This AWTWNS news packet for the week of 27 July 2015 contains two articles. They may be reproduced or used in any way, in whole or in part, as long as they are credited.
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– The U.S./Iran nuclear deal: “The U.S. needs Iran’s help in the Middle East”
– Greece: “The new synthesis of communism envisions the possibility to:
Break out of the stranglehold of capitalism and carve out a different future!”
The U.S./Iran nuclear deal: “The U.S. needs Iran’s help in the Middle East”
27 July 2015. A World to Win News Service. Following are excerpts from an article that appeared in issue no. 72 of Haghighat, organ of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist).
There is no doubt that the nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran is an important event in the history of imperialist diplomacy. Both sides called it “diplomatic victory” because they achieved their foreign policy aims through negotiations and without war. But this “diplomacy” has its bloody, violent history in the region.
It has been made possible through more than a decade of wars of aggression by the U.S.A and its Western allies in the Middle East, the breakdown of civil society in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and the U.S.’s expansion into new areas, with new wars and horrible massacres, some carried out with the participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The results include the displacement of millions of people, the destruction of ecosystems and local economies, the emergence of Islamic warlords, the rise in human trafficking and literally countless crimes.
This diplomatic deal has become possible because of economic sanctions for which the Iranian people paid the price, not the political and financial centres of the Islamic Republic of Iran that have become rich and richer because of them. Of course this deal cannot and does not seek to end these horrors. It is just a new chapter in the crimes by the imperialist powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region.
In fact, U.S. imperialism has relinquished its goal bringing about “regime change” in Iran by war and has moved Iran from its list of “enemies” to its “competitor” list. Obama likened this change of approach to Nixon’s 1972 visit to China and Reagan’s negotiations with the Soviet Union in 1986. The Islamic Republic of Iran has taken a step back in its international and internal campaign against the U.S. and therefore has abandoned one of the pillars of its ideological identity. The regime’s long-term goal with this shift is to become a regional power with the support of the U.S. and other big powers. U.S. imperialism is trying to bring relatively order to the chaos in the Middle East, and it is hoping that IRI will help them out.
The necessities and contradictions pushing Iran to normalize relations with the U.S.
All these negotiations and the nuclear agreement, and, in general, the new chapter in relations between the Islamic Republic and the imperialist powers , particularly the U.S, are in response to a set of contradictions and necessities faced by the IRI leaders and the servants of the system. But just because it is born of necessities does not mean it will necessarily succeed. The possibility of its collapse is already perceptible. The whole process of reaching an agreement could come to a dead end under pressure from opposition in the U.S., and Israel and Saudi Arabia. With this introduction, we can examine the necessities that have pushed both sides, in particular Iran, to adopt this policy.
First: Under the IRI Iran’s capitalist economy has stalled, creating a huge number of unemployed youth, a massive population of temporary workers and a shrinking of the middle class. Economic sanctions have only intensified this situation, which is the IRI’s most dangerous domestic political problem. The emergence of this huge population of unemployed educated youth and the entrance of women into economic, social and educational areas has generated a great energy that the Islamic Republic of Iran can’t control. The regime has reacted to these dangers and contradictions with the bloody suppression of the lower strata of society. This can be seen in the high rate of executions of poor youth, the suppression of intellectuals and women, and the spread of fear among the middle classes. But no state can govern and keep a society under its rule just by ideological brainwashing and suppression.
Therefore the Islamic Republic of Iran needs to resolve this contradiction. Since the functioning of Iran’s economic system depends on world capitalism, the regime’s only solution is the injection of more international capital into the economy. In fact, the purpose of the economic sanctions by the imperialist powers, which dominate the global economy and its institutions, was to bring the IRI to its knees in the political arena.
Second: The composition of the capitalist class has changed in Iran as a result of the growth of capitalist relations, even compared to twenty years ago. It has developed different layers and powerful economic centres with various circuits of production and global relations. As Iran becomes more integrated in global capitalism, different layers of Iranian bourgeoisie have formed whose orbit of capital accumulation lies not just within Iran but also has an international dimension.
In addition to power centres such as Sepah Pasdaran (the Revolutionary Guards), various ministries, elites and various regime foundations, others have become powerful through their international relations and partnerships with Iranian investors in North America and Europe. All of them exercise political influence at various levels by different means and benefit from a kind of political rent that allows the to become bigger. But obtaining rent is not enough for this type of Iranian bourgeoisie to develop and compete in the global market. They are seeking to become “normal” investors and connect to the global market legally and openly. A very important part of their interests depends on the nuclear deal and the lifting of financial, oil and banking sanctions.
Currently the foreign and neo-liberal economic policies of President Rohani and his state technocrats represent the common interests of different layers of big investors. Part of the big capitalists (and the technocrats dependent on them) don’t like the theocratic regime ruling Iran, but this doesn’t mean they are against Iran’s leader, Ali Khamenei, or Sepah and the IRI’s other security and military forces. They worry about serious demography changes in Iranian society and are aware of the need to apply a “moderate” version of Sharia law, particularly in the case of women and youth.
Because the conditions produced by the neo-liberal globalized economy increase the centrifugal forces that cause social disintegrations, they consider Sharia and Islamisation necessary for the social stability needed for the profitable operations of capitalism and the creation of an obedient labour force. They also need the “leader” for unifying the government/state and the regime’s different wings. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif referred constantly to the leader and carefully observed the rituals of Ramadan during his team’s stay in Vienna. This was not only to appease the anger and complaints of “fundamentalist” forces about the negotiations with the “Great Satan” and what they considered the abandonment of one of the IRI’s ideological pillars. It is also because Zarif and the rest actually deeply believe in the regime’s values, norms and ideology.
Third: The insecurity in the troubled Middle East was another necessity that convinced the IRI’s different wings that to build a “secure region”, it is essential to establish official relations and cooperation with the imperialist U.S. Rohani expressed this concern when he spoke to the UN General Assembly after the presidential elections in Iran.
In today’s conditions, when U.S. imperialist hegemony has declined and no other big power is ready to replace in protecting the global order, the IRI has to accept U.S. leadership in providing regional security. The Islamic Republic of Iran does not feel threatened by by Daesh (also known as ISIS) alone. Because other countries in the region like Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt don’t obey the U.S, and the Iranian regime cannot confront them alone, it has to rely on the U.S. The IRI not only wants the U.S. to stay in the Middle East, it also believes that its regional security is dependent on the U.S.’s ability to impose some order amidst the increasing chaos.
The regime’s strategic allies in the region, like Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Shia forces in Iraq, are under pressure and face dangers. The increasing number of casualties among the Quds Force (a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards responsible for their extraterritorial operations), Hezbollah and other IRI supporters, and the emergence of Dash and other Salafist forces, threaten Iran’s position as well. In this situation, the IRI urgently needs to find a solution, even if that solution means uniting openly with “Great Satan”.
Will the IRI be able to meet its internal and external security needs with this solution?
The Iranian regime faces three important international obstacles on the road to the normalization of relations with the West.
First, an important part of the U.S ruling class, including a majority of Republicans, refuse to officially recognize the Islamic Republic of Iran and continue to see it as a serious anti-U.S force. Israel is closely allied with the Republicans in opposing against the deal and considers the existence of the IRI disruptive to its security. It refers to the tens of thousands of missiles that Iran has given the Syrian army, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Second, some Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia see Iran as their enemy and a threat to their security. They argue that Iran’s military, political and propaganda activities in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen are against their interests. Currently U.S military companies are arming Israel and Saudi Arabia to increase their defences against any Iranian threat. The White House promised Saudi Arabia that it would strengthen their its capabilities and put pressure on Iran to not create chaos in the region (i.e. Iran’s aid to Hezbollah, Bashar al-Assad, the Iraqi government and the Houthis).
Third: Iran has been too close to Russia, from the U.S perspective. In fact, until late into Ahmadinejad’s presidency the IRI termed itself part of an “Axis of Resistance” – including Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Venezuela – against the U.S interests in the Middle East and other parts of the world. So, the U.S. considers it important to break the link between Iran and Russia.
Obama will probably succeed in overcoming the Israeli and Saudi “lobby” and American legislators’ efforts to sabotage this this deal. Then he will pressure Iran to become an “acceptable” and “honourable” member of the Middle Eastern security structure under U.S hegemony, in cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and even Israel. Undoubtedly, in this process, there will be increased conflicts inside the IRI ruling class. Competition with other imperialist powers, like China, Russia and Europe, will intensify as they seek to expand their own influence in the Middle East and Iran. In any case, the wars in the Middle East – wars in which the IRI’s armed forces have played an important role – will expand.
No doubt the release of Iran’s foreign currency reserves and the lifting of economic sanctions will bring some prosperity in foreign trade (import and export) and infrastructure projects, the strengthening of the stock market and even the re-establishment of foreign auto factories and oil drilling companies in Iran, but in general Iran’s economy will not produce much job creation. The IRI has to spend a large part of its oil revenues on expanding its military power, because the region will become even more militarized. Since insecurity in the region will continue, foreign capital will flow to Iran but investments will tend to be temporary and concentrated in financial fields and sectors of short-term profitability. Future economic development will probably provide few jobs for the vast majority of unemployed young people, leaving the misery of marginal existence and slums unchanged. The greatest potential force for economic development is the millions of young and old labouring people in society. With or without sanctions, the functioning of the economic system under the IRI has wasted this potential. The lifting of sanctions will not change the logic of the economic system; rather, its working will be even more brutal.
Maintaining coherence and internal unity is one of the most serious challenges that Iran’s ruling class will confront. The greatest contradictions and conflicts within the government flow from this issue – how to maintain the unity of their elite and the regime’s legitimacy and internal stability, rather than the deal in and of itself. Even though the regime tries to convince its internal supporters that it is not establishing official relations with the U.S from a position of weakness, and that the deal meets the regime’s interests in confronting Daesh and Saudi Arabia, various internal and external contradictions could make the deal’s benefits very short-lived. The IRI could find itself stuck in the quagmire of Middle Eastern wars, facing a legitimacy crisis, despair and depression among its its supporters and Hezbollah, and increasing conflicts within the ruling class itself.
The necessities that led the U.S to establish relations with the IRI
The project of “regime change” in Iran that President George Bush followed was put aside when Obama became president, but military attack stayed “on the table” as an option. This change in the policy was related to imperialism’s situation in the world. In 2013, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a leading Democratic Party foreign policy theoretician over the last decades, warned that the U.S could no longer be world’s policeman and that no other power could take its place. He analysed that the U.S.’s loss of power will negatively affect all world powers and its most likely outcome would not not be an event like the rise of China but a long period of chaos and a race for forging unities among world and regional powers. “Most probable would be a protected phase of rather inconclusive and somewhat chaotic realignments of both global and regional power, with no grand winners and many more losers.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power, Basic Books, 2013)
Brzezinski mentioned several factors in the decline of U.S global power: economic problems, political problems and a wrong foreign policy in starting unnecessary and costly wars in Iraq. He added that the crisis became more noticeable with “the emergence of a volatile phenomenon: the awakening of populations until recently politically or repressed.” In this context, he and other colleagues suggested to Obama that the state stop trying to bring “regime change” to Iran and instead open Iran’s doors through diplomacy. The situation that Brzezinski explained at that time is become more serious. A Democratic senator described the U.S situation in Iraq with these words: “If 100,000 U.S. soldiers in a ten-year period were not able to train an army that wouldn’t escape in the face of Daesh, what do we expect of a few thousand? We don’t have any effective force aside from our Kurdish allies.” (Brookings Debate, “The question at hand: Should the U.S. put boots on the ground to fight ISIS,” 24 June 2015)
According to a U.S foreign policy expert writing about a nuclear deal with Iran, “Even here, the real questions are not those about regional proliferation which has dominated discussion of this matter to date, but about the civil and proxy wars currently roiling the Middle East, and the likely role of the United States in the region after a nuclear accord with Iran. It is those issues that are likely to determine whether a nuclear deal with Iran leads to greater stability or greater instability in the Middle East, and thus whether it ultimately benefits or undermines American national security.” (Kenneth M. Pollack, “Regional implications of a nuclear agreement with Iran,” Brookings Institute, 9 July 2015)
The necessities drawing other world powers into this deal
In an interview with Thomas Friedman, Obama expressed amazement at the “positive role” played by Russia in the nuclear talks. (New York Times, 5 April 2015). But in fact that is not surprising because Russia and other world powers also have to deal with the increasing chaos in the Middle East and need the establishment of relative order. The leap in global chaos has taken Russia by surprise, and in this context, its weakness as a big imperialist power has become more clear. Especially, its strategic plan to establish alliances with European powers fell apart during the war in Ukraine. In analysing Russia’s situation, the author of Russia and the Shifting Global Order writes: “We have seen a decline not just of the United States, in relative terms, but I would argue a decline of all the great powers, with the partial exception of China. Their capacity to lead is much diminished, and even the weakest of states has an unprecedented freedom of manoeuvre…. People talk about the end of leadership, or the decline of U.S. leadership, but in a sense the problem is a broader one. We’re seeing the end of followership; no one wants to obey, no one wants to follow, everyone wants to do their own thing… Now we tend to think naturally that this means the end of Western liberal universalism. But it also has strong implications for Russia.” (Bono Lo, Russia and the Shifting Global Order, Chatham House, 8 July 2015)
This is the situation for the world’s powers. Despite serious competition between these exploiters of the world’s seven billion human beings, and under conditions in which no power can supplant the U.S. as a global cop, all the powers have given this place again to the U.S. The fact that the world’s superpower is now looking for an ally in the Islamic Republic of Iran to create a new security structure in the Middle East shows how deeply the international capitalist-imperialist system is in crisis.
The world powers look at the nuclear deal as a step toward establishing a new order in the globe’s stormiest region. But where there is a will, there is not always a way. George Bush’s map of a “Greater Middle East” drowned in the bloody quagmire produced by U.S. wars in the Middle East, and now from this quagmire Daesh types and proxy wars have emerged. The “Obama doctrine” will expand this quagmire – it will be the same situation even if there are new players. This is the big picture framing the main aims of the nuclear deal.
The theocratic regime is under attack from all sides. Those powers that are going to help this regime are themselves crisis-ridden and their ranks are in chaos. This comprehensive crisis of the enemies is an opportunity for the oppressed to make a revolution. Overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran and replacing it with a qualitatively different state and society is not only necessary but also possible. We should launch a movement for revolution among the workers and the unemployed in the country, including Afghans, Kurds, Turks, Persians, Baluchs, Arabs and Turkmen. We should fight united under the flag of proletarian internationalism to emancipate not only people in Iran but also the proletariat and the peoples of the Middle East and all humanity from the system of capitalist exploitation and oppression.
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“The new synthesis of communism envisions the possibility to:
Break out of the stranglehold of capitalism and carve out a different future!”
27 July 2015. A World to Won News Service. Following is a leaflet distributed by the Revolutionary Communist Manifesto Group Europe (Contact: email@example.com). It was written by supporters of the new synthesis of communism, including KJA (contributor to Demarcations), Ishak Baran (long-time participant in the Maoist movement in Turkey), supporters of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) and others.
Crisis, such as Greece is living these weeks, appears like a force of nature, a giant whirlwind sucking the lives of millions of people into a dark and tumultuous abyss, hurling them recklessly from side to side, suffocating them, blinding them, overpowering so many with a sense of hopelessness and despair. But this same turmoil also harbours precious possibilities to be seized for a radically different future.
After seven years of repeated waves of ever more bleeding of the people in the name of “austerity”, after electing a self-proclaimed radical left that promised to reject the blackmail of the European powers, and even after the referendum and its clear results, the interests and demands of the masses of people have been trampled on once again. The principal leaders of the Syriza government have themselves become agents as well as victims of these same impersonal forces wreaking havoc.
Blind cold laws are expressed in impersonal numbers generated by financial spreadsheets and profit projections. But there is nothing sacred or permanent about these people-crushing forces. Behind impersonal laws are very real relations between people, divisions into classes, a worldwide system of ownership and exploitation.
A profound political crisis is gripping the country. The electoral system, supposedly the means for the people to express their general will, stands more and more exposed as a sham, with very little to do with the actual relations of power or decision-making. The role of elections in legitimizing state institutions in the eyes of the people has been seriously battered, even in Europe where such illusions usually hold sway.
Behind the governments that can come and go remain the police, army and bureaucracy – the ultimate guarantee of the power of a system presided over by a Greek capitalist class that cannot and will not be deposed by an electoral process. Once again we see the truth of Marx’s observation that the existing state power cannot be used to bring about revolutionary change. The intolerability of the measures that are being demanded and the refusal of the people to sacrifice still further is reflected in a massive wave of resistance, including against figures who only weeks earlier were widely hailed as heroes.
The great question now increasingly confronting the people of Greece is the same question that is hiding unspoken in most of the rest of Europe and the world: are the people condemned to these conditions, or is there a possibility of a completely different way, an alternative political, economic and social system that can replace the existing world capitalist and imperialist system and eliminate the hardships and horrors stemming from it?
Despite the suffering that the people are enduring, it is necessary to recognize that Greece is living a rare moment when the existing socio-economic, political and even cultural and ideological edifice could come unravelled. The situation itself carries within it the possibility of radical alternatives, whether liberating or further enslaving. How long this confluence of forces and circumstances will boil is impossible to predict but the powers that be in Greece and Europe will frantically attempt to impose a reordering that not only protects their interests but crushes hopes and defuses the revolutionary potential of the beginning mass stirrings. This makes it all the more urgent that out of this same cauldron of contradiction and struggle a truly revolutionary path is forged.
For this to take place a conscious force must emerge, armed with a thorough-going revolutionary communist understanding of the real fundamental problems of society and the required solution, and determined to take up the responsibility of making revolution. There is much contemporary and historical experience where possibilities for breakthroughs were unrecognised or squandered by leaders who sometimes ended up even coming to the rescue of the old system. On the other hand, there is also the extremely valuable example of Lenin’s leadership in seizing upon the intense contradictions that emerged in Russia to carve out a path to the revolutionary seizure of power by the proletariat and others seeking emancipation in 1917.
The Syriza government complains about the capitalist system but also declares that the overwhelming power of the major European imperialist powers ties the hands of Greece and leaves no choice other than humiliating surrender. But simply to rail at the capitulation of the Syriza leadership is useless unless the rejection of Tsipras goes forward to a rejection of the whole project of hoping to negotiate a better place for Greece in an unjust and unequal economic and political order. It is the very Syriza project itself that stands naked and exposed, not just the way it has been carried out.
Fundamental problems of Greece, Europe and the world cannot be solved within the existing framework of capitalism and imperialism. The real question is what a genuine revolutionary alternative would look like and what would be needed to make such an alternative possible.
While many see the events of the past weeks and months as evidence of the overwhelming strength of the world system, this is only one side of the coin. Yes, the enemies are formidable. But the same contradictions that squeeze the people also drive people to resist. The same frenetic pace of political developments which can be so dizzying and disorienting also mean that in a short period of days and weeks the true features of the political actors can come into sharp relief and the various competing political programs can be tested and compared in an extremely accelerated way – especially if a conscious revolutionary force emerges and presents its analysis and programme before the society. Large sections of the people have been awoken from their slumber by developments themselves and are looking for answers. And the same economic and political contradictions are also intensifying and revealing the conflicts even among the enemies – witness the fissure that has opened between France and Germany. Yes, the major powers are united on demanding their pound of Greek flesh but they are also truly concerned that their whole system could come unravelled and are deeply divided about how to best preserve it.
The strangling of the Greek people sharply brings into focus the relationship between the potential breakthroughs as well as limits in Greece and the reality that the whole world is dominated by the capitalist-imperialist system. In fact, it is mainly the workings of the contradictions of the world system that are driving and shaping events in Greece and calling forth the need for a completely different world order. The past several decades have seen a frenzied rhythm of globalization and financialization which has ended up intensifying the underlying contradictions of capitalism. There is a need for the whole world to be liberated from the clutches of finance capital, but this truth must not be used as an excuse for leaving the present system unchallenged. Instead, the crisis in Greece must be transformed into a tremendous opportunity to set out on a revolutionary path that can impact the whole world.
The success of the revolutionary process will ultimately take place on a world scale. The present capitalist-imperialist system must be replaced by socialism and ultimately communism, the complete overcoming of classes and the institutions and ideas that arose along with classes.
Capitalist exploitation’s tightening grip on the whole world aggravates all sorts of horrors and conflicts: new forms of the oppression and subjugation of women added on to more “traditional” ones; massive dislocation and human trafficking on a scale unseen since the transatlantic slave trade; wars for empire and countless bloody conflicts where prospects of emancipation are completely absent; driving the planet toward environmental catastrophe and irreversible damage. To call for revolution, communist revolution, as the only solution is not a rhetorical flourish. It is a scientific truth, fully grounded in the realities of the world. Much of these realities are now dramatically focused in Greece, where the need to wrench a path out of the capitalist and imperialist world is more and more apparent.
The revolutionary process needs to achieve breakthroughs wherever and whenever possible, first in one or several countries. The advances and victories in these countries need to serve as clarion calls and stepping stones for battles to come in other areas as well. Now a spotlight is on Greece and many millions in Europe and elsewhere are hoping to see a way out of the adversity and blackmail and hoping that a different course can be charted. The major capitalist imperialist powers, and Germany in particular, have made abundantly clear that the people of Greece will be made to bear a great burden. Avoiding a burden is not one of the options that is available. But there is a real question of what burden needs to be carried by the people and for what ends: the burden of bleeding for one or two further generations in the interests of Western finance capital or the liberatory “burden” of carving out a real opposing path, of real resistance to the “institutions”. Greece will be a model, but what kind of model: as a battered example of collective punishment to frighten any who might get out of line in the future or, possibly, a model and a call to others in the region and indeed all over the world to take a totally different path?
The Syriza leadership and most of the Greek left have argued that the people’s movement will provide grass roots, or radical, democracy from below and can, starting from “local autonomous spaces”, bring about radical transformation of the existing political and socio-economic order. There is a tremendous importance to the process through which large sections of society stand up in resistance, and catch a glimpse of the possibility of completely different relations between people. However, this exhilarating moment of potential is being transformed, smothered and domesticated into rescuing parliamentary democracy, the system of political rule that best serves to preserve and disguise the real dictatorship of the capitalist class and its international linkages.
Any real and serious attempt at a revolutionary path would have immediate consequences, not only in Greece but throughout the world. Yes, the hatred of the major powers would be intense and they should be expected to stop at nothing, including unleashing their murderous military force as well as economic strangulation and blackmail, to try to force people to back down. But these same powers are not free just to do as they please, and vicious counter-revolution, as well as the inspiration of real revolutionary breakthroughs, would have profound repercussions throughout Europe, in Berlin as well as Lisbon, and eastward across the Aegean. Even now there are significant shows of support and widespread sympathy for the resistance of people in Greece to punitive “austerity”. Unfortunately, up to now the perspective and hopes of supporters of the Greek masses have been channelled and stifled into support for the same illusory remedies and electoral machinations (Podemos in Spain, for example) that now stand so utterly bankrupt in Athens.
A genuine revolutionary approach would bring forth much more powerful and meaningful solidarity and support, especially from amongst those who need to be, and can be, the basis for revolution in other countries, along with people from all walks of life who yearn for a solution to the ills of capitalist society.
Another question that is sharply posed is the relationship between Greece and the rest of Europe, and especially the European Union. Europe, like the U.S., Japan and Russia (with capitalist China clambering for its place in the club) are pillars of the brutal imperialist order of exploitation. Of course, this club is inherently unequal: capitalism can function in no other way. For reasons of history, geography, economics and politics, Greece is cemented into a sharply inferior position in the European order. But a protracted effort to earn or beg a better position at this banquet of thieves is both impossible and immoral.
Enough of promising Merkel and Hollande that Greece will be the necessary rampart of a wealthy Europe against the massive dislocations of the Middle East and the millions of desperate people trying to escape the escalating madness. Instead of the Greek state serving as a wall or a military outpost for “fortress Europe” against these millions or as a minor player in shoring up despots, the Greek proletariat and people could show a different path and lend a welcoming hand in providing political, moral and material assistance to everyone seeking liberation. Immigrants who are abhorred and driven away today must join in making revolution tomorrow. The needed revolutionary orientation would surely further intensify the contradiction with the great powers, but it would also bring forward new reserves of support and, most importantly, accelerate the worldwide process of socialist revolution upon which the fate of the people of Greece, along with the oppressed everywhere, ultimately depends.
Greece has been strongly impacted by the history of past efforts to make revolution both at home and in the world as a whole. The Russian revolution, the building of socialism in the USSR, the role of communists in fighting the Nazi occupation in the second world war, the Greek civil war – all of this has made an indelible mark on the collective consciousness. Both the past achievements and shortcomings in this process are full of lessons that need to be understood.
The world proletarian revolution reached its greatest heights in China under the leadership of Mao, especially during the Cultural Revolution, which not only defended proletarian rule in that country but took giant strides in attacking the inequalities and birthmarks from the old exploitative system and advancing toward communism. In the 1960s and ’70s, when the barely hidden capitalist character of the Soviet bloc was casting a dismal shadow, Mao’s China was a powerful and vibrant inspiration for many in Greece as well as throughout the world. Unfortunately, far too many of the communists of the time, including those who supported then-revolutionary China because of its resistance to imperialism and support for revolutionary struggle, failed to grasp Mao’s breakthroughs in the theory and practice of making communist revolution.
For most people, the setback of the first stage of communist revolution (the defeat of socialism first in the USSR and later in China after Mao’s death), is distorted and out of focus. Lack of clarity on the historical achievements, actual mistakes and a deeper understanding of the complex nature of the process of communist revolution among those who are now fighting the current spasms and attacks of capitalism is a great ideological and political weight hampering them from taking the struggle to a whole new level.
We have the great advantage that the work has been done to achieve that clarity, an understanding that both rediscovers and upholds the great achievements of previous generations in making a breakthrough in the imperialist world order and explains in a scientific way the reasons for the defeat as well as the shortcomings, in both conception as well as practice, of those first efforts at proletarian revolution. A scientific understanding has been deepened and sharpened about what can and must be done to unleash a new stage of proletarian revolution and take this process forward toward the ultimate goal of world-wide communist society. We are speaking of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian.
This new advanced re-envisioning of communism provides the outlook to transcend all of the fundamental ills of the capitalist society that crushes the lives and spirits of billions, and foresees and advances toward a truly emancipatory worldwide human society – not only a world beyond the present decrepit order, but one much better, much livelier and more liberatory than the highest achievements of previous socialist revolutions.
This new synthesis regrounds communist revolution in the material and historical conditions that make this revolution possible and necessary. Proletarian revolution becomes more compelling, more tangible and hence rendered more desirable. The new synthesis of communism provides the crucial framework, a more thoroughly scientific approach to understanding the world and changing it, for the rebirth of a genuine revolutionary communist movement in Greece as well as elsewhere.
In addition to a rich history of struggle there is the legacy of revolutionary opportunities in Greece and elsewhere that were thrown away or squandered. The lessons of these experiences should increase our determination and capacity to not let current developing revolutionary possibilities be wasted.
The situation in Greece urgently requires a real movement for a genuine proletarian revolution and calls for revolutionaries to adopt the most advanced and scientific revolutionary thinking. Dozens can and must rapidly become thousands and the thousands must lead millions. In the face of a difficult, complex and contradictory situation with great potential, it is essential to arm oneself with the most comprehensive understanding of society and the revolutionary process of transforming it – revolutionary communism. Engaging with the new synthesis of communism is a crucial component of rising to the challenges of the moment and building a vanguard force that can meet the needs of the hour. The crisis and upsurge in Greece is a crucible in which conscious revolutionaries can and must step forward as emancipators of humanity, initiators of the new stage of communist revolution together with their sisters and brothers the world over.
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