A TURKISH REVOLUTIONARY SPEAKS
ON THE CURRENT IMPASSE IN TURKISH REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS
Suicide as a tactic
A Proposal for a Revolutionary Way Out of
Appendix One: Extracts From Engels
in Refugee Literature
Appendix Two: Marx on Suicide
Appendix Three: Some extracts from
correspondence on ISML and Stalinist e-Lists
For some time, parts of the Turkish revolutionary movement
have utilised an 'active suicide' tactic - of death-fast - in an attempt
to 'force' a publicity and humiliation upon the Turkish ruling fascists.
This has taken place within the notorious F-Type prisons (See below). However,
in this process many deaths of the bravest and most militant of the Turkish
revolutionaries have occurred.
Much debate - both inside and outside of Turkey -
has taken place.
Our main article is drawn from the original
Turkish document in:
Is this tactic right?
Has the 'tactic' become elevated into a 'strategy'?
Is it a Marxist-Leninist tactic?
Many have charged that the 'tactic' has become a 'strategy' of
itself - confined to only one strand.
We will argue in this issue, that indeed the 'tactic' become
an end of itself.
When the death-fast-suicide movement was at its peak, there was an understandable
reluctance of Turkish revolutionaries to condemn the actions of its' bravest
fighters. Solidarity was required.
Now however a continuing reluctance to understand that the tactic has
NOT achieved its desired goals - must be overcome.
"Bunaluntlan Devrimci Cikis Onerisi".
The translated title is self-explanatory, being
written by a:
The so-called "F-Prisons"
- are top security isolation cell dungeons, where the most brutal atrocities
are perpetrated by the Turkish fascist state against militants, progressives
and revolutionaries. These developed from the militant resistance to the
more "ordinary" prison.
"TURKISH REVOLUTIONARY" and describes the "CURRENT
IMPASSE IN TURKISH REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS",
in order to propose
"A REVOLUTIONARY WAY OUT OF THE CRISIS".
Comrade Garbis Altinoglu has written
the most detailed history of these [His book is on the web (see below web-link)
or in a soft-paperback printed copy, can be obtained from us -cost $6.00].
The prisons were, even before the move to the notorious F-Type - terrible.
Even a brief description of conditions in the "ordinary prisons makes this
"Prisons became a real battleground between the forces of fascism and
militarism on the one hand and revolutionary and other left-wing political
captives on the other, especially after the military
coup d'etat of 12 September 1980. The military junta, headed
by General Kenan Evren tried to convert prisons
into military camps, where all left wing political captives were regarded
as enemies of the state and treated as detained military personnel to be
"re-educated" and recreated in the image of Turkish fascism and militarism.
According to the data collected by the Human Rights Association
(HRA), approximately 80 percent - of the more than 650,000 people who had
been taken into custody during the couple of years following the coup d'etat
- were tortured, and tens of thousands of them were thrown into Turkish
dungeons. They also were forced under threat of beating and torture, to
regularly chant the national anthem of Turkey and other military hymns,
attend courses on religion, official history and Kemalism, join obligatory
physical exercise sessions, salute the omnipresent military prison guards
and all military personnel, to wear prison uniforms etc. "ALLIANCE:
Number 37; OCTOBER 2000:
The response in turn of the
Turkish ruling class was vicious - the F-Type
In "FREEDOM TO KILL, OF A TERRORIST STATE" -
"A Summary of the Ordeal of Political Captives
in Turkish Prisons"; By Garbis ALTINOGLU.(Web
of the Ordeal in Turkish Prisons)
of the revolutionaries is poignantly described as follows:
"Political captives, in general have been successful
in repulsing this onslaught of military-fascist junta during the period
of 1980-1983 and the following period of "civilian" fascist dictatorship.
But this was achieved at a terrible physical and psychological price.
Between 1980-2000, hundreds of brave people have either died, been wounded
or maimed; or have contracted various diseases, including cerebral complications
- through years of incessant struggle conducted to preserve their political
beliefs and human dignity and to defend themselves in the face of this
premeditated policy of protracted and slow annihilation. Political captives
died in hunger strikes and death fasts, they were murdered through beating,
torture and physical attacks, including armed raids, they died due to the
denial of proper medical treatment and, in some exceptional cases they
committed suicide in protest of prison conditions. They died and were killed
in their hundreds, not because they did not want to live or did not felt
affection for life. On the contrary, they died, because they wanted to
live; but only to live as opponents of this inhuman regime as befits dignified
and honourable human beings. As has been said of them: "They loved life
so much that they were ready to die for it." It was under these circumstances
that the hunger strike came
to the fore as the general and most common form of self-defence of political
captives." ALLIANCE: Number 37;
OCTOBER 2000: Summary
of the Ordeal in Turkish Prisons; By
"One of the most important measures, that the Turkish ruling classes
have long been contemplating in this context, is to cram all political
captives to special maximum security prisons, composed of solitary confinement
cells. Here inmates will be totally isolated from each other and indeed
from the outside world as well. They try to present these so-called
F-Type, in fact coffin-style prisons as "the last word of
civilization" in this matter, allegedly a more advanced and modern way
of keeping the political captives under lock and key. In this manner. they
expect to impose a sort of political isolation and intellectual starvation
on political captives and destroy their political and ideological resistance
and personality. They also aim to prevent them from organizing a strong
and united resistance against torture and repression at the dungeons and
to sever political captives' ties with the struggle of masses outside.
And if they are successful with this, they definitely will attempt once
more the political and moral subordination of the political captives and
at least try to neutralize, that is depoliticize this most advanced contingent
of Kurdish and Turkish people. By neutralizing political captives numbering
more than 10,000 at the moment, they will be able to get rid of one of
the most effective foci of resistance against fascism, as well. "
Suicide by the death fast, has been a waste of
huge human proportions for the Turkish revolutionary movement.
The debate surrounding this has been heated, and a proportion of it can
be followed through transcripts from two e-lists: ISML and Stalinist (See
Appendix 3). It is important to note the shift in emphasis
over the years, as it became increasingly clear how self-immolating
the tactic really was.
ALLIANCE: Number 37; OCTOBER
of the Ordeal in Turkish Prisons;; By Garbis ALTINOGLU.
Suicide as a Tactic
Of pertinence are writings such as those of Engels
against Peter Nikitich Tkachov - a member of the Russian
Narodniks. For underlying the bravery of the Turkish revolutionaries who
have undergone (and are undergoing now) the death-fast, are attitudes close
to anarchism and Bakuninism. This is not the place to re-discuss these
matters, they are discussed in detail in Alliance Issue 36: Marx
and Engels on Russia.
The relevant portion from Engels' work, is extracted
into Appendix One. [The whole of this article by Engels,
which also deals with the Russian peasant communes, or 'mir', is also on
our web-site now at:
].Whereas the articles of Lenin on the question of terror and anarchist
acts, are well known, the authority of Engels should also be brought to
bear on this question. Not only does Engels castigate individual heroic
acts, but he also points out how close Russia is to a revolutionary crisis.
Both are points made by the Turkish writer of our main article in Alliance
50. Lenin on Terrorism covers some of the same ground. An article
on this is already on the web at: Marxist-Leninist
attitude to Terror
Although Marx wrote on
Suicide, it was not in the context of revolutionary
tactics. He wrote about it in relation to the profound, personal
alienation and hopelessness, undergone by the masses under brutal
capitalist rule. Why is this article relevant to our topic?
Of course it can be asked, how much more brutal
and 'alienating' can the regime of capital be than in the F-Type prison?
Many would argue "not much". There is no doubt that this leads to an element
of 'hopelessness", and perhaps also not seeing clearly as to how other
than such a personal sacrifice, can the struggle proceed. The article by
Marx is appended as Appendix Two.
The article talks about the "Turkish Revolutionary
Movement", in a non-sectarian manner.
A PROPOSAL FOR A REVOLUTIONARY WAY OUT
OF THE CRISIS
By this is meant the array of Marxist-Leninist
groupings, in part listed below, that constitutes part of the Turkish Revolutionary
Workers' Party of Kurdistan
Communist Party of Turkey (Marxist-Leninist) Movement
Communist Party of Turkey (Marxist-Leninist)
People's Liberation Party-Front of Turkey (Marxist-Leninist)
Marxist Leninist Communist Party
Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front
Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey
Revolutionary Communist League of Turkey
The individual politics of these organisations is discussed in the issue
of Alliance number 35 entitled: History
of MLCP And the Revolutionary Movement (please click).
A PROPOSAL FOR A REVOLUTIONARY
WAY OUT OF THE CRISIS
(Slightly abridged translation of the original Turkish document "Bunaluntlan
Devrimci Cikis Onerisi")
All who take an objective look at the Turkish revolutionary movement
in the context of the general circumstances that prevail in our country,
region and the world, shall concede the presence of an extremely grave
situation, which not to mince words can be called - a crisis. At least
the main body of the Turkish revolutionary movement, has more than proved
itself ready to make the necessary sacrifices to advance file struggle
(1). The problem facing the Turkish revolutionary movement does not stem
from a lack of determination on that front. It stems from the further weakening
of its already weak political reflexes, limited mass ties and ability to
transform the circumstances in a revolutionary manner.
The result of all these, has been the growing erosion
of the already small influence of the Turkish revolutionary movement over
the advanced sections of workers and toilers and what is even worse, its
own political base and self-confidence. By focusing almost all its attention
and efforts on the longrunning death fast and hunger strike action in the
prisons, the Turkish revolutionary movement has reinforced the tendency
to turn inward and conduct a political struggle still more centered on
the vanguard (2). It is absolutely necessary to stop this process of self-destruction
and bleeding, which can only be done through a very conscious effort. Furthermore,
to be able to do this, the Turkish revolutionary movement needs to make
an assessment of its direction and whereabouts. This, first of all is a
task, which falls upon the Turkish revolutionary movement
itself or upon the organizations constituting it. Though this article shall
refer from time to time to this basic question, this article does not attempt
to analyze the overall state of the Turkish revolutionary movement. It
will mainly deal with the question of how to extricate the Turkish revolutionary
movement from its present predicament, and on the ways through which it
can intervene in the burning problems facing the masses.
Over the last one and a half years, several events
have transpired, which have directly affected the workers and toilers of
Turkey. By rights therefore, they should have taken their prominent place
in the agenda of the Turkish revolutionary movement. Among these are;
The terrible pressure of the economic crisis on toilers;
The growing intensity of the aggression of Turkish fascism on Kurdish
people and its democratic institutions, despite the capitulation and treason
of PKK leadership;
The escalation of the white terror of US imperialism in the wake of
11th September and its threat and aggression targeting Arab and Islamic
peoples, the flowing of Palestinian blood, especially over the last 19
months and approaching US aggression against Iraq.
All these developments certainly interest the Turkish
revolutionary movement directly, and, moreover they fall into its’ sphere
of responsibility. Yet, apart from dealing with these questions in its
press by way of agitation, propaganda and analysis, the Turkish revolutionary
movement has not really addressed them and put them on its action agenda.
According to Lenin:
"Politics begin where the masses are; not where there are thousands,
but where there are millions, that is where serious politics begin."
(Quoted by E. H. Carr, What is History?, London, 1998, p. 50).
In his pamphlet "Left-Wing" Communism, An Infantile Disorder, he also had
criticized such revolutionaries and said:
"... we must not regard what is obsolete for us as being obsolete
for the class, as being obsolete for the masses."
(Selected Works, London, 1938, Vol. 10, p. 99).
Unfortunately, it is difficult to state that the Turkish
revolutionary movement has learned from the criticism of Lenin or even
from its own experience.
If they want to deserve the title of the vanguard,
revolutionary parties have to learn to march in front of the masses, without
severing their ties to them. This, however, obliges them to take into account
the present level of consciousness and spontaneous struggle of the masses.
Those revolutionary organizations, who fail to draw the masses along with
them are, in practice, in a rear-guard position, irrespective of their
own self-assessment (3).
This, of course, cannot be taken as an exhortation for the Turkish
revolutionary movement to adopt itself to the prejudices and backward tendencies
of the masses. But, all honest and conscientious observers would have to
accept the fact that, one of main problems facing the Turkish revolutionary
movement has been the failure to close distance between its own agenda
and tile agenda of the masses.
There exists a consensus in the ranks
of Turkish revolutionary movement to the effect that the F-type prison
attack aims at destroying the movement.
This is a correct assessment.
This observation, however, does not justify the pursuit of a
revolutionary tactic centered on the struggle against F-type prison attack;
it does not justify the assumption that workers and toilers can be mobilized
through a propaganda and agitation against the oppression in prisons.
The Turkish revolutionary movement has failed to
develop the correct tactics, methods and means to resist against the general
economic and political assault of the ruling classes; it has perceived
this struggle almost something like a duel between the vanguard
forces and the fascist regime and therefore has itself, though unintentionally,
contributed to the isolation of the revolutionary vanguard by the class
enemy. This line has denied the masses the chance to be educated through
their own experiences, which is the only way for them to join forces with
the revolutionary vanguard and follow its dictums. Lenin told us:
"The real education of the masses can never be separated from their
independent political, and especially revolutionary, struggle. Only struggle
educates the exploited class. Only struggle discloses to it the magnitude
of its own power, widens its horizon, enhances its abilities, clarifies
its mind, forges its will."
("Lecture on the 1905 Revolution", Collected Works. Moscow, 1974, Vol.,
To support the revolutionary demands of the masses and
to intervene in their spontaneous struggle in an active and united manner
and to elevate the level of that struggle; and, in this manner to expand
the sphere of influence and revolutionary legitimacy of the Turkish revolutionary
movement – This is the only way to uphold and support the
political captives, whom the regime aims to condemn to a silent death.
There is a great revolutionary potential. Today,
in our country:
The great majority of the population is in the throes of an economic
crisis and even of semi-hunger; despite the capitulation and treason of
the PKK leadership;
The Kurdish people continue to harbor a great amount of revolutionary
The bourgeois parties, whether in power or in opposition have squandered
almost all of their prestige;
The bourgeoisie and its armed forces, who have reduced the status of
the country almost to that of a colony dominated by imperialism, are also
making preparations to shed the blood of the peoples of tile Middle East
and Central Asia.
If the revolutionary forces of our country are not able
to expand their sphere of influence and revolutionary legitimacy, under
such circumstances, they need to take a good look at themselves and question
their own way of conducting political struggle. It is high time to remember
Lenin's following words in his pamphlet "Left-Wing Communism, An Infantile
"The attitude of a political party towards its mistakes is one of
the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is,
and how it in practice fulfils its obligations towards its
class and the toiling masses. Frankly admitting
a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analyzing the conditions which
led to it, and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it - that
is the earmark of a serious party, that is the way it should perform its
duties, that is the way it should educate and train the class and then
(Quoted by Stalin, Problems of Leninism, Moscow, 1940, p. 13).
As in all periods of crisis, along with extraordinary
difficulties, there are great possibilities. We have outlined the Turkish
situation. Internationally also there are new developments. The post-11th
September period, characterized by the aggression of US imperialism on
all the peoples of the world, but, especially on the Arab and Islamic
peoples, presents significant opportunities for the advancement of the
struggle against the capitalist-imperialist system and its arrogant chief,
the US. Despite being burdened with its extremely grave weaknesses and
problems and its critical conditions, 35 year-old Turkish revolutionary
movement embodies a considerable amount of revolutionary potential.
The Turkish revolutionary movement rests on the significant
revolutionary traditions of workers and toilers of Turkey. On the other
hand, it has firm allies, in the personality of the workers and toilers
of the world. Therefore, notwithstanding its own difficulties, the Turkish
revolutionary movement can break out of this vicious circle in the course
of the struggle of the workers and peoples of Turkey, region and the world
against imperialist aggression and its vassal, Turkish fascism (4). If
it can face the present period with a revolutionary prognosis, a correct
tactic and a real united front, and if it can contribute to the provision
of a practical response to the repression and terror of Turkish fascism
and to the US aggression on Arab and Islamic peoples, theTurkish revolutionary
movement will begin to deliver itself from its crisis.
To keep the workers and toilers away from the influence
of revolution and socialism, the Turkish ruling classes, have for decades,
portrayed all leftist movements as pawns of foreign powers and especially
of the USSR and branded them as anti-Muslim. The present period however,
presents the Turkish revolutionary movement with an opportunity to neutralize
these propaganda themes of Turkish fascism. Firstly, in view
of their relationships with US imperialism on the one hand and with the
IMF and the World Bank on the other, the ruling classes are not capable
of utilizing the weapon of' "patriotism" and "nationalism" against the
Turkish revolutionary movement. Secondly, in view of their
complicity with US imperialism in its struggle against the peoples of the
Middle East and Central Asia, christened with the name of "war on Islamic
terrorism", they are not able to use the weapon of "religion" against the
Turkish revolutionary movement (5).
Besides, at present, our country is passing through
a deep economic crisis that has further exacerbated the social earthquake
it has been undergoing. Under these circumstances, apart from expanding
its influence among its traditional social base in the ranks of workers
all toilers, the Turkish revolutionary movement can reach to toilers under
the influence of Islam and even extend its influence among the lower echelons
of the bourgeois army. It can and should try to mobilize (the patriotic
and anti-imperialist feelings of the masses filled with hatred against
the crusade of US neo-fascists against Arab and Islamic peoples, without
giving any concession to Turkish nationalism and religious reaction.
If the Turkish revolutionary movement, introduces itself upon the Turkish
political scene as a united and serious force, if it opposes
the depreciation of Turkey into a colonial status, and if it opposes the
imperialist terror that is targeting the Arab and Islamic peoples - All
in a straightforward manner, the Turkish revolutionary movement will be
able to strengthen its ties to the masses and expand its sphere of influence
and revolutionary legitimacy, and thereby repel the multi-faceted aggression
of Turkish fascism and US imperialism.
The determining factor of the present period is the
Third World War that is and has been, unleashed against the peoples of
the world by American neo-fascists, who are following the tracks of Hitler
fascism. In this phase, the US imperialists aim to subordinate the peoples
of the Middle East and Central Asia, to strengthen their hold on energy
sources, to gain advantage over their Chinese, Russian, European and Japanese
imperialist rivals, and, to promote the "security" of Zionist Israel.
The US has been living through a relative regression
in line with the law of the uneven development of capitalism. This, however,
does not prevent it from being the greatest economic and military power
on earth, which enjoys and shall continue to enjoy, considerable superiority
over its imperialist rivals in the foreseeable future. Besides, US imperialism
has consolidated its superiority through its near monopoly position in
the fields of visual media, popular culture and entertainment industry.
But, the tactical superiority of the Yankee imperialists, who continue
their militarization drive [including now the arming of the space and the
development of new military technologies, such as pilotless planes, robots
etc] does not make them invincible nor can it conceal the extremely decadent
nature of the contradiction-ridden American society. The terrorist monopoly
capitalist class of the US has been surrounded by the anger and hate of
the workers and peoples of the world, and will ultimately prove unable
to ward off their resistance in even the medium-term.
In this context, the Turkish revolutionary movement
should not content itself with condemning the coming US aggression against
Iraq led by the fascist Saddam Hussein clique; but it should also treat
this question as a topic of actual political struggle and should openly
and actively oppose the present and future imperialist war and terror against
Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq and other Islamic countries and their peoples.
By taking an active stand against:
the on-going use of NATO bases in Turkey for the bombardment of Iraq
for years, the use of Turkish and Kurdish youth
as cannon fodder in the approaching Iraqi campaign
Turkish military presence in Afghanistan,
and the shedding of the Palestinian people's blood by Zionist Israel,
the Turkish revolutionary movement would enhance its prestige in the eyes
of the peoples of Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia and especially
among sections of the population under the influence of Islam.
Nobody should try to find an advocacy of Saddam Hussein
regime in such all opposition to the US aggression against Iraq. This regime,
whose hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of thousands of Kurdish,
Shiite and Sunnite toilers, deserves to be overthrown times and again.
That however is the task of the Iraqi people of various nationalities.
Moreover, it is very well known that, imperialists and especially US and
British imperialists have armed to the teeth this Iraqi regime, against
Iran during the First Gulf War. The imperialists protected the Iraqi regime
in the face of Kurdish and Shiite rebellions in the wake of the Second
Gulf War, were responsible for the death of more than one million Iraqi
toilers through the UN embargo they have maintained for the last 11 years.
In the meantime, the political tensions between the
US and EU imperialists, who had come somewhat closer to each other in the
post-11th September period, are once again surfacing. This is
due both to the continuation of the world economic recession and the efforts
of the US to establish their full spectrum dominance. The sharpening of
these inter-imperialist contradictions coincides with the sharpening of
contradictions among the pro-US and pro-EU sections of Turkish ruling classes.
The Turkish revolutionary movement should continue to reject the illusions
spread by the PKK and reformist groups concerning the EU imperialists,
who are much weaker politically and militarily than the US. However, it
should turn its attention mainly at the US, the principal enemy of workers
and peoples of the world, without forgetting the fact that the struggle
for hegemony between these two gangs of brigands might function as an indirect
reserve for revolution.
What, then, is to be done in Turkey today?
One of the preconditions for the Turkish revolutionary
movement, allowing it to begin to organize joint work, is
to initiate a genuinely honest and fruitful internal dialogue on the joint
tasks, responsibilities and opportunities facing the movement, ignoring
and surpassing the relatively weak prior tradition in regards to united
In this context, it is extremely important to be
mindful of the level and style of the discussions and criticisms over the
death fast and hunger strike, which are conducted and shall be conducted.
Such discussion and criticism should not distance the Turkish revolutionary
movement from the tackling of the burning tasks waiting to be addressed
and should not further weaken the already weak tradition of united action.
The tensions and erosion of mutual trust due to the quarrels following
the partially victorious death fast action of 1996 may serve as a caution
in this regard. What is more, one must take account of the fact that, since
1996 the Turkish revolutionary movement has lost a considerable amount
of strength, following, self-confidence and prestige. The death fast action
of 2000-2002, has lasted much longer than that of the 1996 death-fast,
and it has taken a much larger toll. Taking into account the habits of
the Turkish revolutionary movement, we may rightly predict the eruption
of a spate of vicious sectarian quarrels following the end of the present
death fast and hunger strike action. However, the Turkish revolutionary
movement must prove itself capable of focusing its attention on the
burning questions of the present and the future, without neglecting
the task of critically assessing the mistakes and the experience of the
past, including the above mentioned action. At a time, when it is called
upon to perform significant tasks, with regard to revolution in Turkey
and moreover in the region and the world, the Turkish revolutionary movement
should and can avoid a "civil war", which cannot but result in the formation
of deep wounds in its collective structure.
it can be stated that, it is imperative for the revolutionary forces in
Turkey to learn to listen to each other, discuss in a fruitful manner and
act together in other fields too, as they have been doing in prisons. Class-conscious
workers and advanced sections of toilers have the right to question the
stands of revolutionary parties and groups, who while succeeding in acting
together in dungeons, despite their differences, fail
to do the same in other fields.
Under the present conditions of our country, by entering
the political arena as a united front pulling forward the vital and
burning demands of the masses, the Turkish revolutionary movement
can deliver itself from the trap of liquidation and destruction, that Turkish
fascism and imperialism has forced it into. Nobody could assert that such
an initiative would provide it with a mass base in the short run, and end
the long running rupture between the masses of workers and toilers on the
one hand and the revolutionary movement on the other. But, there is no
other force, apart from the Turkish revolutionary movement that can solve
the intractable problems of our country. If it can act boldly, think big
and prove itself capable and determined to exploit the opportunities provided
by the course of events, Turkish revolutionary movement can close this
period with a significant leap forward. This, however, cannot be done unless
the Turkish revolutionary movement subjects itself to a revolutionary self-criticism,
and learns to hold the pulse of the masses - through modifying its way
of conducting political struggle and assumes a genuinely transformative
role for itself.
If it decided to follow such a path, the Turkish
revolutionary movement would be well advised to prepare a clear, straightforward
and relatively short platform, comprising the actual and vital demands
of the masses of workers and toilers. This should form a basis for its
daily propaganda and agitation This would not be a platform for revolution
It should address, at least the following questions.
a) Poverty, unemployment and hunger adversely affecting great majority
of the population,
This platform should demand a democratic and popular
solution to these questions. But, what is more important, is the way these
demands are to be realized. Therefore, one of the most important planks
of this platform should be the understanding that all these demands shall
be realized only through the strength of workers and toilers, through their
determined struggles in factories, streets and toiling people's districts
and not through the "goodwill" of the ruling classes or of one section
of them or of Western European imperialists.
b) Imperialist plunder of Turkey in line with IMF and World Bank directives,
c) Plunder of public resources by the criminal bourgeoisie, rentiers
and their collaborators,
d) Preparations for the use of Turkish and Kurdish workers and toilers
as cannon fodder in the US aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and other
e) Violation of national and democratic rights of Kurdish people,
f) Repression of political captives and their isolation,
h) Fascist terror targeting whole sections of the people and especially
the Kurdish people.
Such a platform may not be considered sufficiently
"radical", or "revolutionary", by the Turkish revolutionary movement (or
by important segments of it), whose style of political struggle focuses
its attention not on the masses, as it should be, but on the vanguard.
It may even be condemned as a reformist and liquidationist
Such an objection or criticism, however, would not
Firstly, it would not be taking into account the present
level of consciousness and struggle of the masses of workers and toilers.
Secondly, it would not be taking into account the vital
need for the Turkish revolutionary movement to free itself from the extremely
narrow space it has been confined to and gain some revolutionary legitimacy
in the eyes of the masses. The Turkish revolutionary movement must
understand the fact that it cannot continue its mission in this manner.
Besides, adopting such a platform for daily propaganda,
agitation and organization, is neither in contradiction with the defense
of a revolutionary and socialist perspective, nor is it in contradiction
with the independent existence and activity of revolutionary organizations.
Under the present circumstances, where the Turkish revolutionary movement
is facing a common threat (of extinction), an emphasis in
the direction of the defense of vital and burning dernands of the masses
is absolutely necessary.
It should be added that, reformist parties
and groups do not stand a real chance in our country. This is due
to the weakness of material basis for the growth of reformism, the sharpness
of contradiction between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and the other
social contradictions and the repressive and terrorist style of government
of the ruling classes. There are no reformist parties in our country, like
Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries, who had a significant following
among Russian workers and peasants. Therefore, the Turkish revolutionary
movement also needs to tone down its somewhat exaggerated political struggle
against reformist parties and groups. The real danger of reformism and
liquidationism resides mainly inside the Turkish revolutionary
movement and its components themselves, especially during such periods
of decline and crisis. The recent history of the Turkish revolutionary
movement has witnessed several cases of evolution from revolutionary-democracy
into reformism and liquidationism.
It is true that, the demands to be included in the
above mentioned platform are in the nature of reforms. But, there is nothing
wrong for revolutionary parties to fight for reforms, as long as they do
not lose sight of their revolutionary perspectives. Stalin stated:
"To a reformist, reforms are everything, while revolutionary work
is something incidental, something just to talk about, mere eyewash. That
is why, with reformist tactics hinder the bourgeois regime, reforms are
inevitably transformed into an instrument for strengthening that regime,
an instrument for disintegrating the revolution.
"To a revolutionary, on the contrary, the main thing is revolutionary
work and not reforms; to him reforms are by-products of the revolution.
That is why, with revolutionary tactics under the bourgeois regime, reforms
are naturally transformed into instruments for disintegrating this regime,
into instruments for strengthening the revolution... "
(Problems of Leninism, Moscow, 1940, p. 70).
It is evident that, by conducting a joint struggle on
the basis of such a platform, the Turkish revolutionary movement shall
strengthen its ties to the masses, weaken the fascist dictatorship, deal
blows at imperialism, dispel the liquidationist mood and therefore bring
our country closer to revolution.
So, with such a revolutionary perspective, the
struggle for reforms shall be, in Stalin's words, "naturally transformed
into instruments for disintegrating this regime, into instruments for strengthening
Lastly, taking into account its liquidationist and
capitulationist line, the Turkish revolutionary movement should categorically
reject the PKK's proposal on "the way out of the crisis."
The PKK has pinned its hopes on the capitalist-imperialist
system and its economic-political aggression dubbed as globalization, which
allegedly will "democratize" our region (the Middle East) and the world!
The PKK's loud proclamations to the effect that it will act as a hit man
in the coming US aggression against Iraq and its proposals aiming to destroy
the Turkish revolutionary movement, as well as the Kurdish national movement,
must have served as sufficient warning for those, who up to now have failed
to concede the real nature of the PKK leadership (6). It
is beyond any doubt that, at least during the period following the capture
of Abdullah Ocalan (in February 1999), the PKK's policy has been part of
the overall liquidationist strategy designed and carried out by the Turkish
general staff and imperialism.
3-8 March 2002
(1) Here, the phrase: "the Turkish revolutionary movement", is used
in such a way as to include only the radical revolutionary groups and exclude
reformist ones. Even then, the Turkish revolutionary movement does not
refer to a homogenous movement, but a collection of various organizations,
who, to a greater or lesser extent differ from each other ideologically
and politically. For the purpose of this article, however, these differences
do not carry much weight. This approach finds even more justification in
the fact that over the last 16 months, many organizations making up the
Turkish revolutionary movement, have focused their efforts mainly on the
death fast and hunger strike action.
(2) The hunger strike action of political prisoners had begun on 20
October 2000, and was transformed into a death fast in the wake of the
fascist aggression of Turkish military on scores of prisons on 19 December
2000, which left 30 people dead. At the time of the writing, the death
fast and hunger strike action has become almost 16 months-old and led to
the death of further 60 odd political captives and mental and physical
infirmity of hundreds of others.
(3) On this topic Stalin had said the following:
"The whole truth is that the Party must not only go forward, but must
also secure the following of the vast masses. To go forward without securing
the following of the vast masses means in fact to break away from the movement.
To go forward, breaking away from the rear-guard, without being able to
secure the following the rear-guard, means to make a leap ahead that can
prevent the advance of the masses for some time."
("The International Situation and the Defence of the USSR", Works,
Moscow, 1954, Vol. 10, pp. 29-30).
(4) There is no real basis for pessimism with regard to the prospects of
the anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of the world against US terrorism.
Yankee imperialists, who have deployed their troops in Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Kirgizia, Kosova, Kuwait, the Philippines, Colombia.
Georgia. Qatar; and who now plan to attack Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Syria,
North Korea, Libya, Iran, the Sudan, Venezuela have already been sucked
into the mire. They may kill millions of workers and toilers more with
"weapons of mass destruction" at their disposal; but they will be defeated
as a result of the growing struggles of the peoples of semicolonial countries,
who have very little to lose on the one hand and of the struggle of their
"own" working classes on the other. The last skirmishes in Afghanistan
testify to the growing plight of US imperialists, who will be thrashed
more and more.
(5) In the course of discussions over the transfer of command of the
so-called International Security Assistance Force (in Afghanistan) to Turkey,
Turkish authorities, including Prime Minister Bulevent Ecevit tried to
utilize the occasion to beg for money arms from their imperialist masters.
A press report informs us that:
"Ecevit stated that Turkey will assume the responsibility following
the acceptance of conditions it has put forward and will provide security
not only in Afghanistan, but also in all of Central Asia and thereby liberate
the whole region from the threat of terrorism and fundamentalism."
(Hurriyet, I March 2002)
(6) For some time, Abdullah Ocalan and other leaders of the
PKK have been pressing for the formation of a "united left party" or of
a "democratic bloc", which will comprise apart from the PKK, components
of the Turkish revolutionary movement, and various reformist parties. For
instance, Cemil Baylk, a member of the Presidential Council of the PKK
"... PKK is for the establishment of such a party, which is urgently
needed in Turkey; it wants to accomplish this task together with all left
and democratic forces... "
(Ozgur Politika, 3 February 2002).
On the other hand, Murat Karayilan, another member of the Presidential
Council, had made the following statement some time after the action of
"It now has become clear that, the US is promoting a new concept in
the wake of this event. It wants to make a rearrangement in several countries
and regions of the world, especially in the Middle East and Caucasia...
Therefore, Kurds have to follow these new developments carefully and seize
a place for themselves. This is our approach....
"If a plan is put forward with regard to Iraq, this new step shall
have its impact on Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). Now there are two
alternatives: In the operation against Iraq, who shall be assigned the
main task, Kurds of the South or the Turkish arm),?"
(Ozgur Politika, 2 October 2001, italics mine).
Reiterating its support for the US intervention in and coming aggression
against Iraq, the declaration of the 5. Plenum of the Party Assembly of
the PKK (held in late January) told us:
"The struggle for the nature of the system in Iraq shall determine
that of the Middle East and that in turn shall determine the basic criteria
and features- of the international system. We can clearly see the fact
that the struggle waging on Iraq has a regional and international character
and this struggle is a one between the old system and the new system, between
the old status quo and the new status quo. During the coming period, the
struggle shall continue to sharpen even more both on political and military
planes and no doubt our Party and our people shall side with the front
for change which aims to establish a new system, not with that of old status
quo, which reject the Kurds and want to destroy them. And our Party and
people shall not side with the front for repression, division and terror,
but with that of democracy, peace and free union. They will
do so, because the interests of both Kurdish people and those of the peoples
of the region and of the democratic forces of the world lie in this state
(Ozgur Politika, 6 February 2002, italics mine).
by Frederick Engels 1874: "V On Social Relations in Russia";
Collected Works Marx and Engels: Volume 24: Moscow
1989; p. 39;
Written: between mid-May 1874 and April 1875;
"Mr. Tkachov treats the political
revolution just as lightly as he does the economic one. The Russian people,
he relates, “protests incessantly” against its enslavement, now in the
form of “religious sects ... refusal to pay taxes ... robber bands” (the
German workers will be glad to know that, accordingly, Schinderhannes [the
nickname of Johann Buckler, a notorious German robber-publisher] is
the father of German Social-Democracy) “... incendiarism ... revolts ...
and hence the Russian people may be termed an instinctive revolutionist”.
Therefore, Mr. Tkachov is convinced that “it is only necessary to
evoke an outburst in a number of places at the same time of all the accumulated
bitterness and discontent, which ... is always seething in the breast of
our people”. Then “the union of the revolutionary forces will come about
of itself, and the fight ... must end favourably for the people’s cause.
Practical necessity, the instinct of self-preservation”, will then achieve,
quite of themselves, “a firm and indissoluble alliance among the protesting
It is impossible to conceive of a revolution on
easier and more pleasant terms. One starts shooting, at three or four places
simultaneously, and the “instinctive revolutionise”, “practical necessity”
and the “instinct of self-preservation” do the rest “of themselves”. Being
so dead easy, it is simply incomprehensible why the revolution has not
been carried out long ago, the people liberated and Russia transformed
into the model socialist country.
Actually, matters are quite different.
The Russian people, this instinctive revolutionise, has, true enough, made
numerous isolated peasant revolts against the nobility and against
individual officials, but never against the tsar, except when a
false tsar put himself at its head and claimed the throne. The last
great peasant rising, [Engels is referring
to the Peasant War (1773-75) headed by Yemelyan Pugachov]
under Catherine II, was only possible because Yemelyan Pugachov claimed
to be her husband, Peter III, who allegedly had not been murdered by his
wife, but dethroned and clapped in prison, and had now escaped. The tsar
is, on the contrary, the earthly god of the Russian peasant: Bog vysok
Car daljok — God is on high and the tsar far away, is his cry in hour
of need. There is no doubt that the mass of the peasant population, especially
since the redemption of the corvée, has been reduced to a condition
that increasingly forces on it a fight also against the government and
the tsar; but Mr. Tkachov will have to try to sell his fairy-tale of the
“instinctive revolutionise” elsewhere.
Then again, even if the mass of the Russian peasants
were ever so instinctively revolutionary, even if we imagined that revolutions
could be made to order, just as one makes a piece of flowered calico or
a teakettle — even then I ask, is it permissible for anyone over twelve
years of age to imagine the course of a revolution in such an utterly childish
manner as is the case here? And remember, further, that this was written
after the first revolution made on this Bakuninist model [Engels
is referring to the uprising which was launched in July 1873 by petty-bourgeois
republicans and the Bakuninists in Andalusia and Valencia., it undermined
the position of the left-republican government of Francisco Pi y Margall
which came into office in 1873 as a result of the declaration of the first
republic in Spain during the revolution of 1868-74 - See Collected works:
The bakuninists at Work; Volume 23; pp.585-95]— the Spanish
one of 1873 — had so brilliantly failed. There, too, they let loose at
several places simultaneously. There, too, it was calculated that practical
necessity and the instinct of self-preservation would, of themselves,
bring about a firm and indissoluble alliance between the protesting communities.
And what happened? Every village community, every town defended only itself;
there was no question of mutual assistance and, with only 3,000 men, Pavia
overcame one town after another in a fortnight and put an end to the entire
anarchist glory (cf. my Bakuninists at Work, where this is described in
Russia undoubtedly is on the eve of a revolution.
Her financial affairs are in extreme disorder. Taxes cannot be screwed
any higher, the interest on old state loans is paid by means of new loans,
and every new loan meets with greater difficulties; money can now be raised
only on the pretext of building railways! The administration, corrupt from
top to bottom as of old, the officials living more from theft, bribery
and extortion than on their salaries. The entire agricultural production
— by far the most essential for Russia — completely dislocated by the redemption
settlement of 1861; the big landowners, without sufficient labour power;
the peasants without sufficient land, oppressed by taxation and sucked
dry by usurers; agricultural production declining by the year. The whole
held together with great difficulty and only
outwardly by an oriental despotism the arbitrariness of which we in the
West simply cannot imagine; a despotism that, from day to day, not only
comes into more glaring contradiction with the views of the enlightened
classes and, in particular, with those of the rapidly developing bourgeoisie
of the capital, but, in the person of its present bearer, has lost its
head, one day making concessions to liberalism and the next, frightened,
cancelling them again and thus bringing itself more and more into disrepute.
With all that, a growing recognition among the enlightened strata of the
nation concentrated in the capital that this position is untenable, that
a evolution is impending, and the illusion that it will be possible to
guide this revolution along a smooth, constitutional channel. Here
all the conditions of a revolution are combined, of a revolution that,
started by the upper classes of the capital, perhaps even by the government
itself, must be rapidly carried further, beyond the first constitutional
phase, by the peasants; of a revolution that will be of the greatest importance
for the whole of Europe, if only because it will destroy at one blow the
last, so far intact, reserve of the entire European reaction. This revolution
is surely approaching. Only two events could still delay it: a successful
war against Turkey or Austria, for which money and firm
alliances are necessary, or — a premature attempt at insurrection,
which would drive the possessing classes back into the arms of the government.
TWO: Marx: "Peuchet:
Collected Works of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels;
Volume 4, p. 597; Written 1845; Published: in 1846. Notes from publisher
[This work was written by Marx
to expose certain repulsive aspects of bourgeois society, its morals and
customs, using documentary evidence provided by one of its representatives,
the French jurist and economist, custodian of the Paris police archives,
Jacques Peuchet. Marx carried out his intention by translating into German
and publishing excerpts from "Mémoires tirés des archives
de La police de Paris, pour servir à 1'histoire de la morale et
de la police, depuis Louis XIV jusqu'à nos jours." by J. Peuchet,
Archiviste de la Police. T. I-IV, Paris, 1838," giving his own comments’
in an introductory section and occasional digressions. The excerpts were
taken from Chapter LVIII “Du suicide et de ses causes” (t. IV, pp. 116-82).
Marx gives the text with abridgments and sometimes in free rendering,
without indicating by suspension periods the passages omitted. He left
out altogether the material on pages 143-68, taking only a few phrases
(see pp. 159 and 164), which he joined according to the sense to the excerpts
from the beginning of the section. Some passages from Peuchet were given
by Marx in his own formulation, emphasising their critical trend. The information
on the author given by Marx in the introductory section was taken from
the Introduction by A. Levasseur, the editor of the Mémoires (t.
1, Introduction, pp. i-xx). Marx’s own text (introductory and closing sections
and the digressions in which he sums up) are printed in blue
the excerpts from Peuchet’s book in black
type. The emphasis in the quotations is
Marx’s in all cases.]
"French criticism of society has,
at least, in part the great merit of having shown up the contradictions
and unnaturalness of modern life not only in the relationships of particular
classes, but in all circles and forms of modern intercourse. And it has
done that in accounts evincing the warmth of life itself, broadness of
view, refined subtlety, and bold originality of spirit, which one will
seek in vain in any other nation. Compare the critical writings of Owen
and Fourier, for example, so far as they concern the relationships of life,
to gain an idea of this superiority of the French. It is by no means only
to the French “socialist” writers proper that one must look for the critical
presentation of social conditions; but to writers in every sphere of literature,
and in particular of novels and memoirs. In a few excerpts on suicide
from the “Mémoires tires des Archives de la Police etc.” par
Jacques Peuchet I shall give an example of this French criticism. It
may at the same time show what grounds there are for the idea of
the philanthropic bourgeois that it is only a question of providing a little
bread and a little education for the proletarians,
and that only the worker is stunted by the present state of
society, but otherwise the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.
With Jacques Peuchet, as with
many of the older, now almost extinct, French professional men, who have
lived through the numerous upheavals since 1789, the numerous disappointments,
enthusiasms, constitutions, rulers, defeats and victories, criticism of
the existing property, family, and other private relations, in a word of
private life, appears as the necessary outcome of their political
Jacques Peuchet (born 1760)
proceeded from belles lettres to medicine, from medicine to law, from law
to administration and the police. Before the outbreak of the French Revolution
he was working with Abbé Morellet on a Dictionnaire du commerce,
of which, however, only the prospectus was published, and at that time
he was occupied mainly with political economy and administration. Peuchet
was an adherent of the French Revolution for only a very short time; he
very soon turned to the royalist party, for a time held the editorship
of the Gazette de France and later even took over the notorious
royalist Mercure from Mallet du Pan. Nevertheless, he wound
his way very cleverly through the revolution, sometimes persecuted, sometimes
occupied in the Department of Administration and the Police. The Géographie
commerçante, 5 vol. in folio, which he published in 1800, attracted
the attention of Bonaparte, the First Consul, and he was appointed a member
of the Conseil de commerce et des arts.
Later he occupied a higher position in the administration under the ministry
of François de Neufchâteau. In 1814 the Restoration appointed
him censor. During the 100 days
[The Hundred Days is the second period of Napoleon’s rule, from his restoration
to the imperial throne on March 20 (after his return from the island of
Elba) to his second abdication on June 22, 1815, four days after his defeat
at Waterloo] he retired. At the restoration
of the Bourbons he was given the post of keeper of archives in the Paris
police prefecture, which he held until 1827. Peuchet was not without
influence, both directly and as a writer, on the speakers in the Constituent
Assembly, the Convention, the Tribunate, and the Chambers of Deputies under
the Restoration. The best known of his many, mostly economic, works apart
from the Geography of Commerce already referred to, is his statistics
of France [J. Peuchet, Statistique élémentaire de la France]
Peuchet wrote his memoirs,
the materials for which he gathered partly from the Paris
police archives, partly from his long practical experience in police and
administration, as an old man and had them published only after his
death, so that in no circumstances can he be counted among the “hasty”
Socialists and Communists, who are known to lack so completely the marvellous
thoroughness and comprehensive knowledge of the general run of our writers,
officials and professional citizens.
Let us listen to our archive-keeper
of the Paris police prefecture on suicide!
“The annual number of suicides, which is, as
it were, normal and recurrent among us, must be regarded
as a symptom of the faulty organisation of our society; for at times
when industry is at a standstill and in crisis, in periods of dear food
and hard winters, this symptom is always more conspicuous
and assumes an epidemic character.
Prostitution and theft then increase in the same proportion. Although poverty
is the greatest source of suicide,
we find it in all classes, among
the idle rich as well as among artists and politicians.
The variety of the causes which give rise to it seems to mock the monotonous
and callous condemnation of the moralists.
“Consumptive diseases, towards which science
is at present indifferent and
ineffectual, abused friendship, deceived love, frustrated ambition, family
rivalry, dissatisfaction with a monotonous life, suppressed enthusiasm,
are indubitably the causes of suicide in more generously
endowed natures, and the love of life itself,
this energetic driving force of personality, very often leads to putting
an end to a detestable existence.
“Madame de Staël, whose greatest merit is
to have expressed commonplaces in
brilliant style, has attempted to show that suicide is an act contrary
to nature, and that it cannot be regarded as a deed of courage;
she claims in particular that to fight
despair is more worthy than to succumb to it. Such arguments little affect
souls which are overwhelmed by misfortune. If they are
religious, they look forward to a better
world; if, on the contrary, they do not believe in anything, they seek
the calm of Nothing. Philosophical
tirades have no value in their eyes and are a poor refuge from
suffering. It is above all in bad taste to maintain that an act so frequently
committed is contrary to nature; suicide is in no way contrary
to nature, since we witness it daily. What is against
nature does not happen. On the contrary, it is in the nature of our
society to produce many suicides, while Tartars do not kill themselves.
Hence all societies
do not have the same products. That is what we must tell ourselves,
so as to work for the reform of our society and make it rise
to a higher stage. As for courage, if it is considered courageous to defy
death in broad daylight on the battlefield, under
the domination of every form of excitement, there is nothing to prove lack
of courage in one who administers death to himself in
dark solitude. Such a. debatable question is not disposed of by insulting
“Everything that has been
said against suicide goes round and round in the same circle
of ideas. People cite against it the decrees of Providence, but the existence
of suicide is itself an open protest against her
indecipherable decrees. They talk to us of our duties
to this society without explaining or implementing our own claims on
society, and finally they exalt the thousand times greater merit of overcoming
pain rather than succumbing
to it, a merit as sad as the prospects it opens up. In short, they
make of suicide an act of cowardice, a crime against the law, [society]
“Why is it that in spite of
so many anathemas people kill themselves? Because the
blood of men in despair does not run through their veins in the same way
as that of the cold beings who take the time
to coin all those fruitless phrases. Man seems to be a mystery
to man; he can only be blamed, he is not known. When we see how
light-mindedly the institutions under whose domination Europe lives dispose
of the blood and life of the nations,
how civilised justice surrounds itself lavishly with
prisons, chastisements and instruments of death so as to sanction its insecure
decisions; when we see the numerical immensity of the classes which on
all sides are left in misery, and the social pariahs
who are battered by brutal contempt, meant to be preventive, perhaps
to save the trouble of lifting them out of their squalor; when we
see all this, we fail to understand what entitles us to command the individual
to respect in himself an existence
which our customs, our prejudices, our laws and our morals generally trample
“It was thought that it would
be possible to prevent suicide by degrading
punishments and by branding the memory of the culprit with infamy. What
one say of the unworthiness of such branding
of people who are no longer there to plead their case? The unfortunates,
by the way, are little worried by that; and if suicide accuses anybody,
it accuses above all the people who are left behind, because there is
not one in this multitude who deserves that anyone should stay alive for
him. Have the childish and cruel means devised
been victorious against the whisperings of
despair? What does he who wants to flee the world care about the insults
which the world promises to his corpse? He only sees
in them yet another act of cowardice on the part
of the living. What kind of society is it, indeed, where one finds the
profoundest solitude in the midst of millions; where one can be overwhelmed
by an irrepressible desire to kill oneself without anybody being aware
of it? This society is no society, it is as Rousseau says, a desert inhabited
by wild animals. In the positions which I held in the police administration
suicides were part of my responsibility; I wished to learn whether among
the causes motivating them there were any whose effect could be obviated.
I undertook extensive work on the subject.” I found that any attempts short
of a total reform of the present order of society would be in vain.
[This conclusion from the arguments
of the author of the Mémoires is formulated by Marx himself — Instead
of this sentence Peuchet savs: “Without engaging in any theoretical investigation,
I shall try to adduce facts."]
“Among the causes of despair
which induce nervous, very excitable persons,
passionate beings with deep feelings, to seek death, I discovered as the
predominant factor the maltreatment, the injustices,
the secret punishments, which hard parents and superiors inflict
on persons dependent on them. The revolution has not overthrown
all tyrannies; the evils of which the arbitrary authorities were accused
persist in the family, where they cause
crises analogous to those of revolutions.
“The relations between interests
and temperaments, the true relations among
individuals, have first to be created among ourselves from the very
foundations and suicide is only one of the
thousand and one symptoms of the universal social
struggle which is for ever spurring on to fresh deeds and from which
so many fighters withdraw because they are tired of being counted
among the victims, or because they rebel against the thought
of occupying a place of honour among the hangmen. If you
want a few examples, I will cull them from authentic protocols.
“In the month of July 1816 the daughter of a tailor became engaged to a
young man of good morals, thrifty and hardworking, very devoted to his
bride, who in rum was very fond of him. The young girl was a seamstress;
the respect of all who knew her, and the bridegroom’s parents loved her
good people missed no, opportunity to hasten the day when they would have
their daughter-in-law; they gave parties at which she was the queen and
“The time of the marriage approached; all arrangements between the two
been made and the contracts concluded. On the eve of the day fixed for
the visit to the
registrar, the young daughter and her parents were to have supper with
the family of
the bridegroom., an insignificant incident unexpectedly prevented this.
had to he met for rich customers kept the tailor and his wife at home.
They sent their
apologies; but the butcher’s mother came herself to fetch her daughter-in-law,
was given permission to go with her.
“Despite the absence of two of the principal guests the meal was one of
Many family jokes were told, which tie prospect of a marriage makes permissible.
They drank, they sang; they spoke about the future. The joys of a good
were eagerly discussed. They were still at table very late at night. By
explained indulgence the parents of the young man closed their eyes to
of the engaged couple. Their hands sought each other, love and
intimacy went to their heads. Besides, the marriage was considered as accomplished
and these young people had been visiting each other for quite a long time
giving cause for the slightest reproach. The emotion of the bridegroom’s
advanced hour, the mutual longing desire, loosen by the indulgence of their
the unrestrained gaiety which always prevails at such meals, all this combined
opportunity which offered itself smilingly, and the wine which was effervescing
head, everything favoured an outcome which may be imagined. The lovers
in the dark, when the lights had gone out. Everyone pretended not to notice,
suspect nothing. Their happiness had only friends here, no enviers.
“The young daughter only returned to her parents the next morning. A proof
little guilty she believed herself to be lies in the fact that she returned
slipped into her room and prepared her toilette; but no sooner did her
her, than with fury they heaped the most shameful names and abuses on their
daughter. The neighbourhood witnessed it, the scandal had no bounds. Imagine
shock which this child suffered from her modesty and the outrageous violation
secret. In vain did the bewildered girl put it to her parents that they
bringing her into disrepute, that she admitted her wrong, her folly, her
but that everything could he put right again. Her arguments and her grief
disarm the tailor couple.”
The most cowardly, unresisting people become
implacable as soon as they can exercise their absolute parental authority.
The abuse of this authority is, as it were, a crude compensation
for all the submissiveness and dependence to which they abase themselves
willy-nilly in bourgeois society.
“Busybodies of both sexes came running to the scene and joined in the clamour.
feeling of shame caused by this abominable scene brought the child to the
take her own life. She hurried downstairs, through the crowd of the abusive
swearing neighbours; her eyes clouded with madness,” she rushed to the
threw herself into the river. Boatmen brought her out of the water, dead,
still in her
wedding finery. Needless to say, those who at first had shouted against
at once turned against her parents; this catastrophe frightened their empty
few days later the parents came to the police to claim a golden chain which
had worn round her neck, a present from the future father-in-law, a silver
various other small pieces of jewellery, all of which had been deposited
police. I did not fail to reproach these people energetically for their
barbarity. To say to these mad people that they would have to render account
would have made very little impression on them in view of their egoistic
and the peculiar kind of religiosity which prevails in the lower mercantile
“Greed had brought them to me, not the desire to possess two or three keepsakes;
thought I could punish them through their greed. They were claiming their
jewels; I refused these to them; I kept the certificates which they needed
these effects from the office where they had been deposited according to
long as I held this post, their claims were in vain, and I found pleasure
in defying their
“In the same year there appeared in my office a young creole of attractive
from one of the richest families of Martinique. He objected most emphatically
handing over of the corpse of a young woman, his sister-in-law, to the
own brother and her husband. She had drowned herself. This kind of suicide
commonest. Her body had been found not far from the Grève d'Argenteuil
officials employed to recover corpses. From one of the well-known instincts
modesty which prevail in women even in the blindest despair, the drowned
had wound the seam of her skirt carefully round her feet. This modest precaution
proved her suicide beyond doubt. As soon as she had been found she was
the morgue. Her beauty, her youth, her rich apparel gave rise to a thousand
speculations as to the cause of this catastrophe. The despair of her husband,
the first to identify her, was boundless; he did not fathom this calamity,
at least so I
was told. I myself had not seen him before. I put it to the creole that
the claims of the
husband had precedence over all others; he was already having a magnificent
tombstone erected for his unfortunate wife. ‘After he has killed her, the
shouted the creole, rushing to and fro in his rage.
“From the excitement and despair of this young man, from his urgent pleading
his request, from his tears, I believed I could conclude that he was in
love with her,
and I told him so. He admitted his love; but with the most ardent assurances
sister-in-law had never known of it. He swore to that. He wanted to bring
to light the
barbarities of his brother, even if it meant putting himself in the dock,
only to save the
reputation of his sister-in-law, whose suicide public opinion would, as
to an intrigue. He begged me for my support. What I could gather from his
fragmentary, passionate declarations was this: Monsieur de M.... his brother,
a connoisseur of the arts, a friend of luxury and high society, had ‘married
woman about a year earlier, apparently from mutual inclination; they were
beautiful couple you could see. After the marriage a blood defect, perhaps
in the constitution of the young husband had broken out suddenly and violently.
Formerly so proud of his handsome appearance and his elegant figure, an
matchless perfection of form, this man suddenly fell a prey to an unknown
against whose devastations science was powerless; from head to foot he
horribly disfigured. He had lost all his hair, his spine had grown crooked.
Day by day
emaciation and wrinkles changed him most strikingly, at least for others;
self-love tried to deny the obvious. Yet all this did not make him take
to his bed; an
iron strength seemed to triumph over the attacks of the scourge. He vigorously
survived his own ruination. His body became a wreck, and his soul remained
He continued to give banquets, to preside over hunting parties and to lead
and magnificent way of life which seemed to be the law of his character
and his nature.
But the insults, the jibes, the taunts of schoolboys and street urchins
exercised his horse in the promenades, the rude and mocking laughter, solicitous
warnings of friends about the countless occasions on which he exposed himself
ridicule by insisting on gallant manners towards ladies, eventually dispelled
illusion and made him cautious about himself. As soon as he admitted to
ugliness and deformity, as soon as he was conscious of it, his character
embittered; he became dejected. He seemed less keen on taking his wife
to parties, to
balls, to concerts; he fled to his country residence; he put an end to
avoided people under a thousand pretexts, and the compliments his friends
paid to his
wife, which he had tolerated as long as his pride gave him the certainty
superiority, made him jealous, suspicious and violent. He detected in all
on visiting him the firm resolve to conquer the heart of his wife, who
was his last pride
and his last consolation. At this time the creole arrived from Martinique
whose success seemed to be
by the restoration of the Bourbons to the
French throne. His sister-in-law received him with cordiality, and in the
innumerable connections which she had contracted the newcomer preserved
advantage which his title of brother quite naturally gave him with Monsieur
The creole foresaw the loneliness which would surround the household both
result of the direct quarrels which his brother had with several of his
through a thousand indirect incidents which drove away and discouraged
Without being clearly aware of the motives of love which made him jealous
creole approved these measures of isolation and encouraged them by his
Monsieur de M... finished up by withdrawing entirely into a beautiful house
which in a short time became a desert. jealousy feeds on the smallest things;
does not know whereon to fasten, it turns against itself and becomes inventive;
everything serves to sustain it. Perhaps the young woman longed for the
her age. Walls obstructed the view of neighbouring residences; the shutters
closed from morning to night.”
The unfortunate wife was sentenced to the most intolerable slavery, and
this slavery was only enforced by Monsieur de M... on the basis of the
Code civil and the right of property, on the basis of social conditions
which render love independent of the free sentiments of the lovers and
allow the jealous husband to surround his wife with locks as the miser
does his coffers; for she is only a part of his inventory.
“At night Monsieur de M... prowled round the house armed, making his rounds
dogs. He imagined he saw tracks in the sand and was misled into strange
on the occasion of a ladder having been moved by a gardener. The gardener
drunkard of almost 60, was placed as guard at the gate. The spirit of exclusion
no bounds to its extravagances, it goes on to the absurd. The brother,
accomplice in all this, at last understood that he was assisting in making
misfortune of the young woman who, day by day kept under guard, insulted,
everything which can divert a rich and happy imagination, became as gloomy
melancholy as she had been free and gay. She cried and concealed her tears,
traces were visible. The creole was plagued by his conscience. Determined
himself openly to his sister-in-law and to make amends for his mistake,
surely originated in his furtive feeling of love, he crept one morning
into a small
wooded pleasure garden where the Prisoner went from time to time to get
fresh air and
look after her flowers. We must take it that availing herself of this very
she knew that she remained under the eyes of her jealous husband; for on
brother-in-law, who for the first time had come face to face with her unexpectedly,
young woman displayed the greatest dismay. She wrung her hands. ‘Go away,
heaven’s name,’ she cried to him in fright, ‘go away!'
“And indeed, scarcely had he time to hide in a greenhouse, when Monsieur
suddenly appeared’. The creole heard cries, he tried to listen; the beating
of his heart
prevented him from understanding the least word of an explanation to which
concealment, should the husband discover it, could give a deplorable outcome.
event spurred on the brother-in-law; he saw the need henceforth to be the
a victim. He resolved to abandon all restraint of his love. Love can sacrifice
but its right to protect, for this last sacrifice would he that of a coward.
to visit his brother, ready to speak to him openly, to
himself to him, to tell him
everything. Monsieur de M... had as yet no suspicion of him, but his brother’s
insistence aroused it. Without being entirely clear on the causes of this
Monsieur de M... mistrusted them, anticipating where it might lead. The
saw .hat his brother was not always absent, as he afterwards maintained,
rang in vain at the gate of the house in Passy. A locksmith’s apprentice
made him keys
after the models of those which his master had made for Monsieur de M....
interval of ten days, the creole, embittered by fear and tormented by the
imaginings, climbed the walls at night, smashed a railing in front of the
reached the roof by a ladder and slid down the drain-pipe to below the
window of a
store-room. Violent cries caused him to creep unnoticed as far as a glass
he saw rent his heart. The light of a lamp shone in an alcove. Behind the
hair dishevelled and face purple with fury, Monsieur de M.... crouching
near his wife on the bed which she dared not leave though half and half
herself from him, was heaping on her the most biting reproaches and seemed
tiger ready to tear her to pieces. ‘Yes,’ he said to her, ‘I am ugly, I
am a monster and, I
know it only too well, I inspire fear in you. You wish to be freed of me
so that the sight
of me may no longer he a burden to you. You are longing for the moment
make you free. And don’t tell me the opposite, I guess your thoughts in
and your resistance. You blush at the unworthy laughter which I arouse,
rebel against met You no doubt count the minutes, one by one, which must
until I no longer beleaguer you with my weaknesses and my presence. Stop!
seized with horrible desires, the frenzied wish to make you like myself,
you, so that you can no longer hope to console yourself with lovers for
of having known me. I shall break all the mirrors in this house so that
they shall not
reproach me with the contrast, so that they cease to nurture your pride.
should take you out into the world, or let you go there, to see how everybody
encourages you to hate me? No, no, you shall not leave this house until
killed me. Kill me, anticipate what I am tempted to do every day!’ And
rolled on the bed with loud cries, gnashing his teeth, foaming at the mouth,
thousand symptoms of madness, and striking himself in his fury, near this
woman who wasted on him the tenderest caresses and the most pathetic entreaties.
last she calmed him. No doubt, pity had replaced love, but that was not
this man who had become so terrible to look at, whose passion had retained
energy. A long spell of depression was the sequel to this scene, which
creole. He shuddered and did not know to whom to rum to save the unfortunate
woman from this deadly martyrdom. This scene was apparently repeated every
since for the convulsions which followed Madame de M. had recourse to bottles
medicine prepared for the purpose of restoring a little calm to her torturer.
“The creole was the only representative of the family of Monsieur de M.
in Paris at the
time. It is in such cases above all that one wants to curse the slowness
procedure and the callousness of the laws which nothing can divert from
arranged routine, particularly when it is a question only of a woman, a
being whom the
legislator surrounds with the least guarantees. A warrant for an arrest,
measure, would alone have prevented the disaster which the witness of this
foresaw too well. He decided, however, to risk everything, to take all
upon himself, since his wealth enabled him to make enormous sacrifices
and not to
fear responsibility for any risk involved. Already several doctors among
determined like himself, were preparing to obtain entrance into Monsieur
house so as to diagnose these fits of madness and to separate the two spouses
direct force, when the occurrence of the suicide justified the belated
put an end to the problem.
“Certainly, for anybody who does not limit the entire spirit of words to
their letter, this
suicide was a treacherous murder committed by the husband; but it
was also the
outcome of an extraordinary fit of jealousy. The jealous man needs a slave,
man can love, but the love he feels is only a luxurious counterpart for
jealous man is above all a private property-owner. [This
sentence was taken by Marx
from the description of another case of suicide given by Peuchet below
(cf. t. IV, p.
159).] I prevented the creole from
making a useless and dangerous scandal, dangerous
above all to the memory of his loved one, for the idle public would have
victim of an adulterous connection with her husband’s brother. I witnessed
funeral. Nobody but the brother and myself knew the truth. Around me I
discreditable murmurings about this suicide and I despised them. One blushes
public opinion when one sees it close at hand with its cowardly embitterment
dirty insinuations. Opinion is too much divided by people’s isolation,
too corrupt, because each is a stranger to himself and all are strangers
to one another.
[The last sentence is taken by Marx from the description of another case
given by Peuchet below (cf. t. IV, p. 167), Marx gave a free rendering
and added the
concluding words: “because each is a stranger to himself and all are strangers
“Incidentally, few weeks passed without bringing me more revelations of
the same kind, In the same year I registered love liaisons caused by the
refusal to give their consent, and which ended with a double pistol shot.
“I also recorded suicides of men of the world reduced to impotence in the
their age, whom the abuse of enjoyment had thrown into insuperable melancholy.
“Many people, after long and useless torture by harmful prescriptions,
end their days
dominated by the belief that medicine is incapable of freeing them from
“One could make a remarkable collection of quotations from famous authors
poems written by despairing people preparing for their death with a certain
ostentation. During the marvellously cold-blooded moment which follows
to die, a kind of infectious enthusiasm is exhaled from these souls and
flows on to
paper, even among classes which are bereft of all education. While they
themselves for the sacrifice, whose depth they are pondering, all their
concentrated so as to gush out in a warm and characteristic expression.
“Some of these poems, which are buried in the archives, are masterpieces.
ponderous bourgeois, who puts his soul into his business and his god into
may find all this very romantic and by his scornful laughter deny suffering
does not understand: his disdain does not surprise us.”
What else can one expect of three-percenters, who do not even suspect that
daily, hourly, piece by piece, they are murdering
themselves, their human nature!
“But what shall one say of the good people who pass for devout and educated,
who echo such filth? Without doubt it is of great importance that the poor
should endure life, if only in the interests of the privileged classes
of this world, which
a general suicide of the trash would ruin; but is there no other means
of making the
existence of this class bearable than insults, sneers and fine words? Besides,
must exist a certain greatness of soul in these wretches who, determined
as they are to
die, destroy themselves and do not take the way of suicide by the detour
scaffold. It is true that, the more our commercial
epoch progresses, the rarer these noble suicides
of misery become. Conscious hostility takes their place, and the miserable
one inconsiderately runs the risk of theft and murder. It is easier to
receive the death penalty than to get work.
“In rummaging through the police archives I have come across only one single
cowardice in the list of suicides. That was a young American, Wilfrid Ramsay,
killed himself in order to escape a duel.
“The classification of the various causes of suicide would be the classification
very defects of our society. One killed himself because he was robbed
of an invention
by intriguers, on which occasion the inventor, thrown into the direst poverty
consequence of the lengthy scientific investigations to which he had to
himself, was not even in a position to buy himself a patent. Another killed
avoid the enormous costs and the degrading legal prosecution consequent
monetary embarrassments which, by the way, are so common that men entrusted
the conduct of the general interest are not in the least concerned about
again killed himself because he could not find work, after he had groaned
for a long
time under the insults and the stinginess of those in our midst who are
distributors of work. [... ]
“One day a doctor consulted me about a death of which he accused himself
been the cause.
“One evening, returning to Belleville, where he lived, he was stopped by
woman in the dark, in a narrow street from which his house stood off aside.
begged him in a tremulous voice to listen to her. At some distance a person
features he could not distinguish was walking up and down. She was being
by a man. ‘Sir,’ she told the doctor, ‘I am pregnant, and when this is
discovered I shall
be disgraced. My family, public opinion, people of honour will not pardon
woman whose confidence I have betrayed would lose her reason, and without
would divorce her husband. I am not defending my case. I am the centre
of a scandal
which only my death could prevent from becoming public. I wanted to kill
people want me to live. I have been told that you have compassion, and
convinced me that you will not want to be an accomplice in the murder of
a child, even
if this child is not yet in the world. You see, it is a question of an
abortion. I shall not
debase myself by pleading extenuation for something I regard as the most
reprehensible crime. In presenting myself to you I have merely yielded
pleadings of others; for I shall know how to die. I shall summon death
myself, and I
need nobody for that. One can pretend to find pleasure in watering the
can put on wooden clogs for it; one can choose a slippery place where one
water every day; one can arrange to disappear in the depth of the well;
and people will
say that it was an ‘accident’. I have foreseen everything, Sir. I wish
it could be the
morning after, I would like to go with all my heart. Everything has been
that it will happen just like that. I have been told to say this to you,
and I have done
so. You have to decide whether one murder shall occur or two. Because of
cowardice I had to swear that I would without reservation abide by your
“’This choice,’ the doctor continued,
‘horrified me. The voice of this woman had a pure
and harmonious sound; her hand, which I held in mine, was fine and delicate;
her frank and determined despair bespoke an excellent spirit. But the point
at issue was one that really made me shudder; although in a thousand
cases, in difficult deliveries, for example, when the surgeon’s choice
lies between saving
the mother or the child, either politics or humaneness
decides at will, without scruple.'
“'Flee abroad,’ I said. ‘Impossible,’ she replied, ‘it is not to he contemplated.'
"’take the proper precautions.'
"'I can’t, I sleep in the same alcove as the woman whose friendship I have
‘She is your relative?’ ‘I must not tell you any more.'
"'I would have given my heart’s blood,’ the doctor continued, ‘to save
from suicide or crime, or that she might escape this conflict without needing
charged myself with barbarism because I shrank from complicity in a murder.
struggle was terrible. Then a demon whispered to me that one does not kill
merely because one wishes to die; that compromised people can be forced
renounce their vices if their power to do evil is taken from them. I guessed
the embroideries with which her fingers played, and the resources of wealth
elegant diction of her speech. We believe that we owe less compassion to
the rich; my
self-esteem revolted against the thought of being tempted with gold, although
then this matter had not been touched on, which was one more sign of delicacy
proof that my character was respected. My reply was a refusal; the
lady went quickly
away; the, noise of a cabriolet convinced me that I would be unable to
remedy what I
"'A fortnight later the newspapers gave me the solution of the mystery.
niece of a Paris banker, 18 years old at the most, the beloved ward of
her aunt, who
since the death of her mother had not let the girl out of her sight, had
fallen into a brook on the estate of her guardians at Villemomble and had
guardian was inconsolate; in his capacity of uncle the cowardly seducer
way to his grief before the world.'
“One perceives that for want of something better, suicide is the extreme
the evils of private life.
“Among the causes of suicide I have very often found dismissal from office,
work, or a sudden reduction in salary, as a consequence of which families
longer procure the means of subsistence, the more so since most of them
hand to mouth.
“At the time when the guards in the royal palace
were being reduced, a good man was
dismissed like the rest without more ado. His age and his lack of influence
impossible for him to have himself transferred back into the army; industry
to him by his lack of knowledge. He tried to enter the civil service; competitors,
numerous here as everywhere, stood in his way. He fell into gloomy distress
himself. In his pocket were found a letter and information about his circumstances.
His wife was a poor seamstress; their two daughters,
16 and 18 years old, worked with her. Tarnau, our suicide, said
in the papers he left behind that, ‘since he could no longer be of use
to his family and was compelled to be a burden on his wife and children,
he considered it his duty to take his life so as to relieve them of this
additional burden. He recommended his children to the Duchess of Angoulême;
he hoped that in her goodness this princess would have compassion on so
much misery.’ I made a report to police prefect Anglès, and when
the necessary formalities were completed the duchess had 600 francs sent
to the unfortunate Tarnau family.
“Sad aid indeed, after such a loss. But how could one family
[Peuchet writes "the royal family"] help
all the unfortunate, since when everything is taken into account, the whole
of France in its present state could not feed them. The charity of the
rich would not suffice even if our whole nation were religious, which is
far from the case. Suicide solves the worst of the difficulty, the scaffold
the rest. Sources of income and real wealth can be expected only
from a recasting of our general system
of agriculture and industry. It is easy to proclaim constitutions on
paper, the right of every citizen to education, to work, and above all
to a minimum of the means of subsistence. But it is not enough to write
generous wishes on paper, the proper task is to fructify these liberal
material and intelligent social institutions.
“The ardent world, paganism, has thrown up magnificent creations on the
modern liberty lag behind her rival? Who will weld together these two splendid
elements of might?”
Thus far Peuchet.
we shall give one of his tables on the annual suicides in Paris [Peuchet
writes “in the Seine
of the tables given by Peuchet we learn that from 1817 to 1824
(inclusive) 2,808 suicides
occurred in Paris.’ Actually, of course, the figure was larger. In
particular, as regards
drowned persons whose bodies are exhibited in the morgue it is
known in only very rare
cases whether they were suicides or not.
Table of Suicides in Paris in the year 1824
Number 1st half year ---------------198
Number 2nd half year ---------------173
Of whom the attempt at suicide was survived by ----------125
Of whom the attempt at suicide was not survived by ------
Of the male sex ------------------------------------------239
Of the female sex ----------------------------------------132
Manner of Death
Voluntary heavy fall -------------------------------------
By cutting instruments----------------------------
By firearms -------------------------------------
By poisoning ----------------------------------
By coal fumes ---------------------------------
Suffocation by voluntary plunge into water ----
Passionate love, domestic quarrels and grief --
Illness, weariness of life, unsound mind -----------
Misbehaviour, gaming, lotteries, fear of accusations and
Misery, poverty, loss of position, loss of job --
SOME E-LIST CORRESPONDENCES:
ISML-LIST MESSAGES - Chronological order
EXTRACT NUMBER 1:
Message 1937 of 3882 Wed Jun 20, 2001 1:06 am From: "dhkcbureau"
Subject: Message From The Turkish Movement
Demands of the resisting prisoners
1) Architectural and legal reforms have to be made to the F-Type prisons.
The existence of cells for one or three persons has to be abolished. The
doors of the cells have to be kept open until the necessary reforms
have been made. It has to be guaranteed that the prisoners and those awaiting
trial can live together without any preconditions being placed upon them.
The denial of living rights and isolation must end. Common living areas
for the prisoners and those awaiting trial has to be created. The
common facilities for sports, social and cultural activities, which are
said to have been created, have to be opened for usage without being bound
to any preconditions. This has to be recognized as a right and the laws
which are preventing this have to be abolished. There has to be reforms
to meet the requirements for sports, social and cultural activities between
the different blocks. Legal publications (books, magazines and newspapers)
have to be allowed, taking into account that even the recent law doesn't
prohibit this. The examples of the confiscation of publications, the arbitrariness
of this, has to end. The obstacles placed before us regarding our rights
to letters and communications has to be removed.
The practice of limiting visits to 30 minutes when
our visitors are traveling hundreds of kilometers and having their visit
almost turned into a torture session has to end. These limits and this
arbitrary behaviour has to be stop. The right to an open visit must not
be put under conditions. It most be allowed and in our favour. There must
not be limits to the articles of daily use like food and clothes which
are brought to the prisons by our families. It has to be made possible
for our families to hand over refrigerators, ovens, radios, type writers
and cassette recorders which are necessary articles for daily use. Regarding
our legal problems, any arbitrary restrictions placed upon us during our
talks with our lawyers has to be removed. The right of to have a "private
consultation with our legal defense" has to be respected. Lawyers most
be allowed to talk to more than one client at the same time and the arbitrariness
of the humiliating and degrading treatment of our legal defense must end.
The internal and external canteen requirements have to be regulated and
made suitable. The practice of overpricing has to stop. The practice of
"subjecting those who are imprisoned to charges", which forces prisoners
to pay for the electric, television and medicine on their own, has to end.
The right of the prisoners to be represented has to be recognized and practiced.
The sentenced prisoners and those awaiting trial have to stay in the same
Our demands and our rights have to be guaranteed by law by the state.
They will be absolutely and completely applied to both the F-Type prisons
and in all other prisons where political prisoners and those awaiting trial
are kept, and they will be applied without making any changes. Any such
changes or "improvements" which we judge to be trying to break our thoughts
have to be abandoned.
2. Article 16 of the Anti-Terror-Law has to be removed. The change to
article 16 has legitimized isolation and attacks. Isolation was put into
law and consolidated by tying its practice to the arbitrariness within
all the prisons. Furthermore the Minister of Justice has to keep the promise
he made before 19th December, to remove the double standard of the "penalty
execution" between political and social prisoners by making the necessary
reforms to article 17 and to article 5 of the Anti-Terror-Law which is
connected to it.
3. The tripartite protocol has to be cancelled. This protocol has robbed
us of our right to defense. It has abolished the confidentiality regarding
the trial documents between the lawyer and their client. It has to be cancelled
as a whole because it not only attacks our right to defense but it is also
the basis for the attacks and massacres on the prisoners. It also contains
articles which are an attack upon our families and doctors.
4. The "Observatory Committees" have to be represented not by those
persons who represent those who apply isolation and repression; but by
those who represent institutions like the Bar Associations, the Medical
Association of Turkey (TAB), Human Right Association (IHD), Union of the
Chambers of Engineers and Architects of Turkey (TMMOB) and the various
association representing the families of prisoners like TAYAD, TÜYAB
and Tüm Yargi-Sen. The prisons have to be opened for regular inspections
by the independent Observatory Committees and the necessary recommendations
that are in their reports have to be implemented immediately.
5. In relation to the abolition of anti-democratic institutions and
laws such as the DGM's (State Security Courts) and the Anti-Terror-Law,
which is not only demanded by us political Prisoners but also by all democratic
forces, the political prisoners and democratic forces and public opinion
have to be given a guarantee regarding this.
6. The punishment of the prisoners who received severe mental and physically
damage during both the hungerstrike-death fast resistance in 1996 and today's
death fast resistance and during the operations carried out in the prisons,
and those who for whom there's no possibility of medical treatment in the
prisons and who are very ill, has to be cancelled with the compliance of
the Prosecutor of the Republic. This has to be done without there being
an examination by the forensic medics whose arbitrary and subjective diagnosis
has made receiving medical treatment impossible.
7. The massacres in the prisons, beginning from the operation of 19th
December 2000, and including those in Buca, Ümraniye, Diyarbakir,
Ulucanlar and Burdur, have to be investigated by commissions consisting
of independent institutions of independent democratic mass organisations
and professional chambers and also the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission.
There must be guarantees that there will not be any restrictions regarding
their reports and they have to be made public and those who are identified
as being responsible have to be taken before the courts and punished. Our
demands are fully just, legitimate, democratic and humane. Against all
of the lies, demagogues and distortions our demands are not unacceptable.
In order to fulfill our demands, and to negotiate and to find a solution,
there must be unconditional negotiations with representatives who are chosen
by the prisoners by their own free will.
Signed by Ercan Kartal, Cemal Çakmak, Muharrem Kurþun,
Hacý Demirkaya, Yunus Aydemir, Can Ali Türkmen, M. Aytunç
Altay, Nizamettin Doðan, Ramazan Sadýkoðlu, Ziya Büyükýþýk,
the political prisoners from the DHKP-C, TKP(ML), TKÝP, TKP/ML,
MLKP, TÝKB, TDP, DY, DH, PKK/DÇS, MLSPB trials.
14th June 2001
EXTRACT NUMBER 2:
Message 2457 of 3882 From: hari.kumar Date: Mon Dec 3, 2001 10:30 pm
Subject: From ISML
Please find attached the resolutions from the ISML
conference held in September.
3. Solidarity with the communist revolutionary prisoners
resisting the F-type isolation prisons.
ISML condemns the forced transfer of political prisoners
to the isolation prisons and the fascist Turkish regime's massacre of political
prisoners on the 19-22 December 2000, in which 30 prisoners were killed
and hundreds maimed, with the aid of US and EU imperialists in order to
annihilate the revolutionary, communist and patriotic movements in Turkey
and North Kurdistan.
We present our communist greetings to the hunger
strike, death fast and the resistance or revolutionary and communist prisoners
against the attack on 19-22 December 2000 and the F-type isolation prisons.
We present our respects to the commemoration of
the revolutionaries and communists who died as a result of the death fast,
which has been continuing for four seasons.
We recognise the struggle has continued with a death
fast which up to this day has resulted in 64 martyrs from several revolutionary
parties in Turkey.
We call upon all communists and revolutionaries
the world over to support the struggle against the F-type prisons in Turkey.
EXTRACT NUMBER 3:
Message 1462 of 3882 From: "TonyM"; Date: Thu Dec 21, 2000;
Subject: Re: [International-Struggle-Marxist-Leninist
To Mark Scott:
.. On the question of the death fast in Turkey, I share
your opinions. I don't think death fast can be regarded as a Marxist-Leninist
tactic. It is a reflection of frustration and impotence and a failure to
analyse the balance of class forces in Turkey and work out the correct
tactics and strategy.
EXTRACT NUMBER 4:
Message 1458 of 3882 From: Hantayo Date: Thu Dec 21, 2000 3:17
Subject: Death Fasts
I do believe that such methods (i.e. death fasts-Editor)
are not in line with Marxism-Leninism. Did the Hoxha family go on death
fasts? Do the political prisoners throughout Latin America go on death
fasts? Do the political prisoners in the US go on death fasts? I believe
the answer is no. I am not aware of any, at least those that claim to be
Marxist-Leninists? What does a death fast accomplish?
Nothing except self-destruction. To willingly make
oneself a martyr by choosing to kill themselves in any manner simply to
gain attention or recognition is absurd. To choose self-destruction is
parallel to Lenin's argument against "terrorism."
Lenin states,"....while the terrorists bow to the
spontaneity of the passionate indignation of intellectuals, who lack the
ability or opportunity to connect the revolutionary struggle and the working-class
movement into an integral whole. It is difficult indeed for those who have
lost their belief, or who have never believed, that this is possible, to
find some outlet for their indignation and revolutionary energy other than
It is quite understandable that being imprisoned
under horrific conditions will lead to despair and the feeling of abandonment.
Such extreme isolation and being alienated from Comrades can cause anyone
to waver and think that they are forgotten and result in believing their
cause is not connected to the rest of the revolutionary struggle outside
of their own wretched prison cell. Since they have no outlet not only for
their indignation but for their spirit of revolution for the dignity of
themselves and the whole of humanity, they feel disconnected, forgotten
and abandoned. It is total despair that is the impetus for self-destruction
Referring to the Revolutionary-Socialist Svoboda
Groups program of terror, Lenin condemned it by stating that, "Svoboda
advocates terror as a means of "exciting" the working-class movement and
of giving it a "strong impetus." It is difficult to imagine an argument
that more thoroughly disproves itself. Are there not enough outrages
committed in Russian life without special "excitants" having to be invented?
On the other hand, is it not obvious that those who are not, and cannot
be, roused to excitement even by Russian tyranny will stand by "twiddling
their thumbs" and watch a handful of terrorists engaged in single
combat with the government? The fact is that the working masses are roused
to a high pitch of excitement by the social evils in Russian life..."
Again the parallel is, is that the method of death
fasts is used incorrectly as a means of trying to stimulate the proletariat,
and Comrades in particular, into action in order to recognize the plight
of the prisoners. As Lenin, states, this is incorrect because there are
in fact enough outrages based on the myriads of social evils generated
by capitalism and its concomitant fascism. Those with a class consciousness
are aware of the plight of the Turkish prisoners and the horror they face.
The very fact that they are victims of fascist repression is "excitant"
enough to compell us forward in revolution. Those that have no class-consciousness
will not care one way or another if they live or die. Our Turkish Comrades
must realize that their methods of death fasting does not serve as an impetus
to the rest of the world to take up their plight, their imprisonment alone
serves as the impetus. The death fast is indicative of a loss of belief
in their committment to revolutionary struggle and the connection of the
mass proletarian movement to them, it is a sign of their despair. Parallel's
can also be drawn from Stalin's article "Economic Terrorism and The Labour
Movement." At this time the workers were smashing factory machines and
setting fire to the factories blaming them for the cause of economic problems.
Stalin called this "the period of unorganised, anarchist-rebel conflicts."
The conclusion Stalin drew was, "On the contrary, it is precisely the factory
and the machine that will enable the proletariat to break the chains of
slavery, abolish poverty and vanquish all oppression - all that is needed
is that the factories and machines be transformed from the private property
of individual capitalists in to the public property of the people.......Clearly,
we must not smash up the machines and factories, but gain possession of
them, when that becomes possible, if we are indeed striving to abolish
poverty. That is why the labour movement rejects anarchist-rebel conflicts."
The self-destruction of death fasts is not an impetus
for anything, the fact of their imprisonment is that impetus. To destroy
themselves solves nothing in terms of uniting the world proletariat in
revolution, it is their living example of their committment to the proletarian
revolution in spite of their horrific imprisonment and conditions that
inspires the class conscious masses and all Comrades. Their living is the
machine, their prison cell is their factory, they must not destroy them,
they must preserve them in order to produce the product of proletarian
revolution. To destroy themselves is the act of despairing anarchist-rebels.
To live in spite of their conditions is the epitome of true proletarian
In Unity Mark Scott
EXTRACT NUMBER 5:
Message 1453 of 3882; From: hari kumar; Date: Thu Dec 21, 2000;
Subject: re Turkey_Part 1.
There are at least three matters here as far as
I can see:
1) The Nature of What exactly is occurring in Turkish
2) The Observation of No (Or Little) Support from
the Outside of Turkey Community
3) The tactic of Starvation to death
1) THE NATURE OF WHAT EXACTLY IS OCCURRING IN TURKISH PRISONS TODAY.
There has been relatively little background about
this overall problem - in the ENGLISH literature. We believe that the clearest
explication to date, and the best chronicle with names date etc; has been
that of Garbis Altinoglu in his article carried on Alliance.
That is shortly to be given a new preface (on the
web at Alliance) & is shortly to be published in book form. I think
that WITHOUT understanding the chronicity of terror INSIDE the prisons
and OUTSIDE - & linking the two struggles - one cannot really understand
what is going on. Also one cannot deal with the TACTICAL issues of question
number 3 - the very question that Cmde Miller raises: ie:
"DO ML-ists support the tactic being utilised in
As Cmde GA explains it:
The struggle inside is intimately connected with
that outside, and the nature of that struggle is a very conscious attempt
by the Fascists of the Turkish junta - to break down the spirit of rebellion
of the most highly militant and bravest cadre - those that find themselves
inside the prisons. It is in that light that the desperate "Hunger Strikers"
campaign - must be viewed. It is only apparently "passive". It is in reality
- highly ACTIVE. It is all these comrades can do. In a sense Cmde Miller,
you will have seen the answer that I personally will give to Question 3,
already. If it is true that one can only understand what happens inside
the prisons by reference also to what happens outside - it is even more
true that one can only understand what happens inside Turkey - with reference
This is again a fundamental and key aspect of Cmde
GA's analysis. We do not need to belabor this point - peripheral to the
central issue raised by Cmde Miller. Although it is NOT peripheral to the
one raised by Cmde Tait. What is of interest is perhaps the following news
item dated 4th December in a correspondence to Alliance from comrades in
close touch with the Turkish movement:
"....Let me inform you about the present situation in the struggle
against cell-type prisons. Unfortunately, there occurred a tactical (in
original - in italics - HK) split among the revolutionary groups in prison.
Some, that is political captives of DHKP-C, TKP(M-L) and TKIP(or October)
had already started an indefinite hunger strike on 23 October. About a
month later, that is on 19 November, they converted it into a death fast.
On 29 November new candidates participated in the death fast. The others,
including the MLKP saw this step as premature. TIKB, TKP/M-L, MLKP, MLSPB
(=M-L Armed Propaganda League), Direnis Hareketi (=Resistance Movement),
Devrimci Yol (=Revolutionary Road) & TDP (=Revolutionary Party of Turkey
- have made a five day long hunger strike to show their solidarity. This
split and and resulting disunity in action are sufficient to understand
the immature and sectarian character of various radical groups in our
country. At present there is some support for political captives, which
has been generated mainly by the tireless efforts at exposure, demonstrations
and other actions of revolutionary groups and relatives of political captives
and partly of human activists in Turkey. These efforts coupled with extensive
propaganda have produced some interest and concern among a section of advanced
workers and public servants and among some low level union functionaries
and left wing intellectuals for the cause of political captives. They have
realised the fact that the coming attack on political captives means an
attack on workers and other toilers themselves, and have lodged their protests.
However the present balance of forces is not favourable enough;
so it will not be easy to prevent the government from going ahead with
Most of those on death fast are in the 42nd day of their hunger as
of 4 November. That action will have reached its 50 th day, when you receive
this letter. From that date on, we may start to see people dying. Before
it is too late, we should do what we can from our position...."
"The Government has already started to transfer some political captives
to cell-type prisons in a few un-important prisons in certain provincial
towns. Knowing the strength of the feeling against this project and the
determination of political captives, fascist regime wants to tread
its way carefully and advance step by step. They have long been trying
the prepare the public opinion in Turkey, alleging, that, it is difficult
to control inmates in classical ward type prisons. To press their point,
they have also tried to utilize the disturbances brought about by imprisoned
gangs of common criminals, some of them with ties to the state. The regime
has also tried to use these gangs' possession of mobile phones, drugs and
even guns inside the prison. In any case, in the end political captives
will have to rely on their own effort and strength to ward off the approaching
attempt of the regime to relocate them in new cell type prisons. Therefore
it was and is very important for the inmates to:
a) preserve their tactical unity and refrain from actions, which embrace
only part of the inmates;
b) Conserve their energy and capacity for physical resistance, since
almost all of them are tired due to very long hunger strikes; and;
c) Select the most opportune time for actions, considering the fact
that they do not have sufficient support.
END PART ONE
EXTRACT NUMBER 6:
Message 1456 of 3882 THE THIRD QUESTION: 3) The tactic of Starvation
I think Comrade Miller,
You will have seen my drift in my reply to this specific you raise.
IT is just a matter of TACTICS. It is not a matter of STRATEGY.
The determination of strategy and tactics depends on the specifics
of the circumstances. The article afore cited on the state of prisons at
the Alliance web-pages, by Garbis ALtinoglu, states it best I think, when
he says something along the lines of:
"The captives chose to starve to death because of their wish to live".
Or words to that effect. It was the ONLY means they had. It was NECESSARY
to defeat the WILL of FASCISM to CRUSH them - To deny the captives independent
thought. One might ask, is it correct ML_ist tactics to allow a vanguard
contingent in a war to fight to death, even though it is clear they will
The "Gandhi" air of "Starvation to death" may have falsely posed the
problem that you are now putting - re the "death fast". But it is I suggest,
incorrect to equate the two struggles - If I can be forgiven for suggesting
that you have equated them.
The issue is TACTICAL.
In that matter - of the timing - I have suggested already, that there has
been division on this matter inside the revolutionary movement. But, once
the struggle is joined - all support to the struggle. Nothing can be decided
on this question on a matter of principle. It is tactical matter.
As Marx said: Nothing human is foreign to us.
With Fraternal Greeting to all, HK
EXTRACT NUMBER 7:
Message 2774 of 3882 From: "Bhagat Singh" Date: Sat Feb 16, 2002 7:21
Subject: Comment on the hunger strikes in Turkey
In an earlier post I had directed attention to the recent edition of
the English language bulletin of the TDKP, the Voice of Revolution. The
following article has been circulated in another list and excited quite
some interest. It is taken from: ww.tdkp.org.
"On hunger strikes and the collapse of a political
It has been exactly one year since a group of political
prisoners launched their hunger strike/death fast in opposition to the
introduction of cell F-type prisons in place of dormitory system. In this
past year the question of prisons have been on the agenda with its ups
and downs. So far, as many as 70 people died, more than half of them as
a result of the hunger strike, and the other half as a result of the military
operation in the second month of the strikes in order to put it an end
and to transfer the prisoners to those controversial F-type prisons by
force. Most of the prisoners have now been placed in these prisons.
As a result of these events, general public was
deeply shaken. The problems with prisons had a long history in Turkey;
but this time what the public was questioning was not only the political
and legal systems but also the understanding of "revolutionarism" of some
of the political circles and their "way of practicing politics".
Particularly after the 1971 and 1980 military coups,
revolutionaries were arrested in large numbers and prisons became a field
of struggle. However, petit-bourgeois revolutionary groups reduce this
struggle down to a conflict between revolutionary political groups and
the armed forces of the state, and put it before class struggle and its
problems. When they do not have much influence outside, they turn to prisons;
and methods like hunger strikes and death fasts, which may have some effect
and meaning in terms of propaganda when used in a certain way, turn into
a means of self-inflicted injury. When these groups lose their faith in
the working class, they convince themselves that they are the "saviours",
and declare their whereabouts, in this case prisons, as the "revolution's
stronghold". This shows how subjective and idealist their "understanding
of revolution" is.
The progression of hunger strikes should be looked
at in two stages. In the first stage, a significant proportion of the advanced,
revolutionary and democratic public opinion paid attention to the repression
and violence taking place in the prisons. It was a stage where solitary
cells were acknowledged as a threat to a humanely life and to the struggle
for democracy in the country. The Human Rights Association, the bar, medical
associations, trade unions, various political parties and worker's organisations
took a stance against f-type prisons because they were "inhuman". They
urged the government and the Justice Minister to give a satisfactory response
to the demands of the prisoners so that the hunger strikes could end.
As a result of this united public opinion the government
had to take a step back, admitting the "shortcomings" of the f-type prisons
and postponing their launch until a public agreement was reached. Although
these individuals and organisations did not approve death fasts as a method
of protest, they still took action based on personal political opinion,
moral and professional reasons. However, the majority of the circles who
were taking part in the hunger strikes, declared as "enemies" all those
who did not consider this method correct, or who did not support them unconditionally,
or who had a different opinion from theirs. They tried to justify their
behaviour with the argument that "only those on death fast can make a decision
on how the protest was to be ended". But, it was a well-known fact that
those on death fast were unable to make a healthy decision at the time.
However, it was unrealistic to expect these groups
to see and understand this wide opposition against the prison policies.
This is because they have had a patronising attitude throughout the political
course of their lives, putting themselves at the centre of the world, considering
the existence of everyone else as something to be used as a logistic support.
They shelter under the consciousness of the public, and cause destruction
and division. Therefore, these groups did not even hesitate to make degrading
accusations on the members of the delegations who went in to see the hunger
strikers in prison conditions. As a result of this narrow minded political
opinion, these groups have in fact helped the government, which they so
opposed, to achieve its goal. They isolated themselves, and the government
regained public support.
At this stage the opinion of the progressive public
on prisons was divided. After a while, the political parties and representatives
of mass organisations came to the conclusion that they "could not do anything
with these groups". Consequently, they took a backward step and thought
it satisfactory just to reach a solution "without any deaths" and "as soon
as possible". The narrow mindedness of these groups caused a division among
its allies and brought their isolation. Subsequently, without much public
support, they became an easier target for the government. The public opposition
that had been built against the introduction of F-type prisons was dispersed;
as many as 70 people died and dozens were injured. It is not known how
many of those who are still continuing their death fasts will die or become
permanently disabled. Moreover, the transfers to f-types have taken place
much faster than the government had expected. Thus, a prolonged problem
of the government has at least been solved on the surface.
These actions had no benefits for the people, on
the contrary they have left deep scars on the consciousness of the public.
Those groups presenting these actions as an "epic of heroism" and "victory",
on the other hand, are trying to hold together their supporters with the
rhetoric of heroism, and with the fetish of "martyrdom". Their political
understanding is based on individual terrorism, and they try to impose
upon the revolutionary ranks methods like death fasts and suicide bombings
as "revolutionary methods of action".
Naturally, revolutionary struggle requires various
forms of sacrifices, including serving time in prison or not hesitating
to give up one's life, when necessary. Under the present conditions, if
a large number of revolutionaries are putting their lives in line for a
struggle in the prisons for one demand or another, and if they take it
to the point "we will either die or the government will accept our demands",
then it must be considered as a "suicide action" rather than a sacrifice,
if there is no misconception that the bourgeoisie and the government would
"take a step back because their conscience will not allow them to see the
prisoners dying. Likewise, the action of "setting fire" at one's self as
a way of protest cannot be considered equal to a revolutionary risking
his/her life during the course of revolutionary struggle.
In the end, this mentality has turned into a slogan,
and the supporters outside the prisons turned the struggle and death itself
into an objective, chanting "long live our death fast struggle!" Death,
in a mystical way, has been symbolised as a sacred activity on its own
rather than a support for saving those left alive or furthering the struggle.
While the death fast is a controversial action in itself, the way it has
been exalted and turned into a slogan does not only bring the action itself
under questioning but also the ideological-political line that use it and
When we look at the publications of those political
groups that are participating in the death fasts", we can see that for
these circles the problems of the working class, the demands of the masses
or the labour movement no longer exist. Their mystical death-worshiping
literature is full of articles on "death fasts" and "f-type prisons". For
them, all that exists is their "revolutionarism" and "heroism"! For this
reason, their literature is very self-centred, constantly revolving around
praising themselves and what they do, as if there are no other problems
in the world. This shows to what extent they are drowned into a subjective
idealism and narcissism, another dimension of it being reflected in their
These political groups which consider "death fast"
as their main form of action, which overtly praise a revolutionarism independently
of the requirements of the workers' movement have in fact transformed into
a kind of cult and become isolated. Their praise for suicides and deaths
in mass also point to an "end" ideologically and politically. For this
reason, what has been taking place reflects, among other things, the sad
collapse of this ideological-political line that involves a number of political
NOTES TO STALINIST e-LIST
Message 2829; From: kloMcKinsey; Date: Sun Dec 1, 2002;
Subject: Re: [Stalinist] DHKC: DO YOU NOT HEAR THE CRIES
OF THE DYING?
TAYAD Scotland wrote:
DEVRIMCI HALK KURUTLUS CEPHESI
Revolutionary Peoples Liberation Front
Date: November 19, 2002 Statement: 283
Those who claim to be on the side of the poor, to be
democrats and who claim that they will not trample on basic rights
DO YOU NOT HEAR THE CRIES OF
The 99th martyr of resistance that has lasted 25 months:
> Imdat Bulut who was in the 5th Death Fast Team, became
a martyr on November 19 in Bayrampasa hospital, where he had been put a
long time before. The corpse of the latest resister to die confronted the
new Justice Minister on the very day he took office.
> Long Live Our Death Fast Resistance Against Isolation
> No To The Torture Through Forced Medical Intervention
> No To Isolation !
I said the following some time ago with respect to this
tactic and it bears repeating.
The idea of starving yourself to death to protest governmental
actions is beyond the pale. I have never read in any of the writings of
Marx, Engels, Lenin or Stalin, or in any of the classics for that matter,
so much as a scintilla of support for such tactics. To kill yourself or
seriously endanger your life because you find the actions of your
enemy to be unacceptable is folly and futile and for
me to even be asked to read such accounts is quite depressing. These may
be the acts of anarchists but not those of Marxists. I have expressed these
views before and will continue to do so.
THAT POST GENERATED THE FOLLOWING EXCHANGE
> Klo Comrade! You expressed your oppinion , and nobody
can't stop you to do that. Anyway, in spite of lack of >writen documents
in marxist literature, I still think that Comrades from DHKC, Tayad, and
other reply: Turkish >organisations are Communists which fight for our
I find that hard to believe. Marxists are not in the
suicide business, fanatics are. Witness the World Trade Center.
reply:>There's no unique way for 'achieving of Socialism
How do you achieve socialism by dying uselessly? I don't
doubt there are many elements in the Turkish government who wish all members
of DHKC, Tayad and others would follow suit. Certainly would lighten
reply:>Communists from given area must to> recognize
and to act on the best way possible.
That is not only not the best way possible but one of
reply:>Also, I would like to > remember you on hunger
strike of Irish Comrades. Do you think that they aren't Communists also?
I did not support the action of Bobby Sands then and
I don't support it now. He could have given far greater support to the
cause by staying alive than voluntarily committing suicide. Margaret Thatcher
was no doubt glad to see him go. I find this hunger-strategy to be a decidedly
non-Marxist, even an anti-Marxist, tactic.
THIS EXCHANGE GENERATED THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS
In many posts I have firmly condemned death-fasts as
a way to combat capitalism. I know of nothing in the writings of Marx,
Engels, Lenin or Stalin that exhibits any degree of support for this stratagem
whatever and find the mere reading about another death
to be quite enervating and irritating. Until I hear a sensible rationale
for such a self-defeating tactic, I think reading about the lives of some
of the best Turkey has to offer is not accomplishing our goal. These people
can do far more for the cause alive than deceased. I would not give the
capitalist stooges ruling Turkey that pleasure. Even a suicide bomber has
enough savvy to take some of the enemy with him.
AND THAT GENERATED THE FOLLOWING DIALOGUE:
SOMEONE SAID TO ME: I find a bit of a contradiction
here, namely a suicide bomber at least taking some of the enemy down with
him while a hunger striker really only taking his own life. Point is that
hunger strikes pit will and morality against the enemy with tremendous
mobilizing impact at the expense of the enemy. Probably reading
between the lines of the mobilize, organize and lead dictum
can lend some validation for the powerful means of hunger strikes to claim
moral high ground which can be mobilized against the state.
When you start talking about "morality" or claiming the
"moral high ground," that can only influence opponents who have a conscience
or concern for these factors. The moral high ground means virtually nothing
when you are dealing with intractables like Margaret Thatcher as Bobby
Sands discovered. The members of the government of Turkey are even worse.
They probably rejoice as the number of liberation fighters diminishes.
For the cause, Klo
Message 2830: From: Alfonso Casal Date: Mon Dec 2, 2002
Subject: Re: DHKC: DO YOU NOT HEAR THE CRIES OF THE DYING?
> My reply,
> When you start talking about "morality" or claiming
the "moral high ground," that
can only influence >opponents who have a conscience
or concern for these factors. >
Or concern for public opinion, I might add. To carry the
point further than the instant case, herein lies the
utter political and moral bankruptcy of the 'principle'
Message 2831 From: "Alfonso Casal"; Mon Dec 2,
Subject: Re: [Stalinist] Re: DHKC: DO YOU NOT HEAR THE
CRIES OF THE DYING?
Comrade Klo is correct. With all due repeat to the bravery
of the hunger strikers, this
policy is madness. Nearly 100 comrades dead -- not fallen
in combat, but having starved themselves to death
while the Turkish authorities look
smilingly on and world public opinion is ignorant. This
policy is costing the Turkish people and the world Communist Movement
the lives of some of its very best children and solving nothing.
Who benefits from this save imperialism and the Turkish
Message 2832 From: kloMcKinsey;
Date: Mon Dec 2, 2002;
Subject: Re: [Stalinist] Re: DHKC: DO YOU NOT HEAR THE
CRIES OF THE DYING?
My sentiments exactly Alfonso and I have no doubt Lenin
and Stalin would fully agree as well. I am positive
they would never contemplate such a course since it
clashes dramatically with the entire tenor of
essential tenets in their philosophy, not to mention
the fact that they would NEVER
give the capitalists the satisfaction of knowing their enemies
had eliminated themselves on their own volition. Nearly every
time DHKC sends me the horrific outcome of another death
fast in Turkey I send him the
same reply. He tried to justify this tactic on a couple
of occasions and his "reasoning" can only be characterized
as vacuous and non-Marxist if not anti-Marxist. I
know isolation is deplorable but death
is even worse. If nothing else, the best of those whom Turkey has
to offer owe it to the masses of Turkey to stay alive and
provide the leadership and knowledge that is so desperately
for the cause, Klo
Message 2846 From: Jehangir Merwanji Date: Tue Dec 3,
Subject: Re: [Stalinist] DHKC: DO YOU NOT HEAR THE CRIES
OF THE DYING?
I, personally am also against the
tactic of a hunger strike. This is based on
my own experience among the student
activists who sat on one, despite requests
not to, and finally ended up
with some face saving demands, while their
original demands for which they had gone on
hunger strike were forgotten. This basic
principle would operate anywhere.
And regarding the loss of valuable, committed human resources
- these are unreplaceable in
a hunger strike. It is a request that the Turkish
cdes re-evaluate this tactic.
Full text: "Refugee
Literature" by Frederick Engels 1874: "V On Social Relations in Russia";