Maryam Namazie
Published in WPI Briefing
July 2003

While much of the world doesn’t know it yet, Mansoor Hekmat’s life and works have changed the lives of an entire generation in Iran and Iraq. His vision and belief in human beings’ conscious will and profound aspiration to ‘change the world and to create a better one’ have become those of innumerable human beings in Iran and Iraq. Today, this dream is heralding a new dawn in which the Middle East, the centre of USA-led and Islamic terrorism could potentially become the centre of freedom, egalitarianism, enlightenment, humanism, secularism and modernism in the 21st Century.

Look at Iraq under USA occupation and at the mercy of political Islam. The Economist writes: ‘While Iraq’s other secular parties cosy up to the clerics, the Worker Communist Party of Iraq is struggling to halt Iraq’s slide into an Islamic state (Economist, Communists v clerics in Iraq. Battle of the beards, June 12th 2003, Baghdad). The same article states that the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq founded by the WCPI’s women’s liberation activists ‘holds coming-out parties for Baghdad girls who shed the veil, and, with reports of women being mugged, it has opened a refuge on the top floor of a Tigris-side bank’. Massive May Day rallies, the Union of the Unemployed in Iraq, the Iraqi Women’s Rights Coalition and so on are all part of Mansoor Hekmat’s worker-communism and the only real glimmer of hope for the people of Iraq.

Now look at Iran and the Islamic regime that is renowned as one of the most brutal regimes in the past century. The Asia Times says: ‘The situation started changing in favour of the communists from 1999 due to growing dissatisfaction among the students over the repressive rule of the regime. The communist cells organised their activities around demands for freedom of expression, respect for the human rights of political prisoners, end of the execution of political prisoners, restoration of genuine democracy, secularism, right to employment etc. The communists issued calls for the unity of all progressive students under the banner of socialism and worker-communism and clandestinely circulated the writings of Mansoor Hekmat’ (June 21 2003). The Programme: ‘A Better World’, hundreds of theoretical and political writings, resolutions, speeches, the two Parties, the EuroFarsi Convention, and numerous organisations such as the International Federation of Iranian Refugees, the International Committee against Stoning, the Campaign to end Executions in Iran, Iranian Secular Society, Centre for Women and Socialism, the International Campaign for Women’s Rights in Iran, Children First International, the Organisation of Women’s Liberation, the Young Communists’ Organisation and many others working inside and outside of Iran for change are all part of Mansoor Hekmat’s worker-communism and the only real glimmer of hope for freedom and equality in Iran.

Yet the world is only just beginning to know Mansoor Hekmat., the biggest Marxist library in the world receiving 4 million visitors annually has published some of his works in the Marxists Internet Archive, saying that he has taken his ‘rightful place as one of the greats of Marxism’. After reading his writings entitled ‘The World After September 11’ and ‘The Rise and Fall of Political Islam’, Göran Greider, a well-known Swedish columnist wrote: ‘It so happens that one receives a message from somewhere outside one’s usual frameworks and is changed.’ (The reactionaries fight each other! By Göran Greider, Metro Daily Paper, Translated from Swedish, 17 October 2002).

But still, the world has yet to really know Mansoor Hekmat. Should his movement and party gain power in Iran and Iraq, his name will be on the lips of all civilised humanity. That day may not be very far off, particularly in Iran where the final phase of the movement to oust the Islamic regime has begun. Whether the face of the Middle East and world changes into one worthy of human beings is yet to be seen. It depends on many factors, including the WPI’s timely intervention and leadership, the intervention of the working class in Iran in the movement to overthrow the regime, the support and solidarity received by civilised humanity worldwide and its ability to neutralise USA militarism and bullying and so on.

But one thing is certain: Engels’ speech at Highgate Cemetery on March 17, 1883 about Karl Marx rings true about Mansoor Hekmat, this era’s Marx. He said: ‘An immeasurable loss has been sustained… The gap that has been left by the departure of this mighty spirit will soon enough make itself felt… He died beloved, revered and mourned by millions… His name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.’

On Friday 4 and 5 July, we will once more pay tribute to Mansoor Hekmat, this great Marxist thinker and leader, whose name will endure through the ages, and so also will his work.

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