The Voice of Wrath is being heard from Iran
Against Capital – Anticapitalist Workers’ Tribune
Ukraine – What’s new in “anarchism”?
The Voice of Wrath is being heard from Iran
The Voice of Wrath is being heard from Iran
Once again, the eyes of the communist militants all around the world have turned towards Iran, as a battleground of the gigantic proletarian upheaval, another one in the series of class confrontations that had shaken Iran and the surrounding region in the last decade.
Tehran, 16th of September 2022 – Mahsa Amini died after being arrested and brutally beaten by the Iranian religious police, being accused of not wearing her headscarf in accordance with the stupid law of Islam. One of many ideologies imposed on us by the ruling class in order to cement in us the false consciousness of the inter-class community – religion; in this case one of the variants of the Abrahamic fairy tale about the invisible man living in the sky. Subsequent revolt against the Iranian system of the gender apartheid and the State machinery employed to enforce it, as a particular expression of the violence of the State had set in motion the huge proletarian movement that spread throughout the whole country, attacking on all fronts ideological, social and economic foundations of the bourgeois society in the territory of Iran. Some of the tasks that this movement has assumed, albeit in an insufficient and incomplete way, like the task of identifying and attacking the strategic points of the State infrastructure, disarming the repressive forces and arming itself, etc., are among the tasks that the proletariat will have to assume in the insurrectionary phase of the global communist revolution.
If the murder of Mahsa was a spark of the movement and the revolt of proletarian women against the veil was the wind that blew it up, its fuel was the brutal expression of rule of Capital in the territory of Iran – exploitation, misery, alienation, war… and history of the struggle of our class against it. Difficult and violent struggle with victories and defeats. Experience of comradeship when facing the IRGC (so called “Islamic Revolution Guard Corps” or Pasdaran) and Basij militia in deadly street battles, when going on strike and crippling for a moment the inhumane machine of capitalist exploitation, when discussing together, organizing and planning the strategies of the struggle. Joy brought by moment of victory, when burning down a police station, a town hall or a mosque, when making the regime officials tremble in fear. Burning hate and anger towards our exploiters when they subject us to their horrible violence – shootings, beatings, torture, rape, imprisonment, harassment, surveillance, brainwashing, atomization…
At least since 2017 the Iranian society is in the state of semi-permanent turmoil with rolling periods of militant street protests, confrontations with forces of repression, strikes, occupations of universities and workplaces, etc. – for variety of economic and political reasons like the prices of petrol and food, lack of clean drinking water, non-payment of wages, violence of the State, involvement of Iran in various regional conflicts. They temporarily decline each time due to a combination of external and internal factors. On the one hand it is due to a great effort of the State to suppress them by exceptional brutality, information curfews, rounds of mobilizations of supporters and promises of reforms supposed to fix the most outrageous problems. On the other hand, the periodic decline of the movement comes from the limits of the movement itself, which remains largely isolated from the struggles elsewhere and concerns itself with the concrete miserable living conditions in Iran and at best with the overthrow of its current bourgeois regime that it holds responsible.
It needs to be mentioned that so far, the movement was not able to destabilize the State enough, even though in its peak moments, it does partially assume some of the tasks necessary to achieve that.
The militant minorities go beyond that and put forward the negation of the whole capitalist society, but in the current balance of forces they do not constitute a material force able to impose it as a direction of the movement.
In order to better illustrate the social background of the current class movement in Iran, let’s briefly and without any ambition to be a complete chronology of the events, reiterate the most important class struggles in Iran in the last couple of years.
On 28th of December 2017 in Mashhad the militant protests broke out against the hike in prices of basic necessities like rice and bread and against cuts in unemployment benefits. The State of course reacted violently, but this did not result in ending of the protests, but rather motivated them to escalate and spread first to Tehran and later to every major city in Iran. This was the beginning of the biggest wave of class struggle to hit Iran in decades, with absolutely widespread expropriation of commodities, burning to the ground of administrative buildings including the offices of the mullahs, police stations and Basij militia headquarters. There were also attempts of the most advanced proletarian formations (albeit few) to loot the weapon caches of the forces of repression, to arm themselves and to use the acquired weapons against the State. Among the most advanced programmatic expressions of this movement was the motto “From Gaza to Iran, down with the exploiters!” (see our bulletin No.6). This was a rallying cry of the movement against the Iran’s decades long (and still continuing) involvement in the regional capitalist war on the side of “Shia axis”. At the same time, it was a clear revolutionary defeatist rupture with the nationalist currents, putting forward the capitalist peace as an only alternative to war, with its motto “Neither Gaza, nor Lebanon, I will die only for Iran!”.
After the brutal state crackdown, that costed lives of hundreds of our class brothers and sisters, the street protests temporarily calmed down – or so would our class enemies wish. In reality rather the form of the class struggle changed into more diffuse demonstrations and strikes in many industries, including oil extraction, sugar production, trucking, railways and schools. In February 2018 new wave of protests and riots erupted in Isfahan province, spreading later to the provinces of Khuzestan and Bushehr against the lack of clean drinking water. The lack or a bad quality of water had been the spark of many protests in Iran (as well as in neighboring Iraq).
In November 2019 the social tension culminated in another uprising, after the 200% increase in fuel prices, with protesters once again burning police stations, Basij militia centers, mosques and houses of imams, blocking highways and railways and it expressed itself also in organized looting of gasoline from both the gas station and the government reserves. The eruption was once again put down by combination of force – with at least 1,500 proletarians murdered, censorship campaign and internet black-out and restoration of partial fuel subsidies in an attempt to remove the immediate cause for the class mobilization. The best that the bourgeoisie in the territory of Iran could achieve with this effort was a prolonging of its agony for a little while and postponing the inevitable new resurgence of the movement for a couple of months. It is partially because the local faction of the bourgeoisie (just like any local faction of the bourgeoisie anywhere in the world for that matter), is not fully in control of the local economic conditions and cannot predict when it will need to attack the living conditions of the proletariat in order to preserve its own margin of profit. But more importantly it is because the struggling proletarians in Iran do not allow themselves to be so easily contained in the bourgeois separation of “immediate” and “historical” or “economic” and “political” demands, despite all the social-democratic forces in Iran and abroad trying to scavenge on the internalized bourgeois concepts inside the class movement and to blow them up in order to channel it. There is a generalized awareness (albeit superficial) in the streets and on the squares, in the workshops, factories and fields of Iran, of a link between the harsh day-to-day conditions of work and life and the existence of the State structures that are here to enforce them.
In January 2020, thousands of protesters clashed with the security forces in Tehran university as well as in other places after a Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down by IRGC. The State reacted by mass arrests, but also by some political “confessions” and “apologies” – few mid-tier managers from IRGC were dismissed. Conveniently for the local rulers the Covid-19 hit Iran hard. Their “Covid management strategy” that left tens of thousands to die, nevertheless gave them an additional weapon to stifle the unrest and with exception of the riots of prisoners decimated by the infection, they managed for a while to impose a fragile facade of social peace.
This lasted until 2021, when massive riots erupted in Sistan and Baluchistan province against brutality of the State after IRGC, hand in hand with Pakistani border guards massacred tens of street traders for “smuggling” oil across the border. Finally, in the hot summer months of 2022 leading to the latest upheaval, violent demonstrations started again protesting against a lack of clean drinking water (and again same as in neighboring Iraq) and skyrocketing food prices.
First protest after Mahsa Amini’s murder took place the same day in front of the Tehran Kasra hospital where she died, and was followed by another one on 17th of September after her burial in her hometown of Saqqez. From there the movement started to rapidly snowball and to spread to all major cities as well as many smaller towns in all provinces. Since the beginning the movement was spear-headed by young proletarian women tearing down and burning their head-scarfs as symbols of their oppression, harassment and violence based on the stupid Abrahamic morality, reclaiming the public space against the rules limiting their social role to those who “run the household”.
But the revolt did not stay limited to the question of veil. The social separations both imposed on our class by the bourgeois ideologues from above and internalized by proletarians through socialization in family, school, mosque or army went crumbling down. The movement practically abolished all the differences between the proletarian women who sell their labor force to the capitalists directly (i.e. they “have a job”) and those that are confined to selling it indirectly through the “domestic duties” for reproduction of labor force of their husbands and sons (i.e. they are “the housewives”); as well as all the differences of age and education.
Importantly, the revolt also frontally attacked one of the central pillars of the local mutation of the dominant bourgeois ideology since the “Islamic Revolution” – the institutionalized social separation and inequality between sexes. Female protesters publicly mingled, discussed and directly organized with their male class brothers, together they confronted the forces of “morality” and “normality” police, IRGC and Basij militia, ransacked their barracks, as well as banks, mosques and public offices. Proletarian men were pushed to confront the contradictions inherent to the complex of their own social roles – of a worker, a soldier, a husband, a father, a Muslim, a citizen… Their class enemy, who made them toil every day, exploiting their labor force, sent them off to wars all around the region, imprisoned, tortured and killed them each time they resisted their living conditions, and who was now killing their daughters, wives and sisters for simply removing their veils, still expected them to support its ideological narrative of the holy trinity of family, nation and religion.
Why is this particular expression of gender roles so important for the stability of the existing bourgeois regime in the territory of Iran? Not only because it draws its core ideology from Abrahamic (Islamic) morality and its traditional patriarchal rules, but also because of how integral they were to the social-democratic strategy of the “Islamic Revolutionary Council (IRC)” – precursor to the current regime – to derail, contain and finally crush the proletarian insurrection of 1978-1979.
It was a movement that ripped apart the bourgeois society of the Pahlavi’s regime – countless strikes and factory occupations led to the establishment worker’s councils (shuras) – as one of the forms of the proletarian self-organization – organizing both the struggle and the satisfaction of the daily needs of the struggling proles. When the local faction of the bourgeoisie sent the army to suppress the insurgents, what it got instead was a string of mutinies, sabotages and “fragging” of officers. Pahlavi’s palaces, military headquarters, prisons and torture centers of SAVAK (Shah’s secret police), ministries and the buildings of the state institutions got burned down. Proletarians fraternized with their class brothers in uniform and the most advanced minorities were forging militant links with comrades in other countries (Iraq, France, UK…). Needless to say, that as in every militant and generalized proletarian movement, the bourgeois separations internalized by our class in times of social peace started to shatter. Proletarian women actively participated in all aspects of the struggle alongside men. In its subversion of the capitalist society the movement of 78-79 went beyond the immediate needs of the struggle. In a dialectical unity of practice and theory, the militant minority of the movement produced also its own level of theoretical rupture with the capitalist social relations based on the exploitation of the human labor and alienated and atomized existence they are reproducing. This included the critique of its gendered expressions like hyper-sexualization of women, commodification of the intimate relations, etc.
As a little side note: it is typical that the Western feminists, cheering the movement in Iran as a “female revolution” are able to recognize and criticize the expressions of “oppression of women” both in the West and in Iran, but always treat them separately from each other and from their capitalist roots.
As a part of their attempt to channel the movement, IRC (and their leftist soon-to-be victims, but at this point still a United Front allies, like MEK/PMOE, various Leninists, etc.) did what historical social democracy has done many times in the past – they pretended to share the critique of these aspects of life in the capitalist society, but proclaimed these things to be the product of “specific political conditions”, thus obscuring their roots in the capitalist mode of production. In this case the specific conditions were declared to be “the decadence of the Western imperialism”. As an alternative, the “united front of Iran” proposed the return to the false “community of the ancestors”, “of simple life”, “of natural life” – in this case that of “Ummah”, but we can put Russian “Obshchina” idealized by Kropotkin, and Lenin into the same category. In this mythical past, which in reality never really existed, the social contradictions were less severe. Everybody played their “natural” role in this community and was respected and protected member of the community – including women. Revolution then means the rejuvenation of this fantasy and its ideological and structural refinement under the leadership of “the party” (in this case IRC).
This central role of the issue of “gender apartheid” to the ideological roots of the regime of Mullahs means that any movement putting it and its symbolic expression – the veil – into question does not give the ruling bourgeois faction much room to maneuver and compromise in order to channel the rage of the protesters. The opposition to the veil has organically grown from within the proletarian movement and it is connected with other social demands, widely spread among radicalized minority among both female and male proletarians and directly linked with the brutal violence of the State. This makes it a very potent catalyzing agent for the militant confrontation with the State power.
Of course, it also opens the door for the weakness of focusing too much on the opposition to the current political form of the State and for the opposing bourgeois forces to present themselves as a political alternative and to try and steer the movement away from its class character – as we could see it during the “Gezi protests” in Turkey (in 2013) or “Yellow Vests protests” in France (in 2018-19) (see our bulletins No.9 and 10). But as far as we can see and as attested by comrades of Anti-capitalist workers of Iran, the movement to some extent rejects any such attempt and the bourgeois opposition forces have nearly no significance in it, which does not prevent them from organizing themselves as an anti-communist reactionary force. As the comrades put it:
[…] the extinct oppositions of the bourgeoisie, from reformers to supporters of the monarchy, left and right-wing militia and nationalist sects and left-wing parties fascinated by political power, all of them still claim to be an alternative!! And they argue that the problem of the workers is the lack of a leader and force above workers’ to be led. That is to say that they call themselves the savior of the mass workers. In the current situation they’re not able to play any role, but during a general uprising and the regime’s inability to challenge the uprisings and the absence of a working-class council movement, they will try to figure out the most catastrophic scenarios for the working masses under the banner of the poles of global capital.
Statement of the Anti-capitalist workers of Iran
Just a little side note – while we consider the worker’s councils as a historically important form of the proletarian revolutionary organization, we do not necessarily claim it over other forms as the form has never been a guarantee of the revolutionary content. Otherwise, we of course share the position of these comrades.
Another clear illustration of the little ability of the bourgeois opposition (in this case the pro-Pahlavi faction) to channel the movement is the widespread chant “Death to the oppressors, be it the Shah or the Ayatollah”. From the reports that are available to us, as well as from the videos of the demonstrations circulating online, we can tell that this is not a position confined just to the militant minority in the movement, but is shared by a bulk of the movement – from the protesters in the streets and schools of Tehran to the striking agricultural workers.
Worker’s strikes have actually been a part of the movement since the beginning and hit many sectors from the production of oil and gas (the most important one for the Iranian economy) to sugar production (including the militant workers of the Haft Tapeh sugar factory) as well as schools and universities. Also, truckers went on strike and blocked the highways with their trucks in order to cripple the circulation of commodities. The tactics of the road blockage was also used many times by the masses of the workers from various kinds of informal jobs and unemployed.
In fact, the strike movement preceded the protests after Mahsa’s death and has been going on with varying intensity and reach for years. However, the qualitative difference here is the level of both conscious and practical convergence of the street and workplace struggles. In fact, the workers in sugar and oil industry this time went on strike as a statement of the class anger after Mahsa was murdered and in solidarity with the arrested protesters and the radical students occupying the Tehran University. Striking oil workers are sending their delegations to participate in the street protests and riots, while the students and other protesters are visiting the occupied workplaces. These sorts of militant links are organically developing and emerging stronger than during the mass proletarian movements in the past years.
Despite of what we just said, we have to admit that according to the information we have the latest upheaval in Iran has kept a dominant form of a street protest movement. The protests were massive and violent and often were able to totally control the streets and squares and make the Iranian bourgeoisie and their guardian dogs fear for their lives. The economy was affected, but it was far from being completely shut down. Strikes were numerous and confrontational, but not widespread enough to halt the production completely. Moreover, while some workplaces were occupied, the question of expropriation of the means of production and their turning to serve the needs of the struggle has not been practically imposed.
Similarly, the repressive apparatus of the State received some cracks with some refusals of orders and desertions from rank-and-file soldiers. There are even reports of some Basij militia members switching sides. As a whole, the impact of revolutionary agitation and fraternization was not strong enough to cripple the State’s ability to crackdown on the movement, evidenced by the bloodbath that ensued.
The Iranian State has unleashed all its forces in order to crush the rebellion. Police, religious police, IRGC, Basij, army, and groups of loyalist bastards armed to the teeth, in armored vehicles, swept through the proletarian neighborhoods shooting and killing left and right during night raids, gates of the occupied universities and factories were blown up with explosives to arrest those inside, the repressive forces arrested and brutally beaten the relatives of the known struggle organizers, they poisoned hundreds of schoolgirls as revenge for their defiance. Thousands have been murdered, some of them executed publicly – tens of thousands have been put in prison and viciously tortured. At the same time the means of communication were severely restricted – with cell network and the internet black-out in many places in Iran.
And as always, the State has launched the propaganda offensive – calling our class “terrorists”, “apostates” and “foreign agents”. As always, all their effort is to reproduce the false communities of the nation and religion in order to deny the existence of the opposing class interests between the proletariat and bourgeoisie. They promise “reforms” and “better management” and “benevolence” in exchange for disciplined return of the proletarian masses from the streets to their individual homes, individual workplaces, individual families. Accept your atomized and alienated existence of the obedient worker and citizen!
Due to exhaustion and brutal crackdown, the class rebellion in Iran is now in the down-phase, yet not defeated. As late as June 2023 the confrontations between the rioters and the repression forces continued, albeit sporadically. We expect it to once again be on the forefront of the worldwide struggle of our class.
Iran (and the region of “Middle East” in general) has been the spearhead of the global proletarian movement for decades and we have seen the cycles of incredibly brutal violence of the State against it and the relentless propaganda campaigns many times in the past. Yet, it failed to prevent the explosion of so many proletarian rebellions – from 1991 Iraq insurrection (see our bulletin No.3), through the “Arab Spring” with high points in Egypt and Tunisia (see the special issue of our bulletin) to “Gezi protests” in Turkey to recurring movement in the territories of Lebanon, Iran and Iraq again in the past decade (see our bulletins No.11 and 14).
We have observed that the tendency of these struggles (globally, but the “Middle East” is once again in the vanguard in this sense) is their recurring character and continuity, where the spark that start the uprising may be some immediate reason, but the class confrontations never happen just in the self-contained bubble of the moment. Often the strike movement is running in the parallel and between the big explosions and the previous movements are consciously referenced, analyzed and lessons are drawn from them by a large radical minority. In other words, there is a certain militant continuity.
We always insist, that the best way to support the class struggle in the other part of the world is to rise up and struggle against our own exploitation in “our own” countries, i.e. in the places where the value is directly extracted from our own labor and to attack “our own” bourgeoisie and its State in places where its violence and ideological dominance directly affects us.
This is especially true in the period we live in, the period of the increasing polarization of the global bourgeois factions into opposing economic, political and military super-blocs. We have to remove our labor force from the capitalist pacification machinery (ideological and/or military) ready to always “bring peace and democracy” anywhere in the world where the proletariat raises its head. Indeed, we have to attack and denounce it! The Iranian army and IRGC is through various proxies involved in the various military conflicts around the “Middle East” (we briefly discussed that and the related economic interests in our previous texts on Iran) and now is also involved on the side of Russia in the conflict in Ukraine. The Iranian mercenaries and “consultants” are on Ukrainian battlefields and Iranian killer drones are bombing Ukrainian cities.
Only the coordinated class resistance both at the military front in form of refusal of orders, desertions, fragging and mutinies and at the home front in form of strikes, riots and blockades – with special focus on stopping the arms production and shipment to the front, bringing the troops back home, and refusing to accept the attack on living conditions of the proletariat in the war economy – can stop the ferocity of the capitalist war. But not in favor of the capitalist peace, which is nothing else than an eternal interbellum, i.e. a period of preparations for the next cycle of military carnage and in itself a continuation of the class war against our class. To both the capitalist war and the capitalist peace we have to oppose the revolutionary defeatist positions against all bourgeois camps and turn it into a global class war!
We also call for the international proletarian solidarity with our class brothers and sisters in Iran.
We can help them by attacking the interests and representatives of the Iranian state (both the regime and the opposition) in the places where we live. Let’s turn the lives of the current and past (and potentially future) butchers of the proletariat in Iran into hell!
Those of us who live in the geographically close regions have to assume the task of sheltering the proletarian militants from Iran from the horrible state repression they are facing, helping them regroup and support them materially (as many class militants in the territory of Iraq are trying to do).
The most important task of the class militants in the rest of the world is to clarify and defend the proletarian nature of the movement in Iran against all kinds of bourgeois falsifications and help to spread the materials of the communist collectives from Iran like for example comrades from Anti-capitalist workers of Iran, to discuss and organize with them in a global community of struggle.
Our goal as communists is the total destruction of capitalism and its State and its supersession by the classless human community through the global communist revolution. Of course, the recent class rebellion in Iran is in itself – limited both geographically to just a territory of one State and in the depth of its rupture with the totality of the capitalist reality – nothing of that kind. Nevertheless, not only we consider it one of the most important expressions of the class struggle of our lifetime so far, but we would like to insist on the fact that we consider it as an integral part of the historical movement of the proletariat against its exploitation. Indeed, each expression of our class, even a partial and temporary one, tending to destruction of capitalist social relations, consciously but more often unconsciously paves the way to communism through its practice, its lessons and mistakes, through its victories and defeats, through its reappropriation of the revolutionary program.
To make the revolution possible, the class confrontations as in Iran, but even more profound have to develop all around the world. Considering the reality of the preparation phase of the new World War and the ecological catastrophe we live in; this may be the only option for humanity to survive.
Revolution or Death!!!
Against Capital – Anticapitalist Workers’ Tribune
[…] Despite the massive street demonstrations during these few months, the capitalist Islamic regime sees the real danger not in massive street demonstrations or the controversy of isolated opposition circles, but in the existence of the working class, which drives the cycle of work and capital production. As long as this working class is not exercising its class power, and as long as the cycle of capital production turns, the bourgeoisie has nothing to fear from any force. The regime has pondered this issue enough and made it the basis of action, that is why the Islamic regime has found the current movement vulnerable and the attack against it is the only solution. All this is proof that the Islamic Republic continues executions with indescribable ferocity […]. Does the current uprising have a way to stop the killing machine of the Islamic Republic?
The above explanation contains a clear answer to this question. And that, only the widespread and nationwide entry of the working masses into the field of class struggle is capable of playing this role. The more vital, fundamental and fateful question is that if the workers do so, but how come and with which class horizon? With which arrangement of organized class forces, and which approach will they enter the wide field of class battle? It is obvious that their first step should be to stop the work cycle and capital production on a widespread and nationwide level. The working class has done this many times in history, but not for their own class demands, not of their own will, not with the own radical class strategy and approach, but by the order of this or that bourgeois opposition, this or that political power-seeking party, this or that bourgeois mafia that have shaped the course of the situation so far. But this time, the working-class movement can overturn the foundation of the past and enter the field with a new plan and strong class will and determination against capitalism. The working class is able to force the Islamic bourgeoisie to release all prisoners unconditionally by resorting to closing the cycle of work and production. But remaining at the same level of demands, including the release of all political prisoners, is not the end of this class struggle. The working class must overcome the process of repetition of historical failure, and must stop the bourgeois execution and massacre machine forever by relying on the nationwide strike. Because this is a small step in the direction of exercising power and imposing its anti-capitalist class will against the ruling regime of capital, and the next step can be to prepare as widely as possible to exercise more class power. Tens of millions of rebellious and protesting workers […] can turn their uprising and nationwide strike into an organized anti-capitalist council power. The working class with this power and extent of its formation and organizing, should take the way of seizure of work and production centers, and in this way, to marginalize the plans and approaches of any type of left or right-wing bourgeois oppositions. By this radical approach, implement the way of taking over the result of work and producing successive generations of the working class from the hands of the capitalist class. All this can be realized and the only real way to stop all executions by the Islamic regime.
Resorting to the solutions of governments and capitalist institutions, allowing a handful of profit-seeking demagogues, and begging of their support, is not only not a cure for pain, but it is poisoning and perverting the power of our determining destiny.
# Only the power of the class unity of the workers is able to stop the execution machine of the Islamic regime of capital – December 2022
When some workers in Iran, especially those who claim to be pioneers of the struggle of the working masses, make a fuss about supports of the leaders of British and German, French, Italian and Scandinavian trade unions for “trade union rights” of the Iranian working class, there is no choice but to say that history has gone backwards.!! Of course, this word has an emotional aspect, but its earthly, material and class expression and meaning is that the enchanting power of capital in brainwashing people is millions of times more than previous social systems. Only, after the terrible and criminal bombing of Vietnam by the predatory US military, only a handful of these union and syndicate leaders, under the heavy pressure from the workers’ side and public opinion, were forced to speak out. At no other time, no voice from them has been heard in class support of workers anywhere in the world. During the disputes between the capitalist states and military conflicts, the leaders of the unions, without any doubt, allies of the capitalist state of their own country, have always been working to strengthen one section of the bourgeoisie against another section in other countries. The policy makers, designers and leaders of the unions are part of the capitalist class of the countries and represent the bourgeoisie in the labor movement and have an important and an undeniable share in the ownership and power as well as profits of capital in the biggest trusts. The union leaders and reformists imposed on the labor movement are complicit in the brutal exploitation of the working masses of the world, and are also an important part of the civil political power structure and the capitalist state. Every policy and decision they take is aimed at dissolving and integrating the labor movement into the anti-human order of capital and burying every anti-capitalist protest of the working class in the graveyard of capitalism. Trade unions have never, either during the continuing bloodbath and torture by the royal regime of capitalism or during the establishment of the savage Islamic bourgeoisie, did not support the struggles of the working masses in Iran and even did not show any form of class solidarity with the Iranian workers. In the bloodbath and killing of political prisoners in 1989, the massacre of seven thousand the freedom fighters by the Islamic rulers of capital, despite the great efforts of the leftist forces in exile, none of these unions and their leaders were willing to write any line of protest against this genocide. They just kept silent and were unconcerned about it. In the massive uprising of workers and toilers in January 2018, these trade unions with their leaders remained silent and even did not ask any worker to raise a protest call for 30 seconds in solidarity and support of the Iranian labor movement. They repeated and showed the same shameless reaction to the glorious uprising of Iranian workers in November 2020. They always have done so, everywhere and at all times. History does not remember that these unions and their leaders, under the title of solidarity with the struggles of the workers of this or that country, even have demanded to stop the capitalist production wheel for a few seconds. Stopping the production wheel!! Not at all!! They have not even issued a call for a few-minute street protesting anywhere too.
The whole of this disgraceful history screams out a fact. If today the heads of the unions, these defenders of the interests of the bourgeoisie in the labor movement in England, Germany and France or anywhere else, issue a call to support the “rights of the working masses of Iran”!!! If they ask the workers of their country to prepare to march to the parliaments!! It only carries one meaning! And that is, this explicit earthly and material meaning that the unions, as inseparable parts of the bourgeois order and coordination machine, doing what the own bourgeois state wants. Indeed, their task is to sacrifice the working class and subjugate the power of the workers to serve and strengthen one section of the bourgeoisie against another section, and also the defense and strengthening of one pole of capitalism against another pole, and consolidation of the position and foundations of a party’s governance, and it is from one pole of the bourgeoisie against a party, regime and another pole. The same thing they did in Poland, and in Latin America and everywhere else. There are few American coups that won without the help of union leaders.
If these unions and their leaders have raised the banner of supporting “Iranian workers’ rights” today, it is nothing more than a deceptive lie. Because they play the role of supporting the state of the capitalists and run the mission of defending the wage slavery system. The current role of the trade-unions, like other capitalist institutions, is to become a tool like other tools and levers of pressure of the capitalist state of America and its western allies against the Islamic regime of capital, just as the royalist Reza Pahlavi and other right-wing political levers are responsible for playing a similar role. The difference between the first ones and the latter’s role is only one thing. The unions, like other capitalist institutions, do their usual and routine work, the latter ones smell of barbecue, but have misread the facts. While the Western bloc of capitalism has been never oblivious to the favorable and unfavorable alternatives, in spite of all its historical class purification, it knows well that exhumed people like the royalist “Reza Pahlavi” and others like them do not have the capacity to become an alternative. The whole capacity and importance of these can be summed up in becoming a lever for applying pressure. By applying pressure to bring the Islamic Republic to its senses and convince it to align with the Western bloc. In short, what the trade unions have done and still are doing, has nothing to do with any form of support for the “rights” and struggles of Iranian workers, because there is nothing else except to do their duty in the current conflicts between the savagery of the states of the bourgeoisie, for or against this or that government. It is a disaster if an Iranian worker falls into the trap of these demagogues. The Iranian workers must recognize their own anti-capitalist class power, and organize this class power and use it against capitalism.
Let’s share a point with the masses of fellow workers in Europe or anywhere else. We respect their sense of solidarity, but it is unfortunate that this solidarity serves the nefarious goals of unions and their corrupt and self-sold leaders. If the workers of Europe have a determined will for class solidarity, they should display this support and solidarity alongside the glorious banner of labor internationalism and its anti-capitalist aim. In protest against the prison, torture and killing of workers in Iran, in solidarity with the Iranian working masses class struggle, the European working class should be shutting down the wheel of profit generation of capitalism in their own countries, and in this way disrupt the political economic order of capitalism. If they had acted like that, they would certainly have opened a new chapter in class duty to the liberation of mankind towards the whole workers of the world.
That they don’t do so is pathetic and worthy of the most radical criticism.
# A couple of critical words regarding the European trade unions’ defense of the “rights” of the Iranian working class – February 9th, 2023