the working class and the british nation state: a reply to the morning star

by Chris Ford

The national question continues to be an issue of primary importance to communists and the workers movement as a whole.  The nation-state has not been transcended – transnational corporations remain tied to their home nation-states and capitalists draw on the military and political power of their states to promote their interests.  Our era of global capitalism has further institutionalised the system of national oppression and inequality which is a characteristic of bourgeois society.  How should we respond to this question has been a matter of controversy for generations of communists.

One mistaken response has been to consider globalisation has rendered the nation a superfluous construct; this has fuelled a trend which views struggles, such as against neo-colonialism, as a diversion from the real business of class struggle.  We find this in such views as equating the unity of the UK state with the unity of the working class such as on the Scottish question.  Another trend, prevalent in the UK, has come to adapt itself to the dominant nationalism of the UK state, British nationalism.  This social-patriotism emerged in the working class during the growth of the British Empire in the second half of the 19th century. We find it expressed in some aspects of the anti-European Union current, represented most vocally by the Stalinist Communist Parties. Continue reading “the working class and the british nation state: a reply to the morning star”

the jewish orphanage in cracow

by Roman Rosdolsky
(Translated by Diana Rosdolsky)

Roman Rosdolsky, the Ukrainian Marxist scholar best known for his Making of Marx’s Capital, left a moving memoir of his stay in Auschwitz, which was published in English translation in Monthly Review in January 1988. He also wrote another memoir with reference to the Holocaust originally published as “Das jüdische Waisenhaus in Krakau” in Arbeiterzeitung, 15 April 1948. It appears below in an English translation by his granddaughter. (John-Paul Himka)

During the first months of the war I lived on Dietel Street in Cracow. It was a street that had the character of a boulevard with many lovely trees. For many hundreds of years it had separated the old, squalid suburb of Kazimierz, mostly inhabited by Jews, from the actual city of Cracow. Continue reading “the jewish orphanage in cracow”