Iran: "An analytical declaration on the present crisis and the tasks of revolutionary communists" - part 2
10 August 2009. A World to Win News Service. The following document by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) dated 28 June 2009 was recently released publicly. This is the second of a two-part series. The first part, published in AWTWNS 090727, focused on analysing the situation. The English translation is unofficial.
This wave has just started
With the accumulation of 30 years of anger and the collapse of its legitimacy among the majority of people, the regime's inability to carry forward plans to suppress the masses will cause the continuation of a new wave of struggle among the masses. This wave can emerge abruptly or recede and will advance through ups and downs. The longer this revolutionary wave lasts, the more developed will be the polarization between the more advanced and the more conservative strata of the people, both objectively and subjectively.
Now the deep contradiction between the masses of oppressed and the exploited classes and the IRI is developing through leaps. This is reflected in the battlefield of the streets. In practice and on the battlefield the radical sections have demonstrated their differences with the "green wave" [the Islamic opposition led by presidential candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi] and "Allah-u akbar" [those chanting "God is great"].
The problem is that a solid core that would have an organisational and political impact on the radical section of the people has not formed yet. Only when the deep class feelings of a section of these more radical strata is linked with revolutionary communist political consciousness and finds organisational expression can it be said that this part of the people have their own solid core. Then it can be said that the political scene has effectively changed. Then there will exist a small but concentrated conscious and determined force among the masses that can neutralize the other side [the green wave and allah-u akbar] and become a pole of attraction leading the masses.
The green wave is a broad alliance of forces within the regime including the national religious forces and the Tudeh party and the Fedayeen Majority organisation that played the role of pawns for the regime over the past 30 years. These people use slogans and symbols and put forward demands and forms of struggle to try to confine the political perspectives of the people to a change of the cliques at the top of the power structure. But those youth and women who carry the main burden of the bloody battles have not yet consciously expressed their hopes and demands. The revolutionary left circles among the workers, women, students and families of political prisoners and martyrs of the 1980s, who in the past dark years of silence, suppression and suffocation carried out the struggle against the IRI, must intervene actively in this situation and paint a different perspective from that put forward by the organised green forces. This situation puts heavy responsibilities before the revolutionary communists that they must face with all their strength.
This present crisis can have several possible outcomes. Bloody repression, major reconciliation or civil war between two factions or a rise in the revolutionary spirit of the masses and the spread of this uprising – these are some of the possible results of the street fighting and repression and the negotiations in the corridors of the regime and the international powers. Undoubtedly any of these possibilities would effect the alignment of class forces and the forms of struggle it takes. They would also affect how communists carry out their basic tasks. As soon as possible the revolutionary communists must accumulate initial forces amidst this tempest and get ready to move in even more tempestuous situations. They need to put forward their own ultimate and decisive solution, that is, revolution. Not only in the realm of slogans (although slogans are important too) but also in the mobilisation and organisation of the revolutionary masses and finally in the launching of mass revolutionary armed struggle. The wide variety of class forces on the same side of the barricades once again shows that without the hegemony of a strong proletarian core over the broad and varied camp of the "people", the road to revolution will not be opened.
The main danger: tailing the green wave
In this particular period, bourgeois tendencies among the masses have the upper hand. Tailing the reformist leadership or green wave is the main danger that we face. Not all the people who are following this wave are supporters of Mousavi. Many think that supporting the green wave will better prepare the ground for change. But this is a dangerous illusion.
Behind the curtain of this illusion we can see the strength and influence of a strong class. The power of the reformist camp is not based just on the reformists within the regime. Reformists outside the regime play a decisive role in expanding the strength and influence of the green wave. Socially the liberal bourgeoisie and the middle and upper strata and political forces like the national religious and Fedayeen Majority and Tudeh parties and part of the "left" opposition have united with the green wave. These forces seek to be integrated into the state apparatus to gain petty privileges, and they call this "freedom" for the whole society.
Communists should constantly emphasize the truth that tailing this or that faction of the bourgeoisie would mean the death of the uprising. Playing into the hands of the green wave means abandoning our liberating aims and a future whose seeds are being formed in the midst of this recent uprising. Telling the truth to the masses and struggling against their illusions in the middle of the battle requires a lot of courage. But by relying on communist consciousness and perseverance, it can be done. There is no doubt that these truths will be absorbed by those class and strata who have deep and antagonistic contradictions with the Islamic regime and who will be repelled by those who have not antagonistic contradiction with IRI. This is very natural because the people who are on the scene are divided into classes.
The contradiction is that the communists should both defend the waves of struggle of the masses and at the same time go against the spontaneous understanding of the people and divert the spontaneous motion of the masses onto the correct path that leads to the complete overthrow of the IRI and a real revolution.
When faced with such waves of resistance of the people, with all their illusions about reactionary figures and reformist solutions, communists should not get confused and lose their strategic orientation. Strong and compelling waves always and will be reproduced in different forms but, once again we emphasize, the scene is full of different class forces with different tendencies and different views. And this will always be the case.
In such a complicated condition communists should be both materialist and maintain their strategic determination. This means that in materialising their strategy they should take into account the contradictory aspects of reality as well as the rapid and inevitable changes in the situation. Amidst this revolutionary wave the positive factors will come to dominate. In most cases the illusions among the masses will rapidly collapse if the vanguard carries out its tasks correctly. Under such conditions tailing the illusions of the masses in any way will rob the communist movement of any chance to influence the situation.
Lenin correctly emphasized that any social movement and any reactionary war does not need to necessarily end the way it started. Through their conscious intervention communists can change the initial particularities of the war. Lenin himself put this directly into action during World War I. In the darkest of periods when counter-revolutionary opportunism had taken over the workers' parties, and in reply to those who argued that we should unite with one or the other side in the war, Leninsaid: No, that is not the case. He said, we can and must change the nature of the war and turn a reactionary world war into a revolutionary class civil war. This holds true for social struggles as well. A struggle that started as a war between reactionaries can be turned into a real war between masses and the whole ruling regime.
This is the fundamental approach of the communists in the present situation. The fact that this policy has a social base has been forcefully demonstrated in the actual struggles that are going on. It is important that as the vanguard, communists first of all should not repeat the mistakes of the 1979 revolution and should not tail the spontaneous tendencies of the masses. Secondly, they should use all their efforts and all their creativity to forge links with the radical masses (especially women and youth) who are participating in the uprising. They should unleash the fury of women as a major force for revolution and connect the unleashed energy of the youth with consciousness, and organise their ranks for historic class wars.
As we wrote in Communiqué number four from our party, '"The course of events is not written. There is no fate; the direction of the wave can be changed. New waves can be created." The direction of the movement of the masses of workers and toilers, especially of women and youth, can be diverted. Instead of the green wave, a proletarian red wave can be mobilised. The key question facing the communists is this: will they carry out their fundamental tasks in relation to the current situation. Will they use the actual situation to bring their perspective of a communist society to the masses? Make the political strategy of New Democratic Revolution the goal of the masses' struggle? Can the revolutionary communists overthrow the reactionary state by waging revolutionary people's war and establish a new state power under the leadership of the proletariat and its vanguard party, a state whose agenda is the liberation of the whole of humanity?
What kind of intervention and with what content?
At this critical juncture, the task of communists is not to simply and continuously make this existing movement more radical. They should take advantage of this situation. But this is not possible without going against the tide that is dominant among the masses. Turning this wave into a wave of a different kind is the most decisive political task at this point.
It should again be emphasised that the present situation and even the mass movement is a contradictory mix: a part of the ranks of the opposition to the regime consists of reactionaries. The goal they want to impose on the mass movement is simply a change of the gang in power. The bourgeois strata out of power and the well-to-do petite bourgeoisie who have come onto the scene with the perspective of reforming the regime consider themselves natural allies of one faction of the government. And then there are the oppressed and exploited masses and conscious women and men whose energy is fuelled by deep class and social contradictions with the whole system.
Communists should mainly rely on these latter strata and link their revolutionary communist line and leadership with their struggle. The demands and hopes of these strata are not formulated and they do not have the organisation and leadership of the revolutionary party. If this situation continues, they will be suppressed and demoralized, and inevitably forced to fight under the banner of the bourgeoisie and alongside it. While uniting with the most advanced strata in this rebellion, the communists must also divert them from the dominant movement and create a movement that proclaims taking society towards a future fundamentally different than the existing order. As we have written before, the practical meaning of this policy is nothing but this:
"The broad revolutionary tendency that flows at the bottom of this rebellion must take conscious and organised expression. The future of this wave of struggle depends on whether or not the revolutionary and communist fighters are able to turn this small but more advanced section into the backbone and the bone marrow of the broad movement of the people. The consciousness of this section of women, youth and workers in relation to the present class struggle must be raised. And their energy must be organised into independent organisational structures so that political and organisational centres independent of regime factions can be established for the broad movement of the people. This is necessary if this movement is to be able to negotiate the inevitable political twists and turns and prepare to engage in bloody and decisive battles with the enemy. It is also important for facing the inevitable ups and downs of the uprising itself." (CPI[MLM] communiqué no. 2).
In such a situation we should not have a limited understanding of how to absorb and organise forces. To think that one can attract and mobilise people on the margins of this uprising is wrong. You have to be in the centre. You cannot take water from roaring waves with a small bowl. Communists are able to attract advanced masses to the extent that they are able to influence the political scene as a whole and divert it.
It is only with this strategic orientation that we can formulate correct and appropriate political and tactical directives for each particular stage and conjuncture and adopt appropriate forms of struggle and organisation. Any political tactics and forms of struggle and organisation that do not serve this strategy are not communist tactics and policies.
The first thing people need is revolutionary leaders who put forward a clear perspective and future and politics that are fundamentally different than those put forward by bourgeois and reactionary leaders. At the same time, communists also need revolutionary people to be on the scene so that they can overcome the grave damage caused by the defeat and suppression of the communist movement and rapidly fill their ranks with the most advanced and militant children of the proletariat and the masses. The more effectively and rapidly this goes ahead, the more the communists can influence the overall situation and define correct tactics. The urgent question today is not when the working class and its vanguard party will put a communist stamp on the present uprising. The question is what politics should be adopted and what action taken so that the communist movement can quickly become present in this situation. Communists are at a historical conjuncture when, as Mao said, the time for resting between battles will be constantly reduced. Without continuous battles, the material for advancing proletarian revolution cannot be gathered.
Putting forward scientific communism is a necessity
During periods of crisis and revolutionary upsurge more than any other time, the advanced take up questions such as what kind of society do we want and how do we get there. These are the most urgent times to promote and popularise the necessity and possibility of struggle for New Democratic Revolution, the establishment of a new democratic state as a necessary step to a socialist society. In such a situation, by brushing aside religious thinking and superstition and teaching the reality of how society and the world really work, we can rapidly bring the new fighters to a scientific understanding. Human life does not need and will not be produced and reproduced on the basis of the capitalist system. In the last 30 years, our communist movement suffered heavy blows and was weakened. But today a new generation of fighters has come onto the stage, and by absorbing communist theories it can build the communist movement that is more advanced and powerful, and has more potential to grow. So we should do our best to promote the science of communism among these fighters and courageously agitate and propagate the big truth that communism is not a utopia but a necessity of our time, and that the workings of the capitalist system constantly bring about the means to make it a reality. The fact that women, the slaves of the slaves, have stood tall against this extremely reactionary regime from the beginning of the establishment of the IRI and today are the most thorough-going fighters on the battlefield is the best sign that this world and its many ills calls out for a communist solution. Because women are the only social stratum whose low social status and oppression coincided with the emergence of class society, the complete abolition of inequality between men and women in social relations and thinking will coincide with the abolition of all class differences and the emergence of a communist society. Until then the struggle for the liberation of women will be a motive force for the advance of society.
Not only has the capitalist system in Iran and the world become cannibalistic, it is also destroying the planet. To get rid of capitalism the people of the world need to carry out socialist revolutions. But these revolutions cannot be exact repeats of the socialist revolutions of the 20th century. The characteristics of the socialist society of the future must be redrawn, using the lessons of the 20th-century revolutions and the enormous knowledge that humanity has gained since then, and on that basis be much richer and more scientific than in the past. So there is a need to scientifically and critically sum up those experiences. This is not only an important factor for the unity of the communist movement but is also necessary for putting forward a lively alternative for the future society among fighting women and men.
We should have no doubt that the future of our society depends on the line and practice of revolutionary communists.
Clarify the nature of the green wave to people!
Spread the slogan: Down with the Islamic Republic!
Organize the headquarters of mass struggles in different spheres!
Raise the red flag of communism and organise the most advanced around it!
Do agitation and propaganda among the masses about the characteristics of the new revolutionary power!
Strive to achieve a unity of politics, will and action in the communist movement in Iran!
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