Written: In Turkish, in 1972.
Publication history: First published as part of a polemic by Kaypakkaya, TİİKP Revizyonizminin Genel Eleştirisi-Şafak Revizyonizmi ile Aramızdaki Ayrılıkların Kökeni ve Gelişmes (The Roots and Development of Our Differences with Shafak Revisionism: General Criticism of the TIIKP), completed in December of 1972. The text published below is an article consisting of excerpts, translated into English, from the text as it appeared in Seçme Yazılar, an anthology of Kaypakkaya's writings published by Ocak Yayinlari, Istanbul, in 1979. That article, titled "İbrahim Kaypakkaya On Armed Struggle", was published in A World To Win magazine no. 3 (1985), pp. 38-49.
This edition: Marxists.org, January 2019.
The Organisational Policy of the Shafak Revisionists is to Organise the Workers and Peasants into Study Groups.
The legal study sessions which, in the past, were conducted around the journal, have been started this time in a semi-legal fashion among the workers and peasants. By having the workers and peasants organised in study groups, they attempt to train intellectuals severed from class struggle. Besides the fact that study groups cannot be organs of armed struggle, they don’t possess the capacity to survive the suppression that would increase with the launching of the armed struggle. Consequently the fear that these groups will dissolve has continuously hindered the armed struggle....Criticising this backward policy on getting organised, the Marxist-Leninists advocated the following: The link that should be grasped in organising forces is to organise guerrilla units under the leadership of the party. All other groups and cells should be taken up within the context of the guerrilla activity and in a manner that can support and further develop it. And everyone should be organised in accordance with the needs of the movement and his/her own skills and always around specific tasks. Organisation where everyone does every task and which is not based on a division of labour is contradictory to Leninist principles of organisation. Such organisations are good for nothing but raising an awful din. Hence, study groups, besides their lethargic and pacifist character, have this particularity as well: “On the other hand, they will also perform practical tasks when our revolutionary struggle makes it necessary.”
Confronted with these criticisms, the Shafak revisionists manoeuvred to write: “Names such as ‘reading groups’ and ‘study groups’ must be abandoned. Because such appellations could prompt backward thinking”! And the name “study group” was replaced by the name of “peasant committee.” These bourgeois gentlemen think that by changing the name of a thing one can change its nature—instead of changing the essence, change the form. This has been the policy followed by the Shafak revisionists since the very beginning.
As for certain members of this revisionist clique, they make the following statement, with the mechanical thinking typical of the bourgeoisie:
“First, study groups should be established; those who take part in these groups must grasp Marxism-Leninism in general outline, gain experience against the police, be tested in these groups and only after all this, those considered as worthy must be organised in guerrilla groups.”
Breath-taking indeed! Whichever way you look at it...an absurd theory. Were one to comply with this theory, it would be necessary to restrain all those peasants who are full of hatred for the class enemy from head to toe and who want to join the armed struggle under the leadership and discipline of the party, by saying, “No, first learn Marxism-Leninism and gain experience against the police.” If hundreds of thousands of peasants, who don’t know how to read and write and are benumbed by feudalism, want to take up arms against the landlords and the central authority, it will be necessary to disarm them, to slap them in the face a few times for their audacity(!) and then to grab their collar and drag them to study groups. The reactionary nature of the above theory is quite clear. Moreover, by way of peaceful study group work, very few peasants will have been trained even after years. And since some of them will be dropping out, only a very few will remain to join the guerrilla groups. What is this, if not rendering the armed struggle impossible? If this is not standing in the way of peasants who want to take up arms, soothing their anger, blunting their hatred and pacifying them, what is it then?
Besides, it cannot be said that a person who is successful and appears good in the study group would definitely be useful in the armed struggle. That is, testing through study groups is not a correct testing method. Furthermore, in study groups, in general, literate, well-to-do peasants, educated elements, teachers, etc., come forward; poor peasants tend to be unsuccessful.
Because we reject this rightist, bureaucratic, sluggish and pacifist organisational policy, they claim that we say, “there is no need for revolutionary mass work.” Thus we come to learn that what they understand by revolutionary mass work is to engage in intellectual gabble, divorced from class struggle, with the well- to-do peasants and those with education. Yes, for such revolutionary mass work(!), we say, there is no need....
Are “peasant committees” party committees, organs of armed struggle, reading groups, newspaper distribution groups? It is not clear. As can be seen, the revisionists with a snap of the finger solve all of the problems of organisation among the peasants by means of “peasant committees”!
It goes to show that the Shafak revisionists are complete ignoramuses when it comes to how to organise the peasants. They show complete incompetence about this most important problem of our revolution and are in a pitiful state.
The policy of the Marxist-Leninists on getting organised among the peasants is clear: Organise a party committee in every village. Again in every village, organise armed contingents, namely peasant militia, from the ranks of revolutionary poor peasants, connected to the party or not, who continue to engage in production. Organise from the ranks of those connected to the party or otherwise special task units and cells tied to the village party committee. In addition, organise professional guerrilla units connected to the regional party committee independent of the village structure. The purpose of all this organisational work is to build the party and the people’s armed forces among agricultural workers and poor peasants. This party building will not take place peacefully but in the course of armed struggle. And the key link for the party organisation to grasp in organising the peasants is to organise guerrilla units and village militia. Organs of peasant power are a completely different matter and not a question of the day.
In order to launch the armed struggle, the Shafak revisionists make it a prerequisite to be organised on a countrywide scale and to be in a position to command all the masses.
We have previously pointed out that gentleman B.Y., one of the gang leaders of the revisionist clique, had already perverted the meaning of a “strong party,” one of the preconditions put forward by Comrade Mao Tsetung for the survival of red base areas, into “a party organised on a country-wide scale.” Since the bourgeois leadership considered the conditions required for the existence of red power to be one and the same as the conditions required for the launching of the armed struggle, it erected the above-mentioned perversion as a barrier in the face of the desire to launch the armed struggle....
The latest document of this rightist, pacifist thinking, which postpones the launching of the armed struggle for years, is the piece entitled, “On the Question of Establishing Red Political Power.”
In order to justify this rightist and pacifist approach, it is packed with a load of nonsensical and distorted formulations and contradictions. It is said that:
“The development of the revolutionary movement on a country-wide scale”.... ‘ ‘Comrade Mao Tsetung points out that the ability of the red political power to survive depends on the country-wide development of the revolutionary movement, too....
“What we particularly stress here is the question of the development of the revolution on a country-wide basis. Certain friends had the illusion that by dispersing the communist movement and through carrying out the work in a few villages, as if disappearing into rat holes, the revolution could be achieved. However, it is imperative that a political movement exists that can make itself heard throughout the country. This can only be the political party of the proletariat....To negate the party is to negate the necessity of uniting the struggle on a country-wide scale and of directing it towards a single target. They imagine that the people will spontaneously follow the armed struggle initiated by a few isolated intellectuals....The existence of the revolutionary movement on a country-wide scale does not mean that it takes up work in every part of the country, or that it devotes equal attention to every region. But it means that as a political party it demonstrates its existence to and makes itself felt by the people of the whole country and that it sets out to establish revolutionary state power on a country-wide scale. For instance, a peasant movement which is not supported by the struggle in the cities is doomed to be suppressed. Or, for instance, a peasant rebellion in the Eastern region cannot preserve its red political power if it is not supported by the struggles of the Aegean and Chukurova peasants and by the movement of our working class in our main industrial cities, under the leadership of a proletarian party. Because only a revolutionary movement that develops on a country-wide basis can tear apart and weaken the reactionary state power and its main strength, the army....
“As a conclusion it can be said that red political power can be established and maintained, not by a struggle waged on a positional basis but by a struggle unified and conducted on a country-wide scale by a party of the proletariat.”
In this writing:
1 - “The development of the revolutionary situation (my emphasis) on a countrywide scale,” which is put forward by Comrade Mao Tsetung as a precondition for the “existence of the red base areas,” has been consciously distorted as “the development of the revolutionary movement (my emphasis) on a country-wide scale.
2 - By distorting it one more time, the phrase “’' has been turned into “the communist party being organised on a country-wide basis. ’’ As is known, the concept “revolutionary movement” includes the spontaneously developing mass actions and the political movements of other classes among the ranks of the people as well, in addition to those of the proletariat.
3 - On the subject of “being organised on a country-wide basis,” a number of contradictory views are put forward. An absurd position has been invented, that “being organised on a country-wide scale” does not mean to “take up work in every part of the country,” but “to demonstrate its existence to and make itself felt by the people of the whole country” and “to set out to establish the revolutionary state power on a country-wide scale” (my emphasis). Besides, in the examples given, the idea of being in fact organised in every part of the country has been expressed by “being organised on a country-wide scale.”
4 - “To be organised on a country-wide scale and to be in a position to command all the masses” has been put forward as a precondition both for launching the armed struggle and for the existence of red base areas. Thus Comrade Mao Tsetung’s teaching on “why is it red political power can continue
to exist” has been once again perverted. All these distortions and absurd and preconcocted theories riddled with contradictions have one purpose: to try to justify, by relying(!) on Comrade Mao Tsetung, the rightist view that “the armed struggle cannot be launched without being organised on a country-wide scale. ” Since Comrade Mao Tsetung says that unless the communist party is organised on a country-wide scale the red base areas cannot exist(!), and since the preconditions for the existence of the red base areas and for launching the armed struggle are identical(I), then it is clear that the armed struggle cannot be launched without the communist party being organised on a country-wide scale(!). This is the logic. What Comrade Mao Tsetung says, however, is totally different: “whether it is possible for the people’s political power in small areas to last depends on whether the nationwide revolutionary situation continues to develop.”
“To negate the party is to negate the necessity of uniting the struggle on a country-wide scale and of directing it towards a single target.” Through this sentence, it is revealed that they consider that country-wide organisation is inherent in the concept of the party. “Uniting the struggle on a country-wide scale” is only possible by having country-wide organisation and thus commanding the masses; if the negation of the party is the negation of this, then the very concept of the party is meant to include having achieved country-wide organisation and thus commanding the masses. This view is at least as absurd as the above-mentioned theory, because this view negates the fact that it is through a relatively long process of struggle that the party will expand to every corner of the country and be in a situation to command the masses....
In the article, it is said that “they imagine that the people will spontaneously follow the armed struggle initiated by a few isolated intellectuals.” What is the issue that our revisionist gentlemen are discussing here? Is it not the launching of the armed struggle? Yes indeed, the people will not spontaneously follow the armed struggle launched by a few isolated intellectuals. Neither is it correct that those who launch the armed struggle be isolated and stand as a few intellectuals. But this is not what really concerns our revisionist gentlemen. They posit the weakest of the contending arguments, caricature it a bit, and thus try to justify their warped theory. And as can be seen from the sentence, this is how they let the question of the “launching of the armed struggle’ ’ be the subject of discussion.
In the article, it is said that “a peasant movement which is not supported by the struggle in the cities is doomed to be suppressed.” What is meant by “a peasant movement”? Certainly it is the armed peasant struggle. In that case, unless it is organised in the cities and in a situation to command the masses, “a peasant movement,” that is, the armed struggle of the peasantry, “is doomed to be suppressed.” “Doomed to be suppressed,” that is, since it would be stupidity to engage in a movement the outcome of which is evident before its start—then there should not be a “peasant movement” and/or an effort to create such a movement before we are organised in the cities and in a situation to command the masses.
The article claims that “for instance, a peasant rebellion in the Eastern region cannot preserve its red political power if it is not supported by the struggles of the Aegean and Chukurov peasants and by the movement of our working class in the main industrial cities under the leadership of a proletarian party.” The meaning of this characteristically ambiguous statement of opportunism is the following:
1 - The revisionists envision “a peasant movement,” i.e., “the armed peasant struggle,” to be only a wholesale peasant rebellion.
2 - They envision that an armed peasant rebellion will immediately lead to red political power and preserve it.
3 - And, therefore, in order to have a peasant rebellion lead to and preserve red political power, they make it a precondition that it be supported by the struggles of the peasants in the other regions and by the workers’ struggle led by their party in the main industrial cities. “Because only a revolutionary movement that develops on a country-wide basis can tear apart and weaken the reactionary state power and its main strength, the army.”
For the emergence of a red base area, the revisionists do not deem it necessary to have protracted guerrilla activity developing from small to large, from weak to strong, and from simple to complex; within this activity to build up the people’s army step by step, to develop the guerrilla units towards regular army units; and to transform guerrilla warfare into mobile warfare. In fact, they don’t even think about this. They require a full-scale peasant rebellion for the emergence of a red base area in that region. And for such a rebellion to lead to and preserve a red base area, it is necessary to be organised in the other rural regions and in the main industrial cities of the country and to be in a position to be able to command the masses in all theseplaces(!); otherwise, a “peasant rebellion” in a single region “cannot preserve its red political power”(!). Therefore, beware—the peasants should not attempt to rebel and we should not try to organise such a rebellion either, etc.
On the other hand, the party is necessary to launch the armed struggle. As for the party itself, it is something that unites “the struggle on a country-wide scale” and directs it “towards a single target.” Therefore, without the existence of a party “unifying the struggle on a country-wide scale and directing it towards a single target, ’ ’ the armed struggle cannot be launched. This is what the writer is saying in his opportunist style.
The Shafak revisionists negate the fact that the party, in its founding years and for a relatively long period after that, cannot get organised on a country-wide scale and consequently cannot unite the struggle throughout the country, that, in our conditions, it will achieve this only during the process of armed struggle and that, nonetheless, in the period prior to achieving this, it can launch the armed struggle in advanced rural regions....
After advocating the rightist and pacifist thesis both verbally and in writing for a long period, the revisionist leadership started to look for an escape in the face of attacks from the Marxist-Leninists....
In reality, the revisionists have not changed their views. The rag that they published to criticise us is the proof of this. In this rag, they claim that we are in favour of waging a “positional” (they mean to say “regional”) struggle. This is what they say: “Since the ruling classes will mobilise all their forces there and this can not be broken up by struggles in other places and cities, it will lead to the annihilation of the struggle being waged” (my emphasis). First of all, we are not in favour of a regional struggle—the conditions we face necessitate such a struggle. Because today it is not possible to be organised in every corner of the country and also because it is more harmful than useful to disperse our forces in places where the revolution cannot develop early on, we advocate that, to the extent that our capacity permits, we get organised in those regions where the revolution will develop earlier and engage in the armed struggle. And we explained all this many times. To be organised on a country-wide scale would certainly have a positive effect on the development of the armed struggle. In turn, the fact that our organisation has not yet expanded on a country-wide basis certainly will have a negative effect on the development of the armed struggle. However, contrary to what our revisionists claim, the launching of the armed struggle prior to achieving country-wide organisation would not inescapably lead to the annihilation of our forces. Provided that a correct policy is adopted, even when our organisation is very limited it can engage in the armed struggle and expand, diversify and strengthen itself and our forces through the process of the armed struggle. A reliable organisation can be created in this manner. Getting organised on the basis of peaceful struggle is a hollow organisation. Even if such an organisation were to embrace the whole country, it would not be able to lead the struggle of the people, to carry out the armed struggle, and in a period of rising white terror, it would collapse like a house of cards....
In order to launch the armed struggle, the Shafak revisionists demand that the prairie be dry.
“Before the advanced section of the basic worker-peasant masses are prepared for the armed struggle and before the idea of the armed struggle gains a certain popularity among the masses, the armed struggle cannot be started, even if directed against correct targets. For the spark to start a prairie fire, the prairie must be dry.’’
There is no room for forced interpretation or repudiation. In order to launch the armed struggle, our gentlemen demand that the prairie be dried. This is yet another theory invented for the purpose of postponing the armed struggle for years.
Against this rightist theory, the Marxist-Leninists upheld the following: The prairie must be set ablaze from those regions (we are not saying a region) which are dry. That is, in those regions where the conditions are favourable, the armed struggle must be launched and launched immediately. Those regions of the prairie which are not yet dry will be scorched by the fire of the armed struggle raging in other regions. And as our organisation grows bigger and stronger, it will extend into those regions and undertake the armed struggle there. To first wait for the whole prairie to dry up is defective thinking. It does not comply with the truth that “the revolution will develop unevenly.’’ Moreover, the armed struggle will be a hundred, a thousand times more effective than the work conducted through peaceful propaganda and education. Both Comrade Lenin and Comrade Mao Tsetung repeatedly pointed to how the armed struggle brings about leaps in the consciousness of the masses....
The Shafak revisionists’ line is not a “Revolutionary Mass Line” but a line that hinders revolution.
The Shafak revisionists adapt themselves not to the people of the advanced regions but to those of the backward regions. Suppose that today in certain regions of Turkey the peasants are ready for the armed struggle, and in some others they are not yet ready for this. The revisionists’ concept of mass line deems it necessary that they go along with the backward region and break away from the advanced region. This is yet another conclusion that the theory of drying the prairie arrives at. And in the regions where the peasants show impatience to take up arms, they lag behind the advanced peasants and adapt themselves to the backward elements. To hinder the peasants ready for the armed struggle with the logic of “first learn Marxism-Leninism, then you can join the armed struggle” will certainly lead to distancing oneself from these forces and, in the end, falling back to the level of the backward elements. In a rural region, we observed with our own eyes how the revisionists obstructed the advanced peasants. These traitorous bourgeois gentlemen were left behind by the peasants because they stood in the way of those peasants who wanted to immediately annihilate their class enemies.
Such a mass line is, of course, not revolutionary but a hindrance to revolution. A revolutionary mass line is: among the various regions, unite with the people of the most advanced region, raise the level of the intermediate regions and win over the backward regions. As for the most advanced region, unite there with the most advanced elements, raise the level of the intermediate and try to win over the backward. That is: always be at the head of the most advanced but do not sever ties with the masses behind them; pull them forward. As for what the Shafak revisionists do, it is the following: adapt themselves to the most backward elements of the most backward regions and, for those advancing forward, trip them up and push them backwards.
In the article 40 of the Draft Programme the following is put forward: “By defending all the immediate demands and needs aimed at improving the living conditions of the people, gaining democratic rights and forcing the retreat of imperialism, our movement....”
It is clear that this understanding would under certain circumstances lead one into the deepest hole of reformism. If tomorrow, in order to strangle the armed struggle of the peasants, the reactionaries initiate the implementation of a partial land reform, Shafak revisionism will support them. Such a thing would be a step backward taken by imperialism—in order not to be dislodged from all of its positions. It would bring partial improvement of living conditions. It has been observed many times that the ruling class , without touching the foundations of the system, have undertaken partial readjustments when they consider their power in danger. In our history, most of the peasant rebellions have been suppressed in this manner. Today the fascist martial law regime parades around with the slogan of “land reform” and might very well distribute a bit of land too, in order to protect itself from even greater dangers. A reactionary
regime coasting in the wake of Soviet social-imperialism could do even more than that. Contrary to being impossible, these are quite plausible things...under conditions and in places where the masses take up the gun to overthrow the current system itself, it would be a straight-out reformist and reactionary stand to hide behind such pompous slogans as “defending immediate demands and needs.” That would be nothing but sticking a finger-full of honey to the lips of the people in order to soothe their anger and would be on the same level as those reactionaries who want to save all of the beehives. Further, in times and places where the conditions are favourable for mass uprisings of workers in the cities and for taking up arms, etc., it is again rank reactionary charlatanism to tell the workers tales of “immediate demands.” It is tantamount to appearing in front of slaves who have grasped the evil of the slave system and are in motion to tear it down and saying “your living conditions must be improved.” A conscious worker, pushing such overly-knowledgeable charlatans aside with the back of his hand, would say, “hey you, clear out of our way.”
Immediate demands cannot be defended or supported under all circumstances. Marxist-Leninists defend and support immediate demands on the condition that they are tightly integrated with our political demands and with our revolutionary agitation among the masses, and that they never be put to the forefront replacing our revolutionary slogans....Not “under all circumstances” as our revisionist reformist traitors do.
Again in article 40 of the Draft Programme, it is said that, “by defending all immediate demands and needs, our movement mobilises masses for struggle, raises their consciousness and tries to win them over to the ranks of the armed struggle.”
The sophistry that the consciousness of the masses is raised by defending “immediate demands and needs” is, in Comrade Lenin’s words, “an old song,” a song of Economism. The lyrics of this song belong to the late Russian economists who appeared at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century but who were finished off by Comrade Lenin’s antidote, What is to be Done? Our friends(!) once again peddle an adaptation of that song in the market. What a pity! Their efforts are in vain! For these are no longer worth a nickel. Defending “the immediate demands and needs” of the masses in order to mobilise them for struggle, to raise their consciousness and to win them over to armed struggle, is indeed Economism’s theory of “imparting consciousness stage by stage.” A cruder version of this theory had been upheld by the revisionists in the past: “In our view, the masses’ acquiring consciousness occurs stage by stage.” (PDA, Proletarian Revolutionary Line and Some Erroneous Tendencies.)
Not to be unfair, we should point out that the Economists held that they would raise the consciousness of the masses by defending only economic demands, namely “concrete demands.” Our revisionists claim to raise the consciousness of the masses by defending “immediate demands and needs” whose scope is somewhat wider than “economic demands.” However, they themselves are not aware of the difference of scope between the two either, and in many places they use these two concepts interchangeably.
The consciousness of the masses develops by defending neither “immediate demands and needs” nor “concrete demands.” Consciousness can be imparted to the masses only through exposing all of political reality and conducting comprehensive exposure campaigns that cover every aspect and arena of social life.
In What is to be Done?, Comrade Lenin thrashes the Economist theory of developing consciousness by stages from pillar to post, and, after pointing out that the theory of raising consciousness by stages reflects an opportunist stand, goes on to say that: “Why is it that the Russian workers as yet display little revolutionary activity in connection with the brutal way in which the police maltreat the people, in connection with the persecution of the religious sects, with the flogging of the peasantry, with the outrageous censorship, the torture of soldiers, the persecution of the most innocent cultural undertakings, etc.? Is it because the ‘economic struggle’ does not ‘stimulate’ them to this, because such activity does not ‘promise palpable results,’ because it produces little that is ‘positive’? (In other words, is it because the struggle for immediate demands does not raise consciousness to this level?—I.K.) No. To advocate such views, we repeat, is merely to lay the blame where it does not belong, to blame the masses of the workers for one’s own philistinism (which is also Bernsteinism)…. But the Social-Democratic worker, the revolutionary worker (and the number of such workers is growing) will indignantly reject all this talk about fighting for demands ‘promising palpable results,’ etc., because he will understand that this is only a variation of the old song about adding a kopek to the ruble.”
Further on Lenin gives the following answer to these economist gentlemen, in the words of a conscious worker: “The ‘activity’ you want to stimulate among us workers, by advancing concrete demands promising palpable results, we are already displaying and in our everyday, petty trade union work we put forward these concrete demands, very often without any assistance whatever from the intellectuals. But such activity is not enough for us; we are not children to be fed on the thin gruel of ‘economic’ politics alone; we want to know everything that others know, we want to learn the details of all aspects of political life and to take part actively in every single political event. In order that we may do this, the intellectuals must talk to us less of what we already know, and tell us more about what we do not yet know and what we can never learn from our factory and ‘economic’ experience, that is, you must give us political knowledge, etc.” (What is to be Done?, Lenin)
The Shafak revisionists pit the political struggle against the armed struggle. Under the flag of “political struggle” they reject the armed forms of the political struggle. They reject armed propaganda and agitation.
Because we uphold that the key link to be grasped in organising the peasantry should be guerrilla units, and all other types of groups and cells must be taken up and handled in order to serve the needs of the armed struggle and develop it in the very process of waging it, they accuse us of rejecting the political struggle. They say we have a purely military outlook.
“According to them, since our people have already grasped the political and ideological aspects of the problem, the issue has been settled and now the whole problem is the military movement.”
This nonsense that is being attributed to us has never been advocated anywhere. Since the revisionists draw this conclusion from our statement that the armed struggle must be the principal form of struggle, they reveal the fact that they consider the armed struggle as excluding the political struggle. They expose the fact that they consider the armed struggle and the political struggle to be things that contradict each other.
The “purely military” outlook is the outlook of those who fight for the sake of fighting. We want to wage warfare to accomplish the political tasks of the revolution. We uphold the armed struggle in order to create the people’s army in the countryside under the leadership of the party, to establish the people’s power through step by step tearing apart the regional and central authority. This is the way Comrade Mao Tsetung puts it: “Some people ridicule us as advocates of the ‘omnipotence of war.’ Yes, we are advocates of the omnipotence of revolutionary war; that is good, not bad, it is Marxist. The guns of the Russian Communist Party created socialism. We shall create a democratic republic. Experience in the class struggle in the era of imperialism teaches us that it is only by the power of the gun that the working class and the labouring masses can defeat the armed bourgeoisie and landlords; in this sense, we may say that only with guns can the whole world be transformed.” (“Problems of War and Strategy,” Mao Tsetung)
One wonders whether a “purely military” outlook prevails here too? Aren’t these gentlemen aware of the fact that the armed struggle, that is, warfare, is a form of the political struggle? Armed struggle is not the only form of political struggle but it is a form of it, nonetheless. “War is the continuation of politics by other means” and “since ancient times there has never been a war that did not have a political character.” (Mao Tsetung) These are ABC’s of Marxism- Leninism.
From our demand that the armed struggle should be principal, the Shafak revisionists again draw the conclusion that we reject agitation and propaganda work among the masses. Evidently they think that armed struggle contradicts agitation and propaganda. No, bourgeois gentlemen! Armed struggle does not contradict agitation and propaganda work, they are the opposite of each other. Mao Tsetung had this to say about that point: “The Chinese Red Army is an armed body for carrying out the political tasks of the revolution. Especially at present, the Red Army should certainly not confine itself to fighting; besides fighting to destroy the enemy’s military strength, it should shoulder such important tasks as doing propaganda among the masses, organising the masses, arming them, helping them to establish revolutionary political power and setting up Party organisations. The Red Army fights not merely for the sake of fighting but in order to conduct propaganda among the masses, organise them, arm them, and help them to establish revolutionary political power.” (“On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party,” Mao Tsetung)
In our country too, the guerrilla units which will form the embryo of the people’s army will not rest content with just fighting. At the same time they will have important tasks such as conducting agitation and propaganda among the masses, organising them and arming them. Since these gentlemen consider political struggle the opposite of armed struggle and political struggle to be a purely publishing house activity, they accuse us of rejecting political work, rejecting agitation and propaganda and mass work. In reality, they themselves recognise only the peaceful forms of agitation and propaganda and of the political struggle. They reject the armed forms of the political struggle and agitation and propaganda.