IN TODAY’S WORLD, the main contradiction is between imperialism and humanity. Giant multinational corporations are stealing the planet for their own interests, forming international networks of monopoly capital through the geographic expansion of corporate power. This involved the transfer of parts of production, commercial and financial services to peripheral countries in search of cheap labor. Super profits are reaped through a production system based on the huge wage gaps that persist between the north and south of the world. If these rules of exploitation are broken by a country, the imperialist powers use humanitarian discourse to justify: military reinforcements and threats of war; carrying out effective military interventions; economic sanctions and blockades; political interference in the elections of other countries; and the launch of âcolor revolutionsâ.
Given the pervasiveness of imperialist power arrangements, national liberation in the Third World continues to be an indispensable process. As Anouar Abdel-Malek writes in volume two of Social Dialectics: Nation and Revolution:
âThe central problem of the social dialectic is the problem of the combination of breadth, intensity and continuity, that is, the problem of finding the largest possible front of allied forces aiming at the The most intensive action possible, gathered around the issues most likely to achieve the maximum intensity of action. And this is precisely the privileged role of national movements, throughout the different phases of their development. Here, and here only, do we witness the greatest possible concentration of different social groups, classes, forces, tendencies, largely united to accomplish the fundamental tasks of liberation and socio-economic transformation.
Unlike the reactionary nationalism of developed countries – which implies xenophobia and expansionist perspectives – national liberation is the struggle against dependence which has as its objective, beyond the clearing of the national territory, the independence and sovereignty of the State and l comprehensive eradication of the deeply rooted social force of imperialism. In other words, national liberation is the reconquest of decision-making power in all areas of national life, a process of rebirth undertaken on the basis of fundamentally national demands, and a struggle for sovereignty. These ideas crystallize in the concentrated concept of âautonomyâ. Abdel-Malek writes: âAutonomy should be seen as the affirmation of national independence in the interdependence of nations, regions and areas, always emphasizing the national position of the problem, and not the ‘reverse.
The emphasis on the national element was similarly formulated by Antonio Gramsci as follows:
âThe international situation must be seen in its national aspectâ¦ the line of development is towards internationalism, but the starting point is ‘national’.
Thus, socialist thought must take root in the concrete context in which it is situated; that is to say, it must develop on the basis of a national position, and not from an a priori cosmopolitan vision under the mask of internationalism. When the global left faces diverse national soils, it is inevitably confronted with the deep structures of national formations, with the historical specificity of each society.
Therefore, leftists must respect the peculiarity that the revolutionary creativity of the peoples of the former colonies and semi-colonies tends to introduce into the national liberation movements due to the specific conditions in the countries themselves and also due to the specific characteristics of the country. present international situation of a day. The struggle of national movements for independence, national liberation and social revolutions asserts itself as a struggle for the reconquest of national identity, sovereignty and socio-economic weight against imperialist hegemony. It follows then that national movements are required to exhibit a powerful density of explicit specificity-content – precisely to the extent that this specificity is at the very heart of their liberation struggles and revolutions. Indeed, national liberation achieves the proclamation of socialist goals not through class negation of capitalism, but through anti-imperialist nationalism.
In this regard, they summarize to some extent the social logic of the revolutionary process. If national unity is now placed “above” the class struggle, the “nation” and “national unity” in question are generally understood in a new way – as excluding the “forces of reaction”. “(generally the feudal landlords and the upper middle class). If nationalism puts the national interest above all else, the class factor is already represented in that interest (in a specific, nationalistic way, of course). The use of nationalism as a key political grammar for anti-systemic struggles is necessary because, in the words of Max Ajl:
“The core uses the mechanisms of its own state to reshape, if not to break, the state mechanisms on the periphery to protect and widen the gap between these areas, either by turning the state against the nation or by wresting the state from the nation. “
It would be strange to suggest that the national and nationalist logics of organizing struggles for human emancipation and structures for the social reproduction and development of man should be abandoned while imperialism seeks precisely this abandonment by the political breakdown of states through the dismantling of institutions and the dissolution of state and nation ideas.
The central element of national liberation movements – the establishment of national productive forces under sovereign and national control – has proven to be a powerful counterweight to the influence of imperialism. As Ajl points out:
‘[National liberation was a successful attempt to] to break the patterns of primitive accumulation, guaranteed by colonial violence and manifested by a continuous colonial exodus and unequal exchanges, through which the countries of the center continued to extract wealth from the periphery. The limited achievements of national liberation were always achievements, something lacking in the gossip eager to assimilate one nationalism to another, a set of capitalist contradictions to another, and a shift from elites to their successorsâ¦. Gains in human dignity have occurred because decolonization rarely involved hoisting a flag over an alabaster state houseâ¦. Decolonizationâ¦ put an end to the deflation of colonial incomeâ¦. The colonial famines have ceasedâ¦. Investment in improving agricultural productivity by national governments has been one of the crops of decolonization, and it has halted and reversed secular declines in food grain availability and halted deindustrializationâ¦. Public health networks have expanded and the absorption of food grains per capita has gradually increasedâ¦. This happened by placing the process of development of the productive forces under the control of petty-bourgeois elements who looked after the basic needs of the formerly colonized population.
The national elaboration by the Third World of a general line – directly linked to the transformation of present-day societies in the real world of our time – has involved the institution of repressive measures. Criticized by many as authoritarian, these actions are necessary to protect the gains made within the framework of the chosen development model; guard against regime change operations organized, sponsored, armed and financed by an imperialist world that will stop at nothing to dismantle sovereign nations and assert its hegemony. Abdel Malek notes:
âAutocratic powerâ¦ which seems so often necessary during the first phase of nationalitarian constructionâ¦ revolts those who limit themselves to seeing it in itself, as a structure so to speak, instead of situating it within the framework of the historical evolution – instead of conceiving freedom within the framework of necessity.
In addition, maintaining a strong state means actively and substantially defending national sovereignty as the shell within which to resolve internal contradictions.
The indispensable nature of the national liberation processes in the current conjuncture cannot be emphasized enough. The intensified neocolonial strangulation of the Global South requires the opening of socialist and anti-imperialist fronts which can effectively stop the flow of value from the periphery and semi-periphery to the center and the unequal accumulation that these flows form and reinforce. . In November 1919, after the creation of the world’s first workers and peasants state, Vladimir Lenin declared:
“The socialist revolution will not be solely, or primarily, a struggle of the revolutionary proletarians of each country against their bourgeoisie – no, it will be a struggle of all the oppressed imperialist colonies and countries, of all dependent countries, against international imperialism. . ‘
This clear statement serves as a powerful call for the mobilization of the peoples of the Third World in a national liberation struggle against imperialism and capitalism.
DissidentVoice.org, July 15. Yanis Iqbal is a student and freelance writer based in Aligarh, India.