Communists are against Nationalism. However, many on the left, following Marx, have given tactical support to various kinds of nationalism to clear the way to capitalist development or assist workers struggles. Paradoxically, some have even seen some forms of nationalism as proletarian. But are these tactical concessions and approaches to nationalism correct ? After all, nationalism has not only prevented an alternative to capitalism from emerging from class struggles, but has directly contributed to the bloody suppression of attempts to overthrow capitalism. The aim of communism is freeing humanity from exploitation and oppression : ” Nationalism is the doctrine that upholds loyalty to a particular nation above universal respect and support for humanity in general”. (1)
Review, by Barry Biddulph of Trotsky, Trotskyism and Trotskyists, a Communist Workers Organisation Pamphlet.
The CWO acknowledges Trotsky’s insight from his participation in the Russian Revolution of 1905, that “the appearance of Soviets allowed him to foresee the possibility of a proletarian revolution in Russia”. (1) But, Trotsky always had something of Lassalle’s notion of the people’s state about his politics. It was always the revolution using the state and nationalisation, rather than a revolution against the state. So even though “Trotsky led the Soviet, his theory of Permanent Revolution never led him to analyse the Soviet and draw from it what Marx drew from the Commune”. (2) Instead, in 1905, Trotsky reached the conclusion that in the future revolution, unemployed and locked out factory workers would not limit themselves to the capitalist Republic, but would demand state intervention from a workers government.
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Categories : communism
The Scottish National Party has insisted that an independent Scotland would be free of nuclear weapons, says Eric Chester. This position reflects the fact that Scottish popular opinion is overwhelmingly opposed to the stationing of the Trident submarine system at Faslane. These subs, a leftover from the Cold War days, are nuclear powered and carry ballistic missiles armed with nuclear weapons. The SNP campaign to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons has provided one of the few salient arguments for independence.
At the same time, the SNP is desperate to depict an independent Scotland as one that can be counted on to be a reliable cog in the global capitalist order. This drive for respectability has led Alex Salmond to push through the recent SNP national conference a resolution insisting that an independent Scotland would remain within NATO. Contrary to the SNP’s protestations, these two positions are blatantly contradictory.
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Categories : scotland
The Commune introduction to a meeting on Anarchism, Marxism and the State, at the Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair 11th May 2013, by Barry Biddulph.
In the 1870′s, Bakunin in Marxism and the State, argued that the divide between Marxists and Anarchists was this: Marxists stood for the Peoples State (workers state) and Anarchists aimed for the destruction of the state. This was not a direct polemic with the views of Marx in the 1870′s. It was an indirect attack on Marx as the pope of German Social Democracy. Therefore, when Lassalle advocated the people’s state this reflected the views of Marx.
Bakunin went all the way back to 1848, and the Communist Manifesto, where we find the following state socialist position: “the proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e. the proletariat organised as a ruling class”. (1) But this was described as outdated by Marx in 1872, “One thing especially was proved by the commune, that the working class cannot simply lay hold of ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purpose”. (2)
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As the homeless residents of Marikana, we are here because we do not have anywhere else to go. We are also now jobless which means we cannot afford to pay rent to live in someone’s backyard. We always vote for this government but they always treat us like dogs in our own country. The government sends the Anti-Land Invasions Unit, Law Enforcement and SAPS to demolish our houses. They did this on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and again on Friday the 3rd of May. They’ve now arrested four of us for public violence even though the police were the ones that hurt us, shot us and beat us.
On the 1st of May, a public holiday which celebrates the resistance of the workers and the poor against the oppression of the rich, the City even again took the side of the rich and stole our building material. This is thousands of Rands worth of our property which we don’t think we will ever see again because they don’t tell us where they have taken it. Without this material, we have nowhere else to go because even if we had a little money, we can’t now rent somewhere build a shack there.
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Categories : south africa