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Message-Id: <199801050015.TAA22299@hermes.circ.gwu.edu>
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 98 23:16:26 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <ats@locust.etext.org>
Subject: PKK Party Program—Chapter One: The World Situation
Article: 24904

Chapter One: The World Situation

PKK Party Program, [3 January 1998]

The history of colonialism began with the transformation into a class society. All forms of production which the class society gave rise to during its development contain their own form of colonialism. The deeper on the inside the exploitation of one class, and its subsequent oppression, goes, there is a corresponding rise on the outside in the exploitation and oppression of other groups of peoples. Beginning with the introduction of slavery and up until today, an oppression and external exploitation of human communities has continually further developed itself. But there has always been resistance and a struggle against this oppression and exploitation.

In the course of history, violence did not always play a reactionary role. In the transformation processes of older societies, the use of violence was often unavoidable. When this violence was used to advance the productive forces, then it was progressive; when it was used to hinder this development of the productive forces and to keep in place the old production relationships, then it was reactionary. It was just as reactionary when it was in the service of conquerors, those who established control over other tribes, peoples, or nations. Conquest is the first step towards the colonization of societies. In this sense, colonialism is always founded upon reactionary violence and, no matter what mode of production it is based upon, it always destroys and replaces the productive forces of the society it colonizes. In contrast to this, the violence which is employed by those societies seeking to protect themselves from colonialism or to free themselves from it is always a progressive and necessary means which may be employed during the development of the society. Revolution, which makes use of fundamentally different forms of violence, is the toughest, most penetrating, and most determining form of social development. The concentration of experiences of social struggles by the oppressed classes and peoples against oppression and exploitation clears the way, under appropriate circumstances, to the path of revolutionary development. At first, this development expresses itself as resistance to internal and external oppression and exploitation and is characterized by attempts at emancipation and liberation. This was the case with Islam and Christianity, which gave rise to feudal societies, and also with the French Revolution, the prime example of bourgeois revolutions.

The bourgeoisie, who had the support of the peasants and the oppressed peoples in their struggle against feudalism, supported the creation of nations and nation states in so far as they as they aided against domestic feudal divisions and external foreign domination. Following the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century, they contributed a great deal to the creation of a world market. On this world market, a few West European states played a major role, and these states brought a large portion of the other peoples of the world into a colonial status. When the capitalist-imperialist world system had fully formed itself by the last quarter of the 19th century, no countries existed which were outside of this system.

The unequal development of a handful of imperialist nations, together with the crisis of that system, led to a new comprehensive world division. Since more war materials were required for this redivision, a global conflict broke out. During this First World War, which brought great suffering to all of humanity, a revolution broke out in Russia.

The October Revolution which originated in Russia not only led to the installation of a new social order in Russia itself, it was also the impulse for a wave of revolutionary developments in colonized and dependent countries and provided the basis for the revolutionary developments of the 20th century. This revolution, which was one of the most significant turning points in social struggles and within the history of socialism, and which was one of the freest and most emancipatory revolutions, showed that workers and the working class could seize power and that it was possible to approach a world without exploitation. Although the system which was created by the October Revolution in Russia has collapsed, the influence of this revolution on the socialist struggle of workers and the revolutionary development of humanity in general will remain.

Between the two World Wars, the system in Russia, which was based on the October Revolution, was carried over to and built up in the areas neighboring the Soviet Union. Although the revolutionary initiatives in Europe were defeated, socialism for the first time became an ideological and political power factor all across the world. In conjunction with the developing objective preconditions, national liberation movements began to form and manifest themselves in the colonized nations, and these were organized under the working class in countries such as Vietnam and China. Within the imperialist system itself, particularly in those countries which had been defeated in the First World War, fascism became the new form of dictatorship for the bourgeoisie. This development led to the establishment of fascist dictatorships in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Japan, subsequently leading to a new imperialist war of world division.

Fear of the spread of socialism and the internal contradictions between the imperialist powers brought the world to war once again. The Second World War, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, was the biggest war which humanity had ever experienced, and it ended with the defeat of the fascist side—in particular Germany—and victory for the democratic side, wherein the Soviet Union played an important role. This victory brought with it a great surge of democratic and socialist advance.

The Soviet Union, which emerged from the Second World War victorious, but having suffered heavy damage, tried through its support of the rising national liberation movements across the world to create a counter balance to the capitalist system. By uniting the new administrations in Eastern Europe, which were based on anti-fascist strength, the Soviet Union formed its own bloc to counter the imperialist bloc. The people of colonized nations—influenced by the strong and globally visible socialist and democratic developments, and supported by the Soviet Union - began to call for national liberation, and the world experienced a phase of expanding national liberation struggles in a number of areas. National liberation movements were forming all across Asia, Africa, and Latin America at this time. Some of these movements—in particular Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and China - were more radical than others. These movements organized themselves under the leadership of the working class, but even those movements which were more based on the ideas of patriotism played specific roles in the struggle against imperialism. The success of these movements which had organized and expanded themselves in a short period of time led to the creation of new nation states, which essentially brought an end to the system of colonialism.

The USA, which took over the role as global policeman from Great Britain following the Second World War, understood that the era of classical colonialism was over. Therefore, the USA concentrated on a new form of colonialism. This based itself on seemingly political solutions, and sought to break the revolutionary aspects of the national liberation movements by means of special war regimes. The imperialist states themselves formed into a bloc and developed a system of special war to support the bloc in all possible areas. In this way, special war was intensified against the Soviet bloc and the strengthening revolutionary movements across the world.

The power struggle between the blocs of the USA and the Soviet Union had global consequences and ultimately ended with the dissolution of the Soviet bloc and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

The phase of socialism during which the Soviet Union was the central focus can essentially be described as the lowest and most brutal level of socialism. Within socialism, the Soviet revolution was a deviation which had the following characteristics: ideologically, there was a decline to dogmatism, vulgar materialism, and pan-Russian chauvinism; politically, there was the creation of extreme centralism, a suspension of democratic class struggle, and the raising of the state’s interests to the level of the determining factor; socially, there was a reduction in the free and democratic life of the society and its individuals; economically, the state sector was dominant and there was a failure to overcome a consumer society which emulated what was abroad; militarily, the raising of the army and acquiring weapons took precedence over other sectors. This deviation, which became increasingly clear to see during the 1960s, brought the Soviet system to a condition of absolute stagnation. Domestically, it was not able to bring about anything new, and internationally it brought all the revolutionary and progressive movements and initiatives tied to it to a point of no escape. Because this stagnation could not be overcome by means of a creative adaptation of socialism, it, in conjunction with reactionary tendencies at home and abroad, led to the collapse of the Soviet system.

Although the total defeat of the Soviet system was by no means the most desirable outcome, nonetheless, the removal of this stagnation has also led to the removal of stagnation at the global level as well. Now there are new possibilities for the development of socialism and revolutions. In theoretical and practical terms, socialism was able to free itself from Soviet dominance and is now in a phase of free thought and practical development. This phase will be the rich phase of socialism, characterized by a creative and scientific approach.

Socialism is an ideology whose roots lie in the history of humanity, the struggles of all oppressed and exploited peoples, since the days of the plebes and the slaves. Each historical phase has had its specific social struggle. In almost all religions, there are emancipatory tendencies. Along with the scientific progress during the capitalist period, socialism also took on a scientific form. The liberation of such an ideology from the narrow boundaries of one state and its hegemony opened the way to a creative and scientific development. Our party, which has at its foundations a creative and scientific approach to socialism, is contributing a great deal to this rich phase of socialism by means of new interpretations of socialism. Our party’s understanding of socialism and the form of socialism embodied in our party is one of the most furthest developed forms of socialism in the world. Socialism means the free orientation of the relationship between people and the society. Socialism is in opposition to all forms of authority which are separated from social reality and which seek to oppress or exploit. In the areas of science and production, socialism has as much to take as the society is willing give back. Socialism is a question of the quality and socialization of people. Under socialism, a well- balanced social development of people is of fundamental importance. Socialism is the ideology which is most interested in the welfare of people, it rejects dogma, and it offers the possibility of incorporating all aspects of human existence. Socialism means work; socialism means theory, tactics, being human; socialism means realizing our greatest task, namely human independence and self-realization.

With such an understanding of socialism, the representation of the leadership of the party, the people, and the democracy are excellently arranged. In the reality of our party, with this as its foundation, a type of person is created who goes from a situation of incurable confusion to a condition of development and the ability to solve problems. A leading militant personality is created, one which is marked by great self-control and the attempt to become like other great leading personalities, taking examples from the history of the Middle East. A personality which, with great care, understanding, effort, and determination, seeks to overcome all difficulties and change the negative into something positive; a personality which, under all conditions, exerts a strong force of will and a fascination for the developing struggle of humanity, without seeking personal gain, to the point of being willing to give up one’s own life to that cause. This new socialist character and socialist ethic, which are being created by our party, will be fundamental standards during the rich phase of socialism.

Previously, in the name of socialism, an understanding and an attitude were created which were distant from specificity and which led to a similar form of individualism as that found under capitalism. Representative of this development was the Soviet Union. With the decline of Soviet-style classical communist parties and the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new world situation has emerged. This world situation, in which the two bloc system has disappeared, can be briefly characterized as follows.

A) The retreat from socialism which followed from the collapse of the Soviet Union has slowed, and a discussion about a scientific socialist world analysis and the fundamental beliefs of socialism has begun. In this way, new life is developing within socialism, a phase of many directions. Even though some governments in a few countries are still developing in a socialist direction, socialism is not a viable political force world-wide. Although socialism is experiencing a phase of renewed discussion, there are some ideologically revisionist tendencies developing, which are either strictly nationalist or fanatically dogmatic and which are characterized by a lack of responsibility with respect to the problems of humanity and the dangers of bureaucracy.

B) With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the class situation and national liberation, as well as the true understanding of the words freedom and equality, are becoming more significant. Those national liberation movements which are active in nations still living under colonial status are pushing the oppressed national groups to exert their desire for freedom even more. These developments, which are often dismissed as regional or local problems, can be seen world-wide. Struggles which are based on the desire for freedom stand in contrast to the interests of the imperialist states and, in so far as they do not lapse into mere nationalism, they play an important role in revolutionary developments. In such struggles, it often comes about that the leadership is taken over by a religious ideology. Particularly in the Middle East over the past few years, the new Islamic movements have grown and become more active. Such tendencies, by making use of the mistakes which socialism made with respect to the ruling conditions in the 1970s, do have a certain historical and social basis and they are of political significance. When these tendencies take a fundamental view of the revolutionary and emancipatory aspects of religion, and when they take a stand against imperialism and imperialism’s local reactionary helpers, then they can play a certain role within the revolutionary developments.

C) Although those states which once made up the Soviet bloc have fallen, no clear order has been established in Eastern Europe and the regions of the former Soviet Union. The continuous struggles in Caucasus and the Balkans are also strengthening the contradictions between the imperialist states. The people of these countries, who were fooled during the psychological propaganda wars of the imperialist states into adopting capitalism, are turning back to socialism once again as they wish to protect the social gains they once had. It’s still unclear how things will develop in Russia itself; at the same time, Russia is seeking to preserve its world power status.

D) The collapse of the Soviet bloc shifted the problems of the socialist countries onto the imperialist system. This has led to an increase in the contradictions of capitalism, making its true face clearer to see. Propaganda such as socialism is dead, our system is the best has come to an end, and it has become much more difficult to fool the masses in this way. Efforts to push forwards with the capitalist order, which have resulted in degeneration in the cultural sphere, have led to absolute chaos. The thin unity of the imperialist states, which was formed due to a shared fear of socialism, is becoming increasingly weak. At the global level, increasing contradictions between the imperialist states have become clear.

Under the present conditions, attempts are being made to take back the economic and democratic rights which the people of the capitalist states were granted in order to equalize the social gains of the Soviet bloc. Along with increasing economic exploitation, the repression by the police state is increasing as well. Nuclear threats, environmental destruction, a rise in chronic illnesses—these and other things now threaten the lives of people and the society. The destruction of nature and the wiping out of natural equilibriums by the capitalist-imperialist states are bringing humanity to a new and seriously dangerous situation. This situation, which threatens not only the future of the society, but all of humanity in general, shows quite clearly how capitalism has developed into a system which destroys humanity, and how deep are the contradictions between humanity on the one side and capitalism and imperialism on the other. All these contradictions, which capitalism and imperialism are embedded in, make it clear that they cannot be consolidated internally, thus leading to different forms of democratic struggle by the working masses.

E) After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the USA tried to bring all regions of the world under its control with its notion of a New World Order. This attempt at hegemony has resulted in a contradiction with those countries which emerged from the two bloc system with some degree of independence from imperialism. This contradiction will manifest itself in various forms in the future, and will put some degree of pressure on imperialism.

The Achilles’ Heel, or weakpoint, of the imperialist system are the new colonized nations. These countries are regions in which oppression and exploitation are intense, and where there exists a permanent state of economic, social, and political crisis. In the midst of immense exploitation and plundering, which support imperialism and the local collaborating bourgeoisie, in addition to pressure by the special war regime, the people living there have arrived at a situation which can hardly be tolerated. Under present conditions, imperialism is only able to maintain this new colonialism with great difficulty, and it cannot arrive at its desired solution to this problem, although it has tried all the methods at its disposal. The present state of crisis in the new colonized countries shows that the objective conditions for revolution are ripe in those areas. If, under these circumstances, the necessary subjective preconditions reach a certain degree, a path is opened for the rise of a revolutionary movement. Under the ruling conditions today, these are the countries where revolutionary developments will be the most intense.

F) In today’s world, women represent the strongest revolutionary dynamic force in the society. The suppression of women, which began with the transformation to a class society, has not been overcome in capitalist society, rather it has continued with finer methods while losing none of its destructive character. The capitalist-imperialist system subjects women to intense exploitation and views them as commodities. In dependent countries, the suppression of women has continued systematically, in that women are subjected to the severest oppression and exploitation. But it is also wrong to suggest that socialism, in the past, adequately dealt with the problems of women, or to suggest that Soviet socialism overcame the petty bourgeois view of women.

Women experience social inequality, oppression, and exploitation in multiplied degrees. In our world today, women everywhere are subjected to a double oppression and exploitation. For this reason, they represent the social group which has the greatest need for equality and freedom. At the same time, the liberation struggle of women from their suppression plays a fundamental role in the process of the development of social freedom and equality. When the oppression and exploitation of women are ended and women are liberated, only then can the society experience true equality and freedom. Our party has shown in its praxis what deep revolutionary dynamic women possess and what a fundamental role the liberation of women plays within the revolutionary development of the society. Therefore, the question of women will be the problem which socialism is most interested in during its rich period. At the same time, a creative and scientific approach to socialism will allow us to activate the great revolutionary potential of women.

G) The theoretical and practical fundamentals which great revolutionary progress has created throughout history, and the many contradictions which our world now finds itself in, show that the preconditions for revolutionary developments are favorable. Under these preconditions, it is possible—building upon national, class, gender, environmental, and other contradictions—to introduce a revolutionary movement. A scientific and creative approach to socialism is necessary to create and lead such a revolutionary development.