determination ,chris?

rc-am rcollins at
Sun Apr 18 00:06:46 PDT 1999


below is a paste of previous posts.

my point being is that the claim to self-determination is unsustainable *as an unconditional claim*; and *at the same time*, it is not possible to support self-determination *with conditions* since this is no longer self-determination. to put it another way, to frame this conflict within the terms of self-determination is to make a decision to accept one set of claims (the kla) and to reject another set of claims (the Serbian nationalists) , since both lay claim to the same territory, with the same recourse to History, etc. it is clear that this right to self-determination does not provide any comprehension of the situation, nor does it provide any solutions. it only makes the decision to opt for one side's claims over the other *seem* like they are self-evident.

more importantly perhaps, self-determination (autonomy) in today's world means more and more the creation of dependant zones (bantustans) which have their claims on economic support from the previously-central government severed whilst allowing a hollow cultural autonomy (as I think nanuvat will unfortunately look like). increasingly, it is a way of containing any claims, containing a pool of reserve or underpaid labour, establishing internal responsibilities for policing that labour (as in the Palestinian authority, for eg), and so on. it is, in short, a way of corralling.

I think g*rd*n (?) is right, framing one's rights/identity in terms of the nation-state is a liberal concoction.

Angela --- rcollins at

______________________________ I had written:

>>how can you argue for self-determination *with conditions attached*?
>>the whole idea of self-determination the absence of external conditions?
>>in which case, isn't support for self-determination somewhat cynical
>>it is also the refusal of conditions?
. Chris replied:

>I have missed that, and I am not sure of the context.
>As I understand it support for the right to self-determination should be
>unconditional, up to an including the right to secession and independence.
>Whether it is progressive to encourage people to exercise that right is
>another matter.
>E.g in marxist terms the right of Quebec to be independent from Canada
>should be unconditional, but progressive people in both parts of Canada
>might or might not argue for the right to be exercised in that way.
>An independent Kosova would have economic problems on its own, and natural
>communications with Albania are not good.
>But were you making a different point?
____________________________________ this was what Chris had written a short time back:

>The point where I am critical of the MADRE statement is in failing to
>uphold the Kosovans right to self determination. They emphasise
>oppression, but do not defend their right to decide their own lives.
>For my part the KLA certainly do deserve support. That need not be

and this is what I had posted in reply a short time back:


I think your claim to support pluralist, as distinct from nationalist/chauvinist formations, just fell over at this point in your post.

support for self-determination is either a principled one, in which case it voided of any conditions, or it is annexed to conditions, in which case it is instrumentalised in the service of other, bigger nationalisms and/or global hegemonial agendas.

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