Communist Party of Iran
Marxist.Leninist.Maoist
حزب کمونیست ایران
مارکسيست.لنينيست.مائوئيست
جستجوی بیشتر
 
 English   پنجشنبه ۲ آذر ۱۳۹۶ برابر با ۲۳ نوامبر ۲۰۱۷                    
 
It was about time that the people of Iran give a kick in the teeth of this brutal obscurantist reactionary regime

 

Forum in New York in Support of the People’s Movement in Iran

 

Speech delivered by Borhan Azimi

2009-09-23

 

It was about time that the people of Iran give a kick in the teeth of this brutal obscurantist reactionary regime called Islamic Republic of Iran. Isn’t that a cause for celebration?

 

The inner fight among ruling factions of Islamic Republic which was brewing for many years came to a boiling point in the aftermath of the electoral coup by one of the factions. This gave an opening to mass outpouring against the regime. People of Iran have been fighting against this regime for the last 30 years. Women, workers, students, people of shanty towns, people of Kurdistan etc. But majority of the people had given in and were going along with it. In fact since 28 years ago there has not been such an upheaval; such a massive resistance and battle against this regime. In a matter of few days the myth of invincibility and might of the regime evaporated and its legitimacy was shattered beyond repair.

 

Probably you all have seen the images on CNN and other TVs with “where is my vote?” signs!

But this was not the whole picture. Of course the idea that change will come through ballot box and “ no more revolution” and “lets have Gondi way” was constantly pumped into the masses through media and reform faction mouthpieces and their allies among intellectuals and reactionary intellectuals. And it is true that a lot of people at the beginning of protests were angry at electoral fraud. But soon “where is my vote” gave in to “give my vote back” and then: down with Leader and Ahmadinejad and then: Down with the Islamic Republic of Iran. They young people were chanting: You want a fight? We are Men and Women Warriors. So lets Fight!

 

A lot of those who had voted started regretting about how they were duped and were dragged to the voting polls.

It is easy to see why this crowd so rapidly took up the demand for overthrow of this regime: Most of these people in the streets have deep rooted antagonistic contradictions with the Islamic Republic of Iran. People still have a lot of illusions and false concepts but not as much as CNN loves them to have! So enough of CNN coverage! Let us have our full picture of the struggle and how people feel.

 

Through rebellion and in the heat of street battles, after crying bitterly over fallen bodies of their comrades-in fight, a new generation grew up fast and became hardened. Before this rebellion, it seemed the regime had succeeded in burying its crimes of past 30 years against revolutionaries. But in the last couple of months tons of eye opening materials has been published and been devoured by the young people—obviously through internet! But also through thousands of gatherings which took place in front of prison doors, in cemeteries, in circles and meetings among people who have got to trust and love each other.

 

 People are digging into the past which brought this regime to power. A lot of younger people who—through their own experience—had come to hate this regime used to think that this regime came to power as a result of 1979 revolution. So they did not like the idea of “revolution”. It was very hard to prove to them that this regime came to power as a result of defeating that revolution; that this regime is a not “revolutionary” regime. Rather, it is a counter revolutionary regime. But now this is not a hard task as much as before. It is as if the young generation is hurled back 30 years in order to see the ugly nature of this system through the eyes of last generation of revolutionaries. For example the video talk of son of a comrade who was shot along with other 21 comrades in Amol 28 years ago is going around among young and old people and they are discussing what went down, at that time. His class mates of 15 years ago are calling him and asking him for more details about the story. When he and his sister were in school they had to lie to their friends and say their father was abroad. They were scrutinized by the school authorities and were pressured for not going to prayers.

So now millions are seeing things that, previously only a small minority saw and suffered for it.

 

People have changed in many ways. For the first time people looked at each other differently. The most incredible was how the outlook of men towards women changed. When a man smiled to a woman it was clear that it meant respect. Men did not harass and pinch women in the crowded streets and did not put them down. Rather they praised their audacity and listened to their calls and directions willingly. They marched arms locked without feeling that this is a stranger on my side. People were not afraid of each other. They left their doors open so that the fighting youth can rush in for refreshments and rest or even for hiding from the police and basijis when their force was overwhelming. They did not calculate that their house could be spotted and burned to dusts and they would be taken out as accomplices to the rebels. All of a sudden people were not greedy. How is that possible in a country awash with capitalism? They cared about each other as they were your father and mother. People risked their lives to pull each other from harms way. Together they felt they have power to move heaven and earth. One of the main slogans was: Don’t be afraid, we are all together.


You could see how profound was Marx when he said: Revolution is festival of the masses. That does not mean that revolutions do not entail heavy sufferings. They do. In the last couple of months blood has run in the streets of Tehran and in the torture chambers of the IRI.  But people feel liberated and uplifted and empowered. Even though they feel anxious about the road ahead and what future holds but they feel empowered against the filthy mullahs and non mullahs of IRI.

Yes! In those moments the people experienced qualitatively different social relations. And this was not even a revolution yet. Imagine what a real revolution can do to people and to society.

 

One great thing is that poisonous culture of “awaiting redemption” that this regime have been injecting into people’s heads, received good blows.

Let me read you parts of a letter from a friend in July: “Last night I witnessed a heroic skirmish between a group of youth and the brutal basijis. Suddenly several plain cloths jumped on one young man.  A middle aged woman in turn jumped into the Frey and started shouting and organizing other young people for wrenching the young man from clutches of the plain cloths.

When they finally pulled him into the van, the woman cried: god have mercy!

 I was there so I said: there is no god! it is only us!

 She turned back and stared at me and did not say anything.

 When another assault came we retreated. After an hour or two again we ended up shoulder to shoulder.

 She looked at me again! And asked: are you sure? I said: yes definitely!

When we had to rush into an ally, I saw women of all ages sitting on the pavement and resting and smoking. That woman was explaining to others: there is no god. It is only us!”

 

Yes, the people want to change!

 

The fight taught a lot of other things to people. When the basijis and plain cloths attacked in a coordinated fashion and people went fighting in a scattered manner, they felt they needed leadership; they need headquarters, needed planning. Whenever a courageous, honest, talented young person shouted orders nobody said: who you think you are to give orders? And still called out: we need leaders!

 

In the heat of fighting people would say: but we can’t fight just with stones. We need guns. And some middle age revolutionary, would shut back: yes and an army of our own. Yes! A lot of people see that reality now.

 

People learned a lot of things. They discarded a lot of bad things. Many understood how meaningful it is to live a life of struggling and rebelling against whatever is reactionary and oppressive.

 

But the people still have to learn more, in order to make a real revolution. Millions of people voted for Mussavi—a criminal in his own right! He was prime minister of Islamic Republic during 1988 massacre of several thousand revolutionary political prisoners. He was prime minister at the time of 8 years Iran-Iraq war. How do you think he led young people to kill and die in this reactionary war?  by stuffing people’s minds with obscurantist shit like “fear god! Be Happy to die for god and here is the key for heaven”! By stuffing their minds with Shia chauvinism that “beat these Sunnis who killed our Hussein”! And by stuffing their minds with Iranian chauvinism about how unique and great Iranian nation is!

Indeed this Islamic Republic is a good cook in terms of making the best use out of all possible kinds of reactionary outlook and ideologies around.

 

But why did people put hopes in him in the first place? This is complicated but a short answer is that the masses are trained to look at things in the surface and not scientifically. Most of all they are trained to look at things from the prism of the ruling ideas. They are driven by spontaneity which is shaped by many factors such as not knowing history of things and not being able to see things beyond their surface. Defeat of last revolution and revolutions in the world have lowered people’s expectations. Which means they really don’t see the possibility of overcoming the monstrous force of state and the possibility of building another society which is free from all shit we see around us. So they hallucinate about may be some guy from within the system can blew it apart better than we can do it from outside. But guess what? That is not happening!

 When in one of the mass demos people chanted: Freedom-independence-Iranian Republic! (1)  Mussavi responded: “I want Islamic Republic. Not one word more and not one word less”. Not that this is a good slogan and goal. But it made Mussavi to jump out and emphasize his program. Mussavi’s declaration was used by Communist student paper BAZR to open peoples eyes in an article called: The Problem is Not the Person but the System! It went on to say:

 

“Oppressiveness of Islamic Republic is not because of whom and which wing of the system runs it. It is because of the nature of the system itself. This system is based on a class hierarchy. It is not this or that person who rules. A minority of owners and holders of factories, lands, mines, banks and huge financial blocks etc are the ruling classes. This system is based on exploitation of majority by minority. This system has a body of values, ethics, beliefs which are all embodied in Islamic ideology. We should think about these things and do not get lost between this or that personality. We should know clearly why and for what goal we are fighting for. Without this consciousness our sacrifices will become assets for another set of reactionaries in order to re-establish this system and even worse. We should have a correct summation of the defeat of 1979 revolution that previous generation experienced and draw positive and negative lessons of that experience.” End of quote.

 

So one thing that the communists are doing is to go against this tide of spontaneity which is very dangerous. That is why it is so crucial to plant Red flag against Green flag. Not just in symbolics (which is important in its own right) but more so in substance and content.

 

This is well put in the lead article in Haghighat#46 called: “the situation is good- the situation is dangerous” which reads:

 

“The situation is good because hundreds of thousands have waken up and are impatient to overthrow this regime. The situation is dangerous because the dominant gang of the Islamic Republic is pursuing a plan of bloody crackdown while the washed out gang of the rulers want to repair the Islamic Republic. We should not underestimate any of these possibilities. We should move against spontaneous consciousness of the masses and spread all around scientific consciousness about the history of this system, history of its different gangs, about the internal and international workings of this state and the necessity to overthrow it and replace it with a new democratic state. It is not enough to be in the streets. Or to defend peoples movement. These are only the context of carrying out the main work which is not for tomorrow. It had to have started yesterday. We should not only struggle with the symbols of the enemy who wants to grab leadership of the masses. We have to challenge spontaneous consciousness by wielding vast propagation of communist consciousness and change the bed of this flood. We can neither vacillate in the face of the Green current nor suffice to a typical liberal attitude. And neither we can be satisfied with the fact that: yes we have not tailed the Green. … As communists we are the conscious conscience, advanced and dynamic core of the society and we should know that anything less than systematic, planned and hard work with the goal of changing the flood bed is not acceptable. For this, a revolutionary communist line and strengthening of the communist organization is required. And this communist organization must be able to move bigger forces of the society with the aim of forging a new way. We should know that this goal will advance in waves. Each wave will change the scene and we will chart the road clearer. But this does not mean that if we wait, the situation will automatically become favorable for our revolutionary goal. No. We must make the situation favorable. Otherwise any day that passes with spontaneity will put the movement of the people in danger.”

 

One of the difficulties that we are facing today is that unfortunately many progressive political forces have conveniently found themselves under the Green camp which means under the leadership of those who watered the Islamic Republic with the blood of our workers, peasants and revolutionary intellectuals. We have to fight against this conciliatory trend and aim at making these people to change their course and instead of fortifying the enemy camp, become fortifiers of the camp of revolution.

 

We should fight with the illusions of the masses too and not be afraid that this might bring divisions within the ranks of struggling masses. Because this will bring to light the true interests of the masses and this is a very important element for strengthening the people’s movement.

The Green headquarters is trying to look a victim to gather legitimacy among the masses and it tries hard to create a “common ground” and unity between the radical strata of women, youth and workers on the one hand; and the bourgeois strata, on the other. Their policy is to rely on their power and wealth and international backing in order to build an attractive pole and make the radical strata of society feel obliged to go along with them. We should challenge this and defeat their efforts. In order to do so we need our correct political line and we need to rely on and bring forward the most oppressed and exploited of the society—women, workers, youth and revolutionary intellectuals. But we also need –more than ever—to inspire the people who really want change with our communist thoughts and program of a real revolution in Iran led by the proletariat and its communist vanguard.

 

Haghighat in another article titled: Obstacles and Difficulties- Methods and Solutions

Points out:

 

“We should point out another difficulty which exists within communist and revolutionary forces. An important part of those who consider themselves communists are seeped in bourgeois democratic thoughts. The communists are not communists most of the times. They most of the times talk to the masses as democratic militants and not as communists who are supposed to be building a communist political emancipator movement! … most of the people in the Left have settled down to the goal of opposition to the “coup” and electoral fraud and are active as supporters of bourgeois Republic.”

The article goes thru other problems and points out a very important thing:

“The situation holds both favorable and unfavorable elements. We should build the future in the midst of this situation. We should not underestimate the subjective factor—ie, the party, communist theories and its propagation. History shows that in all realms – be it in science and art or class struggle – the conscious role of individuals have had decisive impact on the course of development of history. Look at Lenin’s role in the October revolution. In the period between February and October he developed a correct line for revolution and he led its (and not others) implementation with incredible persistence. In this way he saved the revolution from the brink of a defeat and led it to a victory. Today if the communists look at themselves like this then they will be able to play a decisive role.” 

 

Here I want to finish by quoting the lead article of Haghighat 46 titled: The Situation is Good; The Situation is Dangerous:

“Now after 30 years once more a storm is gathering over Iran. The burning question in the minds of fighting men and women and many of the people who battled the reactionary forces in the streets is: what will be the end this time? Will this storm gather enough force and intensity and aim unambiguously the pillars of the religious dictatorship of the exploiting classes in Iran? Which direction people’s movement will take and what will be its future? Will the state power stay in the hands of the reactionaries or the masses of people will achieve a new state power arising from their own will? Can we overthrow the Islamic Republic of the exploiting classes and build a state of the exploited and oppressed classes? What is people’s new power? Why is it new and how can we achieve it?

“Today various political forces are contending in order to pull the rising storm to this or that way. All classes and political forces be it the reactionary or non reactionary; be it at national or international level; who are seriously thinking about seizing political power and setting the future course of our society are working hard to intervene with this upheaval and set a course for it. The ruling classes in Iran and the big powers in the world are doing their utmost in order to prevent this upheaval from striking at them and their interests. In this situation, who will have the conviction to clearly and audaciously and with loud voice express the fundamental interests of the people and fight for these interests and deepest desires and dreams of the people to the end and with persistence? Who is the representative of those who are counted as nothing but the whole society runs on their back and with their labor? Will we allow different factions of the ruling classes in their family fights and in their dealing and whiling with the Imperialist powers use our people as pawns and then consolidate their power at the expense of us and our dreams?” End of quote.

 

These are the most important questions for revolution in Iran which this time around must not be allowed to be stolen from the people of Iran and the people of the world. This time around Iran must turn into a revolutionary spring board for the peoples of Middle East and the world revolution and not a spring board for a reactionary ideology and vision of a oppressive and exploitative society.

----------------------------------------

footnote:

 

1- A debate around what kind of future state we should have is taking shape. Many people are asking what kind of Republic we can have to be better than this one. Some people have chanted “Iranian Republic” in some demos. In fact Mussavi’s emphasis on “I want Islamic Republic; not one word more and not one word less” was in response to this development.

One of the main articles of Haghighat criticized the slogan of “Iranian Republic” for being national- chauvinistic because Iran is a country of many nationalities and in fact is a prison house of different oppressed nations such as Kurds, Arabs, Baluchis etc

The article explains:

“ there is no doubt that the recent uprising needs to uphold an alternative to IRI. But if the people should fundamentally grasp: How we are going to overthrow the IRI, by relying on what kind of force we can do so and what kind of state power can really solve the problems of our society. Without this the slogan on alternative regime will stay shallow. What is important today is the content of the future state power. The form of it will only be determined in the process of a bloody and decisive struggle to overthrow the totality of this reactionary system. ... From the stand point of communists this power will be a form of Republic under the leadership of the working class in unity with all oppressed and exploited classes and strata and oppressed nations of Iran

 

      
 
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