4 July 2013
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Imperialist era and the distinction between just and unjust wars

Within the context of debates on the national question, Lenin paid great attention to the distinction between just and unjust wars. It was indeed very important because of the war conditions of that period to make this distinction and a prerequisite for communists to take the right attitude against wars.

7 June 2013

Turkey: Revolt against Capitalist Plunder and Police Terror

Now we have a big and dynamic mass that has been in a determined resistance action against state forces. Surely, there is the role played by socialist groups with various shades. But unless organised proletarian class movement gets in, this dynamic is faced with the danger of withering away or playing into the hands of nationalist powers like CHP which is the biggest anti-government political force around. In this context, advancing demands that directly concern the working class, involvement of trade-unions and workers in factories in an organised manner, organising strikes and other workplace actions etc. would be important steps forward. This kind of endeavour is also very important in terms of getting the broad masses that are still under AKP control involved in the process. One positive thing is the involvement of some religious people in Taksim actions, which is obviously not the case with the broad masses that are under AKP control. And the more Kemalists/nationalists are dominant the more it is difficult to accomplish this. Therefore it is very important to strengthen the proletarian class dynamic and not to let the toiling masses fall into the hands of Kemalists/nationalists.

2 March 2013
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Imperialism and the question of political independence

Marxists like Bukharin and Pyatakov considered imperialism as “a system of foreign policy” and consequently took wrong political attitudes about national self-determination. In fact, they shared Lenin’s thought that the 20th century was the era of finance capital. But for Bukharin and Pyatakov, the concept of imperialism meant the “policy” pursued by finance capital.

28 January 2013
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Imperialist epoch and national liberation struggles

From 1905 Lenin noticed that the Russian revolution gave an impetus to bourgeois democratic movements and national awakening in countries like Iran, Turkey and China. National awakening in colonial and semi-colonial countries was loaded with explosives for the world revolution. He considered the awakening in Asia and the rise in national liberation struggles in his articles at that time.

16 January 2013
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Imperialism and the change in colonial countries

“Finance capital has created the epoch of monopolies, and monopolies introduce everywhere monopolist principles.” This is the briefest summary of 20th century. In imperialist epoch, it is possible neither to make a correct analysis of imperialism nor to develop an adequate anti-imperialism without taking into account the unequal but interdependent relations between countries at different levels of development. However, those Marxists who were carried away with the third-worldist tendency after The Second World War and especially in the 1960s sowed confusion about the inner laws of operation of the imperialist system.

7 January 2013
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Anti-imperialist struggle cannot be reduced to national liberation struggle

Kautsky and the like who consider imperialism not as modern capitalism, but merely as one of the policies of it do not oppose imperialism as a system. For example Kautsky advocates a policy of opposing its annexation policy only, not imperialist economic process as a whole. This is a completely reformist and pacifist way of thinking and lays the ground for a false “anti-imperialism” understanding.

2 January 2013
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Inseparable part of imperialist epoch: Wars for hegemony

Because of capital’s need for overcoming national barriers in the imperialist epoch, monopolist competition has an international dimension. Major capitalist states compete with each other to establish their domination over sales markets, raw material markets and capital investment areas. Even if this competition is possible to carry on in a relatively peaceful manner in periods of boom, it becomes impossible in periods of big and deep crises. In such periods, struggle among imperialist states for hegemony over spheres of influence may turn into open wars for division. Imperialist wars are nothing more than continuation by military means of the policy of rivalry among imperialists.

24 December 2012
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Imperialism is the domination of finance capital

To sum up; imperialism is the system of capitalist exploitation which is crowned by the domination of finance capital and is essentially embodied in the international expansionism of finance capital. The quality of imperialism has not been changed by the national liberation struggles that resulted in achievement of national independence in former colonial countries during the course of imperialist stage of capitalism. On the contrary, it indicates strikingly that what is crucial is the drive for economic hegemony in imperialist epoch.

19 December 2012
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Imperialism rises above monopolist competition

One of the most striking characteristics of capitalism, as it was proceeding towards the imperialist stage, was the concentration of industrial capital in bigger companies with a high speed. Similarly, banking capital was also being concentrated in a small number of large-scale financial institutions.

15 December 2012
From Colonialism to Imperialism

“Dependence” question in the imperialist epoch

The concept of colonial country refers to countries lacking political independence and directly depended on metropolitan country in political-legal terms. Metropolitan country has the complete right of sovereignty and the colonial country is absolutely dependent in politics, economy, diplomacy, military affairs, etc. And the concept semi-colony is only meaningful in comparison with the colonial status. It describes the countries which are in the middle of the road to being colonized, nearly at the point of losing political independence (for example, countries like Turkey, Iran, China at the beginning of 20th century).

10 December 2012
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Imperialism is the international expansionism of finance capital

Colonialism was the tendency to seize new lands, annex them in order to yoke them completely to the metropolitan country in both political and legal sense. So to say, this concept was used in the sense of appropriation of political rights, politic annexation, and elimination of political independence of the country which is under domination. But the world empire of finance capital, in fact means economic annexation; establishment of hegemony over weaker countries, and, on this basis, creation of spheres of influence under imperialist powers’ control.

5 December 2012
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Imperialism and importance of capital export

The shift in the content of the export from developed capitalist countries to underdeveloped regions and colonies in Lenin’s period was very striking. It was inevitable that this new capitalist stage –which would become evident with the export of capital– would transform the colonialist relations of the former period. It is possible for the capital to squeeze more profits in backward countries compared to the developed capitalist countries.

28 November 2012
From Colonialism to Imperialism

Formation of monopolies and transition period to imperialism

Transformation of the tendency of capitalist expansionism from colonialism to imperialism involves a certain historical process. In the last period of this process a huge quantitative expansion in capitalist colonization is observed because of the reasons mentioned above. Thus, those years of formation of imperialist expansionism appear as if the peak of colonialist expansionism. This was just a transition period.

From Colonialism to Imperialism

Colonialist expansion and change

The word colony in European languages means place for settling in another country in order to tie it to the metropolitan country. And Colonialism means seizing new lands, colonialist expansion. Under capitalism, colonization was realized particularly in geographical discoveries and conquest of overseas lands in the period of commercial capitalism (mercantilism) between 16th and 18th century.

22 November 2012

From Colonialism to Imperialism

Controversial Issues on National Question

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!