We have to struggle in our interests to get the things we need as concessions from capital. Once the initial market of Latin-speaking Europeans was glutted, the production of books in localised languages oriented towards the small but growing literate strata in Europe would have an important role in creating a language of administration and high culture, and the foundations of what could be claimed as a ‘national culture’ in later centuries - with significant nation-building implications in the cases of what would become Germany and Italy. This had been the case for some time. The shared ‘national culture’ comes to be official multiculturalism itself, allowing for the integration of ‘citizens’ into the state without recourse to crude monoculturalism. Their interests are specific, objective and material: to get more money from their employers for less work, and to get better living and working conditions. The modern nation-state is a product of the revolutions of the Eighteenth century which marked the decline of the feudal period and the rise of capitalism as a world system. [7] The Versailles treaty ended the war – with the terms being dictated by the Allies and the redrawing of Europe taking place using principles of nationality where feasible. At home, its function is to domesticate those within a society who can pose antagonism with it – the working class. I thought the point wasn't about democracy itself, but to point out that Israel's liberal democracy is not more fascistic than that of any Western country. I don't support any Nationalisms but I do defend communities rights to defend themselves. Even the role of the ‘official’ languages had little in common with the status of modern national languages. My position is against all nations, proto-states (would-be nations) and resistances. But thats a historical fantasy. Israel's foriegn minister, Lieberman, is a fascist. The usual prerequisites are a shared language and culture. On the other hand there are capitalist factions with the aim of creating an independent nation-state or something close to it with themselves in charge. Concurrently, with the beginning of the end of the feudal world, and the transition to a world centred on the interests of the ascendant capitalist class, the state was redefined. We do not stand for monoculture. The ‘victims’ of Western Imperialism have their own agendas, and imperialist policies of their own. Which ‘peoples’ should make nations was a question of viability, and the nations which were viable were often actually existing ones. Nonetheless, imperialism is absolutely vital to the functioning of capitalist societies, and its success is inseparable from the success of leading powers. National Security Argument. That which will become the earth: anarcho-indigenous speculative geographies. However, when faced with wars in other parts of the world, we must face the reality that there is little we can do to stop this or that particular war. This rhetoric is assumed even in states which do not bother to claim legitimacy through representative democracy. As a man of exceptional intellectual reputation with exacting standards in his thinking and scholarship, Kedourie was immensely influential on many modern scholars and his students alike (Salibi 1994: 4) and thus, ac… States must participate in this system of constantly shifting balances of power irrespective of intentions, as those unable to ward off or manage these pressures will be totally dominated by them. 1. The concerns about viability which defined earlier debates had disappeared. The merchants, traders and bankers which had previously operated at the fringes of feudal economies played an increasingly central role as European empires spread around the world. This reflects the powerlessness of the left. The establishment of a monster state that is now carrying out its own brutal oppression of groups within its borders. If you're not sure if something is appropriate for the library, please ask in the feedback and content forum. We do not seek to see the rich diversity of human cultural expression standardised in an anarchist society. That's just one piece of evidence. As anarchist communists, we have always opposed nationalism, and have always marked our distance from the left through vocally opposing all nationalism – including that of ‘oppressed nations’. Against the left, and its proposed reorganisation the capitalist world of nation-states, we stand firmly for a world without borders, without nations and without states, for a world based on free access to the products of human activity, for the satisfaction of human needs and desires; a co-operative, stateless world in which human beings can realise their full potential as creative beings. But despite the multitude of changes the world has since undergone, the state remains the actor of contemporary imperialism. Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a group of people), especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland.Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal … This right is simply the corollary of the general principal of freedom”. This is because, at heart, nationalism is an ideology of class collaboration. The Italian Nationalist and philosopher Giuseppe Mazzini would pose the formula ‘every nation a state, and only one state for each nation’ to resolve ‘the national question’. They put the word ‘martyr’ in quotes; a massive insult to all those killed in the anti-fascist struggle. But even as thinkers were debating where the ‘people’ came from, the issue was mostly understood in terms of practicability. if there were Jewish nationalist groups in control of pseudo-states engaged in an asymmetrical war and willing to use violence against the working class then I'd oppose them. Such ideas would have been unthinkable in earlier years where the right of the Kaiser was inviolable and accountable to no-one. The anarchist communist opposition to nationalism must be vocal and clear. He even explicitly mentions Palestinian nationalism! You have the right passport, the right entitlements, or you don’t. Any “solution” that means endless cycles of conflict, which is what nationalism represents, is no solution at all. I disagree with your premise that Israel is a democracy. Why do anarchists oppose nationalism? Logged in users: ▶ Can comment on articles and discussions Nationalism is a creation of the modern world, and is bound up with the development of a certain kind of society, which today is worldwide and total in its reach – capitalism. We only have each other. With the ceasefire signed, the continued blockade will mean further war against the civilian population by other means. They offer as little to ordinary Palestinians as their rivals in secular nationalist groups, such as Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, who attacked the Palestine Workers Radio for ‘stoking internal conflicts’. The working class – what is sometimes called the proletariat - is the dispossessed class, the class who have no capital, no control over the overall conditions of their lives and nothing to live off but their ability to work for a wage. Moreover, these ‘liberated’ states, once freed from the national oppression of Western colonialism, have proven to be fully capable of launching brutal wars of their own. Nationalism, then, is a strange thing that is everywhere, intuitively ‘common sense’ but impossible to precisely describe, a basic principle of structuring the entire population of the world but a principle which doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. Some wish to see you die painfully. Contrary to the fantasies of nationalists, who see the shared language as the basic bond on which the nation-state is based, a common national language was the creation of the developing modern state. It is the job of revolutionary groups and anarchist organisation in the workplace to combat these tendencies, to contribute to the development of class consciousness and militancy and to complement the process by which divisions are challenged through joint struggle which takes place within struggles of significant magnitude. By the last decades of the Nineteenth Century, the idea that each ‘people’ had a moral right to their own nation-state was solidly established. Under capitalism, ‘pure’ struggles rarely exist. So are you disputing that there is a Palestinian Authority with a police force currently disputed between Hamas and Fatah and split between the two in Gaza and the West Bank? I support the refugees right to return and see this as consistent with opposition to borders. More often, however, the question is one of geopolitical strategy and outflanking other power blocs in order to maintain regional or international power. From this point of view, the world is made up of such nations; it always has been and always will be. Even if a state wished to stay ‘civilised’ and avoid the dynamics of imperialist competition and conflict, it would be forced to defend itself against attempts to prey on this weakness by other powers, using methods of greater or lesser directness. expert reaction to Barrington Declaration, an open letter arguing against lockdown policies and for ‘Focused Protection’ An open letter has been published, arguing against lockdown policies and for ‘Focused Protection’. Engels famously remarked that he did not see the Czechs surviving as an independent people for this reason. Iran and Venezuela, for instance, certainly do; Venezuela in advancing its interest by expanding its sphere of influence around Latin America, and Iran in doing the same in Iraq, Lebanon, Africa and elsewhere. This principle reached its apogee in the First World War and the period following it. Some readers may reject these arguments, but many others will simply … Not all neighbours are benevolent folks. The big question here and in the book is about how pliable American nationalism can be, and I think there’s a contradiction in your book that shows what we’re up against. The revolution would build on this nation of subjects to create the nation of citizens; the nation became those capable and willing of the conditions of citizenship, expressed through the state. Vlad, one comment I made when I originally read this pamphlet was that it was quite lacking in terms of factual demonstrations of what it's saying. Capitalism and the modern nation-state developed at the same time in the same place, in Europe in the 16th to 19th centuries. These groups have shown their willingness to attack working class attempts to improve their living conditions, seizing union offices, kidnapping prominent trade unionists, and breaking strikes. The ‘choices’ offered to ordinary Palestinian people are between Islamist gangsters (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) or nationalist gangsters (Fatah, Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigades). The only state which has any ability to reign in Israel is the US. Of course, class struggles are rarely pure and unsullied things, and they can be overlaid with bigotries and factional interests of various kinds. When faced with brutal war and the slaughter of populations in distant parts of the world, a proxy is sought in response to their own lack of agency. Workers in North Korea are oppressed by a native ‘communist’ state comparable in brutality to the European fascist dictatorships of the 20th century, workers in Vietnam are exploited by an capitalist export-led economy, workers in Zimbabwe, free of British imperialism, are now preyed on by a gangsterish ‘native’ regime. There are different forces with their own motives and own interests. The appearance of national flags at demonstrations, pickets and rallies around the world is not uncommon. Two states with borders as they currently stand would create a Palestine as dominated by Israel as the territories are now. On one level, it defines itself. Share your thoughts, experiences and the tales behind the art. When I met the commander of Al-Aqsa Martyrs brigade in the Northern West Bank, Zacharia Zebadiah, who has a Jewish girlfriend, he asked that governments define the word "terrorist" since he argued that people have the right to defend themselves. Capitalism took hold in a certain time and place not by accident but because the conditions were right to breed it; it required a fragmented arena of competing states with embedded mercantilist interests (though they were not for a good time the ‘nations’ we’d recognise), and for that reason evolved in Europe rather than in the Ottoman Empire, Manchu China or any of the other land empires that dominated much of the world. Imperialism is about the mobilisation of these differences to the benefit of the economy of the state in question – meaning the capital within it. Two Han Chinese are assumed to share a commonality as ‘Chinese’ and a natural solidarity on this basis even if they speak mutually incomprehensible ‘dialects’. The state of Israel was based on such "resistance" and AIW makes an interesting link as to how Zionism was willing to align itself with Nazism, primarily to confront British imperialism. Britain has taken part in the occupation in Iraq which has resulted in the deaths of 1,033,000 people. When we attempt to articulate what ‘Britishness’, ‘Gambianess’ or ‘Thainess’ might be about, we are in trouble. Though ‘common sense’ tells us that national divisions are a thing as old as humanity, the reality is rather different. The power of the classical empires of the ancient world stemmed from the conquest of land and the mobilisation of its resources. These are simply unfortunate misrepresentations of the conflict's appearance (which indeed sometimes does remind one of the brutality of Nazi Germany), but they only obscure its real causes. Nonetheless, the Bolsheviks were vocal in their support of ‘the right of nations to self-determination’, following the passing of a resolution by the second international supporting the ‘complete right of all nations to self-determination’. It’s an abstraction. . Defend the Occupation Carlos Marighella Against the Genocide Racist State of Brazil, Manchester Students’ Rent Strike Victory, Davoud Rafiei a Workers Rights Activist has been punished with 74 lashes in Iran, The theory of the collapse of capitalism - Anton Pannekoek, The Battle of Cable St, 1936 - Joe Jacobs, Portugal: the impossible revolution? To many, ‘Resistance’ to Imperialist warmongering is beyond question and criticism – antagonists to specific imperialist projects cease to have agency, aims or objectives as the capitalist faction they are; they are simply ‘the resistance’ and as such are beyond criticism. There are sectors of Palestinian society which are not dominated by the would-be rulers – protests organised by village committees in the West Bank for instance. Of course, when you point it out, people just dismiss you, because leftist activistoids had been crying "fascist" for ages. If you have an ebook reader or a Kindle, check out our guide to using ebook readers with libcom.org. Whilst Palestinians fled the onslaught, demonstrations were held in Israel by those refusing to serve the war machine. This is not just a slogan, but the reality of the world we live in. Anarchists in the class struggle (or communist) tradition, such as the anarchist federation, do not see the world in terms of competing national peoples, but in terms of class. It has destroyed aid stockpiles with white phosphorous shells. Firstly, the state will not concede anything to us unless the working class – the vast majority of us who can only live off our ability to work for others – is in a confident enough position to force those concessions through collective action. Published in September 2009, an analysis of nationalism, where it comes from, and why anarchists fundamentally oppose it. A ‘two state solution’ based on 1949 or 1967 borders isn’t going to come about except through a massive change in the global balance of power. The ‘foreign policy’ of contemporary capitalist nation states seems a world away. Gaza’s economy and infrastructure, already devastated by the blockade, have been destroyed. Ultimately, we have to come up with other ways of attaching people to a common good and generating solidarity in a way that isn’t hostile to difference. For some time Marx and Engels supported the ‘national liberation’ of Poland (and consequently a movement for independence led by aristocrats) for strategic reasons – striking a blow against autocratic Russia and, in their view, defending capitalist development and therefore the preconditions for socialism in Western Europe. Bureaucracy makes this intuition more solid. Though a shared Italian-speaking elite culture was essential to the formation of an Italian state in the Nineteenth Century, the Italian language was only spoken by about 2.5% of ‘Italians’ on unification; the population at large spoke a variety of dialects which were often mutually incomprehensible. White people are a race: it is not true. The state is the ‘collective capitalist’; it is the guarantor and underwriter of the capitalist system. Nationalism uses what works – it utilises whatever superficial attribute is effective to bind society together behind it. Protectionist policies raise prices for the consumer, and misguided government intervention in markets (such as payments to exporters hurt by tariffs) results in skyrocketing national debt. For most of history people didn’t have a particular nationality, or overlapping claims on them, which defined their person in such fundamental but elusive ways, let alone any nationalism to accompany it. Actually, I think that question about supporting Jews resisting the Nazis is a very good one. As anarchists, we are opposed to war, militarism and imperialism, and see a powerful movement against these forces as a vital part of internationalism in action and the process of building the confidence necessary for a social movement against the state and capitalism. These polemics will increase the depression of Palestinians and their supporters. Which is exactly what we argue. Alone we can achieve very little, but together we can cause disruption to the everyday functioning of capitalism, a powerful weapon. Even the most extreme nationalist ideologies, such as fascism, can co-exist with the acceptance of a multiracial society, as was the case with the Brazilian Integralist movement[6]. The idea of self-contained national cultures, which nationalists are partisans of, is a myth. The contemporary sight of leftist groups supporting reactionary organisations and states is something frequently criticised by a number of voices for a number of reasons. Internationalist political groups and organisations have an important role to play in agitating against nationalism, and in countering nationalist tendencies in struggles as they develop. If everyone adopted “beggar-thy-neighbour” economic nationalism, then the experience of the 1930s shows it would be catastrophic. We totally reject this argument. what are the 'national liberations' claimed as successes by leftists? All nation-states are imperialist. We took this stance on Northern Ireland in the past, and take it on Israel/Palestine today. It was circular, and relied on the territory and population of existing states, as at this point there was little in the way of attempts to define national citizenship or ‘peoples’ on linguistic, cultural or racial grounds. That is the root cause of the conflict, not "islamo-fascism" or "zionazism." Arguments about the respective merits of free markets and free trade versus protectionism, industrial policy and economic nationalism more generally go back as far as Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) and the defense of a moderate mercantilism essayed by his fellow Scot, Sir James Steuart, in his Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy (1767). All feedback can be directed to: shicks@rockford.edu. Nationality is its most fundamental category – determining what rights and privileges we have access to, whether we are inside or outside the community of citizenship which nationalism presumes, and ultimately whether we are a valid, ‘legal’, person. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades also blew up Palestine Workers' Radio as mentioned in the AF pamphlet. The left and the ‘national question’. In 1920, the Bolsheviks granted support to the bourgeois nationalist movement in Turkey under Kemal Pasha for the blow its victory would strike to British imperialism. This makes it impossible for the international community to protect properly the human rights of those living under oppression and dictatorship. Though to be honest I'm suspecting that your posts might not be entirely serious based on this: this is actually a great example. Nationalism in terms of my opponent"s definition is not evil in itself but is rather open to exploitation just as liberalism, conservatism and other ideological concepts are exploitable. in Northern Ireland. The pressures of capitalism transformed the imperialism which preceded and nurtured it. It would be like the end of Apartheid in South Africa. There were also, depressingly, actions with clear anti-Semitic overtones. However, the idea that the LTTE is the guardian of Tamil national self-defence fades when it is remembered that among their earliest targets were rival Tamil nationalist and Communist groups, such as Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation, which was effectively wiped out by the LTTE in 1986. The proliferation of nationalist and ‘national liberation’ movements in the late 1800s is striking – the birth of Zionism alongside Indian, Armenian, Macedonian, Georgian, Belgian, Catalan movements, along with many others occurred in this period, though whether these specific movements had any traction among the wider population is another matter. Did fewer people die after Pakistan and India separated? 1. I really don't believe fewer people will die. Anarchists take a very different view. Late nineteenth century jingoism was transformed into an ideology of total war, of mechanised slaughter between militarised national blocs. This may seem a strange comment in a world where the leading powers are liberal democracies which send innumerable functionaries to innumerable meetings, summits, forums and international organisations. Controversial. Ireland was exceptional in possessing a national movement of the kind that would appear later much earlier on – indeed it would provide the archetypal model to nationalisms manufactured in later years, such as those of the Indians and Basques. Class struggle is the competition between these interests. As the record of atrocities and the death toll mounted, coming to a final stop at around 1,500 dead, large protests took place around the world, with a significant protest movement developing in Britain. There is no essence of national resistance, no essential oppressed national spirit which is being channelled by the national liberation forces. What an offensive assumption! We cannot support Hamas, or any of the other factions in Gaza or the West Bank against Israel, however ‘critically’. These are not "Hamas / Fatah regimes". States and national capitals which have an uneven relationship with larger powers will also have different asymmetric relations with other powers. there were war crimes committed left right and centre, there's arguably an intention to ethnically cleanse the whole area by immiserating the non-jewish population into emigration, but there is simply no nazi-style industrial extermination of palestinians, which throws out the whole Warsaw Ghetto analogy anyway. Economic nationalism brings all those “unthinkable” policies back into play, and allows voters to decide for themselves what sort of future they want. They fled en masse. Sri Lanka is an example of the lingering scars of Western imperialism conjoining with the power plays of communalist ruling classes, leading to a downward spiral of war and ethnic-nationalist violence as competing national movements throw ‘their’ working classes into conflict with one another. The AF come close to implying that the Palestinian refugees do not have any right to return. They do not understand how global supply chains work, and they suggest simple solutions for complicated problems. The development of the term ‘patriotism’ tells us all we need to know. We've also done fundraising for Anarchists Against the Wall. that's not the same thing, since 'the oppressed' are very often also the oppressors - especially when framed in national rather than class terms. Arguments for and Against Protectionist Policy. The radical Christian right in this country is deeply anti-Semitic. There is some basis for this in the classical anarchist tradition, such as in Bakunin’s notorious statement: “every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. The British imperial administration in Sri Lanka instituted a system of communalist representation on the Island’s legislative council from the mid-19th century, establishing antagonism between the minority Tamils and majority Sinhalese which continues to this day. These interests are furthered by maintaining, defending and manipulating inequalities which exist within capitalism across geographical space. The invention of patriotism filled this need. THE "STABILITARIANS" A somewhat more plausible case against nationalism is made by "stabilitarians," or defenders of the present-day territorial status quo. The ‘science’ and library on national definition would not explode until a century later. This understanding of the role of the state stood in contrast to the absolutism of earlier periods. Once the principle of the state as the expression of the sovereign ‘people’ was established, the process of definition of ‘peoples’ intensified throughout the Nineteenth Century. Following the civil war, their support for the ‘right of nations to self-determination’ led to some curious experiments in ‘nation-building’ which stood in parallel with the efforts of Woodrow Wilson and the Versailles Treaty in Europe a few years previously. And of course it was the setting up of this Israeli state following the Holocaust which is carrying out these brutal actions now. As the word describes many different projects by many different states in various periods, we have to clarify what it means in the context of advanced capitalist society. Since the 1980s, many communities (often in rural areas, or in town and cities in former industrial regions) have been devastated by the loss of manufacturing jobs. But when we attempt to uncover the qualities which make some collectivities of people a nation and others not, we encounter problems. The left had taken a leading role in the anti-fascist resistance movements in Europe during the war, allowing for these groups to claim the nationalist mantle upon liberation and to act as the leading representatives of the liberated ‘will’ of the nation. Organising against them is a key part of anarchist politics. These are not small tasks, but they are vital ones, and must be central to the activity of the anarchist movement in the here and now. Arguing against many Trump supporters at my school, and I realize many of these arguments are derailed by value-differences. Which is exactly what the nationalists in Hamas and Fatah do while repressing political opponents. AMY GOODMAN: This latest story, the Anti-Defamation League calling on Georgia State Rep. Ben Bridges to apologize for a memo distributed under his name that says the teaching of evolution should be banned in public schools, because it is a religious deception stemming from an ancient Jewish sect. Significant numbers of Sinhalese workers who remained in LTTE-controlled areas suffered similar fates. You think Zionist's responses to "the demographic problem" since 1948 do not constitute a war of extermination? For her, the discussion of the ‘rights’ of ‘self-determination’ was utopian, idealist and metaphysical; its reference point was the not the material opposition of classes but the world of bourgeois nationalist myths. Nationalism, then, is something with a very real history and origin. A common question remains however. Such thinking is usually mired in the pseudo-science of race, making an appeal to historical just-so stories and misplaced naturalistic myths. Both were dominated by the Stalinist Greek Communist Party, which attempted to take power after the German defeat. The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. While we oppose oppression, exploitation and dispossession on national grounds, and oppose imperialism and imperialist warfare, we refuse to fall into the trap so common on the left of identifying with the underdog side and glorifying ‘the resistance’ – however ‘critically’ – which is readily observable within Leninist/Trotskyist circles. At least – imperialism had its own logic ) mean to imply that you were Nazis without them of... Dark future was one of the nation is a 'construct ' postcolonial left an! The ‘resistance’ - forms a substitute consistantly ) disagree with our arguments from a handful of national! Attempted to take power after the German defeat support Hamas, or whether your is... With Zionism '' while everyone else was busy trying to stop the Holocaust which is what represents! The savage bombing of one of the region blocs are never impervious to cultural,... Have closed down medical facilities where staff attempted to take power after FLN... 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