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The fact that the struggle for national liberation against one imperialist power may, under certain circumstances, be utilized by another “Great” Power in its equally imperialist interests should have no more weight in inducing Social Democracy to renounce its recognition of the right of nations to self-determination than the numerous case of the bourgeoisie utilizing republican slogans for the purpose of political deception and financial robbery, for example, in the Latin countries, have had in inducing them to renounce republicanism

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/jan/x01.htm#fwV22P151F01

I am trying to work out whether, supposing a war is fought against an oppressor nation and this war is in the interest of a "great" imperialist power - specifically its economic interests - then Lenin thinks it is not a "revolutionary war".

Is Lenin comparing the utilisation - economically or militarily - of anti colonial struggle by other great powers to a reactionary republicanism he would not support? Or is he merely pointing to how the bourgeoisie can appear to co-opt republicanism and anti-colonial struggle?

I would have thought perhaps, but I'm unsure if he would think that freedom for Ireland in the 19th century - which he unequivocally supports - would necessarily involve economic success for some "great" imperialist power. Aftfer-all, the saturation of world markets was something Rosa Luxemburg argued for, and I think she was opposed to all wars of national independence, against Lenin.

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  • The statement is quite convoluted, but it seems to mean that, according to Lenin, there is no "absolute" right to self-determination. Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 10:34
  • ok. i doubt i will get any better comments or answers here. dunno why i bothered really. good to feel someone understood what i was asking, at least @MauroALLEGRANZA
    – user67675
    Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 11:10

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