Developing the Demand for the Constituent Assembly as a Program Item
This document was written in 2017 to intervene in a discussion in UIT –Turkey section, on wrong using the CA slogan
1-The constituent assembly is a “bourgeois-democratic” demand on its own. If this demand is adopted by a wide range of social and political segments, it will at the best type of bourgeois democracy. Since we cannot be horrified in the face of a regime change and make the working class a tool of “bourgeois democracy,” such demands must become revolutionary in line with the logic of our Transition Program.
Since the “guarantee” of the revolutionary nature of demand cannot be because it asserted by us, the problem must be solved in another way. This solution is to put forward the demand of the constituent assembly as a whole with a number of other demands. If the constituent assembly demand does not integrate with other demands, it means at best the reform and renewal of the bourgeois regime. (As experienced after May 27 (a coup in Turkey, in 1961).
2. In addition, the demand for the constituent assembly must be put forward in a way that will “touch the heart” of the working class. In other words, the interests of the working class must be accurately and clearly stated. Giving a “transitional” and revolutionary character to the constituent assembly demand as a democratic slogan depends on integrating it with a range of economic and transitional demands. When this is not done, the demand of the constituent assembly remains or is perceived as the “democratic stage” or “minimum program” item in its most advanced form.
The way to overcome this is to properly integrate a Democratic demand, at least with economic demand and a transition demand, and to make it a short and concise program of action, as stated above.
For example, with the demand of the Constituent Assembly, regulations in favor of labormen in labor laws, increasing the minimum wage and wages in general, to stop postponing and ending strikes, removing barriers to unionization, etc. it should be put forward in slogans with the content of ”economic-Democratic”. It is necessary to put forward the transition slogans described by Trotsky as ”the definition of the working system in a socialist society, the program of socialism”. The most urgent of these slogans, the ones that constitute a direct need for the working class and the most “transformative” should be chosen carefully
3-Demands are not only limited to their own fields but also have to bring the problem of power to daily life. In order for a democratic demand to acquire a revolutionary and transitional character “to take power”, it must also be integrated with appropriate economic social, and transitional demands. However, the revolutionary program of action that expresses this integrity must also include a number of means of struggle and organizations: These are mass mobilization organs, mass self-organization, which will make the working class an independent and organized force in struggle. (committees, councils, etc.)
Without this integrity, it is impossible to overcome “democracy” and “bring the problem of taking power to daily life”. This also confronts us with the task of putting forward a “formulation of power”. The formula for our transition program on this issue is the “worker-peasant” or “worker-laborer” government.
4-It can be said that all these are “early”. However, if we do not reveal what the proposed government formula is, we will accept the bourgeois-democratic boundaries of our constituent assembly request in advance. Turkey; the common “democratic” Consider trends. For example, when HDP, CHP, and Turkey’s approaches are considered the “democracy” of the proposal, at best, a “democratic republic” is open it will remain limited. In other words, a “democratic, secular, social rule of law” regime within the framework of a bourgeois-democratic constitution to be built by the constituent assembly…
In such a process, we must fully defend a revolutionary transition government with a brief, concise, and integrated “action program”. In addition, we must clearly state what the class character of the government formula we will be forwarding and its place in our program. This is also important for the demand of the constituent assembly to gain a revolutionary-transitional and proletarian character and to “turn towards a door to socialism”. Ultimately, what the demand for a constituent assembly would mean to us in real terms will be determined by its programmatic integrity and political goal.
5-The problem here is not to announce our ultimate goal to society and to the working class which are not ready at all. Therefore, it is important that our slogans respond to the pedagogical dimension, order, and indispensable needs. However, today we are facing a problem like this. Although we are faced with a regime change and an urgent democracy problem, we must admit that the idea of the “constituent assembly” does not currently concern the wide segments of the society, the working class, and the political forces in serious weight. Even in the case of Maduro, there is a danger of encountering a “constituent assembly” proposal from Recep Tayyip Erdogan(President of Turkey) under suitable conditions!
The most important issue for us is that the problem is undertaken by the working class in the context of “democratization” and open the road for the class struggle. This is also possible within the integrity of the 3 requests mentioned above. This will be the basis of the common struggle we will propose to revolutionary parties and groups. Such a program of action will also constitute the programmatic basis of our socialist propaganda for militants and cadres outside of us. There is no other way to get rid of the “bourgeois-democratic” burden (and unfair criticism of reformism we will face) of a constituent assembly that will probably never be established as we think about it …