Dr. Ahmet Çakmak
Professor of Economics
Marmara University

I find it useful to state my thesis from the beginning: Under today's

conditions and in the light of the historical experience left can manage

the capital and they must do it in the third world. This will lead to

substantially increasing share of world technological rent for the third

world and narrowing the gap between rich countries and the third world.

This, at the same time, means rapidly raising income in the third world,

new political horizons and possibilities for the leftist parties and

convenient struggle conditions for the left of the rich countries.

There is no conflict with this strategy and the long-term goal of

marxists  (abolishing value relations of production) .

First I would like to redefine the term "political right". All the

parties who obey the requirements of capital accumulation process must

be labeled as "right-wing". Here, it is difficult to define "the

requirements of capital accumulation process". I can find only one way

to define it: the historical-empirical level. For example, in today's

conditions, if you apply the policies of privatization, reduction in

government expenditures, narrowing the social security system etc., this

means you are right-wing. Because these are capital's demands in

today's world.

I think the main implication of this is about social democracy (SD) .

According to this definition SD must be considered as right-wing, if we

look it's historical experience. Here we have to distinguish between SD

of the rich countries the SD of the third world. The SD of rich

countries has shown three political stance up to now : a) nationalist

attitude in the eve of first world war, b) expansionary policies after

the second world war till 1970's ,c) new right policies during the era

which began early 1970's and still continue. The first one is not

directly economic, also it is so obvious that there is no need to

explain it. Let's try to interpret (b) and (c). There are clear

evidences that SD in rich countries obey the requirements of capital

accumulation process. During the so-called "golden age" of capitalism,

every government in rich countries almost did the same irrelevant ,

whether SD in power or not.

And during the era which began early 70's , again, every government in

rich countries almost has done the same irrelevant, whether SD in power

or not. Even in many countries SD's performance were worse than

conservatives. For example compare Kohl's Germany with Mitterand's

France, remember that Gonzales's Spain has the highest unemployment rate

in Europe etc. . As Marx said, the only think workers can do in a

contraction phase is, to slow down the cut in wages and employment. In

that context the era which began in early 70's can be interpreted as the

first real test of SD in rich countries and SD could no positive

contribution to the struggles of workers in that era.

Let's briefly mention the 'SD' of third world. I know no real SD in

the third world, that is no party which label itself as SD and bases on

working class. In other words, these are ' state parties' . This means

the interests of workers come after the interests of the state in their

list of privileges. In practice they always collaborate with IMF, big

capital and state. In my country SD is the partner of government and

they sign all the stabilization programs of IMF, which hit the working

class. So there is a political vacuum in the left. How can we

appreciate ourselves as marxists in the face of this reality. We

generally have stressed that our aim , as marxists ,as revolutionary

left, is to abolish the value relations of production. Other attempts

which deals to improve the material conditions of life of workers- that

is reformism- is the job of 'others' not ours. I think, especially in

the light of recent experience, this has become a barrier for us. From

on, I try to demonstrate the realities of the third world. The

requirements of the capital accumulation process (new right policies are

the policy application of this) leads to worsening of income

distribution in these countries. Here I limit myself with the countries

so-called newly industrialized countries (NIC's). This category

involves the most part of Latin America, Turkey, Egypt, some North

African countries and far-east. (I think India and China has so many

special features, that they deserves to be labeled under another

category) The worsening of income distribution pushed approximately half

of the population to poverty and unemployment and SD of these countries

pursue the new right policies

. At this point I would like to show the reader that there is

no possibility for abolishing the value relations of production in the

visible future. I take two phenomena as given : a) highly integrated

capitalist world economy, b) the existence of nation states.

This means that there is no room for 'socialist islands' in today's

world. I think it is obvious for everybody. Put aside other

theoretical debates, the world economy of today is so integrated that

an economic embargo which lasts few months is enough for an economic

catastrophe. ( May be it is possible to survive one or more year under

dictatorship. But this paper is written for the people who deny such a

solution) The only way seems to struggle with the world capitalism as a

whole. But such a struggle requires the unity of world workers. And it

is beyond sight too : 1) There are interest conflicts between the

workers of rich countries and the workers of the third world. 2) There

are interest conflicts between the workers aristocracy and the other

workers. 3) There are interest conflicts between the workers in job und

unemployed ones. 4) There are interest conflicts between unionized

workers and the others.

Another barrier for the unity of workers is, the growing income

differentials between workers. Marxian theorists try to refuse the

implications of these differences. They insists on that the workers has

a common ground that enough for their unity ; they are the people who

has nothing to sell except their labor powers. I could not understand

why do not they accept the reality everybody knows : If one has a

reasonable standards of living, other things being the same, this person

has no enough motive to upheaval the order. Today there are big income

differences between workers. There is substantial workers aristocracy

in rich countries.

Another strange view is about 'needs'. Marxian theorists claims that

under capitalism , production is for profits, not for human needs. May

be it is more correct to say that the production is for capital

accumulation under capitalism. But if you stop here, this statements

becomes an obstacle to see the other side of the coin. It is possible

under capitalism, as everybody knows, to redistribute the income in

favor of workers thanks to class struggle. As a result of this, some

capitalists must produce wage goods to earn profit. Moreover, the state

expenditures can be directed to areas which serves the 'needs' of

workers. Of course, under a mode of production , which not bases on

value relations of production, the life can be totally different. But

this is another level of debate. "Capitalists earn what they spend and

workers spend what they earn " Very interesting statement ... But the

reality that under capitalism workers can provide, at least some of

their 'needs', does not change when you say this interesting sentence.

The implications of the truth that these 'needs' are not 'real', are not

political, only theoretical for now.

So, I think everybody who believe the truth must accept that there is

no possibility in the near future to abolish the value relations of

production. Indeed, when we have read recent analysis of revolutionary

leftist, all the books are full of critical analysis and there is one

or two pages at the end of the books which try to show an alternative

way, such as self-organizing democratic organizations of workers, keep

away from the state etc. These are some ideal thoughts in the face of

today's realities.

Let me say some other realities of today :

1) There are 40 million people in USA and 12 million people in UK who

live under the poverty line

2) There are 35 million unemployed people in OECD (I think this is


3) Millions of people suffer famine and starvation in Africa

4) Hundred millions of people live under poverty in India and China

5) There is an attempt of genocide in Bosnia

6) 200 million people live under poverty line in Latin America, poor

children are killed by policeman in Brazil

7) Little girls are forced to sell their bodies in some far-east


And we , as marxist , watch TV and cry. Of course there is something

to do for them, but the activities other than to abolish value relations

of production directly, is the job of 'others' . But there are no

others and there is no possibility to abolish the value relations of

production in near future. So, what? Before to answer directly the

question, I must stress another feature of today's world : The class

struggle locked in everywhere due to the political stance of the

revolutionary leftists. Today, state and capital feel themselves good,

despite the apparent 'struggles ' of the left, because these are

struggles which have no threat to them. Protest against

privatizations, demonstrations, strikes etc., have no content which

involve the danger of change something.

Now, ask the question again. So, what ? The answer is, to struggle

for high-tech in third world, to manage the capital for this. In other

words, our aim must be to decrease, even to abolish the gap between rich

nations and the third world.

This is possible : let me refer to the experience of South Korea. This

country has proved empirically that to be a rich nation for a third

world country is possible. I think one crucial question remains despite

the enormous literature on the South Korea; How could a state behave as

if there was no pressure of any class on it? It seems to me this is the

essence of the Korean economic success. But this is not my problem

here. In the context of this paper, the implication of the experience

of South Korea is the theoretical proof of the possibility be a rich

nation of a third world country . And I think the NIC's has the

potential (infrastructure) of the pass or to adopt a production

structure bases on high-tech ; There are many universities in this

countries which has sufficient human resources, there are many educated

people such as electronics engineers, business managers, etc. They have

an industrial base which has important technological experience. They

have an infrastructure such as roads, nuclear plants, power facilities,

dams and technology transfer is easier today compare to the past. So,

If they put the production pattern bases on high-tech as the target for

themselves, they can do it. Let me try to explain how they can

transform their potentials to actual.

This is the point which left has to enter the scene, to compel the

capital to produce with high-tech for both domestic and world markets.

Here are some preliminary thoughts about the policies that must be

applied : 1) heavy taxation of monetary funds except the ones which

invested in production with high-tech, 2) financial and technical

support for production with high-tech, 3) rising real wages . I would

like to talk about this latter one ;

Bourgeois scientists has a double standard on this matter. On the one

hand they advice low wages to third world to become competitive in world

markets and they declare that their historical success in developing

technology depends on partly rising wages on the other. As to be

known, most of the investigations in economic history of the west has

shown us that it is the rising wages which forces capital to high-tech,

to atomization and mechanization. Their text books of economics tell

the same; if the more price of labor the more capital intensive the


Another dimension of the left's program must be to widen the social

security system and increase the expenditures for the workers and their

retirees. This means unemployment insurance, pension funds, hospitals,

schools etc. Now, how can this expenditures be financed? The money is

there, in NÝC's. For example, in my country there is a huge amount of

monetary funds, in the hands of some people. This funds are accumulated

as a result of low wage policies of right wing , revenues of tourism

sector , avoidance of tax, speculation, underground sector, unregistered

economy etc. The evidence to these monetary funds are luxury

expenditures, funds which are invested in foreign banks and

privatization revenues. Heavy taxation of these funds , decreasing of

military expenditures , decreasing of some subsidies and cut of some

credits , will be the sources of these funds.

I believe that some readers began to think "one more imperialist

country" That is , what will happen if every NIC's began to apply the

same strategy. This means, I think redistribution of world

technological rent between the rich countries and the third world. The

former becomes relatively poorer, the latter becomes relatively richer.

This is a solution for poverty and unemployment in the third world ,

this is a great mass support for left in the third world and as a

consequence of this, new opportunities for subsequent steps, this is a

convenient ground for the left of the rich countries (in other words,

the sleeping giant , The working class of the west will come to its own)

and this is a creation of objective conditions for the unity of the

workers of the world. Of course it is not easy to achieve the goal.

try to persuade you that the aim of the class struggle in the third

world must be this. The rest of it depends on the outcomes of these

struggles. First of all such a strategy requires a democratisation:

Open channel for the leftist parties , freedom of speech and

organization , more rights for trade unions etc. So this is, at the

same time , a struggle for democratization.