness of Marx’s policy, which must serve as the model for all the advanced countries; for all of them now oppress other nations.

The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination

Why Are Social-Democrats Against Annexations?
In our view the answer is obvious: because annexation violates the self-determination of nations, or, in other words, is a form of national oppression.

In the view of the Polish Social-Democrats there have to be special explanations of why we are against annexations, and it is these (I, 3 in the theses) that inevitably enmesh the authors in a further series of contradictions.

They produce two reasons to “justify” our opposition to annexations (the “scientifically valid” arguments of the Lensches notwithstanding):

First: “To the assertion that annexations in Europe are essential for the military security of a victorious imperialist state, the Social-Democrats counterpose the fact that annexations only serve to sharpen antagonisms, thereby increasing the danger of war....”

This is an inadequate reply to the Lensches because their chief argument is not that annexations are a military necessity but that they are economically progressive and under imperialism mean concentration. Where is the logic if the Polish Social-Democrats in the same breath recognise the progressive nature of such a concentration, refusing to re-erect frontier posts in Europe that have been swept away by imperialism, and protest against annexations?

Furthermore, the danger of what wars is increased by annexations? Not imperialist wars, because they have other causes: the chief antagonisms in the present imperialist war are undoubtedly those between Germany and Britain, and between Germany and Russia. These antagonisms have nothing to do with annexations. It is the danger of national wars and national revolts that is increased. But how can one declare national wars to be impossible in “the era of imperialism”, on the one hand, and then speak of the “danger” of national wars, on the other? This is not logical.

The second argument: Annexations “create a gulf between the proletariat of the ruling nation and that of the oppressed nation... the proletariat of the oppressed nation would unite with its bourgeoisie and regard the proletariat of the ruling nation as its enemy. Instead of the proletariat waging an international class struggle against the international bourgeoisie it would be split and ideologically corrupted...”

We fully agree with these arguments. But is it logical to put forward simultaneously two arguments on the same question which cancel each other out. In S. 3 of the first part of the theses we find the above arguments that regard annexations as causing a split in the proletariat, and next to it, in S. 4, we are told that we must oppose the annulment of annexations already effected in Europe and favour “the education of tire working masses of the oppressed and the oppressor nations in a spirit of solidarity in struggle”. If the annulment of annexations is reactionary “sentimentality”, annexations must not he said to create a “gulf” between sections of the “proletariat” and cause a “split”, but should, on the contrary, be regarded as a condition for the bringing together of the proletariat of different nations.

We say: In order that we may have the strength to accomplish the socialist revolution and overthrow the bourgeoisie, the workers must unite more closely and this close union is promoted by the struggle for self-determination, i.e., the struggle against annexations. We are consistent. But the Polish comrades who say that European annexations are “non-annullable” and national wars, “impossible”, defeat themselves by contending “against” annexations with the use of arguments about national wars! These arguments are to the effect that annexations hamper the drawing together and fusion of workers of different nations!

In other words, the Polish Social-Democrats, in order to contend against annexations, have to draw for arguments on the theoretical stock they themselves reject in principle.

The question of colonies makes this even more obvious.

The Discussion On Self-Determination Summed Up

Conclusion

Contrary to the erroneous assertions of the Polish Social-Democrats, the demand for the self-determination of nations has played no less a role in our Party agitation than, for example, the arming of the people, the separation of the church from the state, the election of civil servants by the gene pie and other points the philistines have called “utopian”. the contrary, the strengthening of the national movements after 1905 naturally prompted more vigorous agitation by our Party, including a number of articles in 1912–13, and the resolution of our Party in 1913 giving a precise “anti-Kautskian” definition (i.e., one that does not tolerate purely verbal “recognition”) of the content of the point.[14]

It will not do to overlook a fact which was revealed at that early date: opportunists of various nationalities, the Ukrainian Yorkevich, the Bundist Liebman, Scrnkovsky, the Russian myrmidon of Potresov and Co., all spoke in favour of Rosa Luxemburg’s arguments against self-determination! What for Rosa Luxemburg, the Polish Social-Democrat, had been merely an incorrect theoretical generalisation of tile specific conditions of the movement in Poland, became objective opportunist support for Great-Russian imperialism when actually’ applied to more extensive circumstances, to conditions obtaining in a big state instead of a small one, when applied on an international scale instead of tile narrow Polish scale. The history of trends in political thought (as distinct from the views of individuals) has proved the correctness of our programme.

Outspoken social-imperialists, such as Lensch still rail both against self-determination and the renunciation of annexations. As for tile Kautskyites, they hypocritically recognise self-determination—Trotsky and Martov are going the same way here in Russia. Both of them, like Kautsky, say they favour self-determination. What happens in practice? Take Trotsky’s articles “The Nation and the Economy” in Nashe Slovo, and you will find his usual eclecticism: on the one hand, the economy unites nations and, on the other, national oppression divides them. The conclusion? The conclusion is that the prevailing hypocrisy remains unexposed, agitation is dull and does not touch upon what is most important, basic, significant and closely connected with practice—one’s attitude to the nation that is oppressed by “one’s own” nation. Martov and other secretaries abroad simply preferred to forgot—a profitable lapse of memory!—the struggle of their colleague and fellow-member Semkovsky against self-determination, In the legal press of the Gvozdyovites (Nash Golos) Martov spoke in favour of self-determination, pointing out the indisputable truth that during the imperialist war it does not yet imply participation, etc., but evading the main thing—he also evades it in the illegal, free press!—which is that even in peace time Russia set a world record for the oppression of nations with an imperialism that is much more crude, medieval, Economically backward and militarily bureaucratic. The Russian Social-Democrat who “recognises” tile self-determination of nations more or less as it is recognised by Messrs. Plekhanov, Potresov and Co., that is, without bothering to fight for the freedom of secession for nations oppressed by tsarism, is in fact an imperialist and a lackey of tsarism.

No matter what the subjective “good” intentions of Trotsky and Martov may be, their evasiveness objectively supports Russian social-imperialism. The epoch of imperialism has turned all the “great” powers into the oppressors of a number of nations, and the development of imperialism will inevitably lead to a more definite division of trends in this question in international Social-Democracy as well.

The Discussion On Self-Determination Summed Up

As you can see, Lenin's position essentially reduces itself to the notion that the only way in which a socialist order can effectively eliminate national oppression is through the implementation of a policy which affords the diverse national populations of a given state the right to secede from that state. Any hindrance to the popular will of a given nation, in its pursuit of self-determination (vis-à-vis secession and the attainment of political autonomy), is therefore a violation of socialism's democratic foundation and consequentially undermines international proletarian solidarity.

Of course, Lenin's underlying assumption was that all forms of national autonomy would wither away — along with the very essence of the state itself — once socialism had transitioned into communism. (Given the ambitious material requisites such a development is contingent upon, I find no reason to disagree with the rationale behind such a position.)

Some points that are worth underscoring are as follows: Lenin correctly presumed that there would be a democratic impetus directed towards national self-determination in the absence of international bourgeois hegemony. He also understood that allowing for this development was of critical importance in maintaining international proletarian solidarity.

The juxtaposition of the differences between Lenin and his contemporaries on this issue with the differences between left-wing nationalists and our 'left' detractors is rather interesting. I can't be the only one who notices the parallels.


Last edited by Admin on Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:06 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

Post by Pantheon Rising on Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:09 am

Mass immigration onto European lands is a form of Imperialism and should be opposed as such. Wink

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Re: Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

Post by GF on Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:30 am

Great information. Thanks for posting it. Quick question though, I thought Lenin took a contrary position to Otto Bauer's theory, did he?

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Re: Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

Post by Celtiberian on Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:16 am

Godfaesten wrote:I thought Lenin took a contrary position to Otto Bauer's theory, did he?

He did, but it primarily had to do with Lenin's disapproval of Bauer's national personal autonomy proposal, as well as his view that nationality would eventually be transcended (with the emergence of communism)—which Bauer didn't necessarily agree with.

Despite the firm philosophical basis Lenin constructed for national self-determination in his writings, in practice the policy represented little more than a nominal self-governance. In the essays above, Lenin brilliantly emphasized the importance of allowing nations the right to secede, but whenever an actual figure or movement emerged which advocated secession following the Bolshevik Revolution, the Soviet press invariably denounced them as being "bourgeois nationalists." Unfortunately, the state allowed no nations within Soviet territory genuine autonomy, which led to a considerable amount of ethnic strife. But it's important to also bear in mind that the Soviet Union was never a democratic state possessing an armed citizenry, so the entire material basis for Lenin's theory never came to fruition.

Incidentally, I've written quite a lot about this topic in my forthcoming essay, "The National Question Reexamined."

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Re: Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

Post by Isakenaz on Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:25 pm

Excellent post Admin, respect.

Celtiberian wrote:
Incidentally, I've written quite a lot about this topic in my forthcoming essay, "The National Question Reexamined."

An essay awaited with eagerness.
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Re: Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:24 pm

Isakenaz wrote:An essay awaited with eagerness.

It's definitely my longest and most important article to date. Unfortunately, it still isn't complete, as I'm constantly finding valuable new resources to use. Considering how vital the National Question is to left-wing nationalist theory, I'm going to great lengths to present our case as carefully as possible—it's sure to be heavily scrutinized by the cosmopolitan left at some point, so my arguments must be as cogent as possible.

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Re: Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

Post by Vasco Gonçalves on Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:35 pm

Admin wrote:It was precisely from the standpoint of the interests of the revolutionary movement of the German workers that Marx in 1898 demanded that victorious democracy in Germany should proclaim and grant freedom to the nations that the Germans were oppressing.

Quiet impressive considering by this time Marx had been dead 15 years...

It was precisely from the standpoint of the revolutionary struggle of the English workers that Marx in 1869 demanded the separation of Ireland from England, and added: “...although after the separation there may come federation.”

He didn't "demand the seperation of Ireland from England" he demanded that England grant freedom to Ireland. There's an important distinction. The latter is to demand that nations be offered the right to self-determination, the former is to urge them to seize that right for reactionary purposes.

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Re: Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

Post by Rev Scare on Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:19 pm

Vasco Gonçalves wrote:He didn't "demand the seperation of Ireland from England" he demanded that England grant freedom to Ireland. There's an important distinction. The latter is to demand that nations be offered the right to self-determination, the former is to urge them to seize that right for reactionary purposes.

You have delved into a game of semantics. By the "separation" of Ireland and England, Marx was obviously referring to the emancipation of the Irish proletariat from English oppression. This is what Marx wrote:

"I once believed that the separation of Ireland from England to be impossible. I now regard it as inevitable, although federation may follow upon separation"
Marx to Engels’ (2 November, 1867), MECW vol. 42 (1987), 460.



"I have become more and more convinced – and the thing now is to drum this conviction into the English working class – that they will never be able to do anything decisive here in England before they separate their attitude towards Ireland quite definitely from that of the ruling classes, and not only make a common cause with the Irish, but even take the initiative in dissolving the Union [...] and substituting a federal relationship for it. And this must be done not out of sympathy for Ireland, but as a demand based on the interests of the English proletariat."
Marx to Ludwig Kugelmann’ (29 November, 1869), MECW vol. 43 (1988), 390.


"All industrial and commercial centres in England now have a working class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians. The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who forces down the standard of life. In relation to the Irish worker, he feels himself to be a member of the ruling nation and, therefore, makes himself a tool of his aristocrats and capitalists against Ireland, thus strengthening their domination over himself. [...] The Irishman pays him back with interest in his own money. He sees in the English worker both the accomplice and the stupid tool of English rule in Ireland.

'[...] This antagonism is the secret of the English working class’s impotence, despite its organisation. It is the secret of power by the capitalist class."

Marx to Sigfrid Meyer and August Vogt’ (9 April, 1870), MECW vol. 43 (1988), 474-75.


Thus, we see that Marx was in favor of national self-determination in order to advance working class interests, which he rightly regarded as necessary for domestic revolution and international proletarian solidarity. Marx, Engels, and Lenin regarded the question of revolution as fundamentally national in character:

"All previous movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the independent movement of the vast majority in the interests of the vast majority. The proletariat, the lowest stratum of present-day society, cannot lift itself up, cannot raise itself up, without the flinging into the air the whole superstructure of social strata which form the establishment.

'The struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie is at the outset a national one in form
, although not in content. Naturally, the proletariat of each country must finish off its own bourgeoisie."

The Communist Manifesto (1888), 18.


"Since the proletariat must first of all take political control, raise itself up to be the class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is still nationalistic, even if not at all in the bourgeois sense of the term."
TCM (1888), 25.


"The working class could not grow strong, become mature and take shape without ‘constituting itself the nation’, without being ‘national’ (‘though not in the bourgeois sense of the word’)."
V. I. Lenin, ‘Karl Marx: A Brief Biographical Sketch With an Exposition of Marxism’, Collected Works vol. 21, 73.


The above is precisely what left-wing nationalism maintains and propounds. Nationalism "though not in the bourgeois sense of the term" is the entire basis for left-nationalism. Moreover, neither Lenin nor Marx ever conceived a formal theory on nationalism. Both viewed the national question as something of instrumental importance to the international class struggle (which we do as well), but they did not conceptualize a coherent theoretical framework on national policy. What is more, they treated the national question almost exclusively in relation to the national state, because their greater concern for the vanquishing of global capitalism led them to (quite correctly) assess the significance of international struggle on the strength of the nation states that are to collaborate in the establishment of international socialism. This latter position applies especially to Lenin, who examined the national question much more thoroughly than Marx.

They believed capitalism to be a homogenizing force that, through its increasing integration of commerce (i.e., globalization), eroded the distinctions of nation states, thus "in place of the old local and national self-sufficiency and isolation we have a universal commerce, a universal dependence of nations on one another." Economic interdependence (and by extension, political concentration) was viewed as progressive by both due to serving as a necessary process in the development of world socialism. Left-nationalists do not necessarily oppose this. The real controversy between us and cosmopolitan dogmatists lies in the hypothesized nature of post-revolutionary international relations.

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Karl Marx



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Re: Vladimir Lenin - Socialism and the Self-Determination of Nations

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