Worker Communism
Radical Conscience of The Left of Capital

(Part 2)

Changing the name of «Sahand» to the«Unity of Communist Militants»

As previously stated, the «Marxist Circle for Worker's Emancipation (Sahand)» expected that the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause (Arman)» would accept their basic positions before absorbing the group, and would then end up supporting “Sahand”s issues. But the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause (Arman)» was itself in crisis. In the fall of 1979, following the second general meeting of the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause (Arman)», half of the group’s members split from the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause (Arman)» in protest against its intellectual positions. The split members consisted mostly of members that were active in factories and the nuclear industry. The split faction of «Arman» then began discussions with the “Revolutionary Organization of the Toilers of Iranian Kurdistan” (Komala) and the “Organization of Struggle on the Path to the Emancipation of the Working class” (Peykar). Since the split faction considered some of Komala’s positions as economistic, and therefore criticized them, they then, with eight basic positions, joined the “Organization of Struggle on the Path to the Emancipation of the Working class” in July 1980 (Peykar).

The crisis, inability and lack of perspective of the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause (Arman)», and its eventual collapse, in some ways disillusioned «Sahand» and practically put the circle’s independent activity on the agenda.

Therefore, «Sahand» ended its sympathy with the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause (Arman)» in December 1979, and formed itself as a group under the name of the «Unity of communist militants». But «Sahand» stressed that “this name change in itself does not in any way indicate a change in the mutual relations between the two groups.”[1] The “Unity of communist militants” then tried to use its independent identity to enter the political milieu of Iran in order to influence «the current three».

Independent organizations need to have experience of organization whether physically or historically. ‘Physically’ means that the activists have a record and experience of organization, and ‘historically’ means that they would benefit from the currents’ historical experiences of organization, which have taken the form of historical memory, something the activists of “Sahand”s newly established group were lacking. Mansoor Hekmat said:

"We were very inexperienced and did not know how to organize our activities." [2] [Our translation]

Hamid Taghvaee (current Secretary of the Central Committee of the Worker Communist Party of Iran), despite his short period in prison and support of Maoism before going to England at the time of the Shah, has a similar understanding to Mansoor Hekmat’s, and acknowledges not only that no united and coherent theory had been observed in their organizational work, but also that current events had carried them forward.

"Our organization was formed in the Iranian revolution, and in the Iranian revolution recognized itself and, like a duckling that is born in water and initially only knows the water and when its leg reaches to the land, will adapt itself to the land conditions and so grow up, we imagined that our communist organization would grow in this way. From this point no united and coherent theory has been observed in our organizational work."[3] [Our translation]

We leave for the time being the duckling which regards itself as ‘grown up’ and imitating not a duck, but a “goose”, which will be assessed in the discussions related to the Left Communist. But when they were promoted to the “leaders of the proletariat”, another explanation of social events must be presented, it would seem that history should be rewritten and the «Unity of communist militants» should be carried to the center of social events. No longer ‘a sympathizer of one of the groups of «current three»’, in other words sympathizing with the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause», the «Unity of communist militants» became the vanguard of the revolution of 1979. Mansoor Hekmat later said:

"The flag of the 1979 revolution was the flag that «Unity of communist militants» raised, in order that it was the policy, which was in the heart of revolution." [4] [Our translation]

Seemingly "The Marx of epoch" has forgotten that at that time he was extremely inexperienced and did not know how to organize activities, and therefore had been a sympathizer of the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause». Exaggerating» as a form of cultural development whose ridiculous form is a reflection of the political superstructure of capitalist decline and especially in the decline of periphery capitalism, was also a part of the political culture of this current.

Many years later Majid Hosseini, a former leader of Komala and Worker Communism who had grown up with the Stalinist-Maoist traditions, talking utter nonsense, rewrote the history of events. He changes white to black, black to white and openly lies to create a radical history for the «Unity of communist militants».

“Generally it can be said that the crisis of bourgeois communism, the social, political and intellectual developments of 1979 and especially the political interference factor of the «Unity of communist militants» turned the left of Iran and its culture upside down. The facade of communism became visible, the left was radicalized, and largely [left] painted itself in the political color of the «Unity of communist militants». Since then this left considered the economy of China and USSR as capitalist, didn’t accept any camp and turned to the Marxist workers and worker socialism, caring about the daily struggle of the workers and, using the Communist current, tried to dig out the flag of communism from under the rubble of bourgeois and reformism petty-bourgeois and transfer it to the worker and worker communism current.”[5] [Our translation]

It is unclear how many within the Iranian political milieu knew the «Unity of communist militants» before 1980. However this former “leader” publicly but very clumsy attempted to falsify the facts. Which “political interference factor” of the «Unity of communist militants» turned the left of Iran and its culture upside down!? With the grocer-like culture of the “communist” party of Iran? [6] In what way did the façade of communism became visible? With the multi-class and Maoist theory of «Unity of communist militants»? The “Unity of communist militants”, with its petty-bourgeois evaluation of the leader of the Iranian bourgeoisie and executioner Khomeini, radicalized the left of Iran!? Apparently, the former leader of the proletariat is also suffering from early on-set Alzheimers, and states that the “Unity of communist militants” radicalized the political milieu of Iran and as a result the left considered the economy of the Soviet Union as capitalist and accepted no camps. The Stalinist faction of Mojahedin, of which the «Marxist Circle for Worker's Emancipation» was a sympathizer, considered the economy of the Soviet Union as capitalist and addressed the USSR government as Social-imperialist.

Apart from the Tudeh party of Iran that dominated Stalinism due to its closed relationship with the Soviet Union and its propaganda machine, the phrase radical part of the left of capital at that time, namely the Fadaei current and the Stalinist Mujahedin, did not even theoretically dominate the political apparatus of the left of capital (Stalinism). Ideal orientation, justice, national independence, democracy and economic development would make up their positions. Such positions would lose their attractiveness in the radical phrase part of the left of capital.

Inconsistencies and confusion about set positions that sometimes did not have the least appearance of coherence put another alternative to the radical phrase part of the capital on the agenda. In such a context, some people who were educated and trained abroad, familiar with foreign languages and research methods, attempted to publish some pamphlets. In such circumstances these pamphlets found an audience in the Stalinist phrase radical part of the political milieu. Let’s first look at the “Marx of the epoch”s graceful declaration on the matter.

“The era leading up to June 1981 is, for the “Unity of communist militants”, a sweet time which saw their conversion from a very small circle to an organization whose effects were seen in all aspects of the left of society. The interest shown the group was general, and it wasn’t until the 20th of June (1981), two years later, that the Communist Party of Iran would hold a very powerful position. In my opinion, in that case the Communist Party of Iran would be formed around the “Unity of communist militants”. But this process was interrupted ....You know [Unity of communist militants] became one of the largest organizations within the left of Iran.”[7] [Our translation]

Mr. Hekmat admitted years later that the Iranian Communist Party was not established from a strong position, in other words, the former partner of Mr. Hekmat was not a serious and reliable partner. Of course this is humiliating for Komala who had offered manpower and the necessary facilities in order to form the group called the “Communist Party of Iran”. However we can see that the “Unity of communist militants” even gave Komala bribes to establish the “Communist party of Iran”.

Another important issue is the extraordinary exaggeration of the “leader of the proletariat”, in saying that the “Unity of communist militants” became one of the largest organizations of the left in Iran. Before the establishment of the Communist Party of Iran, the “Unity of ommunist militants” was almost unknown in the Iranian political milieu. It was only known of by some leftist intellectual circles and some leftist currents. The fact of being anonymous was also one of the reasons that the UCM had minimal impact in comparison with the other left currents. The existence of the liberated areas in Kurdistan led to a strengthening of the UCM’s position. A large part of leftist activists wishing to escape the brutal repression of the bourgeoisie inevitably took refuge in this gathering, the logical result of it being the tragic fate of these activists, keeping aloof from any political activity and distrusting any organized political work.

However, since the UCM succeeded in being promoted from a circle of few people to one of the main actors in establishing the party called the “Communist Party of Iran”, they were overwhelmed with joy and even openly expressed their happiness. Mansoor Hekmat, with joy and pride, believed that their future world power, within four years of the Congress of the UCM (i.e. in 1986) was at that time inconceivable. At that point he believed that the Communist Party of Iran would be on the avant-garde of the formation of a new international. We will return to this issue later. Mansoor Hekmat said:

“As of now, four years after our birth as a circle, we have been met with the great facts that the extent of our international existence and global power in the next four years would not even fit in our imagination today.” [8] [Our translation]

Finally, in 1983 the group of the “Unity of communist militants” dissolved itself, in an announcement issued from a tent in the village of “Mesh Gape” in Kurdistan. In the announcement it was stated that because the goal of the group was the formation of the Communist Party of Iran, which had been achieved, the group had therefore fulfilled its purpose and could dissolve itself. [9]

The Marxist-Leninist ideology of the «Unity of Communist Militants»

After Lenin's death, the counter-revolution and its culmination, in order to advance his positions and in order to vacate the revolutionary positions of Lenin, Stalin attempted to produce an ideology, a religion of Lenin's revolutionary theories. With the production and reproduction of the ideology of Marxism - Leninism (Stalinism’s nickname), Stalinism with Marxism - Leninism (Stalinism) went to war against Lenin. The “Unity of Communist militants”, being a Marxist - Leninist group, believed that the ideology of Marxism - Leninism was the most consistent revolutionary ideology in the current epoch. Mansoor Hekmat said:

“Marxism-Leninism as a revolutionary ideology of the proletariat in the present epoch is unquestionably the most coherent and the most consistent revolutionary ideology of our age. The Communist movement, at least according to its general definition, has formed and forms the most active part of the revolutionary struggle of the twentieth century.”[10]

In particular, it should be emphasized that the class consciousness of the proletariat and Marxism are not ideologies; there are two important criteria for the distinction between ideology and proletarian class consciousness. First, the proletariat does not have any economic power and does not have any need for the deployment of a new type of exploitation, and therefore cannot form an ideological superstructure, because, in all ideologies, people and their circumstances appear upside-down. Marx describes this very well in his work, the German Ideology, and writes on page 19:

“If in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura , this phenomenon arises just as much from their historical life-process as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life-process.”

Another important consideration is that ideology is contrary to the class consciousness that evolves in a collective process and is collective; ideology evolves individually and is individual. To be more precise, we should explain that unlike an ideology, the class consciousness of the proletariat is not personal and does not develop individually but rather is a social and historical phenomenon.

The ideas of Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg continued as part of the historical experiences and training of the proletariat, in their historical memory in the form of deep-rooted class consciousness. However, from the early 1930s onwards the dimension of the class consciousness which is the extensive form of class consciousness and determines the balance of forces between the social classes (the proletariat and the bourgeoisie depending on the conditions at a specified time), actually turned against them, the Stalinists against Lenin and the councilists against Rosa Luxemburg.

After this the manifestation of Marxism was first seen in the Communist Left of Germany - Holland and then in the Italian Communist Left. For nearly half a century, currents arose from the Italian Communist Left in absolute isolation, to defend Marxism in the period of black counter-revolution. It was only after the proletariat's historic return in the late 1960s that internationalist currents could come out of absolute isolation.

With this description it must be acknowledged that the “Unity of Communist militants” did at least in one case have a correct perception of their Stalinism (Marxism - Leninism) as an ideology, but their ideology did not or doesn’t have any authenticity with Marxism or the class consciousness of the proletariat. On the other hand, Stalinism not only carried out most of the revolutionary struggles of the twentieth century but also played an important role in suppressing revolutionary struggle.

Since the “Unity of Communist militants” was a Stalinist group (Marxist - Leninist), it was not satisfied with the scattered spectrum of Stalinists and attempted to converge the Marxist-Leninists (Stalinists) in order to promote the Stalinist movement. They believed that it was necessary to find the practical needs of the struggle and the next step beyond, and insisted that the youth communist movement should deeply question their sectarian and petty-bourgeois traditions and find the practical need of the struggle, in other words the practical unification of Marxist-Leninists (Stalinists). The “Unity of Communist militants” wrote:

“Finally it is in such circumstances that the practical needs of struggle, in particular the practical unity of Marxist-Leninists, call for an agreement on tactics and the principles of the program, and a deep questioning of the sectarian and petty-bourgeois traditions of our youth communist movement.” [11] [Our translation]

A characteristic of Stalinism is its particular ideological view of the historical events that have a special place and play a special role in this ideology’s personality. Historical context and the intervention force of society, namely the proletariat, will be obedient to the ideological character, which becomes even more ridiculous with the death of the characters (individuality), for example with the death of Stalin in Russia and the death of Mao in China. Stalinists are convinced that after Stalin’s death, Khrushchev's rise was a betrayal of Marxism - Leninism in Russia. Therefore they called Khrushchev’s revisionism not a bourgeois ideology but rather a bourgeois distortion of Marxism - Leninism and wrote:

“Revisionism ... basically means deviating from the principles of revolutionary theory and the program of Marxism - Leninism, and is a bourgeois distortion .... Today, revisionism on the international level, mainly in the forms of modern revisionism (Khrushchevism), revisionism of “Third World”, “Euro-communism” and Trotskyism, continues its treachery against the working class”.[12] [Our translation]

It is interesting that after the formation of the Communist Party of Iran, this current considers itself as the only communist current. The other currents of the left of Capital and especially other Stalinists, who once struggled for the practical unity of the “Unity of Communist Militants”, were placed in the camp of the bourgeoisie. Now the criterion for belonging to the proletariat was the accumulation of a part of the left of capital, a mixture of Stalinism and Maoism under the name of the Iranian Communist Party.

The country of the «Unity of Communist Militants»

After the formation of the “Worker-communist Party of Iran”, the ideologists of this current tried to ‘dress up’ the new party with “internationalist” terms. Nationalist explanations of historical events were heavy in their radical phrase outlook and hindered its progress. We can turn to the early pamphlets of the Unity of Communist Militants such as «Two Factions within the Bourgeois-Imperialist Counter-Revolution», «The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie», «The Iranian Revolution and the role of the Proletariat (Theses) », «Prospect of adversity and advancement of a new revolution – thesis about the Political Importance of the economic crisis» etc and see:

«The active participation of the revolutionary proletariat and its communist vanguard in our country», «At the present era and in our country», «Our country's communist movement», «Organizations, groups and revolutionary elements of our country», «Working people of our country», «The revolutionary movement of forces in our country», «The role of the liberal bourgeoisie in our country», «The ruling mode of production in our country», «General framework of liberalism in our country», «Growth and development of class struggle in our country», «Advancement of the revolutionary movement of our country», «Working people of our country» etc.

The extremely nationalistic explanations and disgusting repeating of “our country” in the literature of this current on the one hand indicates the origin of this current as seeking independence and on the other hand expresses the bourgeoisie's inability to provide an alternative in their quest for independence with their ideology. The peripheral independence-seeking bourgeoisie were forced to take on Marxism in order to fulfil their goal, and raised the flag of the country’s independence with the combination of Stalinist and Maoist ideology.

If in the 1970s independence was represented by the most radical phrase tendencies of the left of capital, in the early 1980s this duty was assigned to the traditional (non-radical) part of the left of capital. Independence was no longer a symbol of radicalism that could gather to itself the critical force in society. The internationalist orientations, although very vague, were being raised in particular. Issues were to be changed in such a way that the radical phrase faction of the left of capital, with the term “International”, went to war against internationalist goals. It is in such circumstances that the Worker-communist Party of Iran named its publications, radio, TV etc ‘International’. The fact is that Worker Communism is one of the currents that has played the most significant role in dragging the term ‘International’ through the mud. The performance and position of this national leftist group are obvious in every part of society.

«Unity of Communist Militants» and the Iranian “communist” movement

We have explained that after the first Iranian Communist Party, led by Avtis Mikaelian (Soltanzadeh), the history of the left of Iran has been the history of the left of capital. The first Communist Party of Iran, under the influence of the October Revolution, was founded in 1920 and was a member of the Comintern. Of course, in the above description two concepts should be distinguished from each other: the evaluation of the first Communist Party of Iran as a Communist Party, and the emphasis on the leadership of Avtis Mikaelian (Soltanzadeh). The first concept, the evaluation of the first Communist Party of Iran as revolutionary, is a logical result of the belief that all parties in the early 1920s who were members of the Communist International (Comintern), were revolutionary. Therefore the first Communist Party of Iran was a communist current, as it was one of the constituent parties of the Comintern that was obedient to the program of the Communist International and attempted to fulfill their duty in the realization of the Communist program. In other words, not only the first Communist Party of Iran, but all members of the Communist International in the early decades of the twentieth century were Communist parties, regardless of their strengths and weaknesses.

The role of Avtis Mikaelian (Soltanzadeh) as a great revolutionary became clear through his membership to the left wing of the Communist International. Certainly, Avtis Mikaelian like any other revolutionary was the product of the specific social conditions of his epoch and we should not regard this great revolutionary in a religious light; however his service to the Communist movement is unforgettable. The documents of the first Congress and the political policy of the Communist Party of Iran were based on the ideas of Soltanzadeh, since he was elected as its first secretary.

Unlike the National leftists of today Soltanzadeh was an internationalist and believed in World Revolution. At the Second Congress of the Communist International, in discussions on one of the most sensitive topics of the Congress, the national question and colonies, Soltanzadeh, the delegate of the Iranian Communists on the left wing of Congress said during the fifth session of Congress:

“Just imagine that the Communist Revolution has begun in India. Could the workers in this country, without the help of a revolutionary movement in Britain and Europe, resist an attack against the bourgeoisie? Naturally not…the revolution that has begun in the West has also prepared the background in Iran and Turkey and has given power to the revolutionaries. The era of World Revolution has begun.…The issue is that, unlike the bourgeois-democratic movements, a true Communist movement must be created and be kept on foot. Any other assessment of the realities can lead to unfortunate results.” [Our translation]

A few months after the first congress of the “Communist party of Iran” in early 1920, in a coup attempt by the Bolsheviks, 12 of the 15 members of the central committee elected by the first congress of the party, including Avatis Soltanzadeh, were dismissed from the leadership of the party. The reason for this was the non-progressive evaluation of the national bourgeoisie in Iran by Avatis Soltanzadeh, because he believed that direct communist struggle and attempts towards World Revolution should be the main priority. This opinion was not supported by the Political Bureau of the Caucasus and Azerbaijani Bolshevik; they had illusions about the progressive role of the national bourgeoisie. Soltanzadeh seriously opposed this policy of the Caucasian and Azerbaijani Bolsheviks and through the texts exposed the destructive consequences that this policy would have in the Iranian Political milieu and the class movement of the proletariat.

Considering the valuable role of Soltanzadeh in the Bolshevik Party and the October Revolution, in January 1922 he was again accepted as a delegate of the Communist Party of Iran in the Comintern.

After this date, the history of the Left of Iran was linked to the history of the left of Capital. The Tudeh Party of Iran was formed in October 1941 following the People’s Front, in line with the Seventh Comintern Congress, as an anti-fascist front, with the orders of the USSR and with the approval of Britain. This party enforced the foreign policy of the USSR. Several years later, the National Front of Mossadegh [13] was founded in October 1949 by Pan Iranian (the Party of Iran, the Nation Party of Iran) and Mojahed Muslim Assembly (led by Shams Ganat Abadi). The failures of the Tudeh Party of Iran and its role as an appendage part of the foreign policy of the USSR led to other alternatives being formed in society. In the late 60s and early 70s a leftist movement was formed as a Nationalized Marxism that had goals such as independence, economic prosperity, social justice and so on, which was completely alien to Marxism, the theory of the emancipation of the proletariat.

For the “Unity of communist militants”, the Left of Capital was the Communist Movement and the Stalinist counter-revolutionary currents were revolutionary organizations. The “Unity of communist militants” knew that they neither had the necessary struggle experience nor the theoretical capacity, they were alien to the Worker movement and were also ineffective even in the events within the left of capital. Thus, with complete humility, they appealed to their comrades for help (Stalinists), who were rich in experiences in the arena of battle, in theoretical possibility and practical experiences.

“Achieving a clear understanding of the concrete moments of the current crisis and converting this cognition into the theoretical weapon in the service of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat in Iran, requires that our country’s forces and communist organizations, especially the comrades that have wider experiences and theoretical possibilities and practice in the arena of class struggle and revolutionary struggle, should work continuously in these specific areas.

The importance of active and consistent work by forces and communist organizations that have the capability and experience of struggle and stronger links with the labor movement, renders the duties of communists more serious in the face of the economic crisis and the misery of the masses.”[14] [Our translation]

The “Unity of communist militants”, to show their sincerity and to pay tribute to their Stalinist comrades, made it clear that comrades, namely the left of capital, began from the masses and had been accompanied in all developments by the masses. The problem of the “Unity of communist militants” was that it did not understand that the role of a revolutionary organization is not to follow the working class, but rather is the avant-garde of the working class. The “Unity of communist militants” as a part of the left of capital however tried to play its role as a part of the superstructure of class society, as one of the political institutions of the capital. Hekmat says:

“There is no doubt that our comrades in all these movements moved with the masses, they began from the masses and they were present in the masses. “[15] [Our translation]

The “Unity of communist militants” emphasized that in these pamphlets it was addressing Maoists who had evaluated the structure of Iranian society as semi-feudal semi-colonial, but stressed that there were Stalinists who were theoretically closer to the “Unity of communist militants”, or rather that the “Unity of communist militants” was addressing currents of the «current three», because the “Unity of communist militants” considered itself as part of the «current three». They said thus:

“We do not address, in this series of booklets, the first tendency, namely those who deny the sovereignty of capitalism on social production in Iran - supporters of semi-feudal semi-colonial. Our discussions in this series of booklets are mainly centered on the disclosure of the theoretical hybridization of the second part, at least those who are theoretically closer to us.”[16]

Despite the fact that the “Unity of communist militants” were still in their “training period”, they did however try to affect the political milieu of the left of capital that it belonged to and was not satisfied with the sectarianism within the left of capital, the willing cooperation of "communist" groups and the fear of recognizing each other's theoretical and political achievements. Mr. Hekmakt complained:

“We see how the Communist groups are infected with an opposition to populism, and with abundant openness welcome the unconditional support of the People's Mujahedin of Iran in the elections, agitation, etc. At the same time, even the mention of each other's name or their organs, of providing specific action plans for unity among themselves, of recognizing each other's theoretical, political and organizational achievements (makes them) afraid. "[17]

The “Unity of Communist Militants” believed:
  • A social revolution in Iran was going on or is still in the process.

  • A communist movement existed or still exists in the Political Milieu of Iran.
Therefore it believed in and insisted on the practical needs of the struggle, and placed the necessity of unifying the communist movement (Stalinists) on the agenda: “Our victory in this determining struggle undoubtedly requires conscious and quick action in the direction of unity of the communist movement around the banner of programs and tactics of Leninism. This program currently exists. On the other hand, a revolutionary heart can make the Communist Party better and faster.”[18] [Our translation]

As mentioned earlier, with the formation of a party under the title of the Communist Party of Iran, came the defining of all of these currents from the Communist movement camp as belonging to the camp of the bourgeoisie. Not only being communists and their theoretical achievements, but even being a political party was questioned. Mansoor Hekmat said the following in his assessment of the political party:

"On the day following the 11th of February 1979, a great power encircled the Fadaei. For a political party, this force is a tool of involvement in the fate of power during a certain period, and should be used to either be victorious in this work and gain places in the cathedra through the new balance of forces, or lose power for a period. But Fadaei, despite its massive influence after the revolution, was without perspective and lacked the characteristics of a political party. Finally Fadaei was a burden on the national movement and main nationalist parties in the country. It did not have the horizon of a political party, nor its structure, nor its behavior or its goals.”[19] [Our translation]

Fadaei, aware of their class interests, played an important role as a part of the political apparatus of capital in stabilizing the clergy, and of course the anti-imperialist clergy, and consequently played an important role in the stabilization of the barbarian capitalist system. They praised the anti-imperialist perception of the criminal «Khomeini» and named him as a distinguished militant and the great Shiite pontiff of the world, and called the return of a criminal such as «Khomeini to the homeland» as the great victory of the people.

The Fadaeiyan majority, with a clear political horizon and in defense of their own bourgeoisie interests, sent workers to the war front as canon fodder, and even went to the extent of associating the blood of Fadaei and [anti] revolutionary guards (Pasdaran) with the watering of the tree of revolution. The Fadaeiyan majority, with clear political aims and following their political goals, became an appendage of the bourgeois intelligence agency. Fadaei, as the former “Unity of Communist Militants” and the current «Worker Communism», was aware, as a political entity of capital, of their class interests and knew their goals well. But these interests and these objectives were nothing but the interests of the bourgeois class.

We have provided explanations and quotes based on the “Unity of Communist Militants ”’s emphasis on the need for unity within the communist movement and communist forces ( «Communists» as seen by the “Unity of Communist Militants ” of course). But after being upgraded to the «leaders of the proletariat» suddenly Mr. Mansoor Hekmat goes too far. He forgets the time when they were supporters of a leftist group. He denies the movement that he called the Communist movement, but also claims that pure Marxian communism was brought to Tehran and Iran by the “Unity of communist militants”!

“If “Unity of communist militants” was something, this means that it brought one version or another of communism with it. Until the “Unity of Communist Militants” entered Iranian society, communism was not a part of that society. The revolution of 1979 made it clear that communism was not a part of Iranian society, was not represented by any circles, and was impossible without the “Unity of Communist Militants”. The “Unity of Communist Militants” had been taught communism through the narratives of Marx and the Manifesto. The “Unity of Communist Militants” came to Tehran and Iran from all of these, from within of the pages of the Communist Manifesto, from within of the pages of capital. I think the whole point of the power of the “Unity of Communist Militants” was that it had come from European Communism and from European experience.”[20] [Our translation]

First of all, the “Unity of communist militants” did not come to Iran from European Communism and European experience, but was rooted in its support of the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause (Arman)» and «current three». We showed this clearly in part one.

Secondly, which version and what means of Communism did it bring to Iran? The four class and Maoist theory of the «Marxist Circle for Worker's Emancipation (Sahand)» or the evaluating of the leader of the bourgeoisie of Iran and a criminal such as «Khomeini» as “petty bourgeois”? Or their reactionary theory namely the «Imperialist super profits» in dependent capitalism?

Thirdly, how was the “Unity of communist militants” taught the communism of Marx’ narrative and the Communist Manifesto, whilst also appealing to experienced Stalinists for help, writing: “especially the comrades that have wider experience and theoretical possibilities and practice in the arena of class struggle and revolutionary struggle should continuously work in these areas.”

Fourthly, which political directions did the 1979 revolution give out, thanks to the Unity of Communist Militants? Mr. Hekmat is quite simply deluded. How could the name of the “Unity of communist militants” be considered among the intellectuals, just after the struggle of the workers had been brought to the altar by the left of capital in 1979 -1980! Not only the «Marxist Circle for Worker's Emancipation» (which later formed «Sahand» and then metamorphosed into the “Unity of communist militants”) but also the group that this circle was a sympathizer of, the «Alliance for struggle for Working Class Cause (Arman)» were not in the slightest involved in the political milieu. Arman itself had been affected by crisis at that time.

«Unity of Communist Militants» and the theocratic faction of the bourgeoisie

The Islamic Republic of Iran was a powerless product of the worlds’ bourgeoisie to provide an alternative to the national capital, in order to set up a capitalist system after the Shah’s regime. The Islamic Republic was born with a congenital paradox. Capitalism needs stability to assure accumulation of capital. Within Islamic capitalism, there have been always two visions or trends in approaching this goal.

The problem is not unique to Iran, and it can clearly be seen in America, Europe and other countries that also indicate the desires and solutions of different factions of the bourgeoisie regarding the developments of society. In Iran in 1979-1980 the theocratic faction was represented by the Islamic Republic Party and the liberal factions were represented first by «Mehdi Bazargan» and then by «Bani Sadr».

At this time a large part of the Stalinists (Majority faction of Fadaeiyan and the Tudeh Party) defended and supported the theocratic faction of the bourgeois that followed the direction of the foreign policy of the USSR. Maoists (League of Iranian Communists) also supported the liberal faction of the bourgeois, namely «Bani-Sadr». What was the position of the “Unity of communist militants” as a radical phrase part of the left of capital in this context? Mr. Hekmat explains as such:

“The Islamic Republic Party is not seeking to establish anyone's "ideal Islamic Society", rather it is in pursuit of making use of the counter-revolutionary characteristics and ideals of the petty-bourgeoisie which is today defined and understood in the context of Islam by the likes of Khomeini. It is thus evident that by the termination of the role of the petty-bourgeois masses as the mere numbers in the counter-revolutionary program of imperialism, the Islamic Republic Party's interest in Islam and Khomeini, too, will come to an end, and then the Islamic Republic Party itself will reach the end of its term as the "Islamic Republican Party".”[21] [Our translation]

Firstly, the nature of a political party cannot be determined by a combination of individual party members alone, but also by its program, objectives and performance. This should be known by the “leaders of the proletariat”. Such an outlook at best can be a sociological outlook on historical events. Secondly, the “Unity of Communist Militants” obstinately tried to assess the faction of the bourgeoisie, namely the theocratic fraction of bourgeoisie, as petty-bourgeois. Thirdly, not only did the interest of the Islamic Republic Party in Islam and Khomeini not come to an end, but also the Islamic Republic Party became the founder and elector of the "Supreme Leader", of which the first was Khomeini himself.

The “Unity of Communist Militants” questioned the «Islamic Republic Party»’s position as a Party and believed that the «Islamic Republic Party» did not defend either the interests of a certain class or those of a certain social layer. But at the same time it stressed that imperialism had established the «Islamic Republic Party» for the petty bourgeoisie. Apparently, imperialism was more interested in the petty bourgeoisie of Iran than the bourgeoisie, and instead of the bourgeoisie, established a party for the petty bourgeoisie! Leftists such as the “Unity of Communist Militants” have a concept similar to the Kautskist understanding of imperialism and believe that imperialism is a major economic, military and repressive power such as the United States, Japan, Great Britain etc. The result of this understanding and definition would be that the working class was mobilized behind the poor imperialism. Imperialism is not a specific policy carried out by any particular State, and can only exist on an international scale and is a way of life in the capitalist system during the period of decadence. Mansoor Hekmat wrote:

“We regarded this instrumental character as the essence of the Islamic Republic Party and as its ‘raison d’etre’. Furthermore, we essentially questioned it as "being a Party" in the classical sense as a current formed in the process of defending the interests of a particular class or stratum, relies upon a particular class, and places before itself a program for the realization of the goals and interests of this class. We regarded the Islamic Republic Party as a mixture of the most suspicious circles on the one hand, and religious petty-bourgeois circles on the other, which, by active use of Islam and of Khomeini himself, and [due to] the misconceptions of a broad mass of toiling people about the latter, was at least in the beginning capable of attracting and making use of the confused masses of poor city-dwellers in achieving its reactionary goals. To say that the Islamic Republic Party is a "party established for the [Iranian] petty-bourgeoisie by imperialism" could be an exaggeration but nevertheless an expressive summary of our viewpoint as regards this reactionary current.”[22]

First we will look at the party that imperialism created for the petty bourgeoisie of Iran. During the developments of 1979, on the 20th of March 1979, five spirituals with the names «Beheshti», «Mousavi Ardebili», «Rafsanjani» , «Ali Khamenei» and «Bahonar» established a party which was called the «Islamic Republic Party», with «Beheshti» as its general secretary. All these along with other members of the Central Council of the Islamic Republic Party, including the «Mir-Hossein Mousavi», have played or continue to play key roles in leading the bourgeoisie of Iran. «Ali Khamenei» is the current supreme leader. The Islamic Republic Party, or according to the “Unity of Communist Militants” the party that imperialism created for the petty bourgeoisie of Iran, was dissolved by Khomeini due to internal disputes in June 1987.

All governments that have come to power after the first administration have had some roots in the Islamic Republic Party. According to the arguments of the “Unity of Communist Militants”, after the first administration and from the government of «Bahonar» onwards, the party of the petty bourgeoisie and, as a result, the petty-bourgeoisie itself, has been governing in Iran and «Beheshti», «Mousavi Ardebili», «Rafsanjani» , «Ali Khamenei», «Bahonar» etc were also petty bourgeoisie. It is unknown where the Iranian bourgeoisie was thought to be hiding, perhaps it never existed at all!

The “Unity of Communist Militants” continues its unfounded and baseless speech: “It is obvious that Islam and Khomeini will gain no more from the long-term policy of the monopolies and the present IRP's activities than what they used to receive under the Shah; for neither Islam nor Khomeini can be the constituent elements of the monopolies' governmental superstructure in Iran.”[23] [Our translation]

The “Unity of Communist Militants” believed that neither Islam nor Khomeini could be the constituent elements of the monopolies’ governmental superstructures in Iran! But they did not specify whether Islam and Khomeini could be the superstructure of a government other than that of the monopolies? Islam, as a certain type of ideology, has been the superstructure of the capitalist state of Iran over the past 30 years. Was "National Socialism" a superstructure of capitalism in the late 1930s and early 1940s in Germany or not? Why can "National Socialism" be a superstructure of state in Germany, but Islam cannot in Iran? Is it not true that both are a certain type of ideology?

The “Unity of Communist Militants” were preparing the scene for the last act of the play by the counter-revolution which, if realized, would prepare for the establishment of a monopoly bourgeoisie dictatorship in Republic form (but non-Islamic) in Iran.

“If these counter-revolutionary developments are brought forth;…then the scene will be set for the last act of the play by the counter-revolution -- the establishment of the monopoly bourgeoisie's dictatorship. This is a dictatorship which will be neither liberal nor will it be fond of the clergy and the theocracy; a dictatorship which will promise employment, housing, water and electricity, and prevention and cure of the basic diseases; a dictatorship which will swear to [restore] "Iran's glory", "modernism" and "order"; a dictatorship which will condemn "anarchy" and stand for organized and centralized suppression; and in short, a dictatorship which will be the soul of the Aryamehrian reaction reincarnated in the body of a republic a non-Islamic one of course.”[24]

These contra revolutionary developments were carried out. The heirs of the “Unity of Communist Militants” must respond to the question of whether the dictatorship of monopoly bourgeois actually came to be? Unlike the delirium of the “Unity of Communist Militants”, history has proven that the established dictatorship not only showed good will towards the clergy and theocracy but also even institutionalized the theocracy and produced a certain kind of ideology known as "revolutionary Islam" and even tried and is still trying to spread this ideology to other countries under the title of "Islamic Revolution". History proved again the baseless nature of the positions of the “Unity of Communist militants”. The “Unity of Communist Militants” believed that the establishment of a dictatorship in Iran would bring about a non-Islamic republic. Unlike the baseless analysis and unfounded positions of the “Unity of Communist Militants”, the established dictatorship in Iran became an ideological dictatorship, of the type of the Islamic Republic, whose supreme leader is the shadow of God on Earth and wields power beyond any governmental agency.

The “Unity of Communist Militants” believed that in the absence of active involvement of the military, the Islamic Republic would not be capable of a wide and long-term repression. These words were said by Mr. Hekmat only two days before the most brutal massacres in Iran’s modern history. The army played no role in the general massacre but nonetheless the bourgeoisie succeeded in organizing the most prolonged and brutal massacre with its octopus-like suppression machine. Mr. Hekmat claimed:

"The Islamic Republic Party cannot convert the military into an active tool in its current offensive policy. The [Islamic Republic] Party tries to keep the army at least neutral in the existing competitions. In the absence of active involvement of the military, the regime will not have the possibility for a wide and long-term repression."[25]

Issues in the next part:
  • The current revolution in Iran from the perspective of the Unity of communist militants
  • Land reform in Iran
  • Democratic Revolution and the Unity of communist militants
  • Take back of the Democratic Revolution by the «Unity of Communist Militants»

To Be Continued

M. Jahangiry
31 May 2012

[1] Explanation about the change of name in the introduction of the pamphlet of Prospects of adversity and new advancement of revolution thesis about the political importance of the economic crisis.

[2] Biography of Mansoor Hekmat written by Soheila Sharifi page 31

[3] Toward Socialism No: 5 pages 30

[4] Mansoor Hekmat, speech in Marx society in London entitled as the oral histories of unity of communist militants, 15th May 2000

[5] Evaluation of battles and branches of the worker communism in Iran, part 3, Majid Hosseini, 18th January 2008

[6] The majority of the left of capital namely the majority faction of Fadaeiyan and Tudeh party of Iran became an appendage of the Intelligence Service and promoted the culture of betrayal. The radical phrase faction of Fadaeiyan in the region under the rule of the «Patriotic Union of Kurdistan of Iraq» and in the village «Gapylon» began to massacre each other and invented the incident of 26 January 1986 and continued the cultural bludgeon. Your grocer type culture was not less than the others. When «the leaders of proletariat» were yet sympathizers and learned of the valuable and philosophical article of the organization of Combatants (Razmandegan), but when members of the same Razmandegan went under the knife and wanted Komala’s help, Komala, which could have helped, refused and referred to the smugglers. The communicator of Komala, which was critical to this policy, in a part of his letter to the Razmandegan wrote as following: "Comrades say that it is possible by traffickers and by other means to go abroad or to Kurdistan to get out. But it costs about 60 thousands Tomans for everyone. I do not have you or not. I'm really sorry, and some times I've mentioned to comrades that it does not matter about party politics and things. These people are under the razor. [Islamic Republic] want to kill these for the revolutionary crime. What do you do! May or may not help. We can. I'm really critical of this policy. Again I say and do not know [Komala will] accept or not." From the documents of relations of «Komala» with « Razmandegan»

[7] As source 4

[8] Mansoor Hekmat, the opening speech at the Congress of the Unity of Communist Militants

[9] As source 4

[10] Two Factions within the Bourgeois-Imperialist Counter-Revolution, part one

[11] The present situation, prospects and tasks of the Communists, the statement of the Unity of Communist Militants, dated 18 June 1981.

[12] The Program of Communist Party of Iran

[13] History of the activities of the National Front of Iran is divided into five periods. Fifth National Front has resumed activities in 1994.

[14] Prospects of adversity and new advancement of revolution thesis about the political importance of the economic crisis.

[15] Introduction of the pamphlet of Prospects of adversity and new advancement of revolution thesis about the political importance of the economic crisis.

[16] The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie

[17] As above

[18] As source 11

[19] Party and Society: from pressure group to the political party

[20] Mansoor Hekmat, speech in Marx society in London entitled as the oral histories of unity of communist militants, 15th May 2000

[21] Two Factions within the Bourgeois-Imperialist Counter-Revolution, part 2

[22] Two Factions within the Bourgeois-Imperialist Counter-Revolution, part 3

[23] As source 21

[24] As source 22

[25] As source 11