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Why the 1979 Revolution failed?

The 1979 revolution was neither caused by foreign conspiracies, nor by an alleged “red-black-collaboration” (it refers to an alleged collaboration between the left and clergy), but mainly by the utopia of Islam.  The Islamic Shiite clergy, or Mullahs, fooled a great majority of Iranians to the today’s fiasco. The failed revolution is the result of the lack of a democratic opposition because under the Shah’s despotism such an opposition could not survive. The void thus created left the arena to the Mullahs as the only organized opposition in 1979.


The Iranian intelligentsia was present in the popular protests and naively accepted the supremacy of Mullahs. In return, Mullahs did not accept them, but used them as a useful tool. Once an Islamic regime was established, members of the Front National (FN) were ousted from the Islamic government. As Mullahs monopolized all powers, the leftists and then the People's Mojahedin of Iran (MKO or MKE) were subject to a rapid fatal fate. The revolutionary prosecutor banned the leading left-wing newspapers, activities and rallies. The authorities looked for excuses to persecute them. The regime’s jurisprudence issued arrest warrants of their leaders and soon started executing them. The 1988 notorious mass executions were the apogee of crimes against the MKO and leftists. Even many members of Toudeh Party / Aksariat (Aksariat refers to a “majority” faction of Marxist People's Fedai Guerrillas that collaborated with the regime), became victimes of the regime's atrocities too.


One must never overlook the fact that the cult of Islam is at the root of Iran’s current societal and political problems. Contrary to today’s increasing awareness about the nature of the regime, at that time the political Islam and its disastrous consequences were not exposed by the intelligentsia. I emphasize on this factor of appeasement as a failure of intelligentsia; a factor of self-alienation among our intelligentsia that not only denied the spirit of secularism and democracy, but also very essence of Marxism.


Let me add that this factor was an international paradigm, developed by capitalist key powers for the puropose of their colonial agenda in the 20th century.  The irony was that the two main camps of communism, Russia and China, followed the appeasement during the Cold War. The appeasement needs to be recognized as a discursive stratagem that enabled these two communist poles in their both political and economic relations with the Islamic world and “anti-imperialist” Islamic movements. This appeasement stood for the communist poles above the “atheist” ideological values of the communism and for the West above the human rights violations. 


For many hundreds of years Islam has imposed its totalitarian ideology and accompanying religion through its sword on many peoples, including Iranians. Our intelligentsia only saw the problems largely in the U.S.A. and U.K. … as the source of imperialistic or colonial ills, not in the coercive nature of Islam as the first and worst “imperialism”. Also, this deviation served the colonial powers in order to portray Islam as a part of Iranian identity. There was not an intellectual trend in Iran denouncing the disastrous results of colonial and backward nature of political Islam. This is the fiasco our intellectual pioneers failed to realize in the 1979 revolution itself with its initial impetus of anti-despotism.


Not only the Iranian left, but also the non-Marxists, nationalists, patriots, democrats… were influenced by Khomeini and his Islamic movement and mistakenly saw in Islam a progressive source of independence and anti colonialism. This criterion dominated the balance of power during the 1979 revolution. Apart from the Iranian protégés and followers of these two communist camps of the East, many western sympathizers followed this bottom line of appeasement with Islam, and only after the 1979 revolution they realized their miscalculation.


It is extremely short-sighted and intellectually dishonest to label the 1979 revolution either as a mistake of our “ungrateful people toward the Shah” or a product of a conspiracy theory tramped by a “red-black” with active collaboration or the foreign plans -- even if the key powers had realized that the Shah’s days were numbered.


Only Iranian people with self-determination toppled the Shah’s despotism and the fiasco happened after the fait accompli, quite independently from the fairness of the anti-Shah revolution. The fact is that the left and secular spectrum of Iranian intelligentsia were not as present and organized as Mullahs were during the revolution. The 1979 revolution ended up to become a “fiasco” because Shiite Islam was strenghtened by the Shah and thus the Shiite Mullahs were the only intact opposition under the megalomaniac Shah and, what is even worse, these Mullahs were blindly followed by a great majority of Iranians including the intelligentsia.



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david wayford American parents, grew up in Tehran from 2 years old until 1979. Born in 1943. Studied Petrolium engineering B.S. at U.T. and returned to Iran, which i considered to be my native country, to continue working. Doroud bar shma!

Well said, the views you offer are free of dogmatism and propaganda. I look forward to future articles by you.



If one wants to understand the mechanism of how things really happened that time:


Iranians have not learned to go deep and proceed scientifically. They did not understand terminology, they mix everything and they talk about things they do not understand. They do not understand the MEANING of the WORD they use. Translated in medicine: despite they are not doctors they e.g. say "This is a Virusinfection, you have to take anbiotics!" They do not understand that in case of virusinfections you should think about virustatica, and if you have a bacterial infection just antibiotics will help.... Because the do not know the MEANING of the WORDS they use. They have heared something in the Always very Free and Neutral western media and then they reproduce these false theories in theire phantasy. And even when they see PARADOXISM in action and speeches from Democratical Countries in the west ("Human rights -but just for Russia!Not Iran..") theire real behaviour (Bringing Islamists to power, neoliberalism and so on), they ignore these facts and confabulate a Fantasy World. The Elites in the west laugh at our Intellectuals.

For Iranian Intelligentia:
Democracy: simply a FORM OF GOVERNEMENT
Dictatorship: also simply a FORM OF GOVERNMENT

A Form of Government, nothing more. This can be a good one, it can be a bad one. All you need for a government to reign is an assembly Hall with deputies and a Head of state. Governing can go from down to top or top to down. That´s all, it´s not said, that it is good or bad. You have these things in Germany, US, Moscow even in soviet times, you had that during the Shah reign and you have that in Tehran today.

So they ALL where Democracies, because people were elected by theire populations. So Iran IS a Democracy, believe it or not, like it or not, and even German politicans and US politicians congratulated Iranians after Rohanis election, and they call the Iranian System a Democracy(!!!). Theire argumentation is very simple: because every 5 years you have elections!!!! That is totally enough for them to define Iran as a democracy. As a matter of fact, is is one. It has four wheels, a motor->it is a car, not a ship.

So before somebody get´s enraged and want to explain to me why Iran is not a Democracy->do not tell me, because we all Iranians know why Iran is not a Democracy in the sense we would define it and have learned it for propaganda reasons during the cold war and in 1978. Go and explain the german politicians, why Iran is not a Democracy. You will not suceed.

Another Example:
What is a Car?
A vehicle, which can bring one or more persons from A-B with the help of extern energy.

Mercedes, simply a Form of a car.
Volkswagen/Rabbit: also simply a Form of car.
Trabant, (eastern german communist style car with two cylindrs and even containing wood an paper (!)): Despite it´s low quality, but still a Form of car

It depends, what the content is. You can easely tell the differences between Mercedes and Peykan. Iranians made a Capital mistake.

Until 1978 Iranians had a Volkswagen. They were told by BBC and western politicians: Change your Car!!!! The West promised: If you let in Democracy, you all will have a very good system! Naive and Romantic Iranians expected Mercedes, but got TRABANT instead. Iranians tell western Politicians: We thought we get MERCEDES?
The West answers: Sorry guys, look into the contract of Paris, Nephle-le Chatau 1978 again, we may have promised Mercedes, but that guy we sent via AIR FRANCE to you, had other plans, and well, our plans have also changed. Go home and get back to work. Revolution is over. At least you have changed Thanks a lot for the good oil contracts.

So again, if asked: "What is a car?"->the right answer should be: generall it is a vehicle transporting persons...

What do Iranian Dreamers and Roshanfekr answer proudly? Untill today after 35 yeras of "Experience?: "MERCEDES!"

And they wave their wag....WoW! "Have I said the right thing blue eyed master? Do I get some dog cake now?" Good my dog, now go back an sleep and dream about western Democracy and Philosophy, I have to meet some democratic deputies from iranian Parlament to talk about new sanctions/oil. By the way my democratic dog, dont forget, that for me you are a MUSLIM...!"

So: THEY took away the VOLKSWAGEN RABBIT from us, let in a lot of Trabants and gave a few MERCEDS to the Mullahs. That´s all. And so simple.

So, can any Iranian Roshanfekr define for me, what makes a Democracy a "good, functioning " System ase.g. in the West...?


Zendanian An injury to one is an injury to all.

We all saw what happens to the fool who uttered those words. Remember?



Quote:"That "somebody" you can't even write his name is an internationally respected scholar, who happens to have also analyzed various aspects of "conspiracy theory" "

Do Iranians always need a Foreign scholar to substantiate their arguments? Every time Iranians start discussing and dont know how to proceed, they cite a western foreign scholar, philsoph or similar. WOW! Do Iranians not have their own brains, own scholars? Where is the difference between you and Islamists? The Islamists at once look to Makkeh and present another Mullah. Democrats cite Western phlsoph or scholars, who do not have any real connection to Iran and it´s needs. In worst cases the also have not understood Demcracy and the policy of the west.

I do not need any Foreign scholars or any Foreign Ideology (Communism, Democracy and it´s underlying Value Neoliberalism, National socialism, Racism, Nationalism, Islam) cited to make me understand how the world is run. I am more experienced through life than those scholars. And more than this, I am Iranian. If you need a "big brother" for stressing you arguments, I just can shake my head..


Zendanian An injury to one is an injury to all.

You could post articles from third rate American academicians here in support of your "argument" & that's O.K., but others can't refer you to first rate analysis pointing out why your "conspiracy theories" are useless?
You could talk in here, 24/7, but if others respond & point out fallacies of your "argument" they're accused of "talking!"
Exactly what gives you this privileged position to condemn everyone else for stuff that you yourself keep doing all the time?
Does the word hypocrisy ever crossed your mind?



Quote": Forgetting all along that Iran back then was America's backyard & playground, they ran it & behaved as they pleased. Nothing to be surprised about."

Well, AT LEAST you are admitting that the US has behaved conspiratorially.


Zendanian An injury to one is an injury to all.

And you're surprised, shocked & dismayed but such behavior?
Somehow it's incredibly difficult & impossible for you to comprehend the difference between actual conspiracies & "conspiracy theory." The former is a tactic often used in politics, the latter remain a "poor person's cognitive mapping." Which is a polite way of saying " conspiracy theory" is garbage.




Look, I am pointing to the sky, which is clearly blue. You look up and say: no, it´s pink!!
Then I show you a blue jeans and a pink Barbie-dress and ask you again, and what do you do? You close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears, headshaking you say: "No No No!!! It´s pink! Blue is a Conspiracy theory!" Then you show me a text of somebody who wrote a book in 1988 about conspiracy. What do you want me to tell? Think before writing. Well, at least you are answeringm Mr. Rashidian seems to went on holiday.

You are right, I do not want to rescue these people, but I want to show readers an alternative possible view.


Zendanian An injury to one is an injury to all.

You post an article in here from an American professor, then based on that article express your surprise at how the American embassy in Tehran was behaving. Forgetting all along that Iran back then was America's backyard & playground, they ran it & behaved as they pleased. Nothing to be surprised about.
That "somebody" you can't even write his name is an internationally respected scholar, who happens to have also analyzed various aspects of "conspiracy theory" [poor person's cognitive mapping] and if you had bothered to read his text, you might have found out why most of your "observations" are bunk! Cheerio


amirparvizforsecularmonarchy I Love Waterfalls and Find One of the most humorous things in the world; is the notion that Americans are a greater force for good & more civilized than Nazi's, Mullahs and Communists.

Schamsi1 it's a really bad idea to envisage ourselves as rapidly rescuing an imprisoned princess like Rashidian, ignorance has no limit and we are out of miracles for now. I'm sorry to bring this to your attention today, valentines day, but I need to remind you that focusing on those who already put Iran first is the best use of ones time. The base needs to be educated to not be so ignorant of the false views exist. IRI are Sell Outs and treasonous to Iranians and their families lives which are doing far worse as a people as a result of all the IRI's ignorant and incompetent efforts. These are not elites neither is Rashidian.


Zendanian An injury to one is an injury to all.

Mapping Conspiracy

[Note: since we're having such a heated discussion about "conspiracy theory" in here, I thought it might not be a bad idea to also read a few line about what is called "poor man's cognitive mapping." Enjoy]
In the end of his essay ‘Cognitive Mapping’ from 1988, Fredric Jameson makes what seems to be a disparaging remark about the ubiquity of the theme of paranoia in contemporary cultural production.

‘Conspiracy’, he writes, ‘one is tempted to say, is the poor person’s cognitive mapping in the postmodern age; it is a degraded figure of the total logic of late capital, a desperate attempt to represent the latter’s system, whose failure is marked by its slippage into sheer theme and content.’

With this statement Jameson seems to be in tune with the majority of conspiracy theory theory, for lack of a better term. The label ‘conspiracy theory’ is almost exclusively used in the pejorative. Belittled by Richard Hofstadter in 1964 in one of the groundbreaking essays in the field as a ‘political pathology’, conspiracy theory is often seen as at best a misguided and inadequate attempt to understand the functioning of power in an increasingly complex global society.

Awash in symbolic misery and bereft of any conceptual apparatus to understand the antagonisms, fluctuations, and developments in global politics and the economy, people turn to conspiracy theory as an immensely oversimplified narrativization of amorphous and/or anonymous global power dynamics. With reference to the notion of cognitive mapping, an inability to cogently map or understand the complexities of global capitalism is replaced by paranoid visions of nefarious elites and cabals bent on world domination.

Just a couple of years later, Jameson published "The Geopolitical Aesthetic," the first chapter of which – ‘Totality as Conspiracy’ – Jameson reveals ‘the desire called cognitive mapping’ in the ‘conspiratorial texts’ of a series of films including Three Days of the Condor, All the President’s Men, Parallax View, and Videodrome.

These films, he claims, can be understood as an attempt ‘to think a system so vast that it cannot be encompassed by the natural and historically developed categories of perception with which human beings normally orient themselves’. This is an inevitably impossible task, but in the intent to map ‘lies the beginning of wisdom’ .

To summarize a bit crudely what is a highly enjoyable, eighty page critical tour de force: the conspiracy narrative allows these films – partly by way of allegory – to critically depict and reflect upon global, postmodern capitalism and the place of the individual in this massively complex system.

In the twenty years since Jameson made this claim, conspiracy theory has become increasingly prevalent and conspiratorial narratives seem to have lost none of their appeal, becoming all the more visible in both the cinema and the fine arts, as both theme and content.


amirparvizforsecularmonarchy I Love Waterfalls and Find One of the most humorous things in the world; is the notion that Americans are a greater force for good & more civilized than Nazi's, Mullahs and Communists.

The dirty secret of followers of democratic systems for Iran have is they themselves do not know into who's agenda their actions will be serving and that progress will be stifled even more and never on such a level as it was with the late shah and the independence Iran enjoyed. In reality they are not offering a better alternative by supporting a democratic system, but the perception of having a greener and better alternative.

Does this sound like a better alternative to you?

We see time and again that institutions that require leaders to swear an oath and are never kept accountable to their oath in practice do not work, not for the people, who in practice know less about what is going on than anyone else, not for freedom and justice. Democratic Systems are the extreme of violence, corruption, they impose policies regardless of mass unpopularity from all sides, their unlawful actions against weaker countries increase local and global harm and criminality. "We the people" need to keep in mind what is possible and what is a good direction for Iranians and humanity, what is a system that upholds human rights, progress, peace and laws. In Monarchies, no one can do what ever they want, because they are immune to justice, that is what we see in democratic systems and then the institutions cover up the crimes and do not prosecute anyone, Iranians don't need another brutal system that runs on money and law makers are the richest of the rich in the entire country make every decision to enrich themselves. Even selling their best friends and children.