The Necessity of Unity and its Provisions:
The inspiring struggles of the masses of Iran with the central role of women has reached to a powerful peak, and young men and women in every corner of the country have bravely come to the battlefield for the revolutionary overthrow of this exploitive and oppressive system. In such a situation, the voice of unity is raised from all corners, and indeed, the necessity of unity and the united struggle of the people for a revolutionary overthrow of this reactionary regime is felt more than ever. The slogan "Unity, Struggle, Victory" has been chanted many times in the current uprising in protests by people in different cities and by students in different universities. This is not just a feeling but a necessity. A necessity that without it the overthrow of this exploitive system is not possible. Such a unity is necessary for several reasons.
1- The necessity of extensive unity within the ranks of people in the struggles
First, because we are facing a bloodthirsty regime that is armed to the teeth, which spends its major capital and strength to maintain and survive its exploitive and oppressive system. Such a regime cannot be defeated without a united, militant and revolutionary front in particular when the overthrow and a deep social transformation of the society is badly needed.
Second, such unity arises from the necessity of confronting and neutralizing the strategies and tactics of the class enemy. One of the important tactics of class enemies is to create separation and division among people. As with such divisions and separations, they can suppress any protest and opposition easier and continue with their crimes. The proverb of "divide and rule" is an expression that reflects of such a reality that has been applied by repressive rules through the years and has been summarized by the masses of people as a very common proverb. The regime of the Islamic Republic is expert in this matter and does not hesitate to do anything, including lies and unrealistic scenarios, from burning prisons and cinemas to bombings, etc. to divide and separate the people.
Thirdly, the necessity of unity comes from the importance of attracting uncertain and hesitant strata to the ranks of the revolutionary struggle. There is doubts among some sections of the people that this uprising will result the overthrow of the regime. Such doubts is influential among older strata those born in the 1970th and 1980th and before then that are influenced with the middle class like of thinking. Despite their widespread dissatisfaction and opposition to the ruling system, a smaller number of them have joined the ranks of the street fighters. A huge part of this stratum, both in the lower layers of the society and in the middle layers, economically, politically and socially, have been severely damaged by this regime, and they hate this system and their leaders and founders to the same degree. But the main reason they have been reluctant to join the ranks of the people"s uprising so far, is that they are not quite convinced that this criminal and blood thirsty regime will be overthrown with this level of struggle.
Unity among the popular and revolutionary forces can pull those people to the struggles in the street. The wider and more integrated the unity is within the ranks of the revolutionary people, the wider section of those who are in doubt will join the ranks of the revolution. In other words, these doubts will be broken by the unity, coherence and correctness of the path of the struggle, and more section of them will join the fighting ranks and that in turn will play a decisive and important role in the struggle. In the current situation, the regime is trying its best to keep these sections away from the streets, in order to reduce the fall of the morale of its base and its repression forces, in the hope that it can save the fall of its regime.
Fourth, the importance of unity arises from the necessity of creating a crack and fissure between the enemy"s base and forces. At the level of the masses, the regime has still some bases among the most backward sections of the masses who have not yet cut off from the regime due to religious and religious petrification, or economic interests. Although the fall of the base of the regime began especially in the 1990s and accelerated in the last decade, it would not be true if we assume that it does not have any mass base. The broad unity of the people in the struggles may eventually cause parts of this backward section of the society to join the ranks of the struggles, or at least disconnect them from the regime and in other words they be neutralized, and fuel further the isolation of the regime and in turn can create important gaps in the upper ranks of the reactionaries and weaken the morale of the regime and its suppression forces and weaken the control over the society, which will be effective in the faster fall of the regime.
In short, the strength and scope of a unified revolutionary struggle produces a certain internal dynamism, the stronger and broader this unity and integration among the forces of the revolution is, the greater this internal dynamism gains strength and speed, and wider ranges of people will join the ranks of the struggles in the streets. And in return, more of enemy forces will fall.
2- Why should unity be principled?
The meaning of unity is not the same for everyone, especially when it comes to unity for the revolution. There are countless examples of unprincipled and unreal and very harmful unity in our recent history. Khomeini, with the slogan "unity of the word" and "all people together" abused the unity of the people. Even if the collective memory might be short, the lessons of history are long-lasting that shows how just before the year 1979, Khomeini"s missionaries and the Islamic rule promoters invited everyone to unite against the Shah"s authoritarian rule, and false promises in lieu of the unity with Khomeini"s forces was made. Even among those forces that were not in favor of Khomeini and his Islamic regime, it was forbidden to raise doubts and questions about the Islamic rule and it was said that "now it is the time for unity, differences and their resolution should be left for after the revolution" and... By using this unity, Khomeini achieved the agreement of the imperialists for his own government and then he used this unity as a certificate to commit the most brutal crimes. Meanwhile, there were forces, especially among the communist organizations, who were aware of the need for principled unity and did not trust Khomeini and the Islamic forces and reactionary movements around him. These forces did not join Khomeini’s ranks and stood against it but half-heartedly and not decisively. They declined a decisive and all-round struggle against the Khomeini and its gangs due to the lack of a far-reaching understanding of Khomeini"s reactionary nature and to maintain unity against the Shah"s regime and its repression machine. When they realized their mistakes shortly after the defeat of the 1979 revolution and realized the necessity of a decisive fight against this reactionary group, it was far too late and the control of the power was consolidated in the hands of the reactionaries. The massacre of communists and revolutionaries began. The communists and revolutionaries who started their struggle against the ruling reactionaries faster than others, experienced prisons and medieval tortures of the Islamic regime. Groups of youth who were among the most conscious daughters and sons of this land were murdered. Thousands of people were tortured and then executed in the 1980s. The revolutionaries who fought against the Shah"s regime for years and survived long imprisonments and survived the blade of the Shah"s SAVAK (the intelligence service of Shah’s regime) were executed by Khomeini"s mercenaries after medieval tortures. For the rulers in power the unity was no longer an issue, and even after crushing the opposition, they turned against each other. Purge started one after another. As we all see today, even the so called reformists inside the regime who had a deceitful plan to preserve and survive the Islamic system were not tolerated by the dominant faction, and today only the gang of Ali Khamenei and his wide and long apparatus of repression remain in the power.
Therefore, this lesson of recent history, which led to the suffering of millions of people in the past 43 years, should not be repeated. While stressing the necessity of unity, we must emphasize on the principled unity at any cost. What determines the nature of a unity is what forces this unity consists of and what force and policy dominates this united struggle.
3- The unity of what class forces? (Who are within the people’s camp?)
These days, the prominent and invigorating role of women, especially young women and teenagers, in the fight against the anti-woman regime, has attacked the main pillar of the system and the power of the religious regime by setting fire to compulsory hijab and challenging the entire system. The role of women in this struggle has brought about a world of admiration. Why have women played such an important and radical role in these struggles and created bold and radical scenes? For the simple reason that one of the most important pillars of the Islamic Republic regime is oppression of women, and the oppressed women of the society have risen against these oppressive relationships, in a way that the history has not seen such a role of women in any uprising.
Why did the people of Kurdistan fight against the regime in a unified and radical way and have carried out the most persistent struggles? Why the Baluchistan people are massacred under the barrage of bullets of the Islamic Republic? Why the people of Khuzestan did waged two important uprisings in the last year alone? One is related to lack and shortage of drinking water and the other against the increase of the price of the most basic foods, as well as the widespread protests and anger of the people of Abadan in connection with the collapse of the Metropole building. All these uprisings and protests are directly related to national oppression, and the people of these regions have also risen against the rampant national oppression. Why have young people in deprived areas joined this uprising and are one of the main engines of this uprising.
Why have students turned universities into one of the most important strongholds of struggle in the current uprising, as in the past 7 decades? Students have always been a sensitive and conscious section of the society and have shown their sensitivity towards poverty of the people and corruption in the government institutions and also the oppression, tyranny and dependency of the rulers. Student"s Day on 16 Azar (7th December) originates from students’ protest against Nixon"s trip to Tehran after the coup of the CIA against the nationalist government of Dr Mohammad Mosaddegh that brought Shah back to the power. This struggle that caused the deaths of 3 students is a an example of such struggles.
Although all workers have not participate in these struggles, many of their children and many workers participated in these struggles individually, and last year we had more than 4000 workers strikes for their rights and the violated working conditions. Workers have an important position in the unity of the people. Since the working class forms a large section of the society and because of its class position, which is at the lowermost layer of the class society and is subjected to the most oppression and exploitation when is conscious of its class interests and its historical role and mission, it will occupy an important and leading role in the Struggles of the people. Also, a huge part of garbage collectors, pedlar, street vendors , shopkeepers, farmers, teachers, retirees and tradespeople who have been under economic pressure and political oppression of the Islamic Republic regime in recent years have played a role in last few years struggles and are important parts of this unity. They form the ranks of the people. Moreover, what has led to the current revolutionary upsurge is the result of the transformation and evolution of the struggles, especially in the past decade, by various strata, classes and trades, such as women, teachers, workers, farmers, retirees, mothers and families of martyred and heroic political prisoners.
Therefore, when we talk about unity, we mean the unity of the forces that are fighting for the goal of liberation and for a society free from oppression, exploitation and dependency, the forces whose backs are bent under the economic wheel and autocratic policies of the Islamic Republic, but have continued their struggle. The unity of these classes and forces, as mentioned, is not only very necessary, but considering they make up more than ninety-five percent of the population, such a unity is possible. It is possible by those who have been oppressed and exploited by the capitalist regime and system in last 43years.
The struggle and unity of the masses of people is not only against a specific person, but against the system of the oppression and exploitation. The reason that Khamenei is the main target of the masses of the people because he is the symbol and concentration of all the crimes, oppressions and exploitations that the Islamic Republic has carried out against the people. Will there be any difference if Khamenei dies and another person like his ‘dear son’ or another person of the same rank takes his place? Certainly not, just like nothing changed after Khomeini"s death, but it worsened. What has turned the people against Khamenei as a symbol of the whole Islamic Republic is tyranny and gender, nationality and religion oppression and also poverty, class exploitation, and political and economic dependence on big powers.
Since the interests of this regime are tied to the interests of the imperialists from an economic, political and strategic point of view, as a capitalist regime, this regime is not independent politically and economically, and for survival it has to come under their support as much as possible and to gain this support it has to pay the cost.
Given such a situation, should parts of the Islamic Republic, whose only opposition is only to some of the policies of the Khamenei gang, be included in a principled alliance? Certainly not, they will follow the same policies of the Khamenei gang with minor changes mainly to preserve the system. Therefore, the unity of a wide range of strata and classes is necessary against all those relationships represented by the regime of the Islamic Republic and the reactionary ruling class.
4- Who are not within the people’s camp?
Therefore, it is clear that the goal of the people"s struggle is not only to overthrow the Islamic Republic, but more importantly, what kind of society is being fought for? Many efforts are made by the reactionary and imperialist’s dependent forces to remove this important part from the road map and the goal of the people"s struggles. Because by removing this section, it is much easier to mislead the course of the struggle, as it happened in 1979. Among them are those who openly or under the cover of unity or unprincipled unity are trying to restore the Monarchy regime or another kind of the authoritarian and imperialist’s dependent regime if possible. With the efforts and help of their propaganda media such as ‘Iran International’, ‘Manoto’, Voice of America, Radio Farda, BBC, etc., they are trying hard to promote monarchist or other affiliated movements as the forces within the people and try even harder to introduce some selected figures as leader of the people’s movement and some forces as an alternative regime and then re-publicize them in the international media.
Some are promoting Reza Pahlavi the son of the ex-Shah of Iran. Pahlavi’s family ruled for about 6 decades and at the end their rule resulted an Islamic regime that was imposed on the people. The Shah regime crushed any revolutionary minded citizen and cut off any voice of freedom. Under the Pahlavi regime, being a communist was considered a crime and the punishment was imprisonment, torture and execution. When the people protested for freedom and independents, he resorted to the US and UK and with the help of the CIA (the US spy agency) and by bringing out the head of the thugs known as ‘brainless Shaaban’ (he is known as he led the groups of thugs against the people and oppositions during the Shah’s Coup in Tehran) and through a coup d"état he overthrew the national government of Dr Mossaddegh and arrested, imprisoned or executed those who were in favour of independence from the imperialists. But at the same time, the hands of the clerics and Islamists were left open not only in the government system but also through the religious and financial-religious institutions such as mosques, endowments, and Astan Quds Razavi,( a huge economic-religious institution which manages the incomes related to Imam Reza shrine and other economic organisations that belongs to it) and their influence in education was guaranteed so that Islam did not lose colour in the society. Islamists who had differences with the shah from a reactionary ( from a feudalistic) point of view were left free so to limit more the spread of the communists or other revolutionary ideas, or they were not seriously dealt with. The Shah and his gangs were a regime dependent on imperialism and representative of the reactionary classes who suck the blood of the people. People have experienced the Pahlavi regime, and it is a mistake to test the tested. The people who rejected the Pahlavi regime were not wrong. What was wrong was that they did not give importance to what kind of society should replace it. Because the majority thought that any regime would have been better than the Shah"s and they united with Khomeini to get rid of the Shah. A mistake that the danger of its repetition exists today or at least some forces are trying hard to deceive the people to repeat the same mistake. But many people have learned from the previous mistake. A lesson that cost so much for the people and the country. An experience that should never be repeated. This time, it is necessary to clarify the nature of pro-Shah movements or those who are appealing the imperialists for the power.
It is not without reason that the slogan "Death to the oppressor, be it a king or a (spiritual) leader" has become one of the slogans of the protestors on the streets and universities. In the current situation, this slogan draws a distinction line between the ranks of the people and the enemies and rejects the monarchists and their supporters, as well as the Islamic regime, which tries to connect the people"s struggles to the Pahlavi’s family.
Imperialists are in the camp of oppressors, Both the Russian and Chinese types, who are now supporting the Islamic Republic regime, and the Western type, who played a role in the Islamic Republic"s regime to power. The fake support that at the present is given to the current uprising by the western imperialists in fact is used as a pressure to separate the Islamic Republic from China and Russia and drag it to their camp. Imperialist powers are oppressors whose interests are more important than the political and economic interest and independence of any country and will not hesitate to help and support reactionary and anti-people regimes as long as they are in line with their interests.
Also there are groups who want a ‘regime change’ and have made the fascist Trump their hero. Such groups are monarchists and those with other names such as "Transitional Council" etc., or Mujahidin organisation who are begging to be accepted by the Western imperialists with ridiculous propaganda shows. Also there are opportunistic elements who are trying to negotiate with the notorious representatives of the imperialists such as Mike Pompeo, Anthony Blinken, Kamala Harris, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau etc. in the name of the people’s struggle and want to involve the imperialists in this uprising. These groups and elements are not in the ranks of the people but they are in the ranks of the oppressors from whom the people have separated their path, and it would be a great mistake to consider them in the people’s rank or unite with them.
5- The nature of unity is determined by its leading line
This unity is formed by which strata and classes and how such a unity chart the way to achieve its goal i.e. the overthrow of the Islamic regime, and what system, in the course of these struggles is going to be installed all depends on the nature of the leading force.
Just because someone or a force wants the overthrow of the Islamic Republic regime will not automatically be on the side of the people. There is no doubt that these days many reactionaries and dependent forces (such as Donal Trump, John Bolton, and Benjamin Netanyahu) are also against the Islamic Republic but not necessarily on the side of the people. But the decisive and vital differences become clear when the real demands of the people and the causes against which the people have risen are made clear. The purpose here is not to explain the program of different forces, but it is necessary to mention some important points so that the difference between the people and the reactionary and deceitful forces that are trying to take advantage of the people"s struggles is clear and the vital importance of the leading force of such an alliance is well grasped.
Regardless of the name of a regime, what kind of a regime do people really want? A regime that is not repressive, oppressive and exploitive but instead a regime that would respect the most basic rights of the people, freedom of expression, and will takes serious steps towards elimination of women’s liberation. A regime that will fight against national oppression and will try for a voluntarily and not forced unity of oppressed nationalities. A regime that puts the interests of working class first, fights against poverty, and reduces class gaps. A regime in which military forces are to defend the national sovereignty and not oppress the people. Police and law enforcement should be for people"s safety, not to create terror. A regime that steps in the path to eliminate oppression and exploitation.
Now, let"s see if those who claim to be the leaders or are promoted by the powerful countries or their lackey, can or even want to fulfil these basic demands of the people. Let"s talk about Reza Pahlavi who is the main ace of the monarchists.
The political credibility of Reza Pahlavi and other monarchists is based on the Pahlavi family"s monarchy, which ruled Iran for57 years. Reza Pahlavi"s political program cannot be outside the framework of his father"s policies. A policy that basically involves dependence on western imperialists. Politically, he will be in the camp of Western imperialists, especially the Trump faction, and economically, he will be in the framework of the current programs of imperialist capitalism, i.e., neoliberalism, and as a result, class gap will continue to rise and poverty will continue to extend. In terms of domestic policies, oppression of national minorities as it was the policy of his father and that of the Islamic Republic will continue. In the case of women, the mandatory hijab may be abolished, although this does not mean that misogynist policies will end. What women are fighting for is much more than the mandatory hijab, the women oppression is one of the pillars of the capitalist system, and as a result, it will continue in other forms, and worse than that he will have to compromise and go along with the clergies and strengthen them, as his father did. He himself has clearly spoken about this, which will mean the continuation of anti-woman policies even in the backward forms. In a message to the IRGC, Reza Pahlavi says that I rely on these military forces, IRGCs are the Basij and the military! He said he is proud of them as the forces that gave blood to preserve Iran"s territorial integrity during the Iran-Iraq war, the same war that the Islamic Republic calls a divine blessing. Khomeini also put forward the slogan "Army is our brother" during the revolution in 1979. This similarity is not accidental but this is based on their class nature because both of them want to preserve the machine of suppression.
They need the Islamic regime army and its IRGC and Basij to suppress the people. They want to exercise power from above and in collaboration with the internal reactionaries and the imperialists in order to abort the revolution and prevent it before it deepens. Therefore, prison, torture and execution will remain in place. Reza Pahlavi never even condemned his father"s policies and did not reject them. He did not say a word about his father"s policies on national minorities and the massacre he carried out in Azerbaijan and Kurdistan in 1945 or anything about the CIA backed coup-de-tat in 1953. He has not mentioned a word about the fear and terror that Savak (Shah’s secrete police or an institution for torture) created with the help of Mossad (Israeli intelligence service) and CIA. He has not said anything about the attack of the Shah"s army acting as US gendarme in the region and taking part in suppressing the Dhofar revolutionaries in Oman. However even if he supposedly condemns these crimes of his father, it does not mean that has fundamental differences with his father"s policies, but by not condemning his father’s policy publicly, he clearly approves those policies. In fact he has justified his father and grandfather policies as the necessities of their era. So the policies of the Shah will be the basis of the policies of Reza Pahlavi and the royalists. Is this what the people are fighting for? Certainly not, otherwise they would not have said: "Death to the oppressor, whether he is a king or a leader" (by leader they mean spiritual leader Khamenei).
However, regarding the Mujahedeen, another force that has appealed to the imperialists in opposition to the Islamic Republic of Khomeini and Khamenei, it must be said that although it is less fortunate among them, it has tried to "impose" itself on the imperialists for years. And now it has become a nut in their hands. The only difference with the supporters of the monarchy is that they have a more intense Islamic ideology and believe that they represent the real Islam. The complete separation of religion from the state is a definite demand of the people. A religious government or a movement whose ideological foundations are based on religion no longer has a place among people, even among those who still believe in religion. The important aspect that has led millions of women in Iran to oppose the regime of the Islamic Republic is the mandatory hijab as a symbol of misogyny and the symbol of the Islamic Republic. Removing the hijab is the symbol of women"s struggle and uprising is what the current leader of Mujahedeen, Maryam Rajavi, has never experienced. Of course, this is not a personal choice, but a compulsion that is linked to the ideology of the Mujahedeen, that is why all its members and cadres have had to comply with it and have never given up their hijab, or at least the choice has never been given to them.
Other elements have also gathered independently or in coalition, and with the same approach of monarchists without monarchy, they are also trying to introduce themselves as an alternative for leadership. But dependence on western imperialists puts them in the same frame. As a result, any of these forces or trends that would get a chance to lead the people"s united struggles will not be able to realise the demands that the people have risen for, but will basically carry out the same policies of the Islamic Republic. In other words, the experience of the 1979 defeated revolution will be repeated again. However only a change will be made at the top.
A proletarian state based on the interests of the proletariat and working people will be able to free the society from the shackles and chains of human exploitation, which is the main cause of all oppressions. What we see in the current situation, including the lack of rights for women, the hunger of workers, the lack of water for farmers, the lack of a future for young people, the exploitation of oil and other resources, the destruction of environment and killing the nature, all serve the accumulation of capital and channel it towards the world imperialist’s capital. Therefore, in order to get rid of this oppressive and exploitative system the state that belongs to this class must be overthrown by total destruction of the ruling state apparatus and crushing its military machine. A work that the reactionary and dependent forces neither can nor willing, but they are trying to maintain the exploitive and oppressive system intact or replace it with another exploitive system representing the same class.
The orientation to get rid of oppression and exploitation will not start without revolutionary changes, let alone its consolidation and continuation. Therefore, revolutionary and conscious overthrow with a plan to build a revolutionary society free from any oppression and exploitation is the first step on the path to a victorious revolution. Today, we all clearly see how the promotion of the movement to the level of overthrowing the entire system has brought about a huge and passionate forces to the scene of struggle. Therefore, the united people led by the proletarian line will be able to put the society on such a path. Because such a force is not only aware of the necessity of such an alliance, but also aware of the possibility of such an alliance by believing in the power of the masses. Such an alliance with the proletarian line is capable of uniting all the oppressed and exploited forces for a revolutionary overthrow and ensure the real rule of the people over the people by building this powerful force that will crush the machine of oppression and the foundations of this exploitive system by establishing a new society.
Advance towards a militant alliance for the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic.
Collective of Revolutionary Communists - Iran
17 December 1401
(This article was initially published in Farsi language on 1st November 2020)
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