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We are going into a phase of new revolutions

About the Validity of socialist politics by Abdullah Öcalan (Part 3)

This article is available to listen as an audio


This text is part of the book “To insist on socialism is to insist on humanity”, written by Abdullah Öcalan in the 90s as a response to the fall of “Real Socialism”, arguing for the necessity to develop a new socialism for the 21st century.

America is still the emperor on the international strategic level, within which Turkey and its leadership hold an important place. Regarding the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Middle East, they have strategic relations with the Turkish leadership. Perhaps in the future this relationship may even grow stronger. However, such a relationship does not have to last forever or be inevitable. The development of this relationship is also associated with its uncertain nature. They don’t abandon Turkey but knowing that at the same they must always be looking for alternatives. This is often emphasized by Turkish prime ministers with the words "They support us a lot; for the first time, there is such high international interest in us; our strategic importance has been understood." Yes, they understand it, but they also know that Turkish leadership is temporary. Because the USA sees that they can no longer accomplish this work solely through agents and therefore develops other measures.

The attitude of the USA could roughly be portrayed as follows: In their strategy, it says, "We will treat Turkey in its decline with the same utmost care, regardless of whether it is 24 hours or one hour before." However, on the other hand, they panic about the question of what can be done against it. While they label the PKK as the number one terrorist, they also consider how to establish direct or indirect relations with the PKK. For this, they mobilize their collaborators, even invite them to special occasions, and engage all their small and large agents. They want to develop a moderate wing within us, to turn on the so-called “green lightbulb1”. They pursue this with great persistence. Especially when they loudly cry "terrorist PKK," they mean pleadingly: "develop a moderate PKK." This shows that they are in a tight spot and also reveals that they are very close to recognizing our political power, us the PKK, including our military forces, and therefore will not hesitate to seek contact with us.

It would be a mistake to believe that the US strategy will not show interest in an emerging revolutionary development and only try to stifle it with defamation methods, such as calling it "terrorist." The USA will strive to interfere in the internal affairs of the revolution. If they fail to identify a moderate wing, they will try to develop one. They would maintain this attitude, even if they exist by then, 10 or 50 years after a revolution's victory. We have no doubts about this. (...) We will closely monitor their strategy, their relationships, and their goals. Therefore, we do not fear them and are not afraid to establish contacts with them. However, we will remain sceptical of their intentions, goals, and imperialist exploitation values. We must understand them very well, see their political intentions of today and for the next 10 or 50 years, and work against them. We will establish contacts with them to get to know them better and to demand accountability from them for their years of undignified politics against us.

Is humanity at its end?

It is impossible to overlook the power of the USA as the greatest emperor of our time and not consider him from all angles. Above all, it is not possible to deny him, whether we have relations with them or not. It is important to fight against them when there are no relations with them. But it is especially important to fight against them when we have the best relationship with them. If imperialism evolves through its constant renewal, so must our revolution do to be ready for battle against him at all times. This is necessary for our victory and for great development. It is entirely obvious that imperialism exists and that it is not eradicated. In the Turkish left, it used to be widespread to talk about imperialism but today this no longer discussed from them, as if imperialism doesn’t exist any more. There is imperialism, but in such a way that it dominates the innermost being of people. Through the enhancement of its methodology and its concentration, it resides in the minds and hearts. Instead of crude militarism, crude political repression, and crude economic colonisation, a new form of imperialism has emerged that goes beyond the individual as a human being. So their current development is based on driving people into culturelessness and emotionlessness, stirring up human instincts, and animalizing the human being.

These aspects of imperialist development must be seen. Imperialism is attacking nature and the environment, the soul and history of people. The destruction of the environment, that has become known in recent years as "environmental pollution", which has made nature incapable of continuing its own existence, expresses the ruthlessness of the imperialist attack. The attacks against the history and historical values of people are extensive. With the so-called "American way of life," the imperialist American Lifestyle, all ethical values, historical consciousness, and historical values of people are to be forgotten; summarized under the motto of "there is no history" or that "the end of history has come". Is it really history that is at its end? Or is it imperialism that is dying out and is at its end due to its permanent loss of history? Or is humanity at its end?

These questions must be pursued. Imperialism blackens the soul and conscience, also because it is not based solely on pure profit. Certainly, there is still gross exploitation. But today we are confronted with the fact that it has taken possession of the hitherto unconquered human soul and commodified it, just like women and human emotions. Under the name of globalization, the diversity of nations, cultures, and the souls of peoples are destroyed. Imperialism has declared war on these values. Through boundless support for international speculation (stock exchanges, banks...), monopolies, and multinational corporations, it has created the basis for his attacks to gain a foothold. It is apparent that imperialism is neither regressing nor ending. On the contrary, its development is evident. Imperialism is not at its end, instead it is deepening, expanding, and penetrating into the psyche of people. Of course, a process of disintegration of imperialism is also conceivable, as every process contains a phase of development and decline. Consequently, the process of de-imperialization would begin here instead of imperialism. However, the opposite tendency should be seen in the current development. A weakening and regression of imperialism would be evident if, firstly, states become increasingly independent, and secondly, peoples move united towards common living. While the first phase of imperialism is characterized by the phase of national liberation and gross exploitation of labour in the 19th century, the 20th century is defined by the second phase. Ultimately, both major phases have led to a regression of imperialist exploitation and political oppression. Most likely, the 21st century will be the century in which the damage caused by imperialism in the minds, souls, and cultures of people will be overcome. As such in this century it specially falls on us the responsibility to repair the damage to the environment, to solve the problem of population growth, to end the so-called “end of history” and the consumption of historical values; to stop the suffocation the human soul; to end the commodification of women, to prevent the marketing and exploitation of sexuality, and to enable women to serve humanity, to reconnect them with human culture, history, and nature. With conviction, I can already see today that the liberation of women emerges as the most important goal of the revolutions of the 21st century.

In this sense, it is not the end of revolutions, but instead we are entering the phase of revolutions that require profound and sensitive work. In other words, this means that we have left the phase of brutal class and national struggle and are entering the phase of profound social, cultural, intellectual, psychological, and ethical revolutions. These are at least as significant as military, political, and economic revolutions. How can one speak of a healthy revolution or a healthy life without the spiritual, social, and natural revolution of humanity? Consequently, it will be necessary to confront the intensified and internalized attacks of imperialism with profound, spiritual, ethical, moral, historical, and global revolutions.

The rest of The World will not just stand by

While the USA plays the role of a leading actor and emperor, Germany will certainly not just stand by. This is because Germany has imperialist interests in both the 19th and 20th centuries. For this reason, it caused two great world wars and several small wars. From fascist expansion to genocide, Germany has become a curse for humanity. Germany not only carried out the mass murder of the Jews, but also allowed the murder of the Armenians through the support of Ittihat and Terraki2. Can one overlook the German support in the war in Kurdistan today? Indeed, it is very important to understand and analyse the share of German imperialism in mass murders both inside and outside its borders.

Japan is building itself up and is on the verge of expanding worldwide. For this, it must feed this fascist regime and is always careful not to lag behind the USA and Germany. Behind the pretext of developing the Middle East lies the intention to economically subjugate and expand into that region. It awakens very late and brings development to a bad end. Also, a precise assessment of the regression in Russia is of great importance. Is Russia imperialist? Will the collapse of real socialism bring imperialism to Russia, or will a new socialist development be initiated? To answer these questions, the contradictory political character of Russia must first be discussed. It is clear in Russia that the collapse of real socialism did not bring about the end of the country. Today, a struggle between developing socialist, nationalist, and capitalist-interest forces is dominant. These contradictions make it possible to build new relations with imperialist countries. Therefore, Russia's role in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Middle East must be carefully examined.

What way will the Kurdish revolution find?

Las crecientes contradicciones del imperialismo plantean interrogantes sobre las vías que hallará la revolución kurda y cómo podrá aprovecharlas. La disolución del socialismo real ha llevado a la agudización de las contradicciones en los países imperialistas. Esta coyuntura, comparada con el statu quo anterior, permite una intervención más positiva y se acerca más a una desintegración positiva. El Caos, también denominado "Nuevo Orden Mundial" por EE.UU., potencia las posibilidades de la revolución.

Igualmente en nuestra región de Oriente Medio se están produciendo algunos cambios. Actualmente, parece que el conocido conflicto árabe-israelí se encamina hacia el compromiso. Este proceso no traerá consigo una paz decisiva y, por lo tanto, tampoco la deseada disposición al compromiso. Porque Israel o sus expresiones sionistas no se limitarán sólo a Israel. El sionismo es una fuerza que tiene apoyo en todo el mundo y es influyente. Israel no se contentará con Palestina y los Estados árabes. Su interés será ampliar su esfera de influencia.

Es muy evidente su influencia sobre Turquía y los dirigentes turcos. También sabemos que quiere ampliar sus relaciones con los Estados túrquicos a través de Turquía. También es sabido que muchos dirigentes árabes dependen de Israel. Por esta razón, el conflicto árabe-israelí no puede resolverse fácilmente mediante compromisos. Al contrario, las contradicciones se agudizarán con dicha política. Sin embargo, la vía del compromiso es necesario; por un lado, porque el equilibrio político de poder lo requiere, y por otro, porque se hace evidente que los viejos métodos de resolución de conflictos no hacen avanzar a ninguna de las partes. Consecuentemente estas formas de confrontación carecerán de sentido cada vez más. Ni los árabes podrán erradicar a Israel según sus deseos, ni Israel podrá obligar a los árabes a arrodillarse. En el caso de ambas partes, no se puede hablar de victoria absoluta. En última instancia, ambos se vieron forzados a iniciar conversaciones de paz. Ninguna de las partes fue capaz de sentar de antemano las bases de sus respectivas intenciones y hacer realidad sus planes. Así que optaron por la vía intermedia y actualmente están dialogando. Sin embargo, hay que subrayar que, al igual que no es posible poner fin al conflicto por la vía militar, tampoco sería posible una paz estable y estratégica a largo plazo por esta vía. Se trata de una fase indecisa, caracterizada por el titubeo que da forma a la política de compromisos. Esta frágil condición puede dar al traste en cualquier momento. Habrá compromisos, pero dentro de ellos también se están plantando las semillas del conflicto.

Llegados a este punto, la situación de Irán también debe considerarse desde una perspectiva oriental. Irán es un estado que siempre ha estado en conflicto con las dirigencias de los estados árabes, del Cáucaso y de Oriente Medio. La larga guerra entre Irán e Iraq devino de contradicciones históricas. Así pues, Irán también está en conflicto con Turquía. No son solo diferencias religiosas. El conflicto entre ambos tiene razones políticas y es el resultado de contradicciones históricas. Por lo tanto, es difícil que Irán llegue a acuerdos con Turquía y, más aún, que desarrolle una amistad basada en la confianza con Turquía. Esto también se aplica a las relaciones de Irán con Irak y otros Estados árabes. Por lo tanto, Irán siempre será la mayor fuente de contradicciones de nuestra región. Irán mantuvo esta actitud tanto en tiempos del Sha como en la actualidad, y probablemente la mantendrá en el futuro. Sin embargo, es incapaz de superar sus contradicciones mediante las guerras ni a través de compromisos estables.

Hay que defender a la humanidad

Sin duda, el imperialismo ya no podrá proceder como antes, utilizando ataques brutales contra las revoluciones populares y las estructuras sociales. Aplicará otros métodos y lo está haciendo ahora. Alude a sus logros tecnológicos y, por tanto, es capaz de guiar psicológicamente al mundo de manera integral. Se erige en un liderazgo científico y técnico en todo el mundo y pretende tomar a la gente como rehén a través de su desarrollo tecnológico. Ya no utilizará las bombas atómicas porque, de lo contrario, no tendría un mundo en el que vivir. Tampoco es necesario que ocupe más territorios porque apenas queda un lugar que no haya ocupado. El imperialismo necesita plantearse otra forma de ocupación, otro tipo de tecnología armamentística. Estos planes ya se están llevando a cabo y puede denominarse guerra psicológica. En este contexto, también utiliza estos métodos profundos y seguirá explotándolos. Se trata de sembrar y librar guerras en las mentes y en las almas de las personas. Desarrollará aún más el recién creado grado de dependencia de las mentes y las almas. Por lo tanto, es necesaria la revolución de la mente, del alma y de su metodología particular. Esto se traduce en una revolución para el pensamiento independiente, para no vender el alma y para defender los valores humanos elementales. También podemos denominarla una revolución defensiva.

Porque si pretenden destruir nuestra humanidad, hay que defenderla. Si pretenden destruir el medio ambiente, hay que adoptar los medios técnicos adecuados para impedirlo y defenderlo. Nos opondremos a la destrucción atemporal de los grupos sociales y las naciones, así como a la destrucción de las lenguas y las culturas. De hecho, ha surgido un nuevo tipo de enfermedad por llevar a la gente al estrés y a la angustia. Tal vez el estrés se haya convertido en la causa de todas las enfermedades. El ser humano debe encontrar en sí mismo el deber de salvación. El estrés es un fenómeno del imperialismo, al igual que las nuevas enfermedades. La lucha contra ellas es la lucha anti-imperialista. Hay que encontrar las formas de esta lucha. Es evidente que la única solución a estos fenómenos es la revolución. Porque la naturaleza inherente del desarrollo imperialista es crear muchas enfermedades y solamente podrá superarse mediante la creación de un nuevo orden social, es decir, mediante la revolución. También encontraremos la tecnología necesaria para ello. Está surgiendo una nueva teoría para el socialismo. Las teorías del socialismo del siglo XIX no tendrán éxito en esta fase. Esto significa que no podemos enriquecer la teoría socialista con las valoraciones y teorías impresas del socialismo del siglo XIX o con las valoraciones de las revoluciones de liberación nacional y del imperialismo del siglo XX. Podemos contribuir a la teoría socialista no sólo exponiendo y analizando los problemas de nuestro tiempo actual, el siglo XXI, sino también desarrollando la metodología necesaria para su solución. Sin embargo, la necesidad de una nueva teoría no implica negar completamente el pasado.

Contribuir al socialismo significa enriquecer la mentalidad y la táctica de lucha del partido de acuerdo con los tiempos, sin negar sus viejas posiciones y métodos. Podemos hablar de contribuir a las viejas tácticas de lucha socialistas mediante el desarrollo de nuevas tácticas. La época de la teoría y la praxis clásicas del socialismo ni ha terminado ni el socialismo ha sufrido una derrota decisiva. Al contrario, se convertirá en una gran fuerza mediante la aplicación de las nuevas teorías y las nuevas prácticas. Y será una fuerza tanto para luchar contra el imperialismo y sus principales representantes como para la transición a una nueva etapa del socialismo. El colapso del socialismo real en la Unión Soviética no significa que todo haya terminado. Los logros de aquella época abrirán el camino a nuevas formas de socialismo. Los éxitos de pequeños y grandes países y pueblos en este período demuestran científicamente que la esencia creadora del socialismo hace que esto sea inevitable y evidencia que ésta es la verdadera naturaleza del socialismo. Esto también podemos verlo en nuestra propia experiencia y no es difícil aplicar este análisis sobre el terreno que hemos elegido como objetivo.

1This is a reference to a meeting with a Turkish politician who travelled to England in the 90s to discuss how to deal with the PKK and afterwards said that a “green lightbulb” had been turned on, referencing the permissions to start a new attack

2 Ittihat and Terraki: Organizations of the so-called Young Turks around Mustafa Kemal “Atatürk”.



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