Archive for October, 2015

Three concepts of democracy

Posted: October 28, 2015 in Political Views

The following article by Maziar Razi was first published in Marxist Revival No. 3.

The following is the English translation of the transcript of a discussion at a Marxist Revival meeting in February 2014.

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In this meeting I will try to present a basic and short outline of the discussion, because you can have detailed discussions on the various issues around it. In this session, in contrast to the other two views of “democracy”, I wanted to comment about socialist democracy.

The first reason for this is that in the next period the question of democracy (as well as the concept of socialism), can be one of the bases of convergence between revolutionary Marxists.(1) These two concepts, i.e., the concepts of “democracy” and “socialism” are in some ways linked to each other. Because both of these issues have been much misrepresented, and there are numerous conflicting arguments around them. As revolutionary Marxists we have to distinguish clearly our opinions from other different shades of understanding of the concepts of “democracy” and “socialism”. In a previous interview (see interview with the Socialist Komala TV), I dealt with the main points of the concept of socialism. However, in this discussion, I will focus on the Marxist concept of democracy.

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The following article by Maziar Razi was first published in Marxist Reveival No. 2.

The world capitalist economy and the economic dependence of the rest of the world

The objective roots of imperialism

In the earlier period, while industrialising their economic base, and based on the needs and the crisis of the period, capitalism in the European countries attempted to export manufactured commodities to other countries of the world. As a result of these steps, the primary accumulation of the ‘Third World’ was blocked. In the modern period, changes were observed in the development of capitalism: the change from competitive capitalism to monopoly capitalism. This process, in turn, caused important changes in the ‘peripheral’ countries. As the processes of primitive accumulation of capital on the world scale process of capitalist reproduction became dependent on the reproduction of capitalism in the ‘metropolitan’ countries and the expansion of the international division of labour, gradually the ‘national’ economies in all countries of the world became dependent on the capitalist world market. In fact, from then on the social production in the underdeveloped countries was at the service of strengthening capitalist production needs in the metropolitan countries. This meant that the normal backwardness of the peripheral countries became a permanent underdevelopment coupled with economic dependence.

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The following article by Maziar Razi was first published in July 2002, almost 13 years ago. It analyses the beginning of the process of detente between the imperialist powers, particularly the countries of the European Union at that time, and the Iranian regime.

Earlier today this process finally yielded the framework document in Lausanne. This deal is meant to lead to a comprehensive agreement between the Iranian regime and the imperialist countries in July 2015. Normalisation of relations with imperialism, and the implementation of bourgeois norms in Iran, will have profound effects on all aspects of society, especially on the rights and struggles of workers and the lives of working class families in Iran.

We believe the latest events have shown the validity of the position of the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency, a position that has nearly always been an isolated view upholding the importance of workers’ class independence from the regime and all bourgeois forces in the face of huge propaganda by the Iranian regime. We have also had to endure criticism from ‘leftists’ who, because of their mistaken belief that an imperialist attack was imminent, at best lost their focus and emphasis on the workers’ movement or, at worst, became apologists for the regime’s repression against workers and all other exploited and oppressed layers in Iranian society.

Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency
2 April 2015

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On BBC Persian TV’s Pargar (Compass) programme, aired on September 21, Maziar Razi of the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists’ Tendency (IRMT) and Professor Alireza Behtoui of Stockholm University debated the topics of Lenin, Leninism and whether the Stalinist regime was the inevitable consequence of Lenin’s ideas and practice. It is estimated that Pargar is usually beamed into more 20 million homes in Iran.

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