Tag: Fascism

Quo Vadis Turkey? A crumbling fascism in the Middle East under imperialism – Mehmet Bayram – Sun, Oct 24, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific Time

Turkey is a neo-colonial NATO member country. It is tied through its umbilical cord to imperialism. Changing the name from Ottoman Empire to Republic of Turkey did not change much from what Ottomans stood for. An attempt at a bourgeois revolution was too late and had started during the Ottomans but was cut short, crushed, due to occurring in the age of imperialism. The bourgeoisie had changed character in this age and was no longer what used to be called a “national bourgeoisie.” A better term for the leaders of this crippled revolution would be “local bourgeoise” and its character as “comprador bourgeoisie” due to its relationship with imperialism.
Fascism passes through dormant and active phases, but never leaves Turkey. It is impossible to speak of a “bourgeois democracy” in the age of imperialism in the neo-colonial countries. This is tied to the crippled bourgeois revolution. Any and all, even very peaceful, demonstrations are brutally attacked and participants get long prison sentences. Hundreds of journalists are in jail, opposition party MPs are beaten, silenced and thrown into prisons, even without a charge for more than 4 years. The National Assembly is powerless and is irrelevant but stays for the show, typical of a regime that is defined by neo-colonial fascism. Unions are silenced and are under brutal attack. Media is suppressed and internet access is controlled. Government media spews unbelievable and outright ridiculous lies and repeats these 24 hours around the clock. Corporations work hand in glove with the government while raking in billions of dollars.
Corruption, as expected in the capitalist world is no longer secret but has become the norm. It is illegal to report corruption. Turkey uses Europe’s regulations against surveillance capitalism to protect the citizens against corporations like Google and Facebook to protect the capitalists and the corrupt government officials. It invokes the “right to be forgotten” against any news that exposes corruption, theft, bribery or murder and puts a media ban on news that exposes a corruption. Meritocracy has long vanished and the only qualification to get a job is loyalty to the government.
Erdoğan was brought to power by the US and he knows not to bite the hand that feeds him. As imperialism seems to lose its grip due to its seeming decline, neo-colonials do look around for a new boss to take its orders. Fascism is the only way to rule in a country that also has a rich history of socialist and left opposition. However, as new elections approach in a year and a half, the main topic that the country discusses is whether the government will even have the elections or respect the results. The answer seems to lie in the parallel, paramilitary, armed, terrorist organizations the AKP government is preparing, very similar to the illegal, semi-secret structures that were used for the Armenian Genocide.
Economic collapse has only exacerbated the fascism and repression has increased even in the last few days.
These and similar issues on foreign affairs involving Syria, Russia, China, Greece, but mostly European Union and the US will be discussed. However, Turkey never did, does not, and will not decide independently its internal or external affairs. Imperialism is an internal affair in Turkey due to the class structure under imperialism. What seems to be bold moves that could be read as challenging the US are only the slave asking for the leash to be extended a bit while Turkey picks up doing more dirty work for US imperialism in the world and the Middle East.
Even many on the left who opposed the analysis of fascism in the past are pronouncing this terminology to define Turkey these days.
What are the alternatives? What is the left to do?
Our speaker, Mehmet Bayram, is visiting his native land Turkey and will be reporting from there. He is a long time journalist, reporter, photographer and translator. Currently he writes and translates for the Sendika.org in Turkey, a site shut down 62 times by the government. Please follow Turkey’s news in English at: https://sendika.org/kategori/english/

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ICSS 20210404 – Understanding the Mass Psychology of Neofascism

Sun, April 4, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific

Understanding the Mass Psychology of Neofascism

Fascist rulers in the 20th century, as well as Neofascist forces across the globe in the early 21st century have managed to attract mass support from significant sections of working people. This is despite the fact that these reactionary projects intensify capitalist exploitation and undermine the material interests of many of their own followers. To understand this contradiction, we need to supplement current political economy analyses of Neofascism with a grasp of mass psychology processes, which are powerfully manipulated by neofascist leaders.
Our speaker is an activist physician and author.speaker

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ICSS 20210124 – The US Capitol Building Riot – Roger Harris

Sun, Jan. 24, 2021: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

The US Capitol Building Riot and Its Blowback:
The Only Thing Scarier than QAnon Is the Reaction to It

The right-wing riot at the US Capitol on January 6 was a spectacle, complete with Confederate flags and a QAnon shaman in red-white-and-blue face paint. Some half of the active electorate sympathized with the belief that the 2020 presidential election was a steal. The other half of the active electorate was abhorrent, speaking with semi-religious reverence about the desecration of sacred institutions. The true blue had suspected that the Russians stole the 2016 presidential election and, for the last four years, supported politicians ever vigilant against détente breaking out with the second most powerful nuclear state.

The US state has not been meeting the needs of its people, its naked dysfunctionality is bare for all to see, and the ruling circles are experiencing a crisis of legitimacy. The response of the rulers to mass discontent is not to address the root causes but to step up suppression. The aftermath of the events of January 6 has precipitated blowbacks by the ruling elites, such as proposed anti-domestic terrorism measures, in anticipation of popular resistance to the intensifying contradictions of the US imperial project.

Our speaker, Roger D. Harris, will begin the discussion with an abbreviated presentation followed by a Q&A period and robust group discussion on the many issues raised by the Capitol building riot. Was it a riot or a coup? Was it a trap for Trump and did the police collude with the rioters? What is the danger of fascism? What does the rising right-wing insurgency signify and what should be the response to it? Whither Trump and what about the Squad? And most of all, what do the developments of January 6 and its blowback mean for left organizing and progressive social change?

Roger is a member of the ICSS program committee and the human rights organization, the Task Force on the Americas. Roger recently wrote on the US Capitol riot of January 6: https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/01/13/the-only-thing-scarier-than-qanon-is-the-reaction-to-it/

Also recommended is the US Peace Council’s statement on the event and its aftermath, People’s Movement is Faced with a Serious Threat (Roger was one of the authors):


Additional recommended reading are the blogs by the inimitable Caitlin Johnstone, who tells us “Modern liberalism is just QAnon for people with diplomas on their walls.” See on today’s topic:


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