This chapter questions the view that Marx and Engels dealt with national issues in an inconsistent or untheoretical way. Once we abandon the notion that any true ‘Marxian’ account must be framed in terms of an economic theory of capitalist development or a ‘ruling class’ theory of ideology, it becomes easier to identify elements of a distinctive political theory that informed their diverse writings on nationalism. This theory avoided many of the shortcomings attributed to most textbook ‘Marxist’ approaches.
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