Patriotic Socialism, Motherland Defense and Anti-imperialist Class Struggle in Turkey
by John Paul Cupp
Theory of patriotic socialism and motherland defense
From the standpoint of today’s conditions, particularly in light of the lessons of the Korean and Chinese Revolutions, it is no longer correct to say that “the proletariat has no motherland”.
Rather, the complex conditions of “globalization” coupled by the lessons of Korea’s Juche idea, pinpoint the absolute necessity of all people struggling for social progress to do so from the standpoint of defending their nation’s culture and history against the ruthless onslaught of the Anglo-Zionist cosmopolitan imperialist assault.
In Marx’s era, looking at the question of the working class solely from the vantage point of Europe, nationalism was the driving force of the bourgeoisie in causing the popular classes to fight each other rather than struggle for socialism. Hence, the slogans of those days reflected a staunch desire for class brothers and sisters to unite with emphasis solely on class and these outdated Eurocentric forces found all forms of nationalism to be deviant.
This theory however had limited value in the oppressed colonies, neo-colonies and newly independent countries of the world. In fact, national nihilism under a working class banner was often the counterrevolutionary vanguard.
Since the times of the Soviet Union’s glorious struggle against Hitlerite fascism, a new revolutionary doctrine which reflected the material conditions of the era of imperialism came into existence, as symbolized by Stalin and Zhdanov’s concept of “Soviet Patriotism”, “Motherland Defense”, and the revolutionary struggle against “Bourgeoisie Cosmopolitanism”.
Keeping with Lenin’s traditions of fervently supporting national liberation struggles, and deeply enriching this Bolshevik theory, Soviet Patriotism led to a fresh new upsurge in revolutionary nationalism, with each people making the revolution within the context of anti-imperialist class struggle and from the standpoint of independence. The Chinese, Korean, Cuban, Vietnamese, Romanian, Albanian, Kampuchean and Laotian revolutions are all examples of this to various degrees.
These concepts also became popular with a number of national liberation forces and regimes. By contrast its extreme dialectical opposites, dogmatic flunkeyism in this or that state led to the total collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe, the decline of a number of dogmatic parties and organizations, and the moves of previous anti-imperialist forces towards reconciliation with imperialism.
When we look at this paradigm, in an era were anti-imperialist nationalism and anti-imperialist internationalism have a dialectically complimentary social role to play, the best understanding of it in today’s geo-political realities come from the Korean revolution and its Juche ideology.
Contrary to even the revolutionary classics of Marxism-Leninism, great leader Kim Il Sung and dear leader Kim Jong Il recognize that nation states are significantly more than a product of capitalist development and the role of shaping the ideological consciousness of the nation and masses.
The previous theory, which clarified the law of the development of human history from the point of view of the materialist outlook on history, related the formation of nations to the emergence and development of capitalism and predicted that the nation itself would gradually disappear with the liquidation of the capitalist system and with progress in the building of socialism and communism, in all countries. In the historical conditions of the age when the motive force of the revolution was not prepared in each country and nation and when the need to strengthen the international solidarity of the working class in the struggle against capitalism and imperialism was the basic problem, the previous theory was unable to raise the question of keeping the Juche character and national character of the socialist cause to be carried out. The previous theory’s proposition that the working class has no motherland can be viewed as reflecting the requirement for strengthening international working-class unity and solidarity which were urgent for the socialist movement of the period as well as the need for overcoming opportunism which spread bourgeois nationalism in the working-class movement and the socialist movement.
In our times when the popular masses carry out the revolution and construction actively on their own initiative with the nation-state as a unit with their destiny firmly in their hands, the task of each country and nation for adhering to the Juche character and sustaining their national character has presented itself as an urgent requirement. However, the parties in several countries which were building socialism in the past failed to advance a new theory and a new policy in keeping with the changed new reality and find correct solutions to the problems arising in ensuring the independent development of countries and nations. The parties of these countries regarded the national contingents carrying out the revolution and construction to meet their people’s desires and to suit their national characteristics and their countries’ specific situations within the world socialist movement as contradicting internationalism, and did not pay due attention to the matter of keeping independence of the countries and nations and sustaining the national characteristics. Because of this prejudice and wrong policy, socialism in these countries failed to develop as a cause for these countries and nations and, in consequence, lost its national footholds and support. Socialism is a class cause and at the same time a cause for national development and prosperity. The process of the development and consummation of the socialist society must be the process of meeting the class demand and interests of the working masses and also the process of making the country rich and strong and bringing prosperity to the nation. Since the working class and the other working masses make up the overwhelming majority of any nation, the practice of ignoring the Juche character and national character will inevitably result in the failure to meet the class demand of the working masses properly. Because the socialist cause failed to become the cause of genuine national independence in the several countries, socialism suffered the gradual weakening of its class foundation and was unable to avoid frustration and collapse due to the anti-socialist manoeuvres of the imperialists and the renegades from the revolution.” Marshal Kim Jong I l— “On Preserving the Juche Character and National Character of the Revolution and Construction”.
Anti-imperialist class struggle in Turkey
Recently, the Chairman of the Worker’s Party of Turkey, Comrade Chairman Dogu Perincek was arrested and convicted in a Swiss court on charges of “denying the Armenian genocide”.
To fully understand the significance of this, we need to understand correctly the definition of the word “genocide” and the implications of this myth in the context of the imperialist designs for a “New Middle East”.
The word genocide has only one definition, i.e. the extermination or attempted extermination of an ethnically distinct group.
This definition must never become liberalized or bastardized. Neither mutual atrocities nor carnage between combatants during a time of war constitute genocide.
To be clear volumes of evidence demonstrate that however many Armenians perished during World War I, whether or not by Turkish hands, that the death of Armenians never constituted “genocide”, i.e. had a clear or even hinted exterminationist intent.
Rather, historic documentation, including that from various Armenian heads of state, show that the Turkish policy, rightly or wrongly, was to view certain Armenians on the border area with Russia in a suspicious light as a number of them really were collaborating with Czarist imperial Russia against Turkey.
Some Armenians were moved to points further inwards or detained as security measure, and unfortunately some died in these new locales. Furthermore, some Armenians died as combatants or in the middle of battles between combatants.
Against none of these events, as gruesome as they are to tell, come close to establishing “genocide”.
The attempt to eternally humiliate and balkanize the Turkish people is part of a greater Anglo-Zionist imperialist assault to shore up its project for a “New Middle East”.
Just as imperialism and Zionism seeks to fragment Arabs, Black Africans, Slavs and the Bolivarian project in Latin America, so to does it seek to fragment and divide Turkey, to slander its history, and to shame its good name with blood libel.
To be clear, the Turkish civilizational project is a revolutionary project and not some ethno-chauvinist form of predatory nationalism, let alone one which has committed genocide in the past and would do so again if it could.
Turks have always welcomed and included the ten million plus descendents of mixed-marriages with Armenian Muslim converts and various others. This proves the falsehood of the claims that Turkish patriotism is somehow racist and reactionary.
While both the Armenian and Kurdish people do indeed constitute a national identity, we must not ignore the social role they have played historically with Zio-imperialist globalization in Turkey and a number of other countries. Neither must we neglect unwavering support for the unity and independence of Turkey all people preserving their identity and struggle for social justice.
Here again we must distinguish between the imperialist-NATO comprador regime in Turkey and the struggle of the Turkish people for unity and independence.