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Colonialism and the natives

Originally published: Weekly Worker on December 17, 2015 (more by Weekly Worker)

The Zionist colonisation of Palestine, ongoing since the turn of the 20th century, has engendered a conflict with exceptional features. In essence it is a clash between settlers and the indigenous inhabitants whom the former continually seek to uproot and displace.2 But – uniquely among such conflicts – it has assumed the form of a binary confrontation between two discrete national groups that have crystallised in and through this asymmetric collision: a Hebrew settler nation and a single indigenous Palestinian Arab people.3 I would like to put forward a socialist view of how this complex conjunction of a two-sided national problem and a colonial-type problem may be resolved.

But before taking up the specific issue of Palestine, I will make a detour: an overview of the way colonial and national questions were addressed by our movement during the ‘long’ 20th century. My purpose in doing so is not to discover a template for tackling the particular problem of Palestine: its exceptional singularities preclude copying past paradigms. And anyway, the record of the revolutionary Marxist movement on these issues is far from perfect: it contains perhaps as many blind spots and false assumptions as instructive insights and valid precepts. However, we cannot simply ignore or bypass the tradition to which we are heirs, but must engage with it dialectically and provide a past perspective to present concerns.

This will require a short series of articles. The present, first part of the series consists of rather unsystematic observations about controversies on the colonial and national questions during the period of the Second International.

Resolutions on colonialism

The Second International initially took an apparently unambiguous anti-colonialist position.4 Thus, the Fourth Congress (London, 1896) adopted a resolution condemning colonialism (as well as affirming the right of nations to self-determination).5 The Sixth Congress (Amsterdam, 1904) adopted a resolution submitted by the German Social Democratic Party “against the colonial and imperialist policy”.6 A report on colonialism, written at the request of the International Socialist Bureau (ISB),7 was presented to that congress by Henry M Hyndman, leader of Britain’s Social Democratic Federation.8 Hyndman concentrated on British colonialism, which he roundly condemned:

Nobody declares nowadays that the campaigns in the Sudan, in east Africa, on the west coast, and Tibet are carried on for the sake of Christianity, and civilisation. That miserable pretence has been dropped. The British flag, as the buccaneer Cecil Rhodes averred, is “a commercial asset”, to be exploited by its masters and owners, the capitalists of Great Britain, native and foreign … By their treatment of kaffirs, Indians, Chinese and negroes, English politicians have proved to the world that forced labour and indentured slavery now form a recognised portion of the machinery of capitalist exploitation abroad, as sweating and swindling of the propertyless wage-earners are their habitual methods of industrial organisation at home. No-one, as yet, has been bold enough to advocate a return to chattel slavery in British possessions in so many words; but already the thing itself exists, and is rapidly extending almost without protest.

And he reserved his most vehement denunciation for Britain’s rule of India: “the greatest and most populous empire that ever came under the control of any nation”:

India is the greatest and most awful instance of the cruelty, greed and shortsightedness of the capitalist class of which history gives any record. Even the horrors of Spanish rule in South America are dwarfed into insignificance in comparison with the cold, calculating, economic infamy which has starved, and is still deliberately starving, millions of people to death in British India.

The apparently consistent anti-colonialist stance of the Second International was internally challenged for the first time at the Seventh Congress (Stuttgart, 1907). The revisionists were a majority in the commission that prepared the congress and their draft resolution on the colonial question, presented by the Dutch delegate, Hendrick van Kol,9 asserted that “Congress did not in principle condemn all colonial policy, for under socialism colonial policy could play a civilising role”.

Lenin, who could barely contain his shocked contempt, reports that in the debate “Bernstein and David urged acceptance of a ‘socialist colonial policy’ and fulminated against the radicals for their barren, negative attitude, their failure to appreciate the importance of reforms, their lack of a practical colonial programme, etc.”10 Eduard David, a leader of the German SDP, put it bluntly: “Europe needs colonies,” he said. “It does not have enough of them. Without them, we would be economically like China.”11

However, Kautsky, against the majority of the German delegation, urged the congress to reject van Kol’s draft resolution. His intervention – approvingly reported by Lenin – carried the day, and the revisionist motion was defeated by 128 votes to 108 (with the 10 Swiss delegates abstaining).12

The revisionists did not give up, and at the next meeting of the ISB (Brussels, 1908) van Kol presented a report urging a “positive” colonial policy for social democracy. “The whole report was saturated with a spirit, not of proletarian class struggle,” Lenin comments, “but of the most petty bourgeois – and, even worse, bureaucratic – peddling of ‘reforms’. In conclusion he suggested that a committee be appointed from the five main countries possessing colonies to draw up a colonial programme for social democracy. Again, as Lenin recounts approvingly, Kautsky led the opposition to van Kol’s side; and the latter, “seeing that his motion would undoubtedly receive ‘a first class funeral’, himself withdrew it”.13

However, the anti-colonialist position of the Stuttgart majority – led by Kautsky and supported by Lenin – suffered from certain weaknesses. One such weakness is obvious in hindsight. The colonised peoples – with the partial exception of India, whose National Congress was the only party of a colonised people represented in the International – were mostly viewed as objects rather than subjects capable of liberating themselves from colonial yoke. It was assumed that colonialism would come to an end following the overthrow of capitalism and the conquest of power by the proletariat in the advanced capitalist countries. The notion that colonised peoples of Asia, let alone Africa, could win formal independence in a world still dominated by capitalism did not seem to occur to revolutionary Marxists of that era. The very idea would have been inconceivable to them.

But, as we shall see, there was something more seriously wrong with the Second International majority position on colonialism – at least as expounded by its foremost exponent, Karl Kautsky.

Kautsky’s typology

Following the Stuttgart congress of the Second International, Kautsky wrote a polemical pamphlet, Socialism and colonial policy(1907), in which he elaborated the position he had defended in the congress and his arguments against the revisionism of van Kol et al.14 All Kautsky quotes below are from this pamphlet – a very important document, which deserves to be read attentively and critically.

But here I wish to focus on one issue: a distinction that Kautsky draws between two types of colony: “work colonies” and “exploitation colonies”. This distinction had in fact been made by him long before: in this 1907 pamphlet he refers to an article he published in 1880;15 and the same distinction is outlined briefly in his 1898 series of three articles, ‘Past and present colonial policy’. (This rather inferior but very influential work is available in English translation, with a critical and illuminating introduction by Mike Macnair, which I highly recommend.16) Here is Kautsky’s 1907 formulation:

The work colony is settled by members of the working classes of the motherland: craftsmen, wage workers, and particularly, peasants. They forsake their native country to escape economic or political pressure, and to found a new home for themselves free from such pressure Such a colony rests upon their own labour, and not on the labour of subdued natives.

On the other hand, an exploitation colony is settled by members of the exploiting classes of the motherland, where the booty did not suffice them, who therefore aspire to extend the field of their exploitation. They go to the colonies not in order to find a new home, but in order to forsake the colony when they have squeezed enough out of it; not to escape pressure at home, but in order to become capable of exerting even greater pressure in the motherland. The economic utility of such a colony does not rest on the labour of the colonists, but on the plundering or forced labour of the natives.

Kautsky is mistaken in asserting that settlers do not find a new home in an exploitation colony, and “forsake [it] when they have squeezed enough [??] out of it”. This may be true of the grandest magnate settlers; but in reality, many stayed on, unless and until they were expelled.

However, apart from this, a distinction along these lines is absolutely basic and must be the starting point of any discussion of colonies and, more generally, of colonisation. (I say “more generally”, because colonisation does not necessarily take place in a colony. For example, colonisation of the territory of the United States by European settlers continued long after independence.) The two types of colonisation differ fundamentally in their political economy, in the socio-political formation to which they give rise, and in their dynamics and eventual outcome.

Certainly, the very first questions that a Marxian examination of any social formation must pose are: Who are the direct producers? What is the form in which surplus product is produced? Who appropriates this surplus? In fact, Kautsky’s typology is hinted at in passing by Marx himself, who refers to what Kautsky was to call “work colonies” as “colonies properly so-called” – a term that sounds somewhat puzzling to present-day ears.17

It is therefore not surprising that Kautsky was not alone in distinguishing two types of colony. Even Hyndman – by no means a towering Marxist – made a similar, albeit not clearly articulated, distinction in his 1904 report quoted above, using Marx’s term, “colonies properly so-called”.

While I am on the subject of terminology, let me remark that Kautsky’s term, “work colony”, is unsatisfactory: it one-sidedly focuses on what the settlers do and hints at their class origin, but ignores the colonised indigenous population. As we shall see, behind this terminological bias lurks a more serious substantive one.

The present-day, relatively new academic and literary discipline of postcolonial studies uses a typology of colonies roughly similar to Kautsky’s, although non-Marxist academics and writers tend to be less interested in the underlying political economy and are more concerned with issues of racism and cultural arrogance. In this discipline, what Kautsky called “work colony” is usually referred to as a “settler colony”. I find the latter term even less satisfactory than the former: in addition to being one-sided, it is also plainly misleading. In fact there were settlers in both types of colony, although their relative number was obviously smaller in exploitation colonies.

Shortly before the 1967 June war, we in the Israeli socialist organisation Matzpen, unaware of Kautsky’s writings on colonialism, but making what we regarded as an elementary Marxist observation, drew the following distinction between two types of colonisation:

The Zionist colonisation of Palestine differs in one basic respect from the colonisation of other countries: whereas in other countries the settlers established their economy upon the exploitation of the labour of the indigenous inhabitants, the colonisation of Palestine was carried out through the replacement and expulsion of the indigenous population.18

By “other countries” we meant the main contemporary arenas of liberation struggle by colonised peoples: Algeria, which a few years earlier had won its independence from France (then Israel’s main imperialist sponsor); and South Africa (whose apartheid regime was a close ally of Israel).

Naturally, we were aware that Palestine was by no means one of a kind: historically there had been other places – such as North America and Australia – where the indigenous people were displaced and for the most part excluded from the settlers’ political economy, rather than being exploited and thereby integrated as subjugated, but indispensable subjects.

In substance, our typology was evidently the same as Kautsky’s, and we used exactly the same hallmark to define one of the two types: exploitation, a two-sided relation between exploiter and exploited. But there is a significant difference between the characterisations of the other type: while Kautsky’s is in terms of what the settlers do, ours is in terms of what they do to the indigenous people.

I think “exclusion colonisation” is a correct description of the latter type of process. And I will accordingly prefer that term to Marx’s “colony properly so-called”, Kautsky’s “work colony”, and the post-colonialism academics’ “settler colony”.

Of course, what one calls a type of colony is less important than what one says about it. Marx, who initially was somewhat ambiguous about colonialism – seeing it as an engine for progress, while condemning its brutality – grew more scathing about it in his later years.19 This is what he has to say on the subject in his discussion of the genesis of industrial capitalism:

Of the Christian colonial system, W Howitt, a man who makes a speciality of Christianity, says: “The barbarities and desperate outrages of the so-called Christian race, throughout every region of the world, and upon every people they have been able to subdue, are not to be paralleled by those of any other race, however fierce, however untaught and however reckless of mercy and of shame, in any age of the earth”…

The treatment of the aborigines was, naturally, most frightful in plantation-colonies destined for export trade only, such as the West Indies, and in rich and well-populated countries, such as Mexico and India, that were given over to plunder. But even in the colonies properly so called, the Christian character of primitive accumulation did not belie itself.

Those sober virtuosi of Protestantism, the Puritans of New England, in 1703, by decrees of their assembly set a premium of £40 on every Indian scalp and every captured red-skin: in 1720 a premium of £100 on every scalp; in 1744, after Massachusetts-Bay had proclaimed a certain tribe as rebels, the following prices: for a male scalp of 12 years and upwards £100 (new currency), for a male prisoner £105, for women and children prisoners £50, for scalps of women and children £50.

Some decades later, the colonial system took its revenge on the descendants of the pious pilgrim fathers, who had grown seditious in the meantime. At English instigation and for English pay they were tomahawked by red-skins. The British parliament proclaimed bloodhounds and scalping as “means that god and nature had given into its hand”.20

Hyndman, in contrast, while vehemently condemning exploitation colonialism, has high praise for the other type:

Colonies properly so-called …, even when first set on foot as convict settlements, were by degrees accorded the right of self-government, after more or less sharp and sometimes bloody encounters with the official clique which represented the old idea of domination by the mother country. Thus it has come about that Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and the Cape are as completely free and self-governing communities as Great Britain herself. They are, indeed, the most thoroughgoing democracies existing on the planet; and those portions of the colonists, as the French in Canada, who have been brought under English control by treaty after war, are allowed to use their own laws and their own language as completely as if they had never been annexed.21

He omits to mention that, as a prelude to instituting the most thoroughgoing democracy existing on the planet in Tasmania, its indigenous people were hunted, some deported and the rest exterminated – a rather radical form of exclusion.

Also, counting the South African Cape among the colonies “properly so-called” should have been seen as mistaken by 1904 (after the Boer War!). The foundation in 1888 of De Beers Consolidated Mines, chaired by Cecil Rhodes, had clearly marked a definite and irreversible turn to a political economy based on exploiting indigenous labour-power. As for the Cape being one of the most thoroughgoing democracies existing on the planet, this is somewhat hard to reconcile with the severe restrictions on blacks’ voting rights introduced in 1892 by the same Cecil Rhodes, now wearing his prime-ministerial hat.

Kautsky on ‘work colonies’

While Hyndman’s discussion of this type of colony is brief and cursory, Kautsky devotes the whole of chapter 4 of his 1907 pamphlet to “work colonies”. His discussion here is certainly more sophisticated and nuanced, but his attitude towards these colonies is not very different from that of Hyndman. He begins by observing that

Work colonies are possible for European nations only in temperate climates; in hot zones the European cannot perform the heavy work demanded by the cultivation of a colony. They are only possible in very thinly populated regions, in which a very primitive mode of production predominates, perhaps hunting, which requires immense territories to support a single individual. In heavily populated territories with developed production, the settlers would, of course, find no room, and they would not find the freedom they demand, for there they again stumble upon private property in land, ground-rent, state and military structures, which they had sought to escape.

From this he concludes that exclusion colonisation is a thing of the past:

All those territories which may be considered as possible work colonies are already occupied, and in fact have become independent states, formally in many cases: the United States, Canada, South Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Australia, South Africa. They have all ceased to be objects of a European colonial policy, working in a civilising manner to enable them to develop their productive forces; some of them, on the contrary, have the power to bring a higher civilisation and improved productive forces to Europe.

Kautsky, like Hyndman, is plainly mistaken in counting South Africa among the “work” colonies. This is all the more puzzling, as he himself refers in chapter 8 of the same pamphlet to “the Kaffirs [working] in the gold and diamond mines of South Africa”. So he was perfectly aware that in this increasingly dominant sector of the country’s economy – which he describes as the “realm … of modern capitalism, of the trust system and the rule of industry by high finance” – the work was being done by “Kaffirs” rather than by the settler-owner, “Mr Cecil Rhodes”, whom he mentions by name.

His implication that no new exclusion (“work”) colonisation would take place turned out to be almost accurate – with the sole exception of Palestine, which happens to be the case I am mainly concerned with in this series of articles. The fact that Palestine was relatively “heavily populated … with developed production”, with well established “private property in land, ground rent, state and military structures”, did not prove an insurmountable obstacle to Zionist exclusion colonisation. Until 1948, private land had to be bought from its mostly absentee landlords, and thereupon their peasant tenants could be evicted.

This was the world’s sole formalised “work” colonisation: a ban on settlers employing Palestinian Arabs was enforced by the Zionist labour organisations. In 1948, with “state and military structures” in the settlers’ hands, the vast majority of the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants of what became Israel were stampeded and ethnically cleansed.22 The minority who remained behind were dispossessed of much of their land by various forms of legal robbery.23 These methods of land acquisition were extended following the 1967 war to the Syrian Golan Heights (massive ethnic cleansing) and the West Bank (legalised robbery).

But let me return to Kautsky’s discussion of the old exclusion colonies. To get its true flavour it must be quoted at some length.

If settlers from the European civilisation come into a practically unpopulated land, and apply themselves to its cultivation, they immediately raise its productive power. They replace a backward economy, which hardly produces, but rather mainly gathers what nature freely offers, with the highest productive methods of their time. Even more: freed from hidden pressure, and burdens of ground rent, taxes, military service, etc, they are able to develop spiritual and material forces much more freely than in the mother country. They do not merely replace the tiny productive force of the savages with the high productive force corresponding with their cultural level, but are able to develop their own productive force much quicker than the motherland, and thus become one of the powerful driving forces for developing the general productive forces of mankind The most shining example of this is provided by the United States of America.

We certainly cannot take an attitude of rejecting this kind of colonialism. But do we not thereby come into conflict with our rejection of every kind of colonial dominion? Not at all. These colonies originated in the effort to escape class domination, they do not rest on the exploitation and oppression of the natives, but on the settlers’ own work. Thus the latter are not founding a special, new kind of class domination over the natives. Certainly, up to the present, these have led everywhere to the repression, and often to the complete destruction, of the natives, but that was not an unavoidable result of this kind of colonialism.

The territories opened up to cultivation are so massive here that they are easily big enough to support both the new settlers and the old inhabitants, if these were instructed and civilised and made familiar with the new mode of production. But these colonists were peasants, and, more than any other class, peasants lack the flexibility and understanding to fit into a foreign set-up. This results from their immobility and isolation, which limits their horizon to that of the parish, especially where trading relations are little developed.

The peasant is also too much absorbed in his work to find time to happily absorb himself in a foreign structure and to act as educator and civiliser. All attempts in this direction made with regard to the savages in peasant colonies were within a short time again given up, not because it was impossible to civilise the savages, but because it was complicated; and the peasant confronted the savage without understanding and with distrust from the beginning. The peculiar nature of the savage, free and bold, seemed immoral paganism and devilish wickedness to the narrow peasants and petty bourgeois who came from Europe. Thus conflicts easily arose which called forth deep and endless hostility.

So there never was any systematic and lasting work of enlightenment amongst the savages in the peasant colonies That this was not impossible is shown by the shining success of the Jesuits in Paraguay, who raised some 100,000 wild Indians to a significant level of productive power, without the use of arms, without subjugation – in fact, because these were not used – until the violent intervention of the Spanish destroyed their work. We must greatly regret that in the work colonies the natives were not likewise civilised, preserved and made into useful citizens of the country. But that should not cause us to mistake the massive advantages of such colonies for the development of human productive power.

To present-day readers, referring to hunter-gatherers as “savages” seems shocking. But at the time this was the standard term for such societies. It was used by the pioneering anthropologist, Lewis H Morgan, and following him by Engels (in Origin of the family, private property and the state) in a value-free sense that certainly did not have the connotation of cruelty. In fact, some old literary uses of it, far from being derogatory, had a rather positive flavour:

I am as free as nature first made man,

Ere the base laws of servitude began,

When wild in woods the noble savage ran.24

However, Kautsky must have known that by no means all natives of exclusion colonies were “savages” in any sense. In some cases it is they who had much to teach the settlers about local crops and methods of cultivation.

Kautsky cannot be accused of ignoring the devastation wreaked on previously isolated societies by exposure to contagious diseases, against which they had no immunity. This was little understood at the time. But what is truly shocking is his patronising attitude towards indigenous “savage” peoples, his belief that non-violent colonisation of their “practically unpopulated land” was ever feasible, and his trust in the possibility of a benign, civilising “work of enlightenment amongst the savages”.

The counter-example he adduces – that of “the shining success of the Jesuits in Paraguay” – was a rare, even unique, paternalistic exception: the sort of exception that proves the rule.25 The idea that the “violent intervention of the Spanish” was an avoidable mishap is quite implausible. In any case, the real question is not whether benign colonisation is logically possible, but whether it is at all likely.

Kautsky’s attempt to put the blame for the usual brutality of exclusion colonisation on the class psychology of the peasant and petty bourgeois settlers, besides being casually offensive about peasants, is unconvincing. In order to make settlement by colonists possible, land had to be made available; and this meant dispossessing its former users – whether they were hunter-gatherers, nomadic pastoralists or farmers – and disrupting their traditional mode of existence. No society is likely to accept such dispossession and disruption without resistance, and no settler community is likely to regard such resistance as anything but aggression on the part of wild, uncivilised natives.

Debates on the national question

The debates on the national question in the Second International are quite well known to present-day Marxists, albeit in a one-sided way, through Lenin’s polemical articles.26 These were aimed mainly against Rosa Luxemburg, who had mounted a robust attack on the inclusion of support for the right to national self-determination in the programme of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.27

A third position, distinct from both Luxemburg’s and Lenin’s, was advocated by the Austrian Marxist, Otto Bauer, and adopted by the Jewish Bund. It demanded linguistic and cultural autonomy, based on personal affiliation, not on territory, for all national/linguistic groups.28 Kautsky’s essay on the national question is now also available in English translation.29 A useful critical re-evaluation of the issue is contained in a series of three articles in the Weekly Worker by Mike Macnair in July 2015.30

Here I will not take sides in this old debate, but confine myself to a few observations regarding its context.

First let me note that, although the various participants in the pre-1914 debates discussed the national question in some generality, invoking examples from various parts of the world, their main concern was the problem of the subordinate and oppressed nationalities in the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires.

Second, this problem was addressed not simply because, as Luxemburg observed, “the duty of the class party of the proletariat to protest and resist national oppression arises … solely from the general opposition to the class regime and to every form of social inequality and social domination: in a word, from the basic position of socialism.”31 Rather, what was specifically at stake was the need to bolster the cross-national class unity of the proletariat in the struggle for socialism.

Most revolutionary Marxists at the time assumed that this struggle was coming to a head, and a socialist revolution would be on the European agenda in the not too distant future. In this context, national problems, with their divisive potential of working class disunity, presented a grave danger that needed to be defused. What opinion was sharply divided over was how best to prevent fragmentation of the workers’ movement along national lines.

Moreover, a consensus among the participants in these debates was that, as Rosa Luxemburg put it, “a general attempt to divide all existing states into national units and to retailor them on the model of national states and statelets is a completely hopeless and, historically speaking, reactionary undertaking”.32 None of them was in favour of encouraging this “reactionary undertaking”. National secession was acceptable only in exceptional cases.

This is true, in particular, of the position of the RSDLP, ardently defended by Lenin. Advocating “the right to national self-determination, up to and including separation,” has often been misrepresented as positive support for separation. But, as Lenin kept pointing out, it was nothing of the kind. If anything, it was the opposite. Luxemburg was in fact spot on when she asserted that

the only guideline given [by the right to self-determination] for practical politics is of a purely negative character. The duty to resist all forms of national oppression does not include any explanation of what conditions and political forms the class-conscious proletariat in Russia at the present time should recommend as a solution for the nationality problems of Poland, Latvia, the Jews, etc, or what programme it should present to match the various programs of the bourgeois, nationalist and pseudo-socialist parties in the present class struggle.33

Indeed, although Lenin may not have put it quite this way, the “right to self-determination” as interpreted by him was a positive formulation of a “purely negative” principle: opposing any coercion, any use of force, by a dominant nation against a subordinate one in an attempt to prevent the latter’s secession. This was especially the duty of socialists belonging to the dominant nation. But it did not imply support for secession as a norm. On the contrary, the default position was advocacy of non-secession; and positive support for separation was seen as an exception, a measure of last resort.

The outcome of World War I, and especially the Russian Revolution, provided a radically changed context to the colonial and national questions as addressed by revolutionary Marxists. I will turn to this topic in the sequel to the present article.


1. This is an edited and expanded version of a talk delivered at the CPGB’s Communist University on August 21 2015. I am indebted to comrade Mike Macnair for helpful comments.

2. See my book Israelis and Palestinians: conflict and resolution London 2012, chapter 33. Also http://tinyurl.com/27zk26x.

3. I use ‘people’, as a singular noun, to denote the Palestinian Arab component of a broader entity, the all-Arab nation.

4. But only apparently. I will explain this qualification below.

5. www.marxists.org/history/international/social-democracy/index.htm#1917.

6. www.marxists.org/history/international/social-democracy/1903/dresden-resolution.htm#amsterdam.

7. The ISB, established in the fifth congress (Paris, 1900), was the permanent organisation of the Second International.

8. HM Hyndman, ‘Colonies and dependencies: report to the International Socialist Congress, held at Amsterdam, August 14-20 1904’: www.marxists.org/archive/hyndman/1904/08/colonies-dependencies.htm.

9. Van Kol, who until then had been the International’s most prominent spokesman on colonial issues, owned a plantation in Java and expressed blatantly racist views. See J Riddell, ‘How socialists of Lenin’s time responded to colonialism’:https://johnriddell.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/how-socialists-of-lenins-time-responded-to-colonialism.

10. VI Lenin, ‘The International Socialist Congress in Stuttgart’: www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1907/oct/20.htm.

11. J Riddell op cit.

12. VI Lenin op cit.

13. VI Lenin, ‘Meeting of the International Socialist Bureau’: www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1908/oct/16b.htm.

14. K Kautsky Socialism and colonial policy (1907). English translation: www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1907/colonial/index.htm.

15. K Kautsky, ‘Soll Deutschland Kolonien Gründen?’ (‘Should Germany found colonies?’), in RF Seyfferth (ed) Staatswissenschaftliche Abhandlungen (1880).

16. K Kautsky, ‘Past and present colonial policy’ (1898). English translation by B Lewis and M Zurowski with a critical introduction by M Macnair, London 2013. Available from http://cpgb.org.uk/pages/books/32/karl-kautsky-on-colonialism-2013.

17. See quotation below from Capital Vol 1, chapter 31. Marx may have had in mind the ancient Roman meaning of colonia, a grant of land to citizens or discharged army veterans.

18. ‘The Palestine problem and the Israeli-Arab dispute’, statement by the Israeli Socialist Organization (Matzpen), May 18 1967. Reproduced in M Machover Israelis and Palestinians: conflict and resolution Chicago 2012, p13. Also http://tinyurl.com/opx2guo.

19. See KB Anderson Marx at the margins: on nationalism, ethnicity and non-western societies Chicago 2010.

20. K Marx Capital Vol 1, chapter 31.

21. HM Hyndman op cit.

22. I Pappe The ethnic cleansing of Palestine London 2006.

23. S Jiryis Arabs in Israel London 1976.

24. J Dryden The conquest of Granada act 1, scene 1.

25. This exceptional episode, the so-called Reductions, is the subject of Roland Joffé’s 1986 film The mission, starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons.

26. VI Lenin, ‘The right of nations to self-determination’ (1914): www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/index.htm; ‘The discussion on self-determination summed up’ (1916): www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/jul/x01.htm.

27. R Luxemburg, ‘The national question’ (1909): www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1909/national-question/index.htm.

28. O Bauer Die Sozialdemokratie und die Nationalitätenfrage(1907); English translation: The question of nationalities and social democracy Minnesota 2000.

29. K Kautsky, ‘Nationality and internationality’ (1907-08). English translation by B Lewis – part 1: Critique Vol 37, No3, August 2009, pp371-89; part 2: Critique Vol 38, No1, February 2010, pp143-63.

30. ‘Democracy and rights’ Weekly Worker July 9 2015; ‘Nation-state and nationalism’, July 16 2015; ‘Self-determination and communist policy’, July 23 2015.

31. R Luxemburg op cit.

32. Ibid.

33. Ibid.

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