On Referendum-1

On Referendum
February 17, 2017

Anarchists, in principle, do not vote and do not participate in elections.

It is our responsibility not to vote.

On the voter:

To politicize by one vote; or as part of a one vote election campaigns for a party or a president. In the last elections made in Turkey, 87% of voters participated in the elections. The number of participants in the elections was 49 million, while the number of those not participating is about 9 million. Participation in the referendum to be held in front of us for a change in the system will be at a similar number.

What does it mean for voters to participate in elections?

In all selective systems, the ones who is majority takes the power. In democracy, the power of majority is democratic. Whoever is majority takes the power, whoever is minority does not have power. The relationship between the majority and minority during the election continues as a debate between two separate methods. The only thing that they don’t discuss is elections. Election is a bet which begins when a group says “I-we want to administrate society” and they are replied by another group saying “no I-we want to administrate”. Election is a process of counting voters, initiated by agreement of the parties of the bet and can not occur without the voters. The government of society is owned by the side which has more voters than the other side. The voter is only a numeric value in the bet. This numeric value is not a value to care about for a citizen trying to solve the many problems of everyday life. To increase participation to elections, the parties of the bet, want to promote the citizens from the voter title into the bettor title. This should increase the participation of the bet. The increase in attendance will cause the voter, being a number, to internalize the bet and then the domination formed as a result the result of the elections. The voter will accept the result of elections and the power of the selected side, regardless of who won or lost. This acceptance of the citizens is a win for each group who bets on elections. As long as the winner of the elections continues its government, the loser will continue its opposition and both sides will wait for the next elections.

What does the responsibility of voter mean?

It means the participation of citizens, in the government of society. The voter who actually believes that by placing a single vote, he or she is participating the social, economic and political management of society, will agree with this manufactured system because of responsibility nonsense. The deal is simple; whether your vote won or lost, you must submit your right to be administered to the winner, that is the rightful power. It is the responsibility of the deal which you approve with the vote you place in the ballot box.

What does, the equalization of the voters with one vote, mean?

Elections create a fallacy in the conflict between classes. Elections creates the fallacy of equalization of a worker who receives a salary of 1,400 and the engineer who receives a salary of 14,000 and even the boss who profits 140,000 by “one” produce of these workers and engineers, with one vote. This fallacy lasts for months, but ends in a day, reducing the oppressed to nullity in social management. The oppressed live the exploitation of all the governments that are elected.

It is obvious that the subcontracting system operated by new laws for many years during the period of the AKP government, also works for the local governments of CHP. These two parties taking the highest votes in all the elections for almost 20 years, hold similar positions in the class conflict. One of them being the government and the other being the opposition will not affect the class conflict positively or negatively. The boss who profits 140,000 will always have more impact on the social government, and as the owner of capital, will continue relationships with the owners of the government. The worker who is given 1400 in exchange of his or her labor will have no effect in government. The momentary happiness of “I also exist in this society” created by the fallacy will end with the social and economic realities of everyday life.

What does it mean to be qualified voters?

It means to belong to the majority in society. For all groups entering the elections, the segment which makes up the majority of the population is the mass that will determine the outcome of the election. Properties of this mass also determines the axis of propaganda for the election. Both AKP and CHP aims to win the segments that constitutes the majority in society, the segments with mainstream values like the Turkish, the Sunni sect, the nationalist-nationalitarian. Voters other than qualified voters, mean less votes compared to the number of the mass. This means, unqualified voters are secondary in the election propaganda. Therefore, social and economic identity of the citizen, determines his or her voter quality.

On the opposition

What does it mean to be the opposition to power in elections?

To be the opposition to power in the elections means that, you were not selected in past elections, and you’re hopeful for the future elections.

All of the electoral systems require the participation of at least two groups to the elections. The two groups are in opposition to each other until the election day in which the winner and the losers will be determined. The winner will be in power, in parallel with the loser being in opposition.

In the parliamentary system, CHP who opposes all decisions of AKP in the parliament, brings into question the administration practices of AKP and their negative effects on social life and functioning of the state. This mission of opposition in parliament helps CHP to make propaganda opposed to the political power. From then on, this is the only relationship that the opposition establishes with voters; since the agreement that it made with voters for a single vote, has ended with the defeat in the elections.

The opposition outside the parliament however does not base its existence on opposition against the political power who had won the elections; the rest of the non-parliamentary opposition is based on anti-capitalism and/or anti-imperialism. Such opposition is a side of the class struggle in the Marxist-Leninist class framework. They fight for the revolution that will end class struggle with the political power of the worker class against the bourgeoisie. Among their strategies of struggle, they are for practical associations with the parliamentary opposition in the elections. Revolutionary opposition who advocates the elections as a strategy, highlights the opportunity of organizing society during the elections. They argue that politicization of the citizen with one vote during the election period could be beneficial. Marxist, Leninist and scientific socialist organizations in general, interpretation differences aside, advocate using the elections strategically.

The HDP is now beyond being the representation of the Kurdish people in the parliament and has become an institution that the revolutionary opposition came together. HDP has continuously increased its voters in the elections it participated until the general elections on November 1. Now that its number of voters has reached 10%, which is the minimum required percentage required for participating the parliament as a party, it could act as a party in the parliament. The votes it has been receiving from the people of the region, their own, primary voters, has stabilized. Along with the votes it receives from metropolises, its votes fluctuate between 10-11%. However, the process which began rising in November 1, during which the state of Turkey confronted Kurdish movement in internal and external politics, has resulted in the removal of HDP by legal-illegal methods from the parliament that it entered after being elected. The fact that the elected are being judged and arrested one by one despite their legal immunity, indicates the unconstrained-ness of rule maker, i.e. the state, to change its rules. Yet another indicator is elected mayors being replaced by trustees in municipalities won by HDP in local elections. The state proves the fact that representative democracy is an illusion of administration by reducing the elections and the elected to nullity in line with its internal and external strategies.

In June 7th elections, we saw the process of total revolt, street actions, slowly being compressed into the ballot box. This process of compression would be considered existential for the opposition from CHP to the Patriotic Party, but it had an incomprehensible and complex aspect: HDP’s suggestion to society for the ballot box, and not streets. While the street actions continued socially, they were dissolved in election campaign. Even the liberation of Kobanê was compressed by the campaign. The ones who went out to the street, not as part of a campaign, but to realize themselves, first went inside the buildings of the ballot box, then into the apartment buildings of their homes. HDP said “Come and end the AKP dictatorship” and asked them to vote, the ones who were politicized not a day by a vote, but every day by resistance. Election campaigns, cast votes and system not changing, has transformed into a constant state of despair under the unchanging dictatorship of the state. The discourse of “that’s life, it’s inevitable” spread mouth to mouth, didn’t it? Those who compressed hope in the streets inside the ballot box, and think hope means voting, now want to repeat that fallacy in another election. Voting is not a hope, but a politicization fallacy for the voter; and elections are not a hope for justice and freedom, but a fallacy of social management.

On Political Power

Elections mean their power is continued or ended. Every power wants to get the approval of the whole of society, and this approval is given by participating in the elections.

After a period during which AKP won elections one after the other and continuously passed through crash scenarios, we now have an untimely referendum/elections. These untimely elections, that is, out-of-season elections, are AKP’s favorite type. We are again in an election process where the power is assumed unconstrained by being the majority; the power makes its own rules and lifts the rules he doesn’t like. This referendum, is AKP’s third referendum and if it wins, he will have gained an important position in the shaping of society. The most important detail in AKP’s electoral strategy is that it wants not only to increase the number of its voters, but also to increase the number of voters participating in the election. The power acts like it does not care about the thoughts and feelings of its opponents, but in reality it does care; because one of the things it tries to avoid is not being able to have social approval. The power already has the approval of voters who vote for him. For the power to have the approval of opposing voters, their participation in the elections will suffice. The fact that the opposing voter have participated in elections and lost, will provide the legitimacy of the election results. Because illegitimate power, cannot take power. The thing that it is most wary of, is low participation in the elections. Directly or indirect boycott, is what AKP is really afraid of. Consequently, in order to increase participation, AKP continues to increase tension in general. By using provocative words and actions while doing its propaganda, it tenses up the opposition and increases the confrontation between voters. More confrontation means more participation in the elections.

On Us Anarchists:

Does non-participation to elections mean neutrality?

Anarchists who reject the administer-administered relationships, must also reject elections made for the administration of society. This is not being neutral, but taking the side of the struggle for a world where there are no administers or administered people. The elections obviously create the illusion of free will. The individual who thinks that he or she gets closer to social management and influences it with free will, is going to become distant to the daily reality because of this fallacy. The individual who distances away from the injustice, poverty and deprivation that one lives, inevitably becomes more obedient. In this unjust and not-free world order created by the conception of society that ignores the individual, there is no society in which the administration of society is not determined by elections. The options presented to the voters are clear and regardless of the choice the voters, these major facts do not change:

1) The ones who has to earn a living by selling their labor and their time, that is the oppressed, have no influence on administration.

2) For the oppressed, there is no difference between the implementations of the post-election administrations.

3) Owners of administration and owners of capital share interests.

4) In every society, there are of families, tribes, ideological parties, sects and ethnicities which have chronic potential for power or opposition. In Turkey, these are formed like Turkish, Kurdish, Sunni, Alevi, secular, conservative.

5) Power is responsible for the regulation of state-company relations. It fulfills this responsibility by using its bodies such as the execution, the judiciary and the law enforcement. This is the responsibility of perpetuating the desired shape of the relationship between the oppressor and oppressed. In turkey or whichever state in the world, did the power which won the elections favored the oppressed class against the oppressor class, ever? No elected power, conservative, liberal or even socialist, has ever favored the best interests of the class of the oppressed.

Anarchists cannot advocate voting and thereby acknowledging the power of winner of the elections, whether their vote win or lose. Anarchists do not take the organizing of society by participating in the elections and turn it into a strategy, like Marxist Leninist scientific socialists. Parties participating in the elections, create the fallacy that all demands of the people for justice and freedom have been covered in the electoral discourse and these will be met after they win the elections. To be a supporter, individually or as an organization, of the election campaign which means, in one way, a comprehensive demand, is to help propagate this fallacy. The desire to turn the election process into an opportunity to be utilized, is the desire to make propaganda for the electoral system, i.e. the fallacy. Anarchists should call all individuals that make up the society for the responsibility of abstention. This call, is the responsibility of the individual, for not leaving one’s own will, and also one’s desire for a just and free world, to the will of a party or the will of the president. Such responsibility is the beginning of a politicization that will span not a single day, but every day.

Revolutionary Anarchist Action

First Declaration On The Referendum.