What workers in yellow jackets can learn from the proletarian struggle in Iran

As we understand the general rise in fuel taxes has been withdrawn by the French government and certain categories most in need have been granted a (temporary) financial relieve. Faced with this partial (and possibly temporary) retreat by the French authorities, flanked by measures like attempting to foster a nationwide “social dialogue” while simultaneously trying to turn on the screws of state repression, the “yellow jackets” mobilization in France seems to be in decline.

The following text undertakes an attempt of drawing lessons from this inter-class mobilization in comparison with those that may be drawn from the recent wave of struggles in Iran, which has shown a more clearly pronounced proletarian character, but so far has met relatively few echoes within political milieus claiming adherence to proletarian internationalism.

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Editorial Note (January 12, 2019)

Dear reader,

‘A Free Retriever’s Digest’ appreciates having a recent blog publication, which evaluates the workers’ struggle in the Near and Middle East (specifically in Iran), adopted in libcom’s news section, with a French translation in addition.

Hopefully, this summary and the balance sheet it introduces (”Iran: What after the repression of the Haft Tapeh workers and the steelworkers in Ahvâz?”) contribute to resuscitate interest in the situation of these recent (waves of) struggles and the questions they pose to the workers’ struggle in this region and internationally.

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Theses on the 2018 proletarian struggles in the Near and Middle East and their prospects

An article summary

The following theses give an introductory summary to the article Iran: What after the repression of the Haft Tapeh workers and the steelworkers in Ahvaz? published in full length on the author’s Libcom blog.

The struggle of Haft Tapeh in Shûsh and of the steelworkers in Ahvâz (Iran) seems to have come to an end. This is a moment to learn the lessons of the five waves of proletarian struggles that shook the Middle East in 2018. In the next wave of struggles the previous steps will be repeated. When their lessons are learned – and integrated with those of the revolutionary wave of 1917-1923; the next steps will be accomplished with a heightened mass consciousness, with an improved mass organization and for higher class goals. The proletarians in the Middle East have not yet become conscious of it, but the struggle to defend their livelihood, turning itself against the imperialist war, is developing towards a revolution compared to which the overthrow of the Shah regime in 1979 was only child’s play.

 

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Time to surpass the ‘Yellow Vests’ Moment

A statement by Nuevo Curso’  (December 23), introduced by the IGCL

We publish the statement of ‘Nuevo Curso’ (Spain) on the present state of the yellow vest struggle in France following the demonstration on Saturday 22 December. Even if we do not necessarily share all the formulations used by the comrades – a certain number would need clarification – we agree both with the fundamental analysis of the movement itself, the limits of its original inter-class character; and with [that of] its dynamics, which are now in decline after five weeks of mobilization. The fundamental factor explaining this decline is the absence of a relay taken over and ensured by the working class as such and the takeover by the French bourgeoisie and its State of a situation that had surprised and escaped it at least until the eve of Saturday, December 8. This is the main lesson that the workers’ component of the yellow vests and the entire proletariat in France must learn from this unprecedented mobilization. The other lesson we must all learn, the revolutionaries in particular, is that the massive confrontations between the classes we have openly entered now will be extremely violent as a result of the massive and brutal repression used by the States, including in countries with a “democratic tradition”.

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On the movement of the “Yellow Vests” in France

The following communiqué by the International Group of the Communist Left has been released after the demonstrations on Saturday December 1st, which  appear to have been the apogee of the “yellow vests” mobilizations in France so far. Beyond a characterization of this movement as “inter-class” it provides some important reflections and an orientation that tries to overcome the impasse of this kind of movement.

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Soviets in Iran: Is a Revolution Underway?

‘Nuevo Curso’ on the dynamic of resumed workers’ struggles (Haft Tapeh, Foolad Steel)

» We have been following the rise of the class struggle in Iran since last December. At the end of last year a wave of mass strikes spread, crossing the border of Iraqi Kurdistan, to mobilize the whole of the workers in Iran. (1) The workers took to the streets and, what is most important: they did it under their own leadership, without subordinating themselves to the petty bourgeoisie of the bazaar and the university that rejected the movement. This massive and class character of the movement prevented widespread repression and temporarily halted the course towards aggravation of the war in the Middle East. It so much frightened the ruling classes that, when protest mobilizations began in Jordan, all powers allied to inject billions (2) and stop the movement before it reached a maturity similar to that of Iran. «

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Which solidarity with the arrested workers of Haft Tapeh?

A contribution for discussion

The following article from the ‘Arbeidersstemmen’ blog presents some reflections on the actual resumption of proletarian struggles in Iran; on certain echoes to the regime’s persistent attempts at cruelly repressing their upsurge, and on some political lessons to take. It proposes a number of urgent questions for discussion among internationalists.

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The Dilemma’s of Capitalism apropos of ‘Trump’ and ‘Brexit’

Crisis– Conflicts – Struggles – Populism (I.)

In A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.2#4 (August – September 2018) we have published the introductory section of this article: “Trump and Brexit: A new economic and imperialist orientation?” that sets out the question treated. Hereafter you’ll find the integral article, including its main dish: an introduction into the concept of capitalism’s successive “productive orders”. From this angle of attack reflections are developed on the characteristics of the present period and its perspectives. As the author has revised his overview table of capitalism’s four main productive orders, we include the updated version as an annex.

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Supplement to AFRD #03 (June – July 2018)

The G.I.C. and the Economy of the Transition Period – Introductory Article

As a supplement to issue #03 of A Free Retriever’s Digest we publish a two-part article that introduces the major political–theoretical work of G.I.C., and attempts to clarify the main misunderstandings that still mark its reception. It is freely available for download here. The following presents its summary.

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