The theory of so-called primitive accumulation of capital and the theory of colonialism in Capital are born together and accompany each other. They form the two main pillars of the capital accumulation process; on one hand, the process of expropriating the means of production from the producer, especially the violent dispossession of land from independent farmers, and on the other hand, “the discovery of gold and silver in America, the conquest, enslavement, and entombment in mines of the indigenous population of that continent, the beginning of the conquest and plunder of India, turning Africa into a hunting ground for the commercial hunting of black-skinned people, are all heralds of the dawn of the era of capitalist production.”

Marx exposes the “Christian character” of the primitive accumulation process and colonialism. Referring to William Howitt’s book, “Colonization and Christianity: A popular history of the treatment of the natives by the Europeans in all their colonies,” Marx adds that “this subject must be examined in detail.”

He then quotes as follows: “The barbarity and unrestrained violence of the so-called Christian race, everywhere in the world and against every people whom they have enslaved, is unparalleled in history by any other race, no matter how savage, uncultured, cruel, and shameless, in any era of the world.” (Ibid., p. 764) Therefore, Marx concludes, “Capital is born dripping from head to toe, from every pore, with blood and dirt.”

From Tehran To Athens

The relationship between market dynamics and class struggle significantly shapes leftist perspectives, particularly in how some Western leftist tendencies perceive struggles in various regions based on market criteria. This view praises Eastern regimes for their anti-imperialist narratives presented as unique products against American imperialism in an international marketplace, while diminishing the value of workers’ struggles within these countries.

The case of Iran exemplifies capitalist relations characterized by a mix of state ownership and private capital, especially in key sectors like oil and gas, where the substantial control of the IRGC blurs the lines between public and private economic activities. This scenario exposes a deep-rooted racism and Eurocentric narrative that prioritizes the battle against imperialism in the East, while ignoring the exploitation and tyranny faced by the people there, reflecting a colonial and supremacist mindset. This Eurocentric view, while neglecting the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, also romanticizes the armed struggle against imperialism.

Meanwhile, the expansion of economic relations between Greece, Iran, and Israel highlights the complex interplay of geopolitical and economic interests in the Balkans. Greece’s strategic location on the east-west maritime trade route and its interactions with both countries emphasize the multifaceted nature of international relations, where economic interests often take precedence over ethical considerations.

The growing trade between Greece and Iran, pursued through investments and strategic use of the Piraeus port south of Athens, highlights the pragmatic approaches of capitalist governments in achieving economic and political benefits. This is in conjunction with Greek and Israeli cooperation in various medical and technological sectors. Iran aims to expand trade from 50 million to 3 billion euros per month. The Islamic Republic has expressed interest in attracting Greek capitalists to expand small economic enterprises, many of which are not covered by labor laws! This complexity raises significant questions for the leftists in Greece, challenging them to align their anti-imperialist stances with the realities of international diplomacy and economic cooperation.

The expansion of Greece’s trade relations with Iran and Israel not only highlights the complex balance of economic and political interests but also exposes the inherent ethical dilemmas of such interactions. As the capitalist government of Greece leverages its geographical and strategic advantages to navigate between these two historically adversarial powers, the role of leftist forces within the country becomes more complicated. The left must critique not only the colonial ambitions and exploitation of domestic and foreign labor by powers like the Islamic Republic, but also the seemingly incompatible alliances that arise as a result of anti-American sentiments and historical biases within Greece itself.

Moreover, the involvement of Greek capitalists in exploiting cheap Iranian labor underscores a critical contradiction in the leftist critique of imperialism and capitalism. While the opposition to expanding relations with Israel is vocal and visible, the exploitation of Iranian workers and the colonial policies of the Islamic Republic towards Greece largely go unnoticed. This oversight can be attributed to a mix of anti-American illusions and deep-rooted anti-Semitic traditions among the Greek left, which skew its perspective and overshadow the subtle realities of international politics and economic exploitation.

As Greece and Iran continue to participate in Peer-to-Peer (PTP) meetings and dialogues, circumventing state-level restrictions and enhancing direct economic relationships with their traders and investors, this scenario challenges the traditional framework of the left. This distinctly liberal model of economic relations, unimaginably radical even in Margaret Thatcher’s dreams, opens new grounds for leftist critique and action. It highlights the need for reevaluating strategies and narratives and emphasizes a broader understanding of the global class struggle that transcends Eurocentric biases and fosters genuine solidarity with workers worldwide, regardless of geopolitical affiliations.

The predicament of the leftist in Greece is not about their mistakes in realizing and opposing imperialism or supporting regional struggles; it is about introspecting on the inherent contradictions within their own positions. It is about recognizing the shared struggles of workers across the globe, from the oil fields of Iran to the shipping lanes of the Piraeus port, and forging a unified front against both economic exploitation and political oppression. The question that remains is how the Greek left can recalibrate its strategies to not only confront the economic and political challenges at home but also to stand in solidarity with the global working class against the backdrop of a rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.

Left and Leftism in Greece

This recalibration requires a nuanced understanding of global geopolitics and a commitment to international solidarity that goes beyond mere rhetoric. The Greek left must navigate a complex web of relationships, where economic interdependence, political alliances, and ideological battles intersect. The challenge is to maintain a critical stance against imperialism and capitalism, not only when it emanates from traditional Western powers but also when it takes root within regional actors like Iran or through complex international relations involving countries like Israel.

The involvement of the Greek left in the broader anti-imperialist struggle necessitates a rejection of simplistic binaries that categorize countries and movements solely as victims or aggressors based on their stance against Western imperialism. This perspective often overlooks the internal dynamics and oppressions within these countries, such as the authoritarianism of the Islamic Republic or the exploitative labor practices that benefit Greek capitalists. By focusing solely on the anti-imperialist credentials of a regime, the left risks ignoring the very class struggles and human rights abuses that form the core of its ideological foundations.

Instead, the Greek left should champion a form of internationalism that recognizes the interconnectedness of class struggles across borders. This means supporting the rights of workers in Iran, Palestine, Ukraine, Israel, and beyond, regardless of the political contexts or the geopolitical interests of their governments. It involves exposing and opposing not only the external forces of imperialism but also the internal mechanisms of exploitation and oppression that exist within all capitalist societies, including those positioned as anti-imperialist bastions.

Furthermore, the Greek left must engage critically with the realities of global trade and economic policies, understanding that economic sanctions, trade agreements, and international diplomacy often have profound impacts on the working class. The expansion of economic relations between Greece and Iran, for instance, should be scrutinized not just for its economic benefits but for its implications on labor rights, environmental sustainability, and social justice. The pursuit of economic growth and regional influence should not come at the expense of ethical principles and solidarity with oppressed peoples.

Ultimately, the path forward for the Greek left—and indeed for leftists globally—is one of critical engagement, solidarity, and a relentless pursuit of justice that transcends national boundaries and geopolitical interests. By embracing a more nuanced, intersectional approach to class struggle and imperialism, the left can better support the aspirations of workers and oppressed peoples everywhere, fostering a world where economic exploitation and political oppression are relics of the past.

Striving for equality, establishing welfare states, and eradicating illiteracy were demands traditionally linked with communism and are undeniably part of its agenda. Yet, the push for reforms, in both impoverished and Western countries experiencing widening class divides and capital accumulation, centered on wealth redistribution has been foundational for a type of communism in these nations, visible in Eurocommunism, the New Left, and beyond. Here, nationalism is potent. Currently, in response to Western bourgeois Euro-centrism, the left, despite its Euro-centric tendencies, staunchly opposes such unity. A nationalist vein sustains their leftist identity.

Their NATO opposition, rooted in national interests, lacks a class-based analysis. Broadly, the political economy of war is missing from their discourse. Western communists and even anarchists’ defense of the resistance axis’s struggle, without critiquing its authoritarian and expansionist policies, is not due to their revisionism or solely an anti-imperialist or against Western intervention. This political group, with intellectual and cultural ties to liberalism, avoids confronting the hegemony of Eastern neoliberal military-economic regimes. It’s this form of leftist nationalism that contests the notion of a unified West rather than capitalism specifically. The policies that Putin expands.

Photo: The protests a year ago in Tel Aviv, no leftist political orientation in the West has had such a clear message against fascism. Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel have been the constant scenes of struggle against fascism. A fascism that is supported by European left nationalist tendencies under the name of fighting against imperialism.

who is the enemy?

As news of the murder of Walid Daqqa, an Palestinian political prisoner in the prisons of the occupying regime was published, Khamenei’s words exploded in Persian-language media like a bomb. In response to the demand for sending volunteer forces to Palestine, he said: “If it was possible, it would have been done before it was even mentioned!”

The Islamic Republic like any other power in the world, gamble with the lives of countless people while claiming to fight for Palestine, but they are not willing to participate in a direct war with Israel as much as they did in the Syrian war. For us, the victims of the monster of political Islam, it is clear that thousands were massacred in Syria to keep power in the hands of the butcher of Damascus while Iranian military forces were present there under the name of “defenders of the shrine”. Now, how is it that Palestine, with the slogan “the land of Muslims”, does not have this potential?

As Alon Mizrahi wrote, this war had one winner: “By waging this war this way, by not thinking or feeling, Israel made Hamas a legend of resistance that will live in cultural memory for ages. No one believed they could pull this off. But they did. And they changed history forever. Palestine is never returning to the shadows again. Hamas won.”

An angry Israeli has nothing else to say. But the reality is, which Palestine won’t be in the shadow? The Palestine in the West Bank, which is small islands of villages separated from each other, or Gaza, from which nothing is left? What else will not be in the shadow, scorched earth and living corpse? Yes, in Islamic propaganda, Hamas won, and in Western propaganda no one will question Israel for such cruelties!

While regional propaganda reports the regime’s readiness to confront Israel, it seems their seriousness about suppressing Iranian society is greater. In the meantime, the Zionist regime’s threats to destroy Iran are the most ridiculous of all. The Islamic Republic does not have the power to go to war with Israel, especially since the USA will help Israel. However, a small military tension, like the fake attack on US Al-Asad Airbase, can still maintain the Islamic Republic’s regional base among the right-wing and Islamic Jihadist currents.

The Islamic Republic is in the same deadlock as it was during the JCPOA process. On one hand, it cannot build an nuclear bomb, and on the other hand, it continues uranium enrichment. Now, the Islamic regime does not have the power to wage war, but it welcomes the crisis created by the Zionist regime. Because this warlike situation facilitates suppression within Iran and takes it to another point where it can transform from a religious/social autocracy to a military/political autocracy. Israel also pursues its strategy, not to destroy what they call the Islamic Republic or Iran, but to facilitate genocide and eliminate the hope of Palestine.

Why? Let’s look at history.

The massacre of Jews in Europe took place against the backdrop of the blood that World War II had spread everywhere; however, the tragedy of the Palestinians today occurs in the age of global communications and in front of the eyes of people all over the world, and the public opinion of people in today’s world is a factor that no government can completely ignore. It was in light of this fact that Edward Said emphasized that despite all the distortions by Western state and media, the overwhelming majority of people in Europe and US no longer accept that Israel has a special moral status and deprives Palestinians of their legitimate human rights. The second point is that the issue of Palestine is now deeply international, and the leaders of Israel or even the US are not in a position to make decisions about the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians without regard to the major international balances.

However, a war with the Islamic Republic, even if limited or with a level of violence that ultimately brings both countries to the negotiation table, will once again overshadow the situation of Palestine and the Palestinians.

The existence of the Zionist regime and the Islamic Republic is necessary for the USA and China to maintain a military/economic balance in the Middle East. On one hand, the relationships of Arab states with Israel have been strengthened, and on the other hand, China has emerged as a powerful peacemaker player, increasing its footprint in the region.

As reported by regime’s media, the demands of Hamas have also become meaningless: “the withdrawal of the occupying army from Gaza!” Well, they were not there. Your strategy pulled them in! Thousands were massacred and homes and infrastructure were destroyed for the situation to return to before October 7th?

Now it’s clear to us in Iran that the Islamic Republic doesn’t seek the liberation of Palestine because it’s aligned with Israel’s threat, Israel’s brutality, and in short, with Zionist occupation to justify its presence and influence. And the United States? Why not! It maintains a huge arms market and European observers, like watching gladiators in the Colosseum, cheer for one of the sides!

Political Islam and Zionism are two wings of the same evil. According to a Persian saying, “they may tear each other’s flesh, but they will not throw away each other’s bones!”

My intention in this writing regarding the Greek left refers to all those tendencies that use the title of communist or anarchist for their identity. On the other hand, although the audience of this text is specifically the left-wing tendencies in Greece, it can be discussed at an international level.

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My journey in creating this space was deeply inspired by James Baldwin's powerful work, "The Fire Next Time". Like Baldwin, who eloquently addressed themes of identity, race, and the human condition, this blog aims to be a beacon for open, honest, and sometimes uncomfortable discussions on similar issues.

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