Shining Path of the Balkans?

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Mon Mar 29 06:27:04 PST 1999

--------- Begin forwarded message ---------- From: Louis Proyect <lnp3 at> To: marxism at Subject: Re: Shining Path of the Balkans? Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 08:38:00 -0500 Message-ID: <199903291340.IAA02809 at>

Walter Keen wrote:
>As a marxist, I have no option but to be for Kosovar independence. This

We should remind ourselves that Lenin supported self-determination because in the case of oppressed nationalities, it helped mobilize people against imperialism. There was a class basis for it. Secessionist movements in Yugoslavia have had no such dynamic. In point of fact, imperialism has pushed the hardest for such movements, beginning in Croatia and Slovenia, which soon became clients of Germany. The US became interested in Bosnian independence for the same reason. It now covets Kosovo. If I were a Yugoslav communist, I would have been fighting for unity of the nation from the very beginning. The disintegration of Yugoslavia has been wrapped up with the introduction of capitalist property relations. "Self-determination" in the context of the 1980s and 90s is a formula for counterrevolution in the Balkans.

On the other hand, Kurdish national demands directed against Turkey, a client of the US, are progressive, as are the Palestinian's and East Timorese. Our goal as socialists should be the breaking down of borders and the creation of a unified human race without any national consciousness. Nationalism, religion and racial pride are irrational beliefs that must disintegrate in the bright light of a society governed by science and social justice. In the meantime, living under capitalism, our interest is to examine these tendencies as a way of undermining that very system, not preserving them in amber.

Louis Proyect (

--------- End forwarded message ----------

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