Category Archives: Islam

Bill Bland: The Case of Sultan-Galiyev

Sultan-Galiyev

This article was published by Alliance (Marxist-Leninist) as part of the publication Alliance, issue #51, “Pan-Arabic or Pan-Islamic ‘Socialism.’”

By Comrade Bland of the Communist League (UK); was written for the Marxist-Leninist Bureau Report no 3; and presented to the Stalin Society (circa 1994)

Marxist-Leninist Research Bureau Report No. 3, dated 1995

MIR-SAID SULTAN-GALIYEV* was a Volga Tatar who was born in a village in Bashkiria in 1880. He studied first at the village mekteb (Muslim primary school), and then at the teacher’s training college of Kazan. He returned to his native village as a teacher, and then went to Ufa as librarian. From 1911 he contributed articles to many Russian and Tatar periodicals.

He joined the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in November 1917. The Central Commissariat for Muslim Affairs (Muskom) was created by government decree in January 1918, and later that year Sultan-Galiyev became its Chairman.

The Central Muslim Military Collegium (CMMC) was formed in April 1918 to direct  Muslim troops fighting on the Red side, and Sultan-Galiyev became its Chairman in December 1918. In 1920 he was promoted to membership of the three-man, Inner Collegium of the Commissariat of Nationalities (Narkomnats), under Stalin as Commissar, and was made co-editor of the Commissariat’s official ‘Zhizn Natsionalnostei’ (The Life of the Nationalities).

By 1920 Sultan-Galiyev:

“had become the most important Muslim in the entire Soviet hierarchy and had acquired a unique position from which to influence the Eastern policies of the Communist regime.”

(Richard Pipes: ‘The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism: 1917, 1923’; Cambridge (USA); 1954; p. 169).

Sultan-Galiev and his followers formed

“The so-called right-wing of the Tatar Communist Party.”

(Richard Pipes: ibid.; p. 169),

which:

“had a distinct political ideology.”

(Pipes: ibid.; op. cit.; p. 169).

This political ideology became known as Sultan-Galiyevism.

Sultan-Galiyevism

Marxism-Leninism maintains that, in a colonial-type country, the revolutionary process must go through two successive stages — that of national-democratic revolution and that of socialist revolution. Marxist-Leninists must support the national-democratic revolution and strive to win leadership of that revolution for the working class and its party, so as to transform it, with the minimum possible interruption, into a socialist revolution that will construct a socialist society.

Sultan-Galiyevism, on the other hand, put forward the view:

1) ‘that Muslim peoples are ‘proletarian peoples’, so that national movements among them are movements of socialist revolution:

“The Muslim peoples are proletarian peoples. . . . National movements in Muslim countries have the characteristics of a socialist revolution.”

(Mir-said Sultan-Galiyev: Speech of 1918, in: Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ‘The Volga, Tatars: ‘A Profile in National Resilience”; Stanford (USA); p. 143).

“The material premises for a social transformation of humanity can be created only through the establishment of the dictatorship of the colonies and semi-colonies over the metropolises.”

(Mir Said Sultan-Galiev, in: Richard Pipes: op. cit.; p. 261).

2) That in areas inhabited by Muslims, the Communist Party must “integrate with Islam”:

In areas inhabited by Muslims, the CP:

“Must necessarily integrate its (Marxism’s – Ed.) teachings with those of Islam.”

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: ‘Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union: A Revolutionary Strategy for the:Colonial World”; page; 1979; p. 50).

and must accept:

“The need for conciliatory policies toward the Muslim religion and’ traditions.”

(Pipes: op. cit p. 170).

“The Muslim ‘national communists’ felt that . . . they had to reconcile Marxist teaching with that of Islam. They were therefore eager to preserve Islamic culture and the Muslim way of life. . . . Islam’s strong moral, social and political influence should be retained.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Marie Broxup: ‘The Islamic Threat to the Soviet State’; London; 1983; p. 82-83).

3) The integration of Marxism with Islam should be brouhgt about by a special party:

Sultan-Galiyev proposed that his programme must be brought about:

“By uniting the Muslim masses into an Autonomous Communist movement.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: op. cit.; p. 144).

“Sultan-Galiyev . . . stood for the formation of a special Muslim Communist Party.”

(Walter Kolarz: ‘Russia and Her Colonies’; London; 1952; p. 33).

4) that geographically large territorial units should be formed embracing as many Muslims as possible:

“Sultan-Galiyev, in particular. was an ardent defender of pan-Turkish and pan-Islamic ideas. He . . . advocated the union of the Volga Muslims with those of Central Asia.”

(Walter Kolarz: ibid. p. 33).

Sultan-Galiyev had:

“pan-Turanian ambitions and the desire to create a vast Tartar-Turkish state stretching from the Volga over Central Asia”.

(Edward H. Carr: ‘The Interregnum: 1923-1924’; London; 1954; p. 289).

“His (Sultan-Galiyev’s — Ed.) plan…was to begin with the creation of a Muslim state on the Middle Volga…To this state were to be joined, first the Turkic Muslims of Russia and later all the other Russian Muslims.”

(Geoffrey Wheeler: ‘The Modern History of Soviet Central Asia’ London 1964; p. 124).

“Sultan-Galiyev . . . elaborated the concept of the Republic of Turan, embodying all the Muslim revolutionaries’ pan-Islamic and pan-Turkic aspirations.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Marie Broxup: op. cit.; p. 84).

The Moves For a Seperate Muslim Communist Party (1918)

In March 1918, the lst Conference of the Muslim Toilers of Russia in Moscow:

“. . . adopted the decision to organise a Party of Muslim Socialist Communists.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: op. cit.; p. 145).

The leadership of the new party, headed by Sultan-Galiyev:

“Urged the Muslims to commit themselves to a purely Muslim Communist Party and refrain from joining the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks).”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 145).

and the new party:

“. . . was not joined organically to the Russian Communist Party.”

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op. cit.; p. 60).

Three months later:

“. . . in June 1918, at the First Conference of Muslim Communists, held in Kazan, the Party of Muslim Socialist-Communists was transformed into the ‘Russian Party of Muslim Communists (Bolsheviks)’. . . . It was to be open to Muslims only, was to have equal status with the RCB(b), and was to enjoy organisational independence to the extent of having its own Central Committee.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 145).

The Marxist-Leninists’ Counter-moves for a Unified Party (1918-20)

This movement by the “Sultan-galiyevists” for a separate Muslim Communist Party, came about during the Civil War. In this climate, it was tolerated since a counter-struggle was a distraction:

“Although not applauded by the RCP(b), was tolerated for purely tactical purposes under the stress of the Civil War.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 145).

But as soon as the danger from the Civil War had passed, the Marxist-Leninists counter-moved:

“As soon as the Bolsheviks . . . regained the upper hand in the Civil War, especially after recapturing Kazan in September 1918, Moscow moved.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 145).

At the 1st Congress of Muslim Communists in Moscow in November 1918, Sultan-Galiyev sought confirmation:

“Of the recognition of the autonomy of the Muslim Communist Party.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Quelquejay: ‘Les mouvements nationaux chez les Musulmans de Russie: Le ‘Sultangalievisme’ au Tatarstan’ (National Movements among the Muslims of Russia: Sultangaliyevism’ in Tatarstan) Paris; 1960; p. 128).

But Stalin:

“Representing the Central Committee of the RCP(b), rejected these demands in the name of centralism and administrative efficiency.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Quelquejay: ibid.; p. 128).

Stalin used the congress:

“To halt the centrifugal forces that had set the course for the emergence of a parallel and rival party organisation of the Russian Muslims. . . .The Russian Party of Muslim Communists underwent a substantial metamorphosis, re-emerging in the process as the ‘Central Bureau’ of Muslim Organisations of the RCP(b), whose central committee became the . . . Muskom (Central Commissariat for Muslim Affairs Ed.), presided over by Sultan Galiyev.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: op. cit.; p. 145).

Thus, the Central Bureau of Muslim Organisations:

“Found itself closely attached to the Russian Communist Party, all the more so since the chairman of the new Central Bureau of Muslim Organisations of the RCP(b) elected at the conclusion of the congress was Stalin, a delegate of the Central Committee of the RCP(b)”.

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Quelquejay: op. cit.; p. 128).

In March 1919, the 8th Congress of the RCP(b) established

“A unified and centralised Communist Party (thoughout Soviet Russia-Ed)…All decisions of the RCP(b) and of its guiding organs are binding on Party organs, regardless of their national composition.”

(Russian Communist Party (bolsheviks): Resolution of 8th Congress of the RCP(b) (March 1919), in: Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op. cit.; p. 62).

Immediately after the congress:

“The Central Bureau of Muslim Organisations was replaced by the ‘Central Bureau of Communist Organisations of the Peoples of the East.'”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Quelquejay: op. cit.; p, 131).

In other words it:

“was stripped of its socio-cultural meaning and was instead endowed with a geographic attribute.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: op. cit p. 145).

At the 2nd Congress of Communist Organisations of the Peoples of the East, held in Moscow in November/December 1919:

“The autonomy of the Muslim communist groupings was explicitly terminated….The congress condemned autonomy, invoking the precedent of the Bund**.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Quelquejay: op. cit.; p. 131).

These events:

“Left no doubt that the RCP(b) and its chief expert on nationality problems, Stalin, had reversed the tide of organisational independence that the Tatar ‘national communists’ had set in motion in 1918.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: op. cit.; p. 145-46).

However in October 1919 the Tatar ‘national communists’:

“Made a bid for autonomy for their party organisation at the local level.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 146).

The Proposal for a Tatar-Bashkir Republic (1919-20)

Although a Bashkir Automonous Soviet Socialist Republic had been established in March 1919, in November 1919, at the Preparatory Conference for the 2nd Congress of Communist Organisations of the Peoples of the East:

“Sultan- Galiyev demanded . . . the speedy creation of the Tataro-Bashkir state. Lenin refused to consider this demand, and the matter was referred to the Central Committee of the RCP(b). … Some days later, Sultan-Galiyev renewed his attempt at the 2nd Congress of Communist Organisations of the Peoples of the East. …. Again the Russian leaders rejected these demands.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Quelquejay: op. cit.; p.141).

The proposed state would embrace both Bashkiria and Tataria and form:

“A large Turkic republic on the Middle Volga.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: op. cit.; p. 137).

The delegates at the congress:

“Renewed their support for the formation of a Tatar-Bashkir republic.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 137).

As proposed by Sultan-Galiyev.

But in view of the influence of Sultan-Galiyevism in the region:

“The Soviet government chose to sponsor the formation of smaller republics.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 137-38).

So in December 1919:

” . . the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist (Bolshevik) Party, which was presided over by Lenin, decided to halt all efforts to create a Tatar-Bashkir republic.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 137).

Nevertheless, in March 1920, a delegation of three, including Sultan-Galiyev:

“. . . visited Lenin to try to convince him of the necessity of enlarging the frontiers of the future Tatar republic so as to include the Bashkirs and other Muslims. Yet again Lenin rejected this demand and accused the Tatars of demonstrating ‘imperialist chauvinism’, of seeking to impose their domination over the more backward Bashkirs.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Quelquejay: op. cit.; p. 142-43).

In May 1920 a decree was issued:

“Declaring the formation of the Tatar ASSR.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: op. cit.; p. 138).

The Moves for Further Weakening of Sultan-Galiyevism (1920)

In July 1920:

“. . . the First Regional Conferece of Tatar Communists … held in Kazan . . . , adopted the decision to rename the Muslim Bureau of Gubkom the ‘Tatar Regional Bureau of Communist Organisations.'”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 146).

In August 1920 a resolution of the Central Committee of the RCP(b) declared:

“that Sultan-Galiyev’s duties and assignments required his presence in Moscow”.

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: ibid.; p. 146).

Most commentators assume that by this resolution:

“The Central Committee of the RCP(b) sought to weaken the Tatar and their independent stand by removing their most prominent Communists ‘leader from Kazan.”

(Azade-Ayse Rorlich: op. cit.; p. 146).

Sultan-Galiyev’s Mission to the Crimea (1921)

In the spring of 1921, Sultan-Galiyev was sent to the Crimea, to report on conditions there. His report, published in May 1921, proposed that a Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic be created. This recommendation was accepted by the Soviet authorities who:

“Despite objections from local Communists and the acceptance of a resolution by the Crimean Regional Communist Party Congress against the creation of a republic. . . . carried out Sultan-Galiyev’s recommendation and established in November 1921 the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Soviet Republic.”

(Richard Pipes: op Cit.; p.190.)

The territory of the Crimean ASSR, was occupied by German forces between 1941 and 1944:

“General Manstein* was relatively successful in his attempts to gain active support from the Tatars. According to both German and Tatar evidence, the Germans persuaded between 15,000 and 20,000 Tatars to form self-defence battalions that were partially armed by the Germans and sent into the mountains to hunt down partisan units. . . . Most accounts claim that the Crimean Tatars were unduly privileged during the German regime. ….. There is no question that large numbers of Tatar villagers, as well as the Tatar self-defence battalions, fought hard against the Soviet partisans. The traitors knew well the local inhabitants and turned over all suspicious characters (often the patriots) to the German police.”

(Alan;W.Fisher: ‘The Crimean Tatars’; Stanford (USA): 1978; p. 155, 157, 158).

As a result of this mass treason, in May/June 1944, the Crimean Tatars were deported from the Crimea to distant parts of the Soviet Union. And:

“On June 30 1945, a year after the deportation, the Crimean ASSR was abolished and transformed into the Crimean oblast (district – Ed.) of the RSFSR”.

(Alan,W. Fisher: ibid.; p. 167).

(A more detailed description of the background to the mass resettlements ‘Ls, to be found in a paper entitled ‘The Enforced Resettlements, read to the Stalin Society in July 1993. See web-page: Resettlements).

The First Arrest (1923)

Sultan-Galiyev was:

“arrested for the first time in May 1923 and excluded from the Communst Party for ‘nationalist deviation.'”

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op. cit.; p. 208).

According to Trotsky, Sultan-Galiyev’s arrest was initiated by Stalin, with the approval of other leaders, including Kamenev and Zinoviev:

“‘Do you remember the arrest of Sultan-Galiyev in 1923?’, Kamenev continued.
‘This was the first arrest of a prominent Party member upon the initiative of Stalin. Unfortunately Zinoviev and I gave our consent.”

(Leon,Trotsky: ‘Stalin’: New York; 1941; p. 417).

Sultan-Galiyev:

“Was never formally tried. He was released from custody in June 1923 … ‘in recognition of services rendered to the revolution.”‘

(A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op. cit.; p. 85).

Although at the 4th Conference on the National Republics and Regions held in June 1923 (a few weeks after his arrest), Sultan-Galiyev was accused of “treason” and participation in “objectively counter-revolutionary” activity, at this time the full scale of his subversive activity against the Soviet state was not known. For example, it was not known that in 1920:

“Sultan-Galiyev, Zeki Validov* and a group of prominent Muslim ‘national communists’ . . . met in Moscow and founded the secret group ‘Ittihad ve Tarakki’ (Union and Progress)…. ‘Ittihad ve Tarakki’ pursued a threefold goal: to infiltate ‘national communist’ Turks into the ‘Communist Party and the Soviet government apparatus; . . . to inculcate Islamic and pan-Turkic ideals; and to establish contacts with counter-revolutionary organisations abroad and in Soviet Russia, especially with the Basmachi.”**

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op. cit.; p. 87).

The 4th Conference on the National Republics and Regions (1923)

On,9-12 June 1923, the 4th Conference of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party with Workers of the National Republics and Regions was held in Moscow:

“Convened on J. V. Stalin’s initiative”.

(Note to: Josef V. Stalin: ‘Works’, Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 429).

With Stalin in the Chair, an important item on the agenda of the conference was ‘the Sultan-Galiyev Case.’ Sultan-Galiyev:

“was thoroughly vilified, accused of deviations and treason, and excluded from the Communist Party.”

(A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op. cit.; p. 83).

A resolution was adopted on ‘the Sultan-Galiyey’ case’, the principal points of which were:

“1. Sultan-Galiyev, appointed by the Party to a responsible post of the Collegium of the People’s Commisariat of Nationalities), profited from his situation and the relations which arose from it . . . to set up . . . an illegal organisation in order to oppose measures taken by the central organs of the Party. He had recourse to conspiratorial methods, and used secret information in order to deliberately falsify the decisions of the Party on national policy.
2. Sultan-Galiyev tried to utilise this anti-Party organisation to sap the confidence of the formerly oppressed nationalities in the revoluionary proletariat, and sought to prejudice the union of these two forces, which is one of the essential elements for the existence of
Soviet power and for the liberation of the peoples of the East from imperialism.
3. Sultan-Galiyev strove to extend his organisation beyond the the Union of Soviet Republics, trying to enter into relations with his supporters in certain Eastern countries (Persia, Turkey)
to rally them around a platform opposed to the policy of the Soviet power…..
4. The anti-Party, objectively counter-revolutionary aims of Sultan-Galiyev and the very logic of his anti-Party activity led him to treason, to alliance with the counter-revolutionary forces openly struggling to overthrow the Soviet regime. Thus, he has sought to link up through the medium of their chief, Zeki Validov, with the Basmachi** of Turkestan and Bokhara, who are supported by international imperialism.
5. The conference considers, in consequence, that the criminal acts of towards Party unity and the Soviet Republic, acts entirely admitted by him in his confessions, place him outside the Communist Party.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Lemercier-Quelquejay: ‘Sultan-Galiev: Le pere de la revolution tiers-mondiale’ (Sultan-Galiyev: The Father of Third-World Revolution); Paris; 1986; p. 215-16).

At the conference, Stalin defended his past support of Sultan-Galiyev:

“I have been reproached….with having defended Sultan-Galiyev excessively. It is true that I defended him as long as it was possible, and I considered, and still consider, that it was my duty to do so. But I defended him only up to a certain point. . . . When Sultan-Galiyev went that point, I turned away from him. … There are so few intellectuals, so few thinking people, even so few literary people generally in the Eastern republics and regions, that one count them on one’s fingers. How can one help cherishing them?”

(Josef V. Stalin: Speech on the Sultan-Galiyev Case. 4th Conference of the Central Committee of the RCP(b) with Responsible Workers of the National Republics and Regions (June 1923), in: ‘Works’, Volume 5; Moscow;.1953; p. 309, 310).

Stalin tells how, after he had criticised Sultan-Galiyev, the latter:

“Replied, in great embarrassment, that he had always been a Party man and was so still, and he gave his word of honour that he would continue to be a Party man in the future.”

(Josef V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 310).

Despite, this promise, Stalin records,

“A week later he sent Adigamov a second secret letter instructing him to establish contact with the Basmachi** and with their leader Validov, and to ‘burn’ the letter. From that moment Sultan-Galiyev became for me a man beyond the pale of the Party, of the Soviets.”

(Josef V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 310).

When, following Sultan-Galiyev’s arrest, some Tatar Communists demanded his release on the grounds that the letters concerned in the case were were “forgeries,” an investigation was held:

“What did the investigation reveal? It revealed that all the documents were genuine. Their genuineness was admitted by Sultan-Galiyev himself, who, in fact, gave more information about his sins than is contained in the documents, who fully confessed his guilt and, after confessing, repented.”

(Josef,V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 312).

Further Conspiratorial Activity (1923-27)

Upon his release, Sultan-Galiyev:

“Again became a journalist and worked until 1928 in various state publishing houses, notably at ‘Gosizdat’ of Moscow.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Lemercier-Quelquejay.: op. cit.; p. 219).

But he continued his deviationist political activity:

“He worked . . . in Georgia and in Moscow”;

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op. cit.; p. 208).

“Having lost his positions in the Russian Communist Party for his deviationist tendencies, Sultan-Galiyev tried for a final time to create a structure which could embrace the proponents of the Eastern and set it in motion. This was his ‘Colonial International’. The Colonial International was to be independent of the Comintern and all European Communist Parties, including the Russian Communist Party, if not opposed to them.”

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op, cit.; p. 58).

He also continued his clandestine subversive activity – he:

“Founded a clandestine ‘counter-revolutionary’ organisation”.

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Lemercier-Quelquejay: op. cit.; p. 219).

“It was between 1923 and 1927 that Sultan-Galiyev, out of prison and living in Georgia and Moscow, most actively worked to create a system of secret underground organisations, centred in Moscow and Kazan, but with offshoots extending as far as Alma-Ata and Tashkent. . . Many Muslim ‘national communist’ leaders . . . were connected to this organisation. …. There can be little doubt that the latter did indeed conspire”.

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: op. cit.; p. 87, 88).

The Second Arrest (1928)

“In 1928 Sultan-Galivev was . . . arrested for the second time. He was tried and condemned to ten years of hard labour in the Solovki camp on the White Sea.”

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: ibid.; p. 208).

This arrest marked

“The ideological and organisational destruction of Sultan-Galiyevism.”

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: ibid.; op. cit.; p. 91).

In December 1928,

“The majority of the Tatar members of the Tatar Obkom (Regional Party Committee — Ed.) were arrested, tried for ‘Sultan-Galiyevism’ and “treason’, and executed.”

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: ibid.; p. 91).

At the same time, the Communist Party of the Tatar Republic of Crimea was purged.

“Veli Ibrahimov*, the 1st Secretary of the Crimean Obkom, was arrested, tried and executed for counter-revolutionary activity.”

(Alexandre A. Bennigsen & S. Enders Wimbush: ibid.; p. 91).

“The great purge in the Muslim republics ….. began in 1928. It started in Crimea with the execution of Veli Ibrahimov, First Secretary of the Tatar Communist Party.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Marie Broxup: op. cit.; p. 85).

In February 1921 and again in June 1923, Stalin summed up the role of bourgeois nationalism in the border regions of the Soviet Union:

“Communists from the local native population who experienced the harsh period of national oppression, and who have not yet fully freed themselves from the haunting memories of that period, often exaggerate the importance of specific national features in their Party work, leave the class interests of the working people in the shade, or simply confuse the interests of the working people of the nation concerned with the ‘national’ interests of that nation; they are unable to separate the from the latter and base their Party work on them. That, in its turn, leads to a deviation from communism towards bourgeois-democratic nationalism, which sometimes assumes the form of pan-Islamism, pan-Turkism (in the East).”

(Josef V. Stalin: Theses for the 10th Congress of the RCP(b) (February 1921), in: ‘Works’, Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 28.

“In relation to our Communist organisations in the border regions and republics. . . . nationalism is playing the same role . . . as Menshevism in the past played in relation to the Bolshevik Party. Only under cover of nationalism can various kinds of bourgeois, including Menshevik, influences penetrate our organisations in the border regions.”

(Josef V. Stalin: Speech on the ‘Sultan-Galiyev Case’, 4th Conference of cc of RCB(b) with Responsible Workers of the National Republics and Regions (June 1923); in; ‘Works’, Volume 5; Moscow; 1953; p. 316).

The Death of Sultan-Galiyev (1939)

Sultan-Galiyev:

“. . . died 1939 in imprisonment.”

Heinrich E. Schulz, Paul K. Urban & Andrew I. Lebed (Eds.): ‘Who was Who In the USSR’; Metuchen (USA); 1972; p. 591).

In 1989, on the eve of the liquidation of the Soviet Union, Sultan-Galiyev remained one of very few early leading members of the Soviet Communist Party not rehabilitated by the revisionists:

“Sultan-Galiyev, the father of ‘Muslim Communism’, remained one of the only two prominent early Bolshevik leaders still considered as ‘non-persons’ in 1989.”

(Amir Taheri: ‘Crescent in a Red Sky: The Future of Islam in the Soviet Union. London; 1989; p. 212).

International Repercussions of Sultan-Galiyevism

Sultan-Galiyevism has attracted support from a number of bourgeois revolutionaries and revisionists in countries outside the Soviet Union.

“Several Muslim heads of state, among them Ben Bella* and Houari ‘Boumedienne,* have spoken of his (Sultan-Galiyev’s — Ed.) third-world theories.”

(Alexandre Bennigsen & Chantal Lemercier-Quelquejay: op. cit.; p, 287).

“Algeria’s President, Ahmed Ben Bella, in a recent interview . . . disclosed that he was very much impressed by the theories of an early Russian Marxist named Sultan-Galiyev who believed that the real struggle in the world would commence when the underdeveloped nations rose up against the industrialised northern tier.”

(‘Newsweek’, 13 January 1964; p. 28).

Chinese revisionism contains theses closely similar to those of Sultan-Galiyevism. Lin Piao* declares:

“If North America and western Europe can be called ‘the cities of the world’, then Asia, Africa and Latin America constitute ‘the rural areas of the world’. . . . The contemporary world revolution . . . presents a picture of the encirclement of cities by the rural areas. In the final analysis, the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples.”

(Lin Piao: “Long Live the Victory of People s War!”; Peking; 1965; p.48-49).

NOTES:

The BASMACHI were members of an anti-Soviet counter-revolutionary organisation in Central Asia in 1917-26. It was supported by British and US interventionists and by reactionary circles in Turkey, Afghanistan and China.

The BUND (= the General Workers’ Union of Lithuania, Poland and Russia) was formed in 1897. It stood for the autonomous organisation of Jewish workers. It took a social-chauvinist stand during World War I and during the Civil War supported the counter-revolutionary forces. It dissolved itself in 1921.

PAN-ISLAMISM is a movement for the union of all Muslims within a single state.
PAN-TURANIAN: supporting the union of all peoples speaking Turanian (Turkic) languages.
PAN-TURKISM is a movement for the union of all Turkic-speaking peoples a single state.

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RORLIM Azade-Ayse: ‘The Volga Tatars: A Profile in National Resilience’;
Stanford (USA); 1986.

SCHULZ, Heinrich E., URBAN, Paul K. & LEBED, Andrew L. (Eds): ‘Who was Who in the USSR’; Metuchen (USA); 1972.

STALIN, Josef V.: Speech on the Sultan-Galiyev Case, 4th Conference of the Central Committee of the RCP(b) with Responsible Workers of the National Republics and Regions’, in: ‘Works;, Volume 5; Moscow; 1953.

STALIN, Josef V.: Theses for the 10th Congress of the RCP(b) (February 1921), in: ‘Works’, Volume 5; Moscow; 1953.

TAHERI, Amir: ‘Crescent in a Red Sky: The Future of Islam in the Soviet Union’; London; 1989.

TROTSKY,.Leon: ‘Stalin’; New York; 1941.

WHEELER Geoffrey: “The Modern History of Soviet Central Asia’; London; 1964.

‘Newsweek’ 13 January 1964.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

BEN BELLA, Mohammed, Algerian nationalist politician (1916- President (1963-65); overthrown in military coup led by Houari Boumedienne (1965); under house arrest (1965-79); to France (1980).

BOUMEDIENNE, Houari, Algerian military officer and politician (1925-78);
colonel (1960); chief of staff, National Liberation Army (1960-62); led against Ben Bella and established Islamic government (1962); President (1976-78).

IBRAHIMOV, Veli, Soviet (Tatar) revisionist politician (? – 1928); Premier Crimean ASSR (1920-27); 1st. Secretary, RCP(b), Crimean ASSR (1920-27);
arrested (1927); tried for treason, found guilty and executed (1928)

LIN Piao, Chinese revisionist military officer and politician (1908-71), member Politburo, CPC (1955-71); member, Standing Committee, Politburo CPC, (1958-71); Minister of Defence (1959-71); named official heir to Mao, Tse-tung (1968); vice-chairman, CPC (1969-71); reported killed in plane crash while escaping to Soviet Union to escape arrest for participating in attempted coup (1971).

MANSTEIN, Fritz E. Yon, German military officer (1887-1973); lieutenant general
(1936); field marshal (1949); dismissed (1944); captured convicted of war crimes in Rusaia and sentenced to imprisonment (1949); released and appointed adviser to West German government (1953).

SULTAN-GALIYEV, Mir Said, Soviet (Tatar) revisionist politician (1880-1939); Central Commissariat for Muslim Affairs (1918-23); chairman, Central Muslim Military Council (1918-23); member, Inner Collegium of Commissariat of Nationalities and co-editor of its organ ‘The Life of the Nationalities’; Premier, Tatar ASSR (1920-23); arrested and released without charge (1923); re-arrested (1929); tried and sentenced to imprisonment (1928); died in prison (1939).

ZEKI VALIDOV, Ahmed Soviet (Bashkir) revisionist historian and politician (1890-1969); Professor of History, University of Kazan (1909-17); People’s Commissar of War. Bashkir ASSR (1919-20); to Turkestan to join Basmachi counter-revolutionary forces (1920); to Afghanistan, then Turkey (1922).

Enver Hoxha on Pan-Arabic or Pan-Islamic “Socialism”

256

This article was published by Alliance (Marxist-Leninist) as part of the Alliance issue #51, “Pan-Arabic or Pan-Islamic ‘Socialism.’”

January 1980

THE EVENTS WHICH ARE TAKING PLACE IN THE MOSLEM COUNTRIES MUST BE SEEN IN THE LIGHT OF DIALECTICAL AND HISTORICAL MATERIALISM

The international situation is very tense at present. In many regions of the world and mainly in the large zone of the oil-producing countries, especially those of Asia, the struggle between the two imperialist superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, not excluding imperialist China and the other capitalist powers, over the division and re-division of markets and spheres of influence, as they try to elbow one another out, has reached new, major proportions just as our Party correctly predicted long ago. Their pressures and plots are accompanied with diplomatic efforts and a propaganda clamour about “agreements and compromises” allegedly to preserve the peace and the balance of power. In fact, as recent events have shown, we see that agreements and compromises are still the basic principle of their policy towards each other regardless of their very acute rivalry. One day,however, the rivalry between them may reach such a point that they can no longer overcome it and settle matters except through military confrontation. The consequences of such a confrontation will descend upon the peoples, just as has occurred in previous imperialist wars.

The most recent result of this rivalry is the military aggression of the Soviet social-imperialists against Afghanistan, the occupation of that country through armed force by one of the imperialist superpowers. The fact is that what is now being done openly by the Soviets through their armed forces against the sovereignty of the Afghan people had long been prepared by the Soviet social-imperialist chauvinist politicians and military leaders and their Afghan agents. In order to arrive at the present situation, both the former and the latter exploited the overthrow, first of King Mohammed Zahir Shah in 1973 and, later, of Prince Daoud in 1978. They also exploited for their evil aims the desire of the Afghan people for social liberation from the oppression they suffered under the absolute monarchy and its foreign friends, first of all, the Soviets, who financed the monarchy and kept it in power. So, irrespective of the “alliance” which they had with the king of Afghanistan, the Soviet social-imperialists worked and acted for his overthrow. In order to disguise their imperialist aims, at first they brought their men, allegedly with more progressive sentiments, to power. Later, these, too, were changed one after the other, through actions in which blood was shed, by means of putsches and tanks, and Noor Mohammed Taraki and Hafizullah Amin were sent to the slaughter.

Nevertheless, no foreign occupier, however powerful and heavily armed, can keep the people, against whom aggression has been committed, subdued for ever. In every country which is invaded the people, apart from anti-national and anti-popular cliques of agents, receive the foreign aggressors with hatred and resistance, sporadic at first and later with more organized revolts which gradually turn into popular uprisings and liberation wars. We are seeing the proof of this in Afghanistan, where the people have risen and are fighting fiercely in the cities, villages and mountains against the Soviet army of occupation. This war of the Afghan people enjoys the support and sympathy of freedom-loving peoples and revolutionary forces throughout the world. Our people, too, support it with all their might. The war of the Afghan people against the Soviet social-imperialists is a just war, and therefore it will triumph.

The current war of the Afghan people against the Soviet military aggression and the anti-feudal, anti-imperialist, anti-American uprising of the Iranian people must make us reflect somewhat more profoundly, from the political, theoretical and ideological aspects, about another major problem which, in the existing situation of complicated developments in the world, is becoming ever more prominent: the popular uprisings of “Islamic inspiration,” as the bourgeoisie and the revisionists like to describe these movements, simply because the Moslem peoples of the Arab and other countries have placed themselves in the vanguard of the liberation movement. This is a fact, an objective reality. There are insurrectionary movements in those countries. If we were to examine and judge these movements and uprisings of Moslem peoples in an over-simplified and very superficial way as movements simply of an Islamic character, without probing deeply into the true reasons which impel the broad masses of the peoples to advance, we could fall in the positions of the revisionists and imperialists, whose assessments of these movements are denigrating and conceal ambitions to enslave the peoples.

We Marxist-Leninists always understand clearly that religion is opium for the people. In no instance do we alter our view on this and we must not fall into the errors of “religious socialism,” etc. The Moslem religion is no different in this regard. Nevertheless, we see that at present the broad masses of the Moslem peoples in the Arab and other countries have risen or are rising in struggle against imperialism and neo-colonialism for their national and social liberation. These peoples, who were deliberately left in ignorance in the past and remain backward in their world outlook to this day, are now becoming aware of the great oppression and savage exploitation which were imposed on them by the old colonizers and which the new colonizers and the internal feudal-bourgeois capitalist cliques continue to impose on them. They are coming to understand the political-economic reasons for their oppression and, irrespective that they are Moslems and have been left in backwardness, they are displaying great vitality and making an important contribution to the anti-imperialist bourgeois-democratic revolution which opens the way to the proletarian revolution. Those who have adopted and exploited the Moslem religion to exert social oppression over these peoples and to exploit them in the most ferocious ways are the anti-popular oppressive regimes and the reactionary clergy. They have protected and continue to protect their blood-thirsty power through the weapons and support which they have received from abroad, that is, from the imperialist powers, the neo-colonialist robbers, as well as through inciting and developing religious fanaticism. Thus, the development of events is more and more confirming the Marxist-Leninist thesis that the internal enemies collaborate closely with the external enemies to suppress their own peoples and that they use religion as a weapon to oppress the peoples and keep them in darkness.

The events taking place before our eyes show that the Moslem Arab peoples are fighters. Their anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and anti-feudal struggles and uprisings are accompanied with and result in armed clashes. These struggles and uprisings have their source in the savage oppression which is imposed on these peoples and in their freedom-loving and progressive sentiments. If you are not progressive and freedom-loving you cannot rise in struggle for freedom and national independence against the twofold internal and external oppression.

Another social cause and powerful impulse to anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and anti-feudal uprisings is the grave economic situation of these peoples, the burden of hunger and suffering under which they live. Hence, we cannot fail to take into account their political awakening and. to some extent, also their social awakening.

Looking at the whole struggle of the peoples of Moslem belief, we notice that there are marked differences in its level of development: there are periods when it mounts, but also periods of decline or stagnation, the latter caused by various factors and especially, by the pseudo-progressive bourgeoisie which places itself at the head of these peoples.

In Morocco, for example, there has been some movement, but the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist movement of the people of that country is not at the same height as that of other countries. On the contrary, the monarchy and feudalism dominate the Moroccan people, through violence and liberal pseudo-reforms, as well as by exploiting their religious sentiments.

In Algeria the people waged the national liberation war against the French colonialists and, although it was not led by a Marxist-Leninist party but by the national bourgeoisie, the war for national liberation ended with the withdrawal of the foreign occupiers, but it was carried no further…

In Tunisia the people seem to be asleep and very apathetic, are showing little sign of awakening, but they are not all that backward. Recently there was talk about a trade-union movement there and the general secretary of the trade-unions was arrested, but nothing more happened.

In 1952 there was a revolt in Egypt, too. The monarchy was overthrown without bloodshed. King Farouk was expelled from Egypt by a group of officers. Those who removed him from the throne accompanied him to Alexandria, gave him money, put him on board a ship and helped him to get away and save his neck. In other words, they told the monarch he had better leave of his own accord and save his skin, because he could no longer stay in the country, he no longer had any basis there. Thus, the group of officers, headed by Nasser, Naguib and Sadat, carried out what you might call a bloodless military coup against an utterly degenerate monarchy and seized power. What was this group of Egyptian officers that carried out the putsch and what did they represent? These officers were of the bourgeoisie, its representatives, they were anti-British, but amongst them there were also pro-Hitlerites. As I have mentioned, Anwar el-Sadat himself declares he collaborated with the “Desert wolf,” the Nazi field-marshal Rommel. 

This event, that is, the removal of Farouk from the throne, was exaggerated to the point of being called a “revolution.” However, the Egyptian people, the working masses of that country, gained nothing from this whole affair. Virtually no reform to the benefit of the people was carried out. The so-called agrarian reform ended up in favour of the feudals and wealthy landowners. Under the disguise of the unity of Arab peoples the newcomers to power tried to bring about the “unification” of Egypt with Syria. However, every effort in this direction was in vain because in Syria, too, at this time the capitalist bourgeoisie in the leadership of the state had simply changed their horses and their patron. The imperialist Soviet Union had replaced France. It sabotaged this baseless «unification» and established itself firmly in that country.

As is known, in 1969 there was a revolt in Libya, too; the dynasty of King Idris was overthrown and a group of young officers, headed by Qaddafi who poses as anti-imperialist, came to power. We can describe this revolt, this movement, as progressive at first, but later it lost its impact and at the moment it has fallen into stagnation. Qaddafi who came to power and claims to be the head of Islam, exploited the Moslem religion to present Libya as a “progressive” country and even called it “socialist,” but in reality the great oil wealth of the country is being exploited for very dubious adventurous and sinister aims. Of course, for purposes of demagogy and because the income from the sale of oil is truly colossal, some changes have been made in the life of the people in the cities, while the poverty-stricken nomads of the desert remain a grave social problem. As we know, Qaddafi was a disciple of Nasser’s in politics, ideology and religious belief, as well as in his aims. 

A somewhat more advanced and more revolutionary uprising against the monarchy took place in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, in 1958. It ended with the killing of King Faisal and his prime minister, Nuri Said. The “communists” took power there together with General Kassem, a representative of the liberal officers. Only five years later, however, in 1963, there was a coup d’état and Kassem was executed. He was replaced by another officer, Colonel Aref. In 1968 General Al-Bakr came to the head of the state and the “Baath” Party, a party of the reactionary feudal and compradore bourgeoisie, returned to power.

The events which are occurring in Iran and Afghanistan are a positive example for the peoples of neighbouring states, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the Emirates of the Persian Gulf, Syria, Egypt and many others, but they also constitute a great danger to the ruling cliques of some countries in this region. Hence, the whole Arab world is in ferment, in evolution. 

The echo of this anti-feudal, anti-imperialist uprising of the Iranian people which is shaking the economic foundations of imperialism and its ambitions for world hegemony extends as far as Indonesia, but there the movement is weaker than in the countries of Central Asia, the Near and Middle East or even North Africa, where the Islamic religion is more compact and the assets are greater. In those regions, for instance in Iran, there is a progressive awakening of the masses, which for the moment is led generally by religious elements who know how to exploit the sentiments of these peoples for freedom and against oppressive imperialism, the monarchist leaders and rapacious feudal cliques of robbers and murderers, etc., etc. Therefore, we must make a Marxist-Leninist analysis of this situation. We cannot accept the tales that the bourgeois revisionist propaganda, American imperialism and world capitalism are spreading that Ayatollah Khomeini or this one or that in Iran are people who do not understand politics or are just as backward as Imam Ali, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein were. This is not true. On the contrary, the facts show that people like Khomeini know how to make proper use of the existing movement of these peoples, which, in essence and in fact, is a progressive bourgeois-democratic and anti-imperialist movement.

Employing various ways and means, the different imperialists and social-imperialists are trying to present themselves as supporters of these movements and win them over for their own aims. At present, however, these movements are in their disfavour, are against them. So true is this that the Soviet social-imperialists were obliged to send their tank regiments and tens of thousands of Soviet soldiers into Afghanistan, in other words, to commit an open fascist aggression against an independent country, in order to place and keep in power their local puppets who were incapable of retaining power without the aid of the bayonets and tanks of the Soviet army, the armed forces of the Soviet Union.

Obviously, this event, this Soviet armed occupation of Afghanistan, was bound to have repercussions and cause concern in international public opinion, to arouse great anger and indignation among the freedom-loving peoples and progressive forces and, from the strategic standpoint, to provoke the anger of their rivals for hegemony, especially of the United States of America. In fact we see that these days the American president, Carter, seems to want to make a move, apparently to create difficulties for the Soviet Union and to strengthen his own positions which are growing steadily weaker, wants to take measures to prevent a possible Soviet invasion of Pakistan, or rather, to stop the Soviet social-imperialists from exploiting the anti-imperialist revolutionary sentiments of the Moslem people of Pakistan for their own ends.

The Pakistani people nurture sympathy for the anti-imperialist movement of their Iranian neighbours, and what is occurring in Iran could occur there, too. Precisely to forestall this eventuality, the United States of America, through President Carter, has proposed to the Pakistani government to dispatch 50,000 soldiers to Pakistan and to increase the supplies of arms, allegedly to cope with the Soviet danger. The United States of America sent its Secretary of Defence to China to concretize and activate the Sino-American alliance. During this visit both sides expressed their concern over the extension of the Soviet social-imperialist expansion in this region and, in connection with this, their determination to defend their own and each other’s imperialist interests. The United States of America promised China the most sophisticated modern armaments.

Is there really a Soviet threat to Pakistan? Yes, there is. However, in Pakistan the anger against Zia-ul-Haq, accompanied by sympathy for Khomeini, might erupt even without the intervention of the Soviets. In order to escape the Soviet pressure and the uprising of the Pakistani people, Zia-ul-Haq himself might link up with the Soviets and thus enable them to justify their intervention in Pakistan. That is why the United States of America is revising its military agreements with Pakistan.

For his part, Carter is trying to preserve the balance, because an intervention of the Soviet Union in Pakistan constitutes a threat to American imperialism in that region of the world. Carter must have influence in Pakistan, also, because that country has a “defence treaty” with the United States of America. Apart from this, in the new situation which has been created in these times in Central Asia, Carter also sees other dangers, such as the return to power of Indira Gandhi who is pursuing her pro-Soviet policy. If the Soviets are able to strengthen their position in India, which is in conflict with Pakistan, the latter country might be more vulnerable from the Soviet side, in other words, the penetration of Soviet influence there would be made easier and would increase. That is why the American imperialists want to forestall the eventuality of a military intervention or the build-up of the Soviet influence in Pakistan. On the other hand, the United States of America is very concerned about the possibility of Soviet pressure on Iran under the pretext of aid against the threats made to that country by American imperialism.

It is clear that the peoples of this region are Moslems and when we say this we have in mind the fact that the majority of them are believers, but their belief is relative and does not predominate over politics. There are also progressive people there who believe in and respect the Koran and religion more as a custom and tradition. When we speak about the overwhelming majority, we have in mind that part of the people to whom the Moslem religion has been presented as a liberal progressive religion which serves the interests of the people and to whom everything preached in its name “is for the good of the people,” because “to wash, to pray and to fast is for the benefit of the health, the physical strengthening and spiritual satisfaction of man,” etc., etc. In other words, people are told that the rites of this religion are “useful” not only for this life but also for the “next life,” after death. This is preached openly. However, the poverty and oppression, schooling and a certain political development have shaken the foundations of this belief.

In general, from all these events and developments, we see that the imperialists and the social-imperialists are in difficulties in these regions of the world. It is understandable that their puppets, likewise, are in difficulties. Both for the former and for the latter it is the progressive, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and anti-feudal revolutionary movement of the popular masses of the Moslem Arab peoples, whether Shia or Sunni, that is the cause of these great difficulties. The whole situation in this region is positive, good, and indicates a revolutionary situation and a major movement of these peoples. At the same time, though, we see efforts made by the enemies of these peoples to restrain this movement or to alter its direction and intensity.

Hence, we must regard these situations, these movements and uprisings of these peoples as revolutionary social movements, irrespective that at first sight they have a religious character or that believers or non-believers take part in them, because they are fighting against foreign imperialism and neo-colonialism or the local monarchies and oppressive feudalism. History gives us many positive examples in this direction when broad revolutionary movements of the popular masses have had a religious character outwardly. Among them we can list the Babist movements in Iran 1848-1851; the Wahabi movement in India which preceded the great popular uprising against the British colonizers in the years 1857-1859; the peasant movements at the time of the Reformation in the 16th century which swept most of the countries of Europe and especially Germany. The Reformation itself, although dressed in a religious cloak, represented a broad socio-political movement against the feudal system and the Catholic Church which defended that system. 

When the vital interests, the freedom and independence of a people are violated, they rise in struggle against any aggressor, even though that aggressor may be of the same religion. This is what occurred, for example, in North Yemen in 1962 when Nasser sent the Egyptian army allegedly to aid that country. Later he was compelled to remove the troops he had sent to Yemen, because a stern conflict began between the people of that country and the Egyptian army, irrespective that both sides professed the one religion.

In South Yemen, with a population of Moslem believers, there was a popular revolutionary movement against British imperialism which owned the port of Aden. Britain would never have left the port of Aden voluntarily, because it constitutes a very important strategic key to the Indian Ocean and the entrance to the Red Sea, but it was the anti-imperialist struggle of the people of Yemen that compelled it to clear out, because remaining there became impossible. After this, in 1970 a “popular democratic” regime which gradually came under the influence of the Soviet social-imperialists, was formed in South Yemen. The revolutionary movement against Soviet social-imperialism is bound to flare up there, if not today certainly in the near future.

Throughout the Principality of Oman there is an anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist revolutionary movement which is also opposed to the ruling Sultan. A similar situation will develop in Ethiopia, Somalia, the countries of the Persian Gulf, etc.

The peoples of the countries of this region are all religious, believe in the Koran and Mohammed, and link the question of the struggle against imperialist oppression with their religion. This is a reality. Obviously, however, we cannot come to the conclusion that it is religion which is causing these revolts and this revolutionary awakening. By no means. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the fact that these peoples believe in the Moslem religion and, at the same time, are fighting heroically for their national and social liberation against imperialism of every hue.

Before Liberation there were people who professed the Moslem religion in Albania, but there was no fanaticism. In the Arab or Moslem countries of Central Asia, too, the classical fanaticism of the past cannot exist, especially today. Such fanaticism can exist neither among the Moslems nor among the Catholics, the Calvinists and other schisms of Christianity. We must not forget the epoch in which we are living. We cannot fail to bear in mind the great development of science today, the growth and strengthening of the revolutionary proletariat and the spread of the ideas of Marxism-Leninism. Today the reactionary religious leaders, lackeys of the feudal order and oppressive monarchies linked with them, who want to keep the people in ignorance and bondage and to combat their liberation movements, incite fanaticism in its classical sense in those countries.

In regard to Khomeini, he is a religious leader, a dedicated believer and an idealist philosopher. He may even be a fanatic, but we see that, at the same time, he is in accord and united with the revolutionary spirit of the Iranian people. Khomeini has taken the side of the opponents of the monarchy. The imperialist bourgeoisie, the supporters of the Pahlavi monarchy and other reactionary forces in the world say that he wants to become a monarch himself. Let them say this, but the fact is that the anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and anti-feudal liberation movement in Iran is in the ascendancy and Khomeini still maintains a good stand in regard to this movement.

What is occurring in Iran might occur also in Pakistan or in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, it may spark off a revolutionary situation in some other neighbouring country and even in the Soviet Union itself, because social-imperialism and revisionism carry national oppression everywhere and, as a consequence, arouse the national liberation sentiments of the peoples. Socialism and the Marxist-Leninist theory alone provide a just solution to the national question. Today the national rights of nations and peoples have been violated and trampled underfoot in the Soviet Union and wherever American imperialism and international capitalism rule. There is great oppression there, logically, therefore, there will certainly be movement.

We must examine and analyse the present events in Iran as they take place and draw conclusions from them on the basis of the teachings of our Marxist-Leninist theory. In the vanguard of the active forces in the uprising against imperialism and the monarchy in that country, are the religious zealots, the student youth, the workers and intellectuals. So, neither the proletariat nor a genuine Marxist-Leninist party is in the leadership of the movement. On this question we must also bear in mind the fact that we do not really know the strength and the basis of the different political currents in that movement. We know from experience that in our country, too, the working class was not developed, nevertheless, since the objective and subjective factors existed in the conditions of the occupation and the National Liberation War, the Party led the people to victory by basing itself on Marxism-Leninism, which means it put the working class and its vanguard, in other words itself, in the leadership. This is not the case in Iran. In that country there is a Marxist-Leninist party, the Workers and Peasants’ Communist Party of Iran, a young party which, has just been formed, but it is still small, untempered, not linked with the working class and the masses, etc., while the revisionist “Tudeh” Party has existed legally and illegally, is now legal again, but is a tool of the Soviet Union. Hiding behind Marxist-Leninist slogans, this party is sabotaging the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle of the Iranian people and trying to bring Iran into the sphere of influence and under the thraldom of the Soviet Union. That is why the Moslem people of Iran, who have risen in revolution, are not acquainted with Marxism-Leninism either as a theory or a revolutionary practice. The students who are studying at Iran’s Moslem universities with great traditions and of the Shia Moslem sect, are both believers and non-believers in religion. In regard to the secular progressive elements there are those who believe in and are fighting for a liberal bourgeois-democratic state, those who believe in a “progressive” capitalist but anti-communist society, and those who still think that the Soviet Union is a socialist country which represents and applies Leninism. This is one of the reasons that genuine Marxism-Leninism has still not won acceptance in Iran, therefore the people there are fighting for liberation from the yoke of American imperialism and from Soviet influence, but under the banner of Islam. This means that the Shia Moslem clergy are in the leadership, in the vanguard of the uprising, but we have no illusions and know that they are for a bourgeois capitalist regime with religious predominance, hence, a theocratic regime. As to what course the movement against American imperialism and the barbarous compradore monarchy of the Pahlavis will take in the future, this depends mainly on the seething internal forces.

What general definition can be made of these forces?

In the present world situation and at the existing stage of the movement of the peoples for their national and social liberation, the popular revolution in Iran represents a new stage. Regardless of what others do or say, we must document this stage more carefully and make a critical Marxist-Leninist analysis of it.

Iran is a country very rich in oil, hence, has a working class comprised of oil workers and other industrial workers, but also has artisans. Of Iran’s 33 million inhabitants about 17 million are in the countryside and work the land. They are poverty-stricken, oppressed and exploited to the limit by the mullahs, the religious institutions, the big-landed bourgeoisie in the service of the Pahlavis, by the wealthy mercantile and money-lending bourgeoisie linked with the monarchy. Of the total population of Iran 99 per cent are of the Moslem religion and the majority of the Shia sect.

The Pahlavi regime was one of the most barbarous, the most bloodthirsty, the most exploiting, the most corrupt of the modern world. It employed bloodshed and terror to suppress any progressive movement, any even mildly liberal demonstration, any protest or strike of workers or students, and any attempt to develop a small-scale, auxiliary subsistance economy. The savage dictatorship of the Pahlavis was based on the big feudal landowners, the wealthy property-owners that the regime created, the reactionary army and the officer caste which ran it, and on SAVAK , the secret police, which the Shah himself described as “a state within a state.” The Pahlavis ruled by means of terror, robbed the people, enriched themselves in scandalous ways, were the personification of moral and political degeneration, were partners with and sold out to British and American and other imperialisms. The Pahlavis had become the most heavily armed gendarmes of the Persian Gulf under the orders of the CIA.

Iran was oppressed, but the people were seething with revolt, although wholesale executions were carried out every day. The ayatollahs who were discontented with the regime began to move. In 1951, Mossadeq, a representative of the bourgeoisie, supported by the mullahs opposed to the Shah, and by the “Tudeh” Party, seized power. In 1953 the Shah was driven out, but his overthrow and departure were not final, because the CIA organized a putsch, overthrew Mossadeq, brought the Shah back to Iran and restored him to the throne. Thus, Iran became the property of the Americans and the Shah and its oil became their powerful weapon. 

It is characteristic of the revolt of the Iranian people that, despite the great terror, it was not quelled, but continued spasmodically, in different forms and in different intensities. This revolutionary process steadily built up in quality and overcame the stage of fear of suppression

Despite the great terror, in 1977 the opposition to the Shah began to be displayed more forcibly, became more open and active. If we follow these trends opposed to the Shah and his regime separately we shall see that they are to some extent autonomous, but have a common strategy. Thus, we see the opposition of Mossadeq’s supporters, the resistance of the religious forces, the actions and demonstrations of the students, the stands of intellectuals, officials, writers, poets and artists against the regime expressed at rallies, in the universities and in other public places, etc., and together with all these currents we also see the self-defence and resistance of the working class and the whole oppressed and exploited people. SAVAK attacked mercilessly, but the suppression and executions only added to the anger of the masses. This resistance turned into a permanent activity. 

In the same period we see the re-awakening of the political opposition of Mossadeq’s supporters in the National Front. One of the elements of this current was Shapour Bakhtiar, who became prime minister on the eve of the overthrow of Shah Pahlavi. This was the last shot of the Shah and the American imperialists against the Iranian anti-imperialist revolution and Khomeini.

In the course of the development of this political opposition, the “Movement for the Liberation of Iran,” the “Iran Party,” and the “Socialist League of the National Movement of Iran,” broke away. The “Movement for the Liberation of Iran,” which was headed by Bazargan, who became prime minister after the departure of the Shah, was closer to Khomeini and the other imams.

We must always bear in mind that neither this political opposition, nor the religious opposition to the Pahlavis was united. Some of those who comprised this opposition were against the so-called agrarian reform, against the right of women to vote, etc. This section, which comprised conservative clergy, was steadily losing its influence amongst the masses, who were moving closer to that part of the clergy who openly fought the dictatorship of the Shah on the basis of the Shia principles of the Moslem religion. One of these was Ayatollah Khomeini, who was imprisoned, tortured, imprisoned again, and sent into exile and his son murdered. This enhanced the influence of the imam among the people, in the “Bazaar” (the main market centre of Tehran), hence, amongst the merchants, and also amongst the workers. In the rising tide of agitation and the great demonstrations against the Shah, the masses demanded the return of the Imam to the homeland. The death of his son and of a political personality, Ali Shariat, in mysterious circumstances led to the emergence of the religious elements in the forefront of the clashes and the whole people united with them, especially in Tabriz on February 18-19, 1977, as well as in Tehran, Qum and other Iranian cities. Al l this testifies to the fighting spirit of the people of Iran. As a result the Pahlavi monarchy was quite incapable of resisting the repeated waves of the onslaught of the insurgent people. 

Hence, in this climate of progressive insurgency against feudalism, the monarchy and imperialism, the Marxist-Leninists must analyse the various political trends, the orientations of these trends, the alliances and contradictions between them inside Iran and with the capitalist-revisionist world outside that country.

At present we see an active and militant unity of the uprising against American imperialism and the Shah and, to some extent, also against Soviet social-imperialism, and, at the same time, we also see increased vigilance and opposition towards all other capitalist states, though not so open and active as against the Americans. This situation will certainly undergo evolution. We see that the universities in Iran have become centres of fiery manifestations with both political and religious tendencies, and likewise see that the religious opposition and the political opposition are uniting. Thus, despite the contradictions which exist between them, it seems that the supporters of Mossadeq and those of Khomeini are moving closer together. In Tabriz, which has an important working class, apart from the oil workers, we can say that this unity has been brought about. Similar things are taking place at Abadan and the other regions where there are oil-fields and refineries. 

The Iranian Marxist-Leninists must, in particular, submit the strength and orientations of the working class to a Marxist-Leninist analysis and then their party must base its activity on this analysis, go among the working class, educate it and clarify it politically and ideologically, while tempering itself together with the working class in this revolutionary class struggle which, far from being ended, has only begun and will certainly assume diverse aspects. The revolutionary activity of the working class and the Marxist-Leninist ideology alone must become the factor deciding the correct directions which this anti-imperialist revolution must take. Certainly, in the present situation in Iran much can and must be gained from the revolutionary force of the Iranian working class, by the progressive elements, and especially by the students and the poor and middle peasantry. 

The Marxist-Leninists will be committing a mistake if they do not understand the situation created and do not utilize it in the right way, if they come out as anti-religious fighters and thus damage their anti-imperialist and anti-feudal unity with the followers of Ayatollah Khomeini and the followers of Mossadeq’s, Bazargan’s or others’ anti-imperialist bourgeois-democratic parties and movements.

Although anti-religious in their principles, the Iranian Marxist-Leninists must not for the moment wage a struggle against the religious beliefs of the people who have risen in revolt against oppression and are waging a just struggle politically, but are still unformed ideologically and will have to go through a great school in which they will learn. The Marxist-Leninists must teach the people to assess the events that are taking place in the light of dialectical and historical materialism. However, our world outlook cannot be assimilated easily in isolation from the revolutionary drive of the masses or from the anti-imperialist trends that are trying to remain in the leadership and to manoeuvre to prevent the bourgeois-democratic reforms of the revolution. The Iranian Marxist-Leninists and working class must play a major role in those revolutionary movements, having a clear understanding of the moments they are going through; they must not let the revolution die down. The working class and its true Marxist-Leninist vanguard should have no illusions about the “deep-going” bourgeois-democratic measures and reforms which the Shia clergy or the anti-Shah elements of the old and new national bourgeoisie might carry out. Certainly, if the working class, the poor peasantry and the progressive students, whether believers or non-believers, allow the impetus of the revolution to ebb away, which means that they do not proceed with determination and maturity towards alliances and activities conducive to successive political and socio-economic reforms, then the revolution will stop halfway, the masses will be disillusioned and the exploitation of them will continue in other forms by pseudo-democratic people linked in new alliances with the different imperialists. 

These special new revolutionary situations which are developing among the peoples of Islamic religious beliefs must be studied, conclusions must be drawn from them and new forms of struggle, action and alliances must be found. These revolutionary situations are much more advanced than those in Europe and Asia and, to some degree, even Latin America, where the revolutionary movements have assumed a petrified form, linked with and led by reformist and counter-revolutionary social-democracy and modern revisionism.

For instance, we do not see such revolts of a marked revolutionary political spirit occur in Europe where there is a big and powerful proletariat. For what reasons? For all those reasons which are known and have to do with the grave counter-revolutionary influence and sabotage of social-democracy and modern revisionism. The question is not that there is no exploitation on our continent, and therefore there are no movements. No, here, too, there is exploitation and there are movements, but they are of another nature. They are not “very deep-going, Marxist-Leninist revolutionary movements” which are waiting “for the situation to ripen,” etc., as the social-democrats, revisionists and other lackeys of the capitalist bourgeoisie describe them. No, the capitalist bourgeoisie itself and its lackeys do not permit such situations to ripen, do not permit such occurrences as are going on at present in the Arab-Moslem countries, where the revolutionary masses rise in struggle and create difficult situations for imperialism, feudalism and the cosmopolitan capitalist bourgeoisie.

Some claim that the Arab peoples and the peoples of the other Moslem countries are moving, because they are “poor!” Indeed, they are poor. But those who say this must admit that they themselves have become bourgeois and that is why they do not rise against oppression and exploitation, while the truth is that capitalism barbarously oppresses and exploits the peoples everywhere, without exception.

It is claimed, also, that in the countries of Islamic religion, the “masses are backward,” therefore, they are easily set in motion. This means that those who support this reasoning have degenerated and are not for revolution, because at a time when capitalism is in decay, honest people must be revolutionary and rise in struggle against capitalism, aiming the weapons they posses against it. Here, in Europe, however, we do not see such a thing. On the contrary, we see the “theory” of adaptation to the existing situation being preached.

Political debates are organized all over the capitalist countries. It has become fashionable for the social-democrats, the Christian-democrats, the revisionists and all sorts of other people in these countries to talk about “revolution” and allegedly revolutionary actions, and each of them tries in his own way to confuse and mislead the working masses with these slogans. The “leftists” scream for “revolutionary measures,” but immediately set the limits, “explaining” that “revolutionary measures must not be undertaken everywhere and in all fields,” but that only “certain changes must be made,” that is, a few crumbs must be thrown to the masses, who are demanding radical revolutionary changes, in order to deceive them and to hinder and sabotage the revolutionary drive of the masses.

We must analyse these situations and phenomena in theoretical articles or in other forms and with other means of our propaganda on the Marxist-Leninist course, with the aim of explaining the essence of the revolt and uprisings of peoples against imperialism, neo-colonialism and local rulers, of explaining the question of the survival of old religious traditions, etc. This does not rule out our support for liberation movements, because such movements occurred even before the time of Marx, as mentioned above. To wait until religion is first eliminated and carry out the revolution only after this, is not in favour of the revolution or the peoples. 

In the situation today, the people who have risen in revolt and believe in religion are no longer at the stage of consciousness of Spartacus, who rose against the Roman Empire, against the slave-owners, but they are seething with revolt against the barbarous oppression and exploitation and policy of imperialism and social-imperialism. The slaves’ revolt led by Spartacus, as Marx and Engels explain, was progressive, as were the beginnings of Christianity.

In these very important situations we see that the other peoples of Africa have risen, too, but not with the force and revolutionary drive of the Arab peoples, the Iranians, etc. This is another problem which must be examined in order to find the reasons why they, too, do not rise and why they are not inspired to the same level as the peoples that I mentioned. It is true that the African peoples are oppressed, too, indeed, much more oppressed than the Arab peoples, the Iranians and others. Likewise, Marxism has still not spread to the proper extent in Africa, and then there is also the influence of religion, although not on the same scale as in the Moslem countries. Work must be done in Africa to disseminate the Marxist-Leninist theory more extensively and deeply. That is even more virgin terrain, with oppressed peoples, amongst whom the sense of religion is still in an infantile stage. There are peoples in Africa who still believe in the heavenly powers of the sun, the moon, magic, etc., they have pagan beliefs which have not crystallized into an ideology and a concrete theology such as the Moslem religion, let alone the Christian or Buddhist religions and their sects. Although there is savage oppression and exploitation in Africa, the movement in this region of the world is developing more slowly. This is because the level of social development in Africa is lower. 

If we take these questions and examine them in unity, we shall see that at the present stage of development, Islam as a whole is playing an active role in the anti-imperialist liberation struggles of the Moslem peoples, while in the European countries and some other countries where the Catholic religion operates, preaching the submissive Christian philosophy of “turn the other cheek,” its leaders take a reactionary stand and try to hinder the movement, therevolt, the uprising of the masses for national and social liberation. Of course, in those countries the oppressive power of the bourgeoisie and capitalism, social-democracy and modern revisionism is greater, but the Catholic religion, too, serves to suppress the revolutionary spirit of the masses in order to keep the situation in stagnation.

From the stand-point of economic development the Moslem peoples have been held back; as a consequence of colonialist occupation and colonialist and neo-colonialist exploitation in past decades the Moslem religion in those countries was suppressed by the Catholic or Protestant religions which were represented by the foreign invaders, a thing which has not passed without consequences and without resistance, and herein we might find a political and ideological-religious reason for the anti-imperialist revolution of the Moslem peoples.

The question presents itself that we should look at the present stage of development of the Moslem religion as compared with past centuries. The development of human society has exerted an influence that has made the Moslem religious belief less and less functional. That is, it has been infiltrated by a certain liberalism which is apparent in the fact that, while the Moslem believer truly believes in the Islamic religion, today he is no longer like the believer of the Middle Ages or the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Today the veiled women in the Moslem countries have those same feelings which our veiled women had before Liberation, as for example in Kavaja [town in central Albania – E.S.] although, of course, not completely those of women as progressive as ours were. Nevertheless, the feelings of revolt exist deep in their hearts, and are expressed to the extent that public opinion permits. Today the Iranian women are involved in the broad movement of the Iranian people against the Shah and imperialism.

Hence, we see that religious oppression exists in the countries with Moslem populations, too, but the religion itself has undergone a certain evolution, especially in its outward manifestations. Let me make this quite clear, religion has not disappeared in those countries, but a time has come in which the spirit of revolt, on the one hand, and the liberalization of the religion, on the other, are impelling people who believe in the Islamic dogmas to rise against those who call themselves religious and want to exercise the former norms of the religion in order to suppress the peoples and keep them in poverty. Their struggle against imperialists, whom they continue to call infidels, that is, their enemies, enemies of their religion, is linked precisely with this. These peoples understand that the foreign occupiers are people of Catholic or Protestant beliefs who want to oppress both countries and religions. The westerners call this religious antagonism, which also contains the class antagonism against foreign occupiers, simply a religious struggle, or apply other incorrect denigrating epithets to it. This is how they are treating the liberation struggles of the Moslem peoples of Arab and non-Arab countries in Asia and Africa today and even the liberation struggle of the Irish people, most of whom are Catholics, against the British occupiers who are Protestants. At the same time, we see incorrect manifestations also among the Moslem peoples who have risen in revolt. They, too, say: “The Giaours, unscrupulous people who are against our religion, are oppressing us,” etc. In this way they link the question of national liberation with the religious question, that is, they see the social and economic oppression which is imposed on them by imperialism as religious oppression. In the future the other Moslem peoples will certainly reach that stage of development which the people of Algeria, Syria and some other countries have reached on these matters. 

These struggles lead not only to increased sympathy for the peoples who rise in revolt, but also to unity with them, because they are all Moslems. If a people rise against imperialism and the reactionary chiefs ruling their country, who use religion as a means of oppression, this uprising destroys the sense of religion even among those who believe in it at the moment. When a people rise in insurrection against oppression, then the revolutionary sentiment is extended and deepened and people reach the stage which makes them think somewhat more clearly about the question of religion. Until yesterday the poor peasant in Iran said only “inshallah!” and comforted himself with this, but now he understands that nothing can be gained through “inshallah!” In the past all these peoples said, “Thus it has been decreed,” but now the masses of believers have risen united and come out in the streets, arms in hand, to demand their rights and freedom. And certainly, when they demand to take the land, the peasants in those countries will undoubtedly have to do battle for the great possessions of the religious institutions, that is, with the clergy. That is why the sinister forces of reaction are making such a great fuss about the fanatical aspect, about the question of putting the women back under the veil, etc., etc., because they are trying to discredit the Iranian revolution, because imperialism and world capitalism have a colossal support in religion. This is how matters stand with the Vatican, too, with the policy of that great centre of the most reactionary world obscurantism, with the mentality and outlook of Catholics. But the revolution disperses the religious fog. This will certainly occur with the Arab peoples, with the other Moslem peoples, who are rising in insurrection, and with the peoples of other faiths, that is, there will be progress towards the disappearance, the elimination of religious beliefs and the religious leadership. This is a major problem.

Here we are talking about whole peoples who are rising in revolt in the Moslem countries, whether Arab or otherwise. There are no such movements in Europe. On this continent social-democratic reformist parties and forces operate. The number of Marxist-Leninist parties here is still small, while there are big revisionist parties, which operate contrary to people’s interests and sentiments, have lost credibility among the masses, and support capitalism, imperialism and social-imperialism. The Moslem peoples of the Arab and non-Arab countries trust neither the American imperialists nor the Soviet social-imperialists, because they represent great powers which are struggling to oppress and plunder the Moslem peoples; also, as Moslems they put no trust in the religious beliefs of those powers.

As a result, the uprising which is developing in Iran and Afghanistan is bound to have consequences throughout the Moslem world. Hence, if the Marxist-Leninist groups, our comrades in these and other countries of this region properly understand the problems emerging from the events in Iran, Afghanistan and other Moslem countries, then all the possibilities exist for them to do much work. However, they must work cautiously there. In those countries religion cannot be eliminated with directives, extremist slogans or erroneous analyses. In order to find the truth we must analyse the activity of those forces in the actual circumstances, because many things, true and false, are being said about them, as is occurring with Ayatollah Khomeini, too. True, he is religious, but regardless of this, analysis must be made of his anti-imperialist attitudes and actions, which, willy-nilly, bring grist to the mill of the revolution. 

This whole development of events is very interesting. Here the question of religion is entangled with political issues, in the sympathy and solidarity between peoples. What I mean is that if the leadership of a certain country were to rise against the revolt of the Iranian people, then it would lose its political positions within the country and the people would rise in opposition, accuse the government of links with the United States of America, with the “giaours,” because they are against Islam. This is because these peoples see Islam as progressive, while the United States represents that force which oppresses them, not only from the social aspect but also from the spiritual aspect. That is why we see that none of these countries is coming out openly to condemn the events in Iran.

Another obstacle which reaction is using to sabotage the revolution of the Iranian people is that of inciting feuds and raising the question of national minorities. Reaction is inciting the national sentiments in Azerbaijan, inciting the Kurds, etc., etc., in order to weaken this great anti-imperialist and “pro-Moslem” uprising of the Iranian people. The incitement of national sentiments has been and is a weapon in the hands of imperialism and social-imperialism and all reaction to sabotage the anti-imperialist and national liberation wars. Therefore, the thesis of our Party that the question of settling the problems of national minorities is not a major problem at present, is correct. Now the Kurds, the Tadjiks, the Azerbaijanis and others ought to rise in struggle against imperialism and its lackeys and, if possible, rise according to the teachings and inspiration of Marxism-Leninism. The Kurds, the Tadjiks and the Azerbaijanis who live in the Soviet Union and are oppressed and enslaved today, must rise, first of all, against Russian social-imperialism.

In broad outline this is how the situation in these regions presents itself and these are some of the problems which emerge. The events will certainly develop further. Our task is to analyse these situations and events which are taking place in the Moslem world, using the Marxist-Leninist theory as the basis, and to define our stands so that they assist a correct understanding of these events, and thus, make our contribution to the successful development of the people’s revolutionary movement.

Enver Hoxha, “Reflections on the Middle East,” Tirana; 1984; pp. 355-392

Enver Hoxha on the Revolutionary and Reactionary Potential of Religion

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“It is clear that the peoples of this region are Moslems and when we say this we have in mind the fact that the majority of them are believers, but their belief is relative and does not predominate over politics. There are also progressive people there who believe in and respect the Koran and religion more as a custom and tradition. When we speak about the overwhelming majority, we have in mind that part of the people to whom the Moslem religion has been presented as a liberal progressive religion which serves the interests of the people and to whom everything preached in its name ‘is for the good of the people,’ because ‘to wash, to pray and to fast is for the benefit of the health, the physical strengthening and spiritual satisfaction of man,’ etc., etc. In other words, people are told that the rites of this religion are ‘useful’ not only for this life but also for the ‘next life,’ after death. This is preached openly. However, the poverty and oppression, schooling and a certain political development have shaken the foundations of this belief.

In general, from all these events and developments, we see that the imperialists and the social-imperialists are in difficulties in these regions of the world. It is understandable that their puppets, likewise, are in difficulties. Both for the former and for the latter it is the progressive, anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist and anti-feudal revolutionary movement of the popular masses of the Moslem Arab peoples, whether Shia or Sunni, that is the cause of these great difficulties. The whole situation in this region is positive, good, and indicates a revolutionary situation and a major movement of these peoples. At the same time, though, we see efforts made by the enemies of these peoples to restrain this movement or to alter its direction and intensity.

Hence, we must regard these situations, these movements and uprisings of these peoples as revolutionary social movements, irrespective that at first sight they have a religious character or that believers or non-believers take part in them, because they are fighting against foreign imperialism and neo-colonialism or the local monarchies and oppressive feudalism. History gives us many positive examples in this direction when broad revolutionary movements of the popular masses have had a religious character outwardly. Among them. we can list the Babist movements in Iran 1848-1851; the Wahabi movement in India which preceded the great popular uprising against the British colonizers in the years 1857-1859; the peasant movements at the time of the Reformation in the 16th century which swept most of the countries of Europe and especially Germany. The Reformation itself, although dressed in a religious cloak, represented a broad socio-political movement against the feudal system and the Catholic Church which defended that system.”

– Enver Hoxha, “Reflections on the Middle East,” page 367-369.

ICMLPO (Unity and Struggle): Imperialists and your henchmen: Get your filthy hands out of the Middle East!

The tribulations and problems have not ceased in the Middle East since the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by the U.S. Currently a terrorist organization called “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) continues its expansion that began in Fallujah. This organization is causing the sudden exile of thousands from Mosul, and the massacre of dozens of people; it has organized the occupation of the Turkish Consulate General and taken employees hostage. Now ISIL is at the gates of Kirkuk [1] and is threatening Baghdad.

The ISIL is an organization similar to Al Qaeda and Al Nusra [2] manipulated by the U.S. to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria. Supported both logistically and militarily by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey, they feel protected and carry out terrorist activities in the Kurdish region of Rojava, in northern Syria. For some time, the imperialists have been trying to reshape the Middle East in order to implement their policy and seize oil sources. To achieve its objectives, they use all kinds of tricks to provoke the animosity and rivalry between different communities and nations in the region. Faced with Syria, Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, called by the imperialists the “Shiite axis of evil,” they are trying to form, together with Turkey and the Persian Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, the “Sunni Half Moon,” which constitutes the basis of violent clashes between communities in the region. In Iraq, the policies of the Al Maliki government, which does not recognize the right to existence of the other communities, has not succeeded in imposing itself on the country, ruined after the withdrawal of the U.S. troops.

ISIL, armed by Turkey, and indeed considered an ally and pushed to open a new road into Syria, is the result of a consistent policy of deepening the differences between communities to make them a source of animosity and confrontation among them. ISIL thrives in the vast field opened up by the reactionary policy carried out by imperialism and the Turkish government.

Iraq is now divided into three parts among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. The problem is much broader than an internal matter of Iraq, and has become a global problem; in the Middle East, it is headed toward an inevitable confrontation between the superpowers, which will proceed to a division of spheres of influence in that region.

After the attack by ISIL on the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, in which all those present were taken hostage, the statement of the Foreign Minister of Turkey affirming that these people “are not hostages” involuntarily recognized the existence of relations between the Turkish government and this terrorist organization. The rumors that the National Intelligence Agency of Turkey (MIT) had received information about the attack on the consulate, show that the Turkish government is colluding with the criminal terrorist organization.

The Turkish government has a great responsibility for the worsening situation of growing chaos in Iraq, which will inevitably the entire region. It has intrigued behind the backs of its neighbors to become a regional power; it has become a bully against its neighboring countries; it incites one against the other and continually threatens Alawite citizens in Turkey; it has done everything possible to inflame the war in Syria.

The imperialist policy in Iraq is the path to a new war. The most important demand of the peoples in the region today is peace and democracy; however, this will never be the goal of the United States of America, of Turkey or of the other reactionary states.

Currently the condition for a true peace is the collective building of democracy for the peoples so that they can govern themselves by expelling the oppressive dictators together with their allies and the U.S. A new order built on a true secularism that guarantees fraternity between the different religious beliefs can be an alternative to the policy that incites the peoples to destroy each other in the order imposed by the U.S., an order based on chaos.

Down with imperialism! Long live the brotherhood among the peoples!

International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations

June 2014

[1] Kirkuk is one of the principal oil centers in Iraq. The Kurds are strongly established in the region and presently occupy the territory.

[2] Al Nusra, an organization similar to Al Qaeda, was formed in 2012, and operates in Syria and Lebanon.

Source

Joint Communiqué of the Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast and the Communist Party of Benin

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On 23 February 2014, a meeting was held in Cotonou between the PCRCI [Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast] and the PCB [Communist Party of Benin] related to the events organised by the INIREF [International Institute of Research and Training]-Benin for the celebration of the International Day of the Mother Tongue and the peoples of Benin.

The two parties exchanged views on the international situation and the respective national situations and identified the tasks they imply.

I. On the international situation

1) The global capitalist crisis began in 2008 and its effects continue to worsen the living conditions of the proletariat and the peoples of the world. This leads them around the world to wage different forms of struggle for their liberation.

2) The arrival on the world stage of new so-called emerging powers, whose known core is made up of the BRICS group: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, increasing the inter-imperialist rivalries with the multiplication of local clashes concerning domination; this constitutes the elements of a world war by proxy.

The first counter-offensive by the classical imperialist powers to stop the rise of the “emerging” countries was launched against Libya. They succeeded in regaining control with this counter-offensive, directed against China and Russia, as well as against the African peoples. At the end of the war France would have won 35% of Libyan oil. The second counter-offensive was against Syria; they have bitten the dust faced with the determination of the Syrian people but also with the policy of Russia and China. It is the same with the evolution of the situation in Iran.

II. On the African continent

1) Africa is the focus of all world contradictions: an abundance of untapped wealth, crying misery of the majority of the population, greed of the imperialists, cultural domination, military aggression against the peoples, installation of military bases in some countries to serve as Advanced Operational Bases such as Ivory Coast and Djibouti. The fight is fierce between the old powers and the new so-called emerging powers. This rivalry is the basis of all the conflicts of which the African peoples are the victims.

2) To protect its neo-colonial “backyard,” French imperialism resorts to the policy of direct military occupation of its former colonies. The military infrastructure of imperialism (French and U.S. – Africom – etc.) aim at criss-crossing Africa with assault troops through their military bases in Djibouti, Chad, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Sahel, Gulf of Guinea, etc. So from now on, Abidjan will officially serve as a rear base to attack the peoples of the sub-region.

The latest military intervention to date is the one taking place in the Central African Republic. Any excuse is good to intervene in the African countries: “Hunting a despot who refused to recognise the election results” for the Ivory Coast; “To help the Libyan people in revolt against the dictator Gaddafi” for Libya; “To fight the jihadists and restore the territorial integrity” of Mali; “To restore security and order and stop the massacres” for the Central African Republic. The tactics of imperialism are the same: To set a fire to give a pretext to intervene to put it out. However, we now know that it is the French intervention in Central Africa that is exacerbating the ethno-religious relations in the country disarming the Seleka and covering up the crimes of so-called Christian militias.

The PCRCI and PCB declare that French imperialism and its military forces are the only ones responsible for the current massacres of Central African citizens, particularly those of the Muslim faith and therefore for the ongoing genocide in that country.

The PCRCI and PCB denounce and condemn the military aggressions of international imperialism and particularly French imperialism, which is hiding behind the UN forces and behaves like a pyromaniac fireman to maintain its African backyard.

They pay tribute to all Africans who fell victim to the bullets of the French interventionist aggressors, whether in Libya, Ivory Coast, Mali, Central Africa, etc. And they declare them heroes and martyrs of African patriotism.

3) The PCRCI and PCB welcome the victories of the fraternal people of Tunisia under the leadership of the Workers’ Party and the Popular Front of Tunisia for Democracy against Islamist obscurantism, and for a democratic constitution.

They also greet the fraternal people of Niger who fought bravely against the plundering of the mineral resources, particularly uranium, which is the object of the AREVA group and for the sovereignty over its natural resources.

III. The situation in Benin and the Ivory Coast is characterised by the unchallenged domination of French imperialism whose monopolies control large parts of the national economies (ports, banks, energy, etc.).

1) In Benin, Yayi Boni, having ransacked the economy and finances of the country, aims to restore a fascist dictatorship of another age. It is against this that all the people are rising up to oppose him and establish the power of the workers and peoples. The PCRCI firmly supports the ongoing struggles of the Benin workers and youths in the struggles for their total emancipation and wish them a successful result.

2) In the Ivory Coast, under the false pretext of development after the disaster of the war period, the Ouattara authorities are confiscating the state media, stifling freedom, trying to ban student organisations and put in their place puppet structures. The Communist Party of Benin supports the struggles of the Ivorian people and the Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast in their struggle against French imperialism and against the anti-democratic regime of Ouattara to liberate the Ivory Coast from neo-colonial dependency.

3) The Revolutionary Communist Party of the Ivory Coast (PCRCI) thanks the Communist Party of Benin (PCB) and the INIREF-Benin for inviting it to the events for the commemoration of the International Day of the Mother Tongue and the celebration of the peoples of Benin.

The PCRCI and PCB send the proletariat, the peoples, the democrats and the youth the following call:

* NO TO MILITARY INTERVENTION AGAINST THE PEOPLES!
* NO TO FOREIGN MILITARY BASES OF AGGRESSION ON AFRICAN SOIL!
* IMPERIALISM OUT!

Cotonou, February 23, 2014

For the PCRCI: Yokore Gnagnon.
For the PCB: Philippe Noudjenoume

Source

Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey (TDKP): The struggle and organisation of the youth of Turkey, and the EMEK Youth

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From Unity & Struggle No. 25, Spring/Summer 2013

Turkey

The youthfulness of Turkey’s population is evident. Although since 2000 a decrease in the rate of population increase has been recorded, this tendency does not alter the existence of a particularly young population.

Today as yesterday, the leaders of Turkey consider this young population with pride, as part of the country’s wealth. The armed forces, consisting of some 700,000 young soldiers, have been presented for years to the imperialist “markets” as our ” primary exports”. The political representatives of the bourgeoisie often claim that “the main weapon of the great Turkish power, today and tomorrow, is its human strength and its young population.” They continually presume and repeat that “investing in the youth is investing for the future.”

According to the representatives of the ruling classes, with their political, academic, cultural representatives, this is something to be considered natural, real and accepted by all. This approach is considered as something positive and constructive by the great majority of society and the mass of young people. However, if we take into account the truth that they are hiding, it is not at all what they present to us.

The concepts “pride, wealth, greatness and strength,” propagated without any shame, are based entirely on the existence and continuity of the interests of the ruling classes. What they want to preserve is the future of the ruling system, to protect it completely. The youth have nothing for the future and no “wealth” in life.

The beautiful and happy days promised are only a dream, realizable only for the small minority of youth of the ruling classes. The vast majority of youth are forced into a race among themselves to be able to realize that false dream of leaping out of their social class. For most youths, it is a struggle to survive, overwhelmed by destructive and reactionary oppression, accompanied by unemployment and inhumane exploitation. Since the beginning of the Republic, the life offered to the youth by the ruling classes of the country as a bright future is nothing more than decrepitude within a vicious circle.

The youths who are opposed to the propaganda of all varieties of nationalism, of Islamic-Turkish synthesis, idealistic religious fatalism, liberalism, to all of which they are subjected, pay dearly for their audacity. In the last 50 years, all kinds of oppression have been used to docile those advanced sections of the youth who refused the false heaven, who organised and fought for sovereignty, democracy, freedom and socialism.

At the base of the policy towards the youth, with the pretext of the declining birth rate, is in reality the short- to medium-term interest of the system and its social ambitions. The future that they claim to guarantee is not a beautiful and free future for the youth, but for the system and its ruling classes.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan makes frequent calls to the families to conceive at least three children. It is clear that neither the Prime Minister nor the ruling classes that support him make these calls out of love for the parents or their children. Their aim is to transform Turkey into a country with young, able and cheap labour force. This is the truth that is hidden beneath the AKP’s electoral slogan, “Objective 2023.” One of the goals of this government of the bourgeoisie for the immediate future is to lower the value of labour power in order to compete with countries such as China and India. The Turkey led by the AKP (Justice and Development Party) is trying to become a miniature China or India in the region in the near future.

The religious younger generations that the Prime Minister and the ruling classes want to train is a youth completely resigned to the capitalist attacks, completely docile toward the system. These are their desires.

To this end they have abolished compulsory education to instead implement a system of a progressive “4 +4 +4,” that is, the boys who have already had four years of study can work in the factories, and the girls can marry.

Another major problem that profoundly affects today’s youth and the future generations is the policy of war, both inside and outside the country. The Turkish bourgeoisie and its political representatives want Turkey to become “a regional power and ensure its leadership of the region.” The ruling classes want to permanently militarize the youth of Turkey, starting with the Turkish and Kurdish youths, for their war policy.

The ruling classes of Turkey know the determining role of work as well as the energy of the Turkish and Kurdish youths for the present and future generations in terms of reproduction and organization of the economic, social, political and ideological infrastructure and superstructure. Therefore they are trying to educate the new generations as well as individuals subjected to their reactionary interests, domination and desires. But this policy does not help the Turkish and Kurdish youths. Moreover, neither Turkey nor the peoples of the region or the world need a youth educated with these ideological characteristics, neither today nor tomorrow.

What the oppressed classes and peoples of these lands need are new generations that believe in equality, peace and brotherhood in a world without repression or exploitation. What we need is a youth that really defends labour, science and all the progressive values of humanity, a youth that is willing to defend these values and fight for them. This is the interest of the youths, workers, unemployed, students and peasants of Turkish and Kurdish nationalities.

The revolutionary party of the working class, EMEP, the Labour Party, and its youth organisation, “EMEK Youth” (Labour Youth) are working to unite the youth to take up this fight.

The Emek Youth and its platform of struggle

The Emek Youth held its 6th General Conference on April 6 and 7 in Ankara, under the slogan “We demand jobs, the right to education, peace and freedom.” In preparation for the General Conference 300 local conferences were held with over 4,000 young people from the whole country taking part. During the Conference, the Emek Youth discussed the problems of struggle and organization. It renewed its leadership through democratic elections, organized from the bottom to the top.

The Conference was launched after the 6th General Congress of EMEP. This Congress, held under the slogan “Against Imperialism and War, For Jobs, Peace and Freedom” took measures for all the battlefields, such as that of the youth and their organization. The analyses and decisions, the political and tactical platform of the Congress of the Party, have guided and strengthened the struggle and organization of the Emek Youth.

In analyzing the situation in Turkey and the world, EMEP emphasized the need to attract the young people and the women to the struggle and the importance of the convergence of the struggle of the workers with that of the youths. Both the conferences of the Party and of the Youth, as in the following months, paid particular attention to these issues and made a criticism and self-criticism in various steps. This was shown in the June, 2012, internal organ of the Party, “Parti Gündemi” (Party Agenda): “[…] To make ourselves heard by many young people during this process, to unite a group of youths around our local organizations, to renovate the leadership of Emek Youth through democratic elections, as well as the participation of new members; all this is important, but not enough!”

The application of these possibilities, as was evident at the Conference of the Youth, is not the sole responsibility of the youths, nor does the end of the period of the conferences mean that the responsibility of the Party towards the youths is over. Quite the contrary, the Party organizations must take on new tasks and discuss how best to promote these possibilities to advance the work of our youth organization.

What do the slogans mean?

The 6th Congress of EMEP appealed to the working class and oppressed masses to unite “against war and imperialism,” emphasizing three main demands: “Jobs, Peace and Freedom.” The Emek Youth for its part adapted its tactics to the slogan “Let Us Unite for Jobs, Peace and Freedom!”

We have briefly discussed the political situation in Turkey and its impact on youth. Starting with the above-mentioned slogans we will more thoroughly analyze the platform of struggle that the Party and the Emek Youth are trying to organize to meet the main attacks of capital that are further aggravating the situation of the youth.

The struggle to prevent the youth from being dragged into war

The AKP is a party in the service of the bourgeoisie and has been elected into the government three times in the last 11 years. It presents itself as “democratic conservative” and its head does not lose any occasion to proclaim that it will make Turkey a “regional power.” In total collaboration with the United States and Western imperialism, the government is trying to carry out its wish to be the regional power, using for some time the “model of moderate Islam.” During this period, the slogan used by the government was that of “zero problems with our neighbouring countries.” Since 2007, the situation began to change, and today there is not one neighbouring country with which Turkey has no arguments.

The AKP government, which readily agrees to propagate “the model of moderate Islam” in the region, like the Trojan horse, that the U.S. wants to export, is trying to take advantage of the revolts in the region to implement this plan. And as events have not developed as they wanted, now Turkey is abandoning its role of the Trojan horse to act as a faithful ally of the United States and NATO in the region.

In order to control Iran and Russia, and in collaboration with the U.S., Turkey has installed an anti-missile shield in the eastern town of Kurecik. Recently, referring to the Syrian issue, Prime Minister Erdogan stated that Turkey is belligerent: “Syria is now an internal problem of ours. We can not remain indifferent.” The military concentrations on the border, the mobilization orders sent to the hospitals, the haven in the camps in Turkey for militants linked to organizations like Al Qaeda before their shipments to Syria, the violent reactions to the proclamation of autonomy of the Kurds in Syria considered as a danger, are elements that show that Turkey is rapidly sliding into the quagmire of war in the Middle East.

EMEP believes that Syria’s future must be decided by its own people, and opposes to any form of foreign intervention.

Turkey’s populations are generally against U.S. imperialism and its warmongering policies in the region. Earlier, the large anti-imperialist demonstrations against the occupation of Iraq resulted in Turkey’s parliament rejecting a war authorization. Aware of the popular opposition to the war, the government, using its media, launched a campaign of disinformation and war propaganda. This propaganda directed against Bashar Assad and Syria was also intended to incite hatred against the Alevis in Syria.

According to the government, this is the first reason to prepare for war, while the second reason is the proclamation of autonomy by the Kurds in Syria. This, the government believes, poses a danger for Turkey with a population of 20 million Kurds who demand the right to speak their own language and autonomy with a social statute. The government has responded to these demands with oppression and violence bordering on a civil war against the Kurds. In this war that has been going on for 30 years, some 50,000 people, mostly young, have died.

The tension with neighbouring countries is increasing the internal tensions and Turkey is susceptible to all kinds of provocations. The reality is that the position taken by Turkey against Syria is really disastrous. The government is like a poker player who cannot control the situation. In the city of Hatay, on the Syrian border, there lives a large number of Arab Alevis who are suffering discontent parallel with the increased tension. The tension between Sunnis and Alevis is growing throughout the country. Furthermore, racism, nationalism and chauvinism are provoked by the state, as well as a campaign of harassment against the Kurds. This is leading Turkish workers and youth to a belligerent situation. The youths are the main target of this reactionary campaign.

In this context one of the main subjects around which the youth is organized is war. The revolutionary party of the workers and Emek Youth are intensifying their struggle around this and they attach particular importance to propaganda, agitation and a protest campaign. Another aspect of the fight against imperialism and war is the need to fight against their ideological and cultural aspects. In order for the youths to accept the war policy, the AKP government is trying to impose the theory of “neo-Ottomanism,” going well beyond the most right-wing nationalists concerning the “Turkish-Islamic synthesis”.

Currently in Turkey we find many people who are against imperialism and war. However, the government disinformation and propaganda can create confusion among the youths, weakening their fight. Many of them who claim that they are defending their national interests, who call themselves leftists, social-democrats or even communists, are caught up in this bewilderment. These groups, unable to consistently defend the right to self-determination of the Kurdish people, often abstain when it comes to consolidating the front against war, and they find themselves supporting the government and the State. Some organizations that claim to be of the radical “left” swerve voluntarily to the right, rejecting the demand for peace, as if it were demeaning, and curiously counterpose that demand to one of “revolutionary war”.

We can state that now in Turkey, under these conditions to claim to be against imperialism and war does not mean much. For that opposition, if it is not linked to a consistent struggle of the working class and oppressed peoples for a genuine democracy, quickly loses its bearings. In that sense, Emek Youth is completely different from other political currents among the youth, and it never separates the fight against the war from the struggle for independence, democracy and socialism.

The struggle for “peace and freedom”

We have briefly seen the implications of Turkey’s foreign adventures on the country itself. We will now pause to consider the importance for the youth of peace linked to the Kurdish question.

The uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East also concern the Kurds. After the first imperialist war of redivision, the Kurds were divided among four countries whose borders had been drawn by the imperialists about 100 years ago. Thus the Kurds were condemned to live without a state. Currently, the Kurds are a people with a population of about 40 million, divided among the territories of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The largest part of this population is located in Turkey, numbering 15 to 20 million. The status won by the Kurds in Syria and Iraq as well the winds of independence blowing in the region also concerns the Kurds in Turkey.

The Kurdish liberation movement initiated numerous insurgencies in the past and they were all fiercely repressed. This movement took on a particular importance in the mid-1980s. Today millions of Kurds are united around common national demands. The BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) represents the Kurds in the Turkish parliament and has a parliamentary group. In the Kurdish cities, more than 90 mayoralties are headed by the BDP.

The AKP, which came to power with promises of “change,” “democratization” and “democratic opening,” also made a number of promises to resolve the Kurdish question. Those promises aroused great interest among the Kurdish and Turkish workers. Today no one believes in them. The repressive apparatus of the State, in the hands of the AKP, has returned to its attacks against the Kurdish people. Tens of thousands of Kurds have been imprisoned, and hundreds of youths, both among the PKK guerrillas and among the Turkish army have died in armed clashes. They have gone home in coffins, both in the East (the Kurdish cities) and the West (the Turkish cities).

While Turkish and Kurdish youths are killed daily in the armed clashes, the demands for jobs, bread and education are hidden by the shadow of war. Racism and chauvinism are being spread by a fascist State campaign. In the streets, the schools, the big cities, on the job, Kurdish youths have been lynched. In this context, Emek Youth is developing its struggle against racism and chauvinism, continually explaining how to deal with the Kurdish question. It is conducting sensitivity campaigns in the Western cities, and it is particularly concerned with organizing the young students in associations, clubs and institutes. In this period Emek has consolidated and established itself both in numbers and in influence among the Kurdish youths. Everywhere one hears the cry: “As long as the Kurdish youth are not free, neither will the Turkish youth be.” Emek Youth has appealed for the unity of the youths of any origin against the capitalist system. It constantly explains the vital problem of a democratic resolution of the Kurdish question, to win the urgent economic and political demands of the youths.

During this period, EMEP, BDP and other democratic organizations of the left formed an alliance to create an electoral bloc, which shortly after took the name “Democratic Congress of the Peoples” (HDK). Currently HDK is in the process of becoming a Party, in order to participate collectively in the coming elections. Emek Youth has addressed the broad masses of youths to explain the importance of HDK. While working to win the broad masses of youth for the struggle for peace, fraternity and democracy, Emek Youth has been strongly involved in strengthening the youth organization of HDK. Emek Youth has made a priority of the ideological struggle against all forms of nationalism, whether of the right or the “left.”

The struggle for “the right to jobs and education”

The 2008 economic crisis that broke out in the U.S. and spread across the world has led the workers and youths to demonstrate in the streets. Despite repression and arrests, “Occupy Wall Street” has retaken the streets to mark the first anniversary of its movement. The great imperialist powers are placing the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the peoples of Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, etc. In these countries, hundreds of thousands of youths have occupied the plazas for months. From Germany to France, UK to Italy, all of Europe has been plunged into important actions by the workers and youths. The Arab uprisings that began in the Maghreb spread to the Middle East with the slogan “Jobs, bread and freedom”. The Arab youths and those of other regions have taken to the streets by the millions against unemployment and the lack of a future.

It was impossible for the Turkish youth not to be influenced by these events. The youth in Turkey has carried out protest actions against private education, increased tuition and against irregularities in examinations.

During these actions, the professors and academics have struggled against the AKP’s attempts to control the universities. Without forgetting the students who have confronted the police, the university students who demand equal opportunities, the temporary teachers who demand their seats, the dental students have seen their future career in the air, the science students have seen their subsidies withdrawn, the drama students have had to fight against the privatization of public theatres. They have all taken part in the struggle. The Kurdish youths have carried out actions demanding an education in their mother tongue, and the Alevi youths have carried out numerous actions demanding a “genuinely secular education.”

Among the workers in small and large factories, workshops and enterprises who demand their rights, there is a significant presence of youths. When possible, these youths with no union, without job security, with the lowest wages and harshest working conditions, have rebelled against their bosses. Also many youths have participated and put forward their problems in the meetings organized by the party of the working class (EMEP). Though the impact of their actions are not as important as those of Europe, we must emphasize the struggle of the youths in Turkey. The Prime Minister accuses the youths who demand their rights of being marginal. He also threatens them that he will bring the youths of AKP out into the street. There are now 771 students in prison, some sentenced to 15 years in prison for having displayed a banner demanding free education. Among these youths is Eren Yurt, a member of the National Committee of Emek Youth. Yurt’s “crime” is that he took part in the Kurdish national festival Newroz and that he supported the Kurds.

All these youth activities have been at the local level, at the time when the AKP intensified its propaganda, saying that “the crisis has not affected us.” The Prime Minister and his economic institutions have shown the situation in the country, affected by the crisis, and they have launched the slogan “Turkey is rising up”. But the increase in Turkey’s wealth is due to the policy of privatization and exploitation carried out after the crisis of 2011. While the rich multiplied their wealth, the millions of workers and youths are called upon to make greater sacrifices. When the imperialists worldwide advocate austerity policies to get out of the crisis, in Turkey austerity has taken the name of “continued stability”.

This is a period in which the rights of the youths have receded more than ever. With the support of a significant part of the population, thanks to words like “stability,” “change,” etc., the AKP, as a party in the service of capital, has quickly had laws passed by Parliament against the rights of the workers. These rights have been gradually dismantled, and trade union rights and freedoms have been rolled back. These attacks were synonymous with the attacks on the youths as they will mainly follow the path of their parents, to become workers, but may not be as “lucky”. Explaining that these attacks of capital against the workers are actually attacks on the youth, EMEP and Emek Youth are trying to unite the working class with the young workers. The Party is trying to put on the agenda of the unions the question of young workers and it says that one has to use new forms of organization in the unions to unionize the youths.

Emek Youth is explaining to the youths the importance of unions. It is working to unify the youth organizations. These are new steps, but the coming actions will be achieved in this way.

Where does the strength of the AKP come from to manipulate the people with its slogan “We will not stop, we will continue on our way”? It is clear that it is not faced with a united movement of the workers and youth. The objective reality now is one of division and disorganization but this is a temporary situation. The government is taking advantage of this, and is slowly squeezing the rights of the youths and waging a big campaign.

Let us look at the different attacks of the government against the youths this past year:

• Turkey is beginning to implement the Plan Bologna which has already been implemented in many European countries. The government thinks that by eliminating the tuition fees it can gain support of the youth in the next election. The truth is that this elimination does not mean the end of payment for education. It is just another step towards the implementation of the Bologna Plan. By withdrawing from the universities, the government is forcing them to finance themselves. The administration of the universities depends on private enterprises and the student card is practically becoming a bank card.

• Millions of students who have difficulties with housing and do not have the financial means are condemned to accept the services of religious sects.

• The AKP government, which had announced that it would amend the fascist constitution of the September 1980 military coup, has brought together youth assemblies, leaving millions of youths outside them. The aim was to show that AKP had broken with the coup leaders, but the measures taken by capital based on the coup are now continuing with AKP.

• While subjects like philosophy and sociology will disappear, idealist subjects such as theology are included, and are booming thanks to the government. Conferences and exhibitions on the theory of evolution are prohibited, while the State is organizing activities against these theories and against science.

• By saying that one youth out of four is unemployed, the government and the capitalist organization are taking advantage of this to create a cheap and flexible work force. They do this in the name of “reducing unemployment.” The professional institutes and professional higher education are now located in industrial zones. So the modern slaves are chosen by bosses at their school desks. We could multiply the examples, but it is not necessary.

Despite these setbacks, the youths are gaining greater militancy and organization. From there, Emek Youth is working to bring together the young workers, the unemployed, students, peasants and youth of all strata in order to achieve the broadest possible platform. The objective of this work is to unite the youth with the strength of the working class and win them to the fight for socialism.

Mass struggle, mass organization and Emek Youth

Let us see what are the problems that the youths in Turkey face and what fights they are waging. How is the struggle for the organization of the masses in Turkey? What are the objectives of Emek Youth? Let us see.

When we speak of the struggle and organization of the masses there are two objectives entrusted to Emek Youth.

1. To build an organization of the masses and the struggle, in which as many youths as possible take part, on the basis of the urgent demands of the youth (economic, academic, democratic, etc.).

The last 50 years have allowed the youth movement and organizations in Turkey to acquire a great experience. The fascist military juntas have attacked and dispersed the movement and the organizations; the bourgeois governments are continuing with this policy and do not stop exerting great pressure on the youth. The most militant strata of the youth have been expelled from the university. The attacks on youth leaders aim to break the ties between the masses of youths and those leaders. In analyzing this period, we find that the governments in the service of capital and the State have won some points in that sense. Since the coup of September 12, 1980, the concept of “organization” has been presented to the youths as something to be feared, while they propose “individual freedoms” and “individualism” as a barrier against the idea of organization.

In the mid-1990s, as part of Turkey’s accession period to the European Union, student elections were held in institutions of higher education and secondary schools to promote democracy among students. The system managed to bring together the youths who managed to tear the revolutionary movement out of the Student Representative Council (SRC), while mercilessly attacking the revolutionary and democratic students.

However it was possible, as in other countries, to avoid the trap set by the State. For this it was necessary to take part in the elections organized by the SRC, to organize the mass movement within the SRC itself and to try to democratize the rhythm of the struggles. Emek Youth was launched along this road and it continues today. Several petty bourgeois organizations, which claim to be left-wing, fell into the trap of the State and boycotted the elections and the SRC. These groups persist in isolating themselves from the student masses.

Emek Youth is on the one hand waging an ideological struggle against these deviant currents and tendencies and on the other is trying to establish the foundations of a mass based struggle by taking part in youth activities.

2. As a communist organization, Emek Youth must have the flexibility and inclusiveness to attract and open the doors to all young victims of capitalism and who want to get rid of this discriminatory system.

In our country the disorder of petty-bourgeois leftism acts in a vile manner to undermine the work of organization among the youth. This activity is masked as a struggle against a “political organization of elitist youth”. Emek Youth is no elitist organization. It is a communist youth organization that takes in all youths who rebel against the current system. Emek Youth is at the same time a school for socialism, but no young person who wants to enter Emek has to pass a test on socialism. They will learn what socialism is in that school. And the youths who finish this school continue their struggle in the Party. Therefore Emek Youth cannot and should not imitate the Party as an organization.

In this sense, Emek Youth is radically different from the petty-bourgeois organizations. However, the traditional disorders and habits of the leftist movement continue to show some manifestations in our youth organisation. Thus, a characteristic of Emek Youth is to regularly practice criticism and self-criticism for its actions in order to draw the appropriate lessons from its mistakes.

The bulletin “Party Agenda,” published after the 6th Conference of the Party, addresses this problem of narrowness with the following example:

“One of the criteria for the success of the Youth Conference has been the number of participants. One will better understand this question with some figures: Nationwide, 4,000 youths participated in the conference of Emek Youth. And in the last three youth encampments, more than 6,000 youths attended […] And while 4,000 youths took part in the conferences, in the different blocks of Emek Youth in the May Day demonstrations, or on May 6, this number was multiplied 3 or 4 times, which shows that there is undoubtedly some organizational narrowness.”

Therefore, Emek Youth must, on the one hand, call on broad strata of youths to take part in the struggle for the demands at the same time as they form their mass organizations; and on the other hand, it must orient the struggle of their youths for political power, that is, to fight for the revolution and socialism. At the same time, Emek Youth is firmly fighting any conception of sectarianism or narrowness in its organization.

The daily newspaper and the youth

The working class of Turkey currently has a weapon that allows it to carry out a daily struggle against capital: the newspaper created in 1995 that has existed for 18 years. The proletarian party EMEP is working to establish unity among the advanced workers, the honest trade unionists, workers’ representatives and factory workers. The paper plays an essential role in this task. It had an important role in the success of numerous strikes and in national and international solidarity. In the state monopoly spirits and tobacco Tekel, Antep Textile and Telecom strikes in recent years, the workers were able to consolidate their solidarity through the newspaper. The messages sent by the workers and published in the newspaper were an important source of solidarity. In recent years, along with the newspaper a popular television network has been created and this has expanded the possibilities of struggle.

Undoubtedly the existence of a daily paper is of great importance both for the workers and for the youths. Emek Youth is reaching out to the masses of youths through a supplement of the newspaper fortnightly, which is also its central organ..

Like the Party of the working class, the youth organization evaluates and discusses how to increase the influence of the newspaper and its better utilization for the struggle. Undoubtedly, one of the best criteria to measure the progress of the Party is the degree that the newspaper is used and distributed.

At the 6th Conference of Emek Youth it was emphatically recorded and stated that it is “no longer possible to carry out daily political work with a youth journal that comes out fortnightly”. Since then, the work of distributing the daily in the usual places of concentration (enterprises, schools and neighbourhoods) has increased.

Conclusion

Emek Youth, at its 6th Conference, has called on its members to be aware of the international experience of the working class struggle and insisted that all its members should arm themselves ideologically, and draw on the experience of the Party, the works of Marxism-Leninism and the publications of the Party.

The international communist movement continues to light the way for Emek Youth, made up of young people of all nationalities in Turkey.

Source

Revolusjon: Anti-Fascist Struggle in the Aftermath of the July 22nd Massacre

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From Unity & Struggle No. 25, Spring/Summer 2013

Norway

On July 22, 2011, Norway experienced the worst massacres since the Nazi occupation during World War 2.  A total of 77 people, most of them young people attending the summer camp of the Social Democratic Youth League (AUF), as well as some civil servants and passersby in government locations in Oslo, were slaughtered in these terrorist actions.

The culprit was a Norwegian fascist, Anders Behring Breivik (32), with social roots in the district of the better-off class in western Oslo and a former member of the Progress Party (Fremskrittspartiet), an ultra liberal right-wing party with an electoral base of about 20%.

“Our answer is more openness, more democracy”. Such were the words expressed by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Social Democrat) after the fascist onslaught on July 22, 2011. A similar attitude was expressed in the massive popular demonstrations with flowers in Oslo and other cities. The whole world was baffled by this mild response to the diabolical act that had shocked the whole nation. People who never had taken part in any sort of demonstration, on their own initiative and took to the streets with flowers and said: “We will not be silenced, nobody will take away our right to think and speak”. In this situation, the seething rage among the people might easily have turned into calls for revenge, into demands for massive strengthening of the police, their weaponry and authority at the expense of democratic rights. But this did not occur.

The Prime Minister’s idea of openness and democracy is radically different from the way the popular masses conceive these words. This became clear a year later. For the government and the ruling elite, openness and freedom apparently applies mainly to racist and fascist views and concepts made widespread by the media. Fascist organizations are still allowed to operate, not only in social media, but also in public demonstrations. Although Breivik appeared to have acted on his own, there is plenty of evidence that he had established broad connections through social media and otherwise with Islamophobic, racist and Nazi organizations throughout Europe. He was also in close contact with the fascist English Defence League (EDL). Ideologically, he was not in the least a “lone wolf”.

Despite this experience, fascist and racist organizations are free to operate. One could say that Norway seems to have learned nothing whatsoever from the July 22 tragedy.

A Just Verdict

On August 24, 2012, after a trial of more than two months, Breivik was finally convicted of the killings. The court proceedings were thorough and a number of eye-witnesses gave touching and heart-breaking testimonials concerning each one of the victims and his or her last minutes.

Taking the bourgeois democratic legal framework into account, the verdict was as fair as one could expect. Breivik was sentenced to the maximum punishment, which is 21 years and the possibility of extended imprisonment. However, the court proceedings and the public debate have shed light on a series of embarrassing circumstances and scandals involving the police, the secret police, politicians and government officials.

Islamophobia

In the first hours after the explosion in the government complex in Oslo, while the identity of the attacker was still unknown, the press, media and right-wing parties were preparing their headlines stating that “Islamist terrorists” were to blame. The social media were full of hateful statements, and a number of immigrants from Muslim countries were harassed and threatened on the streets.

As soon as it was clear that the terrorist actions continued on the island of Utøya some 30 kilometres from Oslo, and that the mass murderer was an blonde ethnic Norwegian wearing a police uniform, the atmosphere rapidly changed. Although the killer’s political past and his ideological agenda was revealed rapidly (he also revealed it himself by posting his fascist “Manifesto” on the web prior to the onslaught), forces were put into motion claiming that the culprit was simply a “lunatic”, a lone individual with a difficult childhood who had simply lost his grip on reality.

Fascist or just a “Lunatic”?

Throughout the entire court proceedings, this was the claim of the Attorney General and his staff, supported by a couple of appointed psychiatrists. But this claim was not accepted by the public, and a heated debate compelled the court to appoint a new team of psychiatrists. Their conclusion was the opposite of the former team. They concluded that the culprit was sane, and undoubtedly inspired by his fascist ideology.

This was important because in the Norwegian legal system the mental state of the assassin is crucial when it comes to the question of conviction. If in doubt, the court is compelled by law not to sentence a person considered insane or mentally ill. Instead, such a person should be sent for compulsory psychiatric treatment and is not considered responsible for his actions.

Popular opinion as well as the report of the second group of psychiatrists eroded any doubt of the judges.  Breivik was therefore convicted as fully responsible for his actions. He did not appeal the verdict; he has all along argued that his detailed plan of diabolical action was ideologically based on his concept of the need to fight “multiculturalism” and “cultural Marxism” with all possible means.

Mass Media Utilized As a Tribune for Fascist Propaganda

During the trial, the killer was given extensive opportunity to “explain” his ideological concept, besides describing his crimes in detail. He had prepared for this opportunity, and he utilized it to the maximum, orchestrating a propaganda show for his fascist concepts, anticipating that they would reach a wide audience. Although he was obviously a narcissist and fanatic, nothing in his appearance or speech gave proof that they came from an insane person. On the contrary, Breivik’s speech in his defence was no more “insane” than the testimonies of Göring and all his Nazi collaborators in the Nurnberg trial.

Although many statements in the trial were not broadcast, the press found it “necessary” to transcribe every word of Breivik’s hour-long propaganda speech and make sure that millions of readers would absorb his “arguments”.

The Communist Platform (KPML) responded by sending a well-founded complaint to the ethical organ of the Norwegian press and media, the PFU, pointing out that the (bourgeois) press had trodden on its own ethical guidelines by promoting ideas and viewpoints that incite hatred against groups or individuals. Furthermore, the KPML accused the press and media and the Norwegian government for their disregard of the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), ratified by the Norwegian government. In Article 4 this declaration obliges that the signatory parties to, among other things,
“(a) declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of violence or incitement to commit such acts against any race or group of persons of another colour or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing thereof;
(b) declare illegal and prohibit organizations, as well as organized and all other propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial discrimination, and to recognize participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law; “
http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cerd.htm

Of course, the “ethical organ” of the press found no reason whatsoever to criticize the reprinting of fascist propaganda in the mass media. According to them, it was their duty to inform the public. As far as the obligations from the UN convention are concerned, the PFU did not even bother to consider this point of the complaint.

Fascism on the Rise

Fascist organizations have never been able to gain strength in Norway, because the working class and the progressive left have resolutely chased them whenever they showed their face. Nevertheless, there have been some incidents of fascist and racist killings in the past 30 years. The KPML and other organizations demand that fascist and Nazi organizations be banned. However, organizations of a racist and Nazi type are still not illegal in Norway. On the contrary, in the aftermath of the July 22 killings, these groups have increased their activities. Many of them have put on a new face, saying that they are “anti-jihadists and anti-Muslims”. A couple of these small groups dared to stage a demonstration in the city of Stavanger the day after Breivik was sentenced. Naturally, there was a strong anti-racist and anti-fascist demonstration protesting this provocation. However, hundreds of police and helicopters ensured that the racist and fascist organizers could benefit from “openness and democracy”.

The Role of the Police

The court proceedings and other investigations have proven that the police rescue action on Utøya isle was chaotic, lacking leadership and coordination. While the media reported the events from helicopters, the police were unable to launch their own chopper. They also delayed in seeking the aid of Air Force helicopters. However, here we must point out that these resources were also very limited, partly because a number of helicopters and personnel are allocated to the NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan!

Had the police been on the spot thirty minutes earlier, some 20 to 40 young people might have been spared from being slaughtered.

Besides the ordinary police, the Norwegian Secret Service (PST) is once again involved in a scandal. Despite their active surveillance, the PST never “observed” that Breivik was a dangerous individual, in spite of his active postings on fascist and anti-jihadist web-sites and also in spite of the fact that he ordered chemicals and other materials for producing his bomb online from Poland and elsewhere.

Yet again it was revealed that the PST has a “blind right eye”. Their sole concern is the “extreme left” (which have never planned or carried out any kind of terrorist act in Norway) and the so-called Islamist threat.

The Two-Faced ‘Red and Green’ Government

To sum up, the official claims of “openness and democracy” are in part a hoax, as are the official statements against racism. The truth is that the events of July 22 will be used to militarize the police and diminish the sharp distinction between civilian and military state force. The truth is that Norway has adopted the EU Data Directive, which allows extensive surveillance of ordinary citizens. The truth is that for ten years Norwegian troops have been waging a brutal war against the Afghan people in the name of “democracy”. The truth is also that Norway’s asylum policy is a racist policy. Young refugees coming to Norway are allowed to stay, but no longer than until their 18th birthday. When this day arrives, they are brutally expelled back to their country of origin, whether or not they have family, relatives or sustainable living conditions there or not. Finally, the ugly truth is that Norway still does not respect the UN convention and the UN committee recommendations that compel Norway to ban racist and fascist organizations.

Considering these facts and the hypocritically government signals, it is no wonder that xenophobia and hatred are allowed to thrive among broad sections of the people. It is clearer than ever that the struggle against fascism and xenophobia has to be waged on two fronts: against the fascist organizations as such, but also against the state that gives them shelter. The latter shows a lenient stand towards fascism, while at the same time it makes use of the terrorist threat to gain support for further militarization and fascisation of the state.

The government speaks warmly of tolerance for minorities, ideas and concepts. In this it clearly includes tolerance for fascism and racism, precisely the one ideo-political factor that rejects and excludes any kind of tolerance.

Among the lessons of July 22 are these: The bourgeois state machine always protects the privileges of the rich and their system, but it is incapable of giving protection to ordinary citizens when they are in jeopardy. Secondly, in the struggle against fascism to preserve democracy, the working class and people can never put faith in the state and its apparatus; they must wage this struggle relying on their own forces.

See also:
Fascist killings in Norway: The massacre of the Knight Templar

Source

Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR): Imperialism Wants a New War in the World

PCR_partido_comunista_revolucionario

From Unity & Struggle No. 25, Spring/Summer 2013

Brazil

To satisfy its thirst for profit, the powerful war industry in the U.S. and other countries want another war in the world, whether it is against Syria or Iran, or against both countries at the same time. To do this, the gigantic propaganda machine of capitalism spreads lies and hides the fact that the CIA made agreements with Al-Qaeda to organize attacks against Syria.

Syria is not a socialist country and, therefore, it is not democratic. The principal law of the country’s economy is profit and those who rule and govern are the class of the rich. The elections are manipulated, those who fight for a revolution and real socialism are persecuted and there are numerous cases of corruption in the country. Those with money, the rich families, manage to resolve their problems, but those without, the vast majority of the population, suffer to even get a job.

Despite having socialism in its name and program, the Baath Party (Arab Socialist Renaissance Party) in practice does not defend the scientific socialism of Marx and Lenin, even though in its constitution in 1963 it was a progressive party, it nationalized oil and the land and adopted measures against foreign plunder of the country. But since the 1980s, it has become an instrument in the service of the privileges of a few hundred families and private groups. Consequently, several multinationals have ever more businesses in Syria. For two years the Italian multinational arms company, Finmeccanica, has been among the suppliers of the Syrian government. Finmeccanica is the eighth largest supplier of the Pentagon and also produces in association with the U.S. company Lockheed Martin.

As a dependent country, Syria is greatly suffering the consequences of the present capitalist economic crisis. This is aggravated by the fact that since the 1990s the government has adopted a series of neoliberal reforms that allow for the penetration of foreign capital, it has eliminated the welfare programs and reduced public investment by 50%. Large tracts of land in the city have been privatized and given to large enterprises that raised prices of real estate, forcing thousands of families to live on the outskirts of the cities and to form slums. Today, the country has a large number of unemployed youths, inequality is increasing greatly and poverty is growing. This led to the fact that, in March of 2011, amid the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, the youth took to the streets demanding social and political changes in the country.

It was under these circumstances that the imperialist countries began to operate, sending mercenaries who had been in Iraq to Syria to organize attacks and recruit those dissatisfied with the regime in order to form an army. Even the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda was used by the CIA and is an active member of the so-called Free Syrian Army. Also, the reactionary Turkish government of Tayyip Erdogan bombed Syria at the service of the imperialist strategy, fulfilling the role of provocateur seeking to accelerate the new imperialist war.

But it is not to put an end to capitalism nor to corruption much less to uphold human rights in Syria that the United States, France, Britain and Germany want to bomb Syria and overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad. Incidentally, it is enough to note what occurred when those countries took over Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq after the military interventions of the imperialist countries to see what will happen to Syria in a NATO attack.

Indeed, none of these countries has become more democratic or less violent after the wars of which they were victims. On the contrary, today in Libya, in various public buildings the flag of the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda waves, the one that is accused of carrying out the attacks on the Twin Towers in the United States, which killed more than 3,000 U.S. citizens and which last September 11 led an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. In Afghanistan, between January 1 and June 30, 2012, 1,145 people died and 1,945 were injured due to attacks. Women and children made up 30% of the victims.

If the imperialist powers had any respect for human rights, the United States would not have financed and aided the military coup in Honduras, tried to overthrow the government of Hugo Chavez and would not continue to support and maintain the bloody dictatorships in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

The defense that Russia and China made of the Syrian government has nothing to do with respect for the self-determination of the peoples. Let us recall that these two countries were favorable to the criminal wars against Iraq and Afghanistan and that they supported the various economic sanctions against Syria and Iran, depriving millions of people of food and medicine.

The old lie repeated

Furthermore, to justify a new imperialist war, the United States and other imperialist powers are repeating the same argument (or rather, the same lie) used against Iraq: Saddam has chemical weapons of mass destruction, or against Libya: Gaddafi is massacring the civilian population.

Therefore, the main reason raised by the United States and its allies to pressure the UN to approve the attack on Syria and use its deadly war machine made up of military satellites, nuclear weapons, submarines, drones, intercontinental missiles and millions of armed men deployed in over 1,000 military bases in about 50 countries, is that Syria has “powerful chemical weapons that can be used against the population.”

Look at what the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, on September 28, when he was asked by the U.S. media about chemical weapons depots in Syria: “U.S. intelligence reports state that the arsenal is in secure locations, but some of them have been moved. It is not clear when the weapons were transferred, nor whether that movement took place recently.” The story goes on to say that the U.S. believes that Syria has dozens of chemical and biological weapons depots scattered throughout the country.

In late August, President Barack Obama declared: “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also with all the other fighters, the red line would be when we start to see a whole bunch of chemical weapons being moved and used. That would change our calculus.”

There has never even been an international mission to Syria to investigate whether or not the country has chemical weapons. And now, not only that the country has them, but that they are transferring them from one place to another.

But how can one give credit to a government that has already lied so many times? Let us recall some of them: it said it would not drop atomic bombs on Japan and it dropped them; it said it would not use biological weapons against Vietnam and it used them; it said that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and that was a lie. It says Iran is producing nuclear weapons, but so far, despite various inspections by the IAEA it was not able to find a single nuclear weapon in the country; however, according to the Pentagon the U.S. has 5,113 nuclear weapons and Israel has several hundred.

Moreover, what has mainly appeared about Syria are lies and disinformation. On September 28, U.S. and French news agencies made the following report: “Yesterday was the second consecutive day of bombings in the capital (Damascus). Two organizations of anti-Assad activists announced that several bodies were found in a suburb south of the capital. Apparently, the deaths were caused by forces loyal to the dictatorship.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 40 bodies, including women and children, were dumped in the suburb of Thiyabiyeh. The leader of the organization, Rami Abdul-Rahman, stated he had no details about the deaths. Other groups opposed to Assad, the Local Coordination Committees, estimated that a total of 107 bodies had been found, that many of the bodies showed signs of execution and some of the victims were beheaded. The numbers indicate one of the worst massacres of civilians since the start of the uprising. (O Globo, September 28, 2012).

Note that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had no details about the 40 deaths. The other said there were 107 deaths. Was it they did not learn how to count or that they did not have time to fix the numbers? And who are the real murderers?

Crimes against the Syrian people, murders and executions are not uncommonly practiced by the so-called rebel forces of Syria. Look at what the Brazilian Ambassador Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, head of an independent international panel investigating the situation in Syria, said unexpectedly: “there are reasonable grounds to establish that anti-government forces of that country are perpetrating assassinations, extrajudicial executions and torture”.

Paulo Pinheiro also denounced the fact that the use of children under the age of 18 years by armed opposition groups is increasing, that these forces do not identify their members with real uniforms or insignia to distinguish them from civilians. Crimes committed by these elements, such as kidnappings, torture and ill-treatment of captured government soldiers, were also rejected by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay.

Concluding, Pinheiro criticized the government for carrying out indiscriminate attacks, such as air strikes and artillery shelling of residential areas. He also opposed the application of sanctions against Syria, because they constitute a denial of the fundamental rights of the people of that country, where according to the UN there are 2.5 million people who need humanitarian assistance. The specialist reiterated the need for a political solution in Syria, stressing that “there is no possibility of a military solution” (Correio do Brasil, September 22, 2012).

This is the truth.

Why imperialism wants war?

Nevertheless, the big bourgeois media want to convince people of the need for another imperialist war; they spread more and more lies, reminding us of Hitler’s propaganda minister, the Nazi Joseph Goebbels, who stated: “a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”

Actually, what is behind the war that is developing in Syria, which has killed 25,000 Syrians, are the interests of the imperialist powers in controlling a country that produces oil and natural gas – Syria produces 380,000 barrels of oil per day and has reserves of 2.5 billion barrels and 240 billion cubic meters of natural gas; it is located in a strategic region of the Middle East and borders on Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. Moreover, Syria is forced by circumstances, since part of its territory, the Golan Heights, has been occupied by Israel since 1967; it is a country that has supported the fight for a Palestinian State and has almost 500,000 Palestinian refugees on its territory.

Thus, the replacement of the current Syrian government by a government subservient to the domination of the U.S., France and England in the region, besides ensuring the monopolies in these countries control over the oil and gas, would also weakens Iran and the struggle of the Palestinian people and would facilitate the political control of the Middle East. In short, this is a war to secure the interests of the multinationals such as Exxon (U.S.), General Dynamics (U.S.), Raytheon (U.S.), BAE Systems, EADS (Europe), Finmeccanica (Italy), L-3 Communications (U.S.) and United Technologies (U.S.).

In fact, there are various proofs of the presence of CIA paramilitaries in Syria; the government has denounced to the UN the presence of 60,000 mercenaries acting in the country paid by the imperialist powers.

The so-called Free Syria Army receives a lot of money and weapons from Britain, France and the U.S. According to the BBC, the British news agency, the British government gave more than $7 million in “medical supplies and communications equipment” to Syrian armed groups. France, which held Syria as a colony until 1949, defended, through its Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius that “Syrian liberated areas under rebel control will receive financial, administrative and medical assistance.” The French Foreign Minister promised aid of 5 million Euros (12.8 million reales) to the opponents.

On September29, the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, announced more than $30 million in assistance for food, water and medical services and more than $15 million in “communication equipment” to the unarmed political opposition.

Now, despite the fact that the UN adopted sanctions against Syria – the Syrian government is recognized by that organization and by hundreds of countries – this intervention violates all international laws and shows that imperialism long ago threw the principle of peaceful coexistence among countries and respect for the self-determination of nations into the garbage bin.

These, therefore, are the reasons why one more imperialist war is on the way. This situation places before all free men and women who do not want or accept a world dictatorship of capital and the enslavement of mankind by a handful of imperialist countries governed by a half dozen banks and monopolies, the question of what to do to stop these genocides and prevent new wars from being unleashed by capitalist powers. Such powers, immersed in a serious economic crisis, see their salvation in increasing the exploitation of the workers, seizing the wealth of the people and dominating the world. In the words of Che Guevara: “Capitalist imperialism has been defeated in many partial battles. But it is a significant force in the world and one cannot expect its final defeat without the effort and sacrifice of all.”1

Luis Falcao,  PCR CC

1 Che Guevara, Speech at the Economic Seminar of Afro-Asian Solidarity, 1965

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Revisiting the Kashmir Issue

kashmir_disputed_2002

Nirmalangshu Mukherji

In a just world order, rights of self-determination of people, including the right of independence, ought to be viewed as a basic and absolute value. As with most moral principles, however, the actual implementation of such demands raises difficult issues since they always arise in a historical context of an unjust distribution of rights. In other words, the demand for self-determination arises precisely because it has not been met so far, rendering the context in which the demand arises as an unjust one. We will briefly examine the right of self-determination of people in Kashmir from this perspective.

In that unjust context, dimensions of external control intervene with people’s rights for decades — sometimes, over centuries. These controls not only generate vested interests for the agencies of control, typically they curb people’s ability to voice their demand to the point that sections of people internalise the features of control and begin to demobilise on the issue of self-determination. As a result, people themselves get divided. The agencies of control are then able to use this fact to perpetuate their control in the name of people. The historical passage of time is a crucial aspect of the scenario just sketched. We will look briefly at Iraq to get a sense of the issue before we turn to Kashmir.

In Iraq, the imposition of (current) external control is recent, brutal, and clearly linked to the vested interests of US foreign policy around control over oil. The imperialist aggression stands fully exposed; thus, the people subjected to massive violence stand united in their opposition to US occupation. Reliable polls suggest that 1% of the Iraqi population welcome the US presence in Iraq while over 80% demand an immediate end to US occupation; the rest varying on when they want the occupying forces to withdraw. Even with the tiny minority who demand a phased withdrawal of US forces, it stands to reason that their apprehensions about the fallout of immediate withdrawal is directly linked to the chaotic state of Iraqi society caused by US aggression itself.

For the sake of argument, imagine a grim (and hopefully false) scenario in which the US, assisted by the client Iraqi regime, is able to perpetuate its crimes in Iraq for several more years. During this period, suppose some semblance of order and stability returns in the natural course: some oil money is used to restore the food and the health systems; water and electricity return to normal flow; people are able to engage in some trade inside and outside Iraq; tourists return; some institutions, including education institutions, begin to function; violence in the streets is reduced; the resistance is partly broken; US forces mostly stay in barracks close to oil installations; an increasing number of people begin to queue up in US-sponsored elections.

In this scenario, it is quite likely that the minority of the currently wavering population will increase several fold. Citing favourable polls, the US will then be in a position to claim that US presence is needed to bolster stability and (democratic) order in Iraq. Nevertheless, it is clear that nothing changes in so far as the absolute value of the people’s right to self-determination is concerned. Violent enforcement of external control for long periods of time to drive people to exasperation and apparent conformity is a tested strategy of occupying forces with superior gun power. For the same reason, it is of utmost importance that the current resistance in Iraq continues to grow under the common command of the people; this is also a tested method of rendering unsustainable the tested strategy of the occupying forces.

Two other features of current Iraq are relevant here. First, there is no doubt that Iraq is a divided society with at least three contending parties: the sunnis, the shias, and the Kurds. But the division between the people of Iraq cannot be an argument against self-determination. We may have opinions on the further dismemberment of Iraq or on unsustainable alliances between the parties. But it is for the people of Iraq to choose which course they wish to adopt. Second, when the right of self-determination is viewed as an absolute value, the character of resistance to imperialism is also of no concern. Once again it is for the Iraqi people to choose what they feel is the right form of resistance. Historically, the choice could well turn out to be a mistaken one; but then it is again up to the Iraqi people to correct the course.

To sum up, the right of self-determination cannot be withheld even if (a) some sections of the population do not desire it any more, typically out of duress, (b) the people in the relevant region are divided, and (c) the character of resistance to external rule is questionable. We recall that the British used each of these to postpone independence until the circumstances arising out of the second war and liberation of people around the globe forced the British to leave India.

In a recent article posted in Znet (‘Is independence a viable option for Jammu and Kashmir?’, 24 January, www.znet.org), Badri Raina, as the title suggests, has raised the issues the British raised for decades before they were compelled to withdraw from India. The interest of this piece is that the author belongs to the left, and Znet is a well-known platform for left-wing opinion. The arguments therefore are more refined than a mere imperial assertion of the following kind: Kashmir belongs to us because some raja signed some piece of paper. The net effect, however, remains the same.

Raina raises versions of each of (a) to (b) above as an opposition to ‘the formulation that militancy and violence could not justly be expected to be shut down till the right to ‘self-determination’ was granted’ (note that the expression ‘self-determination’ is used with quotes by Raina). He also raises versions of (c): ‘how long can the valley then resist the push to theocratise both state and polity in that ‘independent’ situation. Surely, both Kashmiris and the Indian state have big stakes in all this.’ But since Raina produced no facts to support this view, I will ignore this part of his essay.

The Polls

Raina’s first argument, a version of (a), concerns a poll conducted by the MORI International organisation that ‘covered all regions, urban and rural, of the three provinces of the Jammu & Kashmir State.’ Although Raina thinks of the MORI Foundation as ‘a reputed agency by all accounts’, he does not mention that the foundation is US-based. Raina also cites another poll subsequently conducted by Synovate India which covered just the valley.

In what follows, I will focus on the MORI poll since, as Raina observed, it covered ‘all regions.’ Further, the focus on MORI is justified because Raina begins this part of his essay with the condition that ‘whatever resolutions are debated or found  must pertain to the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir rather than  merely any discrete part.’ I return to the implications of imposing this condition on any ‘debate’ later. For now, obeying Raina’s condition, it is obvious that the findings of the MORI poll are directly relevant. Also, I will take the validity of the findings for granted.

The part of MORI results which has drawn world-wide attention, and flagged repeatedly by Raina, suggests that 61 per cent feel that they would be better off politically and economically as Indian citizens, and only 6 per cent feel that they would be so as Pakistani citizens. Raina comments: ‘by no stretch of the imagination then can it be argued that the overwhelming sentiment in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is for  “sovereign, secular, independence.”  ‘However much as these findings might shock some knowledgeable peddlers of the “Kashmir Question,”’ Raina continues, ‘those are the facts.’

Praful Bidwai (‘Wanted: policy, not hubris’, Frontline, July 6, 2002) points out two related problems with the results. First, ‘the overwhelming majority of those who would prefer to be Indian citizens belong to Jammu and Ladakh, not to the Valley. The “don’t know” answers to the question are concentrated in Srinagar.’ To elaborate, whereas 99 per cent of respondents in Jammu and 100 per cent in Leh felt they would be better off as Indian citizens, 78 per cent of those in Srinagar said they did not know while 9 per cent felt they would be better off as Indian citizens and 13 per cent as Pakistani citizens.’ Bidwai explains: ‘the 78 per cent “don’t knows” clearly include a large number who subscribe to azadi or that version of it which equals autonomy or independence from India, but who reject merger with Pakistan. Given that the core Kashmir problem is about the Valley, this is a sobering thought.’

Second, Bidwai observes that ‘the critical issue within Jammu and Kashmir is not just “free and fair” elections, but inclusive and free elections.’ In other words, ‘fairness in determining the popular will can mean very little unless the electoral process involves the broadly representative spectrum of political opinion in the State.’ As a matter of fact, several currents of opinion have just not been allowed to function in Jammu and Kashmir for decades. This fact, combined with decades of violence resulting in nearly a hundred thousand civilian casualties, untold economic misery, and the general alienation of people from articulated political process, explain the staggering figure of ‘don’t knows’, which, as Bidwai pointed out, is crucial for understanding the situation in Kashmir.

Raina is entirely silent about this part of the MORI findings. As noted, his strategy is to build up on the fact that these findings are restricted to the valley, hence they are irrelevant in view of the ‘all regions’ condition imposed by him. Further, the ‘don’t knows’ don’t count since, according to him, ‘unarticulated private predilections of any group of people in any part of the state  cannot be authorized agenda as the problem is addressed.’ In other words, first we are advised to overlook the historical conditions which have led to ‘unarticulated’ opinion in vast sections of the people; then we are advised to ignore the opinion since it is ‘unarticulated.’

Raina has another strategy to defray this ‘sobering’ aspect of MORI findings: for the valley, instead of depending on the MORI poll, he shifts to the Synovate poll taken three tears later in 2005, despite his ‘all regions’ condition, and juxtaposes these results with that of the (inconvenient) MORI poll. According to the later poll, 36.2% Kashmiris in the Valley and Rajouri (equally muslim dominated) prefer the India option. This enabled Raina to conclude from articulated opinion that ‘by no stretch of the imagination then can it be argued that the overwhelming sentiment in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is for  “sovereign, secular, independence.”’ Setting aside the algebraic issue of whether the remaining 63.8% represent ‘overwhelming sentiment’, recall the historical feature of (a) that, as time flows and the prospects of attaining basic rights recede, people are likely to resign to less desirable options in the absence of organised democratic struggle.

The period between 2002 and 2005 – the post 9/11 world – has seen a setback to people’s democratic struggles in these parts of the world. Specifically, the turn around in Pakistan’s Kashmir policy under US pressure, the continuing violence and economic misery, the sectarian character of the jehadi groups, and the opportunism of Hurriyat and other political parties, on the one hand, and the limited restoration of the electoral process and opening up of some economic activity, on the other, could have led to an increase in the resigned opinion. In other words, there is no evidence that the crucial democratic test of ‘fairness in determining the popular will’, advocated by Bidwai, has been met. By adopting the synchronic perspective, Raina has failed to appreciate the historical condition of people under duress.

Division of people?

Turning to (b) above, let us examine the validity of Raina’s ‘all regions’ condition. As noted, Raina has a two-pronged argument: (A) people in the valley do not have the ‘overwhelming sentiment’ against India; (B) taking all regions into consideration, the ‘overwhelming sentiment’ is for India. Combining the effects of (A) and (B), Raina’s ill-concealed message is that, even if (A) is false, (B) takes precedence. In other words, even if the people in the valley are overwhelmingly against India (and for independence), we should ignore their opinion since people in the region as a whole want to remain in India. Raina puts the message rhetorically as follows: ‘how is the desire for “independence” of half the valley’s population to be squared with the overwhelming opinion in the valley?’ The additional argument that (A) could well be true just bolsters Raina’s strategy. We saw that (A) is not likely to be true. This leaves the entire burden of Raina’s argument on (B) alone – the ‘all regions’ condition.

Since the ‘all regions’ condition looks like a classic, pre-emptive, statist move to defray any demand for secession, the leftist Raina needs to find ‘democratic’ arguments in support of the condition. Along with much rhetoric, he weaves in two facts: (1) “people in all regions are in general agreement that ‘the unique cultural identity of Jammu and Kashmir — Kashmiriyat — should be preserved in any long-term solution. Overall, 81% agree, including 76% in Srinagar’; (2)  An overwhelming 92% oppose the state of Kashmir being divided on the basis of religion or ethnicity.’ So the argument is that, since a vast majority of people wish to uphold ‘Kashmiriyat’ and are against the division of Kashmir on religious or ethnic grounds, the demand for independence by a section of the population ought to take the backseat. In fact, those who demand independence while upholding (1) and (2) – there must be some given the numbers – are plainly inconsistent, and hence, they can be ignored.

Notice first that the charge of inconsistency assumes that if the people in the valley wish to secede from the Indian state, they would be doing so on religious or ethnic grounds. Once we decide to look at people’s movements only through communal or sectarian lenses, we lose sight of the basic historical issue that vast sections of people may simply to wish to secede from a State. It is the Indian state the people in the valley are against, the state that is seen to have confiscated their own statehood first by fraudulent means by entering into an undemocratic pact with a raja, and then by half a century of accelerating repression. If religion were the issue, the valley would have preferred the Pakistan option which is overwhelmingly rejected by the people in the valley, as the MORI findings cited by Raina show.

In fact, the charge of inconsistency – if not downright sectarianism – applies to Raina himself. Having argued in favour of the view expressed in (B), Raina also argues strongly in favour of turning the current Line of Control into a state boundary since ‘Kashmiris that live in what is called the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir are not Kashmiri-speaking, barring a sprinkling, and even within the valley there never has been much love lost between the Kashmiri-speaking muslim Kashmiris and those that are non-Kashmiri-speaking Mirpuris or Punjabis! If anything, it is the Pandits who tend to be missed as blood brothers!  Wheels within wheels, you might say.’ Setting aside the issue of truth-content of these remarks, Raina is now clearly advocating a division of Kashmir on ethnic lines in contradiction to the stated position in (B).

I am not suggesting that there is no tension between the desire for unity of all Kashmir on the basis of Kashmiriyat and conflicting region-wise opinion on the issue of secession from India. But the difficult task of resolving this and other conflicts bestows on the people of Kashmir when they prepare to exercise their right of self-determination with freedom and dignity. When the conditions for exercising the will of the people occur, all parties have the right to approach the people with their opinion. But, ultimately, the people must give the verdict on how they wish the difficult issues to be resolved. The right of self-determination, in other words, is supreme and absolute.

It is interesting that Raina barely touches the fundamental issue of self-determination, and restricts his discussion only to what he considers to be hurdles in ‘granting’ independence to the people in the valley. Again, the message is ill-concealed. If independence is not admissible in the first place, people in the valley lose the right to exercise this option. Once they lose the right to exercise a specific option, the general right to exercise any option loses meaning. Hence, the people in the valley do not (really) have the right of self-determination. As a result Raina holds that ‘the right to secession,’ which was ‘at one time a part of the theoretical repertoire of the undivided Left in India’ needs to be revised by the division of the current left to which Raina belongs. In the revised picture, basic rights of the people are viewed by Raina as ‘nothing but another form of Idealism,’ ‘a thin ground’ for ‘granting secession’. So what was viewed as part of the basic theory of the ‘undivided left’ turns into a dispensible rhetoric for that strand of the left which views the stakes for the Indian state as higher than the people who inhabit that state.

Department of Philosophy, University of Delhi

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Grover Furr: Israeli Rule over Palestinians is Fascist

Apartheid South Africa - Apartheid Israel (1)

Originally published in The Montclarion, student newspaper at Montclair State College (now University), Thursday, May 5, 1988, p. 13.

To the editor:

Professor Edward Aronow’s letter of April 21 on Israeli treatment of Palestinians is so filled with error and distortion that one short response can only begin to correct it.

Israeli rule over Palestinians is essentially fascist. The Israeli army assault on the West Bank town of Beita in the wake of the death of an Israeli teenager can only be described as a pogrom — brutal, murderous assault such as the Tsarist police and the Nazis committed against Jews.

Killing persons armed only with stones or “trying to flee” – – including numerous Palestinian teenagers — collective punishment, beatings, imprisonment without trail for indefinite periods, deportations — this is fascist repression, akin to Nazi terrorism.

The lesson of World War II — especially of the Nazi holocaust — is that fascism cannot be fought with “moderation.” Mass Palestinian protests, including violent protests, must be welcomed, and supported by all those who oppose injustice. Pacifist and “non-violent” protest would be morally irresponsible, since they can never succeed against fascist oppression, but only lead to the unnecessary deaths of many protesters.

Terrorist assassinations, whether by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), or the far more numerous acts of terrorist murder by the Israeli army and settlers, must be condemned. However, Israel is far more guilty in this regard, quantitatively, than the PLO.

About 10 times the number of Palestinians have been murdered by Israel than the number of Israelis murdered by PLO terrorists. Yet Israeli terrorist repression against Palestinians is termed `retaliation” or “assassination” in the US media!

Israeli fascist brutalities follow a long history of working with some of the worst fascists on earth, including South Africa, Iran, Turkey, and Argentina. Israel is a major supplier of arms and military advisors to South Africa. Israeli advisors helped train the Iranian Secret Police under the fascist Shah in torture techniques. Today Israel is the major arms supplier to Khomeini’s Iran!

One need not look far to find the roots of Israeli terrorism and fascism. Take Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Shamir. Before World War II he belonged to a Zionist grouplet that, in 1940, offered to enter the war on the side of Nazi Germany if the Nazis would permit a Zionist state, run along fascist lines, in Palestine. Shamir personally planned the 1948 terrorist murder of Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN Special Mediator for Palestine.

During the war, the major Zionist leaders collaborated with Adolf Eichmann to send half a million Hungarian Jews to their deaths in Nazi extermination camps, in return for the Nazis letter 1500 or so Zionists emigrate to Palestine — a fact long since documented by Zionist writers. Such is the “love” of the Zionist leaders for “their own people”!

The root problem is racism and its twin, nationalism. Israeli law claims that any Jew, anywhere in the world, has a right to full Israeli citizenship, while Arabic-speaking Palestinians have no such right even if they were born and have lived all their lives on the territory now comprising Israel. This is an inherently racist policy. Fascist racism is built into the very existence of the Israeli state.

It is in the interest of Israeli rulers to foment as much hatred between Jews and Palestinians as they can. Israel’s economy depends heavily upon the exploitation of very cheap Palestinian labor, just as South Africa’s does on Black labor.

Israeli Jewish workers are very militant; relative to population;there are more work-days lost to strikes in Israel than in any country in the world. Racism and nationalism are the main things keeping Jewish and non- Jewish workers from allying with one another.

At all costs, Israeli bosses must prevent this, while keeping the super-exploited Palestinian workers nearby and without rights. The parallel with South Africa — or with American treatment of “illegal aliens” and minorities — is unmistakable.

Incidentally, there are not “dozens of Arab states,” as Professor Aranow, following the Israeli government propaganda line, says. There is one major Arab state, Saudi Arabia, and several minor ones on that peninsula. There are many Arabic-speaking states, just as there are many countries besides England where English is spoken. There is no “Palestinian state” in Jordan. Here Professor Aranow simply parrots Israeli disinformation.

Like Israel, the Moslem, Arabic-speaking states are also undemocratic, elite-run dungeons. In light of Israeli terror, however, Professor Aranow’s prattle about the need to “await greater Arab political maturity” is racist nonsense.

Source

Enver Hoxha on Africa

HoxhameetsAfricans

Africa is a mosaic of peoples with an ancient culture. Each African people has its own culture, customs, way of life, which, with some variations, are at a very backward stage, for well-known reasons. The awakening of the bulk of these peoples has only recently begun. De jure, the African peoples, in general, have won their freedom and independence. But there can be no talk of genuine freedom and independence, since most of them are still in a colonial or neo-colonial state.

Many of these countries are governed by the chieftains of the old tribes who have seized power and rely on the old colonialists, or the US imperialists and the Soviet social-imperialists. The methods of government in these states at this stage are not and cannot be other than a marked survival of colonialism. The imperialists are ruling most of the African countries again through their concerns, their capital invested in industry, banks, etc. The overwhelming bulk of the wealth of these countries continues to flow to the metropolises.

Some of the African countries have fought for that freedom and independence they enjoy today, while the others have had it granted without fighting. During their colonial rule in Africa, the British, French and other colonizers oppressed the peoples but they also created a local bourgeoisie, more or less educated in the Occidental manner. The leading figures today, have also emerged from this bourgeoisie. Among them there are many anti-imperialist elements, fighters for the independence of their own countries, but the majority either remain loyal to the old colonizers, in order to preserve the close relations with them even after the f ormal abolition of colonialism, or have entered into economic and political dependence on the US imperialists or the Soviet social-imperialists.

The colonizers did not make large investments in the past. This was the case, for instance, with Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. However, the colonizers drained the wealth of all these countries, seized large tracts of land, and developed a proletariat, by no means small in number, in some special branches of the industry, such as in the extraction and processing of raw materials. They also drew large numbers of workers to the metropolises, such as to France, for instance, but also to Britain, as a cheap labour force which worked in the colonizers mines and the factories.

In the other parts of Africa, especially in Black Africa, industrial development remained more backward. All the countries of this region were divided up, especially between France, Britain, Belgium and Portugal. Great underground riches, like diamonds, iron, copper, gold, tin, etc., were discovered there long ago, and industry to mine and process minerals has been set up there.

In many African countries, large, typically colonial cities, were built, where the colonizers lived a fabulous life. Now, on the one hand, the local great bourgeoisie and its wealth is growing and developing there, while on the other hand, the impoverishment of the broad masses of working people is increasing still more. In these countries a certain degree of cultural development has been achieved, but it has more of a European character. The local culture has not developed. It has generally remained at the stage reached by the tribes and is not represented outside them, in the centres with towering sky-scrapers. This has come about because, outside the large centres, were the colonizers lived, stark misery and extreme poverty existed, hunger, disease, ignorance and ruthless exploitation of the people, in the full meaning of the term, reigned supreme.

The African population remained culturally and economically undeveloped and continuously diminished in numbers, declining because of colonial wars, the savage racial persecution, and the traffic in African negroes, who were sent to the metropolises, the United States of America, and other countries to work like animals in the plantations of cotton and other crops, as well as in the heaviest jobs in industry and construction.

For these reasons, the African peoples still have a great struggle ahead of them. This is and will be a very complicated struggle, differing from one country to another, because of the state of their economic, cultural and educational development, the degree of their political awakening, the great influence which the different religions, such as the Christian and Moslem religions, the old pagan beliefs, etc., exert on the masses of these peoples. This struggle becomes still more difficult since many of these countries are actually under the domination of neo-colonialism combined with that of local bourgeois-capitalist cliques. The law there is made by those powerful capitalist and imperialist states which subsidize or control the ruling cliques, which they set up and remove whenever the interests of the neo-colonialists require or when the balance of these interests is upset.

The policy pursued by the big landowners, the reactionary bourgeoisie, the imperialists and the neo-colonialists is intended to keep the African peoples in permanent bondage, in ignorance, to hinder their social, political and ideological development, and to obstruct their struggle to gain these rights. At present we see that those same imperialists who used to lord it over these peoples in the past, as well as other new imperialists, are trying to penetrate into the African continent, by meddling in every way in the internal affairs of the peoples. As a result of this, the contradictions among imperialists, between the peoples and the bourgeois-capitalist leaderships of most of these countries, and between the peoples and the new colonizers, are becoming more and rnore severe every day.

These contradictions must be utilized by the peoples, both to deepen them and to benefit from them. But this can be achieved only through resolute struggle by the proletariat, the poor peasantry, by all the oppressed and the slaves, against imperialism and neo-colonialism, against the local big bourgeoisie, the big landowners and their whole establishment. A special role in this struggle devolves upon progressives and democrats, the revolutionary youth and patriotic intellectuals, who aspire to see their own countries advancing free and independent, on the path of development and progress. Only through continuous and organized struggle by them will life be made difficult for the local and foreign oppressors and exploiters and government impossible. This situation will be prepared in the specific circumstances of each African state.

British and US imperialism have not given to the peoples of Africa any freedom. Everybody can see what is happening in South Africa, for instance. The white racists, the British capitalists, the exploiters, are ruling there, savagely oppressing the coloured peoples of that state, where the law of jungle prevails. Many other countries of Africa are dominated by the concerns and capital of the United States of America, Britain, France, Belgium, and other old colonialists and imperialists, who have become somewhat weaker, but who still hold the keys to the economies of these countries.

In irreconcilable struggle against the revisionists and other opportunists, against all the lackeys of the bourgeoisie and imperialism, against Castroite, Khrushchevite, Trotskyite, <<three worlds>>, and other such views and practices, they have worked out a correct political line and accumulated sufficient experience in the struggle to put this line into practice, becoming the bearers of all the revolutionary tradition of the past, in order to use it and develop it further to the advantage of the workers’ and liberation movement, the preparation and raising of the masses in revolution.

The revolutionary situations existing today make it essential for these parties to maintain the closest possible contacts and consult with one another as frequently as possible, to be able to gain the maximum benefits from one another’s experience and co-ordinate their stands and actions on the common problems of the struggle against the reactionary bourgeoisie and imperialism, against Soviet, Chinese and other brands of modern revisionism, and on all the problems of the revolution.

Now that the peoples have awakened and refuse to live any longer under the imperialist and colonial yoke, now that they are demanding freedom, independence, development and progress, and are seething with anger against foreign and internal oppressors, now that Africa, Latin America and Asia have become a boiling cauldron the old and new colonialists are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to dominate and exploit the peoples of these countries by means of the previous methods and forms. They are quite unable to do without their plunder and exploitation of the wealth, the toil and the blood of these peoples. That is why all these efforts are being made to find new methods and forms of deception, plunder and exploitation, to dispense some alms, which, again, do not benefit the masses, but the bourgeois-land owner ruling classes.

Meanwhile the question has been made even more complicated, because Soviet social-imperialism long ago began to penetrate and entrench itself more and more deeply in the former colonies and semi-colonies, and because social-imperialist China has begun to make feverish efforts to get in there, too.

The revisionist Soviet Union carries out its expansionist interference under the guise of its allegedly Leninist policy of aid for the peoples’ liberation struggle, posing as the natural ally of these countries and peoples. As a means to penetrate into Africa and elsewhere, the Soviet revisionists employ and spread slogans of a socialist colour in order to deceive the peoples who aspire to liberate themselves, to liquidate oppression and exploitation, and who know that the only road to complete national and social liberation is socialism.

The Soviet Union also involves its allies, or better, its satellites in its interference. We are seeing this concretely in Africa, where the Soviet social-imperialist and their Cuban mercenaries are intervening on the pretext that they are assisting the revolution. This is a lie. Their intervention is nothing but a colonialist action aimed at capturing markets and subjugating peoples.

The intervention of the Soviet Union and its Cuban mercenaries in Angola is of this nature. They have never had the slightest intention of assisting the Angolan revolution, but their aim was and is to get their claws into that African country which had won a certain independence after the expulsion of the Portuguese colonialists. The Cuban mercenaries are the colonial army dispatched by the Soviet Union to capture markets and strategic positions in the countries of Black Africa, and to go on from Angola to other states, to enable the Soviet social-imperialists, too, to create a modern colonial empire.

Under the cloak of aid for peoples’ liberation the Soviet Union and its mercenary, Cuba, are intervening in other countries with armies equipped with artillery and machine-guns, allegedly to build socialism, which does not exist in either the Soviet Union or Cuba. These two bourgeois-revisionist states intervened in Angola in order to help a capitalist clique seize power, contrary to the aims of the Angolan people who had fought to win their freedom from the Portuguese colonialists. Agostinho Neto is playing the game of the Soviets. In the struggle against the other faction, in order to seize power for himself, he called in the Soviets to help him. The struggle between the two opposing Angolan clans did not have anything of a people’s revolutionary character.

The fight between them was a struggle of cliques for power. Each of them was supported by different imperialist states. Agostinho Neto emerged the winner from this contest, while socialism did not triumph in Angola. On the contrary, following the intervention from abroad, Soviet neo-colonialism has been established there.

Social-imperialist China, too, is making great efforts to penetrate into the former colonial and semi-colonial countries.

An example of how China intervenes is provided by Zaire, a country ruled by the clique around Mobutu, the wealthiest and most bloodthirsty clique on the African continent. In the fighting which flared up in Zaire recently, the Moroccans of the Sherifian Kingdom of Morocco, the French air force, and China, too, all rushed to the aid of Mobutu, the murderer of Patrice Lumumba. The assistance given by the French is understandable, because with their intervention they were defending their concessions and concerns in Katanga, and at the same time, protecting their men, as well as Mobutu and his clique. But what do the Chinese revisionists want in Katanga? Whom are they assisting there? Are they helping the people of Zaire who are being suppressed by Mobutu and his clique and by the French, Belgian, US and other concession holders? Or are not they, too, assisting the blood-thirsty Mobutu clique? The fact is that the Chinese revisionist leadership is assisting this clique not indirectly, but quite openly. To make this assistance more concrete and more demonstrative, it sent its foreign minister, Huang Hua there, as well as military experts and military and economic aid. Thus, it acted in an anti-Marxist, anti-revolutionary way. China’s interference has exactly the same features as that of King Hassan of Morocco and that of France.

The Chinese social-imperialists are interfering not only in the affairs of that country, but also in other affairs of the peoples and countries of Africa and other continents, especially in those countries into which they are striving to penetrate in every way, in order to establish economic, political and strategic bases there.

Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Excerpts from “The Peoples’ Liberation Struggle – a Component Part of the World Revolution”

Bill Bland: The Nation of Islam and the Moorish Science Organization

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The ‘Nation of Islam’ arose indirectly out of an organisation called the ‘Moorish Science Organisation’, established in Newark, New Jersey, USA, in 1913, by one Timothy Drew, who had been born in North Carolina in 1886. Drew changed his name to ‘Noble Drew Ali’. (Clifton E. Marsh: ‘From Black Muslims to Muslims: The Resurrection, Transformation and Change of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in America: 1930-1995’; Lanham (USA); 1996; p. 29).

‘Noble Ali Drew’s ideas were published in a 64-page booklet which he titled the ‘Holy Koran’.

(Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 31).

This proclaimed that ‘Noble Drew Ali’ was:

“. . . a prophet ordained to carry the message of Islam to people of African descent in America”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 31).

and that black Americans were in fact

“. . . Moors, whose ancestors had come from Morocco”,

(Clifton E. March: ibid.; p. 31).

forming

“. . . part of a far-flung Moorish Nation that had somehow made its way to North America”.

(Theodore Draper: ‘The Rediscovery of Black Nationalism’; London; 1971; p. 70-71).

Drew also

” . . . identified white people with the embodiment of evil in scripture, which is Satan”.

(Imam Wallace D. Muhammad: Interview, 25 July 1979, in: Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 41).

and taught that there was

” . . . a ‘natural’ conflict between Islam and Christianity. This conflict would ultimately be resolved through the Battle of Armageddon, which he defined as a religious war between Muslims and Christians”.

(Clifton E. March: op. cit.; p. 38).

In March 1929 ‘Noble Drew Ali’ was

” . . . arrested and charged with murder,”

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 35).

but,

” . . . released on bond, he died a few weeks later, mysteriously”.

(Theodore Draper: op. cit.; p 71).

THE FOUNDATION OF THE ‘NATION-OF-ISLAM’

In July 1930,

“. . . a stranger suddenly appeared in Detroit Wallace D. Fard”.

(Theodore Draper: ibid.; p. 73).

Fard was

” . . . a door-to-door pedlar who claimed that he had been ‘sent by God’ and professed to have come from Mecca”,

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

He claimed:

“to be ‘Noble Drew Ali’ reincarnated”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 37).

Those members of the ‘Moorish Science Organisation’

“who believed Master Fard Muhammad’s reincarnation”,

(Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 35).

broke away to

” . . . set up a temple in Detroit”,

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 28).

and establish

“. . . what came to be known as the ‘Nation of Islam”‘.

(Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 35).

otherwise known as the ‘Black Muslims’.

ELIJAH MUHAMMAD

In early 1934,

“. . . Fard disappeared as suddenly and mysteriously as he had appeared”.

(Theodore Draper: op. cit.; p. 76).

He was succeeded as leader of the ‘Nation of Islam’ by Robert Poole, a former car worker, the son of a Baptist minister, who had been born in Sandersville, Georgia, in October 1897. (Charles Van Doren (Ed.): ‘Webster’s American Biographies’; Springfield (USA); 1974; p. 749).

Poole had moved to Detroit in 1923 and had eventually become

” . . . Fard’s chief lieutenant”.

(Walter D. Abilla: ‘The Black Muslims in America: An Introduction to the Theory of Commitment’; Nairobi; 1977; p. 5).

as

” . . . Chief Minister of Islam”,

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 39).

As Poole

“. . . rose in the movement, he took the name of ‘Elijah Muhammad”.

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 28).

and:

“moved operations”.

(Theodore Draper: op. cit.; p. 76)

“… to Chicago which he made his Permanent base of operations”.

(Theodore Draper: op cit.; p.76).

THE ‘NATION OF ISLAM’ UNDER ELIJAH MUHAMMAD

Elijah Muhammad

“. . . gave the sect a proper organisation”,

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 28),

and a mythology which taught that:

“whites were devils created by an evil wizard Yakub”.

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 28),

and proclaimed

“the superiority of the black man over the white”.

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

Under Elijah Muhammad’s leadership, the ‘Nation’ advocated

“. . . complete separation for Negroes, and strongly opposed racial integration”.

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

advocating:

“. . . that the United States government should give the ‘Nation of Islam’ several states to create a separate nation”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 71).

“to include only blacks”.

(Walter D. Abilla: op. cit.; p. 15).

Membership of the ‘Nation’ was

” . . . secret”,

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

but in 1965 was

“. . . variously estimated at between 50,000 and 250,000”

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

Its headquarters, the ‘Temple of Islam’, were:

“.. . a 19-room mansion in Chicago, the residence of Elijah Muhammad”.

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

Under Elijah Muhammad, the ‘Nation’:

“demanded that members rid themselves of their ‘slave’ names,”

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 40).

and in their place adopt

” . . . either Arabic names or use their first with an ‘X’ (hence ‘Malcolm X’). When more than one person has the same first name, the successive ones call themselves ‘2X’, ‘3X’ and so on”.

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

Members of the sect were:

” . . . forbidden extra-marital sexual relations; the use of alcohol, tobacco and narcotics; gambling, dancing, movies and television; and lying, stealing, discourtesy, insubordination to civil authority (except on religious grounds) and dirty homes and habits. Also prohibited are the eating of pork, hair-dyeing, and excessive make-up for women”.

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

Women were accorded

” . a subordinate role to men”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 72).

Male members were:

” . . . organised on a para-military basis and receive training in judo and karate”.

(‘Keesing’s Contemporary Archives’, Volume 15; p. 20,690).

This small army of male followers was:

” . . known as the ‘Fruit of Islam”‘.

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 28).

The ‘Nation’

“. . . established schools’,

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 28).

and a ‘University of Islam’, providing education for students in grades 4 to 12. Later, the university was known as the ‘Clara Muhammad School’, after Elijah Muhammad’s wife. (Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 43).

Under Elijah Muhammad, thrift and accumulation were:

” . . . articles of faith”.

(Walter D. Abilla: op. cit.; p. 16),

and he put forward a:

” . . . self-help philosophy”.

(Clifton E Marsh: op. cit.; p. 109).

On the basis of members’ contributions, he

“. . . established many businesses, restaurants and cleaners, and sold bean pies, whiting fish”. (Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. op. cit)

Every member was

” . . . expected to ‘buy black’, that is to trade with his own kind”.

(Walter D. Abilla: op. cit.; p. 86),

particularly with enterprises owned by the ‘Nation’. As a result, Elijah Muhammad became

” . . . admired for building the black dollar, encouraging black
people to patronise black businesses”.

(‘Independent’, 26 July 1997; p. 22),

but was criticised from the Left

“for advocating a kind of black capitalism”.

(Matthias Gardell: ‘In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam’; Durham (USA); 1996; p. 321).

These enterprises gave employment or petty bourgeois status to many members of the ‘Nation of Islam’, thus binding them to the ‘Nation’ by economic as well as religious bonds. However.

” . . . the financial empire was tied tightly to the Messenger personally”.

(Natthias Gardell: ibid.; p. 110).

that is, to Elijah Muhammad. By the 1970s, his assets had grown to constitute

” . . . an empire worth $40 million”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 7 August 1994; p. 4).

and his family became known as

” . . . the ‘Royal Family’ among members of the organisation”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 69),

By the 1970s, the ‘Nation of Islam’ had grown to

” . . . approximately one million members”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 68).

THE DISSOLUTION OF THE ‘NATION OF ISLAM’

Upon Elijah Muhammad’s death in February 1975, he was succeeded by his son Wallace D. Muhammad, who had been born in Detroit in October 1933. (Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 13, 67. 69).

Wallace had previously been excommunicated several times by his father, according to Wallace

“. . . always on the same charge. I was not accepting the God image given to Fard Muhammad”

(Wallace D. Muhammad: Interview in Chicago, 25 July 1979, in; Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 67-68).

Wallace changed the name of the ‘Nation of Islam’ to the ‘World Community of Al-Islam in the West’ (WCIW), and his own name to Warith Deen Muhammed. (Clifton E Marsh: 115, 102).

More important, he began

“. . . to turn the sect towards orthodox Islam”.

(‘Times’ Magazine, 3 February 1996; p. 28).

Thus, the WCIW practised:

” . . . the devotional duties of the pillars of Islam (testimony, prayer, fasting , alms and pilgrimages)”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 72).

Wallace also

“. . . rejected his father’s racist teachings”.

(‘Times’, Magazine, 3 February 1996; p. 28).

and abandoned

“the notion of African Americans as a separate nation”,

(Matthias Gardell: op. cit.; p. 112),

and with it the demand for a separate state within the United States, (Matthias Gardell: ibid.; p. 112),

Members were now instructed:

” . . . to honour the American flag and . . . to vote”.

(Clifton E, Marsh: ibid.; p. 71).

Black Americans were now called by the WCIW:

“Bilalians. Bilal was an Ethiopian Muslim who was born circa AD 600,”

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 70).

and

“…. . the ‘Muhammad Speaks’ newspaper was renamed the ‘Bilalian News “‘.

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 70).

Furthermore, he:

“began dismantling the . . . economic enterprises”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 115),

built up under his father’s regime.

These changes

” . . . enabled the ‘World Community of Al-Islam in the West’ to be accepted by the Islamic World Community and also to be accepted by the United States government”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: ibid.; p. 77).

In the spring of 1980, Wallace changed the name of the ‘World Community of Al-Islam in the West’ to

“the ‘American Muslim Mission”‘

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 115).

and in late 1987 he dropped this name,

” . . . dissolving the entire organisation, urging the former membership to affiliate with any local mosque”.

(Matthias Gardell: op. cit.; p. 113),

THE EXCOMMUNICATION OF LOUIS X

Some members of the former ‘Nation of Islam’ were strongly opposed to the changes introduced by Wallace Muhammad. The movement of resistance was headed by Louis X, who had been born Louis Walcott in May 1933 and had become

“… a calypso singer known as ‘Calypso Gene”‘.

(‘Independent’ Magazine, 26 July 1997; p. 25),

Walcott had

“become a follower of the Honourable Elijah Muhammad”,

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 96).

in February 1955.

Louis X had written:

“. . . and starred in a play called ‘The Trial’. One of the songs he wrote for the play became the ‘Nation of Islam’s anthem ‘The White Man’s Heaven is the Black Man’s Hell”‘.

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 28).

Because of his opposition to Wallace Muhammad’s changes, in November 1977
Louis X

” . . . was excommunicated from the ‘World Community of Al-Islam in the West’

(Introduction: Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 108).

THE RESURRECTION OF THE ‘NATION OF ISLAM’

Taking the name ‘Louis Farrakhan’, Louis X now announced

” . . . his intention to re-establish the ‘Nation of Islam’ ‘on the platform of the Honourable Elijah Muhammad”‘.

(Matthias Gardell: op. cit.; p. 123),

Farrakhan

” . . . not only took over as undisputed head of the ‘Nation of Islam’, but also moved into Elijah Muhammad’s mansion, the house in which he still lives, in a posh neighborhood of Chicago much favoured by doctors, lawyers and stockbrokers”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 11, 2 April 1995; p. 25).

In this

“fortress-like mansion”,

(‘Independent on Sunday’, 8 October 1995; p. 19).

He

“lives in considerable luxury”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 11, 2 April 1995; p. 25).

Under Farrakhan, the new weekly newspaper of the ‘Nation of Islam’ is called:

‘The Final Call”‘.

(‘Independent’, 36 July 1997; p. 22),

The membership of the revived ‘Nation’ is predominantly

“. . . young; up to 80% of a typical congregation is between the ages of 17 and 35; The membership is predominantly male”.

(Walter D. Abilla: op. cit.; p. 1).

Today the ‘Nation’ owns:

” . . . about 120 mosques across the country”.

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 28).

‘Self-Help’

Under Farrakhan’s leadership, the ‘Nation of Islam’ continued

“. . . the self-help policy of the Hon. Elijah Mohammad”,

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 109).

Members

“. . . pay a mandatory tithe, which he (Farrakhan — Ed.) has used to create a network of small businesses, and to fund a long-planned venture into farming”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement, I April 1994; p. 13).

so that the ‘Nation’ has again become

” . a rapidly growing business empire”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 7 August 1994; p. 4).

The ‘Nation’, which:

“. . . has its own line of skin and hair care products, set up a soap-selling business with a multi-million dollar loan from Colonel Gadafy of Libya”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement, I April 1994; p 13).

while its clinic in Washington DC

” . . . promises a miracle cure for AIDS”.

(‘Times”, 3 February 1996; p. 30).

On the positive side, the ‘Nation of Islam’

“. . . are respected for their practical programmes to reduce crime and drugs. . . . They go on to estates where the police can do nothing, and close down the drug peddlers”.

(‘Independent’ Magazine, 26 July 1997; p. 26).

This reputation has been turned to financial advantage. Security firms affiliated to the ‘Nation’

” . . . have won lucrative government contracts policing hardened housing estates”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement, 1 April 1994; p. 13).

The ‘Nation of Islam’ Security Agency,

” . . . is manned by members of the ‘Fruit, was formed in 1990″.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 7 August 1994; p. 4).

and

“. . . acts as security guard for hire by other prominent black figures”,

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 7 August 1994; p. 4).

and

“. . . has won government contracts worth millions of dollars to police crime-wracked housing estates”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 8, 7 August 1994; p. 4).

“Some of the grants were as much as $50,000 per month”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 129).

Farrakhan

“. . . aims to establish a black media empire of broadcasting and entertainment interests, with the ‘Nation’s newspaper, ‘The Final Call’, as its foundation”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement, 1 April 1994; p. 13).

Farrakhan himself

“. . . can be seen on 95 TV stations throughout the country and can be heard on 43 radio stations throughout the United States”.

(Clifton E. Marsh: op. cit.; p. 91).

Right-wing Political Views

Not surprisingly, Tony Robson, of the anti-fascist magazine ‘Searchlight’, says of the ‘Nation’:

“They are extreme right-wingers — the religious input is minimal”.

(Tony Robson, in: ‘Times’ ‘Life and Times’ Supplement, 3 August 1992;p. 4).

Farrakhan’s political views are indeed close to those of right-wing Republicans. Like them he

“denounces sex and violence in popular culture, and preaches ‘family values”‘.

(‘Times’, 3 February 1996; p. 30).

Under his leadership, the ‘Nation’

“. . . rejects the American welfare system”.

(Matthias Gardell: op. cit.; p. 319).

and denounces it in particular:

“for ‘subsidising single mothers”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement, 1 April 1994; p. 13).

It

” . . approves of harsh penal codes adopted by countries such as Saudi Arabia”,

(‘Sunday Times’. Section 10, 2 April 1995; p. 25).

and wants

” . . to prohibit marriage between different races”.

(‘Independent on Sunday”, Section 11, 12 November 1995; p. 3).

and demands the death penalty for

“interracial sex”.

(Matthias Gardell: op. cit.; p. 337).

Political Abstention

Continuing the abstentionist policies pursued under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad, members of Farrakhan’s ‘Nation of Islam’

“do not take part in any election”.

(Walter D. Abilla: op. cit.; p. 15).

Sexism

The discrimination against women practised under Elijah Muhammad has been accentuated under Louis Farrakhan. Men

” . . . are designated as the ‘maintainers of women and children”‘.

(‘Independent on Sunday’, Section 11, 20 October 1997; p. 3).

and women

. . . cover themselves from head to toe and sit in segregated areas during services”.

(‘Independent on Sunday’, Section 11, 20 October 1997; p. 3).

‘Nation of Islam’ rallies

“. . . are often of men only, and when they are mixed it is common for the women, wearing regulation long-sleeved white robes to cover their flesh, to be asked to vacate their seats for men”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement. 1 April 1994; p. 13),

Since January 1994,

. . . Farrakhan has barred women from speeches in public buildings in New York, Boston and Washington”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement. 1 April 1994; p. 13),

In March 1994,

“. . . Farrakhan cancelled a speech at the Texas Southern University rather than admit women. Farrakhan had billed the April 11 address as a man-to-man discussion of issues involving black men, But the state university said the speech could not go ahead without the women”

(‘Guardian’ Supplement. 1 April 1994; p. 13),

In October 1995,

” . . . several hundred thousand black men attended a rally in Washington DC . . . organised by Louis Farrakhan”.

(‘Keesing’s Record of World Events;’, Volume 41; p. 40,765).

This event,

” . . . named the ‘Million Men March’,

(‘Keesing’s Record of World Events;’ Volume 41; p. 40,765).

was one:

” . . . from which women had been excluded”.

(‘Independent on Sunday’, Section 11; 20 October 1996; p. 3),

Racism

Under Farrakhan, the ‘Nation of Islam’ has revived the racism of Elijah Muhammad. In her autobiography, Sonsyrea Tate describes the racist ideas about white people she received as a ‘Nation of Islam’ child in Washington:

“I’d learned that they were wicked, that they smelled like wet dogs when it rained, and that, in general, they had unsanitary habits, such as picking up food and eating it after they dropped it on the floor — and not wearing underclothes. I thought I might start itching if one of them sat next to me”.

(Sonsyrea Tate: ‘Little X: Growing up in the Nation of Islam’, San Francisco; 1997; p. 131).

Farrakhan

” . . . goes round saying that whites are inferior”‘,

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 2 April 1885; p. 25).

Indeed, the ‘Nation’s propaganda on whites is

“. . a mirror image of what the Ku Klux Klan is saying”,

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 2 April 1995; p 25).

about black people.

Under Farrakhan, the ‘Nation’ has revived the demand for:

“the withdrawal of Negroes into a separate black nation”.

(George Breitman: ‘Malcolm X: The Man and his Ideas’, in: Malik Miah (Ed.): ‘The Assassination of Malcolm X’; London; 1968; p. 42).

and one of Farrakhan’s principal aims is:

“to establish an independent black Islamic state”.

(Matthias Gardell: op. cit.; p. 327).

In Britain in 1987,

“. . . the ‘National Front’ announced a campaign to promote Farrakhan’s ideas. Posters went up: Louis Farrakhan speaks for his nation. We speak for ours”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 2 April 1995; p 25).

“The promotion of racial separatism by the NoI has unfortunately found common ground with the likes of the ‘National Front’ in Britain. An editorial in ‘Nationalism Today’ in 1988 praised Mr. Farrakhan for his contribution to ‘the fight against multiracialism’, adding: We are ready and willing to work with those of other races who wish to maintain their separateness and identity”‘.

(‘Times’, Supplement, 3 August 1992; p. 4),

In the mid-1980s, the ‘Nation of Islam’

“. . . admitted to dealings with a former leader of the Californian Ku Klux Klan, Tom Metcalfe, now in gaol for a racist murder”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9; 7 August 1994; p. 5).

Anti-Semitism

Apart from anti-white racism, the ‘Nation of Islam’ under Farrakhan indulges in virulent anti-Semitism. Since the mid-1980s,

“the targets for the ‘Nation’s political fulminations have been the Jews”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 7 August 1994; p. 65).

In 1991,

” . . . the ‘Nation of Islam’ published ‘The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews’ . . . which accused Jews of being ‘key operatives’ in the African slave trade”.

(‘Times’ Magazine, 3 February 1996; p. 31),

In 1985, Farrakhan told a black audience:

“I have a difficulty with Jewish people. . . . They are not the chosen people of God. . . . The black people of America and the Western hemisphere are God’s chosen people”.

(‘Times’ ‘Life and Times’ Supplement, 2 August 1992; p. 4).

Robson affirms that

“Farrakhan is notoriously anti-Semitic”.

(‘Times’ ‘Life and Times’ Supplement, 2 August 1992; p. 4).

Indeed, Farrakhan is on record as saying that Jews

” . . are ‘bloodsuckers’ who have become rich on the sweat and toil of blacks. Judaism is a ‘gutter religion’; the Holocaust was nothing compared to the historical oppression of American blacks”.

(‘Independent on Sunday’, 8 October 1995; p. 19).

In July 1998, Donu Kogbara wrote:

“The anti-Semitism displayed by Louis Farrakhan…… the Nation of Islam’s black American leader, is despicable”.

(‘Sunday Times’, 5 July 1998; p. 5),

and refers to

” . . . his obsession with racial separation — apartheid by another name”.

(‘Sunday Times’, 5 July 1998; p. 5).

Mainly as a result of representations by Jewish organisations Farrakhan

” . . . has been banned from Britain since 1988″.

(‘Times’ ‘Life and Times’ Supplement, 3 August 1992; p. 4).

The ban

” . . . also prohibits all broadcasts of his image and likeness”.

(‘Guardian’ ‘The Editor’, 4 July 1998; p. 4).

In November 1993, Khalid Muhammad, a leading member of the ‘Nation of Islam”‘, referred to Jews

“. . . as ‘Christ-killers’, alleging that they controlled the global financial system. . . ‘It’s that old no-good Jew, that old imposter Jew, that old hook-nosed, bagel-eating, lox-eating Johnny-come-lately”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement, 1 April 1994; p. 13).

He accused the

” . . . Jews of being ‘bloodsuckers’ on the black community, questioned the Holocaust and called for the killing of all whites in South Africa”.

(‘Keesing’s Record of World Events’, Volume 40; p. 39,854).

Following widespread complaints about the speech, in February 1994 Farrakhan demoted Khalid Muhammad”; (‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 7 August 1994; p. 4).

Nevertheless, Farrakhan

“is still very close to Khalid”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9. 7 August 1994; p. 4).

since he

” . . . uses Khalid Muhammad as a stalking horse”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 7 August 1994; p. 5).

Fascism

Chip Berlet, of ‘Political Research Associates’, says:

“Many of the key elements of a fascist political movement are present in the NoI, including theories of racial superiority, organic leadership and the appropriateness of authoritarian measures”.

(‘Sunday Times’, Section 9, 7 August 1994; p 5).

The ‘Nation of Islam’ has revived the ‘Fruit of Islam’ as its uniformed storm troopers, which are run along military lines. (‘Independent’ Magazine, 26 July 1997; p. 25).

It is composed of

” . . . shaven-headed men, all of whom are identically attired, from the tips of their shiny black shoes, to their zip-up black bomber jackets. crisp white cotton shirts and trade-mark red bow-ties”.

(‘Independent’, 26 July 1997; p. 20).

‘Fruit’ members

“take martial arts classes”,

(‘Independent’, 26 July 1997; p. 22).

and

” . . frisk the queues to ‘Nation’ rallies, stand with Farrakhan on stage, and act as sentries at his home”.

(‘Guardian’ Supplement. 1 April 1994; p. 13).

After he had left the ‘Nation’, Malcolm X told a press conference:

“I know for a fact that there is a conspiracy between . . . the Muslims and the Lincoln Rockwell Nazis and also the Ku Klux Klan”.

(Matthias Gardell: op, cit.; p. 273).

Indeed, John X Ali

” . . . arranged for American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell to speak at the 1962 Saviour’s Day celebration in Chicago”.

(Matthias Gardell: ibid.; p. 273).

THE ‘NATION OF ISLAM’ IN BRITAIN

In Britain, the ‘Nation of Islam’

“began informally in 1986”.

(‘Independent’, Section 11, 26 July 1997; p. 25).

when

“the first mosque was set up in Brixton”,

(‘Independent’, Section 11, 26 July 1997; p. 25).

Today it has

” . . . three mosques, in south, north and east London”.

(‘Independent’, Section 11, 26 July 1997; p. 25).

Together with:

” a study group working towards a mosque in North London”,

(‘Independent’, Section 11, 26 July 1997; p. 26).

The ‘Nation’s London headquarters are situated

“in Goldhawk Road”.

(‘Independent’, Section 11, 26 July 1997; p. 22).

and it owns

“a shop on Harlesden High Street”.

(‘Independent’, 26 July 1997; p. 26).

Since its foundation,

“It . . . it has grown tenfold . . to 2,500 (half-male, half-female)”.

(‘Independent’, Section 11, 26 July 1997; p. 22-23).

Jamaican-born Hugh Chester Jones, now known as ‘Leo Muhammad’, is Farrakhan’s

“mouthpiece in London”.

(‘Independent’, Section 11, 26 July 1997; p. 20).

where there is published

” . . . a new locally produced magazine called ‘Signs of the Times”‘.

(‘Independent’, Section 11, 26 July 1997; p. 22).

CONCLUSION

THE ‘NATION OF ISLAM’ IS A FUNDAMENTALLY REACTIONARY, SEXIST AND RACIST, FASCIST-TYPE ORGANISATION WHICH OBJECTIVELY SERVES IMPERIALISM, ESPECIALLY UNITED STATES IMPERIALISM, BY SEEKING TO BUILD A BLACK PETTY BOURGEOISIE AS A BUFFER AGAINST SOCIALIST REVOLUTION AND WHICH SEEKS TO UTILISE RACIAL PREJUDICES AND SUPERSTITION TO DIVIDE THE AMERICAN NATION, INCLUDING THE AMERICAN WORKING CLASS, ALONG RACIAL LINES.

William B. Bland for the Marxist-Leninist Research Bureau

1998

Source

Workers Communist Party of Denmark (APK): The military takes power in Egypt: The “democratic” coup of imperialism

morsi-2

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: The millitary is in power again

In the West the military coup in Egypt is being praised as ”democratic” and it is being supported by the pro-western forces in the Egyptian “opposition” to the deposed president Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood. But it has no plans to meet the demands of the Egyptian popular rising.

The Danish media continues to present the coup in Egypt as anything but a military coup. If it is called a coup, then it is “a democratic coup” or “the people’s coup”.

The fact is, that the pro-American Egyptian army, that created and kept the hated Mubarak in power, with the Minister of Defence and the Supreme Commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the front, has taken the power again with a classical military coup. The army has taken control with the key positions of the society.

The military has appointed the leader of the country’s Constitutional Court, the 68-year old Adly Mansour, as interim president. The constitution of Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood has been suspended.

The Brotherhood’s president Mursi and his closest associates are under house arrest. A veritable hunt on its leaders and other islamists is going on. Some have been arrested. Employees on Muslim TV-stations like Al Jazeera have been arrested.

There is no doubt, that the Muslim Brotherhood, which still is organized for illegality, and other islamistic forces are preparing resistance. The army has warned, that it will crack down hard on “troublemakers”.

The coup follows after three days with gigantic popular protests that reminded one of the atmosphere from the uprising in 2011 and demanded Mursi’s resignation. His unilaterally religious-based policy and constitution has split the country and hasn’t met the basal popular demands.

American and western imperialism counted on an agreement with Mursi about sharing the power and the influence in Egypt against the revolutionary mass movement. But especially Mursi’s uncompromising attitude has led to the army’s intervention, before the mass movement could present a regular leadership alternative.

Mursi refused an offer about a compromise with the ”opposition” and the army, USA and the West terminated the “contract”.

The American-educated al-Sisi was a year ago appointed as head of the army by Mursi himself. Up to the coup al-Sisi led talks with the American administration and its handpicked president candidate El Baradei, leader of the pro-western opposition and the so-called National Salvation Front.

The German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guido Westerwelle praises the coup as a ”safeguarding of democracy”. The American president is more cautious and calls for a fast establishment of a civilian regime. He has also spoken out against ”arbitary arrests” of Mursi’s supporters, which are a significant political and popular actor on the Egyptian scene. Villy Søvndal [1] echoes.

The stage is set for a roadmap for ”new democratic elections” under the army’s control, that leads to a new president and a new constitution. El Baradei is the front candidate as a frontman for a pro-western ”democratic” regime hand in hand with the powerful millitary and USA and EU.

It is anything but a plan for ensuring the demands of the real democratic and revolutionary popular movement.

The Netpaper 4. July 2013

[1] Foreign Minister of Denmark

The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) Boycotts the Sham Presidential Elections in Iran and Demands Democratic Rights and Freedom for the People!

toufan (1)

According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, president of the country is elected by the direct popular votes and not by the parliamentary representatives. The presidential elections in Iran will take place on June 14, 2013.

Every 4 years, the Iranian authorities appeal to the citizens for their vote in order to nationally and internationally legitimize their rule. During the election campaigns, the Islamic authorities promise to improve the economic conditions of the masses and to make the future better for the citizens, but the economic- social- political conditions have been worsening for the working people year after year. When the people take to the streets and protest the intolerable living conditions, when the masses challenge the authorities, they are given the response that the “Supreme Leader” is not bound to the votes of the people, that the pillars of the Republic are based on Islam and not on the observance of democratic principles, wills, or votes of the citizens.

This lack of respect for the opinion, wills, and votes of the people has existed since the first year of the establishment of the Islamic Republic. The repetition of the farce, hypocritical, and deceptive shows by the Islamic regime has caused the people to laugh at and ridicule the Islamic Republic.

The candidates for the presidential elections have gone through filters by the “Guardian Council” and by the “Supreme Leader”. Each candidate is worse, more corrupt, more involved in embezzlement, more reactionary, and more criminal than the other. Furthermore, the Iranian masses will not make a choice between bad and worse. Making a choice between bad and worse is a vicious circle that can continue forever. As long as the Islamic Republic has been in power, there have been factions and inter-quarrels between the factions. All factions have full adherence to the reactionary Constitution of the Islamic Republic and to the rule of a “Supreme Leader”. All factions and all candidates for presidential elections supported the slaughter of the political prisoners in 1988, supported all political executions and assassinations, participated in the repression of the workers activists, opposed to the freedom of expression and assembly and formation of independent labour organizations, etc.

The strategic line of the Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) is to overthrow of the criminal, corrupt, despotic, and theocratic regime of the Islamic Republic. Removing the Islamic Republic from the power will eliminate obstacles for the development of a democratic Iran, and will pave the way for the participation of the working people in the political life of the country.

At the present situation, we call on all Iranian people not to participate in the presidential elections. Through this active and vigorous call, we fully boycott the elections. The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) demands the freedom of all political parties and organizations, equality of men and women in all spheres of life, elimination of censorship, the freedom of expression and assembly, the freedom of all political prisoners, the freedom of trade union and guild activities. These just and logical demands have wide spread support in the society and will corner the regime and the “Supreme Leader”. Theoretically, these demands could be met in any ordinary bourgeois state. But the Islamic regime’s surrender to these demands- a regime with a three- decade history of corruptions and embezzlement and execution and … – is a big defeat for the “Supreme Leader”. These demands will build a powerful movement independent from the factions of the regime that puts an end to the hesitation of the masses in making a choice between bad and worse.

The recognition of the democratic rights and freedom of the masses is a pre-condition and prerequisite to any free elections.

Boycott the Presidential Elections in Iran!

No to the Regime of the Islamic Republic!

No to Imperialist Sanctions and Threats against Iran!

The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan) 
May 2013

Labour Party (EMEP): About the developments in Turkey

emep(2)(2)

How can anyone interpret the ongoing widespread massive demonstrations launched on previous week? The Turkish Spring? A public upheaval? Or a coup attempt ignited by the nationalists?

To make a realistic interpretation,one must consider the latest political incidents in Turkey. Definitely, it is not just one spark which glinted the fire.

AKP Government,the most loyal ally of US and Western Imperialism in Middle East ,an important actor of the Greater Middle East Initiative and the most devoted executor of Neo-liberal politics;and its policies were found extensive protests for years.  

The policies such as disposal of public property to multinational institutions and to local tycoons,massive dismissals, the reorganization of the working life  against workers outsourcing, union-busting, restriction of social rights, lower wages,increased exploitation of labor in the name of increasing performance evoked insurgency everyday in factories and institutions.

On the other hand,the ignorance and the assimilative policies on Kurdish people, massive detentions caused tremendous repercussions .

The urbanite bourgeoisie were disturbed by the religious based practices and the statements of the AKP Government.Implementation of compulsory religious education in secondary schools,re-arrangement of the education system  according to religious references requested,the increase in the number of religious schools,the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which employs a huge army of clerics to arbitration,restrictions for  the sale of alcoholic beverages and smoking,replenish of the  bureaucratic cadre by the religious sections called the pro-AKP.

AKP, by creating high interest rates and selling the public domain to foreign capital at very low rates,provided a flow of hot money and tried to attract the share capital which refrain from investing their money in the Middle East or in the Western banks and companies.So that the AKP government was more successfull so far as Europe and US in slurring over the wolrd economic crises.  

But,lately, the hot money money flow from abroad has been decreased.AKP government tried to avoid the economical predicament  by implementing a construction campaign so called “Urban transformation”.The most valuable areas in big cities were expropriated,multi-storey  structures builded on public domains and sold for extreme prices.Growing traffic problem, destroying of green spaces and the prejudiced policies in  which AKP followers filled their pockets,lead to a widespread discontent. 

The Syrian policy of AKP government unplugged a great dissatisfaction amongst people.The monetary aid supporting the radical islamic organisations and groups and deploying these groups on Syria border caused lots of issues.The radical islamists became a menacing power for the Alawite majority on the border.harboring the radical islamists impaired the trade and the economy in the area.

The bankruptcies and the unemployment has increased.Besides,the negative effects of 5 million dollars spent on Esad opposers has become to emerge.

In these circumstances, Prime minister Erdoğan announced that a Shopping mall would be builded in Taksim Park.The Shopping mall would be constructed as a caserne. Artillery Barracks during the bourgeois revolution in 1908,known as the headquarters of reactionary forces,and the center of the uprising AKP,resuscitating the barracks,is advocating the March 31, 1908 reactionary uprising and also wanted to take revenge of the 1908 Revolution. Barracks project revealed as such for a substantial portion of the population.In addition, Taksim environmental sectors also disturbed about the fact that almost no green space would be left in the shopping center. Erdoğan’s intention to change the city landscape without the consent of such majority,led the way to an uprising to his dictator-like policies.

A month ago, on May 1st demonstration in Taksim AKP government banned a distance of twenty miles from the entrance to thwart  and  mass transport to the zone is stopped, they cut off the access to the city’s Asian and European parts the whole day, and the masses were subjected to attack, gas and water cannons.The precautions taken by the AKP government has aggrieved all the people in İstanbul and the tourists.  Taksim Gezi Park,resistance began.Business machines,taking action to demolish Taksim Park attracted thousands of people to Taksim Gezi Park. Late at night,after the main mass had left the park,the police forces attacked a small group sleeping in tents.The tents were burned by the police, the activists were beaten and exposed to pepper gas.

Now, again, the same method is used  to terminate  the action in Gezi Park.This latest attack,exasperated  a very wide range of masses and tens of thousands of people departed to Taksim. When the working hours ended,the number of  the masses accumulated in Taksim reached one hundred thousand. Dense gas and water cannons used in  the police attack.Despite the censorship promoted by the bourgeois media,by the efforts of social media and a few revolutionary and democratic organ the events  has  been transferred to the public. Actions spread to Ankara and Izmir. People not leave the streets until dawn.In İzmir, Ankara and İstanbul the clashes between the police and the activists had become tough.Baricades have been built.During the clashes,some youngsters have died in Ankara, İstanbul and Hatay.Tens of thousands of people have been injured and been arrested. Our Party’s youth branch administrator in Ankara have also been injured and arrested. 

Most of the protesters were composed of youngsters and women.The football team supporters also participated the demonstrations by putting off the challenges between them.The most used slogans of the actions were “Resignate Government” and “Resignate Tayyip”. The masses participated to the demonstrations were often unorganized.

Our party,all revolutionary and democratic parties, greens, environmentalists, chambers of physicians, engineers and architects rooms, public sector workers’ unions, the Alawite, intellectuals and artists, lawyers,nationalist groups all composed the secular sections which agree that the AKP government was slowly building a religious law system.

Our Party, participating the demonstrations with all its cadre and organizations,tried to attract the labour, proletarian and the unions to the action. Fasten on the formation of  the administrative instruments of the actions and to refine the targets.

Summoned for the Kurdish problem ‘s democratic and populist solution,abolition of restrictions on freedom of press,expression and association,the rights of the  Alewite,for return of usurped rights of the working class and laborers, removal of the election  threshold, to determine and  punish those responsible for the massacres as Roboski and Reyhanlı, providing the police from gas-spraying of demonstrators,for the prohibition of dismissal of cities,prohibition of  destruction of green spaces for rent by looting and an end to logging. Called for general strike and resistance.

Summoned to the people to organize and struggle.Today, Public Laborer Union (KESK) and Revolutionary  Labourer Unions Confederation are installing a general strike. The events in Turkey this week, has similar and different aspects from the processes experienced in Tunisia, Egypt or other Arabian countries.The similarities are; wide masses saying” This is enough” and invading the streets and the  resolution for struggle.The differences are the organisational level for the masses and the demands.For the last five years, similar actions took place not only in Arabian countries or in Turkey,also in European countries like Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain,France and England; and in some Latin American countries.Common ground for all is masses rebelling against the repression and the  exploitation of capitalism.

It is clear that the people revolting against the ruling class for their own rights and freedom will be strengthen by the international solidarity and the unity.

Labour Party (EMEP)

Turkey,

4 June 2013

www.emep.org

en.emep.org (English)

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