National Question

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".

Kurdish Political Prisoners’ Hunger Strike at Critical Stage

It is very important for the working class to support the oppressed Kurdish people to get the rightful demands of the strikers met, thus preventing any deaths as well, and help open a new page for a democratic-peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. The internationalist hand of the working class extended towards the Kurdish people will not only be an answer to the poisonous language of the rulers but also a great step for a genuine solution of this burning question that has claimed tens of thousands so far.

Turkish State Killed 36 Kurdish Civilians in an Air Strike

The Turkish state has carried out a new massacre in the midst of its military operations going on for a long time. Kurdish villagers traditionally engaged in smuggling across the Iraqi border were bombed in Uludere Sirnak by Turkish fighter-bomber aircrafts. The attack was carried out on December 28, around 22.30 by F-16 fighter-bombers killing 36 Kurds, most of them at the age of 15-19. Still there are 17 missing.

Turkey: Attacks on Kurdish Movement

Once again Turkish state is stepping up repression of Kurdish movement and Kurdish people. As usually it is accompanied by chauvinist frenzy stepped up after Cukurca raid by Kurdish guerrillas. As military operations go on in Kurdish provinces, especially in the border areas, there are many attacks by fascist gangs in the company of the police across the country against the Kurdish party BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) premises and Kurds. Ocalan has not been allowed to see his lawyers for more than 3 months. And media employ a strongly anti-Kurd language which is similar to 1990s.

On the National Question

Underestimation of Democratic Demands

An erroneous political tendency within Marxist movement still encountered

Imperialism is a world system that links all nation-states large or small to each other through diverse (and of course unequal) economic relations. For this reason, to defend that nation-states can even be fully independent in an economic sense despite the imperialist system is not overthrown by proletarian revolutions progressing on a world scale is a distortion of Marxism. In conclusion we have to point out once again that we must understand from national liberation nothing but achieving political independence. Economic liberation is a matter of social revolution.

On the National Question

The Viewpoint of the Proletariat on Defence of National Culture

In conclusion, tendency to give the proletariat a national consciousness is a reactionary one. And it is has been the attitude of all petty-bourgeois revolutionary leaderships who, on the one hand, proclaim themselves as “Marxist-Leninist” and on the other hand defend “national culture” in their all ideological and political practice. Rejecting the defence of “national culture” as part of proletarian internationalism is not only the task of the communists of the oppressing nation. This task is equally up to the communists of the oppressed nation.

On the National Question

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.

A Marxist Approach to the Problem of Cyprus

As membership of Cyprus to the EU draws closer, the pressure exerted by liberals in the Turkish press on Denktas (the president of the so-called, but unrecognised KKTC, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) has been increasing. All of a sudden they have started to complain about how many millions of dollars Cyprus has cost Turkey in these hard times of economic crisis, and what a huge fetter this is for Turkey’s entry into the EU. The debate has swiftly turned into a blunt choice of “whether to abandon Cyprus or annex it”.

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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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.