Mansoor Hekmat - A Better
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A Better World
Programme of the Worker-communist
Social and Intellectual Basis
A better world
To change the world and to create a better one has always been a
profound aspiration of people throughout human history. It is
true that even the present-day so-called modern world is
dominated by fatalistic ideas, religious as well as non-
religious, which portray the present plight of humanity as
somehow given and inevitable. Nevertheless the actual lives and
actions of people themselves reveal a deep-seated belief in the
possibility and even the certainty of a better future. The hope
that tomorrow's world can be free of today's inequalities,
hardships and deprivations, the belief that people can,
individually and collectively, influence the shape of the world
to come, is a deep-rooted and powerful outlook in society that
guides the lives and actions of vast masses of people.
Worker-communism, first and foremost, belongs here, to the
unshakable belief of countless people and successive generations
that building a better world and a better future by their own
hands is both necessary and possible.
Freedom, equality, prosperity
Clearly, everyone's image of an ideal world is not one and the
same. However, throughout human history certain ideas have always
come to the fore as the measures of human happiness and social
progress, so much so that they are today part and parcel of the
political vocabulary worldwide as sacred principles. Freedom,
equality, justice and prosperity are the first among them.
Precisely these ideals form the intellectual foundations of
worker-communism. Worker-communism is a movement for changing the
world and setting up a free, equal, human and prosperous
Class struggle: proletariat and bourgeoisie
However, worker-communists are not a bunch of utopian reformers
and heroic saviours of humanity. Communist society is not a
fantastic design or recipe conceived by well-wishing know-alls.
Worker-communism is a social movement arising from within modern
capitalist society itself, a movement that reflects the vision,
ideals and protest of a vast section of this same society.
The history of all societies to date has been a history of
class struggle. An uninterrupted, now open and now hidden,
struggle has been going on between exploiting and exploited,
oppressor and oppressed classes in different epochs and
societies. This class struggle is the chief source of social
change and transformation.
Earlier societies were built on a complex hierarchy of classes
and strata. Modern capitalist society, however, has greatly
simplified class divisions. For all the variety of occupations
and the extensive division of labour in it, the present society
as a whole is organised around two main opposing class camps:
workers and capitalists, proletariat and bourgeoisie.
The opposition of these two camps is, at the most fundamental
level, the source of all the multiplicity of economic, political,
intellectual and cultural conflicts going on in the existing
society. Not only society's political and economic life, but also
the cultural, intellectual and scientific life of humanity today
- areas which appear to be independent domains standing above and
independent of classes - bear the imprint of this central
alignment in the modern capitalist society. The camp of the
proletariat, of workers, for all the variety of thoughts, ideals,
tendencies and parties in it, represents the will to change the
system in favour of the oppressed and the poor. The camp of the
bourgeoisie, again for all its various strands of thought,
political parties, thinkers and leaders, stands for the
preservation of the status quo and the protection of the
capitalist system and the economic and political power and
privileges of the bourgeoisie, in the face of workers' drive for
freedom and equality.
Worker-communism emerges out of this class struggle. It
belongs to the camp of the proletariat. Worker-communism is the
revolutionary movement of the working class for overthrowing the
capitalist system and creating a new society without classes and
However, not only freedom and equality, but even the ideal of
abolishing classes and exploitation are not unique to worker-
communism. These goals have been the watchword of other movements
and other oppressed classes in earlier societies too. What
distinguishes worker-communism as a movement is the fact that it
emerges in opposition to capitalism, i.e. the latest and most
modern class system.
Worker-communism is the social movement of the proletariat, a
class that is itself a product of capitalism and modern
industrial production, and the main exploited class in this
system. It is a class that lives by the sale of its labour power
and has no other means of making a living but its labour power.
The proletariat is not a slave, not a serf, not an artisan; it is
neither owned by anyone, nor does it own its means of production.
It is both free and forced to sell its labour power in the market
The principles and social ideals of worker-communism derive
from a criticism of the economic, social and intellectual
foundations of capitalism. This is a criticism from the
standpoint of the wage-earning working class in this society, and
thereby thorough and revolutionary. The working people's
conception of freedom, equality and human happiness is, and has
always been in previous societies, inevitably a reflection of the
existing social relations and of their own position vis- a-vis
production and property. The slave's conception of freedom did
not go much beyond abolition of slavery, and the serf's and urban
artisan's conception of equality could not be anything more than
equality in property rights. But with the rise of the
proletariat, as the great mass of producers free from any form of
ownership of means of production, a class whose economic bondage
and exploitation is precisely based on its legal freedom, the
concept of freedom and equality changed fundamentally. The
proletariat cannot set itself free, without society as such being
set free from class divisions and private ownership of means of
production. Equality is not just a juridical notion, but also,
and fundamentally, an economic and social one.
With Marxism the proletarian criticism of capitalism and the
worker-communist movement and social outlook which had emerged
with the Industrial Revolution, attained immense coherence
clarity and theoretical vigour. The worker-communist movement has
since been inseparably linked with Marxism and the Marxist
critique of political economy of the capitalist society.
Worker-communism is a social movement that came into existence
with the rise of capitalism and the wage-earning working class,
and represents the deepest and most universal working- class
criticism of capitalism and its ills. The objectives and
practical programme of this movement are based on the Marxist
critique of the foundations of contemporary capitalism, i.e. the
last, most modern and most advanced form of class society.
Worker-communism is not a movement separate from the working
class. It has no interests apart from those of the working class
as a whole. What distinguishes this movement from the other
workers' movements and parties is that, firstly, in the class
struggles in various countries it champions the unity and common
interests of the workers of the entire world, and, secondly, in
the various stages and fronts of workers' struggles it represents
the interests of the working class as a whole. Thus,
worker-communism is the movement of the most advanced section of
the working class which understands the ultimate goal and the
conditions and pre-requisites of victory and tries to rally the
various sections of the working class.
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A Better World - Part One - 2
The capitalist system is behind all the ills that burden humanity
today. Poverty, deprivation, discrimination, inequality,
political repression, ignorance, bigotry, cultural backwardness,
unemployment, homelessness, economic and political insecurity,
corruption and crime are all inevitable products of this system.
No doubt bourgeois apologists would rush to tell us that these
have not been invented by capitalism, but have all existed before
capitalism, that exploitation, repression, discrimination,
women's oppression, ignorance and prejudice, religion and
prostitution are more or less as old as human society itself.
What is being covered up here is the fact that, firstly, all
these problems have found a new meaning in this society,
corresponding to the needs of capitalism. These are being
constantly reproduced as integral parts of the modern capitalist
system. The source of poverty, starvation, unemployment,
homelessness and economic insecurity at the end of the 20th
century is the economic system in place at the end of the 20th
century. The brutal dictatorships, wars, genocides and
repressions that define the life of hundreds of millions of
people today draw their rationale from the needs of the system
that rules the world today and serve specific interests in this
world. Women's oppression today is not the result of medieval
economy and morality, but a product of the present society's
economic and social system and moral values.
Secondly, it is the bourgeoisie and the capitalist system
itself that continually and relentlessly resists people's effort
to eradicate and overcome these ills. The obstacle to workers'
struggle to improve living conditions and civil rights is none
other than the bourgeoisie and its governments, parties and
apologists. Wherever people rise in the poorer regions to take
charge of their lives, the first barrier they face is the armed
force of the local and international bourgeoisie. It is the
bourgeoisie's state, its enormous media and propaganda machinery,
institution of religion, traditions, moralities and educational
system which shape the backward and prejudiced mentalities among
successive generations. There is no doubt that it is capitalism
and the bourgeoisie who stand in the way of the attempt by
millions of people, driven to the edges and more or less clear
about the outlines of a society worthy of human beings, to change
Today at the end of the 20th century, at the height of
capitalism's globalization and in the midst of the greatest
technological revolutions, humanity finds itself in one of the
most critical periods of its history. Bare physical survival has
become the main challenge for millions of people, from the
impoverished countries of Africa and Asia to capital cities of
the West. For the more backward countries, the hope of economic
development has now been totally shattered. The dream of economic
growth has given way to the permanent nightmare of famine,
starvation and disease. In the advanced Europe and the USA,
following years of recession, the miserable promise of 'growth
without employment' holds the same nightmarish prospect for tens
of millions of working-class families. Around the world, war and
genocide are wreaking havoc. Massive intellectual and cultural
U-turns are in progress: from the resurgence of religious
fanaticism, male-chauvinism, racism, tribalism and fascism to the
collapse of the individual's rights and status in society, to the
abandoning of the life and livelihood of millions, old and young,
at the mercy of the free market. In most countries, organised
crime has become a permanent fact of life and an integral part of
society's economic and political functioning. Drug addiction and
the growing power of criminal networks engaged in the production
and trafficking of drugs is now a major unsolvable international
problem. The capitalist system and the primacy of profit have
exposed the environment to serious dangers and irreparable
damages. Bourgeois thinkers and analysts do not even claim to
have an answer to these problems. This is the reality of
capitalism today, boding a horrifying future for the entire
people of the world.
Foundations of capitalism
The present society is no doubt complex and sophisticated.
Billions of people are in continuous interaction in elaborate
arrays of economic, social and political relations. Technology
and production have acquired gigantic dimensions. Humanity's
intellectual and cultural life, just as its problems and
difficulties, are broad and diverse. But these complexities only
keep out of sight simple and comprehendible realities that make
up the economic and social fabric of the capitalist world.
Like any other class system, capitalism is based on the
exploitation of direct producers - the appropriation of a part of
the product of their labour by the ruling classes. The specific
character of every social system in different historical epochs
lies in the particular way in which this exploitation in each
system takes place. Under slavery not only the slave's product
but he himself belonged to the slave- owner. He worked for the
slave-owner, and in return was kept alive by him. In the feudal
system the peasants either handed over part of their produce to
the feudal lord, or performed certain hours of forced and unpaid
labour. Under capitalism, however, exploitation has quite
Here the main producers, i.e. the workers, are free; they
don't belong to anyone, are not appendages of any estate, they
are in bondage of any lord. They own and control their own body
and labour power. But workers are also 'free' in yet another
sense: they are `free` from the ownership of means of production,
and so in order to live, they have to sell their labour power for
a certain length of time, in exchange for wages, to the
capitalist class - i.e. a small minority that own and monopolise
the means of production. The workers have to then buy their means
of subsistence - the goods they themselves have produced - in the
market from the capitalists. The essence of capitalism and the
basis of exploitation in this system is the fact that, on the one
hand labour power is a commodity, and, on the other hand the
means of production are the private property of the capitalist
Without living human labour power that sets instruments of
labour to work and creates new products, the existence of human
society, the very survival of human beings and satisfaction of
their needs, is inconceivable. This is true of any system. But in
capitalism labour power and means of production are shut off from
each other by the wall of private property; they are commodities
and their owners must meet in a market. On the face of it, the
owners of these commodities enter into a free and equal
transaction: the worker sells his/her labour power for certain
periods, in exchange for wages, to the capitalist, i.e. the owner
of the means of production; the capitalist employs this labour
power, uses it up and makes new products. These commodities are
then sold in the market and the revenue begins the production
cycle anew, as capital.
However, behind the apparently equal exchange between labour
and capital lies a fundamental inequality; an inequality which
defines the lot of humanity today and without whose elimination
society will never be free. With wages, workers only get back
what they have sold, i.e. the ability to work and to show up in
the market once again. By its daily work the working class only
ensures its continued existence as worker, its survival as the
daily seller of labour power. But capital in this process grows
and accumulates. Labour power is a creative power; it generates
new values for its buyer. The value of the commodities and
services produced by the worker at any cycle of the production
process is greater than the worker's total share and that portion
of the products which goes into restoring the used up materials
and wear and tear. This surplus value, taking the form of an
immense stock of commodities, belongs automatically to the
capitalist class, and increases the mass of its capital, by
virtue of the capitalist class's ownership of the means of
production. Labour power in its exchange with capital only
reproduces itself, while capital in its exchange with labour
power grows. The creative capacity of labour power and the
working class's productive activity reflects itself as the birth
of new capital for the capitalist class. The more and the better
the working class works, the more power capital acquires. The
gigantic power of capital in the world today and its
ever-expanding domination of the economic, political and
intellectual life of the billions of inhabitants of the earth is
nothing but the inverted image of the creative power of work and
of working humanity.
Thus, exploitation in capitalist society takes place without
yokes and shackles on the shoulders and feet of the producers-
through the medium of the market and free and equal exchange of
commodities. This is the fundamental feature of capitalism which
distinguishes it in essence from all earlier systems.
The surplus value obtained from the exploitation of the
working class is divided out among the various sections of the
capitalist class essentially through the market mechanism and
also through state fiscal and monetary policies. Profit, interest
and rent are the major forms in which the different capitals
share in the fruits of this class exploitation. The competition
of capitals in the market determines the share of each capitalist
branch, unit and enterprise.
But this is not all. This surplus pays whole cost of the
bourgeoisie's state machinery, army and administration, of its
ideological and cultural institutions, and the upkeep of all
those who, through these institutions, uphold the power of the
bourgeoisie. By its work, the working class pays the cost of the
ruling class, the ever-increasing accumulation of capital and the
bourgeoisie's political, cultural and intellectual domination
over the working class and the entire society.
With the accumulation of capital, the mass of commodities
which make up the wealth of bourgeois society grows. An
inevitable result of the accumulation process is the continual
and accelerating technological progress and rise in the mass and
capacity of the means of production which the working class sets
in motion in every new cycle of the production process. But
compared to the growth in society's wealth and productive powers,
the working class continually gets relatively poorer. Despite the
gradual and limited increase, in absolute terms, in the workers'
standard of living, the share of the working class from the
social wealth declines rapidly, and the gap between the living
conditions of the working class and the higher living standards
that is already made possible by its own work widens. The richer
the society becomes, the more impoverished a section the worker
forms in it.
Technological progress and rise in labour productivity mean
that living human labour power is increasingly replaced by
machines and automatic systems. In a free and human society this
should mean more free time and leisure for all. But in capitalist
society, where labour power and means of production are merely so
many commodities which capital employs to make profits, the
substitution of humans by machines manifests itself as a
permanent unemployment of a section of the working class which is
now denied the possibility of making a living. The appearance of
a reserve army of workers who do not even have the possibility of
selling their labour power is an inevitable result of the process
of accumulation of capital, and at the same time a condition of
capitalist production. The existence of this reserve army of
unemployed, supported essentially by the employed section of the
working class itself, heightens the competition in the ranks of
the working class and keeps wages at their lowest socially
possible level. This reserve army also allows capital to more
easily modify the size of its employed work force in proportion
to the needs of the market. Massive unemployment is not a
side-effect of the market, or a result of the bad policies of
some government. It is an inherent part of the workings of
capitalism and the process of accumulation of capital.
Periodic economic crises with catastrophic economic and social
consequences are an inevitable feature of the capitalist system.
These crises spring essentially from a fundamental contradiction
within the accumulation process itself: while labour is the
source of surplus value and profit, the accumulation process and
the inevitable technological progress constantly diminish the
ratio of labour power to means of production. The surplus value
that is produced, even if it grows in absolute terms, cannot
normally keep pace with the growth in the capital advanced. By
the material laws of the accumulation process itself, therefore,
the rate of profit has an inevitable tendency to fall. The
ceaseless activity to offset this tendency and maintain the rate
of profit, especially through intensifying exploitation and
reducing the share of the working class from the social wealth -
paid in the form of wages, public services, etc. - is the daily
business of the capitalist class, its various governments, and
the large corps of bourgeois economists, managers and experts
Nevertheless, the inner contradictions of capital and the
tendency of the rate of profit to fall, assert themselves
periodically and throw the whole economic system into a deep
crisis. Periods of stagnation and crisis are not only signs and
symptoms of the intensification of capital's internal
contradictions, but also the practical mechanism for their
alleviation and the reconstruction of capital. Competition among
different sections of capital grows and many are driven to
bankruptcy. The weaker capitals are knocked out, improving the
conditions of profitability for those who remain. On the other
hand, the capitalist class and its states embark on a wide-scale
offensive on workers' living standards. The ranks of the
unemployed swell and the exploitation of the whole working class
Capital emerges from every crisis more centralised. Thus the
next crisis takes on wider and deeper dimensions and gives rise
to a more severe competition and conflict in the capitalist
class. Each new crisis makes an ever more comprehensive
reconstruction of capital necessary. Equally, the prospects for
society each time grow darker and more terrifying.
The consequences of the capitalist system's contradictions and
crises are not confined to the economic sphere. Devastating
global and regional wars, militarism and military aggressions,
autocratic and police states, stripping people, and especially
workers, of their civil and political rights, rise of state
terrorism, resurgence of the extreme Right and of religious,
nationalist, racist and anti-woman groups and trends - these are
the realities of contemporary capitalism especially in periods of
State and political superstructure
Bourgeois analysts portray the state as a necessary institution
for the administration of society in the common interest of all;
an institution supposedly embodying the collective will of the
people and enforcing their combined power. We are told that the
existing laws are a collection of self-evident natural
principles, accepted by all, which the state guarantees and puts
into force. Representing the state as an autonomous body standing
above antagonistic class interests is a cornerstone of bourgeois
ideology. This idea is more entrenched among people in advanced
Western countries which have had more stable parliamentary
systems. But even in the less developed countries, despite the
existence of autocratic and police states and the public's
distrust of the existing states, the idea of the necessity of the
state is not questioned, and viewing the state as an institution
responsible for the management of society is just as deeply
rooted. The expansion of the economic role of states, and,
particularly, state intervention in the domain of public services
and economic management and control, over the past few decades,
has greatly strengthened these illusions.
The truth is that the state is the most important instrument
of the ruling class to hold the exploited masses in subjugation.
Historically, the emergence of the state has been the result of
the appearance of exploitation and division of society into
exploiting and exploited classes. For all the complexity in the
structure of present-day states, the state, as before, is an
apparatus of coercion, with the army, courts, and prisons making
up its foundations. The state is the organised coercive power of
the ruling class. It is an instrument of class rule. Any state,
whatever its form and outward appearance - a monarchy or a
republic, parliamentary or despotic - is the instrument of
dictatorship of the ruling class or classes.
In all systems, even in the most brutal slaveries of ancient
times where the class character of the state was unconcealed, the
ruling class has always needed to give some form of legitimacy to
its state. Monarchy and dynastic rule, reign of aristocracy,
divine rule and theocracy, are all forms in which such legitimacy
has been sought. In capitalist society, a society based on
market, and where worker and capitalist are portrayed as 'free'
agents entering into a voluntary and equal contract, the right to
vote, the parliament and the electoral system are the chief forms
of gaining legitimacy for the class rule of the bourgeoisie. On
the surface, the state is an instrument of political rule by all
the people formed by their own direct vote. Certainly, from a
historical viewpoint, the right to vote and parliament are
important gains in the struggle of the working people to promote
their civil rights. It is also clear that life in a liberal
bourgeois system is far more tolerable than life under a military
or autocratic regime. But these forms cannot conceal the class
nature of the modern state. Even in the most advanced, stable and
free parliamentary systems the working people have very little
chance of influencing state policies and actions. Parliamentary
system employs relatively less open and brutal violence and lets
government positions alternate among different sections of the
ruling class through periodic general elections. It has thus
managed to ensure the unquestionable rule of the whole
bourgeoisie over society's political and economic life.
Parliamentary democracy is not a mechanism for people's
participation in political power. It is a means of legitimizing
the rule and dictatorship of the bourgeois class.
Culture, ideology, morality
Flagrant exploitation, discrimination and disenfranchisement of
people on such monstrous scales, could obviously not last without
the victims themselves submitting to it and rationalizing it in
their minds. To paint this state of affairs as legitimate,
natural and eternal, and to intimidate people into submission is
the task of the intellectual, cultural and moral superstructure
in this society. The cultural and intellectual arsenal of the
bourgeoisie against freedom and liberation is enormous. In part
this is a legacy of antiquity, now polished up and adapted to the
needs of bourgeois society. All shades of religions, prejudices,
tribalism, racism and male-chauvinism have throughout history
served as so many intellectual and cultural weapons in the hands
of ruling classes to hold down and silence the working people.
And in our day all of these, in new forms and capacities, are
summoned to protect bourgeois property and bourgeois rule from
the menace of working peoples' awareness and consciousness.
But bourgeois society's own additions to this collection of
intellectual and cultural artillery are much more extensive and
efficient. In this society, self-interest and competition, i.e.
the rationale behind the capitalist's behaviour in the market,
are portrayed as human nature as such and sanctified as exalted
human values. Here the relations among people are a reflection
and an extension of the relations among commodities. People's
worth and status are measured by their relation to ownership. The
bourgeoisie broke up the local and narrow arrangement of the old
society and organised nation- states. Tribalism and parochialism
gave way to modern bourgeois nationalism and patriotism as the
heaviest ideological yoke ever put on the shoulders of the
The ruling ideas in every society are the ideas of ruling
class. But the extent of intellectual, cultural and moral
domination and control of the bourgeoisie over the life of
society today is unprecedented in history. The scientific,
technical and industrial revolutions of the past couple of
centuries and the powerful mechanism of the market, which
transcends all national, tribal, political and cultural barriers,
have provided the bourgeoisie with enormous possibilities for
safeguarding its ideological rule and spreading it on a world
Just as in the sphere of production of goods, so in the sphere
of production of ideas humanity's creative power has turned into
a weapon against itself. The many innovations and advances of the
twentieth century, which have revolutionised literary and
artistic forms and means of mass communication and opened up new
fields of cultural activity, have above all paved the way for a
constant bombardment of millions of people with bourgeois ideas
in more elaborate, subtle and effective forms. The information
technology and satellite TV networks introduced over the past two
decades, which have greatly facilitated the task of information
gathering and transfer across the globe, have in the hands of the
bourgeoisie turned into a monstrous machinery of misinformation,
indoctrination and provocation. The mass media and show business,
in themselves among the most profitable sectors for capital, have
taken over a large part of the traditional role of family,
religion and even the repressive organs of the state, and play an
increasing role in preserving the existing ideological balance in
society, spreading the ideas and values of the ruling class,
indoctrinating and controlling minds, intimidating and atomizing
people and countering critical ideas and tendencies in society.
These institutions and the modern forms of thought- control are
pillars of political stability in bourgeois society, particularly
in times of crisis, uncertainty and popular unrest.
Struggle against the dominant reactionary ideas has always
been a permanent component of the class struggle of workers and a
crucial task of the worker-communist movement.
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A Better World - Part One - 3
Social Revolution and Communism
The free communist society
It is easy to see how the capitalist world is a world that is
upside down. The relations among commodities form the basis of
the relations among people. The daily work of billions of people
to build the world manifests itself as the growing domination of
capital over their lives. The motivating aim of economic activity
is not satisfaction of people's needs, but profitability of
capital. Scientific and technological progress, which are the key
to human welfare and well-being, translate in this system into
even more unemployment and impoverishment for hundreds of
millions of workers. In a world that has been built through
cooperation and collective action, it is competition that reigns.
The economic freedom of the individual is merely a guise hiding
his inescapable compulsion to appear in the labour market each
and every day. The political freedom of the individual is a cover
for his actual rightlessness and lack of political influence, and
a means of legitimizing the political rule and the state of the
capitalist class. Law is the will and interest of the ruling
class made into rules binding for all. From love and compassion
to right and justice, from art and creativity to science and
truth, there is no concept in this capitalist world that does not
bear the imprint of this invertedness.
This inverted world must be put right side up. This is the
task of-worker-communism. It is the aim of workers' communist
The essence of communist revolution is abolition of private
ownership of the means of production and their conversion into
common ownership of the whole society. Communist revolution puts
an end to the class division of society and abolishes the
wage-labour system. Thus, market, exchange of commodities, and
money disappear. Production for profit is replaced by production
to meet people's needs and to bring about greater prosperity for
all. Work, which in capitalist society for the overwhelming
majority is an involuntary, mechanical and strenuous activity to
earn a living, gives way to voluntary, creative and conscious
activity to enrich human life. Everyone, by virtue of being a
human being and being born into human society will be equally
entitled to all of life's resources and the products of
collective effort. From everyone according to their ability, to
everyone according to their need - this is a basic principle of
Not only class divisions but also the division of people
according to occupation will disappear. All fields of creative
activity will be opened up to all. The development of each person
will be the condition of development of the society. Communist
society is a global society. National boundaries and divisions
will disappear and give way to a universal human identity.
Communist society is a society free of religion, superstitious
beliefs, ideology and archaic traditions and moralities that
strangle free thought.
The disappearance of classes and class antagonisms makes the
state superfluous. In communist society the state withers away.
Communist society is a society without a state. The
administrative affairs of the society will be managed by the
cooperation, consensus and collective decision-making of all of
Thus it is in the communist society that the ideals of human
freedom and equality are truly realised for the first time.
Freedom not only from political oppression but from economic
compulsion and subjugation and intellectual enslavement. Freedom
to enjoy and experience life in its diverse dimensions. Equality
not only before the law but in the enjoyment of society's
material and intellectual wealth. Equality in worth and dignity
for everyone in society.
Communist society is not a dream or utopia. All the conditions
for the formation of such a society have already created within
the capitalist world itself. The scientific, technological and
productive powers of humanity have already grown so enormously
that founding a society committed to the well-being of all is
perfectly feasible. The spectacular advances in communication and
information technology during the last two decades have meant
that the organization of a world community with collective
participation in the design, planning and execution of society's
diverse functions is possible more than ever before. A large part
of these resources is now either wasted in different ways or is
even deliberately used to hinder efforts to improve society and
satisfy human needs. But for all the immensity of society's
material resources, the backbone of communist society is the
creative and living power of billions of men and women beings
freed from class bondage, wage-slavery, intellectual slavery,
alienation and degradation. The free human being is the guarantee
for the realization of communist society.
Communist society is not a utopia. It is the goal and result
of the struggle of an immense social class against capitalism; a
living, real and ongoing struggle that is as old as bourgeois
society itself. Capitalism itself has created the great social
force that can materialise this liberating prospect. The
staggering power of capital on a global scale is a reflection of
the power of a world working class. Unlike other oppressed
classes in the history of human society, the working class cannot
set itself free without freeing the whole of humanity. Communist
society is the product of workers' revolution to put an end to
the system of wage-slavery; a social revolution which inevitably
transforms the entire foundation of the production relations.
Proletarian revolution and workers' state
The exponents and ideologues of the bourgeoisie accuse Marxism
and worker-communism of advocating force and violence to achieve
their social objectives. The truth, however, is that it is the
bourgeois system itself that is founded on organised violence;
violence against people, against their bodies and minds, against
their thoughts and emotions, against their hopes and aspirations
and against their struggle to improve their lives and the world
they live in.
The wage-labour system, that is the daily compulsion of the
great majority of people to sell their physical and intellectual
abilities to others in order to make a living, is the source and
essence of the violence which is inherent of this system. This
naked violence has many direct victims: Women, workers, children,
the aged, people of the poorer regions of the world, anyone who
asks for their rights and stands up to any oppression, and anyone
who has been branded as belonging to this or that 'minority'. In
this system, thanks essentially to the rivalry of capitals and
economic blocs, war and genocide have assumed staggering
proportions. The technology of war and mass destruction is far
more advanced than the technology used in production of goods.
The bourgeoisie's global arsenal can annihilate the world several
times over. This is the system that has actually used horrendous
nuclear and chemical weapons against people. Bourgeois society
can also take pride in its remarkable advances in turning crime,
murder, abuse and rape into a routine fact of life in this
Can such a system be swept out of the way of human liberation
and a permanent end to violence without the working people
resorting to force? Nowhere in communist theory is use of force
viewed as a necessary component of workers' revolution. But
anyone with even the slightest grasp of the realities of this
society would admit that the ruling class will never peacefully
stand aside and bow to the will of the overwhelming majority to
change the system. If protection of the day to day business and
interest of the bourgeoisie is the job of the state, defending
the existence of capitalism and bourgeois property is its very
essence. If demands for higher wages and free speech incur the
wrath of the state, police and the military, one can imagine the
kind of resistance that will be put up to the attempt to
expropriate the bourgeoisie politically and economically.
Violence by the bourgeoisie and its state against workers'
revolution, against the will of the overwhelming majority of
people who, with the working class in their lead, rise to set up
a new society is practically inevitable.
Workers' revolution must bring down the bourgeois state.
Bourgeois resistance against the revolution, and particularly
against the attempt to turn the means of production into common
ownership, will continue even after bourgeois state power has
been dismantled. Therefore it is crucial to establish a workers'
state that could breaks this resistance and enforce the will of
the revolution. Like any other state, workers' state does not
stand above society and classes. It is a class rule. But this
state, which accordingly in Marxist theory has been called a
dictatorship of the proletariat, is the rule of the exploited
majority to dictate to the exploiting classes the decree of human
freedom and equality and defeat their attempts and intrigues. In
its form, workers' state is a free state which organises the
direct decisions and will of the masses of the working people
themselves. By its nature, workers' state is a transient state
withers away as soon as the aims of the revolution have been
The communist party
A critical requirement for the progress and victory of workers'
social revolution is the formation of worker- communist parties
that put such a perspective before the working class and mobilise
and lead the forces of the class in this struggle. These parties
should be formed in different countries, as organizations uniting
above all the most conscious and active leaders of workers'
struggles. Capitalism is a world system, the working class is a
world class, workers' conflict with the bourgeoisie is a daily
struggle on a global scale, and socialism is an alternative that
the working class presents to the whole of humanity. The worker-
socialist movement must also be organised on a global scale. The
building of a worker-communist International, as the body uniting
and leading the workers' global struggle for socialism, is an
urgent task of the various sections of the worker-communist
movement and worker-communist parties around the world.
and the communist International of the working class
<- ^ ->
A Better World - Part One - 4
Worker Communism and Bourgeois Communism
For much of the twentieth century, Marxism and communism have
enjoyed an enormous prestige within different protest and reform
movements worldwide. The universality and depth of Marx's
critical thinking, Marxism's profound humanity and
egalitarianism, and the worker-communist movement's practical
influence - particularly as a result of the workers' revolution
in Russia in 1917 which turned communism into the hope of
hundreds of millions of workers throughout the world - had the
result that many non-worker and even non-socialist movements
during the twentieth century began labelling themselves as
communist and Marxist. Most of these movements had very little in
common with the basic principles of communism and Marxism, and,
in reality, only desired certain reforms and moderations within
the framework of the capitalist system.
Communism was the name adopted by the worker socialist
movement in the nineteenth century to distinguish itself from the
non-revolutionary, and even reactionary, socialism of the other
classes. But in the twentieth century even this name was abused
by other movements and classes, to the extent that it lost its
distinctive meaning. Under the general name of communism, there
emerged all shades of social tendencies which neither in their
outlook, nor in their programme, nor in their social and class
origins, were related to workers' communism and Marxism.
Offshoots of this non-worker communism, and foremost among them
the bourgeois communism of the Soviet bloc, practically turned
into the official mainstream of communism throughout much of the
twentieth century. Worker- communism was driven to the
The most important bourgeois-communist tendency in the
twentieth century emerged in the Soviet Union following the
derailment and final defeat of the workers' revolution. With the
October 1917 revolution, the worker-communist movement, led by
the Bolsheviks, succeeded to smash the state power of the ruling
classes, set up a workers' rule and even defeat the outright
military efforts of the defeated reaction to restore its lost
power. But despite this political victory, the Russian working
class ultimately failed to transform the production relations,
i.e. abolish the wage-labour system and turn the means of
production into common ownership. In the mid- 1920s, against a
backdrop of severe economic strains following the war and
revolution, and in the absence of a clear perspective for the
socialist transformation of the economic relations, nationalism
came to dominate the politics and economic programme of the
Russian workers' party and movement. What took place in the
Stalin era was not the construction of socialism but the
reconstruction of the capitalist national economy according to a
state-ist and managed model. Instead of the ideal of common and
collective ownership, state ownership of the means of production
was established. Wages, money and the wage-labour system all
remained. The failure of the Russian working class to
revolutionise the economic relations led to the defeat of the
workers' revolution as a whole. Workers' state was replaced by a
new bourgeois state with a massive bureaucracy and military
apparatus based on a state- capitalist economy.
This state model became the economic blueprint of a so-called
communist pole, entering the world stage following the derailment
of the October workers' revolution. The whole 'socialism' of
bourgeois communism in the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc
consisted of economic state-ism, replacement of the market
mechanism by planning and administrative decisions,
redistribution of wealth and a minimum level of public welfare
and social services.
But the Soviet Union was not the only source of bourgeois
communism in this century. In Western Europe, offshoots of non-
worker communism sprang into existence which, while sharing
fundamental elements with the economic outlook of the communism
of the Eastern bloc, namely substitution of economic state-ism
for socialism, and preservation of the wage-labour system,
criticised the Soviet experience and held their distance from it
from democratic, nationalist, humanist and modernist standpoints.
Western Marxism, Eurocommunism, the New Left and the different
branches of Trotskyism were among the prominent tendencies of
non-worker communism in Western Europe. In the less developed
countries and former colonies, nationalism and anti-colonial
leanings of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie, and in some
cases peasant movements, formed the stuff of a new kind of 'Third
Worldist' communism. The content of this communism was economic
independence, industrialization, rapid development of the
national economy according to a state-driven and planned model,
an end to the open political domination of imperialist powers,
and at times even the revival of archaic local traditions and
cultural legacies in opposition to modernism and Western culture.
The archetype of Third Worldist communism was Maoism and Chinese
Communism which deeply influenced the views and politics of so-
called communist groups in the less developed countries.
A consequence of the rise of the different strands of non-
worker communism in the twentieth century was the serious
isolation and setback of worker-communism and Marxism. In the
first place, the basic ideas of worker-socialism and different
aspects of Marxist theory were seriously revised and
misinterpreted to fit the non-socialist and non-worker nature of
these movements themselves, and this distorted picture was
presented and perceived on a global scale as Marxism and
communism. Secondly, the social and class base of twentieth
century communism was shifted from the working class into a wide
spectrum of non-worker social layers. In Western Europe and
industrialised countries, intellectuals, students, academics and
the reformist sections of the bourgeoisie itself made up the main
social milieus for the growth and political action of the
communist forces. In the so-called Third World countries, besides
these groups, poor peasants, disgruntled petty-bourgeois, and
most of all a nationalist bourgeoisie yearning for national
economic development and industrialization made up the social
basis of non-worker communism.
In the absence of an influential worker-communist tradition,
the working class for decades lacked a strong independent
political presence internationally. In Western Europe and the USA
and some countries of Latin America, workers wound up in the
hands of unionism and parties of the left wing of the ruling
class itself, particularly Social-Democracy, to such an extent
that these came to be perceived by the general public and a large
section of the workers themselves as the natural and self-evident
organizations of the labour movement. In the Soviet Union and the
Eastern bloc, for small concessions at the workplace, the working
class was atomised and stripped off political rights. In the
majority of the more backward countries, even the mere idea of
building workers' parties and associations remained a suppressed
The main strands of bourgeois communism reached a dead-end,
one after the other, in the last few decades. The last episode
was the spectacular disintegration of the Soviet Union and the
Eastern bloc at the end of the '80s and in the early '90s -
something the bourgeoisie euphorically called the 'end of
But despite the anti-communist climate of the initial years of
the '90s and the bourgeoisie's deafening cries of 'the fall of
communism', and despite the enormous hardship that descended on
hundreds of millions of people throughout the world following the
collapse of the Eastern bloc, current trends point to an opening
for worker-communism to retake the political centre-stage,
particularly in the industrially advanced countries. A basic
requirement for such a development is a vigorous political and
theoretical confrontation with the various trends of bourgeois
communism which will re-emerge in different forms with the
progress of the workers' movement and growing influence of
Marxism and worker-communism.
<- ^ ->
A Better World - Part One - 5
Revolution and Reform
The immediate aim of the worker-communist party is to organise
the social revolution of the working class. A revolution that
overthrows the entire exploitative capitalist relations and puts
an end to all exploitations and hardships. Our programme is for
the immediate establishment of a communist society; a society
without classes, without private ownership of the means of
production, without wage labour and without a state; a free human
society in which all share in the social wealth and collectively
decide the society's direction and future. Communist society is
possible this very day.
But the great workers' revolution that must bring about this
free society does not happen just upon the will of the worker-
communist party. This is a vast social and class movement that
has to be organised in different aspects and forms. All kinds of
barriers must be swept out of its way. This work is the raison
d'etre and the very substance of the daily activity of
the-worker-communist party. But while the struggle for the
organization of workers' revolution is going on, everyday
billions of people are struggling to eke out a living under
capitalism. The revolutionary struggle to build a new world is
inseparable from the daily effort to improve the living
conditions of the working humanity in this same world.
Worker-communism does not find organizing a revolution against
this system incompatible with the struggle to impose on
capitalism the most far-reaching reforms. On the contrary, it
sees its presence in both fronts as the vital condition of final
victory. Workers' revolution is not a revolution out of
desperation or poverty. It is a revolution relying on the
consciousness and material and moral readiness of the working
class. The wider the extent of political freedoms, economic
security and social dignity of the working class and people in
general and the more progressive the political, welfare and civil
standards that have been imposed on bourgeois society by workers'
and progressive struggles, the more prepared will be the
conditions for workers' revolution, and the more decisive and
sweeping the victory of this revolution. The worker- communist
movement stands in the forefront of every struggle to improve the
social conditions and standards in favour of people.
What distinguishes worker-communism in the struggle for
reforms from reformist movements and organizations - both
working-class and non-working class - is above all that, firstly,
worker-communists always stress the fact that complete freedom
and equality cannot be achieved through reforms. Even the most
profound economic and political reforms, by definition, leave the
hateful foundations of the existing system, namely private
property, class divisions and the wage-labour system, untouched.
Besides, as the whole history of capitalism and actual experience
in different countries show, the bourgeoisie in most cases
violently resists any attempt to push through even the slightest
reforms. Also, what is won is always temporary, vulnerable and
capable of being rolled back. While fighting for reforms,
worker-communism insists on the necessity of social revolution as
the only really viable and liberating working-class
Secondly, while defending even the smallest improvements in
working people's economic, political and cultural life, worker-
communism calls for the widest and most progressive political,
civil and welfare rights. In the struggle for reforms, our
movement does not restrict itself to demanding what the
capitalist class regards as affordable. The profit and loss
accounts of businesses or the so-called interests of the
'national economy' and so on do not condition or restrict our
demands. Our starting point is the indisputable rights of people
in our times. If such rights as the right to health care,
education, economic security, the right to strike, direct and
constant participation of people in political life, equal rights
for women, freedom from religious encroachments, etc., are
inconsistent with business profitability and the interests of
capitalism, then this only goes to prove the need to overthrow
this whole system. This is the fundamental truth that our
movement brings home to the working class and society as a whole
in the fight for reforms. Our purpose in this struggle is not the
creation of a reformed capitalism, a capitalism 'with a human
face', or a 'caring' capitalism. Our aim is to force the existing
system to recognise and abide by the unquestionable rights of the
working people. The rights and demands which the bourgeoisie
finds incompatible with its survival, the working class is
prepared to enforce this very day and in the most comprehensive
<- ^ ->
A Better World
Programme of the Worker-communist
The worker-communist party struggles for the complete victory
of the social revolution of the working class and the
introduction of workers' communist programme in its entirety. The
worker-communist party believes that advances of human society so
far in economy, science, technology and standards of civil life
have already created the material conditions necessary to set up
a free society without classes, exploitation and oppression, i.e.
a world socialist community, and that the working class on taking
political power must introduce its communist programme.
At the same time, as long as and where-ever capitalism
prevails the-worker-communist party also struggles for the most
profound and far-reaching political, economic, social and
cultural reforms that raise the living standard of people and
their political and civil rights to the highest possible level.
These reforms, as well as the strength and unity gained in the
struggle for their realisation, will make it easier for the
working people to deliver the final blow to the capitalist
Part Two of the Programme contains the main immediate demands
raised by the worker-communist party in workers' ongoing
struggles to impose reforms on the existing system. Though, by
the standards of even the most advanced capitalist countries
today, the following demands and norms appear radical and ideal,
in fact they only represent a very small fraction of rights and
freedoms that will be realised in full in a communist
There is no doubt that even the slightest improvement in the
life of the people in Iran today and the realization of the most
elementary rights and liberties require bringing down the inhuman
and reactionary Islamic Republic regime. The overthrow of this
regime is an urgent task of workers' revolution in Iran. The
worker-communist party struggles for the overthrow of the Islamic
Republic and the immediate establishment of workers' state. The
workers' rule will not only ensure the immediate introduction of
the norms outlined in this section of the Programme as the most
basic rights of the people in Iran but will also, by implementing
the whole of its communist programme, prepare the conditions for
real and complete liberation and equality.
<- ^ ->
A Better World - Part Two - 1
General Principle and Framework
1. Establishment of a political structure based on people's
direct and permanent participation in political power.
2. Establishment of far-reaching, unconditional, guaranteed
and equal political and civil rights and liberties for all.
Abolition of any kind of discrimination according to sex,
ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, race, religion, age, and so
3. Introduction of such general economic and welfare norms, as
well as a progressive labour law, that impose the highest
standard of living, welfare and economic security for people on
the existing capitalist system.
4. Legislation of laws and measures to radically and swiftly
push aside reactionary, discriminatory and degrading beliefs,
customs and traditions and help the development of a free and
open culture, values and human relations.
5. Introduction of laws and policies which turn Iran into a
source of support for progressive struggles, progressive social
values and relations, and workers' and socialist struggles around
The above general principles to be implemented at once through
the following measures:
<- ^ ->
A Better World - Part Two - 2
The Structure and Organs of Political Power
Our times more than any other have brought to full view the real
disenfranchisement of the people and the formal nature of their
participation in political power under liberal and parliamentary
democracies. A society that is to ensure wide popular
participation in government and in the legislative and executive
process cannot be based on parliament and on the system of
delegatory democracy. Exercise of power at various levels, from
the local up to the national level, has to be carried out by
people's own councils, acting as both legislative and executive.
The supreme ruling organ will be the national congress of
representatives of people's councils. All persons over the age of
16 are recognised as vote-carrying members of their local council
and have the right to run for all positions in the local council
or for representation to higher councils.
Dissolution of the army
The army and professional armed forces in the existing society
are but the armed mercenary bands of the ruling class, organised
at the expense of the working people to keep them under
subjugation and to protect the economic interests and the home
market of one country's bourgeoisie against another. Despite the
fact that the ruling class tries to conceal the class nature and
the real function of its army under various covers, portraying it
as a public organ created to serve society as a whole, the
intimate connection of armies with ruling classes, and their role
in protecting the interests of the masters of society is clear to
the majority of people - and this not only in Asian, African and
Latin American countries, where the repressive role of the army
and police has been blatantly obvious, but also in Europe and
North America, where the myth of an apolitical military has
The Worker-communist Party stands for the dissolution of the
army and professional armed forces.
The army, Pasdaran (Islamic guards) and other professional
armed forces, as well as all secret military, security and
espionage organisations should be dissolved.
A militia force of people's councils, based on universal
military education and universal participation in security and
defence duties, replaces the professional army that stands
separate from and above the people.
In addition, the party believes that the following principles
must be applied in any case and under all circumstances, whilst
armed forces exist:
Repealing the practice of unquestioning obedience in the armed
forces. All military personnel have the right to refuse to carry
out orders which they regard as being in conflict with the laws
of the country or which contradict their own conscience and
Every person has the right to refuse to take part in war or in
any military activity that is incompatible with his/her
principles and beliefs.
Members of law-enforcement agencies must always wear their
uniforms on duty and bear their weapons unconcealed. Formation of
armed forces without uniform or conducting of missions as armed
police in civilian clothes is forbidden. It is the right of every
citizen to have knowledge of the presence of armed
law-enforcement forces in her community and vicinity (workplaces,
residential areas, roads, etc.).
Members of the military have the right to take part in
political activities and join political parties. Political
parties, trade unions and other organisations have freedom of
activity inside military forces.
Abolition of unelected bureaucracy.
All political and administrative organs and posts in the country
are to be elective and revocable whenever the majority of the
electors so decide. Persons elected to such posts should receive
salaries not higher than the average wage of workers. Direct
supervision by people, through their councils, of the activities
of all administrative bodies. Simplification of the hierarchy,
language and working procedures of state bureaus in order to make
people's intervention in them and their control a simple task.
Direct popular participation in administration
Enhancement of work ethics and respect for citizens and
clients in the public service. Any abuse of position of authority
by officials, bribery, nepotism, discrimination, deviation from
legally defined rules and procedures, or failure to carry out the
provisions of law etc., should result in prosecution in common
courts as major offences. Strict prohibition of the use of
facilities and resources of public office for private
Unconditional right of individuals to sue any state official
in common courts.
An independent judiciary. Legal justice for all
The judicial system and the concept of legal justice in every
society are a reflection of the social relations and the economic
and political foundations of that society. The judicial sphere -
from the corpus of laws and the prevailing interpretation of
right, fairness and justice, to the institutions, administration
and procedures of judicial power - is part of society's political
superstructure that protects the existing economic and class
foundations. Thus, genuine legal justice and its equal
application to all, and a truly independent and fair
administration of justice, require a fundamental refashioning of
the existing class society.
As a step towards this goal, and to ensure the most equitable
judicial practice possible in the existing society, the Worker-
communist Party calls for the immediate implementation of the
following basic principles:
1 - Complete legal independence of judges, courts and the
judicial system from the executive.
2 - Judges and other judicial authorities to be elective by
people, and revocable whenever the majority of the electorate so
3 - Abolition of special courts; all trials to take place in
4 - All trials to be open and public. Trial by jury in all
major criminal offences. The right of the accused and their
lawyers to accept or reject judges or members of the jury.
5 - In all trials, the accused is presumed innocent until
proven guilty, and the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor
or the plaintiff.
6 - The country's judicial principles and the rights of the
individual before the judicial system are described in more
detail in later sections of the Programme.
<- ^ ->
A Better World - Part Two - 3
Individual and Civil Rights and Liberties
Bourgeois apologists claim that respect for individual and civil
rights is a hallmark and a linchpin of their system. The truth is
that out of the five billion or more people who live under the
rule of capital today, only a fraction, and that only in a
handful of countries, can be said to enjoy any sort of stipulated
and fairly stable individual and civil rights. The lot of the
overwhelming majority of people in the capitalist world is a more
or less absolute lack of political rights, despotic regimes and
organised state terrorism and violence. But even in the
industrialised countries of Western Europe and North America
these rights are merely a fraction of rights and liberties that
people demand and deserve today. Moreover, the economic
subjugation of working people by capital and the direct relation
that exists between civil rights, on the one hand, and property,
on the other, make these rights devoid of any real or serious
meaning. Besides, the experience of people in these countries
during times of economic crisis clearly shows that the survival
of even these nominal rights directly corresponds to the economic
circumstances of the capitalist class, and that they readily come
under attack whenever they have got in the way of profitability
and accumulation of capital.
Genuine individual and civil liberties can only be realised in
a society that is itself free. By eliminating class and economic
subjugation, workers' communist revolution will open the way for
the most far-reaching freedoms and opportunities for the
individual's self-expression in the various domains of life.
At the same time, the worker-communist party struggles for the
realisation and protection of the widest individual and civil
rights in the present society. These undeniable and inviolable
rights, in their outlines, are as follows:
1 - The right to live. Immunity of body and mind against any
2 - The right to a livelihood. The right to the necessaries of
a normal life in the present-day society.
3 - The right to leisure, recreation, rest and relaxation.
4 - The right to education. The right to enjoy all the
educational resources available to society.
5 - The right to health. The right to enjoy all the existing
facilities for protection against injury and disease. The right
to enjoy all health care and medical facilities available to
6 - The right to individual independence. Prohibition of
enslavement and forced labour under any guise or
7 - The right to socialise and have a social life. Prohibition
of segregation of people from the social environment and denying
them opportunity of association with others.
8 - The right to seek and know the truth about all areas of
social life. Prohibition of censorship and control by the state
or media magnates and managers over the information made
available to the public.
9 - The right to enjoy a healthy and safe environment. The
right of people and their representatives to monitor and control
the effects on the environment of the activities of the state and
10 - Unconditional freedom of belief, expression, assembly,
press, demonstration, strike. Unconditional freedom of
organisation and of formation of political parties.
11 - Full and unconditional freedom of criticism. The right to
criticise all political, cultural, ethical, and ideological
aspects of society. Any invocation of national, patriotic,
religious and other 'sanctities' to restrict the freedom of
criticism and expression is to be prohibited and declared
illegal. Prohibition of religious, patriotic, nationalistic, and
other forms of intimidation aiming to suppress free expression of
12 - Freedom of religion and atheism.
13 - Universal and equal suffrage for everyone over the age of
16, regardless of sex, religion, ethnicity, nationality,
occupation, citizenship, creed or political belief. The right of
every person over 16 to run for any representative body and to
hold any elected position or office.
14 - Prohibition of inquisition. The right of every person to
refuse to testify against themselves to avoid self-
incrimination. The right to remain silent about one's personal
views and beliefs.
15 - Unconditional right to choose one's place of residence.
Freedom of travel and movement for everyone over 16, man or
woman. Prohibition of any form of permanent control of movement
within the country by the state or law-enforcement authorities.
Abolition of any restrictions on exit from the country. Immediate
and unconditional issuing of passport and travel document on
16 - Prohibition of imposing any restriction on the entry and
exit of citizens of other countries. Granting of citizenship to
any applicant who accepts the legal obligations of citizenship.
Unconditional issuing of residence and work permits to applicants
of residence in Iran.
17 - Inviobality of people's privacy. Inviolability of the
person's home, correspondence and conversation and its protection
against any form of intrusion by any authority. Prohibition of
bugging, pursuit and surveillance. Prohibition of collecting
information on people without their express permission. The right
of all to obtain and study all the information that state
authorities have on them.
18 - Freedom in choice of employment.
19 - Unconditional freedom in choice of clothing. Abolition of
any official or implied requirements on the amount or type of
clothing that men or women should wear in public. Prohibition of
any form of discrimination or restrictions on the basis of
people's clothing and appearance.
20 - The right of people's elected representatives to check
and monitor the activities, documents and offices of the state.
Prohibition of secret diplomacy.
<- ^ ->
A Better World - Part Two - 4
Equality and Elimination of Discrimination
Human equality is a central concept in worker-communism and a
basic principle of the free socialist society that must be
founded with the abolition of the class, exploitative and
discriminatory system of capitalism. Communist equality is a
concept much wider than mere equality before the law. Communist
equality is the real equality of all people in economic, social
and political domains. Equality not only in political rights but
also in the enjoyment of material resources and the products of
humanity's collective effort; equality in social status and
economic relations; equality not only before the law but in the
relations of people with each other. Communist equality, which is
at the same time the necessary condition for the development of
people's different abilities and talents and for society's
material and intellectual vitality, can only be realised by
ending the division of people into classes. Class society by
definition cannot be an equal and free society.
Our struggle for equality and elimination of discrimination in
the existing capitalist societies is an integral part of our
wider and basic struggle to advance the social revolution and set
up an equal and free communist society. Our party stands in the
front line of every social struggle against discrimination and
inequality and believes that equal rights and the equal
application of laws to all, irrespective of sex, nationality,
religion, race, belief, creed, employment, status, citizenship,
etc., must be proclaimed as the inviolable cardinal principle
behind all law. Any law and regulation that is in violation of
this principle must be immediately repealed, and all cases of
discrimination by any individual, authority or institution, state
or private, should come under criminal investigation.
Equality of women and men.
Discrimination against women is a hallmark of the world today. In
the major part of the world, woman is officially and legally
denied even the meagre rights recognised for men. In the
economically backward countries and where religion and old
traditions have a stronger hold on society's political,
administrative and cultural structure, oppression of women takes
the grossest and most outrageous forms. In advanced countries,
and even in societies where, thanks to women's rights movements
and worker-socialist struggles, sexual discrimination has
apparently disappeared from the text of most laws, woman is still
in many respects in practice discriminated against through the
mechanisms of the capitalist economy and the existing
male-chauvinistic traditions and beliefs.
Prohibition of discrimination according to sex
In itself, woman's oppression is not an invention of
capitalism. However, capitalism has developed this detestable
legacy of history into a cornerstone of contemporary economic and
social relations. The roots of women's inequality today are to be
found not in the archaic beliefs and intellectual and cultural
heritage of extinct societies, or in the ideas of the prophets
and religions of the Dark Ages, but in the industrial and modern
capitalist society of today; in a system that views the sexual
division in the production process as an important economic and
political factor in ensuring the profitability of capital.
Creating labour flexibility in hiring and firing, introducing
divisions, competition and frictions among workers, ensuring the
existence of more disadvantaged sections within the working class
itself as a way of pushing down the living standard of the whole
class, distorting the human and class self-consciousness of the
working people and revamping archaic and worn-out prejudices -
these are the blessings of women's oppression for modern
contemporary capitalism and pillars of capitalist accumulation
today. Irrespective of whether or not capitalism intrinsically
and as such is compatible with women's equality, the capitalism
of the end of the 20th century specifically has based itself on
this inequality and will not back off without stiff and violent
The worker-communist party struggles for the full and
unconditional equality of women and men. The major laws and
measures that must be introduced at once in order to begin the
elimination of discrimination against women are as follows:
1. Declaration of the full and unconditional equality of
rights of women and men the immediate repealing of all laws and
regulations that violate this principle.
2. Immediate measures to ensure complete equality for women
and men in participation in the political life. Women's
unconditional right to take part in elections at all levels and
to hold any position and office - political, administrative,
judicial, and so on. Repealing of any law and regulation that
restricts the right of women to participate equally in politics
3. Full equal rights and status for women and men in the
family. Abolition of man's privileges as the so-called 'head of
the household', and laying down of equal rights and obligations
for woman and man regarding the care and upbringing of children,
control and running of family's finances, inheritance, choice of
residence, housework, professional employment, divorce, and, in
case of separation, custody of children and division of, and
claims to, the family's property. Prohibition of the Ta'addod
Zowjat (Islamic right of multiple marriages for men). Prohibition
of Seegheh (Islamic rent-a-wife). Abolition of all the slavish
obligations of the wife towards the husband under Islamic laws
and ancient traditions. Prohibition for the husband to have sex
with his wife without her consent, even without use of violence.
Such cases, upon the woman's pressing charges, should be
prosecuted as rape. Prohibition of imposing housework or
specifically housekeeping duties on the woman in the family.
Imposition of severe penalties on abuse, intimidation,
restriction of freedom, degradation and violent treatment of
women and girls in the family.
4. Complete equality of women and men in economic life and
employment. Equal application of labour and social security laws
to women and men. Equal wage for similar work for men and women.
Abolition of any restrictions on the kind of employment available
to women. Full equality of women and men in all matters relating
to wages, insurance, holidays, working hours, work shifts, job
assignments, job grading, promotions and worker representation at
various levels. Implementation of special rules and standards at
enterprises to allow women to have secure employment and
professional carriers, such as prohibition of laying off pregnant
women, prohibition of assigning heavy work to pregnant women, and
the provision at the workplace of special facilities needed by
women. 16 weeks' maternity leave and one year's leave for child
care. The latter to be used by both woman and man by their own
agreement. Formation of inspection and supervisory councils to
monitor compliance of enterprises with these regulations.
Formation of equal opportunities tribunals with powers to rule
on women's equality in employment and workplace, state or
private, commercial or non-commercial. Prosecution and heavy
punishment of establishments that infringe the principle of
absolute equality of women and men in employment.
Free locally-available centres and facilities such as day-care
centres, nurseries and children's clubs which, given the
disproportionate burden of housework and child care on women as
things are today, would facilitate the entry of women into
various fields of activity outside the home.
5. Abolition of all restrictive and backward cultural and
moral codes and customs which hinder and contradict woman's
independence and free will as an equal citizen. Abolition of any
restriction on the right of woman - single or married - to travel
and choose place of residence at will, whether inside or outside
the country. Abolition of all laws and regulations which restrict
woman's right in choice of clothing, employment and social
intercourse. Prohibition of any form of segregation of women and
men in public places, establishments, assemblies, meetings and
public transport. Mixed education at all levels. Prohibition of
use in official correspondence and discourse by state or private
authorities and establishments of such titles as Miss, Mrs,
sister or any other appellations that define woman by her
position vis-?-vis man. Prohibition of interference by any
authority, family members or relatives, or official authorities
in the private lives of women and their personal, emotional and
sexual relationships. Prohibition of any form of degrading,
male-chauvinistic, patriarchal and unequal treatment of women in
public institutions. Prohibition of reference to gender in job
adverts. Elimination of any prejudiced and degrading references
to women from text books and educational material, and inclusion,
instead, of special courses and teaching material on the issue of
women's equality. Formation of supervisory boards and special
law- enforcement departments to deal with cases of harassment and
discrimination against women.
6. Direct action by relevant state authorities to fight male-
chauvinistic and anti-woman culture in society. Support and
encouragement to non-government women's rights groups.
Equal rights for all residents of the country
1 - Full unconditional equality of all residents of Iran,
regardless of citizenship, in all legal rights and duties,
whether individual, civil, political, social or welfare rights.
irrespective of citizenship
2 - Equal application of labour and social welfare laws to all
workers irrespective of citizenship.
3 - Issuing of entry, residence and work permits, insurance
cards, etc. to all applicants of residence in Iran.
Prohibition of racial discrimination
The worker-communist party struggles resolutely against racism
and any form of racial prejudice. Not only should the laws of the
country explicitly prohibit discrimination according to race, but
emphatic opposition to racial discrimination around the world
should be a permanent part of foreign policy.
Elimination of national oppression
The worker-communist party stands for the complete end to
national oppression and to all forms of national discrimination
in the laws of the country and government policies. The party
regards nationalism, national identity and national pride as very
backward and harmful notions that negate the universal human
identity of people and stifle the cause of equality and freedom.
The party is strictly opposed to any categorisation of the
population according to nationality and any definition of
national identity for people. It stands for setting up a system
in which all residents, irrespective of nationality, have equal
rights as members of the society, and where no discrimination,
negative or positive, is exercised on the basis of nationality.
As a general principle, the worker-communist party stands for
people of different national origins to live as free citizens
with equal rights within larger national entities. This
strengthens workers' ranks in the class struggle. Nevertheless,
in cases where a history of national oppression and strife has
made coexistence within existing states difficult, the party
recognises the right of oppressed nationalities, if they so
choose in a direct and free referendum, to secede and form
The Kurdish question
In view of the long history of national oppression against the
Kurdish people in all the countries of the region, and the bloody
suppression of protest movements and struggles for autonomy in
Iranian Kurdistan under both the Shah's regime and the Islamic
regime, the worker-communist party, in principle, recognises
Kurdish people's right to separate from Iran and form an
independent state through a free referendum. The party strongly
condemns any violent and military actions to prevent the exercise
of this free choice. The worker-communist party calls for
immediate resolution of the Kurdish question in Iran by means of
a free referendum in the Kurd-inhabited regions of western Iran
under the supervision of recognised international bodies. Such a
referendum should be held after the withdrawal of the central
government's military forces and a period of free activity for
all the political parties in Kurdistan to inform people of their
programmes, positions and views.
As a rule, the worker-communist party will, at any point in
time, favour Kurdistan's secession only if it is strongly
probable that such a path would provide the working people in
Kurdistan with more progressive civil rights and a fairer and
more secure economic and social environment. The official
position of the party will therefore be decided in accordance
with the interests of the working class as a whole and of the
working people in Kurdistan specifically, after a concrete
appraisal of the situation at the time.
The worker-communist party regards the idea of Kurdish
autonomy called for by the nationalist forces in Kurdistan not as
a step forward but rather as a recipe for perpetuating Kurdish
and-non-Kurdish national identities within a single national
framework. National autonomy is bound to eternalise and
officially legitimise national divisions, and set the stage for
the continuation of national conflicts in the years to come.
The worker-communist party considers as invalid and illegal
any settlement of the political future of Kurdistan, be it a
unilateral decision of the government or result of deals between
the central government and local parties, introduced without the
explicit consent of the people of Kurdistan themselves in an open
and free referendum.
<- ^ ->
A Better World - Part Two - 5
Modern and Progressive Social and Cultural Norms
The political and administrative norms and practices in society
should be modern, secular and progressive. This requires the
complete purging of the state and administration from religion,
ethnicity, nationalism, racialism and any ideology and
institution that contradicts the absolute equality of all in
civil rights and before the law, or stifles freedom of thought,
criticism and scientific enquiry. Religion and nationalism by
nature are discriminatory and reactionary trends and incompatible
with human freedom and progress. Religion specifically, even if
it remains a private affair of the individual, is a barrier to
human emancipation and development.
The establishment of a modern secular state and political
system is merely the first step towards complete emancipation
from religious, national, ethnic, racial and sexual bigotry and
The Worker-communist Party calls for the immediate
implementation of the following:
Religion, nationality and ethnicity
1 - Freedom of religion and atheism. Complete separation of
religion from the state. Omission of all religious and
religiously-inspired notions and references from all laws.
Religion to be declared private affair of the individual.
Removing any reference in laws and in identity cards and official
papers to the person's religion. Prohibition of ascribing people,
individually or collectively, to any ethnic group or religion in
official documents, in the media, and so on.
2 - Complete separation of religion from education.
Prohibition of teaching religious subjects and dogmas or
religious interpretation of subjects in schools and educational
establishments. Any law and regulation that breaches the
principle of secular non-religious education must be immediately
3 - Prohibition of any kind of financial, material or moral
support by the state or state institutions to religion and
religious activities, institutions and sects. The state to have
the duty to eradicate religion from the various spheres of social
life by informational means and by raising the public's level of
education and scientific knowledge. Omission of any kind of
reference in the official calendar to religious occasions and
4 - Prohibition of violent and inhuman religious ceremonies.
Prohibition of any form of religious activity, ceremony or ritual
that is incompatible with people's civil rights and liberties and
the principle of the equality of all. Prohibition of any form of
religious manifestation that disturbs people's peace and
security. Prohibition of any form of religious ceremony or
conduct that is incompatible with the laws and regulations
regarding health, hygiene, environment and prevention of cruelty
5 - Protection of children and persons under 16 from all forms
of material and spiritual manipulation by religions and religious
institutions. Prohibition of attracting persons under 16 to
religious sects or religious ceremonies and locations.
6 - All religious denominations and sects to be officially
registered as private enterprises. Subjection of religious
establishments to enterprise laws and regulations. Auditing, by
legal authorities, of the books and accounts and transactions of
religious bodies. Subjection of these institutions to the tax
laws which apply to other business enterprises.
7 - Prohibition of any physical or psychological coercion for
acceptance of religion.
8 - Prohibition of religious, ethnic, traditional, local, etc.
customs that infringe on people's rights, equality and freedom,
their enjoyment of the civil, cultural, political and economic
rights recognised under the law, and their free participation in
9 - Confiscation and repossession of all property, wealth and
buildings that the religious establishments have acquired by
force or through the state and various foundations under the
Islamic regime. These to be placed in the hands of popularly-
elected bodies for the benefit of the public.
10 - Prohibition of ascribing individuals or groups to a
particular nationality, in public, in the media, in offices, etc.
without their express permission.
11 - Omission of any reference to the person's nationality in
identity cards, official documents, and official business.
12 - Prohibition of incitement of religious, national, ethnic,
racial, or sexual hatred. Prohibition of forming political
organisations which openly and officially proclaim superiority of
one group of people over others on the basis of their
nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, or sex.
Cohabitation, family, marriage and divorce
1 - The right of every couple over 16 to live together by their
own choice. Any form of coercion of individuals by any person or
authority in choice of their partner, in cohabitation (or
marriage) or in separation (or divorce) is prohibited.
2 - Simple registration is sufficient for cohabitation to be
recognised officially and be covered by family laws, if the
parties so wish. Secularization of marriage. Prohibition of
religious rituals and recitals at state ceremonies for
registration of marriage. Holding or not holding special
ceremonies, religious or secular, for marriage has no bearing on
its validity or status before the law.
3 - Prohibition of any form of financial transaction in
marriage, such as fixing a Mehriyye, Shirbaha, Jahizieh (various
cash and kind payments by the two parties), and so on, as terms
and preconditions of marriage.
4 - Prohibition of Ta'addod Zowjat (Islamic right of multiple
marriages for men) and Seegheh (Islamic rent-a-wife).
5 - Equal rights for woman and man in the family, in the
choice of residence, in care and education of children, in
decisions concerning the family's property and finances, and in
all matters concerning cohabitation. Abolition of man's special
status as the head of the household in all laws and regulations,
and equal rights for woman and man in supervision of the family's
6 - Unconditional right of separation (divorce) for woman and
man. Equal rights and obligations for woman and man in the
custody and care of children after separation.
7 - Equal right of partners during separation with respect to
property and resources that have been acquired or used by the
family, during cohabitation.
8 - Abolition of the automatic transfer of father's family
name to children. The decision on the child's surname to be left
to the mutual agreement of the parents. If no agreement is
reached, the child takes the mother's surname. References to
parents' names to be omitted from identity cards and other
official identity documents, such as passport, driving license,
9 - Material and moral support by the state to single parents.
Special support to mothers who have separated or born their
children outside marriage, in the face of economic difficulties
or reactionary cultural and ethical pressures.
10 - Abolition of all anachronistic and reactionary laws and
regulations that treat the sexual relationship of men or women
with persons other than their espouses as a crime.
1 - Every child's right to a happy, secure and creative life.
2 - Society is responsible for ensuring the well-being of
every child irrespective of her family's means and circumstances.
The state is obliged to ensure a uniform, and the highest
possible, standard of welfare and development opportunities for
3 - Allowances and free medical, educational and cultural
services to ensure a high standard of living for children and
youngsters regardless of family circumstances.
4 - Placing all children without a family or familial care
under the guardianship of the state, and providing for their life
and education in modern, caring, progressive and well-equipped
5 - Creation of well-equipped, modern nurseries to ensure that
all children are provided with a creative educational and social
environment regardless of family circumstances.
6 - Equal rights for all children, whether born in or outside
7 - Prohibition of professional employment for children and
youngsters under 16.
8 - Prohibition of abuse of children at home, in school and
the society at large. Strict prohibition of corporal punishment.
Prohibition of subjecting children to psychological pressure and
9 - Decisive legal action against sexual abuse of children.
Sexual abuse of children is deemed a grave crime.
10 - Prosecution and punishment of anyone who in any way and
under any pretext impedes children, whether boys or girls, from
enjoying their civil and social rights, such as education,
recreation, and participation in children's social activities
1 - Free and consensual sexual relationship is the undeniable
right of anyone who has reached the age of consent. The legal age
of consent for both women and men is 15. Sexual relationship of
adults (persons over the age of consent) with under-age persons,
even if it consensual is illegal and the adult party is
prosecuted under the law.
2 - All adults, women or men, are completely free in deciding
over their sexual relationship with other adults. Voluntary
relationship of adults with each other is their private affair
and no person or authority has the right to scrutinise it,
interfere with it or make it public.
3 - Everyone, especially the youth and adolescents, should
receive sexual education, and instruction on contraceptive
methods and safe sex. Sexual education should be a compulsory
part of high school curricula. The state is responsible to
rapidly raise the population's scientific awareness of sexual
matters and the rights of the individual in sexual relationship,
by putting out information, setting up clinics and advisory
services accessible to all concerned, special radio and TV
programmes, and all other effective methods.
4 - Contraceptives and VD prevention devices should be freely
and easily available to all adults.
Few phenomena like abortion, i.e. the deliberate elimination of
the human embryo because of cultural and economic pressures,
display the inherent contempt for human life in the present
system and the incompatibility of existing class society and
exploitative relations with human life and well- being. Abortion
is a testimony to the self-alienation of people and their
vulnerability in the face of the deprivations and hardships that
the existing class society imposes on them.
The worker-communist party is against the act of abortion. The
party fights for the creation of a society where no pressures or
circumstances would drive people to performing or accepting this
At the same time, as long as the adverse social circumstances
do drive a large number of women to resorting to backstreet
abortions, the worker-communist party in order to prevent abuse
by profiteers and ensure protection of women's health calls for
the introduction of the following measures:
1 - Legalization of abortion up to
the twelfth week of pregnancy.
2 - Abortion after the twelfth week to be legally permitted if
there is danger to the health of the mother (until that time when
Caesarean section and the saving of the foetus is possible given
the latest medical expertise). Such cases to be ascertained by
the competent medical authorities.
3 - Wide and freely available facilities for pregnancy tests.
Instruction of people in their use to ensure quick detection of
4 - Free abortion and free post-abortion care in licensed
clinics by gynaecologists.
5 - The decision whether to have or not to have an abortion
rests with the woman alone. The state has the duty, however, to
inform her before her final decision, of the dissuasive arguments
and recommendations of the scientific authorities and social
counsellors as well as of the financial, material and moral
commitments of the state to her and her child.
6 - To reduce the number of abortions, the worker-communist
party also calls for the introduction of the following urgent
measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to free women from
economic, cultural and moral pressures.
7 - Broad sexual education of people on contraceptives and on
the importance of the issue. Widely accessible advisory
8 - Wide and free access to contraceptives.
9 - Allocation of adequate funding and resources to help the
women who are considering having an abortion because of economic
constraints. The state should stress its duty and readiness to
take care of the child should the mother decide to give birth to
10 - Resolute campaigns against prejudices and moral pressures
that drive women to abortion. Active state support to women
against such pressures, prejudices and intimidations.
11- Campaign against the ignorant, religious, male-
chauvinistic and backward attitudes that hinder the growth of
people's sexual awareness and, specifically, impede women's and
young people's wide use of contraceptives and safe-sex
The fight against drug addiction and drug trafficking
1 - Strict prohibition of sale and purchase of narcotics and the
prosecution and severe sentencing of those responsible for the
illicit production, and trafficking of drugs.
2 - Helping the fight against drug addiction by eliminating
the social and economic grounds that push people to drugs, and
protection of drug addicts from pushers and drug-trafficking
3 - Decriminalization of the life of drug addicts. Helping
drug users off drugs, through:
a - Creation of state clinics that meet the needs of drug
users on the condition that they agree to take part in
b - Legalisation of the possession of some drugs in quantities
needed for personal use. Free hypodermic needles and syringes to
be made available through chemists and clinics to all those who
need them to protect drug users from diseases such as Aids and
Hepatitis and to contain the spread of such diseases.
c - Prohibition of any form of exile, incarceration or
isolation of drug users on the grounds of their addiction. Drug
addiction per se is not a crime.
The fight against prostitution
Active fight against prostitution by eliminating its economic,
social and cultural grounds, and decisive action against
prostitution-organising networks, middlemen and racketeers.
Strict prohibition of organisation of prostitution, dealing,
broking, and profiting by the work of prostitutes.
Decriminalization of the life and work of prostitutes. Helping
prostitutes to regain their social dignity and self-esteem and
freeing their lives from criminal networks and gangs,
1 - Legalising sale of sex by the
individual as self- employment. Extending the protection of laws
and law- enforcement authorities to prostitutes against the mob,
racketeers, extortioners, pimps, etc.
2 - Issuing of work permits to those who work as self-
employed prostitutes. Upholding their honour and prestige as
respectable members of society, and helping them to organise in
their own union.
3 - Free special preventive and therapeutic medical services
to prostitutes to protect them from diseases and injuries
resulting from employment in this profession.
4 - Consistent educational work, encouragement and practical
help by responsible state organs to help prostitutes give up
prostitution and receive vocational training for work in other
Principles of trials
1 - The accused is innocent until proven guilty.
2 - Trials must take place free of provocation and
pre-judgments and under fair conditions. The location of the
trial, the judge and the composition of the jury must be so
determined as to ensure such conditions.
3 - The accused and their counsels have the right to know and
study all the proofs, evidence and witnesses of the prosecution
or the plaintiff prior to the trial.
4 - The verdict of the court is appealable, at least once, by
the accused, the prosecution or by both parties to the
5 - Prohibition of stirring up public preconceptions about the
trial and about the persons involved while the trial is in
6 - Prohibition of trial under circumstances where the
pressure of public opinion has denied or compromised the chance
of an impartial trial.
7 - The testimony of police carries the same weight as that of
8 - Judges and courts must be totally independent of the
process of enquiry and investigation. The legal correctness of
the investigation procedure should be supervised and approved by
9 - In the penal laws, abuse and violation of the person's
body and mind, violence against children, so-called crimes of
passion committed against women, domestic violence, hate crimes
against specific groups of people, and crimes involving violence
and intimidation in general, should be treated as much more
serious offences than violation of property rights and wealth,
both state and private. Vindictive and so-called exemplary
punishments should be replaced by punishments meant to be
corrective and to shield society from the recurrence of the
Rights of the accused and offenders
1 - A person may be held only for a maximum of 24 hours without
being charged. The place of detention should not be a prison but
part of the usual quarters of law-enforcement authorities.
2 - Before the arrest, detainees should be informed of their
3 - Everyone has the right to call in a lawyer or witnesses to
their arrest and interrogation. Everyone has the right to make
two phone calls to their lawyer or relatives, or anyone else they
wish, within the first hour of detention.
4 - The law-enforcement authorities do not have the right,
before charging a person, to take fingerprints or photographs of
the individual or to perform medical checks or DNA tests on the
individual without his/her permission.
5 - Upon arrest, the detainees' next of kin or anyone else
they decide should be immediately notified of their
6 - Acts of torture, intimidation, humiliation or
psychological pressure against detainees, the accused or the
convicted is strictly forbidden and is deemed a serious
7 - Obtaining confession by threat or inducement is
8 - Peaceful resistance to arrest, peaceful attempt to escape
from prison, or evading arrest are not crimes in themselves.
9 - The law-enforcement authorities do not have the right to
question or search people or enter their private premises without
their permission or the authorization of competent judicial
10 - Coroner's office, forensic and technical labs responsible
for the examination of physical evidence, should be independent
of the law-enforcement organs. These institutions work directly
under the judiciary.
11 - The police complaints tribunal should be independent of
the police and law-enforcement authorities. The findings of the
tribunal should be made public.
12 - Files and information kept by law-enforcement bodies on
any individual should be readily accessible to him/her for
13 - Prisoners are covered by the labour law and the general
social welfare and health care laws
14 - Prisons should be administered by institutions
independent of the police and law-enforcement organs and under
the direct supervision of the judiciary.
15 - The right of elected inspectors to visit prisons as they
see fit and without notice.
Abolition of the death penalty
The death penalty must be immediately abolished. Execution or any
form of punishment that involves violation of the body
(mutilation, corporal punishment, etc.) is prohibited under all
circumstances. Life imprisonment must also be abolished.
Respect for the dignity of people
1 - Prohibition of openly or implicitly grading the dignity and
social worth of people on the basis of rank, position, religion,
nationality, citizenship, sex, level of income, appearance,
physical features, education, and so on.
2 - Prohibition of libel and defamation.
3 - Prohibition of performing medical, pharmaceutical or
environmental experiments and tests on individuals without their
knowledge and express consent. Prohibition of any violation of
the person's physical integrity (such as sterilization, removal
or transplantation of organs and limbs, genetic manipulation,
abortion, circumcision, and so on) without the knowledge and
consent of the individual.
4 - Prohibition of the use of academic, religious, state or
military titles and appellations (such as General, Ayatollah,
Doctor, Reverend, and so on) outside the appropriate professional
environment. In official and state communication every person
must be referred to only by his/her first name and surname.
Prohibition of the use of derogatory titles and terms in
describing various social groups, by any authority or instance,
state or private.
5 - Prohibition of designating first and second class, deluxe
and standard, etc. sections in public transport, railways,
airlines, state hotels, leisure centres, holiday resorts, and so
on. Such services must be available to all at a uniform and
highest possible standard
The mass media
Public access to popular press and broadcast media. Creation of
public radio and TV networks and sharing of broadcast time among
the various organisations and associations of people, such as
councils, parties, societies, etc. Total abolition of media
censorship - political or otherwise
National and local languages
Prohibition of a compulsory official language. The state may
designate one of the current languages in the country as the main
language of administration and education, providing that the
speakers of other languages enjoy the necessary facilities in the
political, social and educational life and that everyone's right
to use their mother tongue in all social activities and to enjoy
all public facilities is protected.
Changing the Farsi alphabet
In order to help bridge the gap that separates Iranian society
from the forefronts of scientific, industrial and cultural
progress in the world today, and in order to help people benefit
from the results of this progress and take a more direct and
active part in it, the official Farsi alphabet should be
systematically changed to Latin.
The party also calls for:
1 - English language to be taught from early school age with
the aim of making it a prevalent language of education and
2 - The Western calendar (the official calendar in use
internationally today) to be officially recognised and to be used
in official documents alongside the local calendar.
<- ^ ->
A Better World - Part Two - 6
Labour and Social Welfare Laws
As long as capital dominates human society, as long as people
have to sell their labour power to the owners of means of
production and work for capital in order to make a living, and as
long as the system of wage-labour and the buying and selling of
human labour power survives, no labour law, no matter how many
clauses it contains in favour of workers, will be a truly free
labour law - a workers' labour law. The Workers' true labour law
is the abolition of the wages system and the creation of a
society where all contribute, voluntarily and according to their
abilities, to the production of necessities of life and the
welfare of all, and share in the products of this collective
effort according to their needs.
However, as long as the wage system is in existence, the
worker-communist movement aims to force such conditions upon the
labour relations and labour laws in this system as to ensure the
highest possible degree of welfare and the best working
conditions for workers, and to protect the working class and
people as a whole from the destructive consequences of the
wage-labour system. In this struggle worker-communism also aims
for the introduction of employment practices and standards which
help enhance workers' self-consciousness as a class, their
organisation and their struggle.
The labour and social welfare laws, just like all the rights
and obligations of citizens, must apply to foreign workers and
other foreign residents of the country without exception. The
worker-communist party stands for equal rights for all workers
irrespective of citizenship, nationality, religion, sex, and so
on. The party's main demands regarding labour and social welfare
laws are as follows:
1. Full and unconditional freedom of worker organisation.
2. Complete and unconditional freedom of strike. Strikes do
not need the prior permission of the state or any state
authority. Full payment of wages during the period of strike.
Equal right of access to the media for strikers to put their case
and respond to the claims of the state and employers. Banning
strikes under any pretext such as 'national and patriotic
interests', 'state of emergency', 'war', etc, would be
3. Prohibition of employing strike-breakers or police or army
personnel to replace strikers, in all enterprises, state or
4. Right of workers to stop work while their complaints
regarding actions of the employers and their officials, safety
issues or unforeseen problems in the workplace, are being dealt
5. Freedom of picketing. Freedom for all to join picket lines,
whether or not they are employees of the enterprise
6. Immediate introduction of a maximum 30-hour working week
(five six-hour working days), a 25-hour week in heavy
occupations, and regular reductions in working hours every five
years. Inclusion in the working hours the time spent for lunch
breaks, commuting, taking showers after work, literacy classes,
technical training and general assembly meetings.
7. Two consecutive days off in the week. Weekends to be
changed to Saturday and Sunday [from the present Friday] to
conform to the standard in most countries, especially the
industrially advanced. A minimum 30-day annual vacation. Short
emergency leaves, in addition to the annual holiday, and without
reductions in pay, to attend to unforeseen personal problems. The
opportunity for women workers to take two days off during
8. Prohibition of overtime. Workers' normal pay should be at
such a level that no worker would be forced to do overtime out of
9. First of May to be a public holiday, as the International
10. Eighth of March to be a public holiday, as the
International Women's Day.
11. Prohibition of piece-rate work, such as piecework and
12. A minimum wage set by workers' representatives.
13. Automatic rise in the minimum wage proportional to
14. Determination of the minimum annual rise in wage levels by
collective bargaining at the national level between
representatives of workers' organisations and representatives of
employers and the state.
15. Equal pay for women and men for similar work.
16. Prohibition of paying wages in kind. Prohibition of delay
in wage payments. Prohibition of fines or any deductions from pay
under various pretexts. Payment of wages for valid absences,
periods of sickness and recuperation, strikes or any stoppage of
production for various reasons or due to the actions of the
17. Prohibition of linking workers' pay to circumstances and
factors other than the act of work itself (such as increase in
output, productivity, discipline, production targets, etc.).
Workers' pay should be paid in one piece, as wages.
18. Prohibition of child labour. Prohibition of professional
employment of children and youngsters under the age of 16.
19. Prohibition of assigning heavy work to pregnant workers or
workers whose health would be at risk owing to their specific
physical conditions. The right of every worker to refuse to do a
work which he/she considers to be physically or mentally
20. Prohibition of firing. Full payment, at the same level as
the last pay received, to workers whose enterprise is shut down,
until new employment is found. The state has the responsibility
to find comparable employment for workers who lose their jobs
because of the closure of the enterprise. Vocational re-training,
financed by the state, for workers whose profession or line of
work becomes obsolete due to changes in technology.
21. Adequate unemployment benefit, according to the last pay
received, for every unemployed person over 16 who is ready for
work. Adequate unemployment benefit and other necessary
allowances for all those who for physical or psychological
reasons are unable to work.
22. Lowering of the retirement age for women and men to 55
years or after 25 years of employment (after 18 years in heavy
occupations). Payment of a pension equivalent to the highest pay
received when employed. Improvements in the pension along with
the general rise in the level of wages.
23. Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace and minimization of
work hazards, without regard to cost, by applying the most
advanced facilities and resources in use throughout the world.
Regular medical observation and check-ups against occupational
hazards and illnesses, by medical establishments independent of
employers, and financed by employers and the state.
24. Full insurance of workers against injuries and damages due
to work, whether they occur inside or outside the workplace and
without the worker needing to prove negligence on the part of
employer or management. Full payment of pension to workers who
become incapacitated as a result of injuries resulting from
25. Formation of adjudication and arbitration councils with
members elected by workers.
26. Drawing up and enforcement of the internal regulations of
workshops and economic and production units by workers' elected
27. Formation of workers' inspection commissions to supervise
the correct implementation of the labour law throughout the
country in all workplaces and establishments, including domestic
28. Obligation of the employer to consult with workers'
representatives on any decision which in a substantial way alters
the work methods, working hours, the workplace and the number of
29. Right of workers' representatives to inspect the books of
the enterprise in which they work. The employer is obliged to
provide the workers with all the information they need in the
course of the inspection
Social welfare and insurance
The party calls for and is committed to:
1. Payment of unemployment benefit equivalent to the official
minimum wage to all unemployed persons over 16.
2. Payment of state pension equivalent to the official minimum
wage to all persons over 55 who lack a retirement pension.
3. Placing under the guardianship of the state all children
and youngsters under 16 whose subsistence and proper welfare is
not taken care of through the family.
4. Free and universal health care. Regular check-ups and
comprehensive vaccination of children. Adequate and suitable diet
to be guaranteed for all children irrespective of family income,
region, place of residence, etc. Eradication of epidemic and
infectious diseases arising from polluted and unhygienic
environments. Regular examination of everyone against heart
diseases, common cancers and illnesses whose timely diagnosis is
essential to their effective treatment. Serious improvement of
standards of public health and the public's health-awareness.
Expansion and organisation of the medical and therapeutic
resources in a way that makes immediate access to a doctor,
medicine and treatment easy for all.
5. Compulsory and free universal education until the age of
16. Free and universal higher education (university and
specialization). Adequate grants for students. Eradication of
illiteracy, and continuous raising of the public's level of
education and scientific-technical awareness. Education is the
right of everyone, and people's access to education and training
should be totally independent of family income.
6. Guaranteed suitable housing for all, in terms of space,
hygiene, safety and utilities (electricity, warm and cold water,
bathroom facilities inside the building, air- conditioning,
heating, connection to telephone and TV networks, and access to
local public services). Housing costs must not exceed 10% of the
individual's or family's income; any extra cost should be met
through state subsidy. Homelessness or having to live in
substandard housing is unlawful and the state authorities are
obliged under the law to provide suitable housing for all
7. Setting up special service centres, such as day-care
centres, nurseries, canteens, self-service restaurants, modern
launderettes, etc. locally and in housing estates to relieve the
burden of housework and to facilitate participation of all people
in social activities.
8. Creation of free sports, art and cultural facilities
locally (gyms, theatres and workshops, libraries, etc.) with
trainers and instructors.
9. Provision of necessary facilities for the active
participation of the disabled and handicapped in all areas of
social life. Provision of special facilities and equipment for
the physically handicapped, in public places, on roads, housing
estates, etc. Free provision of necessary technical instruments
and aid devices to facilitate the daily life of the disabled.
10. Creation of facilities and service establishments to meet
the needs of the elderly and to improve the quality of their
lives. Provision of necessary resources and facilities to help
the elderly continue to participate actively and creatively in
11. Creation of a free urban bus and metro network.
12. Extension of urban services (electricity, water,
telephone, educational, medical and cultural facilities, etc.) to
all rural areas, and the elimination of the welfare disparity
between town and country.
A Better World - Part Two - 7
The Worker-communist Party of Iran stresses the following
principles as the basis of government policy in international
1 - Abolition of secret diplomacy. Subjection of foreign
policy and diplomatic measures to the laws and decisions of
popularly- elected legislative bodies.
2 - Material and moral solidarity with working-class and
socialist movements and all social movements in different
countries which fight for similar rights and freedoms as those
contained in this Programme. Exerting political and diplomatic
pressure on all regimes which deny their citizens basic
individual and civil rights.
3 - Helping to setup and strengthen international bodies which
represent the free will of people themselves and which aim to
promote the rights and welfare of people worldwide. Working for
the abolition of all international imperialist and militarist
organs, pacts and institutions that violate the equality and free
will of the people of different countries around the world.
4 - Permanent allocation of a part of the country's human,
technical and skilled resources to the goal of improving the
economic and cultural life of people in the poorer regions of the
5 - Prohibition of the country's entry into anti-human,
hegemonistic and repressive pacts.
* * *
The Worker-communist Party of Iran calls on the working class
and all those who share the party's aims and objectives to join
The above was adopted by the First Congress of the
Worker-communist Party of Iran, July 1994. Its first edition was
printed in December 1997.
Translator: Bahram Soroush
Movement & Parties Iran
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