Saturday, November 22, 2008

Salehi’s Statement on the Current Crisis

Mahmoud Salehi is a trade union activist in Iran (read his biography here), who has been in and out of prison for his activities to defend workers' rights. Below are some highlights of his statement on the current global economic troubles encaging us (read complete text here).

To my dear friends and comrades, to all those who campaigned for my freedom and supported my colleagues in Iran;

Now that the capitalist system is imposing its deep crisis on all of us, we, workers in Iran, not only are with you wherever in the world, we in the same way are seeking for a solution.
The current economic crisis has already destroyed the living conditions of millions of workers and their families. Various capitalists, politicians and their media have given many explanations for this crisis. [...] The majority claim that the greedy and corrupt bankers are the cause of this crisis.
[The capitalists] ... know that despite their destructive efforts they can’t deceive class-conscious activist workers. [...] They are writing many articles in large newspapers and use news agencies like Reuters to propagate their views. They do this because they know well that increasingly more people are reading Marx now and therefore they’re trying to distort Marx’s views. They claim Marx wanted the state to own all manufacturing, financial and service sector institutions and companies. That’s a shame.

Marx believed in nationalization of economy under a working class state and not a state-controlled economy under a system run by capitalists.

If you are, as we do in Iran, seeking for a viable solution, the first step should be to understand the root causes of this situation and accordingly find the best way for us to overcome these difficult situations. Reading Marx from a working class and anti-capital perspective is an essential step. [...]

What I would like to emphasize here is that the current crisis and all its devastating consequences are rooted in the capitalist system. This system is the cause of the crisis as well as unemployment, wars, hunger and other human miseries. To liberate ourselves and put forward an alternative, our class has to organize itself into workers’ councils. This is a viable solution that the working class undertook during the Paris Commune and other class conflicts. This is a path which was theorized and advocated by Marx. This is a solution that our global class in Russia, Spain, Iran and many other countries have strived and sacrificed for. While we are addressing our immediate needs and issues, we need to think of and strategize for this long-term solution.

Mahmoud Salehi,
Saqez, Iran
October 28, 2008

Translated by:
International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

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