- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On September 11, 2012
- 18 Comments
- Miners, South Africa, Worker-communism
There are those who ask how I could be a communist.
My gut response is always, how could you not?
The recent outrageous slaughter of miners in South Africa is just one more reason why. I am usually the first to use the end of apartheid as an example of how things can change for the better if we intervene and show real solidarity with people fighting oppression. But the slaughter of miners is an important reminder that even an end to something as inhuman as racial apartheid is no where enough. People mowed down for demanding fair pay raises, 270 miners charged with ‘provoking’ the police to murder their colleagues and labelled greedy for wanting living wages when they “at least” have jobs!
And you don’t need to live in South Africa or even Iran to understand whose interests matter, particularly when push comes to shove. Everything is stacked up against you; it’s all one big fraud with not a minute of a day passing by when you aren’t being screwed.
So of course I am a communist and it’s not because of the books and wonderful theories but because I cannot stand to live in a world that is so unfair and I want, I demand, something different.
As Mansoor Hekmat says in the video below in Persian (which I have translated a summary of):
I want to speak about communism without the usual formulations of class struggle, the proletariat, the bourgeoisie, and so on and instead speak about the heartbeat of communism.
I and many of us present here are not politically active because of books, Marx’s formulations or Lenin’s actions. This is not our career. We are not doing this because we have nothing else to do.
This relationship is much deeper – beyond the books, slogans, scientific discussions, politics, history of 200 plus years, etc. There is something much deeper and more direct that gives meaning to our political lives and the establishment of the Worker-communist Party of Iran.
Just look at the UN’s statistics whereby millions of children die per year from preventable diseases. Not war, or accident, or murder but preventable diseases.
With every breath you take, imagine a child dying. This is not just another number. Anyone who has lived in a relatively civilised society or has had children of their own, knows very well what this means. With every child dying, a huge vacuum is created in the lives of a large number of people. Each death is a catastrophe. And like clockwork, tick tock, it happens as we speak.
This is a reality of the world we live in. Put aside those who die from preventable diseases and look at those who are lucky enough to survive. 80-90% must go for 30 years to work, be humiliated, and exploited. For the one life one has to live, one must work all one’s life and then figure out how to survive during retirement. They take taxes, and immense wealth from our work but they are always looking to see how to cut unemployment or pensions. This is the reality for the majority. If you strike, you could be killed or imprisoned. If you establish a union in Iran you might be killed; in Sweden you might have your phone tapped.
Most people spend all their lives working only to get back a small part of what they have produced themselves. In the work process, they lose all the pleasures of life. 99% live like this. Even in Sweden if you lose your job, your child loses his/her childcare. Your child is only human depending on your work.
This is where communism, worker-communism, starts. It starts when some won’t accept this and question why it must be so. Why can’t I swim, or go to see the wall of China or go to Africa to help flood victims, if I prefer to do that? Rather I must work because if I don’t I won’t be able to pay my rent or mortgage and will lose my home.
After a day of mistreatment and lashes, even slaves would gather around the fire and sing and dance seemingly taking pleasure from life. They – and we – can see that it is possible to live another way, that this life just isn’t fair. We can see this.
I have to work for you and then whenever you have an argument, I have to go face mines and bombs for your wars. Why should I accept this?
We are born only once and live only once. Once. We can only laugh, create, form relationships, etc. once…
At a basic level this is where communism’s heart lies.
It’s not just a matter of Iran or any other single country. It is related to the fact that we are human, and that we can see that another life is possible, that the basis of society can be equality, welfare, freedom and cooperation not profit and competition.
Until it’s like this, communism will exist…
Changing the situation from what it is to what it must be is the philosophy of the existence of communism and the Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI). Prosperity for the majority is directly linked to our equality, freedom and welfare.
The beginning of the work of any communist and the WPI starts here. This is where our hearts beat.
In my opinion we are the party of the majority, of those who have not died from preventable diseases, of those who believe the world can be different.
Later we can discuss politics, tactics, strategies, past and future positions but one thing is clear communism equates humanity and humanity equates communism. If humanity is part of someone’s being, so is socialism. That’s why we believe the future is ours. We are part and parcel of the desires of humanity. Anyone who wants to live in peace wants the same thing the Worker-communist Party wants, that Marx wants, that socialism wants….
Here is the video where he speaks in 2000 in Sweden: