The following document was written in July 1985 as part of a discussion in the Workers Socialist League on the question of Israel-Palestine. It compared that which was to end up being the position of the WSL, of helping a Two-State solution, as well as opposing the position of the democratic secular condition.
Both positions, the record argues, are founded on Nationalism rather than Proletarian Internationalism and are, therefore, two edges of this same Nationalist gold coin. “To the bourgeoisie, however, the demand for nationwide equality very often portions in practice to advocating nationwide exclusiveness and chauvinism; they frequently couple it with advocacy of the estrangement and division of countries.
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Lenin was authoring the national problem as it specifically affected Tsarist Russia. Tsarist Russia was the best prison house of oppressed countries of all right time. Not only achieved it contains within it a vast range of oppressed nationalities, but the pogroms these nations faced as a result of the Black Hundred gangs were a lot more severe than any oppressed nationality faces today.
Yet, despite this oppression, despite these countries, more often than not, living in defined geographical areas, we see Lenin advocating not separation, not the establishing of separate state governments, but advocating “amalgamation of the workers of most nationalities”. This is in stark comparison to those who advocate the setting up of another Palestinian condition as a remedy to the national question in Palestine/Israel.
The advocates of the two-state solution, however, base their discussion on another facet of Lenin’s writings on the nationwide question i.e. the right of nations to self-determination. So, let us see what Lenin experienced to state with this rating actually. “Does recognition of the right of nations to self-determination really imply support of any demand of each nation for self-determination?
Much of what Lenin says here is highly relevant to those who claim for the Two State solution. Within their documents they talk about “whole people” i.e. the Palestinian nation or the Jewish nation without making any distinctions according of the various passions and motivations of the contending classes within these nations.
In fact, there is a confusion on the part stemming from a failure to understand the difference between “recognizing the right of countries to self-determination” and supporting demands for self-determination. Socialist internationalism requires us to discover the right of nations to self-determination and to oppose any attempts by an oppressor state to deny that right to the oppressed nation. But, it does not require us to support the decision for self-determination. “… a Social Democrat from a small nation must emphasize in his agitation the next word of our general method: “voluntary integration of countries”.