Commentary by Kemal Okuyan, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of TKP
The despair of the bourgeoisie is the hope of the proletariat
We say what empowers Erdoğan is that uncertainty concerning the post-Erdoğan period has not been able to be removed yet. Does this mean there are agents who can or want to remove this uncertainty?
Partly it does.
Erdoğan is a bourgeois politician. In the broadest sense, he has to move in accordance with the interests of the bourgeoisie and with the internal balance of the world dominated by that class. We may ascribe the meanings of equilibrium and congruence to the word “accordance” here.
Then, is “accordance” a testable phenomenon when the capitalist dominance is in question? Let us first remember some norms inclined to the relationship between the capitalist class and politics:
1.The capitalist class, both in national and international scale, is a class having common interests and a common enemy (the proletariat) while its components competing with each other carry unequal weights. It is inevitable for this competition to turn into conflicts from time to time, when the structure of capitalism producing crises is taken into consideration.
2. A bourgeois government is not a practitioner of the already-prepared prescriptions presented to itself. What is expected from a bourgeois government on national scale is to maintain the balance between maximizing exploitation and sustaining it (it is not always easy to manage this); to enable the use of country resources on behalf of capitalist interests by creating new profit areas; to develop military, ideological, economic strategies which will bring advantages in the international rivalry; to minimize the threats and risks created by international uncertainties; to guard the internal hierarchy of the capitalist class; to resolve the internal problems and disputes of the capitalist class and achieve a harmony. It is almost impossible for one and only political agent to meet all of these for a long time. Capitalism is an unsteady, crisis-ridden and unbalanced system.
3.The situation within the international sphere is not less complex. The clash of interests between various imperialist centres, together with the unbalances within these centres, obliges capitalist countries which are not in the highest hierarchical position to produce highly dynamic policies. It is in any case a profoundly difficult political mission to regard on the one hand the political and economic bonds conceived by the alliance systems handed down from past to present, on the other hand, to be in a state of quest in order not to be in a position taking no share in the lion’s den and to get a part in the plans or operations of the strongest actors of imperialist system.
We cannot state that what carried Erdoğan to power is actually Erdoğan’s qualifying this meaning of “accordance” with respect to all these issues. Erdoğan took charge as an actor who, at home, held the necessary ideological and political energy to renew the system facing a historical congestion, while abroad, made appetizing commitments to the USA (essentially active participation in regional expansions) and to the European imperialists (essentially submission). A friction between these tasks and expectations from a bourgeois government as a rule is inevitable to occur. However, the formula of New-Ottomanism which Erdoğan came up with to overcome the historical blockage at home and to proactivate Turkey within the international arena brought about new and unsolvable additional problems. Withal, there is no solution to those problems in the near future. But this picture is at the same time going in Erdoğan’s favour. Clearly, neither Turkey nor the region can return to the former status quo. In that sense, the Turkish bourgeoisie cannot be expected to invest in an actor to restore the demolished First Republic [The Turkish Republic established in 1923 based on secularism]. Erdoğan is still irreplaceable in terms of serving the capitalist class (see article 2) in a Turkey which is unable to move forwards or backwards, with a state structure gone topsy-turvy, fragile and open to military coups. The problem is that Erdoğan with his very presence is himself an actor rendering Turkey unstable and leaving the country in limbo at the same time.
At exactly this point, it is necessary to take a look at the crisis of capitalism in international sphere. We see the following when we look at the world imperialist system:
1. The structural crisis of capitalism is unevenly reflected on individual countries and the efforts to overcome this crisis beyond producing only partial solutions, at some points ends up deepening the crisis.
2. The structural problems of the USA economy as the hegemonic power of the imperialist system cannot be overcome. Trump, who took office with the claim to solve those problems, escalated the inter-capitalist conflicts both internationally and in the domestic politics. Right now, the USA has lost much of its power in dominating and regulating the imperialist system.
3. The European imperialists headed by Germany, both an ally and a rival of the USA, have no political and ideological power to turn the quake in the USA into an advantage. The European Union project have received wounds in many aspects and lost its credibility.
4. The politics conducted by two countries with vast resources, the People’s Republic of China and Russian Federation, both to gain a position in the imperialist system and to fend off the USA aggression further destabilizes the world system and increases uncertainty.
5. The possibility of regional conflicts to turn into a general war has never been this strong since World War II.
Today, that the Turkish bourgeoisie, who has insight into the West has comprehended that it is impossible to stabilise by sticking to the axis of the USA or Germany is prolonging Erdoğan’s life. When viewed from this perspective, we can say that the traditional sections of the Turkish bourgeoisie that was in an open search for a Turkey without Erdoğan between 2010-2016 shifted the weight towards a search to handle Erdoğan after the 15th of July. This search results from the need for an “influential” politician who maintains his social support, who is unprincipled and manoeuvres easily in a stormy weather. It is obvious that the Turkish bourgeoisie is not in a situation to embark on an adventure to create an alternative.
To wait for the international picture to become clearer, to refrain from taking risks in neutralizing Erdoğan, to make more careful calculations about the alternatives, meanwhile to take part in the creation of a state mind in restricting Erdoğan… The interventions of the Turkish bourgeoisie today can be summed in this way.
These interventions crash into the following realities:
1. There is not a sense of direction necessary for the formation of a state mind in Turkey. The more this absence is trying to be filled in by the failed neo-Ottoman Project of Erdoğan, the deeper the crisis gets.
2. The resources required for the formation of a state mind in Turkey have been exhausted as well. Some sections of the cadres serving the Turkish bourgeoisie have disappeared, some have been deactivated, some others have become preoccupied with their own troubles, and moreover, the basic reference points of these cadres have vanished. A solution for this problem is impossible in the short run.
3. Capitalist Turkey has split the society into two. This division can be controlled only for a while by the supression tactics of Erdoğan. Erdoğan is facing the opposition of an educated and weighted section of the Turkish population. What is more, it is possible for this division to develop a class content with the interventions of the communist vanguard under favourable circumstances, to put it in better terms, to give way for a new polarization.
4. Erdoğan is an actor who has been greatly worn out under complicated international conditions and who is vulnerable. The discrepancy between that the Turkish bourgeoisie wishes to face this uncertainty with Erdoğan’s talents and that Erdoğan himself is quite an unpredictable actor cannot be solved.
After all this, we can explain why we have answered the question we have asked at the beginning of this article by saying “partly it does”
Under conditions of capitalism, no actor “can make decisions” independent from social dynamics and class struggles. In addition to this, the society of Turkey also experiences a deadlock restricting the mobilization and options of the capitalist class. This deadlock makes the bourgeoisie indecisive and furthermore makes it inconsistent.
And what can be said about the fact that the deadlock is universal?
Capitalism is being swept along in international sphere. We do not exaggerate at all: It is possible for a revolutionary crisis to occur in the near future affecting multiple geographies. A deeper chaos and even a war preceding this crisis may increase the severity of the revolutionary crisis.
Turkey will be one of the areas where the revolutionary crisis will intensify. In this sense, instead of preparing for a revolutionary crisis both in an international and national scale and of organizing the working class for this crisis, it is not the communists’ task to become a partner of the bourgeoisie in the search for a “sheltering harbour” and pursuing stability or a more humanitarian capitalism; this is nothing but a betrayal.
The bourgeoisie may be desperate. However, the remedy and salvation for the working people is present. The door is being knocked once again after a hundred years.