In the first article of the series (International
Review 66) we demonstrated how ‘national liberation’ acted as a deadly
poison for the international revolutionary wave of 1917-23; in the second part
(IR 68) we showed how ‘national liberation’ wars and the new states form
inseparable cogs of imperialism and imperialist wars. In this third part we
want to demonstrate the tragic economic and social disaster caused by the
existence of the 150 nations created in the 20th century.
Marx said that the truth of a theory is demonstrated in practice. For the proletariat, 70 years of bitter experience have clearly resolved the debate on the national question in favour of the position developed by Rosa Luxemburg and then by the groups of the Communist Left, especially Bilan, Internationalisme and our Current. In the first part of this article we saw how support for "national liberation of the people" played a crucial role in the defeat of the first international proletarian revolutionary wave between 1917 and 1923 (see International Review no 66). In this second part we will see that the "national liberation" struggles have been an instrument of the imperialist wars and confrontations that have wracked the planet for the last 70 years.
The Kurdish tragedy is the latest demonstration of the bloody barbarity brought about by so-called 'national liberation' struggles. The United States, Great Britain, Turkey, Iran, all the different imperialist protagonists who brought about the outrage of the Gulf War, encouraged the Kurds in one way or the other to rise up in armed insurrection for their 'national liberation'. Now we can see how they left Saddam Hussein to crush them and cast them into exile...