All posts tagged: nationalism

Workers have no nation of their own (#marxtheory)

Communists have been further criticised for wanting to abolish the nation and nationalities. Workers have no nation of their own. We cannot take from them what they do not have. Since the proletariat must first of all take political control, raise itself up to be the class of the nation, must constitute the nation itself, it is still nationalistic, even if not at all in the bourgeois sense of the term. –Marx Later Political Writings (p.17) Relates to my post: Claiming and Contesting Meanings and Symbols of the Nation.

Claiming and Contesting Meanings and Symbols of the Nation

The nation as a constructed concept frames a commonality amongst citizens who live within the borders of a defined land mass. The conceptual common terrain of nation has provided a large part of the ground upon which the idea of a public was built. Though a plausibly common terrain, it is also an arena of contestation. Different particular actors within nations vie for hegemony — to shape both power relations and the symbolic universe through which relations and reality are interpreted. Other particular actors have to emerge, to construct themselves (i.e. to organize), and to demand their place and their rights as equals within—as part of—the nation and the public. Here by actors I mean groups, aggregations, identities, etc. that congeal and organize sufficiently to develop the capacity for aligned collective action. The emergence of such actors requires some articulated common aspect of identity (e.g. women, blacks, workers of the world, Protestants, etc.). That commonality, internal to the identity of the actor/aggregation, also defines ways that members of the group are different from others. Such …