The Balkans

The development of the Left Wing of Armenian and Macedonian socialism

After three years organizing and six years of intense activity, by 1896 two clear factions had appeared within the Revolutionary Hunchak Party. One was led by Avetis Nazarbekian and his wife Maro Vardanian, who controlled the party center. The other was formed by their opponents. However this split within the Party was far from being simply about the personalities of Nazarbekian and Vardanian. The dissidents were opposing a very basic and integral part of the party line, namely that it was socialist.

Socialism and the workers’ movement in the Ottoman Empire

The article published here is the first part of The Left Wing of the Turkish Communist Party, beginning a new edition of this pamphet. 

In 1889 the Second International was founded as a result of the attempts of the socialist parties of Western European countries such as Germany, France and Belgium to bring together different social democratic parties of the time. For the most part, the world communist movement of the future would emerge from this organization. While the Second International remained focused on Western Europe from its foundation to its collapse, and while it was designed from the start as a federation of national parties rather than a centralized structure, it was nevertheless to become a magnet for all the socialist movements of the time, from North and South America to the Far East.

Declaration for revolutionary organization, Belgrade (2011)

Throughout the 1990s, the territory of the former state of Yugoslavia was the scene of a series of horrifying massacres justified by the ideology of ethnic chauvinism. It is therefore all the more heartening to see signs that there are those in the region who look for a way forward in the social movement against capitalism and not in any dreams of national aggrandisement.

Editorial: ‘Peace’ in Kosovo, a moment of imperialist war

The world we live in is a little mad. In Kosovo we discover crimes against humanity every day; other less spectacular but equally horrible conflicts in Africa and Asia; economic and financial crises which break out suddenly, unforeseen and destructive; growing poverty in many parts of the world...” (quoted in Le Monde, 22/6/99).

Trial of Radovan Karadzic: All states are run by war criminals

As the UN-run trial of ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic began in The Hague it was clear that there were many others who could also be put in the dock on charges of genocide. This bloodthirsty killer and rabid nationalist was only a pawn in a much wider game going on in the Balkans in the early 1990s.

War in Kosovo - the internationalist position

What is the real reason for the NATO bombing, the daily deluge of fire that is falling on Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo? What is the real reason for this war which, for the first time since the end of the Second World War, involves the direct military presence of the great powers on European soil, only a few hours plane ride away fromours plane ride away from London?

Internationalist Organisations against the war in Kosovo

The bombing of the population of ex-Yugoslavia by the major powers under the aegis of NATO represents a serious escalation of capitalist barbarism. It is accompanied by a cacophony of voices attempting to hide the imperialist nature of the war. There are the voices of those who justify the bombings and try to cover the sordid and bloody self the sordid and bloody self-interest of the major powers under a veil of humanitarianism. There are the voices of those who condemn the NATO attack in order to defend the 'little' ethnic murderer, Milosevic, against the high tech slaughter of the US and European powers. There are the voices of the pacifists who appeal for a peaceful capitalism, as if the spirit of competition weren't an intrinsic aspect of bourgeois rule that leads inevitably to the use of armed force as one country tries to impose its own imperialist interests at the expense of the others. But amid this barrage there is a clear and sane voice raised against the war and all its bourgeois protagonists, that of proletarian internationalism. This position in relation to imperialist war is the foundation stone of the international working class movement and the litmus test for revolutionary organisations. Its intransigent defence marks out the currents of the communist left from those of the radical bourgeoisie, who masquerade as friends of the working class while inviting them to massacre their class brothers in other countries in the name of siding with whichever imperialism they identify as the 'lesser evil'. This song is as old as capitalism! The essence of proletarian internationalism is expressed in the words of the Communist Manifesto, drafted by Marx and Engels in rx and Engels in 1848: "The workers have no country ... Workers of all countries unite!" It affirms the nature of the working class as an international class, no part of which has interests which are in conflict with any other sector in any other country. As such the proletariat has no interest in the victory of either side in wars between capitalist powers for the extension of their spheres of influence and for world domination. On the contrary, it is always expected to pay for the war by dying on the battlefield and by increasing productivity for the war effort. It is always the victim and never a victor while this system of death and poverty has not been overthrown once and for all. When the socialist parties of the Second International betrayed the principle of internationalism by supporting participation in the First World War and played a prominent role in mobilising the workers for the carnage, the International was lost to the working class. But the revolutionary minority regrouped around the Bolsheviks in Russia and the Spartacists in Germany, defended an internationalist position by opposing the war and calling for the workers to defend their own class interests. In the same way, with the onset of the second imperialist carnage, whereas the Trotskyist current passed over to the bourgeois camp by supporting the USSRporting the USSR and the democratic front in the name of opposing fascism, there remained fractions of the Communist Left who maintained the principle of internationalism and have continued to denounce it as an imperialist war. It is the organisations that are descended from this political current that have responded to the NATO bombings by taking up the only consistent and communist position: - condemning the carnage as an imperialist war; - calling on the working class not to defend any of the bourgeois factions involved; - condemning, implicitly or explicitly, the demands of the leftists for the workers to defend the 'lesser evil' or 'self-determination in Kosovo' and, - against the myth of pacifism, affirming that only the working class can offer an alternative to capitalist barbarism through its own struggle as a revolutionary class, whose historic destiny is to destroy the exploitation of the bourgeoisie and create a new society without classes and without exploitation. The titles of the leaflets produced by the various groups of the communist left, immediately after the start of the bombing of Kosovo, testify to the unity, in action, of the internationalists in the denunciation of the war (1): "Capitalism means imperialism, imperialism means war" (IBRP); "The Kosovo war "The Kosovo war is a war of capital" (Programma Comunista); "No to imperialist intervention in Yugoslavia! Down with all nationalism and all bourgeois oppression!" (Le Proletaire); "The real opposition to military intervention and war lies in the class struggle of the proletariat, in its class and internationalist reorganisation against all forms of bourgeois oppression and nationalism" (Il Comunista); "Down with the imperialist war" (Il Partito Comunista); "Capitalism is war, war on capitalism!" (ICC).

Peace movement rallies to Serbian war effort

Right from the start of the bombing of Yugoslavia the left has held meetings and demonstrations around the theme of "Stop the War". From the interventions of militants and sympathisers of the ICC across the country it is clear that these events, far from being against the imperialist slaughter, have been in favour of war, usually on the side of British imperialism's traditional ally Serbia, but sometimes in defence of the KLA. A report received LA. A report received from a close sympathiser of the ICC about a meeting held in Leicester gives a very good sense of a typical celebration of warmongering by the left.

'Peace' in Kosovo, a legacy of chaos and suffering

In June, having wallowed in imperialist war under the pretext of 'humanitarianism', the bourgeoisie in the west claimed a great victory for 'democracy' over Milosevic. The so-called allies of the anti-Milosevic coalition were rushing to install anti-Milosevic coalition were rushing to install 'peace' and construct an 'independent, democratic Kosovo'. A grand project, but we saw very quickly what they really meant. The region has become one of the most militarised in the world. The great powers are staring each other out, lending rapid support to their own pitbulls, the local armed gangs under their control, in order to settle scores between themselves. And what about the dividends of peace? Before the military intervention, it was the Kosovans who were being massacred; for some considerable time the great powers were not unduly worried about it, until some of them saw it as a pretext for military intervention. Today it's the Serbs, under the 'protection' of the UN 'peacekeeping' force KFOR, who are being subjected to massive reprisals: 160,000 of them have fled Kosovo since the end of the NATO bombing and the entry of the 'allied' contingents. The tension between Serbs and Albanians has grown daily, fuelled by the various armed cliques who are under the orders of their bigger bosses.

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