by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog
When perhaps the top daily-news leftist website – the World Socialist Web Site – has the phrase “brutally exploited Iranian working class” in their first sentence, something is clearly out of balance.
Because if Iran’s working class is “brutally” mistreated, then what is the working class in, say, the United States? Do they call it the “astronomically, incredibly, stupendously, racially exploited US working class”?
Because the increase in Iran’s Human Development Index since 1990 – a measurement taken by the United Nations, the best (and only) global political organisation in the world – is second only to South Korea.
Does the UN’s HDI exclude the working class, or something? Of course not.
I like to bring up this statistic, and many others which prove the bonafides of Iranian Islamic Socialism, but it goes nowhere with so very many people that I wonder: Is thing on? Habla usted ingles?
The World Socialist Web Site is ardently Trotskyist, so they may prefer Esperanto, but to them I would say: Kaj vi, Bruto? (And you, Brutus?)
The WSWS is a darn great site, and I’ve read it for too many years to count. They are exceptional in many ways, adored in the Third World, and are perhaps the most widely-visited truly leftist web site. They are so committed and so ideologically-rigorous that the “universal, permanent revolution” of Trotskyism compels them to end every article with one or two paragraphs that essentially say: “But this sucks and is a useless waste of our time because it’s not Trotskyism.”
Hey, I get it: Every media has an editorial line to toe, and thankfully they are not pushing capitalism, imperialism, identity politics, fake-leftism, etc. Far from it, usually.
But this article on the Iran protests is a good example of good, impassioned leftists going astray.
A problem with such ideological rigour is that it can descend into ineffectual, ivory-tower idealism. It is especially glaring during times of crises, when people are looking to the WSWS for guidance.
For example, I can probably link to dozens and dozens of articles where the good-old WSWS decried an obvious political reality…but which suddenly transforms into “spurious” when the same idea comes out of the mouth of an Iranian:
The rulers of the Islamic Republic are trying to justify their brutal crackdown with spurious claims that the protests are being manipulated by Washington and its principal regional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, as part of their incendiary drive for regime change in Tehran.
Well which is it, WSWS?
Call me biased – I am an Iranian civil servant, after all – but I think most non-dogmatic leftists will say that Iran is getting the same “capitalist-imperialist treatment” we have seen in Ukraine, Venezuela and about 9,000 other times in the past few hundred years.
Some people love it when you lose – they love dirty laundry
But the WSWS is not fully on your side unless your are Trotskyist.
A problem with such ideological rigidity is that it violates a key socialist concept, one which Trotskyists are less supportive of than Leninists or Stalinists: “auto-critique”, also known as “self-criticism”.
In short, this idea is based around the concept that you do not air your dirty socialist laundry in public.
China adheres to this quite strictly, and it is likely further helped by their cultural concept of “not losing face”. They do NOT criticise the Party in public, abroad or at home. Iran does this very well, too, but more so when dealing with foreigners, as we love a good needling (and potentially embarrassing) joke to be so concerned about saving face in our own home.
But make no mistake: this socialist concept insists that just because criticism is supposed to be saved for in private, criticism is ABSOLUTELY supposed to be done and not avoided – socialists are far more democratic than capitalists, after all.
What the WSWS could have done with this article, instead of jumping on Iran during a time of (not all that serious) crisis, is to practice some auto-critique and say…well, essentially what I am saying:
“Hey, what about UN’s HDI statistic – let’s not forget about that hard-won fact! Hey, what about the West’s proven manipulation of normal, democratic protests – are we rushing to judgment before we know all the facts? Hey, what about the fact that the world assumes that at this very moment some White American cop is killing or torturing a Black teenager somewhere in the US – so should we care what their opinion is?”
That – pointing out the immoral, perpetual, inescapable crimes of capitalist societies – is what is needed ALL the time. Especially in a time of crisis. The USSR used to do this superbly…then Gorbachev came along and renounced the class struggle.
But the WSWS does the same thing for Venezuela, China, etc. – I’m sure citizens of those countries feel similarly left to twist in the wind in their times of crisis.
The fact is, unless you are 100% Trotskyist, nothing is ever good enough for the WSWS. They aren’t really trying to “win” – they are trying to be “right”.
Yeah, being right feels nice, but that means Venezuela topples and the gains of Chavismo get rolled back; that means the capitalist-imperialists defeat the one Muslim country actually physically fighting for Palestine, Lebanon, Syria & Iraq. Do they care that we have also lost Kashmir, Afghanistan and Libya? Is the WSWS actually considering how we will ever get back the far-gone nations like Egypt & Morocco?! Is Trotskyism outperforming Iranian Islamic Socialism in any of those countries?
Bah….what I just listed are real-life concerns. The WSWS ignores this when “the stuff hits the fan” in the very countries they should be supporting (and in countries they usually support).
But a crisis is not the time to pile on with the capitalist-imperialists, I think common sense makes quite clear.
Do Trotskyists realize that a key step is ‘preserving’ actual socialist gains?
I wonder how much the WSWS really knows Iranian society, and I do know that they consistently appear convinced that “universal revolution” is around the corner.
“The (communist) Tudeh party had deep roots in the working class,” is a prime example.
“Deep roots”? Islam had “deep roots”, not communism. I guess communism had “deep roots” if – let’s return to our first paragraph – if the WSWS will write that Islam had “super, mega-deep, core-embedding roots in the working class”. But, again, things are now losing their balance, accuracy and efficiency….
Communism in 1979 was one of the two main propelling ideologies, yes, but it was often limited to the intellectuals and the students. Islam, however, definitely was not.
You certainly don’t need to be literate to want to understand or promote socialism, but it was a bit difficult when less than 40% of Iranian women were literate in 1979 (but check those numbers now).
With the advantage of hindsight, it should not be at all surprising that a relatively-new political philosophy did not sweep aside the very birthplace of monotheism (Zoroastrianism) and a place where Islam is a living, vibrant, daily force; a place where a recent poll says 76% of people responded to the question – “to what degree should our country’s policymakers take religious teachings into account when they make decisions” – with either “a lot” or “somewhat“, while just 5% responded with a (very West European secularist) “none at all”. (Question #8 in this poll.) Iran is not France or West Germany, the very birthplace of socialism, and I note that socialism even failed in those two places, too.
So if the Trotskyists may like to imagine that Trotskyism was about to sweep Iran in 1979….if only those mullahs hadn’t gotten in the way!…but that is not accurate and certainly not reflective of the democratic will.
Socialism clearly and democratically ran second fiddle in the Iranian Islamic Revolution, and thankfully so, when the alternative is to be influenced by imperialist capitalism.
If the WSWS wanted to actually help Iran, they would list the vast ocean of statistics and proofs which show the positive differences between pre- and post-1979 Iran; they would suspend their seemingly anti-Muslim (and anti-religion) attitude permanently (much like Cuba has, and which places like Vietnam and Eritrea don’t need to suspend because they never started on that terrible “forced atheism” route); at least they could not join in on the Iran-bashing when the forces of imperialism are acting rather “spuriously”; they could be using this time to credit a country whose socialist bonafides far, far, far outweigh about 98.5% of the rest of the world.
What the WSWS gets right, kind of
I am an Iranian civil servant, so I don’t want to get into internal Iranian politics and my stances. Anyways, this is not a Farsi-language article, and it is targeted for non-Iranians. But I would like to give some very basic clarifications about the “true nature” of these protests – economic issues – as I totally disregard the laughable “fake nature” of these protests – toppling a democratic government:
Regarding the economic demands of this protest:
Firstly, the blockade and sanctions. Secondly, the blockade and sanctions. Thirdly, I almost wish upon your country a blockade and sanctions so you can then tell me if I am making excuses!
But I’ll move on, and in an even-handed manner:
The WSWS website is correct that Iran has embraced some neoliberal capitalist changes. This goes way back to the era of not only the war reconstruction effort of Rafsanjani, but also Reformist politician Khatami, so it is not all that new. Iran was not just rebuilding a country and promoting a totally unique and modern revolution, but it was doing so after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Therefore, much of these changes I attribute this to the global “socialism is dead” hysteria which went full-tilt in 1991, which was so contagious that it spared NO country.
And we all know that neoliberalism doesn’t work, so….
But if there is one country which is “exceptional” it is Iran, and allow me to explain: After a decade of hot war, 20+ years of Cold War, and an increasingly-brutal economic sanction campaign, many in Iran felt pro-capitalist reforms may be the only solution.
After all, Iran is not China: we do not “call the shots”.
Iran cannot be strangulated forever, the Reformists argued. Those who favoured Khamenei’s nationalist “resistance economy” have a popular idea with many adherents, but Iran is a democracy, after all: there IS NO autocrat, most of our politicians are trying to win re-election, and – I’ll play along here with your nonsense – why would we even begin with the assumption that all mullahs think alike on economics?
So when Rouhani came to France and Italy in 2015 and made dozens of billions of euros in business deals, I gave the bargaining team a ton of credit: I read the fine print and – in a highlight of my career – I reported on that fine print for 17 continuous minutes in an interview on Press TV. Why so long? Because I was describing how this deal included technology transfers; how that deal is a joint venture and not just a capitalist sell-off to foreigners; how this other deal is going to let us learn how to build this vital piece of infrastructure which we needed in our other cities, etc.
This deals were capitalist, ok…but they weren’t. They definitely were not neoliberal, free-market, sell-off-your nation to foreign high finance! They defied easy dogma, but they were – and thankfully for the People in France and Italy as well – “mutually beneficial”. That’s a key phrase you hear in Iran and China all the time but never in the West. We must use the tools of capitalism to build socialism (is this on, again?), but they must be mutually beneficial for both countries and their Peoples, no?
“Opening up” our economy was also a tactic to win much, much, much needed political favor, as well, the Reformists argued.
While Trotskyists may be already bristling, Iranians are trying to survive and have no time for the WSWS ancestor-worship of Trotsky. We are hoping that money talks with the Eurozone; that huge deals with Iran will pull them away from the American’s policy of murdering Iran.
Will this work? Well, France’s Total is now talking about pulling out of the key oil deal so…too soon to say. If they do China will take their part over, so no real worries, and I can’t say I’d be too surprised: the US is a larger market than Iran for France, and France is a capitalist country who has no ideology, no solidarity, and would step over their own mother to make a buck (but they won’t cross Angela Merkel).
China has opened up in a similar economic fashion (though they call more shots, due to their weight), and their inequality has indeed increased…but the lower class – the focus of socialism and Iranian Islamic Socialism – has been enormousy lifted, while at the same time the Western capitalist lower class has not.
“So open up towards China and not the West!” many will cry.
The Iranian government did!
Iran has been making trade deals with China for some time, and…we all know how hard it is for any nation’s industries to compete with their products. Their products have increasingly entered Iran markets and…you can imagine the results. But – and I wasn’t privy to the discussions – I assume that Iran HAD TO make these deals to keep China on our side. If we lose China and Russia – goodbye UN Security Council protection and hello invasion. While there are capitalist interests in the democracy of Iran, I assume that these concessions were granted mainly because the blockade has been so terrible. No blockade, and it’s far less likely any of these deals get made on anything less than a 50-50 basis.
Will Rouhani’s economic Reformism work? Well, what is certain is that Iranian voters appear to think so. The West claims the protests are about “regime change” (LOL), but they ignore the glaring fact that he has been re-elected with a voter participation rate that far exceeds the “mature”, “stable”, “democratic” countries of the West.
Where is the WSWS with these rather basic observations which are not just sympathetic towards leftism, but entirely correct and objective?
Why does an article dated January 4 not mention the pro-government protests on January 3 which were multiple times larger (not quite “exponentially larger” I think) than the anti-government protests? How is the WSWS aiding any type of democracy, capitalist or socialist, here?
The WSWS probably accuses all religious people of not adhering to their principles strongly enough, but I can say without reservation that I accuse the WSWS of not following their Socialist principles because: with that article…I can’t tell whose side they are on! And in a time of crisis, no less!!!
But the WSWS is far from the problem – after all, the article notes the capitalist nature of the Green Movement of 2009. Which media can we count on for going that far left, at least?
So I ain’t mad at ya, WSWS!
As an Iranian I cannot be as dogmatic as you are. It’s not that I work on a sliding scale – it’s that we are trying to keep winning.
Good luck with the universal Trotskyist revolution. Please do let me know when you get one country. And when you do, I’ll push my Iranian comrades not to step on your neck with the capitalists come for you…which they will, and just like they are coming for us now, or haven’t you noticed? I think Trotsky would agree with this decision….
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.
I like the WSWS website. I find it a useful point of view when otherwise I’m seeing propaganda fly back and forth. I’m not saying they are perfect, but they do tend to be more rational than the various sites flinging propaganda.
But, there is always the point where I get to the end of the article, I’m inspired, I’m looking for how I can do something about whatever the article was about. And as Mr. Mazaheri points out, every article ends with something along the lines of saying that the workers of the world need to unite and rise up and finally win the revolution.
I’m not even opposed to that notion. Got to be better than a world of the bankers, by the bankers and for the bankers. But, it always lacks a specific action item. At the end of each article, its always depressing to read that there is really nothing to be done but to wait for the workers of the world to rise up and change things.
I do wish they’d combine what is often an excellent point of view (even if in this case they suffer from being far away and not so knowledgeable about what they write about) with more specific actions and political organizing to actually try to make things even a bit better.
hmm, I’m willing to give the writers at WSWS the benefit of doubt. I don’t know where their offices are located. New York City? I can’t find anything on the website that tells one that. But, the benefit of doubt that I’m willing to cede to them is that they are a long distance from Iran.
And that in these days, where we all have to live in propaganda bubbles, its so very easy to let the propaganda slip in to your mind if you aren’t paying complete attention. Propaganda is insidious in that manner.
There are some topics I consider myself knowledgeable about. From my particular education path, nuclear technology is one of those areas. I remember back before the Iraq War, I’d still watch CNN. When they were talking about Saddam’s fictional nuclear weapons program, I’d be arguing back at my tv. CNN was spouting nonsense, and I knew it, so I tended to argue back at my TV set.
But then, CNN would go onto the next piece in their rotation. And this time its not something that I’m knowledgeable about. So, I’m not arguing with my TV and I’m not calling CNN a bunch of liars.
And then later, I’d realize that some of these thoughts, these notions were getting into my head and coming out in my speaking or my writing. I’d find myself saying something ludicrous and hateful and contrary to my general nature, and I’d stop and ask myself where that came from. Eventually, I realized that this was coming from propaganda channels like CNN when they talked about the areas I was not so knowledgeable about.
I thus used the parental obscenity controls on my TV systems to block CNN and the other American ‘news’ networks. Life is much better now. My blood pressure is down now that I’m not arguing with my TV any more. And the backdoor propaganda that was getting into my head no longer does so. Or at least not so easily via such an open channel for lies and propaganda. Life is better now with CNN blocked.
But, my point was, they not only are along distance physically from Iran, but they live in a propaganda world where the propaganda has ways of getting into one’s head even without one knowing about it.
All of this was to lead to a constructive suggestion. Perhaps someone should invite the writers and editors of WSWS to visit Iran? Take a trip to learn more about Iran, its people, and its revolution?
as with computers … garbage in, garbage out.
some describe humans as like computer terminals
and on one level they are.
but how many ”levels” are there ?
As journalists, the WSWS are honest and their reports contain more facts, particularly the forbidden ones, than a score of Western fakestream media sewage. But as ideologues they are a little obsessed. Still, their obsession beats that of the fakestream presstitutes ie to serve their Zionazi owners and the Western Imperium and ruling class, first, last and always, every day.
Well, I think you need to read up on the Communism. This slogan is “The Slogan” of the communists.
I can’t comment on the WSWS, because I can’t be bothered to read this …
The WSWS has replied to this comment here: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/01/06/iran-j06.html
i confess that initially i had the same felling you described, anonymous.
one initial answer to you would be that the socialist consciousness does not develop dealing with “specific actions” as you mentioned.
actually, this debate goes back more than one hundred years ago, when lenin wrote “what to be done” and showed, for example, that it is not possible to develop socialist consciousness though unionism.
rather, the development of socialist consciousness must deals with universal “themes”, because the class struggle is an universal category.
i recommend you the article of david north about lenin’s “what to be done” in the russian revolution and the unfinished xxth century”, and this work, which a believe will answer some of your questionings: Marxism, History and Socialist Consciousness (https://www.wsws.org/en/special/feature/lect-marx.html).
however, i would like to point out the cifi’s latest “specific action”: the campaign against internet censorship.
““mutually beneficial”, a key phrase you hear in Iran and China all the time but never in the West.”
but, anyone who’s been in America has heard the phrase “win-win”, which would appear to have a very similar meaning to “mutually beneficial”.
In America, just remember that you are dealing with a society where one needs to stick to one syllable words due to the destruction of the education system over the last 50 years or so. Use a phrase with back to back four syllable words and most of the audience will leave to watch a dancing hamster on youtube.
Of course, the phrase “win-win” seems to be mostly used by con artists, but the phrase “mutually beneficial” would have the same weakness in its ability to be used to deceive. But one thing you can trust a con-artist to do is to know their audience, and thus its telling that they’ve reduced the phrase to the one syllable words that a modern American college graduate can understand.
– Hmm? Sweetie…
– Uh, what’s this term for that thing, like a… Like a technical term, where we make a deal, and we both get something out of it.
– A compromise.
– No… Like, it’s a competition.
– But both sides end up happy.
– Like a win-win.
– More science-y than that.
( … ellipse )
– Non-zero-sum game.
– That’s it. Yeah.
screenplay by Eric Heisserer, story by Ted Chiang in Arrival
I am not a reader of WSWS, but from my life experience, Trostoskyites are anywhere except on the side of the working class. From what i have witnessed so far, they are in a crusade to inflitrate and destroy what rmanis of the communist parties and the left in general in the West, too much to go around there giving advice.
What the dogmatics from the far-pure left must understand is that socilasm will never have the same face and characteristics at every country in the world, since each country has its cultural and historical background, and to this we must add the geopolitical conditions of every time/era, like time of war/sanctions and any other pressures the capitalists forces may invent to put obstacles to the development of socialism wherever it raises its head…
Thus, Ramin, I very doubt that it is all Rouhani´s fault…I agree that he is achieving good deals on the basis of “mutual benefit” and through intermingling economies with EU, if not gaining some allies, at least les enenmies, which would not be bad.
I like the man, seems so friendly and moderate….He´s speech at the UN gave the measure of his moderation…I loved when he cited our beloved poets….that looked very Iranian indeed…
Btw, since you are a “civil servant”, I do not know whether you could answer to this, but, O would like to know what is your opinion on the informations about protests arising in Mashhad, just the stronghold of Rouhani’s major competitor at the last presidential elections, Ebrahim Raisi, the son-in-law of the Mashhad Friday prayer leader and Grand Imam of Imam Reza shrine, Ahmad Alamolhoda….
Lastly, I also would like to know your oppinion about mandatory hijab.
I am a communist and I oppose to it.
Perhaps you should read the material in question on the WSWS. That would be scientific, and no the dogmatic, method.
Ramin Mazaheri you have written an immensely useful article. You’ve described the background to the negotiations on the nuclear deal, and Iran’s position with China and Russia, as well as its history in the last few decades.
And you layered in many subtleties about socialism, Trotskyism and the World Socialist Web Site. Personally, I don’t give WSWS the benefit of the doubt that you do. I like the site but the language they used seems inexcusable to me, since it’s a total lie. They get to have an opinion but they don’t get to use lies in place of facts.
Your previous article about the faux revolution and the true grass roots has proved to be as rock-solid true as it seemed at the time, and this one is not just true but beautiful. I think most importantly here, you’ve described Iran and its socialism and its egalitarianism, as you have done before – lovingly, admiringly and proudly. These are wonderful ways to see the truth of one’s country, and I have taken them in the past and will take them now gladly, as a way to feel about Iran.
I admire the country more and more as time goes by, and I hope for – and expect – its survival and great prosperity in this post-imperialist century.
You’re absolutely right, Grieved! I learned a lot from Ramin’s high quality articles as well.
It is as plain as day [it is for instance a fact that the fascist thugs Trotsky and Hitler collaborated] that Trotskyites, Nazis [or Fabians; e.g. Tony Bliar] are merely deceptively treacherous [using big lies] controlled opposition, in order to [as Darya Tabatabaee says above] infiltrate and destroy real democracy (socialism), Orthodox Christianity, democrat Stalin’s USSR, Iranian Islamic Socialism, traditional (Sunni) Islam, and so forth, on behalf of the banksters & gangsters.
(that doesn’t mean one cannot learn something from WSWS or Nazi propaganda sites)
Trotsky and Hitler collaborated?????
I’d be interested in seeing some proof of that assertion.
I do know that by the time Trotsky was assassinated by Stalin, he was living in Mexico. And since there was no internet back in those days, I’d assume they were communicating by letters in this alleged collaboration. Thus presumably someone can point me to those letters? Or otherwise provide some sort of proof for what on the surface appears to be a rather unlikely collaboration?
Yes, that’s right (on the surface, because of the big lies we’ve been told/taught). Still, it’s rather common sense and a very likely collaboration otherwise.
Well, maybe for instance Grover Furr’s recent book “Leon Trotsky’s Collaboration with Germany and Japan” erythrospress.com/store/trotskys-conspiracies.html
See also for instance:Nikolay Starikov (very good) on Oriental Review, or the prominent real German patriot (unlike Zionist thug Hitler) General Ludendorff, https:/www.jta.org/1931/05/02/archive/general-ludendorff-breaks-with-hitler-dinounces-him-as-betrayer-o who was demonized (as Assad or Iran nowadays) at the time of course.
You may consult with profit “Evidence of Leon Trotsky’s collaboration with Germany and Japan”, by Grover Furr @http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.617.599&rep=rep1&type=pdf
There is no proof. This is a regurgitation of the old Stalinist canard of the Moscow Trials of 1936-38, and was refuted at the time by the Dewey Commission. It was the Stalinist ruling stratum’s prelude the extermination of 900,000 communists form 1937 to 1939.
The classic Marxist appraisal of the year 1937 in the USSR may be found here:
The extermination was a precondition for the betrayals of Tudeh in Iran.
Old paradymes never die, they just fade away. I hope you sent this analysis to the “Trots” as they were called in the 1960’s. It is like any ideology or great historical movement when the initial thrust is depleted and the original leaders are dead. The followers cling onto every concept religiously ..yes religiously,
Their not understanding the efficacy of the modern day thrust and manifestation of world imperialism is actually a bigger betrayal of the roots of Trotsky and Lenin’s thinking than their failing to push every 21st century situation into the too small shoe of “If only we had a 4th International” and “Iran needs a working class based political party to oppose the religious dictatorship.” sigh, If only one could subsume the energies of nationalism and religion so easily into the one true faith.
Also to not see the political and ethnic forces combined with what were at first essentially local food riots ( remember several years ago in Armenia the street protests over electrical bill hikes?) shows a willingness to fill the hole of lack of information with the stuff of dogma and thus to end up paradoxically serving the very forces one most really wants to oppose.
I think Michael Hudson has a better analysis of the political economy of current world imperial capitalism.
It does not take a weatherman to see the storm that will overcome the midEast ( including all of Islam) should Iran be devastated (If I may be permitted) : May G-d forbid!
I love Mr. Mazaheri’s writing (and video pieces for Press TV) because he makes me think. He makes me think and thus makes me want to write, which are both good things. :)
I’d left this site, and had moved on, but I was still thinking about this. It stayed in my mind that Mr. Mazaheri touched around the edges of a key facet of trying to organize to change a society.
Such an organization absolutely has to be a Big Tent. In the western corporate world, what The Saker calls the Anglo-Zionist Empire, any attempt at change has to be a contest of people power against the power of money, government and force that is the Empire. You are not going to be able to raise more money than Goldman Sach, Exxon, the NRA and AIPAC are going to pump into a contest. They only way to fight them is people power.
You’ve got to find a way of organizing a lot of people to your cause. Because I do believe in freedom, and because I feel that the voice of the people must have a large role in any ‘better’ society, I feel you’ve got to organize and educate at least 50% of the people to your cause. And likely you’ll need more than that.
It thus has to be a Big Tent type of organization. You’ll never get 50% of the people to absolutely agree on anything. Maybe on the fact that sex is enjoyable, if done correctly. But not on any political concept.
Mr. Mazaheri points out a very common problem on the American left. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I’ve been around the American left since Vietnam. The problem is that they have many seperate groups who all want to be right about something. They are right, everyone else is wrong.
This leads to the most common sight on the American left, which is leftists attacking leftists. And it all boils down to each group ‘succeeds’ in its fundraising, and a small group of people get to be leaders of their own little pond …. but as a whole, this is destructive to the Big Tent that’s needed to really create any real change.
My impressions from thousands of miles away is that Mr. Mazaheri describes the successful Iranian revolution as such a Big Tent. Socialism was a driving force for some groups. Democracy and freedom probably was for other groups. And rather obviously, for a big slice of the populism, a religious and somewhat reactionary revolt against the westernism of the Shah was a big driving force. Especially in more rural areas, out away from Tehran and away from the universities. But the key was that wanting the Shah to be gone and to be free of him and his tyrannical rule was a unifying force that let all of these seperate forces combine together to succeed in reaching that goal.
For example, in the US with its winner-take-all election system, I think that its mandatory for opposition parties like the Libertarians and the Greens with other parties like the various divided socialist parties to unite and run one common candidate. Its politically suicidal in the American system to run seperate small parties. But everyone insists on being right. You can’t talk to the Greens about a joint effort with the Libertarians and you can’t talk to the Libertarians about a joint effort with the Greens because both parties are convinced that being right is so very important. If you watch their actions, they are saying that being right is more important than winning and thus more important than actually achieving any of their goals for a better society.
Step one in any revolution is defeating the existing and entrenched power. And the only way to do that is to unify with others who don’t really agree with you, but who share the single goal of getting this current bunch out of power.
Since any opposition who wants to succeed needs to build a Big Tent, I look upon anyone who is trying to unify groups and bring people together as being a positive force. And the corrollary that anyone who tries to divide people is a negative force. Everyone needs to concentrate on what they have in common. And maybe what the various opposition groups in America could have in common would be things like ending these wars. Stop spending fortunes on Empire, and instead try to improve the lives of ordinary people. Respect the Constitution, at least as a first unifying step since it doesn’t happen today.
The Bolsheviks in 1917 had a simple and unifying slogan…. Land, Peace, Bread.
I suspect most western countries could make similar slogans that served to unify people and parties around similarly critical and vital needs today.
Or, as seen in some of the comments ….
I can’t read that website, because they are socialist,
Or that they are Trots.
I can’t support them because they are communists.
Which all boils down to I know I’m right and that they are wrong.
And its so very important that I be right.
Thus, everyone stays divided.
And the bankers laugh in the expensive hotel rooms after the conference lecture that says that Divide and Conquer still works.
If an enemy constantly uses the strategy of Divide and Conquer, then the obvious choice of a counter-strategy is Unity.
But the hard thing about Unity is that sometimes you need to talk to people, even sometimes fight alongside of people, who don’t believe what you believe. Until people learn to do this, Divide and Conquer will always work, and the Bankers still laugh.
There is another level of being…Hafiz #387…maybe in these times we somehow need to be able to be in the world of action as well as the world of contemplation and so learn to negotiate the tricky shoals between the two.
“It is so; in times like these, see the good advice I present:
my belongings I take to Winehouse and there sit content.
Except the long-necked flagon and the Book, I’ve no friend;
so that I’ll seldom see this world’s traitors, so malevolent.”
So when is Trump going to tweet his advice to the Moroccan government on this protest?
What a splendid article from Mr. Ramin Mazaheri! Very astute and in-depth look at many things. His non-hostile dig at the World Socialist Website is a masterpiece. He has raised to an art-form the technique of A-Z criticism without resorting to any insults, name calling, or rudeness. I have always regarded the WSBS as antiquated folks locked up in their Trotskyite ivory tower. But Mr. Mazaheri brilliantly reveals them to be little more than the useful idiots of empire. Their motto may as well be “We will resist imperialism and capitalism but only under the purest socialist flag. Otherwise, we will stick to pointing out the faults and failings of the victims of imperialism”.
“…brutally exploited Iranian working class…” is as far as I got in that article. This response is delicious, Ramin! I want to roll it up in some sangak and dip it in hummus.
I see no evidence from any “news” outlet, including the Russian ones, that Tehran university has tested, and proved, the scientific break-out from Miles Mathis who, proves that “science” was hijacked hundreds of years ago. See experiments done at: benjaminfulford.com and, for the new science: milesmathis.com. Good on you Iran!
Economics are not Trotsky vs Imperial Capitalism false dialectic. Trotsky was funded by Khun and Loeb finance ((capitalists)).
Finance Capitalism (Imperialism through finance) is NOT the same as Industrial Capitalism. Germany post Weimar had Industrial Capitalism with a national flavor. Imperialist democracies were malfunctioning/operating under control of finance capitalism, and hence were THREATENED by rapid rise of Industrial Capitalism in Germany. Industrial Capitalism works, and when mixed with additional forms of social redistribution, renders communism impotent. Finance Capitalism is Impotent in the face of Industrial Capitalism as well.
Iran should examine aspects of Reinhard’s taxation policy, and Schacht’s monetary policy during post Weimar period from 33 to 38 in NSDAP germany.
Germany’s economy boomed from 33 to 38. Tax roles for government almost tripled. German youth learned how to work, and had jobs waiting for them..
Russia’s Stolypin group has similar monetary policy, and thus accidentally rediscovered period in question.. National economies CAN put all of their people to work. The trick is to have sovereign national money, and to channel it properly into commons. The other trick is to have good tax policy. Tax policy is flip side to monetary policy; both sides have to work together.
Mullah’s, looking deep into Koran will never discover Schacht or Reinhard, or even Frederich List. Islam’s dogmatism occludes though, because you know, Mohammed was infallible.
Importing excess Chinese goods into Iran is a huge mistake. Youth in Iran could be laboring/working to make goods as prices. In other words, Iranians working for other Iranians is proper economy.
Germany’s Schacht invented trading banks that allowed mutual countries to “barter” goods. A trading bank uses a form of credit where each country posts purchasing power into each other’s bank. In trading bank scenario, China would purchase goods from Iran, and Iranians would be paid in their money unit (Rials). Iran would then demand goods from China, and Chinese would be paid in Yuan. Should any imbalanced trade induce commensurate debts to form, said debts were isolated to Trading Banks, and hence could be legally jubileed after political negotiation.
As Keynes correctly noted, all trade between nations is only barter. If Iran sells their oil patrimony for Chinese goods, then Iranian youth are not making goods as prices. Countries that “extract” oil are converting their earth to make a price. Extraction economies typically do not make things, and hence must “import” goods from foreign nations. Importing Chinese goods in trade for oil disenfranchises Iranian labor; a viable Iranian middle class never forms, and class war becomes inevitable.
Germany’s economy was a form of Autarchy, which Iran would do well to emulate.
Germany’s economic resurgence between ’33- 38 was facilitated by Hjalmar Schacht, who famously said,’ we had no money, no one would lend us, so we made our own’.
Schacht money policies were based on those expounded by Georg Friedrich Knapp in his ‘ State Theory of Money’.
Modern Monetary Theory is based on Knapps Theory.
The basic theory is that a Sovereign Govt has the power to create its own money, and can purchase any resource within its borders,including all idle labour, to give 100% employment.
A nations wealth is only constrained by the limit of the resources within its borders. The greatest wealth is the labour,ingenuity and talent of its citizens to exploit these resources to create wealth.
Western Govt’s have ceded this creation of money to the private banking system. A Western Govt issues interest bearing bonds to the private banking system to acquire money, Taxes are imposed on citizens and Industry to repay this interest.
The ability of the private banking system is the prime fault-line of Western Capitalism and the reason for the Great Financial Crash of 2008 and many other previous financial crisises.
Michael Hudson explains that this problem goes back 4000 years to Babylonia and Sumerian civilisations and the solution to such crisis was to implement Hammurabis Law.
‘Debts that cannot be paid will not be paid.,
Otherwise the State disintegrates, as in todays Greece.
There is some improper conflation within MMT doctrine, see below link for exposition.. Knapps state theory is in alignment with monetary fact: Money is a creature of the law.
Greece borrowed Euro private bank credit by trading newly created Greek government debt. Said debt instrument would become lodged in a German bank to then hypothecate new Euros.. Greek government then spent this credit into Greek economy. Greek economy then buys BMW’s and other German goods. Euro’s as money then travels and is lodged as savings in a German Bank. German bank system then has both Greek Debt and former Greek Euro’s; and Greece now has foreign bond holder’s demanding debts that cannot be paid- in a currency form that is not Greek.
Never let your money money circulate outside of your borders – that is the same thing as extending your law beyond borders, an impossibility.
On the money question, human avarice engenders rank stupidity. The Mullah’s are no exception. Politically they are fairly astute, but that is not enough.
Islamists who look inward to the Koran will never find the answers.
The IMF lent money to Greece,knowing it could not be repaid. This against its own rules and against the advice of its own Economists, some who resigned ,because of the bad decision.
The tactic of lending to an insolvent Nation is a well worn one of the IMF and World Bank, used in Africa and Latin America.
It is similar to a Mafia extortion racket.
Greece was then compelled to sell off by privatisation,its State assets of Utilities,Ports etc. This placed States assets into toll-paying products and a means to turn Greek citizens into rent paying serfs.
A Sovereign nation that does not control its own currency is not free. The 19 Nations that comprise the EuroGroup are in effect using a foreign currency ,of which they have no control ,to issue money or regulate interest rates to stimulate its economy.
Neoliberalism is the removal ot Govt from involvement in the State and its economy and a return to Feudalism.
The EU is the epitome of Neo Feudalism.
‘Debts that cannot be paid will not be paid.”
-Neoliberalism and austerity have been applied in an effort to change this. Now they’re asking for a pound of flesh, preferably that of your heart.
Salford Lad: thank you for this excellent summary! I need to read up on Knapp’s theory.
You only have to follow step by step what happened in Ukraine, Syria, Libya, in several other Arab countries and you will if you wanted to understand the logic of Empire operating behind the scenes of these so called “maidans”.
I addmit – I was Stalin, Tito fan for many years, then I praised Trotcky, but when I read many books about communism I discovered this shit was all false flag op. I was disgusted what have happened to Kronstadt sailors, old sons of revolution perished in purges, Spain civil war saga, first partizans(from 41) killed and tortured on Goli otok gulag…many young partizans were executed by commisars for one single potato, or cigarete..wtf?
Orwell was right, it was just another side of coin, poor proleterian became pigs…now I know why my grandfather was one of first to abandon KPJ.
I still feel worm when I see Red fivepoint star on our monuments-pamjatniki, but now I know Bakunin was right, only real leftist are anarchists.
I usually skip what you write due to bad for my blood pressure and I have burnt myself reacting a few times.
I am no lefty of course but also no right-winger. I am frankly sick and tired of both ideologies and when push comes to shove, both sides probably see me as a subhuman creature to be dealt with and give me no space in their ideologic created Lebensraum.
Western peoples have become so brainwashed into rescue fantasies and stupidity, that’s the problem.
Ideologies sole purpose seem to be to promote warfare!
I pray for Iran and the Iranians, also they are apt to deal with their own political class as so many other peoples of various other countries now leveled beyond recognition, no need or desire from outside sources for meddling. This is warfare and getting Iran levelled by any means necesary, like Lybia, is on the wishlist agenda for some world powerbrokers. Not exactly great news or great revelation is it?
The problem is that many(if not most) socialists/communists see religion as competition, they want their ideology to supplant and replace religion(a funny thought since socialism was based on a religious concept in the first place).
Iran will have a difficult challenge to prove to the world of socialism that it can exist on a religious foundation.
The problem with the anti-religious socialists is the further from religion they stray the more deluded and lost to the winds of frivolity and vice they become. Ending up not knowing what sex they are, how to dress and behave towards themselves and others. To eventually become self centered egomaniacs, where only their own personal satisfaction has any value in life. Which is exactly what socialism was supposed to prevent in the first place, but can never succeed in doing so unless there is a moral ethic foundation of values shared widely throughout society. Socialism can then be used as a tool to share prosperity through the underpinning values of society.
We saw this in the first part of the 20th century in western Europe. When society still had strong christian roots, prosperity was shared through socialist policies. These policies worked because people were willing to share due to their christian moral and ethics. Taking advantage of the sharing for selfish reasons would bring shame in the hearts of those rooted in the values of Christianity.
Now the religious foundation has crumbled in the west, the population have no moral scruples about taking advantage of others for selfish reasons. Socialism ensures its own destruction as society becomes demoralized. The population abuse the well intended policies which were supposed to work through a foundation of high moral, ethical standards as taught to us through centuries by our ancient belief systems.
Jonas; Your comment is so right and necessary. I honor the clear way in which you made your point. I suggest that the solution lies in seeing socialism as a movement to fulfill Christianity rather than oppose it. It is interesting to notice how much difficulty socialists and communists have in recognizing that Marx and Engels were committed Christians.
On top of a foundation you build things. Once you have built something, what happens when you destroy the foundation? Will your building not crumble too?
Muslims may also build, on top of Islam. Some may build a house of socialism.. Does it stand on a solid foundation?
You make a solid and well grounded point. The foundation must be Christianity. But it must be cleansed of its own distortion (denial of its own shadow) to serve the new construction. This was not lost on Marx. He was building on Hegel. That philosophy has been summarized as Christianity spelled by dialectic. It has been a bourgeois prejudice to assume the Hegelian dialectic does not have a transcendent spiritual core. A mistake that Marx did not make. However Engels and his followers were unable to avoid the prevailing paradigm of the bourgeois Cartesian enlightenment which effectively cut the living heart out of Christianity. This was because they were in need of a scientific standpoint from which to criticize the inadequacies of conventional religion. Accordingly they could not avoid falling into the trap of Cartesian atheist materialism. But that was never Hegel or Marx. More a condition of the times. At the time European philosophy was itself in a state of collapse. Now however we have the tools we need for the reconstruction on the solid foundations of the Christian tradition.
“The foundation must be Christianity.”
-Any foundation will do as long as it’s solid enough.
The Christian tradition is 2.000 years old(at least). You talk about recent events….
Don’t you think people living before us struggled as we do? Don’t you think there is something to learn from all those generations before us? I think people were just as much people then as now. They struggled in their own way, in their own time. Our struggles now are no different from thousands of years ago. It’s part of being human..
A foundation that crumbles in less than a thousand years is not strong enough to carry an ideology on its shoulders.
Engels, Marx, Hegel, those are people whose thoughts we should all ponder. Don’t mistake them or their teachings for eternal truth… They are as fleeting as the rivers of Babylon…
What happens when the foundation of religion crumbles?
Neo-Tribalism steps in….
BTW, I’m Swedish..
This comment is emotional.
I think after slaving away my life. It may be important…
The young must now rule the world.
Excellent comment. I always said that communism is basically a Christianity with god removed from it. What they tried to 6take away from us is that our (Christian god) defines us and binds us as society.
Putting it another way: without our belief we are just cattle.
Anonius; A quote from Jung which I really like supports your observation; “In the absence of the god-image the human personality is annulled.” He then went on to argue that we are living in the time of the evolutionary transformation of the European god-image. So the traditional god image Jung argued is no longer satisfying to the modern psyche. I see the world socialist struggle as one component of an epochal struggle to evolve a higher and more satisfying relation with a more inclusive god image. The Vineyard of the Saker is a rich place to ferment that struggle. It is clearly attracting some very creative and aware people
God is God, there’s no “image”.
God simply is.
Of course “god” simply is. However if one seeks to step into some form of coherent group spiritual understanding, as the underpinnings of a viable human culture that activates spirit on a collective level, something you appear to advocate, then a shared mental understanding of that cosmic fundamental is vital. The “image” is the means by which the human mind holds a relationship with that which is beyond form. The very word “god” itself is a lateral symbolic image in our minds. The issue as I see it is the shared relationship between our conscious minds of our experience of God, or whatever is your preferred term. Jung’s point was that the God image is a place of enormous power. This is all open to psychological interpretation. Ask anyone to describe their experience of “God” and an image will form. In China one image that comes is “the Great Dragon.”
God cannot be described by words in an intellectual fashion.
Intellectually God will always loose.
God lives in our hearts
Love always wins
Snow Leopard, I hope sometime in your life your hand will touch the hand of a woman or man and feel love.
Hold hands and that’s it.. Then you know…
Just as people 2000 – 5000 or more years ago experienced just the same. Eternal truth!
Jonas; Thank you for that. I wish you a rewarding 2018. I am from Kiwi land. From one side of the world to the other. Snow Leopard
Mi ne sciis ke trotskistoj amis Esperanto. Kion ili publikas Esperante? Mi volas legi.
yandex translation …. mod
I didn’t know that trotskistoj loved English. What they publishes in Esperanto? I want to read.
My mistake – Rouhani came to France in 2016, not 2015.
He was supposed to come in 2015, but the Bataclan attacks forced a postponement to early 2016.
About 50 years ago, I was big on Lenin, mind you I was a teenager then. I read many of his letters, articles, etc (printed of course, no internet remember?) I will say, that then for reason of exercising my Russian skills, I was reading them in Russian. And, if memory serves me right Lenin did not think much of him, more like he hated Trotsky, he basically called Trotsky “Utopian Socialist”. Of course, today we know that Trotsky fearing for his head was ordered by his handlers in New York to return to New York. Also being much older having read more and thanks to internet, I do not even want to say what I think of Trotsky, and the “liberal ilk’s”. Not to long ago, if you think about it, PBS was pushing a movie glorifying Trotsky, which make me go “Hmmm”.
Great article BTW
Indeed… I’m no fan of Lenin, but he understood power and how the real world works.
I’d say Lenin was more of a revolutionary than ideologist. Similar to an inspiring general leading his troops to victory, using communism as a tool to reach his goal. Most leaders use ideology or religion as efficient tools of leadership.
This is so true, and if I was to put a communist hat on my head, I would say that Lenin was correct. No one is going to give up their hold on power without being forced out of it (revolution).
It never happened and it won’t. Just as a curiosity, again in mid 60’s French communists won the elections, DeGaulle rolled the tanks on the streets of Paris and quenched the results of election. So much for democracy.
Who led the communists? Was he a greater leader than DeGaulle? Few leaders in France were greater than DeGaulle in modern times. The people believe what they believe, it is the task of a leader to make their beliefs come true. DeGaulle knew he was close to a god in the eyes of the people, and acted accordingly. Like Caesar in ancient Rome..
“In 1964, de Gaulle visited the Soviet Union, where he hoped to establish France as an alternative influence in the Cold War. De Gaulle always viewed Communism as a passing phenomenon, and never used the term the Soviet Union, always calling it Russia.”
He got it wrong, communism was not a passing phenomenon, the Soviet Union was..
Well, I was actually to young to remember their leader. Sorry. Otherwise, I liked him too, one major reason “No NATO”. He was very nationalistic, which is fine with me.
Amb. Haley today called a UN meeting scheduled 15.00 re middle east…does not want Iran to suffer what Syria suffered(presumably her meme Iran suffering at the hands of a dictoatorial regime)…wonder what happened at meeting…strange when previous one was poopoohed…..
RT’s version of what happened at that UNSC meeting.
Possibly one of the most interesting results is in the linked CISSM poll. It is the outcome of question 9.3 showing a 52.1% very favourable and almost 73% of very+somewhat favourable view of Quasem Soleymani (wrongfully put among politicians)!! That was January 2016. I wonder where he would be now: 90%+ ? To say it with the youngsters, LOOL!
Ramin mentions the blockades and sanctions. Besides bombing, invading and occupying other countries, what can be worse than what our sanctions have done? Think, for example, of the tens and thousands of deaths of Iraqi children and what is done to the economies we strangle. World class deadly bullying. And then we have the nerve to point at country X and exclaim: “Look at country X, it’s a failing state!”
In my lifetime, it was once understood that ‘sanctions’ were an act of war.
Certainly at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was understood that Kennedy had escalated the situation by imposing his blockade on Cuba. Yes, it worked, kinda, as Kruschev backed down, as did Kennedy when he made the secret deal to pull his aggressive missiles out of Turkey. But everyone understood that it was also an escalation, and that it had dangerously pushed the world to the very brink of ending human civilization.
Back when the US started this wave of constantly imposing sanctions on anyone it didn’t like, one would also hear that sanctions were an act of war. Not on CNN of course, but it was well understood amongst alternative writers.
These days, the constant propaganda barrage has made many people accept sanctions as just being normal and an ok thing to do to other people. I still tend to think of it as a medieval siege, using starvation and disease of civilians to achieve a goal.
I saw that during today’s UNSC meeting, the Russian ambassador made references to the Ferguson and Occupy protests and the way they were crushed in the USA.
I do wish that he’d mentioned the fact that the current US administration is seeking jail terms on the order of 75 years in prison for the people arrested, including journalists, at the protests against the Trump inaguration.
Perhaps Russia should call for another UNSC emergency meeting in order to discuss and hopefully prevent human rights abuses resulting from this massive thread of a lifetime in jail for simply expressing a political point of view in a country that supposedly protects free speech and which seems to constantly lecture the rest of the world about ‘freedom’.
Iran in 2018
Paul Craig Roberts
In 1953 Washington and Britain overthrew the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a dictator to rule Iran for the benefit of Washington and the British. In declassified documents, the CIA has admitted its role in overthrowing the Iranian government. The overthrow pattern is always the same. Washington hires protesters, then introduces violence, controls the explanation, and unseats the government.
Ever since the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Washington-installed dictator in1979, Washington has been trying to regain control of Iran. In 2009 Washington financed the “Green Revolution,” which was an attempt to overthrow the Ahmadinejad government.
Today Washington is again at work against the Iranian people. It is difficult to believe that any Iranian, after watching what Washington-organized protests have done to Hondurus, Libya, Ukraine, and Syria, have attempted to do to Iran in 2009, and is attempting to do today to Venezuela, could possibly in good faith go out into the streets against their own government. Are these Iranian protesters utterly stupid or are they hired to commit treason against their country?
Why does Iran permit foreign-funded operatives to attempt to destabilize the government as Ukraine did and as Venezuela does today? Are these governments so brainwashed by the West that they think that democracy means permitting foreign agents to attempt to overthrow the government?
Are governments so intimidated by the Western presstitutes that they find it challenging to defend themselves against foreign-paid provocateurs?
Having succeeded in causing violent protests in Iran, Washington now intends to use an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Iran in order to set the stage for more intervention against Iran. The Washington-incited violence has been turned into a “human rights issue” against Iran. Will Washington get away with it?
Iran’s fate is up to Russia and China. If Washington succeeds in destabilizing Iran, Russia and China are next. Russia seems to understand this. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said yesterday: “We warn the US against attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Just as the Russian government comprehended that Russia could not permit Washington’s destabilization of Syria, Russia understands she cannot permit the destabilization of Iran.
The leader of Turkey has aligned with Russia, declaring “obviously some people from abroad are provoking the situation.”
That is obvious to everyone but Americans, who are constantly lied to by “their” government and by the presstitute lie factories such as CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, BBC.
Trump and Haley are the type of loudmouths who are likely to break Washington’s power and influence over the world. They “take names,” admit that they bribe foreign leaders, and issue insane threats. If this doesn’t wake up the rest of the world, nothing will.
Thanks for the explanation on Iranian social culture. Adds a very helpful dimension of what is happening there.
About wsws, I think you are being too diplomatic. ;-)
Take a look at this:
Assad regime guns down protesters in Syria
Deja Vu? Yup. Interestingly wsws did note that the 2009 “green” regime changers were right wing proxies of america.
So either something went wrong at wsws between 2009 and 2011, or the zionazis became more desperate by 2011 and eschewed and decided to put their more covert assets behind the “greater” israel cause.
My view is the latter.
Over the years I’ve noticed wsws is rather bland and sanitized, little mention of anything relating to israel or zionazi influence among the capitalists. In my opinion wsws has been been both occupied and compromised by zionazi elements.
“The fact is, unless you are 100% Trotskyist, nothing is ever good enough for the WSWS. They aren’t really trying to “win” – they are trying to be “right”.”
Yes and no. They, and most fake leftists, use that attitude to sabotage positive change that goes against zionazi interests, and often non zionazi capitalist interests. It is an intentional manipulative smokescreen.
As you pointed out about the way wsws ends articles with a despondent view of “since it ain’t trot, it’s useless” (paraphrase) leaves a reader depressed and feeling disempowered and helpless. That is the intention. It is a carefully worked out strategy (psywar) the zio-“left” neuters the left so they remain passive and ineffectual, IE: what, they forgot to dot the I, well it’s useless then, let’s call it quits, go home and watch tv.
or the zionazis became more desperate by 2011 and eschewed and decided to put their more covert assets behind the “greater” israel cause.
Should be: eschewed their usual deep cover and…
Iran Envoy to UN: Tehran Has ‘Hard Evidence’ Protests Incited From Abroad
“We have hard evidence of the violence in Iran by a handful of the protesters, in some cases resulting in the deaths of policeman and security officers, being very clearly directed from abroad,” Khoshroo said on Friday.
Iranian Envoy to the UN Gholam Ali Khoshroo also stressed that the United States is abusing its power as a member of the United Nations Security Council and as a permanent member of the council by calling a meeting to discuss the protests in Iran.
“The move by the United States to bring to this council protests in Iran by some of our citizens for legitimate grievances some exacerbated by none other than US itself in its dereliction of its obligation under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] is an abuse of its power as a permanent member and an abuse of the council itself,” Khoshroo said on Friday.
Moreover, Khoshoroo pointed out instigators based in the United States and Europe have been seen inciting violence during the protests in Iran. The instigation has included such activities as encouraging and training people to use Molotov cocktails, capture ammunition depots and stage an armed uprising.
Iran should be the one calling for an investigation into the role of foreign elements instigating violence in the country, Khoshroo concluded.
Meanwhile, China’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Wu Haitao said Friday his country took note of protests in Iran but believed they were its domestic issue that lay outside of UN’s scope.
“The Iranian situation does not pose any threat to international peace or security nor is it on the agenda of the Security Council. Discussing this domestic situation of Iran by the Council is a practice that is not in line with the Council’s responsibilities,” he said at the meeting. “China takes note of the recent domestic developments of Iran,” Wu admitted, adding Beijing trusted the Iranian government with doing what needs to be done to keep the country stable. He stressed UN’s interference would not help resolve the issue.
Nebenzia pointed out the real reason for convening the meeting was not a desire to protect human rights or promote the interest of the Iranian people, but rather an attempt to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“It is obvious for everyone that the topic chosen today does not fall within the prerogatives established by the UN charter,” Nebenzia said. “The real reason for convening today’s meeting is not an attempt to protect human rights or promote the interest of Iranian people, but rather an attempt to use the current moment to continue to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”
“Today we are witnessing how the United States is abusing the platform of the Security Council,” Nebenzia stated on Friday. “Why the United States, a permanent member of the Security Council, is undermining the authority of the Security Council as the main body which is responsible for maintaining international peace and security?”
If the Security Council follows the logic of the United States, they should have called meetings after violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri or waves of unrest in any Western country, Nebenzia said.
The UN Security Council briefing on Iranian protests was another foreign policy flop by the administration of US President Donald Trump, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Friday.
“The UNSC rebuffed the US’ naked attempt to hijack its mandate. Majority emphasized the need to fully implement the JCPOA and to refrain from interfering in internal affairs of others. Another FP blunder for the Trump administration,” he tweeted.”
Which it was, but don’t expect the zionazi propaganda machine to report it that way, nor let up on their attack against Iran.
@ Ramin and Saker
Can you possibly write or publish a piece or two about the effect of sanctions? I gather that those who did not lived under them can not fully understand their effect. Understanding their effect can help understand better the situation in Iran.
Great article…hhmm..I note that capitolist british lower class has not been lifted….any writers out there who could write about uk socialism or lack of…is it just some noise over a metaphorical tannoy that no one wants to listen to any more….is socialism “anything useful “actually happening in the tide or groundswell of uk life and economy….is it just a great pretence in the move away from EU “socialism”…..
“The working class unrest in Iran: The WSWS replies to an apologist of the Iranian regime”
I draw your readership’s attention to this reply by the WSWS to this critical and unserious political criticism of its original post (which may be found at http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/01/04/pers-j04.html)
Again, no mention of support demos for the government. Again advocates against the nuke deal, the israeli/zionazi strategy to return Iran back to isolation, and therefore easier to attack with their “soft war” activities. And a first I’ve seen from the left, while it payed lip service to Iraq starting the 1980s war, it essentially denied the u.s. role fomenting the war, and put most of the blame on Iran for the war. Another zionazi history rewrite to favour their expansionist zionazi goals. And all written in that phony left wing manner that diquises zionazi and other capitalist policy as defense of working class interests.
By setting the goals (of working class struggle) absurdly high, they can then denounce any advance or defense of people as collaborationist and counter to left wing practice. This is a very carefully formulated aspect of the psywar the zionazis and non zionazi oligarchy in the west created to counter the left and defuse it.
yeah, that part about the Iran-Iraq war stunned me. They basically said that the Iranians somehow started the war by standing up for Iran and traditional Iranian territory claims. While ignore Donald Rumsfeld flying over to Baghdad to recruit Saddam Hussein for this war.
Its interesting how they use the traditional USA method of claiming its all your fault the war began because you didn’t surrender to us and give us everything we demanded.
The Iranian revolution was not initially Islamic nor did this seamlessly lead on to a successful Islamic republic. The revolution was wild and it could have gone in any direction. I do not agree that the Chinese working class has been ‘enormously lifted’. Zoroastrianism is not a monotheistic religion.
“Zoroastrianism is not a monotheistic religion.”
The Basics of Zoroastrianism
An Introduction for Beginners
“Zoroastrianism is arguably the world’s oldest monotheistic religion. It is centered on the words of the prophet Zoroaster and focuses worship upon Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Wisdom.
Modern Zoroastrianism is strictly monotheistic. Ahura Mazda alone is to be worshiped, although the existence of lesser spiritual beings is also recognized.”
There are a number of reasons why modern Zoroastrianism is sometimes described as monotheistic, but the reality is rather more complicated. There is certainly no comparison between Zoroastrianism and the genuinely monotheistic Abrahamic religions. Zoroastrianism actually combines henotheism with a kind of cosmic dualism. It is a quite unique form of religion. To make matters more complicated Zoroastrianism also had an extinct and heretical sect called Zurvanism which worshipped the deity Zurvan ‘Time’ as the creator of both Ahura Mazda and Ahriman. Catherine Beyer’s article is simple enough to be understood by schoolchildren, which in relation to a subject as complicated as this makes it wildly inaccurate. I recommend ‘Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices’ by Mary Boyce.
I’d only seen reference to Zoroastrianism as monotheistic before, thought your initial comment odd, and ran a simple search on that. Thanks for the reply, it inspired a relook.
I was just over at WSWS, and I read their reply article to Mr. Mazaheri. I won’t post a link here, but its easily found near the top of their page. Its in their commentary column, beneath an ad for what sounds to be an interesting conversation with Chris Hedges. Of course, I ususlly find Chris Hedges to be interesting.
After decades of reading leftist sites, normally I’d avoid like the plague any article that is titled as being a ‘reply’ to someone or something else. But since I’ve found Mr. Mazaheri’s articles to be very interesting and informative, and since I’d contributed some to this debate, I went ahead and read their reply article.
First, I really don’t like name calling as a debate tactic. I don’t find that useful in the least. In fact, since it is usually going to be divisive, its the opposite of useful. It doesn’t help in the least towards building the big coalitions and movements that it will take to effect any real change upon the western-corporate-feudal societies. Thus, I don’t find very attractive their debating tactic of trying to dismiss what someone says as being ‘an apologist’ for the Iranian government. In America right now, there is way too much of that going on, virtually replacing any informed and serious debate.
Their defense of their belief that the Tudah party had ‘deep roots’ in Iran seems rather lame and evidence free. They basically claim it existed before Mosadeigh, and had some vague influence then. Then they make the evidence-free assertion that it was influential in the 1979 revolt. They then as loyal Trotskyists the writer attacks the Tudeh Party for being ‘Stalinists’, and if the reader manages to somehow connect some poorly connected dots, then blames these Stalinist for the influence the Khomeini and the clerics had or gained over the people. So, I take it that if they were indeed influential, they were in a manner that made them harmful to their own cause.
The article gets even harder to follow after that. They claim that Iran is not anti-Imperialist, and cite that Iran has been willing to negotiate and even make deals with the US when it was helpful to them. I suppose I have a simple definition of ‘anti-Imperalist’, and since Iran is currently engaged in struggle against the Empire, that makes them a part of the club in my book.
But I suppose that Iran does not meet the Trotskyist definition of themselves as the perfect anti-Imperialist, thus since they are not perfect then Iran apparently doesn’t make the grade.
This article pretty much sums up the WSWS website in my mind. Politically, they are powerless. They have a few small parties that don’t get many votes in various countries. They ran a candidate for President in the USA in 2016. Did they have any impact at all? Can anyone name this candidate? Can anyone say how many votes they got? After all, I’m guessing most here could name Clinton and Trump as candidates. A fair number could name Johnson and Stein as 3rd and 4th party candidates. But where was the Socialist Equality Party in this election?
A: The candidate was Jerry White. I’m sure you saw lots of bumper stickers and yard signs with his name on it Mr. White got a whopping total of 469 votes. Yep, 469. Wow. The party’s power base is located in Lousiana for some reason, where Mr. White got 370 of his 469 total votes. They were on the ballot in 4 states. They even managed not to get on the ballot in the states where its easy to get on the ballot. Which tells me that they had absolutely no one supporting them in those states. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_third-party_and_independent_presidential_candidates,_2016
And that’s my problem with the WSWS and their movement. They have zero power. And since they appear to be firmly if not fanatically committed to continuing to do what they have been doing, don’t seem like they’ll be a political force anytime soon. Maybe they’ll set a goal to get more than 500 votes in 2020. After all, that would be a 6% gain on 2016, which would show that they are growing in popularity.
They don’t know how to organize politically. They are too pure to adapt their views to anyone else, and instead spend a lot of their time and energy attacking others that are not nearly the worst around, but who aren’t pure enough for the WSWS.
It is interesting that what Mr. Mazaheri calls the “top daily-news leftist website” has had almost zero effect organizing politically around their views. If you have people reading your website, then translating that to 469 votes in the entire nation is pitiful.
Small groups that are ineffective but which maintain idealogical purity are not what we need. We need a powerful, unified movement that can make a US election a three-way race. With the same in Congressional elections, because we’ve seen with Trump that wining the Presidency without first getting support in Congress nearly useless. Because in American politics, only winning counts. And anyone who wants to change that system has to win first in order to be able to change it.
Thus, it would have been far better if the SEP (the WSWS’s political party) hadn’t run a candidate at all, but had instead formed a coalition with other more populer candidates on the left. But then they couldn’t claim to be so perfect and pure and always right, and obviously that’s their highest priority politically.
US Exploiting Iran Protests to Dump 2015 Nuclear Deal: Russian Ambassador to UN
“The Friday comments by Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia followed a hastily-called emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) — at the demand of the US ambassador — in which Washington sought to paint the current Tehran administration as corrupt, incompetent and totalitarian, a spin noted by UN members to be a pretext to dismantling the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran.
“The United States is abusing the platform of the Security Council,” said Russian Ambassador Nebenzia.
“Let Iran deal with its own problems,” Nebenzia advised, adding, “The real reason for convening today is not to protect human rights or promote the interests of the Iranian people, but rather a veiled attempt to continue to undermine the Iranian nuclear agreement,”
Tehran was more to the point, observing what it referred to as a US overreach in the use of the UNSC body.
Iranian Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo asserted that the administration of US President Donald Trump — in the form of its current and widely-criticized ambassador Nikki Haley — was abusing its position as a permanent UNSC member in demanding the emergency meeting.
“It is unfortunate that despite the resistance on the part of some of its members, this council has allowed itself to be abused by the current US administration in holding a meeting on an issue that falls outside the scope of its mandate,” noted Khoshroo.”
Apparently the Russian ambassador is not on board the “keith jones” zionazi interests train.
While I don’t agree with everything in this article, the author is clearly sincere… I hope he will play a progressive role in Iran’s future.
Let’s be brutally honest here.
The Americans and other crusaders for so-called democracy and human rights don’t give a damn about the nations they shed copious crocodile tears for. They only give a damn about themselves.
As such, they will predictably seize upon any pretext issue as a geopolitical bludgeon against any nation that stands against the Anglo-American Zionist empire to any degree.
This applies not only to the American political class and Trump Regime, who are criminals to the core, but also the American nation itself–including its nominal Left wing organizations.
These American war criminals have no moral legitimacy chastizing anyone about democracy or human rights–except as directed towards themselves.
WSWS is zionist… what else is there to say that it’s complete garbadge!…
Very important article and some brilliant observations from the readers.
I had it with them (WSWS), a decade or so ago, when they called ethnically cleansed Serbs form Krajina “settlers” (in the areas where they escaped to) with all the negative connotations of someone coming to invade someone else’s land and take over their work and possetions. When I dared to point out the significance of this malicious and wrong label, I was called a hard nationalist and given a lecture on serbian guilt in braking up of socialist Yugoslavia and all the usual clap trap. Then I wrote back telling them that I lived in the country that practised socialism for decades and won’t have any lectures from armchair socialist wannabes such as themselves. I didn’t hear anything back after that.
It is important to note though that Tito was essentially a Trockite (a paranoid anti Serbian vs paranoid anti Russian) and that the Yugoslav brand of socialism discriminated against the majority nation interests and that the Serbian nation was methodically devided and diluted with actual settlers such as Albanians in Kosovo. Also, equally methodically, it whitewashed the crimes of Croatian clero-fascists allowing them to remain righteous and justified in their crimes in WW2 and therefore repeat them decades later. It is not by chance that the neo-liberals today (and under Clinton and Blair before) and their quasi socialist apologists such as WSWS continue to demodnise Serbs. What are the roots of this…..please anoyone?
As far as ideologies are concerned, there are both purists and realists. Both, I think, are necessary. Without purists we never really know what we are fighting for or against. Without realists we have little hope for any practical progress. From reading Mr Mazaheri’s articles he appears to me to be definitely in the realist camp. If Iran is an economically progressive society that’s a substantial achievement. I don’t read the WSWS web site but I don’t really see the point in criticizing an ideologically oriented site for not appreciating Iran as a “Socialist” society. I’d be much more interested in reading more on the progressive nature of the Iranian economic and financial systems.
Respectfully. Who decides how we fight? Those who tell us what to fight for or those (as you put it) who make practical progress. I have just read the response at WSWS to this article (kindly referred to by Alex Kramer) and can solemnly declare that I would not be lead by such a purist ideology (read rigid demagogy) even if my last breath is in question. What does “permanent revolution” mean? Is it a relentless defence of purist thought or a permanent and methodical distruction of everything and everyone who disagrees with it (revolution is violent or otherwise would be evolution), As for Iranin’s making progress, think about decades of imperialist obstruction and war and relentless sanctions before you think jobs and wages. Iranians have kept their nation together and are making new aliences in the world, Great nation with great history and identity, something that doesn’t go down well with Trockites (Islam or no Islam, socialism or no socialism).
WSWS has published a malicious takedown of Ramin Mazaheri.
If Iran is the socially progressive nature of the Iranian bourgeois-clerical regime is demonstratee by its HDI, presumably South Korea is a workers paradise?