The Party of Labour of Iran (Toufan)

The October Revolution and the Victory of Leninism, its Effects on the International Communist Movement and the Communist Movement in Iran

 This year we celebrate the centenary of the great October Revolution in former Russia. We celebrate the birth of a new society and a new world, called the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” For the first time in history this revolution created a state of a new type (the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and a new, different form of democracy (democracy for the working people and the working class, the dictatorship of the proletariat). Despite the fact that it was long ago, the setbacks including the coup d’état of Nikita Khrushchev and the destruction of socialist society by the bourgeoisie, and thus the consequent temporary reversal of socialism, socialism is always relevant and is the only possible alternative for a better future for humanity. The October Revolution is always alive, and it is never absent from the mind of people nor from the history of the world, despite the temporary setbacks. We find the objective conditions of this revolution in previous Russian history since these actions led to changes of its social, economic and political conditions, and the consequent class struggle before the revolution. “At the head of the October Revolution was the Russian working class, tempered in fighting, to which was added the poor peasantry, which constituted the great majority of the population; on the other hand, in the camp of the enemy was the Russian bourgeoisie, relatively very weakened due to the intensity of the previous struggles, poorly organized and with little experience.” Finally, “at the head of the working class was – after breaking with other sectors such as the social-democrats – the Bolshevik Party.” (Quotes from J. Stalin). All these objective conditions would not have led to the revolution, or at best it would have happened much later, had there not been the Bolshevik Party to prepare, organize and lead the process, with the political, ideological and organizational plan of the great leader Lenin and his comrades. “Leninism is Marxism of the era of imperialism and the proletarian revolution. To be more exact, Leninism is the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general, the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular.” “Lenin applied the laws of Marxism to the concrete situation of his time (and the concrete situation of Russia), particularly following the line of Marx and Engels” (J. Stalin, Principles of Leninism). What happened in the period between the death of Engels (1895) and the October Revolution? There had intensified the merger between industrial capital and bank capital (the financial oligarchy) with the appearance of financial groups and the cartels. Lenin studied these developments and in the spring of 1917 published some texts with the well-known theses on the highest stage of capitalism (monopoly capitalism), that is, imperialism. These excellent theses of Lenin perfectly characterized the events of the era and paved the way for the victory of the workers, peasants and oppressed peoples. Utilizing these theses, Lenin was preparing the conditions for the victory of the socialist revolution in his own country. A great achievement of the Leninist theory on the socialist revolution is that, in general, this will first triumph in one or several countries, while the others will remain for some time capitalist or pre-capitalist. Lenin wrote (“The Military Program of the Proletarian Revolution,” 1916) that “The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in different countries. It cannot be otherwise under commodity production. From this it follows irrefutably that socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries.” But Lenin could not and did not want to wait for the appearance of the socialist revolution in the most economically developed countries. With his comrades he launched a vast and formidable debate within the Party on the political, ideological and organizational level. Under his leadership a Party of a new type was created, the Bolshevik Party. It developed a modern theory adapted to the socialist revolution. Thus Leninism was born. The outdated and opportunist theses of the period that were rejected by Leninism were the following: The struggle of the working class and working people is in the first place an economic struggle, organized in a workers’ party, consolidating all kinds of workers. • After the seizure of power by the working class and working people, the workers’ Party will disappear and democracy for everyone will replace the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. • Any kind of party can lead to the dictatorship: the dictatorship of the working class and working people, in place of the dictatorship of the Party. Bolshevism swept away those theses that came from Menshevism (of the left or right), the Trotskyites or left-wing radicals. Lenin’s theses on the relationship between the masses, classes, parties and leaders are well-known; however, it is evident that they must constantly be restudied. The truth is that we live in a society in which there are different classes with different interests (antagonistic or not). The class struggle is inevitable and in this struggle one class must prevail over the other. A type of “democracy” or “eternal peace” between these two poles is impossible. The class in power (for example, the proletariat under socialism) must exercise its dictatorship over the bourgeoisie, with all the means that it has, that is, the state (the dictatorship of the proletariat). The socialist October Revolution – with the seizure of political power – made possible the dictatorship of the proletariat and thus freedom and democracy for the vast majority of the population and thus the disappearance of exploitation of man by man. The socialist State and the Communist Party are a means for the class struggle. The class struggle does not disappear after the victory of the revolution; it even continues with a greater intensity than before. Having lost power, the bourgeoisie can reorganize, carrying out ideological and cultural battles, and trying to regain power (as was the case in the Soviet Union with the coup organized by Nikita Khrushchev). The October Revolution was effective in this sense. It took from the bourgeoisie and the feudal lords the means of production; the banks, factories, lands and railways became common property. The October Revolution gave a strong impetus to the revolutionary proletarian movement throughout the world. It was seen as a key factor not only in the struggle for liberation of the proletariat and its allies (especially the poor peasantry), but also in the movements of liberation and anti-imperialist struggles of the oppressed peoples of the entire planet. Under the influence of this revolution, a new stage of the international proletarian movement was established, the Leninist stage. After the October Revolution, our world was no longer the same. Communist parties were established all over the world and, with the creation of the Communist International, these parties became a key factor for influencing and changing almost all aspects of society. The theory of Marxism-Leninism spread all over the planet. The October Revolution owes its principal success to the Bolshevik Party, developed by Lenin. The Bolshevik Party acted as the leader of the working class and constituted its motive force: vigilant, courageous and strictly linked with the theory of Marxism Leninism. The opportunists of that period and of today try to ignore or even deny the quality and particular nature of the communist parties, proposing illogical liberal theories and a fraudulent democracy. We must take care to avoid the errors of the past and recognize the new ones of the present. Our recommendation to all communists and all revolutionaries: the next socialist revolution must be prepared in a profound, proletarian and Marxist way. The October Revolution and its effects on the political destiny of Iran. The democratic and communist movement in Iran was under the influence of the struggles of the social-democrats of Tsarist Russia. The creation of social democratic circles in Iran was under the influence of the Iranians of Baku in Azerbaijan in Tsarist Russia. While they collaborated with the Social-Democrats of Russia, their newspaper, “Iskra,” allowed their political and theoretical activities to be known. When the revolution of 1905 of Russia was defeated, the Constitutional Revolution of 1906 to 1911, with the participation of social-democratic nuclei, was carried out in Iran and managed to limit the powers of the Qajar kings. For the first time, a parliament was created in Iran and parliamentary elections were held. The struggles of the Iranian people were then not only under the influence of the Russian Social-Democrats before the October Revolution, but also after the October Revolution, with the profound transformations not only in Russia but also in neighboring Iran. In May of 1917, after the February Revolution, the Social Democratic Party under the name of “Edalat” (Justice) began its activities. That Party was composed of social-democrats and, after the October Revolution of 1917, in June of 1920 it changed its name to the Communist Party; it organized its first congress in Bandar Anjali, in the department of Guilan. Heidar Amou Oghli, one of the leaders of the constitutional revolution, played an important role in the creation of the Communist Party of Iran and was elected the Party’s First Secretary. The history of the Communist Party of Iran is not separate from the national and anti-imperialist movement of the Iranian people. With the victory of the Communist Party of Iran, great changes took place in Iran. The unions, under the influence of the activity of the Russian Social-Democrats and then of the Russian Communists, were created and the workers realized that they had rights. With the victory of the October Revolution, a great blow was struck against British imperialism and the reactionaries who collaborated with it, who remained rather weak. To better understand the situation in Iran, it is worth taking a look at what was happening before the great influence of the October Revolution. The Colonial Pact of St. Petersburg before the First World War, the territory of Iran was the scene of competition between two great imperialist powers at the beginning of the 20th century. Czarist Russia, with a 2,500 km border along the north of Iran, was the great neighboring country. To the south of Iran, British imperialism had colonized India and later Iraq, but it was suspicious of the influence of Russian imperialism in Iran. To safeguard its colonial influence over India, which lay to the east of Iran (Pakistan did not yet exist – Toufan), it tried to colonize Iran in order to protect its interests in India. In this period, German imperialism helped the Ottoman State to build the railway line between Turkey, Baghdad and Hedjaz, and to open the way for its influence in the Persian Gulf and the region colonized by Great Britain. This act constituted a great danger to the colonialist interests of the latter in the region. Therefore, British imperialism established an agreement with Russian imperialism in order to safeguard its colonial interests in Asia. The struggle for the division of Iran between these two imperialist powers culminated in the conclusion of a Pact between them in 1907, called the St. Petersburg Pact. According to the terms of this Pact, Iran was divided in two parts, the north by Russia and the south by Great Britain, and between these two parts was a neutral part to avoid any clash between these two imperialists; in 1915 this intermediate region was also divided between these powers. That Pact consisted of five paragraphs. It had been concluded without the agreement of Iran, which was at the height of the constitutional revolution in 1906. After the victory of the constitutional revolution in Iran, which was the first democratic revolution in Asia, a parliament was established in Iran. When the deputies were informed of the existence of such a dishonorable Pact, they strongly protested against that Pact and published a note of protest. On September 16, 1907, the imperialists shamelessly informed Iran of the existence of this colonialist Pact. This Pact had been concluded in St. Petersburg and decided on the future of Iran, Afghanistan and other peoples without taking them into account. Despite Iran’s protests against the Pact, its territory was used by the military forces and influence of the Russian and British imperialists, and in the course of the First World War, under the pretext of war against the Ottomans, certain regions of Iran were occupied by the Russians and the British. The Russians declared that it was “to safeguard their interests.” The October Revolution of 1917, from the first days of its victory, put an end to the Pact and recognized Iran’s independence. The Iranian people recognized the fact that the revolutionary proletariat of Russia and the Bolsheviks played an outstanding role, with important elements for Iran’s independence. The October Revolution, shortly after its victory, in early 1918, projected its influence on Iran. On December 5, that is 40 days after the revolution and Lenin’s accession to power, the communist regime published a very important declaration addressed to the Muslims of the East. That declaration is very long and with many details. The part of that communiqué relating to Iran is as follows: “Comrades and brothers “In Russia great events are underway. The bloody war of these days (the First World War) that began with the aggression against foreign territories and the division of the territories of other peoples is coming to an end. Another world is being born. This is the world of the oppressed and the liberated peoples. After the revolution that took place in Russia, the government that was born of the will of the Russian workers and peasants was established. Muslims of the East, Iranians, Turks, Arabs, Hindus, we send you our message: your life, capital and honor have been trampled on for centuries by the European aggressors. “We solemnly declare that all the secret pacts and contracts which the overthrown Tsar concluded with England and France and, according to their terms, wanted to give Istanbul to Russia, and which had been approved by the overthrown government of Kerensky, are null and void. “The Socialist Republic of Russia and the government that executes its decisions, that is, the Councils of People’s Commissars, are against the occupation of other territories. We solemnly declare that Istanbul belongs to Turkey, and must remain so always under the Muslims. “We solemnly declare that the pacts and agreements concluded between Russia and England that divided Iran between them, are abrogated and are null and void (the pacts of 1907 and 1915). “We give you our word that at the end of military operations, our soldiers will leave your territory and that you, the Iranian people, have the right to decide your fate... (Signed) “The Chair of the Soviet of People’s Commissars: Lenin (Signed) “The People’s Commissar of Nationalities: Stalin” With this unilateral act, socialist Russia abolished the plot for the colonial division of Iran among the imperialists and reinforced the strength of the Iranians desiring freedom; it also strongly affected the presence of British imperialism. Of course, this imperialism was alive and, with the help of U.S. imperialism tried, by plots the machinations, to revive that colonial Pact, so that Iran was under the domination of these imperialists until the revolution of February 1979. Iran recognized its independence with the help of the Bolsheviks of the Soviet Republic. After the abolition of that colonial Pact and the realization of its independence, the new government of the Socialist Soviet Republic, within the framework of the policy of peaceful coexistence, offered Iran to establish a pact of friendship, which would guarantee the independence of Iran against foreign aggression. In the early 1950s, Iran nationalized its oil industry against British imperialism. The imperialists were of course totally against this nationalization, so that they reversed this situation through conspiracy and espionage, utilizing the intelligence services of the British and US imperialists.  The independent government of Iran, that is, Dr. Mossadegh, was overthrown. Mohammad Reza Shah, who had earlier fled abroad and lived in Rome due to the patriotic and anti-colonial struggles of the Iranian people, returned to Iran and was “put on the throne.” From that moment, the US hand placed the Pahlavi dynasty on Iran, which depended more and more on imperialism and the Shah of Iran, dependent on US imperialism, never respected the pact of friendship with the Socialist Soviet Union. They entered into a close military collaboration and concluded military pacts (to “disturb” the Soviet Union), including the CENTO pact, which transformed our country into a collateral part of the NATO pact whose aim was to surround the Socialist Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the US influence over Iran increased, making it a base of imperialism and the gendarme of the region. US imperialism transformed Iran into a center of espionage against the Soviet Union and created the largest eavesdropping base in the north of Iran under the supervision of US experts – even when the socialist Soviet Union had disappeared. The presence of 50,000 US military advisers was a pure and simple violation of Article 5 of the pact of friendship with the Soviet Union and transformed Iran into a base to attack it. We will examine some articles of the Pact to confirm the nature of the document of friendship between the Iranian people and the Bolsheviks. The October Revolution, after a hundred years, not only created a new world, but had a fundamental influence on the destiny of the Iranian people since it broke the rear of the old colonial regime of England, giving the people freedom. The bilateral friendship pact between Iran and the Soviet Union contains, among other things: “Article 1 “The government of the Soviet Union, following its communiqués on the bases of Russian policy in connection with Iran contained in its correspondence of January 14, 1918, and July 26, 1919, states once again that the oppressive policy imposed on Iran by the Russian colonial governments, overthrown by the will of the workers and peasants of this country, is definitively abolished. As stated before and with the will to see the Iranian people independent and happy so that they can freely benefit from their wealth, the government of the Soviet Union declares that all pacts, contracts and agreements that Tsarist Russia had concluded and that affected rights of the Iranian people, are null and void. (All those articles are from the Labor Party of Iran – Toufan.) “Article 2 “The Soviet government of Russia declares itself contrary to the policy of the governments of Tsarist Russia, which concluded agreements with countries of Europe to subjugate the peoples of the Middle East without the consent of these peoples and under the pretext of safeguarding their independence. This oppressive policy not only eliminated the independence of these countries, but made them objects of contention, looting and pillage of the European imperialists. The government of Russia unconditionally rejects this policy. According to articles one and four of this pact, the government of the Soviet Union declares its refusal to participate in any action that leads to the weakening or negation of the independence of Iran and declares all pacts and contracts that the former governments of Tsarist Russia signed with other countries against Iran null and void. (Toufan’s emphasis). “Article 4 “Approving the principle that all peoples have the right to decide their own destiny, the parties to the pacts and contracts declare that they abstain from any intervention in the internal affairs of other peoples. “Article 5 “The parties to the pact agree: (1) to prohibit the formation of any group within their territory under any pretext, whose object is to fight against Iran or Russia or against countries friendly to Russia; to prohibit any intervention on their territory, bringing in any prisoners or soldiers or supplies for their army or military forces. (2) not to permit any organization to intervene on the territory of either party to the pact or to transport arms through its territory (3) by all means at their disposal, to prohibit the establishment of any Armed Forces or military force of a third country, if its objective is to threaten the frontiers or the interests or security of the parties to the pact; they should prohibit the entry of those forces into their territory. “Article 6 “The contracting parties have agreed that if third countries try to carry out military intervention in order to impose their policy of aggression on Iranian territory or to establish a military base, Iran must reject it; the government of the Soviet Union has the right to intervene with its military forces on Iranian territory for its defense, to carry out a deterrent military action. When these threats have disappeared, the Government of the Soviet Union commits itself to withdraw its military forces from Iran. “Article 8 “The government of the Soviet Union of Russia rejects the economic policy that the Tsarist government carried out in the Middle East, which lent money to Iran not for the economic progress of the Iranian people, but for the purpose of putting its yoke on Iran’s policy. Therefore, the Government of the Soviet Union renounces all the loans that Tsarist Russia granted to Iran and thus declares that the debts due to it are void.” (All emphases are by Toufan.) In reviewing the text of this pact, one can see that the Bolsheviks were fighting boldly and vigorously against colonialism and imperialism; they were not like the Social-Democrats who were socialist in words and imperialist in deeds. These revolutionary actions of the Bolsheviks discredited social-democracy worldwide. Shortly after the October Revolution, the communist movement in Iran was strengthened. British imperialism decided to establish a centralized, powerful and oppressive government in Iran that put an end to feudalism and the weakness of the central government in Iran and put a shield against communism in the south of Russia. British imperialism was afraid of the weakness of the central government in Iran that would led to an increase in the influence of communism; therefore it supported the Pahlavi dynasty with old servants of colonialism. Reza Khan was the father of Mohammad Reza Shah, who was a great bully and oppressor, a dictator in the service of imperialist interests. He remained in power until 1979, against the interests of the Iranian people, he served British US imperialism.

 March , 2017