The Democratic Regional Federations
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Engels About Federations And Local Governments
In the Erfurt program, Engels has stated that, with the exception of two forms, federal republics or confederations were wrong. One of these exceptions is the following:
"In the gigantic territory of the United States, the federal republic is still, on the whole, a necessity, although in the Eastern states it is already becoming a hindrance."1
Switzerland is also a federal republic, but according to Engels, this quality does not stem from a necessity or a progress, but rather because "Switzerland is content to be a purely passive member of the European state system."2, this situation of it was condoned.
Thus, according to Engels, a federal republic; a) might be a compulsion for a state covering large lands, b) could be a useful method in solving national questions.
Other than the exceptions above, Engels saw the bourgeois state as a historical progress. He considers the federal state as a sub-level of the transition to the bourgeois state. He pointed out that different criminal laws and civil structures of each canton of each federal state are not progresses, but a remnant of the feudal past. For this reason, he stated that a federal solution for Germany would be "an enormous step backward".3 Germany was neither too large to govern centrally, nor was there more than one nation, unlike in England. A bourgeois revolution from above established the central bourgeois state. Therefore, Germany should not be divided again into small feudal states, but the bourgeoisie must be overthrown to democratize the state. That's exactly what Engels meant with his words, "in my view, the proletariat can only use the form of the one and indivisible republic."4
Moving on from Engels' regarding the bourgeois centralist state as a progress compared to feudal disintegration, claiming that Marxists defend a bourgeois centralist state system, and are on the side of "the one and indivisible republic" is just ridiculous. Engels did not defend the one and indivisible bourgeois republic. He discussed in what form the proletariat can benefit from this republic. Instead of regressing "the revolution from above" like in Germany to feudal disintegration, he proposed to complete it with "a movement from below" with a democratic revolution. He formulates this proposal clearly: "Complete self-government in the provinces, districts and communes through officials elected by universal suffrage. The abolition of all local and provincial authorities appointed by the state."5 In Engels' central republic, all local and provincial authorities appointed by the state are abolished and replaced by the elected attendants from below. This is the central unity of the communes or cantons, which are formed on the basis of democratic self-government. This is what Engels meant by "the movement from below". When he was saying "from 1792 to 1799 each French department, each commune, enjoyed complete self-government on the American model, and this is what we too must have."6, he put the issue very clearly, leaving no space for discussion.


Lenin's Approach
Lenin draws the following conclusion from Engels views:
"It is extremely important to note that Engels, armed with facts, disproved by a most precise example the prejudice which is very widespread, particularly among petty- bourgeois democrats, that a federal republic necessarily means a greater amount of freedom than a centralized republic. This is wrong. It is disproved by the facts cited by Engels regarding the centralized French Republic of 1792-98 and the federal Swiss Republic. The really democratic centralized republic gave more freedom that the federal republic. In other words, the greatest amount of local, regional, and other freedom known in history was accorded by a centralized and not a federal republic."7
As you can see, the discussion here is about which form is more democratic. Like Engels, Lenin also puts to the fore a democratic centralized state form based on local self-government of communes.
In the end, Lenin considers the federal republic as an exception, a form of "transition from monarchy to centralized republic".
"Approaching the matter from the standpoint of the proletariat and the proletarian revolution, Engels, like Marx, upheld democratic centralism, the republic-one and indivisible. He regarded the federal republic either as an exception and a hindrance to development, or as a transition from a monarchy to a centralized republic, as a "step forward" under certain special conditions. And among these special conditions, he puts the national question to the fore. "8
Later, Lenin changes this view, because he had not taken into account the new conditions of the period of imperialism while discussing the issue in The State and Revolution. The era of capitalism of free competition, in which Marx and Engels lived, was over, and in its place came the stage of imperialism. New conditions require new types of solutions. The solution forms of the conditions of yesterday, are not valid in the new conditions. Lenin acts exactly according to this reality.
Along with imperialism, two major changes have occurred in connection with our subject:
1) As capitalist imperialist colonialism has become a world system, national questions have become not an exception, but a generalized issue. From the Balkans to India, from the Middle East to Africa and Latin America, federations have been brought to agenda as a solution to national questions. Instead of small bourgeois states strangling each other, a voluntary and equal unity with a federation model was representing a real step forward not only for the oppressed peoples, but also for the proletariat. For example, the Bulgarian Communists had expressed this view even in 1910's. In the age of imperialism, a "one and indivisible bourgeois" republic alone no longer meant a historical progress. On contrary, under the conditions where national questions have become a worldwide phenomenon due to imperialist colonialism, a "one and indivisible republic" results in nothing but the oppression of other nations by the dominant nation.
Lenin corrects his previous view taking into account the imperialism age as follows:
"Federation is a transitional form to the complete unity of the working people of different nations. The feasibility of federation has already been demonstrated in practice both by the relations between the R.S.F.S.R. and other Soviet Republics (the Hungarian, Finnish 52 and Latvian 53 in the past, and the Azerbaijan and Ukrainian at present), and by the relations within the R.S.F.S.R. in respect of nationalities which formerly enjoyed neither statehood nor autonomy (e.g., the Bashkir and Tatar autonomous republics in the R.S.F.S.R., founded in 1919 and 1920 respectively). "9
As can be seen, federation have no longer been a "transition from monarchy to centralized republic", but turned into a "transitional form to the complete unity of the working people of different nations". In other words, it has extended beyond being a bourgeois solution to the national questions and become a real laboring solution.
2) Capitalist imperialism has created a world market that has merged into one another. This was also a new phenomenon. The proletariat had to take this phenomenon into account. The proletariat had to put forth federative units based on a voluntary equal unity as a transition form against the national economies, which were linked by imperialism from the weakest to the strongest. This should be an intermediate form of the goal of a single world economy under the leadership of the proletariat. Lenin describes this new reality in this way:
"In recognizing that federation is a transitional form to complete unity, it is necessary to strive for ever closer federal unity, bearing in mind, first, that the Soviet republics, surrounded as they are by the imperialist powers of the whole world-which from the military standpoint are immeasurably stronger-cannot possibly continue to exist without the closest alliance; second, that a close economic alliance between the Soviet republics is necessary, otherwise the productive forces which have been ruined by imperialism cannot be restored and the well-being of the working people cannot be ensured; third, that there is a tendency towards the creation of a single world economy, regulated by the proletariat of all nations as an integral whole and according to a common plan. This tendency has already revealed itself quite clearly under capitalism and is bound to be further developed and consummated under socialism."10


The Balkan Federation Attempt
At the beginning of the 20th century, "The Balkan socialist parties raised the slogan for a democratic Balkan federation against the growing imperialist aggression. In a strong united federation, Balkan peoples could have more easily defended their freedom and independence against any aggressive moves from imperialist powers. Also, federation, including Macedonia, could have solved all the existing national questions."11
After the October Revolution and the founding of the Communist International, the goal of a democratic Balkan federation has gained a firmer basis.
After the Second Re-division War, people's republics were formed in the Balkans, which allowed the Bulgarian Communists a step towards a Balkan federation that they had expressed at the beginning of the century. Yugoslavia and Bulgaria have made a preliminary arrangement for the establishment of a South Slavic Federation. Two years after the necessary steps have taken for the infrastructure required for the federation, Yugoslavia, first, postponed the arrangement of founding the federation, then laid it on the egg and in the end, they completely abandoned the project.
The South Slavic Federation could have become a Balkan federation and its closest target would have been exactly that. The bourgeois nationalist path taken by Yugoslavia under Tito's leadership has left the efforts of a Balkan Federation in vain.
Dimitrov said: "South Slavs, sure of the support of USSR, people's democracies and world democracy forces, will be able to break the opposition of imperialists and materialize the necessary vital unity. Today, the real barrier against the South Slavic Federation...is those who betray Marxism-Leninism... Slavs' unification cause, including Macedonia, will be victorious."12
We know that this cause didn't reach victory. The efforts of the imperialists to counter this and those who betrayed Marxism-Leninism had a great deal on them. But is this enough for an explanation?
First of all, we must ask why the goal of a Balkan federation, which was raised since the beginning of the century, was limited to a South Slavic federation. Secondly, we must ask why, with the other Balkan states that have embarked on the path of socialist construction, a unity of federal republics has not been established, even though Yugoslavia has committed treason.
It is obvious that not enough efforts were made for the federal units formulated by Lenin and adopted by the Communist International as one of the fundamental views, which were presented as an intermediate form for the transition of the socialist world republic. Although there were appropriate conditions after the Second Re-division War, there was no inclination in this direction. It would have taken steps to create federal units covering areas as vast as Eastern Europe and China. The socialist construction could be realized both in individual countries, and as formulated by Lenin through federative units, these countries would have a minimal basis for a common economic sector consisting of the various parts of the socialist bloc, and form a minimum ground for common planning of production.
More importantly, the socialists have not been able to form strong units against the capitalists who have gathered behind and around US imperialism to limit the impact of socialist construction on ideological, political, and social issues. As a result of the unity of the capitalists, the social productive force of labor increased in these countries, but the countries on the path of socialist construction have attempted to oppose the capitalist imperialist encirclement, either isolated or through weak units. It was obvious that no success could be achieved in this way. Ultimately, the already weak socialist bloc broke away with the revisionist deviation.
Lenin's two basic theses on the importance of federations have found appropriate opportunities in the age of imperialism, but they have not been materialized, and although a federative unity of all countries on the path of socialist construction was not formed on the first blow, just like the attempt of a South Slavic federation, inability to utilize the opportunities for regional federations, and the fact that it was not discussed enough about the issue must be recorded as a weakness of the communists.


Yesterday's Objective Obstacles And Today's Objective Possibilities
One can say that the weakness of the proletariat and the preponderance of peasants in the countries where the revolution is realized has led to the tendency that national development has outweighed the federation idea. Likewise, the revolutions of some nations for independence have inspired them to start socialist construction on a national state basis and this situation was even declared to be an ideological stance which "roasts in its own oil and paves its own way". Undoubtedly, this objective reality has a part in not paying enough attention to building federations and confederative units. But that does not mean that the communists must surrender to this objectivity. Federation-type units are intermediate forms for the transition of a united, single socialist construction state, which corresponds to that objective realities exactly. Regional federations were well possible. As a result, different nations would have their own state as well as the possibility of unified development, which would allow them to lift capitalist blockade and attacks.
The objective obstacles of that time are nearly abolished today. The petty bourgeoisie and the working peasants, the social mainstay of the nationalist idea within the working people, are subject to a large expropriation attack and are dissolving day by day. Even if the proletariat objectively has an international class character, it was under pressure of national development before the stage of imperialist globalization. Because the level of capitalist development had not yet exhausted all the opportunities of the national state. We can say that this is completed with imperialist globalization. The existence of a integrated world market is the main proof of this. The nation state is not an economic but a political necessity for the bourgeoisie. The nation state is a necessary means to secure benefits over the world market and to keep the working class trapped. For this reason, there were earlier objective conditions for the proletariat, under the influence of nation-statism, to be the remnant of bourgeois ideology. Today we can not speak of such objectivity.
On the other hand, a very large part of the world nations have gathered the experience of an independent state in capitalism. At the stage of imperialist globalization, it became clear that this independence, regardless of its point of view, is not in the interests of the working people. The working class in the imperialist countries was formerly able to take its share of the plundering of the imperialist bourgeoisie. This is the most important reason why the proletariat there clung to the bourgeois nation and nation-state. This reason is no longer present. Instead of the "prosperity society" of yesterday, the unemployment and impoverishment has come. The "welfare state" was replaced by economic and political laws of attack. The working class of countries dependent on imperialism has also set itself one of its main goals, to throw imperialist capital out of the country and start a national development. In the state of imperialist globalization, the dependent countries became financial-economic colonies. Production, trade and finance are largely under the control and direction of world monopolies. National markets are tied to the world market. At such a stage, there are no conditions for national development on the bourgeois road. In addition, these countries can be exposed to an economic disaster if these monopolies are thrown out. The definitive only way out is the beginning of socialist construction, but in the long run that can't succeed, if these countries stay alone on their own. Only by establishing regional units, one can raise the productivity of social production of labor to a higher level than in capitalism and increase the war against imperialist globalization.
In the light of these objective realities, we can once again look at Lenin's theses in this regard.


The Importance of Federative Units in the Stage of Imperialist Globalization
Are the two distinctive features, that Lenin has mentioned in connection with the imperialist stage, still valid today?
1) Lenin said, "Federation is a transitional form to the complete unity of the working people of different nations." Here, what is actually mentioned is the unity of different nations based on complete equality of rights within a certain state boundaries. In states where national questions have not yet been resolved, this solution is still valid. The Kurdish question in Turkey or the Tamil question in Sri Lanka can be solved through this path.
In the world of imperialist globalization, the need for democratic federations goes beyond that. The oppressed must form opposite units, regional federations as a transitional form against the hegemony of the imperialist world monopolies and their political representatives, the imperialist states and their native collaborators.
In the stage of imperialist globalization, the contradiction between labor and capital, as well as between state and people all over the world, has a decisive position. The places where these two contradictions are most sharpened are the regions where imperialist plundering and hegemony are intensified. These contradictions spark revolutionary explosions. These explosions are rapidly gaining regional quality. Democratic popular powers that arise from these revolutionary explosions quickly have to form regional units to crush imperialist interference and blockade.
On the other hand, the imperialists and their collaborators are widening religious, confessional, denominational, tribal and national divisions and conflicts in order to avoid the upheavals that have arisen due to the deep inequalities and repressions of reactionary fascist states caused by imperialist globalization to regain control. Democratic federations on a regional scale represent a real progress in overcoming these divisions and conflicts. In the Middle East, the Caucasus, the Balkans, Saharan Africa and Latin America, as well as some regions of Asia, regional democratic federations can be a transitional stage for even more advanced units.
2) Lenin explained that the tendency of a single world economy is clearly manifesting itself in the imperialist stage of capitalism. The proletariat as a whole must also be in the "tendency to create a single world economy organized according to a common plan and as a whole composed of parts." He saw the federation as an intermediate on the way to a complete unity.
In the former case, the need for a federation is political. In this second case, the federation is an economic necessity. The proletariat is opposed to the tendency of capitalism to create a world market made up of parts, but stands out with the tendency of creating a world market that is again divided into parts, but this time according to a common plan.
At the imperialist globalization stage of imperialism, the tendency of a world economy consisting of parts has replaced with the tendency of an integrated world economy. Another main tendency of imperialist globalization is the increasing violent competition for regional hegemony. Against an integrated world market on the one hand, and the tendency of creating regional hegemonies on the other, the proletariat can compete with the goal of a socialist world economy and regional economic and political hegemonies. It is obvious that it can only be succeeded by smashing bourgeois political powers in the individual countries. Nonetheless, in comparison to units of states, broader regional units are needed for the revolutionary democratic regimes to withstand, and to advance to a socialist world economy throughout this process. Democratic or socialist regional federations as transitional forms may be appropriate political forms for regional units.
Today, from the beginning, the regional revolution must find room in the program of the proletariat and its political strategy. It is a current issue to be solved, to lead revolutions in individual countries quickly to regional revolutions and from there to the goal of a world revolution. While in the Arab territories alone the overthrow of some despotic dictators had the effect of a sudden earthquake in the region, these events inspired the uprisings of indignants against capitalism from Greece via Spain to America. Of course, the revolutionary phase in the region, which started in Tunisia, reached Syria and, with the Gezi-June uprising, also harnessed Turkey, would have been crowned with revolutionary powers. In such a situation a Democratic Federation of the Middle East could have been founded. It is not hard to imagine how strongly a revolutionary-democratic Middle East federation would have shaken imperialist globalization, the international financial oligarchy. It should also not be hard to imagine how such a revolutionary-democratic regional federation would inspire the oppressed people of the world for the construction of revolutionary-democratic regional federations all over the world.
Since there is an integrated world market and the world is divided into regional hegemonic areas on this basis, riots in one place can quickly spread to other places and regionalize, after which they lead the waves of a world revolution, which is the meaning of the matter. This foundation was created by the capital with own hand. This foundation is its own grave.
Nobody should think that the world bourgeoisie is unaware of this. While the horizon of the bourgeoisie has long since overcome national boundaries and become on a worldwide scale, the bourgeoisie tries to confine the horizons of the workers and the oppressed to the narrowest limits. Civil-societism, as a means to turn away from the goal of political power, and nation-statism which leads to the inability to seize the possibilities of regional revolutions and the world revolution are two phenomena of this narrowed, in other words, restraint horizon. This is a direct ideological attack of the bourgeoisie. For this reason, the struggle for regional democratic and socialist federations is also an ideological counter-offensive of the working class and the oppressed.

 

Footnotes

1. "Critique of the 1891 Social Democrat Programme Proposal", Engels, Progress Publishers, Marxists Internet Archive (marxists.org)
2. age
3. age
4. age
5. age
6. age
7. V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 25, p.454, Progress Publishers, (marx2mao.com)
8. Age, p.451
9. V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 31, p.146-147, Progress Publishers, (marx2mao.com)
10. Age, p.147
11. Central Committee Political Report delivered at the 5th Congress of Bulgaria Worker's Party (Communist), Georgi Dimitrov
12. Age  

 

 

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The Democratic Regional Federations
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Engels About Federations And Local Governments
In the Erfurt program, Engels has stated that, with the exception of two forms, federal republics or confederations were wrong. One of these exceptions is the following:
"In the gigantic territory of the United States, the federal republic is still, on the whole, a necessity, although in the Eastern states it is already becoming a hindrance."1
Switzerland is also a federal republic, but according to Engels, this quality does not stem from a necessity or a progress, but rather because "Switzerland is content to be a purely passive member of the European state system."2, this situation of it was condoned.
Thus, according to Engels, a federal republic; a) might be a compulsion for a state covering large lands, b) could be a useful method in solving national questions.
Other than the exceptions above, Engels saw the bourgeois state as a historical progress. He considers the federal state as a sub-level of the transition to the bourgeois state. He pointed out that different criminal laws and civil structures of each canton of each federal state are not progresses, but a remnant of the feudal past. For this reason, he stated that a federal solution for Germany would be "an enormous step backward".3 Germany was neither too large to govern centrally, nor was there more than one nation, unlike in England. A bourgeois revolution from above established the central bourgeois state. Therefore, Germany should not be divided again into small feudal states, but the bourgeoisie must be overthrown to democratize the state. That's exactly what Engels meant with his words, "in my view, the proletariat can only use the form of the one and indivisible republic."4
Moving on from Engels' regarding the bourgeois centralist state as a progress compared to feudal disintegration, claiming that Marxists defend a bourgeois centralist state system, and are on the side of "the one and indivisible republic" is just ridiculous. Engels did not defend the one and indivisible bourgeois republic. He discussed in what form the proletariat can benefit from this republic. Instead of regressing "the revolution from above" like in Germany to feudal disintegration, he proposed to complete it with "a movement from below" with a democratic revolution. He formulates this proposal clearly: "Complete self-government in the provinces, districts and communes through officials elected by universal suffrage. The abolition of all local and provincial authorities appointed by the state."5 In Engels' central republic, all local and provincial authorities appointed by the state are abolished and replaced by the elected attendants from below. This is the central unity of the communes or cantons, which are formed on the basis of democratic self-government. This is what Engels meant by "the movement from below". When he was saying "from 1792 to 1799 each French department, each commune, enjoyed complete self-government on the American model, and this is what we too must have."6, he put the issue very clearly, leaving no space for discussion.


Lenin's Approach
Lenin draws the following conclusion from Engels views:
"It is extremely important to note that Engels, armed with facts, disproved by a most precise example the prejudice which is very widespread, particularly among petty- bourgeois democrats, that a federal republic necessarily means a greater amount of freedom than a centralized republic. This is wrong. It is disproved by the facts cited by Engels regarding the centralized French Republic of 1792-98 and the federal Swiss Republic. The really democratic centralized republic gave more freedom that the federal republic. In other words, the greatest amount of local, regional, and other freedom known in history was accorded by a centralized and not a federal republic."7
As you can see, the discussion here is about which form is more democratic. Like Engels, Lenin also puts to the fore a democratic centralized state form based on local self-government of communes.
In the end, Lenin considers the federal republic as an exception, a form of "transition from monarchy to centralized republic".
"Approaching the matter from the standpoint of the proletariat and the proletarian revolution, Engels, like Marx, upheld democratic centralism, the republic-one and indivisible. He regarded the federal republic either as an exception and a hindrance to development, or as a transition from a monarchy to a centralized republic, as a "step forward" under certain special conditions. And among these special conditions, he puts the national question to the fore. "8
Later, Lenin changes this view, because he had not taken into account the new conditions of the period of imperialism while discussing the issue in The State and Revolution. The era of capitalism of free competition, in which Marx and Engels lived, was over, and in its place came the stage of imperialism. New conditions require new types of solutions. The solution forms of the conditions of yesterday, are not valid in the new conditions. Lenin acts exactly according to this reality.
Along with imperialism, two major changes have occurred in connection with our subject:
1) As capitalist imperialist colonialism has become a world system, national questions have become not an exception, but a generalized issue. From the Balkans to India, from the Middle East to Africa and Latin America, federations have been brought to agenda as a solution to national questions. Instead of small bourgeois states strangling each other, a voluntary and equal unity with a federation model was representing a real step forward not only for the oppressed peoples, but also for the proletariat. For example, the Bulgarian Communists had expressed this view even in 1910's. In the age of imperialism, a "one and indivisible bourgeois" republic alone no longer meant a historical progress. On contrary, under the conditions where national questions have become a worldwide phenomenon due to imperialist colonialism, a "one and indivisible republic" results in nothing but the oppression of other nations by the dominant nation.
Lenin corrects his previous view taking into account the imperialism age as follows:
"Federation is a transitional form to the complete unity of the working people of different nations. The feasibility of federation has already been demonstrated in practice both by the relations between the R.S.F.S.R. and other Soviet Republics (the Hungarian, Finnish 52 and Latvian 53 in the past, and the Azerbaijan and Ukrainian at present), and by the relations within the R.S.F.S.R. in respect of nationalities which formerly enjoyed neither statehood nor autonomy (e.g., the Bashkir and Tatar autonomous republics in the R.S.F.S.R., founded in 1919 and 1920 respectively). "9
As can be seen, federation have no longer been a "transition from monarchy to centralized republic", but turned into a "transitional form to the complete unity of the working people of different nations". In other words, it has extended beyond being a bourgeois solution to the national questions and become a real laboring solution.
2) Capitalist imperialism has created a world market that has merged into one another. This was also a new phenomenon. The proletariat had to take this phenomenon into account. The proletariat had to put forth federative units based on a voluntary equal unity as a transition form against the national economies, which were linked by imperialism from the weakest to the strongest. This should be an intermediate form of the goal of a single world economy under the leadership of the proletariat. Lenin describes this new reality in this way:
"In recognizing that federation is a transitional form to complete unity, it is necessary to strive for ever closer federal unity, bearing in mind, first, that the Soviet republics, surrounded as they are by the imperialist powers of the whole world-which from the military standpoint are immeasurably stronger-cannot possibly continue to exist without the closest alliance; second, that a close economic alliance between the Soviet republics is necessary, otherwise the productive forces which have been ruined by imperialism cannot be restored and the well-being of the working people cannot be ensured; third, that there is a tendency towards the creation of a single world economy, regulated by the proletariat of all nations as an integral whole and according to a common plan. This tendency has already revealed itself quite clearly under capitalism and is bound to be further developed and consummated under socialism."10


The Balkan Federation Attempt
At the beginning of the 20th century, "The Balkan socialist parties raised the slogan for a democratic Balkan federation against the growing imperialist aggression. In a strong united federation, Balkan peoples could have more easily defended their freedom and independence against any aggressive moves from imperialist powers. Also, federation, including Macedonia, could have solved all the existing national questions."11
After the October Revolution and the founding of the Communist International, the goal of a democratic Balkan federation has gained a firmer basis.
After the Second Re-division War, people's republics were formed in the Balkans, which allowed the Bulgarian Communists a step towards a Balkan federation that they had expressed at the beginning of the century. Yugoslavia and Bulgaria have made a preliminary arrangement for the establishment of a South Slavic Federation. Two years after the necessary steps have taken for the infrastructure required for the federation, Yugoslavia, first, postponed the arrangement of founding the federation, then laid it on the egg and in the end, they completely abandoned the project.
The South Slavic Federation could have become a Balkan federation and its closest target would have been exactly that. The bourgeois nationalist path taken by Yugoslavia under Tito's leadership has left the efforts of a Balkan Federation in vain.
Dimitrov said: "South Slavs, sure of the support of USSR, people's democracies and world democracy forces, will be able to break the opposition of imperialists and materialize the necessary vital unity. Today, the real barrier against the South Slavic Federation...is those who betray Marxism-Leninism... Slavs' unification cause, including Macedonia, will be victorious."12
We know that this cause didn't reach victory. The efforts of the imperialists to counter this and those who betrayed Marxism-Leninism had a great deal on them. But is this enough for an explanation?
First of all, we must ask why the goal of a Balkan federation, which was raised since the beginning of the century, was limited to a South Slavic federation. Secondly, we must ask why, with the other Balkan states that have embarked on the path of socialist construction, a unity of federal republics has not been established, even though Yugoslavia has committed treason.
It is obvious that not enough efforts were made for the federal units formulated by Lenin and adopted by the Communist International as one of the fundamental views, which were presented as an intermediate form for the transition of the socialist world republic. Although there were appropriate conditions after the Second Re-division War, there was no inclination in this direction. It would have taken steps to create federal units covering areas as vast as Eastern Europe and China. The socialist construction could be realized both in individual countries, and as formulated by Lenin through federative units, these countries would have a minimal basis for a common economic sector consisting of the various parts of the socialist bloc, and form a minimum ground for common planning of production.
More importantly, the socialists have not been able to form strong units against the capitalists who have gathered behind and around US imperialism to limit the impact of socialist construction on ideological, political, and social issues. As a result of the unity of the capitalists, the social productive force of labor increased in these countries, but the countries on the path of socialist construction have attempted to oppose the capitalist imperialist encirclement, either isolated or through weak units. It was obvious that no success could be achieved in this way. Ultimately, the already weak socialist bloc broke away with the revisionist deviation.
Lenin's two basic theses on the importance of federations have found appropriate opportunities in the age of imperialism, but they have not been materialized, and although a federative unity of all countries on the path of socialist construction was not formed on the first blow, just like the attempt of a South Slavic federation, inability to utilize the opportunities for regional federations, and the fact that it was not discussed enough about the issue must be recorded as a weakness of the communists.


Yesterday's Objective Obstacles And Today's Objective Possibilities
One can say that the weakness of the proletariat and the preponderance of peasants in the countries where the revolution is realized has led to the tendency that national development has outweighed the federation idea. Likewise, the revolutions of some nations for independence have inspired them to start socialist construction on a national state basis and this situation was even declared to be an ideological stance which "roasts in its own oil and paves its own way". Undoubtedly, this objective reality has a part in not paying enough attention to building federations and confederative units. But that does not mean that the communists must surrender to this objectivity. Federation-type units are intermediate forms for the transition of a united, single socialist construction state, which corresponds to that objective realities exactly. Regional federations were well possible. As a result, different nations would have their own state as well as the possibility of unified development, which would allow them to lift capitalist blockade and attacks.
The objective obstacles of that time are nearly abolished today. The petty bourgeoisie and the working peasants, the social mainstay of the nationalist idea within the working people, are subject to a large expropriation attack and are dissolving day by day. Even if the proletariat objectively has an international class character, it was under pressure of national development before the stage of imperialist globalization. Because the level of capitalist development had not yet exhausted all the opportunities of the national state. We can say that this is completed with imperialist globalization. The existence of a integrated world market is the main proof of this. The nation state is not an economic but a political necessity for the bourgeoisie. The nation state is a necessary means to secure benefits over the world market and to keep the working class trapped. For this reason, there were earlier objective conditions for the proletariat, under the influence of nation-statism, to be the remnant of bourgeois ideology. Today we can not speak of such objectivity.
On the other hand, a very large part of the world nations have gathered the experience of an independent state in capitalism. At the stage of imperialist globalization, it became clear that this independence, regardless of its point of view, is not in the interests of the working people. The working class in the imperialist countries was formerly able to take its share of the plundering of the imperialist bourgeoisie. This is the most important reason why the proletariat there clung to the bourgeois nation and nation-state. This reason is no longer present. Instead of the "prosperity society" of yesterday, the unemployment and impoverishment has come. The "welfare state" was replaced by economic and political laws of attack. The working class of countries dependent on imperialism has also set itself one of its main goals, to throw imperialist capital out of the country and start a national development. In the state of imperialist globalization, the dependent countries became financial-economic colonies. Production, trade and finance are largely under the control and direction of world monopolies. National markets are tied to the world market. At such a stage, there are no conditions for national development on the bourgeois road. In addition, these countries can be exposed to an economic disaster if these monopolies are thrown out. The definitive only way out is the beginning of socialist construction, but in the long run that can't succeed, if these countries stay alone on their own. Only by establishing regional units, one can raise the productivity of social production of labor to a higher level than in capitalism and increase the war against imperialist globalization.
In the light of these objective realities, we can once again look at Lenin's theses in this regard.


The Importance of Federative Units in the Stage of Imperialist Globalization
Are the two distinctive features, that Lenin has mentioned in connection with the imperialist stage, still valid today?
1) Lenin said, "Federation is a transitional form to the complete unity of the working people of different nations." Here, what is actually mentioned is the unity of different nations based on complete equality of rights within a certain state boundaries. In states where national questions have not yet been resolved, this solution is still valid. The Kurdish question in Turkey or the Tamil question in Sri Lanka can be solved through this path.
In the world of imperialist globalization, the need for democratic federations goes beyond that. The oppressed must form opposite units, regional federations as a transitional form against the hegemony of the imperialist world monopolies and their political representatives, the imperialist states and their native collaborators.
In the stage of imperialist globalization, the contradiction between labor and capital, as well as between state and people all over the world, has a decisive position. The places where these two contradictions are most sharpened are the regions where imperialist plundering and hegemony are intensified. These contradictions spark revolutionary explosions. These explosions are rapidly gaining regional quality. Democratic popular powers that arise from these revolutionary explosions quickly have to form regional units to crush imperialist interference and blockade.
On the other hand, the imperialists and their collaborators are widening religious, confessional, denominational, tribal and national divisions and conflicts in order to avoid the upheavals that have arisen due to the deep inequalities and repressions of reactionary fascist states caused by imperialist globalization to regain control. Democratic federations on a regional scale represent a real progress in overcoming these divisions and conflicts. In the Middle East, the Caucasus, the Balkans, Saharan Africa and Latin America, as well as some regions of Asia, regional democratic federations can be a transitional stage for even more advanced units.
2) Lenin explained that the tendency of a single world economy is clearly manifesting itself in the imperialist stage of capitalism. The proletariat as a whole must also be in the "tendency to create a single world economy organized according to a common plan and as a whole composed of parts." He saw the federation as an intermediate on the way to a complete unity.
In the former case, the need for a federation is political. In this second case, the federation is an economic necessity. The proletariat is opposed to the tendency of capitalism to create a world market made up of parts, but stands out with the tendency of creating a world market that is again divided into parts, but this time according to a common plan.
At the imperialist globalization stage of imperialism, the tendency of a world economy consisting of parts has replaced with the tendency of an integrated world economy. Another main tendency of imperialist globalization is the increasing violent competition for regional hegemony. Against an integrated world market on the one hand, and the tendency of creating regional hegemonies on the other, the proletariat can compete with the goal of a socialist world economy and regional economic and political hegemonies. It is obvious that it can only be succeeded by smashing bourgeois political powers in the individual countries. Nonetheless, in comparison to units of states, broader regional units are needed for the revolutionary democratic regimes to withstand, and to advance to a socialist world economy throughout this process. Democratic or socialist regional federations as transitional forms may be appropriate political forms for regional units.
Today, from the beginning, the regional revolution must find room in the program of the proletariat and its political strategy. It is a current issue to be solved, to lead revolutions in individual countries quickly to regional revolutions and from there to the goal of a world revolution. While in the Arab territories alone the overthrow of some despotic dictators had the effect of a sudden earthquake in the region, these events inspired the uprisings of indignants against capitalism from Greece via Spain to America. Of course, the revolutionary phase in the region, which started in Tunisia, reached Syria and, with the Gezi-June uprising, also harnessed Turkey, would have been crowned with revolutionary powers. In such a situation a Democratic Federation of the Middle East could have been founded. It is not hard to imagine how strongly a revolutionary-democratic Middle East federation would have shaken imperialist globalization, the international financial oligarchy. It should also not be hard to imagine how such a revolutionary-democratic regional federation would inspire the oppressed people of the world for the construction of revolutionary-democratic regional federations all over the world.
Since there is an integrated world market and the world is divided into regional hegemonic areas on this basis, riots in one place can quickly spread to other places and regionalize, after which they lead the waves of a world revolution, which is the meaning of the matter. This foundation was created by the capital with own hand. This foundation is its own grave.
Nobody should think that the world bourgeoisie is unaware of this. While the horizon of the bourgeoisie has long since overcome national boundaries and become on a worldwide scale, the bourgeoisie tries to confine the horizons of the workers and the oppressed to the narrowest limits. Civil-societism, as a means to turn away from the goal of political power, and nation-statism which leads to the inability to seize the possibilities of regional revolutions and the world revolution are two phenomena of this narrowed, in other words, restraint horizon. This is a direct ideological attack of the bourgeoisie. For this reason, the struggle for regional democratic and socialist federations is also an ideological counter-offensive of the working class and the oppressed.

 

Footnotes

1. "Critique of the 1891 Social Democrat Programme Proposal", Engels, Progress Publishers, Marxists Internet Archive (marxists.org)
2. age
3. age
4. age
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7. V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 25, p.454, Progress Publishers, (marx2mao.com)
8. Age, p.451
9. V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. 31, p.146-147, Progress Publishers, (marx2mao.com)
10. Age, p.147
11. Central Committee Political Report delivered at the 5th Congress of Bulgaria Worker's Party (Communist), Georgi Dimitrov
12. Age