Bourgeois Socialism Surrounded Turkish Left And The Rest Of The World
The year 2020 was welcomed with the assassination of Kasım Souleymani, one of the commanders of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and also one of the most important figures of Iran. After he was killed by an American drone, world media was shaken with speculations about the possibility of a new world war. This tension fell off the agenda with unexpected speed and softness. As soon as this problem has lost its significance, the possibility of great conflict over the civil war in Libya came up and followingly fell off the agenda even faster than the previous case.
Then, news that Idlib and its surroundings besieged by Ba’ath Party and Turkish Armed Forces+Free Syrian Army’s recon posts were bombed by Syria and/or Russia’s aircraft resulting in a devastating loss for Turkish Armed Forces hit the headlines. A war scenario that carries the possibility of spreading beyond the Middle East’s borders astounded Turkish press as well as others. During this period, Putin and Rouhani have already driven Erdoğan into the corner. So-called world leader was ordered to come to heel this time. Somehow, Turkish press translated this taming process as “reconciliation”. Moscow Memorandum forced Erdoğan to step back without questioning. This tension has also settled even though it did not leave the agenda completely.
Erdoğan’s intention to blackmail Europe by accumulating refugees to the borders and following Greek actions that were taken harshly came to the topic right after. This harsh intervention was regarded as a precursor to Europe’s upcoming Corona epidemic.
As a matter of fact, while the attention of the world has not moved away from these points, now humanity is shaking with the Corona epidemic. Thus, the attention of the world has not moved away from these points, now humanity is shaking with the Corona epidemic.
The crisis that was triggered by this epidemic, which spread rapidly all over the world, for sure, shows how imperialism is the regime of reactionism. Even in the geographies where capitalism is the most developed, it has been revealed that bourgeois society is helpless to feed its own slaves. The current corona epidemic showed the dilemmas of bourgeois dictatorships all over the world, especially in imperialist metropolises. Even the ones who reject to accept these dilemmas admitted the conditions that occurred due to them. The spread of a revolutionary situation in the world has become invisible.
Corona epidemic did not just reveal these facts. At the same time, it revealed that leftist and workers’ movements are under the influence of reformism worldwide. In the Communist Party Manifesto, bourgeois socialism was defined as follows:
“Part of the bourgeoisie is in favor of eliminating social troubles in order to sustain the existence of bourgeois society.
Economists, philanthropists, human lovers, those who engage in improving the situation of the working class, donation campaigners, members of animal protection associations, worker enemies, all sorts of hidden reform enthusiasts, all come into this section. This type of socialism has even introduced favorable systems.
Socialist livelihoods bourgeois want to take advantage of all the blessings of these conditions, regardless of the inevitable struggles and dangers of contemporary social conditions.
They want the current social order to remain as it is, but without its revolutionary and fragmentary elements.”
Bourgeois socialism encompasses all left waves in the world as a whole today. The worker and oppressed movement are acting entirely within the framework drawn by bourgeois socialism. Today, it is not possible to talk about a revolutionary movement in one or another part of the world. All movements, including those in Kurdistan, are driven by the bourgeoisie, reproducing its ideology. All movements are surrounded to reformism. Moreover, this is happening while revolutionary dynamics are taking place all over the world.
Surrendering To Reformism Is More Striking In Turkey
Surrounding to reformism is happening in a more dramatic way in Turkey due to a number of reasons. Firstly, revolutionary dynamics show its presence most in Turkey and Kurdistan. If we are talking about the actuality of revolution the lands that we step on are the center of it. Secondly, the position of the People’s Democratic Party and the leftist movement deepen the regime crisis of Turkey. Thirdly, while Turkey is at its peak in the leftist political struggle, the revolutionary movement is in the weakest period. The revolutionary organizations and parties of yesterday are under the influence of purely liquidator reformism today. While revolutionary organizations have been so paralyzed, the militants with the greatest number of struggles against the state in the world are in our land and under the effect of these liquidator organizations. Due to this contradictory situation, it is the most urgent task to liberate revolutionary militants from the yoke of reformist liquidationism that prevails on the left-wing. So, that it is vital to show the contradictions between reformist politics and communist politics once again. At first glance, it is possible to say that Turkey has a wide variety of left fractions. There are groups that send their own cadre to Rojava, and on the other hand, there are other groups who take photos with Canan Kaftancıoğlu at the DİSK general assembly. Also, there are those who support the BAAS regime to protect Syria’s territorial integrity and those who argue that Turkey’s fundamental problem is the Kurdish issue. There are groups who start the word with industry 4.0 besides the ones who support taking root in factories. Some support the ban on the headscarf and some say that it is imperative to stay distanced to the religious values of our society. All these groups, which could not come side by side on various issues, had come side by side for the first time while supporting İmamoğlu either openly or embarrassingly. Now, in the threat of the Corona epidemic, they meet on the same denominator, the denominator of liquidator reformism. Let’s be honest; In the early days of the epidemic, before the corona came on our borders, the left-wing blamed the “capitalism” without hesitation. They started to get action by canceling mass meetings, including Newroz and stopping to print newspapers. Today, there is no recurrence that Corona is the result of an ecological crisis, mainly caused by capitalists destroying nature and reducing the number of wild animals.
It is emphasized that the corona crisis did not equal anybody but affected the poor the most. It seems that there is no disagreement when the burden of the crisis needs to be overthrown to the capitalists. Even though they use different expressions according to their position, all groups demand that workplaces must be under the control of workers and their working hours must be get shortened.
Undoubtedly, there is nothing wrong with these views within the abstract framework in which they are expressed. Students who try to classify their professors according to their political views at the university can consider these professors as Marxist according to the demands above. But we are not university students and communism is not a school of thought or a method, but a political struggle. And these views are not closely related to communism. Why? First, let us remember the opening sentences of the Communist Party Manifesto.
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles…. A fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”
So, what is class struggle? To understand this, let’s apply to the letter which was written by Marx to Weydemeyer:
“And to me, it is not my honor to have discovered the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. The bourgeois historians explained the historical development of this class struggle long before and also the bourgeois economists explained the economic anatomy of the classes. I just covered these 1) The existence of classes depends only on certain historical stages in the development of production; 2) Class struggle necessarily reaches the dictatorship of the proletariat; 3) To introduce that this dictatorship itself is nothing more than the elimination of all classes and the transition to a classless society.”
So the class struggle is a struggle for political power, the struggle of the proletariat to organize as the ruling class, the struggle of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Marx’s main contribution to the communist struggle was the programmatic framework of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In other words, Marxism is not a doctrine that tries to compensate for the injustices occurred in bourgeois society for the working class. Marxism is the action guide of the class struggle. Marxists look at all problems through the class struggle perspective and the proletariat’s power struggle against the ruling class dictatorships. Being revolutionary does not include only talking about the revolution and repeating the term dictatorship of the proletariat over and over again. Marxism differs from other groups of thought as a guide for action; the Communist struggle and reformists should be separated from each other by lines of action, not words. In “What Is To Be Done”, Lenin said that giving a character to an organization is the content of its action. Revolutionary groups, as well as the reformist and liquidator wings, manifest themselves through lines of action. So, it would be better to start by talking about these groups at the first step. What is the action line dominating the left-wing today? Let’s start our discussion with this question. Because it is the inertia situation that all the left fractions adopted today.
The Line of Not Action, But Inertia
The line that dominates the left today is to sit at home. Meeting have been cancelled. While the central executive committee of HDP cancelled Newroz of 2020, they referred to the following reason “without neglecting to state that it was very difficult for them to make this decision”:
“About the discussions and evaluations we have conducted; Corona virus, which has become a threat to all of humanity as seen cases in all regions of the country, in the face of announced cases in Turkey; considering the health of our people above all else, we believed that it is vitally important to make a new decision regarding the Newroz festival, an international event. Therefore; being aware of the fact that there will be an international participation in International Newroz celebrations; considering that this will pose a risk out of its nature, we would like to announce to our people and the international community that we have canceled the mass events of the 2020 Newroz festival aimed at taking precautions fort he health of our people and the international community.”
Those who cancelled Newroz, of course, also thought about how to celebrate an alternative Newroz instead and wrote the following statement as Newroz Coordination and notified to HDK components:
“Due to the cancellation of mass Newroz celebrations because of the Corona virus, Newroz can be celebrated in a way that our people can participate interactively from their homes with a social media call. In this context;
We can invite all our people to go to their balconies, Windows, terraces, roofs and courtyards on March 20 at 21.00 (it may be at 20.00 depending on the weather).
We should ask our people who came to their windows, balconies and roofs at the specified time to light their mobile phones’ light, flashlight, torch, lighter; sing songs and celebrate Newroz together with this method. In order to ensure the celebrations to be “mass”, we can spread videos and images of our call on social media, starting from the day before and throughout the day.
We can ensure that more citizens are informed by the news we have served the day before that we are planning such an event. Our provincial and district organizations can also make calls to increase participation. Our headquarters will also send SMS to all provinces and district to start the event.
With such a celebration, we will have celebrated Newroz together without being affected by the Corona virus epidemic and risking the health of our people. We are celebrating Newroz of all friends.
NEWROZ PÎROZ BE! BIJÎ NEWROZ! / NEWROZ COORDINATION”
Is there any need to say the inspiration for this “responsible behavior” is not the daring acts which are countless throughout revolutionary history but the Italian and French “citizens” who bow to the curfew and sing “Ciao Bella”? Despite the prohibitions and fine, methods such as sending SMS instead of making calls to breach the curfew which most of the people implement on their own are likewise.
HDP central executive committee could not stop and in the circular they published, decided to postpone not only meetings, but even weddings. Turkish Communist Movement, who takes a different stance than the rest of the left at almost every issue, adopts a position which is surprisingly similar when the topic is Corona, or rather “precaution”.
“As a party, we inform our members and friends about the decision and precaution we took in order to prevent the corona virus that threatens public health from turning into an epidemic in our country. Our party canceled any collective events planned to be outdoors or indoors until the end of March.”
We invite our members and friends to be cautious so that the corona virus does not turn into an epidemic in our country and we reiterate the warnings made.”
Kaldıraç for example, while acting with the slogan “Competition divides, action unites.”, making call to the people saying “Let us not accept the disregard of our lives and raise our demands. The solution is through solidarity and an organized struggle.”; decided to postpone the event in Ankara named “Ones Resisting For An Honorable and Free Life Meet” “as a result of the precautions we have taken to protect public health due to the corona virus cases spreading around the world and recently increasing in our country.”
ESP (Socialist Party of the Oppressed), repeatedly stated the views, that the World had entered a revolutionary period, that the duty of the revolutionaries is to prepare themselves for the uprising before Corona and of course within HDP. It called on the revolutionary forces for an militant unity of action which will not wait for the elections. Again with these concerns, ESP was organizing a symposium attended by invitees from all over the World with an ambitious title like “Now Is The Time Of Revolution”. The international symposium, “where the experiences of the wave of rebellion will be discussed has been postponed to a later date due to the Corona virus reaching the pandemic extent.”.
So, ESP also adjudicated that we live in Time of Corona and not in Time of Revolution.
“The voice of class, revolution and socialism” Kızıl Bayrak takes the decision of cancellation to the next level and announces that it has “suspended its written publishing for a while” due to “highly concerned warnings”.
“As the Kızıl Bayrak newspaper, we attach great importance to all these warnings. In this context, we suspend the printed publication of our newspaper for a while starting from March 2020-12, which we plan to publish this week. This is because our responsibility towards the working class and laborers, whose rights of life are neglected by countless number of methods in the capitalist system of exploitation, requires this.”
Alınteri, who blamed almost all left-wing with abdicating from struggle, immigration, making judgments from the most luxurious corners of the world and claim the legacy of the small but strong battalion, ends its article named “What Should We Do In Days Of Corona?” as follows:
“As a precaution against the epidemic, all collective activities are postponed in the name of “social distancing”. It is obvious that this situation will create a unique oppression of its own after a while. However, a tool such as the internet can be used at this point. Especially communication applications in smart phones can be used actively. If the concerts are canceled, we sing the songs; are theatre plays postponed, we stage them; if our health workers need support, we can send them videos, audio files; if our family lives afar, we can eliminate their concerns by communicating through video and voice; if we cannot protest on streets, we can scream the place down in social media…”
Alınteri, crossing off an independent line of action from its agenda as it seems, puts sentences utterly ambiguous in their subject, almost referring to the divine, says “all mass meetings are postponed.”, instead of saying “we” too have delayed our events. Who must have postponed them? The solution found is quite creative: “to cause quite a stir in the social media”. Even the founders of Twitter were not as ambitious as the writers of Alınteri. “To tweet” explains the sound of birds in English. The founders of Twitter gave the site its name keeping this meaning in mind. The fruit of the hard work Alınteri has put into Quantum Physics, Scientific Technological Revolutions since the end of nineties must have been this new perspective on smart phones. Yet the same Alınteri in the middle of nineties were constantly informing us on the acts of Anti-Fascist Struggle Committees.
When the issue is solidarity, no one can compete with Sol Parti of Alper Taş, candidate of People’s Alliance for mayor of Beyoğlu. Sol Parti has started the campaign “Dear Neighbor” and calls “youth” to solidarity.
“Youth, Let’s Organize Left Solidarity! It is very important for especially you to stay home in the Covid-19 outbreak. …. Leave home for purposes of solidarity only. Tell that you can go to the supermarket for basic needs instead of the old people in your apartment and neighborhood. Leave what you have bought, ring the bell, stand two meters back and chat over the door. Offer to walk their pets for them. Let’s act together to bring this solidarity to more people…”
Yes, solidarity for walking pets! This is the line of action proposed by Sol Parti in conditions where more than twenty million minimum wage workers go to work everyday in the morning. It is surprising but meaningful that bourgeois socialism has not changed a bit since the Manifesto.
Should Not Search for the Reasons of Inaction at the Wrong Place
Why did this happen? Why the left as a whole got stuck in the quagmire of inaction? Firstly, we must say why not. Because the land we live in is very sensitive about the subject of action left currents and militants. We live in a political culture that depends on the question that “How many martyrs/prisoners do you have?”. The apolitical and wrong answer that this culture will produce: “Coward!!”, “Petty bourgeois conformism!” It will be. However, completely the opposite is true. Turkey and Kurdistan are places where most revolutionary live in the world. Turkey and Kurdistan are places in the world that most revolutionaries live. In this country, those who struggle for labor and oppressed can be called anything, but not coward or inaction. Our geography filled with revolutionary militants who are not afraid to die and kill for even the simplest struggle. Thousands of members of HDP, who stated that they want to make peace with the order at every opportunity, are hostage in prison. There are hundreds of arrested unionists. These are not enough to discourage anyone from struggling. To say the opposite, to criticize general conformism, petty-bourgeois revolutionism, would be denial as well as cynical.
The situation today is mainly a product of reformism that shaped the political line of the leftist movement in Turkey. The reformists who determined the line of left currents and the organizations that these reformists tailored to their own needs condemn revolutionaries to the inaction. Today in Turkey, some socialists stock pasta in their homes, use anti-disinfection constantly, do not leave their homes and follow constantly the number of corona cases. This sad situation that the socialists fall into is the product of the line where they are convicted rather than their own indulgences. This line has deep historical programmatic roots, like all opportunist-reformist tendencies that cannot be explained by the absence of action. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the approach to the Corona epidemic first in the programmatic-political plane and then show how these programmatic-political preferences determine the lines of action.
Programmatic Political Roots of Inertia
The assessment of the corona epidemic on the left is surprisingly similar: since corona is an epidemic disease and medical science is concerned with epidemic diseases; to combat this epidemic, we must, of course, listen to medical and epidemiology specialists, without neglecting to say “responsible is capitalism.” We must follow their advice. Because capitalism is an irrational system, the capitalists are blindfolded, worldwide capitalists ignore human health and do not heed to experts who explain scientific facts. In Turkey, the situation is worse, because of the greed for profit as well as the “enemy of enlightenment”, “Islamo-fascist” a one-man regime prevails. This regime did not take the corona epidemic seriously, but also implemented the quarantine measures it declared under public pressure in a very subtle way. However, the subject is a disease that threatens all humanity, especially the working class. For this very reason, the first step to take is to take what local and foreign honest scientists say seriously and to apply a stricter quarantine policy. A captivated capitalist government should be invited to implement a strict quarantine.
The dominant understanding of Corona on the left is more or less like this. “Stop! We are not just saying that quarantine measures should be taken. We advocate taking urgently a series of measures that protect labor. ” those who say will surely come out. We will come to other requests later. But first, let’s start with the quarantine demand, which unites the whole left indiscriminately.
Turkish socialists, not because of their sweet life, but “the concern about harm to public health”, are sitting at home. If those who criticize the government for not adhering to the advice of independent scientists, of course, want to act consistently, they will also cancel their meetings, actions, and even their own organization meetings, by listening to the advice of the scientists. If they say that there are people those who have returned from Umrah are not quarantined or those who have been removed from quarantine by working the oracle, and of course, they must cancel Newroz. Thus, there will be no obstacles for the government to declare a state of emergency or martial law. This situation, in which the government is in profit, actually relieves the government from another point of view. Those who repeat the spooky predictions of “neutral scientists” and accuse the government of frivolousness, of course, panicked themselves before the government. In order to listen to scientists and explain the seriousness of the Corona, the left’s self-censorship and inaction and non-organization made it unnecessary for the government to declare a state of emergency. Because it is the left who advocates social distance practice in a more royalist way and assumes the duty of guardianship for the laborers. In such a situation, there is no need for a curfew.
Left’s love to the experts of Turkey is not new. When it comes to the economy, the same groups apply to “independent economists” and publish in their publications on how Erdogan has upset the rules of the economy. The same groups apply to climate scientists when it comes to Kanal Istanbul, geologists when it comes to earthquakes, and engineers and architects when it comes to urban transformation.
“The dominant ideas of every age are the ideas of the ruling class” and these are not the ideas that the greatest capitalists emerged and gave up. Instead, it spreads and becomes dominant through popular artists, “scientists”, “humanitarian societies” and intellectuals. Indeed, the Communist Manifesto has described this trend of thought as “bourgeois socialism”, which is spread through these segments and summarized in the phrase “we provide what we need for you”.
“Independent Experts” Are Servants of the Bourgeoisie
The Communist Manifesto also commemorated the economists among the bourgeois socialists. It is not a coincidence that economists show up and disseminate ideas on the coronavirus rush, which cannot be hidden behind a deep economic crisis and that it will trigger a great crisis.
In contrast, communists who say that all history is the history of the class struggle must first say; is that there can be no such an expertise independent from the position it takes in the class struggle, that is, the position against the state.
In contrast, communists who say that all history is the history of the class struggle must first say; is that there can be no expertise independent from the position it takes in the class struggle, that is, against the state. There can be no medical specialty independent of its relationship with the state and bourgeois society. Neither the salaried staff of the World Health Organization, the doctors working in hospitals under the control of the Ministry of Health, nor the specialists of university hospitals or health research institutions financed by drug monopolies can also do neutral expertise. Of course, the famous and richest pop singers, who created a revolutionary wave in accordance with the wind of the era, and made it a game that encouraged reformism and utopianism with Beatles’ Imagine song, are among these mercenaries. This is not because they mostly sell their dignity in exchange for money, prestige and their reputation depends on their affirmation in bourgeois society, but because they are not essentially revolutionary.
Although they want to be entirely alongside the working class, their expertise depends on the framework of the institutions in which they work. These segments have to look at the events within the framework of the constraints and laws of the institutions they work in, and offer “realistic measures” within the constraints framework of these institutions. Regardless of their intentions, these groups are servants of the bourgeoisie with their corporate identity and their suggestions. Their proposals ultimately conclude that the foundations of bourgeois society are strengthened. To say that neutral-minded experts on the market are not servants of the bourgeoisie does not mean that there is a separate “communist science”. Protons and electrons do not act differently than communists, there is no separate and independent communist genetic science, contrary to what was once defended by one of the member of the revisionist SBKP, scientist Lysenko. Viruses destroy the human body in the same way in capitalism and communism. It may even be abstractly true that infectious diseases should sometimes be isolated with quarantine. But the areas where the independent specialist served the bourgeoisie by making his expertise talk are not this part of the matter. However, a specialist’s answer to the question of how to apply quarantine; it is not independent of its position in the class struggle in question, that is, the functioning and goals of its members or the institutions with which it is involved.
Viruses destroy the human body in the same way in capitalism and communism. It may even be abstractly true that infectious diseases should sometimes be isolated with quarantine. But the areas where the independent specialist served the bourgeoisie by making his expertise talk are not this part of the matter. However, a specialist’s answer to the question of how to apply quarantine; it is not independent of its position in the class struggle in question, that is, the functioning and goals of its members or the institutions with which it is involved.
It is possible to implement a quarantine to strengthen the bourgeois state apparatus. Practices in this direction are a strict centralized discipline, the bourgeois dictatorship controlling all boundaries with full force, gathering the genetic information of the whole society in the database of the ministry of health, giving the state the rights to eliminate the freedom of demonstration and meeting. In fact, these practices point out the steps taken in China, France and Italy. The line of those who criticize the governments today not to take corona seriously or to listen to experts is completely like that.
In bourgeois society, the state is not only made up of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, counter guerrillas, armed forces or prison directorate. It is not only the existence of these institutions that makes the state the pressure apparatus of the ruling class. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of National Education are also parts of the state. These serve for the state to function as a pressure device. Because, whatever their intentions and wishes, their suggestions and recommendations invite a strict repression regime. The announcement of curfews and extraordinary states with fatwas given by the Ministry of Health, in short, is the part of the pressure exerted by the state on the workers.
It is possible to apply the quarantine to break up the bourgeois state. It can be implemented not by officers of the quarantine bourgeois dictatorship, but by armed laborers organized in their factories and neighborhoods. Laborers who combine legislative, executive and judiciary in the neighborhood can control entry and exit to their jurisdiction, while stockists can confiscate the goods of strangers more quickly and inexpensively than any other state. It can expropriate capitalists who do not allow paid leave, do not reduce their working hours, do not comply with hygiene rules. The homeless can seize the homes of the bourgeoisie to solve the problem. So even bourgeois and revolutionary approaches are distinguished from each other even in quarantine. Those who pursue neutral experts strengthen the politics of reformists who do not want to disrupt the bourgeois state apparatus.
Such revolutionary measures are, of course, different from the civilian demands of, like “workers’ control in the factories”, “power of workers councils”, which various Trotskyist and other centrist opportunist currents express in terms of demands. Because, contrary to these trends, it is not possible to realize these demands without destroying the central state power by force of armed laborers, and destroying all the institutions that overthrew and control the existing government. The hiding of the opportunists behind these demands is due to their compromising attitude towards the destruction of the bourgeois state apparatus. The hiding of the opportunists behind these demands is due to their compromising attitude towards the destruction of the bourgeois state apparatus. Those who do not regard a revolutionary uprising against central power as a priority task list sharp and abstract demands on the local level to hide their reformism.
Reformism is Presented as Opposition to Neoliberalism
Since the late 1980s, left-wing movements in Turkey presented their reformism as the opposition to neo-liberalism. This attitude was first manifested in the problem of privatization. Left movements that oppose the sale of state-owned State Economic Enterprises to the capitalists stated that the new variant of liberalism wanted to liquidate all kinds of state property and services by marketing since the 1980s. They said that we will not make benefits of the workers’ factory available to capitalists. Of course, what they said about the intentions of the capitalists was not wrong. The mistake was that the factories under the control of the bourgeois dictatorship were displayed as workers’ factories, and to go to the board of education and discipline that makes propaganda of the bourgeoisie was designated as workers’ right to education. Thus, the essence of socialism was defined as public property. The differences between the Social State and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat dimmed. It was forgotten that the defining essence of the dictatorship of the proletariat was the power Soviet and the dictatorship of the armed proletariat as in its first example in 1871.
Today, those who argue that the responsible for the deaths in the Corona crisis is capitalism, mainly indicate that in the case of Italy, USA and England, that the governments have made a capitalist cost calculation and therefore these countries do not have enough intensive care units, beds and doctors. When the main problem of capitalism is presented as shortage of doctors and beds or worker deaths, it is not difficult to present Cuba and China as examples of socialism or, at least, the examples that carry the light of socialism.
However, capitalism is not always free-marketeer. There is no principal disagreement between capitalism and state ownership or monopoly. The role of the state in capitalism increases or decreases according to the tempo and need of capital accumulation.
For example, statism and control of capital markets were the basic principles of the imperialist world from the 1929 depression to the mid-1970s. It was not possible for the imperialist bourgeoisie to come out of depression in any other way. Social state practices were also the results of this model, which was defined as Keynesianism. The model in question came to the agenda not because of the pressure of the working class or the pressure of Soviet Socialism, but the capital’s own needs. It was necessary to take the opposite steps and liquidate all public services to solve the excessive accumulation crisis that had been felt since the early 1970s. In the forty-odd years we left behind, a series of quick or slow steps were taken in this direction.
Today, this model is in crisis like on the eve of 1929. Capitalists are seeking a substantial state intervention, sometimes whiningly, sometimes in a half-assed way. “Independent specialist economists” who demonstrate the helplessness of America against statist China also emphasize that such a statist transformation is essential in imperialist metropolises. The fact that Trump sent thousands of dollars to all Americans and Tayyip Erdoğan’s criticism of capitalism in his Korona speech( He was described by some ninny leftists as he started like a socialist and finished like a capitalist) was essentially the product of the same quest. Before Ali Koç became president of Fenerbahçe, for the same reasons, he was making statements that capitalism threatened humanity. Today, strong public authority and the social state to be shaped accordingly are the only way to extend the life of dying capitalism, which is the term of Hikmet Kıvılcımlı. It is of course impossible to achieve it without war, crisis and counter-revolution, but there is public-based restoration on the agenda.
Today, those who beautify the so-called socialism in Cuba and the remnants of the so-called socialism in China, actually offer support from the left to those who want to do this restoration. It is not by coincidence that precisely for this reason, they say that Germany or South Korea, which have not completely eliminated the state sector, have been more successful in fighting the Korona than Italy. Despite all their anti-capitalist poses, these are bourgeois socialists and the clappers of bourgeois reformers. Supporters of bourgeois domination among socialists are also called opportunists.
The reformists, by beautifying about Cuba, are also hiding what the main bourgeois order’s attack on the workers is. The bourgeois society’s hostility to the laborers does not stem from the fact that they starved them and sentenced them to absolute misery. The main attack of the bourgeois society against the laborers is that they disorganize and politically disarm them, and thus made accept them as paid slaves who act like a commodity in the market. The determination that bourgeois democracy is a bourgeois dictatorship for the workers is not made just for the sake of conversation.
In the bourgeois society, all kinds of material opportunities for the organization of the working people on an independent political line are removed materially and administratively. Experts make decisions, and paid slaves see themselves as citizens, or worse, consumers. They try to express their needs through the forms of organization imposed on them. In this way, they think they can make their voices heard.
This is exactly the line that the left movements defend by saying that there is socialism in Cuba. Today, it is desired to listen to the words of the experts and to imprison the workers at home. With the publicism, laborers are asked to settle for wage slavery in the bourgeois order.
“Common struggle of the whole society” is a class compromise
Speaking of experts who care for the interests of the neutral and the whole society is an example of the left’s illusions towards class societies and the state. To defend the common struggle of humanity or society against the common enemies of humanity is another dimension of reformism. It is precisely for this reason that the left currents that see the Corona virus, not the bourgeoisie, as the enemy of humanity are talking about the rules of hygiene and isolation that the whole society will abide by. Nobody talks about a proletarian attitude towards Korona, as it speaks of the rules that the whole society must follow. Calls are made to citizens, not to the working class. However, in class societies, there cannot be any rule that all social segments can follow in the same way. Do the delegations of the bourgeois state, which constantly travel and assemble, act in accordance with the rules of isolation? Since social distance is a must, does production stop in factories? Do cleaning workers stop collecting garbage? If social distance is so important, why aren’t soldiers dismissed in the army, where hundreds of thousands of people gather in a way that does not comply with any hygiene rules? What are the occupying Turkish troops doing on the territory of Kurdistan? Talking about the common struggle against enemies of humanity in class societies, it actually proposes purely and simply class compromise.
“Against the common enemies of humanity” is not a disease that has just appeared on the left. Its roots can be found in the Second International socialism. Kautsky, considered the Pope of Marxism in the Second International, was describing the inhuman character of the war. He was advocating that workers should stand against warlike capitalists as in collaboration with the war opponent capitalists and raise the demand of “Peace!”. In the second war of sharing, it was not the imperialist war of sharing defined as the enemy of humanity, but Nazizim, who was only in one pole of it. After liquidating the Comintern, Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI) called on world workers and oppressed peoples to grow the anti-fascist struggle by being on the same side as the British and the American state. The SBKP revisionism, which developed the thesis of “Living in Peace Together” in the 1960s and 70s, this time called on the threat of a nuclear war as an enemy of humanity, and invited all humanity together with its bourgeoisie and its proletariat to braid against nuclear armament and weave a peace movement in the world.
There is no need to go that far back to find examples of the class compromise line in our land before the Corona. Those were the socialist residing in Turkey, who proclaimed “Erdogan’s one-man regime” as fascist and the enemy of humanity, later last year.
When Erdoğan was described as an enemy of humanity as a fascist, the way was opened to alliance against Erdogan with other bourgeois sections, even former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) members who love to take the place of Bahçeli. Thus, they did it. Particularly Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the whole left was proudly chased after the Nation (Millet) Alliance. By saying “Not enough, but yes!” they voted for İmamoğlu or did not make a sound. Today, it is not surprising in this respect that those who took the class compromise train by supporting the Nation Alliance yesterday, have taken the same attitude towards the Corona pandemic.
Reformists Emit Imagination That Pressure Can Be Applied To The Government
The bourgeois view of the reformists against the state does not reveal itself only when talking about independent experts and common social struggle against Corona. The demands listed to defend the workers against Corona also give the reformist approach. Again, our subject is not the content of the demands. It would be a miserable effort to evaluate the content of the abstract demands of the left currents who entered the race to defend “the most socialist” demands from child leave, compensation, tax to total social security. The question that addresses reformism is the question of who is going to to implement what is desired rather than what is desired. So it is the problem of political power. The Revolutionary Workers Party (DİP), which is capable of producing dozens of demands for any casual problem in this regard, is a good example. The second statement of DİP published on Corona pandemic bears the title of “The demands of the health workers who fought in the front line for the health of the people must be met urgently!”. Of course, it is not specified who will meet the demands in the title. But in the second paragraph of the statement, reformism immediately reveals itself as:
Before the case of coronavirus was detected in our country, as the Revolutionary Workers’ Party, we published our statement containing the emergency measures that the government should take against the possibility of this pandemic. In our statement, we demanded the declaration of “health mobilization” in the country for such a situation that concerns the health of the public, and the planning of the needs and working order of the healthcare professionals and organizations… The government is incapable of meeting the needs. Moreover, it still resists the need to take measures and intervene in the process.
Thus, we understand that the DİP’s addressee is the government, its intention is to replace the bourgeois government. Reformism is also about giving advice to governments under the cover of constructive opposition and coming to that position at the most advanced point. However, as the DİP has declared, the government did not heed the DİP, it “resists” the demands of the DİP. Well then, what did the DİP Central Committee do in the face of this helpless and indifferent attitude? They published the second statement we read and have made twenty-one new requests about the healthcare workers this time to the resistant government, yes, we were not lazy to count it.
The reformism of the DİP becomes even more evident when we read the first declaration. After praising the Soviet Union, the DİP makes the following remarks:
The Revolutionary Workers’ Party demands that the anti-market, planner and public-favoured measures should be taken immediately against the threat of the Coronavirus with the responsibility of defending this historical heritage and the historical interests of the working classes.
If we return to measures, before of all, the use of supervision and staff comes first. In the society divided into classes, when the use of authority and duty is not well determined, people who have power and force will create inequality by using power devices, from the beginning.
Although DİP addressed all kinds of issues under the sun, from Friedrich Engels to the need for a mask, DİP does not address the political power problem, the overthrow of the government, the collapse of the Alliance of the Republic (Cumhur). It even assumes that this political power will continue. Since DİP assumes that, it lists the first measure to balance the “government of those with money and force”.
All measures and practices should be supervised by boards consisting of representatives of labor organizations (eg DİSK), especially health labor organizations (Doctors’ chambers, unions, professional associations, etc.) and carried out transparently in cooperation.
Complying not only with the existence of the bourgeois government but also with other institutions of the bourgeois dictatorship, the DIP transfers the task of overseeing this government to the professional chambers of the bourgeoisie and the trade union bureaucracy, but of course while underlining the demand for transparency. Indeed, the workers also find a place in the demands of the DİP.
The military can not fight against the scourge of coronavirus. No use of military units in disinfection or quarantine practice, travel prohibitions or enforcement of the above rules! It is the war taught to the military. These are the trained teams who can apply medical precautions correctly and can grasp these issues immediately. As soon as the pandemic breaks out, students should be organized and mobilized for the benefit of the community, especially those studying medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and technician students in the medical fields. In the implementation of the prohibitions, worker supervision and neighborhood supervision committees should take part.
We are refreshed by learning that DIP will not implement martial law with soldiers! When we read the DIP program involves demands for the removal of the counterinsurgency and the abolition of the NSC but not demands regarding the regular army and the structure of the armed forces, we thought that the reason for silencing about these issuses was the legalism of the DİP. We were wrong. The DİP is of course legalist, but the DİP was sharing the same views with the liberals of the Ahmet Altan genre, which they love to do polemics. The jobs of soldiers and civilians should be separated. Soldiers should not interfere with civilian life! Since it is a war taught to the military, military units should not get involved in social affairs. Well, everyone should do their job. In other words, the DİP will not teach workers to fight, because then they cannot correctly implement medical measures. So who will fight? Of course, soldiers! We seem to hear the grunts saying, “What are you dealing with while all the laborers strive for their lives?”. However it is really difficult for those who don’t devise replacing the regular army with the armed proletarian militias.
Let’s continue with the workers. Considering the workers, the DIP gives the role of being compliance to be the supporter/auditor of the bourgeois government, not taking the political power. But the leading actor of this role is the Nation (Millet) Alliance, which is supported in local elections by almost all of the left. And this reactionary alliance will not go into negotiations other than unconditional support.
While students are mobilized by region and city, the workers will take part in the implementation of prohibitions in the neighborhoods. In short, the central government stands as a decision maker, the supervision is done by the union bureaucrats, and workers work as the law enforcement agency of the central government, far from any central authority and decision-making power. This picture also shows brightly the meaning “the workers’ councils” which is used instead of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the DİP’s program.
Now let’s look at the MLCP, which stands in a place that is in a diametrically opposite manner with DİP in terms of tradition and scorpion, and that is precisely because of its origins in a revolutionary practice. The written statement of the MLKP Central Committee, which we are aware of through ETHA, carries an ambitious title: “The only drug against coronavirus is to destroy the capitalist system”. After listing the sins of the capitalist system one after another, the solution proposal finally comes. But the solution that they have chosen to cite from Rosa Luxemburg, but in fact nothing else than a repetition of “Socialism or Barbarism!” maxim invented by Kautsky, the head of USPD which Luxemburg joined before the establishment of Spartacist Party.
There are two options for humanity. Either to surrender to the barbarity knitted by the massacre, destruction, drought, poverty and war produced by capitalism, or to establish socialism to prepare a classless, borderless, gender-free world!
Of course, we ask: Since there are two options for humanity, how do we choose the socialist option? The answer comes in the next paragraph:
The suffering is common for workers, women and oppressed people from all over the world, whose lives are taken away from the coronavirus outbreak. Let’s turn that pain into anger against the common enemy, the capitalist system. Let’s call bourgeois parties to count for every life that the coronavirus takes. Let’s raise solidarity among the communals. Let’s force all bourgeois states to accept our demand for free health and preventive medicine for everyone.
In this way, we learn the struggle for socialism growing through social state practices and also working people can impose some policies on the bourgeois states without a revolution.
Today in Turkey, if the coronavirus turns life into a living hell for the workers, neither the virus itself nor capitalism as abstract is responsible for that. It is the Cumhur Alliance that pursues the capital policies. While tussling in deep crise, this alliance leads all forces to crise to break loose. It is not possible for the workers to achieve the slightest gain without the workers overthrow Cumhur Alliance and the Erdogan government, who are the wardens of the September 12th regime that is in crisis. It is not possible to get rid of Cumhur Alliance by elections.
Therefore, it is nakedly reformism to demand solutions from the Palace Government, the source and knot of problems, or to call workers to force the government to cover the demands instead of calling them to overthrow the government. It is reformism denominator that ignores the problem of political power as an common denominator for those workerists Trotskyists who fantasize about nesting in union trades and those Marksist Leninists who spread the illusion of forming an anti-fascist front inside HDP.
This attitude has historical roots, of course. In the 1905 Revolution, the Mensheviks limited themselves to being an extreme opposition party. They said they would give critical support to the bourgeoisie, who aspired to take power. The situation today is more serious. Because there is not even a bourgeois focus that aspires to take power. The reformist opposition proposes to the public to force Cumhur Alliance, namely Tsarism in the 1905 example.
Reformists Wish Normalization and Communists Play Their Main Role in Times of Crisis
With passive sentences ending as “be lifted, be done”, those who make demands to the government with secret subjects, and those who dream of imposing the demands of the workers on the government are not only blurred about the state. They confuse also about the need for a revolutionary leadership. They are dragging into a frivolous position as they face a clear contradiction. Even in order to be an opposition movement and to put pressure on the government, it is necessary to go out on the streets. However, the left imprisoned itself outside the street as a whole. Quarantine has been the cover of this runaway fight. No wonder they react by telling they are crazy to those who drop their masks. They produce extremely sharp opposing demands, but they even postpone fighting in line with these demands until after the epidemic is taken under control.
The attitude of listing a series of demands in the face of an economic or political crisis and postponing struggles in line with these demands after the crisis is not an original attitude. On the contrary, it is a characteristic feature of reformist politics. Reformism exists in the political framework of the established order. It rests on the value judgments, institutions and mechanisms of the order. Reformists argue that the rights and freedom of workers can be expanded without breaking the general framework of the bourgeois dictatorship. When ordinary conditions are replaced by an extraordinary disorder due to a natural disaster, economic or political crisis or war, reformists become fish out of water just like today. It was precisely for this reason that the Second International collapsed during the first imperialist war, and the glorious social democratic parties had turned into a corpse. The Second Internationalists, who argued that revolutionary politics could not be done under war conditions, postulate the establishment of peace in order to start political activity again.
Similarly, HDP formed by liquidators who said a revolution is no longer possible in Turkey and creation of a grassroots movement that forces the government to reform for the urgent tasks of the day is required also argues that with opposition movement in the established order, Turkey can be democratic. With the regime crisis gaining the character of civil war on June 7, 2015, all mechanisms of the order were locked. A new period of state of emergency emerged. HDP was of course paralyzed. When Kurdistan was burned and destroyed, its political line did not go beyond normalization politics in Turkey. After July 15, HDP executives could even say, “The most revolutionary action today is not to take action”. It still adopts the same attitude. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that this understanding which postpones any struggle to the end of the epidemic.
The political line that the Leninists will adopt should be in the opposite direction. Those who follow the path of Leninism and take the Communist International as guide know that the revolution itself is an extraordinary situation, and that revolutions will only succeed as a result of extraordinary interventions in these extraordinary situations. The reason for the existence of a Leninist party is to prepare itself for these extraordinary turns as an organization. The first condition of this preparation is to combine an independent political line with an independent line of action in times of crisis without obeying the state’s prohibitions and listening to the criticism of adventurism directed by the rotten socialism officers. Therefore, Leninists see the moments of crisis as opportunity in which reformists anxiously await normalization. It is an opportunity to win the political leadership of the working class, an opportunity to organize an armed uprising that will pave the way for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The Urgent Task is to Create the Revolutionary Party That Will Spike Opportunists’ Guns
The first condition of a revolutionary political activity is to go out on the streets and continue make face to face propaganda to the working people, just when all experts call for “stay at home” and “keep social distance”. Those who do not go out on the streets with the concern of protecting public health cannot carry out a revolutionary activity under the conditions where millions of laborers go to work with services and metrobuses and work in workplaces that have no hygiene conditions. Today, the reason for the tens of thousands of revolutionaries imprisoned in a house in Turkey, is the liquidator understanding of the reformist approach.
Without struggling against these liquidator organizations and creating a revolutionary party that will spike opportunists’ guns, it is not possible to lead the revolution in Turkey. Communists standing behind KöZ do not have a revolutionary party. They do not have the political or organizational equipment and militant capacity of a party. When considering the material possibilities for years, the militant flow from past to present and bringing organizational possibilities to mind, KöZ is one of the movements that are least suitable for carrying out an independent line of action.
There are dozens of movements titled by revolutionary and communist that claim to be a party in Turkey. It is incumbent upon those who claim the party to lead the working first. It is incumbent upon us to drop the mask of those who do not act with party responsibility even though they claim to be a party.
However, all the movements who claim to be the heirs of the 71-72 rupture have thrown towels at different stages and boarded the reformism train in the last twenty years, all of them have relied on İmamoğlu to displace Erdogan. Therefore, there is no left movement in the current civil war period in which we can form a common unity of action against the government. For this reason, it is up to KöZ to say that the urgent duty before the workers is the overthrow of the government and that the destruction caused by any crisis, including Korona, cannot be repelled without the overthrow of the government. Communists standing behind KöZ said that political campaign “We will not wait for the elections!” aims to demonstrate that it is possible to carry out a propaganda and agitation activity in this direction even under the most unfavorable conditions to those who advocate that it is not possible to carry politics to the laborers and the oppressed.
For this reason, we will not pay attention to the curfew imposed by bourgeois socialists rather than the government.
We will say class struggle instead of “social solution”.
We will say revolutionary working class instead of “sensitive citizen”.
We will cry out that even the simplest acquisition will not occur without the overthrow of the government to reformists who are bombarding the government with demands.
We will struggle to create the revolutionary party that will be heard despite those who listen words of experts.
Our first goal is not to substitute the revolutionary party, but to meet the revolutionaries who is dissent from the reformist or adventurous organizations and will take the responsibility of organizing the founding congress of the Communist Party.
Long Live Union of Communists!