From the magazine Yasadigimiz VATAN (HOMELAND We live in)
[May 28, 2001, 92nd Issue]
We stated in our previous issues that certain elements of the left in Turkey would not be able stand on their feet without rejecting being Europhiles. In order to carry out the struggle against this trend it is be necessary to define this European leftism which is a part of this Europhilia.
The typical characteristics of European leftism are distance from the concept of organisation, a lack of organisation.
European leftism is an individualistic leftism. A revolutionary form of organisation, with its revolutionary order and disipline, is replaced and instead this left becomes little more than a pressure group.
Its level of anti-fascism and anti-capitalism is only on a level that imperialism permits them. It is limited to permissible actions.
In most cases European leftism is not able to address problems, it is only sympathetic to them by being supporters or by being in solidarity.
Its main areas of activity are the environment, nuclear waste and the rights of marginal sections of society.
In stead of questioning the system that they live in both morally and culturally, European leftism becomes the protesting part of it.
Compare these summarised characteristics with the legal reformist circles in Turkey. Great similarities can be found.
When these similarities are analysed, it can be seen that, with its political parties which are non-political, its parliamentarism, always just being in a supportive position, always being within the permissible areas of the state and within its self-contained culture, the left in Turkey has become distant to the concept of conquering power.
ANTI-ORGANISATIONAL, INDIVIDUALISM, ACTING WITHIN THE PERMISSIABLE AREAS, BUT DESPITE OF THIS CERTAIN TITLES COULD NOT BE ABANDONED
The reformist left has been anti-organisational for years.
Their propaganda even went as far as to say do not get involve with these organisations otherwise you will be in trouble. They have told the masses come and join my legal trade union and ignore the others. They have adopted the understanding of Civil Society Organisations or Non-Governmental Organisations, which are the creation of imperialist democracy. Political parties were converted into human rights associations and became like ordinary trade unions. Their activities are carried out almost in a disorderly manner, like in civil society organisations, not like in accordance to the rules and principles of political parties or democratic mass organisations. With the understanding of let them work if they want to, let them be lazy if they want to, let them do whatever they want to do and whenever they want to do it, their organisations became paralysed.
According to this understanding, even if they are parties, they will be political parties which are non-political. These parties will not be illegal but something like the legal party of labour.
There will be no form of collectivism. The terms like being responsible, volunteerism and discipline will not be mentioned.
A distorted and Europe-originated individualism determines their lives and thoughts.
They never want revolutionaries to be organised.
They never defend the revolutionaries freedom of thought.
All of this is what is required of them to get permission from the oligarchy. Since this permission is the main thing for them. For the freedom of thought of an imprisoned author, they mobilise but they ignore the disappearances of hundreds of revolutionaries. While the country is turned into a bloodbath, they occupy themselves with the issue of the citizenship of Nazim Hikmet (*)
But never will they carry out actions that carry the probability of receiving police brutality or detention. This is how they theorise their position, one of them will say this is how to be a revolutionary and have a comfortable life at the same time, whilst another one will say, scenes of beating will make it difficult to organise the masses
Here the main contradiction lies, despite of all this, they keep using the titles revolutionary, socialist and communist. This is the point where Turkeys revolutionaries became like the European leftists.
These ladies and gentlemen will avoid being organised and disciplined, will use the right to be lazy and will also be able to be revolutionaries and communists without paying the obligatory visit to
a police station. This is exactly what we call European leftism.
PETTY BOURGEOIS LIVES WITHOUT DEDICATION AND ENDEAVOUR
For a while we have been talking about certain issues under the title of Is this being a democrat and a revolutionary?
Here we will mention an example.
This is taken from discussions about the reception that would be given to marchers who would arrive in Ankara on a Sunday. IHD (Human Rights Association) suggested another day and said if the action is carried out on a Sunday, this will stop the gathering becoming massive, people would rather to go to a picnic or stay at home
What we are witnessing here are not the concerns of whether the gathering will attract a small crowd but rather the preferences of this type of revolutionary and democrat who refuses to abandon both their individual and political status quo. More importantly, following the deaths of more than 50 martyrs, and almost 50 living dead, how did excuses like I am busy that day or people will prefer to go to a picnic occur during a discussion about the possibility of tens of more deaths? How did this become normal, natural and ordinary?
This mentality is like that of a European leftist, a supporter. It provides its support without jeopardising its own life style and status quo.
What outcome can we expect from this mentality? Because no matter how long the discussions take, no matter what decisions are made and no matter how often there are reminded of their responsibilities it will always clash with their status quo.
Their adapt their politics according to their life style. Their understanding of being a revolutionary is; (we already forgot about expecting them to sacrifice their lives) they are not prepared to sacrifice their life style such as, their car, their job, their home, their children need to be taken to school and back, they need to chat with friends preferably in a bar.
The strange thing is, they were saying stop the resistance, give in,we will follow up and undertake the affair What if on the same day that they decided to follow things up on some other matters, like going on a picnic, arose?
Since such a style is done under the pretext of being a revolutionary and being a leftist, today most of the revolutionary and democratic institutions are run in a non-serious way. They became distant to being dedicated and having endeavour. The branches of the trade unions and legal parties are not regularly opened their phone and fax lines are cut off. In time a could not care less kind of attitude became the norm. Can these parties, trade unions and associations organise the masses? Can these form a barrier against the decaying culture of imperialism and the individualism of the bourgeoisie?
They are trying to legitimise this life style which is one of the characteristics of the European leftism, under the pretext of being a revolutionary and being a leftist.
REVOLUTIONARY PRINCIPLES DO NOT EXIST BUT
BOURGEOIS METHODS AND THOUGHTS ARE EVERYWHERE
Take a look at the relations between revolutionaries and democratic institutions. Unfortunately, you could come across with all sorts of deceptions. It has been accustomed to make promises but not to keep them. They are avoiding their responsibilities with an excuse of I am very busy.
Most of them mention democracy whenever they talk. They criticise revolutionaries for not practising democracy-within-organisations. Have a look at the democracy of ODP (Freedom and Solidarity Party). They throw out those who think differently from the rest of their members. They organised a plot and coup d’�tat in KESK (Trade Union of Civil servants). These are the methods of bourgeois politicians and are valid for such a kind of leftism. This is inevitable for those who are distant from the struggle and revolutionary values.
Strange terms are inserted in the revolutionary and leftist literature. Those who talk about the European Union, the Copenhagen Criteria, International Standards are already under the ideological control of European imperialism. This means that the European leftism is ideologically well founded.
What follows next is the same scenery as went before.
At this point the Europe authorities, the oligarchy and the reformists are hand to hand in order to destroy the revolutionaries. They all become alike because they dream of a Turkey where they can play the game of civil society. But their dreams can not come true because of the reality of Turkey.Lets think about it. What are the customs of leftists and revolutionaries from Turkey and what else is compelled to them? Think about our customs. Being and adopting a life style that is decent, clean and clear, courageous, sharing, showing solidarity, being modest, sacrificing, being fearless
On aspects of ideology and individual lives and attitudes, many of the positive values and customs of revolutionaries were rejected by those who kept saying we were vulgar and intransigent. Instead they became incompetent and corrupt.
As far as revolutionaries are concerned their problems, like passivity, being marginalised, having the problem of legitimacy and from time to time losing respect and reliability before the eyes of the masses, should be focused upon and their so called great politics and strategies should be put aside. The causes of these problems can be found within the attitudes that we have mentioned.
(*)He was a well-known communist and poet from Turkey. He was died in 1963 whilst in exile in the Soviet Union and his Turkish citizenship was taken away.