With the exception of delusional Islamists, hopeless IRI dead-enders or moth-balled former socialists turned pseudo-Islamist imperialist chasers who are still yearning to hear The Internationale echo in public squares around the world, everyone can see that the Islamic regime in Iran has reached its end and its collapse is only a matter of time.
But what brought this upon the IRI? I am not a big fan of Roger Cohen. But he had a phrase in his latest op ed piece in the NY Times which caught my attention. The phrase was “tired ideology”. In my opinion, that is the best phrase that can describe what has happened to the 1979 revolution, and to its bastard child, the IRI.
Every ideologically driven revolution has a shelf life. Add to that the fact that revolutionary fever can only last a generation or two. Then throw in the mix the information age and the flow of ideas. All of these factors have been working against the IRI for the past thirty years. In the case of the Soviet Union, for example, that revolution’s shelf life lasted about 75 years. Once its “great struggle” to put the proletariat in charge of the world was exposed as nothing but a pipe dream, and a justification to keep a military dictatorship in power, its foundations crumbled and it simply withered away.
In general, revolutions can only milk their ideologies for so long. At some point, revolutionary zeal gives way to the practicalities of life and necessities of dealing with the world. Moreover, the absolute power that an ideologically driven revolution places in the hands of the few eliteinevitably leads to corruption which, sooner or later, becomes apparent to the masses.
Like the old Soviet ideology, IRI’s great ideology o fIslamization of the world and recapturing of “Ghods” and freeing Palestine have been exposed as nothing but pipe dreams and justifications to keep a brutal military dictatorship in power. Unlike the USSR, the IRI is faced with a young population, and one that has no connection to the revolution and IRI’s tired ideology. This is the “death to no one” population that wants a good standard of living, concentration on welfare of Iranians (asopposed to the endless sacrifice of Iran’sinterest and wealth in favor of the greater “Islamic cause”) and good relations with the world. Also, much unlike the USSR, the information age has provided the means for the realization of this detachment—and the realization of the end of the tired ideology-- to spread much more rapidly. Lastly, IRI’s corruption is the stuff of legends and really needs no explanation.
In sum, the 1979 revolution was a failure and its shelf life has expired. We are watching its end in real time on the streets of Iran. The new uprising is also a revolution, but not an ideologically driven one. It is astruggle to purge a military dictatorship and replace it with a system of governance that is brought upon by popular consensus. And it will succeed. It has history and momentum on its side. All that is left is for the dead enders tocome to terms with the failure of their revolution and their ideology.
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