On the way to the revolution … (part 3)

Part 3 in a series of conversations among active communist committees inside Iran, hosted by the Slingers Collective, discusses how to gain public trust, issues surrounding secret activism, and preparing for the upcoming uprisings. The first meeting was released as Part 1 and Part 2. This part constitutes the translated transcription of the second meeting.

The committees present at the meeting were as follows: the “Gilan Revolutionary Committee,” which formed during the Jina uprising in several key cities in Gilan province, located in the north of the country and along the Caspian Sea. This committee has been active in organizing demonstrations, distributing leaflets and posters, and establishing communication with the masses and trade unions in the province. The “Javad Nazari Fatahabadi Committee” is a covert committee formed during the November 2019 uprising, and its primary focus has been the establishment of secret cells. The “Red Revolutionary Youth Committee of Mahabad” is a city committee that emerged during the Jina uprising in the city of Mahabad in the Kurdistan region of Iran. It played a pivotal role in the uprising in this city, representing a communist faction in an area historically associated with the largest Kurdish nationalist party. The “Jian Group” is a core group of female fighters that formed in the early days of the Jina uprising and played a crucial role in organizing some of the most significant demonstrations in Tehran. “Street Militants Group” is another committee, predominantly composed of women, with connections to small towns where oppressed ethnic groups from Lor reside. Lastly, the “Zahedan Revolutionary Youth Core” is a committee based in Zahedan, the largest city in the southeastern region of Iran, predominantly inhabited by ethnically oppressed Baloch people. Broadly speaking, all these committees identify as “communist” and seek to establish an alternative around the political notion of council-based governance after the Islamic Republic. However, as the conversation reveals, this political orientation holds different meanings and implications for each of them.

Slingers: After the previous meeting, the comrades of some committees asked why we do not intervene in the discussions as the “Slingers” and suggested that this should happen. The truth is that we still think that the main authority in the discussions is the active comrades in the committees who are fighting inside the country, but at the same time, according to this suggestion, a representative from the Slingers will be present in the discussion. Apart from this, the second axis of the discussions, as it was already agreed upon, is: “the prospects of the struggle and the possibilities that are in front of the militants in general and the committees in particular”. I just remind you that, in this regard, the comrades of “Zahedan Revolutionary Youth Core” made a proposal in the last meeting that it would be good for the comrades to talk about the local conditions that their own committee is involved in, in this regard, different perspectives and horizons may be opened up, and while observing the security issues of the committees, we may also become familiar with the conditions in which each of the other committees are fighting.

Street Militants Group (SMG):

Hello friends, I am very happy to have this meeting and talk. I wish the discussion would be started by the comrades of “Zahedan Revolutionary Youth Core” who have also put forward a proposal, but we will start the discussion when the comrades are ready. We planned to talk about what possibilities and potentials exist in every region we are in. I prefer to talk about Tehran right now. Contrary to what is thought the repressions in Tehran are less than in the other provinces, in my opinion, this is not the case. From the executions of the 1980s to the chain murders of the 1990s, most of which took place in Tehran, from the killing of ‘louts’ in different neighborhoods to the killing of intellectuals and some government agents. Up to 1999 and 2009, it was like that, and we reach 2019 and 2022, where the names of many of those who were killed in Jina Uprising from some neighborhoods in southern Tehran, despite the statistics collected locally and in the field, are not yet known. My opinion is that the repression in Tehran, contrary to what we see, is very complicated, deep, and mysterious based on the mixed demographic and immigrant context it has. Of course, the dimensions of repression may be different in any place. For example, they killed people in one way in Karaj, one way in Naziabad [a poor neighborhood of Tehran], and another way in working-class neighborhoods. But what should be noted is that there are many facilities in Tehran compared to other cities. In my opinion, it is very necessary to refer to these areas with a neighborhood-oriented approach and establish a permanent relationship with them. Either in the form of presenting an alternative or in the form of broadcasting a statement, especially among the precarious working class and women who, in my opinion, were seriously present in September 2019 or in this movement and previous movements, or teenagers and young people who were present in these movements. Before, it was only the university, but since 2019, teenagers have entered the fight, so I think it is very good to work on this group in the neighborhoods and promote how to dress during the fight, how to choose a name, check the camera or not give unnecessary information, and other things that need to be clarified. Therefore, what the committees should move towards is creating a network relationship where no one is supposed to know the members of other branches, but reports are prepared in groups and provided to the committee so that a networked but regular relationship is formed. It should not be like that we go to a neighborhood today, and later we will leave there. In my opinion, with our connections and according to the interests and tastes of those people, without this communication, without being one-sided or without awareness, but based on the knowledge that we gain from that environment, we should shape the communication. At the same time, we should also mention the security risks, such as the guidance patrols that are present in Tehran, especially in the subway, or threats of acid attacks, because our friends were threatened by Basiji motorists in Tehran. Of course, there are similar cases in other provinces, but considering the population in Tehran, we can say that the repression is going on here in a different way and it should be dealt with under different conditions.

Red Revolutionary Youth Committee of Mahabad (RRYCM):

Hello my friends! I hope you are all well, may your fight last. I don’t want to talk about the fighting conditions of Mahabad or Kurdistan at this time and I would like to talk about what facilities we have in general. The possibilities available to us as Marxists and communists and socialists are very limited. We don’t have a big media, we don’t have any military facilities and the rest of the facilities and tools to exercise power, and the only facilities we have is our discourse, a discourse that expresses reality. What is the current reality? Oppression, discrimination, inequality, environmental destruction, exploitation of nature and humans based on profit, and many other things exist. But how will we be successful in promoting this discourse? This goes back to us, to the communists, who should ask ourselves how we got inclined to communism, socialism, and Marxism. This is our moral image. In the previous meeting, I also mentioned the issue of communist ethics and the fact that we can multiply in ethics. Our future prospects depend on our current performance. Part of our activity is open and part of it is hidden. For example, organizations or associations of retirees, teachers, and others that pour into the streets for union demands are considered public activities and are an exercise for organizing in the future, and this organization can lead to the formation of a nationwide organization. We are sure that in order to win the revolution or bring the revolution to victory in Iran, we need a nationwide organization, or party to lead the revolution. Of course, I mean those organizations that are created in the heart of the revolution and in the conditions of the balance of power, not that we use existing organizations. We really need such an organization. Without a mass organization, we cannot win the revolution, and it is possible that our revolution will fail like in 1979, or it will suffer from existing sectarianism, or it will lead to a change of power or the intervention of imperialism in Iran again. Regarding the issue of communist ethics, we go back to the history of Kurdistan after 1979, when the third-line [1] organization of the Komala Party [2] of Iranian Kurdistan was organized, and the Democratic [Party], which already existed and was considered an extremely powerful force in Kurdistan, took root. But we can see that before the Islamic Republic, the Democratic Party attacked all the progressive forces of the third line and massacred all those forces in Mahabad and other cities around Mahabad where the fighters and loyalist guerrillas were based. This massacre started with the assassination of Salahuddin Shams Burhan [3], who had returned to Mahabad in 1977 and had organized the people, had been the initiator of the formation of a part of the councils, and had formed the local defense committee in most of the organizations and councils. Therefore, the dangers we are actually facing in Kurdistan, especially in Mahabad, are the Islamic Republic and the nationalist parties. We see that the Democratic Party massacred hundreds of honorable communist cadres within four to six years, but what made it not reach Komala?

And what made Komala able to take half of Kurdistan in his hands despite the fact that it had little experience and life? We are not starting from scratch in Kurdistan. We have a historical platform and discourse of the left and the progressive movement on the basis of which we can start and continue our struggles. What I realized from what I heard and reading history is that Komala was able to spread throughout Kurdistan, and wherever there was a Communist cadre of Komala, that region, that neighborhood, that village, or city tended to Komala because it had expressed the real needs of the people and the real pain and suffering of them and had solutions for those problems. This caused the proliferation of Komala despite the fact that the Islamic Republic through the mosques, and the Democratic Party said negative things about Komala or spread destructive propaganda that “Komala wants to marry brothers and sisters”, or “the communist means that there is no God”. In the end, when Komala reached the vicinity of Mahabad and the villages around Bukan, the Democratic Party, because it could not stop Komala and did not have a discourse to express the real needs of the people and solve them, had to take up arms and confront Komala. This war lasted for about six years and unfortunately, 1200 communist cadres, 1200 honorable people were killed. Exactly what I want to point out is that our discourse is our possibilities. And this is the importance of the issue of the committees and organizations and nuclei that exist and we give a local name, and it is necessary to have at least a one-person committee in every city and in every big neighborhood. Because a communist cadre in revolutionary conditions and in conditions of balance of power can really organize thousands of people around him/her, of course, on the condition that he/she is not killed or assassinated by the right opposition parties. Because of this, the most important task that is currently in front of us is that we can be as much as possible the stimulus for the formation of secret committees, organizations, and cores and try to form and develop the revolutionary cadres, which in my opinion is the most important thing that we should focus on, because we are in revolutionary conditions, but we are not in a state of balance of power. Our main role is manifested in the conditions of the balance of power and in the conditions of the elevation of the revolution. At that time, the field will be a little more open for us and we can talk, we can raise our voices, and gather people around us. But we have not reached a sufficient number and we need to be a stimulus to be able to organize and develop those who have the potential for revolution in other cities of Iran and in places where we have good connections, so that they can become an actual revolutionary cadre. In the conditions of the balance of power, they can organize a city alone or at least a very large neighborhood, because the discourse of the communists is a real discourse arising from the suffering and pain and real needs of the people, which does not deceive people by making illusions for them. The next issue is how communists should behave. This goes back to communist ethics. We are honest, we are honorable, and we do not treat people badly, we are not unfair to people, and we are not greedy for people’s property. When people see these facts, be sure that people also have the power to analyze between right and wrong things. If they have some choice, be sure that they can choose between good and bad, and select the former.

Gilan Revolutionary Committee (GRC):

Hello my friends! I would like to start my discussion by looking at this situation. That is, in order to know what facilities are available for the committees, we have to look at how we see the situation right now. If we consider this situation as a pause in the middle of two upsprings, we will have one perspective, and if we do not accept that this is a cyclical situation and has other characteristics, we should behave differently. We believe that this opportunity is a chance to breathe and we cannot act voluntaristically about the street. Many committees were formed at the height of the movement, maybe they found each other on the street, and this very good experience we had in the first few months of the movement and the importance of the street could have the risk for us to want to deal with the street voluntaristically; and to imagine that we can crowd the street just by our will without paying attention to the social conditions, which can be seen in the calls for rallies and other places. We hope more than anything that we have distanced ourselves from this view and in fact do not have a voluntaristic approach to the street. We have distanced ourselves from the idea that it’s only on the street that we can do something, the street in all its manifestations, including slogans, demonstrations, gatherings, and such things. The problem in this opportunity to breathe is to pay attention to the analysis of what has passed, to criticize ourselves, what we could have done and what we did not do, where we were weak, and to plan for the next uprising that will come. The importance of this breathing opportunity can be even more than the ups and downs of the movement if we can use it well and activate the available possibilities.

In the continuation of my speech, I would like to refer to what the comrades of RRYCM said about having a good character and being a good person with the same definition that we all know. This is very important and I think it is important for each of us, not because people will accept us when we are good people but because they will come and listen to us because we are good people. I consider a part of this good image to be away from the noisiness of cyberspace. We have to speak our own words in the virtual space, but we should avoid getting engaged in that noisiness. This will create a space for us in the time that will come soon and we can express our words more openly, so that they can listen to our words without necessarily accepting them. We are not looking for our words to be accepted, anyway, every acceptance is valuable if it is in pursuit of thought. Another point I wanted to add is about the type of activities, I want to add one level to the two levels mentioned by Mahabad’s comrades and say that in addition to completely public and completely secret activities, some of the activities must be both secret-public. It means that you cover a part of the activity and make parts of it public. In particular, you completely hide the ways of organizing that activity and make the parts that are necessary public. The issue of secret activity is so important to me that it is good to use the experiences we had in this country and our predecessors in the struggle. Hiding the activity is not supposed to be done only from the security forces, the problem is when we think hiding is not necessary. In any case, we must see what we are looking for. For example, if I want to tell a friend who is outside our committee about the importance of having a committee and how it helps the movement? I think we should take hiding a step further, not put the burden of having extra information on others and our comrades and force them to want to keep this information, which can have its own difficulties. In fact, I would like to add to the discussion of the secret activity, in addition to the discussion of its security points, which is very important, that the requirements of the secret work do not only mean that we need to watch the [the secret info on our] phone or things like that, the more difficult thing is that it seems to contradict our friendly and emotional relationships and we feel that we are not very good friends if we do not talk about all our activities and the details of our activities with other friends. This is more difficult because it is harder to convince yourself of this, but it is just as necessary. In my opinion, our activities should be defined on different levels, in terms of public activities in addition to the ones that the comrades mentioned, that is, the union activities that exist. 

It was very interesting, why didn’t housewives participate in the street? In my opinion, just as in the 1979 revolution, women who were much more traditional than our women in the current situation took to the streets and were present in a historical moment, even traditional and religious women who believed that when they are talking to a man, they should put their hands over their mouths. They came to the street and chanted slogans. In my opinion, in the path that the Islamic Republic is taking, this crisis will come and the street will inevitably start sooner or later. But how can we communicate with housewives today? Or with school kids or even neighborhood soccer team kids and friendship groups? In my opinion, we should have a specific and special program for each of these, we have more or less experience. Although when we talk about housewives, our wish is that these women become faithful revolutionaries, we must not forget that this is a path that must be followed step by step and cannot be followed suddenly. Maybe these women can be organized around their own desires, which they themselves plan. For example, we can create a fund or a cooperative with these women, of course, it is very difficult and we do not reach results directly. Or, for example, in the formation of sports teams in which the team behaves like a council model, we implement and advance the model of collective decision-making on the issues of the same sports team, or spending time with students watching a movie or reading a novel. I want to say that the discussions are not supposed to be frank and political. But if these groups are formed around watching movies, around funds, around sports, at that moment when the street will start, these will acquire a political character, and we are faced with ready-made groups with whom we can travel the path much faster and together towards a revolutionary change.

Another thing that I think is essentially important about the committees is that we have to answer this right now: what is the council administration? What do we want from such a thing? What exactly is the alternative that we are planning? By doing this, we would be able to talk about this alternative, promote it and have answers to the questions that will undoubtedly arise. A danger and concern can be that we are impatient to overthrow more than we are impatient to design alternatives, and this can have dangerous and worrisome effects. Certainly, another very important issue about what committees can do is what we are doing now. Well done to the Slingers’ comrades who provided the opportunity for the committees to communicate with each other. This connection and this exchange of our experiences is very positive even to this extent and undoubtedly contains the seeds of wider and deeper activities that will be fruitful at the right time.

Zahedan Revolutionary Youth Core (ZRYC):

Greetings and good time to all comrades! I begin my discussion with what a group or organization should be. Comrades said that it should be public and semi-public, I want to add another part to it, which is completely secret. That is, public, semi-public and completely secret, which can be addressed as to why a group or nucleus or union organization needs a completely secret section. There are many reasons, for example, in the case of a specific group, which I will not name, the security agencies came and arrested the people active in that group before the gatherings were held. They had done a lot of work and they knew and they were operating openly, the security forces said, well, let’s take them, the story is over and the case will be dismissed, and then they went to their semi-public part and beat them, but the activities of that nucleus and group continued. And they would make a statement and specify the gathering place, and this is where that completely secret part becomes important. I think we need a left group. I have felt the need for an active group in all sectors in our province and I think now is the time for us to create this because of the revolution that has happened. Considering the potential that our province has, the platform for this type of activity is better compared to other provinces. Why? Due to the repression that is happening and due to the lack of facilities available in the province. For example, if you enter Sistan-Baluchistan from Kerman or from Mashhad, it is as if you are entering another world. Looking from the south, giving the Chabahar Sea to the Chinese, giving the Chabahar port to the Indians, and building a railway line. Why, after a long time, did the Islamic Republic suddenly realize that Sistan-Baluchistan has a mine and can use its port and sea and many other things? This was the backdrop that remained untouched and now they have invaded Sistan-Baluchistan. As a rule, this has created limitations for us, which itself paves the way for other opportunities. For example, in the north of the province, the issue of successive droughts is itself a context for activity. In the student activities, our University of Nursing and Medical Sciences is waiting for a spark to ignite. It can be pointed out that efforts were made, gatherings were formed, meetings were held, but in the end, these gatherings were fragmented. What can be seen in our province is that the same people easily left and worked in other cities. Now we have to think about what the working conditions were like in our province when they left, a comparison should be made. I am sure there are some problems, just some time ago there was a statistic about the level of illiteracy in Sistan-Baluchistan province, which is a very, very important issue that always causes us problems. Weakness in informing the people about the issue of the economy, and many other issues. In our province and the whole of Iran, there are objective conditions for struggle, but why are mental conditions not created? People in the province are struggling with many problems: economic problems, health and treatment problems, housing problems, for example in Shirabad neighborhood of Zahedan, which you have all heard of, housing rent is equal to Yaftabad, Tehran, but you just compare the living conditions in Yaftabad, Tehran with Shirabad, Zahedan. There, the economy is different, the culture is different. These are the problems that a dweller of Zahedan is involved with and usually gets him/her into trouble. Therefore, in my opinion, the most important issue is that we do not have proper training and awareness in our own province, and this weakness itself is caused by the lack of proper groups and organizations. The same issue of women, whether in our Baloch society or in our non-Baloch society, is a very important and bold and strange issue. For example, when you talk to a woman about why you accept your husband’s bullying, you hear the answer that it is my duty, and this kind of answer is actually due to lack of education. So, in addition to the fact that the way is paved, at the same time, the activity is very difficult and we must act so strongly to achieve the result.

Javad Nazari Fathabadi Committee (JNFC):

Thanking all the comrades who spoke here, I will take a little of your time in line with what was said and also according to the points I have prepared. I will start from the discussion about the issue of ethics and then I will present my formulation of the issue of the prospects of the campaigns and the possibilities that are in front of the committees. Laying hands on communist ethics and things like this that we are talking about is the right point, but we have to see how to realize this good communist ethics in the material sense of the word in the field of battle. If we take a look at the past history, we will see that the comrades of the People’s Fedai Guerrillas were facing the same crisis when the armed struggle began. What does this mean? The problem they were facing was that due to the pacifism that the Tudeh Party had shown during the 1953 coup d’état and the failure of the coup, the most powerful leftist organization in the 1940s had destroyed the credibility and prestige that the Left had bought for itself through revolutionary activities. As a result, the devoted comrades were forced to undertake a more difficult task, which was to reject the theory of survival, in fact, sacrifice their lives so that they can once again restore the public’s favor to the revolutionary left. The point we are facing today is that due to the anti-leftist bombardment carried out by the right-wing media on the one hand and some forms of individual behavior on the part of those who were known as communists and leftists, this credibility and public trust in the left is not strong today. Despite the fact that the atmosphere of society is very fertile for the growth of leftist thought. In terms of the livelihood problems that exist, in terms of the demand for social justice and the demand for equality that took place in the struggles of trade union activists from pensioners to teachers and students in the 1990s, everything testifies that the land is fertile, but it needs forces that can overcome these impasses in terms of theory and practice and be able to achieve activities in the practical field, through which the left will once again gain its favor and have a say in the society.

Let me add to the discussion of fighting perspectives and possibilities. As I said, in my opinion, we are in a situation where the land is fertile for communist activity, and what happened during the uprising of Jina and in general, one of the openings that emerged due to revolutionary activities, is that local communication is possible due to the formation of nuclei. And as the comrades in Gilan, Zahedan, Mahabad, and Street Fighters Group talked about it, good communication is being formed. There are good mediators for this. As Gilan’s comrades pointed out, the formation of funds, especially labor funds, slogan writing cores, analysis cores, the establishment of a library, and as Zahedan’s comrades said, even contributing to the increase of literacy actions, are actually a set of revolutionary activities that help to make local links and also to build a moral image for the left. Another issue is the promotion and publicity of the vision that has been opened before us, that it is possible to carry out promotion-propaganda activities both in terms of slogan writing and in terms of analyzing the existing conditions. In the current situation, we need revolutionary nutrition to be given to the forces and people by various committees, an analysis of the situation, a policy to be given, and with the few media artillery that we have at our disposal, we need to be able to alter this media representation of us. For example, by means of short notes, by distributing leaflets among the revolutionary forces, and by obtaining a summary of the conditions, we can draw them towards us. Let’s not forget that in many decisive revolutionary moments, what pushed the forces forward were some pamphlets whose type and form was a summary form. Whether we consider the “Communist Manifesto” in 1848, whether we consider the text “What is to be done” by Lenin in 1903, or whether we consider “The Necessity of Armed Struggle and Rejection of Survival Theory” by Amir Parviz Pouyan, these texts were those whose genre was summary and in their time they managed to light the way in front of many fighters. From this point of view, one should never get tired of revolutionary theoretical work, because it is a perspective opener for the forces that are thirsty and the forces that hope for this revolutionary process that is going on. Another issue is making political cadres. We are in a situation where the revolutionary talent among the fighters has increased, and we must choose from this revolutionary talent and invest face-to-face in the forces that have that talent. Recruitment in such a situation should be person-by-person and based on quality, and one should sweat and do activities for cadre-making, observe this space with open eyes and ears, and see the revolutionary forces. It is in the midst of these conditions of the uprising that the forces are raised to a level that was not expected of them before. As a result, the timing for cadre-making should be dealt with properly. Another point that was mentioned in the talks of our comrades from GRC, and I agree with it very much, is that we should not only look at the fact that in the next revolution of Iran, we would be the vanguards, the issue of tomorrow is also the issue of the revolution. We have a moment of revolution and we have a day after it when the challenges and the hegemonic battles are just beginning, we must be ready for that time as well. If we want to say it more clearly, maybe with this hegemony that the right has in the current situation, it will be a temporary and short-term winner of a future revolution in terms of the forces that want to rise up during the ballot box and things like this, but this is not the end of the game, and it’s just a matter of holding street rallies, holding speeches, publishing organizational organs, as the comrades said, organizing secret, semi-secret and public activities takes on a serious quality, and then we must be ready to face many big and small events. As a result, in my opinion, apart from having an eye on the future revolution of Iran today, we should also have an enlightened and timely view on the tomorrow of the revolution and the weighing that will happen in it.

In the present circumstances, we find ourselves amid historical perspectives, wherein the situation relies on committee developments, slogans, and the reinforcement of the cultural aspect of the movement in terms of artistic productions and the growth of covert activities. As we previously mentioned, revolutionary violence has gained more credibility and prominence compared to December 2017 and 2009. This serves as evidence that a bright historical perspective lies ahead of us. However, this clear historical perspective is contingent upon the ability to elucidate theoretical complexities and explain the subject from various aspects to passionate people.

Regarding restoring ethical legitimacy from the leftist perspective, which our RRYCM comrades have adeptly addressed, the heart of the issue lies in the methodology within the framework of the leftist ideology for the revival and restoration of ethical legitimacy. Taking correct and timely political positions is one of the factors that can contribute to the restoration. Timely and accurate engagement in revolutionary action, even if necessitating recourse to assertive measures, represents an alternative approach that can potentially strengthen the left’s credibility. Another issue discussed among GRC’s comrades concerns the notion of an alternative. Today, when we refer to the Council’s management as an alternative, we must characterize this alternative across various levels.

At one point, around the time of the COVID-19 pandemic or the floods in Iran in 2019, or during the activities of Ahvaz and Haft Tappeh steel in 2017 and 2018, the term “Council’s management” had reached a level of prominence where even visual media outlets like Iran International couldn’t deny that it echoed as a rallying shout within universities and the labor community. However, today, we are witnessing a retreat in this regard, and it is crucial that we once again enlighten our ranks and initiate the process of loading meaning into the concept of “alternative” for the masses. Only through this reassessment can we place our influence on this movement and uprising.

Another critical topic mentioned in the discussions among comrades is the organizational issue. Just like our dear comrades in RRYCM pointed out, we need a strong and widespread revolutionary organization that is rooted within our own country. This organization should be different from the existing leftist groups and emerge from our movement’s very core. Without such an organization, we won’t be able to play a significant role in the future of the Iranian revolution, and the left won’t be effective in promoting alternative ideas.

It’s our responsibility to bring people’s thoughts and efforts together in an organized way. As was also mentioned in a recent text by our comrades in Slingers Collective some communists are becoming more focused on individualism and less interested in forming structured organizations. We need to overcome this tendency and revive the importance of working together as an organized group.

In the periods following the 1988 massacre, an atmosphere was created that allowed for self-criticism within a segment of the intellectual forces, leading to a tendency for organizational detachment. However, in another part of the left, organizational activities continued to ensure its survival. For example, in the syndicalist movements that took place in the first decade of the 21st century or in labor activities in regions like Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Mahabad, and Marivan, a portion of the left, often referred to as the orthodox left, maintained its involvement in organizational activities.

On the other hand, the segment of the left that achieved theoretical hegemony perceived organizational activity as synonymous with dictatorship, the erosion of individual rights, and the fragmentation of individuality by organizations. As a result, criticism of organizational practices shifted from a call for change within organizations to a complete rejection of organizations themselves.

This is a matter that we are seriously experiencing its consequences today. We are facing a crisis where, out of every ten active leftists, one or two individuals possess an organizational spirit and can rely on them for serious covert activity. It’s an issue that we must write about, discuss, and build frameworks around. Another matter is how we can highlight the links between oppression, as was evident in the discussions of our comrades in the recent meeting of the Jian Group: how class oppression has intertwined with gender, national, and environmental oppression. Our comrade pointed to an example from Zahedan, showing how in these underprivileged areas of Sistan and Baluchestan, we witness the interlocking of these four forms of oppression, forming a trap for revolutionary subjects, involving class, gender, nationality, and environmental issues. We must expose these and mobilize people against them. Thus, it means that we have a duty to utilize the resources we have to preserve this clear historical perspective before us. Alongside the unveiling of theoretical complexities, we need to combat these two forces in these circumstances: one being the opposition, and the other being the individualist communists who are, in fact, obstructing organization-building, framing, and revolutionary theoretical development in these fruitful conditions. These uprisings have created fruitful conditions for the left to grow and expand once again, and it would be an opportunity wasted if we don’t utilize the resources we have to direct these issues towards our goals.


[1] The third line referred to a tendency within the communist movement of Iran which, in contrast to “line one” (represented by the Tudeh Party of Iran – aligned with its international counterparts), viewed the Soviet Union as social-imperialist, or at the very least, revisionist after Stalin’s era. It diverged from the second line (embraced by Organization of Iranian People’s Fedai Guerrillas) in terms of armed policy, considering such a policy disconnected from the masses. The third line included a spectrum wherein differing degrees of inclination towards Maoism or the Albanian line were present.

[2] Komala (Kurdistan’s Organization of the Communist Party of Iran) is a communist organization formed after the 1979 revolution. The primary founding members of Komala hailed from active political circles in different cities of Kurdistan, particularly in southern Kurdistan of Iran. It emerged as one of the two significant parties in Iranian Kurdistan and played a crucial role in land distribution among peasants, the establishment of labor and peasant councils, the formation of local committees and city councils, as well as political union organizations.

[3] Salahuddin Shams Burhan was one of the leading cadres of the Union of Communists of Iran in Kurdistan and Mahabad, who was assassinated by agents of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran in Mahabad on July 3, 1980.

Comment here