Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Tragedy of the Syrian Revolution and the Responsibilities of Socialists

The inaction of the majority of the global Left in face of the Syrian regime/Russia/Iran perpetrated massacre in Aleppo is the sign of a very deep problem.  In this article, I will attempt to explore the roots of this problem in order to draw out some lessons about what socialists can do now.  ( This article was originally published by the Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists on December 6, 2016.)

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Election of Donald Trump Marks Regression to Authoritarianism

Although Trump’s message has been against “big government,” in fact his economic plan which mainly consists of tax cuts for large companies and massive spending cuts in the public sector, does not contradict the rule of a strong state/army. His authoritarianism might be similar to what we have seen in emerging economies such as Russia and China during the past 25 years.  

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Challenging Intellectuals Who Justify Iranian Imperialism; Searching for Socialist Solidarity

Below is a summary of a longer article by two Iranian socialists who are opposed to Iran’s military intervention in Syria.  This summary is followed by a response from Frieda Afary and Joseph Daher.  Both pieces were originally published on the website of the Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists on September 10, 2016.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

New Alliances in the Middle East & Iranian Discussions on 21st Century Imperialism

Recent developments in the Middle East show that states which have been seemingly at opposite ends concerning the war in Syria, or states that have been historically hostile to each other in the post-World War II period have come together to form new alliances.  Existing alliances between Russia, China, Iran and Syria have also been strengthened.   All aim to maintain the brutal and authoritarian Assad regime (with or without Assad), and reject the Kurdish right to self-determination.

All these developments further underline the fact that the countries playing the imperialist role in the Middle East today, are not only the U.S. and Israel.   Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are also acting as imperialist powers in the region.

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Comparing Piketty’s Capital and Marx’s Capital: A Critical Review Essay

Abstract:  This critical review summarizes the arguments and facts in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century and then discusses the main differences between this work and Karl Marx’s Capital:  For Piketty, capital is a mode of unequal distribution of wealth which can be remedied through higher taxation on the wealthy and a responsible social state.  For Marx, capital is an oppressive relation of production rooted in what he called abstract or alienated labor which in turn leads to the unequal distribution of the products of labor and periodic economic crises.  Earlier Persian-language versions of this critique were published by Zamaneh in September 2014 and presented at the Seminar for Research on Iranian Social Movements in Berlin in October 2015.   This version was originally published by the Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists on April 3, 2016.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Connecting Black Lives Matter and Syrian Lives Matter

Despite the differences in the historical experiences of African American freedom fighters and Syrian revolutionaries, both have something in common:   Being treated as the dehumanized “other,” and suffering from the ways in which prejudice and discrimination have been used to impede their struggles for social justice.   

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Lessons of the Syrian Revolution for Iranians: A Review of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War

Five years after the Syrian Revolution, many Iranians are still wondering why a popular revolution which demanded democracy, justice and equality turned into a holocaust of the Syrian people.  Why was Bashar al-Assad’s fascistic regime able to remain in power?  Why and how did sectarianism and religious fundamentalism grow?  How did ISIS arise?    What is the role of the Iranian government in bringing about the current disaster?   What can be done to possibly reverse the current course of events?  Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami’s Burning Country is a well-documented account that can answer these questions in a satisfactory way.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Iranian LGBT Activist and Writer Comments on Orlando Florida Massacre

Author:  Shadi Amin

Date:  June 13, 2016

Translated by Frieda Afary

Translator’s note:  Shadi Amin is the author of Gender X (2015) and a number of other works on Iranian LGBT identities and  the sexual torture of women political prisoners.   She has also translated and published a collection of writings by Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde.   She is one of the coordinators of the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network in Germany.   Below, she comments on a gunman’s massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Solidarity with Iranian Workers: Free Labor Activist Jafar Azimzadeh

Below  is a statement from a group of scholars and activists to protest  the flogging of Iranian mine workers  and to  defend Iranian labor activist Jafar Azimzadeh who has been on a hunger strike since April 29, 2016.  Background information and  a statement issued by Jafar Azimzadeh and Esmail Abdi at the beginning of their hunger strike follow.    For more information please see the website of the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran ( which has provided the translations below.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Open Letter from Mothers of Iranian Political Prisoners

The following letter from Mothers of the Laleh Park in Iran has been addressed to Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein,  United Nationas High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Radio Zamaneh’s Interview About the Alliance of Syrian & Iranian Socialists

Radio Zamaneh,  a Persian-language human rights station and website in Holland conducted an interview with Joseph Daher and Frieda Afary.
Date of publication:  May 31, 2016
Persian source:

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Website and Statement of the Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists

Below is the statement of the newly formed Alliance of Syrian and Iranian Socialists.  For the Arabic and the Persian versions,  please go to the newly launched trilingual website of the Alliance at

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Rise, Decline and Return of Marxist Feminism

In this introduction to the Persian translation of Heather Brown’s  Marx on Gender and the Family:  A Critical Study (Brill Press, 2012 and Haymarket Press, 2013), the translators  situate Brown’s work in the context of the various tendencies within Marxist feminism from the 1970s to today, and their different explanations of the relationship between gender oppression and capitalism.  They discuss Brown’s assessment of Marx and feminist critiques of Marx by asking four questions:  1. Did Marx consider the sexual division of labor “natural?”  2.  What is the relationship of capitalist value production to the realm of reproduction, including the family?  3.   What are the major differences between Marx and Engels on the origins of women’s oppression?  4.  What was the concept of women’s emancipation in Marx’s activities, journalism and his life? The Persian original of this introduction was published by Naqd-e Iqtisad-e Siasi on March 8, 2016.  See

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