Saturday, 23 March 2019

Iran: a blaze of class war

Only eight years ago we wrote: “The proletarian revolution no longer weaves its fabric within a single nation, its path does not open up inside one country alone, but in an international weft, because the class war to get free of the capitalist system is international (“Iran, the octopus of reformism”, Il programma comunista, n.1/2010). In the intervening years, a new war has hit the Middle East, a deadly war that has devastated the whole of Syrian territory, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, women and children, and the flight of millions of desperate people. From Damascus to Aleppo, from Mossul to Baghdad and San’a’, the whole of the Middle East has become a cemetery! The alliance between imperialist butchers headed by the Americans – super-armed, friends-cum-enemies, the real imperialist caliphate – has silenced a band of idiotic Islamists. The doves of so-called peace have settled on the banks of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, cooing at the victory of the Russian-Iranian-Syrian front. The other countries (Turkey, Iraq, Kurdistan) are left with the remains. By taking part in the war and taking its place at the centre of events, Iran played its own imperialist role together with the other armies, bands and plunderers. The imperialist bourgeoisie has re-evoked the monsters of nationalism, plunging the proletariat (our class) into the midst of fright and desperation.

 

Iran is an industrial country with a numerous and militant working class, capable of fighting even under the most difficult of conditions. The war has “done Iran good”, write the newspapers: in the first half of this year, the GNP grew by 5.6% and the economic growth in 2018 will also be positive, because oil production has doubled. At the same time, military operations have been extremely costly and the public debt claims that proletarians must tighten their belts. Unemployment has risen to over 12% but the real rate is far higher and youth unemployment reaches 25% (half the population is under 30 and 750 thousand young people every year enter the labour market). Patrimonies and assets are concentrated in only a few hands, corruption has fuelled the war and the latter corruption. Against this massacre, that the anger of those without resources to fall back on explode, recalling the slogan of defeatism: the enemy is in our own country!!

A lot of water has flowed under the bridges of 1979, since the banishment of the Shah to the advent of the Islamic Republic, from the war against Iraq of 1982-88 to the workers’ struggles of the new century (2009). The obstacle that stands in the way of our class’s advance, in Iran as in the whole of Europe and all over the world, is the octopus of reformism, pursuing its path of lies and deceit. From 28 December 2017, starting from Mashad (the city with the second largest population in Iran), the demonstrations have spread: in their thousands, all over the country, the urban masses spontaneously started to move. Against the rise in food prices, against corruption and growing poverty, anger rose against the bourgeoisie. The demonstrators attacked effigies and the reactionary and reformist role of the clergy; they burned hundreds of motor-bikes belonging to the régime’s militia, the Basij. In the industrial city of Isfahan the workers came out on strike. All this was met with harsh repression, which ended in hundreds of arrests and twenty or so deaths on the streets of Teheran and a dozen other Iranian cities. And this will not be forgotten.

Today what is proposed for the umpteenth time is no longer the reformism of the champion of progress, Moussavi, of 2009, nor that of the present reformist leader, Rouhani, who tried to settle the demonstrators by invoking calm and “non violence”. As far as we know the demonstrations were not guided by any political leaders from the clergy or civil society, nor by any union authorities. The anger, arising spontaneously from situations of poverty, attacked religious centres, banks, the headquarters of the Islamic militia, law courts, barracks, prefectures, i.e. the palaces of power. After every economic and social crisis, after every war, after every harsh struggle, the illusions of social peace on the one hand and false promises on the other stretch out their tentacles to halt the struggles, perhaps with the prospect of the Koranic charity that we call “charity and welfare” in the west, the miserable form in which our class is humiliated. In these years of warfare the Iranian masses have not waved the banner of class defeatism and neither have proletarians in the industrial metropolises. They were unable to: our class’s delay on the historical scale, like the delay of the revolutionary party, is in need of renewed confidence in its own strength, new organizational capacities, but above all a revolutionary theory and revolutionary tactics. We have often indicated the need for struggle as a form of advance training for the class war, without which it will be impossible to drive the fight forward, and we have pointed to the establishment of “independent territorial class organisms” as the necessary tools for expressing the class’s objectives. During the Teheran protests there was no lack of slogans: “down with war!” “out of Syria!”. On the streets there were cries of “bread, work and freedom!” The truncheons and the tear gas only spurred on the protests, gunshots tried to put an end to the fight. The class detonation did not come, only a blaze lasting a few days. And yet, the class detonation we are waiting for will come.

Jan. 8, 2018

 

International Communist Party

International Press

 

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