The unprecedented people's uprising against the Islamic Republic of Iran shook the country for six months and stunned the world with women’s daring acts of burning the hijab and the resounding cry, “Down with the Islamic Republic”. This uprising marks the beginning of a period leading to dramatic changes in Iran with global impacts. The question is what kind of change will that be? A change at the top — as happened in 1979 where one reactionary regime was replaced with another reactionary regime with different moorings but that meticulously kept the devastation of the capitalist system intact? Or will a revolutionary change prevail this time, and in turn give rise to new waves of anti-capitalist-imperialist, emancipatory movements and communist revolutions in the world? For which future should we fight?
Anyone anywhere who longs for a radically different world should not stand on the sidelines in the battle over Iran’s future. We all live under a single global capitalist system, and this reality inherently connects the revolution in Iran to the future of the world. The capitalist-imperialist system has created a terrible schism in the world where billions of people in the so-called "Global South" are brutally exploited and live under tyrannical vampire regimes such as the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) while providing for prosperity and democracy of the few hundred millions in the "Global North”. This system is driving the world towards a nuclear war between the "Western" and "Eastern" capitalist-imperialist powers. Today, the war in Ukraine is its epicentre and tomorrow it can flare up in Taiwan! This system has destroyed the environment to the point of no return. It has turned the female half of humanity into 21st-century slaves. Isn't all this enough to require us to get rid of it as soon as possible through communist revolutions?
That is why all those who long for a radically different world should consider the battle over Iran’s future their own. In the context of the present situation in Iran, all kinds of bourgeois forces have actively jumped into the fray in order to control the situation and impose their reactionary alternatives. This is what happens whenever there is major social upheaval and especially when the potential for a revolution appears on horizon. For example, the mummies of the old, overthrown regime of the Shah have crawled out of their graves and occupied the scene of Iranian protests in the diaspora, waving their bloody reactionary flag stained with blood of several generations of Iranian freedom fighters. These mummies dream of restoring the regime that came to power through the British-US imperialist coup in 1953 and ruled through the killing, torture and imprisonment of its opponents. Likewise, in 1978-79, when the people rose up to overthrow the Shah's regime, a different grouping — the Islamic fundamentalists led by Khomeini — who also represented the interests of the bourgeoisie in Iran, entered the fray and captured the leadership of the uprising and turned a would-be revolution to a vicious counter-revolution and turned Iran into the hell that it is now. Islamic fundamentalist forces succeeded through political machinations but also with the support of the US imperialists. It is true that the US imperialists initially supported the Shah's regime against the people’s uprising. But they quickly turned around and with the aid of their influence within ruling structures, such as the army, cleared the way for the Islamic fundamentalists to come to power. In this way, the US imperialists cut short a process that had the potential to lead to a real revolution. The longer that process lasted, the more it could enable the people, especially the workers, people in shanty towns and the countryside, to get to know and grapple with in practice, as well as in the intense discussions raging everywhere, the different programs and forces representing different futures.
In the current uprising, too, the need to gain this kind of consciousness is highly apparent. It is true that, this uprising, through its slogans, hijab-burning, broad unity and solidarity among the people, calling out national oppression, discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and so on, has effected big changes in the culture and brought forward an attitude of not tolerating any kind of the IRI's crimes. And it is true that the mass following of the IRI has shrunk considerably and its legitimacy has been pulled into the mud — as openly confessed by important figures in the ruling establishment. But we are far from a revolution and there are many dangers ahead of us.
Let's look at the general objective and subjective factors. The IRI is still strong! But, the biggest obstacle in going over to a real revolution is subjective — i.e., there are still great illusions about what a revolution is! Most people think a revolution is synonymous with “regime change”. But a “regime change” that replaces the IRI with another regime, whether called a republic or a monarchy, while consolidating the capitalist system, can never be a revolution! Revolution means overthrowing the IRI with its entire military and administrative apparatus and its ideological institutions by means of a thoroughgoing and organized struggle to establish a socialist state.
There are other subjective problems concerning our party itself. Our party has not fought sufficiently to bring home the alternative of a socialist revolution as presented and outlined in our “Constitution for a New Socialist Republic in Iran”. In all of our work we must start from the fact that Iran needs a revolution, what kind of revolution it needs and what that requires — what things we do have and what things we do not have and should strive to have in order to win such a revolution. The bourgeoisie propagates the false notion of “leaderless revolutions” through its petty-bourgeois mouthpieces. No such thing has ever existed or been possible! But the bourgeoisie is banking on such ideas in order to bring the situation under its leadership at a time when this uprising has created new openings for winning people over to the line and strategy of a communist revolution.
It is an elementary fact that Iran needs a real revolution. And it is a basic truth that we in Iran and the whole world live under a single global capitalist system and this system must go! The era of bourgeois revolutions is over and our society needs a proletarian revolution. The proletarian or communist nature of this revolution does not mean that it "belongs" to the workers or that mainly the workers will fight it out. No! Rather, it means that the necessary revolution for today's society and the world is rooted in the most fundamental and broadest interests of the proletariat, which consists of advancing society towards communism and freeing all humanity from the class system and its evils.
So, we say to all those who don't want to be just activists in this or that movement and want to fight for “all and everything” and dedicate their lives to that, they need to join our party in order to collectively rise to the occasion of the great opportunities that the people’s uprising has provided and take quick and big leaps for this revolution.
The events in Iran are taking place in the context of a rare international situation. The world situation is in turmoil and all power relations and ruling structures of the imperialist capitalist system that have lasted for over 70 years since the end of the Second World War are coming apart at the seams. This world is hell for billions of people, but the imperialist powers are promising to fuel the fires of its hell even more. In the face of this situation, not only those who are already in hell, but also those who are in a better position, should be mobilized for this revolution. There are only two possible futures in front of us: a revolution or worsening of the already hellish situation.
Taking up, learning and applying the New Communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, its architect and the Marx of our time should never be confined to a few communist cadres. Rather, it is just as critical as water and air are vital, especially for those who endure the most severe and cruel forms of exploitation and social oppression. If these people are to become the backbone and driving force of the communist revolutions, then they must be able to face the reality of our society and world in order to be able to change it for the better. This can only be made possible by the New Communism because it is grounded in a scientific method and approach to understanding and changing reality.
We need tens of thousands of people in Iran and all over the world from Asia and Africa, to Europe and Americas, dedicated to fighting for human emancipation. The whole world is crying out to be transformed and this necessity has been demonstrated in an explosive way in the streets of Iran.
We have nothing to lose but our chains! We have a world to win!
ViSdP: Kramer, 70178 Stuttgart