By Nick Brown
The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement- Denver is a movement for global equality. We stand for the end of the imperialist system: the system whereby a handful of powerful nations exploit the peoples of the world. We see the termination of imperialism as a necessary first step to a world of lasting peace and real equality.
Anti-imperialism is foremost a fight for national liberation. Most broadly construed, national liberation is the struggle to not be exploited by outside oppressors, but to exist as a self-determining, free nation.
National liberation struggles happen throughout the world on a variety of levels. Venezuela is an example where a progressive section of the ruling class is now leading a campaign for national salvation; providing much needed reforms for the masses while challenging U.S. supremacy on a regional level. There are the numerous armed groups in Mexico, numbering in the mid-teens (not just the Zapatistas), who are fighting a comprador government. Hezbollah, the patriotic Islamic party in Lebanon, has challenged Western influence in the country, provided social welfare for the people and aligned with various Lebanese parties [including Christian ones] in their struggle against Amerikan/Zionist aggression. And we cannot forget the heroic Iraqi resistance.
These forces, taken together, form a worldwide movement against Western imperialism. These diverse individual movements, insofar as they are challenging imperialism, should be supported by freedom and peace loving peoples everywhere.
If Third World anti-imperialist struggles are capable of cutting vital lifelines [of wealth and resources] to imperialism, national liberation struggles internal to the U.S. are capable of delivering blows from within. In the grand scheme of things, within the worldwide movement towards anti-imperialism, these national liberation movements represent a mighty ally, behind enemy lines, within what is geographically called the United States. Because of this, and because these struggles are so close to home, national liberation for internally oppressed nations hold a special significance for us.
While national liberation is not currently the dominant trend amongst oppressed nations within Amerika, national struggles themselves are part of the dialect of everyday life. These struggles manifest in a variety of ways but carry common themes.
For Mexicanos, Indigenous Peoples and Blacks, theirs is the struggle not to be criminalized and disproportionately held captive in White-Amerika’s prison system. It is the struggle to not have their cultures mocked, repressed, co-opted and whitewashed. It is the struggle to not have the lowest life expectancies within the United States. It is a struggle to practice one’s national culture with pride; to be treated as equal members of society; to exist free from the oppression leveled on them by Amerika.
Typically, national struggles take one of two routes: one, the route of liberation as a nation, and the other, integration into the imperialistic, Amerikan oppressor society.
The latter, integration into the Amerikan oppressor society, is the main trend today. This is the path favored by poverty pimps, white chauvinists and the state. The integration route was made widely available through the widening and deepening of exploitation abroad while given impetus by the explosive successes of national liberation struggles during the 1960s and 70s. The reformist integrationist route, while also a national struggle, is antithetical to revolutionary national liberation. Ending oppression through integration means being absorbed into Amerika’s “multi-cultural” oppressor society. It is the democratization of imperialist privilege and the diversification of the labor aristocracy. Integrationism is not revolutionary and is not in the least bit anti-imperialist.
For oppressed nations inside Amerika, the struggle for national liberation is mainly tied to the struggle for a territory on which a free nation can exist. Without such a land, oppressed nations are doomed to live within White-Amerika–forced to suffer oppression while at the same time being lured by trickle-down imperialist privilege. While the goal of national liberation struggles is the creation of sovereign national territories, the planting of seeds for such political power is a necessary first step.
While full-blown national power will not develop quickly or easily, national liberation movements themselves are of utmost importance today. The strengthening of national liberation movements, the expansion of networks and the creation of independent spaces from which these networks and broader movements can operate is a task for which the outcome will weigh heavily on the future.
As success for peoples of the Third World build up, national liberation struggles inside the U.S. can become a destabilizing force within the heart of imperialism. This will make the prospects of revolution greater. At the same time, national liberation struggles will be a focal point of revolutionary gravity within the First World. In the long term, successes made today in creating the basis for independent national power [for oppressed nations within the U.S.] will translate into much wider successes for all people oppressed by U.S. imperialism further down the road.
It is with these considerations in mind that we champion national liberation struggles within United States. We do so not to advance ourselves or to look edgy. We do so from our general anti-imperialist perspective. For us, any single movement for national liberation here is part of the broader international revolutionary struggle to end oppression once and for all.