“Those who only fight with the shadow cannot eradicate the real phenomenon”
An interview with Duran Kalkan, KCK Executive Council member, about a political approach to the Corona pandemic, the necessary strategy for the struggle against Capitalist Modernity, the struggle of the workers class and the anti-fascist resistance against the AKP-MHP regime in Turkey:
In the wake of the Corona pandemic, intellectuals, socialist and opposition circles, as well as many societies around the world, have begun to question Capitalist Modernity and the state system more intensely. Everywhere, a great anger against Capitalist Modernity has arisen among peoples, women, youth and working people. How can this anger be organized?
We are undoubtedly a workers’ party and approach all problems accordingly on the basis of this consciousness. It would not have been possible for us to form a party under any other name. Why? 99 percent of Kurdish society are workers or members of the working population. We emerged from this society and have developed into the party of this very society. So we have become the party of all Kurds. Accordingly, being a Kurdish party also means being a party of the workers or the working population. The Kurdish people are characterized by the fact that practically all Kurds are workers or members of the working population. Therefore, from the very beginning, we have been convinced that we are both a party of the workers or working people and a party of all Kurds. In the end, there is no greater difference between these two sides in our concrete practice. So, we are the vanguard party of a society that consists almost entirely of workers and members of the working population. In the same way, our party is characterized by the fact that it was strongly influenced by the intellectuals and the youth of Kurdish society in its formative phase. It was, so to speak, brought forth by them. The theoretical writings of the working class describe how `the consciousness of the class is brought to it from outside by intellectuals`. In our case, the class was almost the entire Kurdish society. Accordingly, there was a need for revolutionary intellectuals to approach Kurdish society from outside and develop its consciousness.
The reality of Kurdistan during the PKK’s formative period was characterized in practice by the fact that being a Kurdish intellectual, a revolutionary intellectual, or a revolutionary youth was intimately intertwined. The intellectual circles and the youth were so closely intertwined that they formed a unity in a whole new way. Therefore, the circles from which the revolutionary leadership was recruited emerged from the intellectual youth itself. It was precisely these circles that provided Kurdish society – the workers and the working population – with the consciousness of liberation, freedom and democracy from the outside. The intellectual youth constituted the social group from which our movement emerged, later developed into a party and guerrilla, and ultimately became a popular movement. In this sense, the PKK is characterized by being a party of the youth and revolutionary intellectuals.
The goal of our party from the beginning was the national freedom of the Kurds. In the course of deepening our understanding of freedom and our insistence on it, we found the most appropriate understanding of freedom in the principle of women’s freedom. We came to the conclusion that national freedom is only achievable through social freedom and social freedom in turn is only achievable through women’s freedom. Thus, in the course of deepening our understanding of freedom, we developed the leadership role of women in the question of party building and made our understanding of women’s freedom an ideological baseline. As a party of the Kurds – a society of the workers and the working people – which was formed under the leadership of intellectuals and the youth, we thus developed into a party of women at the same time. Our party bears the name ‘Kurdistan Workers Party’, which significantly shapes its identity. At the same time, it encompasses all the diverse realities mentioned above. In its identity as the Kurdistan Workers Party, it unites and represents all these identities. For us, therefore, being a workers’ party means at the same time being a party of the intellectual youth, of women and of the working population.
At the beginning, our party was strongly influenced by real socialism. Accordingly, it viewed everything against the background of class contradictions and the class struggle. On the basis of our struggle in Kurdistan and the consequences that global developments brought with them, we made certain changes in this way of looking at things. Our party has undergone certain changes in its understanding that everything can be explained by the existing class contradictions and the class struggle, and has thus undergone a renewal.
Undoubtedly, it cannot be denied that in societies living under the system of power and state there are classes and, accordingly, class contradictions and class struggle. Our party sees this reality and recognizes it. It sees, analyzes and considers it fundamental that societies are divided into classes due to the ruling system, consist of numerous classes and strata, this division into classes entails different interests and the different interests give rise to important contradictions and struggles. Against this background, the PKK undoubtedly understands the working class – the most oppressed and exploited class – and all strata of the working population as its social base. At the same time, we accept and consider it fundamental that there is not only one contradiction and struggle in society, so social differences do not result only from class membership. According to our analysis, other differences exist, from which quite other contradictions and struggles arise. There is no doubt that our party is leading a struggle that considers the social division into classes, class contradictions and class struggle as fundamental. It is on this basis that we organize ourselves and lead our struggle. This is precisely why we see ourselves as a workers’ party and lead our struggle as such a party. At the same time, we do not aim to remain forever as an oppressed class and to lead a struggle that absolutizes the division of society into classes, perpetuates this division and thus enters exclusively into class contradictions and class struggles. What we are much more concerned with is, in parallel with the final dismantling of the system of power and the state, from which the class contradictions and the class struggle emerge, to displace this very system piece by piece. Exactly this reality is expressed when we speak of the ‘struggle for a democratic society’ and the ‘development towards a Democratic Nation’. Our party understands and leads the class struggle as a struggle that aims at the dissolution of classes, the reduction of differences and the development of a holistic democratic society. The democratic-social character of the new paradigm stands for exactly that.
It is undoubtedly right and important to look at and analyze the struggle for socialism again and again. The struggle for socialism has theoretical and practical sides. Socialist movements are not only movements of organizing and action, but at the same time thinking, philosophical and ideological movements. Of course, it is important to analyze practical developments – organizing and action as part of it – when we look at the struggle for socialism. But at the same time, and perhaps with an even higher priority, it is also necessary to analyze and discuss in more detail the theoretical state, developments in the field of theory, the understanding and consciousness of socialism, and socialist theory. Already the great, socialist masterminds brought this up when they said: `Without revolutionary theory no revolutionary practice` and `Without the development of a correct socialist theory a correct and successful struggle for socialism is impossible`.
In this context, it is undeniable that leader Abdullah Ocalan is currently the person who is most intensively immersing himself, racking his brains and thereby developing new ideas that can actually be implemented. Although he is imprisoned under the indescribably severe conditions of the torture and isolation system on the Turkish prison island of Imrali, the creators of this very system have not succeeded in preventing him from thinking and developing new ideas. Leader Abdullah Öcalan has been held in the Imrali torture and isolation system under the most adverse conditions for 23 years now. Nevertheless, he has succeeded in analyzing today’s social reality in the world, the problems and their solutions in the most comprehensive, concrete, understandable and – on the basis of organizing – practically realizable way.
In this context, it is particularly worth pointing out the following: We should be very well aware that the torture and isolation system in Imrali was not created for leader Abdullah Öcalan to reflect and develop ideas there so intensively. On the contrary, the purpose of the Imrali system is to prevent exactly that. The torture and isolation system on Imrali was designed to put people in a position where they are incapable of thinking and developing anything new. This fact is well known and openly stated by the creators of the Imrali system. So, despite all these circumstances, leader Abdullah Ocalan makes such intense reflections and develops new ideas. He conquers and overcomes all the obstacles and difficulties on Imrali, which he faces there like no one else. It is undoubtedly important to understand and analyze the development of new ideas by leader Abdullah Öcalan against this background as well. When we look at all of this together, we can see very clearly that no obstacle or pressure, no matter how great, can prevent leader Abdullah Öcalan from pushing his thinking and developing new ideas. So we know that he brings to bear his power to think, the ability to name problems and the comprehensibility and practicality of his analyses under such severe conditions of the isolation and torture system on Imrali. This circumstance undoubtedly gives his analyses a completely different meaning and importance and makes it all the more important to pay attention to them. In such a context and under the conditions described above, leader Abdullah Öcalan has heralded a paradigm shift and marked a new beginning on this basis. He himself refers to this new beginning as the ‘third birth of the leadership’. He has succeeded in using the difficulties of the torture and isolation system on Imrali for a new birth of leadership. He has comprehensively presented his findings in the five-volume defense writings Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization.
So, when we deal with the situation of the socialist movement – especially the field of its theory and reflections – it is undoubtedly necessary, first of all, to study, analyze and discuss the reflections developed by leader Abdullah Öcalan in his five-volume defense writings Manifesto for a Democratic Civilization. For these books comprise the most comprehensive and holistic assessment of historical developments, the current situation and the existing problems. At the same time, they contain proposals for solutions that are concrete and implementable. Such holistic considerations are included in the defense of leader Abdullah Ocalan. It is absolutely necessary to recognize the holistic nature of his reflections, which he himself defines as the ‘theory of Democratic Modernity’. It is therefore equally important to examine this theory and pay attention to the new paradigm that this theory has made possible. At the same time, we must analyze the current social attitude and struggle for socialism against the background of all this, in order to develop new perspectives, programs for struggle, plans and goals for the future. All of this is undoubtedly subject to a very comprehensive discussion and analysis. But at this point, we can briefly emphasize the following: First of all, leader Abdullah Ocalan has saved socialism and democracy from the clutches of the power and state system – in other words, from their attacks.
In the past, the combination of democracy and socialism with power and the state had led us toward Soviet socialism. Today, many agree that it was precisely this basic paradigm that was decisive for the collapse of this system. It is more than obvious that socialist principles like freedom, equality, solidarity and sharing cannot be realized by means of power and state like pressure, injustice, exploitation and plunder. It is equally clear that democracy – that is, the self-government of society or the people – cannot be achieved with the help of the dictatorship of a small minority over the rest of society – that is, not in the form of the state. Socialism and democracy are intimately connected with society. Democracy means that society is self-governing. Socialism, in turn, is the ideology that lays the foundations of this form of administration and develops the principles of social life. The paradigm shift undertaken by leader Abdullah Öcalan involves – very briefly and succinctly – such a change and renewal. Of course, a new understanding of revolution and socialism also emerges from this. If you look closely, you will see that within the framework of this understanding, revolution does not mean smashing the existing state and power and establishing a new state and power in its place. On the contrary, it is now about limiting and weakening the state and power more and more. At the same time, the democratic society is to be developed, whose existence and life as an alternative to the state and power is based on socialist principles. The democratic society based on socialism exists as an alternative to power and state. Revolution or revolutionary struggle, therefore, means correctly recognizing and understanding this alternative in order to organize, expand and develop it ever further. It is only through this struggle that power and the state can be limited more and more and ultimately be brought to extinction – as the great socialist thinkers have already described it. Such a democratic society is the expression of completely new conditions. These relations come into being through the consciousness-raising, organizing and struggle of the workers and working people. All of this ultimately leads to the elimination of all class distinctions and the development of a free, equal, democratic-communal life based on common sharing.
The theory of Democratic Modernity of leader Abdullah Öcalan aims at the development of Democratic Socialism. One dimension of the paradigmatic approach on which this theory is based is the democratic society we described above. Two other central dimensions are women’s freedom and social ecology. Leader Abdullah Öcalan defines democratic society as follows: a new social reality in which class distinctions and the exploitation based on them continue to decline and a democratic-communal life develops. At the same time, he defines this social reality as a society based on women’s freedom and living in holistic harmony with nature. The political and moral framework of society can only develop in this way properly and according to the social essence.
Therefore, women’s freedom is definitely a fundamentally necessary dimension for the implementation of leader Abdullah Öcalan’s new understanding of socialism. Social developments that are not based on women’s freedom can never be truly free and equal. Thus, they cannot reach the level of a democratic society. Women’s freedom does not simply mean putting the two sexes on an equal footing in life. On the contrary, it means overcoming, dissolving and annihilating the existence and influence of the hegemonic mentality and politics of man, which develops on the basis of the enslavement of women, in all spheres – from the spiritual, emotional and thought worlds to material life. Therefore, it is important to understand women’s freedom not only as material equality, as equality of man and woman in material life, or as so-called ‘simple equality’ based on petty-bourgeois individualism. Such an understanding is definitely wrong and inevitably leads to becoming once again a part of capitalist modernity. It leads to being swallowed up as petty-bourgeois individualism by the liberalism of capitalist modernity. From this point of view, it is inevitable to understand the freedom of women in the following way: on the one hand, as the uncovering, smashing and overcoming of the 5000 year old male hegemonic mentality and politics and its influences in the field of the mind, feelings and thoughts, organization, action, politics and all other areas of life; on the other hand – and in contrast to all the aforementioned – the development of a new order of relationships and a social life in which the attitude, feelings and thoughts of women are formative and pioneering. In this way, all forms of oppressive and exploitative mentality and practice can be ended. However, this should not be simply associated with the passing of laws, the state or material conditions. Yes, these are all the things that can be seen with the naked eye, but there is also a spiritual, emotional and thought background that produces all these things. On the other hand, the oppression, exploitation and enslavement based on this background is much more dangerous on the ideal level. Therefore, it is necessary to understand and put into practice women’s freedom as follows: the overcoming and abolition of all forms, understandings, characteristics and existence of slavery in all spheres.
Another dimension of the theory of Democratic Modernity developed by leader Abdullah Öcalan – that is, the new understanding of socialism – is ecology. This refers to the harmony of society with nature. The state and power system emerged from the analytical intelligence. Capitalist ideology and capitalist modernity are also closely connected with analytical intelligence. It is obvious how much these systems destroy nature. Without plan or principles, they consume air, water and all natural resources to secure everyday profits, making the environment increasingly uninhabitable. As a result, dozens if not hundreds of new bacteria are created every day. All of this leads to the environment becoming more and more poisoned, paving the way for the destruction of all living things – especially humans. Also the currently so much discussed disease called coronavirus has been created on this basis. So we should not doubt for a second that this disease is a result of the exploitative attacks of industrialism – this central dimension of capitalist modernity – which ultimately result in the destruction of nature. The coronavirus represents only one of millions of harmful viruses produced by the current system. The coronavirus has come into the spotlight a bit more. It has also been used in some way by the current system to terrify societies and make them even more subject to the system of oppression and exploitation. With this goal in mind, the coronavirus was put in the spotlight so that all of humanity would know about it. In the end, it is an indisputable fact that we are confronted with attacks of viruses whose names we have never heard and of which, accordingly, we do not know anything yet. These viruses are continuously poisoning us and all other living beings, destroying parts of our lives. It is important that we are aware of this.
The consequences of the hegemonic-male mentality and politics – e.g. inequality, slavery and oppression – are in some ways recognizable. This is recognized by the many segments of society that are oppressed, have a conscience, and feel respect for life – especially women. As a result, they are organizing and taking action. Various types of struggle emerge, all aimed at revolution and freedom – for example, the women’s struggle for freedom. So at least there is discussion and to some extent organization and action. Even if on the most varied levels, some struggle to overcome the enslavement of women and smash male hegemony does take place. But recognizing, understanding, and becoming aware of the ecological destruction wrought by Capitalist Modernity and advancing organizing and action on that basis – all of that is tenuous. Yes, green movements have gained some strength recently. There are also limited environmental movements and certain discussions about ecology are taking place. A wide variety of activities are occurring to change the legal frameworks of states and to limit somewhat the destructive attacks of capitalist modernity on the environment. But it is clear that all this is very narrow, superficial and insufficient. All these activities do not indicate that the enormous danger to which all natural living beings – especially human beings – are exposed is being recognized and that a stand is being taken against it. At the present level of action, this huge danger will not be averted. Those who only fight with the shadow will not be able to eradicate the actual phenomenon. But many features of the struggles against ecological destruction resemble just such a struggle with the shadow.
Also, the fight against the coronavirus is in no way different from this fight with the shadow. The following questions are simply not asked: What does this virus mean? Who created it? Where and how was it created? And consequently, how can it be overcome? Instead, only the result is considered and the question of how to protect oneself from the virus is dealt with exclusively. Thus, a situation has arisen in which people are subjected to even more intense oppression, exploitation and enslavement, and the pressure of the state and power system on them has continued to increase. All this shows that the real situation is not understood and fought against. On the contrary, exactly what Capitalist Modernity wants is being done and implemented. It is bowed to it and everybody behaves exactly as it wishes. This is really very dangerous. The future of all living beings is in danger. The ruling state and power system and the Capitalist Modernity that emerges from it – both based on a male-hegemonic mentality and politics – have developed nuclear weapons with which they could wipe out the entire human race dozens of times. But ecological destruction is the very greatest danger today. Nature is being consumed without limits. For unlimited profits it is completely destroyed, so that no natural balance remains. A merciless attack on nature is taking place. No matter if air, water, earth, stones, trees or other natural resources – everything is exposed to complete destruction without following any plan or principles. It is absolutely obvious that people are not aware of how great the danger is that goes along with it. The ruling system is also currently using all kinds of fraud and deception to prevent this awareness from arising. It almost seems as if people are just busy saving themselves one day at a time. As if they had been brought to a point where they no longer make any plans for the future for themselves. Mankind is trying to make itself immortal with the help of artificial intelligence. In doing so, it has been brought so far by Capitalist Modernity that it no longer sees a tomorrow and is not even capable of saving today. It is absolutely obvious how dangerous this state is and how much it contradicts human nature.
Leader Abdullah Öcalan defines Capitalist Modernity as a phase of the state and power system in which the system itself is spreading more and more like a kind of cancer. With this description, he expresses the conditions we have described above. The leader’s analyses and definitions in this regard amount to an outcry. It is an outcry directed at the completely unconscious, blinded people.
It is important that we evaluate the socialist movement’s efforts to transform this theoretical framework into program, policy, organization, and action in light of these fundamental considerations. How ecological is the socialist movement really? How much is it working toward an ecological revolution? How consciously, organizedly, and militantly does it deal with ecological destruction? It is important to ask and answer all these questions. If we do that, we realize very quickly that the socialist movement is characterized by a very puny and narrow approach and – as far as this issue is concerned – it is like having to repeat class in school, so to speak. Yes, theoretically this issue is addressed to some extent, but as soon as it comes to transforming that into policies, organization and actions, suddenly there is not much left of it.
On the other hand, a certain struggle has also developed based on the women’s liberation line. Women have reached a certain level of consciousness. The contradictions in this area have deepened to such an extent, the enslavement of women and the hegemony of men have reached such a level that no one is able to hide or defend all this anymore. Therefore, to a certain extent, it is openly spoken about that there is a ‘woman problem’, enslavement and inequality. But we still cannot speak of a theory, a program, an ideological line, organization and actions having been developed to meet the current conditions. Nor can we see that a sufficiently profound revolutionary movement for women’s revolution has developed. Narrow-minded and superficial approaches dominate. Many of them are aimed at achieving some severely limited women’s rights. In the end, we can say that a decisive part of the struggle of women today is waging a struggle that conforms to the system, which – because of its narrow understanding of this struggle – serves more the absorption by the system than the progress of the revolution for women’s freedom. Even if the socialist movement has a certain attitude in this question, we cannot yet say that it has understood women’s freedom as the basis for social freedom and has developed this realization into a program and an ideological line as women’s revolution. Therefore, it has not yet succeeded in transforming all this into an effective organization and action.
Furthermore, we can see relatively easily that the struggle of the working class and the working population, but also of other social circles, for their democratic rights is still relatively weak and characterized by a certain timidity. In the area of their self-organization and their struggle against social inequality, the situation is similar. The parties are not as strongly interwoven with society and class as they used to be. There exists today a socialist movement that has lost its connection to society. Even though a wide variety of workers’ organizations and trade unions have organized a certain circle of workers and the working population within their framework, they are themselves highly fragmented among themselves, lack an ideological-political program, and fail to overcome the struggle for very narrow, short-lived goals. As a result, they often do not even manage to defend their gains – let alone make new ones.
This is the framework in which the PKK assesses the current situation. It firmly believes that the success of the struggle for the liberation of the workers and the working population can only be achieved on the basis of women’s freedom and an ecological revolution. The PKK therefore takes the position that these aspects are closely intertwined and therefore can never be separated from each other. Accordingly, the PKK is making certain efforts to make progress in all these areas. In particular, it is making efforts to organize and advance the revolution for women’s freedom on the basis of Jineoloji. Efforts are also being made to overcome the division of society into classes and thus promote equality while organizing and winning workers and laborers for the struggle. The ecological revolution is the area where we are still too weak and insensitive, which is why we have not yet managed to develop the appropriate organization and actions.In this area, Kurdistan is really plundered to the maximum. Not taking action against this is a big shortcoming and a big weakness. As a movement, we are aware of this. In our last meetings, we have also addressed this and discussed it to some extent. We are currently in the process of looking for answers to the question of how we can further develop our struggle in this regard. However, we definitely have to assess the current status in this regard as insufficient. Accordingly, this represents an occasion for us to be self-critical.
Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to consider it important to strengthen ecological awareness and organization in this area and to fight more strongly against the exploitative attacks of the system on nature. All this is necessary to overcome the diseases that are spreading every day. The PKK considers all this as fundamental to overcome the existing problems.
Of course, we must also emphasize the following aspect once again: It is important not to consider socialism as an ideology describing the future. Socialism also existed in the past. It has existed since human beings and society have existed. Communalism, solidarity and sharing are the core of sociality. Since the human being is a social being, socialism is ultimately the very form of existence of society. Leader Abdullah Öcalan has expressed this as follows: “To doubt socialism means to doubt the human being and its social form of existence.” Society, social existence and life as society represent the social form of existence of human beings. Accordingly, socialism is a reality of life that is intimately interwoven with society. Socialism has always existed in this way. One cannot strive in the present to live socialistically in the future. Rather, it is a matter of properly understanding socialism today, living it oneself, and bringing it to life. Even a single person can live a socialist life. A community or a party can also live socialism. And even a people can live the socialist ideology among themselves to a great extent. Therefore, it is crucial to overcome the real socialist understanding: to postpone socialism to the time after the revolution and to make the revolution dependent on the takeover of power and state; on this basis not to know or to leave in the dark how to live until then and thus to rather display a way of life and an understanding that does not succeed in going beyond petty-bourgeois individualism. Socialism is not something that will be created and lived in the future. It has already been lived in the past and must be properly understood and lived today. This is the socialism of the PKK. It can bring socialism to life at least in the party itself and spreads socialist influences in society just as much. The PKK implements socialism in everyday life. In the PKK, socialism exists and is implemented and lived in everyday life. In the PKK, we have reached a level where all forms of individualism are overcome, democratic communalism is brought to the highest level on the basis of party cooperativism, everything is cleansed of the dirt of any individualistic and material-focused life, and cooperative sharing is lived. The socialism implemented in the PKK expresses the core, framework and principles of socialism to be spread in all societies in the future. This is also a fundamental attitude of the PKK’s socialism.
Based on all this, if we analyze more precisely how the struggle of the working class must be understood, we must undoubtedly take into account the above-mentioned considerations also in relation to women’s freedom and the ecological revolution. At the same time, new analyses and approaches are needed for the working class and the working population. First of all, it is necessary to understand socialism not as an ideology of the future, but as an ideology lived in the present. Along socialist bases of workers’ organizing such as solidarity and sharing, socialist parties need to be further spread and strengthened. Within working class movements, individualism is very strong. This is an expression of a petty-bourgeois culture and shows that capitalist ideology ultimately dominates there. Saying you are socialist on the one hand and living capitalism on the other is not good at all. The ideology of a single person or a party is not what that person or party says, but the principles by which they orient their lives. Therefore, first and foremost, the working class movement must reconcile what it says with what it does. Everything it says it must put into practice. Its life and struggle must be accordingly. It is also necessary to deepen the socialist ideology even more and, with the help of organizing, to make the ideology of socialism something that is lived everyday. On this basis, the parties, trade unions, associations and workers’ organizations must be brought to achieve a new ideological depth and structuring. This is very important. If they do not succeed and remain trapped in the ideological stance and form of organization that results from the limits of ‘democratic rights’ imposed by capitalism, it will be impossible to overcome the current conditions. Even if they are overcome, it will remain impossible to deepen and secure in the long term what has been achieved. Therefore, the workers’ movement definitely has profound ideological problems. It is therefore necessary to understand socialism correctly and to make socialist ideology something that is lived every second. So, on this basis, there are problems in the field of party organization. Moreover, there is a need to strengthen, expand and develop the organization of society as a unit in accordance with the ideological line. Thus, a deeper and more effective struggle is needed.
It is indispensable that we understand one of the dimensions of the current struggle against AKP-MHP fascism against this background. Another dimension is the need to build an alliance with a wide variety of other circles that will act as a kind of movement to smash fascism. But in order to achieve this goal, it is not only necessary to smash AKP-MHP fascism. Rather, an ideology and an organizational leadership must also be created. A leadership for the party and the social circles. And together with the youth a leadership for the workers and the working people. This leadership will be able to build a democratic life and a democratic society after the crushing of fascism, characterized by the socialist ideology.
If the workers and the working people do not unite with the women and the youth, they will not succeed in developing their liberation struggle and movements that can take a leading role under the current conditions. For all these reasons, first of all, there is a need for a correct understanding, a theoretical approach, a philosophical-ideological line, a program, an organization and actions. Leader Abdullah Öcalan has made clear the way in which all this can be achieved. Therefore, it is important to discuss, understand and internalize the theory of Democratic Modernity developed by him even more intensively. At the same time, internalizing also means putting what has been internalized into practice. What matters, then, is practical implementation. Accordingly, a much stronger ideological, political and organizational struggle must be waged. In the form of a military-political struggle, all this must be put into practice to develop a strong socialist struggle. All of this already exists to some degree. So it is not as if all this does not exist at all. In the PKK and in Kurdistan, a certain level has been reached. In the case of Turkey, the level today is perhaps weaker than in the past. And yet there are organizations of the workers and the working people, but also various socialist, revolutionary parties. Only they are all very weak. It is important to overcome this weakness through organizing and action and to develop strength. For the development of strength, a theoretical approach and a clear ideological line are needed. This means, then, that the ideological struggle cannot be separated from the organizational-actionist struggle. These struggles must be re-evaluated on the basis of a correct way of looking at things in order to make the necessary corrections and, on this basis, to launch a new socialist awakening, a new socialist offensive.
The global powers have used the Corona pandemic as an excuse to further deprive working people of their rights over the last year and a half. Throughout history, humanity has made huge sacrifices to gain these very rights. Now they are being snatched away from the people piece by piece. What must the working people do in such a phase? What kind of struggle must they wage?
Yes, the question hints at some real developments. The coronavirus, which has been so much on the agenda lately, has actually taken people’s breath away. This virus has led to a completely new situation. It has caused many forms of social and individual life to cease to exist today. There is talk of millions of dead and hundreds of millions of sick. A huge, permanent fear has spread through societies. People and societies are even more forced to submit to state control and to behave according to the interests of the ruling power and state forces. In this context, massive pressure has been built up. New laws have been passed and approaches developed. People were virtually imprisoned under the slogan ‘stay at home’. The whole world was turned into a huge prison by the current system. The place that people had previously understood as their ‘home’ and an opportunity for a pleasant individual life has been turned into a prison. Now they are forced to stay there permanently and break off all social relations. All this has led to great discontent and strong backlash.
From January, February 2020, people were terrified, especially with the help of media coverage on the internet and television, and the system of repression was thus massively expanded. In the course of this phase, some of the people’s fear turned into anger and protest. The clearer it became what the real issue was, what the reasons for these developments were and what they were leading to, the more people overcame their wall of fear and instead reacted with great anger and protests. That is a fact. But how can this anger be turned into organizing? Anger cannot be organized. Organizing does not come out of anger. At most, anger can lead to the following: It can develop into protests, an uprising, or a destructive movement. All this can produce anger, but it cannot be organized. It arises of its own accord, expresses itself in spontaneous developments, but what comes out of it and where all this leads to remains of course unclear. Only the developments themselves can show that. So what is to be done with this anger? Instead of waiting or wishing for the protest to lead to an uprising or actions, we must be able to transform the anger into consciousness. This is what we have to do if we want anger to turn into organized, planned and conscious actions and a struggle for liberation.
So instead of waiting for anger to develop into protests and riots, anger must be transformed into consciousness. On the basis of this consciousness, various forms of organization must be created, on the basis of which, in turn, actions based on a plan and program must be carried out. To be able to take action, it is indispensable to be organized. Organizing in turn requires consciousness. Anger and protest alone are not enough for organizing. Only consciousness leads to organizing. So if we want to transform the existing anger and protest into organization, we have to develop it into consciousness. And in order for us to succeed in developing this consciousness, we need to clarify from where, how and by whom this disease called coronavirus was created, how exactly it was directed and used by whom. We must explain all this to the people in the right way, educate them in this regard and thus enable them to develop an appropriate consciousness. There is not only the coronavirus, but millions of other viruses that pose a great danger to all living beings. Capitalism, which produces all these viruses, must be explained to people so that they can get to know it properly. The system of Capitalist Modernity, the current system of power and state and the male-hegemonic mentality and politics that are fundamental to it must be explained not only theoretically, but filled with sufficient content in an understandable way. They have to be explained especially to women, youth, workers and the working population, but also in general to all societies and people. They all need to be educated on this basis so that they can develop a corresponding awareness.
Because people are not given this awareness sufficiently, their anger does not turn into organization and action. No regular, systematic and effective actions emerge. There is really a great weakness in this area. We can call the attitude of certain circles insufficient. At the same time, there are other circles that are definitely making conscious efforts. They are deliberately, planned and very intensively trying to prevent the existing anger from developing into consciousness and understanding the true face of this system that has created the current virus. All this is done very consciously by the power and state system and the powers of Capitalist Modernity, following a clear plan. The states do it just as the governments do it. And they make the universities, the institutions they call scientific, the arts and the press do the same. They use everything and everyone for this goal. Very intense efforts are taking place to prevent people from really understanding where this disease comes from and what it means. Research is taking place, plans and programs are being designed and unfortunately they are using the media, art and literature very effectively as a weapon against the people. We have to acknowledge that all this is happening. So the very people who have created this disease that is deadly for living beings, for human beings, are at the same time actively preventing the disease from being properly and sufficiently understood. In order for all this not to be adequately understood and for effective organization and actions not to develop from it, they are making very deliberate, planned and organized efforts. We must look this fact in the eye. It is very unfortunate that many circles fail to recognize these facts and to look at them critically. Therefore, they unfortunately fall for this game. Even those who call themselves ‘leftist, socialist, revolutionary’ allow themselves to be made a pawn in the game and are directed in a very planned way. It is necessary that we openly address this reality. The attitude of the left, socialist and revolutionary forces regarding this issue really needs serious criticism and self-criticism. Meanwhile, a whole year has passed and these forces still have not managed to develop a correct and sufficient understanding of the situation. They have not managed to properly understand this disease, which is quite obviously brought on by the capitalist system and its limitless pursuit of profit. Instead, they believe that it is an ordinary pandemic, not deliberately brought about, but a disaster that has arisen of its own accord. Their propaganda to this effect has prevented people from developing a proper awareness of the situation. This has benefited all those who have brought about this pandemic and sought to profit from it. Thus, the leftist, socialist and revolutionary forces have allowed themselves to become their tools. This is really a very serious situation. The pandemic is understood as a natural disaster. But this is not true at all. What does the coronavirus have to do with nature? It was developed in the laboratory. This was quite evident in the public spat that took place between the U.S. and China. The coronavirus was developed in laboratories. It represents a kind of poison that was developed to ensure unlimited profits. It was developed because the material conditions for unlimited profits are faltering. Through its current practice, the system produces millions of such poisons.
That is the actual reality. But with the help of very superficial, distorting statements such as ‘It is a naturally occurring pandemic that affects everyone, kills rich and poor, and makes no distinction between people,’ a great deal of confusion was created and the actual conditions were thus concealed. This is how it came about that societies could not be properly made aware. Who created this pandemic? Where, how and why was it triggered? Who is trying to profit from it and how? Accordingly, what does it mean for us to fight against this pandemic? How can we fight against it? How can we protect ourselves from the coronavirus? How can humanity protect itself from such a disease? No real answers have been found to all these questions. In my opinion, everyone must now be prepared to look at their conscience and display a self-critical attitude. Those who have made mistakes should openly admit this and thus break with their own mistakes. Those who have shown shortcomings must openly address their own shortcomings and thus remedy them. But none of this is happening. There are still major shortcomings in this area. Individualistic approaches and dubious attitudes continue to exist. The development of new variants of the virus and the spread of this deadly pandemic are reacted to with panic and the question is asked again and again: ‘How could this happen? How can we save ourselves from this?` Anger is still the most common reaction, but it does not develop into a serious protest. In various places around the world, there have been isolated initial protests recently. But anger and spontaneous protests are not enough. Something as bad as this pandemic ensures that society develops such anger and protests on its own. So, if the media, artists, writers, politicians and intellectuals would deal with these developments properly and understand the developments properly; if they would all explain the real events to the women, youth, workers, working people and societies properly – then an enormous awareness and consequently a strong organization would emerge. Thus, there would be no struggle against the virus created by the system, but against the system itself. It is worth repeating once again: Whoever fights against the shadow instead of against the actual phenomenon, cannot achieve any success.
Fighting à la Din Qijote will lead to nothing. If you only ask yourself, `How can I protect myself from this disease that is the result of the unlimited profit drive of Capitalist Modernity?`, you will neither achieve results nor be able to protect yourself effectively. If you do not smash and change the mentality and politics that caused this disease and the system that produced it, this disease will not end either. Maybe the current virus will disappear, but a new one will surely come. One goes, three new ones come. We must be aware of this. We must not assume that these diseases will just stop completely. Therefore, it is necessary to address not only the symptoms, but the causes. If you want to fix a symptom, you have to question its causes and get rid of them. If you don’t fix the causes, your fight against the symptoms won’t lead to any results. You fix one symptom and a new one takes its place. Similar symptoms will simply replace each other over and over again. For this reason, creating proper consciousness means exposing the causes of the developments. Why have these developments occurred? Why has such a deadly attack occurred? Who is responsible for it? All this did not happen by itself. It is not a natural development. Whoever claims the opposite is either lying or has understood nothing at all, i.e. is completely clueless. This is an expression of a complete cluelessness regarding the reality of life, global conditions, Capitalist Modernity, capitalist exploitation and the boundless pursuit of profit. It shows that one is not aware of what the rulers of this world are dealing with and what they are doing. These developments have nothing to do with nature. Even if there are connections with natural developments, it is still not nature itself that produces such catastrophes. Rather, it is the destruction of nature that triggers this disaster. This is what we mean by this. Ecological awareness and an ecological approach are therefore very important. But to ignore all this, to claim that these are ‘natural’ developments, then to quickly turn to another topic and thus to white-wash the culprits – this is not the way to achieve results. The current developments have nothing to do with nature. They are triggered by the complete destruction of nature. The ongoing attack on nature is bringing about this situation. Therefore, the attacker must be caught. It is not nature itself, but the people who attack it, who bring all this about. Therefore, all those who carry out these attacks must be caught, made public and fought against. They must be organized against. Not seeing the tree and instead only dealing with its shadow is not an expression of a sufficiently developed consciousness or understanding. It simply does no good. It is important that we become aware of this fact.
What perspective does the new understanding of socialism – with the democratic social paradigm as its basis – of the representative of the Kurdish people Abdullah Öcalan have on the workers’ struggle? As the Kurdistan Workers Party, how do you view the workers’ struggle? What are the problems and tasks of the workers’ struggle in Turkey and Kurdistan?
We have already addressed this in part in our response to the previous question. If all that is mentioned in the question is true, then it proves the following: Those who want to use the Corona pandemic to deprive workers and the working population of all their rights have, with the help of this virus, created the necessary conditions to do so. That is the only truth that emerges. And it leads even further. It leads to the fact that this virus is not a byproduct of the attacks on nature. Rather, it has been deliberately created by the oppressive and exploitative forces and spread throughout the world in order to further expose the workers, the working population, women and the youth to oppression and exploitation. It is therefore important to first clearly establish this fact before seeking answers to the question of what we can do and how, that is, how we should best fight. Accordingly, it is important to ask the right questions so that we are in a position to develop workable solutions. So we have now formulated the question correctly. Now it also makes no difference whether the virus is a result of the onslaught of Capitalist Modernity, resulting from the pursuit of maximum profit, or was developed and spread quite deliberately. Both scenarios ultimately lead to the conclusion that such a virus has been developed and spread in society, thereby putting society in fear and subjecting it to even greater oppression and exploitation. Thus, the powers of Capitalist Modernity have managed to both further exploit and profit from the virus in a variety of ways. First, they have killed the pensioners and secured their pensions. Second, they have meticulously registered all people and locked them up in their own homes. In this way, they have increased the level of oppression and exploitation. Third, under the pretext that there are no jobs, they dismiss people without severance pay, thus building an order they want. Fourth, on this basis, they shape prices, inflation and the market entirely according to their wishes and thus pocket their desired profits. And they appropriate quite a few other things. All these are only things I have listed spontaneously, i.e. developments observable with the naked eye. It is necessary to research much more intensively what profits, exploitation relationships and profits for those responsible are hidden in the current developments. In any case, we must be aware that there is much more going on in secret. We should recognize that.
What must be done in such a situation? The situation must be properly understood and explained to society. Corona is not a pandemic or a natural disaster, but an attack. Capitalist modernity uses oppression and exploitation to attack nature, society, women, workers, the working population and youth. In the same way, the coronavirus is an attack to exploit and make profits. It is an attack developed to make profits and intensify exploitation. Regardless of how this virus was created, it is ultimately used as a tool to carry out such attacks.
So what is to be done now? A conscious, organized and holistic struggle must be waged against those who have created the coronavirus and are instrumentalizing it. Therefore, we must be clear about the following facts: Who is the enemy? Who is responsible for all the bad in the world? How and why are they doing it? It is important that we find answers to these questions and recognize our enemy, organize against him and fight him. The workers, all those who have lost their jobs, but also those who continue to have a job, all those who have recently become unemployed and those who will become unemployed very soon – they all need to realize that this is an attack against them. They will all lose their jobs, so they should all resist together. The workers can go on strike. If the workers of the world went on strike together, capitalism would be history within a single day. Awareness, organizing and solidarity are needed. People need to fight. If you don’t fight, the other side will divide you, attack each little part of you separately and hit you at your weakest points. In this way, the other side can achieve their desired results and achieve success. Therefore, you must not allow yourself to be weakened and split. Be conscious and organized. Make alliances, unite your forces and fight a conscious battle. And don’t just deal with the symptom, but address the cause. Because until you eliminate the cause, you can’t fix the symptoms. The workers cannot put an end to the coronavirus, because they are not the ones who created it. The working people and women did not develop the coronavirus, so they cannot stop it. It is clear who created the coronavirus. Therefore, those who created the virus must be eliminated. The system that created the virus must be eliminated. The mentality and politics of which this virus is the result must be changed. So, a much more conscious, organized and holistic struggle is needed against the mentality and politics that this mentality has created. There are so many workers parties and unions that have existed for 100 or even 150 years. They are all struggling very hard at the moment. If they would correctly recognize today’s conditions, if they would all unite in an organized way and in solidarity, and if they would develop a corresponding attitude, they could prevent the recent developments. If they took just a little action, they could definitely prevent all of this. But, of course, without these necessary steps, it is impossible as one or two people in a locally restricted struggle to stop the Corona pandemic. These kinds of battles waged by only one or two people are called battles à la Don Quixote. But these battles lead nowhere. What is necessary for the fight? Organization. What else is necessary? The development of a correct consciousness. But many flee from the right consciousness. What this leads to is obvious. Of course, this does not mean that it is completely impossible to struggle in this way. But as long as these attitudes are not changed, this individualism is not overcome and this liberalism is not smashed, as long as people do not develop a strong sense of responsibility for their own lives, the lives of their societies and for humanity in general, and do not behave according to these circumstances, of course no struggle can be waged that will smash such pandemics and the systems that produce them. The system resembles a cancer. It ceaselessly produces these kinds of diseases. To destroy this system, as well as the mentality and politics that create it, requires awareness, a sense of responsibility, courage, sacrifice, and an organized and holistic attitude and action.
The economic policy of the AKP-MHP fascism is based on corruption and nepotism. It leads to a small elite getting richer and richer, while millions of people suffer from hunger and poverty. People are forced to look for food in the garbage. Thousands of workers have been forced to go on unpaid leave. Many commit suicide when they lose their jobs. Meanwhile, this situation can no longer be hidden even by the powerful. What kind of struggle do the political parties, unions, working people’s organizations and workers have to wage against these conditions? What kind of organizing model do you think is suitable to solve all these problems and to overthrow the fascist government?
The current circumstances have already been summed up very succinctly in the question. Accordingly, the solution to the problems is self-evident. The AKP-MHP fascism is a brutal regime whose main task is special warfare. It uses various tools and methods that are not used anywhere else in the world. There are neither moral nor legal rules and principles that this regime follows. Especially in Kurdistan, but also in Turkey, the AKP-MHP regime pursues such a multi-layered special warfare. In Kurdistan, this means that a war aimed at genocide is taking place. Accordingly, there are no principles, morals or laws to which this war is bound. After all, its goal is to annihilate and subject the other party to genocide. This regime has made such a decision and is now implementing it. Within this framework, it is waging a comprehensive special war with all its dimensions. The war is waged in the economic, social, cultural, political, ideological, psychological and military spheres. In the social sphere, it means the spread of theft, prostitution, drugs and social neglect. The moral principles and values of the society are completely destroyed and thus the social dignity is destroyed. Everyone is turned into culprits whose dignity is increasingly lost. Thus, people are put in a position where they can no longer look each other in the eye. To achieve this, art and media are used as much as possible. All kinds of lies are spread by them without hesitation. It is said: `When a lie is repeated forty times, people begin to believe it to be true.` But today a lie is not repeated forty times, but a thousand times, trying to sell it to everyone as true. Another very important dimension of special warfare is economics. Leader Abdullah Öcalan speaks of ‘bio-power’ in this context. So first something is taken away from the people, only to be given back to them in small portions, thus making them enormously dependent. Looking for food in the garbage is an expression of exactly that. Recently they distributed potatoes and onions in the streets. And people came running! In response, one woman said: “We don’t want onions and potatoes. We don’t need all that. We don’t ask for help from anyone. Let them keep their onions and potatoes for themselves. We would rather starve than take help from these thieves.” This is exactly in line with our attitude. I therefore congratulate this woman for her words.
This is the only appropriate attitude. In the streets of Amed [Diyarbakir] and other cities, they let children and others run for food. For anyone with common sense, this is absolute madness! The AKP is a community of thieves. They have peeled all of Kurdistan like an onion and exploited it completely. In the past, Tayyip Erdogan himself suffered from hunger. Today he is one of the richest people in the world. And now he sells onions to the people of Amed. Yet the Amed valley was always the region where the most onions and potatoes were grown. Erdogan has snatched all this from society and now gives it to them as if it were his property. Instead of coming running, you have to go on the attack and just take what you need. Or you can just burn these things. Anything else is unacceptable. This is exactly what is meant by ‘bio-power’. People are put in a completely helpless position. They are made to go through garbage and gather their food there. In this way, they are deprived of all dignity. In the past, tea and coal were distributed among the people in order to gain power. Today it is potatoes and onions. This is a method of special warfare. The issue is not whether something is distributed to people, aid is made available to them, or whether the poor accept all that. The crucial issue is the propaganda that goes along with it. A truck is organized from which potatoes and onions are distributed. Then this is recorded and ithe video of people beating each other is shown everywhere. And at the end they say: ‘You see, that’s how Kurds are.’ Anyone who sees this is ashamed of being human. With such actions, not only the feelings and thoughts of those to whom food is distributed directly on the ground are made null and void. All are affected by it. These people are used as a means of special warfare. People’s sense of honor, dignity and values are completely destroyed by this. Currently, such brutal attacks on people are taking place. This is more than clear.
What should be done in this situation? Yes, there are constant attacks. And yes, the villages and rural areas have been depopulated. And yet, there must be an insistence on returning to the villages. Instead of attacking others in the streets of Amed for an onion or two, go to the mountains and valleys of Amed. On the soil of Kurdistan, you can grow thousands of kilos of onions, potatoes and much more everywhere. In the meantime, this is also prevented by military force. All villages have been depopulated. That is precisely why we must insist on returning to our villages. We must insist on supporting each other. We must insist on valuing all these things and helping each other. Moreover, this society clearly has consciousness and organization. So we must continue to organize and struggle. When the AKP-MHP regime insults us in such a way and uses even onions and potatoes to deprive us of any dignity, we must continue to develop our consciousness and strengthen our organization to wage a comprehensive war for the destruction of this system. We must wage a very comprehensive struggle. Where is the dynamic force of society, where is the youth? It must develop a correct approach. And we all have to fight against the special warfare in the right way. For this, it is necessary that we acquire a right consciousness. It is not as if the struggle is totally impossible. People have been crammed together in the cities. There they suffer thirst and hunger. And then they say: `State, give us this or that. Where are you, state? Where are you, government?` But it is exactly this government that has very deliberately put you there in the cities so that you have to beg them for help. If they had any intention of giving you anything, they wouldn’t have brought you to the cities in the first place.
They forced you there to take something away from you and destroy you. So you have to resist and fight. Why have they depopulated and destroyed so many villages? The best thing is for everyone to go back to the village. There you have everything you need to live a fulfilled life. There is no coronavirus in the villages. The mountains of Kurdistan are pure, the air and water are clean. There is simply no coronavirus there, but there are huge opportunities. You don’t even have to do much growing yourself. Just gathering all the grasses and herbs in the mountains allows you to live a wonderful life. Instead of struggling to find some onions in the streets of Amed, go to the mountains of Kurdistan. There you will find wild growing onions and all kinds of other edibles everywhere. It’s really important that we become aware of this and take advantage of these opportunities. But if that doesn’t happen, instead, because of state violence, all the villages are abandoned and everyone is crammed together and living without work in the cities…. And then even ask the state for support. That is not right. This state wants to kill us. It wants to destroy us and has given the order to do so. They have imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan for 23 years under the most severe torture, and every day they attack dozens of our comrades and use the most severe mechanisms of repression. Is this not seen? What, please, can one ask from such a state? What will such a state give to the people? Food and work? No, it will give the people absolutely nothing. And even if it does, then everyone must be aware that what it gives you is poison. Because the state gives it to you to kill you, not to save you or to do you any good. All Kurds must be aware of this. The women and the youth must know this. And the society and the working people of Turkey must also realize this. These are the characteristics of AKP-MHP fascism. It has nothing else to offer to the people. Therefore, we must not expect or accept anything from it. Against such a system it is indispensable to develop an even stronger consciousness, to organize and to lead an organized struggle. People must fully support and embrace the struggle for freedom and democracy even more. Everyone must become part of the struggle where they are. The existing conditions must be torn down. On this basis, people must organize and develop their consciousness. We have huge possibilities for our struggle. Those who can join the guerrilla and go to the mountains should do so. Those who cannot do that should fight in the cities. Those who are part of the political struggle should do politics. Those who are part of the social struggle should lead that struggle. It is important that everyone becomes part of the struggle. It is very important not to expect and demand anything from fascism. We must not think that we have something to gain from asking fascism for something.
So what must be done? We must accept that it is necessary to fight against fascism. This must be our fundamental goal. If everyone does that, fascism will fall within a single day. But if everyone does not become part of this struggle, it will not work. Those who expect help from fascism; those who open their hands to those who give them poison; those who run after fascism’s handouts; those who demand more and more from fascism – will only receive more poison and all kinds of death from fascism. So it is important not to get into this situation. It is clear: organizing and resistance are necessary. Fascism is organizing itself, so society must also organize. We have made clear what models of organization there are. On this basis, we lead our struggle every day. Where are the youth? Daughters and sons, they all have to become part of this war. Whether in the cities or mountains, they must fight this war wherever they are. They must not say it is none of their business. Each and everyone must take responsibility. All the dynamic forces of society must be aware that the enemy is taking away people’s dignity. Whoever steals people’s dignity must be attacked. Everybody must organize. Fascism has organized its gangs and mercenaries with which it attacks and destroys every day. So you also organize, attack and destroy. Is there someone who prevents you from doing that? Asking someone else to do it for me and save me doesn’t work. You have to do it yourself, you have to take responsibility. Everyone has to take that responsibility together. This is what we mean by national and social feelings. In the past, the Kurdish tribal federations stood up for each other. The tribes and families took responsibility for each other. Today, even they are being affected. From all this derives the need to at least stand up for each other. Let us develop even stronger organization and unity. When the enemy attacks us, when we fight in large groups, let’s fight in small teams. Let’s fight in small teams of two and hold accountable all those who attack us. Let’s call to account all the fascist gangs and mercenaries, all the forces of special warfare, all the murderers and rapists. Why don’t we do that? That’s what it means to organize and fight. The more we call all these forces to account, the more appropriate our attitude and struggle will be.
Against the background of the conditions mentioned above, how do you define the role of the HBDH (Halkların Birleşik Devrim Hareketi – United Peoples’ Revolutionary Movement)? What kind of struggle does the HBDH have to wage in the future?
Yes, it is very clear that the fascist genocidal attacks, which are most intense in Kurdistan, have today spread to the whole of Turkey. These attacks are directed against all workers, civil servants, women, all youth, the working population and all peoples in Turkey. They are destroying nature everywhere in Turkey – from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, from the Aegean Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. AKP-MHP fascism is destroying society and nature. It simply attacks everyone and everything. Fascism means attacking everything and everyone. AKP-MHP fascism does exactly that within the framework of special warfare and uses the most brutal methods to do so. This fascism is a dictatorial weapon of attack. Therefore, there must be a complete resistance against it everywhere in Kurdistan and Turkey. If fascism attacks everywhere, the peoples, the women and youth, the workers and the working people will also resist everywhere. All revolutionaries and socialists will wage a comprehensive resistance, form alliances, unite, use all kinds of methods, educate and prepare themselves and go into a comprehensive resistance in all their different places.
The HBDH emerged as just that: a movement of total resistance. It was officially founded on March 12, 2016. At that time, AKP-MHP fascism and its attacks in Cizre, Sur and other places destroyed the cities of Kurdistan. It was a period when the genocide in Kurdistan reached its highest intensity. In order to turn Turkey completely into a fascist dictatorship, the AKP and MHP had gone on the attack. In this phase, all revolutionary people and organizations from Turkey and Kurdistan who were ready to take responsibility for the future came together. They decided to organize the total democratic-antifascist resistance of the peoples against this fascist, colonialist and total attack aiming at genocide. With this aim they founded the HBDH. Their slogan was: `Fascism will perish and the peoples will win`. They declared the crushing of the fascist dictatorship as their goal in order to bring about the victory of the peoples. In order to be able to overthrow the dictatorship, they declared total anti-fascist resistance as their premise. This resistance has a military dimension, but also an ideological, psychological, political, economic, social and moral one. It is in all these areas that the resistance takes place. It is a total revolutionary-democratic resistance against the comprehensive fascist special war. A total resistance for freedom and socialism. This is what the HBDH is at its core and what it stands for. For five years now, this resistance has been waged on this basis. We are currently in its sixth year. As part of the campaign ‘Smash Fascism, Win Freedom’, the HBDH has called on everyone to join the resistance. In the prisons, the mountains and the cities, people will resist. They will use weapons and politics, their mentality and morality for resistance. They will resist with words and with actions. They will definitely make a total resistance everywhere against the comprehensive attacks of fascism. There is no other way. So there is no other option but to wage a total resistance. Fascism represents a total attack. Therefore, total resistance is needed to break this attack.
Accordingly, the HBDH will intensify its total resistance even more in the sixth year since its foundation. It will prove to all that it fights against AKP-MHP fascism and represents the revolutionary vanguard of the peoples in Turkey and Kurdistan. The HBDH will fulfill its task as a revolutionary vanguard. It will properly educate and inform the workers, the working people and the peoples. It will support and lead them when they organize. And – most importantly – it will lead, inspire and mobilize people for action. The HBDH is a vanguard force. Against AKP-MHP fascism, it represents the future, hope, willpower, freedom and democracy of Turkey. HBDH is the force that will overthrow AKP-MHP fascism. This fascism thought that it could prevent this development. It had firmly planned to crush all revolutionary forces and leftist, socialist movements in Turkey. It wanted to put all Kurds and the freedom movement of Kurdistan under massive pressure. They thought that all these forces would not succeed in forming an alliance with each other. They assumed that their strength would not be sufficient for this, or that they could divert the project from its actual course because the stance of those involved was too weak. They wanted to separate the forces involved and set them against each other. But all this came to nothing.
The current constitution of the HBDH, the mentality, politics, comradeship and solidarity from which the HBDH emerged, has already defeated AKP-MHP fascism. Already the foundation of HBDH was the heaviest blow against fascism. It has terrified it. The struggle of the HBDH, which has been going on for five years, has proved this. AKP-MHP fascism thought that HBDH would not be able to really fight and last long. They exerted a huge pressure to crush the HBDH. There were arrests, attacks, murders and the targeted spreading of rumors in order to break the unity of the HBDH. However, all of this came to nothing. In response to these attacks, every day there were retaliatory attacks by HBDH militias and guerrillas in the heart of fascism. A prudent approach and firm comradeship have ensured that the understanding, unity and organization of the HBDH have always developed. The youth and women have become more and more organized and have taken more and more actions to develop an effective resistance. The HBDH has become a leading force to smash AKP-MHP fascism. It has become the cadre organization for smashing fascism. It has very successfully developed the revolutionary-democratic alternative to the fascist attacks. Today, in the sixth year since its foundation, the HBDH continues its anti-fascist resistance on this basis. With the aim of making its resistance successful, it is currently continuing its campaign ‘Smash fascism, win freedom’ very effectively.