Dear comrades and friends,
Before starting to present our views, I, on behalf of Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), want to convey the warm and comradely greetings of our Party's Central Committee and all its members both to Russian and foreign comrades and friends. We, first of all want to express our sincere thanks to the International Committee For The Restoration Of The Soviet Union and the International Committee For The Formation Of Modern Communist Doctrine for the kind invitation they've extended to us for this important meeting. In the name of MLKP, I wish this seminar to make its modest contribution to the unification of all truly communist forces in Russia. We believe, that is the call and command of the exploited, oppressed, downtrodden and humiliated workers, toilers and progressive intellectuals of this great land. A call addressed to all communists of Russia; a call and command which they neither disregard nor decline. MLKP does not in the least doubt that the torch of Great October Socialist Revolution will once more be lit, Lenin's and Stalin's Soviet Union will be restored in all its glory and will once more take its place in the forefront of the great struggle against capitalism and imperialism.
The fate of communist movement in Russia has always been closely associated with that of Turkey and Northern Kurdistan and has always been a topic of special interest for communist and revolutionary movement in our country, for more than one reason. One of the most important reasons for this is the establishment of Communist Party of Turkey with the active support of Russian Communist Party, on September 10th, 1920, in Baku, Soviet Azerbaijan under the leadership of Mustafa Suphi. MLKP, founded on September 1Oth, 1994, after a very long interval of revisionism and opportunism, is the heir to and a continuation of Mustafa Suphi's CP of Turkey. It is understandable, that MLKP too, does and will display a special interest in the heir and continuation of Lenin's and Stalin's Bolshevik Party, that is, the present-day Russian communist movement and feel itself very close to it.
MLKP has been and is for the principled unification of all truly communist forces in each country and internationally under the banner of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. Despite various contradictions and divisions among their ranks, bourgeoisie, imperialists and reaction are in general able to unite against proletariat, peoples and revolution. We, the representatives and advanced sections of working classes and toiling and oppressed peoples, should also be able to unite our own forces, both to form truly communist parties of the working class and to establish broad anti-imperialist and democratic fronts of all revolutionary and progressive forces in all countries. Let's put one thing straight: Bourgeoisie and imperialism are perfectly aware of the fact that the existence of truly communist parties of the working class present a fatal danger for them; they know that only through the struggles of working masses led by such parties, their rotten and inhuman order can be overthrown and workers and toilers be liberated from exploitation and oppression, The experience of revolutionary struggles of the masses in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, have conclusively shown the vital and decisive importance of the presence of such parties armed with Marxism-Leninism. Without truly communist parties of the working class built on Leninist norms and principles, it is impossible to advance consistently on the path of revolution, to win a total victory in the struggle for democracy and socialism, to prevent bourgeoisie and imperialism from depriving the exploited and oppressed masses from the fruits of hard-won victories and to begin the revolutionary transformation of bourgeois order and construction of socialism. Therefore, from the standpoint of their class interests, bourgeoisie and imperialism, first of all consider it vital to do all in their power to obstruct the formation of such parties and secondly, to disorientate, divide and destroy them, if they have not been able to prevent their formation.
Let me first make it clear that, we are not aware of the details of the divisions among Russian comrades and friends on various theoretical and practical issues. Moreover we do not ever consider ourselves as the self-appointed instructors and mentors of Russian communist, revolutionary and working class movement. We fully trust the ability of Russian comrades and advanced workers to solve their own problems through principled discussion and active participation in the revolutionary action of the masses. We also fully trust their ability to rebuild the Leninist-Stalinist communist party of Russian working class and to lead it in the struggle against Russian and foreign capitalists and their agents in the revolutionary and working class movement. This, however, does not detract from the importance of exchange of opinion and experience between various detachments of the international communist and working class movement. This position of ours, therefore will not prevent us from conveying our opinions and judgments about the Russian movement, to our Russian comrades and friends. We are obliged and have to perform this task basing ourselves on our own understanding and experience. Relying on the inadequate and relatively little knowledge we have on the Russian situation, however, we can and will make the following comments.
We, first of all want to express our belief in the necessity of a complete rupture with all brands of revisionism and opportunism to establish a truly communist party. This is a universally valid requirement. The experience of the international communist and working class movement has amply shown that, communist parties have in general been destroyed not from outside, through the action of the repressive apparatus of the bourgeoisie, but from inside, through the action of open and especially hidden revisionists. Transformation of Lenin's and Stalin's CPSU by Khruschev-Brezhnev revisionist clique and of Enver Hoxha's Party of Labor of Albania by Alia clique into bourgeois-revisionist parties, are the most distinguished examples of this tragic trend. That's why, true communists in all countries should decidedly take this experience into account in tackling the problem of building of a Leninist party of the working class.
But for two main reasons this universally valid requirement assumes an even more critical importance in present-day Russia. One of them is the decades-long ideological hegemony of Khruschevite-Brezhnevite revisionism. Russian communist and revolutionary movement has inevitably inherited this revisionist-bureaucratic tradition, which has led to the petrification of creative revolutionary thinking and of revolutionary initiative to a great extent. It also has inherited the tradition of separation from and alienation to the masses, which has penetrated deeply into the collective memory and consciousness of revolutionary rank and file of the revisionist CPSU. The communist forces of present-day Russia inevitably are building and do have to build a truly Marxist-Leninist party of the working class, out of the human material inherited from the past; a human material reared in the revisionist-bureaucratic tradition and tainted by it. Furthermore, they themselves are under the influence of this tradition. So, they have to admit or presuppose these special difficulties openly and guard themselves against their manifestations and ramifications. We should remember that Lenin once had pointed out the difficulties of fighting against customs and habits and told how extremely hard they are to eradicate even under Soviet power. And secondly, we want to point out the present economic, political and social conditions of Russia, which are characterized by extremely sharp contradictions in all fields of life. Some of the most important results of the acute crisis Russia is passing through are the radicalization of great masses of workers and toilers and a growing yearning for the socialist past. This state of affairs, plus the onslaught of imperialist bourgeoisie are forcing at least some sections of middle strata of abolished revisionist CPSU and of other discontented bourgeois and bureaucratic strata to pose as communists and to portray their opposition to Russian and especially foreign capitalism in communist colors. It is very well known that, these strata and groups want to take political power or at least part of it into their own hand, by exploiting the revolutionary fermentation among the masses and the ideological weaknesses and organizational inexperience of truly communist forces. We believe that the building of a truly communist party of the working class should also take this fact into account. Therefore, the process of party building should absolutely go hand in hand with the systematic exclusion of petty bourgeois and careerist elements and former apparatchiki from the ranks of the communist and working class movement. To forestall a possible misunderstanding, we must expressly state our opinion to the effect that this principled stand with regard to ideological and theoretical consistency can not and should not wholly and in its entirety be transmitted to the domain of practical politics, to the domain of political and economic struggle of the working class and other toilers on the ground. There, Russian communists will have to employ flexible tactics, try to utilize the contradictions among various factions of the bourgeoisie and employ various forms of organization and struggle, taking care not to compromise and damage their revolutionary principles and long-term goals, as their comrades in other countries will have to. It is a known fact that, the acute crisis Russia is passing through has led to a series of violent confrontations between imperialism and Russian big bourgeoisie on the one hand and the great masses of workers and toilers on the other, who have at times found themselves fighting shoulder to shoulder with patriotic and national bourgeois elements. Therefore it may be acceptable and at times even necessary to forge tactical alliances with patriotic and national bourgeois elements, as long as this facilitates the mobilization of still greater masses of workers and toilers against the reactionary and imperialist regime. BUT, firstly, they should not for a moment forget the weak and treacherous nature of these elements; secondly, they should never let the basic and unbridgeable distinctions between themselves and Russian patriots and nationalists be obscured or concealed, even in a smallest degree; and thirdly, they should not forget that the sharpening of contradictions in Russia between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie on the one hand and of contradictions between Western imperialists and Russian imperialists on the other are constantly reducing the possibility and desirability of such tactical alliances.
To all these considerations, we must add another and a very important item from our own collective experience in Turkey: The struggle against revisionism and reformism can not and should not ever be confined to the realm of theory; it also is and has to be a matter of practical struggle of the masses. As Marx had said, communists are not Philosophers bent only on interpreting the world; but first of all fighters working actively to change it in a revolutionary way. In this sense, our theory is in the service of practical revolutionary struggle of the masses. Therefore, if we are not just socialist intellectuals, but primarily fighters standing at the forefront of the struggle, our parties should be the parties of the factories, of mines, of plantations, of streets, of toilers' districts and of barricades. All tactics and political lines should be put to test and class collaborationist, capitulationist and counter-revolutionary tactics and political lines of all brands of revisionism and reformism should be exposed right there, in the fire and storm of mass struggle. Our communist tactics should aim at the exposure and isolation of revisionism and reformism. They should be devised in a way, which will help the workers and toilers to understand the correctness of our and erroneous nature of revisionists' and reformists' line through their own experience and revolutionary practice.
Allow me also to dwell upon the problems we've faced and are facing in the building of a true communist party of the working class in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan. In his article, "Urgent Tasks of Our Movement", Lenin said: "In every country there has been a period in which the labour movement existed separately from the socialist movement, each going its road; and in every country this state of isolation weakened both the socialist movement and the labour movement. Only the combination of socialism with the labour movement in each country created a durable basis for both the one and the other." (Selected Works, Vol.2, p.11) As we've said at other places, this period of isolation of socialism and the socialist movement from the working class movement has lasted too long in our country. The newly established and inexperienced CP of Turkey took the road of right opportunism, after its leading cadres were slain by Kemalist bourgeoisie in January 1921. Although CP of Turkey continued its activities, its right opportunist and Menshevik line was consolidated in time, despite the criticism and interventions of the Comintern. In fact, it effectively terminated its existence in the second half of the 1930s. Police operations against this "party" and the emergence of Soviet modern revisionism in the 1950s dealt the final blows to this political corpse. So, when the mass struggles of workers, student youth, poor peasants and Kurdish people once more began to rise during the 1960s, the new generation of revolutionary militants could not find any positive revolutionary heritage to rely upon. They had to learn almost everything from the scratch. This state of affairs coincided with the destruction of Lenin's and Stalin's CPSU and of international communist movement by Khruschevites. So, new revolutionary generations of 1960s and 1970s, who instinctively turned away from modern revisionism, fell almost inevitably under the influence of various petty-bourgeois and anti-Marxist currents, such as Maoism and Guevarism. Restoration of the revisionist CP of Turkey, with the assistance of Soviet modern revisionism in the first half of the 1970s did not improve, but on the contrary adversely influenced the situation. The policy of the latter continued to be one of alliance with a section of trade-union bureaucracy and the so-called left wing of the bourgeoisie. The instinctive reaction of revolutionary militants, who did not have a systematic knowledge of Marxism-Leninism, against the political line of CP of Turkey, continued to drive them away from the working class and lead them to embrace the petty-bourgeois strata, that is, the peasantry, semi-proletariat and youth. Only towards the end of 1970s, in the wake of the open attack of Party of Labor of Albania against Maoism, were first communist organizations able to emerge. These newly formed communist groups had evolved from revolutionary-democratism into Marxism-Leninism by means of an internal ideological struggle against Maoism and begun to orientate themselves gradually towards the working class. Understandably, they had very weak or almost no connections with the working class movement and were inevitably tainted more or less with the leftovers of their petty-bourgeois past ideologically, politically and organizationally. Moreover, they -- together with all revolutionary and progressive forces -- would become the target of the vicious and all-sided attack of Turkish ruling classes, who, under the tutelage of US imperialists, organized a military-fascist coup d'etat in September 1980. Communist and revolutionary-democratic groups were able to resume their forward march only in the second half of 1980s and since then they've been fighting under extremely difficult conditions. Therefore, we are entitled to say that, militant communist movement in our country, in fact has had a very brief past. Its basic weaknesses and its strength spring from these special traits of the history of revolutionary movement in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan.
Yes, we are also talking about the strength of communist and revolutionary- democratic movement in our country. We are proud of the fighting spirit of our Kurdish and Turkish workers and peoples in the face of brutal colonialist and militarist aggression and the policy of systematic torture, murder and massacres of the fascist regime. And we are proud of the will, staunchness and fighting spirit of a significant section of revolutionary movement, which has enabled it to maintain the struggle under conditions of systematic police and military repression. We value these features, built through the great sacrifices of revolutionary generations since 1960s very much. And are aware of the fact they have been decisive in the resistance the revolutionary movement in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan has displayed in the face of the liquidationist wave that has overwhelmed many important and experienced parties the world over, following the demise of the revisionist bloc and the capitulation of socialist Albania.
As to the weaknesses, we can start with the extreme fragmentation and narrow group mentality that has been so characteristic of revolutionary movement in Turkey and North Kurdistan in the 1970s. The causes of this deformation can be traced to both the weakness of the proletarian base of the movement and the absence of a strong Marxist-Leninist movement, which could effectively fight against sectarian tendencies and play the role of a unifying center. Even today, a section of the communist movement in Turkey has not yet freed itself of the infantile disease of 'leftism' and sectarianism and has been continuing to reject the call for a principled and militant unity issued by MLKP. Another section of the communist movement, on the other hand has taken a liquidationist direction, has all but abolished its illegal apparatus and is rapidly becoming a petty-bourgeois reformist party. Under these circumstances, the formation of MLKP-K (Marxist-Leninist Communist Party-Foundation) at a Unity Congress on September 10, 1994, through the unification of three communist groups and its transformation into MLKP (Marxist-Leninist Communist Party) in September 1995, after it was joined by still another communist group, has been a very important step forward. This process of unification -- which we term 'unity revolution'-- and the non-sectarian style of work of our Party have dealt heavy blows at this infantile disease of the revolutionary movement and began to create a culture of unity. The persisting basic deficiency of the movement, however is the relative weakness of its ties to the vigorous working class movement and the trade-union movement, dominated by yellow, reformist and Muslim-oriented confederations. At this point, to be able to present an all sided picture of the difficulties of the communist movement, we also have to underline the sharp discrepancy between the militancy of the working class in the realm of spontaneous and economic struggle and its relative inability in taking part in revolutionary political struggle. We have to underline the fact that, despite the existence of a very small politicized minority, the main mass of the working class at present remains quite indifferent to the massacres perpetrated against the heroic Kurdish people, the glorious struggles of political prisoners and our brave Saturday Mothers and militant youth. What is more, the tradition of militant solidarity of action among various detachments of the class itself is not sufficiently strong. This state of affairs is both an outcome of decades long domination of the reactionary bloc of bourgeoisie-trade-union bureaucracy-revisionism over the working class movement and of the petty- bourgeois past and the relative youth and amateur style of work of the militant communist movement. Working class of Turkey and Northern Kurdistan has waged a series of massive and heroic struggles and demonstrated its ability to lead all other exploited and oppressed classes and strata and to mobilize them around itself. But, its level of class consciousness remains low. We should not and can not forget that, the relationship between scientific socialism and the working class movement, can not be understood without taking into account a whole set of specific conditions and traits pertaining to each country. In his aforementioned article, Lenin also had said: "But in each country this combination of socialism with the labour movement took place historically, was brought about in a special way, in accordance with the conditions prevailing at the time in each country." (Ibidem, p.11) As we mentioned above, in Turkey, socialism and the socialist movement on the one hand and the working class movement on the other, have been isolated from each other for a very long period of time. This means that, the influence of bourgeois ideology and its variants (including petty-bourgeois democratism) have been challenged very little in the ranks of the class, where Marxism-Leninism has not penetrated to a significant extent and the advanced elements of the class have not definitely embraced Marxism-Leninism. In such countries, communist forces must be very steadfast to underline their vanguard and leading role, their revolutionary initiative and will in transforming the class into a revolutionary force capable of performing its historical task. Therefore they should be much more on their guard against the danger of ouvrierism and economism. The fact that they should be very much on their guard against the non-revolutionary and semi-reformist tendencies that are so prevalent even among part of the advanced workers, does not, of course mean that they should underestimate the opposite danger: that of depreciation and even negation of the central role and historical mission of the working class both in the democratic and socialist revolution. Unless the yoke of the trade-union bureaucracy, revisionism and of the bourgeoisie over the class is broken and its advanced sections are united firmly under a militant communist leadership, the historical defect and impasse of revolutionary movement in our country will not be overcome, durability and stability of the communist movement will not be guaranteed, the great revolutionary energy of the class and of the masses will not be released and the internationalist obligations of working class against the Kurdish people who have been courageously fighting against Turkish reaction especially since 1984, will not be met. Basing itself upon a correct assessment and a concrete and scientific analysis of Turkish political scene in general and the problems and prospects of communist and working class movement in our country in particular, Marxist-Leninist Communist Party is determined to revolutionize the working class and the working class movement. It is doing it already in the fire and storm of mass struggle. Full of confidence in the revolutionary potential of the working class, it has the will to overcome all obstacles on this road and liberate the workers and peoples of Turkey and Northern Kurdistan from the clutches of imperialism and capitalism.
Dear comrades and friends,
Before ending my words, allow me also to very briefly touch upon the question of definition of the working class, a question that seems to be an important topic of discussion in Russian communist and revolutionary movement. It is a known fact that, some revisionist thinkers have tried to broaden the definition of working class and have included the great and growing mass of technical intelligentsia in it. But they forget that, under capitalism, as in all class societies based on the exploitation of direct producers, monopoly and control over knowledge, over what Marx called 'intellectual means of production' remain in the hands of the ruling classes, that is of the bourgeoisie. As capitalism develops,
a) both the mass of the working class and of technical intelligentsia becomes greater and the composition of these social categories becomes more complex and diversified,
b) the ratio of wage laborers employed in production in general and in industry (the so-called blue-collar workers) in particular decreases, while the ratio of wage laborers employed in the service sector (the so-called white collar workers) increases,
c) cultural and technical level of the working class rises and workers tend more and more to perform jobs, which acquire the characteristics of mental labor to a certain extent and
d) a sizable portion of the growing mass of technical intelligentsia, who quite often are part of 'collective laborer', get closer to the workers, both in terms of earnings (or their share in social product) and in terms of their position vis-a-vis the means of production.
BUT, these do not in the least mean that,
1. Lenin's definition of the concept of class* has been outmoded and the definition of the working class should be broadened so as to include the whole body or the great majority of technical intelligentsia and,
2. the barriers between the working class and technical intelligentsia are being abolished, these two are being wedded into one and the same social category and the antithesis between manual and mental labor is fading or being nullified.
Under capitalism, the bearers of knowledge and technical skill have a double function or aspect. On the one hand, the technical intelligentsia, or rather the upper and middle echelons of this stratum act as assistants of the bourgeoisie in the production process; their main economic and social function is the rationalization of capitalist system of exploitation and supervision and administration of workers in the name of the bourgeoisie. In all capitalist countries, there is a whole stratum of managers, administrators, planners, advertisers, experts, supervisors, advisors etc. who are an organic part of the bourgeoisie. The fact that, they, in general do not own the means of production, does not change their social or class character. This portion of the technical intelligentsia is totally bourgeois, with regard to its economic and social functions, standard of living and world outlook. The lower echelons of the technical intelligentsia, however, are part of the 'collective laborer', assist in the production of surplus value and capital, and consequently are exploited by the bourgeoisie and therefore share some of the characteristics of the working class. This portion of the technical intelligentsia, therefore tends to act together with the working class and tends to become one of its allies. This, however won't make them part of the working class. Why? Because, despite certain joint or common characteristics, the working class and technical intelligentsia remain two separate social categories, divided antithetically in line with the social division of labor. And it cannot be otherwise under capitalism, which is characterized by the antagonistic contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the working class. This means that the social division of labor will continue to exist and the relationship between manual and mental labor will also remain antagonistic in character, as long as capitalism and the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie stands. The antithesis between manual and Mental labor will start to fade only under socialism, under the dictatorship of the proletariat and will completely disappear only under communism.
* "Classes are large groups of people differing from each other by the place they occupy in a historically determined system of social production, by their relation (in most cases fixed and formulated in law) to the means of production, by their role in the social organisation of labour, and consequently, by the dimensions of the share of social wealth of which they dispose and the mode of acquiring it. Classes are groups of people one of which can appropriate the labour of another owing to the different places they occupy in a definite system of social economy." ("A Great Beginning", Collected Works, Vol.29, p.421)
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