Marxism has contributed much to the understanding of the national question: its class dynamics, its relationship to internationalism, its political importance and the importance of the slogan of self-determination. Lenin's role in this was particularly significant. But José Iriarte 'Bikila' thinks we should also take other theorists into account, like the Austro-Marxist Otto Bauer and the Irish socialist and patriot James Connolly. Above all, it is important to re-examine a number of issues in the light of contemporary experience. In what circumstances can there be a fusion of Marxist and nationalist traditions? What is the particularity of an oppressed nation in advanced capitalist Europe? Should the borders of a radical left party necessarily be the same as those of the existing states? What is the present significance of independence?
José lriarte 'Bikila' was born in 1945. His thinking on the national question has drawn on his personal involvement and intimate knowledge of the struggle of the Basque people. In 1964 he joined the ranks of the pro-independence organization ETA, leaving in 1973 as part of a current that took part in a regroupment of the radical left. In 1991 he helped found the independent Basque revolutionary organization Zutik.