Episode 82: Ukrainian National Self-Determination: Answering Today’s “Imperialist Economism” and Campism
The co-hosts discuss the Ukrainian people’s fight for national self-determination against Russian imperialism, drawing lessons from V. I. Lenin’s responses to “imperialist economists” within his party as well as Rosa Luxemburg, who all claimed that national self-determination is unachievable under imperialism. After reviewing what “imperialist economism” meant at that time, Brendan and Andrew discuss parallels today in the pronouncements of Noam Chomsky and followers of Luxemburg, plus a new variant that Lenin did not have to confront––campist imperialist economism. They then discuss what “national self-determination” means and doesn’t mean, how claims that it is unachievable rest on a distorted definition of the term, and how national self-determination is indeed achievable––even in the context of inter-imperialist conflict, as in Ukraine today. Finally, drawing on Hegel’s critique, they discuss how arguments (made by ultraleftists and others) that national self-determination is unachievable misuse the axiomatic method.
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