Strategy for Revolution in 21st Century
National Liberation Its Relation to a Culture of Peace for the 21st Century

Sources

Marx and Engels:
Communist Manifesto

Marx:
Civil War in France

Marx:
Alienation

Marx:
Theory of History

Marx and Engels:
On Human Nature

Engels:
Anti-Dühring

Engels:
Violence and the Origin of the State

Engels:
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Marx, Engels, Lenin:
On Dialectics

Lenin:
What is to be done?

Lenin:
Imperialism

Lenin:
The State and Revolution

Lenin: War Communism

Lenin:
The Cultural Revolution

Lenin:
Left-Wing Communism

Lenin:
The American Revolutions

Lenin:
The French Revolutions

Lenin:
On Workers Control

Lenin:
On Religion

Lenin:
On the Arms Race

Trotsky:
Militarization of Labor

Luxemburg:
Russian Revolution

Zetkin:
The Women's Question

Mao:
Role of Communist Party

Mao:
On Violence

Mao:
On the Army

Mao:
On Women

Mao:
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

Mao and Fidel:
Fall of the American Empire

Guevara:
Man and Socialism in Cuba

Hall and Winston:
Fighting Racism

Fanon:
National Liberation and Culture

Cabral: National Liberation and Culture

Nkrumah: Neo-Colonialism


Perhaps the greatest change of the 20th Century was the dismantling of colonial empires, under the leadership of national liberation movements.

From Marx onwards, national liberation has been considered an important part of revolutionary struggle. It must be waged on two fronts: by workers in the home country and by those oppressed in the colonies. Considering national liberation in 1916, Lenin wrote, "The Socialists of the oppressed nations ... must particularly fight for and maintain complete, absolute unity (also organizational) between the workers of the oppressed nation and the workers of the oppressing nation ... Marx, having in mind mainly the interests of the proletarian class struggle in the advanced countries, put into the forefront the fundamental principle of internationalism and socialism, viz., that no nation can be free if it oppresses other nations."

Revolutionaries point to the American Revolution in the 18th Century as one of the first successful national liberation movements. In Lenin's words, "That was the war the American people waged against the British robbers who oppressed America and held her in colonial slavery, in the same way as these 'civilised' bloodsuckers are still oppressing and holding in colonial slavery hundreds of millions of people in India, Egypt, and all parts of the world." In fact, the Declaration written by Ho Chi Minh for the independence of Viet Nam in 1945 begins with lines from the Declaration of Independence which launched the American Revolution.

As explained by the great revolutionaries, Frantz Fanon, who fought against French colonialism in Algeria, and by Amilcar Cabral, who fought against the Portuguese, national liberation is a psychological and cultural struggle as well as a military struggle.

Most national liberation movements have used armed struggle. However, the great movement for the liberation of India from British colonialism, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, relied on active nonviolence. It provides a model for revolution through nonviolence.

By the end of the 20th Century, the non-aligned movement, representing the victory of national liberation struggles around the world, had become a powerful political force. Speaking on their behalf at the United Nations in 1979, Fidel Castro could say, "We are 95 countries from all the continents representing the vast majority of humanity. We are united by determination to defend cooperation among our countries, free national and social development, sovereignty, security, equality and self-determination. We are associated in the endeavor to change the current system of international relations based on injustice, inequality and oppression. We act on international policy as a global independent factor."

At the United Nations it has been the nonaligned nations that have led the way to resolutions for a culture of peace. As Fidel explains in his UN speech, peace has always been high on their agenda: "Since their founding, the nonaligned countries have considered that the principles of peaceful coexistence must be the cornerstone of international relations, that they constitute the foundation for strengthening international peace and security, reducing tension and extending this process to all regions of the world and to all aspects of relations. And they must be applied universally in relations between states. At the same time, however, the sixth summit considered that those principles of peaceful coexistence also include the right of peoples under foreign and colonial domination to self-determination, independence, sovereignty; the territorial integrity of states; the right of each country to end foreign occupation and acquisition of territories by force; and the right to choose their own social, political and economic systems. Only in this way can peaceful coexistence by the basis of all international relations."

Although national liberation seemed to have achieved many of its goals by the end of the 20th Century, the struggle is not over. New attempts at imperialist domination of countries, such as the American occupation of Vietnam and more recently, Iraq, continue to be met by fierce national liberation struggles. And the independence of Cuba in the face of U.S. imperialism throughout Latin America, is a reminder that the national liberation struggles, begun almost two centuries ago by Simon Bolivar on the American continent, are not yet completed.

As Fidel reminded the United Nations, the achievement of political independence is only a first step of national liberation, because there remains the struggle for economic independence in the face of imperialist economic domination: "History has taught us that the access to independence by a people which has freed itself of the colonial or neocolonial system is, at the same time, the last act in a long struggle and the first in a new and difficult battle. This is because the independence, sovereignty and freedom of our peoples who are apparently free are continually threatened by foreign control of their natural resources, by the financial imposition of official international organizations and by the precarious situation of their economies which diminish their full sovereignty."

To take part in a discussion about this page, go to the Discussion Board Forum on National Liberation:
discussion board

Issues

Revolutionary socialist culture of peace

Culture of War

Internal Culture of War

Culture of Peace

Education for nonviolence and democracy

Sustainable development for all

Human rights vs exploitation

Women's equality vs patriarchy

Democratic participation vs authori- tarianism

Tolerance and solidarity vs enemy images

Transparency vs secrecy

Disarmament vs armament

Revolutionary leadership

Revolutionary organization

Proletarian Interna- tionalism

National Liberation

Guerrilla Warfare

Terrorism

Agent Provocateurs

Communica- tion systems

Psychology for revolution- aries

Capitalist culture of war

Socialist culture of war

Winning Conflict by Nonviolence


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More Sources

South African
Peace Process

Soviet Union
Disarmament Proposals

Soviet Collapse

Slovo:
Has Socialism Failed?

Freire:
Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Fidel:
Ecology in Cuba

Fidel:
On Religion

Mandela:
Human Rights in South Africa

King
on Nonviolence

Gandhi
on Nonviolence

Gandhi
on Communism