A Tired Ideology, A Failed Revolution and the End of the IRI


by Onlyiran

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.         


more from Onlyiran

Hear, hear!

by Nur-i-Azal on



the 1979 revolution was a failure, and

by Elham57 on

The traitors, and the morons, responsible for Khomeini's
reign, need to shut the %@# up!


The weak link

by Nur-i-Azal on

The only hope I have is that speaah's elite is finding itself in check by sepaah's own rank and file who are sympathic with the opposition.


And herein could be where the most great unravelling comes...


Thanks for this good piece.

by jamshid on

Thanks for this good piece. Although the revolution's ideology has hit the bottom of the barrel, how far away we are from the end of the regime depends on how far is the Sepaah willing to go in order to crush the opposition.

It is obvious that the IRI is not the Soviet Union nor the Shah's Imperial regime. It safe to say that at this point, Khamenei is only a figure head and that it is the Sepaah's elite that is running the show.

Then the next question becomes, "do you know what kind of mentality the sepaah's elite has?" I believe that they will have no problem killing thousands of innocent men and women and children and send the "world opinion" to hell.

The only hope I have is that speaah's elite is finding itself in check by sepaah's own rank and file who are sympathic with the opposition.


Thanks everyone

by Onlyiran on

benross: I agree.  That's because the Soviet Union was "the mother of all" ideological movements, and its demise really brought home the reality that an ideological revolution cannot possibly lead to a participatory form of government--or a civil society founded on the rule of law.  Ideologically driven revolutions always result in concentration of power in the hands of the elite, and despotism is the natural result.

Hovakhshatare: while I do agree with your point that the IRI is an opportunistic cabal, I will still say that at its inception it did have an ideology, albeit a lot of its doctrine was really Islamized version of old socialist doctrines.  

Everyone else: thanks for the comments. 


OI, I like the jist of your blog

by Hovakhshatare on

but IR never qualified as an idealogy despite the 'islamic cause' as you correctly pointed. It was always about a massive cover up starting with Khomeini but even before him, that attached to what served its purposes. Then as more countries realized that IRR is beneficial to them despite the menacing appearance, IR stabilized at the expense of everything Iranian. In the interim, with exception of Iraq, all of Iran's enemies grew stronger and some whatchamacallits became countries. The environment where stupidity became idealogy came into being (in Farsi the phrase is: amr beheshoon moshtabah shod) as paralled by the hardening that happened over the years and culminated in AN. By the same token and as you pointed out from the angle of end of shelf life, IRR has ticked off just about everyone with minor exceptions and stupidity that mascaraded as ideology looks like stupidity again.


Clear and Concise

by Monda on

You said it.  Thanks Onlyiran.

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Excellent post and analysis: may the IRI join the Soviet Union!

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Every voice counts! Every action counts!

The Phantom Of The Opera

Keep in fridge after opening...

by The Phantom Of The Opera on

The late Shah was well aware of one particular revolution's shelf life; that's why he dismissed the constitutional monarchy, established his own dictatorial one-man show and, out of undeniable incompetence, lost his crown to a bunch of sandal wearer mullahs... 

The Pahlavis and all mullahs must disclose the source and the amount of their wealth.


excellent article

by benross on

Excellent like always Onlyiran. I might add that the end of the cold war also contributed enormously in developing a non ideological social movement.


Excellent Analysis

by Fatollah on

Thank you!


It's really not about the Shah

by Onlyiran on

it's more about a failed revolution and a failed ideology.  That is why this regime is falling.  At this point, Shah is only a footnote.  


No Fan of the Shah

by Charles on

Well, I am no fan of the Shah and would not want him or his descendants back in power because of the human rights abuses that occurred in those times.  However, and quite ironically, I think we can look back through the elapsed Iranian history since 1979 and safely say that one thing is clear with 20/20 hindsight.  The Shah was torturing all the right people for all the right reasons. 



by Nur-i-Azal on

I think the agenda of "they" (which was everybody other than the people of Iran itself) was not to allow that very thing to happen. We were bamboozled and hoodwinked by a sophisticated Western media /corporate project to overthrow the Shah and his regime (granted that regime had gone bad) and make sure Iran and Iranians  were dispersed and made weak so we wouldn't pose a significant economic and political threat to the West and its interests into the forseable future. Otherwise had the people been allowed to listen, right now Iran would have been a Japan success story with political and military prowess to boot, and possibly fully democratized a long time ago. Divide and conquer is the oldest imperialist trick in the book, and in '78-'79 we all fell for it. So here we are now... Ruh-i-Mohammad Reza Pahlavi shaad!



by Onlyiran on

You are right.  If they had only allowed him time when he said that he had "heard [people's] voice"...things would have been much different.


The Shah predicted this very Day

by Nur-i-Azal on

Yet people keep badmouthing the poor man.