An interview covering class struggle in Iraq from the ’40s to early ’90s in Iraq.
The following interview was first published in ‘Workers Scud – no patriot can catch us!’ (London, June 1991), a collection of articles reflecting on the Gulf War.
The Class Struggle in Iraq – an interview with a veteran
Q: Can you briefly tell us about the class struggle in Iraq before the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958?
A: In the 1940’s and early 1950’s the class struggle was mainly situated in the rural areas. Peasant uprisings (eg. in Aali-azarchi which lasted about 3 years before being violently suppressed) were a constant headache for the semi-feudal landowners and the state.
Urban struggles intensified with the nine-day strike of Kirkuk oil workers in 1946 (put down with loss of 10 lives). Unemployment and homelessness were rampant. There were thousands of sarifas (shacks made of palm branches) around and inside Baghdad.
1956 (Suez Crisis) had a massive impact on Iraq, with demonstrations against the Iraqi regime who were seen as British stooges. The Palestinian issue also helped radicalisation. I still wonder why there wasn’t a revolution in 1956!I These internal and external events led to the formation of the Free Officers (nationalist/Nasserist) who had links with the Iraqi ‘Communist’ Party (l.C.P.) but not so much with the Ba’ths. Read the rest of this entry
[from L’Adunata dei Refrattari, year IV, # 36, September 5, 1925]
The examination and consideration of certain demagogic attitudes, such as that involving the bolshevik slogan on the unity of the proletariat, have brought us, anarchists, again face to face with a question quite easy to resolve: the idea of classes and class struggle. We have not given any basic theoretical conclusions to this problem; we’ve done nothing more than put the marxist conception in doubt, criticizing its foundations and, perhaps, preparing the terrain for a few of our own that will someday seriously deal with the subject from a libertarian point of view. Read the rest of this entry
Article from 1977
In-depth analysis of the development of capitalism and class struggle in Egypt, from the 1940s until the 1970s. Contains interesting information about mass wildcat strikes and the 1977 food riots as well as their relationship to national liberation movements in the region. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday, December 08 2012
In ‘Not Waving but Drowning: Precarity and the Working Class’, Mark Hoskins takes a critical look at the idea put forward by some academics and even parts of the anti-capitalist movement that the “precariat” is the revolutionary subject of our epoch. After examining the subjective conditions of the precarious subject today and comparing its objective conditions to those of the working class of the last century, he goes on to explore how these conditions relate to our end goal, a communist society and what lessons that can teach us in our attempt to get there. Read the rest of this entry