Iran - Class struggle is the only alternative for working class

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ICC introduction

The text we are publishing below was sent to us by a comrade who has commented on our web site under the handle "Internationalist". We think that this text, on the real nature of the "Green movement" and the Mosavi opposition in Iran, is well worth publishing and bringing to a wider audience above all because it takes position clearly against the reformism of Mosavi who in the past - as the article points out - has been the artisan of the brutal repression of the Iranian working class and the population in general.

In describing the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the article rightly points out that the Shah's government had become a hindrance to Iranian capital, inasmuch as it created an intolerable situation not only for the population (hence the massive workers' strikes that broke out in that period, cf our article written at the time) but even for the bourgeoisie - to the point where not a single fraction of the ruling class was ready to oppose his overthrow (a more detailed analysis see our article "Behind the Iran-US crisis, the ideological campaigns"). The overthrow of the Shah's regime was a real blow to the American bourgeoisie, though the USSR was unable to profit from it and Iran never really escaped the Western bloc.

The article describes the split between what the comrade describes as the "theocratic" and "reformist" wings of the bourgeoisie, quite rightly in our view denouncing the impossibility of real reforms that would benefit the working class. It is less concerned with the possibility of a split in the theocratic wing itself. It seems to us that a possible aspect of the manoeuvrings going on in the Iranian bourgeoisie, especially the splits that have become visible in the clerical hierarchy, is due to the fact that Ahmadinejad is not merely a puppet of the theocratic fraction, but is in fact the leader (or at least a leading figure) of a military/police faction which belongs to the generation that fought in the Iran/Iraq war. This faction - which has the gangsters of the Basij as its armed force within the population, as well as the security services etc. - is busily extending its control over the economy, both the legal and the black-market economy (including smuggling of alcohol, drugs, and other illegal merchandise). As such, it poses a threat to the hegemony of the clerical faction which is divided as to how to react.

At all events, the importance of Iran as a strategic regional player in the Middle East power struggles, and of the working class in Iran which has been historically one of the most combative in the region, means that revolutionaries should follow the situation there attentively and we are glad to publish this contribution to what must be an ongoing discussion.

ICC


Introduction

 

What happened in Iran in the past few months? Was it a confrontation between bourgeois gangs? Has a communist revolution begun in Iran? How one can explain political situation within the Iranian political milieu? What do all of these events mean for the working class? It is vital and necessary for internationalists to evaluate, analyse, explain and learn lessons to look forward for the most effective and productive internationalist perspective and actions.

Birth of Islamic Republic a paradox

Shah, the king of kings, who was a reliable puppet generally of the capitalist world and in particular of the Western bloc, proclaimed that Iran was a stable island in the Middle East for the capitalist world. Capitalism needs a stable Iran in that region. Since Iran is among the world's top three holders of both proven oil and natural gas reserves and also geopolitically located in a very sensitive and important part of the world.

The stable island within a short period of time became destabilised and Shah's brutal repression couldn't help him to stay in the power, especially when the working class strikes and other movement started throughout the system particularly in the petroleum industry. The bourgeoisie needed an alternative to uphold the capitalist system. The Islamic Republic was a powerless product of the worlds' bourgeoisie to give an alternate to the national capital to set up a capitalist system after the Shah's regime.

Islamic Republic was born with a congenital paradox. Like other republics in the world, the Islamic Republic of Iran has its president, parliament, election, but it also has the supreme leader (khamenei), God's shadow on the earth. The supreme leader has power over the law and can dismiss the president. Khomeini dismissed the first elected president of Iran, Banisadr in June 1981.

Capitalism needs stability to assure accumulation of capital both for internal and external investors. Within Islamic capitalism, there have always been two visions or trends to approach this goal. These two visions are theocratic and republic. Today, Ahmadinejad represents the theocratic and Mosavi represents the republic to enforce the capitalist system in Iran.

 

The theocratic vision of bourgeoisie

 

This wing of bourgeoisie has a state capitalist vision and very closed social control apparatus of society with an aggressive policy. They have bastions in the Pasdaran, the Basij militia, the priesthood and the state apparatus. This vision, state capitalism with aggressive policy is a risk factor both for internal and external investors. Western world has always proclaimed that this wing must adapt itself to capital's routines. To punish theocrats, Western bourgeoisie, through the German bourgeoisie made a gesture through the Mykonos trial. "In its 10 April 1997 ruling, the court issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian intelligence minister Hojjat al-Islam Ali Fallahian after declaring that the assassination had been ordered by him with knowledge of supreme leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Ayatollah Rafsanjani"[1] After this, the bourgeoisie could present a better alternative to reinforce the capitalist system by introducing the new president, Khatami who was introduced as a president who wants "Dialogue Among Civilizations",.

The disadvantage and consequence of the theocratic policy is insecurity of capital and loosing capital from Iran. The capital flight from Iran between 1973 to 1988 has been estimated about $8.16 billion. In contrast, the capital flight between 2005 and 2006 was about $200 billion.[2] Iran's Student Correspondents Association explained that the reason for capital flight is "the policies of the ninth government fear for the investment" (The government of Ahmadinejad).[3]

We must point out that this is an official report and exact figures prove impossible to obtain or is more than this. Security and guarantee of capital is necessary to assure accumulation of capital both for internal and external investors.

 

The republic (reformist) vision of bourgeoisie

 

As mentioned earlier, today, Mosavi represents this vision usually called reformist. Reformist Mosavi has changed his slogan from "Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic" to "Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic".[4] What does it mean to be a reformist? Two important and well known elements within reformists are, Mosavi and Hajjarian.

It was during Mosavi's time, when he was the Prime Minster of Iran that hundreds of striking worker were jailed or beaten to death. Thousands of political prisoners were executed when the mass grave of political prisoners (Khavaran) was created and developed and so on.

Saeed Hajjarian, the master mind of reformism, was the one who created and built one of the world's most brutal organization of the century by the name of Ministry of Intelligence and National Security of Iran. "The formation of the ministry was proposed by Saeed Hajjarian to the government of Mir-Hossein Mosavi and then the parliament."[5] We need to point out that the Ministry of Intelligence of Iran is one of the most horrible and dreadful in the world and it is very notorious in its torture and terror methods. Mosavi and Hajjarian are not less guilty than Ahmadinejad when it comes to workers right or other human right issues.

This wing of bourgeoisie strive for privatising parts of the industry, more opening and investment opportunities to the Western World and some reduction in the social controls. In an ideal world this gang try to adapt the national capital to the world capital's routines, to give assurance to accumulation of capital.

Now we need to address this question. Is social reform possible in our epoch? The First World War has proved that capitalism has entered in its decadence and no more permanent social reforms could be possible. Also, it is not longer possible to reform capitalism to make better life for people. As a result, the forms of struggle for the working class have been changed, the struggle for parliament, social reforms are no longer a struggle form for the working class. The fact is that in our epoch, in the epoch of decadent capitalism, parliament and elections are not different than a mystification and the main task of parliament, is to legislate wage slavery.

 

"Islamic Japan" or Barbarity of capitalism

 

Eight years of war had destroyed most of Iran's infrastructure and industry and it needed rebuilding. After the Iran-Iraq war when Rafsanjani took presidential office, his title was changed from commander of operations to commander of development. He proclaimed that Iran is going to be a modern, industrialized country, very similar to Japan in terms of development and economics progress, an "Islamic Japan" and recently the supreme leader (Khamenei) referred to Iran as Islamic Japan.[6]

Iran is one of the countries in the world that has many young people. Its labor force has been almost doubled in the last nine years.

That means each month about 125,000 jobs need to be created. However, in practice, it is impossible within a capitalist framework to create that many jobs. Unemployment rate rises in Iran and it has reached up to 12.5% (in real life the rate is always higher than the statistics).[7] In the mean time, Central Bank of Iran reported a 23.6% inflation rate in Iran[8], one of the biggest economic challenges of the century. Unpaid salaries for months are a dilemma for hundred thousand workers in Iran. "No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc."[9]

This means, in reality a worker must have two or three job to support his family and unemployment nightmare never goes away. In the real life the worker is working day after day to create more surplus value to the capitalists. The labour force is goods in the capitalist system but special goods that can create surplus value. Working class is target to be attacked on living conditions every day. With the current situation in Iran, millions of unemployed people, the young generation is suffering and they have no hope with this brutal capitalist regime. The ruling class know that young people are more headaches to them than an American or Israeli bomb attack.

 

Democratic Illusion

 

"Down with dictator!" has been a popular slogan in the last months in the streets of not only Tehran, the capital city of Iran, but also in the streets of all the major cities in Iran. The real meaning of this slogan is "Long live democracy!" which democratic mass medium have been blown on these illusions. To add this all democratic governments condemned the police violence of Iran. But the question is why this "honest" democratic mass medium have been shoot up when the butcher of bourgeoisie slaughtered more than hundred or maybe thousands prisons and workers each days in 1981!

What does that democracy mean? The following diagram shows unemployment rate in the USA, EU and Sweden that increase dramatically.

Democracy is not a legal phenomenon without an economic root. Unemployment, job stress and misery at work have been a nightmare for working class in the West world. In the capital's palpating heart USA, it is normal for a worker to have two jobs to support his family. In the cradle of bourgeois civilization, France, job stress and misery at work are reasons for a wave of staff suicides. "A wave of staff suicides which has seen more than 20 workers take their lives in the past 18 months - some leaving notes blaming job stress and misery at work."[10] The real number is 23 not 20! In the paradise of capitalism as a social democracy society, Sweden, where the social democratic governments have been in place for more than hundred years, unemployment has been a nightmare for working class. Unemployment rate is going to be increased dramatically in the next coming years. The National Institute of Economic Research published in its website: "During the forecast period unemployment will soar, and the unemployment rate will reach 11.4% in 2010 and 11.8% in 2011."[11]

 

For us, capitalist democracy and capitalist dictatorship are two sides of the same coin. Capitalist democracy is not a paradise for the working class without the same hell for other exploited in the dictatorship countries. Democracy is not a perspective for us but a very dangerous trap for our class.

 

The left of capital

 

After the election circus in Iran, which resulted in confrontation between bourgeois gangs, political currents took different positions based on the position and classifications. The left of capital as always tried to play its role as effective as possible. Tudeh Party, Fedaian Majority became directly mouthpiece to for Mosavi. The radical part of the left, "Worker"-"Communist" party of Iran proclaimed beginning of the revolution even presented the leader of revolution (Hamid Taqvaee) and on another ways supported the struggling bourgeois gangs.

Also, the other left activities have organized so many demonstrations to education the people of the world about what has happening in Iran. As an example, they have approached in so many creative ways to show the United Nation (UN) and the world what is going on in Iran. One of their requests was to close the embassies of Islamic Republic around the world because they believe those embassies are nothing but spying agencies. However, it is very obvious that UN is only a nest of vultures. These activities and practices of the left are very suitable for the Western World policies and interests to pressure the Iranian government.

In the absence of an established internationalist positions in the Iranian Political Milieu, the organizations who are acting such as left parties, misleading people and in the reality are carrying the interests of bourgeoisie and ultimately will manage to present themselves as leaders of workers and lefts.

 

Class struggle is the only alternative for working class

 

The working class in Iran is experiencing the miserable condition of living every day. They have been facing this situation for many years. The conditions and standard of living not only is decline, political situation getting worse. In the past few years, working class has been radicalized gradually and despite brutally of the regime, organized tens of protest actions or strikes all over the country.

Of course workers have been on the streets but they acted as individuals rather than as a social class. The only collective force reaction against the repression comes from Iran Khodro and bus drivers' side. We must avoid acting as cannon fodder for any of the struggling bourgeois gangs. We must expand our struggle, independent of all bourgeois gangs, against capitalism. Our slogan must be against wage slavery, exploitation, unemployment, inflation. We need to fight only for our class interests.

Capitalism is the origin of all misery and adversity in the world. Our interest is not in; to change rolling class as it happened 1979 without in class struggle and our aim must be directed to destroying whole capitalist system. This is only possible from an internationalist perspective. We don't have anything to lose but our chains and a world to win!

Our revolutionary responsibility are contributing to class struggle and building of the minority revolutionary organisation with aim to contribute to building of the world wide Internationalist Communist Party, the indispensable weapon for the victory of the Communist Revolution.

The working class is the only social class that can put an end to capitalist barbarism and misery. This alternative that communists had proposed in the past is more valid today than ever:

"Communist Revolution or the destruction of humanity!"


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykonos_restaurant_assassinations

[2] http://iscanews.ir/fa/PrintableNewsItem.aspx?NewsItemID=219653

[3] http://iscanews.ir/fa/PrintableNewsItem.aspx?NewsItemID=219653

[4] Asia Times Online, Aug 22, 2009

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Intelligence_of_Iran

[6] http://www.revver.com/video/641815/khamenei-on-iran-being-islamic-japan/

[7] http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=91586&sectionid=351020102

[8] http://www.business24-7.ae/Articles/2009/6/Pages/07062009/06082009_218f04ab9fce4f76b638c0ab942cadfd.aspx

[9] http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm#007

[10] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/09/france-telecom-staff-suicides-phone

[11]http://www.konj.se/sidhuvud/inenglish/economicconditionsinsweden/economicconditionsinsweden/unemployment.4.caf6c1f8a90236a77fff1162.html