Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

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Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:31 pm

From what I currently gather there are massive differences between socialist nationalism and socialism in one country. The goal of socialism in one country seems to be the creation of a 'worker's state', at least at first. Then, as what was attempted in the USSR, the vanguard party would take power of this apparatus in the interests of the proletariat. The vanguard would then institute state capitalism by nationalizing all the industries and businesses. Once that is accomplished the party would then instruct the workers in the industries to continue their work after the state dismantles itself in the interests of socialism. At that point trade with the outside world would be handled automatically by the system that was set up by the vanguard. (I'm not going to debunk this approach right now as it has little bearing on this thread)

This would seem to me to be in opposition to what I view as left-wing socialist nationalism. The first difference being that the state would be something avoided. Being nationalistic is not limited to supporting a state, though that would be argued by the proponents of Socialism in One Country. The force of the revolution would also not be limited to the walls of national boundaries either. The proletariat in the neighboring nations would be assisted by those of the more successful revolutionary areas. This I do not think is espoused as a priority for M-L advocates for socialism in one country.

I could elaborate my position further if anyone has any questions that they think would help me expand or deepen my views.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by GF on Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:15 pm

Red Aegis wrote:From what I currently gather there are massive differences between socialist nationalism and socialism in one country. The goal of socialism in one country seems to be the creation of a 'worker's state', at least at first. Then, as what was attempted in the USSR, the vanguard party would take power of this apparatus in the interests of the proletariat. The vanguard would then institute state capitalism by nationalizing all the industries and businesses. Once that is accomplished the party would then instruct the workers in the industries to continue their work after the state dismantles itself in the interests of socialism. At that point trade with the outside world would be handled automatically by the system that was set up by the vanguard. (I'm not going to debunk this approach right now as it has little bearing on this thread)

Not quite. There is nothing about Socialism in One Country that requires the establishment of what you describe as a "state capitalist" system.

This would seem to me to be in opposition to what I view as left-wing socialist nationalism. The first difference being that the state would be something avoided. Being nationalistic is not limited to supporting a state, though that would be argued by the proponents of Socialism in One Country.

I do not see why that would be argued by proponents of Socialism in One Country. The idea says nothing about what nationalism would be limited to, or anything about nationalism at all for that matter.

The force of the revolution would also not be limited to the walls of national boundaries either. The proletariat in the neighboring nations would be assisted by those of the more successful revolutionary areas. This I do not think is espoused as a priority for M-L advocates for socialism in one country.

In fact it is.

"After consolidating its power and leading the peasantry in its wake the proletariat of the victorious country can and must build a socialist society. But does this mean that it will thereby achieve the complete and final victory of socialism, i.e., does it mean that with the forces of only one country it can finally consolidate socialism and fully guarantee that country against intervention and, consequently, also against restoration? No, it does not. For this the victory of the revolution in at least several countries is needed. Therefore, the development and support of the revolution in other countries is an essential task of the victorious revolution. Therefore, the revolution which has been victorious in one country must regard itself not as a self-sufficient entity, but as an aid, as a means for hastening the victory of the proletariat in other countries." - Stalin - Foundations of Leninism.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:56 am

Red Aegis wrote:From what I currently gather there are massive differences between socialist nationalism and socialism in one country.

They are certainly distinct theories, though there is a slight overlap between the two on certain issues. For example, I do believe that socialism can technically be developed within the confines of a single nation. Whether or not such an entity could be maintained for an appreciable amount of time is another matter.

The goal of socialism in one country seems to be the creation of a 'worker's state', at least at first. Then, as what was attempted in the USSR, the vanguard party would take power of this apparatus in the interests of the proletariat. The vanguard would then institute state capitalism by nationalizing all the industries and businesses. Once that is accomplished the party would then instruct the workers in the industries to continue their work after the state dismantles itself in the interests of socialism. At that point trade with the outside world would be handled automatically by the system that was set up by the vanguard.

The history of the theory of Socialism in One Country is more complex than many individuals on the contemporary Left seem to believe. It is usually denounced as "Stalinist revisionism" by Trotskyists and Luxembourgists (to say nothing of anarchists). However, unlike the cosmopolitan elements who were under the illusion that the only way socialism could be successfully constructed and maintained would be for the entire world to merge into a singular socialist entity, most early Marxists espoused no such absurdity. In fact, one of the earliest works on the theory dates as far back as 1880, with the publication of Georg von Vollmar's The Isolated Socialist State. Lenin had initially argued that "the complete victory of socialist revolution is unthinkable in one country. . . . It requires the most active cooperation of at least several advanced countries" [Tucker, Robert. Stalin as Revolutionary: 1879-1929, p. 310 (emphasis added)]. Thus we see that Lenin (again, like most early Marxists) believed that a few advanced socialist nations cooperating with one another would be quite sufficient for socialism to be sustained within them. However, unbeknownst to many self-identified Leninists today, Lenin soon reformulated that position and suggested that even those conditions needn't be met for socialism to exist in a single nation. As Erik van Ree explains,

"As appears from 'On Co-operation' of January 1923, the optimism of the leader was based on a redefinition of the nature of co-operative property. He noted that, if they were founded on land and used means of production that belonged to the proletarian state, peasant co-operatives 'do not distinguish themselves from socialist enterprises.' Therefore the growth of the peasant co-operative was 'identical' to the growth of socialism. With state power in the hands of the proletariat, a 'complete socialist society' could be constructed on the basis of co-operatives. Lenin admitted that this notion reflected a 'fundamental change of our whole point of view regarding socialism.' Thus in early 1923 he redefined peasant co-operatives as full socialist enterprises. Thereby, shortly before his death, Lenin created the basis of a new doctrine on the possibility of 'complete socialism' in isolated Soviet Russia. Without spelling it out, he reached the conclusions that 'socialism in one country,' the notion he had accepted in general terms even before the revolution, was applicable to backward Russia too."
van Ree, Erik. The Political Thought of Joseph Stalin: A Study in Twentieth-Century Revolutionary Patriotism, p. 48.

It is my view that for socialism to be maintained anywhere on the periphery of the geopolitical order, at least one of the current global superpowers (i.e., the United States, China, Russia, or Western Europe) would have to be socialist and willing to lend international assistance to emerging socialist nations. To truly secure socialism, however, all (or most) of the aforementioned geopolitical superpowers would have to become socialist.

This would seem to me to be in opposition to what I view as left-wing socialist nationalism. The first difference being that the state would be something avoided. Being nationalistic is not limited to supporting a state, though that would be argued by the proponents of Socialism in One Country. The force of the revolution would also not be limited to the walls of national boundaries either. The proletariat in the neighboring nations would be assisted by those of the more successful revolutionary areas. This I do not think is espoused as a priority for M-L advocates for socialism in one country.

Left-wing nationalism, at least as I conceive of it, does indeed reject many of the Leninist orthodoxies you've listed. Nevertheless, one could theoretically be a Leninist whilst also advocating left-wing nationalism. Godfaesten is correct in that they aren't mutually exclusive concepts.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:04 pm

Socialism in one country was a political thesis made by Bukharin and adopted as an official state policy by Stalin in the 20's. However, this measure was meant to be temporary in order to avoid the collapse of the USSR and not permanent. We need to keep in mind that this policy was undertaken during the period post-civil war when the USSR was in no political and economic conditions to support revolutions abroad and after the failure of the socialist revolution in Germany. The soviet economy was on the verge of collapse. Stalin was always an internationalist and he did support revolutions outside USSR. Once he got the conditions to do it he did it, as he did in the period post-World War II.

The left-nationalists advocate this measure permanently and not as a temporary one like Stalin did. Here is the main difference between them.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:37 am

Comrade_Joe wrote:Socialism in one country was a political thesis made by Bukharin and adopted as an official state policy by Stalin in the 20's. However, this measure was meant to be temporary in order to avoid the collapse of the USSR and not permanent.

Bukharin may have contributed to the discussion, but the theory of Socialism in One Country long predated his thesis on the subject. The Bolshevik leaders, including Lenin, grappled with the question as to whether or not socialism could even technically be developed in a single nation for a very long time, and they each answered it differently. As I described in my previous post, Lenin had initially been of the opinion that several advanced nations would have to be controlled by revolutionary parties and cooperating with one another in order for socialism to be developed within them. However, he later revised that position and stated that socialism could indeed be developed in isolation.

What Socialism in One Country did was enable Stalin to have a sound theoretical justification for his construction of state socialism in the Soviet Union.

The left-nationalists advocate this measure permanently and not as a temporary one like Stalin did. Here is the main difference between them.

You've erected a false dichotomy. Left-wing nationalism is in no way incompatible with socialist internationalism.

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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: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:02 pm

Celtiberian wrote:Bukharin may have contributed to the discussion, but the theory of Socialism in One Country long predated his thesis on the subject. The Bolshevik leaders, including Lenin, grappled with the question as to whether or not socialism could even technically be developed in a single nation for a very long time, and they each answered it differently. As I described in my previous post, Lenin had initially been of the opinion that several advanced nations would have to be controlled by revolutionary parties and cooperating with one another in order for socialism to be developed within them. However, he later revised that position and stated that socialism could indeed be developed in isolation.

What Socialism in One Country did was enable Stalin to have a sound theoretical justification for his construction of state socialism in the Soviet Union.

Why Stalin needed "Socialism in One Country" to justify the construction of state socialism? He used it to justify USSR's external policy and not internal. There was a conflict between two theories in CPSU in the middle 20's: Socialism in One Country (defended by Stalin) vs "Permanent Revolution (defended by Trotsky) I already explained why Stalin defended the former and its temporary nature. Trotsky wanted to ignore USSR's difficulties in that period and continuing to export revolution abroad. I don´t know what State Socialism has to do with it.

You've erected a false dichotomy. Left-wing nationalism is in no way incompatible with socialist internationalism.

I did? So the left-wing nationalism is favorable to the destruction of the nations-states? Because socialist internationalism is.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:17 pm

Comrade_Joe wrote:I did? So the left-wing nationalism is favorable to the destruction of the nations-states? Because socialist internationalism is.

Absolute, unadulterated nonsense. Socialist internationalism is a mechanism to apply to solidifying bonds between the working class, in order to meet mutually beneficial objectives. It's not some arbitrary ethic created by a bunch of sentimentalists.

The abolition of nations is something that certain theoreticians postulate(d) will occur at some point following the abolition of capitalism itself. However, even Lenin understood that simply achieving international socialism would not lead to such an end and therefore argued for the construction of a system for the free political secession of nations, on the grounds of democratic prerogative.

Left-nationalists share Lenin's critique of the "new Economists" that continue to populate most of the international left and apply the very same democratic principle of national self-determination to a [post-capitalist] international framework. Whether or not international socialism will eventually establish the preconditions necessary to realize the voluntary dissolution of nations is a matter of conjecture at this point.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:50 pm

Admin wrote:Absolute, unadulterated nonsense. Socialist internationalism is a mechanism to apply to solidifying bonds between the working class, in order to meet mutually beneficial objectives. It's not some arbitrary ethic created by a bunch of sentimentalists.

The abolition of nations is something that certain theoreticians postulate(d) will occur at some point following the abolition of capitalism itself. However, even Lenin understood that simply achieving international socialism would not lead to such an end and therefore argued for the construction of a system for the free political secession of nations, on the grounds of democratic prerogative.

Left-nationalists share Lenin's critique of the "new Economists" that continue to populate most of the international left and apply the very same democratic principle of national self-determination to a [post-capitalist] international framework. Whether or not international socialism will eventually establish the preconditions necessary to realize the voluntary dissolution of nations is a matter of conjecture at this point.

I am talking about ultimate goals and not staging goals. Of course Lenin knew that it was impossible to abolish the nations-state in this stage since the conditions were far from being reunited in order to achieve that goal. However, the dissolution of the nations is a marxist ultimate demand and Lenin never rejected it. You cannot ignore this. You are trying to mix up things. The communist society isn't also an immediate goal. This means that the socialists should abandon this goal? No.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:21 pm

Comrade_Joe wrote:I am talking about ultimate goals and not staging goals. Of course Lenin knew that it was impossible to abolish the nations-state in this stage since the conditions were far from being reunited in order to achieve that goal. However, the dissolution of the nations is a marxist ultimate demand and Lenin never rejected it. You cannot ignore this. You are trying to mix up things. The communist society isn't also an immediate goal. This means that the socialists should abandon this goal? No.

I'm not "trying to mix up" anything. I said that there are areas of Lenin's critique of the new Economists and his model of national self-determination that correspond with left-wing nationalism. Whether or not this framework will lead to the eventual dissolution of nations is, as I said, a matter of conjecture. Taking a position on such a matter at this point in time is exercise in futility. Left-wing nationalism, like Lenin's national self-determination, is a model for application today. Whether or not it will be relevant to future populations is for them to decide.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:39 pm

Admin wrote:I'm not "trying to mix up" anything. I said that there are areas of Lenin's critique of the new Economists and his model of national self-determination that correspond with left-wing nationalism. Whether or not this framework will lead to the eventual dissolution of nations is, as I said, a matter of conjecture. Taking a position on such a matter at this point in time is exercise in futility. Left-wing nationalism, like Lenin's national self-determination, is a model for application today. Whether or not it will be relevant to future populations is for them to decide.

Of course that any marxist-leninist defends the right of self-determination, i don't see any divergence there but my point was about long-term goals and not immediate ones. That's what you didn't understand in first place. While the left-wing nationalists see the national aspect as an end in itself, the others sees it as a stage. Understood?

Your confusion about the issue showed that it is not futile. Being clear about our aims is not futility and prevents misunderstandings in the future.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:33 pm

Comrade_Joe wrote:Of course that any marxist-leninist defends the right of self-determination,

Don't make me laugh.

i don't see any divergence there but my point was about long-term goals and not immediate ones. That's what you didn't understand in first place.

I understood you perfectly. I know what Lenin's ostensible objectives were and how controversial the Bolshevik position on the question was throughout much of the international socialist community, regardless of the "long-term goals".

As I said previously, I have no interest in wasting time fantasizing about what specific possibilities an international socialist framework (that accommodates the self-determination of nations) will provide to humanity — at least beyond those which are glaringly obvious (e.g. remunerative justice, economic stability, etc.). However, you are more than welcome to indulge in such frivolity. Just don't sit there and expect everyone to believe that a post-capitalist international system, based upon a foundation of revolutionary socialism, will necessarily lead to whatever arbitrary outcome you optimistically conjure up and justify through the hypotheses and expectations of European writers in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century.

While the left-wing nationalists see the national aspect as an end in itself, the others sees it as a stage. Understood?

I didn't realize I was dealing with an expert on left-wing nationalism. Please share with everyone the exact sources you are using to arrive at your conclusions regarding left-nationalist positions.

Your confusion about the issue showed that it is not futile.

No confusion exists beyond your incapacity to comprehend what I am explaining to you. You may find value in selling an unambiguous vision of future, irrespective of the fact that it is basically impossible to determine exactly where the democratic prerogative of future generations, in a socialist environment, will lead humanity. You can say that national self-determination within such a framework will lead to the eventual (voluntary) dissolution of independent nations and support that vision. Others can argue otherwise and support their respective positions on the question. All you're succeeding in establishing is the fact that you're a committed cosmopolitan. Bravo.

Speaking from the standpoint of a left-wing nationalist, I can tell you that I have no interest in pursuing either line of speculation or political posturing. I support the immediate construction of an international socialist system that accommodates a system of national self-determination. Subsequent generations of workers are free to exercise those rights as they see fit.

Being clear about our aims is not futility and prevents misunderstandings in the future.

Let's say someone hypothesizes that socialism will lead humanity to a future in which monogamous relationships are no longer practiced. Does the mere existence of such a hypothesis require that every socialist establish an official position regarding whether or not he or she supports such an outcome? What bearing does that have on an individual's standing as a socialist or communist?


Last edited by Admin on Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:20 pm

Admin wrote:Don't make me laugh.

When someone starts to argue with this kind of crap "Don't make me laugh" is because is lacking of serious arguments. If you want to have childish discussions go argue with another user. If you want to contradict my statement be more serious than that.

No confusion exists beyond your incapacity to comprehend what I am explaining to you. You may find value in selling an unambiguous vision of future, irrespective of the fact that it is basically impossible to determine exactly where the democratic prerogative of future generations, in a socialist environment, will lead humanity. You can say that national self-determination within such a framework will lead to the eventual (voluntary) dissolution of independent nations and support that vision. Others can argue otherwise and support their respective positions on the question. All you're succeeding in establishing is the fact that you're a committed cosmopolitan. Bravo.

Speaking from the standpoint of a left-wing nationalist, I can tell you that I have no interest in pursuing either line of speculation or political posturing. I support the immediate construction of an international socialist system that accommodates a system of national self-determination. Subsequent generations of workers are free to exercise those rights as they see fit.

I understood you very well. You are the one who didn't have the capacity to understand simple things as the ones i told in my previous posts.

But for you the workers have a nation or not? How do you respond to the international appeal of Marx "The working men have no country"? Better yet, what position you would have taken in a World Conflict between nations without any socialist state involved? Are you gonna be nationalist and defend your country or socialist, defending that the conflict is a capitalist one and adopt the revolutionary defeatism? Would you respect the boundaries of other countries or would you support the overthrown of governments abroad? What is more important to you: the individual's social class or the individual's nation?

Let's say someone hypothesizes that socialism will lead humanity to a future in which monogamous relationships are no longer practiced. Does the mere existence of such a hypothesis require that every socialist establish an official position regarding whether or not he or she supports such an outcome? What bearing does that have on an individual's standing as a socialist or communist?

Your comparison between the aims of the international socialism and the nationalist left-wingers and the monogamous relationships is very absurd. You know that don't you? The importance of one matter is not comparable to the other within the socialist movement. If you knew something about the history of the socialist movement you would know that there was divisions and splits within the movement throughout its history due to misconceptions and misunderstandings between socialist currents of thought.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Isakenaz on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:52 am

Comrade_Joe wrote:
If you knew something about the history of the socialist movement you would know that there was divisions and splits within the movement throughout its history due to misconceptions and misunderstandings between socialist currents of thought.

The wording may not be pretty, but I can't argue with the substance.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:40 am

Comrade_Joe wrote:Why Stalin needed "Socialism in One Country" to justify the construction of state socialism? He used it to justify USSR's external policy and not internal.

Because the internal reality informed the manner by which foreign policy was designed. If socialism could not be developed in an isolated agrarian nation, as many theoreticians argued, then it would have been illogical for the Bolsheviks to attempt to construct a socialist mode of production in Russia. The only rational course of action would have been to foster the development of productive forces through capitalism domestically, and assist in fomenting proletarian revolution in more developed nations. By arguing that socialism could indeed be developed in isolation, Stalin was able to forgo both utilizing capitalism to industrialize the nation and waiting for revolutions to occur in Western Europe.

I don´t know what State Socialism has to do with it.

See above.

I did? So the left-wing nationalism is favorable to the destruction of the nations-states? Because socialist internationalism is.

Your cosmopolitan interpretation of socialist internationalism favors the "destruction of nations". If you're interested in understanding why the positions aren't actually mutually exclusive, refer to John Spargo's statement on the matter.

However, the dissolution of the nations is a marxist ultimate demand and Lenin never rejected it.

There exists no such Marxist "demand." The scientific socialist method, as developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, intentionally abstains from considering matters of ethical principle in its analysis (with the possible exception of exploitation).

Marx and Engels did not examine the national question sufficiently. To the extent they wrote about the issue at all, they merely postulated that communist social relations would lead to the eventual dissolution of national distinctions. They provided no empirical data or logical reasons as to why we should assume such will occur, and, despite considering myself a Marxist, I reject their baseless assertion. However, to their credit, they never claimed that the abolition of nations was a goal to be sought by revolutionaries, or any such nonsense; they simply conjectured that it might occur at some point in the future.

While the left-wing nationalists see the national aspect as an end in itself, the others sees it as a stage. Understood?

Left-wing nationalists don't view the nation as something which should be maintained through dictatorial state mandate. We believe that national sentiments emerge endogenously and, consequently, the people themselves will retain national boundaries regardless of the manner by which the economic substructure of society is organized.

But for you the workers have a nation or not? How do you respond to the international appeal of Marx "The working men have no country"?

To quote Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), "Workers are the nation, though the nation is not yet for the working class." The reason Karl Marx argued that workingmen possess no country is because, at the time he wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848), the proletariat had neither suffrage nor property. For all intents and purposes, the working class were a people without a country. To this very day, the proletariat reside within nations where the government acts as the "executive committee of the ruling class," and that class consists exclusively of the bourgeoisie. Further into The Communist Manifesto, however, Marx also claims that "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." Thus, we find he conceded that the proletariat would come into possession of a country which reflected their interests. Marx may have been under the misconception that such socialist nations would eventually be transcended as well, but that's a separate issue.

Better yet, what position you would have taken in a World Conflict between nations without any socialist state involved? Are you gonna be nationalist and defend your country or socialist, defending that the conflict is a capitalist one and adopt the revolutionary defeatism?

Rolling Eyes Left-wing nationalists are not reactionary chauvinists. Of course we oppose skirmishes between bourgeois states, just as we oppose the acts of imperialism which our nations engage in.

Would you respect the boundaries of other countries or would you support the overthrown of governments abroad?

Being that we're socialist internationalists, we would obviously support the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism abroad—for we're intelligent enough to realize that as long as capitalism exists internationally, socialism cannot be fully secured domestically.

If you knew something about the history of the socialist movement you would know that there was divisions and splits within the movement throughout its history due to misconceptions and misunderstandings between socialist currents of thought.

And dogmatists, like yourself, only exacerbate the Left's debilitating sectarianism.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:45 am

Comrade_Joe wrote:When someone starts to argue with this kind of crap "Don't make me laugh" is because is lacking of serious arguments.

Your assertion — that any Marxist-Leninist would support the right of national self-determination — is not a serious argument; it's baseless rhetoric.

If you want to have childish discussions go argue with another user.


If you want to continue posting on this forum, I suggest you start adhering to our guidelines.

If you want to contradict my statement be more serious than that.

As an individual making a specific argument, it's incumbent upon you to substantiate it with actual evidence. Anything short of that casts you in the light of yet another dogmatic windbag.

I understood you very well. You are the one who didn't have the capacity to understand simple things as the ones i told in my previous posts.

I have addressed every point you have bothered to make within the proper context. The record is absolutely clear on that.

But for you the workers have a nation or not?

You are taking Marx's point entirely out of context. If left-nationalism were just another manifestation of reactionary chauvinism, such a criticism would be appropriate. Left-wing nationalism, however, is not about preserving the status quo; it's about affording the right of national self-determination to the international community, following the universal institutionalization of socialism.

Why don't you bother reading through some of the many threads we have on this very subject?

How do you respond to the international appeal of Marx "The working men have no country"?

Celtiberian already provided the appropriate context for that statement.

Better yet, what position you would have taken in a World Conflict between nations without any socialist state involved? Are you gonna be nationalist and defend your country or socialist, defending that the conflict is a capitalist one and adopt the revolutionary defeatism? Would you respect the boundaries of other countries or would you support the overthrown of governments abroad?

That is a particularly pitiful assortment of rhetorical questions. No left-nationalist that I am aware of supports conflicts between bourgeois states.

What is more important to you: the individual's social class or the individual's nation?

The manner in which you are defining the 'nation' differs considerably from the left-nationalist interpretation thereof. Therefore, within the limited parameters you have arbitrarily chosen to apply, I would say that social class is clearly far more important. Once bourgeois stratification has been transcended, however, there will no longer exist an inherent conflict between one's class identity and national identity. Nationality will simply constitute one of many possible ways in which members of the working class can (and likely will) continue to distinguish themselves and there is no credible way to prove that maintaining or developing such identities, within the context of a socialist system that affords people the right of national self-determination, will have a deleterious effect upon that class.

Your comparison between the aims of the international socialism and the nationalist left-wingers and the monogamous relationships is very absurd. You know that don't you?

First of all, I was not articulating any inherent incompatibility between the objectives of left-nationalism and international socialism, as none exist. The notion that a commitment to the abolition of nations is somehow requisite amongst socialist internationalists is arbitrary nonsense that cosmopolitans opportunistically apply in order to advance their superfluous agenda under the guise of international working class solidarity. That commitment, I contend, has alienated vast portions of the working class from revolutionary socialism and consequently aided reactionary enterprises.

The importance of one matter is not comparable to the other within the socialist movement.

Please explain to everyone why embracing cosmopolitanism is critically important to the socialist movement.

If you knew something about the history of the socialist movement you would know that there was divisions and splits within the movement throughout its history due to misconceptions and misunderstandings between socialist currents of thought.

Such as your fundamental misconception of left-nationalism.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:31 pm

Celtiberian wrote:Because the internal reality informed the manner by which foreign policy was designed. If socialism could not be developed in an isolated agrarian nation, as many theoreticians argued, then it would have been illogical for the Bolsheviks to attempt to construct a socialist mode of production in Russia. The only rational course of action would have been to foster the development of productive forces through capitalism domestically, and assist in fomenting proletarian revolution in more developed nations. By arguing that socialism could indeed be developed in isolation, Stalin was able to forgo both utilizing capitalism to industrialize the nation and waiting for revolutions to occur in Western Europe.

Once again, "Socialism in One Country" was designed to justify the USSR option to stop "exporting" the revolution abroad during some temporary period, not the construction of a socialist state. The state socialism would have been constructed with or without "Socialism in One Country". This is my main point in this discussion. The matter is that Stalin abandoned "Socialism in One Country" after the World War when he started to support revolutions outside USSR, like the Chinese for instance. Even before the WW he supported the republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

There exists no such Marxist "demand." The scientific socialist method, as developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, intentionally abstains from considering matters of ethical principle in its analysis (with the possible exception of exploitation).

I said demand as a goal to be achieved just like the end of exploitation. I don't see the difference.

Marx and Engels did not examine the national question sufficiently. To the extent they wrote about the issue at all, they merely postulated that communist social relations would lead to the eventual dissolution of national distinctions. They provided no empirical data or logical reasons as to why we should assume such will occur, and, despite considering myself a Marxist, I reject their baseless assertion. However, to their credit, they never claimed that the abolition of nations was a goal to be sought by revolutionaries, or any such nonsense; they simply conjectured that it might occur at some point in the future.

"would lead to the eventual dissolution of national distinctions" what is this but dissolution of nations? Rolling Eyes

To quote Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), "Workers are the nation, though the nation is not yet for the working class." The reason Karl Marx argued that workingmen possess no country is because, at the time he wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848), the proletariat had neither suffrage nor property. For all intents and purposes, the working class were a people without a country. To this very day, the proletariat reside within nations where the government acts as the "executive committee of the ruling class," and that class consists exclusively of the bourgeoisie.

Wrong, the reason why Marx said that "working class have no country" is because the bourgeoisie acquired an international dimension and therefore the proletarian also have acquired. Marx words: "National differences and antagonisms between peoples are vanishing gradually from day to day, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world market, to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto". Again, Marx talked about a national struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletarian but only in a primary stage only. Since the bourgeoisie acquired an international dimension the second stage of the class struggle should be at an international stage.

Rolling Eyes Left-wing nationalists are not reactionary chauvinists. Of course we oppose skirmishes between bourgeois states, just as we oppose the acts of imperialism which our nations engage in.

So, what is the difference between left-wing nationalism and ordinary socialism? Why it is a different socialist current?

Being that we're socialist internationalists, we would obviously support the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism abroad—for we're intelligent enough to realize that as long as capitalism exists internationally, socialism cannot be fully secured domestically.

I thought that the nationalists were not internationalists. You see, it's very hard to be nationalist and internationalist at the same time I guess Rolling Eyes . Seems contradictory to say the least.

And dogmatists, like yourself, only exacerbate the Left's debilitating sectarianism.

Since I arrived here I have been called with every sort of names, "cosmopolitan, dogmatic, idealistic". I have not rebound it yet because i consider it a very low argument and proper of someone that is lacking arguments but i can start doing that if this kind of thing continues.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 pm

Admin wrote:Your assertion — that any Marxist-Leninist would support the right of national self-determination — is not a serious argument; it's baseless rhetoric.

You are the one who have been using expressions like "don't make me laugh" and I'm the one with baseless rhetoric?

If you want to continue posting on this forum, I suggest you start adhering to our guidelines.


If you mean by guidelines labeling other users and using low arguments as you have been doing since we began to debate, no thanks. I think you're right, I should reconsider my participation in this forum.

That is a particularly pitiful assortment of rhetorical questions. No left-nationalist that I am aware of supports conflicts between bourgeois states.

Sorry if I have some difficulties in understanding the schizophrenia of your positions. I'm not used to deal with.

The manner in which you are defining the 'nation' differs considerably from the left-nationalist interpretation thereof. Therefore, within the limited parameters you have arbitrarily chosen to apply, I would say that social class is clearly far more important. Once bourgeois stratification has been transcended, however, there will no longer exist an inherent conflict between one's class identity and national identity. Nationality will simply constitute one of many possible ways in which members of the working class can (and likely will) continue to distinguish themselves and there is no credible way to prove that maintaining or developing such identities, within the context of a socialist system that affords people the right of national self-determination, will have a deleterious effect upon that class.

I don't see any difference between you and an ordinary socialist. You are not nationalist. You may invent all you want but a nationalist would never say that the social class is clearly far more important.

First of all, I was not articulating any inherent incompatibility between the objectives of left-nationalism and international socialism, as none exist. The notion that a commitment to the abolition of nations is somehow requisite amongst socialist internationalists is arbitrary nonsense that cosmopolitans opportunistically apply in order to advance their superfluous agenda under the guise of international working class solidarity. That commitment, I contend, has alienated vast portions of the working class from revolutionary socialism and consequently aided reactionary enterprises.

Is not a non-sense but rather an interpretation of the reality of the economic and social relations of today. Non-sense is trying to mix nationalism with internationalism.

Please explain to everyone why embracing cosmopolitanism is critically important to the socialist movement.

To be clear in our aims is critically important in order to avoid future misunderstandings just like I said to you before.

Such as your fundamental misconception of left-nationalism.

Perhaps because all the idea is wrongly designed if it is like you explained to me. I had an good understanding of the left-wing nationalism before your explanation but now that I heard your version I just think that is ridiculous, schizophrenic and very confusing.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Pantheon Rising on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:48 pm

For once I can say I agree with a great deal members of the ECRSF have went over on this thread...

Comrade_Joe, you still have yet to answer how the abolition of nation-States and national identities outright furthers any sort of Socialist objective? Seems like a shit thing to do to workers to me. Post-revolution, tell them that theory says they have no nation, and strip them of their identity. These are the people that are supposed to be representatives of workers?

Do not Marxist-Leninists follow Stalins application of the theory of Marxism? The user here Godfaesten has a quote in his signature "Self-determination ought to be understood as the right of self-determination not of the bourgeoisie but of the toiling masses of a given nation"

If you follow Stalin's theories you really have to be in favor of some form of national self determination. It is also of little use in denying patriotic/nationalist sentiments which arose within the USSR. Stalin frequently called upon Russia's ancestors in war-time speeches and I do not think many Russians would have given up "being Russian".

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:12 pm

Pantheon Rising wrote:For once I can say I agree with a great deal members of the ECRSF have went over on this thread...

Comrade_Joe, you still have yet to answer how the abolition of nation-States and national identities outright furthers any sort of Socialist objective? Seems like a shit thing to do to workers to me. Post-revolution, tell them that theory says they have no nation, and strip them of their identity. These are the people that are supposed to be representatives of workers?

Your knowledge of Marxism seems to be very low. All the revolutionary process is a staging process. You have goals in each stage to achieve, contrary to what other left political currents defend. The anarchism for instance defend the abolition of state immediately while the Marxism defend only in a latter stage when the state is no longer useful. The same happens with the nation-state. Is not an immediate goal but rather a long-term one. Got it??? I never defended that the abolition of nations-states should be materialized rightly after a revolution. That is not even possible to do it.

Do not Marxist-Leninists follow Stalins application of the theory of Marxism? The user here Godfaesten has a quote in his signature "Self-determination ought to be understood as the right of self-determination not of the bourgeoisie but of the toiling masses of a given nation"

Did you even read my posts? "Of course that any marxist-leninist defends the right of self-determination". Next time try to read everything before saying rubbish. Since when someone that supports self-determination became nationalist?

If you follow Stalin's theories you really have to be in favor of some form of national self determination. It is also of little use in denying patriotic/nationalist sentiments which arose within the USSR. Stalin frequently called upon Russia's ancestors in war-time speeches and I do not think many Russians would have given up "being Russian".

"war-time speeches". You said it all, "War-time". It was pure strategic to strengthen the russian people will to destroy the Nazi invaders. Stalin was real politiker leader. Some times he had to put ideology aside to achieve its aims. Nevertheless, he never gave up from marxist references like Lenin.

How can you have a patriotic/nationalist sentiment within a political system with so many different nationalities and cultures? Do you think this makes any sense at all?

Besides, nationalism was one of the main reasons for the dismantling of the USSR, especially the nationalist feelings in the Baltics.
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Pantheon Rising on Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:43 pm

Comrade_Joe wrote:Your knowledge of Marxism seems to be very low. All the revolutionary process is a staging process. You have goals in each stage to achieve, contrary to what other left political currents defend. The anarchism for instance defend the abolition of state immediately while the Marxism defend only in a latter stage when the state is no longer useful. The same happens with the nation-state. Is not an immediate goal but rather a long-term one. Got it??? I never defended that the abolition of nations-states should be materialized rightly after a revolution. That is not even possible to do it.

I know exactly what you mean. You plan for self determination at first, and then to abolish national identities later. All the left wing nationalists here contend that people are not going to give up their national identities. It is absolutely human nature. Humans are a very diverse species, and there is nothing wrong with that, everyone has the utmost right to find and identify with their unique identity. You sir, are not going to be dissolving any nations for people, at least not without their consent.

And I actually happen to think my knowledge of Marxism, at least so far as the national question is concerned, is greater than yours despite not being a Marxist myself. CeltIberian already addressed this however, and the burden of proof is on you to prove that Marx and Engels ever made the abolition of nation-states a goal. From my understanding they only hinted that differences would disappear and it is quite possible for anyone to disagree with their conjecture.

Did you even read my posts? "Of course that any marxist-leninist defends the right of self-determination". Next time try to read everything before saying rubbish. Since when someone that supports self-determination became nationalist?


Nationalism is in support of the nation-State and is about having a sense of identity and connection with those closest to you either culturally, ethnically, spiritually (whatever criteria is being applied). That is what self determination is about. The antithesis of a nationalist would be a globalist, one who does not respect the sovereignty of nation-States, which is you since self determination to you is only a stage preceding the one where you get to abolish everyone's national identity. What bothers you so much about humanity and its diversity? Do you not want that to be preserved?

"war-time speeches". You said it all, "War-time". It was pure strategic to strengthen the russian people will to destroy the Nazi invaders. Stalin was real politiker leader. Some times he had to put ideology aside to achieve its aims. Nevertheless, he never gave up from marxist references like Lenin.

So simply calling on one's ancestors for motivation is somehow opposed to Marxist theory? Sounds pretty ridiculous to me. Furthermore that is nothing more than an assumption to say that he used that speech "only because it was war time". What so it would have been a blasphemy for him to hint at Russians taking inspiration from their ancestors in peace time?

How can you have a patriotic/nationalist sentiment within a political system with so many different nationalities and cultures? Do you think this makes any sense at all?

You just agreed with the fact that Stalin employed patriotic sentiment in his speeches, obviously that would have been quite silly if there existed no patriotic or nationalist sentiment. Are you honestly going to tell me Russians felt no pride in their motherland and that if they did it was a deviation from Marxist theory and therefore - wrong? Three words for you "Great Patriotic War".

Besides, nationalism was one of the main reasons for the dismantling of the USSR, especially the nationalist feelings in the Baltics.

Prove it.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:00 pm

Comrade_Joe wrote:Once again, "Socialism in One Country" was designed to justify the USSR option to stop "exporting" the revolution abroad during some temporary period, not the construction of a socialist state.

It was called Socialism in One Country, and not Revolution in One Country, for a reason. If socialism could theoretically be developed and maintained in isolation, as Stalin and his faction argued, the major impetus behind Trotsky's insistence on permanent revolution would be reduced. Trotsky may have admitted that fragments of socialism existed in the Soviet Union, but he also argued that it could not be sustained and further developed absent world revolution.

The reason I emphasized the relevance of socialism within the theory is because many on the Left (not including Trotskyists) are under the impression that a socialist mode of production cannot be developed on a national scale. Socialists and communists who espouse left-wing nationalism, Marxist-Leninists, and even Trotskyists are agreed that it can be. Whether or not it can be sustained is another matter altogether, and it largely depends on geopolitical factors.

I said demand as a goal to be achieved just like the end of exploitation. I don't see the difference.

The difference is that neither Marx nor Engels demanded an end to nations. Again, they merely theorized that such would occur as a result of communist social relations. They passed no ethical judgement regarding how they felt about that possibility. There's an enormous difference between speculating that something will occur, and demanding that it does.

"would lead to the eventual dissolution of national distinctions" what is this but dissolution of nations?

Re-read the paragraph. I conceded that Marx believed the dissolution of nations would eventually transpire, but not as a result of some conscious decision on the part of revolutionaries. I further argued that Marx and Engels didn't study the matter thoroughly enough, and therefore came to faulty conclusions.

Wrong, the reason why Marx said that "working class have no country" is because the bourgeoisie acquired an international dimension and therefore the proletarian also have acquired.

Being that The Communist Manifesto was partially written for purposes of agitation, it contains quite a bit of hyperbole. Capitalism acquiring an international dimension is a far cry from outright cosmopolitanism materializing under socialism. Capitalism permits a small number of men and women to possess the wealth and incentive to travel abroad in order to make connections with the bourgeoisie of foreign lands—it's an integral aspect of capital accumulation in developed capitalist societies. In so doing, the bourgeoisie develops certain cosmopolitan characteristics. Trade and the advertising industry also have the effect of homogenizing cultures in capitalist societies.

Socialism will emancipate the proletariat from exploitation internationally, but the means and incentive to intermingle with their class counterparts in foreign nations will not exist. Trade will obviously continue, but only a few individuals will be necessary to facilitate it. Advertising will take on a more local dimension initially, but will be completely abolished upon the establishment of a fully planned economy. In other words, Marx was absolutely correct in stating that capitalism is a homogenizing force, but we have no reason to suspect that socialism will be. In fact, the converse is far more likely.

So, what is the difference between left-wing nationalism and ordinary socialism? Why it is a different socialist current?

Left-wing nationalism is basically a theory regarding how the working class will organize international relations following the revolution. Simply put, we believe that the people will democratically choose to maintain national boundaries even under conditions of communism, thereby preserving cultural distinctions. Some of us go still further and claim that there is reason to believe that ethnocultural heterogeneity is a hindrance to the very development of socialism.

I thought that the nationalists were not internationalists. You see, it's very hard to be nationalist and internationalist at the same time I guess Rolling Eyes . Seems contradictory to say the least.

It "seems contradictory" because you haven't exerted any effort to understand. Since I doubt you've read it, I'll post the John Spargo quote I've referred you to throughout our exchange in full:

"Our guiding principle in all that concerns our relations to the people of other lands is internationalism. We are internationalists and anti-militarists.

But internationalism 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, p. 627 (emphasis added).

That accurately summarizes the left-wing nationalist position. Now explain what you find confusing about it.

Since I arrived here I have been called with every sort of names, "cosmopolitan, dogmatic, idealistic".

Since you arrived here you've been incessantly criticizing those of us who are not doctrinaire Marxist-Leninists. I suggest being less sectarian.

I don't see any difference between you and an ordinary socialist. You are not nationalist.

Clearly you don't yet understand the distinctions between left-wing nationalism and reactionary nationalism. I can only hope that this post has clarified the matter for you.

Non-sense is trying to mix nationalism with internationalism.

Nonsense is attempting to portray the positions as fundamentally incompatible with one another.

I had an good understanding of the left-wing nationalism before your explanation but now that I heard your version I just think that is ridiculous, schizophrenic and very confusing.

Exactly what did you think left-wing nationalism was? What sources did you consult to come to such a view?

nationalism was one of the main reasons for the dismantling of the USSR, especially the nationalist feelings in the Baltics.

Only because the national question was not handled in an appropriate manner. Self-determination wasn't legitimately granted to the Soviet nationalities, and the right to secession most certainly wasn't allowed. This provided nationalists with potent arguments to mobilize their people against the USSR.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:11 pm

Pantheon Rising wrote:I know exactly what you mean. You plan for self determination at first, and then to abolish national identities later. All the left wing nationalists here contend that people are not going to give up their national identities.

I am telling from the very first minute that here lies the difference. It was needed so much noise about it?

It is absolutely human nature. Humans are a very diverse species, and there is nothing wrong with that, everyone has the utmost right to find and identify with their unique identity. You sir, are not going to be dissolving any nations for people, at least not without their consent.


I don't plan personally to destroy any nation. Relax, pal. If that occurs is not because "one" person desired it but rather all people.

And I actually happen to think my knowledge of Marxism, at least so far as the national question is concerned, is greater than yours despite not being a Marxist myself. CeltIberian already addressed this however, and the burden of proof is on you to prove that Marx and Engels ever made the abolition of nation-states a goal. From my understanding they only hinted that differences would disappear and it is quite possible for anyone to disagree with their conjecture.

Dude, you completely missed your orientation here. If the abolition of the state is a marxist goal how the abolition of the nation-states cannot be? How you gonna have nation-states in the latter phase of communism if you don't have a state at all? I don't think that you have any knowledge of Marxism at all...

Nationalism is in support of the nation-State and is about having a sense of identity and connection with those closest to you either culturally, ethnically, spiritually (whatever criteria is being applied). That is what self determination is about. The antithesis of a nationalist would be a globalist, one who does not respect the sovereignty of nation-States, which is you since self determination to you is only a stage preceding the one where you get to abolish everyone's national identity. What bothers you so much about humanity and its diversity? Do you not want that to be preserved?

While your definition of nationalism is completely right your definition of self-determination is completely wrong and you even try to say that they both mean the same thing which is very hilarious if we take in account that the self-determination movements were brought up against the nationalism of the dominant powers. Self-determination about freeing people from the subjugation of an oppressive nation, that is what self-determination is all about.

So simply calling on one's ancestors for motivation is somehow opposed to Marxist theory? Sounds pretty ridiculous to me. Furthermore that is nothing more than an assumption to say that he used that speech "only because it was war time". What so it would have been a blasphemy for him to hint at Russians taking inspiration from their ancestors in peace time?

Ridiculous is your understanding of Marxism-Leninism. Of course it contradicts. If you knew something about it you would know that there was a breakup with the Russian Historic past after the 1917 revolution by the Bolshevik new government. That kind of chauvinistic speech has no space within the marxism-leninism that defends a total breakup with the nationalistic bourgeoisie or feudalistic ideals and past. This includes that historical differences.

You just agreed with the fact that Stalin employed patriotic sentiment in his speeches, obviously that would have been quite silly if there existed no patriotic or nationalist sentiment. Are you honestly going to tell me Russians felt no pride in their motherland and that if they did it was a deviation from Marxist theory and therefore - wrong? Three words for you "Great Patriotic War".


You are really completely out of this. When I said that the Russian people have lost their patriotic feelings? I was talking about nationalist sentiment within the GOVERNMENT political orientation. If during a war this makes sense as a strategic maneuver to motivate the people it makes no sense in times of peace because it only exacerbates separatist feelings. More ridiculous than that is your reference to the term "Great Patriotic War". Did you know that is a trans-national term?

Prove it.

I have this site but I can give you many more if you want.

lituanus.org/1992_3/92_3_04.htm
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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Rev Scare on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:19 pm

Joe, this is not RevLeft. You are completely removed from the discussion, following your own tangential and irrelevant conclusions based upon flawed premises. Articulate your thoughts and try again, or don't bother.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Pantheon Rising on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:30 pm

Comrade_Joe wrote:I don't plan personally to destroy any nation. Relax, pal. If that occurs is not because "one" person desired it but rather all people.

But where do you get the idea that people will ever just decide to give up their national identities? It is a necessary part of human nature and identity simply due to our diversity as a species. I, personally, will always remain 100% opposed to the idea of giving up my national identity and in fact I see the ethnocultural bonds that bring people together to be all the more helpful in the creation of a society based on mutual aid and cooperation.

Dude, you completely missed your orientation here. If the abolition of the state is a marxist goal how the abolition of the nation-states cannot be? How you gonna have nation-states in the latter phase of communism if you don't have a state at all? I don't think that you have any knowledge of Marxism at all...

The national state could theoretically be abolished without getting rid of the concept of the nation. A nation is simply a group of people who identify with each other on the basis of a common culture, ethnicity, and language while the State is primarily an instrument through which these people govern themselves. One can still have a nation without a State.

I don't think the problem lies in me not knowing anything about Marxism, but rather you not knowing anything outside of Marxism.

While your definition of nationalism is completely right your definition of self-determination is completely wrong and you even try to say that they both mean the same thing which is very hilarious if we take in account that the self-determination movements were brought up against the nationalism of the dominant powers. Self-determination about freeing people from the subjugation of an oppressive nation, that is what self-determination is all about.

Self-determination - (noun)

1. Determination of one's own fate or course of action without compulsion; free will.
2. Freedom of the people of a given area to determine their own political status; independence

All the lower classes today are oppressed so why would you be opposed to self determination for people in the first world after the revolution?

Ridiculous is your understanding of Marxism-Leninism. Of course it contradicts. If you knew something about it you would know that there was a breakup with the Russian Historic past after the 1917 revolution by the Bolshevik new government. That kind of chauvinistic speech has no space within the marxism-leninism that defends a total breakup with the nationalistic bourgeoisie or feudalistic ideals and past. This includes that historical differences.

Okay, buddy. The feudalistic and bourgeois classes have been the most cosmopolitan classes history has ever seen. Whether it is noble families marrying off their offspring to the families of other nations for political favors or a traitorous bourgeoisie moving capital around the globe in the name of profit, only the workers and peasants have remained national.

Can you show me where the hell in Marxist-Leninist doctrine it says "all patriotic and national sentiments are bad"?

I have this site but I can give you many more if you want.

lituanus.org/1992_3/92_3_04.htm

I will look at it, though I have not the time tonight. I will also mention that I am of the opinion as many here are that nationalism and self determination was not handled correctly under the USSR.

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Re: Left Wing Nationalism and Socialism in One Country

Post by Comrade_Joe on Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:35 pm

Celtiberian wrote:It was called Socialism in One Country, and not Revolution in One Country, for a reason. If socialism could theoretically be developed and maintained in isolation, as Stalin and his faction argued, the major impetus behind Trotsky's insistence on permanent revolution would be reduced. Trotsky may have admitted that fragments of socialism existed in the Soviet Union, but he also argued that it could not be sustained and further developed absent world revolution.

I'm gonna explain again. In the mid 20's when Lenin was already ill there was a debate among the Bolsheviks whether if USSR should continue to actively support revolutions abroad or not. Trotsky faction defended that yes because it was impossible to socialist state remain isolated, while Stalin's defended that no based on Bukharin thesis. This was the main argument around "the Socialism in one country", if USSR would support actively revolutions outside of it or not. What is the confusion here? Of course that the idea of building socialism in one country is inherent to Socialism in one country that is obvious but wasn't the main purpose of it. As Stalin argued to guarantee the victory of socialism it was still needed to spread socialist revolutions outside of the USSR and he proved right, but in the 20's the USSR was in no conditions to materialize that.

The reason I emphasized the relevance of socialism within the theory is because many on the Left (not including Trotskyists) are under the impression that a socialist mode of production cannot be developed on a national scale. Socialists and communists who espouse left-wing nationalism, Marxist-Leninists, and even Trotskyists are agreed that it can be. Whether or not it can be sustained is another matter altogether, and it largely depends on geopolitical factors.

It can be develop on a national scale only to a certain stage as USSR showed. If you don't have socialist revolutions outside the country the revolution will never advance from this stage because you still have a bourgeoisie control in the rest of the World. If you remain isolated you will stagnate at some point but the initial construction of the socialist state is always on a national scale. Then to develop, it needs to be accompanied by other revolutions to move on the next stage of development of the revolutionary process.

The difference is that neither Marx nor Engels demanded an end to nations. Again, they merely theorized that such would occur as a result of communist social relations. They passed no ethical judgement regarding how they felt about that possibility. There's an enormous difference between speculating that something will occur, and demanding that it does.

I will tell you exactly the same thing that i said in my previous post: If the abolition of the state is a goal to achieve the communist stage, how cannot the abolition of the nation-states be too? None of you answered me yet.

Being that The Communist Manifesto was partially written for purposes of agitation, it contains quite a bit of hyperbole. Capitalism acquiring an international dimension is a far cry from outright cosmopolitanism materializing under socialism. Capitalism permits a small number of men and women to possess the wealth and incentive to travel abroad in order to make connections with the bourgeoisie of foreign lands—it's an integral aspect of capital accumulation in developed capitalist societies. In so doing, the bourgeoisie develops certain cosmopolitan characteristics. Trade and the advertising industry also have the effect of homogenizing cultures in capitalist societies.

You are being very simplistic here. The international bounds of the bourgeoisie goes far beyond wealth and incentive to travel abroad. It reaches the higher political, economic and military power. Why do you think the White Army was supported by the capitalist countries just to give you an historical example. The influence that the USA exerts all over the world you think that is not bourgeoisie international control and world domination? Of course it is. That is why an isolated socialist country will always be condemned to stagnate as long as it remains surrounded by capitalist states. The main international bound of the bourgeoisie is in the state international relations. The feudalistic old order also had international bounds, that is why an alliance of states (Holly Alliance) was formed to smash every bourgeoisie revolution.

Left-wing nationalism is basically a theory regarding how the working class will organize international relations following the revolution. Simply put, we believe that the people will democratically choose to maintain national boundaries even under conditions of communism, thereby preserving cultural distinctions. Some of us go still further and claim that there is reason to believe that ethnocultural heterogeneity is a hindrance to the very development of socialism.

But how you maintain national boundaries once the state withers away? You are talking about the communist phase (late one), right?

It "seems contradictory" because you haven't exerted any effort to understand. Since I doubt you've read it, I'll post the Victor L. Berger quote I've referred you to throughout our exchange in full:

"Our guiding principle in all that concerns our relations to the people of other lands is internationalism. We are internationalists and anti-militarists.

But internationalism 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
."
Victor L. Berger: Hearings Before the Special Committee, Vol II, p. 627 (emphasis added).

That accurately summarizes the left-wing nationalist position. Now explain what you find confusing about it.

I find confusing this: how you conceal your loyalty to the nation with the loyalty to your class? What happens if the interests of both collides? Another thing: how will export and support revolutions outside your country by respecting this: "The maintenance of national integrity and independence"?

Since you arrived here you've been incessantly criticizing those of us who are not doctrinaire Marxist-Leninists. I suggest being less sectarian.

I didn't criticize anyone, on the contrary. I only started to be more harsh in my words now after the insistence of some users in arguing like that.

Clearly you don't yet understand the distinctions between left-wing nationalism and reactionary nationalism. I can only hope that this post has clarified the matter for you.

I have clearly a definition of nationalism that doesn't combine with socialism. Without a world wide revolution it's impossible to achieve anything beyond what we witnessed with the socialist experiments in the XX Century. And there is also a contradiction regarding the latter phase of communism as I explained to you above.

Exactly what did you think left-wing nationalism was? What sources did you consult to come to such a view?

I told you what I thought in my first post. I thought that left-wing nationalists defended the construction of socialism in one country and the absence of any attempt to export socialists revolution outside of it. Basically, I thought that the internationalist component (World Revolution) of the Marxist theory was relegated to a minor issue by the left-wing nationalists.

Only because the national question was not handled in an appropriate manner. Self-determination wasn't legitimately granted to the Soviet nationalities, and the right to secession most certainly wasn't allowed. This provided nationalists with potent arguments to mobilize their people against the USSR.

Yes, but it happen and that was my point.
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