Questions you've probably heard a million times

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Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by DSN on Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:13 pm

Apologies in advance if these are daily questions you receive on this forum, but I'm curious. I do understand that opinions differ considerably between individuals who identify as (left wing) nationalists, so I suppose I'm looking for different answers.

1. Being of mixed race myself (Greek Cypriot, English & Irish) I wonder how I would fit into the whole picture. I was raised English with not a lot of Greek or Irish culture around me, except for the odd Greek dinner or maybe some Keo beer and Greek music. My question is, while understanding that you are all (hopefully) against racism, does race actually matter that much if culture is kept in place? I hardly take part in my non-British cultures and, although I certainly do not reject them, I like that I was raised in Britain and that I live here; English is the only tongue I can communicate in so I wouldn't survive too long in Cyprus. I don't plan to have kids, which I think is another big thing, so what happens to people like me? Or is it a problem that I'll be buried in a British grave or something? I won't be reproducing non-Brits at least, eh?

2. To what extent do you exclude other cultures? I understand that America is not composed of one race or culture, having developed its own out of this, so how far do we go with it? Is hip-hop American, for example? It was developed in the US by people not connected to the same culture their great great times however many grandparents, so what culture does it belong to? Do we simply assign small pieces of empty land or even whole (culturally and racially) mixed nations to allow such things to grow in?

3. If I were living in post-revolution nationalist Germany, for example, would a Chinese takeaway be out of the question? Would I have to book a holiday to China every time I wanted some egg fried rice?

I don't mean to sound too "z0mg u r a nazi" about this whole thing, so hopefully I haven't worded myself badly anywhere.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by Red Aegis on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:32 pm

DSN wrote:1. Being of mixed race myself (Greek Cypriot, English & Irish) I wonder how I would fit into the whole picture. I was raised English with not a lot of Greek or Irish culture around me, except for the odd Greek dinner or maybe some Keo beer and Greek music. My question is, while understanding that you are all (hopefully) against racism, does race actually matter that much if culture is kept in place? I hardly take part in my non-British cultures and, although I certainly do not reject them, I like that I was raised in Britain and that I live here; English is the only tongue I can communicate in so I wouldn't survive too long in Cyprus. I don't plan to have kids, which I think is another big thing, so what happens to people like me? Or is it a problem that I'll be buried in a British grave or something? I won't be reproducing non-Brits at least, eh?

I would say that the culture is what matters, not race.

2. To what extent do you exclude other cultures? I understand that America is not composed of one race or culture, having developed its own out of this, so how far do we go with it? Is hip-hop American, for example? It was developed in the US by people not connected to the same culture their great great times however many grandparents, so what culture does it belong to? Do we simply assign small pieces of empty land or even whole (culturally and racially) mixed nations to allow such things to grow in?

I would tolerate other cultures as long as they wouldn't try to assert special privileges. I think that democracy should determine policy without a minority dictating what others should do.

3. If I were living in post-revolution nationalist Germany, for example, would a Chinese takeaway be out of the question? Would I have to book a holiday to China every time I wanted some egg fried rice?


Haha, funny joke. I think that I answered this.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by GF on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:35 pm

Well, we all have differing views, but I'll speak for myself anyway.

DSN wrote:Apologies in advance if these are daily questions you receive on this forum, but I'm curious. I do understand that opinions differ considerably between individuals who identify as (left wing) nationalists, so I suppose I'm looking for different answers.

1. Being of mixed race myself (Greek Cypriot, English & Irish) I wonder how I would fit into the whole picture. I was raised English with not a lot of Greek or Irish culture around me, except for the odd Greek dinner or maybe some Keo beer and Greek music. My question is, while understanding that you are all (hopefully) against racism, does race actually matter that much if culture is kept in place? I hardly take part in my non-British cultures and, although I certainly do not reject them, I like that I was raised in Britain and that I live here; English is the only tongue I can communicate in so I wouldn't survive too long in Cyprus. I don't plan to have kids, which I think is another big thing, so what happens to people like me? Or is it a problem that I'll be buried in a British grave or something? I won't be reproducing non-Brits at least, eh?

I don't think it's important whether you're mixed or not. I don't think anyone here would want to kick you out of England or anything like that because you have Greek ancestry anyway.

[quote2. To what extent do you exclude other cultures? I understand that America is not composed of one race or culture, having developed its own out of this, so how far do we go with it? Is hip-hop American, for example? It was developed in the US by people not connected to the same culture their great great times however many grandparents, so what culture does it belong to? Do we simply assign small pieces of empty land or even whole (culturally and racially) mixed nations to allow such things to grow in?[/quote]

I wouldn't want the government to be trying to exclude other cultures from your life. If you want to listen to African music or play a digeridoo or whatever, I don't think anyone here'll want to make a law against that.

3. If I were living in post-revolution nationalist Germany, for example, would a Chinese takeaway be out of the question? Would I have to book a holiday to China every time I wanted some egg fried rice?

Once again, I don't think the government would restrict you from getting involved in foreign cultures. In my opinion, (not sure about what others think), the only real "enforced" nationalism would be that each nation would have self-determination. The main point at which I disagree with other leftists, is that I don't think nations ought to be forced to merge, other than that, I don't seek to really enforce any nationalism. That's not to say I'd discourage nationalism either, but essentially, I think questions of nationalism ought to be left to the people to decide.

Btw, do they really call it takeaway in England? Because here we call it takeout.

I don't mean to sound too "z0mg u r a nazi" about this whole thing, so hopefully I haven't worded myself badly anywhere.

No, you've worded yourself fine.

And welcome btw.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by GF on Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:36 pm

Yeah, I agree with Red.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by DSN on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:45 pm

Red Aegis wrote:Haha, funny joke. I think that I answered this.

jocolor I'm hilarious, I know, but I'm unsure of whether that's a yes or no.

Godfaesten wrote:I don't think it's important whether you're mixed or not. I don't think anyone here would want to kick you out of England or anything like that because you have Greek ancestry anyway.

Well I never saw being Greek as a problem if race ever mattered, rather an advantage if anything, but a lot of Cypriots are quite mixed. My dad's family hardly look white with dark skin, coarse hair and middle eastern type noses lol. His dad used to say that we have Arabic in us or something which he didn't like and tries to deny with "that was thousands of years ago".

Btw, do they really call it takeaway in England? Because here we call it takeout.

Yep. I didn't think of that when I posted the message, but I'm sure I've heard Americans use that term before. I suppose we get too used to the idea that we know every piece of American vocabulary from all the TV we watch...

And cheers for the welcome.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by Red Aegis on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:57 pm

No is the answer.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:03 am

DSN wrote:Apologies in advance if these are daily questions you receive on this forum, but I'm curious.

That you have questions regarding left-wing nationalism is entirely understandable, especially considering how little is known about the theory within the contemporary left.

I do understand that opinions differ considerably between individuals who identify as (left wing) nationalists, so I suppose I'm looking for different answers.

You're right in that there is no broad consensus on this forum pertaining to the precise tenets of left-wing nationalism, so the following response obviously represents my perspective only.

Being of mixed race myself (Greek Cypriot, English & Irish)

Not to nitpick, but I wouldn't necessarily consider you "mixed race." All of the nationalities you listed are considered racially Caucasian by the vast majority of modern sociologists and scientific researchers, so a more apt description, in my opinion, would be 'multi-ethnic.' But I understand this is merely a matter of semantics and largely irrelevant to your question.

I was raised English with not a lot of Greek or Irish culture around me, except for the odd Greek dinner or maybe some Keo beer and Greek music. My question is, while understanding that you are all (hopefully) against racism, does race actually matter that much if culture is kept in place?

The specific criteria which democratic countries will choose in a socialist commonwealth to determine what constitutes their respective nationalities will undoubtedly vary, though I predict they will predominantly rest along ethnocultural lines—with the relative emphasis placed on ethnicity or culture, again, varying between national groups. For example, being raised in England clearly explains your identifying with British culture, and in all likelihood a socialist United Kingdom (to the extent it remains "united" following the revolution) wouldn't establish a citizenship criteria which would require your removal due to your multi-ethnic heritage, or what have you. That you were born and raised in Britain and identify yourself as 'British,' I suspect, will be more than enough to satisfy the majority of your compatriots. In short, national identity is both a self-identified affinity and collective acknowledgement.

To what extent do you exclude other cultures? I understand that America is not composed of one race or culture, having developed its own out of this, so how far do we go with it? Is hip-hop American, for example? It was developed in the US by people not connected to the same culture their great great times however many grandparents, so what culture does it belong to? Do we simply assign small pieces of empty land or even whole (culturally and racially) mixed nations to allow such things to grow in?

It's really not a matter of what we believe or don't believe in. Left-wing nationalism (or national communism, as some refer to it) is basically just a theory regarding how the proletariat might organize domestic and international relations following the revolution. The popular notion that people will suddenly cease identifying with their nationality upon the implementation of a socialist mode of production is, in my opinion, absurd. Thus, it is my view that national boundaries will be supported and enforced by the people regardless of the manner by which the economic base of society is organized.

As for your question, the extent to which the people will exclude cultures other than their own is completely unknown—though I would venture to guess that it's highly unlikely that nations will democratically demand absolute cultural purity. Many societies have grown accustomed to experiencing different cultures and peoples on a regular basis, and some rather enjoy it. It is only when a particular culture or people appears to be displacing another that conflict tends to emerge.

If I were living in post-revolution nationalist Germany, for example, would a Chinese takeaway be out of the question? Would I have to book a holiday to China every time I wanted some egg fried rice?

I doubt it.

I don't mean to sound too "z0mg u r a nazi" about this whole thing, so hopefully I haven't worded myself badly anywhere.

Not at all. Again, your questions aren't unreasonable.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:01 am

DSN wrote:Apologies in advance if these are daily questions you receive on this forum, but I'm curious. I do understand that opinions differ considerably between individuals who identify as (left wing) nationalists, so I suppose I'm looking for different answers.

1. Being of mixed race myself (Greek Cypriot, English & Irish) I wonder how I would fit into the whole picture. I was raised English with not a lot of Greek or Irish culture around me, except for the odd Greek dinner or maybe some Keo beer and Greek music. My question is, while understanding that you are all (hopefully) against racism, does race actually matter that much if culture is kept in place? I hardly take part in my non-British cultures and, although I certainly do not reject them, I like that I was raised in Britain and that I live here; English is the only tongue I can communicate in so I wouldn't survive too long in Cyprus. I don't plan to have kids, which I think is another big thing, so what happens to people like me? Or is it a problem that I'll be buried in a British grave or something? I won't be reproducing non-Brits at least, eh?

These sorts of questions/concerns are rather irrelevant insofar as my interpretation of left-wing nationalism is concerned. I believe that any efforts to restructure a given society's ethnocultural composition in a manner that undermines the consent of the affected population are indecent and betray fundamental socialist principles.

The manner in which left-wing nationalism would be introduced to a given population would be to institutionalize a system that draws heavily upon what Lenin referred to as the "free political secession of nations". In practice, this would mean that individuals who happen identify with a specific nationality to the extent that they would seek to withdraw in some from from the state, in order to attain some form of national autonomy, would be free to do so. Such autonomous nations would coexist alongside states that maintain constitutions based upon current and future pluralistic compositions. In both instances human rights would be upheld and the foundation for international proletarian solidarity would be safeguarded.

2. To what extent do you exclude other cultures? I understand that America is not composed of one race or culture, having developed its own out of this, so how far do we go with it? Is hip-hop American, for example? It was developed in the US by people not connected to the same culture their great great times however many grandparents, so what culture does it belong to? Do we simply assign small pieces of empty land or even whole (culturally and racially) mixed nations to allow such things to grow in?

Again, the question will reduce itself to how individuals choose to identify themselves and whether or not such an identity is enough to compel said individuals to withdraw from society (in order to share some degree of autonomy with others who happen share that identity with them). The manner in which such autonomy will materialize will clearly be contingent upon such things as how much of the population will choose the path of national political secession, etc. At this point it's practically impossible to anticipate how many people will decide to exercise such prerogatives; therefore I am not comfortable drawing any conclusions that entail the partitioning of territories or anything of the sort.

With respect to the question of cultural and subcultural evolution within nations, it would no doubt be foolish to assume that such a process would cease in an autonomous nation founded upon left-wing nationalist principles. The extent to which such cultural transformations would affect the national-identity of the associated communities is anyone's guess. I personally doubt it would very much.

3. If I were living in post-revolution nationalist Germany, for example, would a Chinese takeaway be out of the question? Would I have to book a holiday to China every time I wanted some egg fried rice?

I sincerely doubt that an autonomous nation, formed on the basis of free national political secession, would materialize in such a way as to establish some redundant form of cultural homogeneity. The collective self-identity of a modern, post-capitalist society will surely reflect a vast range of cultural characteristics that derive from its preceding form. Given the fact that many such cultural characteristics are based upon the material conditions of late capitalism, I do not find it probable that any autonomous nation will feature complete ethnocultural uniformity or any such thing. It would therefore be far less likely for a future Western nation (based on the principles of left-wing nationalism) to lack Chinese takeaways than to have them.

I don't mean to sound too "z0mg u r a nazi" about this whole thing, so hopefully I haven't worded myself badly anywhere.

The differences between left-wing nationalism and Nazism (as well as all other manner of reactionary nationalism) couldn't be more clear. It doesn't exactly require an appreciation for nuance to understand this. Those who dare accuse left-nationalism of bearing anything in common with anything approaching Nazism either lack the will or capacity to understand the first thing concerning either.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by DSN on Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:05 am

I see that even upon the realisation of left-wing nationalism not being what most perceive it to be, I have misunderstood it slightly. It's strange there isn't more controversy in the left surrounding popular figures' (such as Lenin's) approaches to nationalism in the sense of welcoming the 'nationalist' label. There seems to be a serious fear of anything to do with culture in the left; some even appear to have a hidden desire to destroy individual cultures by forcing them on to each other. Then there is the obvious fear of national liberation movements amongst some...

Another quick question: When you apply the label of 'revolutionary syndicalist' to yourselves, is this synonymous with anarcho-communism/syndicalism? I've read that the origin of these two terms came from what was formerly known as revolutionary syndicalism, used as a joke name by Marxists. Then there is the national liberation idea which many internationalist anarchists do support.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:29 pm

DSN wrote:It's strange there isn't more controversy in the left surrounding popular figures' (such as Lenin's) approaches to nationalism in the sense of welcoming the 'nationalist' label.

I believe the reason for this is because most contemporary leftists are generally ignorant of Lenin's actual views on the self-determination of nations. For example, the few times I've read individuals on other websites raising questions regarding Lenin's views on self-determination, the response many self-identified "Marxist-Leninists" tend to give is that Lenin upheld the principle solely for "oppressed nationalities," which is incorrect.

There seems to be a serious fear of anything to do with culture in the left; some even appear to have a hidden desire to destroy individual cultures by forcing them on to each other. Then there is the obvious fear of national liberation movements amongst some...

The contemporary Left's aversion to seriously discussing matters of culture and nationality is a critical matter, and one of the main reasons it has failed to make political progress in the last several decades (at least within the global north), in my opinion. Some would trace this phenomenon back to the First World War and the emergence of "social patriotism"—wherein the leaders of various European socialist parties supported their national governments' declaration of war, despite the fact that the European proletariat had absolutely nothing to gain from their participation in said war. But socialist theoreticians, activists, and politicians continued to exchange their views on the national question following the First World War, so the problem must have occurred after the social patriotism fiasco.

I think you're absolutely correct in believing that some within the Left today (primarily Luxembourgists, Trotskyists, and cosmopolitan anarchists) would prefer for individual cultures to be forcefully merged together. And even if they don't necessarily believe in a coercive route, they're naïve enough to believe that nations and national identity will "wither away" upon the materialization of world socialism.

As for national liberation struggles, some concerns are justifiable. For instance, the class collaborationist strategy favored by certain national liberation movements—of the proletariat, peasantry, and national bourgeoisie uniting against the imperial exploiter—will merely result in the working class being exploited by its indigenous ruling class. While this state of affairs may be preferable to foreign exploitation, it doesn't bring a people closer to socialism and thus genuine liberation.

Another quick question: When you apply the label of 'revolutionary syndicalist' to yourselves, is this synonymous with anarcho-communism/syndicalism?

Anarcho-syndicalism did arise from the revolutionary syndicalist movement, but the latter differs slightly from the former. The most important distinction between the two tendencies is that, unlike the anarchists, revolutionary syndicalists failed to take a definitive position on the question of the state.

Revolutionary syndicalism basically emerged out of the exasperation certain members of European socialist parties had with the increasingly reformist nature of socialist politics. They believed that only revolutionary methods, such as general strikes, industrial sabotage, and factory occupations were capable of overthrowing the dictatorship of capital. These revolutionary socialists thus left the reformist parties which they had been members of and united with the more radical trade union organizations in their respective nations, thereupon establishing revolutionary syndicalism.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by DSN on Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:03 pm

Celtiberian wrote:Anarcho-syndicalism did arise from the revolutionary syndicalist movement, but the latter differs slightly from the former. The most important distinction between the two tendencies is that, unlike the anarchists, revolutionary syndicalists failed to take a definitive position on the question of the state.

Revolutionary syndicalism basically emerged out of the exasperation certain members of European socialist parties had with the increasingly reformist nature of socialist politics. They believed that only revolutionary methods, such as general strikes, industrial sabotage, and factory occupations were capable of overthrowing the dictatorship of capital. These revolutionary socialists thus left the reformist parties which they had been members of and united with the more radical trade union organizations in their respective nations, thereupon establishing revolutionary syndicalism.

Ah, I see. From what I've gathered so far on this website, not everyone is a socialist in the generally accepted leftist sense of the word (i.e. someone aiming for a communist society and not one of the "lesser" forms of socialism); am I correct in thinking this?

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:18 pm

DSN wrote:Ah, I see. From what I've gathered so far on this website, not everyone is a socialist in the generally accepted leftist sense of the word (i.e. someone aiming for a communist society and not one of the "lesser" forms of socialism); am I correct in thinking this?

A few members believe that communism (i.e., production according to one's abilities and consumption on the basis of need) is not a feasible mode of production, but many others (myself included) feel that it will materialize at some point in the future. It really depends on how you define "communism," I suppose. Virtually everyone on the forum advocates a classless society wherein the exploitation of man by man has been abolished, we just differ with respect to the finer details regarding how a socialist economy should be organized and, again, whether or not the trajectory of history indicates communism's eventual ascendancy.

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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."
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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by DSN on Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:27 pm

Celtiberian wrote:A few members believe that communism (i.e., production according to one's abilities and consumption on the basis of need) is not a feasible mode of production, but many others (myself included) feel that it will materialize at some point in the future. It really depends on how you define "communism," I suppose. Virtually everyone on the forum advocates a classless society wherein the exploitation of man by man has been abolished, we just differ with respect to the finer details regarding how a socialist economy should be organized and, again, whether or not the trajectory of history indicates communism's eventual ascendancy.

That's good, I'd like to have a forum with a wider range of views as well as one focused purely on communism. Being a RevLefter I have grown a distaste towards the obsession with tendencies and who has the most impressive name, but I am curious as to what group of people I would identify with most on here due to the greater diversity. I suppose I should start my learning with National Bolshevism or something of the sort, despite its negative reputation.

Thanks for the answers though, people seem to be much more to the point on this forum which I like.

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Re: Questions you've probably heard a million times

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:49 pm

DSN wrote:Being a RevLefter I have grown a distaste towards the obsession with tendencies and who has the most impressive name

You and many other people. The Left's seemingly endless sectarianism is absolutely ridiculous and a major hindrance to progress.

I suppose I should start my learning with National Bolshevism or something of the sort, despite its negative reputation.

In some ways, its negative reputation is completely understandable. We have a rather lengthy thread on the subject of National Bolshevism, if you're interested in reading some of our views on the ideology.

Thanks for the answers though

No problem at all, comrade.

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—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: Questions you've probably heard a million times

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