Sunday, July 15, 2012

What is a free nation?

By James Connolly, February 1916

What is a free nation? A free nation is one which possesses absolute control over all its own internal resources and powers, and which has no restrictions upon its intercourse with all other nations similarly circumstanced except the restrictions placed upon it by nature.

A free nation must have complete control over its own harbours, to open them or close them at will, or shut our any commodity, or allow it to enter in, just as it seemed best to suit the well-being of its own people, and in obedience to their wishes, and entirely free of the interference of any other nation, and in complete disregard for the wishes of any other nation. Short of that power no nation possesses the first essentials of freedom.

A free nation must have full power to nurse industries to health, either by government encouragement or by government prohibition of the sale of goods of foreign rivals. It may be foolish to do either, but a nation is not free unless it has that power…

A free nation must have full power to alter, amend, or modify the laws under which the property of its citizens is held in obedience to the demand of its own citizens…

The most perfect world is that in which the separate existence of nations is held most sacred.

Workers’ Republic, 12 February, 1916

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