by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV
We shouldn’t be surprised the West doesn’t understand the Iranian Islamic Revolution, even after 43 years. After all, they don’t even understand their own political revolutions.
I’m writing a new book on the brutal repression of the Yellow Vests in France – which should be out before April’s election – and it’s forced me to freshen up on my modern Western political history, which begins with the French Revolution of 1789.
Ask an average Frenchman, and I have asked many – they aren’t taught much about their own revolution, and certainly not the era of Robespierre and Danton.
They are told to have – even if the average Frenchman implicitly feels this is wrong – an ambivalent attitude towards the man who did more than anyone to solidify and defend the primary principles of the French Revolution: Napoleon Bonaparte.
Nor are they taught the history of the mid-late 19th century, when the birth of Western Liberal Democracy created not just famines on purpose in places like Iran, India, Ireland and elsewhere, but the inequalities and catastrophes which literally created the Third World as we know it today. They don’t know who I am talking about when I bring up Adolphe Thiers, the French liberal politician who collaborated with the German Empire’s Bismarck to lay siege to France’s capital for months in what’s known as the Paris Commune of 1871. The treasons of Western Liberal Democracy are as hushed up as they are rewarded – Thiers became the first president of France’s Third Republic.
This is not to denigrate the average Frenchman’s intelligence whatsoever – they are denied a modern political education in a domestic intellectual famine routinely imposed by Western Liberal Democracy. Nor is France exceptional, because the same goes for places like the United States, where the greatest political system ever in the history of mankind was established… by slaveowners who waged merciless war on the aboriginal peoples.
The UK is the most screwed up, being the intractable counter-reactionary subversive of every progressive political movement since 1789, yet somehow seeing in its own mirror the beacon of fair play.
Iran’s primary revolutionary motto was to refuse defining itself in contrast to the history of others: “Neither East nor West but the Islamic Republic”. Admirable, certainly, but after 43 years Iran’s revolution has become entrenched in global political history as the most successful political revolution of our contemporary era. That’s not an opinion – who is even close?
Thus, after 43 years the Iranian Revolution must be seen as what it is: a spectacularly successful redistribution of income and political power towards the lower classes – via totally unprecedented principles and methods – in a revolution which can now only be compared with 1789 and the Soviet Union in 1917.
This is true even if the West cannot see it; even if the West, led by the UK (as always), wages war on it.
They all start the same – down with the privileges of kings and the arrogant
What is the fundamental basis of the Iranian Revolution, even more than national sovereignty? It is the abolishment of monarchy.
Monarchy: the cardinal sin of domestic politics, just as invasion is the cardinal sin of international politics.
It’s truly the root of all political evils; it creates humanity’s most appalling privileges, arrogance and anti-social behavior; it exists today all over Europe and, due to Europe’s propping up, it exists across the Muslim world; it’s truly the first globalist class! Iran continued a fight started in 1789.
Modern political history begins in 1789 because it begins with the fight against the absolute autocracy of monarchy, and humanity’s shift towards greater and greater democracy. It does not begin in 1688 with England’s Glorious Revolution because all that faux-revolution did was legitimise monarchical oligarchy, which still exists today in England, in Saudi Arabia, in Morocco, and in all monarchies because that’s what monarchy is: collusion on behalf of a few against democracy, equality and humanity.
Monarchies, we must always remember, are the worst of all theocracies: the king claims to be God on earth, and even divine. This is not just despicable but socially and politically reactionary. It took until 1789 for the Eastern Hemisphere to realise this; some have learned, but some still have not and chant “God save the Queen”.
The West is ok with monarchy. They are ok with a privileged few. They are ok with inequality. They are ok with invasions. They think Western Liberal Democracy is the apex of political morality.
That’s all not just immoral, but it’s certainly nonsense history.
It may be interesting to supporters of the Iranian Islamic Revolution to know what did Napoleon say was perhaps his biggest mistake? Restoring the property of the old nobility, whom he had allowed back to France in an amnesty.
He did these things in a misguided effort to heal a country truly torn by years of civil war, which is what all revolutions essentially require; in a country whose revolution was attacked by all the monarchies of Europe (which is to say all of Europe, as 1789 was the first salvo against aristocratic privilege, let’s recall) almost ceaselessly for 20 years. The “Napoleonic Wars” are more accurately titled “the Wars Against the French Revolution”.
If we cautiously assume that they are over, the wars against the Iranian Revolution were shorter – only the bloodiest conflict of the last quarter of the 20th century – but the multinational coalition was just as big. And it even included the USSR, let’s recall.
Why? Because of the historic political advancement behind the Iranian Islamic Revolution.
Ultimately, the French Revolution restored the nobles and thus only nationalised the wealth of the Roman Catholic clergy. They only ended monarchy. (Napoleon was voted emperor by millions of people, and the “voted” part is what made it a spectacular political advance for its era, and not just another typical monarchy.)
The Russian Revolution went further: it restored to the people the wealth of both the clergy and the monarchy, fully empowering the lower classes for the first time.
The Iranian Revolution’s genius is to also end monarchy and to fully empower the lower classes, but to not wage war on the clergy. 1979 empowered the lower classes while also elevated a politically righteous clergy, and in France, Russia, China, Cuba and elsewhere – this had never been done. The results have been a spectacular progress which puts Iran on the level of those historic political advances.
Iran has learned from the politically progressive lessons of 1789, as well as the lessons of 1917 (including not emulating their disastrously unpopular attempted eradication of religion), and now it humbly acts to create some lessons for their own people. Sadly, Iran’s acts inspire the same war by the privileged elite as they did in 1789 and 1917.
Every Iranian has witnessed the radical overturning of the political, economic and social pyramid since 1979. They also see the myriad number of failed Western client states, such as Egypt and Morocco – what Iran would have been had they not willed a popular revolution, and willed to maintain it.
Islam works politically, 1979 also proved. Even the Christian/secular/atheistic West is obsessed with Islam now – in stopping it from “competing in a free marketplace of ideas”, to use an oft-heard Western phrase. This is precisely because of the established success of 1979.
The current talk is that Washington is ready to restore the JCPOA. If so, great. If it’s followed by more stalling – perhaps this is just to give Joe Biden and the Democrats an election win for the midterms, or simply more time for their usual anti-revolutionary subversions – then we shouldn’t be surprised: Revolutionary France saw not just one but seven “Coalition Wars” to restore monarchy, privilege, feudalism, torture, inequality and the oppression of an aristocratic elite. They simply refused to make peace with the socio-political and socioeconomic advances of the French Revolution, which the French people democratically chose again and again and again.
If Iran wants to see its revolution continue it should learn from Napoleon: In 1814, during the 6th Coalition’s War Against the French Revolution, Paris – which hadn’t seen a foreign invader since Joan of Arc 400 years earlier – spectacularly fell without even a full day of fighting because the re-propertied nobles had spread defeatism, paid for subversion and colluded to reverse the French Revolution, which of course they still hated.
Iran has encouraged most exiles to return in an effort to heal the country – this is not necessarily the problem: Revolutionary France’s fault was in allowing inequality to return. Iran must ceaselessly implant the revolution’s principles and root out inequality, both political and economic – then the revolution can never be undemocratically subverted from within and from above, as both the French and Russian Revolutions ultimately were.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.
Interesting thouoghts, thank you.
And it will take a revolution in order to change the political system in the United States, a system created by the wealthy for the wealthy, leaving little for the working class. What Trump started is only the beginning and as inflation continues to eat up the worker’s paycheck and poverty forces more and more into the homeless camps then you will see the signs of the revolution begin to take shape as no politician will be safe.
Revolution US? Nah, too daft, too divided, Opposition aplenty but all controlled.
PS Trumplethinskin moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv is hardly Revolutionary, unless you’re Mossad of course. OK he ruffled a lot of feathers domestically but still fired 100 cruise missiles into Syria on a pretext for the Elite/MIC bosses. Great cathy Jingles, ‘drain the swamp’ and ‘lock her up’, that’s it, he put the Fox Goldman in charge of Treasury and like Bush & Obama bailed out BANKCORP.
The US needs the fighting spirit of the War of Independence, this time around, The Great Unwashed Red&Blue Plebs v One Enemy, never happen. All you got was The Federal Reserve in 1913 for your troubles and the greatest consolidation of wealth in the history of mankind.
Left-Right, Left- Right, Left-Right, as you were.
Yes, i agree, it will take a revolution… but I disagree that trump started it. He lead a movement based on the discontent ( anger/pain) of the working class but didn’t question at all “the system created by the wealthy for the wealthy”. I guess, very simplistically, his domestic policy was following his personal way to make business. The TajMahal casino shows just that: grandiose appearance but neglecting the infrastructure ( maintenance), paying the workers the regular wage, raking himself benefits while all investors lost plenty in the bankruptcy. No, Trump is not a revolutionary leader. He might be popular as a mafia “padrino” usually is. I see Trump phenomenon as the old fashion fascism, “ el Duce”, versus a new form of fascism in place, more anonymous.
Maybe his “out of control” flavor doesn’t match the inverted totalitarian regime ( where/when finance has total control over the politic). He is luring people, either with riches at hand (in an advertisement, holding a gold medal with a smile saying “here you can have it, for free”), the American dream, or with blunt speaking loud the “truth” of the matter, the voice of the people.
Anyway, about the article, I appreciate it bringing up the religion into the equation. It seems that, in the U.S, we might have to feel and go through the pains for a coming together to happen, and possibly a fair share.
I found myself reacting about “What is the fundamental basis of the Iranian Revolution, even more than national sovereignty? It is the abolishment of monarchy”. I believe that People sovereignty needs a National or at least tribal sovereignty, and this can take many forms, even and often, the form of a sovereign leader. Monarch, president, chief, delegate… What matters is to have counter powers. Accountability. A sense of deep connection among the group and with the leader/spokesperson. A true sense of duty as well as rights.
I believe democracy is in circular organization. In a large numbers community, this circular organization has to be coupled with the pyramidal bottom to top meritocratic organization.
I don’t believe that “nationally, monarchy is the cardinal sin”. I think, originally, “sin” means “to miss the point”.
In the case of our community circle, the monarch could be the dot at its center, the “ bull-eye”.
In that sense it is central, more than cardinal, like Jesus was in the circle made of his 12 apostles, with four of them being cardinal.
I am not pretending to be right.
I think we need both the main body and the fringe. We need both solid knowledge and the ability to question it in order to do research and find something new.
We need to stand on the edge of the box to think, the best we can, out of the box.
I am not saying that “in the box” means bad, although the air might get viciated after a while…
I am talking about revolution.
PS: I think it is important to be vigilant with words and concepts we use, just like walking on ice. By the way, in the book “anti fragile” by Nassim Taleb, there is the idea of the usefulness for society to have people making mistakes so we don’t have as a group to all make them. We can learn from other’s mistakes. As my father told me once, “ even a parasite is useful”.
@Eric: “Accountability. A sense of deep connection among the group and with the leader. A true sense of duty as well as rights. I believe democracy is in circular organization.”
If by “circular organization” you mean control and commitment from the bottom to the top and then round to the bottom again, then I am with you. Reminds me of the description of Iranian Socialist Revolution workers clubs in former articles by Ramin. Pity that Ramin doesn’t mention socialism on this 37th birthday of the Iranian Revolution. Many Happy Returns to Iran, anyway!
Together with all the other good characteristics you mention above, “circular” organization would be equally good under a monarchy; an “Enlightened” monarchy according to the philosopher Kant, with respect to personal freedom and national autonomy.
The west sees this all too well, which is why these states are their dire enemies. ‘Democracy’ is a code word for capitalism, and any system that competes with capitalism must be destroyed. The US promotes ‘democracy’ with the barrel of a gun.
Islam forbids usury, so it must be eliminated. Under socialism government owns production – under capitalism production owns government. Accordingly neither Islam nor socialism will be allowed to thrive as an example of another way (not to mention the negative effect on profits) or tolerated in any form.
“The true equation is ‘democracy’ = government by world financiers.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien
Who were the backers and BANKERS of the French revolution? Who’re the bankers of the revolutions over the last four centuries? Adolphe Thiers was close to France’s central banker Jacques Laffitte. Please understand bankers (Global Financial Syndicate) shenanigans to capture France, the UK, U$A, Germany…
The purpose of these revolutions is to install a socioeconomic system in a country to serve the Global Financial Empire. It has been repeated in the UK, U$A, France, Russia, Germany, India,… What is the playbook for these revolutions? Please name a democracy that isn’t a suzerainty.
“Democracy” is a temporary phase of history which allows the Global Financial Syndicate (Private Imperialist Oligarchy) to take control from the earlier generation of dominant power players: the monarchies. So-called ‘democracy’ is a sham, the ballot a travesty. The Financial Empire is okay with monarchies that are happy to be its vassals.
Islam & Koran speaks against usury. However, the interest rate in Iran is 15%. How can it be an Islamic Republic? What is the money supply allocation in Iran? A nation needs to get its act together before blaming others.
Totally agree with you. So long as usury banking persists, it cant be called Islamic. In fact it is the antitheses.
The official interst rate is high in Iran to keep pace with inflation there. It’s not the “antitheses” of Islamic, whatever those are.
What causes inflation? Lack of supply, monetary liquidity injection,… An administration can easily limit credit towards consumption and limit demand inflation. They would do better by directing credit towards productive endeavors (supply side). How do high interest rate help in such a scenario? They will limit small and medium businesses from making the cost high, limit growth and drive out the entrepreneurial energy. This will not help the nation.
Iran still has a foundational monetary cancer of the DEBT-BASED MONETARY system. Any nation with a debt based monetary system will suffer from diabetes. The Non-productive credit acts like sugar and over the long term the accumulated debt will result in diabetes, then other parts will start failing. A debt based monetary system exhibits characteristics similar to that of diabetes. Why create money as debt? Who benefits from this cancerous monetary system? Why does Iran, Russia, U$A,… have a debt based monetary system?
Bureaucracy, Bankers and Billionaires benefits from the debt based monetary system. The power of money creation and allocation enable them to generate free profits through interest &/or speculation and maintain the status quo. What is the money supply allocation in Iran? What % is allocated towards the FIRE sector (interest-speculation)?
How does the Status quo maintain its power? Stupidification, Sportification, Subjugation, Speculation, Solidification,…
While I was reading this article noting all the historical facts that contemporary Western education glosses over I was reminded of something that was being headlined around the world post 9/11. The narrative it was the first singificant terrorist act against purely civilian targets. It wasn’t simply an attack against a politician (assasination) or caused by civilians getting caught in the crossfire between soldiers or militias. Although later articles referenced other terrorist acts, they all came back to being something undertaken mainly by adherents to Islam.
I kept wondering why is it Émile Henry is being completely ignored in all this. I guess it didn’t fit with the desired narrative. A white male terrorist at the end of the 19th century actively seeking to kill civilians (with bombs/grenadeds) to make a political point. Yet another piece of history literally white washed away so the anti-Islamic narrative could take centre stage.
And then there was Jessie James…
More obvious terror attacks against civilians are the firebombing of Dresden and nearly every city in Japan, as well as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Let’s not leave out the daily bombing of various Middle East countries since at least 1991 including the specific targeting of civilian infrastructure in Iraq that is estimated to have resulted in the death of 500,000 children.
Please check out Madeleine Albright battered old-hag’s boat-race( face) on Wikipedia as a reminder of how early roots Eastern Euro Judaism doesn’t love Russia. Remember Albright worked under Zbigniew Brzezinski.
The so-called “west” does not care about Iran, the people of Iran or its revolution! They don’t. Honestly, they don’t. That’s why you barely see one or two articles on a Google search that will say anything like the author has attempted here.
However, the Western rulers and elites smack their lips in private when Iran is mentioned. They only have one thing on their minds- the vast ocean of oil and gas upon which Iran floats😄
I agree. I think “ not caring” is the “ cardinal sin”.
Great analysis, as usual from Ramin: on Iran and France’s Yellow Vest movement, the go-to authority. And now, an interesting historical sweep on the nature of social revolutions – I notice that you did not, rightly, include the American War of Independence as revolutionary.
You wrote: “The West is ok with monarchy. They are ok with a privileged few. They are ok with inequality. They are ok with invasions…” you could also have added “but they are never OK with socialism”. From your previous posts I have learnt (and I agree with you) that the current Iranian Republic can be viewed as a socialist republic – with no contradiction whatever between this and the religious bedrock of Islam. My only query is to do with Iranian property relations: is the commanding economy, as in China, state-owned or is the dominant form of ownership in Iran private property? I ask this, as it seems to me that socialism will not long survive in a dominant private property society.
as always RM is prolific in his understanding of the Iranian revolution.
I would like his take on this piece of info:
> Cassette tapes recorded in the French countryside in the late 1970s had an unfathomable impact when they were heard in Iran. (At the peak some 90,000 mosques were duplicating and distributing the tapes.) The voice of Ayatollah Khomeini upended the country’s politics and continues to echo around the globe today.
“just as invasion is the cardinal sin of international politics”. Really, or is it sanctions which target the most vulnerable members of the invaded country without the capacity for any form of reciprocity or significant costs to the invader?
I wish that I could tell Mr. Mazaheri that I have a number of problems with a true understanding of what he has written.
For one thing I am a US citizen. I have put some work into trying to understand Islam and the current political arrangements in the ME as an undergraduate. I asked a lot of questions in my model Arab league class about Iran. Most of which were answered with various veils of deception. I tried to seek out books written by Ayatollah Khomeini translated in to English but only found things like “the little green book” which is more of a polemic that is said to be written by Ayatollah Khomeini and is unsourced.
Perhaps because I’m a US citizen, I’ve come to the conclusion the politics is about power. That the few always rule over the many. That power begets privileges for the few. It doesn’t matter the ideology ascribed to the pursuit of power, whether it’s a monarchy, democracy, theocracy and so on.
I am also often disappointed by the idea that human life is just about the struggle for material existence. That most people are preoccupied with earning their livelihood and pay little attention to spiritual matters.
Since I am ignorant on the subject of the Iran revolution, I wish Mr. Mazaheri could explain how this revolution is different. What are the goals of the Islamic revolution ultimately?
Can I suggest that you read Ramin’s most recent book, “Socialism’s ignored success…”. It’s all there.
I appreciate the recommendation, I’ll look into it.
Totally agree with you sir. Same banks, same poor and rich divide, same inflation,
What has changed.
@ Greifenberg. It is difficult to understand a country from its holy books alone. Otherwise every country would be the greatest, noblest place on Earth..
“By their fruits shall ye know them”.
The fruits of the U$A since 1978: Harrassment, invasion and mass murder abroad, with infrastructural deterioration and an outstanding act of mass murder (911) within its own jurisdiction.
The fruits of the Iranian revolution: Outstanding ability to resist harrasment by U$ “colour revolutions” and invasion by NATZO. Notable assistance to other countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Venezuela to resist likewise. Remarkable improvement in technical infrastructure evidenced by Iran’s ability to build missiles that penetrate U$ Patriot and Iron Dome shields.
I prefer poetry as a way to gain insight into the heart of people. Iran is one of the richest countries in the world in this vein. Reading Khayaam, Rumi, and the peerless Hafez will put you in the middle of what in means to be human in the mist of the divine.
There is something to life that is above and beyond the mere material. This should be the aim of humankind. A political system that is designed to help the people reach for it would truly be revolutionary.
As far as religious understanding goes, I’ve seen this quote by Diadochos of Photiki and it has haunted me since I read it.
“We ought at all times to wait for the enlightenment that comes from above before we speak with a faith energized by love; for the illumination which will enable us to speak. For there is nothing so destitute as a mind philosophising about God, when it is without Him”.
‘Modern political history begins in 1789 because it begins with the fight against the absolute autocracy of monarchy,’
Give me a break. Not in 1776 ?? It is de rigueur to be critical of the US here, but that is preposterous.
I think that “Liberte, equalite, fraternite” is somewhat more exemplary of a peoples’ revolution than “No taxation without representation”.
The American Revolution did not make – or seek to make – any fundamental change to drastically reorder society. The American masters threw off their English masters, and the American masters became supreme – big deal.
Not at all the story of – or the aims of the – the French and Russian Revolutions.
“It is de rigueur to be critical of the US here, but that is preposterous.”
Yes it is “de riueur” – only because there is plenty to be critical about & little if antything to approve off. Critical really doesn’t cover it as a much harsher meaning is needed to adequately describe the horror ! I think you’ve overdone the patriotism.
King George VI some sage words September 3, 1939:
“This war cannot be compared to any other conflict in past history when army met army on the battlefield. For the first time in man’s history, it is a war of nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom.”
Today, with the end of the Golden Age of Oil I can’t imagine a Monarch looking out over their country and having to look farther a field for its energy needs and such?
If ever there was this political need for a One World Government based upon a system of rationing to be doled out to everyone isn’t this what some are trying to do and say?
“World government has become inevitable.”
—Arthur Compton Cantelon
“One world Government is in the making. whether we like it or not, we are moving toward a one-world government.”
—Dr. Ralph Barton Perry of Harvard
“Sovereignty must go, that means also the interests which sovereignty protects must be recognized as outmoded in character and dangerous in operation.”
—Professor Laski of Oxford
Can you imagine if of the 195 countries of our world today and what only a mere handful have oil and they are for the most part under a monarchy and hostile?
Not good news is it for those who trying to sustain 800 military bases throughout the world.
That Russia & Iran hold 70% of the Worlds Natural Gas Reserves
That Russia, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela hold 55-60% of Worlds Crude Oil Reserves
Must have a bearing on why the butthurt Motley Cabal of Futuristic Pirates are spitting feathers and will do their damndest to toss a Tomahawk into the Kerosene.
As the late great Johnny Cash ( one American I can relate to ) sung
‘I fell in to that burning ring of fire
I went down down down and the flames went higher
And it Burns Burns Burns that ring of fire
That ring of fire
Russia & Iran’s Wealth & Independence won’t f***ing do, it’s burning a hole in their soul (well the few who have one ).
The horror of what conversations must be taking place in the boardrooms of the skyscrapers in places like Houston, Texas would be very enlightening? Or better yet Tel Aviv?
I also remember watching a documentary on England investing some trillion in the North Sea because they had no choice but to do exactly that!
As for your 4 countries the issue is one of affordability and why at one of our town halls at the gas company i work for an executive mentioned the world is investing some 700 millions dollars to bring hydrogen on line.
If the Houthi’s get really successful well that is another matter all together isn’t it?
Gerry, don’t mention the Houthis, heartbroken, would bring a tear to a glass eye.
While 100’s of thousands are facing 19 & 20th century diseases and famine, much like Biafra in the 1960’s but much worse, UAE are doing Package Tours for Israelis & Crypto Jews to beautiful Yemeni coastal resorts.
Some war correspondent, photographer, should capture both faces, one picture of the genocide and war torn country and another of the yachts parked in sandy white paradise.
Mike Duncan has an excellent podcast on Revolutions. Presents in many, many hours of highly engaging story telling, then revolutions, starting with the English Revolution to the Russian Revolution. I highly recommend it: https://thehistoryofrome.typepad.com/revolutions_podcast/
His History of Rome podcast is also exceptionally well done.
I found him informative but he’s so very conservative. He seems to be opposed to every revolution – I wonder why he works on them so much?
I wondered if maybe he isn’t some government operative trying to paint revolution in a bad light? Not worth looking into, I thought.
This is a very clear-eyed and perceptive summary. Can’t wait for your new book. (Your “Socialism’s ignored success…” was an eye-opening education for me.)
I don’t understand why you ingrates are so cheesed off.
Yes, all those revolutions cost heavy duty blood sacrifice by the proletariat while the new boss was a distant cousin of the old boss, however, look around your room, table & chairs and other luxury niknaks that our forbears died so that we might have. Inside toilets, just a switch for central heating with no coal bunkers or collecting wood. Most ungrateful.
Apologies but I meant to say also… Ramin’s observation that religion, in the form of Islam, has been central to Iran’s revolution and that this is a first in the history of revolutions is intriguing. My suspicion is that for religion to play such a centrally positive revolutionary part, it needs to be the ‘right’ religion. Clearly Islam is such for Iran. Religion in the USA, dominated as it is by evangelical Protestant Christianity, seems particularly unsuited to such a role. This is because, with its evangelical zeal for proselytising, it is, in fact, deeply anti-social.
Lives in Paris and extolling virtue of Iranian governance.
“Terrorists, rather than being merely isolated bands of ideologically motivated extremists, are actually pawns of governments or private organizations, who use them to facilitate the establishment of authoritarian rule.”
Was interested in following the link you posted but it appears that ” Russia-Insider.com” is no longer on line. I’ve tried various search engines to see if they have been taken down but can find No information what so ever.
Does anyone have any current information re this site ?
The Austrian emperor was referring to the fact that the British paid off the Russian tsars to send future Russian proletariat off to die for ideas which would kill the tsars a century later.
Thought provoking article. Linking historical revolutions around the world and through history is anyway a daunting challenge.
Two little precisions about the history of France. It is true that Thiers is fully responsible of the bloodbath ensuing La Commune de Paris. Even if he was chosen as the first president of the IIIème République, this function was never intended to be what it’s become under the Vème République. Then, the President coud be held accountable by the parliament (l’Assemblée) which could revoke him (and almost did but Thiers resigned before it could be enacted). The true constitutional revision occurred in 1875 with the law written by Perier as amendments to the Rivet’s law of 1871.
Napoleon Bonaparte was never elected Emperor of the French (his real title) but it was first a distinction he’s accepted from the Senate following the coup of 18 Brumaire. He formally crowned himself a few months later.
It was Napoleon III (Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, then President of the French IIde Republique) who had a plebiscite concerning the reinstallement of the imperial dignity. He “won” that plebiscite and only then the Senate reinstalled him into the imperial dignity.
As a average frenchman, I’m a little versed in the history of my country :) but you’re right saying that the teaching of french history is biased to say the least.
Right on Theirs – no idea why he is so forgotten – but wrong on Napoleon not getting elected Emperor:
“A referendum concerning the establishment of the French Empire was held in France in November 1804. The officially announced result showed a nearly unanimous French electorate approving the change in Napoleon Bonaparte’s status from First Consul to Emperor of the French. About seven million voters were called to participate, of which 47.2% did.”
There was not any other candidates for Emperor, ha ha, but it’s absolutely fair to say he was elected Emperor, especially given the historic nature of such a vote, to start with. Teaching of French history is an abomination, for such basic facts to get ignored or misconstrued routinely.
‘They think Western Liberal Democracy is the apex of political morality.” So diametrically opposite its actual status, you spoil people rotten and they justify their wealth and status by fantasizing that they actually earned it.
Got an insight into Persian culture through association with Bahais. Could you point me to some interesting literature to explain their tragic history in Iran?
Their tragic history in every Muslim country, no joke. They are not accepted anywhere they go – their ideology is considered that threatening to Islam.
I’m not going to comment on the merits or otherwise of ‘Islam in the free market place of ideas’, save to say one thing:
Islam as a faith emerged around 700 years later than the seminal event in Christianity, namely the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
As a result, the natural rhythms of the Islamic faith is 700 years behind the natural rhythms of Christianity, which is probably why several right wing westerners contemptuously refer to Islam as ‘medieval religion’. Because, in Western eyes, Islam is in some ways where the West was in the 1400s.
That is why I think it will be a great challenge for Islam to win in a ‘free market place of ideas’ in the West, unless it exports Muslims in their millions to provide a critical mass of devotees who did not grow up in the West, nor did they need to leave their own faiths to take up Islam.
Islam’s ‘holy book’ contains numerous statements which are completely at odds with the West’s views on female emancipation and equality; on the legitimacy of homosexuality; and on the rights of Muslim men to enjoy multiple wives.
This is not to say that it is evil, it is merely saying that I don’t think you will find much tolerance for such views amongst a majority of Western women and almost every single homosexual of either sex brought up in the West.
I personally think that the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan’s fasting is actually a highly healthy thing to do, in terms of giving the gut a really good rest, in effect the equivalent of giving your car an annual MOT service. There are analogies in the Christian faith concerning Lent, but it has never been seen as something to uphold in my lifetime in the way that Muslim’s uphold the Ramadan fast.
I also personally think that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all fundamentally racist as all contain strident statements that non-believers/adherents are intrinsically inferior people without the same rights. To the vast majority of Western people, such beliefs are totally unacceptable in the 21st century. It’s not a question of Islam competing with Christianity, its a question of Monotheistic traditions having to compete with more tolerant, open-minded modernity…..
What this says to a democratic person like me is that, if that is the way that the peoples of Iran wish to organise themselves, then fine. So long as they do not have attitudes which suggest that their way should be everybody else’s way or else.
I am equally scathing of Western imperialism in my lifetime, much good has it done me. But it’s almost impossible to live a life of integrity mouthing claptrap which appeases mass murderers in my experience….
My personal view is that Islam as a whole is due it’s own version of ‘the Renaissance’, when fundamental changes to the religious hierarchies will be driven by bottom-up demands for innovation. There may be global attempts to foist Islam onto non-Islamic countries, a mirror of the ‘dash for imperial trophies’ that the European Christian nations underwent over 400-600 years.
How things play out up to 2500, is something that only sages and visionaries will be able to divine….