Briefly On Socialism – Abdullah Ocalan

Briefly On Socialism

Abdullah Ocalan

Humanity is ontologically inherent with socialist awareness. The time has come however, for humanity to develop a socialist science capable of curing the disease that is capitalism; otherwise the wars of the past five hundred years, the atom bomb, extreme population growth and ecological destruction cannot be explained. We must firstly learn to greatly value historical social entities such as clans, tribes, ethnic groups and stateless nations, those that liberal capitalist modernity and its real-socialist variant have both degraded as backward social entities. All these variations of societal organization are of value. In accordance with dialectic thought we must be able to see the wholesome existence of clans, tribes and ethnic groups as component entities of even the most developed of nations. An element composed of a hundred atoms does not deny the existence of the atom, instead the formation of an element is the expression of the advancement of atoms; a similar analysis of societal variations that have succeeded the clan form will ultimately lead us to a better understanding of society.

Socialist society is not only an antidote of capitalism, moreover, it is the most developed and integrated version of all previous societal forms. Forget rising upon the ashes of capitalism, socialism can only establish itself by erasing capitalism from the social domain and removing the iron cage that capitalism has encaged historical society in.

It must be noticed that I am not using determinist terms such as slaved society, feudal society, capitalist society or socialist society. Rather, terms such as societal development, integration, freedom and equality are being prioritised. More importantly, I do not see socialism as a societal form of organisation that will come about as a result of a forthcoming revolution. This type of approach is not in conjunction with the nature of societal development. Humankind is social by definition. The past, the present and the future cannot be decomposed. All three states are synchronic. The present is as much the past as it is the future. We are in need of a correct philosophical approach here. To define time as the past or the present does not really carry much meaning. We can define time as the formation of existence. This means that the process of formation of any living being is also its time. There is no other realm of time. Therein, the formation of society is its time; and seeing as society is alive and constantly forming itself, then the past, present and the future are one within the other. Therefore, a gradual and linear conception of society is wrong and will always lead to dysfunctional misconceptions of society.

To fully conceive of societal reality, to feel the excitement of the accumulation of all the previous stages of societal formation and to welcome the future with high hopes should be one of the most amazing truths of life. To prioritise the realisation of this way of life as one of the fundamental issues of socialist theory and practice is extremely valuable. This realisation is an expression of one of the basic realities of societal function and will consequently ensure that life is lived in the correct manner. Rather than designating socialism as a project for the future, it is imperative for socialism to be seen as something to be applied in the moment as the ultimate ethical and political lifestyle. Socialism is a conscious lifestyle; just like the scholars and wise people often read about in history, one must live like a wise person of our era. Liberalist individualism is the expression of ethical decay and can never be equated with true freedom; rather, under the construction of a false consciousness, it is the most despicable form of slavery. Socialism as anti-liberalism is the ideology of an ethical and collective freedom.

We must be careful not to exaggerate the capabilities of capitalism. Especially the claim that capitalism is the absolute sovereign of all societal affairs and that it determines every detail of daily life is an exaggeration that accredits it with undeserved meaning. This is a misconception formed by extensive propaganda. The actuality of the matter is that capitalism has been and always will be condemned to marginality; an anti-societal system of theft that can only justify its existence through fascist tyranny. Just like in previous eras where despots were worshipped and immortalised at the expense of the dwarfing of the people, in our era capitalism is deploying a similar ideological hegemony.

The deferral of socialism as a social organisation only possible by revolution or war is wrong. Obviously when the circumstances are ripe revolutionary action is possible. But socialism does not always require revolution. It involves the promotion of the democratic participation of society and the encouragement of a conscious stance and effective action against capitalism. To state that “first we must revolt then socialism will come” is a deception and can only create empty expectations.

A strong and conscious welcoming of the future is only possible by a strong and conscious internalisation of the past. There has never been a more urgent need for a socialist movement adorned by the accumulative values of communal society that can save historical society from the besiegement of the consumerist nation-state, purify it from capitalist industrialisation and save the environment from ecological destruction. The urgency for socialist theory to be developed within this outline and consequently put into practice remains as ever. This type of movement is not a new phenomenon; throughout the history of civilisation many social movements with a similar ethos have existed under different guises. Actual society is the nature of this movement; it is the true function of socialisation. During all civilizational systems these sorts of social movements have always systematically continued their struggle. The fact that these are largely unheard of is a direct result of extensive propaganda from the opposing side. Socialism is the actuality of society, and therefore, will always exist as the actuality of societal existence. In this sense, history is not only the history of class conflict; rather it is the history of the struggle of freedom and equality by society in maintaining itself against hegemonic power and the state. Socialism is the accumulation of this historical societal struggle.

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