Iran: Strikes in the Oil and Petrochemical Industries at the Center of new Proletarian Struggles

After the fiasco of the recent presidential elections in Iran (less than 50% of the voters participated), a massive strike wave initiated by ‘contract’ workers in the oil and petrochemical industries has extended throughout the country, persistently resisting the maneuverings and repression of the ‘Islamic Republic’ and resuscitating a widespread solidarity in society.

In the following we document its repercussions in the political milieus laying claim to proletarian internationalism:

  • ‘Left-wing Communism – NOT an infantile disorder’ has opened a special section since last June 30, featuring analyses from internationalist sources, news and background articles: Iran oil strike at the center of a new wave of proletarian struggles. Besides voices from the former milieus, statements by a number of bourgeois (ultra-) left organizations can be consulted there (in provisional translations) as well, next to a number of communiqués by the strike committee in Iran, and some commentaries.

  • Hereafter, on page 2, we present the first statement we have received on the courageous struggle by the precarious workers in Iran, the communiqué by ‘Internationalist Voice’ of June 27, 2021, (regardless our disagreement on ‘peripheral’ capitalism’), summarizing the stakes and demands at its point of departure, and putting forward a first evaluation.

  • The Internationalist Communist Tendency has just published its first article, envisaging  both to inform its readers (at the hand of communiqués from the strike committee) and to draw a critical balance sheet of the strike, its repercussions in the country, and the perspectives this opens up: Iranian Oil and Petrochemical Workers’ Strikes Go On . (28 July, 2021)

Last but not least, we invite our readers to explore the publications we have had occasion to relate on this blog on the situation in the Near and Middle East, and specifically regarding Iran. For our following of proletarian struggles we recommend in particular:

Iran: “Lessons from Strikes, Labour Struggles and internationalist Tasks” (Extracts)  (A balance sheet by ‘Internationalist Voice’,  January 2019)

Theses on the 2018 proletarian struggles in the Near and Middle East and their prospects (An article summary, Fredo Corvo, January 2019)

Impending war Iran-USA, towards a third world war? (Translation from ‘Arbeidersstemmen’, January 2020)

Iran: A New Wave of Strikes and Workers’ Protests and the Need for Workers’ Solidarity (A Communiqué by ‘Internationalist Voice’, August 2020)

The editor

Appeal to Arab and Jewish workers in Palestine and Israel

Demonstrating for calm and coexistence at the Oranim junction in south Jerusalem, May 13, 2021. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

Arbeidersstemmen (‘Worker’s Voices’), Amsterdam, May 25, 2021.

With hope and expectation, workers around the world have received the news on the joint demonstrations on bridges and traffic junctions of Arab and Israeli speakers. During the mutual bombings and pogroms back and forth, they protested hand in hand, as neighbors and fellow workers against terror and war.

After the armistice, by their participation in mass peace demonstrations, they expressed the fear that the powers on both sides of the borders speak of peace, but in reality are already preparing the next war. War preparations that require further intensification of the exploitation of all workers: border-crossing labor, digging tunnels, building missiles, surplus labor for the development and purchase of weapons systems. All this in addition to passing the costs of war and reconstruction on to the working and poor. Both the State of Israel, the PLO State in the West Bank and the Hamas State in Gaza feel empowered in their war efforts by the massive support of “their” populations blinded by nationalism. Without exception, these three states will continue to direct the terror of extremist militias and gangs against any resistance to the war preparations and intensified exploitation, even if this resistance invokes the “peace” and the “right of self-determination” as articulated by the leaders of the peace movement. Continue reading “Appeal to Arab and Jewish workers in Palestine and Israel”

The Proletarian Mountain and the Bourgeois Mouse

‘Circolo internazionalista’ on the proletarian perspective in the Middle East

Among the statements that have come to our attention on the latest escalation in the barbaric ‘Israeli-Palestinian’ conflict issued by a diversity of groups who lay claim to proletarian internationalism, we want to highlight one for its focus on an aspect of the situation that crucially differs from the previous rounds or ‘cycles’ in this seemingly perpetual imperialist stand-off: the mobilization of Arab Israelis, including strikes and demonstrations, not only in solidarity against the brutal maneuvers of the Israeli state in East Jerusalem, on the West Bank and against the Gaza strip, but also in defense to state sponsored repression and terrorism directed against themselves in the heart of the country.

The following article by the Internationalist Circle – “workers’ coalition” from Rome (Italy) on what may be regarded as a key factor to ending the bloody impasse: the refusal to follow any of the nationalist flags and the search for proletarian solidarity across religious, ethnic and national divides, has been written on the eve of the US-sponsored “truce” of Friday 21st.

The editor

Continue reading “The Proletarian Mountain and the Bourgeois Mouse”

Trotsky and the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921

Provisional Council at the Petropavlovsk, Kronstadt, March 1921

The violently crushed Kronstadt uprising of March 1921, followed by the introduction of the NEP, marked a decisive turn in the consolidation of the state capitalist regime that had come to bearing through the October insurrection in Russia 1917. The struggle for “soviets without the communists” (i.e. without the Bolsheviks) led by the insurgent mariners would be the last attempt by the proletarian masses to reconquer political power over the state, whose grip had been strengthened under pressure of the ‘civil war’ in Russia, with its so-called ‘war-communism’, to the detriment of the councils (soviets). Having achieved a military victory over the “white armies” through an unprecedented militarization, the Bolshevik regime was confronted with a plain catastrophe at the economic level, resulting in mass famines and peasant insurrections, like the Makhnovchina in the South. The Kronstadt uprising was the top of the iceberg of a mass movement that had its counterpart among the industrial proletariat. With its defeat, and the subsequent repression of political life, the backbone of the proletarian mass strike in Russia since 1905 was crushed, sealing off the counter-revolutionary involution of the Bolshevik party in power.

The following chapter from his major work Trotsky – the failed Stalin presents the analysis elaborated by the council communist Willy Huhn at the beginning of the 1950s of the role of the Bolshevik party, its leadership and of Trotsky in particular in these key events, with regards to the later political current of “trotskyism”.

Our translation is followed by a brief editor’s note on some historical inaccuracies by Huhn.

Last updated: April 22, 2021

 

Continue reading “Trotsky and the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921”

250 years of modern Capitalism: A reconstruction of its dynamics (Part 2)

“I pre-suppose, of course, a reader who is willing to learn something new and therefore to think for himself. […] Every opinion based on scientific criticism I welcome.” (Karl Marx, Preface to the First German Edition of ‘Capital, critique of political economy’, 1867).

Taking up a longstanding concern of Marx’s that he was unable to fulfill, this work in progress treats the development of modern capitalism over the past 250 years, with special attention to the classic country of its origin: Great Britain/the UK, at the hand of examined statistic sources and according to criteria developed by Marx.

With its third chapter: “An economically polarized World” now available in the topics section of this site, our translation is up to date with the work’s version of March 17, 2020 at ‘Capitalisme & Crises Économiques’.

We invite our readers to consult the article through its Table of Contents.

The editor

Iran: A New Wave of Strikes and Workers’ Protests and the Need for Workers’ Solidarity

A Communiqué by ‘Internationalist Voice’ (August 3, 2020)

The following communiqué provides a first time account of the acutely revived workers’ combativity in Iran, despite the corona-virus pandemic hitting the country hard, and the omnipresent state repression and political maneuvering by the local regime. For the first time in recent years, the workers in the oil- and gas industry are massively implied. The communiqué is followed by a brief commentary from ‘Arbeidersstemmen’. We hope to provide more details and analysis on the present struggles in due time.

Continue reading “Iran: A New Wave of Strikes and Workers’ Protests and the Need for Workers’ Solidarity”

Internationalist statements on the wave of protests and riots apropos of US state repression (Spring 2020)

A Rapid Press Overview

In the following we present a number of statements and press releases by groups, circles and authors claiming adherence to (proletarian) internationalism, mostly from US- or North American sources, apropos of the wave of international protests and riots sparked off by the police killing of Mr. George Floyd at Minneapolis (Minnesota). The concise ones have been adopted in full, the longer ones by extracting their conclusion.

The list does not pretend to be exhaustive and is supplemented.

The editor

(Last updated: Monday June 29, 2020)

Continue reading “Internationalist statements on the wave of protests and riots apropos of US state repression (Spring 2020)”

Corona-virus Pandemic: Legitimate Mistrust of the Governments

A statement by ‘Arbeidersstemmen’ (March 15, 2020)

The sudden succession of emergency measures taken by all governments in the Western hemisphere, presumably to counter or “control” the spread of the Corona-virus pandemic, as the stock-markets repeatedly crash, a recession of the world economy is underway and public life is increasingly disrupted, pose many questions.

In a first statement the ‘Arbeidersstemmen’ blog tries to take up the most urgent of them, relates the first manifestations of workers’ reactions to the state of emergency in crisis- and virus-ridden Italy, and puts forward some points of reflection to encourage workers of engaging in a collective struggle.

 

Continue reading “Corona-virus Pandemic: Legitimate Mistrust of the Governments”

The social struggles in France

The strikes that began on December 5 continue in a number of sectors, particularly those related to public services. Readers living outside France should note that there has been a mobilization against the abolition of pension systems in favor of a new system that significantly postpones the effective retirement age and considerably reduces pensions, sometimes by as much as 30%. The strike continues to paralyze a large part of public transport, especially in the Paris region, despite attempts to intimidate, pressure and repress both by the management and managerial staff of striking enterprises (mainly SNCF, national trains, and RATP, metro, bus and a part of the trains in the Paris region) and the police, especially during demonstrations and picket lines. Despite government provocations and media propaganda, the movement still enjoys the support and sympathy of a majority of the population according to polls. (1)

Continue reading “The social struggles in France”

On the pension strikes in France

The following communiqué by the International Group of the Communist Left sheds light on the situation and dilemma’s of the pension strikes in France that hold the country in their grip since last autumn. It treats most important questions that the workers and the milieu’s of politicized minorities of the proletariat are confronted with, and provides an  account of the groups’ position and implication in this ongoing proletarian struggle.

Continue reading “On the pension strikes in France”