Within the Bourgeois-Imperialist Counter-Revolution
Extracted from: Besooy-e-Sosyalism No.4 January 1980
In considering the role and functions of Jae two factions of the Iranian ruling body .a maintaining and consolidating the supremacy of the bourgeoisie and of imperialism in the two previous sections, we attempted to underscore this point that the counter revolution first and foremost must he viewed as an forming and still evolving phenomenon. Further, we stated the way in which our revolution and especially the unfinished insurrection of Feb. 1979 deprived the Iranian bourgeoisie of the Shah's regime which acted as its sole political and ideological leadership, and left the restoration of a single leadership within the counter-revolution to the course of development of a long and turbulent period of rivalry among different representatives and political currents of the bourgeoisie. We emphasized that what follows above all from our discussion is that the outcome of this process of rivalry is neither the supremacy of one rival over the others nor the achievement of the ideological and political leadership of the Bourgeoisie by one of the existing rivals. Rather, it will be the arising of a political current in the ranks of the bourgeoisie, released from the ideological and political restrictions of the two existing factions, while embracing and developing the reactionary, counter-revolutionary, anti-proletarian characteristics of both factions. We have called this a "political synthesis" for it could only arise upon the ground of activities and operations of the two existing factions of the ruling body, utilizing the strongholds the bourgeoisie attains through both factions whether in cooperation or separately. This political synthesis, this single leadership of the bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution could not be anything but a bourgeois political-ideological current directly representing the interests of monopoly capital. The single leadership of the bourgeoisie in Iran is realizable only under the banner of monopoly capital and the rise of the synthesis which is under discussion would mark the termination of a period of dispersion and crisis induced by the absence of this leadership within the ranks of the bourgeoisie a dispersion which has been imposed on the bourgeoisie by the economic crisis and the revolution.
In the first two parts, we have referred to different points, each of which should be elaborated upon in specific discussions. But, in so far as these articles are concerned with outlining the proletarian attitude towards the ruling body, and towards the bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution as a whole, we need to review the general tenets presented in the previous articles:
1) On the basis of what we have said we stand counter to the viewpoints that render a mechanical and static picture of the counter-revolution. The world of the counter-revolution does not limit itself to the field of rivalry between the two existing factions of the ruling body. The political destiny of the bourgeoisie could not be merely traced in the situation of the IRP and the liberals. On the contrary, the existing rivalry itself must be looked upon as a period of transformation, from the midst of different links and in the course of development of which, the bourgeoisie explores that ultimate form of political leadership which reflects and fulfils the fundamental needs of capital, organizes the chaotic apparatus of bourgeois rule and helps the Iranian bourgeoisie to quickly consign to oblivion the "nightmare of revolution", returns to "economy", and resume the process of capital accumulation as suits its interest. Thus, a Marxist analysis of the counter-revolutionary camp cannot be confined to examining only the dispute between the IRP and the liberals but it should advance the inquiry and analysis of the fundamental requisites of the Iranian bourgeoisie under the present concrete conditions and on this basis disclose and explain the roots of ruling body's dispute itself with a materialist method.
We stated that the monopoly bourgeoisie's policy as regards our revolution is, at the most basic level, aimed at realizing the two principal preconditions for the resumption of a new cycle of capital accumulation:
2) Also in this respect, the former articles make cur analysis distinct from that of those forces that either basically consider the policy of the Iranian bourgeoisie separate from the interests of the imperialist monopolies and [view it] abstracted from the process of securing the monopoly bourgeoisie's hegemony in the ranks of the bourgeoisie, or regard the liberal bourgeoisie as the representative of monopoly capital and, therefore, view the consolidation of monopoly capital's hegemony and the rising to power of the liberal bourgeoisie as the same process. The whole reasoning in the first two parts of this article, and our entire perception in the course of the post-Uprising period that was published in our first pamphlets and especially in the preface to the pamphlet "Workers' Sit-in in the Ministry of Labour" in March of 1979, has been based on the fact that the present economic crisis and revolution forced the genuine political representatives of monopoly capital (and thereby, the natural and desirable leadership of the Iranian bourgeoisie) to retreat and, temporarily, imposed some other political representatives on the bourgeoisie. Under the present circumstances, the presence of monopoly capital could not and should not necessarily be searched for in the body of active bourgeois parties and currents. Neither the IRP nor the liberals are the genuine representatives of monopoly capital. Rather, they are [the components of] a transient combination to safeguard the bourgeoisie and Iranian capitalism from further encroachment of the revolution; a combination which was imposed upon the monopoly bourgeoisie in the course of a retreat; a combination which precisely because it could stick itself to the revolution in the period of anti-monarchist struggle, thanks to the absence of a vivid proletarian policy, then in the revolutionary and critical conditions [followed), and as long as "the revolution must be suppressed in the name of revolution", is of more efficiency for the bourgeoisie than the genuine currents of the monopoly bourgeoisie. As for the liberals, this point refers to nothing but to their historical and classical role. The liberal bourgeoisie is ever to act hypocritically. But in the case of IRP, we emphasize its instrumental character which enables imperialism to get hold of the bridle of the petty-bourgeoisie and, thanks to the extensive prevalence of conservative religious thinking (a declining feature) in its ranks, drive it to confrontation with the revolutionary proletariat. We regarded this instrumental character as the essence of the IRP and as its raison d'Γͺtre, further, we essentially questioned it as "being a Party" in the classical sense as a current formed in the process of defending the interests of a particular class or stratum, relies upon a particular class, and places before itself a program for the realization of the goals and interests of this class. We regarded the IRP as a mixture of the most suspicious circles on the one hand, and religious petty-bourgeois circles on the other hand, which by active use of Islam and of Khomeini himself, and [due to] the illusion of a broad mass of toiling people towards the latter, was at least in the beginning capable of attracting and making use of the confused masses of poor city-dwellers in achieving its reactionary goals. To say that the IRP is a "party established for the [Iranian] petty-bourgeoisie by imperialism" could be an exaggerating but nevertheless an expressive summary of our viewpoint as regards this reactionary current.
In this way, we also distinguish ourselves from those comrades who evaluate the IRP as the political organ of the traditional, upper-strata petty-bourgeoisie. In assessing the class character and role of this Party, what must be particularly considered is basically not the composition of its constituent circles and elements, but its prevalent policies. Thus we attempted to elucidate the conformity of this Party's practice and operation with the immediate interests of monopoly capital under the post-Uprising special circumstances. [We pointed out that] attracting and turning the conservative strata of the petty-bourgeoisie into the agent of the imperialist policy is the raison d'Γͺtre of the IRP, and any assessment of the IRP which explains its class character on the basis of the observation of the composition of its elements and members, is bound to adopt a deviationist position against it.
3) This reality that neither the IRP, an advocate of theocracy, nor the liberals, advocates of the half-way bourgeois democracy, are the genuine representatives of the monopoly bourgeoisie, also implies that the process of the arising of a single leadership in the ranks of the bourgeoisie is necessarily [the process of) the weakening of the foundations of both theocracy and liberalism (for the bourgeoisie). If it is the waves of the revolution that has brought to power the second-class political representatives and parties of the bourgeoisie, and if the "suppression of the revolution under the name of revolution" is the philosophy of their coming to power, then it is evident that the more they drive back the revolution the more they forfeit their desirability as a government for the bourgeoisie. They are, due to their nature, parties and currents acting as middlemen, paving the road for the bourgeoisie's stable and genuine political representatives. They would have thoroughly succeeded in playing their part only at a time when they have gone, entrusting their place to those who have come to resume the movement of capital on the paved and levelled road.
This is the doomed fate of any middleman. They cannot be one side of a transaction. It must be also mentioned, however, that the appearance of the political representatives of monopoly capital does not necessarily correspond to the physical disappearance of all politicians who have a part in the existing composition of the government. Bakhtiar, Madani, Nazih, and the like, are evident examples of those bourgeois-liberals who have openly joined their real master, the monopoly bourgeoisie. The rejection of liberalism as a political trend does not necessarily mean the dismissal of the bourgeois liberal politicians; as the "popularity" of these politicians, and especially the bourgeoisie's reliance upon them, does not necessarily mean that liberalism has acquired a class base within the bourgeoisie. This is a point which must be taken into account in examining the course of gaining power by the monopoly bourgeoisie in the ranks of the bourgeoisie, and also relatedly, in considering the manner of strengthening of Bani-Sadr's faction during the war. On the other hand, the arising of the monopoly bourgeoisie's single leadership does not necessarily mean the "return" of, and the seizure of power by, the imperialist opposition (composed of the defeated monarchists and the far-sighted bourgeois-liberals) and its known politicians. In the two faction" discussion, by examining the fundamental needs of monopoly capital and thereby of the bourgeoisie as a whole (that is, the counter-revolutionary order and the productive order); we have attempted to derive those essential features of this single leadership independent of its present slogans, politicians and rudimentary forms. The current representing the monopoly bourgeoisie will be that current which provide an answer for those fundamental problems [already discussed], from the viewpoint of the interests, and on the basis of the needs and programs, of monopoly capital; no matter which of the today's active politicians and currents are to undertake an active role in the composition of this political current.
Firstly, the bourgeoisie wants the wheels of revolution to cease, the democratic gains of the Uprising to be taken back, and the complete submission of the working class, and other exploited toilers thereby, to the sway of capital to be once again secured; thus the establishment of the counter-revolutionary order in the society. Secondly, enjoying the repression revived and on the basis of pauperism brought about by the economic crises, a productive order appropriate to the resumption of a new cycle of capital accumulation in Iran, as a country dominated by imperialism and a sphere of production of imperialist super-profits, must be established.
In considering the two factions we reached the conclusion that the present ruling body and its constituent composition did not possess that collection of features which would otherwise enable it to represent and lead the endeavour of the bourgeoisie to realize these two preconditions. The IRP which has taken the initiative in suppressing the revolution under the name of revolution, due to its nature and role, is ideologically and economically not able to answer the long term needs of the Iranian bourgeoisie. The liberals, on the other hand, who have undertaken to sanctify the private ownership and capital and renovate the chaotic state machine, suffers three-fold: in the economic sphere they are not able to go beyond the intelligence and ideals of intermediate capital in the domestic market; in politics they do not quite understand the significance of informal methods of organizing the camp of the counter-revolution; and finally in the ideological sphere, by advocating their liberal utopianism, they add fuel to the existing dispersion in the ranks of the bourgeoisie. However, the two factions in combination, with one another have acted as an effective instrument serving the imperialist policy in the post-Uprising circumstances. For they firstly, safeguard the bourgeoisie and capitalism against the revolutionary offensive by the masses and, secondly, develop the necessary objective and subjective grounds for the direct political representatives of the monopoly bourgeoisie to come to the scene. These grounds generally take shape as a result of the concurrent activities of the two factions and as developments upon which both agree, or as a result of consequence of their conflicts. In other words, whether the two factions are in agreement on enforcing certain policies, or they come into conflict over [certain] issues, as a consequence of their operation, the monopoly bourgeoisie attains to general and fundamental achievements. These counter-revolutionary developments, these objective and subjective grounds for a political synthesis within the bourgeoisie resulting in the restoration of monopoly capital's hegemony in the political forces of the class, could be generally outlined as follows:
1) The sanctification and legitimization of the capitalist ownership and exploitation.
The Iranian revolution, despite the strong ideological dominance of the bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeoisie, was undoubtedly from the outset holding a protesting clamour against the bourgeois ownership and capitalist exploitation; a clamour which was in fact a reflection of the realities of the existing economic relations and the participation of the proletariat in the overthrow of the Shah's regime as the principal motivating force. Although as a consequence of the ideological, political, and organizational backwardness of the proletariat and the absence of a steadfast communist party, this ambiguous socialist tendency did not manifest itself but in the limited and vulgar context of petty-bourgeois "socialism" and equalitarianism, the workers and toilers at least is their consciousness in the frame of ideals and ambiguous slogans such as "righteousness", "equality", "Touhidi and Qest society", "non-eternity of capital', and the like, depicted a bloody prospect for the destiny of capital and the "capitalist". (It will be quite instructive if we at a proper time take a look at the attitude of the petty-bourgeois leaders of the anti-monarchist movement on the one hand, and that of the communists on the ether hand, towards this ambiguous "socialist" tendency. While the likes of "Father Taleghani" by the aid of impassioned Mojahedin youth, promising "Islamic Qest and Touhid", and, in essence, by promising a "kind" of socialism, rallied the workers under the banner of Khomeini, a great section of the communist movement actively hindered the proletariat from any "encroachment" upon "capital and the national bourgeoisie" both in words and deed! The bourgeoisie not only understood its own interests but also the historical tendencies of the proletariat; hence it brought forth quasi-socialist promises to attract the workers. In contrast, the majority of the communist movement not only was ignorant of the interests of the proletariat, but also, of the aims and methods of the bourgeoisie, and attempted to cover the grotesque nature of the whole of bourgeoisie. This is an historical tragedy much as it is a warning for those who take pride in their theoretical carelessness.)
In any case, the objective and subjective grounds for the realization of this "ambiguous" socialist ideal did not exist; the present regime undertook its historical mission to protect capital and, at the same time, prove to the proletariat the bankruptcy of petty-bourgeois socialism. The first condition for the bourgeoisie to regain its coherence and get rid of the "abyss" of the revolution was to break up this amorphous ideological advancing of the proletariat. The bourgeois property had to be protected from a proletariat eager to confiscate, expropriate and control. Those capitalists, who, in the first months after the Uprising, saw not only their property but also their lives in jeopardy and ran away, had to return to their business; the proletariat had to go back to factories and dismiss all thought of offending the holy domain of capital; the situation had to go back to "normal". On these matters, both factions completely accorded and acted in mutual and organic affinity. One faction (the liberals) sought to exonerate the whole of bourgeois property, whilst the other (Khomeini and Co.) tried to fob it off on the masses in the religious guise of "Islamic legitimate and conditional property". The former demanded the acquittal and return of all "criminals of production', while the latter by offering a few "Mofsed-e-Fel-Arz" as sacrifices before the "Ommatt", paved the way for the rest.
It did not take long for those who knew the meaning of "communism's heavy strike" to declare legitimacy of bourgeois property and capitalist exploitation; It took even lees to admit this for the proletariat and the rural and urban poor who were deprived of communist thinking and leadership. The nationalization of the industries gave also the appropriate "organizational" form to minimize friction and confrontation; "there could be no other form of property more legitimate than that of a state appointed by God and the prophet and relied upon the Islamic nation". The bourgeoisie rapidly protected the economic bases of its society from the direct offence of the proletariat, thanks to the Islamic Republic regime and its see-saw type relations, and to its sham quarrels concerning the question of property. Today, the ambiguous ideal of "Qest and classless society" has been transformed to the real demand of "workers control over production and distribution": this is a "retreat" from the ambiguous petty-bourgeois socialism and a practical step forward towards the ideological and political independence of the proletariat. Yet it must be acknowledged that the Islamic republic has seriously pressed forward its most primary tasks, and has achieved many successes in maintaining and securing the bourgeoisie's sway and in creating the necessary grounds for the coherence of the ranks of the bourgeoisie under the leadership of monopoly bourgeoisie.
2) The elimination of the democratic gains of the Uprising and the submission of the masses to the complete denial of their political rights.
The Islamic Republic regime, whose leaders came to the scene essentially to prevent the coercive insurrection of the masses, since its very establishment has tenaciously attempted to repel the proletariat and the revolutionary toilers, step by step, and bulwark by bulwark, from the democratic gains of the Uprising. In the last part we noted how the establishment of the counter-revolutionary order is the fundamental precondition for the resumption of the "normal" process of production and capital accumulation in the country. Also, in different writings we have emphasized how, on the other hand, the fundamental democratic changes in the political relations, is the core issue of the present revolution from the point of view of the revolutionary proletariat. Thus, the counter-revolutionary character of the government and the factions within it, and their effective role in providing the grounds for the bourgeoisie to consolidate its sway under the leadership of the monopoly bourgeoisie, must be in the first place Searched for in their anti-democratic practice. In this regard, the two functions within the government have had two different but certainly complementary practices.
While from the very beginning, the liberals rushed in a flurry to examine and renovate the damaged and crumbling state apparatus, Khomeini, the IRP and Co. endeavoured to fill in the vacuum of the repressive apparatus by declaration of decrees, harassment, stupefication and intimidation. Strikes, sit-ins, and "opposition to the government" were announced to be against religion and hence illegal and doomed to God's retribution. The process of replacing the armed people by the organized gangs of the pro-government ultra-rightist petty-bourgeoisie started. Immediately following the Uprising the decree of general disarmament was issued. Wherever the masses were directly engaged in establishing the organs of exercising their will directly and from below, they were confronted with resistance and later with strong offensive by the government. The proletariat and the revolutionary toilers had made their crucial choice on the basis of their illusions. By accepting the hegemony of the petty-bourgeoisie's policy and thinking, they essentially left the political power in the hands of the bourgeoisie. And now, this latter, had no objectives except depriving the masses of any democratic election pushing them outside the arena of political activity, keeping them away from any possibility of exercising their will and, finally, turning them into a means for restoring the [bourgeois] sway what the masses themselves had once overthrown.
The Islamic Republic not only shrank back from recognizing any kind of democratic changes, but by relying on religious stupefication and harassment of the masses, derided their democratic ideals as "imperialistic" and "western". The equality of men and women was called prostitution, [the demand for] welfare was denounced as "animalistic", and the freedom of speech and assembly were called the freedom of "conspiracy and corruption". The Shah's illegal authorities were legally vested in the "Vali-e-Amre". Torture was legalized under the rubric of "Ordained Penance". The women and the religious minorities were officially turned into second class citizens, and so on and so forth. This medieval attack on the democratic demands of the masses has numerous aspects.
On paper, the bourgeoisie not only did not retreat, but generally, and to a great extent, came out as if the revolution and the revolutionaries owed something. But beyond paper, in reality, the revolutionary workers and toilers kept many democratic strongholds at the expense of great sacrifices, and today, with the escalating mass struggle, they have before themselves the perspective of the seizure of new strongholds. All in all, this process, i.e. the process of the onslaught of the regime and its factions on the democratic gains of the revolution, is the essential underlying background for the political coherence of the bourgeoisie and the return of the monopoly bourgeoisie to the forefront of the ranks of the counter-revolution against the revolutionary proletariat.
The savage attack on the revolutionary Kurdistan, infliction of the anti-democratic and anti-worker constitution upon the masses, the assault on the universities and extermination of the communist and :evolutionary students, denial of freedom of speech, assembly, parties, strike, etc, in practice, formation of the medieval courts for the trial of the communists, revolutionary democrats and militant toilers, imposition of an ordered parliament full of enemies of the working class and democracy upon the masses, and hundreds of other sycophantic services to imperialism, are all practical measures that the present regime, with the aid of both ultra-right and liberal factions of itself, has undertaken to help the restoration of the monopoly bourgeoisie's rule.
If the monopoly bourgeoisie of Iran succeeds in crushing the ranks of the revolutionary proletariat and in suppressing the revolutionary-democratic movement, it will undoubtedly go beyond all these forms and measures in organizing the political and economic sway of imperialism. Neither the official and non-official thugs' and club holders' disregard towards the law nor the law of the Islamic parliament, nor the despotism of "Velayat-e-Faghih" and reactionary theocracy, nor the liberal's hypocritical coquetries, would constitute the stable instruments of its class domination. It is to revive the Aryamehrian paradise of capital in those aspects and forms which corresponds the capitalism of Iran as a country dominated by imperialism. However, what it will owe to all existing temporary lackeys of imperialism, i.e. both the liberals and the IRP, is a complete lack of rights which they have endeavoured to impose upon the workers and toilers of Iran.
3) The renovation of a stable state repressive apparatus, sanctification and restoration of the army, political police, and the state bureaucratic apparatus.
These are the fundamental exigencies of the Iranian bourgeoisie, led by the monopoly bourgeoisie, for the onset of a new cycle of capital accumulation on the basis of imperialist exploitation of the proletariat. Roth factions of the government accord on the urgency of this. The dispute and disagreement arises on, firstly, the extent to which these instruments can be relied upon at the present time in suppressing the revolution. In the last part, we considered this point and explained the realism and the utopianism of the IRP and the liberals respectively. And secondly, the extent to which the bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution relies upon these [formal and] stable institutions of suppression, as compared to the informal ones, will be under the present conditions directly reflected in the balance of forces between the two governmental factions. This, in turn, impedes an all out consensus within the Islamic Republic on the rapidity with which the process of sanctification and restoration of the formal and centralized, but now chaotic, instruments of suppression should take place.
But in any case, the balance sheet of both factions in providing the grounds for the undisputable sway of the monopoly bourgeoisie is quite brilliant. [In this respect], the communist movement has been aware of, and has emphasized, this reactionary character of the Islamic Republic from the outset. Apart from those social-chauvinists, who have been since the outbreak of the war busy admonishing the Islamic Republic en raising the efficacy of the Islamic Republic army as if they were experts on logistical affairs, ordnance, and military tactics and strategy, trying to save the "independence" of the government from the foreign advisers the revolutionary Marxist forces have for long used as subject of exposition and agitation all shameful measures of the Islamic Republic in sanctifying and restoring the pro-US army, reorganizing SAVAK under a new name, and reinstating the most corrupted bureaucratic and anti-democratic forms in the state-apparatus. It is therefore assumed that the significance of this matter as a fundamental background for the coherence of the bourgeoisie and for the consolidation of the hegemony of monopoly capital within the ranks of the counter-revolution needs no further elaboration and emphasis.
4) Forcing the masses to submission to the reduced living standards and to the pauperizing consequences of the economic crisis.
In the pamphlet "The Prospect of Destitution and the Re-Escalation of Revolution" we have already scrutinized the place and importance of this point. There we pointed out that the imposition of the consequences of the economic crisis upon the proletariat and the toiling masses and thereby reducing the value of labour power in society, was itself one of the channels and prerequisites for the capitalist system to escape the economic crisis. We further emphasized that the Iranian bourgeoisie could not resume the accumulation of capital in its desirable way without compelling the masses to submit to the pauperizing results of the economic crisis. This is, however, the economic aspect of the question which has been sufficiently discussed in our previous texts.
From the political point of view, on the other hand, the deepening crisis of capitalism and the intensification of poverty and destitution of the masses, given the absence of a vivid proletarian alternative in the face of the crisis, and the lack of organized mess struggle to defend and raise the living standards of the workers and toiling masses (which must be of serious concern to communists), add fuel to the conservative tendencies within the workers' movement, particularly in the backward segments of the proletariat. The defence of the living standards of the proletariat is the necessary condition for every consistent struggle against the bourgeoisie. If the working masses that are entangled by the plague of unemployment, exposed permanently to lay-off, have their real wages reduced and their economic existence endangered, can not find a solution to all these [sufferings], they would be inevitably affected with strong rightist tendencies.
In such circumstances, it is "order" rather than "revolution" which acquires attraction for the workers. Furthermore, the intensification of poverty and economic insecurity of the toiling masses provides the objective grounds for an increase in the competition among their ranks; and the Islamic Republic, as the bourgeois reaction materialized, would not hesitate to cause utmost division and dispersion in the ranks of the proletariat and the toiling masses. Religious fanaticism, sex, ethnic background, work experience, employed and unemployed statuses, etc., have all become pretexts serving the Islamic republic to break the ranks of the workers movement apart. Reinforcing the conservative tendencies among the masses is the axis of the entire bourgeoisie's propaganda with respect to the economic crisis. This is that single thesis which links Bani-Sadr's and his associates' motto "forget about the councils, you must work my friend" and that of the IRP, Khomeini and Co. "the leftists set fire to the harvest and cause disorder in production".
The government, aided by both factions, has not for a moment been heedless of turning the crisis into the grounds for the consolidation of the political and economic sway of capital. Khomeini and Co., by hoisting the banner of "the soul not the body", and the bourgeois-liberals by advocating the reactionary claim that the revolution itself has been the cause of the economic crisis and of the destitution of the masses, mounted a raid on the living standards of the millions of the workers and toilers. The masses' resistance, led by the industrial proletariat, against this assault, makes the background of a fresh political arising of the masses at the present juncture. This struggle still continues; but to date the reactionary ruling body has vividly made clear its role in laying the groundwork for imperialism and the monopoly bourgeoisie.
5) The sanctification of imperialism and justification of the diplomatic, economic and military relations of the ruling bourgeoisie of Iran with the imperialist countries.
One of the manifest aspects of our revolution has been its open anti-imperialist character. Imperialism in general and U.S imperialism, as the dominant imperialism on the politics and economy of Iran, in particular, has been a target of the Iranian revolutionary proletariat's protest. The boycott of oil to South Africa and Israel by the militant workers of the oil industry in the months prior to the Uprising, is [itself] expressive of the awareness of the Iranian revolutionary proletariat of global roots and foundations of exploitation and repression in Iran. Although the Iranian proletariat has to this very date been unable to fully understand the inevitable and fundamental link between imperialism and dictatorship, and hence the essential tie between the anti-imperialist struggle and the struggle for democracy, the anti-imperialist and particularly the anti-U.S. orientation of the Iranian workers and toilers have made, and is making, the restoration of the pre-revolutionary situation quite difficult for the wounded bourgeoisie of Iran. Needless to say, as a result of the domination of the petty-bourgeois mentality over the mass movement, this orientation did not manifest itself except in the legal, administrative and diplomatic spheres. The present government and both counter-revolutionary factions within it have attempted to make this anti-imperialist tendency of the workers and toiling masses void of any kind of practical economic-class content.
The IRP and Ayatollah Khomeini have reduced imperialism from a distinct, tangible and understandable reality for the toiling masses, down to a supernatural and legendary creature a genie or a satanic creature as if has come to existence as an anti-thesis to Islam. The revolutionary workers and toilers right from before the Uprising took under attack the symbols of economic power of monopoly capital, i.e. the banks and the industrial and commercial corporations belonging to the monopoly bourgeoisie, as well as the symbol of imperialism's political domination that is the military-police regime of the monarchy. The IRP and Ayatollah Khomeini reduced the anti-imperialist struggles to the chants of Allah-o-Akbar from over the roofs, demonstrations in front of the U.S. Embassy, and parroting the IRP's void and vulgar slogans. The ordered and void "anti-hostage" braggadocio and "opposition" to Ramsey Clark and other agents of U.S. imperialism's diplomacy, became more and more "expressive" and recurrent with every step monopoly capital took to restore, in practice, its lost economic and political strongholds, and with the increase in exploitation and repression.
"America is the Great Satan and man has never fought the Satan but by resorting to incantation, and to magicians, geomancers and mullahs." This has been the imperialist essence of the so-called anti-imperialist struggle of the IRP, Khomeini and Co. On the other hand, the liberals whose link with imperialism was becoming increasingly evident in the eyes of the masses, made out of this vulgar petty-bourgeois critique of imperialism a pretext and a means to inflict upon the masses their fully-fledged dependence on imperialism and their commitment to renovate the imperialist monopolies' paradise of security and the capitalist exploitation in the dominated country under various pretences the need for releasing from political isolation", "economic objectivity" and so forth. By the end of two years [since the Uprising], they have taken various steps in this direction; they have divided the imperialist powers into "bad" and "good", openly announced their fundamental union with imperialism in the struggle against "international communism", baptized U.S. imperialism and promised her salvation should she beg forgiveness. They have by all means attempted nor let it become America's turn after the Shah, this being from the viewpoint of the monopoly bourgeoisie a giant stride "forward".
6) The incessant suppression of the communist movement and the attraction of petty-bourgeois democracy under the banner of liberalism.
In the optimist mind of many revolutionary workers and communist militants, the February Uprising was the dawn of the establishment of a "national and progressive" state led by the liberal bourgeoisie and the petty-bourgeoisie; a state which was supposedly about to guarantee such political freedoms that would render the proletariat and its political forces the opportunity to clearly define their aims, organize themselves and fortify the bulwark of the struggle for socialism on the grounds of free and widespread work of agitation, propaganda and organization. As we had forewarned from the outset, these illusions crushed the wall of reality. The primary aim and task of the new rulers was to impede the scope of the insurrection from expansion, and to attempt to take back its democratic gains. In this respect, it was of utmost necessity to capital and imperialism to suppress the communist movement a movement whose growth and rise is the sole indicator of the march towards socialism, and which, though falling and rising, was fighting ceaselessly and enthusiastically to expand the democratic gains of the revolution. Obstructing the expansion of open and widespread activity of the communist movement is tantamount to hindering the expansion of the scope of revolution. In this respect, the present regime has played its part quite consistently in serving capital and imperialism and giving the opportunity to the monopoly bourgeoisie for political and military reinforcements. This is one of the holy agreements between the two factions of the government.
Also in this connection, the petty-bourgeois democrats who, fearful of pressures by the regime, dread to get practically and openly close to the communist movement, are due to their wavering nature bound to be gradually drawn under the banner of bourgeois-liberalism and become neutralized. The incessant suppression of the communist movement and neutralization of petty-bourgeois democratism are nothing but an attempt to bring forth among the masses the subjective preconditions of pacifism; a pacifism upon which the bourgeoisie has set hopes so as to deprive the toiling masses of their capability to react in a revolutionary manner against the final assault of the bourgeois imperialist counter-revolution under the leadership of the monopoly bourgeoisie.
The gradual formation and realization of these counter-revolutionary developments are the political meaning of that process through which the monopoly bourgeoisie gets indirectly closer to the consolidation of power. Hence it is clear that when we refer to a synthesis within the bourgeoisie, we do act speak of a suddenly generated action-reaction or of a historical-political juggling. The principal objective and subjective grounds upon which the bourgeoisie unite and rally [its ranks] under the banner of the genuine and stable political forces of the monopoly bourgeoisie, are those very fundamental developments that are taking shape today, and since before the Uprising, thanks to the efforts of Khomeini, the IRP, the liberals and all their assorted lackeys. The operation of the Islamic Republic regime and the mutual relations between its two factions, are the catalyst for bringing forth the conditions in which the monopoly bourgeoisie is able to strike its final blow to the revolution; such conditions that, once materialized, will avow the Islamic Republic and its factions to be completely ended and unnecessary from the viewpoint of imperialism and the bourgeoisie.
If the above grounds are realized; if these counter-revolutionary developments are brought forth; if, in the absence of a vivid proletarian alternative, and under the bombardment of liberal propaganda and a burden of destitution, the masses fall into the abyss of pacifism; if the "nationalized" and "Islamised" army of the Shah is organized and ready for action; if the new SAVAK is prepared to extensively hunt down the revolutionaries; if the economic, social and cultural lives of the masses are entangled in the meshes of the vast bureaucracy of the bourgeoisie; and...; then the scene will be ready for the last act of the play by the counter-revolution the establishment of the monopoly bourgeoisie's dictatorship. This is a dictatorship which will be neither liberal nor will it be fond of the clergy and the theocracy; a dictatorship which will promise employment, housing, water and electricity, and prevention and cure of the basic diseases; a dictatorship which will swear to [restore] "Iran's glory", "modernism" and "order"; a dictatorship which will condemn "anarchy" and stand for organized and centralized suppression; and in short, a dictatorship which will be the soul of the Aryamehrian reaction reincarnated in the body of a republic a non-Islamic one of course.
It is the future of the bourgeoisie and the counter-revolution which is today taking shape in the womb of present counter-revolutionary development. And the revolutionary proletariat who is to stand against both the present and the future of the bourgeoisie, must, of necessity, go beyond the two factions' dispute which will bring about the weakening of the present government, recognize the growth of the grounds for the future government and hinder it; [it must] fight the present government, without falling to the support of the future government. The tactical policy of the proletariat must, rely on such bases that enable it to fight both the present and the future of the bourgeoisie; weakening and driving back its present government without rendering favourable grounds for the arising of its future government.
Hence the discussion is no more limited to the confrontation by the proletariat the two factions within the present ruling body; rather, it is the proletariat confronting the process of formation of the bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution. The discussion is over the proletariat's attitude towards the dialectical process of evolution of the camp of the bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution; a process which itself develops towards negating the existing conditions of the camp of the counter-revolution and providing more favourable circumstances and forms for the bourgeoisie. If, therefore, the revolutionary proletariat wants which indeed it does to negate the present circumstances of the counter-revolution, in its own particular way and in the service of its own revolutionary aims, it must first and foremost settle accounts with this process of evolution, taking a clear stand against both the upholding and the bourgeois rejection of the present government. The necessity of the independent rank of the proletariat and the independent proletarian alternative has never brought to the fore and proved its vital significance so vividly. This is all we have learned from the analysis and discussion of the two factions", and have clearly reflected in our platforms concerning the coup d'ιtat and the war.
We view the bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution as an evolving and forming phenomenon, and, therefore, consider the counter-revolution in a dynamic political and social framework. In examining the forces of the counter-revolution, we have in mind the analysis of a collection of objective and subjective conditions which on the one hand are suggestive of a change in the balance of forces of the counter-revolution against the revolution, and, on the other, provide the grounds for the ultimate formation of the political leadership of the bourgeoisie. The course of evolution of the bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution, is the course of forfeiting the gains of the Uprising, is the course of retreating by the masses from their revolutionary demands, (and) is the course of the approaching of the bourgeoisie co the establishment of the two kind of reactionary fundamental orders the counter-revolutionary political order, and the capitalist production order. Seeing the counter-revolution merely in the counter-revolutionary parties, forces and individuals, and taking a stand against these phenomena, would not be sufficient, for, such a narrow-sightedness prevents the communist movement from understanding the certain political and economic developments which are indicative of the overall advance of the bourgeoisie, and upon which depends the evolution of the counter-revolution and the achievement by the bourgeoisie of the ultimate form of its political leadership.
Could we positively define the revolution and its development, and if we have a clear picture of what the proletariat regards as the advance and victory of the revolution, then we would have a very precise criterion to appraise all factions of the counter revolution whether the former, the defeated, the present or the future, the liberal or the clerical, and so on and so forth and their part in pursuing the imperialist policy. For we would have [then] recognized the bourgeoisie in its confrontation with the proletariat and in its attack on the defined and distinct strongholds of revolution. We would [then] not for a moment bold back from adopting an explicit and clear proletarian position in defence of the revolution and expansion of its scope, for we would no more be bewildered by the appearance of new forms of political leadership in the bourgeoisie and of new methods of demagogy and unexpected "anti-imperialist or freedom loving" pretences such as the hue and cry of the "hostage taking" of the one faction or the lament for "freedom" of the other, the 'political independence" of the one or the "defence of the motherland" of the other, and would never change our tactics in accordance with the seasons (we will come back to this).
Our platforms in regard to the coup and the war reflect clearly this central thesis and essential insight of the "two faction" analysis. We view the camp of the counterrevolution not just as parties and forces already formed, but as an evolving and forming phenomenon. Hence in our platform on the coup we warned both against the coup and against the counter-coup, and call upon the proletariat to resolutely confront the coup relying on a counter-coup revolutionary rank, and at the same time, avoid supporting the present government. Whether it leads to the victory of another faction of the bourgeoisie, or is suppressed by the bourgeoisie's existing forces, the coup d'ιtat is expressive of a development in the counter-revolutionary camp and of a threat to definite bulwarks of the revolution the democratic gains of the Uprising. Otherwise, to arbitrarily and metaphysically "overestimate" or "underestimate" the "defeated counter-revolution" or the Islamic Republic, does not add anything to the tactical knowledge of the proletariat. Likewise, in our platform on the war, we emphasized that the Iran-Iraq war facilitates [certain] developments serving the suppression of the Iranian revolution and the extension of the monopoly bourgeoisie's hegemony in Iran and in the region, and, therefore, we stood for the revolutionary proletariat to rise to defend its revolution against the capitalists war and its political and economic consequences. A comparison of our stand against the war with the two principal positions taken by the Marxist-Leninist movement, i.e. anarcho-pacifism and social-chauvinism, may reveal the significance of our attitude towards the course of formation of the camp of bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution.
The anarcho-pacifists reduce the bourgeois counter-revolution to the existing ruling body and its two factions, and in an attempt to adopt an "independent" position, at most succeed in taking a stand against these two factions. They do not see in the womb of the existing situation those grounds upon which the bourgeoisie develops its desirable leadership and coheres its ranks. So, with the outbreak of war, they place the overthrow (negation) of the present government of the bourgeoisie on the immediate agenda of the revolutionary proletariat. They do not see this reality that the proletariat is not alone in demanding the overthrow of the bourgeoisie's present government, and that the monopoly bourgeoisie, too, in the last analysis stands for the negation of the present government and its development into new forms. Hence, they are not able to understand and dissociate the two different collections of subjective and objective conditions which prepare the grounds for the revolutionary or the counter-revolutionary overthrow of the government.
Anarchism sees all the evil amassed in the government and demands its overthrow; and once the war brings forth this possibility, they promptly blow the bugle "overthrow the government" (i.e. civil war as a tactic). The anarchists do not grasp that from what angle and by bringing about what collection of definite subjective and objective conditions, does the war destabilize the foundations of the present government of the bourgeoisie. Is it the proletariat or the bourgeoisie which, due to the war and the changes arising thereby, approaches closer to political power? And what is to be done so as to enable the proletariat to make advances in the class struggle and the revolution during the war? These questions are not even raised among the anarchists. They do not understand that if the overthrow of the present government does not lead to the establishment of the proletariat's revolutionary-democratic alternative, it will end up with [further] unison of the counter-revolution under the leadership of the monopoly bourgeoisie. Hence they place insurrection (civil war, etc.) on the agenda of the masses in general , regardless of the measure of the revolutionary proletariat's readiness, regardless of the necessity of providing an independent proletarian alternative, regardless of the proletariat's program in the present revolution, and irrespective of what is the essential condition for a victorious insurrection under the leadership of the proletariat the necessity of organisational readiness of the proletariat (the question of party). Even the [mere; conception that an amorphous mass insurrection, in the absence of proletarian leadership and alternative, may turn to a much effective means in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie for reinforcing its leadership in the ranks of the bourgeoisie and establishing a government desirable for imperialism, does not come to the minds of the anarcho-pacifists. They neither know the socio-economic and political changes desirable for the proletariat (necessary for the expansion of the revolution), nor do they think about the changes desirable for the bourgeoisie (the preconditions of the suppression of the revolution). For them, the counter-revolution reduces to the political currents and the governmental "apparatus" of the bourgeoisie; the violent smashing of this "apparatus" is always and everywhere both the strategy and the tactics of anarchism.
The "two faction" analysis specifically singles out the concept of "approaching the power by the proletariat from the side" under the present circumstances. This firstly requires the defence and extension of those definite economic and political gains which gives the proletariat freedom of action and ample opportunity to gather and mobilize its forces and prepare the grounds for an organized and victorious insurrection; and secondly, as a corollary, it prevents the bourgeoisie from taking back these gains, and hinders the monopoly bourgeoisie from advancing and consolidating its hegemony in the camp of the counter-revolution and, in the final analysis, the government. "Defence of the revolution against the capitalists' war", this is that concrete slogan which reflects these two aspects of the proletariat's position.
On the other hand, the social-chauvinists (and particularly Razmandegan before its self-criticism), ignore, in a different manner, the dialectical process of evolution in the camp of the counter-revolution. The organization of Razmandegan takes into account a new pole (no doubt a real one) in the political rivalries within the bourgeoisie: the "defeated counter-revolution", and attempts to have in sight the probable changes, in the governmental form of the counter-revolution. This is considered as the probable seizure of power by the defeated counter-revolution which organizes itself beyond the Iranian borders. But, what causes Razmandegan to fall into the abyss of opportunism is its mechanistic approach to the camp of the counter-revolution what Razmandegan itself formulates as the "accentuation of the danger of the defeated counter-revolution".
Razmandegan, in an attempt to go beyond the existing situation of the government and look beyond the rivalries between "the existing factions", is at most able to add another existing and ready rival to the field. Razmandegan, (therefore,) turns the "two-pole rivalry" into a triangle: two factions inside the country, within the government, and the third, "the defeated counter-revolution", outside; and the future of the bourgeoisie may be the coming to power of this third pole. Here, the process through which the bourgeoisie develops and the economic and political grounds which count for the rise of a political synthesis are not kept in view, rather it is (merely) the possibility of substitution of political forces with one another which is considered. This is a metaphysical and mechanistic approach to the camp of the counter-revolution which examines its future only in a framework of reciprocal encounters, rivalry and challenge of power by different elements, circles and the actual and existing forces of the bourgeoisie. Such a point of departure could not escape falling into social-chauvinism, once the Iran-Iraq war broke out. If the war intensifies the possibility for the defeated counter-revolution (which invades from outside the borders) to grab at (or, at least, come closer to) political power, and if this third force should enter the country by jets, tanks and cannons to assist the bourgeoisie, then taking a "stand against" it and "impeding" its arrival and establishment can place no task on the agenda of the proletariat but to array geographically and militarily against this third force. This is a physical confrontation by the proletariat in respond to a physical substitution in the camp of the bourgeoisie. No doubt that Razmandegan starts from a socialist good intention, but metaphysical analysis, i.e. relying upon bourgeois methodology in analysis, turns it into a defencist. Hence, the Razmandegan's independent rank in the warβfront has no meaning other than its geographical and military independence from other defenders of the borders; Razmandegan thus turns into an independent battalion of the Islamic Republic's army.
But in "the two faction" discussion, we speak of a political synthesis in the ranks of the bourgeoisie, in the precise sense of the word synthesis. The war may facilitate and accelerate a synthesis and a process. This process, however, takes place as definite economic, political and ideological developments, and as changes in the position and balance of forces of the classes. The discussion is not on the extent to which this or that bourgeois party is reactionary, nor is it on how principal the danger of this or that bourgeois faction may be. Rather, the discussion is concerned with those reactionary developments for the realization of which all bourgeois forces have an active part, and in doing so, at any certain juncture one of them takes the lead in the forefront of the whole class. The developments that unless the proletariat consciously and decisively holds out against them and reverse their course, will lead to creeping to power by the monopoly bourgeoisie. And then, those who today take their position on the basis of their knowledge of the present politicians and political factions of the bourgeoisie, will undoubtedly be stunned by the flexibility when the current parties and politicians of the bourgeoisie change their position and their capability to call forth brand-new parties and politicians who have at the present no place in the "triangles" and "squares" of rivalry.
For the revolutionary proletariat to maintain and extend the gains of the revolution, and mobilize its forces for a victorious insurrection, under the Iran-Iraq war circumstances or any other conditions, it must be able to withstand the growth of the counter-revolution as a whole. To do this, the proletariat, before attempting to analyze the forces of the counter-revolution, should realize, and take stand against, the counter-revolutionary situation; this, of course, being impossible except by a precise definition of revolution and the proletariat's independent objectives in it. That is why, in regard to the question of war we called upon the proletariat to build up a political array against the war and not a military array against the Iraqi troops. while, and in so far as, the struggle for mobilizing the forces of the class and providing the proletariat's revolutionary alternative and on this basis launching a victorious insurrection, has not yet been resolved, The existing strongholds must be maintained and expanded, and, at the same time, those developments which bring forth the grounds for the establishment of the direct dictatorship of the monopoly bourgeoisie must be prevented: This prevention has no meaning other than defending the gains of the revolution against the means that the war make available to the bourgeoisie to take them back, and expanding these gains on the basis of the circumstances that the war may bring about in the advantage of the proletariat.
Finally, we come to the question that what practical conclusions this discussion arrives at, as regards the camp of the counter-evolution in general, and the Islamic Republic in specific.
Our discussion in the first place, brings to light "what is not to be done" with respect to the government and its two constituent factions. Regarding the domestic conflicts within the government, the revolutionary proletariat should under no circumstances take side with one or the other ruling bourgeois-imperialist currents. Classifying the counter-revolution and dividing it into "good", "bad", "worse", "reactionary" and "more reactionary"(!) is for those who have no conception whatsoever of Marxism, and by "politics" and political struggle, understand "playing tricks" and conspiracy. The communists should undertake to explain to the broad masses of workers and toilers the different part each of the two factions play in pursuing the bourgeoisie's counter-revolutionary policy, and, in particular, the part that their conflicts play in safeguarding, prolonging and improving the sway of capital and imperialism in Iran. Meanwhile, these very same internal conflicts and disputes provide the best grounds for exposing the anti-worker and counter-revolutionary nature and objectives of the IRP, the liberals and Khomeini who has practically secured the coherence within the government despite his open tendency to back up the IRP.
But, as we indicated, it is not enough to merely take a stand against both factions of the government if we are to arrive at a position against the entire bourgeoisie. The, communist movement must also undertake to expose and reject before the masses of workers and toilers the bourgeois critique of the government which mainly rely upon rejecting theocracy on the one hand, and criticizing the impotence of the liberals to restore order on the other hand. The exposition of the imperialist opposition, consisted of the defeated counter-revolution and the former liberals, is the only specific case of the exposition which we have in mind here. On the one hand the operation of the present government adds fuel to the hatred of the masses for "clericalism" and their tendency to demand a secular government, and on the other hand, the burden of economic crisis on the shoulders of the masses along with the absence of a revolutionary alternative and dissemination of liberal critique of the IRP and the Velayat-e-Faghih, drive the masses to give their consent to the capitalist legality and productive order, conditions in which "at least living conditions are improved, unemployment decreases, and politics and economy are under control". Taking the hands of the Mullahs off the government and economy, restoring the bourgeois law and order, and reorganizing the chaotic economy; this is the platform of the monopoly bourgeoisie. This is what the monopoly bourgeoisie calls upon in order to restore the pre-revolution conditions and secure the total submission of the revolution to the counter-revolution.
And if there are many toilers who have the patience to listen to the monopoly bourgeoisie owes it to the Islamic Republic and its policy of "suppressing the revolution under the name of revolution". Thus the communists, along with setting forth a proletarian critique of the present government, must alertly expose this "critical" platform of the monopoly bourgeoisie and those political currents which at any juncture advocate it. The communists stand for the complete separation of religion from the state. The communists demand the improvement of the living conditions of the toiling masses. These are, of course, a part, and only a part, of our minimum demands, but, this should not prevent us from recognizing and exposing the hateful face of the monopoly bourgeoisie which is striving to turn these rightful demands of the masses into a means to acquit its wounded dictatorship and its disgraced political representatives, and represents its regime as an "alternative". These are forces which regard the masses' discontent with the present government, and not the degree of the masses' agreement with the program of the communists, as the sole criterion for explaining the trend of the revolution, and [consequently] take the dissemination of the former what is only a necessary condition as both necessary and sufficient conditions for a new revolutionary escalation. These forces, we believe, evade the specific analysis of the specific conditions, and relegate the role and significance of the communist revolutionary practice in transforming the masses' new political uplift into a revolutionary escalation. This subordination to the spontaneous protest movement and setting hopes on it uncritically is all that may cause the course of events to reverse precisely to what is not expected, i.e. towards consolidating and unifying the rule of monopoly capital.
Therefore, the first practical conclusion of the "two factions" discussion is this: We must make invalid in the eyes of the masses both the present government (the IRP and the liberal current) and, at the same time, the alternative of the monopoly bourgeoisie, and put forward against these two the proletarian alternative. The exposure of the present government, however explicitly and consistently it may be carried out, is not sufficient to differentiate the proletarian policy from the bourgeois policy.
The second practical conclusion of our discussion, which is generally based upon a Leninist perception of the relationship between politics and economy in the epoch of imperialism, is this: In order to revive its paradise of capital accumulation, the bourgeoisie needs to mount a violent attack on the camp of the revolution and establish a counter-revolutionary order in the society. The Islamic Republic has, in practice, shown more than ever that while playing a worthwhile part in creating the grounds for this attack, itself is unable to thoroughly organize it and lead it to a decisive conclusion (the revolutionary Kurdistan and the resistance of the militant workers have played a determining role in making this evident). Hence the bourgeoisie undoubtedly attempts to organize this final attack in new forms, with new ideological justifications and under the leadership of its other political forces. From the viewpoint of the Iranian bourgeoisie, the Islamic Republic is approaching the end of its useful life and service, and the pursuit of counterrevolutionary aims of the bourgeoisie more than ever necessitates a new form of leadership (this does not mean at all that the present regime will not attempt to prolong its life in the service of capital and imperialism). The revolutionary proletariat must array its forces against the inevitable final attack of the bourgeoisie and those probable new forms and methods that it may adopt.
Whether such an all-out attack is set on by the Islamic Republic itself by adding fuel to the patriotic feeling of the masses and under the pretext of conditions of economic boycott, war situation, etc., or is mounted by other political forces of the bourgeoisie which may substitute the present regime in various forms (coup d'ιtat, direct occupation by foreign armies, expansion of the activities of the monarchist groups and parties, etc.), it must be suppressed by the tamp of the revolution and under the leadership of the proletariat. The communists, as the conscious representatives of the proletariat, must explicitly declare that: "The age of the Islamic Republic is over. It is approaching the end of its life as the consciousness of the masses elevates. What must be substituted for it is net the fresh and newfangled representatives of the bourgeoisie, but it is the power of the proletariat and its allies. Hence, any emergency rescue attempts for the bourgeoisie, any unexpected intervention by the bourgeoisie and imperialism to inspire the counter-revolution with a new spirit, any attempt on the part of the bourgeoisie and imperialism to perplex the issues of the class straggle, and any attempt to substitute the moribund counter-revolution with fresh forces, should ail be decisively suppressed. The two-year struggle of the revolutionary proletariat has removed the cover of hypocrisy from the face of the Islamic Republic, exposed its anti-worker and anti-democratic nature to the masses, offset its futile efforts to suppress the revolution and step by step driven it to the brink of ruin. The proletariat will persistently stand against any politico-military jugglery intending to strengthen and consolidate this government or replace it with an organized and coherent force." This is that aspect of the "two factions" discussion upon which we based our platforms on the coup and the war.
There remains, however, an important practical upshot which is related to the above points but at a more specific level to be inferred from this discussion: the necessity to present a communist program at the level of society and carry on an extensive work of agitation and organisation on the basis of this program. If we are to free and protect the masses from oscillation between various factions Of the bourgeoisie, if we are to expose the liberal critique of the IRP's "monopolistic desires" as well as the bourgeois critique of the whole of the Islamic Republic, and substitute for these a proletarian critique of the bourgeois-imperialist counter-revolution as a whole in the consciousness of the masses, and, finally, if we are to transform the masses' new political uplift into a revolutionary escalation, then we must depict the communists as a real political alternative in the minds of the masses of workers and toilers. This crucial and determining task is not possible except by, Presenting, propagandizing and agitating for a clear-cut communist program:
Firstly, it is time to settle accounts with populism once and for all. It must explicitly be declared to the working class and the non-proletarian toiling masses that the communists fight for socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat. It must explicitly be declared that the aim of the communist movement is the establishment of the dictatorship of one class, and one class only, and that the democratic revolution and the revolutionary republic are for this class, the proletariat, only bases of operation and spring-boards for leaping towards socialism. Propagandizing socialism unambiguously, advocating communism as revolutionary ideology and movement, and on this basis, carrying on ever more extensively the work of communist organization of the proletariat, are the preconditions for the continuation of the present revolution. This is the maximum part of the communist's program which to date has been pale and missing amidst the populist propaganda.
Today, we must categorically differentiate ourselves from petty-bourgeois socialism. We must call upon the workers not only to revolution but also to communism and the communist movement. This is the first step for leading the present revolution by the communist proletariat. Today, we must isolate and expel from the ranks of the proletariat those who refrain from propagandizing socialism under the pretext that "this is a democratic revolution", those who due to "tactical considerations" put on the cover of "non alignment" in the factories, towns and country-sides, those who advance among the workers opportunism, reformism and moderateness towards the "democratic allies" instead of propagating the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally those who deprive the proletariat of a clear picture of the ultimate aim of the class struggle. We should not forget that the necessary condition for the victory of a democratic revolution under the leadership of the proletariat is the existence of a large section of workers who are aware of their long-term interests, who do not look at the victory of the democratic revolution as an end-in-itself and who regard it as a necessary step for the establishment of the preconditions of the final move of the working class towards socialism." (The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie(1), English Edition, T. S. No. 5, pp. 10).
To the same extent that the communists have today before them the task of attracting the support of petty-bourgeois revolutionary democracy, they must themselves determine and declare the conditions of their support of the petty-bourgeois democratic forces (this currently rare phenomenon). The true criteria of democratism must be explicitly reminded to the forces such as Mojahedin-e-Khalg: "The defence of all political prisoners, democratic rights for all people, resistance against the encroachments made by the government upon these rights, and ... (even if you are consistent in doing these, which is not the case), are not sufficient for cal-ling you revolutionary democrats. Today, you must clear up your position in regard with the Communist movement and communism as the revolutionary ideology and movement of the proletariat and the representative of consistent democratism. The indicator of the escalation of revolution is the extent to which the proletariat exercises its leadership in the democratic movement; and if you claim to be an adhere of revolutionary democratism, then you should explicitly express your position as regards the revolutionary proletariat, its ideology and its vanguard movement, i.e. Marxism-Leninism."
Secondly, that aspect of the communists' program which is of determining importance in the present specific circumstances the new mass political uplift on the one hand and the gradual advancement of the monopoly bourgeoisie in the ranks of the counter-revolution on the other hand is the minimum demands. The communists' minimum program, which must formulate and set forth the content of the victory of the democratic revolution in the form of definite political and economic demands, is that clear picture of the present revolution and its objectives the communists must depict for the masses. The widespread agitation for the communists' minimum demands, as the banner of the democratic revolution, is precisely that practical step which can secure the workers and toilers, in the impending elevation of their struggles, from falling into following bourgeois-liberalism and petty-bourgeois inconsistent democratism on the one hand, and the counter-revolutionary slogans of the monopoly bourgeoisie's representatives on the other hand. Today, the liberals, by promising only one thousandth of what our minimum program guarantees for all people, try to take advantage of the uplifting waves of mass protest and, once again, bring the Iranian revolution to shambles. Today the communist movement has gained another opportunity to make up for all the consequences of its opportunism and illusions towards the liberal bourgeoisie ("national"!?) and towards the petty-bourgeois leadership of the anti-monarchist movement in the pre-Uprising period. If the communists' minimum program which includes definite steps for the establishment and guarantee of political democracy, defence of the living conditions of the workers and toilers, and improvement of the material and intellectual welfare of the people turns into the slogan of the masses, if the masses clearly recognize the minimum demands of the communists as their own objectives in the present revolution and insist upon them, then the transformation of the new mass political uplift into a revolutionary escalation will be certain and, for the bourgeoisie, irremediable.
Today we must clearly define, and agitate for, the minimum demands of the communists item by item. By this we mean the positive definition of the revolution to the importance of which we formerly referred the definition of the revolution on the basis of what it is, and it must be, instead of what it is not. The minimum program, as the basis for a single policy of widespread agitation, enables the communists to go beyond the critics of the existing system in the consciousness of the toiling and oppressed masses as well as in the reality of class struggle, and turn into a real and reliable force which can achieve their democratic rights, elevate their living conditions and organize the struggle for defending these against the aggression of the bourgeoisie and imperialism. Without presenting the minimum program and its specified demands and agitating for them extensively and consistently, it would not be possible to turn the communists into an alternative for leading the new waves of mass democratic struggle.
Thirdly, the communists must determine the action and slogans of action through which they have to catty on straggle for achieving the minimum demand of the communist program, and on the basis of which they should endeavour to extensively organize the masses. [For example] the right of nations to self-determination is one of our minimum democratic demands; but the practical struggle for its achievement must today be organized around the axis of defending the revolutionary Kurdistan and Kurdish people. Unemployment insurance is one of our [minimum] demands; but that action and slogan of action through which the struggle in this area must be organized is the "workers unity against unemployment". The whole list of our workers' demands (including the demands regarding women workers) must likewise be the content of specific actions and slogans around which the workers get organized at the present time. Real councils, workers' control over production and distribution, the issue of workers' special benefit, dismissal and so forth, are all those issues that organizing the struggle over them and on the beefs of definite slogans of action is the practical method of putting forward our minimum demands. Putting forward the minimum demands as well as the actions and slogans based upon them, will [moreover] help Secure the workers' and revolutionary movement from the encroachment of the liberals and the inconsistent petty-bourgeois democracy. In the course of the previous stage of revolution, the content of revolution took shape in the narrow framework of "independence, freedom, Islamic Republic" (this latter, of course, with great efforts by the petty-bourgeois leadership), and due to this very illusion the bourgeoisie took the opportunity to slur over it. Our demands and actions will define the true content of revolution go clearly that not only the most skilful jockeys of the bourgeoisie's history and the most distinguished hypocrites of this class may not fare to mount the waves of revolution, but also the wavering petty- bourgeois democrats would not dare to draw off except by disgracing themselves.
These are the tasks before the communists due to the objective conditions. The extent to which the communist movement is prepared is, however, another question. In the absence of the party of the class, the proletariat will undoubtedly face a variety of slogans, programs and guide-lines put forward by numerous organizations of the communist movement. As we have formerly indicated, the specific conditions of our revolution is such that while the communist movement has not yet resolved the question of program and party, it has found itself before the task of organizing a broad proletarian movement and leading a revolutionary movement. This paradox, however, may only be solved in the world outside of mind. The key to the problem is undoubtedly this: the question of ideological struggle, party and program, and the question of organization and leadership of the proletarian and revolutionary movement must both be solved in relationship and connection with one another. Withdrawing from or underestimating any of these two aspects of practice, viewing each in abstraction from another, is to blind ourselves to the specific conditions of the workers' and communist movement of Iran in the present era. And this will lead only to failure in both fields.
We conclude this discussion at this general level and hope to follow the deductions made here in other articles at a more specific level. In this discussion we attempted to clarify our stand against the two principal deviationist positions with respect to the counter-revolution:
1) The opportunist position, which seeks to find a "progressive" element within the government and, in one way or another, ends up with supporting this or that faction of the government.
In the face of these two deviationist positions, we laid stress upon the importance of defining clearly the content and objectives of the revolution, from the point of view of the interests of the proletariat, in the form of a clear-cut communist program (including maximum and minimum parts) and those slogans of action containing the proletarian methods of struggle for these objectives. This is, in our view, the essential condition for maintaining the independence of the proletariat and securing its leadership in the revolutionary movement with the first signs of impending escalation of which we today are facing.
2) The anarchist position, which takes a stand against the whole of the present government, but nevertheless views it as an absolute and falls to consider the course of development of the counter-revolutionary camp and consequently the possibility of emergence of a bourgeois alternative to this government. This position leads in practice to 1) following the masses in their opposition and discontent with the government, and 2) the absence of any opposition to the alternative of the monopoly bourgeoisie which just as the proletarian and revolutionary alternative - endeavours to grow and consolidate itself on the ground of dissemination of discontent with the current government.
This refers to an ideal society based on the rules of the holy book, Qoran, in which unity, justice and equality for all Moslems are accomplished. Ed.
Ayatollah Taleqhani - a prominent Ayatollah at the time of the Uprising and the popular Ayatollah of the Mojahedin. He died a few months after the Uprising. Ed.
"Nofsed-e-Fel-Arz": means literally "corrupted on the earth"; refers to those who have committed any act against the divine rules of holy book, Qoran. Ed.
"Ommatt": Islamic Nation. Ed.
A title of the twelfth Imam of Shi'at Moslems who disappeared when he was a child, and all Moslems have been waiting for him to come back and clear the world of corruption, oppression, etc. It is implicitly claimed by the supporters of Khomeini that he is, if not the twelfth Imam himself, a divine symbol of him Ed.
God is the greatest. Ed.
This refers to a popular slogan at the time of the Uprising. Ed.
This refers to a law passed under the Shah according to which workers could have a marginal share of the annual net profit of companies. Whilst the Shah's regime for obvious reasons could put into force this law essentially to deceive the workers, the Islamic Republic Regime grappling with the deep economic crisis could not even endure this marginal increase in the workers' wages which in best cases did not exceed one weeks wage of the workers per year and soon after the Uprising abolished the law under the pretext that it was a monarchist law". Since then this issue has been one of the practical issues of the workers' struggle. Ed.