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 Post subject: Communism and an International Language
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:09 pm 
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Strasser-Pannekoek divergence: National question and language

https://libcom.org/files/dutchleft.pdf

Bourrinet wrote:
It agreed entirely with Strasser, despite occasionally taking a somewhat different line to the extent that it made concessions to Bauer. Pannekoek undoubtedly put forward a classical view of the socialist future, declaring that the future economic unit would be the world, not the state or the nation. “This material basis of the collectivity, organised world production, will transform the humanity of the future into a single community of destiny”.264

Unlike Strasser, however, he envisaged the existence in this unified world of ‘communities of language’; these ‘groups of the same language’ would be what was left of the ‘nations’, whose mutual relationships would create a common language. This undoubtedly reintroduced the concept of the ‘nation’, to maintain a ‘diversity’ within the classless society, even though Pannekoek’s argument had been to show that only the petty bourgeoisie had any interest in the preservation of a ‘national language’. Strasser was more logical, in looking forward enthusiastically to the appearance of a single world language to cement together the new world community:

“Let us put an end to the multiplicity of languages, let us make one language the language of universal communication, which will be taught in every school in the world; it will soon be the only language and consequently will fulfil the function of language as a means of communication and understanding.”265

Pannekoek’s second ambiguity lay in his ‘tactical’ proposal, in Austria-Hungary, to recommend the unity of party and unions, whatever their nationality, at the international level; but locally, “for propaganda and education purposes”, national sub-organisation.266 Designed to take account of ‘linguistic particularities’, this again boiled down to reintroducing the ‘national’ factor within the proletarian organisation. But ambiguities like this were scarcely visible within this extremely important work.


On Esperanto-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%C3%A8ne_Lanti
Wikipedia wrote:
Eugène Lanti was a pseudonym of Eugène Adam (19 July 1879 in Normandy, France – 17 January 1947 in Mexico). Lanti was an Esperantist, socialist and writer. He was a founder of Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda, and a longtime editor of the internationalist socialist magazine Sennaciulo*. Lanti was a critic of Stalinism and the theoretician of a new doctrine, anationalism, which aimed to eliminate the very concept of the nation as a guiding idea of social organisation.

Biography

Lanti's parents were peasant farmers. In his early life he worked as an agricultural labourer, carpenter, furniture maker and designer. He was self-educated, and studied in the evening. In 1914 he was mobilised in the First World War and served as an ambulance driver. He learnt Esperanto in 1914–15 at the Western Front, but in 1919 was almost persuaded to abandon Esperanto in favour of Ido. Following the war, he returned to Paris, became acquainted with Lucian Banmer and Ludoviko Glodeau, and he reaffirmed his support for Esperanto with his editorship of Liberiga Stelo.

In the 1920s Lanti lived in Paris with Ellen Kate Limouzin, the aunt of George Orwell. Orwell visited the couple and suffered as a non-speaker of Esperanto, and developed a strong dislike for the language. It has been suggested that Orwell included elements of Esperanto in the "Newspeak" language he created in his anti-totalitarian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Lanti's political career
In his youth Lanti had been attracted to anarchism, but in 1920 he finally abandoned anarchism and became a founding member of the French Communist Party. In 1921 in Prague he was the initiator and de facto leader of Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda (SAT), a broad-based Esperanto-speaking organisation (containing Communists, Social Democrats and anarchists) which does not organise along national lines.

In 1933 Lanti, wounded by personal attacks and criticisms of his leadership, left his position of president of the Central Committee of SAT, a position he had occupied since the foundation of the organization. He continued, however, to play a role in the organisation chiefly as a writer. In 1935 Lanti founded the independent magazine Herezulo in which he criticised the Soviet regime more forcefully than in Sennaciulo.

[...]
Later years
After his retirement in 1937, in order to meet Esperantists, Lanti left France for good and travelled to Spain, Portugal, North Africa, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South America. Suffering from an incurable illness, he hanged himself in his flat in Mexico on 17 January 1947.

His available work is seemingly propagandistic rather than anything theoretical.

Nikolai Vasilevich Krylenko, Old Bolshevik revolutionary and high functionary of some historical renown
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Крыленко,_Николай_Васильевич
Under "Interesting facts" section
ru.wikipedia.org wrote:
He was Esperantist and wore a green star on his chest.


--
Discussion of interest:
http://www.revleft.com/vb/threads/19428 ... l-language


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 Post subject: Re: Communism and an International Language
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:31 pm 
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I think the idea of an international language takes on a few elements.

There's the whole forcing minorities who don't speak the language of the capitalist to speak said language, thus imposing somewhat of an international language.

There's the whole division in the working class along the lines of language.

There's the question of language post-capitalism.

Our answers should be looked for in the practice of the proletariat. How were the various languages accommodated in the various Internationals? Particularly the early history of the Third International?

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 Post subject: Re: Communism and an International Language
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:59 pm 
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Yeah as someone who is gonna be an interpreter I don't really see universal language as a possible thing (outside of just protecting my own interests ;)). Even among same language speakers arise differences that can create comprehension problems and cultural variation to language (*** in England vs US for example) so it's not only a cultural problem of erasing people's identities that are tied up in language use, but also practically a pain in the ***.

Granted, I don't think something like esperanto is bad, and if people want to learn it then go for it. Practically speaking though I think capitalism is doing a good job of imposing English on the world already, and for those who don't speak it our ability to do interpreting is getting much better as more people become multilingual. I think multiplicity of language use is just something that will end up being a fact of life and the only way to impose adoption of a universal language is through imperialism which is bad. However creating and offering language classes would be a great way to combat that for those who want help learning a language.


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