New Kurdish translations of introductions to Marxist theory

We are pleased to announce that over the past few weeks we have received several Kurdish translations of important introductions to Marxist theory by Alan Woods and Rob Sewell. These works (See links here: Introduction to Historical Materialism and Civilization, Barbarism and the Marxist view of History) have been published in the form of a book and, according to our information, have already been distributed and well received.

The translations were by a group of Kurdish Marxists who strive to make Marxist literature available to revolutionary youth and workers throughout the Kurdish population. Furthermore, the group has started the translation of another lengthy article by Alan Woods—The Ideas of Karl Marx—which will be ready for publication shortly.

Throughout the world the ideas of Marxism are gaining in popularity. The Middle East is no exception. The dark clouds of barbarism in this part of the world only serve to highlight the inability of capitalism to offer a way forward for the masses of the region. While Iraqi Kurdistan is being portrayed by Western media as an island of stability and democracy, the opposite is true.

The president of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, Masoud Barzani, is involved in the most reactionary dealings with international and regional imperialist forces. His cynical withdrawal of Peshmerga forces from Mosul was one of the reasons for the fall of the city to ISIS in 2013. His crackdowns against journalists, trade union and civil rights activists are also widely known in the region. Recently he has yet again issued calls for Kurdish independence from the Iraqi central government. However, this is nothing but a ruse to prop up his weak semi-tribal rule which, according to the constitution, was supposed to end in August 2015.

The call for independence is nothing but a bargaining chip which the Barzani clan have used throughout the past 50 years to mobilise Iraqi Kurds, only to then betray their aspirations and make deals with the ruling class behind their backs. If he was really in favour of a state for the Kurdish nation, he would not criminally sabotage the Kurdish defence and resistance groups in Syria and Turkey. The recklessness of Barzani and other reactionary elements of the Kurdish ruling class are threatening to explode into a downward spiral of violence and instability which would only lead to more reactionary developments.

At the same time, the crisis is being exacerbated by the world economic crisis, which is pushing down oil prices—the main source of income for the region. This is leading to sharp attacks against the working class, the public sector workers in particular. While the rich and powerful have accumulated millions through stealing and plundering the state and oil income and by making dodgy deals with ISIS and other reactionary gangs, thousands of government workers are not being paid because of the collapse in oil-related government income. This situation is worsening. In these conditions we are bound to see a rise of the class struggle at a certain stage.

The Kurdish workers and youth have long and proud revolutionary traditions which will be revived in the process. As Marxists we fully support the struggle of the poor and oppressed youth and workers of Kurdistan against the reactionary Kurdish tribal gangs as well as their other oppressors in the Iraqi, Turkish, Syrian, and Iranian ruling classes. The only path to their emancipation is to unite with oppressed workers and youth across the region and fight against the capitalist system which sustains their reactionary rule.

The spread of the ideas of Marxism and the rising interest in Marxist theory in Kurdistan is an indication that more people are reaching the same conclusions and looking for revolutionary ideas which can show a way forward. We congratulate the comrades for their translation work and will give them our fullest support. Please help to spread the ideas of Marxism by sharing the above translations as widely as possible.