Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 02:20:40 EST
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Subject: [BRC-ALL] Kosovo and 'Self-Determination'

Kosovo and the intricacies of self-determination in global capitalist society

By Joe Johnson and John A Imani, [24 March 1999]

Madeline Albright tonight on the Larry King Live show on CNN said of Slobodan Milosevic He has taken away the autonomy that the Kosovans had under the Yugoslavian constitution. This I find interesting, laughable really, because the very same forces (NATO) which she has arrayed against what is left of Yugoslavia are the same forces which were constituted to overthrow the Titoist constitution, which Albright is now praising (along with the rest of the Eastern Bloc)

What is of moment, in this travesty of hypocritical humaneness, is how does this pertain to the membership of the BRC other than to the obvious humanity of the membership and our righteous anger at the continued existence of warfare: The answer has to do with our thoughts on the question of Self-Determination. For, is it not true that, we hold it to be our God-given right to control our own destiny and I could not agree more. Yet what we demand for ourselves, less we become the oppressor, we must equally dema nd for the others and respect their decisions as long as they possess no weaponry with which to impose their will upon ours. We, thusly, are speaking of S elf- Determination in a post-class society. A society in which all live, work, breathe freely and are able to choose the life which we want to live with out impinging upon that of the other.

Self-Determination efforts, however, do not wait for the demise of the capitalist system. They can, have been and, are still showing themselves as struggles not only for national identity but, they have also this exciting element They bring to the fore the question of property. That is, who are to be the rulers: the People or the Profiteers? So what's up in Kosovo? I mean, them mfers striving for liberty (in the end, joining with Albania) aint they? They getting f*cked over by the Serbs. Ethnic Cleansing and all that sh*t. So what's up with that?

On the surface, this is a no brainer. The right of a group of like-minde d individuals to live their lives according to shared customs and beliefs ( Self-Determination) is the sine qua non of this, the last, revolution. This w ill be made possible by a rapid increase in the means of production and conversion from the mode of capitalist production for profit to communist production for consumption. This is the sine qua non of Self-Determination. However, unfortunately, we are only in the early stages of what could be a surprisingly relatively bloodless and rapid transformation and thus we are forced to analyze each instance of wars for self-determination (e.g. the Kurdish Workers Party and its fight against the governments of both Iraq and Turkey; the Tamils against the Sinhalese dominated government in Sri Lanka, etc.) and their relationship to the dynamics of the world economy. The question to be posited in any war is, and has always been, who benefits?

After NATO kicks the sh*t out of the Yugoslavs (not Serbs as the U S government, the press and, silly-a*sed proto-(state) capitalist and crypto- nationalist Slobodan Milosovich, would have it), will the newer and larger Albania become a repository for a Marshall-like Plan designed, as the original, to bring a devastated economy into the orbit of what was U S dominated and what is now a triumphant Global Capitalism? A capitalism, in the main, free and towering above national boundaries, relentlessly on t he prowl for cheaper and cheaper labor? The victors will proffer a plan to bring in capital to build factories, to he[lp] those po[or] un-fotunate Banians (as it will be put by The Honorable Senator What-the-f*ck-D /R). Factories that are there strictly and solely to take advantage of a closer, a now larger, destitute labor force. A bringing of a third-world nation no t only into the grasp of Amero-Europe but which is, indeed, a part of Europe. You can best believe that Merrill-Lynch is BULLISH on this sh*t.

In a world still dominated by the rule of profit over people we must analyze separatist national movements away from the dicta our inviolable right to Self-Determination. Their class base must needs be examined, assessed. And this is why I wrote this paper. I gotta admit that I am confused by the nature of the balance of forces in this one. I don't know who to pull for. The only thing that I can say without hesitation is that NATO should in no way be involved. If this is a question of Human Rights then the UN is the proper forum for the decision as to whether outside armed intervention sh ould take place. A UN that, I must admit is, still dominated by the forces ar rayed against humanity (through the agency of the World Bank, the IMF and crooked- a*sed third world Global Capital colluding privateer governments (e.g. Nigeria) etc. ad nauseum.). A UN, that we must seize power over as we mu st seize power over national governments in the interests of all. In the meantime, questions and debates centered around the concept of Self-Determination reveal themselves to be questions of a much larger, more encompassing debate.... No, war. The questions of national, racial, relig ious and individual Self-Determination await the realization of their common sine qua non, production of, by and for human beings.


Joe Johnson and John A Imani