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   Part 1       Part 2

Razmandegan and Rah-e Kargar:

Fighting for the establishment of populist socialism
(2)

Iraj Azarin, Mansoor Hekmat, Gholam Keshavarz

In the last issue, we showed how Rah-e-Kargar's and Razmandegan's understanding of the tasks of our revolution are eclectic, stemming from the domination of popular socialism over the outlook of both groups. Regarding the economic and political content of the victory of the present revolution, what the comrades have achieved over the past year, is to change from the right-wing inference of populism into its left-wing version. The prevalent right-wing inference, which assumed the tasks of the present revolution as being to overcome the obstacles to the development of capitalism in Iran and to provide the background for it to flourish within a "national and independent" framework, has been transformed by these comrades into a left-wing version which stands for the immediate destruction of capitalism (and inevitably the establishment of socialism) in this revolution. The fact that the theoretical foundation of these inferences has remained intact is the best proof of the comrades' empiricist attitude to theoretical concepts. The two poles of "coherence", that both Rah-e-Kargar and Razmandegan, given their existing outlooks have to oscillate between, are nothing but the non-capitalist way of development and the Three-Worlds theory on the one hand, and Trotskyism on the other; the two poles which, by denying the role and place of our democratic revolution in the struggle for socialism, and which by confusing the relation between the democratic tasks and the socialist tasks of the proletariat, have turned, in practice, into an obstacle in the way of the realization of socialism. The establishment of socialism is impossible unless the revolutionary proletariat of Iran is willing and able to provide its preconditions in the present democratic revolution. From the point of view of the final result, that is the realization of socialism both the Three-World-ists who, by essentially denying the socialist tasks of the proletariat in the present revolution turn it into the prop of the bourgeoisie, and the Trotskyist who denies its democratic tasks and thus hides from the proletariat the only way to reach socialism, both have the same role, both are obstacles in the path of socialism. Leninism must sweep away these obstacles from the proletariat's path and if Rah-e-Kargar and Razmandegan wish to be in theory once this and sometime the other, in practice they can at most make taller and more massive, once this obstacle and sometime the other. The immediate aim of Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar in the present revolution, i.e. the "destruction of the capitalist system in a democratic revolution", is, in its best sense, the repetition of the invalid theories of popular socialism, that is to say petty bourgeois socialism, and in its real sense, that is what Razmandegan and Rahe-Kargar really mean, the revival of the "ideal" of national and independent capitalism with a left-wing face. As long as the pendulum of Rah-e-Kargar's and Razmandegan's inferences oscillates over the axis of populism, the content of their positions, even if they wash their hands of the idea of "national" capitalism, and amorously and desperately stand for socialism, would always remain right-wing.

The proletariat of Iran must know what it demands from the democratic revolution, and also must clearly and unambiguously under-stand what, from the objective point of view, the victory of the present revolution could give it. In short, the revolutionary proletariat of Iran must define clearly the economic and political content of the victory of the present revolution, (a democratic revolution in Iran).

As we have explained in our previous texts, in our opinion, the present revolution, by virtue of its objective and subjective conditions, can not be an immediately socialist revolution. The present revolution can not have the destruction of capitalism on its immediate agenda. The class composition of the motive forces of our revolution, the presence of non-proletarian classes and strata along-side the proletariat, who in a revolutionary manner resort to struggle to achieve their democratic demands on the one hand, and the lack of readiness of the necessary subjective conditions for the mobilization of the proletariat on the other hand, condition and restrict the present revolution of Iran within a democratic framework. The present revolution is the last link in a chain of movements and revolutions that have taken shape successively in Iran since the late nineteenth century, with the aim of bringing about fundamental democratic changes, and nave entrusted the completion of their unfinished tasks to the present revolution. But this democratic revolution has a particular characteristic. The present revolution has emerged on the basis of an economic crisis which has roots in the capitalist relations in Iran, a crisis which is a reelection of the global crisis of capitalism of our epoch (imperialism). This crisis from the proletariat's viewpoint has for this reason no other solution but the destruction of capitalism as a whole and the establishment of socialism (and from the bourgeoisie's view-point, [has no other solution but) the decisive defeat of the revolution and the beginning of a new period of capital accumulation on the basis of the laws of capitalism of the epoch of imperialism). Either socialism or capitalism in a country dominated by imperialism; these are the two alternatives that the economic crisis of Iran has set before us and the bourgeoisie as well. Only socialism can solve the crisis of the economic sub-structure of society in a revolutionary - and not reactionary - manner; but the revolutionary classes of society, who have, on the basis of this economic crisis, developed their class struggles to the level of a revolution, can not themselves present in practice this solution, due to the objective and subjective conditions prevailing over the revolution. This is not a theoretical deadlock but a material and practical contradiction outside our mind. Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar set to resolve this deadlock in their minds. Firstly they accept socialism as the final solution (this is pleasing), secondly they also recognise the present revolution as democratic (this is also pleasing), but suddenly with the aid of a populist theoretical U-turn solve the problem: "what is wrong with bringing about socialism in this revolution?", "we will destroy capitalism in a democratic revolution, with the existing class composition of the camp of revolution and with the same popular government which will be formed from this class composition". This is all disappointing: Because Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar who have "solved" their theoretical deadlock by leaving out all the material and practical requirements for the destruction of capitalism, and in particular by leaving out the necessity of continuing the class struggle as far as the dictatorship of the proletariat, naturally cannot concern themselves with the ins and outs of the practice which must realise these practical requirements. But Marxism-Leninism which has set its aim the transformation of the external world, and not setting its mind at ease about it, possesses clearly both the answer to the theoretical dead-lock of the popular socialists and the solution of the present revolution. If only socialism can solve the economic crisis of our society in a revolutionary manner, and if the present revolution which itself stems from this crisis is not able to introduce socialism, then what is to be done? There is only one answer: uninterrupted revolution, and the content of the victory of the present revolution, from the economic and political point of view, can be nothing but the provision of the preconditions for the transformation of the present revolution into a socialist revolution; the creation of the objective and subjective grounds for a socialist revolution. Our intention in this article is also to elaborate this point, and to this end, we must start by examining the political and economic content of the democratic revolution in general and our revolution in particular.

First let us emphasize that from the proletariat's point of view the democratic revolution becomes significant above all, by virtue of its political aims and tasks. And the economic changes which must take place in this revolution become important for the proletariat in connection with their political effects. The tasks of a democratic revolution, from the point of view of the proletariat, are the removal of the barriers to the development of its struggle for socialism. This point is true not only about the present revolution of Iran which in our opinion, does not have the task of removing the barriers to the development of capitalism in Iran, but also for the 1905 revolution of Russia, which from the economic point of view had the task of removing barriers to the development of capitalism in Russia. The democratic revolutions in different countries and at different historical junctures have the task and ability of creating different economic changes, but the attitude of the revolutionary proletariat towards these various economic tasks is always the same. The revolutionary proletariat and Marxism-Leninism, always and everywhere, seek in these economic changes the creation of such conditions that would make the class struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie for socialism, easier, more developed, freer and more expanded; since the proletariat, always and everywhere, regardless of different economic and social conditions, stands for uninterrupted revolution. Socialism is the only aim-in-itself for the proletariat; and democratic and national revolutions are the necessary and practical transformations through which the revolutionary proletariat, in the light of its consistent participation in them and on the basis of their achievements, must, of necessity, by virtue of the objective and subjective conditions prevailing in the society, organise its struggle for socialism. This is what has been emphasised over and over again by the great teachers of the proletariat. In the Communist Manifesto - this first declaration of the independence of the international working class-when pointing out the manner of participation of the proletariat in the 1848 democratic revolution in Germany, Marx and Engels make it clear that the proletariat would fight until the victory of the democratic revolution alongside the democratic bourgeoisie (in the conditions of Germany of 1848 the bourgeoisie was considered as an antifeudal and democratic force), and immediately after the victory of the democratic revolution, by taking advantage of the political and economic achievements of the democratic revolution, it would start the struggle against the bourgeoisie. In 1894, in connection with the tactics that the Italian Socialist Party (followers of Marx and Engels) would have to adopt in the impending democratic revolution, Engels repeats the same message:

"[Marxists never lose] sight of the fact that these phases are just so many stages leading to the supreme great goal: the conquest of political power by the proletariat as a means for reorganising society. Their place is by the side of those fighting to obtain immediate benefits in the interests of the working class. They accept all these political or social benefits, but merely as payments on account. Hence they consider every revolutionary or progressive movement as a step in the direction in which they themselves are traveling... Those tactics, which never lose sight of the grand objective, spare Socialists the disappointment that inevitably will be-fall the other and less clear-sighted parties, be they pure republicans or sentimental Socialists, who mistake what is a mere stage, for the final terminus of their forward march" (Engels, the next Italian revolution and the Socialist Party). And again on the manner of participation of Marxists and the Party of the Proletariat in the democratic revolution, Engels writes:

"... But if on the contrary the movement is genuinely national our people will not stay in hiding nor will they need a password and our participation in this movement is a matter of course. At such time however it must be clearly understood, and we must loudly proclaim it, that we are participating as an independent party, allied for the moment with radicals and republicans but wholly distinct from them; that we entertain no illusions whatever as to the result of the struggle in case of victory; that far from satisfying us this result will only mean to us another stage won, a new base of operations for further conquests; that on the very day of victory our ways will part" (Ibid, emphases ours).

Lenin, too, in the attitude to the 1905 democratic revolution has precisely the same attitude:

"... from the democratic revolution we shall at once, and precisely in accordance with the measure of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution. We shall not stop half-way"
(Social-Democracy's Attitude towards the Peasant Movement, Collected Works, Vol.9)

In this respect we can refer to dozens of clear and explicit guide-lines given by Marx, Engels and Lenin, however, this is adequate for the elucidation of our discussion. The proletariat in the democratic revolution seeks the creation of grounds, the achievement of bases of operations, and in short the realization of political and economic preconditions for the continuation of the class struggle until socialism.

The class struggle is always a political struggle. The economic demands in the programme of the proletariat for a democratic revolution, can only be put forward as a basis for the development of this political struggle; a struggle which the proletariat stands for its uninterrupted continuation until socialism. To Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar, Marx's, Engels' and Lenin's theory of uninterrupted revolution, from the political and economic point of view, has been converted into the theory of "conforming revolution"! "The task of the present revolution is the destruction of capitalism" is equivalent to the verdict that "the socialist revolution is this democratic revolution"! This is the whole meaning in practice of popular socialism, which by entrusting the democratic revolution with the task of "establishing" a production system (be it the "establishment" of "national" capitalism or the "destruction of capitalism" and necessarily the "establishment" of socialism), promotes it to an aim-in-itself for the proletariat. The proletariat, whenever it struggles for the establishment of a system of production, has only socialism, in mind which itself requires a socialist revolution and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The proletariat does not have two economic aims - one for the democratic revolution and the other for the socialist revolution. Apart from socialism, any other system of production is a class and exploiting system and the proletariat does not take part in the democratic struggles and revolutions, with the aim of substituting one type of exploitation for another. The proletariat, in the democratic revolution, seeks the creation of the most favourable political situation and the most favourable economic situation for the development of the class struggle against the bourgeoisie and in order to pave the way for the socialist revolution. In other words, the most favourable political and economic situations are those preconditions, bases of operations and requirements that provide the necessary grounds for the proletariat to achieve its political and economic aims (the dictatorship of the proletariat, the destruction of capitalism and the establishment of socialism).

At this point, we clearly see that we are faced with two theoretically distinct and separable categories of political and economic conditions:

1) Political and economic conditions which the proletariat puts forward against the capitalist society and as a replacement of it. The realisation of these conditions requires a socialist revolution, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the destruction of capitalism.

2) Political and economic conditions which the proletariat demands from capitalist society; conditions which impose on capitalist society, from the political and economic point of view, certain "situations", and thereby, in themselves, do not contradict the general foundations of the capitalist system, and hence are not tantamount to the destruction of capitalism. These conditions can and must be realised in a victorious democratic revolution.

About the economic and political conditions of the first category, that is the proletariat's alternative to capitalist society and its fundamental concepts, no communist can, by definition, have any ambiguities. All of us must be adequately familiar with the theory of scientific socialism, and must have understood the importance of categories, concepts and relations such as the foundations of exploitation in capitalist society, the laws of movement of this society, the necessity of its development towards socialism, crisis and imperialism; proletarian internationalism, the class struggle, the independence of the rank of the proletariat and the communist party, the dictatorship of the proletariat, etc., in the elucidation and determination of the political and economic aspects, as well as the path, for the realisation of the proletariat's alternative, (i.e. socialism). Only fully-fledged revisionists can openly question the theoretical principles and fundamental concepts that Marxism has clearly established for the explanation of socialism and the socialist revolution.

The problem arises, where the discussion - like that of Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar begins over the political and economic conditions of the second category, and their connection with the realization of socialism; and this problem in practice leads inevitably to the negation and violation of the fundamental theoretical tenets of socialism.

A further examination of the polemic between Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar clarifies this point. We said that Marxists in their attempt to elucidate the political and economic content of the victory of a democratic revolution must undoubtedly start by asking: "what are the most favourable political and economic situations that this revolution can provide for the proletariat's final move towards socialism and how should the achievement of such conditions be secured?" This is precisely the distinction between attitude of Lenin and the Bolsheviks and that of the Mensheviks towards the democratic revolution. Both the Bosheviks and Mensheviks were initially In agreement on the concepts of scientific socialism and even on the question of "which system" the 1905 revolution "must eradicate". What differentiated Lenin and the Bolsheviks from the Mensheviks is the fact that whilst the Mensheviks viewed the democratic revolution merely as a historical transformation which had the task of replacing certain systems of production, and in Lenin's words, viewed it from the viewpoint of "eternity", Lenin and the Bolsheviks assessed it as a transformation which had to provide the most favourable political and economic situations for the advancement of the proletariat (see the discussions of "Two Tactics..."). Hence, whilst Mensheviks entrusted the leadership of the democratic struggles to the bourgeoisie to perform its historical role in the eternal transformation of "systems", Lenin and the Bolsheviks stood for the proletariat to under-take the leadership of these struggles, and itself secure the realisation of changes it needed. Whilst the Mensheviks refrained from participating in the revolutionary government so as to play the role of extreme opposition against the bourgeoisie, this missionary of "historical" transformation, Lenin and the Bolsheviks stood for the participation of the proletariat in that government in order to pursue in the most active fashion, both from above and below, what it demanded from a democratic revolution. Whilst the Mensheviks viewed Stolypin's agrarian policy from the angle of the development of the "capitalist system" and "the destruction of the remnants of serfdom", and spoke of his "successes", Lenin and the Bolsheviks, emphasizing the fact that Stolypin and the peasants did not differ in essence over the "system" they would both introduce, declared that only the victory of the peasants' movement and the definite forms which such victory would impart on the agrarian system in Russia and also the effect it would have on the structure of the government, would bring about the most favourable political and economic situations for the advancement of the proletariat, and hence drew the attention of the proletariat to supporting the Peasants' movement (see "Seven Articles about the Agrarian Question and the Peasents' Movement"{1}, in particular the last article). Again, we clearly see Lenin's point of departure after the February Revolution, when he warned the "old Bolsheviks" not to judge the completion of the democratic revolution on the basis of the realisation or non-realisation of pre-determined political and economic forms, but to consider the fact that the most favourable political and economic situations for the move towards the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the destruction of capitalism have now been provided in unexpected forms (refer to "Letters on Tactics", First letter, Collected Works, Vol.24).

But what do Rah-e-Kargar and Razmandegan do? They start in a Menshevik manner: "which system must be eradicated in the present revolution?" The question necessarily transfers its own Menshevik deviation to its answer, since they must both mention a system in answering their own question, they do: "capitalism". Now if we put forward this question in Lenin's manner, then the absurdity of Razmandegan's and Rah-e-Kargar's polemic becomes completely clear: "what are the most favourable political and economic situations that we can bring about in this democratic revolution, for the move towards the dictatorship of the proletariat and the destruction of capitalism?" And Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar would reply: economically "the destruction of capitalism" and politically "the people's democratic re-public". And this reply is a collection of eclecticism (in the determination of the political preconditions for socialism) and a vicious circle and saying nothing (in the determination of its economic preconditions). Eclecticism, because the people's democratic republic has been declared as that political situation which can oversee the destruction of capitalism. This republic has undertaken the tasks of the dictatorship of the proletariat and has declared the latter completely unnecessary. This is pure revisionism; revisionism in the principles and fundamental concepts of scientific socialism. And a vicious circle, because the "destruction of capitalism" has been placed as the precondition for the "destruction of capitalism": this is left-wing childishness:

The point of departure of both Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar in the attitude to the democratic revolution is a Menshevik one, since they approach the democratic revolution not from the viewpoint of pursuing the class struggle as far as the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but from the angle of the replacement of "systems" - destruction of one and establishment of another. In order to examine the practical result of such an attitude and its logical continuation we should resume our discussion from where we left it.

The two categories of conditions we mentioned are precisely the two essential parts of a communist programme. The attitude of a party towards fundamental questions of revolution must be sought, first of all, in its programme, which is the banner of the identity and struggle of an independent proletarian movement, and not merely in the debates and polemical writings of the party intellectuals. As long as these polemics do not find their theoretical expression in a party programme; so long as they are not able to orientate and align on the same course, on the basis of the programme, the revolutionary proletariat organised in the party, in the work of propaganda, agitation and organisation of the class struggle, they have not accomplished their fundamental task. The programme is a framework in which theory is converted into a guide for action; and all talk of fusing scientific socialism with the working-class movement, all talk of a party, isolated from the process of conversion of revolutionary theory into a party programme, is empty and has no content. Two categories of the proletariat's desirable conditions are presented in the programme in two parts, the principles (maximum programme) and the demands (minimum programme). The maxi-mum and minimum programme, in its entirety, provides "a clear idea of the ultimate aim; a correct understanding of the path leading to that aim; an accurate conception of the true state of affairs at the given moment or the immediate tasks of that moment (Lenin, Revolutionary Adventurism). This programme, in its entirety, is both a call to arms and a declaration of war against the existing society and the ruling classes, and also a banner under which the proletariat calls upon all the toiling and oppressed masses for a struggle of liberation. The political and economic alternative of the proletariat (dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism) constitutes the maximum part of the programme, whilst the immediate political and economic demands of the proletariat form its minimum part. The maxi mum and minimum programme, in its totality, outlines the material path of the development of the proletarian movement from the existing conditions to the achievement of socialism. The maximum and minimum programme, taken as a whole, forms the essence of the proletarian perception of the material requirements and aims of the uninterrupted revolution. As for the minimum programme, it expresses those conditions which the proletariat sees as necessary to realise in order to facilitate its class struggle against the bourgeoisie. The minimum programme which has no meaning, and cannot be understood, in isolation from the maximum programme, contains the essence of the viewpoints of the revolutionary proletariat on the most favourable political and economic situations for reaching socialism, taking into account a precise definition of the needs of the proletariat in a given country and at a given juncture. The Marxist attitude towards the political and economic content of the victory of the democratic revolution, also finds its real meaning only in the process of reaching this programme, its propagation and consolidation in the working-class movement (we shall return to this point later).

But, what are the main points of these most favourable political and economic situations that constitute a summary of the communist attitude towards the content of the victory of the democratic revolution, and that must be put forward and drafted in the form of a minimum programme?

We have emphasised in detail the political preconditions for the final move of the proletariat towards socialism, in our other works (see the "Theses", "Prospect of Destitution ...", "Communists and the Peasants' Movement ...", etc.) and we do not see it necessary to go into more details in this text. Let us, however, just point out that the essential basis of such preconditions, in their most generalized expression, is nothing but the democratization of the political super-structure of society. The subordination of the governmental organs to the direct representatives of the people; separation of religion from the state; recognition of the right of nations to self-determination; equality of the rights of women and men, assurance of the freedom of assembly, expression; etc.; are all democratic rights. Only in the light of a consistent struggle for their achievement, can and must the proletariat organise its final move towards socialism. In the particular case of Iran, as we have already emphasized, the democratization of the political superstructure of society and the realization of those democratic political conditions which remove the barriers to free development of the class struggle of the proletariat, require the overthrow of the government of the bourgeoisie which relies thoroughly on imperialism. Only the victory of a revolutionary democratic movement, under the hegemony of the revolutionary proletariat and its communist party, can guarantee the consolidation and preservation of the democratic gains required by the Iranian proletariat.

But on the most favourable economic situation, or economic content of the victory of the democratic revolution from the viewpoint of the proletariat, we must before anything else ask ourselves what the communists' criterion as regards the "favourability" of this or that economic situation is?

The most favourable economic situation for the proletariat, in the victory of the democratic revolution, is such situation which firstly, is able to provide on the whole, the back-ground for the ever broader participation of the proletariat in the class struggle against the bourgeoisie and the capitalist system, by evermore emancipating it from economic sufferings which capitalist society imposes on it. In the old programme of the Russian Bolshevik Party and also in the draft of the programme revised by Lenin in 1917, after explaining the facts that the complete emancipation of the proletariat is possible by socialism and the necessary condition for establishing socialism is the dictatorship of the proletariat, in other words, after explaining the ultimate aim of the class struggle of the proletariat (the maximum programme), it is immediately pointed out that "To safeguard the working class from physical and moral deterioration, and develop its ability to carry on the struggle for emancipation" the Party fights for the achievement of its minimum demands, which are presented after the above quotation.

And also in the revised programme, where the tasks of the party of the proletariat are presented, it reads:

"..., the immediate duty of the party of the proletariat is to fight for a political system which will best guarantee economic progress and the rights of the people in general, and make possible the least painful transition to socialism in particular".

Also, Lenin, looking briefly into the programme of 1903, writes:

"G) Then the programme indicates what improvements for the whole of the working class we must strive to immediately achieve in order to make life easier for it and enable it to fight more freely for socialism.
H) Special reference is made in the programme to those improvements which we must first of all strive to achieve for all the peasants so as to enable the rural poor to wage the class struggle more easily and freely against both the rural bourgeoisie and the entire Russian bourgeoisie".
(To the Rural Poor, Collected Works, Vol.6; our emphases)

Secondly, the "most favourable economic situation" is that which presents the above content in such economic forms that further facilitate the transformation of bourgeois private ownership into social ownership and the replacement of commodity production with a planned economy, after the victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the most general and the most abstract form, it can be said that the ever increasing centralization of capital in the hands of a revolutionary and democratic government, that is the very situation indicated by Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar as the destruction of capitalism, is the most favourable economic situation for the proletariat. But, this is not what the communists of different countries, under every circumstance, should automatically include in their programme, merely on the basis of the general theoretical tenets regarding the monopolization of capitalism and its "final step" towards socialism. The confiscation and nationalisation of this or that industry or specific sector of the economy, or confiscation and nationalisation in general, must be assessed in each particular case, and its desirability for facilitating the class struggle and construction of socialism (after the establishment of the dictator-ship of the proletariat) once again analysed and proved. Such economic forms contain the most favourable economic situation for the expansion of the class struggle, and hence, our minimum demands encompass them. These, are not those forms which are merely deduced from the theory of development of capitalism and the manner of its transformation to socialism, but are based on certain economic forms existing in a given society as well as facilities which revolution and its resultant organs themselves would bring about. Confiscation and nationalization is one of the forms at the proletariat's disposal. It is a form that only under certain circumstances would be counted as the most favourable form. The course of revolution and the manner in which the class struggle develops and continues can bring about, each time, new forms. Confiscation and nationalization, co-operative production, war economy in liberated areas, control and direct supervision of workers' soviets over production and distribution, etc., offer a variety of forms of how the minimum programme of the proletariat in a democratic revolution could be realized. We see that the basic principle in defining the minimum demands, i.e. the content of the victory of revolution from the point of view of the proletariat, is to start from the viewpoint of the needs of the class struggle of the proletariat and to strive for the abolition of the barriers to its free development until the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar whose attitude towards this revolution is from the angle of replacement, destruction and establishment of "systems", and make no mention of the central question of the class struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, thereby, cannot escape falling into the abyss of Populist subjectivity and Menshevik and quasi-Trotskyist stands. It is from this very point that we can see in the entire polemics of Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar that the political preconditions for the victory of revolution, democracy and democratic struggles are completely left out. And again we see, where the two groups are speaking, without knowing it, about the content of the minimum programme, they look upon it not from the point of view of a given class (the proletariat) in a given country and with specific ultimate aim (socialism), but from the point of view of the "historical evolution of society", "eternity", and, in short, from an above-class (and thus bourgeois) viewpoint. In this way, Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar, remain thoroughly unconcerned and indifferent to the most favourable political and economic situations in the victory of the present revolution and their relation with the struggle for socialism, to the concrete and probable economic and political forms in which such "situations" would manifest themselves, and to the maximum and minimum programme as a whole. The materialist and class analysis of the democratic revolution requires, above all else, a materialist and class starting point; and Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar lack this at the first step.

We stated that the content of the victory of the democratic revolution is to bring about the most favourable political and economic situations for the development of the class struggle, which from the point of view of the proletariat is, above all else, expressed in the most compact form, in the minimum demands. From the economic point of view, the realization of these demands does not at all mean the destruction of capitalism. Nor does it mean the establishment of "another" system of production. But, it is merely a pattern which the proletariat imposes upon the bourgeois economy; conditions that the proletariat lays down on the operation of this system. On this very basis, however, whilst the minimum demands of the proletariat do not go beyond the bounds of the fundamental laws of the capitalist system of production, they do go beyond the practical capabilities of the bourgeoisie at that juncture and, in particular, the bourgeoisie's desired conditions of production. Intervention of the revolutionary proletariat in determining the length of the working day, minimum wage, holidays, conditions of insurance and health, how to run industries, living conditions of the unemployed as well as the conditions of the non-proletarian toilers, does not violate the foundations of bourgeois private ownership over the means of production and exchange, commodity production and sale and purchase of labour-power, but, undoubtedly, lays down limitations and conditions on the conditions of profit-making and accumulation of capital. The fact that the minimum programme, from the theoretical point of view, does not go beyond the bounds of a bourgeois society, but goes beyond the practical capabilities of the bourgeoisie, is the main key to the discussion and our point of departure in the analysis of the economic content of the victory of the present revolution. Our democratic revolution does not have the task of destroying, and cannot, destroy capitalism in Iran; the destruction of Iranian capitalism is the task of a socialist revolution for which the present revolution must open the way. On the other hand, Iranian capitalism, as we have frequently emphasised, is capitalism of the epoch of imperialism in a dominated country. "Dependence", a term which can only express this aspect of Iranian capitalism, is not detachable and separable, on the whole, from Iranian capitalism. The severance of "dependence" and the establishment of "national and independent" capitalism in Iran, or in more precise term, the transformation of the economic position of Iran from a dominated country to an "independent" country (which in the epoch of imperialism means turning Iran into an imperialist country), is a bourgeois utopia, is not realisable, and more importantly, is by no means a demand of the Iranian proletariat. For this reason, the Iranian proletariat neither defines the content of the victory of the Iranian revolution as "the severance of dependence" nor the "preservation and expansion of capitalism". From the economic point of view, the Iranian proletariat in this revolution demands the imposition of such conditions upon the existing economy that would contain the most favourable economic situation for its ultimate move towards socialism. The debate over the details of the content and forms of such proletarian demands has not yet even started in our communist movement, and we thereby cannot present a comprehensive communist programme, containing a precise definition of the minimum demands and the practical forms of their realisation. We can, however, put forward the essential core and the factor determining the content of these demands, on the basis of our cognition of Iranian capitalism, and declare our readiness for taking part in a consistent ideological struggle which must be waged within the Iranian communist movement for the establishment of a Leninist programme.

Iran is a capitalist country and under the domination of imperialism, whose economic foundation consists of the production of imperialist super profits based on the exploitation of the cheap labour-power of the proletariat. A consequent result of this specific relationship between labour and capital is also the particular position that the petty producers, in the town and countryside, obtain in this economy. The standard of living of these strata, too, drops to a very low level and they are constantly on the verge of complete separation from their means of production, because the major part of their surplus product is appropriated by the bourgeoisie; and thereby they indirectly and potentially constitute a part of the reserve army of labour in the domestic market. (Refer to "The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie No.2", "The Prospect of Destitution and the Re-escalation of Revolution, supplement", "Communists and the Peasants Movement...", "Theses")

Our revolution also has taken place on the basis of an economic crisis in such a system. This economic crisis is a crisis in a capitalist society and is the reflection of the global crisis of imperialism in the dominated country, which by definition the only revolutionary way out of it is socialism. But the economic position of Iran as a country dominated by imperialism, the absence of subjective conditions for an immediate socialist revolution and the presence of non-proletarian strata, who due to the reasons mentioned above are able to struggle in a revolutionary manner against the existing system, confine this revolution within the framework of a democratic revolution. A democratic revolution that unless is uninterruptedly transformed into a socialist revolution, unless the only revolutionary economic alternative (socialism) is put forward in the society and the forces supporting it take to the field, will not only come to conclusion , but is doomed to defeat and surrender to the existing economic conditions. In a country dominated by imperialism, the alternative is either capitalism or socialism; there is no middle economic solution. Hence the more the present allies of the proletariat, relying on their own economic ideals, see the present revolution as an end-in-itself, the more the proletariat cannot and must not do so.

"There was formerly an economic distinction between the colonies and the European peoples ... the colonies having been drawn into commodity exchange but not into capitalist production. Imperialism changed this. Imperialism is, among other things, the ex-port of capital. Capitalist production is being transplanted to the colonies at an ever increasing rate. They cannot be extricated from dependence on European finance capital. From the military standpoint as well as from the standpoint of progress, the separation of the colonies is practicable, as a general rule, only under socialism; under capitalism it is practicable only by way of exception or at the cost of a series of revolts and revolutions both in the colonies and the metropolitan countries". (Lenin, the discussion on Self-Determination Summed up. Collected Works, Vol.22, pp 337-338)

As a "general rule", Lenin clearly recognizes socialism, the only way of liberation of the dominated country in the epoch of imperialism. The "general rule" is precisely the expression of Leninist understanding of capitalist relations, the characteristics of the epoch of imperialism and its crisis. As a general rule, there is only one answer to any capitalist crisis from the viewpoint of millions of exploited human beings: socialism. But the important point is that Lenin considers the occurrence of the socialist revolution possible by means of a series of revolutions and revolts. The democratic revolution of Iran is precisely part of those "series of revolutions and revolts" which from the viewpoint of the interests of the toilers can and must lead only to one thing- socialism.

From this viewpoint, the formulation by the Iranian revolutionary proletariat of the economic content for the victory of the present revolution, its presentation in the form of minimum demands, must also take into account the present reality of the epoch of imperialism, i.e. the objective necessity of the transformation of the democratic revolution into the socialist revolution, or in other words, the realization of socialism through a series of revolutions. In other words, if in Germany in 1848 and in Russia in 1905, uninterrupted revolution was a class demand of the proletariat whose economic background could or could not be present to different degrees; today, in the epoch of imperialism and in the dominated countries, the occurrence of a series of revolutions, uninterrupted revolution, is also an objective economic necessity according to the "general rule" - that is , to the extent that the crisis of bourgeois society finds its only revolutionary answer in socialism. This is what characterizes Iran as a country under the domination of imperialism, and hence the analysis of the content of our minimum demands must also be based on the understanding of this characteristic.

The fundamental basis of these economic demands, and the string which links up every single point of them, cannot be anything other than the proletariat's demand for the negation and destruction of the hard and miserable economic conditions that Iranian capitalism imposes upon the workers and toilers of the society. If this intense economic pressure is a product and function of the laws of the movement of capitalism in dominated Iran, then also its destruction entails striving to practically release the standard of living of the workers and toilers from the domination of the laws of the accumulation of capital in such a country. The accumulation of capital in the dominated country reproduces massive poverty and misery as the normal condition of the workers and toilers and it is this accumulation which determines their standard of living. Thus, according to the laws of accumulation, in the capitalist economy of Iran the value of labour-power is determined in such a way that maintains this poverty and destitution. The standard of living of the non-proletarian toilers too (the improvement of which is part of our demands) on the one hand becomes proportional to standard of living of the proletariat, and on the other hand, is a function of the mode of accumulation of capital and competition in different spheres of production. This, too, is necessarily preserved at a low level. The demands of the revolutionary proletariat must be presented in such a way that deprives the bourgeoisie of the means to operate this fierce exploitation. By means of political levers from above and below, the economic demands of the proletariat will interfere in the first place with how the value of labour-power is determined in the capita-list economy of Iran. These demands stand for releasing, as far as possible, the workers from the imposed harsh economic burden in order to provide the possibilities for promoting their political consciousness, their organization and mass mobilization in the struggle against the bourgeoisie. The demand for a minimum wage higher than the bourgeoisie of the dominated country is willing or able to pay; the demand for a constant and regular increase of this wage level in pro-portion to the increase in labour productivity as well as inflation; the demand for more holidays, free and suitable insurance and health service, specific demands for women workers etc., all these are "interference" and even severe interference with the process of determining living standards in capitalist society. Such "interference" means that the proletariat wants the value of labour-power to be determined outside of the general laws which determine the value of commodities in capitalist society. Capitalism in a dominated country like Iran demands and reproduces labour-power as a cheap commodity and our mini-mum demands declare that this plunder must be stopped. In its minimum economic demands the proletariat declares that it itself has determined the value of labour-power and the manner of its consumption in the process of production, independent of the laws of accumulation of capital, and based on the most suitable economic situation necessary for the development of the class struggle. This would undoubtedly tie down the bourgeoisie of Iran, as a dominated country in which the accumulation of capital is based on the production of imperialist super profits. But it is absolutely clear that none of these demands violates bourgeois production and its general foundations. These demands have only gone beyond the practical capabilities of the bourgeoisie in a given country, but, undoubtedly, they do not violate the foundation of capitalist production which is based on private ownership of the means of production, commodity production and, labour-power itself being a commodity. At the same time the economic demands of the proletariat for its non-proletarian allies, for instance, the demands of the proletariat for the peasants, do not violate the general foundations of a capitalist society. In the event of their realization they would impose a specific pattern upon the relation-ship between the bourgeoisie (monopoly and non-monopoly) and the poor strata of the petty bourgeoisie. A form and a pattern which would divert capitalism of Iran, as a country dominated by imperialism, from the favourable course of its accumulation.

In this way, the interference and attempt of the Iranian proletariat for the realization of its minimum economic demands in various fields does not in essence mean the destruction of capitalism, but it does mean a movement towards the negation of the economic domination of imperialism over the material existence and the standard of living of the workers and toilers. The realization of the proletariat's demands means the negation of the practical reality of the Iranian domes-tic market as a sphere of production for imperialist super-profits.

But, does this mean the destruction of "dependent" capitalism and the establishment of "independent" capitalism? No, not at all. The practical negation of the relation of super-profit production - in circumstances of complete realization of the proletariat's demands - does not mean the establishment of a capitalist system in Iran independent of super-profit production. Because the economic rights that the proletariat and its allies gain, through their struggle and with the help of the political levers that the victory of revolution puts at their disposal - soviets, provisional revolutionary government, workers' boards of inspection, democratic labour laws etc. - not only are they not the product of the continuous process of capitalist production and reproduction in Iran, but they are fetters on it. It will not then be the process of accumulation of capital which will determine and reproduce the improved standard of living of the workers and toilers. On the contrary, Iranian capitalism will find the economic "fetters" of the proletariat and its allies incompatible with its profitability, precisely for the reason that it continues its existence in the only form possible - capitalism in a country dominated by imperialism. The proletariat and the toilers will impose these new conditions on it from outside of [its] economic sphere, and from beyond the economic laws of its movement. In order to explain this point more clearly, it is sufficient to consider the example of complete stoppage of production (for instance in the case of a general strike), or the workers' go-slow in the present situation. The stoppage of production and/or go-slow, undoubtedly endanger the basis of capital's profitability for a certain period. In a general strike in Iran, it is possible that not a single penny of surplus value would be produced over the strike period. Likewise, in the case of a go-slow, not a penny of Super-profits would be made by the capitalists. But, is there any one who would claim that during the period of the strike, capitalism would have been eliminated in Iran, or that during the go-slow imperialist relations would no longer have prevailed in Iran and that Iranian capitalism had become "independent"?! The distinction which we have tried to make between capitalism and the capitalists in our various texts, here completely shows its importance. Capital is the relation of surplus value production, and the capitalist, is personified capital. The relation of surplus value production is a relation within which labour-power is purchased as a commodity by capital in order to be consumed during the production process, so as to produce surplus value, in a productive manner; and capitalism is a system based on this specific relation. In this way it is clear that Marx did not conclude that a system was capitalist from the daily observation of the balance sheet of the capitalists, nor from the observation of whether the money which is circulated to expand or to purchase labour-power, has effectively been expanded or not. A loss-making capitalist, a capitalist who has probably not been able to pocket even a penny of surplus value, let alone super-profit, a capitalist "whose money capital has not expanded", is not even an iota less capitalist. Likewise, a "dependent" capitalism which is not able to make super-profits for a certain period can not be called independent". "Independence" from super-profits production, would mean that Iranian capitalism, without relying on super-profits, would be able to organise its normal accumulation without falling into the abyss of economic crisis; it would mean that it would reproduce, on the basis of its economic laws, the improved standard of living of the workers and toilers and that on the whole it would be able to transform these relations, independent of super-profits, into the framework of the development of productive forces. And this is the utopia that until recently was fed to the proletariat by the adherents of the bourgeoisie in the communist movement. The reality is that imposing minimum economic demands on Iranian capitalism - as a country dominated by imperialism - endangers the profitability of capital but this is precisely the profitability of capital in a market based on super-profits that has been endangered.

It can be unreservedly said that at least after the February Uprising the entire social capital in Iran has existed in conditions similar to a "generalized go-slow". These conditions have meant that, apart from certain strata of the capitalists, the rest of the bourgeoisie, has reduced production to a level below normal capacity and with a low level of profit-making, and has been waiting for the question of political power to settle down in its favour. Still the communists call explicitly the relations of production prevailing in the society as capitalism in a country dominated by imperialism and based on super-profits. The negation of imperialist conditions of production and exploitation by the organized power of the revolutionary proletariat and through political and legal levers, neither means the destruction of capitalism, nor is it equivalent to the establishment of "independent" capitalism; but it only means that Iranian "dependent" capitalism has be driven towards a deep economic crisis. Iranian capitalism, precisely because of still being, on the "morrow" of the victory of the democratic revolution, capitalism based on imperialist exploitation, cannot be compatible wit the economic demands of the proletariat whose corner-stone is to go beyond the bourgeoisie's capabilities in such a country. To the extent that the revolutionary and organized proletariat becomes able to impose on the bourgeoisie the most favourable economic situation for the development of the class struggle, the bourgeoisie will be put in the most unfavourable conditions for accumulation and thus Iranian capitalism will sink into an acute and deep economic crisis. The minimum economic demands of the revolutionary proletariat, that is the economic content of the victory of the democratic revolution, governs the securing of the most elementary economic rights for the workers and toilers of the society; and it is precisely the securing of such rights that is beyond the practical capabilities of Iranian capitalism and the bourgeoisie.

Because of their practical incompatibility with the practical capabilities of Iranian capitalism and the bourgeoisie, the economic changes that the proletariat demands in its minimum programme and puts into practice in the victory of the democratic revolution, escalate a deep economic crisis. This means precisely that the capitalist system in Iran has come into contradiction with the reproduction and improvement of the economic life of the masses and with the development of the productive forces. This is the general feature of the epoch of imperialism in which bourgeois relations of production have turned into fetters to the development of the productive forces and the improvement of the economic life of the masses and therefore this epoch, is at the same time, the epoch of the destruction of these fetters, and, in a general sense, is the epoch of proletarian revolutions, revolutions whose ultimate aim is to eradicate these relations. But on the "morrow" of the victory of our democratic revolution, this general feature of the present epoch, will find its whole expression in the specific conditions of our society and will turn the socialist transformation of the economic substructure of Iran into the necessary condition for eliminating the barriers to the development of the productive forces - this would in turn demand the necessity of establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat as the political precondition for this economic transformation. The fact that the economic content of the victory of the present revolution is not the elimination of the barriers to the development of capitalism in Iran; the fact that this economic content does not imply the establishment of another system of production but are conditions on the existing capitalism in Iran; the fact that Iranian capitalism will not be able, in practice, to accumulate profitably within the hounds of such "enforced" conditions and restrictions; and finally the fact that the proletariat will immediately and according to the measure of its organised strength begin the mobilization for socialism; all these facts, point to, and stress the point that the "most favourable economic situation" for the proletariat, cannot be a "durable" economic situation. The people's democratic republic cannot have the "people's democratic economy" as its economic substructure. The governmental superstructure of society on the "morrow" of the victory of the democratic revolution(whether "people's" democratic republic" or any other political situation which would express the rule of the revolutionary proletariat and its democratic allies) on the one hand will be in contradiction to the practical requirements of the accumulation of capital in Iran, and on the other is not the sole political organ of that class(the proletariat)which is able to present a comprehensive economic alternative(socialism) against this substructure. From the point of view of the bourgeoisie, the solution of this contradiction must be in the form of the transformation of the political super-structure in favour of the existing economic substructure (capitalism based on super-profits). This means the restoration of the fully-fledged dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. From the point of view of the proletariat, too, the solution of this contradiction can only mean the transformation of the political superstructure, but in favour of the future economic substructure (socialism). And this means the necessity of establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. These are the very two objective and practical alternative that the intensification of the economic crisis and class struggle, on the "morrow" of the victory of this revolution, sets before the society and provides the objective grounds for the uninterrupted revolution.

"... in capitalist society, whenever there is any serious aggravation of the class struggle intrinsic to that society, there can be no alternative but the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or the dictatorship of the proletariat. Dreams of some third way are reactionary, petty-bourgeois lamentations".
(Lenin, Democracy and Dictatorship, Vol.28, p. 368-372)

But, this does not at all mean that on the "morrow" of the victory of the democratic revolution, the revolutionary proletariat itself would immediately and voluntaristically trample on its minimum programme and put the achievement of its maximum programme on the agenda. By no means. The proletariat not only will remain faithful to its minimum programme, but it is precisely together with and alongside the struggle for the realization and securing of these demands that the proletariat will explain and propagandize the necessity of going beyond them and carrying on the class struggle until socialism. The difference between the economic crisis of Iranian capitalism under the rule of the proletariat and its allies and any other crisis, including the present one, is that in the former case the revolutionary proletariat, can and must, put the burden of the con-sequences of the crisis on the shoulders of the bourgeoisie and not on the shoulders of the toiling masses. Precisely to the extent that the revolutionary proletariat succeeds in realising its minimum demands, the most favourable economic situation for the development of the class struggle and mobilization of the proletariat for socialism will be provided. Hence the struggle for the all-round realization of the minimum demands, and for as long as it is required, in spite of the existence of economic crisis, is an undeniable requirement of the proletariat. If this most favourable economic situation is not a "durable" situation theoretically, the conscious proletariat must in its defence, maintain it in practice until such time when the necessary subjective conditions for the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat have come about, and even after-wards, so long as bourgeois economic relations have not been eradicated. The proletariat's *insistence and consistency in the realisation of the minimum programme, and its contrasting with the bourgeoisie's inability to endorse it, is itself a determining background for advocating the necessity of going beyond this programme, establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat and destroying capitalism as a whole.

Hence if, to get out of its economic crisis, the bourgeoisie intensifies, before anything else, the struggle for taking back the political gains of the proletariat and its allies, likewise, for its part, the revolutionary proletariat, at the same time as insisting on the minimum demands, declares that only by going beyond these gains, by going beyond the "People's Democratic Republic" or any other form which constitutes the framework of the whole of these gains, only by establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat is it possible to begin the solution of the crisis of bourgeois society in a revolutionary manner (with the destruction of bourgeois society as a whole). In the middle of all this, the allies of the proletariat in the democratic revolution, too, must inevitably relinquish their utopian tendency of vacillating between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and choose between the two camps. The present allies of the proletariat will necessarily disintegrate from the "morrow" of the democratic revolution with one section joining the bourgeoisie and the other section joining the proletariat. In this way, on the basis of the continuation and deepening of the economic crisis of the existing system and in the continuation of the democratic revolution, a new revolution with new aims and with a new composition of class motive forces will take shape.

Let us sum up what we have positively said about uninterrupted revolution and its objective and subjective conditions (in response to the populism of Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar):

1) The revolutionary proletariat never looks at democratic revolution as an end-in-itself and always demands its uninterrupted trans-formation into a socialist revolution.

2) The present revolution is a democratic revolution whose task is to remove the obstacles to the free development of the class struggle of the proletariat for socialism.

3) The content of the victory of this revolution is the establishment of a democratic political system under the leadership of the proletariat which, from the economic point of view, is equivalent to the negation of the domination of imperialism, and the requirements of the accumulation of capital in the dominated country, over the material existence and living condition of workers and toilers.

4) These conditions neither mean the destruction of capitalism nor are they equivalent to the establishment of a "national and independent" capitalism (thereby "removing the obstacles to development of capitalism"), but they amount to the imposition of the most suitable political and economic conditions on the existing system for the free development of the class struggle.

5) The imposition of these conditions on Iranian capitalism by the proletariat and its allies deepens the economic crisis of the existing system, intensifies the polarisation of classes and the class struggle and puts forward the objective necessity of the extension of the present revolution into a socialist revolution.

6) Only a party based on Leninist positions and programme, with a clear understanding of the relationship between the democratic revolution and socialist revolution in Iran (the objective and subjective grounds of the uninterrupted revolution) and armed with a programme in which the essence of this understanding is reflected, can, at the head of the proletariat and its democratic allies, guarantee the victory of the present revolution (which is nothing but its transformation into a socialist revolution) and organise and lead the struggle for socialism at the head of the working class and the toilers which will join it.

In this article we have, of necessity, only dealt with the content of the present revolution and the objective and subjective grounds for its transformation into the socialist revolution, and have not referred to the political and economic practical course of this transformation, except by way of example. In the present circumstances there is no escaping from this fact (neither for Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar, nor for us), since the acquiring of an accurate analysis of the most probable practical course of the revolution and the definite forms which will arise, in the economic and political fields, during the process of development of the revolution; the precise definition of the economic and political forms which the communist minimum programme must be demanding; the determination of slogans and methods of agitation, propaganda and organisation which must in turn be based on this programme all these depend upon consistent ideological struggle against the opportunism dominant in the communist movement, on the one hand, and the ever more extensive and conscious practical participation of the communist movement in the economic and political struggles of the proletariat, on the other.

Finally it is necessary to take a look at the practical consequences of the populist views of Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar.

We said that popular socialists, like Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar, skip, in their mind, over the process of the transformation of the present democratic revolution into a socialist revolution - a process which must be realised in the external world - and set their minds at ease by assigning the tasks of the future socialist revolution to the present democratic revolution. This means that if the comrades are consistent in their eclecticism, they divest themselves, from this moment, of the responsibility, in the field of theory, towards all the problems that the material process of the transformation of one revolution into another places before the workers' and communist movements; towards the practical steps that must be taken, the preconditions that must be provided and, in brief, towards all the tasks that the realisation of this transformation places on the shoulders of communists. If socialism can be achieved in the victory of this revolution, then why should it be necessary to think about these practical steps? Why should it be necessary to trouble ourselves with the accurate determination of the socialist and democratic tasks of the proletariat, whose dialectical differentiation and linking would then be superfluous? Why should it then be necessary to speak of the particular socialism of the proletariat in confronting the "democrats" (whom Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar have branded as "socialist" by attributing to them the ability to struggle for the "destruction of capitalism")? What necessity and meaning would then the independence of the proletariat have? If the democratic revolution destroys capitalism, what need, basically, is there for all those things that we have learnt from Marx, Engels and Lenin about socialism, the socialist revolution and the methods of reaching them?

But the problem is far more than one of remaining within the limits of theoretical indolence. Popular socialism travels down the descending ladder step by step from the most abstract theoretical levels to the most concrete and practical fields of political activity, with no other result than to cause the defeat of the proletariat of Iran, in this present revolution.

1) It revises scientific socialism. We clearly explained this matter in the last issue. The dictatorship of the proletariat is totally omitted from the ideological system of these comrades, because for them capitalism is destroyed in a democratic revolution, by relying on the people's democratic republic and with the co-operation of the people.

"He who recognizes only the class struggle is not yet a Marxist; it may turn out that he has not yet gone beyond the bounds of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics ... only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what constitutes the most profound difference between the Marxist and the ordinary Petty (as well as big) bourgeois."
(Lenin, The State and Revolution, English Translation, Foreign Languages Press, Peking 1976. P.42. Lenin's emphases)

The popular socialists, by metamorphosing scientific socialism and all the categories of the maximum programme of the proletariat, conceal from the proletariat precisely the aims of its class struggle. Workers educated the school of popular socialism will undoubtedly learn nothing about the aims of their class struggle and the political nature of this struggle.

2) Popular socialism questions the basis of the necessity of proletarian hegemony in the democratic revolution, and shirks from pre-paring the material preconditions of this hegemony. The fact that the present democratic revolution can only come to conclusion through its transformation into a socialist revolution means that only that class can lead the present revolution to victory which participates in it with the specific aim of qoinq beyond it and which is able to go beyond a democratic revolution by virtue of the objective conditions and its class interests. Only a proletariat which is conscious of the aims of the class struggle can be the leader and guarantor of the victory of the present revolution. Refusal to spread this consciousness - socialism as the final aim and uninterrupted revolution as the only way of reaching it - has no other meaning than shirking from the task of training the revolutionary van-guard and leader of this democratic revolution. Thus, we see that popular socialism is not the violator, only, of scientific socialism, but is also the violator of proletarian consistent democratism, Popular socialism which, in works, realises socialism in a democratic revolution by relying on the people and for the people, in practice refuses to struggle for the victory of a democratic revolution as well; since it basically evades the securing of the preconditions of proletarian hegemony in this revolution. So long as the Iranian proletariat does not learn that the conclusion of the present revolution is not possible except by its transformation into a socialist revolution, it cannot, we emphasize, it cannot lead even this revolution to victory. Failure to propagandize for the socialist revolution is not a direct betrayal, only, of the cause of socialism, but also, in the concrete conditions of our society, a betrayal of the cause of democracy and the democratic movement.

The renunciation of the ideological independence of the proletariat brings with it the denial of the necessity of its organisational independence. If the democratic revolution destroys capitalism, then the independent organization of the proletariat loses its significance and can easily be converted, if not in name, but in practice, into an organisation which incorporates all the strata and classes forming the motive forces of a democratic revolution, i.e. into the organisational means of the people. Open populism has produced, in the sphere of organdsation, examples such as the "Communist Party of Workers and Peasants". Timid populism, on the other hand, verbally declares that the party belongs to the proletariat, but in practice wants it for the people and infers the necessity for its formation from the needs of the democratic movement (see the editorial in this issue){2}. In the absence of an independent proletarian party, there can be no mention of the hegemony of the proletariat and the victory of the democratic revolution; and if the popular socialists draw accurate and non-eclectic organisational conclusions from their theoretical positions, they will arrive at no other position than the repudiation of the independent party of the proletariat and thus in practice they will turn into an impediment in the way of victory of the democratic revolution.

"Only a petty-bourgeois huckster's idea of hegemony can conceive it as a compromise, mutual recognition, a matter of worded terms. From the proletarian, point of view hegemony in a war goes to him who fights most energetically, who never misses a chance to strike a blow at the enemy, who always suits the action to the word, who is therefore the ideological leader of the democratic forces, who criticises half-way policies of every kind."
(Lenin, Working-Class and Bourgeois Democracy, Collected Works, Vol.8, p. 79)

On the basis of the above Leninist understanding, the independence of the proletariat, ideologically and organisationally - a condition which popular socialism is unable to secure and which, in practice, it hinders - is the imperative need of the proletariat in establishing its hegemony over the revolutionary movement. But 'the other condition for securing proletarian hegemony, is the ability of the proletariat in the consistent struggle for those democratic demands which form the motives of the movement of its allies in this revolution. The proletariat cannot, not only, be indifferent to these democratic transformations, changes and reforms, but it itself must formulate them in the most comprehensive form, and struggle for their realisation. This is the necessary condition for attracting the allies to a revolutionary struggle and for guaranteeing their consistency in this struggle. We said that in the minimum part of its programme, the revolutionary proletariat puts forward precisely these types of demands, too, as a part of the content of the victory of a democratic revolution. The popular socialists, who regard the content of the victory of a democratic revolution as the destruction of capitalism, deny, in other terms, the necessity of putting forward minimum demands by the proletariat. A popular socialist, such as a Razmandegan or a Rah-e-Kargar, who has already in his mind brought the people as a whole into the camp of socialism (destruction of capitalism), sees no need to draw the proletariat's attention, in the external world, to the non-proletarian democratic masses and the necessity of exercising proletarian leadership over the democratic struggles. He does not need an "ally" any-more, for he himself has already obliterated the demarcation line between the allies of the proletariat and the proletariat itself by vulgarizing socialism and converting it into an all-people cause. Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar are asked: "what is your minimum progarmme which the democratic revolution must put to force in its victory?" They both reply: "the destruction of capitalism", that is, the "maximum programme", "socialism"! The comrades, more careless than any orthodox Trotskyist[6], have essentially left out the allies of the proletariat, their motives for participating in a democratic revolution, their non-socialist demands, and the need of the proletariat to draw them under the banner of its leadership.

On this there is much to be discussed; but, of necessity, we close it at this point and leave the further clarification of the concepts and points presented in this article to other articles. Finally, however, it is necessary to refer to a point on the role and place of ideological struggle for Rah-e-Kargar and Razmandegan as it appears in the polemic discussed here.

Before anything else, it is not clear what aims Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar had been following in entering this discussion and what specific results they have gained by ending it. Both groups follow an abstract discussion about the system and classes which must be destroyed in the present revolution without being able to define how the conclusion of this discussion is going to affect the question of agitation, propaganda and organisation of the proletariat. Failure to understand that the road from the democratic revolution to the destruction of the capitalist system is a process which must be traveled outside the mind and in the material world, a process that with every step demands from communists specific practice in different fields of activity, results in Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar not being able to achieve a concrete gain from their "ideological struggle". The attempt of the two groups looks more like solving two simultaneous equations (known factors: 1- The revolution is democratic, 2- Iran's economy is capitalist; and unknown factors: 1- Which system must be destroyed? 2- Which class must be destroyed?). Under the circumstances where the communist movement has not solved the question of the programme; where, despite the failure to solve the question of the programme, the problems of agitation, propaganda and organisation of both the class and revolutionary struggles, in a vast scale, have been placed on the shoulders of this movement, it is obvious that the ideological struggle must be, above all else, directed towards achieving, concretizing and establishing the principles of communist programme and tactics as well as the conditions and pre-conditions for adopting such tactics in the various practical arenas. But it seems that Razmandegan and Rah-e-Kargar are not concerned with these concepts and problems, for Razmandegan permits itself, amid the astonishment of observers, and acting as the referee of the ideological struggle, to stop the discussion and announce the result as such:

"Now a period of ideological struggle between us and Rah-e-Kargar and all those who follow similar thoughts and theories comes to an end. We showed how, with hesitation and wavering, Rah-e-Kargar finally accepts that the liberal bourgeoisie must be destroyed; we saw that Rah-e-Kargar accepts that the capitalist system dependent on imperialism must be destroyed. And that this destruction includes medium capital too. Although it tries to pretend that it is not saying any-thing new, nevertheless, it has accepted, in a relative sense, what we have said and even at this level this is a positive step.

"... Now we must conclude the summing up of a period of ideological struggle. But the Rah-e-Kargar who deals with the basis of the problem must know that when reasoning one must deal not with slogans that have appeared and then disappeared... but with the basis of the problem... In any case, in the course of its ideological struggle with us, Rah-e-Kargar not only escapes, in this manner, from accepting its past mistake but, what is worse, it starts to present our views in "its own words" and repeatedly at its own will, such that no room remains for further discussion." (Razmandegan No.18, emphases in the original)

The "basis" of the problem, i.e. the basis of the ideological struggle between the two groups, is neither the programme, nor the tactics nor even the slogans (which come and go and sometimes, for "technical" reasons, come back), but that the contender either accepts some general and abstract statements, or escapes from accepting them by various subterfuges in which case he becomes "disqualified" and along with "all those who follow similar thoughts and theories" (!) is left out of the race! what has finally remained for the proletariat in the class struggle is neither the concretization of the main points of the programme and tactics, nor the improvement of the methods and accuracy of agitational concepts, nor the attainment of a united policy of agitation based on the clarification of the minimum demands, nor the emergence of the more principled forms of organisation based on the concrete assessment of the conditions, and not even a step towards one of these, but a lame smile of satisfaction on Razmandegan's face "until the next round" of the ideological struggle. An ideological struggle which is so much turned in on itself and which reaches a conclusion in itself is no longer a part of the class struggle but an academic dispute. It is clear that when no practical requirements of the class struggle oblige the two sides of the discussion to bring the discussion to conclusion and mould it in the form of a communist programme and communist tactics as well as concrete instructions regarding agitation, propaganda and organisation, then it is obvious that such an ideological struggle cannot end except by the "boredom" of one side of the discussion or the "escape" of the other and the unilateral declaration of the "sufficiency of the struggle".


Part Two Extracted from: Besooy-e-Sosyalism No. 2 August 1980



[Foot note]

[6] It may not be inappropriate to make a brief marginal note on Trotskyism (by Trotskyism is meant here his "Permanent Revolution" thesis). From the correct premise, that the emancipation of the proletariat is only possible by a socialist revolution and in socialism, Trotskyism draws the wrong conclusion that the proletariat must in all circumstances immediately and promptly, struggle for a socialist revolution.

Although in words Trotsky does not completely deny the necessity of the proletariat's struggle for democracy and its participation in the democratic revolution, but because of the failure to understand the real process of the socialist revolution, i.e. failure to understand the need for the presence of the politico-economic conditions necessary for the development of the class struggle of the proletariat, he is virtually unconcerned with, and even indifferent towards, the determination and formulation of the conditions for the realisation of the proletariat's politico economic demands in the democratic revolution, i.e., the conditions for the victory of the democratic revolution. It is thus that Trotsky in the 1905 revolution of Russia opposes Lenin's slogan of ";he Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Peasantry" and advocates the slogan "Tsarist Rule No, The Workers' Rule". Trotskyism does not understand that achieving "The Workers' Rule", precisely requires pre-conditions which (in 1905) "The Revolutionary Dictator-ship of the Proletariat and the Peasantry" contains the most comprehensive form of their realisation. A "Revolutionary Dictatorship..." (in 1905) is needed so that the proletariat, by taking advantage of its political and economic gains in it, in the words of Lenin "at once" but "precisely in accordance with the measure of its strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organised proletariat, begins to pass to the socialist revolution."

Trotsky stands for the greatest speed, for skipping over the distance of the road and even for the immediate realisation of the socialist revolution. Trotskyism which starts from the "enthusiasm" for socialism, by over-looking the -real process of the realisation of socialism, i.e. not understanding the necessity of starting from the preconditions for the socialist revolution, not only cannot, in practice, realise socialism immediately, but is left miles off the only real path to socialism. Leninism is geared to the practice of the material process of transforming a democratic revolution into a socialist revolution; and at every juncture with complete precision strives to provide the material factors (objective and subjective) which are necessary for the continuation of this process. In contrast, Trotskyism, in a pure idealistic manner, concludes the entire process in mind and places the final product of this mental process before the reality in all instances. In this way the best tactic that the slogan "Tsarist Rule No, The Workers' Rule" offers, in words, to the working class in the democratic revolution, is "to remain as an extremist opposition". And this in practice means to entrust the fate of the democratic revolution to the non-proletarian classes; and this is precisely the Menshevik content of Trotskyism.

But it is necessary to also say a few words about the critique of Trotskyism common in our communist movement.

The deviation of Trotskyism is not where the communist movement usually looks for it. Trotsky's fault is not in "bringing forward" and "shortcutting" the socialist revolution. Only those who have remained communist in words and have fallen to the level of the "temporary allies of the proletariat" in practice, can criticise the "short-cutting of the socialist revolution". Every communist must stand for the shortest path to the socialist revolution and for the ever sooner ending of the detestable and miserable life of capitalism. But every communist must learn that Leninism is the only way and hence the shortest way to the socialist revolution. There is no shorter way. The deviation of Trotskyism, too, is not in "bringing forward" the socialist revolution, but on the contrary, the only outcome of the "left" verbiage of Trotskyism is the negation of the occurrence of the socialist revolution in practice.

{Translators' notes}

{1} This refers to a pamphlet containing the Persian translation by the U.C.M. of seven articles of Lenin on the agrarian question; see Collected Works, Vol.8, pp 323-29 & 231-36 & 246-51 & 315-22; and Vol.9, pp 307-315 & 230-239; and Vol.15, pp 40-47. Ed

{2} "Besooy-e-Sosyalism" (Towards Socialism) No.2


WORKS OF THE UNITY OF COHHUNIST MILITANTS
(ENGLISH TRANSLATION)

Already published
  1. The Iranian. Revolution and the Role of the Proletariat (Theses)+ November/December 1978.
  2. The Invasion of the Iraqi Regime and Our Tasks (September 1980).
  3. Manifesto of the U.C.M. (what it says, and. what political system it is fighting for in the present situation)+ February 1981.
  4. Programme of the U.C.M. +x (March 1981).
  5. The 1st of May and the Tasks of the Iranian Workers x (May 1981).
  6. Manifesto of the U.C.M. About the "Present Situation, its Perspectives and the Tasks of the Communists" (June 1981).
  7. And some leaflets. +x
To be published
  1. The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie (No.1) May 1979.
  2. The Myth of the National and Progressive Bourgeoisie (No.2) April 1990.
  3. Communists and the Peasant Movement, After the Imperialist Solution of the Agrarian Question in Iran (March 1930).
  4. The Prospect of Destitution and the Re-Escalation of Revolution. (Its Supplement on the Marxist theory of crisis) February 1980.
  5. ...

x Also available in French.
+ Also available in German.


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