Sam Ghandchiسام قندچي Tudehii Thinking, the Barrier of Iranian Opposition
اندیشه توده ای، سد راه اپوزیسیون


Since 1953 coup in Iran, it has been 50 years that in Iranian political literature, critics of Tudeh Party have been written but in my opinion the main issue has been critiqued, and still the main problem of Iranian opposition is the hezbe tudeh's tradition.  I do not the Tudeh party itself or its remnants, which are not much different from the rest of Iranian opposition.  I mean another point which I will explain below.


In the years from the 1953 coup to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, within Iranian radical movement, basically the criticism of Tudeh Party was that hezbe tudeh was a reformist party.  The critic of nationalist was that Tudeh Party was in subordination of the then Soviet Union.  And the approach of Pahlavi regime was that Tudeh Party acted as the spy of the Soviets trying to replace the British and American influence with the Soviet influence.  The Islamist currents called the Tudeh Party as God-less communists, although Tudeh Party did not emphasize promoting atheism.


After the 1979 Revolution, with the whole Iranian Radical movement turning more and more reformist, the difference between Tudeh Party and the rest of the left was reduced, and by 1981, some parts of Iranian radical left were merged with the Tudeh Party.  A decade later, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the remainders of Tudeh Party were as different as the remainders of all other groups of the left.  The nationalist and religious groups assumed the Tudeh Party as dead or they would repeat the same critics of the past.  The monarchists also basically used the same old concepts in addressing the Tudeh Party, such as calling them Communist or spy of the foreign powers.


The truth of the matter is that Tudeh Party and its remnants, as a political or ideological force, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union, are not important any more.  Then why am I calling the tudehii thinking as the block of Iranian opposition?


In my opinion, a big problem of Iranian opposition since the founding of Tudeh Party about 70 years ago, has been the fact that this party regardless of its politics, programs, and even ideology, had always spent its efforts to advise the regime of the time telling the regime what it should do, as if this party is in powere and its thinkers are the consultant of the regime of the time, not that this party is *not* in power, and to be the one offering an alternative to the current regime.  For example, the Democratic Party in the U.S., when it is not in power, it does not spend its efforts to advise the Republican Party of the time, and uses its energy for a clear plan to get to the power (even if it is in practice, partial sharing of power in the legislative power.)


In the 40's, during the semi-democracy in Iran, the reality of Tudeh Party was not like the Italian Communist Party, although they were both reformists.  Tudeh party did not offer a plan of reform for Iran to organize its forces to to win power, wholly or partially.  Instead , they were advising any government that was in power, and even when they had ministers in the state, their action was like a journalist observing the events rather than being like someone who has power and driving his/her program even when sharing power.


In fact, all over the world, whether the revolutionary political organizations, or the reformist one, are after taking over power, and are not shy about having this objective, and do not hide it, and they use the reformist or revolutionary ways, to take over power, because they think they can manage the society better, and this is why they discuss and give programs, or else there was no reason to make their own party or group, and could have joined other parties.


In fact, this is the difference of political parties and the media.  The media's goal is to utter various viewpoints, and this is why various papers are formed.  But the goal of forming political groups and parties is not discussion.  The goal is to take over power, whether those who want to gain that goal by reform, or those who want to achieve it by a revolution.  In the basics, there is no difference, and the goal of the political organization is taking power.


The Tudehii thinking actually mixes two existing traditions of the world, which were clearly present at the time of mashrootiat (Constitutional Movement), namely the tradition of the media and that of political parties, which it has mixed, or better to say it obfuscates the two.  In my opinion, a big problem of all of our political movement of the last 70 years, from the start of Tudeh Party, and especially in the last 25 years when reform, rather than revolution,  has been the focus of Iranian political currents, understanding of reform has not been like the political tradition of mashrootiat, instead the Tudehii thinking has been the norm, as if the program of political parties for reform means critiquing and recommending to the existing regime and not to take power.


Regardless of the political thought and platform of various political currents, each political current should understand its difference with the media and to know its goal to be taking power.  Although it is true that political parties also do educational and journalistic works, but their goal of doing them all is to take power, and they should not be unclear about it, and to be shy of announcing their goal.


For my share, I think that it is now time to create a Iran's Futurist Party.  I have proposed the attached platform.  This platform, as compared to what has been offered even after the American Revolution, by the Democratic Party, or by the socialists at the time of manifesto, in the areas of democracy, justice, progress, and foreign affairs, relative to the current post-industrial society, is as complete, as those were relative to the society of their times.


For example, if the founders of the American Revolution, for the programs of social justice of future society that they had in mind, saw it in light of private property, or the socialists of the industrial society viewed the justice of the future in light of the state economy, this program view the programs for future social justice in light of the ownership of the non-governmental NGO's, but just like the early capitalist or socialist programs of the industrial society, this program will also add more details by the party as time goes, and if this program is not richer than the political programs of capitalism and socialism of the early industrial society, it surely is not less.


Moreover, the goal of discussing political platform, is to start the planning committee for founding the futurist party, a party which will be after taking power in Iran, and of course taking power does not mean not having allies and not creating coalitions, which I have explained in the attached article, but for the founders of the pary, it should be clear, that the goal of the planning committee is a political goal to take power and not a mere journalistic goal.


I think lack of clearly aiming for power, will result in a situation where a sudden surge of the movement, can make a traditional force, such as the mosques in 1979, to be thrown onto the top of the power, and this way the modern political forces can end up becoming the media critics of the next political transition of our society.


Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,

Sam Ghandchi, Editor/Publisher

January 22, 2005




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