Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thirty Years Since The Iranian Revolution

Written by Fred Weston
Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Mass demonstration in Tehran, 1979

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution. The media has been highlighting it as an "Islamic revolution", when in actual fact what we witnessed thirty years ago was a genuine workers' revolution that was hijacked by the reactionary Ayatollahs because of the lack of a genuine revolutionary leadership. Thirty years later we must learn the lessons of those tumultuous events and prepare for the next revolutionary upsurge.

Read the rest here

Renegade Eye


tony said...

the future of Iran will profoundly influence (for good 0r bad) the politics of the whole Middle East.
Again...Popular Dissent is brewing & ,again, it seems leaderless.
but (to play Devil's Advocate) isnt much of the present unrest coming from the Middle Classes who want a more Western Capitalist swing?

The Sentinel said...

I think we all know that the end result for Iran is going to be invasion and occupation by the same forces involved in Iraq and Afghanistan.

SecondComingOfBast said...

I don't think so, Sentinel. Anything's possible, but that would be political suicide, unless enough people at all ends of the political spectrum agreed it was an absolute necessity, and I just don't see that.

Invading Iran would elicit a visceral reaction across the globe, notably from Russia and China, to just name a few major world players.

I can't conceive of a scenario where that would be justified, including an all out breakdown of order leading to total chaos.

This crap will blow over, or it will result in a regime change, but it will be just surface appearances. The imams aren't going anywhere. A few of them might go away, but the system will survive, albeit possibly under the hand of reformist elements.

The true power in Iran, according to one source, is the Republican Guard. If true, the only thing that's going to change things is a mutiny in the ranks.

The Sentinel said...

I would have to disagree Pagan; I think Iran is a done deal just as Iraq and Afghanistan were. I don’t think there is anything that Iran could possibly do to avoid it.

We have had the tone set for quite some time now, but it is increasing in virulence and bombasity. It won’t be an immediate thing, but it will happen of that I’m sure.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Well, you might be right Sentinel, anything is possible, but I just don't think there is any public will for that kind of thing, certainly not right now. The Iranian regime has been itching for something like that. They would welcome it, because they think, probably with a great deal of merit, that it would unite the Iranian people behind them once again. It hasn't been but a few weeks ago the Republican Guard took over an Iraqi oil field near the border, and claimed it as their own. They are itching for a confrontation, and you can bet they think they have all the possible scenarios figured out in their own minds. If you like how Iraq went the first three years or so, or if you like how Afghanistan has been going lately, you would absolutely love the results of an invasion of Iran.

Larry Gambone said...

My quibble with the article is reducing the failure of the revolution to the actions of the Tudeh Party alone. There must also have been a great deal of naivety on the part of the masses as well, to accept the leadership of the religious reactionaries.

After 30 years of these scum, I suspect that this naivety has worn off!

Sentinel, I sure hope your analysis is wrong...

Frank Partisan said...

Tony: Most mass movements start at universities, where they have time to ponder, and then they move outside.

Sentinel: The US is too spread thin for such an adventure. In addition there is zero international support.

More important is that the US wants Iran and Syria's help to redeploy from Iraq.

Pagan: Before the Republican Guard there was SAVAK. They melted when the oil workers overthrew The Shah.

Larry G: Tudeh was strong at the time. The only surviving left group is Mujahadin. They are politically all over ther place.

I know an old Tudeh member, in exile in Minneapolis. He said he likes that my group is involved with the Iran issue. He doesn't like that Trotsky guy. Tudeh supported Mousavi this last election. They cling to the Stalinist style.

There was an inexperienced proletariat. Still Tudeh played a role in keeping them unsophisticated.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that the 1979 revolution in Iran was a workers' revolution.

BWAH-HA-HA-HA! The author couldn't see the truth if it bit him on his *ss. He only see's what he wants to see... in his "love". The author's "truth" is a whore.

The Sentinel said...

Renegade Eye,

Those factors might count if the ruling elites actually gave a toss about the people they purportedly represent and what they think let alone the welfare of the soldiers they command.

But I think we both know that nothing could be further from the truth.

The invasion of Iraq for instance couldn’t have had less support in the world and the aggressors couldn’t even secure a another UN resolution to approve it; the internal situation was the same with the UK especially in turmoil not just in the general populace (who organised one of the biggest demonstrations ever in the countries history) but even in the cabinet and amongst the legal advisors; the UK services were thinly stretched then and ill equipped and the US had to bring in such draconian measures as deferred leave and discharge, double tours and refusal of access to doctors – the invasions went ahead all the same because the people that wanted it have the power to do it irregardless.

The ground laying propaganda against Iran is almost a mirror to that of the campaign against Iraq along with the same desperate invocation of convoluted links between that state and ‘Al Qaeda’ and this will continue to increase in hysteria in the build up to come and you can be sure that any future terrorist attack will be linked to Iran in some way, raising the stakes in an instant.

Iran is the last independent country in the region that throws a real spanner in the works of the carefully constructed energy colonialism and is also the only country left in the region that could offer a credible threat to Israeli security and hegemony in the region.

And for that it will fall.

Countries have fallen for much less in this ‘spreading of democracy’ / ‘fight against terror’ sound bite phase of history and Iran has been marked for action; the mouthpieces that supposedly represent us have made no effort to conceal the direction it will go in either.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


sonia said...

a genuine workers' revolution that was hijacked by the reactionary

So far, that has happened to EVERY revolution (Russian, American, Iranian, etc.). All revolutions are reactionary. No exceptions. Only evolution can be progressive.

Frank Partisan said...

FJ: A dialectic took place, called negation of the negation. To modernize the Shah built factories. He also created a working class, with no history of unions, therefore no history of compromise. The oil workers brought down The Shah.

Sentinel: You are not alone with your idea. Many on the left believe what you're saying. I don't see it happening, The balance of forces, are not good for the US.

Sonia: Good that you are here.

Sometimes revolutions don't finish the job. The Civil War was the second American Revolution.

In Iran, bringing back Khomeini, was the counterrevolution.

Anonymous said...

The oil workers brought down The Shah. And New England lawyers brought down the King of England. So what's your point, that those who "claim" to having provided the most help in bringing down the last tyrant get to decide the future for everyone else? The oil workers didn't bring down the Shah, the people of Iran did. The oil workers would have been CRUSHED by the Shah w/o the rest of the people's support.

Anonymous said...

...and let me be clear about this... NO ONE was on the Iranian front lines like the Shi'a clergy in '79. Reactionaries... *mumble-mumble*

Anonymous said...

Your stupid Marxist "labour" paradigm blindly applied to every situation (and not merely HUGELY over-industrialized societies) blinds you to reality. Iran is about as FAR FAR away from an "industrialized" labour-union society as you can get. Your STUPID paradigm does not apply, as 99.9% of the people are not "organized" by labor. In Iran, as in the rest of the ME, they are ORGANIZED around the mosque.

Anonymous said...

Note the ridiculousness of the following statement in light of an almost UNIVERSALLY non-industrial society:

...was hijacked by the reactionary Ayatollahs because of the lack of a genuine revolutionary leadership

When only 1% of the people belong to unions, how can there NOT be a lack of "labour" leadership? And to call THAT paltry 1% of Iranians that were organized by labour the "genuine" leaders of the revolution is insult to people's intelligences EVERYWHERE!

Anonymous said...

How many people in Iran today belong to labour unions? How many belong to mosques?

THAT should tell you ALL you need to know about where the NEXT Iranian revolution is going to come from.

Anonymous said...

...or to be more precise, where the next SUCCESSFUL Iranian revolution is going to come from.

Anonymous said...

Although it is universally true that capitalism DIVIDES by labour, it is not universally true that labour is in any way, shape OR form "organized". The only labour components that are "organized" are those that are "unionized" or belong to "guilds/ cooperatives" that meet regularly in their "union halls" to "socialize" and develop "cooperative" strategies and conspire against their employers (who may or may not be organized as well).

Anonymous said...

In Iran, those that are "organized" by labour are a very very very small percentage of the people. Unless you can stretch you definition of organized labour to include a bunch of Ayatollahs on a pilgrimage to Qom or Najaf "organized labour".

Anonymous said...

btw - Independent farmers in the USA are organized around local agricultural coops, to which these farmers sell and/or store their crops waiting for opportune market conditions. To call them a component of "organized labour" in the USA would be to invite the most derisive laughter imaginable. These farmers are also church going people. To call their churches components of "organized labour" would also invite derisive laughter. In conclusion, I repeat my initial reaction to this article.


Frank Partisan said...

The reason the oil workers were so militant, is because it was a relatively new working class, with no history of trade unions. With no trade unions, that means no history of compromise. Very similar to Pakistan 1969.

The oil workers were the straw that broke the camel's back.

Farmers today are less peasantry, because of modern corporate farming. Even the small farm in the countryside, sells to big agribusiness. Objectively farm workers are closer than ever before, to being labor.

In Iran, the revolution is starting with students. That is common because they have more free time.

Unions are illegal in Iran.

The working class can make it so that no wheel can turn.

SecondComingOfBast said...


The Republican Guard can and will take over the oil fields at the drop of a hat, and they are more than capable of running them, even if they have to import the labor to do so from India or somewhere else. If that's true of the oil fields, its just as true of any other segment of the economy that relies on the "working class".

They wouldn't bother with things like mediation, because the unions, what ones might exist, have no power, politically speaking, to bring that about. They would just be rounded up, arrested, tried, and imprisoned, probably brutally tortured, and in a good many cases executed.

That's how the Ayatollahs deal with the Unions, and that's how the Republican Guard deals with them. In other words, they don't deal with them, they just do what they will.

In order for the unions to acquire power in Iran, they are going to need a great deal of outside assistance, not from any government, but from some other form of international labor organization.

I strongly recommend that the SEIU move over there and try to help them out.

Anonymous said...

The working class can make it so that no wheel can turn.

Not if it's not organized, it can't.

Anonymous said...

Farmers today are less peasantry, because of modern corporate farming. Even the small farm in the countryside, sells to big agribusiness. Objectively farm workers are closer than ever before, to being labor.


Limited Liability Corporations. The entire reason "corporate" farming is happening is legal. A farmer that operates his farm as an LLC is protecting his personal assets from taxes, lawsuits, and bankruptcy. The farm "workers" are still, generally, the same people they've always been. They still are not "hourly" workers. They will never be in a position to work "shifts". They will always have "seasons" of long hours and "seasons" of few or no hours. The corporate farm is a legal protection, not a change in farming practice.

Dave said...

Hi there. Sorry this is off topic but this blog was linked to earlier and I just wanted to let “The Sentinel” know that someone no doubt known to them (a real crazed nasty foul mouthed über troll named Daniel Hoffmann-Gill) has been making some pretty wild allegations about them on this site:

Thought they should know. Thanks.

The Sentinel said...

Thank you for your trouble Dave and I apologise to others that this is quite obviously off topic but a brief reply to you:

I am, as you say, very unfortunately aware of this Hoffmann-Gill character and I have had a quite few inform me of his bizarre antics and lunatic accusations across the web over time, but I must say I am completely uninterested. He appears to be utterly obsessed with me after he failed to show at a pub I posted about after his usual obscene abuse. I said at the time that I think it was the best possible outcome with hindsight, but he couldn’t let it go and made several fantasy laden posts about the whole silly episode and now apparently obsesses over me all over the web.

The truth is that I rarely post anything on any blogs anymore because I feel it’s relatively a waste of time and in fact I took my own blog down some time ago, mainly due to a sustained campaign of depraved insults and threats against my family and I by Hoffmann-Gill (and another) posting with spoofed ID’s and ‘sock puppets’ – the threats didn’t bother me but I have a duty of care towards my family, don’t like censorship and rarely posted anymore anyway.

This guy carried out a similar obsessive campaign on this very blog using the same weird and underhanded tricks - ironically after demanding the blog rules you see in the comments box - and he actually went to the trouble of following me onto several other blogs across the internet doing the same.

This link gives the flavour of the depths plumbed:

I clearly told him some time ago I wanted nothing to do with him at all as I consider him mentally unstable and dangerous because of his very public and extremely abusive online behaviour that I believe will eventually and inevitably lead to real trouble for him and I want to be as far dissociated with it and him as possible.

My understanding is that the items you refer to have now been deleted and continue to be deleted so that is good enough for me. In fact I couldn’t care less. Besides anything else, I am not stupid enough to use my real name on the internet anyway so as far as I am concerned he can ‘defame’ away at fictional entity “The Sentinel” if his peculiar mental issues demand it.

The truth and reality is that I haven’t had anything to do with that nut since he stopped trolling this blog - and the others I posted on - with spoofed and anonymous filth and I want to keep it that way.

Thanks anyhow for the heads up, Dave; and sorry for the off topic post.

Frank Partisan said...

FJ: I agree. On February 11th, in Iran, the government, was more organized than the protesters. Leadership and organization are key.

Pagan: Savak caved when push came to shove. Today's movement has no lack of bravery. It needs organization.

Sentinel: No comment.

Dave: Same.

Tragedy 101: You might be right about the smallest farms. Its not 1930 anymore.

SecondComingOfBast said...


By and large, the Shah's regime fell because Carter abandoned him. The Killer Rabbit is responsible for what you see going on today more than any other single individual. Had he maintained US support for the Shah, and had the Shah instituted some gradual reforms which lead to noticeable improvements in some areas over time, the Shah's family would probably still be in charge of the place. It might even by now be considered a stable, beneficent, even relatively progressive regime, for a monarchy.

I don't know why you want to waste your time promoting socialism in the Middle East. The closest thing you are going to have to socialism there is an end to borders among Muslim nations, and even then Iran will not be included in the mix. Also, it will be ruled by Sunni imams, not secular socialists. The sooner you face up to that reality, the sooner you can get a good nights sleep and start looking for the next recipe post.

You don't think these things through. In what universe do you imagine that a country-Egypt-with a majority of people who are Sunnis, many of them devoutly so, are going to join in a socialist experiment with a country-Iran-made up of a majority of Shiites.

Dennis Kucinich will become President of the United States and forge a peace treaty with the Klingon Empire before that happens.

Anonymous said...

Leadership and organization are key.

Indeed they are. Someone has to be responsible for passing out the stockpile of weapons when the mob's about a block away from the capitol building...

Frank Partisan said...

FJ: Correct that the opposition is organized.

Pagan: Nobody says it's a socialist movement. It is a movement for democratic rights and secularism.

Even a democratic movement, has ramifications for the Middle East.

SecondComingOfBast said...

That might be so, Ren, but the only way it would possibly work on any kind of secular movement, socialist or otherwise, would work on a regional scale would require it to look a lot more like the French Revolution than the American Revolution.

You can throw rule of law out the window, along with the heads of a large number of Sunni Muslims, until what is left decide they want to keep their heads on their shoulders, and their wives and children to live in peace, more than they want to keep leading their citizenry by the nose.

There's a very good reason why any secular government in most Muslim nations that have them is usually enforced by brutal state security apparatuses. That's the only way they can possibly last. They are by no means democratic. Sorry, you're just never going to see that over there, unless Islam itself goes through some kind of reformation, and I don't expect that to happen in any of our lifetimes, if ever.

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: Lebanon today is not a brutal dictatorship. It's not an ideal democracy, but its not Saddam Hussein Bonapartist.

SecondComingOfBast said...

It's not a brutal dictatorship simply because of the fact that it's got a large Christian population, and they aren't about to put up with any god damn crap.

I did misspeak though in my earlier comment. When I said-

"You can throw rule of law out the window, along with the heads of a large number of Sunni Muslims, until what is left decide they want to keep their heads on their shoulders, and their wives and children to live in peace, more than they want to keep leading their citizenry by the nose."

I meant to say the heads of Sunni Muslim IMAMS would be out the window, not just Sunni Muslims in general.

Because like it or not, that's what it will take to solve the problem, either a widespread revolt against radical clerics by the population, or targeted killing of radical clerics by the US or Israel. Like a game of whack-a-mole, they minute one sticks his head out and opens his mouth, just gun him down, right there in his mosque if need be.

They are the problem, not the general population, who are terrified of them to the extent they won't dare to oppose them, for the simple fact they don't want to die, and don't want their families raped, tortured, and killed in some horrific way. That's why they don't speak out.

Probably a lot of the people you see on the streets running their mouths about bullshit like cartoons are just people who are going along to get along, in some cases. Some of them just want it seen, on the record, that they are "good Muslims". At the same time, you have to assume any given one is sincere, and most probably are.

This is just an endemic flaw in the religion and the culture, and if they won't address it, somebody is going to have to address it for them, and it comes down to a choice of killing the radical clerics or letting them continue to radicalize their population.

What the Israelis did in Dhubai over the last few days should not be condemned, it should be considered a model worthy of emulation. For that matter, it should be a matter of open policy.

Frank Partisan said...

Israel got caught with forged passports.

All this does, is give Hamas sympathy, and a motive for revenge.

SecondComingOfBast said...

Like they need a motive. What are they going to do about it that they wouldn't eventually do anyway? Israel should just keep pounding away at them until they kill all the Hamas leaders, and when more rise to take their place, they should kill them too. Then they should concentrate on Hezbollah, and then maybe Fatah.

And anytime anybody in the US or Europe opens their fucking mouths about it, they should go after these groups ten times as hard, until people here and in Europe realize the best thing to do on behalf of the "Palestinian people" might be to shut the fuck up.

None of these people are legitimate leaders of their people, they are nothing but thugs. Anybody that thinks any differently would have to think the Mafia are legitimate spokespersons for the Italian-American community.

The only difference is the Mafia isn't openly supported by US taxpayers and the UN. At least, not that we know of.

Israel has nukes, and I'm looking forward to the day they find the balls to use them.

Gert said...

Dear G-d, I see the same lunatics have still taken over the asylum here...

The Sentinel said...

I see another nasty troll has raised his head to get the reaction he craves.

How pathetic you are Meyers, you and your fellow mentally ill Hoffmann-Gill wackjob, roaming around the internet trying to impose your deranged mental problems on other people.

Who are you trolling these days, now you are unable to post threats and paedophilic filth on my blog along with your fat buddy and Harry’s place have thoroughly exposed your thinly veiled anti-Semitic hate and mercilessly mocked you out of the building?

Gert said...


Funny that, I actually agree with your stance on Iran (but I don't see an attack as imminent or unavoidable).

Re. Hoffman-Gill, he not a fellow of mine. I've never commented on his blog but advised him strongly to leave you alone, because you're not worth the trouble. But I agree with him that you, Farmer and PT are simply ruining this otherwise fine progressive blog by dominating it.

Re. 'roaming around the internet (sic)', I don't comment much on sites that hold opposite positions to mine. Although once banned from the Brown Sauce, nowadays they still allow me to comment. I do occasionally and very selectively.

Who's my 'fat buddy'? (And what would being fat have anything to do with anything?)

Good luck with your discussions with Pagan 'Nukem' Temple and Farmer. Of lately I seriously wonder if the former was drunk at the keyboard, he's gone totally hyperbolic. 9/11 shrapnel, most likely.

The Sentinel said...

As per usual Meyers, you and the truth part company as soon as you touch a keyboard.

You trolled my blog non-stop for a couple of years with nothing but abuse and insults and incited others to do the same (as I have proven with your demented ‘band of pirates’ email that one receiver published) culminating in the spoofed ID and anonymous campaign of threats and filth that both Hoffmann-Gill and yourself conducted before I closed the blog down.

In fact Hoffmann-Gill was posting similar kinds of filth on this very blog using the same tactics at the same time as he was doing so on my blog, as you well know.

So Hoffmann-Gill is, or was very much a (fat) fellow of yours so don’t give me that I ‘advised him strongly to leave you alone’ crap – as with much of what comes from you, it is an outright lie.

And you certainly thought I was ‘worth it’ when you spent God knows how many hours typing out and posting your depraved abuse on my blog over the course of around 24 months. In fact you thought I was ‘worth it’ so much that you sent emails out trying to incite others to troll my blog and organised demented campaigns against me.

So that is the kind of man you present online: An underhanded, demented lying troll. And given that, you really think anyone gives a flying fuck about your opinions on what ‘ruins a blog’ when pretty much it is underhanded, demented lying trolls who really ruin blogs, not people exchanging opinions in a free speech environment.

Just like Hoffmann-Gill, you are not only a particularly nasty and deranged troll, you are also a fascistic control freak who demands that others conform to their will without exception or the hysterical abuse, threats and general trolling begins – the online equivalent of political violence. You demand censorship for opposing opinions and the banning of dissenters – and we all know where that would lead taken to its logical conclusion in reality and what kind of people desire it.

And it is all demanded from a position of absolute hypocrisy as both you and Hoffmann-Gill are the vilest and most abusive creatures I have had the misfortune to come across online: Substitute Hoffmann-Gills ‘sub-human cunt’ for your ‘inbred imbecile’ trademarks and you are virtually interchangeable in your online frenzies of hate for differing views and their espousers.

It is you and Hoffmann-Gill who ruin blogs with your depraved hysterical abuse and absolute intolerance of, ironically, one of your joint favourite mantras: Diversity.

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Anonymous said...

A Marxist group I've been a member of and involved with over the last year, the Platypus Affiliated Society, hosted a couple of leftist/Marxist panel discussions on the ongoing political tragedy of Iran. You might find this article somewhat interesting, in the same vein as Fred Winston's: