National Liberation Is Libertarian – LewRockwell

The recent rioting and virtual civil war in Northern Ireland points out, both for libertarians and for the world at large, the vital importance of pushing for and attaining the goal of national liberation for all oppressed people. Aside from being a necessary condition to the achievement of justice, national liberation is the only solution to the great world problems of territorial disputes and oppressive national rule. Yet, all too many anarchists and libertarians mistakenly scorn the idea of national liberation and independence as simply setting up more nation–states; they tragically do not realize that, taking this stand, they become in the concrete, objective supporters of the bloated, imperialistic nation–states of today.

Sometimes this mistake has had tragic consequences. Thus, it is clear from Paul Avrich’s fascinating and definitive book  that the anarchists in Russia had at least a fighting chance to take control of the October Revolution rather than the Bolsheviks, but that they lost out for two major reasons: (1) their sectarian view that any kind of definite organization of their own movement violated anarchist principles; and (2) their opposition to the national independence movements for the Ukraine and White Russia on the ground that this would simply be setting up other states. In this way, they became the objective defenders of Great Russian imperialism, and this led them to the disastrous course of opposing Lenin’s statesmanlike “appeasement peace” of Brest-Litovsk in 1918, where Lenin, for the sake of ending the war with Germany, surrendered Ukrainian and White Russian territory from the Greater Russian imperium. Disastrously, both for their own principles and for their standing in the eyes of the war-weary…

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