Last month almost entire Muslim world witnessed protests of varying sizes. What triggered these protests was the short internet version of a film (The Innocence of Muslims) which is clearly based on Islamophobia containing insult and contempt against Islam and its prophet. That this freak film which is worthless from both an artistic and intellectual point of view has had such repercussions and caused a million times more reaction than it deserves, provides important clues about the nature of the period we are passing through.
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.
The bourgeoisie in Europe, where the global capitalist crisis displays itself in harshest ways, is trying to get out of the pit of the crisis by carrying further its attacks on the historical gains of the working class. But programs that aim to put the burden of the crisis over the back of the working class sharpened the class struggle as well. A simultaneous struggle has sprung up in many countries against these destructive programs especially starting with the spring of 2010.
The cause of the working class is not one of providing some free social services coupled with keeping the population under political pressure ensuring a formal equality on poverty. The aspiration of building a world without classes and exploitation, i.e. the cause of socialism, is the cause of equal sharing of not poverty but the whole wealth of the world, meeting material and moral needs and thus removing all kind of obstacles on the way of individual and social development of humanity. Therefore international communists defend that whole world needs not Chavezes, Castros etc. but Bolshevik revolutionaries.
Turkey has been in a state of political turmoil for the last few weeks due to the process of electing a new president by the parliament. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), a split from an earlier moderate Islamist party (the Virtue Party) about six years ago as one of the consequences of the military intervention in 1997, sought to elect one of its leading members as president, which is fiercely opposed by the Kemalist-nationalist establishment spearheaded by the military and the main bourgeois opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
You cannot play games with revolution. If the ones who talk about revolution and socialism want to stand by their words, they must follow a proper way to fulfil the resulting tasks on an organizational and strategic level. However some socialist groups including some would-be internationalists have already indulged themselves in the so called “left winds”. With a frivolous attitude, they follow a policy of “saving” the moment.
The new period ushered in after the collapse of the Soviet Union was marked by the upset of old balance of forces. For US imperialism this period means forcing its strategy of getting an acceptance as the sole hegemonic power. This strategy materializes in the designs of America to mould a uni-polar world by relying on her military power. One of the most important links in implementing these designs was the placing of Bush Junior to the chair of presidency by a doubtful election.
The trade unions cannot be surrendered into the hands of the bureaucrats, particularly at such a crucial time. The unions can undertake very important functions when there is a wave of struggles that rises from the rank and file of the working class. Look at the deep discontent that is simmering among the rank and file of the workers' unions. Listen to the voice of militant workers and shop stewards who are try to give a fighting lead in the various union branches. Forward to the class struggle against the imperialist war! No room for pessimism; mobilise in the struggle against the imperialist war and this condemned capitalist order!
We are passing through an atmosphere in which the rage against the imperialist war is turning into a massive reaction throughout the world. Through pacifist actions, pacifists and reformists are trying to limit this reaction of the masses, which is gradually assuming an anti-capitalist content, to the confines of capitalist order. Yet the only force that can stop this war is the organised power of the world working class, which comes from production. All revolutionists, communists and conscious workers should mobilise all working class organisations, above all unions, to form factory committees against war and coordinate them on a national and international scale. Preparations and rehearsals of general strikes that will stop all production and transportation when the war begins should immediately be started.
While the Turkish parliament failed to pass the first motion approving facilities for the US military
Deniz Moralı, 7 Mart 2003
It is their task to raise the unconscious or semi-conscious processes within the movement to the level of revolutionary consciousness and organisation, to turn the spontaneous struggle of the working class into an organised struggle for the overthrow of capitalism! And this can only be achieved through the creation of a revolutionary organisation capable of leading the working class on an international scale.
One should never be misled by the cheap heroism of the Turkish bourgeoisie - its government, official opposition, organisations of capital, General Staff - that gives a false impression of anti war attitude. There cannot be a common point between the genuine anti war attitude of the overwhelming majority of the working class and toiling masses and the attitude of bourgeoisie. Because their problem is not their conscience but wallets. What troubles them is not mutual massacring of sons of poor people but whether they will profit from the adventure of war they will set out. Now the Turkish bourgeoisie comparatively reckons the loss and profit in case of both giving and not giving support to war in Iraq. So the prospect of an imperialist war exposes the disgusting face of capitalism in a blatant way.
Although the blow inflicted by the toiling masses against the rotten bourgeois parties is welcome, we understand that, unless they are organised, the masses cannot reform this system. Nor can they resist the attacks of the capitalist system, whatever bourgeois party they bring to power. The task of communists, contrary to the propaganda of the bourgeois liberal priests, is to transform the anger of the working class into a conscious opposition to the system. Their task is to organise the struggle effectively, and prepare the way for the underlying opposition to the system to express itself clearly and prove itself on the streets. Now the broad masses are expecting jobs, democracy etc., from the AKP government. ... The truth has to be explained and the advanced layers need to be organised. This task falls on our shoulders. In a bid to save its morale, the bourgeoisie is presenting the AKP government as opening up a new period where its own interests can be defended. A new period also opens up for us, in which we need to step up the struggle in the interests of our class, the working class.
Turkey is now engulfed in economic crises never seen before. There are aspects of recent crises peculiar to Turkey, but the source of problem is essentially the world capitalism. As a result of economic programs dictated by the imperialist organisations like World Bank and IMF, Turkish economy constantly resorts to devaluations and lives with loans. Turkey is now one of the eight most indebted countries of the world. The total amount of its debts is nearly $210 billion.
We know that the world capitalist system, which moves through cycles of crises, tries to overcome big crises with wars, repression and reactionary regimes that mean incredible suffering for the masses. But we must add that the convulsive periods in world history have also been the womb of revolutions...
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.