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Communist revolution and nothing less!
Statement by the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) on the occasion of May First, International Working Class Day
14 May 2018. A World to Win News Service. The Farsi original of the following statement by the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) is available on www.cpimlm.com.
May First this year comes at a time when Iran and the world are on the threshold of unprecedented events and upheavals. A situation is developing that holds great dangers for the majority of the people in Iran and globally. But within this same situation reside important opportunities to be seized for radical change in Iran, the Middle East and around the world, opportunities to advance, through tremendous sacrifice and struggles by the masses of people, under the leadership of communists, towards emancipation, to beat back the reactionary states and imperialist powers in many countries, dealing blows and defeating them, advancing by leaps and bounds, thus bringing into being a new day in the world when new communist revolutions would prevail and new socialist states be established in different corners of the globe. Only by recognizing these opportunities and actualizing them can we confront the massive dangers ahead.
Through its everyday functioning the capitalist-imperialist system hurls more people into misery and terror. The number of people afflicted by hunger and war is rising, global warming continues, and the world constantly faces the terrible threat of the outbreak of new wars and new rounds of mass slaughter. In the United States, the Trump /Pence regime is upending bourgeois democracy and establishing a Christian fascist regime instead. If this regime manages to consolidate itself, it will impose a world on people that is more racist, more misogynist and poorer, and it will intensify destructive wars and the destruction of the environment. Even before the ascent of the Trump/Pence regime, the workings of the global capitalist system and the policies of various imperialist powers, including U.S. imperialism, had already turned the Middle East into a battlefield between Islamist warlords, the reactionary states of the region and imperialist armies. But under the rule of the Trump regime, the situation in the Middle East will become even more intense. Economic and political rivalries among the imperialist powers (the United States, Russia, China and the European Union) are intensifying. These rivalries have fanned the flames of proxy wars in places like Syria and made the situation there even more complex, with no end in sight. In the wars in Syria and Yemen, in addition to the imperialist powers, reactionary regional powers such as Iran, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and various Shiite and Sunni Islamist groups, are relentlessly slaughtering people and scorching their lands. The rise of a fascist regime in the United States has encouraged the growth of fascist political forces in Europe. In several European countries, including Germany, France, Poland and Hungary, extreme right parties are expanding their power and influence.
The situation in Iran is not isolated from the international scene and in fact is principally shaped by international trends. The Islamic Republic’s political power has lost its coherence. Meanwhile, the regime is still feeling the aftershocks of the uprising of the poor in December 2017. Moreover, wave upon wave of protests, strikes and demonstrations – by the workers’ movement, teachers and pensioners, the Women of Revolution Square (as the young women who stood in Revolution Square and took off and waved their hijabs are called), Isfahan farmers (protesting water shortages) and people in Khuzestan (protesting against air pollution as well as the regime’s outrages against the Arab people in that province) – have confronted the regime with the real possibility of economic and social collapse and large mass movements and uprisings. The situation is so critical that a number of Islamic Republic high-ranking officials and security executives have openly expressed their fear that the regime may collapse or be overthrown, and their alarm at the lack of any clear view of what will happen in the course of this year. The Islamic Republic tried to remedy its economic and political crisis by entering into a nuclear deal with the imperialist powers. But this has failed to produce stability for the regime. John Bolton’s instalment as the Trump/Pence regime’s National Security Adviser has not only opened a new chapter in efforts to squeeze the Islamic Republic, but also aims to further pull Iran into the quagmire of wars in the Middle East and even spread these wars to Iran itself.
The reactionary Islamic Republic of Iran regime claims that through its war crimes and criminal involvement in the Syrian war and its defence of the reactionary regime of Bashar al-Assad it has protected Iran from the conflicts in the Middle East. But what put Iran at risk of becoming “Syrianized” is exactly the regime itself and the very system of the Islamic Republic. Its various military and security factions compete with each other over monopolizing territory, natural resources and high executive posts. At the same time, U.S. imperialism, by relying on its affiliated forces, is preparing “regime change” in Iran. Within the framework of this kind of tense situation, any eventful development – such as a direct military confrontation between the Islamic Republic and the United States, Israel or Saudi Arabia, or a coup attempt by any of the various factions in the Islamic Republic against the others, accompanied by the violent suppression of the people, with the aim of reconstituting a new hard core of power within the Islamic Republic – could open the door to a process similar to what has been going on in Syria and Libya in the past several years.
Let us prepare for big battles
In this kind of charged situation, illusions and political ambiguity, inability to make a scientific analysis and failure to rise to the challenges of the time with a revolutionary line based on reality could lead to the destruction of the progressive forces and the erasing of previous revolutionary hard work. We have to analyse the situation as deeply as possible, grasp its exceptional character and recognize the possibility of dangerous shifts in the situation. The real disaster, the real meaning of the “Syrianization” of Iran, would be if the masses of people were to come into the streets and rise up against their conditions of oppression and exploitation, but the effective actors on the scene were various reactionary forces coming from inside and outside the Islamic Republic regime.
The latter aspect of the situation has to be changed immediately. This is the political necessity the current situation presents. To be in a position to deal with the great dangers looming, our task is to open a radically different path in front of the masses – a path whose economic, political, social and cultural objectives and framework are determined by an actual communist revolution, and attract significant numbers of masses to this path from amongst those who have joined different sites of struggle and resistance against the Islamic Republic.
In 2017, hundreds of outbreaks of protests, strikes, rallies and labour demonstrations (900 according to some estimates) took place in various Iranian cities and regions. This shows both the severity of the state of affairs faced by the regime and the people’s potential for protest and struggle. But the scope and number of these struggles, their persistence, their courage, their initiative and their insistence on achieving their economic and other demands and rights are still far from what workers actually need.
The dire political and economic conditions in Iran, the Middle East region and around the world are not going to improve through mere economic improvement and job creation in this or that branch of industry or by the victory of some people in recovering their bank deposits. The crisis of poverty and unemployment will continue in various forms, and every day more and more people worldwide will be dragged into hunger and misery, even if “me” or “my family” and “my country” might be temporarily secured against the system’s direct and indirect assaults. The struggle against the upcoming devastating storms cannot be won with a short-sighted vision of the interests involved or the identity politics of a section of society (like the women’s movement or the movements of oppressed nations, etc., each separately fighting for their rights). The exploitation and oppression dished out by the capitalist system is a universal and global phenomenon, and the solution is a single solution that has to be fought for on various battlefronts, all serving that single real, comprehensive solution.
One important battlefront in our struggle to overthrow the Islamic Republic regime and open the road to communist revolution in Iran is the anti-imperialist struggle. Today, this anti-imperialist struggle should be focused in particular on supporting the widespread anti-fascist movement in the United States initiated by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (revcom.us) with the slogan “In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America” (refusefascism.org).
What kind of revolution? What kind of leadership?
The situation is very fluid and unpredictable, but a scientific understanding of “what is the problem” would tell us with great certainty that “communist revolution is the only way out.” We communists represent the interests of all humanity, and this is what we fight for. We will wage our battle to radically change the world on the basis of the science of communism and not on the basis of some bourgeois-democratic notions and illusions. By communist revolution and the science of communism we mean what has been put forward and forged by Bob Avakian in the New Communism, and not different narratives of communism or notions under the name of communism.
Today, in order to prepare for such a revolution in Iran, nothing is more important than to bring this emancipatory science of the New Communism and our party’s road map for making this a real revolution in Iran to large sections of militant workers, rebellious women, people of the oppressed nations (Kurds, Arabs, Balochs, Turks, Afghans, Turkmen, etc.). Without this and without continuously increasing the number of communists, we will not be able to build the leadership of the communist revolution and its backbone.
The most important mass campaign on the agenda for revolutionary communists is the campaign to raise widespread awareness of the New Communism and communist revolution in Iran. In order to carry this out, we should carry out society-wide agitation and propaganda around the New Synthesis of Communism and the works of Bob Avakian (in particular the book The New Communism) as well as the basic documents of our party, such as the Manifesto and Programme for Communist Revolution in Iran (published in February 2018) and also the Draft Constitution of The New Socialist Republic of Iran (forthcoming).. We need the advanced people and a new generation of communists to commit themselves to this science so as to understand the situation and change the conditions through hard work and efforts based on the strategic goal of communist revolution.
We should put these questions to the conscious activists and those in the forefront of the workers’ movement today: what is the place of “Workers of the world unite!” in your current struggles? And would the problem of the working class be solved with anything less than this kind of revolution and this kind of internationalist vision? What is the meaning of proletarian internationalism regarding the Afghan workers who are trapped in the lowest and most oppressed rungs of the working class in Iran, and where is proletarian internationalism in this regard in the current struggles of the workers? What position should workers in struggle take regarding the oppression of women under this regime generally as well as the conditions of women proletarians and their super-exploitation? How do they see the relationship between the lack of rights and the starvation of workers and their families in Iran and the crimes that the Iranian regime is committing in Iraq and Syria? How are all these related to the rapidly accelerating water shortage and environmental destruction and the suppression of political dissent by the regime?
Here the point is not to underline the fact that this kind of awareness and discussion must be taken to different social movements such as the labour movement and the women’s movement or other areas of struggle in the society. It is obvious that we should do that. The fundamental point here is that in order to face the extraordinary situation arising out of the intensification of the internal and international contradictions, we must strengthen and develop the communist leadership and backbone for leading the revolution before the situation reaches the point of exploding. Even to those who are not communist and are fighting against the capitalist system with a goal short of communist revolution, we should say that the only way out of the upcoming storms and maelstrom is to fight for the kind of society that our party has envisioned and take up the road map that the party has put forward.
More than a hundred years ago, on the eve of the First World War, Lenin wrote:
“An oppressed class which does not strive to learn to use arms, to acquire arms, only deserves to be treated like slaves… in every class society, whether based on slavery, serfdom, or, as at present, on wage-labour, the oppressor class is always armed… Our slogan must be: arming of the proletariat to defeat, expropriate and disarm the bourgeoisie.”
To give any other meaning to May First is to elude the reality and run away from the necessity of the revolutionary transformation of the current circumstances. The following statement by Bob Avakian is a basic principle of the proletarian revolution:
“We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t unite with people in all sorts of struggles short of a revolution. We definitely need to do that. But the proffering of any other solution to these monumental and monstrous problems and outrages is ridiculous, frankly.”
The future belongs to those who dare to take big leaps forward for emancipation!
Long live revolution, long live communism!
Fight to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran and establish the New Socialist Republic in Iran!
Revolutionary Communist Group of Colombia on 1 May:
The world needs a real revolution and the new communism! And nothing less!
14 May 2018. A World to Win News Service. The original Spanish text of the following statement by the Revolutionary Communist Group (GCR) of Colombia is available at www.acgcr.org
The world today is one of suffering, wars, destruction of the environment, the brutal oppression of minority nationalities in all kinds of countries, a world in which half of humanity, women, are subjected to degradation and oppression in horrible forms. We are approaching a key crossroads. In the most powerful country on the planet, which largely shapes what is happening in the world, the fascist Trump/Pence regime is moving to establish a fascist United States. This regime and its powerful sponsors can shatter the bourgeois-democratic rule of law and manoeuvre so that this fascist United States dominates the world. The Trump/Pence regime is cooking up a big war… this is what they are aiming and planning for (the “rapprochements” on the Korean peninsula and the Middle East are part of the ritual of war). The point of calling this regime fascist is not to mobilize people by means of horrifying exaggerations. The horror that Trump represents is not another “swing of the pendulum”. What we face is a REGIME and not simply the worst of all the reactionary Yankee administrations (whether Democratic or Republican). It is a regime that is radically restructuring society in a fascist direction.
At this crossroads, what is at stake is the future of humanity. The Trump/Pence regime faces the need – in the United States and internationally – to radically restructure the form of government and international relations, shattering the customary democratic norms that have legitimized the capitalist-imperialist system in the eyes of the majority. They have made considerable progress in adopting policies to concretize their fascist programme of “America First” and “Make America Great Again”. The danger this poses – of war, potentially nuclear war, and the immediate hammering into place of new, more draconian laws that eliminate civil and democratic rights – makes it all the more urgent that revolutionaries organize and forge unity more broadly… in every country, and with the revolutionaries and anti-imperialists who together with others fighting in the “belly of the beast” are forging the organization Refuse Fascism (RefuseFascism.org).
The fact that this fascist regime is being consolidated is a nightmare not only for the American people but for the world. But there is a way to stop it, a path that requires courage, conviction and determination. Yes, there is a lot at stake, but as Refuse Fascism says: “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!” This is not in any way an argument in favour of the ordinary capitalist-imperialist regime.
In no way is it an exaggeration to point out that the rightward shift in the world has been rapidly consolidating. In France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Ukraine, the Philippines, etc., the far-right forces – who really are fascists – have gained unprecedented strength (also underpinned by religious fundamentalism), even taking the reins of power in too many cases. Only empty-headed people can believe the stupid argument that this is a simple question of appearances “because Lenin said so a little more than a century ago” and even go so far as to say that what we are really seeing today is “a tremendous growth (!) of the forces of the revolution”, seeking to generate optimism with pious lies.
Today humanity does have the real possibility, but not the guarantee, of building a radically different world. A world that has eliminated the age-old division of people into classes that has condemned the the majority of humanity to be exploited and oppressed by a privileged handful. A world without imperialism and wars. A world where borders between countries do not exist. A world where women are not raped, degraded, and murdered, and instead fully participate in the transformation of society. A world where art and culture do not degrade or numb, but rather fire the imagination. A world where dissent and struggle for the truth are highly valued, where people take up the scientific method to understand and transform nature and society.
But the vast majority of people do not understand that this is possible due to the functioning of capitalism-imperialism (which in some oppressed countries is intertwined with different forms and degrees of feudalism). Capitalism-imperialism oppresses and smothers the spirit, and keeps people in superstition and ignorance. It promotes this even among people with a university education. Postmodernism, relativism and identity politics, for example, have disarmed people, limiting their ability to understand reality and seek the truth by denying the very existence of truth.
What has to be done today to overcome this difficulty is not to generate optimism with “post-truths”. The situation must be changed, the terrain must be changed, the terms of political discourse itself must be changed to focus on what really matters to humanity. We have to work so that more people, millions of people, centre their thinking and activity on the possibility and the necessity of revolution, conscious of what a revolution can truly achieve in the face of everything that afflicts humanity today. People have to know that the liberating science of communism – after the end of the first wave of revolutions in the 1970s – has been developed by Bob Avakian, who has put it on a more firmly scientific basis. They have to connect with his work, the new synthesis of communism (and not discard it in advance because of the lies hatched up by counter-revolutionaries of all kinds).
The new communism, which Avakian has brought forward, is the science, the strategy and the leadership for an actual revolution, and for a radically new society on the road to real emancipation. It is the key tool to fight the system and transform the people for revolution. The basis for transforming the world and moving beyond the economic, political and social formations that today brutally destroy lives and crush spirits lies in the productive capacity and technology, and people’s creativity and knowledge. To unleash this potential, the complex reality of the world as it really is must be understood in order to discover the paths leading to fundamental change through a strategic approach to an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to human emancipation. This concentrates Bob Avakian’s development of the new communism.
The new synthesis of communism embodies the greatest advance in real communist revolution and the potential for even more if people very broadly in society connect with it. It could transform the political terrain, bringing about a significant shift in the political terms so that people understand for the first time or understand from new angles the question of communism and seriously get into the question of whether another world is possible and if, in fact, what communism represents, as we consider it, is an “actual alternative, a real and viable alternative that can and should be fought for, with an actual prospect – not a guarantee, but an actual prospect – of winning, and an actual orientation of striving to win and being determined to win, in order to actually bring another world into being that would really be emancipating for the masses of oppressed people in the world who are suffering horribly under this system, and ultimately for humanity as a whole to be able to enter a whole new era, free of what has weighed it down for centuries and millennia now: relations of exploitation and oppression, and all the ignorance and superstition and misunderstanding of reality that’s gone along with that and has reinforced that.” [WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism, Bob Avakian, 1 October 2012.]
The situation in the world cries out for revolution. But not just any revolution, nor with just any leadership. Avakian has made breakthroughs regarding the strategy for an actual revolution. The author of the constitution for the future socialist state, he has developed a radically new conception of socialism as a society that is much more liberating and on the road to communism. And he has developed the understanding of internationalism: that in order to emancipate all humanity from the chains of imperialism, the whole world comes first. The challenge before the revolutionaries and the masses of people is enormous. As rightly pointed out recently in Revolution newspaper (revcom.us): “We revolutionary communists are supposed to represent and speak in the name of the interests of all of humanity. And we are supposed to do so on the basis of science and nothing less. On that basis, we can in fact have a great deal of certitude in stating that what humanity needs, more than anything else, is a communist world, achieved through a process of revolutions (of the right kind) to establish socialist societies (of the right kind) as a transition and road, and a base for advance, to that communist world. So it’s not just communism we are fighting for, it’s the right kind of communism, the NEW COMMUNISM.”
In truth there is nothing that would be more important to achieve in this period of history than to overcome some of these obstacles and make the New Communism widely known, engaged with and appreciated throughout society (and among all social strata) and the world, along with its architect, Bob Avakian (responsible for developing and advancing this new synthesis of communism, and who himself is a concentrated expression of its core principles and scientific methods). And it is also true that “if we don’t succeed in doing THAT – if we don’t succeed in making qualitative and quantitative breakthroughs in fulfilling THAT mission – then not much at all will come out of anything any of us have done over the past decades, or continue to do today.”
This requires that many, many of you who are reading this statement get into this and contribute to creating a situation where many more people know about Bob Avakian and what he has brought forward, where many more people discuss, debate, interrogate and explore the new communism. That many, many of you coalesce into a real force with growing influence in society. This (and not an empty optimism based on post-truths or political truths) would bode well for the possibility of new communism spreading and taking root to an unprecedented degree in the next period.
NO to Trump, NO to Pence, NO to a fascist America! NO to imperialist aggression in Syria! NO to Zionist and imperialist aggression against Palestine! No to imperialist intervention in Venezuela!
Break the chains, unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution!
Cast away constitutional illusions, prepare a real revolution! Don’t vote!
Prepare minds, organize forces, prepare the ground for revolution!
What humanity needs is revolution and Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism!
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