NLF; National Liberation Fronts: 1960/1970

NLF; National Liberation Fronts: 1960/1970

NLF; National Liberation Fronts: 1960/1970

NLF; National Liberation Fronts: 1960/1970

Excerpt

Prior to the second decade of the twentieth century, national liberation movements were tied to the democratic struggle against the survivals of feudalism, first in Western Europe from about 1789, and later in Eastern Europe and Asia beginning with the revolutions in Russia, Persia, Turkey, and China from about 1905 onwards. Under the influence of the October Revolution, this second wave of liberation struggles gradually changed its character. Originally, these movements aimed at the creation of independent national states and a home market controlled by the native bourgeoisie. After 1917, however, they began to be directed against not only foreign imperialist domination, but also native oligarchies, i.e., local capitalists in league with landowning interests.

Nationalism in the so-called Third World has thus increasingly merged with communism. The bourgeoisie, which formerly led and dominated movements for native independence, now finds itself in the awkward role of supporting foreign interests in order to bolster its own privileges. Since 1917, the struggle between oppressive and revolutionary nationalism, the nationalism of the imperialist powers and the national liberation movements of the Third World, has ceased to be a contest between different segments of the international bourgeoisie. Instead, it is now part of the main antagonism of our times--the struggle between capitalism and socialism.

The most important battleground of national liberation movements of the kind just described continues to be Asia, where struggles for formal independence from Japanese, French, British, and Dutch rule were to yield way to the more difficult struggle for . . .

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