• DankZedong A
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    1 month ago

    I am currently sick and it’s making me bored as fuck so thanks for linking this 👍 I shall read the others too, today.

  • Kolibri [she/her]@hexbear.net
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    1 month ago

    I like how Stalin styled the first chapter when he was defining a nation. Hopefully it’s okay I comment on here since I saw this yesterday on hexbear.

    A nation is not merely a historical category but a historical category belonging to a definite epoch, the epoch of rising capitalism.

    It’s interesting to read about that, especially since like. In our times nations are seen as if they always been a thing. Much like how people see capitalism always having existed. Meanwhile, these things haven’t always been around.

    The chief problem for the young bourgeoisie is the problem of the market. Its aim is to sell its goods and to emerge victorious from competition with the bourgeoisie of a different nationality. Hence its desire to secure its “own,” its “home” market. The market is the first school in which the bourgeoisie learns its nationalism.

    I found this part pretty interesting, and it sort of reminded me of something else. Mainly from Vol 2 in Das Kapital/Capital, Ch 14 “The Time of Circulation”, where one of the things he talks about, the modes of transportation and communication, being developed more to affect time of selling. While that chapter was not about nationality. It just likely that also had a role with the development of nations to? Especially when Marx talks about like… I’ll just quote the relevant parts

    Putting it in spoiler tags since I don't want to take too much space

    […]The first to increase is the frequency with which the means of transportation function, for instance the number of railway trains, as existing places of production produce more, become greater centres of production. The development tends in the direction of the already existing market, that is to say, towards the great centres of production and population, towards ports of exports, etc. On the other hand these particularly great traffic facilities and the resultant acceleration of the capital turnover (since it is conditional on the time of circulation) give rise to quicker concentration of both the centres of production and the markets. Along with this concentration of masses of men and capital thus accelerated at certain points, there is the concentration of these masses of capital in the hands of a few. Simultaneously one may note again a shifting and relocation of places of production and of markets as a result of the changes in their relative positions caused by the transformations in transport facilities. A place of production which once had a special advantage by being located on some highway or canal may now find itself relegated to a single side-track, which runs trains only at a relatively long intervals, while another place, which formerly was remote from the main arteries of traffic, may now be situated at the junction of several railways. This second locality is on the upgrade, the former on the downgrade.[…]

    Whereas on the one hand the improvement of the means of transportation and communication brought about by the progress of capitalist production reduces the time of circulation of particular quantities of commodities, the same progress and the opportunities created by the development of transport and communication facilities make it imperative, conversely, to work for ever more remote markets, in a word — for the world-market.

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1885-c2/ch14.htm

    Since I imagine that would in some way affect the development of Nations as well thanks to capitalism? Like with more reach like with trains. Also I got curious to Lenin writing on Self-Determination, and its a good read along with Stalin text. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/

    Especially chapter 8 of Lenin’s work. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/ch08.htm

    Also this part of chapter 1 from Lenin’s text was interesting as well.

    Throughout the world, the period of the final victory of capitalism over feudalism has been linked up with national movements. For the complete victory of commodity production, the bourgeoisie must capture the home market, and there must be politically united territories whose population speak a single language, with all obstacles to the development of that language and to its consolidation in literature eliminated. Therein is the economic foundation of national movements. Language is the most important means of human intercourse. Unity and unimpeded development of language are the most important conditions for genuinely free and extensive commerce on a scale commensurate with modern capitalism, for a free and broad grouping of the population in all its various classes and, lastly, for the establishment of a close connection between the market and each and every proprietor, big or little, and between seller and buyer.

    Anyways getting back to what Stalin wrote. The rest of it like with “cultural-national autonomy” sort of reminded me of color revolutions.

    • urshanabi [he/they]
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      1 month ago

      Interesting, the link to language is rather brilliant. Question for you comrade, what thoughts do you have on Lenin’ mention of a single language and Stalin’ piece on linguistics/language? I’ll link it below.

      https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1950/jun/20.htm

      My thoughts are still forming, what immediately comes to mind is the use of pidgin english in colonial china and the forceful push of what is now modern-day french over other languages in the region. Occitan I believe and perhaps Basque (not sure about this one at all) I have a source here but I cannot make any claims about its quality.

      https://quebeccultureblog.com/2015/03/23/a-brief-history-of-how-frances-former-languages-and-how-they-helped-to-shape-our-french-in-canada-217/

      Another thought which came to mind (seeing ‘quebec’ in the url of the previous link) is Cree which is to my knowledge the indigenous language in kanada with the largest geographical spread, I believe because it was used for communication between indigenous groups (who each had their own languages and cultures).

      Apologies for the rambling, I meant to make a coherent point but instead I wandered off…

      • Kolibri [she/her]@hexbear.net
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        1 month ago

        That was really interesting to read, thanks for sharing that! I still have to process some of it but some of the things Stalin said is pretty interesting. Going to what Lenin said. He sort of reminded me of like, why English is widely used in the “business” world? Especially due to american imperialism/british colonialism. Mainly this part form Lenin reminded me of that.

        Unity and unimpeded development of language are the most important conditions for genuinely free and extensive commerce on a scale commensurate with modern capitalism, for a free and broad grouping of the population in all its various classes and, lastly, for the establishment of a close connection between the market and each and every proprietor, big or little, and between seller and buyer.

        Going to Stalin, I really like Stalin talking about base and superstructure. I think near the end this was extremely interesting. Mainly these two parts

        The formula given by Stalin in his pamphlet, in the part where it speaks of the crossing of languages, refers to the epoch prior to the victory of socialism on a world scale, when the exploiting classes are the dominant power in the world; when national and colonial oppression remains in force; when national isolation and mutual distrust among nations are consolidated by differences between states; when, as yet there is no national equality of rights; when the crossing of languages takes place as a struggle for the domination of one of the languages; when the conditions necessary for the peaceful and friendly co-operation of nations and languages are as yet lacking; when it is not the co-operation and mutual enrichment of languages that are on the order of the day, but the assimilation of some and the victory of other languages. It is clear that in such conditions there can be only victorious and defeated languages. It is precisely these conditions that Stalin’s formula has in view when it says that the crossing, say, of two languages, results not in the formation of a new language, but in the victory of one of the languages and the defeat of the other.

        As regards the other formula by Stalin, taken from his speech at the Sixteenth Party Congress, in the part that touches on the merging of languages into one common language, it has in view another epoch, namely, the epoch after the victory of socialism on a world scale, when world imperialism no longer exists; when the exploiting classes are overthrown and national and colonial oppression is eradicated; when national isolation and mutual distrust among nations is replaced by mutual confidence and rapprochement between nations; when national equality has been put into practice; when the policy of suppressing and assimilating languages is abolished; when the co-operation of nations has been established, and it is possible for national languages freely to enrich one another through their co-operation. It is clear that in these conditions there can be no question of the suppression and defeat of some languages, and the victory of others. Here we shall have not two languages, one of which is to suffer defeat, while the other is to emerge from the struggle victorious, but hundreds of national languages, out of which, as a result of a prolonged economic, political and cultural co operation of nations, there will first appear most enriched unified zonal languages, and subsequently the zonal languages will merge into a single international language, which, of course, will be neither German, nor Russian, nor English, but a new language that has absorbed the best elements of the national and zonal languages.

        Consequently, the two different formulas correspond to two different epochs in the development of society, and precisely because they correspond to them, both formulas are correct – each for its epoch.

        In the first paragraph it sort of reminds me of like, when countries force others to adopt a single language of theirs? Like in that other article you linked that talked about frances former languages.

        Also, just like the other Oïl Languages, the Occitan and Franco-Provençal languages were forcefully repressed by the government, starting in the 1700s, and replaced by Modern French.

        But with the talk of like, one language being “victorious” over the “defeat” of the other. Mainly with one language trying to dominate others. It reminds me of a lot of force assimilation and genocide that happens. Like with what goes in the United States, like in the past with it’s boarding schools with forbidding indigenous people to speak their own language, but only English.

        Meanwhile for the other half of that. It’s interesting to think of an single international language arising one day that “of course, will be neither German, nor Russian, nor English, but a new language that has absorbed the best elements of the national and zonal languages.”

        Also Stalin reply to E. Krasheninnikova, reminds me a bit of that one saying, how language shapes how you think. And besides that, from earlier on this, these two parts were interesting as well

        In this respect language radically differs from the superstructure. Language is not a product of one or another base, old or new, within the given society, but of the whole course of the history of the society and of the history of the bases for many centuries. It was created not by some one class, but by the entire society, by all the classes of the society, by the efforts of hundreds of generations. It was created for the satisfaction of the needs not of one particular class, but of the entire society, of all the classes of the society. Precisely for this reason it was created as a single language for the society, common to all members of that society, as the common language of the whole people. Hence the functional role of language, as a means of intercourse between people, consists not in serving one class to the detriment of other classes, but in equally serving the entire society, all the classes of society. This in fact explains why a language may equally serve both the old, moribund system and the new, rising system; both the old base and the new base; both the exploiters and the exploited.


        Lastly, one other radical distinction between the superstructure and language. The superstructure is not directly connected with production, with man’s productive activity. It is connected with production only indirectly, through the economy, through the base. The superstructure therefore reflects changes in the level of development of the productive forces not immediately and not directly, but only after changes in the base, through the prism of the changes wrought in the base by the changes in production. This means that the sphere of action of the superstructure is narrow and restricted.

        Language, on the contrary, is connected with man’s productive activity directly, and not only with man’s productive activity, but with all his other activity in all his spheres of work, from production to the base, and from the base to the superstructure. For this reason language reflects changes in production immediately and directly, without waiting for changes in the base. For this reason the sphere of action of language, which embraces all fields of man’s activity, is far broader and more comprehensive than the sphere of action of the superstructure. More, it is practically unlimited.

        It is this that primarily explains why language, or rather its vocabulary, is in a state of almost constant change. The continuous development of industry and agriculture, of trade and transport, of technology and science, demands that language should replenish its vocabulary with new words and expressions needed for their functioning. And language, directly reflecting these needs, does replenish its vocabulary with new words, and perfects its grammatical system.

        And that part sort of reminds me of like. How some of the sciences were quick to use like computer metaphors for the human experience. Sorry hopefully I didn’t take too much space with the quotes. Anyways that was really interesting to read from Stalin.