Forum topic: Wildcat Strike in Antep, Turkey: “We Want to Live like Human Beings”

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Forum topic: Wildcat Strike in Antep, Turkey: “We Want to Live like Human Beings”
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Wildcat Strike in Antep, Turkey: “We Want to Live like Human Beings”. The discussion was initiated by Fred.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

So Turkey is becoming a super

So Turkey is becoming a super power, just like China. Gosh! Isn't that wonderful? Another sparklingly prosperous capitalist nation, dripping with miraculous profits, conjured out of nowhere by bourgeois magicians. But what about Turkey's workers, how are they doing? Do they share in all this prosperity and financial growth as do their comrades in say China? (I speak as a fool!) No of course they don't. What they have in common with workers round the globe, and specially those in China (and also Kazakhstan?) is brutal and savage repression, the better to render them amenable to severer exploitation, and to the production of increased profits as their surplus labour is devoured. A worker said:"No one cares about the worker. We've been on strike here for days, and the human demands of thousands of people are being ignored." Foolish worker, so naive! Of course "human demands" are being ignored! Does he think he's living under communism, where production is for human needs not profit?He needs to get his thinking straight. The cold mechanics of capitalist rationality - in other words, madness - are what underpin this hellish society; and human demands, like human emotion, have no place here.

But the capitalists don't get it all their own way, and workers in Turkey have a developing history of struggle and self-organization, so that the State, and it's various police forces, including the Unions, don't always get everything they want so easily. It may be painful, but the workers are learning. Self-organization is the key, and even the smallest success goes to boost morale. " For the workers organise, manage and as we've seen in this experience, conclude these struggles themselves. On the one hand, the active will of the workers to struggle wins in merely 11 days, and on the other hand the strikes organized by the unions can turn into dead ends, wasting the energy of the workers and pushing them into despair over a period of months; and this results in new bad experiences filled
with bitter disappointments for the workers."

So the lesson here, for all workers, goes like this.


The conclusion: keep clear of the unions. Self-organization is the key to greater things.

Peter Pan
syria and antep strike

Very interesting and encouraging article! Some questions came into my mind.

  1. How does the proletariat in Turkey globally think and feel about the war in Syria? Did the strikers make particular statements about the war? Do the strike comittees discuss about it? Do the strikers have mixed nationalities (whatever that means).
  2. How do strike/struggle experiences actually spread? I mean this in a larger sense. How do the experiences of the Indignados, Occupy, strikes in Turkey, Kazachstan... spread? The mass media does not speak of struggles, untill they just can't ignore them anymore, because they are too vast or too clearly visible. But still, through individuals, families, a social network... strikes are talked about on a regional scale. But what about a large scale? Is it "only" through articles as these on revolutionary (bourgeois leftist and internationalist) sites and papers that these become known throughout the world? There are off course also some "independent" news channels and journalists. I'm just thinking aloud. Insights on this matter could help us spread the experiences more effectively.
Excellent points Peter Pan.

Excellent points Peter Pan. Let's hope the comrades in Turkey (or elsewhere) will be able to reply. However, it's only your point (1) which relates particularly to Turkey. Point (2) probably needs an extended answer from the ICC. Hope we get that too. I'm sure you are right about about needing insights on how to spread news of proletarian fight back more widely and more effectively. And how do the experiences of the Indignados and Occupy people, get to relate to more overt proletarian militancy?

Peter Pan
What do you mean?

What do you mean by: "And how do the experiences of the Indignados and Occupy people, get to relate to more overt proletarian militancy?"

What I meant is something

What I meant is something that will probably get me into trouble, so I didn't say it. But here goes. It seems sometimes like there's a sort of two-tier proletariat at the moment. The probably better educated kind of office type, and teacherly kind of worker - very good at talking, though not maybe at making the running - and your actual factory style worker, who produces things for sale, and who can effect things dramatically, like when factory workers in Egypt went on strike and brought down Mubarak. This was something the Occupier- Indignado workers, in Tahrir square couldn't have done, even if it had occurred to them to try, which I think it didn't. So there's a gap between these two at the moment. The people in p_p's group, elsewhere on this forum, clearly belong to the more "bureaucratic" kind of working class - thoughtful chatter - but without a lead from workers who fill a vital economic role for capitalism, and produce its wealth, and thus have great power in their hands if they did but know it, I think the Occupier-Indignado folk won't be going very far. That's one reason why I like hearing about the workers in Turkey, who are clearly extremely exploited, and know it, and are trying to organize themselves to fight back.

I could go on, but am actually scared by what I may be saying ( isn't this ridiculous?) and will stop now.