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  • Official: 43 per cent of Iranian workers live in poverty Official: 43 per cent of Iranian workers live in poverty  Gholam-Reza Khademizadeh, the head of the Supreme Association of Labour Associations (SALA), has announced that 43 per cent of ...
    Posted 23 Feb 2011, 14:45 by Admin uk
  • "Yet again IMT" conjures up "another act"of the "revolution in Iran" Another article on Marxist.com on Iran makes absurd claims. Below are comments on this from activists inside Iran............And we should add "Yet Again IMT lies scandalously". Take a ...
    Posted 26 Jun 2010, 02:11 by Admin uk
  • Marxist.com confusion on Iran confirmed Marxist.com has begun to abandon its assertion that Iran is in the throws of revolution. Now Iran is apparently gripped by a lull. They argue that this would not ...
    Posted 29 May 2010, 00:21 by Admin uk
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Official: 43 per cent of Iranian workers live in poverty

posted 23 Feb 2011, 14:45 by Admin uk

Official: 43 per cent of Iranian workers live in poverty  

Poverty line

Gholam-Reza Khademizadeh, the head of the Supreme Association of Labour Associations (SALA), has announced that 43 per cent of Iranian workers live under the poverty line. This is a big admission by the leader of one of the Iranian regime’s bogus so-called labour organisations. Fathollah Bayat, the leader of another fake pro-regime organisation, the Union of Contract Workers, has gone even further by saying that 85 per cent of urban households live below the absolute poverty line!   

In March 2010 the regime’s Supreme Labour Council set the monthly minimum wage for workers in the current Iranian year (21 March 2010-20 March 2011) at 303,000 tomans ($293/€214/£180). That amount, even before the recent massive cuts in subsidies, was not even enough for a single person’s basic needs, let alone those of a worker’s family. According to the Mehr News Agency, in addition to criticising the current monthly minimum wage, Khademizadeh also said: “Many women now work as clerks, operators and in service jobs and are even deprived of the minimum wage.”

Some officials at the Labour House, yet another phoney pro-regime organisation, have said that workers’ monthly minimum wage should be increased to between 500,000 tomans ($484/€354/£298) and 800,000 tomans ($775/€566/£477). The Pay Committee of the Co-ordinating Association of the Islamic Labour Councils in Tehran and Alborz provinces, based on statistics published by the Central Bank and the food consumption of workers’ families, has come to the conclusion that before the “targeting of subsidies” a family of four, on average, would have needed more than 1.3 million tomans to meet its costs.

Genuine trade unions
While all the above sham so-called workers’ organisations of the regime try to sow confusion about the true cost of living, the genuine trade unions like the Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company Workers’ Trade Union, the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company Workers’ Trade Union and the Free Trade Union of Iranian Workers have also been busy.

The real labour organisations have referred to Article 41 of the regime’s Labour Code, which mentions annual inflation and the real costs of living for the average family of four, and have said that to cope with the ever-increasing inflation and the massive cuts in subsidies, the minimum wage should rise in line with the cost of living, so that workers can have a decent life. They have therefore suggested that the monthly minimum wage should be set at least one million tomans ($968/€708/£596) per month.

Khademizadeh has said that one million will never become reality. It is interesting how the leader of the SALA, which was only recently set up by the regime, opposes the genuine labour leaders.

Some news agencies have reported that next year’s monthly minimum wage will be set at 500,000 tomans ($484/€354/£298). The worse the Iranian workers’ economic situation becomes the more sham so-called organisations the regime seems to set up. It best efforts, however, are just going to be short-term solutions. The ever-sinking standard of living is an inescapable fact that will quickly expose all these manoeuvres.

Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network 
20 February 2010

"Yet again IMT" conjures up "another act"of the "revolution in Iran"

posted 26 Jun 2010, 02:01 by Admin uk   [ updated 26 Jun 2010, 02:11 ]

Another article on Marxist.com on Iran makes absurd claims. Below are comments on this from activists inside Iran.

...........

And we should add "Yet Again IMT lies scandalously". Take a look at the material:

"On June 12, on the first anniversary of the rigged presidential elections, another act of the Iranian revolution was played out. Yet again the masses of Iran took to the streets"

I don't really know what I can say to the writer about his "imaginary" revolution. What he claims is just a big outrageous lie. Mr. Alizadeh says:" Tens of thousands of young and old Iranians took to the streets to show their resistance against the regime" but he immediately continues "The size of the demonstrations was unclear"! His estimation is so amazing.

One can ask that where did these "masses" take to the "streets"?

Mr. Alizadeh, according to his miscellaneous reliable reports, says:

"…A few people were filming the demonstrators from the rooftops of their homes around Imam Hossein Circle when three officers arrested them and captured their phones and cameras"

As you see, a few people (Masses!) had been filming and chanting slogans from the rooftops (Streets!) and just 3 officers could arrest them.

The writer uses another report, by an eyewitness, which explains that:

"In Seaadat Aabaad a wave of people are demonstrating in front of security and plainclothes forces."

Wow! I was influenced! Keep in mind that Sa'adat Abad is a rich and well-off restrict, full of petit bourgeois and bourgeois people. The most important feature of them is their cowardice and conservatism. You can hardly find someone in this region that has thought about the social problems of the poor and the workers.  In other words, they have never been engaged in social and political activities in a serious manner. At first, they took part in the "peaceful" demonstrations (The Silence Demonstration), distributing Green bands and Musavi's posters; but when the situation got harsh, they became absent, chanting slogans from their flats.

I don't know why Mr. Alizadeh doesn't try to come to Iran for joining this revolution and observing the truths.


Arman Pouyan

And let me add another point: There no HOME around Imam Hossein Square! they are just shopping centers. aha, there is also a very big mosque around that square! Shops in Imam Hossein are very expensive, I can not believe that the owner of a 500 thousand dollar shop (or some time 1 million dollar), would go to the roof and chant against the regime!
Sinaa Paazooki

Marxist.com confusion on Iran confirmed

posted 28 May 2010, 15:17 by Admin uk   [ updated 29 May 2010, 00:21 ]

Marxist.com has begun to abandon its assertion that Iran is in the throws of revolution. Now Iran is apparently gripped by a lull. They argue that this would not have happened "if there were a revolutionary leadership".
Can we expect the same about turn in relation to Kyrgyzstan and Thailand, or maybe that will also take a year?

http://www.marxist.com/iran-character-of-present-lull-and-tasks-of-marxists.htm

......................

The "Marxist" analysis of AW for all over the world is as follows: By observing few demonstrations he
calls for the revolution. Then after few months when it is blatantly obvious that he has cried wolf, then he talks about the "lull" period!!!

After the famous article of  AW on “Iran: The revolution has begun”! (and slogan of Constitute Assembly which he abandoned later) Jordi decided to write another article. But unlike AW he consulted with Iranian comrades night before he wrote it. When it appeared in IDoM on 23 June 2009 I wrote him the following letter criticizing previous article (AW’s masterpiece)
MR
++++++++

23 June 2009 10:08

Hi Jordi
I read the article today. It was very good thanks.
Following our chat yesterday, it is very important that we do not create false impression about the coming REVOLUTION. It is far from it (there is no leadership and workers have not participated fully).
From this point of view your article was very clear in comparison to previous articles on the site.

The question of Constituent Assembly can of course become a central slogan, but at the moment it is not related to present consciousness of masses, as the issue of the masses is returning to election results
and having democratic election. Even at this level this issue cannot be achieved without workers participation. Workers participation can be registered and play a leading role ONLY if they organize strikes NOW. So our main central slogan should be around Strike just now. We have to prepare them for it. We will be writing an article on this issue now. Many articles are necessary (historical experiences).

Our comrades are having discussion with some leading workers. But if this does not happen soon (may be in a week or two) unfortunately the repression will prevail. But the experience will stay on for the next stage............

MR

Our Enemy’s Friend’s Friend becomes our Enemy!

posted 4 Apr 2010, 13:32 by Admin uk   [ updated 4 Apr 2010, 13:33 ]

Alan Woods expels Iranian Marxistto join the “Fifth International”!

 Internal documents and censored letters and articles of IRMT by IMT leadership

AWChavez_Ahmadi_5March10


On Maziar Razi’s expulsion and the IRMT’s disaffiliation

posted 23 Mar 2010, 12:06 by Admin uk

To the rank and file of the IMT

Dear comrades

Taking into consideration the behaviour of the IS over the past nine months, and the IEC’s consistent indifference or endorsement of this behaviour pattern, we came to realise - even before our expulsion - that it is impossible to contact you through the internal communication channels of the IMT, the so-called ‘democratic structures’. When we were the IMT’s official Iranian section we even found it difficult to contact all IEC, national EC and CC members – let alone the rank and file of the sections.

Throughout the past nine months the IS has consistently blocked the distribution of any of our material that disagreed with its own position. The IS has censored our dissenting view using the excuse that ours is a minority view. Since hardly anyone has heard our point of view, however, how can anyone estimate whether our position is a minority or a majority view?

Since we are now outside the IMT anyway, we have no choice but to adopt this direct method of communication.

The process that led to our expulsion was very simple:

1- We had a long-standing disagreement about the necessity of condemning unequivocally and robustly Chavez’s support for the Iranian regime.

2- Following the disputed ‘election’ result in June 2009 and the ensuing street protests, we disagreed with the contradictory position of the IS: while the IS simply took the protests to mean that the “Iranian revolution had begun”, it still refused to condemn Chavez for his unstinting support for his ‘brother’ Ahmadinejad and, in effect, approval for the killing of Iranian youth in the streets as well as raping and torturing them in the regime’s jails. Chavez even reiterated his support at a recent PSUV congress.

3- We tried to bring this disagreement to the attention of the IEC and the wider membership of the IMT. This was blocked by the IS for two months. We were forced to go public with this disagreement.

4- Organisational measures, particularly the ‘parachuting in’ of two members, who although member of two other IMT national sections, are not members of the IRMT, were taken against us. This was an attempt to engineer a fictitious ‘split’ in the IRMT.

5- When caught out, the IS invented a story about our compromising the security of these two non-IRMT members of the IMT, in order to justify the expulsion of Maziar Razi and the whole Iranian section.

The allegations against Maziar Razi

The IEC justified the expulsion of Maziar Razi and the disaffiliation of the IRMT because he had allegedly committed “A criminal act”! They claim that “MR had publicly attacked the positions of the International on several occasions” and that “In spite of being offered all the internal channels to express his disagreement, he decided to boycott the IEC, considering it to be a bureaucratic rubber stamp for the IS”.

The fact is that the source of this disagreement, Maziar Razi’s Open letter to the workers of Venezuela on Hugo Chavez’s support for Ahmadinejad, has still not been circulated to all national ECs and CCs, let alone the general membership of the IMT. It took three reminders and two months for the correspondence to even reach all other IEC members! Once they did receive the material, unfortunately, the IEC members were mostly totally silent or indifferent on this very important issue: Chavez’s ‘revolutionary’ support for torture and murder by the Iranian bourgeois state against a movement that the IMT itself calls a ‘revolution’!

We are not sure why Maziar Razi’s attempts to publish the position of the Iranian section is called a “slanderous campaign against” the International. That, together with “His deliberate boycotting of the democratically elected leadership of the International” (is there such a thing as accidental boycotting?), “were sufficient reasons for disciplinary action – suspension from the IEC at the very least.” Where in the 1994 Statutes of the International does it stipulate that boycotting a politically indifferent IEC (or other body) should “at the very least” lead to suspension from it?

Then the IEC moves on to give details of the ‘crime’: “But what he did subsequently can only be described as a crime. In his latest tirade of insults against the International, sent out to undisclosed recipients, he deliberately leaked personal information on two young Iranian comrades who support the line of the International.” 
  
The IEC’s deliberations on Maziar Razi’s actions continue in the same vein and they conclude by saying that the IMT is better off without him (and the IRMT) and that they will now go on to build in Iran - unhindered by our “sectarian approach”. On this false basis the IEC unanimously passed two resolutions (the text of the IEC’s deliberations and the two resolutions are included in the appendix).

Let us examine the IEC’s ‘evidence’ for Maziar Razi’s “crime”.

IEC resolution No 1

IEC resolution No 1 condemned Maziar Razi for boycotting the IEC meeting and accused him of “threats, ultimatums and blackmails”, rejected the fact that material written by Comrade Razi had been censored, and that publishing positions contrary to those of the IS constituted an attack on the “positions of the International and the International itself constitute a blatant and unacceptable violation of revolutionary discipline”.

First, the reason that Maziar Razi boycotted the IEC was that his Open letter was not published and the IEC was totally silent about this matter. In order to protest against this lack of political responsibility by the leadership of the IMT he boycotted the meeting, as instructed by the EC of the IRMT.

Second, we are unaware of any “threats, ultimatums and blackmails” made by Comrade Razi and would like the IEC to reiterate them so that everyone, the IRMT and all rank and file members of the national sections of the IMT, are clear about them. We also disagree with “threats, ultimatums and blackmails” and believe that they should be fully exposed for the benefit of the whole working class movement - especially when they are serious enough to warrant the expulsion of an well-known Trotskyist.

Third, we would like to know how the IS explains the process through which our position, the position of the official Iranian section as recognised by the 2008 World Congress, on Chavez’s support for the Iranian regime gunning down people on the streets, as well as raping and torturing detainees, has not appeared on Marxist.com, or any other IMT website or paper. How can the IS be both overjoyed about the beginning of the Iranian revolution and also turn a blind eye to Chavez’s support for the butchers of the very same ‘revolution’? Furthermore, why did it take two months - and three reminders! - for the opinion of an IEC member (Maziar Razi) to reach other IEC members? Subsequent correspondence by Comrade Razi has also been subject to many delays and bundling with ‘explanatory’ material written by the IS.

Fourth, in the middle of this ‘revolution’, with all internal and public IMT channels blocked, how else can our position be voiced? If publishing a position contrary to that of the leadership is to “attacking the positions of the International and the International itself constitute a blatant and unacceptable violation of revolutionary discipline”, then Lenin was guilty of the same thing at least 10 times during his political career, particularly in April 1917, as explained by Comrade Alan Woods:

“When Lenin’s April Theses were published in the pages of Pravda, on April 7, they appeared over a single signature—Lenin’s own. Not one of the other leaders was prepared to associate their name with Lenin’s position. The very next day, Pravda published an article by Kamenev entitled Our Disagreements, which disassociated the Bolshevik leadership from Lenin’s position, stating that it represented his own private views which were shared neither by the editorial board of Pravda nor by the Bureau of the Central Committee.” (Alan Woods, Bolshevism - the road to revolution, p 534).

IEC resolution No 2

IEC resolution No 2 claims that “Following the deliberate and scandalous boycott of the IEC, MR has launched a vicious attack on the International which has been sent to an undisclosed list of recipients.” The IEC therefore claims that “MR saw fit to publish detailed information about them [BK of the Canadian section and HA of a European section], from which their identities can be easily determined by the Iranian state forces” and that by “publishing information that compromises these two comrades, MR has made it impossible for them to return to Iran to build the International without putting their lives in danger” and that “It was an attempt to strike back at his critics by exposing their identity, thus opening them to identification by the Iranian authorities. This was the action, not of a Marxist revolutionary, but of a vulgar police informer. This is a crime against the International, against the working class, and against all the democratic and progressive forces in Iran.”

As a consequence of this “crime”, the IEC declared that “that MR is expelled with ignominy from the International with immediate effect.” It further alleges this “criminal conduct was carried out with the active participation of both the internal and external ECs of the Iranian section” which justifies the disaffiliation of the Iranian section of the International.

First, the “vicious attack on the International” was a three page letter that was sent out before and not “Following the … boycott of the IEC”.

Second, even though it was addressed to the IEC and the rank-and-file members of the IMT it was sent to the IEC members only (plus a few other members of IMT who have been involved in the discussion or from Iranian origin like BK and HA). Given the consistent behaviour of the IS regarding our correspondence - i.e., either not distributing our material to IEC members or doing so after long delays (and repeated requests) - and as the IEC meeting was about to begin, the letter was emailed to the IEC members directly. This letter was not published or distributed anywhere! As it was sent to the IEC and a few IMT members only then we do not think that it likely that it has been leaked to any police agency!  

Third, the letter in question was written by the EC of the IRMT, and not Maziar Razi. It appears that the IEC was in a great hurry to get rid of Maziar Razi, a thorn in their side, and did not take time to consider any of the basic relevant facts, including who wrote the letter!

Fourth, how could the identities of these two individuals have been exposed if we merely used the initials of their pseudonyms?! The European country in which HA lives has 20-25,000 Iranian political refugees and immigrants living in it. As, to BK, he lives in Canada where, according to the 2006 census, 121,505 Iranian live! These individuals, particularly BK, have no qualms about using their real names on Facebook and having IMT members among their friends on this social networking site. BK has many IMT and WCPI Facebook friends and his profile clearly describes him as a communist. Both BK and HA have used their real names to express their solidarity with trade unionists in other countries in campaigns and on the internet. BK, using his real name, has even been interviewed about the situation in Iran!

When it suits them they are totally at ease about using their real names, yet when they are caught red handed as part of a botched coup against the elected leadership and whole membership of the IRMT they become very sensitive about even using the initials of their pseudonyms!

Fifth, according to the IMT constitution there are certain procedures that must be followed in expulsions and there are clear guidelines about the appeals process! We have waited a week now and we still have not been offered any of these! We have therefore begun the appeals process ourselves and are waiting for the World Congress to clear the name of Maziar Razi and the IRMT.

The issue of BK and HA’s membership

Ever since the split between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks took place in 1903, the issue of membership of a Marxist organisation has been a very serious one that has been set out in every group’s constitution, statutes or rules. The way an organisation has treated this vital issue has, justifiably, been taken to indicate which side of this historical divide it stands.

In January this year, when the Spanish section withheld its quarterly financial contribution to the International, i.e., its subs as a national section, the IS was fully within its rights to declare that this had formally placed the section “outside” the IMT. (Of course, this was merely one aspect of a long-running dispute which is outside the scope of this letter.)

We were therefore astonished to learn that when BK and HA wrote a letter to us raising some concerns about our position regarding the recent street protests that suddenly, in late February, they refer to themselves as two members of the Iranian section. Yet at no point has either of these comrades paid a penny in subs or been given responsibilities for any work carried out under the discipline and guidance of the leadership of the IRMT in relation to building the group inside Iran!

HA later retracted this baseless claim about his membership in a short letter to the IS. He then reiterated this correct position during one of the Iranian section’s weekly meetings (on 27 February, to which he had been invited as a guest), and he finally wrote a letter, which although was mainly a long tirade against us, nevertheless stated categorically that he is not a member.

We would like to state categorically that BK and HA are not, nor have ever been, “members in the work of IMT’s Iran section”. Indeed, during our meeting Saturday February 27, in reply to our question about the claim of membership in this letter, HA stated that he is not a member. He also said that “2-3 days ago I sent a personal letter to the IS and the letter begins with this: “Although my main personal responsibilities in the international has not been within the Iranian section I have, because I am an Iranian, been in more or less regular contact with comrade Razi and at times also participated in the weekly meetings of the IRMT. Besides this I have also been following the situation in Iran regularly, at least since the begginning of the revolution last summer.” Comrade HA then went on to say: “In summary, I’ll agree to whatever you want to write. In my opinion the question of my membership was not really raised in that letter, it was mostly the political problems and debates. […] I sent a letter so that the inside [core] of the debate becomes clarified […] I will write a long letter and I will apologise, but it is the political points that are important that no one has answered.”

On 2 March Comrade HA’s wrote a letter which included: “But for the record and to ease the Iranian comrades of their worries of being undermined by the first sentence of our letter let me personally state here that I am not a "member" of the Iranian section. This means that I do not pay subs and do not have any formal responsibilities in the section.”

HA’s clear statement about his status as a non-member of the IRMT stands in clear contrast against what three IS members claimed during the IEC session on Iran.

BK and the WCPI

This leaves us with the matter of BK of Canada’s fictitious membership in the IRMT. BK is in fact a member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran. The WCPI is a semi-Maoist right centrist organisation that is based on the petty bourgeoisie. Whenever it intervenes in any struggle it always tries to pretend that it was the organiser and leader of that action and wants to take it over by any trick possible - and it is therefore utterly despised by the workers.

The theoretical ‘gems’ that Mansour Hekmat, the late leader of the WCPI wrote, are legendary within the Iranian left. We, the only Iranian Trotskyist group, have written hundreds of pages criticising various aspects of the WCPI’s policies. These include: a two stage theory of revolution; underestimating the importance of the national question; trying to impose their ‘leadership’ on the workers’ and other movements; their appalling and moralistic position on abortion; and so on. One of Hekmat’s biggest contributions to ‘Marxist theory’ is the concept of the ‘black scenario’, where the main danger to humanity is seen as civil war, the collapse of civilisation and the seizure of power by reactionary forces like Islamic fundamentalists. In order to prevent this he advocates cross-class alliances!

Following Hekmat’s death in 2002 there have been two splits: resulting in three WCPI’s competing for his legacy. The ‘main’ WCPI, the one that BK belongs to, recently published a ‘Manifesto of the Iranian Revolution’. This manifesto makes no mention of the dictatorship of the proletariat, communism or even the necessity of a general strike! The only time it mentions socialism is when it is quoting “Socialism or barbarism”, the slogan taken up by some student.

For many years the WCPI received money from Saddam’s Baathist regime. Once Saddam was overthrown, they then found some other unspecified state that provides them with money for 24-hour TV stations, radio stations, a plethora of websites and journals (most of which are given away for free!) and so on.

The WCPI is a force that is hostile to Trotskyism. It not only competes against the real Marxists, using the enormous resources at its disposal to make itself look bigger, but it ruins the reputation of the whole left when it tries to impose its leadership on any movement it intervenes in! It is the comrades in Iran who are particularly concerned about BK’s sudden ‘membership’ of the IRMT.

Three IS positions on BK’s ‘membership’

Despite BK’s membership of the WCPI, a group hostile to Trotskyism, Comrade Alan Woods still dealt with this vital issue during the IEC session on Iran in the following way: “Organisational methods have been taken against you? What organisational methods? What organisational methods? You’ve been expelled? You’ve been threatened with expulsion? We’ve been threatened constantly with a split. That’s what we’ve been threatened constantly with a split, by Razi. We haven’t expelled anybody, we haven’t taken organisational measures. But you are taking organisational measures against two young Iranian comrades that you want to expel from the group. Yes, oh yes! Or exclude from the group, it comes to the same thing.  Exclude from the group. Let’s not quibble over words. Not for security reasons, that’s completely wrong what you said … not for security reasons at all. It’s because these very excellent young comrades have got a different position in relation to Iran than you have. Nothing to do with security, it’s a bureaucratic attempt to expel or exclude two young Iranian comrades who support the position of the International. … Oh, incidentally, one of these comrades he says, oh, what’s the big crime of Babak, he’s a member of the Iranian Communist Workers’ Party [sic], what a crime, what a crime, I say ‘well done Babak, well done, very well done’, yes, and it’s the same sectarian, why can’t he work in the Iranian Communist Party [sic], why can’t he? Amin gave the reasons, because they’ve got a bad programme. Good heavens above! If you were to accept that analysis you’d never work in any organisation in the world, trade unions as well by the way, … they’ve all got a bad programme. What is this? What is this nonsense?  What is this nonsense? It’s complete sectarianism, and I’m sorry to say, I’m very sorry to be as hard as this, I try not to be hard, but you’ll never build with this, and I think we have to seriously discuss … the position of the Iranian section. I’ll put it on the table that we have to discuss the position of the Iranian group in relation to the IMT. We’d hoped the comrades would shape up, would improve, would adopt the correct policies. They’ve clearly not done so. They’re going from bad to worse. We cannot afford the IMT, and you can tell Razi what I said. We cannot afford the name of the IMT, in the middle of a revolution, to be associated in the eyes of the youth with the sectarian policy and this question must be resolved.”

So Comrade Alan Woods thinks that these two individuals are members of the IRMT - by virtue of membership of the IMT – and we want to expel them because of political differences. First, we have already seen that HA has categorically said that he is not a member of the IRMT. Second, BK belongs to an organisation that is even more hostile to Trotskyism (of any variety) than the Taaffeites are to the IMT! Can any IMT section accept a Taaffeite as a member?

The second IS position was taken by FDA: “Just to clarify, the two comrades that have been referred to, who are not official members of the IRMT, are members of the IMT. Is this a federation of national sections, or is it an international? The reason why it became such an important issue was that these comrades do not agree with Razi, that’s why the big fuss. This is a way of avoiding discussing the real political issues.”

So Comrade FDA talks about these two individuals as not being “official members of the IRMT”! We are not sure what is meant by official and unofficial members? Does the comrade believe in the 1903 formulation by Lenin, a formulation that has been handed down through the Third and Fourth Internationals, and is the formulation in the IMT’s 1994 statutes and those of all national sections? If so, then what is this attempt to obscure the important issue of membership? Using the same ‘logic’, we would like to ask whether now that we have been disaffiliated by the IEC, is this an official disaffiliation or an unofficial disaffiliation?

In addition, using the IMT membership of an individual as something similar to osmosis, where the membership of the International can easily ooze into membership of one or more national sections when it suits the IS, is definitely yet another organisational innovation of the IS. Using the ‘osmosis method’, and, ironically, under the guise of internationalism, all Bolshevik-Leninist concepts of membership are totally obliterated. We ask Comrade FDA this: could Kautsky have forced the Bolsheviks to accept Mensheviks as their members merely because they were all members of the Second International? Or even because they were all members of the RSDLP? This ‘osmosis method’ of organisation is preposterous beyond belief! 

The third IS position was expressed by Comrade JM. It is the most ‘interesting’ position, as it starts with a categorical statement that these two individuals are not members of the IRMT but then somehow lurches towards the so-called ‘anti-federalist’ position of FDA! Comrade JM says: “The comrades seem to be very worried to establish whether Babak and Hamid are members of the IRMT. I don’t see what’s the fundamental importance of this. … They are not members of the IRMT. They are not members of the IRMT and now you can write it down and we can put it in writing if you want and you can take it back to whoever you want.” After singing the praises of Babak comrade JM then began to become confused about his position (which was originally that they were categorically not members) with that of Comrade FDA. Towards the end of his summary he said: “We’re a world organisation, we’re not a federation of national sections.” So Comrade JM wants to call heads and tails in the IS gamble that not only did not “shape up” the Iranian section but deepened the ongoing crisis of the IMT!

So there we have it: having been caught red handed in engineering a fictitious ‘split’, let us not quibble about words, effectively a coup against the democratically elected leadership of the IRMT, as elected unanimously at our founding conference in September 2008, the IS-IEC is in total disarray about the membership status of these two hapless comrades from two other national sections of the IMT! The IS comrades could not even get their story straight! For an organisation that is brimming with full-timers there are an awful lot of amateur antics and tactics coming out of the International Centre. At least, on a positive note, all three different positions from the same leadership body had the right to express themselves freely! That must be a first and, dare we hope, set a precedent for other differing views in the future!

* * *

Following the IEC session on Iran we made one final attempt at reconciliation. On 6 March, AK wrote a letter to JM on behalf of the IRMT EC in exile, which included the following:

“The recent ‘parachuting in’ of … [BK] and … [HA] as ‘members’ was a provocation that really incensed all comrades inside Iran. This came straight after he [BK] abused us in our own meeting! The comrades inside Iran are really very angry with … [BK] and how the IS is backing his attacks and is now claiming that he is a member.

“I therefore propose that you take the following goodwill gesture to allow us to turn the clock back by a week or so:

“We need an official letter from the IS stating clearly and categorically that … [BK] and … [HA] are not and have never been members of Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency.

“This will cool things down inside the IRMT in Iran. Then we can continue comradely discussions and take further step to resolve our political differences and organisational problems.”

Not only did the IS and IEC not take up this offer, which considering HA’s two letters basically meant that the situation of BK - the member of a right centrist organisation - had to be clarified. But, instead of that, they escalated matters by an over the top retaliation - expulsion –based on total lies about our “crime”. The IS-IEC’s ‘goodwill gesture’ came in the form of the two resolutions!

Who is Maziar Razi?

For Maziar Razi it was no surprise that he was accused of being a “vulgar police informer” by the IEC. This, of course, is not because the IS-IEC is correct in its accusation, but because, as the very first Iranian Trotskyist, he has been accused of such ‘crimes’ by the Iranian bourgeois state and various types of Iranian Stalinists before. In order to clarify for the IMT membership the character and political biography of Maziar Razi, the person against whom the IS-IEC have made this baseless accusation, we would like to clarify that:

Maziar Razi was born into a left-wing (albeit Stalinist) family and he has been surrounded by political debate, discussion and protest all his life. From the age of 3 or 4 years he was taking part in protests and was first arrested at the age of 6. He took part in anti-Shah protests from when he was 15-16 years old. His family, to prevent him from “getting into trouble”, sent him abroad to continue his education. From the age of 16-17, however, Maziar became active with the International Marxist Group (IMG), the British section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI). Since then he has been consistently involved in various anti-war (beginning with anti-Vietnam War protests in London, in 1968), anti-capitalist and anti-dictatorship struggles.

As the first Iranian Trotskyist, Maziar Razi was instrumental in recruiting other Iranians into the USFI. In subsequent years, together with other Iranian Trotskyists, he formed an Iranian Commission of the USFI and was one of the principle leaders of the Socialist Workers’ Party (Hezb-e Kargaran-e Socialist), the Iranian section of the USFI in 1978. During the past 40 years Maziar Razi has been a revolutionary Marxist and contributed a great deal, organisationally and theoretically, to the Iranian working class movement.

In addition to being the editor of many journals during this time it is the experience of the comrade during the 1978-83 period that is the most important indicator of his real revolutionary credentials. During the period of the Iranian revolution Maziar Razi was responsible in developing the sections of the HKS in the provinces, including Kurdistan and work among the oil workers of Khuzestan. It was because of his intervention within the oil workers’ organisations that Comrade Razi became one of the first political prisoners of the Islamic Republic! During this period the comrade stood as a candidate of the HKS in an election, was in contact with many shoras (workers’ councils) and helped develop the work of the party. The balance sheet of the HKS, a party with paper sales exceeding 50,000, is unmatched within the Iranian left.

It is therefore no wonder that the accusation of being a “vulgar police informer” has not been made against him even by some of his worst political adversaries during the past 20-25 years! This has been made by the two dictatorial bourgeois regimes in Iran, first the Shah’s monarchy, and then the Islamic Republic of Iran. The other time was by the staunch Stalinists active in the Confederation of Iranian Students (before the revolution), who then promptly expelled him.

We are concerned that this method has now been repeated by the leadership of the IMT – an organisation that has proudly been identifying itself as Trotskyist (even as the only true Trotskyists!).

Now let us contrast this with Maziar Razi’s attitude towards the comrades of the IS, even after their repeated blocking of our access to the International’s members about our disagreement on the issue of Chavez’s support for Ahmadinejad. When we had to launch the International Bolshevik Faction (together with the Swedish and Polish sections) to defend our democratic rights, MR said in Towards formation of the Faction: A principled path to unity and internal democracy in IMT:

"... Our aim is not to have a vendetta against any individual comrade. We are not the enemies of the IS or the IEC comrades. They all have worked hard and some of them for long years to keep the organization together. ... We have to respect all comrades, in particular comrade Alan Woods, who has been one of our founders and contributed a great deal to the movement. The issue with the IS is not one of a personal problem with an individual comrade within it ..." (27 January 2010).

Even at this stage Maziar Razi was fully appreciative of the work of the IS and AW in the (internal debate with IBF comrades). His conduct throughout this dispute clearly speaks for itself.

Covering the IS’s political tracks

Since we totally and categorically say that the IS’s position that Maziar Razi is a “police informer” is a false and baseless accusation, and we have shown how these two individuals are not IRMT members (and HA, the more honest one, has openly admitted this), and we have also demonstrated that we have not only not divulged the real names of BK and HA (which they themselves use [in the case of BK, flaunt] on Facebook and other sites), then the following questions arise: why did the IEC pass these resolutions? Why did they expel MR and disaffiliate the IRMT “in the middle of a revolution” in Iran?

Despite the three different interpretations of the IS on the membership status of BK and HA during the IEC session they (and later t he whole of the IEC) agreed on one point: that we have allegedly exposed the identities of these two Iranian members of the IMT individuals. According to position of one IS member we definitely did this despicable act to our own members merely because of a difference of opinion! The other two IS members were not so sure: one liked the ‘osmosis’ approach to organisational issues and the other, having agreed and categorically stated that they are not members, then had a change of heart when the logical conclusion of his unequivocal position dawned on him! So later he took the other one’s lead and also began defending the ‘osmosis method’. It seems that the three members of the IS cannot quite agree on this basic organisational point! One thing is certain though: the issue Maziar Razi and the IRMT exposing their identities is a total lie!

If we therefore see this expulsion and disaffiliation as a mere smokescreen, then we have to ask: what is the real reason for this accusation? The real reason is that Chavez, the same man who fully endorses the Iranian regime’s killing and raping of hundreds of young people, has proposed that a ‘fifth international’ be launched. We think that this is a very important issue that the World Congress should discuss and vote on. Therefore the real political reason for our hurried expulsion was the IEC’s support for Chavez and his so-called ‘fifth international’ which they will be presenting to the Congress as a fait accompli.

We ask the members of the IMT to judge this question on the basis of the evidence. On the one hand, we have Maziar Razi’s spotless record of over 40 years of political activity in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. On the other hand, we see the bureaucratic manoeuvres of the IS-IEC, which when their coup-like plot to ‘parachute in’ members was foiled and the fictitious ‘split’ in the IRMT did not materialise, had to launch a vicious personal attack on Comrade Razi through a crude and inept attempt at character assassination. The behaviour of the IS-IEC leads us, inevitably, to believe that similar methods were used against the leaderships of the Spanish and Venezuelan sections. It also makes us acutely aware of the need to re-examine some of the previous splits, expulsions, ‘walkouts’ and ‘drop outs’ – particularly that of the Turkish section.

We believe that the methods adopted by the IS during the past nine months are clearly and unquestionably bureaucratic measures. Only bureaucracies behave like this towards those with a different view; unfortunately all bureaucracies work on the basis of the same logic, no matter how left-wing or ‘red’ the bureaucrats may be! We have therefore now made a formal request to exercise our right of appeal against our expulsion in accordance with the IMT’s 1994 statutes and look forward to discussing our experience of the past nine months with as many of the rank and file members of the International at the 2010 World Congress.

Communist greetings

Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency

22 March 2010

Appendix

The IEC’s justification for the expulsion of Maziar Razi and the disaffiliation of the IRMT together with the text of the two relevant resolutions:

A criminal act  
What is the reason for this drastic step?  Before the IEC, MR had publicly attacked the positions of the International on several occasions. In spite of being offered all the internal channels to express his disagreement, he decided to boycott the IEC, considering it to be a bureaucratic rubber stamp for the IS (he sent a representative to read a statement to this effect).  
His deliberate boycotting of the democratically elected leadership of the International and his slanderous campaign against it were sufficient reasons for disciplinary action – suspension from the IEC at the very least. But what he did subsequently can only be described as a crime. In his latest tirade of insults against the International, sent out to undisclosed recipients, he deliberately leaked personal information on two young Iranian comrades who support the line of the International.  
  
This information was enough to allow the Iranian state to identify them, making it virtually impossible for these comrades to return to Iran to build the International or even to visit their families. These comrades' "crime" was to disagree with the position defended by MR that there is no revolution in Iran. This is no longer a political question. It is a betrayal of the most elementary principles of the workers' movement and is equivalent to acting like a police informer. The only possible response was immediate expulsion. And since these actions were carried out in the name of the whole Iranian group (there are only a few of them), the consequence was the disaffiliation of the group itself.  
  
This does not mean the end of our work in Iran. On the contrary, it will be stepped up and put on a far healthier basis. Our ideas are having a big impact in Iran and we have many contacts in Iran and in exile, in addition to the Persian speaking comrades in Pakistan. The antics of MR, who denies that there is a revolution in Iran and has a sectarian approach, has alienated many people on the Left who would otherwise have joined us. His departure from our ranks, far from being a problem, will open new doors. On this basis we are sure that the work in Iran (which was at a very embryonic stage) can be quickly rebuilt on a far sounder basis.
 

Resolution on the Conduct of Comrade Maziar Razi (1)  
This IEC condemns the action of comrade MR in boycotting this meeting. Comrade MR was elected to the IEC by the World Congress. If he has serious differences with the line of the International on Iran or any other question, he had the duty to attend the IEC and explain his ideas. For unacceptable reasons, he has refused to attend the IEC and instead sent a letter announcing he was boycotting the meeting. The International is a democratic organization where comrades with differences are given every opportunity to put their point of view. The IEC has guaranteed comrade MR's right to express his ideas freely, with the same time as the representative of the IS. For unacceptable reasons, he has refused to attend. We reject the undemocratic method of "debate by email". Neither do we accept the method of threats, ultimatums and blackmails that has characterised comrade MR's correspondence with the IS in the recent period. We totally reject the unfounded  allegations made by comrade MR against the IS, and in particular the assertion that he has been "censored". We point out that, while any comrade is free to express criticisms and differences within the normal channels of the International, the articles published on the public organs of the International must reflect the line of the International, decided democratically by the World Congress and its elected bodies - the IEC and the IS. Neither comrade MR nor anyone else has any right to demand that our public organs must publish opinions that contradict the line of the International. The actions of comrade MR, in publishing articles in alien websites, and giving interviews on the radio, attacking the positions of the International and the International itself constitute a blatant and unacceptable violation of revolutionary discipline.  
[Passed unanimously]  

On the Provocations of MR (2)  
Following the deliberate and scandalous boycott of the IEC, MR has launched a vicious attack on the International which has been sent to an undisclosed list of recipients. The material he circulated includes personal attacks against two young Iranian comrades whose only "crime" is that they dared to disagree with the political line of MR. In making these personal attacks, MR saw fit to publish detailed information about them, from which their identities can be easily determined by the Iranian state forces. One of these comrades has previously been arrested, imprisoned and tortured in Iran.

By publishing information that compromises these two comrades, MR has made it impossible for them to return to Iran to build the International without putting their lives in danger, even to visit their relatives. MR is not an inexperienced person. He is well aware of the question of security. His group has even refused to give the most basic membership figures to the International, alleging it was a "security risk". He was therefore well aware of what he was doing when he circulated this information. It was an attempt to strike back at his critics by exposing their identity, thus opening them to identification by the Iranian authorities. This was the action, not of a Marxist revolutionary, but of a vulgar police informer. This is a crime against the International, against the working class, and against all the democratic and progressive forces in Iran. We therefore declare that MR is expelled with ignominy from the International with immediate effect. In view of the fact that this criminal conduct was carried out with the active participation of both the internal and external ECs of the Iranian section, the IEC hereby disaffiliates the Iranian section of the International.  
[Passed unanimously]  
 

The IMT is dead, long live the International!

posted 12 Mar 2010, 02:20 by Admin uk   [ updated 12 Mar 2010, 02:23 ]

The IMT is dead, long live the International!

Statement on the expulsion of Maziar Razi and disaffiliation of the IRMT by Alan Woods’s Clique

Today’s extraordinary conference of the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency (IRMT) was called immediately after the events at the March International Executive Committee (IEC) meeting of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). Once the proceedings of the session on Iran were reported to our members it was clear that a conference would have to be convened for the specific purpose of disaffiliation from the IMT. This is because of Alan Woods’s Clique’s consistently opportunist position of pandering to President Hugo Chavez’s foreign policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) for the sake of appearances on Venezuelan TV and regular red carpet treatment at Miraflores Palace.

Yesterday’s two resolutions by the IEC of the IMT merely brought forward by a day the final episode of a political relationship that began with patient political discussions and joint solidarity activities in June 2001. This process reached its height on 2 August 2008, when the World Congress voted unanimously in favour of the affiliation of the Iranian Revolutionary Socialists’ League (IRSL) as the official Iranian section of the IMT. Then in September 2008 the IRSL, a group in exile, merged with the editorial board of Militant in Iran and the Workers’ Action Committee to form the IRMT.

The events following the apparently fraudulent ‘presidential election’ in June 2009, which occurred in the midst of the biggest economic slump of the world capitalist economy for over 60 years, brought this relationship under serious strain. What began as a difference of opinion on how to condemn Chavez’s plodding attempts at world diplomacy and solidarity with an ‘anti-imperialist’ regime, developed, in a little over eight months, into a serious rift because of Alan Woods’s Clique’s refusal to publish our material on Chavez’s support for the repression; the Clique’s refusal to circulate our material to other IEC members or the leadership of the IMT’s national sections; and the Clique’s unleashing of a range of organisational measures to silence our criticism and undermine the work of our group – the IMT’s official Iranian section, as recognised by the World Congress.
The Clique and Chavez’s policy towards the IRI
Criticism of Chavez by Iranian labour activists and Marxists is nothing new. Over six years ago, in November 2004, Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network (IWSN) wrote a polite open letter to President Chavez highlighting Iranian workers’ lack of basic trade union and other rights. This was followed by an open letter by the IRSL in July 2006 contrasting the main policies of the Bolivarian government and the IRI and explaining the regime’s role in the crushing of the 1978-79 revolution. There have been numerous open letters and statements (usually on the occasion of state visits) on Chavez’s close relationship with the Iranian regime since then, including an IMT statement which we drafted but the IS, in its infinite wisdom, watered down before publication.

It is important to point out that this is not merely a hobby-horse of the Iranian left but that Iranian workers are also disgusted by Chavez’s very cosy relationship with the leaders of the Iranian bourgeois state. In July 2006 Chavez visited Iran Khodro, the biggest car and vehicle manufacturing plant in the Middle East. The workers had heard many positive things about Chavez and were excited to meet him in person. To begin with the workers were pleasantly surprised at the President of a country shaking hands with workers and even kissing them on the cheek. They were about read out a statement in his honour, welcoming this revolutionary leader to their factory. But before they could read it Chavez began praising Ahmadinejad, calling him his brother, calling the Iranian regime a revolutionary government and so on. The workers were totally disgusted by him. They tore up the statement and left the hall.

The refusal of Alan Woods’s Clique to condemn Hugo Chavez for his whole-hearted support of the IRI in its suppression of the post-‘election’ street protests, therefore, brought matters to a head. As the regime used increasingly brutal methods to smash the street protests, Mr Chavez became more determined in his support of the repression of what he thought were CIA-sponsored protests.

Alan Woods’s Clique also tried to pretend that our highly critical position did not exist. In particular, the so-called International Secretariat (IS) refused to publish Maziar Razi’s Open letter to the workers of Venezuela on Hugo Chavez’s support for Ahmadinejad and all subsequent material that disagreed with the totally wrong, indefensible and opportunist ‘analysis’ of the official IMT position. This made the IRMT’s work inside Iran almost impossible. This official position was decided by the IS, the hard core of Alan Woods’s bureaucratic clique, without consultation with anyone - including neither the IRMT, the Iranian section as recognised by the 2008 World Congress, nor the IEC! Even video footage of demonstrators denouncing Chavez in the ‘revolution’ that the Clique had predicted did not bring about a change in policy!

In addition to censorship of all our material that disagreed with the ‘official line’ from the websites and publications of the IMT, the IS refused to circulate this material to members of the IEC for around two months – even after repeated requests for its distribution. Some of the material was eventually distributed after more and more of the IEC members were persuaded, cajole or threatened to agree with the IS decision in preparation for an IEC meeting that was postponed by two months (apparently, because of refurbishment at the usual venue!). The result of these manoeuvres and machination by the ossified bureaucracy, which used the resources of the International for its factional fight with the IRMT and all other dissenters, were exactly as we predicted: a medieval inquisition, totally stage-managed by the IS so that the hissing mob (the so-called IEC) gets it request for punishment satisfied by the ‘benevolent nobility’ (the so-called IS)!

That is why the EC of the IRMT instructed our representative on the IEC, Maziar Razi, to boycott the March meeting of this ‘democratic structure’ that is supposed to be the ‘highest decision making body’ of the International between congresses - but is, effectively, an ‘orchestra of sheep’ masquerading as the leadership of a purportedly Marxist international.
The revolution began 11 years ago!
Bizarrely, Alan Woods’s Clique couples this opportunist line that turns a blind eye to Chavez’s legitimisation of the increased repression in Iran with its impressionistic and journalistic ‘analysis’ that the Iranian revolution has begun, that indeed its first shots were fired 11 years ago!

The Clique, if it had been made up of clever opportunists, ought to have changed its orientation after the street protests in June 2009 - events that it believes have signalled the beginning of the revolution! Our dullard opportunists, however, have slid so close to reformism that they cannot see the perspective of the ‘revolution’ - the very same ‘revolution’ that they had predicted 30 years ago - ever being victorious! It is therefore no wonder that they cannot give up today’s red carpet treatment at Miraflores for the red guard of Tehran’s shoras in a few years’ time! They have no perspective for their ‘revolution’ (the revolutionary situation to all real Marxists) being successful in overthrowing capitalism! One bird in the hand is worth two in the bush for all petty bourgeois right centrists.
It’s a two stage revolution!
“What are the immediate tasks of the Iranian revolution? It’s precisely democracy, the fight for revolutionary democratic demands, against the mullahs, for the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly.” […]
“An attack against Mousavi, in the sectarian style of these comrades, who don’t know how to speak to these demonstrators of these people in Iran.” (Alan Woods, IEC session on Iran, 3 March 2010).

It may be a truism to say that the revolution is the ultimate test of all bragger mouth revolutionaries. Yet there is no better way of expressing this. If we look at how our ‘revolutionary leadership’ has behaved since June 2009 then its true character becomes fully exposed.

Although there were many signs of Alan Woods’s total lack of knowledge about the basic facts of Iranian society today, the history of the past 30-35 years and the organisations of the Iranian left in his journalistic and impressionistic articles written since June 2009, the recent IEC meeting was when all these strands came together into a ‘coherent’ whole and laid bare his perspective for the ‘revolution’ that he predicted 30 years ago! For once Alan Woods took off his ‘revolutionary’ mask and made a number of clear statements about his concept of a two-stage revolution: a revolution that begins without the workers on the basis of slogans of “revolutionary democracy”.

Alan Woods and his Clique claim that today’s Iran is “mainly a peasant country but with a powerful proletariat in some centres” like Spain in 1930! They also maintain that the IRMT does not understand that Iran is basically a peasant country and that the Iranian revolution can begin without the workers. It is “an ABC question” that the students start the revolution, not the workers.

Yet our Titan theoretician’s greatest gift is that he does not need to sully himself with the concrete facts and chooses to remain ignorant and spout generalities that would fit many underdeveloped countries - but not, unfortunately for him, Iran! The ‘leader of leaders’ does not know that already in 1981-82 Iran’s population was over half (50.53%) urban and the urbanisation rate reached over two-thirds (67.87%) by 2005-06. So Iran has been mainly an urban country since the early 1980s and over two-thirds urban for about four years! The ‘information’ of Alan Woods’s Clique about Iran, therefore, is about 30 years out of date! The Clique may find it uncomfortable to know that the Iran of the 21st Century is more urban than Japan, Italy or Austria! If we look at this in terms of GDP composition, we see that agriculture makes up just 10.8% of economic output, as opposed to 44.3% for the industrial sector and 44.9% for services (2008 est.).

However anyone looks at it, today’s Iran is nothing like Spain in 1930! But it would be a big mistake to think of this as a mere case of the ignorance and arrogance of the Clique. This totally incorrect information is used to support the Clique’s ‘analysis’ of class forces in Iran and drawing up slogans and tactics for intervention in the ‘revolution’. The logical conclusion of their perspective is encapsulated in Alan Woods’s criticism of the IRMT for having a “sectarian style” toward Mousavi! If criticising blood-soaked bourgeois leaders like Mousavi (who was Prime Minister not only at the time of the slaughter of political prisoners in 1988, but also during most of the Iran-Iraq war, when the shoras, the left and all independent organisations of the workers, women, students and national minorities were smashed!) means that we are ‘sectarian’, then we are proud of that!

The only possible ‘justification’ for not being ‘sectarian’ towards Mousavi and the ‘reformists’ of the regime would be as part of preparations for “orienting towards” them. Instead of staunch criticism of Mousavi the Clique is heading for critical support!

Of course, if the Clique can be that ‘friendly’ with the butchers of the 1978-79 revolution then it is no surprise that it is also thinking of becoming close to “bona fide left organisations”! “We should also seek roads to any bona fide left organisations that have influence within the Iranian workers and youth. Our approach to these should be “friendly but firm”, and we should seek to work with them where possible.” (IEC resolution, On the situation in Iran, March 2010). The IS-IEC deludes itself about the prospects of finding such organisations in Iran and being accepted by them. The best it can achieve is to be given the run-around by one of many right centrist petty bourgeois outfits in exile.
 
Alan Woods’s two stage theory of revolution is definitely an outstanding theoretical contribution for a Marxist analysis of class forces in developing countries of the 21st century! It is a great achievement of his mendacity, hypocrisy, mediocrity and cowardice that Alan Woods does not say that he is now much closer to the Mensheviks than he has ever been to the Bolsheviks.
Organisational measures
In addition to this political regression we have seen what can only be described as a great organisational innovation that will surely make its author immortally infamous in the international working class movement.

While it has unleashed the whole full-time apparatus of the International on a small organisation that dared to differ with the self-appointed leader of Marxism, Alan Woods’s Clique has also taken a number of organisational measures against the IRMT, including trying to ‘parachute in members’ of Iranian origin from other national section of the IMT! How can someone be a member without paying subs or working under the discipline of our leadership?!

Then, when we foiled their ‘kind’ attempt to ‘recruit’ these two individuals for our group, they used the moniker of the IEC to pass two resolutions condemning Maziar Razi as “a vulgar police informer” for “exposing their [the two goons’] identity, thus opening them to identification by the Iranian authorities”, expelling him and disaffiliating our group. This is obviously the act of a clearly desperate bureaucracy that is boldly plumbing the depths of the sewers of capitalist society to come up with a filthy lie of this magnitude so as to buy itself some time and ‘authority’! (We will publish a set of documents about this affair in due course.)

Alan Woods’s Clique has also taken organisational measures against other sections and used the money and resources at its disposal to fight a factional battle against anyone who has political and theoretical differences with it. It has consistently employed a Stalinist interpretation of ‘democratic centralism’ to stifle internal debate and discussion. Its treatment of the China, world economy, democratic centralism and other debates clearly showed up its true nature and led to the formation of the International Bolshevik Faction, which the Clique has refused to recognise (as if the Tsar was supposed to recognise those who struggle against Tsarism!).

Yet Alan Woods’s Clique’s contradictions do not end there: while the Clique is keen to promote the idea that the Iranian ‘revolution’ has begun, it has not held a single picket in support of the street protests in Iran for the whole of the past eight months! The Clique is now trying to sabotage the activities of IWSN later this month under the pretext that the IRMT uses them to promote itself! This comes from a man who habitually ingratiates himself at receptions in Miraflores and uses his TV appearances in Venezuela in his vain and futile pursuit of becoming a great Marxist leader!

Alan Woods’s Clique has now completed a 180 degree turn: it is now looks back to the Menshevik concept of membership and the democratic revolution of 1903 as the way forward! This, at least, is logically consistent as you cannot have a Menshevik strategy without Menshevik membership criteria. We congratulate the Clique for resolving this contradiction between its strategy and its organisational concepts.
Theoretical and political bankruptcy
Alan Woods’s Clique’s hypocrisy and mendacity knows no limits. Absolutely anything can be used to ‘win’ in a discussion, including watering down the Marxist theory of the state to say that “the bourgeoisie has lost control of the state” in Venezuela; that the Israeli Labor Party, the party that built the Zionist state, had become a “classical social democratic” and that Marxists should enter it; falsifying history so that inconvenient facts like the soviets in Russia’s 1905 revolution disappear (!); and a whole host of theoretical triumphs. Half-truths and outright lies are routinely added to this poisonous mix so as to ‘raise the theoretical level’ of comrades.

Just as the 1978-79 revolution exposed the shortcomings of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, and led to the Socialist Workers’ Party (HKS) disaffiliating from that organisation, the current economic crisis of world capitalism and the revolutionary situation in Iran have opened up many cracks within the IMT. Already the majority of two of its main sections, Spain and Venezuela, together with the minority in Mexico, have split away and formed a separate international tendency (Revolutionary Marxist Current). Alan Woods’s Clique’s betrayal of the international working class, and the most basic principles of revolutionary Marxism, however, has only just begun. There are bound to be more expulsions, disaffiliations and baseless accusations before all that is left in the organisation is Alan Woods’s fan club.

The non-debate about democratic centralism, where their pseudo-Stalinist interpretation of ‘democratic centralism’ was used to suppress and censor minority views; to not recognise the right of a minority to organise itself as a faction within the IMT; and to prevent any reflection of this difference not only in the wider labour movement but not even among the leadership and, especially, to the rank and file of all national sections, has become one of the unquestionable ‘traditions’ of the International. The 37 page reply that Alan Woods, the high priest of the bureaucracy, wrote to Forward to democratic centralism! is a document where a plethora of irrelevant quotes from Marx, Lenin and Trotsky are stitched together with his exceptionally delirious drivel. The comrade must have read somewhere that the first law of dialectics says that a quantitative change leads to a qualitative change. He has then drawn the wrong conclusion that if he were to pile more and more of this rubbish in his document then eventually this stuff would be transformed into a classic work of Marxism!

What now?
The IMT’s ranks contain many good and honest comrades who are not even aware of this crisis, let alone know about the recent split and various expulsions, because of the tight control that the ossified and politically bankrupt bureaucracy maintains on communication between sections and members. We appeal to all these comrades, for the sake of staying true to the principles for which they first joined the organisation, to look at the evidence of what has gone on in order to decide their own political future.

The International Bolshevik Faction intends to debate the rank-and-file of the IMT, by-passing the central bureaucracy and the minnows and petty bureaucrats who carry out its orders in the national sections. The IBF will continue its discussions on democratic centralism and other debates that are essential to building a revolutionary international.

For us, as Bolshevik-Leninists trying to build in Iran, the perspective is clear: the developing revolutionary situation will undoubtedly lead to a revolution (in the true Marxist sense) in Iran in the next few years. During that revolution the question of the seizure of state power by the proletariat will be posed. We base every aspect of our work on that perspective and do our best to prepare the workers to seize power and smash the bourgeois state when all the objective conditions have matured.

The expulsion of Maziar Razi and disaffiliation of the IRMT by Alan Woods’s Clique, therefore, are merely two steps in our long struggle against capitalism and its lackeys and agents within the workers’ and Marxist movements. It may appear as if we have lost the current battle. But, to us, being thrown out of a Bolshevik-Leninist international would have constituted a defeat and a great tragedy. Being disaffiliated by the IMT, however, frees us from being connected with Chavez’s support for rape and torture that has made our work inside Iran almost impossible. It will also unshackle us from the bureaucratic restrictions, censorship and suffocation of the Clique that has prevented us from condemning this foreign policy more effectively.

The might of the bureaucracy with all its full-timers, websites and other resources does not make Alan Woods’s Clique’s policies right. The petty bourgeois stall-holder cheating methods of the bureaucracy will not only be unhelpful in winning the best elements of workers and the youth, but will also demoralise many among the ranks and lead to the destruction of what was built over decades by the selfless dedication of hundreds of members.  In the next period not only will the forces of revolutionary Marxism win the final battle against the bureaucrats, opportunists, sectarians, centrists and reformists but they will also overthrow capitalism.

For us the IMT is rapidly becoming a Menshevik international and therefore dead as a revolutionary organisation. So our struggle to build a Bolshevik-Leninist international continues outside the IMT!

Long live the Bolshevik-Leninist international!
Long live the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat!

Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency
9 March 2010


WHAT IS A REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION?

posted 24 Feb 2010, 05:43 by M MacDonald

by Leon Trotsky November 17, 1931


1. For an analysis of a situation from a revolutionary point of view, it is necessary to distinguish between the economic and social prerequisites for a revolutionary situation and the revolutionary situation itself. 

2. The economic and social prerequisites for a revolutionary situation take hold, generally speaking, when the productive powers of the country are declining; when the specific weight of a capitalist country on the world market is systematically lessened and the incomes of the classes are likewise systematically reduced; when unemployment is not merely the result of a conjunctural fluctuation but a permanent social evil with a tendency to increase This characterizes the situation in England completely, and we can say that the economic and social prerequisites for a revolutionary situation exist and are daily becoming more and more acute. But we must not forget that we define a revolutionary situation politically, not only sociologically, and this includes the subjective factor. And the subjective factor is not only the question of the party of the proletariat. It is a question of the consciousness of all the classes, mainly of course of the proletariat and its party. 

3. A revolutionary situation, however, begins only when the economic and social prerequisites for a revolution produce abrupt changes in the consciousness of society and its different classes. What changes? 

(a) For our analysis we must distinguish the three social classes: the capitalist, the middle class or petty bourgeoisie, the proletariat. The required changes in mentality of these classes are very different for each of them. 

(b) The British proletariat, far better than all the theoreticians, knows very well that the economic situation is very acute. But [p353] the revolutionary situation unfolds only when the proletariat begins to search for a way out, not on the basis of the old society, but along the path of a revolutionary insurrection against the existing order. This is the most important subjective condition for a revolutionary situation. The intensity of the revolutionary feelings of the masses is one of the most important indications of the maturity of the revolutionary situation. 

(c) But a revolutionary situation is one which must in the next period permit the proletariat to become the ruling power of society, and that depends to some extent, although less in England than in other countries, on the political thinking and mood of the middle class: its loss of confidence in all the traditional parties (including the Labour Party, a reformist, that is, a conservative party), and its hope in a radical, revolutionary change in society (and not a counterrevolutionary change, namely, a fascist). 

(d) The changes in the mood both of the proletariat and the middle class correspond and develop parallel to the changes in mood of the ruling class when it sees that it is unable to save its system, loses confidence in itself, begins to disintegrate, splits into factions and cliques. 

4. At what point in these processes the revolutionary situation is totally ripe cannot be known in advance or indicated mathematically. The revolutionary party can establish that fact only through struggle; through the growth of its forces and influence on the masses, on the peasants and the petty bourgeoisie of the cities, etc.; and by the weakening of the resistance of the ruling classes. 

5. If we apply these criteria to the situation in Britain we see: 

(a) That the economic and social prerequisites exist and are becoming more compelling and acute. 

(b) That the bridge, however, from these economic prerequisites to a psychological response has not yet been crossed. It is not a change in the economic conditions, already unbearable, that is required but changes in the attitude of the different classes to this unbearable catastrophic situation in England. 

6. Economic development of society is a very gradual process, measured by centuries and decades. But when economic conditions are radically altered, the delayed psychological response can quickly appear. Whether quickly or slowly, such changes must inevitably affect the mood of the classes. Only then do we have a revolutionary situation. [p 354] 

7. In political terms this means: 

(a) That the proletariat must lose confidence not only in the Conservatives and Liberals, but also in the Labour Party. It must concentrate its will and its courage on revolutionary aims and methods. 

(b) That the middle class must lose confidence in the big bourgeoisie, the lords, and turn its eyes to the revolutionary proletariat. 

(c) That the propertied classes, the ruling cliques, rejected by the masses, lose confidence in themselves. 

8. These attitudes will inevitably develop; but they do not exist today. They may develop in a short period of time, because of the acute crisis. They may develop in two or three years, even in a year. But today this remains a perspective, not a fact. We must base our policy on the facts of today, not those of tomorrow.

9. The political prerequisites for a revolutionary situation are developing simultaneously and more or less parallel, but this does not mean that they will all mature at the same moment-this is the danger that lies ahead. In the ripening political conditions, the most immature is the revolutionary party of the proletariat. It is not excluded that the general revolutionary transformation of the proletariat and the middle class and the political disintegration of the ruling class will develop more quickly than the maturing of the Communist Party. This means that a genuine revolutionary situation could develop without an adequate revolutionary party. It would be a repetition to some degree of the situation in Germany in 1923. But to say that this is the situation in England today is absolutely wrong. 

10. We say that it is not excluded that the development of the party can lag behind the other elements of the revolutionary situation-but this is not inevitable. We cannot make an exact prediction, but it is not merely a question of a prediction. It is a question of our own activity. 

11. How much lime will the British proletariat need at this conjuncture of capitalist society to break its connections with the three bourgeois parties? It is entirely possible that the Communist Party with a correct policy will grow in proportion to the bankruptcy and disintegration of the other parties. It is our aim and duty to realize this possibility. 

Conclusions: This explains sufficiently why it is totally wrong to say that the political conflict in England is between democracy and fascism. The era of fascism begins seriously after [p 355] an important and, for a period of lime, decisive victory of the bourgeoisie over the working class. The great struggles in England, however, lie ahead. As we have discussed in another connection, the next political chapter in England, after the fall of the national government and the Conservative government which will probably succeed it, will very likely be a Liberal-Labour one, which can become in the near future more dangerous than the specter of fascism. We called that, conditionally, the period of British Kerenskyism. 

But it must be added that Kerenskyism will not in every situation and in every country necessarily be as weak: as Russian Kerenskyism, which was weak because the Bolshevik Party was strong. For example, in Spain Kerenskyism - the coalition of the liberals and the "socialists" - is by no means as weak as it was in Russia and this is due to the weakness of the Communist Party. Kerenskyism is a great danger to the Spanish revolution. Kerenskyism combines a policy of reformist, "revolutionary," "democratic," "socialist" phrases and secondary democratic social reforms with a policy of repression against the left wing of the working class. 

This is contrary to the method of fascism, but it serves the same end. The defeat of the future Lloyd Georgeism is possible only if we foresee its approach, only if we are not hypnotized by the specter of fascism, which today is a danger further removed than Lloyd George and his tool of tomorrow - the Labour Party. The danger tomorrow may he the reformist party, the bloc of liberals and socialists; the fascist danger is still three or four stages away. Our struggle to eliminate the fascist stage and to eliminate or reduce the reformist stage is a struggle to win over the working class to the Communist Party. 

“What Is a Revolutionary Situation?” The Militant, December 19, 1931. These summary notes were prepared by Trotsky after a discussion with Albert Glotzer about the draft theses by F. A. Ridley and Chandu Ram that he had criticized in “Tasks of the Left Opposition in Britain and India.”

Writings of Leon Trotsky (1930-31), pp 352-5. 


¿A dónde va Irán?

posted 23 Feb 2010, 14:17 by Unknown user   [ updated 23 Feb 2010, 14:22 ]

Publicamos a continuación un artículo del compañero Maziar Razi, dirigente de la Corriente Marxista Revolucionaria de Irán. Aunque no compartimos algunas de las ideas expresadas en el mismo, consideramos de interés conocer el punto de vista de los marxistas iranís que están trabajando en el movimiento de masas por levantar una alternativa socialista. http://www.elmilitante.net/content/view/6204/84/

Whither Iran?

posted 19 Feb 2010, 11:30 by Unknown user   [ updated 19 Feb 2010, 11:33 ]

This an article by Maziar Razi on the current situation in Iran that the IS declined to publish on IDoM:
http://londonprogressivejournal.com/issue/show/109?article_id=635
It was published in London Progressive Journal -
Issue 109 February 19, 2010.

Modern Imperialist Domination and Islamic Fundamentalism

posted 14 Feb 2010, 03:14 by مازیار رازی   [ updated 14 Feb 2010, 23:39 by Admin uk ]

For discussion at the 2008 Congress of the IMT
by: Amin Kazemi & Maziar Razi

 

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