With the warmest and most sincere greetings, and thanks for providing answers to Crises Bulletin’s questions.
Crises Bulletin: Crisis is a phenomenon which is derived from the methodical failure (In nature and process) of supply against the non conventional (And unpredictable) increase in demand. When the demand for a commodity cannot be matched by the supply, crisis arises at different levels and layers; and if the supplier is unable to meet the demand (Requests), and as a result, the consumer feels the shortage and the scarcity, in some cases this would lead to the consumers’ protest and may even result in turning their backs to the required commodity on the market and start looking for alternatives.
In order for the supplier to prevent the exacerbation of the protests or market contention which could lead to loosing the consumer to the competitor, they make use of different tactics and techniques (Depending on the position and the nature of the supplier) to find a way out of the continuing crisis.
During the past 1400 years, the Iranian people have been known as a Moslem nation and therefore, parts of the dominating traditions within the society have been formed under the influence of Islam (Religion) and its jurisdictions (Principle). Nowadays, we are witnessing a noticeable lack of respect and uproar against both Islamic traditions and its jurisdictions amongst the Iranian youth. Imposing restrictions on relationships between boys and girls, the Islamic dress code and the veil, and the discriminations against women, which at some point in time were adhered to and respected by the parents and the previous generations, are no longer endured by the youth. Having said that, the younger generation doesn’t show any signs of wanting to exchange the metaphysical ideology with the materialistic one either. Is the overt reluctance towards a non-religious contemplation influenced by the dominant atmosphere of repression and the lack of opportunities to realise one’s aspirations? Is the society going through an ideological metamorphosis and will it return to the previous morals and traditions once this phase is over? Or is the rule of ideology over the younger generations losing its momentum and the current generation is passing through the times to find its self-esteem; times when ideology and regimes based on ideologies, no longer are in demand as once they were favoured by the older generations.
What we are aiming for here, apart from other discerning and influential factors over a society, is to discuss the current crises by examining the effects of ideology on the society.
Crises Bulletin: Is the society facing an ideological crisis? Are the various individuals in the society reviewing their own beliefs and those customary traditions within the society, and the expectations deduced from their deliberation has risen above the potential the ruling power finds in itself? Are these expectations copied from other societies, and because they are mimics and not established as newly discovered ideals, the demands have overtaken the intellectual potential of the society and this mismatch has lead to crisis within the society? Is it possible for the ongoing ideological crisis within the society to push the people towards other ideologies or ideals? Or is it possible for the society to get itself into a state of limbo; neither can it give up its old ethics nor can it constitutionalise its modern beliefs. What is the way out of this state of limbo?
Abbas Mansooran: If what we mean by ideology in the first instance, is the belief or creed, the society (The ones being ruled upon) do not share a common or homogeneous belief or creed. People’s ideals also differ from those of government’s and take several forms. Here, it’s the government and the ruling class who is suffering from ideological crisis and not the society. Having an ideology in line with capitalism, and those relations by whom it can continue with its rule, do not match. There was a period when bourgeoisie could achieve its objectives and plans by means of nationalism, Nazism or even religion. But today, they’re struggling to make use of these. Religion and nationalism have lost their mass mobilization effects except amongst those with extremely high levels of ignorance and imprudence; those with bygone beliefs. Even if such effect did exist, the awareness induced would be based on nothing but disinformation which could only lead to mirage and deviation from the correct path instead of the realities of humanity. In other words, the global capitalist relations and in connection with that in Iran, is facing multiple and serious crises. The crises of the rule of capitalism in Iran could be assessed in connection with ideological crisis and the hegemonic crisis (Not mentioning in here other historical and aged crises). The society is formed with classes and other harmonious and non-harmonious layers. On the one hand, the working class and its united class layers, and on the other, the bourgeoisie with the upper and the middle class layers (Depending on the level of their emoluments to the upper classes), cannot share a common global ideology or philosophy within a historical antagonism.
Here I must stress that the working class does not have an ideology. The capitalists and their states try to breed their false values into the working class. Ideology is what drives the bourgeoisie’s class consciousness and philosophy is that of the working class’s. The use of this terminology by the Iranian left wing shows how much they were unaware of the antagonism between ideology and philosophy. Ideologies are systems of beliefs and ideals that justify the ethical economic and social relations within an economic system. Ideology rules the humans by its own subjective creations. As Marx rightly points out, “Ideology is the false consciousness” factor which has been used to derail the working class from its own emancipation philosophy.
Under the present conditions, the workers’ and the socialists’ movements are going through a theoretic crisis. If what you’re referring to as “various individuals in the society” is “The governed masses”, in other words those minus the ruling class, state and its officials and mercenaries, it doesn’t seem for the society to have reached such attainment. Intellectualism, as far as the wisdom and the knowledge of one within a class society is concerned, is a class related concept. The intellectualism of the working class is attained when it finds its own roots, when it transforms from self-alienation to self-recognition and when it makes use of its own philosophy, i.e. knowledge of class struggle and the application of dialectic materialism. Which one of the sections or the layers of the society follow this process or find themselves on the same path, or adopt such philosophy as their abstract coercion?!
Any how, the human emancipation, be it the capitalists or the workers and other individuals of the society depends on this resolve that the working class dialectically banishes class relations, private property and the state as well as itself and the philosophy.
If the governed masses reach the conclusion that unlike the past times, they are no longer prepared to tolerate the rulers and their relations, and also the rulers can no longer dominate their rule, then the revolutionary conditions have been reached. The society at the moment is going through uprising, upheaval and mainly defensive (Particularly the working class) crises. Crises could also play a promotional role and not so much preventive. Crisis could be the cause for enhancement, growth and reconstruction.
The working class and socialist advocates are going through a crisis of this kind. Such crisis will not cause any collapse and could lead to reviewing and rebuilding the ideas.
Relative intellectualism can be seen within some sections of the society; in particular, within the workers’ movement and socialist advocates, and some sections of women’s movement, but with a lesser degree within the students’ movements. Lesser degree because, out of two million students from a low or middle class layers of the society, what percentage have evolved to become dexterous organisers, activists or thinkers? What are their aspirations? Most have either joined the sections of the rival sections within the rulers (Such as Tahkim Vahdat) or other capitalist factions ranging from the “Tudeh Party” sympathisers to the monarchists and the “Republicans” whose paragon is the west.
Yes, the conditions are critical or in a limbo. The naivety and unscientific approach of the working class and socialist activists can be mentioned as one of the historical and class related reasons that have been both inevitable and avoidable at the same time. Such aimlessness can be witnessed now.
The way out of this, if one form of dictatorship is not to replace another and to avoid repeating the experiences of the failure of the Constitutional movement and the February 1979 revolution, is to avert from populism, the mendacious role models of Sandinism, Castroism, Bolivarism, etc. and other examples of authoritarianisms.
The “Altogether” motto and the downfall of the Islamic rule and jumping on another bandwagon instead of “Ruhallah’s” God given bandwagon could be repeated.
Unless the economical relations, which the Islamic rulers are its guardians, are abolished, another dictatorship rule is inevitable. If our aim is the emancipation of mankind, such as those enslaved by the Islamic rule in Iran struggling to free themselves, we must find the way in a system whose yearn for production is humans and not commodity or objects. A society which not only guaranties the free endeavours of the workers, but of all of its members.
To avoid the same consequences as those followed by the downfall of the monarchy, in the aftermath of the downfall of the Islamic rule, which resulted in self alienation, breach of human values and the meaning of humanity, workers’ lack of interest in their own labour, alienation with nature, with other human sectors and to be enslaved by another dictatorial class relations, the struggle to overthrow the Islamic rule must coincide with the victory of the workers’ revolution. In a class society, one can not lead a movement to equally culminate the needs of the entire society. No other section of the society apart from the well organised working class armed with the consciousness of its own class struggle could free the society. Different class groups and layers of the society have their own political groups any way. Let each political group deal with its own class and layer; then on the basis of finding the common or digression in each other’s class interest, they will either join ranks or confront each other. Even different sports teams cannot and should not consort with one another, let alone classes and the antagonistic layers, which one class would become the financial and political ruler of the other. The interests of those who are after acquiring the political power with the aid of the global capitalism, and have their eyes on the western bombers to topple “Khomeini”, and those with their king and prince and ministers, or already appointed president and parliament, who want to “Share the oil”, differs from those who are ruled upon. Those people would cause the society to end up in the same misery as Iraq and Afghanistan did.
Why should the ethics be substituted? Why shouldn’t class consciousness be attained in order to comprehend and join a class that history and the philosophy of materialism and the dialectic of transformation for the purpose of emancipation have laid it in its hand; such class that due to its relation with ownership and means of production, and its stance within the ruling relation, stands as the emancipator; such class which only owns its own labour force. In other words, to turn to a class that due to its stance and position is regarded as the most revolutionary section of the human society. This class is the emancipator of humans. However, up to now, the working class has been deceived, cheated and used by the bourgeois and nationalistic “Freedom movements”.
Unlike many times in history, overthrowing alone under the banner of “Altogether” and democracy mustn’t turn the working class into the driving force of other classes. Look at India, Latin America and Europe and see how bourgeoisie and its state dragged the working class into patriotic wars and then abandoned it within the class reconciliatory unions, or even without any organisation to continue turning the wheels of production and accumulation with its labour and livelihood.
Crises Bulletin: In the preface of his book, “The Islamic perception of religion and state”, by Mohammad Soroosh, 1998, we read: “The principles and the basis of any state, including its policies and strategies are derived from its dominant ideologies and doctrines. These characteristics define the identity of the states and differentiate them from each other.” And in order to highlight the disagreements amongst the Islamic researches, he adds: “About this, one of the political analysts expresses that: The particular affairs and the circumstances of the current times, seeds the thought with this temptation and enticement that ideology is an unreliable, unwise and even dangerous criterion to do politics. Looking at the contemporary history, we can see that the aspirations and the expectations of the thinkers, and the ambitious ideological motivators, have been profoundly different from those ideological inspirations achieved in practice. Concepts such as equality, brotherhood, positive freedom as in public participation in running the social affairs, presumptions about classless society, common ownership and such like that have existed and been emphasised upon so much, not only to a large extent have proved to be futile in practice and have never delivered what they promised and never materialised, but themselves were the roots of many adverse consequences. In other words, in addition to exacerbating huge malfeasance and causing the misrecognition of peoples’ own limitations, they have paved the way for the simplistic justifications for cruelty and intimidation…”
By referring to few examples of the views about the hegemony of ideology over society and politics in the West, the writer adds: “Ideology cleansing has taken such an upward trend in the West, which right now it has become one of the most significant characteristics of these societies; In such a way that even the political parties and groups that once established themselves on the basis of a particular ideology, have been gradually retreating from their ideological stance and instead, are concentrating and emphasising on recruiting more supporters to pave their own way into power.”
Without paying any attention to the writer’s intentions in composing this book, is the Iranian society heading towards such (Ideological cleansing) goal? If so, what are the evident instances?
Abbas Mansooran: Soroosh, like any other political individual who represents the exploiting class and its state, falsifies the truth. “The principles and the basis of any state, including its policies and strategies are derived from its dominant ideologies”, is a fallacy. This is derived from the class structure of the state. State is synonymous with prisons, army and intelligence and corrupt bureaucratic organisations with those laws which are enforced to protect the relations and the interests of the ruling class. State is the political instrument of the ruling class in the society. Ideology is the superstructure of these economic relations which is heralded by the state. This is how in essence the states are alike. Depending on the country and the geographical locations, the culture, rate of development and the position of capitalism throughout the world, they can take different forms and shapes. However, they are all authoritarian in nature and essence. Some states in some countries run a dual dictatorship. Since capitalism thrives by enslaving and plundering the humans by taking away the surplus value of the labour, which is inherent in its nature, makes it dictatorial in its essence. Employment under capitalism is run by coercion and exploitation of labour. Some forms of ruling such as Supreme Leadership, monarchy, republic and parliamentary shows in Iran, Syria, Turkey and such like, with the characteristics of periphery economy are examples of the dual dictatorship.
Soroosh is trying to distort the boundaries which separate ideology from philosophy and is trying to present both as ideology. He is trying to assimilate the downfall of the Eastern block countries, which clearly represented the class rule of state capitalism and “State Socialism”, with that of workers’ socialism. Organisations associated with the Eastern block and China, and “Neo left”, who for a thousand and one reasons could not become the vanguards of the science of the workers’ class war and implement those historical and social necessities. Yes, they abandoned that ideological masquerade and are now dressing themselves up with another disguise. Nowadays, having cast aside the State Socialism ideology, as they used to preach in the Eastern block and China, they have now converted to right and left wing or centrist and nationalist social democrats. Since not all social and civil rights and statutes earned through workers and socialists movements such as employment laws, women’s rights, retirement benefits, the right to vote and other bourgeois concessions have not been taken back, but the monarchists as well as these groups make use of the socialist and labour movement terminologies. Just as how the Islamic Republic high jacked and made a mockery of such terminologies. Hence, these groups still portray themselves within the frameworks of the leftist movement (Of populist nature). Even the monarchists and other bourgeois groups talk about social justice, equality and freedom which undoubtedly such slogans are even more specious than those of the fathers of liberalism four centuries ago (such as John locke) and later John Stuart Mill.
John Locke and his followers, as the theorists and the philosophers of the then newly emerged revolutionary bourgeois order, demanded the individual’s freedom so that the workers and the capitalists could freely trade their commodities and that the capitalist could acquire the workers’ labour, which had then become a commodity, in order to freely inaugurate the process of accumulation. Both body and soul were to be made freely procurable by the emptor for this profitable commodity.
Under the present conditions, with the incursion and the dominance of globalisation, it is the militarism of capitalism that has the final word. The International Labour Organisation and all the civil institutions of capitalism have developed into the conservatory instruments of the capitalist dictatorship. In this commotion of the free commerce market, many have taken the conservative route and have turned to the ideology of capitalism and by turning to such organisations as NGOs, consciously or not have become the agents of foreign capital. Those who one day praised the existing socialism, prowled around Khomeini and his mob to mislead the working class. Most of these today, have consciously become the executives of capitalism and the free market so that the capitalists could continue with their plundering, exploitation and profiteering.
Crises Bulletin: In his book (The rights and responsibilities of the citizens and the governors; the chapter on the rights and responsibilities of governors) Javad Varei refers to one of the common definitions of the ruler’s stance “The guardian and the custodian” in Islamic culture and writes:
“…The other title given to the ruler of the society in the verses and narrations is “The Guardian” and other derivatives of this word. This title reveals the ethos of the ruling and governing system which is “Guardianship”. The ruler has a kind of guardianship or custodial role over the citizens. The guardian or custodian will always run the affairs based on the best interests of the people under his custody. The best interests of the citizens are the axis of his rule. If a father has custody over his child, the affairs of the child are decided based on his/ her best interests. The child is not allowed to behave against his/ her best interests. This is the most common title used for the ruler of the society which has been reflected in different religious laws’ debates. The implementation of guardianship always revolves around the best interests of those guarded and transgression from this responsibility would cause the downfall of the guardian…”
In the prefix of his book he writes: “…Through that magical and fascinating victory, the power of Islam, faith and the crucial role of religious leadership and the spiritual influence of clergy was revealed. So much that the decisive majority of people from different layers, i.e. university, educational, commercial, administrative, manufacturing workers, farmers, urban and rural populations who held an ancient desire for religion, demanded the rule of Islam with its lustrous laws and rules with great enthusiasm…”
Again, by ignoring the writer’s bragging and exaggerations, and just for the sake of argument, if we accept that the aspirations of the considerable sections of the society at the start of the “Islamic revolution” were what the writer is trying to convince the reader, but in order to use this to assess the current ideological position of the regime, how could the role and the concept of “Ideological leader”, “The clerical jurisprudence rule” or “Imam” could be defined in today’s society? Aren’t the past beliefs and their acceptance by the “Ever present on the scene believers” being questioned today? What are the reasons for this change of heart? Is the idea of creating a “leader” facing a crisis or is it just the part which concerns the concept of “The clerical jurisprudence rule” going under scrutiny?
Abbas Mansooran: The hypothesis of “The clerical jurisprudence rule” has always existed in the Iranian culture particularly within the Shiite sector. The history of such hypothesis goes back to Shah Ismael of Safavid dynasty era during which rhetoricians from the Lebanese mountain (Jabal of Lebanon) launched an ideological platform for the rule of the Aq-Quyunlu tribe of Safavid Turks in Iran. Shah Ismael, in order to provoke the Iranian nationalism, claimed that his family tree could be traced back to the Sassanid Empire. Aq-Quyunlu tribe was a union of Turkmans in the region of Diyarbakr (The Kurdish section of Turkey today) which ruled from 1501 in eastern Anatolia and western Iran.
This union was lead by the heads of Bayandor tribe. Aq-Quyunlu was a Turkman tribe of Turkish Oghouse who had migrated from Turkistan to Ghebchagh and then onto Arran (Azerbaijan) where they finally settled in1.
In order to mobilise the army and gain the popular support for his rule, Shah Ismael needed to recall the state’s propagandists and missionaries. As a result of the downfall of an Emir lived tribe, within a torn apart Iran, the rulers’ administrators and the feudalist relations in Iran had their mission accomplished in the Jabal of Lebanon and the Safavid Shiite spread its wings over Iran by the decree of Jabalies.
Sheepherder style leadership, although in the form of monarchy, has a long standing history in Iran with Asian dictatorship characteristics.
The clerical jurisprudence rule not only applies to the Islamic rulers with a charismatic character like Khomeini, but also exists in some political groups whose driving force is religion.
One prominent example of such group is the Organisation of Iranian Peoples’ Mujahedeen.
Among the left organisations and what remains of them, who are better known as Marxist-Leninist, although with secular beliefs, but they all exhibit some form of pseudo clerical jurisprudence rule within their internal affairs. Which one of the leaders was elected by the General Assembly (That set aside) or by any democratic means; even by means of bourgeois resemblance voting? Lifetime leaders lead in the same organisation right from birth and even after so many splits, the leaders are still the same people. Although, some pass on the leadership down the holy branches of the family tree where, the charismatic figurehead endows his cryptic inspirations from behind the scenes.
Typically, the Syrian “Republic” and the Alawites sect, or Muammar al-Gaddafi in Libya are considered as the desirable types of governments for these types of political groups.
The same phenomenon applies to many Iranian political groups ranging from the leftist social democrats who call themselves Marxists, such as Workers Communist Party, Fadaii and such like, to the far right of the spectrum such as Aksariat-Rahe Kargar-Tudeh (The Tudeh party domain). This also applies to those outside the social democrat spread; i.e. the monarchists, republicans, The National Front, etc.
The third generation of leaders are coming through right now, but still the grandfathers remain the lifetime leaders. Although the system and culture of clerical jurisprudence rule and the sheepherder style leadership is facing crisis and unlike the old times, the ability to attract sympathisers and supporters, or recruit rank and file members and produce leaders have blemished seriously, but they still show an appetite to cling onto their positions for many years to come. No wonder that at the opening of the third millennium the largest opposition and rival organisation to the Islamic Republic still enforces and widely practices the Islamic cover, which is a symbol of servitude for its female members, holds Islamic chest beating ceremonies, denounces any criticism and creates false sense of infatuation among the followers to idolise the leader. The leader gets elevated by such astronomical measures that the followers regard themselves so worthless as though the leader has taken God’s place. One should ask those who associate Islam as a religion with democracy, and in order to maintain the current relations and acquiring the political power, consider it as an efficient factor and an indispensable engine, that, to which superstructure and cultural relations does Islam as an ideology belong to? Considering that the Islamic Republic of Iran, Taliban and the Sunni/ Shiite factions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey are the veritable representatives of bona fide Islam and particularly with its rule in Iran for nearly 30 years, many have detested it, abandoned it and are exposing its true nature. Women more than anyone have suffered and are suffering from it. The society has paid dearly to acquire this relative awareness. However, despite all this, the society is continuing to adopt other faiths. Many have been drawn toward the ancient Iranian greatness, or toward a kind of Sufism, Nihilism, or are taking up alcohol and narcotics. The society is facing decadency, human values and principles have been compromised and much of human ethics have been violated.
Crises Bulletin: Due to technological advancements and the spread of the might of Internet, people and particularly the youth have been able to enhance their awareness and assess the world from their own perspective. On the other hand, since seizing power, the rulers have been trying to regress to 1400 years ago; when they carried out the religious pontificators’ interpretation and other annotations of the Quran. From divorce, stoning and other punishment laws to bank interest rates and jurisprudent rule have all been derived from religious orders. At least, this is how they portray themselves.
Is abandoning religion and faith amongst different layers of the society, as a result of the Internet exposure in enhancing their awareness with regard to the ineffectiveness of religion, or is it that, even if there had been no such facilities as the Internet and albeit such clerical rulers were governing the people, we would have still witnessed such anti-religious tendencies? Would it be true to assume that retracting from religion and in general from an ideological system is due to the essence and the nature of the self centred ideological system of ruling and not because of the advancements in information technology? If so, is it the awareness that drives the society against religion or, is it the essence of the religion that has caused the frenzy? In short, have people turned their backs on religion or are they turning against it?
Abbas Mansooran: Although one cannot ignore the influence of technology in weakening superstition tendencies, but religion or divination cannot be filed away from a society as easy as that. The basis of religious beliefs is embedded within the dominating production relations over a society. The current turning away or turning against the religion of Islam mustn’t be mistaken with the rise in awareness. Turning away or against the rulers, yes, that is evident. However, ideological and religious beliefs are deeply rooted in the society and everyone carries it in the back of their mind; whether they live in Iran or outside of it. This is the case even within secular organisations. Belief, faith and divination have a long standing cultivation against wisdom, awareness and philosophy. When philosophical reasoning, analytical questioning, critical reflecting, excellence, love and humanity are lacking, undoubtedly, unrighteousness conquer. Unless the bases of ideology are eliminated, it will reproduce and rebuild itself in other forms. What causes the peoples’ confrontation with the ruling religion stems from the essence and the functionality of a religious government. They try to masquerade religion with democracy and bring it into our homes. One can see the dagger in the hand of a smiling face!
Crises Bulletin: Undoubtedly the crises have affected both the ruling and the political oppositions’ dispositions and at times it even reflects itself within the political organisations. Different interpretations are stated about ideology and an ideological system. Is dispersion and division within the left wing organisations due to the ideological crisis, and if so, have the left wing organisations managed to conquer the domination of ideological crisis over their organisations? If not, why, and if yes, how?
Abbas Mansooran: Dispersion within the left wing political groups who were or are still known as Marxist-Leninist has its roots in their interpretation of class struggle. As these groups tried to fit in the prescriptions raised by the Russian and Chinese or all sorts of Comintern Marxist-Leninist institutions within the framework of their theories about Iran, could not find a better prospect. Since the likes of Trotsky, Stalin and others reduced the most glorious of humans’ revolutions to merely relations within the Central Committee, General Secretarial posts or political bureau membership, and by pressurising Lenin and convincing him and gaining his approval to overturn the soviets of the city of Petrograd and the councils of soldiers, Kronshtatd and Potemkin Marines, and succeeded to disallow labour fractions within the party and distanced the workers from self governing and soviet run communism, the basis for Stalin’s massacre of the 30s and 40s and today’s of Putin were laid down. Splits within the workers’ and socialists’ organisations and the Bolshevik stereotype under the banner of Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism and other stereotypes, were in fact splits and dispersions within the workers’ internationalism. The world’s working class was brought to its knees. Incidentally, one mustn’t forget the criminal role of the global capitalism and its colourful armies.
Apparently, Marx himself was annoyed by Marxists in London as there is no such thing in proletariat’s philosophy, let alone Marxism-Leninism which was invented by Stalin. Some tendencies and individuals have acquired this notion and are revisiting communism in their own wisdom and discernment. This is a worldwide tendency and also applies to Iran. However, this is not the case amongst the existing organisations. Like poetry, in order for rhyme to flow to express the needs of the present time, it needs the freedom from the restrictions of rhythmic verses. As Molavi put it once that, “Rhyme… may it be blown away in the wind”, he managed to break down all the barriers of his time to become the emphatic voice of his era.
By adopting collective wisdom, we must embark upon new, revolutionary and conscious dispositions. Precarious dispersions and regular divisions which from time to time end up in mass murders, violence, physical and social eliminations, labelling and accusations are all signs of our ignorance with the concept of criticism and critical thinking. Every criticism is regarded as disapproval, and any disapproval is criticised. We must learn to train ourselves with thoughtfulness and alongside it, have critical minds.
Crises Bulletin: Is it possible for the existing ideological crisis within the society to become a vehicle to drive the people towards other ideologies or ideals, or even be the cause to lead the society into a phase which resembles more like a limbo; the society neither wants to abandon its past beliefs nor is it able (Intellectually) to replace them with new ones. What is the way out of this limbo?
Abbas Mansooran: Undoubtedly, crises have the potential to cause shrewdness and maturity in the society; but there’s an IF! If it overcomes the crises. Nowadays the international community has become ever closer. There is no longer a great distance between Kurdistan and Baloochestan to London and New York. The centre and perimeter of capital are in one place and complimentary to one another and are no longer separated by the Great Wall of China. Capital has conquered everywhere. The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation rule over every country. The governments are the political and economical beneficiaries. One must accept this fact.
Globalisation from bottom must be organised against globalisation from the top. The conscious working class must fly the banner of freedom. The most the experts can do, within “Altogether” populism, is to become the officials of the future political rulers. Intellectuals reflect their class position. Many exchange their thoughts within the framework of the current relations, cheaply or exorbitantly, depends on the market values and who’s buying. Those intellectuals who take up the working class stance are vanguards of socialism and freedom.
Crises Bulletin: If we accept that the society is fed up of ideology and systems based on ideology, and is faced with ideological crisis, what would be the vehicle for the society to rid itself from the ruling ideological system? What would replace the present ideological system? A facial reform; i.e. a system based on the same ideology but dressed in modern clothing? Replacing the system with one with a different ideology, or one which is free from any ideology (Religious or socialist)?
Abbas Mansooran: I have more or less referred to this point in the above sections. Nevertheless, the driving force for the overthrow of the present political rulers in Iran is the organised and conscious to its class interests and philosophy working class, united with the urban and rural oppressed masses and the socialist movement. Any other class formation or political dynamism would lead us to no other goal than replacing the present dictatorship with another one. The kind of mentality which suppresses a simple criticism with the worst possible brutality, would run a bloodbath when it gets into power.
Remember Ayatollah Khomeini and his promises while sitting under an apple tree in Neauphle-le-Chateau, and we all later witnessed how he pontificated about the “Islamic Republic” in Behesht Zahra cemetery and wasn’t prepared to step down even an inch from his position. He plundered the movements of Turkmansahra, Azerbaijan and Kurdistan right in the aftermath of the uprising, and ordered the mass genocide of students and political prisoners in 1981 and 1988, and to this date they have been creating historical human catastrophes. He never pre-empted his intensions with his opposition, neither had he appointed his ministers or cabinet in advance. Although, behind the scenes, he had struck a deal with the leaders of the G-6 group in Guadalupe. He was in contact with the CIA and had the support of the KGB and had been approved as the usher and suppressor of the new political order to maintain the military structure of the ruling system in order to safeguard the continuity of the export of oil.
Such forces as the Peoples’ Mujahedeen and the monarchists have already appointed their heads of state and constitution. The constitutional parliament would only have the role of approving and passing their laws. Any political group or organisation who is preparing for power would be preserving the current ruling relations. These relations have no other outcome than dictatorship and bloodshed. Hafiz al- Assad, Suharto, Pol pot, Bashar al- Assad, Malek Hussein and king of Jordan, Saddam and our very own Shah didn’t or haven’t descended from heaven. They were the by-products of the same relations and their assignment within the political ruling apparatus would breed no lesser murderers.
Crises Bulletin: Please accept my thanks for taking part in this brief discussion. I would like to ask you to summarise your thoughts.
Abbas Mansooran: As pointed out, religious ideology is the superstructure of the ruling economic structure; as state is the machinery of such inhumane relations. Religion or religious belief cleansing is not possible without vanquishing the economic relations which are based upon human exploitation. Those who endorse Islam in a different light are trying to utilise the weapon of religion to spellbind the masses. All anti-dictatorial “Altogether” movements would undoubtedly lead to another dictatorship. The revolutionary overthrowing of the Islamic rule is the first prerequisite to attaining any form of benevolent human life. Without being disillusioned, freedom, in other words acquiring a humane society, would not be possible unless the proprietors are stripped of their property and the working class as a commodity is emancipated. To emancipate itself in this way, the working class needs to raise its awareness and to organise itself in a revolutionary organisation. This needs to be done in tandem with direct action to the revolutionary overthrowing of the Islamic rule. Regime change by any other political group or party albeit in the form of parliament and constitutional assembly would lead to another dictatorship. Any political group who carries its mind and heart with the freedom and the prosperity of the society must give up the idea of acquiring power on behalf of the masses and advocate self governing or uphold entrusting political power in the hands of the masses. This way, the masses under the leadership of proletariat and by establishing modern and revolutionary self running soviets, and under the control of workers’ soviets would take the control of production and supply in its hands. In such process, the political organisations would play their part as critiques of the soviets or communes and the communist state.
Any state formed by any party or ideology, whether religious or secular, under the banner of Marxism and the working class, has no credibility within such soviet system.
Copyright: Crises Bulletin, July 2007.
1- Abubakr Tehrani, Ghazi and Munshi Ozoon Hassan, “The book of Diyarbakr”, Vol.1, Pages 11-30