[DEBATE] : International Solidarity = ?
p.waterman at inter.nl.net
Wed Jun 7 08:30:18 BST 2006
Given recent postings on Israel and Zimbabwe, with historical references to Apartheid South Africa, it occurs to me that we need some discussion on the meaning of internationalism.
Some of the postings here seem to be discussing the matter solely in terms of inter-state relations.
Some are setting up 'liberalism', or 'common liberalism', as a crime, or the enemy.
Patrick at least gestured in the direction of relations at the level of civil society, at least in Southern Africa.
For me, internationalism means relations of left and democratic forces at the level of civil socity. Indeed, I have proposed that we should now be talking of 'global' rather than 'international' solidarity, since the latter suggests relations between nations, nationals, nationalists, nation-states and nationalisms.
Today, and in recognition of the manner in which capitalist globalisation is creating complex and contradictory social relations both beyond and beneath the state-defined-nation, we surely need an understanding of solidarity that would create a meaningfully global civil society. 'Meaningful' for me implies that it should serve popular and radical-democratic interests and causes.
Some 'liberals' are energetically involved in certain such global solidarity activities - as they were in the struggle against imperialism, fascism, apartheid, and in support for labour and democratic rights in China. Some 'Marxists' are not.
It is the same with respect to Zimbabwe apparently. But the principles with which such Marxists are operating are quite obscure to me.
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