“10Mehr” Evaluation of the “Documents of the Seventh (Khavari) Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran”

Part I: Relinquishing the Party’s Worldview



Following the announcement of the convening of the Seventh Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran in June 2020, the adopted Congress documents were published in the June 20 and July 4 of the central organ of the Party, Nameh Mardom. The adopted documents were published in a single, 69-page collection titled, “Documents of the Seventh (Khavari) Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran,” which contained the following six separate documents:

  1. The Main Characteristics of the World and Iran from the Perspective of the Tudeh Party of Iran; 2. The Worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran; 3. A Charter for Collective Action to Free Iran from the Yoke of Dictatorship — Proposals by the Tudeh Party of Iran for the Formation of a United Anti-Dictatorship Front; 4. The Proposed Program of the Tudeh Party of Iran for a National and Democratic Republic After the Liberation from the Yoke of the Dictatorship; 5. The Tudeh Party of Iran, The National-Democratic Revolution and Our Era! The Roadmap of the Tudeh Party of iran for A Fundamental and Democratic Change at the National Level; 6. The Tudeh Party of Iran, Marxism-Leninism, and the Present Era.

We, as a Tudeh Party current that firmly adheres to the historical worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran — Marxism-Leninism — and recognizes as an important task for all Tudeh comrades the defense of the fundamental principles of the historical policy of the Tudeh Party of Iran, will try to review these documents and share our views with the Tudeh comrades.

Since a comprehensive evaluation of the documents submitted by comrades requires a lengthy discussion of all the arguments and positions taken in this collection of documents, our response will inevitably be lengthy. Hence, we will try to divide our assessments according to the subject under discussion in each separate section. At the end, we shall combine and present all segments of our evaluation as a single document.


1. Worldview of the Party:

On the “Necessity” of “Reviewing” Marxism-Leninism


The comrades have devoted pages out of a total of 69 pages to documenting the origins, historical development, scientific foundations, and continuity of Marxism-Leninism in the present age, and the characteristics of Marxism-Leninism of our time. In this context, they have also provided a glimpse of twentieth-century socialism, its errors, and the “new” formulas for building the “twenty-first-century socialism.” And based on all this, they have stressed that the current leadership of the Party is adhering to the principles of Marxism-Leninism.

In this section, we try to address the general dimensions of the new orientations in the worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran as presented in the collection of documents provided by the comrades.


A. Why Is Marxism-Leninism in “Need” of Being Redefined?


It is quite normal for the documents of any Communist party congress to reaffirm the party’s adherence to the Marxist-Leninist worldview, and to explain the compatibility of the Party’s proposed program and policy to this worldview at every stage of the struggle. But the comrades have taken a different approach in these documents. Instead of following this age-old tradition, the comrades of the Tudeh Party of Iran start from the nineteenth century, with multi-page explanations Hegel’s dialectic; Marx’s critique of Hegel’s idealist dialectics; dialectical and historical materialism; the historical course of development of modes of production and socio-economic formations; critique of the capitalist mode of production; and finally, a personal defense of Marx and Lenin and their views, mainly in the language of Western philosophers and sociologists, but not of the communist movement.

The first question that arises in the reader’s mind by reading this long text of explanation of Marxism-Leninism, is: why, thirty years after the collapse of the socialist camp, and after the settlement of all the discussions surrounding the issue, these comrades have now felt the need for defining Marxism-Leninism again, and have devoted such a large part of their documents to it?

Let us answer this question by examining the reasons for it, through putting together a selection of the assertions of these comrades, which are scattered throughout the various sections of their proposed documents.


1. The Need for “Correcting the Past Mistakes”

In section “14: Socialism” of the adopted documents of the Seventh Congress, entitled “The Tudeh Party of Iran’s General Assessment of the State of the World Today …” comrades correctly begin their discussion by pointing to the decisive choice that our world is facing today:

Today, … human society is confronted more seriously [than ever] with a historical choice: either the establishment of a humane society and the preservation of our common habitat on the planet Earth, or the continuing violence and barbarism of exploitation of man by man and the destruction of the environment.”[1] (Here and in all the following quotes, all emphases are ours.)

Although socialism is not mentioned as a choice in this sentence, the reader’s assumption will typically be that comrades’ reference to “humane society” here is to socialism. But, as we shall see below, the socialism desired by the comrades is not the same socialism which the Marxists-Leninists have defended and continue to defend.

The comrades begin their specific reference to real socialism with the following sentence:

The first experience of founding a socialist society was not without its flaws and shortcomings, the most important of which were the growth of inefficient and unaccountable bureaucracy, the emergence of a privileged class, and the severe limitation on democracy within the Party, society, and the soviet system. This factor, along with economic factors and political pressures from the Cold War and the economic siege, eventually led to the collapse of the existing socialist system in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[2]

Two points in this statement of the comrades need further reflection, because both of them form the basis of the comrades’ analytical approach to the current situation in the world, the region, and Iran:

First, comrades see the problem of real socialism in the twentieth century as the result of “the emergence of a privileged class and the severe limitations on democracy,” without any mention of the conscious economic and political treacheries and sabotage by people like Gorbachev and his allies who betrayed socialism. Are these comrades trying here to turn the issue of “democracy” into the main framework for all political analyses? The fact of the matter is that this tendency is permeating all of the comrades’ analyses throughout the documents presented by them, especially in relation to the situation in Iran and the proposed political program for the Party. We shall return to this issue in more detail in other segments of this evaluation.

Second, contrary to the analyses of the Communist movement, which emphasize the dialectical and reciprocal influence of internal and external factors in the dismantling of socialist state in the Soviet Union, these comrades, in two simple sentences, declare the internal factors as “the most important” factors, and the external factors, such as the “political pressures of the Cold War and the economic siege” imposed by imperialism (and even the economic underpinnings), as additional factors that have only exacerbated domestic problems. Underestimation of the role of external factors in the internal situation of countries, both in relation to socialism and in relation to Iran, is seen throughout the draft documents of the Seventh Congress.

In relation to socialism, their emphasis on the internal factors can only mean that the models used to guide the real existing socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries have had internal flaws and, as a result, one has to look for different models. To see this position more clearly, it is enough to pay attention to what they have said:

Theoretically, despite the efforts that have been made from the left and the right to present alternatives to the current capitalism (including the ones with the intention to preserve it) — from “capitalism with a human face” to “democratic socialism” — the humane principles of socialism that Marx and Engels, Lenin and other thinkers of scientific socialism have put forward are still valid and nowadays it is more than ever the attention of theorists and workers of the world. But socialism does not have a pre-written model. Human society has taken steps in this direction in various ways and continues to do so. In Soviet Russia, the policies of War Communism, and then the New Economic Policy (NEP) and later the full communalization of the economy were tested.[3]

The interesting thing here is the listing of models of “War Communism,” the “NEP” and “complete communalization of the economy” (the latter of which has never existed and the Soviet economy has never been “fully communalized”) as “different models of socialism” in the Soviet Union. “War Communism” and “NEP” may be considered alternatives to capitalism only from the point of view of “human principles,” but Lenin himself never called “War Communism” and “NEP” socialist models. From Lenin’s point of view and the leadership of the Communist Party, “War Communism” was only a confiscation of property to finance the war imposed by the imperialists, and “NEP,” in Lenin’s own words, was a temporary “retreat” from the process of building socialism in response to the crisis caused by the peasant uprisings and the sabotages of the Gulaks.

In fact, what historically existed as the true model of socialism in the Soviet Union, which, according to comrades, the twentieth-century experience has proved it to be ineffective, is the “rapid industrialization” model of socialism, which is not even mentioned by name by these comrades. This model, which began in the early 1930s and lasted until 1955, and more or less continued afterwards albeit with some significant negative changes until Gorbachev and his allies came to power, transformed the Soviet Union from a backward capitalist country to a socialist one — the second most powerful nation in the world that became the inspiration for and supporter of many socialist and national liberation revolutions in the world.

It is this “pre-written” version of socialism in the Soviet Union and other twentieth-century socialist countries — i.e., social ownership of the means of production, centralized economic planning, reliance on the expansion of infrastructure rather than consumer production, agricultural cooperatives, government control of the wages and prices, planning the distribution and consumption of goods, free provision of social services, etc. — that, according to these comrades, has been “tested” and failed, and no longer has any application for the world of the 21st Century. And, as a result, we must now try to find for the 21st Century another model from among the “various forms” of socialism.


2. “21st Century Socialism:” Each in Its Own Way?

The comrades begin their discussion of the future of socialism by saying:

The collapse of the building of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the last decade of the twentieth century raised many questions about socialism and how it was built in a world where imperialism uses all its economic, military, and propaganda means to destroy it. Learning from these painful developments and humanity’s first unsuccessful experience for the establishment of another world is an undeniable necessity, the disregard of which will undoubtedly have dire consequences for workers’ and the world communist movement. The view of the few forces of “radical positions,” who emphasize the repetition in the twenty-first century of the same experience and the same pattern of failed twentieth-century socialism and in a world that has undergone significant changes since 1991, is not only devoid of realism and scientific basis, but it practically reduces the teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin to religious approaches that are in stark contrast to the difficult struggle ahead for building socialism in the twenty-first century….[4]

We unequivocally agree with our comrades on the need for “learning lessons” from the “painful developments” resulting from the overthrow of socialist rule in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. But let’s see what the comrades themselves have learned from these painful developments:

The experience of more than a century and a half shows us that the path of socialism is more complicated than originally thought. This path involves “trial and error” in a variety of approaches. Each country may have to take a different path, and pass through different stages in moving toward socialism….[5]

And, following their own learned lessons, they go on to describe the “different” paths for the “21st century socialism:”

Yugoslavia, and to some extent, Hungary, have chosen their own path. And today’s China, after experiencing a great leap and a cultural revolution, is pursuing an open-door policy of “market socialism” and “socialism with Chinese characteristics” under the leadership of the Communist Party. Communist parties in India and Nepal, and governments such as Cuba, Vietnam, and Laos, each pursue their own paths in governing, developing, and transforming their societies. Although these countries cannot completely avoid the harmful consequences of global economic capitalist crises and disruption of social production, they have been able to minimize the damage and continue social production in accordance with the needs of society.[6]

Here, comrades, by constructing a single list of a number of socialist and non-socialist countries, and ignoring the historical timelines of changes in the process of building socialism in each, conclude that each of them is now taking a “different path” to “building of socialism.” This stance of the comrades, while blurring the historical boundaries between different phenomena, ignores the decisive similarities that exist among all of the “different” examples mentioned.

First, Yugoslavia and Hungary are two countries on the list of comrades that did not follow the “tested version” of the Soviet mode. So why did their “different” models also “fail” as apparently did in countries like Cuba, Vietnam and Laos, that followed the same model during the Soviet era?  And if their models also failed, what proves the correctness of their “different way” today? Will all “different paths” toward the “management, development and transformation of society” end up in the same place? And does embarking on some form of social transformation in order to “minimize the extent of harm” necessarily mean moving toward “socialism”?

Second, and more important, is the common denominator of all the so-called “different paths” that each of these countries are apparently taking today, the existence of which has been ignored by these comrades. This common denominator, which nullifies the “different path” thesis, is the fact that all of remaining socialist states have been forced to follow, in different degrees, an “open door economic policy” and “market socialism” in order to “minimize the damage” caused by the collapse of the socialist camp, the resulting shift in the balance of forces in the world, and the all-out economic and military attacks and threats of imperialism. And these “different degrees” of opening the way to the “capitalist market” within the socialist system is the only factor that distinguishes these “different paths” referred to by the comrades. But instead of attributing this forced retreat to the economic onslaughts and military threats of imperialism, the comrades present it as a “new model” for “21st century socialism,” and accuse those who disagree with this formulation as having a “religious” approach to Marxism-Leninism.

Third, looking at the list presented by comrades of countries that are following their own “different path” toward building socialism, we notice the absence of the name of one country, Venezuela, in which Comrade Hugo Chavez was the main architect of the “21st Century Socialism” thesis.

Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution was the first socialist-oriented revolution in Latin America since the collapse of the Socialist camp. As a result, from the very beginning Hugo Chavez had to take into account some of the conditions that other socialist countries were faced with after the collapse of the Socialist camp. Moreover, the Bolivarian Revolution took place on a continent that US imperialism considered as its own “backyard” and would not tolerate the creation of a second Cuban-type socialist state in this “backyard.” Given these unavoidable constraints on the path of the Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, and with the aim of preventing a possible military response by US imperialism, Chavez’s revolutionary government consciously founded its “21st century socialism” on two principles that were different from 20th century Leninist models:

First, the government limited itself to controlling the country’s oil industry and avoided nationalizing other areas of the economy that were controlled by the private sector. As a result, “21st century socialism” in Venezuela was based not on state control over the totality of social production, but on the socialist distribution of surplus value produced in the oil industry. In other words, in this model there was no sign of centralized economic planning in the field of production, full government control over wage and price levels, and other features of the Marxist-Leninist models of socialism (for example, about 84% of production in the important food sector remains in the hands of the private sector). This is precisely why many communist parties, including the Venezuelan Communist Party, which after the collapse of the socialist camp continued to adhere to the basic principles of the Marxist-Leninist worldview, opposed Chavez’s characterization of the Venezuelan model as a model for building the “21st century socialism.” While unconditionally defending the Venezuelan Bolivarian Revolution against imperialism, they did not not see the Venezuelan model of “socialism” as a Marxist-Leninist model for building socialism in the 21st century.In particular, the Communist Party of Venezuela, while strongly supporting the Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, considers the economic model of the country to be not socialist but capitalist.

The second feature, which is specifically decisive in the comrades’ analysis of the revolutionary process in Iran, is that the revolutionary government of Venezuela tried from the very beginning to establish the political structure of the country on the basis of quasi-bourgeois “democracy” and has adhered to it ever since. On the basis this policy, the Venezuelan government left the hands of all bourgeois parties, even the US-backed opposition parties, in the country’s political arena. The same policy was followed in the field of control of public and news media and continues to be. As a result, of Venezuela’s approximately 10 national news and active media networks, the great majority are controlled by the private sector and its affiliated opposition parties, and the voice of Venezuela’s state-run networks are drowned out by the anti-government and counter-revolutionary noise of these private networks. Such a policy is obviously miles away from the Marxist-Leninist principle of the dictatorship of the proletariat at the stage of building socialism, which Lenin so strongly defended, and which was in fact the determining factor in ensuring the survival of socialism in the Soviet Union.

Our purpose here is not to criticize the model of “21st century socialism” in Venezuela. It is the natural right of the people and the revolutionary leadership of Venezuela to freely choose and defend their path of socio-economic growth. And it is the duty of all communists around the world to defend the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, which has been deliberately designed with the existing objective restrictions in mind, in the face of the hegemonic and counter-revolutionary onslaught of US imperialism. At the same time, there is no denying the fact that these features of “21st Century socialism” in Venezuela have, in practice, become the Achilles heel of that country’s struggle against imperialism, making it more vulnerable than other existing socialist countries, such as China, Cuba, Vietnam, and Laos, which, in spite of all the pressures of imperialism, still retain major aspects of the Marxist-Leninist model of the 20th Century socialism — especially the principle of “dictatorship of the proletariat.”

Our problem here is not with the notion of “21st Century socialism,” per se, whose emergence has been largely due to the collapse of the socialist camp and the temporary shift in the balance of power around the world in favor of imperialism. Our main problem with the analysis of the comrades of the Party leadership is that these forced retreats from the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism under the pressure of imperialism are presented as a “creative approach” to Marxism-Leninism and the basic principles of socialism, and, on this basis, their call for revising these principles to match the requirements of their notion of “21st Century socialism.” In other words, from the point of view of these comrades, the project of 20th Century socialism has failed, and now we need to formulate a new definition for the socialism of the 21st Century!


3. Repeated Insistence on the Necessity of “Revision”
“Creative Expansion” of Marxism-Leninism

It is on the basis of this new ideological view that the comrades have declared in their documents the “defeat” of 20th Century socialism and are calling for a “revision” of Marxism-Leninism that is free of “dogmatism.” They go even further and present Marxism-Leninism not as a coherent and still valid scientific worldview, but merely as a “legacy” of the past for Communists. And, for them, the significance of this “legacy” no longer lies in its being a “guide to action” for Communists, but simply in being “relevant”:

We believe that the revolutionary legacy of Marx, Engels, and Lenin is still relevant today, not because the Communist movement and the working class blindly follow dogmatic rules….[7]

In other words, this legacy must be used as a “basis” for a “creative” formulation of an updated Marxism-Leninism for the 21st Century. It is on this basis that the comrades continue their discussion by repeatedly insisting, not once or twice but almost ten times in just a few pages, on their opposition to “dogmatism” and the necessity of the “revision” and “creative evolution” of Marxism-Leninism:

Our party has consistently believed and emphasized that Marxism is not a set of immutable precepts…. We have always believed and still do take advantage of this important reminder from Lenin that:

Marx and Engels have always said correctly that ‘our theory is not dogmatic, but a guide to action,’ [Engels’ letter to F.A. “Serge, November 26, 1996] and ridiculed the mere preservation and repetition of ‘formulas’ which, at best, represent only our general tasks, and which, can inevitably be changed in the specific economic and political circumstances of any given period of historical development. (V.I. Lenin, Letters on Tactics, April 1917, p. 59)[8]

In his enduring Three Sources and Three Components of Marxism, Lenin rejected the idea that Marxism was a denominational and unscientific view, emphasizing the important point that Marxism was the child of critical interpretation and creative evolution of the best ideas of the humanity of the nineteenth century. According to Lenin, the theoretical sources of Marxism are classical German philosophy, classical English political economy, and French utopian socialism.[9]

The philosophy of Marxism is based on materialism, which has not been invalidated by the progress of social and natural sciences. What has been increasingly invalidated in the world today is the idealistic and metaphysical conception of our world….[10]

In our view, in the field of philosophy, Marx and Engels, relying on the scientific achievements of their time, founded a new school in philosophy…. Opponents of Leninism accused Lenin of deviating from Marx’s ideas by accusing him of deviating from the principles of Marxism. We value Lenin as a theorist who, taking into account the specific reality, updated and expanded the various components of Marxism, namely philosophy, political economy, and scientific communism…. He was opposed to any opportunistic and revisionist deviation in revolutionary thought and action, and he was opposed to dogmatism.[11]

Lenin, as a Marxist who deeply believed in and had an extensive understanding of the theories of Marx and Engels, was right in saying that we did not look at Marx’s theories as a complete and immutable set, but rather as the scientific basis on which the communists must make progress in all of its aspects if they want to keep it in line with the life of the day….[12]

Contrary to the views of those who try to portray Lenin as a dogmatic leader far removed from the realities of Russian society at that time, Lenin always believed, based on the Marxist view he deeply believed in, that communists must have a critical view of developments of society and correct their mistakes immediately when they realize it.[13]

The late eminent comrade Ehsan Tabari used to say in this regard: “The expansion, completion, and modernization of the categories, precepts, and arguments of Marxism-Leninism is not ‘revisionism.’ Revisionism is a term for the deceitful transformation of Marxism, which aims to turn this revolutionary-critical education into a harmless academic teaching in the service of capital, oppression and superstition ….” (From the article “Stealing the Fire,” in Philosophical and Social Manuscripts, Tudeh Party of Iran Publications, third printing, 2007, p. 2)[14]

It is clear that no Party activist and militant Marxist-Leninist can oppose these statements of the prominent leaders of the Communist movement and their emphasis on the struggle against “dogmatism.” But the questionable point here is the repeating and over-insistence of the comrades on the need for a “creative revision” of Marxism-Leninism after the collapse of the socialist camp and the “failure” of the 20th Century socialism in the Soviet Union, and then the raising of the banner of “21st century socialism.”  in opposition to it. Can it be that the purpose of these comrades’ insistence on a “creative revision” of Marxism-Leninism, is not to defend its scientifically proven foundations, but to make revisionist changes in the Tudeh Party’s worldview and ideology on the basis of their “new” understanding of 21st century Marxism-Leninism?


B. “Creative” Change in the Worldview
of the
Tudeh Party of Iran


For decades, Marxism-Leninism has been the worldview and guide of action of all parties in the world communist movement, including the Tudeh Party of Iran, and no new development around the world, including the collapse of the socialist camp, changed the Tudeh Party’s worldview. For the past seventy years, we have seen a consistent definition of the Tudeh Party’s worldview in all Party documents. For example:

Draft Statute of the Tudeh Party of Iran, as approved by the Seventh “Broad” Plenum and the Unity Conference (July-August 1960):

The worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran is Marxism-Leninism, and its organizational principles derive from this worldview…. (Documents and Views, p. 425)

Program approved by the 15th Plenum of the Tudeh Party of Iran (July 1975)

The worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran is Marxism-Leninism, and its far and near goals and political and organizational policies stem from the creative adaptation of this scientific and revolutionary worldview to the specific conditions of Iranian society. (Documents and Views, p. 667)

Program approved by the 17th Plenum of the Tudeh Party of Iran, April 1981:

The Tudeh Party of Iran is the party of new type of the Iranian working class, which has chosen the worldview of Marxism-Leninism as its guide ….

Program approved by the National Conference of the Tudeh Party of Iran (June 1986):

The worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran as the new type party of the Iranian working class, is Marxism-Leninism…. (Donya, No. 3, first year, fifth period, September 1986, p. 110)

Constitution of the Tudeh Party of Iran, approved by the Third Congress of the Party (February 1991):

The worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran is Marxism-Leninism, and its far and near goals and political policy derive from this worldview…. (Documents of the Third Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran, February 1991, p. 38)

Even in the documents passed by both the Fifth and the Sixth Party Congresses, held years after the collapse of the Socialist camp and the so-called “defeat of twentieth-century socialism,” and in both cases the same comrades were in charge of leading the party, we do not see any change in worldview of the Party:

The worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran is Marxism-Leninism, and its near and far goals and political and organizational policies stem from the creative adaptation of this scientific and revolutionary worldview to the specific conditions of Iranian society ….” (Constitution of the Tudeh Party of Iran, approved by Congress Fifth Party, October 2003, p. 5)

The worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran is Marxism-Leninism, and its near and far goals and political and organizational policies stem from the creative adaptation of this scientific and revolutionary worldview to the special conditions of Iranian society …. (Documents of the Sixth Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran, February 2012)

However, in the Draft Documents of the Seventh Party Congress, after a long discussion about the “failure” of 20th Century socialism, and the announcement of the diversity among the different paths to “21st century socialism” and the “different ways” to achieve it — followed by repeated insistence on the need for a “creative revision” of Marxism-Leninism — we are faced with a new definition of the worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran. Of course, this is not the first attempt to change our Party’s worldview. Such an attempt was also made once in the past — with the support of some of the comrades who are now in charge Party leadership — at the Third Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran in 1991, which was held shortly after the overthrow of socialist state in the Soviet Union. At that time, the same attempt was made to change the Party’s worldview in the draft of the proposed Constitution of the Tudeh Party of Iran, which was published in the Nameh Mardom (central organ of the TPI), No. 340, December 9, 1990 without any internal consultation within the Party:

The Tudeh Party of Iran will make critical and creative use of Marxism-Leninism and all contemporary progressive social-theoretical thought, as well as the history of Iranian humanist thought, in advancing its far and near goals.

Although that attempt to change the Party’s worldview met with strong opposition from the overwhelming majority of the Party membership and the delegates at the Third Congress — and was decisively defeated — it seems that the very same comrades in the Party leadership are now trying once again to reassert their revisionist views on the Tudeh Party in order to put our Party on a different path — a new path that is reflected in all their political analyses in their present documents. (We shall discuss all their dimensions in the following sections of this evaluation).

This time, these comrades have defined the worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran in their adopted Documents of the Seventh (Khavari) Congress, as follows:

The worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran, the Party of the working class and toilers of Iran, is based on the scientific ideas of Marxism-Leninism. Far and near goals, and the political and organizational policy of the Tudeh Party of Iran, arise from the creative adaptation of this scientific and revolutionary worldview to the specific conditions of Iranian society and the world at any given historical period….[15]

And, again, elsewhere:

The Tudeh Party of Iran, whose worldview is based on the scientific ideas of Marxism-Leninism….[16]


At first glance, these comrades’ definition of the Party’s worldview appears to be a benign rewording of the same definition of the historical worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran. But a closer look at this new formulation shows that this is another version of the same failed definition that was proposed to the Third Party Congress in 1991:

First, in the formula presented by these comrades, the worldview of the Tudeh Party of Iran is no longer Marxism-Leninism itself, but this worldview which is “based onscientific ideas of Marxism-Leninism.” What does this mean? Every novice architect knows that the foundation of a building is not the building itself, and on any given foundation, one can build different structures with different characteristics — one-story, two-story, three-story, and so on. Even a second-rate architect can even build a crooked or defective building “on the basis” of a solid and tested foundation, which could collapse after a while, destroying its inhabitants. In the history of the struggles of the Iranian people, we have seen many examples of these crooked buildings, which, according to their builders, were also built “on the basis” of Marxism-Leninism, and which have collapsed one after another in the course of history.

Although these comrades, unlike what they did at the Third Congress, do not make clear in their new “creative” definition of the Party’s worldview what they intend to “build” “on the basis of  the scientific ideas of Marxism-Leninism,” the crooked building that they are erecting on this basis can clearly be seen throughout their present analyses, among them: anti-religionism; reversing the relationship between infrastructure and superstructure and limiting the struggle to the level of political superstructure; advocating bourgeois democracy; minimizing the destructive effects of imperialist interventions in the internal affairs of countries; and finally, raising the slogan of “passage beyond the Islamic Republic,” which, in the current dangerous international situation, and in the absence of a popular and progressive alternative consisting of the national and democratic classes and strata, could only lead to an imperialism-instigated overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Second, in their new definition, the comrades have changed the phrase “the creative adaptation of this worldview to the special conditions of Iran” to “the creative adaptation of this worldview to the specific condition of Iran.” Here, too, it may be thought that this difference is only in the form of expression. But this is not the case. Every Marxist-Leninist knows that there is a difference between the “special conditions” of a country, which are related to its stage of socio-economic development, history and culture, national and ethnic composition, geographical location, etc., and the “specific condition” which that country is in at any given time — a condition which can change at any moment. For example, one of the “special conditions” of Iran is that the majority of its population is Muslim, which has always been the case independently of the various political formations that have governed it. But the “specific condition” which Iran is in politically today is a form of government based on the despotism of “Velayat-e-Faqih” (Guardianship of the Jusrist)

The policy of the previous leadership of the Tudeh Party of Iran immediately after the Revolution (1979-82) was based on the adaptation of the Party’s Marxist-Leninist worldview to the “special condition” of Iran as a Muslim-majority country and the need for recognition of the importance of the religious nature of society in defining the Party policy. But now, we see throughout the Draft Documents of the Seventh Congress that these comrades, based on their new “creative” definition of the Party’s worldview, have replaced Iran’s “special condition” of being a Muslim-majority country with “specific condition” of being under the despotic rule of the “Guardianship of the Jusrist,” and have thus placed the Party’s new worldview at the service of an anti-religion struggle that reduces the Party’s policy to a one-dimensional struggle against the religious superstructure. In other words, by simply changing the word “special” to “specific” in their definition of the Party’s worldview, these comrades have resorted to an “arbitrary adaptation,” not a “creative adaptation,” of Marxism-Leninism for the sole purpose of justifying their non-Leninist policy.

We shall discuss the decisive consequences of these changes in the Party’s worldview, which are clearly visible throughout the documents provided by these comrades, in the following sections of this evaluation.



[1] “Special Edition of the Documents of the Seventh (Khavari) Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran,” No. 1, p. 15.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Special Edition of the Documents of the Seventh (Khavari) Congress of the Tudeh Party of Iran,” No. 2, p. 28.

[5] Ibid., p. 29.

[6] Op cit., No. 1, p. 16.

[7] Op Cit., No. 2, p. 21.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid., pp. 21-22.

[11] Ibid., pp. 22-24.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid., p. 21.

[15] Ibid., p. 2.

[16] Ibid., p. 21.

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