National Sections of the L5I:

National Liberation

Forging the nation? The failure of third world nationalism

Dave Stockton continues a series on Marxism and the National Question with a survey of the development and fragmentation of national consciousness under the impact of colonialism. Read more...

Capitalism and nationalism in the “Third World”

After the 1982 debt crisis the IMF wielded a big stick over the semi-colonial countries. At the same time it dangled a very small carrot a considerable distance ahead of them. To make themselves credit worthy once again and attractive to foreign investors they would have to slash state budgets, strive for a balance of payments equilibrium and exchange rate stability. They would have to abandon all attempts at import substitution and orient their production to maximise export earnings. Finally they were obliged to auction their state assets to the highest bidder. For the big banks the purpose of this programme was clear. Read more...

The class struggle in Bosnia

A monstrous crime is being perpetrated against the Bosnian people. Jan Roth analyses the situation, and argues that only working class internationalism can save Bosnia from ethnic partition. Read more...

Congress Militant and the ANC: waiting for the inevitable

The first General Election in which the black population of South Africa can vote has seen the vast majority flock to the side of the ANC. Lesley Day argues it was wrong for the left to follow them. Read more...

Reforming the Orange State?

In a St Patrick’s Day speech this year Gerry Adams said that, “Unionists can be persuaded to recognise that they share a common peaceful destiny with their fellow countrymen and countrywomen in the common territory of Ireland.” Edward McWilliams casts doubt on his optimism. Read more...

The Bolsheviks and the National Question: uniting theory and practice, 1913-1923

The Bolshevik programme for the national question was developed out of a critique of the experience of the Second International in the years up to and including the First World War. It was a revolutionary policy hammered out in response to a new period of capitalist development ushered in by imperialism. Dave Stockton looks at the debates within Russian social-democracy up to the the Russian revolution of 1917 and examines the policy of the Bolsheviks at the head of a young Soviet State trying to resolve the problem of national oppression within the former Tsarist empire. The contrast with Stalin’s later actions in respect of non-Russian minorities is thereby all the more obvious. Read more...

Are the Bosnian Muslims a nation?

The proposed settlement over the partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina is a big blow against the longstanding multi-ethnic character of the old republic in former Yugoslavia. For centuries economic and political developments have combined to prevent the Bosnian Muslims, in particular, from attaining a national consciousness. Michael Gatter explores the reasons for this, and asks what difference the experience of war has made. Read more...

Irish republicanism at an impasse

It is twenty five years since the civil rights revolt gave birth to the modern IRA. Here, Matt Docherty assesses republicanism’s strategy for a united Ireland today in the light of the recent historic changes in world politics. Read more...