Sunday, January 31, 2016
Turkey seeks to become New Ottoman Empire with Sultan Erdogan
THE NATIONAL QUESTION IN TURKEY
UK : Justice for Rohith Vemula - Picket Indian Consulate in Birmingham
Picket Indian Consulate in Birmingham
1 pm Saturday 13th February 2016
20 Augusta Street
Justice for Rohith Vemula
Rohith Vemula was compelled to take his own life on 17 January 2016.
He was led to despair by the officials at the Hyderabad University, the goons in the ABVP wing of the BJP and not least by the union labour minister and RSS ideologue Bandaru Dattatreya together with MHRD minister Smirti Irani. Rohith was a 26 year old Dalit PhD student and an active member of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) which campaigns for Dalit rights and justice for all.
ASA held a protest against the hanging of Yakub Menon, accused in the Mumbai bombing, and decided to show a documentary film on the 2013 riots in Muzaffanagar, which lays bare BJP’s instigating role.
Both the protest and the screening of film were opposed by the ABVP students which led to scuffles between the two groups of students. In an attempt to get Rohith and his friends expelled the leader of the ABVP put in a complaint to the Hyderabad University alleging that he had been attacked by ASA members.
An enquiry was held by the authorities which found no evidence of any ASA members being involved in any such attack.
The local BJP MP Bandaru Dattatreya took the ABVP side and wrote to Smirti Irani, minister in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, claiming that Hyderabad University was a “den of casteist, extremist and anti-national politics.”
The minister wrote five letters to the university which resulted in five students being expelled and evicted from their accommodation. Rohith was one of them who ended on the street, without money because the University had stopped paying him his fellowship of 25,000 rupees per month.
He was unable to ask his poor parents for help who struggled to make ends meet. The unjust institution robbed Rohith of his opportunity to attain a PhD, robbed his chance of a good career and robbed him of the means to survive. All this led Rohith to commit suicide in his friends flat. This was ‘institutional murder”.
IWA-GB joins thousands people in India and around the world who are aghast by these events. There are wide spread protests in India spearheaded by Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, a broad coalition of organisations demanding justice for Rohith. Dozens of students have gone on hunger strike until their demands are met. In solidarity with these protest we condemn the Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor, BJP ministers and the ABVP student for their Casteist acts. We echo the demands:
· Remove Smriti Irani as Minister
· Remove the Vice Chancellor and punish him for abetting suicide.
· Ban ABVP from all universities
India: Stench of discrimination in higher education by Anand Teltumbde
Rohith Vemula, research scholar at the University of Hyderabad, succeeded in turning the spotlight onto the plight of Dalit students in higher education. What his struggles could not achieve, his death did. Rohith is said to be the 11th student to have committed suicide since 2002 in the university. If Hyderabad, one of the centres of Dalit activism, can have such a horrific tale, the reality in other universities can only be imagined.
That castes are a bitter reality of this land may be an understatement in the light of the rising incidence of atrocities, which truly proxy their presence, in recent years (they have risen from 33,507 in 2001 to 47,064 in 2014 as per the National Crime Research Bureau). And they are not the feature of only rural India, they very well pervade the board rooms of corporates, which have largely managed to remain untouched by Dalits.
Universities, unlike them, have a sizeable presence of Dalit students and even Dalit teachers, and hence become an important arena of Dalit assertion. For decades, their presence remained subdued and ghettoised but in recent years, they have gained visibility, significantly aided by the political establishment promoting Ambedkar as an icon, opening of centres for exclusion and inclusion, and with caste evoking increasing interest of the academia. The prejudicial treatment of the Dalit students by the upper caste professors and administration, which was mostly swallowed, is now being discussed.
In disciplines where professors have a big say, like natural sciences and professional courses, Dalit students still have to stomach humiliation. Calling caste names, insinuating incompetence, insulting before others, demoralisation, discrimination of various kinds are the order of the day. It is particularly experienced by research scholars pursuing PhD degrees as they are at the mercy of their supervisors. They are variously harassed right from not getting a guide to not being guided.
R Balaraj, who hung himself in 2010 while pursuing his PhD in Telugu literature in the same university, was not given a guide for one full year. The suicides of Senthil Kumar, pursuing PhD in Physics in 2008, and Madari Venkatesh, a PhD scholar at the Advance Centre for Research in High Energy Materials in 2013, were investigated by the Vinod Pavarala committee and a Prof V Krishna committee, respectively, and observed that caste discrimination was the cause.
Most campuses today have multiple Dalit student organisations. They tend to take up issues of reservation and cultural discrimination which are neglected by others, reflecting the broader theme of the Dalit movement. For instance, in response to ban on beef in hostels, the Dalit students had organised a Beef Biryani Festival at Osmania University in Hyderabad in 2012. Last year, too, they held the festival defying court orders and were arrested.
Elsewhere, Dalit students celebrated Savitribai Phule’s birth anniversary as Teachers’ Day, rejecting the official norm of celebrating September 5, the birth anniversary of Dr S Radhakrishnan, as Teachers’ Day. They observed "Mahishasur Shahadat Diwas” (Mahishasur Martyrdom Day) contrasting the "upper caste” Hindus who celebrate his killing. Besides resisting imposition of Hindu culture, they came out openly against injustice to Muslims along with the Left students’ organisations. The protest over the political hanging of Yakub Menon was one such instance.
In all this, the Dalit students’ organisations mainly came in conflict with the right-wing student bodies like the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). In most cases, the ABVP, backed by the police, had attacked them. Apart from blocking their Hindutva agenda, Dalit organisations have surely deprived them of the supply of Dalit foot soldiers. On many issues, the Left students’ organisations took a supportive stand, and vice versa, but the Dalit students have kept safe distance from them, reflecting the historical attitude of the Dalit movement towards the Left. They contend that the Left’s class obsession is unable to deal with caste issues.
Countering right-wing groups
The main challenge today is posed by the Hindutva organisations that seek to take the country to dark ages to the detriment of the entire lower strata of society, which needs to be countered. The Dalits have a vanguard role in this struggle. As such, all other student organisations should back them as they did in the current episode at the Hyderabad University.
There is no denying the fact that with the upsurge of Hindutva, the hitherto suppressed prejudices of the hegemonic classes have resurged in recent times. The government of the saffron party at the Centre has largely saffronised our academic institution. The episode of banning the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle last year in IIT-Madras has thoroughly exposed it. The same has been repeated this year in Hyderabad University devouring the life of Rohith. Both have badly boomeranged on them. But instead of learning lessons, the Hindutva forces seem to persist with their agenda.
One can clearly observe that the issues taken up by the Dalit students related with democracy and justice which are in the long-term interests of the country. And the responses to them from the government and administration have been short-sighted and against the long-term interest. This truth cannot be suppressed from the student community. They are all coming together isolating the ABVP completely. One expects the government and the university administrations to see the writings on the wall. They can ignore it only at their peril.
(The writer is civil rights activist with Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai)
SEE ALSO: http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/anand-teltumbde-dr-ambedkar-can-neither.html
INDIA: TRENDS WITHIN THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTIONARY CAMP IN PUNJAB BY HARSH THAKOR
This report expresses personal views of Harsh Thakor
On my recent visit last December I met several representatives of the peasant organizations led by the Communist revolutionary camp and democrats in Punjab.
There are a huge range of views on the mode of production and trends.
In the view of Comrade Darshan Pal,who now leads the B.K.U(Dakaunda) the movement is stagnating towards economism.
He feels Punjab has reached the capitalist mode of production .He gave the example of agricultural labourers using machinery .Comrade Satnam stated how so many landless peasants became agricultural workers and thus the semi-feudal thesis was irrelevant.
Although rating the movement led by C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy to be the largest he felt that economist tendencies were prevalent.
He complemented the N.D.group more than any other one with work in Punjab students union and Naujwan Bharat Sabha.
Darshan Pal felt that the farmers movement was neglecting burning political issues of the day like nationality or minority question .
He also felt that the demand for a plot of land to every farmer should be raised .
He felt that the youth should be mobilized on political issues.
He felt that every group in the Communist revolutionary camp of Punjab displayed economist tendency,including his.Nazar Singh Boparai of Surk Rekha felt that the agenda of armed struggle was not raised and the movement of agricultural labourers was lagging behind.
He was critical of forces like the Punjab Khet Mazdur union and B.K.U(Ugrahan) who to him were not building an agrarian revolutionary movement.
The C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy was critical of the same organizations for tailing the demands of rich peasantry.
All of them felt that the Communist Party Re-Organization Centre of India(Marxist-Leninist) or C.P.R.C.I.(M.L.) was practising economism,particularly Satnam
However Darshal Pal stressed that the rural peasantry had to be organized and the European classical capitalist model could not be applied.
He was critical of the Rahul Foundation group that virtually negated the role of the peasantry on grounds of 'capitalist 'development.
I later interviewed leaders of the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union and met the editor of Surkh Leeh,(formally Surkh Rekha)Jaspal JassI and it's former editor Amolak Singh.
They refuted that the movement was veering towards economism and defended it's positive aspects.They all felt that great progress had been made and the mass-political orientation and practice was generally correct.
From discussing with them i could more accurately throw light on the ground reality of Punjab where semi-feudal relations are still prevalent.
Jassi explained me that the first people to voice the need of the creation of separate organizations for the landed and landless peasantry were the Ugrhan and P.K.M.U forces.
The organized struggles of landless peasntry for plots could take place only because of the support of the B.K.U.(Ugrahan)
The succesful boycott of ruling class agents of landless peasants occurred because of the support of the B.K.U.Jassi explained how the Surkh Leeh(formally Surkh Rekha) was not mass paper of the C.P.R.C.I.(M.L. )any communist revolutionary group specifically nor were mass organizations like Punjab Khet Mazdur union or B.K.U (Ugrahan ) front organizations of any naxalite group.
He praised the unity of the mass democratic forces led by the genuine communist revolutionary camp like when holding commemoration programmes for the late cultural revolutionary playwright Gursharan Singh and for upholding the playwright Ajmer Singh Aulkah.
Jassi felt there could be a time when all the communist revolutionary groups had a joint paper like Surkh Leeh.Amolak explained the subjective situation that existed in Punjab with the peasantry still not ready for land seizures .
He praised the May day programme held annually in Ludhiana of Industrial workers which went towards building unity.Zora Singh Nazrali explained how semi-feudal relations were stil prevalent and how only bu unity of the landed and landless peasantry could demands be won
He also stated that all the leaders of the B.K.U(Ugrahan) came from poor peasnt and not rich peasant families.Laxman Singh Sewewala explained how class perspective had to be applied and everything could not be organized around caste demands
He stated that casteism existed and had to be redressed but the general demands of landed peasantry had to be fought for.
Sewewala stated that fighting for the demand of plots and a panchayat was absolutely essential to build a movement at grassroots.
He elaborated the successful struggles for plots and panchayat and refuted the criticism of tailism and economism of P.M.K.U.
He explained how demands of landed and landless peasantry were of such variance with eack other and how hard it was to bridge that gap.In some issues there would be severe contradictions.
Pavel Kussa of Naujwan Bhart Sabha felt the issue was complex but also felt that the peasant movement was building on progressive lines with question of caste organization a complex issue.
He felt that a pro-struggle Naujwan Bharat Sabha should be built and not just a youth organization for mere political propoganda
He elaborated the recent struggles of Naujwan Bharat Sabha on issues of Communalism on a district basis particularly in Malwa which had a great response.
He also stated how much moral support the N.B.S gave to the struggles of the peasant organizations and how many youth joined the P.M.K.U or the B.K.U.Sikh communal ideology was refuted by N.B.S.The leaders of P.M.K.U,,B.K.U(Ugrahan) and N.B.S vociferously criticised Nazar Singh Boparai's attack on the original line of Surkh Rekha and tooth and nail defended it's contribution.
Amolak Singh and Laxman Singh Sewewala felt that Boparai's attack of former Surkh Rekha (now Surkh Leeh) was serving the interests of the state.
Nazar Singh launched an ideological attack on the line of former Surkh Rekha and accused the C.P.R.C.I.(M.L.) of capitulationisim and degeneration.
In fact leaders and contingents of revolutionary mass organizations like Sewewala,Joginder Singh Ugrahan,Zora Singh Nazrali,Sukhdev Singh Khokri all stood by Surkh Leeh (formally Surk Rekha and vociferously attacked Nazar Singh Boparai's running down of the former Surkh Rekha.Boparai being the technical owner persisted with continuing the magazine and thus the earlier 'Surkh Rekha' had to change it's name to 'Surkh Leeh.'
Overall it is a very complex issue but I still feel that the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union -B.K.U.(Ugrahan) is the most progressive one in Punjab an one of the most progressive in the country.
I still salute their grass root work and disagree that they are veering towards economism
Arguably nowhere have such progressive open struggles occurred in the entire country.
The last rally in Rai ke kalan village in Bhatinda is a testimony to this.They oppose 'boycott of elections ' in the present scenario and participation in elections.The C.P.I.(Maoist ) cadre or supporters like Balwant Makhu too praised them stating they practiced revolution line better than organizations of C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy.
The N.D group although classing Punjab as semi-feudal believes that the main contradiction is with the alliance of feudalism and imperialism and are placing greater emphasis on fighting imperialism.
I suggest readers read the last 2 Hindi reports of Surkh Leeh which throw light on the achievement of peasant organization sand movement in Punjab ,particularly the unity of the landless and landed peasantry.
I must say that organizations like B.K.U(Ugrahan) or P.M.K.U are not front organizations or belonging to C.P.R.C.I.(M.L.) or any Naxalite group and maintain their independent identity
Nor is Surkh Leeh a journal of any Naxalite group
.However I still applaud the role of the Communist Party Re-Organization Centre of India(Marxist-Leninist) or C.P.R.C.I.(M.L) for creating the backbone of massline in grassroots work.
On the other hand I complement the work done by forces like B.K.U.(Dakaunda) in building peasant organization nad the work of C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy in building a strong Punjab Students Union and Naujwan Bharat Sabha.
I disagree with their tactics of participation in elections but commend the political struggles of their youth and student front in Jalandhar Patiala,and Amritsra,
Issues like fee hike have been undertaken on a state level .
I also admire the work of Rahul foundation group on the industrial workers front in Ludhiana organizing the textile and hoisery workers with enormous dedication.
No organization has done better work on workers front.
The Rahul foundation has also done commendable work on the issue of combating communal fascism,particularly on workers front.
Meticulous work has been done by their Naujawan Bharat Sabha in inculcating political consciousness.
Some argue that Punjab is capitalist but maintain that the stage of revolution is that of New Democratic Revolution like Inquilabi Kendra and Dakaunda group.
I feel it is still semi-feudal and semi-colonial but is in the process of going capitalist.
Even if it is a New Democratic stage path of Insurrection may well replace path of protracted peoples war in Punjab.
In a classical semi-colonial ,semi-feudal scenario the practice of Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union and B.K.U(Ugrahan) is almost closest to massline,but the study of mode of production in Punjab is complex.
Still I suggest readers to get an English translation of recent booklets of journal Surkh Leeh highlighting the agricultural movement and situation.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Turkey : TKP/ML women comrades on Hunger Strike at Bakırköy Prison
Imprisoned activists TKP / ML began a hunger strike in protest against the ongoing massacres in Turkish Kurdistan and against unreasonable and fascist practices in prison.
Istanbul: Activists of the TKP / ML, imprisoned at the Bakırköy Prison for Women, began a 3-day hunger strike to denounce the massacres that target the Kurdish people and the excavations and fascist practices in prison.
They declare the same support for the strike activists of PAJK PKK protesting against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and the fascists against oppressive practices in prison.
The prisoners saying: "Wherever we are, as revolutionaries, it is our responsibility and our duty to take a stand and oppose" appealed to strengthen the fight.Finally they specified that: "Whatever the strength of the repression and cruelty, it is always those who resist that wins! ".
SEE ALSO: http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/turkey-history-of-tkp-ml-and-summary-of.html
Turkish Language Version of From Peace Project to Upsetting Plan by Ruken Hatun Turhalli
Democracy and Class Struggle has had a request from readers for the original Turkish version of the article by comrade Turnalli which we have posted below.
AKP hükümeti 22 Temmuz'dan bu yana Kuzey Kürdistan'da çok iyi hesaplanmış ve hazırlıkları yıllara dayanan bir stratejiyle Kürdlere karşı bir imha savaşını yürütüyor.
7 Haziran seçimlerinde ortaya çıkan sonuçlar, bu stratejinin uygulanmasını tehlikeye soktu. Devlet konsepti çerçevesinde seçimler iptal edilerek yeniden seçime gidildi.
1 Kasım seçimlerine gidildiği süreçte birbirini destekleyen iki politika aynı anda devreye konuldu.
-"Biz olmazsak güvenliğiniz olmaz" korkusunu yayarak kitlelerin iradesini iğfal ederek seçimleri kazanmak,
-HDP ve Kürdlere yönelik katliamlar düzeyinde saldırılar düzenleyerek dünyanın ve iç kamuoyunun nabzını ölçmek.
AKP iki hususta da tam olumlu bir sonuç aldı.
Basit bir araştırma ve hafıza kaydıyla olaylara baktığımızda aslında bu stratejinin 2009 yılında başlayan Oslo görüşmeleri ile oluşturulmaya başlandığı rahatlıkla görülebilir. Oslo görüşmelerini sürdüren ekip, benzer sorunları yaşayan ülke deneyimlerini inceleyerek, belli bir hedef çerçevesinde işe koydu.
"Kürd sorunu yoktur" biçimindeki belirleme ise "Kürdlere hiçbir şey vermeden çözme" politikasını ifade ediyor. Oslo ekibinde yer alanların devlete bu yönlü bir proje sunduğu ve kabul ettirdiği görülüyor.
Bu ekibin Güney Afrika Mandela ve ANC, İngiltere İrlanda İRA, İspanya Bask- Katalanya, ETA, Srilanka Tamil ve Tamil Kaplanları olaylarını en ince detayına kadar inceledikleri, üzerinde yoğunlaştıkları ve devleti de ikna ettikleri anlaşılıyor.
Bilindiği üzere "barış süreçleri" tehlikeli süreçlerdir. Ulusal ve sınıfsal mücadele yürütürken ezilen, çökertilen hareketlerin tümü barış sürecinde kazılan hendeklere düşmüşlerdir. "Kürdler savaşta hiç kayıp etmedi, savaşta kazandıklarını da masada kayıp etti" deyimi tarihsel bir gerçeği ifade ediyor.
Egemenler açısından savaşta kayıp edilenin, masada kazanıldığı örnekleri inceleyen ekip "çökertme stratejisini" oluşturmak ve olgunlaştırmak amacıyla Oslo görüşmelerini başlattı. Bu süreçte örgütü, örgüt liderini sıkı bir takibe aldı. Bireysel ve örgütsel bazda güçlü yönlerini tespit edip etkisizleştirmek, zayıf noktalarını bulup yararlanmak için zamana oynadı.
Barıştan ve çözümden yana umut ve beklentiler yarattı. Ancak somut hiçbir proje sunmadan bulanık bir atmosfer oluşturdu. Böylece devletin gerçek niyetini görünmez kılmayı başardı.
Bazen ortamı gererek, bazen de yumuşatarak deneme niteliğinde çok sayıda uygulama gerçekleştirdi.
Çözüm umudu ve beklentisini yaratarak örgüt disiplininin bozulmasını ve militanların gevşemesini sağladı.
Bu arada İmralı üzerinden de "Örgüt hedefinin başkalaştırılması ve amacın belirsiz kılınması" şeklinde psikolojik tahribat, değer erozyonu olarak ifade edebileceğimiz beyinsel bombardımanlar gerçekleştirdi. Devletin ve ekibin bu alanda büyük bir başarı sağladığı söylenebilir. Bunca saldırılara rağmen kitlelerin ve örgüt yapısının etkili bir eylemselliğe geçememesinin asıl nedeni de bu düşünsel yıkımdır.
MİT ekibinin dünya örneklerini çok iyi incelediğini söyledik. Kısaca o örneklere göz atmakta yarar var.
Güney Afrika ANC hareketi sınıfsal karakteri ağır basan Sosyalist bir hareketti. Hareketin lideri Mandela hapse alınınca, Güney Afrika ırkçı hükümeti zindanda yazılan mektuplardan ve kurulan diyaloglardan "Önderlik Kurumundan" nasıl yararlanabileceğini gördü ve bu çerçevede bir plan geliştirdi.
Mandela önce cezaevi idaresiyle, sonra istihbarat örgütüyle, daha sonra adalet bakanı ve en sondan da başbakan ile direkt ilişkilendirilerek güven havası yaratıldı. Bu ortam yaratıldıktan sonra istihbarat başbakanla koordine halinde bir planı devreye koyar ve planı Mandela üzerinden yürütmeye çalışır.
Bu arada Güney Afrika Beyaz azınlık hükümeti ABD ve Avrupa'nın da tavsiyesiyle diyalogu güçlendirir. İlk önce ANC'nin sınıfsal karakterinin silikleşmesi üzerinde yoğunca çalışma yürütülür. Ulusal haklar ve talepler ön plana çıkarılır. Güney Afrika'nın yer altı yer üstü zenginliklerinin özelleştirilmesi ve bu kaynakların Beyazların elinde kalınabileceğine ilişkin ANC'den taahhüt alınır.
Örgüt böylece ideolojik amacından uzaklaştırıldıktan sonra Mandela ABD Avrupa'nın propagandasıyla dünyanın barış elçisi ilan edilir. Burada dikkat edilmesi gereken en önemli nokta Güney Afrika beyaz azınlık hükümeti ANC'yi sınıfsal karakterinden uzaklaştırmış olsa bile ulusal taleplerini kabul etmiştir. Bura örgüt amacının en azından yarı oranda gerçekleştiği söylenebilir.
MİT ekibi ve AKP, örgütün sınıfsal karakteri ile fazla ilgilenmedi. Ulusal talepleri üzerinde yoğunca çaba gösterdi. Ulusal talepler silikleştirilerek Kürd ve Kürdistan sorunu demokratik haklar düzeyine çekildi. Örgütün amacı ve hedefi belirsizleşti. Bulanık sudan yararlan AKP hükümeti hiçbir talebi kabul etmeden de sorunu çözebileceğine kendini inandırdı. Ancak burada yanıldı. Hiçbir şey vermeyen AKP Öcalan'ı II. Mandela yapmayı başaramadı. AKP'nin şu an yaşadığı handikaplardan bir tanesi de budur.
-Ekip ve AKP İngiltere-İrlanda İRA ve Sinn Fein örneği ile PKK den Real İRA'yı da çıkarmaya çalıştı. Sinn Fein nasıl Real İRA ile karşı karşıya geldi ise HDP ve PKK'nin karşı karşıya gelmesi için HDP üzerinden benzer yoğun politikalar uyguladı. Legal Kürt Hareketinin Türkiyeleştirilmesi eleştirileri üzerinden HDP den salt bir sosyal demokrat parti yaratarak HDP'nin geldiği gelenek ile arasına mesafe koymaya çalıştı. Bu anlamda "Terörle arana mesafe koy" deyimi öylesine söylenen basit bir deyim değil, politik bir uygulamayı ifade ediyor.
Kürdlere statü isteyen HDP'nin bu oyuna gelmemesi üzerine HDP'ye karşı katliam düzeyinde saldırılar düzenlendi. Şimdi de milletvekilliklerinin düşürülmesini ve partinin kapatılmasını gündemleştirilmiş bulunuyor.
HDP'ye saldırı planı daha çok İspanya Bask Katlanya ETA ve Herri Batasuna örneklerinden yararlanarak hazırlandığı söylenebilir. Bu saldırılarla HDP'nin kriminalize edilmesi, liderlik vasıfları ortaya çıkan Selahattin Demirtaş'ın etkisizleştirilmesi hedeflenmiştir.
ETA örneğinde de Herri Batasuna'nın Bask ve Katalanya'nın bağımsızlığını ısrarla savunduğu, görülüyor. HDP ve Demirtaş'ın Kürtlere statü ve Özyönetim hakkını savunması da benzer bir nitelik taşıyor. Bu başarılamadığı için hedef haline getirilmişlerdir.
Türk devleti ve AKP hükümeti Kürdlere hiçbir şey vermeme, haklarını ve statülerini tanımama biçiminde bir uygulama içine girerken İngiltere-İrlanda, İspanya- Katalanya'ya bütün haklarını vermiş, anayasal güvenceye almışlardır.
HDP'nin "Öz yönetim" dediği şey özü itibarı ile "Avrupa yerel yönetim Şartı"nda gösterilen haklardan öte bir şey ifade etmiyor. Kaldı ki özerklik ve hatta federal bir yönetim istemek devletler hukukuna aykırı bir durum teşkil etmemektedir.
Dolayısıyla Türk devleti ve AKP Hükümeti İngiltere-İrlanda, İspanya-Katalanya, Güney Afrika-ANC örneklerinden yararlansa da kullanmakta olduğu şiddetin büyüklüğü dikkate alındığında, nihai hedef olarak Srilanka-Tamil örneğini esas aldığı görülüyor.
Srilanka hükümeti Milliyetçi ve Sosyalist ideolojiyi harmanlaştırarak Doğu Bloku ülkelerini yanına aldı ve Tamilleri emperyal güçlerin maşası gibi göstermeyi başardı. Önce Tamilleri ikiye böldü. Barış görüşmeleri adı altında örgütün lider kadrolarını tasfiye etti. Bu süre zarfında hazırladığı büyük bir ordu ile kurtarılmış alanları ablukaya aldı. Vahşet düzeyinde katliamlar uyguladı. Yerel halkla birlikte örgüt kadrolarını tümden imha etti.
Denilebilir ki bugün AKP'nin Kürdistan'da uyguladığı strateji tıpa tıp Srilanka modeline uyuyor. AKP de İslami-Milliyetçi bir söylemden hareket ediyor. AKP hükümeti 14 yıllık iktidarı boyunca İslami kavramlarla yetiştirdiği kadroları devletin bütün kademelerine yerleştirdi. Kendisine bağlı büyük bir polis teşkilatını oluşturdu. Yüksek Askeri Şura kararları ile de orduyu kendisine bağlı ve bağımlı hale getirdi.
Kürdistan şehirlerine saldıran asker ve polis Enfal süresini okuyarak katliamlar yapıyor. Katliam uygulayan asker ve polis "Sizleri öldürme, evlerinizi başınıza yıkma emri Allah tarafından bize verildi" diye anonslar yapıyor. Asker ve polis, İslami referansla Kürtleri kâfir olarak tanımlıyor, katliamlarını meşrulaştırıyor.
Srilanka Tamillerin Kurtarılmış alanlarına katliamcı operasyon yapmıştı. Kuzey Kürdistanda PKK ve HDP tabanının yüksek olduğu şehirler ve ilçeler operasyonlar düzenleniyor, şehirler yakılıp yıkılıyor, insanlar katliamdan geçiriliyor, göçertiliyor. Buna "alanın insansızlaştırılması" biçiminde bir politika izliyor.
Erdoğan'ın "dokunulmazlıkların kaldırılması, terörle mücadeleye hizmet eder" biçimindeki söylemi ile HDP'li belediyelerin tasfiye edilerek kayyum atanması çalışması legal Kürd hareketinin tümüyle tasfiyesini hedefleyen bir çalışma olarak görülebilir. Öyle görülüyor ki bu plan da çok yakın bir süreçte uygulama düzeyine çıkarılacak.
HDP tümden tasfiye edildikten sonra belki ve kısmen işbirlikçi Kürd partileri ve şahsiyetleri devreye girecek, moral değerler erozyona uğratılacak, Kürdlük adına ne varsa böylece silinmek istenecektir.
AKP hükümetinin Kuzey Kürdistan'da Srilanka örneğini esas alması ne kadar başarılı olur, sorusuna da kısaca cevap vermek gerekiyor.
AKP hükümetinin Kuzey Kürdistan'da Srilanka örneğini esas alması ne kadar başarılı olur, sorusuna da kısaca cevap vermek gerekiyor.
Bir kere Kuzey Kürdistan coğrafik olarak Srilanka-Tamil örneği ile bağdaşmıyor. Yine Türkiye'de Kürd nüfusunun Türk nüfusuna oranı Srilanka-Tamil nüfus oranını onlarca kat aşmaktadır. Bunlar Srilanka planını engelleyen fiziki unsurlardır.
Bunun yanında Kuzey Kürdistan kitlesi artık işbirlikçi partilere ve şahsiyetlere prim verecek durumdan çok uzaklaşmıştır. Rojava ve Güney Kürdistan'da yaşanan gelişmeler ulusal bilinci güçlendirmiştir. Dolayısıyla Kuzey Kürdistan'ın demografik yapısı 200 yıllık isyan kültürü ve 40 yıllık mücadele içinde şekillenen kişilik yapısı devlet destekli-işbirlikçi bir yapıya meydan verecek durumdan çıkmıştır.
Kaldı ki operasyonlardan önce Kürdler özerk bir statü ve hatta demokratik haklara sahip bir biçimde Türkiye ile ortak bir yaşam içinde kalmaya razı iken gelinen günde kitleler hızlı bir kopuş yaşamaktadır. PKK öncülüğündeki mücadelenin, kitlelerin bu kopuşundan etkilenmesi de kaçınılmazdır.
Politik söylemde "Bağımsız Kürdistan" ifadesi büyük bir ivme kazanmıştır. Sonuç olarak Türk devleti ve AKP hükümetinin Kuzey Kürdistan'da uyguladığı "Srilanka- Tamil ezme ve çökertme" planı, Bağımsız Kürdistan şiarının büyük bir hızla yükselmesine hizmet etmektedir.
"Dimyat'a pirince giderken evdeki bulgurdan olmak" deyimi tam da politikaya denk düşüyor. Öyle görülüyor ki Kürdler özerkliğe razı iken AKP hükümetinin vahşet düzeyindeki saldırıları, katliam boyutuna varan uygulamaları Kuzey Kürdistan'ın Türkiye'den kopuşunu getirecektir.
AKP'nin çöktürme planı öyle veya böyle bir çöküş yaratacaktır.
Çöküş ama kimin çöküşü.....
Guide to Kurdish Nationalist Movement in Turkey by Steve Kaczynski
This article reflects the personal views of Steve Kaczynski
This article will look at the development and course of Kurdish nationalism.
It will concentrate on its impact within the current frontiers of Turkey, although Kurds cross international frontiers in the region and are also found in large numbers in northern Iraq, northwest Iran and northern Syria.
The Kurds are an ethnic group speaking a range of Indo-European dialects related to Farsi (Persian).
This distinguishes them from Turks, who speak a non-Indo-European language, and from Arabs. However, there are dividing factors among Kurds as well as unifying factors.
Linguistically, many Kurds in Turkey speak Kurmanji, which is also widespread in northern Iraq and northern Syria, but many also speak Zaza, which is not mutually intelligible with Kurmanji.
There are also religious differences. The majority of Kurds in Turkey are Sunni Muslims, but there is a significant Alevi minority, especially in the Dersim (Tunceli) area.
Last and not least, Kurds in Turkey and elsewhere have had tribal allegiances that can put them at loggerheads with other Kurds.
The importance of tribal affiliations has tended to weaken over time, in Turkey at least, as a result of urbanisation and other factors
The development of nationalism in the Middle East helped undermine the Ottoman Empire, most spectacularly in the case of Arab nationalism.
The 1920 Treaty of Sèvres envisaged a Kurdish area in the southeast of Turkey's current frontiers, although Kurdish participants in the discussions were disappointed by the small size of the area envisaged.
The success of Mustafa Kemal's movement led to the provisions of this treaty never being implemented, and it was superseded by the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne which made no mention of even limited Kurdish aspirations.
There had already been a failed Kurdish uprising against Kemal in 1920, called the Kocgiri revolt, and in 1925 a Zaza Kurd and Sunni Muslim figure, Sheikh Said, led another uprising, which was suppressed and he and many others were hanged.
Said was reacting against Kemalist secularisation and called on Turks to join his rebellion in the same spirit. Nonetheless the heartland of the revolt was in a significant part of Turkey's Kurdish region.
Not all Kurds joined the revolt and on grounds of tribal or religious affiliation some actively opposed it and sided with the government.
Another significant Kurdish revolt took place in the late 1920s in Ararat, with a short-lived Republic of Ararat being declared in the east close to the border with Iran. Ihsan Nuri, the leader of that revolt and a former Ottoman army officer, fled to Iran, dying in an accident there in 1976.
In 1937 another revolt took place in Dersim, this time predominantly by Zaza Alevis led by Seyit Riza. This was repressed, Riza and many others were executed, and Turkish state forces murdered a significant number of local inhabitants in reprisals for the uprising.
Turkish state policy was one of encouraging Turkification and assimilation while exploiting tribal and other divisions among Kurds. Sometimes favoured Kurdish tribes received weapons from the army for internal security duties.
For example, in the 1930s, a "Fellow citizen, speak Turkish!" campaign was primarily aimed at Kurdish speakers, although speakers of Greek, Armenian and Ladino were also affected.
It was even denied that Kurds and others existed at all in Turkey, because everyone was supposed to be a Turk.
In his pamphlet War and Peace in Kurdistan, published in 2008, PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan writes,
"...The Kurds were very far from identifying themselves as a nation for a long time. It was only in the second half of the 20th century that the idea of a Kurdish identity began to develop in the course of intellectual debates mostly as a tendency of the Turkish left.
However, this tendency lacked the intellectual potential to overcome more traditional ideas of Kurdish identity affiliated with tribal order and sheikdom.
Both the real-socialist leaning communist parties and the liberal and feudal parties were far from understanding the idea of a Kurdish nation or the idea of the Kurds as an ethnic group.
Only the left-leaning student movement of the 1970s was able to contribute substantially to the awareness that there was a Kurdish identity."
This downplays somewhat the degree of Kurdish national awareness before this period, but it is true that the modern era of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey began under the influence of left-wing radicalism of the 1970s.
Ocalan in the same pamphlet says six people came together in April 1973 to establish an independent Kurdish political organisation. He does not say whether he was one of the six.
The PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) itself was established in November 1978 at a meeting near the city of Amed (Diyarbakir). There were, however, other Kurdish nationalist organisations of some significance in existence during this period, such as the DDKD (Revolutionary Eastern Culture Clubs) established in 1975, Kawa, established in 1976 and Tekosin ("Struggle") founded in 1978.
As was the case with the left groups of the time, Kurdish nationalist groups competed with another, sometimes violently.
The September 1980 military coup in Turkey did serious damage to both left and Kurdish nationalist groups - indeed, even mainstream political parties were closed down. "Modest foreign support for Ocalan's group at this time probably saved the young PKK from being crushed into oblivion during the post-coup security campaigns in Turkey.
Syria was happy to provide the insurgents with refuge and allow them to organise on its territory and in Lebanon, hoping to cultivate a political lever in its dealings with Turkey." (David Romano, The Kurdish Nationalist Movement: Opportunity, Mobilization And Identity, Cambridge University Press, 2006)
In August 1984 the PKK declared its upsurge, launching attacks on Turkish military facilities. It maintained guerrilla warfare for the rest of the 1980s.
It was never able to create liberated zones, although it seems to have aspired to them, and guerrilla units had to stay on the move.
The PKK was under a certain amount of ideological influence from the Soviet bloc while that existed.
It declared its first cease-fire with the Turkish state in 1993. Ocalan claims that this was because signs of an opening in the attitude of Turkish leaders were detected, but it is also possible that the loss of the Soviet bloc in confronting NATO member Turkey contributed to some decline in self-confidence.
Repeatedly declared PKK cease-fires were never respected by the Turkish state. (At the symbolic level, the PKK removed the hammer and sickle from its flag in 1995, replacing them with a burning torch.)
The PKK and other opponents of the Turkish state confronted the full panoply of dirty war tactics, including torture and "disappearances". By the latter part of 1998, Turkey's government was threatening war with Syria for harbouring the PKK.
That Ocalan and other PKK leaders had long been based in Syria was scarcely a secret but in that year, probably with American assurances of backing if they did go to war, the Turkish authorities made it an issue.
The Syrian government told Ocalan to leave, and he was eventually captured in Kenya, probably with US and Israeli collaboration, and taken to custody in Turkey. He was sentenced to death but under European Union pressure this was commuted to an aggravated life sentence.
Although not destroyed by the capture of Ocalan, the Kurdish nationalist movement was severely damaged, and was in the doldrums until after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, which, by destroying Saddam Hussein's Baathist state, created new openings for Kurds.
The PKK gradually began to replace or supplement its Syrian presence (which probably remained in at least a vestigial form even after the departure of Ocalan) with a substantial presence in northern Iraq.
Low-level guerrilla warfare continued even though the "moderate Islamist" AKP government seemed to offer an opening to Kurds, at least culturally, and appeared willing to tackle some of Turkey's Kemalist shibboleths.
In addition to the guerrilla effort, there have been a range of political parties in Turkey which stand in elections, generally with some success in the mainly Kurdish south-east. These parties have generally been banned after a time as being allegedly extensions of the PKK. After banning, they re-emerge under a new name.
More than previous governing parties, the AKP tried to be competitive in Kurdish areas, for example Tayyip Erdogan was elected to parliament in 2003 from the heavily Kurdish area of Siirt, and using Sunni Islam the AKP has tried with some success to make inroads in areas where people tended to vote for Kurdish nationalists.
Kurdish nationalists and the AKP spent a number of years in a complex relationship involving spasmodic warfare by the PKK, aimed at extracting concessions from the state, while the AKP made some cultural concessions, certainly compared to previous governments in Turkey, but maintained state pressure and repression and also tried to undermine Kurdish nationalists at the ballot box.
Turkish aircraft also periodically bombed PKK hideouts in northern Iraq.
The complexities of this period are well illustrated by the events of 2013, when discontent with AKP government behaviour turned an environmental protest in Gezi Park, central Istanbul, into anti-government turmoil that at its height involved millions.
Although Kurdish nationalists took some part in the protests, these were on a smaller scale in Kurdish areas than in many parts of Turkey, and Kurdish nationalist leaders spokespeople expressed some concern about CHP and other Kemalist involvement in the protests.
Kurdish nationalists appeared to believe that they might be able to reach a deal with the AKP in the "negotiation process" or "solution process" announced the same year.
This interview with Selahattin Demirtas, carried on Youtube, expresses the Kurdish nationalist dilemma.
On the one hand Demirtas talks about "AKP fascist" behaviour, and claims to support the Gezi protests, on the other he talks about the importance of the "negotiation process" which was initiated with the same AKP government.
The "process" reached its culmination in 2015, and also ran into the sand.
Headed by Demirtas, the HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party) had been set up as a kind of umbrella organisation which included some of the Turkish left, although its voting base was overwhelmingly Kurdish.
The HDP overcame the 10% electoral threshold and returned 80 members of the Turkish parliament at the June 7 election. It also deprived the AKP of an overall majority for the first time in its history.
However, instead of negotiating, the AKP and President Erdogan, shocked by its loss of an overall majority, made every effort to sabotage coalition talks with other parties, and when in July 2015 a bombing was carried out in the Turkish border town of Suruc, targeting volunteers seeking to carry out reconstruction work in neighbouring Kobane inside Syria, the AKP struck.
The bombing was attributed to Islamic State (as a result of AKP encouragement, Islamist armed groups involved in the Syrian civil war have found bases and sources of support in Turkey) but rather than attacking Islamic State the AKP government launched bombing raids on PKK bases in northern Iraq, and also arrested many Kurdish nationalists and left-wingers inside Turkey.
Ending a near-total cease-fire, the PKK struck back. In early September it carried out particularly successful ambushes of Turkish soldiers and police; the government retaliated by orchestrating pogroms against HDP offices and premises.
New elections were called - in October an HDP election rally in Ankara was attacked by a bomber, resulting in scores of deaths. The bombing was attributed to Islamic State but the suspicion is that the AKP/state forces connived at it, if they were not behind it in the first place, and it did mean that only the AKP, enjoying full state protection, was able to campaign openly in the elections and hold public rallies, gaining back its overall majority on November 1.
Brutal state repression is ongoing in Turkey's Kurdish south-east, and to a lesser extent in other parts of Turkey. Selcuk Kozagacli, the chair of the CHD (Contemporary Lawyers' Association), was interviewed by the German daily newspaper Junge Welt (January 20, 2016). Kozagacli was visiting Diyarbakir in the course of state repression there.
He said that Turkey was sliding towards "open civil war" as the state sought to create a "republic of fear".
What now for the Kurdish nationalist movement in Turkey?
Its tactics long seemed to be based on the idea that in the AKP it faced an adversary more capable of reciprocating and negotiation than the "secular" governments in Turkey before it.
In the early years of AKP rule there may have been some foundation for this belief.
But the rule of the AKP has faced challenges in recent years, its strategy of destabilising Syria has resulted in Turkey itself being destabilised, and the Kurds in Syria now control a substantial amount of territory just across the border from Turkey, despite the Turkish state's barely concealed fostering of Islamists like Islamic State and Al Qaeda as a counter to it.
The AKP's reply is to create a non-stop emergency climate - a response that is a product of both its own desperation and of the fascism in Turkey's political bloodstream, of which the AKP itself is a sign and symptom.
The Kurdish nationalist response has been to claim to want peace (which may play well in Europe but which the fascists they confront in Turkey would see as a sign of weakness) and to look to mediation or intervention from Europe and/or the USA.
Anti-imperialism has never been a strongly developed trait among Kurdish nationalists.
But there are no indications that the EU or the USA are abandoning their "strategic partner", Turkey.
What the Kurds need to do is pursue a revolutionary course, including an escalation of the armed conflict, if they want freedom from a fascistic government that will resort to any measure to stay in power.
Whether the Kurdish nationalist movement is capable of pursuing such a course, however, is doubtful.
THE NATIONAL QUESTION IN TURKEY
Comrade Ibrahim Kaypakkaya on the Kurdish National Question (1972
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Kevin "Rashid"Johnson : Third Worldism: A Fanciful World Where the Privileged Play at Revolution: Part One (A Response to Jason Unruhe and the So-Called Maoist Rebel News) (2016)
Democracy and Class Struggle wrote on April 13th 2015
"In 2014 our revisionist targets were Prachandism and Avakianism in 2015 it will be LLCO's Lin Biaoism.
The Leading Light Communist Organisation now completely embraces Lin Biaoism and sees Marxism Leninism Maoism has a "ladder to climb" to a new position and then throw Marxism Leninism Maoism away.
The so called "Maoist" Rebel News" has also embraced Lin Baoism but still trades under the false description of Maoism and currently promotes the confusion created by the LLCO's counter revolutionary petty bourgeois politics".
Comrade Kevin "Rashid Johnson" in February 2015 took on this new petty bourgeois current in our movement - and made his masterly refutations of Third Worldism here :
The latest of his articles refuting this trend is published below in 2016.
The Artwork in this article is also from our talented brother and comrade Kevin "Rashid" Johnson.
Watch comrade Tom Watts interview on video below for background to New Afrikan Black Panther Party - Prison Chapter
Jason Unruhe of the so-called “Maoist Rebel News” (MRN), recently responded to two of my articles, which I’ll answer in two parts.
My first article1 was written in 2013, to answer a prisoner’s letter that was published in Turning the Tide (TTT) newspaper.2) In that letter, the prisoner argued a position based on teachings of the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM) – a now defunct group, which claimed to be Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (MLM), or Maoist for short – that villainizes workers in the First World (especially whites) as bought off enemies of Third World workers (especially those of color), because First World workers receive higher wages at the expense of the Third World. We in the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC) call this the vulgar labor aristocracy (VLA) line.
As a leading member of the NABPP-PC, which is largely prison based and upholds Maoism, I wrote my article to demonstrate the fundamental errors of the VLA line and that it does not reflect a Maoist line.
During 2015 comrades of the Democracy and Class Struggle blog apparently found unity with my article and posted it on their site where Unruhe read it, which prompted his polemical response.3
My second article was written during 2015(4) upon my reading Divided World Divided Class by Third Worldist Zak Cope, which promoted a similar VLA line.5 Unruhe also read that article online, and responded with his second polemic.
Neither of my two articles were against Unruhe, MRN, or any affiliate groups.
Unruhe Trolls and Lies for Attention
The opening sentence of Unruhe’s polemic admits that my first article was not addressed to him nor his coterie. In fact, he specifically named MIM as the group whose line I was critiquing, and denied any affiliation with or interest to defend them. In his own words:
“Kevin Rashid of the blog Democracy and Class Struggle attempts to take on [MIM] by claiming he can debunk the idea of a global labour aristocracy… My purpose here is not to defend MIM, they do not need my help in any way, shape or form. In truth, MIM and I have very different ideas on many subjects.”
Yet, over the next several paragraphs, he shamelessly contradicts himself, and in a completely schizophrenic about-face contends that I wrote my article against him and his coterie of Third Worldists, and made an “outright misrepresentation of [their] line.”
Under this transparent pretext, Unruhe then substituted himself and his line in place of the prisoner and MIM line that I was actually contesting. On each point he accused me of falsifying his Third Wordlist beliefs and then argued those beliefs as if to set me straight. When I did not reply to his delusional polemic, Unruhe followed with his second one, baiting me in its first paragraph to respond and not blow him off as others have done.
It’s been said when one argues with a madman, observers don’t know who the insane one is. I confront Unruhe, however, as someone being consciously dishonest and representing an equally dishonest worldview. In any event, whether his flight from reality reflects a delusional psychosis or deliberate dishonesty, it boils down to the same thing – falsehood. And he and his worldview are swimming in it. Let us count a few of the ways.
False Premises of Third Worldism
Unruhe embraces the Third Worldist line which claims to ally itself with Third World workers and demonizes First World workers as corrupted enemies of the Third World because they share in the spoils taken by the Imperialists from the Third World.
Well, if enjoying the privileges of the First World society renders one an enemy of the Third World, what the hell are Third Worldists like Unruhe doing here? What’s more, the Third Worldists are predominantly petty bourgeois (middle class) folks who enjoy even greater privileges and wealth than do general First World workers; yet they’re somehow the friends – no, leaders! – of the exploited Third World peoples!
How it is that they can rise above their own privileged lifestyles and become the friends, allies, and even the professed leaders of the peoples on whose suffering their comforts depend, yet they argue that First World workers can’t, is a contradiction in their line that goes unanswered.
A comrade recently pointed out such glaring self-contradictions concerning the Leading Light Communist Organization (LLCO) – a group that came out of the dissolution of MIM – which Unruhe authoritatively cited as “the foremost Third Worldist group.”
“It’s amusing that the LLCO and their ‘Commander’ who goes by the name Augusta Luz (and is a white dude from Denver) claim that they are the vanguard of the Third World proletariat even though they are in the First World, and still find need to raise money and ask for items like computers and cars to support their ‘efforts.’ [Yet] they say there is nothing First Worldists can do in the First World except maybe oppose imperialist wars, that all First World workers are actually exploiters themselves, and that to struggle to improve people’s living conditions in the First World is ‘fascism.’”
Facial absurdities like these pervade Third Worldist theory and “practice.” It’s no wonder characters like Unruhe are drawn to it, and become its representatives.
Another example is his adhering to this Lin Biaoist theoretical line, while being an affiliate and spokesperson of an outfit that calls itself “Maoist Rebel News.” Lin Biao and Mao Tse-Tung embraced opposite political and class lines, and were in sharp opposition at the time Lin’s line surfaced. Indeed Mao denounced him as a thoroughly bourgeois thinker, conniver and saboteur, who attempted an armed coup against Mao in 1971.
Lin became a principal target of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which Mao instituted and led against counter-revolutionary elements like Lin who were angling to restore Capitalism in Socialist China. As Mao said, “if people like Lin Biao come to power, it would be quite easy for them to rig up the capitalist system. That is why we should do more reading of Marxist-Leninist works.”
Yet Unruhe accuses me of waving the red flag of revolution to attack the red flag, when it is he who under a pretentious Maoist title promotes the anti-Maoist counter-revolutionary line of Lin Biao. One could go on and on, pointing out the hypocrisies, deceptions, and self-contradictions that inhere in Third Worldism and reveal themselves in its proponents’ words and deeds. But then I would never get around to answering the substance of Unruhe’s pretentious arguments.
However one looks at it, Third Worldism is wallowing in petty bourgeois opportunism and internal inconsistencies, of which I’ve given but a few examples. V.I. Lenin denounced these sorts as “petty bourgeois revolutionists,” people who are left or ultra-left in words, but right in essence. They’re fond of spouting militant sounding rhetoric, fancying themselves as the only “enlightened ones,” and regard those who make their clothes, their cars, and comforts with disdain and contempt. They want to go on record as being “anti-imperialist,” but are unwilling to integrate themselves with the masses to do what is actually needed to make revolution, and recline in reformist forms of “protest” that don’t threaten their privileges.
I’ve Already Refuted Unruhe’s Arguments
In that my first article contested the MIM line and not Unruhe (as he’s claimed in his grandiose delusions), it prompted a reply from another offshoot of MIM, the Maoist Internationalist Ministry of Prisons (MIMP).6 MIMP’s reply has generated a series of ongoing polemics between the MIMP and the NABPP-PC.
One of my responses to MIMP, titled “MIM or MLM?”7 refutes their line and practice in considerable depth. Much of what I argued and supported there also answers many of Unruhe’s arguments. So, instead of repeating what I’ve presented elsewhere, I encourage readers to review “MIM or MLM?”, but will revisit a few points.
Unruhe is clearly aware of that article because it was posted on the same sites where he’d read my two previous pieces he responded to, however, he chose to avoid any references to it in his second polemic, and made no other attempt to debate it. Also, another article of mine can be read to refute his claims that the NABPP-PC does not do theoretical work but mechanically holds to outmoded theories, titled “In Search of the Right Theory for Today’s Struggle.”8
“MIM or MLM?” answers Unruhe’s argument that the VLA line does not violate the fundamental principles of Marxist political economy (PE). It also gives Marx’s true definition of the proletariat, which Unruhe attempts to revise as something not based directly on productive relations. See also my 2013 article.9 And, in that he concedes that First World workers do produce surplus value, (he lied claiming I said he “didn’t believe” this when in fact I was talking about the MIM line argued by the prisoner in TTT), he per se admits they are proletarians.
That the First World proletariat receives higher wages does not render them any less a proletariat nor does it mean that, to use Marx’s metaphor, they have more than their chains to lose. Conversely they have a longer and heaver chain to cast off. As Marx observed:
“a rise in the price of labor, as a consequence of accumulation of capital, only means in fact, that the length and weight of the golden chain the wage-worker has already forged for himself, allow of a relaxation of the tension of it.”
Socialist reconstruction necessarily makes the conditions of the working class less severe – just as the accumulation of Capitalism (enhanced by imperialism) does for the higher paid workers. It doesn’t end, but only lessens, the tension in the struggle for survival in both the socialist and imperialist societies, and removes the sense of urgency from the class struggle. But just as Mao did in socialist China when he launched the Cultural Revolution, the vanguard elements must revive the masses’ class consciousness and lead them to continue along the road of revolution. So we see just how compatible the Third Worldist line is with that of its father Lin Biao, whose aim was to kill the people’s revolutionary fervor and activism. Just as the Third Worldists want to ensure no revolutionary vanguard rises to awaken and lead workers in the First World.
I should add that Unruhe does the very thing he accuses me of – applying outmoded principles of PE to today’s advanced Imperialist system that only applied to distinct features of pre-imperialist capitalist relations. For example, he tries to equate the role of the First World proletarians and those outside of the “traditional” industries under today’s imperialism, with the roles of merchants and clerks who served as intermediaries between banking and industry in the old decentralized capitalist system of Marx’s times. First World workers play no such intermediary role. Indeed, as Lenin demonstrated, the distinct feature of imperialism is its merging banking and industrial capital to form finance capital, hence dispensing with the need or role of intermediaries to link banking and industry.10
Unruhe fails to realize that “indirect” production under imperialism forms part of the commodity production process. Many new industries have developed with the innovations and advances in science and technology under modern imperialism, including in telecommunications, information, energy, and so on, that produce a vast array of tangible and intangible goods and services. The commodity, which forms the core of capitalist relations of production, is anything produced by humyn labor that serves a humyn need or want, and is bought or sold. Labor power, or one’s ability to work, is itself a commodity – indeed it is the principal commodity as I explain in “MIM or MLM?” Labor in commodity production is divided and spread across many discrete sectors, units, and forms of direct and indirect labor, which Marx called the “collective laborer,” (i.e. working class), each of whom participates in only a part of the manipulation of labor.
And as I point out in “MIM or MLM?” the value of labor power is determined differently from the value of other commodities. In fact it determines the value (and cost) of all other commodities bought and sold in a given society. The two factors which determine labor power’s value are: 1) the cost of reproducing the worker, which includes basic essentials – food, clothing, shelter, etc. – for the worker and her family, and training for her trade and skills development, and 2) the cost of the means of satisfying the worker’s and her family’s cultural and social wants, which differs vastly depending on her country of residence, historical stage of development, etc. These costs alone cause wages to vary greatly between First and Third World societies. So, a higher wage does not of-itself render one a member of the labor aristocracy nor enemies of one’s own proletarian class.
The Vanguard Role
Unruhe claims First World workers have no revolutionary potential because they are “generally happy with their lot within the system”. The persistence of workers’ strikes and protests across the U.S. contradicts this claim. From workers in traditional trades, to service and public sector workers, strikes have been so persistent that U.S. officials are now conceding to raise wages, moving to repress public sector unions and increase control of general union activities, etc. Then there’s the Occupy movement that swept Amerika beginning in late 2011, aiming specifically at the capitalist ruling class.
As Lenin recognized, workers’ spontaneous strikes and struggles are “embryonic forms” of their class consciousness and class struggle, which reflect their strivings toward revolutionary struggle. But it is only trade union consciousness and not communist consciousness. The latter requires a vanguard Party to awaken, because without it “the workers were not, could not be, conscious of the irreconcilable antagonism of their interests to the whole of the modern political and social system, i.e. theirs was not yet [communist] consciousness.”11
The very purpose of Lenin’s writing What is to be Done? was to elaborate the need and method of creating the revolutionary Party needed to raise the consciousness and struggle of the workers and have their spontaneous “economic strike developed into a political strike, and the latter into insurrection.”
But let Unruhe tell it, the workers are supposed to spontaneously grasp and undertake revolution, and because U.S. workers have not, they lack revolutionary potential and are enemies of the Third World. First World workers lack revolutionary consciousness because they’ve lacked a genuine mass based revolutionary party since World War II (on this point see my article, “Third Worldism and Politicizing the Blame Game.”12 ) And as pointed out in “MIM or MLM?” without a revolutionary Party, the working class naturally and inevitably falls victim to bourgeois influence and ideology. This is why Engels observed the increasing bourgeoisification of English workers, which, by the way, was before Lenin’s day when he wrote What is to be Done? to counter this tendency. I further demonstrated Lenin recognized that the higher paid workers are actually the vanguard layer of the proletariat, and prove to be the most receptive, and able to advance revolutionary theory.
But Third Worldists self-servingly turn all this on its head, arguing that higher paid workers are enemies of their own class, and that their lack of revolutionary consciousness and struggle proves there’s no point in doing the work necessary to create and give them the leadership needed to awaken and organize them (this is the Catch-22 of Third Worldism). As said, these elements are pure opportunists, which exemplifies why Lenin realized “the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism.”13
Unruhe cites Lenin as recognizing that industrial workers were repeatedly misled by the bourgeoisie and its actual labor aristocracy agents within the working-class movement, and that the Second International was an organ of the labor aristocracy. What Unruhe omits, however, is that this is why Lenin founded the Third International (Comintern) with the specific program of creating revolutionary Parties, especially in the First World, to give revolutionary leadership to the workers there and unite their struggles with those in the Third World.
And of course Lenin said that externally the capitalist countries live off other countries. That is the very nature of imperialism, in fact it’s how capitalism itself developed. But he also explained that internally the imperialist countries are based upon the irreconcilable contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. And his successor, Joseph Stalin, deemed First World workers the “key ally” of the Third World struggles, without whom the anti-imperialist struggle could not succeed.14)
Unruhe the Provocateur (Agent?)
Relevant here is another of Unruhe’s falsifications, where he claimed I hold that First World workers are presently ready, willing, and able to carry forward a revolutionary seizure of power. He then counters this manufactured argument asking “why then are [First World workers] not carrying out struggle/People’s War right now? Why are there no shots being fired against the U.S. government?” he then taunts, “[i]f revolution in the First World is possible then I challenge them to go out and do it.”
As I’ve made clear over and over again, like all other workers, U.S. workers have the potential to become revolutionary when and if given revolutionary leadership by a genuinely mass based revolutionary Communist Party, which they have not had. So I do not believe and have never said that they are subjectively ready for revolution at this time. It took Lenin and his Bolshevik comrades decades of difficult preparatory work to win the Russian masses over to making revolution. How absurd is it then to presume the First World masses could be won over to such a struggle overnight as Unruhe proposes we do?
He wants instant flash and bang, and like all petty bourgeois opportunists, seeks to justify avoiding the hard work and sacrifices that creating and giving real revolutionary leadership demands. Whereas genuine revolutionaries who base their political and ideological line on that of the revolutionary proletariat, like Mao, maintained that revolution is a complicated and protracted process, that in First World societies is preceded by a long period of preparation through largely legal political work.
Unruhe’s position and fascination with violent reaction serves the interests of the imperialists, which is why one of the U.S. government’s main subversive anti-Panther tactics under its Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), was to try to draw the Black Panther Party (BPP) into gun battles so to pick off its key leaders and discredit it to the general public as an apolitical violence prone hate group, gang, etc. As William Hinton reported, exposures of the FBI’s
“COINTELPRO files [revealed] that the American government had done everything possible to infiltrate the Black Panthers and other lesser-known activist groups, then had its ‘agents’ lead the groups into violent gestures that would divide them, undermine their credibility and bring down the full weight of the state on the leaders’ heads. The lethal effects of ultra-left actions by misled people’s movements have proved disastrous over and over again.”15
Unruhe’s taunts have a familiar smell.
Third versus First World Struggles
Unruhe is also correct that armed uprisings and revolutionary struggles have occurred with relative frequency across the Third World compared to the First World. The reason is not as he claims, because First World workers are inherently counter-revolutionary. On the contrary, it is because the qualitatively different conditions between the Third and First World compel qualitatively different strategies. One allows for immediate resort to armed struggle, the other requires a long period of legal political struggle. Mao explained this long ago:
“The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and the highest form of revolution. This Marxist-Leninist principle of revolution holds good universally, for China and for all other countries.
“But while the principle remains the same, its application by the party of the proletariat finds expression in varying ways according to the varying conditions. Internally, capitalist countries practice bourgeois democracy (not feudalism) when they are not fascist or not at war; in their external relation, they are not oppressed by, but themselves oppress, other nations.
“Because of these characteristics, it is the task of the party of the proletariat in the capitalist countries to educate the workers and build up strength through a long period of legal struggle, and thus prepare for the final overthrow of capitalism. In these countries, the question is one of a long legal struggle, of utilizing parliament as a platform, of economic and political strikes, of organizing trade unions and educating the workers. There the form of organization is legal and the form of struggle bloodless (non-military). On the issue of war, the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries oppose the imperialist wars waged by their own countries; if such wars occur, the policy of these Parties is to bring about the defeat of the reactionary governments of their own countries. The one war they want to fight is the civil war for which they are preparing. But this insurrection and war should not be launched until the bourgeoisie becomes really helpless, until the majority of the proletariat are determined to rise in arms and fight, and until the rural masses are giving willing help to the proletariat. And when the time comes to launch such an insurrection and war, the first step will be to seize the cities, and then advance into the countryside and not the other way about. All this has been done by Communist Parties in capitalist countries, and it has been proved correct by the October Revolution in Russia.
“China is different however. The characteristics of China are that she is not independent and democratic but semi-colonial and semi-feudal, that internally she has no democracy but is under feudal oppression, and that in her external relations she has no national independence but is oppressed by imperialism. It follows that we have no parliament to make use of and no legal right to organize the workers to strike. Basically, the task of the Communist Party here is not to go through a long period of legal struggle before launching insurrection and war, and not to seize the big cities first, and then occupy the countryside, but the reverse.”16
As I’ve pointed out, with the dissolution of the Comintern during WWII, and communist forces run underground and shattered inside the U.S., under the post-WWII Cold War, Red Scare, McCarthyism, and witch hunt persecutions of Communists, and purges of them from the worker’s unions, there have been no Communist Parties in Amerika doing the legal preparatory work which Mao discussed above is essential to prepare First World workers for a revolutionary insurrection. And, as said, the Third Worldist line upholds the imperialist’s position of working to prevent and discourage the development of such Parties.
This is why there have been no successful First World revolutions.
Also armed uprisings and anti-colonial struggles have occurred with relative frequency across the Third World because they have been sparked by resistance to foreign invasions or domination. As Afrika’s foremost Marxist and revolutionary nationalist leader Amilcar Cabral explained, the general homogeneity and horizontal character of rural Third World societies makes it relatively easy to spark mass resistance against a foreign occupier or invader, and this can be and often is done without a revolutionary vanguard. Similarly, Mao pointed out:
“When imperialism launches a war of aggression against a country, all its various classes, except for some traitors, can temporarily unite into a national war against imperialism. At such a time, the contradiction between imperialism and the country concerned becomes the principal contradiction, while all other contradictions among the various classes of the country … are temporarily relegated to a secondary or subordinate position.”
We see this in the popular resistance struggles against foreign domination and invasion, for example, of the Iraqi people that ultimately drove the U.S. invaders out, and of the Palestinians against their occupation by the Israeli military.
Unruhe Upholds National/Racial Chauvinism
In response to my point that the VLA line serves to divide the international proletariat along racial and national lines, Unruhe said in effect that it doesn’t matter, because the bourgeoisie has already divided people thusly. So, in effect, we should not oppose it, but just keep it that way. That says it all about whose class interests Unruhe and the Third Worldists represent. Mao correctly taught us, if we wish to change an oppressive condition we must struggle against it. “Everything reactionary is the same,” he said, “if you don’t hit it, it won’t fall. It is like sweeping the floor; where the broom does not reach, the dust never vanishes of itself.”
In “MIM or MLM?”, I explained that racial division is ultimately a bourgeois tool of divide and rule, and showed that Mao gave the most effective example of building class based unity to counter oppressor and oppressed national chauvinism (racial division is but a cover for national division). Hence, I’m content to uphold the Maoist line (not Third Worldism) of uniting the struggles of oppressed people of color with that of workers in Amerika, including “white” workers.
Mao was no more wrong in his statement that the New Afrikan/Black liberation struggle should unite with “white” workers in Amerika, than he was in successfully joining the historically privileged Han national majority with the many historically underprivileged national minorities in their successful united struggle against imperialism and their own capitalist class in China.
The difference here is there has been no revolutionary proletarian party to counter the bourgeois game of persistently whipping up racial chauvinism in Amerika, as Mao led in China. As I point out in “MIM or MLM?”, Mao’s effective work in this regard inspired BPP co-founder Huey P. Newton’s ideas on countering racial conflict in America, who witnessed its successful results in China.
Speaking of which, if Unruhe gave as much attention to investigating history as he does to looking for others’ attention, he’d answer many of his own questions, including whether New Afrikans/Blacks can catalyze the broader U.S. masses in struggle against the ruling class. The BPP exemplified this.
Not only did they catalyze whites, but inspired other sectors in a widespread struggle against the U.S. power structure. And this despite the fact that the BPP wasn’t a traditional proletariat based Communist Party.
In fact they sparked a new Communist movement in Amerika leading to the formation of the Revolutionary Communist Party-USA, which for a time did remarkable work amongst U.S. workers.
The various forces inspired and catalyzed by the Panthers converged into such a broad mass movement on top of urban Black revolts, that the U.S. government feared escalating the Vietnam War, worried that they might not have enough troops to maintain control across the U.S. There was genuine trepidation at the highest levels of the government that it was in genuine danger of being overthrown in a mass insurgency.17
Yet Unruhe claims that the masses in Amerika have never made “even the slightest revolutionary advance,” and questions what possible impact the struggle of New Afrikans/Blacks could have on the broader U.S. masses, including whites.
As I point out in concluding “MIM or MLM?”, history proves it has been the petty bourgeoisie that has repeatedly undermined and reversed the gains of the masses, and promoted every sort of deviationist line that serves not the proletariat but ultimately the bourgeoisie.
This is what we see in Unruhe and Third Worldism.
And I might add, I am no “First Worldist.” I promote unity of struggle of the workers of the entire world. It should be clear to Unruhe by now, that I oppose “Third Worldism” because it angles to divide workers of the First and Third Worlds in service to the imperialists’ old game of divide and rule.
Overall, his arguments and line reflect the class interests of the petty bourgeoisie opportunistically posturing as revolutionary. They fear to endanger their own privileges and think that expressing their untried and unproven (often downright dishonest) opinions is doing revolutionary work.
Suburban leisure weighs heavily on their hands … and, apparently, as in Unruhe’s case, on some of their mental health as well.
Dare to struggle Dare to win!
All Power to the People!
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Answering a Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy”, http://rashidmod.com/?p=879 [?]
“Re: Novick Article: On the Correct Handling of Contradictions,” Turning the Tide, Vol. 26, No. 2 (April 2013 [?]
Jason Unruhe, “The Pretend Revolution of Kevin Rashid’s First Worldism” http://maoistrebelnews.com/2015/02/26/the-pretend-revolution-of-kevin-rashids-first-worldism/ [?]
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Third Worldism and Politicizing The Blame Game: What’s Revolutionary About That?” http://rashidmod.com/?p=1202 [?]
Zak Cope, Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism 2nd Ed. (Quebec: Kersplebedeb Publishers, 2015). [?]
MIM (Prisons), “Rashid’s Empty Rhetoric on the Labor Aristocracy” http://www.prisoncensorship.info/article/rashids-empty-rhetoric-on-the-labor-aristocracy/ [?]
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “MIM or MLM? Confronting the Divergent Politics of the Petty Bourgeois ‘Left’ on the Labor Aristocracy and Other Burning Issues in Today’s Revolutionary Struggle” http://rashidmod.com/?p=1125 [?]
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “In Search of the Right Theory for Today’s Struggles: Revisiting Huey P. Newton’s Theory of Revolutionary Intercommunalism” http://rashidmod.com/?p=1282 [?]
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Answering a Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy”, http://rashidmod.com/?p=879 [?]
V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916). [?]
V.I. Lenin, “What Is To Be Done?”, Selected Works of Lenin (1967 ed.), vol. 1. [?]
Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Third Worldism and Politicizing The Blame Game: What’s Revolutionary About That?” http://rashidmod.com/?p=1202 [?]
V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916). [?]
J.V. Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism (1924 [?]
William Hinton, Through a Glass Darkly: U.S. Views of the Chinese Revolution (NY; Monthly Review, 2006) [?]
Mao Tse-Tung, “Problems of War and Strategy”, Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, Vol II. (1975) pp. 219-20. [?]
See Pentagon Papers [the U.S. Defense Department’s top-secret official history of US involvement in Indochina, leaked to the media in 1971]. Senator Gravel Edition (Boston: Beacon, 1972), especially Book IV. Also, the radicalizing effects of the BPP and prisoner movement on whites in Amerika described in John Gerassi, The Coming of the New International (NY: World Publishing Co., 1971), especially the Overview, pp. 77-81, and Eric Mann, Comrade George: An Investigation into the Life, Political Thought and Assassination of George Jackson (NY: Perennial Library, 1974). [?]
OTHER ARTICLES ON DEMOCRACY AND CLASS STRUGGLE ABOUT LIN BAOISM AND THIRD WORLDISM
Mao Zedong : Talks With Responsible Comrades at Various Places During Provincial Tour : August to 12 September 1971
Below is a book of contributions on Confucius and Lin Biao
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