“Letters from Yugoslavia” consist of translation of previous articles published in different portals whichare piled in "Yugoslavya Mektupları". The current articles are published in İleri Portal, the press agency of TKP (Communist Party of Turkey).

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Sunday, 8 April 2012

NORTH AFRICAN “REVOLUTIONS” AND LEFTISTS FROM BALKANS

Origanal text: February 2006, 2011.

During the last week we had a flow of news about demonstrations in Balkans.

Anti-government demonstrations in Beograd, the demonstration of tobacco producers in Skopje, the strike of railway workers in Bosnia and protests against the mal-administration of the country organized through facebook... Similarly, demonstrations also held in Zagreb organized through facebook. On the other side, we see the strong opposition of Socialist Party in Albania, who does not recognize the corrupted results of the latest elections which were held nine months ago.

After the incidents in Northern Africa, firstly in Tunisia, than in Egypt and Libya, a question comes into mind: “Will there be the same in Balkans?”.

First of all we have to clear some aspects: No matter how the popular culture uses some concepts in daily life through the process of cultural erosion, Marxists should use them in their scientific conceptualization within a theoretical framework. Similarly, they shall pay attention to this when they analyze the current events and actual facts.

In this context, the conceptualization of “North African Revolutions” has to be clarified. In his article published in February 25, 2011, Kemal Okuyan differentiates between “revolution” and “stolen revolution”. (1)

First of all, before making any analysis we have to clarify the basic concepts which we refer in our analysis. In this sense, the basic question concerning the “North African Revolutions” is the question: “What is a revolution?”. The reply to this question is simple, even the teenagers will not have difficulty in finding a basic explanation for this question. Simply and briefly a revolution is a turnover in mode of production, that the owners of means of production do change. Who is the new “owner of production” in Tunisian, Egyptian or Libyan revolutions? If what happened in those countries is revolution, what is the new mode of production? Did the proletariat seize the factories, fields, political power?

Most likely, we can talk about a revolutionary “process”, but can we really talk about a revolution?

I do not think that there is an epistemological difference between when a GSM company launches a new tariff as a “revolution” and when every social movement is precipitately identified as a “revolution”. In this sense the concept of “revolution” should not be used that loutishly while analyzing the Northern African practice. In this context, the quest about the probability of a leap of North African revolutions to Balkans is based on an ontological fault.

We have to take attention to some issue within the specifity of Balkans. It is clear that the political location of North Africa and Balkans, especially regarding to imperialist policies is not similar. None of the countries in the Balkans seems to have a potential to have a conflict with the West, even to oppose West with the lowest volume: Greece, who is in the “Club of West” for more than a half century, the fresh EU members of Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria, and moreover Croatia; the next member of EU club who gained “independence” thanks to member states of EU, Montenegro who can easily be digested by EU, Bosnia, Macedonia and Kosovo who are dependent to West by the colonialist institutions, Albania who is not yet integrated with the West but seems to be willing for that and Serbia who is finally domesticated... None of those countries seems to have the will to conflict with imperialist policies of West. One even can claim that the level of “integration to West” of Balkan countries exceeds Turkey’s level, who is shown as a model to the Middle Eastern countries. In this sense, in Balkans there is no need for a project like that of Middle East’s.

In an atmosphere, where there is no need to overthrow the governments who are in best collaboration with West, what is the position of left wing opposition in Balkans? A more specific analysis prior to each country’s subjective conditions is needed. However, if we will deal the issue with a more holistic approach examining the Balkans, we can assert that the Balkan Marxists, being heavily under effect of Euromarxism do also perceive the latest developments in Northern Africa as “revolutions”. The left wing parties and organizations in ex-Yugoslav countries, do still have problems with ideological and structural stability, where Yugoslavia had a greater dimension of collapse when compared with other East European countries. Thus, Marxists in this geography do not have better option than following the agenda through Western sources since a long time.

At that point, Balkan left, who had just began to make attempts to shape their own agenda, make attempts to meet with working class, who began to steep his head against chauvinism that turned the life into hell for many years, falls into the illusion of the question “Can it happen in our own land as well?” when they follow the so called “North African Revolutions”. The Fourth International, which is still waiting for the second wave of the revolution, seems to not to give up the habit of exaggerating since Spanish Civil War. The same state of mind is likely to locate Balkans in the wave of revolutions.

Dreaming is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it is a very human like, enlightening process. But, there is difference between “to dream” and “to live on dreams”. When we begin to perceive dreams as truth, as the real situation, what appears is a tragedy on the one side, and also a comedy on the other. Marxists do not deserve to be the political subject of tragicomedy.

Balkan Revolution, a geography where tens of different nations live together in brotherhood is the dream of all of us. The recent efforts of Marxists from Balkans who are in charge of transforming those dreams into reality should be considered as important attempts. As mentioned in the first paragraph of this article, what we conceive looking from the recent news coming from Balkans is that winds are turning for the struggle again.

1) Click here for the Turkish original text of the article.

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