THE PROGRAMME OF THE UNION OF REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNİSTS OF TURKEY (TİKB)
Chapter 1 Capitalism
Chapter 2 Imperialism
Chapter 3 Socialism
Chapter 4 Socio-Economic Structure of Turkey
Chapter 5 Political Structure of Turkey
Chapter 6 Turkish Revolution
Chapter 7 Principals and Organization of the Revolution
In our days the humanity is at the point where two roads diverge:”EITHER COLLASPING IN BARBARISM OR SOCIALISM !!”
This point of wiev was only an assumption when expressed by the eternal leaders of the proletariat 150 yeras ago. It was a result derived from the scientific analysis of the capitalist system. However in our days the said assumption shows itself as a concrete fact.
Capitalism, as a social system, has completed its lifetime when it entered into the stage of imperialism. Capitalism can no longer promise humanity anything, except more exploitation, more humiliation, an indefinite future, more destruction of nature and more climatic and environmental catastrophes! It causing increases in unemployment, hunger and poverty. It is producing never ending crises, fearful alienation due to marchandisation of everything, intellectual declination, cultural degenaration and moral breakdown. While capitalism corrupts, it corrupts humanity as well! It’s end products are systematical state terror, fascism and reactionism, chauvinist natioalism and racism. Raving armament and militarism, increase in the numbers military interferences and the gowing risk of war are all originating from capitalism. The ambition for capitalist profit has already caused unrecoverable damages on our planet. After all what can humanity expect from it any longer?
The liberation of labour and humanity stipulates to do away with the old mole called capitalism! Therefore on the way to communism, in our days, socialism and worldwide prolateriat revolution is a living matter that is urgent and compulsory!
The bells of history are ringing once more for imperialist capitalism! The victory of the world proletariat will initiate a new era that will offer new horizons to the emancipated humanity!
Chapter 1 CAPITALISM
Capitalism is a production system which is based on private ownership of production instruments and exploitation of the surplus value generated through this production system. In order to abolish capitalism these have to be eliminated as well.
Capitalism, taking place on the scene of history after the primitive communal society, the slavery society and the feudal society, is the last social formation that is based on exploitation. The wiping out of capitalism together with social relations based on exploitation from the scene of history will begin with the construction of socialism, the pre-stage of the classless communist society, and will be finalised by reaching to communism. In this context socialism will follow (come after) capitalism. This objectivity is both a logical and a compulsory result of the historical progress of the mankind.
After ripening in the feudal society,appearance of capitalism on the scene of history took place when the ownership of production instruments had passed to a minority from the producers as a whole. This differentiation brought in the division of the society into two main classes: the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The proletariat is the most essential outcome of capitalism and it is the class that will dig the grave of capitalism.In the capitalist society the production instruments are in the monopoly of the capitalist (bourgeoisie) class.Labourers have to sell their working powers, only asset they own, to capitalists in order to make their and their families’ living. This dependency of the labour to the capital is the source/ root of exploitation,disparity of all kinds, slavery, getting poor socially, intellectual poverty and moral decline.
In order to end this evilness which makes a human inhuman, the capitalist private ownership system has to be eliminated. Free labour can be reached only if common ownership of production instruments can be maintained and the products produced by collective labour are shared equally and fairly among all labourers according to the rules determined by the working class and labourers.
Capitalism is a social system based on making profit. Capitalists ,who own production instruments, have no other purpose other than increasing their profits by enhancing the surplus value exploitataion. This outrageous ambition for making profit is accompanied by bad or no planning and anarchy in production and marchanisation of all aspects of living ,including basic needs of the mankind. Profit greediness feeds a series of catastrophes for humanity and its future by large scale destruction and barbarously looting of the nature and the environment.
Bad planning and high competition which originate from nature of the capitalist production based on the profit principle cause crisis which result in increase in unemployment, increase in social poverty and destruction in cumulative labour and forces of production. Neither the crises nor the destructions can be prevented unless capitalism is demolished.In spite of all social reformist stories imaginig and claiming that capitalism can be rehabilitated, in imperialist era the sequence of the structural crises are shortened and their levels of destruction are increased.
Every crises sourcing from the nature of the capitalist system crate severe social consequences. Deepenes the existing ones. Bursting of unemployment, deepening of poverty and poorness and increase in the feeling of insecurity and seeing no hope in the future are on the top of the list. The working class and the other labourers can relatively prevent poverty and poorness to some extent through organising within themselves, but can not eliminate poverty totally under capitalism. Distrust for the future will never end for them as long as the private ownership system goes on.
Unemployment is permanent in capitalism. In oder to keep the working section of the working class under pressure for more exploitation ,the bourgeoisie wants to have a reserve working force under its hands all the time. Every progressive step and every new technological development in capitalism largens the reserve working forces along with multiplication of surplus value exploitation. Therefore unemployeed workers constitute an inseparable section of the working class.
Implementation of scientific inventions to industry and every development in technology become a weapon against the environment, humanity and working class in the hands of the bourgeoisie, rather than contributing to the welfare of the mankind. They bringause ingf ore poverty thanan plentiness.me a weapon against the environment, humanity and working class in the hands of the bou more poverty instead of plentiness. Instead of less working time and more leisure time it ends up with intensive working and more unemployment. Destruction of the nature accelerates in an unrecoverable manner.
Crises of capitalism increase unemployment and feeling of distrust for the future in the working class who suffer from increasing poverty. This all because of the private ownership system which blocks the freedom of developing skills and production power of the working class.The only solution for crises is revolution.The slogan “Revolution against crises , socialism against capitalism” speaks out this reality.
Replacement of capitalist private ownership of production instruments by social ownership and replacement of capitalist production aiming only profit by socialist production system which aims to meet social needs and a higher level of prosperity will open the way to the social production powers to develop themselves better and faster. As the production powers develop more, working hours will gradually decrease and will make more leisure time possible.
Thus, this social change does not mean liberation of the proletariat only , but liberation of all mankind who suffered from the hegemony of the bourgeoisie and imperialism. Therefore, the proletariat is the only class which will save humanity besides itself.Freedom /liberation of the proletariat means the freedom/liberation of humanity.
This liberation can be realized only by the working class. Because in the capitalist society among the working masses only the proletariat has uncompromising conflict with the private ownership system.It has nothing to lose apart from its chains compared to the other surpressed working masses!Besides this classes like peasantry and petit -bourgeoisie lose power and weakens as capitalism develops and production becomes social; whereas the proletariat grows and gets stronger.Weightiness of the proletaeriat increases in social life.
The worldview of the proletariat bears a revolutionary compatibility with its uncompromising conflict with capitalism and private ownership. The Marxist-Leninist (ML) Theory, originating from the proletariat’s position in the capitalist society, builds up scientific grounds for proletarian revolution, socialism and construction of classless communist society. The proletariat differs from all other classes with its revolutionary worldview which is initiated by Marx and Engels then adapted to the era of imperialism by Lenin based on scientific grounds.
Socialization of production has become a worldwide process with the emergence of capitalism which became a universal system in time. In the imperialism era, socialization of production has gained tremendous accelaration and speed.During this process, the proletariat also developed and gained worldwide power which increased the potentials of presenting unified revolutionary actions by the working class. Internationalism of the proletariat and the proletarian socialist world revolution, ceasing to be a dream, has become a mission which is possible and a must. Nowadays this reality is so concrete that it can be nearly touched by hands.
From historical point of view, capitalism is a system which has completed its lifetime long ago. It has started to demolish more than what it builds and destroys more than what it develops.
Therefore it can offer humanity nothing but new destructions and catastrophes. It is not rottening humanity in terms of materiality, but also ethically. And collapsing in both senses is getting more and more.
That is why revolution and socialism are urgent and mandatory!..
Chapter 2 IMPERIALISM
Imperialism is the final stage of capitalism. Capitalism, based on free competition, has turned into imperialism after a stage which started in 1860’s and ended in the beginning of the 20.th century. The old capitalism in which free competition was dominating has been taken over by a new capitalism where monopolies became dominant. Generally domination of the industrial capital has turned to domination of the finance capital. Therefore imperialism is characterized by the hegemony of finance capital. Marx describes finance capital as, “it is nothing but the revival of the lumpenproletariat in the peaks of the bourgeoisie society along with their style of acquisition and pleasures.”
First of all imperialism is monopolistic capitalism. Monopoly, being the economical essence of imperialism, is the foundation of imperialism on which it stands. Monopolistic capitalism causes production and capital to intensify in hands of big enterprices. The scale and speed of this taking over increases gradually. This intensification, especially in important indusry branches and raw material resources, brings devastating dominance with itself. It causes an extraordinary acceleration in socialization of production in countries one by one and at a worlwide scale as well. Therefore imperialism is a new social system which represents the transition from free competition to full socialization. This feature of imperialism does not only prepare the concrete preconditions for socialim, but also accelerates the transition to socialism by deepening the conflict between private ownership and social ownership.
Combination of grown bank capital with industrial capital is the second featureof imperialism.The finance capital which is born from this combination binds all ecenomical and political entities to itself without any exception.
In the imperailism stage, exportation of capital takes precedence over exportation of goods and attains a special importance.This forms the third basic property of imperialism where the monopolistic stage of capitalism is separated from the free competition stage. Along with direct investments, money transfers are made primarily by credits, loans and donations. They all form the basic ways of capital exportation.
The fourth basic property of imperialism is the emergence of union of monopolies which share the world among themselves. Monopolistic unions which initially started as a kind of coalition of union of forces to consider their common interests have then turned into gigantic international monopolies operating all over the world.
Finally, imperialism is a stage in which the sharing of all the land in the world among big imperialist powers is currently completed and a new sharing can only be realized by means of wars. At this stage, along with the so called “old” means of classical exploitation, the following means can be added such as; capital exportation, cheap raw material resources, “domains” in which high profits can be made by extra privileges and always seeking ways to get hold of more lands which have ecomic importance. Imperialism, rotten and parasitic capitalism, is the predecessor of socialism.
In the imperialism stage capitalism can not be satisfied with an average profit rate. Monopolistic capitalism is a capitalism that runs after the maximum profit rate. It does not refrain itself from the destruction of the nature and environment in order to achieve the maximum profit. It does not stay with it, but attempts imperialist wars which would bloodshed the world if it has to for the sake of maxmimum profit.
The trend for the maxmimum profit brings along with it the need for the maximum domination. In the era of financial capital the trend for freedom is replaced by the trend for absolute domination and hegemony. It is very typical of the monopolistic capitalism era.
Monopolies, oligarchy, replacement of trend of freedom by trend of domination, exploitation of increasing number of small and poor nations by a small number of rich and powerful nations- all of these are properties of imperialism, the more rotten and parasitic stage of capitalism. Benefits obtained from exportation of capital and stock market pelfing and loansharking are expressions of parasitic feature of imperialism.
Under the pressure of unequal development and competition, monopolies feel the need for lowering production costs and increasing the surplus value exploitation. In order to maintain these they try to improve technology and develop production powers on one hand and try to safeguard their superiority and advantages ın the markets on the other hand. In capitalism, the aim to make profit directs the progress in science and in technics. This selfishness climbs to the highest point in monopolistic capitalism. Science and technology go completely under the governance of monopolies. Every thing is subjected to the need of maximum profit. This absolute domination causes an enermous derangement in development, one-sidedness and unequality. Many opportunities presented by science and technology are discarded if they are not consired profitable by monopolies. On one hand there happens great leaps in science and technology whereas on the other hand they cause tremendous destructions in the production powers. They cause increase in unemployment and poverty. Thus the conflict between increase in prosperity due to progress in science and technology and the increase in degrading of labour and humanity along with destruction of the nature grows more.
However this rotten trend does not preclude the rapid growth of capitalism. In the imperialism period the growth of capitalism attains more speed compared to the past. Especially some branches of industry, some groups of bourgeoisie and some countries show develop very rapidly.
On the other hand this development happens to be unequal. Unequal development sources out from the nature of capitalism and it is one of the basic principals which directs operation of capitalism. Unequal development reaches to the highest point in the monopolistic capitalist period. It escalates the devastating competition and becomes the source of imperialist wars for hegemony and resharing of the sources on the global scale. Because of this, imperialism means frantic armament race, mad militarism and war risk. War risks, armamentation and militarism do not vanish unless unequal development and the need for maximum profit come to an end. One of the basic conflicts of the imperialst era is the uncompromising conflict among imperalist powers. Claims which deny the uncompromising character of the conflict help nothing but to resurrect the “ultra imperialism” theory of Kautsky.
Politically imperialism has a tendency towards violence and reactionism in general. This tendency is an objective result coming from nature of monopolism. In the imperialist stage- the rotten and parasitic period of capitalism- even the major political differences among various bourgeoisie groups weakens considerably. A trend of aggression and reactionism originating from the need for maxmimum profit-maximum dominance take over.As lenin emphasizes,” imperialism is the era of financial capital and monopolies in which hegemony is brought to every where ,not freedom.” As a matter fact this historical trend gives birth to fascism.
During the neoliberal new structuring period after 1980, this historical trend shows itself with diminishing differences between bourgeoisie democracy and fascism.The two start to look like each other. This occurence that accelerated throughout the world after the 9/11 can not be considered as an coincidence or an intention or a preference. It is an inevitable result coming from the nature and characterictics of finance capital and capitalism that has already completed its life time historically as a system.
Therefore to consider fascism as the “MOST imperialist, the MOST aggressive and the dictatorship of the MOST chauvinist section of the monopolistic bourgeoisie” is a mistake that can lead to a result as if there were democratic and fascist wings in the bourgeoisie. This means to fail to see the ties between fascism and capitalism of the imperialist period.
This can not be seen as aresult of simple ideological-political blindness or as a difference in opinions. Because a sneaky bourgeoisie democratizm hides behind this. When considered with historical consequences it has lead, it will be seen that this democratizm blinds awareness of the working masses and makes it easy for the bourgeoisie to deceive them. It prepares grounds for hiding the fact that struggling against fascism means to struggle against dominance of bourgeoisie as a class and against capitalism.
There is a direct link between imperialism and labourer aristocracy and rising of oppotunism. Very high monopoly profits made by exploitation and looting of the world gives the imperialist bourgeoisie opportunities to buy some groups in the working class and sometimes even the majority of the class temporarily. Labourer aristocracy; quitting staying as labourer s and transforming into bourgeoisie by their new income levels, living styles, customs and worldviews, act as agents of bourgeoisie in labourer movements/actions. They are the labour servants of the capitalist class and they carry oppotunism, reformism and social chauvinism.
Being as well as a product of the imperialist period, it would be wrong to think that labourer aristocracy does occur only in developed capitalist countries. We face this category somehow in all countries without any exception where capitalist relations dominate. They are the basic supports of the bourgeoisie and carry the ideology of bourgeoisie to the working class. As though they seem to be positioned in the lines of the proletariat, they stay close or even belong to the bourgeoisie world both mentally and spiritually. These are not characterized only by their monetary privileges.Along with the desire for monetary privileges which is their main feature, they differ from the working class with thier expectations and desire regarding living styles and customs. Thus their ambitions make them closer to the bourgeoisie rather than the proletariat.
Therefore ties between labourer aristocracy and opportunism and imperialism have be seen very clearly and a consistent struggle against them has to carried on. Otherwise it is impossible for the communist movement and the proletarian revolution to be on the right track.
Imperialism, as more rotten and more parasitic stage of capitalism, is at the same time a moribond capitalism. The extremeness in controversy between private ownership and worldwide socialization of production makes transition to socialism urgent and inevitable. Therefore imperialist period of capitalism is the precessor of socialism. However this does not mean that capitalist imperialism will collapse just by itself because of its internal conflicts and devastating consequences of crises and replaced by socialism. No matter what degree rotten and parasitic it becomes, the capitalist imperialism can only br overthrown by an organized proletarian revolution.Steps, then, can be taken to construct a communal society with a new production manner in which there will be no alienation of labour any more.Otherwise there are no crises from which the bourgeoisie could not get away from. In order to protect itself from any crises, the bourgeoisie will do everything including making humanity to face with more severe catastrophies. As a matter of fact new structuring of neoliberalism after the 1980’es can set a recent and striking example in this regards.
The restructuring to which capitalism headed towards after the 80’es was becuase the of the clogging started to happen in the Fordist model of capital accumulation which had been in effect until mid 70’es. Therefore from the line of capital a strategic attempt should have been made to seek a “solution” for one another structural crises started to arise.
Initially, a new accumulation model, known as the “ Friedman prescription”, that placed monetary policies in the centre has been introduced. The essence of the said model was to eliminate all the obstacles which limit or slow down the movement of imperialist finance capital on the world. Two conditions had to be maintained for the new model. The first one was to atomize and disorganize working powers, especially the working class. The second condition was to bring deregulation in the broadest sense which would stop national states practicing financial, administrative, legal actions against imperialist finance capital.
Looting of social surpluses accumulated until then by privatization, along with fragmentation of the working class disseizing of all historical benefits including 8 hour working by means of subcontracting and nonunionization formed the other supports of the new capital accumulation model.
Yet, greediness for maximimum profit was not satisfied with all these. In the follwing yeras basic needs such as housing, water, nutrition, education, healthcare have been commoditized to maintain profit to the capital. At the same time the nature has been looted barbarously.
The bourgeoisie could put into practice the new production system worldwide by means dazzling developments in technology, especially in the fields of communication and transportation. Differing from the large scale Fordist mass production , smaller parts of a single commodity have been started to be produced at different locations in the world.This flexible model of production provided the capital mobility, freedom to act and a series of new opportunities and superiority. The worldwide development of capitalism has attained a new acceleration in this period.Many underdeveloped agricultural countries where peasantry predominated became contract manufacturing centers with cheap labour in this neoliberal period.
Despite that the working class has lost many of its old resources and its advantage. Primarly the grounds for acting together as there was in the period of large sacle production has disappeared. Due to this traditional class organizations, primarily labour unions have lost their functions and activities. Unlike the past,technological developments and new production techniques made it possible to produce same amounts with lesser workers.This opened the way for the establishment of an irregular and a flexible working regime. Reserve industrial work force grew, working conditions became harder, exploitation intensified, mental and physical wearing effects of working increased. The proletariat has been disintegrated more compared to the past. As the flexibility of working increased, competition and separation in the working class increased in parallel.
The fear from the October Revolution and socialism played an important role in the adoption of the Fordist production and accumulation model by the capitalist world. The neoliberal accumulation model which replaced the Fordist model owes its rising mostly to the collapsing of the revisionist system in 1989. Formation of the new system had already started in the beginning of the 80’es, but it made its boom after the 90’es after the collapse of the revisionist system in 1989. Besides this, huge market China’s drifting to capitalism with enormous cheap labour force conributed a lot to this booming. The neoliberal capitalism after defeating its political and ideological foes primarily the proletarian movements and national liberation revolutions became jubilant to declare “the end of history”. This geared up the neoliberalism for establishing a worldwide hegemonic system not only ecenomicallt, but politically as well under the name of “globalization”.
The changes took place in the course of this process were comprehensive, profound and shocking. The former Fordist production model, all political-social relations in the Keynesian model , organizational frames and mechanisms , perceptions and traditions were subjected to changes during this historical period.However, neither capitalism became something different than capitalism, nor imperialism became different from the analysis of Lenin regarding its properties and general characteristic line. They have adopted some new properties compared to the past and a new historical situation has come up.
This situation was not something different than imperialism and it was not in contrast with the only consistent revolutionary analysis of imperialism made by Lenin. In spite of all conter claims regarding this, in order to postpone its structural crisis, the bourgeoisie was taking reflexes which were essentially similar, but naturally with differences in modes , as explained by the immortal leaders of the proletariat in the “Communist Manifest”.
Within the scope of these reflexes the bourgeoisie, in order to overcome the clogging in the new production procedure “developed the loan system till it became a gambling and a forgery system of vast dimensions”. Besides this the bourgeoisie also started to implement new ways and methods “to conquer new markets and to exploit present markets more excessively” under the slogan of “globalization”.In order to avoid the decrease in profit margins, the bourgeoisie put into practice new manufacturing models which would increase magnitude of the surplus value by applying new production techniques which devastated the majority of production powers which was formed so far. In this period the volume and the power of the financial capital increased extraordinarily in accordance with Lenin’s analysis of imperialism which said,” what is characteristic for the imperialism is the financial capital, not the industrial capital”. This also meant that at the same time rottening and parasitism -the typical features of the imperialism- were escalating rapidly as well.
Sizes and shocking effect of changes experienced caused great intimidation in the lines of the revolutionaries as well as in labourer masses. This intimadation helped a lot to fickleness and liquidation tendencies which easily turn their backs to the most essential thesis and determinations of the Marxist Theory as well as the basic principles of revolutioarism. In the neoliberal period, the bourgeoisie succeeded in creating “its left wing” along with “its world”. This also has to be added to the list of its historical successes.
The right wing liquidationism, going into the magnetic field of neoliberalism, percieved all the changes in all fields in a one-sided manner as if they were providing superiority and advantages to the bourgeoisie only. It resurrected Bernsteinism on the subject of capitalism’s ability to solve its problems and renew itself. It also resurrected Kautsky’s “ultra imperialism” theory which separated policy of ımperialism from its economics and read the relations among the imperialists as “mutual dependencies”. It has lost itself so that it postponed the reality that capitalism has reached to its historical boundaries as a system that completed its life time.
Not confining itself by just getting into the ideological orbit of neoliberalism, it dared to create “a new left” and even to “develop marxism”. As a result of its ideological subjection and escaping from struggle it manufactured a demagogical fantasy which said,” nation states have been exceeded from now on”. This was an excuse for escaping from the responsibility and task of organizing revolution in each country. It also set a theoretical cover to legitimate the complicity with chauvinism of the Turkish bourgeoisie and reactionism regarding the Kurdish natinoal matter.
Opportunism, demogogically , presented two characterictic drifts of imperialism and their consequences as if they were happening for the first in history. One of them was abolishment of all obstacles in the flow of financial capital by “deregulation” of many of the authorizations belonged to national states in the past. The other one was the new hegemonic implementaions arising from the trend of centralization of the worldwide power complying with the needs and properties of the financial capital. The intersection point of these two was the desire and tendency of much more exploitation of the old markets had undergone the oppression of the imperialist bourgeoisie long ago in the world in which all the lands have been already shared. This trend arising from the nature of imperialism has been covered under the slogan of “globalization”. But this was no different than the trend wanting to achieve maximum dominance and maximum hegemony as in the period of capitalism when it started to become a world system. In the imperialism period this desire became more intensive.
The neoliberal opportunism attempted to mislead people by calling the imperialist establishments such as the G-8; the G-20; the IMF, the World Bank, the NATO and the UN as “new facts” as if they or similar establishments have not existed in the past. It also claimed that by these establishments “ the power and hegemony got away from belonging to a certain land but covered everywhere”. It decorated this point of view with a slogan like “the world revolution”. In spite of its strong “left” sounding, in fact it was an excuse to escape from organizing revolution in a specific geographical area. Struggle avoiding liberalismhas constantly pointed to the EU as an example of this “new structuring power”. But the crises outbroke once more in 2008 had overthrown its demogogical argument as well as the neoliberalism as a whole. Without any exception, in all countries of the EU, shown as an example of “ new power above nation states” until very recent pastwhich has now became to the verge of disintegration.
Kautskizm is known for its separation of economics imperialism from its politics. This time neoliberal opportunism acted in the same way and separated policies of imperialism from its economy. According to this new Kautskizm during the new structuring of neoliberalism, domination forms and implemenatations of the bourgeoisie had undergone an evolution in the direction of “democratization”. Surpression and using force were taken to rear plan compared to ideological, political and cultural hegemony devices/means and oranization of civil associations, allowing a style of domination in which “ the financial capital and monopolies shape and regulate the society without being obliged to apply pressure and violence”. In the mean time participatory mechanisms have been developed to tie the masses to the system. In this context bourgeoisie parliments have been polished once more for the sake of attaining a deceptive respect in the eyes of the masses. This prevailing trend was functioning as a means to convert fascism to a liberal bourgeoisie democracy in semi-colonial countries like Turkey.
First of all all these liberal ravings have been discarded by the life itself. The worldwide developments experienced first in 9/11, then after the 2008 crises have been exactly in the opposite direction. Because the opportunism which got into the ideological- political orbit of the neoliberal hegemony had not considered the changes in domination forms and implementations of the bourgeoisie together with the reactionary feature of the finance capital in the imperialist period. It had not considered neither the urge for increasing domination depending on the need for maximum profit, nor the characteristics of financial capital which seek “consistency” and “safety” as it grows in the neoliberal period.
In the process restructuring of capitalist system on neoliberal foundations after the 80’s appearent changes experienced in the structuring of the bourgeoisie state as well as in the methods of domination of the bourgeoisie. But these changes have not been in the direction of democratization as claimed by the liberal demogogy which spoke in the same frequency with the neoliberal demagogy. On the contrary in this process the traditional forms and applications of the liberal bourgeoisie democracy have been considered as an hindrance and emasculated. Oppression and strongarm mechanisms bearing fascist characteristics put into practice in harmony ( blended) with the appropriate parlimentary procedures. As a result of all these a new bourgeoisie regime formation which was closer to fascism but away from the classical bourgeoisie democracy occurred. This regime can be considered a new type of fascism configured to satisfy the needs of the neoliberal policies.
In general terms: a model of regime has been universalized that appeared to be “civilian” and “parliamentariy”, but in fact neither civilian nor parliamentary bearing the following properties:
-“checks and balances” principle of the classical bourgeoisie has been replaced by a centralized power controlling the army, the police and intelligence services
– leaving parliaments aside, even governments have been made non-functional
– justice system has been used as a political weapon ending the bourgeoisie “state of law”
In the Communist Manifest, Marx and Engels point out that there are only two ways for the bourgeoisie to overcome “crises, occurring periodically in more threatening manner each time, testing the existence of the bourgeoisie society: On one hand there is indispensable destruction of production forces, on the other hand to conquer new markets and exploitation of the old markets more intensely”. They go on by adding,” eventually, even under the ideal conditions, whichever way the bourgeoisie chooses, it will not escape from facing with more devastating crises each time no matter what prevention means it uses.” It is an inevitable result arising from the structure and functioning of the capitalist system itself.
The neoliberal accumulation model which has been percieved as an important “revolution” and “ starting of a new era” by the new Bersteinism could not prevent itself from the same fate. Operation of laws and dynamics special to the nature of the capitalism brought the heavier 2008 crises to the agenda once more in spite of the delaying efforts of the bourgeoisie including transition to the neoliberal accumulation model. Furthermore this time the end of the crises,which has started in the central bases of imperalist capitalism – the USA being on the top – and spread all over to the peripheries can not be seen yet. This extensively spread crises bears political and ideological features along with its economic consequences. It is also true that inadequacy of the working class and working masses is still continuing as well as the inexistence of a pioneering revolutionary leadership. Currentlt, the worldwide weakness and power lacking situation of the communist movement and the class movement constitute the biggest advantage of the world bourgeoisie.
Despite all disadvantages and handicaps the humanity and the revolutioanry proletariat are at a new historical treshold.
Chapter 3 SOCIALISM
The capitalist system is the last social system in history which is based on exploitation. Socialism follows capitalism in the historical evolution of humanity. Socialism is a historical must. But this condition does not mean that capitalism will naturally or inevitably transformed to socialism by itself. Such transformation can only be realized by by a revolution based on force under the leadership of the proletariat.
In its most general definition, socialism is the denial of all types of exploitation, inequality and discrimination which are specific to capitalism. With this property, socialism is a compulsory historical step to be taken in the way to the world of freedom and equalitywhich makes up the big dream of the humanity. Such a world has not been set forth so far except socialism. In spite of all reactionary assaults and abrasions it faced, the idea and thought of socialism is still alive in our days.
The pre-conditions of socialism ripen in the organism of capitalism just like the case in systems which follow each other in history. The only difference it has that the socialist revolution does not come to an end when the political power is seized by the proletariat. On the contrary it starts with the seizure of the power. In this context there is no transition to socialism, but there is construction of socialism. That is why the socialist proletariat needs the proletarian dictatorship or in other words the proletarian dictatorship is the instrument to organize socialism.
Only the working class can establish socialism. In the capitalist society, among all the classes exploitated by the bourgeoisie, only the proletariat has uncompromising conflict with the bourgeoisie regarding the private ownership set up. The proletariat has no interest/benefit in the sustainability of the private ownership whatsoever. On the contrary private ownership has to be abolished together with its all forms and shapes for the freedom/liberation of the socialized labour. All the other working masses, except the proletariat, have more or less properties (premises) or they act with longing to own properties (premises).
Working class’s struggle against capitalism and bourgeoisie is not something done to get privileges or to achieve a better position in the society for itself. The historical aim of the proletariat is to build a communist world of brotherhood and equality on which there would be no classwise, national and generical inequality/ discrimination among humans and no oppression and exploitation. It is also aimed to canalize all production equipment which have been the source of poverty and oppression so far to serve the whole of society and to maintain friendly sharing, univesal happiness , individual and social development. Therefore liberation of the working class means also libeartion of humanity as a whole and the two can not be considered separate from each other.
The working class can realize its liberation together with liberation of humanity by the guidance of a pioneering party which has been organized on Leninist grounds under the light of the ML Theory. Claim of organizing a proletarian revolution and construction of socialism without guidance of the ML Theory and a Leninist party is a feint that will make the revolution and socialism impossible. As stated before, the liberation of labour and humanity will be the work of the working class and labourers. No other entity ( party, organization, formation) can take over this mission in place of them or in their names. If any other entity would take over this mission, the result will be nothing but harming the proletariat, the proletarian revolution and socialism.
A peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism is impossible. In order to organize production and social life on socialist grounds, top priority has to be given to elimination of the conflict between the social character of production and the private ownership of production instruments. It is done by socialization of production instruments. The proletariat has to take over the political power and domination from the bourgeoisie to dispossess it. However it is unthinkable that the bourgeoisie would accept this procedure meekly which will take it to its end as a class. This fact has been prooved many times in history. Therefore revolution based on force under the leadreship of the proletariat is a necessity.
After taking the power from the bourgeoisie by a revolution, the proletariat on one hand has to invalidate all the attempts of the defeated but still existing bourgeoisie to recover power and on the other hand it has organize a new economical and a social system in which not only the basic needs of the society are met but the living standards of the working classes gradually increase.These are two essential tasks, the second harder than the first, which have to be accomplished by the proletariat only by means of an appropriate device. That device is the proletarian dictatorship. Proletarian dictatorship, the basic form of class domination of the proletariat, is a merciless device for the foes of socialism defeated but not wiped out completely, but at the same time it means real democracy for the proletariat and its labourer allies. As the most advanced and real model of democracy history has witnessed so far, the proletarian dictatorship system is primarily based on soviet type organizations composed of labourer representatives elected by the working masses with their free wills. Opinions and proposals of the proletarian party are implemented by means of the soviets provided that these are accepted by the majority of the soviets. A result derived from historical experiences is that the 21. Century socialism does not satisfy with the firmness of the willpower of the soviets in the operation of the proletarian dictotatorship system. It refers to forms in which labourers take part directly in procedures of taking decisions regarding the administration of the proletarian state. This is not a grace or preference. It is a must to eliminate differences between conducters and conducted ones which sets up a typical characteristics of a communist society. This has a principal function and importance in maintaining an uninterruptible tie between socialism and communism and correct relations among the revolutionary pioneer, the class and the masses.
Proletarian revolution can not be satisfied by taking power and constructing a new political regime on the basis of proletarian dictatorship. If it does so,it means that the political revolution limits itself within narrow boundaries. Whereas the historical aim of the socialist proletariat is to eliminate all sorts of class domination along with classes, oppression and exploitation. The significant step to achieve this is to eliminate the private ownership of production instrumements/devices. Therefore the proletariat has to begin to dispossess the ones who dispossessed masses previously. This constitutes the distinctive feature of the proletarian socialist revolution from the other political revolutions.
Socialism is not an independent system by itself. It is the first phase of the communist society. Historically it is a transition from capitalism to communism. Due to this it carries some stains of capitalism from which it emerges. On the other hand it bears features of communism some more developed while some not so much. The practice of construction of socialism in the 21. Century will start from an advanced point in parallel with the extent of development of social productivity power and ability of the manhood and the progress in scientific and technological developments.
Birthmarks belonging to capitalism from which socialism emerges constitute the black holes of socialism. Inevitable resuming of sharing as per work done rather than per needs, resuming of small scale private ownership in spite of all limiting actions, continuing disparities between brain /muscle labour, urban/suburban, female/male and and not being able to abolish the state completely are the major birthmarks or stains. The residue of bourgeois ideas and value judgements and their potential effect in the minds of the working masses must be added to the above as well. Such stains inherited from the privious society may be the fertilization bed of risks/dangers which would cause a turn-away from socialism.
As the sub-stage of communism, the final aim of socialism is to eliminate class inequalities, including the classes themselves. But is apparent that the communism can not reach this brotherly equality world easily and quickly. Therefore socialism, at the first stage, aims to increase prosperty which will be shared evenly, to upgrade physical and spiritual wealthiness of laboures and to increase the amount of leisure time to be allocated to individuals to develop themselves. However this should not be taken merely as an ecenomica development or an attempt for industrialization. The basics of socialism is the free development and progress of humanity and the individual. Therefore socialism is not satisfied only by meeting concrete needs of the humans, it also aims to create conditions for the humans in which they can develop themselves freely as they want. Even though it is important for socialism to have developed industry and agriculture based on advanced technology, still it can not be considered merely in terms of industrilization and progressive move. Ideological, political, industrial, technological, agricultural, social and cultural developments are in one frame as a whole. The important point is to have all the channels open to creative abilities and initiatives of the working class and labouring masses.
Socialism requests from the individuals of the society to work according to their abilities. It immediately applies to principle of “equal payment for equal work”. However the return of working is not “ as per everybody’s needs”, yet. A brotherly sharing according to this principle will be possible in communism’s world of plentiness. In the socialism stage the sharing principle of “ as per everybody’s needs” will apply. And this will bear disparities among different labour types. Growth and permanency of such disparities cause rising of class differences which feeds the risk of turning away from socialism. Therefore it is of vital importance not to allow increase in salary discrepancies and any extra privileges to state employees and party staff. The socialist society can not get over these inequalities inherited from the capitalism even if it wants to. However it does not permit disparity among salaries to exceed “the acceptable” ratio of 1 to 5. Moreover not being contented with it, socialim, without using force, tries to lower the ratio as much as possible.
Working ceases to be compulsory in the second stage of communism. Working times are shortened as much as possible in parallel with scientific and technological developments and progress. This causes an increase in the leisure times of individuals so that they can use those times to develop themselves, for their hobbies and pleasures as they want. Working, ceasing to be an enforcement, becomes a natural necessity and a subject of satisfaction. Disparities and inequalities related to labour division, brain labour/muscle labour, urban/suburban, female/male are all eliminated. As a conseqence of this , the collective wealth of humanity grows enormously and communism’s brotherhoodly sharing flag is masted: From everbody according to their capabilities, to everybody enough to meet their needs!!..
In socialism the economy is based on central planning. Planned economy meets tne vital needs of the society in full and create conditions for multilateral development of the individuals of the society. This aim complies with the nature and logic of socialism. The basic principal of socialist central planning is to set up the best possible balance between the needs of the society and the resources availbale that concurs with purposes of socialism. Therefore devastating consequences of capitalist commodity production based on maximizing individual profits do not exist in socialism. Organizing and running economy under central planning is not a technical issue, but a process of making decisions through political preferences. Preferences and decisions will directlt affect daily lives of the working class and labouring masses besides the future of socialism. Therefore the preparation, maturement and finalization processes of central planning have to be open to participation of the working class and labouring masses where issues are discussed in a democratic atmosphere.
As a “transition society” between capitalism and communism the risk of flashbacking is constant in socialism. The “external” risk comes from the imperialism and world reactionism in forms of aggressions, pressures and conspiracies, whereas the “internal” risk comes from the defeated but not completely destructed bourgeoisie and its allies in forms of resistances and sabotages and from the weaknesses of socialism. There is always a close cooperation and interaction among them. The world bourgeoisie and reactionism have built up a significant historical experience in spoiling and flashbacking revolutions and socialist formations which they could not prevent initially. Their experiences should not be under estimated, but at the same time they should not constitute a reason for dismay and intimidation.
The socialist proletariat has to depend on two basic weapons in fighting against the risk of flashbacking arising from “external” and “internal” factors: The first one is the conscious devotion of the working class and labouring masses to revolution and socialism and their courage, awakenessness and decisiveness in defending and fostering socialism. The second one is assistance and support of the world proletariat and organization of the world proletarian revolution. Apart from these two determinant powers, the other dynamics and forces should be considered as complementary elements to the defensive power of the proletarian dictatorship and treated accordingly.
Defending socialism and the proletarian power decisively against external and internal factors carrying the risk of flashbacking is totally a rightful and a legitimate revolutioanry attitude. This, at the same time, is a historical responsibility of the socialist world proletariat and its platoons. However, the obligation to fight against the risk of flashing back can not be taken merely as a “defense” issue. The issue, at the same time, bears a conflict in itself which can end up with consequnces contradicting the historical aims of the socialist proletariat. The proletarian dictatorship has to be kept strong for defending the proletarian power and socialism against external aggressions and conspiracies of the imperialist bourgeoisie and world reactinoism. The proletarian dictatorship is a form of a state even though it is not a state as described in dictionaries. And the socialist proletariat aims to eliminate all sorts of power formations and the state along with the classes as well. This aim will be achieved in communism. However, fading of the state is a process which has to start in socialism which is the sub-stage of communism and gradually develop. Therefore the existence of a “state like” organ is a conflict free from the will and preference of the socialist proletariat. The way to solve it goes through implementation of policies and strategies in which the working class and labour masses participate actively.
Proletarian socialism has some basic principals which do not change according to countries or periods. However, there is no constant model or prescription of socialism that can be valid for each and every country. Therefore socialism can neither be imported nor exported. But this also does not mean that each country can have its own “national socialism”. As being a thought and system aiming the liberation of humanity, there is no socialism with nationalism or turning it around there is no nationalism in socialism.
There are two guides in front of the socialist proletariat and the pioneering partyin the process of constructing socialism under specific historical conditions those differ from country to country: the first of them is the scientific socialism doctrine of ML and the second one is all positive and negative lessons derived from the experiences of socialism in the past.
The 21. Century socialism has to exceed the 20. Century socialism by filtering the experiences of the 20.Century under the light of the basic principals of ML and the historical aims of the revolutionary proletariat. Especially the imperious relationship with subordinate and superior has to be ended, because this relation has hampered the ties between the party and the class along with the masses. The superiors often put themselves in place of the class and the masses. In the proletarian dictatorship system the democratic aspect of the relationship between dictatorship and democracy has to be predicated on and participation of the class and masses has to be maintained by all means. Using force in suppressing different opinions which can exist within the class or party lines regarding ideological, economical and political issues or in decision making processes has to be principally rejected. Channels must be kept open for expressing different point of views or opinions- which is natural to have in the class and in the society- provided that they stay in the frame of socialist legitimacy.
As one other lesson learned from the practices of the 20.th Century , the proletarian power that has reached to victory in a country has to refrain absolutely from making itself the “aim”. It should keep away from implementing national policies which will not comply with the historical aims and the internationalist character of the proletariat.
A socialist state where the proletariat is in power does not make borders problematic issues unless it is forced to defend its borders as a legitimate right against attacks and border violations. It does not propound to change borders and build policies demanding border changes even if there some historical unfairnesses occurred in the past. Socialist power of the proletariat which aims to abolish all borders and classes on the world can not act as same as the bourgeoisie who runs after new markets and hegemony areas. Therefore demands and policies regarding border changes can not be legitimized by depending on any reason whatsoever whether they would be historical, political, militarist, ethnic, economic or cultural and etc… Such approaches are totally against to spirits of socialism and proletarian internationalism.
Chapter 4 THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF TURKEY
Turkey, dependant on imperialism, is a medium developed capitalist country. Capitalism has become dominant appearently in economical and social life, including agriculture, in 1970’ies. The conflict between labour and capital has become the basic conflict since the beginning of the 70’ies. Attaining new lines and dimensions, dominancy of capitalism has become much stronger after the 80’ies.
Capitalism entered into Turkey in the middle of 1800’s during the descending stage of the Ottoman Empire. Meeting capitalism 200 years after its emergence in history and 50 years after it became dominant as an European centered system is naturally considered as a late meeting. The Ottoman Empire rapidly becomes an open market and turns into a semi-colony in short period of time during this process which is controlled by external/outer dynamics.
Keeping apart this “entrance” stage, it is possible to group the development of capitalism in Turkey in four stages. Each stage reflects different development and maturity levels and each stage corresponds to a historical leap from one to another. At this point it is needless to say that the subject stages are not completely disconnected with each other. On the contrary, they are in a way within each other and have internal ties and sustainability for preparation of the next leap.
It would not be wrong to define the first stage of the Turkish capitalism from the beginning of 1900’s until 1950 as the “childhood period”. This period is at the same time is “the first accumulation period” in which the Turkish bourgeoisie became an independent class and got strong.
This stage is divided into sub-stages within itself. A very limited commercial capitalism can be mentioned based on a semi-colonial economy until the foundation of the republic (1923). An industrial capitalism starts to shapen appearently in form of state capitalism, especially after 1930. However an underdeveloped agricultural economy bearing feudal and semi-feudal characteristics is still dominant in this period. On the other hand, dependency to imperialism is still going on in spite of the National Struggle (War) against it. However, neither this dependency to imperialism, nor the position of the bourgeoisie has comprador ties as in the past. Even though there are slight indications of old relations, collaborationism is in a rising trend.
The changes in the structure and composition of the bourgeoisie constitute a major difference between these two sub-stages. The Ottomon bourgeoisie is a commercial bourgeoisie having comprador feature. They act as the local agents for the European capitalists. They import manufactured (finished) goods of the european capitalists and do their marketing in the country for an amount of commission and provide them raw materials along with agricultural products which the European capitalism needs.
One of the typical caharacteristics of the Ottoman comprador bourgeoisie is that it is generally composed by non-Muslims. Most of them belong to minority societies like Armenians, Greeks and Jewish. There are also Levantine families having origins from Venice, Genoa and Spain. Besides foreign trade, they buy and sell precious metals and do banking including loaning, exchange and etc. Therefore it is not possible to mention about a significant Turkish bourgeoisie until the beginning of the 20.th Century.
The balance within the bourgeoisie starts to change from 1908 onwards. The subject change is maintained by uneconomical approaches and means. It has been realized by using state power and aggression under the name of “ National Economics policy”. This policy has aimed to develop a Muslim Turkish Bourgeoisie against the non-Muslim Bourgeoisie. This nationalist policy had been extensively implemented by the power of İttihad ve Terakki priviously and then by The Kemalist power- somewhat in different forms and trends- after 1923. The Armenian Relocation in 1915 and the Population Exchange in 1924 are the results of the same policy, even though they are not the same.
The aim of the “national economics policies” is to change the balance of power in the bourgeoisie. Implementation of these policies aim to weaken the non-Muslim bourgeoisie to be replaced by the Turkish Muslim bourgeoisie.The implementation was going to be done by using power of the state on the non-muslim bourgeoisie who were started to be seen as “enemies or spies of foreigners” due to the rising of nationalism during the disintegration period of the Ottoman Empire. The ideological consequence of this tendency is the construction of a national hegemony of peasantry. In ecenomical terms, it is an extensive transfer of wealth by using state power rather than “creating resources”. In this context the looted wealth of “relocated” Armenians and “exchanged” Greeks had a significant role in capital accumulation in the first generation of the Turkish monopolistic bourgeoisie families such as Sabancıs and Koçs.
The third sub-stage of the long historical period of the formation of the Turkish capitalism is the period between 1938 and 1950. In this period the infrastructure of the great historical leap of the Turkish capitalism that will take place after 1950 has been prepared and developed. It is not wrong to mark Dersim Massacre in 1938 as a symbolic starting point of this period in which the domestic market has been taken under full control by surpressing Kurdish rebellions and resistances in a bloodshed. A respective increase in the capital accumulation of the Turkish bourgeoisie marks the other specificity of the period in which the commercial aspect of the Turkish bourgeoisie still governs. The mentioned expansion of the capital has been maintained this time by taking over the wealth of the minorities some have been made by ruthless blackmarketing during the war by means of the Wealth Tax Law.
The period between 1950 and 1960 is characterized by an apparent development and widening of capitalism in Turkey. This is the first great leap in its history. Fundamental changes occurred in the structure of capitalism that had basically a commercial character until that time. Although having a form of assembling (mounting) industry, it headed for industrial capitalism along with mechanization in agriculture and production of industrial goods. Growth of the domestic market parallel to intensive Investments on fields of energy, transportation and communication have caused first samples of monopolistic bodies in forms of holdings to show up. The huge development in economical, financial, political, military and cultural relations with imperialism has also happened in this period. The internal transformation of the Turkish bourgeoisie to monopolistic bourgeoisie stars in this stage as well. Therewithal the share of surplus value exploitation steps forward and becomes determinant.
The period between 1960 and 1980 is the period in which capitalism in Turkey has deepened. In this historical period, especially after the 70’ies capitalism has become dominant in Turkey. The labour- capital conflict has become the basic conflict. Even though it is respectively not so developed and dependent, capitalist relations got apparent superiority in social life generally. Behind this leap there stands the strategy of “industrilization by import substitution”. This capital accumulation model is the governing model in the world in those days. The model simply depends on exploitation of the domestic market which has been protected by high customs taxes in partnership with imperialism. The function of this accumulation model is to enlarge the capitalist domestic market by adopting assembling industry that is considered as out dated by the imperialist bourgeoisie. The following main developments have made this period special: widespreading of merchandise economy and its ties, increase in the economical and political power of the monopolistic bourgeoisie and ascending to a dominant position, acceleration in the disintegration of feudal relations, emergenge of stock market, strengthening of banking, high merging between financial and industrial capitals, acceleration of migration from rural to urban areas. Another historical characteristics of this period is the emergence of independent labour class movement and great historical clashes between the working class, labouring masses and the bourgeoisie and its state.
Post 1980 is the period in which the Turkish capitalism no longer fits into its domestic market and spreads over its borders becoming a regional power and center of attraction. This constitutes its third and the greatest leap. The infrastructure of this leap has been developed during the previous period (1960-1980).This development is not limited only with the growth of accumulated capital belonging to the Turkish monopolistic bourgeoisie. Along with it, there is the experience gained in the production of consumption goods and semifinished goods as well as the experience gained through longstanding partnerships established with imperialist monopolicies. The most important of them is the courage of the Turkish monopolistic and middle bourgeoisie to expand outside of Turkey owning a young and relatively well educated work force.
Besides the internal dynamics mentioned above , real dynamics behind the post 1980 leap of the Turkish monopolistic capitalism has been the worldwide restructuring tendency of the imperialist capitalism. In parallel with the worldwide restructuring of the system Turkey has undergone a new structuring on neoliberal basis almost in all areas, including economics, politics, organization of production and social life.
Therefore the historical post 1980 development of the Turkish capitalism is a consequence of mutual interaction of internal and external dynamics. There are strong ties and dialectic relations between them. Hence the function and role of one can not be evaluated without considering the other. It would mean one sideness and twisting historical reality should someone disregards or trivializes one or the other dynamics at his own pleasure. This would also result in supporting the bourgeois propaganda which attributes everything to”itself “including the “post 1980 leap “. Such an approach opens the door to nationalistic drift that percieves the “leap” in a simple comprador economy frame.
In the course of this process the Turkish capitalism replaced the comprador capitalism that was active a century ago by a capitalism that is capable of exporting capital to its near surroundings and investing in an extensive area, covering North Africa, Caucasia,Middle East and the Balkans, thus becoming a regional power, despite its relative weakness in its capital makeup; technological and scientific dependency to imperialist states and monopolies. However it goes on with surplus value exploitation in the country as well as abroad. Turkey has transformed itself from an underdeveloped agro-industrial country exporting agricultural products and raw materials and mainly importing industrial products to a country exporting relatively high-tech. based industrial products among which the automotive industry taking the lead. It has become a middle developed country of services and industry. The weight of the rural area (countryside) has rapidly decreased in the economically and socially and capitalist commodity production and its relations became dominant in the rural regions as well.
When mechanization in agriculture and the principle of production for markets came into the forefront, large capitalist farms owned by foreigners and locals and integrated plants processing agricultural and animal products grew extensively. Small producers started to work for monopolies as a consequnce of the dominance of capitalism in the agricultural structure. Accelaration in disintegration of feudalism and semifeudalism in the agricultural structure is due to the enforced policies of the World Bank , the IMF and operation of laws of capitalism as well as the development in the Kurdish National Movement. The Kurdish National Movement has a great part in the revolutionary transformations happened in the socio-economic structure and especially in the social life in Kurdistan.
As there are two faces in a coin, the second face of the Turkish economy showed itself as a subsupplying economy based on exploitation of cheap labour in labour intensive sectors having low added values and depend highly on external sources and importation. The picture can be seen contradicting, but the situation arises from the properties of the external dynamics those have significant role in determining the development and the direction of the Turkish capitalism after 1980.
The neoliberal globalization that has accelerated the lateral growth of capitalism in the world is in fact a new international work sharing system. This work sharing, naturally determined by the international bourgeoisie in the direction of its interests and needs. It differes from the old Fordist system that based on import substitution by leaving labour intensive sectors having low profit margins and sectors creating pollution to dependent countries in this work sharing system. The developed imperialist-capitalist countries hold on to sectors having high added values such as data processing, communication, finance, genetics and nanotechnology.
This new international work sharing model brings a similar hierarchical system to Turkey. The first monopolistic generation of the Turkish capitalism leave some sectors being textile at the top to other İstanbul and Anatolian bourgeoisie in order to cope with international competition conditions enforced by the new model by “focusing” on sectors having high profit margins like finance, energy, automotive, communication and construction.
The new work sharing system, tending to restructure the economy, politics and the society on neoliberal grounds, causes new developments in boondocks and northern Kurdistan of the Turkish capitalism. Many cities in Anatolia and northern Kurdistan which were having a closed economy of agriculture mainly until then became industrial cities producing semi-finished products for sectors such as food and textile. They have turned into specialized subsuppliers having direct contact with the international bourgeoisie and finance organizations.
Acceleration in the development of capitalism in Turkey changes the structure of capital , distribution and internal balances on one side, increases the rate of becoming labourers on the other hand. The developments on both sides gain an apparent acceleration especially after mid ‘90’ies and rises to the highest point in the history of the Republic.
80% of the total population of Turkey live in cities. Wage earners constitute 25% of the population living in cities. They also make up two thirds of the total employment.
Along with the acceleartion of the capitalist development after 1980, the non-ecomic force (aggression) exerted in the form of “the dirty war” to surpress the national struggle arose in Kurdistan has played an important role in increasing the rate of becoming labourers. As a matter of fact wage earners formed 11% of the whole Turkish population and 37% of the total employment in Turkey in the second half of 1980’s, the figures have jumped to %19 and %60, respectively in the beginning of 2000. In this context it can be concluded that the Turkish labour class not only grew after 1990, but has become more Kurdish.
This situation might be a reason for artifical segmentation (division) or a factor for competition in the working class, it may at the same time prepare appropriate grounds for organization of a united revolution in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan should the Kurdish national struggle moves in a proletarian socialist direction.
The post 1980 development of the Turkisk capitalism is divided into some sub-stages witin itself:
It’s first sub-stage of is the period between 24 January 1980 and 1994. This sub-stage is characterized by by the uncontrolled tyranny of the 12 September fascism and deregulation of the financial system. In this period necessary measures to maintain neoliberal accumulation have been taken. The main developments those took place during the subject period can be listed as follows: coming into force of the 12 September Constitution which legitimized(!) the establishment of an authoritarian regime (1982), the “bankers’ crises” burst in the same year, steps taken for integration with the world finance markets by establishing “council of capital markets” and “stock market”, starting of privatization loot, liberating “in and out” movements of foreign currencyfor the sake of integraration with the global markets(1989).
In the period between the 1994 crisis and the 2001 crisis capital changes hands very extensively and poverty spreads widely in the society. In a way poverty becomes socialized. The ’94 crisis resulted in too many bankruptcies among small and medium enterprises , sharp drops in capacity utilizations which caused dreadful unemployment and significant decreases in wages. Along with causing a huge destruction in capital, the situation accelerated the capital handovers as well. The changes in the composition and the power balance in the monopolistic capital triggered the struggle for power in the bourgeoisie camp. New riches of the camp grown after 1980 started to claim redistribution of the political power as a consequence of changes in the economical power. This claim has activated the power struggle between the new riches and the traditional hegemonic powers of the regime. The traditional power bloc with the army located at the center attempted an operation on 28 February against its adversaries who claim redistribution of political power. Unsuccessfulness of the 28 February operation accelerated the rate of disintegration of the traditional front.
The period starting after the 2001 crisis is characterized by radical changes in economics and politics as well as in social and cultural values. The traditional structure of the republic existed since 1923 started to differentiate in all aspects after this historical occasion. That historical occasion is the 2001 crisis.
The 2001 crisis was the most severe crisis in the history of the Republic. Hence its consequences have been very exhaustive, shocking and intense. The crisis swept the country with a wave bankruptcies and unemployment. In many sectors, primarily, banking and media, 50 thousand workers have lost their jobs in one week who had already become proletarians with the beginning of the neoliberal period. This time a huge transfer of resources was made to the monopolistic bourgeoisie once more as was done during the bankers scandal in 1982. The bill has been paid by the working class and labouring masses in forms of wage reductions, new taxes, accelerated privatization and shrinking of employment in the public sector.
One of the most important economical outcome of the crisis has been the opportunity provided to monopolies, private companies and municipalities to establish direct contact with imperialist financial capital for borrowing money. Thus this privilege has provided the bourgeoisie an oppotunity to obtain external funds. This privilege has not been used only by the monopolistic bourgeoisie, but by the middle class bourgeoisie who owned medium or even small scale enterprises as well. Thus the Turkish bourgeoisie as a whole had the means to integrated with the imperialist financial capital. Money borrowing opportunity, then opened the channels for establishing partnerships with the imperialist capital. Wide utilization of this privilege provided after the 2001 crisis has resulted in a geometrical increase in the debts of the private sector tripling the sum of public sector debts.
The biggest impact of the crisis has been in the political field . The traditional center parties of the bourgeoisie, including the ones those composed the government at time of the crisis have collapsed in the elections held one year later. The impact was so heavy and harsh to wipe out the Democratic Left Party (DSP), the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP) from the political scene. The rising of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the representative of the “new” bourgeoisie started to grow after 1980, has followed the collapse of the three parties. After winning the 2002 elections with an unexpected vote rate, AKP faithfully continued to implement the neoliberal economical policies prepared by Kemal Derviş who was assigned to steer the economy in the previous government as a clerk of the international financial capital. The faithful implementation of the neoliberal economical policies has increased the confidence in AKP not only in the eyes of the imperialist bourgeoisie, but in the eyes of the Turkish monopolistic and mid bourgeoisie, too. Anyhow the AKP years in the history of the Republic has been the period in which all obstacles hindering profit making cleared out systemmaticall, thus making this period the most consistent regarding capital accumulation.
The essence of the program preapred by Kemal Derviş was composed of cutting the gained rights of labour without any hesitation and lowering social expenditures to the minimum so that resources could be transferred to the capital. Decreasing public expenditures and increasing taxes is named as “establishing discipline in state finance”. Other major steps in “establishing discipline” have been privatization and abolishment of perquisites of the labourers. The ideological and moral back up in the leadership of PKK after imprisonment at İmralı has resulted in a slown down in the “dirty battle” against the Kurds which lowered the state expenditures and comforted AKP to some extent.
The structural properties of the Turkish capitalism can be seen more clearly should its historical course is considered as a whole:
First of all it is dependent because it has been historically late in the process of capitalist recovery. Its historical course of development as a whole , including its weak points as well as its leaps can not be evaluated without considering this.
It is an inadequate capitalism with limited resources and weak capital. This has been its soft spot in all stages of its history.
It is a capitalism which excessively needs to apply political aggression and uneconomical ways through the state at all instances when the need grows for funds and resources, especially prior to leaps.
The structural properties of the Turkish capitalism are not composed of these only. But these have priority over the others and are more determining . They also have mutual interaction and dependency between them. For example, the weak capital structure of the Turkish capitalism with insufficient funds is a consequence of its dependency to more developed capitalist powers. The structural weakness is seen as an “effect” when looked at from this point, but it is seen as a primary “cause” when the continuity of dependence to imperialism is concerned.
The structural properties of the Turkish capitalism in its historical course should not be seen as constants which do not change. It has undergone changes regarding form, content and scope, but the basics of it have been retained. And ofcourse those changes have not stayed within itself only, effected the others as well.
At the beginning the dependency of the Turkish capitalism to imperialism had properties of a comprador dependency. This dependency relation could not go beyond commissioning and state of being representative agents which continues until the first years of the Republic. But it starts to change after the signing of the Lozan Treaty (1924), especially in 1930’s.The comprador dependency relations gradually starts to be replaced by collaborationist dependency relations.
This change has totally been an effect (result) of differentiations in external and internal dynamics. The differenciations in relations and balances among the imperialist powers of the time have determining role in world economy and politics. In the context of the internal dynamics, it has to be noted that a national state has been established having sovereignty in the borders determined by the Lozan Treaty replacing Ottomans who lacked commercial and industrial bodies, unable to control its own market where taxes collected by the imperialist powers. Even though the Ottoman debts were transnferred to this state, with the attained right to utilize its resources the new state headed for basic industrial and transportation investments. With increased selfconfidence , the Turkish bourgeoisie as an internal dynamics developed itself relatively by making use of conflicts and tension among the imperialist powers of the time.
The post Lozan collaborationist dependency relation with imperialism continues to change after then as well. In this context, the collaboranist relations of the 1930’s is not the same with the collaboranist relations with the USA imperialism that became the hegemonic power of the imperialist camp after 1945. The collaborationism of the “Cold War” years differed from the collaborationism of the 1930’s in form, content and scope. Post 1945 term displays internal changes.Basic relations regarding dependency and collaboration with imperialism continues with changes related to shapes in establishing relations and areas of concern along with changes in the capabilities and capacities of the Turkish bourgeoisie.
In the “cold War” yeras, especially between 1945 and 1970 from the imperialists point of view Turkey is a front country nearby the Soviets and important in military sense as a cheap soldier “depot”.This feature of Turkey is predominat in bilateral relations. However this approach starts to change after mid ‘70’s due to changes in world economics and politics. With its cheap and young labour force and easy accessibility to surrounding markets Turkey gradually starts to gain economic value and importance mid ‘70’s. A political importance is added to the above after the disintegration of the Soviets union and the revisionist bloc in 1990’s. And after 2000’s Turkey, happened to become a regional power, has more intense economical, political and militaristic relations with the imperialism. The relations change from partnership to subcontractorship depending on conditions.
Obviously this change can not be attributed solely to internal dynamics of the Turkish capitalism. More important than the internal dynamics or even the determining factor has been the changes in exploitation and dominancy procedures of imperialism which are highly effected by the internal conflicts and power balance changes witin the imperialist camp.
Therefore it is equally wrong to conclude conservatively as stuck in a time tunnel that dependency of the Turkish capitalism to imperialism has comprador features or to conclude the historical course of developments and leaps of the Turkish capitalism had no dependency to imperialism. These two onesided points of view contradict with historical realities. But they have one common point. They both consider imperialism as an” external “ power introduced to the Turkish capitalism. Misinterpretation of imperialism as a fact and shallowness in Leninist analysis of imperialism lie in the foundation of this point of view. This also reflects a nationalistic point of view that considers the Turkish capitalism “ a thing in itself”.
Capitalism of the imperialist period is not limited with the interference of industrial capital with bank capital and monopolism. Replacement of commodity exportation by capital exportataion is another typical feature of the imperialism. The procedures of exploitation and dominancy do not stay the same. Hence the procedures of post WW II ( after 1945) neocolonialism and its relations are significantlt different from those of colonial period. Therefore the shapening of dependency relations between Turkey and imperialism or in other words the historical stages of developments capitalism in Turkey can not be evaluated without considering the structure and operation of the world economics. This can only be done by neglecting the fact of imperialism or claiming that the basic characterictics of imperialism have changed.
The 1960 and the post 1980 leaps of the Turkish capitalism are based on two accumulation strategies. The first one of them is the “industrilization by import substitution”strategy and the second one is the “industrilization orientated for importation” strategy. They are both international job-sharing models designed according to the needs of the capital accumulation of the imperialist bourgeoisie considering the worldwide balances within the class and the prevailing conditions. They do not pertain to one or two specific countries, they are international and the command is always in the hands of the imperialist financial capital. The models have hierarchic structure and mechanism. In semi-colonial and dependent countries, like Turkey, economics and politics are shapen as per the international hierarchic structure and job-sharing. Development of internal dynamics, their operations and progresses in those countries are realized in this frame. And these dynamics of each country depending on their development levels and international conditions and balances affect imperialist powers through their relations interactively. Therefore as a sum, interactive relations and effects in dependicies between internal dynamics and the imperialism should not be missed . Missing and/or misinterpretation of this point leads to deviations and distortions in the struggle against imperialism and in comprehending the anti-imperialist tasks of the Turkish revolution.
As a bourgeoisie of a country that has lately involved in the capitalization process, capital accumulation of the Turkish monopolistic bourgeoisie is based historically on three basic procedures: First of them is surplus value exploitation. The second is transfer of funds (resources) from agriculture to industry. The third one is to seize others’ values by brutal force. When the characteristic advantage of the imperialist bourgeoisie of looting colonials and semi-colonials is put aside, capital accumulation processes in all capitalist countries have been realized by the above mentioned three basic procedures with some differences in ways and consequences. As far as the historical development process of the Turkish monopolistic bourgeoisie is concerned none of them had equal weights and each one has been used in different ways and in different intensities in different periods.
In the first phases of capital accumulation of the Turkish capitalism transferring of funds from agriculture to industry and seizing others’ values by brutal force were more dominant. Surplus value exploitation has started to take precedence after the 1950’s as the capital grew relatively. There are also differences in implementations regarding transfer of funds from agriculture to industry from period to period. While uneconomical implementations based on state force /power were widely used until 1950, economical implementations in line with the nature of capitalism have been more widely used since mid ‘50’s.
At this point we are faced with a structural weakness of the Turkish capitalism rooted back in its history: The Turkish capitalism and the Turkish bourgeoisie have always in great need of political power and aggression, in other words, the state not only for establishing political dominance but for an economical leverage. This is a consequence its weakness in capital accumulation and insufficiency of its funds (resources). This need has become to a level of addiction especially from 1908 to 1960’s.
The need of the Turkish monopolistic bourgeoisie for the power of the bourgeoisie state as an economical mean has not disappeared after the ‘60’s even when it could stand up on its feet more soundly. Only the scope and the content of the need and its procedures and forms have shown some differences along with time. The self-confidence and its level of development should not be considered as the only factor causing those differences in-between periods. The real determining factor in this issue is the power balance between the labour and the capital. Among the other significant factors, international conditions, competition of the monopolistic bourgeoisie with its opponents in the world markets and the internal conditions such as the scale of the need from the state and the intensity of domestic competition can be listed.
The target of seizing others’ values by using state’s brutal force at times when the Turkish monopolistic bourgeoisie needed funds/ resources have always been the minorities living in the country. This brutality does not end with the transfer of funds, but also bears a chauvinistic character as “to make Turkish”. First the Armenians, as a mass, become the target of this looting brutality. The first examples of this are experienced in Adana-Çukurova region in the reign of Abdülhamit. 20 thousand Armenians have been killed in the massacre in Adana and its surroundings in 1894 and their fields, wine yards, fruit gardens, their other properties and precious metals have been looted by Turkish notables and bureaucrats living in the region. This so called “national economics” policy has been taken over by the İttihad-Terakki power which overthrows Abdülhamit. This policy and the aim of strengthening the Turkish bourgeoisie depending on this policy really stand behind the Armenian Relocation in 1915. The looted wealth of Armenians is considered as the first “transfer of values obtained effortlessly” in the growing up process of the Turkish bourgeoisie. But this does not stay as the first and the last example of looting. Right after this follows the tragedy of “Population Exchange” in 1924 which is a crime against mankind. This time the Greeks and their wealth are on the target. 1943. After this comes the crime of “Wealth Tax” during the Second Imperialist War in 1943. This time the subject of the looting is the Jewish capital and properties. Then the pillage of 6-7 September is lived. It is followed by forcing the Turkish Greeks to go into exile in 1964 and 1971 showing the Cyprus issue as a reason.
The relation of historical permanence in between is apparent. Ruling powers have changed and in the meantime the development level and the power of the Turkish bourgeoisie have differentiated. Especially after 1960 it has attained a monopolistic character. Towards the end of ‘70’s it became strong enough not to be satisfied by exploiting the domestic market, only. However, it still could not avoid the need to seize others’ accumulated resources by using state power periodically, keeping its looting character.
The habit of the Turkish bourgeoisie to seize others’ capitals whenever it needed is not limited with the minorities, only. It has often implemented this accumulation procedure based on seizing on the labourers and middle class of its own nationality as well. The premiums of the social security institutions, unemployment and earthquake funds and severance payments have been all looted regularly. Besides these “saving bonds” of 1960’s, “compulsory savings taxes” of 1980’s and funds disappeared in bankruptcies of bankers again in 1980’s and dissolving of banks after 28 February are the non-regular lootings took place.
It will be seen that there is a sustainability regarding looting processes and these all occurred just before the “leap or spurt” times when the need for new resources grow.
Chapter 5 THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF TURKEY
The Turkish Republic is a national state founded on the ruins of the feudal Ottoman Empire.
There are both continuity and rupture relations between this new state and the Ottoman Empire. The Republic is a consequence of a social project aiming to strengthen the Muslim Turkish bourgeoisie. The foundations of the Republic have been laid in the period of Abdülhamit. When the authoritarian ruling style in which everything is determined by a single man’s willpower is considered not much basic difference could be seen between each other. A vast majority of the founders of the Republic are the cadres who have been in effective positions as civilians and military in the Ottoman period. Therefore they constitute the relation of continuity in between.
On the other hand, the Republic is separated from the Ottoman Empire that had stayed in the back in joining with the rising capitalism becoming a world system. Because the Republic, aiming to close the gap caused by the Ottoman Empire. It wants to accomplish nationalization (or modernization) which was already delayed by the Ottoman Empire. As an example of a national capitalist state, it differs from the system of feudal sultanate in form as well. The establishment of the Republic through a national struggle on some lands of the collapsing empire which have been occupied by different imperialist powers also constitutes another factor of rupture.
The Young Turks revolution in 1908 constitutes a mile stone on the way from The Ottoman to the Republic. The process of the Turkish nationalization that aims capitalism in Turkey and strengthening of the Turkish bourgeoisie becomes apparent for the first time with it. And the Republic completes the rest in 1923. In this context, both the Young Turks movement (1908) and the Republic (1923) are weak and not developed bourgeoisie revolutions having the same essence.
Unlike the classical bourgeoisie democratic revolutions they, both have developed from top to bottom. They both have national lines and aim to develop the Turkish capitalism. Since they have developed as semi-colonial dependents to capitalism, they both lack a consistent and a determined anti-imperialist character and tendency. Despite that they are hostile to minorities and insensitive to problems and demands of large masses of labourers and peasants. Instead of stepping towards to solve problems of the peasantry in a feudal society to maintain a democratic bourgeoisie transformation, they preferred to grow based on alliance with the feudal. That is why they are limited and puny when democratic character and tendency are considered.
They both are from the top vaults as the case in all procedures in bourgeoisie nationalization. They have not hesitated to implement aggression and terror in order to gather the society in a nation format which they got under their dominancy. They have committed severe humanity crimes like the Armenian Genocide, Population Exchange and Kurdish Massacres. In this respect, they are no different than all other processes of bourgeoisie nationalization in essence in history. In every country in the world the dominance of capitalism and bourgeoisie has been built on blood by tyranny. But even though they have to be condemned for their pitiless features, the capitalism and processes of bourgeoisie nationalization are still steps taken forward in history compared to the feudal structures and their management systems.
Dignifying and blessing capitalism with perceiving only its progressive direction and mission is wrong and displays a reactionary attitude. But it is also wrong to try justifying and legitimizing the tyrannical feudal system by pointing out crimes committed in the course of establishment capitalist national states. This approach is even more reactionary than the first one. Both approaches bear one-sidedness and fail to understand the historical progress of humanity. They are simply reactionary charlatanism.
The 1908 Young Turks revolution has a historical character regarding the subsequent line of development of Turkish bourgeoisie state, especially its ruling philosophy and development of its ruling habits. The ruling style of the Turkish bourgeoisie and most of its habits have shaped during this period and gained permanency in due course. Besides forming a “national society” based on a Turkish-Islamic identity, endeavoring to create a monolithic society by establishing a wide network of organizations from sports clubs to tradesman guilds, from labour unions to scouting clubs all controlled by state are the major items in the ruling style. The other major items are precautions taken for keeping the masses away from politics and accumulating the ruling power mostly in persons of a very small coterie and letting the army having the role of determining policies for long years.
On the contrary to widely spread opinions, the above is not only limited with the Ittihad –Terakki reign and the period of the Republic. Ittihad-Terakki has inherited this ruling style and the daydream of creating a monolithic society under strict control from the despotism of Abdülhamit. This inherited ruling style obviously has been revised and developed according to its worldview which then has been transferred to the Republic by the Kemalist cadre most of whom originated from İttihad-Terakki. Trying to mold the society in his ideological line using the political power once seized has shown itself in repeating manner throughout the history of the Republic not only in periods of military junta, but also during the Democratic Party, Özal and Justice and Development Party periods that came to power after elections.
İn spite of some tiny differences regarding form and procedure, what lies behind the essential sustainability in this ruling style is the need for accumulation of capital based on the structural properties of the Turkish capitalism. The structuring of the regime in Turkey and the changes it has undergone has to be evaluated by considering the balances of the classes in the country and capital accumulation strategies formed according to the valid job-sharing principles in world economics in their time frames.
The national struggle has ended in 1923 with the declaration of the Republic. The movement was developed under the leadership of the Turkish commerce bourgeoisie and great landowners who generally were the notables of the Anatolian cities. When the world conditions of that time are considered, due to tiny power of the national bourgeoisie being a small core at that time, this movement could not go beyond a weak national bourgeoisie revolution with limited transformations made in public administration, law, politics, education and culture.
The Turkish Republic founded at the end of the national struggle from 1919-1923 has been an authoritarian regime with a single party where the willpower of the leader was determinant until 1950. The political power was concentrated in the hands one man and a coterie composed of his close friends. This ruling style was a consequence of mistrust among military and civilian petit bourgeoisie, the commerce bourgeoisie and the great land owners who had to form alliance during the national struggle which aimed to establish a new national state and a society on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. Along with the collapse of the empire and invasion by the imperialist powers caused the military and civilian bourgeoisie to lose their powers and positions. They needed a great social and economic support in order to organize and carry out a national struggle. On the other hand the Anatolian notables who seized lands, the only production means in an underdeveloped agricultural country, by force during the collapse of the empire and controlling all of the commerce at the same time needed a protection by a striking force. The main factor that brought these two groups together was their respective needs. Naturally this forced alliance has carried the bilateral mistrust from the beginning.
On the other hand, there was no exact ideological unity between the two groups. In various cities Defending Law Associations have been established by notables, tradesman and religious leaders to support the national struggle movement. Some of those associations displayed a more nationalistic attitude compared to others while some military generals, civilian bureaucrats and intellectuals of the other camp that was leading the movement were in favour of continuation of the Ottoman Dynasty and the caliph ship. The situation was so intricate that the republic was announced in a fait accompli.
All these conflicts effected the course of political struggles and developments both at the initial stage of the Republic and then afterwards. As a matter of fact wide ranging elimination operations made showing İzmir Assassination (1924) and Sheikh Sait Uprisings (1925) a reason are reflections of the power clashes and conflicts in the dominating class bloc. Similarly the implementations of the Law Proposing Quietness (Takrir-i Sükun Kanunu) and The Independence Courts (İstiklal Mahkemeleri) , establishment of two parties in 1925 and 1929, Terakkiperver Parti and Serbest Fırka then abandoning them quickly are significant examples of clashes and conflicts within the dominant class.
All of these clashes ended with more reinforcement of the authoritarian character of the regime. The regime became more and more authoritarian because the social infrastructure of the republic was weak. A new state has been founded and the Republic has been declared, but still it could not get the necessary support neither from peasantry who composed the majority of the society nor from the İstanbul bourgeoisie who stood away from the national struggle or even opposed to it. The weak support and the tenseness it caused strengthened the tendency of authoritarianism which has also been fed by the historical culture and traditions.
The fundamental economic (and social) policy that the new state was going implement has been designated even before the declaration of the Republic in an economy congress in İzmir (February 1923). Representatives from various classes and groups have been invited to the congress complying with the “we are an integrated mass of people with no class and concession” slogan, a local version of corporation principle of fascism. But the commerce bourgeoisie and big land owners were dominant in the congress. Therefore the decisions taken in the congress have been in their favour. According to the decisions of the İzmir Economy Congress those guided the economic policies throughout the 1920’s private sector will be supported, a liberal outward economic system will be established and foreign capital will be treated indulgently. In fact all of these decisions were nothing but formalization of the economic-policy principles agreed on since the Erzurum Congress.
The conditions forced the Turkish bourgeoisie to involve in a national struggle before realizing its primitive capital accumulation sufficiently. And a new national state was founded. But now its biggest concern was to carry on capital accumulation that it already started historically late rapidly and compensate the times and opportunities lost. Furthermore it had to accumulate capital in the frame of dependency to imperialism on one hand and on the other hand it had to that in a country that was devastated because of dragging from war to war since 1912.
A capitalization model based on state power has been agreed on by the leadership cadre of the national struggle and the Anatolian notables along with the big commerce bourgeoisie of İstanbul. The state was given the tasks of taxation, nationalization and most importantly the transfer of surplus value created in all over the country to the bourgeoisie as a class and arrangement of its sharing within different groups of the bourgeoisie. Thus this model adopted right at the beginning of the construction of the regime has given the state (political power) the characteristics of being a basic instrument in capital accumulation and regulating it. This property of the structure of the regime in Turkey has continued to exist in the following years due to weaknesses in the structure of the capital of the Turkish bourgeoisie and its continuous need for funds/resources. From time to time, the said structural property of the regime has shown some procedural differences due to the accumulation strategies applied and the balance changes in the class.
State capitalism becoming a current issue as an accumulation model in a country that has been late in the process of capitalization and suffering from capital insufficiency because of a weak bourgeoisie is perceived as either “creating a bourgeoisie by the help of state” or as “ a third way outside of capitalism and socialism”. This perception is awry, because it sees the state as a being which is “on top of the classes” and mixes socialism with “statism” as a result of primitive understanding of socialism and state. Owners of such perception do not contradict only with the Marxist-Leninist analysis of the state and the proletarian socialism, but contradict also with historical realities. These reflections of bourgeoisie and petit-bourgeoisie idealist history excerpts and functioned to open a gate to Kemalism in the left movement until today. The implementations of the Kemalist regime along with its evolutions in time have deemed the practices of national bourgeoisie dictatorships as a development model. The Soviet revisionism after 1960 has theorized “development through a non-capitalist way” as a “universal model” for developments in national bourgeoisie dictatorships. But the practices of these national bourgeoisie dictatorships and their fate have razed this national interpretation of history and perception of socialism.
The bourgeoisie regime aiming to construct a capitalist society in haste, naturally would not be seeking a strong support from the people. Therefore it had to organize its regime very rigidly without allowing even a smallest field of freedom for the working class and the working people. This is why the Republican regime had been organized in a very authoritarian way right from the beginning.
The poor peasantry who carried the burden of years taking wars and occupations supported willingly neither the national struggle nor the regime established later. In those times the support of the peasantry (forming the majority of the people) could have been received by force rather than willingness. That constitutes the reason why “Independence Courts” have been needed. The Independence Courts had functioned almost as mobile firing squads punishing ones escaping from the army and riots those were widely seen.
The attitude of the working class that gathered together mostly in İstanbul and partially in İzmir is relatively different. Since both of the regions were occupied, the leaders and the class generally felt attracted to the national struggle and supported it. They have misinterpreted the Kemalist understanding of anti-imperialism and its character with respect to the class issue. And this misinterpretation led them to exaggerated expectations. But the consequences of this mistake had been very severe. Not only the opportunity to become an effective power on an independent line based on the interests of the poor peasantry and the working class at the initial phases of the national struggle has been missed, but also the leading cadre of the communist movement had been easily trapped by the Kemalists.
In summary along with strategically aim for developing a national capitalism, the structuring of the Republic is based on three great fears: fear of communism (bolshevism), fear of Kurds and fear of religion.
These should not be seen as ideological fears only. Each one of them reflects a concrete fear originating from a specific class or from a social power. The fear of communism (bolshevism) originates from the Soviets Revolution that became a nightmare for the world bourgeoisie in those years. This fear is at the same goes along with the fear of the working class and its pioneering leaders. The fear of Kurds is generally the fear anger and riot of poor Kurd peasantry rather than Kurd feudal and tradesman who easily collaborate with the Turkish bourgeoisie for the sake of some interests and bilateral compromises. The state had to take religion under control not because of its fear of religion as an ideology, but because of its fear of the poor peasantry. As a matter of fact it had been observed that the poor peasantry could be motivated easily by using religious slogans and concepts. Therefore controlling religion in a way means to control the poor peasantry. Controlling the poor peasantry is important because resources needed to develop capitalism will be obtained from them.
Should it be noticed, it will be seen that two reasons lay behind those fears: the weakness of the classes which establish the Republic regarding their positions and impotence and their need for strict dominance over the local market to increase their capitals as soon as possible. Therefore the Republican regime has started to be organized in a despotic manner in which no tolerance has been shown to the tiniest democratic right or freedom right from the beginning and onwards. This approach had nothing to do with personalities; the situation was due class characteristics of the founders of the Republic and the prevailing conditions at that time.
The Republican regime shows its class’ hostility against labour, Kurds and poor peasantry at every occasion starting from the beginning. The attempts of the working class towards organizing, resistances and strikes are restrained by using force in cases where nationalistic demagogue comes up short. In cases when using force becomes inadequate or thought to become inadequate, then old tricks inherited from the Ottomans are put into use, such as establishing pseudo Communist Party or yellow labourer organizations like Union of General Workers of İstanbul. And finally all types of labourer organizations and right to strike are prohibited by the Law Proposing Quietness showing Sheikh Sait Uprising as a reason in 1925. The remaining labourer organizations are closed down in 1928. Each and every Kurdish uprising is suppressed brutally by mass murder. Not only had the peasantry subjected to violence. All of the potential opposition dynamics has been tried to be intimidated by making use of events like the assassination attempt in İzmir and Menemen Riot.
The Law Proposing Quietness and the Independence Courts symbolize the first stage of Republic (1923-1930) during which all super-structural transformations so called “revolutions” have been made from top to bottom in a faithaccompli manner.
The years of 19302s are the years in which the authoritarianism is established by having a one-man administration and a statist economy. This situation is a consequence of the Great Depression that the capitalist system encountered worldwide.
The same period (1930’s) is characterized by a domestic economy (closed in itself) trying to develop as fast as it can under the leadership of the state. This is not a preference or a planned tendency, but a necessity forced by the international conditions. The foreign markets have shrunk and the prices of agricultural products (the only export item) have decreased considerably because of the great depression of the system which started in 1929. In addition to the above, there have been new difficulties in importation of basic commodities like textile products, sugar and paper, etc. This economic pressure enforces to move in the direction of an inward looking industrialization. But the inadequacy of the capital of the Turkish bourgeoisie shows itself once more. The Turkish bourgeoisie, with its predominant commercial character, has not enough capability/capacity to realize an inside looking industrialization by its own means. This situation enforces the bourgeoisie state to take part in this initiative as a collective capitalist.
Statist economy was enforced by the inadequacy of the capital of the Turkish bourgeoisie and the worldwide crisis in the system. However the centralization and monopolization in politics have been the result of preferences and tendencies made those were in compliance with the nature of the regime. All of these tendencies were expressions the desire of the Kemalist clique that wanted to consolidate its hegemony within the dominant groups. International environment and balances of the period had effects on those preferences, too. As rising powers on the world scale the German and Italian fascisms functioned as a source of inspiration in the anti-revolutionary bourgeoisie camp.
The regime already constructed as an authoritarian single party administration based on the determining will power of one man attained some fascist properties during this period. The chauvinist national dissertations like “Thesis on the History of Turks”, “The Theory of Sun Language” have been produced and launched in this stage along with the ideology of “Almighty Leader” which will be transformed to “National Chief” after 1938. Institutions like “Turkish History Institute” and “Turkish Language Institute” have been established in order to maintain continuity in producing nationalistic ideology. Single party administration has been consolidated so that the whole administrative system and state management went under the dominancy and control of the party. The criminal and labour laws of the Italian fascism have been adapted to the Turkish law system. Again being inspired by the Italian fascism organizations based on corporative grounds has been extensively established for the sake of creating monotype citizens and controlling them closely. Some examples of them are: Turkish Homes, Community Centers, Scouting Organizations, Union of Turkish Women and Aircraft Community.
The foundations of the authoritarian tendency of the Republican regime have been laid from its years of establishment. It did not start with the 1930’s, but what happened in the 1930’s was the regime had shown its ability to fit itself in all kinds of situations to resume its authoritarian character.
The structure and the mechanism of the regime in Turkey do not display a fixed /unchanged property even in the same 10 year period. Being a general feature of class hegemony affair everywhere, this situation cannot be attributed only to Turkey. Continuous changes in the historical conditions including primarily the changes in class balances lie at the foundations of this situation. A general phasing can be done considering the mechanism and implementations of the regime, excluding the period during which the construction of neoliberal type of fascist regime took place in 1980 for the time being: 1925-1928; 1930-1938; war years (1940-1945) and 1958-1960. During the above listed phases stand out as historical periods in which fascist characteristics had been more apparent and dominant. Whereas periods between 1950-1956; 1960-1971 and 1973-1980 had relatively some democratic features as the bourgeoisie allowed. 1923-1925; 1928-1930; 1946-1950; 1956-1958 and 1971-1973 have been the transition periods for the following phases to come with their dominant characteristics.
Above everything, all of these changes are results of changes in class balances in the country. On one side there are balances between the proletariat and labouring masses and the bourgeoisie and its allies; on the other side there are internal conflicts and clashes within the dominating class bloc. And what stand behind them all are the imperialist strategies and the capital accumulation model as designed by the needs of the world economy.
In this context, we face with transition periods when the current accumulation model becomes incapable compared to the past together with clogging in politics and increasing signs of crisis. Therefore these periods are the periods in which internal conflicts and clashes tend to increase within the dominating class bloc. Either periods having fascist tendencies or relatively democratic tendencies follow these crises times depending on the new accumulation model strategy. Each new strategy, shaped by the current world-historical conditions, brings it’s along with them. As a matter of fact all this mean is the reshaping of balances among classes and within the class itself and re-establishing the relations.
The first half of the 1940’s is the years of the imperialist war. Turkey does not actually take part in the war. However, it establishes covertly but intensive commercial relations with the fascist Germany. Huge amounts of profit is made by selling metals and minerals such as coal, iron ore, manganese and chrome which the German war machine needed desperately as well as agricultural products of which their values had overwhelmingly increased due to the conditions of war. A war economy has been exercised very strictly in the country. All the resources have been transferred to military expenses because of the levee en masse, thus interrupting industrialization movement through the state. Agricultural production decreases very much since the villagers are taken to the army in masses. On the other hand inflation, black marketing, spidery and stockpiling skyrocketed. The commerce bourgeoisie and squires have accumulated tremendous amounts of capital because of these.
Fascist laws passed using the war as a reason and their intensive implementations have also accelerated this accumulation process. The National Protection Law, passed on 18 January 1940, has been the first and the most overriding of them. Some basic rights given to the working class in 1936 has been disseized by this slavery, fascist by all means law. Legal actions somewhat limiting exploitation of women and children have been suspended. Weekend vacation is abolished. Workers’ right to quit is taken away. As all these were not enough, an addendum is made in 1944 to this fascist law which gave employers the right to use force in order to keep workers working. The whole people was obliged to work where and when it deemed necessary, especially the villagers who lived in mining areas. The tithe (10% tax), used for agricultural products before, started to be re-implemented. It was made compulsory to give 1/10th of all agricultural products to the state as a tax. Gendarme “beating” has been made legal for collecting the tithe. Oxen used for plowing have been seized from the villagers who owned land less than 40 acres. And finally, inspired by the fascist German application, the Law for Possession Tax is passed on to seizes the wealth of the minorities, especially the Jews to meet the need for capital.
The second half of the 1940’s significantly differs from the first half (1940-1945) which displays all the characteristics of a fascist regime. The milestone the change is the year of 1946. However, on the contrary to the wrong opinion which is widespread, the milestone of the change in 1946 is not transforming into a multiparty democratic regime. There was no conscious demand towards democratization and no will and decision to establish a multiparty system. It is the official history that claims there were demand and will.
What is behind the 1946 transformation is the will of the Turkish bourgeoisie which had accumulated a significant amount of capital during the war years to integrate more with the imperialist world economy. This means that the old alliance relations in the dominating class bloc have be renewed. In this context it can be concluded that the togetherness since 1919 between the bourgeoisie (agriculture, commerce and not so developed industry) and military and civilian bureaucracy has come to an end. From then on new conflicts and cracks show up between the commercial bourgeoisie and the big land owners who have become capitalists and the feudal who could not accomplish transition to capitalism. The first group, depending on their powers and accumulations, had the will to proceed towards industrialization. At the same time there has been a transfer/ change in the hegemonic power in the imperialist world and economies. This external change has also determined the direction of the change in the Turkish bourgeoisie.
Therefore the 1946 transformation symbolizes the appropriate revision of the regime that considered the external change. In order to become an IMF member, devaluation has been made in 1946. Along with devaluation a series of steps have been taken to liberalize the foreign trade. The devaluation and foreign trade liberalization moves constitute the most important link of the revision of the regime mentioned above. These two moves have been followed by the 1947 Plan which had prepared in order to benefit from the American Marshall Aid. The priorities of state capitalism period have been completely changed by this strategic plan which set forth the principals of the new accumulation model. From then on the priority will be given to support agricultural development and exportation. State investments will give priority to infrastructure investments in transportation and communication which will serve to develop the domestic market. In order to maintain the required resources, all types of convenience will be provided to foreign capital and efforts will be spent to find foreign loans.
If it is noticed, these are all very concrete liberal capitalist measures those were taken not by the Democratic Party as widely believed, but by the CHP (Republican Peoples Party) during the single party period. The factor that forced the fascist national chief administration to make these radical political and economic moves has been the changes in in the world balances and dynamics and the similar changes in the country all together. The primary factor leading to the decision of abolishing the single party regime which had lasted so far has been the internal dynamics. Of course the external dynamics have also played a role in taking that decision.
In fact what had been really thought was not a transformation to a “multi party democratic regime”. It has been thought to have a double party system which would help the single party administration that had been excessively worned out by that time. This has been planned as a controlled exercise just like the previous examples of the Terakkiperver Party and the Serbest Party. However the laws of the class struggle have prevailed and the process has been evolved into a different stage that could not be expected. Therefore it is not possible to talk about a planned transition to democracy and a democratic hero and a democracy.
The DP (Democratic Party) has taken the power in the 1950 elections by making use of the reactions of the people and the intellectuals against the fascist tyrannical implementaions and shameless exploitation and pelf of the natioanal chief period. The DP has been representative of big land owners and commercial bourgeoisie that tended to industry as well. The DP’s taking power has been evaluated by the Turkish right wing and some fantasy loving leftists as “the transformation of power from the bureaucracy to the bourgeoisie, even to the people since the founding of the Republic”. Such an evaluation is a different version of the perception of “state over/above classes” . This percetion sees the state and the bureaucracy independent from the bourgeoisie and big land owners.
The great historical attempt has been first made for the capitalistic development in the DP’s time between 1950 and 1960 during which Turkey has undergone the influence of the USA imperialism in many ways becoming its outpost. The Turkish bourgeoisie has been tranformed to a monopolistic bourgeoisie in this historical period. The capitalist development in agriculture has been accelerated during this stage with the push given by the appropriate conditions in the ecenomic situation in the world.In the mean time the following developments have been noted: the domestic market has expanded; private sector has formed partnerships with foreign capital in industry which produced mainly consumption (consumer)goods; banking sector has emerged ; the industrial capital and the financial capital have nested and first examples of holding monopolies have been started to be seen; migration from rural araes to cities has been accelerated resulting in incraese in number of workers and expanding the working class.
Considerable privileges have been granted to foreign capital through laws like Foreign Capital Incentive Law, Mining Law and Petroleum Law. Turkey has become a member of the NATO at an expense of involving in the Korean War. And during this period Turkey has signed a series of bilateral agreements with the USA covering almost all aspects of life.
While these were happening in economy, the democracy expectations regarding the political and the social lives do not last long. All of the DP founders come from the CHP origin. Among them some come from the İttihat-Terakki tradition. Therefore they also had been influenced from the authoritarian tendency of the Republic. This tendency and reflexes originate from it are somewhat surpressed while things go well in economy. Along with this tendency and the traditional bourgeois reflexes come into scene when signals of crises begin to show up.
At first the fear of communism rises up once more in 1951. The famous ’51 Arrest is carried on agianst the communists and leaders of workers. A new wave follows it in 1953. In the mean time all socialist parties and labourer organizations are closed. Thus a period starts not differing from the single party period with its tortures and police aggressions.
The symptoms of the crises begin to show in 1953. The prices of the agricultural products drop down in world markets which compose almost 100% of export items. Clogging and regression in foreign trade cause a scarcity in the foreign exchange. The scarcity in the foreign excahnage causes a shrinkage in importation which result in black marketing and shortage in manufactured goods. The DP, promised to privatize the public economic enterprizes before coming to power, due to the economic pressure heads towards statist policies. This compulsory tendency stars to create problems between the commerce bourgeoisie and the agriculture bourgeoisie (both represented by the DP) with respect to distribution of resources. The maximum limits have been almost reached regarding the area of cultivable land when 1955 drew in. Shrinkage in foreign markets, drops in prices of export goods and scarcity of foreign exchange continue to be the basic problems. The slow down in the economy has become a real crises when 1958 is reached. Inflation rises up, foreign currency deficit becomes a foreign currency famine and Turkey faces to sign a loan agreement with the IMF. A high rated devaluation is made as a prerequisite of the said agreement. A protectionist import regime is adopted which will constitute a transition step towards the accumulation model based on import substitution in 1960’s. Besides these Turkey promised to OECD (OEEC in that time)to establish a central planning office in conformity with the policy of import substitution.
All of these make lives of the working class and the poor peasantry more difficult and increase exploitation. They also created disappointment and restlesness in low and medium peasantry who supported the DP due to some relative rehabilitation they received in the first years of the DP administration. New cracks are formed within the dominating class bloc. Conflicts of interest grew between the industrial group and the commrce group in the bourgeoisie. The fear of widening of reactions and the greatness of the crises directs the DP administration to new suppression measures. The authoritarian tendencies, already present in the nature of the regime, appear in forefront. The police tyranny condenses on the press, intellectuals, student youth in short on every opposing voice and tendency. Even in the parliament the intolerance to opposition grows up. The DP heads towards to establish the updated version of the Independence courts as Investigation Committees. In order to control the society and to eliminate oppositions in their sources by using force organizations, similar to Nazi SA groups, are formed in towns and neighborhoods by the DP.
None of these efforts could avoid the rising and widening of opposition as a consequnce of the crises that started in 1955 and continued in an increasing manner. This process comes to an end with the 27 May 1960 coup d’etat.
The 27 May coup d’etat is described as a “progressive intervention” or even as a “revolution” by the all versions of Kemalism, including the leftist petit bourgeoisie. This Kemalist claim is an arbitrary interpretation that does not comply with the historical reality. It only tries to attribute legitimacy to a military coup. First of all the 27 May coup sets an example of deviating class struggles from their natural paths by using force from top to bottom , can not be legitimized. Secondly, all relatively progressive developments in the context of bourgeoisie democracy which occurred afterwards, including the 1961 Constitution, are not consequences of a conscious preferences of the coup. Thirdly, the 27 May is not only made up of relatively progressive tendencies and implementations.It had hostility against , communism,workers, Kurds and peasantry in its genes. A series of tyrannical and inhumane practices such as sending Kurdish intellectuals and leaders into exile, taking Said-i Nursi’s bones out of his grave and transferring them to an unknown place or taking DP cadres to deceptive courts after torturous interrogations can be listed under its acts. Giving the army the right to intervene politics and social life in the form of MGK (National Security Council) by the Constitution has been a talent (!) of the 27 May along with the establishment of OYAK (Army Assistance Council) that linked high army officers with the capital.
The group of military officers who made the coup had nothing in common but to overthrow the DP administration which has been considered as a representative of reactionism. They had no clear program or a plan to carry out. They were an eclectic coalition in which fascists like Alpaslan Türkeş took part in. Later on he and 13 of the group had to be discharged from the group. In the first hours of the coup the group has announced that they appertain to the NATO and CENTO (does not exist now. Apart from overthrowing the DP administration, dependency to NATO and hostility against the Kurds and anti-communism constituted the group’s frame of program. They are apparent enemies of workers getting organized on a class base and the right of strike. They also had the tendency to ban some groups in the bourgeoisie, especially the old DP supporters, to establish political parties and even their right to vote. Even though it might be seen contradictory, the relatively democratic developments including the 1961 Constitution have not been by the will of the group of officers in charge. They have occurred because the 27 May administration had no specific plan or program to implement.
The real historical function of the 27 May coup has been two folds: it has interrupted the natural course of the class struggle and it cleared the obstacles on the way to a new model of capital accumulation known as the import substitution model. Both of these developments had been in the favor of the Turkish industrial bourgeoisie that has now monopolized. As it can be understood, the second development regarding the accumulation model is not a direct result of the 27 May coup. The subject accumulation model had first designed in mid-1950’s to meet the demands of the imperialist bourgeoisie and respective steps started to been taken in 1958. The 27 May coup has accelerated the transition to the new model and has prevented the increased social pressure to go in a direction which would hamper the expectations of the monopolistic bourgeoisie.
The accumulation model based on import substitution due to its developmentalist –populist character presents appropriate grounds to maintain rapprochement between the working class and the bourgeoisie and between the monopolistic bourgeoisie and middle and petit bourgeoisie. Development of the domestic market which is protected with high customs taxes constitutes the essence of the model. Naturally the process has direct and indirect relations with the imperialist capital collaborating on issues like means of production, technology, licenses, loans and etc. The model had strengthening effect among the capitals of industry, commerce and agriculture, rather than creating conflicts among them. Spare parts and semi-finished goods needed by the assembling industry has been a means of development for the small and medium sized enterprises. The model has also foreseen a relatively high income level for the working class and the peasantry who will compose buying masses of the goods manufactured/produced for the domestic market.
All these meant to have new relations between classes and within the class itself. But of course such an arrangement did not mean the softening or alleviating the basic conflicts between the classes, primarily the labour-capital conflict. On the contrary, it played role that made the conflicts more apparent and sharpen up. Hence the years of 1960’s are not only characterized by the capitalist development and the leap made by the monopolistic bourgeoisie, but by the historical move made by the Turkish working class as well. It is this dynamic which made the years of 1960’s a relatively more democratic period. Both the beginning and the end of the period witness the most magnificent actions of the Turkish working class. The Saraçhane Meeting (1961)where hundreds of thousand participated, the famous March of the Barefoot where construction workers marched to the National Congress and the Kavel Strike (1963) have been the symbolic actions of the working class in the beginning of the period. The ’68 Movement and the 15-16 June Resistance symbolize the finalization of the period. There had been thousands of militant resistances, strikes, meetings, boycotts, factory and land occupations and the founding of DİSK (Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions) during the time in between.
This rise scares all of the exploiting classes, especially the monopolistic bourgeoisie. A general consensus is achieved in the dominating class bloc to eliminate or at least interrupt this rising. But at the same time a new crisis regarding accumulation starts to ripen that sharpens the conflicts of interest among some groups in the bourgeoisie and big land owners.
Once it becomes obvious that the rising of the working class and revolutionary movements of the youth and the people cannot be avoided by the parliamentary procedures, the monopolistic bourgeoisie finds the solution by putting the army in action, even though the rise in the revolutionary movement led by the working class had somewhat influenced army. There have been splits and divisions in the lines of the striking force of the bourgeois state. Groups having different aims and intensions started to make preparations for a coup. However, the high ranking group, making use of the fickleness of the commanders of air forces and the army forces of the time, first defusing the petit bourgeoisie nationalist forces in the military who were preparing a coup, then has taken its own initiative by the 12 March Memorandum.
The 12 March coup, changing the government, but not closing down the parliament, bears the characteristics of a semi-military fascist coup. The gang of generals involved in the coup composed of a coalition of military factions of different tendencies, but had one thing in common: hostility against the working people. The famous statement made by the chief of staff of the time as the leader of the gang displays the anti-revolutionist, public enemy character of the coup clearly: “We had to intervene, because the social awareness had exceeded the level of economic development.”
Suppression and terror are the means to avoid the social awareness that exceeded level of economic development. Therefore the revolutionary movement and its leaders are put on the target. Many leaders of the Turkish revolutionary movement have been slaughtered. The cadres and thousands of sympathizers have been jailed after tortuous interrogations. In addition to these ten thousands of workers have been fired and black listed by employers. In spite of all suppression and terror implementations neither the working class and progressive powers nor the people as a whole could be surrendered and bowed. One of the important reasons of this situation is that 12 March 1971 Coup could not go as far as the 12 September 1980 Coup regarding fascist brutality and restructuring of the society.
12 March, as a matter fact, is a transition administration from the political and economic points of view. Particularly it did not have a wholesome economic strategy. Anyhow, it still gave the priority to the monopolistic industrial capital in transferring the resources and in distribution of loans and incentives. It also, decreased the reel wages of workers which had climbed up in the 1960’s and limiting the support given to agriculture, primarily by declaring low support prices for agricultural products. All these steps have taken by a government that was “above political parties” composed of technocrats called “the brain team”. In two years between 1971 and 1973 great developments have occurred in some sectors, especially in the textile and processed food sectors as a consequence of policies implemented by the “brain team” government. In general the process of monopolization is accelerated and the weight of the monopolistic bourgeoisie is increased both economically and politically. The labour- capital conflict becomes the basic conflict in the society.
The shakiness of the 12 March transition regime originates from the class balances in that period. It does not only relate with the balance between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and the balance between working people and the exploiting dominating classes, also relates to the internal balances within the dominating class bloc, itself which makes the monopolistic bourgeoisie restless. The dominating class could never achieved a structure of a complete entirety, but this time segmenting dynamics came a bit forward compared to uniting dynamics. Even the army has no complete entirety in itself who supposed to prevent the development of the revolutionary movement and the working class. The ruling party of the period AP (Justice Party) has split just before memorandum. 41 members of the parliament, most of them representing the interests of big land owners (squires), resigned from the AP to establish a new party. The main opposition party CHP (Republican Peoples Party) is in a similar situation. The big uncompromising wings have emerged in the party. The clash especially between the cliques of the Party President İnönü and the General Secretary Ecevit has become strong in every aspect, including the attitude towards the 12 March intervention.
The reasons of these conflicts are the pressure created by the rising social opposition and increasing signs of crisis arising from the structural weakness of the accumulation model based on import substitution. In the beginning of the 1970’s these signs have been observed as shortages in foreign currencies and increases in foreign debts. In other words, the need for resources as far as the monopolistic bourgeoisie is concerned is increasing and the situation is leading to new frictions between the monopolistic bourgeoisie and the agricultural bourgeoisie in sharing the resources distributed by the state.
The monopolistic bourgeoisie stars to look for new ways because of the malfunctioning of the accumulation model based on import substitution. Meetings have restarted with the IMF at the beginning of the 1970’s. A high rated devaluation has been one of the conditions forced by the IMF. Implementation of a series of incentive measures in industry to promote exportation and to concentrate on savings were the other requests of the IMF. As a consequence of these talks the Turkish money is devaluated by 70% along with the implementation other measures forced by the IMF in August 1970. The 12 March Memorandum comes six months later.
The same reaction, which has almost become a tradition in the political history of Turkey, has repeated itself once more. As happened after all high devaluation decision political crises shows up following the devaluation as happened in the 1970 devaluation: the decision making government is overthrown, a new stage begins politically and economically with a new accumulation regime. Furthermore all these transitions are made mostly by military coups and interventions. The ruling party DP is overthrown by the 27 May 1960 coup after the 1958 devaluation. The Demirel Government that made the 1970 devaluation is overthrown by the 12 March 1971 coup. Another Demirel Government is overthrown this time by the 12 September 1980 fascist military coup after taking 24 January 1980 Decisions. There is a direct relation with the postmodern 27 February 1997 intervention of the military and Tansu Çiller‘s evanesce from politics after the 1994 devaluation. The radical economic measures those had to be taken after the 2001 crises have been politically billed to Ecevit and his coalition government. It is strongly believed that the military had played an important role in the accomplishment of dirty political games to overthrow Ecevit and his coalition government. There has been only one exception to this traditional overthrown of governments by the military after devaluations. During the single party period only the Recep Peker Government had to leave the power following a normal procedure after the 1946 devaluation.
Even though military interventions/coups have followed devaluations in Turkey as summarized above, the real cause of economic and political alterations should not be described simply as devaluations cause military coups. Of course they trigger each other, at the same time both are triggered by the malfunctioning / clogging in the economy which force radical changes different from the current implementations in economy. If it is noticed, it will be seen that all big devaluations and the following political earthquakes happened at times of transitions to new accumulation models. Therefore devaluations and coups are not consequences of each other, but they both are consequences of relations, conflicts and balances in economy.
According to a distorted thesis the Turkish capitalism has advanced after almost every coup (27 May 1960, 12 March 1971 and 12 September 1980) and the monopolistic bourgeoisie has strengthened its power after every intervention, therefore the military coups can be regarded as actions to eliminate feudalism. The mentality behind this claim still looks at the army and its role from a İttihatçı-Kemalist perspective and saluted the army with the slogan of “the army has drawn its sword” during the 12 March 1971 coup, thus attributing coups a progressive role forgetting their fascist tendencies and properties. In this case the owners of this claim fail to analyze the relations between the coups and the reasons giving birth to them.
The 12 March 1971 intervention could succeed to postpone the crises appeared in the beginning of 1970’s for some time. But this did not mean that the crises would not come back in a more severe mode. As a matter of fact the crises came back at the end of 1970’s with a more severe clogging and malfunctioning in the accumulation model based on import substitution. In addition to that, the revolutionary movement along with the grassroots movements which had been the justification of the 12 March 1971 coup came back in forms of surging waves. The model has not been clogged only in Turkey, but in the whole world. And this clogging was a part of the world-wide structural crises of the capitalist imperialist system.
After the 12 March coup, Turkey had experienced, between 1973 and 1980, an extraordinary rise in the working class and working masses movements which have not even expected by the working masses themselves. This historical period has been the period during which the democratic rights and freedom boundaries have been relatively mostly widened during whole history of the Republic. There happened a gap between the fascist laws strengthening the authoritarian feature of the 12 March regime and the utilization of rights and freedom of the society. The state authority, suppressions and prohibitions have practically become null and void. This result has been achieved by the struggles and actions of the working class, working masses, Kurds, Alawites and progressive intellectuals.
Similarly the periods between 1950 – 1956 and 1960-1971 have the periods during which the suppression of the state was relatively low as far as the working class and working masses are considered. Especially the period between 1960 and 1971 witnesses the militant struggles of the working class, working masses and the revolutionist-socialist powers. Therefore the boundaries of freedom have been wider compared to the period between 1950 and 1956. But both periods had one common property regarding relation between the working class and the capital accumulation strategies. The capital accumulation strategies implemented in both periods provided relatively better living and working conditions regarding wages and agricultural incomes compared to periods before them. In other words the purchasing power of the masses had to be relatively higher for the interests of the bourgeoisie and big land owners. A more developed domestic market offers more opportunities to the dominating class of the time and increases the political elastic coefficient. It provides opportunity for utilization of soft and flexible means rather than hegemony based on force and suppression. Sustaining consistency makes the dominating bourgeoisie feel comfortable and secure resulting in a period which is somewhat more democratic.
The state of being comfortable is not valid in the period between 1973 and 1980. Unlike the other two periods, this period is characterized by a clogging in the capital accumulation regime. The 1971 intervention could not solve the clogging problem, but only postponed it. Moreover the crises are worldwide crises and started to ascend with the petroleum crises of 1973. In the meantime foreign currency scarcity and declining in exportation and importation are continuing adversely affecting the production in the country. While foreign debts increase rapidly, the inflation jumps to 100%. As a consequence of these strikes and resistances of the working class and the working masses increase not only in numbers, but they gradually attain a more militant and political character which make things worse for the dominating bourgeoisie.
When the situation is looked at from the working class’s point of view, the importance and the value of utilization of democratic rights and freedom is seen. This also shows that the utilization and widening of these rights are equally important as attaining them.
When the end of 1970’s is reached, a transition to a new model of capital accumulation has become unavoidable both for the imperialist bourgeoisie and their collaborators in the world and in Turkey, as well. A radical worldwide restructuring from top to bottom has forced itself due to the greatness of the crises which the imperialist capitalist system faced after the war. Various recipes have been tried about the issue starting from 1970. None of them could be affective due to the limiting effects class balances and lacking properties of being generally applied. However, after all these unsuccessful trials, the imperialist bourgeoisie has concluded to act in a more radical and determined manner in the frame of a worldwide united plan. The new accumulation model found in this process has been then called as “great neoliberal transition” by the pro-system ideologists.
The neoliberal accumulation strategy based on the interests and needs of the imperialist finance capital proposes export oriented industrialization for depended and semi-colony countries. The reason behind this is to link all these countries which are given different tasks with respect to their geographical locations, sizes and properties to the imperialist finance capital for unobstructed and maximum exploitation. These countries are not regarded as important markets when considered one by one, but they constitute an economic value regarding their rich natural resources, raw materials and cheap labour force. Some of them are classified as “pivot” countries in imperialist strategies with their specific locations and functions. Such countries, themselves being open markets, are located closely to other regional markets are credited by the imperialist bourgeoisie with their relatively educated people and their political, social, cultural and historical relations with the neighboring countries in the region. Turkey, seized by the fascist generals who were called as “our boys” by the USA administration on 12 September 1980, has been such a “pivot country” for the imperialist world bourgeoisie both during the Cold War and the neoliberal period.
The fascist military coup on 12 September 1980 and the 24 January Decisions those were put in force at the beginning of that year complement each other. One cannot be considered without the other. 24 January Decisions have been both the reason of the coup and its messenger. A radical restructuring in economy, politics and social life has been foreseen with the 24 January Decisions which could have been implemented only after a coup. And the coup came 8 months later the announcement of the decisions.
The 12 September coup differs from the other coups not only with its extraordinary suppression and terror, but its total restructuring property regarding economic, political and social life. Therefore the 12 September coup constitutes a historical turning point in which cruelty, fear and fascism are elevated to a higher level compared to the previous coups of the authoritarian Turkish regime .It has not only restructured economy and politics, but had the mission of to put the society into a new mould. In all its implementations excessive suppression and terror have been applied beyond all measures. No opposition of any type has been allowed by this strict fascist regime that separated it from the bourgeois democracy.
The 12 September fascism, realized to meet the needs of the neoliberal accumulation model, has first started with atomizing the working class and the society by using state terror and tyranny excessively. Unlike the previous coups it had not stopped with it. As per its real mission it started to construct a new regime which will provide continuity to the state of atomizing and disorganization. Even though this was perceived by some as a revision in the regime that existed with the beginning of the Republic, as a matter fact it was a new regime, not a revision of the old one. It is based on power concentration and centralization in economy as well as in politics. Thus one of the basic features of bourgeois democracy with respect to separation powers disappears in this regime. Power is gathered under execution which attains a position of controlling legislation and judiciary and the media. Generally decrees take place of laws. Extraordinary applications become normal. Along with the excessive strengthening of execution, administration of some basic fields of economy and social life are given to some councils independent from the governments. State of having multi parties is just on the appearance. All bourgeoisie system parties have almost become copies of each other whether left or right. All these are typical features of fascism.
In our days, there are some approaches which still perceive fascism as the fascism of the 1930’s. And they do not evaluate the 12 September as a fascist regime. According to them fascism should rise from the bottom, smashing all workers’ organizations and would not allow the proletariat to get organized any more. Those approaches, trying to be original, base their views on the German fascism not the Italian fascism of the 1930’s.
Whereas fascism has to be evaluated considering the conditions in the historical period it exists. In this context, expecting fascism developing from bottom to top as in 1930’s is no different than claiming that theoretically fascism would never come into scene anymore. Because it is almost impossible to experience the same process of the 1930’s after all what has been lived historically. Under the light of the experiences of 1930-1945, it can be concluded that nowadays fascism can develop from top to bottom basing on the power of the state as a consequence of reshaping of class dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, internally.
In our days, the bourgeoisie, as a class, feels the necessity of reshaping under two conditions: Firstly when it faces a strong threat of revolution and secondly upon demands of capital accumulation regime in a specific historical conjuncture. The second condition applies in the neoliberal period during which the bourgeois states and regimes are restructured worldwide. As a consequence of this the regimes in the imperialist metropolis countries, shown as models of bourgeois democracies, are gradually attaining fascist lines and properties.
The construction of the new regime that started with the 12 September fascist military coup has not progressed in a constant linear mode as being the case in all regimes. Neither bourgeois democracy nor fascism and their sub versions bear a single unchanging mode. The modes are subjected to changes in all periods depending on power balances in the class and the needs of capital accumulation regime. Therefore the structure of the regime constructed by the 12 September coup has shown some variations starting from the mid 1980’s generally keeping its basic line and properties.
The military junta administration established along with the 12 September 1980 coup has left the seat to a so- called civilian administration after a claptrap election made in 1983. But this “civilization” was just in the appearance, not in essence. The 12 September 1980 regime was still prevailing with its laws, institutions and preeminently with its constitution. All the basic laws and applications regulating political and social life were in still in force. Power which concentrated in the hands of military junta previously has now been transferred to a single person Özal who was a fanatic representative of neoliberal policies. Özal’s popularity was a “manufactured popularity” based on demagogical brain washing and illusions as manufactured in different places in the world in the period of neoliberalism. And it can be said without any doubt that fears and anxiety created by fascist state terror accompanied this “manufacturing”. One of the permanent consequences of the 12 September 1980 tyranny has been to consolidate the fears of the masses those already existed historically.
The bourgeoisie was comfortable because all the opposition centers had been disintegrated and the masses including the working class have been frightened by the 12 September fascism. Therefore it has been easy for them to deceive people by calling “the second republicanism” as “democratization” like all other neoliberals.
The regime continued to operate in its line and continued to deceive the society during the period of “comfort”. But the regime turned back to its original character of authoritarian fascism whenever a sign of social opposition is received that would be a threat to the interests of the bourgeoisie.
The trends in the development of the Kurdish national struggle after 1984 and the regime’s reactions to those have shown variations. Whenever the Kurdish movement retreated or had to follow a mild and a reconciling line because of its internal deficiencies, the regime concentrated on giving false images as if it is favoring democratization. Whenever the Kurdish movement headed towards radical policies after perceiving that there is no hope for their expectations, the regime immediately implemented its denial and annihilation policies. Some examples of such behavior are: SS Decrees regarding relocation of 3 million Kurds to western cities by force, the “1993 Concept “ according to which a number of Kurdish leaders were killed during the ugliest phase of the dirty war and the “integration strategy” started to be applied after 2010 as extended version of the 1993 Concept. These actions which could not be implemented that easily by bourgeoisie democracies those would not refrain to shed blood should they have to have been implemented in Turkey displaying the fascist character of the regime during a period called “democratization” (!).
The above paragraph is a brief summary of what has been done on the Kurdish side. Similar implementations are observed on the Turkish side as well. State terror and suppression concentrates on single point targets of revolutionary forces in situations where there is no class or mass movement that could endanger the regime. The DGM (State Security Courts- special courts established by the 12 September regime) terror, operations on organizations resulted in extra judicial executions and attacks on prisons constitute the outstanding examples of implementations on the Turkish side. All these assaults made to revolutionary forces in fact were a message to the whole society. It is worth to note that the attack on prisons in 2000 has been followed by the 2001 crises in Turkey, whereas the establishment of ÖYM “specially authorized courts” in 2006 those replaced the “state security courts” has been followed by the universal 2007 crises. Along with the terror of “specially authorized courts” the police forces have been extraordinarily strengthened with respect to authority and arms/equipment. All these measures have been “marketed” as “steps toward democratization by elimination of the military tutelage” with the assistance of liberal foolishness of the “second republicans”. As was the case in the Kurdish side, the regime has displayed its tyrannical fascist character on the Turkish side after 2009 when increases are observed in social opposition dynamics including workers, youth, women, environmentalists and Alawites.
The origin of the problem lies in the neoliberal accumulation policies preferred after 1980. To buy unorganized labour dirt cheap in a dependent country like Turkey constitutes the basic element of this model. Turkey is in race with its competitors in providing cheap labour to developed imperialist countries and monopolies. The model based on exploitation of labour can continue by the tyrannical suppression of the fascist 12 September regime in the name of securing the economic, political and social consistency. This can only be achieved by despotic administration in an economy that is in desperate need of foreign capital and based on labour exploitation to the maximum extent.
Therefore the unchanging fascist character of the Turkish regime cannot be attributed to a party or any ideological-political differences or different preferences of capital groups. The problem is totally structural.
In conclusion, the change in the structure of the regime after the 12 September coup has not been in the direction of diluting the fascist properties of the structure. On the contrary, the change has been in the direction of reinforcing the fascist properties by adding new means. As the 100. Year of the Republic draws, the single man administration issue started to be discussed like in the founding days of the Republic shows where Turkey is heading for.