[Marxism] Paulsen's supposedly anti-democratic, anti-labor, Tudehesque line
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.
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 worlds attention
Trade unionists and activists across the world are calling for the
immediate release of hundreds of bus workers being held in Irans 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 unions 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 unions 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 unions 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
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 drivers 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
The strike is a sign of the new mood developing inside the Iranian working
class, defying not only the bosses, but also government officials.
More information about the Marxism