STATEMENT ON IRANIAN LABOR FOR MAY 1, 2011

The International Marxist-Humanist Organization

May Day greetings to Iranian workers, stressing the imprisonment of Tehran workers’ leader Mansour Osanloo and the situation facing Iranian labor in light of the Arab upheavals of 2011. – Editors

The International Marxist-Humanist Organization calls for maximum solidarity from Left and Labor organizations of the world with imprisoned Tehran workers’ leader Mansour Osanloo, and with all other workers, youth, women, and other citizens imprisoned by the repressive and brutal regime of the Islamic Republic.

To the Iranian people, we pledge our opposition to US or Israeli intervention and our firmest solidarity. As anti-imperialists we refuse to be taken in by the reactionary form of anti-imperialism of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, whose neoliberal policies and “trickle-down economics,” represent a vicious and repressive assault on the economic well being of Iranian workers.

Within Iran’s deep-rooted culture of resistance many labor organizers and political activists have come to the conclusion that in the absence of a viable secular democracy neither the labor nor any other progressive movement is sustainable. As we see it, democracy is essential for the transformation of class structure (in itself) to class organization (for itself). In the absence of democracy such a transformation can hardly take place. Yet in a class-divided capitalist society, political democracy is inevitably in conflict with the system of socioeconomic power and inequality. It is hardly surprising then, that the Arab upheavals of 2011 have challenged more than the political order.  While none have yet moved from political to full social revolution, in their attacks on unemployment and neoliberalism, their important labor dimension, and their more general demands for dignity and social justice, the new Arab revolutions and protest movements have also challenged the economic order.

This combination of political and economic demands is a distinctive mark of the 2011 upheavals.  It also constitutes a point of difference with other important democratic movements of the last few years, which, while massive in size and including the participation of working people, did not critique neoliberalism or develop a distinctive labor dimension. In the case of Iran we express the hope that our Iranian comrades on the Left will neither isolate themselves from the masses nor stop short at the mere reform of the reactionary regime. Should the revolutionary convulsions that have swept North Africa and Arabia soon rattle the doors of the Iranian regime, we would expect that any new outpouring in Iran would go beyond the self-limiting confines of the 2009 Green Movement.

While the Reformist leadership may want to preserve the Islamic Republic in some form, the logic of events are moving in a different direction, toward a fully revolutionary upheaval. A lot will depend on whether the working classes – whose legitimate struggles to form independent trade unions have met with severe repression, and who are also experiencing starvation wages, nonpayment of wages, and unemployment — come out in greater numbers and in an organized fashion.

— The International Marxist-Humanist Organization

Affiliates:

 

 

US Marxist-Humanists

London Corresponding Committee, publishers of The Hobgoblin

Other international Marxist-Humanists from Europe, Canada, India, and West Africa

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