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National oppression is the mistreatment of people depending on what their nationality is. This type of oppression is commonly seen internationally, where the powerful imperialist countries overshadow the politics and economies of exploited countries. Those in oppressed countries who hold down jobs are demoralized daily by banks, corporations and governments in the more powerful countries. (United States, Japan, Germany, and others). When analyzing national oppression, the difference between a country and a nation must be set apart. A country is a territory of a nation is defined by geographical boundaries. A nation is defined by social relationships - people who share common customs, origins, history, economic relationships and frequently language.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, as capitalism became stronger in Europe, factory owners and merchants apprehended the aspirations of other nations that were struggling for economic independence from restrictive relations. The change in capitalism gave the political leadership for the revolutions against distressed nations. As capitalism grew into its modern state, imperialism, national movements in oppressed countries increased the war against oppression by the bigger powers.

There are also some situations in which many nations exist in one country. An example in today’s world is the United States. There are many nationalities living under one rule. Racism is the biggest example of oppression of a certain “nation” in one country, the United States in this example. The black population has become a nation within the United States, but this is often hidden because of racism. Racism against African Americans is an expression of national oppression.

Africans Americans who were brought to the United States as slaves each had a distinct culture (came from many different nationalities). A new African American nation was formed within the United States because of their common experiences and oppression of slaves. In regards to the dominantly white society, the African American nation is an oppressed nation in the United States.

Sources

Tyner, Jarvis. “The National Question.” 2003.

“Statement on National Oppression, National Liberation and Socialist Revolution.” Fourth Congress of FRSO. 2004.

Coobtee, Muna. “Fundamentals of Marxism: What is National Oppression.” Socialism and Liberation Magazine. Oct. 2005.

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