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View Diary: A pacifist on nationalism (67 comments)

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  •  Communism as a cure (7+ / 0-)

    The Communists didn't have much use for nationalism either.  They wanted worker solidarity across national lines.  They worked to start Communist parties in every country so that every one of them could advance to a more equitable socialism.  In large multi-ethnic Communist countries, all ethnicities were to have equal status.  

    Communists had a way of binding together a society -- working toward a common goal.  It could be defeating the fascists, building up factories and infrastructure, educating the masses, everything was a group effort.  From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.  

    The only thing they had less use for than nationalism was a ruling class made up of the wealthy.  They still couldn't be truly egalitarian and get rid of a ruling class (the Party) entirely, but that class was not fabulously wealthy, earning a thousand times the wages of the common worker.

    Two things that have re-emerged after the fall of Communism in Russia: an obscenely wealthy ruling class, and nationalists exercising all manner of racism against "the other", be they Muslim, Jew, Tatar, or whatever.

    •  Not always (1+ / 0-)
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      The communist party of South Africa almost overthrew the government in the 1922. It was based mostly in the mines and factories in and around Johannesburg, and almost successfully established the "Johannesburg Soviet,"but their slogan was "Workers of the World Unite and Fight for a White South Africa!" Their main grievance was the mine owners decision to allow blacks to take skilled jobs in the mines.

      Of course, later, they changed and became internationalist.

      Then during WW II, the Soviet Union in order to rally the population became explicitly nationalist, fighting the great patriotic war for mother Russia.

      Then they became internationalist again after they had incorporated Eastern Europe into the Soviet block.

      •  You kind of prove my point (1+ / 0-)
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        Nationalism seems to be a convenient foil to pick up and use in these two examples, to be discarded later.  Useful at the moment for the fight against capitalists and fascism, but totally disposable.

      •  once the bolsheviks' govt got taken over (1+ / 0-)
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        by stalin and his proteges, that was the end of communism and the beginning of totalitarianism

        stalin was so much the Leader that he could make a deal with the other Fuhrer, hitler, after he and his minions murdered anyone who'd ever been a true communist, and rest of russia was cowed

        now it seems to be a free-for-all there for anyone with money

        the people who threw off the autocracy may still surprise us though

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