Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Solidarity with the movement of the Iranian masses – Statement of the Revolutionary Marxist Current (Venezuela)

By Revolutionary Marxist Current
Wednesday, 24 June 2009

In response to recent statements by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan Revolutionary Marxist Current has issued this statement. They express their support for the movement of the masses in Iran and explain the differences between the revolutionary movement in Venezuela and the counter-revolutionary regime in Iran.

The Bolivarian Revolution and Iran

In Iran we have a situation in which the opposition denounces electoral fraud, in which this allegation gets support from the imperialist powers and in which there are street demonstrations against the election results. It is understandable that many revolutionaries in Venezuela will draw parallels between what is happening in Iran and situations we have lived through during the Bolivarian revolution. In Venezuela, more than once, the reactionary and oligarchic counter-revolution, with the support of imperialism, has attempted to create a situation of chaos in the streets with the excuse of an alleged “electoral fraud” in order to de-legitimise the election victories of the revolution (during the recall referendum, in the 2006 presidential elections, during the constitutional reform referendum in 2007, etc).

However these parallels do not correspond to reality.

The Islamic Republic – a revolutionary regime?

First of all, the Iranian regime of the Islamic Republic is not a revolutionary regime. The Iranian revolution which was victorious in 1979, was a genuine mass revolution, with the active participation of the working class, the youth, the peasantry, the soldiers, the women, etc. The decisive factor which brought down the hated Shah was the general strike of the oil workers. Millions of workers organised shoras (factory councils) in their factories and took over control and administration of these, in a similar way to what oil workers did in Venezuela during the bosses lock out and sabotage of the economy in December 2002. Millions of peasants occupied the land of the big landowners (as they are doing now in Venezuela). The students occupied their schools and universities and proceeded to democratise them putting an end to the elitism that had dominated them. The soldiers also set up their shoras (councils) and proceeded to purge the army from reactionary officers. The oppressed nationalities (Kurds, Arabs, Azeri, etc) conquered their freedom. The Iranian people as a whole threw away the yoke of imperialism.

However, the current Iranian regime of the Islamic Republic was consolidated, in the period between 1979 and 1983, precisely on the basis of the smashing of this revolution on the part of the fundamentalist Islamic clerics. Over a period of several years all the conquests of the 1979 revolution were destroyed. Land was given back to landowners, expelling the peasants which had taken it. The factory councils were destroyed and replaced by Islamic shoras, leaving the workers with no right to organise or to strike. A particular interpretation of Islam was imposed on the population as a whole, bringing the most ruthless denial of women’s rights and creating an atmosphere of ideological oppression for the majority of the population.

The kidnapping and smashing of the workers’ and peoples’ revolution of 1979 on the part of fundamentalist Islamic clergy was only possible because of the wrong policies of all left wing organisations who thought that they could form a united front with the Muslim clerics led by Ayatollah Khomeini. They paid dearly for their mistakes. Over a period of four years, with increasingly brutal attacks against the left, the power of the Islamic Republic was consolidated over what had been a working class and anti-imperialist revolution. In order to be able to achieve this, the Muslim clerics dressed themselves in anti-imperialist robes, organising the incident of the US embassy and skilfully exploiting the war with Iraq. By 1983, all left wing parties had been banned (despite their support for a united front with Khomeini), and some 30,000 militants of different groups of the reformist, nationalist and revolutionary left had been killed. These are the origins of the present day Islamic Republic of Iran. Not a revolutionary regime, but rather a regime born by smashing a revolution.

Was there electoral fraud?

Some argue that on June 13, 2009 there was no electoral fraud, but there are numerous examples of this. To start with, any candidate standing for election has to be approved by the Guardian Council, an undemocratic 12-person body.

Regarding fraud itself, let’s just give a proven example. Conservative candidate Hoshem Rezaei, who has not called for nor participated in the protests last week, alleged that in 80 to 170 cities, voter turnout had been more than the electoral census. That is, more people had voted than were registered to vote! In all of these cities, Ahmadinejad had won with a large majority, in some cases by 80 or 90%. On June 21, after a week of demonstrations with the participation of millions of people and the death of at least 12 in clashes on Saturday June 20, the Guardian Council was forced to comment on these allegations. On behalf of the Guardian Council, Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei spoke on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Channel 2, and said that “statistics provided by the candidates, who claim more than 100% of those eligible have cast their ballot in 80-170 cities are not accurate - the incident has happened in only 50 cities”!! He then went on to explain that a turnout of over 100% was a “normal phenomena because there is no legal limitation for people to vote for the presidential elections in another city or province to which people often travel or commute”. Finally he added that since this “only affected 3 million people” it would not have altered the final results.

Ahmadinejad – a revolutionary?

As the clerics did in 1979, Ahmadinejad has used anti-imperialist and pro-poor rhetoric, in an attempt to win support from the masses. But let’s have a look at what the real conditions of the Iranian people are under his presidency. First of all, in Venezuela, the Bolivarian revolution has unleashed a wave of trade union organisation and militant struggle on part of the workers. President Chávez has called on the workers to occupy abandoned factories and to run them under workers’ control. In Iran the workers have no right to organise or to strike and if they break these laws they face the most brutal repression. In the case of the Tehran bus drivers, when 3,000 of them attempted to organise a union, the company replied with mass sackings, and the police attacked the trade union leaders, including the general secretary Ossalou, whose tounge the police thugs attempted to cut off.

When trade union activists in Sanandaj attempted to organise a May Day celebration in 2007, the police responded with brutal repression. Eleven of the leading activists were condemned to receive 10 lashings and to pay a fine before they were released. When some 2,000 worker activists attempted to organise a May Day celebration in Tehran this year, the police responded with brutal repression and 50 of them were arrested (some are still in jail). Millions of Iranian workers are owed unpaid wages for months. When they try to organise they face brutal police repression.

While in Venezuela the Bolivarian Revolution has put a halt to the process of privatisation of state-owned companies and renationalised many that had been privatised, in Iran, Ahmadinjead has accelerated privatisation of state-owned companies (167 privatisations in 2007/08 and a further 230 in 2008/09), including the privatisation of telecommunications, of the Isfahan Mobarakeh Steel mill, of the Isfahan Petrochemical Company, of the Kurdistan Cement Company, etc. The list of companies to be privatised include the largest petrochemical complex in the country, most large banks, gas and oil companies, the insurance sector, etc.

Even though Ahmadinejad’s government criticises US imperialism in an attempt to divert the masses from their internal problems, it is not even consequent in its struggle against this enemy which it criticises. The US military intervention in Iraq could count on the passivity of the Iranian government and ruling class, which saw the weakening of the rival Iraqi regime as an opportunity to strengthen their power in the region. Instead of favouring a unified revolutionary struggle for national liberation in the neighbouring country, the Iranian regime played a key role in putting a break to this and dividing the struggle on religious lines.

Mousavi, the “reformist” candidate, is not better. He was prime minister in the 1980s, during the massacre of 30,000 left wing activists. Now he has suddenly discovered that, without opposing the principles of the Islamic Republic, it needs to be “reformed”, that is, cosmetics changes from above are need, so that in the end all remains the same and he and his cronies can continue in power. The division between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi is the split between two sections of the reactionary regime: one which wants reforms from above in order to prevent revolution from below, and the other which wants to maintain control from above to prevent revolution from below.

However these divisions at the top have opened the space for a genuine mass movement that has challenged the regime over the past week. If there was any doubt about the revolutionary and peoples’ character of the movement of the Iranian masses, let’s see what the position of working class activists has been. The majority of workers and trade union organisations (illegal under Ahmadinejad) before the elections correctly declared that none of the candidates represented the interests of the workers and that therefore they would not advocate a vote for either of them. However, faced with the mass popular demonstrations of the last week, both the Vahed Syndicate of bus drivers and the workers at Iran Khodro, the largest car factory in the Middle East, expressed their support for the movement, and in the case of Khodro, came out on strike for half an hour in each shift. Now revolutionary activists in Iran are discussing the calling of a general strike against the regime and for democratic freedoms.

Clearly, as revolutionaries, we must oppose any imperialist interference in Iran. President Chávez has correctly supported Iran in international forums in the last few years against imperialist bullying on the part of the US. However, it would be fatal to mix up revolution with counter-revolution. The Bolivarian revolution must be on the side of the Iranian people, the workers, youth and women, who are in the streets of Tehran and the other cities carrying out their own Caracazo, or their own April 13, against the hated counter-revolutionary regime of the Islamic Republic.

On June 18, president Chávez once again congratulated Ahmadinejad on his reelection as a president and added the “solidarity of Venezuela in the face of the attack by world capitalism against the people of that country”. The Revolutionary Marxist Current in Venezuela, disagrees with this position and we would like to contribute to the debate with the above observations.

The images of brutal repression against the youth and workers of Iran and the realisation that in Iran a young student or a worker can go to jail for the simple act of organising a strike, creating a trade union or demonstrating against the state or the bosses, has caused a massive outrage against the Iranian government on the part of workers and youth all over the world. Several counter-revolutionary intellectuals and the mass media at the service of imperialism, conscious of this, are attempting – with the cynicism and demagogy which characterise them – to identify Venezuela with Iran, and an honest anti-imperialist and revolutionary president like Chávez with Ahmadinejad. An example of this is the recent article in Spain’s El País, which quotes Chávez's latest Alo Presidente broadcast.

With this comparison they want to saw confusion amongst workers around the world, weaken the sympathy and support for the Venezuelan revolution and undermine it as a point of reference for millions around the world. It is precisely for this reason that Venezuelan revolutionary workers and youth can only counter this campaign by opening a serious debate about the real character of the Iranian regime, studying its history and the current situation, and showing our solidarity with our Iranian class brothers and sisters in their struggle to conquer, through mass action, the same rights that Venezuelan workers have today. At the same time we must fight and denounce both the government’s repression against our brothers and sisters as well as the demagogy and manoeuvres of imperialism.

The Revolutionary Marxist Current stands in support of the revolutionary movement of the Iranian masses against the Islamic Republic, and particularly the movement of Iranian workers for democratic rights and economic demands, while at the same time we reject any imperialist interference.

Venezuela, June 22, 2009

RENEGADE EYE

40 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I will comment tonight.

I was at in the afternoon, a rally sponsored by local Iranians. It had about 60 people. I was interviewed on radio.

Tonight is a forum, with a pro-Ahmadinejad speaker.

tony said...

Can you transfer the Interview to podcast for us.It would be interesting to hear.
Yes.....much of the above seems Fair Enough.Iran is no longer Revolutionary.infact its conservative in every sense.
I wonder.Is it possible to be Socialist Marxist and Islamic? I know of no examples.....but in theory Religion and Marx can go together? eg parts of South America it practically seems to..........
...Maybe not the clerics but the ordinary people can combine the two?
Given that
Rezaei is little different to Ahmadinejad.Perhaps He is a kinder face (in the same way as Obama is more comforting than Bush ) But he represents the same System.Just as Obama represents the same fundamental Values as Bush does.
It's The Illusion of Change.Nothing more.

The Pagan Temple said...

I have a lot of doubts as to whether there was electoral fraud. As has been pointed out numerous times, all candidates had to be approved by the mullahs. This being the case, what is the point of electoral fraud?

I am not impressed with the insistence that the vote was tallied too quickly for the vote to be counted honestly. In all probability, there were tens of thousands of vote counters stationed at the various precincts, at which running totals were conducted throughout the entirety of the voting process. If it were done this way, the tallies could even be double-checked without taking a lot of time, depending on how many people were involved in the vote counting.

Was this a secret ballot, by the way? Even if it were, and the ballots were not touched until the polls closed, they could have conducted exit polling to arrive at their results.

I am sure there was some fraud, and quite a few honest mistakes in the count, but that will probably be true in any election that involves paper ballots alone, especially.

The report in the article that there were more voters than were registered to vote is the most compelling evidence yet of fraud, but is that the truth? Who knows?

The Sentinel said...

"Is it possible to be Socialist Marxist and Islamic?"

The two have irreconcilable differences - with communism / socialism being atheist in nature and the ideological disdain of the 'absolute morality' founded upon Religion.

FJ said...

Sounds like a pronouncement by Janus, the two faced god. On the one hand, an honest anti-imperialist and revolutionary president, Chávez, once again congratulated Ahmadinejad on his reelection as a president,” and on the other hand, Venezuelan revolutionary workers are showing solidarity with our Iranian class brothers and sisters in their struggle to conquer, through mass action, the same rights that Venezuelan workers have today.

So which is it Venezuela? Do you want the Iranian workers to overthrow the current regime as you are stating in this piece, or do you want the current regime to prevail, as your "honest and revolutionary president" has officially declared to the world?

Was the election fraudulent or wasn't it? And if it was fraudulent, why is Chavez congratulating the fraudsters and why hasn't he retracted his congratulations? Is it because he's gotten away with fraud so many times and NEVER bothered PUBLISHING Vote totals in the Constitutional referendum because he knew that the numbers weren't going to add up, despite a constitutional requirement to do so?

The report in the article that there were more voters than were registered to vote is the most compelling evidence yet of fraud, but is that the truth? Who knows? There is no requirement that voters vote in a specific polling place... and many of the "irregular" results were in rural areas with sparse populations. It's mu understanding that the ONLY "constestable" voting district was Tehran proper, and Ahmedinejad won handily in the 20+ other districts (as is very likely given US electoral maps that show that rural districts are substantially more conservative than urban ones).

The Pagan Temple said...

I just think people are reading too much into this shit-in other words, just what they want to read into it.

I'm always hearing how when radical Muslims take to the streets protesting against the West, and proclaiming "Death To America", etc., that I shouldn't view that as indicative of how the majority of Muslims feel.

Fair enough! I would also add that these protests needn't necessarily be viewed as indicative of how the average Iranian feels. They might well be just another "loud and vocal minority".

Renegade Eye said...

I was at a demonstration by anti government Iranians in the daytime. In the evening I heard an apologist for the government speak. JP who writes on this blog, made points and got some applause.

Tony: My radio interview was only a line or two. I said what is happening in Iran, is a defining moment for the left. It is the first steps of a revolution. Groups will be defined by how they relate.

Marx on Religion: Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man—state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

Ali Bhutto in his demogogic and oppurtunist, would tell religious Muslims that socialism is compatible with Islam, not Hinduism which pushes a caste system. That is nonsense. Refer to Marx's original text is best.

Most in the Iranian government are close like Republicans and Democrats.

Pagan: You are sounding like the speaker I heard tonight. She explained irregularities by the fact in Iran, you can vote where you are physically on election day, not by neighborhood. I swear you are sounding like her. She said some of the same things.

FJ: I think the protests are going beyond the election. They are against the repression.

Chavez believes my enemies friend, is also my enemy. That is not a way to run policy.

I think Venezuelan elections are fair. Chavez praising the mullahs, disorients Venezuelans. The CMR is calling for a serious debate in Venezuela: It is precisely for this reason that Venezuelan revolutionary workers and youth can only counter this campaign by opening a serious debate about the real character of the Iranian regime, studying its history and the current situation, and showing our solidarity with our Iranian class brothers and sisters in their struggle to conquer, through mass action, the same rights that Venezuelan workers have today. At the same time we must fight and denounce both the government’s repression against our brothers and sisters as well as the demagogy and manoeuvres of imperialism.

Renegade Eye said...

Sentinel: See my response to Tony.

jams o donnell said...

I must admit I propably would not have set out my concerns about Chavez's support in the same way.

However, "Chavez, stop being such a f**kwit. The Mullahs are a bunch iof vicious c**ts" might not have the same impact!

Chavez should be providing his support to the protestors and not to that bunch of 10th century misogynists that run the country.

Desert Mystery said...

Chavez has made another blunder in supporting the mullah regime. The same blunder that he made in giving support to Belarus and Zimbabwe leadership. When he called Mugabe a true African leader is when I figured that his foreign policy revolves around "my enemies friend, is also my enemy" as you put it.

All of which is tragic and confusing for Venezuelans

FJ said...

At the same time we must fight and denounce both the government’s repression against our brothers and sisters as well as the demagogy and manoeuvres of imperialism.

Sounds like the Venezuelans need to fight the demagogy and maneuvers of Chavez and their own government before they can ever possibly commit to fighting against another government's repression against their brothers.

Venezuelan's, FREE YOURSELVES! You are praising and hugging your own chains!

"Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains"

FJ said...

Hugo said just yesterday that the CIA was behind the protests in Iran's streets and that the election in Iran was completely legitimate.

ravin said...

i will just comment on the vote count...i heard that ahmad recieved 24 million votes...mous had 13 milllion

i read something about 4 million over votes for ahmad...well, take those away he has 20 million...mous has 13 million

if there was votes on the sam amount for mous that went to ahmad then ahmad has 16 million and mous has 17 million

yet, this is a squabble between members of an elite club...mous wants to put in a new ayotallah from what i understand

if the US or Pres. Obama appears to put either one of these canidates in office and then they don't open relations then much like what has been said about Pres. Bush will be said about Pres. Obama

and iran stated 1 1/2 years ago that they will guarrantee delivery of natural gas from the south pars project through pakistan in 2011...isn't that when by the SOFA American troops are to leave iraq

there has been a spike in violence in iraq against shias why can't it becoming from Iran?

jams o donnell said...

Chavez isn't giving up his steadfast support for Ahmadinejad. Once again he spits in the face of the protestors

tony said...

The Religion /Marxism question is an interesting one for me.
.I had forgotten just how beautiful & Perfectly Human Marx's words on the subject are........" Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions...."........
Yes I agree.I also agree that the Organisers of Religion tend to be Right -Wing;Capitalist; etc {they hold Pots Of Money & it's in their Interest To Be).
However.Lets not forget many honourable exceptions eg think Liberation Catholics in South America; Think many strands of Methodists in the UK over the years.Maybe more Socalist than Marxist but Still on the side of Workers & the oppressed & left wing in nature.My query really was If left-leaning Christian clerics exist & have existed.the same might be true of Islam?
Islam isnt (in itself) right-wing or capitalist.It is only those who head the religion that use it as a tool.?

The Pagan Temple said...

By no stretch of the imagination am I an apologist for the Iranian regime, and I certainly don't condone the shooting or repression otherwise of peaceful demonstrators. I just am not going to jump on any bandwagons without knowing jack shit about what's really going on. What some two-bit politician or activist group (left OR right) says doesn't impress me in the least.

This could well be leading up to the same kind of shit that happened in 79, and we all see how that turned out. Doesn't anybody ever learn from the past? Seems like I remember something about how a certain Shah was repressing and brutalizing his population, and everybody seemed so heartened and excited that people in a certain country were trying to redress the balance and make things right.

Seems like I remember a whole lot of people behind them who ended up being played for fools. Evidently many of them have never gotten around to wiping the egg off their faces yet.

Now I read on this site an excuse as to how certain foreign factions were responsible for the Ayatollah.

Okay, maybe, maybe not. What I want to know is who is the maestro that's leading this orchestra. Or, who might eventually take the baton in his hands and turn it all into whatever.

Will it benefit the Iranian people, or will they get the short end of the stick-again?!

I'll just sit back and watch. I expect nothing of any consequence to come from this. Either things settle down after a while, or it evolves into something that might not be measurably better, though its hard to imagine how it could be worse. It's still nothing for me to get all worked up about until I know for sure what's really going on, and where it is all leading.

This is about people's lives. This ain't a football game where you cheer on the home team. This is some serious shit, and it deserves more than self-serving, manipulative bullshit.

Renegade Eye said...

Pagan: I know you don't support theocracy in Iran. You happened to have picked up one of the arguments that hack pushed.

Your atitude is common. In Minneapolis we have about seven other socialist groups. We are the only ones who write or educate people on the issue. The Maoists believe the CIA is behind it. We are opposing Chavez on this, right in his own party.

My gut feeling is that the mullahs will be gone. I won't say when. People are using more than Twitter. They are shouting from rooftops.

Tony: I'm closer politically to Liberation Theology, but intellectually probably closer to the New Atheists. Often the NA are arrogant.

Jams: Like I said, we're challenging Chavez right in his party.

Ravin: For Obama this protest is a worse case scenario. The US needs to open relations with Iran, in order to redeploy from Iraq. If Ahmedinejad won fair, he could say I don't like him, but he is the people's candidate. The mullahs wanted a landslide win, not a small win.

The US, Israel and the Arab States, all want a stable Iran. Revolutions don't respect borders.

Desert Mystery: The problem is that Chavez believes my enemy's enemy, is my friend. It's a static, bipolar view. Trotsky wrote an essay called Learn To Think. It was written against people who always disagreed with their enemy. Nine out of ten times, I'll put an X, where imperialism puts and O. One out of ten times we'll agree. When I agree, it is for a different agenda.

FJ: I'm sick of hearing people say that the CIA is behind the revolt. True the CIA tries to destabilize the Iranian government. Not like this. The last thing the CIA wants is masses in the street, with their own agenda. What if Saudis become inspired?

FJ said...

The Saudi "workers"? LOL!

Ducky's here said...

As a proud product of the Catholic Worker movement, I am very surprised by the knee-jerk statement that socialism and religion are necessarily antithetical.

Is Islam inconsistent with socialism? Quite possibly but there have certainly been leftist movements even in Arab nations. Unfortunately the current reaction to dictatorship is generally more dictatorial.

Renegade Eye said...

FJ: The events in Iran the last few weeks, are the most important events that happened in Obama's tenure. As it continues, people have to take sides. Do you deny they are inspiring?

Duckey: I agree.

The Pagan Temple said...

"The events in Iran the last few weeks, are the most important events that happened in Obama's tenure. As it continues, people have to take sides."

WHAT? Even more important than the death of Michael Jackson or Farrah Fawcett? More important than the passage of Cap And Trade that's been going on behind closed doors while we've all been moonwalking to oblivion?

Quick! Somebody tell Brian Williams!

FJ said...

Do you deny they are inspiring?

Inspiring, no. Encouraging, yes. The Iranian politicians who "encouraged" the protests failed to bring down the regime and have left themselves and their supporters open to stealth repression for another decade.

If you're going to start a "revolution", you'd better have a complete and quick "end game" in mind that will result in SUCCESS... else you're just stoking your own ego.

Let's hope the "next" Iranian uprising is a bit more inspiring.

btw - I'm glad to hear that your group is raising the Iran issue with Chavez. It's about time somebody did.

FJ said...

btw - The next Iranian revolution will be supported by mullahs from Najaf and result in a unified Iran-Iraq and the death of Khomeini's velayat al-fiqh heresy. Persia will then lead the ME in a democratic revolution, as Sunni's take up their own democratization movements. It will mean continued strife in the region for a few decades, but the "death to Israel" movement will be on its' last legs.

FJ said...

It's plain to everyone in the ME now, Islamic theocracy just doesn't work...

FJ said...

ps - and yes, you can all thank George W. Bush for finally shining the light of the democratic eblightenment on the Middle East region through the liberation of the Iraqi people.

Democracy works!

FJ said...

I can hardly wait for the day when Hugo meets his Plan Valkyrie. It's the way most Venezuelan caudillos meet their end....

FJ said...

Hugo's the walking, talking reincarnation of Gomez... only with a copy of Karl Marx under his left arm instead of Adam Smith under his right.

Renegade Eye said...

Pagan: Last night the local Iranians, had a candlelight vigil for Neda. They had no signs, causing some to think it was for Michael Jackson.

FJ: Chavez believes my enemy's friend is also my enemy. There are many on the fake left that believe that. I know the same thing is on the right, with Obama hatred. Trotsky wrote an essay attacking those who believe you should disagree with your enemy 100% of the time. It is called Learn To Think. It's called Manchian thinking.

Bush stopped the democracy rhetoric, after Hamas won. I don't criticize him for that.

Chavez is not a Marxist, even if he thinks he is.

Renegade Eye said...

FJ: The movement in Iran against the mullahs, is disorganized. The movement for democracy will hit a wall, because of Iran's combined and uneven development, will be unable to meet the demands of the democracy movement, without socialism.

Combined and uneven development is like a guy in a Third World country, with no roads in his village, and no shoes on his feet, having a cellphone in his pocket.

FJ said...

Then explain China, Ren. It's not "communism" that's spreading the wealth there. If anything, communism/ socialism is impeding the process. The best thing that the government could do for its' people there is "get out of their way."

FJ said...

The same holds true EVERYWHERE.

The Pagan Temple said...

The only country I know of that was somewhat of a success, had an improved economy, with a steadily rising standard of living for all its people, and was also socialist, was Mongolia. Provided that was an accurate assessment of them, its easy to see how they accomplished that, simply by playing the Russians against the Chinese. I think they were Russia's allies, but there can be no doubt they benefited by being sandwiched between the two.

I guess Yugoslavia was somewhat successful, by comparison to most other socialist countries. By and large, I don't know of any besides the two that managed to be successful and prosperous while maintaining a socialist economy. Of course, the west gets blamed for their miserable failures.

If Iran does go socialist, they have a ready-made, tried-and-true formula. Blame the west-as usual-when things go to absolute hell, perhaps measurably worse than they already are. Iran has done it repeatedly over the course of the last five decades plus, and socialist nations always do it, so how can this turn out any different.

National leaders always need a whipping boy to fall back on to account for their failures. In the case of Iran, they've already had years of preparation and practice.

The Pagan Temple said...

Heads up, Michael Jackson might have faked his death. I have the video, taped from an early morning CNN broadcast (which has not since been repeated) that purports to prove it.

If this is true, this is big.

I only hope that when the news comes out, its during a slow news cycle. Talk about everything else being eclipsed. Wow!

Renegade Eye said...

Events in Iran, show conclusively that politically Bolivarianism isn't revolutionary socialism.

FJ: China had a reluctant socialist revolution. Mao didn't want socialism, he wanted the Stalinist bureaucracy. The revolution was deformed, because it was led by peasants and intellectuals. Mao put down the workers.

In its deformed way, China built the superstructure, for industrial development. Now that industry is primary, a real working class is developing. Conditions are now better for socialism.

Pagan: Despite the rhetoric Ahmadinejad is the most pro-capitalist leader Iran had in decades. He has privatized hundreds of companies.

Mongolia now has prostitution and homelessness. A country can't newly enter capitalism with success as US or Great Britain. It's too late for new capitalist countries.

The Pagan Temple said...

I don't know that much about Mongolia now, I only know that when they were a socialist country they were relatively well-off in comparison to pretty much all the others, and certainly in comparison to what they had been. They even had a world-class opera and ballet. Socialism brought them civilization.

But, they were the exception to the general rule, and like I said, they succeeded due mainly to geography and the prevailing political climate between China and the USSR.

As for too late for new capitalist countries, that's because you're applying different criterion for capitalist countries than you do socialist ones.

You always say you can't have socialism in one country, then go on to insist that a small country cannot be a success as an independent capitalist country. That's just nonsense. No one ever said there should be no degree of interdependence and cooperation among capitalist nations. In fact, it would be impossible for them to thrive without that. They would be doing good to even survive without it.

Even the US, at the height of its independence from foreign entanglements, engaged in trade with foreign markets. The ink had barely dried when the Revolutionary War ended, that the US was trading with France, and Britain, and reaching out to trade with others as well, and did so.

Trade under the best of circumstances is mutually beneficial to some degree, though admittedly one might stand to gain more, but it is still a two-way street. It doesn't necessarily follow that nations have to involve themselves in each others internal affairs or disputes. They can be a successful capitalist nation without that, and probably more so. They don't have to be joined at the hip in all matters, or for that matter most matters, or even any matters.

Frankly, I wouldn't have one iota problem trading with Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or any other nations, regardless of their political ideology or the way they run their internal affairs. It's just not my concern. I might not like the way they do some things, but I don't like a lot of things. In the case of Iran, they've made themselves an international nuisance. But so has the US and the EU. Everybody needs to back the fuck off.

FJ said...

China built the superstructure, for industrial development. Now that industry is primary, a real working class is developing. Conditions are now better for socialism.

True, but there will ALWAYS be a dialectical tension between the urban and rural regions of a nation, so why advocate a process which only serves to benefit and stregnthen urban "workers"? "Wealth of Nations" (Book IV, Ch IX)

It is thus that every system which endeavours, either by extraordinary encouragements to draw towards a particular species of industry a greater share of the capital of the society than what would naturally go to it, or, by extraordinary restraints, force from a particular species of industry some share of the capital which would otherwise be employed in it, is in reality subversive of the great purpose which it means to promote. It retards, instead of accelerating, the progress of the society towards real wealth and greatness; and diminishes, instead of increasing, the real value of the annual produce of its land and labour.

All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men. The sovereign is completely discharged from a duty, in the attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to innumerable delusions, and for the proper performance of which no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient; the duty of superintending the industry of private people, and of directing it towards the employments most suitable to the interest of the society. According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society.

Renegade Eye said...

Pagan: The lateness of entering into capitalism is personafied by Pakistan. That is a concrete example, of entering too late into history. The big powers who came into capitalism early, own the markets. They can't solve their national questions. Even elements of feudalism exist.

I'm for trade and recognition between everybody, no matter what ideology.

FJ: Obviously I have disagreements with Smith. Today's capitalist writers, don't compare. He wrote when capitalism was progressive.

Only the working class can lead a socialist revolution. Because of their relationship to production and personal discipline. Demands as land to the tiller, are antti-feudal, more than socialist. Land reform is a demand n the transition from feudalism to capitalism, more than socialist.

Huge-O Chavez said...

Capitalism is the ONLY progressive ideology. Face it Ren, Socialism ans Communism represent the degeneration of a once viable and progressive civilization/ society.

FJ said...

You ain't jes' whistlin' Dixie, Huge-O...

The "Problem of Marx" is the Problem of Socrates writ small.

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