Okuyan on the nationalism question
Commentary by Kemal Okuyan, General Secretary of the Central Committee
You are not the ones who teach us nationalism!
What is nationalism?
Some describe it as the love towards one’s country. But such a conceptualization would be a personal and a bit unrealistic picture of nationalism. Those who try to attribute “innocence” to nationalism are apt to confuse nationalism with the love toward a country or even to identify it with patriotism, which is a far more intrinsic concept.
“I love my country, that’s why I’m a nationalist…” Very well, but this is not nationalism! Nationalism is simply to think that your country’s interests are superior to others.
Is this a good thing? No it’s not.
One could say, “What’s wrong with that? In such a world you can’t survive unless you hold your country’s interests superior to others.
“Such a World”...
What do we mean?
A world where the powerful one oppresses and exploits the weak one!
Then, let us avoid them oppress us, let us be the powerful one, let us walk all over the others. This is nationalism; this is what nationalism amounts to.
If you don’t have the will to change the world where the powerful one oppresses and exploits the weak one, the only real consequence of putting forward your countries’ interests is doing harm to others.
In "such a World” everyone does not win, cannot win, since this world is built on inequalities and injustices.
Yet, it is not the inequalities between the nations that lie behind the inequalities in this world. The reason of injustice and inequality in the world is the very existence of an exploiting class, which constitutes a very small proportion of the humanity. The inequalities between the nations are only the extension of this reality. There are exploiters not only in US, Britain, France or Germany, but also in Turkey. Let’s glance over the poorer regions: you can see the same rapacious class stealing people’s labor in Sudan, Nigeria, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, this class is in power in these countries.
This nefarious exploiting class can preserve political power in every country of the world also because they manage to present their own interests as the interest of the whole nation. Nationalism is the most effective weapon to make people take this bait.
Nationalism is a disaster in the sense that it instigates a worker to prefer his exploiter to a poor one of another nation; or favor the exploiters of his own country while hating the exploiters of other nations...
Like in the following: disdaining Barzani as an oil-rich tribal chief while considering the fortune overflowing from the cashboxes of Koç family legitimate.
There is a huge difference between nationalism and patriotism; while nationalism amounts to absolving of native exploiters patriotism implies the will of cleaning the country from native and foreign exploiters.
And this is what the humanity needs.
One who really cares about his country cannot close his eyes to the contamination of its soils with injustices, theft and despotism.
Angola is a “rich” country in Africa. It is rich in the sense that its natural wealth is immense though the majority of its population is poor: Gold and oil!
This country was for years a Portuguese colony. The filthy colonizers had plundered the country for years. Finally, in the age of oil, as Angola became more valuable for plunderers, the burden imposed on the local people scaled up. Then that people decided to rebel and they took up arms. The Angola Liberation Movement was a case that marked the demise of the Portuguese colonialism. The Soviet Union, Cuba and the Portuguese communists supported MPLA, the prominent organization of the Angola liberation. They drove the Portuguese exploiters away, nationalized all the crucial sectors of the economy. People of Angola got familiar to public education, public health and justice; modern cities came to existence.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the capitalists defiling the world started to buy over the rulers who took part in the glorious guerilla movement in the past. Degradation spread like wildfire and an extremely vicious exploiting class emerged in a couple of years. They even didn’t condescend to change the flag, which was the symbol of the revolutionary liberation of the country; in fact the flag with the gear wheel and machete symbolizing the oppressed people was serving to their purpose: and it was also kind of “nationalism”. As they played with huge amounts of money, starving, poor people of Angola glorified the “same flag”. The gear wheel figured the profit machine of the wealthy, not the liberation of the workers; the machete was no more the weapon of the poor people, but it was the truncheon, tank, cannon of an unjust regime.
I saw the representatives of this new exploiting class in Portugal. Those battened people were black and they were getting off their eight door limousines. Their necks were bending with the weight of the golden chains. They were covetously investing in Portugal as if they were taking the revenge from their former white exploiters. Now, the white man was not exploiting the black man, rather the black man was exploiting black people and also the white people.
The humanity will rise up thanks to those who do not tolerate the dark skin exploiters, who confront all the exploiting scoundrels notwithstanding the color of their skins.
Turkish or Kurd; Arab or Greek...
Fraternity of all the peoples…
But, how do we achieve this?
With an egalitarian order... It is not possible in any other way. If the logic is to stop the resource transfer abroad and to exploit other countries, this is not struggle against imperialism, but a scandalous trick.
What about independence?
A movement of independence that leans on the exploiting classes in the 21th century can by no means serve the humanity. Principle of self-determination has no validity under these circumstances.
The only principle of today’s revolutionaries is to struggle against the exploiters.
Barzani is not exempt from our rage against all the exploiters battening on our people. We are not going to learn the definitions of nationalism, internationalism, Marxism from those who once characterized Erdoğan as “democrat”, “libertarian”, “reformist” and even “revolutionary” with the expectation that he would “solve” the Kurdish question.
Yes, as Orhan Gökdemir* put it, we are against both Barzanistan and Tayyibistan.
*SoL news portal columnist