[Marxism] Let's agree to disagree, Lou!

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Sep 28 13:39:32 MDT 2006

>Yes, you are right. I believe it is you who is in error, and BTW I am
>not against self-determination for East Timor.  What I want to stress
>is that when self-determination brings about tiny states, unable to
>establish themselves as "nations" in the scientific sense of the
>word, these states fall into a trap where they become puppets of
>imperialist bourgeoisies.  The East Timor case is, in fact, a
>demonstration of my thesis.

But Indonesia had no right to rule East Timor, no matter how small or big 
it was. It was ceded to Indonesia by the Portuguese who ruled it as a 
colony. This argument against "tiny states" would also apply to Grenada as 
well. No larger than 100,000 souls, it was nevertheless inspired and 
supported by Cuba. Same is true of Burkina-Faso under Thomas Sankara. It 
seems that your argument borders dangerously close to TINA. Unless a state 
is powerful enough economically to make it on its own as a socialist 
nation, it is no use trying to make a revolution. I don't agree with that.

>The right of small nationalities in the colonial and semicolonial
>world, as a rule of thumb (I don't mean there can be no exceptions)
>is their right to join efforts, on the basis of the full respect to
>their particularities, with other peoples of different cultural and
>even idiomatic tradition, in the construction of large nations that
>can succesfully oppose imperialist penetration.

But what if there are no other nations that fit the bill? Should 
Burkina-Faso waited until Nigeria was liberated? That might have taken 
decades. Who knows, centuries even.



More information about the Marxism mailing list