“The Theoretical Heritage” was presented to the 3rd Congress of the Workers’ Party on 14-16 October, 1994 as part of the Central Committee Report.
Karl Marx, the founder of scientific socialism, has produced proletarian dictatorship theory from his 70 days’ Paris commune practice. In the practices to establish socialism which began with the l7 October Revolution, an experiment exceeding 70 years, was accumulated. This 70 years contains the biggest and the strongest attempt of man in his effort to change the world. Such a great practice in scientific socialist theory presents a rich material incompatible with the 70 days practice of the Paris Commune.
Workers’ Party developed its program and regulations on the basis of theoretical gains of the socialist first wave that terminated in l990’s. But we have not summarized this theoretical heritage in a Party document.
Now, it is the time to make a well-coordinated theory of the practices of the 20th Century socialism and class struggle. For the capitalist restoration process in the Soviet Union has come to an end, and the facts terminated the last arguments that continued since l960’s.
The Euro-centric Socialism of the l9th Century
The development of the theory and the practice of proletarian revolution can be divided into two periods.
The first period begins with the Communist Party Manifesto in 1840 and continues up to the years following the 1871 Paris Commune.
The second period begins with the October Revolution in l9l7 and continues up to completion of the capitalist restoration in Soviet Union.
This periodization, which could be expressed as the 19th Century socialism and the 20th Century socialism, coincides with the radical changes in economical and political processes in the world; moreover, it arises from these radical changes.
The centre of the worldwide revolution was in the developed capitalist countries, that is, in Europe, in the 19th Century.
The October Revolution opened “The Age of Proletarian Revolutions and Independence Wars”. Capitalism has reached to the stage of imperialism at that moment. Under these circumstances, the centre of the worldwide revolution has shifted towards the Oppressed World.
The first period of Scientific Socialism was sealed by the 19th Century reality. At that time, the map of the world, which makes history, was only consisting of Europe. The North America was also a part of the Europe’s capitalist civilization. Asia, Africa and Latin America were not entered into the common bed of humanity yet. Under these circumstances, the focus of the revolution in the 19th Century was in Europe-this was the fact.
Marx and Engels sought for the reality in facts, since they were materialists. The contradiction between the socialization of the production and the private property in the developed capitalist countries would give rise to proletarian revolutions. This was a revolution of continent, and it would be realized in the European scale; at least, it would cover the most developed capitalist countries. The proletariat taking the power, must have destroyed the state apparatus of the bourgeoisie and must have set a class dictatorship over the bourgeois class, whom it was not able to eliminate its social, economical and ideological basis.
The founders of Scientific Socialism extracted this model of revolution from the practices of 1848 revolutions and 1871 Paris Commune. The class struggle and the revolution practices of the 19th Century were a laboratory for the theory of Marx and Engels, and moreover, those practices proved the theory. Great proletarian movements took place in the industrial cities of Europe in 19th Century. The workers class revolted in Paris in 1871 and took the power for the first time. But since the Paris Commune could not be able to expand and fragmentize the state apparatus, it survived for only 70 days. The conquered bourgeoisie rearranged and destroyed the Paris Commune in collaboration with the German bourgeoisie.
The Focus of the 20th Century Revolutions: the Oppressed World
The most important development in the 20th Century is that the massive populations living in Asia, Africa, and Latin America have taken step onto the World’s political arena, in other words, they have started being influential over the history of the world. Imperialism pulled the oppressed world into the common development bed of humanity. As a result of capitalist spreading all over the world, anti-capitalism developed outside Europe. This anti-capitalism was the opposition to the metropolis, that is, anti-imperialism. Capitalism tried to solve its fatal crisis in Europe by spreading out capitalist relations all around the world, but this was nothing but spreading out the crisis.
In the l9th Century Europe and its near periphery were divided into two, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. However in the 20th Century this has been transformed into a division between oppressor countries and the oppressed ones, a polarization based on class conflict again. Lenin built up the revolution and socialist strategy of the 19th Century on the basis of this development and stated that he took it as a base for the theses of the Communist International Congress.
A glance at the 20th Century shows that the conflict between the oppressor countries and the oppressed countries is the main contradiction among the principal contradictions in the world. The proletarian revolutions have been introduced into the agenda as a result of the anti-imperialist struggles of the oppressed peoples led by the working class.
One of the basic characteristics in our Age is that the revolutionary movement has been shifted up from the West to the East, from the North to the South, from capitalist metropolis to peripheral countries. As a result of the transition of capitalism to its imperialist stage, the division of the world into two as the oppressor and the oppressed nations, the intensification of the exploitation, and therefore the sharpening of the contradictions in the peripheral countries have made the revolutionary centre shift to those countries.
Contrary to the l9th Century, the countries closer to revolution and socialism are not the most advanced capitalist countries, but the oppressed countries, which are experiencing the relatively earlier stages of capitalism. This fact, which was proven in many occasions over the Century, is the cornerstone of our theoretical heritage. It is impossible to develop an effective revolutionary theory if this basic fact is ignored.
Consequently, the Scientific Socialism has ceased to be a Euro-centrical theory and became universal. The importance of Europe has become secondary. As it can be clearly seen from today, the October Revolution was not a classical l9th Century revolution, but the one occurred in a comparatively underdeveloped country. Russia was the most underdeveloped country of the Europe, but it was the most developed country of the Asia. The main effect of the revolution, which began in Russia, could spread more widely among the Asian nations rather than European nations. Lenin and Bolsheviks believed that the European revolution was the only way for the Soviet domination to survive and simply waited up for the revolution until l920’s. After the unsuccessful revolutionary attempts in Germany and Italy, they realized that the eastern countries would be a better target. The Russian capitalism was strong when compared to underdeveloped countries. So the revolution succeeded not in a country least developed of the developed countries but in the most developed of the underdeveloped countries. The October Revolution could not lead the revolutionary potential in the developed countries but it triggered the potential of Asia, African and Latin American revolutionary movements. The Eastern European, Chinese, Korean, Cuban and Far-Eastern revolutions, followed the 1917 Revolution.
The Worldwide International Front and the Weak Link of the Imperialist Chain
One of the major developments of the 20th Century is that capitalism has become a global system and the large imperialist countries have partitioned the world. This fact obviously reshaped the revolutionary strategy of the proletariat. Revolution is no more a result of confrontation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat of any country that is limited by the national level. Revolution could only be realized through the resulting of the worldwide confrontation in a certain country. The worldwide imperialist colonization chain would be broken through its weakest link.
In all of the successful revolutions of the 20th Century, labourers of the country have faced with imperialism. In order to take the power and reserve it and to establish socialism, invalidating the imperialist attack has been needed. In our Age, no strategy of revolution has succeeded without regarding the imperialism, and it will not succeed in the future. The worldwide confrontation of forces of revolution and counter-revolution makes the perspective of struggling in the world scale necessary. Revolution will, of course, not be realized all around the world simultaneously, but instead, in the country where the labour forces are strongest, that is, the imperialist chain is weakest.
The Only Way towards the World Revolution: the Struggle for National Revolutions and Socialism
Under the circumstances of our era, where the world has been shared among imperialist countries, waiting the revolution attack either from the North or the USA or Europe is the theory that makes the revolution impossible. The revolution in the developed capitalist countries will be triggered by the revolutionary upheavals in the Oppressed World. Revolutions in each oppressed country will force the revolutions within the metropolis of imperialism.
Today, the diminution of the state in a country cannot be considered as a criterion of socialism. This naive criterion arises from the hypothesis of “world revolution” of the l9th Century Marxist theory and disregards the imperialism. As the practices of 20th Century have proved, in the practices of building socialism in an oppressed country, the diminution of the labourers’ state at the beginning could not be expected due to the presence of imperialism and the threat of civil war. On the contrary, intensification of the class struggle will need a stronger governing mechanism for the labourers for a certain period. Socialism can be built in “underdeveloped” countries, but the class struggle against the capitalist restorers will be stronger and will continue for a longer period. The struggle for socialism in one country is the only internationalist theory and it is the only way to the “world revolution”.
The practices of the 20th Century have proved the fact that socialism could only survive within large scales. In order to be able to break with the world capitalist system, socialism needs a certain potential of human and production, more or less geography, and a national market.
This broad scale can be created either by a single country or more than one country. Turkey is a large and favourable scale for the building of socialism.
The Revolutionary Potential of Peasantry
The shifting of the revolutionary core from capitalist metropolis to the periphery has brought up the issue of peasantry to an important stage, simply because masses of peasants constitute the majority of the population in the Oppressed World. Proletariat gathered in the lands composed of industrial centres that were surrounded by the sea of peasants. Masses of peasants were also faced with imperialist exploitation and oppression. A strategy of revolution, which was not based on peasants and did not take care their demands, and did not adopt to transform peasants through their inclusion to the process of revolution, was not possible. This was the reality of the 20th Century revolutions, which was proved through the Russian, Chinese, Korean, Cuban and Indochina Revolutions.
The proletariat found its main ally in the labourer peasantry both through the revolution and through the socialist liberation. In the age of imperialism, the oppressed countries have lost their chances in order to develop capitalism through their own dynamics, to eliminate the feudalism under the leadership of their indigenous bourgeoisie, and to constitute a democracy in this manner. Imperialism has set up a compradorized bourgeoisie who acts as a local agent for the international capitalism and run this market and agreed to support the conservative reactioners within the country who are mainly feudal landlords. Neither the compradorized bourgeoisie nor the native capitalists in these countries were able to defeat the feudal medieval elements out of the system and set up real democracy, which would economically and ethically improve the country. So this establishment seems to be that of the working class duty as well as building up the socialist revolution.
Inevitably, these extra responsibilities shape the socialist revolutionary strategies. Peasantry is no more an ally of the bourgeoisie as in the development stage of capitalism, but it has been an ally of proletariat. Thus, the main confrontation between bourgeoisie and working class in the l9th Century has been transformed into the conflict between imperialist-comprador zed bourgeoisie-feudal elements versus the working class and peasants ally. The struggle against feudalism has been integrated with the struggle for socialism against imperialism in this Century and peasants, inevitably, has become the forces of the revolution. Those who cannot understand this very crucial fact have been looking at the world of the 20th Century through the l9th Century library windows. No matter how pure socialist and pure proletarian they seem to be, they are in a position, which sees the socialism and the domination of the proletariat impossible. They have envisaged that the bourgeoisie could eliminate the feudalism within the Oppressed World, as in Europe and they have begun to wait. Hence, they have fallen into the same line with imperialism. This is just the consequence of the refusal of the revolutionary potential of the peasantry in the 20th Century.
The unequal and irregular development of the history can be easily observed through the 20th Century. Europe has realized her enlightenment movement and industrial revolution under the leadership of bourgeoisie up to the middle of the 19th Century. By the 20th Century, capitalism has lost its revolutionary features because of the organic changes within its internal contradictory relations. The problem of enlightenment and development in the Oppressed World have become a problem of struggle against imperialism, and especially a problem of building socialism, rather than a problem of developing capitalism. “Underdeveloped” has a progressive potential compared to the present “developed”. There is only one way for the peasants of the Oppressed World in order to liberate from their own Middle Ages: uniting with the proletariat.
The Gradual and Uninterrupted Revolution
As a result of the shifting away from the centre of the revolution towards the underdeveloped countries from the perspective of capitalism, and of the introduction of demands of the masses of peasants into the agenda of proletariat, the fact of gradual revolution has arisen. On the other hand, the necessity of confrontation against imperialism has brought the fact of gradual revolution into the agenda.
In order to be able to reach to the goal of socialism and classless society, the proletariat, at the first stage, has taken into consideration the demands of democracy prior to socialism into its program, as the land reform (aiming to distribute the land to those that work on it), independency, freedom, national equality, enlightenment, and human rights. These demands, in the final stage, are that of the bourgeois-democratic character. Socialism has goals for the classless society such as the collective property of the means of production, collective use of land and proletarian internationalism. In the revolutions of the 20th Century, two types of sequences of demands interfered and during the first stage of the revolution the formers entered into the agenda more frequently. The democratic revolution in Russia in February 1917 was followed by the socialist revolution in October. But, the application of the socialist program into the agriculture could only be started with the collectivisation in 1929. The Eastern European revolutions, on the other hand, were progressed towards socialism by passing through the democratic revolution stages against fascisms of Hitler and Mussolini. All of the revolutions of our Age, especially the Soviet and Chinese ones, were the successful applications of the theory of gradual revolution. The insistence on a program of “immediate” building of socialism, which cannot unite the vast forces against imperialism, will demolish the alliance of workers and peasants, will make the domination of the proletariat impossible, and hence the socialist liberation cannot be realized. Proceeding in the line of socialism and classless society can only be realized with the understanding of “a gradual and uninterrupted revolution” and not with the perspective of an “immediate” building of socialism.
The Leadership of the Proletariat, the Vanguard Party and the Mass Line
Marx has stated the importance of the leadership of the proletariat in the revolution and socialist liberation. The realization of the practices of the 20th Century socialism in the countries where the working class was the minority and the peasants were the majority increased further the importance of the leadership of the proletariat. In order to complete the anti-imperialist and democratic duties, and to proceed towards the socialist building uninterruptedly, the leadership of the working class was essential. This fact was proven by the 20th Century revolutions. The anti-imperialist struggles in which the working class was not dominant, not only could not be able to realize the democratic duties, but also had fallen into the web of imperialism. The Liberation War of Turkey and the following period under the leadership of Kemalist bourgeoisie is the most challenging example of this negative practice. The revolutions in the 20th Century have proven that revolution is impossible without a party. All of the successful socialist revolutions were realized under the leadership of vanguard parties which have united the leaders of proletariat, have set up deep relations within the masses, and have established a strong ideological, political and organizational line.
The vanguard was not a discovery of Lenin, but it is a social fact. There is a conscious and advanced part of every class. And, every class is awakened and directed by this vanguard. The class struggle has a vanguard as well. A class lacking an organized leadership cannot make revolution.
Meanwhile, revolution cannot be successful with the vanguards alone. There is no example of a successful revolution, which was led by “vanguard fighters” without the support of the masses. Such enterprises ended with fiasco and only proved their own dead-lock. The fact that revolution can only be a product of masses, and that following the massive line is a must, both during the revolution and during socialist building. Leadership of the proletariat, the vanguard party, and the massive line are the three interrelated, basic elements of a successful revolution.
The Stalin Issue
The period of Stalin included the first socialist building practice. Since it was the first, it was the most “dirty” one among other practices. The major action of the socialist government under the leadership of Stalin was the radical abolishment of the private sector and Stalin took his role in the history of socialism with his determined attitude in breaking with capitalism and constructing socialism. He was in the line of socialism and he belonged to our history. This should not be regarded as repeating Stalin. Not only those who want to abolish socialism, but also the ones who want to go ahead of the first practice should criticize Stalin. But this criticism is not from the lines of capitalism, but it comes from the lines of class struggle and socialism. Socialist practices which came after Stalin, especially the Chinese practice under the leadership of Mao, took lessons from that period and went beyond Stalin. During the period when the masses were so tired and when an exhaustion emerged in the process of building socialism, vanguards under the leadership of Stalin attempted to going out of crisis via utilizing the party and the state tools excessively. In 1936, after the collectivisation of the means of production was mainly completed, Stalin claimed that classes and the class struggle were finished. According to this thesis, there was no danger of counter-revolution (capitalist restoration). But the facts have shown that class struggle continues even after the collectivisation. Since Stalin denied the presence of classes, he accused the people in the party who were on the capitalist way as “agents”, “abolitionists”, etc. Thus, the class struggle was reduced to a struggle against the agents and the destructive activities of the foreign countries, and the policized precautions were placed in front of the political and ideological struggle. Besides they attempted to resolve the conflicts among the people in a hostile manner. Moreover, some events occurred which could be considered as crimes within the context of socialist legacy and ethics. These practices and methods led to the alienation of labouring masses and separated leaders from the masses and damaged conditions for socialist democracy. Thus, Mao Zedung, after analysing the Soviet and Chinese experiences, developed a theory to go ahead of the crisis emerging in the road to socialism. Mao, with his theory of “continuation of the revolution under the proletarian dictatorship”, showed the fact that the party could solve bottlenecks in the building of socialism only by turning its eyes to the masses but not by introversion. Trotskyism, as an alternative to the Stalinist line, had claimed the impossibility of socialism in one country. Despite all of its weakness, it was the line of Stalin, which contributed to socialism. In this manner, Stalin’s persistency in defending socialism provided a base with a more developed conception of socialism later that found its expression in the contributions of Mao Zedung. Stalin was one of the representatives of the line of persistency in defending socialism.
Revisionism Has Led to Capitalism
The state bourgeoisie of the Soviet Union that turned to be a dominating class under the leadership of Khrushchev identified itself with a model of capitalist production, consumption, distribution and industrialization in the name of “race with the capitalism” in the development process that lasted more then 30 years till 1990. In our era, the regime of any minority class, especially in a developed industrialized country, can have only bourgeois character, can only survive the economy with a program of bourgeoisie, and can only set hegemony over the labourer masses with the perspective of bourgeoisie. The state bourgeoisie of the Soviet Union reflected this competition as a struggle between systems whose sources essentially came from the inter-imperialist contradictions during periods when the competition with the USA was the preliminary issue, and it made use of the revolutionary heritage of the Scientific Socialism and the respectability of the Soviet Revolution in the period of Lenin and Stalin.
But, the state bourgeoisie of the Soviet Union, while passing to a system in which the surplus value was distributed with profit among the market mechanism as a result of the suffocation of the exploiting system in the form of rants that was provided by the state posts, also named the class dominating system. Thus the Scientific Socialism threw its mask, through stepping up to the hostility of Lenin and Marx from the hostility of Stalin it brought the process to its natural end. Gorbachov came out with the theory of globalisation of imperialism and as a defender of the New World Order project. Essentially, the doctrine of “change” which was offered by the metropolis of the capitalist world, found its representatives all around the world. The reason why the theses of Gorbachov and Turgut Özal were the same was that their economical and ideological sources were identical. Gorbachov mainly claimed three theses:
-The class struggle and revolutions era have passed away.
-All countries that are oppressed or oppressing, the developed or the underdeveloped were interdependent.
-Capitalism and socialism were converging to each other.
These theses, from all points of view, were announcing the ideology of the world capital; and were aiming the integration with the international capitalist market, as much as possible.
It is natural that the Soviet Union was expressing these theses in the eve of the formal declaration of the capitalist restoration. It was not surprising that many parties following the Soviet ruling class have adopted these theses, and revisionist parties have defended Gorbachovism for a while together with the imperialists. Revisionism demolished the socialist lines essentially, not only in the Soviet Union but also all around the world.
Both the practice experienced in the Soviet Union and in our country, has proved that revisionism is the ideology of bourgeoisie. Revisionism is not a type of socialism. Revolution cannot be realized with a revisionist theory and program. Revisionism resists against revolution and leads to capitalism. Revisionism has always served for capitalism and collected power for it. Mao summarized these historical realities in 1960’s with his statement of “revisionism means bourgeoisie”.
The “Class Struggle Throughout Socialism”: Theory of Mao Zedung
The theories of grand masters of the19th Century on the process of socialism were limited, simply because there was no essential practice of socialism up to that period. Marx and Engels deeply studied the short experiences of the first proletarian domination of history, the 1871 Paris Commune and took lessons. Marx states that the Paris Commune proved the fact that the working class would not be able to use the present state apparatus for its own purposes after taking the power. The bourgeois state apparatus have to be fragmentised and instead, a “proletarian dictatorship” has to be established. With the experiences of that period, the threat towards the proletariat was expected to come from the abolished bourgeoisie and the proletarian dictatorship was considered to be a must in this context. In the 20th Century tremendous practices of socialism were realized. The occurrence of these practices in the countries where the capitalism was not developed yet and where the peasants were the majority, has determined the context, the period, and duties of socialism process.
The necessity of the expropriation of means of production beginning from the large industry against the danger of counter-revolution by the abolished classes was known. It was expected that the classes would finish, and the roots of the counter-revolution (capitalist restoration) would be suffocated except a foreign attack, after the completing of this duty. This theory from the 19th Century was no more valid against the facts arised in the Soviet Union in 1960s. Once revisionism took the power in the Soviet Union, a new crisis within the socialist movement has been created.
At this point, Mao Zedung, after analysing the process of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union and the Chinese practice, put forward his theory of “continuation of the revolution under the domination of proletariat”. This theory is the biggest contribution to the Scientific Socialism in the age of proletarian revolutions.
Socialism covers a long historical period beginning with the proletarian revolution and lasts until the establishment of the classless community. During this period, even after the collectivisation of the means of product is mainly completed, there is still a danger of capitalist restoration; the struggle between the two classes, the two ways, the two lines, that is, the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the socialist way and the capitalist way, the Scientific Socialism and Revisionism continues. The collectivisation of the means of product as a legal form did not eliminate the danger of capitalist restoration. After this stage, the main danger arises not from the defeated bourgeoisie, but from the capitalist-minded members of the party and state. The initiative of the labourers should be kept alert in order to continue the class struggle. This theory of Mao Zedung represents a radical disconnection with the bourgeois democracy, which lies on bourgeois pluralism; it leads to a new labourers democracy. Party is a necessity of revolution, but it is necessary not only for governing but also to serve the class. The guarantee of the socialism is the captivation of the power by the labourers again and again, widely and profoundly. As long as the party is the leader of this initiative, socialism can proceed on its own way. In the case that the party did not activize initiatives of labouring masses and did not transform them into vanguards, then the process of degeneration, putrefaction, and capitalist restoration would begin. Socialism is the transformation of labourers through their own experiences; it is not a process where the vanguard dictates a style of life to the society. If the party can continue to harness the initiative of the masses then socialism can survive. Socialism aims a society where there is no need for a vanguard through the process of “vanguardization” of the ordinary labourer. Socialist state has the perspective of making any kind of domination redundant. The removal of the relation between the ruler and the one, who is ruled step by step, represents a radical breaking away the bourgeois democratic relations. The theory of Mao has been proved by the recent developments in the Soviet Union. It is not possible to analyse the dissolution in the Soviets and to resist against the ideological attack of bourgeoisie without the adaptation of this theory. Today, everyone is aware of the capitalist restoration process in the Soviet Union, thus the “old” debate is ended. But the problem is to carry this fact into our consciousness. The building of capitalism in Russia proved that a ruling class who brings the capitalism into the country has been originated previously. Gorbachov and Yeltsin were not the representatives of the defeated bourgeoisie of 1917; they were the leading responsible members of the party having the “communist” title and that of the state having the “socialist” title. Moreover, the rulers of the state and party around them were in favour with capitalism. Each social system is established by a class. It is the bourgeoisie who establishes the capitalist system. The capitalism, which was clearly manifested in Russia in 1991, has been established by the capitalist class. But this capitalist class was the state bourgeoisie. This class, together with Khrushchev, set a dictatorship over the labourers and began the building of capitalism. Gorbachovs and Yeltsins were the leaders of this class who was the owner of the power for more than 30 years. Because the state bourgeoisie was formed previously and took the power, it declared the actual name of the system in 1991 that she was ruling. The period that we have experienced has approved the analysis of Mao, which was manifested in 1960’s. Thus, the theses of Mao were proved and they became a theory.
The Worldwide Emergence of Scientific Socialism
The “class struggle during socialism” theory of Mao Zedung is the peak of the 20th Century socialism. In the 20th Century, Lenin, the leader of the October Revolution, made the first important contribution to the Scientific Socialism. Lenin, relying on the fact that capitalism had come to the stage of imperialism, established the strategy of the proletarian revolution in our age. Thus he went beyond the Euro-centric theory of the 19th Century and gave birth to the worldwide scientific socialism. The class struggle and capitalist restoration during socialism theory of Mao completed the contribution of Lenin. The switching of the revolution towards the “underdeveloped” countries in the stage of imperialism was inevitably including the danger of capitalist restoration. Lenin stated that revolution would not be realized among the countries where capitalism was the most developed. On the other hand Mao analysed that the danger of capitalist restoration was continuing in the underdeveloped countries even after the expropriation of the means of production. He stated the realities pertaining to class, which forms a base for the capitalist restoration and the reality of the world. Mao deepened the theory of Marx with his theory of solving the problems of socialism among the mobilization of labouring masses. Marx has stated, “the biggest productive force is the revolutionary class itself”. Marx, in his reply to the question of “why is revolution necessary?”, said that “Revolution is necessary not only for there is no other way of defeating the ruling class, but also for the proletariat can only establish a new society within a revolution”. The labourer masses that make the revolution are the biggest productive forces. Moreover, the class who builds the new society, is, only and only, the class who stands up for the revolution. The process of refinement of the labourers from all the negative characteristics of the elder society is the revolutionary action itself. The socialist theory of Mao, which emphasizes on the revolutionary action of labourer masses, not on the state apparatus, has given light to those who want to establish a new society. The theory of class struggle and capitalist restoration of Mao surpassed beyond the 19th Century socialism and formed a base for the new wave of socialism of the 21st Century. Hence, a Scientific Socialism, which does not include the contributions of Mao Zedung, cannot be imagined.
Not Competing with Capitalism but Breaking with it
Is the effort of trying to establish socialism in an “underdeveloped” country a hopeless act of forcing or is it an effort of cheating history? This is the critic faced by socialism of the 20th Century since the very beginning. There were some “Marxists” among critics who had stuck to theses of the 19th Century. All the efforts towards the defeating of capitalism in this century have come out of the so-called “underdeveloped” countries. The theory should be modest; should analyse the reasons for this fact. In the case, when the theory does not fit to the reality, than the theory should be modified and practices cannot be disregarded. Socialism is an attempt to destroy class society and its final stage, the capitalism, and to establish a new civilized society, which ascends the capitalism. Economist perspective accepting socialism as competition with the production and consumption norms of the capitalism has bankrupted. The case of Soviet Republic is a tragic example of the bankruptcy of this “compete and catch up” perspective which was a sophisticated form prohibitive line of 19th Century. The Soviet Union, by the Khrushchev period, totally abandoned the line of breaking with capitalism and adopted the competition line. This line also had the roots coming from Stalin period. However, with Kruschchev, it became more dominant. As far as competing with capitalism, revisionism became capitalized. During the Brejnev period, USSR led certain sectors of the world economy. However, as it took the leading position, it became more capitalist. Therefore, at the end, it lost the game. Now, it reached, in a great difficulty, the finishing line. Everybody, including those who had great admiration for to the Soviet Union, can easily recognize the point that has reached today: the capitalist barbarism. And this is a unique lesson inherited from the experiences of the 20th Century. Both the competitive and prohibitive lines cannot conceive the dialectics of the history. They have been affixed to the development path of Europe, in fact to the positivist conception of history. In fact, European history also does not verify them. The vulgarian materialist view, -every society will follow a unilateral development path such as “primitive communal-slavery-feudalism-capitalism-socialism”, and each stage will be experienced in full-does not fit even to the historical facts in Europe, which seems to verify this path.
History has verified in many times the fact that the centres of leadership have never been static but have been changing continuously, both in Europe and in the world. Besides the fact that the newer modes of production do not necessarily rise from the advanced examples of that mode of production, it was seen that, in various societies of the same mode of production, leading position was so unstable. Every mode of production loses its leading position in history, after a certain stage. Those societies bearing certain accumulations because of coming later and, because of never having experienced any decay, can pass through more advanced mode of production and thus, take the leading position. Therefore, the very problem is not pursuing and catching up those that are in decay but radical negation, isolation from themselves. For, in fact, those being in decay, have been the centre of the “underdeveloped” rather than the developed. It seems as if it is the developed one. But this is an illusion inherited from its past. Those trying to catch up it, in such an illusion, in fact, have not caught up the development, but have turned their orientation to the underdeveloped. In the roots of the view which prohibited socialism and revolution for the oppressed peoples and which limited their development only with competing and catching up capitalism, lies the “Euro-centric theory of productive forces and economism”. Experiences of socialism in 20th Century smashed this great myth of the philosophy of the 19th Century. Isolation from the capitalist system requires a powerful people initiative and economic base. Therefore, such an isolation will be realized in recent situation, at relatively larger scales. Isolation from capitalist system means isolation from division of labour, ideology and culture, which are imposed by world capitalist system, from relations of exploitation and domination, and from the economic hierarchy that is continuously produced by the world market. Breaking with world capitalist market, obviously, does not mean overthrowing the relations of market and commodity production immediately, but refer to going out of the system and the rules imposed by it and attaining the suitable conditions for carrying out the relations with the countries of the world, independently.
The Most Destructive System in the History: Today’s Capitalism
Lenin stated that imperialism is a form of decaying capitalism. Today there is a media propaganda arguing that capitalism still has a potential to move the world communities forward. This extensive propaganda, which is put forward by bourgeois ideologists like Gorbachov etc., finds supporters among the “socialist” intellectuals. They think that socialism cannot be conceived as a radical isolation from capitalism. Capitalism has also positive aspects. Even these two systems are converging. However, today capitalism is destructing the natural sources necessary for the survival of humanity, piercing the firmament. This is monster capitalism, a system based on profit not on human needs, a system spiritually alienating people from each other, a system that makes the world breathless. The creativity of individuals in the form of technology under capitalism turns into something, which is, used against the humanity not something for the benefit of mankind. Capitalism is a barrier to human development and should be defeated. Capitalism has got no progressive potential left. Lenin’s phrase “imperialism is a rotten form of capitalism” has never been more true and socialism has never been more needed than today.
The Bridge to the 21st Century
Scientific socialism was born in the 19th Century in Europe. Socialism has become a world issue in the 20th Century with the exploited countries stepping on the world’s political arena. Scientific Socialism is a theory of revolution. It is the ideology of the proletarian, which is the youngest class in the history of the world. Scientific Socialism comes from the practices of human being. The human race has been fighting against exploitation and oppression with the hope of socialism for over one hundred years. The Scientific Socialism has been continuously improving itself by leaving its conservative elements behind. Although they appeared in different periods, common standpoints of the Second International, Trotskyism, Khrushchev-Brejnev and Gorbachov line that of Euro-centric character. Their bound with capitalism comes from this fact. They see no revolutionary potential in “underdeveloped” countries and do not regard socialism as suitable for those countries. This is what we mean by revisionism. The intersection points of the revisionist and bourgeois theories are Euro-centrism, contemptuous attitude toward exploited countries and ordinary working class people. As a result, these revisionist ideas either collaborated with imperialism (i.e., Second International, Euro-communism) or became imperialist ideologies, while they were in power (i.e., revisionism of Khrushchev, Brejnev and Gorbachov) or broke off all its connection with real life and lost transformative features at the end (Trotskyism). In the 20th Century, Scientific Socialism on the ideological plane has made great advances with the contributions made by the theories of Lenin and Mao Zedung. This line made revolutions, tried to establish socialism and changed the world. Obviously, working class struggle of the world will go beyond the 20th Century socialism. There is one way to contribute to this aim. It is to take part in organized class struggle and the struggle for revolution.