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Excerpts from the Analysis of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist Maoist) on the Uprising of the Dispossessed in Iran
Fight the Islamic Republic of Iran! Organize People for Revolution!
Overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran! Fight for a New Socialist Republic in Iran!
Marxism embraces thousands of truths, but all of them are concentrated in a single thing: It is right to rebel against reactionaries! (Mao Zedong)
A massive social upheaval has begun in order to bury the Islamic regime in Iran. The masses are storming into dangerous waters with eyes fixed on a future without the Islamic Republic – an oppressive regime which has ruled Iran for the last 4 decades with religious bigotry and sword. Let us take solid steps and stride forth with the goal of destroying IRI and founding and building a radically different state and social system on its ruins. In 1979 revolution, we only rattled the chains of oppression and exploitation but this time around we must go for breaking the chains.
Even before this mass upheaval, the legitimacy of the IRI was frail. But now it has irreparably been shattered. The popular movement quickly moved from economic demands and rage against price hikes to calling out the “Supreme Leader” of IRI with the now popular slogan of “death to Khamenei”. ...
The heads of IRI are in disarray. … Rifts among different factions of the regime have deepened and they are unable to unite around a common approach to this situation. Even within each faction (pro- Reform faction and pro-Principles faction) there is no unity of will. Both factions call for harsh suppression of the people, while openly being fearful of what could such suppression unleash. They continue their internal feud and holding each other for “incompetence” and even of sparking the mass rebellion through acts of “conspiracy” and “sabotage”. Heating up of internal rifts within the regime, gave an opening to upheaval and rebellion of the oppressed masses. Rivalry among the ruling class factions has led to numerous exposures of each other’s theft and embezzlement and plunder of billions of dollars of state funds -- the latest being President Rohani’s exposure that a big chunk of state’s annual budget goes into religious institutions who just take and don’t even pay taxes. All these, were like throwing oil on the already raging fire of the masses. Actually, what triggered the mass upheaval is of little importance. People’s rebellion is not rooted in this in-fighting, although internal feud among reactionaries did open a window of opportunity for the masses. The root cause of people’s rage and rebellion lies in the capitalist socio-economic system which is run through religious despotism and a regime that tramples upon the most basic rights of people and imposes extreme forms of discrimination, creates extreme poverty, high unemployment, dealing with any form of protest by the masses through its sprawling security and military apparatus. This kind of harsh exploitation and suppression, combined with social discriminations such as women’s and national oppression is the essence of the IRI. The main origin of the people’s uprising lies in the economic relations of capitalism. On the one hand, enormous wealth produced by millions of laboring and toiling masses is appropriated and controlled by a small group of parasites and on the other hand, vast number of masses is deprived of their most basic rights as human beings. The whole suppressive military, security and ideological apparatus of IRI guards and ensures this situation.
This movement, in terms of political content and slogans and its steadfastness is comparable to the mass movement in 1978 against the Shah’s regime. In political terms it targets the totality of the regime and its head. In terms of its extent and class composition, the forces involved in the struggle, its geographical span and its political radicalism as well as militancy, this uprising is unparalleled in the history of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the movement of 2009 [so called “Green Movement”] mainly the middle strata in a few big cities got involved, asking for “where is my vote”. But this time, different stratums were driving forces -- mostly workers, poor working people and unemployed masses (even some having university education), all concentrated in small cities and towns, have been driving forces of the movement.
Slogans such as “death to Khamenei” (Marg bar Khamenei) which today has become wide-spread in cities all over Iran and people ripping down his or Khomeini’s mega size posters are very similar to 1979 popular chants of “death to the Shah” (Marg bar Shah) and pulling down Shah’s statues. While at that time these acts signified popular hatred of the Shah and his monarchial regime, this time around it declares and signifies general revulsion of the Islamic Republic regime and resentment of all colossal crimes and injustices that this regime has dished out to people in the past 4 decades. Attaching mosques [which are headquarters for suppressive force of Basij militia, in each neighbourhood] and other religious institutions and slogans such as “Wielding Islam to Crush People”, “Death to Mollah Regime”, are clearly targeting theocratic regime and theocracy and slogans such as “Reformers, Priciple-ists, Game is Over” actually signaled the need for overthrowing the totality of the IRI ruling thugs.
All the rulers and defenders of the outmoded world order, Trump of the USA and Netanyahu of Israel, forces such as Mujahedeen Organization of Iran [Islamist opposition to the IRI] and pro-Monarchy forces are racing to put their reactionary stamp on this movement and put forth their alternatives for future of Iran – all of which are nothing but a different version of the same order. The leadership of the Mujahedeen is opting to replace Islamic Republic regime with the aid of imperialist powers and calls for making “free market” in Iran even freer. Pro-Monarchy forces invite people to regress to the times that their oppressive fore-fathers ruled Iran. But the fact is that the criminal Islamic Republic safeguarded and continued the same exploitative class relations which the Shah’s regime resided over. This is a critical lesson to be drawn from the history of struggle in Iran that the regimes can change, crowns can roll down the streets but if people are tricked into following reactionary forces and their reactionary programs, if an actual libratory goal and program which can only be goal and program of a communist revolution is not there to connect with and lead the people, the chains of enslavement will not be broken and another round of oppression and reactionary rule in different forms will begin. During 1979 revolution turban and pulpit replaced crown and peacock thrown. And, not only people’s lives did not change for the better but actually got even worse hundred times more.
The middle class has fundamentally not joined this rebellion. But the “invisible hand” of capitalist economy is pushing them down as well. Even the interests of this class lies in radical change in the society. But this class according to its class character is fearful of radical uprisings and of the poor masses that are driving forces of current rebellion. Overall they are very fearful of social revolution. Comfort and social position of this class has an important role in safeguarding stability for the regime. But today the IRI is not able to create a stable economic and social position even for these strata.
IRI must be overthrown. But what should be the social content of this overthrowing and what kind of republic should be built on its ashes in order to fulfill the most immediate and long term interests of the majority of people from every section: workers and other working people in city and country side, women, progressive intellectuals, middle strata, different nationalities, Afghan immigrants etc? Separation of the state and religion is one of the just demands of people’s uprising. IRI is a despotic regime which rules with iron fist of security and military. IRI is a social system whose workings are built upon oppression and degradation of women. Freedom and equality under law and in family and society must be achieved and all men have to profoundly change their thinking and behavior. IRI constitution valorizes the people of this country based on their gender, nationality, religion and faith, and parcel out “rights” accordingly. The IRI is an ugly anti LGBT regime. All individuals of this country must be unconditionally equal before the law, without any distinctions and discrimination based on gender, nationality, language, sexuality, beliefs and faith. IRI is an invasive military force that renders service to reactionary regimes in Iraq and Syria against the people of those countries and unites with reactionary forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and Palestine. Overthrowing IRI and building a New Socialist Republic in Iran will open the way for actual freedom and independence of all peoples of this region. IRI is a state and system dependent on imperialist capitalism. To cut off the hands of world imperialist capitalism from the economic and social and political life of this county, the first step to take is to overthrow this regime. IRI on the basis of profit in command of capitalism and its ineptitude has destroyed the environment of the country and has deprived 80 million people of clean air and water. Without overthrowing this regime even one step cannot be taken to reverse and repair damages to environment. This political-ideological and social-economic system constantly breeds corruption, embezzlement and unbridled plunder of financial and natural resources of the country by the powerful men of the IRI.
Many slogans chanted by people in this movement are very educating and rich and have turned important truths into thinking of the people all over the country. But important demands such as abolition of mandatory Hejab, equality between men and women, abolition of all national oppression against non-Fars nations in Iran have not been chanted by the crowds. Moreover, some slogans which have been chanted go against the just demands of the people. For example call for return to Monarchy. This could be as a result of superficial comparison of two regimes by the people. But it is necessary to look at things deeply and in this case see how despite of important differences, these two regimes fundamentally share the same essence. Or let us look at the slogan “long live Iranian Republic”. Calling for a republic that makes distinction between Iranian and non-Iranian is wrong. A republic must be based on the principle of equality of all citizens of a country irrespective of their race or nationality. Additionally, this slogan hides the social content of that republic and leaves it to the winds. It is necessary that in this movement the people increasingly move away from nationalism and change themselves on the basis of internationalism and principle of equal co-existence of all nationalities in Iran. This upheaval can endure only if everything including the ideas and thinking of the people who are daringly fighting and carrying their lives on their fingers.
In some protests, the people were chanting: “leave Syria alone, look after us”! While it is very correct to demand that the Pasdaran [or the “Revolutionary Guard”, the main military force of the IRI in addition to its Army] must “leave Syria alone” but the second part of this slogan reveals that the chanters are not very much concerned about the fact that the IRI military force is supporting the despotic and criminal regime of Bashar Assad and has an active part in death and destruction going on in Syria. The best slogan for informing the world about the crimes that IRI is committing in Syria would be: Hands of Quds Force Off of Syria! [Quds is over-seas force of the Pasdaran]. A similar problem can be detected in this slogan: “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, let us Die for Iran”. But in Gaza and Lebanon, just like Iran, there are different political forces. IRI supports reactionary forces in those countries who have the same essence as itself. The problems and sufferings of the people in Lebanon, Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and the rest of the world have roots in the same capitalist system. In each country, due to their particularities and historical events, different regimes are running this exploitative social system but they are all of the same nature. Therefore, our movement for revolution in Iran which in its first step will overthrow the IRI will unleash fresh air all over the Middle East and will be a happy harbinger to all that there is a way for establishing a just social system that is worth living under and will bring equality or rights, freedom and independence.
Trump and Khamenei, Leaders of two outmoded social systems
Trump, the fascist president of the United States and his vice president, Michael Pence, are very similar to the Mullahs ruling in Iran in their religious bigotry. They have supported the rebellion of the people against IRI! The heads of the IRI have been disgusted by this support and have tried to use this to throw mud at this rebellion. We are also disgusted by it but for a radically different reason. We are disgusted by this “support” because the fascist Trump/Pence regime is representative an outmoded social system with reactionary and oppressive values and ideas – just like the IRI is. The Trump/Pence regime is a profoundly woman hating regime and believes that women must obey men and their social service should be to breed children and please men. In fact the IRI is role model for the Trump/Pence regime who is aiming to impose religious cannons in running the US society and make the people in the US to obey rules of the Bible.
The Trump/Pence regime does want to make a regime change in Iran in order to replace IRI with a regime like the one in Saudi Arabia in order to better serve the US imperialist interests in the region and the world. In a movement for revolution with the goal of overthrowing the IRI regime as well as its political-ideological and social-economic system, we must add the slogan “in the name of humanity, down with the Trump/Pence regime” along with other major slogans and make international unity with the movement which has said: “No! In the name of Humanity Drive out Trump/Pence regime” in the USA. We should never forget Mao’s internationalist remark that: “They have their people here and we have our people there”. Our people in the US are the black and brown and native people who have been targets of genocide by the ruling powers in the US. Our people in the US are the revolutionary communists, men and women who for the goal of human emancipation fight against this imperialist state and as part of that today are specifically fighting to overthrow the Trump/Pence fascist regime.
Enemy Plans to suppress the Movement
The Pasdaran [the “Revolutionary Guard of the IRI”] have announced: “The situation is under control. Therefore, there is no need for our intervention”. But the general policy of the IRI is that during such upheavals the Guard would intervene in the situation while taking leadership of all Police and Basij [their Militia thugs] forces. The fact that the rebellions has been country wide and decentralized was a very important advantage for people and disadvantage for the Guard and its undercover forces. So they will try to concentrate their control over the big cities. The fact that this movement is very young and dynamic is causing great problem for their suppressive forces, particularly in small cities. In the face of brutal attacks by the police and Basij forces, it is a basic right of the people to act in self defense with violent resistance. But people should know and become aware of the fact that we can only and will settle accounts with the armed forces of the IRI in a planned battle under the strategy of “Protracted mass war”. For this war to defeat the enemy it will have to organize tens of thousands of men and women in its ranks. The party activists have to use every opportunity to educate the youth who are involved in street battles about such strategy and what it takes to prepare and carry it out.
The IRI also uses political tricks and deception in order to carry forward its campaign of suppression, at the center of which is the policy of “divide and rule”. Today, the main plan of the regime, which is to be led by the Reform faction of IRI is to mobilize the middle class around “two fears”: fear of “becoming another Syria” and fear of “unsafe streets”. Behind the scene the celebrities in art, literary and sport spheres, who campaigned for Rohani’s presidential election, are pressured to get active and activate the middle strata. But this time not for going to the ballot box but for creating atmosphere of suppressing the masses and legitimizing it. …
The celebrities must become active but in support of the movement of the people and taking position against the regime. This is what people want.
Perseverance of this Movement Depends on its leap to a Movement for Revolution
There is no doubt that the movement to overthrow the IRI, due to impacts of deceptive political games, suppressive measures of the Ministry of Information, Judiciary, the Guard, the Police and Basij as well as lack of a cohered leadership and strategy in the movement, this movement will face ebbs and flows. Our party will repeatedly expose these political games and plans and party activists will go all out in order to build and organize party cells and try to build a solid back bone for opening the way for a movement for revolution. This task has to be carried out on the basis of taking out to the masses the truth that the only libratory alternative against the IRI is a New Socialist Republic.
A revolutionary women’s movement needs to take off and this will have decisive impact on the quality of the mass movement and its perseverance. …In every neighborhood and work place women should be organized in order to make demand for equality and freedom of women and make opposition to mandatory Hejab the demand of the whole movement and in unity with student and workers movements, change male dominated atmosphere and male chauvinist ideas and behaviors in the movement. Now is the time for a new student movement to take off and rally around defending the movement of the people for overthrowing the IRI and demands for separation of state and religion, abolition of the rule of Mullahs, opening the gates of the Universities to assemblies of the people, forbidding entrance of the forces of the state (the Police, the Guard and Basij and spies of the Ministry of Information) to university campuses, driving out the state spying agency (called “Harasat”) from the campuses. The student movement should serve the urgent need of the masses to discuss and wrangle over what kind of state and society must be built on the ruins of IRI. The student movement should have active role in popularizing this slogan: “no society is free without women’s emancipation”. In each province and city, the student movement should designate the primary henchmen of Khamenei and commanders of suppression of the masses to become targets of peoples’ struggle. For example in Khorasan in unity with the movement of the dispossesed, they should fight to drive out Ayatollah Alam ol Hoda [chief of all Mullahs in Mashad, designated by Khamenei]and Reisi [head of the “Holy Site” of Mashad and a son in law of the first guy—Ayatollah Alam ol Hoda] from Mashad, and call for transfer of all holdings of the “Holy Site” to a council of people consisting of students, workers, representatives of the residents of the slum sections of Mashad. In all these activities, the activists of the party should in a lively way, point to the common source of all kinds of outrages and injustices as well as the real way for emancipation. And win over many fighters of this uprising to the goal of communist revolution and organize under our party’s leadership.
Experience has shown that the enemy’s disarray will not last long. So we should seize the moment and seize the hour; raise people’s consciousness, raise our skills in organizing the masses and organizing their forces in a movement for revolution and under party’s leadership. Organizing a clandestine backbone for this movement is an important task which would serve the continuity of the movement, with the aim of achieving our revolutionary goal, through its ups and downs. People should know that a hard and long struggle is before us. This road cannot be paved only through street protests.
Strategic Approach to this Mass Rebellion
The political content of people’s slogans is crucial for turning this movement into a movement for revolution. Slogan can influence people’s minds positively or negatively in terms of our goal of achieving a just society which would be worth living in. If the movement is to gain enough power and political content in order to be able to persevere in the face of a formidable enemy, people’s thinking has to change enormously and the people who are in the fight must gain radically different values. An important section of the people who today are involved in the fight against the IRI should deeply grasp the character of the New Socialist Republic alternative and would want to fight for it. If such a force is forged, despite being a small force can have enormous impact on the character of the movement.
Two key documents will soon be released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) in order to serve this task: "The Manifesto and Programme of A Communist Revolution” and “ The Character and Functioning of the New State: The New Socialist Republic in Iran."…
To reach that new society a roadmap and leadership is needed. In Iran, our party has taken the responsibility for this leadership and has developed its road map. The backbone of our roadmap is the science of communism–a new and developed science of communism. It is a communism which was founded by Marx and Engels and developed by Lenin and Mao Zedong in the course of the great socialist revolutions of the twentieth century. After the painful defeat of these revolutions, the necessity to develop this science was met by the greatest Marxist of our time, Bob Avakian, who is the leader of the Party and the Communist Revolution in the US. What enabled us to develop the “Manifesto and the Programme of A Communist Revolution” and the Constitution of New Socialist Republic in Iran, has been the approach of understanding and applying this emancipatory science. … All the members and supporters of the party as well as our close friends should keep in mind that every struggle we wage today should serve the purpose of establishing a New Socialist Republic in Iran which will serve emancipation of humanity all over the world. This goal and fight for it should give meaning to our lives.
Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist Maoist)
2nd January 2018
You can find the full document in Persian here: (www.cpimlm.com)