For Farsi original of the statement, go to cpimlm.org
The ongoing uprising of women in Iran is part of the global women’s rebellion and a product of 44 years of resistance by the women who never surrendered. This long resistance finally arrived at the famous uprising of "Women, Life, Freedom" which issued a clear verdict on the theocratic regime in Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran must be overthrown! Because:
This regime (the IRI [Islamic Republic of Iran]) created horrendous social relations by grafting Islam-o-slave relations to capitalist-imperialist relations, strengthening the chains of women's oppression. This regime, combined state and religion in order to "sanctify" dire misery and lack of basic rights of the masses and their brutal capitalist exploitation, pushing and keeping them in submission. It murdered or imprisoned the best revolutionary women and men of Iran. With its reactionary "anti-imperialism," the IRI has tried to hide its dependence on the global imperialist system. It has trained armies of obscurantist theocrats in Iran and throughout the Middle East. It has dispatched its criminal IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) beyond Iranian borders into Iraq and Syria in order to commit crimes against the peoples of those countries. It has stolen land and water of the peasants and has destroyed their environment. It has oppressed Kurdish, Balouch, Arab, Turk, Turkmen and Lor nationalities in Iran. Because this regime.…
The experience of 44 years of theocratic rule in Iran has demonstrated that wherever religious fundamentalism prevails, an intense patriarchy and aggressive misogyny will prevail. But patriarchal oppression, also reigns in secular states with undeniable intensity. Therefore, nobody should deceive themselves! Any regime that would replace the Islamic Republic and continue to be based on the same capitalist foundations, even if it claims to be "secular" and promises "freedom for women," can never give up patriarchal relations.
Any such regime, will undoubtedly, pursue and rely on patriarchy as a way of consolidating political power and keeping people's sights low and backward in order to create reactionary social cohesion. Also, no one should ever have naive fantasies that "Western" imperialists will distribute western prosperity and democracy in Iran! Look at what they did in Afghanistan and how they paved the way for the Taliban to regain power, with women now prevented even from becoming literate. Look at how the fascist Supreme Court of the United States is enslaving women by abolishing the right to abortion. Nothing is more dangerous than illusions of surrendering to the status quo, of seeing choices as between "bad" and "worse." Especially in the times we are going through.
We live in a time when women's uprisings in different countries are shaking the world. The recent Jina/Mahsa uprising in Iran is part of all this. It is the cry of humanity's rage against the outmoded society that doesn’t and can’t let go a thousand-years-old oppression of half of humanity! The oppression of women has existed since the beginning of class society. There will be no way to completely abolish it without putting an end to classes and private property. Overall and historically, this has prepared women as a revolutionary force for the abolition of class society.
But beyond this general truth, at the present time, the fault line of women’s oppression has taken an especially acute form. In capitalist-imperialist countries and in "Third World" countries that are dominated by capitalist-imperialism, women’s participation in the economy has surged in an unprecedented way. This is not just a direct result of economic transformations. Rather, it has occurred in conjunction with women's struggles against traditional relations and institutions. This new situation has put a lot of pressure on traditional family relations which are male centered and bound with male dominated culture. New forms of women’s oppression have emerged which have created cultural and social tensions. The ruling classes in the countries of the "Global North" and "Global South" have begun to strengthen family and traditional values more and more. This includes strengthening male rights, fueling a culture of hatred aimed at independent women, forcing hijab on women, abolishing abortion rights and spreading of pornography. All these trends are linked to huge changes that have occurred and the necessities it has created for the capitalist ruling classes. They need to tighten the chains of patriarchy in order to maintain their outmoded social cohesion.
As a result of the workings of the capitalist-imperialist system, women's oppression has become such a fault line that can potentially bring down the entire global capitalist system with a resounding explosion. The system cannot even mitigate it within its current framework. With every movement of this fault line a formidable social force is created worldwide, whose emancipation definitely depends on the revolutionary and radical abolition of traditional property relations and traditional ideas.
If we look at this through the lens of the "bourgeoisie-proletariat contradiction" (as the old communist movement used to, while this contradiction only represents one of the dynamics of capitalism) we cannot understand the dramatic changes which have happened in conditions of women and driving forces responsible for it. Or to look at it through prism of "democratic rights," "democracy" and "identity politics" will fail us to grasp this world-historic moment when a specific oppressive social relation has come to stand as the characteristic expression of the pure rottenness of the capitalist system.
The reality is that humanity is standing at a juncture. By applying the method and approach of the New Communism, Bob Avakian gives us a clear and unique analysis of what is going on in the world that has brought humanity to the crossroad of a "A Terrible or Truly Liberating Future." This is not an exaggerated claim of the situation. His analysis comes from examining the very dynamics of the imperialist-capitalist system, and constant and continuous changes it forces on the world. The current position of women, the environmental disaster, the nuclear war that can destroy the entire human civilization, and finally, the rise of fascist and identity ideologies and movements cannot be understood without this analysis. Or deep divisions within the ruling classes of the most powerful power—the USA—are ripping it apart. Most importantly, without Avakian's analysis, one cannot see nor understand that there is the potential for a real revolution in the midst of this accelerated and explosive situation, to end all the unnecessary human sufferings, such as the oppressive relations that make women and queer people subordinate to men.
But the "time is tight"! Therefore, all political lines and forms of activities and modes of thinking that waste time must be pushed aside. Political passivity, identity politics, relativism, bourgeois-democratic illusions that expect the world’s capitalist-imperialist powers would transfer some of their "welfare and democracy" to Iran and "liberate women" will strengthen forces of the "terrible future." All these tendencies try to remove the alternative of the real revolution from the field and push revolutionary communists out of the fighting spaces! This reactionary project must be shattered and the way for a "truly liberating future" opened up. And the point here is that it can be done! The scrambling of the contradictions of the system has created a turbulent and complex situation. In this situation, the extraordinary power of the New Communism in providing a scientific picture of reality can attract those who really seek to understand "what is the problem and what is the solution."
To all those who yearn to be freed from any form of oppression we say: do not give in to empty sermons on "democracy"! No fighter should waste their life in movements that neither aim to, nor can achieve, a radical change in the situation. These movements do not have the goal of radical transformation of society and a road map and systematic organization for it. Therefore, they would condemn people to be trapped in the terms of the system which will have only one result: terrible future.
So we call loudly: instead of wasting time, join us revolutionary communists to organize a movement for revolution. Revolution in the present epoch can only mean millions of people rising up consciously and in an organized way in order to overthrow the old state, and establish a radically different and far better political and economic system, which is a socialist system. And for millions to understand that this revolution will only be the beginning of the path towards a communist world where there is no oppression and exploitation of people, nor the nature, anywhere. Organizing the revolution "from below" means this!
Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, cpimlm.org
March 8, 2023