[Marxism] "Winning" and "losing" in Iran, the USSR and the US (was: Independence is Not Nothing)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 10 10:04:37 MDT 2006

>What Maziar Behrooz says pretty much conforms to what I have read and
>what I have been saying, except that Behrooz's take is perhaps the
>most scathing criticism of the Iranian Left ever written, with regard
>to Iranian leftists' elite backgrounds and lack of bases in the
>working class.  The way Behrooz writes, the Iranian leftists tried to
>direct the revolution that _other intellectuals and classes_ started
>but failed to do so because Iranian workers weren't going for their
>notions (which contradicted one another in any case).

Yoshie makes it sound like the Iranian people freely chose Khomeinism over 
what the left was offering, like somebody at a restaurant choosing fish 
rather than veal. In the very first year after the Shah was overthrown, the 
clerical goon squads that her beloved Mahmoud Ahmadinejad belonged to were 
murdering, torturing and imprisoning leftists. By this criterion, one could 
conclude that the German workers preferred Hitler.

>As for Val Moghadam's account, one cannot but think that she has a
>fundamental problem with the very line of thinking that Lou's fond of:
>dependency theory, Third-Worldism, etc.  :->

This reference to dependency theory refers to a flawed thesis put forward 
by Andre Gunder Frank and other contributors to MR. Whatever the weaknesses 
of people such as Frank, they never would have ended up like Yoshie 
proselytizing for a government that came to power over the corpses of 
revolutionary socialists.

>Moghadam's description of other Iranian leftists' criticism of Tudeh's
>behavior at the time of a coup against Mossadegh explains Tudeh's
>subsequent behavior.  No wonder Tudeh sought not to make the "same
>mistake" in the Iranian Revolution, but as I say below, history does
>not repeat itself.

So, you want to dust off the discredited Tudeh strategy of the leftists 
subordinating themselves to the clerics? I hate to tell you this, but the 
result would be the same as it was in the 1980s. The left will end up 
getting tortured, murdered and imprisoned for their efforts. No wonder the 
Iranian left in exile is upset with you.

>As far as Lou is concerned, the history of Iran ended just about that
>time.  Forget the Iran-Iraq War, the Rafsanjani years, the Khatami
>years, and so forth.  Nothing has changed!

I would love to hear you elaborate on the meaning of these momentous 
events, but I imagine that you are too busy with other things.

>Iranian leftists were just too few, and Iranian workers weren't interested in
>socialism at that time.

That may be the case, but neither were they interested in being forced at 
the point of a gun to forsake strikes in the name of Islamic unity. I 
imagine that after 25 years of that crap, they might be interested in what 
the left has to say. It is too bad that MRZine basically tells them to not 
rock the boat and to allow their savior Prince Ahmadeinejad to look after 
their interests.



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