Nationalism and the 'national question'

1916: The Easter Rising

Submitted by martin on Mon, 06/05/2013 - 16:58

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.

Luxemburg, economics, crises, and the national question

Submitted by Ruth Cashman on Thu, 30/08/2018 - 13:09
rosa luxemburg

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

Submitted by martin on Sat, 25/08/2018 - 07:54
Permanent revolution

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.

Should we reverse history?

Submitted by SJW on Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:29

Sean Matgamna replies to Ashok Kumar's "National rights and the decolonial gaze"

Sometimes a person will have to do odd things for socialism.

Trotsky recorded that when women induced the soldiers not to fire at the crowds at the outset of the February Revolution, they had to get at them by first crawling under the belly of Cossack horses. What Trotsky referred to so summarily loses much of its meaning in the minds of modern people who have no experience of horses.

A split in Iraqi socialist group

Submitted by SJW on Wed, 18/07/2018 - 10:54

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

Submitted by AWL on Thu, 21/06/2018 - 11:52

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"

Submitted by martin on Wed, 07/03/2018 - 19:33

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" and "A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism",

Catalonia impasse demands challenge to Rajoy

Submitted by Matthew on Wed, 10/01/2018 - 10:56

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has scheduled the first session of Catalonia's new parliament for 17 January.

Elections on 21 December gave a result similar to 2015. The pro-independence parties won a small majority of seats in the parliament (70/135 this time, 72/135 in 2015) with a slight minority of the votes (47.3% this time, 47.8% last time).

Only now several of the leading pro-independence MPs are now held in Spanish jails for sedition, or self-exiled in Brussels for fear of being jailed if they return to Catalonia.

2018 day schools: Marxism, national questions, and nationalisms

Submitted by martin on Mon, 25/12/2017 - 20:18
Lenin on the national question

Marxism, national questions, and nationalisms

Selected reading (fuller list below):


1. Basics from our tradition: the Marxist debates on the national question before 1914

2. How Orthodox Trotskyism skewed the tradition

4. Ireland

5. Israel-Palestine

6. Catalonia and the "Norwegian way"


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