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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 December 2020

Book launch: The national question - a Marxist approach

Socialist Party Scotland

Socialist Party Scotland   (Click to enlarge)

Oisin Duncan, Socialist Party Scotland

90 socialists from Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland, and even from as far afield as the US, attended an online book launch public meeting organised by Socialist Party Scotland on 10 December.

The new book, 'Scotland and the national question - a Marxist approach', is a 150-page contribution to a vital debate that is taking place in Scotland: how, and using what methods, can an independent socialist Scotland be achieved?

Philip Stott, national secretary of Socialist Party Scotland, pointed out that there were two main reasons for producing the book now. Firstly, to look at how our programme on the national question has evolved over the decades. Unlike the vast majority of forces on the left in Scotland, Militant and Socialist Party Scotland can reproduce our material on this issue and stand by it. We have always taken a very sensitive approach to the right of the Scottish people to self-determination.

Philip pointed out that another key reason for producing the book now was the major confrontation that is looming between a Tory government at Westminster, who will at all costs refuse a second independence referendum, and the majority of the working class in Scotland who now support independence. The Scottish elections in May 2021 will very likely see a pro-independence majority government at Holyrood.

Trade unions must take lead

The scene is therefore set for a massive collision on the issue. Even now, 79% of 16-24 year-olds support independence for Scotland. A key task of this book, Philip argued, is to make the case for a mass working-class-led movement for IndyRef2, with the trade unions taking a decisive lead. The workers' movement and socialists must fight for the leadership of the movement for self-determination and link this to the struggle for an independent socialist Scotland.

Peter Taaffe, political secretary of the Socialist Party England and Wales, explained that the national question is in many cases one of the unresolved tasks of capitalism. Even at the height of its powers, capitalism failed in a number of bourgeois national revolutions to complete the task of creating settled nation states. As a result, in this period of capitalist crisis, the national question has remerged with a vengeance in many countries. It is the task of socialists to be powerful advocates for democratic rights, linked to the struggle for socialism and the creation of a voluntary socialist federation of states.

Dave Reid from Wales explained that the movement for Scottish independence is having a big effect in Wales. Support for independence is increasing - as high as 25% in some polls this year. 40% of young people support independence. Socialist Party Wales calls for a parliament in Wales with a socialist majority and full economic and tax-raising powers.

The new book on the national question can play a key role in arming workers and young people with the programme and methods needed to win the struggle for national self-determination and socialism.

Scotland and the national question - a Marxist approach

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 16 December 2020:


News

Unemployment and Covid rising - the crisis is not over - Fight for jobs and safety

Mass testing - we need trade union oversight and full pay for all

Fight for NHS pay and funding

Rich countries hoarding vaccine is danger to us all

No to Tories' new anti-protest law

Maternity unit deaths - democratic, public ownership needed

Met police investigate British mercenary war crimes against Tamils

No surprise, poverty is rising


Education

Cancel exams for class of Covid

Welsh schools close for safety after union pressure

Effective testing and properly funded safety plan needed in schools

East London shows the way: strikes are how to fight for state education

Determined strikers at Leaways school


Workplace News

Openreach and EE: Massive vote for action

PCS union conference stripped of powers by NEC

Unite launch ballot over sacked London bus rep

Christmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association

Stop 'fire and rehire' at British Gas


New Technology

Can green technology and AI save capitalism?


Engels

'Socialism - Utopian and Scientific' by Engels


Reports & campaigns

Protests in solidarity with Indian farmers

Book: The national question - a Marxist approach

School boy assaulted by police in Tottenham

TUSC relaunch in the north west

Protest against immigration enforcement centre in Newham

Tremendous fighting fund reflects confidence


Quiz

Quiz 2020


 

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triangleSocialism 2020 feedback

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Scotland:

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triangleSNP's independence referendum 2 'roadmap'

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triangleMillionaire tendency regains control of Scottish Labour

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Independence:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Scottish independence & the SNP

Self-determination:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: How do socialists support struggles for self-determination?

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