Revisionists, particularly Maoists, love to sound sophisticated with the highfalutin’ language that they cloak their rotten ideas in. They say, “The National Question” when they discuss the reactionary ideology of nationalism. There is no national question. It is obsolete. It has already been answered. It is the definition of absurd and insanity to keep asking a question when an answer already exists or to keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome. The current sectarian civil war raging in Syria is a perfect illustration of the obsolescence of the role of nationalism. Because of their fixation on nationalism, Maoists and their ilk have no theoretical method of analysis that will give them an answer to what is going on in Syria or what is to be done. Only PLP’s dialectically based theoretical framework of inter-imperislist rivalry can illustrate the balance of forces that do not have the working class’ interests at all.
The obsolete question these traitors to the Red Flag constantly phrase is, in general, “what is the role of nationalism in the revolutionary movement?” It should be better phrased, “what is the role of reactionary rotten divisive ideology that strengthens capitalism while dividing the working class and inducing them to fight and die for our master’s profits in the struggle for an egalitarian society?” There is no role for nationalism in the Communist struggle for working class liberation. None. All borders must be smashed. Workers must not be led to fight to create artificial borders that divide them. Racism is the filthy underbelly of nationalism. Nationalism will never lead to anything other than a new capitalist state apparatus brutalizing the proletariat — whether it is a Red bourgeoisie like China or Vietnam or brutal dictatorships or bourgeois liberalism. National liberation is future economic, political, and exploitative enslavement by a new set of parasitical bosses who may look, pray, speak or whatever like the local working class, but with clearly different economic interests. Nationalism clearly illustrates two dialectical categories: appearance vs. essence and form and content.
Appearance and Essence
The protests in the Ukraine clearly illustrate several dialectical categories. The most apparent category illustrated is appearance vs. essence. The primary contradiction that has steered these protests is the sharpening inter-imperislist rivalry. Though they have protestors battling cops and taking over buildings, the protestors represent one imperialist camp, and the state represents another, US and Russian imperialism respectively. How can protestors who tore down a stature of Lenin be considered any revolutionary force? Which is the progressive nationalism? Should we respect a sovereign Ukraine? How absurd is it for people who mouth that they support Communism to support one imperialist camp or another?
PLP doesn’t support the imperialist centered politics of the Ukrainian protests at all. We do not support fascists, instead we smash them when we get the chance. We do like the fact that angry workers are battling the police, yet we also know that there is a lot of choreography going on in order to manipulate us into seeing a facade of class struggle.
This is also illustrated in Syria. Assad’s regime is a repressive brutal weapon wielded in the interests of the wealthy Syrians and the Russian imperialists. Many on the left herald him. It is absurd to see such a butcher as any kind of pro-working class force. Opposed to him are a gaggle of rotten opportunists and a few secular nationalist militias. The Islamist fascists are all enemies of the working class too, whether they are moderate Islamists or radical Jihadists. They wield the rotten weapons of religious ideology, racism, and nationalism in the interests of one set of bosses or another — rich non-royal Saudis who bankroll Al-Qaida, rich royal Saudi Wahhabis who bankroll Islamist mercenaries, the imperialists in “socialist” led France and the liberal led US, or the Kurds. Not a single one of these myriad forces are aligned in the interest of the working class and none are fighting for Communist revolution.
Form and Content
There are many revisionists who hold up the Kurds as a potential revolutionary force. This is also illogical and wrong. The form of the Kurdish struggle is also shaped by the nations that the Kurds are in — Iraqi Kurds, Syrian Kurds, and those in Turkey. The Soviet Union helped to form, organize, and arm the PKK and it was one of the last Marxist guerilla parties. The political content of their struggle was saturated with the imperialist old line of the Soviet Union that opportunistically took advantage of the old Communist Movement’s fixation on the national struggle.
The Kurds are being coopted by Assad in one area where they have set up an autonomous zone and seized an oil well. They are now actively looking for international partners to develop and sell the oil to. These partners are going to be capitalists that support one imperialist camp or another. They will be parasites that will enrich one minute section of Kurds while the Kurdish working class will be exploited. How would a sovereign Kurdistan be any better for the working class there? Either way, whether the form be a nation or an organization actively engaged in the armed struggle for national liberation, the political content will not allow for the economic emancipation of the working class. The workers in a future Kurdistan can only be truly liberated by Communist revolution. Liberating the nation from the domination of an external force only further indemnifies the workers to a new set of bosses and a new form of exploitation.
There is no longer a national question any more than a law of gravity question, a Pluto question, or a creationism question. Why aren’t the revisionists asking an earth is flat question? The theory of relativity, modern astronomy, and a basic scientific approach negated those anti-scientific questions. The science of Dialectical Materialism applied by PLP to the old movement clearly illustrates the absurdity of maintaining a “national question” when there’s already an answer. The answer is that all Communists must struggle against the rotten ideologies of nationalism, racism, and sexism and smash all of the borders that currently exist. We must fight to build the PLP so that we can end the hell of capitalism once and for all, not just get new capitalists that look like us.