THE PROGRAMME OF THE LABOUR PARTY, TURKEY (EMEP)
Throughout the history, society has been divided into classes which have conflicting interests. The main division has always been between two antagonistic classes, the exploiting one and the exploited, i.e. those who produce all material values and those who appropriate social surplus products created by labour. This division has also led to a continuous struggle between classes.
The struggle for a new world, a new society can only become victorious through the struggle of the working class, the final exploited class, against the bourgeoisie, the final exploiting class.
The Labour Party (EMEP) is the party of the working class of Turkey of all nationalities. Its ultimate goal is the full and final emancipation of the working class, and the foundation of a social order where the relations of oppression and exploitation in all forms will be eradicated – i.e. a communist society.
This goal is determined by the social conditions that gave rise to the working class (capitalist society) and is necessitated by an historically enforced phase of social progress. Similar conditions force the workers of all countries to unite as one, overcoming the barriers of national borders, nationality, religion, race and gender.
Working class’ struggle for emancipation becomes an international movement heading towards the same ultimate goal. EMEP is part of the world working class and its emancipation struggle, and has the same goal as the other revolutionary parties and organisations of the working class in other countries.
A. Working class and the bourgeoisie
- The working class in Turkey is one of the two main classes of capitalist society, the other being the bourgeoisie, and is a special product of capitalism, growing quantitatively and qualitatively as capitalism develops.
Capitalist society emerged with a grand scale commodity production for profit, through expanded reproduction by the exploitation of surplus-value. This mode of production evolved with productive forces, production and circulation of commodities reaching a level which inevitably led to the disintegration of feudal society and of small scale production, and with the labourers becoming separated from the means of production. While the means of production concentrated as capital in the hands of an ever smaller section of society (capitalists and big land owners), proletarian and semi-proletarian masses selling their labour power – continuously or intermittently – to meet the most basic necessities grew in numbers, creating more wealth and capital for the upper classes with their labour.
- Capitalist production advanced from simple cooperation to manufacturing, and from simple machines to ever sophisticated complex system of machinery. Industrial Revolution created, along with modern industrial bourgeoisie, modern industrial workers, who got rid of the remnants of relations of the previous social system, and who had nothing to lose but their chains. Work was no longer an activity depending on labour force and requiring special talents while workers became a part of the machinery. Meanwhile, the development of capitalist relations in agriculture led to the process of disintegration of peasantry.
- Bourgeoisie spread the production and circulation of commodities to the remotest corners of the earth, resorting to the most barbarous and destructive forms of force when necessary, in order to reach new markets and natural resources. In creating the capitalist world market, it dragged all countries into capitalist development and exploitation. Alongside advanced countries, the trade network spreading to all countries under the protection of colonialism and subsequent huge profits became one of the elements of capital accumulation and bourgeois-capitalist development.
- Technical advances reinforced the superiority of large scale capitalist production over pre-capitalist modes of production and small scale production. While conditions of capitalist production reproduced a certain number of small businesses, they generally fell back and large scale businesses became common place. While pre-capitalist modes of production and their remnants disappeared, capitalist production relations developed and increasingly penetrated all fields of social life and restructured it accordingly. Bourgeoisie got the overall hegemony in the superstructure as well as the economy. This dominance found its simplest political expression in the seizure of state power by the bourgeoisie and in its capitalist reorganisation as a tool of oppression and hegemony over the working class and the labourers.
- As capitalist development process evolves, capital gets a tighter grip on peasants, craftsmen, artisans and other small business owners. Only a small segment of small businesses prolong their existence by extreme hard work and self imposed austerity. Even under slavish living and working conditions some cannot even survive this and go bankrupt. Big businesses force medium and small-scale enterprises that have the potential to be part of their reproduction to become their auxiliary units in their own terms. Insecurity spreads and deepens among intermediary classes and strata. This widens the opportunities for the working class to benefit from the contradictions among proprietors and win over other working classes and strata.
- The bourgeoisie takes over the state of women as an oppressed gender and as a kind of house slave, as well as the family and the patriarchy stemming from this state, and makes it as an element of capitalist society and the process of reproduction. As modern industry develops, capitalism draws greater masses of women into the process of social production. As this process progresses the material conditions also develop for women to win their economic independence and equal rights. Nevertheless, the bourgeoisie hinders the expansion of democratic rights and freedoms to include the workers and women. Women who are drawn into production become a wage slave, also responsible for the care of children and other house chores. Socialisation of the means of production is the precondition for all this work to become social work, for women to be present in the process of production and in all walks of life freely and in an equal way, and for the eradication of all elements in the base and superstructure that prevent this.
- The increase in productivity leads to the production of the same amount of goods with a smaller number of workers, but it also widens the possibility to use women and child labour, resulting in the growth of the section of the population who has to sell their labour power to live. Despite fluctuations, the need for workforce lags behind demand. This leads to the enlargement of the army of the unemployed, who are pushed into the quagmire of poverty and moral bankruptcy, who have no security, who make up the reserve workforce for capitalists. Labour’s dependency on capital is increased as well as the opportunity for the capitalist class to elevate the rate of exploitation.
- Ownership of the means of production by a small minority and production being made for profit and in intensifying competition result in the disproportionate development in terms of the means of production and the goods of consumption, as well as in different sectors of the economy, production and the markets. Capitalist development process takes on a disrupted and imbalanced growth pattern because of economic crises and recessions caused by overproduction. Crises, surfacing in varying forms and cycle lengths depending on conditions, are the unavoidable phases of capitalist development process. Crises are the pinnacle of the contradiction between social character of production and the private character of capitalist appropriation, they are the explosive manifestation of this contradiction.
- Bourgeoisie and capitalism open the path for the progress of the productive forces, despite the disruptions caused by cyclical crises, as well as immense increases in labour productivity and production. Nevertheless, the fruits of this progress can only be enjoyed by a handful of capital and big land owners. As labour productivity increases so does its exploitation. Despite better means of meeting all material and nonmaterial needs of society, capitalism constantly reproduces unemployment, poverty, ignorance and degeneration. It spreads and deepens insecurity and the concern for future among a great majority of the population. Wars, periods of crisis and recession worsen these conditions. Discontent and anger among workers and labourers increase. The tendency to unite and struggle against oppression and exploitation, against the exploiting classes develops.
- The ownership of capitalists and big land owners on the means of production is the basis for the commoditisation of the workforce, the wage slavery of the ever increasing sections of society and the exploitation of the surplus value. For this reason, the eradication of the ownership of a small minority on the means of production and turning this into common ownership is the precondition for the emancipation of the working class. Throughout its process of development capitalism prepares the material basis of this condition and gives rise to the social force which would overthrow it. The prospects, capacity and ability of the workers to unite against the bourgeoisie and organise as an independent social class increase. Having experienced competition among themselves and an enmity towards machinery, workers’ uncoordinated struggles that start in isolation in individual workplaces progress into a united and independent movement.
II. Monopolies and Imperialism
- The concentration and centralisation of production and capital led to the emergence of finance capital, intertwining industrial and bank capital, and of monopolies. In early 20th century, capitalism moved to its imperialist stage with finance capital becoming dominant and the state power concentrating in the hands of the finance oligarchy. There has been a full interconnection and incorporation between the main shareholders and administrators of the monopolies and the governing state institutions. The state has become instrumentally important in the protection of the interests of the monopolies, and a monopolist state capitalism has developed. A greater share of total social production has been allocated for armament and war expenditures, for the development of the militarist-bureaucratic state apparatus, a parasite on society.
- Monopolist capitalism is the last stage of capitalism with a high level of development, whose fundamental characteristics have ripened, some having turned into their antithesis. This is a stage where the conditions for the transition to a new social system is further ripened, where new antagonisms and divisions are created, sharpening all contradictions of capitalism. While production is socialised as a whole, all wealth is concentrated into the hands of a small minority, social inequality is increased, and the antagonism between the working class and the bourgeoisie deepens on a world scale.
- Capitalist monopoly, a result and the antonym of free competition, does not do away with competition completely; it exits alongside with and above competition. This phenomenon deepens the unbalanced development of capitalism, intensifying the existing divisions and contradictions while adding new ones. Monopolies restrict the free development of the productive forces as they link the use of new technologies completely to the maximisation of profit and the course of the competition between monopolies. However, this situation does not remove the potential for technology and capitalism to developed faster, though temporarily, than before in some countries and sometimes in the whole of the capitalist world.
- In the imperialist stage, export of capital enhances export of goods and becomes the main component of economic relations between countries. Economies of all countries are united as links in the chain of capitalist world economy. The process of internationalisation of capital and production advances. Overcoming all divisions and restrictions of capitalist-imperialist system, international organisation of economy on the basis of equality and mutual benefit of societies increasingly becomes a necessity for the advancement of productive forces. Nevertheless, the capitalist-imperialist system reproduces and reinforces the contradictions that prevent this.
- One of the characteristics of the period of formation of monopolies and finance capital is that capitalism has spread to even the remotest parts and the division of the world has completed. This marks the end for the bourgeoisie of a period of expansion of the increasing tensions and burdens brought on by capitalist development into new areas. A new era begins, an era of intensified oppression and exploitation of the working class and the oppressed peoples, with sharpening contradictions of capitalism leading to developments in leaps and bitter conflicts. The competition and struggles to divide world resources by main capitalist groups and countries intensify, and capitalism turns into a world system where big imperialist countries enslaves a big majority of the world population, and countries are divided into two as the oppressor and the oppressed or the exploiter and the exploited.
- Unequal and leapfrog development changes the balance of power between imperialist countries and international financial groups. Struggles for the re-division of the world and the wars resulting from these struggles become inevitable. Inter-imperialist contradictions become one of the main contradictions that weaken the capitalist system, deepen general depressions, disable or kill millions of people, destroy nature, productive forces and means of livelihood, deepen and spread moral decay and corruption. These contradictions become one of the antagonisms and divisions which brings capitalism closer to its inevitable end.
- Increased export of capital hastens the advancement of capitalism in the underdeveloped and dependent countries. While imperialist exploitation and oppression intensify, new powers of struggle against imperialism and its local foundations arise. Class differentiations deepen in underdeveloped rural countries where the working class is weak, and the working class and its movement develop and semi-proletarian masses widen. Material preconditions of socialism develop in these countries too. Thus, these countries stop being a rearguard for imperialism and become areas of struggles against all reaction and capitalism, especially imperialism and its local supporters. The contradictions between imperialism and the exploited and oppressed peoples and nations become one of the fundamental contradictions of capitalist-imperialist system along with the labour-capital and inter-imperialist contradictions.
- Imperialism leads to the concentration of finance capital in a small number of imperialist countries and to the enlargement of the rentier strata which receive a greater share of the profit despite having no links with production. Capitalist and technical developments enable production, especially its labour-intensive sectors, to be allocated in a greater scale into relatively less developed countries with scarce capital, cheap labour, land and raw materials, and high profits. Imperialist countries with the most developed and strongest finance capital turn into countries which exploit the greatest sections of the world population, break away from production even more, with an enlarged rentier strata and broadened economic sectors and social sections in their service.
- Imperialism is the systematic restriction or even complete removal, when necessary, of perceived roles and responsibilities of symbolic institutions, democratic rights and freedoms. It is an all out development of reactionary forces, enslavement of other nations and peoples, trampling upon the rights to self determination and national sovereignty, and tendency to annexation. Fascism, on the other hand, is the intense expression of these tendencies of financial capital; it surfaces as the most reactionary, chauvinistic, aggressive and barbaric trend and form of state.
- Financial capital forms alliances with all kinds of reactionary forces – primarily medieval reactionarism – making them obey its own hegemonic rules, and becomes the main pillar that supports them. Despite high level of advances in science and technology, the bourgeoisie, unable to develop a scientific worldview, holds onto and tries to spread the most reactionary dogmas, religious and philosophical-ideological currents from the dustbin of history. Superficiality and poverty of ideas in all areas of art and culture becomes commonplace.
- While monopolies prevent the free development of the means of production, imperialist wars and more frequently appearing and longer lasting economic crises with more severe consequences cause greater devastation in all areas of social life. Monopolies use of technology in pursuit of maximum profit broadens this destruction to the environment. Capitalist relations of production become an obstruction for the development of productive forces and social progress. Thus, ending the ownership of the means of production by a small minority and the replacement of capitalist relations of production with socialist relations of production become a historical necessity and the condition for free development of the productive forces.
III. Imperialism, World Proletarian Revolution and National Movements
- The level of concentration and centralisation of capital and production, effective use of state power in all areas for the benefit of financial capital and the advancing monopolist state capitalism, all this widens the opportunities for financial oligarchy to intensify oppression and exploitation. The urge for maximum profit and for the prevention of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall in connection with the rising organic composition of capital whips up the tendency of monopolies to intensify the exploitation of the working class and peoples. All this leads to the development of tendencies of unrest, anger and struggle among the working class and peoples; they contribute to the factors that force them to join the struggle and unite their struggles in the workplaces, in different sectors as well as country-wide and on a world scale. The varied levels of mass struggles of the oppressed and exploited classes turn into a political struggle against capital and their governments.
- High monopolistic profits enable finance capital to develop a labour aristocracy and bureaucracy, a stratum that becomes the social foundation of the bourgeoisie and financial oligarchy within the working class movement as well as one of the main sources of all sorts of opportunism and class collaboration. In order to oppress and push aback the advancing movement of the working class, the monopolist bourgeoisie effectively uses the labour aristocracy, bureaucracy and tottering intermediary forces, as well as its continuously strengthened bourgeois government. A continuous struggle against these strata, which are renewed and modernised by the monopolist bourgeoisie depending on the progress of the workers’ movement, is the condition for the victory of the working class.
- New heights reached in the export of capital leads to the development of modern large enterprises in developing countries and of a working class concentrated in these enterprises. Despite their primacy as a modern developing class, the struggle of the workers in these countries moves forward towards an independent movement due to the conditions of fierce oppression and exploitation as well as benefitting from the experiences of the workers of the advanced capitalist countries. With this advancement the international movement of the working class and its struggle for emancipation is no longer limited to advanced capitalist countries and becomes a worldwide movement. While deepening the contradictions within the ranks of the bourgeoisie, imperialism also develops the conditions that unite workers of the advanced and developing countries as members of a single army, and that give an international character to their struggles for emancipation.
- The revolutionary struggle of the oppressed peoples and nations unites in the same front with the revolutionary movement of the working class and becomes a component of the worldwide workers’ revolutionary movement. Capitalism ripens the conditions and financial basis for these struggles to develop under the leadership of the working class and turn into peoples’ revolutions for an uninterrupted transition to socialism. Workers’ world revolution is no longer limited to the advanced capitalist countries, and depending on the deepening of the uneven and leapfrog development, this becomes a process that starts and develops with the weakest chain(s) of the capitalist-imperialist system breaking. The working class seizes political power and organises as the ruling class in the weakest chain(s) and the process of social revolution of the working class and the construction of a classless society begins.
- The working class, by taking the means of production into common ownership, lays the foundations of a communist society where classes and all forms of oppression and exploitation are eradicated. Anarchic and unbalanced production under capitalism for profit and for the market is replaced by a social production based on a constantly developing technical basis, and is planned according to all material and nonmaterial needs of society. As it demolishes classes and oppressive and exploitative relationships in all forms, the social revolution of the working class will also free other oppressed and exploited classes. The working class can only fulfil its historical revolutionary role under the command of its party equipped with the theory of scientific socialism.
- The precondition for this revolution is for the working class to seize power and organise as the ruling class, eradicating all attempts of restoration of capitalism by waging a continuous struggle against all new and old forms and elements of capitalism. There is a transitional period between capitalist and communist societies, i.e. the first stage of communism, when elements of both co-exist in struggle with each other and when the working class is organised as the ruling class. At this first stage when the principle “from each according to their ability to each according to their labour” reigns, productive forces are freed from the limiting effects of capitalist (and pre-capitalist) relations of production. The advancement of the process of socialist construction and production relations developing freely will prepare the conditions for the transition to the second stage of communism with the principle “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need”.
- The advance of workers’ world revolution winning victories in the weakest links of imperialism leads to the start and development of socialist construction under conditions of capitalist imperialist encirclement, to growing international support for the domestic bases of the bourgeoisie and capitalism and their attempts to restore the old order. A final and absolute victory of the working class can only be achieved by worldwide demolition of the capitalist system and by replacing the capitalist-imperialist encirclement with a socialist one. For this reason the social revolution of the working class and the construction of a communist society is a complex process, a continuum of national and international ups and downs, attacks and retreats, victories and defeats.
IV. The October Revolution, socialist construction and counter-revolution
- The First World War which was initiated by imperialists for the re-division of the world led to the destruction of the productive forces, the death, misery and mutilation of millions of people. This brought about revolutionary situations in many countries and the imperialist capitalist system was split in Russia with the October Revolution of 1917. The working class of Russia consisting of various nationalities seized power and organised as the ruling class, and a new epoch of revolutions, an epoch of proletarian revolutions began.
- The October Revolution was now a new factor feeding the tendency among the workers and the oppressed peoples, who had been dragged by the imperialist war into total chaos and destruction, to organise and struggle. Whilst the Second International was heading towards a disgraceful end with its social-chauvinist line and a collaborative stance towards the bourgeoisie, working classes’ initiatives to organise as an independent party were gaining strength. As a result the Third International was born as an international organisation of the working class, which joined together the revolutionary workers’ parties and organisations in both the advanced and underdeveloped countries.
- The October Revolution was followed by the workers’ and labourers uprisings in many countries, especially Germany, Austria and Hungary and the revolutionary uprisings as well as the liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples and nations in countries such as China, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. Getting the support of social democracy, labour aristocracy and bureaucracy, bourgeoisie and the reactionary forces suppressed the revolutionary uprisings of the working class everywhere, except for Russia. With the onset of the 1929 crisis and with sharpening contradictions the imperialist capitalist system entered a new period of confrontations and harsh struggles following a short breadth of relative stability.
- Under the capitalist-imperialist encirclement the Soviet Union was also faced with the destructive attacks of imperialism and reactionary forces as well as the domestic resistance and attacks of the bourgeois-capitalist elements and their remnants which continued to exist during the whole transition period. Despite all this the country had shown unprecedented rapid progress in every field. When fascist dictatorships were established in many countries, especially in Italy, Japan and Germany, and fascism and reactionary political forces were on the rise in the capitalist world, the capitalist-imperialist system in the 1930s was being dragged into economic crises one after another and heading towards a new war for the re-division of the world. On the other hand, with the progress of the process of socialist construction the USSR became an advanced industrial-agricultural country where the working and living conditions of workers, peasants, and the intellectuals got better.
- The Second World War resulted in the defeat of the fascist camp and in the ruptures of the capitalist-imperialist system in new fronts. In Eastern Europe and the Balkan countries people’s revolutions took place with the leadership of the working class; people’s democracies were established and they headed in an uninterrupted way towards the construction of socialism. The revolutionary parties of the working class in many countries such as France, Italy, Greece and Indonesia became mass workers’ parties and an alternative to political power. This was followed by popular uprisings and national liberation wars in Asia, especially in China and Vietnam, in Africa and Latin America. It was mostly due to this rise in the movements of the oppressed peoples and nations that the old colonial system entered a process of disintegration and collapsed.
- The great mobilisation of the workers’ and the oppressed peoples’ movement led imperialism and world reactionary forces to join forces against them. The US got the upper hand in its relations with other imperialist countries and, following the Second World War, became the unique hegemonic power of the imperialist capitalist system. This enabled imperialism to launch and command a unified attack, even though temporarily, on socialism, the revolutionary movement of the working class and peoples. Also, finance capital began to renew its damaged relations with labour aristocracy and bureaucracy as well as the hesitant intermediary forces, developing new tactics and methods, including giving temporary concessions in order to neutralise the working class and peoples. Whilst “welfare state” practices were expanding, new colonialist methods and forms were developed.
- Revolutionary movement of the world working class was unable to repel the attacks of imperialism and the attacks carried out from inside by those elements functioning as a prop for the bourgeoisie within the workers’ movement and in the socialist camp, nor was it able to advance their gains towards a victory on a world scale. At the 20th Congress a modern revisionist line became dominant in the CPSU and in the revolutionary movement of the working class. This was a counter revolutionary line which interrupted socialist construction, which opened the path to the restoration of capitalism, and which replaced the struggle against imperialism, bourgeoisie and all kinds of opportunist and revisionist currents with collaboration.
- While capitalism was being restored with deformed socialist forms in socialist countries, with the exception of Albania, revolutionary workers’ movement entered a period of defeat and decline. In late 1980s and early 1990s the USSR and the bloc it was leading disintegrated. While the final remnants of socialism and its deformed manifestations were being eradicated and typical capitalist forms were replacing them, socialism in Albania collapsed, too. This was now the beginning of a process when the destructive results of the defeat suffered in the second half of the 1950 would manifest themselves in all clarity. Imperialism and the reactionary forces on a world scale now had the opportunity to launch the most effective anti-communist campaign in history. The revolutionary movement of the working class and oppressed peoples was withdrawn to its weakest level.
- The many-sided consequences of the hegemony of modern revisionism, including the defeat, developed the conditions for the spread of those currents based on neo-liberal, conservative, social democrat, neo-fascist reactionary forces. Revisionist currents of all shades were weakened, with some sections disintegrating and their remnants turning into reformist right or left social democratic currents, while the others tried to survive by renewing their platforms. Under these conditions when the oppression and the counter-revolutionary campaign of the bourgeoisie intensified and the bourgeois ideology with its different forms spread among the masses and got stronger, “new” currents developed with their mainstream solutions and alternatives.
- The starting point of these “new” currents was the claim that the scientific socialist theory and its deductions were now outdated, that it could never explain social processes in a scientific way. With new excuses they revived those theories claiming that scientific and technological revolution caused fundamental changes in the relations of production, that the contradiction between labour and capital was now surpassed, and that the historical revolutionary role of the changing working class came to an end. In line with all this they also argued that the material basis for working class parties did no longer exist, that the function of workers organisations, especially of trade unions, changed, that they became obsolete and would be replaced by new social organisations. Along with post-modern theories these theses were being advertised with new excuses and in readapted forms in various titles such as “radical democracy”, “21st century socialism”, “market socialism”, “eco-anarchism”, etc.
V. Sharpening contradictions and the rising prospects of revolution
- Despite the heaviest blow the emancipation struggle of the working class had suffered in its history, the foundations of the revolutionary movement of the world working class and oppressed peoples continued to develop rather than weaken. The scientific and technological revolution which occurred in the conditions of the struggle between the capitalist and socialist systems as well as in capitalist competition brought about a multitude of consequences which advanced this foundation. While the parasitic character o finance capital became more prominent, social inequalities continued to deepen. The material preconditions of socialism got even more ripened, and the working class and the semi-proletarian masses got bigger on a world scale at a level not comparable to the 1950s.
- The defeat and the resulting many-sided decline in the working class and the oppressed peoples’ movement led to greater aggression by imperialism and the world reactionary forces. There began a period of reckless aggression to eradicate the final remnants of the gains and positions achieved by the working class and the oppressed peoples, to push down their struggles, to lift all obstacles that limit the exploitation by and the hegemony of finance capital and to achieve maximum profit. Real wages went down in many countries. Public services such as education, pensions, health and unemployment insurance were opened up for privatisation as new investment fields with large profits. Social gains of workers and labourers were brought down to the lowest levels. Subcontracting, insecure and casual work became widespread. All this was accompanied by a systematic restriction of democratic rights and freedoms as well as the development of political reactionary forces and militarism. All the burdens resulting from the economic crises and recessions, increasing competition and the preparations for the re-division of the world and a final settling of accounts were loaded onto the working class and peoples.
- Big imperialist countries have developed a stronger yoke on some other developed countries as well as the underdeveloped and semi-developed ones, putting them in the process of economic and financial colonies. Through bilateral and multilateral military, commercial and financial agreements as well as international institutions such as IMF, World Bank, EU, CIS, APEC, NATO, etc., big imperialist countries hold greater control in the economic, political, military and cultural lives of the member states, restricting their independence and sovereignty. These institutions were a result of the globalisation of the capitalist world economy as well as the imperialist fight for the re-division of the world, and they became instruments of big imperialist countries to coordinate their attacks and expand their sphere of influence.
- With the disintegration of the USSR, the restrictions, in terms of the inter-imperialist relations and contradictions, caused by the division and rivalry between the two blocs, each one led by a superpower, have disappeared. The balance of power which shaped all agreements with the economic, political and military international organisations such as UN, IMF, WB and NATO has shifted. China has become a significant imperialist power and Russia has emerged as a new imperialist focal point from the ruins of the USSR. Inter-imperialist power relations have changed, the main imperialist powers repositioned themselves and a new struggle for redivision has begun. In order to protect and widen their spheres of influence imperialist powers incited reactionary civil wars using national, ethnic and religious differences. Peoples, especially in the Balkans, Caucasus, Africa and the Middle East were drawn into the quicksand of reactionary wars, and had become the target of direct military interventions by big imperialist powers, especially the USA. Millions of people died in these interventions and the wars incited by imperialists, and genocides had taken place in Africa.
- Despite the harshest blow that it suffered in its history, the struggle of the working class and peoples went on uninterruptedly, though from a less advanced position. In spite of the weaknesses arising from not having reached a level to repel the attacks and not overcome the limits of spontaneous movement, this struggle managed to advance, even during and after the 1990s when these attacks were intensified, from workplace or sector bound strikes to general strikes and resistance, mass demonstrations, and to popular uprisings in the less developed and dependent countries. New revolutionary parties and organisations which emerged from the struggle against imperialism, bourgeoisie, and all shades of opportunist and revisionist currents, especially modern revisionism, continued and consolidated their struggles with new participations in the 1990s and afterwards.
- The advances in science and technology and in the means of production have widened the possibilities to meet and secure the needs of people by using natural resources on the basis of scientific knowledge and respect for the laws of natural development. However, the use of advanced means of production under the control of capital and the monopolies and for maximum profit leads to the destruction of nature, disturbance of the ecological balance and creates a serious problem which threatens the humanity and all living things and requires an immediate solution. The imperialist capitalist system is dragging humanity to a total catastrophe in this regard, too.
- While the material bases of a world proletarian revolution are ripening, with its deepening contradictions the capitalist-imperialist system is elevating further the factors and conditions that bring about the inevitability of the reactionary imperialist wars as well as the revolutionary struggles and uprisings of the working class and peoples. Going from one crisis to another and accumulating the factors of a revolutionary eruption in many countries, this system is heading towards a new period of wars, fundamental changes and revolutions. No matter how fiercely imperialism and reactionary forces attack and how heavy the temporary defeats and failures are, the collapse of capitalist-imperialist system and the victory of the world proletarian revolution is inevitable.
- Not only victories but also defeats can be educational for the working class and peoples, paving the steps for greater and more advanced victories. The Paris Commune came about following the 1831 workers struggles in France, the Chartist movement in England and the 1848 revolutions, and the October Revolution was the product of all these experiences. The victories and defeats of the 20th century will form the foundations of new and more advanced mobilisations and struggles, educating the working class on the way.
VI. The Revolution in Turkey
- Countries are not equal in terms of their level and characteristics of capitalist development, their place in the global capitalist system, inter-class relations and balance of power, social conditions under which class struggle continues in all its forms, etc. All this leads to different short-term aims for workers and parties of the class in different nations, who are otherwise united around the same ultimate goal. Variations become inevitable in the course of the overthrow of bourgeois dictatorship and capitalism; in the working class seizing power and organising as the dominant class; in the building of socialism and the course of development of social revolution.
- At the beginning of the 20th century, when capitalism entered its monopolistic stage, Turkey, as a late entrant to capitalist development, had a semi-colonial and underdeveloped social structure on the way to colonisation, where commodity production and trade, and capitalist relations of production, in this respect, were developing but feudal relations still dominated. In the 20th century, imperialist countries and international finance capital groups dominated many countries with a great majority of world population, hindering their independent and free advance and influenced their social progress in line with their imperialist interests and choices. This was also the time when capitalism developed and became dominant in Turkey under the following conditions:
a. Imperialist attempts to colonise Turkey were repelled with the National War of Independence. This was a weak anti-imperialist revolution led by the bourgeoisie who had shared power with Ottoman autocracy following the 1908 revolution. They took full control of the state and organised as the dominant class in alliance with big land owners.
b. Through top-down reforms and state capitalism, the higher echelons of the bourgeoisie increased its grip on power and monopolised in collaboration with imperialism, thus becoming the social basis of and developing dependence relations with imperialism.
c. In Kurdistan, the process of nation building advanced in line with capitalist development, but the rights of all nationalities, especially the Kurds, were trampled upon; all their accumulation, markets and resources were controlled by imperialism and ruling Turkish bourgeoisie, and Turks organised as the dominant nation.
d. Feudal relations were disintegrated and liquidated, not in a revolutionary way but in an evolutionary process.
- Dependent capitalist development led to the dominance of imperialist and local monopolies in every field, and to the continuation of the existence of pre-capitalist remnants for a long time, despite weakening. This deepened uneven development, one of the fundamental characteristics of capitalist development, and its consequences. It amplified differences between the level of development in regions of different national make up and all sectors of the economy. The main characteristic of Turkish capitalism was the lack of advances in the sector that produces the means of production, which is vital for an independent economy; and in the case of development, it was a dependent one or one with an outdated technical base. Decisive industrial sectors and units of production which require modern technology and opportunities for research and development are all under the monopoly of imperialist companies and countries. Any advances that may interfere with this monopoly are prevented and forced to be annexed to research and development departments.
- In Turkey, as in all dependent countries, modern enterprises exist alongside varied and widespread small and medium size companies with outdated technology and systems of production. But capitalist development leads to replacement of small businesses by big ones, and advances the process of ever socialised production and capital being concentrated and centralised. This advances the material preconditions for socialism and the social forces that would build it in Turkey, deepening the antagonism between the social character of production and capitalist accumulation of assets as well as the contradiction between labour and capital.
- Accumulation through intensifying exploitation and increased foreign investment boosted capitalist development. Furthermore, removal of measures that protect the national economy elevated the process of dispossession of rural, small and artisan businesses. This led to majority of peasants to become seasonal or permanent agricultural workers, migrating to cities in ever bigger numbers and in constant waves. Forced evacuation of villages in Kurdistan further fuelled rural migration to cities. Waged labour increased in number and spread to all sectors as the numbers of big businesses increased in sectors such as agriculture and commerce, where the majority of businesses used to be small and medium sized. With big business, the working class became a multi-national workforce, concentrated in industrial areas in their thousands. Both in terms of its capacity for struggle and organisation as well as its population, it developed into the main social force. As the intermediary classes and strata disintegrated and their role in socio-economic life weakened, the process of society’s division into two main social classes, bourgeoisie and working class, advanced.
- Turkey is a dependent capitalist country where capitalist production relations and monopolies have been dominant for a long time, while the remnants of feudal relations weakened but continued to exist, especially in Kurdistan. As dependent capitalist development process deepens, an increasing share of the means of production and the aggregate social production are under the control of local and international monopolies and big land owners. In contrast, those without basic means for a decent life and work, the dispossessed, the proletariat and the semi-proletarian masses and the army of unemployed are getting bigger, and social inequalities are deepening. Furthermore, Turkey is a country where the political superstructure is shaped on a militarist, anti-democratic, chauvinist and nationalist basis, different nationalities, especially the Kurds, and religious minorities are oppressed, public demand for equal rights, democratic rights and freedoms are suppressed with massacres and terror, and fascist oppression and terrorising tactics are intensified from time to time.
- Intensifying imperialist exploitation and dependency relations, the exploitation and dominance of monopolies and the big land owners and remnants of feudalism are the main obstacles for economic and social progress; they make living and working conditions worse for all workers, the oppressed and the exploited. The most apparent and tangible manifestations of this situation are the length and intensity of the working day; extremely low wages and atrocious working conditions; the size of the army of unemployed; growing semi-proletarian masses trying to live in rural and urban areas, without any social security and regular employment, and on the brink of starvation, living in housing unfit to inhabit. This is accompanied by small business owners, especially peasants, becoming poorer and dispossessed under suffocating pressure and oppression from local and international monopolies and big land owners. This can also be seen in curbing or complete disregard for the rights and freedoms of people; the widespread and deep insecurity of majority of society in relation to their future. These conditions, worsening with increased dependency on imperialism and monopolisation and deepening at times of economic crisis and stagnation, raise the rage and the tendency to struggle among the oppressed and exploited masses and force them to a united front against imperialism, monopolistic bourgeoisie and big land owners.
- Currently, the immediate task facing the working class and its party in Turkey is to abolish imperialist exploitation and dependency relations, collaborating monopolies, big land ownership and all feudal remnants, to win and secure all democratic rights and freedoms, including nations’ right to self determination in a completely equal society. This urgent task can only be fulfilled by abolishing the domination of imperialism, monopolistic bourgeoisie and the big land owners, and by establishing a revolutionary people’s power under the leadership of the working class, based on oppressed and exploited classes and strata. People’s power requires a new state organisation and apparatus, with a peoples’ assembly on its highest power, elected and controlled by the people, based on their organisation primarily in factories and agricultural enterprises and exercising their own power.
- With the fulfilment of this urgent task, the main obstacles standing in the way of economic and social progress and the working class’ struggle for emancipation will be eliminated. The victory against imperialism and the ruling classes, under the leadership of the working class, will secure the uninterrupted widening of the revolution to abolish classes and the relations of exploitation and oppression in all forms, and enable the steps towards socialist construction. The working class will benefit most from this victory and it is the only class that can determinedly carry this struggle to its victorious end. This will be the first step for it to accomplish its historical revolutionary role and to achieve its ultimate emancipation.
A – For People’s Power and People’s Democracy
- Establishment of a new state on the basis of a constitution which guarantees the absolute sovereignty and power of the people and democratic rights and freedoms, prepared by a constituent assembly elected by the people, with their broadest participation, and presented to the public for approval.
a. A people’s assembly which is formed by the representatives elected by the people, gathering all executive powers and working as the state’s highest sovereign authority.
b. The abolition of all local authorities appointed by the state, and the collection of all regional and local administrations in the hands of the assemblies consisting of representatives elected by the public at all levels.
c. Limitation of wages paid to elected representatives, deputies and officials so as not to exceed the average wages of qualified workers. The right to put to trial and dismissal of elected representatives and officials by voters.
d. The right to elect and be elected to all parliamentary and administrative bodies to all 18 year-olds. Free elections based on the principles of equal, single stage, secret ballot, open count and proportional representation.
e. A people’s democracy where people can participate in all decision-making processes, free from formalism and from voting in elections only. Provision of an environment of freedom which will be the basis for the formation of the will of the people at every step with use of all means of communication and opportunities and for the continuous reflection of this will to the assemblies.
f. A new social political order in which a continuous struggle against all kinds of bureaucracy will be carried out, where the working class and laborers will learn to control and govern the state and society.
- The selection of judges by the public, the public court, the public jury system and a judiciary open to public information and scrutiny. The public’s right to dismiss the judges.
- Equality between women and men in society and in the family, equal rights for all citizens without discrimination. Domicile and personal immunity. Every citizen’s right to access state administration and information and to sue each officer in court without recourse to a higher authority. All data regarding census, unemployment, budget, inflation etc. kept by public institutions should be accessed by anyone, be available free of charge, re-published in accordance with open data standards.
- Abolition of all indirect taxes, exemption of the minimum wage from taxes. Progressive income/corporation tax and inheritance tax for private and legal entities.
- Abolition of all legal and institutional barriers to freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of press and communication, the right to protest and take part in meetings, demonstrations and marches. Unlimited right for workers and laborers to trade union, political organization and strike.
- An official declaration of the country being a multinational country and the abolition of all national oppression and privileges. Full equal rights for all nations and national communities and languages. The right to self-determination, up to and including the right to establish a separate state, for all nations, especially the Kurdish nation. Abolition of the compulsory single official language. The right to benefit from public services in their mother tongue for all public and national communities.
- The separation of religion from the state for a genuine secularism. Declaration of religion being a personal matter. Termination of all religious institutions of the state including those in the field of education; an end to the financing of religious institutions and communities by the state, and leaving the religious area to the pious people. Prevention of politicizing of religion. Total separation of religion from education; the elimination of compulsory religious education, and the elimination of the religious content from the curriculum. A true freedom of belief, with the state keeping its distance and being impartial in the face of all religions, sects and beliefs.
- The prohibition of racist, fascist organizations. The eradication of the intelligence service (MIT), counter-guerrilla, Special Forces, police, village guards and all kinds of monitoring organizations and apparatuses, and the liquidation of fascist, provocative gangs camouflaged in various bureaucratic and political circles. Open trials of all perpetrators who committed a crime against the people. Publicising all secret state archives, and victims to be compensated.
- National defence and domestic security to be based on the general armament of the people, and the reorganization of the army accordingly. The right to conscientious objection.
- Reorganization of all education including pre-school and university as public service. The transfer of all private education institutions to the public. Removal of all school entrance exams at all levels. A free, scientific and secular education. A national curriculum that is not racist, religious or sexist, that takes national differences in the country into account, to be the basis for the education and development of new generations. Equality in access to educational institutions and facilities.
a. Free nursery and kindergarten for all those who need it. A 12-year compulsory basic education for every child. All children’s nutrition, school equipment and transportation expenses covered by the state. The right for every child to enter any secondary educational institution.
b. Access to higher education and universities for everyone, especially the young. Cancellation of the Higher Education Institution (YÖK) and similar institutions and laws. An autonomous, scientific and democratic university. Management of universities and colleges by elected boards. Student organisations to be independent from the administrations, including their funding. Scholarships, free housing, transportation and adequate nutrition for every university student in need.
- Declaration of public and individual health to be an inalienable citizenship right and a free public service. The cessation of privatization of hospitals, the transfer of private health institutions to the public. All preventive and primary care and health services to be free of charge and fully accessible. Reorganization of hospitals and all health institutions with sufficient number of personnel and equipment to provide quality health care.
B – For an Independent Country and Social Progress
- Full disclosure of international agreements made on behalf of the country. Termination of all secret and open political and military agreements with imperialist countries and institutions. Relations with other countries, in particular with neighbouring countries, to be based on respect for national independence and sovereignty, mutual benefit, non-interference in internal affairs, equality, peace and friendship. A coherent diplomacy in international affairs, observing the disadvantaged and oppressed groups. Supporting national freedom and progressive popular struggles, a show of solidarity against imperialist and expansionist interventions.
- Leaving the NATO. Closure of all foreign military bases in the country; the dismantling of all weapons systems in these areas, primarily nuclear weapons. Abolition of laws and regulations that allow the presence of foreign troops. An end to all types of armament for attack. The withdrawal of all troops that are deployed abroad and the prohibition of sending troops across the borders.
- An end to considering Cyprus as a ‘backyard’ of Turkey. The withdrawal of all foreign bases and military units, including the Turkish Army, from Cyprus. The recognition of the future of Cyprus to depend on the will of the people of both nations in Cyprus.
- The withdrawal of the EU application. Exit from the IMF, World Bank and WTO. Abolishing the privileges granted to international capital institutions, in particular the EU and the Customs Union, and the cancellation of all privileged agreements.
- Nationalization of all enterprises and foundations in the fields of finance, industry, agriculture, commerce and services as well as large lands, mines and forests, streams, lakes and coasts owned by the imperialist and collaborative monopolist bourgeoisie and big landowners without compensation. Unification of all banks and other financial institutions under a single national bank, and putting these nationalized enterprises under the control of the workers and labourers.
- Cancellation of all debts to imperialist states, capital groups and institutions. State monopoly on foreign trade and the inflow and outflow of money and capital.
- The Labour Party (EMEP) supports the struggle of peasants against the imperialist and collaborating monopolies and big landowners, and puts forward the following demands:
a. The appropriation of big lands by agricultural workers and peasants, especially those where feudal remnants still exist, and including those under the ownership of foundations and the state.
b. Committees that include agricultural workers to control all movable and immovable property, such as the facilities where all the buildings, machinery and equipment, agricultural products are handled on the seized lands.
c. For the development of agriculture and its technical basis, the establishment of machinery-tractor parks and enterprises to produce and develop seeds, seedlings, breeding animals, etc. for use of peasants.
d. Cancellation of all debts and mortgages of peasants to banks, imperialist and collaborating monopolies, loan providers and big landowners.
e. Peasant organizations to have a say on planning of agricultural production, marketing of products and determination of prices.
f. In the conditions of the victory of the revolution and the establishment of peoples’ power, the nationalized land and the forests and water resources to be given to the use of the peasants organized in the local government organs, except for those parts which are important for the whole of the country; the establishment of modal collective enterprises as well as large-scale modern agricultural enterprises on their allocated lands.
C – For the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions and for a Liveable World
- The right to have a healthy, safe, humane and future-guaranteed life, free housing and transportation for every citizen; suitable and safe work for every women and men who can work; the opportunity to work in a healthy environment for each worker.
a. Prohibition of casual work, of night work except for technical requirements, of all forced and overtime work; a 7-hour work day, 5-day work week and a 5-hour working day limit in heavy and dangerous jobs; the right to rest 2 days a week, 40 days continuous holiday per year without any salary deductions; double salary for mandatory night shifts and dangerous works.
b. Healthy conditions in factories and workplaces; adequate precautions against occupational accidents and occupational illnesses, hygienic environment and adequate equipment for the protection of worker’s health and life; the employment of doctors in every workplace which employ more than 50 workers; fully equipped hospitals for industrial zones; legal arrangements that keep the bosses responsible for accidents or work-related illnesses of workers without further investigation; a regular income for the employer who lost his job and for his dependents if he loses his life, funded by a private tax for bosses.
c. A standard minimum wage for all sectors and regions based on a family of 4; prohibition of illegal employment without insurance and of payment under the minimum wage, prohibition of salary deductions for penalties or any other reasons; apprentices, workers and labourers working from home to be included in the scope of work, wage and insurance laws, and all insurance payments to be made by the bosses.
d. Child and elderly care and all domestic work to be considered as public responsibility for the society. 2 months paid maternal leave before the birth of a child and 6 months of paid parental leave for both parents; free quality childcare provision in the neighbourhoods; nurseries and nursing rooms in workplaces, and breastfeeding leave for mothers.
e. A social security system that prevents dependence of spouses on each other and that makes them the right-holder as an individual; equal division of the family income; removal of all obstacles to women’s employment; prevention of women working in jobs that would adversely affect their health; taking special measures to employ women in the jobs considered as qualified, paying equal salaries for equal work.
f. Prohibition of firing workers by bosses, and the use of child labour under the age of 18; obligation to employ disabled workers at workplaces employing more than 30 workers.
g. Abolition of subcontracting, rental and contractual work, precarious forms of work, etc.; protection of all vested rights of workers, including indemnity and retirement benefits for city and rural workers. Reduction of the compulsory duration of work and qualified national insurance contributions for retirement, and the provision of pensions to all; the right to have early retirement for workers and labourers doing heavy and dangerous jobs.
h. Prohibition of lock-outs, removal of all obstacles to the right to strike in any form (as a right, solidarity, political and general); recognition of workplace representatives and trade unions as organizations representing workers at workplaces, and the responsibility to be given to these organizations to intervene regarding the working conditions, occupational accidents and all disputes, including processes before these problems; the supervision of decisions regarding the workers by trade unions and workers’ representatives; new legal regulations for workplace disciplinary councils with equal representation, chaired by workers and consisting of male and female workers; the right to call labour inspectors, including the request of a female inspector, and to apply to the tribunals.
i. Prohibition of all forms of casual work in the public sector; the right to have permanent and secure work; the removal of all obstacles to the right of the public workers to join a union with the right to collective bargaining and strike; the right of public workers to elect their own manager and to involve in politics.
j. An agricultural labour law that guarantees the right of agricultural workers to have trade unions, insurance, and to strike; provision of all kinds of social security and an end to pay discrimination; adequate housing and transportation for seasonal workers and appropriate education conditions for their children.
- Prevention of the work inspectorate and tribunals from being a means of supporting the bosses and temporising the workers, and rebuilding them as devices that are truly independent and distant from the boss and governments; the right of workers and union organizations to supervise these devices and participate in their administration.
- Prohibition of agents such as private employment offices, messengers, foremen and nepotism; reorganization of the employment institutions with the obligation to monitor the rights of workers and to facilitate them to find the appropriate job.
- Insurance contributions to be prevented from being used by the bosses as a financial ‘fund’, and all confiscated property, money and premiums to be returned to the insurance institutions with interest; these institutions to be supported by the state and administered by the organs elected by workers and controlled by trade unions; full support for health, improvements in pensions and unemployment payments; transparency in all transactions, payments and balance sheet of all insurances.
- A living and a liveable world prevented from plunders; cities with human and labour-centred urbanization projects rather than “urban transformation” based on land speculation and rent-seeking. A social and cultural life based on knowledge, responsibility and sharing, free from all kinds of mistrust.
a. In the field of environment, nutrition and energy, the focus to be all living creatures and public health, and not profit. Prevention of the commodification of water, the plundering and marketisation of the nature and the destruction of natural life. Preventing the country from becoming a toxic waste and nuclear waste depot by prohibiting nuclear power plants. Protection of soil, forests, waters, plants and animals. Prohibition of genetically modified seeds and food products that destroy food safety in agricultural production. Termination of patent monopoly. Clean agricultural and industrial production.
b. Recovering settlements and cities, saving them from being transformed into concrete and metal heaps. Village, city, building and transportation plans compatible with nature, facilitating the lives of people, especially children, elderly and the disabled.
c. Prevention of the destruction and looting of historical and cultural heritage; an end to the monopoly of capital groups on science, culture and art. Breaking of imperialist and reactionary cultural siege and oppression. Supporting art and literature based on the progressive and democratic accumulation of knowledge of humanity, educating the people and raising its aesthetic appreciation. Ensuring the freedom of artistic and literary creation. Providing opportunities for workers and labourers of all ages and types to develop and exhibit their cultural and artistic creativity. Ensuring the right of all citizens to access science, culture and art products. Free internet service for all.
d. Science and scientific work to be in the service of society. Freedom of scientific research. Supporting scientific studies and scientists by providing all kinds of opportunities. Abolition of intellectual property such as patent etc. on scientific discoveries.
e. A social organization where everyone can do sports. An end to the sexist and winning-focused approach to sports so a healthy and creative development of citizens can be achieved. Popularization of public parks with public sports facilities for an easy access to sports facilities for all.
f. Central and local administrations to be accountable to the public on all issues directly related to public life, especially natural, environmental and urban ones. The right for the public, central and local institutions to scrutinize the plans and practices of development, reconstruction and production work as well as of the protection of natural and historical heritage.
- To enable elderly and disabled citizens to participate in social life. Privileged individual and social rights to be applied without compromise. Kindergartens and schools to be designed with easy access to the disabled. Legal protection of children’s rights.
- Gender equality to be regarded as a fundamental principle in all aspects of social life. An end to pressures, violence and all forms of discrimination against different sexual orientations. An end to all forms of discrimination that women experience in work and in all areas of social and cultural life. Effective and uncompromising struggle against the effects of patriarchal structures and traditional reactionary mentality on women’s social position; all kinds of legal and practical regulations to be made accordingly. Prevention of violence against women, and the influence of patriarchal judgments and attitudes in crimes against women, imposing penal sanctions on officials who do not fulfil their obligations in this regard, increasing the number and quality of shelters and counselling services.
- With the exception of the perpetrators of crimes against humanity and the public, the right of residency or refugee status to everyone who migrated to Turkey. The elimination of discriminatory practices against migrants; providing residence, accommodation and employment. Social security and equal citizenship rights for all who wish. All migrants to benefit equally from public services, especially education and health, regardless of their status.
- The workers who are originally from Turkey and permanently reside abroad should be seen as part of the indigenous working class, with equal rights, and class unity to be promoted. An end to the policies of the Turkish state and various religious-political organizations supported by the state that polarise Turkey originated immigrants on ethnic and religious grounds and that exploit them economically. An exemption from compulsory military service in Turkey for those who live abroad and full implementation of citizenship rights without being exposed to bureaucratic obstacles.