First Secretary of the CC of Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), soL columnist, Kemal Okuyan wrote an article on December 5, on the movement of yellow vests in France and how to understand the movement with regard to the existing order of the world.
The protests began on November 17 to oppose rising fuel taxes. Fascist leader Marine Le Pen and "leftist" Jean-Luc Melenchon have been vocal in backing the demonstrators' demands.
Yellow vests – Red flags
France has been surrounded by yellow vests; Macron is in shock.
These kinds of outbreaks should be expected; we are certainly going to see new examples. Capitalism is providing nothing for humanity; billions of people are not happy today, nor do they feel hopeful about their future. Societies widely think “this is not the way things should go”, but there is no clarity about where these societies will go or where they should go.
That is why both right-wing and left-wing can incorporate itself into the yellow vests movement. For this reason, these kinds of movements could win the sympathy or even support of competing sides of the bourgeois order despite their radical demands or their character that is being “against the order”.
The world is unhappy and it does not want to move forward for now. But, for now…
In an unhappy world, the “right” is rising up by standing against progress, protecting the existing order, and even chasing for the revenge of any step forward. Nobody should be deceived by the tendency of the right, either religious or racism based or with a sauce of populism, to expand once again to a wide area from Latin America to Europe.
In the past, “far right” was called for duty to defend the system against the revolution. The conquest of fascism in the 1920s first in Italy and then in Germany was a product of revolution hit by social democracy from the inside. If one succeeded, the other would not; when revolution did not succeed, it meant success for fascism.
Then a thesis bending the truth, the thesis that revolutionary coercion invited fascism was put in action and a part of the left wing was made to believe this. The future of left would depend on knowing how to compromise and quitting to want everything!
Right now, capitalism is tearing down this thesis. As the argument that wars would end with the collapse of the Soviet Union has turned into a dirty joke after these years, the arrogance of saying that if revolution backs away capitalism can be managed has turned into nonsense.
Because capitalism has reached its own borders. It has nothing to offer for humanity. In the moment that the economy malfunctions, people start to remember that they have no future and every society react in accordance with its own genetic code.
Let us remember that in the 19th century when capitalism was still able to make progressive interventions, both workers and decent intellectuals in the world started to struggle to overthrow it and replace it with a more progressive social system; after a while, Marx found a strong theoretical base and perspective for this struggle. Therefore, whenever capitalism entered into a crisis, "revolution" was felt as a remedy in the society; it became a candidate to solve the complicated problems. Paris revolted with this spirit in 1871, Russia entered into the path of communism in 1917.
The problem today is that the revolution does not make itself apparent, because it is abandoned on a large scale. The societies that cannot go forward seek the solution from going back; if they are afraid of today!
The right is rising, not because of the threat of the revolution but because of this despair, and the owners of the system are so satisfied that they escaped with little harm.
Did they really escape?
There have been periods in which societies temporarily went back because of the inability to move forward. This time, however, is serious because humanity is on the edge of finally getting rid of class societies. "This fight is our last fight" and that is why it is so painful. They will certainly feel the revolution in their necks in the not-too-distant future because they cannot overcome the congestion of capitalism by going right and being reactionary.
Devlet Bahçeli [leader of fascist MHP party] says "I am conservative, too"; he is good at catching the spirit of capitalism. Those who are afraid of today may miss the Ottomans; a little religion, a little nationalism is enough for such a drift. But they can't solve anything.
Actually, the rise of the right can give energy to the revolution front in the whole world. Because it will be clear that there is no going back after a certain point.
The case of yellow vest movement should be analyzed from this perspective. France is unable to go forward, unhappy today, unwilling to go back, and thus trapped! It is a situation of indecisiveness that contains both moving forward and going back.
Vests are good, but in the language of politics, yellow is not much of. They say that France is witnessing a social unrest without an ideology. The anger is indeed real, and so is the claim of "another world. But that claim is blurred, as it gets blurred, the masses become the side-dish on the table of tensions of the bourgeois order.
It is this France, a country that has pioneered the providing the ground for the idea of socialism for years and has witnessed the most tremendous outbreaks of the working class.
And every time we say, "if only there was a party that knew what it was doing". The party of the revolution, the revolutionary party...
There are those who say, ”it includes everyone, the yellow vest is better than the red flag“; to include everyone is the Achilles heel of rebellion; those who cannot define its enemy is condemned to be defeated. The yellow vest can be seen here as a guarantee that the enemy does not appear as the capitalist order.
But these are untrustworthy assurances because capitalism is much weaker and damaged than it is thought to be.
Today, it can be yellow vests that people wear; but the days that the red flags on the upper shelves of the cupboards will be remembered are not far away.