[Marxism] Paulsen's supposedly anti-democratic, anti-labor, Tudehesque line

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Aug 20 17:26:32 MDT 2006

>At no point have I said that we shouldn't criticise, but I have also said 
>we have to earn the right to criticise by being clear about our 
>anti-imperialist solidarity with all those fighting imperialism. Patrick 
>Bond has more than earned that right both in practice and in theory.
>Einde O'Callaghan

You use the word "criticise" like we were talking about a movie. Don't you 
have some concept of a Marxist analysis of a society? And who decides 
whether one has earned the right to put forward a Marxist analysis? A 
Supreme Council? What if we just kept this analysis a secret amongst 
ourselves here on Marxmail? I can make the archives private so that nobody 
from the Bush White House can say, "Ah, now we can invade Iran. Marxmail 
has criticized Ahmadinejad."

I was a member of a revolutionary group for 11 years and then for 10 years 
after that worked in Central American solidarity. Do I need to wait another 
10 years before writing something on my blog that challenges the Islamic 
Republic of Iran? Do I have to wait until the USA stops rattling the saber 
at Iran? What if a Republican gets elected in 2008 and continues Bush's 
policies? If there are workers struggles in Iran, should we refuse to 
support them because Norm Geras does? What exactly is the Talmudic logic 
one uses to make such decisions? In any case, since it isn't clear to me 
whether you are still a member of the Cliffite movement, here's the sort of 
thing that they have been writing. I assume that they have earned the right 
to do so:


Iranian bus strike: for workers and against empire
by Naz Massoumi and Peyman Jafari

A courageous strike in Tehran has attracted the world’s attention

Trade unionists and activists across the world are calling for the 
immediate release of hundreds of bus workers being held in Iran’s capital 

Workers employed by the United Bus Company of Tehran (Sharekat-e Vahed) 
have been arrested and detained in Evin prison over the last week in an 
attempt to prevent a strike.

The workers are demanding a pay rise, collective bargaining, recognition of 
their union and the release of their union’s president.

On 22 December last year, 12 leading members of the Union of Workers of the 
Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company were arrested following their fight for 
better pay and working conditions.

Three days later 3,000 bus workers staged a walkout in protest. Police 
responded by making further arrests.

On 27 December all those detained were released except for Mansour 
Ossanlou, the union’s president. Calls for his release continued into the 
new year, with almost 5,000 union members gathering outside the Azadi 
stadium complex on 2 January in protest.

Six members of the union executive were summoned to court on 26 January, 
following the union’s call for an all-out strike on 28 January to demand 
the release of Ossanlou.

They were interrogated then sent to Evin for their refusal to cancel the 
strike. On the eve of the strike, the state arrested hundreds of workers as 
a preventive measure.

Nevertheless many gathered the following day. They were attacked, rounded 
up and also sent to Evin. Family members, students and activists supporting 
the strike were also arrested.

With reports last week of a hunger strike against detention, the workers 
are courageously struggling on. Family members and supporters staged a 
protest outside the Iranian parliament on 1 February calling for the 
immediate release of all those imprisoned.

In the last week, this struggle has paid off – around 200 workers have now 
been released.

But hundreds are still in custody and two other union executive members 
have now been detained. And those released have been refused reinstatement 
by the bus company.

The bus driver’s union was formed in 1968 and played an important role in 
the 1979 revolution. In the early 1980s it was disbanded by the state in 
order to crush its militancy. In 2004 it was reactivated, but is still not 
legally recognised.

The strike is a sign of the new mood developing inside the Iranian working 
class, defying not only the bosses, but also government officials.


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