Friday, June 19, 2009

Be Like Rostam

Had I lived in Iran at the time of the Iranian Revolution, the Islamic republicans running Iran today would have killed me at worst or put me under house arrest at best, like Iran's Red Princess Maryam Firuz in her last years, because I'm a socialist. But still and all, a majority of the masses supported, and still support, the Islamic republicans, because they are populist Muslims, not socialists.

In the history of social revolutions, it often happened that leftists helped to bring about social revolution (socialist or nationalist), and then, after the overthrow of the ancient regime, a faction of revolutionaries (usually centrists) liquidated left-wing and right-wing revolutionaries as well as defenders of the ancient regime.

That's what happened in Iran, too. The revolution did in its leftists, as well as rightists. But, over all, the Iranian Revolution has done more good than bad for a majority of Iranians, making Iran the best country -- the most democratic! -- in the Middle East today.

The fate of leftists in many countries (excepting Cuba) is often the fate of Rostam: serve the rulers who are unworthy of your support, because the nation ruled by the unworthy rulers still must be defended from its many enemies.


Richard Jeffrey Newman said...

A very interesting read on Rostam! I have another take on what's going on Iran and the Shahnameh at my blog:

bob said...

I think your "centrists" analysis is not quite right here. It's not about left/right but about class. The dynamic of most modern revolutions has been a mass uprising, with the vast social weight of the working class, bringing about an overthrow of the regime, and then anti-working class elements effecting a coup, and turning their guns on the working class.

This happened in the English revolution, where the bourgeoisie used the working class to get rid of the old regime, but then used its energy to suppress working class voices like the Levellers, Diggers, etc. The same with the Spanish revolution, where the Communists and their allies killed off the worker-peasant uprising. The same with the Russian revolution, where Bolshevik terror was aimed predominantly at working class forces like the Left SRs and anarchists. And the same with the Iranian revolution.