Nations have not always existed, nor will they always exist in the future. Marxists are internationalists, fighting for world socialist revolution.

The question of nationalities - that is, the oppression of nations and national minorities, which has characterised capitalism from its birth till the present time - has always occupied a central position in Marxist theory. Once again, the historical materialist approach of Marxism dissolves the apparent “natural” role of the nation as a necessary expression of human society. Nations have by no means always existed, nor will they always exist in the future.

The nation as we know it today is a product of the development of capitalism and its need to unify peoples into units of a certain size (depending on the level of the system’s development – e.g. more recently formed nations tend to be much bigger) to consolidate the market. The contradictions and tensions between nations are a result of capitalism’s “combined and uneven” development. The contradictions of the capitalist mode of production itself force each ruling class to expand outwards, developing a global market and imperialism in the process.

The violent tensions that this process breeds in turn give rise to nationalism, racism and wars. There is no way a successful world revolution, abolishing the global capitalist system, can take place without a careful and nuanced understanding of the national question, with all the sensitivities and complexity it brings. Therefore this section is of the utmost importance for revolutionaries.

Introduction

The question of nationalities - that is, the oppression of nations and national minorities, which has characterised capitalism from its birth till the present time - has always occupied a central position in Marxist theory. Once again, the historical materialist approach of Marxism dissolves the apparent “natural” role of the nation as a necessary expression of human society. Nations have by no means always existed, nor will they always exist in the future.

The nation as we know it today is a product of the development of capitalism and its need to unify peoples into units of a certain size (depending on the level of the system’s development – e.g. more recently formed nations tend to be much bigger) to consolidate the market. The contradictions and tensions between nations are a result of capitalism’s “combined and uneven” development. The contradictions of the capitalist mode of production itself force each ruling class to expand outwards, developing a global market and imperialism in the process.

The violent tensions that this process breeds in turn give rise to nationalism, racism and wars. There is no way a successful world revolution, abolishing the global capitalist system, can take place without a careful and nuanced understanding of the national question, with all the sensitivities and complexity it brings. Therefore this section is of the utmost importance for revolutionaries.

 


 

Introductory article

Lenin on the National Question - Rob Sewell

 

Longer articles

The Problem of Nationalities - Leon Trotsky

The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination - Lenin

Black Struggle and the Socialist Revolution - Workers International League

Lessons from the History and Struggle of the Black Panther Party - John Peterson

 

Marxist classics and books

Marxism and the National Question - Alan Woods and Ted Grant

The Right of Nations to Self-Determination - Lenin

A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism - Lenin 

Critical Remarks on the National Question - Lenin 

 

Audios

Marxism and the National Question - Fred Weston

Marxism and the Black Struggle - Fred Weston

Marxism and the National Question - Francesco Merli

Educate Yourself

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Feminism

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Fascism

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The National Question

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Imperialism and War

Wars represent the sharp extreme of capitalism’s impasse. Imperialism, Lenin said, was the "highest stage of capitalism". As long as the profit system exists, there will be wars over markets and spheres of influence. Read More

Revolutionary History

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Revolutionary Strategy

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