Against Ultra-nationalist Revanchism and Irredentism

In the comments section, Lafayette Sennacherib unfortunately displays some unorthodox revisionist opinions about the start of World War 2.

Why is it always taken for granted that invading Poland and the Sudetenland were monstrous deeds? Until Britain declared war, Germany had done no more than reclaim parts of its country that had been given, with their German populations to the rule of foreigners.

It’s not hard to see why leftists have a problem with Hitler, but why are they so outraged by the idea of self-determination for the Germanic peoples, especially when it opposed the oppressor British Empire?

Revanchism and irredentism are flat out bad news. All ultra-nationalists do this. All ultra-nationalists either wage, or threaten to wage, revanchist and irredentist wars to “reclaim the stolen land for Greater Whatever.”
It’s a solid principle on the Left to oppose this ultranationalist poison everywhere on Earth it starts stinking up the neighborhood. Borders are borders.
Yeah, the Germans lost land. So did Italy. Practically everyone lost land after WW1. Even French Alsace Lorraine kept going back and forth. So what. The Germans lost land after WW2 too. They have a right to fight and get it back?
All the borders on Earth are pretty much the markers of a crime, of invasion, conquered land, ethnic cleansing. We can’t open the genie box and let the ultranationalists start redrawing borders again and reconquering all the lost ancient homelands. That’s a war that will never end.

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13 thoughts on “Against Ultra-nationalist Revanchism and Irredentism”

  1. Havin Polish ancestry myself, I think Poland should have ethnically cleansed itself of Germans earlier than it did. It waited until after WWII with the help of Soviets.

  2. That’s a ridiculous position, Robert; that’s just victor’s justice – the conqueror says where the borders are. So it’s ok for the US and Israel to decide that Palestine belongs to international jewry? What you are saying is that there is no right to self-determination if that involves rejoining a physically adjacent nation state which is culturally and linguistically identical. Bullshit. Britain pursued a policy throughout the 19th and 20th centuries of dividing, undermining and playing off against each other all the continental powers; the lopping off of bits of Germany was just the furtherance of that; there is no moral justification for supporting this. Suppose the USA decided ( under threat of blockade, starvation and invasion) tomorrow to break off bits of England e.g. created new Scottish and Welsh states, giving Cumbria and Northumbria to Scotland, and Shropshire to Wales, and Devon and Cornwall to France, totally against the will of the people – leftists would no doubt call it fascist nationalism for England to try and re-unite with these territories 20 years later, just as they demonised the Serbs, and try to skirt around the ethnic cleansing of Krajina, the REAL Balkan genocide. Which is why no-one listens to ‘leftists’ anymore.
    It’s no defence of Hitler to point out that he was on firm ground on some matters. WWI and WWII were as much caused by the top dog, Britain, trying to keep the underdog , Germany (and ANY Germany, nice or nasty) down, as by the underdog refusing to accept its role. In the balance, the underdog has a slightly better moral case. Of course, it would have been better if the international working class had united in a simultaneous revolution, but they didn’t; so, whatever the barbarity of Hitler’s approach to things, WWII was just another great power struggle, and Britain and the US have no more claim to the moral high ground than Germany. Neither Britain or the US was fighting for the ‘common good’ ( I know you don’t need to be told that); Britain fought for its elites’ profitable empire, to keep Germany and Russia down; the US fought for the same reasons, and to grab as much of the British Empire as it could get. And neither Britain nor the UK can wholly cast stones at the nazis without fear of getting some back; when were either the US or Britain put under a blockade that caused a million of their citizens to starve to death, as they did to Germany after WWI? When did the US or Britain have their Iron and Steel industries sequestered? Not to mention Dresden, Hiroshima and a lot more. Blacks in the US didn’t effectively have the vote until the 1960s, and Hitler got his eugenics ideas from the US where they were widely acceptable. The UK arguably caused famine in India (twice I think) that took 10s of millions of lives. Sure, the nazis were vile, but let’s not forget that they sprung up in an international milieu which was already vile. And let’s not keep promoting British Empire propaganda; German national interest was every bit as valid as British national interest – until Britain declared war, Germany had done nothing (internationally anyway) especially reprehensible. The war and its awful consequences might well have been avoided with much better consequences for everyone, notably the jews. I haven’t yet read Pat Buchanan’s book on this, but I see no reason to affect moral outrage for him discussing this point of view which has a lot to be said for it.

    1. In general, this whole line is considered pro-Nazi these days. The reason Buchanan says it is because he’s pro-Nazi like so many Rightists. At best, it’s Trot thinking.
      I see you support the Serbian fascists in Yugoslavia.
      I take a very principled position on fascists. No alliance with fascists. We can make alliance with anyone, but not with fascists. You don’t ally with fascists, you KILL fascists. Kill the fascists. Everywhere on Earth you find them. That goes double for Nazis. And to the extent that any of Stalin’s killings were of fascists, he was doing a great thing.

  3. English Prime Minister LLoyd George raised his voice in the House of Commons and warned:
    “Poland among her 27 millions inhabitants forcibly holds under her sway 9 millions by the power of arms. She has within her boundaries five Alsace-Lorraines: East Galicia, White Russia, Wilna, the Corridor and Upper Silesia. In addition she wants to annex Dantzig. Does anyone suppose that such conditions could be tolerated any longer by Germany? The British government is bound to deal with all energy with a revision of the frontiers in Central and Eastern Europe!”
    “The Polish Government by the expulsion of 35,000 Germans has newly revived hatred. We must ask what we should do ourselves if France were cut in two by a corridor similiar to the Polish one.” -Le Matin, Paris
    The Poles not being satisfied with the portion of German territory that was awarded to them at Versailles wrongfully, carried their megalomania to such a pitch that they then asked to substitute the Corridor by the annexation of East and West Prussia. At the end of 1925 the “Gazeta Warzawski” wrote:
    “The Corridor is decidedly too narrow. We must widen it toward the east and west with the help of the bayonet.”
    I heard on NPR yesterday that they’re opening up the Polish secret police archives to researchers now. These were begun by the unattractive ultra-violent Jewish brown noser Jakub Berman. It would be cool if a gang of teenage Polish patriots got their hands on one of his snitch lists and decided to go out and curb stomp some old Commies.

  4. I take a very principled position on fascists. No alliance with fascists. We can make alliance with anyone, but not with fascists.

    The most hardline Marxists would argue that whether or not to ally with fascists should be 100% determined by material conditions and how it effects the potential for future revolution rather than principle. In other words if supporting Mussolini produces antagonism in the working class, and the working class then revolts, the Marxist position would be to support Mussolini to get the working class to revolt.
    Nevertheless I consider myself a third positionist and reject a materialist analysis. Which means I better duck and run if you take power haha.

    1. That’s ok. I like you Metal Gear. I won’t kill you.
      I pwomise. I won’t kill Whodares either. I like his art too much.
      My position comes from a German Communist who was a friend of mine. He hated Nazis, and I think that’s where he got he anti-fascist position. However, he did like National Bolsheviks and denied that they were fascists, you maybe you might be ok, Metal Gear. He also denied that Arab nationalists like the Baath were fascist, and that’s pretty damned dubious.
      Third Positionism is pretty interesting. Granted, it’s never really been tried, right?

  5. Saddam Hussein is one of my highest idols. He was a technocratic Arab.
    Well it would just have to be hardcore nationalism that is anti-capitalist and not Marxist. It revises Marx.

  6. ‘Serbian fascists’ ? My God, you’ve got some catching up to do. You’re completely wrong on this. Read Michael Parenti’s ‘ To Kill a Nation’ and Diana Johnstone’s ‘Fool’s Crusade’ and Ed Herman’s stuff on Yugoslavia (specifically on Srebrenica), and get it right.
    If some hypothetical superior power forced the USA to cede California and New Mexico to Mexico proper, including the parts like North California where there are few Latinos, would you think it appropriate to call those who resist fascists? Would you call it a Greater America project if the US tried to get these lands back because the people there overwhelmingly wanted to be rejoined to the US ? That’s how ridiculous your position is, and nearly the whole of the left. You sound like a Trotskyist on this. Not like you. Definite blind spot.

  7. Dear Robert
    The position that borders should never be changed is an extremely conservative one. It is like saying that property should never be redistributed. Sometimes it makes pragmatic sense to create a taboo against border changes. That’s what post-colonial Africans did. Virtually all their borders were drawn by European colonialists and many of them don’t make much sense, but they took the position that borders should be inviolable because they feared that endless disptes would arise if they started to redraw their borders.
    However, a change in borders is not the same as a change in the status of borders. When separation occurs, an internal border becomes an external one. Most separations do not involve redrawing of borders, so they are a different kettle fish altogether. The separation of Croatia was a different issue from the the alteration of the borders between Serbia and Croatia. On the whole, I’m pro-Serbian. I think that the MSM in the West demonized them and told innumerable lies about them.
    We should distinguish between historical and ethnical territorial claims. When some Mexicans want the South West of the US back, their claim is based solely on history. When Zionists claimed Palestine, their claim was also a historical one, but the most absurd one that has ever been made.
    An ethnic territorial claim is quite different. It is based on the fact that the territory is populated by people of the same ethnic group as the ethnic group that composes the state that makes the claim and that the people in the claimed territory want to join their ethnic brethern in the adjoining state.
    When the Germans claimed the Sudetenland, their claim was totally justified because that area had an overwhelming German majority and the Sudeten Germans were eager to join the Reich. Not only was the majority of that disputed territory German, it had been German for centuries. It was the Czechs between 1918 and 1938 that tried to change the ethnic composition of that area by encouraging Germans to leave and encouraging Czechs to settle in it. I totally agree with Lafayettte on this one.
    Most of the Italian irredentist claims, on the other hand, were unjustified because the inhabitants of the territories claimed by Italy had no real desire to join Italy, least of all the Italians in Switzerland, who were not keen on changing from the efficient and non-corrupt Swiss state to the inefficient and corrupt Italian one. Even most Italians in Trentino and Trieste didn’t seem to have much enthusiasm for joining Italy.
    In conclusion, ethnic territorial claims are in principle justified, but there may be pragmatic reasons for opposing them. To say that borders should never be changed is mindless conservatism. Even the UN charter allows border changes as long as they are not brought about by war.
    Have a good day. James

    1. Of course I don’t argue that borders should never be changed. I do support most separatists, after all. However, irredentism and revanchism are generally very, very, very bad news. Anyway, most states are seldom interested in voluntarily donating land to irredentist and revanchist (i/r) claims of their neighbors so the i/r claims almost always need to be enforced via armed attacks. If I am not mistaken, WW2 was set off by the i/r claims of Germany, no?

  8. In the mad and cowardly world Fiume is the symbol of liberty.
    In the mad and cowardly world there is a single pure element: Fiume!
    There is a single truth: and it is Fiume!
    There is a single love: and it is Fiume!
    Fiume is like a blazing searchlight that radiates in
    the midst of an ocean of abjection!
    Long Live Italian Fiume!”
    -Gabriel D’Annunzio
    The story of D’Annunzio’s retaking of the Magyar port city of Fiume (now Rejkevic in Croatia ) after Versailles is a good one. There had been an Italian majority there so he arrived in a speed boat with about a dozen black shirted Arditti to reclaim it and turned the place into San Francisco circa 1967. The eight month occupation was an ongoing bacchanal, with public poetry readings and concerts in the evening along the quays, mountains of cocaine and rivers of wine. Fiume was declared a “Free Love Zone” until the Allies sent their ships to shut the party down. This was Italian irrendentinist/revanchism at it festive Futurist best!

  9. Lafayette Sennacherib writes:
    ” ‘Serbian fascists’ ? My God, you’ve got some catching up to do. You’re completely wrong on this.”
    Blue oxford cloth button down collered Richard Holbrooke is back in the saddle as Obama’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan. I remember when this smug son-of-a bitch was on the news every night walking us through the American/NATO bombing of Belgrade and the beginning of long drawn out details in the taking of Kosovo by the proxie drug mule Albanian Muslim KLA.
    Those new boxes issued for digital TV conversions should have come with an optional yarmulke feature to program in so that whenever a neoconservative or neolibral Zionist is shilling away on the screen a little yarmulke will automatically appear on their head. An audio cue to go along with it would be fun, too, like…”Sprong!” or “Boink!” Holbrooke’s would have a little Brooks Brothers logo.
    I was in Sarajevo on November 22, 1995. Because I’d arrived with a group of Slovenians I didn’t know what was up. Now I think they probably killed Milosovic in his cell in the Hague.
    His death was like the convenient heart attacks of any number of German defendants in war crimes trials after Nuremburg (Franz Stangl). There were rumblings beforehand that his arguments were so well reasoned and well presented that he was embarrassing the prosecution and even the biased phonies picked to judge him.
    Christianity has been compromised by Marxism in Western Europe, but Orthodox Christianity is really under siege now because the Orthodox aren’t budging on the JQ. Check it out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM86prWdqgU

  10. re Fiume. The city briefly lost its autonomy in 1848 after being occupied by the Croatian ban (viceroy) Josip Jelačić, but regained it in 1868 when it joined the Kingdom of Hungary, again as a corpus separatum.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_State_of_Fiume
    The occupation by D’Annunzio lasted 15 not 8 months and I suppose his “anarcho-fascists” weren’t exactly Futurists, but then let’s not forget the song of the Italian bicycle troops of WWI some of whom became Futurists and sang:
    ” We will love, with frenzy,
    both speed and beautiful women.
    Given the choice
    we will love beautiful women
    speedily.
    But at the opportune moment
    speedily flee from beautiful women.”
    Boy, this IS dangerous stuff!

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