Nationalism and the 'national question'

1916: The Easter Rising

Ireland and the Revolutionary Tradition of Easter Week

From Labor Action, 14 April 1941

Easter Sunday morning, 1916. Three o'clock. James Connolly. Irish revolutionary leader, was talking to his daughter and some of her friends, all asking why the revolt so carefully prepared had been countermanded.

Rosa Luxemburg on 1905

Author

Martin Thomas

“The extent to which the party rises to the occasion [of a revolutionary upsurge] — that depends in the greatest degree on how widely [the Marxists have] known how to make their influence felt among the masses in the pre-revolutionary period...”

It depends on “the extent to which [they were] already successful in putting together a solid central core of politically well-trained worker activists with clear goals, how large the sum of all their political and organisational work has been”.

The break-up of Yugoslavia

Author

Sarah Correia

Sarah Correia is a researcher at the London School of Economics. She will speak at Ideas for Freedom, 22-23 June, on the case in Eastern Europe where the collapse of the old bureaucratic “one-party” regime around 1989 led to outright regression — the breakdown of the federal state of Yugoslavia into war.

Letter: One king or another

Author

Daniel Randall

Like Dale Street, Solidarity 486, I rather wonder whether the “pro-independence fundamentalists” who have described David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King as a “clarion call for Scottish independence” can possibly have been watching the same film I saw.

Luxemburg, economics, crises, and the national question

Author

Martin Thomas

This article seeks to review and reflect on the two volumes of Rosa Luxemburg's Complete Works published so far.

Only a scattering - a much thicker scattering since the 1970s, but still a scattering - of Luxemburg's writings have been available in English until now.

Since the 1970s there has been a "Collected Works" in German. Even that misses out a lot. The new Complete Works, edited by Peter Hudis, will be fourteen volumes.

Permanent revolution: Trotsky's theory and later constructions

Author

Sean Matgamna

From The Left in Disarray

Central to the formation of the ideas of the ostensible left on imperialism and anti-imperialism has been the fact that the Orthodox Trotskyists conflated working-class socialist revolution and the anti-colonial revolutions of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, in what they saw as a variant of Trotsky's permanent revolution.

A split in Iraqi socialist group

Author

Nadia Mahmood & Martin Thomas

Nadia Mahmood of the Worker-communist Party of Iraq spoke to Martin Thomas about a split within her organisation.

Nadia: The resignation of our comrades Muayad Ahmed and Yanar Mohammad was announced after the central committee’s decision to take away Falah Alwan’s membership of the party.

MT: There must have been some political issues behind it, like the referendum?

Nationalism and patriotism are dead ends for the left

Author

Ben Tausz and Sacha Ismail

The call to embrace patriotism is one heard over and over on the left. Particularly in the wake of Brexit and when the far-right is resurgent, many seek some way to ride the tide of nationalist sentiments. But for class-struggle socialists, the project of left-wing nationalism can only ever be politically incoherent and strategically a dead-end.

The ideas Lenin was arguing against in "The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up"

Author

Yuri Pyatakov, Yevgeniya Bosh, and Nikolai Bukharin

These are the theses of the section of the Bolshevik Party which during World War 1 came out against "the right of nations to self-determination", and which Lenin argued against in "The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up" https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/jul/x01.htm#bkV22E100 and "A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism", https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/carimarx/

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