NORWAY 1905 - EUSKADI 2000

In the above mentioned work, speaking about the Yugoslav conflict, we have already exposed the general bases of the internationalist character that the proletarian policy must necessarily acquire in the present stage of the historical accumulation process of capital. So we won’t go back to that here. Nevertheless, it seems necessary and timely for us to abound on the important precisions made by Lenin in August of 1916, reflecting on the historical fact of the self-determination of Norway in 1905.

In the first place, Lenin takes up again what is said in the April Thesis of 1916 and alludes to the<<law of the displacement of the small production by the large>> within each country, whose consequence is the irresistible trend to the international unity of the capitals that characterizes the imperialistic stage of the bourgeois system. For Lenin, this trend is objectively revolutionary in so far as it contributes to unify the immediate and historical interests of the proletariat beyond their national frontiers. Given these historical conditions, Lenin emphasizes that the cases of separatism or self-determination of countries of dominant capitalistic structure, as Norway, are exceptional isolated examples of temporary and ephemeral victories of the small capital over the large one. Therefore, overcoming the ideological pressures of the prevailing petty-bourgeoisie thinking in those times, Lenin and the Bolsheviks conclude that from the socialist strategic point of view, the nationalistic separatism is objectively reactionary:

<<...We all accept the law of large-scale production ousting small-scale production, but no one is afraid to describe a specific “instance” of “small-scale industry prevailing over large-scale industry” as a reactionary phenomenon. No opponent of self-determination has yet ventured to describe as reactionary Norway’s secession from Sweden, though we raised the question in our literature as early as 1914.>>. (V.I. Lenin: "A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism" Point 4)

From that year on, Lenin and the Bolsheviks insisted in showing that the centralization of national capitals and its fusion or interlacing with the international capital is perfectly compatible with national self-determination and bourgeois democracy. In 1916, Lenin observed that English financial capital operated in Norway before and after it split from Sweden, and that German financial capital had operated in Poland before it split from Russia. Correctly predicting that it would go on operating whatever its political situation within the capitalist system. According to what is exposed above, this is what has occurred in the "Free State" of the Republic of Ireland. The current frenzy of fusions and interlacing between national and foreign capitals - to which it does not escape the Basque Country today - does nothing but confirm and bring up-to-date point by point this thesis of Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

Therefore, in countries of a capitalist structure - as is the case of Euskadi - no struggle for national self-determination that doesn’t pass through the dictatorship of the proletariat, will be able to avoid the process of centralization and fusion of its national capitals - by absorption or by interlacing- with fractions of the great bourgeoisie of other countries.

According to this line of reasoning,

  1. The trend towards the internationalization and unification of capitals at world level is unavoidable, because it is in the nature of things under capitalism.
  2. The policy of bourgeoisie separatism in countries of a complete capitalist structure - as is the case of Euskadi - is reactionary not only because its mentors say that they want to go beyond the centralization of capitals and the unequal international development preserving the national pre-monopolist capitalism:<<Imperialism is our "fatal" enemy as much as capitalism. This is a fact. But no Marxist will forget that capitalism is progressive in comparison with feudalism and that imperialism is so regarding pre-monopolist capitalism.>> (V.I. Lenin: Op.cit. Point 6)
  3. Neither is this policy reactionary solely because it is unable to prevent the objectively revolutionary fulfilment of the trend to the national centralization of capitals and to its interlacing with international capital. As well as the accentuation of the economic colonialism of the sovereign countries of relatively small development by the more developed capitalist ones. Given the fact of the private property over the means of production, those are economic realities that are fulfilled with total independence of the political forms of the class struggle.
  4. Therefore, according to the socialist strategy, the objective of self-determination or national political independence of such organizations as ETA in the stage of late capitalism is substantially reactionary, not only because it proposes to overcome imperialism from the retrograde perspective of non monopolist national capitalism - thus removing the horizon for socialism in Euskadi - but above all because it politically isolates the Basque proletariat and sets it at odds with their class brothers in other countries. Preventing their necessary international political unity to carry through the effective revolutionary struggle against multinational capital, the unequal development of the capitalist world economy, the real inequality between nations and between human beings.

The 5th of June of 1920 Lenin presented his "First thesis sketch on the national and colonial problems" for the second congress of the Communist International. There he began by pointing that the bourgeoisie doctrine of the legal or formal equality between independent nations of unequal economic development, is the reflection at an international level of relationships, of the not less misleading doctrine of the equality between exploitative and exploited, between employers and salaried. As a practical logical consequence of this theoretical certainty, Lenin synthesized in four points the political line that communists should follow with respect to the national problem:

<<2) In conformity with its fundamental task of combating bourgeois democracy and exposing its falseness and hypocrisy, the Communist Party, as the avowed champion of the proletarian struggle to overthrow the bourgeois yoke, must base its policy, in the national question too, not on abstract and formal principles but,

  1. First, on a precise appraisal of the specific historical situation and, primarily, of economic conditions;
  2. Second, on a clear distinction between the interests of the oppressed classes, of working and exploited people, and the general concept of national interests as a whole, which implies the interests of the ruling class;
  3. third, on an equally clear distinction between the oppressed, dependent and subject nations and the oppressing, exploiting and sovereign nations, in order to counter the bourgeois-democratic lies that play down this colonial and financial enslavement of the vast majority of the world’s population by an insignificant minority of the richest and advanced capitalist countries, a feature characteristic of the era of finance capital and imperialism.

3) The imperialist war of 1914-18 has very clearly revealed to all nations and to the oppressed classes of the whole world the falseness of bourgeois-democratic phrases, by practically demonstrating that the Treaty of Versailles of the celebrated “Western democracies” is an even more brutal and foul act of violence against weak nations than was the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk of the German Junkers and the Kaiser. The League of Nations and the entire post war policy of the Entente reveal this truth with even greater clarity and distinctness. They are everywhere intensifying the revolutionary struggle both of the proletariat in the advanced countries and of the toiling masses in the colonial and dependent countries. They are hastening the collapse of the petty-bourgeois nationalist illusions that nations can live together in peace and equality under capitalism.

 4) From these fundamental premises it follows that the Communist International’s entire policy on the national and the colonial questions should rest primarily on a closer union of the proletarians and the working masses of all nations and countries for a joint revolutionary struggle to overthrow the landowners and the bourgeoisie. This union alone will guarantee victory over capitalism, without which the abolition of national oppression and inequality is impossible.

5) The world political situation has now placed the dictatorship of the proletariat on the order of the day. World political developments are of necessity concentrated on a single focus—the struggle of the world bourgeoisie against the Soviet Russian Republic, around which are inevitably grouped, on the one hand, the Soviet movements of the advanced workers in all countries, and, on the other, all the national liberation movements in the colonies and among the oppressed nationalities, who are learning from bitter experience that their only salvation lies in the Soviet system’s victory over world imperialism....>> (V.I. Lenin Op. Cit.)

<<There is no ETA document where it "officially and definitely proclaims itself to be Marxist Leninist >>. Upon saying this, Justo de la Cueva, one of the most outstanding "Marxist" intellectuals of the MLNV, pretends that this supposed omission in no way implies that the MLNV denies the political line of continuity of thought of Marx and of Lenin, but obeys to the purpose of not appearing <<...fixed to the dogmatic yoke of the USSR>>, and that this presumed belligerent attitude towards Stalinism is, for Justo de la Cueva, <<the cause of the theoretical solidity and of an ideological course in which they have not suffered the crushing that in so many philistines nowadays converted into equilibrists of the political wire has provoked the downpour of debris from the USSR>>.

With all due respect, this isn’t so and sounds to us as a subterfuge, to throw the ball out to justify what is unjustifiable, to attempt to conciliate with Marx and Lenin what is in the antipodal of their thought and consequent political action according to what we estimate to have shown in this work. Because the rampant reformist opportunism of ETA with respect to the Basque lumpenbourgeoisie - and if not let us be known how they can explain the constant attempts to formalize a nationalist united front with the PNV - is in the logic of the main breaking point of Stalinist foreign policy with the Marxist-Leninist tradition: the dependent capitalist chauvinism, a counter-revolutionary racket that from the twenties of the last century has provoked recurrent political and human catastrophes suffered by the world proletariat long before the fall of the USSR. To this is reduced the "theoretical solidity" and the “ideological course" of the "communist" members of the MLNV; nothing to do either with Marx or with Lenin; nothing to do, therefore, with the present and historical interests of the Basque proletariat or with the international communist strategy.


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