The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie
This section which will be divided into several separate pamphlets includes the exposition and explanation of the points briefly made in the second part of the pamphlet "The Iranian Revolution and the Role of the Proletariat". The explanation of the fundamental bases of the capitalist system and its imperialist stage, from the viewpoint of Marx and Lenin, the whole social capital and the different strata of capital, the unity of interests of the different strata of capital and the question of competition from the theoretical viewpoint, the fundamental conditions for the existence and survival of the capitalist system, the characteristics of capitalism in the epoch of imperialism, the question of dependent capitalism and the concrete operation of monopoly capitalism in the dominated country, the historical roots and the contemporary conditions of the dependence of capitalism in Iran, dictatorship, dependent capitalism and the liberal bourgeoisie, the stratifications of the Iranian bourgeoisie and a criticism of the utopia of "democracy and independent capitalism in Iran under the leadership of the national bourgeoisie" etc, constitute the essential parts of the section on "The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie". The main text of our analysis will start from the next pamphlet. In this introduction we content ourselves with brief remarks on the deviationist methods of approach of the question of dependence.
The absence of an all-sided analysis of the development of capitalism in Iran and the prevalence of non-Marxist categories, concepts and analytical methods in the communist movement of Iran, have manifested themselves, perhaps more than anything else, in the manner of approach of the revolutionary organisations, groups and elements of our country on the question of dependent capitalism. The main part of the views that have been expressed on this issue, before being based on the scientific and revolutionary teachings of Marxism, is in conformity with bourgeois economics and in particular with the nascent schools of "underdevelopment" and the "economy of development". Its analytical categories and concepts are rooted not in Marx's "Capital" and Lenin's "Imperialism", but in the critical writings, speeches and analyses of the representatives of the newly arrived bourgeoisies of the Asian, African and Latin American countries and the imperialist advisers of the United Nations and the research institutes of the imperialist countries. The escalation of the storm of anti-imperialist revolutions in the dominated countries and the increasing growth of Marxism-Leninism in these countries, have, inevitably, directed the attention of bourgeois economic science, which is the theoretical summation and generalisation of the interests of capital, towards the economic "ills" and "problems" of the "non-developed" countries. The "defenders" of the rights of, oppressed nations suddenly appeared in the most reactionary research and planning institutions of imperialism; and bourgeois economics took up, with all its might, the work of justifying and covering up for the fatal contradictions of imperialism and the theoretical stupefying of anti-imperialist movements and the metamorphosing of Marxism-Leninism. The metamorphosis and distortion of the key categories, concepts and topics of Marxism and the transfer of the topics under discussion from the arena of the class and anti-imperialist struggle to the problems of the "economic development" in the dominated country, through preventing the dissemination of the thoughts of the founders of Marxism and the substitution of their works with the eclectic and deviationist writings of the so-called "Marxist", "left", "progressive" and "humanitarian" writers and consequently the presentation of Marxism from a bourgeois viewpoint, have formed one of the effective weapons of the thinkers of world imperialism. In this way a section of the 'Marxists of the dominated countries, including Iran, who more than 50 years ago in the Second Congress of the Third International and the Congress of the Peoples of the East, spoke of uncompromising and decisive struggle against imperialism under the leadership of communists and of unreserved support for the Leninist International, have now been, as though, converted into experts who must lead onto the right track the so-called national bourgeoisie - which apparently is not aware of its interests - on the questions of "the lack of heavy industries", "the price-setters of agricultural commodities", "the disadvantages of the mono-product system", "the consumptive mentality of the masses (!)", "how to turn the wheels of economy", etc.
From the viewpoint of economic theories, the abandoning, by a section of our communists, of the struggle against the whole of the bourgeoisie, is to a large extent the legacy of an all-round influence of bourgeois economic views and thoughts and the caricature of the revolutionary theories of Marx and Lenin. Avoiding the analysis of the laws of the whole social capital (which is the basis of "Marx's Capital" and "Lenin's Imperialism") and proceeding initially with the classification of the bourgeoisie, is one of the important expressions of the influence of bourgeois ideology. We hope that in later pamphlets, the importance of the category "the whole social capital" and the laws of its movement becomes clear to the reader. What we must mention in this brief account is that by emphasizing this category we by no means want to deny the objective and material stratifications which exist within the whole social capital, and which form, at class level, the objective basis for the existence of the different strata of the bourgeoisie. Quite the contrary, our intention is to explain, by exposing the relations existing among the different strata of capital, their organic connection and, likewise, their unity of interests in the present revolution of Iran; and to struggle against the illusions which are prevalent on the independence of interests of a section of the Iranian bourgeoisie (the so-called national bourgeoisie) and its "contradiction" with the imperialist system of production in the dominated Iran.
Perhaps none of the ideological weapons of the Iranian bourgeoisie has proved as effective, in aborting the revolutionary struggles of the workers and toilers of our country, as this short title of "national" which is unjustly carried (at least after the completion of the process of "expropriation" - the Land Reforms - of the years 1963-68) by a section of the country's capitalists. This weapon of the bourgeoisie has still not completely lost its sharpness. Under the shelter of this medal of honour, the "national" capitalists ask of the revolutionary workers to ignore the private ownership of the means of production and the exploitation in their factories and firms, to exempt them from the consequences of the workers' struggles, not to speak of soviets, unions and strike committees in the "world of friendship", accept lower wages and work more so that the "national" industries would develop. In the political sphere, when for months the toilers had sounded the death-knell of the dependent regime of the monarchy, the politicians of the "national" bourgeoisie (the Sanjabees, Bazargans, Sadighees, Foruhars and Bakhtiars) were hoping that the toiling people of Iran would forgive their constitutionalism, which was nothing but the treacherous expression of support for the monarchist system and opposition to fundamental changes, for their "nationalism". Where the apparatus of the rule of imperialist capital, confronted with the courageous offensive of workers and toilers, was on the verge of collapse, and imperialism was seeking high and low to mobilise compromisers, once again it was these "national" capitalists and their political representatives who, under the protection of this cover, colluded with imperialism. And now that the same compromisers have acquired the position of "the provisional councillorship of the interests of imperialist capital in Iran", it is again the same false title of "national" which enables them to play their treacherous role. At this specific juncture of the development of the class struggle, the illusions on the so-called "national and progressive" nature of the state and its class basis, which exist in the minds of the toilers, have become transformed into one of the principal obstacles to the escalation of the revolution and its decisive victory, and into the corner-stone of. the return of the indisputable rule of imperialist reaction. Thus, it is clear what immense a gift and how sharp a weapon the attribution of the title "national" to a section of the bourgeoisie of Iran is from the viewpoint of the whole of the bourgeoisie.
But is it not a main part of the revolutionary workers and their communist vanguards themselves which calls a section of the Iranian bourgeoisie national, and distinguishes it from the other strata of the bourgeoisie? What basically is the meaning of national bourgeoisie from the viewpoint of Marxism-Leninism and in what political and economic movements and capacities must the "nationalism!" of this or that social stratum manifest itself at this specific juncture of the Iranian revolution?
For us, the answer to this question is clear. National and independent bourgeoisie can only be defined as the class reflection of the existence and operation of national and independent capital. The independence of capital does not at all mean independence in the ownership of the different forms of capital (money, instruments, and commodities). Independence of capital can only be defined as the "independence of the conditions of profit-making by capital - i.e. the independence of the exploitation relation"; and the capital independent of imperialism (national capital) can only be a capital which provides and maintains the conditions of its profit-making (i.e. the conditions of wage-labour exploitation) independent of imperialism. With this definition, the assumption of the existence of national capital and national bourgeoisie in the dependent capitalist system of Iran is fundamentally empty and meaningless. From the political viewpoint, bourgeois "progressiveness" will only then have a material basis in the economic foundation of society when democracy (in the bourgeois sense of the word) is the political necessity and the necessary political superstructure for the growth and expansion of capital. The bourgeoisie is only then interested, and that only to a degree, in the creation of democratic conditions when dictatorship is an obstacle in the path of the growth of capital and capitalism. Thus it is clear that the attribution of the phrase "national" to a section of the Iranian bourgeoisie places that section, by definition, in contradiction with the imperialist production prevailing in the society and with its political super-structure - the naked dictatorship. On the other hand the supporters of the "national" bourgeoisie must logically start from the position that imperialism and dictatorship are themselves in contradiction with the development of capitalism in Iran and that the "national" bourgeoisie, as the standard-bearer of the classical development of capitalism in Iran, is deeply interested in the destruction of the economic and political rule of imperialism over the social production in the country. From the viewpoint of struggle, the naming of a section of the bourgeoisie as "national", places this stratum, by definition, in the camp of the forces of the present anti-imperialist revolution of Iran, and no remark as to the "national" bourgeoisie being "vacillating" can cover up this deduction.
Therefore the discussion is not over words. The "national and progressive bourgeoisie" is a category which forms the converging and meeting focus of the fundamental components of the analysis and elucidation of the Iranian revolution. Beyond these two words, "national" and "progressive", there lies a certain understanding of the characteristics of the productive relations in Iran, the material bases of the present revolution, the demarcation lines of the forces of revolution and counter-revolution, the political and economic content of the revolution and the necessary methods of struggle for the realization of the revolutionary demands of workers and toilers, etc. To begin with the correct presentation of the question of dependent capitalism and the exposition of the emptiness of the category of "national and progressive" bourgeoisie in Iran, is itself today merely a step in the escalation of an ideological struggle against the populist and above-class viewpoints and the consolidation of the ideological and political independence of the working class in the revolutionary movement of the country. First, we must point out the main lines and the fundamental components of the prevalent deviationist interpretations of the question of dependence and "national and progressive bourgeoisie".
The most general picture that can be drawn, on the basis of the signs here and there in our communist literature about the "national" bourgeoisie, is that: "the national bourgeoisie is a section of the bourgeoisie which from the economic point of view has anti-imperialist interests and is discontent with the operation of imperialism - the cause of the backwardness of the economy of the country and the unevenness of the economic structure and the lack of an all-sided development of the society. In production and exchange, it stands in unfavourable conditions relative to monopoly capitals and [those] dependent on monopolies, to such an extent that it finds its economic existence in jeopardy in this unequal competition. In the political sphere it is in contradiction with dictatorship (whether this dictatorship be defined as the rule of dependent capitalists and imperialism or as the political superstructure of the semi-feudal semi-colonial system, the precapitalist system of production, Asiatic mode of production, etc.) and is, in the final analysis, for the development of capitalism in the classical manner, the establishment of democracy and republic, the expansion of national culture. and traditions and economic, political and cultural independence from imperialism. In relation to the working class and other toilers, the national bourgeoisie is not as much exploiting as the dependent bourgeoisie, and is fairer. In the sphere of struggles, this stratum enjoys a long record of anti-imperialist and anti-dictatorship struggles and its political leaders have been suppressed, to different degrees, by the ruling dependent regime".
It will not be without use if we examine separately the different components and constituent parts of the above picture.
1- The separation of "national" bourgeoisie from dependent bourgeoisie on the basis of the economic position and role of these strata
a) The dependence or non-dependence of the capitalist to foreign or state money capital as the criterion for distinguishing the "national" from dependent bourgeoisie. In this formulation, dependent capitalist is defined as the capitalist who acquires his money capital from foreign monopolies and from banks which are dependent on foreign or state monopoly capital (the state is rightly regarded as the agent of foreign capital). The "national" bourgeoisie, on the basis of this component of the definition, is taken as that stratum of the owners of capital which, at the levels of ownership of money capital, does not have such dependence, and is itself the owner [of this money capital] or obtains it from domestic and private non-monopoly credit sources. It is clear that on the basis of this component of the definition, dependence or non-dependence cannot be absolute and the different degrees of dependence of the various strata of the bourgeoisie to credit and different credit sources, and likewise the inevitable dependence of the different credit establishments to one another and, in the final analysis, to monopoly capitals, prevent the drawing of a definite and clear line between the dependent and non-dependent strata of the bourgeoisie, from the viewpoint of the ownership of initial money capital.
b) The separation of the "national" from dependent bourgeoisie on the basis of the dependence or non-dependence of the means of production to monopoly capital. On the basis of this criterion the dependent bourgeoisie is the stratum of the bourgeoisie which obtains its means of production (i.e. the instruments of labour and/or raw and elementary materials) from abroad. The "national" bourgeoisie is therefore defined as that stratum of the bourgeoisie which acquires its means of production inside the country. In order to make this formulation more precise we can mention a few points which again prevent the drawing of a decisive line between the "national" and dependent strata of the bourgeoisie. Firstly, this criterion can merely be put forward in relation to industrial capital, which requires means of production, and essentially leaves merchants' capital aside, which has no share in production, and consequently, taking into account the limitation of the domestic production of the means of production, it confines the field of search for the national bourgeoisie to the sector of traditional and light consumer commodity production. Secondly, the domestic production of the means of production can itself be dependent on monopoly capital, on the basis of the two criteria we have mentioned so far. Thirdly the question that on what basis are the means of production sold to the capitalist (for instance, does the seller exchange his product with money? Does he become a shareholder in the buyer's company? Does he retain the monopoly for the provision of spare parts and repairs for himself? etc.) itself imposes different degrees of dependence on the capitalists buying the means of production.
c) The market for the sale of products as the criterion for distinguishing the "national" from dependent bourgeoisie. The division of capitalists to those who sell their commodities in the domestic market and those who produce with the purpose of selling in the foreign market and identifying the former section with the "national" bourgeoisie and the latter with the "dependent bourgeoisie" (even with regard to the point that this is only one of the criteria for separating the bourgeoisie) is in itself void of any analytical value. However, suchlike remarks exist in the writings of some organisations. The production of carpets (which is the classical example of "national" industries in the writings of the supporters of the national bourgeoisie) is to a large extent directed towards foreign market and forms a considerable percentage of the non-oil exports of Iran; and on the other hand, the products of the assembly plants (cars, household goods etc) in whose dependence there is general consensus, are mainly sold in the domestic market. In fact the export of commodities is one of the determining conditions in the development of classical capitalism, and the dependence of the various capitals to foreign market is by no means an expression of the dependence of those capitals to "abroad". However, if the question of the sales market is presented not in relation to the different strata of capital and not as the criterion for 'separating the dependent from non-dependent bourgeoisie, but as the indicator of the dependence of the whole
social capital and the whole social production to foreign market, it can be employed to explain one of the dimensions of economic dependence in connection with the form of dependence of the whole economy (for example that the economy is mono-product and the exporter of raw materials and, inevitably, is in complete dependence on the sales market and the various fluctuations in this market).
d) The use-values of the commodity or the social identity of its consumers as the criterion for separating the "national" producer from dependent producer. The division of capitalists into a stratum which produces or sells commodities which are useful and needed by the society (or needed by the toilers) and a stratum which is engaged in the production and sale of useless and "junk" commodities or those used by the rich (and the ruling class as a whole), is another one of the prevalent criteria for separating the "national" bourgeoisie from dependent bourgeoisie, which catches the eye here and there in the leaflets of the different political and workers' organisations.
2- Dependence as the characteristic of the whole system of production.
The division of the Iranian bourgeoisie into "national" and dependent strata is in fact the starting-point of the current views in defining the dependence of the whole system of production. The definitions of the dependent capitalist system which are presented are mainly based on the mechanical generalization of the economic movements of the dependent bourgeoisie; and dependent capitalism is in fact regarded as "the system of production under the rule of dependent capitalists". The monetary dependence of the capitalists dependent on foreign monopolies is expressed in the dependence of the whole system of production on foreign monetary and credit sources; the dependence of the capitalists dependent on foreign means of production finds manifestation in the dependence of the whole system under their rule on foreign technology and heavy industries; and the reliance of the whole economic system on foreign sales markets, is itself taken as the reflection of the economic and political rule of dependent capitalists who in their production have foreign markets, and not the domestic requirements, in mind. This method of "analysis" gives precedence to social classification over the materialist analysis of the economic laws of movement of the society and considers dependent capitalism as a system which is nothing but the mechanical summation of the movements of dependent capitalists. In such interpretations the national bourgeoisie continues its existence not in the context of the system of production and not on the basis of its laws of development, but by its side and in spite of it; and necessarily must secure its economic interests not in the operation of the whole dependent economic system, but in opposition to it.
3- Dependence from the viewpoint of the general function of the economy and its effects on the economic structure of the country and the "independent" policy of the national bourgeoisie in regard to it (the different
components of the deviationist interpretatation).
a) "The outcome of the operation of dependent economy, is the departure fro the country of the produced surplus-value and its flow into the pockets of foreign mono-polies and imperialist capitals". In this formulation the national bourgeoisie (in opposition to the operation of the dependent capitalist system) is regarded as the supporter of the investment of the produced surplus-value in the country itself.
b) "The plundering of the natural resources by imperialism". In this formulation the "national" bourgeoisie is defined as the supporter of the nationalisation of the natural resources and their national and "rational" usage.
c) "The result of dependence is the distortion and unevenness of the country's economic structure". On the basis of this formulation the rule of dependent capitalists leads to the mobilization of the country's economy towards the production and export of mineral resources and raw materials. The sector of the production of the means of production does not develop in the country and instead, assembly industries, consumer commodities and services expand. In order to make the country dependent on its food products, imperialism specifically causes the destruction of the country's agriculture. As a result the economy of the country does not develop in an "even" and all-round manner and in particular in the sphere of heavy and main industries on the one hand, and agriculture on the other, the country's economy still remains dependent on foreign monopolies. In this way, the "national" bourgeoisie is defined as the supporter of the "even" development of capitalism in Iran, of self-sufficiency from the viewpoint of agriculture, and of industrialisation. This formulation is specifically based on this notion that imperialism is in "contradiction" with the industrialisation of the dominated country.
d) "The result of dependence is the opening up of the country's gateways to the import of consumer and also luxurious and junk (!) commodities". The import of such commodities is increased and foreign currency which has been obtained from the sale of unique export commodities (oil), leaves the country. Here the "national" bourgeoisie is defined as the supporter of maintaining the balance of foreign trade, of allocating the oil revenues for the construction of the country, of protective tariffs to aid domestic production and to prevent the irregular departure of foreign currency, of changing and "rationalising" the consuming pattern of the social classes and of preventing the conclusion of unequal economic contracts and imperialist frauds. In addition to the above formulations which, despite marking time at the level of the most elementary bourgeois economic theories, at least express dependence as a relation and define a specific economic and social role for the "national" bourgeoisie, there exist other crude equations for defining the "national" bourgeoisie, such as considering the "national" bourgeoisie as equivalent to small and intermediate capitalists, bazar merchants, capitalists of the sector producing traditional commodities (small, hand, artistic or building crafts), etc.
4- The outline of the deviationist views about the politico-ideological policy of the "national" bourgeoisie.
When, on the basis of the above formulations, the national bourgeoisie is distinguished from the other strata of the bourgeoisie, and then one must look for its political and ideological characteristics. (Although in reality the relation is the other way round and in fact some forces due to their eagerness in believing the ignorant claims of the liberal bourgeoisie, hurriedly try to trump up economic roots for it in the economic structure of the country). In this sphere too there is no scarcity of formulas and hypotheses, since when at the economic level the "contradiction of the national bourgeoisie with imperialism" has become clear (!), then its political policy in the struggle against imperialism is completely conceivable. Here again we content ourselves with the mention of the different components of these interpretations.
a) National bourgeoisie is defined as a section of the bourgeoisie which stands for bourgeois democracy and the republic. The basis of this notion is that presumably dictatorship as the political superstructure imposed on the system of production, is incompatible with the growth of capitalism in Iran, and the "national" bourgeoisie as a section which in contrast to the supporters of dictatorship (who are defined as the feudals, compradors, imperialists, etc.) pursues the classical development of capitalism in the country, is necessarily inclined towards the establishment of the political superstructure of classical capitalism, i.e. bourgeois democracy.
b) "National" bourgeoisie is considered as a section of the bourgeoisie which stands for the political-military independence of Iran from imperialism and its world politics. Thus, according to these interpretations, the "national" bourgeoisie is in the sphere of government the supporter of the reduction of military expenses, the refusal to play the role of the gendarme of the region, the nullification of military and "security" treaties with American and European imperialism and the removal of foreign military and spying bases, etc.
c) According to these interpretations, the national bourgeoisie is not only opposed to repression, the suppression of democratic institutions and the suppression of individual liberties, etc, but it sees its own growth and development dependent on the expansion of such liberties.
d) The "national" bourgeoisie is opposed to the spread of imperialist culture and values in the country and stands by the national and religious traditions of the Iranian people.
e) The "national" bourgeoisie is that section of the bourgeoisie which carries the traditions and memories of the struggles for the nationalisation of the oil industry. In more precise words the "national" bourgeoisie is the class base of Mossadeq, the National Front and its various branches.
5- Government and dictatorship, the main points of the deviationist views on the cause of the existence and continuation of dictatorship in Iran.
Since the above formulations, each one in a way, express the "insufficient", "uneven", dependent and non-classical development of capitalism in Iran, the dictatorial nature of the regime too, which is a part of the political superstructure of the dominant economic system in' Iran, is necessarily linked to the above interpretations, in various ways.
a) Dictatorship as the political super-structure of the semi-feudal semi-colonial system.
As we said, the [above] formulations and definitions are merely free quotations from the scattered references which are made in the various publications of the communist and workers' organisations of our country about the questions of dependence, dictatorship and national bourgeoisie. In many cases, we are in full agreement with the observations made in the above formulations. For instance, the mono-product state of the economy of the country, the rapid growth of the sector of services and the production of light consumer commodities, reliance on foreign technology, the backwardness of the agricultural sector and the increase in imports, etc, are all completely correct and undeniable observations. But the point is about the place which these observations must occupy in the analysis of dependence. These observations are the effects of the operation of the dependent capitalist system in Iran and not the elements and components of its definition. We hope that the importance of this distinction becomes clear to the reader with the explanations we shall give in the course of these articles. Here we merely content ourselves with this short note that Marxism defines a social system (like any other organic whole) on the basis of its internal laws, and not on the basis of the concrete forms and external appearances in which these laws find expression. For instance, the fact that Iran's economy has assumed a specific social division of labour is not the cases and essence of the dependence of Iranian capitalism, and the future changes of this social division of labour (for example the growth of new branches of production) do not necessarily themselves mean the negation of dependent relations of capitalist production in the country. Today, the specific shaping of the social division of labour in Iran is the result of the operation of dependence and it is clear that the essence of the dependence of capitalist production in Iran cannot be explained by referring to the form of the division of labour. Concrete realities in every analysis are the observations we start with, so that by unravelling their various components, and discovering the principal ones, we once again explain the cause of their existence by their specific characteristics. In this way, "concrete realities" such as the mono-product state of Iran's economy, the agricultural backwardness and so on, must "appear in the process of thinking, therefore, as a process of concentration, as a result, not as a point of departure, even though it is the point of departure in reality and hence also the point of departure for observation and conception. Therefore, an analysis which presents dependent capitalism as the mechanical sum of concrete observations, is nothing but simple empiricism and has no proximity to the Marxist method of analysis.
This deviation is based on this non Leninist understanding that presumably bourgeois democracy is the necessary political superstructure of the capitalist system at every period, place and stage of its development. On this basis the cause for the existence of dictatorship in Iran is regarded as the insufficient, defective and non-generalised growth of capitalism in the country. According to this interpretation, the survival of the feudal system is consequently an obstacle in the way of the elimination of the political superstructure of this system (despotism) in the country; and within the framework of the semi-feudal semi-colonial system of production (which presumably is the mode of social production in Iran) despotism is defined as the political superstructure for the unity of the reactionary interests of the "feudals" and "imperialists". It is evident that in this system of analysis, the "national" bourgeoisie, which presumably stands for the classical development of capitalism, the annihilation of feudalist relations and the destruction of the domination of imperialism, is presented as republican and democrat.
b) Dictatorship as the means of exercising force by the dependent capitalists in rivalry with the national bourgeoisie.
This formulation recognises the establishment of capitalism in Iran, but like the previous formulations suffers from this incorrect notion that presumably the corresponding superstructure of the capitalist system is necessarily bourgeois democracy, and inevitably seeks the cause of existence of dictatorship in the faults and defects of and the obstacles to the growth of capitalism in Iran. The compounding of this incorrect notion with a mechanical understanding of dependence and imperialism leads to the result that the existence of dictatorship in Iran is the reflection of the monopolist rule of dependent capitalists, and not of the nature of the rule of the whole bourgeoisie of Iran. On this basis, despite the dominance of capital over social production - which according to these interpretations presupposes the growth of bourgeois democracy - the dependent capitalists and their state, in order to protect their superiority in the sphere of competition with the "national" bourgeoisie, to protect the domestic market and. also the country's mines and resources for the foreign and dependent capitals, have driven the other strata of the bourgeoisie out of the state and exercise their dictatorship. From this viewpoint, the rule of the "national" bourgeoisie, within the framework of "the independent capitalism" of Iran, will naturally have a democratic (in the bourgeois sense of the word) superstructure. The state in this interpretation is not the instrument for the exercise of force by the whole capitalist class over the working class and other toilers, nor the political organ for the common interests of [all] the strata of capital, but merely the instrument for gaining superiority by one stratum of the bourgeoisie over another.
The other point being that the different components we quoted from the deviationist interpretations and definitions of the question of dependence, not only are they not incompatible [with one another] but they themselves in reality constitute the various manifestations of a general and deviationist view of capital and imperialism. The correct presentation of the question of dependent capitalism and its supplements must also start from a Marxist understanding of this category, i.e. capital and imperialism. Beyond the simple above-mentioned formulations, the incorrect inferences made by their presenters from the categories of capital and imperialism can be clearly seen:
1) In the above formulations the categories of capital and capitalist system have been treated from a completely non-Marxist viewpoint. Capital has been reduced to its different forms of manifestation (money, instruments of production, commodity); and capitalist system has been reduced to commodity economy. The essence of capital, which is the confrontation of wage-labour and capital, and also the economic basis of the capitalist system, which is the domination of "capital-relation" over the social production, have been totally forgotten. The dependence that the above formulations are referring to, can at most express the dependence of a commodity (and not capitalist) economy. Technological dependence, market dependence and monetary dependence, non of these, are by themselves the dependence of capital; since capital, if we are to go beyond the bounds of bourgeois economy, and view it with a Marxist understanding, is something more than money, commodity or the instruments of production. From Marx's viewpoint, capital is a social relation in which surplus-value is produced, and money, instruments of production and the finished commodity, none of these, are the origin of surplus-value. Hence, if we want to speak of the dependence of capital we must explain this dependence specifically on the basis of the dependence of the relation of capital (i.e. the confrontation of wage-labour and capital, i.e., the relation, between exploitation and the production of surplus-value) on imperialism. In other words, in the first instance this point must be explained that how the production of surplus-value in Iran is dependent on imperialism and after understanding the essence of this dependence - and only after that - ask ourselves how the dependence of the nature of capital explains the concrete economic forms around us. On the other hand the forgetting of the exploitation of wage-labour, and the reduction of capital to its different forms, in conditions where essentially the category of the whole social capital is absent from the literature of our communist movement, has led to the reduction of the definition of capitalist economy to "commodity economy". The whole social capital is not the mathematical sum of the amounts of capitals existing in the country, but a category which encompasses the mutual relation between wage-labour and capital in the whole economy. Thus one cannot speak of the dependence of the capitalist system in Iran without considering the laws of movement and the necessities of the growth and expansion of the whole social capital and its internal contradictions. The mutual relation between wage-labour and capital in the whole economy, is the point of departure for every analysis and determination of the dependence of the capitalist production in Iran. Otherwise we have merely contented ourselves with the explanation of the apparent dependence of a commodity economy.
In this way the above formulations extend their incorrect view of capital to the phenomenon of imperialism too. In these formulas, imperialism (which is the capitalism of the present epoch) is not a system of production, that is a collection of social relations of production which develops the productive forces within it (or restricts the sphere to their development at a specific stage), but is basically a system of "plunder" and destruction. They view and understand imperialism not from the viewpoint of the working class, which is engaged in production in the imperialist system and is exploited in a production relation, but from the viewpoint Of the middle strata of the bourgeoisie which are involved in a futile competition with monopoly capital over the distribution of the outcome of this exploitation, since it is precisely the conditions of production which are imperialistic and the superiority of the monopolies over non-monopoly capitals, on the manner of distribution of the whole of produced surplus-value, is under conditions where monopolies have domination over production. So, in connection with the second component of the definition of dependence, i.e. imperialism, also, we must start form the mutual relation between wage-labour and capital, and the imperialistic conditions of this relation and then - and only then - deal with the problem as to how the existence, continuation and the survival of then imperialist conditions of exploitation of the working class, impose definite measures on the mutual relations of the different strata of capital and the bourgeoisie. Only after understanding the relation of labour and capital, in the epoch of imperialism, in the dominated country, can we explain the mutual technological, monetary and credit, and market relations and also the politico-ideological relations, existing among the various strata of the bourgeoisie and make use of these relations to the advantage of the working class in the revolution.
2) The second fundamental deviation which itself, from. the theoretical viewpoint, is rooted in the first deviation is tne consequence of the lack of a Leninist understanding of imperialism. In the above formulations, imperialism is presented not as a capitalist system of production, i.e. capitalism at its highest stage, but as an extra-territorial mechanism of "plunder". Lenin has fought specifically against this opinion of Kautsky which reduces imperialism to the foreign policy of the advanced capitalist countries. It is obvious that when capitalism is reduced to commodity production then there remains no room for the Leninist outlook of imperialism, and imperialism is [then] presented as a collection of economic, political and cultural conspiracies which are hatched abroad for the purpose of the "plunder" of the outcome of the operation of our "commodity economy". For example the definition of the operation of imperialism as the mechanism of the departure of the produced surplus-value, reduces the relation of imperialism to the way in which the produced surplus-value undergoes geographical distribution and/or legal appropriation, and forgets that even if all the surplus-value produced by monopoly capitals remains in Iran not only does this not effect a change in the imperialist nature of production and exploitation but it enhances it as well. Or the theory of the export of "junk" commodities, which, apart from the fact that it passes a moral judgement on the use-value of the commodity, takes imperialism as equivalent to the export of commodities and remains basically unconscious of the specific and fundamental distinction which Lenin has considered between imperialism as the export of capital, on the one hand, and the export of commodities, on the other.
For the correct presentation of the question of dependence, and the deduction of revolutionary political positions on its basis, we must start from a correct cognition of capital and imperialism. Dependent capitalism is the capitalism of the epoch of imperialism in the dominated country. This means that, firstly, in this system, the social production and the development of the productive forces are accomplished mainly within the framework of the growth and expansion of capital, and secondly, the movement of the whole social capital in the country takes shape in response to the world needs of monopoly capital, with respect to the concrete division of the world into imperialist and dominated countries at the economic and political levels. Therefore, when we speak of dependent capitalism we are talking of a mode of production which results from the establishment of the capitalism of the epoch of imperialism in the dominated country. So, before anything, the point is over the dependence of a system of production on imperialism and not the mechanical and formal dependence of its components. This point must become clear to all those who speak of dependent capitalism as to why we say dependent capitalism and not "the economy under the domination of dependent capitalists". As we said, from the viewpoint of Marxism, a social system is distinguished, before anything, by the internal laws of its movement and in the discussion about the dependent capitalist system, we must start, before anything, from the dependence of the economic laws of movement of this system on imperialism and of the correspondence of the laws of movement of the whole social capital in Iran_ to the laws of movement of monopoly capital, and then, after having understood dependence at this level, deal with the explanation of the way in which the productive forces are developing, the relations which exist between the main classes of society, the way in which the whole of surplus-value is distributed among the various strata of capital, and with the internal stratifications of the bourgeoisie and the political and social capacities of these strata. There is no doubt that not only does not the explanation of all of the above points fit into the framework of the totality of the present articles, but is not, in principle, within the theoretical and analytical capacity of a small communist group, with limited resources. This is a task which rests, in the final analysis, on the shoulders of the whole workers' and communist movement of our country. The task we have placed before us in this pamphlet is the principled presentation of the question of dependence and the deduction of general political conclusions about the definite political capacities (or the lack of definite capacities) of the different strata of the bourgeoisie in Iran.
The general framework of the current deviations, itself distinguishes the point of departure of our analysis. The section "The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie" will begin by reminding the fundamental principles of Marxist-Leninist understanding of capital, the capitalist system and imperialism. Our intention in this part will not be to repeat the basic categories and definitions of Marxism such as exploitation, surplus-value, productive forces and the relations of production, etc, but the exposition of the general framework of the deviations we referred to above. The main theoretical sources of this part will be "Capital" (all three volumes), sections from the "Theories of Surplus-Value" (First Volume, the chapter on productive and unproductive labour), "Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations", "Grundrisse", by Marx; and "A characterisation of Economic Romanticism", "The Development of Capitalism in Russia", "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism", "A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism", "Imperialism and the Split in Socialism", by Lenin. Having pointed out the basic questions, we shall deal with the examination of the historical conditions for the establishment, and the contemporary conditions for the production and reproduction of the dependent capitalist system in Iran. We shall mention the sources used for this section at the end of the next pamphlet.
What shall be considered in this part, will be the explanation of the fundamental laws of movement of the whole social capital in the country, the question of the internal stratifications of the Iranian bourgeoisie, and the criticism of the utopia of independent and democratic capitalism. The detailed criticism of the deviationist definitions and interpretations, the main points of which we mentioned in this introduction, will be presented in this part. Having pointed out the economic problems, we shall deal with the role of the liberal bourgeoisie in the present revolution and will confront specifically, by mentioning the sources, the illusions which exist among some revolutionary forces on the political role of this stratum. The sources used for this part will be mainly the works and writings of Lenin on the role of the bourgeoisie in the revolutions of 1905 and 1907, and also the writings, speeches and talks of the political leaders of the liberal bourgeoisie in Iran and the positions of the communist organisations of our country on the economic and political moves of the so-called national bourgeoisie and its political leaders. We must point out that at present the number and the topics of the pamphlets which constitute the section "The Myth…" is not precisely known. We hope to be able, within the next few weeks, together with the publication of the second pamphlet, which will deal with the presentation of general theoretical problems, to provide the comrades with information on the classification, the date of publication and the sources of each pamphlet, in a more precise way.
 It is true that the political realities of the past year have swept aside, to a large extent, the holy halo which, thanks to the theoretical deviations of the communist movement, had hidden the face of the liberal bourgeoisie; and have revealed some aspects of its ugly, dependent and dictatorial reality. However, this undoubtedly does not mean the defeat of the populist and Menshevik views (of which the trust in the bourgeoisie and its liberal strata is only one manifestation) and the prevention of their reappearance in other forms in future.
 The points we mentioned can by no means be regarded as the analysis of the reasons behind the theoretical deviations of the communist movement of Iran. We have merely pointed out one of the theoretical components of these deviations. With a little care one can distinguish the reflection of the deviationist views of left-sounding writers such as Paul Sweezy, Paul Baran, Maurice Dobb, Frank, etc, in the theoretical literature of the communist movement of Iran in particular on the question of imperialism and the dominated economy.
 Examples of the formulations which we mention exist in the works of the majority of the communist organisations. In this brief account we do not take up the writings of any specific organisation or group and leave this to later pamphlets, after the basic questions have been presented. We must point out that the remarks we make here on every formulation are merely to make these formulations more precise and are not for the purpose of criticizing them. We shall analyse in detail and with precision the fundamental defects and the theoretical eclecticism which exist within such definitions in the next pamphlets.
 Thus, the above two views, that is, either those which believe in the existence of the semi-feudal semi-colonial system or those which recognise the dominant system of production in Iran as dependent capitalist but have a non-Marxist and non-Leninist understanding of it, in practice, from the viewpoint of assessing the role of a certain stratum of the bourgeoisie in the present revolution, which both call the national bourgeoisie, reach an agreement, and consequently adopt similar policies and tactics in relation to it. In this series of pamphlets we do not address those with the former view, that is those who deny the domination of the capitalist system over the social production in Iran - supporters of the semi-feudal semi-colonial thesis. Our discussions in this series of pamphlets revolve mainly around the exposition of the theoretical eclecticism of the second category, which at least in form is nearer to us. The reason for adopting such a method in the present circumstances is that the supporters of the semi-feudal semi-colonial thesis, relative to the second tendency, are one degree further from the analysis of the concrete conditions of Iran. The main problem with this category, which is expressive of their non-Marxist method of analysis, is stereotyping. Whether they have not properly understood capital and capitalism or do not have adequate economic statistics and data to understand the most fundamental characteristics of the mode of production in Iran is not our problem in the present circumstances. The principled dealing with these deviations is possible only when the second tendency, i.e. the believers in the existence of the dependent capitalist system in Iran, by presenting convincing theoretical and documented analyses, eliminate the existing eclecticism and with a Marxist-Leninist understanding of the economic and political categories and of the present realities, confront the first tendency.
 Marx, "The Method of Political Economy", Grundrisse (English edition), page 101.
 In the next pamphlets, we shall carefully analyse the conditions of establishment of capitalism in general and the imperialist character of this process in Iran.
Translated by Student Supporters of the 'Unity of Communist Militants'- Britain (1982)
WORKS OF THE UNITY OF COMMUNIST MILITANTS
Already published (September 1982)
- The Iranian Revolution and the Role of the Proletariat (Theses)+ (November/December 1973).
- The Invasion of the Iraqi Regime and Our Tasks+ (September 1980).
- Manifesto of the U.C.M.(what it says, and what political system it is fighting for in the present situation)+ (February 1981).
- Programme of the U.C.M.+x (March 1981).
- The 1st of May and the Tasks of the Iranian Workersx (May 1981).
- Manifesto of the U.C.M.+x. About the "Present Situation, its Perspective and the Tasks of the Communists" (June 1981).
- The Content of the Victory of the Democratic Revolution of Iran (July/August 1980).
- Some leaflets " To be published
- The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie (No.2) (April 1930).
- Populism in the Minimum programme: A Critique of "What the Fedaeene-Khalgh Say" (January 1931).
- The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of the Popular Socialism of Iran (October 1930).
- The Prospect of Destitution and the Re-Escalation of Revolution. (Its supplement on the Marxist theory of crisis) (February 1980).
- Communists and the peasant Movement, After the Imperialist Solution of the Agrarian Question in Iran (March 1980).
x Also available in French.
+ Also available in German.
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