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This document published by the Revolutionary Marxist Group, and written under Raynor Lysaght’s pseudonym, Robert Dorn in 1973. is 55 pages long no overview can hope to do justice to the contents, but it is possible to pick out some elements that offer a representative view of the document. In essence it is a riposte to the British & Irish Communist Organisation and in particular the ‘Two Nations’ theory.
It starts under the heading ‘Communism and the National Question’
The workers’ struggle to achieve the lass less stateless society is worldwide. It cannot be limited within the boundaries of any one state or among the people of any ethnic group. Communism, Scientific Socialism, Marxism or Bolshevik-Leninism as it is variously know, recognises this. Accordingly those who adhere to it operate to an international strategy and within an international organisation: The Fourth International.
If the nation developed from the same processes as did the working class, the two phenomena’s claims are not identical. On the one hand, the nation includes all class within itself itself, once it has been formed. On the other hand, its demands can be and often are in blatant opposition to those of the other nations, setting worker against worker.
Nationalism, then, cannot be reconciled with internationalism and is not to be confused with it.
In general… the Communists are in support of the democratic claims of oppressed nations, whether to independence, to am more equitable drawing of boundaries, to the ending of oppression of their culture or to the abatement of any other specific abuse. Beyond that Communists cannot go: once the national claims step over the objective border surrounding the nation concerned, the oppressed nation has become itself an oppressor. Marx and Engels supported the German people’s right to a united state. But when the German capitalists added to their new empire by seizing the French territories of Alsace and Eastern Lorraine, these Communist leaders denounced those they had supported critically the previous day.
There’s a fascinating overview of various concepts of nationalism, including the Two Nations concept, ‘A “British” Nation’ and so on.
There are two Appendices; Communist on the Nation and Documents on the Left Opposition (Y.S.) and R.M.G. on the Irish National Question.
Take over British Factories.Strike to hold them for the workers. Fight to protect them for the workers. End sectarian laws – North and South. Work with our overseas comrades for a classless stateless society.