The following text is a translation of the speech delivered by comrade Fariborz Sanjari on behalf of The Iranian People’s Fadaee Guerrillas, on the thirty second anniversary of the Siahkal Insurrection and the twenty fourth anniversary of the People’s Uprising in February of 1979, given in Paltalk on Feb 23, 2002. This article is a transcript of that speech with some minor modifications.
In memoriam of all those who sacrificed their lives for freedom and socialism, and with special thanks to all comrades and friends for their presence here, since there have been rare opportunities for me for this type of dialogue with comrades with diverse point of views, I think it is better to devote more of our time to comrades’ comments and to question and answer section. However, to establish a framework for this discussion, I find it necessary to share some of Siahkal Resurgence and 1979 Uprising experiences with you – dear friends.
As you know, this meeting is to commemorate the Resurgence of Siahkal in 1971 and the magnificent February Uprising of 1979, two events that without a doubt had significant roles in process of revolution in Iran. The reality is, with more passage of time from these events, their historical importance become eminently more apparent to us. Of course, this is true for genuine communists and revolutionary forces, otherwise we know these events which carry valuable experiences, experiences that were gained by blood and sacrifices of lives of thousands of most precious fighters of our country, despite their great historical role in Iranian revolution, have been subjected to falsification and distortion more than any other event, and in this period, we have witnessed from enemies to ignorant friends of masses, each for some reason and in their own way, by distorting the truth of these events, have tried to minimize and weaken the positive effect of these struggles on the revolutionary forces, therefore to honor these events, first and foremost, we have to put all those up-to-now falsifications and distortions aside, so the possibility of recognizing their lessons can be obtained.
About 32 years from the occurrence of Siahkal and about 24 years from the Uprising of 1979 have passed. In this period, the young people that have joined the struggle, were not even born then, naturally they did not witness any of these events and can not have an objective understanding of circumstances that forced communists to pick up arms in order to fulfill their mission in that period of time, or know that 1979 Uprising was the reflection of people’s wrath and hatred for living under the rule of bayonet for 25 years, which they were sick and tired of, and all along, the monarchist regime had not spare them of any criminal acts. Well, it is clear that such young people, without studying their own country’s history, will not be able to recognize these events and learn from them.
It has been said that lack of knowledge of history will result in recurrence of it, but as we know history never repeats itself except in farce. On the stages of formation of armed struggle, some where comrade Pouyan had stated that history is not the succession of seasons; rather it is the no-return journey of perspectives. Therefore, in order to play a correct role in the journey of perspectives with no-return, we must study the past and learn from its experiences, so we can employ these lessons as provisions for our future. For revolutionaries, learning from history and studying the “lessons of experiences” in order to take the correct step in the path of future perspective is fundamental that can not be overlooked. It is the only way to level the path of progress in human societies. Therefore, without exploring the experiences of struggles of working class and oppressed people, especially in our own country, and without studying these experiences, undoubtedly we will not be able to answer the call of duty that history has set for us.
Before I proceed to point out a few of the experiences of Siahkal and Uprising of 1979, considering all the negative propagandas that during this time have been created against these two historical events, I have to emphasize one point. A point that in looking at history, it has a particular essential importance and that is, in order to learn from historical events, before any thing, we must understand the political and economical conditions and the social environment which these events took place in. Without general reconstruction of the specific circumstances, without specifying the essence of participating forces in those events, we cannot have an accurate and realistic understanding of the succession of events and the reason for their occurrences under those specific historical circumstances. Marx emphasized that human beings construct their own history, but in relationship to the material condition that surrounds them. Therefore, to understand the role that Siahkal fighters and masses Uprising in 1979 played in making history of their country, we have to refer to specific socio-political conditions of that period. Only this way, the actual and immense importance of these events becomes evident.
We must review, under what circumstances the combatants of Siahkal began their struggle, what was their analysis based on, what theory was the guidance of their movement and what affect their practice left on society? Did the practice prove the method they chose was correct, or not? The same is true for the Uprising of 1979, we must see under what struggling conditions it was formed, and what role did the different class forces played in it and what consequence it ended up with.
To continue with this discussion, let us review those circumstances:
Following American-British coup d’etat of 1952, and establishing a dictatorship atmosphere through out the country by the coup d’etat government, people’s struggle faced defeat. Under government’s attack, the political organizations were trampled and mass protests diminished gradually. In that period, inability of mass struggle leaders to lead the people who were ready to sacrifice their lives, even worse than that, the treachery of the “Tudeh” Party leaders and public display of their remorse, increased the atmosphere of hopelessness and disperse. Eventually intensification of dictatorship resulted in severing the relationship between political organizations and masses, and doubt and lack of confidence toward political organizations started to grow in people.
In this environment and atmosphere, under US military advisors’ control, the Shah’s regime which was dependent on imperialism, more than ever expanded its security agencies and formed SAVAK. Soon after that, arrests and imprisonment by this infernal organization, and its crimes against and torture of people and combatants amplified the atmosphere of fear and horror in society .On those days, parents could be heard advising their children not to get involved with “System” (those days people would call Shah’s regime “The System”), don’t say anything because walls have ears, and this had turned into a public belief. Gradually and under the effect of long term assault and repression, people presumed their condition was unchangeable, and this notion, that “Nothing can be done to this Supremacy” grew more than ever among masses. In fact “numerous years of fear and humiliation” reached to a point that Shah called Iran “The Island of Stability and Security” and this assertion were agreed upon by his masters.
It got to the point that people’s psychological behavior was gradually changing and they unrealistically believed that the enemy’s power was absolute and they presumed their own power as insignificant. In all those years, many struggling groups and political circles were formed, but because they were operating under framework of all those previously defeated slogans and models, soon they were identified, captured and destroyed and continuation of their struggle was taken away from them. The ruling dictatorship did not even tolerate the objections of reformist groups and those who believed in working within the law. The dominant ruling seemed undefeatable more than ever. Failure of past struggle and sterility of all other used forms and methods were practically a testimonial to the existence of dead-end in people’s struggle. Abatement and decline had taken over masses struggle. While in context of materialistic living conditions, their hate and aversion to injustice and oppression by the system was ever more increasing, we were not witnessing spread of mass struggle in the society. Why, because the dictatorship was blocking it like a barrier and all of people’s hate and rage had piled up behind the barrier of dictatorship.
Therefore, considering defeats of past struggle, incapability of element of leaders and infernal propaganda of ruling dictatorship, and in the absence of wide spread spontaneous mass movements, people’s lack of trust in vanguard leaders and severance of connection between vanguards and masses, and under such circumstances where enemy’s efforts were to keep the existing situation, it was revolutionary’s obligation to search for causes of these conditions and find ways to prevail it. In that period of time, what communists and revolutionaries were faced with was how to make a crack in the enemy’s enormously powerful barrier and find ways to connect to masses to prepare for their struggles to flow.
Analyzing the society’s economical and political situations, and all previous experiences would demonstrate the fact that under domination of imperialism and comprador capitalism, especially after Shah’s “White Revolution” which had spread and expanded widely, under the condition which the inherently dictatorship brutally destroyed any form of organized movement and would not even tolerate the disperse economical and trade protests, and these protests when faced with governmental authority rapidly would become political, in situation where mass struggle is in decline and sparse and in absence of connection between vanguard and masses, and in absence of any chance of emergent survival of any vanguard assembly, before any thing else, the depressing separation between vanguard and masses should be ended. It was necessary to utilize masses historical power and to mobilize their immense revolutionary ability against the dictatorial government. For this reason, in action, it must be shown to people that the dictatorial government can be scratched, and make their optimism in struggle come alive, and while exposing the atrocities of the enemy, inform the working class and toiling people and show them the way to struggle.
The warriors of Siahkal believed, since without masses and their forces, no revolutionary struggle would be fruitful, therefore the revolutionary struggle talisman of weakness is its disconnection from masses. For this reason, in order to become free from the existing dead-end state of the movement and to pave the way to connect with masses, they must persist on radical revolutionary method and announced that except this method, no other way would end the existing dead-end situation. Scientific analysis of circumstances of that period of time proved to the communist revolutionaries that the responsibility of revolutionaries is to start the armed struggle tactically and strategically in cities and countryside. It was for this reason that on August 4, 1970 in Makareh’s valley around City of Chaloos, the 6 person “Team of Jungle”, under the leadership of comrade Ali Akbar Safaee Farahanistarted their struggle and after 6 months of unrelenting effort and becoming acquainted with the forests of Gillan and Mazndaran providences and adjusting to their surroundings, prepared for commencement of their battle. This group, which later its members increased to 9 comrades, started their fight against Shah’s regime by attacking the police headquarter of Siahkal in February 8, 1971. Even though this group’s life was short lived, and with the capturing of the last person in March of the following year, practically all the members were either killed or arrested, since this action was conforming to the necessities of the society and it was a revolutionary response to the circumstances, in the gloom and dark atmosphere of that period, it got registered in history and created a revolutionary hope among masses and broke the dead-end status of struggle. When the Siahkalwarriors fell, those with naive and distorted vision, with their entire shortsightedness thought that Siahkal, like all other Guerrilla organizations that were formed all over the world in those years and because of lack of conformity with circumstances were destroyed without ever having a chance to continue, would not have any other destiny. But, even though they never had the guts to admit to it, very soon they understood of their own shortsightedness. Those with all their shortsightedness who claimed that at the most Siahkal was a shining star in the dark sky of Iran, a shooting star that “shined and faded away and died”, very soon the excursion of events made them realize that Siahkal was not a transient shooting star rather, it was a promising rising sun shine, a warm and lasting sunshine which carried a message of end to the cold night of winter. With the rising of sun on those cold and dark nights, the dark clouds gradually disappeared and the possibility of damage to absolute power of enemy became clear. At the same time, it disturbed the winter hibernation of the “Tudeh” Party and pacifist–opportunists. On one side, the enemy which by the Resurgence of Siahkal and the continuity of struggle by People’s Fadaee Guerrillas in cities was realizing that masses were learning the method of struggle and were entering the stage of life or death struggle, got horrified and started its negative propaganda against People’s Fadaee Guerrillas. Called them “subversive” and put a reward for their heads. On the other side, when the “Tudeh” Party and pacifist–opportunists saw that the practical revolutionary method of People’s Fadaee Guerrillas was neutralizing their propaganda, they started their attack on all revolutionary results of this movement.
The imperialism dependent regime of Shah, pronounced the People’s Fadaee Guerrillas as those “subversives” who under the guidance of foreign countries were trying to prevent the Royal Kingdom from reaching the “Gate of Great Civilization”. The “Tudeh” Party and assorted opportunists whom throughout their existence had no function other than diminishing and derailing the struggle of workers and toiling people, suddenly remembered that Guerrillas’ struggle is separated from the masses, that Guerrillas do not believe in masses and their historical power, that just like Russian Narodniks, they believe in theory of heroism, and thousands of other absurd accusations. On this point, allow me to quote one of their sentences: in 70’s, the Central Committee of the “Tudeh” Party in regard to the theory of People’s Fadaee Guerrillas wrote “Those who call themselves People’s Guerrillas deny the roll of masses in the development of revolution and there are blunt statements about this in their writings”. It continued “…isolated from masses and without a revolutionary organization, there is no revolution”.
In fact, this was one of the earliest and most common distortions of Siahkal and its leading theory. Now, before going any farther, let me elaborate on this very initial falsification to see what actually lies behind it.
The reality is that isolation from the masses was one of the specifications of revolutionary and communist movement in that era, and basically it was the founders of People’s Fadaee Guerrillas, such as comrades Pouyan and Ahmad-zadeh who originally had recognized this reality and candidly had brought it up to the forefront of revolutionary movement for consideration. Incidentally, understanding this reality and other realities of society was the reason for the founding comrades emphasizing on radical revolution to resolve them.
As I explained during my speech, after August 19, 1953 coup, and following the defeat of people’s struggle, and in the long process of suppression and continued strangulation, in reality, between vanguards and masses, and even among people’s struggle, separation had developed. Therefore, our people’s revolutionary movement was not in a situation in which vanguard or political organizations, each in relation with their own class were actively struggling, and then all of a sudden an organization, isolated from masses and with no belief in the necessity of mass mobilization, raises the flag of struggle and enters the combat arena! In reality, no organization in Marxism sense of the word had a connection with masses and was not able to carry out any form of political work among masses. Therefore, those opportunists who made those kinds of accusation toward the combatants of Siahkal and those who have followed their path proudly, don’t say what was their own status at that time and what was their connection with masses. The truth is that they were isolated from the masses more than any one else. So, being isolated from masses was not the discovery of the “Tudeh” party and opportunists. It was the reality that at the beginning People’s Fadaee Guerrillas themselves had pointed it out. Knowing this fact, now this issue must come to light that whether the path chosen by People’s Fadaee Guerrillas would have ended this isolation or not? Or, would it even deepen the existing isolation? To answer this question, we have to refer to the effect of armed struggle in those years.
Despite the defeat of partisan group in forests of Siahkal and arrest and execution of combatants of Siahkal, which considering the psychology of masses on those years could have turned completely against the Guerrillas, in continuity of struggle that People’s Fadaee Guerrillas had begun, gradually the political atmosphere started to change. People had found new things to occupy their minds with, and little by little Guerrillas were occupying a bigger place in people’s minds, just as witnessing their martyrdom had won many hearts. In a short period of time the elements of a revolutionary culture started to form and the effect of masses moral support became visible. Youths, students, combatants were joining the organization of People’s Fadaee Guerrillas. There were always tens of hands ready to pick up the arm of a fallen combatant. Truthfully, how brilliantly Saeed Sultanpoursaid, “These seeds will not remain under ground, it is of blood, and it is permanent”
With the effect of armed struggle and joining of combatants to the organization, not only the Guerrillas were not facing any shortage of forces, on the contrary, their primary concerns were always how to absorb these forces and organize them. During the Uprising of 1978 – 1979 and with the relative easing of situation for struggle, we witnessed that the pictures and posters of martyrs of armed struggle movement and illustration and biographies of their struggle became one of the most effective method for political activism, which was very effective and people were receptive to them. Propagation of mass slogans such as “We Will Build the People’s Army, We Will Free Our Country” or “We Will Make the Entire Iran – Siahkal” or “The Red Path of Fadaee is the Only Way to Freedom”, and tens of other slogans were clearly an indication of masses support for Guerrillas. After the Uprising, when it became possible for the People’s Fadaee Guerrillas organization to become public, we witnessed the people’s extensive reception of the organization, not only among University students and intellectuals, but also among working class and peasants and all other oppressed sectors, and this verified that on those years of suppression and repression, with such a enthusiasm and eagerness the masses were following the activities of the Guerrillas and took their love into their hearts. These realities proved then and now that the armed struggle which started by combatants of Siahkal, was the only way to overcome the isolation of revolutionary movement from the masses, and was able to draw the masses support, gradually. If practice is a measure of legitimacy and if revolutionaries must always observe this element, practice verified that the path that the combatants of Siahkal had started, finally had ended the tragic isolation of vanguard communists from masses. And created such a credibility for communists in society that even Islamic Republic regime with all its religious propagandas and despicable Khomeini, for a long time were not able to isolate communism by relying on their anti communist propagandas, because communism had been defined with the name of Fadaee.
So, analysis of masses practical struggle, nullifies this first and frequent falsification of experiences of Siahkal. In reality, under those circumstances in Iran, People’s Fadaee Guerrillas were the only communist force which by utilizing the most radical revolutionary methods shattered the dead-end stage of struggle and paved the path to connecting with masses. For this reason, their revolutionary platform was never isolated from the masses. Right here, I sincerely urge all comrades and young generation who did not witness the formation and development condition of armed struggle in Iran first hand and objectively, in order to pass a verdict on these events, only and only use the actuality as a measurement, and by referring to practical results of this movement and comparing it to other methods suggested by others and their results – to the point where they followed their own suggestions, then pass a judgment on these accusations.
The other point which I would like to emphasize in this speech is the claim that some have made that the theoretical guidance of combatants of Siahkal and the combatant comrades themselves were ignoring other methods of struggle and did not comprehend the importance of political work and working with masses, and they only considered armed struggle as the sole method of struggle, keep in mid – sole method!
This is how the “Tudeh” Party, which has a long standing history for crafting this type of accusation against the theory of combatants of Siahkal, phrased its accusation in those years “… in their [Fadaee Guerrillas] thoughts revolutionary movement must put aside all economical and ideological methods of struggle, and in political phase of struggle solelyrely on one method – the method of armed struggle”. With this falsification of the theory of armed struggle by veteran falsifier – the “Tudeh” Party, it looked like the supporters of armed struggle theory suggest to the revolutionary movement to rely on one method – the method of armed struggle and “abandon” all other methods of struggle. This obvious lie and this absurd accusation is being made while all the combatant comrades, in their theoretical publications which had circulated widely within the movement explicitly propounded that in their views armed struggle is not the sole method of struggle, rather it is the main form of the battle .
I would like to bring to your attention the opinion of great theoretician of People’s Fadaee Guerrillas – comrade Massoud Ahmad-zadeh on the theory of armed struggle.
Massoud, in his valuable book “Armed Struggle; both a Strategy and a Tactic” indicates that “…the point is that armed struggle is that form of struggle which constitutes the groundwork of an all encompassing struggle, and only on such a basis do other various forms of struggle become necessary and useful.” As we see comrade Ahmad-zadeh the theoretician of the theory guidance of combatants of Resurgence of Siahkal, did not deny or “abandon” other methods and various forms of struggle, rather by asserting the main method of struggle, he had specified their necessity and advantages and this is exactly the reality that has been so absurdly falsified. With an obvious lie, the main form of struggle is changed to the sole form of struggle, and under these circumstances, any body can attack their imaginary enemy in their minds, and joyful of their victory leave the imaginary stage of the battle. This is exactly the tale of the “Tudeh” Party and those opportunists who falsified the guidance theory of the combatants of Siahkal with complete lack of principle.
What People’s Fadaee Guerrillas were advocating was not to deny working in different range of ideological, political and economical forms, or to deny the various forms of struggle, rather it was to establish that form of struggle that within it the other forms of struggle would find their real sense and become necessary. In Marxism-Leninism view, the duty of communists is not to assemble various forms of struggle; rather it is to determine the main form of struggle. People’s Fadaee Guerrillas precisely considering their conviction in Marxism-Leninism had this approach, so prior to any thing else, they determined that the main form of struggle in Iran was armed struggle. What meaning could it have other than petty work when we utilize all other forms next to each other, but have not established the main form of struggle? On the contrary, when we establish the main method of struggle, it is then when all other forms of struggle can also be utilized. In an essence, it is this struggle that creates a growing opportunity and accelerates all other forms of struggle.
Before I go any farther, allow me point out one thing.
In class societies, whether we want it or not, the masses fight with verity of methods against the oppression and tyranny of the ruling classes; from the poet which by writing poems of humanity exposes the face of the enemy, to the worker which by paralyzing the wheels of production wants to achieve his or her just economical demands, to the student which by writing slogans on walls spreads the goals of the revolution, to the peasant which revolts against oppression of the bureaucratic ruling class, all of them, each in their own way and at their own level, are fighting against the oppressive and unjust system. Therefore, the question has never been which method of struggle must be utilized and which one must not, which one is better, which one is worse, which method of struggle is more attractive and desirable, rather the question for communist has always been which form of struggle is the main form of struggle, so in its progression other forms of struggle become necessary and essential until the revolution with prevailing force can defeat the enemy.
No combatants of Siahkal, as the most knowledgeable Iranian communists in 1971, and no other revolutionary who truly believes in Marxism-Leninism had ever allowed themselves to deny all various forms of struggle and recognize only one method of struggle. Basically masses, regardless of will and desire of their vanguards, to realize their demands use various forms of struggle, and the wish of the vanguards has no determining factor in this matter. It is not the vanguard’s duty to impose the various forms of struggle on the masses. The vanguard’s duty is to organize and ascend the masses struggle, the vanguard’s duty, in considering the objective condition of the society and the level of masses struggle, is to determine the main method of struggle and participate in all various form of mass struggles and raise their levels. Any struggle that can regain parts of the masses suppressed rights from their enemies, any struggle that can expose the enemy and raises the masses awareness and their knowledge, must be and it will be utilized.
Now it should be asked, if People’s Fadaee Guerrillas had ignored other forms of struggle, and paid no attention to political and ideological work, why so many leaflets and manuscripts were published and distributed for? As I described the situation in those years, you must realize that under the rule of the monarchist regime and Savak’s domination, distribution of one leaflet carried a death penalty. We lost valuable comrades this way. In April of 1972, comrades Alireza Nabdel and Javad Salahi, while distributing leaflets were confronted by the enemy forces, which resulted in the martyrdom of Salahi and capturing of Nabdel. Well, if the Guerrillas did not believe in political works and distinct political propagandas, why would they have devoted so much of their energy to produce, print and distribute leaflets? If the Guerrillas had ignored the ideological area of the struggle – which apparently is the only area of struggle that has the opportunists admiration, and of course in a metamorphosis way, why than in those horrified, suppressed and horrible conditions, so many revolutionaries books were published and distributed? For example, the books by Pouyan, Ahmad-zadeh, “The Battle of People” publications and many research books on countryside, and tens of classical Marxist books. Truly, if the only acceptable form of struggle for Guerrillas was the armed struggle, than why all those writing of slogans and what was sending all those forces from Organization to the factories for? Why did they, using a lot of energy, broadcast radio programs? If the Guerrillas did not believe in various forms of struggle, and in the necessity of organizing the masses in various ways, than why with all their patience and resolution, and enduring many risks, they were trying to strengthen the relationship and the activities of the families of political prisoners and the families of Fadaee martyrs? I am not going to mention the relationship and the role of Guerrillas in student movements and not going to remind you of their role in propagating the revolutionary literatures. At this time I would like to emphasize on a point and that is, those opportunists specialized in “political works” claim that People’s Fadaee Guerrillas did not give the necessary value to “political works”, then what “political movement” did they organize and which trade group did they create? And if they done so, why is it that no one knows about them? Truly in that period, what have they done that they assume we owe them any thing? The reality is, despite critic of the method of Guerrillas struggle on those years, they believed in participating in all various forms of masses struggle and were active participants in various forms of struggle. Perhaps it can be said, they were the only communists organization inside Iran and under the dictatorship domination that carried their activities with all their courage. The truth is, when you start armed struggle as the main method of struggle, than you will be faced with a vast outlook of various political and economical forms of struggle. With proper response to them, the armed struggle itself finds the opportunity to develop, but the main problem is, without determining the main method of struggle, and without preparation and organization for it, we will not be able to answer the key element of revolution and to take steps toward seizing the political power.
This is exactly the point that the “Tudeh” Party and opportunists consciously try to avoid. Go through their articles, they write and take a position on any subject that you can think of, except how to break down and defeat the oppressing forces of ruling power, or how to conquer the governmental power, or determining the main method of struggle, or establishing that method of struggle which in its process, masses revolutionary energy can be canalized toward the victory of revolution. In the mean time, even if they want to discuss the method of breaking down the government’s machine, while replicating the October Revolution, they propose general public strike and civil uprising, and refer to the Uprising of 1979 to support their incorrect statements.
Allow me at this time to point out the falsifications on the development and the outcome of the Uprising of 1979 and conclude my speech.
Before I begin, I would like to point out that the communist revolutionaries should not allow “Tudeh” Party and assorted opportunists use the Uprising of 1979 to draw an incorrect image of the revolutionary line of combatants of Siahkal and use it as a ploy to get credit for themselves.
As I said before, we must always evaluate the historical events based on the specific conditions that they occurred in, and if we do so, than we must question the “Tudeh” Party and the opportunists that since you were not effected by digression of armed struggle theory, since you were not isolated from the masses, since you were aware of the importance of political works and were utilizing various methods of struggle, what was your role in development of the magnificent Uprising of 1979? And basically, in situation where the working class and all oppressed masses of Iran were going to demonstrate their immense historical power to destroy their enemies, where were you and what were you doing then? Without a doubt answering these questions would expose the “Tudeh” Party and opportunists true faces and would demonstrate their scandalous nature and lack of genuine revolutionary character. The “Tudeh” Party and opportunists realizing what consequences responding to these questions would bring for them, instead of answering them,they elevate their attack on the theory of the combatants of Siahkal and deny the indisputable effectiveness of 8 years of armed struggle of People’s Fadaee Guerrillas on the development of the Uprising of 1979. The “Tudeh” Party and opportunists are aware that Lenin recognized “offensive” as the essence and spirit of armed rising and “defensive” as its death. To justify their own weakness and inability in organizing the masses offensive movement in Uprising of 1979, they attack the proletariat revolutionary theory, so this way they can conceal their own repulsive retreat from the enemy. I must say sincerely, experience has shown that the more the opportunists retreat from the enemy, the more they accelerate their attacks on revolutionary line of proletariat. Perhaps by so much doing so, they are trying to compensate for their inability, who knows!
For that reason, following the Uprising of 1979 which created an opportunity for overt activity, the propagandas against the guidance theory of Siahkal accelerated, which they claimed that since the Uprising of 1979 has occurred, than the combatants of Siahkal were wrong in saying that it is in the process of a prolonged mass struggle that imperialism and the source of its existence – the army, are destroyed and workers and oppressed would gain power. They went so far in their falsification and claimed that combatants of Siahkal believed that in situation like Iran, basically an uprising would not take place. In fact, those combatants and their guidance theory no where and at no time made such a statement that there would never be an uprising in Iran. In fact they had said, in order for armed uprising in city, as comrade Ahmad-zadeh had written “Its characteristic is masses widespread and sudden armed movement under the guidance of a leadership”, can be victorious, and I emphasize, can be victorious, the workers must have been organized at the best possible level, and the proletariat vanguards or the leadership must have been formed and should have had connections with workers, and had organized and prepared the working class for the uprising. In fact, if uprising is considered as a way of demolishing the reactionary power of state and establishing people’s power, such a tool can achieve its goal, meaning obliteration of ruling power, only when the “organized class” has been led and mobilized by the organized “vanguards”.
But, under the condition of the imperialist dependent dictatorship ruling which has eliminated any opportunity of non-confrontational struggle, and when organization by way of non-confrontational method and in the process of socio-economical and political means is not possible, and in the absence of working class organization, in what process can we organize and assemble the working class and other toiling masses, and to a lesser point, guarantee the survival of the vanguard proletariat? Under the circumstances when dictatorship does not even permit revolutionary organizations to form and develop their own infrastructure, in what process these organizations were able, while preserving their ongoing struggle, connect with masses and mobilize them, until in the process of acceleration of masses political and economical struggle, in the process of acceleration of political exposure at all levels, the enemy’s internal conflicts are accelerates and “revolutionary situation” would gradually form in the society and the vanguard has the opportunity to invite the masses for uprising?
What combatants of Siahkal had said was that under the condition of the imperialist dependent dictatorship ruling in Iran, it is only in the process of armed struggle that true vanguard is materialized and the possibility of connection to masses becomes available. They were not saying that under Iran’s condition, we will not witness uprisings and mass movements. They were saying if victory of uprising is related to the organized class and organized vanguards, this vanguard is materialized in the process of armed struggle and this class is organized in the process of development and growth of this method of struggle.
But realistically, the 1979 mass uprising took place when there was no true vanguard and there was no organized class, and this demonstrated that it was a spontaneous uprising with no leadership. Basically, this was the reason for the defeat of the uprising and for the very same reason, this uprising had fundamental differences with the uprising that Lenin had in mind. Like I said before, looking at history, we must consider the specific conditions of the time these events accrued in. If we go back to the conditions of 1979, we would realize that under those circumstances the only organization that had a relative role in the Uprising was the People’s Fadaee Guerrillas, which was formed based on the theory of combatants of Siahkal, and its opportunist leaders had not yet had the opportunity to completely settle score with the past revolutionary line of this organization.
The Uprising of 1979, without a doubt is one of the most important revolutionary events in Iran which is a great source of experiences, that at this stage of revolution, if Iranian proletariat along with its allies is determined to destroy the power of imperialism dependant dictatorship ruling and move toward gaining the political power and prepare the conditions for establishing socialism, they must clearly conclude the lessons of this Uprising and utilize it as its guidance.
But, in order to learn from experiences of 1979 Uprising, all opportunistic falsifications must be set aside, and with clarity explain to people why this Uprising was not able to destroy the power of imperialism and why it was defeated. The true understanding of the reasons for this defeat will create an opportunity to recognize the lessons of this Uprising.
The Uprising of 1979 was defeated because of lack of a leadership, because it was spontaneous, because the working class was not organized and had not participate in this battle with their own organization and under their own flag, because without organization and leadership, the working class could not have recognized the various faces of their enemies. We saw how conniving and aware the enemy confronted the people’s Uprising. Khomeini, which in compromising with imperialism was practicing to replace Shah, immediately announced that he has not yet ordered for a holy war. Imperialism ordered the army to put its weapons down and to pretend to be subservient and supportive.
In reality, if the imperialism military was going to show its anti revolutionary decisiveness in the Uprising of February 11, 1979, like when later it showed in Turkmen Sahra and Kurdistan, than the Uprising would have taken another path. But, Imperialists plots rescued the military from being the target of masses struggle, and preserved it by “Islamization” process. The Uprising that its fundamental responsibility was to destroy the government machine and its suppressive military, ended without reaching its goals.
We must not learn from history like the “Tudeh” Party and the opportunists do. The Uprising was defeated because it was not able to destroy the imperialism military power, and it could not reach its crucial point because working class lacked the necessary knowledge and organization, and did not rise as an independent class with its very own leadership. But if proletariat wants to become organized and with its own independent force fight against its enemy which is armed to the teeth, than at first step it must utilize the experiences of Siahkal as its guidance, which under the condition of imperialism dependant dictatorship ruling, which the opportunity to organize within peaceful means does not exists, it is in the process of armed struggle that the masses will become mobilized, and it is in this very same process when organization of professional revolutionaries which has the competency to lead the masses struggle, will form. The experience has proven that only by organizing the armed revolutionary forces, the reactionary military, as a main reason for the existence of imperialism domination, can be defeated, and such an organization can only be formed in the process of a long battle, and if in the Uprising of 1979, this awareness had an effective role in the organization of People’s Fadaee Guerrillas, than the organization should not have allowed the defeat of Uprising to be called the victory of the masses. Quite the opposite, they should have utilized the most important part of this Uprising, meaning the masses attack on Shah’s military arsenals and confiscation of weapons and becoming partially armed, as the start up of arming the masses, and in regard to the 1979 Uprising as the beginning of mass armed struggle, take steps to destroy the domination of imperialism and obtain victory for the revolution.
As I said before, I would like to devote more time to question and answer section with you – dear friends. I thank every one of you for listening to me and I hope that my speech was not tiring for you. Understanding that we can and should talk about the Resurgence of Siahkal and the Uprising of 1979 from different angles, at this time I conclude my talk and hope in the remaining time left, and in the process of answering your questions, delineate any short coming of this talk. Be victorious.
February 23, 2002