Aníbal, July 2021
At this moment, the blog of Ediciones Interrev has published the book Movement of capital. Accumulation and crisis in Spanish language only. The importance of this work is that it refutes the existence of a permanent crisis, or the decadence of capitalism, ideas that in different formulations are generally shared by ‘Marxist’ economists of the bourgeois political ‘Left’ and those that refer to the Communist Left. Starting from Marx’s Capital and texts by Engels, highlighting Pannekoek’s 1934 critique of Grossmann, this work refers to many statistical data to prove that the crisis in capitalism is periodical and not permanent.
In the following, the author gives some of its conclusions in English language.
“We see after the major crisis of 2007-2009 a recovery culminating in the peak of 2010 (at a level coinciding with the starting level in 2007). This peak is followed by a moderate fall until 2012 and a subsequent period where the slight development of GDP continues with upward oscillations leading in 2019 to a point slightly lower than in 2012. This does not fit with the thesis of a long depression, continuous recession, and similar. The crisis that started in October 2007, then generating a financial crisis in 2008 and lasted till 2009, devalued a considerable percentage of capital, but not enough for the subsequent expansion cycle to be intense, broad-based, and consistently growing. It provided sufficient drain for the first spurt of strong recovery until 2010, with a solid base in the dynamism of capitalism in China and the so-called emerging economies. Even so, the tendency to generate overcapacity and overproduction has been developing since 2010, which is recurrent in capitalist history. All this is explained by scientific communism in terms of the devaluing and destructive effect of capital that necessarily and recurrently, cyclically, generates the general crises of capital on an international scale (to which are associated particular and partial crises, obviously). This crisis, is an element that propitiates a renewed and intense movement of new capital valorization, a dynamically developing accumulation.
An important cause of such a limitation of the devaluation that occurred in this crisis lies in the capacity for reactive action by capital, and particularly the degree of operational capacity of its most powerful forces… using part of the money funds accumulated in its reserves and central banks, together with those of centralization bodies such as the WB, IMF, BIS, etc. That is why a percentage of the overcapacity was maintained at the beginning of the expansionary cycle, generating a great deal of commodity production at low prices, which partly determines the monetary policy of such bodies. This production at low prices but in large quantities has developed unevenly, with dynamic centers led by China and to a lesser extent by the US and the EU, with India also standing out (this is a summary, the picture is broader and more complex). A part of capital with high levels of concentration and centralization, and some in highly specialized segments, has been counterbalancing the difficulty of increasing the rate of profit with an expansion of its mass, which has led to the financial market and its particular expression in terms of the development of fictitious capital. This is obviously not the classical, recurrent and mystified explanation of the ‘financialist’ thesis, partly developed by Chesnais. Nor is it about the inconsistencies of authors such as Michael Roberts, already criticized in this forum“.
“The traditional Marxist theses on accumulation and crisis are still valid and are in line with what is happening, allowing a proper understanding of the ongoing trends. Particularly the analysis of international market trends leads to the conclusion that:
‘It is a question of the superior progress of commodity production with respect to the possibilities of profitable realization on the market of the surplus-value generated.’
To sum up: the crisis of 2007-09 has been tested in all its severity, with a productive and trade re-emergence following it, which develops with oscillations from the peak of this upswing, and begins to slacken around 2017, with a tendency to stagnation until 2020. There is, therefore, no long depression, no permanent crisis, and no continuous recession. The Marxist thesis is verified according to which: ‘Accumulation as a mass is accelerating, while the rate of accumulation is decreasing along with the rate of profit.’ ( book III of Capital).”
“The rate of profit moves in various ways before a crisis, tending to fall or slowing down its upward movements and heading towards a reversal. But there is not necessarily a continuous and homogeneous prior expression due to the intervention of various counter-trends. It is especially in crises that it manifests itself decisively and flagrantly. Numerous studies go in this direction.
Marx also warns that the general movements of the fall in the rate of profit must be understood not in the short or medium term, but in the long term”.
(From Chapter 9.- In this chapter, the reader will find numerous data and graphs on the world economic evolution since the crisis of 2007-09 that refute the various interpretations existing among Marxological academism and the petty-bourgeois left media)
“The theses of secular stagnation and the “Long Depression” are analyzed and criticized [in chapter 10], proving what does not fit in such theses with the real course of capitalism and its various expressions. It is reiterated that:
‘In the background, we have the question of the so-called decadence of capitalism, in this case in the form of “secular stagnation” (see below). Prolonged recession, chronic depression, repeated stagnation are different denominations of what the economist John Maynard Keynes explained in his “General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,” interpreting the main cause of economic depressions as insufficient demand for goods and services. What other versions call a permanent crisis, which some declared Marxist sectors have echoed and wrongly defended although for Marx permanent crises do not and cannot exist’.”
(From Chapter 10)
“Chapter 11 reviews the various predictions made by leftist economists, and after years and years, it is verified that they have not been fulfilled, going on to examine the causes of such errors, and offering a coherent interpretation based on scientific communism. Approaches based on decadentist theories, Kondratiev waves, Mandel’s long waves, long depression, secular stagnation, and in general collapse analyses are criticized.
Thus, in summary, data are given on the moments of recovery of capitalist accumulation as opposed to those who spread the opposite:
The recovery took place. And the subsequent course of the economy presented characteristics of mediocre, uneven, and irregular development of world capitalist accumulation, but an accumulation, a reproduction on an extended scale of capitalism, real and effective, which deserves to be carefully, thoroughly, and rigorously investigated.
Finally, the theory of the critique of value is critically reviewed:
For these ideological theorizations, the end of the Russian bloc and what happened around the fall of the Berlin Wall was part of a general collapse of capitalism, constituting a phase of capitalism. Capitalism that had been in motion for two centuries and had reached its ceiling, could not give any more, had reached its historical limits (in Robert Kurtz’s expression). We were witnessing a chronic crisis of the splitting of value of patriarchal capitalism.
In addition, the theory of accumulation and the collapse of capitalism by Henryk Grossmann and Rosa Luxemburg is presented.
Capitalism, they claim, is irreversibly fleeing forward in death, it lives by simulating profitability, in permanent crisis, and this simulation is carried out on the basis of debt and credit… etc.
These are ideologically elaborated fictions, which deny the existing process and replace it with leftist collapsism… in process.
However, in the practical process of capitalism there is abundant generation of surplus value, ‘which constitutes the basis and aim of the whole process of accumulation’, as Marx put it. Capital continues to progress, it does not collapse. The concrete aspects of collapse, of collapse, are seen in the crises, as Marx stated; but then capital takes flight again, it does not fall to earth dying. There is no permanent crisis that would express the process of collapse according to this ideology of value; the crisis necessarily remains a periodic and cyclical episode and not a permanent, verified reality of constant devaluation and exhaustion of the extraction of surplus-value.
None of these criticized approaches is rigorously demonstrated by their authors based on studies and well related and explained data. Still, all of it is merely asserted, over and over again. This is another ideologically loaded system, not a developing critical science. For this, they use some of Marx’s approaches, but if the essential facts and trends of capitalism do not match within 50 years, then they make a pirouette by elaborating a new alibi, claiming that it is ‘a process’.
But the facts are stubborn, crises are cyclical and represent periodic relative solutions of the contradictions of the capitalist system. They have been overcome one after the other, engendering new contradictions that lead to new crises after periods of productive economic boom and of financial and mercantile business, periods in which productive overcapacity and overproduction of capital are generated again, and new crises of overaccumulation of capital, not of underaccumulation.
Capital does not progressively destroy itself. The devaluation and destruction of capital lead to a general re-emergence, a movement of development which leads to new over-productive tensions, realizing difficulties in the markets, saturations, acute and disseminated competitive crises, a fall in the rate of profit, dynamics of over-accumulation and a new crisis.
The capitalist mode of production and distribution has not collapsed. Capital has grown internationally and overproduces surplus-value, develops accumulation by increasing the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Wasn’t this, for Marx, a key demonstration that accumulation had developed? Having arrived at the unfolding of numerous contradictions they simply don’t need to resort to the Marx handle and so calmly repeat their positions.
One is reminded of Anton Pannekoek’s adequate and well-founded critique of Henryk Grossmann’s theory of the collapse of capitalism:
‘Marx speaks of over-accumulation precipitating a crisis, of there being too much accumulated surplus value which is not invested and which depresses profits. But Grossmann’s collapse comes about through there being too little accumulated surplus value.
The simultaneous surplus of unused capital and unemployed workers is a typical feature of crises; Grossmann’s schema leads to a lack of sufficient capital, which he can only transform into a surplus by committing the mistake mentioned above. So Grossmann’s schema cannot demonstrate a final collapse, nor does it correspond to the real phenomena of collapse, crises.
It can also be added that his schema, in conformity with its origin, suffers from the same defect as Bauer’s: the real, impetuous pushing forward of capitalism over the world which brings more and more peoples under its domination is here represented by a calm and regular population growth of 5 per cent a year, as if capitalism was confined in a closed national economy.’
(Anton Pannekoek, The theory of the collapse of capitalism )
Rosa Luxemburg came to the conclusion that:
‘… the standstill of accumulation means that the development of the productive forces is arrested, and the collapse of capitalism follows inevitably, as an objective historical necessity. This is the reason for the contradictory behaviour of capitalism in the final stage of its historical career: imperialism.’
(Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital, Ch. 29)
In “The Law of Accumulation and the Collapse of the Capitalist System: A Theory of the Crisis”, Henryk Grossmann supports this conclusion of Rosa Luxemburg, even though he differs from other theses he considered to be sub-consumerist.”
(From Chapter 11)
 Anibal, Movimiento del capital. Acumulación y crisis: https://edicionesinterrev.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/acumulacion-y-crisis….pdf
Background article reblogged from Michael Roberts’ blog https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/
Roberts seems to be unfamiliar with the Communist Left, but he is an excellent Marxist economist. He worked in the City of London as an economist for over 40 years. He has closely observed the machinations of global capitalism from within the dragon’s den.
The swift collapse of Afghanistan puppet government when US troops withdrew from the war with the Taliban and left the country after 20 years has been likened to the fall of Saigon at the end of the 30-year ‘American’ war against the Vietnamese people. The scenes of Afghans trying to get onto US planes at the airport to escape seem startlingly familiar to those of us who can remember the last days of Saigon.
But is this a superficial similarity? After all, America’s occupation of Vietnam was way more costly as a share of US national output and in terms of the lives of American soldiers than the attempt at ‘regime’ change in Afghanistan. The Vietnam disaster led to the US government running deficits for the first time since WW2. But even more important, it meant a diversion of investment into arms rather than productive sectors at a time when the profitability of capital had already begun to fall, the Golden Age of investment and profitability having peaked in the mid-1960s.
Source: Penn World Tables 10.0, author’s calculations
Indeed, by the end of the 1960s, it was clear that the US could never win in Vietnam, just as it was clear at least a decade ago (if not from the very beginning) that it could not win in Afghanistan. But the ruling elite continued under Nixon and Kissinger to prosecute the war for several more years, spreading it into neighbouring countries like Laos and Cambodia.
But by the official end of the war in Vietnam, the economic consequences of this 30-year ‘intervention’ exposed an important turning point – the end of Pax Americana and the outright hegemonic position of American imperialism in the world economy. From then on, we can talk about the relative decline (relative to other imperialist powers) of the US, with the rise of the European countries, Japan, East Asia and more recently China. Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the end of the ‘cold war’ did not reverse or even curb that relative decline. The US no longer can rule the world on its own and, even with the help of a ‘coalition of the willing’, it cannot dictate a ‘world order’.
Economically, it all started before the fall of Saigon. As the profitability of US capital started to fall from the mid-1960s, US industry began to lose its competitive advantage in manufacturing and even in various services to rising Franco-German capital and Japan. This eventually meant that the economic world order after WW2, which had established the economic hegemony of the US economy and its currency, the dollar, started to crumble.
Indeed, it is 50 years to the month when officials of President Nixon’s administration met secretly at Camp David to decide on the fate of the international monetary system. For the previous 25 years, the US dollar had been fixed to the price of gold ($35/oz) by international agreement. Anybody holding a dollar could convert into a fixed amount of gold from US reserves. But in August 1971, President Nixon took to national television to announce he had asked Treasury Secretary John Connally to “suspend temporarily the convertibility of the dollar into gold or other reserve assets.”
It was the end of the so-called Bretton Woods agreement, so painfully negotiated by the Allied powers, namely the US and the UK, over the heads of all the other countries in the world. Conceived, along with the IMF, the World Bank and the UN, the agreement established a framework that committed all to fixed exchange rates for their currencies and fixed in terms of the US dollar. The US in turn would fix the value of the dollar in terms of gold. No country could change their rates without IMF agreement.
But with Nixon’s announcement, the fixed exchange rate regime was ended; it was the US that had abandoned it and, with it, the whole post-war Keynesian-style international currency regime. It was no accident that the ending of the Bretton Woods system also coincided with the ending of Keynesian macro management of the US and other economies through the manipulation of government spending and taxation. The post-war economic boom based on high profitability, relatively full employment and productive investment was over. Now there was a decline in the profitability of capital and investment growth, which eventually culminated in the first post-war international slump of 1974-5; and alongside this was the relative decline of American industry and exports compared to competitors. The US was no longer exporting more manufacturing goods to Europe, Latin America or Asia than it was importing commodities like oil from the Middle East and manufacturing from Germany and Japan. It was starting to run trade deficits. The dollar was thus seriously overvalued. If US capital, particularly manufacturing was to compete, the dollar fix to gold must be ended and the currency allowed to depreciate.
As early as 1959, Belgian-American economist Robert Triffin had predicted that the US could not go on running trade deficits with other countries and export capital to invest abroad and maintain a strong dollar: “if the United States continued to run deficits, its foreign liabilities would come to exceed by far its ability to convert dollars into gold on demand and would bring about a “gold and dollar crisis.”
And that is what happened. Under the dollar-gold standard, imbalances in trade and capital flows had to be settled by transfers of gold bullion. Up until 1953, as war reconstruction took place, the US had actually gained gold of 12 million troy ounces, while Europe and Japan had lost 35 million troy oz (in order to finance their recovery). But after that, the US started to leak gold to Europe and Japan. By end-1965, the latter surpassed the former for the first time in the post-war period in terms of gold volumes held in reserve. As a result, Europe and Japan began to pile up huge dollar reserves that they could use to buy US assets. The global economy has begun to reverse against the US.
The dollar reserves in Europe and Japan were now so large that if those countries bought gold with their dollars under the gold standard, they could exhaust US gold stocks in an instant. Private financial outflows (outbound investment) from the US averaged roughly 1.2% of GDP throughout the 1960s—long term investment overseas through FDI or portfolio outflows. This served to finance net exports of US investment goods and a current account surplus, shown as negative here as an offsetting withdrawal of dollars. Netting these, about 0.4% of US GDP in surplus outward investment was made available every year during the 1960s from the US. This surplus was available for current account deficit countries in Europe and Japan to liquidate US gold, replenishing their diminished reserve positive, or accumulate other financial claims on the US—as shown on the right side.
But throughout the 1960s, the US current account surplus was gradually eroded until, in the early 1970s, the current account was registering a deficit. The US began to leak dollars globally not only through outward investment but also through an excess of spending and imports as domestic manufacturers lost ground.
US current account balance to GDP (%), 1976-2020
The US became reliant for the first time since the 1890s on external finance for the purposes of spending at home and abroad. So US external accounts were driven less by real goods and services and more by global demand for US financial assets and the liquidity they provided. By the 1980s, the US was building up net external liabilities, rising to 70% of GDP by 2020.
US net international investment position as % of US GDP
If a country’s current account is permanently in deficit and it depends increasingly on foreign funds, its currency is vulnerable to sharp depreciation. This is the experience of just about every country in the world, from Argentina to Turkey to Zambia, and even the UK.
However, it is not the same for the US because what is left from the Bretton Woods regime is that the US is still the main reserve currency internationally. Roughly 90% of global foreign exchange transactions involve a dollar leg; approximately 40% of global trade outside the US is invoiced and settled in dollars; and almost 60% of U.S. dollar banknotes circulate internationally as a global store of value and medium of exchange. Over 60% of global foreign exchange reserves held by foreign central banks and monetary authorities remain denominated in dollars. These ratios have not changed.
Export surplus countries like the European Union, Japan, China, Russia and Middle East oil states pile up surpluses in dollars (mainly) and they buy or hold assets abroad in dollars. And only the US treasury can ‘print’ dollars, gaining a profit from what is called ‘seignorage’ as a result. So, despite the relative economic decline of US imperialism, the US dollar remains supreme.
This reserve currency role encouraged US Treasury Secretary John Connally, when he announced the end of the dollar-gold standard in 1971 to tell EU finance ministers “the dollar is our currency, but it is your problem.” Indeed, one of the reasons for the European Union, led by Franco-German capital, to decide to establish a single currency union in the 1990s was to try and break the dollar hegemony of international trade and finance. That aim has had only limited success, with the euro’s share of international reserves stable at about 20% (and nearly all of this due to intra-EU transactions).
International competitors such as Russia and China routinely call for a new international financial order and work aggressively to displace the dollar as the apex of the current regime. The addition of the renminbi in 2016 to the basket of currencies that composes the IMF’s special drawing rights represented an important global acknowledgment of the increasing international use of the Chinese currency. And there is talk of rival countries launching digital currencies to compete with the dollar. But although the dollar-euro share of reserves has declined in favour of the yen and renminbi from 86% in 2014 to 82% now, alternative currencies still have a long way to go to displace the dollar.
Having said that, the underlying relative decline in US manufacturing and even services competitiveness with first Europe, then Japan and East Asia and now China, has gradually worn away the strength of the US dollar against other currencies as the supply of dollars outstrips demand internationally. Since Nixon’s momentous announcement, the US dollar has declined in value by 20% – maybe a good barometer of the relative decline of the US economy (but an underestimate because of the reserve currency factor).
The dollar’s decline has not been in a straight line. In global slumps, the dollar strengthens. That’s because as the international reserve currency, in a slump, investors look to hold cash rather than invest productively or speculate in financial assets and the safe-haven then is the dollar.
That’s especially the case if US interest rates on dollar cash are high compared to other currencies. To break the inflationary spiral at the end of the 1970s, the then Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker deliberately hiked interest rates (adding to the depth of the economic slump of 1980-2). In the slump, investors rushed into high-yielding dollars. Bankers loved it, but not US manufacturers and exporters, as well as countries with large US dollar debts. The slump was bad enough, but Volcker’s action was squeezing the world economy to death.
Finally, in 1985, at a meeting at the Plaza Hotel, New York of central bankers and finance ministers in the then big 5 economies, it was agreed to sell the dollar and buy other currencies to depreciate the dollar. The Plaza accord was another milestone in the relative decline of US imperialism, as it could no longer impose its domestic monetary policy on other countries and eventually had to relent and allow the dollar to fall. Nevertheless, the dollar continues to dominate and remains the currency to hold in a slump, as we saw in dot.com bust and slump of 2001 and in the emerging market commodity slump and euro debt crisis of 2011-14.
The relative decline of the dollar will continue. The Afghanistan debacle is not a tipping point – the dollar actually strengthened on the news of Kabul’s collapse as investors rushed into ‘safe-haven’ dollars. But the monetary explosion and the fiscal stimulus being applied by the US authorities to revive the US economy after the pandemic slump is not going to do the trick. After the ‘sugar rush’ of Bidenomics, the profitability of US capital will resume its decline and investment and production will be weak. And if US inflation does not subside as well, then the dollar will come under more pressure. To distort a quote by Leon Trotsky, ‘the dollar may not be interested in the world economy, but the world is certainly interested in the dollar.’
The swift collapse of Afghanistan puppet government when US troops withdrew from the war with the Taliban and left the country after 20 years has been likened to the fall of Saigon at the end of the 30-year ‘American’ war against the Vietnamese people. The scenes of Afghans trying to get onto US planes at the airport to escape seem startlingly familiar to those of us who can remember the last days of Saigon.
But is this a superficial similarity? After all, America’s occupation of Vietnam was way more costly as a share of US national output and in terms of the lives of American soldiers than the attempt at ‘regime’ change in Afghanistan. The Vietnam disaster led to the US government running deficits for the first time since WW2. But even more important, it meant a diversion of investment into arms rather than productive sectors at a time when…
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The Historical Materialism Book Series plans to translate a book by German historian Axel Weipert containing ground-breaking research on the workers’ council movement in Berlin during the revolutionary tumult of 1919–20. But we need your help!
For a long time, Berlin’s council movement was considered no more than a brief episode that occurred just after the November Revolution of 1918. The common understanding is that of a transitional phenomenon paving the way for the parliamentary Weimar Republic. Moreover, many conservative historians have denounced the councils as being entirely undemocratic.
In his ground-breaking work The Second Revolution: The Council Movement of Berlin 1919–20, Axel Weipert significantly revises this picture. Based on a wealth of sources, Weipert shows that even in 1919–20, the council movement involved about one million active participants in Berlin alone – a fact overlooked by historians for nearly a century – and that the egalitarian aspirations of the councils and their mass following clearly pointed beyond the democratic limits of the Weimar order. The Second Revolution argues that the council movement was much broader-based than previous research has assumed, and that it was striving towards a socialism based on grassroots democracy – i.e. towards a social order determined to consistently abolish the prerogatives of the old elites in the military, in administration, and above all in the economy.
Until the publication of Weipert’s book in the original German language, it was mainly workers’ and soldiers’ councils that were examined in the relevant literature. Even if these represented the core of the council movement, The Second Revolution shows how broad the reception of the idea of council democracy really was: there were special councils for apprentices, intellectuals, artists, the unemployed, and students and pupils, whose activities are comprehensively discussed for the first time here. In another first, Weipert examines the role of women in the movement.
For a long time, research on the German revolution and the council movement was informed by Cold War dichotomies. GDR historians viewed the revolution as a missed opportunity, which was then made up for in East Germany after 1945. In their interpretation, the councils were merely a vehicle for party politics, and only the weakness of the Communist Party prevented a socialist transformation. West German authors, on the other hand, interpreted the councils at best as a potential, but not permanent, supplement to a democratic reconstruction from above. Both readings reduced the second phase of the revolution to a mere aftermath.
In contrast, by bringing to light the rank-and-file movement and independent role of the councils outside of parties and unions, The Second Revolution is paradigmatic of the new possibilities opened up in the historiography of the German Revolution after the end of the Cold War. The volume argues that Weimar Germany was in a revolutionary situation in 1919–20. It will be of particular interest to historians of the Weimar Republic and scholars of social movements, but it is also accessible to a broader left audience.
A broad range of sources, many of them previously unpublished, is analysed. In addition to 26 periodicals and around 50 autobiographical texts, The Second Revolution contains minutes of meetings, pamphlets, leaflets and posters and numerous official files from various archives.
Because of the great historical significance of the materials assessed in this work, the Goethe Institute of Germany has agreed to fund a part of the translation of The Second Revolution into English. Nevertheless, we are still 7,650 EUR short and currently raising funds to make this project possible. Please consider chipping in!
Updated and ended 15-8-2021
Peripheral capitalism – in crisis – with its ugly face, has created a miserable situation for wage slaves and the lower strata of society. The corona pandemic, the escalation of sanctions, and the global crisis of capitalism have made economic and social conditions even more complicated than they were before for the working class. Under these circumstances, society’s working class and lower strata live below the poverty line and struggle to survive. In such circumstances, the presence of the working class on the battlefield where the struggle is enacted is of special importance, and the barbarity of capital will not go unanswered. It is glorious to see the protest by tens of thousands of workers against the inverted world of capitalism; the protest by thousands of wage slaves against wage slavery – instilling hope in the hearts of millions of workers; hope that the working class can protest against the barbaric system of capitalism, and the working class can challenge capitalism itself.
Last summer, for the first time since the defeat of the glorious workers’ protests in the autumn of 2018, we witnessed a new wave of strikes and workers’ protests, especially in the oil and petrochemical industries. Not only were the workers denied what they wanted, but the living conditions of the wage slaves became even more difficult, paving the way for a new wave of strikes and protests, especially in the oil and petrochemical industries. Since 20 June 2021, tens of thousands of oil contract workers have been on strike in refineries, petrochemical plants, and power plants. The wave of strikes and protests soon spread and took on a nationwide dimension, sweeping west to east and north to south. More than 50 refineries, oil corporations, oil rigs, oil terminals, petrochemical corporations, etc., have gone on strike.
The demands of strikers in the oil industry are, in fact, the same as last year’s. The main demands of the strikers are as follows:
In the past few days, we have witnessed the spread of protests and strikes to non-oil industries. Workers at the Sepahan Cement Factory, Yazd Steel contract workers, workers at the Butia Kerman Steel Company and Ahvaz Thermal Power Plant, etc., have gone on strike. The spread of strikes to non-oil industries and strengthening the workers’ fighting spirit put striking workers in a better position and, most importantly, reduces the possibility of repression.
In recent decades, the Islamic bourgeoisie has pursued a policy of destroying the union [meaning: unity?] of workers in one of the key industries by handing over various oil industry sectors to contractors and creating multiple employers. The contracting of companies plays a significant role in concluding what effectively constitutes slave contracts with no job security and few benefits. Over the last decade, a large proportion of oil and gas workers have been contracted.
The first reaction of the bourgeoisie to the workers’ strikes was the mass dismissal of workers. Given the vast army of the unemployed, the bourgeoisie wants to use the unemployed as a weapon. On 22 June 2021, it fired 700 striking workers at the Tehran refinery. Other strikers are also at risk of being fired. A demand for strikers to return to work has been added to their other demands.
In recent years, the industrial proletariat has been involved in workers’ protests and strikes. Protests and strikes within the oil and petrochemical industry constitute the first widespread protest by workers in this sector, in such a large and nationwide form. The workers’ protests between 1978 and 1980, and this issue is of particular importance. It is glorious to see thousands of workers striking in this key industry and protesting against the brutality of capital. It is glorious to protest the order of capital. But just pointing to the glory and brilliance of the workers’ protests and strikes prevents us from seeing the weaknesses of these protests. Learning from these weaknesses will prevent the same weaknesses from being repeated in future battles. The fundamental question arises: why have the gains been so small after such widespread protests and labor strikes? The main weaknesses of the current strikes can be seen in the following factors:
Workers can maintain their solidarity through protests, relentless in their defense of the working class. We can only rely on our class power in our protests. Only by staying true to our class roots will we be able to repel the attacks of the bourgeoisie. Coordinating labor protests and linking labor strikes, in addition to showing class solidarity, will empower workers and pave the way for the evolution of the class struggle to a higher level. Because of their anti-capitalist nature, workers’ protests can not only spread to other capitalist countries and provoke class solidarity among the workers there but also challenge the capitalist state in so doing.
Workers’ protests and strikes will gain ground!
Long live the independent workers’ struggle!
Onwards, strike committees!
M. Jahangiry 27 June 2021
Iman Ganji and Jose Rosales, 12-7-2021
Austerity, privatization and the reduction of public investments, cutbacks in public services, a retirement age that sees retirement itself recede into a future horizon, the precaritization of labor power, the commodification of education and health, continued reductions in large business taxes, and large-scale dispossession in favor of (corporate, governmental, mafialike) large property owners: these characterize the spirit of our times and has been implemented in many countries, including Iran.”
Source: Angry Workers of the World
“The new wave of struggles involves more workers in a single assembly movement than the mass strike which swept through Iran’s petrochemical sector, steel mills and power plants last August. Organized at first through Telegram groups, workers tended to centralize the struggles from the first moment, organizing themselves in general village and city assemblies and then in assemblies between centers and localities, permanently connected. To this day, the workers have defeated both the companies’ attempts to divide the workforces and the threats of repression.
The Internationalists (ICT), Damoon Saadati, 24 July 2021
“…. This new wave of strikes is taking place mainly in the same sectors that witnessed some of the largest and widespread strikes in the past year. This time, both the scale and the manner in which it has been coordinated reflect the valuable experiences that workers have gained in recent years during the numerous protests and strikes that have taken place in almost every corner of the country. The formation of regular mass assemblies not only shows the strength of the strikes, it also indicates how excellently both clandestine and open work has been executed. The other strong aspect of these strikes is in attracting the support of other workers as well as the wider public, which has shown the maturity of the worker’s movement in Iran in this period, something we will come back to later in this article.
But despite all these admirable efforts, the failure of permanent staff to join the strike as was planned for 30 June, shows that the unity and integrity of the workers faces not only subjective obstacles but also objective ones too.
Damoon Saadati, 10-8-2021
Iranian Oil Workers Strike Update
“52 days have gone by since the start of the strike, which began when thousands of Iranian oil workers downed tools on 19 June and walked off oilfields across Iran. The Council for Organising Protests by Oil Contract Workers has issued 11 statements so far. In our previous article we published parts of their first 6 statements (see leftcom.org) as well as giving a short explanation of their full context. Here we have made complete translations of statements no. 7 and 11 and will follow this up shortly with new articles on recent developments in both the general workers’ movement (Haft Tappeh sugar workers have now been on strike again for almost a month) and the general political situation in Iran following the protests in Khuzestan and other provinces last month.”
Kollektiv aus Bremen, 28-7-2021
Das Schweigen brechen: Aufruf zur Solidarität mit den erneuten Massenprotesten in Khuzestan/Iran
“Largely ignored by the mainstream media but also by the left-wing public, large-scale demonstrations have been taking place in several cities in southwest Iran for more than 14 days. The trigger for the mass protests was an acute (drinking) water shortage as a result of the catastrophic dam-building policy of the Iranian government and rolling blackouts in the region. As always, the government’s response to popular protests is extremely brutal. In the meantime, the military has been rampaging across the region, and more than nine demonstrators have been killed by the security forces while many others have been arrested. ” (From the translation published by AWW)
Worker-Communist Party of Iran, 1-8-2021
General Assembly of Oil Workers in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari
Oil News, Special on National Strikes: No. 31
Reports indicate that oil workers and other forms of protest are continuing to strike in the workplace. At the same time, once again, the official oil workers in different parts of the continent went on strike and pursued their demands. The workers in different oil centers insist that the strike continue until the demands are met.
A significant and important event was the formation of the Grand General Assembly of Oil Project Workers in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province today, the 10th of Mordad. The Council for Organizing Protests of Contract Oil Workers reports on this forum as follows: . The workers thus expressed their strong opposition to the Piping Management Group leaders’ call for an end to the strike, even though their demands had not been met.
In this general assembly, the participants, who were project workers of various centers, spoke about work problems and demands for their rights, and emphasized their demands. The holding of a general assembly by project workers in Hafshjan is a major step forward in the strike of contract oil workers and a model for these workers nationwide. The General Assembly of Workers is a place for collective decision-making, the election of real workers’ representatives, the consensus on demands and demands, and the unification around them. “The General Assembly of Contract Oil Workers living in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province shows the practicality of creating it everywhere.”
Another event in the strike of oil workers is the strike of the drivers of Sarvestan Oil Company and the workers of the repair department of Isfahan Refinery in protest of the low level of their salaries and dismissals. An emphasis of the striking contract workers in oil is that the wages of any worker should not be less than 12 million tomans, and at the same time wages and salaries should be increased according to different specialized categories, and now that under the pressure of the workers’ strike And they have accepted twenty days of work and ten days of leave, the striking workers nowhere else should be satisfied with less than this.
On the other hand, on Friday, August 29, a group of official operational staff of the Offshore Oil Company working in the Forouzan operating platform, personnel of the Bahregan offshore area, offshore personnel of the Offshore platform and Abuzar platform gathered to protest the restrictions and general increases in 1400. And called for the lifting of the salary cap for oil operations staff. This is a matter of protest for all the official employees working in the oil centers, and because of that, they have repeatedly staged a nationwide protest rally. At today’s rallies, oil officials issued another ultimatum that they would go on a nationwide strike if their demands were not met by the end of August. It is worth mentioning that under the pressure of these protests, on July 26, the Parliamentary Energy Commission approved in its session that the July salaries of official employees be amended according to their demands, but only the limit of 2 million and 500 thousand Tomans was removed and the salary ceiling and other items were restricted. A deduction in the salary of 1400 had remained in place. In addition, the imposition of heavy taxes and the insecurity of the workplace, which is being sacrificed every day, are other issues of protest by official oil workers. Informal oil workers have already expressed support for their official colleagues and their demands.
The demands and struggles of the oil workers must be widely supported and the voice of these protests must be globalized.
Worker-Communist Party of Iran
Source: cpiran, translated by Google
Updated: 27-7-2021 (after a two-week holiday break)
Note that many reports about the popular uprising in Khuzestan since July 15th, are silent about the oil workers’ strike
Statement of the Council for Organizing the Protests of the Conract Workers of the Oil Industry
Khuzestan has not been calm for a week. People are thirsty. People are hungry and have no security. Many people have lost their water, agriculture and livestock as a result of this water crisis. The struggles of these people are right, and the Council for Organizing the Protests of the Oil Contract Workers declares its support for the struggles of these people.
Many people have been arrested during the protests in Khuzestan. And again, we see that the demands for the rights of the people have been answered with bullets, and today the governor of this province threatened that they will deal decisively with any disturbance and insecurity. The Council for Organizing the Protests of the Oil Contract Workers condemns these repressions and calls for a swift response to the legitimate demands of these people. The immediate release of detainees in Khuzestan and an end to this environmental catastrophe in Khuzestan and everywhere are demands that have been added to our other demands today.
Here we emphasize that the demands of the people of Khuzestan are the demands of our oil workers who spend a large part of the year in Khuzestan and its neighboring provinces in southern Iran and work under the scorching summer sun. The profiteering policies of capitalism and the greed of those affiliated with government institutions have destroyed and destroyed the environment everywhere, and in the face of this catastrophe, the people have been left helpless, and the result of all this is the miserable situation in which today Khuzestan is in front of our eyes. In addition, all the people of Fagan are free from poverty, hunger, injustice and embezzlement. To the extent that even drinking water has been taken from them. This situation must change fundamentally. We also share in this pain. The deprived and suffering people of Khuzestan today are the voice of protest of all of us workers and people all over the country and we support them.
We support Khuzestan!
The Council for Organizing the Protests of the Contract Workers of the Oil Industry
Source: cpiran, translated by Google
Council for organizing protests by contracted oil workers
More than a month has passed since our vigorous strike by contract oil workers, in which tens of thousands of our project partners have come to the fore in three provinces and three project centers. In addition to this nationwide strike, our striking colleagues have gathered in the cities where they live and have emphasized the need to continue the strike until their demands are met. And now, just when we are all ready to bear fruit in our united strike and to advance our demands from a position of strength in negotiations with the predatory contractors and to stand up to their coercion, the leaders of the piping management groups are practically losing to the protesting workers. They see that all of a sudden they have voted in their groups to end the strike. Without us strike workers meeting our demands or even setting preconditions for achieving our demands. In this way, they want to save themselves from the “predicament of the strike” and announce its end.
Partners! We have protested for our rights. We are safe from the predatory contractors and we are no longer willing to continue this barbarism and slavery. Our wages do not support our lives at all, and as prices rise, our living conditions become more deplorable every day. Hard work and long hours every day under the heat of scorching summers and among all kinds of environmental pollution have ruined our lives. We are no longer willing to live in such conditions and in poverty and insecurity and witness the deprivation of our children of having a decent human life. We are no longer willing to live in those camps full of humiliation which is a clear insult to the human dignity of our workers. We are no longer willing to sacrifice every day for lack of basic safety equipment. We are no longer willing to live like this in poverty, discrimination and insecurity in slavery and captivity. This is all the subject of our protest by the strike workers of a project in oil. Meanwhile, the leaders of the piping group, according to themselves, are putting our lives and livelihoods of the workers up for auction with the aim of committing and adhering to the system. Therefore, the essence of the plan to pursue the demands within the framework of the laws of the Islamic Republic and their representative, which we warned about earlier, has not yet dried up. They want to get rid of all this and have come to the square with a plan to end the strike. Thus, if they promised and delivered to us during last year’s strike. This year, they do not even claim the same and just want the strike to end. We should not allow it. Therefore, the essence of the plan to pursue the demands within the framework of the laws of the Islamic Republic and their representative, which we warned about earlier, has not yet dried up. They want to get rid of all this and have come to the square with a plan to end the strike. Thus, if they promised and delivered to us during last year’s strike. This year, they do not even claim the same and just want the strike to end. We should not allow it. Therefore, the essence of the plan to pursue the demands within the framework of the laws of the Islamic Republic and their representative, which we warned about earlier, has not yet dried up. They want to get rid of all this and have come to the square with a plan to end the strike. Thus, if they promised and delivered to us during last year’s strike. This year, they do not even claim the same and just want the strike to end. We should not allow it.
Friends! It is clear that every strike has a beginning and an end. But the end of the strike must be determined by us workers. Of course, in a place like the oil industry, where we are dealing with many companies in different oil centers, it is not easy to talk about a specific and global date for the end of the strike. Therefore, as we have already mentioned, the most important thing that gives our strike a global meaning and concept is the united and global demands, and our success is in imposing the same demands on the contractors. So in any number of companies we can impose our demands, our colleagues in other companies will undoubtedly be in a better position to impose their demands. In previous statements at this stage of the strike, the Council for Organizing Workers’ Protests has emphasized the following five immediate demands:
-1- Doubling wages at all wage levels so that the minimum wage of any worker is not less than 2 million tomans. So, as some of our colleagues came back with the proposal to double their wages, all the striking workers must demand double the wages.
In addition, in many places our colleagues demand a portion of their previous months’ wages, and their arrears must be paid immediately.
-2- The request of twenty working days and ten days of leave must be implemented from the first day.
-3- The situation of the camps should be seriously improved, proper canteens should be created for the workers and work environments should be safe. Therefore, contractors must clearly state what they are doing in this regard
-4- Agreements must be in writing and formal, and the agreements of any negotiation will be formalized when the workers of the part on whose behalf an agreement is made express their consent.
An important condition for pursuing these demands is the maximum involvement of our own workers. For example, as our colleagues are gathering in different places and emphasizing the continuation of the strike, these gatherings can be held regularly and in which they can decide and appoint representatives from among themselves to negotiate their demands and demands. At the same time, the social media tools and groups that we have in different oil sectors are a good place to advance these discourses, and there we can appoint people who are truly the spokespersons of our demands as our representatives, and whenever we deem appropriate, we are ready to negotiate. To be for our desires. Thus, it is necessary for people to step forward and volunteer, or to nominate those we know and want our real representative to be workers.
Partners! This is the path we must finally take, and today it is necessary and vital to take the first steps in this direction as soon as possible. Decide on a council and stay united.
Council for organizing protests by contracted oil workers, 23-7-2021
Source: cpiran, translated by Google
Oil News, Special on National Strikes: No. 29
On July 20, the contract workers of the 9th and 10th phases of Assaluyeh repairs stopped working and gathered due to a strike and protest against the incomplete implementation of the job classification plan and the very low quality of food. Following this protest movement, today, July 20, 5 of these workers were fired by the company’s contractor. Earlier, the repair workers of these two phases had protested against the use of expired food and the very low level of kitchen hygiene. One issue protested by tens of thousands of striking oil workers is the very poor health of the camps and the poor quality of food and its unsanitary standards.
While the nationwide strike by contract workers at the beginning of the second month continues on a larger scale, contractors are using all sorts of conspiracies, including layoffs, promises and promises, to pressure the striking workers while creating a rift in their ranks to strike. Push back. During this period, a number of day laborers have been fired due to strikes, and as we have previously reported, 2,000 workers have been fired in Assaluyeh alone. On the other hand, the contractors have called some workers to work with promises such as double wages, twenty working days and ten days off, and even in places equivalent to 160 hours of twenty-day work and ten days off. But with the trick that their contract is one month. We must be vigilant against this conspiracy. Now the striking workers say that just as the contractors in some places have promised to double the wages, twenty days of work and ten days of leave for some of them, this level of wages is a good basis for all the striking workers and they are not satisfied with less. At the same time, one of the issues protested today by the striking oil workers is the end of the dismissals, demanding that all the fired workers return to work and at the same time pay the workers’ arrears.
Another news is the continuation of the rallies that the workers have held in different cities with emphasis on the strike. Today, July 20, the workers of the oil contract project gathered in Kermanshah. Previously, such gatherings were held in Gehro in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, in Lordegan, Pian village in Izeh, Abadan, Khorramshahr, Isfahan, Sepidaneh, Choghakhor, Farsan, Fooladshahr, Alikuh, Haj Ali descendants in Tand Gandamkar, Izeh, in Mehran oil project in Jahanpars and Hafshjan were established. These gatherings can be expanded and turned into a place for collective decision-making.
As we have previously reported, the protests in oil cover all parts of it, and these protests, along with the popular uprising in the cities of Khuzestan, have become a point of hope for all people at the community level. So far, these protests have been accompanied by a lot of solidarity. This week, for example, a number of industrial workers gathered in Isfahan’s Fooladshahr to support a nationwide strike by oil and petrochemical workers. The demands of the oil workers must be widely supported.
Worker-Communist Party of Iran, 21-7-2021
Source: wpiran, translated by Google
Announcement No. 12 Khuzestan Committee
Despite the heavy security atmosphere in different cities of Khuzestan and despite the internet cut in Ahvaz, Susangard, Shousha, Shadegan, Hamidiyeh, Izeh, Mahshahr, Dezful, Andimeshk, Abadan, Khorramshahr and some other parts of Khuzestan province, we received news of the continuation of popular protests in some Points from Khuzestan report.
According to the report we received, a number of young people gathered in neighborhoods such as Shilangabad and Kemplo in Ahvaz. Also in the Revolution neighborhood of Ahvaz, people clashed with repressive forces. According to the same news, Alavi alley in Ahvaz is completely surrounded by security agents and all entrances and exits to this area are controlled, cars are inspected and people’s mobile phones are inspected.
According to another news item, the Ahwaz Intelligence Office pressured the family of Farzad Frisat, one of the victims of last night in Ahwaz, and refused to deliver the body to them, asking his father to appear on television and say that the demonstrators had killed his son. They were shot. They also asked Farzad to hand over his cell phone and say which of his friends had been with him at the last minute. Earlier, IRGC agents who were directly involved in the massacre killed the father of “Qassem Naseri” (Khediri), one of the other victims of the protests in Ahvaz, in a TV interview in exchange for the delivery of his son’s body. Counter-revolutionary agents responsible for the shooting And the death of his child.
In Shousha, despite the security situation, small rallies were held in all parts of the city, and people were waiting for the opportunity to hold rallies.
In Haft Tappeh market, Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers marched in continuation of their big strike. Haft Tappeh sugarcane workers in their rallies expressed their support for the popular protests in Khuzestan and in their march in solidarity with the people, chanted the slogan of poor Khuzestan not having a drop of water.
In Shadegan, popular protests reportedly continued despite the deployment of repressive forces from point to point in the city and the establishment of checkpoints. And a number of young people gathered in different neighborhoods. In Susa, rallies were also held in parts of the city.
In Masjed Soleyman, the protesting people were planning to gather, but the government repression forces were stationed in the Martyrs’ Sports Complex with cars and sprinklers, and prevented public rallies.
On the other hand, according to the reports received, a number of young people were arrested last night. It is also reported from Sarbandar that a large number of detainees in this city are minors and teenagers. And this is a matter of great concern to the families of the detainees. The number of detainees of the popular protests in Khuzestan is high, and government officials, who see themselves under the pressure of the popular protests and its further expansion to other areas, announce the release and amnesty of some of them. Stand by the families of the detainees and gather in front of government detention centers to demand their immediate release. All detainees must be released immediately and unconditionally.
According to reports, twelve protesting youths have been shot dead by government repressors in various cities of Shadegan, Kut Abdullah, Shush, Mahesh, Ahvaz, Aligudarz, Chamran and Izeh towns, and these repressions have created an atmosphere of anger and protest in the cities. Khuzestan has intensified and the people of Khuzestan will demand justice.
The Khuzestan branch, while expressing its sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, emphasizes the support of the families of these loved ones. The Islamic Republic is afraid of the continuation and spread of popular protests in Khuzestan, and that is why the families of the victims have put such pressure on them. By supporting these families widely and condemning these pressures, we will stand by the families and not allow the repressors of the government to continue their pressures. Turn the commemoration of the victims into our protest scene and install photos of them everywhere and honor their memory.
The issue of water in Khuzestan is a matter of existence and life of these people. Now, apart from water, power outages are also reported. Popular protests in Khuzestan began on July 15 in protest of the outage and covered all cities in the province. The popular protests in Khuzestan go beyond the water and electricity cuts, and the people have lost their lives for more than 40 years of the criminal regime of the Islamic Republic, and in their demonstrations, they shouted this with the slogan of overthrowing the Islamic Republic. Therefore, the scope of these protests was extended to neighboring provinces, including Lordegan and Aligudarz, and in cities such as Tabriz, Sanandaj, Shahinshahr, Fooladshahr, Izadshahr and 5 people with the slogan of overthrowing the government declared their solidarity with the people of Khuzestan. . Today, a number of people took to the streets on Jomhuri Street in Tehran and chanted Khamenei, “Shame on you, leave the government.” These events, along with the nationwide strike of tens of thousands of oil workers and hotbeds of protests such as the Haft Tappeh sugarcane and the vibrant protests that have erupted among various sections of society, have accelerated society to end the hell of the Islamic Republic. Displays. The Islamic Republic must be destroyed.
Organizing Committee of the Worker-Communist Party, Khuzestan Branch, 26 July 2021
Source: wpiran, translated by Google
Oil News, Special Global Strikes: Issue 20
At 7 o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, July 7, sections of workers and employees of third parties and contractors working in the operation, maintenance and maintenance departments in various centers of South Pars in Assaluyeh Cactus Square staged a one-hour rally demanding the removal of contractors. While cutting the hands of contractors and increasing salaries and ending the security situation in oil and the like are the immediate demands of all workers in the oil industry, in these protests, people tried to raise pictures of Qassem Soleimani and Khamenei on their banners. To give the color of government to the rightful protests of the workers.
For some time now, whispers of protest have been circulating among third-party workers. The workers ‘protest against the slave contracts is labor, and at this day’s rally, the workers raised their voices in protest against the looting and tyranny of the contractors, with the words “Removal of the contractors’ handwriting” written on it. Third-party workers have stated that they will go on strike if they do not respond. There are also whispers of going on strike among temporary contract workers. A general demand of the oil workers and an important clause of the declared demands of the contract workers who are on strike is the shortening of the contractors’ hands.
Tens of thousands of contract workers are currently on strike, with contractors urging workers to negotiate wages. The workers have stated that any agreement must be formal, public and in writing to be the universal basis for all parties to the negotiations. The workers have announced that the wages of any worker should not be less than 12 million and the wages of different specialized categories, which are mainly above 15 million Tomans, should be increased according to the workers’ agreement. In addition, they emphasize the timely payment of their wages each month. The other immediate demand of the workers is the return of the fired workers and the cessation of the dismissals and twenty days of work, ten days of leave.
On the other hand, there is support for a strong strike by contract workers in oil. The latest example is the 5 Confederations of Trade Unions in France, named after the French Confederation of Democratic Workers (CFDT), the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), the Federation of Trade Unions (FSU), the Solidaires Union and the National Union of Autonomous or Independent Trade Unions (UNSA). France has declared its support for the workers’ struggle in Iran. The Worker-Communist Party declares its full support for the striking oil workers and their demands, and strives to be the voice of the oil workers around the world.
Worker-Communist Party of Iran
16 July 1400, 7 July ٢٠٢١
Source wpiran, translated by Google Translate
The strike of contract workers in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, which began on June 20, continues, and so far more than eighty refineries, petrochemical companies, power plants and production centers have joined the nationwide strike. The most central demands of the contract workers of the oil and petrochemical industries are the increase of wages to 12 million Tomans per month, the benefit of 10 days of leave for twenty days of work and the dismantling of contractors and the reduction of contractors from the oil industry. In addition to these demands, the timely payment of wages, the abolition of anti-labor laws in free zones, compliance with health standards, the environment and safety of the workplace, raising the health standards of dormitories and health services, Recognition of workers’ right to organize and hold rallies and protests is their demand from others.
While the general workers’ strike and the wave of declarations of support and solidarity of other sections of the wage-workers’ movement against the striking workers and their demands continue, sections of the bourgeois opposition that have recognized the direction of the wind are also defending the workers’ strike and demands. زنند. They are intended to remind workers that social justice is also being addressed in their programs. The fact is that the developments of the past few years and the rise of the urban poor in January 1996 and November 1998, as the achievements, lessons and experiences for the labor movement and the liberation movement, the bourgeois opposition forces have learned lessons from these developments. It is true that the uprising of January 1996 ended more than two decades of domination of the reformist discourse of the government over the Iranian political space, and the subsequent uprising of November 1998 dealt a blow to the strategy of peaceful transition from the Islamic Republic. But these uprisings also made the weakness of the labor and socialist movements more apparent. During these nationwide uprisings, the working class was not in a position to ground the repressive machine of the Islamic Republic with its nationwide strikes and to ensure the continuation and advancement of these uprisings due to its organizational weakness and political leadership.
The pro-Western Iranian bourgeois opposition, including the forces in the Transitional Management Council, saw these weaknesses as an opportunity to rise again to become a government alternative. This section of the Iranian bourgeois opposition turned the strengths and potential potential of the continuation of this kind of revolutionary uprising to overthrow the ruling political and class system into a new impetus to form a government alternative to save Iranian capitalism. At the same time, this section of the opposition invested in the weaknesses of the Iranian labor and socialist movement to advance their projects. The main pillar of the strategy of the “Transitional Management Council” and other forces of the Iranian bourgeois opposition is to save the Iranian capitalist system from the danger of revolutionary uprisings and social revolution in Iran. It is not unreasonable that the Transitional Management Council, in a recent statement in support of the oil, gas and petrochemical workers’ movement, emphasizes: “The miserable situation of workers and wage earners in Iranian society is the direct result of 42 years of inefficiency and managerial corruption.” It is an Islamic government. “The rent-seeking economy and the corporations and the insatiable theft of the agents of this government have destroyed the macro-economy of society.” These emphases clearly show that the “Transitional Management Council” has no problem with the capitalist system and the model of economic neoliberalism that has plunged the Iranian working class into poverty and economic misery, but with the inefficiency of capitalism under Islamic rule and the weakness and inefficiency Privatization management has a problem with characterization.
Although the Transitional Governing Council has defined its common goal as “achieving freedom, democracy, social justice, welfare and security through the strengthening of civil struggles and non-violent violence”, by silencing its economic plans, it seeks to reach out to Democrat propaganda openly supports strikes and labor protests. The “Transitional Management Council” economic program is in fact a continuation of the same neoliberal economic programs and privatizations with better management. With this economic program, the Transitional Management Council demonstrates the instability of its welfare programs and its claim to social justice. Over the past three decades, while the rule of capitalism and the devastating consequences of the neoliberal policies that have been established since Rafsanjani and have continued until now, the lives of workers and the lower classes have become increasingly apparent and the lives of millions of working families and working people The current members of the Transitional Management Council have been advocates of these economic policies. During these years, the elements and forces that have gathered in the “Transitional Management Council” today have been propagandizing that this is not the nature of the capitalist system, this is not neoliberal programs and privatizations, but the inefficiency and mismanagement of these programs in the republican system. It is Islam that has brought the work here. The plan and strategy of the “Transitional Management Council” is the peaceful transition from the regime of the Islamic Republic with the help and assistance of a part of the body of this criminal regime in order to preserve the oppressive capitalist relations against the “danger” of the revolution.
Source: cpiran.org, translated by Google Translate
Saturday 3 July 2021
The formation of the Islamic Council is not our wish!
The salary of any worker should not be less than 12 million
People from the 10-20 campaign met with a number of officials in the government of Ibrahim Ra’isi, including Saeed Jalili, and apparently discussed our issues and problems as workers who have raised their voices in protest of the deplorable living conditions we have.
According to one of the participants in this meeting, another meeting on this issue is scheduled to be held at the beginning of the work of Ibrahim Ra’isi’s government with the presence of his cabinet ministers, and it is possible that the Assaluyeh Labor Office will leave South Pars under major changes. And act as an Islamic work council. Then the refineries must follow the rules of this “labor” organization. With the justification that the so-called Islamic Council that is formed can support the workers against the employer and the contractor. So far, it has become clear what happened behind the scenes in this meeting.
We declare from now on that the formation of the Islamic Council and the assembling of any kind of organization under the name of “independent” workers’ organization in the cabinet is an action against us workers and our answer is not the workers. The record of Islamic councils and similar handicraft organizations is clear to the workers. These have always been and will continue to be our tools of controlling workers and serving employers. The 40,000 security forces stationed in the oil industry are not enough, to which you also want to add the Islamic Council.
We, the oil workers, like our colleagues in the Haft Tappeh and Ahvaz Steel Sugarcane and other labor centers, firmly declare that we will not accept the establishment of the Islamic Council in Oil. The protest organizing council is our real and independent organization, the workers, and any worker who is in charge of the organization and the trade union must strengthen this organization and organizations of this kind. Not the tail of the Islamic Council.
The protest organizing council is the voice of our oil workers and a symbol of the unity and solidarity of the workers. The Council for Organizing Protests of Oil Contract Workers has so far been well received by workers. The demands of the council have been made public and the workers want a response. Our council explicitly states its demands and demands and demands an answer. Here we declare these demands once again. Workers are calling for the strike to continue until wages rise immediately.
Council for organizing the protests of the contracted oil workers
Source: cpiran, translated by Google Translate
Communist Workers-Party of Iran, 3-7-2021
Oil News, Special on National Strikes: No. 19
According to the news received today, July 3, between 9 and 12 noon, the contractors of 6 Mapna, Tanavob, Payndan, Axil Sanat, Jahanpars and S-Tim companies contacted some of the striking workers and told them that they agreed with a large part of their demands. And they can go back to work. These contacts have been made with a certain number of workers and not all of the striking workers, and the aim is to divide the workers. With this divisive policy and trying to convince some of the striking workers to end the strike, the contractors are trying to get some of the workers back to work in any way possible so that the united workers’ strike can be defeated. It is necessary to stand united against these efforts and struggles and emphasize the implementation of the demands of all workers.
The Assaluyeh project contract workers’ strike has affected various parts of the chain work, and during the strike, 2,000 workers in Assaluyeh were reportedly sent home without pay by contractors and promised that if completed, The strike and the normalization of the situation will return to work. In addition, nearly 400 industrial workers have been laid off due to the strike. One of the demands of the striking workers is now to return to work their fired colleagues, and the statements of the “Organizing Council of Protests” of these workers have emphasized this demand.
In other news, food and water were prepared and distributed by the people’s forces for the oil striking workers in 5 Assaluyeh camps who did not leave the dormitories on July 29 and today, July 12. Thus, the oil strike continues vigorously, and the workers stand up to the conspiracies and ventures of the contractors, and the popular solidarity grows larger every day.
It is worth mentioning that today, July 3, the workers of the transportation unit of the South Zagros Oil and Gas Exploitation Company in Shiraz also went on strike and gathered in front of the headquarters building of the South Zagros Oil and Gas Company.
On the other hand, as a result of the widespread oil strike, many fuel stations have been closed. According to the news, the officials have issued an ultimatum to protest against the fact that their wages remain the same and the daily increase in the price of consumable parts, periodic services and standardization costs, which will lead to a protest rally.
The oil strike has been going on for two weeks and its dimensions are expanding. As the scope of the oil strike expands, so does the support. He widely supported the demands and struggles of the striking oil workers
Worker-Communist Party of Iran
12 July 1400, 3 July ٢٠٢١
List of solidarity with striking oil workers:
Announcing the solidarity of oil tanker drivers in Tehran
There were also protest petitions by workers’ activists in Sanandaj and in West Azerbaijan
Groups and groups of people from among the collaborators, unemployed workers, child rights activists, women rights activists and students.
Australian Trade Union Council (ACTU)
Source: wpiran, translated by Google Translate
While the strike of contract workers of Iran’s oil industry continues in various cities, a number of truck drivers and drivers of oil tankers also joined the strike.
The Union of Truck Owners and Drivers Across Iran said in a statement on Thursday that truck drivers would join the strike if the demands of oil workers were not met and “their legitimate demands were not met.” Oil industry contract workers have been on a nationwide strike since July 1. However, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh called the workers’ demands “illegal” and the parliament promised that only the salaries of the ministry’s “official staff” would be increased. It should be noted that on Saturday, July 3, fuel officials also gathered in front of the Ministry of Oil to protest against the reduction of their salaries.
Source: komalah, translated with Google Translate.
A group of young job seekers gathered in the village of Qaleh Chenan on Saturday, July 3, in front of the door of the Khuzestan Steel Industries Company and demanded employment.
The protest of the youth of Qaleh Chenan village against unfavorable working conditions and the spread of unemployment is taking place while they hoped that with the expansion of oil and gas and petrochemical industries in Khuzestan province, at least in terms of providing jobs, the local residents will be given priority. These gatherings in other cities of Khuzestan are also unprecedented. Earlier, young job seekers in the village of Shahroui in Behbahan, gathered in front of the willow refinery in the city and demanded employment.
Source: komalah, translated with Google Translate
Teachers, retirees, students, women seeking equality, youth and the freedom-loving people of Iran!
We, like the vast majority of you, can no longer bear this difficult and humiliating life. Like you, we are fed up with inequality, discrimination and repression. We are human beings first and foremost, and we consider this miserable and humiliating situation imposed on us by the capitalists and their government to be a clear violation of our human dignity. We, like you, know that this situation will not change unless we help each other and work together to change it.
With each passing day, the economic, political and cultural situation of the society is deteriorating. The standard of living of the majority of people, especially the working class, is constantly falling. The more work and effort and overtime and more individual running, the better Tangible does not result in our lives. As we all see, especially in recent years, social anomalies such as addiction, prostitution, theft, suicide, and the breakdown of families and social ties have increased dramatically. The scale of unemployment is appalling. The vast majority of young people and even university graduates do not see any hope of finding work and the horizon of a humane and prosperous life. Systematic discrimination against women, both in employment and at the community level, has become an integral part of governance. Sadness does not allow teachers to educate our children with peace of mind, and their every effort to improve their lives and the level of education is met with repression, arrest and imprisonment, and expulsion and imprisonment. Retirees, after a lifetime of work and effort, do not receive the minimum wage they receive, and see no right but a mass protest against them. Coronary heart disease every day It takes hundreds of people, and the irresponsibility, incompetence and incompetence of the government in controlling this disease and protecting the lives of the people has been revealed to everyone. Our lives are the cheapest and most insignificant commodity for the ruling class. These are the corners of life that the oppressive ruling class, immersed in corruption, theft, and embezzlement, has figured out for us, and expects us to accept as inevitable.
It is in this situation that the workers of the contract companies operating in Assaluyeh have gone on strike to increase wage levels, increase holidays to ten days a month, and improve the deplorable conditions of the camps and workers’ accommodation. In these unsanitary camps and without basic facilities, 9 workers in each room are forced to sleep together. In many rooms, the area is less than one meter per person. A few days after the strike of contract workers in Assaluyeh; Workers of other contract companies in similar conditions also joined the strike, which has become widespread. On the other hand, the employers and the government not only did not respond positively to the demands of the workers, but in the 60-degree heat of Assaluyeh, by emptying the water tanks of the camps and eliminating the rations of the workers, they tried to keep the workers in the camps. Make it impossible. Employers have shamelessly told workers that: Either go back to work with the previous conditions or calculate and leave. Such a level of freedom of action for employers and contract companies backed by the government and laws and directives can be seen in few places in the world. کرد. Organized employers, with government support, intend to continue to impose slavery conditions on striking workers and millions of other workers on temporary or unpaid work in any way possible. Here, profit and capital come first and last, and what does not matter to the capitalist class and their government is the lives and livelihoods of millions of working-class families.
The protest and strike of the workers of the contract companies is part of the struggle of all of us to get rid of this unbearable situation of misery. This strike has so far been properly supported by many sections of the people. But this support needs to be expanded and put into practice. We urge all of you to support the striking workers in any way you can, from setting up strike support committees to holding rallies or any other practical action. Do not leave the striking workers alone.
Workers ! Partners!
Only with our organized force can we stand against the barbarism of capital. Establishment of an independent workers’ organization in workshops, factories, huge oil and gas fields, and so on. And at the global level it is more necessary than ever. We, the Committee for the Defense of Striking Workers, while supporting the legitimate demands of the workers of contract companies operating in Assaluyeh and other parts of Iran, ask you, colleagues, to organize yourself at any level you can at this critical time. Our power lies in our organization. We need to act collectively and organized to help our striking colleagues. The victory of this glorious and all-encompassing strike is the victory of us all. We especially call on the workers of the oil company, refineries and petrochemicals to join the strike. Let’s step forward, come to the stage and decide our own destiny with the force of tens of millions.
Committee for the Defense of Striking Workers
12 July 1400
Contact address of the Defense Committee:
Source: komalah, translated with Google Translate
Worker-Communist Party of Iran, 1-7-2021
Following the recent protests by official oil workers over the wage increases of 1400 and the real decline in their salaries and the ultimatum they gave for mass rallies, and given the scale of the oil strikes, which number in the tens of thousands of workers, the government withdrew. As we have previously reported, according to a parliamentary resolution, the ceiling for increasing the basic wage of official workers was set at two and a half million. In addition, some of their wage items are grouped in row 48, which does not include wage increases. The workers are protesting against this resolution and want to repeal it. According to news and meetings held by the government, including the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly and the President and the Energy Commission of the Assembly and security agencies, a two-emergency plan was made to increase the salaries of official oil workers, which is effective from the beginning of July . According to this amendment, the limit of two and a half million for the increase of salaries and the accumulation of some wage items and their reduction was abolished. As a result, the salary increase ceiling will be the same as in 1997 with the definition of the employment order, and this increase ceiling will not include discontinuous items. There are also reports that the salary cap will be changed from twenty times to fifteen times, and the salary cap will be twenty-one times the same as last year.
The repeal of the parliament’s resolution on the increases in the Islamic Consultative Assembly was a major demand of the official oil workers, and it is clear that this retreat took place under the pressure of the workers’ struggles. Fearing further escalation of the oil protests, the government sought to calm down the official workers, who number more than 64,000, to prevent the strikes from becoming integrated throughout the oil industry. But the success has had a direct impact on the protests of contract workers on a project that spans ten provinces and more than 75 oil hubs, and workers are talking about why they are not being addressed and expanding their strike with more confidence. .
In the announcement, before other oil sectors joined the nationwide strike, we announced a contractual project, including the preparation of a strike among third-party workers (106,000) and temporary contract workers (36,000). On the 9th of this month, fixed-term contract workers of the Gulf Holding companies in Mahshahr port gathered in front of the entrance of a petrochemical special economic zone site to protest against the policies of the holding managers and the non-implementation of the approved laws to improve their livelihood. According to the workers, it has been almost 10 years since the transfer of petrochemical companies to the holding company, and despite approvals such as matching and job classification plan that were imposed under the pressure of the workers’ own protests, none of these approvals and promises have been made so far. It has not been done and there is no news of their implementation.
While the Minister of Oil and Rouhani handed over the oil workers ‘strike project to the contractors, under the pressure of the workers’ protests, the contractors were forced to react. In a letter addressed to the Minister of Petroleum and the relevant authorities, the Association of Employers of Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Engineering and Contracting Companies in Assaluyeh, while implicitly acknowledging the widespread losses of contractors and the entire oil industry due to the workers’ general strike, to enter and have a meeting to solve the problems of the workers’ strike.
This is the powerful voice of the oil contract workers’ strike, which has both upset the government and forced the contractors themselves to put pressure on the government to solve the problems that have arisen. It is with this power, and with the spread of strikes nationwide, that the workers of the oil contract project can force the proud contractors and the government to meet important parts of their demands.
Contractors at some oil centers are also embracing the policy of firing striking contract workers and putting pressure on striking workers by announcing the hiring of new workers. In some other oil centers, workers have been asked to negotiate locally. But workers have stated that verbal promises are not acceptable. Promises must be made public, formal and in writing through the media so that workers can make decisions. The strike is nationwide and the workers do not allow them to be promised and dispersed sporadically and to be divided in their protest line.
The strikes in oil are beyond the scope of contract workers and include other sectors of oil. For example, workers in Assaluyeh and the Isfahan refinery are currently on strike, and a large number of refineries, petrochemicals and oil-related centers are on strike.
The oil strikes have become a point of hope for all workers and society as a whole. The strikes have been met with a wave of solidarity from workers and various sections of society. Road transport drivers also said in a statement in support of the oil struggle that if these workers’ legitimate demands were not met, they would join the strike across the country.
The demands announced by the “Council for Organizing Protests of Oil Contract Workers” are: immediate increase in the level of wages and its addition in proportion to the increase in commodity prices, the wages of any oil worker should not be less than 12 million and wages should increase immediately. In addition, other workers’ wage levels must be agreed upon with the elected representatives of the workers, timely payment of wages in any case, 20 working days and 10 days of rest for workers who can have enough time to visit their families, have job security and become permanent Contracts and shortening of contractors, prohibition of dismissal of workers, repeal of special economic laws, safe working environments, raising environmental standards and equipping work centers with the required cooling and heating facilities and air conditioners to the required extent, raising the standard Sanitation in dormitories and public places such as toilets and baths.
The Worker-Communist Party, while declaring its strong support for the struggles of the oil workers and expressing its satisfaction with the solidarity of the road transport drivers from the general strike of these workers, calls on all sections of the workers to actively support the oil workers’ strikes and join them.
Forward to the nationwide strikes!
Worker-Communist Party of Iran
July 10, 1400, July 1 ٢٠٢١
Source: wpiranfa.com, translated with Google Translate.
For the program of this ‘Worker-Communist Party of Iran’, see When Political Power in in Our Hands. For a relentless denounciation of Iranian ‘worker-communism’ see Internationalist Voice, under “Left of capital’.
Alireza Khabaz, 1-7-2020
Behrooz Khabaz’s explanation:
The author, has many years of project work experience among oil and gas workers in his work record. Therefore he understands their living and working conditions and the fuel of their struggle. Accordingly he presents his solutions, as part of the working class to optimise the current struggle.
How to be supported:
Every worker can be the only media to convey the news of workers’ struggles. Explain and express the movement of these struggles through virtual networks and face-to-face explanations for fellow workers and others.
Announcing individual, group support, forming support committees in the workplace.
Declare a strike in support of striking workers if they meet the strike conditions in the workplace.
Establish a close relationship with each of the striking workers and hear the workers’ condition and pass it on to others.
Establishment of mutual funds between colleagues and friends and family and delivery of financial aid in any way to the workers and their families. The best way to reach out to striking colleagues is to set up labor committees for both financial aid and support and communication.
Transfer the experiences of other workers’ struggles in different work environments. The publication of reports and news of workers’ struggles, especially the struggles of Haft Tappeh and steelworkers and the current struggles of oil and petrochemical workers, results from years of effort, thought, and experience.
Workers who have worked in such environments know how difficult and exhausting it is to organize this type of struggle. It requires new thinking in the field of organization. This power of thought, analysis, and application must be written and reported in the field of struggle. What is done and what is learned.
The most important thing in the current situation is stability and taking the helm of the initiative in the hands of the workers. Creating innovative solutions to prevent the dismissal and arrest of workers. Maintaining, strengthening, and enforcing the organization of the “Workers’ Organizing Council” in any situation, even after going through this stage of the struggle.
Establish covert or semi-covert organizing committees in smaller sections and workplaces and expand and consolidate them for pre- and post-strike conditions. Training striking workers in the current situation in any way possible and preparing them for the difficult days ahead.
Launching public campaigns in cities and workers’ neighborhoods in any way possible to convey the news and build confidence in the striking workers.
Taking care of the achievements of the strike, however small, has been tantamount to preserving the conquered strongholds.
Involve working families in helping and advance the strike.
This protest and strike are specific to the conditions and characteristics of your work environment. For this reason, you know better how and in what way to proceed and what decisions to make in critical situations. Read suggestions and solutions outside your work environment. And use according to the conditions of the strike.
Your priority is to take care of your organization and to continue the struggle step by step.
Your movement, protest, and achievement are urgent needs of the Iranian labor movement to gain power, gain self-confidence, and integrate their struggles.
This strike and this movement, regardless of its results, is the most outstanding achievement and victory of the Iranian workers.
Source: cpiran. Translation from Farsi by Google Translate
Also see below at 29-06-2021: Long live the oil workers strike! (Our oil worker, our stubborn leader!)
30-6-2021 [Declaration by Komala, quoting independant trade unions “National Steel Workers”, “Tehran Teachers’ Union” and “Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane workers”
June 30, 2021
Strikes by companies affiliated with the oil and petrochemical industries and power plants continue unabated. The strikes spread across the country to refineries, petrochemicals, oil depots and oil rigs in Tehran, Kangan, Mahshahr, Arak, Qeshm, Khark, Behbahan, Gachsaran, Bushehr, Abadan and Isfahan, and several other areas. Is. In total, the strike has so far affected more than 70 work units with 30,000 workers. Along with the spread of the historic strike of the contract workers, support has also spread inside and outside these militant workers.
The National Steel Workers, whose past strikes have been instrumental in gaining combat experience, have warmly supported the striking leaders of key oil, petrochemical and power plants in a statement. The statement reads in part:
We are in a special historical period in which the labor movement has been at the forefront of all social protests, and industrial workers and wage workers have emerged as “classes” for the first time in the history of Iran. The global movement formed by the workers of the oil industry, together with the training of the collective struggle, is also a beacon for the future of the rest of the workers and the wage and unemployed forces. “Pain is one and the cure is the same.”
At the end of the statement, it is emphasized that “only by joining this mass campaign and the general strike with the common demands and demands of the working class can we achieve a better life and a humane society.”
The Tehran Teachers’ Union has also announced its solidarity with the striking workers. More than 100 labor activists and leading workers in Sanandaj have supported the striking workers in a statement stating their names and signatures. They wrote in part of their statement:
“Yesterday, the hardline leaders broke down the wall of separation with other workers in the various sectors and appeared as the leading and militant section of the working class, and with their solidarity and unity called for the generalization of strikes and workers’ struggles.”
Workers in various sectors of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Company have issued a statement expressing their full support for the striking workers. These workers, who themselves have waged complex and tumultuous struggles in this company, have given a friendly warning to the striking workers based on their struggle experiences, which is worthy of deep attention. They wrote:
“Dear colleagues, you are very experienced and have always been a role model for Iranian workers in industries such as oil and gas. Your workers’ councils are still alive in the memories of our fathers during the revolution. With respect to this history and to you dear ones, we must know that the enemy does not sit idle. Inside us there are always tendencies whose eyes are more up and less down. Our point is that this should be the opposite.
The most important point is the elements that, under the name of “other opinion”, destroy the workers’ strike or lead it astray in order to create division and defeat it. This is our living experience in Haft Tappeh. The Islamic Labor Council, the flatterers of the employer and the anti-worker management, the security elements who defend the continuation of privatization and the oppression of the employer to the workers, the elements who speak the language of the employers and the proud owners of the industry, کرد. The policy that wants to end the strike without any success, the policy that keeps the workers away from the workplace and is afraid of the workers’ gathering and calls it “securing the strike”, these are everyone who is in favor of Zanganeh and the employers and managers And they are the tops. “These are not dear workers of the oil and gas industry.”
Organizations in solidarity with the labor movement in Iran-abroad also stressed the historical importance of the strike in a statement while supporting the striking workers. The statement reads in part:
“The emergence of oil, gas and petrochemical workers, one of the most important industries in Iran, which was on strike. The Pahlavi monarchy was sent to the dustbin of history. “The sections of the labor movement have helped and played the greatest role in the realization and formation of the working class around the workers’ alternative and in shifting the balance of power in favor of the labor movement and other social movements.”
At the global level, the attention of trade unions and the mass media has been drawn to the strike of contract oil and petrochemical workers and power plants. World news agencies have published detailed reports of this widespread labor movement in Iran.
The International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles, a global labor organization, has supported the Iranian workers’ strike. In its statement, the network appreciated the support of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Workers ‘Union, the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Workers’ Union, and Iranian retirees ‘and teachers’ organizations for the strike of industrial, oil, and gas workers.
The statement added: “Iranian authorities do not recognize independent trade unions and labor activists have always been the target of judicial and security crackdowns. “Corruption in the privatization of industrial units, temporary contracts, lack of job security, fatal accidents at work and disproportionate wages to high prices are among the issues protested by the labor movement in Iran.” Finally, the statement called for solidarity to protest the dismissal of 700 protesting workers.
Along with this wave of local and global solidarity, the support of official workers working in state-owned oil and petrochemical companies to contract workers should be mentioned. Various groups of workers have expressed support for the striking contract workers in various ways, including through social media. They have also threatened to stage a paralyzed strike if the demands of the contract workers are not heeded. Will be in all fields of oil and petrochemical industry.
Source: fa.komala.org. Translated from Farsi by Google.
Anibal 30/6/2021, 09:16
Trade unions and trade unionists are already active:
On the hardness of the government, renewed with a tough new president (in elections with high abstention): we will see if they loosen up and allow some capacity of movement to independent trade unionism, or continue with dismissals and repression (I read from anarcho-syndicalists of the Spanish CGT that there are more than 700 dismissals).
Michael Shraibman, 29-6-2021
… Strikes in Iran. Why are union supporters the enemies of the working class?
A powerful wave of strikes is sweeping Iran. These riots, caused by the dire situation of the economy and the bad situation of the social grassroots and the working population, come and go. But this time they affected the oil industry. And disruptions in this industry can affect the entire Iranian economy and act as a snowball effect. But there is another factor. There is no strong trade union movement in Iran because of mass repression (although small unions, sometimes illegal, do exist there). Up to a point, this reduces the opportunity for workers to go on strike. However, the factory working class is characterized by the emergence of a spontaneous strike movement in a worsening economic situation. It forms around informal leaders and the most active workers, sometimes forming a system of workers’ assemblies, which put forward a number of demands during the strikes. Sometimes such meetings elect workers’ committees/councils for operational management of the strike and other protests. Such movements are much more dangerous for the owners of factories and plants (in Iran, the state and related structures own almost all large enterprises). The fact is that workers’ movements of this type are not controlled by fattened trade union leaders and the trade union apparatuses, which are used to good official salaries. Such leaders and apparatus are not interested in radicalization. The Iranian regime, like the Chinese regime, is taking a big risk by restricting or banning trade unions. This could, at some point, lead to the rapid radicalization of the labor movement. In the United States and Western Europe, business and government use different strategies. They allow unions to form. Although the influence of unions in the U.S. and Europe is gradually declining, unions still create a protective cushion for business and the state. Unions allow capital to integrate, to colonize labor protest, bringing it into the familiar bureaucratic mainstream and leaving workers bogged down in litigation and reconciliation commissions. Perhaps this difference is due to the fact that, Capital in Iran or the PRC simply does not have the reserves to meet even soft demands and relies on low working-class wages attractive to investors. […] Something similar happened in Czarist Russia in the early 20th century. The Russian tsar, with few exceptions, banned trade unions based on the same considerations (half of Russian capitalist industry was owned by foreign investors attracted by low wage costs). That is why the Russian labor movement took the form of revolutionary councils. In any case, the supporters of trade unions are the enemies of the workers’ revolution.
John Hoyt 29/6/2021, 20:21
Is it not the moment to unleash the proletarian insurrection against the Iranian bourgeoisie? It is necessary to take up again the road of 1979 and settle the accounts pending with democracy. The proletarian insurrection is the only possibility of producing an international rupture against capitalist domination. The proletariat in Iran could indicate the correct road towards the emancipation of the workers on a world scale.
Translated with Deepl.com
Reply by Anibal Inter-revTo develop a proletarian insurrection and to have possibilities to win through it , the exploited class and those who support it have to generate conditions and characteristics of struggle, organization and consciousness that today are not yet gathered. These struggles provide elements ( positive and negative) to continue resisting ( repression has been and is hard, very hard) and fighting in the future with more strength and better consciousness of what is at stake and what is necessary to win. In addition there is the issue of the so-called independent trade unionism, which is postulated to fulfill the pro capitalist system functions of trade unionism…which needs democracy to move as they need.if the political system of Iran is shielded and does not give it a chance, this trade unionism will appear as a martyr and it will be more difficult with time to learn in the proletarian class that its role is to favor wage labor, and not to end it, for the sake of it. This is at the heart of the problems in Iran and in other parts of the planet that still do not have a developed democratic trade union system.
Translated with Deepl.com
29-06-2021 [about 15 pages, many recent events, lessons from the oil strike that ended the regime of the Shah and brought the Aytollas into power]
[Note that indicated years are according to the Iranian calendar, ad 621 years, or convert to Gregorian Calendar]
Working time for man to become a pleasure to be in full Karl Marx himself in what he created . We have the opportunity to give us your creativity to good aspect by which we can adopt to showcase this aspect will be our humanity or our intelligence or skill .
But if we have a torturous job that does not engage our emotions, we will be depressed and frustrated . Karl Marx also explains in ” The Civil War in France ” how we experienced for the first time in the Paris Commune a society in which the workers came to power . “The change the commune made in Paris was astonishing, ” he writes . And it was really amazing ! The Paris Commune brought about change at the heart of the women’s uprising, “the real women of Paris – heroes, proud and selfless .”
Karl Marx begins with the analysis of the capitalist system of commodities, and whatever is produced and produced for exchange is considered a commodity . The product must first meet one of the needs . These needs, whether material or spiritual ( books, poems, paintings, loaves of bread, or a handful of clothes ) make no difference in the matter itself .
Capital is the materialized labor of the worker who becomes alienated from his owner and condenses with the capitalist . What enslaves and exploits the worker is slavery, this material element, the materialized labor of the working class, which is concentrated in the capitalist . Capital, like any other commodity, is a commodity, whether it is the means of production or financial capital, such as guaranteed contract values such as banknotes, checks, promissory notes, securities, financial credit, and so on .
The working class is born of the capitalist mode of production, and its class antagonism has been with the capitalist system as a whole since its inception . Understanding the class struggle between the working class and the capitalist was not the initiative of Karl Marx, but was realized by bourgeois economists before Marx . What distinguishes Marx from bourgeois economists is the discovery of surplus value in the second process of the production process, the surplus and unpaid labor of the working class . On this basis, the worker in the capitalist system is considered on the basis of the production of surplus value, and the nature of labor is not in question . These surplus value producers can be skilled or non-skilled workers; Whether they are doctors or engineers, teachers, carpenters, cooks, singers, dancers and so on . What matters is the production of surplus value and that’s it. Marx Kargar has examined the capitalist system on the basis of the production of surplus value .
In the capitalist system, the two classes are facing each other and in constant conflict; The working class and the capitalist class . The class and economic struggle of the working class is the material basis of its political struggle . The role of the conscious elements of the working class, that is, the socialists who adhere to Marx’s scientific socialism, is very important in this struggle . Without cohesion and unity and organization that can give the working class political awareness and leadership, these miseries, crises and deadlocks cannot be freed .
Now that our oil workers’ strike has become wider and relatively longer, we must emphasize that our society needs class solidarity as well as the solidarity of other movements, such as the women’s movement, the student movement, the youth movement, and the environmental movement of oppressed people, to overthrow capitalism and the capitalist government. Different parts of Iran and of course the families are with the labor movement and the strikers . It is a big mistake to be a spectator and wait for the events now, because there is an opportunity that we should not miss . It is right now to start popular uprisings, especially with the initiative of young men and women, such as December 1996 and November 1998 . It is only now that we can take over the streets and squares of cities and large industries such as oil and gas and petrochemicals, etc., and not return to our homes until the day we settle accounts with this murderous and mafia capitalist government .
Freedom, equality and social justice can only be brought to us by the science of human liberation, ie socialism, men and women, old and young, Kurds, Turks, Persians, Arabs, Baluchis, Gilakis, Turkmen, Lors, etc. Let ‘s fight against the Islamic Republic and not divide the sectarian and nationalist currents and chauvinism, as working men and women have fought throughout history .
The current state of the world’s workers, especially the plight of workers in peripheral countries such as Iran, the intensification of exploitation and forms of colonialism, the fragmentation of the working class, and the loss of the achievements of the world working class during centuries of struggle. It forces us to analyze the current situation and the causes of all these disorders of the working class .
A reporter for ILNA article about the strike, strike oil, petrochemical and power plants, Iran, wrote : ” These days, words and phrases are new to the discourse of protest Pymankaryhay oil found its way ,” managers the capital ” , ” Nftyhay Thrannshyn ” ; ” Kerosene for them, kerosene for us !” و … »
He adds: “The root of all problems, however, lies in the legal and functional discrimination institutionalized in the same oil; “When the rules governing the occupational groups involved in black oil are different, different wage systems prevail, and eventually, some ride on the shoulders of others and ride the mufti .”
If you have been browsing social networks and news sites these days, you have probably come across news, reports, pictures and videos of numerous protests and strikes by the country’s oil industry workers . The overwhelming majority of workers are contract or temporary basis, from Monday 31 June 1400 protests and their livelihoods strike began sporadically in some refineries .
The protests Tuesday from the first shot was far more pervasive and many oil facilities, refineries across the country pulled together Ptrvshymyhay and Tuesday 8 July, continued .
The main goal of the protests and strikes Treaty of farmers and their workers targeted under the contract . According to images and reports published in the media and social networks, the strike has spread across the country to refineries, petrochemicals, oil tanks and oil rigs in Tehran, Kangan, Mahshahr, Arak, Qeshm, Khark, Behbahan, Gachsaran, Bushehr. , بAbadan and Isfahan … are also drawn .
Strikes and labor protests in past decades less than the record, since 1399 once grew only include contract workers, project and temporary contract under private employers, but the protests in recent months to formal workers In particular, the operational department of the Ministry of Oil was expanded . The severity and extent of the protests from the beginning of 1400 until now, much more than the size of last year’s protests .
Now, however, workers in the country’s oil, gas and petrochemical industries have joined the wider protests . Looking at the pictures and videos published of these protests in different parts of the country, the common denominator of the demands of the protesting workers can be considered as a protest against low wages and unsuitable working conditions . The oil workers’ strikes and protests to campaign for access to livelihood demands of other segments of society has become . In fact, the protesting workers are demanding an increase in their normal wages and have launched these protests under the name ” Campaign 1400 ” . Project and contract workers in the oil industry of Iran, in his account of the protests by the Treaty Karan treaty oil companiesKnow what manpower . The workers and professional engineers, strong and defiant that the main burden on the shoulders of their Iranian oil industry, said that by signing the Treaty of farmers has been no such thing as job security and work permanently deprived of the contract and the other with severe wage discrimination Faced .
Council organized protests contract workers Oil, announced the addition of workers on strike held on 9 July as ” official partners ” in the Oil Ministry on strike and ” If by the end of August to demand ” the workers was not answered, the strikes It becomes wider .
In this regard, the Council for Organizing Protests of Contract Oil Workers, in its statement on July 26 , referring to the beginning of the strikes on June 20 , announced that ” tens of thousands of our colleagues are on strike and our official colleagues will gather on July 29 . “They will strike, and if our demands are not met by the end of August, we will prepare for a wider continuation of our protests .”
According to reports, a large number of striking workers have left the workplace and returned to their hometowns . However, the council asked them to return to their dormitories to prevent new recruits to the Treaty firms do not .
Contract workers refineries, petrochemical plants and power plants called ” wage increase to 12 million USD per month ,” and ” Change turn off the 20 -day and 10 -day leave ” , gone on strike . Currently, they have six days off for 24 working days .
The strikes continued as 700 striking workers at the Tehran oil refinery were fired last Tuesday . This issue has caused a lot of criticism on social networks .
In parallel with the decline in purchasing power in recent years, there have been reports of many rallies and strikes by workers and wage earners over difficult living conditions .
So far, sections of workers at refineries in Tehran, Qeshm, Abadan, Bidboland, Behbahan, Gachsaran Petrochemical, and Bushehr have held protest rallies to demand that their demands be addressed, and more than 61 companies and labor units have joined the wave .
At least eight provinces, Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormozgan, Tehran, Isfahan, West Azerbaijan, Kerman and Ilam, have recently joined the strike of oil, gas and petrochemical workers .
As the Iranian oil, gas and petrochemical workers ‘strike continued and spread, the left, civil and human rights forces inside and outside the country also issued statements in support of the workers’ strikes .
Domestic and international support for the oil workers’ strike continues . The strike by Iranian oil workers in seven provinces is supported by teachers, retirees, students and unions . The parliament’s energy commission has arranged a meeting with the oil minister and representatives of the IRGC and the security services .
Meanwhile, the Federation of World Industrial Unions, which represents more than 50 million industrial workers in the automotive, steel, oil, petrochemical and textile industries around the world, said in a statement that it would stand by the striking workers until their demands were met .
‘ International network of trade » Monday 28 June – 7 Jul statement in support of the striking workers’ demands release of Iran’s oil industry . Dozens of trade unions from around the world are organized in this international network .
“The Iranian oil industry is under the control of several contractors, ” the statement said of the plight of Iranian oil workers . The working rule of these companies is temporary contracts or even without employment contracts . “Workers are exploited .”
The statement added that a large-scale strike had been launched since June 19 and that workers from 70 companies had joined the strike .
In its statement on the workers’ demands, the International Trade Union Network mentions three demands :
Remove all workers employed by contractors and workers with similar agreements ” official ” ;
Increase wages so that they are not less than 400 euros per month;
Review working time based on 20 working days then 10 days rest . Many workers in the south of the country work in temperatures of 50 degrees or on offshore platforms away from home .
Statements referring to concerns by hiring unemployed workers that employers can break the strike, adds that on 30 June the workers ” official ” also will join this movement .
In the statement , ‘ member organization of the International Network of Solidarity trade union and anti-workers organized protests turn-out and the oil contract workers movement co-ordinates, supports . “
Eight trade union body and the Union of Iran issued a statement on Monday, 28 June – 7 bar called ” The Great Strike of workers due to very bad condition work environments in the oil and gas industry as well as meager salary that the conditions for workers project and “Oil and petrochemical contracting across the country has become very unbearable .”
The statement referred to the workers’ demands and said : “The demands of the striking workers are the common demand of all workers across the country, such as that the minimum wage should not be less than 12 million tomans, the right to form independent labor organizations, the ban on dismissal, the right to protest and strike. “In terms of wages, improving working conditions and the work environment, establishing the necessary standards of health, safety, etc. “
These eight trade unions “have called on all workers, retirees, teachers, students, intellectuals, artists, journalists ” to support this labor movement .
The union signatories of the statement are : Hafta Tappeh Sugarcane Workers ‘Union, Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company Workers’ Union, Retirees ‘Union Group, Coordination Committee to help establish trade unions, Islamshahr Cultural Guilds Association, Retirees’ Union, Farhangian Guilds Association Kurdistan – Saqez and Zivieh .
The Iranian Human Rights Defenders Association has also published a statement on the association’s website expressing its support and solidarity with the striking workers .
Meanwhile, the General Union of Iraqi Oil and Gas Workers said in a statement that it ” eagerly supports the demand for wage increases and other demands of Iranian workers .”
The General Union of Iraqi Oil and Gas Workers also wrote in a statement that the union ” eagerly supported the demand for wage increases and other demands of Iranian workers who have been on strike for several days and condemned the dismissal of 750 striking workers, contrary to the ILO Convention and the Convention.” 87 ( right to strike ) of 1947 and Convention 98 ( right to organize ) year 1948 knows . “
In this edition also states that ” the General Union of workers of oil and gas sector of Iraq declares that : We will support the efforts of workers for their rights anywhere .”
The decades-long economic and security pressures on the various strata of the Iranian people, which were reflected in the two uprisings of January 1996 and November 1998, are now reflected in the strike by the contract workers of the oil industry . These pressures will soon lead to protests in universities and schools, which are not far from the connection with the oil workers ‘strike, especially since the announcement of support for the oil workers’ strike is spreading from all sides . Neither the news of the strike nor the social echoes and the support given to the workers are reflected in the state media, but this censorship and blocking of the news has never, in any country of the world, led to ignorance and anger in the people, especially in the world. Today that world is cyberspace .
At the same time oil workers continue strike, a 345 students from Tehran University to protest the expulsion of a student called ” fractional light ” of the University was published . In their letter to the president of the university, they demanded the revocation of the dismissal order of Kasra Nouri, a Gonabadi dervishes . They called the dismissal of Kasra Noori a ” deletion, police and absolutely illegal ” act .
” Kasra Nouri ” has been imprisoned since March 22, 1996 , and is practically unable to go to university . The students who signed the letter have strongly demanded that the illegal expulsion order from Kasra Nouri be revoked immediately .
Meanwhile, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Iran’s oil minister Sheikh Hassan Rouhani’s government, the Ministry of Oil Workers problems related to labor law and requests them as ” illegal ” calls .
As the Iranian oil industry workers continued their strikes, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh rejected the demands of contract workers, saying only that he was trying to solve problems related to the salaries and benefits of official employees .
The oil minister said that ” the problem of contract workers and labor law is a project of the Ministry of Oil ,” calls them ” illegal ” calls .
Simultaneously with Bijan Zanganeh’s sarcastic and anti-labor claims, Mustafa Nakhaei, the spokesman of the Parliamentary Energy Commission, announced that he was trying to investigate and solve the problems of the Ministry of Oil employees, but neither of them promised to solve the problems of contract workers and projects .
Among the statements of the injured workers seen a few key points such as the lack of regulation increase the annual fee by the Treaty of workers that in some cases have been heard with suggestions at 5 percent annual wage increase would have been workers who have no job security, and if not admission fees imposed by the Treaty conservatives, might easily lose their jobs . It , too, such as the holidays and the number of days of employment in a protest and demanded to such counterparts are under contract Treaty conservatives are a maximum of 20 days a month as a day to be served . The problem of unfavorable conditions and accommodation of workers, camps and barracks where there are no workers and employees of the oil industry that provide the entire economy of Iranian society . It is another demand of the workers of the oil industry, which, especially during the outbreak of the disease, has threatened the health of all workers and employees and, consequently, their families . In such circumstances the workers about two weeks to build the hashtag ” No to the Treaty conservatives ” want to delete intermediary companies in the country’s oil and gas industry . It appears encounters some treaty conservatives against the peaceful protesters threatened to fire workers has been settled and lay out the form .In a situation where the living conditions and job security of workers in the most important industry of the country, the situation is such that they have no choice but to protest and strike and directly present their demands and economic and job issues, it seems you must think of a basic solution for their situation . Workers who in their slogans only want justice for themselves and their classmates, and in the absence of representatives and universal organizations that can represent these industrialists with basic issues, need to expand the relations of labor activists in different sectors of labor and suffering. Lead a joint delegation that includes all sections of the workers and moves towards a general strike .
The problems of workers and employees in the oil industry, however, are not limited to the macro issues of rent-seeking economies and the oil market . In four decades, Iran’s oil industry has experienced a process of economic liberalization resulting in a host of problems for the workers of the industry’s jobs and livelihoods and severe exploitation .
The current oil workers’ strike brings back memories of the Revolution of 1957 for all the months in which we actively participated . The experiences of the Revolution of 1957 raise the enthusiasm of our class struggle and give us more hope for change and better society .
It should be noted that in October 1357, after the coordination between strikers in different countries, which are subject to the implementation of the above provisions, began the hunger strike, including : the dissolution of SAVAK, the abolition of martial law, release of political prisoners , And ended the authoritarian rule of the Pahlavi government .
A lot of research is expensive, and analysts believe that politics and economics are economic problems in the movement of liberation and freedom of the important factors is a revolution . Rule -based system of authoritarian monarchy and Velayat-e faqih run without a natural source of financial strength and stability will not be possible because experience has shown that this model of government in our society allows freedom and equality and allow political movements – social and political organizations and parties and democratic institutions, public companies and institutions are not independent, of course, the crisis of the economy in the whole of governmentWitnessed a crisis of political and social culture in the form of riots, protests and strikes show, see .
Although Pahlavi regime in the ’40s to control inflation and curb rising prices , especially in commodities, managed to survive and prevent public protests, but conditions changed in the’ 50s . In the course with incredible rise in oil prices, which are affected by the Arabs and Israel, great wealth, but this wealth flowed into the country’s military spending generally and Rykh and spraying the side of the court and it was close .
While the costs are staggering Apr court, including the celebration of 2500 years of this decade . In addition to the internal situation is not very good king by his longtime friend America and Britain came under pressure and instead manage costs and reduce state spending unnecessary court and around it, put pressure on the shoulders of the people and the force Work wanted to accept work and tolerate conditions and austerity .
Until the beginning of the initial period of protests by the middle class and academics in early 1977 and continued until June 1978, a new phase of protests against the Pahlavi government was introduced, which was launched by staff of various governmental and non-governmental organizations. The protests became wider and wider . In this process, when it was mentioned, only seven major strikes were carried out by the industrial sector, but from June 1978 onwards, both the number and scope of strikes increased .
After the killing frost in Tehran on 17 September 1357, the first major strike by the universities and schools took place and then circle the strike to all oil industry, market, many public and private companies, banks and , Ports and even government offices were built . Pahlavi things worse than the PBO as the core of the central government also went on strike . 1
The summer of 1978 was one of the most difficult economic times for the Iranian working class . Peak reduction of wages in the same period, the number of unemployed began to take on a figure of about 400 thousand . Both the net salary earners, particularly in the construction sector for more than 30 percent fell . These issues led to an about equal number of strikes and the much larger number of institutions, enterprises and the private sector to also learn .
It is important that the Shah before this talk of ” welfare state ” raised and argued that the workers’ state with ” wool soft ” cover, in a speech threatening and violent and explicit addressing workers and wage earners, said : ” this is intolerable, it is that we do not work your tail off and take a mouse . Anyone who does not do his job properly, not only the conscience but also betrayed their patriotic duty … I remember a few years ago so that it is now so demanding that people should not flatter him ready for a meal He works all day and never gets enough work .Today, at this stage of transition, which need more workers have to beg them . ” .۲
The speech threatening the king appealed to the workers and wage earners for hard work and effort over more despite the fact that any what Iran’s oil and other resources were spent on court costs and good fun was his . In adopting this policy hard -emptive strike by the Pahlavi regime caused several large industrial areas and other parts were . In June 1357, employees of power in Tehran and some southern cities cloud network to add Sunny Tehran and several major industrial factories in the capital on strike to cancel bonusesThey went on a large-scale annual strike, in which electricity company workers in some major cities, although initially for economic reasons, gradually took on a political dimension and emerged as a new wave of protests against their government . .3
Power outages in some major cities were the first result of a strike by workers and employees in the sector . Naturally, this issue led to popular protests against the Pahlavi government . Present conditions for political opponents of the government provided a great opportunity to advertise in the absence of a comprehensive government took their profits through television and radio, with leaflets and Shbnamhhay as the only weapon to fight at that point, big impact the more alert than people have .
Power company workers strike major cities for a nationwide wave was sweeping the extent that in December and January 57 many other cities, including Isfahan, Kerman, Sari, Mazandaran also went on strike . Given the importance of electricity in other industries, the government and the most important normal life, society was faced with an internal disintegration . For example, many marketers and shopkeepers quit . Both the Justice some cities, including Surrey went on strike for a few days and literally shut down the country for half of revenue . .۴
Together with the proliferation of strike tavanir in different cities of Iran, a series of strikes another of the many staff of more than metropolises of Iran that could be pointed to the following : strike, more than 600 employees Department of Health Abadan, factory workers strike looms large city that practically closed the plant was large, two-week strike by more than 200 thousand employees Machine Sazi Tabriz as one of the factories in the West country, as well as employees of factories Fars Paper Manufacturing, Tehran Automobile Manufacturing and Ahwaz Water and Machine Manufacturing Facilities . .۵
But the oil company workers’ strike facilitated the revolution and accelerated it . Simultaneously with the strikes in many industrial and non-industrial centers of Iran, which were formed due to the reduction of salaries, benefits and bad economic conditions, many employees of the oil company also started various strikes in many cities in early September 1978 . This was while from 1353 onwards, with the huge increase in oil prices, a huge fortune flowed into the treasury of the court, which practically a very small percentage of this huge income went to the people, followed by the personnel of the oil company .
However, the protests seemed to be taken by the personnel of oil companies in the form of strikes, compared to other sectors of society, from the early days of the political aspect too much, since the strikes began on 18 September 57 just one day After Black Friday, which coincided with the martyrdom of many Iranians, it was carried out by government forces . On this day, about 700 workers at the Tehran Oil Refinery went on strike in protest of wage cuts and the announcement of martial law by the central government . After this, and on September 11, the personnel of the Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan and Abadan refineries joined the large number of strikers . .۶
The period of time that coincided with the start of negotiations for a new contract Oilfield Services osco Consortium and the National Iranian Oil Company, due to rising oil prices, personnel, the company expects an increase in their wages and the provision of better working conditions from the government If the oil company in its negotiations with the consortium to sign a new contract, did not pay any attention to the demands of personnel .
In such a process and after the strike took place in Tehran, Isfahan, Abadan, Ahvaz oilfield workers at that time as great most of the country’s oil fields, went on strike . At this time, the strike of the oil company employees in different cities was not particularly organized . For this reason, in some cases, some strikes were thwarted by pressure from the central government . The same activists and prominent figures of this section of the Iranian labor movement formed the Petroleum Council, and conditions were created for the workers of different sectors of the oil industry to communicate with each other and act in unity .
As a result, on October 57 and then to the coordination between the strikers in a different country, about 30 thousand employees of oil companies with bank staff of more than 100 thousand employees and workers in other parts and their economic demands with political demands, both sides said .
It was clear that the incidence of widespread strikes in the oil industry as an important source of income for the country, the Pahlavi regime with a very serious crisis turned . For example, Iran’s oil revenues in 1956 exceeded $ 20 billion, but the lack of exports in the second half of 1957 due to widespread strikes by the company’s staff and workers, sounded the alarm for the fall of the Shah . Needless to say, the strikes were part of the country, especially the workers and employees of oil companies Besides the maneuverability government protesters in front of a very reduced structural weakness and frailty Pahlavi regime’s foundations more than ever before that The result was the fall of the regime after a series of five months of protests and strikes .
When the workers and employees of the oil industry closed their oil valves in a calculated action and in the midst of public protests in the society, by cutting off oil exports abroad, they disappointed the Pahlavi government to remain so that the workers of the Iranian oil industry could once again respect human dignity. And protect his freedoms .
Oil matters most coherent and most organized protest of Ahvaz and Abadan oil refinery workers strike her in the middle of autumn 1357 had formed .
At the strike of thousands of workers and employees of the oil industry, sector of the oil industry had learned, strategic error committed by the imperial government . This means that the conditions of the oil workers were not serious negotiations to inevitable oil workers, are less hope of negotiating panel of the National Iranian Oil Company and to investigate the political situation in the country, a serious response more To shake hands; As the field Ahvaz oil – as large as the field of oil – the first stage of protest and dissent became employees . All the sounds were in the form of public protest, workers and employees of the oil industry, the idea of creating a policy reference transition and lead the industry in the mind of thought and a little less for the negotiations dispersed employees the center for organizing strikes, serious tone than was; While in this oil well was discovered that strikes it and to what extent the Welcome to the Pahlavi regime can sleep causing a stir .
In this way, the strike of the oil industry workers gradually took on a new atmosphere and color, and the union protests became a nationwide uproar . Oil refinery workers strike in 1357 than double the government put pressure on the declining side of that .
The first, close the bottleneck of oil production in order to cut the government’s economic artery , and another, the workers and employees of the oil industry of Iran’s oil industry in the Shah’s regime protesters, strikers can was . Key economic position and continued existence of oil in the side of a hand, and according to the oil, it is the strategic status in the minds of the public .
Oil workers seek to organize a protest of their own and therefore step in the initial formation of an executive committee to control political behavior and the way the opposition would have written .
So, after the design and delivery of multiple tasks, the workers, the strike participants with elections, to introduce people to join ” Organizing Committee of oil industry employees ” acted .
To assess the need for domestic oil, the committee reviews are conducted to ascertain the level of domestic demand for crude oil, the answer to the question ” how much crude oil production must be stopped? ” Obtained and in the end turned out for winter fuels by refineries in the country, the daily 350 thousand barrels of crude oil is required to order some refineries in the country were responsible for the supply of fuel for the winter .
It was in the middle of the fall of 1957 that the government took a strange step to quell the strike by inviting retirees and recruiting the military to resume crude oil production, but this tactic of the Labor government did not work and was the only result. it was part of the military installations due to lack of familiarity with how it would be injuries and disability .
These attempts by the Imperial government officials on notice that turn the wheels of a massive oil industry workers and skilled staff only at the hands of the powerful oil industry is possible . That’s why the king by force heads the military tried to strike of workers and employees of the presence in the operating enter the result of not only oil workers strike continues .
The strike was so strong that it was impossible to break it, so not resuming oil production, in addition to withstanding the military pressures of the Shah’s government, required many consequences, including the propaganda implications of government speakers against workers and revolutionary workers in the oil industry . In such circumstances, pressure from the government to break the oil strike of more breakable, though not only strikes but also measures next government, especially military force, the strike would also be strengthened .
Oil shock plunged the world market Abadan oil refinery site and the area in the early hours of Day 16 Dioxide of the 1357 full of oil workers who cry freedom cry out : ” oil ever produced only for domestic consumption ” ; It was then that the government was forced to import to supply gasoline, thus reducing the export of crude oil and finally cutting it off in mid-January, plunging the world market into an oil shock .
Undoubtedly, the driving force behind a large part of the protests against the government of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi during the revolution, especially the historic strikes of workers in the Iranian oil industry . One of the pillars of change and effort to establish a better world in Iran in the fourteenth century, were the oil industry workers who, according to the documents of the labor movement for the first time in 1325 , raised the issue of nationalization of the oil industry through their strikes and relatively politicians. The independence of that period, such as the appointment of the then Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, was pursued until it eventually led to the nationalization of Iran’s most important industry .
During the general protests that intensified in 1978 , various groups in the streets, workplaces and factories were resisting the Shah’s government, but all hopes were pinned on the oil workers .
17 Tir of 57 the number of oil workers wrote a letter to officials of the oil company time and spoke of the pressing problems of their housing . In the letter, they threatened to pitch a tent in front of the oil company for another two months if their demands were not met .
According to the document released by the Museum and Documentation Center of the oil industry, the report ” very confidential ” SAVAK, the CEO of the National Oil On 4 October 57 written, 21 strikes within days 26 September until 4 October in oil and gas have been reported, in which 10 thousand 131 workers involved in the revolutionary strike Kharg, Ahvaz, Abadan, Aghajari, Tehran, Masjed Soleiman and had Mahshahr . It was during these days that the strike spread to one of the world’s largest oil refineries, the Abadan refinery, which had a daily refining capacity of 600,000 barrels .The formation of the Oil Workers’ Council and the spread of promising strikes in the oil industry put the repressive machine of the Pahlavi government on the verge of collapse .
Since the culmination of the strikes in October and November 1978 , the scale and intensity of the strikes have become so widespread that the Iranian oil industry has been completely shut down for almost four months, and the Pahlavi government opposes the power of the Iranian oil workers and their will to overthrow the Shah. He was completely desperate .
In a word, we can emphasize that the workers and employees of Iran’s oil industry in the past century were able to prove their class commitment to revolutionary values and build a better world by playing prominent roles in the victory of the 1978 revolution .
In such circumstances, a great problem for the citizens of Iran, especially the workers of the epidemic, is that the leaders and officials of the Islamic Republic, like all other fields, always deliver a handful of false and unrealistic promises to the people .
The Islamic Republic of Iran has not cared about the place and life of its citizens for 42 years now . The leaders and officials of this government do not pay the slightest attention, except for hoarding wealth and maintaining sovereignty, even at the cost of massacring tens of thousands of people and destroying the environment and all the infrastructure of society .
The Crown Crisis has now been added to the pain of the people . So far, more than 300,000 people in Iran have died of coronary heart disease .
MR Mhbvbfr experts in the Arman newspaper printing Tehran ( Monday 7 July, 1400 ) wrote : While top officials of the Islamic Republic claims to export vaccines, which the country is still the first wave of Corona that since February 1398 the country started Is, precise control . The first wave of the disease is not well managed and so far five peaks of coronary heart disease have been observed in the country and for more than 18 months the death rate of coronary heart disease in the country is over 100 and three digits .
The crisis over vaccine supply has now reached a point where vaccination travel tours have flourished in Iran . By announcing free and non-stop vaccination to tourists in countries such as the UAE and Armenia, sections of the population are leaving Iran for their neighbors with the motive of safe vaccination with approved vaccines . Reports have even described vaccination so slow that travel to Afghanistan for vaccination has intensified in recent days .
But the vaccination process in the country does not end here, but the speed of corona vaccination is so slow that people have to wait in line for hours . This wait sometimes reaches 12 hours and some have to sleep in line at night . Meanwhile, long queues for Corona vaccine injection have created new jobs in the country, and there are people who stand in line for the elderly and their families and receive at least 100,000 tomans an hour to stand in line for the vaccine .
On the other hand reports from people stating Pfizer vaccine in a number of private hospitals in the capital and major cities such as Isfahan and Mashhad, Shiraz and … the price of two doses of vaccine to at least 16 million USD . The slow pace of vaccination in the country and the spread of the coronavirus as a result of overcrowding in vaccination centers have raised concerns about the long gap between two doses of the Quid 19 vaccine and reduced efficacy .
While the corona is being eradicated in many countries and the transmission chain has been cut, in our country the next peaks are coming . So far, more than 300,000 people in the country have died of coronary heart disease, but a variety of Iranian vaccines are being unveiled one by one, and the corona is still on the rise .
The coronavirus vaccine at issue, global competition is based on a variety of vaccines and new vaccines like Sputnik Iranian daily Iran, BC, Nvravks, Pastvkvvk, Kvvbrkt, Kvvpars, Fkhravak and Aspaykvzhn, Svbrana 1, 2, … announced it . In Iran, less than 3 % of the population has received the vaccine, and the first vaccination of Corona has been stopped, and the existing vaccines are sufficient for the second vaccination .
In neighboring countries, Qatar has 52 percent , Bahrain 66 percent , the UAE 68 percent , Turkey 26 percent and Saudi Arabia 25 percent . The share of Iran and its neighbors in the corona vaccine and the catastrophic statistics of the corona vaccine compared to neighboring countries, while four months ago the Minister of Health promised that in late May Iran will be the center of vaccine production .
Of course, the statistics about the victims and the victims of Corona announced by the health authorities of the Islamic Republic are several times lower than the real statistics .
Finally, we can emphasize that Iran has the fourth proven reserves of crude oil and the second proven reserves of natural gas in the world . Iran’s economy is monopoly and oil-dependent, and whenever oil production and exports are disrupted as they were in the mid- 1960s , Iran’s economy is in deep crisis . Fossil energy resources and reserves provide a large part of the government budget, and any related developments affect macroeconomic policies .
Iran is still experiencing unfavorable economic conditions, so that inflation in the 12 months leading up to June this year, compared to the same period last year, reached 43 %, which is the highest rate in the last quarter of a century .
This is the first time since the revolution 57 that oil workers working in such a massive scale brought .
With the cessation of oil exports, the Shah’s government lost its only instrument of power, and finally, with its inability to suppress the protesters’ anger, the Shah’s escape was the only solution on January 17 , 1979 , which dealt a fatal blow to the weak body of the Pahlavi court . Thus, with Khomeini’s arrival in Iran on February 3 , the society was so preoccupied with the revolution that the nature of this Ayatollah was not belligerent, violent, and murderous . Especially the biggest and oldest party of that period, the Tudeh Party, became a story with this monster . A party that held an important place among the workers and employees of the oil industry, as well as politicians and intellectuals .
If the oil workers created an independent political and social institution and presented it as a class alternative to the working class and other movements and society as a whole, and did not accept the role of Ayatollah Khomeini and the oil workers’ strike coordination committee, perhaps the fate of our society would be different. Eats !
In fact, the oil workers, so that we saw earlier, showed a remarkable capacity for collective action and thus, leading position and competent in the strike movement in the autumn of 1357 won . Even according to historical reports and documents, one week before the fall of the monarchy, the striking workers began holding meetings with the aim of strengthening organization, increasing solidarity, and raising workers’ awareness of their class interests . More than one hundred representatives of the electric, automobile, and oil unions gathered in the Kandriz Syndicate in Tehran on February 5, 1979 , condemning the dismissal of factory workers and demanding the presence of a workers ‘representative in the Revolutionary Council, and the idea of forming a workers’ solidarity council. Discussed .
But the Revolutionary Council and Khomeini did not accept the oil workers’ request, and the workers did not react appropriately .
While in those days oil workers were in a good position to play a more independent and radical role in the workers’ struggle and the wider revolutionary movement, the question is why this did not happen in the end . All the evidence shows that the oil workers were in a good position to set up, lead and influence the district committees . But was it the role of religion and mass thinking or the lack of experience and class ignorance that left the oil workers open to the political arena of society to advance Khomeini and his religious tendencies ?
This bitter experience must now teach us that socio – political movements, and above all the labor movement, should not leave their field of struggle to individuals and parties, but should directly elect the representatives of their councils in a free, equal and democratic atmosphere, and directly manage all Take over the labor sections . The same goes for other movements as well as neighborhoods. Finally, at the head of all urban, rural, provincial and national councils, they form a national coordination council that determines and promotes all macro-policies of the country, from economy, politics, culture and education to diplomacy and security, military and defense fields.
In the final months leading up to the revolution, the slogan ” Our oil worker, our staunch leader ” became one of the most important revolutionary slogans, entwining the 2,500- year-old monarchy forever .
Experienced oil workers’ strike in 1357 will be the same day strike by workers of oil, gas and petrochemical industry used and deadly blows to the body of the Islamic Republic are rotten . However, while the Islamic Republic of Iran in the region and the world crisis, numerous grappling and severely weakened the stability and strength and Mbarzanh united oilmen can bring a different fate for the future of society .
The Council for Organizing Protests for Oil Contract Workers has stated that the strike for contract workers and projects is ” a warning strike … and we will join the ranks of our official colleagues who have announced the protest on 9 July .”
Maybe tomorrow, July 29, 1400 is a fateful day, let’s participate in this movement widely !
1 – Ervand Abrahamian, the history of modern Iran, translated by Mohammad Ibrahim fattahi, Tehran, Reed Publishing, Tenth Edition, 1393, p. 285,
2 – Ervand Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions, Tehran, Reed Publishing, 1387, p. 631,
3 – Ibid., Pp. 631 and 649,
4 – Mehdi Kayhan, the role of the Iranian working class in the great anti-imperialist revolution and our patriotic people, World Magazine, No. 5 . سال 1358 . P. 73,
5 – Ervand Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions, p. 632,
6- The same. P. 638.
Tuesday, July 8, 1400 – June 29, 2021
Source: cpiran. Translation from Farsi by Google Translate
Anibal 26/6/2021, 12:16 pm (source)
Widespread strike by Iranian workers!
…Now, after protests and strikes by truck drivers, teachers, nurses and pensioners, it is the turn of oil company workers to react to the situation. The strike comes after dozens of Iranian Oil Company employees and workers in at least five cities and towns in Assaluyeh, Lavan and Bahregan and on an oil rig in the Persian Gulf protested against their working conditions and low incomes in late May.
In the following days, the strike expanded and many cities joined in. In Kerman – Butia Steel Workers / In Urmia – Combined Cycle Power Plant Workers / In Qeshm – Workers of Sazeh Farafan Company and Behsh Electricity and Precision Tools of Qeshm Refinery / In Mahshahr – Workers of the Qeshm Refinery / In Mahshahr – Fajr Petrochemicals workers / In Assaluyeh – Polymer Company project workers / In Mahshahr – Bid Boland refinery project workers / In Bandar Abbas – Damavand Star Oil Holding / In Jask – Damavand Star Oil Holding / In Ilam – Jahan Pars and ECO workers, active in the Sarvak oil project, located in the Azar oil field / in Behbahan – Bead Boland Refinery / in Abadan – Refinery staff / in Isfahan – Workers of Absan Refinery Company / Permanent workers of phases 9 and 10 of South Pars / Workers of Bushehr refineries and petrochemical centres / Arak Machine Sazi / Workers of Exir Sanat and Satrap Sanat and Sina Refining and of the construction of Qeshm oil depots and contract workers of phase 13 of Kangan and South Adish refinery, spherical and cylindrical tanks, and Rajan company, as well as AJC workers working in Abadan refinery and Lidoma company workers joined the strikers.
Given that the oil industry is the most important and influential industry in Iran and that any disruption in the production and distribution of oil products has crippling effects on all industries and service sectors and on society, the strike of the oil company workers is totally different from the strike of other unions. This strike may very well act as a spark in the powder keg and explode the anger of the Iranian society in the current situation and kick-start another decisive uprising like the one in November 2019 in a very short time.
Of course, Khamenei and other leaders of the Iranian regime are well aware of this and live in constant fear, but since they cannot solve any of the problems of the society and cannot meet the demands of the workers, they resort to dictatorial methods, i.e. they first resort to threatening and then arresting and sacking the workers. They dismissed 700 workers of the Tehran refinery in an act to force other workers to return to work and break their strike.
But despite all the threats of the Iranian regime, the general strike of the oil and petrochemical workers has spread and entered its second week and so far, this strike has affected more than 60 refineries, petrochemical centres and power plants in Tehran, Arak, Isfahan, Ahvaz, Abadan, Mahshahr, Jask, Assaluyeh, Gachsaran, Damavand, Behbahan, Bushehr, Kangan, Qeshm, Khark, Urmia, Kerman, Bandar Abbas and Ilam.
Khamenei knows that, if he meets the demands of these workers, he must respond to the demands of other sectors of society who want better living conditions, but since the Iranian regime is drowning in corruption and all its leaders are only concerned with their own interests and the survival of their regime, they have failed to meet the legitimate demands of the people. In some cases in the past, the regime was forced to meet the people’s demand only when it sensed the danger of a public uprising.
This time, the regime faced determined workers who have nothing to lose and, given that these are the last days of Hassan Rohani’s term in office, decision-making to resolve these issues has become more difficult.
It is possible that if the regime does not meet the demands of the workers and these strikes spread further, the whole regime will be in serious danger of collapse and overthrow.
Anibal 26/6/2021, 11:06 am (source)
Strike extension in the oil sector
“Strikes in this sector seem to be the most important in forty years, if we put them in the wake of the struggles of August 2020. “
Iran, 25 June 2021 – Massive strikes by oil sector workers, which began on June 19, entered their seventh day on Friday. The strike, which affects one of the vital sectors of the Iranian economy, has spread in recent days, with more workers from different companies joining the movement every day.
In a statement, the strikers said: “We, the contract workers of refineries, petrochemical companies and power plants, will resume our strike to protest against low wages, declining purchasing power and unfulfilled promises [by the authorities]. We will demand our rights by holding rallies in front of our workplaces. “
Iranian petrochemicals workers go on strike
24 June, 2021Workers in oil and gas fields and petrochemical plants went on strike in South Pars, Tehran and throughout Iran. The move is part of a coordinated action called the “1400 Strike Campaign”, referring to the current year in the Iranian calendar.
Because the government does not recognise independent trade unions, which are systematically restricted, this wildcat strike is being coordinated by workers’ strike committees. The immediate demands of the strike are better wages, adequate social security and better living conditions. The strike committees issued a clear set of wage demands for each job category and stated that work will resume when the employers comply.
This demonstration mirrors a month-long strike wave that took place in the South Pars oil and gas fields in August last year, involving 10,000 workers. The 2020 strike forced employers to improve wages and living conditions.
The Union of Metalworkers and Mechanics of Iran (UMMI), an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union, reported that the current strike wave began on 19 June, when workers ceased their activities and left their workplaces at several sites in southern Iran.
These workers are employed through contracting companies that provide labour for oil and gas field development projects. The contractors act as a buffer between the workers and the companies in this sector, and try to control the demands of the workers by employing them on short-term renewable contracts. The shift cycle is 20 days on and 10 days off. During the active 20-day period, workers are housed in communal dormitories near the workplace. Most of them are technicians and skilled workers, such as scaffolders, fitters, welders and electricians.
The dormitory conditions are poor and unhygienic, the food in the canteens is mediocre, and wages are low. Because workers are hired through intermediaries, they cannot negotiate better conditions directly with the oil and gas companies. The contractors set the wages and conditions.
In addition, these companies also often underpay social security contributions by misclassifying workers, which affects their pensions, unemployment and health insurance.
The strike has spread across the country. Currently, thousands of workers at 22 refineries and projects in the oil and gas hubs, including Jahan Pars, Gachsaran Petrochemicals, Tehran Refinery and Abadan Refinery, are on strike, forcing several projects to suspend operations.
The strike is expected to extend as the workers’ 20-day shift cycles end and they receive their pay. Direct employees of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will join the strike and organise nationwide demonstrations on 30 June.
In a statement posted on its website, the UMMI addressed workers in the sector:
“Our hands tighten the screws and the pipes are welded with our sweat. No project can proceed without our assembly, welding or scaffolding work. Trust in your power and stay at home, let’s see if the scaffolding builds itself!”
US sanctions have halted most of Iran’s oil and gas exports. The national currency has depreciated and food inflation is extremely high. Before the strike began, workers protested outside parliament in Tehran and in Ahvaz, the capital of the oil-producing province of Khuzestan, to demand that Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh respond to their demands.
IndustriALL deputy general secretary Kemal Özkan said:
“Once again, our Iranian comrades have shown tremendous courage and determination in the face of oppression. They are taking collective action to defend themselves, improve their conditions and demand that their homeland be built with the needs of the majority in mind. We salute them and stand in solidarity with their struggle and their just demands”.
Group of International Communists From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
2021 Hermann Lueer (Editor/Translator)
105 pages, €8,07
Red & Black Books
Most Marxists do not like Marx. At least, they don’t like the economic principles of the communist society that Marx derived from his critique of capitalism. But most Marxists do not criticize Marx in this respect either, they prefer to interpret him.
“Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution,” the now legendary 1930 pamphlet of the Group of International Communists, was both a detailed exposition of the communist mode of production that Marx and Engels had only sketched out and a fundamental critique of the revisionism of the political parties that invoked Marx.
The book at hand contains a selection of articles published by the members of the Group of International Communists in various periodicals between 1925 and 1936, whose critique has lost none of its relevance to this day.
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” 1)
This certainly most famous quotation of Karl Marx became the epitome of the communist society, in which Marxists and anarchists can unite until today. At the same time, the greatest misunderstanding, or rather the most fundamental revision of Marx’s critique of political economy, is connected with this guiding principle.
Marx never distinguished between a socialist transitional phase and communism. For Marx, communism was realized with the successful social revolution, with the abolition of exploitative relations. Marx showed with his analysis of the economic relations that wherever one part of society owns the monopoly of the means of production, the worker, free or unfree, must provide a portion of his labor time to produce luxuries for the owner of the means of production. Only the form in which this additional labor is extorted from the immediate producer distinguishes the economic formations of society.2)
As simple as the basis of the domination of the working class is, as simple was for Marx the derivation of the abolition of capitalist wage labor. This abolition can only happen if the separation between worker and labor product is abolished if the right of disposal over the product of labor and thus over the means of production again belongs to the workers. In the association of free people, in which work with the means of production is done in common, in which the labor power of all the different individuals is consciously applied as the combined labor power of the community, the communally exercised disposition of the results of production by the free producers is the essential determination of communist society.3)
For this, contrary to the opinion of most of the Marxists who refer to Marx, there is no need for a long and complicated path under the leadership of the party to reach, as Lenin put it, even the lowest stage of communism. On the contrary, “state communism” lacks from the outset the economic foundation on which to realize its ideal of the withering away of the state. With the nationalization of the means of production in the name of the people, wage labor is not abolished. Socialization of the means of production which does not at the same time abolish the separation between worker and labor product misses the goal since it maintains the exploitative relationship associated with wage labor. It lacks the fundamental economic basis of communist society, which enables the members of society to determine for themselves their working time and consumption – that is, what they want to have and how they want to work according to their individual weighing of effort and return.
Marx and Engels were not idealistic utopians who imagined a better world beyond the economic preconditions. They knew that the realm of freedom begins only where the work determined by necessity and external expediency ends; it lies, therefore, by its very nature beyond the sphere of actual material production.*) For Marx and Engels, however, communism was also not a project on the distant horizon of human history, when the productive forces have developed to such an extent that the realm of necessity has largely been overcome. For them, therefore rules on which all social labor must be based were indispensable for the planning of communist production following the social revolution. People cannot live in a community based on the division of labor and be free from it at the same time. Free producers, therefore, “cannot arbitrarily dispose of the means of production as do the “free producers” under capitalism (the factory owners or leaders). If the disposition is arbitrary, then there can be no question of communal disposition.” 4)
Fifty years before Ludwig von Mieses had to enlighten the majority of Marxists that the abolition of the money measure without replacement is tantamount to the abolition of rationality in the economy, Marx and Engels already knew that with the help of the labor-time calculation the individual desire to consume and the individual willingness to work can be brought into the social planning process.
“The useful effects of the various articles of consumption, compared with one another and with the quantities of labor required for their production, will, in the end, determine the plan. People will be able to manage everything very simply, without the intervention of much-vaunted ‘value’.” 5) Only on this basis can the collectively exercised disposition of the means of production by the free producers be transformed from phrase to reality. That is, everyone can determine his own working time and consumption. In terms of content, the working time calculation is nothing other than the factual reconciliation of the division of labor carried out in the common planning.
With the labor-time calculation the bourgeois legal horizon – in principle – is inevitably connected, since “the right of the producers is proportional to the labor they supply; the equality consists in the fact that measurement is made with an equal standard, labor.” 5) This bothers many Marxists and anarchists, like the devil the holy water. However, the intellectual-philosophical dispute as to whether the labor-time calculation is only a transitional form to complete community and free use of social resources, and thus whether the narrow bourgeois legal horizon can be completely transcended, is not relevant to the decision of the majority of people. Based on the labor time calculation, the majority of the world population would have already won in comparison to the capitalist production relations, despite the “inevitable bourgeois legal horizon”. The same right is here still – in principle – the bourgeois right, but with fundamentally different content. The regulation of production and consumption through the calculation of working time no longer permits class distinctions, and whether individual labor is socially recognized is no longer determined behind the backs of the members of society in the competition on the market but is already determined with the common planning.
After the productive forces have increased with the allaround development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor has vanished, after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want, only then – when the realm of necessity has been overcome – the narrow bourgeois legal horizon can be completely transcended and everyone can simply do what he wants.
“Any distribution whatever of the means of consumption is only a consequence of the distribution of the conditions of production themselves. The latter distribution, however, is a feature of the mode of production itself. … Vulgar socialism has taken over from the bourgeois economists the consideration and treatment of distribution as independent of the mode of production and hence the presentation of socialism as turning principally on distribution. After the real relation has long been made clear, why retrogress again?” 6)
The fundamental principles of communist production and distribution derived from Marx and Engels’ Critique of Political Economy were already presented in detail in 1930 by the Group of International Communists under the corresponding title. In addition, numerous articles were published by members of the group from the mid1920s to the end of the 1930s, which have lost none of their topicality to this day. They provide a fundamental critique of the various currents based on Marxism, anarchism or, more generally, socialism – all to encourage workers to “take over the management and administration of production and distribution themselves, in accordance with generally adopted social rules to realize the Association of Free and Equal Producers. The GIC sees the essential progress of the workers’ movement in the development of workers’ self-consciousness. Therefore, it confronts the leadership politics of the parliamentary parties and the trade union movement with the slogan:
All power to the workers’ councils.
Production in the hands of the enterprise organizations.” 7)
1 Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, Part I
2 Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I, p. 164 / 153
3 Karl Marx, Capital, Volume I, p. 51
*) In the German version of his Foreword, Lueer refers to the German original of Karl Marx, Capital. A Critique of Political Economy, Volume III, p 593. The relevant fragment is as follows:
“In fact, the realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases; thus in the very nature of things it lies beyond the sphere of actual material production. Just as the savage must wrestle with Nature to satisfy his wants, to maintain and reproduce life, so must civilised man, and he must do so in all social formations and under all possible modes of production. With his development this realm of physical necessity expands as a result of his wants; but, at the same time, the forces of production which satisfy these wants also increase. Freedom in this field can only consist in socialised man, the associated producers, rationally regulating their interchange with Nature, bringing it under their common control, instead of being ruled by it as by the blind forces of Nature; and achieving this with the least expenditure of energy and under conditions most favourable to, and worthy of, their human nature. But it nonetheless still remains a realm of necessity. Beyond it begins that development of human energy which is an end in itself, the true realm of freedom, which, however, can blossom forth only with this realm of necessity as its basis.”
4 Group of International Communists, Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution, Red & Black Books 2020, p 25
5 Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, Part I.
6 Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, Part I.
Group of International Communists From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
2021 Hermann Lueer (Editor/Translator)
Amsterdam, 25 mai, 2021
Avec espoir et attente, les travailleurs du monde entier ont reçu les nouvelles des manifestations conjointes des locuteurs arabes et israéliens sur les ponts et les carrefours. Pendant les bombardements mutuels et les pogroms, ils ont protesté main dans la main, en tant que voisins et collègues de travail, contre la terreur et la guerre. Après l’armistice, ils ont exprimé dans leur participation aux manifestations de masse pour la paix la crainte que les puissances des deux côtés des frontières parlent de paix, mais en réalité préparent déjà la prochaine guerre. Des préparatifs de guerre qui nécessitent une intensification supplémentaire de l’exploitation de tous les travailleurs: travail frontalier, construction de tunnels, assemblage de missiles, plus de travail pour le développement et l’achat d’armements. Tout cela en plus de répercuter les coûts de la guerre et de la reconstruction sur les travailleurs et les pauvres. L’État d’Israël, l’État de l’OLP en Cisjordanie et l’État du Hamas à Gaza se sentent renforcés dans leurs efforts de guerre par le soutien massif de « leurs » populations aveuglées par le nationalisme. Sans exception, ces trois États continueront à diriger la terreur des milices et gangs extrémistes contre toute résistance aux préparatifs de guerre et à l’intensification de l’exploitation, même si cette résistance invoque la « paix » et le « droit à l’autodétermination » tels qu’articulés par les dirigeants du mouvement pacifiste.
Cette année a marqué le 80e anniversaire de la grève de masse des travailleurs d’Amsterdam contre la persécution de leurs collègues juifs, voisins et parents par les occupants Nazis allemands aux Pays-Bas. Est-il possible que maintenant les travailleurs juifs en Israël expriment leur solidarité avec les Israéliens arabophones, avec les travailleurs frontaliers de Cisjordanie, avec les prolétaires qui soupirent dans la prison ouverte appelée Gaza ? Depuis la lointaine Amsterdam, il est difficile de voir si c’est une possibilité réelle. Ce qui est clair, cependant, c’est que cela enverrait un signal que les divisions actuelles de la classe ouvrière par passeport, par langue, religion, type de contrat de travail, etc. peuvent être surmontées par la lutte ouvrière autonome. Cela forcerait également la classe dominante et exploiteuse d’Israël, de Cisjordanie et de Gaza à se retirer de la voie de la guerre et à accepter de justes demandes de salaires, de conditions de travail, de services sociaux et de santé.
Les obstacles à la solidarité entre travailleurs arabophones et juifs sont nombreux.
David Grossman :
« Nous, Israéliens, refusons toujours de réaliser que le temps est révolu où notre pouvoir peut imposer une réalité qui nous convient et seulement pour nous, pour nos besoins et nos intérêts. (Source : Haaretz)
En parlant de « nous, Israéliens », Grossman met dans le même sac les ouvriers, les capitalistes et les politiciens bourgeois et sépare les ouvriers israéliens de leurs camarades de classe avec des passeports ou des langues différentes. Les travailleurs n’ont pas le pouvoir de l’État ou sur l’État, et n’ont donc aucun intérêt à s’identifier à lui.
Ayman Odeh :
“J’entends des politiciens et des responsables de la sécurité parler d’une nouvelle série de combats dans quelques mois ou quelques années, alors qu’ils sont aveugles aux 7 millions de Palestiniens qui vivent entre la rivière [Jordanie] et la mer [Méditerranée]”, “Deux peuples vivent ici et les deux méritent le droit à l’autodétermination.” (Source : Jerusalem Post)
La solution à deux États, prônée par Odeh, aujourd’hui plus loin que jamais, si elle est réalisée ne fera que renforcer la division de la classe ouvrière selon l’État et le « peuple », ainsi qu’une poursuite du travail frontalier ou, au contraire, un l’importation de nouveaux migrants et donc une pression plus forte sur les travailleurs israéliens, s’ils ne sont pas capables de lutter solidairement avec les « nouveaux venus ».
Comme mentionné, de notre d’Amsterdam lointaine, il est difficile d’évaluer la situation au Moyen-Orient. Il appartient en particulier aux travailleurs en Israël et dans les territoires occupés, quelle que soit leur langue maternelle, de réfléchir aux menaces de la situation incertaine actuelle et aux opportunités d’être solidaires en tant que travailleurs.
Dans de multiples vagues de lutte prolétarienne, vous avez défié vos « propres » exploiteurs et oppresseurs au Liban, en Syrie, en Irak, en Iran, en Égypte, etc. Maintenant, la possibilité existe d’une telle lutte prolétarienne contre les exploiteurs et les oppresseurs dans l’État d’Israël, l’état de l’OLP en Cisjordanie et dans l’état du Hamas à Gaza. Cela signifierait que les luttes ouvrières mettent en branle un foyer important de tensions entre les impérialismes régionaux (Turquie, Iran, Arabie saoudite, etc.) à travers les luttes ouvrières, qui attendent aussi votre solidarité.
Le Moyen-Orient avec ses riches ressources énergétiques est un point focal majeur dans la lutte pour redistribuer les sphères d’influence impérialistes entre les États-Unis d’un côté et l’Axe Chine-Russie de l’autre. Ce qui se passe en Israël, en Cisjordanie et à Gaza détermine également votre sort. Soit aggravation de la barbarie capitaliste, soit montée de la classe ouvrière mondiale et établissement d’une société sans guerre ni exploitation.
Arbeidersstemmen (Voix Ouvrières)
Umut ve beklenti ile, dünya çapında işçiler, Arap ve İsrailli konuşmacıların köprü ve trafik kavşaklarındaki ortak gösterileri hakkında haber aldı. Karşılıklı bombalamalar ve katliamlar esnasında teröre ve savaşa karşı komşular ve dost işçiler olarak protesto ettiler. Ateşkesten sonra, kitlesel barış gösterilerine katılımlarda iki tarafta da barış hakkında konuşan fakat gerçekte savaşı hazırlayan güçlerden korkularını dile getirdiler. Tüm işçilerin sömürüsünü daha da yoğunlaştırmayı gerektiren savaş hazırlıkları: sınır ötesi emek, tünel kazma, füze inşa etme, silah sistemleri geliştirme ve satın alma için daha fazla emek. Tüm bunlara ilaveten savaş ve yeniden yapılanmanın maliyeti işçilere ve yoksullara aktarılır. Hem İsrail devleti hem Batı Şeria’daki FKÖ devleti hem de Gazze’deki Hamas devleti milliyetçilikle gözleri kör edilmiş “kendi” haklarının büyük desteği ile kendi savaş maksatlarında güçlenmiş hisseder. İstisnasız bu üç devlet savaş hazırlıklarına ve sömürünün yoğunlaşmasına karşı radikal milis ve çetelerin terörünü yönlendirmeye devam edecekler, bu direnç barış hareketinin liderleri tarafından dile getirilmiş barış ve kendi kaderini tayin hakkını dilese bile.
Bu yıl Amsterdam’da işçilerin onların Yahudi dost işçilerine, komşularına ve akrabalarına Hollanda’nın faşist nazi işgalcileri tarafından yapılan zulme karşı kitle grevinin sekseninci yıl dönümü. Şimdi İsrail’deki işçilerin, Arapça konuşan İsraillilerle Batı Şeria’daki sınır ötesi işçilerle, Gazze adlı açık cezaevinde ah çeken proleterlerle dayanışması mümkün mü? Uzak Amsterdam’dan bunun gerçek bir ihtimal olup olmadığını görmek zordur. Ancak açık olan işçi sınıfının pasaport, dil, din, iş sözleşmesi tipi gibi mevcut bölünmelerinin bağımsız işçi mücadelesi ile üstesinden gelinebileceğine dair bir sinyal göndermesidir. Ayrıca İsrail, Batı Şeria ve Gazze’deki yönetici ve sömürücü sınıfı savaş yolundan geri adım atmaya ve ücret, iş koşulları, sosyal ve sağlık hizmetleri için talepleri kabul etmeye zorlayabilir.
Arapça ve İbranice konuşan işçiler arasında dayanışmaya engel çok. Önemlilerinden bazıları:
Biz İsrailliler hâlâ gücümüzün bizim için, sadece bizim için, bizim ihtiyaçlarımız ve faydalarımız için uygun olan gerçeği zorlayabilecek zamanın geçtiğini anlamayı reddediyoruz.
Grossman “biz İsrailliler” diye bahsederek işçileri, kapitalistleri ve burjuvaları bir araya getiriyor ve İsrailli işçileri onların farklı pasaport ve dile sahip sınıfdaşlarından ayırıyor. İşçiler devlet ve devlet üstü bir güce sahip değil bu yüzden onlarla özdeşleşmek gibi bir ilgileri yok.
Politikacıların ve güvenlik görevlilerinin, Ürdün Nehri ve Akdeniz arasında yaşayan 7 milyon Filistinliye körken birkaç ay veya birkaç yıl içinde savaşın yeni raundu hakkında konuştuğunu duyarım, “Burada kendi kaderini tayini hak eden iki halk yaşar“.
Odeh tarafından savunulan iki devlet çözümü gerçekleşirse devlete ve “halka” göre sadece işçi sınıfının bölünmesini şimdi her zamankinden daha fazla pekiştirecek hem de sınır ötesi emeğin ve karşıda yeni mültecilerin girişinin devamlılığı yüzünden İsrailli işçilerin eğer yeni gelenlerle mücadele için dayanışma kapasiteleri yoksa onların üzerindeki baskıyı daha da ağırlaştıracak.
Bahsedildiği gibi uzak Amsterdam’dan Orta Doğu’daki durumu değerlendirmek zordur. Özellikle İsrail’deki ve işgal edilmiş bölgelerdeki işçilere, ana dillerine bakmaksızın güncel belirsiz durum içindeki tehditler ve işçiler olarak dayanışma içinde olma imkanları hakkında düşünmek düşüyor.
Proleter mücadelenin çoklu dalgasında, Lübnan’da, Suriye’de, Irak’da, İran’da, Mısır’da vs “kendi” sömürücüne ve zalimine meydan okudun. Şimdi İsrail devletinde ve Batı Şeria’daki FKÖ devletinde, Gazze’deki Hamas devletinde zalimlere ve sömürücülere karşı böyle bir proleter mücadele olasılığı var. Bu, işçi mücadelelerinin bölgesel emperyalizmler (Türkiye, İran, Suudi Arabistan vs) arasındaki tansiyonun önemli bir odak noktasını harekete geçirdiği ve sizin de dayanışmanızı beklediği anlamına gelir.
Zengin enerji kaynaklarıyla Orta Doğu bir yanda ABD diğer yanda Çin-Rusya ekseni arasında emperyalist etki alanlarının yeniden dağıtımı mücadelesinde önemli bir odak noktasıdır. İsrail, Batı Şeria ve Gazze’de olanlar kaderinizi belirler. Ya kapitalist barbarlığın ağırlaşması ya da dünya işçi sınıfını yükselişi ve savaş ve sömürünün olmadığı toplumun kurulması.
The Council Communist Readerhttp://libcom.org/library/council-communist-reader, May 2021
Paperback ISBN: 978-8-8431-1458-0
Hardcover ISBN: 978-5-1431-2417-2
A Radical Reprint
It is certainly not true that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Human history is such a complex web of structures and activities, with different elements changing at different speeds, that any attempt to reproduce some feature of the past is bound to be inhibited by novel contexts. In fact, the real problem, far from that suggested by Santayana’s famous phrase, is that signaled by Marx’s observation that “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.” Actions guided by assumptions inherited from the past are likely to misfire, or at least lead in unexpected directions.
This is actually the real reason to pay attention to the (unrepeatable) past—to clarify the differences as well as continuities defining the present. For example, the recent revival of socialist ideas in the United States has led to a revival of social democracy, the idea of the gradual extension of democratic governance from politics to the economy, as if this old idea could simply be transplanted to a different historical moment. It seemed logical to 19th-century socialists that as the majority of people became wage-workers, the winning of voting rights by the whole adult population would eventually bring a party representing them to power, to legislatea reorganization of social life in their interests. Indeed, social-democratic parties came into existence all over Europe and even began to stir in the U.S. As they grew to the point of actually participating in government,however, they adapted to the realities of operating within the terms of capitalist politics, just as the trade unions associated with them naturally came to function as brokers of labor-power rather than as opponents of the wages system. This development was made painfully clear when the parliamentary representatives of the largest of the socialist parties, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), voted to pay for the First World War, thus abandoning their claimed fidelity to the international proletariat to support the national interests of the German ruling class.
This brought to a head the dissensions among socialists already aroused by the conflict between officialrevolutionary goals and the compromises with political reality required by practical party activity. The more radical members of the organization split to form the Independent Socialist Party, within which a minority agitated directly against the war. Apart from these political positions, the privations and destruction the war brought fostered popular opposition to it ; by 1916 there were already large strikes and demonstrations against the war in Berlin. Since the official political and trade-union organizations supported the war, these were organized unofficially, largely through a network of shop stewards in various workplaces. (For an outstanding short history of these experiences, see Martin Comack, Wild Socialism: Workers Councils in Revolutionary Berlin, 1918-1921 (University Press of America, 2012).)
The war was finally ended when German sailors ordered into one more big battle mutinied, arresting their officers and sending delegates to shore where they were immediately joined by tens of thousands of civilian workers and soldiers. Since the official left organizations were committed to the war, they organized themselves into sailors’, soldiers’, and workers’ councils, based on their workplaces; the shop stewards continued to play an important role in networking. Trains were commandeered by groups who traveled the country spreading the revolt. Prisons were emptied of political prisoners, including antiwar activists. The imperial government fled the country and the SPD took political power, proclaiming a socialist republic. The socialists received support from the military in exchange for a promise to get rid of the left. This was in their own interests, as the leftists, drawing the lesson of the revolutionary failure of party politics, looked instead to the direct rule of society by the workplace councils, linked through delegates sent to higher-order councils. These organizations, directly responsible to particular workplaces, in principle represented not political ideologies but the workers who elected delegates to them.
The war had also brought revolution to Russia. There, Lenin’s faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party, the Bolsheviks, had taken state power with the support of soldiers and workers who had occupied their factories, governing them with workers’ committees. The more politically active people, both workers and political activists from different parties, met in “soviets,” citywide councils, to set policy. The decisive action of the Bolsheviks offered a different model of organization to the former social democrats in Germany who wanted to extend the German upheaval into a social revolution; they formed a Communist Party in emulation of the Russians.
By 1921 both revolutions were at an end. In Russia the Bolshevik state, while fighting a civil war for control of the country, established a dictatorial regime, complete with secret police and prison system, crushing the other revolutionary groupings and using military force at Kronstadt to end a workers’ revolt demanding democratic rule by workers and soldiers. In Germany, the socialist government had employed the old imperial military to put down a revolt of Communists demanding that political power remain with the associated workers’ councils and not be passed to a parliament in which all parties, socialist and bourgeois, would be represented. This process was easier because the majority of workers had allegiance to the SPD; as a result the councils themselves voted their dissolution.
Although they ended in defeat, these attempts at socialist revolution, echoed at the time In many other countries (including even the United States, where a general strike in Seattle in 1919 led to the city’s brief governance by an elected workers’ committee) showed that, while the political forms inherited from the nineteenth century—parliamentary parties and trade unions—were incapable of serving revolutionary ends, when they want to act workers can improvise new organizational forms on the basis of their relations to each other in workplaces and living areas. These were the “councils” explored by activists who tried, during the events and afterwards, to understand this novel experience, in writings collected here.
Social-democratic parties could find room in the political landscape of the late-nineteenth and twentiethcenturies because an expanding capitalism generated enough profits to be able to afford wage increases andwelfare measures for the working class. The stagnation of the capitalist economy today explains the impossibility of reviving social-democratic parties and trade unions. In the same way, the Leninist type of revolutionary party was an adaptation of social-democracy to the special conditions of capitalistically underdeveloped countries, such as Russia was in 1917, which such parties sought to take in hand and turn into modern industrial states. Despite the efforts of numerous little groups, there is no place for them in today’s capitalism, already established throughout the world.
In contrast, the workers’ council, although this political form too first showed itself in the past, develops out of basic features of capitalism, which remain with us today. The “workers council” is not a recipe, but a principle. It is rooted in the social character of capitalist society, in which individuals are dependent on each others’ highly organized productive activity—today through global supply chains–for their material life. It is rooted also in the capacity of people, demonstrated in all the revolts that have disrupted the surface of capitalism since it first came into being, to break with assumptions about “the way things are.” The importance of the council idea is not the particular forms that radical activity took in the first decades of the twentieth century, but in its emphasis on people’s ability to organize themselves for social action independently of structures suitable to managing life in capitalist society. It is not by gradually preparing an organization for a future struggle, but by creating new modes of action in response to immediate needs and goals that it has proved possible to break with the forms of thought and modes of behavior bred in us by present-day existence. These old texts are still worth reading because they struggled not to create a new politica dogma or to celebrate particular experiences, now long in the past, but to explore the creative power workers can display when they transform their workplaces and living spaces into arenas for reshaping the world.
Paul Mattick, Jr.
Introduction [Paul Mattick Jr.]
1. Workers’ Control by Paul Mattick Sr.
2. Revolutionary Marxism by Paul Mattick Sr.
3. Karl Kautsky: From Marx to Hitler by Paul Mattick Sr.
4. The Struggle Against Fascism Begins with the Struggle Against Bolshevism by Otto Rühle
5. The Revolution is Not a Party Affair by Otto Rühle
6. The Passing of Marxian Orthodoxy by Karl Korsch
7. Marxism and the Present Task of the Proletarian Class Struggle by Karl Korsch
8. The World Revolution by Herman Gorter
9. Lenin’s Infantile Disorder…. and the Third International by Franz Pfemert
10. World Revolution and Communist Tactics by Anton Pannekoek
11. The Theory of the Collapse of Capitalism by Anton Pannekoek
Comment by F.C.
This re-edition in book form of some important texts of the German-Dutch Left is long overdue. In the USA and Canada, we can see a revived interest in council communism.
Inevitably Mattick’s introduction and choice of texts have been guided by his political preferences and by that of a part of the potential readers: an anti-party position that goes further than anti-bolshevism. Unfortunately, this blurs the understanding of some historical facts (f.e. why the later council communists cooperated with Lenin) and the origin and function of present revolutionaries, leaving them unorganized and without any influence.
In this sense, the reader lacks texts by the German-Dutch “Group of International Communists” around the experienced German revolutionary Jan Appel, author of Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution. Another author of texts essential for present readers is Willy Huhn.
For an enhanced version of the English translation ,
accorded by the author, see A free retriever’s digest.
Amsterdam, May 25, 2021
With hope and expectation, workers around the world have received the news on the joint demonstrations on bridges and traffic junctions of Arab and Israeli speakers. During the mutual bombings and pogroms back and forth, they protested hand in hand, as neighbors and fellow workers against terror and war. After the armistice, they expressed in their participation in mass peace demonstrations the fear that the powers on both sides of the borders speak of peace, but in reality are already preparing the next war. War preparations that require further intensification of the exploitation of all workers: bordercrossing labor, digging tunnels, building missiles, more-labor for the development and purchase of weapons systems. All this in addition to passing the costs of war and reconstruction on to the working and poor. Both the State of Israel, the PLO State in the West Bank and the Hamas State in Gaza feel empowered in their war efforts by the massive support of “their” populations blinded by nationalism. Without exception, these three states will continue to direct the terror of extremist militias and gangs against any resistance to the war preparations and intensified exploitation, even if this resistance invokes the “peace” and the “right of self-determination” as articulated by the leaders of the peace movement.
This year marked the 80th anniversary of the mass strike by workers in Amsterdam against the persecution of their Jewish fellow workers, neighbors and relatives by the fascist German occupiers of the Netherlands. Is it possible that now Jewish workers in Israel are expressing solidarity with Arab-speaking Israelis, with border-crossing workers from the West Bank, with the proletarians who are sighing in the open prison called Gaza? From far-off Amsterdam, it is difficult to see whether that is a real possibility. What is clear, however, is that it would send a signal that the current divisions of the working class by passport, by language, religion, type of labor contract, and so on can be overcome by independent workers’ struggle. It would also force the ruling and exploiting class of Israel, West Bank and Gaza to step back from the road to war and concede to just demands for wages, working conditions, social and health services.
The obstacles to solidarity between Arab and Jewish speaking workers are many. Some important ones:
“We Israelis still refuse to realize that the time is past when our power can enforce a reality that is convenient for us and only for us, for our needs and interests.” (Source: Haaretz)
By speaking of “we, Israelis,” Grossman lumps workers, capitalists and bourgeois politicians together and segregates Israeli workers from their classmates with different passports or languages. Workers do not have the power of the state or over the state, and thus have no interest in identifying with it.
“I hear politicians and security officials talking about a new round of fighting in a few months or years, while they are blind to the 7 million Palestinians who live between the [Jordan] River and the [Mediterranean] Sea,” “Two peoples live here and both deserve the right to self-determination.” (Source: Jerusalem Post)
The two-state solution advocated by Odeh, now further than ever, if realized will only reinforce the division of the working class according to state and “people,” as well as a continuation of border-crossing labor or, on the contrary, an importation of new migrants and thus heavier pressure on Israeli workers, if they are not capable of solidarity struggle together with the “newcomers”.
As mentioned, from far away Amsterdam it is difficult to assess the situation in the Middle East. It is especially up to workers in Israel and the occupied territories, regardless of their mother tongue, to think about the threats in the current uncertain situation and the opportunities to be in solidarity as workers.
To the proletarians in the Middle East
In multiple waves of proletarian struggle, you have defied your “own” exploiters and oppressors in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, etc. Now the possibility exists of such a proletarian struggle against the exploiters and oppressors in the state of Israel, the PLO state in the West Bank and in the Hamas state in Gaza. This would mean that workers’ struggles set in motion an important focal point of tensions between regional imperialisms (Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.) through workers’ struggles, which also await your solidarity.
To the global working class
The Middle East with its rich energy resources is a major focal point in the struggle to redistribute the imperialist spheres of influence between the United States on one side and the China-Russia Axis on the other. What happens in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza also determines your fate. Either aggravation of capitalist barbarism or rise of the world working class and establishment of a society without war and exploitation.
Arbeidersstemmen (Workers’ Voices)
Neither Israel, Nor Palestine: No War but the Class War
“(…) Precisely three times before, since Hamas seized control of Gaza 15 years ago. The pattern is always the same. Israel makes yet another move to create “facts on the ground” such as the planned eviction of Palestinians from parts of East Jerusalem. Then Hamas fires off all the home made rockets it has been stockpiling and, as long as they do, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) responds with all the weapons in its arsenal (except its unacknowledged nuclear one, of course). The US vetoes any condemnation of Israel in the UN Security Council as the rest of the “leaders of the world” airily call for “peace”.
There is one difference about the present conflict. This time the 2 million Arabic speakers (21.1% of the population) within the internationally recognised Israeli borders have also been stirred into action. For seven decades they have been second class citizens discriminated against over housing and jobs, their language not recognised. The impact of Covid-19 has only hammered this further down their throats. The pandemic has penalised the poorest around the world, and in Israel that is the Palestinian population. Israel has vaccinated almost the entire Israeli population but not the Palestinians who, in addition to the lack of vaccines, do not have access to great health facilities in places like Gaza. They live in the middle of a dire health emergency with massive shortages of basic medicines.
At the same time, under the cover of the pandemic, rents have been raised for Arabic speakers in the inner cities, especially Jerusalem, in order to price them out. The aim is obvious. Trump’s 2018 decision (which led to the previous round of slaughter) to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem (something successive US Presidents said they would do) and recognise Jerusalem as the future capital of Israel (a departure from US policy) has emboldened the Israeli regime’s ultimate ambition to annex all Jerusalem. They have thus been trying in several cynical ways to evict Palestinian families from East Jerusalem. They are hemmed in by “settlement” buildings (and abused, stolen from and attacked by the new occupants), their houses sprayed with toxic putrid water from so-called “skunk trucks”, brutally beaten by the police if they protest, or they end up, as 27 families have in the most famous case of Sheikh Jarrah, fighting eviction in court. The final straw came when police repeatedly brutally attacked those who protested against the barriers the police had put up at the Damascus Gate where Muslims traditionally gather at dusk every evening during Ramadan. Hundreds were injured.
The Arab youth have fought back and attacked Jewish targets. They echo the call of the fascists by shouting “Death to Jews”, a call which has brought the emotionally charged accusation of “pogrom” from the Israeli press. But there are now pogroms on both sides of this “communal violence”. (…)
“It would though be a mistake to look on this conflict as just a struggle between Jews and Arabs. They may be doing the dying, but behind the whole conflict lies the dead hand of imperialism — on both sides. Israel owes its very existence to a favourable conjunction of imperialist interests. (…)
Despite this it would also be a mistake to conclude, as so many on the so-called “Left” do, that the struggle in Israel/Palestine is imperialist on one side only. Sure, US imperialism is still the most powerful force on the planet. Thanks to its finance over the last 73 years, it has created in Israel a formidable regional power despite being a tiny state of less than 10 million people. In a reversal of the Biblical tale, the Goliath is now US-Israel and David is the Palestinians backed by Iran, Qatar and Turkey (and, on occasion, Egypt). Qatar pays the (low) wages of teachers and doctors in Gaza whilst Iran supplies drones and the parts to assemble rockets in Gaza. Small beer compared with the billions that go to Israel but the imperialism of the underdog is still imperialism, and no state can escape from its clutches as this is the nature of today’s highly concentrated capitalism. (…)
There is no solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict under capitalism. There will be endless bloodshed mainly suffered by those who already suffer the most. The one hope — and a hope not just for the workers of Palestine or Israel but for the whole of humanity — is a working class revival which resists all the attempts of capitalism and imperialism to thrust their bloody agendas upon us. (…)
The only answer to the Israel-Palestine question is not a one state, or two state solution, but the destruction of all states, where responsibility for the future of the planet is out of the hands of capitalist profiteers.”
Critique of the above text by ICT
In it , and like Communia-Emancipation , they fail miserably in their predictions, saying:
“This leaves Netanyahu in de facto control and means that there will be no lull in attacks, both in Gaza and Jerusalem. The lines are hardening. Israeli Arabs have joined the general strike called by Fatah and Hamas against the attacks. This is a rare show of Palestinian unity in the face of the relentless aerial bombardment of Gaza”.
Yes, there has been a truce.
So the criticism of Communia -Emancipation applies to them: https://inter-rev.foroactivo.com/t10109-critica-a-communia-emancipacion-sobre-los-acontecimientos-politico-militares-en-gaza [English translation at this site]
It should also be stressed that :
a. Their approach does not allow us to understand the course of events. Decadentism forces us to make distortions about the historical course, the level of the correlation of forces, their formalisation and their perspectives. It is the basis of these mistakes.
b. They do not understand that the Palestinian bourgeoisie is divided and that Fatah’s movements are the result of its relative weakness in the face of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, after blocking the legislative and presidential elections since 2006, after being displaced militarily by Hamas from Gaza and reduced to the West Bank.
Therefore the movements of Abu Mazen and Fatah, with dissidences in their midst, are an attempt not to lose influence among a tired and tense Palestinian population, where there are exceptions to nationalist leaderships, where there is notorious misery in one part, where the Palestinian bourgeoisie is openly showing its standard of living, business, nepotism and corruption. Their Machiavellianism, adaptationism and tactical and strategic opportunism are well known, along with their weakening in conditions of Zionist Israeli encirclement and Egyptian control and closure.
The joint general strike is an expression of this, but not of a future where all the Palestinian patriotic factions will launch themselves into the struggle against the state of Israel…to which one must add something very important: their multiple imperialist friendships, which are not in favour of such a military movement (from the EU to Egypt, via the USA, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.), or which are only in the short term (as in the case of Iran, the Lebanese Hezbollah and Qatar).
In this context, a new Intifada could only mean a popular movement where the various Palestinian ruling factions would be overwhelmed, and this is unlikely… nor is it likely that part of the Palestinian diaspora with the misery of its refugees in the middle, or Arab populations in solidarity.
c. The ICT calls for class struggle for revolution, which is obviously necessary and positive, but is neither the order of the day nor in the process of rapid formation. On the basis of this maximalist statement it rejects both the bourgeois two-state and one-state solution (“The only answer to the Israeli-Palestinian question is not a one or two-state solution, but the destruction of all states in which the responsibility for the future of the planet is taken out of the hands of the capitalist speculators”).
It is not a two-state solution, but the destruction of all states, in which the responsibility for the future of the planet is taken out of the hands of the capitalist speculators”), without understanding that the latter, that of one state, does benefit the international proletarian cause, liquidating the nefarious apartheid suffered by the Palestinian proletariat and allowing that for decades both proletariats are forced to coexist and experience the potentialities, dangers and contradictions of such a condition, as well as allowing a better circulation of capital in the area and this is positive compared to the existing Bantustans.
The ultra-leftism of the youth prevents us from considering and recognising the same thing that drove Karl Marx in the situation of the Irish and English proletariat at the time of the First Workers’ International. To engage in maximalist indifferentism is wrong: there is no passage from the present situation to revolution without a contradictory but necessary, methodically determined evolution. And in such an evolution not everything that comes from the bourgeois camp is equal and not everything is equally negative. Just as the proletariat needs freedom of association and movement to improve itself in better conditions, to transform itself into a revolutionary class for itself, and it should not be indifferent whether it lives in military dictatorships or in liberal democracies. The insurrectionary assault on the state and capitalist relations requires a profound change in the proletariat itself and deep and extensive international and internationalist experiences, confronting in the process all forms of oppression and all that hinders it. And the situation in the Israel-Palestine area is a tremendous obstacle that has been clouding it for decades.
In short, to maintain that revolution is the only solution is valid and convenient, but it is not enough, neither for the proletariat nor for organised, diverse communist internationalist minorities who claim to aspire to be the political leadership of the emancipatory movement of the proletariat against capitalism.
To recognise that one bourgeois way out is better than another is not to collaborate with capital, nor to set ourselves to do what only its forces can do, but it is to be aware that the revolution needs conditions, of its development over a long and complicated time, and that which favours taking steps in overcoming dark divisions like that of both proletariats in that part of the world, is positive. This tendency is today within the international bourgeoisie, a minority, but it exists, as I have made clear, and this is due to something that these tendencies do not even consider investigating.
Maximalism today causes hardly any practical problems, but in a hypothetical future of independent proletarian ascendancy it will. The solution to this is not a new reformist veneer, but the strategic capacity of which Marx and Engels have left us good expressions and experiences.
Complete text, translated by its author
Circolo internazionalista, 20-5-2021
The Proletarian Mountain and the Bourgeois Mouse
For an internationalist strike in Palestine and throughout the Middle East
On May 18, a general strike of Palestinian workers was proclaimed in the whole territory of pre-1948 Palestine, “from the Jordan to the sea”, therefore from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip including the territory of the State of Israel. The strike therefore also involved Arab workers with Israeli citizenship.
Several newspapers have noted that such a thing has not happened for 85 years, that is, since the Palestinian uprising of 1936-1938 against Zionist colonization and against the British mandate, under the substantial protection of which colonization was advancing powerfully, with economic and military violence.
The general strike of two days ago, proclaimed in response to the attacks and lynchings by the Israeli “black hundreds” squads and to the violence of the Israeli police against the protests triggered by the evictions of Sheikh Jarrah, seems to have had a good response in Israel, where construction sites, transports (50% of transporters are Arab-Israeli), mines, medical staff (23% of nurses and 21% of doctors are Arab-Israeli) have stopped. The protest has spread to other social strata, several public employees did not show up to work and Arab stores either declared a lockout or were forced to do so by striking workers.
This strike, occasioned by the conflict arising from the events in East Jerusalem, is part of a situation in which the combination of pandemic and economic crisis has suddenly increased the unemployment rate in Israel, as well as the deficit of the State, which has burned the last ten years of efforts to repair it. Arab-Israelis, who make up about 20% of Israel’s population, are those who have paid the price of the crisis the most: many proletarians, but also intermediate layers and petty bourgeoisie. An estimated 500,000 small businesses have gone bankrupt throughout Israel.
Unfortunately, it seems that the parallel with the general strike of 1936 is apt, especially because of its possible dangerous consequences. In fact, it is news of a few hours ago that hundreds of Arab-Israeli workers are receiving via WhatsApp messages notification of their dismissal by Israeli companies: “You’re fired” read most of the messages laconically. In others, the reason is also explained: “You are not loyal to Israel”.
In 1936, in the presence of a strong immigration of capital and Jewish labor from Europe, especially from Nazi Germany and strongly anti-Semitic Poland, the Zionist organizations in Palestine – unofficial but parallel administration of the British mandate – took advantage of the general strike of the Palestinians, not only to nip in the bud any bourgeois-democratic direction of the national movement, but also and above all to increase the marginalization and segregation of the Arab proletariat, in line with the policy of “Jewish labor” also carried out by the Jewish ethnic-based corporate union Histadrut. At the time, the strike started from the workers of the port of Jaffa, and it was precisely then that the development of the modern port of Tel Aviv began, which completely supplanted the former.
From the point of view of the “ethnic purification” of Israel, a loss of socio-economic importance of Israeli citizens of Arab origin, in addition to the already present elements of discrimination at a political-legal level, might not come entirely to harm the capitalist needs in Israel, which today can count both on a certain availability of immigrant labor from Asian countries (India and Thailand among the first) with very low wage levels, and on the poorest and most discriminated against strata of Jewish society itself: the mizrahì and falasciah, the Jews whose ancestry comes from Arab countries and Ethiopia.
That’s why the connection of the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli proletarians with the Jewish and immigrant proletariat acquires fundamental importance. The union of the Palestinian workers of the West Bank and Gaza with the Arab-Israelis can be a first significant step towards union with the entire proletariat of the region, including the Jewish proletariat. Only by working in this direction will it be possible to build a force comparable to that expressed, for example, by the Canton-Hong Kong general strike of 1925 against British rule in China, the longest strike in the history of the labor movement (it ended in the spring of the following year). The difference is that then the British proletariat was far behind [away; red.]. Not so in Israel.
On the other hand, it is important that the Palestinian strike does not take on the characteristics of the 1974 Belfast general strike – albeit in reverse – that is, those of a working class mobilization on ethnic and denominational lines for the use and consumption of the bourgeoisie.
Strikes, in certain situations, can become as much a weapon of the bourgeoisie as missiles and rockets. However, they represent and will always represent a double-edged weapon for the bourgeoisie that, especially when it is weak, wields it with caution and only if it is forced to. Indeed, this is what has happened in Palestine in recent days, where, faced with an initiative that seems to have come directly from workers’ committees, the Arab-Israeli party Ra’am hesitated before joining, as did the other bourgeois parties: Fatah, Hamas and the Islamic Movement.
The strike is still a specific instrument of struggle of the working class and a bourgeoisie that encourages it risks the fate of the sorcerer’s apprentice. This is exactly what we would like to see in Palestine – in the material impossibility of directly influencing events – hoping that the general strike of last May 18 can represent a first breeding ground for workers’ vanguards that question the bourgeois nationalist control of the struggle, so that the next strikes will be authentically “general”, i.e. involving all workers in the region. This is the only terrain on which the encounter and class unity with the Israeli proletariat for the revolutionary resolution of the Palestinian national question is possible.
The solutions proposed by liberals, pacifists, internationalists with confused ideas, would like the unity and struggle of the Middle Eastern proletariat to aim at a secular, bi-national state with equal rights in Palestine. All this is very nice, but it is also decidedly Utopian on the one hand and too little on the other.
Utopian, if one believes it is possible that the Israeli bourgeoisie is willing to even contemplate giving up without defending tooth and nail a “Jewish state” that preserves the ethnic dominance of a minority over the demographics of the Arabs.
Too little, if one believes that when the Middle Eastern proletariat manages to coalesce on class lines against the national bourgeoisies it will have content itself with half solutions. The mountain of revolutionary mobilization of the working class should give birth to the mouse (1) of the national bourgeois arrangement.
All those who recognize themselves in authentic proletarian internationalism cannot but welcome the mobilization of the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli working class, but this does not mean subordinating careful and lucid observation to enthusiasm for the event or making desire the father of thought. We can’t afford it, out of respect for a working class that needs clarity and seriousness in order to recover. We – and those who, like us, recognize themselves in an internationalism that is neither watered down, nor abstract, nor over-principled – strive to propose a class orientation, in recognition of the concrete historical determinations of the Palestinian proletarian condition and its relationship with other classes, with states and with imperialist powers – working within the limits of our feeble forces so that this orientation can reach as many workers as possible in Italy and in the rest of the world. This presupposes a basic respect for our potential interlocutors, to whom we are submitting a reasoning, not the pandering tickling of emotions, good for gathering easy and immediate but not very solid consensus.
We do not allow the fruits of the struggle of the proletariat in Palestine to be reaped by the Palestinian and Israeli bourgeoisie. We reason in terms of classes, of proletariat and bourgeoisie, not of generic oppressed, a definition not devoid of ambiguity that in the past has also been used by the bourgeoisie to cover more than one vileness.
The flag of the so-called oppressed is that of the exploited, and it has only one color all over the world: red. Like the blood that the working class periodically sheds in war and daily spits in the galley of wage labor, of all nations, ethnicities, religions and skin colors.
Battagila Comunista, 15-5-2021
Ancora sangue in Palestina. Critica della critica.
Critique of the above text The Proletarian Mountain and the Bourgeois Mouse
There are very few class positions within the political landscape that will express themselves on the rekindling of the Palestinian question, outside the nationalist chorus of the democratic and falsely antagonistic left wing.
Very few bring to light a glimmer of an internationalist position that could oppose the warmongering litany of both camps: behind the struggling factions there are the imperialisms we know well. The United States, which has always supported and foraged Israel as its own gendarme in the Middle East, and Hamas which, under the mold of fighting for Palestinian independence, is financed by mini and large regional imperialisms (Iran, Turkey and Qatar).
Of course, the tragedy is once again that the dispossessed Palestinian masses, like the proletarians of Israel, collide and are sucked into the terrible vortex of support for a war to which the respective bourgeoisies call them.
How long will Israeli workers, instead of fighting and demanding decent wages and working conditions by clashing with their masters, follow the calls to fight against the Arabs, in the most classic and rotten nationalist “style”? And until when the masses of Gaza, West Bank and surroundings, hungry, unemployed, with enormous problems for daily survival, will oppose and take to the streets against the ragged bourgeoisie of Hamas, instead of rushing to mobilize against the Israelis?
A glimmer of faint hope might arise when they mobilize on the terrain of social confrontation, in opposition to the respective governments of Israel and Hamas’ administration of Gaza, elevating their immediate daily needs to a moment of class struggle and internationalist unity among the proletariat of the region.
Surely this picture could arise and expand if, even with a thousand, enormous difficulties of all kinds, communist vanguards led by a revolutionary party would emerge to direct the anger and desperation of the proletarian fronts against the war and for a revolutionary perspective.
Today, unfortunately, as far as we know, there are not even minimal forces orienting in that direction. Moreover, the work of the communists in such contexts would certainly be terribly demanding and dangerous, also to avoid the repression and physical liquidation that they would risk for their acting politically as “traitors” towards their respective bourgeois homelands. Very difficult work, undoubtedly, but there is no choice: the “alternatives” are the “sophisticated” bombs of one bourgeoisie or the “artisanal” bombs of the other bourgeoisie, in an eternal return of misery, pain, despair and death under the umbrella of the imperialisms concerned.
Translated with help of http://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version),
translation may show flaws
The text claims that the strike was called by workers’ committees, but I am not aware of any such thing. On the contrary it has been possible to read that :
“The day’s strike has been called in Palestine by the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and in the West Bank, by the General Teachers’ Union, but immediately, other trade union organisations such as the New Federation of Palestinian Trade Unions, have joined the general strike call”. http://rojoynegro.info/articulo/sin-fronteras/apoyo-la-huelga-general-palestina-del-18-mayo-2021
“The strike has been called in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Arab localities in Israel” … “A day of general strike begins in the Palestinian territories in condemnation of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza”
“According to reports by the Palestinian news agency WAFA, the call for the strike has been endorsed by various parties, trade unions and civil organisations, as well as the Arab High Follow-up Committee, which has called on the approximately 1.6 million Palestinian citizens in Israel to join the strike. The call has also been made at the international level. In this regard, Fatah’s central committee has called on the population to join the strike …”
Read more: https://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-arranca-jornada-huelga-general-territorios-palestinos-condena-bombardeos-israel-gaza-20210518102104.html
In other words, this is not an independent initiative of the proletariat, but a call by various apparatuses of the Palestinian bourgeoisie, with a clearly nationalist orientation.
Such a strike has led to the dismissal of Palestinian Arab proletarians in Israel, without being an element of strength and pressure of the working class neither against the Israeli bourgeoisie nor against the Palestinian bourgeoisie, which has organised it as a strike to go to Palestinian patriotic demonstrations, and it is not the first time that they do it, but this is ignored by the authors of the text.
The confusion is great, and this workerist text brings more, on the other hand the maximalism is notorious…there would be nothing positive in a unified state, the only thing to do (voluntarism rules!!) is revolution.
A proletarian strike must be prepared to maximise its positive effects and minimise the negative ones. In this case the Israeli proletariat is not even called, and obviously the Histradut ignores everything and continues to frame the proletariat on a Jewish nationalist trade union basis. So the sticks are taken by the Palestinian Arab proletariat in Israel. For Palestinian nationalism, the working class is a mass to be controlled on patriotic and ethnical basis, a mass to be managed for bourgeois purposes, in the competition against the Jewish capital, in the militarist confrontations through which each side pursues anti-proletarian aims.
Not to consider any of this, which is of ABC in the class struggle, expresses an immaturity that the ultra-left rhetoric does not manage to cover up.
On the unified state and its possible implications for the class struggle in the area and on an international scale I have already expressed my views in other texts:
Complete text, translated into English by the author
Communia-Emancipation has published:
Towards a new war in Gaza? (12 May 2021)
In the part entitled:
Why and for what purpose an armed escalation is threatening a new war in Gaza
They argue the following:
“By pushing the situation towards a war in Gaza, Hamas and the PNA cover up and rechannel Palestinian frustration into the, for them, safe terrain of nationalism and low-intensity warfare.”
[And in the part entitled:
“The bloody farce of the people and the nation”:]
… “Whenever discontent with the Palestinian or Israeli ruling classes threatens to spark some class expression, the petty bourgeoisie attempts its own move. If it succeeds, it can get no further than to revitalize the national divide that is the basis of big business for both bourgeoisies. When it succeeds in doing so, it not only pushes a new generation of workers to the slaughterhouse, it also opens the door for other imperialist capitals, neighboring or distant, to come in, arm and aggravate the slaughter serving their own interests.”
Let’s look at some facts that do not fit Communia-Emancipation’s narrative
The PNA has been trying for some time to find a negotiated exit, with Egypt and Jordan sponsoring.
“Jerusalem, Dec 1, 2020 (EFE).-.
The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) agreed with Jordan and Egypt to form a joint committee to revive the peace process outside the US initiative, following the recent visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to these two Arab countries.
“The committee will support the Palestinian initiative to hold an international peace conference next year with the intention of mobilizing global support to return to traditional terms and restore the two-state solution,” said Fatah nationalist party deputy chairman Mahmoud Aloul.
Abbas made his first foreign trip to Jordan and Egypt on Sunday, in an attempt to reposition their relations in the framework of the recent normalization agreements between Israel and other Arab countries (United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan).”
The PNA’s interest is not to “push the situation towards a new war in Gaza”, as Communia-Emancipation claims.
On previous occasions every attempt by the PNA to move the situation in its favor resulted in international isolation, divisions, and advances by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. This is disregarded by Conmunia-Emancipation, which although it strives to follow the complicated evolution of events, of the actions and alliances of every bourgeois force in the area and internationally…as it fits it into a simplistic and decadent doctrinaire scheme…is thus conditioned to repeatedly blunder and loss of focus. That is why it now considers that a generalization of the war can be opened… as it has said in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, in Libya… etc. And we will see that this is not the case.
It also considers that the military confrontations respond to an attempt of the bourgeois forces to flee from the pressure of the proletarian class dissatisfied and tired of capitalist domination and capitalist procedures. Unfortunately the situation is not such, but nationalism on both sides conditions any possible dissent on the part of the proletariat. In Israel the pro-peace protests are rooted in the malaise of the indignant petty bourgeoisie, and are strongly responded to by the State, in coalition with the parties of Jewish nationalist extremism. In Gaza the Islamist iron hand does not allow any dissent to emerge and in the West Bank of the PNA the dissent is due to disagreements in Fatah, the traditional capitalist front-party, whose leadership fears being overtaken by jihadist Islamism and the elements more inclined within it to collaborate with it. The realism of which Abu Mazen speaks, involves establishing the policy of two States, which in practice are three…
The inter-imperialist frictions and confrontations in the area are currently marked by the Abraham Accords (between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan) and by the policy of Iran and Qatar (Hamas and Islamic Jihad), with Egypt as an essential mediator, in contact with the PNA and the Hamas leadership. None of these actions responds to an imperious necessity of such proletarian forces in the face of an ascending pressure of the proletarian class, but to the inherent logic of imperialist capitalism, with marked concurrence between its zonal and international forces.
Egypt, mediator between Israel and Hamas, is the only country with the possibility of achieving results, since it has a direct dialogue with this Palestinian group, considered terrorist by the United States, the EU and a large part of the international community.
In fact Egypt – which negotiates together with the UN and Qatar – has always been the key piece in lowering the tension between Israel and Hamas, not only in the previous wars of 2008, 2012 and 2014, but also in the frequent peaks of violence, the latest in 2019.
Another Egyptian delegation went to the Gaza Strip to discuss the terms of a truce with Hamas representatives, although no details of the talks transpired.
These Egyptian-led contacts come as the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Palestinian and Israeli Affairs Hady Amr is expected to arrive in Israel to try to douse the crossfire between the parties, but no dates have yet been specified.
However, these mediation efforts by Egypt and the US are surrounded by skepticism in the face of the unwillingness of the parties to achieve détente and threats of renewed attacks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself confirmed to his security cabinet on Wednesday that he had rejected a Russian ceasefire proposal and approved intensifying attacks on Palestinian militias.”
The key to the military route now lies with Hamas, whether or not it decides to continue the escalation and how it doses it. Israel does not mean an entry into Gaza by land, and thus risks less. It has hit Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants and infrastructure hard, using missiles and aircraft on the front line. He has the money and international support to keep the pulse going and Netanhayu is doing well, too. But he does not have before him a front of Arab bourgeoisies willing to crush Israel manu militari nor a general direct war decision of the Iranian-Hezbollah sponsored Islamist resistance front. Hamas will slow down and devote itself to making the events profitable at the ballot box, honoring its deads as figures to imitate, reconditioning tunnels and warehouses… and manufacturing-assembling more rocketry, improving its propulsion and guidance systems. Over time.
Translation and some explanations between square brackets: F.C.
See also Anibal’s comment to Four positions on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
Partito Comunista Internazionale (Florence), undated
“Groups from both ethnic communities carried out raids of the neighborhoods inhabited by the other, set fire to religious buildings, looted businesses, and even beat up individuals. These are the expected fruits of the nationalist policy pursued both by the government of Israeli capital and by the neighboring states, and also by all the imperialist powers. This is the crescendo of all their incessant provocations.
Hamas, the bourgeois party that dresses up in religious extremism, has dominated the Gaza Strip for 15 years and, for its part, controls the political movement of the dispossessed Palestinians in order to orient them towards nationalism and to gain influence in the West Bank against its rival Fatah.
The launching of thousands of rockets against Israeli cities from Gaza, which has been subjected to an Israeli siege for many years, have caused deaths and injuries among the Jewish civilian population and killed two Bedouin Arabs in the Negev desert. Israeli reacted predictably, starting the raids on against Gaza which caused so many casualties among the civilian population, this time Palestinian. In the meantime, Israeli troops claimed many victims among those in the West Bank who demonstrated against the worsening of the occupation regime, while in Jerusalem there were also protests by the Palestinian community, intolerant of the apartheid regime imposed by the State of Israel and rebelling against the hateful national and class oppression to which it is subjected.
But the war between the State of Israel and Hamas, while “asymmetrical”, is a war between bourgeois states, fighting as proxies of larger states and imperialist world powers.
The rockets fired on Israeli cities are also part of this war. How did Hamas obtain these weapons, since everything that enters the Gaza Strip is subject to the strict control of the Israeli authorities?
Palestinian proletarians would be wrong to trust an “anti-colonial” national war of liberation. They could never win because the large world powers would prevent it, but also because the Palestinian bourgeoisie will never be willing to dissolve its coupling with the Israeli one. That impossible national war has already failed decades ago, with betrayal by all the other Arab bourgeoisies, who are inextricably tied to imperialism.
This is not an anti-colonial struggle. Israel is not the continuator of the colonial domination that manifested itself in Palestine at the time of the British mandate. Israel is a country in the imperialist chain where capital and world finance dominate.
Today capitalist domination inside the State of Israel, as well as the occupied territories, is based on effective collaboration between the Israeli bourgeoisie and its Palestinian younger sister. The Palestinian side is weaker, and therefore more servile towards the former, but no less greedy, cynical and ruthless. These united bourgeoisies support each other and, through the bourgeois war, like the two jaws of a vice, tighten their grip on the proletarian class, both Jewish and Arab. (…)
To the Jewish proletarians we give the mandate [sic; leftdis] to sabotage the infamous national oppression that the bourgeoisie of Israel imposes on the Palestinians. To the Palestinian proletarians, to break with the nationalist leadership that drags them to the slaughterhouse of bourgeois armed conflict and then consigns the survivors to the market of wage slavery, a labor force to be sold out.
Our call to the Palestinian and Israeli proletarians is for class unity, for the overthrow of every national bourgeoisie and the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat. The perspective must be of proletarian revolution throughout the entire region and the world, overcoming all national boundaries for a future humanity liberated from capitalism and its infamous national homelands.
Only the proletariat can break the infernal chain of wars, as well as the no less infamous bourgeois ‘peace’.”
Partito Comunista Internazionale (Il Programma Comunista), 15-5-2021
Yet again. As if moving to the rhythm of an infernal dance, once again the massacre recurs again of our class brothers in Palestine, who for over sixty years now have suffered the rule of the imperialist Israeli bourgeoisie and are further betrayed by the connivance of national fractions of the Arab bourgeoisie and the manipulation of the religious, lay and fake-socialist nationalism of “their” ruling class.
The Utopian ideal of “two peoples, two states”, when the economic structure and dynamics of capital prevent any development independent of the “Israeli” one, proves to be the realisation of the very real Dystopia of a “Palestinian National Authority” that has assumed for itself the role of controlling, managing, organising and selling the labour of hundreds of thousands of Arab-speaking proletarians.
A cynical sort of control which, for the sake of preventing even the slightest hope of even the slightest class independence, does not hesitate to sacrifice thousands of lives on the altar of an impossible and anachronistic “Palestinian fatherland”.
The atrocious fate of the Palestinian proletariat and the whole disaster of the Middle East points to a revelation of what is in store for the entire world proletariat from the capitalist bourgeoisie organised in its national states, each more imperialist than the next: a humanity to be exploited in the machinery of wage labour, to be squeezed to the bone as consumers of increasingly useless and damaging goods, to be stultified by a superstitious culture and a lifestyle that sums up centuries of social oppression, to kill in the name of a fatherland, a religion, a race, an undetermined people… whilst relentlessly the monopoly of production forces concentrates the ownership of social wealth in the hands of a “democratic” oligarchy, supported by a multitude of technicians, intellectuals, priests, scientists, all patriots happy to prosper on the little their masters hand out to them…
Proletarians of Palestine, proletarians of the Middle East, the drowning proletarians in every “people”! Not one drop of our blood must be shed any longer in the cause of the mythical inter-class unity of national states: against the wars that pit us one against the other to kill and destroy capitals, goods and human beings, we must retort by taking up once again our battle against all bourgeoisies, the battle against all their institutions, the battle against the capitalist mode of production.
Everywhere hotbeds of war are on the increase with the inevitable slaughter of whole populations: this, too, is how the coming world bloodbath is being prepared. It is becoming more and more urgent to refuse patriotic and nationalist blackmail in all its forms, both material and ideological. The concept and practice of revolutionary defeatism must be reintroduced into our class: the refusal of any alliance with one’s own bourgeoisie, with one’s own State (the tool of rule of national capital), with one or the other line-up of international brigands, always all united in exploiting and attacking the proletariat.
The enemy is not on the other side of the border: the enemy is in our own home!
(Complete article, source: https://www.internationalcommunistparty.org/index.php/en/english/2975-the-endless-slaughter-of-palestinian-proletarians-demonstrates-what-imperialism-is-capable-of-and-what-it-has-in-store)
International Communist Party (Le prolétaire), 14-5-2021
For several days the media has been talking about the “escalation of violence” between Israel and the Palestinians, putting the oppressed and the oppressors on the same level. In the last few hours, the Israeli army has announced and then denied having invaded the Gaza Strip, on which its artillery is firing and which its planes are bombing, while Hamas is firing salvos of missiles on Israeli cities. The death toll to date is over 100 (including 27 children) and hundreds of injured on the Palestinian side, and 7 dead on the Israeli side (including a Palestinian and his daughter).
Clashes took place in the Israeli towns of Lod and Jaffa between Arab youth and Jewish far-right groups, and similar scenes were reported in other towns, including Tel Aviv, where calls to demonstrate against Arabs were disseminated; meanwhile clashes between Arab protesters and police continued in Jerusalem. To the point of forcing Prime Minister Netanyahu to warn against anti-Arab pogroms, fearing that they would lead to revolt among Israeli Arabs. The Arabs, who make up a little more than 20% of the total population of Israel, and who generally hold low-paid jobs, have been the hardest hit by the economic crisis which has led to a surge in unemployment, and they constitute a social bomb.
It all started with a mobilization in support of Arab families in East Jerusalem who were threatened with eviction from their homes to make way for settlers. As the demonstrations grew and led to clashes with the police and settlers, Hamas stepped in: it fired missiles from the Gaza Strip, which it controls, where 2 million Palestinians survive miserably, locked in a veritable open-air camp under a blockade from Israel and Egypt. His objective is not only to take the lead in the mobilization, but above all, by his show of strength, to be recognized by the Hebrew state and its imperialist sponsors as the legitimate representative of the Gazans with whom to negotiate; this is why he has launched several calls for a cease-fire.
But what the Israeli leadership needs is a docile and obedient guardian, a subordinate servant, not an equal, so it has undertaken to “punish” Hamas, killing two leaders of its military wing and destroying buildings belonging to it – while taking care not to hit the Palestinian police, who is essential to maintaining order in Gaza. It is the civilians who are the main victims of this bloody gangsterism.
The Arab states have long since abandoned their platonic declarations of support for the Palestinians, while the imperialists have abandoned any attempt to curb the actions of Israel, the fundamental pillar of the Western imperialist presence in the region. The new US administration is essentially continuing Trump’s policy (recognition of the annexation of Jerusalem, unwavering support for Israel, etc.), and the Europeans are content with melancholic statements. The French government, following a practice established by former socialist Prime Minister Valls, has even banned pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris and other towns!
The Palestinian proletarians are alone; they cannot count on the Islamists of Hamas who dream of selling their skin, nor on what remains of the nationalists, who have already been sold out, nor on the fading mirage of internationally negotiated peace agreements. But they have tens and tens of millions of class brothers in the region and in the world who have the same enemy – capitalism. Sooner or later they will enter the struggle to destroy this bourgeois system and its murderous imperialist “order”. The international proletarian revolution will then put a definitive end to all the oppressions, all the injustices, all the massacres of capitalism.
Real solidarity here with the Palestinians as with other victims of oppression and exploitation, opposition to the crimes committed by the Hebrew state, does not consist only in denouncing support for this state which maintains its domination over millions of Palestinians through violence and terror.
It also and above all consists in working for the resumption of the anti-capitalist class struggle, in the perspective of overthrowing “our” bourgeoisie and its state – and not in trying to convince them to change their policies!
(Complete article, source: http://www.pcint.org/01_Positions/01_03_en/210514_palestine-en.htm)
Amos, 14-5-2021 (ICC)
“This is not the first time that Hamas or other Islamic jihadists have rained rocket fire on civilian targets in Israeli cities, killing without discrimination: among the first victims were an Israeli Arab father and daughter in Lod, blown up in their car. Nor is the first time that Israeli armed forces have responded with devastating air raids and artillery fire, targeting Hamas leaders and weapons but also inflicting a civilian death toll in Gaza’s crowded buildings and streets dozens of times higher than anything “achieved” by Hamas rockets. Nor is it the first time that Israel has been on the verge of a military invasion of the Gaza strip, which cannot fail to result in further death, homelessness and trauma for Palestinian families. We saw all this before in 2009 and 2014.
But it is the first time that such a major military effort has been accompanied in a number of Israeli cities by a wave of violent clashes between Israeli Jews and Arabs. These are essentially pogroms: right wing gangs brandishing the Star of David and screaming “Death to the Arabs”, hunting for Arabs to beat up and murder; and at the same time attacks on Jews and synagogues set alight by crowds “inspired” by Islamism and Palestinian nationalism. Sinister and ironic memories of the Black Hundreds in Tsarist Russia or Kristallnacht in the Germany of 1938!
(…) while pogroms are often unleashed as instruments of state policy, in today’s conditions they can escalate beyond the aims of state agencies and accelerate a general slide into social breakdown. The fact that this is beginning to happen in a highly militarised state like Israel is a sign that the attempts of totalitarian state capitalism to hold back the process of social disintegration can end up aggravating it even more.”
History : the German/Dutch Communist Left on the foundation of the ‘Jewish state’: