On Urgent Need for United Front of Socialist Left – V.U. Arslan
While the pressures on democratic rights are deepening as days pass, one-man regime is becoming increasingly institutionalized with all its degeneracy. RTE has backed an alliance of extreme right (MHP, BBP, Perinçek), opposition is trying to be silenced by labelling as “terrorist” …
HDP is crushed, and they are hitting hard to CHP. There is enormous pressure on the Socialists. Meantime, the class contradictions that overwhelm the laborers are getting worse day by day. However, the success of AKP lies in shelving the real agendas of the laborers; in other words, the opposition failed to bring class problems to the agenda of country. While the opposition does not understand or cannot manage this task, the wars that are made both in Turkey and Syria are creating material for the AKP’s perception operations. Polarization and hate speech are continuingly distracting the attention of the poor who vote for the AKP. The balance of the oppression and exploitation system is provided in this way.
There is no need for describing lengthily the dark tunnel which we are passing through. The question is what we can do to get out of this tunnel. What should the socialist do when HDP is suppressed and CHP is a hopeless case? We can list the essentials as below:
- Working in field is a must. Current situation is compelling, indeed standing back at the state of emergency cannot be revolutionism. Hanging back in political struggles with worries like security or etc. causes concentration in pessimism and hegemony of reactionism. Besides, we must consider the fact that the conditions of state of emergency will be dominant for a long time. So, we have to fight, we have to give of our best. If we do this, we will see that these days we are going through hold important opportunities for socialists.
- In this context, it has become an urgent need to acquire a unified character of the socialist leftist struggle, more than ever. The thing is to show that will,set a course for united struggle and develop appropriate tools. While the existing condition of the country is explicit, it is inevitable that socialists who do not fight energetically and who do not organize reasonable works together, lose power and lose their meaning by turning into self-evident and inefficient sects.
- It is essential to set the common illnesses of the socialist left aside; such as sectarianism, turfism, petty bourgeois competitiveness, status quoism. A new political culture should be put forth that can work together, efficiently and effectively, and can keep the solidarity culture at top level.
- No time should be lost for the creation of a united front. Arranging aimless hollow meetings-forums to appear to be doing something will mean tricking ourselves, not just the thousands of people who reckon on only socialists. The result is disappointment and extra power loss.
- It is necessary to take lessons from the experience of the United June Movement (Birleşik Haziran Hareketi-BHH) which comes to mind regarding this issue. In its not-so-short history, BHH has branded a plethora of meetings and forums, instead of real struggles. ÖDP (Freedom and Solidarity Party) leadership achieved to keep the pressure coming from its grassroots after Gezi Revolt under control by pretending to be making a move. The reason of the fact that BHH couldn’t present the desired excitement and energy is not only due to the fact that ÖDP is an expired formation. The thing is that the program of BHH has been passed. It is not possible to create excitement in society through the “secularism” and “republic” statements that CHP abandons.
- The result here is that the content of the united front, which socialists will create, needs to be well described. The socialist left can only succeed if it adopts its original function, that is raising the flag of the struggle for social equality, being the voice of the class rage. Adopting politics taking part in the cultural and identity polarization in the country is a dead-end street. The united front of socialists has to combine the struggle of democratic rights with the demands of the youth and women on the class agenda.
- The front of socialists should not only reveal itself a position only “being oppose” with abstract discourses. This general statement leads to exility. If we come up with the laborers and the young with halfway decent campaigns involving concrete demands, if we develop well-prepared apparatus that can also activate independent people, we can have much better results.
- If we, as socialists, set out with such front and put forth an energetic activity, we may rise as a real alternative to the AKP dictatorship. There are great social forces that can be involved in the struggle against the dictatorship but remain idle because there is not any organized combative central force. The creation such an alternative for these segments is historically important.
- In the first place, the united front of the socialists can probably be narrow. After all, despite the nominal inflation, the number of socialist parties and groups that actively work in the field and pursue sound policies is not many. However, when an active struggle line becomes sedentary, being “narrow-scoped” will not be an obstacle. Being at the center of interest and drawing in the combative components like a magnet will not be hard for the united front of socialists. Such a front will win the sympathy of all sections suffering from AKP and will become the hope of the country.
- The united front does not have to be put on the way with a very large scale. The inner contradictions, competition and confusion, that this front will go through are much more dangerous. Blurring of political emphasis, conflicts on priorities and diseases on the left; these can cause emergence of a big but bulky and problematic organization. Such an organization can not go beyond creating disappointment. So, we should not be afraid of being too “narrow”.
- It will be a huge mistake to rely barely on the oncoming election process. On the other hand, socialists cannot give this process a miss. The components of socialist left must be able to unite around a common candidate in a campaign focusing on labor and social equality discourses. The socialists’ front must not only be focused to the upcoming elections, but must also begin to make the essential preparations.