Workers and anti-capitalist critique of religion !
By : The activists of the movement to abolish wage labor
With the uprising in1979 and the establishment of the Islamic capitalist state, and the focus of analysis, reflections and revelations on the religious identity of the ruling regime gained a more or less wide dimension. The circles of the right-wing spectrum, from the republican to the monarchist, apart from this (religious identity of the ruling regime) , did not have anything else important to announce their opposition, criticize of rivals and attract the attention of unsatisfied people. Groups or people from the left-wing spectrum, whose anti-regime, libertarianism, communism and all their concerns were tied to democracy and the victorious democratic revolution, !! they were seeing the recent rise of the religious government as a new barrier on top of all the previous barriers in their strategic campaign plan. Examining what these two spectrums did in this direction is not our topic at all. The basis of the present discussion is on the type of orientation, criticism and knowledge that a conscious anti-capitalist worker has towards the religious phenomenon of the current capitalist state and the class criticism of religion. It is needless to say that during these forty years, the Islamic Republic, verse by verse and pre-medieval principles of Islam and the Qur’an that through the “Constitution”, legal texts and the judiciary, education and legislative institutions, the IRGC and police, government approvals and sharia courts and moral police patrols have imposed on tens of millions of working people. During all these years and in the maze of applying these barbarities, has insisted everywhere on the implementation of the Sharia and Quran and also the rulings of religious authorities. All this has happened, but the important point here is that the pioneers of democracy, secularism and bourgeois civility, by criticizing the religious state, built a stronghold to justify the relations of wage slavery and deny the true nature behind this capitalist barbarities and holocausts. Our discussion is exactly about the re-examination of the social and class basis of this inversion. The Islamic Republic from the first day of its emergence, it began to implement the avenge , ransom and defend the most heinous form of patriarchy, stoning and torture, and shamelessly trampled on the dignity of humanity and reduced mankind into a creature who is forced to obey religious authorities and the laws of Sharia. The Islamic regime implemented gender apartheid and depriving women of any kind of human rights, and also made the undisputed ownership of men over women and children as an important part of the constitution and made public execution in presence of young children, and filled school textbooks with the most heinous superstitions. The regime, by doing this barbarism, crimes and brainwashing, not merely to promote and spread Islam or consolidate the laws of Sharia , despite this or that statesman´s mind , but to strengthen and protect the rulers and capitalism. The performance of these crimes was tied to the pillars of the regime’s existence , but what was actually happening was not merely an attempt to fulfill the contents of the Quran and Islamic rules, but rather an unavoidable response to requirements to accumulate and cycle of surplus value. The regime, by relying on these crimes, was making a powerful weapon for massacre by resorting to each of them, and in this way, to repel any kind of danger and disruption in the order of capitalist production, politics and the rule of capital. Any conception other than this is a refusal to material understanding of history and also falling into the abyss of idealistic superstitions. The Islamic Republic is not a state of Islam but a state of capital, because it is not the flag-bearer of political Islam, but capital which is identified in the form of a state with the weapon of religion to physically and intellectually suppress the working masses. It is not Sharia and religion that creates the class state, but it is the dominant relations of production and a certain social class that establish political and ideological power, social order and legal, civil, cultural and moral institutions that guard this mode of production. Meanwhile, one thing is clear. Thoughts, beliefs and ideologies, while they are the product of the way of social production or the material life of humans, they themselves play a role of material and transformative forces. Democracy, liberalism, conservatism, Islam or any other religion and ideology are not just a handful of Martian beliefs, but they are the mechanism of power of the exploitative class and its parties, groups and tendencies within this class. In our real world, they turn into the law and legitimate, culture , ethics and civil theories and economic political and social order and also into the levers and institutions of class material power. Just as the radical criticism of the working class to capitalism turns into the consciousness and knowledge of this social class, in the process of the ongoing class-struggle of the workers, turns into the power of material coercion against capital. This is the alphabet of materialistic knowledge of history, so allow us to study the fertilization process, the embryonic stages and the birth of the Islamic regime in the light of this alphabet, even though, in a brief hint.
The terrible monster that rode on the wave of wrath of the working masses in 1979 and prevailed over it and it swallowed it and it sat itself on the throne of power. It was not a sudden spontaneous phenomenon,sSince years ago, with extreme hastily and without any prospect of victory, it was nurturing itself. It was becoming a social influencing power and was preparing itself for taking over the power. This monster was an important part of the bourgeois reactionary. Layers of the bourgeoisie which were dissatisfied with the dominant part in the political power of its own class and the imperialist and powerful international partners. A kind of dissatisfaction that was boiling to emerge from the depth of accounting related to the amount of shares in the ownership of capital and profits, conditions for adding and accumulating value of capital and the structure of political power and division of investment areas. These layers formed the largest part of the middle and small bourgeoisie of Iran. They defined their relationship with the Shah’s predatory regime as a kind of loser partner who was wanting reforms. This dissatisfaction and want, especially from the second half of the 60s onwards, was not expressed in a political way, even though their leaders were criticizing the regime explicitly or implicitly. They were very freely active in thousands of public and extensive organizations throughout the country, and the container of their activities and expression, also expanding their influence and gathering forces, was Islam everywhere. If the ruling bourgeoisie or any other part of the global capitalist class were seeing the way to compete with their class partners and secure a superior position in the political power structure and to obtain the more shares of profits of capital in resorting to nationalism or democracy , social democracy or socialism, this group only was appealing to Islam. The real essence of the word, and the top and bottom of the story, was this. Sections of the reactionary bourgeoisie of Iran until before the capture of the state machine, and they saw the Islam, as the only bastion for their super reactionary to self-expression, after ascending to the throne of power, they made Islam the only weapon of their savagery and barbarism to impose the relations of wage slavery on the working masses. Shiism or a narrative of religion or political Islam was not that set the course of events, but it is very clear that it was a part of the capitalist class that was architecting and objectifying the entire process, including its ideological structure. A fundamental question arises here. Why did they resort to Islam and still do ? Why did they not become non-religious like the bourgeoisie of many countries, or even like their ruling rivals? It is a good question and it is not difficult to answer. We only briefly mention a few points. First of all, if in Europe the bourgeoisie did not line up behind the masters of the church, Jesus Christ and “Saint Mary”, it was because these issues did have nothing to do with the bourgeoisie´s anti-religiousness, revolutionism and philanthropy. Attributing these words to describe the direction of the bourgeoisie even in the 18th and 19th centuries of Europe is an inversion and a lie. Before the bourgeoisie became the dominant political class, it had to challenge, however tolerantly, the feudal monarchy and the power of the church. The bourgeoisie needed legislative and parliament, a new type of political order, army and police and repressive apparatus, legal system and civil institutions, education and research, art and culture and literature, all kind of Institutions for intellectual and physical repression and also brainwashing, and all the social superstructures corresponding to the development of capitalism. On top of all this, a modern, well-equipped and organized state above the head of the society and the working masses, was needed. Expanded capital, which forming a state, in the form of a superstructure, as a machine of political and ideological, legal and repressive power of the capitalist class. An organization that plans all activities, relations and all forms of capital order. The bourgeoisie was looking for the formation and establishment of this state or the nationwide network of social order, and could not avoid entering into a conflict with the church and religion along with appeasement. In the feudal system, the monarchy and church were in charge of all the affairs of the society. What existed under the name of the state, according to Marx, was a “non-state” in which religion and the church determined its most vital parts. Here, confrontation, not with religion, but with a religion that was an obstacle to the formation and emergence of a state which responding to the needs of capital, and that confrontation was a necessity for the bourgeoisie. If we ignore the specific anti-religiousness of people like “Voltaire” and later, the Hegelian left-wing, the whole laicity of the European capitalist class was summed up to this extent and no more. The result of the demands of the European bourgeoisie in this period is that the church abandons its dominant role in education and government, it is simply because the continuation of this role is an obstacle to the establishment of a government that is responsible for the development of capitalism and the dynamic of increasing the value of capital.
Let’s follow the course of the story and take a leap to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the rapid development of capitalism in Iran and similar societies. Here, the bourgeoisie had a profoundly different position from the 16th to 18th centuries in Europe. Decades before it became the dominant economic class, it became the superior partner of political power. Capital had long ago created a world-wide market, and it saw all the regions of the world as the territory of organizing its commodities and investment. The governments of the day, along with defending feudal relations, also played the role of smoothing the way for the development of accumulation and self-expansion of capital. Here, the bourgeoisie not only did not have any problem with religion, the mosque and the clergy, but on the contrary, they saw them as an urgent need for their domination and sovereignty. Many argue that the capitalist class of recent societies has compromised with religion due to the bourgeoisie’s weak historical position. This said is fake and is the product of the intelligence of people who try to counterfeit a record of libertarianism and adherence to human rights for the bourgeoisie.!! Here, the compromise of various parts of the bourgeoisie with religion and clergy was not due to weakness, but due to their complete needlessness to fight with Sharia and clergy and even their need for theocracy. Capital in these countries for architecture of the state and the structure of its social order , didn’t find any conflict with masters of religion, rather, on the contrary, the bourgeoisie saw the mosque and its tribune, and the religion as an effective weapon of power and a mechanism for advancing its goals. The religious capitalists, accompanied by their secular partners, did raise the flag of constitutionalism over the head of society and the rebellious masses. The bourgeoisie adjusted the charter for the establishment of the justice department, voting right and parliament next to one of the religious places and sent it to the court of Shah Qajar for executive approval. The first paragraph of the charter of the legislature guaranteed the 5 supreme authorities of the Islamic authority over all the approvals of the parliament. The forms of benefiting from religion for different poles and spectrums of the global capitalist class in this period have been different and varied. But they all saw it as a powerful weapon to crush the labor movement and the unceasing butchering of the anti-capitalist communism of the working class on the one hand and the internal conflicts and differences of the bourgeois factions on the other. Western imperialists and their partners allied bourgeoisie in several continents of the world saw Islam, Christianity and other religions as a blessing from heaven, which was both a weapon for brainwashing of the working masses, and a reliable source for the Islamic Jihad against their camp’s rivals, ” communism ” in East. The East-camp bourgeoisie in all its manifesto, resolutions and theories was persisting to justify a very homogeneous unity with the “so-called ” justice-seeking and anti-imperialist (anti-western) forces of the savage pan-Islamists too.!! The important point is that all these phenomena and orientations, contrary to what the infatuated lovers of democracy by distorting the demands for libertarianism, humanism or revolutionism say about this or that part of the bourgeoisie, had nothing to do with the weak position of the bourgeoisie in a part of the world in this certain historical period. None of them can be referred to the revolutionary nature of the bourgeoisie in one period and reactionary in another period. Innately, the bourgeoisie , whose capital has reincarnated in the form of humans and historically has done what capital has needed, and its relationship with religion has also been determined in every era and everywhere, based on the needs and requirements of capital. It’s clear that the bourgeoisie historically, in every era and anywhere in the world, for maximum use of religion for engineering of the thoughts of the working masses , for intellectual and physical suppression of the workers to perpetuate capitalism has not shown any hesitation to commit crimes. Religion is a divine gift for the entire bourgeoisie, and if it has had a challenge with religion at any point or moment in history, merely it has followed the paving of the way to complete the structure of the state and political power. In Iran, all parts of this bourgeois whose was dissolved in the west pole of global capital and the left-wing that was relying on the former Soviet camp and finally the forces that in the late 70s riding on the wave of anger of the working masses, they installed the predator and criminal Islamic regime of capitalism, all of them benefited by relying on religion to reach power, and using religion for interacting with rivals. It is evident that among these bourgeois factions and approaches, the third mafia, that is, bourgeois Islamic fascism whose laid the foundation stone for the formation and establishment of the Islamic Republic, and in this way committed unbelievable crimes. Let’s not forget that what basically allowed these exhumed fascists of the bourgeoisie to grow and become powerful were the opportunities and situations that the royal regime of capitalists provided to the leaders of religious fascism with the aim of anti-communism and hostility to communists.
Moment by moment benefiting and using Islam by the Islamic Republic is also a topic that needs an educational analysis for the correct understanding of the relationship between capital and religion. The Islamic Republic’s moment by moment use of Islam and Sharia laws is also a topic that requires an educational analysis to properly understand the relationship between capital and religion. In this regard, first of all, one important point should be emphasized, and that is that the real and determining force of the process of the growth and establishment of the bourgeois Islamic state, was not this or that clergy, but those who became reformist in the 90s. This part of the bourgeoisie in the first half of 1979, homogenous and associated with the most extreme predatory clerics and authorities, were beating on the drum of anti-American slogans. Thus, they started taking over the labor movement, and crushing the spontaneous movement of anti-capitalism of the working masses. It also blocked any presence of the left populism or even the class rivals with the same religion. Bourgeoisie, in the continuation of the uprising of 1979, began to establish an institution under the name of “Revolutionary Committees” to restrain and suppress the uprising, which firstly for implementing all the plans mentioned above, and secondly establishing the cornerstone of military and repressive power parallel with the army of the royal regime but under the command of the Islamic regime. Between February and June of 1979, all the anti-human and ultra-reactionary laws of Islam were pulled out of the grave, so ignorance of these petrified Sharia laws led to the dismissal of labor movement´s activists and arresting the leftists and other critics. The Islamic regime launched a massacre in the 80s and executed thousands of labor activists or members and supporters of the leftist forces in the regime’s courts based on medieval and anti-human religious laws for the crime of atheism and war against Islam. The factions of the bourgeoisie in the governance who created the holocaust in 1989, strengthened the foundations of power of the capitalist Islamic State. In the 90s, by resorting to repressive weapons of religion, it committed the terrible crimes, and thus eliminated the many risks that threatened the Islamic regime. The bourgeois reformist-faction of the regime aimed at saving the capitalist economy from the collapse, became very quickly propagandist of West friendship and the attractiveness of democracy, civil society and the civilizations dialogue. Islamic fascism of the bourgeoisie during these few decades, with the weapon of religion, made all these crimes as a mechanism for the survival of capitalism. This is the tight relationship between capital and religion.
According to the above general picture of the relationship between Islam and capital in Iran, but the basic question is what the anti-capitalist movement of the working class does with religion and what’s its approach in this direction. The present and ready response of bourgeoisie within the working class movement who dressed itself to bourgeois communism and apparently anti-capitalism !! has always been the case that the “slogan of separation of religion from the state” should be raised. A strategy that is capital-oriented and in conflict with the anti-capitalist approach of the labor movement, and its arguments and theoretical supports are also thousands of times more reactionary and capitalistic than the strategy itself. We said earlier that the bourgeoisie once used this slogan as a campaign weapon for the formation and evolution of its own class governance, a state that is characterized by capital in political and legal, civil and cultural educational, police, ethical and social structures. For the architecture, establishment and strength of their own state, the bourgeoisie had to resort to the slogan and demand of “separation of religion from the state”. Because the bourgeoisie had to replace its own state with the guardian government of the previous social relations. A state that was “non-government” and religion determined a large and important part of its structure. There is nothing more ridiculous than that the working class, while raising the flag of the destruction of wage slavery , resorts to the same slogan that once upon a time, the bourgeoisie resorted to establishing a capitalist state. A state that responded to the needs of the development of capitalism. !! In the history of the labor movement, until the years before this movement fell into the trap of capital-oriented and embellished versions of the socialism and communism of bourgeois, we have not witnessed the radical workers who would have resorted to such a “narcotic”, just as we have not witnessed the anti-capitalist version of the democratic revolution. The anti-capitalist approach of the working class was basing its work on the radical and continuous struggle against the existence of capital, against all relations, and ideological superstructures of political and legal, civil and educational, moral and cultural institutions. In the Manifesto of Communism, even where the lowest actions of the proletariat are formulated after the overthrow of the bourgeois state, no trace of the slogan “separation of religion from state” can be seen. The Communards also, in their very short period, instead of resorting to these democratic and capital-oriented claims, shouted that not a single penny of the work and production of the working masses would be spent on the survival of the religion and the church institution, by doing this, they did the same behavior to the institutions of religious power that they used against the army, police and other capitalist oppressive institutions. Our treatment of religion is an integral part of the process of class struggle, always، everywhere and in all current conditions against capital. The reliance and emphasis in all our words is to act in a radical manner in all territories of the class struggle, and we attack the basis of the existence of capitalism. We are fighting against the severity of exploitation, oppression, religious and non-religious misogyny, patriarchy and anti-human gender or ethnic discrimination, child labor, environmental pollution, war mongering and any other evil in capitalism. We make every step and every moment of this class war into a strong and continuous link of the nationwide chain of struggle against the existence of capitalism. Our fight against religion or any kind of engineering of thoughts and brainwashing of human beings is really materialized and manifested in the heart of this dynamic of class struggle. When we fight for more pay, our starting point is at more than just a increasing for a penny or two, we pursue the applying of more united, organized and council power of the masses of our class, to bring out as much as possible of the results of our work and production from the hands of the capitalists. We pursue the realization of the demand for completely free social welfare with the power of united and organized class struggle and by disrupting the process of reproduction and accumulation of capital. We fight against any kind of expenses and financial aid to any religious institution, any center of publishing and spreading religious superstitions, and any activity which aims at brainwashing human beings. We, the anti-capitalist workers, are not seeking to democratize and secularize, modernize and liberalize, socialize and republicanism, and nationalize the capitalist state, rather, we fight for the destruction of any kind of state above the heads of workers and society. In the heart of this class war, the ruling regime, as the social political structure of the capital order, and Islam as the weapon of the intellectual and physical massacre of the workers by capitalism, are the targets of our class assault.
The anti-capitalist approach sees the nationwide organization of councils in the labor movement as the first and certain condition for the destruction of the wage slavery system, and consider this council organizing as a platform for conscious, free and equal, incisive and creative and effective intervention of all masses of the working class. A kind of interventionism, the realization of which, at any level, requires the most profound conscious activities, a radical class struggle against all forms of historical superstitions and any kind of thought engineering in capitalism. The real and earthly anti-capitalist struggle with religion can only be realized in such a class campaign. Talking about the separation of religion from the state or even declaring that religion is private, is just a kind of bourgeois juggling. What deserves respect is not people’s belief, but their human right to have this or that belief. what it says, a person’s belief is respectable.!! it’s just the nonsense superstition of the capitalists. Instead of looking at ideologies and thoughts, it should look at people with beliefs and thoughts, because human beings are earthly creatures and belong to social classes, with different and conflicting class existence. We are struggling against capitalism, against the capitalist class, against the existence of classes, the state and class society, against capital and everything of class society. Religion, any form of religion, and in our society, Islam in particular, with every narrative and image, is the reactionary ideology of the bourgeoisie.Our standpoint about religion is an integral part of our class-battle process against the wage slavery system .
Activists of the movement to abolish wage labor