Below is a summary of a longer article by two Iranian socialists who are opposed to Iran’s military intervention in Syria. This summary is followed by a response from Frieda Afary and Joseph Daher. Both pieces were originally published on the website of the Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Progressives on September 10, 2016. http://www.allianceofmesocialists.org/challenging-intellectuals-justify-iranian-imperialism-searching-socialist-solidarity/
Recent developments in the Middle East show that states which have been seemingly at opposite ends concerning the war in Syria, or states that have been historically hostile to each other in the post-World War II period have come together to form new alliances. Existing alliances between Russia, China, Iran and Syria have also been strengthened. All aim to maintain the brutal and authoritarian Assad regime (with or without Assad), and reject the Kurdish right to self-determination.
All these developments further underline the fact that the countries playing the imperialist role in the Middle East today, are not only the U.S. and Israel. Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are also acting as imperialist powers in the region.
Abstract: This critical review summarizes the arguments and facts in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century and then discusses the main differences between this work and Karl Marx’s Capital: For Piketty, capital is a mode of unequal distribution of wealth which can be remedied through higher taxation on the wealthy and a responsible social state. For Marx, capital is an oppressive relation of production rooted in what he called abstract or alienated labor which in turn leads to the unequal distribution of the products of labor and periodic economic crises. Earlier Persian-language versions of this critique were published by Zamaneh in September 2014 and presented at the Seminar for Research on Iranian Social Movements in Berlin in October 2015. This version was originally published by the Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists on April 3, 2016. http://www.allianceofmesocialists.org/critique-of-thomas-pikettys-capital-in-the-21st-century/
Despite the differences in the historical experiences of African American freedom fighters and Syrian revolutionaries, both have something in common: Being treated as the dehumanized “other,” and suffering from the ways in which prejudice and discrimination have been used to impede their struggles for social justice.
Five years after the Syrian Revolution, many Iranians are still wondering why a popular revolution which demanded democracy, justice and equality turned into a holocaust of the Syrian people. Why was Bashar al-Assad’s fascistic regime able to remain in power? Why and how did sectarianism and religious fundamentalism grow? How did ISIS arise? What is the role of the Iranian government in bringing about the current disaster? What can be done to possibly reverse the current course of events? Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami’s Burning Country is a well-documented account that can answer these questions in a satisfactory way. Continue reading Lessons of the Syrian Revolution for Iranians: A Review of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War