The situation in Iran is volatile and fluid and things could get much worse (there are already reports about Mousavi supporters being arrested with explosives!) and it is way too early to draw some deep conclusions about these events. One thing, however, is absolutely clear: the so-called “Left” showed no common sense, no critical thinking and no analytical capabilities whatsoever. Even the best Leftist websites and commentators (Pepe Escobar, Counterpunch, etc.) swallowed the propaganda of the Rafsanjani camp hook, line, and sinker. There is an amazing irony here: the events in Iran are just about the perfect example of a class struggle, and yet the Lefties missed that completely even though this story was not without precedent.
Indeed, what is going on today in Iran is in many ways very similar to what the “Gucci elites” in Caracas attempted to do against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, another oil rich country. But since Chavez was a self-declared socialist, the Lefties supported him en masse. The problem with the Iranian situation is, of course, that the real target of the attack of the “Gucci elites” in Tehran is not a socialist general, but a Shia Muslim cleric: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (for those who did not get it yet, let me make something clear. This is not about Mousavi vs. Ahmadinejad, this is about Rafsanjani trying to overthrow Khamenei).
That is all it took to con our doubleplusgoodthinking Lefties: a cleric as the victim (they, of course, did not notice that another cleric, Rafsanjani, was the one who instigated it all!)
Call it the traditional anti-religious arrogance of the “enlightened” secularist, call it old grudges against the crushing of the Tudeh Party by the Islamic Revolution, call it a visceral dislike of anything clerical or Muslim, but the bottom line is the same: the Lefties, like lemmings, literally rushed over each other to draw the same outraged conclusions: “Iranian hardliners steal an election and violently crush the Tehran Spring”, bla bla bla bla bla.
The Lefties even completely missed something which should have given them at least some pause: their hero Hugo Chavez called Ahmadinejad to congratulate him on his election and said, quote, “Ahmadinejad’s victory was a win for the whole world and all free nations“!
But no, that did not give them pause. They had their “minute of hatred” a la 1984 without so much as even a small little doubt about what was really going on…
Now I am no Leftist at all, and most definitely not a Marxist. I do not believe that class warfare explains most, let alone all, the conflicts in history. I do find dialectical and historical materialism a very useful analytical tool, but I don’t live by its assumptions or conclusions. But even I clearly see that what is going on today in Iran is an attempt of a “Gucci coup d’etat”, this is class warfare at its best (worst?), and yes, this is a brazen attempt to steal an election, but the thieves are not Ahmadinehad and his putatively “hard line” supporters, but Mr Multi-Millionaire Rafsanjani and the elites who back him.
So, as Roger Waters once wrote, I ask all of you who fancy themselves to be on the “Left”
Expressed in dollars and cents,
Pounds, shillings and pence
Can’t you see, it all makes perfect sense