Ahmadinejad Triumphs

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This apparently was a huge shock for the mainstream media.  Large chunks of the Western media were irrationally expecting another clear sign that Obama’s speech had single-handedly revolutionized the Middle-East in a landside victory for Moussavi. Ahmadinejad’s triumph, however, didn’t come as a surprise for anyone diligent enough to study the pre-election polling.  Moussavi has cried foul, claiming, “I am the absolute winner of the election by a very large margin.”  Given the 30 point margin of victory reported for Ahmadinejad these charges seem highly dubious.

Ahmadinejad was supported by the rural poor, the urban working class and conservative elements within Iran’s clerical elite.  His opponents not only criticized his defiant foreign policy, but also his government’s state-interventionist spending of oil wealth.  During the election campaign Mousavi proposed an austerity program to try to curtail inflation and reinvigorate economic growth, obviously at the expense, short-term at least, of the most economically depressed members of Iranian society.

Oil prices are on the way back up around the world and inflation is only in the high teens, which isn’t that unreasonable for a developing country that relies on the export of a commodity.  It’s hard to see imminent economic collapse on the horizon like many of business elite that backed Moussavi warned of.

I’m not going to applaud the election results, which were undoubtedly a blow against the Obama-brand of hegemony and a display of elementary class consciousness by Iranian workers, due to my natural sympathies for the progressive forces within the Iranian youth that threw their hope and energy behind Moussavi’s campaign. 

It’s my humble (and ultimately irrelevant) hope that the feminist and secularist Iranian students don’t get discouraged and become depoliticized by this result.  Instead they need to renew agitation and organization independently of the Iranian political system.  In a “democratic” system as illiberal as Iran’s it’s clear that any real change will have to happen in civil society and not in the electoral sphere.  This change only has the chance of gaining the support of working-class Iranians if it doesn’t wed itself to neoliberal economic dogma.  Certainly progressive forces in Iran have a rich revolutionary legacy to look back upon for inspiration.

 UPDATE:

The Nation’s LaRouchite gremlin and others have documented significant voting irregularities, so my dismissal of the claims as “dubious” may have been premature.  I do love how Robert Dreyfuss describes Ahmadinejad as a “radical-right” and his largely working class supporters as “paramilitary” forces.  It’s the kind of knee-jerk, simpleton analysis I’ve come to expect from the always outspoken and only occasionally well-informed Dreyfuss.  That being said that article is actually well worth reading, because the bulk of it is commentary by dissident Ebrahim Yazdi.  It should be acknowledge that Yazdi has shown great hostility to leftist and progressive forces throughout his life, the same can be said of his Freedom Movement of Iran, but his sentiments have been echoed by many election observers.


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Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

February 17, 2017 · $20.00 USD

Location: MayDay Space
Where: 176 St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
When: Friday, February 17th at 6 PM to Sunday, February 19th to 4 PM

Political Context

This Presidents’ Day weekend, the Young Democratic Socialists will gather for our annual winter conference in New York City titled Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump. We did not choose the name lightly. In doing so, we call for leftists to collectively confront Trump and Trumpism at every possible opportunity. When a Trump administration attempts mass deportations of undocumented workers, when it attempts to register Muslims or roll back worker protections, when it attempts to take away reproductive, LGTBQ, civil, or any other rights, then we must militantly resist to prevent such measures.

To succeed, this must be explicitly socialist resistance. With liberalism having repeatedly shown itself incapable of combating the far right, it is now the time for socialists to openly declare our place in building the mass, multi-racial, and working class movement necessary for defeating the Trump administration. In this struggle, millennials will play an outsized role. That is why this conference comes at such a critical time—together we must create spaces for democratic and strategic discussion, spaces to gain organizing skills, and most importantly, spaces to form networks of young radicals for the future struggles ahead. These spaces will only come together if socialists come together. Join us this Presidents Weekend and help ignite the movement to defeat the Trump administration, continue the political revolution, and build the socialist alternative.

Key Deadlines

  • January 8th: Travel Scholarship for Air Travel (for application see below)
  • January 15th: Travel Scholarship for Non-Air Travel (ex: bus, car, train, etc.)
  • February 3rd: Early Bird Registration Ends - Tickets prices go up from $5 to $10
  • February 10th: Free Housing - We have limited free housing. You need to first register, then you will be sent an application for free housing.

Apply for a travel scholarship here! (First Deadline January 8, 2017)

Check out the working program (subject to change)