What happened to all that Birikim? - YASIN AKTAY

What happened to all that Birikim?

I was considering writing about the points made by monthly socialist culture magazine Birikim (experience) since the Gezi incidents. With Gezi, all Birikim writers had fallen into a state of confusion. All of their violence backed desires of a revolution, which they buried in their sub-conscious, surfaced. All of those understanding, pro-solution writers who were in favor of dialogue were all at Gezi; they all wrote from among the demonstrations in joy and enthusiasm like followers who received the good news of a socialist revolution. It was unbelievable for me so I asked: "Will the Messiah that the left awaits descend on Taksim?"
In reality, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had done a lot regarding the Turkey that Birikim always yearned for and dreamed of, but has never taken part. Perhaps that is why the AK Party had closed off the area of nationalism as much as it did the left-wing. In fact, in a sense, it closed off the area of not only the left, but the entire opposition. You couldn't call it rightist or neo-liberal; nothing fit. With the healthy policies and social aid policies it implemented, it didn't fit into any liberal or neo-liberal category. Anyhow, these are long issues.

Birikim had to do what was required of its leftist identity and hence oppose, but how was it going to make its reasoning to oppose acceptable?

They had participated in a small-scale democratic revolution like Sept. 12 with the condition, "it's not enough, but yes"; however, they also made obvious the opinion behind the "not enough." Damn it, was this revolution going to be made by the conservatives? Despite this, they started to set their sails toward revolution with the storms they brewed at Gezi Park. The sails that were set with that storm disn't last as long as desired, thus help came in the form of preparations for the Dec. 17 coup attempt. The trees excuse joined the corruption excuse. Even Ömer Laçiner, who wrote the most critical analysis regarding Fethullah Gülen and his movement in the 1990s, forgot all his in- depth analyses about that structure and Birikim and joined the most superficial battle program by the structure in question. It took part in the "intellectual notices" prepared in their kitchen with its entire team. They started to compete to serve all the items they prepared in the F-type kitchens they previously belittled, to fuel the hatred of Erdoğan. So what happened now? Did Gülen and his movement become a strategic partner in the left's battle within the scope of the plurality of battles? Bravo to those who can make sense if it. The same attitude continues in the Kurdish issue. I can't remember the number of in-depth serious analyses I read in Birikim in the 1990s and 2000s, regarding the leftist view represented by the PKK, its violent and nationalist culture. The injustice towards Kurds was obvious and the left or Islamists' interest in this injustice was inevitable. But the PKK is an organization that has nothing to do with problem solving in the Kurdish question, being in solidarity with partners of the reconciliation. On the contrary, its leftist approach is one that acts to destroy them all. It is a dark movement based on sanctifying violence with no democratic aspect whatsoever.

In the recent process of moving from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), it seems Birikim has renewed its opinion on the PKK like it did on Gülen. The latest issue of the magazine compared the HDP's election success on June 7 with the TİP's success in the 1965 elections. Why should this period of bliss not be repeated, even if not a complete revolution? In the meantime, who cares about HDP's connection with the PKK? As the PKK's implicit election campaign for the HDP is announced to all by Cemal Bayık, how can this be called a democratic election success? This question needs to be kept on the side. Isn't it a waste of so much "experience" in 317 issues that Birikim has shown no sensitivity to the relationship between violence and politics and difficulty and democracy? Or, like in 1969, when the success in 1965 was not repeated and the number of deputies in Parliament dropped from 15 to two, will the disappointment of socialist segments regarding democracy result in the sanctification of violence similar to the past?

Is the response today to its evaluations that revolution is not possible through democracy going to be the PKK's violence and "rebel zone", or its canton-style fascist community organization?

In the magazine's website, Yahya B. Adil defines the HDP's declarations of Democratic Autonomy as the restoration of politics against war and such a definition can turn into almost the official view of Birikim. For God's sake, where on earth do you find democracy or autonomy in a structure that is focused on forcing everybody to become an unconditional, abiding member under the PKK's shadow and oppression? The fascist practices of a paramilitary organization can only declare fascist desires upon a community. Such a structure can only seem pleasant to top-level militants. Just ask those who are forced to live under the oppression of this organization whether they seem democratic, autonomous or more like a group of bandits. Adil's piece, along with many other similar pieces, are filled with disappointing primitiveness and errors showing the direction in which Birikim is heading. In a childlike joy, it takes seriously the "democratic autonomy" notion declared unilaterally by the PKK or HDP, which makes the tutelage of an armed organization dominant in the entire community, and without paying attention to its contents, it considers this the "restoration of politics against war."looking at the state of things, this headline is a complete joke. Or politics seems to be confused. Everything is in the open; as open as giving the opportunity to allow 80 deputies to enter Parliament to say everything it wants on a platform of democratic freedom of expression. If you still aren't able to find this path, do you still expect us to teach you politics upon so much "experience"? Whatever!


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