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Questioning of an Historical Period
Elif Çağlı
May 1991
Is there any room for a "socialism in one country" in Marx's scientific theory of socialism? Is there a separate socio-economic formation called "socialism" in itself independent from communism in Marx's theory? Can the socialist organisation of society (which is classless society) be compatible with the simultaneous presence of a "nation-state"? Can there really be a workers' democracy if the workers do not rule, even if there is a state conducting "in the name of" the working class, organised in a bureaucratic manner with its professional army and police, judicial and administrative machinery? Or, in such a "workers" state, in whose hands would be the real power: in the hands of workers, or of some others? In this book, Elif Çağlı deals with these questions and other similar ones, and gives answers on the basis of Marxism.
Controversial Issues on National Question
Elif Çağlı
August 2002
In From Colonialism to Imperialism Elif Çağlı examines the prevailing misconceptions of imperialism and their consequences which meant distortion of Marxism leading to crippling of proletarian revolutionary struggle. She demonstrates that this distortion starts with equating colonialism and imperialism and leads to separation of anti-imperialist struggle and struggle for proletarian revolution against capitalist system, to reduction of anti-imperialist struggle to a mere question of "national independence", to emergence of extremely false theories in the example of "neo-colonialism".
Elif Çağlı
12 April 2003
A very intensive debate over the question of European Union has been conducted in recent years. But it is hard to say that, a well-built and a complete Marxist perspective could be suggested, especially by the leftist group in Turkey. This pamphlet composed of three section aims to suggest such a Marxist perspective.
Elif Çağlı
2 June 2005
In recent years, a great deal has been written and said about globalisation. The imperialist powers even derived an ideology which is expressed with this concept, and which corresponds to their worldwide interests. To such an extent that, everything is being explained via this concept: Global economy, global interests, global terror, global assault, global defence, global hazards etc. Under conditions that the socialist movement is at the bottom and the bourgeois ideology has gained strength, the concept of globalisation has been almost declared as the motto of the twenty-first century. The liberal and reformist left circles that tailed after the bourgeois ideology theorised the fact of globalisation in accordance with the interests of the bourgeoisie. Globalisation has been and is being presented decorated with pompous labels like “post-capitalist society” or “information society” as if it were a magic potion that would eternalize the capitalist mode of production.
Elif Çağlı
2 November 2003
Despite all its ups and downs, capitalist system displayed a general economic dynamism during the period between the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the 21st century. Following deep crises and the two big world wars which had cost lives of millions, this period of dynamism gave rise to a popularisation of the idea that “capitalist production process has changed its character to a great extent.” Economists proudly announced, with their chests puffed out, that capitalist system had reached enough maturity to overcome crises and entered a new epoch leaving behind all characteristics of the old one.
Levent Toprak
September 2012
In the context of Syria there has to be a clear attitude against both the reactionary Baath regime and equally reactionary elements among the opposition groups, and an effort to create a structure that will satisfy the democratic and social aspirations of Syrian toilers has to be made. This structure must absolutely satisfy the righteous, legitimate, democratic demands of ethnic, religious, sectarian minorities living in Syria. This approach must also include the question of borders. It cannot be business of Marxists to sanctify the borders drawn a hundred years ago by the will of imperialists which in many cases do not fit into the real living bodies of peoples. From the standpoint of revolutionary struggle, borders can only be considered legitimate insofar as they are drawn by the democratic will of peoples. Therefore, for instance, should the Kurdish people in Syria demand self-determination and forming their own state, nobody has the right to object this on revolutionary grounds.
Elif Çağlı
31 August 2012
The efforts of organising to be the manifestations of a principled and planned process can come near to forming of Leninist party as long as it involves the militant and sacrificing vanguard elements of the working class. Thus to establish firm contacts with vanguard workers, to educate them ideologically and politically and raise them to the level of communist militants is the main axis of the revolutionary work within the working class. It is a distinguishing feature of Leninist conception of organisation not to educate vanguard workers as union representatives but as communist militants. The vanguard party of the working class can never be built outside them and in isolation from them. The Leninist party can only be a living organism erupting from the realm of proletarian struggle with militants (communist workers and communist intellectuals) working heartily to overcome any tasks from the simplest one to the most complex ones.
Elif Çağlı
29 July 2012
Under present conditions where the working class has no revolutionary international organisation, there is no other way of struggle than to labour and work out revolutionary Marxist solutions and try to carry them over to international platforms. Therefore it is inevitable to get involved in various experiments to solve the question of international organisation of the working class. It must be kept in mind that all great revolutionary advances could be successful thanks to revolutionary class attitude, which means plunging into actual work without being intimidated by difficulties and daring to experiment.
Marksist Tutum
4 July 2012
The process of the capitalist development of Turkey is a rather belated process with respect to the West. This historical delay flows from the peculiar socio-economic structure upon which Turkish capitalism developed. For this reason, in order to understand the peculiarities of Turkish capitalism, it is necessary to have an overview of the economic and social history of the Ottoman Empire that forms the historical background of modern Turkey today.
Elif Çağlı
January 2012
Capitalism is in a state of deep crisis. This crisis is far from being one of the ordinary crises of capitalist economy. By all evidence it is a deep system crisis of historical importance. Capitalism is at an historical impasse, argues Elif Çağlı in her article. After her booklet titled "Crises of Capitalism and Revolutionary Situation" she explains the nature of capitalism with a special emphasis on the role played by credit mechanism, referring to Marx who made a special emphasis on the role of credits in the workings of capitalist economy. While the credit mechanism helps the system overcome certain problems, it reproduces them on a greater scale. Çağlı makes the point that the credit mechanism as well as other tools used by capitalism is now quite worn out. They have almost completely lost their efficiency in overcoming great crises. Capitalism has also lost its capacity for a great scale transformation and reforms that might save it a new era of freshness and provide the broad working masses a genuine welfare.
Elif Çağlı
28 July 2009
The subject of sub-imperialism involves controversial dimensions that are offshoots of differences on how to understand imperialism or globalisation. There have been erroneous political attitudes on the part of the world left in general and Turkish left in particular because of ruling out the distinction between the colonial and imperialist stages of capitalism. One expression of such attitudes has been to brand the countries such as Brazil , Argentina and Turkey as semi-colonies or neo-colonies. While these positions prevailed for many years they have recently been refurbished and popularised in the context of the debates on globalisation. A typical example of this is to deny that globalisation under capitalism is a more developed state of imperialism and present it as a new stage of “empire”.
Elif Çağlı
28 November 2005
Although such experiences are pleasing in themselves since they carry forward the mass of the class, they are by no means enough for the working class to break the chains of wage-slavery and achieve freedom. Conditions of emancipation can develop depending on the quality and quantity of the distance taken by workers towards political consciousness and organisation. In this respect, it has a vital importance to make sure that at least the vanguard elements of the class are capable of answering the questions such as “what kind of organisation?” or “what kind of a unity?” in a way to carry forward the struggle.
Levent Toprak
1 March 2011
The wave of popular uprisings that started in Tunisia and continued with Egypt embracing North Africa and the Middle East has reached a new phase. Though one needs to analyse the situation in Egypt in the aftermath of Mubarak’s overthrow, there is no doubt that the process of mobilisation of millions and Mubarak’s eventual step-down in itself is already a serious source of inspiration in the eyes of other Arab peoples. New upsurges of mass movement that are taking place especially in Yemen, Bahrain and Libya are a demonstration of this fact. Whatever the short term results of this mass wave of revolt it is clear that there is a new era in this region unfolding and that nothing will be the way as they were so far. The social-political struggles to take place in this region in the period ahead and the kind of regimes to be established will be the focus of attention for revolutionaries as well as bourgeois political realm.
Elif Çağlı
March 2010
When you look into the various cases of opportunist tendencies within Marxist movement you cannot but see that a common feature of all opportunist tendencies is to turn a deaf ear to revolutionary criticism. Although the opportunists sometimes seem to accept general revolutionary principles when they are squeezed, in effect they keep following their well-trodden opportunist way. Thus opportunism makes upsurges that are generally unavoidable. Giving concrete examples will surely make clear these features of opportunism that we state here very briefly. As a striking example we can take the upsurge of opportunism in the case of the IMT (International Marxist Tendency) lead by Alan Woods.
Elif Çağlı
23 December 2006
The struggle for the creation of the international organization of the working class requires intransigence in principles and flexibility in tactics. Neither opportunism pursuing short term so-called political achievements nor sectarianism unwilling to see and accept anything other than its own small organization can be of any use for this struggle. The reality we face today in the issue of building the revolutionary international organization of the proletariat puts very important responsibilities and tasks over the shoulders of the internationalist communists. Those who are self-confident will continue revolutionary efforts in every field undertaking these responsibilities and tasks. Those who are not intimidated will move forward. All big problems in history have been resolved this way.
Marksist Tutum
September 1994
The importance of theoretical struggle on national question springs essentially from the need to take a correct political attitude based on Marxist foundations in the face of the liberation struggle of oppressed nations. Marxism is not an impressionist or positivist philosophy limiting itself only with interpreting the world, but an integral world view which strives to change the world and develops in an inextricably dialectical relationship with revolutionary practice.
Marksist Tutum
May 2002
Capitalism makes the mankind suffer hell. The reign of a handful capitalists makes billions of people all over the planet suffer in the grip of hunger, poverty and deprivation, unemployment, incredible inequality and injustice, bloody wars, oppression and torture, endless decay and alienation. The only force that can save mankind from this swamp and lead it to socialism is the working class which is said to be “extinct”. The truth is that, the billions who strive to survive through selling their labour force in return for a wage, i.e. the working class, still have nothing to lose but their chains. But they have a world to win!