ISR issue 14 | Marxism and Nationalism, Part 2The period of counter-revolution in Russia brought not only "thunder and lightning" in its train, but also disillusionment in the movement and lack of faith in common forces. As long as people believed in "a bright future," they fought side by side irrespective of nationality — common questions first and foremost! But when doubt crept into people's hearts, they began to depart, each to his own national tent — let every man count only upon himself! The "national question" first and foremost! At the same time a profound upheaval was taking place in the economic life of the country.
Marxism And The National Question
Dave Stockton looks at the classical period of this analysis. At the close of the twentieth century a new wave of national struggles is sweeping the world. These struggles involve claims for national privilege as well as protests against national oppression. The oppressed of yesterday often become the oppressors of today. The collapse of the USSR, together with the growing differences between the USA, the EC and Japan over policy for restoring capitalism, has led to a fracturing of former multi-national states along ethnic or national lines by national groupings trapped within them.
Part One: The national question in history
Achin Vanaik surveys a large body of theories of the nation and nationalism, and considers them in the context of contemporary India. But after this, agreement largely ends. Two central divides exist with respect to mapping the nation and hence its relationship to nationalism. Is the nation old or new? Is it predominantly cultural or political? That is to say, even as most would accept that the nation and nationalism is both cultural and political, which is the dimension that is more important for grasping its their nature? From these two basic divides in perspective stem a whole host of ambiguities of comprehension and assessment that has created a situation whereby all theories of the nation and nationalism are partial.